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Brexit might be trickier than we thought

(52 Posts)
MaizieD Tue 06-Dec-16 17:34:07

Feel free to ignore this article from the despised Guardian, but this guy has researched 'Brexit' for the book he's written about it.

If anyone has any counter-arguments I'd be interested to hear them

Luckygirl Tue 06-Dec-16 18:39:23

I never thought it wouldn't be!

It is utterly extraordinary that the referendum happened without anyone first investigating the UK legal process required to make Brexit happen. It really shows that the powers-that-were assumed that the vote would be to stay and felt no need to look into the process associated with any other option. They were playing lip service to democracy.

whitewave Tue 06-Dec-16 20:36:58

A thought occurred me today as I watched the RP court case, that this is only the beginning. There will be hundreds of these as we try to disentangle ourselves.
To say "let's just have a clean break" is disingenuous at best. To strip people of existing rights, whether it is employee related or other rights bestowed on us such as clean water act, environmental law, our rights as customers etc etc will cause work for the legal.professiion from now to Kingdom come

Nelliemoser Tue 06-Dec-16 23:32:55

Whitewave I also most certainly did not think that the process of leaving the EU would ever be easy.

whitewave Wed 07-Dec-16 07:26:11

Exactly so nell

suzied Wed 07-Dec-16 07:53:22

A lot of those yelling for Brexit now seem to believe we can just walk out say byeeee and all will be hunky dory. It's certainly more complex than most ( including me) realised. It's also going to cost a fortune and pensioner benefits are now going to be targeted to pay for it ( that won't make Daily Excess headlines). I don't really believe all those who say I knew it was going to take years/ make us all poorer / but never mind .

Cunco Wed 07-Dec-16 08:05:42

Parliament let everyone down in not making the Referendum binding and not instructing Government to prepare the ground before the Referendum whatever the result. The Government had a duty to do so in any case. The campaign had many lies but the Big Lie was that the Referendum result would determine whether we remained in the EU or left.

Brexit was always going to be difficult. Sadly, in my view, we may have already given away so much ability to rule ourselves that the Brexit vote has come too late. I hope I am wrong but clearly many other Grans disagree.

So, what happens if we stay in? Do we believe the Euro can survive and if so, what now needs to be done to make it survive? What is the future for us in the EU but outside the Eurozone?

Here is a question with an easier answer. Who said this?

'As someone who was once a Member of the European Parliament for more than 10 years, I have seen up close that there is plenty wrong with the EU institutions, but one thing that struck me was that there is a lot of common ground among European parliamentarians from all parties about the changes needed. For example, MEPs from all parties would agree that the unelected Commission has too much power and the elected politicians not enough. Democratic renewal and curtailing the power of the unelected bodies must be a top priority. We also need to tackle the pernicious corporate lobbying that takes place in Brussels. It is quite wrong that on big issues such as international trade, MEPs still have no formal decision-making powers at all.'

thatbags Wed 07-Dec-16 08:09:22

I didn't think it would be easy either. How could it be when EU law and UK law (well, most laws, everywhere, probably), and UK law combined with EU law in particular is so complex?

But then, I think most things in life are tricky, and especially big inter-state political things that have got extremely tangled over forty-odd years. I very much doubt if thinking Brexiters ever thought it would be simple, and there are as many of them as there are thinking Remainers. One side does not have a monopoly of intelligence and sense.

thatbags Wed 07-Dec-16 08:14:53

Like, cunco, I think Cameron's government did not do well on the referendum issue. I think that Cameron was just calling the bluff of his Leave MPs, and it didn't work out how he expected. What a gamble! No wonder he resigned amid all the mess he caused.

Rigby46 Wed 07-Dec-16 08:18:26

What is also concerning me now is how this is dominating ( inevitably) the whole political agenda. There are really serious issues that get hardly a mention now or appear on the front page and then disappear with a strangled yelp- the whole issue of huge cuts to la funding which gathers apace, in particular cuts to social care provision and social services in general, cuts to education, shortage of teachers, NHS in general and more plans to change it, beds occupied by older people who can't be discharged because of cuts to social care, the dreadful state of our prisons, the child abuse enquiry which seems to be destroying itself, the whole football child abuse issue - there is so much that should be being discussed and acted upon now and yet what's the latest? What colour Brexit is angry. And don't get me started on the whole plethora of benefit cuts. Real people are really suffering in a myriad of ways but we now have to focus on Brexit for what is going to be years and years whilst the fabric of the nation crumbles around us. What sort of UK will be left when this is all over? I have to say suzied that in the great scheme of things, pensioner benefits and in particular the triple lock should be targeted but that should have happened long ago

Rigby46 Wed 07-Dec-16 08:27:37

thatbags - I absolutely despise DC for the whole issue of the referendum. As you say he was calling their bluff and he was also wanting to take the wind out of UKIP's sails for the 2015 election. Because they never never never expected to lose, he and the rest of them, never thought through anything properly and I honestly believe there was absolutely no consideration of what would happen if there were a Leave vote. The whole thing was about naked power. I'd like some evidence that one single politician Brexiteer eg Johnson, Gove etc had thought through the legal complexities of leaving but I honestly think they didn't because it wasn't about that but about their own political futures

thatbags Wed 07-Dec-16 08:28:30

I am not finding that other important political issues get strangled and drop out of sight. My news sources are as full of other subjects as ever and of ideas to help change things that need changing.

