Party discipline, the referendum and the Manifesto


I have been careful not to criticise Conservative MPs personally who voted for Amendment 7, and am not going to change  my stance in this article. I do wish, however, to explore why some MPs vote against the whip and ask is it reasonable to do so in certain circumstances? In the UK system an MP is there to exercise judgement and to hold the government to account, or to be part of the government. He or she should also be conscious that they were voted in because they belonged to a particular party, as well as for their own merits. It is important to look at the general Manifesto of their party when considering their later conduct.

It is true that Brexiteer MPs did often vote against new European laws, larger EU budgets and other increases in EU power under the Coalition. We did so because we took seriously the Conservative party Manifesto of 2010 which we had stood on. It said:

“There should be no further extension of the EU’s power over the UK without the British people’s consent… We will bring back key powers over legal rights, criminal justice and social and employment legislation to the UK”. “The steady and unacceptable intrusion of the EU into almost every aspect of our lives has gone too far”

We took this to mean that we should resist the extra powers which successive new EU inspired  laws and larger budgets brought to the EU. We understood the Lib Dems in government took a pro federalist line which was very different to the our party view in the Manifesto.

So what did the 2017 Manifesto say which might influence the conduct of Conservative MPs today?  It said

“We are leaving the EU. In leaving the EU we have chosen a truly global role for Britain….No deal is better than a bad deal….We will no longer be members of the single market or customs union….the days of Britain making vast annual contributions to the EU will end”

Any individual MP may have stood on a personal Manifesto that modified some part of the national Manifesto. Ken Clarke, for example, has always made clear his opposition to the Referendum and its result. The rest of us did not disagree with the views I have quoted above. In 2010 I included in my personal platform a pledge to work for a referendum on the issue of membership of the EU, which we secured as a policy promise before 2015.

Those Labour Opposition MPs who are seeking to use Parliamentary tactics to delay or derail Brexit are opposing both the decision of UK voters in the referendum and the terms of their own Manifesto in 2017. To defy one expression of the public will is foolish To defy two may prove very damaging to them in a future election.

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  1. StanleyW
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Don’t worry JR the EU set, Barnier, Junker, Verhofstadt etc will be glad to see the back of afraid we have been too much trouble..too many high falutin notions about ourselves..we should never have joined in the first place but like spoilt children we badgered until we got our way..DeGaulle knew this back in the sixties and blocked us..he knew the British temperment would never fit what to do now..well don’t slam the door on the way out..we might need a helping hand someday..maybe sooner than we think..we’ll get a deal probably yes but it won’t be the bespoke deal that we’ll be the deal that they want to give us..but for the tory right wing and UKIP we will have taken back control etc etc..and probably handed it to Corbyn..crazytimes

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      JR, Rudd wrote an open letter to EU citizens stating she wants them to stay here and informed them their family also has a right to come here. This is before the alleged immigration policy and before a deal has been struck, nothing agreed until everything agreed. Does this mean the deal has been done, or has Rudd inflated the expectations of EU citizens?

      Secondly, Rudd’s invite is open to at least 20 million EU citizens if we average 5 to each person here. Was this costed and balanced against public service provision? This announced on the same day Javid announced he broke two govt/party promises to the public: cap the community charge and give a referendum if the amount exceeds inflation. He gave authority for a whopping 6 percent. Bear in mind the lie May gave two weeks ago that she struck a fair deal for the taxpayer! She had £50 billion sloshing about to give to the EU two weeks ago. In a space of two weeks £50 billion given away for nothing, mass immigration promoted by Rudd from the EU and Javid stinging us with disproportionate tax rises when May falsely claimed she struck a good deal to the taxpayer by giving away at least £50 billion depending on calculations and decades monies is given! Javid effectively wants us to sale our homes for EU migrants and May wants us to sell our last home for social adult care! Are the economic idiots in govt acting independently or based on some plan with support of your party?

      It strikes me your party and govt cannot be untrustworthy, lie about staying EU single market and customs union, finances and immigration. Please show me with facts where I am wrong.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        JR, is the,vote today to prevent a no deal situation arising i.e. Walking away without a deal cancelled by a flexible date because parliament will not countenance a no deal situation? If so is is parliament putting a foreign power in charge of our destination and above our national interest. Please answer ASAP the vote is tonight.

        • Hope
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          JR too much time has been spent of this trade deal nonsense. We voted leave, we did not vote leave me at we had to get a deal at any cost and have the EU four pillars imposed on us for trade. No. Stop this nonsense at once and walk away. If the EU wants to trade fine if not (forget it ed). Iceland had far more courage and never kowtowed or sacrificed their nation to little EU politicos.

          This trade nonsense is scam by remainers to apscare people and a last ditch attempt to keep the U.K. Under the control of the EU. BTW sack or deselect Clarke he is of no value to the nation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      The best part of this comment is “We should never have joined in the first place”, and indeed it is those who took us in and then dragged us in further and further who are responsible for the difficulties we now face in getting out. Not those who voted for us to leave, but those who insisted on getting us into that position.

      • Garretg
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Yeah that was Ted Heath and afterwards Thatcher

        • getahead
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          “Thatcher’s uncompromising and often provocative rhetoric regarding European integration is probably best remembered through three famous public statements: “I want my money back!”; “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level”; and “No, no, no!”.
          Not Thatcher.

        • Tom
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Thatcher (partly against her will) the real traitors were surely Major, Bliar and Cameron. I suspect T May will turnout to be one too. Heath (as Father of the house) even left us with the current Speaker just to add insult to injury.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Not forgetting Harol Wilson and James Callahan.

          Just for balance;)

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        May also gave away our liberty but implemented no the European Arrest Warrant when the manifesto was against it and it was a choice. She chose to give away our individual freedoms and liberty without a mandate, in fact the opposite not to do so. She was untrustworthy then and untrustworthy now. I note no withdraw date, she again gave in to remainers. If it was not an issue it would not be opposed by the treacherous 11 Tories.

        • Tom
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink


      • Anonymous
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        There should have been a referendum on Maastricht and Lisbon.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Not only did they take us in, but they lied about the true nature of the political, not trading project. (Google and read 30/1048 from 1971, it just about covers it!). It was always about the creation of a Franco/German dominated “United States of Europe” to be created by incremental steps by treaty change over many years so the people wouldn’t be aware until it was too late! The legacy parties lied and conspired together for over 42 years to lead us down that false path. European, Maastricht, Lisbon Treaties etc. It was only UKIP’s emergence that saved the day. We all witnessed the elite, politicos and msm and their extreme and constant attacks on UKIP (documentaries etc) to realise how threatened they were and the truth exposed and the real agenda brought to light. Remember Cameron’s pathetic, shared democracy comments and failed renegotiation? In the age of the internet it was bound to be so, but our legacies/msm are still playing catching up.

