Discussion:
2 risks remain for Johnson's strategy
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James Hammerton
2019-10-20 17:00:54 UTC
Permalink
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.

Maybe ratification of the deal would cut short any extension, but that
leads on to the second, more serious risk, especially if the EU proposes
a long extension that the present Parliament would likely agree to:
Parliament may amend the ratification legislation such that e.g. a new
referendum is required or to insist on the UK joining a customs union
with the EU.

Given the Johnson government's inability to command majorities in
Parliament recently, ISTM these possibilities cannot be ruled out.

Regards,

James
Roger
2019-10-20 18:38:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
The 'EU', or to be precise a single member state, could decide not to give an extension.

They have indicated they will not give a quick answer.

So if the UK does not get on with approving the deal they are running a risk of no deal.
Post by James Hammerton
Maybe ratification of the deal would cut short any extension, but that
leads on to the second, more serious risk, especially if the EU proposes
Parliament may amend the ratification legislation such that e.g. a new
referendum is required or to insist on the UK joining a customs union
with the EU.
It cannot do that, it cannot ratify a deal that has not been made. If parliament decide they want a deal that keeps the UK in the customs union (with whose majority they would achieve this I don't know)then the deal would need to be renegotiated from scratch.
Post by James Hammerton
Given the Johnson government's inability to command majorities in
Parliament recently, ISTM these possibilities cannot be ruled out.
In the case of a GE the tories would win by a large margin according to current polls.
Roger
2019-10-20 20:02:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger
Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
The 'EU', or to be precise a single member state, could decide not to give an extension.
True, but ISTM more likely they will grant an extension than not.
OK, but the stakes are high. Cross your fingers and hope it all goes well?
Post by Roger
They have indicated they will not give a quick answer.
Naturally they want to see how well things go with the deal in
Parliament for the moment.
That's not the only issue. Other countries are using this as lever, for example to obtain concessions in dragging their heels over Euro integration, trying to block Albanias entry to the EU etc, etc.
Agreed there's a risk of that, but if the EU were to come back e.g. next
Monday and say they accept the extension (or propose a different
extension) Johnson is bound by law to accept it or in the case of the
different extension, let Parliament decide.
That will depend on whether his deal has passed, the scope of the Benn act is avoiding a no deal, not obtaining an extension per se.
Post by Roger
It cannot do that, it cannot ratify a deal that has not been made.
Strictly speaking you're correct.
However it can amend the legislation the government puts forward - this
will cause the deal to fall if the amendments alter the deal, but if the
EU grant the extension as above it keeps the whole process on the road
for, well who knows how much longer...
Or put another way it blocks the deal and the process starts from scratch. You cannot ratify a deal by changing it, it's a contradiction in terms.


More to the point it completely changes the whole nature of the deal. Boris's deal was mostly Mays deal without the backstop; remaining in the CU is something completely different.

Of course if you went to the EU and said we'll take BJ's deal but remain in the CU they would accept it like a shot; the UK would become a colony of the EU, obliged to accept it's rules and laws, subject to it's jurisdiction, but with no say in the legislature!

Obviously such a deal would require a completely different approach, especially in the area of arbitration. AFAIK Labour to date have not actually made anything more than vague indications of how they would like their CU deal to be. I suspect no definitive proposal exists at all.
Given Johnson's deal wasn't renegotiated from scratch (essentially it
took May's deal and modified arrangements) I don't see why that couldn't
happen with Parliament insisting on a CU.
See above, all BJ's deal is Mays without the backstop. Mays deal envisaged the UK remaining in the CU for a short period and so made no provisions on how to manage that. The reason parliament rejected Mays deal en masse was because there was a risk the UK could be stuck in the CU with NO arrangements made to deal with this. They do not exist.
As for the majority, you might be right that there isn't a majority for
a CU, but I'm not sure I'd rule it out if the opposition parties,
ex-Tories got together as before as a wrecking measure on the deal.
Tories who didn't accept Mays deal because of the backstop would vote for a CU?
This Parliament seems to be opposed to a GE at this time. The next
scheduled one is in 2022.
Parliament is opposed because Johnson would get his majority. Once the 31st has passed, whatever the outcome, he may as well resign and force an election....there is no alternative majority, they have already tried to form one. Once in public view before parliament reconvened, twice more behind closed doors.
James Hammerton
2019-10-21 19:32:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger
Post by Roger
Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
The 'EU', or to be precise a single member state, could decide not to give an extension.
True, but ISTM more likely they will grant an extension than not.
OK, but the stakes are high. Cross your fingers and hope it all goes well?
As I say, it's a risk - though possibly not the biggest one, which ISTM
is the risk of amendments to the legislation that e.g. require another
referendum.

