An early election?

Labour is currently on a little over 20% in the opinion polls. Were there to be an early election the party would have no clear answer to the question would you take us out of the EU. In Parliament Labour voted to send in our Article 50 notice letter. It then opposed the EU’s Withdrawal Treaty and now opposes the alternative of leaving without signing that Treaty. Why on earth would they want an election in such circumstances? So far they have been unable  to clarify how they would negotiate a better Brexit , what it would look like and why the EU would consent. It leaves them refusing to accept departure with the WA or without it, and refusing to admit they want to revoke Article 50 altogether.

Any election before the UK has left the EU would push many Remain supporting former Labour voters to vote Green or Lib Dem as they offer a second referendum and oppose Brexit. Leave voting former Labour voters would be tempted to vote for the Brexit party or the Conservatives  to get the Brexit they voted for in the referendum which Labour promised to support in the last General election. As in the recent European election Labour would be likely to be badly squeezed. The Conservatives are recovering in the polls now the new PM says we will definitely leave on 31 October, after the crash under Mrs May with her disastrous delay.

Labour now complains that if they could get a majority in the Commons to defeat the government twice on a motion of no confidence within 14 days to trigger an election, Brexit would happen anyway during the election. Of course it would, as the law they helped pass to send our withdrawal letter ensures that we leave. The irony is Labour has much better prospects in an election once we have left and Brexit is behind us. The intense muddle of their current Brexit approach is losing them support from both sides of the argument, and driving people to a clear Remain party or a clear Leave party.

Were Labour to table and win a confidence vote in September they would need to do it twice to conform with the Fixed Term Parliament Act. It is difficult for them to do this in time for an election prior to the 31 October. The honest way to stop us leaving would be to propose that Parliament revokes Article 50, which we know the EU would accept. They will not do that as they know there is no majority in the Commons to reverse the Withdrawal legislation and to tear up the Manifesto promises of both Labour and Conservative from the 2017 election.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Sadly here are just too many opinionated individuals on both sides of Parliament who believe that their personal views should be inflicted upon the whole Nation. Delivery of Brexit, one would hope, would silence some of them and I hope your assertions regarding time available will ensure that we can all celebrate on 31st October.

    I see that Sajid Javid has announced updated plans for the 50p Brexit coin, aiming to introduce it immediately after our departure. I am very disappointed to learn that, rather than taking up my suggestion made a few weeks ago that Theresa May’s head should appear on both sides, the reverse is to bear the words “Peace, Prosperity and Friendship with all nations”.

    I wonder if the obverse will read “Mayhem, Poverty and Treason in Britain quelled”?

    I considered using the word ‘vanquished’ in place of ‘quelled’, but, as I outline above, fear there are still too many traitors lurking.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      My sides are still aching from that exit poll on June 8th 2017.

      Twenty-one percent ahead in the polls, they said.

      • Hope
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Your party is in a mess through people like: Mayhab, Greive, Boles, Bebb, Gauke, Greg Clarke, Rudd, Ken Clarke, Sanbach, Hammond x2, Wollaston, Soubry, Allen, Lee and the ever so clever Letwin! All not accepting the will of the people- the point Letwin made in parliament and then acted against,his own advice!

        Look at the indicative votes and get rid of them ASAP. If Cameron kept his promise of a proper right to recall for the public along with the other two parties, the public would have sorted these people out.

        Portillo confirmed to Johnson he would vote Brexit Party like Widdecombe, Johnson then said what a shambles.

        Admittedly this programme recorded before he became PM.

      • Hope
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Cameron could not have skewed the EU referendum more unfairly even with the help of them biased BBC and MSM. He lost and his former cabinet members- Clarke, Letwin, grieve, Soubry, Hammond etc are still vocal to remain and ignore the public will three years after they lost!

    • Hope
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Your party is not bursting with the desire to uphold the will of the people to leave the EU by 29/03/2019!

      Why has Mayhab, Robbins and those caught on camera stating dishonestly to hide true costs and ties to EU for the Sun not being investigated?

      Brexit Party is the only reason to hold your govt.s feet to the fire. If not your govt would have fully betrayed us by now.

      Clarke on TV to Portillo the other night making insidious remarks about black Wednesday as if it was trivial. For the hundreds of thousands who lost their home, businesses and jobs it was very worrying and disturbing. Ken Clarke demonstrated he is not fit to be in any public office. Fanatics like him, Grieve, Boles, Lee, Bebe, Allen etc now need to be ousted forever. They have no respecter regard for democracy or the office they hold.

      • Hope
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        We have idiotic Brown now writing an article of piffle for project fear today. Discredited biased BBC latched on straight on to promote. Brown ought to count his lucky stars he is now the second loathed PM in history after Mayhab!

        Who is actually convinced or persuaded by fanatical idiots like a Brown, Greive etc?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        The mistake that Leave activists make is to assume that most Leave voters are as fanatical and vehement in their hatred of the European Union as they are.

        They aren’t though. Many were normal, reasonable, pragmatic people, and for whom it was not a high priority issue.

        They want the minimum disruption in their lives, and I suspect that the present doctrinaire, fixated position of the Government may be doing the Tories little good, and more likely, considerable harm.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          No deal is better than a bad deal
          We leave on 31st October with or without a deal
          That is the law passed by a big majority in Parliament

          • Bob
            Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            “We leave on 31st October with or without a deal”

            Actually, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 says we left on 29th March.

            Parliament didn’t amend that Act, so Mrs May had no authority to delay Brexit.

            Robin Tilbrook has put the matter before the High Court, although the case is receiving no attention from the MSM because they don’t want the general public to know about it.

            If Boris was serious about Brexit he would withdraw his opposition to the case and save the UK taxpayers some money on legal fees and EU contributions.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          I think YOU make the mistake – all the quite wide circle of people we have contact with still INSIST we must Leave ASAP – end Oct can’t come soon enough. Still trying to spread the nonsense of us all have second thoughts?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Hope, yes it may have been trivial for him but for my husband and myself it was catastrophic. We had a 3 year old daughter, my husband lost his job and we lost our house. Two years later our marriage broke up. If that is trivial in his book he has no place in Parliament.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      We were told we would leave without a deal and most Leavers knew this. One time we were told was when the PM was asked by Nigel Evans MP on behalf of the British people and both Houses, during the last PMQs before the referendum, whether the decision of the British people would be honoured and no further referendums held.

      The answer was it would and the PM then said that we would leave after 2 years and only “then” once we had left would negotiations for a trade deal begin, he even specifically asked all MPs to take note of this before voting themselves in the referendum as it might take up to a decade in all, although few MPs now seem to remember. I hope Boris is aware of this, please could you remind him Sir John:

      David Cameron PMQs 15th June 2016 Question 14 (available on youtube and Hansard):
      “I am very happy to agree with my hon. Friend. “In” means we remain in a reformed EU; “out” means we come out. As the leave campaigners and others have said, “out” means out of the EU, out of the European single market, out of the Council of Ministers—out of all those things—and will then mean a process of delivering on it, which will take at least two years, and then delivering a trade deal, which could take as many as seven years. To anyone still in doubt—there are even Members in the House still thinking about how to vote—I would say: if you have not made up your mind yet, if you are still uncertain, just think about that decade…”

      • Hope
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


        Cameron said a lot of things that he knew were not true. He even gave cast iron guarantees- that lasted until he finished speaking. He boldly claimed no ifs or buts and then went against it.

