did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - So, No Deal?

1

"In the oven door"? That's an idiom I don't know.

And I'm completely baffled by British politics. I mean, as an American I am precisely not entitled to say "Boris Johnson? Really?" but everything seems insane. I wonder if Scotland is going to extricate itself from the wreck. Rebuild Hadrian's Wall!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:22 AM
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Not an existing idiom - meant in the sense of "about to be set on fire".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:24 AM
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But you don't put things in the oven and set them on fire, or anyway you shouldn't. The fire is in a separate bit. That's how come your bread doesn't get covered in ash.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:34 AM
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On the substantive issue, there remain three final options: the Withdrawal Agreement, which Parliament hates and has voted down 3 times; a no-deal exit, which Parliament also hates, and has almost voted down once (and will probably again); and revoking. The EU has made it very clear indeed that there's no room to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. Johnson disagrees, but it's not really up to him; takes two to tango.
Also can't help thinking that there is a lot that would be happening right now if the government really was planning a no-deal exit which isn't actually happening.

There is also the possibility of a general election this year. In this context, I got a letter from the council last week checking that my electoral registration was still OK.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:38 AM
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Not much comfort for the dough.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:41 AM
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It looks like this morning's news is Johnson is refusing to meet with the EU unless they agree to change the backstop, so he's taking the game of chicken up a level, but perhaps still on a hallucinated road?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:42 AM
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All that is happening now is that a lot of proven liars are saying very loudly that a no-deal Brexit is likely. It is true that they are in a position to make one happen, should they wish to, but their statements should not be used as a guide to whether a no-deal Brexit is actually likely or not.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:44 AM
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"But, O Socrates, what would be the point of lying about whether you wanted a no-deal Brexit, if it is so obvious for a wise man to see that it is a lie?"
"A good question, O Glaukon. Would it make sense to do so in order to deceive the EU into giving ground on negotiations?"
"Surely not. For the EU contains many wise men."
"And it is true, is it not, that a man who lies must be intending to deceive someone?"
"Certainly it is."
"Therefore the PM must be intending to deceive someone who is not wise?"
"That conclusion is inevitable."
"Which group of people would be won over by the thought of a no-deal Brexit?"
"The Conservative voters who have deserted May for the Brexit party."
"And are they wise?"
"Certainly they are not."
"Are loyal Conservatives wise?"
"No indeed, but have they not already been won over, if they are loyal?"
"Indeed they have."
"And are there any other groups in British politics who might think warmly of a promised no-deal Brexit?"
"I know of none, O Socrates."
"Wait, aren't you Socrates? I thought I was being Glaukon this time."
"Shit."
"I got confused because we haven't been typing our names out each time."
"But anyway the point is a good one. And under what circumstances might the PM desire to deceive this group by promising a no-deal Brexit?"
"Why, if he was planning to have a general election."
"Absolutely right."
(spills wine, falls off couch)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:51 AM
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And talk of doing away with the backstop and direct ruler over Northern Ireland. I wonder how the DUP is taking all this now. It would be awful but serve them right.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:54 AM
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Michael Gove, at present i/c Brexit, hates the Good Friday Agreement; he wrote a 58-page brief about it when it happened calling it a betrayal. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/michael-gove-a-fanatic-who-would-damage-peace-process-1.2710224


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 8:58 AM
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And they can't even get their story straight. From the Graun today:

Johnson said he did not accept Gove's claim that the government was now working on the assumption that a no deal Brexit was the most likely outcome. Asked about Gove's assumption, and whether he agreed, Johnson replied:
No, absolutely not. My assumption is that we can get a new deal, we're aiming for a new deal. But, of course, Michael is absolutely right that it's responsible for any government to prepare for a no deal if we absolutely have to.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/jul/29/brexit-boris-johnson-prime-minister-news-latest-dominic-raab-suggests-boris-johnson-wont-reopen-talks-with-eu-this-summer-until-it-agrees-to-abandon-backstop?page=with:block-5d3eeccd8f08cf92bb77915a#block-5d3eeccd8f08cf92bb77915a


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 9:01 AM
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9 ruler s/b rule


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 9:11 AM
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I enjoyed 8.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 9:23 AM
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8 is outstanding.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 9:45 AM
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Anyone here have thoughts on Dominic Cummings? https://dominiccummings.com/


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 10:26 AM
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Maybe repeating myself, but a few weeks ago I talked to a dude in London who mentioned that the city's food supply chain is only about three days deep. No deal could be very, very bad.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 10:28 AM
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I have a vague recollection of reading, probably from one of you smart people here, that while a no deal Brexit would be bad for the UK, it would be really really bad for Ireland.

