38 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

76 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Letwin's wildcat execu... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'd interpret the "needs a Churchill" remark as a plea for not a general but rather a Prime Minister that's up to the task, with a vision, an ability to rally colleagues, and enough fortitude to see it through.

May's vision, if that's the right word, seems to be to continue much as before, as an economic adjunct of the EU, with even less control. Instead of rallying colleagues and the country, she works by bouncing people into things at the last moment.

76 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Letwin's wildcat execu... · 2 replies · +1 points

Same in England during the Commonwealth. Famously, the final Parliament spent so much time arguing amongst themselves as to how to become a government, Parliament passed no legislation at all, and was finally disbanded by Cromwell (a popular general)

182 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Lindberg: Leaving... · 3 replies · +1 points

That's really what prompted it (or perhaps the reverse phrasing: can the UK leave the EU if it remains in Euratom). I was astounded when the matter first appeared, but now see the government's predicament. The Lisbon Treaty changed the relationship between Euratom and the E(E)C in forming the EU, tightly binding Euratom into the EU's institutional structure, partly because Lisbon was really the European Constitution in disguise. Previously Euratom membership had been synchronised with EEC/EC membership, but the institutions were more independent legally. One discussion as to why leaving Euratom would be a consequence: , and an alternative view that perhaps they aren't so closely linked that the UK must leave Euratom immediately . Certainly the Euratom membership now is exactly the EU membership (EU28). Switzerland is the only non-EU participant, but as an extraordinary associate member (I haven't looked to see what that agreement contains).

In other words, as with the "European" Single Market and the "European" atomic research organisation, or the "European" Space Agency, and many others, it's the binding by the treaties of the European Union of many different organisations into the EU's institutions that leads to this, not a perverse desire by the UK government to stop participation in their sensible programmes, even though the EU does not represent all European countries.

182 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Ken Clarke was right. ... · 2 replies · +1 points

Indeed, that's mainly what I was reacting to.

North produces many useful and detailed reports, and I've found his site and work most informative.

It doesn't follow that his preferred solution of EFTA/EEA is necessarily the only way to maintain trade on similar terms and at similar levels. (I'd actually have been happy with it, but it isn't my decision.)

182 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Ken Clarke was right. ... · 3 replies · +1 points

I've certainly spent a comfortable time in countries outside the EEA, with plenty on the shelves.
It seems unlikely to provoke economic disaster. Obviously it's sensible to avoid and reduce disruption.

182 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Ken Clarke was right. ... · 10 replies · +1 points

The only referendum to do that was the AV referendum (because the LibDems didn't trust the Tories to carry it out!), using an unusual construction of building the Act to carry it out into the same Act.

Here, it wasn't even thought necessary: it was clear during the debates that the Government would respect the result, and at the time, it was expected that only the Government could, by using its power to withdraw from a treaty (which didn't previously require legislation). This turned out to be an unusual case and the courts decided rightly or wrongly that an Act was now required. That isn't an excuse to weasel out of it.
Also, they expected the result would be Remain and had no other plans.

Of course, had the result been Remain, "it would have settled the matter with no further dispute for a generation etc etc".

182 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Ken Clarke was right. ... · 3 replies · +1 points

"It follows that constituents who don’t like how their MP votes on the Article 50 Bill can in turn vote him out when the time comes."

Not usefully if they were to frustrate the referendum result, since the next election is not scheduled (thanks to Clegg) until 2020. Now, I assume that if they do frustrate the result, May will call an election, and in that case I'd expect a Great Deselection, and a big Tory majority. Then they can get on with it without interruption. Otherwise, no one should deselect a Remain MP just because they supported Remain, if they supported Article 50.

182 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Ken Clarke was right. ... · 14 replies · +1 points

"Furthermore, the argument that the people have given Parliamentarians a mandate and that they must therefore execute it is less straightforward than it looks. What should a pro-Leave MP do if his constituents voted Remain? (Or vice-versa, for that matter.)"

The argument is as disingenuous as the "Scotland voted Remain": selecting arbitrary sub-units when it was a vote of the entire United Kingdom, using rules well-published in advance, and with a strong declaration in a widely-distributed Government leaflet that it would do as the country decided. It was advisory *to the Government* (which promised to obey it). It was not a glorified opinion poll.

The MPs, indeed the same group of MPs, the same Parliament, voted to refer the decision to the electorate. They are obliged to carry it out.
Subject to leaving the European Union, they can argue about and affect the process and result, but they are obliged to vote to activate Article 50.

190 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Christopher Howarth's ... · 1 reply · +1 points

That's only if it can't agree to continue as things are, which it can do, and if not it really is just spite since there is no rationale in trade for it.

The WTO aspect is interesting in that it suggests that another international treaty organisation is causing results perverse compared to its founding ideals

192 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Christopher Howarth's ... · 4 replies · +1 points

"Or, we could just walk deliberately over the cliff of abrupt tariff and customs changes, "

The only rationale for tariffs at all is protection. The UK and EU27 have had no tariff barriers between them for decades. There is nothing left to protect. There is no reason to introduce them at this stage, except out of spite.

As between EFTA/EEA countries such as Norway and the EU, there would still need to be Rules of Origin to satisfy the EU's archaic Customs Union rules, but there are mechanisms in place to do that even after the UK has its own agreements with non-EU countries.