Brexit - the final throes....

With reference to the thread  ‘Lost Topic’ discussing the removal for moderation (and possible closure) of the ‘Are we sleepwalking out of Europe?’ thread, and my post of a few minutes ago, this is a new thread  to discuss specifically matters relating to Brexit.

The intent of this thread is to cover all relevant matters, which may include  whether or not Britain will or should leave, whether or not there sophould be a confirmatory referendum, whether or not any particulat deal is acceptable and what to do if not.

But PLEASE EXCLUDE  any discussion of any aspect of politics not directly concerned with Brexit, that exclusion specifically including any reference to whether any individual or group is left or right wing, or belongs to any political movement or follows any political philosophy, and all discussion without a single critical comment regarding any person or persons who post. 

How about it?

Original Post
ynwa250505 posted:

Yes, we should leave. Immediately.

No, there should not be a confirmatory referendum.

We do not need a “deal”.

 

But, nobody voted to leave with no deal, that wasn't on the ballot paper.

To do so, there MUST be a vote. Not to do so would be undemocratic.

Oh golly, I hope I don't set the blue touchpaper alight with what I'm about to comment but I'm now of the opinion (having voted to leave in the referendum), that whatever "deal" is on the table should be put to the vote.

The reason for my opinion is that it's subsequently come to light that a lot of the so-called facts and figures touted by the Stay and Leave campaigns were misleading, or just plain wrong. Therefore, I think it's only right and proper that whatever is negotiated with Brussels is put to the vote and that the pros and cons are delivered in plain English as a joint paper between our Government and the EU. 

I agree with Fatcat's sentiment. Everyone who voted in the 2016 referendum voted on a matter of general principle ('Should the UK remain a member of the EU or leave the EU?'). We did not vote on the terms of any such outcome. Many (?most) who voted Remain did not vote to remain irrespective of the terms of us remaining, and the same must surely go for Leave voters. Once a deal (or lack of one) has been finalised, it is therefore only democratically right and proper that it should also be put to a democratic test. The implications for the UK of us either remaining or leaving are too significant for us not to, and too long-term to be left in the hands of politicians who must always have one eye on the next election.

In much of the anti-second-referendum rhetoric I hear, I detect a sense of 'we just about managed to get our way with the first one, the last thing we want is to check whether people really want to Leave on these specific terms and find that it doesn't go our way'. If the 2016 result did indeed represent the will of the people, as we are often reminded, then surely there is nothing for hardline Leave voters to fear.

Mark

ynwa250505 posted:

The “deal” debate is just a red herring.

We’ve already voted - to leave - and that is what we should do. Leaving does not require a “deal” - we’re not buying a used car ...

 

If only it were that simple.

Unfortunately the information available at the time people voted was, at best, highly flawed. That means people voted on incorrect information, and once the reality is known the only logical and sensible thing to do is to ask for a confirmation from the people that, given what the reality of Brexit is, they really want to do it..  Now that would be real democracy at work.

And it could go either way - regardless of how they voted back in 2016, some people may think yes, that is a good thing, better than staying. Other people may think the reverse.

What sound argument is there against holding a confirmator referendum along the lines I just outlined? Please dosnt say because People have already voted - that is irrelevent, having been 2 years ago, and with the vast majority - indeed I expect every single person - not having an accurate idea as to what  Brexit actually means for the country other than “not being a member of the EU”.

 

I caught some of Davis Davis on the Andrew Marr show this morning. If I understood him correctly, he was saying that the Chequers deal (which caused him to resign) would be worse for the UK that staying in the EU.  If he can be regarded as representing many Brexiteers' views, we seem to be headed towards and outcome in which all parties are unhappy: the Brexiteers because they feel we haven't really left, and the Remainers who didn't want to leave at all. It would seem very odd indeed if our politicians used the result of the 2016 referendum to produce an outcome that leaves pretty much everybody dissatisfied. Is that democracy working well? I don't think so.  

Well, I think the fundamental issue here, and is a reason why so many debates over Brexit become so heated, is that we are, collectively, and as a nation, divided!  For me, it's the elephant in the room.  Polling shows 52/48, where before it was 48/52, so we're still divided.

