“Step firmly down upon the rake of history…”

As Trump and GOP-driven buffoonery and malfeasance consume almost every minute of our news cycle in the U.S., our cousins across the Atlantic continue hurtling toward a world-historic catastrophuck of their own:

TL;DW summary from Mr. Oliver:

“A true act of political courage wouldn’t be to call for a second referendum…it would be to acknowledge that the first one was fatally flawed and that carrying it out would do long-term damage to the country and then cancelling Brexit altogether. But, it seems that there is no way that’s going to happen. Instead, Britain seems determined to step firmly down upon the rake of history and suffer the consequences.”

The Post reported on an interesting development this week that may be related to political courage:

Disgusted by Brexit hard-liners, three lawmakers abandon Theresa May’s Conservative Party

LONDON — With Britain’s chaotic departure from the European Union just weeks away, three prominent lawmakers abruptly resigned Wednesday from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party, saying the government has surrendered control to reckless, hard-line Brexiteers who are endangering the country’s future.

The Conservative members of Parliament who resigned will join a new “Independent Group” of lawmakers formed earlier this week by eight legislators who quit the opposition Labour Party.

The creation of a small but potentially powerful independent bloc of 11 — now composed of moderate rebels from both parties — suggests that seismic forces are at work in British politics.

The report notes that the eight Labour MPs left their party earlier this week over Corbyn’s handling of Brexit and the party’s anti-Semitism issues. Analysts cited in the article say the newly formed group of independents make a no-deal Brexit (worst-case scenario) a tiny bit less likely.

As I mentioned to valued commenter Sloane Ranger in an earlier thread, the same forces (foreign and domestic) are tearing our countries apart. I hope (without much expectation of that hope being realized) that sanity ultimately prevails on both sides of the pond.

Open thread!

175 replies
  1. 1

    They need more MPs to split from both the Tories and Labour to force another big NO vote on May’s next Brexit deal, and try to force new elections with a Remain Party to challenge all seats and stop this nonsense.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    These people leaving their respective parties seems like the first real break in the whole thing to me. Finally there are some people who are standing up and being courageous.

    One thing that’s a bit of a wildcard is that there is a lot of overlap between Russia interfering in the Brexit vote and our 2016 election. Many of the same people were involved in both. So some of what is being investigated and coming out with Mueller’s investigation will potentially affect the situation in the UK.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    “A true act of political courage wouldn’t be to call for a second referendum…it would be to acknowledge that the first one was fatally flawed and that carrying it out would do long-term damage to the country and then cancelling Brexit altogether. But, it seems that there is no way that’s going to happen. Instead, Britain seems determined to step firmly down upon the rake of history and suffer the consequences.”

    I honestly don’t get it. What we would give for a do-over…and these muthaphuckas have a WAY OUT!!…and won’t take it?

    PHUCK OUTTA HERE.

  4. 4
    smintheus says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, it wasn’t just a matter of stepping on the rake in the first place. It was also deciding that the only perspective worth considering in the future was the rake’s.

  5. 5
    VeniceRiley says:

    @rikyrah: I know, right? mad dogs and Englishmen, what what.

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    Just saw this over on the BBC:

    The Conservative Party is being “manipulated” by Brexit “zealots” and the “mainstream majority” of MPs must reassert itself to stop a damaging EU exit, Sir John Major is to argue.

    In a lecture in Glasgow, the former prime minister will urge Parliament to “dig deep into its soul” and act before the scheduled departure, on 29 March.

    Brexit will cost billions and risk the break-up of the UK, he will say.

    Speaking at the University of Glasgow, Sir John will say he hopes Parliament has the “wisdom and the will to exert its democratic right” to stop a no-deal Brexit in its tracks and give the people another say on whether to leave.

    He’s spoken out against Brexit before but no one paid any attention. Wonder if his words will have more impact now.

  7. 7

    @PaulWartenberg:
    What they really need is enough MPs willing to vote to reverse Brexit. I’m pretty sure that if they revoked the decision to leave the EU, the EU would be willing to go along.

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Yarrow: Haven’t followed it as closely as I’d like, but my impression is that Parliament has investigated the roles bad actors like Cambridge Analytica played in screwing with the Brexit vote more thoroughly and publicly that the obstruction co-conspirators in the GOP-led House allowed to happen here prior to this year. We were basically attacked by the same corrupt, multinational white supremacist gang. If there’s not already significant cooperation between our respective government’s investigation of the crime, there ought to be.

  9. 9
    Spider-Dan says:

    I saw this video a few days ago. Not sure why it would take “22 weeks minimum” to schedule another Brexit vote when 2017’s snap election took place in less than two months.

    Anyway, it seems to me that the only same way out of this disaster is to have a vote with two options: 1) Theresa May’s negotiated Brexit, or 2) Remain. As long as Fantasy Unicorn Brexit is still on the table, nothing can get done.

    And though the Tories certainly carry the lion’s share of the blame, Corbyn is a villain here, too. His anti-EU posturing contributed to Leave winning, and his continued insistence on “jobs Brexit” with a global depression potentially in the balance is hardly progressive.

  10. 10

    @Spider-Dan:

    As long as Fantasy Unicorn Brexit is still on the table, nothing can get done.

    This.

  11. 11
    Bess says:

    There may be a game afoot here. If May can’t produce a Brexit deal that is acceptable to enough members that puts them in a no-deal exit position. There may be enough members who would oppose a no-deal exit to block the exit.

    One of the possible outcomes to watch for.

  12. 12
    PaulB says:

    Don’t “give the people another say on whether to leave.” That’s what led to the problem in the first place. You don’t put decisions like this in the hands of people who simply do not have the information to vote wisely and well on it. That’s why we have representatives: to do their homework and to apply their wisdom and knowledge, such as it is, to these decisions.

    So yes, this was a non-binding resolution. Learn from it that some people have concerns that need to be addressed and look for non-Brexit alternatives to dealing with some of those concerns. Or engage in education to let people know that perhaps some of their concerns are unfounded.

    Sadly, that requires wisdom and courage that are sadly lacking in both countries today.

  13. 13
    R-Jud says:

    Here are all the available options as I see them from here in Birmingham.

    There isn’t really enough time to pass any kind of legislation or set up an election. Revoking article 50 is a thing we could do unilaterally. Asking for an extension requires approval from everyone else in the EU. It sucks.

  14. 14

    No matter how bad this Brexit is, it will be smoother and less bloody than the Brexit from the Jewel in the Crown, in 1947.
    And this was self inflicted. Can’t say that I am feeling too sad.

  15. 15
    Barbara says:

    I have to say, Theresa May really strikes me as a cretin at this point. She is doing two things that are indefensible — the first is to hold the crash and burn option out as a realistic alternative to not getting what she negotiated, versus any other option, like indefinite delay. This tactic appears to be causing incipient panic among many companies, many of which are stockpiling or even moving now in anticipation of the havoc. Which is to say, she is helping to inflict the damage of a no deal exit even if it doesn’t occur. The second is one she shares with Corbyn and a lot of others. Even though she knows how bad it will be, she continues to act as if the interests of the political party are more important than the interests of the nation. It’s really unbelievable.

  16. 16

    @Barbara: Yes, the levels of cynicism on display are breathtaking. Mitch McConnell is probably taking notes.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: The Parliamentary committee got sidetracked in their investigation and in the end did not do a thorough investigation. I can’t really compare it to the Senate committee because they work differently.

    There is already significant cooperation between our intelligence services. From what I understand, Mueller has their intel. The Prime Minister was also given the intel from their own intelligence services but so far hasn’t acted on it.

    @smintheus: It’s especially bizarre because Theresa May was against Brexit but she’s gone with this “must support the will of the people” thing when it’s clear the country was very divided, the vote was influenced by an enemy state, and people really didn’t understand what they were voting for.

    If ever there was a chance for someone to be a hero it’s Theresa May right now. Stand up and say, “Brexit is the wrong thing for the country. It’s up to Parliament to do the best thing for the country. We’re calling a halt to this nonsense. Canceling Article 50. Done.” She’d lose her job but go down in a history a hero.

