Brexit matters

TravelDream

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Remainers are the fantasists on here but it's somewhere to let off steam. The Tories won a London constituency on a 51% vote of a turnout of 34%. The Rejoin the EU, LibDems , and Greens lost their deposit. Labour got 34%; I wonder what his views were on the EU.

It will be said Old Bexley is a Tory stronghold but London has become a Labour city with the huge "white flight " to the shires. Boris did buck the trend by defeating Ken Livingstone twice. Vote Leave won the referendum and Boris won the general election. The voters spoke and will again. The EU is not doing much to change voters minds here.

Clearly someone quite clueless on Old Bexley and Sidcup, but claiming to know better than anyone else.
I think you will find it is you who is the fantasist.

A few points:
The seat is far far whiter than the average London seat. It also has an older population.
It voted 62% leave whilst London voted 70% remain. That's a 32 point difference.
It is a white flight destination.
Labour have never been close. Not even in the 1997 landslide.
 
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Cloud Strife

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I would like to see the whole of Great Britain (assuming Northern Ireland is returned back to the Irish) having progressive federalism, but this topic would be better for the thread I started a while ago in this section of the forum rather than here.

I'm a staunch nationalist, with family history in the SNP dating back to the 1930s. Yet, it seems crystal clear to me that the Tories have consciously chosen to go down the path of being an English party for an England-led UK, probably because they realise that they will be almost unbeatable in England when the UK breaks up. Brexit has all but confirmed that view for me - they're pushing policies which are deeply unpopular with the other three home nations, and Johnson's relations with Sturgeon, Drakeford and even with Givan/O'Neill are pretty much non-existent. Some opinion polls are showing that Sinn Fein could win the most seats in the next NI Assembly election, which would really be a sign of just how bad the Tories are for the Union.
 

Sad Sprinter

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I'm a staunch nationalist, with family history in the SNP dating back to the 1930s. Yet, it seems crystal clear to me that the Tories have consciously chosen to go down the path of being an English party for an England-led UK, probably because they realise that they will be almost unbeatable in England when the UK breaks up. Brexit has all but confirmed that view for me - they're pushing policies which are deeply unpopular with the other three home nations, and Johnson's relations with Sturgeon, Drakeford and even with Givan/O'Neill are pretty much non-existent. Some opinion polls are showing that Sinn Fein could win the most seats in the next NI Assembly election, which would really be a sign of just how bad the Tories are for the Union.
Whilst I agree with you the relations between Westminster and the devolved nations are awful, I would argue this is more due to the haphazard nature of devolution and the failure to provide a cohesive framework of the expected duties and relationships Westminster will have with devolved governments rather than anything else. But the rest of your view relies of some massive simplifications of the relationship between brexit and the Tory party. For instance;

1. The Tories genuinely believe Brexit is a good idea. They’re view of brexit is different to the voters view of brexit. Tories believe, outside of the European Union, Britain will become more competitive and dynamic, so arguably they believe they are acting in the best interests of the UK. I personally don’t share the economic liberalism fervour of Tory brexiteers but if they believe they are doing a good thing they cannot be called English nationalists

2. There is a powerful alliance to be made between (soft) Scottish nationalists and brexiteers, because both literally are so fed up with the way the country has been run for the past several decades they both pressed the ‘third option’ that wasn’t LibLabCon be it independence/SNP or Brexit. I personally believe that brexit was less about English nationalism and more an action of last resort. Put yourself in a red wallers shoe, If you voted remain you’d end up validating the status quo, which is not what people wanted to do. Scotland had its third way with the SNP something England did not and still does not have access to
 

jon0844

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1. The Tories genuinely believe Brexit is a good idea. They’re view of brexit is different to the voters view of brexit. Tories believe, outside of the European Union, Britain will become more competitive and dynamic, so arguably they believe they are acting in the best interests of the UK. I personally don’t share the economic liberalism fervour of Tory brexiteers but if they believe they are doing a good thing they cannot be called English nationalists

I think this is the problem. I know someone who is making good money from Brexit and voted purely because they knew how it would benefit their own life (can we blame him?), and I can see how many Tories are set to profit in a multitude of ways - some right from the morning of the referendum result onwards.

