THREAD on the leak that caused Sir Kim Darroch to quit
This is a theory from the very top of the civil service and diplomatic corps.
It’s an absolute classic of the British establishment.
The real target of the leak was not Kim Darroch but the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.
In recent months Sedwill has told friends that he would like to be named as British ambassador to Washington—as part of a deal to quit at the end of Johnson’s transition to PM.
By forcing out Darroch now, Sedwill is effectively excluded because he needs to remain as Cabinet Secretary until the transition to Johnson is complete. Instead, Johnson will now name a new ambassador within a week of becoming PM.
The claim from the pro-Brexit contingent in Labour is that once a deal is done, politics will 'move on' to domestic concerns such as the NHS. If the question is Brexit, the argument goes, the Tories are advantaged. If it's the state of the country, Labour will win 1/6
Even a basic understanding of Brexit reveals this to be nonsense. If the UK leaves, the clock will be ticking 31 Dec 2020 when we either conclude a new partnership for half our trade, extend the transition for £1b/month or enter the backstop. The argument will rage on and on. 2/6
Given May has already said she will go, Corbyn would be the only party leader going into a future General Election defending a deal that Leavers say isn't Brexit and Remainers say is inferior to EU membership. Pretty dumb as an electoral calculation. 3/6
Picture this: we’re holding a referendum on electoral reform. The question on the ballot says:
‘Should the United Kingdom keep the electoral system or change the electoral system?’
In the campaign, some people argue for PR, others say the House of Lords will be elected, some say it will be alternative vote. A few people at the fringe say it will be ‘fancy franchises’ where people with £100,000 in the bank or a degree get double votes.
The referendum says the UK should change the electoral system by 52% to 48%. The Govt says it’s solely a choice for the governing party and it uniquely knows the will of the people.
More and more of those on the right say we must enact the fancy franchises plan.
A short thread on illegal behaviour during the referendum campaign
1. It's absolutely true that illegal behaviour was found by the courts on the Leave side. Their actions were categorically wrong. The rules matter and the rule of law matters. It makes defeat more bitter.
2. I didn't emphasise this starting point on a podcast I did yesterday, and I should have done. Not least because I regard the whistleblowers as brave and courageous people whom I respect and admire--as well as having regard for the principles.
3. Nonetheless, it is still important to recognise that more resources and institutions were in support of Remain, and yet they still failed. The Leave side's actions shouldn't obscure or excuse Remain's failures.
If parliament backs a customs union in the indicative votes, why shouldn’t it back May’s Withdrawal Agreement?
First, let’s be clear: the backstop is a misleading name. In the absence of any known alternative, it isn’t a fall-back but rather the default.
Given the absence of alternatives for the Irish border, and the fact that the withdrawal agreement has no mechanism for exit and allows only for a one-time extension of the standstill transition, the backstop must be assessed as the future destination (see Robbins, O.)
But for advocates of a soft Brexit—including the Labour party—why should this matter?
The problem is the lack of control—too little attention has been paid to the risks of being within a customs union without a say.