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Boris Johnson vs The Queen and Parliament
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Thorzdad
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Aug 28, 2019, 07:44 AM
 
Meanwhile in the UK, Boris Johnson has requested the queen suspend Parliament.
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Doc HM
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Aug 28, 2019, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Meanwhile in the UK, Boris Johnson has requested the queen suspend Parliament.
And the sheet hits the fan. No-one knows where this will end up. Labour now have nothing to loose in calling a vote of no confidence in the couple of days they have before this takes effect. That would put pressure on the other retainers and no dealers to come on board in a nw or never attempt. If the LibDems continued to try to claim that they were the natural ones to be leading the charge they would have no options and risk being the ones that let no deal in, which for the only fully remain party would be a head shot.

The only fly in the ointment is Corbyn's determination to balls up every chance he has in his dogged pursuit of a general election over a second referendum, At least at this point it looks like, non confidence, no government, GM and (if labour win(ish) an extension. This is feasible but the remain/deal camp are so divided that the default no deal option now looks almost inevitable.

Johnsons behaviour is shocking but hardly unexpected. The sadness is that we got here because no-one could agree on any single way to stop what every one didn't want from actually happening.

I await the inevitable collapse of our entire civic society with interest.
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reader50
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Aug 28, 2019, 04:56 PM
 
From what little I've read, apparently the Queen *could* refuse the request. Presumably without creating a legal crisis.

Getting the elected reps out of the picture, so they can't object, is a strange way to implement a democratic referendum. What are the latest polls, if a new referendum were held? Still neck-and-neck, or is the public getting tired of the political entertainment?
     
Doc HM
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Aug 29, 2019, 02:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
From what little I've read, apparently the Queen *could* refuse the request. Presumably without creating a legal crisis.

Getting the elected reps out of the picture, so they can't object, is a strange way to implement a democratic referendum. What are the latest polls, if a new referendum were held? Still neck-and-neck, or is the public getting tired of the political entertainment?

The queen "could" in theory but she's allowed to only as long as long as she never does. It would be the end of the constitutional monarchy if she ever did.

The public is still pretty much split. It's moved maybe to a small majority to remain, but a new poll would certainly be decisive in the other direction. There is a huge majority even among leavers that suspending parliament is wrong however.
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Aug 29, 2019, 08:12 AM
 
I really think that it is only a matter of time before the UK crashes out.

Boris seems to not realize that a person who has spent his entire career lying about the EU is not going to get a better deal from the EU than the boring civil servant that preceded him - or maybe he does realize, and just doesn't care. He keeps pushing for a better deal, and proroguing parliament is just another way to put pressure on the EU, but that will never work. The EU accepted an extension only by everyone else twisting Macron's arm, and I don't think anyone will do that again.

So what should Labour do? They can really only do one thing, and that is a vote of non-confidence, but then what? If they win, that should mean a general election, but Labour is unlikely to outright win that - because Corbyn is even less popular as PM than Johnson. Now, after a Brexit and during a crashing economy, Labour might win anyway because everyone is running away from the idiot who killed their job, but in the uncertainty before? No. Unless they drop Corbyn, Labour doesn't win. So a GM leads to chaos with Tory, Labour, LibDem and SNP all being significant parties in the new Commons, or to stronger support for the Tories. Stronger support for the Tories means that Johnson can dump DUP and make a deal with the EU with a customs border in the Irish Sea. Chaos means that it isn't his problem anymore,

If the VONC fails, Johnson can take that as parliamentary support for crashing out (he has said that he will), which means disaster. He might decide to keep trying for a better deal, but as I said, nobody on the European side is interesting in speaking with him anymore. So, I'm pretty much resigned to the UK crashing out by Halloween.
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reader50
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Aug 29, 2019, 12:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
From what little I've read, apparently the Queen *could* refuse the request. Presumably without creating a legal crisis.
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
The queen "could" in theory but she's allowed to only as long as she never does. It would be the end of the constitutional monarchy if she ever did.
I was afraid of that. It sounded like a ceremonial duty, which might still be within her authority.

Well ... maybe she could come down sick or otherwise unavailable that day.
     
Doc HM
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Aug 29, 2019, 01:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I really think that it is only a matter of time before the UK crashes out.

Boris seems to not realize that a person who has spent his entire career lying about the EU is not going to get a better deal from the EU than the boring civil servant that preceded him - or maybe he does realise, and just doesn't care.
Boris is an opportunist nothing more. He flipped a coin (literally) and hitched his career to the leave campaign. Since then he's lied about the costs of leaving, lied about Turkey joining, lied about mentioning Turkey joining (a sort of meta-lie), lied about regulations, lied about the chances of a deal, lied about kippers... and so on.

Boris is entirely in this for Boris so what the Eu may or may not think of him is entirely irrelevant to him. The weird thing is that (like with Trump) opposing politicians still insist on pretending that he is playing the same game as them.

He has even indicated that he may not be bound by a vote of no confidence. Which is true. Legally it is only an advisory vote and like so much of the UK political landscape is ruled by precedent and honour rather than the writ of the law.

We may be about to see just how far a truly non principled PM can push this lack of legal accountability.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Aug 29, 2019, 05:49 PM
 
Just how much unilateral power can the PM wield? Is there anything like a constitutional check on him, or is he free to do whatever he so desires?
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Doc HM
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Aug 29, 2019, 06:11 PM
 
To a large extend any checks on prime ministerial power depend on the prime minister acceeding to those checks.