Is this true? Is Ireland making necessary preparations? Is the EU really prepared to let Ireland take this kind of hit?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 10:52 AM
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Is the EU really prepared to let Ireland take this kind of hit?

I think it is "any Brexit that doesn't include an open border between ROI and NI" that is bad for Ireland (the island). So if the UK goes for a no-deal Brexit, the EU could, I suppose allow ROI to refrain from setting up border posts on their NI border. But then it's either set up a border between ROI and the rest of the EU (effectively eject ROI from the EU) or allow anybody to import anything they wish into the EU via ROI (effective suicide for the EU).

So yeah, a no-deal Brexit is pretty awful for ROI, but entirely due to the UK's butt-headed-ness.


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 11:33 AM
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15: All the Cummingses I am familiar with are Baltimore congressmen, lower case poets, or porn stars.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 11:51 AM
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It occurred to me this morning that you know that English conservatives think of the other constituent countries as colonies, because if they thought it was an alliance of equal partners then they'd want to leave the Union.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:02 PM
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17: Two years ago certainly Ireland was way more screwed post no-deal Brexit than the UK was, but my impression is that the EU and Ireland have been making significant preparations. The issue Ireland runs into is that you can no longer ship through the UK, you have to ship directly. But this is "just" an issue of physical infrastructure. There are several new giant "Brexit Buster" ships for transporting trucks directly from Rotterdam to Ireland, and there are several more on the way. Here's one article about it. But I'm not an expert and I'm probably missing a lot of important problems for Ireland. But Ireland and the EU are just so much more functional than the UK government, so I think they're likely to end up being in better shape in the end.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:12 PM
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I think the other problem is that an enforced border between the ROI and Northern Ireland is politically incredibly dangerous, with potential for reawakening violence. So, if that border gets closed off the way you'd have to in order to enforce customs regulations, no one knows what's going to happen.

The logistical problem of shipping around England is soluble, but the other one is kind of opaque until it actually happens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:19 PM
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22: For those who know: how big a problem could a renewed border be? It's been 20 years, do the factions still have any military-age members? How many arms are still cached? Would anyone actually bother fighting, or rather just smuggle for money? And would the profits from smuggling be the same as they were, assuming the UK goes to WTO tarifffs? The WTO/GATT has done a lot of deals since the 1970s.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:25 PM
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Following 8, do people think that's Johnson's actual plan (for himself, of course, not the country). Bang on about no deal, hold an election before October, worry about the trainwreck when it happens?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:33 PM
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23: I'm not someone who knows -- that is, your questions seem reasonable to me. But the stuff I'm reading makes it sound as if people who do know find it really frightening.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:35 PM
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25. The Provos didn't have a lot of experienced cadre when they got started; most of those went with the Sticks. But it didn't take them long to get up to speed. You just need 1. some rich suckers to milk for funds (Boston) and 2. some current guerrilla outfit or rogue state to provide materiel and training. It is frightening.

