It’s April 2019, we’re out of the EU with no deal. What do Lib Dems do now?

The party has, rightly, focused on campaigning for an Exit from Brexit, but it appears to have done absolutely no thinking about how to campaign if we fail.

The press and internet are awash with Brexit doomsday scenarios: planes grounded; food shortages; lack of medicines; travel restrictions: a plummeting pound; riots; even a coup. However, Project Fear is no guide to campaigning in unknown territory.

How would we campaign in the new reality, if there is no People’s Vote or the vote is lost? There will be 9000+ council seats to fight on 2 May 2019, and we want to do well in those elections. If Britain does not Exit from Brexit, it will surely not be possible to fight those seats and ignore the UK’s changed circumstances?  Can we afford to wait until Spring Conference, or later, before we consider the consequences of this outcome?

Having supported the European project since its early beginnings, we are surely not going to abandon it now? It won’t be easy to persuade people to support re-joining the EU without the opt-outs and special deals we currently enjoy when so many of them want to leave even when we have all these benefits. It could be a long haul. In the immediate future, as a matter of survival, our country will have to try  – rapidly – to create a raft of new international agreements on trade; sourcing our food and medicines; creating new supply lines for manufacturers and suppliers; the new practicalities of travel. The UK currently has almost no people trained in the necessary skills to negotiate these agreements.

In or out of the EU, we will have to address the REAL problems behind the Leave vote. Out of the EU, the issues will be worse, and there will be significantly fewer resources. We will still need to plan for building new and affordable housing; tackling inequality of income and wealth; creating a welfare system that treats people as people not cheats; a taxation system that is fair to all; refunding and refocussing the NHS and training the staff we need; creating a humane and workable immigration system; devolving power and creating a real democracy both for government and at work. In short, a peaceful revolution. We will need to attract many more people to join us in the campaign for our new Britain.

Above all, we must tackle the hatred and intolerance that was released by the 2016 referendum. Liberalism is under attack. The values that have sustained us since WW2 need to be defended and strengthened. We need to stand up and be counted on racism, equality, LGBT+ rights, abortion, and many more things we all thought had been won and are now under threat. To face down the extremists rather than pander to them: and to persuade people who have been swayed by their ideas to recognise the realities of the UK’s new status in the world. It won’t be easy, and it may well be dangerous.

If all goes well, in the next few months the nightmare of Brexit will end. If not, we must be ready to promote and defend Liberal values and democratic society. No-one else will do it for us.

* Michael Taylor and Ruth Coleman-Taylor are members of Calderdale Liberal Democrats

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  • I give it ten minutes after midnight on the 29th of March 2019 till the first RISO printed Focus:

    “Just because we’re all unemployed now and there are food riots and we’re all dying from lack of medication, there’s no excuse for the potholes down Acacia Avenue not being fixed”

  • paul holmes 26th Sep '18 - 1:51pm

    Except of course we are not going to ‘fall off a cliff’ on 29th/30th March 2019.

    Plus, even in the worst case short term scenarios of lorry queues and airport problems voters are more likely to blame the ‘intransigent EU’ than anyone else. Or so it seems to me from the many doorstep conversations I have had with real voters in recent weeks including whilst door knocking this morning.

    The longer term negatives of Brexit will be slower burn and there will be no overnight Road to Damascus conversion of voters.

  • Two predictions:

    1. Firstly like the Y2K bug, life will continue pretty much unaltered on March 29th.

    2. Remain will not take off as an issue until after we leave. We may as politocos think people have taken on board the issues around Brexit but they haven’t – politicians always overestimate how early people actually think about issues – viz the poll tax. The May elections will of course be an opportunity for remainers to send a message to the Government and indeed to Labour. One we should be laying the groundwork for in our local parties now.

    I do note @Jennie that the AA are saying there are more potholes than ever before!

  • Richard Easter 26th Sep '18 - 2:34pm

    Fight for the case of joining EFTA.

    You will never convince the public to accept the destructive Euro. But you may well convince us of EFTA membership

  • Bill le Breton 26th Sep '18 - 2:57pm

    It is right to ‘game’ a few outcomes such as the authors do here.

