Walk outs from Parliament over the EU

The SNP walk out today over an EU debate reminded some MPs of the previous walk out by Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats in February 2008. Then Speaker Martin refused to allow debate on one of their amendments which wanted an In/Out referendum on the EU. As Nick Clegg said “It is time to give the British people a real referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union” . That idea did not go too well for him or his party. I still treasure the yellow leaflet they sent out telling me it was vital the “British people have a say in a real referendum”.


  1. Stephen Priest
    June 13, 2018

    I am a very thick Leave voter.

    When MPs vote to have a referendum on leaving the EU, and the people vote to leave, am I think enough to believe MPs would respect that vote.

    When the Labour and Conservative manifestos say we will leave the EU, including the Single Market, the Customs Union, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and end all payments to the EU am I thick enough to believe MPs would respect that vote.

    I now realise these MPs think we are all so thick that we won’t notice their constant lies, their constant siding with the EU in all circumstances, even when includes interfering with our internal borders, as in Northern Ireland.

    Would the EU ever say, for example, that Bavaria, for example, should be under the jurisdiction of Austria? But for most of our MPs and Peers that is just fine when it comes to Northern Ireland.

  2. Eh?
    June 13, 2018

    Only 7% of Liberal Democrats walked out

  3. fedupsoutherner
    June 13, 2018

    OMG, I can hardly believe how childish they all are. They don’t deserve a place in Parliament and to think these people are the ones that make decisions that affect us all!! A bl**dy disgrace, the lot of them.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      June 14, 2018

      Dear fedup–I have long puzzled why we should imagine that MP’s are anything to write home about just because they get elected, which means very little as regards the judgement of those elected (Happy to kiss babies and with nice legs)–One does like to hope that it is a bit different at the Government level but a lot of MP’s don’t seem to appreciate the difference between MP’s and the Government–Brexit is blindingly obviously a Government responsibility

  4. Andy
    June 13, 2018

    It is time to pause the Brexit fiasco and take stock. The bottom line is that Brexit has raised all sorts of issues which even the Brexiteers had never considered. We see both main parties split with small factions within each desperately trying to outdo each other. We see nations divided against each other. Young against old. Town versus country. You have created an almighty mess.

    We now need to pause Article 50 – and immediately set up a Royal Commission which has a strictly time limited mandate to report back to Parliament with a comprehensive plan for the way forward.

    Its manadate should be to ensure the following;
    – to respect the result of the referendum, while taking account of the 2017 general election.
    – guarantee full citizens rights
    – to prioritise concerns about immigration
    – to ensure at the end of the process there can be no question that Parliament is sovereign
    – to allow the UK to sign trade deals
    – to address the specific concerns of fishermen and farmers
    – to ensure Brexit will last and that the next generation will support it

    While ensuring:
    – the Good Friday Agreement is maintained
    – the economy is protected
    – existing trade is frictionless
    – devolved administrations do not have powers removed
    – security is not harmed
    – that any budget contribution to the EU is cost effective.

    A prominent Leaver should chair this – with a prominent Remainer as deputy. Leading figures from both sides of all the main parties should be included, along with business voices.

    The only sustainable Brexit is one which commands broad support and the only way to achieve that is work for a consensus. I genuinely don’t care if your Brexit fails – if you want it succeed you need to start behaving like adults.

    1. Edward2
      June 14, 2018

      Your fanciful plan assumes the EU are willing to give you everything in your list.
      They are not.
      From the beginning they have shown no desire to do any deal at all.

      1. Andy
        June 15, 2018

        Not true. The EU have shown no desire to do a deal with the hard-right Tory pensioners. And why would they? The EU has been subjected to decades of lies and abuse from these people. I wouldn’t engage under such circumstances either.

        I am perfectly sure the EU would do a deal with someone sensible – Major & Davidson, Blair & Brown, Clegg & Cable. Any of these people could get a deal. So indeed could anyone who – compared with the Brexiteers – is a comparative grown-up. My 6-year old for example.

    2. Original Richard
      June 15, 2018

      The nation is divided because the Remainers are undemocratically not accepting the referendum result.

      A Parliament is only sovereign until the next election and does not have the power to give away the country’s sovereignty without a specific mandate from the people via a referendum.