  18. 18
    Another Scott says:

    BBC.

    The departure of the three [Tory] MPs – who all support the People’s Vote campaign for another EU referendum – has reduced the government’s working majority to nine MPs, and Ms Allen claimed there were “absolutely” other colleagues “keen” to join the group.

    And the Independent Group now has more MPs in Parliament than the Democratic Unionist Party and equals the number of Liberal Democrats.

    +1 to Spider Dan.

    But, Theresa seems determined to try to run out the clock so that the only options are her proposal and crashing out. She seems to think that that’s the only way she can “win”. Maybe this independent group will grow large enough to pull the UK back from the brink…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  19. 19
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: She is going to lose her job anyway. In order to get her current block of support to not vote against her continued status as PM she had to agree not to put herself forward for another term. She is effectively a lame duck in that sense so she has almost nothing to lose.

  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    And though the Tories certainly carry the lion’s share of the blame, Corbyn is a villain here, too. His anti-EU posturing contributed to Leave winning, and his continued insistence on “jobs Brexit” with a global depression potentially in the balance is hardly progressive.

    YEP…he’s definitely a bum bytch muthaphucka

  21. 21
    Millard Filmore says:

    @PaulB:

    Don’t “give the people another say on whether to leave.” That’s what led to the problem in the first place. You don’t put decisions like this in the hands of people who simply do not have the information to vote wisely and well on it.

    The first clue was voting for a ship name like “Boaty McBoatface”.

  22. 22
    Yutsano says:

    @Yarrow:

    One thing that’s a bit of a wildcard is that there is a lot of overlap between Russia interfering in the Brexit vote and our 2016 election. Many of the same people were involved in both.

    Britain needs to do a hardcore investigation into how many MPs are invested in London real estate. The outsized Russian money laundering going on there keeping the prices sky high has to have some kind influence on what’s happening with Brexit et al. It’s entirely possible the UK needs to have a massive political scrub in order to clean out a shit ton of Russian influence

  23. 23
    Spider-Dan says:

    @PaulB: Given that Cameron was dumb enough to give the people the choice in the first place, you can’t just unilaterally ignore the vote when you don’t like the result. You can’t.

    May’s Brexit is dumb and would be terrible for the UK, but at least it’s an orderly Brexit and should limit the pain primarily to the British. So if you have another vote with May’s Brexit vs. Remain and Brexit wins again, I’d say the good people of the UK need to, as Mencken put it, get some democracy good and hard.

  24. 24
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: He’s also a Russian asset. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    So did Corbyn botch any leverage he had to regain Labour’s power. My impression is that he was always equivocal about Brexit, and now he seems to not want to try hard to prevent it. So basically no one represents the Remain portion of the populace. Is that right?

    ETA: @Spider-Dan: I see you’ve answered my question in part.

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m sure folks in the many countries America has fucked in the ass are chortling about our beclowning by the buffoon Trump.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @PaulWartenberg:

    They need more MPs to split from both the Tories and Labour to force another big NO vote on May’s next Brexit deal, and try to force new elections with a Remain Party to challenge all seats and stop this nonsense.

    There is not enough time for this to happen, unless somehow May asks for and the EU grants an extension to the March 29 deadline.

  28. 28
    Yarrow says:

    @Yutsano: You are absolutely right on that. It’s been a problem for the last decade or so. Now they’re paying for it. There’s some thought that if they did that then the London real estate prices would crash and lots of people would be hurt, so they don’t want to go there. Cowards.

  29. 29

    @Betty Cracker: Putin is laughing all the way to the bank.

  30. 30

    @Millard Filmore:

    The first clue was voting for a ship name like “Boaty McBoatface”.

    Wasn’t that the whole Internet though?

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: No doubt. Obama helped restore our image worldwide after Bush, and if we win in 2020, we can probably do it again. But I don’t want to have to prove America’s resilience a third time, so hopefully whatever we do this time will stick.

  32. 32
    White & Gold Purgatorian says:

    I hope (without much expectation of that hope being realized) that sanity ultimately prevails on both sides of the pond.

    It is more than just a question of sanity. Trump and Brexit are the result of enemy interference in elections and public discourse. The campaign of deliberate and malicious misinformationis ongoing, at least here in the US. Whatever honest public servants are left must face up to these attacks and defend against them instead of just shrugging, “will of the people.” What has happened with these few Members of Parliament sounds like a beginning. Both Britain and the US need many more instances of political courage to have a hope of salvaging the situation.

  33. 33
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m pretty sure that if they revoked the decision to leave the EU, the EU would be willing to go along.

    @Roger Moore: The EU has already said this would be fine.

    There’s a bucket of problems, the first being that Brexit is VERY popular with a certain breed of idiot there, although the numbers wouldn’t be 50% they’d still be pretty damn high. That’s a problem, just like the GOP is here in the US; there’s plenty of folks willing to drive the bus off the cliff.

    The other problem frankly is Ms. May, who is incredibly stupid and stubborn to the point of insanity, in particular about Brexit. She is not going to stop until she’s made to stop, and there’s nobody there to stop her – Corbyn is so loathed that his own party won’t vote him into the PMs seat, and no other party commands more than a few votes.

  34. 34
    Miss Bianca says:

    @PaulB: I know, I keep wondering what part of “non-binding referendum” they’re not grokking…and then I realize, “oh, right, the ‘non-binding’ part.”

  35. 35
    ruemara says:

    I hate to say it, but it feels like a streak of callous cruelty with a dose of smug stubborn has infected left, right & center so no one can admit they’re wrong.

    @Betty Cracker: I think there’s a very large orange block in them trusting us or working with us. Not to mention I’m certain there’s enough infiltration over there to make cooperation difficult.

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    @White & Gold Purgatorian:

    It is more than just a question of sanity. Trump and Brexit are the result of enemy interference in elections and public discourse.

    This is absolutely correct. Unfortunately Russia’s involvement in the Brexit vote is not as well understood in the UK as Russia’s involvement in our 2016 vote is here. I think that if the British people were shown just how influenced their vote was by an outside foreign hostile state they might rethink the whole thing.

  37. 37
    Another Scott says:

    @Miss Bianca: IIRC, Parliament voted to make it binding afterwards.

    :-/

    But, since Parliament is Sovereign, they can ultimately do what they want and what is necessary to advance the country’s interests.

    Will they? Who knows. :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  38. 38
    smintheus says:

    @Spider-Dan: The first act was a group of ideologues backed by Russia stoking public grievance to toss a spanner where it could do the most damage.

    But what that exposed was the weakness of the major parties and their terrible leadership. It’s not that there isn’t a sizeable number of MPs who aren’t bright enough to see the damage of Brexit. The parties’ own dysfunctions, electoral fears, mutual hostility, and craptacular leadership keep anybody from pursuing a revote or, better, simply ignoring the non-binding referendum.

    May is dim and a political featherweight who owes her elevation to the accident of the Brexit vote + Brexit fallout. She thinks she’s nobody and nowhere unless she pushes Brexit through to the bitter end.

    Corbyn is an old-school Tony Benn type who thinks any common market is going to be manipulated by financiers largely to the detriment of workers, and who also harbors the fantasy that if the capitalists are ever allowed to make one colossal muck of things then it will usher in the golden socialist era. He imagines that he’s playing a clever waiting game as the best path back to power for Labour precisely because there is no feasible way to carry out Brexit without doing massive damage. Corbyn thinks if he stalks May like the party in waiting while she screws up, voters won’t blame Labour for the mess.

    There’s also the central fact that both party leaders are terrified that if they stand up to the Brexiteers then they’ll lose a significant number of their seats that voted solidly for Brexit. Nobody wants to grab the gun away from the gunman because they think he’s their own voter, so they’re hoping the inevitable hail of bullets will mostly be directed toward their rival.

    It’s a sick game, and voters in England who want to save the country from catastrophyzing itself don’t know where they can turn.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    @Baud:

    So did Corbyn botch any leverage he had to regain Labour’s power. My impression is that he was always equivocal about Brexit, and now he seems to not want to try hard to prevent it. So basically no one represents the Remain portion of the populace. Is that right?

