Second referendum

Realistically, how is this a good idea?

The 'tell them again' campaign will be as bitter, divisive and full of BS as last time. Probably more. Farage, Boris etc will whip up the feeling of betrayal. The positive aspects of the campaign are likely to be drowned out in a torrent of sh1t.

On the other side, Remainers aren't going to stop saying things like 'we told you so' and 'leave voters have died off anyway'. That poisons the campaign further. The many benefits of EU membership are likely to be drowned out. At the very least, Project Fear will be dragged out all over again.

When it's over (and I'd predict a 52/48 split for Remain) all that ill feeling doesn't just dissipate. What next?

we're all completely fvcked until the next referendum

 

Agreed clubbers but that doesn't answer my question 

I'd never put anything to the public again.  

question was "what next?"

 

I answered. maybe with a bigger picture view than you wanted though

 

A second referendum would be a bad idea, but still probably less bad than all the other ideas.

On the basis that the deal is deader than a doornail, we have a binary choice between no deal and remain. Obviously this is a disastrous outcome given that the result was almost 50/50 and a soft Brexit would have been the most sensible compromise, but you can thank the government for the catastrophic way they have handled this process since the moment Theresa May took over.

Although part of me now wants no deal because then there can be no question that the leavers got what they wanted, and will have to own their decision, the consequences are just too severe. And the country will be even more divided than it is now, because everybody's standard of living will suffer (except for the Jacob Rees Moggs of this world) and then leavers will simultaneously have to deal with their own lives being significantly worse and remainers going, "This is your fault! This is what you voted for!" for the next 30 years.

But having said that the people would be able to decide whether or not they wanted to remain in the EU, it would be catastrophic to simply ignore that decision and revoke Article 50. It would play right into the hands of the far right.

So the least worst option is to have a second referendum and hope against all hope that enough people have come to their senses.

there is a majority in parliament to remain (or at least to stop doing brexit and get back to important tory policies like trying to take tits off the internet), but it does not want to remain because there is a referendum result saying "leave" albeit by a margin that no leaver would have accepted as definitive had it been the other way around. 

there is no majority in parliament for any of the options actually on the table

a GE, at best wastes time and likely creates the same hung parliament with no PM able to push through a deal, at best, a GE results in a Corbyn government minus the moderates who have left to form TIG and fuck knows how that plays out (though query, could it actually be worse than the Maybot, Mogg, Johnson Rabb etc)

So it looks like the only way to punch through the chaos is a carefully crafted referrendum that asks the public something like, No Brexit/ May Deal/ No Deal although I'm buggered if I know how you structure that. 

Anna / Sumo - some very solid points there. Both of you seem to think soft Brexit is a non starter though. If it was a sensible compromise at the start why not now? Theres probably a majority in Parliament for it and it avoids the mess a 2nd ref would create. I don't understand why the Peoples Vote crowd cant see it.

I think the best thing is for remainers to say:

We want a second referendum.  We acknowledge there is a significant chance leave will win.  If leave wins then at least we can be sure we delivered what the people wanted.

 

This is in effect what Dominic Grieve is saying.

Yes, agree. As in it can be presented as the least worst option given where things stand. 

I am as ardent a remainer as any and even I have a democratic problem with soft Brexit (if we take that to mean membership of customs union (and effectively accepting the four freedoms)). 

If parliament can’t decide then it has to go back to the people. There is nothing anti democratic about that. 

Actually the one other thing that might work is if they get time to do the indicative vote thing, but I can’t see there being any consensus there either. 

I do not want Brexit headbangers like fartage in Brussels anymore, we need constructive meps, which is why I want the U.K. to leave

Tbf taking tits off the internet would be fairly catastrophic for rof

Vertigo that makes sense from the top but it wouldn't prevent the campaign on the ground from being as divisive as I suggest.

ZG what's your issue with soft Brexit from a democratic POV? Its Brexit after all.

Got nothing but love for remainers, but I 

cannot

stand

these leaver bitches.

which is why a 2nd ref with say 55% remain is not what I hope for

corbyns norway style plans suit me better

Both of you seem to think soft Brexit is a non starter though. If it was a sensible compromise at the start why not now? Theres probably a majority in Parliament for it and it avoids the mess a 2nd ref would create. I don't understand why the Peoples Vote crowd cant see it.

