The Independent Group and anti semitism

Yesterday we had a moving and important debate in the House about the rise of anti Semitism in the UK. Most of us agreed that it is a nasty racism which no-one in a decent democracy should have to confront. James Brokenshire made a powerful speech for the government setting out how we must all take action to prevent it. The Labour spokesman Barry Gardiner apologised to the Jewish community on behalf of the Labour party and confessed that there has been a strand of virulent anti Semitism within Labour that they need to control. He spoke with passion and feeling.

The new Independent grouping of Labour MPs were well represented. They gave good support to Luciana Berger who catalogued the abuse she has faced from Labour party members and social media for her Jewish ancestry. Another group of active Labour MPs sitting on the two back benches behind their Shadow Spokesman also delivered powerful asides and interventions, demanding that their party did more than just offer an apology but tackled the backlog of cases that have been referred to the National Executive alleging anti Semitism. They showed considerable sympathy for their former colleagues and expressed similar feelings. They were keen to see the expulsion of Derek Hatton, recently admitted to the Labour party again.

Into this emotional rift came the resignations of three Conservative MPs from the Conservative party. They too wish to be seen as independent, though it is not clear they are the same kind of independent as the Labour group. Their reasons seemed somewhat different to the Labour explanations given the day before. They have yet to articulate exactly what they want to stand for, or why they have moved away from the 2017 Conservative Manifesto with its clear pledge to leave the EU and its customs union and single market in order to  fulfil the mandate of the EU referendum. They say in general terms they object to the very Brexit which helped get the Conservatives elected, and that they think the modernising agenda has been overthrown. They also dislike austerity, which ironically came from the modernisers David Cameron and George Osborne that they professed to like.

The Labour independents have said they are not forming a new party and will not be contesting elections. The polling assuming they would shows them capturing just 14% of the vote, mainly at the expense of Labour who go down to 28%, and squeezing the Liberal Democrats down to 7%.  The sense from yesterday is the main reason they have split from Labour is one of attitude and tone from the leadership. They dislike Mr Corbyn and dislike the intolerance they find in the party. Others might follow them judging by the reactions of some other Labour MPs during the debate.

The Conservative party will come together again as soon as we are out of the EU. It has been the delay in our exit for 2 years 9 months that has allowed the argument about how and when  we leave to fester. The Labour party has deeper seated disagreements within it which pose a problem for the leadership. At Prime Minister’s Question time neither leader wanted to mention the difficult topic of defections.

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168 Comments

  1. Peter
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    “The Conservative party will come together again as soon as we are out of the EU.”

    First of all we have to leave the EU. That could be a lengthy process especially if the widely anticipated delay happens.

    I don’t share your sanguine view that the Conservative party will reunite. The electorate will hold them accountable for attempting to thwart a referendum result. Realignment will occur with new parties.

    The three stooges can say what they like. Attempts were made to remove Soubry and there are doubts she would get re-elected whatever party she was in.

    Again none of them has the decency to immediately put themselves before their constituencies for reelection.

    • JoolsB
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Exactly – they jumped before they were pushed. I just hope a few more of the EU loving anti- Brexit ‘Tory’ MPs like Grieve, Rudd & Hammond will join them once Brexit is over and we are out of the EU (if it happens!!) Agree if they had any decency, they would put themselves up for re-election in a by-election but their excuse for not doing so are they don’t want to disrupt the public yet they are perfectly happy to disrupt and insult the public by wanting a ‘peoples’ vote’ i.e. another referendum. Good riddance to them!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Dominic Grieve said this morning that he could eventually be driven to leave the Tory party unless the government agreed to accept whatever appalling deal the EU chooses to offer.

        Which reflects the supine, eurofederalist attitude of the great majority of parliamentarians in both chambers, that however damaging the deal on offer may be we should either humbly accept it and say “Thank you very much” or we should beg to be allowed to stay in the EU.

        Of course they don’t express it in those terms, but that is what it boils down to. As mentioned previously there are echoes of what happened between Austria and Serbia in July 1914:

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/01/27/questions-for-remain/#comment-991418

        ““As the German ambassador to Vienna reported to his government on July 14, the [note] to Serbia is being composed so that the possibility of its being accepted is practically excluded.”

        If the withdrawal of a member state from the EU was made conditional upon the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement then the EU could simply make demands that the state could not possibly accept, effectively vetoing its withdrawal.”

      • Hope
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        It strikes me these lying traitors used and abused their supporters to get them to raise funds for their campaign, allow them to campaign and work to get them elected and ow we are able via Guido to see the lies they utter today compared to when seeking election.

        By election for all three. Associations and Constituents need to petition for right to recall ASAP. Deselect Letwin, Grieve, Greening do let them carry on being paid while failing and having lied to their constituents. They want a people vote then call a by election, same for those threatening to leave.

        The losers group are a collection of spiteful people who did not get their way. All could have campaigned and stood for election as a remainer under Lib dem! Shysters.

    • eeyore
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Ironic that those who demand the country thinks again on Brexit won’t let their constituents think again on them. At least, though, they recognise that when an institution is unsuitable the best thing to do is leave it.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 4:55 am | Permalink

        Great post.

    • Merlin
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Had a very interesting response yesterday.

      I reported some worrying news I had heard about the business climate.

      I was then told I should get my news from somewhere else. This is a terrible suggestion and ties in with the ‘fake news’ agenda. The mainstream media may not be perfect, but simply visiting Brexit.com or Remain.com will simply tell you what you want to hear. Personally, I think it is important to be open-minded and listen to all sides. Which, incidentally, is why I visit this site.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        You didn’t say which business, which industry sector, I can tell you there are businesses I know that are seeing opportunities for growth and expansion after Brexit.

        • Merlin
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          I agree. My issue is more about people telling me ‘to get my news from somewhere else.’

          A profoundly alarming suggestion I think.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Merlin,

        IMO delay and uncertainty is the biggest problem, I think that WTO would give less delay and more certainty than the “Withdrawal Agreement”.

        What is your take on this?

        • Merlin
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Thank you very much for asking my opinion. I hope I can repay your faith. I find prediction very difficult – especially the future.

          My preference is Remain, as none of what’s been offered seems to come close to what we have now. But that risks not respecting the referendum.

          If we have to accept ‘the will of the British people’, then I’m with you on No Deal – as I think it’s important to settle this argument for once and all.

          May’s deal seems worse than both – due to the vassal state problem.

          None of these solutions fill me with joy.

          • L Jones
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            Thank you, Merlin, for putting your case. It’s interesting. But can you state with no doubt that our remaining with the EU would have been remaining with the status quo?
            It seems that the EU IS rapidly changing – its ”ever closer union” mantra suggests moving towards SOMETHING. Is that which it’s changing into acceptable in your eyes? And how we should have had to change with it – would that have been acceptable too?

      • hefner
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Indeed this site is worth checking for Sir John’s contributions and those from a very limited number of people. Even so some of those who were quite informative/well informed/reference providing some months ago have now joined the swamp …
        It is a shame particularly as if it reflects the trend in the country I cannot see an enlightened future for the UK.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Merlin

        Actually what you should do is not rely on news sites of any kind because they all have an agenda. What you should do is talk to people who run businesses and know what they are facing. There are major issues in the business environment at the moment and nearly all of them have nothing to do with Brexit

        • Merlin
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          But everybody has an agenda and a point of view – including people who own businesses. That’s life.

          Also I generally find the news very useful to listen to, as it’s usually correct and reports facts.

