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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall; A UK General Election is the Best ‘People’s Vote’ of All

by John Brian Shannon

Why would some UK politicians attempt to delay Brexit by pushing for a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ when holding a General Election is the best ‘People’s Vote’ of all?

There must be a reason.

And the reason some UK Members of Parliament are running scared of voters is because they know they might possibly delay Brexit by contriving the conditions necessary to hold a 2nd EU referendum, but they also know they’d probably lose their seat in the House of Commons should a UK General Election be held anytime soon.

Which doesn’t strike me as democratic.

Some of these MP’s are very shouty about the benefits of democracy and freedom of choice. I hate to point out the obvious here, but if you’re calling for a 2nd referendum (that you wrongly imagine you can win) and are simultaneously trying to prevent a General Election, you’re not a democrat.

In short, if you’re using your elected position to inflict your personal agenda on Britons it means you’re a pirate, not a democrat.

A UK General Election is the best 'People's Vote' of all?

A so-called ‘People’s Vote’ via a UK General Election is the best ‘People’s Vote’ of all. Image courtesy of The Sun.


What do ‘The People’ Think?

Some 60% of Britons want the government to get on with it!

And that percentage includes former Remainers who respect the fact that the democratic Will of the People is more important than their personal bias.

Now, that’s a subgroup of people who believe in democracy and they deserve plenty of respect from Brexiteers.


Are We There Yet?

I’ll remind you that it took the UK working with its allies 2042-days to defeat the biggest war machine ever created in World War II. Meanwhile, it’s taken 1,209-days (as of today) to get almost nowhere on the Brexit file. Pathetic! But the UK shares the blame with the EU as both seem to have a problem delivering on the democratic Will of the People.

Such democracies can only be seen as something less than pure democracies because they aren’t as responsive as they should be in delivering on the Will of The People.

Most Britons believe MP's had plenty of time to discuss Brexit

Most Britons believe MP’s had plenty of time to discuss Brexit. Image courtesy of USA Today.


The ‘Will of Parliament’ is Nothing Compared to The ‘Will of The People’

If UK politicians derive their political legitimacy from voters (and they do) then those politicians have agreed to be bound by the wishes of the people who elect them.

Democracy can’t work any other way because by any reasonable definition, any other way isn’t democratic.

So, why are these politicians using the power granted them by their constituents to pursue their own agenda, instead of doing the job done they’ve been hired to do?

And what more do they think can be accomplished that wasn’t accomplished in the 1209-days (40.3 months) since the 2016 EU referendum?

Yes, it is the remit of the government to decide ‘how’ and ‘when’ things happen, but it is not the remit of the government to decide ‘what’ happens — that’s decided by UK voters on election day.

To put it bluntly; ‘Policy and Procedure’ are decided by government while ‘Direction’ and ‘Empowerment’ are decided by voters.

For some inexplicable reason, these lines have been blurred in the UK to the detriment of democracy writ large.

As to how Britons view Parliament’s handling of Brexit, the same poll referenced above found British MP’s lacking; “The poll found 89 per cent of people said “all of Parliament” were to blame over the lack of progress in Brexit.”

Take note Parliamentarians! That’s a memo from YOUR EMPLOYERS — the UK people.

Theresa May: Out of the Frying Pan and Into 2019

by John Brian Shannon

Well Brexit fans, that was a year, wasn’t it?

Everything that could’ve happened, did happen — except for a 2nd EU referendum which (speaking hypothetically) if the Leave side won, might’ve put a stop to the complaining of Remainers who still can’t reconcile the fact that they lost the referendum 2 1/2 years ago. It’s time to move on, folks!

But what if Remain had won a 2nd referendum on EU membership, you ask? It would’ve turned it into a best-out-of-three affair that would’ve required another costly and divisive referendum to settle.

If the UK had unlimited funding and unlimited time — a best-out-of-three referendum scenario would’ve worked out nicely, wouldn’t it?

