Brexit minus two months: prorogation edition

As the Conservatives move to a substantial lead in the polls, Boris Johnson controversially prorogues Parliament. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at The University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

On August 28, Boris Johnson announced that Parliament would be prorogued (suspended) from about September 11 to October 14. Most of the period of prorogation occurs from September 13 to October 7, when Parliament would have been scheduled for a recess owing to the UK party conferences. William Bowe covered the legal aspects of prorogation.

The Commons returns from summer recess on September 3. With Labour agreeing to pursue legislation to force Johnson to request a Brexit extension if no deal can be reached, a no-confidence vote is unlikely. Any such legislation would need to pass both chambers of Parliament and receive royal assent before prorogation, or the process would need to re-start after the Queen’s address opening the new parliamentary session on October 14.

If a vote of no-confidence were called by the opposition leader, it would be debated and voted on the next sitting day. However, passing legislation against the government’s wishes requires overturning the government’s order of business, and the government could attempt to filibuster. Rebel Conservative MPs are still not prepared to support a no-confidence vote.

As I wrote previously, I do not think such legislation would be effective in binding Johnson. If the Commons wants to avoid crashing out, there are two viable solutions: a no-confidence vote in Johnson followed by confidence in someone who will request an extension, or revoking Brexit legislation altogether. It is unlikely the numbers exist for either of these solutions, and with Johnson seemingly prepared to do whatever it takes, the UK is likely to leave without a deal on October 31.

Polls show the Conservatives increasing their lead over Labour as hard Brexit parties (Conservatives and Brexit) have mid to high 40’s support combined. Three polls taken after prorogation had the Conservatives 7 to 11 points ahead of Labour. As those who don’t want a hard Brexit are split between pure Remain parties and Labour, the Conservatives would win an election on current polls. In a Survation poll (normally Labour supporters’ favourite pollster), prorogation was only opposed 40-39, and by 49-42, voters did not want to delay Brexit to improve the deal.  Johnson had a +6 net approval rating.

In April 2017, Labour was further behind than they are now, but Corbyn accepted Theresa May’s offer of a June 8 election, and Labour surged during the campaign to cause the current hung parliament. I think many people want Brexit to be resolved before the next election. Polls taken before Johnson became PM suggested danger for him in holding an election before Brexit had occurred. The high current ratings for hard Brexit parties may be because people want Johnson to get on with delivering Brexit, not a pre-Brexit election.

If there is no no-confidence vote by prorogation, any new election would occur well after the October 31 deadline, as Parliament needs to agree by a two-thirds majority to hold a new election called by the PM. I do not expect Johnson to achieve a deal with the European Union, as any feasible deal would be unacceptable to Johnson’s supporters, and so would any delay to Brexit.  If the UK economy crashes after a no-deal Brexit, that’s when I would expect the polls to turn decisively against Johnson and the Conservatives.

Bolsonaro’s victory was far bigger than Trump’s

There has been much condemnation of far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro over the Amazon forest fires. At the October 2018 presidential election, Bolsonaro won 46.0% in the first round, to 29.3% for his nearest rival, the Workers’ Party’s Fernando Haddad.  Bolsonaro defeated Haddad with 55.1% in the runoff.

At the November 2016 US presidential election, Donald Trump lost the national popular vote by 2.1% to Hillary Clinton, winning only due to the Electoral College.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

144 comments on “Brexit minus two months: prorogation edition”

  1. Adrian B

    Much thanks for providing an excellent overview of the brexit clusterf@@k.

    My wish would be for Boris Johnson to be the shortest serving PM, and for team Labour to do something that will at least give the Tories a shake.

    Meanwhile can any Brexit really happen without breaking the UK.
    All I see is rocks and hard places at every turn.

  2. Victoria @ #1 Monday, September 2nd, 2019 – 9:12 am

    Adrian B

    Much thanks for providing an excellent overview of the brexit clusterf@@k.

    My wish would be for Boris Johnson to be the shortest serving PM, and for team Labour to do something that will at least give the Tories a shake.

    Meanwhile can any Brexit really happen without breaking the UK.
    All I see is rocks and hard places at every turn.

    ‘My wish would be for Boris Johnson to be the shortest serving PM’
    Ain’t gonna happen. Like our very own Boris, Johnson is there for quite a while.

  3. One other way to avoid a no-deal Brexit (suggested by commentator Stephen Bush on Twitter last night) is for Parliament to pass a bill to require that the next election be held by Oct 24, a week before Brexit day. That would take away Boris’ discretion to call an election after Oct 31 if there was a no-confidence vote and then no alternative govt formed in the next 14 days.

