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EU Referendum 2.0

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What should we do about the EU?
Revoke Article 50, stay exactly where we are, and try to forget the whole sorry clusterfuck ever happened.
66%
 66%  [ 6 ]
Stay, but undertake a "root and branch" review of any and all aspects of our membership to address the concerns of a number of our citizens
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Leave, but only with a clear mandate from another referendum, and with a clearly defined plan to deal with all the issues.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 9

Alfred E Neuman
1307099.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:15 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
After all if you broke your leg, would you refuse a cast because you didn't want your leg broken?

Except the leg isnít actually broken yet, even though itís imminent. I suggest that the more intelligent thing to do then is to try to prevent the idiot with the sledgehammer from breaking it, rather than wait for the cast.

 
GuyBarry
1307102.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:19 am Reply with quote

In this analogy, who do you regard as "the idiot with the sledgehammer"? The Government? The European Commission? The ERG? The Labour Party? The British people?

 
Alfred E Neuman
1307107.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:13 pm Reply with quote

Idiot might not have been the best word to use there. If Brexit is a broken leg, then the idiot with the sledgehammer is whoever is driving Brexit, in spite of the admission by most sane people that it won't actually be good for the country.

From where I'm sitting that would be Mrs May's government, although my post was really more to highlight the deficiencies in barbados' analogy, so your question is missing the point a bit.

 
GuyBarry
1307109.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:35 pm Reply with quote

And I'm highlighting the deficiencies in your analogy. The situation isn't that the people wanted to remain in the EU and the Government is hell-bent on taking us out of it. The situation is that the people wanted to leave the EU and the Government is trying to carry out their wishes without sending us all to hell in a handcart.

The choice that will be given to MPs in the third week of January is whether to accept the Withdrawal Agreement or not. If MPs accept the Withdrawal Agreement, then this country's relationship with the EU is secure for the next two years at least.

If MPs do not accept the Withdrawal Agreement, then no one has the first idea what will happen in just over three months' time.

How can anyone responsibly oppose it?

 
suze
1307112.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:52 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
After all if you broke your leg, would you refuse a cast because you didn't want your leg broken?


Of course not, but as noted my leg isn't as yet broken.

Suppose I'm teaching a class, and the girls tell me they are in a draught so please could I shut the door. But I get to the door intending to close it, only to find that you are in the doorway in the manner of Governor Wallace, and if I close the door right now I'll break your arm.

You would not expect me to close the door regardless. You'd expect me to ask you to move first, and if for some reason you can't or won't move then the girls will have to stay in the draught because that's better than breaking your arm.

If I said "It is the will of the class that this door be closed, sorry about your arm", you probably wouldn't be very impressed. When you're walking around with your arm in plaster, who are you going to blame? Yourself for being an awkward sod and obstructing the door, or the people who insisted that it be closed anyway?

On the other hand, I might decide that sorry girls, but the door has to stay open. The girls might chunter a bit, but if they all get pneumonia they're going to blame you rather than me. Only thing is, they're probably not going to get pneumonia, so the least bad outcome for everyone is to leave the door open.

 
barbados
1307113.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:55 pm Reply with quote

I think your analogy breaks down because Brexit isn't one person or event with a sledgehammer.
It has been simmering away since before the UK joined and it would be impossible to put your finger on one event.

I would suggest it is more like falling out of a tree and hittting every branch on the way down then landing awkwardly. It started with a slip, and which of the many branches did the damage would be anybodies guess.

 
GuyBarry
1307122.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:09 pm Reply with quote

I don't understand suze's analogy. The normal course of action in that situation would be to ask the person concerned to move their arm and then shut the door.

 
suze
1307123.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:14 pm Reply with quote

Oh, of course. I have no clue why barbados couldn't or wouldn't move his arm, but that was what he told me when I asked him.

 
barbados
1307126.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:18 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
barbados wrote:
After all if you broke your leg, would you refuse a cast because you didn't want your leg broken?


Of course not, but as noted my leg isn't as yet broken.

Suppose I'm teaching a class, and the girls tell me they are in a draught so please could I shut the door. But I get to the door intending to close it, only to find that you are in the doorway in the manner of Governor Wallace, and if I close the door right now I'll break your arm.

You would not expect me to close the door regardless. You'd expect me to ask you to move first, and if for some reason you can't or won't move then the girls will have to stay in the draught because that's better than breaking your arm.

If I said "It is the will of the class that this door be closed, sorry about your arm", you probably wouldn't be very impressed. When you're walking around with your arm in plaster, who are you going to blame? Yourself for being an awkward sod and obstructing the door, or the people who insisted that it be closed anyway?

On the other hand, I might decide that sorry girls, but the door has to stay open. The girls might chunter a bit, but if they all get pneumonia they're going to blame you rather than me. Only thing is, they're probably not going to get pneumonia, so the least bad outcome for everyone is to leave the door open.

I'm not being the awkward sod though am I. You're the one that is refusing to move your arm even though it will inevitably shut because as you say - it is the will of the class

 
GuyBarry
1307131.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:37 pm Reply with quote

This is the problem with arguing by analogy - it's very easy to lose track of what the analogy actually stands for.

Originally, "breaking your leg" was supposed to represent Brexit. But then "breaking your arm" was supposed to represent opposition to Brexit - I think.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is defeated, we're heading for the situation where we get our leg broken by those who support Brexit and our arm broken by those who oppose it.

 
suze
1307144.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:32 pm Reply with quote

Yea, I think I have to agree. Let's give up on crap analogies and get back to the actual subject, which does not involve either actual or potential broken limbs.

