Brexit in a nutshell

trevor432990

Active Member
I have a few foreign friends who when I see them always ask me how Brexit is going? I then have to try and explain our screwed up political system to them and how we got into the Brexit mess we now find ourselves.

I recount to them the sequence of events and the traumas we have suffered since as follows :-
  • Seeking to stem the case for Scottish and EU independence put forward by the SNP and UKIP David Cameron made manifesto pledges to settle the arguments using referendums
  • We had an EU referendum in 2016 with two simple options to choose from Leave or Remain in the EU. The option chosen turned out to have the largest number of votes in UK history
  • The result a 52% vs 48% vote in favour of Leave. A majority of nearly 1.3 million people and at constituency level 410 seats for Leave and 240 seats for Remain
  • MPs on the other hand voted 490 for Remain whilst only 160 voted Leave showing a clear divergence between the People and their Parliamentary representatives
  • Our PM at the time David Cameron (Tory) who had promised to personally carry out the people's decision, whatever it was, promptly resigned
  • In the leadership contest which followed Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom three stalwarts of the Leave campaign managed to bottle their own chances
  • So Theresa May became PM by default and proceeded to promise (over 108 times) the UK would Leave the EU on March 31,2019 ‘deal or no deal’
  • February 1st 2017 Article 50 was passed by MPs by 498 votes to 114 binding the EU withdrawal procedure into UK law
  • Thinking she was on a roll May called a snap General Election but instead she lost 13 seats and with it the Tory majority forcing her to form an alliance with the DUP
  • The UK negotiation team headed by David Davis> Dominic Raab > Stephen Barclay and civil servants such as Olly Robbins created May’s deal
  • May’s deal contained an ‘Irish Backstop’ section which according to the Attorney General could lock the UK into the EU forever so it was rejected by MPs three times
  • In May 2019 Nigel Farage led a brand new Brexit Party to victory winning 29 MEP seats the largest group of any party within the EU parliament
  • After three years as prime minister Theresa May decided to resign in June 2019
  • Tory MPs shortlisted two PM candidates but local associations had the final vote on who would lead the party and become PM. Boris Johnson was chosen
  • Ousted former ministers and party grandees rebelled and the Speaker of the House John Bercow was accused of biased behaviour which favoured the rebels and remain supporters
  • The 21 rebels backed an opposition motion to delay Brexit until Jan’2020 and the Tories were defeated at which time Johnson sacked the 21 rebels from the party
  • The government wanted to call a General Election but a new law introduced in the Cameron era prevents elections being called quickly in succession
  • Whilst this was all going on the Labour party were having their own rebellions and challenges as a result of lack of a clear Brexit strategy and anti-semitism claims
  • With no majority but an opposition who don’t want a general election, as polls show they have lost public support, the UK has been left with a ‘Zombie’ government
  • Following the MP's 2019 summer recess with party conference season looming Boris Johnson decided to Pro-rogue Parliament until 17th October in order to prepare a Queens speech
  • This decision was bitterly fought through the English, Scottish and Supreme courts until a landmark ruling by the Supreme court that this pro-roguing had been unlawful
  • With no written constitution the UK judiciary are now being used by wealthy individuals to challenge government policy and with this SC precedent it is likely to increase even further
  • A new deal emerges removing the NI Backstop but restricts how UK can operate in terms of setting Foreign, Military and Fisheries policies in future so is labelled Brexit in name only
  • The Benn Act (aka Surrender Act) and Letwin bill are introduced to force PM to send letter to EU requesting an extension till Jan'2020 before a meaningful vote happens
  • An extraordinary Saturday session with the main purpose of having a ‘meaningful vote’ on the PM’s new deal is hijacked by the Letwin bill passing by 16 votes and the Tory benches emptied
Trying to compress 3+ years of history down to a list of bullet points has proved challenging so if I’ve missed any glaring events please let me know.
 
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psikey

Well-known Member
Fairly accurate except I'd use the actual wording of Unlawful not illegal.

As I understand it the Judges brought in additional considerations that didn't exist before. At the time of Proroguing those weren't of consideration as unlawful hence legal advisors to PM stated no legal concern.

Last Point should be

Boris continues to try and deliver the will of the electorate against everything the Remainer MP's, officials, certain press & power people can throw at him.
 
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EarthRod

Distinguished Member
Good post.

In Westminster it would be called Nuxit in a Bretshell because that is how the politicians screw things up and overly complicate matters - even the easiest and simplest things.
 

dms

Active Member
I shouldn't post about brexit because it's terrible for stress levels :) however your post caught my eye because I too often have to explain to "foreign friends" (many of which are actually Brits who moved abroad in their 20's and 30's) what is going on. In fact I recently did a tour in Europe to catch up with people and every single person I met (and their wives/partners and on occasion children, no dogs fortunately) asked for an explanation. After two weeks of it I was more sick of Brexit than I've ever been.

Your list starts well enough and has some really important summaries which I think people gloss over but reading through it to me it is very coloured and leans towards a certain position on Brexit.

I could never write a list which you wouldn't read and accuse of being biased the other way though. That's the problem with facts that don't mean things without context or without other facts!

So personally what I would say you have missed out is:
  • An MP was shot by someone supporting leave whilst campaigning for the remain side.
  • There are accusations which won't die that the vote was used by some to further their career with one prominent figure writing alternative pieces for both sides of the argument. He went on to become PM eventually having voted against a deal with the EU.
  • The remain argument was nick named "project fear" by those supporting Brexit. Many of the soundbites from those on the Brexit side have since been shown to be false (the bus) or widely optimistic (esp. the timescale and easily trade deals etc would be reached). Certain things we are told now were voted for (no deal brexit) were never discussed or promoted by the leave side.
  • Describing the popular vote result is obviously fine. Personally I mention how a great many people were denied their vote by either Government policy, incompetence or (and not very seriously!) the trains being delayed by the weather (I was on such a train rammed full of remain leaning Londoners). I mention this as my ex-pat friends never got their votes and are upset about it.
  • I do not describe the first past the post system and the Consistencies figures for leave/remain because it a) generally confuses people and gets the discussion side tracked b) completely distorts the idea of the difference between the leave/remain votes. However, I do mention that by our system of representation MPs are expected to represent their constituents and so "you" would expect MPs to vote as per the result in their Consistency and that hasn't been happening.
  • I mention that since the original vote there has been repeated polling to determine who would "win" this time round. It has also been shown that the aging population are said to have voted for Brexit vs the youth who are said to have voted remain.
  • Mention of Gina Miller and her cases against the Government. That she got the ruling saying MPs had to approve Legislation to leave the EU rather than the Government doing it off their own back is important to show how a campaigner is fighting to give back control to MPs. Of course what the MPs do/have done with that power is a debate.
  • In the more recent Supreme Court ruling I would mention the side against the Pro-roguing of Parlament included a ex Tory PM and was not just about one business woman.
  • The "alliance" with the DUP was a "confidence and supply agreement" it is not an alliance as most non-Brits are used to based on their experience of coalitions. I also always mention the Billion £ bribe here to secure it. Personally I see it as a cost of brexit...
  • I describe David Davis... in an unfavorable light.... I do think it is important to mention that his performance was generally reported on both "sides" to be poor with limited contact in Brussels. The fact he's not holding any real office right now is also something I mention as testament to his lack of achievement. I personally would not suggest civil servants overstepped their mark, but I do say they have been blamed by Brexiteers (who have a long list of people to blame).
  • Nigel Farage (after leaving his German wife and making sure his kids were German) left the UKIP party which he had been a leader/member of for many years to form the Brexit party. This was because the UKIP party had been getting a little too extreme for mainstream and had taken unboard a hugely controversial right wing figure. Under his personality cult the "new" Brexit party did very well, but it's not realistic to suggest this was truely a "new" party formed overnight.
  • Saying MPs or the Speaker are out to thwart Brexit... that's a bit much. What I think is very important to say is that MPs being sacked from the Tories are ones which voted for Brexit and a deal more often than those in high office themselves did. I explain this as going back to your first bullet point which is really important... that there were two options and that the MPs were not told what "leave" meant and they can't agree on what it means now in relation to the Backstop and/or leaving without a deal.
  • Saying we have no constitution is something I need to explain the people abroad. We are ruled by precedent. We have multiple courts and in our democracy MPs set the law and the courts interpret them independently. If MPs (or the Inland Revenue!) are ruled against in Court which is actually a very common occasion for donkeys years then one get out the MPs have is just to change the law or make a new law.
  • Things have gotten extremely nasty and bitter in the UK with both sides getting more extreme in their behavior, utterly inappropriate language being used to suggest the country is at war and that one side is "betraying" the other, a huge increase in racism on the streets (this is personal experience so I tell personal stories).
  • The PM is desperate for an election as he's convinced he'll do very very well and that would most likely ensure his legislation got through parliament making things easy for him. The opposition know they have a 'good thing' right now in parliament even if they don't have power and are trying to break him. However the reason given for not supporting an election is that the opposition parties do not trust the PM not to use an election as a means of forcing through a no-deal brexit to which they are ideologically opposed and which was not an option put in the referendum.
  • A great many people, businesses and MPs are genuinely scared of a no deal brexit and are against it. What those people don't know is whether the PM is trying to scare Europe with the threat of the no-deal (which is frankly what I would have done myself with the huge proviso I would not have triggered article 50 till I was damn sure I knew we could cope and had prepared people slowly for no deal).

Oh dear. I'm sorry (or will be ;-) I've brought colour into this, but going back to things you have missed out....if you are trying to explain to people the mess we're in; at the very least mention MP Jo Cox and Gina Miller.

Of course if you're trying to persuade people that the MPs are against "the will of the people" then your list is great!
 

trevor432990

Active Member
Thanks for your comprehensive reply DMS. I guess I do lean on the fact that many MPs of all parties have voted differently to their electorate during the referendum, which is fine per se, but when those same MPs refuse to accept the majority result and actively seek to overturn it then they are being undemocratic and unworthy of our respect. When someone like Dominic Grieve takes his rejection to an extreme then I think he can justifiably be called a 'traitor' to his constituency and to the country.
 

