The Brexit equilibrium

Theresa May has survived, but enough Tories have credibly indicated they won’t support her Brexit plan at least not yet.  She doesn’t want Hard Brexit and doesn’t hate Remain, if the latter can be done sustainably.  She could threaten those Tories with a new election or with a second referendum.  If I were her, I would prefer the latter, as who would want to bring Jeremy Corbyn into the picture?  Nonetheless I don’t think she favors a second referendum per se (too hard to control and manage, no matter what the result).  The threat of a second referendum will be brought to the table, and that means some chance it will happen.  Right now the second referendum contract is selling at 36 cents on the dollar.  That seems correctly priced to me, with the more likely outcome being that enough Conservative MPs fall into line and Theresa May gets her way, more or less.

Comments

Brexit won't happen.

I'm of the exact opposite opinion, which is that the UK will crash out of the EU, which is the result that only a tiny minority are in support of, both in the UK and in the EU.

Mainly because with Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum apparently occupying the leadership positions of the two major parties (though bizarrely, if they swapped parties, a possible solution could be imagined), what possible path do you currently see for Article 50 not to come into force on March 30, 2019?

The parliament won't ratify the deal. Theresa May will send a letter to renounce to the brexit on March 28th and stay in the EU. Because she is a sensible political leader.

Ratifying can be pretty much completely ruled out, completely agreed.

But May sending a revocation letter? The UK staying in the EU?

She would have already resigned if she wished to deal with the end of her political life. So much of what seems to be going on is extremely short term thinking involving immediate gains and losses from perspectives that care nothing about reality (Corbyn is simply delusional on this subject, while seemingly believing that a Labour Brexit would finally break the bonds of evil capitalism that the EU demands from its members, making the UK a socialist beacon again) - while 20 months have passed.

Lie and stall and the elites win again. I would advise the Brits to rise up and take it to the streets. Burn down the parliament and maybe the politicians will get the message.

'Lie and stall'

Except there is actually a deadline. And if May revokes that Article 50 notification (if I may be so bold as to repeat something that apparently is too controversial for this comment section), the EU 27 are likely to revoke all of the UK's special carve outs and rebates.

Which means whoever revokes Article 50 on the British side will have made the UK's position demonstrably worse by any measure (though possibly the Remainers will be willing to pay the price in exchange, the Brexiters will find such a concession completely unacceptable). Only a British politician who does not care about political suicide can try such a tactic.

@clockwork_prior

I'm guessing you don't have much knowledge of the EU. It's not possible for the "EU27" to revoke the UK's opt-outs. Denmark uses the same opt-outs and Poland uses a few of them too. The clue is in the name: "opt". Those rules can't be changed without the backing of Denmark and Poland, which has no chance of happening.

In any case, the opt-outs are pretty trivial matters that are more symbolic than material. The rebate is completely symbolic. No one in the British electorate would care or even notice their absence.

The rebate is something the French and Germans mither about, but if you look at the per capita net contribution figures, UK with rebate is among the 7 or 8 highest contributors to the EU. Without the rebate, has about another 50-70% again per capita contribution as Germany.

It's certainly something symbolic, which has been worked around, basically to a point of no actual effect today, compared to a rebateless world. For the Franco-Germans, it's a symbol of how the Brits get everything they want (even though they get nothing), and for the Brits its a symbol of how they pushed back against the EU (even though it's of no effect).

Still, it'd be hard for any Brit politician to return the UK to EU, without the rebate, and the highest per capita contributions to an institution that just 50% of its polled electorate voted to leave. Though it's almost impossible not to leave the EU, whatever the case may be, as I see it, so rather moot.

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'It's not possible for the "EU27" to revoke the UK's opt-outs.'

Of course it is possible. The question is not whether it is possible, the question is whether it would happen - that is, if the UK revokes its Article 50 notification, do things go on as if they never changed? The EU has already said that readmitting the UK to the EU means no special British exceptions. That was before it became possible to revoke notification, something that was not possible until the ECJ ruled that it was.

The EU reform deal that Cameron was able to extract from the EU before the Brexit vote is off the table at this point.

Yeah, but what about the 'Norway Option'?

Already commented a few days in the past, but you are welcome to read what a Norwegian says - '“Really, the Norwegian option is not an option. We have been telling you this for one and a half years since the referendum and how this works, so I am surprised that after all these years it is still part of the grown-up debate in the UK. You just expect us to give you an invitation rather than consider whether Norway would want to give you such an invitation. It might be in your interest to use our agreement, but it would not be in our interest.”' https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/07/norwegian-politicians-reject-uks-norway-plus-brexit-plan

There is no Norway Option, though Norwegians saying that is the case has apparently made no impression on British politicians.

