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Wednesday 20 March 2019

Article 50 - Push Meets Shove

For anyone who still doubted that Theresa May had no idea how to manage Britain’s exit from the EU, other than obdurately sitting tight, doing nothing, and running down the clock, the moment of realisation has arrived. The UK is due to leave on Friday of next week, and the situation of what happens then remains unresolved. Her Withdrawal Agreement has not passed a Commons vote. Now the Tories can’t agree on Article 50 extensions.
With leaders of industry, supply chain managers, financiers, and even some in her own party - those not participating in its interminable power struggles - screaming at her to just do something, Theresa May is like the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. And it looks like the rabbit’s fate is what now awaits her.
What little initiative the PM takes is all about holding the Tories together. She knows there has to be an extension to the Article 50 process, that part of the Lisbon Treaty which provides for a member state to leave the EU. The problem is that this, too, becomes a hostage to internal Tory manoeuvrings, as Tamara Cohen of Sky News has shown.
Cabinet Brexiteers concede that extending for only 3 months means ERG have no incentive to vote for deal for now, and can just sit on their hands until the last minute, say sources close to two of them … Tone of discussion in cabinet yesterday was all about not dividing the party”. Tory Party held together at the expense of the UK.
That grim reality has now been acknowledged by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who has concluded “Ouch - Minister on PM’s decision to ask only for short delay - ‘Weak, weak, weak. Substantially increases the risk of no deal. Her most craven surrender to the hardliners yet. She knows this is the wrong choice for the country but she’s putting her short term interests first.’” She’s putting the Tories’ own interests first.
And the whole business might yet be taken out of her hands, as Paul Waugh has noted; “Am hearing moves afoot for an emergency [Standing Order] 24 Commons debate with a potential vote forcing May to rewrite [her A50] EU letter to include [a] longer extension option. Bercow hinted SO24 rules could be bent earlier this week to make it [a] substantive not [a] neutral notion. Expect fresh [Government] panic”.
There might be more of a panic at the news coming from the Beeb’s Europe editor Katya Adler, who has echoed the EU’s exasperation and rapidly ebbing patience with the UK. “EU sounding the alarm: THEY HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED THE PMs LETTER - EU Diplomats saying: How can 27 leaders be expected to reach a unanimous decision on PM’s #Brexit extension request with only hours to go before tomorrow’s EU summit and still no official notice from No10..?” Also, the Italians could blackball the request.
All of that means one thing: push has finally come to shove. Theresa May can no longer kick this one down the road. Running down the clock is no longer an option. She cannot bank on getting an Article 50 extension. The consequences of No Deal mean so much economic disruption that it would screw over the country for a generation.

She must now Revoke Article 50. She has no other option. The game is up.
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Steve Woods said...

If, as asserted by Katya Adler, the EU hasn't received May's letter, there's one question that needs asking: did Theresa give it to Chris Grayling to post?

Arnold said...

They probably gave the letter to Chris Grayling to post

RodJ said...

The game is up; but can we trust May not to lead us to Masada?

Anonymous said...

"...screw over the country for a generation..."?

They've done it before. They'll do it again. If we let them.

Which means no more New Labour or LibDem corrupt shite.

Westminster and Whitehall must be scrubbed clean and detoxed. This time, NO HALF MEASURES. NO MORE BLAIRS, BROWNS OR CLEGGS.

If Labour again fail to live up to its founding principles this country will continue its downward spiral at an increasing rate. The economic and political signs are all there for those who want to see. But much more of this shite and it won't matter either way - it'll be too late.

rob said...

Adam Bienkov is already referring to reports that Macron is refusing the EU to allow a postponement of the Brexit date from March 29th.

And there are also reports that Bojo is in Italy presumably on a similar mission there.

The crunch time has come for politicians in the two main parties to declare their positions openly.

There could be trouble ahead, even moonlight and music, but not a lot of love and romance.

rob said...

Re my previous Macron comment. There are suggestions that if a game changer occurred say a general election or a people's vote then an extension would then be considered. Not sure anyone would believe anything emanating from No 10 anymore.

Both Corbyn and MAy have appeared to rule out a people's vote and there is no appetite for a general election apart from Corbyn followers so both those options seem to be dead.

Back to revoke then? Oh, that's been ruled out by May too.

We're basically stuffed (a diplomatically paraphrasing of an Ian Dunt tweet)

Mark said...

