Creating a stable government

The current position in the Commons should allow a stable government to be formed. There are 650 MPs. If you take out the 7 Sinn Fein MPS who do not attend, and the Speaker and three Deputies who do not vote, there are 639 voting MPs. 320 is a majority. The Conservatives have 317 (and 1 Deputy Speaker.)There are 10 DUP members, and one independent Unionist who are likely to vote with the Conservatives. That gives the government a majority.

In the last Parliament we regularly won votes by 40 to 50, well ahead of the nominal majority. It is difficult for the Opposition to get all its parties to the same view and then to get them all to turn up to vote. As the main Bill to be in the Queens Speech this time is likely to be the Repeal of the 1972 Act and continuity of EU regulations in UK law, there will be some Labour Brexiteers who will vote with the government whatever contortions Labour is going through. Labour fought the election on a Manifesto pledging Brexit, and agreeing this meant leaving the single market. They are keen to see employment laws from the EU transferred into UK law. On these bases they need to vote for the government Bill.

If they do as they promised the Brexit bill will sail through. If they play politics and find ways to oppose, the government looks as if it has enough votes. There is no need for the government to propose lots of contentious legislation to make life more difficult.


The arrangement with the DUP will not be a formal coalition, and will not entail Conervatives changing their views on moral and religious matters. They will want to be more involved in UK politics and have a strong dislike of Mr Corbyn for his past views on Irish matters.

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    An actuary with a mortality table might tell you something else. How long is going to be before you need to bring MPs in on hospital trolleys to vote like in the late 70s? That does not auger well for strong and stable government for the next four years.

    • Spratt
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      if it is Ken Clarke in the hospital the strength and stability on Brexit might improve

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Or Soubry, Green or any of about 1o0 other Libdims in the wrong party!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Brexit, in any real sense, is surely dead in the water thanks to May. Just as she initially wanted when she was lying to the nation that they had control of their borders through Schengen. This to trick them into a remain vote.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Dear Rita–What do wood-boring corkscrews have to do with it?

      • DaveM
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        You can get earth-boring augurs as well. Fracking?!

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Dear Dave–Did you mean what you just wrote?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Clearly you understood the meaning, so does it really matter?

        Having a single “right” spelling is essentially a socialist concept and restricts evolution in spelling. Do you think there should be a single approved accent too?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          Dearest Lifelogic–Yes it really matters–Baloney about spelling being Socialist. Spelling does not need to evolve at all (neologisms are another matter); and, Yes, very much do I think that accent matters, though I don’t know about ” single” or “approved”. Half the reason for seeking to control immigration.

    • Hope
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      We read Cameron promoting a soft Brexit. Why does he not realise he is a busted flush when it comes to the EU he is discredited by false claims and lies. He wasted our taxes to cajole, threaten and scare us JR to remaining. His lies remain with him. Why would he even think that his and Osborne’s current tantrums will change our minds. Good riddance. He now wants to side with Corbyn! Remember his bullying towards him! I still welcome a proper judicial investigation over his actions in Lybia which we and the world are re still suffering from today. As for Major, well we know how he tried to sell our country down the river in joining the ERM which caused lost jobs, business, and destitution. Does he want our living standards to be on parity with Greeks? JR, your party needs to wake up fast. Hammond needs to go he is becoming a distraction, unfortunately his talents are not worth putting up with his tantrums, alleged plots with others and rants about the EU. As they say fit in or f… off.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      By my rough calculation, given the rough MPs ages and their gender mix, you might get circa four/five deaths each year from the 650 MPs. But of course these are likely to be roughly evenly split between the Tories/DUP and the opposition.

      (Of course the EU is another fit of PC insanity decided (by law) that Men and Women have the same insurance risk now, though God does not seem to have heard about this yet)

      So they certainly need a leader who is popular with the electorate, is human, has an uplifting vision and can actually win by-elections (and indeed elections). We do not want a lame duck, robotic, ex(?) remainer, punishment manifesto pushing, red tape pushing, tax increasing, gig economy attacking, socialist leader with zero uplifting vision.

      Certainly not someone who wants to force workers on company boards, wants more religions schools, to restore fox hunting, to enforced gender pay reporting, to waste money on HS2, greencrap & Hinkley C and to build on EU worker “rights”. In short we someone in touch with reality, an understanding of economics and a brain. This would be a nice change after Heath, Major, Cameron and May.

      The only positive for May is that she is not a bad as Corbyn would be. Then again a Corbyn government would collapse very quickly and get replaced. With May we might have a slow, lingering death and then a John Major wipe out.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        LL “The Economist” paid an actuary to do the very same with Major’s government and remember his majority was around twice as what Mrs May had up until last week. Older readers will remember Callaghan getting his whips to bring in seriously ill MPs on trolleys to win a vote. Mrs May obviously likes the trappings of office. Its really quite simple for her to continue having access to them. Just recognise that neo-lib crony capitalism has had its day. Its as shop soiled as Corbyn’s socialism. If she wants to win all she needs to do is pick up the vote winning ideas that we talk about everyday. If you want to remain as PM it is as simple as that.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    If the Tories can keep Labour’s economic lunacy out of office for five years I will be grateful.

    I see that the dire failed PM Cameron is now calling for a soft (no) brexit.

    PM yesterday had some lefty female economist on suggesting the way to solve the deficit was for the state secotor to piss even more money down the drain as the private sector was weak! And why is the private sector weak? Because they are over taxed, over regulated, have expensive religious energy forced onto them and have to carry a bloated & largely inept state sector and the many feckless who cannot be bothered to work much, given the system thst pertains.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      Also much of the economy is a virtual state monopoly. The dire NHS, the BBC, much of housing and most of education for a start. Much of the private sector is so constrained by government lunacy and endless interference that it cannot be run very efficiently either.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Just taken my wife for a hospital appointment at a NHS hospital. Couldn’t fault anything. Clean buildings, efficient staff, appointment on time … it was excellent. Nothing dire about it at all.

    • matthu
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      For all that has been claimed about Gove, we had him on the radio talking about “climate deniers”. That doesn’t augur well for cheaper energy.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        That doesn’t augur well for cheaper energy.

        How do you measure the cost of energy? Remember London in the 1950s when we had cheap coal? Wonder how much it has cost to put a scaffold up and pressure wash almost every building in London.

        And then, of course, there is the human cost in terms of lives cut short. But I suppose that cost is not on your balance sheet.

