Sunday 13 October 2019

While Waiting...

What would the supposed deal be via the apparent negotiations? What would tackle the issue of consent and no border.

The answer that would work would be a referendum in the North of Ireland/ Northern Ireland to give permission to have a seamless border with Ireland.

However, if this was offered, it would likely head rapidly towards a deal. Is this likely? Would the Democratic Unionist Party object to such a snapshot of opinion? Probably, because it would bypass (non-functioning) institutions where they have a lock on progress, as does each ethnic community.

The trick, presumably, is a deal that is the most the DUP can allow, and the least the European Union would accept. But as the possibility goes one way, the agreement lessens each side.

In the end, it is the British who must concede the most, in that the May agreement with the EU was about as far as the EU could go to have both its Single Market and Customs Union maintained whole and have no economic border on the island of Ireland.

A collapse in the talks is still most likely, a gap that cannot be bridged. Then, of course, British politics intervenes from a different angle. A head of steam is trying to combine the legal delay application to the EU with a second referendum rather than a General Election. Labour policy has not changed, but many MPs are moving in the deal or remain vote for the public.

My own preference is against a divisive, gambling, second referendum. We have representative democracy. So we should go to a General Election, and see what comes. It is likely to be a hung Parliament again, except four English players, Scottish Nationalist dominance and more nationalism in Wales could mean huge unpredictability. I want to see Liberal Democrats campaign for revoke as the policy in Government, although they are likely to have still the opposition policy of a second referendum. MPs have decided the disaster of a no deal means it cannot go on the ballot paper, as indeed they are entitled.

A Government speaks for itself only. If subsequent others want to take its policies on, that is up to them. No Government has to agree to observe another's policy, including that 2016 referendum, and the legislation at the time made it clear.The danger is that some MPs would make a second referendum compulsory in its outcome, and thus introduce a new constitutional element. MPs can overturn any law by a new law. A new Parliament, and a new Government, means evaluating the situation yet again.

It is by no means clear that, even if its support rises, Labour will add seats. This is because of how the other three parties in England extract its critical support in each constituency. The same is true for all the parties. The Liberal Democrats may do very well, or once again find disappointment (as in 2010 when hopes were high). Tories could lose many 'remain' votes and lose 'leave' votes to the Brexit Party, as may Labour, but Johnson is a better communicator than May, even if toxic for many. The Tories could lose out in Scotland. Scotland is a different country. Nevertheless marginal and not so marginal constituencies will change MPs and it will lead to a fresh approach.

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