Brexit hits the fan

Updates

  1. Originally published, January 14, 11:56 pm.
  2. January 15, 6:55 am:
    • It’s probably pointless to forecast Theresa May’s demise as prime minister following an expected massive defeat for her Brexit plan. But the Telegraph article says something about the machinations involved. “Normally,” we would be looking at some sort of election here. The “normal” question would be whether it will be a general election as Labour seeks to maneuver into power (I don’t believe this will succeed) or a second referendum (or maybe even both).[1] The knives are out for May[2] as politicians maneuver for advantage but at this point, the question of the deal itself isn’t even so much about whether it can pass—it almost certainly can’t—but rather about the scale of the defeat and whether May can survive that defeat.[3] I still think those who insist they can get a better deal should be required to say how; details here seem notably absent. The real drama is now simply, baldly, a power struggle.
  3. January 15, 1:13 pm:
    • As widely expected, the U.K. Parliament voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal. It did so by a margin of over 200 votes.[4] Going by the earlier Telegraph coverage, that should mean she will have to resign.[5] As also expected,[6] Jeremy Corbyn has put forward a no-confidence motion.[7] But, unbelievably, May apparently intends to carry on.[8]
  4. January 16, 1:02 am:
    • Allan Lichtmann is just pointing out that Nancy Pelosi is now second in the line of succession to the presidency, immediately behind the vice president.[9] Y’know, just sayin’.
    • Yasmeen Serhan’s take on the Brexit vote is to point out that “[Theresa] May has insisted that the only thing worse than leaving the EU without a deal would be to leave it with a bad one.” Parliament, Serhan argues, took May at her word.[10] May also insisted the choice was between her deal and no deal, rebuffing calls for a second referendum on grounds that “Brexit supporters might even lose that second vote and be saddled with a bitterly divided nation and the status quo,”[11] which is true enough—indeed, it’s probably fair to say that a narrow outcome, reflecting bitter division, would be the most likely result, no matter which way it came out.[12] But with European Union diplomats insisting that May’s deal was the best that could be gotten,[13] the choice is no longer between May’s deal and no deal. It’s now between a second referendum and no deal,[14] and ministers should consider, given dire predictions of what will happen in the absence of a deal,[15] what their constituents will think of them as a hard Brexit unfolds.
  5. January 16, 4:55 pm:
    • As expected,[16] Theresa May survived the no-confidence motion in the U.K. Parliament.[17] (Brexit)
  6. January 17, 12:08 pm:
    • So I thought that Nancy Pelosi, despite her problematic position within the mainstream of the Democratic Party, might be the right person to take on Donald Trump over his stupid border wall. I noted my reasons could be construed as sexist.[18] But she might be vindicating me and, indeed, I might have been able to handle the issue differently had I had the quotes available to me when I wrote that blog entry that are available now.[19]
  7. January 17, 3:30 pm:
    • Maybe this matters more than I think, but Donald Trump responded to Nancy Pelosi’s move to postpone the State of the Union address by cutting off her access to military aircraft for a planned trip.[20] I just don’t see her trip to Afghanistan mattering as much to her as his planned appearance on national television addressing a joint session of Congress does to him. I think it’s understood that Pelosi’s move was an opening gambit. Trump’s response looks astonishingly weak to me—it certainly reflects uncertainty at the White House over how to respond.[21]
    • The judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric’s probation for a gas line explosion in San Bruno blames uninsulated conductors for many wildfires in which the utility has been implicated.[22] Hint to PG&E: Your repeated responses about how you “are committed to” whatever are getting really tired. And I’m not arguing if people say they’re empty.
  8. January 18, 12:35 am:
    • Theresa May has been accused of “pandering to the hard right of [her] party”[23] in what now appears to be a careen toward a hard Brexit. But it seems many in Labour, including members of the shadow cabinet, are equally adamant that there should be no second referendum. The logic seems to be that a second referendum would betray those who supported the outcome of the first one,[24] and I’m pretty sure[25] this argument is common to similarly opposed Tories (Conservatives). Which is to say that a naïvely (I include myself in this naïeveté,[26] abysmally unaware of the complications of the Irish border) taken vote must be adhered to regardless of the consequences? Even when consequences which were not as well known—perhaps even not known at all—become much more clear? Which is to say that unappetizing options for compliance with the first outcome may not be subject to debate and vote? Really? Really? Oh and which is to say that voters might never change their fucking minds? Really? Does anyone else see that this is more about parties jostling for power, desperately seeking to avoid punishment from some folks with some really rather perverse notions of sovereignty? Certainly, it’s less than an honest admission that the options—each unappetizing in one way or another—might deserve popular consideration.
  9. January 18, 01:00 am:
    • It turns out the government has been exploring the feasibility of a second referendum on Brexit—you know, someone was asking for a friend.[27]

