Yasmeen: Hah, so about those seven MPs … now they’re 11! And they’re not just Labour folks; three Conservatives jumped ship, too.
In general, they’re all fairly moderate MPs who feel like their parties no longer have a place for them. And of course, none of them are happy about Brexit, either. All of them are supporters of the campaign to have a second referendum.
I wonder how people outside the U.S. and the U.K. view everything that’s happening these days. I mean, these are the two countries that the world looks to for how to run a democracy. Between Brexit and the state of emergency, it doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Elaine: Yeah! Things aren’t going great.
You have two supposed beacons of democracy in political shambles. While the U.S. seems to have avoided another government shutdown—*knocks on wood*—we now have a national emergency that could end up setting a really important precedent for executive power. I mean, a future president could declare a national emergency to fund a Green New Deal–type program, which conservatives would not exactly love.
Yasmeen: Meanwhile, Britain is the country facing what some might call an actual emergency (i.e., all the bad things that could happen if it leaves the EU without a deal, like food shortages), but is pretty much carrying on as usual!
Maybe the U.S. and the U.K. should trade strategies?
Read: Congress just wants to be left alone
Elaine: Um, yes! That sounds a bit more dire that what’s happening here, which is basically a ... formal scolding.
The House of Representatives just passed a resolution to block Trump from using emergency powers to build the wall. If it gets past the Senate—and at least four Republicans will need to vote in favor for that to happen—most people expect Trump to veto it. That would be the first veto of his presidency, and Congress likely doesn’t have the votes to override it.
Anyway, while all this is going on, I’m hearing things about Labor (Labour?) backing another referendum? What does that mean exactly?
Yasmeen: Ah yes, the good old presidential veto. I don’t think that’s something that really exists in British politics. The Queen technically has one, but royal assent is basically a given.
Labour has indeed agreed to back a second referendum! It’s a big (and surprising) step, though it’s still hard to see there being much parliamentary support for it. As one Labour staffer told me, that may not be the point: Even if another Brexit vote doesn’t come to pass, at least Labour can’t be accused of not trying to secure one.
So basically, it’s just a lot of politics. In other major-shift news, May has opened the door for a possible delay to Brexit if her deal doesn’t survive a second vote. So Brexit could happen in 30 days, or not. We won’t really know until two weeks before it’s scheduled to happen.
Elaine: And we won’t really know what happens with Trump’s national emergency until the Senate decides to take it up and vote on it. So far, it looks like there are some Republican senators who may defect.
Wow. Two great democracies, two messy situations. Guess we’re ending on a cliffhanger.