          I don’t buy this fake news stuff. I believe the truth will always come out, which is incidentally why I believe Brexit to be ultimately doomed. There is a long history of populists going down in flames when they have to live up to their overblown promises.

          • a-tracy
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            The reason I worry about ‘fake news’ is because quite a lot of the alarming news stories seem to just fade away when disproved without anyone being held to account.

            Take the latest one today that the EU could put 40% tariff on food to the UK say the British Retail Consortium. I thought we put tariffs on imports, not the exporter?

          • L Jones
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            If Brexit is ”doomed” in your opinion, Merlin, then why do you think should we remain shackled to the EU and be dragged down – or along – with it, not matter where it leads, without a strong voice of our own?
            Is that a good thing?
            Wouldn’t you rather go down fighting on our own terms?

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The reasons put forward by the three were unconvincing. What they really want is to stop Brexit despite all that has gone before. That is an untenable stance. That they appear not to recognise that fact shows how out of touch they are.

      As for the Tory party, before it can heal the divisions within it, it must elect a new leader with the participation of its members. Otherwise it risks atrophy. It is, it appears, run by a small cabal at the top. It appears there is little or no connection with the bulk of its members in any meaningful way – they have been cut out of most processes that formulate policy according to a recent article posted on Conservative Home. They were cut out of the last leadership election by all contenders except one, Mrs May, falling by the wayside. Until she is replaced, the party and the government which she (nominally) leads will lack credibility and respect.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      The Tories have not prepared for what was on the ballot slip. No Deal.

      They can argue until they’re blue in the face what ‘Leave’ meant but surely someone of importance somewhere must have thought “Hang on. The literal meaning of this is to quit the EU completely and we must prepare for that.”

      I hold Hard Remainers responsible for our predicament entirely. Trying to drag us back into the EU is what has caused Brexit *uncertainty*.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        May said from the start she was Strong and Stable and that no deal was better than a bad deal.

        Why would the EU budge a centimetre when they know remainer MPs are willing to bring the British government down to get their own way?

        If Britain did leave without a deal, could we set tariffs on produce we import and agree the same % with every Country under WTO rules, so that if the EU don’t want to sell with that tariff they don’t have to, so that other Countries that do want to provide foodstuffs we don’t grow for ourselves can supply us at that agreed tariff?

    • Timaction
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Lots of navel gazing politicos not interested in the National interest just themselves. Time for change. Time to clear the swamp of these awful people. The people know best and Brexit has shown us the light.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        I think Sir Vince Cable may be think of joining the Independent Group. He’s fed up with the current leadership of the Lib Dems and says it has swung too far to the centre.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      A General Election is necessary to clear the current never ending political hypocrisy. The picture of these three laughing if they are on a convivial outing is stomach churning.

  2. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I somewhat object to Brokenshire saying we must all take action as if we’re all somehow part of the problem. I’m not and I’m puzzled as to what action he thinks I can take. Anyway, every single one of the Independent group are hard-core people’s vote Remoaners, if anti-Semitism was the real reason they quit then there’d be some non Brexit-extremists amongst them.

    • Merlin
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure any Brexit moderates exist.

      It’s a bit binary to take a moderate position – though, trust me, I’m trying my best.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Merlin

        Blimey you are so detached from reality . Go and have a lie down

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          Libertarian

          Stop preaching you are not always right

          • Ian wragg
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Chi. You are rarely right.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            You are quick with short responses hans.
            Perhaps you should take your own advice

    • Peter
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      “I somewhat object to Brokenshire saying we must all take action as if we’re all somehow part of the problem. ”

      Reminiscent of the Peter Simple character Dr. Heinz Kiosk – ‘We are all guilty’.

      The trend to use victimhood – real or imagined – as a political weapon increases. It is a foundation stone of the seven dwarfs new TIG party.

    • Andy
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Just a thought – but you could perhaps start by stopping being derogatory to half the population? Actually, probably more than half as we know millions of remainers were not allowed to vote.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        And millions of leavers were not eligible to vote either.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Start by stopping? Right.
        Millions of remainers not allowed to vote, eh? And what makes you so sure how they’d vote? It hasn’t passed by many young people, I’d guess, that your EU masters haven’t exactly been covering themselves with glory recently. You do young people an injustice. Many of them are far better read than you, Andy, and with more open minds too, and will be ready to applaud their country for embracing a golden future.
        Unfortunately (or fortunately if I’m charitable) you will partake in that future and ”those who would have been your sons” (apologies RB) would thank their country for their escape from a dystopia, and all it entails for our country’s youth.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Andy – you are derogatory and abusive to more than half the population on a regular basis here with you’re ageist rants and abuse of Brexit voters. Physician heal thyself.

        • Andy
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          I am not ageist. I merely want pensioners to recognise the huge damage their generation has done, and to do more to pay their share – which will not. And, no, even if you have paid in for 40+ years most of you will take out more than you ever put in.

          I am standing up for a Conservative value – that you should be self-sufficient – and you are the ones demanding a leftist subsidy just because someone is elderly and was too reckless to save sufficiently for their own old age.

          Plus, ONS stats say less than 20% of the population is over 65. Even a Brexiteer can’t make that equal half. (And 17.4m out of 65m isn’t close to half either).

  3. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Soubry won’t be missed. While she was at it she could have done us all a favour and taken Morgan, Grieve Clarke and anyone else who seeks to overturn Brexit with her. The manifesto was to leave the EU. Not the fudge May is trying to get through. It is disgusting what MP’s from all parties are trying to do and they don’t realise how sick to the pits of our stomachs many of us are when we witness the vile behaviour of many. The ERG are the only true Democrats. Hats off to them. As for Labour, I couldn’t give a stuff. Nasty party run by two nasty men.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Your concern is well founded; it looks like May will have nothing new (worth voting on) by the 27th, and then we have the issue of the Letwin/Cooper amendment finding majority support. If that occurs we could remain in forever. As stated by others, we have a ‘Remain Parliament’ majority, how our host and the ERG can outwit them is going to be the question.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        If enough ERG members left the party that could bring down the government, no government, no one to extend Art 50 so we just leave.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Fedupsoutherner,

      I agree. Obviously it cannot be compared with the antisemitism that is going on, but the Brexitism that some remainer MPs, commentators and media have shown is part of the worst side of identity politics and profiling. Brexitism supporters are painted as stupid, racist, out of date and must be made to suffer. The MPs that acknowledge the democratic referendum result are treated as extremists. Democratic Brexi supporters seem to be the one group that is fine to traduce

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      It is notable that all the media coverage I have seen and heard has been those supporting remain in both parties bemoaning “good MPs” being forced out by Brexit policy. There has been no right of reply from the other side. Dominic Grieve has had the same coverage I would expect to be offered to a cabinet minister.

    • Merlin
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      And some people are sick of the ERG ruining Brexit for everyone else.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        No Merlin. The ERG only want a democratic vote honoured. They want a true Brexit and not a compromise so we can trade freely with who ever we choose to and not who we are told to by some buffoon in the dictatorship Eu. Stop being so blinkered and open your eyes and mind.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Really!!!

        2016 – The UK as a whole voted to leave the EU.
        2017 – Conservative and Labour party manifestos stated that we would leave the EU.
        2019 – Anna Soubry ignores her constituents that voted leave by 55%
        2019 – The above mentioned MP et al complain that the ERG have taken over the Conservative party.