        The Tories are in this mess because they cannot be trusted. The last two elections, local councils and EU elections- the worst in its history, ought to have made the penny drop.

        Mayhabs servitude plan was voted down by the biggest margin in history- she thought it was a good idea to have another two votes on it! Mayhab was way out in the lead with Corbyn her opponent. She decided to have the worst electoral campaign in history and lost her majority. Thankfully for us her stupidity paid off otherwise we might have been in colony status by now!

        • jane4brexit
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Yes of course you are right Hope. However in this instance I regard him as speaking as the PM in Parliament ie: not as an individual, setting out what a vote for Leave meant to us the British people and the members of both Houses immediately prior to the referendum and I would hope it has some accountability, or could be used should we ever need to go to the Courts to get Brexit.

          I also quote his answer because it is so wrong that MPs are getting away with saying we did not vote for a so called ‘no deal’, it is after all WTO, when they were specifically told to consider this “decade”.

          I do not know the exact figure but it must be at least around 600 MPs that are denying we voted to Leave without a deal and it is untrue. We certainly did not vote to sign a deal leaving us in by another name and in the case of the WA even worse, signing what is in fact a treaty with worse terms than our membership…as you (and some in Brussels) say a colony.

          I realise some MPs may have been absent that day or are new MPs, but even then they should know this was said, it was the last PMQ’s before the referendum and they were addressed specifically. In my opinion the only conclusion for them not knowing, is that the MPs denying this are eiither inept not to know or must know that they are lying.

          Interestingly by refering to the MPs own votes, in the referendum only and no others just like us the public, it confirms that at this stage no further votes in Parliament were expected. I just post it hoping as more people realise this was said, more will be less likely to fall for the idea that a deal is necessary.

          I did think of emailing it to all MPs but you cannot send it via the House of Commons email to them all and individually would be quite a job. Maybe if others too feel it is important enough to send to their own MPs, we might inform all of them eventually! I am getting used to it, but being lied to like this by our government would only a few years ago, have been unimaginable to me.

  2. Nig l
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Looks logical but you cannot ignore the tribal nature of voters at general elections nor the possibility Corbyn gets dumped and that effect..

    Equally the potential split in the Leave vote. One things looks more certain is the solidity of the Remain vote if they come up with the same accommodations as in the recent election in Wales. If I were the Lib Dem’s I would be rubbing my hands in glee.

    Makes it even more important that we leave with No Deal/or very few concessions so as to take the Brexit party out of the equation. Anything less and they will be Like hyenas looking for a kill.

    • Peter
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      We will have to wait and see how things turn out.

      Maybe there will be a no confidence vote leading to an election. Maybe Boris can sit things out until Brexit is delivered.

      However, I would not read too much into the Boris bounce. Mrs. May is not forgotten nor forgiven. Even were a tardy Brexit finally delivered, many will still vote for the Brexit Party rather than revert to the same old, same old.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Sir John puts the mess Labour are in very clearly, and I struggle to see how it will change with the present leader, and gang ‘supporting’ him. He needs to be eased out – good luck with that, if anything like Mrs May continued ‘leadership’.

        Next of course we should examine what is to be done about the mess the Conservative Party is in. There have been dozens of complaints recorded on here, but I see no moves to sort out what is wrong. The only hope seems to lie with Boris and careful root and branch pruning. Good luck , you need assertiveness, cunning and determination. Let us hope you are up to the job.

  3. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I would have thought the last thing the Conservatives or Labour would want is a general election before we leave the EU, or indeed shortly afterwards.

    The problem for the Conservatives would be the Brexit vote splitting the Leavers and the problem for Labour as you highlight, would be Labour losing the Leaver vote completely in the North.

    Boris needs to get his feet under the table and some of his more sensible policies up and running properly before he even thinks of an election, he has started on a positive note, but time is very, very young at the moment, he needs to show that project fear is just that, a fear fantasy that does not come to fruition or is reality after we have left, and thus he kills the argument for remaining or even rejoining.

    After 3 years of the dismal and disastrous May, how nice to see most of the cabinet smiling, positive, and with a spring in their step, I can only hope it continues.

    The problem is with Remainer MP’s, not the people.

    • tim
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      A cull of the BBC is essential, make ONE example, and the rest will all fall in line. Documentaries about how good it will be once we get FREEDOM!

    • James1
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      The Labour position on Brexit is an unprincipled fudge and utter disgrace. Contrary to the refrain from Remainers, the electorate knew what they were voting for, and enough of them are unlikely to either forgive or forget the disgraceful behaviour of the MPs who have dishonoured us.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        We do not have any clear idea even now, about what we are going to get in the event of a no deal, so how can the voters have known, especially when they were told that there would be a deal, and the easiest in history to broker?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Yes we do know Martin
          We leave using WTO trade rules which work for scores of trading nations.
          If we can agree a free trade deal with the EU then good.
          But if they prefer tariffs then let them carry on that way.
          Both sides are trying to predict the future and remain fans rarely tell us what the future in the EU looks like.
          They keep that bit very quiet.

          • Andy
            Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            WTO rules require the EU to impose tariffs on us – as you will have pulled us out of our deal with them.

            And if they don’t impose tariffs on us they then, under WTO rules, have to scrap tariffs on everyone else.

            The EU will not so this as it will destroy jobs in EU countries.

            The multi-millionaire Brexiteer schoolboys will do it here because they are mostly old and don’t care about jobs.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink


            Go back to school and learn how tariffs actually work in the real world . Your post is drivel

    • Simeon
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      The prospects of Boris Johnson making any progress on his policy plans this side of a GE are virtually non-existent because he has a virtually non-existent majority. Brexit must be addressed first. The way in which Brexit is addressed is the question. If, as seems increasingly likely, the government is voted down, because this is the only way to avoid a ‘no deal’, it is inconceivable that a new government would not then be formed to prevent precisely what had led to that point.

      I notice that some political commentators have dismissed the possibility of a ‘national unity government’ as unworkable. It would only be unworkable if politicians placed more importance on (unspecified) things (what would these be?) other than a ‘no deal’, that a majority believe to be catastrophic. In other words, a failure to form a strictly temporary government for a very specific purpose that even some (perhaps many?) leavers would view as uncontroversial in and of itself, would be to invite and enable catastrophe.

      It may be observed that there are actually no obviously good ways forward from this point at the culmination of three years of reprehensible governance and intellectually vacuous opposition. Both the Conservatives and Labour will suffer for this, and rightly so, though the Liberal Democrats apparently re-acquiring legitimacy is depressing. In my view, this very clearly points towards the necessary can-kicking that allows the politicians to pass the buck back to the people (though of course many have been aiming for this all along).

      I fully expect there to be another extension mutually agreed by the UK and EU for the purpose of a democratic event to resolve Brexit. I would assume this would be a referendum given that a GE may well yield another hung Parliament and therefore no resolution. I would hope that the WA would be entirely absent from whatever question is posed, and that it is a clear choice between leaving or remaining.

      Perhaps given that this is the logical conclusion to the present mess, the present government may seek this extension itself. I wouldn’t be surprised, although I think it would be a tactical error. Better to fight an insurgent campaign under the flag of freedom than attempt to defend a beseiged position under massive bombardment.

      Of course a second referendum should not be necessary, and would be a clear sign that the democratic process has broken down. I would suggest that a second referendum would be symptomatic of the ills of our politics, and not a cause. Perhaps we could liken it to a bout of diarrhoea. Highly unpleasant, but necessary as the only way to get the toxins out of the system. Then there can be a GE, and more serious purging can be done.