    It’s weird. As far as I can tell (as an interested outsider with no special insights), Corbyn never had much leverage to begin with. He could only react to whatever Theresa May did. On top of all this, the official Labour policy was not to offer any concrete proposals, but to insist that if they somehow regained power, they would do things better. But the clock was ticking and was always against them.

    Remain MPs are split between Labour and Tory, so you would need the equivalent of a new coalition of conservatives and liberals coming together to somehow force Theresa May’s hand. That would be like asking a chunk of Republicans and Democrats to agree to oppose Trump.

    It is hard to believe that somebody will try to come up with something manageable. Too much is at stake, especially considering Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, not to mention Scotland.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @Yarrow:

    because Theresa May was against Brexit but she’s gone with this “must support the will of the people” thing when it’s clear the country was very divided,

    Theresa May must say this every morning:

    Mencken Quotes. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

  41. 41
    J R in WV says:

    Like a crash on London real estate prices would hurt anyone past money laundry experts and Russian stooges; oh, and the British — Russians themselves… relatives of the Windsor regime from the Romanov days. Them too, so sad, too bad~!!~

  42. 42
    White & Gold Purgatorian says:

    @PaulB:

    You don’t put decisions like this in the hands of people who simply do not have the information to vote wisely and well on it. That’s why we have representatives: to do their homework and to apply their wisdom and knowledge, such as it is, to these decisions.

    Yes! People are elected to make decisions on behalf of constituents. Shoving the hard or unpopular decisions back to a vote of the people is just a cop out.

  43. 43
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Another Scott: Oh, Lord, you’re probably right…I keep forgetting that, even while *we* are beclowning ourselves on the world stage, making decision after decision that will fuck us up for ages, the Brits, far from looking like a bastion of comparative sanity, keep saying, “hold my ale, watch this!” as they buckle to the same revanchist forces in their society that we are – old/ignorant white folks whose “economic anxiety” boils down to the conviction that somewhere, somehow, someone browner than they are *might* be getting ahead of them.

  44. 44
    catclub says:

    @Another Scott:

    IIRC, Parliament voted to make it binding afterwards.

    so they could also vote to make it no longer binding? Was that vote before the elections that May called that decreased her majority?

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator: That makes sense. Thanks.

  46. 46
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: Haven’t followed v closely. How do we know he is a Russian asset? What articles can I read on this?

  47. 47

    @smintheus: There’s a dynamic here that sounds dreadfully familiar

  48. 48
    Barbara says:

    @Brachiator: There is a list of six items that Labour came up with to evaluate any Brexit proposal. So it’s not as if they refused to engage at all. The real problem for Labour is that those voting for Brexit span both political parties — they might not form a voting majority on any issue, including Brexit, but they probably provide the margin of safety for more than a few MPs in the major and minor parties. Neither party can act without alienating a significant faction of their own base, and neither wants to act in concert with the other.

  49. 49
    Yarrow says:

    @White & Gold Purgatorian: David Cameron has a lot to answer for. His £800K book deal has not been popular. Publication keeps getting pushed back.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Yarrow:

    Unfortunately Russia’s involvement in the Brexit vote is not as well understood in the UK as Russia’s involvement in our 2016 vote is here.

    Are you sure that’s true? Plenty of folks here in the States are in complete denial of / ignorant about Russian interference in our election.

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:

    @Barbara:

    There is a list of six items that Labour came up with to evaluate any Brexit proposal. So it’s not as if they refused to engage at all.

    But they didn’t have anyone to engage with. May could simply ignore Labour. Even after she lost that recent disastrous vote, she still put off meeting with Corbyn. One reporter said that when they talked by phone, it was only for 14 minutes.

    The real problem for Labour is that those voting for Brexit span both political parties — they might not form a voting majority on any issue, including Brexit, but they probably provide the margin of safety for more than a few MPs in the major and minor parties. Neither party can act without alienating a significant faction of their own base, and neither wants to act in concert with the other.

    Yeah, I pretty much agree with you. The only problem is that the public is confused, or split about what they think they want.

    Again, as an outsider and non-Brit, I don’t see the point in any faction giving a shit about what they think their base might want. None of this leads to any kind of solution.

    What it’s coming down to is the no deal fantasy that Britain will suffer, but the British have come through suffering before and will do so again. This is like someone saying, “I will cut my arm off, but maybe I won’t bleed that much.”

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Jay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Systemic inequality also played a role. As in the rest of the West, in Britain, everybody from the middle class on down are at best, just getting by.

  54. 54
    White & Gold Purgatorian says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Yep. Here Alabama any notion of Russian election interference is dismissed as “fake news!” The local flag wavers are definitely not the patriots we are looking for.

  55. 55
    Yarrow says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Google it and you’ll see articles about his Czech connections back in the 1980’s. You might not believe that but then start looking at his pattern of behavior. I mean what’s this about, re: the Salisbury nerve agent attack?

    “I think Russia has to be held responsible for it but there has to be an absolutely definitive answer to the question where did the nerve agent come from?”

    He added: “I asked the Russians be given a sample so that they can say categorically one way or the other.”

    Give a sample of the nerve agent to Russia so they can confirm or deny it’s theirs? Okaayyyy…

    There are other examples of that kind of thing. A lot like Trump, he says or wants to do things that seem to help Russia or says or wants to do things not to hurt Russia. Useful idiot or asset? I go with asset because of the various evidence I’ve read.

  56. 56
    smintheus says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Yup. It’s all too close to what we’re facing in the US…except that we di have a functional Democratic party with reasonable leadership. But however much Republicans fear and loathe Trump, there is no number of flying unicorns that you can add to a functional Democratic party that will win over to the side of sanity any appreciable number of Republican votes in Congress.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    Rekindling The Troubles is, like, the fourth-worst outcome of Brexit and they still don’t seem to give a fvck. All this without a Trump of their own to lead them. Sheesh.

  58. 58
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Betty – Thanks for calling me a valued commentator – buffs fingernails in delight!

    It has been really frustrating watching this train wreck develop, knowing the outcome will be disastrous but being unable to do anything about it. Sometimes I just want to weep.

    The media has been mostly silent about Russian interference in the Referendum although the Select Committee chaired by Damian Collins has done some excellent work in identifying shenanigans surrounding it. Also, the Electoral Commission has fined the Leave campaign over their financial administration but nothing has really gained any long term purchase. When this was raised on a recent Question Time, the BBC both-sides it by pointing out that allegations had also been made against the Remain campaign.

    As I have said before, part of the problem is that the Leaders of both main parties are ideologically sympathetic to Brexit (for radically different reasons) but there is also an unwillingness on the part of both politicians and public to want to accept that our democracy can so easily be manipulated, as well as a fear of what will happen if the Referendum vote is overturned . There are committed Brexiteers in both parties. They are loud and committed. A lot of politicians are afraid that these people will take to the streets and create public disorder on a scale not seen in modern times if they don’t get their precious. Not to mention vote them out of a job.

    To be fair, fear of these voters supporting far right parties may be a factor.The calculation being that it is better not to prevent Brexit and keep the Fascists out of Parliament than prevent Brexit and the next election leading to an upsurge in support for far right parties.

    I just hope that others join these 11 sane people and they can do something but there’s only 6 weeks to go.

  59. 59
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Are you sure that’s true? Plenty of folks here in the States are in complete denial of / ignorant about Russian interference in our election.

    I wonder about this, myself. One of the reasons that I am staying off the Book of Faces these days except to check horse ads and missing dog reports is that I just.can’t.even with the level of denial and ignorance I see even among my friends who I keep thinking should know better.

  60. 60
    White & Gold Purgatorian says:

    @Yarrow:
    Good. He deserves much worse. Huge failure of leaders and leadership, still going on, on both sides of the pond.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Brachiator says:

    The John Oliver BREXIT segment was really well done, and nailed a lot of the key points.