Passing legislation etc of course requires voting and hence parliamentary procedure. Unlike Trump, Johnson has little in the way of “executive power” so he can’t write laws into being but as long as he is prepared to ignore historical precedent AND has a group of MPs willing to go along with him he can do what he likes about a lot of things.

Although ultimately the fixed term parliament act requires a general election after five years so there are limits. Of course it’s possible to overturn or rewrite this should enough MPs be found to supply the votes which is unlikely.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Aug 29, 2019, 07:51 PM
 
Can he enact “emergency” orders? Like ordering the bombing of Iran, or deporting all Muslims, or somesuch craziness?
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Aug 30, 2019, 01:10 AM
 
This is the part that always amuses me.

The Queen can bomb Iran. She is Head of State and Commander in Chief, and can tell the army to do what she wants. By 300 years of precedent, she doesn’t do anything like that without the advise of her PM, but it becomes an interesting story what she would do if said PM does not have the confidence of the House of Commons. I hope that she uses another of her powers - that of being able to fire the PM whenever she chooses - in that case.

I don’t think she can deport all Muslims, though.
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Doc HM
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Aug 30, 2019, 03:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Can he enact “emergency” orders? Like ordering the bombing of Iran, or deporting all Muslims, or somesuch craziness?
Yes he could order the bombing of Iran. That would be relatively easy as the legislation exists and Tony Blair set the precedent for not consulting Parliament so that’s entirely possible.

Deporting all Muslims, no because laws exist to stop that and he can’t act unlawfully as the police etc would not carry out the deportations. He could try to pass laws allowing him to do it but would need to find the support or do so.
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Waragainstsleep
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Aug 30, 2019, 05:01 AM
 
I actually thought the Queen could have said no and gotten away with it. I am of course disappointed she didn't.
The leavers would have gone mental if she did say no, but given what a shameless trick this was and how it undermines our democracy I think if she had refused it she could have gotten away with it. Because the leavers rely on idiotic nationalism, I would wager there is a lot of royalists in their camp and more in their base. Some for sure would follow the rabid directives and turn on HM but all the retainers would back her on this and I strongly suspect a lot of leavers would consider turning on HM to be a step too far. Theres nothing more British than the Queen. (I know, I know, she's German).

I've been puzzled by how suggestible a lot of MPs seem to have been over Brexit. It seems obvious to me that the whole thing was a carefully planned con to sneak through no deal and keep our tax loopholes for our rich elites. Many otherwise sensible remain MPs were suckered in by the relentless media pressure to "honour the democratic will of the people". Well it wasn't democratic and its no longer the will of the people if it ever really was.
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Doc HM
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Aug 30, 2019, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Many otherwise sensible remain MPs were suckered in by the relentless media pressure to "honour the democratic will of the people"..
Many spineless and valueless MPs decided their election prospects trumped anything else. Even if that meant saving the exact opposite today of what they had explicitly said in some cases only days before.

And politicians wonder why they are so despised.
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turtle777
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Aug 30, 2019, 06:34 PM
 
Let’s just get Brexit over with, so everyone can move on.

Also, it won’t be as bad as the politicians say.
They always lie, especially when they want to protect the status quo.

The UK is going to be just fine.

-t
     
Doc HM
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Aug 30, 2019, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Let’s just get Brexit over with, so everyone can move on.

Also, it won’t be as bad as the politicians say.
They always lie, especially when they want to protect the status quo.

The UK is going to be just fine.

-t
Especially after we sign whatever trade deal Trump has ready for us.
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reader50
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Aug 30, 2019, 11:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Let’s just get Brexit over with, so everyone can move on.
Considering about half of Britons oppose Brexit, this is terrible advice. It should be up to UK citizens subjects, not us observers, to sort it out. And advising people to knuckle under to politicians, and everything will be fine, is suspect advice under any circumstances.

An executive suspending the legislature bothers me quite a bit. So he can wheel & deal without public input.
     
turtle777
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Aug 31, 2019, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Considering about half of Britons oppose Brexit, this is terrible advice. It should be up to UK citizens subjects, not us observers, to sort it out. And advising people to knuckle under to politicians, and everything will be fine, is suspect advice under any circumstances.

An executive suspending the legislature bothers me quite a bit. So he can wheel & deal without public input.


You do understand how democracies work ?!?

More than half are pro-Brexit. End of game. Thanks for playing.

-t
     
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Aug 31, 2019, 04:41 PM
 
Hopefully this fiasco has shown everyone that in a functioning parliamentary democracy referendums are the worst way to go about things.

If you want to for example : Leave the EU at all costs. You simply vote for a party that represents this view. Once enough people agree it happens. By the magic of parliamentary democracy. Not By some I’ll phrased referenda.
( Last edited by Doc HM; Sep 1, 2019 at 04:01 AM. )
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Aug 31, 2019, 06:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post


You do understand how democracies work ?!?

More than half are pro-Brexit. End of game. Thanks for playing.

