Jo: The fight to stop Brexit is far from over

So Boris Johnson has struck an eleventh hour deal which he intends to put to Parliament as hundreds of thousands of marchers take to the street demanding a People’s Vote.  The Lib Dems will be meeting at the Duke of Wellington Arch in Hyde Park at 11 am.

Jo’s reaction was pretty clear. We continue to fight to stop Brexit:

The fight to stop Brexit is far from over.

Boris Johnson’s deal would be bad for our economy, bad for our public services, and bad for our environment.

The next few days will set the direction of our country for generations, and I am more determined than ever to stop Brexit.

When this deal comes to Parliament we will use every possible opportunity to give the public a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal that includes the option to remain in the European Union.

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  • I don’t think this is the right response. If the DUP is not backing the agreement then we need to be using this to offer an agreement to support putting this agreement to the people between this deal and revoking article 50.

    Ultimately torpedoing this deal in parliament before getting to that point would not be a good thing as the last thing we can afford is finishing up coming out with no deal at all, and also getting this back to a public vote would be preferable to trying to settle it with a general election.

  • John Marriott 17th Oct '19 - 11:44am

    If the government and parliament agrees to a referendum on the deal including remain, (I would also include No Deal as well) then, for goodness sake, take the offer regardless of the DUP. Then, Lib Dems and all other remainers, put your money where your mouth is and get campaigning. However, it won’t be a walk in the park unless you change your tactics radically from last time!

  • Am I alone in feeling a little let down by the EU in succumbing to Boris Johnson’s waffle so easily, I don’t trust him or his cronies or am I being a bit naive and there is a bigger game plan going on here?

  • Barry,
    The EU have accepted the original offer they set out with a few vague words to cover Depeffles nudity. If the Brexi’s and Lexi’s want to run round shoving their surrender document in peoples faces we shouldn’t be surprised. The EU is looking after the EU and because NI us important to Eire, they are looking after them too. As to the rest of us they may have sympathy for us but it is the UK government who should be looking after us ( that they are not us a reflection on our society not the EU).

  • Thanks “frankie” I understand what you are saying, I just need to calm down a bit! !!

  • John Marriott 17th Oct '19 - 1:02pm

    It’s too late to close the stable door. Those of us, who advocated Remain over three years ago should have done a better job. All the rest, invoking Article 50 without a game plan, trying to get one up on our political opponents, failing to agree a deal, has been one long nightmare.

    Now, if parliamentarians can collectively hold their noses and, by voting for the Johnson ‘deal’ on condition that there is a confirmatory referendum before a final vote is taken, there might be one last chance to get it right. But, don’t hold your breath!

  • Richard Underhill 17th Oct '19 - 1:09pm

    A simple majority of members of the elected Assembly (if it were actually to meet) is not enough. A measure intended to protect the nationalist community is nowadays being used by the DUP (founded by the late Ian Paisley and including Ian Paisley Junior).
    “1) A Petition of Concern in respect of any matter shall be in the form of a notice signed by at least 30 members presented to the Speaker. No vote may be held on a matter which is the subject of a Petition of Concern until at least one day after the Petition of Concern has been presented.
    (2) Other than in exceptional circumstances, a Petition of Concern shall be submitted at least one hour before the vote is due to occur. Where no notice of the vote was signalled or such other conditions apply that delay the presentation of a Petition of Concern the Speaker shall determine whether the Petition is time-barred or not.”
    A view from Dublin is that nobody should have a veto.

  • Richard Underhill 17th Oct '19 - 1:16pm

    Labour MP John Mann will vote for EU Boris’ deal.
    Nigel Farage has tweeted that this deal is “not Brexit”.
    This is one of the parties where only what the leader says actually matters.

  • David Allen 17th Oct '19 - 1:29pm

    Johnson is ruling out an extension and saying it is his deal or no deal. He does hold some of the cards. The EU are quite happy with the deal, which gives them plenty of leverage to strike a trade deal with the UK that is favourable to themselves. So the Benn Act will be irrelevant if the EU aren’t willing to grant an extension.

    The EU have however said that a referendum or an election would provide good grounds for an extension. We should be asking them urgently to confirm that now.

    Swinson is right to demand a People’s Vote. Johnson is trying to use haste and secrecy to push through a deal that would not withstand proper scrutiny. In a referendum campaign, the Deal will fall apart.

    Johnson’s best bet is an election – whether or not his Deal is carried. if it’s been carried, Johnson will look like a winner and the opposition parties will lose focus. If it’s not been carried, Johnson can berate the saboteurs and storm to a victory for Brexit and bogus patriotism. We can’t afford a panic election, and nor can Labour, are you listening Mr Corbyn? We can win a referendum.