    Every now and then I watch or listen to YouTube clips of LBC radio host James O’Brien talking to callers and officials about the topic. He seems reasonable, and is hated by the nut jobs. One of the saddest recent clips was when he read a letter from a Leave supporter who was brutally frank about her racist desire to get rid of foreigners and especially black people, even if it meant that the UK would suffer overall. Much like some of the worst of US Deplorables.

    The clip is sadly informative and you can listen to it here. It’s about 8 minutes.

    @The Moar You Know:

    The other problem frankly is Ms. May, who is incredibly stupid and stubborn to the point of insanity, in particular about Brexit. She is not going to stop until she’s made to stop, and there’s nobody there to stop her

    Also, the Tories left who might replace may are either feeble or villains. The PM slot almost fell into her lap, but God, the possible alternatives are so much worse.

  63. 63

    @Yarrow:

    There’s some thought that if they did that then the London real estate prices would crash and lots of people would be hurt, so they don’t want to go there.

    The real problem isn’t with how many people would be hurt, it’s with which people would be hurt. A crash in London real estate prices would hurt the ultra-rich who have poured their money there and help the ordinary people who are being priced out.

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yes, I’m certain it’s true. From family and friend contacts in the UK to what I’ve read in the UK press to experts in that area. There’s no question the Russia involvement in Brexit is much less well understood that their similar involvement in our 2016 election.

  65. 65
    mozzerb says:

    Sadly, the most likely result of all this has always been that enough spineless MPs will pass some cobbled-together half-assed agreement that gets them past the deadline, and then pat themselves on the back about their outstanding statesmanship that respected the Will of the People while Doing What’s Best For Britain. When anyone sane can see that What’s Best For Britain would be to cancel the whole thing ASAP before it does any more damage.

    I’d like to say that we need political giants but are stuck with pygmies, but really it doesn’t need giants — just reasonably responsible and practical politicians. Unfortunately, we have May and Corbyn.

    At least you get the chance to press a reset button in 2020. If Brexit goes through we’ll be stuck with it for decades.

  66. 66
    White & Gold Purgatorian says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    The media has been mostly silent about Russian interference in the Referendum …

    Don’t know about your side of the pond, but over here some of the media appear to be enablers of said interference if not actually complicit. Just a thought.

  67. 67
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jay: I hear you, and yet I still maintain – based on nothing more than the anecdata I have collected from British friends of all political persuasions – that while systemic inequality may be a factor, it cannot truly account for the Brexit vote. The ones I know who *did* vote for it – well, OK, the *one* I know for sure voted for it – offered a heaping helping of rationalizations that basically boiled down to “there are scary Mooslims immigrating to my Little England, which was fine as long as there was only one or two, but now there are *hordes* and we don’t want Sharia law declared in Sheffield!”

    Offered up fwiw

  68. 68
    eemom says:

    @R-Jud:

    Revoking article 50 is a thing we could do unilaterally.

    I keep hearing that but I don’t understand what it refers to. Is it a way of kicking the whole can of worms down the road?

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    Beyonce and Jay Z troll the Meghan Markle haterz😂😂😂

    Omid Scobie (@scobie) Tweeted:
    Nicely done @Beyonce and @S_C_👀

    https://t.co/LcQXK79v7A https://twitter.com/scobie/status/1098330227699113984?s=17

  70. 70
    Gex says:

    @Jay: In addition white identity politics played a big role.

  71. 71
    Barbara says:

    @Brachiator: I understand that Labour has no leverage and that May refuses to engage with them, and that just speaks to the rather obvious fact that she cares more about her party than her country. She wanted to cram through whatever it was she could negotiate with those who are on her side of the aisle. Call it the British equivalent to the Hastert Rule. That’s why she called the elections that diminished her power, and yet, she carries on as if that didn’t actually happen.

  72. 72
    Lapassionara says:

    @Jay: Yes, per the people I have met in the north of England. How Brexit solves this problem I do not know. I think the entire country will be poorer.

    I was in London last June, when there was a big demonstration in favor of another referendum. Big crowds, large Labour contingent shouting “where is Jeremy.” It is just a CF.

  73. 73
    randy khan says:

    My wife and I were in London a couple of weeks ago to see a bunch of her friends from when she lived there. Everybody we spoke with was still where they were when the vote was taken. I did get a bit of insight when one of the Leave people said, more or less, that what she didn’t like about the EU was that it essentially made England less English by imposing rules that the English didn’t agree to have imposed. We also saw a bit of a BBC panel discussion with audience questions, and the Leave folks basically seemed to think that all of the concerns about problems with a hard Brexit were overblown and scare tactics.

    Meanwhile, the Remain people we talked to were practically apoplectic about the stupidity of the Leave people.

  74. 74
    debbie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I haven’t read anything that would make me think the EU would be at all accommodating. The EU wants Britain to grovel and beg the the EU to take her back.

    Where’s the Queen in all this? Has she or any of the family members said anything?

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @Barbara:

    I understand that Labour has no leverage and that May refuses to engage with them, and that just speaks to the rather obvious fact that she cares more about her party than her country. She wanted to cram through whatever it was she could negotiate with those who are on her side of the aisle.

    But she appeared to also be trying to contain Leave MPs in her own party who want a “no deal” BREXIT. I also think that she was deliberately sandbagged by David Davis, who was supposed to be her main negotiator with the EU, but who was incompetent and then bolted and left her holding the bag. May made it worse by being unable to adequately adjust. She kept on insisting that the deal she got was the best deal ever.

    Call it the British equivalent to the Hastert Rule. That’s why she called the elections that diminished her power, and yet, she carries on as if that didn’t actually happen.

    On one BBC satirical program, a guest noted that “May likes to keep her cards close to her chest, even when she has no cards.” And yeah, she thinks pretending that she hasn’t failed is some kind of powerful strategy. The whole thing is just odd to watch.

  76. 76
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: The Leave campaign didn’t start with racism and scary immigrants. It started with financial issues and Britain governing itself and so forth. That wasn’t popular so they switched to scary immigrants and lo and behold suddenly people liked the idea of Brexit!

    Like with most of these situations they didn’t create the racism and fear of immigrants, they just capitalized on it. Russia helped with plenty of social media bots and trolls and the Leave campaign was suddenly a lot more popular.

    The people I know who voted for Brexit claimed it was because of “bureaucracy in Brussels.”

  77. 77

    @debbie: The EU can’t afford to be accommodating. Too many other countries will want accommodating.

  78. 78
    Michael Cain says:

    @eemom:

    Revoking article 50 is a thing we could do unilaterally.

    I keep hearing that but I don’t understand what it refers to. Is it a way of kicking the whole can of worms down the road?

    It’s the UK saying “never mind.” The whole thing is called off, as if the UK had never given the official notice that they wanted to leave.

  79. 79
    Cacti says:

    Good news to all of you gals. Wilmer has decided that a woman is good enough to be his VP pick. 9-short hours after telling us gender doesn’t matter.

    I predict a team up with Tulsi Gabbard, Moscow’s other favorite candidate on the left.

  80. 80
    Spider-Dan says:

    @debbie: The EU legal counsel has already stated that the UK can simply declare Backsies on Article 50 and the whole thing is canceled.

  81. 81
    Kraux Pas says:

    @eemom: I believe this refers to cancelling Brexit altogether.

  82. 82
    Yarrow says:

    @eemom: No. It means Britain can just revoke Article 50 and go on as if it never happened. Watch the John Oliver video above starting at about minute 14:45 for the explanation.

  83. 83
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Yarrow:

    The Leave campaign didn’t start with racism and scary immigrants. It started with financial issues and Britain governing itself and so forth. That wasn’t popular so they switched to scary immigrants

    Sounds somewhat familiar…

  84. 84
    Yarrow says:

    @Brachiator:

    May made it worse by being unable to adequately adjust. She kept on insisting that the deal she got was the best deal ever.

    She’s kind of not wrong in that because she’s not going to get another or better deal. This is it. It may be a terrible deal but it’s the best deal she’ll get.

  85. 85
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    OMG. I belong to a FB group for the Royal Family, mostly because it’s a pleasant diversion in the vein of Downton Abbey and Brideshead Revisited. Anytime there’s a Meghan photo, the haters come out. They criticize her for everything, even her baby bump showing or her showy tiara taking attention from Kate’s. On the other hand, the Meghan Hate has overtaken the infinite spats over Diana vs. Camilla.

