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Batten the hatches. The No Deal Brexit is almost a reality

Westlake Legal Group may-tusk Batten the hatches. The No Deal Brexit is almost a reality Theresa May The Blog Prime Minister Parliament no deal European Union Brexit

If you follow the news (or comedy) from the BBC, the past two weeks have produced all manner of uproar and bitter controversy, leading up to two critical votes in the House of Commons. One was the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, followed by the failure of the Labour Party to toss her out of office on a vote of no confidence. Now, at least for the time being, they are stuck with the same Prime Minister who is dead set on leaving the European Union, no deal in sight, and a rapidly approaching deadline (March 29) which will see them exit the EU and launch into uncharted territory.

The mood in the British press I mentioned above has seemed to change as the reality of the current situation sets in. A lengthy editorial from The Sun reflects that shift this week. (Worth noting that The Sun is a more right-leaning, pro-Brexit publication.)

IT is a monumental, historic and ­catastrophic defeat. Yet somehow Theresa May is still standing. If nothing else her resilience and determination are admirable and remarkable…

Even then, the scale of defeat looks insurmountable. And the EU is vanishingly unlikely to help: It has wanted a second referendum all along and now believes it’s coming.

Mrs. May’s dramatic Commons speech in favour of her Withdrawal Agreement was well crafted and delivered, a stark contrast to the gripes Jeremy Corbyn read falteringly from his script.

But The Sun could never have supported the deal as it stands.

The editors of The Sun go on to declare that the only good thing about May’s deal was that it would have allowed the government to keep their promise to the nation and finalize their departure, defeating the machinations of “a Remainer hardcore [seeking] to reverse our referendum verdict.”

They complain about the threat of May’s deal leaving the EU with a potentially limitless ability to handcuff Great Britain over the Irish backstop, constraining their ability to negotiate their own trade deals. Further, the deal would have led to the immediate collapse of the Conservative Party government since their minority relies on the Irish DUP to keep them in power and that coalition would have evaporated.

These are all valid complaints, but I’ll return to the same point I was making last year when this outcome first began to look inevitable. The hard, No Deal Brexit will almost certainly lead to some months of chaos and temporary inconvenience. There will likely be an economic downturn through the rest of 2019 as a result.

But the key word here is temporary. None of the underlying realities of the British and continental European economies or their traditional ideological bonds are changing one bit after March 29th. The Brits still have needs that can only be met through trade and the market deplores a vacuum. Similarly, Great Britain has goods and services which will remain in demand across the channel. There’s also the matter of defense. Britain’s military is among the strongest and most capable in Europe and her allies still have need of her.

What all this means is that trade, migration and defense deals will be reached after a period of haggling and posturing. Life will gradually return to normal. All of these countries somehow survived for centuries, if not millennia before the European Union came along. They will do so in the future as friends, much the same way that best friends slowly glide back into each other’s orbits after a particularly unpleasant argument.

Be of good cheer, Brits. You’re doing the right thing and the sun will indeed come up tomorrow. It just might be a bit cloudy through the spring.

The post Batten the hatches. The No Deal Brexit is almost a reality appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group may-tusk-300x173 Batten the hatches. The No Deal Brexit is almost a reality Theresa May The Blog Prime Minister Parliament no deal European Union Brexit   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

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25 questions about (another) early general election – and the horror show it could be for the Conservatives

I wrote in the Times last August about Brexit that “the most likely cathartic event is neither a new prime minister nor a second referendum but a general election”.  Of which there is talk again in the Westminster Village.  William Hague is reportedly saying that the media is underestimating the chances of a poll.

As Mark Wallace points out, the former Foreign Secretary pressed for an election before Theresa May obtained one in 2017.  We know how that turned out.

For the record, this site believed that she’d increase her majority, once she called it.  But we were very dubious about her calling the poll in the first place.  We take the same view now (as may Hague).  For although an election could become unavoidable before too long, believing that one could happen isn’t the same as thinking it should happen.  Here are some questions that help illustrate why.