        From this side of the fence it seems like the ERG are carrying out the wish of the people…

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Know-Dice

          ” the ERG are carrying out the wish of the people…”

          Like Rees Mogg who in the past voted:

          FOR the bedroom tax (then received £7.6M for his wife’s 320 room mansion)

          AGAINST bankers bonus tax

          the mansion tax

          an investigation into the Iraq war

          & filibustered several bills
          ==

          or Mr Redwood himself who, according to a Guardian article in 2017:

          “Labour has criticised the arch-Eurosceptic MP John Redwood for “talking down Britain” after he recently wrote a column of financial advice in which he recommended investors “look further afield” because of the state of the UK economy.”

          The usual ‘do as we say, not do as we do’ brigade.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            Usual lefty nonsense
            Your first point has no connection.
            His home gets funding for renovations as it is a listed important building. This has no connection with capping housing benefits people are encouraged to move to a smaller property in a cheaper area exactly like those of us who are in work have to do.

            Your second point..why should just bankers pay even more tax than everyone else when they get a bonus ?

            Mansion Tax..an extreme left proposal to steal cash from people who happen to live in expensive homes…pure socialist envy.
            People who already pay large amounts of tax

            There has already been a huge lengthy multi million investigation into the Iraq war.

            Investors are always advised to have world wide and disperate investments.
            Sound advice.

            You sound all stressed and extremely left wing…keep calm margaret brexit will soon happen.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted February 22, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            Argh…the master of obfuscation strikes again…

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      They should call themselves the EUDP as they are the antithesis of UKIP.

      (The EU Dependence Party.)

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Well said, I couldn’t agree more!
      TM has pledged not to lead another GE and it’s the leader that often suffers the most from the Electorate’s anger, more so than the party he or she leads. But as I commented previously, the damage to the UK may already have happened by the time a GE is held. Brexit Central carries a piece today concerning the political Declaration of the WA, written by an anonymous Civil Servant. It makes disturbing reading and reinforces my view that we should leave without a deal.
      Yes, there may be some short term disruption but the end result will be to avoid the various traps laid within the withdrawal ‘Articles of Surrender’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      “TORY defectors last night pledged to destroy the Conservative Party after joining a new breakaway group demanding a second Brexit referendum.” Reports the Telegraph today.

      Yet Hammond seems to want to welcome these dopes (and total electoral liabilities) back in to the party. They have zero chance of being re-elected if they resigned their seats, as they clearly ought to. They have total contempt for the electorate who voted heavily to leave, and would do so in even greater numbers if ever forced to vote again by people like these three.

    • James
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      It is incorrect to say that they are both nasty. One is just stupid and not nasty. The other is both stupid and nasty. Heaven forbid them moving into Downing Street, and steering us in the direction of Venezuela/Zimbabwe.

  4. James Barr
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The 3 Tories who have abandoned ship are political pygmies. It’s time for a libertarian party which believes in the primacy of sovereign nations, the sort of thing a certain Mr Redwood has always stood for. Politics without a coherent set of thoughts, an ideology, is pointless. It’s also time for politicians to show respect towards the electorate; if you resign there should be an automatic by-election. Is it any wonder so many people have lost faith in the political process? The 3 pygmies talk about ‘principles’ but have none, so not much new there.

  5. Mick
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1090186/Brexit-news-Theresa-May-delay-Brexit-no-deal-Amber-Rudd-David-Gauke-Greg-Clark
    I’m getting a little bit pi££Ed off with the 17.4 million being held to ransom by a few remoaners in Westminster whos only interest is there self interest, if Mrs May delays which is other words for cancelling Brexit or revokes article 50 then the mps and remoaners around Great Britain had better be ready for the consequence, the miners and poll tax riots will be like play ground play. We voted out what is so bloody hard to understand
    OUT MEANS OUT

  6. Mark B
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Sir John, sorry to be a pendant but I feel I must correct you on one thing.

    Most of us agreed that it is a nasty racism . . .

    Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with race. Racism is the illogical discrimination of a person(s) based on their race and / or colour of their skin. One can be Jewish, or any other religion, irrespective of the of one’s race and / or colour of skin.

    This does not detract from the fact that both racism and anti-semitism are both wrong and repugnant, and I think it is important to discuss both, but in their own proper context.

    Anti-Semitism in the UK and Europe is nothing new. In the Middle Ages Jews were required to wear Stars of David upon their clothes.

    Between the wars the rise in the British Union of Fascists, led by the former Labour MP, Sir Oswald Mosley gained much popularity.

    It is also worth remembering that a former Jew and Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, is responsible for the Conservative Party we see today. He is also the first, and only, PM to come from and ethnic minority.

    It is important to remember Jeremy Corbyn MP has denounced anti-semitism and ask, Shami Chakrabarti, now Dame Chakrabarti to investigate. Her conclusions were that there is no anti-semitism in the Labour Party.

    I think the attacks on the Leader of the Opposition do not quite stack up. Yes he is no friend of Israel, but neither is the EU by the looks of things and no one is making accusations against Presidents Tusk and Juncker.

    In conclusion I think what we are witnessing is a bunch of malcontents who knew that deselection was coming and decided to jump first. I can also conclude that the only other thing that these people have in common, is that they do not respect the will of the people as stated in the referendum and their former party manifesto’s.

    Finally. I and many more people believe that these MP’s should put themselves up for re-election. This is what happened with Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless and it is only right and proper that the people of their constituencies get a second vote. After all, the arguments that they use against the referendum and BREXIT can be easily applied to them.

  7. Paul H
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I am not sure the Tory party will come together if May’s appalling deal is passed. It won’t deserve to do so. And I am not sure how many of its members or voters will play ball. I certainly would never vote for you again, despite the good stuff you do. Never, ever. The current betrayal cuts much deeper than any ordinary disappointment at a government breaking promises.

    In any case, the deal will simply presage many more months and years of divisive argument and surrender to the EU while the final deal (or re-entry) is negotiated.

  8. J Bush
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    There are three things these politicians all do have in common with each other.

    1. They were all elected on a leave the EU manifesto.
    2. They all want a second referendum and/or the UK to remain in the EU, because they claim, people have the right to change their minds.
    3. Yet they all refuse to consider a by-election.

    That smacks of hypocrisy.

  9. Dominic
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    We all know why vile Labour is anti-semitic and we all know the source of it. Unfortunately, the Tories haven’t the guts to say so for fear of having another ‘race card’ played against them.

    Labour is the source of all the ‘ism’s we have to endure over the past 20 years and such politics as been used to cover up and conceal the most appalling levels of abuse, hate and violence. The Tories have assisted labour in this quest by remaining silent

    Labour is the source of all hate.

    Where’s the police to arrest every one of Labour’s anti-semites? Erm, nowhere to be seen. Labour’s client state refusing to take action against Labour. How convenient

    One of Labour’s bloc votes is very much the source of much of this Jew hate crime.

    I have become convinced that the Tories could nail Labour to the mast on this and many other issues surrounding the scam of the liberal left, identity politics agenda that is used to cover up abuse and yet the Tories won’t act against them. Why?

    I don’t want to see pathetic, emotional grandstanding politicians whining in the Commons.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 22, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

      The Tories are after the same people.

  10. Nigl
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Their letter of resignation was a classic piece of dissembling in relation to both their own election leaflets and the manifesto they stood. Wollaston has voted against her own party umpteen time even opposing tax cuts and has the ‘i am only concerned to protect businesses and jobs’ Soubry failed against government policy and taxes that have decimated the diesel car industry? No.

    The Tory party has been pro Europe for a long time, contrary to the views of the electorate which through the efforts of the ERG group, are now being respected, just, and all we are seeing is a hissy fit by people who won’t accept that.

    Soubry’s assertion that the party had been taken over by purple activists was demolished yesterday by Guido. Not one shred of evidence.