  86. 86
    smintheus says:

    @randy khan: The Welsh, Scottish, and Irish never agreed to have English rules imposed on them. Funny how the complaint against imposed rules only arose when the British actually did agree to a bunch of rules that they themselves negotiated to benefit themselves.

    ETA: And now obviously much of the “leaving” is going to be done by young, intelligent, confident Brits emigrating to Europe to get away from the shit hole the ignorant and feckless are creating in the UK.

  87. 87

    @Yarrow: Its funny isn’t it that the country that prided itself for its vast Empire, sending its citizens to all four corners of the earth to loot, enslave and rule detests people who are different just for existing.

  88. 88
    debbie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I think even bigger was the lie that hundreds of millions of pounds would flow into the NHS the day after the vote.

  89. 89
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Brachiator:

    What it’s coming down to is the no deal fantasy that Britain will suffer, but the British have come through suffering before and will do so again. This is like someone saying, “I will cut my arm off, but maybe I won’t bleed that much.

    This tends to be coming from people whose parents gave them a very sanitised and romantic view of the Blitz and WWII generally. All about sing songs in the Underground and community spirit and nothing about the monotonous rationing, the constant exhaustion of working a job, running a household and doing fire watching, not to mention the sheer but wrenching fear of dying in the next air raid.

  90. 90
    Sab says:

    I did my junior year aboad at a university the north of England. The UK had just been allowed into the EU. It took deGaulle dying for France to not veto it. They hadn’t seen much benefit from joining yet, but a lot of the English students I knew were desparate to get out of the country because the economy was such a mess. They were also having codfish wars with Iceland.

    I can’t believe there are so many English pining for those days.

  91. 91
    smintheus says:

    @Yarrow:

    “bureaucracy in Brussels”

    Because there will be no bureaucracy involved when you have to cobble together dozens of trade agreements with the economies you depend upon trading with. Also, there won’t have to be any rights, powers, or national prerogatives negotiated away in the bargain.

  92. 92
    Jay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    By systemic inequality, I didn’t mean “economically anxious”, ( racist! cough).

    It impacts in many different complex ways, from not voting, to voting Leave, to voting Remain.

    A bunch of the University crowd, voted Remain, because they see EU jobs and careers as their path out of Austerity and into economic security. The Trade School crowds however voted Leave, because they see the free movement of labour as just another means of keeping blue collar wages low and Trade employment insecure.

  93. 93
    Betty Cracker says:

    @debbie: Not a Brit, but I don’t think the Queen is supposed to interfere in politics.

  94. 94
    Yarrow says:

    @smintheus: I know! One of my Remain friends brings this issue up with some Leave people he knows. They just kind of look at him blankly and do a hand wave–“It’ll all get sorted.” Okay…

    Not to mention that if anyone making or growing anything in the UK wants to sell anything in the EU they’ll have to abide by EU rules so what exactly are they going to get to change? Not a lot. They’ll keep doing what they’re doing but without the benefit of the common market and trade agreements they’ve got now. Likely cost a lot more.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Right, but this is an unusual situation. A little steadying of the keel might be in order.

  97. 97
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    I think there is such an ingrained, cultural aversion to emabarassing oneself among Brits that they would rather walk peacefully in single file off a cliff rather than admit they were scammed. I know it sounds exaggerated but there have been so many discussions of Brits and embarrassment that I think it is a legitimate factor. Jon Cleese has discussed it extensively.

  98. 98
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No. These people are perfectly fine with black and brown people- providing they stay in their own countries.

    More seriously, a lot of BME people here actually voted to Leave. Every immigrant group seems to dislike the next one.

  99. 99
    eemom says:

    I remember during the 2016 campaign after brexit passed there was a mock teevee commercial of a British guy telling the US that they had “a bit of a favor to ahsk” — i.e., that we elect trump so they wouldn’t be the absolute stupidest country that ever existed on earth, or at least not the only one. Seemed hilarious at the time.

  100. 100
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: She is supposed to stay officially neutral, but she did make a comment in January:

    But this week even the queen was drawn into Britain’s constitutional turmoil, after a prominent lawmaker suggested she employ a royal prerogative that has not been used for centuries: the right to tactically adjourn, or “prorogue,” a rebellious Parliament.

    The 92-year-old queen then made a veiled reference to Brexit in a speech on Thursday, delivering a plea for “respecting different points of view” and “coming together to seek out the common ground.” In line with her constitutional obligation to remain neutral on political matters, she revealed nothing about her views on Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement or, say, the northern Irish backstop.

    “As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture,” the queen said.

    “To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.”

  101. 101
    cain says:

    example of good brexit –

    I put it on twitter. Notice how many of these countries are fucked up? Colonialism and the fact that the Brits held control by pitting one against the other. I guess it has all come around and they are doing the same to themselves.

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) Tweeted:
    Thursday’s Independent: “Sevenfold rise in Britons stripped of citizenship” #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

    https://t.co/Ycpu5BQokm
    (Via @AllieHBNews) https://twitter.com/BBCNews/status/1098360184911642625?s=17

  103. 103
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @smintheus: Actually, Scotland did vote to join a political union with England and negotiated some great concessions as the price for the vote plus the Scottish Parliament has quite a lot of devolved power.

    And Wales also voted to Leave the EU.

  104. 104
    Yarrow says:

    @Sab: Ah, the famous cod wars! I think there were four of them.

  105. 105
    Another Scott says:

    @catclub: Wikipedia:

    The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, also known as the EU referendum and the Brexit referendum, took place on 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom (UK) and Gibraltar to ask the people if they wanted the country either to remain a member of or to leave the European Union (EU) under the provisions of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 and also the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The referendum resulted in 51.9% of voters being in favour of leaving the EU. Although legally the referendum was non-binding, the government of that time had promised to implement the result, and it initiated the official EU withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, meaning that the UK is due to leave the EU before midnight on 29 March 2019, UK time, when the two-year period for Brexit negotiations expires.[1]

    The voters throwing the Tories out would have fixed this mess, also too. :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“But Corbyn!!1 – yeah, I know… :-/”)

  106. 106
    smintheus says:

    @Sab: These idiots don’t know anything about how much EEC membership transformed Britain after ’73. To be fair, even British leadership has never been willing to concede fully how big its unpaid debt is to the EC/EU. Here’s Crispin Tickell’s perspective from 2016:

    It was sad that in later negotiations we were always one of the more reluctant countries. We never gave proper leadership. We spent our time arguing about details, and were grudging members when we could have been leading members.

    Heath had provided that in the early 1970s, but later on the Conservative party started tearing itself to bits over things that were really beyond belief. And Heath’s successors were never fully signed up to Europe: they wanted bits and pieces of things, but had no overall vision of what could be achieved. Jim Callaghan, for instance, never understood what was going on.

    All these years later, coming out will be a great disaster because we will lose the ability to shape the future of Europe. We should have played a major role in the EU’s evolution. Now we will have no role in Europe, and much-reduced power and influence in the world generally.

  107. 107
    Jay says:

    @debbie:

    Once Article 50 was invoked, the EU had no moral, legal or historic reasons to induldge the British suicide.

    A large segment of the Leavers and Media have whined constantly that the EU is “punishing” Britian, when in reality, the EU’s role in Brexit is to get the “best deal” for the EU.

    The Leavers think that the EU role in Brexit is supposed to be to get Britain the best deal ever including a bunch of fantasy stuff not in the EU Agreements.

    Like elsewhere, Leaver politics are dominated by resentment, anger and perpetual victimhood.

  108. 108
    smintheus says:

    @Sloane Ranger: Rather late in the day that the Scots were allowed to vote on anything. The point is that the English were happy to impose their rules in every direction, but then gripe like stuck pigs about having to compromise with trading partners.

  109. 109
    Another Scott says:

    @MomSense: Yup.

