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  1. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Where do (UK) people sit on the potential for a second referendum? I keep swaying on it, because I fear that the Government won't put one forward that isn't 'deal or no deal', whereas I'd rather we had 'deal or remain'. I guess you could do a three way one with an alternative vote system - does anybody know if there is a precedent for that?
    I don't really believe in referendums (referenda?) in a Parliamentary democracy, so that's always my baseline position on a second one.

    But to the second point here, I don't believe we've ever had a referendum (certainly not on a national level) that wasn't a simple yes/no.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #322
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    It's interesting - presumably it's possible to have a three way referendum but it would need to be on an alternative vote basis. You'd have to assume that there would most likely be a convergence around leaving with a deal, as those that want to remain would rather leave with a deal than without, where as those that want to leave would rather leave with a deal than remain. The only question is - does the deal actually get through the first round of voting, or are we more likely to see something like a 40-20-40 split that pits no deal and remain directly against each other?

    Rumours now are that Johnson is showing some willing to move back to a Northern Ireland only backstop - essentially an Irish Sea border. This is the solution which May said threatened the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom, potentially leaving NI in the EU for the foreseeable future until a trade deal is agreed for the whole of the UK. I can't imagine the DUP or the ERG backing this as a solution, so then it likely comes down to this - can Johnson get enough support for this approach from those he took the whip from, and from some Labour leavers, to get it through Parliament?

    Also notable that the ERG put forward, and May's Government accepted, two amendments which would make such an agreement impossible - preventing HMRC from collecting tariffs on behalf of another territory (which they would theoretically have to do for NI in this case, as it would be collecting EU tariffs - if my read of the situation is right), and prohibiting NI from entering a separate customs union to the UK.

    All in all, it seems like if this is the concession Johnson is wiling to make, the deal is doomed to once again fail at the Parliamentary stage - unless someone else budges. Perhaps the DUP and ERG abstain, rather than actively vote against.

  3. #323
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    I could see the ERG getting on board, if they thought that this was the best way through it to actually get what they want. It wouldn't surprise me at all if their attitude became 'fuck Northern Ireland', given the way they've handled the rest of it.

    The DUP is another matter. I'd be surprised if they went along with anything that saw them positioned differently from the rest of the UK (unless it's to their own advantage, which could be the way the breakthrough happens. A bit of realpolitik.)

    As for the 3-way referendum thing, it's theoretically possible, but given how much contention there is over the question for these things... I'm not sure I see it. I imagine it gets whittled down to two options, one way or the other - Deal/no deal if it's led by a Tory administration and deal/remain if it's led by virtually anyone else.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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