Remember the PIRA was originally a defensive organisation against loyalist violence; they moved on from that quick enough.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:49 PM
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And what proposition would Johnson then be putatively putting to the public in a GE? "My all-new all-different deal or no deal"? "Tell the EU my deal or no deal"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:50 PM
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But surely resumption of the troubles is a bigger problem for the UK than for the Republic of Ireland, and I took 17 to be talking about the ROI not the whole island.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:51 PM
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There are so many weird things about Trump, and so although BoJo seems so much like him, I'm guessing it's a probably mistake to assume they're the same and not to remember how weird Trump is? For example, BoJo despite appearing to be a moron, probably isn't spending 4 hours all morning consuming propaganda news and yelling at the television. Do I understand right that this is part of what ajay is saying here? If this were Trump I would assume he's lying about this not because he's trying to fool anyone in particular, but because he's repeating a lie that someone else told on TV that morning. But on the flip side, unlike Trump he's probably not running a separate scam where he's willing to trade just about any policy issue for straight up bribery?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 12:58 PM
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28: Yes, but it still has negative effects on the republic. Elements of the IRA have historically not seen the RoI as a legitimate Irish state. There were also a few attacks in the RoI because the republic doesn't want terrorists using it as a refuge, so the gardaí are seen as an enemy force. People will die on both sides of the border.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 1:01 PM
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And honestly, it's not at all clear the British (as in, the island) political establishment cares about NI beyond symbolically (hence no backstop).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 1:06 PM
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30: Certainly it's *bad* for the RoI, but 17 was asking about things being *worse* for RoI than for the UK, and so I'm pretty sure that any such predictions CC read were in reference to supply chain logistics and/or reliance on imports from the UK, and not about sectarian violence.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 2:17 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I was thinking also of what must be a whole lot of trade between non-NI UK and the RoI.

I Gordon Brown on Amanpour last week, and he mentioned that leaving the UK would be a whole lot more disruptive for Scotland than leaving the EU could be -- what with all the employment and other commercial relationships that would be affected. Obviously, a different kettle of fish -- bottle of whisky? -- than the RoI, but I would imagine that there's a lot going on between Ireland and the UK that isn't going to be replaced with France-Ireland or Netherlands-Ireland analogues.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 2:27 PM
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+saw


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 2:27 PM
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Gordon Brown may not be a verb, but there's no reason he shouldn't be.
Thanks for answers above.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 4:06 PM
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Obviously, once Boris weakens Britain a bit more, the Irish will start raiding the coast of Wales again. That may united regular Ireland and extra-colonial Ireland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 4:35 PM
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For example, BoJo despite appearing to be a moron, probably isn't spending 4 hours all morning consuming propaganda news and yelling at the television. Do I understand right that this is part of what ajay is saying here?

Right, Johnson is not a moron, but he is like Trump in being cynical, a narcissist and very lazy (I wonder if all narcissists are lazy, since their worldview is that everyone should be impressed with them no matter how little they accomplish).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 5:54 PM
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Let's not disparage lazy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 5:56 PM
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38: Can't be bothered to do that.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 07-29-19 11:41 PM
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I think it's easy for outsiders to underestimate just how gridlocked the UK government is right now. They do not dare bring a single bill to a vote for fear that it might get amended into something to do with Brexit. The current session of parliament is the longest since the Civil War, because if they rise, they'll need to have a Queen's Speech when they come back - a ceremony in which the government's agenda for the session ahead is laid out by HM - and parliament will have to vote on the speech, which is normally a purely ceremonial thing but might well lead to a defeat this time and bring the government down.

Johnson, I believe, wants a general election for two reasons: 1) it will buy him time with the EU - they are already signalling that another extension is possible, and certainly would grant one if an election was happening - without jeopardising his support from the orcs by making it look like he is giving up on Brexit; 2) it will change the parliamentary arithmetic, which really can't get any worse from his point of view.
But to justify having an election, he needs to be able to say: "Look, I really want to Brexit; with a good deal if possible, with no deal if not. But I've just been doing the rounds of the EU capitals and they won't even talk to me about a deal [this is already happening]. And I've just been blocked from a no-deal exit by Parliament [this has not happened yet but it's pretty likely]. This is a deadlock; we can't make any progress here. So we'll have an election and you, the people, need to send me MPs who will back me up."

Of course, even if things go exactly as he wishes, he'll be back in power with a real majority behind him and he still won't be able to negotiate a better deal with the EU. But he will have destroyed the threat of the Brexit Party because they either won't have bothered running any candidates or they'll have run lots of candidates and won barely any (if any) seats. He'll have torn the Labour Party in half because they'll have lost a third election in a row and they'll be split between the "it's all Corbyn's fault" remainers and the "He didn't fail! You failed Him!" left.
He'll have bought himself five years as prime minister until he next has to have an election, and who knows what might happen in that time? Either way, Brexit won't still be a live issue by 2024 because we'll either have left or we'll have revoked. Something else will have come along to occupy the minds of the G.B.P. like a war or a TV show or something.

