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Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

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Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:36 pm

The UK has only ever held three nationwide referendums. The first two - in 1975 and in 2011 - gave very clear results. The third one has not done so. For every 17 people who voted to leave the EU, 16 voted to remain.

Ed Miliband was opposed to holding this referendum, which was more about placating the right-wing of the Tory Party than any 'national interest', and in any case, referendums are only advisory. Parliament is sovereign; after all, isn't that what Brexit supporters campaigned for? As 450 of our 650 MPs want us to remain in the EU, why don't they use their sovereignty to reject the referendum result? (It's also become evident that many Labour MPs believe their 'sovereign' opinions carry more weight than the views of the vast majority of their party's members.)

The Brexiters also campaigned to 'restore democracy' to the United Kingdom. What is 'democratic' about forcing Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar to leave the EU against the will of the majority of their voters? This constitutional disaster is the result of a reckless and irresponsible response by a weak PM to the divisions in his own party.

A despicable campaign of xenophobia and lies, including TV broadcasts which should have been banned by the Broadcasting Standards Authority, hoodwinked 51.9% of the 72.2% who voted into supporting Brexit. It's hardly surprising that millions of people have now signed a petition for another referendum, but that's not the answer. Referendums are an abdication of the responsibility which voters give to MPs when they elect them. What is needed is for 450 of those MPs to stand up for what they believe, exercise their sovereign power, and refuse to ratify the 2016 referendum result.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by sickchip on Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:11 pm

Well said, Ivan.

....but you are clearly wrong, as many Labour mps are now pointing out - it is all Corbyn's fault.


....but seriously, well said.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by boatlady on Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:53 pm

As always, you have provided a balanced and accurate comment, Ivan
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by sickchip on Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:09 am

What I'd like to know: It seems obvious that a % of leave votes were cast for xenophobic, racist, and bigoted reasons......I hasten to add obviously others voting leave did so because of genuine, and legitimate, concerns. However, I would ask how those who voted leave feel knowing they have only won the referendum because they had the support of racists and bigots; and if there was some way of eliminating that element of the 'leave' vote and it meant they lost would they be happy to accept that? Or are they pleased to have had the support of racists/bigots because it has facilitated victory?

It must feel more than a little uncomfortable knowing you have won the campaign only because you also had the backing of racists/bigots? I wonder how Boris feels knowing that he is where he is now because of the votes of bigoted racists? I wonder how the country feels knowing it has left the EU, and is where it is now, because of the votes of bigoted racists?


......and based on that: How are the 450 mps who wanted to 'remain' going to feel voting through, and endorsing, this referendum result knowing the 'leave' campaign only won because of the % of racist bigots who supported it? How will those 450 mps feel knowing their action of sanctioning the motion is a one that is being dictated by the wishes of racists and bigots? How many will have the courage to stand up to racism and vote against?
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by boatlady on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:59 am

Try as I might, I completely failed to understand the reasoning of the non-racists who voted 'leave'.
A member of our local CLP campaigned vigorously for leave (you might almost say aggressively) - now his 'side' has won, we hear little from him except complaints about 'snide' comments from people who voted to stay - I think several people have pointed to the immediate negative effect on the pound and the spike in racist attacks and abuse.
I don't know what he hoped to achieve
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by sickchip on Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:27 am

....in addition to my previous post:

is this country and it's government now prepared to bow down to the dictat of the likes of the EDL, UKIP, BNP, National Front, etc?

Respect the result of the referendum?

I don't think so! I refuse to accept a decision that was only facilitated because it had the backing of racist bigots.

And if those who voted leave because of legitimate concerns over the EU are happy to have won knowing it has only been because of racists and xenophobic bigots voting alongside them.......then shame on them!
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The results of the Brexit vote

Post by sickchip on Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:56 am

It seems obvious that a % of leave votes were cast for xenophobic and racist reasons......I hasten to add obviously others voting leave did so because of genuine, and legitimate, concerns over EU bureaucracy; but would they have won it without the votes of xenophobes, racists, and bigots?

