Bottle it Day: Lib Dems react

Rather than face certain defeat now, Theresa May shelves plans for a Commons vote on her Brexit deal in order to try to stave of likely defeat in a few weeks’ time.

Lib Dems have been reacting to developments.

Vince Cable confirmed that we would support Labour in the unlikely event that our so-called opposition actually decided to move a motion of no-confidence in the Government.

The Prime Minister’s authority has drained away. It is the duty of Jeremy Corbyn to call a vote of no confidence in the Government, which Liberal Democrats would support.

After that Liberal Democrats will continue to press for a People’s Vote. MPs from all parties should join us in giving the people a final say, with the option to remain in the EU.

Welsh leaderJane Dodds said that the only way to resolve the Brexit embarrassment was a People’s Vote:

Brexit has become a national embarrassment. Negotiations with the EU have been chaotic since day one, but this is a new low. The fact Theresa May has postponed the vote on her deal to avoid defeat shows there is no support for her Brexit deal in Parliament.

Delaying the vote on her Brexit deal is an unprecedented blow to Theresa May’s authority, but it solves nothing. There is no majority for any Brexit deal in Parliament and now no majority for Brexit at all amongst the public. Whilst this remains the case, no Brexit deal will get through Parliament.

The only solution to the ongoing Brexit crisis is going back to the people. We must give the people the final say and the opportunity to choose an Exit from Brexit. This is the only solution and the Prime Minister should immediately back it.

Christine Jardine asked the PM why, if she could change her mind over the backstop, the people couldn’t be given the chance to vote again:

Wera Hobhouse asked how many of the people who voted to leave in 2016 voted for her deal:

Tim Farron was unimpressed with the Labour Party:

And on a lighter note, the Lib Dem Press Office has been on form today:

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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16 Comments

  • John Chandler 10th Dec '18 - 8:00pm

    The utter fiasco of Brexit continues to deliver: a clueless government beholden to a vocal minority, trying to deliver a Brexit few actually want, given almost free reign by an incompetent opposition. I listened to the debate this afternoon, and it’s just incredibly sad and embarrassing to see the UK’s reputation going down the drain in this way.

  • nvelope2003 10th Dec '18 - 8:25pm

    I wonder if all this fuss about Northern Ireland would be so popular if the public knew that NI costs the taxpayer more than our contribution to the EU – and what are the benefits we get from Northern Ireland compared to those we get from Europe ?
    Jeremy Black’s programme yesterday (BBC4) about why Britain prospered while France did not does cast some doubts about remaining in the EU though. Basically we were open and the French preferred government control.

  • nvelope2993
    News from France doesn’t seem so great these days.
    The breakdown of the GFA will be a benefit?

  • Ian Martin: Until now Northern Ireland was just an expensive hangover from English colonialism – a little bit of Ireland after most of it left the UK because of Conservative party mismanagement and refusal to grant Home Rule to avoid antagonising their wealthy landowner supporters. Northern Protestants were encouraged to threaten violence to stop Home Rule and were allowed to remain part of the UK when the South achieved independence by force as there was no other way.
    Colonies were acquired for profit and when they were no longer profitable they were abandoned. English, Welsh and Scottish people settled all over the world but we no longer rule over the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa etc
    The people of Ireland must sort out their own problems. We can help them but we cannot take on a permanent responsibilty unless we have some vital interest to protect and if so maybe someone can tell me what it is.
    They voted by a bigger majority to remain in the EU than Britain voted to leave so the DUP are not representing the voters of Northern Ireland but are motivated by their own selfish interests and are using threats to extract British taxpayers money to maintain a relic of the past which benefits them. Without that money their state would collapse outside the EU. I understand that the GFA either requires or assumes that both parts of Ireland remain in the EU. Its breakdown will not be a benefit, at least in the short term but this system cannot continue indefinitely because of its malign effects on British institutions.
    Professor Black was referring to the 18th century origins of British industry and our good fortune in having easy access to natural resources like coal and steel but he pointed out that authoritarian France did not allow any new ideas to be implemented without them being approved by state authorities and this continued under the republics which simply transferred power from the Kings and Emperors to the Republic. The 1958 Gaullist Fifth Republic simply strengthened state power hence the endless violent uprisings because there is no other outlet for popular discontent. Instead of one king the French have several hundred such as members of the National Assembly and Prefects of the departments. Unfortunately the EU is heavily influenced by French authoritarianism. M. Macron will not change this despite his promise to look at the electoral system.

  • Vince Cable confirmed that we would support Labour in the unlikely event that our so-called opposition actually decided to move a motion of no-confidence in the Government.
    ?????????????????????????????????

    Although they may well vote against May’s Brexit no Tory will vote for a no confidence motion in THEIR own government and the DUP would rather sing ‘Aves’ than support Corbyn.

    All that will happen will be a loss for Labour/Corbyn and a rare opportunity of a united Tory party.