Can you imagine this level of incompetence being considered remotely acceptable in any other line of work? She'd have been given the boot years ago.

Fed up to the back teeth with Brexit. Just the mere mention of it makes me feel utterly heartsick and depressed. The sensible option is to just throw our hands up on the whole thing and reach out and grab the lifeline the EU has given us in the form of revoking Article 50 and saying that the last two years have been nothing but a ghastly mistake and say 'sorry, but can we just stay as we are please?'

One thing the whole thing has given me, a surprising and unexpected respect for John Bercow. Even the way he handled that inane reporter following him into work yesterday morning suggests a professionalism and intelligence that is sorely lacking within the govt itself. No wonder they hate him.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Labour have NOT "...ruled out a people's vote..."

They have consistently said all options are on the table except No Deal. This included anything acceptable even from the hapless May. The problem is the Gnome Counties god-botherer hasn't come up with anything remotely acceptable. Which is why she's about to be propelled through the exit door with boot marks all over her arse.

Good riddance too. That bling jewellry, awful dress sense, lousy colour sense and stupid ineffectual glare are long past their auction date.

rob said...

From infacts.org 12.3.2019
"After MPs voted down her deal again, the prime minister mentioned a new referendum as one way forward. Jeremy Corbyn didn’t, despite backing the idea last month. Hopefully, the Labour leader isn’t backsliding." Perhaps someone should point it out to Jezza what Labour policy is from time to time?

Both "Leaders" are all over the place trying to placate the troops. Both Labour and Tories are divided so deadlock is created.

For those who don't believe either leader of the two main parties (such as they are at present) and, as Tim has suggested as being sensible for both Leave and Remain camps, want Article 50 to be revoked please think of signing the following


At least show them that the Will of the People mk2 is more representative and more up to date than Mk1!

Anonymous said...

Corbyn "didn't mention a new referendum" because he didn't have to. He'd already said and circulated that opinion for months. It was and is still on the table.

At least for those who want to hear, read and see. Which automatically excludes the usual tories and their ilk, New Labour and LibDems. The TIGgies, of course, don't count, as they'll discover at the next election.

rob said...

Revoke petition now over 700k in just a few hours. Site keeps crashing so many more to get on board. Still there are many bots repeating the mantra of 17.4m needed to overturn the referendum result.

There must be an awful lot of £s dollars and roubles at stake!

Anonymous said...

Many more £s and dollars than roubles I think.

rob said...

Give it a rest Anon.

Jezza is now trying to prove he's part of the "inclusive set". That's why certain things don't get mentioned so that they don't annoy.

And suggesting people's votes, especially those you disagree with, don't count is not exactly democratic is it?

But listening to others points of view don't sit very pretty with you
do they?

Adrian Kent said...

I remain to be convinced that a no-deal Brexit will be anywhere near as awful as we're being led to believe. This is not to say that it's all going to be a bed of roses, but very unlikely to be the kind of 'chaos' routinely expected - and a necessary first step for the renewal of our democracy & society.

Unreported by the Brexmagheddon Comic the Guardian is the fact that the BoE have significantly rowed back on thier dire predictions of just a few weeks ago. Essentially they were forced by the Treasury to release their 'scenarios' that they use to test the robustness of bank's finances which were then framed as 'predictions'.

The Treasury models themselves are a joke as they (ludicrously) assume the abscence of ANY government reaction at all to the dire econmic circumstances they predict. Which is like predicting that setting fire to your sock drawer will necessarily lead to the gutting of your house. Bring on the No Deal - it's the only truly socialist option.

Anonymous said...

rob 13:21.

More than a bit undemocratic daft, that.

Nobody voted for the TIGgies to leave the party the electorate voted them in to represent them. Which is why democratic by-elections would be a good, er, democratic test of TIGgy democratic commitment. Which is why, of course, there will no such by-elections.

And Jeremy Corbyn "part of the inclusive set"!......Jesus wept,somebody let Murdoch/Rothermere and BBC/ITN/Sky rent boys and girls know. Somehow they missed Corbyn's infiltration!

Mark said...

@Adrian, 'a necessary first step for renewal of democracy' doesn't seem to be in the interests of most hard brexiteers though, especially when they and their pack of wolves resort to calling Bercow a traitor for implementing that very same democracy and sovereign process. I can't see society being renewed much by it either