      About 20% of our GDP relates to international trade and about 8% and falling, probably less when you factor in the Rotterdam and Irish deep water ports, relates to trade with the highly regulatory EU. Therefore, only those companies wishing to export to the EU in the future should be subject to their rules/regs and they, ours with the £80 billion trade deficit they enjoy!

      I’d rather be poorer and a free man than richer and under the yoke of an unelected bureaucratic foreign power. Events since the referendum expose their contempt for us as a Nation.

      So chin up, chest out, wipe your eyes, man up and get a bit of that bulldog spirit!

      • Tom
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        We will not be poorer out if we ever get some sensible non socialist, small government, cheap energy, free trade, pro-business leadership from the Tories.

  2. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Ms Sourby is defying both the manifesto and the views of her constituents who I believe voted in a majority for Leave. Her behaviour is worse than the Labour MPs who after all are the opposition and so has a right to oppose and cause trouble.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      The Daily Mail was spot on about the eleven “self-consumed malcontents” and worse as was the Telegraph. I had expected rather better of Dominique Grieve.

      The speaker was, as usual, totally wrong to attack the free press.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        MPs always blame someone else for their rotten sub standard behaviour. It is a swamp in need of clearing. MPs failed to act on their promises in 2009, all party support we were told and nothing of substance implemented and they still police themselves. Not even allowed to know the suspect names of MPs!

  3. jerry
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Surely MP’s primary function is (or should be…) to represent his or her constituents, not party or even personal beliefs?! Many of the Conservative MPs, along with some of the Labour MPs who are defying their own party whips on Brexit issues do so because they were elected to serve an area were the local Referenda result differs from the national result or party policy.

    • The Watchers
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Exactly, the very idea of Party loyalism must be abolished.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      On a constituency basis Leave won in a landslide.

      • jerry
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger; Even if that was true, Leave won by a majority not a landslide by the way (1.25m is not many considering the entire eligible adult population of the UK), that still doesn’t change the fact that MPs serve the needs of their constituents, that is why we vote for named MPs and not just a party who then appoint parliamentarians via a list or what ever as in some PR systems.

    • Roger Parkin
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      All MPs primary function should be support a speedy withdrawal from the EU irrespective of the majority views of their constituents. This was a National referendum the result of which should be accepted by all.

      • jerry
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        @Roger Parkin; Fine, best we have Brexit-ref2 then and ask the people How and When they wish the UK to leave the EU. Of course we could simply allow parliament do its job….

        • libertarian
          Posted December 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink


          we already know how and when its mandated by the EU t&c’s . Maximum of 2 years after triggering A50

          • jerry
            Posted December 21, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; Wrong again, try actually understanding A50… Two years is a minimum [1], not the maximum, because that is how long the EU have said it will take unless we simply walk away, thus WTO rules might be the How and When, but then so might EFTA or EEA rules – both are “leaving the EU”, and that is why europhobic Brexiteer’s fear and hate the idea of a Brexit-ref2.

            [1] A50 allows for an extension, so it is possible for the negotiation period to be extended

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t Hammond, as FM, say that it wasn’t for Whitehall to decide, nor Brussels, nor even the Cabinet or MPs (both houses) but it would be for the People to decide?

        And there was no audible dissent.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I suppose it depends very much on what the definition of a bad deal is. That statement no deal is batter than a bad deal is ambiguous and gives many MPs the excuse they need to vote against the government. Soubry and the likes obviously think that having others decide your country’s fate is a good deal. They don’t want to acknowledge the opinion of the voters. What is so annoying is that if the referendum had gone the other way you would have had to have found a lot of other subjects to discuss because the membership of the EU wouldn’t even be being discussed now. MPs would be saying that the majority have spoken so it is a done deal. Your manifesto states clearly that no more powers are to be forced on the UK by the EU so the kind of deal the rebels want is clearly not in keeping with the party’s intentions and they should think again about their actions as Conservatives.

    • DaveM
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Like Blair, I do wonder what Soubry’s personal intetests in the EU are. I understand Clarke has always been a Euro-federalist, and that’s his political view. But Soubry seems to have no explanation for her EUmania.

      • jerry
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        DaveM; But the same questions could be asked of many Brexiteers.

      • Chris
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        She is interested in herself, and has found a “position” where she is always asked for interviews, and allowed to sound off, uninterrupted. So, she is enjoying her notoriety and her “power”. However, pride comes before a fall, and I believe it will happen, and quickly. In my view she does the Conservative Party, her constituents, and the country no favours, not apparently knowing how to behave (compare her loud mouthing with the polite Rees-Mogg or the quietly convincing Mr Redwood) and not having any idea of the responsibilities that come with her position.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Alas T May clearly has little or no intention of keeping her manifesto promise below:-

    “We are leaving the EU. In leaving the EU we have chosen a truly global role for Britain….No deal is better than a bad deal….We will no longer be members of the single market or customs union….the days of Britain making vast annual contributions to the EU will end”

    She even wants to build on the absurdly damaging EU workers rights. Brexitino is surely all we will get from T May. She lied to us about control of our borders under Schengen in the referendum (to try to trick voter into a remain vote) – why should we trust her now?

    Plus we are it seems to have council tax rising at 3 times the rate of inflation. This while the few public services the councils provide are generally appalling and deteriorate by the day. We get appalling value from the local authorities but they are quite efficient at mugging motorist to fund their wages & pensions I suppose.

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Hammond pointed out legally and technically we are leaving the EU but the reality is the UK is leaving in name only based on the outcome of phase one. Yesterday Rudd was promoting mass immigration in her open letter to EU citizens, the sham registration scheme changes nothing in substance, may giving away tens of billions, ECJ applying for at least 8 years for EU cites, date of commencement not known, ECJ applying to trade/regulatory alignment. May is deceiving the public. I believe Helena was right in yesterday’s blog. For reasons unknown leavers in the Tory party are rolling over. I presume because the remainers are collaborating with Labour to stay in the EU in all but name. Therefore as Hunt said it is May’s Brexit or no Brexit. Which appears to be staying in all but name.

      Election please so the parties put their cards on the table. May’s useless phrases Brexit means Brexit, Enough is enough, deep special partnership should be seen for what they are false untrustworthy sound bites. She has not censured any behaviour from ministers or senior civil servants acting against govt policy! I hope the Tories never get in power again for betraying the trust of the public.

      • Tom
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        It is a shame that the alternative is even worse!

      • getahead
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


  6. Duncan
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    All of this nonsense would’ve been avoided if our party had a proper Eurosceptic leader. We could have scooped up northern voters (Labour voters) who I know have been betrayed by their own party on the EU.