The main argument against soft Brexit is that from the leavers' point of view it is Brexit in name only / remain in disguise. It was never an ideal outcome but I think in the summer of 2016 it could have been sold as a compromise that was intended to bring both leavers and remainers on board. Unfortunately the way the situation has been handled since then has polarised both sides.

I think that yes, remainers (including me) do need to bear some personal responsibility for our attitude towards leave voters since the referendum. Calling people stupid and ignorant clearly doesn't help (and I don't think anyone believes it will help even when they are saying it). But I also believe that part of the reason why otherwise perfectly well mannered people have behaved in this way is due to a sense of frustration at being completely shut out of the Brexit process. The result was almost 50/50 but it has been all about delivering the will of the (17.4 million) people (and the 16 million plus all those who didn't get to vote can basically go fuck themselves).

After two years of saying that they would deliver what the 17.4 million wanted, and all the manifesto promises and red lines about ending free movement, no more having to comply with rules made in Brussels etc, to backtrack now and say we're going to do a soft Brexit after all would just come across as though we've tried to deliver Brexit, we've failed, we're too weak to admit it so we'll just do Brexit in name only and pretend we've delivered it.

It's all about presentation. In 2016, carefully presented, it could have been sold as a compromise. In 2019 it would just be seen as a cop out.

The other problem with soft Brexit at this stage is lack of time. We are two weeks from crashing out. Is it going to be possible to agree a long enough extension to get a mandate for, plan and execute a soft Brexit? I'm not so sure.

I am completely against a general election, but struggling to see any real downside to Labour's proposal for a permanent customs union.

Well first it depends on what you actually mean by soft brexit, but if we assume that it means membership of the customs union then we must also assume it includes acceptance of the four freedoms. So we’ll have no control over our borders or our trade policy. That is very much “not brexit”. 

So while it’s tricky to say what brexiters were voting for exactly, it can probably be agreed they were voting broadly on ending freedom of movement and an ability to set our own trade policy (ie no immigrants and “sovereignty”). That’s the undemocratic bit. 

Immigration has plummeted since the ref. Vacancies in jobs Brits can’t or won’t do have risen to the point of painful. It can be a non issue.

A second referendum wouldn't really change anything. Remain would probably win, but the divisiveness here would continue.

The Brexiters (thick variety) would say we've been cheated, but they don't really know how or why economically as things return to normal.

The educated Brexiters (I use the term loosely) would say why should we be governed by a few unelected people from Luxembourg or Belgium who want ever closer union.

The answer to that one is we don't. Flood the EU with Brits and change it. Many other EU Countries would be cheering us on from the sidelines because they don't like Brussels bureaucracy either and we're a big enough economy to do it.

That is the failure of British politics.

 

So while it’s tricky to say what brexiters were voting for exactly, it can probably be agreed they were voting broadly on ending freedom of movement and an ability to set our own trade policy (ie no immigrants and “sovereignty”). That’s the undemocratic bit. 

The problem there is that the leave campaign weren't made to define what leave would actually look like in any realistic way before the referendum.

I agree that immigration and sovereignty were key issues, but some leading leave campaigners did promote Norway and Switzerland as viable options, so it probably reasonable to assume that some leave voters did think that was what they were voting for.

It's not possible to deliver a Brexit that has all the elements promised by the various leave campaigners because most of those elements are contradictory. Neither is it necessary to try. This should never have been approached as a "winner takes all" issue in the first place.

48% of those who voted explicitly voted to maintain free movement, and an unknown percentage of the other 52% thought they were voting for a form of Brexit that would also have maintained free movement. A year later the Tories campaigned for a general election largely on a manifesto commitment to end free movement and they lost their majority.

I don't think there is any overwhelming, indisputable mandate for ending it.

Agree with most of that, but we’re an island with the mentality that brings. In corporate terms the EU is ripe for reform given the external pressures it faces and we can actually get a better deal if we stop navel gazing. Won’t happen of course. 

Yea but it won’t be a non issue on principle. 

My view is that if we can get the country to A remain position one way or another then govt can start doing what it will to try to deal with a fractured nation. As it is we’ve had 3 years of brexit paralysis and nothing else has gotten done. And if we brexit with this deal or no deal then it’s at least the same again. 

This is why I actually would welcome a labour govt at this point. At least they’d invest in schools and hospitals and stuff (to the detriment of the tax payer admittedly)

At least they’d invest in schools and hospitals and stuff (to the detriment of the tax payer admittedly)

Only if you believe the taxpayer doesn't benefit from schools and hospitals. wink

I loathe Corbyn but am starting to feel a Labour government would be better for the country at this point. They couldn't be worse than the Tories. And at least they have a coherent "permanent customs union" policy which means we could resolve the Irish border issue.

Chambers wants to flood the EU with brits so as to change the EU

m8 you do not have any politicians who actually UNDERSTAND THE FUCKING SHOP

and yes there is appetite for further integration in SOME fields, not all fields

It seems to me all about how it is presented.

1. You the people chose to leave

2.  At the time, nobody knew what terms we would be leaving on.

3.  Your government has spent the last two years finding out what agreement could be achieved and has obtained, in its view, the best agreement possible for leaving the EU.

4.  The majority of parliament have reached the view however that it is not in the national interest to enter that agreement.

5.  In the circumstances we are handing power back to the people and asking them whether they would prefer to enter the agreement and leave the EU or reconsider the earlier decision and remain.

I think that if we were to remain at this point we would have to keep a low profile for a few years until the Brexit shame has abated somewhat, and try to find some more competent candidates who actually speak foreign languages. (It's actually quite remarkable that the UK has had the level of influence it has in the EU, given how underrepresented we are in the institutions. Again, a home grown problem rather than the fault of the EU.)

And if you want to Flood Brussels with brits, then these brits will be part of the EU „bureaucracy“, iie admin

There won’t be a second referendum, there just aren’t the numbers in the house, besides TMPM won’t allow one. Given that extending art 50 has no value at all, and absent a second referendum the EU will not grant an extension. No party or person can improve on what has been negotiated already, so no deal brexit it is.

the EU want us gone now. And even if the taking of no deal of the table wins , the vote is not binding. TMPM will I’m sure deliver brexit no matter the consequences, she will not be moved in that ambition.

London is leading centre in Europe for both financial and legal services. We could easily effectively run both the ECB and the ECJ.

But the talented people can't be bothered.

ebtida, there is no majority in the house but the question is what the house will put up with in preference to a no deal.  If for example the EU will not grant an extension without the promise of a referendum, many in the house may come around to that.  They may even come around to revoking A50 without a referendum - this would be a constitution clusterfvck but they may take the view a constitutional clusterfvck is better than the sort of clusterfvck where people die from lack of medicine and businesses go under.

Agree entirely with that. 

Corbyn and McDonnell need a good kicking to help. 

LOL @ wise old uncle Chambers calling people thick again.

One eventual outcome I see is that Labour agree to support the withdrawal agreement on the basis that a referendum is held once the full trade arrangements are negotiated as to whether to proceed or remain. 

Chambers, of course we have plenty of people who are technically talented and knowledgeable.

The two major problems we would face are:

  1. Everyone in Europe is completely fed up with us and it would be incredibly tone deaf to say "we've changed our minds, we're remaining" and then immediately embark on an ambitious reform programme. We will need to keep our heads down and eat humble pie for a while before we are really welcomed back into the fold. (A new problem.)
  2. To work in the EU institutions you really need foreign language skills. To join the European Commission, British candidates would need to go through a rigorous interview and assessment process in either French or German. How many people do we have (however talented in other ways) who can do that? In other European countries just about any talented professional with the kind of skills and experience you are talking about can speak fluent English. (This is the same problem we have always had.)

Thnig is Guy, Labour is massively split between the decent types like Starmer, Cooper etc and the trots. How is that going to play out?

I would revoke Art 50. Leave voters are going to end up feeling betrayed whatever the outcome and this course of action best serves the interests of the UK and EU in the medium / long term.

Fred Titmus13 Mar 19 10:03

Anna / Sumo - some very solid points there. Both of you seem to think soft Brexit is a non starter though

__________________________________________________________________________

I interpret a soft brexit to be something along the lines of Norway or possibly more Switzerland, so no customs union but probably free movement. 

I think free movement is a problem for the leave camp because while not ever leaver is a manic racist every manic racist is a leaver. 

