• Brexit: The calm before the storm.

      0 comments

    When the history of Brexit is written it is likely that the date historians will chose to chart the collapse will be Tuesday 18th April 2017 for on that day Madame Mayhem called a “snap election” – contradicting earlier statements to the contrary.

    There is a saying: “Hindsight is the wisdom of fools.” This is true. All manner of commentators regaled her with their wisdom on the morning of Friday 9th June 2017 of how foolish she had been to abandon a slim but manageable majority for a minority coalition with Arlene Foster of the DUP.

    Looking back however, Madame in the opinion of this organ made the right call at the time. The polls indicated that she would increase her majority. It is a FACT that the power of a British Prime Minister has always lain in two things: the size of their majority in the Commons and the extent of division in the party. The most powerful British Prime Minister in recent times was Tony Blair in the Labour landslide of 1997.

    Madame came to the (correct) conclusion that in order to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion a significant majority was essential for her to drive the settlement through.

    The gamble – and calling a general election was always a gamble – did not pay off. Instead it resulted in Madame having to rely on the support – on a confidence and supply basis – from the DUP.

    Thus it can be said that Brexit died on Friday 9th June 2017. Of course as Madame stood at her count bearing witness to her failure she shed a tear. Understandable as she will have been aware of the cruelty of the date; 34 years to the day of Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 election victory. Madame will have been fully aware of the date’s significance and would have hoped she could have been recorded in history as the second female PM with the same power as the first female PM.

    Such however was not to be.

    Instead she was placed in a cruelly impossible position reliant on a woman (Arlene Foster) and a party (DUP) that meant nemesis for Brexit. The DUP campaigned on the Leave side. Sinn Féin campaigned on the Remain side. Northern Ireland voted to Remain.

    It has been said of the Ulster Unionists that they have a brilliant grasp of tactics but zero grasp of strategy. The truthfulness of this has been borne out by the DUP’s stance on Brexit.

    That Madame’s position is impossible is borne out by this FACT:
    Brexit can ONLY happen if Northern Ireland remains in the EEA and in the EU’s Customs Union.
    This is what is known as “the Irish backstop”.

    Throughout the Article 50 process the EU has been insistent on this. As has the Irish government.

    What that means is this: Brexit can ONLY take place if the border between mainland Great Britain is the Irish Sea.

    Following the referendum vote Madame was oft heard repeating the mantra, “Brexit means Brexit”

    She was correct!

    Brexit is an abbreviated term for “British exit [from the EU].

    That is to say, “Britain” as in Great Britain.

    What Brexit is not and CANNOT be is de-facto Ukexit. It can be de-jure Ukexit however.

    What is the difference?

    De-facto Ukexit is a border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. De-jure Ukexit is no border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic due to Northern Ireland being in the EEA and remaining in the EU Custom’s Union although being outside the EU.

    The situation known as “regulatory divergence” – meaning a different regulatory environment between Northern Ireland and Great Britain – has and will always be unacceptable to the DUP.
    This is the Irish rock on which the good ship HMS Brexit will founder.
    There are now 21 calendar days to go to the next EU Council Summit.

    As far as we know there are no technical meetings going on.

    There is total deadlock and no certainty of extending the deadline to November.

    Therefore, the most likely path for the coming summit is this:

    The UK is handed a withdrawal agreement containing the EU backstop for Ireland PLUS a limited and lopsided future FTA agreement including regulatory alignment to be signed by the UK in November as the future framework.

    If the UK does NOT agree to these terms, there will be NO DEAL and NO transition period.

    Here is another FACT: there is NO majority in the House of Commons for these terms. Madame could not get them voted through the House of Commons even if she wanted to!

    At this point it is inevitable that Comrade Corbyn will move a No Confidence Motion (NCM) in Her Majesty’s Government.

    One of two things will happen as a result.

    The NCM will be won or lost.

    If Comrade Corbyn wins the NCM and Madame losses same, then under Section 2 of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (c. 14), if the House of Commons resolves “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”, a general election is held – UNLESS the House of Commons subsequently resolves “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”. This second resolution must be made within fourteen days of the first.

    Thus IF Comrade Corbyn wins the NCM Madame can only survive IF she subsequently wins a second NCM. For this she will require the support of Arlene Foster and the DUP as well as her back benchers.

    IF she attempts to prevent the election she can ONLY do so by resolving the Brexit issue. The ONLY route would be a second referendum. Given that Labour MP’s will be aiming for a GE this is unlikely.

    If Comrade Corbyn looses the NCM and Madame wins same she can either await the chaos of a no deal Brexit or attempt to save her government and her party by allowing a second referendum. This is also unlikely!

    IF failing an attempt to bring about a GE through a NCM opposition MPs seek to prevent a no deal Brexit then they will have to vote for an Act bringing about a second referendum. If this fails then we are looking at a no deal Brexit.

    There is one more anniversary of the 9th June which Madame may not wish to recall:

    In 68 AD Emperor Nero brought about his death by, imploring his secretary Epaphroditos to slit his throat to evade a Senate-imposed death by flogging!

    We will bring today’s post to a close with the wise words of Sir Winston Churchill delivered in the House of Commons on 11th November 1947: “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

    Write a comment