Just for the record, Brexit would’ve won it two-in-a-row, thereby preventing the need for any third EU referendum and Remainers (I’m sure!) would’ve thanked Brexiteers for saving taxpayers even more millions for a third EU referendum. Because for Brexiteers it’s all about saving UK taxpayer money. You’re welcome! Just another Brexit dividend.

Fortunately, as time is short, there’s no time for another referendum to ensure ‘The People’ voted the ‘right way’ and only the usual malcontents are holding placards and yelling at cars, because, well, they didn’t get their way!

That old democracy thing really sorts them out, doesn’t it? (“Why can’t I just get my way every time?” “Because, democracy.”)


Only 90 Days Until Brexit

Although UK Prime Minister Theresa May tried mightily she wasn’t able to get a draft Withdrawal Agreement passed in the House of Commons that would’ve allowed the UK and the EU an easier transition through Brexit and (bonus for the EU!) a £39 billion, one-time payment.

However, the EU is well-known for its last-minute 11th-hour deals, and nobody should expect the draft Withdrawal Agreement to be modified enough to pass in the UK House of Commons and be approved by each EU27 country until at least March 15th. That’s just the way they do things there. Hey, they’re allowed to use whatever negotiating ploys they want, as is the UK. All’s fair in love and divorce, they say.

In the meantime, Theresa May has but one option: Prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit with as much enthusiasm as she can muster, getting all of her departments moving in the right direction, and she must continue with the non-Brexit business of running the country — until the 11th-hour people want to talk again.

And they already know what they must do in order to gain a deal that will pass on both sides of the English Channel: It’s as simple as removing the Irish backstop, or putting a firm end-date on UK Customs Union membership. Either of those choices are fine.

And once that happens the UK House of Commons will pass the amended draft Withdrawal Bill with plenty of bipartisan support as party politics must step aside for the good of the country at such historical moments, and it’s likely the EU27 parliaments will pass it as well.

For EU countries, there’s not only continuing access to UK markets to think about, there’s that £39 billion one-time payment to gain or lose. And if they miss it they’ll have only themselves to blame because all it takes to obtain that £39 billion payment is a signed Withdrawal Agreement — and that means signed by both sides — the UK and each of the EU27 countries.


Steady-On, Theresa, Until the EU Get Serious About an Implementation Period + Withdrawal Agreement

According to the terms of Article 50, Brexit will occur on March 29, 2019 and it’s the default option — no matter what else happens or doesn’t happen in the meantime. If the Withdrawal Agreement never gets signed, Brexit will still occur. Let’s make no mistake.

However, Theresa May has no power to force the EU negotiators to the table in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial Brexit agreement. If they want a deal, they’ll show up prior to March 29, 2019.

But if they don’t, the UK gets to keep the £39 billion and spend it on the NHS and other important parts of the UK economy and the UK will be completely (and mercifully) out of the European Union governance architecture. Which might involve a little ‘short term pain for long-term gain’ for both sides.

Yet it’s coming out a little more each day that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario isn’t as scary as Project Fear has made it out to be. Let’s try to forget how wrong they were over the past 2 1/2 years. Nobody is listening to their ‘sky is falling’ toxic talk any more.

Almost every economic indicator in the UK is on the uptick since the EU referendum and a lower pound sterling works to make UK exports affordable overseas. Which is a very good thing for British manufacturing — a sector that has fallen to less than 10% of UK GDP since the 1970’s when it contributed 25% to UK GDP.

One of the best things about Brexit is that the UK will again forge its own trade relationships with the rest of the world instead of being tied to the EU economy which has fallen from 25% of global GDP in 1993 to 11% of global GDP in 2016, and is projected to fall further to 9% of global GDP by 2020.

While we should wish the EU27 well, it’ll be a breath of fresh air for British exporters to finally leave the bloc. Yet, let’s hope the UK can leave the EU on good terms, with a decent Withdrawal Agreement that’s acceptable to all 28 nations, and with a CETA-style trade agreement.

Anything less than that minimum level of success would be a case of leaders on both sides of the English Channel shooting themselves in the foot.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!