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Leave or Remain? A 2019 Spotter’s Guide to MPs

Leave or Remain? A 2019 Spotter’s Guide to MPs

I had a conversation this week in which I referred to MPs as being Remain or Leave supporters, based on their 2016 vote. That person said, very reasonably, “Shouldn’t we be base things on their current positions, not on what they did in 2016?” That’s fair enough. People change their minds. And their are some MPs, such as Ben Bradley who may have voted Remain in 2016 but whose words and voting record since have been strongly pro-Brexit (though I’m…

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‘No car is better than a bad car’

‘No car is better than a bad car’

(Alice and Bob are buying a car. Bob wishes they weren’t buying a car. The reason they need to is because Alice has got a new job, which is further away from home, and for which she needs a car. Bob didn’t want Alice to take the job, as it means she’ll be home later, and the two of them discussed it lengthily and angrily – but in the end they decided that Alice would take it. Alice wants the…

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Where next for Brexit?

Where next for Brexit?

I was proud of our Parliament this week. Despite all the divisions, Parliament – primarily Conservative, DUP and some Labour MPs – came together to reject all the amendments that would delay or block Brexit and, as importantly, vote in favour of a clear way forward. By backing the Brady amendment, it is now clear to the EU that there is a deal, not so different from the one on the table, that the UK would accept. It’s worth saying…

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Predictions for a No-Deal Brexit

Predictions for a No-Deal Brexit

Many people are talking of leaving the EU without a deal as being a disaster. Even setting aside the obviously histrionic claims that it will cause millions of deaths, normally serious commentators – and many Remain supporting friends who I’ve discussed this with – are regularly using terms such as ‘disaster’, ‘catastrophe’, ‘severe economic damage’ and ‘untold harm’. We have of course been here before. Before the vote, we were told that a vote to Leave would, even before we…

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Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

I’ve tried not to give a blow by blow account of the Brexit negotiations. But with riots against Macron in their fourth week in France, our negotiations at an impasse and our government (perhaps) on the brink of collapse, it seems appropriate to draw some of these strands together. Macron Why talk of the riots though? Well, for the simply reason that Macron is the darling of the Establishment, that same coalition of multinational business, highly educated metropolitans, academia, big…

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Brexit Possibilities

Brexit Possibilities

It’s often difficulty trying to estimate probabilities, particularly when there are many different potential futures.  Availability bias means we tend to assign a greater weight to the options we’re thinking about, even if they’re actually quite a small sample of the possibility space. Brexit  at the moment lends itself to this, with a large number of options opening up in an increasingly unpredictable landscape. Complicating matters is that there are a lot of different paths to many of the options….

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Why don’t Remain supporters talk about UK citizens in Europe?

Why don’t Remain supporters talk about UK citizens in Europe?

One of the starkest aspects of how divided our society is currently, is in the way language can differ so greatly even on matters where people are in agreement. I follow many active Remain supporters on various social media platforms, most of whom are people I greatly respect, despite disagreeing on whether we should leave the EU. Every week I see dozens of tweets and posts expressing concern about the situation of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit. I struggle…

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Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

In my latest Conservative Home article I argue that we should support the Chequers deal – but only if we simultaneously ramp up preparations for no deal, to ensure no more concessions. I also consider the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, to show just how swiftly a country can be separated if the political will to do so is there. Read the full article here: Iain Mansfield: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and…

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More Deals and No Deals

More Deals and No Deals

In the discussions (on and offline) following my recent post ‘No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal’, one idea that came up a number of times was that there was a third option, to call the whole thing off. This was invariably suggested by people who had originally voted Remain. Whilst including this option would make a much less snappy television show title, it is obviously theoretically correct that this is an option. I will even go further: if…

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No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal

No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal

A simple statement, this nevertheless seems to cause consternation in the hearts of those who never wished to leave the EU. And yet it is trivially, self-evidently true. Leaving aside the utter folly of announcing any other policy – one does not get good results from a negotiation by telling the other side you’ll accept any offer, no matter how bad – it is obvious that there are some deals that are worse than no deal. The deal in which…

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