Who is right?  The Brexiters or the Remainers?  Ultimately, nobody really knows.  This is going to have to play out over the coming months and in the next three or four years.

In my humble opinion, Brexit won't go well, and it may take a disaster to bring our nation to its senses.

I'm not optimistic.

Dave

Ebor,

I am struggling with this a bit - 'Many (?most) who voted Remain did not vote to remain irrespective of the terms of us remaining,..' - surely if more than half had voted for the UK to remain in the EU, we would have continued as we were i.e. as a full member. Sure UKIP and Pro-Brexit Tories would have whinged for a while but I suspect we would have all just got on with life eventually.

As I have said in previous posts,  nobody foresaw or  fleshed out how difficult a process it would be for us to disentangle ourselves from the EU: it was simply not in the interests of the Leave campaign whilst those on the Remain side couldn't imagine losing and as such they failed to turn the likely difficult nature of the negotiations to their benefit.

Ray

thebigfredc posted:

Ebor,

I am struggling with this a bit - 'Many (?most) who voted Remain did not vote to remain irrespective of the terms of us remaining,..' - surely if more than half had voted for the UK to remain in the EU, we would have continued as we were i.e. as a full member. Sure UKIP and Pro-Brexit Tories would have whinged for a while but I suspect we would have all just got on with life eventually.

As I have said in previous posts,  nobody foresaw or  fleshed out how difficult a process it would be for us to disentangle ourselves from the EU: it was simply not in the interests of the Leave campaign whilst those on the Remain side couldn't imagine losing and as such they failed to turn the likely difficult nature of the negotiations to their benefit.

Ray

I took the highlighted text to mean the fact of voting remain did not mean people necessarily were happy with the EU and everything it presently entails, and does not mean they wouldn’t want to seek changes.

With regard to your second paragraph, you make the point yourself: it wouldn’t have been in the inrerests of the leave campaign for people to know the true facts of Brexit - which can only mean because had they been known there is a good chance fewer would have voted for it.

So that alone is reason for a confirmatory referendum

In the “Are we sleepwalking” thread I repeatedly challenged people to offer any valid argument against my assertion that given the incomplete, inaccurate & misleading (at best) information that was available to voters at the time of the referendum 2 years ago, a confirmatory referendum once details of what  Brexit really means in practice are known is the only logical, sensible, wise and, above all. democratic thing to do before actually taking the last steps to leave the EU . Whilst it is obvious that numbers of people don’t want it because they believe the outcome would thwart their personal desire,, and a declaration olong the lines of “we won you lost, the country has decided” was trotted out ad nauseam, completely ignoring the argument I presented, not a single person advanced any reasoned argument in response. 

My challenge stands.

ynwa250505 posted:

The “deal” debate is just a red herring.

We’ve already voted - to leave - and that is what we should do. Leaving does not require a “deal” -

 

Yes, you’re correct, the ballot paper simply asked, leave or remain, no mention about the terms of leaving. Leaving with no deal is a valid option.

BUT. Leaving with a deal that entails remaining in the single market (or equivalent), paying 10 billion pounds P.A. for the privilege to do so and accepting free movement of people is also a valid option. We would still be leaving the EU, fulfilling the will of the people.

So, how do we decide which of the above to go for?

Innocent Bystander posted:
  • In the “Are we sleepwalking” thread I repeatedly challenged people to offer any valid argument against my assertion that given the incomplete, inaccurate & misleading (at best) information that was available to voters at the time of the referendum 2 years ago, a confirmatory referendum once details of what  Brexit really means in practice are known is the only logical, sensible, wise and, above all. democratic thing to do before actually taking the last steps to leave the EU . Whilst it is obvious that numbers of people don’t want it because they believe the outcome would thwart their personal desire,, and a declaration olong the lines of “we won you lost, the country has decided” was trotted out ad nauseam, completely ignoring the argument I presented, not a single person advanced any reasoned argument in response. 

My challenge stands.

Does that not apply to general elections?  Genuine question.

We don’t get a confirmation vote for four or five years when we realise we have been ... not told the whole truth with all the consequences fully detailed.

s.


