The benefits of Brexit - the future of the United Kingdom

Discussion in 'World News, Current Events & Politics' started by emigre, May 26, 2018.

  1. supersonicwaffle

    supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular

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    I don't really get your point. After Brexit the EU will default to the same import taxes for UK imports as any other third party country.
    Like I said earlier I believe the EU does have incentive to negotiate a good trade deal because there's industry in the UK that is important to all of the EU and its military. However, this industry has indicated that they're considering leaving the UK because it's supplying almost exclusively to EU customers, especially Airbus which is spread across the whole EU and in some cases they've already moved business to the EU.
     
    Last edited by supersonicwaffle, Aug 22, 2019
  2. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Meh...I don't think it'll scare off other countries that much.

    "oh, noes! Whenever we want to leave the EU, we better make sure that we'll limit the exit negotiations to two maximum two years, extend the deadline no more than three times and need to find a way to make sure our EU neighbors can maintain their single market!!!"

    Face it: Brexit politicians just started the process completely unprepared. They had done no research, lied about costs and benefits and completely underestimated the amount of actual trade that would be impacted. If the process scares potential other politicians into doing a proper analysis ("hey...should it be a good idea to check with our own parliament whether we can actually DO an exit before we start making promises to the public?"), then it's just all the better.

    Thus far, I've heard nothing from the EU that I've deemed even remotely unreasonable in this process. And truth be told: the same goes for whatever pieces I've read about May's plans. I was against them, but a least they were reasonable.
     
  3. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    I'd like to comment on both of these.

    The original gym example is meant to explain why the UK can't really hold a grudge or play the victim (they decided to leave. Not checking for potential consequences beforehand is ignorance on their behalf). If you want to bend it for another meaning, then it's indeed not sufficient. Neither your counterexample, @UltraDolphinRevolution .


    A less flawed analogy would be a gym offering multiple options for potential sporters. The most common ones would be 'members' and 'guests'. The "members" would be the EU members, the non-members would be the ones the EU has no specific trade agreements with. Erm...say Madagascar(1). Is there trade possible between the EU and Madagascar? Of course. That would fall under WTO trade rules. The thing is: this is the most basic of trades. And way too unfitting for the UK.

    But this EU gym has more options than mere 'members' or 'guests'. Switzerland, for example, isn't a member but does have some sort of special status (erm...honorary guest?). They have an unique deal. And I'm not too sure how countries like Canada or Denmark are, but they have some sort of special membership as well. If you've got time, I can suggest some TL;DR news video's on the topic. They explain in detail what each country's situation is, and compare it to the UK's situation. Each time, the conclusion is a "...but this isn't what the UK wants". and that isn't so strange, because the UK simply isn't one of those other countries.

    And that's why the negotiations started. And proceeded. And ended. This "the EU is signaling no deals at all" simply is untrue. What do you think May has been doing for the last two years? She proposed and negotiated a deal in name of her government. It took so long because she wanted more than the EU was willing to allow, but in the end there was an agreement both sides could live with.
    Yes, I know: the deal got shot down in the UK parliament three times. Sorry, but that's not the EU's fault. And it doesn't mean that they somehow should get back into negotiations because someone else comes asking for more.
    Extra note: since yesterday I looked into the other side as well. Parliament may have refused May's deal three times, but it was at best a small minority that wanted the backstop out, whereas there were more members wanting the backstop. So while the EU is actually signaling TWO possibilities (1. May's deal; 2. remain in the EU), Boris is attempting an option that has even LESS chance of making it through parliament. Try putting yourself in Macron or Merkel's shoes...would you give in to this guy(2)?




    (1): note: but I'm honestly picking a random country here. To my knowledge, it doesn't have any sort of agreement with the EU. If I'm wrong on this, just replace Madagascar with "any country the EU has no specific deal with"
    (2): its actually even a bit more complex than that. The backstop wasn't th EU's idea. Unless I'm mistaken, it was a negotiated compromise because the EU rather wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the EU customs union, which was out of the question for the UK/May. Not maintaining a single market was (and still is) a breaking point for the EU, so the backstop became the negotiated result. So Johnson is really arguing against a negotiated deal when he was part of the government (but, granted, not as prime minister).
     