      We’re in the mess we are because previous Parliaments acted undemocratically by not checking the acceptance of each new EU Treaty with a referendum vote.

      1. Andy
        June 15, 2018

        So Brexit is not in trouble because it’s a lousy idea.

        It’s in trouble because of the people who told you it was a lousy idea.

        Keep telling yourself that.

  5. agricola
    June 13, 2018

    Are we to be spared only one day of rest from this carping cabal

  6. Hope
    June 13, 2018

    Worry about the disgraceful conduct of your own party and government. General election is now demanded so the people can oust those who betray electoral democracy. Grieve has only put forward what May claimed in her Mansion House capitualtion not to walk away or resort to WTO terms. She is the problem pretending to have no hand in it. Leave MPs. Or change no the courage or gumption to oust her.

    It is beyond belief what Davis has been doing or accepted to date. Useless idiot played by all remainers and EU.

  7. acorn
    June 13, 2018

    This week has proved beyond doubt, how useless the HoC is at holding the Downing Street Executive to account. All the hot air expelled in the HoC this week, will be costing us over £250,000 per hour, with little to show for it. This is not democracy, it is the 1% taking the piss out of the 99%. Kim Jong-un would be at home here.

  8. DaveM
    June 13, 2018

    SNP behaviour was pathetic. However, Soubry seems to have gone totally rogue and hysterical and no one in your party seems inclined to do anything about it. I’d be more worried about that if I was a Con MP.

  9. Sam Duncan
    June 13, 2018

    I have never been more angry at my Member of Parliament than I am right now. These people are fanatics. They will stop at nothing, without any regard for the good governance and prosperity of Scotland, to get their way.

    The SNP are boasting of 1,000 new members just this afternoon. Which sounds fishy to me, given their protestations that their childish temper tantrum was spontaneous, but what neither they nor the rest of us know is how many others, like myself, are utterly disgusted by their antics and are even more determined to stop them than ever. They’re playing with fire.

  10. margaret
    June 13, 2018

    Trumps done OK in Korea .I will go to the summit , I won’t go the summit, I will go the summit.They are now best of friends.

  11. Denis Cooper
    June 13, 2018

    To be honest I can hardly bear to watch the current Commons debates with the same old Remoaner rubbish, much of supplied by renegade civil servants, being recycled again and again without the government making any attempt to defend its official policy.

    This is all deliberate, isn’t it, JR?

    It’s deliberate that Theresa May did nothing to curb the power of the Lords despite it being obvious that they would try to block Brexit.

    And it’s deliberate that the government has never made any attempt to rebut Remoaner propaganda day after day, week after week, month after month for nearly two years now, so that gradually more of the public – and Tory MPs – have come to believe that Brexit will be a disaster and especially a “no deal” Brexit will be an utter catastrophe.

    And it’s also deliberate that Theresa May had wedded herself to two defective ‘solutions’ to the Irish border ‘problem’, both of which have been rejected by the EU, and has expressly ruled out the obvious, simple and effective course of action.

    We’re being betrayed, JR, and by your party just as much as the others.

  12. Blue and Gold
    June 13, 2018

    Ian Blackford did the right thing in working out in protest, as supported by his SNP colleagues.
    The way that this Conservative government, (and no , I’m not a Left winger just a normal citizen who dislikes the Left and Right), conducts it’s business is disgraceful.

    Devolved government means devolved government, the shoddy treatment yesterday was a disgrace.

    The only good thing about this is that it could be another step towards Independence, as I’m sure this would have irritated a lot of Scottish citizens.

    No, I’m not Scottish but have great sympathy with them.

    1. Edward2
      June 14, 2018

      Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.
      The referendum was a UK wide vote.

  13. Dunedin
    June 13, 2018

    Mr Blackford wasn’t complaining when the EU grabbed all the powers he keeps harrumphing about. If an independent Scotland sought to rejoin the EU in future, I wonder if he would be happy to hand these powers back to the EU?

    Can we hope for more SNP walkouts!

  14. Anonymous
    June 13, 2018

    Remainers cheat.

    At no stage during the referendum did anyone state “We’ll have to decide what Brexit actually means after the result.”