      • Simeon
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        A disclaimer: I am less certain about what exactly might happen prior to an inevitable democratic event to resolve Brexit than my comments above suggest. In truth, there are all kinds of potential twists in this road, and we must remember that Parliament is populated by the weak-willed and chances, by people seriously lacking in integrity or wisdom, and most usually both. Predicting the actions of the likes of these is fraught with difficulty. But the direction of travel is clear, and a no-deal Brexit that actually exists and persists is not the immediate destination. Much work remains.

        • Simeon
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          That should read ‘chancers’, not chances.

      • David Maples
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        There’s not a ‘cat in hells’ chance of an extension. The Tories will not risk a second and more permanent death.

  4. Nig l
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Ps. Good to see Gove is setting up a rebuttal unit to deal with fake non-deal stories.your bloggers have been asking for it for years!

    • Fred H
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      it will need an enormous staff.

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Labour want an election because they think they could win it.
    You have to remember that labour have no qualms about taking advantage of a situation – They are power hungry and will do anything to get their collective feet into number 10, along with the big union barons.
    The only answer labour have to Brexit is to stay in and negotiate more concessions to the EU to make a future Brexit impossible. But this also applies to the rest of the socialist remain faction across the House…. So THIS is our only chance to get out, and all we can say, with hope in our hearts, is: IN BORIS WE TRUST.
    After we leave, we can expect the remainers to react in all sort of violent ways, and perhaps they will never stop trying to get us back into the EU by the back door. That is why The Tories have to reform and depose their remainers who have done nothing for democracy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Labour know they would be wiped out in an election. Also Corbyn is a lifelong Brexiteer. There will be no election and maybe no Confidence Motion – in case they win it!

    • Andy
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      We won’t try to take us back into the EU via the back door.

      We’ll use the front door!

      The vast majority of under 50s do not want Brexit.

      It’s reversal is a demographic inevitability.

      As is the public inquiry which will hold the Brexiteers to account.

      • tim
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        what planet are you on? Democracy! Majority is 1 vote. There was around a 2,000,000 majority, with project fear.!!!

      • David Maples
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        So you are quite happy to see a federal europe wherein the British government and parliament are reduced to the status of a county council? Clearly, you have no objection to being ruled by thousands of unelected, half educated, arts based, crypto marxists, slightly to left of Trotsky. And btw, rejoining will never happen in your lifetime Andy, as the Tories will not make that mistake again.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Where is the groundswell going to come from? 2/3 of the electorate didn’t even bother to turn out for the EU elections, and of them a sizable chunk registered a protest vote with the Brexit Party.
        Face it, EUphilia is very much a minority, though noisy, interest.
        And do you think the EU will be willing to accept the UK back? Wake up, the rhetoric from them is positively hostile.

        • Dave Andrews
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Should read,
          “and of those who did”

        • Andy
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          It is the rhetoric from people like you that is positively hostile.

          The EU has been entirely reasonable throughout.

          The EU is also aware that Brexit is not a British project.

          It knows Brexit is a far-right Tory party project.

          It does not want the rest of us to leave.

          We would all be quite happy to see the backs of you lot.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          As you say we have noisy neighbours.

      • David Maples
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        And what would the grounds for a public enquiry be? That parliament illegitimately passed two statutes, the Withdrawal Act and the Article 50 Act, to take us out of the EU, contrary to the wishes of a lot of gormless under 50’s.

        • Andy
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          That Vote Leave and is supporters lied and cheated.

          That MPs and ministers behaved in a criminally negligent way: ignoring evidence, dismissing facts, slandering experts and civil servants. That they knowingly took that country on a course which they had been told would be harmful to its people.

          You are perfectly entitled to believe the world is flat. But if you are told by virtually all the experts it is actually round – and you ignore their advice and make policy based on the fact that it is flat then you are liable when things go wrong.

          A public inquiry and prosecutions are inevitable. It is simply a question of when.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


            So far every court case thats been bought against the leave organisations has been thrown out. The Courts confirmed the figures used by leave in the referendum campaign are genuine. The main media and conspiracy journalists promoting these wild theories have all been forced to either pay damages or retract and apologise .

            All the experts told us that Y2K was going to be a problem. The only issue was every single one of them was wrong. There was never a Y2K problem. As today all the “experts” you cite on the economic consequences of a Brexit vote have all so far proved to be totally wrong .

            Your experts told us the Earth is flat , it isn’t its an oblate spheroid

            How come you still haven’t left yet?

          • David Maples
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            You’re talking complete drivel, the sort of unrealistic nonsense one gets from a student union debate. Lying politicians are par for the course, and if there are going to be successful prosecutions in the future, not only will almost every professional politico find himself in court[theoretically]going back years, but your own ridiculous comments(typical of remain propaganda)might be adduced. Time to grow up Andy; your anti democratic mob have lost! We want to be free, not part of a dictatorial, pseudo governmental, self aggrandizing, customs union.

  6. Old Albion
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    How many times does it have to be said?
    We were given a referendum and promised the result would be honoured. Any MP attempting to thwart us leaving the EU, is not a democrat and has no place in the House of Commons. Is it any wonder trust in politicians is at an all time low.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      And any Conservative MP causing problems in the run-up to October 31st needs to be barred from standing again – even if the next election is AFTER Brexit Day.

      • Shirley
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Agreed. Brexit has highlighted the pathetic state of our democracy which has been sidelined or ignored since Heath took us into the EEC. The electorate never, ever, gave approval to be governed by the EU! We wouldn’t be in this mess otherwise. The whole system needs a shake up and politicians MUST stop lying to the electorate by promising things they have no intention of delivering.

        We want Brexit. We want a sovereign country and above all we want democracy to be restored in the UK. No false choices by foisting pro-EU candidates onto the electorate.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


    • jerry
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      @Old Albion; Trouble is we also live in a parliamentary democracy, there having also been a GE between the referendum and now, many of the MPs that get criticise on this site (and others) stood on a -personal- europhile ticket, often facing down local UKIP opposition.

      Tell me @Old Albion, if there was a very Thatcherite MP, who had stood for election (perhaps multiple times) on a personal ticket that backs privatisation, but the party as a whole backed a policy of (re)nationalisation, would you object to the said MP speaking out, voting against the whip?…

      We elect individual members to sit in Parliament, we do not actuality vote for a party, that is why the ballot paper has Candidates Name then Affiliation, not vis-versa.

      • Old Albion
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        You miss the point Jerry. We had a referendum and since the result was announced, anti-Democrats have held up the implementation of the result.
        We should have been out by March at the latest. Unfortunately the previous P.M. was an anti-Democrat.
        Be honest, if the Remainers had won, even by a smaller margin than actually happened. You would not have uttered a word against the result.

        • jerry
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          @Old Albion; We also had the referendum whether to leave in 1975. Oh but the EU is very different beast to the EEC we joined back in 1973, no it is not, go read the Treaty of Rome, the eventual aim was spelt out back in the 1950s -as people like Benn and Powell pointed out in 1975!

          If you are seriously suggesting, had a party won a clear majority mandate in the 2017 GE, with a manifesto pledge not to leave the EU, that manifesto pledge would be held hostage by the previous 2016 referendum result it is clearly understood that no future government can be held hostage by the decisions of a previous one, if that is not it makes Mrs Thatcher”s 1980s changes to union law null and void…

      • roger
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Pure sophistry.
        The logic of your argument presupposes that the majority of any electorate have more personal knowledge of the standing candidates in a seat than they do of the specific parties and their manifestos.

