Brexit: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and just as the hideous Trump catastrophuck here in the States has rejuvenated the Democratic Party and spun comedy gold on late night TV, the rolling Brexit disaster has resulted in some damn funny professional commentary, as several jackals have pointed out in comments. Here’s a sample inspired by May’s Parliament debacle earlier this week:

The House of Commons was a Benny Hill chase on acid, running through a Salvador Dali painting in a spaceship on its way to infinity.

It was a kind of death-defying, window-shattering, epoch-shaping, never-to-be-surpassed lunacy.

The details are extravagantly complex, and if you can’t face them all, the key bit to remember is that Theresa May planned to defeat herself, then decided not to defeat herself by defeating herself, then lost. To herself.

Tom Peck, The Independent

And this:

By now, you will be aware that the prime minister failed to end her meaningful vote hoodoo, with this sequel to her last attempt – 2Meaningful 2Vote – knocked down by a margin of 149. Amusingly, some are suggesting that Meaningful Vote: Tokyo Drift could yet happen. A free vote on no deal takes place tonight, with potential amendments piling up. May herself ploughs on. It’s as if someone has popped a grey wig on Munch’s The Scream, then cast it in an ITV drama about the female governor of a category-A prison.

— Marina Hyde, The Guardian

I read those last two sentences aloud to my husband and could barely choke the words out for giggling. Also from that column, what appears to be an actual quote from “Conservative backbencher” Steve Double:

“This is a turd of a deal,” he intoned to the House of Commons, “which has now been taken away and polished, and is now a polished turd. But it might be the best turd that we’ve got.”

Speaking of turds that are far from our best, America’s ambulatory ocher dung heap weighed in:

“I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say ‘What do you mean, you’re going to take another vote?’ So that would be tough.

I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in. It’s a tough situation. It’s a shame.

There was no reason for that to happen. They could have had the vote and it should have gone smoothly and unfortunately it didn’t.”

The Guardian notes that “[i]n opposing a second referendum Trump lines up with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.”

Of course he does — the wily KGB man inserted his murderous claw up his puppet’s ass at some point between 1985 and 2016 and has used his pincers to move Trump’s lips ever since.

But the second part of Trump’s statement was pure Shitgibbon, once again invoking the now thoroughly exploded myth of himself as a master deal maker, failing as ever to comprehend anything more complex than “I want to eat/fuck/buy that,” and rudely shitting all over anyone with the temerity to behave as something other than a Trump flunky, no matter how inanely:

I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation. I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful. She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine – she’s got to do what she’s got to do. I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.

I long for the day we get to see all these ugly turds take their final spin around the toilet bowl and then the fateful plunge straight down the sewer pipe. If the commentary and comedy are less biting after that happy day, we’ll muddle through somehow.

Open thread!

PS: I was going to Photoshop Theresa May’s hair onto an image of “The Scream” as an illustration for this post, but I recently switched computers, and my motherfucking Creative Cloud download keeps failing because Sweet Jeebus, Adobe sucks greasy green gator balls!






94 replies
  1. 1
    Michael Cain says:

    Parliament voted down a second referendum by a wide margin.

  2. 2
    Lapassionara says:

    What a nightmare! I wish you had managed the photoshop. Just imagining it made me smile.

  3. 3

    If they have a second referendum, it should be a clean choice between remain and the actual negotiated deal. The only reason leave was able to win the first time around is because it was so ill-defined that voters could imagine their fantasy Brexit deal rather than a realistic vision of what they’d actually get. If they had been presented a choice between remain and May’s turd of a deal, remain would have won a resounding victory.

  4. 4
    kindness says:

    What I don’t get about Brexit is I don’t understand why both Labour & the Tories act as if they can’t go back and ask for a new vote by the people. Sure, both Labour & the Tories have hardened racists in them (which I expected from the Tories, but not from Labour) who are running their respective shows but as some point the bulk of the members in the House of Commons has to take over from the nut cases. Something that will never ever happen with our Republican Party. Maybe we are less different than I thought we were (the US/UK).

  5. 5
    Lapassionara says:

    @Michael Cain: so now, they ask for a delay?