  • I’d quibble with the designation of John Mann as a Labour MP. To use the current in vogue language de jure he is while de facto he isn’t.

    In July 2019, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Mann as a government advisor on antisemitism.[41] In September 2019, Mann announced that he would not stand as an MP at the next general election, in order to take up a full-time role as the government’s anti-semitism “tsar”

    I wonder how many other Labour MP’s will be leaving politics to work for Boris; enough to get his surrender deal through, perhaps, perhaps not.

  • Junker has just said on BBC news that the EU will not grant any further extensions

    So I guess it’s this deal or no deal

  • John Marriott 17th Oct '19 - 2:27pm

    Then, of course, there’s the possibility of a GNU.

  • Junker on the BBC

    Asked if he thought the deal would pass parliament, he said: “It has to.”

    Then he added:

    “Anyway, there will be no prolongation.”

    He went on:

    “We have concluded a deal. So there is not an argument for delay. It has to be done now.”

    Asked by another journalist if he would rule out an extension if Boris Johnson asked for that, Juncker replied:

    “I gave a brief doorstop with Boris Johnson … half an hour ago and I was ruling out that there will be any kind of prolongation. If we have a deal, we have a deal, and there is no need for prolongation. That is not only the British view; that is my view too.”

    Asked again if he would officially rule out an extension, he replied:

    “Yes. We have a deal. So why should we have a prolongation.”

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Oct '19 - 3:10pm

    As you surely ought to know, matt, it’s not up to Juncker to decide that. (Of course, there are plenty of journalists pretending not to know it either, which doesn’t help.)

  • David Allen 17th Oct '19 - 3:13pm

    Sounds as if you are right Matt. Sounds as if Barnier has won such a good deal, the EU would rather take it and take Britain to the cleaners than let Britain stay in. If that’s Juncker’s logic, then why should Tories or anyone else vote for Johnson’s Deal?

  • @David Allen

    I never suggested that the deal was good.

    I imagine this has really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

    Will the ERG who were mostly on board with johnsons deal now vote it down in order to get the No deal brexit that they want?
    What will the waivering Labour MP’s do who want to leave the EU but with a Deal?

    Liberal Democrats are going to vote against a deal come what may.

    Looks like parliamentarians are in very choppy waters here.

    Maybe remainers last hopes are a GNU with someone who would be willing to simply just revoke article 50 (Bercow calling)?
    Will Corbyn allow Labour to get behind another leader of a GNu? I very much doubt it.
    Will LD hold their nose an get behind Corbyn to head a Gnu and would Corbyn revoke? I doubt it.

    Whatever, its an interesting 48 hrs ahead

  • David Allen 17th Oct '19 - 4:15pm

    The Opposition parties could have come together to stop this appalling deal. Instead, they supinely left the initiative with Johnson. As opportunists will, Johnson took his opportunity. If he can now get his deal through Parliament, he will have won a major victory (against which, the least bad option for his opponents would be to refuse an election, so that Johnson would be saddled with implementing the deal.)

    If Johnson’s Deal carries, then Labour will blame the Lib Dems for splintering the Opposition partnership, encouraging the dissident Tories to stand aside, and neutering the challenge to Johnson. The Lib Dems will blame Corbyn for incompetence, intransigence, and a crazy determination to seek a Corbyn-led election campaign ego-trip at all costs, when it should have been blatantly obvious that a referendum would be better for Labour (as well as Britain).

    And you know what? They will both be right. The Remain voting public will see that. They will not forgive the politicians who let them down. Only the SNP, Plaid and Greens will emerge with their reputations largely intact.

    So Corbyn and Swinson, you’d better find a way to vote that deal down now!

  • Juncker has ruled out an extension so say goodbye to a losers’ referendum. Say goodbye to the Benn Act.

    The choice is accept or leave without a deal. Revoke is out of the question. This party is on its own if it selects that option.

  • Alex Macfie 17th Oct '19 - 4:31pm

    The EU said that last time. And an extension isn’t in Juncker’s gift. It won’t be him who makes the decision should Johnson be forced to ask the EU for an extension. Juncker’s comments on an extension carry no weight at all; their purpose is simply to sell Johnson’s deal.