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  4. notimp
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  6. smile72

    smile72 NewsBot

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    This may make me sound like a bad person. But I love reading about Brexit! It's so exciting! I mean the possibility of a United Ireland in my lifetime is honestly quite interesting.
     
  7. DBlaze

    DBlaze I don't know what i'm doing.

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    So did anyone ever point out any benefits of leaving?
     
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  8. smile72

    smile72 NewsBot

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    Not sure? I checked a few pages but didn't really see many "benefits" for the UK at least.
     
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  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Is Ireland so divided and having its people suffer or be held back because of it or something? Seemed OK to me and everybody I met from there or that visits.

    While I have still yet to be sold on the concept people seemed to reckon
    Some more money theoretically for the UK if the UK is indeed a net contributor to the concept. What effects it will have on trade costs, research costs, costs to certain fields*, recruitment costs to make the gross cost/outcome of the project remains to be seen but is not looking great in the short term.
    The ability to not have to harmonise with EU law (usually referred to as [various amounts of invective] unelected bureaucrats in Brussels). As this is the same government that is trying porn blocks, pretty much abandoned notions of free speech (not the EU and various courts there are doing much better), sat there with their thumbs up their arses for the last however many years with this leaving the EU lark, has also overseen some fairly bad education missteps, some less than stellar crime stats, failed to encourage much building, by many metrics has not done brilliantly on healthcare and more besides I don't know if that is a particular perk, to say nothing of their opposition being no better.
    The ability to not have to harmonise with EU standards on things; most of the ones I have seen for tech and finance are about what national bodies seem to cook up themselves and are not any more onerous than anywhere else I see in the world that I would care to pay attention to -- Canada, the US, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, NZ... sort of thing, though each of those do have some downsides in some of the things I have see (the US' approach to patents and various food additives for one)
    The ability to control immigration both from within the EU and levels of refugees taken in where before the EU set something of a threshold/requirement (not a terribly small one either). Both are interesting concepts and have upsides and downsides so remains to be seen what will happen there; the UK does not train enough skilled workers for its needs, though at the same time low skilled workers that are also able to come over with the whole free movement thing do have something of a depressive effect in various fields. This also says nothing about people from the UK being able to float around the EU to work and retire.
    The ability to conduct trade negotiations (not sure with whom and why they would be much better than those people over a couple of hundred KM of ocean away rather than thousands)
    The ability to fiddle with the economy in ways the EU might not care for (the EU regs could be said to have blocked certain interventions into things), and also not be tied to the likes of Greece and Spain when they hose it up next time.

    *save for a bit of high tech (both computing and more nuts and bolts engineering, neither of which are particularly big employers with computing being famously so) the UK gave up industry some time back and mining even further back, though that is a longer story, and became a nation of paper pushers (though they like to call it a service economy). One of the perks of the EU thing being able to act as an English speaking (so most of the UK commonwealth, US and everybody else's second language as it were) gateway to it. While there is always paper that needs pushing to not take the easy meal is a potentially questionable choice.
     
  10. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    ... And now for a move I totally did not see coming (and to be honest, I'm not sure whether to believe the news). Boris Johnson got queen Elisabeth to suspend parliament for five weeks (link : https://edition-m.cnn.com/2019/08/2...gbr-intl/index.html?r=https://www.google.com/)

    While it makes some earlier actions to make sense (why is he pursuing a path that has less chance of making it through parliament?), what I really don't understand how he pulls this off.

    The suspense means parliament simply doesn't have enough time to stop a brexit (with our without deal). So...
    Okay, okay : I assumed the position of the queen was strictly for protocol. That's apparently wrong, so even if I personally hate it, I've got to admit it's a brilliant move.

    Those comparing Johnson to Trump can stick this situation up their arse : this sort of cabal is way outside Trump's league.
     
