Man who advocates driving off cliff advises friends not to be in the car…

The Guardian reports that arch-Eurosceptic MP John Redwood has been advising clients in his day job to pull their money out of the UK:

In the piece for the Financial Times, the Conservative MP – who has a £180,000 second job as chief global strategist for Charles Stanley – said the European Central Bank was promoting faster growth when the UK was seeing a squeeze on credit.

“Mario Draghi, ECB president, is now doing whatever it takes, not just to rescue the euro but to promote a much-needed economic recovery,” he wrote. He also compared the US and Japan’s approach favourably to the UK’s.

The piece was published on 3 November but came to greater prominence after a scathing comment piece was published over the weekend by a Forbes commentator, Frances Coppola, who wrote that the MP had “advocated a course of action by the UK government that he knows would seriously damage the UK economy”.

Coppola wrote: “To protect his job as an investment manager, he warned his wealthy clients to get their money out before the disaster hits. To me, this smacks of disaster capitalism. Engineer a crash while ensuring your own interests are protected, then clean up when it hits. This is despicable behaviour by a lawmaker.”

“He is advising investors to move their money out of the UK, all the while pushing in parliament for a destructive hard Brexit that would see even more investment desert the country,” Brake said.

“Major investors may be able to move their money abroad, but it is ordinary people who will suffer from the impact of a hard Brexit on jobs and living standards. The fact that even arch-Brexiteers are now losing confidence in Brexit Britain shows why we must give people a chance to think again and, if they choose to, stay in the EU.”

And speaking of cars also in the Guardian Honda has been warning MPs of the consequences of leaving EU customs union:

The devastating impact of a hard Brexit on the UK car industry was laid bare on Tuesday to MPs, who were told every 15 minutes of customs delays would cost some manufacturers up to £850,000 a year.

Presenting the industry’s most detailed evidence yet to the business select committee, Honda UK said it relied on 350 trucks a day arriving from Europe to keep its giant Swindon factory operating, with just an hour’s worth of parts being held on the production line.

The Japanese-owned company said it would take 18 months to set up new procedures and warehouses if Britain left the customs union but that, with 2m daily component movements, even minor delays at Dover and the Channel tunnel would force hundreds of its trucks to wait for the equivalent of 90 hours a day.

If Britain leaves without a trade deal, ministers plan to apply World Trade Organization tariffs that stand at 10% for finished vehicles and about 4.5% for automotive components. More than a third of the 690 cars a day produced by Honda in Swindon are sold in Europe, which is also the source of 40% of the company’s parts.

While 56% of British car exports go to Europe, just 7% of EU exports go the UK. “The UK is an important market but what matters more is protecting the EU single market,” said Hawes.

What is the betting that Honda, Nissan et al are currently scouting out factory locations in Eastern Europe? You bet they are.

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  • AndyB

    In 2016, I was writing about how I saw things, and of course it was pooh-poohed as project fear.

    Everything I have learned since says that I severely underestimated how bad a hard Brexit would be.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The unfolding disaster of Brexit.

    What price now all the bluster of Autumn 2016, before the consequences had a chance to play out (and of course long before Brexit)? The economic case against Brexit was supposed to have been ‘disproven’ because everything didn’t immediately collapse.

    No one, even arch-Brexiteers, seems able to pretend any more this is going to be economically positive for the UK. The pro-hard-Brexit argument now comes down to accepting it will be bad, but suggesting this might be only short to medium term and it’s worth it for the long term gains.

    The Brexiteers are in retreat now and are looking more and more ragged. Let’s keep pushing on and see where we get to with (1) public opinion over this winter, (2) insisting on parliament deciding on what kind of Brexit we go for. There is no parliamentary majority for a hard Brexit and no prospect of one. The ain’t getting it through.

  • runnymede

    Slugger can do better than this I think – cut and paste (pathetic) attempt at a hatchet job on John Redwood and another cut and paste scare story about cars.

    Re, the latter, if you insist on cut and paste from sloppy other sources you will get embarrassing nonsense like –

    ‘would force hundreds of its trucks to wait for the equivalent of 90 hours a day’

  • hgreen

    The more hatchet jobs on Redwood the better. Exposing the hypocrisy of the Brexiters is fair game considering the impact it will have here in N.I..