SteakAndCake

Suspended
Thanks for your comprehensive reply DMS. I guess I do lean on the fact that many MPs of all parties have voted differently to their electorate during the referendum, which is fine per se, but when those same MPs refuse to accept the majority result and actively seek to overturn it then they are being undemocratic and unworthy of our respect. When someone like Dominic Grieve takes his rejection to an extreme then I think he can justifiably be called a 'traitor' to his constituency and to the country.
I take issue with every point you make.

Executing the will of their constituents is the secondary duty of MPs. The primary duty being the exercise of their own judgement as to what is in the best interests of their constituents based on the experience, opinions, and research of that MP.

Any MP who undertakes their duties regardless of whether it conflicts with the will of their constituents is not a traitor. They are simply MPs doing their duty. That word has no place being used to describe any member of parliament.

It is not for MPs to conform to the erroneous expectations of the electorate. It should be the responsibility of the citizenry to educate themselves as to how their own government works.

Representing ignorance should not be an aspirational goal for our government.
 

SteakAndCake

Suspended
Obstructing a democratic vote result is fine by you then? That response is why we are in the mess we find ourselves.
You see obstructing. I see 650 people trying to coalesce 650 different visions of what Brexit means into legislature that a majority can agree on, the public will support, and won't wreck the country.

Honouring one referendum is not a good enough reason to break the law or attempt to operate outside parliamentary sovereignty.
 

dms

Active Member
Thanks for your comprehensive reply DMS. I guess I do lean on the fact that many MPs of all parties have voted differently to their electorate during the referendum, which is fine per se, but when those same MPs refuse to accept the majority result and actively seek to overturn it then they are being undemocratic and unworthy of our respect. When someone like Dominic Grieve takes his rejection to an extreme then I think he can justifiably be called a 'traitor' to his constituency and to the country.
Welcome!

I really get that people are angry (hell I'm angry too!) but they way politicians are largely playing games (both sides) and blaming anyone but themselves for not getting brexit sorted isn't helping anyone.

Personally the idea Government Ministers can force anything without subjecting it to Parliament (& the House of Lords)... well it just isn't British. British for me is a bit of pounce, a debate, everyone puts in their bit and if it's good for the country it eventually gets through. It's also the law of the land, if Boris doesn't like it tough (though that's not what he last judgement was about in itself)!

In the old days where the Government had big majorities I guess it felt a bit moot.

So are MPs are trying to stuff Brexit? I don't honestly think they are. I think they're just torn what's best for the country, with a few difficult sods thrown in which is a problem for the Government.

I think the mess we're in is being cause by first Rebel Tories voting down May's deal 3 times when they should have just accepted her deal was as good enough to get brexit over the line.

Now it's being caused by Boris playing hardball with both Parliament and the EU and putting the fear of God into people that he really 'wants' no deal. He's getting a massive push back, obviously supported by remainers but there are plenty who would vote (and who have done!) for a deal who are terrified of no-deal and want to avoid it.

Personally I don't want a no-deal and will cheer on any MP who stops it. I don't really want to leave the EU either but I think it's (now) Boris' duty to do his upmost to get a deal which Parliament approves of and stops behaving like he's a President or dictator in some other country.

I mean using some old mechanic to shut down parliament for a couple of months when it's only ever really been used to stop things a couple of days... well what has Boris being doing with all the time he had free? He's been canvassing and people have told him to FO and go to Brussels to sort things out, good on them. Well if he wasn't canvassing he wasn't writing the Queen's speech either was he? He's taking everyone on all sides as a fool.

"Traitor"
I'm sorry I have a massive problem with "surrender", "traitor", "collaborator" (the worst one in my book), "enemy" and a lot of the language being branded about by politicians and then repeated in the press & on the street.

Since the vote for Brexit I have experienced first hand, and through my family & friends, a rise in racism in this country which wasn't here since the 60's.

We're talking assault, both verbal and physical,"foreigners" being thrown off buses, mixed race couples getting called out based on looks, people asking not to be served by "foreigners" in shops. It's properly foul. Boris & Co's language and behavior gets copied and used as an excuse for this abuse and drives it up. Why do I say that, because those words are copied in the abuse.

The idea that some Polish plumber, German pensioner or even second/third generation "Jamaican" have to get kicked out of the UK for the UK to be "great again" is a sick fantasy I can't support. The areas in the UK which have the least mixed communities aren't exactly doing better because of it are they?

We don't all have to agree about Brexit, about football or whatever, but we should at least be British... polite up front and slag em off down the pub!
 

trevor432990

Active Member
MPs most definitely are trying to stuff Brexit at least the Lib Dems & Labour (despite their feeble attempts to say otherwise) are determined to revoke Article 50. I never mentioned racism in my post nor should we tolerate it and it was a sad day when someone suggested that people who voted leave were all racist and to use your own measure that would be impolite.
 