Even if he loses, it won't be all bad. If he loses it will be because the Brexit Party will have cost the Conservatives votes in key seats. They'll be condemned as having wrecked the great project. He'll be able to point at Farage and say "I was all set to give you Brexit but his ego got in the way and now we have Corbyn". He'll have destroyed the Brexit Party and brought their supporters back. He may lose the premiership but he'll probably remain as Conservative leader. Labour will probably have to form coalition with SNP or Lib Dem or both to rule; in which case, definitely no Brexit, and probably no Corbyn either (Lib Dems have said they'll go into government with Labour, but not if Corbyn's in charge), which means the party will tear in half as above. Or Labour might somehow manage an outright majority in which case Corbyn will have to deal with the Brexit issue, and will galvanise people to vote for Conservatives next time because he's a far-left incompetent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 2:05 AM
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18 is accurate too. The problem is: having an open border in Ireland between an EU member, single market member ROI and a non-EU member, non-single market NI means that you can bring in cheap crap to ROI that doesn't pass EU safety rules (like food produced in the US). The EU will not put up with this. But having a closed border in Ireland means checkpoints all the way across bandit country, and these will be promptly blown up and blamed on Cromwell and William the Third. (The Good Friday Agreement depends heavily on cross-border trade, as does the NI economy generally.)
So you can:
a) keep the UK in the EU
b) have the UK leave the EU but stay in the single market
c) have the UK leave the EU and the single market, but keep NI in the single market and have checkpoints between NI and Great Britain
d) have the UK and NI leave the EU and the single market, and have a border with checkpoints in Ireland
e) have the UK and NI leave the EU and the single market, and have the ROI leave the single market too

d) is unacceptable because of Cromwell and William the Third. e) is unacceptable to the ROI. a) and b) are apparently unacceptable to the UK government. c) is unacceptable to the Unionists in NI who are keeping the government afloat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 2:32 AM
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Is there not a possibility of Tory half-in-tearing as well?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:04 AM
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Well, that's kind of happening in the electorate with the Brexit Party taking half their voters. In the party itself, no, I don't think so, to be honest.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:07 AM
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Honestly, how many Big Macs can you smuggle through Belfast to Paris via Armagh and still sell for a profit?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:52 AM
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I'm sure Johnson is a pretty big moron, just not as big a one as Trump is.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:58 AM
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45 was me


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:59 AM
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I'm assuming rural Ireland is somewhat lacking in freight handling facilities. I think what you're going to smuggle will need to be either containerized or pretty high value.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 4:03 AM
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So Armalites and meth it is then


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 4:18 AM
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Weapons and pharmaceuticals are notable strengths of the British economy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 4:38 AM
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And no matter what you think about Cromwell, you're going to need to pay off the people blowing up the border posts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 4:53 AM
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48, 49: Pharmaceuticals has promise. But I don't think things that are illegal on both sides of the new barriers really count for this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 4:57 AM
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Meth tends to be a loyalist militia speciality IIRC, importing it to GB through their links with organised crime in the Midlands. The republicans tended to go for cross-border smuggling - tax fraud, carousel fraud, fuel smuggling, some heroin and cocaine. But I'm sure they've formed new business partnerships now - all part of the GFA peace dividend, promoting cross-border cooperation. Ireland, N and S, has a big long uninhabited coast that makes it ideal as an importation point for drugs brought in by ship.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 5:25 AM
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And, to 50, the people doing the smuggling are the people blowing up the border posts. They weren't just blowing them up because they were a symbol of the hated British state, they were blowing them up because they interfered with the free market.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 5:27 AM
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That's great. Leveraging a core competency is how you grow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 5:29 AM
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How much money is there in illegal carousels?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 5:30 AM
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More than you'd think, but it's a pretty roundabout way of making money.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 5:54 AM
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Entirely speculatively, if Johnson called an election and won a big enough majority to no longer need the DUP, he could in theory do a u-turn on the backstop and sell it as a victory for his negotiating skills. It's not like he has any principles to betray, and if he had a working Tory majority they'd all be eating out of his hand. I'm not convinced he can think of anything so complex, and it could go horribly wrong for him, but it might just work, as Nobby Nobbs would say.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 5:59 AM
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54: From what I've read about the IRA it's more of a core incompetency.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 6:05 AM
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57 is an interesting suggestion - but it's not just the DUP that didn't like the backstop, hence why the agreement got voted down so catastrophically. Lots of mainland Tories hated it too. If the Conservative party had been entirely behind it, it would have passed even without the DUP (it pulled in some independent and Labour votes).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 6:16 AM
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The real question is, how common was the term "backstop" in the UK before Brexit? In the US, backstops are ubiquitous—the backstop is a key feature of every baseball diamond, and baseball diamonds are a dime a dozen here. But since the Brits don't play baseball, we're left to conclude that the UK "backstop" usage stems either from cricket or something to do with sausages and/or tea.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:36 AM
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I had no idea it was a baseball term.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:39 AM
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It is a cricket term - the backstop is a player who stands behind the wicket keeper to catch any balls the keeper misses. Also called longstop. Not generally used in modern cricket. Not to be confused with the Battle of Longstop Hill. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Longstop_Hill


