UK parliament votes to delay Brexit

Britain's parliament voted Thursday to delay Brexit, giving the government breathing room after its repeated failure to gain approval for an exit deal with the European Union. The EU must also agree to the delay, but it will likely do so quickly to help Britain avoid crashing out of the bloc on March 29. However, all states must agree to the extension, and it isn't a done deal.

Mrs May says Brexit could be delayed by three months, to 30 June, if MPs back her withdrawal deal in a vote next week.

If they reject her deal again then she says she will seek a longer extension - but any delay has to be agreed by the 27 other EU member states.

A spokesman for the European Commission said extending Article 50, the mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on 29 March, would need the "unanimous agreement" of all states.

Parliament voted Wednesday against leaving the EU without a deal, after rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May's deal on Tuesday. Read the rest

UK Parliament votes not to leave EU without a deal

Ending the widely-feared possibility of Britain crashing out of the European Union without a Brexit agreement, Parliament voted narrowly against the no-deal "option" Wednesday evening.

MPs have voted by 312 to 308 to reject leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. It is not a legally-binding decision - and it does not rule out the UK leaving the EU. But it means MPs could now get a vote on delaying Brexit. That vote would take place on Thursday, and if it is passed - and the EU agrees to it - the UK will not leave the EU as planned on 29 March.

The vote increases the likelihood of a softer Brexit or even none at all, though it's anyone's guess how it will shake out. A vote to ask the EU to extend the UK's deadline comes next, but a new referendum, a general election and further negotiation with Brussels are all on various power-players' agendas. Prime Minister May may even try to save her twice-thrashed deal. Read the rest

This superb Straight Outta Compton/Brexit mashup is so good it nearly alleviated my Brexit anxiety for a fraction of an instant

As Theresa May continues to pilot the United Kingdom toward a catastrophic, epochal collision with the Brexit iceberg -- even as her ministers are busy slashing every available lifeboat -- Politics Joe have released a flat-out brilliant video casting the PM and her Minister for Ghastly Cosplay Jacob Rees-Mogg (that is, "Snoop Mogg") as the stars of a very Brexit version of Straight Outta Compton. Read the rest

British parliament rejects Brexit deal again, this time by 149 votes

Prime Minister Theresa May's "Brexit" deal with the EU crashed to defeat for the second time Tuesday. Even with the now-likely prospect of Britain exiting the EU without a deal (or not exiting it at all) the sprawling agreement fell 149 votes short in the House of Commons.

The PM said MPs will now get a vote on whether the UK should leave without a deal on 29 March and, if that fails, on whether Brexit should be delayed. She said the EU would need to know what use any extension would be put to. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister should now call a general election.

Despite weeks of constant negotiation, the deal was largely unchanged from the version defeated by an even larger margin two months ago. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has denounced May's strategy as "running down the clock" in hopes of forcing parliament to choose between her deal and oblivion, and the deal's time has run out. Read the rest

London's awful estate agents are cratering, warning of a "prolonged downturn" in the housing market

London's estate agents were notorious profiteers of the property bubble, listing on the stock exchanges and rewarding investors with soaring share-prices that reflected the human misery of a city where life got harder and more expensive every day, where communities were shattered, and where subprime lending and other sleazy financial practices helped to destroy the global economy in 2007-8, triggering more than a decade of crisis from which we have yet to recover. Read the rest

UK Labour party backs a second Brexit referendum

Jeremy Corbyn favors a public vote to ”prevent a damaging Tory Brexit.”

France fines UBS €3.7b for helping rich French residents launder more than €10b

Swiss banking giant UBS has been hit with the largest fine in French history: €3.7b, the result of a 7-year investigation of the bank's role in helping the wealthiest French citizens hide €10b from tax authorities. The fine is more than ten times larger than the next-largest fine in French history, when HSBC paid €300m over its wrongdoing. The fine represents 92% of the bank's 2018 profits. Read the rest

Tory voters: are you happy with your purchase?

British political satirist Jonathan Pie (previously) has a pointed question for Tory voters on the eve of the omnishambolic Brexit collapse: "Are you happy with your purchase? "Because this is what you get when you vote Tory." Read the rest

Prime Minister's Brexit plan defeated by 230 votes

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan was not expected to pass, but it was brutally murdered in a far larger margin of defeat than was expected: 432 to 202. This is the largest parliamentary defeat for a sitting government in history.

