Labour’s change of policy on the EU

This Parliament recently decided that the UK will leave the Customs Union and the single market when we leave the EU. That was approved by 322 to 101. The official Labour party could have voted against but chose not to. If they had voted against the motion would still have carried, but Parliament would have sent a more divided opinion to the EU. This clear vote followed the decisive vote of the previous Parliament to send the letter notifying them of our departure, which left the EU in no doubt of our intentions.

Does this latest statement that they now want to stay in the single market and customs union for a longer time truly represent the Leadership’s views? What do all those Remain voting Labour supporters make of this latest apparent flip flop? Presumably the aim was to try to weaken the government’s position just one day ahead of important talks with the EU, as a warm up to Mr Blair’s audience later in the week with the EU Commission on the same issue when he will doubtless want to argue for some kind of continued or watered down membership of the EU for a country which has democratically voted to leave.

The Opposition is making themselves an irrelevance on this important issue by flip flopping around following their sensible statements to back our leaving the EU after the referendum decision. Their weak and feeble changes will not in practice undermine the government’s resolve but is not designed to be helpful to the country they are meant to serve.

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65 Comments

  1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Labour moves towards “Norway”, as already predicted by Politico.eu about two weeks ago:
    “There is a black hole at the center of the Brexit negotiations — hard-liners can kick and scream, but it’s sucking everyone into its gravitational pull. Its name is transition, and its shape is Norway.” (Politico.eu, 14-8-17)

    • Down with the Sphinx
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      There haven’t been any real negotiations yet so how there can be a “black hole at the centre” of them? People speak of “hard-liners” as a term, it was used primarily for Marxist-Leninist dogmatists in a Communist Politburo ( not Politbureau for some reason. Since the Soviets used the Cyrillic alphabet it is even a greater mystery. ..also “bureau” sounds kind of French. Maybe the same reason a sputnik turned in satellite and cosmonaut turned into astronaut.) But I digress. I could cause wars with such digressions and analysis. And so could the EU with decade long trade negotiations. We should threaten to curtail negotiations and walk away soon.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        @Down with the Sphinx: the one-liner “no deal is better than a bad deal” has already been abandoned by your goverment after studying the consequences and the EU side knows this. A threat as you suggest would sound rather hollow.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      PvL–Except that it is obvious to a blind man that it is EU-loving types like you kicking and screaming to keep us in–Why don’t you stick to your “community values” instead of throwing stones from the sidelines?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: Leslie, I’m not throwing stones, and neither do I want the UK to stay in the EU (in spite of the damage it will cause to us and to you). Your deeply divided country might only prove more of a spanner in the (EU) works if it remains. A decade or two outside might be enough for the remaining Brexiteers to have gone and the young people will either want to rejoin the EU or have a new, very very close alliance with us. I do prefer a soft Brexit though, because it might help both the UK and the remaining EU to continue to do well economically.

        • nigel seymour
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Peter, Why do you not want the UK to stay in the EU?. What exact damage will it cause to the UK? The EU have allowed thousands upon thousands upon thousands of immigrants to come to Europe. They have no papers and can travel around the Schengen area without fear or anybody knowing who they are or what terror they can inflict on the UK /EU. WHAT ACTUALLY IS A SOFT BREXIT!!!!

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          PvL–You formally beg the question whether the UK would be better off out, with the rest of the world, as I strongly believe

    • NickC
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      PvL, Why is the EU better than the UK?

      Remains, such as yourself, are always critical of Leave (hence advocacy of the “Norway” fake Brexit to foil Leave), and Leave voters (“hard-liners”, thick, etc), but it is noteworthy that they seem unwilling to make a positive case for the EU.

  2. Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Oddly , I thought Blair wasn’t PM any more – or even in Parliament so why are the EU talking to him when he has no official opinion?

    Labour’s change of position doesn’t surprise me in the least. They are a shambles who change policies about as often as I change my socks.

