A medieval Brexit sophism

(With apologies to Burley, Buridan, Ockham, and PoV.)

Curtain opens.

Scene: the EU/UK Brexit negotiating room. PLATO, playing the part of the EU negotiators, is sitting at the table.

Enter SOCRATES, playing the part of the UK parliament.

SOCRATES: “In order to get change from Europe we need to demonstrate there is a majority in Parliament for something! That’s what we’ve done by voting for the Brady amendment!”

PLATO: “Great! So, what is the majority for?”

SOCRATES: “The majority of parliament voted for something!”

PLATO: “Yes, yes, go on — tell us what!”

SOCRATES, proudly: “We voted for…alternative arrangements!”

PLATO: “What arrangements?”

SOCRATES: “The ones that a majority in parliament voted favor of!”

PLATO: “Can you be a bit more specific? For instance, was a majority in favor of staying in the customs union?”

SOCRATES: “Nope, that’s not what there’s a majority for.”

PLATO: “For new technological solutions to the border — which, remember, don’t yet exist?”

SOCRATES: “Nope, not that either! Hahah!”

PLATO: “Are they the ones that violate the Good Friday agreement?”

SOCRATES: “Hah, gotchya! It’s not those either!”

PLATO, exasperated: “Then what, exactly, is there a majority for?”

SOCRATES: “There is a majority in parliament for something!”

PLATO, wearily: “Yes, so you said.”

Lights dim. Curtain closes

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