Tag: Brexit

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Theresa May Officially Announces Snap Elections

 

First, the big news: Parliament is happily dissolved! Less than a year after the amazing Brexit vote, snap elections have officially been scheduled for June 8. That’s within a year of a new government: and within two years of the previous general election.

The last time the British electorate voted twice within four years was 1974: Labour beat the Tories twice that year. That, of course, led to the ouster of the Tory loser and the rise of the Great Lady to Tory leadership. If you believe statesmanship is called forth in such troubled times, you might see Theresa May as the confident warrior this time around. At any rate, three important elections in two years add up to a good show of both British moderation in politics and the seriousness of the political changes. It is hard to disagree with the PM: This is the most important election in her lifetime.

Richard Epstein reacts to the first round of balloting in the French presidential election and explains the implications for the broader state of politics in Europe.

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Anthony Wells from UK Polling Report has put up an excellent post on the upcoming British election. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9838 The seats that will provide the most interest on election night will be the 81 Labour held marginal seats, the future of both the Conservative government and Brexit itself will be decided in these seats, while it […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Britain’s Election Nightmare

 

“Everyday is like Christmas Day.” So said Ann Coulter in reference to President Trump’s election, but I have been feeling like this since June 23, 2016. Since then we have had a return of grown-up government with proper Cabinet accountability, despite only adequate ability, while a slim majority has ensured they had to respect public opinion. Consequently in key areas such as Brexit or tax policy, the government has been making — or has been forced to make — all the right moves. In the larger world, Mr. Trump’s election means we would not be caught between the Scylla of Hillary Clinton and the Charybdis of the European Union. So why do I now feel like Coulter after she learned 59 Tomahawks had just hit Sharyat airbase?

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election in the expectation of winning an electoral landslide. All the ministers and backbench MPs I respect are fully committed. The British Labour Party, by some estimates, is facing its worst showing since before the War. Some commentators have speculated the Tory majority could be 140 seats, Conservative HQ has more modestly suggested 50, while informed opinion has plumped for around 80. As a Conservative who has been making similar predictions for about a year, I should be jumping for joy; logging on to donate and rearranging my diary for the next six weeks campaigning. But those predictions were for an election in 2020, once the referendum was a distant memory and we had actually completed Brexit, and after five years of Jeremy Corbyn remaking Labour in his own Trotskyite image.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Brussels Gets Brexit Wrong — Again

 

Theresa May, the British prime minister, recently sent a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, announcing that the UK would withdraw from the EU under the procedures set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Her letter noted that, even though withdrawal was irrevocable, the UK seeks to forge the closest and most cooperative arrangement possible with the EU moving forward. Although Article 50 prevents the EU from blocking Brexit, it offers little by way of guidance on how the exit negotiations should proceed.

The treaty provides that if the parties fail to reach an agreement within two years, the EU treaties “shall cease to apply” to the UK unless both sides agree to an extension. If not, all relations under the EU are severed, even if other obligations, such as those under the World Trade Organization, remain in place. Still, Article 50 of the Treaty contemplates that withdrawal from the EU need not constitute a clean break, given that in working out the terms of withdrawal, the parties may take into account “the framework for [the UK’s] future relationship with the Union.” The treaty also provides that the EU will entrust its side of the negotiations to the head of its negotiating team, who in this instance is Michel Barnier, a French politician. At this point, everything is up for grabs.

The Brexit process has now been launched, and the different attitudes taken by the two sides to the negotiations are, indeed, striking. In her well-crafted letter, Prime Minister May sought to preserve good relations with the EU after the breakup. There was of course no denying that the UK left Brexit because of its unhappiness with the dominant position that the EU Commission in Brussels held over economic and social matters in Britain; the Commission has the ability in many important areas, such as employment law, to require each member state to harmonize its laws with the EU’s directives. That direct control from the center was in stark contrast to the earlier plan of a smaller European Economic Community, which stressed four freedoms involving the movement of goods, services, capital, and people across national boundary lines. In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU in large measure to avoid the Union’s control on matters of economic regulation and the movement of people, especially immigrants, across national boundaries.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. With One Eye on the News…

 

What’s more depressing: that the normalization of Hillary is entering its 25th year? Or the fact that something called “Evan McMullin” is so stridently insisting that what the nation needs right now is a whole lot more Evan McMullin?

