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Thread: The battle of Brexit!

  1. #1846
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Brexit, once the notice of withdrawal has been received (March 29, 2017), is not reversible. The "opinion" of British citizens - including Scots - does not matter in that regard. The UK has legally already withdrawn from the European Union, it is currently only stalling the deadline.

    The only option for the UK to continue to be a member of the EU would be to conclude withdrawal and then rejoin (immediately or later), although that would do away with any of the optouts, rebates and other special treatment the UK has enjoyed over the last 46 years. Subject to unanimous approval by all other EU members of course. Additionally one can under current political circumstances assume that once withdrawal is concluded the EU will remove the option to withdraw, as that was only inserted into the treaties based on British insistence in the first place.
    I don't believe that. They will say this now.

    EU wants to make it painful to leave but will readily forgive at a later date. How forgiving remains to be seen.

    All in beats any out.

  2. #1847
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Brexit, once the notice of withdrawal has been received (March 29, 2017), is not reversible. The "opinion" of British citizens - including Scots - does not matter in that regard. The UK has legally already withdrawn from the European Union, it is currently only stalling the deadline.

    The only option for the UK to continue to be a member of the EU would be to conclude withdrawal and then rejoin (immediately or later), although that would do away with any of the optouts, rebates and other special treatment the UK has enjoyed over the last 46 years. Subject to unanimous approval by all other EU members of course. Additionally one can under current political circumstances assume that once withdrawal is concluded the EU will remove the option to withdraw, as that was only inserted into the treaties based on British insistence in the first place.
    Not entirely correct on dates etc... The European Court said that the UK could unilaterally chose to revoke Article 50 and so remain in the EU just as was. Secondly should the UK seek membership at a future point after having left none can yet see under what terms that may be so to claim the current UK rebate etc would not be renewed in such a case is pure conjecture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    The European Court said that the UK could unilaterally chose to revoke Article 50 and so remain in the EU just as was.
    "The revocation must be decided following a democratic process in accordance with national constitutional requirements. This unequivocal and unconditional decision must be communicated in writing to the European Council." [Source]

    Couple points that make this problematic for the UK:
    - the UK does not have a codified constitution, and thus no national requirements on how to shape a democratic process.
    - the UK is not a democracy but a monarchy (parliamentary, but as long as the government can issue royal prerogatives the demos is not sovereign).
    - with the people that the UK elects to government any sort of "unequivocal" and/or "unconditional" statement is not possible anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Secondly should the UK seek membership at a future point after having left none can yet see under what terms that may be so to claim the current UK rebate etc would not be renewed in such a case is pure conjecture.
    Article 50 clearly says that upon rejoining a country is subject to the same rules as any other. The EU joining process has been streamlined quite a bit to produce more satisfactory results. Among them: no opt-outs, Schengen and Euro mandatory.

  4. #1849
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Couple points that make this problematic for the UK:
    - the UK does not have a codified constitution, and thus no national requirements on how to shape a democratic process.

    It is necessary for a constitution to be codified for one to exist. The English had a civil war on matters related to what the legal constitution was (the theory of the Divine Right of Kings etc) before the French Revolution or Germany even existed. The Constitution in England and the UK is comprised in a body of laws and legal precedents derived from tradition but that does not mean it is not a constitution or cannot be properly interpreted.

    Let me remind you of the root cause of the English Civil War (1642-51); it started because the King (Charles l) wanted to raise more money but was unwilling to call Parliament (for the first 11yrs of his reign). He therefore decided to make "ship money" a universal tax but this was by tradition limited to the coastal towns of the Cinque Ports (who also enjoyed a form of tax exemption such that the duties they collected on incoming good they could keep) and was by tradition limited to times of war. There was actually a court case about this which the Government (King) narrowly won but everyone refused to pay it. Eventually Charles l had to call a Parliament anyway and one of the first things they did was pass the Ship Money Act in 1640 which restated the position of tradition and enshrined in Magna Carta. The English were discussing - and ultimately fighting about these niceties of liberty from taxation long before the tricolour or Germany were dreamt of. I could also mention that Cromwell was elected to Parliament.


    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    - the UK is not a democracy but a monarchy (parliamentary, but as long as the government can issue royal prerogatives the demos is not sovereign).
    Holland, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark are also Monarchys but that does not make non democratic. Secondly nobody 'issues' royal prerogative; it is just as it say a prerogative - a privilege of the Head of State in just the same way as President of the US must sign a Bill passed by both the Houses of the US Congress before it becomes law. Nor was the demos - even in ancient Athens - entirely sovereign. There they elected a sort of Council to deal with day to day business but anyone of the Council could be prosecuted for just about anything. Demosthenes 'On the Crown' describes such a prosecution of Ctesiphon for breaking several laws (one of them being conferring a crown on Demosthenes). Demosthenes defended Ctesiphon and his speech is regarded as one the greatest pieces of oratory of all time. From this event in 330BC we derive the still valid truth that the freedom of the courts is essential in any constitution - no amount of codified documents with called 'the constitution' matter a whit without the courts and courts - all courts operate precedent - that is in line with their former rulings.