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:42 AM
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carousel fraud

They're not real horses?!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:43 AM
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None of which explains how it emerged from Brussels.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:43 AM
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A Monty classic, following the foolproof model of "shell the shit out of them for hours with the world's supply of artillery, then use the field artillery to shoot in dismounted infantry to break into the position, then follow up with unexpected tanks."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:45 AM
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63: no one really gets rejuvenated.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:45 AM
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use the field artillery to shoot in dismounted infantry
Ingenious, I grant you, but surely trucks would net out faster?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 7:48 AM
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You can't get either infantry or trucks into the barrels of modern caliber artillery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:20 AM
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Not with that attitude.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:23 AM
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OT: If you are the woman who urinated on the potatoes at the West Mifflin Walmart, the local police and maybe Donald Trump would like to speak with you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:39 AM
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I would have provided the link, but it's too hard to do on my phone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:43 AM
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For your convenience. Guess she has strong opinions about spuds.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:49 AM
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Thank you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:57 AM
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72: She's not the only one.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 9:10 AM
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74 is fantastic


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 9:16 AM
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74 makes me wonder if the potatoes didn't ask for it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 9:44 AM
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74 IS fantastic, and from that thread I am also reminded of what a relief it is that the powers that be around here are willing to use the ban-hammer every once in a while.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 10:21 AM
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76: That will probably be the woman's defense. The potatoes were begging for it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 10:21 AM
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Between Kennywood and the West Mifflin Walmart, that side of the river is getting known for watersports.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 11:22 AM
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On the other side of the river the North Versailles Walmart is also in the news.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 11:47 AM
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I don't go to the suburbs. I'm not kinky or violent enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 11:51 AM
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For purposes of Pittsburgh transportation, Turtle Creek counts as a river. We don't cross water.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 12:00 PM
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Like Nazgûl or rabid dogs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 12:11 PM
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Regarding the OP:

Asked by one party member what he would do with the NHS, Johnson said the health service was "not getting the kind of support, and indeed the kind of changes and management, that it needs", suggesting he would aim to overhaul the service. He said Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive, had helped him get elected president of the Oxford Union as a student, and together they would "sort things out".


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 12:30 PM
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It he's appealing to organized labor, he can't be that bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 12:33 PM
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My sister and I have been tossing around the idea of filming 74. (She's a bona fide filmmaker, unlike me.) Got some other ideas we would do first though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 2:54 PM
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They put you in jail for peeing on potatoes now? I thought this was America.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:44 PM
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I think you just have to buy them first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:51 PM
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Also you can't be in the store still. You can only uncover your genitals at a grocery store if you call it a "gender reveal party"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 3:53 PM
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So many rules.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-30-19 8:47 PM
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Back to Brexit and the backstop -- US Congresspeople promising to block any US-UK trade deal that *doesn't* protect the backstop.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-31-19 9:11 PM
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91. Hold them to that, seriously.

