What’s for Brexit?

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Aaron David

A fourth generation Californian, befuddled.

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77 Responses

  1. Avatar Aaron David says:

    It is currently 51/49 Brexit. Seriously neck and neckReport

  2. Avatar Don Zeko says:

    Thanks for putting this up; I’ve been having trouble finding a good way to track results.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Wha wha?

    They voted to leave?

    WTF are you thinking, Brits?

    The Pound Sterling crashes immediately. Gonna be a bad day at the Exchange too, I’m sure.Report

  4. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    On the ironic side, if Scotland had voted to secede leave the UK, they could have remained in the EU.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David says:

      What’s the over/under on a new Scotland vote?Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        At least one piece I’ve read this morning says that the Scottish Parliament is already drawing up the wording. No one knows when (or even if, the EU referendum being non-binding) the UK will punch the Article 50 button, giving official notice. If Scotland were to vote for independence before that point, there is apparently some chance that things could be weasel-worded so that for legal purposes, the rest of the UK was “leaving” Scotland, which would retain the EU membership.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        Good question, this isn’t a silly place like California where any old thing can be put up for referendum.

        The last referendum was called by the Scottish parliament, but only with the consent of the UK parliament… so it is not something they can unilaterally do.

        Will Cameron want to cement his legacy with the exit of Scotland as well? Or will he encourage Scotland to leave to make the transition more difficult? Will the 84 conservative members who voted to leave but also wrote a letter of support for Cameron even if Brexit won still support him if he further dismantles the UK… why stop at Scotland, there’s Northern Ireland as well. There are a lot of gears turning now and I’m not nearly up to speed on more than a tiny a fraction of them.

        I mean, bear in mind that the Stay vote mostly passed on account of the financial pain Scotland would suffer without UK subsidies. Is Angela Merkel going to mach them? If so, it might even make the Brexit “easier”… so she probably won’t. There are just so many new variables and conflicting motives that I’m not sure even the current set of players have fully gamed out strategies.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I did notice the Guardian was a little less cutesy about posting the running total of this election result than it was the USA Presidential primaries.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    So what’s the official take on this? Brits are racist or something?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Hypocrites because when the US wanted to leave, it took a war but they think that they should just be able to secede because they took a vote?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I’m old enough to remember when the left thought free trade agreements were terrible no good very bad things.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        The EU treaty contains an explicit exit clause.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          If you enter into a union while thinking something like “if it doesn’t work out, I can just leave”, you’re going to find yourself exercising that option whenever things get a little bit rough. I suppose it’s fair to ask whether they were ever really truly part of the EU in the first place.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Wandering far afield, I have always wondered why alternate-history novels are so fond of using “what if the South had won the Civil War” as a jumping off point, rather than “what if the Constitution had contained a formal exit clause”.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              Because Robert E. Lee ends up a Yankee in that scenario.

              {Maybe, it would depend upon the legal settlement with regards Arlington and his Wife’s inheritance… now doesn’t *that* sound like a fascinating tale?}Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                If George Washington wasn’t such a stickler for decorum and got them to properly federalize the Virginia side of DC & get it into the L’Enfant plan, the Custis-Lee Mansion (Arlington House) acreage is probably not private property and quite possibly is the site of the Executive Mansion for the President of the United States.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Arlington was originally part of D.C. but the congress gave it back to Va.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Yes I know that. (I own property in that part)

                But it reverted because 1) the federal government completely neglected building anything on the Virginia side and prevented the locals from building public improvements too, for the most part

                2) prohibition of slavery in areas Congress controlled directly was imminent, and they wanted to keep on being slavers.

                (And also Alexandria lost the local port race to Georgetown, both lost the canal race to port of New York, and then both lost the railroad race to port of Baltimore.)Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              It’s a hard coubterfactual to get operational , though as the Constitution framers entire point was to create a more permanent seeming institution than what had emerged from the Articles of Confederation.

              But if there was such a constitutional clause, the War of 1812 would have probably broke the union even before the Jackson admin nullification crisis test.Report

              • Avatar Guy says:

                Ah, but what if the northern secession notice still fails to reach the capitol before the close of the war, and the Federalists are still embarrassed out of existence (with Massachusetts et al sheepishly returning to the Union)?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        That’s pretty much how it worked for Canada.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Cameron resigned.

