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Sun Apr 7, 2019, 05:43 AM

dumb Brexit question

could/should they have gotten the deal before having the referendum?

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 06:05 AM

1. That would have made some sense

 


The vote was “status quo” v. “unknown future which we’ll promise to be great for no particular reason”.

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 06:06 AM

2. Not dumb at all.

In fact Donald Tusk once suggested as much, that it was kinda crazy to hold a referendum like that without voters having a good idea what leaving would involve.

I think ideally a referendum on the leave plan would only be fair. Without it the negotiators could *theoretically* set up private deals to enrich themselves that may not be in the best interest of the country at all.

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 06:06 AM

3. wouldn't that have been nice

then maybe parliment could have had a discission and maybe even have chosen to rearrange the furniture rather than burning down their house.

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 06:42 AM

4. i think the more specific error was in invoking article 50 before a deal.

the referendum was dead simple, and the option that "won" was simply "leave the european union".

it didn't specify a timing or a sequence or conditions.

may went and invoked article 50, which started the formal clock ticking on actually leaving the e.u.

*that* is what i think shouldn't have happened without a deal.

yes, article 50 allows for some time to negotiate a "smooth" exit, but the u.k.'s bargaining position, while never great in seeking an exit from the e.u., collapsed as soon as article 50 was invoked.

the e.u. wants to discourage exiting, so they have a desire to make this not pretty for the u.k., lest other member states try the same thing. so the closer the u.k. gets to crashing out of the e.u., the weaker the u.k.'s negotiating position gets.


i also think that once a deal had been negotiated, it would have made sense to make the details public and to have a second referendum regarding accepting that particular deal.


but then again, i think of public policy as trying to do things in a nation's best interest, so no one in politics would ever listen to me....

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 06:57 AM

5. a reasoned public discussion of the actual effect on England with Brexit BEFORE the referendum

 

would have killed it dead. The nationalistic clamor was no less different then what we have here in "closing our border", once the full impact was exposed, I dare say it would have failed by a longshot

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 07:36 AM

6. Negotiations with the EU couldn't happen before triggering A50, let alone before the referendum,

so a deal with the EU couldn't have been lined up beforehand.

However, the EU made it clear all along what the primary sticking points would be, mainly the "four freedoms" of movement of labour, goods, services and capital.

The Brexiteers arrogantly assumed the UK was in a far stronger bargaining position than it was, and they could strike a deal where they kept many of the benefits of EU membership without ceding much, if any, ground. Some, like International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, are still waiting for the EU to blink and capitulate. Others have now switched to claiming that no deal was their desired goal all along, and we'll just jam it after Brexit on WTO rules and everything will be fine.

Many in the Tory leadership were (and still are) utterly ignorant of how the EU works. For instance, now-gone Brexit Secretary David Davis assumed he could start lining up trade deals with individual EU countries as soon as Article 50 was triggered. Unfortunately, and obviously, the EU makes such deals as a bloc - that's the whole point of it - so this was a non-starter. Only a week or so ago, a number of Tory MPs had briefings from experts on what the Customs Union is - after three years of blather about leaving it!

What absolutely should have been done was to have a clear idea of what the UK's desired end point of any EU negotiations was before Triggering Article 50. That required a proper debate within the UK, including listening to the devolved governments and assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the problem was that May refused to discuss properly or negotiate with anybody within the UK or, by all accounts, even her own Cabinet. When pressed, her lines were platitudes like "Brexit means Brexit" and "a red, white and blue Brexit". She might as well have said "a strawberry-flavoured Brexit". At this late stage, the EU is still waiting to find out what the government and Parliament actually want!

May's problem, Parliament's problem and the crux of the UK's problem from the referendum onward was that the question put to the electorate was extremely broad and sweeping - "to leave the EU" - and even those on the Leave side were contradictory about what that actually meant, often insisting that the UK would somehow remain within the Customs Union and Single Market.

If May had accepted at the start that the referendum result was very close, especially for such a major change, that a compromise between a hard Brexit and much softer varieties was necessary, and that the opinions of Remainers would have to be taken into account (what they call "losers' consent" ), things might have played out very differently. But she absolutely insisted that her main obsession of "ending freedom of movement" was front and centre of Brexit, which inevitably drew stark red lines that have tied the UK's hands in finding any workable agreement since (unfortunately, it seems Labour now share her main aim in the current May-Corbyn negotiations, though trying to figure out any coherence in their position from hour to hour is a fool's errand).

The problems have only grown worse the more attempts May et al., and Parliament, have made to define precisely what it does mean. It was only in July last year that May finally dared to gather her Cabinet at Chequers and try to thrash out a coherent Brexit aim, and almost immediately a supposed concensus was cobbled together, a number of her ministers resigned.

The more they try to pin it down, the more obvious it is that there is no majority for any proposed way forward, within the government or Parliament, let alone the country as a whole.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 12:19 PM

8. thanks everyone!

fantastic answers, I appreciate it!

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 08:00 AM

7. While Denzil has pointed out the deal couldn't be negotiated before the referendum

and it certainly would have been better to have had a more realistic discussion before the referendum of what exits were possible or what their actual effects would be (rather than the tosh the Leave side claimed), what pisses me off about May is that she seems to have had no idea what huge parts of her party thought - either before she invoked Article 50, or while she was negotiating. She just assumed they'd go with whatever she came up with, and her stubbornness and robotic party loyalty at the same time meant she never tried to work with anyone outside the Tories and DUP either.

So she wasn't really 'leading' anyone apart from those on the government payroll. And she wasted 18 months out of Article 50's 24 before that became clear. She's a bad negotiator and reader of people.

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Response to KayF (Original post)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 12:45 PM

9. Dumb answer.

I don't think they thought they'd win.

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