    But to say that the entire demos should execute the prerogative itself is itself unprecedented - Ctesiphon award the crown (leaf crown) in his capacity as an executive of the demos - the demos did not award it.


    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    - with the people that the UK elects to government any sort of "unequivocal" and/or "unconditional" statement is not possible anyway.
    Amusing... Let us suppose that what you say is correct. Now if this is true presumably they could not have "unequivocally" and/or "unconditionally" have invoked Article 50 in the first place - as would be required. So the whole Brexit process would be illegal. But the truth is that numbers are 'unequivocal' - and a majority voted to invoke Article 50. This is not a constitutional process but only required a majority of MPs to vote for it.


    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Article 50 clearly says that upon rejoining a country is subject to the same rules as any other. The EU joining process has been streamlined quite a bit to produce more satisfactory results. Among them: no opt-outs, Schengen and Euro mandatory.
    All negotiations are different and to argue about what may or may not happen at some future time must by it's very nature be conjecture.

  5. #1850
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    i wish the UK luck. i'm actually fairly happy with the way the Brit election turned out-- between a politician playing the clown and a bloody Communist, i'll take the clown.

    plus the said Communist didn't even have the courage of his convictions. "soft Brexit now and another referendum later, maybe" vs "get Brexit done".

    the latter might be the wrong choice but at least it -is- a choice.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #1851
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    From this event in 330BC we derive the still valid truth that the freedom of the courts is essential in any constitution - no amount of codified documents with called 'the constitution' matter a whit without the courts and courts - all courts operate precedent - that is in line with their former rulings.
    ... uh, no, we actually derive that from Montesquieu and his anti-republican pamphlets - trumping Locke's previous concept of laying the judiciary in the domain of the executive.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    between a politician playing the clown and a bloody Communist
    You do realize that by any sane standards Jeremy Corbyn is not even remotely a Communist?
    Last edited by kato; 28 Dec 19, at 15:51.

  7. #1852
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    ... uh, no, we actually derive that from Montesquieu and his anti-republican pamphlets - trumping Locke's previous concept of laying the judiciary in the domain of the executive.
    Where did Baron Montesquieu get his ideas from? Traditionally we hold ancient Athens, that sadly killed Socrates, as the first democratic state. But a democracy of the demos was the exception rather than the rule back then; all true Spartiates constituted the Spartan demos but they Ephors and two Kings - still the demos never itself entirely signed anything.

  8. #1853
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    It is necessary for a constitution to be codified for one to exist. The English had a civil war on matters related to what the legal constitution was (the theory of the Divine Right of Kings etc) before the French Revolution or Germany even existed. The Constitution in England and the UK is comprised in a body of laws and legal precedents derived from tradition but that does not mean it is not a constitution or cannot be properly interpreted.
    I’m no specialist of constitutional history, but I support kato’s first point.
    As you point out, we, humble Continentals and probably still half barbarians, lack the brilliant history of the United Kingdom in this regard, so we have difficulty in understanding what «* a democratic process in accordance with national constitutional requirements*» can mean in the UK.
    In particular in the last months we saw a Parliament refusing any deal and no-deal alike, so effectively prohibiting that the result of the referendum could take place*; we heard that a second referendum would be possible to negate the result of the first one*; we learned that the Prime Minister could prorogue the Parliament – oh wait, actually, he couldn’t.

    So we may have some reasons to be confused about that notion of «*national constitutional requirements*», and since Charles 1st or Cromwell probably did not have to deal with that questions about referendum, I’m not sure it can help us.


    That being said (and no more irony this time), the UK is apparently showing that it can get out of that tricky matter of Brexit and respect the result of the referendum without triggering a civil war, and that alone is remarkable.

  9. #1854
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    Salut Steph,

    I am a very humble Polish Ukrainian 'continental' but being the Granddaughter of Polish exiles (from 1939, WW2) was educated in la France and then England (from age 6). My point is that rules and customs alone - and the courts - are inherent in any idea of of a constitution. Nor is it necessary for a 'democracy' to have a codified constitution for there to be one - certainly ancient Athens at the time of Pericles never had any had any codified constitution but yet that is where our democratic ideal stems from (though it was not 'democratic' in the modern sense so for example there was a wealth requirement and no Ladies could vote, not to mention slaves).