As I see it the crux of the problem for the UK is that for Brexit to be a "success" it needs to be done on a long term 10/20 year strategy of essentially building a new version of the EU out of the EFTA, which was the whole point of the EFTA when the UK set it up. I can see the eurosceptic scandinavians being wooed to EFTA if it was beefier and possibly places like netherlands, Lux and Austria (so places that, like the UK, are happy to make a ton of cash from very dirty money). 

A lot of places would take a decent alternative to the EU if it was on offer, but it needs to be something decent and not just a UKIP self frottage

Why do the interviews have to be in French or German Anna?

LOL @ pretty much anything coming from the goose. Arguments are not your thing these days and haven’t been for some time 

Because they have to be done in English, French or German and not in your mother tongue.

I know people who work at the Commission who were interviewed in English?! Maybe Scottish counts as a different mother tongue tho.

in fact none of them even spoke decent french when they moved

I miss those days :(

Lady Penelope13 Mar 19 10:45

Chambers, of course we have plenty of people who are technically talented and knowledgeable.

The two major problems we would face are:

2. To work in the EU institutions you really need foreign language skills. To join the European Commission, British candidates would need to go through a rigorous interview and assessment process in either French or German. How many people do we have (however talented in other ways) who can do that? In other European countries just about any talented professional with the kind of skills and experience you are talking about can speak fluent English. (This is the same problem we have always had.)

__________________________________________________________

Me, but I have the benefit of a scottish state education rather than the fix 30% scrap the rest English system

I am comfortable that my English is better than that of most English.

How is your Gàidhlig?

or would be if they did a GCSE in Gaelic

would be a bit weird tho

Yes, Anna, that is why the selection process is so unfair 

EVERYONE on the planet learns Englsh because it is a WORLD LANGUAGE 

So candidates from France Ireland  and Germany automatically have two languages under their belt 

Perhaps there should be a rule that everyone must learn Bulgarian or Gaelic, to level the playing field  

I know people who work at the Commission who were interviewed in English?! Maybe Scottish counts as a different mother tongue tho.

It might depend on what kind of contract they have.

Certainly for the concours (to become a permanent official) that was the procedure last time I looked into it, which was a few years ago admittedly. Irish candidates could take the concours in English by claiming that their mother tongue was Irish but it wouldn't work for Scots because I think the rule was that the language you were claiming as your mother tongue had to be an official language of the EU.

If you're employed on a fixed term contract then the rules might be less strict.

Lol at your serious initial reply but you pulled it back...

So candidates from France Ireland  and Germany automatically have two languages under their belt 

Well in the case of the French and Germans, not automatically, because they have to actually learn English as a second language. The same way you could learn French or German, if you could be arsed.

how is it tho Guy eh eh eh

I don't think they are always as strict as they say (and my understanding is that they were constantly desperate for UK applicants because we were always underrepresented)

Yeah, I reckon I could have got a job there quite easily.

How about Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Czech or Swedish?

A nonsense. The world speaks English.

The EU speaks lots of languages though, and only speaking one is a definite handicap.

I once got offered a job (just after my traineeship) without even speaking to anyone there. It was just a contract but still. Then I got an NQ job and turned it down.

Regret it now tbh.

although makes me a bit dubious about their operations overall tbf I mean I am much worse than I look on paper

You would be a bit fucked now though. You'd just have to hope you'd saved lots of those tax free euros.

lots of people speak Spanish, chambers

probably the best second language if you are properly global

I don't know many who are planning to come home (but yes I suppose it depends on whether I managed to segue into a permanent contract in the intervening)

there are lots of international organisations that aren't EU, though. Maybe would have been a ticket to the world!

edinburghy sigh

Which still annoys the French Anna. That battle for them has long been lost.

You can't go around the world and negotiate in anything but English.

if you only speak one language you will never know every aspect of yourself

a sad prospect

Well, you can, and people do, actually.

But the number of French people who can go round the world and negotiate in English by far exceeds the number of British people who can do much more than order a sandwich in French.

j'aime les sanwiches et j'ai un cochon d'inde qui s'appelle Fluffy

Heh at anyone thinking that the language requirement is for any practical reason.

It's pure ideology.  Proficiency in multiple EU languages is evidence that you are a believer.