  • Sean Danaher

    I live in the NE of England and the jewel in the crown of manufacturing here is Nissan Sunderland. (Sunderland voted strongly Leave whilst Newcastle voted narrowly Remain). Thatcher famously opened the plant and it was hailed as a triumph of the Single Market.
    May moved very quickly after the Brexit result to make a secret deal with Nissan and they seemed reassured. There is considerable speculation as to what was promised. Many in Newcastle felt that Sunderland voting Leave was like “turkeys voting for Christmas” and the Sunderland plant will certainly be a bellwether to watch. Its loss would be as disastrous for the region as Bombardier’s closure would be for NI.

  • Karl

    The DUP are facilitating this nonsense despite NI being the region that will be most adversely affected.
    What exactly is the ‘lunatic’ Corbyn going to do that could possibly be worse that what ‘strong and stable’ May is doing right now?

  • Brian Kann

    And yet, there are the ten DUP MPs, representing NI’s serious and unique concerns, by voting against an amendment requiring approval in the develoved assemblies for their Tory masters. I would hope people remember this, but in this place, I doubt it.

    I suppose the flip side is what difference would it have made? Welsh, Scottish and NI MPs hold around 15% of votes and have been overriden from day one on this. You say “our country” but our fate is in hock to English interests and there’s no pretending otherwise.

  • hgreen

    And you were going so well until you mentioned Corbyn. Hyperbolic nonsense. The danger comes from people like JRM, Fox, Gove, BJ and Redwood as well as the DUP.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    In Northern Ireland, he just doesn’t understand the place even in the most rudimentary terms, as he is rather, shall we say, “intellectually unexceptional”. He will do what he can to help his hardline Irish Republican pals and could try to impose some form of joint authority with Dublin in the absence of the executive. Need I point out, that abrogation of the NI’s right to self-determination would cause an acute constitutional crisis – it would be trying to turn the GFA into the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. It would be opposed by the entire unionist population. Corbyn in charge is bad news for the stability of NI, whether you’re unionist or nationalist.

    The other lunatic aspects of Corbyn are his approach to terrorism generally, his Russia-friendly foreign policy, his instinctive Euroscepticism, his lack of understanding of business and the economy, his willingness to downgrade our defence capability, etc etc. His wing of Labour might be flavour of the month at the moment, but they are the kind of Labour that if they get power, won’t be in it for long – they will consign Labour to the wilderness for a generation through their incompetence, lack of intellectual ability and economic recklessness.

    As a non-Corbyn Labour supporter, these really are pretty dire choices we currently have in politics, because the Tories are an equally shambolic disgrace and are also being driven towards daft decisions by their hardliners. How bad are things going to get before a strong centrist coalition emerges? I see no quick prospect of such a rescue.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I always thought that the ‘Project Fear’ catch call is deeply silly. Politicians have a right, even a duty, to point out negative consequences arising from political decisions.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Here is a crazy idea why don’t you debate the points?

    Are you saying Honda are making it all up and you know more about making cars than they do?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    that’s divide and rule though Brian – the country is the UK, not England. There are no “English interests”, in political reality, as England does not operate as a unit in that sense – only British interests. All MPs are entitled to think of their own constituents as well as the national interest, English MPs as much as anyone else in the national parliament.

    This stuff some seem to believe about the dominance of ‘English nationalists’ – Fintan O’Toole is a prime example – is misconceived. The most ardent Brexiteers are nearly always also believers in keeping the UK together. There is an annoyance with separatists, yes. And a few, especially those on the right who are less educated and who are semi-detached from Westminster politics, react by saying f*** them all then, they can have their independence. But these people are still quite marginal and are certainly not in the mainstream even of Tory opinion. The right is UK unionist, they are not motivated by wanting the UK to break up.

  • hgreen

    You are just making stuff up. You really are fake news. Unlike yourself thankfully the British electorate didn’t buy this reheated Daily Mail claptrap.

    Back in the real world, outside your head, we have the Tories and the DUP actually putting the GFA at risk.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Sadly there are big dangers on both extremes – Labour is in the grip of irresponsible, arrogant hardliners as much as the Tories are.

  • hgreen

    Care to elaborate on some of these hardline Labour policies? I saw a pretty acceptable middle of the road manifesto presented by Labour at the last election.