Sonic67

Distinguished Member
  • There are accusations which won't die that the vote was used by some to further their career with one prominent figure writing alternative pieces for both sides of the argument. He went on to become PM eventually having voted against a deal with the EU.
Not correct.

He wrote two articles. Both as a leaver. The first article was as a leaver and backing leave.

The second article was as a reluctant leaver but accepting what Cameron had returned with.

You can read the second article here:


  • The remain argument was nick named "project fear" by those supporting Brexit. Many of the soundbites from those on the Brexit side have since been shown to be false (the bus)
How? The bus says how much we give the EU and to spend that elsewhere. Until we've left and stopped funding the EU that money can't go elsewhere.

We haven't left or stopped funding the EU yet.
  • or widely optimistic (esp. the timescale and easily trade deals etc would be reached).
Not helped by Remain MPs. Trade is at 44 at the moment.

 

Sonic67

Distinguished Member
I take issue with every point you make.

Executing the will of their constituents is the secondary duty of MPs.
Note which is first:

You and Your MP House of Commons Information Office

This leaflet explains the role of your Member of Parliament (MP), how they may be able to help you and how you can contact him or her.

The Role of an MP

MPs have responsibilities to three main groups: their constituents, Parliament and their political party.


If your constituents voted to leave and you represent them, then you are their to represent them.

Not you. You don't know their lives.

Fine if you think different, then find what you think is the least damaging way of leaving, but the vote was from them not you.
 

CommonSense

Standard Member
I have a few foreign friends who when I see them always ask me how Brexit is going? I then have to try and explain our screwed up political system to them and how we got into the Brexit mess we now find ourselves.

I recount to them the sequence of events and the traumas we have suffered since as follows :-
  • We had a referendum in 2016 with just two options to choose from Leave or Remain in the EU. This turned out to have the largest turnout of voters in UK history
  • The result a 52% vs 48% vote in favour of Leave. A majority of nearly 1.3 million people and at constituency level 410 seats for Leave and 240 seats for Remain
  • MPs on the other hand voted 490 for Remain whilst only 160 voted Leave showing a clear divergence between the People and their Parliamentary representatives
  • Our PM at the time David Cameron (Tory) who had promised to personally carry out the people's decision, whatever it was, promptly resigned
  • In the leadership contest which followed Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom three stalwarts of the Leave campaign managed to bottle their own chances
  • So Theresa May became PM by default and proceeded to promise (over 108 times) the UK would Leave the EU on March 31,2019 ‘deal or no deal’
  • February 1st 2017 Article 50 was passed by MPs by 498 votes to 114 binding the EU withdrawal procedure into UK law
  • Thinking she was on a roll May called a snap General Election but instead she lost 13 seats and with it the Tory majority forcing her to form an alliance with the DUP
  • The UK negotiation team headed by David Davis> Dominic Raab > Stephen Barclay were undermined by civil servants led by Olly Robbins who created May’s deal
  • May’s deal contained an ‘Irish Backstop’ section which according to the Attorney General could lock the UK into the EU forever so it was rejected by MPs three times
  • In May 2019 Nigel Farage led a brand new Brexit Party to victory winning 29 MEP seats the largest group of any party within the EU parliament
  • After three years of promising much but secretly doing the opposite Theresa May decided to resign in June 2019
  • Tory MPs shortlisted two PM candidates but local associations had the final vote on who would lead the party and become PM. Boris Johnson was chosen
  • Ousted former ministers and party grandees rebelled and the ‘impartial’ Speaker of the House John Bercow colluded with them and the opposition to thwart Brexit
  • The 21 rebels backed an opposition motion to delay Brexit until Jan’2020 and the Tories were defeated at which time Johnson sacked the 21 rebels from the party
  • The government wanted to call a General Election but a new law introduced in the Cameron era prevents elections being called quickly in succession
  • Whilst this was all going on the Labour party were having their own rebellions and challenges as a result of lack of a clear Brexit strategy and anti-semitism claims
  • With no majority but an opposition who don’t want a general election, as polls show they have lost public support, the UK has been left with a ‘Zombie’ government
  • To try to provide Boris Johnson with some time to carry out shuttle diplomacy with EU and World leaders he decided to Pro-rogue Parliament until 17th October
  • This decision was bitterly fought through the English, Scottish and Supreme courts until a landmark ruling by the Supreme court that this pro-roguing had been unlawful
  • With no written constitution this country is now at the mercy of non-elected judges to decide what political events they wish to become involved with and rule over
Trying to compress 3+ years of history down to a list of bullet points has proved challenging so if I’ve missed any glaring events please let me know.
Trevor 432990 -I visited this `nutshell' post hoping to find a plain view of the current state of Brexit but I'm afraid that you must be familiar with bigger nuts than I am! (not that I'm a nut!). However accurate your list is, it's not Brexit in a nutshell. How about this:

British people were hit 3 years ago with a decision to Leave the EU which gave them a wake up call from which they are not only still staggering but their Parliamentary democracy has gone into meltdown. No progress has been made on leaving the EU because the Parliamentary `brain' has been unable to come to its senses. A few of the `brain cells' recognise that Britain must leave the EU and have come up with a way (the Withdrawal Agreement). Some of the 'brain cells' are under the impression that they can deny the Leave order received. Others are less dysfunctional and only believe that the Withdrawal Agreement won't work but they haven't come up with an alternative because there isn't one. Unfortunately all these damaged cells are rebelling against the central brain controller (PM/Government) which is thus unable to fulfil its directive to Leave the EU. Unless it rights itself soon it will collapse completely.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
No one has mentioned WHY we had a referendum in the first place?