    They concocted this after they lost. In addition to this they call Leavers racists and foment hatred against the elderly.

    Awful people.

  15. Adam
    June 13, 2018

    Nick Clegg discredited himself. The yellow leaflet is a splendid memento. Not even a knight hood can conceal his inadequacy.

    The SNP walkout appeared planned. In response, John Bercow revealed his ineptitude & ineffectiveness, being ignored by many of those present. A Speaker with authority should be obeyed, with early recourse to the Serjeant at Arms to enforce. Ian Blackford might have had a valid point, but it was John Bercow whose performance was out of order.

  16. Denis Cooper
    June 13, 2018

    At present MPs are voting on a Labour amendment which says that the government should seek full access to the EU internal market.

    Well, of course, it should go without saying that we want to retain as much as possible of the huge benefits, about 1% of GDP, that we gained through the creation of the EU single or internal market, consistent with reclaiming control over immigration.

    But what do you think, JR, do you suppose that David Davis has ever pointed out to Michel Barnier that ACCORDING TO HIS OWN REPORT the creation of the single market added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states?

    While for the UK the benefit has been below that average, about 1% of GDP?

    And that the UK economy has expanded by more than that supposedly huge 1% single market benefit since the referendum, with natural growth above 3% of GDP?

    No, I don’t suppose David Davis has ever bothered to point that out to Michel Barnier any more than he has pointed it out to anybody else; it is still part of Tory dogma that the EU and its single market have been massively beneficial to our economy, and I don’t suppose that Theresa May will ever change her mind on that however often its falsity is pointed out to her – as it has been in the past.

    Anyway that Labour amendment has been defeated, and the Lords’ attempt to keep us in the EEA has also been heavily defeated so there will be anguish in some quarters.

  17. graham1946
    June 13, 2018

    I can’t make the SNP out. They say that powers that are being repatriated to the UK from Brussels concerning Scotland are being grabbed by the Government.

    Did they say anything whilst these powers resided with the EU? They seemed perfectly happy with this. Seems they just don’t want UK rule but are quite happy to be presided over by foreign powers. Scotland has lost its bottle.

    Lets have a nationwide referendum on Scottish independence next time, after all it is supposed to be a United Kingdom so why is it left to the Scots? Maybe because the government wouldn’t like the answer to a referendum again and it needs rigging?

    1. ChrisS
      June 14, 2018

      By my reckoning, Scottish Independence and a United Ireland would save English taxpayers £15bn and £10bn respectively as we subsidise each by those amounts.

      If the Welsh left as well, that would be another £14bn pa saved.
      An independent England outside the EU would therefore be £49bn pa better off.

      The only problem is, the Government of Eire is secretly terrified of the prospect of NI deciding to join the Republic. They simply can’t afford to take over the subsidy England provides. It would treble their deficit and put them well outside the 3% deficit limit that applies within the Eurozone.

  18. BenM
    June 13, 2018

    Here we are again fighting amongst ourselves.. nonstop.. instead of negotiating with the EU and ew trading partners- the cracks in the UK are starting to appear..Scotland will eventually break away..Northern Ireland will join with the Republic so as to remain in the EU..no doubt about it ..it is only a matter of time..probably ten years at most.

    1. JoolsB
      June 14, 2018

      Good riddance to them. Maybe then the UK Government, the only one England is allowed, will start focusing on the English for a change and start governing in their interests unlike now. All the billions of English taxpayers’ cash they throw at the rest of the UK, giving them much more per head to spend on all their freebies denied to us English, could be used on our young, our sick and our elderly instead.

      Why the English keep voting for anti-English Tory and Labour Governments who treat England as nothing more than a cash cow for the benefit of the rest of the UK and world but not themselves is the biggest mystery.

    2. acorn
      June 14, 2018

      I’ll vote for that Ben. After all, the “will of the people” in the country of Scotland, was to remain in the EU. Likewise, in the country of Northern Ireland.

      1. mancunius
        June 14, 2018

        Neither Northern Ireland and Scotland are independent countries, but constituent parts of the sovereign nation of the UK. The referendum was a UK-wide vote, and like all Westminster votes – and all foreign treaties and matters of foreign policy – it is not a locally devolved matter, but decided on a national vote.