    The charge of the light brigade

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismayed?
    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  110. 110
    debbie says:

    Today’s the 80th anniversary of the Pro American Rally held in Madison Square Garden and sponsored by the German American Bund. Not too far removed from our current predicament. (There’s lots of audio of the rally in the link.)

  111. 111
    debbie says:

    @Jay:

    Rght. The Brits’ fury would better be directed at Boris et al.

  112. 112
    Michael Cain says:

    PM May has been considerably more polite than I would have been. After Parliament voted down the deal, my response would have been, “You ordered me to negotiate a Leave deal. This is absolutely the best Leave deal that can be obtained without throwing Northern Ireland under the bus. If you want to throw them under the bus, pass something telling me how you want to do it. Hard border in the Irish Sea? Pay the Republic of Ireland to take them? Just kick them out? Show the EU that a majority of you will vote for it and they’ll be back at the table, ready to talk details, in a minute. Or, you could call the whole thing off.” And drop the mic.

  113. 113
    encephalopath says:

    How much of the problem here is that Leave won AND Conservatives won the last election? If Labour were in charge they could ignore the referendum and there may be some political fallout, but conservatives already didn’t vote for them, so the damage would be minimal.

    But May and the Conservatives would suffer a huge backlash from their own base by bailing on Brexit now. Following through on Brexit will be a disaster; not following through on Brexit will be an act of political self immolation for elected Conservatives. There’s nowhere for them to hide.

  114. 114
  115. 115
    JMG says:

    Can’t wait to see who gets blamed when they crash out on March 29 and on April 10 lemons cost seven pounds apiece and lettuce just isn’t available. I know it won’t be themselves. Not to be harsh, but May is a twit, and so’s Corbyn, just a different kind of twit. It’d be as if Pelosi was as stupid as Trump, but with her own weirdnesses rather than his.

  116. 116
    Duane says:

    @randy khan: Trump was for brexit. Obama was against it. That was enough for knowing it was a bad idea.
    At this point Trumpov and Brexit are one and the same. Support of either one is indefensible.

  117. 117
    Jay says:

    @smintheus:

    Yup. A bunch of Leavers actually sat in the EU Parliament for decades, but when it came time to negotiate a deal, they were spectacularly clueless about what the EU is and does.

    The bar for white male mediocracy is exceedingly low.

  118. 118
    Rob in CT says:

    I am not by any means an expert on this, but from what I can tell, this is basically the Brits’ Trumpism. “Fuck the foreigners!” Anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner, anti-“elites” stuff, with only the most tenuous connection to factual reality.

    Sad to me that relatives of mine probably voted Leave. What a shitshow.

  119. 119
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @smintheus: If you want to make a point about British Imperialism that’s fine but never forget that the Scots weren’t victims of that, they were full and active partners and beneficiaries.

  120. 120
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Sorry, it stands for Black, Minority Ethnic. When I was working in HR it was the phrase used in Government Departments to describe all non white groups within the UK.

  121. 121
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    If it causes a global depression, you will be.

  122. 122
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jay:

    The bar for white male mediocracy is exceedingly low.

    And every day I thank god for that!

  123. 123
    trollhattan says:

    @debbie:
    Isn’t it interesting that a scant dozen years earlier Fred Trump was arrested at a Klan rally in New York?

  124. 124
    Michael Cain says:

    @JMG:

    …and lettuce just isn’t available.

    Hmm. Wonder what it costs to rent the biggest freight jet that the local airport can handle and fly it, filled with lettuce and ice, from California’s Imperial Valley to London? I’ll take my chances on whether the government allows me to offload and sell it. US dollars required, not pounds. Might not even need the ice if the flight engineer can deliver air flow at 36 °F. Or maybe Edinburgh — the Scots voted Remain by a pretty good margin.

  125. 125

    @Jay:

    A large segment of the Leavers and Media have whined constantly that the EU is “punishing” Britian, when in reality, the EU’s role in Brexit is to get the “best deal” for the EU.

    I think there is just enough truth there to give their beliefs a bit of justification. The EU is not just trying to get the best deal they can on this one country leaving. They are also worried that giving Britain a good deal will encourage the anti-EU faction in other countries that might possibly consider leaving. So they have a very strong reason to want to be hard bargainers, and at least some reason to be actively punitive toward the UK. What they certainly don’t want to do is what the Leave supporters want, which is to make leaving more attractive than remaining by allowing the UK to keep the good parts of EU membership while giving up the burdensome parts.

  126. 126

    @Sloane Ranger: Agreed, they were the enthusiastic foot soldiers of the Empire.
    @Sloane Ranger: Thanks.

  127. 127

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I doubt that it will. The British economy is not that huge.

  128. 128

    @Sloane Ranger:

    If you want to make a point about British Imperialism that’s fine but never forget that the Scots weren’t victims of that, they were full and active partners and beneficiaries.

    The Scots were victims of English imperialism long before they helped to perpetuate it.

  129. 129
    Jay says:

    @JMG:

    Leavers will blame the EU.

    Remainers will blame 99.9% of the British Parliament and the Leavers.

    What will be “interesting” to watch is the Great British Brexit Bakeoff fallout. The fallout will not be distributed equibly, and there will be an orgy of Disaster Capitalism.

  130. 130
    Gex says:

    @Yarrow: I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if a closer examination of the growing inequality in the UK is tied to subtle appeals to white identity politics as it was here.

  131. 131
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I hope you’re right that it won’t.

  132. 132
    Miss Bianca says:

    @debbie: and, see, this is where it veers into “are you stoned or just stupid?” territory for me. I just don’t understand how anyone could have believed such patent BS.

  133. 133
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jay: Ah. Tracking, as our own Adam S. would say.

  134. 134
    debbie says:

    @trollhattan:

    Highly interesting. //

  135. 135
    trollhattan says:

    @debbie:
    Wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask where Fred was 2/20/39. “Hey Fred, spiffy new outfit!”

  136. 136
    Mandalay says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    Not sure why it would take “22 weeks minimum” to schedule another Brexit vote when 2017’s snap election took place in less than two months.

    Because you are comparing apples and oranges. Snap elections are a known commodity, not that rare, and the nation is prepared for them. Also, as a practical matter, they are not negotiable. If the prime minister calls a snap election there shall be a snap election; even Theresa May could do that without screwing it up.

    But there is no established process for calling for a second referendum, and there is currently complete disunity and chaos among the major parties. So the notion that there is the will and the ability to get it done in 22 weeks is fanciful, especially when many are fiercely opposed to even having a second referendum.

    But more importantly, a second vote which resulted in the UK remaining in the EU might be even more damaging for the country than leaving. While many think the a poor decision was made, nobody AFAIK claims that the original referendum was unfair or rigged. So how might the 52% who originally voted to leave feel about a second referendum which is clearly being called for with the intention of overturning the original result? Betrayed might be an understatement.

  137. 137
    Jay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The Brexiteers continually attempted to negotiate Brexit with the EU from the dual positions of ignorance and fantasy. EU policies, rules, and previous Agreements, ( Norway) always defined what Brexit was going to be and would require.

    During the process of trying to “negotiate” Brexit, the Brits continually came to the table with a mix of impossibilities and pure fantasy, and when shot down, would return to the table a week later, with the same impossibilities and fantasies that had been shot down the week before.

    The process for leaving the EU is as well defined in requirements, policies, harmonization and procedures, as joining the EU, as is the post-Brexit relationship possibilities.

    The EU was not “trying” to make the divorce “harder”, they were simply trying to ensure that the divorce confomed to EU Laws. The EU showed up at the table with a full compliment of Divorce lawyers, Britain showed up at the table with a weak compliment of barely qualified Entertainment lawyers.

    The EU bent over backwards to get May her pathetic half deal, even allowing the Brit’s to “kick the can down the road”, on a bunch of issues, ( Irish Border) that they shouldn’t have, and not just because it creates a bad precident.

    And of course, British and MSM media was utter shite in covering Brexit, just as they were utter shite for decades in covering and explaining the EU to Britons. It was worse than the horse race coverage of NAFTAII or TPPII.

