Brexit choices

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I had reason to be awake in the night (even as teenagers offspring can get ill) and so I began doodling a mindmap on the choices available on Brexit. This resulted:

Click on the image and then click the resulting screen again and you will get a large version. Alternatively, this is the bullet-pointed version:

  • There are only three Brexit choices left
    • Accept the EU offer (Accept)
    • Leave without a deal (Leave)
    • Remain in the EU (Remain)
  • Leave requires no action; the passage of time will deliver it and we supposedly have legislation in place to manage it.
  • Accepting the EU offer requires a parliamentary vote in favour. It seems incredibly unlikely that this will be secured. This option, then, seems to be dead.
  • Remain would require a second referendum in practical political terms even if the first was not legally binding.
  • Leave appears to have very little parliamentary support:
    • Maybe 50 or so Tory MPs
    • Maybe 5 hardcore believers in Labour and 10 or so whose constituencies are hard core Leave
    • Maybe to DUP
    • It is officially opposed by the Tories, Labour, SNP, LibDems, Plaid and Greens. Sin Fein will not vote.
  • Once Accept ceases to be an option because most of these parties also oppose it, and because renegotiation is not possible by 29 March, then since these parties also oppose Leave only Remain is a viable option for them.
  • Remain requires a second referendum to be popularly legitimate. The question is what is the question that a second referendum is asked to decide upon?
    • Since Accept will have been resoundingly rejected by parliament it seems hard to have it on the ballot paper.
    • There has to be an option other than Remain in the ballot paper. If it is nit Accept it has to be Leave. This is despite the fact that there is even less parliamentary for it than there is for Accept.
    • Remain has to be an option or only leave options, in varying forms, are presented.
    • In other words, given the pressure of time only Remain and Leave (which is hard Brexit, which few ever thought the original referendum was about) can now be considered as options for a vote.
  • This creates a conundrum.
    • Who would fund Leave?
    • Has it a viable election mechanism?
    • What will the rules be?
    • Would the EU extend Article 50 if an election was not possible by 29 March?
    • And what is the likely outcome i.e, can this risk be taken by parliament?
  • The risk of a vote for Remain
    • There is no risk in holding a second vote for Remainers. Accept is not going to happen. By default, and without further action Leave will - which exactly explains the actions of the far Right in the Tory party in creating as many distractions as possible now to waste time - and so losing a second vote is a risk free consequence for Remainers - because without the vote Leave will happen anyway.
    • All the risk of a second vote is for Leavers then: they have everything to lose when the status quo is that they are winning.
    • The risk of a second vote for many Remainers is that a vote for Leave will legitimise that course of action. C’est la vie: Leave is legitimate anyway. Parliament passed Article 50 notice and the EU exit act: Leave can and will happen without action being taken. Leave is legitimate now.
    • The big risk of Remain wining is a violent reaction (and I mean violent reaction) from those who thought they were leaving and will not then do so as a result of a democratic decision. Given that the issue for many who wish to Leave is one of national (mainly English) identity this has to be accepted as a possibility. A minority could react in this way. It is not a reason to give up a democratic process. What has to be explained is why this change of course is necessary. That, though, will be projected as Project Fear 2.
    • This issue apart there is no reason not to go for the vote. I say that thinking there is at best a 50% cha nice of Remain winning. I am not optimistic. I do want resolution. I want Leave to be properly chosen if that is what we are to do - so no argument remains. And if people want to change their minds and that is what the whole basis if democracy is - then I also want that possibility to be exercised given that so much more is known now than it was when this whole process began.
  • My choice then?
    • A second referendum with two choices:
    • Remain
    • Or Leave with no deal.
    • Only Michel Barnier really loses. And he has always said he would rather we remained.