        1. acorn
          June 15, 2018

          Gosh! You learn something new everyday on this site.

  19. Bob
    June 13, 2018

    Democracy is in a precarious state in Britain. The Lewisham East by-election hustings were cancelled by the Metropolitan Police due to a crowd of Marxist thugs and hecklers that came to disrupt the meeting.

    Tory and Labour candidates didn’t even turn up. Perhaps they had prior knowledge of the riot?

    No one was arrested or imprisoned though. Must be the right kind of political activists?

  20. mickc
    June 13, 2018

    Poor old Nick (well, not poor, actually rather well off), never did understand the British people; but then he has never lived amongst us…exactly like most of our rulers.

  21. alan jutson
    June 13, 2018

    How utterly Childish all this nonsense is becoming.

    Perhaps we would be better ruled by a foreign power if this is the standard of our Mp’s.

    I see the Bracknell MP resigned, he said on principle, then he abstained from the vote, what an absolute farce.
    He deserves to be deselected.

  22. John
    June 13, 2018

    I think the SNP displayed today that they are a boorish, undignified and disrespectful bunch. Thier attempt to bring the politics of the football terraces, which have already reduced most political debate in Holyrood to a sluice of shouting and frequent personal insults to Westminster was quite rightly halted by the speaker.

    And now every single one of them who stormed out in the tantrum that many 8 year olds would be embarassed about should be made to apologise in turn before being allowed to resume thier seats in the chamber.

    And if they refuse? Well it’s not like they ever have anything to say anyway. Mostly contributions I’ve seen are just political sniping for the sake of it rather than trying to convey a meaningful viewpoint.

  23. NickC
    June 13, 2018

    Suppose we had a second Leave/Remain referendum. If Leave won again then presumably even the Remains would have egg on their collective face, and no credibility. But what would happen if Remain won? Why would the second have stand alone legitimacy if the first didn’t? And if both referendums were valid, would we have a third as a decider? But if both one and two were valid, that makes the first valid. Which is contrary to what the Remains believe, otherwise they couldn’t legitimately demand a second. Remains obviously aren’t up to six impossible things before breakfast, but they can manage two.

  24. Oggy
    June 13, 2018

    I watched PMQ’s today and it was the most entertaining TV I’ve seen in a long while. It was extremely pleasurable to watch the SNP take their bat home whingeing all the way.

    But 2 years after Clegg walked out he was deputy PM !

  25. Ye Olde Sputnik
    June 14, 2018

    The SNP say they walked out because Westminster does not respect them. That is mean. That is not inclusive. Most institutions and people do not respect them

  26. Mark B
    June 14, 2018

    Good morning.

    And for me, the SNP can just keep walking.

    I have never understood so called ‘Nationalists’ why they are so desperate to leave the UK and yet, remain shackled to the EU ? I guess that they just are anti-English ……but still want others to pay for their national Socialist policies. Some freedom !

    Nick Clegg, or Sir Nick Clegg did rather well considering. Did badly in the 2010 GE yet, as head of a small minority party ended up as Deputy PM. One does therefore wonder why Irlene Foster MP of the DUP has to do to be afforded the same privilege ?

    Let’s see how long this missive takes to get out of moderation today ?

    Ho-hum 🙂

  27. Alison
    June 14, 2018

    That leaflet is treasure. No detracting from the diamond value of that leaflet, but there are quite a lot of these treasures in existence. I fear they may need to be used.

    I have another reason now for being 100% certain this whole SNP walk-out has been devised in advance. At 16.21 hrs yesterday I received an email from Nicola Sturgeon, asking me to join the SNP (I take the liberty of copying most of the brief text below). 16.21 hrs is just a few hours after the walk-out during PMQs. Did it really take Nicola Sturgeon just a few hours to put together that email, carefully crafted, and send it out? Was she watching proceedings? I find it very hard to believe that this was drafted, checked, circulated to whomever, adjusted for comments, checked and then sent out, just in a matter of hours. Here’s the text:

    “In 1997, together we voted Yes to a Parliament of our own.
    “After just 15 minutes and without one Scottish MP getting to speak last night, Westminster voted to rip up the 20-year-old devolution settlement.
    “The Scottish Parliament now has no way to protect Scotland from post-Brexit trade deals that open up our NHS to privatisation, or allow chlorinated chicken to be imported into Scotland.
    “Today, when our MPs tried to hold the Prime Minister to account, they were silenced.
    Enough is enough. Let’s aim high, look to the future with optimism, and never accept second best. Above all, it’s time to believe that we can.
    “We can build that better Scotland we know is possible. And, we will.
    “Join the SNP today.”

