Archive for the 'BREXIT' Category


Getting Brexit Done

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

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Ez Tramadol Online Past performance is not a guide to the future. A caveat plastered all over investment products which might usefully be remembered by those anxiously scanning polls or those politicians explaining why the PM’s success in getting a revised Withdrawal Agreement means that he can reach an FTA with the EU before the transition period ends in 385 days time.

source The steps needed to reach an FTA have not featured much in the election campaign, despite this being meant (once again!) to be the Brexit election. Politicians – whether through calculation, weariness or a desire to talk about subjects they are actually interested in – persist in the fiction that getting the WA through Parliament means Getting Brexit Done. Even Leave Actually cleverly confuses (in the 1st 4 cards Boris pleadingly shows a voter) the WA with the transition end date. Only Jo Swinson has accurately categorised it as “episode 1 of a 10 season box set“; little good has this done her.

click The reality is a simple one but bears repeating.

  • The WA only governs the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU not the future relationship with it.
  • The Political Declaration outlines a general set of principles for the negotiation of this relationship. It is not, however, a legal agreement let alone an FTA.
  • The transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
  • If by then, no FTA has been agreed with the EU, then Britain reverts to being a third country, trading with the EU and 168 other countries it had trade deals with via the EU, on WTO terms. A No Deal Brexit, in other words.
  • If the transition period is to be extended, a decision needs to be made by July 2020, 6 months after Britain formally leaves on 31 January 2020 (assuming the Tories win with a majority large enough to get the WA approved by Parliament).
  • That is a challengingly short timetable in which to agree an FTA or be confident that one can be agreed and approved by all those needing to give their approval by December 2020.

Online Tramadol Mastercard It is true that the PM did manage to agree a revised WA, something many of his critics thought impossible or unlikely. But even giving him credit for that (ignoring the fact that his renegotiation largely – though not entirely – involved a rehash of a previous version) the matters covered by the WA are very different and far fewer in number than those normally covered by an FTA. A look at the topics listed in the Political Declaration gives an indication of the very many areas which an FTA normally covers – and usually in quite mind-numbing detail. FTAs are the work of years not months.

Tramadol Hcl 50 Mg Purchase Ah – but there is perfect regulatory alignment now so this will make it easier and quicker say the Brexiteers. Er, yes: this is the starting point. But it is the destination which matters. The EU will not agree an FTA identical to EU membership and, anyway, the point of Brexit is for Britain to do things differently (Taking Back Control, as it is usually described). This has been confirmed by no less a figure than the PM himself. How different, in what areas, at what cost and to whom is still a bit of a mystery though. Even if an agreement is not reached in time, WTO terms are nothing to be scared of is another argument heard when concerns are raised about a 2020 No Deal exit. Those saying this imply that WTO terms are a sort of the shelf basic FTA, a bit like those DIY will packs available in newsagents for those too mean or too poor to afford lawyers. It is a bit more complicated than that (and, yes, that applies to wills too!) Mrs May’s government did indeed publish a temporary tariff regime on 13 March 2019. Will this apply in December 2020 if no FTA is agreed?  Again, who knows. So let’s assume there will be negotiations once Britain is out. What’s needed? Let’s see:-

  • A negotiating mandate for the British government, requiring input from all the relevant Ministries involved and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations. Boris – if it is he – will need all his cat herding skills and more.
  • Some sort of consultation mechanism – with experts, NGO’s, unions, all the very many parties affected, even Parliament, for surely, post-election it will represent the Will of the People, no?
  • An understanding of the process on the EU side, what they and the national governments will be looking for and how they will approach it. A guide to this can be found here. A summary: it’s a little more complicated than a walk in a garden and a friendly chat with Mr Barnier. And that’s before you get onto the actual negotiations themselves and the astonishing level of detail they go into. The EU-Canada FTA, for instance, is 1,589 pages long. (Something to read in the longueurs waiting for the election results perhaps.) Of course, it is possible to go for the bare minimum that can be done in the time available. But that only results in combining the disadvantages of WTO tariffs in some areas, prolonged uncertainty in others and negotiations continuing in yet more areas. What was that again about avoiding dither and delay? All these concerns – and there are plenty more not touched on (including the lack of preparedness and experience Britain has in trade negotiations against an entity with decades of both) can – and no doubt will – be hand waved away by those who deplore such an Eeyore-ish approach to Brexit’s opportunities.