How are the 450 mps who wanted to 'remain' going to feel voting through, and endorsing, this referendum result knowing the 'leave' campaign only won because of the % of racist/xenophobes who supported it? How will those 450 mps feel knowing their action of sanctioning the motion is a one that is being dictated by the wishes of racists and xenophobes? How many will have the courage to stand up to racism and vote against the referendum result?

Or is this country and our parliament now prepared to bow down to the dictat of the EDL, UKIP, BNP, etc? Are those mp's going to allow the voice of hate speech and racism a level platform? Do we now allow xenophobes to decide major constitutional change?

We are, in effect, encouraging and invigorating far right extremists.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:24 am

It's not a true complex if you really are inferior - and it seems to me that many "Little Englanders" can only feel good about themselves by denigrating others for either their racial, ethnic or physical differences.

The referendum was a perfect vehicle for venting that spleen, as could have been foreseen, so all that pent-up frustration and anger which should have been directed at the Politicians was skillfully diverted away from those very people who had created the problem.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Claudine on Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:56 pm

Ivan, I agree with everything you've said.

When I was a little girl, my mum had to deal with another girl's father because his child was calling us racist names. He then racially abused my mum in the street with a torrent full of n words. I've never forgotten that.

Then shortly after I got married, my husband get a similar speech when we went to Nottingham. He apparently was a race diluter and a 'n' lover. Since that event, it's been all quiet on the race front. I had my children, they went to school, I worked full-time and it was all quiet.

I've since moved to a beautiful, picturesque village. It's just serene here. My in-laws live directly opposite me and just after we moved in, we decided to go to the local pub. I should just say at this point that I think I'm the only black person in this village. It was late summer when we moved and went to the pub and for the first time in decades, I felt that frisson of recognition that is only apparent when you meet people who instinctively dislike you.

I can't explain it but I knew it was there. No-one would look me in the eye. There was a shiftiness, an unwillingness to say hello when I did - they would mumble something and look away. None of my husband's family noticed it but I did. They would chat to Michael and ignore me completely.

Last week before the referendum, my neighbours had visitors over and I was sitting in my garden, quietly reading a book. One of the visitors, who was loud, started talking about "bloody immigrants coming over here & messing the country up". I looked up to hear my neighbour asking her to be quiet because "one of them" lived next door. She just said she didn't care & she'd say it to my face if needs be. Inside, I wanted to shout out "I was born here" but I didn't. I just sat there and thought about it.

After hearing news of the spike in abuse cases and watching that gutless, spineless Cameron urging the nation to behave itself, for the first time in years I became afraid of the future. Farage has told the country to be unafraid and to say what it likes so they are and that frightens me. There are no brakes now - no political correctness for words & actions to be filtered through.

However, I don't think that there will be a second referendum even though I think that #Remain would win it if it happened.

The 450 MPs might be seething inside but I don't think they'll push for the result to be voided. I think that in the end, the country will be severed from Europe and that will be the saddest day in living memory. The xenophobia will continue to deepen and become angrier and it's going to take something really tragic, something really awful to shock the country out of its torpor.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by boatlady on Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:10 pm

Claudine - so very sorry to hear that you have already had to put up with this type of racist abuse, immediately after the referendum.
I'd like to say I think it will get better but I think things are going to be dire for the foreseeable future.
I think you're right and there won't be a second referendum even though many who voted 'out' are clearly already regretting their decision.
I think we're going to live through some very ugly times and I share your fears
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by boatlady on Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:22 pm

We are, in effect, encouraging and invigorating far right extremists.

Which has been the Tory agenda throughout - the racists and far right extremists are their 'useful idiots' who have and are successfully diverting attention from the genocide in process
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by sickchip on Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:48 pm

boatlady,

I have already encountered many people who voted leave who are concerned that they have made a bad decision - due to issues coming to light now. These are people heading off on holiday and realising the £ has plummeted, to people fearful that the cost of food/goods is going to rise, to others that have been told their jobs are in jeopardy.