  4. if you ever needed proof of why preferential voting is far more democratic than first past the post, this is it. The conservatives will romp it home in an election because the remain/deal vote is split and because the murdoch media are pumping up the tyres of buffoon boris.

    But it could be a good election to lose – boris is going to have to live with the mess he has created.

  5. “if you ever needed proof of why preferential voting is far more democratic than first past the post, this is it.”

    My thoughts exactly as I was reading this article.

  6. We have preferential voting in the Reps and we have Morrison.

    We have proportional voting in the Senate and it is dominated by one or two Centre Right Senators, the Right and the Far Right.

    Bottom line, voting success depends on policies and candidates being more popular than the other lot.
    Lack of popular policies and lack of popular candidates get you these outcomes:
    Comparing their best electoral outcome with their latest electoral outcome, the Greens have:
    lost 34% of their vote in the ACT
    lost 27% of their vote in the NT
    lost 25% of their vote in WA lower house
    lost 20% of their vote in WA Upper House
    lost 7% of their vote in New South Wales
    lost 51% of their vote in Tasmania
    lost 15% of their vote in Victoria
    lost 12% of their vote in the Fed Reps
    lost 22% of their vote in the Senate.

    Calling for changes to the voting rules in order to fix a drastic nation-wide decline in votes is avoiding the real problems.

  7. Not sure what point you think you are making Boer? whatever it is, it’s not relevant to the point I was making.

    My point was about first past the post voting compared our system where preferences are distributed.

    the senate is proportional voting to a quota, but has distribution of preferences.

    If we had first past the post voting we’d never see a labor government again and the senate would be a LNP rubber stamp.

    Have you done those calculations for labor and LNP? Go on – it would be a very sad tale for both. Number of seats rather than primary votes is what matters, and the Greens are holding and building in most jurisdictions. If Albo doesn’t improve, the loss of labor votes will be even a sadder story, and I’m predicting a few more lower house seats (perhaps even Albo’s seat?) will go green at the next election.

  8. If the UK used preferential voting, Brexit party preferences would go strongly to the Tories. The three polls taken since prorogation had Brexit plus Tories on 45-49%.

    Once upon a time, it was Aus’ conservatives who introduced preferential voting, and Labor was hurt by it, particularly after the DLP split. It’s only in the last 40 years that preferences have helped Labor.

  9. Boerwar, this is getting sad. Just give it a rest mate. It’s not my problem if you can’t (refuse to) understand basic mathematics. You can keep driving yourself nuts over it if you wish but you’re just making yourself sound desperate.

    ***

    It’s very easy to judge the performance of the two parties over the course of the decade. All you have to do is subtract the results of the 2007 election (which is what the numbers still were in 2009 when the decade started) from the results of the 2019 election.

    House:

    Greens 2019 (1,482,923) – 2007 (967,789) = a massive INCREASE of + 515,134

    Labor 2019 (4,752,160) – 2007 (5,388,184) = a massive DECREASE of -636,024

    2019: https://results.aec.gov.au/24310/Website/HouseStateFirstPrefsByParty-24310-NAT.htm
    2007: https://results.aec.gov.au/13745/Website/HouseStateFirstPrefsByParty-13745-NAT.htm

    Senate:

    Greens 2019 (1,488,427) – 2007 (1,144,751) = a massive INCREASE of +343,676

    Labor 2019 (4,204,313) – 2007 (5,101,200) = a massive DECREASE of -896,887

    2019: https://results.aec.gov.au/24310/Website/SenateStateFirstPrefsByGroup-24310-NAT.htm
    2007: https://results.aec.gov.au/13745/Website/SenateStateFirstPrefsByGroup-13745-NAT.htm

  10. Firefox

    Here are the facts.

    The percentages used are based on the wiki entries for election results. They are percentages. You may be running into statistical problems by comparing like to unlike by looking at the raw vote number. The size of the electoral roll has increased and so has the number of actual votes cast in any one election.

    Where that is probably causing you problems is that if your percentage stays the same and the voting population increases so does the raw number of your vote increase. But then so does everyone else’s. So while the increase in numbers may look good, the Greens would basically be peddling water. But in fact their percentage of votes cast has gone backwards from their peak percentages in both houses of the fed, and for all states and territories except for Queensland.

    As previously acknowledged, Labor is doing badly.