    Where the heck did *THAT* come from?Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      The Powers that Be are angry. Duh.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Heh, of course he did.

      Not only did he not want his name associated with Brexit (it now is), but he surely wasn’t going to navigate the shitstorm of difficult decisions to make it happen – and have his name further tarnished with whatever pain comes that way.

      Of course, if whomever takes up the mantle does a masterful job and ushers in a new golden-age for Britain… well, that Boris will be a hero.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Cameron had always said (or at least implied) that if either Scotxit or Brexit referenda had passed, he would quit, being on the wrong side of the will of the people. And it preempts and almost inevitable no confidence vote (which surprisingly didn’t come down the pike when he lost the Syrian vote a few years ago.)Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        “Wrong side of the will of the people”.

        While I think that that’s a lovely principled position, we’re talking 51/49 rather than 73/27.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          Bear in mind, PM is as much like US Speaker of the House as it is like US Presidency. Cameron may have looked across the pond and picked John Boehner as his role model: bail out before the wheels come completely off.Report

    • Avatar Autolukos says:

      As I understand things, this was an expected consequence of a Leave vote.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      That’s how Parliaments work Jaybird. I’m shocked that you’re surprised.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        No wonder they have free health care over there. Politicians quit their jobs whenever things don’t go their way.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Yeah, means politicians have to take their jobs a bit more seriously. I am not willing to outright say that it’s superior to how things work in the US but I lean that way.Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko says:

            I kind of don’t. Party controls and party-line voting is a whole lot more rigid in a system like that. Our system pretty much depends on parties making incremental moderating compromises to their proposals nibble at individual holdout legislators on the margins of an issue in order to get things done. That requires substantial independence from hard party lines. Periodically resulting porkfests notwithstanding, that still seems in broad strokes a really good way to steer public policy towards a place that is both effective and consistent with the desires of the electorate.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Well yes, it has to be or your government falls all the time. On the other hand when I hold up the performance of parliaments and compare them with the performance of Presidential Republics I don’t think the Parliaments suffer from the comparison.
              And I look at our past decade of governance and I’m not sure I’d want to brag about how it’s been performing though it’s anyone’s guess if this logjam will hold.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                I think that a lot of our dysfunction over the past decade or two can be blamed on parties (and one party in particular) acting like they’re in a parliamentary system when they are in fact in a madisonian system.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                I would say parliamentary systems work very well when your populous is mostly on the same page regarding gov’t. When you have a massively divided populous, like the US, then a presidential system works best, as it is designed to prevent one geographic region or political flavor from having too much power.Report

      • That’s how Parliaments work Jaybird. I’m shocked that you’re surprised.

        This.Report

  8. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    One of the things I’m already finding very interesting is the amount of “The EU will punish the UK savagely during the separation negotiations in order to ensure that other countries don’t try to leave” thinking. This strikes me as counter-productive in at least two ways. First, in the short term, it encourages people to think “Other than the EU hammering on them, Britain might have done just fine on their own. Maybe the EU isn’t all that helpful after all.” Second, in the longer term, it would seem to encourage countries to leave in blocks rather than individually. That is, Greece may realize that the EU can flog them even worse than they flogged the UK; Greece, Italy, and Spain together — population as a group 50% larger than Germany, and if they all defaulted on their bonds held by German banks, those banks are toast — might think “We’re too big for them to flog at all.”Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      I’m not sure how savage it will be. But the EU could very well have a lot more leverage and the UK could be in a really bad bargaining position. Not savage out of revenge, but hard bargaining. There will be quite a few things the UK will want that the EU can use as chips.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        I think it’s more likely that. The EU has a lot of leverage. And as the UK is no longer part of the EU, the EU is duty bound to use that leverage to maximum effect for the good of the EU.

        The good of the UK is no longer their concern.

        Which is, I think, something the “Leave” folks didn’t really grapple with. They assumed that the aftermath of Brexit would be a quick reassertion of all the “good” stuff, that the EU would swiftly move to at least keep stuff like trade and most forms of movement at the status quo. That Brexit was, more or less, the UK saying “No” to all the EU stuff it disliked but getting to keep what it wanted.

