Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

Brexit: Extensions, and Elections

So, a few days ago we'd asked for an extension, but were stuck in a deadlock. France was saying "They won't say why they want it. And we're not going to give them endless extensions for no reason. If they have an election we'll give them an extension." Labour were saying "We won't have an election unless there's an extension, otherwise we'll crash out mid-extension." and frankly it was all a mess.

Today we find ourselves with an extension to January (hurrah!) and Politico.EU has this to say:
The major obstacle to agreement among EU leaders — France’s preference for a shorter extension to force the U.K. into a decision — appears to have been removed, following a Sunday call between President Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson. Yesterday’s offer from the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party to back a December election appears to have been a major factor in the EU27’s decision
which is all rather a relief.

Now, a lot of people are stressed (me amongst them) that Johnson's Deal is remarkably close to passing. And that after it passed the second reading, with Macron insisting that we were only going to get a two week extension to try and pass it again, that would apply enough pressure to Labour Leavers to get it over the line. So taking the extension in order to hold an election felt like the best route forward. And prominent remainers were pushing for exactly that.

And, as Labour have been saying for ages "Give us an extension and we'll have an election" you'd think they'd be happy now. But apparently this is all part of a Lib-Dem/Conservative plot. Labour have said that they'll vote for an election so long as No Deal is off the table. But not, apparently, through an extension, but through some other unspecified means. Here's lovely quote about how Labour have changed their tune:
"Labour's position has switched. They've tried to do it subtly, but it's not that subtle. Previously in September, they said they would vote for an election once an extension to Article 50 had been agreed. Jeremy Corbyn said it at the Dispatch Box.

"Now, Mr Corbyn is saying Labour will only vote for an election once no-deal had been taken off the table. "An extension, in Labour's view, does not do that, whether it's to 31st January or even longer.

Ideally, of course, we'd be having a referendum. But with Johnson in charge of the government in charge of running that referendum I don't think I'd be very happy about the possibility of something bad happening in the several months it would take to hold one. Besides which, the Lib Dems have put forward 17 amendments for a people's vote, and the numbers have never been there to get one through. Unless that's suddenly changed, an election is the only way to actually change anything.

So now we're probably going to have one, and then we'll need people to vote tactically. If I was in Boris Johnson's seat I'd vote Labour. If I was in one the Lib Dems had a chance of winning I'd vote for them. And similarly with Green or PC. And up here I'll vote SNP. Because enough of that will make a non-Conservative government actually possible. And _then_ we can have the bloody referendum, and hopefully win that.

It still feels like a slim chance. But I can't see what other chance we've got.

(Your regular reminder that They could have had Brexit by now if they hadn’t been such dicks about it.)

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