  138. 138
    Another Scott says:

    Charlie at Esquire:

    A Coast Guard Officer Was Just Found Plotting to Murder Democrats and Media Personalities ‘On a Scale Rarely Seen’

    The “domestic terrorist” had 15 guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

    (no snark)

    Maybe someone should do something before the rest of these nuts kill everyone? Maybe??!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  139. 139
    Avalune says:

    We were still living there when they voted…so when they kept asking us what the hell when Trump was elected I would make sure to point out this is their fault because they started all this.

  140. 140
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I wonder if the vultures aren’t already circling around Britain. There’s six weeks to go, and it doesn’t look like there will be a deal that could be agreed on in time to avoid crashing out.

    With crashing out, and on its own, there’s no political force to stop the asset strippers from doing just that in real estate and anything else. Both parties are hapless and delusional. Corbyn thinks there’s going to be a socialist paradise after leaving-that’s not going to happen-the world has changed since he was a young adult. How do you re-appropriate something that is owned by a manager in the EU? And with a divided party he won’t even get the opportunity to try either. The Tories don’t
    care to stop it-they apparently believe in uncontrolled capitalism. So “taking back control” means Chinese landlords, American speculators, and every business pirate setting up sweatshops in Birmingham. And basically telling Parliament what to do or simply bypassing it for local yokels who can be bought. And these types have far less interest in democracy than they think the EU does.

  141. 141
    Immanentize says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Never read East of Eden I guess.

  142. 142
    Jay says:

    @Gex:

    The Cambridge Analetica/Russian Facebook testimony showed that both economic inequality and “economic anxiety” were “weaponized” on social media. While “economic anxiety” was easily “weaponized” with flavours of white male supremacy, economic inequality is a lot harder to “weaponize” to that cause.

    Economic inequality results in a lot of complex interactions. There’s lots of different kinds of haves, Billionaires and Pensioners, and lots of different kinds of have nots, Austerity Graduates to Trades. Because of this, Leave/Remain becomes complex based on “survival” strategies.

  143. 143
    stinger says:

    @Yarrow: Her Christmas 2018 message also decried tribalism and stressed the value of national partnerships, taking as her example the Commonwealth. I heard it as a not-so-subtle indication that she’s in the Remain camp.

  144. 144
    Jay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Don’t worry, German Carmakers will never allow a bad Brexit.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Aleta says:

    @Another Scott:
    “should do something”
    The news is large scale, but the fix has to happen from the smallest level on up. Zero tolerance for every racist and white supremacist in every police dept, every military unit, every security company. Every unit/program (in a town, etc) needs to be combed through — social media accounts, confidential interviews w/ every employee, hot lines. The military and police have to stop protecting the racists among them — their close coworkers know. They’ve already terrorized and murdered individuals, enough to be a mass scale. The power of racists with uniforms to access and injure and hide has to be taken away across the board.

  147. 147
    Chris Johnson says:

    @smintheus:

    Corbyn is an old-school Tony Benn type who thinks any common market is going to be manipulated by financiers largely to the detriment of workers,

    This is 100% true, both here and in the UK

    and who also harbors the fantasy that if the capitalists are ever allowed to make one colossal muck of things then it will usher in the golden socialist era.

    This is almost certainly not, not even slightly true.

    It’s a hell of a thing, but let’s not forget the extent to which financiers can and will fuck over absolutely everyone and everything not themselves. These are stateless people who pay no taxes and are ready to flit off to New Zealand en masse. They’re not afraid of anything, and Corbyn is right to hate them.

    We can do better, as far as people who can bring them to heel. And I don’t mean 2016’s pet answer to that problem. I’m thinking Warren, who has repeatedly taken useful action… and who persisted, and persists, in doing so.

  148. 148
    Jay says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    Both the ECC and the follow on EU regulated finance and minimized the exploitation of worker.

    In part, because Britain always half assed it’s EEC/EU membership, more Brit’s including Corbyn, know more about the imaginary EU that lives in their heads, than the actual EU.

    After March 29th the exploitation of workers in Britain is going to be epic.

  149. 149
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Mandalay: It seems clear to me that the UK possesses an electoral infrastructure capable of executing a national election on less than eight weeks notice. I mean, what would stop May from calling another snap election and adding May’s Brexit vs. Remain to the ballot?

    As for betrayal and rigged systems: given that the only “acceptable” outcome for Brexiteers is a completely impossible fantasy, no matter what happens they will scream of betrayal. Even in the case of hard Brexit, that will be baked in. So the goal should not be to try to appease the unappeasable, but to give the voters a choice between realistic options; e.g. May’s Brexit vs. Remain. If the Unicorn Squad thinks a better Brexit exists, let them explain how to catch it.

  150. 150
    MoxieM says:

    Just noting, FWIW, that the majority (I believe nearly all) of the politicians who have left their respective parties in protest (both Labour & Tory) are women MPs. Courage? Being practical? dunno.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Avalune: I was there in 1984 when Reagan was up for re-election. Every time someone said something about Reagan, I could simply reply, “Thatcher,” and shut it down right away.

  152. 152
    Jay says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    While the UK has the political infrastructure, policies and procedures that could do anything from tossing Article 50 in the trash, to a new referendum,

    It has too few MP’s with courage, a heart or a brain.

    Your second paragraph is bang on, but of course, will never happen.

  153. 153
    Fair Economist says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    the *one* I know for sure voted for it – offered a heaping helping of rationalizations that basically boiled down to “there are scary Mooslims immigrating to my Little England, which was fine as long as there was only one or two, but now there are *hordes* and we don’t want Sharia law declared in Sheffield!”

    The ironic thing is that the effect will be to replace overwhelmingly Christian immigrants from Europe with immigrants from Commonwealth countries like India, Pakistan, Nigeria – with a lot more Mooslims. These immigrants will be less likely to move back home after a while, too.

  154. 154
    Fair Economist says:

    @debbie: The Queen has officially done nothing. Besides the calls for comity and tradition mentioned above, she has hinted support for Remain wearing clothes reminiscent of the EU flag on a couple of relevant occasions. More she won’t do – she want herself and her family to keep her job.

  155. 155
    Gex says:

    @Jay: Great contributions to this thread. Thank you!

  156. 156
    Fair Economist says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The EU is not just trying to get the best deal they can on this one country leaving. They are also worried that giving Britain a good deal will encourage the anti-EU faction in other countries that might possibly consider leaving. So they have a very strong reason to want to be hard bargainers, and at least some reason to be actively punitive toward the UK.

    This was everybody’s expectation in advance, but the reality is that the EU offered an *incredibly* generous deal, allowing the UK customs-free tariff-free access to the Single Market for the indefinite future. Even dues-paying members of EFTA subject to all EU laws like Norway don’t get that.

  157. 157
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Another Scott:

    since Parliament is Sovereign

    Parliament is not Sovereign, The Sovereign is the Queen, who represented by HMG, the executive. It’s already been hashed out that Parliament cannot prevent the PM from taking any actions. That’s what happens when a country doesn’t have a constitution. Everything is predicated on tradition, the PM has no need to pay attention to the Parliament. Traditionally the Tory Party MPs would be the brake, but there is no consensus from any group about what HMG should do. Every position is 35%. That leaves May free to be an utter moron with no organized pushback. Even 5 weeks to B-day, Tory MPs are blathering that under WTO rules the EU doesn’t have to impose tariffs on UK exports if a no deal happens. Sure that can happen, it just requires the EU to not impose any tariffs on anyone. Either way, it might not be an immediate catastrophe, but in a decade the EU will have absorbed every modern enterprise worth having. Scotland and NI will secede, and nobody seems to have noticed that without them England has no claim on the N.Sea. Fishing rights, oil and gas leases all go bye bye

  158. 158
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Miss Bianca: It’s a study on the definition of “reactionary”
    Brexit breakdown: fear and anger on the Irish border
    Prod proclaiming that she doesn’t agree with the Good Friday Agreement and that she wants things back the way it was 40 yrs ago. The fact is that fund prods are OK with eternal war

  159. 159
    Another Scott says:

    @The Pale Scot: Eh??

    Horses’s mouth:

    Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important part of the UK constitution.

