Turning a Corner after Brexit

As I wait at Cardiff Airport for my flight back to Ireland, I see Theresa May has said that the UK ‘can turn a corner’ if MPs back her Brexit plan.

I’ve found a helpful graphic to show how that would work.

27 Responses to “Turning a Corner after Brexit”

  1. I can see that she is going nowhere but round and round and round . . . . .

    How about this metaphor as depicted below?

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    That staircase is what the exit door from the EU leads to, just like the Hotel California.

    I’ve been amused by prognostications from both sides of the continuing Brexit debate about what is definitely going to happen come April. The truth is that nobody knows. But the UK debate should not be taken in isolation: the French are getting fed up with it all now that the project is no longer run for the benefit of their farmers, the Germans are getting fed up of subsidising the Med, the Med is getting fed up of being told how to run its economies by the Germans, et cetera. It is possible to be friends with someone without getting into bed, and the same is true of countries. Here are the historical precedents for trying to unify Europe: Hitler, Napoleon, the Habsburgs, Innocent III, Charlemagne and Caesar.

    • telescoper Says:

      I’d interested to find out where you got this knowledge of European attitudes from. It conflicts with opinion polls I’ve seen, all of which show strengthening support for the EU. As indeed they do in the UK.

      Your comparison of the EU with Hitler, Napoleon, etc, is disappointing to say the least.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        The continuing rise in the electoral polls in various countries of eurosceptic parties. Belgium and Sweden are currently paralysed due to that, I think, and I recall reading that if the People’s Vote of 2016 ends up being thwarted by the UK Parliament and the result is a huge return of Eurosceptic UK MEPS to the European Parliament then, with their number added to those due to rising euroscepticism elsewhere, the European Parliament will be very close indeed to having a eurosceptic majority.

        As this issue seems to produce more heat at this blog than most, allow me to say that I love European culture very deeply. It is its politics that concerns me.

      • telescoper Says:

        I think that’s a very simplistic reading. The way I see it the main common factor across Europe is the collapse of votes for Social Democratic parties, but even then there are exceptions (e.g. Portugal). In Germany the really interesting thing is the rise of the Greens, but nobody seems to want to talk about that in the media. They’re too busy talking up the neofascist AfD.

        The referendum result 2016 should be set aside because of widespread illegality but I don’t think it will be. I think the UK will leave the EU on March 29th this year, and that will be swiftly followed by the break-up of the UK. I’d imagine Scotland will leave first, though as we approach the centenary of Irish independence it could be NI.

        All democrats can hope for is that at some point those responsible for the cruel fraud of Brexit are brought to justice.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        The 2016 Referendum has been argued to be illegal on the grounds of funding irregularities by the Brexit side. Given that the government decides what is and is not legal, and given that the government was far from impartial and sent at taxpayer expense a booklet to every household in the country arguing that the UK should remain in the EU, this argument doesn’t particularly impress me.

      • telescoper Says:

        The government does not decide what is legal. The courts do and other regulatory bodies do.

        The Electoral Commission has regulatory powers over elections and referendums and it has determined that there was serious wrongdoing by the Leave campaigns, not just overspending but unlawful use of personal data and collusion.

        The pamphlet you mention was entirely lawful (not to mention truthful).

        The Leave campaign’s grotesque propaganda is quite another story. That some of its worst liars are actually in the current Government is a disgrace.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Of course the government decides what is legal. That is its function in framing legislation. The courts decide whether any particular case meets the criteria set by the government’s legislation.

        Both sides hugely exaggerated the merits of their own case and the demerits of the other’s. But that goes on at elections too.

        I agree that the pamphlet I mentioned was entirely lawful (not to mention truthful). That was not my point.

      • telescoper Says:

        But governments have to abide by existing law. And it is Parliament that enacts legislation, not the Government.

    • telescoper Says:

      There are still many of us who see the EU, for all its flaws, as a powerful force for good across the continent. Above all it has brought peace to a Europe ravaged by war for 2000 years. I don’t see any of the leading Brexiters in government or elsewhere showing the slightest interest in peaceful cooperation. All one gets from them is xenophobia.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        NATO and a common enemy during the cold war brought peace. Not the EU.

      • telescoper Says:

        How do you know? The founders of the ECSC then the EEC and the EU appreciated the importance of peaceful economic co-operation as a means to avoiding further conflict in Europe. The EU also helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, something Brexit seriously endangers.