  • Reader

    Brian Kann: Welsh, Scottish and NI MPs hold around 15% of votes and have been overriden from day one on this.
    Except that the NI MPs appear to be on the winning side of these votes.

  • Paracelsus

    Re the dominance of English nationalists, you are forgetting that they tend to conflate England and the UK, and reckon that what is good for England is automatically good for the rest of the UK, which doesn’t follow. Needless to say, this is splendid grist to Nicola Sturgeon’s mill.

  • Brian Kann

    Sorry: but that makes so sense. Voting with the despised Tory Party for a disaster to be visited on NI over which we will all be spectators is appearing to be on the “winning side”? The DUP represent constituents in NI not England. Their short-sightedness and British-blinkers approach is unbelievable really.

  • NewerSouthernMan

    Brian, you’re last sentence says it all: business make investment decisions based on facts and reality.

    Crazy promises of trade deals with far off lands, magical frictionless borders and millions of jobs for the ordinary joe are easily seen thru.

    Honda, Nissan, etc are putting their plans in place now and it means major job cuts in the UK. There will not be any announcements, just a slow hemoraging over the next 5 years.

    By the time the people of Sunderland realise they have been conned, it will be too late.

  • Brian Kann

    I appreciate the need for you to think that as a unionist but the equal UK you sell is crumbling before our eyes. Everything about Brexit is England acting as a unit with the other “countries” sidelined completely (do feel free to give concrete examples of genuine devolved input here). Fine, maybe you’re ok with this, but in NI, not everyone will, to put it mildly. This will be unity debate argument No 1 and possibly Indyref2 as well. You must surely understand that risk for “unionists”.

  • aquifer

    Chaos raises the rate of return on global smart money. So far so good for the already well flush. Was Brexit just a bloated hedge fund play? Is it walking like a duck yet?

    (Or perhaps like a Russian bear with a very bad hundred year hangover?)

    This smart lady has something to say about the western end of the big stick beating us:

    http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

    The trouble with capital is that its tendency to maximising efficiency (while trashing the planet and crushing some humans, but lets leave this to the one side for now) leads to a financial surplus, which if not reduced by some technical redundancy or simple wanton destruction, reduces the rate of return and increases the probability of actual losses. Government is silly and sees such losses as slights on their patrician fecundity rather than the normal workings of a remarkably beneficent mechanism (people do not all have to lose their jobs if a company makes losses), so HMGov rescues banks who should never have been allowed to become so big as to become indispensable, and pays to replace pensions stolen by thieves in suits and flash cars.
    HMGov may actually have to spend money on useful stuff like infrastructure schools and training just to keep the system going, and to keep that grumpy old bear at a safe distance.

    Governments’ plural failure to tax the rich is at the hollow heart of this raging mess.

  • sparrow

    ‘The DUP represent constituents in NI not England. Their short-sightedness and British-blinkers approach is unbelievable really.’
    No, totally believable. Predictable, even.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Of course the regional patterns of voting on Brexit create tensions in regions with big Remain votes. I have to disagree with you though on the central point about Brexit being, you say ‘English’:
    “Everything about Brexit is England acting as a unit with the other “countries” sidelined completely …”
    The whole point is we *didn’t* vote by region, there was a single, national vote with every voter having the same say, whether in Enniskillen, Edinburgh, Essex or Ebbw Vale. How that is sidelining anyone, I don’t know.

    The truth is, we lost the vote nationally. There are ways to turn this around, I think, but while breaking up the country might be an attractive option to people who want to break up the country anyway, it isn’t to the rest of us. In Northern Ireland, the rest of us are, lest we forget, *most people*.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m not forgetting that at all – and that is always something to be overcome. They are really pretty ignorant people.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    what specifically am I “making up”? Try to keep things civil and not be personal. We disagree, but I’m sure we are both honest people.

  • hgreen

    “He will do what he can to help his hardline Irish Republican pals and could try to impose some form of joint authority with Dublin in the absence of the executive.”

    “his Russia friendly foreign policy”

    I could pick others if I could be bothered.