        • jerry
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          @roger; Nonsense, that is why candidates issue personal election statements, but if you choose not to read then…

          • libertarian
            Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink


            Can you link us to a copy of a Conservative candidates personal election statement going against the party manifesto please

          • jerry
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; How am I expect to do that, two years after the last GE, I suspect such a search would even tackle the abilities of the “Wayback” internet resource, assuming such documents were even published on the internet! Nice attempt at asking if I have stopped beating my wife though.

            As for my own Tory candidate, being a Minister, he did not personally disagree with the party manifesto, his majority was slashed….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Some deal with the Brexit Party will however surely be needed. The Conservative party on its own simply cannot be trusted. Full as it is with Libdems and tax to death green loons pretending to be Conservatives.

      Even Boris and Mogg foolishly voted for the putrid W/A on the last vote after all.

      If we are to have an elction as looks likely we need an agenda of large tax cuts (from the current highest taxes for 50 years), no green crap subsidies and much smaller government. The party needs to appeal to the 80% who do not work for the state for a change.

      • jerry
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        @LL; Many more people will NEVER support a UKIP/TBP candidate, if there is no Tory candidate at best they will sit on their hands, at worse they will take objection to their (Tory) party sipping from the same chalice as TBP party leaders and members who kept others true ideas hidden whilst in positions of hight rank within UKIP.

        The Tory party (as always) will need the support of disaffected Labour, perhaps even some LD, voters to stay in govt, even without any threat from UKIP/TBP.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


          “Many more people will NEVER support a UKIP/TBP candidate”

          True but a greater majority will , which has been shown in 2 elections & a referendum

          • jerry
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; “but a greater majority will”

            Not after the latest Farage speech, “doing a Ratner”, by attacking the Royal family. Or is Farage going after the disaffected (mostly hard left) Republic vote now…

            “which has been shown in 2 elections & a referendum

            Nonsense, otherwise please do inform us who the UKIP/TBP MPs are, or have been elected at past GEs?..

            Anyways, UKIPs vote collapsed in the 2017 GE, by a massive 10.8%.

            The referendum was non partisan, our host did far more than Farage, and probably UKIP in its entirety to win that vote. If anything Farage, with his daft poster campaign, caused a downturn in support for Brexit – but then he does seem to like the gravy train he has got himself on.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Precisely, Old Albion. It is very simple.
      And yet, we only have about 30 MPs in Parliament that have consistently attempted to honour the referendum result.
      ‘Draining the swamp’ has never been more important.

  7. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives enter a General election campaign committed to “no deal” a large number of traditional Conservative voters – including me – will vote tactically to ensure the Conservatives do not get a majority. We are true Conservatives – we do not recognise the ideological madness forced on us by the extreme Brexiters. Happily, you seem to have learned nothing from 2017 – Mrs May thought she could stand on an extreme anti-EU ticket but was thwarted when plenty of moderates voted tactically to block her. The same will happen to Mr Johnson, except even more so because he obviosuly lacks the calm competence of Mrs May

    Reply Mrs May greatly increased the Conservative vote thanks to her pro Brexit stance at that point. She polled over 42% compared to pro EU Cameron polling 36% in the earlier election. Her proposals for social care flopped badly and she had to cancel them during the election which meant she failed to hold the even bigger vote earlier polls suggested.

    • Nig l
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Is the air a bit thin up north?

      • Alison
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Nigel, you have to wonder. Not a few of my fellow Scots seem to think that they can be independent and a member of the EU.
        Did it affect John Mcdonnell when he came up for an Edinburgh Fringe chat? The headline on an article in the Daily Record earlier this week (left-ish red top in Scotland) read, Labour’s UK leadership have realised winning support of SNP MPs is best chance to get to Downing Street’.
        And today a former adviser to Nicola Sturgeon (for 9 years) is urging her to form an alliance with the LibDems to oust the 13 Scottish Tories.
        You’ve got to wonder about the air up here. Very nice though.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Good grief, Mrs May competent !

      • Fred H
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        OMG – who claimed that?

    • Pud
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      How do you define “Extreme Brexit”?
      My suggestion is: Actually carrying the instruction of the referendum to leave the EU, as opposed to pretending to leave but still being subjected to EU control.

      • Ken Smith
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        No deal is extreme. In 2016 no leaver advocated no deal, many explicitly ruled it out – including the current PM

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Well we know now how Rory got selected! Must be true that ‘Cumbrian Tories hold their trousers up with string’.

    • Woody
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Well, how can one answer such rubbish constructively ? May lost the massive lead she started with in the General Election because her manifesto showed absolutely no vision for the future and she even sold that badly. Yet she still won a majority. The only reason the Tories are showing signs of electoral recovery is because the nation is seeing that they are at last serious about implementing the decision of the people to leave. The only reason there is a Brexit Party in serous contention is because of May and her equivocation / lies … the worst PM the UK has ever had. The only reason there is a lib dem recovery is because Labour leadership is even worse than the Tories under May. At last we have a leader who is leading not being led.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I think it should be Non Tory in Brussels. There seems to be a growing number of trolls as D day approaches. Just hold your nerve Boris.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      @Tory in Cumbria. confused by what you mean by a deal?

      The EU along with Mrs May never offered a deal that included trade or cooperation with the EU. The only Deal on offer then and today is that the UK remains under EU rule, EU Laws, EU control and contributes to the EU Budget. Which is why Boris calls it un-democratic.

      The only proposal that permits the UK to control its own destiny is a ‘Clean Break.’

      The EU, our rulers, do make up rules/laws on the hoof . EU Law states that in leaving the EU a Country must afforded with and agreement of future cooperation and trading relationships in a Withdrawal Treaty. On the first day of negotiations the EU broke this law, now we have the mess that ensues.

      The EU still believes that Parliament will stop us leaving the EU, because Parliaments in their minds carry out their laws as they the EU want them interpreted. That is why we have a them and us situation – Parliament against the People.

  8. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Good stuff. I trust that there is an overall project plan on both Gove’s and Barclay’s office wall. The Parliamentary/Constitutional ‘line of operation’ will be absolutely key over the next couple of months. And I trust some old hand, is on hand, to mentor JRM in his Leader of the House job.

  9. Mick
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    If there is a early GE before 31st of October or even after the Tory’s are going to have to strike up a deal with the Brexit party , not to do so will split there votes as proved in the by-elections, we all know how good the Labour Party are at stirring the gullible young up into a frenzy with promises of free money to pay off student loans and other not deliverable manifesto pledges , if possible in your manifesto let’s have another public holiday for October 31st to celebrate our Independence Day every year from the dreaded Eu

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Of course you are right.
    But when?

    Before 31st October, then Nigel Farage will have a party.

    After it there will be a certain amount of chaos which will no doubt be entirely blamed on the “Tories” – who will also be blamed for Austerity, demoralising the Police and encouraging the coming Climate Armageddon. This chaos will no doubt go on for a few months.

    So how about Dr Richard North’s suggestion that it will actually happen on the Thursday round 1st November?

    Reply I have dealt with that in my blog!

