Topic The UK might not be leaving Europe after all
10 Nov 2016 10:26
I'll respond to you now, the original poster!
A lot of what you say there is correct. No one expected us to vote to leave, and as such there was no plan. Unfortunately, there can be no way to actually plan for leaving the EU as it's a lot more complicated than they had you believe. The question itself was far too simple for what is a really complicated affair.
If we voted to stay, then we voted to stay and things remain as they were, so that would have been simple enough (such as in 1975). But voting to leave could mean one of many different things- the problem we now have is that no one can agree on what path (of many) to take.
Within parliament, no MP is saying that we shouldn't follow the 'will of the people' (as much as I believe that the 'will of the people' was based on some several whopping lies, many of which have already been proven to be so (and many within hours of the vote), but simply trying to determine how it is we should try and negotiate our way out of the EU.
Now this is the really difficult thing. Because what most MP's strive for is to retain access to the Single Market, and keep our 500 million strong customer base, without having to comply with any free movement of labour rules. The problem with that, however, is that the rest of the EU won't allow us to do that (that's one of the lies the leave campaign told the British people).
So there is an internal debate happening, behind closed doors, which is 'what should our negotiating position be'. But remember, whatever it is they decide that they want isn't necessarily what we are going to get. In fact, what we definitely want, we definitely won't get. So now it's a case of determining what is more important to us. There are lot's of smaller things to consider, but essentially it boils down to these two major things: is it more important for us to keep access to the single market, or is it more important that we are able to control our borders (not be committed to free movement of labour)?
The problem with the question that was asked (in the referendum), was the the British people didn't get to say what type of Brexit they wanted (a 'soft' (keep access to the single market) or 'hard' (completely leave EU and the single market) one). The next problem is that the MP's who campaigned for Brexit also can't agree with what they want.
This is why I think a general election HAS to be called for. We don't need another referendum, but simply for each party to have a manifesto, with their Brexit plans detailed for us all to read, that the UK public can vote for. The manifestos would probably go: Conservative, hard Brexit. Labour, soft Brexit. Lib Dems, no Brexit* (or somewhere close to no Brexit....).
Because as things stand, whatever it is the conservative party push for in Parliament hasn't been voted for by the British people. Some think that it has, but it actually hasn't. Yes, it has been voted for to leave the EU, but as I said....that could mean several things.
Referendums aren't legally binding (they just aren't....anyone can very easily look it up (I thought)) and that's what the courts have confirmed recently). What they are saying is that triggering article 50 has to be ratified in Parliament, and for that to happen the plans for Brexit have to be agreed on (which no one can)
Now, if the public voted on a manifesto of how they want to leave the EU, especially if that party has a majority, it would make the process so much easier and clearer.
That's why I believe we NEED a general election. I simply can't see how this is going to go through the both houses of Parliament without that election. If the Tory government pushes for a hard brexit, it would be far too easy for either houses of parliament to simply block it because 'that's not what the people voted for'- and many of them wouldn't have.
It's just too complicated to not have an election, and not having an election would be undemocratic (in the eyes of many, including myself)
To be also very very clear, no one is saying that the 'will of the people' shouldn't be followed, but simply that no one really knows what the 'will of the people' actually is. Therefore, an election needs to take place. There will be a constitutional crises, in my opinion, without one.
What you shouldn't believe, however, is that the court of law have 'overturned' the referendum result (which many have falsely suggested), or the MP's are going to try and ignore the referendum result (even with no legal requirement for them to following it. Overturning a referendum result would be completely unprecedented).
Finally, remember what I said, in that whatever manifesto is agreed on is simply our negotiating position and what it is we are striving to achieve in leaving the EU (and not necessarily what we will get). Still, a negotiating position is at least a start! Somewhere to begin so that Article 50 can be triggered.
*some will tell you that 'no Brexit' would be overturning the referendum result, but I don't think it will be. As I've pointed out, and what can't be argued, is that 'Brexit' can take one of many different forms. Those who say '52% have voted to leave the EU' may as well say 'a referendum was taken on what to eat for dinner. 48% said Pizza, 52% said not Pizza'.
However, what if (for arguments sake) 48% of people wanted pizza, 32 % wanted Chinese, and 20% wanted fish and chips? In that scenario, surely the 'will of the people' is to have pizza?
As I said, it's very complicated and there is no simple answer. If the conservatives push for a hard brexit, but more than 2% of the public would rather have no brexit than a hard brexit (extremely probable), then the actual 'will of the people' was to not leave the EU
you made some interesting points and have helped me understand one or two things better. I've been really reading up about this, so am in a better position to comment.
I think I might drill down on something. As you say the High Court didn't overturn Brexit but merely ruled on a point of law that says that Parliament must vote on the triggering of article 50. I don't see how the Supreme Court can overturn that. It's not like there was some equivocation or abstruse legal point that was subject to interpretation, but a pretty black and white issue.
That calls into question Theresa May's intuition and trustworthyness, if 1. She thought she could get this through by the seat of her pants to begin with and 2. That she will secure the Supreme court's backing. The next step would be to go the European courts for a ruling!