And by the way, it doesn't stop at two. So don't think that you can scrape into a cushy life of French fries and mayonnaise through a crash course in Estonian to add to your Geordie

*****************************

Third language criterion for promotion – Art. 45.2

First promotions for officials in grades AST1 – AST3 – AD5

An increasing number of colleagues in the so-called ‘entry grades’ AST1 – AST3 – AD5 fails to get their first promotion although they have attained the required merits and seniority. Why? Because they fail to prove a sufficient level of knowledge in a third Community language.

What is this all about?

The Staff Regulations stipulate in their Article 45.2:

‘Officials shall be required to demonstrate before their first promotion after recruitment the ability to work in a third language…..’

Now, while this may not be a problem for many colleagues who arrive at the Commission with three or more active languages, others enter the institution with the required minimum of two Community languages. They need to arrive at level 6 of the Commission courses (or equivalent B2 in a language school) within their first two to three years in the institution, in order to become eligible for their first promotion. This is not always easy, and overlooked by some.

 

Getting to B2 in two to three years is not actually that difficult.

So they have loads of people with language degrees. That's nice. But a bit irrelevant compared to someone who spent their time doing good degrees in business, economics, engineering etc. and only really speak English fluently.

And could work anywhere in the world if they wanted. Fluency in French is unlikely to be a requirement.

People who speak only English but have it as their native tongue are by and large better at communicating with the world in general than people who speak several languages but don't have English as native tongue.   It is a myth that we are handicapped by not speaking multiple languages. 

chambers

forrins don't usually have a degree IN another language

they have a degree in medicine or engineering etc etc and speak a couple of languages as a normal state of being

having a languages degree suggests you are a turbo nerd linguist in other countries

So they have loads of people with language degrees. That's nice. But a bit irrelevant compared to someone who spent their time doing good degrees in business, economics, engineering etc. and only really speak English fluently.

This isn't actually true. Going to university to study foreign languages is something people do in the UK because they are told it will be useful to speak foreign languages and they fancy the idea of a year abroad. Also, so few people take language A-levels that it is relatively easy to get into a good university even if you aren't that bright, because they're crying out for bums on seats.

But go tell someone from continental Europe that you studied languages at university and they will probably give you a funny look and say, "Yes, obviously, but what was your main subject?"

British students who study, for example, law with French, or economics with Spanish, are only doing what nearly every intelligent undergrad in continental Europe is doing.

People who speak only English but have it as their native tongue are by and large better at communicating with the world in general than people who speak several languages but don't have English as native tongue.   It is a myth that we are handicapped by not speaking multiple languages. 

Also not true.

There is strong evidence to suggest that two non native English speakers using less than perfect English as their lingua franca will understand each other more easily than if one of them is a native English speaker merrily gabbling away in their mother tongue at top speed and using weird colloquialisms.

PS - if English is the only language you need, how do you explain the fact that so many people in Europe (and indeed around the world) learn other European languages as a foreign language?

may be your are right Anna, but depends on level of fluency.  When I have been in a multi lingual environment, either for work or pleasure, I have felt I had an advantage over most as English is invariably the lingua franca (irony).even amongst people where it is nobody's native tongue 

I have always felt language degrees are a bit of a farce - you don't need universities to teach you a language - you would be better off emersing yourself in the language.   Speaking the language fluently should be an entry requirement if you want to do Spanish or French literature.

 

I don't think we should be putting up barriers to entry to anyone who wants to study Spanish or French literature tbh.

Immersion works to an extent, but I think it works better if you have a solid understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of the language first, which is better learnt in a structured teaching environment IMO. Otherwise you can go to the country and immerse yourself but you are just a muppet who doesn't understand what is going on and can't talk to people. (And of course you will always find people who can speak English so more often than not you will end up falling back on that and then you are no longer immersed.

I don’t know why but I have an image of crouchy blathering on in English in a loud voice to no one in particular while all the forrins in the room look at one another with maitlis eyes

This went way off topic. 

Second Ref will not happen, its a terrible terrible idea and the leavers would win again. 

It would be even more pointless than reading Chambo's posts. 

 

its a terrible terrible idea and the leavers would win again

Even if they do, we will be in no worse a position than we are in now, and at least it will be clear that a majority of the electorate actually wants us to go through with this.

That means that when it all goes spectacularly tits up, they can't complain that this wasn't what they voted for because it literally was. Twice.

Presumably you mean third referendum, unless you are wiping the results of the second one from the records due to the irregularities.

delay for 2nd referendum just defeated by 249 votes.