  • Panic is Depeffle’s greates tool. He tried to panic the DUP, but faced with becoming the surrender monkeys of Unionism they choose the deep Blue or should that be Orange sea. He will try to panic the scared amongst the Labour party, he may succeed but to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin

    “Those who would give up essential Principles, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Principles nor Safety.”

    which also sums up our brave Brexi’s and Lexi’s running around screaming “It is this surrender deal or hard Brexit”. Try to stay consistent my not so brave ones, you all claim that a “No deal is better than a bad deal” but now you are running around screaming take the deal bad as it is. I know you all think that get Brexit and it is all over but it isn’t true. Even Tory MP’s are starting to say the next stage will be worse and it will. Depeffle will go for a quick election hope he gets a large majority and then hit you hard, he can’t hit the poor hard enough to cover the cost so it will be the economically inactive (Pensioners) who take the hit. No sunlit uplands for you, just grinding pain but you voted for it so limited sympathy for me, I’ll sympathise with the young you threw under the bus. I accept not all old people voted to be poorer but we have to deal with statistics and they tended too, while the young didn’t.

  • @Alex Macfie

    That’s the risk that parliamentarians will have to way up and take a risk upon.
    It would be pretty foolish of them if that took that as a given and it turns out that this is the view of the EU and council and they went and voted against the deal only to find out there is no extension…

  • Barry Lofty 17th Oct '19 - 5:09pm

    I do take exception to my generation getting all the blame for this Brexit mess, a close family member often tells me that it was the generation that came after mine that voted in great numbers to leave the EU . It might have been older Tory voters who viewed the UK through blinkered eyes but as I have never voted Conservative in my life I absolve myself from that accusation. I will say yet again to all sides, were we so badly off inside the EU that it was worth all this terrible upset?
    I think not.

  • I totally agree with Barry Lofty.

    @ Frankie “he can’t hit the poor hard enough to cover the cost so it will be the economically inactive (Pensioners) who take the hit. No sunlit uplands for you, just grinding pain but you voted for it so limited sympathy for me.”

    As a staunch remainer Ithink I’m entitled to say, Frankie, your comments continue to amaze with what I can only describe as their juvenile level and illiberalirty. Do us all a fovour and give it a rest.

  • Can someone phone up Lib Dem HQ and point out that the EU have been granted a free trade deal with the UK already. As I understand it there will be no checks on goods imported from NI to the rest of the UK. So free trade deal done but only for the EU. Why will they give us a good deal the other way? Madness!

  • John Marriott 17th Oct '19 - 5:45pm

    If the Johnson Deal falls at the parliamentary hurdle, with or without amendments, and if Juncker does speak for the EU when he says that extension time is over, then the only way to prolong matters is a GNU and an instant revocation of Article 50. This action could be viewed as a kind of time out, as happens in sports like basketball, a time to reflect, regroup and plan afresh. I’m led to believe that it’s something an EU member can do at any time during these particular proceedings without prejudicing any possible future invocation or, as we could call it, a ‘re invocation’, if it’s clear that leave with a Deal is what people want. And the only way to find that out is to put it to another referendum.

    Of course, it’s not a given that, having been patient with us for so long, the EU would allow the Deal they just negotiated to be put back on the table and might, by insisting on draconian terms, aim to have shot of us. Personally, I wouldn’t blame them. We are truly becoming a laughing stock around the world. Who is going to take us seriously if we continue to behave like a bunch of self entitled, hubristic (public) schoolboys?

  • Can someone please confirm I haven’t got this wrong and that it will be possible for a French company to move products into England via Northern Ireland without any checks or tariffs. But the same product could go the other way and tariffs would be applied?

    This is a massive error of judgement if true.

  • @matt – I never suggested that the deal was good.
    It is notable that the actual content of “the deal” is being massively played down or even sidelined, as it is clear that getting “a deal at any cost” is far more important than what it actually contains. But then that was always going to be the case, from the moment the Conservative party committed themselves to delivering “Brexit” back in 2016, with no real idea of what exactly Brexit actually meant or would involve.

    I note, your analysis misses an important aspect, namely the content of the deal contradicts much of what was said by the Leave campaign, the Conservatives, Farage and Boris himself over the last 3 years… So the question has to be whether someone committed to leave can really vote for it, because a vote for Boris’s deal can’t really be said to be “respecting the referendum”, particularly the claims leave were making…

    It is looking like Parliament will have to take control off the Executive and appoint their own representative to go to the EU; perhaps that is what T.May and Boris want, so they can turn round to the electorate and cry through crocodile tears “they stopped us…”
    One thing is certain the Conservatives will do anything to avoid owning the mess they created, the trouble is that the rabid Brexiteers are likely to believe them…

  • Mr Raw you can object to your hearts content but there isn’t enough left in the welfare budget to cover the costs, unless you look at the biggest cost and that is