We’re living in a news junkie’s paradise. It’s like the 70s again, except with “developments” instead of heroin. In an effort to carve out an intellectual existence outside the sphere of politics I’ve been only perusing the news, missing out on all but the biggest stories: Brexit official, the Russian hack; the subway attack in St. Petersburg; chemical weapons deployed in Syria and the tangled web we call the “intelligence community.” With regard to this last, I find the relationship between the FBI, the NSA, Justice, the Defense Intelligence Agency and countless similar agencies entirely incomprehensible. All I know is that my philosophy is now “email as if no one is watching.”

I’m only just now finishing the digestion of Trump’s election. But now, with five months to digest the meaning of it all, I think I’m beginning to get a handle on the general forces that landed him his dream job. It wasn’t a Flight 93 election so much as it was my Tahiti Nui Flight 55 with non-stop service to Los Angeles in which my seat failed to recline. (Note to editor: flesh this out for me. Thx!)

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We Need To Help Make UK Great Again After Brexit

 

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of giving huge amounts of government welfare to other countries. I want to be clear on that. So now I begin:

What the UK did by exiting the EU was the single bravest move against the Socialists in world history, so far. Our own electoral decision to choose Trump against the combined might of the Socialists in the USA is a close second.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Review: What Next

 

“What Next” by Daniel HannanOn June 23rd, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom, against the advice of most politicians, big business, organised labour, corporate media, academia, and their self-styled “betters”, narrowly voted to re-assert their sovereignty and reclaim the independence of their proud nation, slowly being dissolved in an “ever closer union” with the anti-democratic, protectionist, corrupt, bankrupt, and increasingly authoritarian European Union (EU). The day of the referendum, bookmakers gave odds which implied less than a 20% chance of a Leave vote, and yet the morning after the common sense and perception of right and wrong of the British people, which had caused them to prevail in the face of wars, economic and social crises, and a changing international environment re-asserted itself, and caused them to say, “No more, thank you. We prefer our thousand year tradition of self-rule to being dictated to by unelected foreign oligarchic technocrats.”

The author, Conservative Member of the European Parliament for South East England since 1999, has been one of the most vociferous and eloquent partisans of Britain’s reclaiming its independence and campaigners for a Leave vote in the referendum; the vote was a personal triumph for him. In the introduction, he writes, “After forty-three years, we have pushed the door ajar. A rectangle of light dazzles us and, as our eyes adjust, we see a summer meadow. Swallows swoop against the blue sky. We hear the gurgling of a little brook. Now to stride into the sunlight.” What next, indeed?

Before presenting his vision of an independent, prosperous, and more free Britain, he recounts Britain’s history in the European Union, the sordid state of the institutions of that would-be socialist superstate, and the details of the Leave campaign, including a candid and sometimes acerbic view not just of his opponents but also nominal allies. Hannan argues that Leave ultimately won because those advocating it were able to present a positive future for an independent Britain. He says that every time the Leave message veered toward negatives of the existing relationship with the EU, in particular immigration, polling in favour of Leave declined, and when the positive benefits of independence—for example free trade with Commonwealth nations and the rest of the world, local control of Britain’s fisheries and agriculture, living under laws made in Britain by a parliament elected by the British people—Leave’s polling improved. Fundamentally, you can only get so far asking people to vote against something, especially when the establishment is marching in lockstep to create fear of the unknown among the electorate. Presenting a positive vision was, Hannan believes, essential to prevailing.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The End of Fantasy Europe

 

First off I would like to say that I have not read James Kirchick’s The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age. Frankly I have better things to do with my time, like reading about the previous dark ages that supposedly befell Europe. However, I have read @Claire Berlinski’s article and will be moving forward to address the issues mentioned there.

I am going to first address my biggest problem with this book and its title. It’s not the end of Europe which is being addressed. It’s the end of the European Union. Whenever Europe is mentioned I will likely be referring to the EU or as I like to call it Fantasy Continent.