 

With a General Election parties are expected to produce and defend a manifesto explaining what they will do if elected to government. To some degree the party winning that election is held to account e.g. by the opposition and media, for delivery of that manifesto.  With Brexit, it is already pretty evident that the headline promises (what was said was well short of manifesto-level detail) advanced by the Leave campaign, like the new money for the NHS, have already proven to be flawed.

But perhaps the more important differentiator from a General Election is that the electorate gets the opportunity to change its mind every five years whereas the leaving of the EU is forever. So the gravity of the democratic decision underpinning it is in my view considerably greater.  

Innocent Bystander posted:

In the “Are we sleepwalking” thread I repeatedly challenged people to offer any valid argument against my assertion that given the incomplete, inaccurate & misleading (at best) information that was available to voters at the time of the referendum 2 years ago, a confirmatory referendum once details of what  Brexit really means in practice are known is the only logical, sensible, wise and, above all. democratic thing to do before actually taking the last steps to leave the EU . Whilst it is obvious that numbers of people don’t want it because they believe the outcome would thwart their personal desire,, and a declaration olong the lines of “we won you lost, the country has decided” was trotted out ad nauseam, completely ignoring the argument I presented, not a single person advanced any reasoned argument in response. 

My challenge stands.

That's all very well - and I basically agree with you that there should be a vote on the deal - but shouldn't that apply to all political decisions? You vote for a party, a leader, a president - and after a while you realise that you've been lied to... do you get a second chance? not very often...

Bystander sums up my thinking fairly accurately, Ray. My suggestion was that we all voted in 2016 from, in a sense, a position of ignorance, namely that no-one at that point could have known the plan (what do you mean, there wasn’t one?) or any of the terms of exit so none of us knew what we were voting for in concrete practical terms. It was, as I said, purely a vote on a matter of general principle and any attempt to suggest otherwise (as I often hear from anti-second-vote parties) is duplicitous hogwash.

I am sure there are those who voted Leave but who will not be happy with the eventual deal (i.e. ‘I think we should leave, but not on those terms’). Likewise, had the referendum gone the other way, there might have been those who voted Remain but who, if the EU had started going down a path they didn’t like, would have equally wanted to subsequently register a ‘not on these terms’ change of heart.

I’m still waiting to read any argument against a second referendum that answers these points about why one democratic decision should be respected but a further one on a detailed and specific proposal shouldn’t even be entertained.

Mark

General elections are completely different.

Of the very greatest significance is the fact you have yourself identified, namely that with a general election you will have a chance to revisit it no more than 5 years later - and sometimes it is less. There is no way that Brexit could be reversed every 5 years or less (and re-entry would inevitably be on much less influential terms than UK’s membership has been to date). 

In addition, there is always the potential for a government to be defeated and policies changed even before the next election.

ANd another major difference is that, whilst politicians and manifestos are not always accurate, clear or fixed, they are far clearer and more accurate than the information presented publicly in the run-up to the 2016 Brexit referendum, wnd in my expereince in  the UK you have a much better idea of what is likely from any given party than people - on either side of the debate - had in terms of understanding what Brexit entailed.

 

SamClaus posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

In the “Are we sleepwalking” thread I repeatedly challenged people to offer any valid argument against my assertion that given the incomplete, inaccurate & misleading (at best) information that was available to voters at the time of the referendum 2 years ago, a confirmatory referendum once details of what  Brexit really means in practice are known is the only logical, sensible, wise and, above all. democratic thing to do before actually taking the last steps to leave the EU . Whilst it is obvious that numbers of people don’t want it because they believe the outcome would thwart their personal desire,, and a declaration olong the lines of “we won you lost, the country has decided” was trotted out ad nauseam, completely ignoring the argument I presented, not a single person advanced any reasoned argument in response. 

My challenge stands.

That's all very well - and I basically agree with you that there should be a vote on the deal - but shouldn't that apply to all political decisions? You vote for a party, a leader, a president - and after a while you realise that you've been lied to... do you get a second chance? not very often...