The EU already indicated that a Norway option would be entirely agreeable. Norway would have no choice in the matter. The EU simply needs to set up an EEA equivalent regime with the UK as it's only member. But actually the EEA have also indicated that the UK can join the EEA if they remain as permanent members.

'Norway would have no choice in the matter.'

Norway has a veto right in EFTA - of course they have a choice.

'The EU simply needs to set up an EEA equivalent regime with the UK as it's only member.'

What do you think the current deal is all about? You know, the one that the UK seems poised to reject? It is the first step in creating something along those lines.

'But actually the EEA have also indicated that the UK can join the EEA if they remain as permanent members.'

Of course they can - assuming the UK follows the same rules as all the other members of the EEA, most particularly including free movement.

Something the UK has rejected, unlike Switzerland for example, which also has a special bilateral relationship with the EU, even though Switzerland is also an EFTA member.

If its permanent, EEA are fine with it. But Leave supporters mostly don't want Freedom of Movement, so its unlikely.

Forgetting the backbencher who wants full accession that the Guardian quotes; that's the message from the folk in the position to set the agenda in Norway - long term OK, as a halfway house, no good.

The main point is that the Norwegians (and other EFTA members - think Iceland) decide, not the British.

Whether the British eventually return to an organization they used to belong to is another question. One that has no real bearing on what might happen on March 30, 2019.

Well the Brits decide if they wish to apply, and the Norwegians and Icelanders aren't really in a position to set any arbitrary price, while relations may be more difficult if the Brits were to apply to join and EFTA say no.

But yes, you can't join an organisation without the members wanting you to join, as is fairly evident, I just dispute the Guardian article as sourced from a single backbencher with her own biases.

Theresa May is a cuck. The Conservative party are all cucks. Labor needs to un-cuck the UK

"Brexit won't happen"

Especially given brexit was a fee lunch promise:

British control over migration into UK with zero limits on British travel in the EU.

British control over all products produced anywhere in the EU, with no EU control at all over anything produced in the EU.

British soverigty over the entire EU for anything ant British faction cares about.

No British money paid to any EU nation, byt the EU paying to promote and subsidize UK industries.

No where in the brexit campaign were the costs of brexit listed by the advocates, but instead only benefits given, ie, all the costs of EU membership, with the implications all the benefits of EU membership will be maintained.

Tanstaafl

This is all part of a free lunch economics religion Reagan made mainstream, and that HW called voodoo.

Ie, the religion of eliminating costs while increasing benefits.

As if your benefits are my costs, and vice versa, is easily avoided, by my cutting your wages and you will earn and spend more, thanks the invisible hand putting more money in your pockets.

The DUP will not support a brexit with the Northern Ireland backstop. The EU will not allow a Brexit without one. Unless she can convince Labour to support her, which is wildly improbable, it's game over for the deal on the table. Her only valid options are to withdraw article 50 pending a better deal (effectively kicking the can down the road) or have an election or referendum.

'The EU will not allow a Brexit without one. '

Of course the EU is fully capable of allowing that - on March 30, 2019, the UK will be a full non-member of the EU, as per Article 50. There is absolutely nothing the EU can do to prevent that.

The backstop is simply intended to be used if the UK intends to have a future relationship with the EU involving a transition period intended to allow many questions to be worked out between the UK and the EU.

Forgive my imprecision. A negotiated Brexit is impossible without the backstop or some arrangement. A hard Brexit is another matter, and the implications of that for the GFA are anybodies guess, but hardly anything good.

No problem, but the terms keep shifting enough to explain what could go on seems worth making plain.

Now that crashing out/a no-deal exit seems distinctly possible, it is worth pointing that the UK can be 100% free and clear of the EU on March 30, 2019. No money to pay, no need to worry about border terms, and no problem kicking out every EU citizen they want to kick out.

As long as one ignores the consequences, of course.

Crashing out? I'm up for it. Strangely enough the UK existed and traded happily with you all before being a member of the EU. It didn't change our trade profile all that much in the short term.

Sorry if you won't get your £39 Billion though. I understand that the next few years are looking a bit fiscally tight for Brussels....

' the UK existed and traded happily with you all'

Well, as I am American, there have been a couple of periods where trade has been a bit more of a problem with the U.S. - the early 1800s, then there was massive IP theft on the part of the Americans, whether of industrial processes or books, in the mid to later 1800s.

'Sorry if you won't get your £39 Billion though.'

I'm American, and I could care less whether (and how much) the UK agrees to pay the EU for the obligations that the UK committed to while a member of the EU.