My attitude towards them has been 'How did you vote? To leave! Well it serves you damn well right.....you've made your bed now you lie in it'. Which, admittedly, might not be the right attitude.....but I'm just so annoyed about the whole situation at present.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Chas Peeps on Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:41 pm

sickchip wrote: We are, in effect, encouraging and invigorating far right extremists.

I agree entirely that the EURef has lifted the lid off a can of worms that only seem to squirm to the right.

The final contribution from a woman in the BBC Question Time audience in early June spoke of our country being 'invaded' and our population 'diluted'. This was clearly racist, xenophobic language and even 5 years ago would probably have been edited out or at least challenged. Not now. It was left hanging in the air before the credits rolled. The final toxic words of an anonymous bigot to sleep on.

In his speech on his self-proclaimed 'Independence Day', 'Fuhrer' Farage spoke of it being a victory for 'ordinary decent people'. My wife and I concluded very quickly that these were most likely code words for working class white people who disliked immigration and that he must categorise us with all of the 'extraordinarily indecent' people in our country. No code breaking skills needed but proof that hate speech is entering the mainstream viewing and listening of our society and remaining unchallenged.

Most of us will have read reports over the past week of migrant workers having leaflets pushed through their doors telling them to go home and that someone will assist them to pack. These include Poles whose ancestors bravely fought the Nazis with massive losses and flew in the RAF alongside our own pilots in the Battle of Britain.

We stayed overnight at a B&B in the Scottish Borders this week. The proprietor said she has noticed a massive increase in the frequency of casual racist and xenophobic comments from a significant number of the English guests who have stayed over the past year or so which she has found very shocking. She said that previously, they may have hinted at their views but knew the limits of decent conversation. Apparently no more. The threshold of acceptability is shifting fast and in a menacing direction. She said she just keeps her head down and her tongue tied and who can blame her? She has a business to run.

My disdain for Labour's self-obsessed attempted coup is set against this backdrop. The immediate risk to the stability, cohesion and humanity of our country comes from the far right, appeased and assisted by UKIP and Brexiter Tories. This must be stopped in its tracks at all costs, no matter what other challenges are confronting us. It requires a united left. History tells us that when all others bolt their doors and close their curtains against the fascists within, it is invariably the trade unionists and those on the left who step into the street to confront them and if necessary force them back under their stones. We must all be ready to reclaim our country's humanity and tolerance.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:10 pm

When was "Politics" ever anything but a synonym for self-interest?

In time of War, food hoarding is rightly considered a serious offence, sometimes carrying the ultimate penalty, but in our civilised society it's neither illegal nor even immoral to "earn" a Million pound+ salary for heading a commercial enterprise which pays the minimum wage to employees.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:00 pm

sickchip wrote:-
I have already encountered many people who voted leave who are concerned that they have made a bad decision

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:43 pm

A warning to Gove and Johnson - we won’t forget what you did

Extracts from an article by Jonathan Freedland:-

This week’s antics of Gove and Johnson are a useful reminder of what exactly was done to the people of these islands – and by whom. For the way one has treated the other is the way both have treated the country. Some may be tempted to turn Johnson into an object of sympathy – knifed by his pal – but he deserves none. He has been exposed as an egomaniac whose vanity and ambition was so great he was prepared to lead his country on a path he knew led to disaster. We just weren’t meant to fall for it. Once we had, he panicked, vanishing during a weekend of national crisis before hiding from Parliament. He lit the spark then ran away – petrified at the blaze he started.

The outlook for the economy is bleak. The Economist Intelligence Unit projects a 6% contraction by 2020, an 8% decline in investment, rising unemployment, falling tax revenues and public debt to reach 100% of our national output. Contracts will be cancelled, planned investments scrapped, existing jobs lost and future jobs will never happen. And there is British scientific and medical research that relied on EU funding and European co-operation.