Tramadol Online Yahoo So let’s look at a very recent example of a trade deal concluded by Britain to see what light it might shed. Earlier this year, International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, trumpeted an FTA with Korea as the “new gold standard of trade deals with our existing allies and like-minded countries”. This deal was reviewed by a specialist House of Lords Committee which was distinctly unimpressed with the claims made. The critical point is that, if the terms of the Korea deal are indeed the template for future trade deals, they show that the UK, being a much smaller market, will be unlikely to get better deals on its own than it did through the EU.  Bizarrely, despite feeling strongly about cheese, Ms Truss agreed 27% tariffs for Cheddar exporters to Korea rather than the zero tariffs currently enjoyed via the EU and by Britain’s competitors. What a disgrace! Of such details are FTAs made. Exporters’ hopes may be in the hands of a Minister who shows every sign of being the new Chris Grayling.

Tramadol Online Overnight 180 Whoever wins the election, Brexit will not go away for a long time. If Corbyn becomes PM we will, if Corbyn’s promises to renegotiate the WA and have another referendum are to be believed, be reliving the past 3½ years but crammed into 6 months. Believe that and you’ll believe anything. If Leave wins again, all the same issues arise. If Remain wins – but with fewer votes than Leave in 2016 – imagine what arguments about legitimacy and democracy there will be then. And if the Tories win, years of negotiations and/or a no Deal departure and/or the dramas of “will he/won’t he” extend the transition period await.

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Labour’s Brexit Divisions

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

go site Political parties have always been coalitions in themselves. They are big tents and broad churches that try to keep everyone singing from more or less the same hymn sheet, or at least not fighting in the aisles. But sometimes you can see the stretch and the strain in the canvas as it tries to hold it all together. As James Maxton quipped during Labour party splits in the 1930s, “if you can’t ride two horses at once then you’ve no business being in the circus”.

Tramadol Online Yahoo Answers Since becoming Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has certainly undergone a crash course in dual equestrianism as longstanding fault-lines within the party were re-opened by the prospect of Brexit, and they all looked very familiar.

source Harold Wilson had long been a pro-European in private, and during his first spell as Prime Minister Labour applied for the UK membership of the then-EC, but after his fall from office it was Edward Heath’s Conservatives who took charge of the negotiations for the UK’s entry. Wilson was against British membership under those terms and set the Labour party squarely in opposition to EC-entry. The Roy Jenkins-led revolts on the issue helped squeeze the bill through parliament, and culminated in Jenkins, Harold Lever, and George Thomson resigning from the cabinet (Jenkins and Thomson both went on to become Lib Dem MPs).

see Faced with a divided party Wilson tried to bridge the rift by calling a referendum and outsourcing the decision to the people. The Labour manifestos of 1974 promised a referendum on re-negotiated terms but carefully avoided committing the party to one side or the other (for the sake of completeness Labour won a plurality of seats in February and a small majority in October). The party declared no official position for the referendum with the leading figures of the party splitting heavily in favour of staying in while the Trade Unions and wider membership supported leaving.

Tramadol For Pets Online Wilson also decided that if democracy was good for the nation it might also be good for Labour. At the Labour Party conference of 1975 a vote was to be held with a condition attached. If either side won the vote with a 2:1 majority then it would become the official party stance. In the event the ‘leave’ side won only ~65% of the vote and neutrality was outcome by a whisker. Wilson held on to official impartiality for the start of the campaign before coming out in support of remaining within the EC. Wilson used that vote to release the divisive pressure building within the party, while weighting things heavily towards the outcome of an officially neutral party that was split on the issue but not divided against itself. The leadership moved the decision out of its hands but kept a thumb on the scale.

enter Corbyn has followed many of Wilson’s decisions on neutrality but veered away when it comes to internal democracy. The party’s position of supporting a referendum and combining freedom to campaign with official neutrality was laid down by the leadership. It was a stance they’d taken such a hammering at the European Elections that holding on to a Labour Brexit was no longer possible and the leadership had to bow to the pressure from the remain wing of the party.

Purchase Tramadol Online Cod The party manifestos of 1974 and 2019 share many similarities, the support for a renegotiation of a Conservative deal and a referendum on the result alongside the calls for reform if remaining inside the European project. Modern manifestos have all extended greatly in recent years, the 2019 Brexit section at over 1200 words is significantly longer than both 1974 manifestos put together (about 650 and 250 words respectively) and in those extra words there’s a wealth of tension. It is clear and comfortable in what it is against, but when it comes to what it supports it reads like it was created during a Mexican standoff, with each side taking their turn to write a paragraph.