Brexit

MayWalksThePlank
Patrick Blower, January 15, 2019, via the Telegraph, fair use.

Gordon Rayner, “Theresa May ‘will have to stand down’ if she suffers heavy defeat in Brexit vote, Cabinet ministers suggest,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/theresa-may-will-asked-stand-suffers-heavy-defeat-brexit-vote/

Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/

Bianca Britton, “British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin,” CNN, January 15, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/uk/brexit-vote-theresa-may-gbr-intl/index.html

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html

Yasmeen Serhan, “The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat,” Atlantic, January 15, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/theresa-may-defeat-brexit-deal/580414/

Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Theresa May survives confidence vote, even after Brexit failure,” Telegraph, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/theresa-may-expected-to-survive-confidence-vote-even-after-brexit-failure/2019/01/16/80863074-1914-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html

Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Peter Walker, “May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock,” Guardian, January 16, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/16/mays-government-survives-no-confidence-vote-after-brexit-defeat

Heather Stewart, Peter Walker, and Rajeev Syal, “Corbyn could face string of resignations if he backs ‘people’s vote,’ ” Guardian, January 17, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/17/corbyn-could-face-string-of-resignations-if-he-backs-peoples-vote

Christopher Hope, “Second Brexit referendum: Official Government guidance says it will take a year to organise, Telegraph, January 18, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/17/revealed-official-government-guidance-saying-will-take-year/


Pacific Gas and Electric

Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak, “PG&E calls bankruptcy ‘only viable option’ in California wildfire crisis,” Sacramento Bee, January 14, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article224504140.html


Nancy Pelosi

Allan Lichtman, “Could Nancy Pelosi be the next president of the United States?” Hill, January 15, 2019, https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/425344-could-nancy-pelosi-be-the-next-president-of-the-united-states

John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle, and Rachael Bade, “‘She’s satin and steel’: Pelosi wages war on Trump,” Politico, January 16, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/16/has-trump-met-his-match-pelosi-1106624

Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html

Paul Kane, Philip Rucker, and Josh Dawsey, “‘She wields the knife’: Pelosi moves to belittle and undercut Trump in shutdown fight,” Washington Post, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/she-wields-the-knife-pelosi-moves-to-belittle-and-undercut-trump-in-shutdown-fight/2019/01/16/e6861fbe-19b0-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html


Pacific Gas and Electric

Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, “Judge blames deadly California wildfires on PG&E’s uninsulated power conductors,” Sacramento Bee, January 17, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article224709110.html