And what was it all for? For Johnson, it was gross ambition. Gove proclaimed himself a proud believer in the UK, even though it was obvious to anyone who cared to look that a leave vote would propel Scotland towards a second independence referendum. They did it with lies, and they did it with no plan and no care for the chaos they would unleash. This week of shock will settle, eventually. But we should hold on to our fury, against those who for the sake of their career or a pet dogma, were prepared to wreck everything.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:53 pm

Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role

Far from being a straightforward and streamlined process of exit, the Article 50 process raises very complicated legal and political issues and is pregnant with risk (additional to those inherent in existing outside the EU). These complexities are compounded by the murky ambiguities of our unwritten constitution.

The referendum result itself does not speak to the question of how the UK should leave the EU. It is up to the government and to Parliament to ensure that the exit is managed consistently with the UK’s national interest.

Our analysis leads to the possibility that the process of extraction from the EU could be a very long one indeed, potentially even taking many years to come about. Of course, the EU member states have made clear that they will only negotiate once the Article 50 exit provisions have been triggered and are pressing the UK to pull the trigger “as soon as possible”. It is also clear that uncertainty is itself undesirable. A quick pull of the Article 50 trigger is unlikely to be feasible under the UK’s constitutional arrangements and may well not be desirable for any UK government or Parliament, even one committed to eventual withdrawal from the EU.

Brexit is the most important decision that has faced the UK in a generation and it has massive constitutional and economic ramifications. In our constitution, Parliament gets to make this decision, not the PM.

Nick Barber, Fellow, Trinity College Oxford.
Tom Hickman, Reader, UCL and barrister at Blackstone Chambers
Jeff King, Senior Lecturer in Law, UCL

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:13 pm

QUOTE: In our constitution, Parliament gets to make this decision, not the PM.

Then we should consider ourselves fortunate to have a Tory administration that has a passing interest in maintaining the rule of Law - unlike the Blair monopoly in which he, Jack Straw and various officials did largely as they pleased using the prerogatives enjoyed by the Privy Council.

A proper written British Constitution is long overdue.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:56 pm

This is from an article by Hugo Dixon. It’s probably too speculative to be taken seriously……  Rolling Eyes

Leadsom says she would trigger Article 50, starting formal divorce talks, as soon as she became PM. Given her inexperience and that she doesn’t seem to have a Brexit plan, there is a risk that she would press the button without knowing what she was doing. A Leadsom government would be so keen on stopping the right of EU citizens to come to Britain that it would probably end up with only minimal access to the single market, which is responsible for nearly half our trade. That would be bad for trade and investment.

Inexperience, pressing the button without a plan, minimal access to the single market, a confrontation with the Bank of England and promises of a big fiscal stimulus could be an explosive cocktail as far as markets were concerned. The pound would probably take another dive. Since the Tories have a majority of only 16 in Parliament, Leadsom could lose control. She might have to resign. The Conservatives could even split. There might then be new elections or a second referendum on whether to stay in the EU. Of course, if Leadsom did cause chaos but had by then triggered Article 50, we might still be on the conveyor belt to quit. On the other hand, it might be possible to revoke the notification. Legal opinion is split on the matter
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:14 pm

On the other hand......  scratch

Second referendum probably legally required

From an article by Pavlos Eleftheriadis:-

A new referendum on the relations between the UK and the EU is almost certainly required under the European Union Act 2011. This Act created a ‘referendum lock’, which requires a referendum before an amendment of the EU Treaties can be ratified. Because the 2011 Act has been written in very broad terms, it almost certainly applies to the treaties that the UK is likely to conclude with the EU in order to withdraw from it.  

A new relationship post Brexit will normally need at least one new treaty and possibly two. The first is the narrow ‘withdrawal’ agreement of Article 50. The second is the broader trade agreement that may be agreed in due course between the EU and the UK (along the EEA, or ‘Swiss’ or ‘Canada’ models). Both will be international treaties.