My understanding is that the Tories were alarmed at the growth of populism under UKIP as they felt it might cost them votes, so "Dave" concocted a referendum that would thwart their ambitions and reinforce his own Party's political position.

Unfortunately, the referendum options were so simplistic and the various campaigns so selective in their detail (if not probably disingenuous) that we were presented with a binary choice for something so complicated and with such far reaching consequences.

In addition, it's probably worth mentioning the Westminster "bubble" i.e. members of the Palace are somewhat inured to what effect their words, actions and policies have on the general public (Bozo being a classic example). I also think that the Tories did not anticipate the Leave vote winning and had no plan for that outcome.

And probably OT, but, in my opinion, we have only been a United Kingdom in name for years - the Scots and Welsh have their own Assemblies and the Northern Irish are still battling to form their own identity (are they Irish? Are they English? Are they neither?).

It is Parliamentary "democracy" - its practices and protocols - that has been most exposed by this shambles and it doesn't look good no matter what side of the fence you sit.
 

trevor432990

Active Member
Thanks for your feedback Derek and I agree with your suggestion to explain why the EU referendum was called so I've added a summary bullet point at the beginning of my list. I also agree with your other comments which I intend to use as input to a new thread which will describe the lessons learned from this whole Brexit fiasco which I shall start in the next day or so. Cheers
 

Ruperts slippers

Distinguished Member
I shouldn't post about brexit because it's terrible for stress levels :) however your post caught my eye because I too often have to explain to "foreign friends" (many of which are actually Brits who moved abroad in their 20's and 30's) what is going on. In fact I recently did a tour in Europe to catch up with people and every single person I met (and their wives/partners and on occasion children, no dogs fortunately) asked for an explanation. After two weeks of it I was more sick of Brexit than I've ever been.

Your list starts well enough and has some really important summaries which I think people gloss over but reading through it to me it is very coloured and leans towards a certain position on Brexit.

I could never write a list which you wouldn't read and accuse of being biased the other way though. That's the problem with facts that don't mean things without context or without other facts!

So personally what I would say you have missed out is:
  • An MP was shot by someone supporting leave whilst campaigning for the remain side.
  • There are accusations which won't die that the vote was used by some to further their career with one prominent figure writing alternative pieces for both sides of the argument. He went on to become PM eventually having voted against a deal with the EU.
  • The remain argument was nick named "project fear" by those supporting Brexit. Many of the soundbites from those on the Brexit side have since been shown to be false (the bus) or widely optimistic (esp. the timescale and easily trade deals etc would be reached). Certain things we are told now were voted for (no deal brexit) were never discussed or promoted by the leave side.
  • Describing the popular vote result is obviously fine. Personally I mention how a great many people were denied their vote by either Government policy, incompetence or (and not very seriously!) the trains being delayed by the weather (I was on such a train rammed full of remain leaning Londoners). I mention this as my ex-pat friends never got their votes and are upset about it.
  • I do not describe the first past the post system and the Consistencies figures for leave/remain because it a) generally confuses people and gets the discussion side tracked b) completely distorts the idea of the difference between the leave/remain votes. However, I do mention that by our system of representation MPs are expected to represent their constituents and so "you" would expect MPs to vote as per the result in their Consistency and that hasn't been happening.
  • I mention that since the original vote there has been repeated polling to determine who would "win" this time round. It has also been shown that the aging population are said to have voted for Brexit vs the youth who are said to have voted remain.
  • Mention of Gina Miller and her cases against the Government. That she got the ruling saying MPs had to approve Legislation to leave the EU rather than the Government doing it off their own back is important to show how a campaigner is fighting to give back control to MPs. Of course what the MPs do/have done with that power is a debate.
  • In the more recent Supreme Court ruling I would mention the side against the Pro-roguing of Parlament included a ex Tory PM and was not just about one business woman.
  • The "alliance" with the DUP was a "confidence and supply agreement" it is not an alliance as most non-Brits are used to based on their experience of coalitions. I also always mention the Billion £ bribe here to secure it. Personally I see it as a cost of brexit...
  • I describe David Davis... in an unfavorable light.... I do think it is important to mention that his performance was generally reported on both "sides" to be poor with limited contact in Brussels. The fact he's not holding any real office right now is also something I mention as testament to his lack of achievement. I personally would not suggest civil servants overstepped their mark, but I do say they have been blamed by Brexiteers (who have a long list of people to blame).
  • Nigel Farage (after leaving his German wife and making sure his kids were German) left the UKIP party which he had been a leader/member of for many years to form the Brexit party. This was because the UKIP party had been getting a little too extreme for mainstream and had taken unboard a hugely controversial right wing figure. Under his personality cult the "new" Brexit party did very well, but it's not realistic to suggest this was truely a "new" party formed overnight.
  • Saying MPs or the Speaker are out to thwart Brexit... that's a bit much. What I think is very important to say is that MPs being sacked from the Tories are ones which voted for Brexit and a deal more often than those in high office themselves did. I explain this as going back to your first bullet point which is really important... that there were two options and that the MPs were not told what "leave" meant and they can't agree on what it means now in relation to the Backstop and/or leaving without a deal.
  • Saying we have no constitution is something I need to explain the people abroad. We are ruled by precedent. We have multiple courts and in our democracy MPs set the law and the courts interpret them independently. If MPs (or the Inland Revenue!) are ruled against in Court which is actually a very common occasion for donkeys years then one get out the MPs have is just to change the law or make a new law.
  • Things have gotten extremely nasty and bitter in the UK with both sides getting more extreme in their behavior, utterly inappropriate language being used to suggest the country is at war and that one side is "betraying" the other, a huge increase in racism on the streets (this is personal experience so I tell personal stories).
  • The PM is desperate for an election as he's convinced he'll do very very well and that would most likely ensure his legislation got through parliament making things easy for him. The opposition know they have a 'good thing' right now in parliament even if they don't have power and are trying to break him. However the reason given for not supporting an election is that the opposition parties do not trust the PM not to use an election as a means of forcing through a no-deal brexit to which they are ideologically opposed and which was not an option put in the referendum.
  • A great many people, businesses and MPs are genuinely scared of a no deal brexit and are against it. What those people don't know is whether the PM is trying to scare Europe with the threat of the no-deal (which is frankly what I would have done myself with the huge proviso I would not have triggered article 50 till I was damn sure I knew we could cope and had prepared people slowly for no deal).

