More lies about second referendums

I have never supported two referendums on whether to Leave or Stay within the EU, contrary to some misleading stories.

Years ago before the Conservative party agreed a simple Remain/Stay referendum there was a proposal to ask the people if they wanted to renegotiate our relationship, to be followed by an In/Out referendum. In the end the government  held a renegotiation without bothering with a referendum to approve such a renegotiation.


  1. Richard1
    August 6, 2018

    Could someone from Continuity Remain – or the BBC’s ‘fact check/ reality’ dept (“LoL” as a Millenial might say!) – please explain why it is that if we leave with no deal we will not be able to import tomatoes from Spain, lettuces from Holland, pharmaceuticals from Switzerland and Germany, wine from France etc etc? Presumably the U.K. isn’t going to insist on all sorts of delays while people with clipboards check these imports, so are we expecting all these producers suddenly to want to boycott the U.K. market, or are the EU to start a wartime-style trade embargo? I can’t see it but would be happy to hear why we might have all these shortages.

    1. margaret howard
      August 6, 2018

      They are just scare tactics. Like most of the the Brexiteer claims!

      What is far more likely is that we the consumers won’t be able to afford all these luxuries and will be reduced to a diet of cabbages and potatoes.

      1. L Jones
        August 6, 2018

        Oh dear, Margaret. If this keeps you awake at night because you REALLY believe such tripe, then maybe you should give yourself a break from Facebook and try reading something balanced and informative before you turn in.

        Perhaps you’d like to have a look at the Remain claims that have been ”scare tactics”. You might find quite a few (only not on Facebook perhaps).

        Or were you just being ironic?

      2. Grosser than yours
        August 6, 2018

        margaret howard
        65p each cabbages. Potatoes £1 per kg. Today’s, High price due to panic buying. 🙂

      3. libertarian
        August 6, 2018

        margaret howard

        Thanks for once again confirming that the average remain voter has not a clue about trade and business

      4. Richard1
        August 6, 2018

        I hadn’t heard that one yet. Let’s see how long it takes to emerge via eg the BBC as a potential outcome of no deal.

      5. Edward2
        August 6, 2018

        As average WTO tariffs are around 4% I don’t think it will create inability for us to afford imported goods Margaret.
        Or home producers might fill the demand.

    2. Know-Dice
      August 6, 2018

      It’s not going to happen…the EU putting illegal sanctions on the UK…I think Trump may have something to say about that…

      But of course UK Border Force/HMRC may decide to be “jobs worth” on this at Dover etc…

    3. rose
      August 6, 2018

      The Americans will have to lay on a Berlin style airlift for us to survive the Brussels blockade.

    4. Ed Mahony
      August 7, 2018

      Most people today are consumers, meaning if they can’t consume easily, they’ll go awol, including voting in Comrade Corbyn, if needs be, who will go for second referendum if it helps him get / stay in power.

      I’m all for Hard Brexit, if we plan for it properly (although i’d prefer we tried to reform the EU properly – stripping it of its political power). Otherwise, we could end up back in the EU with worse conditions than before, a retarded economy and country in general, and with the prospect of facing Corbyn / Labour in government for years to come.

      1. Ed Mahony
        August 7, 2018

        Whether we’re in or out of the euro is nothing compared to being in or out of the Single Market / Customs Union.

        Long-term, we can do just fine outside the Single Market / Customs Union. The problem is the short to medium term. You can have a great idea in business, but unless you have the capital and planning in place, then your business idea may well flounder in the short to medium term, when it could have been a good / great success in the long-term.

        The same applies for all big human enterprises, whether business, military or political (some argue about working out of chaos – but even there you need a genius leader like that to work, a genius such as a Napoleon, and even a Napoleon would prefer to work with proper finances and proper planning in place).

        1. Ed Mahony
          August 7, 2018

          Lastly, we don’t have the capital (or gifted leader) in place for Hard Brexit. We should at least have the most comprehensive / battle-ready plan for Hard Brexit. At least that’s what businesses say. Businesses can do their bit – although they’re still going to suffer in the short-to-medium term. But we also need government to come up with a really creative, comprehensive, and extraordinary plan to deal with what is an extraordinary situation.

          We only have to look at the Iraq War to see how governments (the US and UK) screwed up big time in their lack of planning over the Iraq War. Those who really want Hard Brexit in 2019, really have to grab the bull by the horns, and ensure, at this point, that we have the best plan possible to go into Hard Brexit with.

          Hard Brexit may well work, but we only make it more likely if we put as much pressure on our politicians as possible to ensure we have the best plan ready going forward.

          1. Ed Mahony
            August 7, 2018

            Lastly, now is the time for pragmatism and planning, not arguments for or against Brexit. Now is the time to make sure our politicians have the best plan possible to make Hard Brexit work. That’s just common sense. But at the moment, I don’t really see that happening. And that’s going too seriously spook many people in business, including investors, and in time, consumers, too, I think.

  2. Gary C
    August 6, 2018

    JR, you have made your position very clear however you are outnumbered by many who are untrustworthy, dishonourable, corrupt etc etc.

    Hopefully the voters will drain the swamp at the next election.

    1. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Cary C

      by many who are untrustworthy, dishonourable, corrupt etc etc.

      correct, correct. correct etc

  3. Ian wragg
    August 6, 2018

    The second referendum or peoples vote is the latest arrow in the Remainiacs armoury.
    In true Brussels form we must continue to vote until the correct result is obtained.
    The latest ploy is a 3 way vote to split the leave vote and give victory to the Remainiacs with 40% of the vote.
    Farage is spot on with the idea that the next move is to extend article 50 indefinitely to keep us paying for our colossal deficit and the wipe out of the Tories.