Rigby46 Wed 07-Dec-16 08:32:46

My point, which was probably poorly made, is that there is no focus in the Government about other issues and Brexit is sapping all ministerial time, energy and resources. Of course all the issues I mentioned, and many more, are being debated online in particular but there seems to be no political leadership or will to address them.

MaizieD Wed 07-Dec-16 08:44:31

I very much doubt if thinking Brexiters ever thought it would be simple, and there are as many of them as there are thinking Remainers. One side does not have a monopoly of intelligence and sense.

Unfortunately these 'thinking Brexiteers' don't seem to be anywhere in the forefront of the Plan to get us out of the EU.

I'm sorry, but I'm horrified at the dismissal of the enormous problems ahead, and the very real prospect of us diminishing to the state of a third world nation, with an airy 'we knew it was going to be difficult' Really? You knew it was going to be this difficult?

I begin to think that 'difficult' is something of a weasel word here. 'Damaging' seems more honest.

Like Rigby I'm worried that things that really matter are being pushed aside by the Brexit fiasco. We have the prospect of not only ending up as a third world country but also a country under a Tory dictatorship with not a single public service left and no welfare state.

But I suppose that's just a minor difficulty.

thatbags Wed 07-Dec-16 08:53:12

Further to my earlier comment, I just came (via Twitter) across this report about Professor Niall Ferguson, a vociferous Remainer before the referendum, who has now said that he was wrong and also that Cameron should have supported Brexit too when he failed to get a good enough deal from the EU.

People like Ferguson, who is an influential historian, may not appear in the media as often as other noticeable Brexiters and Remainers, but I think politicians do listen to folk like him. Maybe they don't listen enough though.

Rigby46 Wed 07-Dec-16 09:30:56

Well if he's an expert, he certainly won't be listened to by certain Brexiteers! I think he's very impressive - hadn't he gone off to live in Germany?

Beammeupscottie Wed 07-Dec-16 09:32:54

This is a very good time to bury bad news! The history of Machiavellian will tell you that. Constantly slant the public interest towards Brexit and you will hide other issues.

Beammeupscottie Wed 07-Dec-16 09:33:48

Or even Machiavellian politics!

Rigby46 Wed 07-Dec-16 09:36:48

Beam spot on! And many others apart from politicians are taking advantage in a different way - My sister is having a new kitchen fitted - everything is made in UK. She was told by company that she is lucky she has signed the contract because the price has now gone up by 12% because of Brexithmm

whitewave Wed 07-Dec-16 09:37:16

He's not my first port of call for a go to intelligent listen. Too right wing for me. I disagree on too much of what he says.

MaizieD Wed 07-Dec-16 09:57:16

I'd be very interested to see just what Ferguson's reasons for changing his mind were. Are they any more coherent than those of the leaders of the Leave campaign?

(Apologies if it's reported on your link thatbags. I don't have time to read it at present.)

Luckygirl Wed 07-Dec-16 10:30:29

The EU has been failing for a long time on many fronts; hence the other EU countries who have a Brexit style backlash going on - which is leading to the EU leaders being so hard line about the conditions of the Brexit agreement. They are running scared because they can see it is the thin end of the wedge. We are to be punished for making the decision, as an example to others who might wish to follow suit.

But these increasingly anti-EU movements in member states are only reacting to the general failure of the EU. Instead of making our lives difficult over leaving it should be putting its own house in order and listening to the concerns. The EU has become an unresponsive unwieldy organisation that is doomed to fail in the long term. Meanwhile right wing parties around Europe are flexing their muscles and hoping to nudge their way into power. The only way that this can be avoided is for the EU to start putting its house in order; and for them to allow a civilised Brexit based on the real needs of both Britain and the EU and not on their fears. Every time they are petulant and "ungentlemanly" over this they add another voter to another hard right wing party.

Jane10 Wed 07-Dec-16 10:36:26

The ground has shifted since the actual referendum result. Such changes in the political situations in other EU countries. Flexibility will certainly be required and its an absolute given that nobody will be happy with the final outcome. There may be trouble ahead...

daphnedill Wed 07-Dec-16 10:52:34

@ cunco

It was Caroline Lucas.

I wonder why you left out the last paragraph of her speech.

"As we go forward, we need to make a much more positive case for the EU. We should not leave it to UKIP and the others to fill that space and spread their mean-mindedness and backward-looking policies. We should claim that space and make a positive case for a positive EU. We want radical reform of that EU, as do many citizens of the European countries, but the idea that the best way of doing that is by walking away from the EU makes no sense at all. So, finally, irrespective of pro or anti-EU views, I look forward to working with hon. Members from all parts of the House to ensure that this referendum is as fair, inclusive and democratic as it possibly can be."

daphnedill Wed 07-Dec-16 11:00:00


Niall Ferguson is certainly influential, but you failed to say that he's also highly controversial. He's the Marmite of historians. He is known for counterfactual history, which is probably appropriate for this post-factual era.

The fact that Breitbart is championing him doesn't recommend his opinion to me.