    But at the risk of being tiresome I would like us to ‘game’ what happens if Labour place an amendment to the Government motion encapsulating May’s deal (whatever that is) to the effect that we take up the offer to apply for membership of EEA nonEU grouping.

    It is close to frictionless trade – there are rules of origin requirements but they don’t require border checks, being satisfied by audits at places of business – so no Irish border difficulties.

    Also there is no need to sign up to a customs agreement. None of the Efta states are members of a customs union with the EU. Foreign deals are permitted.

    Freedom of movement provisions may be tailored to the specific country needs

    Article 112 Safeguard Measures can be invoked unilaterally, which will be how Labour sells such an initiative to those worried that their constituents vote out purely on immigration issues.

    Those points tick quite a number of Labour’s checklist for supporting a deal and so are just a few reasons why faced with a Parliamentary vote of a May deal, Labour might use an EEA amendment.

    How might the Soubry/Grieve types react to this? Might they support for tactical reasons? Ditto the SNP?

    How would our MPs vote. I can think of at least one who might well support it.

    Would we rather risk being part of the ‘block’ that votes now the final motion or instead support an EEA amendment to make it the substantive motion?

    And then when the substantive motion (an EEA application motion) is put???

    It should not come as a surprise ‘on the night’ and there should be some kind of wider consultation or sounding out in advance of a decision that ultimately would be taken by the PLDP.

  • OnceALibDem 26th Sep '18 - 4:09pm

    There is a danger of hyping up the idea of instant calamity on March 30th in that if it doesn’t happen it will undermine people’s credibility. And the most likely scenario is an exit deal with effectively the UK’s position unchanged except it is outside the EU but agrees to all the same rules applying until a future trade deal is agreed (aka kick the difficult decisions down the track).

    If nothing else the EU is excellent at realpolitick and whilst a no-deal may affect the EU less it will still have some effects so there will be a desire to avoid that.

    That could even be portrayed as a ‘victory’ if no deal has been a possibility for the weeks/months preceeding March 29th.

    There is however a long game to be played

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 26th Sep '18 - 4:14pm

    This is the discussion that the party should have been having ever since the referendum result.
    But could I go a bit off topic, and suggest that the party should be giving serious thought to what to do if Theresa May does manage to get some sort of deal at the eleventh hour – perhaps something not so different from the Chequers plan.
    Labour have said that they would vote against any deal Theresa May does manage to negotiate, unless it meets the criteria Labour have set – that it should ensure that Britain continues to enjoy all the same benefits that it would enjoy as an EU member. No deal is ever going to meet that criteria. So Labour have basically said that they will vote against any deal. Even though the only real alternative would be no deal.
    We should be asking what our own MPs would do in this situation. If Theresa May had managed to get a deal that would mean a relatively “soft” Brexit, would Lib Dem MPs really join Labour in voting against this deal, thus making it likely that we would be left with no deal? The vote could be very close. Do we really wish the Lib Dems to go down in history as the party that caused the hardest possible Brexit, when a reasonable deal had been on offer?

  • Jack Graham 26th Sep '18 - 4:15pm

    I would imagine the first thing you will do is eat your hat.

    The second thing you will do is to add Brexit to the ERM, Euro, Tuition Fees on the list of the subjects that you were spectacularly wrong about, and would prefer not to engage in conversation, especially with voters spoiling your day by saying. ” Oh Mister, wasn’t it the LibDems who predicted………….
    To which you respond by changing the conversation to recycling or something.

    Mark my words by March 2021, you will not get a LIbDem to acknowledge they want to rejoin the EU.

    The LibDems have had plenty of practice at avoiding taking responsibility for their over the top rhetoric.

    Not me guv, you must be thinking of some other LibDems

  • Katharine Pindar 26th Sep '18 - 4:50pm

    The comments here by Bill le Breton and Catherine Jane strike me as useful thinking. We need to be considering, as hopefully our Parliamentary forces are doing, what to do when the almost inevitable clash of the Titans comes in November. I have heard a Labour spokesman on the lunch-time news say that after Labour call for and get the early General Election they want and win it (!), they will then renegotiate with the EU. What I think we should demand to know is what would be the terms Labour proposes in any such new negotiation? They are still not committing themselves to anything, though fortunately Keir Starmer seems to be leading the calls of the membership for a vote on the deal with a possibility of remaining.