  6. 6
    chopper says:

    “I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say ‘What do you mean, you’re going to take another vote?’ So that would be tough.

    I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in. It’s a tough situation. It’s a shame.”

    is it me or is every tenth word this guy utters the word “tough”. it’s the go-to word for a guy with a hundred word vocabulary.

  7. 7
    waspuppet says:

    “I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say ‘What do you mean, you’re going to take another vote?’ So that would be tough.

    He’s gonna use that argument to cancel the 2020 election.

  8. 8
    waspuppet says:

    @chopper: I throw up in my mouth every time someone in our “liberal” media uses that word to describe anything Trump, or any Republican, has done.

  9. 9
    chopper says:

    @Lapassionara:

    looks like it. i feel bad for the uk, but it’s a sigh of relief to see a government being more incompetent than ours. that’s nice at least.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    @kindness:

    What I don’t get about Brexit is I don’t understand why both Labour & the Tories act as if they can’t go back and ask for a new vote by the people

    I, too, have never understood this. Especially when it was obvious that there were lies and manipulation all up in Brexit.

  11. 11
    chopper says:

    @waspuppet:

    we’re gonna have to get tough. we’ll have to be really tough about it.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    @kindness: My (vague) understanding is that the EU is a bogeyman for both the right and the left in the UK. The only group that is wholeheartedly pro-EU is the urban elite, primarily in London, and all the real English patriots hate them. Our view of the struggle here across the pond is slanted by the fact that we hear mostly from the literate elite.

    The whole mess is curiously similar to the ‘yellow vest’ situation in France.

  13. 13
    SRW1 says:

    Apparently a second referendum is not possible, because ‘unfair’, but Theresa May forcing repeat votes on her negotiated deal despite having already suffered two defeats is just fine (current predictions are that May will likely put it forward again for a third vote).

  14. 14
    Lapassionara says:

    @MattF: well, some leaders of the yellow vests have strong Russian ties (it was reported that some had been in the Russian army). So Putin has his hand in lots of these problems.

  15. 15
    Michael Cain says:

    @Lapassionara: Next they voted on, basically, taking control of the whole process back from the government (ie, the Prime Minister and her selected ministers of this and that). That failed, very closely. Now they’re voting on asking for an open-ended Article 50 extension so Parliament can get its act together.

  16. 16
    SenyorDave says:

    @kindness: Sure, both Labour & the Tories have hardened racists in them (which I expected from the Tories, but not from Labour)

    Labour sure seems to have hardened, real anti-semites in the party (not people who have problems with Israel’s policies).

  17. 17

    @kindness:

    What I don’t get about Brexit is I don’t understand why both Labour & the Tories act as if they can’t go back and ask for a new vote by the people.

    I think the two parties have different reasons. There are a lot of hard-core Brexiters among the Tories, and they’re worried about the damage to their party from demanding a second referendum. Meanwhile, Labour (or at least Corbyn and his crew) are being cynical about it. They see Brexit as damaging to the Tories and a second referendum as a way of letting them off the hook. They’d rather gamble on the country’s future in hopes of getting a temporary political advantage.

    That said, the article I read said Labour wasn’t opposed to a referendum, but they want it to be on the actual negotiated deal rather than a generic “should we go ahead with Brexit” question. That makes sense to me. I suspect the Brexiters will want any second referendum to be on a generic question rather than a vote on a specific proposal.

  18. 18
    Lapassionara says:

    @Michael Cain: thanks for following this.

  19. 19
    Michael Cain says:

    And… asking for an open-ended Article 50 extension goes down, also closely.

  20. 20
    SRW1 says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Parliament voted down a second referendum by a wide margin.

    Non-binding vote that doesn’t kill the possibility of a second referendum.

    I may very well be wrong, but the way I understand the parliamentary procedures is that votes on ‘private’ amendments offered by individual MPs or small groups of MPs do not automatically gain binding status.

  21. 21
    Michael Cain says:

    @Lapassionara:

    @Michael Cain: thanks for following this.

