Brexit on Trial??

In this morning’s news. PM May has called a “snap general election” for June 8.

She is assuming that her party will receive a fresh vote of support, to set up the negotiations with the E.U. over the terms of Brexit.

BUT . . .
What if the voters deliver a verdict against Brexit?

What if the UK voters have re-considered last year’s vote and enough of them have changed positions, to make a real difference?

If the Scottish Nationalists run on June 8 on a platform of holding another devolution vote, within a year or so, and get a solid vote of support for that, how could Whitehall stop them?

Has she thought this through, any better than her predecessor did for Brexit?

Our UK peeps, please wade in.


22 Responses to Brexit on Trial??

  1. What if the voters deliver a verdict against Brexit?

    I don’t understand any of this UK stuff.

    I kinda gave up on the whole sorry project when they began abandoning their sane system of weights and measures in favor of that loony decimal shit the frogs and krauts use. Though I still see vestigial remnants in the Guardian sometimes, like in the “lifestyle” section when they talk about “losing a stone the easy way” or some bollocks.
    And I suppose you can still buy a pint of beer.
    If you can afford one.

    Anyway, what would delivering a vote against brexit (doesn’t deserve capitalization, does it?) in the context of a general election actually look like in practical terms?
    Didn’t they trigger Article 40, or whatever it was, which sets the exit train in motion? Can that train be thrown into reverse and coaxed back into the station at this point?

  2. bluthner says:

    didn’t see this one until after I posted on the other thread. But I think my response there at least attempts to address Kevin’s question. The odds of the snap election giving anyone a mandate to reverse Brexit are about the same as my odds of beating Hussein Bolt in the 100 metres. (It’s not impossible, Mr Bolt could break both his legs between now and the starting gun.)

  3. Squirrel says:

    We’re in for a bloody disaster.The political calculations are simple: too many Labour MP’s can’t stand Corbyn and won’t care if the party’s decimated, because that means he’ll have to go. (He’s now way behind in the polls,) UKIP’s job’s done, they still don’t really have a leader, because they keep beating each other up. And it’s probably two years too early for the Lib Dems to come back.

    There is a certain amount of ‘Regret’, but the consequences haven’t come home yet. (People are noticing food prices are going up; but why English butter should have gone up as well as Danish is a mystery to me.)

    Squirrel is (as a friend in Mass. said aboutTrump being elected) depressed but not despondent. Hell, as a lifelong socialist, you can’t give in.

    I just hope people look at her non-plans for Brexit a damn sight more carefully than they did for the EU referendum.

  4. Squirrel says:

    Don’t ask for more ‘Brexegesis’ from the nest here for a day or two . . .Squ intends to get a bit squiffy on Campari and soda to try to recover. News progs v. depressing. Looks like all the shitty old nasty Tories will be coming out to play again, screaming ‘the new Thatcher!’

  5. Expat says:

    To quote my brother in Scotland:

    Let’s face it she called the election because Labour are dead in the water. She is looking for a mandate and she can’t lose . Pray for a miracle.


    June 6th will also be a referendum for Scotland , so let’s hope the SNP get a boot in the baws!

    Wee Nikki is already squealing

  6. Expat says:

    ….he meant June 8th…

  7. KevinNevada says:


    From what i’m reading this will be an aggressive sorting-out and revenge-based campaign in Scotland: the Tories are angling for wider support, Labor hold only one seat after their latest debacle, the SNP want a renewed mandate to pursue devolution, to remain with the European Union and the other parties just want to have fun.

    I’m impressed with Nicola Sturgeon. Her public statements since Brexit have been far more sensible than anything emitted from anyone down in the main Parliament, from any party.

    And Scotland voted NO overwhelmingly, 2:1, so she has the mandate for that position.

  8. Expa says:


    Myself and most of my friends and family in Scotland and England are pro Europe and pro UK. Mind you they are all professional middle class and have benefited tremendously from both institutions over the years, and indeed generations. However most seem resigned to some form of Brexit as yet TBD.

    Regardless of what she says on Brexit Sturgeon is not well respected outside of cybernat circles and the country’s finances are in no great shape to go it alone. The nationalists have a flag and some songs – and have had road signs and official forms translated into an ancient language that hardly anyone understands. She has a lot in common with Trump even if for a while the SNP was home to Scotland’s born again Marxists but I suspect that many of them will drift back to their natural home in the Labour party.

    From what I’m hearing from home don’t expect an upset.

  9. KevinNevada says:


    Nicola has one great advantage over Trump, one great difference: she can speak with a vocabulary of more than 300 words.

  10. KevinNevada says:


    and to point out the obvious, it is no longer possible to be pro-EU and pro-UK, both, in Scotland any more. They will have to make a choice.

  11. Expat says:

    I suspect that it would be UK first. Independence isn’t an option for most of them. Besides no one has a clue yet as to what Brexit will look like. But I also suspect that a post Brexit UK won’t be much different in practice than it is now. Less sure that would be the case for a 6 million strong independent Scotland that has been feeding of the UK for generations, and with oil rent running out.

    For many years the nationalists have been a mix of starry eyed romantics and left wing radicals propped up ironically by the rest of the UK.

  12. For many years the nationalists have been a mix of starry eyed romantics and left wing radicals…

    Unlike our cheery US nationalists who tend to be—at least in their own evaluation of themselves—the much-needed and steely-eyed opposition to left wing excesses.

    You know, crazy socialist shit like universal health care and equal pay and all those other radical proposals which, if adopted, would rot the republic from the inside by destroying individualism™ and freedom®, thereby reducing us all to mere milquetoast and dependent shadows of our former selves.

    I’m not making this up. If you unpack their arguments, that’s what they look like.

  13. bluthner says:

    Nichola Sturgeon is the reason May won’t risk a television debate. She could grind Corbyn up and spread him on toast (but then so could most high school debate runners-up), she will have no trouble at all from the Greens whoever they send, or from the abysmall Tim Farron, but whatever you think about Sturgeon’s politics, her brain works at least seven times faster than May’s, she’s well briefed and she has the aggression of a pit bull. If she was leading Labour right now (and the party had a coherent anti-Brexit policy) May and the Tories would be in deep shit.

  14. Expat says:

    Bluth – Why would May debate Sturgeon in a UK general election? It’s apples and oranges. Unless Nichola is contemplating giving up Holyrood and running for Westminster.

    9K – I return to Scotland regularly and still consider it “home”. I was there a couple of weeks ago – great scenery but it’s no paradise, especially in the de-industrialized central belt. You can survive without a job, and too many people have to, but it is bare survival.

  15. bluthner says:

    Sturgeon’s party is running for a large number of seats in the national election, that’s why! She was up there debating against Cameron last time, why not against May this time?

  16. bluthner says:

    Or else I’m going crazy. Which is also possible.

  17. bluthner says:

    No, I’m not going crazy. Stugeon was on the platform last time. I’m not having a storm in my brain.

  18. KevinNevada says:

    Given the 2/3 vote of Scots against Brexit, Sturgeon HAS to be on the platform debating PM May. Otherwise it’s a farce.

    Oh, well, a farce it may be, anyway but still. Nicola has her mandate. Can’t be ignored.

  19. Expat says:

    ….you are correct Bluth.

  20. Squirrel says:

    Sorry, this ended up rather long. Read it at your leisure. Or not at all, of course. (Now I’m retried, I don’t really care about my readership any more.)

    I didn’t ‘report’ on the French presidential campaign, because while I was in France I found myself continually having to try to explain ‘Brexit’, while insisting I did not damn well vote for it.

    Interestingly, some friends in the village (impossible to get anything political out of the inhabitants: we’re still ‘outsiders’ there after 11 years, and half the village is still convinced my French friend is English. . .) and there were absolutely no signs of any political support for anybody. No election materials coming through the doors, nothing. The Commune votes mostly socialist, even Communist still.

    What I did garner here and there (and partly from reports of what her brother/nephews/nieces and so on were saying) was even in France there seems to be a growing feeling the EU is getting too Napoleonic and needs to start backing off. What I call the ‘Franco-Prussian Alliance’ seems to have lost its shine over the last few years, too. (Even just a couple of years ago, the couple we know best in the village would have said we were talking rubbish if we said the Brits are getting unhappy about that; but not this year.)

    Anyway, the Parti Socialiste (Hollande’s party) has been clearly dead for the last four years or so; and I suspect the sudden rise of Melanchon had a lot to do with long-time PS supporters not knowing where else to go; Macron looks too Blair-like for them. And, because Melanchon lately started spouting some pretty nationalist stuff (on the lines of ‘Make France great again’ and he even got on that mythical ‘Sixth Republic’ bandwagon briefly, which always attracts a fair number who get all starry eyed about that hopeless cause every few years) I also suspect he picked up people who couldn’t quite stomach Le Pen and had gone off Fillon and the Gaullists.

    What was upsetting was I heard a figure today that Le Pen’s FN took 17,000 communes (out of 37,000: nearly half!) in the local elections, Macron 7,000. One kind of reason: according to a local taxi driver, the Maire of Beziers (very far right FN) isn’t as bad as he’s been painted. The story: he went to a school almost exclusively immigrant. It had no indoor toilets, no central heating, and hadn’t been decorated or maintained for over 20 years, (We were pretty shocked, but on reflection, not altogether surprised.)