  11. Stred
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Heidi Allen gave us a laugh when she said that they hadn’t moved but the party had been captured by ERG zealots and moved. She seemed to be a bright and attractive MP but obviously hadn’t read her manifesto or the referendum leaflet that she approved previously

    On antisemitism, there’s a film called ‘Keep quiet’ about a Hungarian MP who is a Nazi and finds out he is Jewish and suffers antisemitism from his party members. Labour members should watch it.
    It’s on Netflix. It’s a true documentary.

  12. Richard1
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    It is essential that’s the ability to operate an independent trade policy is part of the WA. There seems no chance now of WTO Brexit. In order to restore confidence in the Conservatives there will need to be some quick hits, best achieved with high profile (in principle at least) trade deals. TPP, the Australia-NZ deal, roll-overs of EU deals with Canada, Japan etc, and perhaps nafta membership, are all obvious sensible objectives. With continuing stagnation in the eurozone and travails with the euro, the mood music could change quite quickly. Project Fear 2.0 has had a debilitating effect on public and business confidence.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed we need to leave properly and not May’s absurd deal even with some back stop fudge.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 22, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      I’d like to make the EU wait a bit.

  13. jerry
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    All abuse is abhorrent, what ever type and from where ever, – that said accusations of abuse are just that, until proven, we do need to be careful that people do not get tarnished mistakenly or due to malicious intent.

    As for this so called Independent Group of MPs, all who have crossed the floor from the manifestos they were elected on I think parliament should have a new rule; Those MPs who ‘cross the floor ‘ should have to submit themselves to a by-election within a specified number of weeks, until then, whilst they can still draw their MPs salary conduct constituency business and even speak in debate, they can not vote. As I’ve made clear many times, I detest UKIP but those MPs who crossed the floor in recent years all put their case to the electorate in by-elections -for that, as a democrat, they had and still have my respect.

    • jerry
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Would it not be better, and more truthful, for the -so called- Independent Group to call themselves the “Euro Group”, all basically being pro EU [1] MPs who simply can not accept that the electorate and the majority of MPs have rejected their stance.

      [1] and I fear some would have backed Blair in his wish to join the euro

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        jerry

        “[1] and I fear some would have backed Blair in his wish to join the euro”

        If only!

        When it first started you got 1.6 Euros to the pound, in 2006 it was 1.47 and in 2014 1.24. Now it’s just 1.15

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          If we had joined that devaluation would have not happened but the resulting pressure on the UK economy would have resulted in dreadful economic hardship increased unemployment and propet austerity.
          Just like we see in several Euro nations now.

        • jerry
          Posted February 22, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          @margaret howard;

          FX rates are only part of the story.

          When the Euro started we had not had the international banking crash that so affected the UK, had the UK been in the Euro Brown/Darling would not have had the free hand they did in dealing with the aftermath, our economic and fiscal policies would have come via the EC & ECB – would you really have want the UK to be effected like Greece and to a lesser extent Ireland were?! Me thinks, Margaret, you are either trolling or just pig ignorant of the real facts, my money’s on the latter. 🙁

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Will Ms Wollaston be give up her Chair of the Health select committee which I assume she holds as a Conservative? Or are her principles not strong enough to lift her head from the trough?

    Reply Good question. This is a job for a Conservative and she was elected in such a capacity.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Some questions for the media to ask while this rabble are in the spotlight.

      What is your group’s approach to the deficit and “borrowing to invest”?

      What is your group’s approach to taxation? Aim for lower for all or attack the “broad shouldered”?

      What is your group’s approach to policing and security?

      What is your group’s approach to education? Free schools? More money? How will you judge standards?

      What is your group’s approach to transport and infrastructure? Diesel engines? Nationalise the railways?

      What is your group’s approach to health?

      What is your group’s approach to immigration?

      What is your group’s approach to social care?

      What is your group’s approach to welfare?

      What is your group’s approach to local government taxation and spending?

      Does it matter as you all believe that the EU should control our laws?

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        This is the beauty of Independents they can bend with the wind :O. They don’t have to have policies or an approach, they are there to push the Brexit MPs into a corner and those that remain then feel stronger to threaten to pull the whole thing down.
        The right to recall should be increased to include if the MP you elected changes their political party and 10% of the electorate of that MP co-ordinate a challenge that a by-election can be called only by their electors. I’m sure that right at this moment this is something that Corbyn and May can agree with and how difficult would this be to add this to the list of criteria on the Act of 2015.
        The female MP that is in prison can be recalled right now, I wonder why her political opponents haven’t triggered this recall and by-election and set up a petition? But then this would be like turkeys voting for Christmas, wouldn’t it?

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Which version of Remain is it that you want ?

        • Andy
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          The status quo is fine thanks. The Germany plus model – which is on offer until March 29 when Mr Redwood and friends turn in into the Venezuela minus model.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            Euro?
            EU Army?
            Common taxation?
            Common budgets?
            Expansion to 30 plus nations?
            Common foreign policy?
            Rename to United States of Europe?
            Read the 5 Presidents Report
            They have a plan
            It will be very different to today’s EU

    • Chris
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: yes, there has to be accountability and responsibility for actions taken. You cannot just leave the Party and expect to keep all the “benefits”. A by-election is a necessity.

  15. BCL
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Curious isn’t it that the unifying policy (probably the only thing they can agree on) of the group of independents is the desire for a second referendum. Of course, that’s on the grounds of democracy and ensuring the people have a say on the final deal. When it comes to the kind of democracy that would require them to stand in a by election, that’s different. The fact that the people who voted for them voted for either Labour or Tory candidates and now have so called independents seems to be irrelevant. Given that most of them were likely to be deselected before the next election so they have nothing to lose also has nothing to do with it, I’m sure. I won’t intrude further on the Labour party’s private grief but as far as the 3 Tories are concerned, and any others who follow, I can only say good riddance!

  16. Adam
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The Independent Group are a motley bunch so far lacking objectives beyond what they agree to dislike. In some way they resemble the Guardian Angels who attempted to patrol London’s underground travel system long ago in the absence of higher authority coping. Rag, tag & bobtail actions are not signs that attract wide support.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      But how much press are they getting!
      There should be a right to reply from the ERG members and ‘far-right’ they are maligning with every statement. I wonder if it would be so easy for Soubry to and Alexander to call their former colleagues ‘far-right’ and justify this statement to their face.

  17. Al
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    “The Conservative party will come together again as soon as we are out of the EU.”

    I cannot share your views. What is more likely to happen is that the Remain team dig their fingers into the carpet and try to claw their way back in. I expect them to try very hard to keep us in lockstep with EU standards and laws even once we exit in the hope of making a return easier.

    Which is unfortunate as certain small publishers and writers I work with have now relocated to the US due to the lack of Brexit: Article11 & 13 are likely to be implemented here, and after EU VAT small businesses aren’t taking a chance on another such damaging mess.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Well we have to leave properly first before they can come together and we do no want these three back that is certain. But Hammond implied he did want these three romoaner dopes who falsely stood on Brexit prospectus back. Under Appeaser May a real Brexit looks rather unlikely. May is a alas a Brexit in name only person.

    Yesterday she falsely claimed the Conservatives were cutting taxes. Was she lying or just deluded? Cutting Corp Tax by a tiny amount and putting nearly every other tax up is not cutting taxes dear! We have the highest and most complex taxes for 40 years and it is doing huge damage. Still borrowing heavily (not repaying the debt as they falsely claim) and we have fairly dire public services too.