Oh dear. I'm sorry (or will be ;-) I've brought colour into this, but going back to things you have missed out....if you are trying to explain to people the mess we're in; at the very least mention MP Jo Cox and Gina Miller.

Of course if you're trying to persuade people that the MPs are against "the will of the people" then your list is great!
Sorry but your whole post consisted of varying forms of ethos pathos subjectification.

Non of which was or is relevant to the actual position the situation is right now.

An MP was shot, do we stop the process, Farage's wife being German, what on earth are you talking about. A great many people, who, who are these people.
It's just moaning, eloquent, well written moaning, but moaning nonetheless.

Again I repeat.

Leave

Yes
No

The yes's have the vote, the government promised to leave, haven't done so, wasting money which isn't there's, even the justice system is now attempting to subvert the vote.


We haven't left, the topic is interesting, however I get the feeling from the conversations I've had that the politician's have misread public feeling on this. The result was leave, we should leave. Not leaving damages democratic process. Economically the politicians are also damaging businesses by continuing to delay any changes necessary.

Lastly people have an innate sense of fairness, people trust the voting process, the sense in which as a whole we have a voice, this process is now broken. Politicians have long since forgotten the implications of there positions and gone back on their word.

Law and order is under threat in this country, I believe if they do not carry out the vote, there will be a breakdown in law and order, they've lost the respect of the citizens by fooling around with the democratic process whilst using the justice system to subvert the vote.
 

GadgetObsessed

Well-known Member
The list is fine to give to foreign friends to explain Brexit - as long as you make it clear that is biased toward a leave point of view and not simply a factual unbiased account of events. (Although that should be clear from the list itself.)
 

psikey

Well-known Member
The list is fine to give to foreign friends to explain Brexit - as long as you make it clear that is biased toward a leave point of view and not simply a factual unbiased account of events. (Although that should be clear from the list itself.)
Can you highlight which points are not factual as seems true to reality. (accepting IG's point).
 

trevor432990

Active Member
The list is fine to give to foreign friends to explain Brexit - as long as you make it clear that is biased toward a leave point of view and not simply a factual unbiased account of events. (Although that should be clear from the list itself.)
To be honest re-reading the list I cannot really see that much bias in the statements I've made and I have tried to be as factually correct as possible.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
I have a few foreign friends who when I see them always ask me how Brexit is going? I then have to try and explain our screwed up political system to them and how we got into the Brexit mess we now find ourselves.

