Monday 8 April 2019

Where we are today - heading to a delayed Brexit

The Solicitor-General, Robert Buckland, came clean on the BBC Radio Four’s Westminster Hour last night.
“Whilst I don’t pretend it’s ideal — I think there are some real drawbacks with it — it does mean we deliver the end to freedom of movement, and it does mean that we deliver the vast majority of the aims of Brexit. It’s not perfect, but frankly in this particular hung parliament none of us can get perfection. We need to compromise … Something approximating a customs arrangement or customs union I think would be the most likely outcome.”
A Labour source told the Sunday Times that they were happy to let Downing Street give the customs union a different name, (“Customs arrangement” and “customs partnership”?) to persuade Tory MPs that it’s not a customs union.

“They can call it ‘Alan’ if they want to. But it needs to have a common external tariff and comply with the WTO definition of a customs union.”
Rod Liddle, writing on Saturday in the Spectator, thinks the mess we are in is because Brexit is in the hands of a Conservative party three quarters of whose MPs are Remainers - and, also, not conservatives at all.
"If there were a few more Conservatives on the Conservative benches then the government wouldn’t have dreamed up a bill designed to inform infant school children about the undoubted joys of transgenderism, nor indeed voted for its passage by a huge majority.

I’m sure we all approve of Gramsci’s famous long march through the institutions, whereby facile and yet authoritarian liberal airheads have taken control of our media, judiciary, charities, teaching profession, universities etc, but they might at least have left the Conservative party alone. When was the last time this government did something actually, you know, Conservative?"
Rod Liddle is lifelong Labour, by the way, or was till they recently expelled him.

Peter Oborne, previously a strong Brexiteer, because he saw that the EU, although 'not anti-democratic' is un-democratic, now thinks we had better remain in it anyway.

“The Brexit project has gone sour. Brexit has paralyzed the system. It has turned Britain into a laughing stock. And it is certain to make us poorer and to lead to lower incomes and lost jobs. We Brexiteers would be wise to acknowledge all this. It’s past time we did. We need to acknowledge, too, that we will never be forgiven if and when Brexit goes wrong. Future generations will look back at what we did and damn us. So I argue, as a Brexiteer, that we need to take a long deep breath. We need to swallow our pride, and think again. Maybe it means rethinking the Brexit decision altogether.” 

Fraser Nelson, editor of the Spectator, says the reasons he gave on the day of the referendum for switching from supporting membership of the EU to wanting to leave have not changed.

"As a former Remainer, I’m open to changing my mind if fundamentals changed. But I’m afraid the behaviour of the EU through all of this has underlined to me why I was wrong to have thought (as I once did) that it would change its ways."

Leave won in 406 constituencies as opposed to 246 that voted Remain, which is a landslide victory, but every day that passes reduces the authority of the referendum result. 

I think it is very possible that a long delay (which is likely to happen) will mean Brexit does not happen at all or at least not this time. 

Nevertheless, I think I agree with my friend Peter Oborne that we need a year's delay to sort this out. The Tory party does - it needs to find a new leader and a policy. Janet Daley says much the same.

Meanwhile the Labour party, which enjoys the luxury of being in opposition, will continue to play games for as long as possible. Coming down for or against a second referendum would split the party.

Local and European elections will help both parties concentrate and allow the electorate to return to the political stage and speak its mind. What fun that will be.

If Brexit does not happen this year or next the Tory party will probably be wrecked and our of office for decades, which in the short term means a far left, quasi-communist government. It will also mean a far right reaction.

If Brexit does happen and things go wrong it might lead to the same result.


  1. Rod is SDP:

    As of 2019, the SDP had one MEP and two councillors. It gained its first parliamentarian when Patrick O'Flynn, Member of the European Parliament for East of England, joined the SDP in November 2018. Prominent members include journalists Rod Liddle and Giles Fraser.,_1990%E2%80%93present)

    1. Ah yes he did mention this. This SDP is not the old one created in 1981 by the Gang of Four at the suggestion of David Steel. It's a new one. How time flies. The Rev Giles Fraser is not only a socialist but in the 1980s phrase a loony lefty. Like all 1980s loony lefties he wants to leave the EEC/EU.

    2. Rising like Lazarus is the Social Democratic Party, Lord Owen’s former party now run by ex-Conservative, William Clouston. The SDP is helped by the recent signings of Rod Liddle and Giles Fraser.

      Clouston says his pro-Brexit “red Tory-cum-blue Labour” party has seen a big rush in grassroots members and donors from the City. Until recently, most new members were Labour supporters, but now Tories are joining because of Brexit and, indeed, the threat of no Brexit.

      He also says the SDP has enough in the coffers to put up candidates in all regions if there is an election.

    3. The Conservatives have ex-SDP members like Lord Finklestein and the SDP leader is an ex-Tory. Please see my latest post.

    4. Toma do watch this - it is very funny.

    5. 'She's been trying to leave... The door says "push" she's pulling that thing...'

  2. Just sad something that reduces personal liberty. Losing liberty (freedom of movement) is always bad. And that's all it is.

  3. On the contrary, borders are essential if freedom is to be possible. What an uninformed Unknown.