ICYMI: Nick Clegg’s Andrew Marr interview: Post Brexit trade deals and the cannibalisation of Labour

Nick Clegg was on the Andrew Marr show today talking about the opportunity that exists for the House of Commons to amend any Article 50 legislation that comes before it, the potential for post-Brexit trade deals (nothing comes close to being as good as what we have at the moment) and the state of the Labour Party. It’s failure to be a decent opposition on the biggest issue to face this country for some time will cost it, says Nick. It’ll be “cannibalised” by UKIP in the north and the Liberal Democrats in the south.

Watch the whole thing courtesy of BBC Politics here.

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  • Well done Nick , talking up UKIP just before two crucial by-elections. It ill becomes someone who was so useless in Government to criticise Labour for not being a decent opposition. The fact that Clegg is on TV at all merely reflects how few MPs we have left after Cleggs leadership left us incapable of being a decent opposition.

  • I dont see why anyone is still expecting great things from UKIP, their Polling has been slowly deflating since The Leave Vote & they are useless at fighting FPTP Elections. We should pass them in The Polls this spring, they will flop in Stoke & Copeland & get battered in The Locals in May.
    Labour votes will go to us & The Tories in The South, The North, The East & The West.

  • Tony Greaves 22nd Jan '17 - 11:34pm

    Why on earth is anyone talking up UKIP “in the North”. This is all silly Westminster Bubble talk from people who have not noticed that UKIP is collapsing electorally since the referendum, “in the North” as elsewhere. The only way they will recover is if the media (led by the appalling BBC) carry on talking them up. Do we really want to help them?

  • @Caracatus – You don’t have to be brilliant in government to recognise when a party such as Labour is being a useless opposition. Based on your criteria it would only be people who were brilliant in government (very, very few, if any) who could criticise the opposition.

  • I can understand why the Tories started talking UKIP up as a threat to Labour but why on earth are Lib Dems doing it? Furthemore where is the actual evidence? Within a few miles of Nick Clegg’s Hallam constituency the Lib Dems have taken 5 Council seats from Labour over the last 5 months ( 3 in Tupton/NE Derbyshire; 1 in Sheffield and 1 in Chesterfield where we gained the seat with 67% of the vote). UKIP came nowhere near achieving anything in these contests.

    Stoke will be the acid test but up to now there is no evidence at all to support London based Lib Dems in joining London based journalists and the Tories in talking up UKIP in the north.

  • Tony Greaves 23rd Jan '17 - 10:22am

    The evidence from Council by-elections is that the UKIP vote is going down – possibly because pro-Brexit voters think they have no further need to make their point by voting UKIP. Or possibly as a response to UKIP’s evident internal chaos. Anyway it is not our job to join the media in talking up Nuttall who is rather obviously a man of less “crazy charisma” than Farage.

  • Martin

    It might not be exactly what you are looking for but it’s close:

    “Germany will strive for successful Brexit talks within deadline, says Minister”


  • Labours electoral problems are not primarily about Brexit, that would be to see things through the eyes of the Westminster/London media bubble. As in 1983 when Tony Benn orchestrated the ‘longest suicide note in history’ Labour are trapped in their own internal ideological obsessions under a Leadership with an unworldly view.

    If you fight elections based primarily on your own ideological purity then the electorate mostly see you as irrelevant. Under PR systems such Parties can secure a niche but not under the Westminster FPTP system. The recent Fabian analysis argued that Labour at worst may not fall much below 160 MP’s . A small ‘single issue’ Party however would struggle to get into double figures.

  • Little Jackie Paper 23rd Jan '17 - 11:52am

    Martin – Try https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0120/846435-brexit/ in particular para 4, 5 and 6.

  • Richard Underhill 23rd Jan '17 - 11:59am

    David Steel is not London-based media, more Scottish Borders with frequent trips to Kenya. In his “Conversation” broadcast on 25/12/2016 he pointed out the Liberal Democrats have been overtaken by the SNP as the third largest party in terms of the number of MPs and by UKIP in terms of votes, but not MPs, at the 2015 general election before the 2016 referendum. He forecast substantial recovery at the next general election. He complained that the media had shortened a speech of his to a soundbite, in that “go back to your constituencies and prepare for government” had followed a section about coalition government and an opinion polling rating of 50%.
    His wife (Judy) has a tattoo, he does not. Regretfully he said nothing about the effects of fashion on the availability of blood donors.
    ITV’s Peston on Sunday had an interview with UKIP’s current leader, who made a joke about the differences between Nigel Farage MEP and UKIP’s MP. UKIP MEPs are now required to work in the UK and keep out of international politics.

  • UKIP have never been very good at fighting local elections, despite at times considerably higher poll ratings than now. They will not make any significant inroads this May, unless Brexit should blow up into a huge issue of delay if Article 50 is not triggered in March – which is eminently possible. However, my view is that the Tories will lose seats this time round – to Lib Dems, but probably to Labour too. Labour are not that weak locally, despite their much publicised national problems.

  • David Evershed 23rd Jan '17 - 12:16pm

    Nick Clegg said on the Andrew Marr show that Brexit is not necessary because the EU is now prepared to allow those in the single market not to comply with freedom of movement. So the UK has no need to leave.