  4. Denis Cooper
    August 6, 2018

    JR, Remoaners are unscrupulous liars, and if we had a Prime Minister who actually believed in Brexit – as she seemed to at one time, back in the days of her Lancaster House speech – then she would have long ago ordered that the resources of her government be deployed to systematically expose the Remoaner lies, rather than not only help to spread their lies but also invent more lies for them to spread which is what she has been doing. And I have to say that nor does it help to treat our enemies, foreign and domestic, with entirely undeserved generosity by allowing them this free platform to broadcast their falsehoods.

    1. mancunius
      August 6, 2018

      Yes, DC, but for ‘undeserved generosity’ read ‘deceitful complicity’.

      1. mancunius
        August 6, 2018

        Ah, sorry: I see now you were referring to this website – so I withdraw my earlier comment.
        I agree with you about JR’s ‘undeserved generosity’ towards all those who impudently abuse it, but we should also bear in mind that freedom of speech is a British tradition. We are allowed to point out to them that they’re talking rubbish.

        1. L Jones
          August 6, 2018

          So it’s a pity that there aren’t many voices in Parliament telling them that they are ”talking rubbish”. Or it seems not – or is it that the press just isn’t reporting any fierce adverse reactions to Remainder lies?

    2. margaret howard
      August 6, 2018


      “Remoaners are unscrupulous liars”

      They missed a trick by not printing their ‘lies’ on the side of a bus….

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 7, 2018

        Come on, then, say exactly what you mean and prove it. Don’t just offer a snide repetition of what you have heard from like-minded people without bothering to check whether what they are saying is actually true. So say it and prove it.

        Meanwhile, I am still waiting for Andy to cite chapter and verse of the WTO rules he claims mean we will have to have a hard border with the EU.

      2. Tad Davison
        August 7, 2018

        A suggestion by a campaign group, not a promise by a political party. Anyway, the issue of extra NHS spending looks to have been resolved.

        If you really want to see remainer myths exploded, look up Andrew Neil on YouTube. He does a pretty good job of showing them up for the liars they are!

  5. Peter Wood
    August 6, 2018

    The government appears to be dysfunctional over Brexit. The PM is STLL talking about getting a “good deal” well that certainly is NOT the Chequers proposal as that has been ridiculed by almost everyone; so what deal is she talking about now? The rest of the world, including most of the cabinet, are now talking up WTO arrangements. What is wrong with the Tory Party, are the 1922 so pathetic now?

    1. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Peter Wood

      What is wrong with the Tory Party, are the 1922 so pathetic now?

      Got it in one

    2. alan jutson
      August 6, 2018


      Unfortunately for the UK Mrs May is so deluded she actually believes her Chequers Deal is a good deal, because she is only listening to her closest advisors who all appear to love the EU in all of its forms.

      Quite what she (or they) believes is a bad deal for the UK we have yet to find out !

      Quite why she is embarrassing herself, her Ministers, her Government, and the UK population by still trying to push this nonsense, and grovelling and begging the EU to accept it, when it is clear most leavers, and remainer politicians, and the UK population think it stinks, and have have already rejected it, bemuses me.

      Does she actually understand what trading under WTO terms would actually mean, has anyone truly explained it to her.
      It certainly is not a “No Deal” its a deal that over a hundred other Countries in the World operate under, including the EU. !

  6. Andy
    August 6, 2018

    Yeah, we believe you. Of course though it would not be a second referendum. It would be a third. You lost the first one in 1975 – and the subsequent 9 general elections to overwhelmingly pro-EU parties. Yet on that issue of Europe neither you nor any Tory Eurosceptic ever had a problem going against the will of your county or, indeed, the manifesto promises of your party.

    I also note that none of you would have had a problem with the idea of a second referendum if the Leave cheats had lost.

    1. sm
      August 6, 2018

      Really, you can now see into the minds of all of us who voted Leave, and KNOW ‘that none of you would have had a problem with the idea of a second referendum’?

      I think the heatwave is getting to you, Andy.

    2. Roy Grainger
      August 6, 2018

      How do you know if Leave has lost they would have asked for another referendum ? Bristol Council study ?

    3. Anonymous
      August 6, 2018

      “You lost the first one in 1975 – ”

      When we were told it was just a Common Market.

      “and the subsequent 9 general elections to overwhelmingly pro-EU parties.”

      Not one candidate wore the EU flag on his person or literature.

      “I also note that none of you would have had a problem with the idea of a second referendum if the Leave cheats had lost.”

      They didn’t cheat and no – we wouldn’t be demanding a second referendum. This is all precedented in the EU btw. Where the EU demands second referenda and then it all stops when they win.

      1. L Jones
        August 6, 2018

        Thanks, Anonymous, for stating the obvious (though not to Andy).

        If there were a way to give you an ‘up tick’ then I wouldn’t be writing unnecessary words!

        (But thank you, Dr R, for allowing us to let off steam!)

    4. mancunius
      August 6, 2018

      Wrong on every factual point.

      The 1975 referendum was fought on entirely bogus premises – as you know. Many of those who voted to join in 1975 voted to leave in 2016, having seen through the scam as it developed over the decades.

      The UK economy, not the EEC, was the main issue at every subsequent election from 1975. Since by 1997 both main parties were pro-EU, under the FPTP system no eurosceptic party could ever gain power. The stitch-up – and the refusal of a referendum on the entirely new EU treaty provisions continued through Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, as public disquiet steadily grew.

      The will of the country has been expressed through the June 2016 referendum, in which the majority, an unprecedentedly high number of voters – more than have ever voted for any goernment – voted to leave the EU.

      The Conservative manifesto promised to Leave the EU (the single market, the customs union, and *all* supervision by the ECJ) and to take back control. The party received the highest electoral support (42%) of any recent election.

      But then, you know all that already.