  11. David Maples
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    The key word in all this is USURPATION. Assorted remainers are contemplating using any device, dubious at best, to force Boris Johnson(the First Lord of the Treasury and custodian of the powers of the royal prerogative), to request an extension beyond Article 50. Arcane parliamentary procedures, rogue Tory MP’s, the judiciary, the interventions of the ‘great and the good’, the establishment press and other media, the project fear business community etc, are assembling for one last battle in the war against Brexit. Unfortunately for those who despise direct democracy in the form of referendums, the coup d’état being planned is a grossly unconstitutional abuse of[temporary]power, which in previous eras would have seen the perpetrators being rowed in chains under Traitors’ Gate.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      If Boris requests a further extension, he become Theresa May, and look what happened to her.
      He knows this, and there will be no extension so long as he is in post.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Yes, David, ‘Vichy Britain’ it currently seems.

  12. jerry
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    If the numbers are there for Labour to win a NC once, the numbers will still be there on the second vote unless something unpalatable happens within the parliamentary Tory party in those fourteen days of the the FTPA – are you saying this is a possibility Sir John, that the parliamentary party would kowtow to one or two -what some might call- ‘turncoats’ just to remain in govt?

    Also, what if Labour win backing and form a grand coalition, they’ll only need a majority of one, that is the real danger of the FTPA, should a sitting govt. loose their majority and thus a NC now.

    It is clear that Corbyn, a life long europhobe, has lost the Brexit argument within the wider Labour party (including within his own power base, Momentum), thus if there was a GE Labour are almost certain to campaign to Remain as a manifesto pledge, that would allow them to revoke A50 within hours of forming the govt, having used the GE as Brexit ref2 in effect.

    As for timing, I’m not so sure, surely with just under nine weeks between parliament resuming and Oct 31st, the only variable is how long the current govt could prolong the wash-up period, and of course the party conference recess would be scrapped/postponed – we could even find that Oct 31st is polling day! In such a circumstance, whilst the votes might not have been counted before 11pm they would have been cast with an hour to spare. All in all, dangerous times, both for Brexit and our (unwritten) constitution…

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Corbyn isn’t going to precipitate a general election only to find labour seats going to the Lib Dems.
      He might well press for a no confidence vote, but first he has to make sure it will fail.

      • jerry
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        @Dave Andrews; If the main reason for Labour wanting to force a GE is to stop Brexit why would it matter if they did loose seats to the LDs, even perhaps the MRLP. I’m sure Labour would be more than happy to form a coalition with the LDs, never mind the SNP, PC, SDLP & Greens too -even the MRLP if needs must.

        “He might well press for a no confidence vote, but first he has to make sure it will fail.”

        Who are we talking about, JC or BJ?!

        An early September “Back Brexit or sake me” GE might be the only option left to Boris if he knows that he his govt has lost the support from the europhiles on his own benches, might explain the rush of policies being announced, after all surely better to go down like Heath (jumped) than Callaghan (pushed)…

    • James1
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      The Brexit Bashing Corporation are still at it. We are even today still going to be “crashing out” rather than just leaving the EU. Are any apologies going to be forthcoming when it becomes apparent that their absurd cliff edge catastrophe nonsense is shortly after 31 October plainly seen to have been little more than anticipated short term bumps and adjustments along the road to regaining our freedom and independence? Probably a fat chance of acknowledgements let alone apologies, but then that’s also an aspect of freedom and independence.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Would a first step in terminating the BBC be to outlaw news/current affairs programs on the basis of proven bias. Then salary limit EVERY employee to £100k, AND limit every contract/celebrity to £300k for their services. That would start a clear-out prior to cutting funding, ending licence, and eventually closing it down.

  13. agricola
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    We have a Labour Party not fit for purpose, were there any discernable purpose apart from the promotion of a form of politics that over the past century has failed miserably. The failure is always born by the people, never the ruling politicians.

    The Lib/Dems offer everything, providing it it is neither liberal nor democratic.

    The Brexit Party await the failure of the present government. Should that failure occur they will do what they did in the EU election. Maybe not as overwhelmingly, but significant nevertheless.

    For the Conservative Party there is potentially a bright future. First they must get Brexit done with or without an agreement. They must the ditch all their social engineering, socialist programme and in a true conservative way go for the creation of wealth, personal and national. At the onset of the next GE they must rid themselves of the despicable element epitomised by Grieve. They must stop trying to put the World right with excessive developement aid. What there is should be targeted on deprived, badly governed populations. The targets should mainly focus on care for our own population and infrastructure. Both of which are third world in quality. To facilitate this long term, UK population reduction should be the aim over the next century.

    I await developements. We are at the outset of a war situation demanding a level of leadership last seen in the 1940s and 1980s. The alternatives are overwhelmingly detrimental to the country and individual.

    • jerry
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      @agricola; “The failure is always born by the people, never the ruling politicians.”

      Labour voters used to say the same in the 1980s.

      “We are at the outset of a war situation demanding a level of leadership last seen in the 1940s”

      You are quite possibly correct, so perhaps the real solution is a Coalition, just like the 1940s, with a PM who understands the real needs of the country and is prepared to put the best people for the job in charge, who ever they are, press baron or trade unionist…

      • sm
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, who would be your preferred candidate for a National Unity Prime Minister?

        • jerry
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          @sm; I have no idea! I do not know the real personalities of our politicians, what they really think, what their political ‘red-lines’ [1] are just what their public profile/image is.

          [1] vital to know as dogma must not cloud judgements

    • Andy
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      “A war situation.”

      Bless. Totally doolally.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        been looking in the mirror?

    • Paul Cohen
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Agreed – we cannot tolerate any more fumbles a la May! Boris has made a surprisingly good start and has already lifted the morale of many of us.

      Perhaps we ought warn the EU that in case of any intended plans by them to impede or disrupt the usual travel/commercial arrangements after 31st October we will make note and tally the cost , to be deducted from any agreed final payment.

      • tim
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        we pay nothing, so they will need to pay us. No DEAL WTO rules

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Agree 100%.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Agricola. Strong leadership to leave with just a WTO agreement, and to make a success of Britain afterwards, is essential.

      Farage and The Brexit Party offer this.

      Currently the Tories do not – only more weakness, dithering and uncertainty.

      It will stay like this until the Tories get rid of the Remoan element in their party, both before and after the 31st Oct. And the only way for the Tories to be rid of these Remoaners longterm is to have a pact with the Brexit Party – so that BP candidates win Tory ‘Remoan’ seats in the next General Election.

      This will lead to coalition government, with the BP as the minor candidate. Thus Farage and the BP will keep the Tory’s ‘feet to the fire’ throughout the important ‘renewal’ years post-Brexit.

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Penultimate sentence: ‘minor candidate’ should read ‘minor party’.

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Note: this pact with the Tory Party to help the Brexit Party beat the Tory Remoaners may well come about, in practice, from Local Tory Associations who refuse to campaign for these Tory Remoaner MPs, and even are willing to campaign openly for The Brexit Party – particularly in cases where Tory CCHQ has refused to accept deselection of these traitorous anti-democratic Tory candidates.

  14. margaret
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    There was an emotional tribal vote in the referendum where we as a group saw our Country being split apart and our future gene pool survival being changed into something we didn’t like. We have intellectually progressed , we have generally accepted Darwinism,we have sorted ethics out to exclude capital punishment,we have looked at all sorts of unfairness in schools and the work place and addressed bullying, sexual harassment and abuse ,yet all around us this was happening more and more,.We said NO to this and could not see a way other than making our own laws and stopping an influx of those we considered to have primitive views and likely to harm our society, in.We still don’t want to regress , but some think that they can make it on their own despite a lowering of standards in large areas and are willing to take the risk of staying in and spoiling our Country. At this point it is every man for himself and woman rather more collectively.