  19. Javelin
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The delicious irony is that all the TIGgers have been calling for a #PeoplesVote but now won’t call a local election to put their policies to a people’s vote.

    I can only imagine calling your own bluff then failing to act will result in a very long electoral hangover.

  20. agricola
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The anti semetic problem in Labour is confined to the Marxists, Momentum element who have hijacked Labour through expanding the membership and encouraging by inaction those of a similar anarchic mind set from outside. They are a despicable carbunkle on the face of Labour. They should be brought down to size by the MPs of Labour past breaking away.

    The three Conservatives who have become independant are a strange case. They were elected on a leave manifesto, but are rampant remainers. They vilify the ERG who are the only conservative group honest to the manifesto and supportive of the 17.4 million electorate who voted leave. There are a small number of labour MPs who are equally honest. Soubry is a very arrogant, mother knows best woman, who does not realise what an unacceptable vision she presents. To in effect label the ERG as toxic right wing zealots is an exageration beyond credability ,rendering herself unelectable.

  21. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I am personally delighted that those who have been cynically elected under the Tory banner whilst displaying anti-conservative genes have identified themselves and removed themselves from the party. I am not surprised that the ‘independent’ Group (in E.U. terms they are in fact the Dependant Group) will not contest elections.
    The Conservative Party should repeal the Heath alterations which removed from Constituency Parties, the right to freely select their candidate. We need Parliament better aligned with the country and that is how to do it!
    Let’s bury Heath for good – Brexit, free Conservative Constituency Parties and we already have Monmouthshire – thanks to Sir John.

  22. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    I am afraid I do not share your sanguine view that the Conservative Party will unite after the EU, there will be more defections as long as the Party continues the drive to the right of the political spectrum

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Hans, what exactly has the Conservative party driven to the right since 2017 when these MPs chose to put themselves up as Conservative lawmakers?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        On right wing policies on Europe from ERG

        • a-tracy
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Actually, I have more left-wing acquaintances that hold what I think you call ‘right wing’ ERG preferences on leaving Europe.

          Which ‘right-wing’ policies on Europe do you mean specifically so that I can ask them?

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          The ERG follows the wishes of the result of the democratic referendum vote hans.
          “This is your decision We will implement what you decide”
          That is what the Leaflet said.
          Now a remainer House of Commons seeks to frustrate that decsion.
          The ERG are democrats.
          Leaving the EU is not a right wing or left wing concept.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      You live in fantasy world hans, if you think the current Conservative Party is “continuing to drive to the right of the political spectrum”.
      Under Cameron and May’s leadership the party has been moving steadily leftwards.

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Edward2

        None so blind as those who will not see…..

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          The vast majority of political commentators say Labour has moved far more to the left and the Conservatives have moved from right of centre towards the left to fill the gap.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      In what sense are the Conservatives moving to the right? the opposite is true. Tax is as high as a % of GDP as its been for 50 years. the NHS is being gorged with money. Mrs May thinks the govt should intervene and regulate in almost every aspect of life. every day we get initiatives for new regulations and laws. Money is to be splurged on uneconomic socialist style vanity projects such as HS2. Its not even socially conservative with all this pandering to the trans lobby and other fatuous PC virtue signalling.

      I defy you to explain in what sense the Conservative Govt under Mrs May is ‘right wing’??

    • agricola
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      The party is not driving to the right. The right is not the ERG, they are a group of conservative MPs who represent 17.4 million of the electorate who voted to leave the EU. A majority in the largest voting turnout we have known in a long time. If there has been any movement in conservative thinking it has been to the left. The majority of conservative MPs are ignoring the democratic decision of the electorate and their own manifesto they were last elected on.

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        agricola

        “A majority in the largest voting turnout we have known in a long time.”

        It was a referendum, not an election. And nearly half the votes were REMAIN.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          And if the voting had been reversed and nearly half the vote had been LEAVE you would have compromised, say by going to a Norway EEA model ? If not, why ?

    • libertarian
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      hans

      I agree there will be more splits, but if you think the Tories are even remotely right wing you have an odd view of the world. All of our main political parties are state regulators, high tax anti free market

      By the way the old left/right split is so out of date as to be worse than useless as an identifier . I prefer the split freedom v state control

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Libertarian,

        Last remark I agree entirely

    • Chris
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      There is no drive to the right at the moment hci, but there should be in order to restore true Conservative principles/ideology to the Party. You will recall David Cameron et al led the move to the left of centre ground in a bid to catch floating voters and to ditch the nasty party label, conveniently invented by one Theresa May.

  23. Ian wragg
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    So the trio are going to destroy the Tory party. They will have to get to the back of the queue after May, Hammond Grieve et al.
    May going back to Brussels for her weekly humiliation.
    Coming back with a few platitudes so she can claim victory over her annexation of Britain to the EU. We are doomed.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    JR: “The Labour independents have said they are not forming a new party”
    I haven’t heard that and don’t believe it. They and the malcontents who have left your party will form a new party. The problem they have at the momement is that they have only one policy – they are anti-Brexit. They are not independents they are EU loyalists or fanatics. Most of them have campaigned for a people’s vote i.e. a second referendum and yet cynically deprive their own constituents the opportunity to judge their actions in abandoning their party manifesto pledges on which they were elected in by-elections. In this regard they are hypocrites and typify the worst of Westminster and why people can see not just politics but our democracy being destroyed.

  25. Kevin
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    “They dislike Mr Corbyn and dislike the intolerance they find in the party.”

    As tolerance appears to be the watchword of the new group, I would genuinely be interested to know what their beliefs are on the conscience rights of Catholics in the UK.

  26. L Jones
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    ”…. as soon as we are out of the EU…” When will that be, then? I fear it’ll be too late for the ”coming together” of Conservative party. Every day that passes many of us who have always voted Conservative are searching around for an alternative.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Soubry claims the right of the Tory party had destroyed every leader for 40 years. Well no they largely destroyed themselves.

    Ted Heath took us into the EU without asking the public’s permission and on the blatant lie that it would not affect out sovereignity (and by having an idiotic economic policy of high taxes, three day weeks, power cuts and government prices and incomes controls). John Major destroyed himself with the ERM fiasco (and not even an applology) and by taking us far further into the EU (again without the concent of the voters and against the will of the party). Cameron destroyed himself by turning out to the total opposite of the “low tax at heart Conservative, cast iron EUsceptic” that he claimed to be to get elected. When given pathetically thin EU gruel he foolishly tried to sell it as a great deal. Then he abandonned ship like a petulent child after losing the referendum. He had a huge oportunity to be a great PM had he just been what he said he was.

    Thatcher was removed by the Libdim EUphile wing of the Tories. People rather like the three dopes Sourbry, Allen and Woolly. They do not even seem to know what they do stand for – other than defeating the will of the people over Brexit.

    These three fake Tories keep accusing “the far right of the Conservative Party of taking over”. But what is right wing about wanting a real Brexit and restoration of a UK democracy. What on earth is right wing about the socialist, remainer dopey Theresa May or tax to death Hammond? Hammond even implied that he wants these remoaners welcomed back!

  28. Anonymous
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that Remainers choose racism as their grounds for cancelling the referendum result.

    There have been the most intense provocations: bombings, sex abuses, incitement to hatred (against us), the killings of soldiers and police officers on our streets…

    We British remain a greatly tolerant people.

    It is telling that the race problem we do have is anti semitism and I don’t see any swastikas nor booted white skinheads.

  29. Bob
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Justine Greening was on the R4 Toady program saying that she will leave the Tories if we leave the EU without a deal. What does that mean? Would any deal suffice? Even a bad deal?
    Do these idiots not realise that they are undermining Britain’s negotiation position with their preposterous tantrums.

