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Can somebody explain Brexit in a few child-proof sentences?
195 votes

The EU is like a club that countries can join. The club has rules, one of which is called Article 50 and was written by a British guy. Article 50 says how countries can leave the club, and that it ...

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What is the capitalist answer to rail passenger transportation being non financially profitable?
118 votes

Japan is a counter-example. Rail is profitable there, not least because the rail companies don't just run the trains. Train stations become hubs, often with a shopping centre built around them (owned ...

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Why does the EU not seem to pursue technological independence?
Accepted answer
109 votes

The EU does pursue technological independence. For example, it has assembled its own satellite navigation system so that it does not have to rely on GPS and Glonass. The EU develops a lot of military ...

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Why is the UK so keen to remove the "backstop" when their leadership seems to think that no border will be needed in Northern Ireland?
57 votes

The leadership is lying. They know that a border will be required to protect the Single Market, but it's inconvenient for them because they have no solution to it. So they deny it and pretend that it'...

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Why doesn't Theresa May sack hard-Brexiteers from cabinet?
50 votes

May is in a very precarious, weak position which prevents her from firing openly rebellious MPs such as Boris Johnson. She called an election in 2017 which went extremely badly. She started with a ...

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What would the United Kingdom's "optimal" Brexit deal look like?
43 votes

The UK is going to suffer no matter what happens and likely break up due to brexit, so there is no ideal outcome for it. The statements made by the British government can only be understood in the ...

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Who are the 'establishment' in US Politics and what is their agenda?
39 votes

"The establishment" and "the elite" are just disparaging terms used to refer to people who have built up a political career by engaging with the established parties and systems. The accusation is that ...

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Why doesn't the EU now just force the UK to choose between referendum and no-deal?
37 votes

The EU could indeed threaten to only allow an extension if it was used for a second referendum, but there is a risk that some British people would take exception to being forced into that course of ...

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Why didn't Theresa May consult with Parliament before negotiating a deal with the EU?
Accepted answer
36 votes

After the referendum there was no requirement to consult Parliament on any deal, the government could have simply agreed it with the EU and presented it as the only option on the table - take it or ...

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What are the arguments in favour of Brexit?
35 votes

There will be no immediate benefits, or even in the short term. It may be possible to do trade deals with other countries that the EU would take longer to complete, but they are likely to be ...

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Why is the British government so determined to arrest Julian Assange?
34 votes

To save face. Allowing him to leave after spending millions of Pounds on effectively detaining him would be viewed as a loss by the government. It would also be a sign that people can evade the law ...

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What do hard-Brexiteers want with respect to the Irish border?
31 votes

The brexiteers don't really want anything regarding the Irish border. It's just a problem preventing them getting the hard brexit that they want, and since they don't have a real solution for it they ...

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Is there a benefit to limiting immigration to the UK?
31 votes

The BBC has a great overview of the impact of immigration on the UK. It uses a variety of sources and is in agreement with studies done on the subject. Immigration has been a great benefit to the UK ...

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Why are the Brexit trade talks held up by the divorce talks?
25 votes

The process of leaving the EU is governed by Aritcle 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This article requires the EU to negotiate the terms of the withdrawal on the basis of the Treaty on the Functioning of the ...

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Why do UK politicians seemingly ignore opinion polls on Brexit?
23 votes

The answer is slightly different for each of the two main parties (Labour and Tories) but boils down to trying to upset as few people as possible with an eye on the next general election. Consider ...

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Why restrict private health insurance?
23 votes

Universal healthcare systems can be harmed by competition from private healthcare, such as when the private companies pay more and make it difficult for the state system to recruit staff. It can also ...

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What is the logic behind forbidding LGBT conversion therapies?
23 votes

The notion that a person can "convert" their sexuality is mostly rejected by medical science and the LGBTQ community. People can of course be helped to understand their sexuality and gender, but that'...

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Why is May in charge of Brexit negotiations? What happened to the prominent Brexiteers?
22 votes

Other answers have given details of the history, so I will seek to explain the reasoning behind it. The Tory party has been divided on the EU since before the UK joined. Cameron was attempting to put ...

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Why does Boris Johnson seek to renegotiate the Brexit deal with the EU?
20 votes

The answer to this question dates back to 2019. Theresa May's government rejected the current solution, a border in the Irish Sea, and instead proposed a "backstop" that would keep the ...

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How long can a vote of no confidence against the prime minister be delayed or avoided?
Accepted answer
20 votes

The government has no obligation to allocate any time at all to a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister. There is no time limit, they can ignore it forever. The Fixed Term Parliaments Act ...

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What did the hard-line Brexiters (who quit May's government) want?
20 votes

The extremist Brexiteers want what is known as a "hard" Brexit, which involves at a minimum the following: The end of the jurisdiction of the European Court over anything in the UK The end of freedom ...

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Have issues surrounding the Northern Ireland border been resolved?
19 votes

The Irish Border issue has been temporarily resolved to the point at which the negotiations can proceed. When she was negotiating May described creating a border down the Irish Sea as something that ...

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Why is the SNP putting so much emphasis on currency plans?
18 votes

The SNP's long term goal is independence for Scotland. During the last referendum on the subject, the issue of which currency Scotland would use was an important point of contention. The legal ...

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In the backstop position will the UK be able to negotiate FTAs?
Accepted answer
17 votes

The UK will be able to negotiate deals, but would not be able to sign them once negotiations are concluded. It would have to wait for the backstop to end. In practice it is unlikely that major ...

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Explain for kids — Why isn't Northern Ireland demanding a stay/leave referendum like Scotland?
16 votes

Simply because the path to a referendum is very different in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Act 1998, a statute of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, provides that Northern Ireland will ...

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What would happen if the UK refused to take part in EU Parliamentary elections?
16 votes

The EU has powers, granted by the treaties that all member states are party to, to sanction countries that fail to provide their citizens with a fair and free democracy. Refusing to participate in ...

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Why is having border controls in Ireland so problematic for Irish nationalists?
15 votes

There are two basic issues. Border controls would reverse a lot of the progress that has been made with the Good Friday Agreement. Aside from the economic problems it would cause (many people cross ...

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What issue does the EU take with the UK's Chequers proposal?
14 votes

There are basically two issues. Firstly the single market includes the Four Freedoms: freedom of movement of goods, services, money and labour (people). The UK wants access to the single market with ...

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What's the point in holding a second Brexit referendum?
14 votes

The EU and some individual member states have gone on record saying that Article 50 can be revoked. The author of Article 50 agrees (and he is British). So it can be stopped. Even if stopping were ...

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In Brexit, what does "not compromise sovereignty" mean?
13 votes

It's a largely meaningless slogan that seeks to justify a "hard" brexit, one that cuts as many ties with the EU as possible. Leaving the EU is a huge loss of sovereignty. The UK's ability to ...

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