Tag Archives: Brexit

Theresa May: erg 0/year

Theresa May - 13th December 2018Theresa May won her vote of confidence 200-117 and is off to meet with the EU Commission, still Prime Minister – though having lost the confidence of nearly one-third of her MPs.

So, where are we now?

The deal the EU negotiated for Theresa May is the only deal they’ll accept. The EU have, jointly and severally, made that clear. Any talk of changes to the deal is uninformed rubbish. At this point in time, the House of Commons has three choices:

  • To ratify May’s deal and leave the EU on 29th March 2019
  • To refuse May’s deal and leave the EU catastrophically on 29th March 2019
  • To revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU

For many MPs, the fact that they have no ability to move the EU to a better deal is too unpalatable to be comprehended.
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Gone means gone, May means May

Steampunk vintage Octopus door handleLast night Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, counted 48 letters in his cupboard and let Theresa May know she’d have a leadership challenge this week. This morning he let the world know.

The system for Tories who want rid of their leader is primarily in the hands of MPs. If one-sixth of the Conservative backbenchers have written a letter of no-confidence in their leader to the chair of the 1922 Committee, a vote of no-confidence is called: if the leader wins that vote, they can’t be challenged again for another year: if they lose that vote, there is a leadership election in which the current leader cannot stand, voted on by Tory MPs only until only two candidates are left standing: the Tory membership then gets to vote on the last two candidates.

Tonight, 315 Tory MPs will get to have a second vote to see if they’ve changed their minds since 2016. (Most of them have been arguing that we shouldn’t get to have a second vote to see if we have.)
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Hiroshima Day, 2018

Nuclear Power? No ThanksOn this day 73 years ago, the United States exploded a nuclear bomb over Hiroshima, the first and also the second-last use of nuclear weapons in war time.

The United Kingdom’s supply of nuclear missiles are stored at their purpose-built home in Faslane.

The majority of Scots support a no-nukes Scotland.

Scottish Labour, the SNP, and the Greens all support not renewing Trident.

All of this adds up to the surety that when Scotland becomes independent, and Faslane ceases to be a UK military base, the nuclear missiles must go.

But the removal of Trident is always going to be the biggest problem the Westminster government/the UK’s Ministry of Defence has with Scottish independence, because not only is there nowhere else for it to go and it would take a couple of decades to build an alternative site, there isn’t a realistic alternate site in the rest of the UK for deep-water nuclear submarines.

Devonport is physically possible but is a political impossibility, certainly for any Conservative government (and in a twenty-year construction plan there will likely be at least one Conservative government): while Scots feel uncomfortable about how near Faslane is to Glasgow, Devonport is literally in the middle of Plymouth. Pembrokeshire is a technically feasible location, but building an entirely new military depot for nuclear weapons on the coast of Wales creates a whole new political problem for rUK after iScotland has voted Yes and departed.
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The Phoned-In Fringe Show of 2026

(Darkness. On the stage, a single spotlight. One person, in a business suit, with a smartphone: the phone rings.)

“Hello, yes, it’s me.”

(Throughout the first speech, the person keeps moving around the stage, spotlight following, as if trying to find a good spot for their phone.)

“Yes, the signal is very bad. All of the tourists here, you know. They block the transmission, using their phones so much. Oh, here is a photograph of a beautiful castle. Here is a cafe where that lady wrote Harry Potter. Here is another cafe where she wrote Harry Potter. My, she got around a lot with her writing notebook and wizards. Here is a statue of a sweet little doggie. Here is a graveyard we are going to pretend is Hogwarts. Tourists are stupid. Ah, here the signal is better. No, I was saying nothing important. Now, please tell me what it is.”
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Theresa May will be PM til after Brexit

Theresa May's P45According to rumour, Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, has 45 of the 48 letters required for a vote of confidence against Theresa May in his cupboard. No one knows the validity of this rumour, but no matter how many letters he has, I don’t believe that May will be unseated now until after 29th March 2019.

David Davis, the former Brexit Minister, resigned on Sunday after the Chequers meeting: Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Minister, resigned on Monday. Both cited Theresa May’s plan for Brexit as their reason for resigning. The only minister left of the three Brexiters appointed to the Foreign Office by May in 2016, is disgraced former Defence Minister Liam Fox, who is still drawing a salary as minister for International Trade (without actually accomplishing a single trade deal in his entire time in office). For about 24 hours at the beginning of this week, it looked as if Theresa May might be gone within days.
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If I Were A Tory Prime Minister –

Voldemort CameronFor the purpose of this blogpost, I’m going to suppose that I might be a Conservative Prime Minister.

By heritage and upbringing, I am a natural Labour voter: I’m a trade union member, my dad was a trade union member, his dad was a trade union member, and so on back to my great-grandfather: further than that family legend can’t tell me.

Further, since the Tories imposed the poll tax on Scotland, if not before, I’ve always been clear that I would not only never vote Tory, in FPTP elections I’d always vote for the even-slightly-leftier candidate with the best chance of beating the Tory.

So hold my hand: this is a big jump.
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Make Constitutional Law Boring Again

Scottish Constitutional Settlement and Brexit DisruptionsFew English people think about the constitutional settlement of the nations of the United Kingdom. And ordinarily, this doesn’t matter at all.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has an uncodified constitution: not a single document thoughtfully and carefully produced to give a country a good start in life, but a collection of legislation and even judicial rulings made over the centuries as the British people clawed our way into being a functioning modern democracy from a starting point of feudal monarchy. The 1689 Bill of Rights (and for Scotland, the 1689 Claim of Right) is part of the UK’s constitution: so is the 1998 Human Rights Act.
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