    I fear the SNP may have been double-devious, “forgetting” their script for the evening before (12 June) in the Chamber, in the hope that it would be picked up and incorrectly quoted as referring to the 13 June walk-out. Unfortunately that did happen. You may think I’m over-suspicious, but I simply would not put anything past several of the current SNP people.
    Tim Farron also tweeted yesterday about the 2008 fiasco: “we tried the same choreographed hissy-fit once (Lisbon treaty 2008) and we looked as shallow and pointless then as you [Stewart McDonald] do today”.

  28. A.Sedgwick
    June 14, 2018

    The complete disrespect of Parliament by this shower deserves a lengthy ban for all of them, the bowing to the Chair on leaving the House was replaced in numerous cases by waving and gesturing. They do not represent Scottish people I know and have known, including my grandmother.

  29. ChrisS
    June 14, 2018

    The SNP have clearly embarked on a renewed campaign to raise the demand for a second Independence referendum using Brexit as their principal weapon.

    Yesterday their PMs used the entirely false argument that they are being deprived of powers by the Conservative Government in Westminster. This is utter rubbish !

    The powers that they are talking about were never Scotland’s in the first place. They were transferred from Westminster to the EU before the Scottish Parliament was even built and are being repatriated to Westminster from whence they came.

    The Government is rightly retaining those that are important to the working of our own internal market and have announced that they plan to hand the rest to Scotland when we have left the EU.

    If the Scots are foolish enough to want independence, then I would let them have another vote on it. I suspect that, like me, a majority of English taxpayers are totally fed up with the SNP’s constant whinging and have no enthusiasm to continue subsidising Sturgeon’s socialist paradise to the tune of £10bn pa.

    Without Scottish MPs, and the Electoral Commission’s forthcoming reduction in the number of Welsh MPs, England would at last have overwhelming control of its own destiny.

  30. Original Richard
    June 14, 2018

    Mr. Clegg’s reason for a referendum was to obtain a mandate for the UK’s total integration into the EU Empire and had Remain won the UK would now be heading for joining the Eurozone, the EU military and for a common taxation, foreign and immigration policy.

    We would be ruled by Berlin via Brussels as a vassal state.

    Luckily for Leavers, so biased is the BBC reporting, and so locked up are the Civil Service and Remainer MPs in their Westminster/Brussels bubble that Mr. Clegg and his group were totally confident of winning the referendum despite UKIP winning the 2014 MEP elections.

    Had this not been the case we would never have been given the chance to vote.

  31. Old Albion
    June 14, 2018

    The SNP should stay out of the HoC permanently and leave English constituency MP’s to decide Englands future.

  32. Tad Davison
    June 14, 2018

    Yes indeed. The Lib Dems wanted a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU when they cynically thought they would win it. They must have calculated that if all the weight of the pro-EU establishment was mobilised, the ignorant people would swallow the guff (admittedly, a lot did or the result of the referendum would have been greater still in favour of leave).

    The trouble with any equation is to be accurate, everything has to be factored in. I guess the establishment hadn’t quite stuffed the country with sufficient numbers of immigrants to swing the vote their way.

    Tad Davison


  33. mancunius
    June 14, 2018

    To anyone watching the proceedings (e.g. on parliament tv) it was obvious that the SNP walkout was pre-arranged and staged (on instructions from Wee Nicola) in order to try to persuade the Scottish people that they Being Dissed By Westminster. So far the Scots have been unimpressed with her independence-for-Scotland propaganda.
    One good result was that the Brexit motions were minus several SNP votes, as they sulked in their tents outside the chamber.
    The BBC immediately rushed to a clamorous-toned report of ‘chaotic scenes in the House of Commons’. If that’s the BBC’s idea of ‘chaotic scenes’, they need to get out more, and visit Glasgow on a Friday night.

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