Trump will of course throw Ireland to the sharks in order to get some easy pickings from the corpse of he UK unless it can be explained that he would thereby be endangering US trade with the EU, which would cost his friends and paymasters a lot more.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:55 AM
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I think the solution is to merge Ireland and Scotland into one sovereign state that's in the EU. Having all the Presbyterians would reassure Ulster that they won't have to give up their birth control to have economic integration with the rest of the island and I'm reading the Scotland would prefer to stay in the EU more than it would prefer to stay in the UK.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 6:30 AM
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Having all the Presbyterians would reassure Ulster that they won't have to give up their birth control

This comment would make sense in 1981 but not today. The Republic has liberalised at amazing speed since the early 1990s. Birth control's legal in the Republic. Abortion is legal in the Republic - but not in Northern Ireland, because the one thing that the horrific loyalist trolls and the grotesque republican trolls can agree on is that only hoors get pregnant outside marriage and hoors should suffer. The Republic has legalised same-sex marriage! It has an openly gay prime minister! It is no longer the gloomy priest-ridden place that gave rise to so many Irish novels and Irish expatriates.

(As you may know, NI hasn't had a government for the last couple of years because the trolls can't agree on forming one. As a result, Westminster came up with a genius move - the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act, which basically says "if you haven't formed a government by March 2020, we're going to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland". Fantastic trolling. Should focus their minds.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:00 AM
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But other than that, my plan was good?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:02 AM
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This is one of many reasons that, actually, ROI isn't particularly keen to take on Northern Ireland. Another is that it's much poorer than the Republic, and has a much more generous social security system, so it would be a massive expense, not to mention bringing a lot of violent organised criminals into Irish politics. See also "but if Egypt wants to help the poor Palestinian refugees, why doesn't it offer them citizenship?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:04 AM
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Another reason to add Scotland. 5 million more people to help pay for things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:06 AM
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Electorally it wouldn't be great. Scotland (5.3 million) is bigger than Ireland (4.8 million) and they split the NI population more or less equally. It would be more Scotland annexing Ireland than vice versa. And Scottish politics are well to the left of Irish politics.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:07 AM
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Would it help to add Wales?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:22 AM
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By adding Wales, you'd add an area of land that's the size of Wales.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:36 AM
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What if we threw in Florida? Would that help?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:38 AM
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Wales voted to Leave, though. Presumably they'd want to stick with England rather than the EU.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:41 AM
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Yes, but they'll be vulnerable to attack from the sea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:43 AM
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Annexing Florida would be a terrific move. Presumably the US wouldn't mind because it's a swing state, so neither side would miss it. And it would bring us a new brand of sun-drenched multi-racial political insanity to supplement our tired old pale northern political insanity.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:44 AM
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It would also bring you a new brand of migrants thanks to climate change in a few years. Out of the Polish frying pan into the Miamian fire, I'm afraid Mr. Farage.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:47 AM
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Maybe Puerto Rico would like to join too!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:52 AM
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I'm sure they would - the UK right wing is flawed in many respects but you can't say they're not prepared to spend billions on their island colonies in Latin America.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 7:57 AM
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So, here's something I haven't seen addressed: how does the rest of the Commonwealth fit into all this? Is it even an entity that the EU recognizes? Are there still somewhat less strict rules around immigration for Commonwealth citizens?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:16 AM
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I live in a commonwealth. It's nice enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:26 AM
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The EU 'recognises' the Commonwealth in the way that it recognises the NFL or OPEC - it acknowledges that it exists. The Commonwealth isn't a country so it doesn't get diplomatic recognition.

But immigration and citizenship policy is up to the individual nations, not the EU. If, say, Portugal decides to hand out free Portuguese passports to any Madagascan who wants one, Portugal can totally do that, and all the new Malagasy-Portuguese will have exactly the same rights as any other citizen of an EU member state.