    Notably, none of the Tiggers have agreed to submit to a peoples vote (by-election) in case their constituents have changed their minds because they thought the Tories and Labour were promising to honour the referendum result.

    Many people on pointing out the absurdity of Remoaners leaving a political organisation rather than remaining to change it from within.

    The BBC are giving them a free ride as usual, no tough questions.

  30. Newmania
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    There is nothing you could call a Conservative Party left.The Blue Kip monstrosity that hastaken the old name pursues reckless ignorant Policies that prioritise ethnic purity over every other consideration. It tolerates racism in its allies and has lost the reputation it had for moderation fiscal responsibility and a concern for business. It actually despises knowledge either academic of experience, and has nothing to anyone not yet retired.
    True, any sensible person would have to agree it is a vast deal better than Jeremy Corbyn Well now those of us who crave sense moderation and care have someone to support. I hope and believe this is a new start for British Politics and the millions of us people like you and your ally Corbyn no longer consider to be “People”

    • Newmania
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      ..hem hem…even I can see thats a bit strong …consign to oblivion please

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Same as usual as far as I could see.

  31. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry, can’t see the Conservative Party coming together again. Either we leave on WTO rules, which would seem to upset your party from the PM and Chancellor down, to the point they resign and join the 3, or we don’t leave in which case your party is dead in the water as we’ll need the new Brexit Party to do the job quickly and properly.

    The plumber who can’t fix a leaking tap doesn’t stay in business long when any other plumber can do the job in 5 minutes.

  32. nhsgp
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The irony of leaving because you want to force remain on others has clearly not occurred to the 3.

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Lots of “broad church” hand-wringing and sorrow from May, Hammond and co about these three leaving, but none at all when Carswell and Reckless left. Tells you all you need to know about the Conservative leadership.

  34. Iain Moore
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I see them complain about the ERG taking over the Conservative party, when all the ERG are doing is holding true to the Conservative party manifesto. Having been made out to be the bogyman of politics the MSM has not seen fit to give anyone from the ERG a right to reply, with the likes of the BBC’s Today programme pushing the ‘Independents’ narrative that they are a party within a party. All pretty disgraceful stuff, but especially hard to accept their claim that the Conservative party is no longer a broad church, for I struggle to see any diversity of opinion on the EU within this new group, to call it narrow would be an understatement , and far far from the promises Soubry, Wollaston, and Allen made to their electorate at the last election, all there on YouTube for all to see, something this £5 billion news organisation, the BBC, has been unable to find .

  35. eeyore
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Assuming the new group votes against the government the arithmetic works out at Conservative + DUP 324, all the rest (bar seven Sinn Fein) 316.

  36. Richard1
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Anna Soubry has at least been prepared to defend the principles of the Conservative govt of which has been a supporter and was, under Cameron, a member. She has also, to her credit, been clear she doesn’t agree with Brexit so her opposition is not the same sort of hypocrisy we see from other Conservative MPs who voted for the referendum & article 50 and stood in the 17 election on a brexit manifesto but are now opposed to proceeding.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard Heidi Allen say anything.

    Sarah Wollaston on the other hand has been forever on the airwaves & i don’t think i have ever heard her say anything which would identify her as a Conservative. always more money for the NHS (+ anything else), more tax and more regulation. Perhaps she was confused when she put herself forward as an MP in her open primary and should have been offering herself as a Labour or Lib Dem candidate? Let’s hope it wasn’t opportunistic humbug that she posed as a Conservative.

    Ms Wollaston was however a eurosceptic, sharply critical of David Cameron’s inadequate re-negotiation, and initially a supporter of Brexit. She has been slippery enough on this issue to sit well with Jermey Corbyn. perhaps she should just join Labour unless she minds about anti-semitism?

  37. Alan Joyce
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    On the latest Brexit negotiations, Jeremy Hunt says that the critical thing is that the British Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, needs to be able to change his advice to parliament, which currently says it is possible, if not likely, that Britain could under the current backstop arrangements be trapped in the customs union for ever against its will.

    At the time I wondered why Mr. Cox had been brought into the negotiations. Now it is much clearer. The backstop wording is going to be tinkered with and he will be ‘leant’ on by Theresa May to change his advice to parliament.

    Rather similar to the way in which Lord Goldsmith was ‘influenced’ to change his advice in the run-up to the Iraq War?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Well, suppose Geoffrey Cox changes his advice and persuades enough MPs that the ‘backstop’ really is intended to be just a temporary arrangement even if it does ever come into effect, as now stated in some new interpretative side document that we manage to extract from the EU. So now we can take at face value the ambition laid down in Article 2 of the Irish or ‘backstop’ protocol on page 307 here:

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/759019/25_November_Agreement_on_the_withdrawal_of_the_United_Kingdom_of_Great_Britain_and_Northern_Ireland_from_the_European_Union_and_the_European_Atomic_Energy_Community.pdf

      “The Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours to conclude, by 31 December 2020, an agreement which supersedes this Protocol in whole or in part.”

      Under Article 20 in the protocol the UK and the EU will each have a veto over the contents of that superseding agreement, and in the case of the EU that will mean that each of the 27 continuing member states will have a national veto.

      So what are the chances that the Irish government would ever willingly agree to a new treaty which inter alia released us from the shackles of whatever EU Customs Union and EU Single Market rules we had accepted back in 2019?

      About the same as the chances that they would agree to the shackles being fitted with a time lock, or they would agree to us being given our own key – zero.

  38. BOF
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I am sure you are correct that the Conservative Parliamentary party will come back together Sir John. The question is, will the traditional Conservative members and voters back them?

    A very substantial number of us have watched in dismay as Mrs May has done a rotten deal with the EU which is designed to keep us firmly under their control. Added to that, whatever Mrs May’s politics are, they are far removed from Conservatism and I know of conservative voters who are prepared never to vote again, so great is their anger at the way democracy has been subverted.

    The resignations from the Conservative party will no doubt strengthen Mrs May’s hand to get this surrender document approved.

  39. Richard1
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Off topic if I may: amongst all the angst about Japanese car manufacturers I was reminded recently that these companies (& specifically Honda) were very keen for the UK to join the euro, and urged this policy on the govt at the time. Fair enough, they thought that was in the best interest of their businesses. (Of course you could argue that multinational companies should not become participants in the domestic politics of countries where they operate, I assume UK companies don’t tell the Japanese people and govt what they should & should’t do).

    But this should remind us that the best interest of large multinational businesses isn’t always the same as the best interest of the Country or the people as a whole. Membership of the euro might have made life easier from an FX perspective for car manufacturing in the UK. It would also have surrendered economic sovereignty and probably bankrupted the UK, leaving us either to crash out and break the whole euro system or else be subjugated in perma-austerity as in Greece.

  40. Ignoramus
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Much of the Conservative Party is in danger of believing Berthold Brecht’s line that “the Communist regime should dismiss the people and appoint a new one”.

  41. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Intolerance is a multi-sided PRISM …and yes, the Tory defectors have shown more than their share of it…. Their views are not welcomed by many, and they would face difficulties in getting re-elected….so just as well this is a temporary grouping of the disaffected with little following – But why do I imagine that they are secretly hoping for more joiners so that they can be a ‘real’ party?
    I’m not so sure I want the Tory party to ‘come together’ after Brexit – Too many Tory MP’s have shown a total disregard for democracy and voters, and if they do get elected again, this will not be healthy… Indeed, the only real hope for the Tories, ‘to come together with voters’, is to purge the unelectable and move the party back to its normal right of centre position – SOCIALISM HAS DONE NOTHING TO IMPROVE THE TORY BRAND.