I have never argued for a second chance, but for confirmation, given the lack of, bad, misleading (etc) information at the time of the referendum, and the momentous nature of the decision, with iits both immediate and its far-reaching consequences that are greater than I suspect the vast majority had any inkling whatsoever.

Yes you vote in an election etc, but a few years later things can be reversed, and if bad enough they even can be in mid term.

fatcat posted:
ynwa250505 posted:

The “deal” debate is just a red herring.

We’ve already voted - to leave - and that is what we should do. Leaving does not require a “deal” -

 

Yes, you’re correct, the ballot paper simply asked, leave or remain, no mention about the terms of leaving. Leaving with no deal is a valid option.

BUT. Leaving with a deal that entails remaining in the single market (or equivalent), paying 10 billion pounds P.A. for the privilege to do so and accepting free movement of people is also a valid option. We would still be leaving the EU, fulfilling the will of the people.

So, how do we decide which of the above to go for?

 

1. Remaining in the single market is most definitely NOT leaving the EU.

2. Accepting free movement of people means we are not in control of our own destiny - the EU and the ECJwould be.

We should simply leave. All this discussion about a “deal” is missing the point - the fundamental issue is not economic - it is about the UK deciding and managing our own destiny and affairs - everything else is secondary.

The irony in all this is that all the UK wants to do is simply trade - as we agreed to do many decades ago, but the Barnier, Juncker, Merkel, Macron cabal aren’t interested, unless it is on their terms using their rules. So, let’s stop worrying about the unknown and let’s just get out now - we have the ability and the resources to succeed outside the EU - JFDI ...

Ebor posted 'Likewise, had the referendum gone the other way, there might have been those who voted Remain but who, if the EU had started going down a path they didn’t like, would have equally wanted to subsequently register a ‘not on these terms’ change of heart.'

You have lost me again....how would this be done in practice and even if it were possible what would be the point. The Institutions and politicians of the EU have no appetite for reform. Google Peter Skinner if you want to see what their game is.

Innocent Bystander posted:

In the “Are we sleepwalking” thread I repeatedly challenged people to offer any valid argument against my assertion that given the incomplete, inaccurate & misleading (at best) information that was available to voters at the time of the referendum 2 years ago, a confirmatory referendum once details of what  Brexit really means in practice are known is the only logical, sensible, wise and, above all. democratic thing to do before actually taking the last steps to leave the EU . Whilst it is obvious that numbers of people don’t want it because they believe the outcome would thwart their personal desire,, and a declaration olong the lines of “we won you lost, the country has decided” was trotted out ad nauseam, completely ignoring the argument I presented, not a single person advanced any reasoned argument in response. 

My challenge stands.

Your assertion is irrelevant because there isn’t going to be another referendum on this matter and we ARE going to leave the EU - which renders your challenge meaningless (imho) ...

You would be better, (again imho), using your energies to pursue an immediate departure so that we can get out from the yoke of EU bureaucracy and make our own way in the world.

ynwa250505 posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

In the “Are we sleepwalking” thread I repeatedly challenged people to offer any valid argument against my assertion that given the incomplete, inaccurate & misleading (at best) information that was available to voters at the time of the referendum 2 years ago, a confirmatory referendum once details of what  Brexit really means in practice are known is the only logical, sensible, wise and, above all. democratic thing to do before actually taking the last steps to leave the EU . Whilst it is obvious that numbers of people don’t want it because they believe the outcome would thwart their personal desire,, and a declaration olong the lines of “we won you lost, the country has decided” was trotted out ad nauseam, completely ignoring the argument I presented, not a single person advanced any reasoned argument in response. 

My challenge stands.

Your assertion is irrelevant because there isn’t going to be another referendum on this matter and we ARE going to leave the EU - which renders your challenge meaningless (imho) ...

You would be better, (again imho), using your energies to pursue an immediate departure so that we can get out from the yoke of EU bureaucracy and make our own way in the world.

But you can’t answer the challenge, can yo? So why should there be no referendum? (I accept that it is an uphill struggle to get UK Gov to run one).