    My comparison, based on percentages of votes cast provides, IMO, a more reasonable statistical comparison between years.

    ACT
    Highest ever election percentage of votes cast 2008 = 15.6%
    Last election percentage of votes cast 2016 = 10.3%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes cast from highest ever to last election = 5.3%
    Loss of Greens votes cast as a percentage of highest ever vote = 34%.

    NT
    Highest ever election vote 2008 = 4.17%
    Last election vote 2016 = – 2.9%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 1.27%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote = 27%.

    Queensland
    Highest ever vote 2017 = 10%
    Last election vote 2017 = 10%
    Percentage gain of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 1.63%
    Gain of votes as a percentage over decade = 16%.

    Western Australia
    Legislative Assembly
    Highest ever election vote 2008 = 11.92%
    Last election vote 2017 = 8.91%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 3.01%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote = 25%.

    Western Australia
    Legislative Council
    Highest ever election vote 2008 = 11.08%
    Last election vote 2017 = 8.91%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 2.17%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote = 20%.

    New South Wales
    State Lower House
    2011 = 10.3%
    Highest ever election vote 2015 = 10.3%
    Last election vote 2019 = 9.6%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = .7%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote = 7%.

    Tasmania
    State Lower House
    Highest ever vote 2010 = 21.6%
    Last election vote 2018 = 10.6%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 11%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote =51%.

    Victoria
    State
    Highest ever vote 2014 = 11.5%
    Last election vote 2018 = 10.7%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 1.8%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote =15%.

    South Australia
    State Assembly
    2010 = 8.11%
    Highest ever election vote 2014 = 8.70%
    Last election vote 2018 = 6.66%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 2.04%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote =23%.

    Federal Elections
    Representatives
    Highest ever election vote 2010 = 11.76%
    Last election vote 2019 = 10.4%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote = 1.36%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote =12%.

    Senate
    Highest ever vote 2010 = 13.11%
    Last election vote 2019 = 10.19%
    Percentage loss of Greens votes from highest vote to current vote =2.92%
    Loss of votes as a percentage of highest ever vote =22%.

    Comparing the latest election percentage with their best ever election percentages, the Greens are at their best ever in Queensland.

    Beyond that, comparing their best outcome with their latest outcome, the Greens have:
    lost 34% of their vote in the ACT
    lost 27% of their vote in the NT
    lost 25% of their vote in WA lower house
    lost 20% of their vote in WA Upper House
    lost 7% of their vote in New South Wales
    lost 51% of their vote in Tasmania
    lost 15% of their vote in Victoria
    lost 12% of their vote in the Fed Reps
    lost 22% of their vote in the Senate.

    On this basis, some Greens presume to give Labor advice on how to improve Labor’s vote! IMHO, the Greens are cheeky little wombats.

  11. Boerwar. You seriously need a new hobby (horse) – perhaps train spotting? 🙂

    all the established parties’ primary votes have fallen due to a flourish of minor parties and social media.

    the sad thing is that you think you are making a pertinent point.

  12. ‘boredwhore says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Boerwar. You seriously need a new hobby (horse) – perhaps train spotting?

    all the established parties’ primary votes have fallen due to a flourish of minor parties and social media.

    the sad thing is that you think you are making a pertinent point.’

    The pertinent point is that, given the Greens percentage of of ballots cast has fallen by up to half from their highs everywhere but Queensland, their propensity of offer free electoral advice to Labor makes the Greens cheeky little wombats indeed.

    Particularly when they give Morrison, Dutton and all their works a free pass while so doing.

  13. Adrian
    If you are about, what do you think of the argument put forward by some remainers that in a sense nothing will change with respect to the EU because the UK would still have to negotiate a trade deal with the EU and the first three things the EU will insist on is the UK’s EU debt, no hard border and EU citizenship rules? Further, that rather than being easier, any post Brexit negotiations will be harder because of the single country veto rule?
    Do you think that the option of ignoring the EU in the first instance, and instead firming up a bilateral trade deal with the US might be Johnson’s preferred option?

  14. Boerwar, yes, Boris would prefer a trade deal with Trump and the US, especially as Trump and Boris are mates.

    The problem is that a deal has to pass Congress, and Pelosi has said she won’t approve any trade deal that jeopardises the Good Friday Agreement in N Ireland.

  15. ‘Adrian Beaumont says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Boerwar, yes, Boris would prefer a trade deal with Trump and the US, especially as Trump and Boris are mates.