-t
No. They aren't. Basically every poll since the referendum has had remainers in the lead. Sometimes by a lot. At the time of the vote, a significant number of Brits living abroad who were promised a vote, were denied one. Lots of remainers never even voted because it was supposed to be such a no-brainer foregone conclusion they saw no point. A lot even voted leave citing that they only did it as a protest against the government thinking Remain would win easily anyway. Immediately after, it turned out a lot voted leave because they thought they were "sticking it to David Cameron". A bunch of leavers to this day mistakenly believe they are "upholding the democratic will of the people". It wasn't democratic and if they had the first clue what they were voting for it would never have been their will. Many of us believe that 16 year olds should have been allowed to vote too but surprise surprise, the leavers didn't fancy letting those most affected have a say in their future for some reason.

Also, its not politicians telling them it will be bad. Its economists, business leaders, lawyers, people who know what the **** they are talking about. There are politicians telling them to ignore the experts based on "British bulldog spirit" and "the good old days". I'm sure some of that sounds familiar.

The vote was corrupted by leave campaigns breaking the law. Thats not hyperbole, its fact. If the vote had been legally binding, as it should have been, our courts would have voided the result due to this broken campaign law. There is still an open investigation into where one of the biggest leave donors got £1m of the cash he donated. He won't say for some reason. *Cough!* Russia! *Cough!*
The Russians influenced the result too and Cambridge Analytica among others used illegally gathered personal information to sway peoples votes. That was on top of the outright lies that leave campaigners told people from day one.

Ever since 2016 the leavers, both voters and politicians, have been retconning everything they said, thought and did before during and since the referendum.

Not one of them gives a shit about sovereignty or democracy. A select few have businesses which could benefit, like tourist industries getting more local visitors due to people not travelling out of the country, but most were just racists who don't like foreigners. The ones driving Brexit have always been our 1%ers (and probably several of yours and everyone else too) looking to protect their various tax havens and loopholes from the EU anti-tax avoidance directive which kicks in in full force at the end of this year. Hence the rush job instead of the years of planning and restructuring that should have preceded any sensible revocation of Article 50.

Hopefully Johnson has gone too far with this end run around parliament. It wouldn't take a massive change in the media commentary to turn the whole thing around. Sadly most of our media belongs to right wing 1%ers who've been in on the whole con for years and the BBC is deathly afraid the Tory government will tear up its charter and sell it off. Mainly because they keep threatening to do so.
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Sep 1, 2019, 04:53 AM
 
Not that it really needs anything more added, but Leave campaign also indicated that there would be a second vote on the Withdrawal Agreement:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...rexit-promises

That didn’t happen. In general, during the campaign almost everyone on the Leave side campaigned for a very soft Brexit. Then then vote was in, they discovered that the Remainers were right and no such option was on the table from the EU, so they switched to a hard Brexit. That is certainly not what anyone voted for.
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Sep 1, 2019, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
You do understand how democracies work ?!?

More than half are pro-Brexit. End of game. Thanks for playing.
Brexit is like a Rohrschach test, some people just see what they want to see. Neither is a democracy the tyranny of the majority, nor is there any clear majority for any of the solutions that are actually on the table (stay in the EU, leave with an agreement and a hard Brexit). Especially the distinction between an ordered exit from the EU and a hard Brexit without any agreements usually gets erased when convenient.

In democracies it is parliament that has a say in how affairs are run. In my opinion the referendum merely gave a political mandate for the UK government to leave the EU — which it is doing, barring any miracles. Ideally, there should have been a period where all the parties form a vision of how the relationship to the EU should look like in the future, and get elected on that basis. (And IMHO it is perfectly fair that remainers get proper representation, too.) We all know that this is not what happened. Nevertheless, it is parliament’s role to represent the will of the people, and no matter how well it does or does not fulfill that role, Johnson — out of convenience — does away with the principal way the will of the people influences politics. Which is rich coming from somebody who has spent years emphasizing the role of British sovereignty and vilifying the EU.
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Doc HM
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Sep 2, 2019, 02:40 AM
 
None of it will end well. We will go out on the 31st with no deal. Because this is what Dominic Cummings (Boris's "special adviser" but in reality his controller), wants. Also a hard Brexit is Johnsons only route to staying in power, which he wants more than he wants anything else.

MPs insist on turning up to play the same old game, but the game finished when Johnson/Cummings took over. It's like they are still playing ping-pong. Yes, they think, Boris has a fancy new bat, but they've taken a few lessons AND bought a new bat; only to discover that Johnson has relabelled thermo nuclear war as ping-pong.

By the time this is all over, we will have left and Westminster, its precedent, and expectations of how politics is done will be a 10 mile wide pile of gently glowing slag. THEN we'll have a general election, the public will vote for Boris in droves because Brexit will be finally over and also, well, "Boris, dontcha love him"

The the shirt will really hit the fan.
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Sep 3, 2019, 02:58 AM
 
@Doc HM
Overall, the situation is a cluster f*ck, and even if the parliament had proper involvement at this stage, I don’t think it would change much at the end as far as the outcome is concerned. It would, however, in my estimation make a big difference when it comes to lending the UK’s decision more democratic legitimacy (even if we disagree with the outcome and most decisions along the way).

The way it is handled now could make it appear as if it lets the parliament off the hook: they are the victims of two flawed prime ministers. Whereas they have clearly contributed to this mess, you can’t reject the only deal on the table and force the PM to not do a hard Brexit without an agreement. And it allows Johnson to act as if he is the victim of the evil EU who wouldn’t negotiate with him.