    This whole codification idea, which is one of the big differences between English Law (also practiced in the US, Canada etc) and Continental Law derives from Justinian in the late 520s and 530s AD who 'codified' the old Roman laws laying down the law as the Emperor more or less thought it should be - including religious practice. The whole Corpus was immense and proscribed what could be done in almost every form of human activity. Justinian of course regained Rome for the Empire during his reign and unless you read Precopius's 'Secret History' was a great Emperor. Napoleon l imitated the Justinian codification with Code Napoleon while 'Emperor of the French' (which incidentally is a contradiction since to be an Emperor is to claim the rule of more than people).

    English law derives from an entirely different source though - from the first Anglo Saxon migrants to what became England. Loose communities of mostly farming settlers that acknowledged perhaps some local King but not much else. Thus custom became intrinsic in English law, the old law of gavelkind (where when a man dies the his land is split between his sons) was normal until the Norman invasion but the essential role of custom and thus later court precedent continued in England and is essential to English law still. Yes new forms of legal remedies have been invented - tort (negligence etc) is relatively new (dating from 1500s) and there have been court rulings that expanded rights of the people as well as decreased them. Nor, by the way, is this limited to England: the US has a codified constitution but the right to for a Lady to have an abortion is laid down by the court decision in Roe vs Wade. Even if you HAVE a codified constitution at some point the courts will be required to interpret it and those courts will follow precedent.


    But the basic distinction between English law and Continental Law - and why I support English Law - is English law essentially says "you may not do xyz" whereas Continental law says "you may do a-z as long as you do them like this." Judge for yourself which is likely to permit greater liberty.

  10. #1855
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    (which incidentally is a contradiction since to be an Emperor is to claim the rule of more than people).
    It is the correct use of the historical term imperator in the context of the republican spirit of the time in France, stemming from its original Roman Republic usage.

    It was also chosen to set itself apart from the imperator treating the country as a personal possession, as the previous royal titles in France did - Louis Capet was already forced to adopt "King of the French" in '91 in a move to constitutional monarchy. The concept is called popular monarchy, and today among European monarchies only in use in Belgium (since its inception in 1831). On the islands it was used in Scotland until 1707 - rex scottorum, King of the Scots.
    Last edited by kato; 03 Jan 20, at 19:49.

  11. #1856
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    Certainly I agree as to Roman usage of "imperator" which could be acclaimed for winning a battle and that our word 'emperor' derives from this, but I would argue, particularly in the later Roman era the 'emperor' normally held the title "Augustus" while a would be emperor 'prince' - the heir apparent - was a "Caesar". After the Empire was divided between East and West there were often two 'Augusti' and sometimes four 'Ceasars'. The fact that our word 'emperor' comes from a latin form of acclamation for a victor in battle does not change it's current meaning though - even if we should call riightly call such a person an "Augustus".

    I think Napoleon l was 'elected' as Emperor no? In that case your theory of 'of the French' rather than hereditory entitlement as 'King of France' would be plausible.

  12. #1857
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I think Napoleon l was 'elected' as Emperor no?
    The Senate voted in a law that declared him Emperor of the French. A referendum among the population was then held two weeks later on whether the title should be hereditary within the Bonaparte line.

    France used the popular-monarchist King of the Franks title from about 509 until 1190 (except for 814-888, when no reference was used at all); in 1190 the dynasty changed to the Capetians who styled themselves King of France and ruled until the revolution. In latin the title was identical - rex francorum.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I would argue, particularly in the later Roman era the 'emperor' normally held the title "Augustus" while a would be emperor 'prince' - the heir apparent - was a "Caesar".
    Vespasian was the one who introduced the "caesar title" for his two sons in order to secure their succession.

  13. #1858
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    I was aware that it was 'Augustus Vespansian', the Flavians who first introduced the sub Augustine title for Titus(?) - who I seem to recall massacred the Jewish revolt - the big hill where they committed mass suicide and so on. Of the 'Colosseum' is really the Flavian Amphitheatre but just built where the colossal statue of Nero once stood.

    Pretty sure though the French royal family changed after the last Valois (Henry lll) who if my memory is correct was briefly King of Poland but went home when his brother died or something. Civil war then ensued before a protestant (Huegenot as the French protestants called themselves) Prince of Navarre? Somewhere down on the Franco Spanish border and while being a cousin of the former - last legitimate Valois son of Francis ll - was a Bourbon. He is said to have converted to Catholicism on the basis that "Paris is worth a Mass" as I recall. Not sure you could call either the Valois or the Bourbon's legitimate "Capets" as the name was different but of the same extended 'clan' or derived from a single ancestor might be fair.

    Thankyou for your most interesting thoughts though. It is pleasant for me not to dispute with you for once!
    Last edited by snapper; 04 Jan 20, at 01:04.