    To me, this is subverting the will of the people. No wonder Blair was so keep to repeal the treason laws…

  3. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Sterling’s decline is a reflection of a future economic weakness it is not a reflection of a future economic prosperity

    • NickC
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Hans, True in part. However, sentiment, rather than rationality – especially in the short term – also influences Sterling’s rate. As well as the machinations of the Remain Governor of the BoE and the Remain supporting Chancellor.

      The reality is that the Pound, the Euro, and the Dollar are run on similar lines. They go up and down against each other all the time (eg: the Pound rose substantially against the Euro from 2013 to 2015). Did that future economic weakness of the Euro last?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      You know nothing about the movements of sterling.

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    The FT carries an interesting piece this weekend. The UK is now playing host to around 1,000 North Korean refugees. The most common reason for claiming asylum is that they find it hard to settle down on in South Korea. Just in case anybody thinks that it is just the Labour party that is incoherent. https://www.ft.com/northkoreansnewmalden

  5. Norman
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Looks as if they are after the young vote again. This should concentrate the minds of the Government’s Brexit negotiating and PR Team.

  6. James Neill
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s wrong to describe it as ‘Labour’s change of policy on the EU’, because unfortunately for British politics Labour has no policy on this matter as we have seen over the past couple of years. Being half hearted, mealy mouthed and blowing with the wind about such an important issue as brexit as demonstrated by the Labour leadership up until now hardly counts as policy.

    So looking at it in another way, it could be that Labour is belatedly planning to get into the fray and that might be a good thing, even belatedly, and maybe under Sir Keir Starmer something can be done but please spare us from thicko comrades Corbyn and McDonald

  7. alan jutson
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    The governments negotiation team have to be very very firm with their demands no matter what the opposition says.

    Clearly the opposition are all trying all they can to betray the peoples wishes and water down and lengthen our negotiation stance and procedure, this sort of treachery in trying to undermine the Governments and our Nations position should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

    But:

    Somehow I have a worrying feeling that Mrs May will cave in under pressure, I only hope I am wrong and that she and her team stand strong.

    Keep up the pressure JR we need a simple and effective agreement by the Spring of 2019, we do not want a drawn out and complicated arrangement.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      May will surely cave in. She is wrong headed on every other policy after all. Busy attacking business yet again today. All hot air and not brain. She is the PM after all, so she needs to take responsibility for the excessive pay levels (and pensions) in the state sector. Perhaps set an example with MP pensions for example. For the private sector she needs to increase the shareholder control mechanisms and make it far easier for businesses to fire people without compensation.

      Instead she stands on a soap box and sounds like a cross between the dire Ted Heath and the appalling John Major, with his cones hot line. She is just like Cameron, Major and Heath – no working compass – or rather one pointing the wrong way on all issues.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Installed precisely because her default is to cave in and Remain.

        Many of us reacted with defeatism as soon as she was appointed. And so it has come to pass.

        Corbyn a very real likelihood.

        Just how the hell has it come to this ??? I CAN NOT belieeeve it !

  8. Doug Powell
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    As has been pointed out many times, a nation cannot leave the EU and remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union. If Labour’s postion is now to remain in the SM & CU, then it must follow that its policy is to remain in the EU!

    This demonstrates to Labour Brexit voters that the Labour Party is as undemocratic as the LibDems, and that both parties have NO INTENTION of respecting the democtatic will of the British people to leave the EU!

    Also, I have to disagree that the Labour Party’s EU position is an irrelevance in today’s political landscape. In fact, Labour’s new EU stance makes it totally relevant. Labour Brexit voters now know uniquivically that their Brexit vote is not safe in Labour’s hands, and to ensure Brexit they must support a party committed to leaving the EU!

    I would suggest that former Labour Brexit voters take precautions and hold their noses when entering polling stations to cast votes for a new party.

    This advice is in no way a slur on the new party, but as a sound Political Health and Safety measure to protect themselves from the stench of death and decay emanating from their former party that once prided itself on integrity and democracy!