    He told, our source said, the parents to take their children home that day, he was closing the school. (That I’d heard about, but not the rest,) What our source said was he had it demolished (we’d heard that) and told the parents to bring their kids back next term, and when they did he’d built them a brand new school. (We hadn’t known that. He’d said, we were told, “This is unacceptable for any French citizens.”)

    You can see why the FN might do well in the communes, whose mayors can be notoriously inactive or uncaring about their residents once they’re elected. And can be pretty snooty before even. The mayor of ‘our’ village wrote a pre-election letter in the local commune newsheet: 500 words of highfalutin’ pompous pseudo-philsophical waffle as only the French can do. Gave you a nice warm fuzzy patriotic feeling of ‘all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, which of course everyone knows is French’ reading it until you realised at the end it was totally meaningless. He didn’t even actually ask anybody to vote for him, just sort of assumed they’d ‘do their duty’. I had the odd feeling it would have done equal service in the middle of the Dreyfuss scandal—maybe it had?—and it wouldn’t have been meant to support Zola either. The French political ‘status quo’ can be very static. . .

    Didn’t, btw, see any ‘Obama for President’ posters in Paris, but I didn’t have much time. Especially on the way back, when I should have. My train was either cancelled, never started from Perpignan (or maybe Barcelona, it all got very confusing) or ended up running three hours or more late. We never found out which and nobody explained except to say there was a ‘perturbation’. I like that. First heard it on the RER in Paris years ago, and couldn’t help giggling: ‘The service is perturbed’; ‘le service est perturbé.’ Like the signs on Italian trains which used to say sticking your head out of the window was ‘pericoloso’. Somehow, it was more scary to think ‘perilous’ rather than merely ‘hazardous’. Or ones here which say ‘This scaffolding is alarmed’, and I always want to sneak out at night and secretly add ‘but not frightened.’

    I had to buy another ticket to Paris (no offer of compensation or a reduction, let alone a freebie, thanks SNCF! And at first they’d said it was pointless, I’d never make the Eurostar anyway) via Montpellier with just 15 minutes to get on to the Paris train there. Then that was ten minutes late . . .

    If It hadn’t been for a young guy who also had to catch the Paris train and fortuitously asked the staff, who equally fortuitously were chatting to each other in the gangway which platform it left from, I’d never have made it. (I’d have had to go up to the main concourse to find a departure indicator and then find my way down again to the right platform; turned out you had to go outside and back in again, which I would never have known.) instead I just followed the boy who (I hoped) knew where he was going. Or I might still be wandering around Montpellier St Roche station. A rather ambivalent saint that btw. You could either credit him with saving you from the plague, or blame him for bringing it, and apparently he didn’t mind either way.

    Then that train was fifteen minutes late in Paris, leaving me just 35 minutes to get across Paris and check in. . . And, as predicted, the French border police at the Gare du Nord were very slow, reading passports like they were War and Peace in Chinese with a queue behind me that went right back into the main station . . . I got onto the Eurostar just four minutes before it was due to leave. . .Thank god for being bionic; last year I’d never have made it.

    Horrendous. The train from the south to Paris was late last time, too. I’ve decided that even my precaution of allowing at least 2 hours between trains in Paris (I allowed 3 this time, and thought that would be plenty) isn’t safe enough any more. I think next time I might stay overnight on the way back. It would be cheaper than having to buy another ticket again (and/or worse, having to either do the same with the Eurostar or beg them to let me on a later train.)

    (Got through security at both ends more easy than I expected; very quick indeed at St Pancras, and they sent me through one of the biometric passport scanners as well; quicker than paying for something with a credit card, even though I put it in the wrong way round at first.They don’t have one at the Gare du Nord, or if they do, it’s very well hidden. Security at both were a bit puzzled by the remote control on my belt, though, especially in France, and I had to explain what it was. Fortunately, I’d had the forethought to work out how to explain it was a ‘telecommande’ in French and get a French translation for the ‘medical device ID card’ I have to carry. Much to our surprise, the French for ‘scanner’ turned out to be . . .’scanner’, but you have to call it ‘aeroportuaire’ which we’d never heard of before.)

  21. Squirrel says:

    Theresa May today: “Britain will lead the world in preventing tourism and slavery. . .”

    So that’s another consequence of Brexit we hadn’t been told about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter the answer in digits. If you are registered and logged in, this silliness will go away. Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.