And yet again, growth, investment and jobs continue with stready increases. Almost like the whole process has been blown vastly out of proportion.

The argument is always that it would be higher without Brexit. Opportunity costs of 0.3% GDP per year cumulatively for eternity. Shrug.

It is incredibly unlikely this deal will get through Parliament.

All Conservative MPs could fall into line and it still won’t get through because the DUP remains implacably opposed. The ERG (a group of Brexiteer Conservative MPs) has around 48 MPs and there’s no way they’re all going to support May’s deal anytime soon.

The markets are overestimating the chances of this deal passing and there is lots of volatility to come (with a general election, second referendum and no deal all possible outcomes)

+1.

The only way this deal, or anything remotely similar, will pass is with Labour votes. There's a core of about 40 Conservative MPs who would sooner die than agree. Plus the DUP's 10 MPs are also totally opposed. Maybe you get 5 or so Labour defections on the other side. Maybe. But there's no way in hell the maths add up.

So if you want to argue the deal will pass, you have to have a scenario where Corbyn will whip Labour to (at the least) abstain. Given he has been consistently opposed to anything the Conservatives as presented, this seems even less plausible than another referendum.

The trouble is Tyler sometimes sounds off on problems he hasn't done anywhere near a basic level of research on. I know he's a Polymath but you can only spread yourself so thin and still be capable of adding value...

'But there's no way in hell the maths add up.'

Sinn Fein - see below. And though it seems unlikely, they just might find it hilarious to hand the UK such a massively damaging deal, if only because they would feel it would hasten the re-unification of Ireland (or whatever term you prefer to describe the dissolution of Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom).

'this seems even less plausible than another referendum'

Except the clock keeps ticking, and a second referendum will require time, even if done as fast as possible (over Christmas, one should note). Possibly too much, as this is a hard limit - 'The minimum 10-week referendum period is specified in PPERA.' https://constitution-unit.com/2018/08/30/how-long-would-it-take-to-hold-a-second-referendum-on-brexit/

'sometimes sounds off on problems he hasn't done anywhere near a basic level of research on'

Lucky that I was early enough to read such an observation - these days, such writing seems to be tempting fate in this comment section.

Sinn Fein +7
Labour Defectors +5 (???)

Conservative ERG -48
DUP -10

Result?!? You need a labour abstention or this goes nowhere.

The result is 7 votes that are never considered might appear.

Actually, the odds are extremely low, but if Sinn Fein thought that they rip the UK apart by appearing a single time in Westminster, do you think they could resist the temptation?

Things have gotten so strange at this point - the mace incident was simply bizarre - that imagining just about anything is possible. Including Sinn Fein being the party that decides the UK's relation to the EU, based on Sinn Fein's rejection of the UK having any presence in Ireland. (Or whatever terms you prefer regarding what Sinn Fein wants in terms of Ireland.)

Sinn Fein don’t sit in Parliament at all because doing so requires swearing loyalty to the Queen.

It would never happen; why wouldn't they prefer no deal in the first instance (even if they thought the May deal were worse than no deal, their supporters might not) and in the second instance, if they turned up and thought it that damaging, the block who are already for it would probably lose at least 7 votes. In addition to the sheer implausibly of them participating in the Westminster political process anyway.

Corbyn's economics is pretty good. He got reputable mainstream economists involved and listened to them. Eg Simon Wren Lewis. (He's resigned over their not fighting brexit)

Tory economics on the other hand has been a total disaster, as has their politics.

I'd have thought you'd admit this now, given what you said in your chat with Krugman re demand..

But nope, you remain stubbornly attached ;-)

'Corbyn's economics is pretty good.'

If you say so. His understanding of the EU is abysmal, and without Corbyn being the head of Labour, there would not be any current discussion of the UK crashing out of the EU being a realistic possibility that will occur on March 30, 2018.

His economics, ie his proposed policies.

On brexit, he's quite clearly playing politics... He doesn't believe he can get the deal he said he could in the guardian the other day

"He got reputable mainstream economists involved and listened to them. Eg Simon Wren Lewis."

This will cost a week of laughter. His expertise lies in his ability to make stuff up out of thin air.

SWL? Really? Generally well respected and has been proved right on austerity... Tyler agrees on this

SWL is pretty terrible isn't he? Imagine for instance, believing him when he blames post-2008 productivity problems on austerity, with really no evidence to support that.

If he made these assertions and tested them formally, then it'd be one thing, but he's a pretty bad example of an academic cherry picking facts to support a hypothesis, which he has invented to support a political position he has decided beforehand,

He seems to have been proved right, as much as you can on these things, no?

Tyler mostly agrees now...