  • John Marriott 26th Sep '18 - 4:58pm


  • Catherine Jane Crosland 26th Sep '18 - 5:00pm

    Katharine, it does seem as if Labour are putting party before country. They see the Parliamentary vote on a Brexit deal as an opportunity to get a general election, which they believe they can win. But almost certainly, it would then be too late for Labour to renegotiate a new deal, and they certainly would not get one which met their own criteria. But we would still be set to leave the EU in March 2019, so Labour’s actions would be likely to lead to the no deal Brexit that they claim to wish to avoid.
    I would urge our own MPs to put country before party, and, if Theresa May does get a reasonable deal, to vote for it, rather than risk a no deal situation.

  • Richard Underhill 26th Sep '18 - 5:10pm

    Catherine Jane Crosland: Labour are showing themselves to be excessively proud of the 1945-1950 government, ignoring the reasons why they were elected at the end of World War 2, giving no credit for the work that was done in the wartime coalition for postwar planning, the effect of the first past the post election system (and the abolition of STV) and no comment on their reduced majority in 1950 and their transfer of the powers of government to the Tories in 1951.

  • Katharine Pindar 26th Sep '18 - 5:24pm

    Hi, Catherine, you are right that there would be no time for Labour to renegotiate – unless of course the Government had requested a delay in the enforcement of Article 50 beyond March 29 next year. I suppose that, whether the clash in November resulted either in another GE or another Referendum, the Government would ask for more time. I think and trust that the Commons won’t allow a No-Deal outcome, and that the EU (still hoping to have us back) would allow an extension.

    What we need then, I suppose, is either for the Keir Starmer view of the right decision to be taken by the Labour Opposition to prevail this autumn, or for Mrs May herself, to avoid another GE, eventually to agree to allow the People’s Vote. We live in interesting times!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 26th Sep '18 - 5:32pm

    Very good subject. The piece above offers the negative, as speculation nothing wrong with that, really,that’s understood, yet the comments give some positive reasons to think our party might not be UKIP or opposite one issue wonder.

    As I said to Paul Holmes before , he is to the left of me in the stereotype of meaningless past direction, but only a little so. Now, as a result of coalition and Brexit, we agree on practically everything on here to my sincere delight as he talks common sense on this party and national obsessiveness.

    Michael 1, Bill le Breton, offer good comments.

    However, as is her norm, Catherine, on identifying something deep, gets to the parts other party beers cannot reach/ or do not try!

    Labour are making fudge seem like bread many people think they might enjoy. We have stale bread nobody but a few wants. Itt is good tasty wholsome rich bready wheaty delicilousness. It went a bit mouldy two years ago.

    We must demand better,radical , moderate, listen , why don’t we to Catherine whether agree or not.

  • As others say above, the sky won’t fall on April 2019 in the event of a no deal scenario, and we shouldn’t say it will otherwise or it will leave us looking stupid.

    There will be some disruption, inconvenience and queues, but the UK Government has the power to avoid any delays to IMPORTS of essentials such as food and medicine. Even the Tories would let people starve or die from lack of medicine.

    There will likely be delays to the import clearance of non-essentials if the Government fails to prepare Customs for the increased workload in time (highly likely), and exports will probably be disrupted, but it will take weeks or months before that starts to hit ordinary people. Likewise it will take months to years for the automotive and aerospace industries to withdraw from the UK in line with model replacement cycles.

    The first real effect ordinary people notice will probably be an increase in inflation if the value of the pound collapses in the new year as a no deal scenario starts to look likely.

  • jayne mansfield 27th Sep '18 - 12:18am

    It is my understanding that Labour has always been clear from the start. The party would never vote for a deal that did not meet the six sensible criteria set by the party, something I never believed possible. Did anyone believe that the Brexiteers could meet them?

    My motto has always been, ‘Give them enough rope’. I wanted to see what the Brexiteers could achieve and then judge their promises against the reality. I think that many of the electorate having greater access to information since 2016 felt the same. Any groundswell for a third referendum should have come from the bottom up, and indeed, I believe it now is.