        • stred
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

          Burning natural gas does not produce the pollution that happened in London and the rest of the UK in the 50s. Much of it came from domestic hearths. Even modern coal power stations have flue scrubbers, even if they emit more CO2. The cost of onshore wind is double that of gas to the consumer and the cost of offshore, which the government is pursuing on a large scale, is double that. This plus the new grid, curtailing of gas and wind when too windy, smart meters that don’t work and the advertising of them all go on the bill. The government also gets to keep the carbon tax on gas and clean coal.

          Meanwhile, diesel emissions and particulate pollution generally have been cut by a factor of 6 over 20 years and woodburning ‘green’ stoves cause an increased amount and internal cooking stoves in the third world kill far more people than anything else.

          • stred
            Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:25 am | Permalink

            Anything else in .the air

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        How can anyone deny “climate”? or climate change always has and does.

        Sensible sound scientists and engineers certainly question catastrophic anthropogenic, global warming – especially as there has been no significant warming for 18 years, the modelling projections are clearly proven wrong.

        Even over the last 100 year it is nothing remotely out of the norm.

        I understand Gove is actually more sound on this issue than most of our daft unscientific MPs. He does however go potty on occasions like when he called for VAT on school fees or when he knifed Boris and lumbered us with the socialist, ditherer, robotic May.

        • hefner
          Posted June 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          LL, be precise: how do you define the norm, one, two, more standard deviation of the observed temperature? point temperature at stations, regionally averaged temperature (UK for example), continent-scale temperature, globally averaged temperature? From which observing system, synoptic stations, radiosoundings, satellites, all of the above?

          Your statement being poorly defined has no value whatsoever.

    • Bob
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink


      “I see that the dire failed PM Cameron is now calling for a soft (no) brexit.”

      It looks like Mrs May agrees with Mr Cameron, as she loads her govt with Remainers.

      Maybe Gavin Barwell’s position as Chief of Staff will be reconsidered in the light of his poor performance as Housing Minister (esp. on fire regulations).

      • Ajay Gajree
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        What about Steve Baker?

      • NickC
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        As Guido says of Theresa May: “Why is May taking the axe to her Brexit team just days before the negotiations start?”

    • Richard1
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives need to start work on the next manifesto now, let’s hope there isn’t an election for 4 or 5 years, but we need to be ready for one. The manifesto should remember that it is free markets, supported by low competitive taxes, deregulation and free trade which generates prosperity. It’s not good trying to outflank Labour on the left as Mrs May seemed to be trying to do, Labour will always win an auction of fruit from the magic money tree. I hope clear thinking ministers and backbench MPs will be involved in this and there will be plenty of open debate. The process on the last manifesto with a couple of advisers and Mr gummer Jr writing it in secret was absurd and was asking for failure.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        One thing they need to be aware of is the ticking time bomb left behind by Osborne of his ending of bursary’s for nurses in September. NHS England already claims to be short of around 20,000 nurses. Who on earth is going to pay for their training when the job only pays around £25k? Plus you have to put up with the anti social hours, NHS management etc. Inflation is up, wages are declining in real terms. Mrs May does not want another “winter of discontent” on her hands to add to the late 70s narrative does she?

        • graham1946
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          The Tories have been shameful in this regard. We are one of the richest countries on earth, yet rely on poorer countries to train them and then we steal them to get nursing on the cheap. We must train and pay for our own, especially as it now seems we have used up most of the best in the EU and many are apparently unable to pass the language test to come here, so we are not going to get enough – there just cannot be an endless supply of top people even worldwide, so we are heading for trouble.. Tories know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. This will be bigger than any rubbish manifesto which will bite them.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          Why don’t the NHS England simply say that anyone working in the NHS after their training, the NHS will pay their 9% graduate tax bill, but if they work in the private sector after training or abroad they will have to pay their own student tuition?

      • Ajay Gajree
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Can’t see that happening until May goes, which surely she will before the full term is up and then at that point I call on the members out there to select a proper conservative as leader!

      • NickC
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t vote on the manifestos, I voted on who I thought could actually get us out of the EU. Nothing else is of the remotest importance.

        Theresa May had the mandate from the Referendum vote. In almost a year she achieved next to nothing. The election was substitution activity: she didn’t need it, and we didn’t need it. That, or she deliberately blocked Leave.

        Now that no party’s manifesto has won, the only actual mandate the government has is to bloody well leave. Mrs Maybe should have given 12 months diplomatic notice of the UK leaving the EU, then negotiated after, during the 12 months and beyond (time limited), as I have previously said.

        She still could. But won’t. She isn’t listening. Are you? I am sorry John, but if the Conservatives let us down over this again, your party will be finished for a generation. Why vote for you if Corbyn will give us just the same non-Brexit?

    • Hope
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      JR, 2015 until now was the only time in over 20 odd years the Tory party has been in power by itself. 2010 a coalition with Lib Dems because Cameron did not have the courage to go alone and then go for an early election. Like Harper in Canada.Now another coalition. There is merit in what LL says about your’s inability to select a proper Tory leader.

      Cameron has no right to speak about what should be done at the moment when he did not keep his word that he would enact the will of the people the day after the referendum. He previously falsely claimed he ruled nothing out etc. campaigned to remain using every public resource available. We now have people asking what sort of Brexit was written or planned. They forget Cameron banned any such plan being made! This was not an accident it was in case he lost the remain cause, which he did. Any shortfall in planning or explaining Brexit needs to be directed towards remaining Cameron. Another person is Osborne after he discredited the Treasury with coming up with a scare plan what it would cost, there would be an immediate recession etc. Two posh boys who did not know the price of milk having a tantrum because they failed and did not get their way. Best they go and cry to their parents, stamp their feet, jump up and down. Alternatively grow up and accept it is not all about them or daddy could buy it for them.

    • Media Mongol
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      You need to subscribe, in order to read the article. I am not going to subscribe to articles which I myself can write and indeed your good self could write and probably better. Many on here write better Comments than you see day-to-day in artcles in the media.
      If we had similar access to historic data and articles, we would put journalists out of work. What’s more JR is better in his writing than all of us. JR should create a London Evening paper. Osborne is nothing to beat. He’s a bad egg walking

      • hefner
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        “indeed your good self could write and probably better”. I agree that LL’s vocabulary is certainly 20 times better than Trump’s but that still makes only 100 words.

        • Hope
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Disagree. Trump uses a lot of strap lines so the press cannot twist interpretation on what he says and so that what he says is remembered. His campaign won a lot of people. How many people around the world using the Fake News mantra?