    5. Original Richard
      August 6, 2018

      We were taken into the Common Market in 1973 with promises that there would be no loss of sovereignty. There was then a renegotiation followed by a referendum in 1975 to decide whether or not to continue with our membership.

      For the next 4 decades Parliament signed us up to each new treaty, each time giving away some of our sovereignty, without a referendum or any specific mandate. This was illegal because although our Parliaments are considered sovereign, for the Parliamentary term only, Parliament does not have the authority to give away out country’s sovereignty without consenting the population.

      During this time the Common Market evolved to become the EU and a completely different organisation to the original Common Market for which the country gave consent to continue membership in 1975.

      If Parliament had offered a referendum at each EU Treaty, as it should have done, we and possibly the EU, would now be in a completely different situation.

      There is no problem to have a third referendum but this should only be once we have left the EU and all its institutions and when the EU has changed significantly so that the question as to whether or not we want to be a member is meaningful and is not simply asking the same question again.

      1. Tad Davison
        August 7, 2018

        Well written, but pearls before swine!


    6. fedupsoutherner
      August 6, 2018

      @Andy. You really are an idiot. You say:

      I also note that none of you would have had a problem with the idea of a second referendum if the Leave cheats had lost.

      If Leave had lost there would never have been a chance for a second referendum even mentioned and Brexit would not even be being discussed anymore. It would all be back to normal and don’t worry about those who wanted to leave. Instead, we have to listen to the crap that Remainers are bleating about and pay attention to their school boy ideas and their inability to accept they lost the vote.

      1. Anonymous
        August 6, 2018

        We would probably be well on the way to joining the euro by now. A Remain result would have been a green light for federalists.

      2. Mick
        August 7, 2018

        Fully agree fedupsoutherner , if the remoaners and lovers of the Eu love the Eu so much then they should pack afew bags and go live in there land of milk and honey were fairies and unicorns roam free bye bye they’ll not be missed

    7. Yvybybgh
      August 6, 2018

      Happy to have a second referendum with 2 options: leave with WTO rules or ‘leave’ on negotiated terms.

      But why bother if establishment don’t uphold result as before?

    8. libertarian
      August 6, 2018


      You seemed to have missed the most democratic election of all , an election fought entirely on Europe

      Andy I give you the 2014 MEP Euro election…. Which as you will recall was won by… UKIP with over 4 million votes

    9. Edward2
      August 6, 2018

      Wrong again andy I would be against a second referendum whatever the outcome had been in the first one.
      So your claim fails.

  7. Denis Cooper
    August 6, 2018

    On the topic itself, the preliminary referendum that you and others proposed at that time was termed a mandate referendum, as discussed here in November 2012:

    In the event David Cameron decided to attempt a renegotiation on the basis of a pledge included in the Tory 2010 general election manifesto rather than seeking popular support through a referendum just on that matter.

    Those criticising you through the medium of the Independent know this perfectly well but they are, as stated above, unscrupulous lairs, and hypocrites to boot.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 6, 2018

      The 2015 manifesto:

      “We will negotiate new rules with the EU, so that people will have to be earning here for a number of years before they can claim benefits, including the tax credits that top up low wages. Instead of something-for-nothing, we will build a system based on the principle of something-for-something. We will then put these changes to the British people in a straight in-out referendum on our membership of the European Union by the end of 2017.”

      During which referendum we were told:

      “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”

      That is, unless those who lost the referendum can manage to negate its outcome, with the active assistance of the government and civil service.

      1. Turboterrier.
        August 6, 2018

        @ Denis Cooper

        That is, unless those who lost the referendum can manage to negate its outcome, with the active assistance of the government and civil service.

        You left out the BBC, Sky News and the majority of the popular media

      2. Tad Davison
        August 8, 2018

        James O’Brien is right down there amongst the worst kind of those who distort the facts to suit their own ends. I don’t know how the hell these people get into journalism.


  8. Roy Grainger
    August 6, 2018

    What puzzles me about the second referendum crowd is why they think Remain should be on the ballot – that has already been eliminated in the previous people’s vote – the choice would only be WTO or May’s deal.

    John: Any clue what the outcome of May’s meeting with Macron was ? So far the negotiations have leaked like sieves from both sides but not this particular meeting. Odd.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 6, 2018

      Roy, you are so right. Try telling that to Andy. I’m afraid the question will be rigged to make sure we stay in in some shape or form.

    2. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Roy Grainger

      but not this particular meeting. Odd.

      Very Odd!!!

      1. Alison
        August 7, 2018

        Roy, Turboterrier, I am sure Macron was determined that there would be no leak from the meeting, and managed to impose respect of confidentiality on Mrs May. Complete confidentiality gives him the opportunity to consider what Mrs M says to him at greater leisure, and take into account whatever developments there are (and given Mrs May’s dreadful approach to negotiating Brexit, there are certain to be several as the weeks toward the Salzburg meeting pass).
        It also means much less losing of face for both Macron and May.
        I am afraid I don’t find the silence about the meeting reassuring at all.

        1. Mitchel
          August 7, 2018

          Peehaps they were just swapping make-up tips.

          1. Tad Davison
            August 8, 2018

            Pollyfilla and sandpaper.


    August 6, 2018

    Modern politics is vile, immoral and shamelessly deceitful. Propaganda has replaced informed discussion and factual debate. It is now little more than slander, demonisation and even criminality

    Embracing the values of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and respect for your own opponent is now an outdated mode

    It seems the only thing that matters is trying to silence your political enemy using any tactic, even with tactic State backing.

    It’s a disgusting environment created by a liberal left political elite determined to destroy democracy and liberty

    We need a Tory party and a Tory leader determined to purge a State that’s become a threat to us all

    1. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      Modern politics is vile, immoral and shamelessly deceitful.
      We need a Tory party and a Tory leader determined to purge a State that’s become a threat to us all

      Great Post Duncan
      It ticks all the boxes for a lot of us

      1. L Jones
        August 6, 2018

        Sad but true, Duncan and Turboterrier.
        Really very sad. Because there doesn’t seem any way to turn it around.