The thing is, to get Brexit to even become a possibility, they had to rely on votes from people who likely won't benefit much. Indeed it will more likely than not result in worse conditions for them. It's somewhat ironic.
 

XAM2175

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I would argue this is more due to the haphazard nature of devolution and the failure to provide a cohesive framework of the expected duties and relationships Westminster will have with devolved governments rather than anything else.
Is the Sewel Convention not a clear enough foundation?

I personally don’t share the economic liberalism fervour of Tory brexiteers but if they believe they are doing a good thing they cannot be called English nationalists
I'd argue that the appellation can easily be applied to them if they're acting in what they believe to be the best interests of England alone, or of a United Kingdom in which England's interests are valued above all others.
 

TravelDream

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Is the Sewel Convention not a clear enough foundation?

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be sarcasm or not. It's difficult to tell online.

However, if it isn't sarcasm, the Sewel Convention was never fit for purpose and is now truly broken.

Until 2016, the Sewel Convention largely operated with remarkably little controversy – of the 350 times legislative consent has been sought, it has been denied partly or in full on only nine occasions. Devolved engagement on UK legislation has usually begun at an early stage, private conversations have helped to address problems and, if necessary, the threat of withholding consent has allowed the devolved administrations to extract concessions.


But this approach requires trust, compromise and good and open communication, all of which have been in increasingly short supply since the 2016 EU referendum. Brexit has exposed the vulnerability of the devolution settlements against a UK parliamentary majority. The devolved administrations have accused the UK government of taking major Brexit decisions on a unilateral basis and failing to take account the majority remain vote in Scotland and Northern Ireland – and their objections have fallen on deaf ears.


Tensions reached boiling point when both the Scottish and Welsh governments recommended against giving consent for the EU Withdrawal Act 2018, the legislation which copied EU law into UK law.

 

XAM2175

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I'm not sure if this is supposed to be sarcasm or not. It's difficult to tell online.
No, it was a genuine remark. @Sad Sprinter contended that there is a "failure to provide a cohesive framework of the expected duties and relationships Westminster will have with devolved governments", which I argue is not entirely the case because the Sewel Convention established the notion of collaboration in the legislative process and makes it clear that Westminster should act with deference to the devolved powers.

The fact that it was merely convention and thus open to unilateral abuse is indeed a significant flaw in its operation, but not its intent - as is the case with all of the other established aspects of Britain's governance that have no procedural protections.
 

Sad Sprinter

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No, it was a genuine remark. @Sad Sprinter contended that there is a "failure to provide a cohesive framework of the expected duties and relationships Westminster will have with devolved governments", which I argue is not entirely the case because the Sewel Convention established the notion of collaboration in the legislative process and makes it clear that Westminster should act with deference to the devolved powers.

The fact that it was merely convention and thus open to unilateral abuse is indeed a significant flaw in its operation, but not its intent - as is the case with all of the other established aspects of Britain's governance that have no procedural protections.

No I mean, I was thinking of something more forthright like the US Constitution which clearly sets out the relationship between Federal and State governments
 

WelshBluebird

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The Tories genuinely believe Brexit is a good idea.
I'd say that is at most an optimistic view and at worst incredibly naïve. I could write a set of long paragraphs, but I think it is summed up by our PM - someone who (in)famously was on the fence and only decided to support Brexit because it would help him further his political career!
 

Gloster

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I believe that there is a vaguely defined group (*) who supported Brexit because they saw it as an opportunity to turn Britain, or possibly just England, into a low-wage, low-regulation, low-tax economy like those in the Far East that we are eager to go into trade association with. The same group included many of those who have their hands on the media outlets that keep us ‘informed’ and who make political donations, which gave them and their desires disproportionately great influence in the debate before the vote and the later negotiations. They are not necessarily Tories: their only allegiance is to themselves. Having got the country clear of the EU, they will now push for changes that will worsen the lives of most people, but increase their profits and reduce the amount of tax they pay. As a starter, the possibility of allowing large numbers of Indian nationals to come here to work could provide a pool of cheap labour that will push down wages.

* - I am not talking about a cheap thriller-style secret organisation that meets in underground bunkers or remote castles to plan world domination. Just that there are enough people with the same general outlook who are separately (although they will cooperate when it is in their interests) pushing politicians and people in a way that suits the pushers. It all comes together to produce something that is damaging for the majority, but of great advantage to the pushers. N.b. Pushers is just a convenient word and has no particular significance.
 