          Strong and stable went down like a bucket of sick.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Well, then, what a great pity that he lacked the guts and the integrity to do what he promised he would do by staying on as Prime Minister to see us out of the EU, then he could have tried to arrange Brexit to his taste rather than telling his successor what she should do from the sidelines. The sheer brass neck of these people – Cameron, and Osborne as well, and Major – beggars belief.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Just think, only a year ago today, Cameron and Osborne were, as far as their party was concerned, walking on water. Now they are in the dustbin of history and being rubbished. One minute politicians are sycophants trying to get noticed, then when it is safe to come out from behind the settee they get all brave. What a shower (present company excepted, of course).

  3. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Are you sure the likes of Soubrey and Morgan will vote with the party? The BBC were making it sound as though the DUP will only vote on their terms regarding Brexit. They also went on about Euro clearance houses being taken from London causing the loss of 80,000 jobs in the city. It is as though they are waiting for the second referendum on Brexit. I wonder why?

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Did Soubry and Morgan get elected with a different manifesto to the the rest of the Tory candidates?

    • Ajay Gajree
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      They voted for A50 I believe, and what is there to vote on now? Surely it is just a negotiation then that’s it (Or if failure out with no deal).

      Those stating we need a “Softer” Brexit to me would seem to be powerless unless they try to force the No Deal scenario.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Not only have we got the appalling speaker back again but I see that BBC favourite, and wrong on almost everything, Ken Clark is still there too (as Father of the House) not long back we had the dire Ted Heath in this role. Nothing ever seem to change much. I thought he was finally going to retire but alas not it seems.

    It is surely rather clear now that Parliament and the Lords will totally ignore the will of the people over Brexit, As I always expected them to. Any real Brexit is surely now dead in the water due to Gove’s knifing of Boris and May’s total incompetence, her punishment manifesto and her robotic, zero vision, socialist, election campaign.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Radio 4, needless to say, is to have Ken Clark on this morning shortly and the great Labour intellectual “thinker”, Rebecca Long-Bailey too. Should be good for a laugh, I suppose.

      The BBC is largely responsible for the dire, lefty state of politics and government in the UK, they distort politics hugely to the EUphile, big government, climate alarmist, PC left and they do it every single day.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      LL. Makes you wonder if the stabbing by Gove and the appointment of May weren’t constructed to defy Brexit and the will of the people. I, like you never thought we would really come out. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.

    • Ajay Gajree
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      I cannot share this pessimism, A50 is surely not reversible, ironically Gina Miller has consolidated that as her case insisted Parliament needed to vote on A50 which both houses did!

      I suspect most on this site could live with no deal!

    • rose
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      But, LL, did you notice this am that Ken Clark said we would definitely be leaving the EU and that we should put the DUP in charge of the negotiations? He has never said anything like this before. What is he up to? Does he now want to lead us out?!

  5. alan jutson
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    So long as the government is sensible with its policies and frugal with its legislation, then the opportunity for opposition will be limited.

    Your biggest problem will be with Brexit and trying to keep your own remain MP’s in order if the EU will not play ball with sensible negotiations, then no deal (WTO terms) would really be better than a bad deal.

    Can I suggest that whilst the government goes about its normal business, someone sensible in the Party starts to make a note do some research and give some thought to some progressive and attractive ideas to put in the next manifesto, so that it is not a panic document drawn up at the last minute like the last one.
    Just in case we end up with another election

  6. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    The big flaw in your argument John is you are assuming all the Tory MPs will vote with the government on contentious Brexit matters – Sourby, Clarke, Scottish Tories and co. That seems very unlikely.

    • Ajay Gajree
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I can see that argument when it comes to changing the EU law that we transfer into UK law, but the power to do so will be there and will probably be better done by the next parliament.

  7. Mark B
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Even with a majority in their own right things are never easy. I mean, look what happened over the budget. I believe the PM called this election to get more MP’s and to nullify this threat. If so, it has backfired. The Legislature and Opposition has never been more powerful. The PM and Chancellor are going to have to watch their step 🙂

    • graham1946
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I don’t mind that. Too much power in the hands of too few gets us the crazy ideas like the Tory Manifesto into law. Had she got her landslide that’s the reality we would be facing. I have always thought PM’s have too much power and not enough brake, mostly because those who can use the brake are too concerned with their own advancement. I am more concerned with the tail wagging the dog and how much dosh is going to be poured into N.Ireland just to support a PM on the way out anyway. No doubt another magic money tree will be found to do it.

  8. eeyore
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you JR for this summary of the arithmetic. As you said the other day, the electorate shows no wish to entrust power to one party. It’s fair to interpret that as a distaste for bold and provocative legislation, even under free votes. Fox-hunters will have to wait.

    There’s clearly a distaste too for further austerity. Mr Corbyn offered a programme of wild financial imprudence and found it went down very well with a certain sort and age group. I quite like the idea of taking them at their word. Their elders will get the benefit but they’ll pay the bill.

    Then when Mr Corbyn enters office there’ll be no money left and he’ll have to practise austerity. That’ll teach him. What’s not to like?

    • graham1946
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the austerity is the main problem, although is has gone on too long and should have been sharper and quicker. I think what killed it was the revelation that the money saved by the plebs via lower wages and higher taxes, lousy services etc. would be going to pay for tax cuts to big corporations and the rich. The penny dropped with the public, it now needs to with the Tories.

  9. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Time for the Conservatives to go into coalition with Labour on the Brexit negotiations. The differences between the parties is not as great as they pretend – both want to honour the referendum result, get the best deal for the UK, preserve tariff free trade, a soft Irish border. The objections I’ve heard that Labour put up to the Tories on Brexit appear artificial – like they are concerned about worker’s rights being watered down afterwards.
    The real opposition on this matter is the bureaucracy in Brussels and a combined front led by David Davis and Keir Starmer (who seems to be a clever guy) will have the overwhelming support of the Commons.
    Brussels hates and despises democracy – don’t let them take it away from us again!

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I’ve got news for you,the British Establishment,cut from the same cloth as the Euro-elite (if not interwoven with it),also hates democracy.We haven’t yet got it back for them to take away again.

    • stred
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Starmer is a Remainer lawyer and may be clever at taking both sides at once but totally untrustworthy. With Corbyn proposing to keep vanity projects and raise taxes, with land tax tripling for those of us in over- valued houses and in the capital-rich income- poor bracket, we would be better off back in the EU run by lying capitalists than bonkers Marxists. EU restrictions would curb his plans, which is why he wants us out.