    But all EU bodies have recently repeatedly stated that free movement is compulsory for membership of the single market.

    Nick Clegg is still in denial.

  • @David Evershed. It is unusual for me to defend Nick Clegg but I think his point has been that various EU countries are now proposing or indeed applying various restrictions on Free Movement of labour. For example only allowing movement where this a definite job offer or for say 6 months whilst looking for a job. Also of course not allowing automatic access to Benefits unlike in the UK. So not ending Free Movement but applying conditions and limits to it. Of course many, unlike the then New Labour Government in the UK, also applied lengthy ‘break clauses’ before allowing Free Movement of Eastern European labour following their accession to the EU.

    The trouble is, from a UK perspective, is that this is too late to alter the Referendum vote to Leave which even Nick Clegg, that most pro EU of people, has observed is more or less a done deal.

  • It seems abundantly clear that ‘Clegg hates Labour’ with a passion; not just the Corbyn led party but, during his time in office, those that he now calls ‘moderates’ …WHY?
    His actions in coalition showed that he was far closer to Tory policies than those of his own party…The footage of him sitting next to Cameron, ‘nodding and smiling’ at every word, still rankles…
    Statements like “Nick made errors as the leader of a minority party in coalition” are the equivalent of Duff Gordon’s description of the sinking of the ‘Titanic’ as “It was rather a serious evening, Don’tcha know”..
    As for his EU experience??? An experience that left him floundering in two debates with Farage and where his most memorable line was, “Pretty much the same as now”; hardly, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”…
    The man has done so much damage to this party that his continued support by members is, at least to me, unbelieveable….

  • Simon Shaw 23rd Jan ’17 – 4:04pm
    @expats…..As somebody once said: “Labour and Conservatives; they are both our enemy”

    Well, it certainly wasn’t Clegg. He said of the Conservatives, ” “If we keep doing this we won’t find anything to bloody disagree on”..and, sure enough, for five long years, he “kept on doing this”…

  • Simon Shaw 23rd Jan ’17 – 5:49pm
    “Well, it certainly wasn’t Clegg. He said of the Conservatives, “If we keep doing this we won’t find anything to bloody disagree on”………Oh, I see. You think that Nick was being literal when he said that. Has it ever occurred to you that it was meant as a joke?

    If it was a joke then the joke was on us…Almost every Tory led policy from NHS reorganisation, tuition fees, secret courts, bedroom tax, etc., was supported by Nick…

    Regarding jokes; strange how Byrne’s, “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.” for David Laws was used as a stick to beat Labour for 5 years…even though it was traditional for such notes (since Reginald Maudling’s “Good luck, old cock … Sorry to leave it in such a mess.”) to be treated in confidence…
    .Rewriting history I’ll leave to others and so this is my last post on the subject..

  • Clegg wasn’t exactly brilliant in opposition either. He should be kept away from the airwaves as a matter of urgency.

  • @ Simon Shaw – your tiresome defence of Clegg’s incompetence is a poor use of your time. The County gave it’s verdict on Clegg by wiping out the Liberal Democrats, an annihilation that could have been avoided if Clegg had been removed after his tuition fee betrayal.

    As your so good at setting little challenges for people, here’s one or you, name one British political leader of a major party in the last 100 years who left their party in a worse electoral state than Clegg left the Liberal Democrats.

  • @Simon Shaw
    “Incidentally, expats, are you broadly speaking equally opposed (I’ll put it that way, rather than say ‘hate’) to Labour and the Conservatives?”

    Are you? It’s just that I recall very few anti-conservative posts of yours over the years – and certainly not with the passion you clearly have for Labour-bashing.

    Personally, as someone who has always been deeply opposed to the Tories and would gladly give up Labour if there were an alternative, I’d be prepared to give the Lib Dems a try if I got the sense they were even remotely equidistant. But that’s not the feeling I get at all. Am I wrong to think that? If I am, feel free to provide links to some passionate, excoriating attacks on the Tories by the Lib Dems recently which didn’t end up being much more vicious attacks on Labour.

  • nvelope2003 23rd Jan '17 - 9:41pm

    Caracatus: David Lloyd George – from a party of Government to a sideshow in 2 years – 1922 to 1924 – and he was not just a party leader but the man who led the country to victory in 1918.

  • nvelope2003 23rd Jan '17 - 9:48pm

    Yes I know he was not the leader 1922 – 1924 but he was the last Liberal Prime Minister

  • Ramsay MacDonald was pretty useless for the Labour Party as well: from Government in 1929 – 31, to expulsion from the Party leaving it with about 50 MPs at the 1931 election. But the Labour landslide of 1945 showed that there can be a way back, but MacDonald was dead by then. The ‘great betrayal’ narrative still resonated in the Labour Party well into the 1970s.

  • envelope “Yes I know he was not the leader 1922 – 1924 but he was the last Liberal Prime Minister”

    No he wasn’t. He was a Coalition Prime Minister and he got shafted by the Tories having split the Liberal Party in December, 1916.

    Sound familiar ?

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