    “Social security spending in Great Britain

    Over 55% of social security expenditure goes to pensioners.
    The government is forecast to spend £121 billion on pensioners and £94 billion on working age people and children this year. In 2017 to 2018 £121 billion was spent on pensioners and £96 billion was spent on working age people and children.
    The largest benefit is the State Pension at £96.7 billion in 2018 to 2019, a rise of £1.2 billion in real terms since last year. It is paid to 12.7 million people.
    £69.2 billion is forecast to be spent on income-related benefits and personal tax credits, compared wth £71.8 billion in real terms since 2017 to 2018.
    £52.7 billion is forecast to be spent to support disabled people and people with health conditions, compared with £53.1 billion in real terms in 2017 to 2018. The fall is partly the result of the devolution of Carer’s Allowance expenditure in Scotland to the Scottish Government in September 2018.”

    Now Brexit makes us poorer, fact. One large part of the budget they can cut back to pay for that is the pensions; first will come triple lock, increase the pension age, then payments for this, payments for that.
    You may think that isn’t fair but it will happen because the one thing the Tories won’t do is tax the rich more, it just isn’t in their DNA ( O and they’ll be after the Barnet payments as well, every little helps).
    As to blaming the pensioners “Tis not fair ” you cry, true enough but life isn’t fair and we will need scapegoats. Going forward and someone will target the “rich” pensioners if they believe votes lie there.
    We have left the era of “nice” we have entering the era of “nasty”. I regret that change but it is what it is and regretting it won’t change it, neither will pretending it hasn’t happening. As to age groups getting the blame, well as I’m in the age group likely to be blamed, of cause I’m not chuffed to be blamed for something I didn’t do, but unfortunately given my looks and age I suspect many will do. Hey ho the joys of looking like a prime Brexiteer, perhaps I should buy a wig.

  • Would not expect Own Patterson to support the motion on Saturday after his alleged reported comments. Being said DUP are canvassing Brexiteers for support, but if they alone vote with the opposition then it will still be hard to get it passed. Would not expect morer than 5 Labour MPs to cross the floor. Does not look as if the Wigan MP will be included. What will our man from Eastbourne do, abstain?
    The key move is the use of the Referendum attached to the bill, but would the government recognise it and simply say “well the bill has passed”.
    Anyway onto the march.

  • David Allen 17th Oct '19 - 7:36pm

    Why is it remotely sensible to give the (currently nonexistent) Stormont parliament the chance to wreck peace in Northern Ireland in five years’ time?

    The anomalous position of Northern Ireland is just not going to work. The trade rules are so complex that only the smugglers will work them out effectively. If the DUP can form alliances with enough dodgy traders who think they could make money out of a harder border, they will push for that harder border. The other side won’t like it. What are the chances that when the two sides in Northern Ireland find new reasons for conflict, they will settle their differences peacefully?

    This appalling lash-up of a deal contains the seeds of its own destruction. It is a recipe for the chaotic disintegration of the UK.

  • John David Raw 17th Oct '19 - 8:06pm

    @ Frankie (I can’t address you as Mr. Frankie because you post anonymously).

    If you stick to figures and sensible arguments I might just agree with you. But if you indulge in illiberal ageism and (I flatter you) Harry Potter whimsicality then I won’t. As I said before, give it a rest.

  • Richard Underhill 17th Oct '19 - 8:48pm

    Hopefully MPs of several parties will not be running around like headless chickens.
    They mostly said that they want to read the legal text, which is in French.
    The BBC have a translation and provided it to an MP live on tv.
    The decision about an extension is for the Heads of Government, not the Commission.
    Jo Swinson is right to talk about the emperor’s new clothes.
    Many cartoonists have the same opinion.
    The Benn Act showed that it is possible to take control of the Commons’ order paper.
    They can do it again.
    All to play for on Saturday.

  • Well Mr David you touched on my anonymity and I feel you deserve an explination why anonymous I am and anonymous for the foreseeable future I will remain. Due to a need to maximise my pension and support multiple children on minimum student loans I am required to work. My employer and the role I fulfil take a dim view on poltical statements of any type, there us also a real but hopefully minimal chance I may drift into the category of ” politically restricted” at which point you will indeed get your wish for me to ” give it a rest”. As to the points I put, well I do provide more links than most and do not state what I want to happen I state what I believe is likely to happen. If I get chance tonight I’ll provide you my argument that future pensioners are already being shafted and why it is likely present ones will be shafted as well. Please note as I do plan to try to reach pension age I’m in the shafting queue along with the vast majority of the UK population.