      If young people want to stay in, they can have bigger national debt but less personal debt from uni fees and a collapse of house prices. All the foreign holidays would be much more expensive though. France is trying to undo Hollande’s taxes while the UK is doing its best to follow him, with massive youth unemployment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      As you say “Brussels hates and despises democracy – don’t let them take it away from us again!”

      So did Heath, Blair, Brown, Major, Cameron, Clegg – they all resisted giving the country any say in the EU, until finally Cast Iron Cameron and his side kick Osborne were forced into his sloped pitch punishment budget referendum.

  10. Caterpillar
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    If we do not leave the Customs Union we have not left the EU, and may as well not. Yes there needs to be a system for keeping and growing frictionless import/export, and agreement must be early to allow businesses to adjust supply chains, but the soft Brexit still in the Customs Union is no Brexit.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Frightening media reports that Hammond aims to stay in Customs Union – if we cannot leave the CU we may as well stay in the EU. This needs to be sorted in the media narrative. Staying in the CU stops us being global. What is wrong with media / top conservatives?

  11. stred
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    What’s the betting that Sinn Fein turn up to spite the DUP, to say nothing about Tory MPs who are determined to ignore the referendum result?

  12. matthu
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    And when we have Hammond joining the likes of Cameron, Major and Heseltine all creeping out of the woodwork again in speaking out about the need for a “soft” Brexit – we should be looking for a new chancellor.

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Cameron and Gideon acting as rear guard for Brussels. A period of silence would be welcome. Why would Labour assist you over Brexit. It’s an ideal topic for bringing down the government.
    Labour have to be careful as many who voted for them will retreat back to UKIP if they vote for free movement.
    I think it’s true what Brummer says in todays paper. A soft Brexit is no Brexit. A very dangerous time for calling another snap election for both parties.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Long-Bailey was as clear as mud on the Labour “Brexit” position (just now on Radio 4). “Impediment free access” (to the single market) seems to be Labour’s new buzz phrase.

    Unforunately the EU is nothing but endless “impediments” to almost everything as is government in general. They are like a malignant tumour of bureaucrats cells that feed off the creation of endless “impediments” and regulations. That is just what bureaucrats do, they create parasitic jobs for more bureaucrats and inconvenience the productive at every turn.

  15. Doug Powell
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    JR, the opposition parties are the least of all clean Brexiters worries! More frightening for the implementation of a clean Brexit is the Enemy Within. I am thinking of the EU Commissars for various UK constituencies. Can you imagine many of them voting to end the SM & CU? – They would sell their souls to Juncker!

    Making good on the Referendum will be a defining moment for the Tory party. If it fails, or fudges, JR, you could find yourself leading the party after the next election with as many as 6 followers – if you are lucky!

  16. agricola
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope it works. Wishing for Blancmange Brexit is fantasy.

    If you stay in the single market, you are in the EU
    If you stay in the customs union, you are in the EU and cannot negotiate worldwide trade agreements.
    Accepting either of the above and being in the EU means you accept unlimited immigration from the EU.
    If you are in the EU to the extent of accepting all or any one of the above you accept the ultimate authority of the ECJ. You therefore have no national sovereignty.

    True Brexiteers want none of the above. We want absolute sovereignty for the UK and the freedom to conduct ourselves in World markets as we see fit. The EU has the option of continuing with a free trade arrangement or reverting to WTO rules with agreement on other areas of cooperation which make sense. There is no form of EU jurisdiction over the UK that I would accept, and nothing we need to bargain away to achieve this that is an accepted norm in international law. Voices off suggesting otherwise are voices for remain that cannot accept the will of the British people as expressed in the 2016 referendum. Do not allow yourselves to be mislead.

  17. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The problem sits on the Conservative benches. I despair that seemingly intelligent people can pretend that leaving the EU does not mean leaving their internal/single market, customs union, ECJ and having full control of our own borders. At least Mrs.May has recognised this and is to be commended for that. I would suggest that if she ultimately resigned on this issue her reputation would be largely regained for trying to carry out the will of the people in the Referendum. Maybe the necessity for an early election should be blamed on Clarke, Soubry and others. I expected shenanigans after 23/06/16 from many MPs but not so many Conservatives now in and out of the Commons.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Norway is in the single market. Norway is not a member of the EU.

      You do not understand the options. Please grow up and stop reading the Daily Mail.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Norway is bound by rules and regulations of the EU without having any say in their creation.

        I buy “The Times” and read “The Telegraph” on line.

  18. Mick
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink
    Mrs May had better not be thinking of trying to keep us in the dreaded eu, I voted OUT and I knew what I voted for, I want to be no part of the eu in any form, you keep hearing from the London leftist snowflakes who want to keep us in but that would be nothing compared to the voice of millions across the country if she goes against the people who voted out

    • agricola
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Should Mrs May go for half Brexit it would be her second big mistake. It would totally re-vitalise UKIP with support beyond the 4 million they got in 2015. The electorate having realised that current politicians could not be trusted would look for an honest alternative.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry too much, the door may still be open but not all doors are the same:

      “Britain is welcome to change its mind and remain in the European Union, but can only stay on poorer terms, a senior EU official has said.

      Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, said that Brexit can be halted, but if Britain reversed course it should not expect to keep getting its EU budget rebates or opt-outs from key EU rules.

      He told the parliament: “Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, spoke about an open door. That if Britain changes its mind it would find an open door.

      “I agree. But like Alice in Wonderland, not all the doors are the same.

      “It will be a brand new door, with a new Europe, a Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real powers and with unity.””

  19. Richard1
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I think we will have to accept a softer, squishier Brexit. As pointed out here, ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ is essential for a good deal. That is no longer credible, and if asserted will not be believed by the oppo given the new Parliament. Had there been no deal, it would have been essential to move to a radical free enterprise economy, possibly including unilateral free trade, in order to Make the UK competitive post ‘hard’ Brexit. There’s no majority for that either now.

    So there is a need to change tack. The Govt should approach negotiations in a cooperative spirit and say we know we will have to make concessions, so come up with something sensible. The first issue will be the EU’s demand for a ‘divorce’ payment. If they ask for £10bn the govt should say fine. If they ask for £100bn they should say sorry, we need to go to Parliament. Then there should be an open debate on how much we should pay – a sort of Dutch auction until there is a clear large majority amongst MPs. JR will argue for zero, the LibDems presumably for whatever the EU asks. But with an election at any moment, most MPs will be cautious over how much of our money they vote to hand over.