  10. Kevin
    August 6, 2018

    In the run up to the “alternative vote” (AV) referendum in 2011, some opponents objected that the AV method would lead to weak government. If the vote had passed, therefore, would it have been necessary to hold a second referendum because “the British people did not realise that they were voting for weak government”?

  11. Lifelogic
    August 6, 2018

    The last thing we need is a second referendum, the first was very clear indeed despite the sloped pitch of endless propaganda from government, the appallingly biased BBC, legal profession, MP, Lords, academia, Cameron’s leaflet of lies (paid for be tax payers), the punishment budget threats …… Another referendum would be even more in favour of leave.

    It is clearly the EU will either end up falling to pieces or as a single, anti-democratic, bureaucratic, over regulated and over taxed disaster area and then falling to pieces.

    What is needed is a sensible pro leave, low tax, cheap energy, Conservative Party led by a competent Brexiteer. This rather than one led by a dishonest, dim, robotic, left wing, interventionist & electoral liability who cannot be trusted one inch.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 6, 2018

      No one want Corbyn and a another Venezuela. It is the Conservative’s duty to ditch May and Hammond & finally get their act together. This behind a real conservative leader with honesty and a real Brexit vision. Not a daft remainer and dishonest socialist like May.

      1. Original Richard
        August 6, 2018

        The Brexit supporting Conservative MPs are not going to “send in the letters” in an attempt to unseat Mrs. May.

        This is because they know that the majority of Conservative MPs are hardened remainers and they would vote again for the remainer Mrs. May to be leader, as they did before for Mr. Major.

        This is why at the last leadership election, Boris Johnson said :

        “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances of Parliament I have concluded that person cannot be me.”

        He knew that the current Conservative Party’s MPs would not vote for a Brexiter, even if their party members overwhelmingly would support such a leader and no matter how electorally bad their situation becomes.

        1. miami.mode
          August 6, 2018

          You’ve hit the nail on the head there, OR. Correspondents to this site continually say that the leadership should be changed, but the people at the sharp end, the Brexiteer Conservative MPs, doubtless know the numbers in detail and obviously do not want to strike unless they could be fairly certain of victory.

          Politics at this level require the greatest of finesse. I think it was ‘reported’ at one leadership battle that when added together the total votes promised to each of the candidates equalled around 130% of those entitled to vote!

          1. Know-Dice
            August 7, 2018

            MM, I suspect you are right about the numbers, but, it would be interesting to know how close they are to the 40+ odd needed.

            And, are MP’s views changing as they see what a mess Weak & Wobbly is creating?

            Reply Only Mr Brady knows how many letters and he will tell no-one – If MPs want to change leader they need around 160 MPs to win a motion, not just 48 to trigger a motion.

          2. miami.mode
            August 7, 2018

            K-D. When I mentioned numbers I was thinking about the numbers needed to get a Brexiteer to a point where he or she would be put to the party membership as opposed to the number of letters submitted.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      August 6, 2018

      L/L. Right again as usual.

  12. alan jutson
    August 6, 2018

    The rules were set, the question was simple, we were told numerous times the decision would be final.

    If claims were made by either side, then the opposing side should have countered them with sensible facts and argument.

    Both sides had the opportunity to put there arguments forward, with Remain using taxpayers funding to support its case.

    The vote was held on a winner takes all basis.

    The Problem:
    Most politicians do not like the outcome, so are now trying to frustrate the process.
    Our Prime Minister does not have a clue how to negotiate anything, and is proven as being less than honest with her thoughts/actions.
    Thus the whole simple process of leaving and trading on the same WTO arrangements as most other Countries in the World, including the EU, has been hijacked and complicated out of all proportion by our own politicians, not those who represent the EU.

    Why should the Country need a second referendum, when the first one was run on such a clear basis.

    1. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Alan Jutson

      Why should the Country need a second referendum, when the first one was run on such a clear basis.

      Alan you could take over from our host when he goes on his hols!!


      1. L Jones
        August 6, 2018

        Agreed, Turboterrier. But the words ”most politicians do not like the outcome” are worrying. Is there no honour among politicians now, that even many of those representing ”leave” constituencies won’t stand up and be counted on behalf of their own people?

        I think that was a rhetorical question – no, perhaps there IS no honour. Why not?

  13. Adam
    August 6, 2018

    The Referendum outcome decided. Objectors are non-democrats whose complaints should be ignored. Responding to them adds traction to their reason to persist.

    The Law of Gravity was decisive. It may seem unfair to some who fall, but it does not weaken itself by entertaining complainants with tolerant explanations to deny blame. If it did, banner-wielding Anti-Law protesters would be marching in protest to the Science Museum.

  14. margaret
    August 6, 2018

    But we did not get anywhere with the negotiations .We do not need to waste money on a second referendum.

    1. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Margaret

      Steady on Margaret you must stop applying common sense

  15. Peter
    August 6, 2018

    More lies are inevitable. The ‘second’ referendum campaign is twisting comments made many years ago before the 2016 was ever proposed. Much has happened since then. Remain’s hypocrisy claims against prominent Leave campaigners do not bear scrutiny.

    Delay and abandonment are the areas where Remain will push hard now.

  16. byanothername
    August 6, 2018

    We can forget about a second referendum, because even if one were held the EU would not agree to it changing anything because they know there is too much division and discontent in the land. The problem for the EU is that they fear that this discontent could spread into the continent and that is the last thing they want- A50 has been triggered, and brexiteers can rest assured we will leave March 29 next.