  42. Christine
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, this co-ordinated string of resignations has the smell of Blair and xxxxxx behind it. They will now be waiting for the suggested 20 Conservative ministers to resign and follow suit. This Independent Group will either succeed or fail in the next six weeks. The reason for this group is to thwart Brexit and set up a new central party. The problem they face is that now every party is a Remainer party leaving nowhere for the Leave voters to go. The best option for the Conservatives is to come out strongly in favour of a managed WTO exit therefore picking up the bulk of the leave votes. We are getting close to the end game.

    • An appeal to JR
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      The best option for the Conservatives is to come out strongly in favour of a managed WTO exit therefore picking up the bulk of the leave votes. We are getting close to the end game.

      >
      Yes, but the problem is the public, if they are like me, expected hard nose negotiations with zero sum threats and no deal on the table, 2 years ago. Not now right at the last minute. All we see is monumental incompetance at best and outright sabotage and treachory at worst. Yes I will accept No Deal if the WA is the alternative but the public expected a trade deal by now or something near finalizing and it is extremely annoying we have instead has this charade, which is clearly still playing out to their end game, with the help of the Media. That is why I would still prefer an extension, a real pro Brexit PM and one last hard nose negotiation on a FTA for say another 6 months, if no success then we leave with a No Deal. TM has cheated us into thinking the WA is anything close to the best we could have got.

  43. Iago
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I have just read with horror the full extent of the Prime Minister’s treachery in the Political Declaration at https://brexitcentral.com/political-declaration-not-vague-wish-list-attempt-bind-uk-eu-policies/ by a civil servant.

    The Withdrawal Agreement and the Declaration will convert us instantly into a slave state. I wish this were hyperbole.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Something else to read:

      https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/12/the-top-40-horrors-lurking-in-the-small-print-of-theresa-mays-brexit-deal-2/

      10. The …….. Pension Clause: The UK must promise never to tax former EU officials based here – ………… – on their E.U. pensions, or tax any current Brussels bureaucrats on their salaries. The EU and its employees are to be immune to our tax laws. (Article 104)

      11. Furthermore, the UK agrees not to prosecute EU employees who are, or who might be deemed in future, criminals (Art.101)

      • agricola
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        No 10 should make the Kinnocks a happy family.

    • agricola
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      If your attachment proves to be true then the backstop is a mere bagatelle. We could be in more serious trouble than envisaged to which exit on 29th March and WTO rules invoking Art 24 of GATT is the only sensible answer.

  44. Bob Dixon
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I want a government that implements low taxes, small government, armed forces that can defend the UK, an education system that teaches the 3 r’s and our amazing history.

    Am I Right Wing, Left Wing or Middle of the Road?

    • sm
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Bob:

      You are sensible.

    • Andy
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      That depends. Everyone wants lower taxes. Until they need to see a doctor urgently. Or they have a child they want to go to a good school. Or until they need a fast road. Or police help. Or army protection. Or long term medical treatment. Or social care. And then, in those scenarios – which are ones in which we all find ourselves at some point – we want both lower taxes and top-end services.

      Like most people who complain about tax, I suspect you do not pay very much of it. I also suspect that you are among the first to complain about the state of the services you refuse to pay properly for. If you pay for a Youth Hostel you should I expect a Youth Hostel. Trouble is most of you pay for a Youth Hostel and expect the Savoy.

      .

      • Edward2
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        The private sector have to do more for the same or less money.
        The public sector just shouts more money all the time.
        State spending has boomed since 2000
        From 340 bn to nearly 875bn yet service quality has stalled.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 22, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      To most you are mainstream. To certain others you are a dangerous extremist.

  45. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    IMHO, the deeper problem is not the EU, but the UK system of democracy
    I don’t expect you to believe this, so let’s revisit my statement in 10 years time.

    • sm
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      The UK system of democracy has been developing for centuries, sometimes gradually, sometimes with the occasional hiccup or fundamental bout of indigestion, sometimes via the inspired thought of just one or two gifted people.

      It might not be perfect, but the UK has neither suffered dictatorships, violent revolutions, military juntas, nor endless streams of short-term governments.

      Unlike Continental Europe.

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        sm

        “It might not be perfect, but the UK has neither suffered dictatorships, violent revolutions, military juntas, nor endless streams of short-term governments. ”

        Being an island and surrounded by dangerous seas helped.

        Also we were mostly too busy fighting ‘dangerous tribesmen’ and taking over their countries.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        SM

        Continental Europe is not one entity

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      What are you saying Peter!!!

      That our hundreds of years old Parliamentary system is not fit for purpose in the 21st century….who would imagine that – order, order, order… 🙂

    • Richard1
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      We have a first past the post system as some other countries do. We had a referendum some years ago over whether to adopt a version of PR and it was roundly defeated. The problem with the standard EU system is it doesn’t matter what you vote the govt stays roughly the same. Mrs Merkel got trounced at the last election in Germany but is still in power. In Greece people voted for a radical left wing govt but what’s it’s done in office is simply implement EU- mandated policy.

      There are arguments on both sides. But the UK shows no sign of wanting to change to PR.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        If FPTP were so good, why wasn’t it replicated in Scotland, or Wales, or N. Ireland? Anyway give it another ten years, we’ll speak again then

      • forthurst
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        There isn’t a standard EU system. Mrs Merkel is now Chancellor in a majority forming labcon alliance but in Italy the populists and nationalists have wrested control from the liblabcon and are trying to govern in the interests of their own people for a change.

        Those countries which have FPTP were bequeathed it by the UK either directly or indirectly; we were not offered PR because AV is nothing of the sort but was cynically proposed by the con party because it was the worst possible alternative to FPTP.

        What we are seeing in parliament now is the consequences of the deceit which has been inflicted on the British people by the FPTP system.

      • Andy
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        In the last German election Merkel got only a slightly lower percentage than Cameron did here – when he ‘won’ in 2010. Was he trounced too?

        It is very dangerous to compare dwmocracies. Our seems to serve us well for a while – but there is little doubt that it does not now. Swathes of people are unrepresented. I do not hide my contempt for all things UKIP – but they won nearly 13% of the vote in 2015 and did not get one single seat. Outrageous.

        How scandalous that fewer than 300,000 votes can elect 10 DUP MPs, when double that gets just 1 Green and 8 times as much gets just 12 Lib Dems.

        The Conservatives do not want change. They are significantly over represented in Parliament. But there is simply no justification for maintaining the broken status quo – in which, for most of us, our vote simply does not count. And this failure of democracy doesn’t even begin to tackle the House of Lords or the zero say we have over formation of the executive. And – no – you genuinely do have no say about who comes next. The plebs get no say.

        Reply Merkel got a much smaller vote share than theConservatives. From memory CDU 26%,Cameron 36%

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Plus Andy we had a referendum on changing to a more proportional voting system and it was overwhelmingly rejected. That’s the justification for keeping the status quo (the thing you want to maintain you said above).

          • forthurst
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

            AV is not more proportional. According to the Electoral Reform Society, “In …the 2015 General Election, it would have produced a less proportional result than Westminster’s First Past the Post system.”

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted February 22, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          Sir JR

          The CSU/CDU coalition got as many votes or more than the Conservatives so your answer is not valid.