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  11. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    I'm not so sure. We don't have a queen, but Trump uses Mitch McConnell in a very similar manner: to block the senate from voting on bills which might otherwise save the country from some of the damage being done by this administration. A no-deal Brexit has always seemingly been the worst possible outcome for the UK, and it certainly leaves Ireland in a nebulous position, but I'm sure Boris and his ilk will personally profit from it in one way or another. When it comes to self-serving motives, there are plenty of comparisons to be made with Trump.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Aug 28, 2019
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  12. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    Democracy. :)

    edit: Ah, I just saw, that parliament could overrule it with a simple majority. But they aint gonna. :)
     
    Last edited by notimp, Aug 29, 2019
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  13. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Sorry, but that's not a good analogy. McConnell was doing that shit well before Trump took office (probably best example was the replacement of Antonin Scalia. McConnell flat out denied Obama from even nominating a supreme court judge). And for this example more importantly: McConnell is a part of the political system. The queen of England...she obviously has some influence on the directions of politics, but to downright steer it like this is something unheard of in a modern monarchy.


    @notimp: okay...you wanna clarify that a bit? Sorry, but "democracy" is a bit vague to know what you mean. :unsure:
     
  14. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    Sure. But nothing too interesting here. Going to your (in this case unelected) head of state which has the power to dismiss your parliament for a few weeks, to prevent it from staging political action against your move to set hard brexit into place (at least as a political option) - didn't seem very democratic.

    Thats why I read up on it a little, found out, that parliament could overrule it with a majority vote - and that it wasn't very likely to happen in this case (because of domestic polical considerations :) ) - and now I learned to worry less about that intervention. ;)

    In our country we have a similar system in place ("Presidential Democracy").
     
    Last edited by notimp, Aug 29, 2019
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  15. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    There is no good analogy because there is no vestigial branch of government in the US equivalent to the royal family of the UK. Boris didn't need the queen's permission to suspend parliament, so her role in this is ultimately meaningless and hardly even worth the mention. That's also why I don't see Johnson's move of asking her permission as notably clever; he might as well have been asking a magic 8-ball since he was going to ignore a negative response regardless.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Aug 29, 2019
  16. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    What. This is all useless protocol then? PR signaling? Not separation of power?
    Really asking - I don't know. You tell me. :) (Don't want to look it up.)

    src:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49493632
     
    Last edited by notimp, Aug 29, 2019
  17. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    I did some more reading as well. Part of the brilliance is - of course - that it's not illegal. Proroguing parliament is apparently something that is done every year. Not this long, but because it has been delayed a bit by May - ironically enough because of brexit - it's not THAT unheard of that it takes longer than a week. But even then: Boris plays innocence and says it has nothing to do with brexit but nobody's falling for it.

    I'm not sure, but my earlier statement that "Johnson got queen Elisabeth to suspend parliament" may have been misleading. In a piece I've read was a footnote that she got the question, but that denying the request would be making a political statement...which she...cannot do? :unsure:
    (note: I know for sure that in Belgium, our king is strictly forbidden to mingle in politics outside of protocol functions. But again: I do not know the situation in the UK)

    But @Xzi: you're probably right in that he could have done it without her permission. I can't 100% confirm it yet, but it certainly seems that way.
    Hmm...no. This might be a European thing, but we do not "just" go against our monarchs. Our king has no political power, but perhaps just because of that, they see some support from people I know that I can only describe as "somewhat similar to religious fanatisme". He certainly wasn't going to get away with a negative response. But there'd be a different kind of political crisis. Johnson's request hinged on the premisse that she cannot really refuse(1). It certainly gives context to that earlier pompous talks ("taking back our country", "sovereignty"...those thingumies): how can Elisabeth be against THAT?

    Of course, suspending parliament in this time period is a powder keg no matter the context. It's undemocratic, and I'm also of the opinion that this is, in practice, a coup d’état. I know brexiteers will probably disagree with me. They'll point out that parliament brought this on themselves by voting nay against everything and being against brexit in the first place. I agree to that. But it'll take more to make me change my mind on that.

    @notimp: I really hope you're right on this, but if I'm honest, I can't find anything on that "overrule it with a majority vote". I've read reports of what I already know, yes: that the opposition could file a motion of distrust against the government(2). That wasn't new, but they've got a new and even better argument for it than ever. But that parliament themselves can say "nope...thanks for the offer, but a majority of us decided we stay open for business." is something I simply haven't read anywhere yet.