If The Deal is passed, the Remainers are unhappy and the Moggites are very unhappy. No one is actually happy.

If The Deal is voted down, there is by now no realistic option but No Deal. Unfortunately, the Guy Deal is not an option because it cannot get through Parliament without Mrs May suffering broken limbs. (Incidentally, I did read something rather similar to the Guy Deal elsewhere yesterday. Unless it was in fact Guy who posted it to The Guardian, someone else has had much the same idea.) In the event of No Deal, the Remainers are very unhappy indeed, but the Moggites are happy.

Now, the theory of satisficing (Herbert A Simon, 1956) says that one should choose the first or easiest option which ensures that our objective is achieved. Our objective is to leave the EU, and anything beyond that is mere detail. No Deal is better than a bad deal, remember.

So the government should in fact do nothing at all. Doing nothing at all is always easier than any other option, and it will achieve the objective. What's more, some people are happy about the No Deal outcome.

The other approach at this point is optimization, but what are we optimizing? If we are optimizing the number of happy people, then again the government should do nothing at all; under The Deal, no one is happy, while under No Deal the Moggites are.

If we're optimizing the state of the nation, then the optimal outcome is Not Leaving. But an externality (ie "the will of the people") means that Not Leaving is not an option. Accordingly, we cannot optimize the state of the nation and so we should not try to do it. There is a theorem somewhere in a dusty Decision Math book which states that optimizing something is better than optimizing nothing - and so we must go back to optimizing the number of happy people.

This worries me, because I appear to be arguing for No Deal. That is not in fact the outcome that I want, but it does seem to be the rational outcome from this point.

 
barbados
1307156.  Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:13 pm Reply with quote

The other approach would be to adopt a common sense approach.
I know, neither common sense and brexit, or common sense and parliament are that apparent. But humour me if you will.
The "deal" is actually not as bad as all that. The big stumbling block is this backstop - which is only an insurance policy anyway, and if we listen to the attorney general is written in such a way that the likelihood of it actually happening is extremely remote (mainly because it is written in that efforts do have to be made to prevent it - and that is a real effort, not what has been happening over the last 18 months). If it is employed, that means that there is no deal and the framework that is in Theresa May's deal has failed - which is in no ones interest because we do trade with each other and we continue to need to trade with each other.
That makes the May outcome the least bad, and so the easiest to vote for. So all we need to do is convince the likes of Corbyn he either needs to play politics properly and rather than waste time with pointless motions at such an important time, or actually man up and have a proper vote of confidence, or actually take a real interest and do the right thing during this important time. I doubt he will do either, because in calling the vote of confidence ihe needs to be sure he wins, then it will mean a general election, which we know he can't win (we know that because he tried to win the last one that the Tories tried their hardest to lose and failed. And he is too scared of his puppeteers to actually do his job properly.

Incidentally on my way home from football Saturday- not sure what her name was, but I heard the most ridiculous reason for a second referendum. It was because the people that were 16 and 17 are now eligible to vote so it is unfair they didn't get a say. I realise she needed to make a show, but seriously? The 16&17 year olds are now old enough - is that really the best option she could have come up with?

 
crissdee
1307174.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:31 am Reply with quote

Because now we've got those 16&17 year olds, there won't be any more this time round?????

Reminds me of the old joke about metrication, "They should have waited till all the old people were dead before making the change....."

 
GuyBarry
1307177.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:12 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

If The Deal is passed, the Remainers are unhappy and the Moggites are very unhappy. No one is actually happy.


Why won't anyone be happy if the Deal is passed? The PM and all her supporters will certainly be happy. That's 200 MPs - a bigger block than the "hard Remainers" and "hard Brexiteers" put together.

Or were you talking about the population as a whole rather than just MPs? I think a lot of people will be very happy if the Withdrawal Agreement goes through, or at least very relieved. In particular, most businesses do their financial planning at least three months in advance. How can they possibly operate properly if they don't know what their costs are going to be?

This is not some abstract ideological question for most people. This is something that's going to affect their everyday lives in the very near future. In the short-term, if you were faced with a choice between the certainty of the transition period under the Withdrawal Agreement and the lack of any clear continuity without the Withdrawal Agreement, which would you prefer?

Quote:
If The Deal is voted down, there is by now no realistic option but No Deal. Unfortunately, the Guy Deal is not an option because it cannot get through Parliament without Mrs May suffering broken limbs. (Incidentally, I did read something rather similar to the Guy Deal elsewhere yesterday. Unless it was in fact Guy who posted it to The Guardian, someone else has had much the same idea.)


It wasn't me, sadly. My idea, for those who haven't seen it elsewhere, was that once we've been in the transition period for about 18 months, we should have the option of re-joining on existing terms if sufficient progress has not been made in the trade negotiations. (At present, the only options are extending the transition period and going into the backstop.)

Whether this is in fact possible under the terms of Article 50, I'm not sure. (Article 50(5) says "if a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.") It also might cause objections from other countries applying to join, who might reasonably complain that the UK had jumped the queue. But if those objections could somehow be overcome, then it might satisfy the "hard Remainers" enough to persuade them to back the Withdrawal Agreement.

 
crissdee
1307191.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:20 am Reply with quote

The letters page of the "Metro" today gives a neat overview of the chasm between the various factions. The first letter asks how a referendum can be undemocratic, the next says that they have never heard of anything as UNdemocratic as a second referendum. Another letter writer appears to be happy as long as the second referendum doesn't include "crashing out" as an option, while the very next writer wants to vote for exactly that.

 

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