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  1. #321
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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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."

  4. #324
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    I don't know, man. All this Brexit 'tunnel' stuff or whatever they're calling it just feels like a lot of activity that'll ultimately yield nothing.

    I did see Amber Rudd calling out the ERG for sexism, because they seem to be more willing to back Johnson than May over what could end up being quite similar deals.

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  5. #325
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    What the heck is Brexit Tunnel??

  6. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Whether this means we're entering the 'tunnel' (the nickname to intense negotiation, which I always envisage as everyone being locked in a windowless room with bad coffee and Danish pastries until they agree something) or whether it's a pseudo-tunnel - perhaps a wide bridge? - seems a bit unclear. It's certainly being reported as the former by the press, but I'm not sure it's been formally confirmed as being that by the UK/EU.
    It's been pushed over the page now, but here's the bit from Oli's post that talked about it.

    We're in that intensive negotiation stage at the moment.

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

  7. #327
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    Ah, did miss that bit, thanks.

  8. #328
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    Deal done. Text coming.

    Take this for what you will and remember I've guessed wrong on this before, but.... I've got an odd feeling that though this doesn't look great for Boris this morning, somehow and some way this will end up getting over the line. I'm not sure what I'm basing that on exactly. Feels like there's something in the water though.

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

  9. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Deal done. Text coming.

    Take this for what you will and remember I've guessed wrong on this before, but.... I've got an odd feeling that though this doesn't look great for Boris this morning, somehow and some way this will end up getting over the line. I'm not sure what I'm basing that on exactly. Feels like there's something in the water though.
    I have the exact same feeling. In the sense that it'll get through and we won't know the real ramifications of it until afterwards...


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  10. #330
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    The DUP seem to be refusing to back it - https://twitter.com/kitty_donaldson/...94205496991747

    Question then is - how many of the Labour Leavers and the 21 Tories he took the whip from can he convince to back him? But even then, he's likely to struggle - there are only 288 Tory MPs to start with. The ERG have indicated they will hear what the DUP have to say before deciding on how to vote, I think, but even if you were to say all 288 Tories vote with Johnson - he still needs another 38 on side. And if he's not got the DUP with him he's going to really struggle to hit that, I think (although I can't tell for sure - I think there were only 5 Labour MPs that backed May on her last deal. But I think there were as many as 19 that recently wrote to Juncker to say they wanted to leave asap.)

    This is win-win territory for Johnson, though - or he will see it as such. If he manages to scrape this deal through, he's the man who achieved Brexit - regardless of the shape of it. If he doesn't, he can call an election which Corbyn will back and tell people that Parliament handcuffed him, he had to request an extension, vote for him to help unlock the handcuffs and break us out of the EU jail like you wanted us to.

    That people vs Parliament rhetoric will surely see him well over the line in an election, if the polls are anything to go by, and then he can claim a mandate for a no deal and just dump everything.

    Given the deal appears to be worse than the one May had rejected repeatedly - at least, the commentary I'm reading suggests as much - it seems he's banking on that election messaging working. Throw a couple of 'traitor's and 'surrender's in there and you've probably got his six weeks of campaign messaging.

    I'm kind of expecting that the same thing happens with this deal as happened with May's deal - there's an initial rush of Government praise for it, but it gets unpicked gradually as the day goes on and come about 5pm it's clear that it's dead in the water.

  11. #331
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    Saturday's going to be very interesting for sure. Just to revisit your numbers though, Oli -

    288 Tories
    + 21 Tory Rebels
    + 19 Labour

    = 328.

    Which I think means - once Sinn Fein and the speaker are accounted for - they can lose a combination of six votes from the Labour rebels and ex-Tories, and if they hold every member still in the party they'd pass it by 1 even with opposition from the DUP?

    Conversely, if Labour whip hard against the deal and the independents all come out against:

    244 Labour
    +36 Independents
    + 35 SNP
    +19 LD
    +10 DUP
    +5 IGC
    +4 Plaid
    +1 Green

    = 354. No way back if they're all even close to united against it.

    Incidentally, how weird is it that the third biggest group in the Commons is 'independent'.

    EDIT: Jean Claude Juncker has ruled out a Brexit extension. Whether or not that'll hold if the deal is voted down is anyone's guess, but it's a significant development and could be the sort of thing that shifts the parliamentary arithmetic.

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

  12. #332
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    Bloody hell, Juncker dropping a bombshell - saying the EU will not grant any extension to the deal. Now, how much weight that holds given that the EU27 will have the vote on it is interesting, but you'd have to consider it as showing the general feel of the EU going into this period of discussion.

    Meanwhile, the UK Parliament has voted to allow amendments to be brought on Saturday.

    Potentially, this means a whole host of options are open - including an amendment to force a second referendum on the deal.

    What I think might transpire, if Juncker's words are taken at face value, is that someone (possibly a group of Lib Dems and SNP MPs) bring forward an amendment that states if there is no agreement on the deal, and no agreement in the house for no deal, then Article 50 has to be revoked. That could be really interesting.

  13. #333
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    Saturday's going to be crazy, we know that much already. The Rugby might not be the biggest scrum of the day.

    Some of the rebels have said they won't vote for it - Dominic Grieve is the only one to nail his colours to the mast so far, I think. The word out of Labour is they are expecting 'more than nine' to rebel against the three-line whip. The DUP are not only solidly against, but are apparently trying to convince Tories on the right of the party not to vote for it. The narrative coming out of Northern Ireland is that this is a betrayal of the Unionist community by the people who claim to be their allies. Sam Gyimah has actually said CCHQ called him to try and get him to vote for the deal even though he's joined the Lib Dems since leaving the Tories, so they clearly think they need everyone they can get. One of Corbyn's key advisors reportedly thinks it will pass.

    'Achingly tight' is how I've seen it described, and I think that's accurate. I've just watched a video that says the magic number is 320 - which means if everyone still in the Tory party backs the deal that 3/4 of the Tory rebels returning to the fold and 18 Labour rebels or votes from other parties would get it over the line. And abstentions could be crucial here. Conversely, of course, if the Labour rebels do only number ten, and every one else turns up and there are no abstentions and everyone does what they've said they are going to - it couldn't pass. The best Boris could hope for would be to lose by a vote, if only ten Labour MPs rebelled, even if he carried all the Tories and independents that are still up for grabs.

    Amendments on Saturday could also play a big part in this.

    Outlandish scenario, but one thing could theoretically happen here. This passes - then the SNP call for the vote of no confidence in Boris. Labour's MPs who rebelled come back to the fold, because now they aren't voting for Brexit but to prop up a Tory government - and the DUP, feeling betrayed, vote with the opposition. That'd mean that the government fell minutes after passing their deal. God knows what happens then.

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

  14. #334
    The Brain
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    So what's the most optimistic outcome here?

  15. #335
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    I think we're way past optimism at this point.... and to be honest, I think anyone who tells you something is more possible than anything else, should be treated with suspicion.

    I honestly think all outcomes are still really on the table, though Saturday could change that. No telling as yet.

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

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