The Labour party conference in September passed a motion committing to the support of freedom of movement, in a significant shift from its pre-existing policy of ending it. In the 2019 manifesto there is a paragraph waxing lyrical about the benefits of immigration and freedom of movement to the country, and a very pointed omission of any commitment to retaining it in a Labour Brexit deal. It’s tempting to imagine Len McCluskey and Ian Lavery diving over the table to prevent it going any further.

The Labour party is now going out of its way to trumpet how it’s changing tack and going after leave voters. Its existing strategy of trying to focus on issues other than Brexit had delivered mixed results. Their focus on the NHS has coincided and probably helped it rise to being the most important issue of the election, but they still trailed heavily in overall voting intention polls. 

This new tactic suggests a powershift at the top of the party, but also sets it up for later conflict if it manages to surge in the coming weeks. Leavers will take it as evidence that the party should be pursuing a harder Brexit, while Remainers will point to the shifts that had already happened and claim it as a continuing trend. It’d be a problem Jeremy Corbyn would be delighted to have to deal with (as opposed to spending more time with the damsons on the allotment) but is something to keep an eye on.

Beyond the factional struggle for control is the question of whether the tactic is a good one for the campaign. It’s ostensibly aimed at winning back Labour leave voters who had defected to the Conservatives after it underestimated ‘the willingness of Leave voters to switch from Labour to the Conservatives.  They may have internal polling to recommend this view, but it would represent a shift from earlier in the year when BES data was showing anti-Tory tribalism outweighing leave voting preferences. For it to work it’s more likely that they’ll have to hope that the remnants of Brexit party support (sitting at a stubborn 3-5%) includes some voters they can pull back. It’s a hope that seems possible but doubtful, the hardcore last few percentage points of any party tend to be particularly difficult to shift.

They may be targeting undecided voters, and Ipsos-Mori’s November political monitor found that Labour supporters were far less likely to say they had ‘definitely decided’ (71% to 54%). But most of the undecided Labour voters are leaning Liberal Democrat as their second choice (and vice versa, while very few undecided Conservatives are considering Labour). One of the justifications for changing strategy was that the Lib Dems had not proved to be as big a polling threat as had been expected, when that could also be evidence of the previous strategy actually working.

It’s unlikely to make the campaign trail questions on Brexit any easier for Corbyn, especially when it becomes such an obvious target for any journalist looking to find an awkward spot to dig into (and Corbyn’s tendency to get riled up by such questions). When there’s such division within the party not just on remain vs leave but also on what a Labour Brexit would look like it makes pushing any clear message very difficult. Boris Johnson has taken an old political lesson, one mastered by the Labour party during the Blair years, and applied it relentlessly. The public like political parties to appear united in the ranks and clear in their messaging, the moment the politerati are utterly sick of a slogan is the moment the public starts to hear about it.

Buy Discount Tramadol The Labour party are unlikely to be troubled by unity or clarity on Brexit, either before or after this coming election (and in victory or defeat). This new strategy probably won’t improve relations between each side. Corbyn needs to either find a way to get the horses going in the same direction, or he’s likely to fall through the gap between them.

Tomas Forsey

Tomas Forsey is a longstanding PBer who posts on PB as Corporeal and tweets as PBcorporeal


And so to the first leaders’ TV debate of GE2019 – without a remainer

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

Watch live on PB from 8pm GMT


The number of Tory MPs elected on December 12th will determine what type of Brexit we get, if we get Brexit

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

As the late United States President, LBJ once said “Politics is the ability to count”. Currently the polls and the betting markets have a Conservative Majority as the most likely outcome, but these are fallible; the manifestoes are not out yet and the nation may not be comfortable with the idea of a large Tory Majority Gov’t.

In this thread I will examine the numerology of the next election working through various scenarios:

source First up 326 + CON MPs – If the Conservatives gain any sort of majority, they are into power and Johnson’s agreement is getting passed. There is a difference between this parliament and the last when May also took over with a small majority – all the rebellion on the anti-europe side is gone, Steve Baker, Owen Patterson, Rees Mogg and Priti Patel are all completely onboard the Johnson project in a way they never were with May. On the other side, the Soubries and even Grieves and Letwins are gone. The most europhile Tories present will likely be Stephen Brine, Stephen Hammond and Greg Clark, possibly fewer than those three if the Lib Dems have a particularly good night and Labour a very poor one.