    Then the same should happen on the other key issues – what concessions to make on EU immigration and about acceptance of EU laws and regulations. Establishing a negotiating position in public is of course sub-optimal as that’s then the starting position for the EU, but it also means there is much less flexibility to make further conditions. If we end up with a Switzerland type deal, paying much less than now, having full unfettered access to the single market, having some controls over immigration, the ability to make free trade deals elsewhere, and some ability to get out of the worst EU laws then we will be better off than now. Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    Reply An excellent recipe for chaos and a bad deal

  20. MikeP
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Sinn Fein MPs were at Westminster yesterday, sizing up office space. Looks like you may not be able to rely on them not voting in future. Though whether they’d swear allegiance to the Queen is another matter.

  21. forthurst
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “There is no need for the government to propose lots of contentious legislation to make life more difficult.”

    So we don’t want to hear any more about preventing opinions and factual knowledge contrary to the official public discourse as promulgated by the the lying MSM (stopping ‘terrorists’ using encryption). Incidentally, has anyone seen any, any at all, CCTV footage of any of the recent ‘terrorist’ events?

    • hefner
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Do you want or not to prevent the Tory MPs from using their encrypted WhatsApp Messenger mail? They might need it to ensure a strong and stable start to the EU negotiations.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Even MPs deserve a bit of privacy although I concede that reluctantly but not if thay want to spy on us.

  22. Peter Wood
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    For those wishing to ‘get on with leaving’, perhaps a little more patience? The good news is that the ECB is running out of firepower to keep the weaker EU nations from falling off an economic cliff. (perhaps this why Brussels is seeking a departure tax from us..) If the pundits are correct, the euro/EU collapse will occur within our remaining 21 months, so all we have to do is wait it out and not waste time on pointless discussions.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Ken Clark just now on radio 4, “we actually had an excellent coalition under David Cameron”. Well, perhaps “excellent” if you have pro EU, big government, high taxing, red tape pushing, climate alarmist, anti business, IHT and cast iron ratting, EUphile, anti-democratic, tax, borrow and piss down the drain views like Ken Clark, Cameron, Osborne, May, Rudd, Green, Greg Clark, Nick Clegg, Soubry, Hammond, Morgan and the rest I suppose.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Lord Greg Barker(Lord help us!) was on the Emily Matliss daytime Newsnight election special on Saturday.He said he would have liked a coalition with the Liberal-Democrats and,if May has to go,Amber Rudd in her place.

      My jaw dropped.Can someone please put this clueless party out of it’s misery!

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I thought Ken Clark had a good point to make.
      Opposition scrutinising government works well when there is a big majority, but in a hung parliament it threatens to bring down the government.
      Time for the MPs to eat umble pie and start a dialogue, rather than engaging in pointless contradiction and political point scoring.
      Can’t understand his affection for the EU though.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      @LL; But if that’s what the majority of the electorate want….

      Oh dear Mr LL, you still don’t seem to understand (or do) democracy. 🙁

      • Edward2
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Only a few MPS voted against Article 50.

        Both Labour and Conservative manifesto documents said leaving the single market wold happen.
        That’s a big majority of MPS and voters.

  24. Duncan
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    It is so important that the EU referendum result is respected. Anything else will be seen as a circumvention of democracy by a political elite. We now look to politicians like yourself John with an abiding respect for democracy to force May and the europhile Hammond to respect the wishes of the British people and get us out of this political and economic straitjacket that is the EU even if that means threatening a civil war in the tory party.

    The people want Brexit, not this nonsense termed ‘Soft Brexit’ but BREXIT

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I second that Duncan as I’m sure many others will too. British democracy will look very weak in the eyes of the world if they fail to deliver. We have voted now get on with it.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I hope John is right . The stability in Government is desirable and necessary if we are to have a credible and respected place in the world . It does mean that the Government is going to have to look over its shoulders with most of its moves , consult more and be aware of the “rumbles” that do occur . This is , by no means , a comfortable position for any leader to be in and “tip-toeing” around will imply delays and watered down legislation .

    Frankly I do not expect Theresa to last it out . She has been torpedoed . Any leader who has made the sort of errors as she has will be subject to criticism and doubt at every turn . On the other hand it is difficult to see who another leader could be of the Conservatives . For the time being she has to remain in place , suffer the consequences and then step aside at the right moment . It is a tricky time and we can only hope for the best .

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Bert, yes, let’s hope she doesn’t leave us in the lurch like Cameron did. He is the cause of all this mess. He didn’t keep to his word but then did we ever expect him to?

  26. bratwurst
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Minority governments do not usually survive very long. May sought a mandate to deliver “strong & stable government”. She didn’t get it. She destroyed the (small) conservative majority & lost whatever mandate she thought she had.
    Despite this May seems to believe it is still “business as usual”. Think she is in for a rude awakening, if it hasn’t already begun.
    We have formal Brexit talks due to start next week – the government appears to be unprepared, has no plan and only a wish list of undeliverable objectives.
    The conservatives, for the time being, remained in government only because the alternatives were so dreadful. Next time may be very different (in a bad way).

  27. JoolsB
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Except Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have said they intend to bring the government down by voting against every measure. Can’t see it lasting the year, hope I’m wrong. Why remainer May didn’t get on with Brexit a year ago was a huge mistake. Hopefully Labour will stick to their word on leaving the single market otherwise if you have to depend on your own side to get Brexit through, you might struggle with the likes of Soubry, Morgan & Clark.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    But… we HAD a stable government… we HAD a mandate !!!!

    DUP ? Who are they ??? I can’t be bothered to look up.

    Brexit is just sooo over, John.

    Remain are right to say “May called a general election to shore up a Brexit means Brexit mandate and ended up losing her majority.”

    This has happened because Remain are allowed to dictate who our leaders are. They also control the BBC.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      It also happened because May was in on it.

      Delay after delay to enable Remain to work out strategies. And when the Miller case failed more delay in the form of a General Election we did not need – including the most laclustre campaign in political history from May, and a completely enervated youth vote for the cult hero Corbyn.

      The future is Eloi being harvested by Morlocks.

      The ‘enemy’ in this country are the demonised white, over fifties English conservatives. Loathed even more than ISIS (and even they are given some sort of romantic freedom fighter status) any outrage is quickly followed by fear of the more evil white backlash (which never comes.)