  • Pensions may indeed be the largest part of the Social Security Bill, but pensions in the UK are amongst the lowest in the EU. Basic state pension is around £7500 a year. It may rise when the reforms brought in by Steve Webb take effect.
    There is a myth around that pensioners voted solidly for Brexit. A majority, but not an overwhelming one, except amongst really elderly pensioners, supported leave. I and many others of pension age voted to remain.
    If Frankie thinks it is right that remainers who happen to be of pension age should be shafted, then he should remember that people of my generation are voters and grey power is growing as people live longer. Any government or political party who intends to curtail or reduce pensioner benefits or pension levels is likely to get shirt shrift from this voting generation.

  • I shall begin by making the case why non pensioners ( and that includes many in their 50’s although much less than those younger than them) are being shafted.

    Firstly the date at which they will receive their state pension has been increased. This has been justified by the statement “People are living longer”, alas this is no longer true through out many regions of the UK

    In Torridge, Devon, male life expectancy dipped to 79.2 years – a decline of more than a year. Hartlepool saw a similar decline of more than 12 months to 76.4. In Amber Valley, Derbyshire, female life expectancy dropped by more than a year to 82.4 compared to 2015’s figures.

    Given the pension age is expected to climb to 70 unless life expectancy returns to a upward path future pensioners will have years less of retirement to enjoy.

    But, but what about private pensions, again the younger you are the harder you have been shafted. In the early 1980’s on starting work I was enrolled in a final salary pension. The understanding was do your forty years and in the last year maximise your over time and you’d leave with a tidy lump sum and a pension worth half your final salary. That was far from unique but pensions like that no longer exist. At best you might get a career average pension, but most of them are tied to the state pension age at worse you get a money purchase pension which will pay out very little indeed. I should point out the pension I was enrolled in no longer exists for anyone under 58 or possibly now as high as 59 ( been awhile since I saw the details), all those younger than that where moved to a career average pension which pays out at their State retirement age ( they did however get to keep their acquired benefits).

    All these changes of cause have been done on the grounds of affordability, which brings me onto why i expect those presently drawing pensions to join the shafting queue. But given I’ve apparently posted to much today that I’m afraid must await tomorrow. As to the question do I look forward to old leavers getting shafted, of cause not if I did I’d be in favour of Brexit, which makes it a virtual certainty. I do however have much more sympathy for those that didn’t vote to make every one poorer ( except Reece Mogg and Co they’ll be Ok).

  • The SNP have tabled an amendment to the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, asking for an immediate extension to the October 31 deadline and a general election. As far as I know no one has put forward an amendment for a second referendum. If (and I don’t think he will) Johnson loses the vote on his deal, it will be interesting to see if the SNP get enough support for their amendment. Will Labour or the LibDems support them? Will the Tories?

  • John Marriott – It looks as if Juncker was somewhat exceeding his authority. I suspect the EU would rule out an extension for more deal-tweaking. But they might permit it for a new “GNU” government with a radically new position.

    Revoke is a fantasy – because the votes in the House are not there for it (and would never be there after an election, either). A large majority of Labour MPs could vote for a referendum, but would never vote for Revoke. Fortunately Swinson has belatedly gone quiet about the disastrous Revoke idea and reverted to something achievable, a second referendum.

    That’s what a GNU could best achieve. Sadly Corbyn is still determined to help Johnson call his Brexit-panic-mode election. That’s a bit of “statesmanship” which is about as intelligent as Trump throwing the Kurds under a bus.

    How about telling Corbyn he can lead a GNU, provided he agrees on a referendum instead of his crazy plan for an election? Somehow, Lib Dems and Labour must hang together – or else, hang separately.

  • David Allen 18th Oct '19 - 1:00am

    To quote “Cyclefree” on Political Betting

    “The race is on to see if this deal can be nailed down before people have a chance to understand its implications in detail”. Well, the race is on for the Remainers to find out those implications fast!

    John Baron of ERG pointed out on Newsnight tonight that “No Deal” had not died – Johnson can keep that threat on the table while bargaining with the EU during the transition period to end 2020. So, “Get Brexit Done” by 31st October, indeed? No chance, Boris!

    This crazy customs business (“Get a customs duty rebate if you can kid the border officials that your goods won’t go outside Northern ireland”) is a smugglers’ charter. Will we be able to scrap the Brexit deal after we’ve done it, and found out how much harm it is doing us? Doubt it – Just think how badly the EU will be wanting to give us the grief, just for a change!