Unlike Kirchick or Claire, I am writing to the people of Ricochet. People who elected Trump, people who didn’t vote for Trump. But people for the most part I don’t think have their heads in the clouds. People who live in what I like to call the real world. The one we live in and not the ones that fantasize about the way they wish the world works. Just people.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Rod Serling to Narrate Remainder of American Experiment

 

Are things getting weirder? Brexit was only a mild shock: polls are often wrong, at least when conservative ideas prevail. Trump’s victory was a bigger surprise but again, polls, the echo chamber of the punditocracy, etc. But then there was the Super Bowl. And the Academy Awards. (Note to Meryl Streep: at least the Super Bowl stuck the landing.)

You don’t have to be a football fan to see that the 2017 Super Bowl was great entertainment. It was no She Devil, but still … Lady Gaga’s halftime performance was fantastic, although I didn’t appreciate her divisive “one-nation-under-God” rhetoric.

Taken individually, each of these events is remarkable. Collectively, it’s as if John Wayne removed a thorn from God’s paw or something.

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Is one of the most unpopular men in Britain trying to make himself even more unpopular? Preview Open

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

An absolutely fascinating look at how Brexit won, with clear corollaries to how Trump won as well.  Instead of spending a fortune on an expensive agency (with 15% going to them out of ‘controlled expenditure’) and putting up posters to be ‘part of the national conversation’ weeks or months before the vote, we decided to […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The British PM, Mrs. Theresa May, has given a long speech on Brexit (full text of the 40min+ speech here). Her object is to show the relation between Brexit & Britain’s future, why Brexit is necessary for the preservation of Britain’s political character & economic thriving, & how it should be achieved. The means necessary […]

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Pantsuits used to be a shorthand to mock Hillary Clinton, but that is so over, because Theresa May is creating new pantsuits associations. She appeared in a black watch tartan pantsuit yesterday to deliver a great Iron Lady Brexit speech in London. Preview Open

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What the Economic Experts Said Would Happen If BREXIT Passed: “In the run-up to Britain’s historic vote on whether to leave the EU, the consensus among economists was clear: Brexit will hurt growth. Even many committed supporters acknowledged the prospect of a short-term economic hit.” What Actually Happened: “Britain ended last year as the strongest […]

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club podcast for December 27, 2016 it’s the “Was 2016 Awesome or What?” edition. This is episode number 99 of the HLC Podcast, one short of a century, and our final podcast for the phenomenal year of 2016.

Everybody loves a year in review article or story before New Year’s and since this is our last episode for 2016 we each offer three topics that have seized our imagination, thwarted our tightly held assumptions or tickled our funny-bones.

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Harvard historian Niall Ferguson has published a piece in the Boston Globe today stating that he was wrong on Brexit because he did not stick to his principles. The sentence I found particularly interesting was this “But a bigger factor — I must admit it — was my personal friendship with David Cameron and George […]

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Canada and the European Union have been negotiating a free trade agreement (CETA) for the past few years. However, on Friday Canada’s negotiator walked out of talks with the Walloon region of Belgium. This article from the National Post newspaper explains some of the challenges:  Perhaps CETA might yet be salvaged. There has been a […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Last Brexit Before the Poll?

 

ac_theresamay_compFrom the start of her tenure as Prime Minister, Theresa May ruled out the prospect of an early general election, and recently ruled it out again. She holds that the Conservative party won a mandate in May 2015, and that she has inherited it. This is a traditional view, and it’s a sensible one in light of an obvious need to calm the markets, give the electorate a respite from drama, and project an image of stability abroad.

It’s true that an election at this point is unnecessary: The Tories have a majority although not a massive one, and Labour, having re-elected the lunatic (and severely unpopular) Jeremy Corbyn to its leadership, could only lose more seats. What’s more, it’s not even clear she could call a new election. A new law, the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act, takes away the prime minister’s power to call a general election on his or her own initiative. To comply with the law, May would need the support of two-thirds of the parliament. So even if all 330 Conservatives agreed, she would still need Labour votes. Labour MPs have no incentive to support her because they’re sure to lose even more of the few seats they have. (Here’s a good explainer about the new law and what it means for May.)

This hasn’t stilled the speculation, though, nor has it quieted the tabloids who are calling for her to earn her own mandate at the polls. A number of Tory backbenchers also think it would be to their advantage to hold an election sooner; after all, an opponent as weak as Jeremy Corbyn comes around but rarely. That’s too tempting an opportunity to pass up. Polls show that May could quadruple her majority if an election were held today. Many fear that by 2020, when she is obliged to go to the polls, the effects of Brexit will have soured voters on the party