    (1): I might be mistaken, but isn't that the same situation as with US electoral votes. The people vote, and the electors have to respect the outcome to vote for the president; they can't really vote different.
    (2): until now, I never feared a no-deal brexit because there were two "impossible" hurdles, to overcome. One less and one more likely. The more likely one was parliament simply 'nay'-ing again. They've got experience in that. The other option's if the opposition brings the government down. Since the government literally has one seat more than the opposition, it should be a cakewalk. The only reason this is (okay: was) the less likely option is because these are politicians looking at themselves rather than the whole. Labour's the largest opposition party, so a fall of government will bring Corbyn more in the spotlight, likely becoming prime minister after the election. And that's just something the other opposition parties won't like.
     
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  18. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    Sorry, I likely got it wrong.

    I made the call based on older information. Here is what I've got.


    Interview with a german corespondant from yesterday:

    [...]some people speculate that a vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson would become more likely next week. This motion had just been rejected Tuesday at a meeting of the Heads of the opposition parties. Instead they intended to concentrate on a law that would make no Brexit illegal, the assembly decided, which had congregated on invitation of the Labour Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    Question: How can the Parliament foil Johnsons Plan?

    Answer: The opponents of no Deal now have to move. Under current planning the lower house only comes together after their summer break after 3. September for two weeks before the session will be interrupted again for three weeks because of the political conventions for Tories, Labour and Libdems. A cancelation of this Interruption would have to be agreed on by a majority in parliament. The likelyhood of that happening is slim, because none of the parties has any interests in canceling their - very lucrative (donors), yearly conventions, or shortening them.

    src: https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000107909547/johnson-will-parlament-auf-urlaub-schicken (german)

    So all of this was talk about a potential vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson. And gaining more time.

    Someone from the UK with a proper school education in here?


    Can the lower house - still produce a vote of no confidence against the Boris Johnson gouvernment - even though parliament will halt action by September 9th? (as per the Queens decree).

    The lower house would have one week - after their vacation to do so at least...

    A vote of no confidence into the current administraton apparently also only needs a simple majority.
    see: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-46890481

    But they would not overrule the Queens decree (is the point). They would have to fire the government before that goes into action. :)
     
    Last edited by notimp, Aug 29, 2019
  19. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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  20. IncredulousP

    IncredulousP GBAtemp Fan

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    38 pages and I STILL have no idea how British politics work.
     
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  21. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    My rough guesstimation, May(s Team) was wrong for negotiations. Johnson raises the 'gang ho' factor (maybe), no deal brexit has to be on the table to be used as a gambit.

    Or in case no deal brexit gets to be what we are dealing with within the next few weeks, US sponsored enough that it made sense.

    Easy. ;) As for the queens role, if she can suspend parliament it probably shouldnt be overulable with a simple majority on second thought. ;)
     
  22. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    For a start get used to the phrase "for complicated historical reasons" as it will come up all the time.

    If you are curious though then the Politics Unboringed video series does well here.

    Things have changed somewhat over recent decades but generally

    The country is split up and the splits (population based, though accounting for historical and regional ties, and susceptible to some gerrymandering) send MPs to parliament. They all vote on what goes as far as policy, law and whatever, and is what you see in the room with the green benches, in normal business clothes and most TV on the matter of UK government.
    The leader of the party with the most seats is then invited to form the government and appoint people to government positions (those without an official position becoming the back benchers). Said leader can change without forcing an election as part of it, indeed one technically does not vote for the leader (that is done within parties by whatever means they employ, which you can join as a normal person) but for most practical purposes they will be the one on the advertising you see, talking about their manifestos and engaging in debates during elections (indeed I would wager many which do care to vote don't know the name of their local MP, or their chosen party's representative as the case may be) and so on.

    Though before it becomes law the house of lords (they will usually dress up in robes, and have red benches) has to give it the go ahead. This has undergone some reforms too in recent decades (despite some attempts going back to the 1800s then at one point they served somewhat as the supreme court for all sorts of interesting legal cases and appeals, as of 2009 there is a supreme court. Judicial functions of the House of Lords being a reasonable term if you care to know more there). Shockingly to many there are people granted a peership for life* (by a prime minister, or lords appointment commission) and others by virtue of having a family that stayed in good stead with a monarch hundreds of years ago (this would be hereditary peers), also a few religious folks (originally just the Anglican church but they have a few other spiritual lords these days from other religions). For the most part the lords are there to keep a check on craziness and make sure things are well worded but they do have some considerable power as part of that.

    *retirement is actually an issue here as you can't officially retire. There are workarounds but they are not ideal for some.

