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23 hours ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: Cameron - b... · 0 replies · +1 points

He had his qualities, but was ultimately just another political cipher. His catastrophic mishandling of 'the dogmatic and unbending Eurosceptics' has at least ensured history won't forget him.

1 day ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: Cameron - b... · 1 reply · +1 points

Given the precipitate collapse in the pound when the vote went the 'wrong way', the financial markets were also calculating 8-1 odds, if not longer.

So strange. The polls were showing very significant risk of an out vote in the run-up to the poll. I know there was a mass of spin explaining all that away, but you'd expect professionals to hedge their bets a little more efficiently even so. Instead they seem to have decided that was was 'unthinkable' just couldn't happen.

1 day ago @ http://www.conservativ... - What could give the Go... · 1 reply · +1 points

He wouldn't be a leader. He'd be a deputy. And I'd have thought that 'very capable, cunning and intelligent' are just the qualities you would want in a deputy.

3 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Gale and Percy oppose ... · 0 replies · +1 points

You are correct. The UK will still have reserved the right to breach the WA (and therefore international law) if necessary, and this will be enshrined in statute. The role given to MPs in any decision to activate the safeguarding provisions is merely an issue of domestic political process.

I doubt if the EU will use this as a pretext to withdraw from the WA. If they do, they will be in perfect alignment with the Hard Brexit ultras. More likely is that they will issue dire threats re consequences if the provisions are ever utilised and the breach becomes actual.

4 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Why Conservative MPs s... · 0 replies · +1 points

As far as I can see, no one (at least no one serious) argues that the existence of these clauses in the bill is itself a breach of international law. That would only come into play if and when they were exercised.

Instead the fuss is about the government signalling that the UK is willing to do this if necessary, and giving ministers the necessary power (under British law) to do so. The EU claims this is a breach of trust, which is certainly arguable, not a breach of law.

I fail to see how the amendment giving parliament a lock on the exercise of these provisions materially alters the situation. The UK would still have armed itself with the means of unilateral redress. It just means that the British Parliament would have to concur with British ministers that exercising these powers had become necessary, which is just a matter of domestic political process. The UK will still have reserved its right to break the WA, and thus international law, and this will still be explicitly written into statute.

I mean if international law really is the issue, what difference would it make?

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden: If Sta... · 1 reply · +1 points

"Perfidious Albion is not a good reputation to live up to."

Being so fine and upstanding and everything, how did we acquire that reputation? 'Perfidious Albion' wasn't coined last week.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: 'If I see the r... · 1 reply · +1 points

I don't doubt that he did it deliberately, JAU, the question is whether he was using an agreed formula or freelancing with mischievous intent. If the latter, No 10 would be spitting blood. I must say I have seen no hint from journalists close to the govt that this is the case.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: 'If I see the r... · 2 replies · +1 points

International law does not apply to a 'functioning democracy'. Domestic law does that. You know, real law - the kind that can be enforced by a sovereign power, not a melange of international conventions and agreements in legal fancy dress. The world (sorry, 'global community') is not a democracy, let alone a functioning one.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: 'If I see the r... · 2 replies · +1 points

Yes, of course he is implying that there are ways that the UK could decide to break international law in a way he would potentially find acceptable. That would have to be the position of any minister supporting the bill. Obviously.

Isn't that precisely what this whole row is about?

International law only, note. Ministers exercising powers that they have been explicitly granted by statute cannot be breaking domestic law.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - What would have happen... · 0 replies · +1 points

You know perfectly well what the reaction on this site would have been if Corbyn in power had behaved similarly. It would have been every bit as hyperbolically pearl-clutching as your own.

Well, OK, that's the theatre of democratic politics. Tiresome but inevitable. Conservatives do it too. The only question which matters is whether any of this hot air has effect.