    It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck: horrible, but you can’t turn away. I’ve been watching the live stream for the last couple of days because I used to be on the permanent staff for the Colorado Legislature and I’m absolutely fascinated by the differences in how the Brits do it and how we did it.

    I am particularly enamored of John Bercow, the Speaker.

  22. 22
    Kelly says:

    Oregon has had referendums in every election for the last 100 years or so. Six or eight elections ago a rollback of zoning rules passed comfortably. Two years later it was repealed resoundingly after people saw the developments it allowed. The idea that my side has won on lies and the win must be respected for all time was about all the anti zoning folks had on offer.

  23. 23

    @MattF:

    The only group that is wholeheartedly pro-EU is the urban elite, primarily in London, and all the real English patriots hate them.

    I think this is oversimplifying things. Brexit was definitely more popular in cities than outside, but it was about 45-55 (leave – remain) in the big cities and 55-45 outside, so it wasn’t a runaway win for either side in either place. Also, it was unpopular in Scotland- remain won in every voting area in Scotland- and very unpopular in Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, the two parts of the UK that have land borders with the rest of the EU.

  24. 24
    Mart says:

    @rikyrah: Whilst I am no Brexit expert, methinks the lads sold the rubes on the idea that the EU would bend to Britain’s exit demands, when the reality is the Brits have no negotiating power. Polling shows a revote would still favor exit. People (mostly the olds) really are that dumb.

  25. 25
    zhena gogolia says:

    Big good news today on two fronts, Summer Zervos and Sandy Hook families. I hope they’ll be front-paged later.

  26. 26
    SRW1 says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I am particularly enamored of John Bercow, the Speaerk.

    His role is fascinating, especially because he has some real prerogatives in his job. For example, the decision on which ‘private’ amendments are put forward for debate and a vote is his alone to make. For todays debate, Bercow declined an amendement offered by hardcore Brexiteers that ruled out a second referendum, although that amendment had been supported by more than 100 MPs (the vast majority of which were Tories).

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/14/mps-amendments-for-the-brexit-article-50-extension-vote

    ETA:
    Bercow’s mavericky handling of his role as the speaker is also why some Tories want him gone, even though he is a Torie himself

  27. 27
    Miss Bianca says:

    Yeah, I thought that line about May was positively Cracker-esque in its ability to paint a hilarious/horrifying word portrait. Glad you liked it too, BC!

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I am particularly enamored of John Bercow, the Speaker.

    He’s quite a character.

    I did not know that the Speaker is supposed to actually live in the Palace of Westminster. The Speaker has formal rooms and offices, where meetings and dinners can be held, and also private quarters. I guess they can also keep their own homes, etc. It’s weird how they maintain old traditions along with modernity.

  29. 29
    Doug R says:

    @MattF: Scotland and Northern Ireland and anywhere that actually deals with trade voted remain.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mart:
    As I understand the British demands, they wanted to leave the club but expected to keep the membership benefits. Which the EU of course could not grant them because it would break EU rules.

  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful.

    Does he mean his great negotiating ideas that he used with North Korea? Or maybe the ones he used to keep the GOP senators from voting against his stupid wall emergency? Or maybe the ones he used to get Mexico to pay for the wall?

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:

    MPs vote by 412 to 202 to ask EU for Brexit to be delayed beyond 29 March

    Craziness to be continued.

  33. 33
    R-Jud says:

    It is always worth reading Marina Hyde, whether she’s talking politics, football, or celebrity gossip. She’s just a delight.

    One of the better commentators on the cultural forces behind Brexit is Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times— go seek his columns out.

    Too many deadlines and a kid at home from school today, so I couldn’t follow the circus. I’ll see what went down in a couple of hours, when the Bean’s in bed and I can have wine.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @geg6: May said he told her to sue the E.U. lol lol It’s all he knows.

  35. 35

    I had this on my car radio on my way home just now, and was shocked by how strongly the new referendum went down. Goes to show you what I know.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    @Brachiator: @R-Jud: Is it a given that the E.U. will grant them the delay/

  37. 37
    Peale says:

    @Roger Moore: yep. I can’t see the point of another “fo you want a deal that allows us to kick out the poles, continue to live in Spain if we want to, and forces Germans to buy English goods like they’re Burma circa 1890?” Or whatever they thought they would want.