    • Andy
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Except you do want to regress.

      I consider you have primitive views which are likely to harm our society.

      You demonstrate this with the use of words like ‘influx’ and phrases like ‘gene pool’.

      We all know what you mean by this.

      It is predominantly not white, Christian Europeans to whom you object.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        With a failing argument you lefty remainers start by personal abuse and when that fails you play the race card.
        Such an over used cliché it has now lost any impact.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink



        You told us that people voted Brexit because they are racists and want to stop FOM

        You have accused Margaret of not like BAME people

        However it is you and your friends who want to see the free movement of white, christian Europeans at the expense of our cousins from the Commonwealth

    • Fred H
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      We have intellectually progressed – a guess or your evidence?
      accepted Darwinism – I suppose so.
      sorted ethics out to exclude capital punishment – to be better , or worse?
      looked at all sorts of unfairness in schools – just looking is hopeless.
      unfairness in … and the work place — which unfairness, there are lots of levels.
      addressed bullying, sexual harassment and abuse – every day we are confronted with the fact that we haven’t!

  15. J Bush
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Love the way you have applied the remoaners use of ‘crash’ to May. Very apt.

    She did indeed ‘crash’ Britain’s reputation and economy with her absurd globalist cultural marxism policy direction, with the help of Robbins, Hammond and Carney, of course.

    During her ‘reign’ it was like being dropped into a surreal parallel universe.

  16. J Bush
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    With the possibility of an election on the horizon, there are 2 essential changes BJ needs to do first.
    1. Return the postal voting system to its original state
    2. Allow the CCP’s to select its own candidates

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Agreed, JB. But, of course, the most sensible thing Boris could do is just to leave the EU by 31st Oct on WTO terms – a clean break..

  17. Leaver
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Labour can’t top Brexit.

    Also, I don’t understand all this whinging about Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales leaving the union. Personally, I think it’s great for England – as it means it won’t be subsidising them any more and will lead to a huge post-Brexit windfall for England. Great, if like me, you are English.

    • Leaver
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Meant Labour can’t stop Brexit, not top Brexit.

      (Didn’t check work. Sorry)

    • Fred H
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      only great if we take the tough measures soonest.
      Develop alternative shipyards as matter of urgency, immediate cancel BARNETT, plan/execute Civil Service jobs back to England, St.George’s day national holiday, schools, government building MUST run up flag on their poles, gates. Cease uni auto place in England – applications/fees as current foreigners do. Well thats a start.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Agree Leaver. I noted Andy calling people fools yesterday. Perhaps my comment calling him an idiot was justified.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Andy has his own dog-eared copy of the Mr Man book ‘ Mr Angry’.

  18. Julie Williams
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Corbyn and his friends keep pushing for an election because they are obsessed with gaining power but opinion polls are showing that their honeymoon period with young voters is over:they tried to be smart by playing all things to all people over Brexit and it’s backfired very badly.
    As for the Tories?
    Recent results strongly suggest that they need to work with the Brexit Party or they won’t scrape back into government: this isn’t about the ego, it’s about achieving the goal…get Cummings to sort it out if he’s as strategic as some say.
    While you’re at it: Brexit isn’t enough anymore…due to the games that people have played over the last three years, treating the ordinary voter with contempt, the next manifesto has to include a massive overhaul of institutions to get my vote back and that includes putting more power in the hands of Tory party members.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Yes, Julie, ‘Change Politics for Good’.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink


    • Simeon
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Cummings has bothing but contempt for Farage. What you hope for won’t happen on Cummings’ watch. No one can doubt Cummings’ ambition; he clearly thinks politics is broken, and just as clearly believes he can fix it. Time will tell, with little hesitation I think, how firm his grip on reality is…

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The enormous problem for the country and for the Conservative party is that May pretended to be in favour of leaving, all the time negotiating a deal worse than staying in. This has had several effects-one to make politicians, foremost the Conservatives, untrustworthy. It also made us appear weak to the EU, and set the country back three years. Companies and individuals have had time to wonder what on earth the government was playing at, and some have voted early with their feet.

    The present administration therefore has its work cut out to appear trustworthy, credible and worthy of the EU taking notice. Had the previous three years not happened, more people would be behind the Conservatives now and frankly the Brexit Party wouldn’t exist. To go for an early election would be like predicting the course of a marriage during the honeymoon. Most Conservatives would think “too early” and stick to the Brexit Party rather than trusting the party who have let them down badly over three years.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Mrs. May in her desire for the UK to remain permanently in the EU, whilst deluding the UK public that we were exiting the EU, gave the EU such a good deal that the EU has now become the equivalent of the monkey who is unable to extract his hand from the cookie jar.

    • Simeon
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      An excellent point. How does the Conservative party regain trust in such straitened circumstances?
      If BJ had set out his stall from the start and insisted that the only way to deliver Brexit and make a success of it is with a different Parliament, rather than try and bluff his way to Brexit – which, even if he were to somehow to achieve would not then magically confer on him a mandate to do the job of making the thing work – then more people would trust him. As it is, a GE is inevitable, whether instead of, or after, a referendum.

      Maybe the referendum was the plan all along. It certainly looks like BJ’s (not necessarily the country’s) best option now – though another marginal result would do nothing to bring reconciliation, and would polarise politics further.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      I think Cameron/Osborne & May/Hammond have put the Party back 10 years not 3.

  20. GilesB
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    We MUST avoid a General Election before October 31st. Preferably without the need to prorogue Parliament or extraordinary delay after losing a confidence vote.

    Ideally we won’t have one before February or March.

  21. Kathleen P
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    There is no prospect of a ‘unity government’. The idea is preposterous. Yes, the Greens and the LibDems could support each other because there’s not much to choose between them and I daresay a number of left leaning Tories who are little different from LibDems could agree on Ms Swinson as caretaker PM (am I allowed to laugh at this point?) but would Labour’s Marxists seriously give up the premiership for anyone other than Corbyn? And if he is the candidate du jour, could any Tory MP ever support him as PM? The whole idea is fantasy fuelled by desperation. These people are in danger of losing their grip on reality.

  22. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    So many conundrums:

    Whither Grieve & Co.

    Another sinecure Scottish MP leading Libdems

    Labour Party hokey cokey on EU and UK

    Brexit Party to sink Conservative vote

    SNP to be rumbled as disastrous Scottish Government

  23. BOF
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    When an election (another one!) comes around, my strategy, from Brecon and Radnorshire, will be to vote Conservative, if a no deal Brexit is a fait accompli or there is a firm election pact with the Brexit Party. Otherwise I will vote TBP.

    It is quite simple really. I no longer trust the Conservative Party.

    • Andy
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      And here you sum up Brexit.

      At first it was just the European Union that you did not trust.

      But then as your Brexit became clearly ridiculous it only started making any sense at all when you stopped trusting other groups too.

      And now look at who you don’t trust.

      MPs. High Court judges. Economists. The Governor of the Bank of England. The BBC. Big business. The car industry. All the living prime ministers. Airbus. Trade Unions. Farmers. Angela Merkel. The media. Labour. Nicola Sturgeon. Sadiq Khan. Celebrities. Gary Linekar. Barack Obama. Doctors. Civil Servants.