    The UK has a constitution of sorts but it is not as firm as the US approach you might be more familiar with. Said constitution is more of a guideline for law making and conducting parliament, and by virtue of that you will have to look a bit harder to find an expert on UK constitutional law where I imagine every US law school has classes and experts on it and it is considered a major part of law there. The person you might have seen speaking most on the matter is the speaker of the house of parliament (the guy shouting order a lot), technically another MP but the major parties don't run anybody in their region and they upon becoming speaker they step down from their party, and also don't vote on bills except under fairly select circumstances).

    The reigning monarch (queen in this case) technically has all the power but practically speaking has none (while the house of lords has to OK a bill she still signs it into law, though in practice it has been centuries since the royals refused assent, and even that was a special case and done on the advice of ministers) and is generally not seen to express opinions publicly (though it is available -- it is nominally their job to stay aware of things and the current one has a few decades of experience at this point).
    You might have also heard the term prorogue in recent weeks. Normally it is the holiday that MPs take in the summer to do holidays and also go speak to their constituents (today you can email them but historically if you were a dude on a horse that had to go a few hundred kilometres to catch up with people or get a message...), however if things break down the suspension of it in that case also goes by the same term. Much like the monarch has the final say they are also officially the one to appoint a prime minister and can shut down parliament, though again it is largely ceremonial. Here though the concept is being used for what some consider a quite radical step to run out the clock on certain means by which the government could be blocked, this despite no breakdown in parliament. For an American analogy this move is somewhat between a government shutdown and filibuster.

    The UK is also a "country of countries" (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, plus a few small islands and other territories with various levels of autonomy + the wider realm but the last two are not really relevant at this point). For many years (and after the point the UK joined the EU) these countries were more or less one block with only local government (similar sizes to the areas MPs represent) doing the minor local functions in much official capacity, however starting with probably the Good Friday agreement for Northern Ireland then Wales and Scotland properly agitated for (and got) some more autonomy in various "devolved" parliaments and councils, Scotland going so far as to have a referendum in recent times on whether to stay a member of the union with staying only getting a fairly narrow victory (somewhat amusingly the uncertainty about whether Scotland would be able to join the EU afterwards being part of the push for the stay campaign). This means said other countries have a fair amount of sway over national politics (even if the national politics might not be able to do that much locally these days, despite the reverse not being the case -- see the West Lothian question as the MP from the tippy top of Scotland or one of the further north islands could well have a say in a matter that only troubles England or a small portion of it that does not even border Scotland).
    Furthermore in this case as the various parties in parliament don't presently have enough elected members to form a clear majority government** a few of them ganged up (technically they call it a coalition), this time the Conservatives joined with the DUP (democratic unionist party) of Northern Ireland to make numbers (and even then it is only the slimmest of majorities, which recently got slimmer still) so if the Conservatives/government fuck over Northern Ireland (by either making them a cut off part of the country or seeing a hard border arise where there was a bit of a conflict before then, and it also having a bit of a longer history that is almost as long as country of countries thing) they won't be able to whip their members into line to get a vote through (while they generally vote with the party they are not absolutely required to -- you are supposed to serve the wishes of your region and all that) and at that point things get a bit tricky for them.

    **for many years the UK was something of a two party system as far as practical concerns go (few different names, various mergers and twists but nothing quite as fun as some of the US stuff). However various other parties, ones formed for regional concerns and ones that were all regions but philosophically different, gained various amounts of traction. However as it is still a "first past the post" electoral system and enough the folks within the UK don't care about that they still vote for the smaller parties and reduce numbers at the top and have fun with the spoiler effect. There was an attempt to move to a slightly different voting system that would avoid many of these problems a few years back but it was defeated.

    The EU, which the UK is supposedly in the process of leaving, also has a say in UK law. What they are varies by the person you are speaking to but eh. At its heart it is a trade and policy director to try to harmonise trade within the EU, act as a big block for trade outside the EU and make sure laws are reasonably similar between EU member states (being in the EU the members agree to pass their laws into their national laws, though it can take a little while for it to filter down). Each EU member sends their own members of parliament (called MEPs) which are elected in separate elections to national ones, often with different rules (and far lower turnouts) and have no power within national borders.
     
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