There still may be no majority for “No Deal” in the house, and that could affect things later in the parliament as we move toward the internal deadlines of the transition period but that is tomorrow’s problem. For now it looks rosy aboard the Tory express.

Buy Cheapest Tramadol 323 – 325 CON MPs – The exact numbers depend on the number of Sinn Fein MPs re-elected. At present this looks likely to be six but might be another number, seven or five depending on F&ST and Foyle. Each Sinn Fein MP is effectively worth 1/2 to the party closest to a majority as they do not take their seats. Let us assume for the sake of argument it is six Sinn Fein MPs. This sets the effective majority bar for the Tories (Or anyone else) at precisely 323 MPs and the maths then works as above.

go 322 CON MPs (Or possibly 321) – This is where the numbers start to get “interesting”, and this is the lowest possible number of Tories I make it that can pass the Johnson deal. It is true that though they are not the Tories greatest fans at present, neither the DUP nor the Lib Dems are particularly keen on Corbyn getting into Number 10 Downing Street. In the end a Johnson Queens Speech would probably get through though.

Just as Conservative remainers have been purged, so too have Brexiteers amiable to any Johnson deal on the other side of the house. Barron, Campbell, Mann, Fitzpatrick all gone. The Lisa Nandys of the parliament would quickly fall into line with the Labour whip, secure in another five years of tenure and assured by the fact Labour voters in northern towns would evidently have put other issues largely ahead of Brexit. There are left two possible ‘rebels’ on the opposition benches, Caroline Flint and possibly Jason Zadrozny. I make it these two would be allies to Johnson in terms of Brexit though he could not rely on Flint for confidence or anything else. The numbers might work with 321 if both Flint and Zadrozny are elected but that is the absolute de minimis.

Arrested For Ordering Tramadol Online 313 – 320 CON MPs (Possibly 321) – A similar number to May you may say. The electoral dynamics this time round are different though. The Letwins and Gaukes are vanquished and the Tories old friends the DUP are likely back and able to influence events. At 320 MPs I don’t believe Johnson’s deal will get through, but the likelihood of ‘No deal’ is also probably at it’s highest. A ‘No deal’ Brexit works for the DUP and the tangible need to deliver some, any form of Brexit is palpable for the Tories. As we drop below 320 MPs, the likes of Greg Clark may again pop their head above the parapet to prevent “No Deal”, and for each number below there is another opposition MP to add. The danger is very much there though in the above range. 295 – 312 CON MPs – The chances of a “No deal” exit are lower beyond this point, but Labour are still well well short. Sturgeon’s demand of a Scottish referendum for Labour support being something the Lib Dems are strongly against and also the idea of putting Corbyn into No 10. The Lib Dems hold the whip hand in this scenario and they can now demand a confirmatory referendum on any deal. Fundamentally there is a rum choice for Johnson to take – either have case by case support from the Lib Dems, no Brexit and a weak administration for five years with the possibility of it collapsing at the most inopportune moment or face a 2020 election against a new fresh faced Labour leader that the Tories will likely lose. His party may baulk at the idea of doing any sort of deal with the Lib Dems, but it is likely also in this scenario that Labour won’t have done particularly well and might be looking for another leader. There always needs to be a PM, quite who it is in this scenario I’m not sure.

Purchase Tramadol Uk 294 or less – The numbers for any sort of functioning Labour minority Government are very tricky and don’t become any easier till Labour + SNP start to approach 325. Nevertheless I think someone from the opposition benches (Probably Corbyn, maybe someone else) will be put in place at least long enough for a second referendum to be put through. The key point is below this level there is surely no way Johnson can carry on, he doesn’t really have any choice but to resign and send for Corbyn and one of the weakest Labour Governments in history.

Labour’s ability to affect the sort of change Corbyn is looking for will be minimal, but Johnson at this point surely has to send for the Leader of the Opposition having been soundly defeated on his platform for the election.