    Liam Fox talks about the intransigence of the EU Commission but the EU side is not a government and the Commission is only representing the EU27 ..Barnier has his instructions according to their rules and dares not stray one bit from the script that is why there is no bending from the EU side. Mrs May should have got through at the Council level earlier with the heads of government but that moment has passed and the October meeting will be about winding things down.

    So we should just leave now and trade according to WTO rules- we can always open talks again in the future about new trade deals like Canada Plus when we can see better how we go.

  17. English Pensioner
    August 6, 2018

    I’m now concerned more about a news item which suggests that the Remainers, led by our PM and aided and abetted by Barnier & Co, are trying to postpone the date on which we are to leave the EU.

  18. Hope
    August 6, 2018

    Remainers tend to forget Cameron renegotiated with the EU, he toured all EU countries and claimed he reformed the EU and therefore campaigned for us all to vote remain. The other choice was leave on WTO terms. Cameron told us the U.K. Would leave the single market and customs union and all that stuff.

    We voted leave based on Cameron’s reformed EU! The choice was made. Consequently May’s punishment extension was always not necessary because Cameron reformed the EU. That is what he told us. The U.K. voted not to be half in and half out, it voted not to remain in parts, as Mayntold us because that would not be leaving.

    The alternative conclusion is that both lied to the nation. No other referndum required the votevwas the largest in electoral history to leave the EU. And leave we must.

    I note vile remainers targeting the home of JRM. Jail time for those responsible.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 6, 2018

      @Hope. If that’s true that JRM’s home is being targeted then hard jail sentences need to be given. We cannot have behaviour like this being allowed because it will lead to something more sinister eventually. It just shows you the character of many remainers. Not nice! It’s just another way to get rid of democracy and free speech.

  19. rose
    August 6, 2018

    There is a forceful campaign of lies and propaganda at the moment, right across the MSM. It is maddening, and being carried out with the repeated assertion that the Referendum was stolen by criminal activity. They could not be doing this without (acquiescence ed) of the Electoral Commission. What has happened to our bodies and institutions, that they can be so flagrant in their political bias?

    There was just a short window during the referendum campaign when there was what could have passed for a level playing field. But when you consider the £9 million leaflet from HMG, the uncosted activity by the Civil Service, the daily collaboration and communal briefing of the many Remain organizations, the two extra days the registration process was kept open because of two hours’ failure, the open bias of the major institutions from the Universities to the Bank of England, including of course the BBC, the shocking exploitation of the murder, you have to conclude there wasn’t even a level playing field then. And still Brexit won.

    1. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Rose

      And still Brexit won.

      Which makes a mockery of how our so called “elite” of this once great country have been given free reign to act as they do.


  20. bigneil
    August 6, 2018

    Someone else’s term I have seen on another site – Not trying to take any credit for it but it seems very apt. This EU vote is becoming deMOCKracy.

    1. Anonymous
      August 6, 2018

      I’m amazed that passed moderation.

  21. NHSGP
    August 6, 2018

    You should support a referendum on the deal with the EU.

    The Tories are looking to pay the EU up to 100 bn of other people’s money.
    You are looking to force people to pay thousands of pounds a year in subsidies to low paid migrants.

    Since you intend, ultimately to resort to violence if you don’t get the money from people, the deal should be put to the electorate.

    Even better we should have the right of informed explicit consent.

    That way brexiteers can say no, and they don’t get to fund the Eurocrat’s incompetence in not investing their pension contributions. The bailout can be paid by remainers, who will no doubt say yes and put their money on the line. Won’t they? of course they won’t.

    So that’s why a referendum on any deal is essential. It prevents you from screwing other people out of billions

    1. Know-Dice
      August 7, 2018

      And what do you suggest should be on the ballot paper?

  22. Denis Cooper
    August 6, 2018

    Off-topic, today City AM has this front page headline:


    Well, of course that may happen – it is what has been intended to happen – when for the past two years we have had yet another Tory government led by an incorrigible deceitful and hypocritical EU supporter, which has not only deliberately failed to counter any of the constant Remoaner propaganda about the economic impact of leaving the EU without a preferential trade deal but has covertly added its own contributions to that stream of false propaganda at taxpayer’s expense.

    I used to think it could be enough to free Theresa May from the pernicious influence of her favourite euromaniac civil service adviser Olly Robbins, but I now think we are well beyond that stage and both need to be removed.

    And even more do I think that we are well beyond the stage when it could have been worth trying to get some special trade deal, as I first mooted as long ago as November:

    “… reading that the EU may offer us a trade deal similar to that it has recently agreed with Canada, CETA, I wondered whether such a deal would even be worth the bother of the negotiations, or it would be better to say “No thanks, we’ll just stick with WTO trading terms for the moment, instead let’s get on and discuss the practicalities of continuing and facilitating our trade for a smooth transition”.”

  23. michael mcgrath
    August 6, 2018

    Perhaps Mrs May will visit Berlin to ask Mrs Merkel for permission to hold another referendum….offering a cancellation of our rebate in future as an inducement

    1. L Jones
      August 6, 2018

      I know that’s tongue-in-cheek Mr Mcgrath – but it still smacks of something that we believe Mrs M is quite capable of. Nothing seems to be beyond imagining any more, thanks to her.

      Who will rid us…..? etc

  24. robert lewy
    August 6, 2018

    The objection to a second referendum based on the idea that the question was too vague in the first referendum or that voters were misled or that there was insufficient information provided before the vote may or may not be true.

    However, as far as the economic case of leaving is concerned, one thing should be now be clear; One cannot definitively determine in advance whether or not Brexit will be economical beneficial or detrimental or even whether it will make more than a little difference . The reason for this is that there is no similar precedent so that projections based on other cases are of limited value and only suggest POSSIBLE outcomes.

    Whether or not Brexit becomes a success will no doubt be determined by;
    * how much freedom we have to alter arrangements for the future
    * how we deal with that opportunityThis means that confidence and execution will be key to the outcome.

    1. mancunius
      August 6, 2018

      Exactly – it is our domestic policies and their intelligent application that will decide our post-Leave future.
      That is why we must reject any role whatsoever for the ECJ: it is laughable for the EU to express ‘concern’ about the ‘fate’ its citizens in Britain – a country to which, during various times over the previous 85 years, many continental citizens too refuge from the totalitarian evils of fascism and communism in their own lands, and a bulwark of law and freedom the upstart EU will never be in a million years.

      As with any independent country, we must have the right to decide the terms on which any foreign residents are allowed to stay. If that means renewable visas, no benefits to family members abroad, deportation for offenses etc, so be it.
      The UK government, Parliament and courts must have entire supervision within this country. Britain reverts in March to being an independent common law jurisdiction, and the ECJ should and must have no further role whatsoever in decisions with regard to foreign residents on our shores.

  25. robert lewy
    August 6, 2018

    I came across this piece on Brexit Central by Daniel Moylan which covers issues which I am surprised have not been discussed more widely.

    The article ” What we should be concerned about in the proposed Withdrawal Agreement”
    homes in on what can only be designed an EU TRAP which lead to the probable outcome of a £39 billion payment to the EU combined with the worst of possible deals which could include e.g the yielding of sovereignty over Gibraltar to Spain.

    The TRAP as already been placed.

    Where is it? You guessed correctly in Ireland

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2018

      That trap has not only been placed, it has been sprung when Theresa May chose to walk us into it with her Mansion House speech in March.

      “But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.”

      The false argument that it is down to us to solve the problem because we chose to leave has come straight from Brussels and it is telling that our Prime Minister, who should be on our side, has adopted it at no charge to them.

  26. Rien Huizer
    August 6, 2018

    It looks as if you supported a series of two referenda and then changed your mind given the circumstances. Very reasonable behavior. If circumstances change, policies might and often will. Why not change your mind again, under the circumstances that no domestic British compromise might emerge about brexit? Let me help a little:
    (1) a second referendum (better phrased than the past one) might not clarify issues sufficiently. That could be helped by presenting two or three (in which case arun=off would be necessary) alternative scenarios, each representing a version of brexit, eg no deal, Norway, Canada. With their econbomic consequences explained by a bipartisan expert panel with assistance from the BoE or another independent yet qualified research institution (Minford would not do, unfortunately) ;
    (2) the outrage among the “winners” (ie the ones who identify with the referendum majority) about not getting what they voted for. That one is easy: no party in modern history has given voters all of what they voted for so why break that tradition. Only dictatorships can honor their promises, of course subject to circumstances…

    1. mancunius
      August 6, 2018

      Right, so you want the referendum re-run with questions of your choice, the propaganda intervention of the (Irish and Canadian) BoE governer. but without allowing freedom of speech, particularly not to any economists you personally dislike, and the bizarre assurance that whoever wins cannot expect to get what they voted for…except in a dictatorship.

      That sets a new high bar for nonsense.

      1. Rien Huizer
        August 6, 2018

        Wonderful to see how people are unable to read a text properly. These referendum questions happen to be plausible to me but it is not my referendum, I am only making suggestions. The fact that democratic processes will not, in general, result in promises that politicians will keep stems from the competitive nature of the process. A democratic politician may (and probably will, when it suits him) promise you something that he will be unable to give, simply because he must compete with someone who made that promise first. Neither politician will do as promised because both know that the promise is part of campaigning and unrealistic. The winner then becomes vulnerable to criticism but since he is in power that may not harm him immediately. There may be many other issues that the electorate finds more important.

        Dictators, on the other hand may have the power to keep their promises (which do not have to be very challenging) and will honor them if it helps them to stay in power and extract more from their victims. Or they may not.

        My point is basically about the concept of “winner”. The Leavers did not win. The politicians promoting that side did or, may have won. The jury is still out on the result as we know.

        1. stred
          August 7, 2018

          Your European version of democracy is not what we expect in the UK. Unfortunately, the British PM and most MPs agree with you. We will be getting rid of them at the next election. If only the honest Conservative and Labour MPs would break away and take on alternative prospective candidates in a party such as Conservative Independence, offering to support the government – as the NI Democrats, May would be up the creek without her big business supplied paddle.

    2. Anonymous
      August 6, 2018

      No one complained about lack of clarity until Remain lost.

    3. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2018

      There is no “it looks as if”; those who frequented this blog around that time could see perfectly clearly what was being proposed and why, and it would be perfectly clear to you as well except that it was all before you started trolling the site.

  27. NickC
    August 6, 2018

    Remains never ask us Leaves what we wanted, they tell us what we wanted. It’s that sort of arrogance – mimicking their EU masters – which went a long way to us voting to Leave the EU treaties.

    1. Andy
      August 6, 2018

      Tell us what you want then. Give us a list – 5 bullet points – in order.

      (You might want to discuss it with the others as you don’t all agree).

      1. L Jones
        August 6, 2018

        Once again – oh dear, Andy.
        Perhaps YOU’D like to take this opportunity to give us a list of all the things you admire about your EU masters and why, exactly, you believe staying shackled to your much-admired EU would be in the best interests of our country.
        We have asked many times WHY it would be in our interests to stick with this execrable ‘organisation’

        1. Andy
          August 7, 2018

          I am happy to tell you what is good about the EU – and I have done frequently. My posts don’t get through moderation – strange that.

          But here goes again.

