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  1. As for EU membership, the actual rules on joining are pretty straightforward: to apply you just need to be a European state and agree to some basic principles of respecting the rule of law, treating minorities equally and so on. You then need an unanimous agreement of the existing EU members and a majority vote in the Parliament. Beyond that it's up to the existing EU member governments whether to impose any special conditions or allow any exceptions to the existing treaties. Everything's open to negotiation. They'd have to work out what their membership contribution would be (and might not get the UK's special rebate), and they probably wouldn't get the UK's current opt-out on some justice issues. Technically all EU members have to join the Euro, except for Denmark and the UK which had opt-out. Scotland could negotiate that. In practical terms it's actually irrelevant as there's a massive loophole in that even if you legally "intend" to join the Euro, you can't join the Euro until you've first joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (which means you agree to keep your currency within a specific range of exchange rates with the Euro), and joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism is completely voluntary, so you can delay joining the Euro forever. In principle, joining shouldn't be a problem. The main barrier would be if Spain wanted to veto membership for fear it could encourage Catalonian independence. It said last year it wouldn't do as long as Scotland left the UK legally.
  2. From what I've read/heard, the most likely scenario is that Sturgeon formally requests the power to hold a referendum, which Johnson will presumably refuse. The Scottish government would then go to the Supreme Court and ask it to rule that Johnson acted unlawfully in refusing it. If that fails, they'll start the process for a referendum, which would prompt the UK government to go to court and say they were acting unlawfully in doing so without getting the powers granted. The Scottish government would hope the court rules that in fact they don't need to be granted power and have the right to do so independently (pardon the pun.) All that said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the SNP don't wait until the Scottish Parliament elections and campaign on a manifesto that simply says "We will hold an independence referendum" and hope to win a majority on that basis, which might make it politically and legally harder to refuse the referendum.
  3. Just for some perspective, remember that it's not that the entire Northern population has suddenly lurched to the right. On average it's about one person in ten moving from Labour to Conservative or Brexit Party. It's massive in its electoral effect but it's not a huge cultural shift. (And the same applied when people in southern towns were won over by Blair.)
  4. This makes no difference under the system we have, but it's kind of insane that Labour actually got more votes yesterday than it did in 2005 when it won a majority of 66.
  5. An informative but depressing thread:
  6. Looking at the potential Labour leaders, Angela Rayner seems the best bet, even by default. She's the only person I can see who meets the two main criteria, namely win the leadership with the current Labour electorate, then not get the absolute piss ripped out of her by the cast of Gogglebox.
  7. I fear Johnson has already won the 2024 election.
  8. They're forecast to get 46%. Add the Brexit Party in and it's almost certain the "leave without another referendum" side got a minority of votes. We have a shit electoral system.
  9. If there's a hung parliament it means mathematics no longer works.
  10. I'd tale no notice of this. Exit pollsters aren't allowed to share any details. And the Lib Dem vote there already collapsed in 2017.
  11. From Dann Read's constituency. Imagine going in here and still voting Tory.
  12. Note of caution on the "massive queues, must be high turnout" theory is that it could just be working folk trying to get it done before work, rather than dick about in the dark on the way back.
  13. @WeeAl I guess the closest thing you have to a choice in your seat is whether you think having a UUP MP would be a net positive given the only likely alternative is an MP who doesn't take their seat. For what its worth, historically they've supported the Conservatives when it comes to who forms a government and are officially a "we should leave the EU with a deal." However, they've also said the Johnson deal is so bad they'd rather have no Brexit. Most likely they'd not actively support Labour in a confidence vote, but if Corbyn did become PM they'd back a second referendum.
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