    The Liberal Democrat approach, or at least that I read on here, seems to me to have worked against the principle of persuasion. I have been appalled by the insults and derogatory comments about those who voted Brexit. I cannot think of an approach more likely to entrench opinion than change it

    I would still vote Remain in a third referendum, but as a grandmother, I do take particular exception when others say that we voted for remain because out of concern for the future of our children or grandchildren. Whilst we who voted remain, may believe that being part of the EU has a better chance of safeguarding the futures of our children and grandchildren, has it not crossed the mind of some, that for many of our generation, that was also the motivating factor for many who voted leave.? Rather than stoke intergenerational strife, wouldn’t it have been better to make powerful arguments as to why, whatever the faults in the EU, and I am not a Cleggite adorer of it, our membership has the greatest likelihood of maintaining the future prospects of beloved children and grandchildren.

  • I agree with Jayne. I voted remain as I didn’t want my grandchildren to face the same horrors that my grandparents had, and will do so again if asked. However, calling Brexit voters stupid, racist, uneducated etc as many Europhiles have done, is not going to persuade them to change their minds! If we do have another referendum can there be more emphasis on positive reasons to stay rather than negative reasons for leaving, as was the case last time

  • Wiliam Fowler 27th Sep '18 - 8:06am

    There is a short-term method of keeping imports coming in and that is applying zero tariffs to all imports for a limited period until things settle down (perhaps with an increase in VAT for products over 10k to compensate for a loss of govn revenue), hopefully Dr Fox has a fistful of large free trade deals hidden up his sleeve to keep things ticking over. Basically, the market rules here, companies want to trade and that is bigger than most govn meddling (unless you go Marxist and close the whole thing down).

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 27th Sep '18 - 8:10am

    Mick and Ruth, I am so glad you have opened a discussion about what the party’s campaigning focus should be after Brexit.
    I agree that we should be focusing on protecting liberal values. This should have been the party’s focus since the referendum result. Instead, the party’s whole focus has been on trying to overturn the referendum result. I believe myself that this approach was neither ethical nor democratic. But I don’t want to repeat all those arguments now, and I do understand that some people do sincerely believe that we should try to stop Brexit.
    It was, anyway, always clear that the party did not have it in its power to stop Brexit. But we could have spent this time standing up for liberal values, and trying to influence the discussion on what sort of country post Brexit Britain will be. We have failed to do so. Sadly, the party has been so focused on being pro EU, that it has forgotten to be liberal.
    Especially, we should be campaigning for a liberal immigration policy post Brexit. The preamble to the Lib Dem constitution states that we believe in “free movement of people”. The context makes it clear that this does not mean just within the EU. Our ideal should be complete freedom of movement, and we should not lose sight of this ideal.
    As a party, we can only protect liberal values post Brexit, if we continue to cherish and affirm these values ourselves. It is very sad that the immigration policy recently passed by Conference did not seem very liberal. We should have been affirming our belief in the benefits of immigration, and the principle of free movement. Especially, we should have been affirming our commitment to support refugees and asylum seekers. How can we protect liberal values after Brexit unless we have the courage to speak out and defend these values, and to have truly liberal policies?

  • John Probert 27th Sep '18 - 10:29am

    I believe that the LDs’ clear Parliamentary position on Brexit is that whatever deal Theresa May comes up with must be put to a Peoples’ Vote? There is great hope now that such an amendment will pass and form part of the substantive motion. But if it faiedl surely we would oppose the substantive motion on principle?

    After such a scenario we’d be entirely free to campaign on the Brexit fall-out issues.

  • In opening this discussion we did not suggest that the party should stop opposing Brexit nor assuming the worst. All we wanted to propose is that the party should at least give some thought to what it might do if Brexit actually happens. Sadly, most of the posts on this thread are putting up an Aunt Sally to knock down.
    And no Catherine, it’s not anti democratic to oppose Brexit. Democracy means having the right and the opportunity to change your mind, it’s never an event fixed in time. If that were the case, then the 1975 referendum would have been the democracy and there would never have been a referendum in 2016, because that would not have been respecting the views of the people.
    Paul Holmes. You have no more idea than we do what will or won’t happen after Brexit, so to assert that we won’t fall off a cliff is really tempting fate.
    Can we now discuss with some urgency what we must do if, and only if, parliament is so contemptuous of the welfare of our country as to accept a no-deal Brexit as looks increasingly likely.

  • Gordon Lishman 27th Sep '18 - 11:19am

    Just a point of detail: trade deals are a framework for entrepreneurs. The key question is whether trade happens whatever the framework. German and Italian businesses have been successful in trading in the EU context. If UK entrepreneurs haven’t been as successful, that’s not the EU’s fault.

  • Laurence Cox 27th Sep '18 - 12:23pm

    @Bill le Breton

    EEA membership does not solve the Irish Border problem; only a Customs Union does that. You will find that there are customs checks between Norway and Sweden although both are in the EEA.

    The question we should be asking is, if we cannot get a majority of MPs to support a referendum with a Remain option (a necessary precursor to agreeing to a referendum IMO) should we instead be putting forward an amendment that the UK remain in the EEA and in a full customs union with the EU? While this might upset some extreme Remainers, politics is the art of the possible and we need to ensure that the least damage is done to the country. I think that a cross-party amendment to this effect might very well command the support of a majority in Parliament.

    We always need to remember that 30% of our supporters voted for Brexit; EEA+CU is still Brexit, but far less damaging than Canada+ or WTO, which we must do everything to avoid.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th Sep '18 - 2:09pm

    Catherine, as I say above in the earlier discussion alluding to our stances, you go deep.

    It is very good that you, unlike some, are emphasising a post Brexit Liberal policy, as you also are emphasising a democratic one, understanding the voters.

    What unfortunately, as with our views on two issues, unilateral nuclear disarmament and the moderate vs radical, debate , we cannot agree on, is the way to relate to and promote the, preamble in the Liberal Democrat constitution, on freedom of movement.

    I say this again, and shall in other discussions, freedom of movement is not the same as automatically saying that people have the right to permanent settlement.

    It relates to two periods, both misunderstood, or regarded as something they are not today.

    Firstly, that once, in the years prior to the early twentieth century, there were no significant controls on immigration, in countries such as the UK, the US.

    But that period did not lead to mass movement, but , rather, to migrants who were often actually refugees, as with now, who should be allowed to resettle.

    There was no television, radio, internet, holidays abroad, advertising, books, extolling the wonders of resettlement or firing the imagination to do so. A few upper middle class or upper class literati would take a Grand Tour, or a package holiday by today’s standards, to much of Italy that might also take in a few waltzes in Austria!

    The population was much smaller worldwide. There was war and pogrom activity that displaced populations in very small numbers.

    All who came to Blighty as a result, would easily be accomodated under the rules we had up to the latter 1990 s and EU freedom of movement.

    Then, the Cold War, the second period misunderstood by advocates of completely open borders.

    There was a dictat in all Eastern block states, that prevented movement out of those countries, denied the right to travel.

    This is what our preamble refers to in my view, freedom of movement is the right to roam, not settle in Rome!

    We should, in or dangerous era, support the sensible managing of humane and freedom loving folk we had in the age of the premiership of Sir John Major.

    No cost to the applicant. No restricions on spouses. No automatic right to pick workers to pick fruit, and from abroad. Applications on merit or necessity if not for marriage, the latter all accepted if real.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 27th Sep '18 - 3:35pm

    Mick, there were forty-one years between the 1975 referendum and the 2016 referendum, so of course it was democratic to have another referendum. In a democracy, nothing is ever set in stone for ever.
    Also, the 1975 referendum was on the Common Market. The 2016 referendum was on the EU, as it had become – in many ways different from what people voted for in 1975.
    It would be perfectly democratic to have a referendum some years after we leave the EU, on whether we should apply to rejoin.
    What is not democratic is to try to prevent a referendum result from being implemented. To me, there is a clear difference. A democratic decision must be implemented, but it is perfectly democratic to reverse it at a later date, through another referendum.

  • Richard C
    I cannot imagine calling any sort of voters “stupid, racist, uneducated.” I prefer to tell people I believe them to be wrong (in a mutual persuasion process!) which is folly unless you are prepared to defend your opinion in a reasonable manner. That doesn’t stop me believing that many referendum voters were the victims of a well funded con-trick. None of likes to be taken for a ride. It makes you feel very silly and it sometimes hurts financially. But it has happened to just about everybody at some stage in their lives. There need be no shame in that.