  29. Prigger
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    “Creating a stable government” The last one was not stable. Mrs May said so. Hence, the Election.

    Mrs May does not do stable government.

  30. Len Grinds
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    You are not telling the truth. The Labour manifesto – at page 24- declared it would retain “the benefits of the single market and the customs union”.
    Only two parties promised to leave the single market – the Conservatives and UKIP. They did not secure a majority of seats. It follows that the will of the people is to remain in the single market.

    Reply The official Labour position was to leave the single market

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      reply to reply

      JR, surely you are not suggesting that Labour may tell porkies, or express opposite views in different publications to get more votes are you !!!!!!

    • Richard1
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      The EU has been quite clear that you cannot ‘retain [all] the benefits’ of the single market and customs union without being in the EU. this is why Labour have now made it clear they favour leaving both. It is very difficult to see what difference there actually is now between the official positions of the two front benches on this issue.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Len, it does not follow that the will of the people is to stay in the single market. You have to only take account of the referendum vote and that was to come out. The general election saw young people vote for the freebies on offer from Labour and had nothing to do with the single market. If they couldn’t be bothered to vote in the referendum then that was their lookout. I want my vote counted.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      @JR reply; Do you really think that Labour would not take political advantage once your party has formed a government by getting their Queens Speech and perhaps Budget through, unlike your own party Labour will then not be held to their manifesto, they can and no doubt will change their polices to suit the current situation that your party presents. Being in opposition is surely reactionary to the governing manifesto by definition, not their own!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Len Grinds, listen to Barry Gardiner from 23 minutes in here:

      “Is Labour still committed to leaving the single market?”

      “Yes, because it’s absolutely clear that the single market is actually the internal market of the European Union, if we leave the European Union, which we are committed to doing, then we leave the internal market and with that we can’t have a deal where there is single market, or internal market, without the four freedoms.”

      And, he continues, the EU has made it clear that membership of the single market will not be offered without all four of those freedoms being accepted; which is actually what Theresa May has repeatedly said, right up to her Article 50 letter to Donald Tusk:

      “Since I became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom I have listened carefully to you, to my fellow EU Heads of Government and the Presidents of the European Commission and Parliament. That is why the United Kingdom does not seek membership of the single market: we understand and respect your position that the four freedoms of the single market are indivisible and there can be no “cherry picking”.

  31. Shieldsman
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Has anyone read the Labour Manifesto? The Media have definitely not.
    In it they accept – Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union. Britain’s immigration system will change, but Labour will not scapegoat migrants nor blame them for economic failures. Whatever our trade arrangements,we will need new migration management systems, transparent and fair to everybody. Working with businesses, trade unions, devolved governments and others to identify specific labour and skill shortages. Working together we will institute a new system which is based on our economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements. This may include employer sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix of all these which works for the many, not the few.

    There is the acceptance here that uncontrolled migration (freedom to reside and work in another members State) has been to the disadvantage of the UK Citizen and placed additional strain on the infrastructure. All this was previously pointed out in major speeches by Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper, but they did not know what to do about it. Brexit made the decision for them.

    Nowhere is there any mention that I can find of the EEA or the trading relationship they would negotiate. They say we would have fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single market and the Customs Union.

    The EU accounts for 44 per cent of our current exports and will continue to be a priority trading partner. As our trading relationship with the EU changes it is vital that we retain unrestricted access for our goods and services. Labour is committed to the rules-based international trading system of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    But, isn’t this what our current Government seeks to negotiate?

    Sunday 11th June, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC:
    “The Single Market is a requirement of EU membership and since we won’t be EU members there will have to be an arrangement made.”
    Sunday 11th June, Shadow Chancellor McDonnell on ITV (asked about membership of the Single Market):
    “I can’t see it even being on the table in the negotiations, I don’t think it’s feasible.”

    A Corbyn coalition with the SNP and LibDems would not last five minutes, they are poles apart on Brexit.

  32. Michael
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    How can one have a stable approach to BREXIT with that slacker Hammond as Chancellor?

  33. alastair harris
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Quite right. The BBC seem to be in major melt down mood over this. Alastair Campbell has blown a gasket, and Mandelson is tying himself up in a gordian knot. So good to see a more balanced perspective.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    “If they do as they promised the Brexit bill will sail through.”

    Maybe through the Commons, but there are already noises that many of the Lords will not accept that the Salisbury Convention applies.

  35. Antisthenes
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    How long the current Conservatives can govern under this new arrangement will depend on a number of factors some known and some as yet unknown. Future events are going throw up all kinds of difficulties and obstacles that will create intractable problems if not adequately dealt with which will lead to the necessity of yet another election and the likelihood that Corbyn will enter no 10. Past events suggests that our current prime minister and a few of her ministers are not up to the task of dealing with the problems that lie ahead and may in fact add to them.

    The current prime minister needs to be replaced quickly if the Conservatives stand a chance of continuing to create the economic and social environment that best serves our needs. If she is not then it is highly likely that the left will replace the Conservatives in government and the environment that they create will be one that one would not wish on their worst enemy.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Did students get two votes or not ?

    I know my boy did !

    What are the checks ? Is there any way that the student vote could have been corrupted ?

    This is the only way I can see out of this mess.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink


      Most students seem to get two cards, one at their official family home, another from their town of study if they live there.

      I guess the same would apply to second/holiday home owners as well.

      The postal vote is also the one to look at if we are thinking possible concern for democracy as this element seems to grow election after election.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps the solution to the student vote is to give them a postal vote based on their home address only, although how you then limit them to this when they can apply to be on the electoral register at another address I do not know.

        Which raises another point how many other people have the opportunity to vote twice

        Rather than a local electoral register is it time to have a National voter Registration data base/list..

    • Richard1
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      He may have had an option to vote in two places but if he voted in both he has broken the law. I think people should be required to produce ID demonstrating UK citizenship to be able to vote. I vote by post, which is essential for me, but involves very few checks as to who I am.

      • stred
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        The citizens of an EU country, Eire were also allowed to vote. Possibly, some would have been Brexiteers and voted for themselves to have less access to British jobs, or possibly not. The numbers could be crucial.

        • rose
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Wouldn’t the Irish retain all the privileges to live and work in our welfare state they had before we joined the Common Market/EU?

    • Doug Powell
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Well done Anon!
      I’m surprised you didn’t reply JR. This possible election fraud must be pursued! What about a question in the House and a referral to the Electoral Commission?