I recount to them the sequence of events and the traumas we have suffered since as follows :-
  • Seeking to stem the case for Scottish and EU independence put forward by the SNP and UKIP David Cameron made manifesto pledges to settle the arguments using referendums
  • We had an EU referendum in 2016 with two simple options to choose from Leave or Remain in the EU. The option chosen turned out to have the largest number of votes in UK history
  • The result a 52% vs 48% vote in favour of Leave. A majority of nearly 1.3 million people and at constituency level 410 seats for Leave and 240 seats for Remain
  • MPs on the other hand voted 490 for Remain whilst only 160 voted Leave showing a clear divergence between the People and their Parliamentary representatives
  • Our PM at the time David Cameron (Tory) who had promised to personally carry out the people's decision, whatever it was, promptly resigned
  • In the leadership contest which followed Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom three stalwarts of the Leave campaign managed to bottle their own chances
  • So Theresa May became PM by default and proceeded to promise (over 108 times) the UK would Leave the EU on March 31,2019 ‘deal or no deal’
  • February 1st 2017 Article 50 was passed by MPs by 498 votes to 114 binding the EU withdrawal procedure into UK law
  • Thinking she was on a roll May called a snap General Election but instead she lost 13 seats and with it the Tory majority forcing her to form an alliance with the DUP
  • The UK negotiation team headed by David Davis> Dominic Raab > Stephen Barclay were undermined by civil servants led by Olly Robbins who created May’s deal
  • May’s deal contained an ‘Irish Backstop’ section which according to the Attorney General could lock the UK into the EU forever so it was rejected by MPs three times
  • In May 2019 Nigel Farage led a brand new Brexit Party to victory winning 29 MEP seats the largest group of any party within the EU parliament
  • After three years of promising much but secretly doing the opposite Theresa May decided to resign in June 2019
  • Tory MPs shortlisted two PM candidates but local associations had the final vote on who would lead the party and become PM. Boris Johnson was chosen
  • Ousted former ministers and party grandees rebelled and the ‘impartial’ Speaker of the House John Bercow colluded with them and the opposition to thwart Brexit
  • The 21 rebels backed an opposition motion to delay Brexit until Jan’2020 and the Tories were defeated at which time Johnson sacked the 21 rebels from the party
  • The government wanted to call a General Election but a new law introduced in the Cameron era prevents elections being called quickly in succession
  • Whilst this was all going on the Labour party were having their own rebellions and challenges as a result of lack of a clear Brexit strategy and anti-semitism claims
  • With no majority but an opposition who don’t want a general election, as polls show they have lost public support, the UK has been left with a ‘Zombie’ government
  • To try to provide Boris Johnson with some time to carry out shuttle diplomacy with EU and World leaders he decided to Pro-rogue Parliament until 17th October
  • This decision was bitterly fought through the English, Scottish and Supreme courts until a landmark ruling by the Supreme court that this pro-roguing had been unlawful
  • With no written constitution this country is now at the mercy of non-elected judges to decide what political events they wish to become involved with and rule over
Trying to compress 3+ years of history down to a list of bullet points has proved challenging so if I’ve missed any glaring events please let me know.
It's mostly factual but I've highlighted the parts in bold that are speculative/emotive/biased. The most blatantly biased point is the last one, because all that actually happened was the legal system was followed and a decision was made that leave voters didn't like.
 

psikey

Well-known Member
It's mostly factual but I've highlighted the parts in bold that are speculative/emotive/biased. The most blatantly biased point is the last one, because all that actually happened was the legal system was followed and a decision was made that leave voters didn't like.
Speaker of the House John Bercow is biased and no doubt about that based on his actions.

Your other highlights I would agree could be seen as biased.

I have no issue with the Judges findings at all. They did strengthen the law to now show that intent is considered. As it stood Boris wasn't unlawful until the new precedent was agreed by the judges.

If Leavers are being honest (like me) we all knew Boris Prorogued for the length he did to stop Remainer MP's blocking Brexit. Soon it will be back to the people in a GE to get Brexit done.
 
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GadgetObsessed

Well-known Member
Can you highlight which points are not factual as seems true to reality. (accepting IG's point).
The following points are personal opinion rather than fact.
  • The UK negotiation team headed by David Davis> Dominic Raab > Stephen Barclay were undermined by civil servants led by Olly Robbins who created May’s deal

    I don't know of any evidence that the deal was undermined by civil servants. Personally, I felt that the UK government was never clear on what they wanted and overall the deal was about as good as we could have realistically expected. Especially given the relative size of the two parties - with the EU economy being around 6 times larger than the UK.

    The issue with NI and the Backstop is a particularly thorny one. Given that the Stormont agreement prevents any border controls I don't see any clear solution other than keeping NI aligned with the EU (unacceptable to the Unionists) or keeping the whole UK aligned with the EU (possibly acceptable to Unionists as they don't want NI to have different rules to the rest of the UK - but unacceptable to some Brexiteers.)

  • To try to provide Boris Johnson with some time to carry out shuttle diplomacy with EU and World leaders he decided to Pro-rogue Parliament until 17th October

    There are different views as to why Boris prorogued parliament. One widely held view being that it was simply a mechanism to bypass a parliament over which Boris did not have control.

    Given that there appeared to be no particular negotiations with the EU or any other country in that time, it seems unlikely that the purpose of the proroguing was to give the PM more time to make trade deals.