    It is our own incompetence and spinelessness that as led to this sorry state. A party obsessed with cultural Marxism, liberal left tosh and state dependency

    Regarding Clarke. I can barely look at this individual without feeling nauseous. He brought down MT and he’d bring down this government if it mean’t saving the UK’s membership of the EU

    He’s an EU cuckoo in the nest, along with the equally odious Grieve.

    This party needs a proper Tory leader with guts and a Thatcherite bent. There’s literally millions of Labour voters in the north who want to see their Brexit wishes fulfilled. Labour won’t deliver on this. The Tories or indeed UKIP need to fill that void

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I am still waiting for a comment i made under the defence issue on 16th December to get through the vetting process. It may have been binned but I can still see it. I don’t think anything needed checking to delay it this long.

      Anyway the point is it ended with the view that we need new leadership and new attitudes.

    • DaveM
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – someone who inspires through charisma, optimism, and patriotism without personal agenda.

    • jerry
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      @Duncan; First there needs to be a majority among those entitled to vote for a “proper Eurosceptic leader”, I seem to recall that such contenders withdraw from consideration in mid 2016 because they could not obtain enough support – why else withdraw, unless there was some other (unwritten) explanation. What is more, considering that TM is not exactly in a very strong place since June 9th this year, if the party is gagging for a “proper Eurosceptic leader” why has there not been a challenge to TM?

    • Chris
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Very well said, Duncan.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    And what did your manifestos say about immigration, remind me?

    And how many MP’s kicked up a stink about failure to implement and deliver?

  8. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    But, JR, there are those who say that even since the last general election much new and more reliable information has emerged to show that it would be a terrible mistake to leave the EU, and none of their mendacious rubbish is ever refuted by the government department charged with managing our withdrawal. Have a look at its website, have a look at its twitter feed, and there is nothing, the Remoaners are being allowed free rein with no fear of rebuttal.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Empty vessels make the most noise. Vote Leave withstood the most massive onslaught from dissembling papers through the door to the President of the USA. We saw through all of often from the same people as now so no reason for anything to change.

  9. Mark B
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    BREXIT cannot be either delayed or derailed. We are leaving, or be it in name only, and there is no stopping it.

    The problem as I see it is that the Government is made up from members of the Legislature. It is the latter that holds the former to account. But when you have a member of the government or senior party vote against, even if the constituents of that MP has voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, it creates problems. It is therefore better that both the Legislature and the Executive be selected and elected separately. It also removes the need for silly pointless and often destructive snap elections and creates real strong and stable governments. 😉

    But I admire MP’s, irrespective of their views and politics that stand by both their beliefs and the views of their constituents.

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Frank Fields and Kate Hoey in particular. They appear to have more guts and resolve than the Tory party put together.

  10. Annette
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Whilst one may applaud our staunch ‘Brexiteers’ like yourself & others for party loyalty, it should not be at any cost. For you too, it should be ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. Country above party. Leaving the EU should not be a ‘party’ thing. The biggest democratic mandate in our history was by people of every political party & none.

    What the public are seeing is an abortion of a ‘deal’ emerging, with May’s excuses sounding more lame than ‘The dog ate my homework.’ The key reasons being given for the delay in leaving, for that is what it plainly is, are that the EU needs time to be ready & we need to reach an agreement. The EU has absolutely no incentive to reach any deal nor prepare itself. So in 2021, we will be in exactly the same position as now, & exactly the same arguments will be being spouted. May has shown that she will not walk away from the most outrageous demands being made of a sovereign nation, & there are even more in Stage 2. All that is being set up here is a delay to engineer our permanent entrapment by a foreign power.
    We need to walk away.

    May is currently being lauded by the EU, much as the anti-democrats in your party. You’re a businessman.
    If you were in a bitter negotiation with another company, & your chief negotiator received spontaneous applause & praise from your opposition after unnecessary capitulation, who would you consider that they work for – your company’s best interests, or the other side?

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      What will other countries demand from the weakling May? She gave up all her red lines and conceded more than anyone could reasonably expect. Cringeworthy and national embarrassment. Lord Lawson is correct she should get up off her knees.

      Leavers need to tell her quite clearly, Stop embarrassing our nation. Leaving was not central to any trade agreement. Never.

  11. John Bell
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    In the UK system an MP is there to exercise judgement and to hold the government to account, or to be part of the government.

    Normally MPs should exercise their judgement as representatives of the people. But, in the special case of Brexit, they should do so as servants of the people. They should not try to second-guess or subvert the people’s decision to Leave the EU. Rather they should do everything in their power to make a success of it. That is their duty. If they cannot perform it, for whatever reason, they should abstain or resign.

    Parliament decided overwhelmingly (and rightly) to let the people decide the fundamental political question: “Who governs?”. The people’s reply was unambiguous. Parliament exercised its judgement, make the correct decision, and now should follow the people’s instruction. Refusing to do so is antidemocratic and unconstitutional.

    Professor Vernon Bogdanor:

    The people, however, have become, for constitutional issues at least, a third chamber of the legislature, with the power to issue instructions which the politicians cannot ignore. The sovereignty of the people trumps the sovereignty of Parliament.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Dear John (B)–Ah, the much dreaded Judgement–I can hardly believe John (R) wrote that–To me it is unarguable that MPs are not elected for their Judgement and the vast majority do not have any–Granted they might have Views and Prejudices but Judgement carries the presumption that it is Sound and Good–Imagine a prospective MP with a Notice round his or her neck saying, Vote for me because of my Judgement–To say it is to laugh.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The BBC overplayed the significance of this as they underplay the significance of Trump’s economic success – the US about to boom as UK Remainers insult the President.

    • Linda Jones
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Anonymous. You’re right – it certainly does seem to be remainders who gratuitously insult the President. I find that quite repellent and they shame our country.

      • Chris
        Posted December 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Agree Linda, and it will be Trump who puts our PM and MPs to shame.

  13. Richard1
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope the last para is correct. It is clear that it is the threat of a quasi-Marxist Corbyn-McDonnell Govt which is the real pall hanging over the U.K. economy now.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 21, 2017 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      Richard, yes it will be interesting to see if Labour get into power and the economy crashes, if the media still insist that Brexit is to blame

  14. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink


    You are right about labour and their manifesto, however, when the electorate come to vote, they are more interested in how the party come over in terms of unity and one common goal, with no split factions and that seems to be the problem with the conservative party today, lack of unity.

    • Bob
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Don’t discount the effect of voter fraud in the election result.

      There has finally been a prosecution in the Winston Churchill’s former constituency of Chingford & Woodford Green for double voting (Labour of course).

      This is the tip of the iceberg and for some inexplicable reason neither the Police, The Electoral Commission nor the Council are keen to investigate or enforce the rules. In fact they each try to pass the buck to the other two and so it goes in circles.

      It is common knowledge that a lot of university students received a ballot card for their university constituency and another for their home constituency.

      What surprises me most is the Tory govt’s reluctance to put in some rudimentary system to prevent electoral fraud, after all which MP would vote against such a measure?

  15. JoolsB
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    John, off topic but I see your Government has given councils in England permission to hike already exorbitant council tax bills to pay for social care. Funny how Hammond could find nearly four billion from the back of the sofa to give Scotland, Wales & NI at the last budget despite them already receiving much more per head of English taxes than we in England do. Yet again your Government, there by the grace of England, are treating England with contempt and nothing more than a cash cow for the rest of the UK.

    Your party, there by the grace of England John, is a total disgrace and deserves England’s contempt rather than it’s votes.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      We were told a way back that MPs from devolved regions wouldn’t be voting on English matters that were devolved, this was shelved…why?

      English graduates working alongside their EU (educated in the UK), Scottish, Welsh and Irish graduates are the only ones with tuition fees that result in a 30 year 9% graduate tax, this means they need to earn 9% gross more just to keep the same net pay putting only English kids at a big loss. This is simply unacceptable to me. We are supposed to be the United Kingdom the parents of the Scots or the Scots, in general, aren’t having to pay any extra tax to cover this cost.

      On the topic of this post my MP is one of the Conservative rebels, she will never get a vote from my family again and if she runs again in my constituency, she was elected to secure Brexit for the best deal for UK residents full stop not vote against her parties ability to do this – if she doesn’t trust her cabinet and PM how are the rest of us conservatives meant to trust them, she shouldn’t have run on that ticket such a short time ago with May’s strong and stable line if she didn’t believe it. I’d rather not vote for the first time in my life if another party doesn’t put up a suitable candidate, if MPs can’t secure a quorum of voters in their area, there should be a none-of-the-above option so that if more than 50% of the votes are for none of the above the parties have to put up representatives that reflect our views for a second run off.

      We did introduce the system that requires a majority of English MPs to vote for an English measure

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Another broken promise by Cameron on the steps of Downing St., Only a Tory govt will deliver EVEL. Of course he lied. Right to recall would sort out the 11 treacherous MPs. Add the EVEL lie to the list. Tories are untrustworthy and you cannot believe a word May or any of their leaders says. It has become a sound fact.

        How about the Reduce immigration to tens of thousands, Home Office admitted to the select committee two weeks ago Rudd lost 56,000 including hundreds of criminals! Yesterday Rudd made an open letter offer to at least 20 million EU citizens that they can come here! What happened to the alleged nothing is agreed until everything agreed. The letter was in past tense it has been agreed, no caveats or caution expressed! How about our health service or other public service being able to cope, how about the winter fuel allowance or other benefits? EU children not yet born, whether here or elsewhere are entitled to benefits according to phase one! How is this is a fair deal for our taxpayers as May lied two weeks ago? Javid imposed massive taxe increases upon us again yesterday! Three weeks ago telling us we should sell our homes! How does Rudd’s invitation to 20 million help housing or adult social care. You could not make it up, well May will expecting you to believe her!

    • Prigger
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Well said! My Local Council has always taxed us at the highest level possible. But this is only allowed because of the non-action of the govenment stopping theft.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Not just social care, but flood defense twice!

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        You could always vote them out.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 21, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Easier said than done Peter if you happen to be a small % of homes in a high band home in a low band area! Or a council area where so many are on housing benefit there are only a few household actually contributing full rates!

          • rose
            Posted December 21, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            Or hugely outnumbered by students.

  16. Freeborn John
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    MPs are destroying the democratic legitimacy of Parliament when they vote against a decision made already by the British people. Members of the government like Hammond who are not voting against Brexit but are working behind closed doors to achieve a standstill Brexit are also destroying the legitimacy of the government. The referendum result shows that we the sovereign people do not agree to the delegated powers that the EU had accumulated by stealth over decades. We will not tolerate MPs and ministers voting or working to leave those powers in place.

    • Prigger
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Parliament long ago lost respectability in the hearts of the electorate. Madame Guillotine is now the internet. That is why even as I write, a dark Parliamentary Committee is Witch-hunting its originators and developers with an evil eye to its destruction in order to save their miserable careers

  17. Mick
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Hopefully come the next GE all these mps which will be mainly from labour/lib!!!/greens/welsh and some conservatives will be handed there p45’s for going against there manifesto and the voter, the days of telling porky pies and getting away with it are coming to a end, especially the career politicians

  18. agricola
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    For sure the 2017 manifesto, coming after the referendum, is unequivocal and should make many conservative MPs very uncomfortable given their known views on remain. Ken Clarke I accept in his opposition to leaving, the EU is in his DNA. The other Nay voters I have a question mark against. Given their duplicity I would find it hard to believe anything they said or their reasons for it.

    The Conservative 2010 manifesto was fantasy when you realise they had no power to oppose the EU by then. Ted Heath had accepted to lie to us by omission as evidenced by FCO30/1048 of 31st May 1972. The manifesto statement was worthless even though those who wrote it probably had no idea that it was. Perhaps you can tell us who can access documents put under embargo by those terrified of the content .

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Clarke should have been deselected. No special treatment.

  19. Old Albion
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    But not as damaging as a total capitulation to the EU, that leaves us not quite in , yet certainly not out.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I admired and respected your statement in the Commons declaring you would have resigned your seat if the vote was Remain. It is pity Clarke et al did not take this right/honourable approach given their diehard opinions. They are dancing on a political pinhead.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The ultimate problem in both the cases of Labour and Conservative MPs who swerve off from their manifesto is a lack of trust in Parliament. It coincides with the same lack of trust instilled in Parliament when it declares the referendum to be the final decision on EU membership, then swerves away from that. Compound that with Mr Cameron’s promise to issue article 50 the day following a Leave vote, then scuttling away, Mr Brown’s promise to end “boom and bust”, Mr Blair’s “45 seconds” and finally Mr Major’s promise to shadow the Deutschmark and get “back to basics”. It’s quite surprising that people still bother to vote at all.
    Amidst all this, Mr Corbyn’s success can be attributed to his perceptibly honest and trustworthy views, in the eyes of his naive “grandchildren”.

  22. Ron Olden
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink


    The BBC story today that the UK is going to permit EU based banks to continue to operate in the UK on exactly the same terms as they do now, after we have left the EU is only ‘NEWS’ because of the previous barrage of Remainer lies and scaremongering.

    Did anyone really think that free trading in banking services into the UK from the EU was ever in doubt? And is there really much doubt that the EU will agree to reciprocate? If they don’t, more fool them.

    It’s overwhelmingly in both side’s interests to do so. Just as it is with all trade.

    The underlying problem with these misapprehensions, is that Remainers are usually ‘Protectionists’, which is why most of them on the Left were so vehemently against joining the Common Market, in the first place.

    In those days they thought they could have a Protectionist Britain. Corbyn still does, which is why he was so anti EU until he became Labour Leader in 2015, before pretending to change his mind, and is still so ambivalent about a Single Market access agreement.

    Most of the Protectionist Left, nowadays however, cling on to the idea of a Protectionist Europe, and the UK staying within the EU Cartel,

    Protectionists with their ‘Medievalist’, statist, mindsets, see Trade as a kind of ‘war’ between states. Free Trade ‘Leavers’ however, see it as a win-win for both sides.

    We want these Free Trade arrangements to apply to the whole world, not just to this small EU Protectionists club which barricades itself in behind its’ Customs Union and Single Market, external Trade Wall. And we want it to apply not just to banks, but to everything else.

    In fact banks are just about the hardest service to which to concede Free Trade, because we have to be sure they are properly regulated within their own country. But quite plainly EU banks are, so there’s no problem. And anyone who becomes a customer of one does so in the knowledge of who they are.

    We should make a similar unilateral announcement now, that after we Leave. there will be no tariffs or artificial trade restrictions placed upon UK consumers and businesses buying anything from, wherever they like in the world.

    There is no advantage to us in forcing our own consumers and businesses to pay tariffs on anything. It’s up to the EU and anyone else whether they want to force their own to do so.

    If someone shoots himself in the head, you don’t get even, by shooting yourself.

    • Rogm
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Ron..after we leave the single market and the customs union we will not have free trade with any of the EU countries u til some agreements are set up under the WTO rules a d that is sure to take some time. Furthermore we will lose our passporting rights for banking and financial services into europe..of course we’ll be free to pursue other deals with countries internationally..sounds good but I have my doubts..havn’t heard much from Liam Fox or DD lately about new deals. My guess is that we are screwed..nothing is happening with the US under Trump and Oz and NZ are really too far away. Its not very encouraging

    • Nig l
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      It is often overlooked that the world outside the EU will not ‘allow’ the EUs self interested narrow position on the UKs financial services industry to disrupt world trade and despite the bluster, my guess is that the EUs institutions know that as well.

      As for regular mentions of Thatcher in this blog, can we move on please, she was of the moment benefitting from some unique circumstances, not the least an extraordinary Cabinet, Sir Keith Joseph, Nigel Lawson etc undoubtedly one of our great PMs but ultimately proved toxic and would be even more so today.

      Certainly TM does not inspire like her and I would like to see a clearer and more passionate vision.

      Equally can all those people who keep knocking her, in the next sentence offer some solutions that would be politically acceptable to both the Party and the Country and more importantly have the attributes of Thatcher but 21st century policies.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Utter scare baloney from remainers. Banking will continue.

  23. Les Folds
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The last paragraph refers to Labour opposition MPs whereas the rest of the article refers to Conservative MPs. Is this a mistake?

  24. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party are a disgrace with their constant flip flopping over Brexit.
    Starmer is the useful idiot for Corbyn who I believe is still a leaver.
    They will lose massive support if they derail Brexit especially here in the East Midlands and Northern constituencies.
    I am still puzzled about a transition period when we don’t know the direction of travel.
    Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

    • Prigger
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Starmer and Co are the authors of their own political destruction. If they lose the vote, they lose, if they win and get into power their careers will end when reality sets in

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and “reality” would set in very quickly indeed if they did get into power. Even the threat of them does huge harm now. This on top of the damage socialists May and Hammond are doing with their misguided green crap big state policies.

        • Turboterrier.
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


          with their misguided green crap big state policies.

          The only reason the main parties carry on along this road is that they are trying to keep their green leaning voters on their side.

          Far from saving the world the greens on all continents are instrumental in the real damage being experienced by all governments. Still the penny has not dropped.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Ian, More power to UKIP in the north? Hopefully more seats in parliament for them and more support for Brexit. Get rid of the Tory rebels and Labour Mp’s who want to thwart Brexit.

  25. Toffeeboy
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I suspect you’ll find an awful lot of people, especially the young, voted Labour because reading between the lines they were more ambiguous, or at least as not fanatically anti-European, as the bulk of the Conservatives; and due to the imperfections of the first-past-the-post voting system felt they had no alternative. The worry for you ought to be that your core constituency is dying off and now you’ve got an energised youth vote – most of whom see the folly of nationalism – that you don’t stand a cat-in-hell chance of wooing.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      The young will grow up to become their mothers and fathers. The core constituency dying off will be replaced by others who in their youth were left wing, but have drifted right as they grew older.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I think Toffeeboy you will find a lot of young people will also grow a bit wiser and be paying more Council tax themselves and suddenly paying taxes in the real world in the next few years and often Conservative young voters don’t admit it because of the opprobrium it brings on their heads.

      I also think that the Election committee really does need to investigate people that were openly tweeting and Facebooking that they had managed to vote twice once from their student digs and once from their parent’s address and sort this out and prosecute to make it clear this won’t be tolerated at the next election.

      • stred
        Posted December 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        There was a huge jump in the Labour vote in cities with a big student population like Canterbury and Exeter. I met some a week before and they were very determined to get out of bed and end capitalism and their grant debt. In fact the universities were actively organising a pro Monnet money vote.

  26. Beecee
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I understand that Mrs Soubry’s address to her vote leave constituency included words to the effect that she would support Mrs May and work for a good Brexit deal.

    A more visible contribution in these regards would be welcome.

    At least she is not two-faced like those anti-EU Labour MP’s like Mr Corbyn who are voting against longtime held beliefs!

    • Prigger
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Ms Soubry pays attention to one or two Twitterers who have no social standing, no political position, no personal support ( seemingly ), no special education nor training. She is learning, without knowing she is.

  27. NHSGP
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Labour has to think hard, as do you.

    Vote for 40 bn to pay off the EU, means 40 bn of cuts here. Either in services or personal take home pay. Someone gets hit by the austerity.

    Vote for it and every cut the NHS will be blamed on you.

    Labour in particular has to think hard about that. It’s a meme that won’t die.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      40 billion is trivia on 2 trillion of national debt, which is already going up 100 billion a year. thats the way the political class look at it. debt they never plan to repay. just like manifesto promises to reduce immigration they never plan to implement.

      We are already running a dodgy ecomony, so the threat of Corbyn seems little different.

      Our supposed leaders are a joke.

  28. Iain Moore
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    EU supporters have always had a very one eyed view of the world, probably because they can get away with their hypocrisy with the likes of the BBC.

    They get morally outraged about the lie they claim the Brexiteers told of the £350 million, but happily forget the whopper of a lie Ted Heath told that the EEC would not impact on our sovereignty , then there is Maastricht and what ever happened to our referendum on Lisbon? They come over all hurt about being called names, like traitor, but forget all the names they have leveled at EUsceptics from bastards, bigots, xenophobes, racists, little Englanders, and of course fruit cases loons and closet racists. They claim Brexit has divided the country but never bothered to notice that their EU project had dived the country for the last 30 years, when they were happily piling EU treaty upon EU treaty, and as you point out they come over all the victim when they are the ones to have reneged on the manifesto that they stood on a few months ago.

    If there is poison that has entered the political system on the EU, then it is poison they put there, and they need to be told that in no uncertain terms.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      The £350 million was not a lie, as I could prove, but it is technical and old ground.

  29. Epikouros
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Politicians do not receive punishment for deceiving their electorate. Malfeasance and sexual impropriety sometimes yes. It depends on how cunning and devious those who wish to score political points out of their opponents on how effective is the result. The left are very devious and cunning the right are not as much as they are more opportunistic but not as good even at that as the left. A politician can be very guilty but receive no punishment at all and there some who are not guilty of anything but end up being vilified. Politics is a murky world a highly concentrated reality of the the rest of the world. None of us are saints but is does appear the least saintly amongst us tend to either rise to the top or sink to the bottom and the rest of us suffer in the middle. Of course there are multiple exceptions and not everyone can be tarred with the same brush. Honest and decent people do rise and through no fault of their own do fall.

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    EU rules that UBER is a transport service! Just as I expected these legal, productivity vandals would do.

    What lunacy, typical of the EU, thank goodness we are (perhaps) leaving. Alas T May and P Hammond are equally deluded on this issue with the absurd Taylor report and are clearly against an efficient gig economy, the self employed and pro ever more regulation of everything.

    What next? An app that books your gardener is a gardening company, you barber is a barber, or your builder is a building company, the newspaper that advertises your holiday on line is a holiday company or perhaps it is all of these things. Why is the state always against improvement and change? Because they are in the business of inconveniencing, taxing and regulating at every turn?

    At least they did not fall (for all) of the appalling suggestions of the David Lammy report the other day. Who on earth would ask David Lammy to do a report on anything? – Oh Cameron it seems it was.

  31. libertarian
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    This all goes to show what a charade and fiasco our so called democracy is.

    We need the country run by the people, for the people. In the 21st century we do not need 600 elected and 800 crony Lords to tell us what to do. Especially as the vast majority of them haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.

    Manage by digital democracy and a very very small government & legislature . Directly elected government and no more than 100 in the legislature

    • Richard1
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Switzerland functions pretty well along these lines as far as I can see. But can you imagine the result of a govt IT project to move to digital democracy?!

      • libertarian
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink


        Maybe we could outsource the project to Switzerland ?

        The Germans are already thinking about handing over their crap infrastructure for the Swiss to run

        As the fireworks flew and the brass band played at the recent opening of the 57km-long Gotthard Tunnel under the Swiss Alps, Angela Merkel, who was on the first train to pass through it, could not resist the remark: “This is something we Germans still need to work on a little”.

        The project was not only completed on time and within budget, she noted with admiration, but it will shave the best part of an hour off the regular journey time between Zurich and Lugano.

        A joke heard quite regularly these days is: “If you want to see German efficiency, go to Switzerland.”

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      It will remain a fiasco and a charade while the UK retains First Past The Post, a system which renders the majority of voters voiceless, and when you have no voice, they don’t and won’t listen to you.

  32. Al
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I think your point would be much more valid if

    The conservatives had won sufficient seats to form a majority government instead of losing seats – the manifesto is not endorsed by the majority of constituencies.

    There wasn’t an extreme left wing opposition in waiting – the manifesto was the least of two bad choices.

    I think the rebels can reasonably say that they should go more with their beliefs than the party line given the election result. (I don’t understand what value they gain from the amendment, but I totally respect their actions).

    • Al
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Lastly, I think the amendment may be of more use to the brexit inclined MPs, as I perceive there is a bigger risk of a deal that is worse than no deal and also previous membership.
      If such a deal is what emerges, it can at least now be prevented.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        It is a way of preventing no deal is it not. They tell May to keep going back until she accepts whatever she is offered.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      They actually threw the seats away with their moronic, “vote for us and we will beat you over the head” manifesto. Costing me my wager too! Just as Gove cost me my Boris wager.

      Still I am still up overall on Brexit, Trump and Cameron’s overall majority which were very good odds!

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I thought the DUP was a conservative Unionist party, so with their 10 seats there is a conservative majority, I wonder how many proposals in May’s manifesto have quietly been dropped that were backed by the DUP in their manifesto, these coalitions seem to be an excuse to not follow through on manifesto pledges.

      The Conservative Party gained 318 seats, 56 more than the next biggest party?

      If the rebels had made clear their positions on their election sheets that they didn’t support the Conservative position on Brexit then at least their electorate would have had a choice, but they didn’t do that.

  33. BOF
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Voters have regularly been made promises in the Party Manifestos which have just as regularly been broken! Hence the huge mistrust of all the parties and politicians, by the electorate.

    Read comment on most newspaper articles on the state of EU negotiations to get a flavour of the frustration and even anger that the UK is being let down.

    Of the rebels? Well they have clearly voted in Parliament against the Manifesto on which they campaigned so their party and constituencies are entitled to take action against them.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t Labour get taken to court over breaking their manifesto promise on a Lisbon referendum, and defended the position by claiming that a manifesto wasn’t a contractual undertaking, and won, which might have got them out of a tricky situation, but in making a manifesto a document of fiction, they trashed their own product and undermined Parliament.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The alternative being to weep, one has to laugh at the spectacle of our dear Prime Minister still pleading for a deep and special partnership with our European neighbours, when the EU’s chief negotiator haughtily spurns her advances and says that at the very best the EU will consider treating the UK as it treats a country on the other side of the Atlantic with a somewhat smaller population and economy.

    (But to be fair, that is only for trade purposes; if France was under military threat then no doubt he would condescend to accept help from both British and Canadian troops.)

    Theresa May is my MP and at one public meeting I told her to her face that the proposed EU-USA trade deal was of very marginal economic value to both sides and it didn’t really matter much if we were not a party to it.

    I have never had a similar opportunity to point out to her that the proposed EU-Canada trade deal is even less valuable, in fact it is close to worthless for the EU, including the UK, and of trivial value to the Canadians, see:

    Where uncertainty comes in is the extent to which the UK would benefit from that deal if it was in the place of Canada, and from what baseline. But I think the government should seriously consider whether it would even be worth the inevitable hassle and delay, or it would be better to cut the whole process short by saying that we will do fine with the WTO terms which have already been agreed through global treaties, thanks, and we can’t be doing with the unnecessary bother of trying to negotiate a special trade deal with an EU which doesn’t want any such deal even though it should do so under its treaties.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Denis dear boy. How many times must I say this. The mythical trade deal that we are so desperate to have is nothing but a ploy to enable those who wish us to remain under the EU yoke to legitimise their treachery.

      We are being conned.

  35. Prigger
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    The EU Court, after years of taking evidence and sitting on large important chairs well fit for overly large bottoms, has reached a ruling that UBER is……..a taxi firm!
    Mark my words and mark them well, we shall miss the EU Court when its gone.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      When you book a taxi via Uber, who are you paying, the driver or Uber.
      I would think that is fundamental to the argument.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        I agree Ian which way round is it, does the client pay Uber and Uber pay the driver their cut (they are then a transport company with a key billing role) or does the client pay the driver and the driver pay Uber? (then they are a software company being paid for the software service.)

  36. Bert Young
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    When a candidate stands for election they have two considerations – 1) do they have the support and nomination of their Party and do they stand by its manifesto , 2) will they recognise the will of their voters and give support to their concerns once elected ?. If a candidate cannot agree and stand by these two critical issues then they would be hypocrites , could not be trusted and should stand aside . Against this scenario those who chose not to vote with the Government last week should be assessed .

    The personality cult is prominent with most politicians and the wish to be noticed often rides over the above views . I have no respect for such individuals and would never vote for anyone of them . Being an MP is a distinguished honour in the affairs of the public and the role should never be abused .

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      A large number of Tory MPs are parachuted and the local party given/ forced to accept three choices nominated by the centre.

  37. Paul
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    After giving us the referendum in the first place, watch UKIP slowly make a comeback as it (the only true Brexit party) picks up votes and support from people naive enough to believe the Conservatives would actually deliver a clean exit.

  38. The Watchers
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I voted to leave the EU because when I write to EU leaders they do not reply but when I write to my MP they do reply.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      They may reply, but most rarely address the issue raised in any meaningful way I find.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 21, 2017 at 5:19 am | Permalink

        LL. This is particularly true on matters concerning so called man made climate change and crap renewables. It is clear most MPs haven’t a clue.

  39. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I see Barnier has announced he demands a transition period of less then 2 years. Must be worried a trade deal could be agreed – wants to ensure no deal at the end of the transition so the HoC 5th columnists can vote to re Erde Brexit.

    • acorn
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      The EU 28 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF Budget) 2014-2020, ends on the 31st December 2020. The EU Commission wants Brexit to be separated from the next EU 27 MFF 2021 – 2027 budget cycle. Hence, Barnier’s comments.

      BTW. For those who think the EU will be desperate for the UK’s budget contribution, remember that the EU is also a currency issuer of the Euro; just like the UK is the currency issuer of the Pound Sterling. Neither is ever going to run out of its own currency.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      I am glad Barnier has said this. I have no confidence in Mrs May’s Government. She has invested so much in getting a deal there is no way she would ever walk away. Preparations for No Deal are woefully and visibly inadequate so she cannot even credibly bluff. The government is only now thinking about the future relationship and the first issue it is discussing is the extent to which the future treaty should inhibit UK making its own laws. That should always be up to UK to decide and has no place in such a treaty. The concept of a sovereign self-governing nation state simply does not exist in the higher echelons of government.

  40. DaveM
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Given the strapline of this website, does your personal manifesto include any clauses pertaining to the underrepresentation of England and a need to address the totally unsatisfactory EVEL, lack of SoS for England and lack of First Minister for England?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Now that there is no election in sight there is no need to peddle such things.

      We are the forgotten people – in our own country.

  41. am
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    So the rebels continue the root and branch destruction of brexit and you regrettably focus on the labour party. The Conservatives need to admit their own failure and recognise they need to get their own house in order.
    Further May is destroyed as a credible pm and at the next election there will be a labour landslide. This will result in the official break up of the tory party.

  42. nigel seymour
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Who sits there and makes this crap up…!

    The overseas territory of Gibraltar – whose sovereignty is disputed by Spain – has been raised as a potential sticking point in Brexit negotiations.
    The EU has said that Spain must agree to any arrangement between the UK and the EU applying to Gibraltar, a stance reiterated in the latest negotiating guidelines.

  43. ian
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    As of this week, Brexit is a go, apart from services at this time. I think companies and people who trade with the EU after Brexit should form a trade group of their own to deal with the EU and their trading laws and rules after the country and the people have left the EU, and any ongoing agreements on services with the EU should be paid by them and not the country or the people of the UK in future.
    The country and the people should pay until Dec 2020, after that, any deal that is done for services should be paid for by them. The country and the people should not have their laws changed and have to put their hands in their pockets and be used as leverage so companies can make deals with the EU in future.
    By the way, that was a bad slip by you today not to include people in their areas have a say in what goes on in this country/ if to say, somebody from halfway around the world has more influence on their MPs than they have themselves or that businesses and countries have more pull than voters.

  44. John
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see the Brexiteers come up the best legislative wish lists.

    So things like;

    Number of days at sea to save fish stocks instead of throwing away dead fish.

    Banning the import of fur to the UK from the EU that includes retailers having a responsibility to source the nature of the product.

    Stopping the import of meat from the EU that has not complied with the UK regulations on not transporting live animals for long distances.

    A ban on meat from animals used for spectator sport such as bull fighting.

    A ban on fois gras imports from the EU.

    But what ever, a golden list of legislative wish list that we want to implement. This needs to be put to David Davis so he has a guide on Red Lines.

    • acorn
      Posted December 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Would that be the David Davis who said he would resign if Damien Green was sacked by Mother Theresa?

      All politicians are congenital liars and hypocrites. Some are pathological liars. You have no chance of a successful career at Westminster, unless you can jump in front of a television camera and tell blatant lies. The UK currently has a huge crop of both, particularly in the Brexiteer camp.

  45. D Gardener
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to hear sound argument from the Remoaners as to why this Country is better off remaining under the control of an unelected and unaccountable Oligarchy based in Brussels. Total freedom is priceless, as expensive and bloody wars have been fought in the past, just to preserve it.
    Furthermore, there is nothing the EU can supply us that we cannot obtain from elsewhere in the world and most probably at lower cost.
    The Commonwealth, which we disgracefully abandoned 40+ years ago, comprises a total population of around 2 Billions which is over four times larger than that of the EU. They would be our new trading partners with the rest of the world to follow.
    In the third world, the EU protectionist policies are denying many Africans any sales in Europe whereas we, as a free Nation would certainly buy their produce and thus improve their own economies and keep our own costs down at the same time. Something the EU declines to do merely to protect their inefficient home grown producers.
    I cannot wait to leave the confines of a backward thinking, dictatorial collection of old politicians who deem themselves fit to rule the whole of Europe without any challenge from the European citizens permitted. That is not democracy, is it? So why do these Remoaners want us to stay under their control?

    • BretW
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      D Gargener..because at hone we have our own unelected upper house with 800 unelected Lords..and an unelected Royal Family all supported by a huge unelected Civil Service. Wishing for the Empire back is not going to help matters any..time has moved on and these other old commonwealth countries have developed their own trading patterns, they are not going to turn everything on it’s head to suit us. The problem here at home is largely one of intoletance for whatever reason..probably because we are swamped by harder working east europeans who are stealing the ground from under us..we have to waken up and face the pointmin contijually blaming the EU for all our woes

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      @ D Gardener

      Brilliant, sheer brilliance

  46. APL
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    JR: “It is true that Brexiteer MPs did often vote against new European laws, larger EU budgets and other increases in EU power under the Coalition. ”

    How did you do that, most European Union regulations were implemented by statutory instrument, under the authority of the European Community act. These are not scrutinized and implemented automatically.

  47. Ken Moore
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    JR – No deal is better than a bad deal….We will no longer be members of the single market or customs union….

    What JR has forgotten is that few countries trade solely on WTO rules – they rely on a web of other treaties that have taken years to implement. Within WTO there is no provision for the licensing of drugs and chemicals, the licencing of aircraft and a whole web of other complex issues. A classic case of politicians playing politics without digging into the details…

    Conservatives mp’s are being forced to defend an impossible position arising from the decision taken to withdraw from the single market.Had the Uk taken Efta/EEA membership as an interim solution to Brexit we would have avoided the majority of the unsolvable problems we face. Mrs May is a ‘bloody difficult’ and a blood stupid woman.

  48. nigel seymour
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    What’s all this shit about then John??

    The EU has launched unprecedented disciplinary measures against Poland, saying its planned judicial reforms threaten the rule of law.
    It said 13 new laws in two years have allowed the government to “interfere significantly” in the judiciary.
    Poland has been given three months to address the concerns.
    But the Polish conservative government called the decision “political”. It has said the reforms are needed to curb inefficiency and corruption.
    The disciplinary measures, called Article 7, could lead to the suspension of Poland’s voting rights at EU summits.
    But Hungary has said it would block such a move, known as the “nuclear option”, that requires the approval of all member states.

    • rose
      Posted December 21, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      The last thing the Polish communists did before they left power was to set up a corrupt communist self perpetuating mafia to be the judiciary. The present conservative government is trying to reform this so naturally the EU is against it. Let us hope our PM doesn’t cave in to Political Correctness here too.

  49. Mancunius
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    The danger is not necessarily to Labour. The Corbyn Crew have realized that there is a large section of young voters that swallow anything they’re told if it involves free-this or free-that. Their schools and ‘unis’ have indoctrinated them in the EU-good Brexit-bad doctrine, and they have not begun to understand taxation. Labour is playing on this ignorance, and their message is to the young.
    LibDem voters punished Clegg after his student fees turnaround: yet younger voters seem – unaccountably – not to have even noticed Labour’s post-2017-election admission that Corbyn’s election promise to remit all student debt was ‘unaffordable’. So he knows he’s got away with it and can repeat the trick next time.
    I can forsee a Labour win particularly if a) voter fraud continues and b) the Conservative voters are so dispirited at May’s humiliating concessions to Brussels that they abstain. The prospect of being tied to the ECJ and (under already-conceded EU-citizen rights) the continuation of large-scale, virtually limitless low-skilled immigration and benefits tourism for years to come, is already dispiriting enough. No deal is already better than the outlined deal agreed so far.

    • Mancunius
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      “to the young” and of course also to academia and the BBC & pro-EU media, the two engines that will ramp up the party that most reflects their anti-Brexit views.
      That is presumably why Corbyn allows Starmer and Thornberry to trumpet their views as if it were an official Labour line.

  50. Kenneth
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I hope these MPs appreciate how important it is for us to be an independent nation.

    With that in mind and regarding judicial reforms in Poland, the BBC reports:

    “British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is due to meet Mr Morawiecki at a summit in Warsaw on Thursday, will raise her concerns over the issue, a spokesman said”

    If this report is correct, why are we getting involved with the domestic affairs of another country?

  51. Prigger
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Sorry $1000 not $2000. The richer get richer, the poor get poorer 🙂

  52. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Some MPs quote Edmund Burke to justify their opposition to the result of the EU referendum: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” (Speech to the Electors of Bristol, 3 Nov. 1774)
    They forget that Burke was speaking in the 1770s, when parliamentary reform was becoming a major issue culminating in the Great Reform Act (1832). In the 1770s less than 5% of the population were eligible to vote. Burke was reminding both electors and MPs of their duty to the other 95% who could not vote. Today nearly all adults may vote and do so not only on their own behalf but also that of their children. Burke’s dictum no longer holds.
    Burke, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, in the 1790s gave credit for our freedoms to ‘the wisdom of unlettered men’. The same sneering attitude of those revolutionary intellectuals is very much alive today among the supra-nationalists supporting EU supremacy over UK.

  53. DaveM
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Gosh. For once I agree with the EU.

  54. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    So, things get worse. No deputy now. What on earth has happened to the Conservative party? It’s falling apart before our very eyes. Vacancy for you John? God, I wonder who Mrs May will choose?

  55. VotedOut
    Posted December 21, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It is now 545 days since the EU referendum.

    When the Wehrmacht were at Dunkirk we didn’t have ‘implementation periods’ to allow businesses to ‘adjust’.

    I am sorry, but your whole article is plain wrong.

    The election manifestos are irrelevant.

    MPs voted for the EU referendum bill 2015 – including some of the Conservative rebels over Amendment 7! That referendum transferred sovereignty over the issue of withdrawal from Parliament to the people.

    There is absolutely no argument at all for any party political division. In fact, the PM should have called for a cross party ‘exiting the EU’ group. Failure to do this and this continual foot dragging has shown Parliament to be what it has become – a tyrannical system masquerading as a democracy little different from the EU.

    I am angry – I have every right to be so.

    Government by consent since King Alfred the Great in 899 has been thrown out. Shame!

  • 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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