  • sparrow

    ‘In Northern Ireland, the rest of us are, lest we forget, *most people*.’
    A unionist mantra, repeated often with confidence, but not necessarily true these days. We don’t know for sure because unionists refuse to agree to a border poll. Odd that, given that their repeated, confidently-opined mantra.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Brian, you are scuppered on this I’m afraid by this rather inconvenient fact about Brexit:
    Margin of Leave victory: 1,269,501 votes
    Number of Leave votes in Scotland, Wales and NI: 2,222,336 votes.
    Had it not been for Leave voters in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, Brexit would not be happening.

    In terms of influencers on this Tory government outside England, there is the Conservative Party in Wales and Scotland, the DUP in Northern Ireland, UKIP across the UK. You might not agree with them but they have been influencers. And of the Three Brexiteers (Johnson, Gove and Fox), two are of course Scottish.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    all the opinion polls ever done have shown a majority for staying in the UK, including all the post-Brexit-vote ones. But you can believe something else if it makes you feel better 🙂

  • Brian Kann

    Yes, but very delicately and you don’t want to be giving arguments surely as big as this away with some sort of “end-game”* widely acknowledged as coming fast to NI (*Alex Kane’s words, not mine, himself responding to am a Walter Ellis article in the Newsletter which must have been lost in the post to Slugger).

    The devolved votes were sidelined the day English MPs voted down an condition for the referendum to require majority devolved approval. Since then, we were all a victim to the sheer population imbalance in England. Even if Scotland and NI voted on the 90s, it might not have even mattered, which is a ridiculous barrier in any case. Ever since then, this has been for England’s eyes only, in the absence of any meaningful devolved input whatsoever. That last part (DUP vote benefits aside) can’t be denied.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    What is made-up about those?
    His closeness to SF is well-known and not disputed: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11924431/Revealed-Jeremy-Corbyn-and-John-McDonnells-close-IRA-links.html. He will surely help SF, do you dispute that? And I only talk about what *could* happen in terms of actual predictions of a greater role for Dublin in NI.
    The silence of the fomer Russia Today regular on Putin: http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2017/10/09/digging-into-corbyn-s-silence-on-putin

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sean, Nissan is a “real” business, while Bombardier is a company entirely reliant on government handouts and loss false of their aircraft to survive. While it might be painful for it to fail here, the silly money spent on keeping it going could probably more profitably simply be put directly into the pockets of those currently employed. I’m being facetious, I know, but seriously, in subsidising Bombardier funds are being simply wasted on a business which must flop sooner or later.

  • Sean Danaher

    Some of the “Leave” pamphlets in Sunderland actually has a Nissan logo indicating that Nissan sponsored Leave! They had to stop when Nissan threatened to sue. What’s really sad is that the people most likely to suffer from Brexit are areas like Sunderland. The top 1% like Redwood will of course become even richer.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I put this in a comment down the thread but wanted to post here in the hope more people might see it. It’s just to reject, from a Remain point of view, this idea that only England is responsible for the disaster of Brexit. In a national vote, it was actually Leavers in all parts of the country:
    – The margin of Leave victory was: 1,269,501 votes
    – The number of Leave votes in Scotland, Wales and NI was: 2,222,336 votes.

    Separatists in those parts of the UK I think conveniently forget that, when they say simply, ‘Scotland voted Remain’, or ‘Northern Ireland voted Remain’ or ‘Brexit is really just about English votes, we were powerless.’ The reality is, were it not for all those Leave voters in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, Brexit would not be happening.

  • Brian Kann

    You’re right on Gove: he is so uber-English it’s easy to forget he is apparently Scottish sometimes.

    If anything you have proved my point. There was a 56 and 62 remain vote in NI and Scotland respectively. To overturn the English* vote you’d have a maximum swing of around 300k votes in NI and just over a million in Scotland. Even if we add a few 100k to swing the Welsh vote, that’s asking for margins of something in the high 80s or 90s to counter the English vote, which is crazy.I don’t see how that qualifies as being “involved”.

    *I tend to exclude Wales as England’s principality with a status and political association that is barely distinguishable from England, and an independence movement that barely exists.

  • Brian Kann

    Also “divide and rule”. Wonder who we learnt that from 😉

  • Alastair Rae

    Sorry but I don’t follow. Scotland and NI contributed a net remain vote. That is the sole basis for the claim that they voted remain. What other measure is there? Leavers consider a few percent a convincing win so regional remainers are just counter-claiming.