  • With no written constitution this country is now at the mercy of non-elected judges to decide what political events they wish to become involved with and rule over

    This implies that (a) the country does not have a constitution and that (b) judges can rule on whatever they wish and (c) come up with judgments based upon their political allegiances rather than the law. This country does have a constitution - but some of it is based upon precedent and protocol rather than having been codified in law. Personally I am in favor of a written constitution - it would have prevented the proroguing debacle as it should have made it clear that it is not within the PM's power to prorogue for a long period to bypass parliament. What judges can and cannot rule on is determined within law and they can only make their judgement based upon interpretation of the law.

    In this case a frustrated PM went beyond what he was legally permitted to do in order to prevent Parliament from going against his wishes. Legally, as we are a parliamentary democracy where parliament is supreme then the PM does not have the power to bypass parliament.

    Parliament maintains its supremacy. If judges rule against a particular action by an PM/Parliament then Parliament is free to change the law so that particular action is then legal and no judge could ever rule against it. Of course this requires a bill to pass through parliament to change the law - so requires the majority of MPs to agree. In this case the PM would need to get a Bill through parliament creating a law stating that the PM has the right to pro-rogue for up to X weeks whenever they wish. With the current parliament such a bill would be unlikely to succeed.

  • Ousted former ministers and party grandees rebelled and the ‘impartial’ Speaker of the House John Bercow colluded with them and the opposition to thwart Brexit

    Opinion was divided on some of the votes that Bercow allowed. To say that there was "collusion to thwart Brexit" is personal opinion and the use of the term "colluded" implies that there was some sort of wrongdoing involved. You may believe that there was wrongdoing but that has to be presented to an outside observer as opinion rather than fact.

  • After three years of promising much but secretly doing the opposite Theresa May decided to resign in June 2019

    I don't think there was a particular secret or that May was deliberately doing nothing. Rather, she had led herself into a position without a majority and did not have the political skill to achieve her ambitions.

  • The government wanted to call a General Election but a new law introduced in the Cameron era prevents elections being called quickly in succession

    The Fixed Term Parliaments act sets the timetable for elections to be every 5 years on fixed dates. An election can be called before this if a 2/3 majority of the house votes for it or if the government loses a vote of no confidence and the official opposition fail to form a government. Personally, I think that this act is a good one. Allowing a Government to call an early election when it is advantageous to them, makes the general election system less fair.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Speaker of the House John Bercow is biased and no doubt about that based on his actions.

Your other highlights I would agree could be seen as biased.

I have no issue with the Judges findings at all. They did strengthen the law to now show that intent is considered. As it stood Boris wasn't unlawful until the new precedent was agreed by the judges.

If Leavers are being honest (like me) we all knew Boris Prorogued for the length he did to stop Remainer MP's blocking Brexit. Soon it will be back to the people in a GE to get Brexit done.
Regarding Bercow, he has biases as everyone does but my main concern is whether or not his biases resulted in abuse of his position. At best the evidence is inconclusive. He's theatrical and often deploys unconventional approaches, but he has not, based on anything credible I've read, abused his position as Speaker. Happy to be corrected if anyone has evidence to the contrary, aside from not liking him because he voted Remain.

Just to be clear, my comment above wasn't about whether or not Bercow himself was biased, rather that the comments about him were biased and framed from a Leave-supporting perspective.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Don't worry, it is fine, but Remainers have to call it biased as they can't accept the vote didn't go their way.
Some leave voters :)
I notice IG you didn't correct Psikey above though who should have said "some" Remainers ;)

Speaker of the House John Bercow is biased and no doubt about that based on his actions.

Your other highlights I would agree could be seen as biased.

I have no issue with the Judges findings at all. They did strengthen the law to now show that intent is considered. As it stood Boris wasn't unlawful until the new precedent was agreed by the judges.

If Leavers are being honest (like me) we all knew Boris Prorogued for the length he did to stop Remainer MP's blocking Brexit. Soon it will be back to the people in a GE to get Brexit done.
Your honesty is to be commended. I'll just wait and see if anyone from the Leaver brigade shows up to correct you, as any Remainer who suggested this at the time was apparently talking total crap.

As usual, I won't hold my breath :laugh:

Regarding Bercow, he has biases as everyone does but my main concern is whether or not his biases resulted in abuse of his position. At best the evidence is inconclusive. He's theatrical and often deploys unconventional approaches, but he has not, based on anything credible I've read, abused his position as Speaker. Happy to be corrected if anyone has evidence to the contrary, aside from not liking him because he voted Remain.

Just to be clear, my comment above wasn't about whether or not Bercow himself was biased, rather that the comments about him were biased and framed from a Leave-supporting perspective.
Bercow hasn't abused his position. If he had I'm quite sure the likes of Mogg, Leadsom etc would have rounded on him much more than they have, and pursued far strongly the process of having him removed.

He is no doubt a Remainer, but he's just allowed Parliament to do it's job through the process. The government have just thrown their toys out the pram over it and as such some Leaver's have followed suit.
 

SteakAndCake

Suspended
Bercow is biased toward Parliament and empowering Parliament.

Because parliament are majority Remain, and government are majority Leave, some observers incorrectly infer he has Remain bias.
 

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