Remainers should forget about a Deus Ex Machina that magically prevents Brexit at this point and switch to the long game. This is a tough pill to swallow, I know, but don’t forget that you guys have friends on the continent who are waiting for you to return. It’ll take one or several decades, but I believe it’ll happen eventually.
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Sep 3, 2019, 04:35 AM
 
So what happens if the opposition, on October 30th or whatever, forces a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement as it stands and passes it?
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turtle777
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Sep 4, 2019, 02:29 PM
 
Most people don’t get it: joining the EU is like joining the mafia - they will never let you go without making you pay. Forget the dream of a graceful exit, the EU won’t allow it.

Boris gets it, and was willing to make and end to this nonsense.
Now the usual idiots want to continue negotiating ? WTF do they think the EU is going to do ?

Rip the band aid off and get out. That’s the best option.

-t
     
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Sep 4, 2019, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Rip the band aid off and get out. That’s the best option.
By what measure is it the best option to leave without an agreement? Without settling important questions that will not only have a severe impact on the UK’s economy, but the UK’s integrity as a political entity?
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turtle777
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Sep 4, 2019, 08:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
By what measure is it the best option to leave without an agreement? Without settling important questions that will not only have a severe impact on the UK’s economy, but the UK’s integrity as a political entity?
Because the EU doesn’t negotiate in good faith.
You can’t “settle” these things beforehand.

-t
     
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Sep 4, 2019, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Because the EU doesn’t negotiate in good faith.
You can’t “settle” these things beforehand.
Of course you can settle these things beforehand. I don't think crashing out is responsible, adult-like behavior, especially when the fate of several nations is at stake.

The EU's stance has been quite clear from the start, and it certainly used that its negotiating position is much stronger than that of the UK. And I don't see any subterfuge or shenanigans: it was clear from the beginning Ireland would get a veto, for example, and that the UK needs to settle open bills and subtract that from assets. The UK made it very easy here as it has never had a consistent negotiating position. Not even now. Pure Rosinenpickerei: the UK wanted no trade barriers with none of the trade-offs that go with it. It wanted no border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but control over their borders. This schizophrenic bargaining position exists till this day: the British parliament voted to forbid Johnson to crash out of the EU without a deal on the one hand, but voted down the only existing deal on the other.
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Sep 5, 2019, 04:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Because the EU doesn’t negotiate in good faith.
You can’t “settle” these things beforehand.
I had a long piece I was going to write here, but let's do it another way: What would you like the withdrawal agreement to look like - specifically with regards to the Northern Ireland border situation? Because the UK PM hasn't managed to articulate what he wants. All he has said is what he doesn't want.

Really, it is quite simple: If you want to end freedom of movement, you need to have a line where you control the movement of people. Nobody wants to have it between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (because of the Troubles). The UK doesn't want to have it in the Irish Sea. Where, pray tell, do you want to have that line in that case? The EU is quite open to letting freedom of movement continue, but the UK doesn't want that.
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Sep 5, 2019, 06:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Most people don’t get it: joining the EU is like joining the mafia - they will never let you go without making you pay. Forget the dream of a graceful exit, the EU won’t allow it.

Boris gets it, and was willing to make and end to this nonsense.
Now the usual idiots want to continue negotiating ? WTF do they think the EU is going to do ?

Rip the band aid off and get out. That’s the best option.

-t
This is just typical conservative bullshit rhetoric.

The EU didn't negotiate in bad faith. They've been 100% clear and up front about everything from the beginning. The one detail you are right about is there is little point in negotiating with them further because there is no room to fix the part that needs fixing. Well there is, but I'll get to that.

The EU has to protect its market and support its members. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, its just that idiots over here who have now been programmed to think like dumbass selfish, greedy Trump voters believe that for some reason the other side of a negotiation is being unfair or acting in bad faith by actually negotiating to try to get what they want, instead of giving you what you want. This is clearly imbecilic but that's where we are now.

We committed to fund stuff so we have to pay what we promised, as you would with any other arrangement in life. We had to decide what would happen with EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU after Brexit, I have no idea what that solution is but one was agreed and no-one is complaining about it in theory except the ex-pats who can't be ex-pats any more because they were still coming home to use the NHS. Which is a lot of them because so many are old and drink far too much.
All of these details were agreed and none are really at issue, (though I would have personally fought harder to retain access to Galileo and maybe some other projects since we are paying for them still).
The only sticking point is the backstop/border arrangements. The EU wanted to grant us a transition period to negotiate a proper trade deal which we could have worked on for years by now if the agreement had been done and ratified in an efficient timeframe. They can't just allow that period to expire or put a time limit on it in case no trade deal was agreed. Because we might refuse to sign one, run down the clock under threat of an open border and threatened the integrity of the single market. Any good negotiator would. So they couldn't allow it for that reason.
Ireland can't allow a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (and neither can we) because we all signed an agreement saying that in order to stop people blowing shit up and kneecapping each other all the time. The DUP who our government have been relying on for their majority won't allow any hard border between the island of Ireland and mainland UK because they don't fancy it for reasons. They don't want Northern Ireland treated differently than the rest of the UK which is actually fair I guess, even though it would likely benefit from being half in the EU still. The DUP are all ass-backwards religious aresholes anyway so it no surprise they'd be in favour of Brexit.