  • What would the manifesto say about Brexit?
  • If it repackaged Theresa May’s deal, how would Conservative MPs who believe that No Deal is now inevitable, or back Norway Plus, or a Canada-type deal, or a second referendum, respond?
  • If it didn’t propose ruling out No Deal, what would the Cabinet group headed by Philip Hammond say and do?
  • If it did rule out No Deal, what would the Cabinet members who backed Leave in the EU referendum, plus Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, do?
  • Would the manifesto rule out extending Article 50?
  • How would May go about seeking to prevent a 1997-election type revolt – that time round, it was about ruling out joining the Euro – from Leavers?  Would she be prepared to bar the candidacies of hardline pro-Leave MPs?
  • By the same token, would she be prepared to bar the candidacies of their pro-Remain equivalents?
  • How would the Party handle Associations seeking to deselect their MPs?
  • What would the manifesto say about everything else bar Brexit?  The spending review?  Tax?  Social care?  Universal Credit?  Reducing net migration “to the tens of thousands”?  Health and food and lifestyle?  Selective schools?  Knife crime?  The pursuit of British servicemen through the courts?  Tuition fees?  Home ownership? HS2?  And what would it say about how Britain should be different after Brexit?
  • In particular, what would it say about Scotland, and what role would Ruth Davidson and/or Scottish Conservative MPs have in drawing up the contents, if any, especially about fishing?
  • What’s to stop the election turning into one on other matters than Brexit entirely, as the last one did?
  • Would the Party run candidates against the DUP in Northern Ireland?
  • Who would run the manifesto process – since Chris Skidmore, who was in charge of the Party’s policy review, has now been made a Minister and not replaced?
  • Would the Pickles review recommendations for drawing up the next Conservative manifesto be implemented – in other words, would senior Ministers play a major part in overseeing it?
  • Who would write it?
  • Since successive Party leaders have outsourced the running of recent election campaigns, who would run this one?  (Labour’s team from last time round would presumably remain much the same.)
  • Since Lynton Crosby is reported to be advising Boris Johnson, how could he return to CCHQ to spearhead a campaign?
  • Would such a solution be desirable anyway, given the Crosby/Textor/Messina contribution to the failure of the last campaign?
  • Even if it was, would Crosby accept this poisoned chalice in any event?
  • And why would anyone else do so, either – such as James Kanagasooriam?  Dominic Cummings?  (Who wouldn’t be asked anyway.)
  • In the absence of anyone else, has CCHQ really got the capacity to run an election campaign in-house, especially at almost no notice?
  • Given almost no notice, is CCHQ in a position to identify the right target seats?
  • If it can, doesn’t it need an equivalent of Team 2015 to help campaign in them and canvass them?  (And there isn’t one.)
  • Even if there was one, is the prospect of a Corbyn Government enough to get Party activists out campaigning, or will disillusion with the May Government hold them back?
  • What’s the answer to the same question when applied to donors?

And that’s all more or less off the top of my head.  There will be many more questions and better ones too.

P.S: And before you ask, the Fixed Terms Parliament Act isn’t an insuperable barrier to an election, as the events of 2017 proved.

P.P.S: The Prime Minister has of course promised recently, as before the 2017 poll, that she definitely won’t seek one…

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Eight in ten party members oppose extending Article 50, according to our snap survey

Westlake Legal Group ConHome-Survey-Article-50-Jan-19-1024x722 Eight in ten party members oppose extending Article 50, according to our snap survey ToryDiary ConservativeHome Members' Panel Brexit Article 50

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given the relative lack of concern about a no-deal Brexit evinced by our panellists.

However, others may also take the view that the crucial decision point has not yet arrived and that the Government could yet get the Withdrawal Agreement (and the necessary legislation) through Parliament in time.

Either way, speculation is building that May may fold on extension if the Commons pushes for it.

This finding is a reminder that doing so would come with a cost as far as Party members are concerned, especially since it would be claimed, perhaps correctly, that extension was paving the way to revocation.

 

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Our survey. A second referendum is as unpopular as ever amongst grassroots Conservatives.

Westlake Legal Group ConHome-Survey-2nd-Referendum-Jan-19-1024x689 Our survey. A second referendum is as unpopular as ever amongst grassroots Conservatives. ToryDiary Second EU Referendum ConservativeHome Members' Panel Brexit

These results are essentially unchanged since we last ran the question back in December.  There’s no room for manoeuvre on the matter for Theresa May, assuming she might want any, at least as far as Party members are concerned.

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As matters stand, almost half of Party members line up behind No Deal, our snap survey finds

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-18.13.28 As matters stand, almost half of Party members line up behind No Deal, our snap survey finds ToryDiary Norway Europe EU ConservativeHome Members' Panel Canada Brexit

On the BBC’s Question Time edition this week, the audience cheered for No Deal.  The closer the prospect of it gets, the more some people warm to it.

This was also our explanation when we last asked a broadly comparable question to this one, and found that No Deal was the most popular option with 44 per cent support.

That’s now up slightly to 48 per cent, while backing for a Canada option is down marginally from 27 per cent to 24 per cent.  In short, there’s not much change since last year in relation to any of the options.

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