  14. #1859
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Not sure you could call either the Valois or the Bourbon's legitimate "Capets" as the name was different but of the same extended 'clan' or derived from a single ancestor might be fair.
    Both House Valois and House Bourbon were sub-branches of Capet, actually founded around the same time. Both were considered "cadet branches" of Capet, i.e. lines stemming from younger sons. House Valois derives from Charles of Valois, second son of Philipp III; House Bourbon derives from Robert of Clermont, younger brother of Philipp III. House Valois took over from the "direct Capetians" in 1328 only a generation later.

    By application of Salic Law, Henry IV became king as the direct-most descending of the oldest surviving male line of House Capet.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Somewhere down on the Franco Spanish border
    Navarre is the eastern half of today's Euskal Herria, the part not in Euskadi. Basques, in short.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    He is said to have converted to Catholicism on the basis that "Paris is worth a Mass" as I recall.
    The "Paris is worth a mass" refers to Paris being held by the Catholic League of France and their Spanish allies at the time - along with about everything north of it. Following Henry III of Valois' assassination by Catholic terrorists in 1589 Royalist troops under Henry of Navarre effectively were besieging Paris from the south for the next four years in a standoff. The League in Paris was attempting to convene to find a counter-king in the meantime, which Henry finally thwarted by announcing he wished to convert and started very publicly going through the steps to do so.

    Still took another three years for the catholic forces in Paris to surrender and another two years after that for all of France to fall under Henry IV's power. Twelve years later another Catholic terrorist finally succeeded in assinating him, on the 19th attempt after him announcing his wish to convert.
    Last edited by kato; 04 Jan 20, at 02:18.

  15. #1860
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    It’s nice to see people knowing so well Franch history here (although it's a thread about Brexit) ...

    I must just precise that the last Valois were Francis I, his son Henri II and then Henri’s 3 sons Francis II, Charles IX, and Henri III who died while besieging Paris.
    Kato is totally right about Henri IV, formerly of king Navarre which was one of the Spanish kingdoms before Ferdinand the Catholic grabbed it from its king, so from 1512 on the kings of Navarre reigned over a very tiny remaining bit of land north of the Pyrenees.
    Henry IV actually converted to catholicism in 1593, and while he probably never said that «*Paris was worth a Mass*», he may have thought something like that.

    He was a Bourbon, which originally means lord of the Bourbon region in central France, like the Valois were lord of the Valois region, north of Paris. And the cadet line of (Bourbon-)Orléans was likewise named after the dukedom of Orléans.

    Nobody before the Revolution would have called the King of France «*Capet*», after the end of direct Capetians in 14th century as kato said. But the revolutionaries abolished nobility titles, so they had to find a family name to Louis who was no more Louis XVI nor Louis de Bourbon. That’s why they found Louis Capet, as Capet can be considered as the family name of Hugues Capet (it means*: little mantle), and Louis was descending from this ancestor in male line. At the same time the Duke Philippe d’Orléans made himself Philippe-Egalité (which did not protect him from the guillotine).

    As for the Kings / Emperors of France / the French, you must remember that since 1789, we French are far less attached to tradition than the British or the Americans. We are fond of inventing new political regimes and new constitutions (even today we have some people who want a 6th Republic), and new symbols and names that come with them.
    The Rex Francorum of the beginnings was a barbarian chief chosen by his fellow warriors, and later a king recognized as the first among equals (the equals being the great noble families). Later on, calling themselves King of France was a mean to distinguish themselves and claim their right came from God, so they were not accountable to the nobles.
    In the first stage of the Revolution, we had a constitutionnal monarchy so the power of the king derived from the people, hence the term King of the French, which here means the entire people and of course not only the nobles.
    Napoleon I claimed he was the heir of the Revolution and his power derived from the people. So he could not call himself «*king*», neither «*of France*». Hence Emperor of the French, the term Emperor being also a reference to Cesar (the military genius) and Augustus (who brought the peace to the empire after a long civil war) as Napoleon claimed to end the internal struggles (which he actually did).
    When the Bourbons (Louis XVIII and Charles X) came back in 1815, they called themself again kings of France, so as to recall their divine right abandoned by Louis XVI. When the 1830 revolution expelled them and brought to power Louis-Philippe (the son of «*Philippe-Egalité*»), he called himself again king of the French, as his regime was a constitutionnal monarchy. He was himself overthrown by the 1848 revolution and Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected president. He then launched a coup and proclaimed himself Emperor of the French, exactly like his uncle.
    So the terminology was not so much a reference to the medieval or ancient origins, but a very important political symbol and a reference to recent political regimes.

    And with Napoleon III we are still just in 1852…

    In a country with so many revolutions you can’t expect that the judgement of a court will be considered a valid reference for the exercise and balance of power. That is why every new regime (down to De Gaulle’s 5th Republic in 1958) had to write his own constitution and make it adopt in some way or another. Fortunately, we have many examples from the past …

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