    • Doug Powell
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Inadvertently omitted ‘hypocrisy’ after decay.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      [quote]”As has been pointed out many times, a nation cannot leave the EU and remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union. If Labour’s postion is now to remain in the SM & CU, then it must follow that its policy is to remain in the EU!”[unquote]

      This is completely incorrect. The Single Market has four non-EU Members, the EFTA states, ergo Britain could leave the EU and still remain within the Single Market, if that is the agreement between Britain, the EU and any other party involved (potentially EFTA, to provide the regulatory framework). It would also be technically possible, but more difficult, for Britain to leave the EU without re-joining EFTA and still remain in the Single Market.

      I would agree that, in Britain’s case, leaving the EU should also mean leaving the EU Customs Union. The circumstances almost make this implicit, however it would still be technically possible for us to leave the EU and stay within the CU if we want. Turkey, for instance, is a non-EU state that participates in the CU.

      So Labour’s position is not incoherent.

      The CU provides part of the answer on the Northern Ireland question: in my view, the Province should remain in the CU but outside the EU, with special status for freedom movement (along the lines of Monaco and other statelets, if that is desired. Personally I would omit the ‘freedom of movement’ privilege and restrict ‘free movement’ to UK citizens only, pursuant to the pre-existing CTA. That would ease some of the issues and would be a matter of negotiating a Protocol to be annexed to the withdrawal agreement, but I disagree with those who say that the CTA has no effect in terms of free movement due to Ireland’s more recent EU treaty obligations. Member States can still negotiate and make arrangements with non-EU states, as Britain will be, provided these are not incompatible with EU undertakings and obligations, and the CTA is not incompatible with Ireland’s Schengen commitments. Ireland, remember, followed Britain in not fully signing up to the Schengen system, so any CTA-eligible UK citizens who travel to a different EU Member State from Ireland would still face passport and security checks.

      Note to John Redwood/Moderators – an intriguing question is what might happen to the Channel Islands’ status as CU states following Brexit. I assume that the Channel Islands will follow Britain and leave the CU? Has this been confirmed?

      Reply The voters clearly wanted to take back control over borders, laws and money which you cannot do as a member of the customs union or single market. Both sides made that clear in the referendum. The Channel islands are not members of the EU and will presumably speak for themselves. They are not leaving as they are not in.

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        I think I may have been misunderstood: I favour a completist Brexit as well. I was just explaining why Labour’s position is not in and of itself incoherent. I note what you say about the Channel Islands: I know they are not in the EU, but they are in the CU and I had assumed that in regard to this Britain would be involved in making representations, as it was Britain that negotiated the special protocol for Channel Islands membership of the CU in the first place. But thanks for the reply.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I see it is reported in the newspapers that Aston Martin are delighted with their trading position after Brexit.

    It appears whilst they thought we may vote to Remain in the EU they had contingency plans on standby in case the vote was to Leave.

    They have thus put their plans in place, and are already reporting a record trading year.

    Just shows what can be done if you plan properly.

  10. ian wragg
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The problem is John, a lot of your party agree with them especially Hammond.
    If after March 19th 2019 we are still in the CU and SM paying into EU coffers and having free movement, your party will be relegated to the history books and quite rightly so.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Not just a lot but most of the party and certainly May and Hammond!

  11. Michael
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    The answer to all doubters is to articulate the positive advantages of leaving the EU without a trade deal in simple reasonably believable everyday language.

    Unless those advantages political and economic taken together are compelling I worry that at the end of the day we will remain in the EU in some shape or form.

  12. Nerwmania
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    What Corbyn has said is that Remain opinion has a voice in Labour. This astonishing move gives Liberal opinion and centrist voter a seat at the table with Labour, whereas the Conservative Party has treated us with contempt .
    As we know there are many people for whom disliking immigrants will be the first priority but for everyone else there is now a share of power on offer .
    My strong feeling is that a moderated Corbyn will now win ,and the fact Mr Redwood is blustering shows he knows it too. With most of the Conservative Party voting for policies they rightly believe will impoverish the country the Conservative Party can claim neither economic competence or any higher motive .