The rules on non-EU immigration to the UK vary wildly depending on the country of origin.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:28 AM
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Legally-resident Commonwealth citizens do have certain rights in the UK that they don't have in other EU countries, and that other legally-resident non-citizens don't have in the UK. For instance, they can join the armed forces, work in the civil service and vote in elections. The same wouldn't be true of a Commonwealth citizen who moved to another EU member state. It also wouldn't be true of a non-Commonwealth citizen who was legally resident in the UK. (Except an Irish citizen; they get to vote in the UK and serve in the armed forces, and so do UK citizens in Ireland.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:33 AM
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My hazy unfounded take is that the 1973 vote to join the EEC was in large part a recognition that the Commonwealth as a meaningful entity wasn't viable anymore, and Brexit the long-brewed refusal to accept that fact.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:39 AM
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112 has a lot of truth to it - there was a sort of hazy belief left over from the days of Imperial Preference that we could keep the Commonwealth going as a free trade area. But once we joined the EEC we couldn't negotiate free trade deals with Commonwealth nations any more, because that became an EEC competence. Yes, a fair number of people have cited this as arguments why the EU is bad because it meant "we deserted our Commonwealth allies".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:44 AM
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But immigration and citizenship policy is up to the individual nations, not the EU. If, say, Portugal decides to hand out free Portuguese passports to any Madagascan who wants one, Portugal can totally do that, and all the new Malagasy-Portuguese will have exactly the same rights as any other citizen of an EU member state.

This is all broadly true, but the Commission has been getting antsy about countries which do the cash-for-passports thing.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:50 AM
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See also "but if Egypt wants to help the poor Palestinian refugees, why doesn't it offer them citizenship?"

But in that case Egyptians are, well, Egyptian, and Palestinians are Palestinian. Here we're talking all Irish, denomination notwithstanding.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:51 AM
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Plus captive Welsh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:52 AM
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The Welsh are really one of the Lost Tribes. Everyone knows that. Hence all the harps.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 8:56 AM
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I think I've asked this before and either not understood or forgotten. What is the backstop exactly? That is, I know its purpose is fixing the Irish border problem, and it's supposed to come into effect if there isn't a better solution, but I don't know what it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:38 PM
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118: I think at the moment it's that the entire UK, on all islands, remains held to EU trade rules and standards as now, without being in the EU. It's the "contingency" for not coming up with a magical borderless border.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:42 PM
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Sweet. All the responsibilities, none of the representation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:46 PM
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It says that unless and until an answer to what I suppose we may as well call the Irish Question is found, the UK - all of it - will remain in a customs union with the EU and NI will continue to follow single market rules. So no need for checkpoints on the inter Irish border, and no customs barrier between NI and GB or UK and EU.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:46 PM
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119: not quite. GB gets to go outside single market rules but NI doesn't. So there's no longer guaranteed free unchecked trade within the UK.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:48 PM
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The Tory position is that a) the backstop is unnecessary and will never come into effect because the Irish Question can be answered with a blockchain and b) the backstop is a hideous imposition that is intolerable to the UK and must be removed from the agreement.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:50 PM
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"All the responsibilities, none of the representation."

Well, quite.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:54 PM
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So the Tory alternative is basically: it's easier to live with mortar attacks on Whitehall than meddling bureaucrats in Brussels?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 12:58 PM
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So what non-customs-based barriers does that set up between GB and NI, given only NI is in the single market?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:08 PM
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The Irish Sea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:08 PM
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126: potentially all sorts of goods standards barriers. If the UK sticks close to the single market of it's own accord, possibly not many. Or possovkt lots.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:11 PM
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So there could still be checkpoints, but the supposedly-important difference being they're not collecting tariffs.

And admittedly not on day 1 when UK law would still be single-market compliant, but over time.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:14 PM
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The single market is all about common standards - a chocolate bar in Malta meets the same standards as one in France, so French chocolate can't be unfairly undercut by inferior Maltesers. All the national regulators agree to enforce the same minimum standards, and in return allow anyone in the EU to sell to anyone else without needing approval from anyone except his own regulator. Because the French chocolate authority will know that the Maltese one is enforcing the same standards.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:14 PM
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129: there won't be any on the inter Irish border and that's the main thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:15 PM
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What about Malta milk balls?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:16 PM
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More here https://www.explaintrade.com/blogs/2019/06/19/the-irish-border


Posted by: Ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-19 1:59 PM
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