Anarchy in the UK-Brexit Just Got Even Harder
Credit where credit is due-Sumner thought of this as a title.
“Alternative post titles:
“Anarchy in the UK”
“The Flight 93 election”
So he considered it but didn’t use it. I have to use it because it sums it up well.
As the EU notes, now Britain’s own intentions is less clear-Corbyn at one point hadn’t ruled out a second Brexit vote though later he did. Why? Why not have a second vote? How can another vote by the voters somehow be a denial of the will of the voters?
But even still, Corbyn was certainly certainly considerably less pro Brexit than Theresa May. So the future of Brexit is now in doubt.
“For European Union leaders, who were expecting her to emerge with a reinforced majority, the uncertainty is unwelcome, especially as they try to prioritize issues such as climate change and their relationship with an unpredictable and unfriendly President Trump. There is also resentment that, once again, the British have complicated things out of political hubris and partisan self-interest.”
“Mrs. May called the snap election three years early — and her decision backfired. So did the decision by her predecessor, David Cameron, who called the referendum on European Union membership in the first place.”
“I thought surrealism was a Belgian invention,” said Guy Verhofstadt, a former prime minister of Belgium who is the European Parliament’s chief coordinator on Britain’s exit from the bloc. “Yet another own goal: after Cameron, now May.”
It is amazing that the Tories now did this to themselves twice.
“Without question now, Britain is not ready for the negotiations, having spent the past year largely avoiding a real debate on the topic, other than a vague argument over the merits of a “hard Brexit” (as a clean break from the European Union is known), versus a “soft Brexit,” which would require more compromise.”
“Brussels, by contrast, has a negotiating team led by a former European commissioner, Michel Barnier, and it has published detailed negotiating guidelines, agreed upon by the bloc’s 27 other member states. While Britain seems more divided, the European Union appears to have achieved unusual unity.”
“And the “Brexit” clock is ticking. On Friday morning, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, warned that London faced a firm deadline to complete talks – March 2019 — and that any delay raised the risk of failing to reach a deal.”
“We don’t know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end,” Mr. Tusk wrote on Twitter. “Do your best to avoid a ‘no deal’ as result of ‘no negotiations.’”
“This is actually why May called for the snap election in the first place-she saw that Brexit was going to be much tougher politically than she’d hoped. Based on the firm deadline of the EU-Marcy 2019-it set up a 2020 election as right at the moment of the worst fallout from Brexit.”
“This is why she called for it now. She figured she could win a mandate now and then by 2022 the worst of the transition pains of Brexit might be played out. “
“Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, ran what political analysts regard as an excellent and optimistic campaign, promising an end to austerity, more money for health and social welfare and free tuition. Labour gained 29 seats to reach 261, with one seat left to decide. But that would still leave it far short of a majority, even in combination with other sympathetic parties, especially since the Scottish National Party lost 21 of its 56 seats, a serious blow to its goal of Scotland’s independence.”
It’s amazing how things have changed in a few years. It had seemed that after Brexit Scottish independence was more likely not less. Meanwhile, as Sumner notes, this is the first time no nationlaist parties won in Ireland.
So in a sense the UK is stronger now-though no one has looked at it this way yet: no one wants to leave it now.
As for Britain, it’s position in the Brexit negotiations just got weaker:
“After this election, there’s no mandate for the hard Brexit the prime minister put forward — but there’s no mandate to abandon Brexit either,” said Peter Ricketts, a former ambassador to France and now an independent member of the House of Lords, Britain’s upper chamber. “With no majority in Parliament, the government’s negotiating position just got weaker.”
This is because Corbyn didn’t run explicitly against Brexit. Should he have? Who knows. It’s tough to say-maybe they would have done less well, maybe they would have done better. No real way to know.
So Britain is even more divided on Brexit than ever. How do you assess a country’s beliefs who are so divided? But in a way it’s more unified-as Scottish independence seems to be on the wane, and Irish nationalism is dead or at least pretty moribund.
As for Brext itself, it’s al as clear as mud:
“Mrs. May’s challenge will be to form a coherent Brexit position that can command support from a much more diverse set of legislators, said Gus O’Donnell, a former cabinet secretary and member of the House of Lords.”
“He noted that the Democratic Unionists will have their own interests about a post-Brexit relationship with Ireland, including border and customs regulations. Conservative legislators from Scotland, on whom Mrs. May will also depend, will urge her to try to retain access to the single market of the European Union, which Mrs. May previously rejected.”
“Remember, she’s still got lots of hard-line Brexiters in her own party who don’t want to stay in the single market, want to move away from the European Court of Justice and don’t want to pay any money to the E.U.,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “She’s got to try to bring all that together.”
“Eric Pickles, a former chairman of the Conservative Party, said that while Mrs. May was likely to stay on as prime minister, the government’s negotiating strategy might have to be refined.”
“I think we now have to build a grand coalition of support,” he said. “I don’t see how realistic it is now to be leaving the single market and the customs union – but there is leaving and leaving, and it is going to be up to negotiations.”
“The Democratic Unionists are the harder-line, mainly Protestant party in Northern Ireland and support Brexit. And they are particularly committed to keeping Mr. Corbyn out of power because of his history of sympathy with Irish Republicans, including Sinn Fein, which was the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.”
See that’s the thing with the ‘Bernie would have won meme’-Corbyn didn’t win either though he came close. But DUP joined with May to save her skin because they hate Corbyn-because of his support for Irish Republicans. So maybe with another Labor leader DUP wouldn’t have joined with May and stopped her from forming a coalition at all.
As for Corbyn himself-it’s interesting that one idea he did embrace-Irish nationalism-is basically dead now.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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