    The respect which Mr Redwood has so often expressed for Corbyn may better merited than I had believed possible

    Reply Most of us voted remain to take back control. We do not dislike individual immigrants and wish to welcome people to our country under common rules applied fairly worldwide. Brexit will enable us to be more prosperous, not less.

    • NickC
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Newmania, “… Remain opinion has a voice in Labour”? It sounds like it has a controlling voice since staying in the single market and customs union is roughly the Remain position that David Cameron was pushing in the Referendum.

      Not actually leaving the EU means that the Referendum and the democratic result were pointless. If you won’t accept our democratic vote, why should we accept yours? It works both ways. Democracy is regime change without a civil war.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Nerwmania

      I presume you are the same person that posted under Newmania??
      You say: With most of the Conservative Party voting for policies they rightly believe will impoverish the country the Conservative Party can claim neither economic competence or any higher motive

      I have never agreed with anything you have said in the past but I have to reluctantly say I think you are right on this one. This is how Mrs May flunked the election big time and if she doesn’t come up with some common sense policies she will flunk the next one too and then we will be in trouble. Like it or not, the country voted fairly and squarely and we voted OUT. This must be delivered and I hope Mrs May will just get on with it and stop letting the EU lead the way. Just tell them we have voted to come out and we are going. This is what we want and if you don’t feel you can deliver then farewell. All this dithering is just getting businesses jittery and they need clarification. Then they can deal with things the way they need to.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Newmania’s argument is based on the dishonest premise that Brexit voters dislike foreigners. (The dislike uncontrolled immigration in fact.)

        It is an evil and anti democratic slur designed to nullify the referendum result.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Dear John–Not disliking individual immigrants has nothing to do with it and I see nothing wrong in seeking to favour our kith and kin–who have been brought up to have a good idea of what we stand for and our history, law culture etc.

  13. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Is this because the Labour party is being more realistic with the changing circumstances as the negotiations evolve?

    Doe it potentially make sense to have a second referendum, when we know what the real outcome of the Brexit negotiations are going to look like?

    !7 million voted for Brexit, 16 million voted to remain and 13 million did not vote at all, does this make a second referendum, when we know all the details, totally unrealistic?

    • Captcha King
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Around 35% want the EU.

      Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

      (Ignoring that many of that 35% wanted to vote Leave but were scared to.)

      • Captcha King
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        “!7 million voted for Brexit, 16 million voted to remain and 13 million did not vote at all, does this make a second referendum, when we know all the details, totally unrealistic?”

        We do not know the details.

        The EU is not the finished article. The EU is not in a steady state. The EU is not the ‘status quo’.

        We do, however, no far more of the un-details than we did in 1975.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      A second referendum is pointless as Article 50 has been issued and there is no way back.

      We are leaving ! End of.

  14. paulW
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    By Flip flopping at least Labour is at last starting to get serious about this matter. A lot is talked about democracy and the vote, but unfortunately it could be that some matters are too important to be left for the people to decide. Just my opinion

    • Captcha King
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      It was OK for the people to decide on such matters in 1975.

      Now it is not.

      Strange.

    • lp
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Important matters that affect everyone should always be put to a democratic vote. Your opinion is worthless.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Dear 1p–Absolutely–Let’s hear it for more direct democracy–The current way of deciding makes me weep. Does anybody know of any actual disadvantages to the way the Swiss do things? Damned if I can see any, and they do seem to get by.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Sadly there are the likes of Grieve, Soubry, Clarke and others in your party, not to mention Hammond and Rudd, who will be heartened by all this nonsense. Their intention is to keep the UK in the EU by one means or another in the face of the result of a referendum they were party to calling.. Like the EU democracy is anathema to them.You need to rally your troops to ensure they don’t succeed.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    No-one should be surprised about the Labour about turn . There is no more consistency in their policies now than there was before . If the wind blows in one direction you can bet your life they will follow it .