So in short

322+ = Tory Gov’t + Deal
313 – 322 = Tory Gov’t + No deal danger zone
295 – 312 = Second referendum on Johnson or Corbyn’s deal
294 or below, Second referendum on Corbyn’s deal



Focus on Wokingham where two ex-CON MPs are slugging it out against each other

Friday, November 15th, 2019

The longstanding Brexiteer versus the defector to the LDs

The Berkshire constituency of Wokingham is one of the most intriguing battle grounds at the General Election for it is where the veteran Brexiteer, John Redwood, is seeking to defend his seat against the remain backing former CON MP from the neighbouring constituency, Philip Lee. Redwood has been MP there since 1987.

It will be recalled that when Parliament resumed in September it was while Johnson was speaking that Phillip Lee crossed the floor of the House of Commons from the Tory benches to sit next to Jo Swinson. His defection left the Tories with no working majority in the House of Commons

Lee and Redwood, of course, have totally different views of the EU with the former being closer to voters in Wokingham than the latter. At the referendum Wokingham went 57% remain.

This is a seat which is part of the Unite to Remain alliance and there is no Green standing. The key importance of this is that it is a signal to LD activists outside the area that it is a key battle ground and where they should help.

Online Tramadol Cod There was a small sample Survation poll which had Redwood 4% ahead.

In Euro2019 the LDs came top in Wokingham with 33.45% with the Greens getting 11.3%. The Tories were estimated to have got 13.4% with BP at 29.4%. LAB was at 4.9%

The question here is whether Redwood has built up support over the past third of a century there to get re-elected. Everything depends on the importance of Brexit to those who voted for Redwood at GE2017.

Ladbrokes currently make the Tories 1/4 favourites with the LDs at 11/4 which I regard as value. I’d assess this as closer to 50/50.

Mike Smithson


Tories trading today at record highs on the Commons Seats spreadbetting markets

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

With nominations for GE2019 closing at 4pm tomorrow we are just four weeks away from polling day. Postal voting is likely to start perhaps a week and a half later depending on the local authority.

The Tory polling position is nothing like as dominant as it was at this stage in 2017. Indeed four weeks ahead of that election ICM had CON 49%, LAB 27%, Farage’s party 6%, LD 9. TMay’s team was totally dominating the narrative and LAB looked doomed.

Then, of course, came the Tory manifesto with its dementia tax plan and the whole mood of the election totally changed. Buy Cheap Tramadol Online Uk But just because the narrative changed last time round does not mean it will be the same.

My view is that the final week is going to be crucial because the country could be then so much closer to Brexit actually happening. A majority for Johnson would ensure that the referendum would be honoured while if he fell short then Brexit would be in doubt. If LAB is still some way behind in the polling then the possibility of Corbyn being PM would be far less.

This is likely to matter most in those seats where Remain came out top. Will Tory-voting remain backers stick with their party? The question then is whether possible CON losses in Remainia will be more than offset by gains from LAB.

Mike Smithson


The Brexit divide within LAB’s GE2017 supporter base

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

LAB seeing significant seepage amongst its GE2107 leavers

But holding up better amongst remainers though the LDs a worry

What’s going to be key is being seen as the main option for tactical votes in key battlegrounds where the Tories are on the offensive, A problem is that a party that’s seen to be hemorrhaging support would find it harder to present itself as the tactical vote choice.

My view is that so much depends on the final week because the one thing that will certainly trigger Brexit will be a CON outright majority. Johnson’s statement that he’d like the UK to be out of the EU by Christmas almost certainly means that it is Brexit that will dominate voters’ minds in the closing stages.

Note that the polling I’m using here is Deltapoll which has not given the don’t knows for these cross-breaks.

Mike Smithson


After an eventful day a CON overall majority now a 60% chance on Betfair

Monday, November 11th, 2019

But is it a bigger deal as is being made out?

Today’s move by Farage sounds like a very important development but are we over stating it? Much of the coverage seems to be based on the widespread assumption that all the BP party vote will automatically go to the Tories.

This is of course nonsense because a quite large slice of BP support comes from former LAB voters who would never go near the Tories.

So the effect of Farage pulling candidate out in Conservative seats could boost Labour as well.

BP is not a political organisation which can be compared to other parties. It has no members and Farage is leader as long as he wants. It has inherited the UKIP characteristic of being very poor in first past the post elections with a tendency to be overstated in the polls

At GE2017 Farage’s then party chalked up 1.9% of the overall GB vote which was much smaller than most pollsters had recorded.

I feel sorry for many of the BP candidates who put themselves forward in good faith and now have been ditched.

  • Chart of Betfair exchange prices from
  • Mike Smithson