  38. 38
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Betty, you are a national treasure!

  39. 39
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Brachiator: wait a minute, I thought the EU already said “No fucking way” to the extension? What do they think they’re accomplishing?

    Oh, wait…I used the word “think.” Never mind!

  40. 40

    @Brachiator:

    I did not know that the Speaker is supposed to actually live in the Palace of Westminster. The Speaker has formal rooms and offices, where meetings and dinners can be held, and also private quarters. I guess they can also keep their own homes, etc.

    This isn’t that odd. We have official residences for some of our officials (President, VP, most governors, etc.) because their jobs require public functions, and we can’t expect everyone elected to those offices to be able to afford their own. I think it would actually be a good idea to provide (modest) official residences to more of our elected officials. The need to have a residence in both the capital and their home district can be a real burden for a legislators and even cabinet officials. I would rather spend a bit more money providing them with apartments than shut out everyone who isn’t wealthy enough to afford a second home.

  41. 41
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    How soon until QEII steps into the mess, and declares:

    “OFF WITH THE HEADS of the Leavers!”

    Might rehabilitate monarchy, just saying.

  42. 42
    Mandalay says:

    some damn funny professional commentary…

    Well this isn’t really funny, but it was an excellent way of summarizing a complicated situation:

    “You know unfortunately she has recommended that her party vote against the deal that she herself negotiated”, Coveney said.

    “We have a deal, the British government was part of that. It’s an extraordinary situation that when a prime minister and a government negotiates a deal and then goes back and during the ratification process votes against their own deal, which is what happened yesterday, and now wants to go back to their negotiating partner and change everything.

    “It’s like saying give me what I want or I’m jumping out the window….

    That analogy encapsulated May’s plight just perfectly.

  43. 43
    SRW1 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    The amendment for a second referendum went down so strongly because the Labour frontbench argued the amendment to be premature and asked Labour MPs to abstain. Because this was a non-binding ‘private’ amendment, it is not necessarily the end of a second referendum.

  44. 44
    R-Jud says:

    @JPL: No. But there’s a better chance of it if Parliament finally approves May’s withdrawal deal during the vote scheduled next week, because then we can go hat in hand to the EU and say, “Look, we have this agreement, we just need extra time to pass the final pieces of legislation that ratify the agreement and make it functional for us.”

    If Parliament votes that deal down again and we go to the EU to say, “Help, we are feckless dipshits who need more time to… do… a thing,” they’re less likely to want to bother.

  45. 45
    Mart says:

    @Amir Khalid: If only they could just ban the Muslims…

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @R-Jud: In other words keep stockpiling. It would not surprise me if our president threatened the E.U. with tariffs, if they approve the extensions. Bullies gotta bully.

  47. 47
    SRW1 says:

    @Mart:

    And the Poles, cause the Poles are as bad!

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @JPL:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Is it a given that the E.U. will grant them the delay/

    Yesterday, the BBC interviewed an EU representative who suggested that Europe might consider some kind of delay if the UK could offer a good reason for it. But nothing long or open-ended.

    But the EU has yet to respond officially. I think a group of EU ministers will meet within the next week or so, before the original March 29 exit date.

    The strange thing is that the Brits still think that they are in charge and have time and room to do whatever they wish. Reality still has not kicked them in the butt.

    There are also idiots among the MPs who think that they can still achieve a “no deal” BREXIT.

    And May will try to submit her plan without modification again.

  49. 49
    Aleta says:

    Media Matters seems to be keeping up the heat on FN advertisers; the last two days some people are putting up FN stupidity clips.

    John Whitehouse @existentialfish
    Fox News has done a lot of dumb things.
    (photo) One of the dumbest was today in 2011, when a map of nuclear reactors in Japan inexplicably included the Japanese nightclub Eggman.

    Bobby Lewis ‏@revrrlewis
    Brian Kilmeade has A Moment while trying to describe his favorite pie, which it turns out is actually cake. #PiDay

    In a paranoid-connectivity moment last night, I started to wonder if FN is going to dump T Carlson but they are letting him hang on until after Monday, when a lake town in Western Maine is going to vote on whether to sell him a town building.