Are you in tne camp that doesn't want one because you believe in your heart of hearts that what you want would indeed be reversed if there was one?

ynwa250505 posted:

1. Remaining in the single market is most definitely NOT leaving the EU.

2. Accepting free movement of people means we are not in control of our own destiny - the EU and the ECJwould be.

We should simply leave. All this discussion about a “deal” is missing the point - the fundamental issue is not economic - it is about the UK deciding and managing our own destiny and affairs - everything else is secondary.

The irony in all this is that all the UK wants to do is simply trade - as we agreed to do many decades ago, but the Barnier, Juncker, Merkel, Macron cabal aren’t interested, unless it is on their terms using their rules. So, let’s stop worrying about the unknown and let’s just get out now - we have the ability and the resources to succeed outside the EU - JFDI ...

But how many people who voted leave had any idea that UK is committed to paying the EU billions even after lwaving (sorry, I dont know the actual amount)? Or that to trade with EU UK will still have to implement a lot of EU law (or demonstrate that they have equivalence)? Or that traffic flow of imports into Britain (e.g food). And presumably exports, would be reduced to maybe 1/15th of the present volume flow  (based on the assessment I hav eheard that the current average of 3 min per vehicle going through French customs would increase to 45 minutes) with the then necessary checks being applied?

Europe is UK’s natural trading area, if only because of proximity and hence transport costs - without EU trade at its current level, costs will rise sharply for npboth imports and exports - so the reality is that if UK does not trade with Europe (meaning also with and through EU countries, it will be very much worse off. How many people considered the ramifications?

And what about the Northern Ireland situation?

Once we are unshackled from the ‘yoke of EU bureaucracy’ and in charge of our own destiny, what exactly will be better? What seems lacking is decent public services. If our national income falls, how will services improve? If income is to rise, how will this happen? What exactly are these yokes that we want to unshackle ourselves from? The working time directive? Clean air? Clean beaches? Clean rivers? Workers’ rights? It’s all very well to strike out on our our own, but what exactly will be be better? Nobody who voted to leave has ever been able to tell me one convincing thing that will make my life better. I’m willing to be persuaded. Just give me one real, tangible thing. 

Ebor posted:

I agree with Fatcat's sentiment. Everyone who voted in the 2016 referendum voted on a matter of general principle ('Should the UK remain a member of the EU or leave the EU?').

No. Not everyone by any stretch. Some voted on that general principle, but as I said in the other thread, and will repeat endlessly until it sinks it, many voted for other reasons, namely:

  • Didn't really understand it all so voted out as that seemed like a good idea
  • Wanted to give Cameron / the Tories a good kicking as Remain was a cert anyway.
  • The Sun said out was best.
  • Students didn't bother as "all politicians are lying oiks so why vote for any of them?" and "Remain will win anyway so why bother?"

None of these are "things I've heard about on the internet", they're genuine reasons that people who voted out have told me in conversations about it all. And to a man, and woman, all of them would love to have another go now that the reality of what leaving actually means has hit home.

I said it in the last thread; I don't know anyone who voted to stay who has changed their stance and now wishes to leave. Conversely I know of plenty who voted out and would now vote remain given what they now know. They were lied to, they were complacent about the outcome, they voted out for reasons other than leaving, or they were too idle to bother. But they didn't vote on 'on a matter of general principle'. The problem is - as I said in my original post in the other thread - too many people are too stupid to be given a say in such a massive decision. 

The referendum result was not and is not the will of the people. It was a snapshot of a culmination of years of ill-will towards the EU, the government, and politicians in general. Now that the reality of what leaving entails is staring us in the face a confirmation vote is the least the country deserves. Not another Remain or Leave, but the deal on the table and the consequences of it; Yes or No. 

hungryhalibut posted:

Once we are unshackled from the ‘yoke of EU bureaucracy’ and in charge of our own destiny, what exactly will be better? What seems lacking is decent public services. If our national income falls, how will services improve? If income is to rise, how will this happen? What exactly are these yokes that we want to unshackle ourselves from? The working time directive? Clean air? Clean beaches? Clean rivers? Workers’ rights? It’s all very well to strike out on our our own, but what exactly will be be better? Nobody who voted to leave has ever been able to tell me one convincing thing that will make my life better. I’m willing to be persuaded. Just give me one real, tangible thing. 