  17. MPC
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Judging from reports today, the Labour aim is to ‘of course have regard to the referendum result’ whilst keeping us in the EU for an indeterminate period, hoping to persuade enough Tory MPs to join their campaign. Labour Remain MPs also intend to time parliamentary votes on the Repeal legislation for maximum inconvenience to DUP MPs.

    This kind of thing is what I’ve always been afraid of with the lengthy Article 50 process. Furthermore, eventually there’ll be another recession in the UK which will give the excuse to remain because ‘to leave now would be to take the UK over the cliff edge’.

    We’ll have to hope Labour has miscalculated the urge for democracy in our country, although that won’t be measured again until the next General Election. If we somehow don’t get to leave the EU in 2019 there will be many people who will take the view that there is no point ever again voting in a General Election.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      We have two years to conclude an agreement post Article 50. Whilst this can either be lengthened or shortened it is unlikely given the depth of feeling post referendum. My concern is, that the media is trying to soften up the UK electorate to accept an extension, thereby, given the EU time to produce another treaty, which the UK may be a signatory to, offering some sort of Associate EU membership. EU in all but name only. It will this that the UK government will sign up to and support and, with the help of the other parties try to get the UK electorate to vote for.

      Just my 2p worth.

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Now you can see why politicians are held in such low esteem!!!

    The 2 main parties both playing silly games:
    On the one hand a flip-flopping T May; for what it’s worth, intellectually wedded to Remain but says she’ll smooth the way out of the EU.

    On the other hand Corbyn, intellectually wedded to Leaving but playing games with his friends in Labour to be everybody’s friend.

    Libdems, the only true Remainers
    UKIP, the only true Leavers.

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid your party are also making a meal out of a simple choice for the EU:

    Free trade or tariffs?

  20. Margaret Howard
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    The Opposition is flip flopping? I admire John Redwood’s sense of humour belonging to a party with a leader who flip flops daily.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      She is not really flip flopping, it is worse she in wrong headed on nearly all of the main issues.

  21. margaret
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Well ,Mr Corbyn will be thinking about his own position . He was against joining in the first place. Mr Blair argued on another blog site many years ago that he did not want to represent the UK in Europe.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Keir Starmer is shamefully giving aid and comfort to our opponents in the withdrawal negotiations; he might as well go and join the EU side where his heart truly lies.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      He is making mischief against the Tory party as, thanks to our not so wonderful PM, we have a weak and unstable government.

  23. agricola
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    They are floundering to be different. What they want is a contradiction in that the UK cannot belong to the single market and customs union while fulfilling the demand of the referendum. Even if it were possible it would defeat our desire to be free to trade with the rest of the World. They and the Lib/Dems are just playing politics because they have nothing concrete to offer.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      They are floundering to be different

      Yes, correct Agricola which might be why they are now interested in getting into bed with the SNP in Scotland. They are always trying to be different. Anything as long as it’s not the same as England even though their ideas might be male cow poo.

  24. hefner
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Obviously, the Conservatives have never ever flip flopped? How tiring at times must it be to be JR?

  25. Captcha King
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Off topic but relating to grade inflation GCSEs/A levels.

    A relative just got a string of A* GCSEs and – wait for it – 2 A** GCSEs.

    What next ? A*** ???

  26. Peter
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    All the more reason to walk away now and go straight to WTO terms.

    Brexiteers would then be in control of proceedings and the EU would be the supplicants.