        Cafeteria EU, so to speak. 🙂

        But I can’t see why on earth the EU, even if it’s negotiators are Spock-like neutral parties, wouldn’t utilize the fact that the UK needs a lot of sudden agreements to gain maximum advantage.

        Because the good of the UK is immaterial to them, beyond wanting them to be healthy enough to be a trading partner.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          But I can’t see why on earth the EU, even if it’s negotiators are Spock-like neutral parties, wouldn’t utilize the fact that the UK needs a lot of sudden agreements to gain maximum advantage.

          Yeah, I don’t see anyone talking about the fact that UK is probably in a worst place than it was *right before* the EU.

          All countries in Europe had slowly been building all sorts of treaties with other countries for some time. Ever since WWII, in a quite deliberate attempt to make a third world war impossible.

          If you were in the EU, a lot of those were absorbed *into* the EU, from what I understand.

          Britain hasn’t gone back to 1992. They haven’t even gone back to 1973, when they joined the EEC. They’ve gone back to 1950.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    I’ve been looking at the comments at Charlie Stross’s blog off and on over the last 24 hours. There’s an astounding range of legal theories being put forward. At one end there’s the one that says the two-year clock is already ticking because the EU Commission has interpreted the treaty language to mean that passing the referendum is “official notice”. At the other is one that goes through a long chain of things in the British constitutional structure (despite my occasional complaints, there are advantages to having it all written down in one place) to “prove” that no notice can be official unless it is also approved by the Scottish Parliament (unlikely, as Scotland voted 60/40 for Remain).

    I had beer with a couple of friends that hold both US and UK passports Thursday evening. As I told them, I favored Leave only on the basis that things would be far more interesting if that side won, and that I was far enough away to be safe from the consequences. Hope I was right about the latter.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      The EU seems to think the UK has already voted itself out. I don’t see any way that legal maneuvering on the UK’s side is going to change that.

      I remember once that a non-profit that I volunteer at tried to escape from a contract that the Executive Director had signed, by pointing out the bylaws required two signatures. While the other side of the contract accepted the cancellation and everythign went well…I still had to point out that, under contract law, it matter *not a damn* what internal policies exist. If a person signs a contract with an employee at a corporate entity they can reasonable expect to be able to sign that contract (And ‘Executive Director’ is surely such a person.), and are told no other requirements at that time, that is a real contract, and they can sue for breach of contract. Doesn’t matter if we didn’t sprinkle magic pixel dust on it by having some other employee sign it also.

      Likewise, it doesn’t actually matter what the structure of the UK is, or reasons the *UK* might have to claim there are other things they need to do. If the EU doesn’t agree….the EU doesn’t agree, and the UK is out.

      Although reading Stross’s page did point out something interesting: What’s going to be nice and catastrophic is when Scotland realizes if it’s not in the UK when the UK leaves the EU, than *it* doesn’t have to leave the EU.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Scotland already knows this, but there are three issues:

        1) They just had a vote and lost, and the UK has to agree to a new vote. There is no guarantee that they will, and no governing authority to force them to.

        2) It’s not clear it would pass. Yes, it came close last time, but oil was a semi-reasonable economic staple then and isn’t now.

        3) The EU might not take an independent Scotland. At least three members are looking as at secessionist movements of their own, and Spain and Belgium have both indicated opposition with Italy probably not far behind. The EU might want to poke UK in the eye, but there are difficulties doing so.

        So while the Scots want to be in the EU, it’s all pretty up in the air.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          Yes, it came close last time, but oil was a semi-reasonable economic staple then and isn’t now.

          OTOH, Scotland already generates more electricity than they consume, with the surplus sold to consumers in England. They are pro-renewables and the population seems to be tolerant of wind turbines relatively nearby. Scotland is the obvious place to terminate an HVDC link from Iceland, which could be done for about the cost of a new nuke plant and deliver Icelandic hydro and geothermal power. Personally, I’d rather be selling electricity than oil anyway.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Selling both is better! And they need to find all threads can.

            I’m wondering if they might not have been better off voting Yes last year. They’d have banks ready to go to pick up London’s banking business. Now it would probably take too much time and with too much uncertainty. Making leaving now potentially the worst of the three timelines.Report