He didn't make a prediction that the UK would have depressed productivity due to austerity, and there's no consensus that austerity caused productivity depression, and he has no evidence of it other than he is very left wing and has decided in advance that it must.

In his own words - https://www.socialeurope.eu/underestimating-austeritys-impact - There have been many ideas put forward to explain the low growth in UK productivity, but among mainstream accounts the impact of austerity is not usually high up on the list of possibilities. . That is a way of understating that no one believes it but him, and yet he'll quite happily offer fiscal expansionism and "infrastructure" as a way to higher productivity, supported by your typical median left wing voter.

I think the most likely outcome is that Britain will crash out on March 30th with no deal. Labour will then pass May's deal for the good of the country once it becomes clear that no deal is a disaster thereby keeping their hands clean. May will resign and a hard Brexiter will be Prime Minister in her place. The DUP will keep supporting the government on the promise (never fulfilled) to renegotiate the backstop and an extra billion pounds for Northern Ireland (very much fulfilled).

Everyone in politics rails against May's deal but avoids having to ever endorse a real alternative. Labour avoid a second referendum on Brexit that they don't actually support.

The long term damage of three days of no deal is relatively minor compared to the long term damage of being outside the EU.

Given that all the people who can stop this happening do well out of the situation (DUP, Labour and hard Brexiters) and it's the default outcome if nothing else happens, I think there's a very good chance that this comes to pass/

This. Much like Congress and TARP. Vote against the legislation the first time round because it's politically unpopular. But then pass it shortly after its defeat when everyone sees the alternative -- complete financial chaos -- is worse.

"compared to the long term damage of being outside the EU. "

Yeah, because there is so much quantitative evidence that EU membership boosts your growth rate. Which is why the continent is growing slower than everywhere but Antarctica.

Sure, but let's try to keep the craziness going.

That's right, after a following a century long policy of abstaining from voting in the UK Parliament, 7 Sinn Fein MPs show up to vote.

Which would certainly be more interesting than some MP grabbing a mace off a table.

Ross Douthat just linked a couple amazing stories which help explain the underpinnings of anti-pluralist movements.

I think those include brexit, trumpian nativism, and some of the more bizarre perspectives in day to day MR comments.

Whether traditional Christianity, let alone Catholicism, is the only alternative is a more open question. I know many salt-of-the-earth Christians but salt-of-the-earth Buddhist and Hindus as well. For that reason I see a healthy agnosticism as a viable alternative. Ymmv.

tl;dr - Separatist and nativist movements are by their nature not universalist. Those movements are so strong now that they are forcing some people to give up their universalist religions (open to and valuing all people all over the world), and in the most extreme cases triggering a transition to invented paganisms tied to identity and race.

I guess up stream from that is the question of where these separatist and nativist movements really came from. Perhaps sadly things like Christian universalism were broad but shallow, and depended on "those other Christians" staying far away.

Leading to a Wall to keep Christians out.

"Separatist and nativist movements are by their nature not universalist."

Are you stew pit or stubborn or both?

Tribalism and the fear of the outsider are features of the human psyche. They can be kept in check via civilizing forces - the rule of law and prosperity for all - until the system fails. The system has failed. Hordes of poor migrants from alien cultures will not be welcome - there will be existential battles up to and including violence.

Funny that you get angry while agreeing. You reiterate that separatist and nativist movements are universalist, and then just declare that (rather than something like Christianity or Catholicism) the norm.

oops, missed a "not" there before "universalist."

Most of us don't live in a world where a majority vote of a polity is considered "anti-pluralist." It's hard to see that as anything but tendentious torturing of language.

You made me smile, first at the semantic effort, and then again as I remembered the referendum results.

Is taking a 51.9% to 48.1% result to launch a nation changing effort really "pluralist?"

Specifically wrt the UK, can't you see that an absolutely unprecedented scale of immigration into the country in the past generation has provoked a very predictable human response?

Pace of change is a thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_immigration_to_the_United_Kingdom#/media/File:Figure-1.png

As a grandchild of immigrants, who has always lived in culturally diverse environments, I am going to have a different perspective than anyone who thinks (accurately or inaccurately) that "his people" have always lived on "this land."

But that is really old news. What's new is that when push comes to shove this sort of thing trumps Christianity. It's shocking that those who are still "in" seem to be downgrading the more universalist Christian messages.

Perhaps the diversity in my experience really is what makes universalism possible for me. I know a lot of ex-everythings who have done well in California.

Jeez you are thick. The post was about Brexit. I wrote: "Specifically wrt the UK..."

But you're off riding your hobbyhorse of the day, "universalism".