Now a sensible person could have suggested a transition period with a time limit that reverts to some hastily agreed but not very good for either party trade deal which would kick in after a couple of years to motivate everyone to sorting out the real final deal quicker, but the truth is that Bojo and his ERG masters don't want the transition period any more. They would have tolerated it as long as it expired and we were free of EU law before the end of 2019, but now it has to go completely as far as they're concerned because the entire point of this exercise is nothing to do with sovereignty or our sudden desire to torpedo our economy and sign awful one-sided trade deals with Trump, its to protect the rich ****s who started this shit from having to reveal all their dirty money laundering schemes in British overseas territories to HMRC. I suspect if we could put Brexit off until next summer, the whole thing will collapse as people learn how corrupt these ****ers really are. And of course, many of them will have moved to the US or Russia or somewhere else they can keep hiding their shit.

The problem with the long game is we will never get a deal as good as we have now. Which will be a sticking point of re-entry. Its critical we try everything we can now to stop us going out in the first place.
The only solution I can see is another referendum, legally binding, Remain, Deal or No Deal. Its the only fair solution.
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Sep 5, 2019, 08:39 AM
 
The majority of the issues with leaving revolve around the various "red lines" that both parties have. On the EU side it's the not unreasonable one that the UK simply can't have a better deal by leaving than the other EU members have by staying. I cant see any logical chink in that armour, or any bad faith.

Pretty much every other red line is manufactured by the UK in order to construct the sort of Brexit that the hard liners want. Ending free movement of people goods and services is doesn't have to happen. Wont fully happen for 3 years after anyway and of course does nothing to affect immigration from non EU countries, which swamps EU immigration anyway.

The persistent image of a monstrous EU that has been treating the Uk as its bitch for 30 years has been meticulously constructed over decades by the UK media. The majority of leavers are simply convinced that the UK has been relentlessly shafted by the EU since it joined, when in reality we already have a sweeter deal than any other member thanks to Thatchers bullishness. (she may have been a monster but she really could negotiate), its also a deal we certainly won't get back if we try to rejoin in a decade or so.

The UK has spent decades being part of, moulding and shaping EU law and taking a (very successful) and active part in EU legislation, in fact more successful than any other country at getting what it wants out of the EU.

Obviously at this point we are going to leave. The tragedy is the waste and folly as well as the wilful blindness of the UK population with regard to Europe and our place in what should be our home.

I for one welcome our new Trumpian overlords.
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Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The DUP who our government have been relying on for their majority won't allow any hard border between the island of Ireland and mainland UK because they don't fancy it for reasons. They don't want Northern Ireland treated differently than the rest of the UK which is actually fair I guess,
Although they don't seem to mind have different laws regarding abortion to the rest of the UK...

And while we are here. Sinn Fein haven't covered themselves in glory here either (surprise). I AM surprised no one has really called them out on their non attendance stance. Their MPs would probably have been able to alter the whole course of Brexit. Of course some people might think that a divided and newly violent Northern Ireland offers the best route to a potentially united Ireland in the longer term, but I don't see them being that cold and cynical.

(Note: they almost certainly ARE that cold and cynical).
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oh and thirdly...

On the plus side, after Boris's humiliation in the house, we discovered that Theresa May CAN smile after all.
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Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
oh and thirdly...

On the plus side, after Boris's humiliation in the house, we discovered that Theresa May CAN smile after all.
Those images of her in the House of Commons smiling at the spectacle are probably the best part of this entire sh*tstorm.
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@Doc HM
Great posts. What do you think is the best way forward, given the realities? How should remainers (who should probably relabel themselves as rejoiners) go forward? What can the Europeans do to help your efforts?
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Sep 6, 2019, 02:09 PM
 
I'd like to see a raft of loud, high profile voices stating that the only way out of the impasse is another referendum with deal, no deal, remain. A legally binding one with a date included inside 6 weeks of the vote (barring any legal challenges for when the leavers are caught cheating again)
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I'm with WAS on this. I feel a remain victory in any election (after we get the now obligatory extension and BoJo explodes or more likely pretends he never really wanted no deal anyway) would do little to heal the country or give legitimacy to remaining.

Much as it pains me because I hate them, but a referendum got us into this mess and I cant see how to get out of it without another one. The only problem is that remain, deal leave and no deal leave splits the leave vote giving remain the advantage, which leave would never go for.

Any ref2 would have to account for this, possibly with both deal and no deal counting as leave and a secondary question about how people would vote if no deal was the only option. Muddy confusing and painful.

Whatever happens Brexit will be poisoning the UKs body politic for at least a decade to come,
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So where are we now?

MPs have voted to make a no deal Brexit basically illegal by requiring the PM to request an extension before the 31st if no deal has been agreed. Sensibly they have actually checked that the EU will say yes (or oui, or ja as the case may be, even if it's through gritted teeth - Macron).

In response Boris managed to say during a speech that made trump look like the king of logical and clear thinking that he would rather "die in a ditch" than comply. He later clarified this into he would be prepared to break the law and refuse to request any extension. This would put him in contempt of parliament.

Remainers (who are by now used to living in cloud cuckoo land) think that this sanction will force Boris back the EU. Others have noticed that Dominic Cummings, his chief advisor and "foul mouthed oaf" according to one senior Tory MP, has been sanctioned like this previously with zero effect (or in fact any actual sanction) so it's possible that Boris, who won't be in breach of the new law until one minute AFTER we actually leave will simply ignore it.

