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December 20, 2019

Boris Johnson's Brexit Plan Passes This Time By a Huge 124 Vote Margin; Britain Will Leave EU on January 31st

Johnson's plan seems pretty weak tea to me, but I guess this is the best that can be done. (Nigel Farage took the position that Johnson's version of Brexit was weak, but better than staying in the EU.)

MPs have backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January.

They voted 358 to 234 - a majority of 124 - in favour of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which now goes on to further scrutiny in Parliament.

The bill would also ban an extension of the transition period - during which the UK is out of the EU but follows many of its rules - past 2020.

The PM said the country was now "one step closer to getting Brexit done".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to vote against the bill, saying there was "a better and fairer way" to leave the EU - but six of them backed the government.

Mr Johnson insists a trade deal with the EU can be in place by the end of the transition period, but critics say this timescale is unrealistic.

Meanwhile, Scotland wants to declare independence from the UK.

I'm in favor of all independence movements, especially in the US.

The people of Scotland have already rejected the U.K.'s political agenda, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says -- and now she wants them to vote in a public referendum on leaving the U.K. altogether. Sturgeon says she's sending Prime Minister Boris Johnson a letter formally requesting that Scotland be allowed to hold a vote on its future.

The last time they had a vote on independence, in 2014, Scotland voted with a 55% majority to remain part of the UK. But that was when the UK was part of the EU, which might have given Scotland some comfort. They don't like being dominated by their more successful southern cousins, and probably liked the idea that the UK itself was under the thumb of the EU.

Now that that's no longer the case, maybe they will vote to leave the UK, and join the EU.

At National Review-- which has decided to adopt a Trumpian attitude about its past mistakes, slanders, and credulous belief in conspiracy theories by refusing to admit any previous wrongdoing, calls the Brexit election a realignment.

One that appears similar to the one we've already seen in the US.

This was a realignment election -- and because of Brexit. There's been a debate in the Tory party between those (e.g., Tim Montgomerie) who believe that the Tory party could and should win a larger share of working class votes and those who thought (e.g., Matthew Parris) that this was mistaken since the working class is shrinking and there were more voters to be had from moderate conservatives in the well-educated classes. The election has decided that question in favor of those who wanted to go the blue-collar route. The Tories won in all social groups, but the swing to them in Northern working-class constituencies was larger than elsewhere and gave them a near-landslide. And that was for two Brexit-related reasons. First, Brexit was essentially a patriotic cause that appealed to both Tories and blue-collar workers; second, Lb>the contempt for Brexit and its supporters shown by the Labour Party and the left intelligentsia drove home the realization in the working class that they were despised by the very people who claimed to lead them. A realignment of British politics bringing the workers into a new Toryism would probably have happened anyway. Indeed, it has been happening slowly and gradually. But Brexit and this election have accelerated it.

I wonder when British conservatives will realize that a substantial faction of the "Conservative" party is itself resolutely anti-conservative and indeed the deadliest enemy to actual conservatism -- as we've now realized in the US.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:25 PM

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