Daisy Cooper on why Boris Johnson’s deal is so bad for our country

I first met Daisy Cooper when we both had tea with Tim Farron in Portcullis House as newbie Federal Executive members at the end of 2012.

She is someone who has no problem with speaking truth to power and she quickly became a very trusted colleague.

I hope very much that we’ll have her as the MP for St Albans after the next election. She has put in so much work. She reminds me of Jo Swinson when she was campaigning to win East Dunbartonshire in 2005.

Today, she put a brilliant analysis of why Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is so bad on her Facebook page. With her permission, here it is. Share widely.

The PM’s so-called ‘deal’ is an attempt to pull the wool over peoples eyes and deliver a hard no-deal BREXIT by the back door. Worse still, it deletes the UK’s commitment to workers rights and environmental standards, which Johnson’s Conservative would happily trash. Here are three important facts:

1. Voting for Johnson’s deal is voting for No Deal in a year’s time. With no backstop (which ensured a soft Brexit), if Tories fail to get a hard Brexit Free Trade Agreement, it’s no deal at the end of 2020, as ERG will never vote for the transition to be extended.

2. Johnson’s Deal is bad for workers’ rights and the environment. The commitment to a “level playing field” by adopting these EU standards has BEEN DELETED from the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement and now appears only in the aspirational Political Declaration.

3. Otherwise the deal still has all the flaws of Theresa May’s Deal. It introduces red tape bureaucracy as the UK will have to collect tariffs for the EU (derided by Johnson himself a year ago as a “crazy system”). It puts a border down the Irish Sea. It hastens the break-down of the Union and the UK (with Scotland already saying it wants the same advantages as NI, which will be subjected to an emulated customs union & single market arrangement). And it will open the door to smuggling, which will fund criminality and dissident activity. Northern Ireland is so divided it’s assembly isn’t even sitting at the moment – now it will have to uphold an international treaty and, whether it likes it or not, will have to hold “border polls” (referenda) every few years, and/but not until 2025.

And the hard-right English nationalists (aka Johnson’s Conservative party) have the gall to call *us* extreme??

We Liberal Democrats will continue the fight to stop Brexit – whether through a people’s vote or with a democratic mandate of a general election win to revoke article 50 and maintain the best UK-EU deal we have.

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

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Ross McLean 19th Oct '19 - 2:10am

    Yep. This is excellent. Well done Daisy. I hope Norman Lamb reads it. Norman is being reported in the Guardian to be considering voting for the deal.
    I don’t know if you read LDV Norman, and if you do there’s no particular reason why you should listen to me, but as a member who has always respected you, who voted for you in 2015, and who thinks you are nothing less than a hero on mental health, please don’t back this awful deal. Please. Our party’s amazing recovery this year has been based on our clear, united line on Brexit. I understand you’ve had your issues with that line, and I respect that. But Daisy is right – this is truly not a good deal. To back it would be bad for the country, most importantly, but it would also hurt the party and be a real blow to all the members who have worked for you and respected you for the last 20 years or so. Please don’t do it.
    If this dreadful, destructive deal is to pass, I want to be able to say that every single LibDem MP voted against it. I want us to have that political capital to use against the Labour party, and I don’t want to have no answer when the SNP brag about being the only party that was united in the lobbies against Brexit.
    I know you are struggling with all this, and I know in the end you’ll do what you think is right. But I just wanted to say don’t underestimate how strongly some of us are hoping you stand with us.
    You put yourself out there by keeping open the option of voting for a good deal. They let you down by bringing back a bad one. Please stick with your team, and vote against it.

  • Peter Hirst 20th Oct '19 - 5:20pm

    One good thing; we don’t need to understand the niceties of each deal – just assume anything Boris Johnson suggests is designed for us to leave either with a hard deal or no deal. I frees up a lot of thinking power.

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