      Brexit only makes sense when all of these people and groups are your enemy.

      But still you trust slimeball Farage and his opaquely funded corporation masquerading as a party. Maybe you have it the wrong way around – and everyone else is trustworthy but him?

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        well Andy, you have excelled yourself.
        MPs. High Court judges. Economists. The Governor of the Bank of England. The BBC. Big business. The car industry. All the living prime ministers. Airbus. Trade Unions. Farmers. Angela Merkel. The media. Labour. Nicola Sturgeon. Sadiq Khan. Celebrities. Gary Linekar. Barack Obama. Doctors. Civil Servants.

        There are a fair few in that list not to be trusted, not ethical, not morally upstanding, evidence of lying, falsifying things, encouraged migration misery – even death, enjoy fat-cat life styles with no discernable talent.
        So, not a bad list.

    • Simeon
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      With respect, if you don’t trust the Conservatives (and who would?!), why vote for them under any circumstances? It would be hugely disappointing if, regardlessof how Brexit turns out, the lack of a party worth voting for persists. (With apologies to our kind host who at least is somewhere on the sensible spectrum, along with a few (dozen?) others in his party.)

  24. Gareth Warren
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It looks now very likely that brexit is in Boris’s hands only to stop, the only other option of revoking article 50 in any form would gift downing street to Nigel Farage

    Here we have our host to thank for standing firm against the WA, and also I suspect Corbyn who despite his hate of Britain I also suspect is still anti-EU.

    There is no way I would vote for that collection of lovers of the IRA and similar such causes called the labour party. Neither could I vote for the liberal democrats who are neither liberal or democratic.

    But my choice between the brexit party and conservatives is not settled since brexit is not settled, and it won’t be on the 1st Nov. For me I need to see FTA’s signed and put in place with a large number of countries, ideally with GATT 24 and the USA included.

    My feeling is that the EU would happily “let us back in” if a libdem/labour government were elected, but this scenario would be much more difficult to support if we stood to lose those FTA’s. Brexit is longer than Oct 31st, a new election would make sense in March next year.

  25. BrahmS
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Don’t know how you can assert that the EU will readily agree to accept revocation of A50. From what I can see the EU is thoroughly fed up with all of this English shenanigans and a lot would be glad to see the back of you all.

    • tim
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      They would take £350,000,000 a week from jupiter if they offered it {and it is going to get a lot more expensive}. The EU are bankrupt, when we cut that lifeline, they will sink.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      But not our fishing waters or massive net contribution to the EU coffers each year.

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Labour may be vague on Brexit intentions but it seems quite firm on the idea of stripping away all private ownership.
    Don’t really see how anyone could really vote for them.
    With the possible exception of the rich and thick lefty who does not believe that the less wealthy need to work or save for old age.
    Boris should abolish all but the totally NECESSARY postal voting.
    Go back to METAL padlocked ballot boxes.
    Man polling stations with trustworthy ( polite) people.
    Ditto for the count.
    Maybe biros for the ballot papers??
    I believe the Tories ( assuming they are delivering Brexit) would always win at the moment in a properly run election
    To be repetitive…WHO wants Venezuela?
    Only those who have unlimited power and wealth in their sights!

  27. Iain Gill
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    May as well change the name of the party to the Cummings party

    Quite why the rest of you professional politicians are getting paid is beyond me

  28. BR
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The election route is not the real danger, the interim government approach is.

    Under the FTPA they have 14 days to form an alternative govt (headed by someone who can ‘command the support of the house’) and become PM. That, to the Grieves and Letwins of this world, means one of them, or……..Mrs Balls…….or even the …..contingent such as Lucas (ugh).

    The idea is that they would call a 2nd ref or revoke A50.

    Is it feasible? Only if they can bring together all the parties of the left and some members of the right in sufficient numbers to override those democrats on the left who would abstain or vote with the govt to deliver democracy.

    Corbyn, not unreasonably, would want to see himself leading that govt, which is one reason it may fail, since he may not even deliver what they want and that may be due to the other reason which is that he wants Brexit anyway, partly because he’s always been Eurosceptic and would like awkward EU rules out of the way such as those forbidding State aid,nationalisation etc.

    And that’s why he may not call a VoNC at all. As JR says in his piece, he wants Brexit done, for the reasons given.

    The other wrinkle is the reported intervention of HMQ as reported today, due to increasing exasperation at politicians’ inability to lead. The reports were not clear as to exactly what she expects them to do – or to have done – but her previous intervention talking about ‘compromise’ did not read well from a Brexit viewpoint. IN a democracy the winning argument does not compromise, the losers accept defeat and the winners enact their policies. they are of course free to campaign to change, but that only happens *after* the result of the first vote has been implemented. So Remainers can campaign to rejoin… once we have left – not leaving is not a democratic option.

    Let’s hope that Her Maj understands this and the reporting is as shoddy as ever (journalism is as broken as politics in the 21st century).

  29. graham1946
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Labour are completely unelectable. Corbyn says if he would re-negotiate a ‘Labour Deal’, then put it to the people in another referendum, campaigning to Remain – i.e. making a deal with the EU (if they would do it) and argue against accepting the deal he had made. Unless of course his ‘deal’ was to Remain, whilst he himself is a Leaver. Completely bonkers.

  30. villaking
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Your analysis is, I am sad to say, spot on. In particular, you note correctly the ultimate irony that whilst a majority of MPs would prefer to remain in the EU but would reluctantly back a controlled Brexit, their actions have now made a disastrous no-deal Brexit inevitable. I doubt many reluctant Brexiter MPs had a clear understanding of the implications of backing the Article 50 letter. I also doubt the country did. All opinion polls give Remain a small lead which I know they also did before the referendum. However, when the no-deal form of Brexit is specifically sampled, the majority against it is consistently even bigger. So we are about to take a disastrous decision which the majority of the country and its elected representatives oppose.
    This will have no implications for you or for most of your ardent supporters who are mostly, like you, financially secure and over 50. It will be devastating for the 120 employees in the manufacturing business I run and it fills me with anger when I see some of your contributors here (one presumes wealthy over 50s) talk of the celebrations they will be holding on November 1st.

    Reply I explained to the Commons that voting for Art 50 was making the decision to leave. No MP told me I was wrong at the time.Brexit can lead to more jobs and prosperity if we follow the right economic policy on exit.

  31. Jacey
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Surely there is no finer entertainment than the charming Barry Gardiner Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade explaining Labour Party policy on Brexit.
    He usually begins with ; ” Let me make this very clear ” before giving the most labyrinthine discourse imaginable

    • Fred H
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      took lessons at the feet of the master – one – Kinnock.

  32. glen cullen
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This is crazy we the people (majority) gave parliament an instruction to leave our membership of the EU. We didn’t tell MPs to make a deal nor decide whether it as a good idea or not. The referendum didn’t allow any latitude for the our instruction to be influenced by political parties or the house of lords or the media or big business, none of which had a vote in the referendum….its was the people and the people voted leave

    We don’t need a general election we need to honour the referendum election

  33. Jack Falstaff
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I am perfectly amazed that some commentators actually still believe that Theresa May was in favour of Brexit and not actively trying to sabotage it. She is no fool.
    If Mr Johnson fails to deliver Brexit by end October and then there is an election, we can expect to see the Brexit Party on one side of the house opposite the LibDems, while one or two Conservatives or Labour MPs will be there in the wings, both aghast and still reeling from the fact that the public is utterly fed up with them for failing to deliver and their unfounded sense of entitlement.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    “Labour voted to send in our Article 50 notice letter.”