So after all the latest carry ons perhaps the current most likely to happen timeline is, Boris sails on, breaks the law by not asking the EU for an extension, we leave because he can only have broken the law AFTER he fails to secure a deal and he can only do that , well, after he fails to secure a deal. We leave the UK, Boris rejoices, the Brexit party implodes because, well, Brexit. Everyone calls a general election and Boris wins as Farages supporters return to the man who actually managed to push the big red "do not push this button" button.
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Sep 8, 2019, 11:16 AM
 
He'd be in breach come October 15th. He has to ask the EU if we don't have a deal by then I think. Its not the 31st, I know that.
If Boris breaks the law he should swiftly end up in prison. Whether it would be swift enough to stop us leaving is the issue. Either way it would disqualify him as a member of Parliament I think. Depending on the exact sentence maybe.

The danger with the election is that the Tories look likely to be the biggest single party and thus get first shot at a coalition. Its therefore imperative that Tory + Brexit Party seats aren't enough to form a majority. If they do then the DUP can no longer block a border between mainland UK and Northern Ireland and the backstop is no longer needed because there's no border in Ireland and no Northern Irish government to complain about it.
Hopefully Labour will have to rely on the Lib Dems and SNP and one or both will have the sense to insist on a second referendum. You're right about the leavers not liking a three way vote which is why we didn't get one first time but at this point, **** them. We all know most of them don't know what they are talking about and will not be happy with what they actually get if we leave so there's no point trying to appease them. Half of them are going to be furious no matter what. So if you piss off the remainers as well you're doomed as a government. At least keeping the remainers sweet gives you half the country on your side for a while.
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Hopefully IF Boris has asked for an extension when the election kicks in he'll have been made to look a fool AND the Brexit party will go all in to become the actual party of Brexit, eating into the Conservatives vote, hopefully enough to actually leave a remain grouping as the largest bloc in the house.

Its probably a good idea not to under estimate Corbyn on the election trail. Its his big strength. If only he can fix on a single coherent Brexit message!
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Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Hopefully IF Boris has asked for an extension when the election kicks in he'll have been made to look a fool AND the Brexit party will go all in to become the actual party of Brexit, eating into the Conservatives vote, hopefully enough to actually leave a remain grouping as the largest bloc in the house.

Its probably a good idea not to under estimate Corbyn on the election trail. Its his big strength. If only he can fix on a single coherent Brexit message!
The remain grouping is already the largest. Sortof. The issue is that only the party with the most votes gets first crack at forming a coalition government if none of them can form a majority by themselves which seems pretty certain at this point. The Brexit Party will happily get in bed with the Tories in order to keep a remain/deal/second ref group out of power, the Tories will happily get in bed with Farage to keep that group and/or Corbyn out.

Corbyn might be a good campaigner, its difficult to know from his entirely half-assed referendum efforts, but he has the full weight of the British media and several years worth of BS going against him. All the anti-semitism, the indecisiveness, the refusal to fire a nuke under any circumstance, terrorist sympathies etc etc. A lot of the crazy leavers buy all this, its very much like crooked Hillary except its more like 3 years than 30 and the focus is a little more scattered. That said, she had corroded Hillary, her emails, Benghazi, I'm sure a couple more. It was enough to kill her bid.

So what we need is either for labour to get more seats than the Tories (but not a single party majority), or the Tories + BP to fall short of a majority. I guess they'll add in the DUP as well if they must but they'd surely prefer not to as that would allow them to put a border between Ireland and mainland UK and then we wouldn't need the backstop. This could be dangerous as the deal would go through without the backstop but on the other hand Boris & his puppet masters don't want any transition deal unless it does away with EU laws. I'm not sure if they'd get that or not or whether leaving Northern Ireland in the Customs Union would require Eu tax laws to apply to countries on the UK mainland. Could get really complicated. I'm surprised its not being talked about actually. Theres no Northern Ireland government to fight against a UK/NI border at the moment either.

It seems the current strategy is to try to stall requesting an extension by mounting legal challenges or appeals if Boris is prosecuted or ordered to comply by the courts. I don't know who would then be allowed to comply in his stead if he were jailed without another Tory leadership or general election. Which would surely overrun the end of October.
I checked and Boris is in breach of the recent legislation if he hasn't made a request or MPs haven't voted to approve no deal by the 19th. 12 days to run it though two courts and then again to order him, find him in contempt and sentence him. Its tight to say the least. And you're going to need at least a few hours for the EU to agree it. Or refuse too.
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Sep 8, 2019, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Much as it pains me because I hate them, but a referendum got us into this mess and I cant see how to get out of it without another one. The only problem is that remain, deal leave and no deal leave splits the leave vote giving remain the advantage, which leave would never go for.
The best option is probably choice ranked voting amongst three options: remain, Brexit with the deal negotiated by Theresa May and Brexit with no deal. I reckon that either remain or Brexit with deal will win this time, and either choice is going to present some political difficulties: with remain, you'd probably get a slim victory (48:52 the first time around, now 52:48 in favor, that kind of deal). So now the other half of the voters would probably feel slighted.