      This is what the EC says:
      If I’m registered twice, can I vote twice?
      If you are registered to vote in two different electoral areas, you can vote in local elections for the two different local councils.
      However, it is an offence to vote twice in the same type of election, such as in a UK general election. Doing this could result in a fine of up to £5,000.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Having two votes could have meant the difference between May winning and Corbyn. The outcome might have been completely different.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      This won’t be any good for Brexit, but is a good example why there should be cross referenced checks on students eligible to vote in university towns:- North East Fife constituency, won by Gethins by just TWO votes, has St Andrews University in it.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      @Anonymous; Anyone could walk into a polling station and impersonate, even more so if they know the person to be away, ill or perhaps had even died that morning (and thus the death not yet be officially recorded), it is shocking to be only asked the information printed on the polling card (that you do not need to produce anyway). Stop trying to find scapegoats.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Consider that 400 votes in a few marginals meant the difference between there being a Conservative majority or there being a hung Parliament.
        The weaknesses of student double voting and postal voting and lack of ID being demanded is important.

  37. Tad Davison
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The situation can be salvaged in the wake of last week’s general election, but people need to sing from the same hymnbook.

    Open Europe reports this morning:

    ‘The Times reports that Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing to lead the charge within government to keep the UK inside the EU customs union. One member of the Treasury told The Times that Hammond was predicted to win the support of newly appointed First Secretary of State, Damian Green. This comes as Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday reaffirmed the Conservatives’ commitment to leaving the EU customs union, saying, “We will be outside of the customs union as it is understood.” Open Europe has previously argued that the UK should leave the customs union in order to realise the full potential benefits of Brexit.

    Separately, former Prime Minister David Cameron told a conference in Poland, “It’s going to be difficult… but perhaps [there is] an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it.” He also said, “I think there will be pressure for a softer Brexit,” adding that parliament “deserves a say” on the final deal.

    Elsewhere, Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, has reportedly told Prime Minister Theresa May that the UK must not trade away any fishing rights for concessions elsewhere in Brexit negotiations. She has called for the UK to withdraw fully from the EU common fisheries policy and establish a 200 mile fishing limit. Davidson’s election successes came largely in northeast Scotland, where the majority of the Scottish fishing fleet is based.’

    The first act of unity must surely be to accept that the people decided the UK would leave the EU, and as Mrs. May correctly reminds us, ‘Leave means leave’. With any government that can barely scrape a majority, there is no scope to accommodate people with a different opinion who now seek to press home their own hitherto suppressed or hidden agendas. Although the wavering ones OE mentions shouldn’t really come as a surprise.

    Tad Davison


  38. Political Firebrand
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The Head of the Fire services spoke on TV just now an says she……” has never seen a fire before on this scale ” ( 30 years ) Oh dear.
    Time to recruit fire officers from abroad. …
    keeping in mind that in the movie Towering Inferno ( 1974 ) the fictional Fire Officer said actually quite rightly “I do not know why admistrations build blocks so high. We cannot successfully deal with fires above nine storeys”

  39. Peter
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I hope you are right.

    If she can get Brexit through that would all I would ask.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      @Peter; Of course she can get “Brexit” though, but what is Brexit, proxy membership of the EU by way of EEA or EFTA.

      “Brexit means Brexit” only because Brexit is a meaningless word construct. Put 100 people, even 100 UKIP members, in a room and the likelihood is that there would be anything between 25 and 75 different ideas as to what Brexit means, and perhaps more.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink


        You really must try to get your head around this

        Brexit is a word constructed as short hand for the decision by the British people in a referendum to Leave the European Union.

        Therefore we have triggered article 50 which is the formal process to leave. Thats it, we’re leaving.

        The affects of Brexit, the kind of deals that will be struck with both the EU, individual members and the other 170 odd countries of the world are all up for negotiation. As they always are and always have been.

  40. paulW
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    There is no stable government- consider this- the seven Sinn Fein members could march into parliament at any moment they like to mess things up?

    • Handbags
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      They have to swear loyalty to the Queen – which I doubt they would do.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      We should be asking the BBC why the DUP weren’t invited to the debates before the election for balance (you know that thing they always tell us they are) or Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland is in Britain and they let Plaid with less than half the representatives have a big say, Leanne Woods was never off tv, we had to listen endlessly to Nick Clegg and Tim Farron with only 8 MPs at the time.

      May will stay in place because she’s a boon to remain (they think). Everyone just needs to chill. Leavers who vote Labour that I know are taking a serious interest on what they do, so they need to tread carefully because locally their respective MPs made pledges to their local leavers if they go back on that they’re toast next time whatever giveaway promises they make.

  41. Richard1
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    John, a question: do the boundary changes require another parliamentary vote or do they go through automatically now?

    Reply Another vote

    • Richard1
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. In that case the Conservatives really do need a deal with the DUP

  42. Terry
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I do hope the Government sees it YOUR way, JR.
    And do you have comments regarding the “Dangers” proposed by ex-PM Major over the DUP involvement in Westminster?

    With such logical thinking I cannot understand why you have never been recalled to Cabinet. Maybe they do not want too many persons cleverer than they?

  43. ian wragg
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    So we have a dilemma John, Ruth Davidson wants all fishing rights repatriated to Scotland (quite right)n and we have Hammond and a good portion of the MP’s determined to keep us in the CU and SM.i.e. no Brexit.
    The DUP want a soft border with the South and Sinn Fein are about to spoil the maths.
    We are heading for a hard Brexit (good) as no legislation will get through Parliament.

  44. Mick
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink
    This needs checking out ASAP if it proved then prosecutions and a re-vote in the areas showed to be involved, the Tories were just over 400 votes to claim a majority party in Westminster so it needs looking into urgently

    • Chris
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, indeed, but action will not be taken by Tories apparently until it adversely affects them. UKIP has had to put up with huge injustices, abuse and violence, which the Conservatives have apparently condoned by turning a blind eye to in the past, and even encouraged with its rhetoric. Cameron and other’s swivel eyed loons, fruitcakes and gadflies comments gave free range for more extremist groups to go for UKIP in highly unpleasant ways, sometimes violent. Now theer is apparently outrage by the Conservatives because Hope not Hate apparently daubed some of their posters and phoned with abusive comments. Nothing to what UKIP members and Farage have endured for some years. Welcome to the real world of politics, Conservatives. You do not seem to exhibit the courage and endurance of Farage.

  45. Chris
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Why has the government allowed the Remainers to steal the initiative and virtually dictate the news agenda? Why are they so weak? The electorate, I suggest, are far from impressed.