    I don’t believe the building was listed for sale, but he proposed to the council he would pay $30,000 (seems pretty fcking cheap if that includes the land). He says he’ll repair/preserve the bld and that FN will pay to build a broadcasting studio inside. He has at least one backer on the council. Until now he has been renting the basement of the town library for his summer office ($2500/year, pretty fcking cheap) where he tapes shows when on vacation. To google: the town is Bryant Pond village in the Town of Woodstock; on Lake Christopher (aka Bryant Lake aka Pond.)

    Grounds for my paranoia:
    1–It reminds me of some other manipulations I’ve seen of small towns. The result turns out to be different from the proposal.
    2–White male supremacist beacon in rural ME on the border w/ NH.

    I think if Carlson gets fired before the weekend it could alter the vote.

    🥁 🎶 So I’ll send a 🦞 lobster 🦞 to anyone who helps put the heat on Fox and advertisers in the next 5 days. (Pet only — must go to good homes, after home visit, compatibility tests, etc.)

  50. 50
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Discovered James O’Brien’s attempted discussions with Brexiters on Youtube.

    He gets so frustrated when his callers evade his questions re how leaving will improve their lives, how EU wants to rule UK etc.

    Learned from comments re customs barrier that will be necessary between Ireland and No Ireland that US produces ‘chlorinated chickens’ that EU bans but UKafter Brexit could import

  51. 51
    R-Jud says:

    @JPL: As things stand right now, we are still set to leave the EU by operation of law on 29 March at 11 PM BST, unless something the government isn’t currently proposing occurs.

    So yeah, I stocked up on spices and things today.

  52. 52
    Mart says:

    @SRW1: All too true, look what the Poles have wrought on Chicago.

  53. 53
    MattF says:

    Senate votes 59 to 41 to block emergency declaration. 12 R Senators parted company with McConnell.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @SRW1:

    And the Poles, cause the Poles are as bad!

    In the US, we have exit polls. In the UK, they want to BREXIT Poles.

  55. 55
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @MattF:
    Good news! Now, will Congress have enough votes to override Trump’s inevitable veto?

  56. 56

    @R-Jud:

    If Parliament votes that deal down again and we go to the EU to say, “Help, we are feckless dipshits who need more time to… do… a thing,” they’re less likely to want to bother.

    If the EU hasn’t already noticed that the British Parliament is a bunch of hapless dipshits, they aren’t very observant.

  57. 57
  58. 58

    Remind me again why do we care so much more about Brexit. When T is trying to grind legal immigration to a halt. A move that directly affects the citizens of this country.

  59. 59
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I did not know that the Speaker is supposed to actually live in the Palace of Westminster. The Speaker has formal rooms and offices, where meetings and dinners can be held, and also private quarters. I guess they can also keep their own homes, etc.

    This isn’t that odd. We have official residences for some of our officials (President, VP, most governors, etc.) because their jobs require public functions, and we can’t expect everyone elected to those offices to be able to afford their own.

    No, no, no. The part that I think is odd, funny, quirky, is that the Speaker has private rooms within the House of Parliament. This would be like having our Speaker of the House live in the Congress.

    The UK Speaker of the House also has to maintain a ceremonial bed that the monarch is supposed to sleep on prior to a coronation. In reality, no king or queen has ever slept in this room or on that bed.

    But providing an official residence or apartments for some government officials, sure. Not a bad idea.

  60. 60
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Remind me again why do we care so much more about Brexit. When T is trying to grind legal immigration to a halt. A move that directly affects the citizens of this country.

    I think I noted here that I care about BREXIT and Trump’s economic policy because we have two of the most important economies doing crazy, stupid nonsense which will hurt both countries.

    I also despise Theresa May because she has been involved in nationalist policies which have hurt immigrants and the UK’s own black citizens, the Windrush Generation. May supposedly favored Remain, but her backing of BREXIT also seeks to restrict immigration and the free flow of people, which is a principle of the EU. So, again, the policies of the US and the UK sadly embrace stupidity and bigotry.