If Brexit with deal would win, then this would probably be the least controversial option, but still present tons of difficulties: all of the difficult questions have not been worked out, namely, what kind of relationship do you want to have with the EU? (Only realistic options, please, the UK's population won't get free unicorns paid foer by the EU — this time.) The major political parties in the UK have no clue what they want (except for the remain parties, obviously). The Tories are currently purging pro remain MPs, leaving quite a few voters homeless.
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Whatever happens Brexit will be poisoning the UKs body politic for at least a decade to come,
Yeah, the UK will remain paralyzed as it will have to pay a large political debt — what to do with the Irelands and Scotland, for example, and figuring out all those “great” trade deals.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So what we need is either for labour to get more seats than the Tories (but not a single party majority), or the Tories + BP to fall short of a majority.
That doesn't seem to solve much as far as I can tell: Corbyn's arms had to be twisted quite considerably, until he endorsed a second referendum, and Labor isn't unified as a pro-Remain party. The Remain-Brexit fault lines do not run across party lines, which makes things really tricky.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Theres no Northern Ireland government to fight against a UK/NI border at the moment either.
I wasn't aware of that. So for how long has there been no government in Northern Ireland? And why?
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I checked and Boris is in breach of the recent legislation if he hasn't made a request or MPs haven't voted to approve no deal by the 19th. 12 days to run it though two courts and then again to order him, find him in contempt and sentence him. Its tight to say the least. And you're going to need at least a few hours for the EU to agree it. Or refuse too.
The courts aren't some deus ex machina, this is primarily a political problem. Especially since the British constitution, ahem, I mean “constitution” is unwritten, the political system has relied on customs and norms. As you write, a court can at best only spring to action after a law has been violated — and then it is almost certainly too late.

Plus, look at it from the European side: I don't think there is a majority for an extension. The UK's political landscape is in total disarray, and it is not even clear what realistic proposals the British government has that are acceptable to the Europeans and the British parliament alike. It'd be quite different if there were a change of government that comes to the negotiating table with a clear negotiating position and reasonable expectations.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Sep 9, 2019 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Merged two posts into one.)
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Sep 9, 2019, 08:42 AM
 
With regards to referendums: the country that has the world record for referendums, Switzerland, has a very simple system for how to ask. They ask yes and no questions, as many as are needed. In this case, the questions would be Do you support a Hard Brexit and Do you support Brexit according to the negotiated agreement. Whoever gets the most Yes “wins”. This doesn’t appear to be mathematically very good, but it turns out that people are smarter than you give them credit for. They will vote tactically, and it works out in practice.

In this case, if either of the two options top 50%, that option is taken. If both do, the one with the most votes wins. If neither tops 50%, it’s remain. They apparently set it up so that the status quo is what happens if no decision hits 50%.

I wasn't aware of that. So for how long has there been no government in Northern Ireland? And why?
I’m sure someone local can explain more, but basically: DUP first minister was involved in a corruption scandal and refused to resign. This led Sinn Fein to leave government, which under the power sharing agreement means that it cannot function. This has been the case since early 2017. As you might well imagine, BoJo isn’t going to pressure the DUP to fire their corrupt minister given the current situation in Westminister, and there doesn’t appear to be any other way of moving forward.
( Last edited by P; Sep 9, 2019 at 08:55 AM. )
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Sep 9, 2019, 10:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
With regards to referendums: the country that has the world record for referendums, Switzerland, has a very simple system for how to ask. They ask yes and no questions, as many as are needed. In this case, the questions would be Do you support a Hard Brexit and Do you support Brexit according to the negotiated agreement.
In Bavaria you can only vote on concrete laws, and I like that. This not only avoids referenda like the one on Brexit that was more of a poll that left the crucial question — what do you want the relationship between the UK and the EU to look like in the future — completely unanswered.* Voting on concrete laws also prevents politicians from creatively interpreting the outcome to fudge things their way.

Swiss has referenda way too frequently for my taste, though.

* I guess you could have made the Brexit referendum into a law that says “The British government will trigger article 50.”
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Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
* I guess you could have made the Brexit referendum into a law that says “The British government will trigger article 50.”
Conventionally our referenda are legally binding and the government is required to act on the result. This one wasn't and that was deliberate. It served to allay fears among remainers and therefore likely encouraged some not to make time to vote. More importantly it meant that when the leavers cheated (and they were found guilty in court, this is not hyperbole), the courts had no power to void a non-binding result.
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Sep 11, 2019, 06:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The best option is probably choice ranked voting amongst three options: remain, Brexit with the deal negotiated by Theresa May and Brexit with no deal. I reckon that either remain or Brexit with deal will win this time, and either choice is going to present some political difficulties: with remain, you'd probably get a slim victory (48:52 the first time around, now 52:48 in favor, that kind of deal). So now the other half of the voters would probably feel slighted.

In a three-way vote the Brexit vote gets split so rather than a couple of points in it, you're likely to see a difference anywhere between 5-25% It should on paper be an easy remain win, which is exactly why this wasn't offered in the first place and exactly why the leavers will go ballistic if it happens this way now but since they will inevitably go ballistic and anything and everything they are told to, this should not discourage the sensible folks.