    The problem is that a deal has to pass Congress, and Pelosi has said she won’t approve any trade deal that jeopardises the Good Friday Agreement in N Ireland.’

    Ah. Back to the Backstop!

  16. There is a lot written about the damage that will be caused by a no-deal Brexit, to both the UK and the EU. I have also read about how good it will be for the UK post Brexit, and a little about how much better off the EU will be without the UK. It’s hard to know who will be right, but the balance seems to be that both the UK and the EU will be worse off, and that the UK will suffer more than the EU.

    If we accept a no-deal Brexit is going to happen and that the UK and the EU will be damaged…
    * The EU will blame the UK, if for no other reason than the UK started it.
    * The UK will blame the EU, if for no other reason than it needs to blame someone.

    That’s a difficult place to start any negotiations from. And I can’t see the UK getting a better deal with the EU after a no-deal Brexit than they might get now. Perhaps in time if or when other difficulties emerge, then the friendships everyone is talking about will re-establish themselves. But I don’t see it happening within a decade. So the UK will start by looking elsewhere. The problem there is that they’ll be competing directly with the EU who might well be more than a little motivated.

  17. If the UK had preferential voting, what would be a reasonable guess of the percentage of Lib Dem voters and Brexit Party voters who would rank Labour ahead of the Tories? Perhaps Labour would be the two-party-preferred winner based on current public opinion.

  18. I’ve been critical of Adrian’s guest posts here before but this one is a pretty good effort.

    However, the final sentence containing this opinion:

    If the UK economy crashes after a no-deal Brexit, that’s when I would expect the polls to turn decisively against Johnson and the Conservatives.

    I find quite dubious. Firstly, there is good polling evidence to support the understanding that Brexit voters are prepared to weather a bit of economic pain in order to “take back control”. Secondly, I am quite dubious that the UK economy will ‘crash’ despite the partisan forecasting of Project Fear. Thirdly, people in the UK are aware that economic affairs are again trending sharply downward in the EU and that at any time things could falter badly (e.g. Italy). They should be happy to be free of the economic liability of a massive bailout on the continent. Fourthly, Johnson’s government will be free to start engaging in trade deals with other countries, including Australia. I expect the US trade deal negotiations to become fraught so I wouldn’t expect a quick deal there (despite the current rhetoric from Trump), but there are many other countries that the UK can make deals with quickly. Point six is that after the exit the UK will be in a much stronger negotiating position with the EU. Countries like France are very heavily dependent on their exports to the UK, particularly food exports, and rural areas are a very problematic demographic for Macron and one that he needs to appease.

    I could go on but in summary I think this is a quite a big If.

  19. mikehilliard says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    The world hasn’t gone mad. Just because people don’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are wrong or that the world has gone mad.

  20. Late Riser says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    The EU’s current negotiation strategy is based on trying to stop BREXIT at all costs and if it does happen to make it as painful as possible in order to discourage other countries from thinking that they can exit too.

    It will be interesting to watch the negotiation strategy of the EU change as the damage they have inflicted on themselves by not negotiating an accomodating trade deal including an effective solution on the Irish border becomes apparent and the politics of the negatively affected EU countries swing against them.

  21. With what promises to be quite a spectacular week in UK politics coming up, I want to suggest one useful resource for keeping abreast of developments day to day. (I’ve mentioned this resource in another thread too, so I hope I don’t look like I’m spamming it).

    The resource is the daily roundup published by BrexitCentral. It comes out at 9:30 am their time and 5:30 pm our time (East coast). It is perhaps similar to BK’s roundup in that it links to various articles across the UK’s press that day. What is also helpful is that it quotes usually a good bit from the start of each article, thus giving the gist of articles behind hard paywalls such as The Times. For a taste of the format, here’s their summary from today:

    https://brexitcentral.com/today/brexit-news-for-monday-2-september/

    And here is the link to their archive:

    https://brexitcentral.com/brexit-daily/

    Disclaimer: BrexitCentral is a pro-Brexit site (or Brexit optimistic site, as they put it). However, their summaries do include links to articles critical of Brexit and I think they should still be a useful resource to people who don’t find themselves “Brexit optimistic”, simply for their information gathering role. What you won’t find there though is shrill talk of ‘a coup’, the UK ‘going over a cliff edge’, etc, so if that’s your cup of tea probably best to look elsewhere for your outrage fix.

  22. Sorry, correction, the daily summary of Brexit news I talked about above comes out at 7:30 am UK time, not 9:30 am. I was correct in saying that it appears at 5:30 pm Australian East coast time.