XAM2175

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No I mean, I was thinking of something more forthright like the US Constitution which clearly sets out the relationship between Federal and State governments
And as we've discussed previously, you can't have this without abandoning - or at least severely limiting - Parliamentary sovereignty.

I note again that Westminster was completely happy to place limits on the powers on the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Parliaments when it was drafting and enacting the Constitutions of those countries, but while it remains a such sacred cow here we're not going to make any real progress.

Sorry if this doesn't help advance your "Blair made a hash of it" narrative.
 

JamesT

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And as we've discussed previously, you can't have this without abandoning - or at least severely limiting - Parliamentary sovereignty.

I note again that Westminster was completely happy to place limits on the powers on the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Parliaments when it was drafting and enacting the Constitutions of those countries, but while it remains a such sacred cow here we're not going to make any real progress.

Sorry if this doesn't help advance your "Blair made a hash of it" narrative.

I’m not sure if this is what you’re getting at, but the constitutions of these countries were written at a time when they were Dominions and thus subservient to Britain. The UK Parliament remained supreme until the Statute of Westminster was passed in 1931.

Which as I understand it is the position of Scotland. The Scotland Act constrains the Scottish Parliament from what it can legislate on, but there are no such limits on Westminster. The Supreme Court rules when there’s a question over competence, e.g. https://www.supremecourt.uk/press-summary/uksc-2021-0079.html
 

XAM2175

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I’m not sure if this is what you’re getting at, but the constitutions of these countries were written at a time when they were Dominions and thus subservient to Britain. The UK Parliament remained supreme until the Statute of Westminster was passed in 1931.
Yes, I know that. My point is that Westminster saw fit to make place enduring restrictions on the sovereignty of those Parliaments, but has continually treated the the implementation of similar limits on its own power within the UK as being totally unacceptable.
 

edwin_m

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Yes, I know that. My point is that Westminster saw fit to make place enduring restrictions on the sovereignty of those Parliaments, but has continually treated the the implementation of similar limits on its own power within the UK as being totally unacceptable.
I think it's a logical impossibility for a Parliament to restrict its own powers. By definition, whatever it does it can undo in the same way. What many other countries have, and we probably should, is a constitution that sets out (in writing!) certain principles, and any law that contradicts one of these needs to surmount some significant extra hurdles before it can be passed.
 

Cloud Strife

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I'd argue that the appellation can easily be applied to them if they're acting in what they believe to be the best interests of England alone, or of a United Kingdom in which England's interests are valued above all others.
I think this is actually a huge problem that the Tories have: they have really little understanding of why England's best interests aren't in the best interests of the rest of the UK.
 

nanstallon

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Whilst I agree with you the relations between Westminster and the devolved nations are awful, I would argue this is more due to the haphazard nature of devolution and the failure to provide a cohesive framework of the expected duties and relationships Westminster will have with devolved governments rather than anything else. But the rest of your view relies of some massive simplifications of the relationship between brexit and the Tory party. For instance;

1. The Tories genuinely believe Brexit is a good idea. They’re view of brexit is different to the voters view of brexit. Tories believe, outside of the European Union, Britain will become more competitive and dynamic, so arguably they believe they are acting in the best interests of the UK. I personally don’t share the economic liberalism fervour of Tory brexiteers but if they believe they are doing a good thing they cannot be called English nationalists

2. There is a powerful alliance to be made between (soft) Scottish nationalists and brexiteers, because both literally are so fed up with the way the country has been run for the past several decades they both pressed the ‘third option’ that wasn’t LibLabCon be it independence/SNP or Brexit. I personally believe that brexit was less about English nationalism and more an action of last resort. Put yourself in a red wallers shoe, If you voted remain you’d end up validating the status quo, which is not what people wanted to do. Scotland had its third way with the SNP something England did not and still does not have access to

The Tories may genuinely believe in Brexit, because they got rid of most of their Remainers. The Remainers who are left are maintaining a deafening silence (so much so that I'm not sure there are any left), because you now have to be a Brexiteer to get anywhere. Liz Truss was a Remainer, but has learned which side her bread is buttered.
 

Bald Rick

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Liz Truss was a Remainer, but has learned which side her bread is buttered.