[snip]
Post by Roger
As for the majority, you might be right that there isn't a majority for
a CU, but I'm not sure I'd rule it out if the opposition parties,
ex-Tories got together as before as a wrecking measure on the deal.
Tories who didn't accept Mays deal because of the backstop would vote for a CU?
You might be right about that, but then maybe the DUP (who appear not to
be backing this deal) might also combine with the opposition parties on
this.

Regards,

James
p***@gmail.com
2019-10-21 15:59:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
Maybe ratification of the deal would cut short any extension, but that
leads on to the second, more serious risk, especially if the EU proposes
Parliament may amend the ratification legislation such that e.g. a new
referendum is required or to insist on the UK joining a customs union
with the EU.
Given the Johnson government's inability to command majorities in
Parliament recently, ISTM these possibilities cannot be ruled out.
Regards,
James
And another

Tom Newton Dunn (The Sun) reports:

"Remember CRAG? It's a fresh headache for the Govt's bid to pass the Brexit deal by October 31. The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (2010) requires any treaty be laid before the House for 21 days before it can be ratified. The Brexit deal is such as [sic] treaty‏.

The Govt accept this, so I learn there is a clause in the WAB that specifically dis-applies it from the Brexit deal. So 21 days will be shrunk to less than 1 day. The bill will be published tonight, and ratification will begin with 2nd reading tomorrow afternoon.

The Commons are unlikely to block the bill on this point, but I'm told the Govt is a little more worried about how the Lords will take it, who are "bound to kick up rough" about it, according to one Tory peer, being sticklers for these kind of things."

Patrick
James Hammerton
2019-10-21 19:36:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
Maybe ratification of the deal would cut short any extension, but that
leads on to the second, more serious risk, especially if the EU proposes
Parliament may amend the ratification legislation such that e.g. a new
referendum is required or to insist on the UK joining a customs union
with the EU.
Given the Johnson government's inability to command majorities in
Parliament recently, ISTM these possibilities cannot be ruled out.
Regards,
James
And another
"Remember CRAG? It's a fresh headache for the Govt's bid to pass the Brexit deal by October 31. The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (2010) requires any treaty be laid before the House for 21 days before it can be ratified. The Brexit deal is such as [sic] treaty‏.
The Govt accept this, so I learn there is a clause in the WAB that specifically dis-applies it from the Brexit deal. So 21 days will be shrunk to less than 1 day. The bill will be published tonight, and ratification will begin with 2nd reading tomorrow afternoon.
The Commons are unlikely to block the bill on this point, but I'm told the Govt is a little more worried about how the Lords will take it, who are "bound to kick up rough" about it, according to one Tory peer, being sticklers for these kind of things."
Seems there's plenty of scope for fun'n'games before this bill gets
through...

Regards,

James

James Hammerton
2019-10-21 19:35:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
Maybe ratification of the deal would cut short any extension, but that
leads on to the second, more serious risk, especially if the EU proposes
Parliament may amend the ratification legislation such that e.g. a new
referendum is required or to insist on the UK joining a customs union
with the EU.
Given the Johnson government's inability to command majorities in
Parliament recently, ISTM these possibilities cannot be ruled out.
Regards,
James
If I may, a further risk to the strategy is should Parliament amend the legislation being tabled by the Government in such a way as it differs from the deal agreed with the EU27 - say, reinstating the 'level playing fields' to the main body of the agreement, amending the NI consent provisions or adding a referendum requirement.
I already included the possibility of amending the legislation to add a
referendum or require a customs union with the EU, but yes other
possibilities exist amendment-wise.

Regards,

James
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