          Reply They did not

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted February 22, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            SIR JR,

            They both got around 36% at the last election in Germany and the UK, so why are you questioning the the

            Reply The combined CDU and CSU vote was 32.9

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted February 22, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            SIR JR

            You were right I got my figures wrong.
            thank you

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      It will never change. The Tory and Labour parties play pass-the-parcel with power. They will never change the system. And, weirdly, I think if we had a referendum on our voting system, people in this country are SO THICK and STUPID they would support the status quo.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      You might like consider the failings in the system of democracy in the EU Peter.
      Democracy and the quality of government in the UK will revive after we leave the subjugation of the EU

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Edward2
        The reason for the short answers are very clear, when I know that according t the EIU a significant number of counties in the EU are considered more democratic than the UK, including Nordics, Germany and Netherlands

        • Edward2
          Posted February 22, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          I was talking about the EU.
          Not individual European nations.

    • agricola
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Peter I tend to agree but at least it is a system of democracy in evolution. It is why 17.4 million of our electorate dismissed the EU as no such thing and wish to be part of it no longer. In concept the EU was a great idea after WW2. If only they had been content to perfect the trading and services area and leave it at that until they could carry the people with them. But no, second class politicians wanted all their cake now. They have it, but it is crumbling and a good concept has been destroyed. It is ever such with low grade politicians. We have them too, but still the means to call them to account.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      10 years silence from you would be welcome.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg,

        I would say that probably applies to you as well but we still read what you write

  46. MickN
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The message I got from the Labour resignations was twofold. They all want a remainer losers vote, but given equal weight was the anti-semitism that goes to the heart of the Labour Party. What the Conservative leavers have done has taken the focus from the second issue and made the breakaways a single issue rump. Poor old Chukka. I am sure that was just an unintended consequence but you would need a heart of stone not to laugh.
    Mrs Sourbry is on LBC at the moment refusing to hold a by election as she insists that it is not her that has changed but the Conservative party. If that is truly the case then her Tory voting constituents obviously didn’t know what they were voting for at the last GE. All the more reason that they are entitled to a peoples vote for their MP surely.

  47. MickN
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Sir, perhaps you can refresh my memory. I seem to recall that recently an attempt was made by Mrs Sourbry’s local association to get her recalled or deselected. This was suppressed by CCHQ and the head of the association resigned. Can moves now be made to follow through now that she has removed herself from the party? I might not have got that completely right but I am sure you will have all of the facts.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      She just, surely, just de-selected herself – having left the party.

  48. Original Richard
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “The Conservative party will come together again as soon as we are out of the EU.”

    It will depend upon how we exit the EU.

    If the “exit” is Mrs. May’s WA (BRINO), where we then have endless rounds of negotiations going on for years, I can see the Conservative Party breaking up under the strain of the pro-EU leadership and MPs pretending to represent their membership and voters but in fact colluding with the EU to ensure the UK stays within all the EU’s institutions but without any representation or say.

  49. hefner
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Could it be worth listening/watching Ivan Rogers yesterday 20/02 in front of the European Union Select Committee? Available on parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index …..

  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    It made me feel ill yesterday watching the 3 defectors walking along, arm in arm, smiling as if they had just won the lottery – surrounded by the media – rock stars every one of them.

    And, don’t misunderstand me, I am no Tory. Never have been. Never will be. I am listening to the radio. One of them has just said there does not need to be a by-election because she hasn’t changed her views since 2017! As if people voted for her, personally, rather than the party and its manifesto!

    Such cringing, appalling, galling arrogance! Heaven knows I detest first-past-the-post – but I’d love to see a general election just to get the lot of them out of parliament.

    One of them was interviewed, last night, I think. She said she thought May has a ‘problem’ with immigration – implying that she thought May was very anti immigration. If that is true, she did a FANTASTIC job of hiding it for the 6 years she was Home Secretary. She must be a master of deception!

  51. Ian
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Well we can only hope thatThe Ghastly 11 , soon manage to suck the other ghastly people out of the Tory party, let’s hear it for Democricy, it might work once in a while if given a chance.
    Our very best wishes to the good decent people that are the ERG, how fortunate we would be if they could in deed deliver us to freedom via WTO.
    Failing that and us receiving Evan more of this ridiculous (. More Talks ) my God , you have to scratch your head with that last bunch of rubbish 585 pages, come on are we supposed to buy that ?
    The US Constitution was 4 pages.
    Are these people really expecting to be taken seriously .

    It is my wish that they will stall on the 29/03 and we are then presented with Brexit Express

    Bring it on Nigel, let’s have some honesty from decent committed people.

    It will not be happening via the Tory party, they have been infiltrated by muppets from the left, there is no Mrs Thatcher that will be allowed to come and give us Democricy.

    So I almost welcome a delay, that and then we get Brexit Express, or we just wait for the mess that is the EU, to implode.
    We probably need to do Nothing, just watch it break up.

  52. Original Richard
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    How can this new group of MPs be calling themselves “The Independent Group” when they are in fact fighting for the UK to remain in the EU and to not become an independent sovereign nation?

    I suppose they will also be calling themselves democrats despite not wishing to respect the referendum result of the nation, and in many cases that of their constituency, and not resigning their seats to check if they have a mandate to continue with their new policies?

  53. Simon Coleman
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Once again, laughable complacency. The Tories are every bit as divided as Labour and a split is a real probability. You say the three Tory defectors haven’t explained why they’ve ditched the 2017 manifesto – in fact they have. They’re opposed to No deal. May fought the last election telling the country that she wanted a deal with the EU. And, of course, they want to get away from anti-business ideologues like you. They’re pro-business; the ERG is anti-business. Simple as that.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 22, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      They are simply pro EU remain fans.

  54. Michael Staples
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    What I fear most about May’s WA, whether it is tweaked or not, is that we will leave the EU de jure but remain de facto for several more years, during which time the siren voices of Remain will point out what an undemocratic thing it is to be a rule taking vassal of the RU, that Brexit has benefited no one, and how we would be so much better off re-joining. Traitorous political figures (you know the names) will visit Brussels and persuade them to make us an offer and a supine Parliament will agree to re-join without ever having experienced true independence.

    That is why I think we must leave on WTO terms without a deal so the the benefits of Brexit can be seen and felt as soon as possible.

  55. Monza 71
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    The only thing this group of losers has in common is the fact that they have jumped before they were going to be deselected.

    Momentum is running riot among branches of the Labour Party, using the tried and tested Marxist methods of infiltration, take over and then putting up extreme left candidates.

    The three former Conservatives appear to have been completely at odds with their local associations and the party in the Country as a whole. All three were facing movements to deselect them.

    Political oblivion awaits them all.

  56. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 22, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Original Richard,

    There is no longer such a thing as and independent sovereign nation in an interdependent world , this is a historic illusion

    • Edward2
      Posted February 22, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Try telling nations like Canada Argentina USA Australia New Zealand Singapore South Korea and many others that their nations are not independent and soveriegn and they would laugh at you.
      Deciding to sign trade deals with other nations is a mile away from the EU and its law making superstate.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        I am sorry but you do not get it. In a world where alliances, collaboration, UN, defense alliances, trade blocs , tariff agreements and many other are made like environmental deals, a simple sovereign state as it was known before no longer exists. It makes no difference if it is the US or Britain

        • Edward2
          Posted February 23, 2019 at 12:24 am | Permalink

          I do get it.
          And you are totally wrong.

          Just ask yourself how much nations who are outside the EU pay each year to have friendly trade deals with their favoured neighbours.
          And then ask yourself if any non EU nations allow any other nations supremacy over their laws.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted February 23, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            Edward2

            you still do not get it

  • About John Redwood


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

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