  61. 61
    Geoduck says:

    Somewhat offtopic, but there are cheaper alternatives to Photoshop which work just fine as basic image editors, including GIMP and Paintshop Pro.

  62. 62
    VOR says:

    @MattF: More than I thought, but still not enough to override Trump’s veto. They are still enabling him.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    I didn’t know that gater balls were greasy. Things you learn on this here miserable lefty almost top 10,000 blog.

  64. 64
    Mandalay says:

    And this is yet another reason why folks here need to stop treating right wing filth opposing Trump as though they are flawed characters with a good side:

    72% supported the Iraq War—including @TuckerCarlson & @ggreenwald. By trying to blame the conflict on “neocons,” critics absolve everyone else—including, in some cases, themselves—of responsibility for a collective mistake.

    It was a Republic Administration that deliberately lied in order to get us into a phony war with Iraq. To call it a collective mistake is just a lie. Or perhaps even a big lie. Max “neocon” Boot can go fuck himself.

  65. 65
    smintheus says:

    The Brexit vote itself was a revote. Britain decided to join the Common Market in the early 60s but was rebuffed, was eventually offered the chance to join the Common Market in the late 60s and leapt at the offer, and has since chosen to join the EU and to join in on virtually all of the add-ons that have been negotiated around the original Common Market. Brexit was a reversal of half a century of decisions…but having decided to suddenly swerve off the very road they helped to build, you can’t reconsider whether the off-road experience is really what you want because that would be backsies.

  66. 66
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Heard from O’Brien YouTube video that Neil Farage sp?, major prpagandist for Brexit and now some official in EU, is working hard in Brussels to get EU to refuse any accommodation with UK and keep Uk out of EU. Sounded bit creepy to me.

  67. 67

    @Brachiator: Britain is not the second most important economy by any metric.

  68. 68
    smintheus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Remind me again why do we care so much more about Brexit.

    Because it is part of Putin’s strategy to divide the EU and NATO allies, sow chaos and discord and mutual suspicion.

  69. 69
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @chopper: Enjoy it while it lasts in blissful ignorance – because it’s not “nice” at all. Brexit is a tool, along with the protofascist stirrings in Hungary, Greece & Poland, hammering away at the EU – which is one of the few governmental (in this case, supragovernmental) entities that can duke it out with the global oligarchs eager to implement their neofeudal wet dreams of a world where money moves at the speed of light chasing the biggest payoff & people can’t move at all while they’re being fleeced. The reason the Kochs, Adelsons, Mercers etc. haven’t stood in Putin’s way (or have actively encouraged his program of demolition) is that they look at him as just another oligarch who’s doing to international governance what they want done. What they have trouble grasping is that he’s an “oligarch” with death squads, chemical/biological/radiological toxins, and nuclear weapons – the first two of which he has already shown his willingness to use on anyone who gets in his way (& IMHO the third is only a matter of time so long as the GOP remains a wholly-pwned subsidiary of Rossiya Inc.)

  70. 70
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Brachiator: The Speaker of the Commons is an elected member of Parliament but he/she does not represent a constituency where they are expected to reside with constituents they have to attend to in surgeries and meetings. They are an officer of the House and will spend most if not all of their time working in Parliament, even if the House is not in session. Since the office of Speaker dates back several hundred years when travel was not as easy as it is today then living above the “shop” was almost a necessity — the House cannot be called to order to carry out its business without a Speaker or deputy Speaker in charge and having to wait a couple of days for them to arrive via stagecoach from across the country was not considered acceptable.

  71. 71
    Michael Cain says:

    So let me sum up what seems to me to be the basic state of things, so that the real experts can correct me.

    The ball is in May’s court. If she does nothing, no-deal exit on the 29th.

    May can bring her deal back to Parliament any time before 11:00 on the 29th and if Parliament accepts it, then Britain is out but there’s a two-year grace period while some details are negotiated. All of Britain is bound into the EU customs arrangement until/unless some other agreement can be reached that does not include a hard border in Ireland.