  • Peter Hirst 27th Sep '18 - 5:09pm

    We must say loudly and clearly that it is the wrong decision though we must accept it. We must continue to emphasise the disaster that it will be. We must campaign for a return and we might be the only Party that can deliver this and so grab victory from the jaws of defeat.

  • paul holmes 27th Sep '18 - 9:41pm

    @Mick Taylor -So you disavow all those proclaiming every shade of disaster should we leave the EU, because you believe ‘no one can know what will or won’t happen?’ You believe those predicting riots, starvation, medicine shortages, queues at docks and airports etc etc are all, in your words, ‘really tempting fate?’

  • Tony Greaves 27th Sep '18 - 10:47pm

    The answer to the Posting is: Keep Calm and Carry On.

    The answer to Bill le Breton is: we must oppose to the end anything that takes us out of the EU. Full stop. And start a campaign to rejoin.

  • Ian Sanderson (RM3) 26th Sep ’18 – 7:32pm
    “@Michael 1
    ‘Two predictions:
    1. Firstly like the Y2K bug, life will continue pretty much unaltered on March 29th. ‘
    It’s NOT at all like the Y2K bug. In that case we had decades to take appropriate measures“

    I appreciate the point. Obviously there are a range of scenarios and we don’t know yet whether it will be on the basis of a deal or a no deal. But even with no deal one could foresee a “bare bones” agreement to continue on a basis of two blocks that have the exactly the same EU-related regulations at 10.59pm on March 29th as at 11.01pm. Just as we trade, travel to and do business with non-EU countries. There will obviously be considerable pressure on the governments of EU countries to ensure their firms can continue to export to us and vice versa. And non-EU produce and goods do manage to get to us and vice versa..

    My fear is that people will say “hey, look – the sky hasn’t fallen in”. The effects will be more subtle, BMW have said they will shut down their Mini factory for a time to assess how the supply chain is working etc. You will still be able to go and buy a Mini etc. But just there is an obvious loss of economic activity to the UK in the short term. The Mayor of London’s report says a significant number of jobs will leave London – some pretty much immediately. Where manufacturers have a choice they will probably produce more cars on the continent than in the UK in the short term to mitigate risk etc. So there are probably significant short term effects – just not of the “sky falling in” type.

    My fear is that the long and medium term damage to the British economy. And people obv. take a view on this. And again it won’t stop economic growth but it will in my view mean less growth which in turn means less money for the NHS and public services and more poverty.

    It seems self evident to me that Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire etc. all being in a single market together makes us all better off. It is odd not to extend that to places that are closer such as France or Southern Ireland in the case of Northern Ireland but I appreciate that there is a “moat” around most of our country and we feel separate – economically actually we are not.

  • @Micheal 1 re: “My fear is that the long and medium term damage to the British economy. “

    This is a totally justifiable fear, we only need to look at Ireland to see an indication of just how much the UK economy has missed out through its hot/cold attitude to the EU that has prevailed since at least the early 1990’s.

    Given the best forecasts indicate that Brexit won’t deliver much for 50 years, which given the impending perfect storm – due to hit sometime in the next 10~30 years, we can safely say that the direct benefits (of Brexit) are non-existent. Thus, if we are to have Brexit we might as well cut our losses and prepare to weather the perfect storm…
    However, I suspect many will want to keep following the economic growth at any cost path and so the UK will be just as unprepared to weather the storm as if it had voted Remain…

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 28th Sep '18 - 7:42am

    Lorenzo, thank you for your comments. “The free movement of people” may be open to interpretation. But my interpretation is that the preamble to the constitution does mean complete worldwide freedom of movement. You suggest that it means the freedom to travel, but not the right to settle permanently. But I don’t see how there could be said to be “free movement” if someone could be forced to leave a country after their visa had expired.
    I’m not suggesting that the immigration motion should have called for immediate complete free movement. Free movement is the ideal that we should be seeking to move towards, as a long term aim. I accept that it cannot happen immediately. But we should be calling for an immigration system that is fair, compassionate and humane, and which gives priority to people with the greatest need to come to Britain. And we should be affirming our belief in the positive benefits of immigration.