The options for the Brits now include a no-deal Brexit on March 29; desperate negotiations for a new plan; or asking for an extension from the EU while a fresh hell is organized, such as a new referendum or a general election.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately tabled a no-confidence vote in May's government.

"Time is almost up," wrote EU chief Jean-Claude Junker on Twitter within minutes of the lawmakers' vote.

May's plan, assuming she wins the no-confidence vote, will be to stall until all parliament can do is choose between a no-deal Brexit (widely expected to be a disaster) or a largely-unchanged version of this dead-on-arrival deal. And then they'll pass it, because misery is preferable to mortality. Read the rest

Parliament to vote on Brexit today

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal with the European Union finally comes before parliament for a vote today. The deal is expected to fall short, leaving Britain with several more difficult choices, but the margin of May's defeat will be a strong influence on which way it goes.

No-one really knows what will happen, but there's some agreement on the margin-of-defeat issue.

╔══════════════════╦══════════════════════════╗ ║ Margin of Defeat ║ Possible Outcomes ║ ╠══════════════════╬══════════════════════════╣ ║ May wins ║ Frankenbrexit ║ ╠══════════════════╬══════════════════════════╣ ║ 50 votes or less ║ EU offers concessions ║ ║ ║ Quick 2nd vote ║ ╠══════════════════╬══════════════════════════╣ ║ 50-100 votes ║ More negotiations ║ ║ ║ Late 2nd vote ║ ╠══════════════════╬══════════════════════════╣ ║ 100+ votes ║ No deal Brexit ║ ║ ║ Soft Brexit ║ ║ ║ General election ║ ║ ║ 2nd Referendum ║ ║ ║ Vote of No Confidence ║ ║ ║ Backbench rebellion ║ ║ ║ Currency collapse ║ ║ ║ Zombie horrorcaust ║ ║ ║ Global Thermonuclear War ║ ╚══════════════════╩══════════════════════════╝ Read the rest

Theresa May faces a no confidence vote today

Today, in a debate scheduled to run between 18h-20h GMT (10AM-12PM Pacific), Theresa May's Conservative Party will vote on whether she will remain leader of the party and thus Prime Minister. Read the rest

To save Brexit deal, Theresa May dropped an assault rifle ban

On November 28, Conservative MPs removed references to assault rifles from the Offensive Weapons Bill in order to win support for Theresa May's Brexit bill from the European Research Group -- the hardline, pro-Brexit wing of her party -- who are also pro-assault-rifle. The vote was supported by every sitting Conservative MP. Read the rest

Labour report on executive pay proposes giving customers a vote on compensation, ending share-based compensation for execs

Ten years of austerity in the UK have produced a definitive answer to the question: does austerity drive economic growth? (Spoiler: No) Read the rest

Yanis Varoufakis on capitalism's incompatibility with democracy

It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (previously) shows, the feeling is mutual. Read the rest

Watch the UK's Brexit negotiator explain his frank realization that Britain is an island

"I hadn't quite understood the full extent of this," Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab said, "but if you look at the UK and you look at how we trade in goods, we're particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing." [via James Felton]

Raab hopes to find a "bespoke arrangement" which "recognizes the peculiar, frankly, geographic economic entity that is the United Kingdom."

Islands, Dominic. They're called islands.

Read the rest

Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating Steve Bannon, including his Cambridge Analytica activities

The United States Senate Intelligence Committee is “pursuing a wide-ranging investigation” into ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon’s activities during the 2016 election, Reuters reports, and looking into what possible co-conspirators George Papadopoulos and Carter Page had to do with those activities. Read the rest

Britain's "nasty party" condemns its MPs' nastiness

As the Brexit deadline draws nearer and the UK Conservative Party continues to fracture over the catastrophic failure to achieve any kind of deal with the EU, Tory Members of Parliament have begun to shower abuse on Prime Minister Theresa May, warning her that she faces a fate similar to Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was assassinated by a racist Brexit supporter before the referendum, and warning May to "bring her own noose" to Cabinet meetings. Read the rest

More posts