She was a staunch republican too, and now as the sitting MP for the constituency that covers Sandringham, she has to do Ladies that lunch with her once a year...
 

317 forever

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To pick up on some points here (I'm not having a go here just to be clear):

In 2010, it was the turn of New Labour to concede defeat as they had ben in power since 1997. Before then, the Conservatives were in power from 1979-97.

The EU referendum in 2016 although leave got the most votes, it was not overwhelming as it was around 51%-49% and split thoughout the regions of the UK, meaning that it was very divisive. I still maintain that if Cameron had thought it through properly (based on the divisive nature of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014), he would have had it in legislation that for any change to the status quo, a minimum of 75% must have voted Leave for it to have had an overwhelming clear majority which would not have been so divisive.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Gibraltar had all voted overwhelmingly to Remain, while large parts of England and Wales had voted to Leave. After the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 (and before then), Cameron announced live on TV that if Scotland voted No to becoming independent in 2014, it would still be a member of the EU. Also, Cameron also publically announced that he wanted Scotland to be a leader of the Union.

Regarding the SNP going into coalition with the Greens, the devolved parts of the UK have a proportional representational voting system, of which the Scottish Parliament uses the Additional Member System calculated using the d'Hont method (the more constituencies you win in a region, the less likely you get any more MSPs on the regional list). The local councils have multi member wards with the Single Transferable Vote system of proportional representation that is used, where candidates are ranked in order of preference. At least the Scottish Parliament does get governments that it has voted for, unlike in General Elections (that still use First Past the Post) that no matter how Scotland votes in General Elections, it has not had the government it has voted for since 1979 (similar can be applied to my native West Midlands), of which I have listed below:

1979 - Mainly Labour, got Conservatives
1983 - Mainly Labour, got Conservatives
1987 - Mainly Labour, got Conservatives
1992 - Mainly Labour, got Conservatives (only just, due to a late swing in the day to the Conservatives)
1997 - Mainly Labour, got New Labour (which were not new, and were most certainly not Labour)
2001 - Mainly Labour, got New Labour (which were not new, and were most certainly not Labour)
2005 - Mainly Labour, got New Labour (which were not new, and were most certainly not Labour)
2010 - Mainly Labour (with the only constituency changing hands was my former one of Glasgow North East from Speaker to Labour), got Conservative-Lib Dem coalition
2015 - Overwhelmingly SNP (with 56 out of the 59 constituencies, with the remaining 3 being 1 each to Labour, Conservative, and Lib Dem), got Conservatives (only just, due to errors in the polling methods)
2017 - Mainly SNP (reduced to 41 constituencies), got Conservatives with some support from DUP
2019 - Mainly SNP (increased to 48 constituencies, including the unseating of the Lib Dem leader at the time Jo Swinson. Her lips moved with every single word she spoke which explains how Swinson lost her seat), got Conservatives

No matter what the voting pattern of Scotland is at General Elections, since 1979, Scotland has not had the government it has voted for. Although I do understand the reasons how Scottish nationalism has become fashionable nowadays, I do not support the SNP's version of independence. I would like to see the whole of Great Britain (assuming Northern Ireland is returned back to the Irish) having progressive federalism, but this topic would be better for the thread I started a while ago in this section of the forum rather than here.
I beg to challenge this. They knew exactly where Labour stood and what they would be getting by voting Labour.

Once they disagreed with what Labour stood for, they voted SNP.
 

SteveP29

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I believe that there is a vaguely defined group (*) who supported Brexit because they saw it as an opportunity to turn Britain, or possibly just England, into a low-wage, low-regulation, low-tax economy like those in the Far East that we are eager to go into trade association with.
I wonder when the penny will drop with people who believed those that wanted this to become the reality?
Is it when they realise they can't have a new iPhone every 2 years?
When they have to keep their cars longer than 3 years?
When the NHS is in the hands of venture/ vulture capitalists and they can't afford a prescription?

But hey, lower taxes, always a vote winner, regardless of the fact your local area is strewn with rubbish, grass is 3 feet high, you've no libraries, swimming pools, youth centres, lower policing numbers and increased crime etc
 

REVUpminster

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I wonder when the penny will drop with people who believed those that wanted this to become the reality?
Is it when they realise they can't have a new iPhone every 2 years?
When they have to keep their cars longer than 3 years?
When the NHS is in the hands of venture/ vulture capitalists and they can't afford a prescription?

