Brexit and the Three Pigs: A Modern Fairy Tale
Over objections of Theresa May, the UK parliament will vote on two Brexit amendments in short order,
Amendment 1: Pigs are permitted to fly, but only from zero to 10 feet off the ground.
Amendment 2: Pigs are permitted to fly, but only at heights greater than 20 ft above ground. Under this proposal, pigs will ride 20-ft high escalators where they are fee to launch flight as long as they do not fly below the 20-ft level.
The amendments are contradictory, but both will pass by a wide margin.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sponsored amendment number 2. His pig wears a banner that says "No Hard Brexit" despite the mathematical and legal nonsense of the idea.
Supporters of Amendment 1 include Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary. She wants a free vote on an amendment drafted by a cross-party group of senior MPs to extend Article 50 until the end of the year if there is no agreement on Brexit by a certain date.
Dozens Ready to Quit
Rudd's pig flies under the banner "I will resign if pigs can't fly".
Moreover, Rudd says Dozens of ministers ‘ready to quit government’ if pigs cannot fly.
Ms Rudd said 25 to 40 members of the government wanted to vote for the amendment and could resign if they were banned, according to The Times.
One Tory MP told the paper: “Amber is telling Downing Street to make it a free vote on behalf of lots of people [and pigs].” Another Tory source added: “If they don’t do this pigs will resign."
As with Corbyn's pig, it is not the UKs right to demand anything. The UK has to ask for an extension and the EU has grant it.
MPs can demand pigs be allowed to fly, but that will not make it so.
There is yet another flying pig proposal. It's called the Norway-Pig. It has a variant called the Norway-Plus Pig.
One of the biggest proponents of the Norway-Plus Pig is Conservative former minister Nick Boles.
Norway-Plus means joining the European Free Trade Area EFTA, which also includes Switzerland.
The Norway Pig and its Plus variant are customs pigs. They have the disadvantage of not effectively leaving the EU while not having any voting rights either.
The Norway Pig does not fly either.
Norway Pig Rejected
The Guardian reports Norwegian Politicians Reject UK's Norway-Plus Brexit Plan.
The [Norway Plus] plan was rejected by Heidi Nordby Lunde, an MP in Norway’s governing Conservative party, and leader of Norway’s European movement. She said her views reflected those of the governing party even though the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, has been more diplomatic by saying Norway would examine a UK application.
Lunde told the Guardian: “Really, the Norwegian option is not an option. We have been telling you this for one and a half years since the referendum and how this works, so I am surprised that after all these years it is still part of the grown-up debate in the UK.
“If, as I understand, UK politicians do not want to be ruled by regulations coming from other countries, why would they accept a country with 38,000 citizens like Liechtenstein being able to veto regulations that the UK wants. That would be the reality.”
Lunde accurately states the UK would not want to be overruled by Liechtenstein, nor would Norway or Liechtenstein want to be under the foot of the UK.
For the Norway pig to fly, all four EFTA countries would have to agree. At a minimum, Norway expressed strong doubts.
Simply put, the Norway pig does not fly.
My Pig or No Pig
Theresa May already delivered her response to these pig challenges.
She told Rudd, Corbyn, and Boles, "Either my pig flies or no pig flies".
And that where we are despite the fact that none of the pigs can fly.
The only non-pig is a WTO-Brexit. Alas, it is momentarily and perhaps permanently grounded in common sense.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock