A big political upheaval in Parliament as MPs realign

This Parliament has been characterised by a record number of Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial resignations, and by a large number of MPs deciding to resign from the party they belonged to during the election. Many of these resignations have been over differing approaches to leaving the EU, with a trend for MPs elected on platforms to leave moving over to stances and parties that wish to remain. It appears that UK politics is currently realigning on the basis of Leave or Remain, with the SNP and Liberal Democrats standing for Remain, the Conservatives for Leave, and Labour caught trying to straddle the two positions. The Deputy Leader has now declared for Remain, against his Leader who wants to be ambiguous.

The Conservative party has currently lost the most MPs, with 29 now resigning the whip or having the whip removed. Most have become independent MPs. Four left to join Change UK alongside 7 Labour founders of that brief movement. 3 have now joined the Liberal Democrats. Nick Boles resigned the whip to become an Independent Progressive Conservative.

Labour has lost 15 MPs. The issue of Mr Corbyn’s style of leadership has been an important factor, as well as the party’s changing and vague stance on the EU. Several have gone citing the party’s lacklustre response to antisemitism charges. Some are now Labour Independents, whilst others are in the Lib Dems or joined Change UK when it was first set up.

The Lib Dems as the most pro EU national party has picked up 5 seats, whilst losing one of its original MPs to independent status. He had promised in the 2017 election to honour the referendum result and rightly thinks his party no longer offers that.

This unusually high turnover has occurred with none of them thinking they should test their new views and new party loyalty in a by election. Electors are understandably angry where their MP has switched from say Labour to Lib Dems from a party that claimed to support Brexit to one that fundamentally opposes it, without asking for electoral endorsement. An MP moving from his or her party to be an independent, if they say they are doing so while still sticking with their policy promises at the last election have a good case for saying no to a by election, in contrast to those shifting from a Leave party to a Remain party in order to support Remain.

Conservative 288 minus 29
Labour 247 minus 15
Lib Dem 17 plus 5
Change UK 5 plus 5
The Independents 3 plus 3

Independent 32 plus 31


  1. Kevin
    September 12, 2019

    This is something you wrote a year ago: MPs are receiving copies
    of a lobby email asking us to sign a pledge not to report illegal
    migrants if they come to our surgeries
    . Did any MPs currently
    making a point about the rule of law, sign that pledge?

    1. Mike Wilson
      September 12, 2019

      You suggest equivalence but there isn’t any. One is about breaking a morally questionable law. If the law compels an immoral act it has to be questioned. Otherwise such laws would never be repealed.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        September 12, 2019

        You mean in the same way democracy only applies to things you agree with?

        Surely the law is the law.

      2. NickC
        September 12, 2019

        Mike Wilson, The spectacle of MPs refusing to implement Leave is also immoral. Parliament gave us the choice of Remain or Leave and promised our decision would be implemented.

        Parliament did not warn us that a Leave vote would be ignored by the majority of Remain MPs. If it had, then there would have been no point in running the Referendum in the first place.

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      September 12, 2019

      One can only speculate as to the origin of this apparent phishing exercise, Kevin.

      I assume that no elected MP would be quite so gullible as to be taken in by it, but who knows?

      As to the realignment of UK politics, this is nothing compared to what will probably happen when voters are presented with the material facts, of life outside of the European Union.

      That is why opposition parties are holding fire on an election of you ask me.

      1. NickC
        September 12, 2019

        Martin, Nobody did ask you, but have you asked the people of New Zealand about their independence from the EU? You keep portraying a special sort of doom for the UK which is so ridiculous it is funny. Certainly many countries around the world with a similar legal, commercial and political set-up as the UK do very nicely thank you, contrary to your claims.

      2. Beecee
        September 12, 2019

        Mrs Merkel is reported to be concerned that the UK will become s ‘Singapore’ style powerhouse which could be detrimental to the EU and its plans.

        Maybe she knows more than either you or I?

      3. Edward2
        September 12, 2019

        You call them “facts” Martin..
        But actually they are just predictions of the future.
        By the same people, using the same computer modelling systems that got it wrong on their “facts” for what would happen immediately after the referendum if we dared to vote to leave.

      4. libertarian
        September 12, 2019

        Martin in Cardiff

        Why not let us know what those material facts of life outside the EU are then

        Rather than the childish , obvious and incongruent scare stories we’ve been fed for the last 4 years . You might want to believe people are stupid, but on the whole and with obvious caveats they aren’t .

        They aren’t holding an election because they don’t want to get slaughtered at the polls . They know that the majority ( including a third of remainers according to one poll) want out now.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      September 12, 2019

      One rule for us as ever

    4. Hope
      September 12, 2019

      JR, I think this week we saw the Tory party destroyed- thankfully. Those Tory traitors who were clearly shown for what they were through indicative votes now openly opposing democracy siding Marxist Labour, Lib dem and SNP party who demanded a second referendum admitting they would not accept a leave result! Refuse a general election to prevent govt getting a majority. Yet claim democracy is their cause!

      Johnson foolishly ignores Farage and adds insults without reason or cause when every Monday Labour, Lib dms, SNP, Plaid Cymry and Greens meet in Corbyns parliamentary gaff to conspire how to stop Brexit after chatting with Tory traitors on the QT.

      We read today that Johnson offers those sacked a way back! We read he told remainers he will be speared In the back by brexiteers. MP standards are so slow there is little hope in the country that a few are fit for purpose. A clear out is now required.

      Many people wanted Cameron to change selection procedures to change public services and heads of public services, judiciary etc because Blaire had infested it with left wing bias. Cameron and your party did nothing whatsoever. Hague started the purge to get rid of Conservatism in your party with his top down approach to selection making associationswoethess and voiceless cash cows. Cameron went further and insulted them at every opportunity!

      Over two years ago many on this site told you Mayhab rendered the ballot box void and so it has come to be. She destroyed Brexit and destroyed your party and thereby democracy by failing to enact the will of the people, highlighted by Traitor Letwin in parliament who then acted against his own advice!

      These ministers, ex ministers and MP should not be able to leave with huge pensions, there should be consequences for their bahviour.

    5. Julie Williams
      September 12, 2019

      First they came for democracy and we did nothing, now they are coming for the rule of law.
      Interesting piece on Robin Tillbrook’s blog about his court case and whether the latest “Act” needed Royal or Queen’s consent.
      Alice in Wonderland time.

  2. Shirley
    September 12, 2019

    I am still puzzled over the oppositions claim that the reason they won’t back a GE is because Boris may delay it until after Brexit. So why didn’t they make a super quick law to force a GE on the 15 Oct, instead of a law intended to delay Brexit? That way, the people would decide (again) and everyone would think it much fairer.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 12, 2019

      They are scared to death of the voters verdict on their treachery.

    2. eeyore
      September 12, 2019

      in the context of shifting Parliamentary allegiances, the following figures from The Salisbury Review website are significant:

      406 constituencies voted to Leave, 242 voted to remain.
      148 Labour constituencies voted to Leave, 84 voted to Remain
      247 Tory constituencies voted to Leave, 80 voted to Remain.
      9 regions voted to Leave, 3 voted to Remain.
      160 MP’s voted to Leave 486 voted to Remain.

      Whatever else MPs may claim to represent, it is clear they are not representative on Brexit.

      1. forthurst
        September 12, 2019

        The FPTP voting system has created three parties without an ethos whose members joined their parties for reasons of personal advancement and or promoting their own sectional interest. The issue of Brexit has simply acted as an acid test of this. The big time losers have been the English who have been conspired against by the most malevolent sectional interest which has firstly gagged us and then proceeded to fill our country with ever more aliens, some of whom are as hostile as they are.

        The FPTP system needs to go so that we do not have to peruse ever more party manifestos which the authors have no intention whatsoever of honouring. We do not choose our representatives now; they are chosen for us.

      2. NickC
        September 12, 2019

        Eeyore, True. In the special case of a national binary referendum, MPs become the executors and not the deciders. The reason? – because they handed the decision over to the voting public in the first place.

      3. Sea Warrior
        September 12, 2019

        The map showing how regions voted at the EP elections was even more telling!
        P.S. I see that Amber Rudd isn’t going to stand in Hastings & Rye again.

      4. Oliver
        September 13, 2019

        Of course what is really funny about the data split by the EU constituencies, 12 regions, the QMV threshold they require for their decisions was easily met by Leave – yet Remain still don’t accept the result.

      5. Jasper
        September 13, 2019

        Wow, when you see the results in black and white what is happening in parliament is truly frightening! If there was any confirmation that Brexit is the people v parliament this is it! What I do not understand is why MPs are behaving the way they are, it’s absolutely disgraceful! Democracy surely must be upheld or we fail as society!

        1. Fred H
          September 14, 2019

          Jasper….it can be assumed that losing one’s seat with a severance payment, pension index linked, and a fair chance of some idiot choosing them to go sit on someone’s lap in the H of L is quite attractive. Failing that a gong for betraying The People cab be expected. Otherwise political suicide is catching.

    3. Andy M
      September 12, 2019

      Remainers know very well they will lose big time in the next GE. History is with the leavers.

    4. Peter Wood
      September 12, 2019

      Your suggestion does you credit, and is no doubt the way most decent folk think, it is reasonable and logical.
      These are not times for reasonableness, we are looking at, for the first time since our nation accepted universal suffrage, the abrogation of an agreed democratic decision of the electorate. For why? Who are those that would be so damaged by the decision that should be implemented, that they can muster so many of our supposed defenders of our democracy and to make them fight against our rights and risk our freedom?
      We may yet need to take to the streets, as we have before.

    5. Martin in Cardiff
      September 12, 2019

      Not so much until after the UK has left the European Union, but after he has caused a No Deal exit, and before the effects of that begin to affect adversely many people’s lives. In other words in a very narrow window indeed.

      Alternatively it seemed that he might have been aiming at Freshers’ Week, when university students would probably find it awkward to vote.

      Both of which would reflect the cynicism, to which we are now fully accustomed.

      1. Edward2
        September 12, 2019

        Freshers week is usually towards the end of September.

      2. a-tracy
        September 12, 2019

        He offered an election on 15th October.

      3. NickC
        September 12, 2019

        Martin, The cynicism of MPs giving voters the decision to make but “forgetting” to warn them that only Remain is allowed? That sort of cynicism?

      4. Sea Warrior
        September 12, 2019

        Have you seen today’s news from the ECB?

      5. libertarian
        September 12, 2019

        Martin in cardiff

        why would it be difficult to vote in Freshers week? In the last election a lot of freshers managed to vote twice

    6. Robert Riley
      September 12, 2019

      The majority in parliament are pro remain and have been for more than half a century. A GE could well tip the balance the other way. So they are determined to trap us in the EU any way they can before an election is called, hence the rekindled interest in May’s so called deal.

      1. Mark B
        September 12, 2019


      2. Phil W
        September 12, 2019

        A few words

        Under auspices of democracy belief THEY are correct

    7. bigneil
      September 12, 2019

      The people decided. Why would we need to decide AGAIN? – Would Remainers want another vote if they had won?

      1. Brenda
        September 12, 2019

        If Remain had been found to have broken electoral law like Leave was, yes. I dont want another vote, I want an honest and legal vote, which we didnt get in 2016

        1. libertarian
          September 13, 2019


          Bit behind the curve. Met Police just issued a statement , following a long and thorough investigation no evidence has been found. Case dismissed

          If you mean some of the electoral expense overruns, i think you’ll find both leave and remain were fined for this

          Sorry to burst your bubble….. are you Carole in disguise ?

      2. NickC
        September 12, 2019

        Bigneil, No, Remains would not have even countenanced a second referendum if they had won in 2016. Continuity Remain is guilty of cynicism, hypocrisy, and bad faith. The current Remain position is completely immoral.

      3. Martin in Cardiff
        September 12, 2019

        Some of the people back then – about a quarter, enough to win the referendum – decided, not “the people”.

        The composition of “the people” has now changed, with many of the young who were not entitled to vote now able to do so, and with nature having diminished the Leave vote among the elderly.

        So “the people” is a misleading term on two counts in this regard.

        1. Edward2
          September 13, 2019

          Two very silly arguments Martin.
          If about a quarter voted leave then less than about a quarter voted to remain.
          If your other demographic argument worked then only left wing parties would get elected.
          But because not all young or old people vote in a particular way that doesn’t happen.
          And young people get a year older each year too.

        2. libertarian
          September 13, 2019

          Martin in Cardiff

          No one under the age of 60 now voted in the first one, so I guess by your terms as we clearly had changed our minds after 1975 , we should have left decades ago.. Thanks for clearing that up

          Oh by the way remainers die too you know, not all young people want to stay in and anyway everyone would have changed their minds again next year

          I know lets have a referendum EVERY year , We could call it the Hokey Cokey Referendum

          Just to clear up how democracy works… More people voting for a thing than the others voting for a thing equals THE WINNERS

          People that didn’t vote aren’t counted, people that spoilt their ballot papers aren’t counted . People who YOU think would have voted one way or another dont count

          Glad to help

    8. Dan
      September 12, 2019

      Because the opposition would lose, Boris would have a 50+ majority and we would leave. The act would have to bypass the FTPA with a line along the lines of ‘Notwithstanding the FTPA, we will have an election on…..’ and the HoC would never go for that even though it would only need a majority of one to pass, rather than a two thirds that the FTPA requires. They want Boris to fail by us not leaving on the 31st so that the chances of him winning would be that much less. They will point to his failure rather than their own dirty tactics to force him to fail. How can he win when they will not let him on the playing field ?

    9. rose
      September 12, 2019

      They are being led by the Blairite old guard: power derives now from passing a stream of rogue laws as instructions to the supposed Executive, and waging a war of attrition in the courts. Once the bent Speaker goes they will have to put another in his place or have an election.

    10. julie williams
      September 12, 2019

      I suspect it is more to do with Corbyn’s polling rates plummeting and Labour MPs scared of being deselected by Momentum than Brexit; after all, Labour policy on Brexit changes every hour.

    11. steve
      September 12, 2019


      It’s because they know a GE would bring them nothing but voters wrath and the end of the Labour party.

      You might ask why therefore did they attempt to wreck the country by their recent stunts in the Commons…….the answer is simple; ‘sheer unmitigated spite’

      Spite over the prospect of losing the EU gravy train, spite over the prospect of having to do some bloody work for a change and take direct responsibility.

      Labour is like a jealous kid……if they can’t have what you’ve got, they’ll smash it up.

      But good has come out of brexit, which is that politics in this country will never be the same again. Unpatriotic parties are on their way out, and people have finally wised

      Labour can only play their game until the next election, then they’re finished along with the rest of the leftist PC stench that’s pulled this country down.

  3. Mick
    September 12, 2019

    Yes and the public are getting pi££ed off with the antics of all political parties, what is needed is a General Election to drain the swamp of all these democracy deniers , but there all too chicken to put it to a GE talk about Yellowhammer more like yellow streaks down there backs

    1. a-tracy
      September 12, 2019

      That is how we should know them yellow-streakers

      1. steve
        September 12, 2019


        It’s Labour who lack the conviction to face an election, the Tories challenged Corbyn to one but he ran away like a chicken.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    September 12, 2019

    It all goes to show we are dealing with bare faced liars. None are worth a rub. We are being lined up for the biggest shafting in history. Oh how I would love to see their faces if Farage won the next election. Could we be that lucky? Suddenly Australia, New Zealand Canada and the USA look more attractive. We are not living in a democracy now and I’m sick of all the failures in government giving each other awards and praise. I’m not even sure I trust Boris

    1. Lifelogic
      September 12, 2019

      Farage does not trust Boris. I reserve my judgement but why on earth did he vote for May’s rancid deal once? Brexit cannot win a majority and the Conservatives cannot either (only combined with some political accommodation) will they will one.

    2. Pominoz
      September 12, 2019


      Almost ten thousand miles distance from the UK does not diminish my dismay and disgust at what is happening at the moment. Britain is being made to look an absolute joke on the world stage – entirely caused by traitors.

      It’s the equivalent of ‘Lord’ Haw Haw being knighted for his work during WW2?

    3. Dominic
      September 12, 2019

      I don’t trust Johnson at all after his silly people’s PM nonsense. This type of political marketing elevates my suspicions. It doesn’t provide transparency in the slightest but merely exploits the idea that it does. It is this abuse of the voter’s trust and in many cases naivety that I find deplorable. These political fools must think we really have just come over on the proverbial banana boat

      For all the Parliamentary seismic activity since he became PM I am still not convinced he’s a conviction politician more a careerist and that ain’t good

    4. Woody
      September 12, 2019

      I trust him and his government far far more than any of the alternatives. At least he’s trying to implement the democratic decision of the people as he promised when elected. Its hard to consider not trusting him considering the disgraceful and deceitful pressure being placed on him by a number of his party’s leading MPs hoping that he fails in his task. And to listen to the double speak of the labour party trying to avoid holding a general election they have been shouting and demanding for since the last one is unbelievable as it is so hypocritical ….. and cowardly

    5. JoolsB
      September 12, 2019

      Me neither. Had so much faith in Boris but now it looks as though he will settle for a watered down version of May’s deal. The most ludicrous and disappointing thing is the Tory party refusal to form a pact with Farage. We all know the remainers will form an alliance but the Tories are deluded if think they can win a majority without Farage. Their arrogance will give us a Marxist/SNP Government and a biased remain second referendum with a choice of a rotten deal (Brino) or remain. Pathetic the lot of them!
      The sooner we have a GE to drain the swamp of all these traitors the better!!

    6. Trevor Butler
      September 12, 2019

      Five and half years ago I sat my adult children down and explained to them that their mum and I were leaving the UK because we could see what was coming – They told me I was talking rubbish – My predictions have proved to be absolutely correct so we don’t talk about that anymore!
      There is a big world out there…..Even if you are over 60….

      1. Fred H
        September 14, 2019

        Have you relocated? Do you have a fixed frozen state pension – talk to pom in oz !!! Any clues as to where was more attractive?

    7. old salt
      September 12, 2019

      Trust in Boris – or rather some of his MP’s, word around here is there is only one main party (while not being a part of) that is wholly committed to a clean Leave and that is where the Leave votes will swing in any GE, irrespective of current polling, if there is any suspicion of anything other than the referendum vote to Leave.

    8. SueW
      September 12, 2019

      I couldn’t agree more. It seems the whole set up is corrupt. No longer can we rely on impartiality or fair play in any aspect of our lives. I believe the rejection of a general election at short notice was likely to have been because it did not allow time for election rigging mechanisms to be put in place for those who would need them to win. I really do fear this will end in civil war.

      1. Sharon Jagger
        September 12, 2019

        Somebody pointed out on the radio that we need never have another general election. Each time it’s mentioned the party who thinks they’ll lose… just vote against having one.

        Sounds stupid, but no more than the actions of our Parliament!

    9. Christine
      September 12, 2019

      There’s a lot of chatter about Boris Johnson bringing back May’s withdrawal agreement.

      Let’s look at the evidence:

      The unopposed Kinnock amendment to have another vote on an agreement.
      50 Labour MPs agreeing to support it.
      The proroguing of Parliament to allow the WA to be submitted again.
      Add to this the threat of withdrawing the whip from the ERG Spartans.

      He can then keep his promise to leave on 31st October. Surprise, surprise the last lot of rebels will then be reinstated as they were only used to set an example to the ERG members, the intension all along.

      It all looks like a huge stitch-up between the Conservatives and Labour to keep the two party system in place. I feel such utter betrayal. If this is true then I’ll be cancelling my Conservative membership and I’ll never vote for them again.

      I suggest the Spartans resign the whip and move to The Brexit Party to follow a true leader.

      1. Chris
        September 13, 2019

        See the D Tel article on Friday which seems to confirm your fears. This is what I have written in comments section for JR Diary Friday:

        “The Brexit betrayal in full from Boris, if this report is to be believed:
        “British officials have told the European Commission they will accept all of Theresa May’s Brexit deal,except the Irish border backstop, ahead of a meeting between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday.

        The revelation, coming as David Frost meets EU officials for talks in Brussels today, has raised fears among Tory Brexiteers that Boris Johnson is preparing to foist a May 2.0 deal on the UK, despite Mr Johnson’s insistence that the withdrawal agreement “is dead”.

        It means the British government is prepared to pay Brussels……”

        What treachery! Sir John, you are far above these apparently unprincipled and weak minded operators and, in my view, would be listened to and would be of much greater value to another Party.

    10. BOF
      September 12, 2019

      Fedupsoutherner, you sum up the feelings of millions.

    11. margaret howard
      September 12, 2019


      “I’m not even sure I trust Boris”

      You are in good company – he is now accused of having lied to the Queen.

      What nice company the conservative establishment keep!

      1. Nig l
        September 12, 2019

        So an accusation now turns out to be fact in your lopsided thinking, does it Margaret.

        Wouldn’t want to be tried by any jury you are on.

      2. rose
        September 12, 2019

        How could he have lied to the Queen when he wasn’t there? Three Privy Counsellors asked for the Prorogation. You are being misinformed or you are misinforming.

        1. margaret howard
          September 12, 2019


          “Johnson denies lying to Queen over Parliament suspension”

          BBC News

          1. rose
            September 13, 2019

            Exactly so.

          2. libertarian
            September 13, 2019


            If you asked me if I lied to the Queen I would deny it

            I guess that means I’m a liar too

            Wow …. wibble

        2. John C.
          September 12, 2019

          Do you know, I actually doubt Margaret was there, but she must have been, because she confidently asserts that Boris lied.

      3. Fedupsoutherner
        September 12, 2019


        That is not why I don’t trust Boris. I am not worried about what was said to the Queen and Boris has done nothing other politicians haven’t done in the past. I just don’t trust him to take us out completely. I fear he will sign a deal which would please the likes of you more.

      4. Helen Smith
        September 12, 2019

        Accused being the operative word. Doesn’t mean he did, he is regularly called a liar, doesn’t mean he is.

      5. libertarian
        September 12, 2019


        She has now had to retract , correct and apologise….. again

        Remainers never knowing aquatinted with facts

    12. Phil W
      September 12, 2019

      A few words

      Under auspices of democracy belief THEY are correct

  5. Javelin
    September 12, 2019

    Operation Yellow Hammer is named after a migrating bird who leaves Europe to fly north then goes back to europe when it gets cold. The whole idea by Hammond was that Brexit would only last for six months.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 12, 2019

      If people like Philip Hammond are allowed to return to the party it is surely done for. An appallingly incompetent, tax to death Chancellor who (together with T May) took the party down to 9% voter support and 5th place. This while also lying that he was “repaying debt”, “cutting taxes” and that May’s deal was Brexit!

    2. Julian Flood
      September 12, 2019

      Not a bird watcher then? It’s a resident. No, it should have been named after the lesser spotted foozlum bird.


      1. hefner
        September 12, 2019

        Brilliant put down. Before writing it is sometimes good to have a quick check; in this case any quick check on the RSPB or GWCT websites could have prevented some people from looking ridiculous.
        But who is to say that even Javelin’s description might not contain some bit of truth in the future?

      2. Fred H
        September 14, 2019

        Julian….Probably dreamed up by a Treasury expert. Par for the course.

    3. James1
      September 12, 2019

      Anyone looking for proof that our political system is in need of some considered revision need only look at the knighthood that has been awarded to Olly Robbins for his efforts to thwart what 17.4 million people voted for.

      1. hefner
        September 12, 2019

        Yes, this continuous sprinkling of titles with a Sir This and a Sir That is absolutely ridiculous … eh?

    4. Al
      September 12, 2019

      The Operation Yellowhammer papers shared with the press are the worst case – it says it right at the top of the document: “Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions”.

      As such, of course, this document will show the worst case. It’s a risk assessment, which should be linked with risk management options and the likelihood of each risk occuring. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is basic good sense in business, and using the contents for a Project Fear is ridiculous.

      And if that is the absolute worst Brexit will be, I am pleasantly surprised as there’s no option for “EU cuts off nose to spite face”.

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 12, 2019

        JR will not allow me to point out that the report might have made sense if it has been dated August 2 2016, rather than 2019, but after three years of the government allegedly preparing for the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal problems such as HGV’s not being ready for French customs should have been resolved long ago. Except of course while one of his Tory own, Theresa May, was repeatedly saying in public that no deal would be better than a bad deal she was making quite sure that no significant preparations were being made for that contingency. As became clear recently:


        “Business groups hail ‘long overdue’ move on customs system”

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        September 12, 2019

        A1, Notice that nobody said anything about the gains to be had from goods coming in with no or lower tariffs.

      3. libertarian
        September 12, 2019


        Spot on

        The main cause of the “worst case” ,delays at customs/borders, is laughable .
        A delay of 2.5 days might happen it says…. ha ha ha

        For 20 years in the EU we’ve have operation stack here in Kent that closes the M20 and parks trucks when the Dover ports are closed .

        In that time it has had more than 211 closures LONGER than 2.5 days and in 2015 it was closed for 32 days .

        At no time in any of those incidents has it caused a shortage of food, medicines or anything else . JIT has NEVER been disrupted and the government were so disinterested in 2015 that they refused to come and meet local people being badly hit by traffic disruption.

        BBC did a programme about it and all they talked about on the programme was illegal immigration ( part way through the closure 150 invaded the channel tunnel)

        As a worse case scenario its pathetic

    5. oldtimer
      September 12, 2019

      Thank you for the explanation of the origin of the name. Of course a failure to deliver Brexit by this parliament by revoking Brexit would have consequences too. These could/would include severe social unrest (including resort to street protests), consequential collapse of the currency as the UK ceased to be regarded as a save haven but a major political risk, the risk of a Corbyn government and all that would imply. At that point even I, in my advanced years, would seriously contemplate leaving the UK. In fact I am already doing so. Any suggestions for a suitable name for the document assessing the risks of revocation?

    6. Lifelogic
      September 12, 2019

      Hammond apparently wants clarification on why he had the whip withdrawn? Surely even he can understand why and why it should never be returned?

    7. NigelE
      September 12, 2019

      Nice analogy but the yellowhammer is resident in Britain. No doubt a few (Remain-orientated) birds migrate. We might wish they stay permanently in Europe.

    8. Bob
      September 12, 2019

      BBC Radio 4 had a Yellowhammer special this morning.
      They salivated over the report, line by line.
      I wonder if Dominic Grieve will join the BBC now that his Parliamentary career is finished?

    9. Iain Moore
      September 12, 2019

      I did wonder about the choice of the name for the report. I don’t think it was a random choice to use something with the name Hammer in it.

    10. Arnie
      September 12, 2019

      I was unaware of that fact. Obviously the name is very telling.

      Also in the news today is the three judges ruling in Scotland from yesterday. The Remainers who brought this case and the corrupt MSM who report it have conveniently ‘forgotten’ that Scottish Law does not overrule English law.

      They are desperate, they are hysterical, they are dangerous and they will stop at nothing to try to remain in their beloved EU superstate. Sir John sets an example for us all with his intelligent, restrained, intelligent reasoning, most of all he exudes that oh so British character trait of stoicism, sometimes referred to as stubbornness. A breath of fresh air these days and just what we need! Keep up the good work.

    11. cynic
      September 12, 2019

      Yellowhammer is important to many MPs as it enables them to justify, to themselves, their breaking their promises to respect the result of the referendum. They have to maintain the fiction that ‘no deal’ would be catastrophic.

    12. Les
      September 12, 2019

      Did you not also read that the reason YH was chosen as the title was that its call is likened to “A little bit of bread and no cheese!”

  6. Julie Williams
    September 12, 2019

    The vast majority of electors vote for a party unless there are strong local issues or a really worthy local candidate,in fact, I suspect many don’t even know the name of their MP.A change of allegiance should therefore automatically trigger a by-election although I would like to see much tougher rights of recall as well.

    1. NickC
      September 12, 2019

      Julie Williams, Spot on.

  7. Nig l
    September 12, 2019

    According to the DT Boris is looking to get the banned rebels back in the fold as a sign that he will be needing their support to get a deal,through.

    On the basis that they are all aligned with staying as close to the EU as possible that means a sell out as we all feared, evidenced by the fact all,the discussion is about the back drop.

    1. NickC
      September 12, 2019

      Nig1, You’re not the only one to fear a sell out. What every Leave voter voted for was to depart from the EU, so that the UK as a nation was no longer governed in any way by the EU. That could have been done by a fair WA and a standard (Canada, etc) trade deal.

      As we have found, the EU will not agree either. The only option left is what Remains cynically call “no deal”, but which in reality is the way the whole world trades (well 98%) – by using WTO rules (plus, of course, each nation’s own law).

      1. Stred
        September 13, 2019

        I have been in France for 10 days and travelled from North to South and East to West. Everywhere the number of new Korean cars is noticeable. All sold into the EU on no deal and with a deal to come which will increase sales.

    2. John C.
      September 12, 2019

      I have forecast for some time that we are being set up for a version of May’s terrible deal, and I see no reason to doubt it. By pretending that it’s all a matter of the Irish border, the true disgrace of the WA is being scrupulously avoided.
      I suppose that we will have officially “left” and the idea will be to make Farage’s party then irrelevant in any election.

  8. Dominic
    September 12, 2019

    This fluidity reflects the electorate’s inability to impose control over MPs actions. There is no mechanism in law that would allow the electorate to demand an immediate by-election following a decision by an MP to switch party loyalty

    As we now see across Europe, the ability of the electorate to impose control has been almost deliberately eroded. Systems are slowly changing to distance the voter from the those asserting power and control.

    Unfortunately, the voter is too busy and involved with their own lives to focus their attention on the scheming and power games of our overlords and even if we were concerned there is nothing we can do about it. Democracy’s become a mere fig-leaf

    It is my belief that in under a decade democracy as we know it will have morphed into something other than. The EU and the left are directly responsible for this erosion of democratic accountability.

  9. Oldwulf
    September 12, 2019

    Whilst I wish Mr Johnson well, in his efforts to sort out the mess that is Parliament, as yet he has achieved nothing.

    Currently, my vote will go to the Brexit Party.

    I live in what is probably a safe Labour constituency. I cannot see Conservatives winning here. However, the Brexit Party just might.

  10. Alan jutson
    September 12, 2019

    And MP’s wonder why the public think so little of them according to a recent report about their status on Social Media ?

    Our Parliament has been run for years without a written constitution on the basis of precedent and honesty, afraid that in the last couple of decades has proven to be no longer the case
    In its present form and application it is now unfit for purpose

  11. Roy Grainger
    September 12, 2019

    It is interesting that the LibDems have become a one issue anti-Brexit party – they are accepting as members defecting MPs from other parties who really don’t support any LibDem policies or philosophy other than on that one issue. It will be a problem for them at some point in the future.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      September 12, 2019

      Roy, I’m not sure about that. Half the defectors should have been in the Libdim party from day one. They are not true Conservatives.

  12. Shirley
    September 12, 2019

    We must never allow Parliament such freedoms and power that they put us under foreign rule again, without the approval of the electorate. This could all have been so easily avoided.

    1. NickC
      September 12, 2019

      Oldwulf, Alan, Roy, Shirley, Well said all.

  13. agricola
    September 12, 2019

    I can accept MPs who have always wished to remain or leave. What I cannot accept are MPs who have gone with the flow to get elected on a mandate, but when faced with the key question, in or out, they change their minds. They were elected on their party manifestos in the case of Labour and Conservative, possibly thinking the crunch question would not arise, but it did and they are failing to support the democratic decision of the electorate. They hang on prefering the perks and rewards of office than the reality of working in the real world. The sooner their duplicity is put to the test in a GE the better. This situation shows up the failings of the fixed term parliament act. It is keeping the country in limbo, and the duplicitous are exploiting it to the full.

  14. Mark B
    September 12, 2019

    Good morning.

    . . . the Conservatives for Leave, and Labour caught trying to straddle the two positions.

    But the Conservative Party is not for Leave. If it were for Leave then Alexander Johnson MP would have blocked the Benny Hill Bill.

    I still cannot get over the shameful events of the last few days. Today marks less than 50 days until we are suppose to Leave the EU and yet, it feels to me like 500. When will this end ?

    Labour are not interested in BREXIT, the people or the country. What Labour want is to destroy the Tory Party, plain and simple, and BREXIT is the means by which it will be done. I am surprised no one else seems to have seen it.

    My fear is the WA will get passed. After that, no matter who we vote for, even if we returned 650 BREXIT MP’s, we are going to be at the mercy of the EU. And believe me, they will ruin this nation. They will take everything from us. Mark my words.

    Alexander Johnson MP seems to think, as others here have said, that the only thing he thinks wrong with the WA is the Backstop. It isn’t ! It is the whole damned thing.

    PS There will be an extension but, it will not be, Johnson that will be doing the begging.

  15. Stred
    September 12, 2019

    The Conservative Party is for Brexit in name only. Many Conservative MPs are charletons with Libdum views and are loyal to the EU. Both FO ministers were, Rudd, Hammond, Gauke, May, Soames, and many more. Many others face both ways. You will not win an election with these people who slander the Brexit Party leaders. There is plenty of money available to overcome the blackout on the colonialism treaty by the EU biased media.

    1. Stred
      September 12, 2019

      In his own peoples pmqs, Boris avoided any questions as to whether his deal would be the May /Robbins colonial agreement minus the backstop. Presumably he has to keep the Libdum wing of the party happy. Meanwhile, some leading charleton has said that the leader of the honest Brexit Party are not fit for office. Honesty turned on its head.

    2. Helen Smith
      September 12, 2019

      They have all gone, and hopefully will never darken the Conservative partys’ door, again. I now feel free to vote Tory once more.

  16. Oggy
    September 12, 2019

    There is going to be an even bigger upheaval when the next GE finally comes.
    Whether we leave on Oct 31st or not or even at all, many of the 17.4 million very angry leave voters now want revenge on the MP’s for their utter betrayal, lies, broken promises and all they have done to destroy UK democracy.

    Quite a number of MP’s have already declared they won’t be standing at the next election, because they already know what’s coming.

    We have not and will not forget, we are waiting, our time will come and more importantly so will theirs.

    1. Oggy
      September 12, 2019

      Should read ‘those MP’s’.

      1. BR
        September 12, 2019

        Perhaps “those MPs”.

        Simple plurals do not take apostrophes.

    2. steve
      September 12, 2019


      “Quite a number of MP’s have already declared they won’t be standing at the next election, because they already know what’s coming.”


  17. Shelagh Sneddon
    September 12, 2019

    I do not understand why you think that the last election was only about Brexit. The manifestos made a lot of promises on a lot of issues – why assume that mps are letting the voters down if they change their stance on Brexit but not on, say, care for the elderly? Elections are very poor ways of gauging the public mood on a single issue – look at those Scottish seats that voted against independence, but had been electing SNP mps and msps for years, for example.

  18. Stephen J
    September 12, 2019

    I am not so sure about realignment Sir John…

    The CONservative Party is only interested in its own welfare, and we have noticed.

    Your party is on borrowed time.

    Oh and it is no more for leaving the EU than the Labour Party…

    You are all in it together as David Cameroon once said.

  19. Duyfken
    September 12, 2019

    One can certainly discern, as JR has written, that UK politics is currently realigning on the basis of Leave or Remain. This may be a precursor to a more formal change in the parliamentary Parties at the next GE (and even more so after the GE following that one).

    Despite an apparent reluctance by Boris to have anything to do with The Brexit Party, I trust others of the Tories, the ERG, “Spartans” et al, will open talks with Farage if and when Brexit is not achieved by the end of October or is fudged by the PM with some form of WA similar to that already voted down three times.

  20. Bob Dixon
    September 12, 2019

    Further conformation that we need a GE as soon as possible.

    1. L Jones
      September 12, 2019

      We need a GE before we are sold lock, stock and barrel to the EU, by whatever means, however self-interested Europhiles engineer it.
      Otherwise, even if we have a GE, it won’t be ‘free and fair’ with the EU masters breathing down our necks and telling our country what to do and how we should do it. Any party that isn’t all for kowtowing to them wouldn’t be allowed to win.

  21. Mike Wilson
    September 12, 2019

    The article seems to be saying in bald terms that our political system is broken. It’s time for PR.

    For a long time I have argued against a second referendum on the basis that the first one had not been implemented. I think we are beyond that now. Over three years have passed and DUE TO OUR POLITICIANS we are in an endless mess.

    I assumed the scaremongering about no deal was just that. But government documents suggest real problems. I am concerned if Boris somehow precipitates no deal, and there are serious problems, there will be riots in the streets.

    Will a general election help? I doubt it. And, of course, an election is not a referendum. At the moment we have no government and no Parliament. I think we have to have a Brexit delay, a rapid second referendum (but in this one with some realistic options on the ballot paper) followed by an immediate general election. Mind you that might sort nothing if,again, we get a referendum result parliament will not implement. If we are not careful we could end up with a radical left or right wing government.

    So, I say it again. Time for PR.

    And to-anyone who defends first past, you defend THIS?

  22. David J
    September 12, 2019

    Good morning John
    A useful perspective.
    It looks like political musical chairs.
    It’s time to stop the music, let the politicians scramble for a chair- and then hold a General Election to let the people have their say. I believe that this will facilitate a Conservative and Brexit Party alliance… but ultimately delivering the much delayed departure from the EU. The hope is that we do not get WA 4.0

  23. George Brooks
    September 12, 2019

    If a very large commercial organisation was run as Parliament, as a whole, is attempting to run the UK at present one would be calling in the Receiver this afternoon.

    Loyalty to Party and honouring a manifesto has flown out of the window A trend that has accelerated because of the increase in numbers of the ‘so called’ career politicians.

    We, the shareholders, need a General Election and the fact that we have not got one is because we were stitched up when the 5 year term came in. Why was it introduced? No doubt because these ”young inexperienced career politicians” wanted stability of income.

  24. David
    September 12, 2019

    Surely the whole point of having a referendum is that parties are split on the issue. It doesn’t work unless everyone accepts the result and gets on with implementing it in the best way.

  25. jerry
    September 12, 2019

    MP’s have not realigned, a certain party leadership has realigned since mid July, in the same way as moderate Labour party members and MPs did back in the early 1980s when the extreme also took over their party, those MPs who formed or joined the SDP had not realigned their political views and nor have those Tory MPs who defied the whip, voting against their own leadership.

    With that, until parliament is recalled, I take note of your comments on the 10th (not that you were accusing me) and will thus take my leave of this site. Indeed I suspect you are very busy, helping with a GE manifesto, trying to sell a pigs ear as if a silk purse – just as some on the Labour party had to do back in 1983…

  26. Sir Joe Soap
    September 12, 2019

    Even the Guardian reporting a typical misapplication of tariffs by the EU, protecting French, German and Lithuanian flour producers against the interests of Irish bakers:


    When will the Irish understand that EU rules aren’t made for them either?

    1. julie williams
      September 12, 2019

      Pretty soon after the new commissioners get settled in and get Brexit out of the way they will start gunning for ROI over Corporate Tax issues.

    2. Mitchel
      September 12, 2019

      It was announced last month that Saudi Arabia is going to start buying Russian Black Sea wheat-this will be at the expense of German/Baltic wheat.We expect more trade/investment deals to be signed next month when Mr Putin starts his official visit to KSA as these two cement their increasingly warm relationship.

  27. Lifelogic
    September 12, 2019

    The NHS – Envy of the World or just another dire state monopoly?

    Britain is bottom of international league tables for cancer survival according to research on four million patients by the World Health Organisation. Hammond gave us the highest taxes for 40+ years yet we get second rate (often far worse) public services. What exactly are we paying all these taxes for? Worthless dross and complete lunacy in the main it seems.

    1. James1
      September 12, 2019

      The NHS may have been ‘the envy of the world’ seventy years ago. No longer. When cancer and other clinical outcomes are analysed in the cold light of day it is clear that we are considerably behind many countries. This is not to criticise the nurses and doctors working in the NHS who by and large are doing their best. Rather it is the system that needs radical change. The government decision to throw further umpteen billions of pounds into an unreformed NHS is madness. The average wait to see a doctor is now in excess of two weeks. This is little short of appalling, when the medical needs of pets can invariably be attended to the same day, and so enjoy a better health service than their average owners.

  28. Fred H
    September 12, 2019

    This all goes to show that MPs are being elected on ‘I always vote for xxx party’ or ‘He/she has a big majority I support’ or ‘I vote for the Leader, not just the party’. Times have changed and now the electorate will be swayed by Leave/Remain position – if you feel you can trust the apparent position taken! The Libdemoaners are clearly Remain, Brexit party are what they say – the rest is merely an act of faith which has been shattered almost week after week.
    Bring on the GE, and P45s all round.
    IMO Sir John will be safe, he demonstrates sound Conservative values and wants UK to Leave. The rest of the Labour & Conservative seats are threatened by Brexit party or Libdemoaners.

  29. BOF
    September 12, 2019

    Should all those non Conservatives be forgiven and allowed back in the party it will alienate millions like me. Votes and seats will be lost.

  30. Donna
    September 12, 2019

    In what way are the Conservatives for Leave? If they genuinely were for leave, we’d have left on 29 March.
    The Party Membership may be for leave, but those within the Party with any power are nearly all for Remain. Some have reluctantly accepted that they’ll need to cobble together a BRINO, including Boris and most of the Cabinet, but the vast majority are fundamentally opposed to Brexit.
    As for MPs defecting, we are presented with two arguments for our so-called democracy and both are utilised when it suits:

    1. You are voting for an individual to represent you (his party allegiance is irrelevant)
    2. You are voting for someone representing a political party and its Manifesto for Government (which is why they are identified by the party they represent on the ballot paper and wear a particular colour rosette).

    When touting for your vote, the candidate stresses (2). When defecting they argue (1).

    Following the abuse of the past 3 years, we are going to have to have clarity. We can no longer have a situation where someone, say Oliver Letwin, can be elected on (2) and the Conservative Manifesto, which promised to deliver Brexit and specifically said that No Deal was better than a Bad Deal.” And then, when elected, argue (1) and say that he never agreed with the Manifesto in the first place and then went on to do everything he could to overturn it in contravention of his Party Association’s wishes.

    His abuse of his Constituents’ trust in 2017 has lost the Conservative Party my vote.

    Either Parliamentary candidates are individuals …. in which case, their party allegiance should not be identified and they should present an individual manifesto to their Constituents.

    OR they represent their party in the Constituency – and if they switch parties, a by-election must be automatically triggered.

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    September 12, 2019

    I can think of no time in the post war period when the calibre of MPs has been so low.

    1. Ian terry
      September 12, 2019


      That is the problem and it is not going to get better unless the parties themselves identify how changes in the selection process are so long overdue.

    2. Fred H
      September 13, 2019

      I think you meant to write ‘when the honesty and integrity was so low’ ?

  32. Leaver
    September 12, 2019

    I agree we need an election. Even more, we need parliament to actually vote for something rather than shooting down every option on the table.

    Without compromise, we will endlessly go round in circles. And No Deal simply means having to do a deal later. It doesn’t solve the fundamental problem that parliament needs to vote for something at some point.

    Both the ERG and labour have to take a lot of the blame for this, as both groups have consistently voted against every option on the table.

    1. Shirley
      September 12, 2019

      The only option on the table was Remain, in the form of the WA. In fact it is far worse than Remain, having no exit clause. Parliament has never been offered a ‘Leave’ option, other than a WTO exit, but they rejected that too.

    2. NickC
      September 12, 2019

      Leaver, No, we do not have “to do a deal later” at all. The UK does not have trade deals with most of the world’s economy, and gets by just fine. We did not vote for a “compromise” which keeps us under EU control, we voted to exit from the EU.

  33. David Maples
    September 12, 2019

    Boris will destroy the Tory party if he doesn’t do a Mahatma Ghandi and break the law by refusing to request an extension. Deep rooted political change only comes with law defiance and martyrdom! If you play by the establishment’s rules, you will lose. If the founding fathers of America had not been prepared to break the law and defy ‘King George’, there would be no USA today. If he does extend and wait for a general election to give him a majority, in order to restore the drive to Brexit, then he will be greatly disappointed. Currently, the Tories have an 8% lead over Labour and a 15% lead over the Lib Dems. These margins will evaporate, because they only exist due to the belief amongst Tory voters that we are leaving.

    1. Mitchel
      September 12, 2019

      Trotsky:”Revolution is the locomotive of history.”

  34. Turboterrier
    September 12, 2019

    Sir John.

    Sorry but have to disagree with the members changing horses in mid stream. Any change must trigger a by election no ifs and or buts. Words to honour anything have no such meaning once you have a new leader to have to answer to. This must be stopped immediately on parliaments return. If you are sacked and the whip removed you should be forced to have to face a by election. Parliament at the moment portrays a uncontrollable rabble operating something akin to mob law. It is disgusting as well as disgraceful.

  35. James Bertram
    September 12, 2019

    If the Tory Government had the slightest common sense they would recognise this realignment is happening, and that voters now identify more as Leave or Remain than Tory or Labour, that the sensible way forward for the country is for the Leave vote to unite around a clean-break Brexit through a pact with the Brexit Party.

    Currently they have their heads in the sand, attempting to re-hash May’s appalling BRINO surrender treaty in a pitiful attempt to stop the inevitable – their party splitting further along Leave/Remain lines.

    Why is May (and those 200 MPs who voted ‘Confidence’ in her treachery) still allowed to be in the Tory Party?

    They have a death wish.

    Bring on the Canadian Conservative annihilation of 1993.

  36. Iain Moore
    September 12, 2019

    The only noteworthy thing about the shifting Parliamentary allegiances is that we had a Remainer political class who lied to their electorate , and now having to be honest about it. In going to a party that is neither liberal or democratic one could only say these floor crossers are going to a party that should suit them down to the ground. The Libdems sat on their hands when they could have helped force the Labour Government to honour their Lisbon referendum promise, saying what we needed was an in/out referendum. Now after an in/out referendum we find, yet again, they won’t honour their promise, and seek to remove the electorate from any say in it by proposing to revoke A50. The LibDems should be called the extremist EU fanatics party.

  37. Narrow Shoulders
    September 12, 2019

    I am all in favour of more independent MPs. But I want their constituencies to vote for them based on their stated policies not for MPs to fall out with the parties who got them to Parliament.

    Single issue politics with centre right leaning candidates has much to be hopeful about

    1. acorn
      September 12, 2019

      Had the UK selected individuals openly at constituency level to be Westminster MPs; using Non-Party Primary Elections, the current mess in Westminster would not have occurred. All MPs would start out as independents and form interest group caucuses as required. Basically you elect people you know with ideas and not party mandated lobby fodder.

      In nonpartisan elections, each candidate for office is eligible based on her or his own merits rather than as a member of a political party. No political affiliation (if one exists) is shown on the ballot next to a candidate. Generally, the winner is chosen from a runoff election where the candidates are the top two [or three in the UK] vote-getters from a primary election. In some elections the candidates might be members of a national party but do not run as party members. (Wiki)

      1. libertarian
        September 13, 2019


        Lie down with a cold flannel …. I AGREE with you!!.

        That is very much how we should elect representatives. I’d go further though with a direct vote for the position of PM

  38. Jingleballix
    September 12, 2019

    Recall that when Carswell and Reckless both left the Tories for UKIP – they immediately called a by-election to have their decisions endorsed.

    But of course, the media prefer not to dwell on the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the actions of remainers across the board.

  39. Fedupsoutherner
    September 12, 2019

    On a lighter note, I see they have discovered a distant planet with water. Would it not be possible to send the SNP, Libdims, Labour and all remainiacs there? Everyone would be happy.

    1. NigelE
      September 12, 2019

      Well, to be fair, it’s the Remainers who should stay here with the EU, the ERG and 17.4 million Leavers are the one who must build spaceships …

    2. Stred
      September 12, 2019

      Only if they drowned in it.

  40. formula57
    September 12, 2019

    It was real leadership to sack the 21 quislings and let us hope they really do stay sacked. They should never sit again as Conservatives.

    1. Mark B
      September 12, 2019

      Some are retiring anyway, so not as big a statement as one might first think.

  41. Earley Riser
    September 12, 2019

    “Boris is a winner” according to Donald Trump.

  42. Original Richard
    September 12, 2019

    We are witnessing a coup take place as the remainer group of MPs are wrestling control away from the government.

    Having tasted power, I do not expect this remainer group to be voting for a GE (turkeys don’t vote for Christmas) and in fact I expect them to vote for a second referendum to take place before the next GE. [Perhaps even revoke Article 50, who knows.]

    The EU will not negotiate further, so the options at this second referendum will be either remain under the WA terms with no representation or veto or lawful means of exit or remain with this referendum acting as a mandate for further EU integration, joining the Euro and Shenghen etc..

  43. ian terry
    September 12, 2019

    It would appear if the reports in the press are true that the PM has written to the expelled members inviting them back into the fold.

    The country needs strong leadership and these 21 members are not going to change their views and having them back to undermind the leaving process at every twist and turn will come back to haunt him. These people have been on the gravy train for the last three years standing on a manifesto they had no intention of honouring. We do not need these type of people representing us or the nation. For all intents and purposes they have been sacked and removed for gross misconduct and s such should be treated the same as in any of the employment sectors. Their very actions triggered the punishment handed out. The majority of them had been once in higher office but stood down so the writing was already on the wall

  44. BJC
    September 12, 2019

    I have absolutely no problem with an MP quietly stepping aside out of principle, because in their heart they can no longer support their Party’s policies. I do, however, have huge issues with the current undignified spectacle on public display when they do so. The vitriol routinely displayed towards their former Party and its policies is incredibly fierce and leaves a very bad taste in the mouth, especially for those who it’s implied, were duped.

    I do hope that steps are taken to ensure that a by-election is always held in these circumstances in future, so that the process is seen to be fair and reflects the current views of the constituents. It will also place an obligation on MPs to search their conscience before (potentially) disappointing their constituents, something that doesn’t appear to enter the equation at the moment.

  45. a-tracy
    September 12, 2019

    ‘realign’ you call it, these people have forked tongues telling us one thing to get our votes then being dishonourable in office especially if they align with the other side such as those joining the Liberal Democrats (if we’d wanted Liberal Democrat policies we’d have elected a LD MP). One thing Boris should do immediately if he can make it a rule that if you align with another party you have to have a people’s choice in your new position i.e. a by-election.

    In the real world, these people are really angering the people they degrade and disrespect. They have ignored, as many have done for decades like Ken Clarke, the concerns and worries about the EU and it’s behind the door treaties and deals that are signed often without our knowledge let alone consent, in fact one deal was done whilst our parliament wasn’t sitting in 2015.

    Owen Jones likes to call remainers progressive – what is progressive about the same old same old. Change is needed, some of this change is out of our hands because we’ve been tied in knots by the EU. I watched a podcast in the Guardian, a man complaining he hadn’t been given a house and was living on benefits after being in the Country for five years and was out of work, sofa surfing and the Guardian reporter was all like” this is awful” – I’m watching going what the hell I know people in two jobs they don’t like, providing for themselves because they’ve got to put a roof over their own heads – who are you! Go get your free home from the Country you came from if it’s that easy there.

  46. Sharon Jagger
    September 12, 2019

    I said on this site before, once we get out of the EU we must look at parliamentary etiquette. And as part of that, there must be a ruling that if an MP switches their allegiance to another party, they must, (by law?) have a bi-election. Likewise, if an MP is deselected by their constituents, they are no longer an MP, or they are an independent, but nevertheless a bi-election should still be had.

    1. Mark B
      September 12, 2019

      . . . we must look at parliamentary etiquette.

      I agree. The clapping, the singing and playing of music and taking of the Mace etc this must be stamped on. Taking of the Mace must be a sacking offence for an MP. Do that, and you are no longer and MP and there is a bi-election in which said offender is barred from standing.

      Also. The behaviour and powers of the Speaker need to be looked at. Plus the position can only last the length of a parliament before a new one is elected.

    2. Sarah Tun
      September 12, 2019

      100% agree

  47. BW
    September 12, 2019

    This whole issue has evolved as it has, because those remoaners in parliament gained their seats whilst promising to support Brexit. Then went back on it. It was like allowing a remain 5th column in without knowing. Led by a remain PM, Chancellor and Speaker it was always going to be disastrous. Not one of those disreputable MP’s who deceived their electorate submitted themselves for a by election. None of this is Boris’s fault. Only a General Election will sort this which has been denied. Everything with a Brexit heading will be denied until we change parliament. Lastly, please save us from Harriet Harmen.

    1. Mark B
      September 12, 2019

      Has Theresa May MP not called a GE in 2017 we would be looking at one next year.

  48. Ian terry
    September 12, 2019

    If ever we needed help from the BBC it seems we might be getting it. According to a news release Chris Packham has applied to the courts to stop the releasing of game birds into the environment under the guise of some EU law. Well all i can say is bring it on. There are millions involved in the shooting industry and if they think for one minute idiotic legal challenges can be bought against them like this preventing the multi millionpound industry from going about its legal business then there will be one hell of a lot of leavers coming out of the woodwork.

    Boris need all the help he can get so hopefully he will support the industry

  49. miami.mode
    September 12, 2019

    Don’t be under any illusions. Unless Boris comes up with some wheeze to get us out before 31 October the only way to get any sort of meaningful Brexit after a GE will be for the Conservatives to do some sort of deal with the Brexit party. The remainers are determined to ensure they will have a majority and although party leaders generally dismiss the results of the EU elections these were facts and not guesses of how things will turn out.

    Can anybody explain why the proposed letter to the EU states a new date of 31 January 2020 BST? Is the plan to change permanently to BST all year being enacted if we are still in the EU after 31 December 2019?

  50. 'None of the above'.
    September 12, 2019

    Thank you for this summary Sir John.

    I wonder how many of those re-aligned MPs would still be in Parliament if they had resigned and stood in a By-election.

  51. Polly
    September 12, 2019

    Do you think anything should be done about Guy Verhofstadt’s apparent claim that some votes for the Withdrawal Agreement were bought ?

    Should there be a public enquiry to find out if the claim is true and what exactly happened, should an article be written about it, or should the matter be dropped ?

    What is your opinion about what should happen next ?

  52. Pete S
    September 12, 2019

    IDS has just been on, breaching Privy council rules and told of how he challenged the civil servant briefing on yellowhammer about Calais. He asked those who produce worst case scenario, have you asked Calais what preparations they had made; they answered NO.

    So the Civil Servants had based their scenario on guesses, which they had not done their homework on. This is the rubbish Parl is discussing. The amount of informed discussion in Parl now is getting vanishingly small.

    1. Mark B
      September 12, 2019

      They’re bricking BREXIT because then we will see what and utter sham they all are.

  53. Gareth Warren
    September 12, 2019

    While I sympathise with MP’s who leave their parties because they believe the parties have changed, such as being lead by a terrorist loving marxist, I believe the people should be the ones who decide at a by-election.

    Today there are ever more remainer politicians who the electorate will throw out at the next GE, to which I say good riddance, an MP should represent only British interests.

    I fear we are headed towards a reheated WA, I really do wish there was a pact between pro-brexit parties, divided and this mess will limp on for years.

  54. Bernard Gallivan
    September 12, 2019

    When I think about the hypocrisy and shallowness of far too many of our politicians, our host definitely excluded, my mind becomes full of vile expletives. They know they are being hypocritical but lying is a way of life for them. It is a waste of time pointing out truth to them. They do not want to listen. I genuinely cannot understand the remainer position. There are so many holes in it I cannot believe remainers are not aware of how misguided they are. Nevertheless, they are intent on bring the UK to its knees. They have neither sense nor loyalty. Brexit is doing me no good.

  55. ian
    September 12, 2019

    I like to say a few things about Brexit today.

    1. The reason the country and the people are in such a mess is because of the high court judges who interfered in the political decision made by the people under the guidance of the HOC, the LORDS the leader of the country and the Queen, they overturn the law of the country for there own political reasons, which has lead to breakdown of peoples constitution between parliament the people and the Queen. There has been no real challenge on their decision because it suited the gov at the time.

    2. If there is another ref the result has to go back to parliament for the final decision because of high court judges law over the peoples and the country law.
    If remain were to win another ref the country and the people will be in turmoil forevermore, the only way to avoid this would be to overturn the high court judges law and replace it with the first law again in my opinion.

    3. I think john having a joke with you by telling you that conservative party is a leaving party when he still has over 180 remain MPs in his party.
    Even if you were out of the EU with so many remain PMs still in parliament, they could vote every EU law that the EU pasts by private members bills and bring EU laws into UK laws.
    4. In my humble opinion, it would be wise to wait till Nov next year when the EU has passed all its new laws before you have election or ref, at that time all will be known about what thye EU intends to do, the BOE might have to be replaced by the EBC and your borders left open to all and other things john mentioned the other day, if these things come to pass in EU law remain will fade away.

  56. libertarian
    September 12, 2019

    This parliament is rogue

    It has outed the establishment as being anti democratic and controlling beyond authority

    The people on all sides of the Brexit debate are incredibly angry

    An election is only the start , we need a wholesale review of our flimsy democracy

    The list of dishonest politicians that have taken centuries of agreed protocols and conventions and driven a bus through then in order to get their own way is disgusting and they will be remembered for all time, their legacy , the destruction of the Mother of Parliaments

    In due course

    We will remove the House of Lords and abandon the “honours” and awards system for donors, supporters and as bribes . In future the people will decide who gets rewards and recognition

    Their will be an English Parliament

    We will directly elect the Prime Minister

  57. Ian Murray
    September 12, 2019

    Sir John

    I’m extremely alarmed by Paul Goodman’s latest on ConservativeHome (“The landing zone”). What do you make of it?

    1. Helen Smith
      September 12, 2019

      I don’t know what Sir John makes of it but Cummings had a hand in expelling the traitors and the subsequent resignations was described by Cummings as a self draining swamp. So I very much doubt he wants them back.

  58. Ian!
    September 12, 2019

    The EU had a €25 billion trading surplus with the UK in agricultural products alone, which is higher than its entire surplus for trade in all products with the rest of the world. When Remaniacs warn of possible food shortages in the UK in the case of no deal, they tend to forget that there’s a sizeable agricultural sector outside of the UK with interests at stake as well. They also forget most agriculture products outside of the UK are cheaper.

  59. BOF
    September 12, 2019

    Apologies for posting again. On the radio this morning I heard Amber Rudd saying, once again, that she voted to leave the EU in voting for Mrs May’s treaty. This is, to me, a thoroughly dishonest standpoint, and the reason why she should never be allowed to stand as a Conservative candidate again.

    1. Andy
      September 12, 2019

      Mrs May’s deal takes us out of the EU.

      What’s so hard to understand?

      Sure, it is a rubbish deal. We told you this in 2016 and you did not believe us.

      1. Edward2
        September 13, 2019

        You need to read the dreadful Withdrawal Agreement again Andy.
        We don’t leave for another two years minimum as just one example.

      2. NickC
        September 13, 2019

        Andy, We don’t believe you now, either. May’s dWA keeps us locked under EU control. Leaving means being as independent of the EU as New Zealand is. What part of remaining in a “single customs territory” with the EU under May’s WA don’t you understand?

    2. mancunius
      September 12, 2019

      We know that the WA was and is not leaving the EU. But it was after all the narrative and mantra constantly repeated by Mrs May herself in the HoC during the debates.
      So not only Rudd, but May and all who supported or support the WA should never be candidates again… A radical cure, but the party could win with Leaver MPs, preferably not MPs who are cosy rent-seekers with those EU-subsidised or -located landed and property interests that so many of the rebel ex-Tories have, particularly the ones who bleat about the party being a ‘broad church’ or a ‘big tent’ (meaning they can secretly support their own financial and political interests, as long as they are not outright marxists).

      I would welcome a little less ambiguity from the PM and Tory Leader on the subject of the WA. He tells Brussels the WA could be passed in the HoC if only the backstop were altered. Just who does he think he is kidding? JR and many others on the government benches would never vote for it, and thank God for their insight and principles. That ghastly bill would have passed, but for their resistance.

      After we’ve left, we should honour these happy few with statues in every city.

  60. Lifelogic
    September 12, 2019

    George Osborne in the Spectator today. “I could be that rare thing an ex-Chancellor who is still a member of the Conservative Party”……“Back in 2008 ….. Tory wars had consigned us to opposition”

    Nonsense what put the Conservative Party in opposition was Major’s ERM fiasco, his failure to even apologise for or learn from it and his idiotic pushing of the appalling Maastricht Treaty against the will of the voters and his party. If I were in charge I would evict the IHT, tax to death ratter George Osborne and John Major too.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 12, 2019

      Major, K Clarke, Osborne & Hammond were all wrong. The B******* as Major called them were exactly right. Hence the mess we are in now.

  61. Bob
    September 12, 2019

    The Telegraph is reporting that Boris is offering an olive branch to the rebels that he previously removed from the party because he needs their support to get the new improved Merkel-May BRINO Treaty through Parliament.

  62. percy openshaw
    September 12, 2019

    Dear Sir John, there are some very worry developments in today’s news. First, we learn that “senior Tories” are rejecting the Farage olive branch out of hand. This is absurd. Now we learn of plans for “All Ireland” customs arrangements – precisely what we have been seeking to avoid. Paul Goodman at Conservativehome speculates that the Europhile rebels will be welcomed back and that principled MPs, known as “Spartans”, will be expelled. Yes, the PM has been boxed in – partly, I suspect, because he hadn’t the resolve to prorogue parliament until November and partly because Mr Cummings’ diplomatic skills are non-existent. But this is no reason for surrender. He will merely take the blame for a false Brexit onto the Conservative party. It is utterly irresponsible – May on steroids.

  63. Alan Joyce
    September 12, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    There are moves to restore the whip to those Conservative Remainer MP’s who do not wish to realign but have caused the party a lot of trouble. Why on earth would the PM want them back?

    He will need their votes as he intends to bring the Withdrawal Agreement back to the Commons with amendments to the backstop. He will also rely on those in the Labour party who have indicated they could back an amended WA. Many MP’s are desperate to get Brexit done. They just want to get back to their comfortable old ways.

    The ERG ‘Spartans’ will be marginalised. Hopes for a clean Brexit and a fully sovereign nation crushed. Leave voters – well who cares about them?

  64. Jack Leaver
    September 12, 2019

    Let’s not forget that only 34 Conservative MPs voted against the WA on all three occasions and if it weren’t for these MPs, the DUP, Labour and other MPs, it would have been passed by Parliament and the UK would now be under permanent EU servitude. I do not trust the Conservative MPs who voted for the WA as they have demonstrated their lack of judgement and understanding of what the legal implications are. If they truly wished for the UK to leave the EU and take back control, they would never have voted for it. I am therefore deeply concerned that Boris Johnson will try to repackage the WA in order to fulfil his promise to leave the EU on 31st October especially now the indications are that it would be passed by Parliament. If this were to occur, the Conservative party will certainly lose a GE and the UK will descend into chaos which will make the worst case scenario of a no-deal painted by Operation Yellowhammer, a picnic in the park. A short time economic disturbance is a small price to pay for UK sovereignty.

  65. Mark
    September 12, 2019

    The deckchairs may get shuffled, but there is little evidence that the public will be left with much real choice for now. Those who advocate Remain offer no choice at all. Just subjugation to Brussels rule, which seems determined to wreck the European economy via attacks on its key industries, and socially via uncontrolled migration.

    Those who advocate Leave are split between the BRINOs and a proper exit. But there is little desirable choice on offer. Proper exit could entail Marxist government and collapse. Many of those purporting to offer a proper exit still wish us to suffer the consequences of green extremism and uncontrolled migration, which is EU policy mirrored. For the most part we have to look outside Parliament for real choice.

  66. ian
    September 12, 2019

    Boris bridge, NI to Scotland, what a complete thicko idea, get rid of this mug as quick as you can, he will F everything up.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 12, 2019

      Well he won’t actually do it! Anyway no less sensible than HS2 or all the green crap renewable subsidies. Or the way the NHS works.

    2. Sea Warrior
      September 12, 2019

      Should we expect the EU to demand a customs frontier at the mid-point, manned by FRONTEX?

    3. Anonymous
      September 12, 2019

      Well he’s no Trump (as often accused.) He builds bridges, not walls.

  67. Ian!
    September 12, 2019

    What about their Constituents, their Voters those that elected them on one Manifesto that became their Mandate for the office as MP were does that leave them? Mislead, been offered fraudulent platforms with no chance of redress and no say.

    Everyone has the right to change their mind, but changing your mind on a promise that rewarded you an income without first going back to those that put you there can only be seen as fraud.

    That is like having a contract with a builder in to repair your roof. Then when the builder turns up next door does their roof getting you to pay for it and your work still doesn’t get done. What would you call that?

  68. BR
    September 12, 2019

    Yes those are the numbers JR, so what should happen?

    If you’re looking to canvass opinion, my belief is that a by-election should be held if an MP changes party allegiance. At the very least, a process similar to the recall procedure should occur (a by-election is held if >= X% petition for it).

    This is because many people vote for the party’s national manifesto, not the individual.

    Add that to the list of the MANY changes that are required to the unwritten constitution that depended on decent behaviour that is no longer guaranteed – and to the Speaker’s powers and procedures.

    P.S. Please have a word with your colleagues proposing to support Harman. I see a Brexiteer is supporting her – is he completely nuts? Her pitch: “Continuity Bercow”!

  69. Denis Cooper
    September 12, 2019

    The Yellowhammer report is dated August 2 2019. It seems I am alone in perceiving that it is the kind of report which could have made sense on August 2 2016, soon after the decision to leave the EU had been taken in the referendum. But not after three years during which the Prime Minister had made sure that all the necessary preparations for leaving without a deal were being made to support her publicly stated policy that “No deal would be better than a bad deal”. Except of course she did no such thing; instead she left office with the country still unprepared, and left her successor to carry the can.

    1. rose
      September 13, 2019

      Two people should be prosecuted for gross incompetence and criminal negligence in high office, but they won’t be. They will be in the House of Lords.

  70. Dying Democracy
    September 12, 2019

    My view for what it is worth is that Boris is gearing up for a BRINO deal with a border in the Irish Sea. He will make various concessions to Labour along the lines of the discussions that May and Corbyn had at the latter end of May’s premiership in the hope that he wins enough support from the Opposition MPs to counteract the loss of the support from the DUP and the ERG ‘Spartans’. My worry is that even if the ‘deal’ is approved by the House, the subsequent GE will be a disaster. Farage will split the Leave vote with the result being that a Labour/Lib/SNP coalition will win, renege on the ‘deal’, there will be a second referendum which will be rigged and Remain will win. I despair….

  71. David Taylor
    September 12, 2019

    I am afraid that I cannot see that the worst case possibilities planned for by the Civil Service are likely to come about .
    A number of firms may suffer adverse trading during any transition , if so , might it be that they themselves , never mind the Government , have made no provision to lessen it , I believe the management of Next have made such provision .
    As to the N.H.S , it is their responsibility , along with the Government to ensure continuity of the supply chain , whether Britain is a member of the EU or not . If the EU , through the use of red tape , hinders the supply of medical supplies of all sorts to & from the UK , what will that say about such an august , impartial organisation , when a nominal stroke of their pen , or keystroke if you like , in the event of deal or no deal outcome on Oct 31st , could prevent any possible shortage , the possible medical supply shortage is presented by the press & remainers as solely the U.Ks fault for leaving , no it will not be .

  72. John O'Leary
    September 12, 2019

    Sir John,

    You chastise your colleagues for switching sides or for not following the party line on Brexit. Why did you as a leaver for many years remain in a party that was steadfastly pro-EU.

  73. David Maples
    September 12, 2019

    Sir John, Apologies, this is a bit long, please indulge me, but if too wearisome, just bin it. I know how busy you must be.

    Come Oct 19, Parliament will have 3 options. The first is to accept the only deal Boris can offer, which is May’s deal including the backstop(the EU will accept no other), which many Remainers will wish to reject yet again. Second, allow Boris to go for no-deal or third, force him to ask for an extension. They will want this last one as it will embarrass the PM and scupper Tory election prospects. The problem for them will be what happens afterwards. They say they want a deal, but will have rejected May for a fourth time; this will make them look stupid. Therefore they will play for time by getting Hillary Benn to present another bill demanding the government stage Referendum 2. Of course, they might call a VONC, which could(not necessarily)precipitate a GE, Boris might refuse to resign and Brexit will occur by default(within the statutory 14 days). If Boris resigned on Oct 20 though(they would like this), they might be able to install a remain PM in time to request an extension. Another possibility is Benn introduces a bill to repeal Brexit altogether, although this will not be politically viable without another referendum. Beware the Ides of October(15th)!

  74. G Hetherington
    September 12, 2019

    I suggest a legislative amendment to allow the electorate to recall an MP who has switched allegiance since the previous election.

  75. Lester Beedell
    September 12, 2019

    Voting for Farage will just ensure that we won’t be leaving the EU, if Farage had any wish to leave he would be 100% behind Boris Johnson instead of dividing the leave vote
    Peterborough and Brecon

    1. BillM
      September 13, 2019

      Mrs May was PM at the Peterborough By-election and the local Tory Party Members put up the same candidate who caused the Brecon by-election because of expenses fiddling. And the Brexit Party should have stayed out of these? WHY?
      If Boris wants the Leaver to win the next General Election he must do a deal with the Brexit Party for Northern votes or be beaten by the growing cabal of Remainers. He really does not have any other choice.

  76. Sarah Tun
    September 12, 2019

    Simply having by elections could frustrate the remain camp and get this impasse sorted out.

  77. tim
    September 12, 2019

    We should all watch the TV series, the new statesman, staring sir Alan B’stard. As he explained, “Eu is the biggest gravy train ever to hit the world”. I think we are watching the second series right now.

  78. Ian terry
    September 13, 2019

    Today (Friday) The Tory losers are still plotting to overthrow Boris.
    It is in their DNA they cannot accept defeat or chastisement for their actions and like young children in the play ground huddled together to plot their revenge. Pathetic.

    We want people like this is our party never mind parliament?

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