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No-Brexit Day Redux

Remember when it was early December, and we were all in agony awaiting the first Meaningful Vote on May’s deal, which ended up not happening that month? That was only four months ago. If we have six more months of this, we’re not even halfway through the end of the beginning.

Read More · 12 April 2019 · Comment

Deal or No Deal? No Idea... Not Ideal

56 hours to go, and we still don’t know if we’re going.

Read More · 10 April 2019 · Comment

In Extra Time

Once again the UK is potentially days away from crashing out of the EU with no deal, with no clear path to avoiding it. Theresa May is in talks with Jeremy Corbyn about reaching a cross-party agreement which could trade away our freedom of movement and any chance of a people’s vote for some vague statements about post-Brexit negotiating aims. On Monday in Parliament Labour whipped in favour of three indicative motions to find a way forward, but not for Joanna Cherry’s crucial emergency brake, on which many of its MPs abstained. If we crash out because of that, or leave on the barest of terms with Corbyn’s approval, many voters will be abstaining from voting for Labour.

Read More · 4 April 2019 · Comment

The Hunger Games: Jokingmay Part 1

A BuzzFeed report on EU officials’ responses to the past couple of days of UK political developments has just the best punchline.

Read More · 29 March 2019 · Comment

The Wavering Middle

I’ve long thought that Labour’s switch to selecting its leader via a direct membership vote was a wrong turn, and that the next Tory leadership battle will be disastrous for the same reason.

Read More · 23 March 2019 · Comment

10, 9, 8...

Counting down the days.

Read More · 21 March 2019 · 2 Comments

Europe: The Final Countdown
With apologies. Lifted off.

18 March 2019 · Comment

The Wire

Two weeks until a possible No Deal, and we’re all having to twiddle our thumbs for five days until Meaningful Vote 3 to see what fresh hell awaits us.

Read More · 15 March 2019 · Comment

Manchester

At the beginning of last month my family and I caught the train down to Manchester for the weekend, to have a look around its vibrant mix of old and new buildings and attend some special events, like the CBBC tour at MediaCityUK and a Day of Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music. My son and I had been to Manchester before, but spent all of that trip looking at much smaller buildings, so this was effectively a first proper visit to the city itself. There was a good Martin Parr exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery; we saw Stephenson’s Rocket and the world’s first railway station at the Science and Industry Museum; and I finally got to see the Daniel Libeskind-designed Imperial War Museum North from the inside. I liked it all. Still didn’t manage a curry on Rusholme Street, though.

Here’s the compulsory gallery for Detail, this time posted within a month rather than after 1+ years. (With a few extra photos from last visit which have sat on my hard drive for seven, ahem.)

8 March 2019 · Comment

Breaking Point

With three weeks to go, Britain is unprepared for any kind of Brexit and unable to decide which way to turn, with May’s government operating under a cloak of secrecy and considering prolonging the indecision if parliament’s second vote on her Withdrawal Agreement fails next week. The endless Brexit lies have left us in an Orwellian nightmare, with some MPs receiving death threats every single day. Now new lies are doing the rounds of social media, as questionable money buys who knows what amount of under-the-radar campaigning in advance of a possible second referendum. Bookmakers, though, consider the odds of a second referendum to be worse than those of No Deal (5/1 versus 4/1 respectively), with the odds of the latter shortening.

Read More · 8 March 2019 · 1 Comment

Brexit Diary

I’d better post something to mark our penultimate month in the EU. Since the parliamentary votes at the end of January I’ve been resigned to the worst, and too ill for most of the month to pay the daily ins and outs much attention, but here are a few things I noticed and briefly commented on along the way.

Read More · 28 February 2019 · Comment

That Wasted the Week That Was

Another precious week has passed with no sign of progress on Brexit, as everyone waits for next week’s next parliamentary vote.

Read More · 26 January 2019 · 1 Comment

Meet the New Plan, Same as the Old Plan

Theresa May’s statement to Parliament yesterday about her Brexit Plan B was a non-event, after a week of even more floundering about than we’ve come to expect. Gina Miller has written about the need for MPs to use the parliamentary sovereignty that she fought for. David Lammy MP argues that even a Norway outcome would be lose-lose. A backbench effort to rule out a no-deal Brexit is supposedly supported in private by much of the government, who don’t want to do it themselves for fear of splitting their party. But might explicitly ruling out No Deal mean that May’s deal ends up getting through?

Read More · 22 January 2019 · Comment

Psychodrama

Tom Watson played a blinder in his speech to the House during the no-confidence vote. Just look at May’s laughter when he points out the impact of the past thirty months on EU27 citizens living in Britain. Nervous laughter, or laughter at the idea that she’s failed to give them reassurance, or outright indifference: whichever it is, it’s a terrible look.

Read More · 20 January 2019 · Comment

I’ve been thinking about what I’d say to Lexiters, and any other Brexiter who’s willing to listen, that might get past the whole “will it/won’t it be a disaster” debate with firmly held positions on both sides. I’m not sure it would help in most cases, but it might in some...

Read More · 17 January 2019 · Comment

The meaningful vote is due in something like six or seven hours, and the anticipation is hard to bear.

Read More · 15 January 2019 · 1 Comment

Two short sentences in a comments thread woke my inner satirist.

That’s an argument, not a story. A story gets an emotional reaction.

Read More · 11 January 2019 · Comment

The Neverending Brexit Endgame

Now that Christmas is out of the way, Parliament’s vote on the EU withdrawal agreement, delayed by Theresa May in December, is imminent. The ever-reliable Ian Dunt has explained Wednesday’s extraordinary events in the Commons, which came two days after a small group of Brexit supporters staged a yellow vest protest and three days after the government staged a fake traffic jam intended to show that we could survive without a deal, so there.

Read More · 11 January 2019 · Comment

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