The key to the application of the 2011 Act on these treaties is the distinction the Act draws between treaties that ‘amend’ the EU treaties and treaties that ‘replace’ them. Surprisingly perhaps, the Act says that it covers both. By drawing such a distinction the Act makes clear that it does not just cover a future treaty amending the primary treaties of EU law. The withdrawing agreement will clearly not be one of them.

Of course, the 2011 Act was introduced for a different purpose. It was aimed to put a brake on further integration into the EU. But where the rule of law is respected, laws mean what they say. They do not mean what those who enacted them wanted them to say. A literal reading of the Act suggests that any ‘replacing’ treaty with any significant legal effect must be put to a referendum.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:59 pm

And then there are these thoughts from across the pond........ Shocked

Parliament voted to hold the EU referendum – it can vote to ignore it

From an article by Robert Hunter:-

Britain’s PM proposed a vote on whether to leave the EU, a complaisant Commons went along, there was a falderal of a campaign, and Brexit got 51.9% of the vote. That has to be the be-all-and-end-all? I beg to differ – even though you British may not like advice from your American cousins: look how much attention you paid to Barack Obama.

Since time began, your country has resisted referendums for sensible reasons. The unwritten British constitution, with all of its complexity and common sense, has never been about mob rule. It is a set of institutions, the Commons the most important, that evolved into settled practice for a purpose: to promote the people’s and the country’s best interests. So what happened? You departed from your traditional practice of small-c conservatism and made a pig’s breakfast of it.

So a couple of trillion dollars’ worth of wealth has been wiped off the books around the world. So the pound tanked. So political and economic turmoil stretches out as far as the eye can see. So Vladimir Putin is grinning. So the effort to move forward into broad, “sunlit uplands”, after a millennium of failed European politics, can go a-glimmering as far as Britain, its inventor, is concerned.

What is to be done? You could do it again, now that people see the consequences of deciding a nation’s future with 51.9% of the vote (37% of eligible voters). Or you could see the referendum as only advisory. Parliament is sovereign. It voted to hold the Brexit vote; it can vote to ignore its practical effects. Then it can finally get on with starting to cure what really ails the country.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:22 am

And finally.......  Sleep

How to stop Brexit: get your MP to vote it down

From an article by Geoffrey Robertson:-

It’s not over yet. A law that passed last year to set up the EU referendum said nothing about the result being binding or having any legal force. “Sovereignty” – a much misunderstood word in the campaign – resides in Britain with MPs alone, who can make or break laws and peers who can block them. Before Brexit can be triggered, Parliament must repeal the 1972 European Communities Act by which it voted to take us into the EU – and MPs have every right, and indeed a duty if they think it best for Britain, to vote to stay.

It is being said that the government can trigger Brexit merely by sending a note to Brussels. This is wrong. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” The UK’s most fundamental constitutional requirement is that there must first be the approval of its Parliament.

Brexit may turn out to be just too difficult. Staying in the EU may be the only way to stop Scotland from splitting, or to rescue the pound. A significant public change of mind would amply justify a parliamentary refusal to Brexit. If Trump becomes the leader of the free world, a strong EU would be more necessary than ever. Or it may simply be that a majority of MPs, mindful of their constitutional duty to do what is best for Britain, conscientiously decide that it is best to remain.

The only way forward now depends on the courage, intelligence and conscience of your local MP. So have your say in the traditional way: lobby him or her to vote against the government when it tries to Brexit, because Parliament is sovereign.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by boatlady on Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:35 am

the courage, intelligence and conscience of your local MP


If that's what we need to get anything done, I suspect we're stuffed - Brandon Lewis always takes time to discover the most career-enhancing response to any query, then parrots the government's position - talking to him is like expecting a response from your reflection in a mirror
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:41 pm

Letter saying EU referendum result ‘not legally binding’ signed by more than 1,000 lawyers

More than 1,000 lawyers have signed a letter addressed to David Cameron saying the EU referendum result is merely “advisory” and not legally binding. Arguing the vote for Brexit, which was opposed by world leaders such as Barack Obama and Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund, is far from guaranteed, the group advised the government to carefully consider whether to follow through with the British public's vote to leave the European Union.