    That’s what I was referring to, as that’s the way I’ve heard the term used in these Brexit discussions.

    How the Parliament exercises its Sovereignty (e.g., the mechanics of how it would tell May to call Brexit off) is something outside my pay grade, but presumably it would involve a majority vote in the House of Commons.

    IANAL, especially not a UK lawyer.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  160. 160
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The EU is not just trying to get the best deal they can on this one country leaving.

    Very simply the Brexiters are demanding terms that the EU can’t give them without being in violation of the treaties the constitute the EU. May has her “red lines”, the EU has theirs

  161. 161
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Jay: Oh, I certainly agree that the desire to hold a referendum before March 29 isn’t there. But that isn’t a “We can’t have a vote before then” problem. That is a “We don’t want to have a vote before then” problem.

  162. 162
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Another Scott: From what I’ve been reading, mostly from Richard North @ http://www.eureferendum.com, that’s not the way it’s working out. What you you refer to seems to dwell on Parliament vis a vis the Courts and its ability to revise previously passed laws.

    It’s very interesting that this site references “Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution” It’s a UK Parliament site so maybe it’s their own legalistic viewpoint.

    The UK does not have a written constitition like most other democracies

    Unlike most modern states, Britain does not have a codified constitution but an unwritten one formed of Acts of Parliament, court judgments and conventions

    Britain’s unwritten constitution

    Really the fact is that isn’t any procedures laid out like in the US Constitution about who has responsibility for what. The UK made it up as they went along, relying on traditions to keep things civil. Dr North gets into a lot of minutia but if you have a week to blow on escaping into somebodies else’s troubles or just enjoy watching slow motion car crashes I recommend his blog. In the past 18 months I’ve read some much detail that it has just congealed into one of those fatburgs. IANAUKL From what I’ve read Parliament cannot vote to rescind Art 50, just like they didn’t enact Art50, May did, they voted their approval, if they didn’t approve, it wouldn’t mean shit. Just like the motions to vote on not having a “no deal” don’t mean shit. May29, the UK is out, no matter what Parliament is bleating. Thats in the boilerplate of Article 50, which by the way was written by an Englishmen who made sure that if a country wanted to leave they’d have no political levers to pull to fuck over the EU. Like I said, IANAUKL, but this is what I’ve been reading. If your just been reading the Guard and other UK MSM, they’re all blithering idiots proposing solutions that don’t exist.
    Also Chris Graying @http://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.com and Joe.IE for the Irish viewpoint.

    needs editing but I don’t wanna fuk with it

  163. 163
    The Pale Scot says:

    Oh Boy, I finally get post the German version of the Daily Show and their take on Brexit, I wish all their shows had subtitles, they have their own Lewis Black
    ZDF heute show

  164. 164
    Another Scott says:

    @The Pale Scot: Interesting. We read different things. And I’m sure lawyers can and do argue about this stuff – it’s what they’re paid for.

    The Conversation:

    A revocation of Article 50 would have to be initiated by the UK. It’s anticipated that parliamentary approval, via an act of parliament, would also be required to revoke Article 50, although some constitutional lawyers disagree. Even if parliamentary approval was not legally required, it’s difficult to imagine the government revoking Article 50 without parliament’s backing.

    The June 2016 referendum imposed no legal obligation on the government to implement the result. However, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 sets the date of Brexit as March 29, 2019 in law. Crucially, it also repeals the European Communities Act 1972, which is the legislation that brought the UK into the EU. This means that a change in UK law is also required to stop Brexit.

    So, to stop Brexit, Article 50 would need to be revoked, and, after that, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 must be repealed. Even if parliamentary approval is not required for the former, it is for the latter.

    I would like to think that rational heads will eventually prevail, but who knows. I guess we’ll all see soon enough…

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  165. 165
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Jay:

    The Brexiteers continually attempted to negotiate Brexit with the EU from the dual positions of ignorance and fantasy.

    Great sentence. The UK strategy was also to try to negotiate with individual countries instead of the designated negotiator in an attempt to cause dissension in the EU, and then got all huffy when they were repeatedly told to go speak to Barnier. This is as been an English tactic for centuries

    Yes Minister — Why Britain Joined the European Union

  166. 166
    Another Scott says:

    @The Pale Scot: :-) Excellent. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  167. 167
    The Pale Scote Pale Scot says:

    @Another Scott: The Conversation is good source, but brief. If Parliament voted to revoke UK’s Art50, May would outright refuse and then step down, triggering an election that wouldn’t happen until close to or after 3/29, result no deal crash out. At the moment it does not seem likely that May’s deal is going to pass in time for the EU to vote on it, and that has to be unanimous, all 27 members. That includes Spain, which wants Gibraltar back. They also want to keep being a destination for UK geezers, but really the fuckers are cheap and Spain is getting more international, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  168. 168
    The Pale Scote Pale Scot says:

    Hmm I think I”m in limbo, my last comment or 2 didn’t post i think, Brexit gives me the fuzzies

  169. 169
    The Pale Scote Pale Scot says:

    Test

  170. 170
    Another Scott says:

    @The Pale Scote Pale Scot: Your first post after changing your ‘nym gets held in the dungeon until a front-pager frees it.

    It looks like Adam is on the case!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  171. 171
    The Pale Scot says:

    Thnx, I didn’t mean to do that

  172. 172
    Another Scott says:

    @The Pale Scote Pale Scot:

    If Parliament voted to revoke UK’s Art50, May would outright refuse and then step down, triggering an election that wouldn’t happen until close to or after 3/29, result no deal crash out.

    You think that’s the way it would go? I hadn’t considered that, but I now see that it could happen that way…

    My impression about May has been that she was fighting to get her way, until Parliament finally stepped up and said NO. Like when they rejected her (kinda-sorta modified Chequers plan on January 15. I can’t find it now, but my recollection is that she said that “she heard the House” and was going to be “working with people” to find something that they could all agree to. And that she wasn’t going to resign. I suppose she could, instead, keep to her ‘my way or the highway’ style and threaten to resign if Parliament decides they don’t like her driving the country off the cliff, but who knows…

    We’ll see.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  173. 173
    The Pale Scot says:

    May is a has been that shouldn’t have ever was. In a stable political environment she’d still be a back bencher. She’s PM because all competition tripped up. Take note that BoJo, Moog’s and the other Ultras avoided the office, god forbid they take a hand in what they instigated. Her track record at the home office was virulent anti-immigrant. That’s the hook she hangs her hat on, and that was her foremost red line, the end of free movement of people.

    There are only 2 options here, her deal or no deal. Rescinding Art.50 would require pleading and probably acceptance of the Euro. The EU has said they will not extend the timeline unless the UK shows it going to do a massive change of positions. If they do it will be for 3 months tops. The elections for EU MPs is in June, the EU does not want the UK involved (most of the UK EUMPs now are UKIPs, rabid anti EU types. Preventing a member from sitting in the EUP is a legal nightmare. So by early June the one way or another. The EU frankly is doubtful about rescinding, they figure the UK will pull this shit again soon enough

    Thanks, it’s nice to have a chat just to sort it out in my head. I started watching this because we’re suppose to go to Ireland this summer. Then I got interested because of how it might affect the global economy. Now I am truly amazed at the mass stupidity and willful ignorance. It’s like modern slow remake of the Orson Welles Mars invades broadcast. If Trump decides to shut the gov down or something as the UK crashes out, Oy, Vlad gets his money’s worth, sur ‘nough

  174. 174
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Another Scott:

    “she heard the House”

    And then said she was going back to EU to demand changes the EU had already told her weren’t going to happen. She’s wasted a month, they all have wasted 2 years. Go to North’s site he has been working out how to leave the EU safely for a decade, something called Flexit. He’s chasing Unicorns too, but his net has fewer holes

  175. 175
    Spider-Dan says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    Rescinding Art.50 would require pleading and probably acceptance of the Euro.

    No, it wouldn’t. If the UK would put their head on straight, they can rescind Article 50 and the EU Legal Counsel has already determined that the last 3 years of Brexit shenanigans will simply be nullified. Everything will go back to the way it was pre-Brexit.

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