  23. Bucephalus @ #27 Monday, September 2nd, 2019 – 6:31 pm

    Late Riser says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    The EU’s current negotiation strategy is based on trying to stop BREXIT at all costs and if it does happen to make it as painful as possible in order to discourage other countries from thinking that they can exit too.

    Self-preservation.

    It will be interesting to watch the negotiation strategy of the EU change as the damage they have inflicted on themselves by not negotiating an accomodating trade deal including an effective solution on the Irish border becomes apparent and the politics of the negatively affected EU countries swing against them.

    It takes two to negotiate. I’ve not read of an effective solution to the Irish border, though I would like to. The best I’ve read is that it should be ignored, and the relatively little leakage through the border for both parties should simply be tolerated. But which countries do you mean that are negatively affected? Sincere question. I’ve read about UK farmers and fishing area disputes, and Honest Bastard mentioned French rural areas exporting to the UK. Final question, who is “them”? Do you mean France & Germany?

  24. HB, your link (thanks) to https://brexitcentral.com/today/brexit-news-for-monday-2-september/ tells me that the UK PM has the power to sack members of his own party.

    Tory MPs who vote to block a No Deal next week will be sacked from the party

    No10 will bar Remainer rebels from standing at the next general election.

    Would that immediately push the Johnson government into minority status? And I guess local Tory party members don’t get to choose their candidates?

  25. LR, out of the EU countries Ireland will be the most negatively affected. A no-deal Brexit could be devastating for the Irish economy. Varadkar has played very hard-ball with the UK and it might blow up in his face (to the detriment of the Irish people).

    Germany sells a lot of cars into the UK. The German auto industry is already faltering and it is vital to an economy that is already looking like it’s heading into a recession. I’d say that a German recession is a near certainty with a no-deal Brexit.

    I’ve read a number of articles on which EU countries will be most affected but haven’t bookmarked any. However a quick search turned up this year-old article from Politico which has quite a bit of detail and links to a deeper study:

    https://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-impact-on-european-regions-revealed-by-eu-report-phase-2-negotiations/

  26. LR @ 7:29 pm

    Would that immediately push the Johnson government into minority status?

    Only if those barred then resigned from the party in the life of this parliament. Which some of them are very much threatening to do. There’s a link in the BC summary to a Times article that has this:

    Up to 20 Tory MPs, most of them former ministers, have discussed plans to break away and fight the next general election as independent Conservatives opposed to a no-deal Brexit. In a move that would send shockwaves through the party, senior Tories against a hard Brexit have privately vowed to walk out if Boris Johnson makes them sign a public pledge to support a no-deal manifesto in a snap election.

    Your second question:

    And I guess local Tory party members don’t get to choose their candidates?

    Yes, they do (and some Tory branches have been successfully deselecting MPs who have been blocking Brexit). But I don’t think they can choose a candidate who the party has barred from standing. I’m no expert on selection processes though; never been a member of a political party.

  27. Bu
    What is ‘an effective solution’ to the Irish Border?
    I haven’t seen one to date.
    Apart from anything else, the Brexiteers are busy creating a 500km land border between the UK and the EU.
    One of the major points of Brexit was to exercise racism and xenophobia.
    If the Brits want to honour that racism and xenophobia after Brexit they are going to have to erect Johnson’s Wall in order to keep the people they hate from stepping across the border.

  28. ‘Bucephalus says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    mikehilliard says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    The world hasn’t gone mad. Just because people don’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are wrong or that the world has gone mad.’

    Not the world. Just certain important parts of it.

    The US has gone batshit crazy.
    The UK has gone batshit crazy.
    NK is batshit crazy.

  29. Thanks HB. The effect on the Irish is so obvious I overlooked it tonight. Stupid of me. Even so, Ireland is one country and a small one. I’m not sure it could distract the EU in quite the same way as the UK has been doing. I also spotted an article today (Guardian) about a potential FTA between Australia and the EU that talked a LOT about German cars and Australian fuel standards. It’s why it occurred to me that the EU might be a stiff competitor for the UK. You’ve added another perspective.

  30. BW @ 7:43 pm

    The US has gone batshit crazy.
    The UK has gone batshit crazy.

    This kind of rhetoric very much falls in “Old man yells at clouds” territory.

    Trump’s election was a shock to me (and a financial loss, as I unwisely bet on the outcome). Since that time I have sought to understand why he got elected, what demographic he appeals to, and why Hillary Clinton was such a disastrous candidate (the last was becoming quite evident before the final result).