    Remainers and doubters would be past their sell-by dates.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Agreed–WTO terms do not seem too fearsome to me–Why doesn’t the Government make this clear?–And think of all that hard cash staying in this country

  27. Chewy
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s simply naked opportunism in my view. Remain supporters who voted Labour will love it that the party is attempting to water down Brexit. Will the blue collar Brexit voting Labourites from the North, Midlands and Wales hold grudges come election time; fingers crossed; but I wouldn’t bank on it.
    Labour needed some clarity on its position, it was looking ridiculous with the level of contradictory statements; now it has it. I don’t think Corbyn is that passionate on the issue either way, although he’s clearly a sceptic. Right now he’s passionate about getting the keys to number 10 and inflicting his special style of hardcore socialism on the country. A whole career in the wilderness and right now he and his ilk can smell power, something a few years ago would have been laughed out of the Labour Party.
    Pray that the Anna Soubrie Remainer fanatics of the Conservative Party don’t put aside their manifesto commitments or put too much pressure on the government for concessions and bring the whole thing crashing down.
    Also if someone could clarify; the EU won’t accept a transition deal until the financial settlement is agreed or at least sufficient progress has been made? And this would put the cabosh on and kind of interim agreement involving the single market? If so I have a glass of wine in my hand and would like to propose a toast to continued EU greed and unreasonableness.

  28. Dennis Zoff
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you John, for the rather watered down, politically correct comment….and I can understand why?

    However, people will most probably read between the lines and clearly see another deplorable, puerile, treacherous stab in the back of the electorate!

    What a very sad state of affairs our Political class have become. I thought we had seen the worst of these fugaciously dishonest politicians, but they never cease to surprise me with their slippery duplicitous behaviour.

  29. Duncan
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Blair is a poisonous, pernicious presence in British politics. Democracy has delivered its verdict on the UK’s membership of the anti-democratic EU and still he tries to circumvent the wishes of the people.

    The man leaves a sour, sickening taste in the mouth

  30. Monty
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    “Presumably the aim was to try to weaken the government’s position just one day ahead of important talks with the EU, as a warm up to Mr Blair’s audience later in the week with the EU Commission on the same issue when he will doubtless want to argue for some kind of continued or watered down membership of the EU for a country which has democratically voted to leave.”

    It is a mystery to me, the way washed-up labour politicians whose provenance is utterly spent, have this tendency to burst upon the scene during or after a referendum, in order to pervert the course of democracy.
    In the Scottish referendum, Gordon Brown suddenly materialised promising all manner of inducements he was in no position to deliver, regardless of the yes or no of the British Government.
    And now Blair returns from the dead, to proffer some more notions which have no EU backing, as if they were serious negotiating points.
    Didn’t we used to have a law against Treason? When did that get junked, and who did it?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t we used to have a law against Treason? When did that get junked, and who did it?

      I think it might have been Blair himself but not sure on that.

  31. Keir Mardy
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Labour are bright enough to realise that the EU changes from day to day and hour by hour depending which MPs are in any and all of nation- state governments at each passing moment.Also their changing opinions and voting patterns some of which are based on bribery, corruption or because they have say a Dutch egg for breakfast. This is another reason why we should leave the EU. It is unstable,like a 28-legged mechanical animal with synchronised nothing and a virtual-reality brainless head devoid of permanent focus.

  32. Freeborn John
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Don’t blame Labour for reacting to the blood in the water that Phillip Hammond has poured on brexit talks. This is what happens when you spend one day a week on brexit and indulge yourself in minor issues the rest of the time while Hammond & his Remoaners fight brexit 7 days a week.

    Reply I have been doing Brexit on the media whenever opportunity presents!

  33. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t this just demonstrate that labour can never be trusted on anything important – they always have, and always will, put the party before democracy or what is good for the country.

    We need a blueprint to wipe out socialism in our country – it is only destructive, and has never served any worhwhile purpose…. rather, it seeks to make everything the same – reducing everything, morals, aspirations, education – to the lowest possible common denominator

    It should be taken up with the commission that they are even talking with blair – they should be rightly accused of attempting to sabotage BREXIT!
    We should demand transcripts of their cosy chat.

  • About John Redwood


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