But hey, lower taxes, always a vote winner, regardless of the fact your local area is strewn with rubbish, grass is 3 feet high, you've no libraries, swimming pools, youth centres, lower policing numbers and increased crime etc
But all this already happened when we were in the European Utopia
 

AlterEgo

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Yet, it seems crystal clear to me that the Tories have consciously chosen to go down the path of being an English party for an England-led UK
How is an "England-led UK" compatible with:
, probably because they realise that they will be almost unbeatable in England when the UK breaks up.
...no UK existing?

Some opinion polls are showing that Sinn Fein could win the most seats in the next NI Assembly election, which would really be a sign of just how bad the Tories are for the Union.
The Tories have basically no presence in Northern Ireland and votes for Sinn Fein are not an anti-Tory vote.
 

Gostav

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I wonder when the penny will drop with people who believed those that wanted this to become the reality?
Is it when they realise they can't have a new iPhone every 2 years?
When they have to keep their cars longer than 3 years?
When the NHS is in the hands of venture/ vulture capitalists and they can't afford a prescription?

But hey, lower taxes, always a vote winner, regardless of the fact your local area is strewn with rubbish, grass is 3 feet high, you've no libraries, swimming pools, youth centres, lower policing numbers and increased crime etc
But all this already happened when we were in the European Utopia
Today, similar problems are alomost can be found in almost all democracies, the ballot system has led to politicians gradually formulating strategies for short and medium-term interests only for the number of votes. They only care about votes and often don't have any experience with economics or industry (everyone hates industry so why care?).
 

MattRat

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Today, similar problems are alomost can be found in almost all democracies, the ballot system has led to politicians gradually formulating strategies for short and medium-term interests only for the number of votes. They only care about votes and often don't have any experience with economics or industry (everyone hates industry so why care?).
Well, I'm guessing people who work in industry care, but they are just a small minority of the population. Although, that then makes you wonder why Labour isn't standing up for them, since they love minorites.
 

edwin_m

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Today, similar problems are alomost can be found in almost all democracies, the ballot system has led to politicians gradually formulating strategies for short and medium-term interests only for the number of votes. They only care about votes and often don't have any experience with economics or industry (everyone hates industry so why care?).
However, most of them don't do something that would be seriously harmful to the country's interests. Not least because if the vote-grabbing bit works they will be the ones in power to sort out the mess.
 

Cloud Strife

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The Tories have basically no presence in Northern Ireland and votes for Sinn Fein are not an anti-Tory vote.
The Tories are essentially represented by the UUP. But it's not that, but the fact that a Nationalist First Minister could be in place after the next election. Sinn Fein are miles ahead in the polls right now, although the DUP will probably benefit from the Unionist bloc vote in the event of Sinn Fein being likely to win.

The real question is what happens next if there's a Nationalist FM. Are the Tories really prepared to deal with the three other nations being led by leaders who are opposed to their rule?
 

AlterEgo

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The Tories are essentially represented by the UUP. But it's not that, but the fact that a Nationalist First Minister could be in place after the next election. Sinn Fein are miles ahead in the polls right now, although the DUP will probably benefit from the Unionist bloc vote in the event of Sinn Fein being likely to win.

The real question is what happens next if there's a Nationalist FM. Are the Tories really prepared to deal with the three other nations being led by leaders who are opposed to their rule?
There has been a Nationalist first minister of Northern Ireland since the resumption of Stormont in 1998. FM and dFM (note the small d) are exactly equal in responsibility and scope.
 

Cloud Strife

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There has been a Nationalist first minister of Northern Ireland since the resumption of Stormont in 1998. FM and dFM (note the small d) are exactly equal in responsibility and scope.

It's deliberately intentionally vague.

Sinn Fein regard it as deputy First Minister as does the Northern Ireland Act, but the Belfast Agreement says Deputy First Minister. While they have equal responsibility and scope, having a Nationalist as leader of the largest party in Stormont will still be something that hasn't happened in the country since it was founded.

It may be purely symbolic, but in a country where even the spelling of deputy or Deputy is argued over, I'd expect it to be a big deal.
 

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