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parliament talks brexit, rule of law, freedom of the press, and we’re none the wiser November 7, 2016

Posted by Bradley in : brexit , trackback

Among the many failures of transparency in this whole situation, today’s discussion of last week’s court decision, and the press reaction, is the one about not wanting to disclose to Parliament anything about the Government’s negotiating position that might prevent the UK from getting the best possible deal for the UK.

This sort of “trust us, we will do the best for you (and transparency would stop us doing that)” talk contrasts with the EU’s disclosure of documents relating to TTIP negotiations. Transparency isn’t inevitably seen as inconsistent with negotiation – at least when you recognise that you need to bring citizens on board with the results of the negotiation.

These parliamentary debates seem to be based on a rather different idea – that when the Government tells the people that it has negotiated the terms of a Brexit that are the best terms possible, or that the failure to reach agreement on such terms means that there will be a Brexit with no agreement on terms at all, that the citizens should just accept it. After all, the point is to do what a majority of the voters said they wanted, which is Brexit. It is politically impossible, seemingly to notice the Parliamentary failure to think through the details in the referendum legislation, or the massive fraud that was perpetrated on the citizens who voted.

The range of theoretically possible terms is vast – and to describe them all as Brexit makes no sense.

Moreover, it looks increasingly likely (and this would be entirely rational) that the only terms on offer will be those that offer the worst deal for the UK. The other Member States have every incentive to try to pick off every single part of UK economic activity they can. If they did not insist on the worst possible terms for the AUK they would be failing in their duties to their own citizens, and failing in their responsibilities to each other to do what is necessary to hold the European project together.

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