  46. CS
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Perhaps if the Tory Party Sensibles ( JR as one of them ) and those Sensibles still in the Labour Party PLP ( Corbyn is not one nor Abacus ) could form an unofficcial and even secret Coalition of Sensibles ( CS )…a government behind the scenes. well it might not work. But the present scenario won’t work for sure.

  47. Jack snell
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Macron and schauble have both said the door is still open but that is only partly true.. in fact it is a lie because A50 has already been activated and the clock is winding down- they are not going to let us back in again with the same conditions as before-

    Problem for us is not the stability of government but the preparation of government for the brexit talks. I don’t believe any UK political party or individual is going to trip up the government for some time to come- but it will happen when and if the talks don’t go right. Changing out david davis’s team members at this late stage is only another reminder of the chaos that ensues at the heart of the uk side. Some senior tory members also continue to believe that we can negotiate from a position of strength while ignoring the EU’s four basic freedoms but that is only going to be a waste of time and is pie in the sky because it won’t work and neither will trying to make side deals with individual eu countries.. so what to do? Well for a start what we badly need now is a good dose of reality on our side which i think is still sadly missing and going on about Corbyn and his past views about the irish troubles twenty years or so after the belfast agreement was signed is only more nonsense- it’s time to get real

  48. Lordylordy
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The National Interest is not being served by certain members of the Tory Party and Labour Party. Each of them is bright enough to realise that any Government formed now and the next two years, other things being equal, will NOT be stable.Yet these people call for divisive re-evaluations of the written-in-stone-Referendum-vote amongst other measures.
    Wrong to call them traitors but Nelson would not have made any of them so much as his cabin boy. Then again,perhaps he would’ve. 😉

  49. forthurst
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Any techies out there? I’ve got a problem with my scroll function; whilst reading through the comments I keep finding Lifelogic’s comment, again and again and again. Funnily enough it doesn’t seem to happen with anyone else’s. FYI I’m using Firefox under Linux.

  50. ian
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Lifelogic, When you go in five years time, would you please switch off the gas power stations so the neo con libs can meet they targets on pollution, and don’t worry about me cos i can see in the dark.

  51. ian
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    but do think you should hurry up lifelogic, 5 years is much to long.

  52. Jerry
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes the Tories have a majority IF all your own side vote the same way, and the DUP agreement holds, and the 7 SF MPs do not force by-elections allowing the SDLP to gain 7 seats… There’s a lot of IF’s, and just like with Jim Callaghan in the late ’70s it will not take many lost by-elections before there is another “night when the government falls”. Mr Corbyn can also afford to sit and wait for all the pre and post Brexit bad news to mount. Then of course if you and your eurosceptic colleagues think you were the “awkward squad” in the early 1990s with Mr Major I suspect your awkwardness will be slight in comparison to not only your own fellow (europhile/Remain) Tory MPs but the DUP who want a totally different style of Brexit anyway, judging from their manifesto.

    Tell me John, if Mrs May, due to the need for support from the DUP, wants to ditch the more pure Brexit policies thus far suggested by those who fronted Vote Leave (no single market, no freedom of movement and perhaps more) are you and your fellow eurosceptics willing to bring your ow government down?! I very much doubt it, best get use to not getting your way any more, push it and you will simply allow Corbyn into government or you will loose on policy votes anyway as some or all the Labour MPs support what the eurosceptic right do not want.

    Reply The DUP and Labour fought the recent election on leaving the single market and ending freedom of movement!

  53. Richard Waltereit
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Your first three paragraphs make it clear that there is no need at all for an agreement, let alone a formal coalition, with the DUP. As Martin Kettle writes in the Guardian, it is practically inconceivable that Tory MPs will be outvoted by all other parties (which include the DUP) combined. Any agreement with the DUP can only do the Conservative Party reputational damage. TM should heed John Major’s advice that the UK government should not be seen as being on one side of the Northern Irish conflict. Especially since Brexit will involve some delicate negotiations about the Irish border.

    • Chris
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Do you know, RW, I think it is all a game really, put on for our (the voters’) benefit. I have become so cynical because of all the goings on with Theresa May and not getting on with Brexit over the last year that I think anything is possible. We are worrying about the nitty gritty about who makes alliances with whom, when I don’t actually think the politicians care a damn. I almost believe that they know the outcome before they start. If true, then what a state UK politics is in (or maybe me?).

  54. hefner
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    So, was it too much austerity or too much Brexit woz lost the GE?

    Reply Too little Brexit meant a heavy defeat for Lib Dems

    • libertarian
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink


      It was Labour who lost the GE, so not sure either of your options explain it

  55. Chris
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the Eurosceptic Tory MPs are developing some real “cojones” after all? We can live in hope.
    Tory MPs will ‘pull the pin’ on hand grenade if they feel Theresa May betrays Brexit

    UP to 80 Conservative MPs are willing to “pull the pin” on a “hand grenade” if Theresa May wavers on a ‘hard’ Brexit, a professor (Tim Bale) has said.

  56. hefner
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Two very interesting studies of the GE giving roughly the same results:
    The FT’s “What cost Theresa May her majority in UK Election?” (behind a pay wall)
    and “How Britain voted at the 2017 general election” (freely accessible)

    Results are sorted out in the usual different categories (age, education, location, …).
    The picture coming out of these two studies is somewhat different from what is generally assumed on this site. Indeed the CP got a fraction of voters increasing with voters’ age, but the slope of the curve is rather interesting.
    The Office for National Statistics has 600,000 old people dying per year, and 700,000 18-year olds potentially registering to vote. In two years (March 2019) that is 1.2M having left the voting register and 1.4M potentially getting on it. As pointed out in some comments on the studies above, that is more than the margin at this GE.

  57. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Hasn’t our arch communist already said he will try to vote down the Queen’s Speech – The government can expect no support from any of the socialists in the house, and it is very full of them.

    I don’t know much about DUP, but what I’ve read suggests they are sensible – however some people like to tag them with the term ‘Extreme Right’ as the ultimate political reprehensible description…… which is very typical of the left – give something a badge then make it seem like the worst low life possible.
    But haven’t we had extreme left in our politics for so long and nobdody attacks that in the same way as far right parties are attacked?

    It’s not just a case of double standards – its the left pot calling the right pot names to poison the minds of voters.

  58. Mockbeggar
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I counted twelve contributions from LL above. Is this a record?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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