Before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the route via which members states leave the EU – can be triggered, they say primary legislation will need to be enacted. The lawyers add that the government should organise an independent investigation into the costs and benefits of withdrawal before making plans to exit the bloc.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:30 pm

Theresa May does not intend to trigger Article 50 this year, court told

From an article by Owen Bowcott:-

Theresa May will not trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty initiating the UK’s departure from the European Union before the end of 2016, the High Court has been told.

At the opening of the first legal challenge to the process of Brexit, government lawyers conceded that the politically sensitive case was likely to be appealed up to the Supreme Court. At least seven private actions – arguing that only Parliament and not the PM has the authority to invoke article 50 – have been identified to the court. The lead case for the legal challenge will be that brought by an investment manager and philanthropist, Gina Miller, who lives in London. Her claim is being co-ordinated by the law firm Mishcon de Reya.

The result of the referendum is not legally binding in the sense that it is advisory only and there is no obligation on the government to give effect to the referendum decision. Lawyers maintain that under the UK’s constitutional requirements, notification to the EU Council of withdrawal “can only be given with the prior authorisation of the UK Parliament”.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:59 pm

The Eurosceptics whined for 41 years. So why does everyone expect Remain to just accept Brexit?

Extracts from an article by Jonn Elledge:-

The 2014 referendum on Scottish independence was defeated by a 10 point margin – yet its disappointed supporters soon solidified into a movement that’s already remade Scottish politics, and even before Brexit, a second referendum was potentially on the cards. Does anyone really think that a 10 point victory for the status quo would have seen the Leavers accept their defeat and toddle off into the sunset? So I have to ask – why is everyone expecting the 48% of us who voted Remain to just lay down and die?

Hornsey MP Catherine West has said she’ll vote against leaving, because it’s what her constituents would want. Her neighbour David Lammy went further, calling for the whole thing to be scrapped. Tim Farron, bless him, said his party’s policy would be to stay in. But these are the exceptions: most politicians claim they are ready to go. Since as many of 421 of the574 English and Welsh constituencies voted Leave, who can blame them? And so, because of one quite narrow vote, Brexit is on. Never mind the economy, never mind Britain’s place in the world, never mind what it’s doing to our political culture.

I thought Brexit was a stupid idea on 23 June. I feel the same now, only I have rather more evidence to back me up. The vote was close. The results may well be a disaster. The idea we should give in and accept this as the world burns around us seems a bloody silly one to me. The forces of Eurosceptic reaction, let’s not forget, whined about Brussels for 41 years. Why the hell should those of us who placed some value in a European passport abandon the fight, just because we are very slightly in the minority? The SNP never did.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:18 pm

When something is so clearly detrimental to the UK economy, MPs should stick with their own judgement and not go ahead with implementing the outcome of the reckless decision to hold a referendum by a former PM:-

Brexit shockwaves hit British jobs, banks, automobiles

Shockwaves from Britain's vote to leave the European Union have rocked the economy, with thousands of jobs lost at one of the country's biggest banks, big extra costs for Ford, and consumer confidence plunging.

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:29 pm

We're entering interesting territory with the notion that the British Public can't be trusted to vote "correctly" in a referendum.

The alternatives then are presumably:

a) Military government
b) Dictatorship
c) Government by elected representatives in Parliament, but no plebiscites or referendums ever.

But I'm often wrong.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:34 pm

Alternative (c) was the modus operandi which developed in the UK - a representative democracy - though at times it tends to resemble an elected dictatorship.

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:50 pm

Good to see the pamphleteers flourishing. The link identifies the author as Donnachadh McCarthy - quondam dancer with the Royal Ballet, deputy chair of the Liberal Democrat party, author, broadcaster and FRSA.