  • sparrow

    I’ll believe -and accept – the only poll that matters, which is an actual border poll rather than an opinion poll. And it’s not about making me ‘feel better’. It’s about giving the people here the same opportunity to vote on their future that the people of Scotland enjoyed a couple of years ago. What’s your objection to that?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    not sure I understand your point?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the manifesto was great, I have little issue with it

    But I don’t know if you’d noticed the people in charge of delivering it. The inconsistencies between the manifesto and their actual policy record and beliefs is a tad glaring …

  • MainlandUlsterman

    yet without its voters outside England, Leave would have lost. And why break it down into NI / Scotland size, why not smaller? Eastern NI, where most people live, voted Leave. You can cut it and cut it, but ultimately it was a national vote on a national foreign policy issue and we lost. Breaking up the country is not a rational response to that, we need to save the whole country from it by shifting public opinion nationally.

  • Brian Kann

    MU you are doding back out of your own argument here. The margin of leave was greater with votes from NI and Scotland – yes. Unless you seriously think a remain vote of +80% outside of England is a fair standard by any democratic means, the result for leave was assured and decided in England.

    No need to subdivide either. As we all now, the magic UK rainbow state consists of a union of four “countries”, which can magically dissappear when then argument requires it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    that the circumstances agreed in the Good Friday Agreement for a border poll are not present. In any case it is the Secretary of State’s decision, that’s what we all agreed. Go ask him.

    The objection is that, having seen Scotland and knowing what NI is like, a referendum campaign puts NI through the wringer, is highly divisive and highly negative in its effects, whatever the actual result. It is only to be done if really necessary. SF would exploit it to heighten divisions and raise tensions, which they feed off; then when they lose, they will not accept the result for a generation, as the SNP offered to (then reneged), they will be pushing for regular referenda to keep NI destabilised until the Glorious Day when they think they will achieve ‘victory’. As this may never happen and if it did, not any time soon, this is a recipe for permanent disruption of devolved local democracy. SF fear a settled N Ireland in which people get on with the important things – and live off pushing sovereignty front and centre. No thank you.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “Unless you seriously think a remain vote of +80% outside of England is a fair standard by any democratic means, the result for leave was assured and decided in England.”
    No, my point is it was a NATIONAL VOTE on the question of whether THE UK should leave or remain. The regional breakdown is interesting but that’s about it. And people voted on an equal basis across the UK. The suggestion that people in NI were somehow disenfranchised doesn’t stand up. What they weren’t treated as was having a veto on Brexit – that much is right – and that is the source of the feeling of ‘injustice’ in NI over it. It is misplaced though – no region was promised a veto, or had the right to expect a regional opt-out if things didn’t go their way at a regional level. There simply was no regional vote, in that sense, it was a national vote and it was always clear it would be. I’d rather the vote had gone the other way, but it was completely democratic, there is no getting around that. And it was partly won by Leave voters in Wales, Scotland and N Ireland.

  • runnymede

    They are certainly vastly overstating the case.

    Do you know how it’s possible to have 90 hours in a day, btw.?

  • Old Mortality

    There’s no doubt that Corbyn retains the Euro-scepticism instilled by his mentor and idol, Tony Benn. Even if he hasn’t, Labour knows only too well that it can’t offend it’s many voters who supported Brexit. They may balk at voting Tory but

  • Korhomme

    The devolved votes were sidelined the day English MPs voted down an condition for the referendum to require majority devolved approval

    I wasn’t aware of that; thanks for the info!

  • WindowLean

    Leave votes in England – 15,188,406
    It was all their fault!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    all?

  • John

    What do you expect the man is a career politician, or the local dialect “a REAL cute hoor”

  • hgreen

    Maths doesn’t seem to be a strong point of yours.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Westminster remains sovereign, that’s kind of how the UK works. There is devolution on some matters; but UK foreign policy / treaty-making and breaking is not among them.

  • hgreen

    More nonsense.

  • runnymede

    Nissan is already busy Brexit-proofing its business by greatly increasing its UK-sourced share of components. Others will do likewise especially if helped along a bit.

  • Korhomme

    Nope. England has roughly 30 times the electorate that NI has. In a national referendum, the votes in NI are such a small proportion of the total that they are almost irrelevant.

