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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

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.

 
dr.bob
1307200.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:51 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
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.


The problem with this is that the EU seem to be keen for the UK to remain within their little club. Under your plan, they have the perfect opportunity to do that by simply "doing a David Davis" and doing precisely fuck all for 18 months. At the end of that period, they can throw their hands in the air and say "Oh no! What a shame! We've not made sufficient progress, so I guess you guys will just have to re-join the EU."

 
GuyBarry
1307205.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:10 am Reply with quote

That's a good point, but I wasn't suggesting that the EU should be able to force the UK to rejoin - it would be a third option alongside extending the transition period and going into the backstop, and it would naturally be subject to a referendum.

 
Jenny
1307216.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:34 am Reply with quote

I don't think they actually want us there now. I think we've pissed them off enough for them to think 'good riddance', and even if by some miracle we were able to remain we wouldn't be in very good standing.

 
suze
1307221.  Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:22 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
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.


I shall take it that by "all" you mean "both". Because it is absolutely not the case that those MPs who voted for Mrs May to keep her job all support The Deal.

Take Ken Clarke, for instance. He said that he would have voted for The Deal, and I should be very surprised if he voted against Mrs May last week.

But that doesn't mean that he likes The Deal; he has made it very plain that he doesn't. One does not use the term "dog's breakfast" of something that actually makes one happy (unless one is a dog, I suppose, but they can't vote).

We have to suppose that just about everyone on the Remain side prefers The Deal to No Deal if there is no other option whatsoever. But Mr Clarke was unable to be enthusiastic about it, and those who are usually his allies on this subject - Greening, Grieve, Soubry - are so unenthusiastic that they intend to vote against it. Hammond and Streynsham-Hunt are Cabinet members and so are required to vote for The Deal, but I'm at best dubious that they would if they had a choice in the matter.

If The Deal had been concocted in advance and the original referendum had been a three way choice between Remain, The Deal, and No Deal, does anyone seriously believe that The Deal would have won?

 
barbados
1307282.  Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:10 am Reply with quote

Of course we can't tell what would have happened in a different circumstance. What woukd probably have happened is remain would have got less of the vote in the leave/remain vote because in all likelihood the reluctant remainers, and leavers come to think of it would have voted for the deal option.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1307284.  Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:15 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Of course we can't tell what would have happened in a different circumstance. What woukd probably have happened is remain would have got less of the vote in the leave/remain vote because in all likelihood the reluctant remainers, and leavers come to think of it would have voted for the deal option.

You really think that the deal is that attractive? Isnít it just the least bad option still available given there are no viable good options left.

 
barbados
1307295.  Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:04 am Reply with quote

No but from what I have heard about it I probably would have voted for it over remain.

 

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