I thought, when I contrasted my position with anyone "who thinks (accurately or inaccurately) that "his people" have always lived on "this land,"" I was answering your question.

Anyone who is anciently British and Church of England has to think about how far they are from Catholic Poles, let alone those further afield.

But I'm pretty sure part of the xenophobia is pointed at those Catholics.

Probably not religious. No one wants to do anything much to inhibit movement by Irish, French, Spanish, Italians; though many would rather have formal control and control of overall numbers rested in the British government. All Catholic, though largely less fervently. If I understand what you're saying correctly.

Christians aren't really universalist as such; there are the believers, and the elect who are saved, and the unbelievers who are damned.

You're talking really about kinds of tribalism that are open to outsiders, but free to cast out their members (as Christians are willing to excommunicate those from the faith), against faiths in which your status is guaranteed and secure from birth, but which are impossible to enter, like Judaism.

You can become Jewish, it's just a difficult process compared to becoming a Christian.

I won't get into the sects, but you are correct that they vary in how they relate to other sects who are "less correct."

For quite some time now Christians excommunicated in one church are free to join another, or even found their own.

Total nonsense. The left and their SPLC thugs are hopeless and beyond redemption. In order to avoid catastrophe they must be defeated via the ballot. You don't have to be a whacky pagan to recognize the destruction caused by open borders in a world of failed states and exploding populations.

The combination of identity politics, the welfare state, and open borders is a disaster and the case study in the USA is California.

California? Yeah California's a disaster all right. (Insert eyeroll emoji here).

Depends if you look at it from the perspective of the middle class, or the Brahmins, or the Dalits.

What do we know about democratic systems with weak middle classes?

"California? Yeah California's a disaster all right. "

California isn't a disaster, but the trends are clearly negative. It's become the state with the highest PPP poverty rate in the country. And not by a little, it's substantially higher (24%) than the next worst state, Nevada (20%).

Meanwhile, California has a substantial class of millionaires /billionaires. It's the state closest to the 3rd world paradigm of a population of working poor surrounding and providing for a wealthy elite.

US News puts California at number 5.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/economy/growth

You would have to be a Russian troll to want the American people to give up that kind of growth.

@RIPM:

California has plenty of middle class. It's simply a giant state with tons of people, so it has lots of rich, middle, and poor people.

I'd be very interested in seeing the income distribution for CA. Here's what I could find for 2016 rankings of income relative to other states

Top income Quintile: 8th place >$128k
2nd income Quintile: 10th rank 78 up to $128k
3rd income Quintile: 14th rank 48 up to $78k
4th income Quintile: 15th rank 24 up to $48k
Lowest income Quintile: 17th rank <$24k

We can see that CA appears to have more inequality that most states. This quite badly understates the variance; as CA has a LOT of hyper-rich in the top % which get subsumed in the first quintile here. Nonetheless it shows the substantial inequality that exists in the State.

More details. Not pretty reading. Brahmin and Dalit coalitions.

https://lao.ca.gov/2000/0800_inc_dist/0800_income_distribution.pdf

There are no open borders, and it is possible to square Christianity with immigration law. You just say "sure, we are all God's children, but the best way to help our brethren is down there. We should send missionaries and teach economic development and etc. That helps everyone, and not just migrants."

But as those articles note, the undercurrents are quite different from that. A superiority is argued, rather than a brotherly compassion.

If you mix a quart of ice cream with a quart of dog turd, it's gonna taste a lot more like the latter than the former.

Oh wait, I forgot, "magic dirt".

Congratulations, you are now Poster Boy for the thread. If anyone wants to understand the roots of Alistairism, read those articles.

If you mix good old Dreyer's ice cream with Mexican paletas, you end up with a pretty tasty treat. If you take Southern cooking and mix it with Mexican food, you get delicious Tex Mex. See? I can analogy too.

Second ref is hard.

1) You break the contract that these are once in a generation refs. So expect a third ref in 10 years. And a Scots Independence Ref is back on the table sooner than that.

2) May's personally been against it for about 2 years and marshalled strong arguments that it is counter to the democratic spirit. Hard for her personally to reverse herself.

3) It's bad for her party, since most of its voters support Brexit. Electoral oblivion, pretty much.

I expect no deal, really.

Indeed, and so what? No deal, they are out of the EU. A more chaotic transition but still, it will happen. And there will be a new equilibrium and there will be losers and winners and it will probably take a little UK growth away.

But then they will be out of the EU, like they want to be. They will create new trading agreements with other nations, including the EU, and life will go on.

In the long view, sure.

msgkings is right, and in the not so long view as well.

Looking forward to a hard Brexit.

The Cuckmeister should have a field day with this one...

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