  • Andrew Sosin 28th Sep '18 - 11:43am

    Whatever deal, or no deal is agreed, negotiations on detail will continue for many years, say at least 20 years. It will cover details like air flights, visa requirements, health insurance, security cooperation, scientific cooperation etc. the Libs Dems should push for as close cooperation as possible, while some brexiteers will want closure of access

  • Mick Taylor 28th Sep '18 - 4:04pm

    Paul Holmes. I do not know and neither do you exactly what will happen if Brexit goes through. What I believe is that the effects will not be good for the UK and if the Brexiteers gave their way then Brexit will be the start of dismantelling the UK as we have known it and without the EU to protect us. The agenda of the likes of Rees-Mogg should frighten you, it certainly scares me. Maybe some of the scarier predictions are tempting fate, but pretending it will somehow be OK is foolhardy, even reckless.
    Maybe we will fall off a cliff and maybe not, but what is important is that our party plans it’s response as well as continuing to fight Brexit.

  • Mick Taylor 28th Sep '18 - 4:14pm

    Catherine. If you have to accept the Eu referendum as absolute, as you suggest, then the same logic applies to 1975. You can’t it both ways. Democracy, IMHO, allows people to change their minds, which you apparently don’t. Two years is a lifetime in politics and Brexit has been shown to be a completely different beast to the easy options promised by the leave side. In a democracy, IMHO, I and my party have the right and the duty to stand up for what we believe in, regardless of what anyone else believes. If we persuade the people to change their minds then the referendum result becomes void and we need a fresh start.

  • Nonconformistradical 28th Sep '18 - 6:22pm

    @Mick Taylor 28th Sep ’18 – 4:14pm

    Seconded wholeheartedly!

  • @Mick Taylor. Couple of straw men there Mick?

    I never said it would be ‘OK’. Indeed I talked of the slow burn negatives and for example, specifically referred to some of the quite likely short term issues at Docks and Airports. However I noted that the supposedly ‘intransigent EU’ was more likely to get the blame from UK voters than that they would all suddenly switch to voting for us over the issue. I did though say that the ‘falling off a cliff’ stuff was not going to happen just as the dire predictions for a post No vote in 2016 didn’t happen either.

    You say I should be scared of Rees Mogg. Can you point to absolutely anything I have said anywhere that implies otherwise? His appalling social conservatism is opposed to everything I have believed on such issues since I can first recall thinking about such things around the age of 11! More relevant on this topic is his avid support for Free Trade. He, Liam Fox, Prof Minford etc all see Brexit as the chance to attain a Free Trade Nivarna which I believe would be very detrimental to the UK in many many ways. What does puzzle me is why some of the self styled ‘True Liberals’ in our Party, who proclaim Free Trade as one of the vital cores of Liberalism, prefer the external tariff barriers, quotas and regulatory bars of the EU. But that’s an issue for those who worship at the altar of Free Trade to rationalise their way out of, not me.

  • innocent Bystander 29th Sep '18 - 9:06pm

    “Two years is a lifetime in politics ”
    But not in the leaving of the EU. The 1975 Referendum gave plenty of time for the British people to become aware of the consequences of membership and thus able to form a view (before the 2016 rerun). It would have been thought ludicrous, at the time, to run the Referendum again straight after (in 1976 or 1977) and so this logic applied now is equally facile.
    I think it a mistake to leave but the people have a right to be wrong and the time for a third Referendum will be not before 2029, that is, after the consequences are clear.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 28th Jan - 5:34pm
    Thank you very much, David, for informing us at once of that very sad story. Can I also add something from last Friday's Times. The...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 28th Jan - 5:33pm
    In the mid 20th century it was considered inevitable that socialism was the way society would develop, so politics was mainly about how quickly it...
  • User Avatarexpats 28th Jan - 5:25pm
    Ruth Bright 28th Jan '20 - 4:01pm................expats have you won a council seat almost purely on increased turnout? (31% up to 40%) or produced a...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 28th Jan - 4:55pm
    Since no one has raised the issue of the health risks of 5G - perhaps the question of whether or not it should be introduced...
  • User Avatarfrankie 28th Jan - 4:47pm
    I have to say Frank your comment is the epitome of cakesish. You want to be able to stop EU nationals coming here but would...
  • User AvatarRob Harrison 28th Jan - 4:46pm
    @Paul Barker : we need to continue to call out the appalling treatment of Muslim citizens in China (and also other religious minorities). But refusing...