    And, just like Philip Hammond and other Tory MPs who are now rebelling:

    Labour MPs did so without insisting that the Act must include a safeguard provision to forestall the potential scenario of withdrawal from the EU without any agreement under the terms of Article 50, the scenario to which they are now belatedly objecting.

    And as it is an Act, the Bill having received Royal Assent, it is nonsense to say that the Queen should not be involved in this; she has already been involved.

    I can understand if she is indeed now looking at the politicians in Parliament and feeling disappointed that they are so poor; she was asked to assent to a Bill duly passed by both Houses of Parliament, which clearly could lead to the UK leaving the EU without a deal, and she duly performed her constitutional role, but now some of the MPs have woken up to the reality of what they voted for and want her to somehow intervene outside her role and block what they had previously asked to be put into law.

  35. Pat
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I am continuously amazed by the incompetence of remain advocates.
    All the dire forecasts made before the referendum have proved.false.
    All the dire forecasts made since were too late to influence the result.
    Some have asserted that the PM must call a general election on a first vote of no confidence when in fact he cannot. Others have asserted that he must resign, when in fact he cannot without a viable replacement.
    Some have asserted that he must ignore the law if Parliament is dissolved on 31 October, whereas clearly he cannot. I wonder what other laws they would countenance being ignored on that or any other date?

    • Ian!
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Fundamentally wrongly they believe the EU is a democratic institution. Forgetting that in a Democracy it is the People that choose their Candidates and elect their Representatives. But, that is not the EU way

      The essence of the EU and its systems is that its servants(our MP’s) don’t work for the people but for the institution. On that basis they believe it is right to keep changing the rules until they get the answer their Overlords demand.

  36. stephen reay
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Lord Heseltine “imposing no deal Brexit an intolerable attack on democracy”. Really! but it’s ok not to deliver brexit.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Lord Heseltine sees Democracy as the People doing as they are told and not Parliament working for its People.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Pesky Hesky should do stand-up comedy (mind you can he still stand up?).
        The forgotten man does his best to keep chirping to some poor media hack for air time.

  37. Ian!
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Parliament against the People is the mantra coming from the HoC, so why have one(Parliament) at all, as these guys seemed to be content to be ruled by a foreign power.

    The MSM and some arriving on this discussion board keep banging on about there being some kind of ‘Deal’ to allow us to leave the EU. The only one I am aware of and the only one on offer form the EU is the UK stays under EU Law, rules and regulations until it changes its mind and capitulate to rule be an unelected foreign power.

    So why do we need a Parliament? For the amount of responsibility the majority in the HoC are prepared to accept our local councils were already completing that function.

  38. Ian!
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    The general feeling is that a GE would clear out the traitors. Where that goes wrong is that the swing element in the electorate is usually only 5-6%, they see the sound-bites and vote accordingly. With ‘Project Fear’ having a second bite they might just learnt and get their way. Thinking of the extreme antics of the BBC here

    It is not going to happen this time around but it would be appropriate that if as a candidate you get elected on one platform/manifesto and subsequently change your mind you should go back to your constituents to see if they still wish you to represent them.

    Just think of all the supporters and donors that put time effort and money to get someone elected only to have it thrown in their face. It could even be called fraud. Particularly as the money and perks awarded tends to be greater than that of those that got them their in the first place.

  39. Fairweather
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    John, Can you do a post on what will happen if we stay in the EU?
    There is no status quo
    Explain about the superstate , fiscal union etc

    The MSM do not mention any of this and “leavers” could highlight these issues
    Of course it wouldn’t be believed…….!

  40. Ian Pennell
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    First of all, congratulations are due to you and your Party for getting a Brexit- supporting Prime Minister and government in place. The issue of a General Election is how the Brexiteers in Parliament guarantee themselves success in totally facing- down the Remainer Majority In Parliament and the Remainer Parties. It all comes back to having policies that win elections through measures that don’t alienate more voters than are gained with the popular policies to be funded.

    The Parties on the Left are a grave threat to Britain: If they get into power they will not only annul Brexit and revoke the Article 50 process (a profoundly un- democratic act that would entrench division in Britain)- but they would irrevocably wreck Britain’s Democracy through the following measures:

    1) State Funding of political Parties. So “non- approved” Parties won’t get funding!
    2) Leveson 2 revived. State Regulation of the Press.
    3) Votes for prisoners and 16 year olds.
    4) Possibly (if Britain stays in the EU) we will need to join the Euro and pay more into the EU Budget.

    The stakes are massively high: If the left get to power they will gerrymander the voting system and the Conservatives may never get into office again as the country is crushed by a truly unpleasant Statist Dictatorship! You MUST NOT let that happen.

    Conservatives should always be the Party of fiscal responsibility BUT…there is a time when risking inflation and a credit- rating down-grade is justified: It is when you must enact radical policies to prevent an even worse long- term outlook for Britain.

    So the Chancellor should turn on the Spending Taps: Slash taxes on the low-paid. There should be more money for Public Services- we need a lot more Police on the street than an extra 20,000 with all these stabbings in our cities. Subsidise the building of another two million homes for first-time buyers (over and above what is planned)- Get the young out of rented accommodation into homes of their own and turn them into capitalists (getting them away from that dangerous Jeremy Corbyn and John Mc Donnell).

    Boost the Minimum Wage, cut business taxes (so they can pay the higher Minimum Wage) and spends ££ billions more up-grading broadband, roads and railways- and investing in run-down northern cities. make the UK economy robust in the face of a planned “No Deal” Brexit.

    Do whatever it takes to get voters away from dangerous Labour and the Lib. Dems (so called!), worry later about Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor: There are some dangerous politico’s you MUST keep from power- and you need to make sure that the Conservatives get that Majority to deliver a True Brexit.

    And to make sure you DO WIN that (probably unavoidable) Election do not have expenses cheats (or otherwise sleazy characters) standing as Conservative Candidates- Learn from Brecon!

    Do share this advice with your Conservative colleagues.

    Ian Pennell

  41. Original Richard
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    If a GE was to take place before Brexit, then the Brexit Party, who currently intend to contest all possible constituencies, may like to offer the electorate that any Brexit candidate who is voted to become an MP will resign as an MP once Brexit has been achieved to allow a by-election to take place in which they may or may not stand for re-election.

    This means that the Brexit Party will not be caught by being forced to offer a complete manifesto and the electorate can feel confident in voting for a Brexit supporter in that they can then return to their usual voting preferences after Brexit has been achieved.

  42. Dave Craggd
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I suspect that Boris, through increasing NHS spending, funding 20,000 new officers and amending policy on skilled labour, should have placated most Tory rebels. There are also 60 Labour MPs, who when combined with the DUP, should see off the rebellion.

  43. Freeborn John
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I think the VONC is a bit of a red herring as is Article 50 revocation. The real issue is how can Parliament be prevented from mandating the PM to request another extension at the October 23-24 EU Council? That is the only way that Remainers can stave off leaving the EU and push it beyond the next GE.

    Even if Boris makes an October vote on delay a confidence matter he could lose it and be required to go cap in hand to Brussels in the 14 days before a GE is called. Even if he calls an election early in September to be held after October 31 there would still be a period before the dissolution of parliament during which Remainers could force a vote requiring him to ask for a delay. So how can that be stopped?

  • 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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