  • They are using the ” panic” plan to bounce people into a very bad deal. The ERG will be back after this looking for a hard Brexit and any Labour MP who helped deliver Brexit will then have to explain why the facilitated it. You can see our Brexi’s and Lexi’s are trying to create “panic”. I’m afraid I’m coming to the conclusion that at least some of them may be driven by financial interests although most are just easily influenced ” useful fools”. Just a point to the “useful fools”, the throwing of the DUP under a bus wasn’t a one off, it will be ongoing as brave Brexiteers are thrown under a bus as their usefulness ends. In fact after a general election the queue for ” under a bus” will be long indeed.

  • Why are present pensioners likely to be shafted cost and an economy that will struggle to grow (Brexit has aggregated this issue but that issue it existed already) will force the government to look or new sources of income. As the younger generation is tapped out that leaves only the generation of asset rich (if often cash poor) OAP’s.

    Firstly you can correctly state the Uk pension is around £7500 a year and should not be unaffordable, it is however not the major cost to the government of pensioners. The major cost is health an social care how to pay for this, well our present government doesn’t look like they want to pay it. First we should qualify the cost, not an easy task but it will be expensive. When calculating the cost it is worth baring in mind the following
    The effect on healthy life expectancy
    Healthy life expectancy has also increased, but not at the same rate as life expectancy, so more years are spent in poor health. Although an English male could expect to live 79.5 years in 2014–16, his average healthy life expectancy was only 63.3 years – ie, he would have spent 16.2 of those years (20 per cent) in ‘not good’ health.
    An English female could expect to live 83.1 years, of which 19.2 years (23 per cent) would have been spent in ‘not good’ health. And although females live an average of 3.6 years longer than males, much of that time is spent in poor health – they experience only 0.6 more years of good health than men.

    People in poor health cost the government and they are already looking for those with assets to pay. Mrs May arguably lost the election on her policy to
    ” Tory manifesto: more elderly people will have to pay for own social care
    Theresa May unveils ‘difficult but necessary’ measure to pay for elderly care”
    Already they are chipping away at OAP benefits, a change in the rules her, a change there. A classic example of this is the TV licence for the over 75’s gone, but it saved the government
    £745m Estimated cost to the BBC of current scheme
    Brexit of cause by discouraging investment, trade and young immigrants will make the need for additional revenue a priority and the asset rich OAP’s will be a target they can’t afford to ignore.

  • Alex Macfie 18th Oct '19 - 8:23am

    David Allen: How exactly is Jo’s Revoke policy “disastrous”? It hasn’t led to a downturn in our poll ratings (as in the overall trend, not cherry-picked single opinion polls). The only reason Jo is “quiet” about it is that it’s specifically something that would happen if there’s an election producing a majority government, so it’s not relevant to what happens in the next few days.
    What WOULD be disastrous for the Lib Dems would be Jo helping Corbyn into No 10, even as a caretaker PM. It is a grave error to think that he could be a puppet PM with Jo, Hillary Benn, Anna Soubry et al pulling the strings. It would be Seumas Milne pulling the strings, in the same way as Cummings is pulling Johnson’s. The PM has various powers outside of Parliament, making it dangerous to have Corbyn in No 10, whoever is backing him in Parliament.
    If the Lib Dems helped Corbyn into NO 10, we can straightaway say goodbye to all the traditionally safe tory, but Remain leaning, seats that we are currently eyeing up. We would gift Johnson the overall majority he covets, since winning enough of them would deny him that overall majority, whatever the national opinion polls say. His election strategy is based on the premiss that it doesn’t matter if they lose Richmond Park to the Lib Dems if they gain Crewe & Nantwich from Labour. But if the Tories can legitimately say “Vote Jo get Jeremy”, then we can forget about winning even Richmond Park from the Tories, never mind, say, unseating Dominic Raab or getting Luciana elected in Finchley.

  • Arnold Kiel 18th Oct '19 - 9:40am

    frankie is, as always, entirely right.

    It should be clear that the whole purpose of Brexit is to make some people richer and most poorer. Adverse demographic trends, deindustrialisation and increasing healthcare-and land-cost will soon present the UK with a stark choice: massive redistribution or destitution. The Tories have chosen the latter, and Brexit is one essential (and virtually irreversible) building block of that policy. It impoverishes the public sector to prevent the accidental Labour-government from funding its plans. The other two elements are taken directly from the US-republicans’ rulebook: identity politics and voter suppression (e.g. the timely announced voter-ID legislation).

    It works so far: if Johnson’s deal goes through, it will be due to Labour-votes by MPs who have succumbed to the toxic sentiment the Conservatives have created by public impoverishment, identity politics, and (so far only psychological and economic) voter suppression.