        NATO may have thwarted Soviet ambitions in Europe but it is was setting aside narrow-minded nationalistic biases and focusing on mutually beneficial economic cooperation that has made war between e.g. France and Germany unthinkable.

        Sadly, narrow-mindedness seems to be back with a vengeance.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        How do I know? Because it is now documented that all that kept the Soviet Union from invading Western Europe – based on their own declassified archives – was the NATO doctrine that an attack on one NATO State counted as an attack on them all, and the fact that the USA with its nuclear arsenal to match Russia’s was a member of NATO. Western Europe was not defensible against a Soviet invasion without the willingness to escalate – in graded steps – to nuclear weapons. Ask any member of the Army who served in Germany during the Cold War what their plans were in the event of Soviet invasion. (I asked a man who is not a retired General.)

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Oops, a man who is NOW a retired general!

      • Documented by whom, Anton?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Jan Sejna, We Will bury You, and The Mitrokhin Archive, ed Christopher Andrew, are ones I have read and instantly recall.

      • So a Czech apparatchik who defected to the CIA when his large scale embezzlement was uncovered, and an MI5 recruiter? Hardly credible sources Anton.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        So a Czech general privy to Soviet plans and an academic historian who edited and published an extensive set of files from the Soviet archives is not good enough for you?

        I suggest that you read them. Then, if you are still not satisfied, let me know what you *would* consider to be credible evidence.

    • “the French are getting fed up with it all now that the project is no longer run for the benefit of their farmers, the Germans are getting fed up of subsidising the Med, the Med is getting fed up of being told how to run its economies by the Germans”

      If you replace “the <nationality>” by “some <nationality>”, then it would be true, but trivially so: in a country with tens of millions of people, there will be a small minority for almost any position.

      • “Here are the historical precedents for trying to unify Europe: Hitler, Napoleon, the Habsburgs, Innocent III, Charlemagne and Caesar.”

        That makes as much sense as saying that Henry VIII was a Brexiteer because of his break with Rome and since he killed several of his wives, he was an evil man and therefore Brexit must be wrong.

      • telescoper Says:

        Well, as a direct result of the Brexit referendum the current UK government has acquired so-called Henry VIII powers to change laws without consulting Parliament. I can certainly think of a direct historical parallel for that, and it demonstrates where the UK is heading.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Phillip: I wrote “Here are the historical precedents for trying to unify Europe: Hitler, Napoleon, the Habsburgs, Innocent III, Charlemagne and Caesar.” you responded: “That makes as much sense as saying that Henry VIII was a Brexiteer…” It’s not clear to me what your word “that” refers to , but I stand by the claim that each of that lot sought to unify Europe under their own rule. What we have today is, by open statement, “ever closer union”. The end state of that process is, of course, a USE. That too is a nation state!

        Somewhere on this thread, and it might as well be here, I mean to say that the relation between a debtor and a creditor is always a tense and unhappy one, because the creditor has to decide whether to throw good money after bad, and the debtor resents the conditions it is placed under by the creditor. That is what is going on as a result of the Euro currency between Germany and the Med. It is bad for both and bad for relations between them. It is a great shame. I don’t see that it is xenophobic to point this sort of thing out.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Peter: I agree – strongly – that Henry VIII clauses in any Bill are an abuse of Parliament, but in their modern form they were not an innovation in legislation relating to Brexit, but were used earlier by Labour in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006:


    • Disappointing is the least of it, Anton those comparisons are risible. Every single one of those you mention was interested only in exercising military force to impose their will. The EU is founded upon cooperation between people as equals. If you are looking with a real parallel between, say the crusades of Innocent III and modern times, then NATO provides it, not the EU, with its attempts to impose American hegemony upon peoples to the East.

      If we need to leave anything it is NATO. Set up to counter a threat which no longer exists, if it ever did. And it doesn’t even give grants for fellowships and conferences any more.

      • telescoper Says:

        I’d agree that NATO should be disbanded but not until there is a properly organised European armed force to protect Europe from Putin and his puppets.

  3. I am not really clear what you think “Putin and his puppets” intend to do. I see no evidence that they will invade, they will resist western meddling in their own backyard of course. But most of all, I think Putin wants to sell us his gas.

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