    More significantly, should such a referendum be based on 50%+1? N Ireland and Scotland are different places to much of England. A rather better proposal is not only a majority of all the electorate, but also a majority of the regions. This it seems was voted against:

    The devolved votes were sidelined the day English MPs voted down an
    condition for the referendum to require majority devolved approval
    [h/t Brian Kann, above]

    Indeed, are referendums really a good idea, a good way to gauge opinion? Why do we have elections and MPs if what they really think can be overruled by a referendum? And Mr Farage did indicate that 48:52 would be an invalid result if it had been the other way round.

  • hgreen

    If you use the word “could” in a sentence you’ve made it up.

    You need to get over yourself about Corbyn’s nationalists sympathies when we currently have the DUP in cahoots with the Tories and putting the GFA at risk. Are you so blinkered that you can only see the unionist side of things?

  • WindowLean

    “And of the Three Brexiteers (Johnson, Gove and Fox), two are of course Scottish”

    And the other one is a Turkish American.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Are you suggesting that devolution is simply a cosmetic exercise, and the will of local concerns on the devolved assemblies is an irrelevance on “ real” issues? I know that the Supreme Cpurt has rules that they have no right to challenge constitutional issues which are reserved matters, but I’m beginning to wonder just why we have been meeting the expense of devolution where, effectively only the central authority can decide on important issues.

    The reality is that here and in Scotland a majority has voted against exit. Perfectly sane proposals can be advanced, with the Dalriada Document have been advanced, For devolutionary approaches which address the local desire to remain in the EU after exit but as parts of the UK. Really, the ariuement of being bound by what one part of the Union has effectively decided, and by a narrow margin, is at the very least highly suspect.

  • Korhomme

    What then is the point of devolution? Why bother, if Westminster can override at will?

    The UK is a very centralised state, despite ‘devolution’; and there is an incessant need for control from the centre, the ‘man in Whitehall is always right’ syndrome.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Korhomme, have you encountered Brendan O’Leary’s Dalriada Document’s proposals for local special case exclusion from exit?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Runny, saying they are overstating their case and intelligently demonstrating why you believe they are are different things. But you need to let us know why, none of us can’t read your mind…….

    Just for the record one truck waiting all day equals 24 hours, four trucks waiting involves a hundred hours. I think you might just be able to “get” the ninety hours issues from that one……..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Depends on whether you can really describe such votes as a “win” for anyone not in the administration.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You appear to be talking to some very different members of the Conservative party to those I mix with socially on my trips to England, MU.

    I’d heard of an eighty-five percent vote against the DUP deal at one private meeting during conference. No wonder May was unnerved.

  • Korhomme

    It took me a little while to recall, Seaan,but yes I did see them; alas, I cannot remember much (anything) that was in them.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Me neither Korhomme. Most interesting….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I think it’s still out there in the either!

    The proposal was for a devolution of powers which would have permitted a federal arrangement through which Scotland and Northern Ireland could remain in the EU while being federated to the UK. But Brendan describes the subilties rather better than I can. Not safe reading for anyon, certainly Unionists, who are allergic to pluralism, especially with a post modern flavour.

  • Sean Danaher

    That would certainly help with the just in time integrated supply chains. Under the WTO however there are tariff barriers for cars which are I think 10% which will make Nissan UK less competitive.

  • Brian Kann

    MU you invite me to consider that the referendum was not just decided in England, then when I show that it was, you claim the “regional breakdown” is merely interesting. You may well be the first ulster unionist to claim we live in a centralised UK state, and not a “wee country”.

    However you turn it, this has England’s name all over it and poses big questions about what the UK actually means. Especially in NI where our delicate constitutional and political arrangements can be overriden by English votes just like that. And I don’t mean the GFA per se, but thé principles and support on which nationalist buy in was based.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    So devolution is cosmetic in purpose only.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    no, it means what it says – certain powers are devolved, i.e. they sit in Westminster and it passes them down the line. But as we know, not all powers are devolved; and parliament, that is the Westminster parliament, remains ultimately sovereign.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    in theory it can override it at will, but there are conventions in place that in practice mean devolution legislation is semi-entrenched (conventions can be enforced by the courts, so are not nothing).

    I remember as a first term law student looking at the various attempts that have been made to fully entrench legislation though and it’s never been completely possible, because parliament can overturn *anything* it has previously done, in theory. It is the ultimate law-making authority.