  1. [1]Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  2. [2]Gordon Rayner, “Theresa May ‘will have to stand down’ if she suffers heavy defeat in Brexit vote, Cabinet ministers suggest,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/theresa-may-will-asked-stand-suffers-heavy-defeat-brexit-vote/
  3. [3]Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  4. [4]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html; Bianca Britton, “British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin,” CNN, January 15, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/uk/brexit-vote-theresa-may-gbr-intl/index.html; Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230
  5. [5]Gordon Rayner, “Theresa May ‘will have to stand down’ if she suffers heavy defeat in Brexit vote, Cabinet ministers suggest,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/theresa-may-will-asked-stand-suffers-heavy-defeat-brexit-vote/
  6. [6]Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  7. [7]Bianca Britton, “British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin,” CNN, January 15, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/uk/brexit-vote-theresa-may-gbr-intl/index.html; Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230
  8. [8]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  9. [9]Allan Lichtman, “Could Nancy Pelosi be the next president of the United States?” Hill, January 15, 2019, https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/425344-could-nancy-pelosi-be-the-next-president-of-the-united-states
  10. [10]Yasmeen Serhan, “The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat,” Atlantic, January 15, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/theresa-may-defeat-brexit-deal/580414/
  11. [11]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  12. [12]Heather Stewart, “No 10 denies making plans for second Brexit referendum,” Guardian, December 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/16/no-10-denies-making-plans-for-second-brexit-referendum
  13. [13]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U. and prime minister’s political future in doubt,” Washington Post, January 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-vote-2019/2019/01/15/8eb6579a-1816-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html
  14. [14]Michael R. Bloomberg, “A Brexit Choice Between Bad and Worse,” Bloomberg, April 27, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-27/brexit-michael-bloomberg-on-the-customs-union-choice; Gavin Cordon, “Brexit: Theresa May warns EU exit may not happen ‘at all’ if rebel Tories don’t play ball,” Independent, July 15, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-brexit-tory-rebels-trade-chequers-donald-trump-a8447776.html; Oliver Wright, “Brexit: Starmer insists a second vote may be the only way out,” Times, January 10, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/brexit-starmer-insists-a-second-vote-may-be-the-only-way-out-3tkzc9mdq
  15. [15]Tom Rees, “Pound suffers biggest plunge since 2017 election as global stocks slide amid Brexit worries,” Telegraph, November 15, 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/11/15/city-backs-pms-brexit-deal-pound-left-limbo-rebellion/
  16. [16]Yasmeen Serhan, “The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat,” Atlantic, January 15, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/theresa-may-defeat-brexit-deal/580414/; Heather Stewart, “Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230,” Guardian, January 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-deal-vote-by-majority-of-230; Harry Yorke, Christopher Hope, and Steven Swinford, “Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no confidence moments after Theresa May’s expected record defeat,” Telegraph, January 14, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/14/jeremy-corbyn-table-motion-no-confidence-moments-theresa-mays/
  17. [17]William Booth and Karla Adam, “Theresa May survives confidence vote, even after Brexit failure,” Telegraph, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/theresa-may-expected-to-survive-confidence-vote-even-after-brexit-failure/2019/01/16/80863074-1914-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html; Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Peter Walker, “May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock,” Guardian, January 16, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/16/mays-government-survives-no-confidence-vote-after-brexit-defeat
  18. [18]David Benfell, “It might actually be a good thing that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House right now,” Not Housebroken, January 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/01/12/it-might-actually-be-a-good-thing-that-nancy-pelosi-is-speaker-of-the-house-right-now/
  19. [19]John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle, and Rachael Bade, “‘She’s satin and steel’: Pelosi wages war on Trump,” Politico, January 16, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/16/has-trump-met-his-match-pelosi-1106624; Paul Kane, Philip Rucker, and Josh Dawsey, “‘She wields the knife’: Pelosi moves to belittle and undercut Trump in shutdown fight,” Washington Post, January 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/she-wields-the-knife-pelosi-moves-to-belittle-and-undercut-trump-in-shutdown-fight/2019/01/16/e6861fbe-19b0-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html
  20. [20]Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html
  21. [21]Jeremy Diamond, Sarah Westwood, and Kevin Liptak, “Trump denies Pelosi military aircraft for war zone trip,” January 17, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-trip-cancel/index.html
  22. [22]Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, “Judge blames deadly California wildfires on PG&E’s uninsulated power conductors,” Sacramento Bee, January 17, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article224709110.html
  23. [23]Heidi Allen, quoted in Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Peter Walker, “May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock,” Guardian, January 16, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/16/mays-government-survives-no-confidence-vote-after-brexit-defeat
  24. [24]Heather Stewart, Peter Walker, and Rajeev Syal, “Corbyn could face string of resignations if he backs ‘people’s vote,’” Guardian, January 17, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/17/corbyn-could-face-string-of-resignations-if-he-backs-peoples-vote
  25. [25]I’m failing right now to find cleanly where this is. Certainly, the sentiments led up to a conclusion much like that expressed by Labour politicians here.
  26. [26]David Benfell, “The ‘Brexit’ vote may signify the end of the illusion of ‘progress,’” Not Housebroken, June 26, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/06/26/the-brexit-vote-may-signify-the-end-of-the-illusion-of-progress/
  27. [27]Christopher Hope, “Second Brexit referendum: Official Government guidance says it will take a year to organise, Telegraph, January 18, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/17/revealed-official-government-guidance-saying-will-take-year/

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