    Similarly with Brexit I have tried to understand the motivations of people voting for it (but unlike Trump’s candidature I was predisposed to be sympathetic to that cause).

    It’s very easy to stay in your bubble or old-folks’ home and rail against the world. And spend your day spamming some online forum. But what may not be obvious to you but is very obvious to everyone else is that you become an absolute and colossal bore. Because you’re not bringing anything new to the conversation.

  31. Brexit is the liberal’s wet dream.

    They (the brexit tories) have hoodwinked the masses with their “restoring sovereignty” when it’s only about an even greater enhancing of the wealth and protecting the privileges of the small elite. The Eton old boys rail against the “elite” .. … hahaha.

    They want to leave the EU because they want to dispense with the inconvenient EU rules that prevent money laundering and tax avoidance.

    They want the UK to be a tax-haven economy that works for the few.

    They want to dispense with workers’ protections and environmental impediments to their power and wealth.

    It’s Thatcherism Mark 2.

  32. And I can’t see the UK getting a better deal with the EU after a no-deal Brexit than they might get now.

    Yes the longer the EU has to absorb the pain, fix supply chains and adjust sales funnels, the less incentive they have. Also the optics of ‘you won’t get a good deal before you leave but we will kiss your ass the second you are out’ seem so wrong they are likely to notice.

  33. It’s Thatcherism Mark 2.

    Yeah but a lot lot stupider. Take for example privatisation, when Thatcher was hot on it, well it was an idea that some would have been willing think might work. We now have 40 years lived experience it is a massive funnel of taxpayer money to the super rich, while taxpayers get much worse much more expensive services.

  34. WeWantPaul

    ” privatisation ….it is a massive funnel of taxpayer money to the super rich, while taxpayers get much worse much more expensive services.”

    I agree. And the FTA with the USA after brexit will involve the sell off the NHS and any of the few remaining public services in the UK.

    Hence Thatcherism Mark 2.

  35. ‘Honest Bastard says:
    Monday, September 2, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    BW @ 7:43 pm

    The US has gone batshit crazy.
    The UK has gone batshit crazy.

    This kind of rhetoric very much falls in “Old man yells at clouds” territory.’

    The US is run by a batshit crazy POTUS. And the system is too busted to fix him.
    Johnson is running amok in the UK.

    Johnson’s sole legitimacy is a three year old unconstitutional referendum that was bought and paid for.
    He is so frightened of the UK’s democracy that he is shutting it down.
    Whether the forces of representative democracy can nail him before he wrecks the joint is moot.
    One thing is clear. The UK is batshit crazy.

    The fact that you response to Rightwing BatShit Crazy is an inane put down should tell you something about yourself. But I doubt it.

  36. I agree. And the FTA with the USA after brexit will involve the sell off the NHS and any of the few remaining public services in the UK.

    Hence Thatcherism Mark 2.

    100% I agree with you.

  37. If the UK leaves and then (eventually) rejoins the EU, that almost certainly means the UK loosing its opt-outs from the Eurozone and the Schengen Area and thus have to join both.

  38. LR, out of the EU countries Ireland will be the most negatively affected. A no-deal Brexit could be devastating for the Irish economy. Varadkar has played very hard-ball with the UK and it might blow up in his face (to the detriment of the Irish people).

    It seems pretty clear that the Irish people absolutely do not want a return to a hard border on the island, and the negotiating position of Ireland – and consequently, the EU – reflects that. Perhaps English Brexit voters aren’t the only ones prepared to wear a bit of economic pain for a higher principle?

  39. Proponents of the new Bill to stop No Deal face a significant dilemma over Queen’s Consent

    Conclusion

    The proponents of a new Bill to prevent No Deal are caught on the horns of a dilemma. If they draft a Bill that only mandates the PM to seek an extension, the PM would be left free to refuse to agree or accept any extension in negotiations with the EU27.

    If, by contrast, MPs try to impose a requirement, by any method, that the PM agree or accept any new exit date from the EU27, Commons procedural rules mean that the government would be required formally to approve the Bill by affirming ‘Queen’s Consent’ to the Bill at the Third Reading stage. This is because the power to agree or accept an extension is normally exercised using a prerogative power. Any statute that had the legal effect, by whatever means, of forcing the PM to agree an extension to the Article 50 process would manifestly ‘affect’ the prerogative for the purposes of the relevant test as to whether Queen’s Consent is required.

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