    May can ask the EU for an extension. She has indicated she would ask for three months so that Parliament can pass new laws in situations where Britain currently uses EU law. Most people think that the EU would grant such an extension on a one-time basis. If I understand the EU High Court’s opinion, Parliament would still have the option of accepting May’s deal during the extension.

    At any point until the Article 50 deadline (as extended if that’s the case), and so long as Parliament has not accepted the May deal, May could rescind the Article 50 notice and call the whole thing off.

    A new government, with or without elections, doesn’t affect any of this.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Aleta: will you really send a lobster? *bounce bounce* Will harrass a Fox for lobster!//

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Britain is not the second most important economy by any metric.

    True, and I did not write that it was.

  75. 75
    Keith says:

    @Michael Cain: Ball in May’s court – yes.
    May can bring back the deal for acceptance by Parliament – not clear. Parliamentary rules may preclude raising a question once more that has already been answered (in the negative) in the same Parliamentary session.
    May can ask for an extension, but it must be with good reason for the requested duration of extension.
    The likelihood of anyone (May or others) doing the only right and sensible thing – rescinding the Article 50 notice – is vanishingly low.

  76. 76
    Michael Cain says:

    Remind me again why do we care so much more about Brexit.

    I care about Brexit for the next two weeks because of the train-wreck aspect. At this point, other than kicking in some campaign money to get a strong candidate nominated on our side or writing nasty letters to my Congress critters, there’s not much I can do about Trump. I can’t stop him and McConnell from installing horrible judges. I can’t stop the regulatory agencies from moving terrible decisions through the process.

    Once they’ve settled on how they’re going to shoot themselves in the foot, or decided to just call the whole thing off, I’ll pay a lot less attention.

  77. 77
    Brachiator says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    the House cannot be called to order to carry out its business without a Speaker or deputy Speaker in charge and having to wait a couple of days for them to arrive via stagecoach from across the country was not considered acceptable.

    I know that traffic in London is bad, but I had no idea that they still relied on stagecoaches!

    I understand the history. But it is quirky that they still provide private apartments within the Commons for a Speaker today.

    I also got caught up in some YouTube videos showing the historical pomp and ceremony behind the election of a Speaker. Crazy stuff. Two MPs pull a reluctant Speaker from his seat after he is elected. This, I guess, reflected the fact that the Speaker was the Crown’s creature and could be executed if he did not please the monarch. The current Speaker, dispensed with the wig and more formal gown that he is supposed to wear, etc.

    Again, the mix of ancient tradition and modern accommodation is noteworthy.

    And yeah, it is also interesting, and different from the US Speaker, that the UK Speaker of the House is supposedly neutral, not representing any party in the Commons. Also interesting, if I remember correctly, that a retired Speaker is usually(?) elevated to the House of Lords.

  78. 78
    Mart says:

    @Mandalay: And Brexit is in part a result of our failed war policy that has resulted in mass migration to Europe.

  79. 79
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mart: That’s a good point that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

  80. 80

    @Brachiator: This is what you did write:

    I think I noted here that I care about BREXIT and Trump’s economic policy because we have two of the most important economies doing crazy, stupid nonsense which will hurt both countries.

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    This is what you did write

    Yep. I also wrote about the bigotry behind BREXIT and Theresa May’s present and past complicity. I could have expanded on the degree to which the bigotry and nationalism behind BREXIT is related to and reinforced by Trump’s ugly nationalism.

    Trump also backs BREXIT and seeks to pull the UK away from Europe. He has fantasies of fantastic trade deals between the US and the UK once Britain is no longer in the EU. So, in many ways, BREXIT parallels Trump’s beliefs, goals and policies. Both with respect to the economy and immigration.

    And then there is Trump’s nasty admiration for scum like Nigel Farage, one of the imps behind BREXIT.

    There is additional irony in May running to former colonies in Africa and Asia in a weird attempt to sound out possibilities of new trade deals to make up for potential loss of EU relationships.

    Lastly, fools in the UK think that somehow BREXIT can help the UK to restore lost glory. But they may stumble and become a near irrelevancy of an economy, ranking somewhere below Greece as a shambolic country running on fumes of a “glorious” past.