          – Free movement: A beautiful right for you, your children and your grandchildren to work in more than 30 countries bureaucracy free.
          – The best consumer rights in the world.
          – The most comprehensive human rights on that planet.
          – The strongest rights for workers.
          – A Parliament where all voices are heard – even the nasty ones.
          – The highest product standards.
          – A clampdown on abuse by multinationals like Google and Apple.
          – Completely frictionless trade with more than 30 countries.
          – The Euro.
          – Trade deals with dozens of countries.
          – A commitment to peace, democracy and cooperation.
          – Free data roaming.
          – The strongest environmental standards.
          – Clean beaches.
          – Clean air.
          – A war on plastic waste.
          – Abolition of credit card fees.
          – The EMA
          – Open Skies
          – Euratom
          – Galileo
          – Migration.
          – Fewer bureaucrats than Derbyshire County Council.
          – Guaranteed investment in the poorest communities
          – Erasmus
          – EHIC.

          I could go on – but it is depressing creating a list of wonderful things that the angry pensioners have taken away.

          Reply In case you hadn’t noticed we do not belong to the Euro. So do you like Euro austerity policies, cuts in cash benefits, pensions and public sector wages in various Euro member states, the big recession visited on us and others by the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the damage done to our fishing grounds by the CFP, the requirement to impose VAT on a wide range of essentials that should be tax free etc

      2. libertarian
        August 6, 2018


        We want to leave the EU

        We want to leave the Customs Union

        We want to leave the single market in goods

        We want to leave the ECJ

        We want to leave the free movement of people

        I think most leavers are pretty onside with that list

        Now Andy

        Give me 5 reasons why you think that the EU is a great thing to belong to that can’t be achieved if we dont belong

        1. Andy
          August 7, 2018

          It’s free movement of workers, not people.

          1. graham1946
            August 7, 2018

            Wrong again, as usual. Libertarian is correct.

            According to the European Parliament, Freedom of movement of PERSONS (my u/case) ‘is the cornerstone of Union Citizenship established by the Treaty of Maastrich in 1992’ (the one Major railroaded through parliament without referendum although he seems keen on having second ones now). This treaty introduced the notion that being an EU Citizen underpins the right of PERSONS to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States. It was confirmed by the Lisbon Treaty (another one introduced by the back
            door). The ‘WORKERS’ bit was in the 1957 Treaty and is now out of date.

      3. NickC
        August 7, 2018

        Andy said: “You might want to discuss it with the others as you don’t all agree”.

        Why must we agree? Because you say so? It is not up to you to insist upon uniformity for our reasons for voting Leave. That is a most illiberal stance.

        There are always a variety of reasons for voting one way in a referendum and an election, for both sides.

        1. Andy
          August 7, 2018

          It matters because you need a mandate – and if you don’t all agree on hard Brexit then you don’t have one.

          16.1m voted Remain – most of these Remainer voters could, probably, (albeit reluctantly) live with an EEA, EFTA, Norway or Swiss style relationship with the EU. It is inferior to what we have but it superior to the anesthetic-free amputation Mr Redwood seeks.

          Now it is a simple statement of fact that plenty of Leavers – including high profile ones – have also at various points before, during and even after the referendum advocated these sorts of models. too. Daniel Hannan and Lord Owen for example. It does not take many of the 17.4m – less than 4% in fact – to agree with Hannan for soft Brexit to have a majority. Indeed, soft Brexit also convincingly won the 2017 general election – much to your annoyance no doubt.

          So there you have it. No mandate for hard Brexit. Mandate only for soft Brexit. Democracy eh?

    2. Turboterrier.
      August 6, 2018

      @ Nick C

      which went a long way to us voting to Leave the EU treaties.

      Totally correect

  28. robert lewy
    August 6, 2018

    A second referendum is essential for REMAINERS so that they fix it properly next time!

  29. ChrisS
    August 6, 2018

    Interesting article in the Sunday Times over the weekend by David Owen offering a third way between WTO and the Chequers nonsense.

    Essentially, Owen is saying ( I quote ) :
    “We should assert our right to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) as a non-EU contracting party after we leave the EU on March 29 next year.

    However, we should do so as part of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) governance pillar, not the EU pillar where the European Court and Commission hold sway.

    There is a precedent for a such a change in the other direction when Austria, Finland and Sweden transitioned smoothly from the Efta pillar to the EU pillar in 1995”.

    According to Lord Owen, we would regain full sovereignty and be outside of the influence of the ECJ

    I wonder if our host or our resident Guru, Denis, has a view on it ?
    It all sounds terribly sensible to me.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 6, 2018

      But we have no unilateral right either to join EFTA, or to stay in the EEA by any other means. These are both multinational treaty organisations which require unanimous approval by the parties of any changes to the founding treaties, and in the case of the EEA the EU itself is a party along with each of the EU member states. So even if we wanted to go down that route – which I would not – we cannot demand it of the other parties. On the other hand, we are already a party to the WTO treaties and neither the EU nor any of the EU member states can take that away from us, we do not have to plead and supplicate and beg for their agreement.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 6, 2018

        My CAPITALS here:

        “The EEA Agreement explicitly states that a country which becomes a member of the EU shall also apply to become party to the EEA Agreement (Article 128). The terms and conditions for such a country to participate in the EEA Agreement shall be subject to an agreement.

        With ten new members acceding to the EU on 1 May 2004, there was a need to negotiate and adapt the EEA Agreement to take account of the new situation. This was the first time in the ten-year history of the EEA that new members needed to accede to the Agreement following negotiations on the terms of participation. The resulting EEA Enlargement Agreement was provisionally applicable as of 1 May 2004, concurrently with the EU Enlargement, and entered into force on 6 December 2005 AFTER THE COMPLETION OF RATIFICATION BY ALL PARTIES.

        On 1 January 2007, Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU and the corresponding EEA Enlargement Agreement extending the EEA to those countries was provisionally applicable as of 1 August 2007 and entered into force on 9 November 2011.