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:17 pm

British MPs have a moral duty to stop their country being thrown off a cliff

Extracts from an article by Daphne Caruana Galizia:-

"Laws in representative democracies (where you vote for MPs, who then take decisions as representatives of the people) are made and changed by the people’s representatives and not directly by the people. MPs are legislators. Electors are not. Electors elect legislators. Britain uses a system of representative democracy and not direct democracy.

The nature of the vote in a referendum is completely different to that in a general election, where people have the right to vote for (choose) their representative in Parliament. And in doing so, they delegate all further decisions to him or her, their MP. Matters of intelligence or informed opinion simply do not come into it: everybody has the right to choose the person he thinks is best suited to represent him.

Things change when you come to the vote in a referendum. Now, people are being asked to decide on important and complicated technical issues, with major and permanent impact, for which they are largely not qualified to decide. And of course, they should not be taking any decision of the sort. We vote for MPs to take those decisions themselves, in Parliament.

It is Parliament which is supreme. A vote in direct democracy, by the people in a referendum, cannot supersede, block or force any parliamentary decision, and it does not have the force of law in and of itself. There is no moral (still less legal) obligation to bring about disaster on the basis that a simple majority of people voted for it in a referendum. There is, on the other hand, a moral obligation (and a legal basis) to do what you can to stop it.
"

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:16 am

There have of course been various episodes in Britain's past when it might have been prudent to reverse a decision. King Harold's forced march towards Hastings in 1066; The ridding of a "turbulent priest" at Canterbury; Henry VIII's murderous reformation of the Church; fast-forward to the American war of Independence/Boer War/The Great War/WW2.

How different would our History books now appear, but reversal is not our style. Thank Heaven we don't still have Capital Punishment.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:18 pm

…….reversal is not our style. Thank Heaven we don't still have Capital Punishment.
I think Britain has been quite pragmatic at times. For example, after restoring the Stuarts to the throne in 1660, they were kicked out again in 1688. The Corn Laws were repealed, appeasement of Hitler was reversed, and our refusal to join the EEC in 1957 was followed by applications for membership in the 1960s. And now of course we have had the vote to reverse our 43-year membership of the EEC/EC/EU.

Don’t rule out a reversal of the abolition of capital punishment in due course, especially if the Tories win the next couple of elections by landslides and we continue the slide into slow-motion fascism. We now have at least two cabinet members (David Davis and Priti Patel) who support the death penalty, and if we do leave the EU and possibly the ECHR and Council of Europe as well, there would be fewer obstacles to a return to judicial murder.

The abomination of the EU referendum came about because of the recklessness of a former PM, who was more interested in his vile party (and his own position) than the national interest. He even decided the rules about who could and couldn't vote. Excluding 16 and 17-year-olds (who had been allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum), when this was more about their future than anyone else’s, could well have affected the outcome. Decreeing that a simple majority was sufficient to end our membership of the largest single market the world has ever seen was particularly crass. Even at my local cricket club, if you want to change the rules you need a two-thirds majority.

The fall in the value of the pound because of Brexit is bad enough, making imports and foreign travel more expensive. But as articles posted on this forum demonstrate, almost every day there is some more negative news arising from Brexit, more damage being done to Britain’s interests. If Parliament is sovereign, as the Brexit supporters have been demanding, then MPs have a duty to do what is best for this country, even if that involves ignoring the close result of an advisory referendum.
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:55 pm

Swiss send a message from the Alps to the Pennines

Extracts from an article by Sam Ashworth-Hayes:-

In a small country, split from the rest of Europe by a quirk of geography, worried officials are working around the clock to balance the result of a populist referendum against its potential economic damage. The trade-off is clear: cutting immigration comes at the cost of access to the European single market. The economic price is too high to pay. But the political price for overturning the result could be higher still. Welcome to Switzerland.