    If that happens, most motivation to vote LibDem (remain) will disappear. Depending on the seat-based risk-assessment surely being done right now, it might make sense for the LibDems to offer Corbyn a deal: a three-line whip in exchange for support as interim PM for the purpose of prolongation and a second referendum/GE (too hard to tell right now). This might have some electoral cost at the next GE, but would keep remain and the LibDems in play. Right now, defeating Johnson on Saturday trumps everything else.

  • Louise Ellmans leaving of Labour and her comments about JC have been lost in the Brexit tumult. Read somewhere Labour in Liverpool were in disarray, Princes Park by election yesterday 72% of the vote!
    David Allen: your comments about “hanging together” must be the hidden fruit for the Conservatives who are doing pretty well at the moment.

  • John Marriott 18th Oct '19 - 9:45am

    What’s this sudden interest in pensions, Mr ‘Tiswas? Could it be that it’s looming for you too? Well, some of us have been there before you – and for quite a while. You know, us lucky sons of bitches are doing pretty well, thank you very much, particularly if we can factor in the occupational pensions that some of us currently enjoy.

    I grant you that these pensions in particular are proving expensive as ex teachers like me and David Raw are living too damn long. However, as someone who, for over twenty years, was paying an extra 3% of his salary to compensate for his four missing years abroad, I reckon that I’m entitled to my crust. A few years ago it was actuarially calculated that the average ‘life’ of a male teacher’s pension was two years if he retired at 65. No wonder early retirement, if available at all, now comes with significant stringless attached. But think of all the dosh that disappeared into the black hole of the Treasury with no accounts published nor any idea how it had been invested. Some wag once reckoned that it had certainly been enough to pay for the Falklands’ War and probably a few conflicts besides that!

    Yes, being born in 1943 rather than 1953 has been an advantage as far as I’m concerned and I am certainly willing to pay my share of tax on what I get. You won’t find me moaning about my lot unlike some of pensionable age. I appreciate that times will not be like they were for future pensioners. I wonder if that’s why you are so worried about your own future circumstances. All the more reason therefore to have a fair system of taxation whether inside or outside the EU. In whichever position we eventually find ourselves it will be OUR decision what to do and not THEIRS.

  • Sorry to go “off track” a bit here, but the figures for men and women quoted by Frankie for healthy lifespan at around 63, are PRECISELY the same year that a very old fashioned phrase, “the grand climacteric” kicked in, when many (in particular men) died of cardiovascular conditions etc.

  • John,
    I’m concerned about pensions because most people of my generation won’t have a decent one. Yes I have skin in the game, but for a variety of reasons less than most ( final salary was my saviour, hopefully, possibly), but most are not in that fortunate position and those younger than me few if any. You touched on the pension scheme both you and David are drawing and while you contributed and even paid extra into it was much better than the existing scheme.

    Which Teachers’ Pensions Schemes apply to me? The type of Teachers’ Pension Scheme – and how much you’ll end up getting in retirement – depends on when you joined the scheme and how far away from retirement you were when changes to the scheme were introduced in 2015. These dates will determine whether or not your eventual pension will be based on your final salary, or on your career average earnings (the latter of which is less generous). Some people who used to be in the final salary scheme have been moved into the career average ….. We’ve explained this further on. The arrangements are as follow

    Read more: – Which?I

    Teachers Pension contribution rates Salary range Contribution rate
    £0-£27,698 7.40%
    £27,698-£37,285 8.60%
    £37,285-£44,209 9.60%
    £44,209-£58,591 10.20%
    £58,591-£79,896 11.30%
    £79,896+ 11.70%

    Now John how did I know about the Teachers pension scheme had changed, am I a teacher or am I related to a teacher, err no I just keep an eye out for events. While my retirement pension actually looks rather good ( but many a slip between cup and lip) it will only be good if I can stop giving a toss that others will live in poverty. Strangely enough much as I might try to cultivate the attitude well it’s all their fault nothing to do with me, let them suffer, I can’t. I care people are heading for poverty, I care people are making stupid mistakes and I know that I’ll probably be trying to help them cursing myself for being a fool. Don’t get involved I’ll say, leave it to someone else, but the someone else never turns up and this fool rushes in and makes myself so popular with management (that is how I ended up as a minor union rep, there was no other fool available or willing).