I still think more than a few leavers would quietly breathe a sigh of relief if it all gets called off. Though they'll never admit it of course.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That doesn't seem to solve much as far as I can tell: Corbyn's arms had to be twisted quite considerably, until he endorsed a second referendum, and Labor isn't unified as a pro-Remain party. The Remain-Brexit fault lines do not run across party lines, which makes things really tricky.
Corbyn will do what it takes to get himself in as PM. It won't take much pressure from the Lib Dems and/or SNP insisting on a second referendum to get one if he gets to be in charge. Labour now officially support the same anyway and thankfully it has shifted from the spectre of a deal vs. no deal second referendum to a deal vs remain referendum.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I wasn't aware of that. So for how long has there been no government in Northern Ireland? And why?
Its been a while now. They couldn't agree on forming one a couple of elections back I think and have been in limbo ever since. London is charge at the moment since Stormont is completely shut down.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
look at it from the European side: I don't think there is a majority for an extension. The UK's political landscape is in total disarray, and it is not even clear what realistic proposals the British government has that are acceptable to the Europeans and the British parliament alike. It'd be quite different if there were a change of government that comes to the negotiating table with a clear negotiating position and reasonable expectations.
They will get one as long as the europeans believe there is a realistic chance of overturning the whole thing. Once they decide Brexit is inevitable, they'll stop granting them. They always said another general election or referendum would happily trigger an extension and they are getting one and hopefully both so I don't see it being a problem this time, but this will likely be the last one.

One thing I'd like to know is whether the EU can move the deadline without a request from the UK and specifically the UK PM. It would be interesting if they voted to give us more time without a request on the basis our PM was about to be convicted for violating the law. Or maybe if our Supreme Court requested one while they were sorting something out?

Scottish courts have just ruled the Prorogation of Parliament to be illegal so our Supreme Court has that to deal with on the 17th. Boris could end up violating two or more laws to force through his no deal bullshit at this rate. If it works I hope they throw away the key. Though it would be small consolation. That said, if they can lock him up between the 19th and 31st, I guess someone else would gain the authority to request an extension.
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Sep 12, 2019, 12:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
They will get one as long as the europeans believe there is a realistic chance of overturning the whole thing. Once they decide Brexit is inevitable, they'll stop granting them. They always said another general election or referendum would happily trigger an extension and they are getting one and hopefully both so I don't see it being a problem this time, but this will likely be the last one.
Absolutely. The thing is: how do you convince the EU that there is a realistic chance? I don't want to be Debbie Downer, but the agreement reached under PM May's leadership isn't going to be touched (as Johnson has no serious interest in negotiating any of the terms and come up with realistic alternatives). And the odds of putting together the legislation for a second referendum in a month-and-a-half — while Parliament is on a Johnson-mandated break — are slim at best. Nevertheless, if you are really determined to stop it, it nevertheless seems like the most realistic avenue.

So for the sake of argument, let me try and see what would happen in this best case scenario: right after Parliament returns in the middle of October, they pass legislation for a second referendum. This time, the referendum is legally binding and asks voters to rank (1) Remain, (2) Brexit with May's deal or (3) Brexit without a deal. The EU grants another extension until after this referendum is held. After this referendum elections will be held, and a new government will from then on interact with the EU and the world, a government that has the backing of parliament. Would you agree that this is the best-case scenario? Or would you want to change something?
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
One thing I'd like to know is whether the EU can move the deadline without a request from the UK and specifically the UK PM. It would be interesting if they voted to give us more time without a request on the basis our PM was about to be convicted for violating the law. Or maybe if our Supreme Court requested one while they were sorting something out?
Puh, no idea what the legally correct answer is, but in my mind negotiating with others states is something the executive does, not the legislative branch.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Scottish courts have just ruled the Prorogation of Parliament to be illegal so our Supreme Court has that to deal with on the 17th. Boris could end up violating two or more laws to force through his no deal bullshit at this rate. If it works I hope they throw away the key. Though it would be small consolation. That said, if they can lock him up between the 19th and 31st, I guess someone else would gain the authority to request an extension.
From where I sit, it seems that Johnson is solely intent on winning back former Tory voters from the Brexit party and UKIP (although UKIP does not matter much electorally anymore). He is trying very hard to have elections and win them Donald Trump-style. Honestly, I was a bit shocked when he threw tons of MPs out of the Tory party. I have seen plenty of hard-fought intra-party battles in other democracies, and I can't remember that happening. (Sometimes the loser(s) of that battle will leave the party, yes, but they are not thrown out.)
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Sep 12, 2019, 04:12 AM
 
The EU will always grant an extension. The one overriding feeling is that it must be the UK that leaves. At no point does the EU want to be in the position where anyone here can look hack and say “we didn’t leave we were pushed”. That simply can’t happen. We elected to leave and the EU is determined that if we leave then WE need to do the leaving. .
Any time they fail to grant an extension it risks looking like they were the ones that cut the final string and that (they intend) has to be us. We need to do this to ourselves is their policy.

The EU can’t unilaterally extend the deadline otherwise they would have the power to keep us in against our wishes. The request has to come from the uk government (not the courts) and therefore from the Prime Minister.

In effect this means a change of PM is a given on order to request an extension but it certainly wouldn’t be the last promise BoJo broke or claimed wasn’t really a promise. It would be the last one he broke as PM however.
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Oreo: your referenda would never fly here as it offers leavers two choices and clear victory for remain as every remain voter will simply vote as one bloc while the leave vote will be spilt. One with those options would never get off the starting blocks unless a vote for either leave option counts for leave and the total of both votes adds up. In which case remainders will claim that they don’t get a voice in deal no deal.
I guess the least shitty option would be leave or stay with a 2nd question “assuming we leave would you leave with a deal or no deal.
But even that begs the question “what deal?” The only deal we have is Mays flawed one and parliament won’t pass it whatever the people vote.
As far as I’m aware you can’t make a referendum legally binding in the UK as parliament is the only place that can make laws.
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