Indeed. Absolutely. What - other than some abstract concept of being 'in control', will be better? I'd love to hear an answer to this. Maybe the £350m will improve things. I'd love to know.

Barmy. Utterly barmy.

HH wrote - "Nobody who voted to leave has ever been able to tell me one convincing thing that will make my life better. I’m willing to be persuaded. Just give me one real, tangible thing.'

I suggest you write to this chap, he's in politics and might be able to give you some answers:

He voted for Britain to leave the European Economic Community (EEC) in the 1975 European referendum.

He opposed the creation of the European Union (EU) under the Maastricht Treaty – speaking and voting against it in Parliament in 1993. During the 2016 referendum campaign, Left Leave highlighted repeated speeches he made in Parliament opposing Europe during 1993.

He voted against the Lisbon Treaty on more than one occasion in Parliament in 2008.

He voted for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in 2011 (breaking the Labour whip to do so).

The day after the European referendum in 2016, he called for the immediate invocation of Article 50 – the two-year notice to leave the EU – much quicker than even Theresa May wanted.

In December 2016, he voted in Parliament in favour of the UK leaving the EU and for the process to start no later than 31 March 2017.

His name is Jeremy Corbyn.

thebigfredc posted:

HH wrote - "Nobody who voted to leave has ever been able to tell me one convincing thing that will make my life better. I’m willing to be persuaded. Just give me one real, tangible thing.'

I suggest you write to this chap, he's in politics and might be able to give you some answers:

. . . . . . . . . . . .

His name is Jeremy Corbyn.

You assume that Jeremy Corbyn has a convincing argument, and doesn’t just simply hate the EU for no reason...  You don’t, yourself, have any convincing arguments, not even just one, real tangible thing? 

Chrisr_epl wrote - 'Some voted on that general principle, but ... many voted for other reasons, namely:

  • Didn't really understand it all so voted out as that seemed like a good idea
  • Wanted to give Cameron / the Tories a good kicking as Remain was a cert anyway.
  • The Sun said out was best.'

 

The opposite argument can also be made, i.e:

  • Didn't really understand it all so voted Remain as I didn't want to rock the boat.
  • They liked Cameron, he seems like a decent bloke .
  • The Guardian said Remain was best.

 

Chrisr_epl also wrote - 'The problem is....too many people are too stupid to be given a say in such a massive decision.'  This is bit elitist isn't it, a bit anti-democratic. Surely the point of a referendum is that all those old enough and not in jail get to vote, regardless of whether they are an Oxford Professor or a brick layer. 

Ray

IB wrote - 'You assume that Jeremy Corbyn has a convincing argument, and doesn’t just simply hate the EU for no reason.'

He's a politician and Leader of the Opposition, its his job to take a stance on a subject and then be able to support it with rational arguments, so if he's any good at all he should be able to help. That is of course providing he hasn't gone on holiday, like he did during the 2016 referendum.

Ray

thebigfredc posted:

 

Chrisr_epl also wrote - 'The problem is....too many people are too stupid to be given a say in such a massive decision.'  This is bit elitist isn't it, a bit anti-democratic. Surely the point of a referendum is that all those old enough and not in jail get to vote, regardless of whether they are an Oxford Professor or a brick layer. 

Ray

Whilst Chris_epl’s comment might be open to criticism for being elitist, depending on what was its basis, your response is no better. (Which of the Oxford professor and bricklayer do you regard as the more stupid?)

thebigfredc posted:

IB wrote - 'You assume that Jeremy Corbyn has a convincing argument, and doesn’t just simply hate the EU for no reason.'

He's a politician and Leader of the Opposition, its his job to take a stance on a subject and then be able to support it with rational arguments, so if he's any good at all he should be able to help. That is of course providing he hasn't gone on holiday, like he did during the 2016 referendum.

Ray

 

Regardless of whether JC has any sound reason - and just because he acted the way you say he did is not proof of that, notwithstanding the fact that he is a politician - I think HH’s original challenge was aimed at any and all of the Brexit-supporters  reading this and the old ‘sleepwalking’ thread.

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