  • Interesting that the Ulster Unionists say they would prefer to remain in the EU and the less dogmatic Democratic Unionist voters are coming round to the same idea as they see the possible effects of leaving which many people could see from the start. Well better late than never, better a sinner that repenteth than the other 99

  • Jo, Ed & Team

    Above all else, remember to focus on our core objective in the next few days….
    Turn down the deal; Brexit Extention; Vote of no confidence; Interim Government; People’s Vote; and finally Election…

    Please do not be draged/trapped into any political shinanigans that even risk undermine our objectives……

  • It’s becoming clearer by the minute that Boris Johnson’s deal is just a steam roller approach to deliver on his mandate to those who elected him. He is prepared to sacrifice the union, social, environmental and human rights concerns to do this. Look at his arm twisting of the DUP and other politicians; good decisions are not made under such circumstances.

  • John Marriott,

    any successful democracy makes not only good use of – it also maximises – its solution space. Brexiters have convinced you that only the former matters, while, in reality, Brexit is all about the latter.

    In terms of actual wealth (apart from the inequality), the UK is a first-tier country, but in terms of control over its own economic destiny, it is rather second tier.
    is very instructive reading on this.

    The more private, concentrated, intangible, foreign a country’s wealth, the less impact have its national institutions on its welfare. Brexit is just one of the last measures of successive Conservative governments in this direction which will eventually render “OUR decisions” rather meaningless, because all material ones will be “THEIRS”. The EU, btw. was never an important UK decision-maker, another propaganda-lie you apparently fell for.

  • Arnold Kiel 18th Oct ’19 – 12:46pm:
    The EU, btw. was never an important UK decision-maker, another propaganda-lie you apparently fell for.

    ‘We cannot afford to be apathetic about the EU’ [December 2003]:

    There are many legitimate criticisms to be made of the European parliament, but irrelevance or lack of importance, the stock accusations, are laughably wide of the mark.

    Probably half of all new legislation now enacted in the UK begins in Brussels. The European parliament has extensive powers to amend or strike down laws in almost every conceivable area of public life. […]

    Nick Clegg is a Liberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands.

  • Arnold Kiel 18th Oct '19 - 1:40pm


    every EU-originated law passed in the UK has been cleared by the UK government first. The “decision-making” was always British. Logically, only contentious decisions matter; where there is agreement, the source is irrelevant.

  • John Marriott 18th Oct '19 - 4:28pm

    @Arnold Kiel
    What gives you the idea that I’m a Brexiteer? Like Lord Hague, I’m what he calls a “pragmatic Remainer”. That’s to say that I know on which side my bread is buttered. I’m fine with “pooling sovereignty” where it concerns all EU members. I don’t buy into all this federalism stuff. The only Federal state I want to see is a Federal UK. In any case we have an opt out. I’m what our friend ‘frankie’ calls a “tag along” and proud of it.

    The problem is that I just can’t ignore those 17.4 million people. So, for me, something like Norway Plus would do. If you had read some of the many contributions I have made in LDV over the past few years you would not have accused me of being something I am not.

  • John,
    Norway+ is not on offer, at best it is Canada- and if the ERG get their way it is WTO. So you realistically have three futures, remain, Canada- or WTO which one would you tagalong with?

  • John Marriott 18th Oct '19 - 10:38pm

    Who says that Norway Plus is “not on offer”? Who knows what might happen if the deal fails tomorrow? It’s all up for grabs. Nothing is impossible. Unicorns DO exist – the fairies at the bottom of my garden told me so!

  • I’m afraid John there are too many frightened Labour MP’s along with some very mad ones, that coupled with Jeremey tacit support is likely to get this abomination over the finishing line. Then the fun really begins.

  • @frankie
    Norway+ is not on offer, at best it is Canada- and if the ERG get their way it is WTO.
    Actually, if the ERG get their way it will be WTO–
    Without the WA and trade agreement with the EU, the UK will firstly, not have a WTO tariff card or any trade agreements of any worth (ie. trade agreements that are relevant to the 80% of current exports by value), leaving the UK exposed to the full weight of WTO rules and tariffs and secondly, without a trade deal with the EU we can expect others to play hardball in any trade negotiation.
    What Brexiteers forget, is that the UK has been a member of a trading block since circa 1650; post-Brexit will be the first time the UK will attempt to trade with the world without the security of being a member of a trading block…

  • John Marriott,

    it was not my intention to “accuse” you of anything, including voting to leave. I was just challenging the (typical leaver, I must say-) view that autonomous decision-making can solve problems when, in reality, the means are lacking to adequately fund anything.

  • In order to maximise support for a second referendum, may I suggest that our leaders make overtures to those who voted leave. We must accept that we lost the original argument but are simply saying that now you know what leaving will mean economically and politically, here’s your chance to change your mind

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