  • Mick Taylor 11th Dec '18 - 4:31pm

    @David Raw. I think a retreat to the fabled darkened room is called for. Fixed term parliaments are the norm for most governments in the world. They were also one of the early demands of the Chartist movement and one of the only ones that had not been implemented prior to the coalition. There are ways to have an early election built into the legislation, not dissimilar to these operated in Germany. 2/3 of MPs vote for an election is one and a motion of no confidence AND no new government approved within 14 days is the other.
    Of course the FTPA would work much better with a proportional electoral system, because potential governments would have to be willing to work with others but without the huge electoral penalty that is paid under FPTP.
    So the real question is will a motion of no confidence succeed? For lots of reasons, not least those mentioned by Expats, it almost certainly won’t, unless the DUP use it as a lever to secure even more than they already have.
    So we will probably have this deal rejected and an unsuccessful vote of no confidence. That leaves only one possibility and it’s not the panacea that its proponents make out, namely a 3rd referendum.
    This will certainly be lost if the arguments of 2016 are replayed. Only a campaign that confronts head on the REAL issues of why people voted leave, which include hatred of the political elite, fury at the way low paid people have been abandoned, politicians promising and not delivering, austerity especially in relation to the NHS in parity alar and public services in general and the perceived helplessness of the UK in the so called undemocratic EU. A positive campaign that sells the benefits of the EU, not a negative campaign that says how bad it will be if we leave.
    I have little faith that the remain campaign can rise to the occasion.

  • Amazingly the 5 year parliament (2015), following the 5 year fixed agreement, lasted barely two years.
    It seems that the 5 year promise (ostensibly to prevent a government going for an advantage based on popularity) is as flexible as any other Tory/LibDem coalition promise.

  • Mick Taylor 11th Dec '18 - 8:48pm

    Very disingenuous Expats. The Act laid down two clear ways to have an early election and Parliament chose in 2017 to follow one of them. That’s hardly a flexible policy and it really isn’t on to claim it is.

  • Mick Taylor 11th Dec '18 - 9:04pm

    The fixed Term Parliament Act was premised on the idea that Parliament, especially the House of Commons should in normal circumstances have a term of 5 years. Every other elected institution in our country has a fixed term. That includes all councils, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the London Assembly and the Scottish Parliament. Whilst it is not common council terms have been cut short either in the case of complete re-warding (Calderdale in 2004, Birmingham 2018 for example) or sometimes because the council has been found guilty of breaking the law. (Clay Cross for example)
    The FTPA stops the Prime Minister of the day from calling an election to suit his/her own party. It now needs the government to fall without a new one being created following a vote of no confidence or an agreement by 2/3 of MPs.
    So far since the passing of the act we have had one Parliament that lasted 5 years and one that did not. This is, I submit, insufficient evidence on which to draw conclusions as to the effectiveness or otherwise of the act.
    And yes, the Chartists did indeed want annual parliaments. However, mature consideration of the need for governments to have sufficient time to enact their programme suggests that a fixed term of five years is not unreasonable and is in line with most elected parliaments in the world.

  • Mick Taylor 11th Dec ’18 – 8:48pm……….Very disingenuous Expats. The Act laid down two clear ways to have an early election and Parliament chose in 2017 to follow one of them. That’s hardly a flexible policy and it really isn’t on to claim it is………….

    Your “The FTPA stops the Prime Minister of the day from calling an election to suit his/her own party”

    Hardly!…The 2017 election was called, after umpteen promises that there would not be an election, for the singular reason of May taking advantage of a poll rating lead of 20+ points over Labour.
    BTW..No opposition party will vote down a chance of a GE (as Labour did despite the massive Tory approval lead)

  • David Raw,

    I must say I am seriously impressed with your family history. Feargus O’Connor was an early pioneer of Land Reform setting up The Land Plan http://www.historyhome.co.uk/peel/chartism/landplan.htm

  • nvelope2003,

    salient comments re: Northern Ireland. The DUP were I believe, the only NI party to campaign for Brexit and to oppose the Good Friday Agreement. Although the party seems to oppose a hard border with the republic they do not appear to have any credible policies for delivering on that policy.
    The arguments they put forward about a threat of a border down the Irish sea seem rather febrile. The Good Friday Agreement stipulates the process for any proposed changes in the Constitutional status of Northern Ireland.
    So too the arguments with respect to checks on agricultural products/livestock crossing the Irish sea considering such checks are currently in place as they are in places like the American South-West.
    There are various Agricultural Checkpoints In NV, AZ and CA. They check out of state vehicles from the east, looking for plants, fruits, and vegetables that may carry harmful insects and diseases.
    It seems that the only outcome that can potentially meet the DUP’s conditions is for the entire UK to remain in both the single market and customs union. Maybe they should rethink their strategy and switch to campaigning to remain in the EU.

  • nvelope2003
    Much more complex than your simple republican view, see
    The Irish Raj: Social Origins and Careers of Irishmen in the Indian Civil Service, 1855–1914
    Scott B. Cook
    Journal of Social History, Volume 20, Issue 3, 1 March 1987, Pages 507–529,
    Irish regiments of the British Army were stationed in India. Note the McMahon line, still an area of conflict to this day.

  • nvelope2003 14th Dec '18 - 9:44am

    Ian Martin: I am not a republican or a supporter of Sinn Fein or the IRA and I am fully aware of the contribution made by Irish people but the time has come to move on from the outdated views of the DUP who encourage extremists. Northern Ireland receives big subsidies from the English taxpayer without which it could not exist and I cannot see why we should continue to support one group of people rather than another unless there is some clear value for us. Maybe the answer would be for the UK to transfer sovereignty to the Dublin Government which could maintain a provincial Northern Ireland Government although they seem to have managed without one for nearly two years. Ideally a united Ireland would rejoin the Commonwealth as it is not a foreign country and has close links with Britain

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