    Certain international commitments are very hard to overturn, but Brexit is proving even those can be overturned.

    The British constitution is a patchwork of laws, conventions, prerogative powers, historical hangovers etc, but the principle of parliamentary sovereignty is the thread that runs through it all. What is possible constitutionally is also not divorced from what is politically possible. Devolution is politically very hard to undo at present as there is both popular support for it in the regions involved, a huge legal infrastructure putting it in place and a lack of will to go about undoing it – that is its biggest protection. But we’re all where we are ultimately because there isn’t the will and wherewithall for it to be different. If we want it to change, we can change it – the British constitution has that potential for flexibility. It’s just that we have often chosen relative continuity over tearing things up and starting again in the UK.

    The one thing it is very hard to change without an actual revolution or military junta taking over is parliamentary sovereignty itself. We would all have to decide we didn’t want it any more, dissolve parliament as we know it and start up something new. A big ask.

  • Pang

    Talking of cars, the second hand car market in the Republic (of which I am a customer every 2-3 years) could be impacted in a couple of ways – 10% price increase in UK cars because of WTO rules working through the market, or decrease in price due to sterling dropping further in value.

  • Brian Kann

    file:///C:/Users/u6017741/Downloads/CBP-7212.pdf

    It was an SNP amendment to propose that the UK should remain in the EU, unless each constituent part of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) votes to leave.

    Guess who in NI helped shoot it down.

    David Cameron’s justification seems a bit trite, to say the least.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Of course, the actual power rests at Westminster in the all important reserved matters and only trivia and irrelevances are decided upon here, even when the Assembly is in operation. Even the trigger of the vaunted right to locally decide on the one aspect of our constitutional status we are supposed to have s say on is at the whim of the SOS. “Cosmetic” is a generalised and rather negative way to describe the expensive folly of a local assembly which is effectively simply a glorified county council, I know but after the put any challenge in its place rulings in English courts, it’s looking less and less facetious.

  • sparrow

    Elections too are divisive. Maybe we should stop holding those in NI too, given that you don’t seem to think we’re grown up enough to handle them? All you’ve offered there is a list of weak excuses. Try harder.

  • Korhomme

    They are at:

    https://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/sites/default/files/papers/The%20Dalriada%20Document.pdf

    They are dated 13 July 2016. I’m re-reading now, an being reminded that, for instance, the referendum was advisory.

  • Korhomme

    There are discussions here about whether it is appropriate for a referendum result in which England had a far greater weight than NI is appropriate.

    Brendan O’Leary wrote about this in July 2016 [h/t SeaanUiNeill] :

    https://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/sites/default/files/papers/The%20Dalriada%20Document.pdf

  • Brian O’Neill

    It tricky when most of the car parts makers are in mainland Europe.
    https://www.ft.com/content/44589a00-582d-11e7-80b6-9bfa4c1f83d2

  • Zig70

    I like Corbyn to an extent. The BBC bias against him was shocking and probably helped a lot. I still think he will go the same way as Kinnock, floundering on the beach.

  • Korhomme

    The BBC had a piece on the Mini’s crankshaft. It’s forged in France, sent to GB to be machined, sent to Germany to be built into an engine, the engine is sent to GB to be put into the car; and the car might well be exported to the Continent. Sorting that will take some doing.

  • The Saint

    I get you now, your against the breaking down into regions that suit a particular political argument? aka gerrymandering.

    You surely must be opposed to the partition of Ireland in that case.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No I’m for it. Your argument makes little sense.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    there isn’t going to be a vote until the UI case gets more support in the polls. Try harder.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    this is something nationalists may need to get their heads around yes, some had lulled themselves into a false belief there was ‘no border’ etc, that the GFA is some path to a united Ireland. The reality check might be for the best.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the DUP deal is a different question, we were talking about the extent to which a non-British English nationalism motivates Tories

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And you imagine that the boorish behaviour of the DUP in the negotiations has furthered a sense of affinity? Or that the vote is not an indicator that most Conservatives now want to be shot of NI altogether?

    Scotland is different, but for most Conservatives the desire of what most see as Irish people to remain British is inexplicable, especially as they appear to be uninterested in modern British values. The absence of the Belfast Agreement in English common law means that they are not obliged to
    “Respect” the claim of Britishness, and in my experience they don’t.