        The latest enlargement of the EU took place on 1 July 2013 when the Republic of Croatia joined the Union, and upon the entry into force of the corresponding EEA Enlargement Agreement, the EEA will comprise 31 countries with more than 500 million citizens. The EEA Enlargement Agreement is provisionally applicable as of 12 April 2014 and is currently pending RATIFICATION BY THE PARTIES.”

        (As far as I can see that full ratification has still not been completed.)

  30. gregory martin
    August 6, 2018

    I have little regard for this ongoing debacle. When one examines the results of the 2016 referendum, only in three regions was there not a resounding vote to LEAVE. It simple to realise that these regions are not typical of the United Kingdom .Scotland is engaged in its future destiny illusion, those parts of NI that voted remain, wish to be considered Eirean, and modern day London is so ‘multi-cultural’ as to fail the Tebbit ‘cricket’ test. Between them they presented 1,484,121 votes. This is minute when compared to the vote majority; when compared with the approximate 5.3 million who are thought incapeable of registering to vote at all; and the further 9.1 million who could not resolve a yes/no question, and did not vote.
    Why are our Government not influencing this “vote block”, nor actively collecting the £5.3Bn due as fines for non registration?
    Why are they incapeable of simple things?

  31. backtothefuture
    August 6, 2018

    NickC .. don’t worry we will be free from the EU in March, only thing nobody knows what we are going to do then- so far Govt ministers including Mr Fox have not come up with even one sensible idea for our future trading relationships and now it looks like we are leaving the EU without a deal and so going to WTO rules. Back to the future

    It will be interesting but I think that is the last time government, any UK government, will give a say to the people by way of referendum on how things will be decided. they already think- too much trouble-

  32. Original Richard
    August 6, 2018

    Mr. Blair is trying to sell the idea of a second referendum on the basis that since there was a referendum to start negotiations to leave we should have a second referendum to decide if we want to leave on the terms thus negotiated.

    He has conveniently forgotten that the question on the ballot paper was whether we wanted to remain or leave and not whether we wanted to “start negotiations to leave” or simply remain.

    We’ve already made the decision to leave, but then, like all EU supporters, Mr. Blair does not believe in democracy.

    And there is no point in a second referendum anyway because the EU has made it quite clear that it will never change any of its policies.

    1. Anonymous
      August 6, 2018

      It’s a con. Here’s why:

      2nd Referendum question:

      – Accept deal

      – Remain in the EU

      So Leavers who dislike the deal give in to Remain.

  33. mancunius
    August 6, 2018

    …whereas Cameron held the referendum without bothering much about the prior renegotiation. Trumpeting this failure as a success annoyed many. But Cameron’s fate was sealed by his Bilderberg blizzard of appeals to ‘international support’ to cover over his inadequate negotiations. That opened the eyes of very many voters to the extent of the conspiracy to keep us tethered to the EU.
    Now we see CCHQ terrified by threats from big business. If the Tories let us leave the EU, the CBI grandees threaten to stop funding the party.
    Hopefully somebody inside CCHQ will point out to them that if we don’t leave, fully and irrevocably, there’ll be no party for them to fund: for in that case nobody will vote for the Tories, and they’ll sink noiselessly into the dustbin of history.

  34. Steve
    August 6, 2018

    Well come on JR, you’re in government, lies goes with the territory.

    Lies from governments is what us ordinary folk have to put up with every day.

    At least no one can say you’re out of touch with the common man if you get the same lies as we do.

  35. margaret howard
    August 6, 2018

    Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

    The aims of the Common Market are:

    Bring together the peoples of Europe

    Raise living standards and improve working conditions

    Promote growth and boost world trade

    Help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world

    Help maintain peace and freedom

    That’s exactly what we got.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2018

      Anybody who reads that 1975 pamphlet in the light of what has happened subsequently can see that it was misleading on at least three levels:

      1. It pretended that there had been a major re-negotiation of our terms of membership, when in fact there was no change of sufficient significance and permanence to require amendment of the treaty.

      2. It misrepresented the current situation as it was in 1975.

      3. It deliberately failed to make it clear that by design this was not a static situation, that the UK would be committed to a relentless process of “ever closer union” going far beyond the level of integration required for what it called “the Common Market”, and that the Court of Justice would not act as an impartial arbitrator in trade disputes but instead would help to drive that process on through its decisions.

      As examples, the first paragraph in the section “Will Parliament lose its power?”:

      “Another anxiety expressed about Britain’s membership of the Common Market is that Parliament could lose its supremacy, and we would have to obey laws passed by unelected ‘faceless bureaucrats’ sitting in their headquarters in Brussels.”

      ignored the 1963 assertion by the Court of Justice that the treaty had created a new legal order inherently superior to the national legal orders of the member states; while

      “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament”

      “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

      were already untrue at that time.

      As was this assurance in an earlier section:

      “There was a threat to employment in Britain from the movement in the Common Market towards an Economic & Monetary Union. This could have forced us to accept fixed exchange rates for the pound, restricting industrial growth and putting jobs at risk. This threat has been removed.”

  36. Peter D Gardner
    August 7, 2018

    Yes, Dr Redwood. Truth seems to be in short supply and our Government encourages the dirth by promoting Project Fear Mk NNN.
    I often wonder, when neither Government nor Parliament can be trusted, what are people supposed to do?

  37. Alison
    August 7, 2018

    Various Remainers are telling the media that they don’t think Remainers would win a second referendum. I am convinced that most of them are saying this to entice Leavers to agree to a second referendum.
    I also seem to remember a mention by some in the EU that they should campaign more actively for a Remain vote in the second referendum. They want our money. A Remain vote second time around would also silence the UK’s nuisance level, except in the European Parliament.
    Clearly a lot of money is going into the People’s Vote materials, etc ed.

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