  82. 82
    Shana says:

    @Mart: I was in London for about a week prior to the vote and my anecdotal experience was that there were a LOT of people saying that the EU would make it as hard as possible and be in no mood to give the British anything in order to convince other countries there was nothing to be gained by leaving. They didn’t want an exodus.

  83. 83
    BC in Illinois says:

    The Brexit debate has given me this Scottish insult, which I can put to good use.

    A shiver has run down the front bench of the Labour Party, looking for a spine to crawl up – and it has not found one.

    Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish National Party in Parliament

  84. 84
    SRW1 says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    Nigel Farage is an UK MP in the EU parliament, not an official in the EU commission (he’s the MP with the worst or second worst attendance record in the parliament).

    Farange stated in an interview on BBC World News yesterday that he is lobbying the EU council, ie the assembly of the heads of governments of the EU member states, to refuse any extension of the article 50 deadline. As an extension of the article 50 deadline would have to be agreed upon unanimously by the EU council, Farage would need only one of the 27 heads of governments to block any extension.

    Apparently, Farage has his eyes on Hungary’s Orban to do the deed. I doubt that will work, because for all his semi-fascit leanings, Orban will not want to endanger the fat financial aid Hungary receives from the EU.

  85. 85
    Brachiator says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    Discovered James O’Brien’s attempted discussions with Brexiters on Youtube

    Belatedly, wanted to note that O’Brien’s stuff (is this LBC radio?) is very good. I don’t know how the google YouTube algorithm decided to queue this up for me, but the clips are informative and entertaining.

  86. 86
    Annie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    IIRC younger people voted to Remain, too, though I don’t recall the margin.

    I’m not sure anyone could have made a good job out of Brexit. The problem seems to be that the UK wanted all the benefits of EU membership and a voice in EU councils without any obligations.

  87. 87
    The Pale Scot says:

    @kindness:

    What I don’t get about Brexit is I don’t understand why both Labour & the Tories act as if they can’t go back and ask for a new vote by the people.

    The problem is outrage by the gammons, reversing course is tantamount to treasonous submitting to German bullying,

    According to them, like our alt right, but with dangerously empty pint glasses instead of guns

  88. 88
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They see Brexit as damaging to the Tories and a second referendum as a way of letting them off the hook.

    More than that. Labour strongholds are in the north, peopled with olds that worked in the coal mines and steel production. Like here, they vote the young don’t. And Corbyn has been anti EU forever. The EU rules specifically disallow nationalizing industries and other 70’s era socialist ideas that Corbyn clings to

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    Betty, out in the land of the dry sun, we refer to donkey balls rather than gator balls, mainly because we are thankfully rather short on gators. Of course it’s been a few years since I’ve seen a lot of donkeys around these parts either. A fair number of jackasses still around in their place.

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    The EU rules specifically disallow nationalizing industries and other 70’s era socialist ideas that Corbyn clings to

    The 1870s?

  91. 91
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: You refer of course to Niggling Falange, Arsehole Without Portfolio. I would imagine that one sound way to fund a UK government (if one ever appears again that can actually govern) would be a lottery where the winner would get to walk up to where Falange stood on a chair beneath a lamppost with a noose around his neck, & take his/her sweet time kicking the chair out from under the worthless fuck.

  92. 92
    catclub says:

    @Mart:

    Polling shows a revote would still favor exit. People (mostly the olds) really are that dumb.

    Yeah, the lines are drawn much harder than we in the States like to believe – oh, they’ll change their minds when they realize….
    But that does not work in the US, why should it work there?

  93. 93
    Ken says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    “OFF WITH THE HEADS of the Leavers!”

    I don’t think she still has that power, although there may be some obscure loophole in the law.

  94. 94
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @The Pale Scot: Nope, the mostly-left-wing EU’s rules allow for nationalised industries, encourage unions and a whole host of “socialist” things. Corbyn is unhappy about a lot of the EU’s institutions such as the Central Bank but he’s an old-school Labourite and the Labour Party’s position on Brexit (the six tests and no no-deal exit) were decided at the Labour Party Conference last summer. That’s his official position as the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party. His personal opinions don’t come into it.

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