  • Brian Kann

    Cool. We can broadcast that summary on the 6 o’clock news. Brexit has shafted you. You’re in a red white and blue UK now. Visible border arrangements will be back, you’ll be cut off from the south yet again and the GFA will never actually allow for a UI. This will go down fine I’d say.

  • sparrow

    Support for a UI is already higher ‘in the polls’ than was support for Scottish independence at the time their referendum was granted. No matter – there will be a vote, it’s a question of when, not if. But your pathetic list of excuses provides more evidence of unionist double standards. You drone on about ‘national’ and ‘the nation’ when you talk about the UK and Brexit because it suits unionist interests, but when people here start demanding the same laws (language, minority rights) or the same democratic standards that apply in the rest of your ‘nation’, you start finding reasons why we are different.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Not right, I am fully supportive of ‘minority’ rights (i.e. everyone’s individual rights), whether on language issues or cultural issues.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    except that all of that is made up and not actually what is happening.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No, the episode was damaging for unionism.
    It’s not for Conservatives to decide if they want to be “shot of NI” – it’s not their decision. The only way they could do it would be pushing for English independence, but that goes against everything they believe in.
    I agree, a lot of people in England don’t really understand Northern Ireland identities and are quite poorly informed on the region generally.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    While it’s not for the Conservative party to decide it does nothing to help that the strongest political allies of the Union are turning against NI politicians. If we were sending a few people like Danny Kinahan or even, although I disagree with his politics, Robin Swann, who is a decent man, this might be different, but the DUP have squandered a great deal of NI credit already with most sympathetic people. I should mention that you’d probably not recognise me from Slugger if you overheard me trying to explain our community ( both ends) as fairly as I can to the “poorly informed” over the water on my London trips.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “If we were sending a few people like Danny Kinahan or even, although I disagree with his politics, Robin Swann, who is a decent man, this might be different, but the DUP have squandered a great deal of NI credit already with most sympathetic people.”
    I couldn’t agree more.
    Interesting that more than one person on here or that I know of a not DUP persuasion, during the DUP media frenzy in the early summer, ended up quite annoyed with the media coverage of it and even slightly defensive of the DUP. I’m not saying you were, but I can think of two women of impeccable non-unionist credentials who have told me they were really annoyed by the flavour of the anti-DUP ranting by rather ill-informed journalists.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh I’d have seen the anti-DUP articles as inaccurate only in their mildness of tone. My own line would have been to argue against identifying the greater number of Unionist people as entirely supportive of every DUP extremist view, and to suggest that there were many progressive people who were Unionist. Even amongst DUP voters many of whom were one issue constitutionalist position voters,

  • Timothyhound

    This is about England. You can try the “nation” bit and I get why as a unionist you do so. But ultimately the cracks are deeper than ever in this so called United Kingdom and it’s in the main driven by England and English exceptionalism. Many nationalists in Northern Ireland were in tacit acceptance of the status quo. However the lunatic fringe driving Brexit and the myopia of the DUP have ensured that many nationalists are now hugely irritated and near livid with what is unfolding. Deny or ignore as you choose but is it is making Northern Ireland permanently unworkable.

  • Georgie Best

    Indeed Nationalists were fairly settled in the status quo. However, the English that they own us and can do as they wish to us has changed things.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It has upset nationalists, I completely accept that. And they have a good right to be upset. If it makes you feel any better, I’m probably more upset than you are about it – it’s my country that’s going down the pan after all. At least nationalists have their Irish citizenship to seek solace in. For me, I’m fully engaged trying to win the big national UK struggle over this. If we can do that, NI will be much less of an issue. This is where the politics are at – this is to be sorted out in the national parliament primarily, maybe in another national election and maybe in a referendum on the eventual Brexit terms.

  • Timothyhound

    A considered response – thank you. Maybe someone is listening.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I wasn’t denying the Tories are tied up with the DUP on certain key votes at the moment, though not ones on N Ireland matters specifically. In the past, Labour was in power which boasted of the SDLP being its “sister party” – the DUP and Tories aren’t as close as that, but we have been here before. I don’t remember a huge fuss from Irish nationalism about the Labour-SDLP connection.