High immigration from the EU bred resentment. A referendum was called; polling showed a lead for the status quo. But a campaign led by right-wing eurosceptics won a narrow victory. The EU made its position clear soon after the vote: “The core principle of the free movement of persons… is simply not negotiable”. It hasn’t wavered since. Switzerland faces an acute dilemma. Its relations with the EU consist of a set of bilateral treaties; if Switzerland ends one agreement, it ends them all. This is unthinkable, but the government is constitutionally bound to follow through with the results of the vote – unless a new referendum overturns the last one.

We voted to leave on the back of extravagant promises of being able to sell to the EU without inhibition, and without accepting free movement. Two years from now we may find – as the Swiss have – that our appetite for going it alone has waned. Once voters are faced with choosing between limited or no further controls on immigration, and limited or no special access to the single market, they may well feel that they were sold a pup. It might then be sensible to follow the Swiss and call another referendum.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:15 am

If peers apply the brakes to Brexit, we’ll be doing our job

From an article by Patience Wheatcroft:-

The day after I suggested that the House of Lords may try to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union, my inbox filled with angry rants against such an attempt to thwart the will of the people. Gradually, however, more reasoned messages of support have been landing, reflecting the despair felt by many. The overwhelming message from these people is that the country should not take such a momentous decision without knowing what it entails.

We don’t have a clue what Brexit means and it is surely not unreasonable to suggest that, once we do, the electorate should have a chance to decide whether it really favours that over membership of the EU. The referendum was only advisory. Withdrawal from the EU will impact on our children and theirs. The sovereignty of Parliament must prevail; it is central to our democracy and needs to be nurtured. Some who voted out are already voicing misgivings. This is hardly surprising, given the nature of the campaign and what has since transpired. That extra £350m a week for the NHS promised by the leave campaigners proved as reliable as Andrea Leadsom’s CV.

Surveys on the service and manufacturing sectors signal the steepest fall in the economy since the height of the financial crisis. The drastic slump in the value of the pound is taking its toll on holidaymakers and, while optimists argue it should boost exports, that ignores the effect on manufacturers who have to import their materials. Is this really what 52% of voters wanted? It is not the role of an unelected House of Lords to thwart the will of the people, but it is our job to ask the government to think again should we believe it is making a mistake.


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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by boatlady on Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:59 am

The more I think of it, the more I realise that the decision to have the referendum was a mammoth and fatal blunder.

We are now between a rock and a hard place, with all the underlying tensions in the country completely out in the open and there's clearly no positive way forward - we live in interesting (as in uncomfortable) times
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:08 am

All true - because Cameron couldn't control his Party, though much more fuss is being made about a not dis-similar problem within Her Majesty's loyal opposition. Probably all down to global warming. The last comparable situation was perhaps in 1854, when The Charge of the Light Brigade was led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October, in the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery, a task well-suited to light cavalry. However, due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.

Ah, miscommunication. There's still a lot of it about.

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:35 am

From the comments section of the FT...... What a Face

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:01 pm

Don’t care didn’t care,
Don’t care was wild:
Don’t care stole plum and pear
Like any beggar’s child.

Don’t care was made to care,
Don’t care was hung:
Don’t care was put in a pot
And boiled till he was done.

Traditional nursery rhyme
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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

Post by Ivan on Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:55 pm

What Brexit do we want? The one Leavers promised

From an article by Hugo Dixon:-

"Brexit is going to be bad. So there’s a temptation to campaign for the least bad form of Brexit. This is a mistake. No Brexit is a good Brexit – except in Leavers’ dreams. Rather than spending energy to ameliorate the Brexit terms, we should demand the Brexit that Leavers promised. We know it’s impossible. But that’s not our fault.

So what do we want from a Brexit deal? Single market access, control of the rules that govern our trade, £350 million a week back from Brussels, free movement for our people, full protection of the rights of British citizens living in the EU, no change to the Irish border, no independence for Scotland and a seat at the top table on EU foreign policy.

If the government can deliver all that, brilliant. If it can’t, we don’t want Brexit at all.
"

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Re: Open letter to the UK's 450 MPs who support membership of the EU

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