Labour back a People’s Vote – but do they mean it?

Forgive me for not getting over-excited about Labour backing a People’s Vote.

Obviously, it is good that they are going to – but this doesn’t mean that all of their MPs will vote for it.

From the BBC

The BBC’s Vicky Young said it was a highly “significant” development as Mr Corbyn had previously been “lukewarm” about the idea of another vote.

Theresa May is under growing pressure to delay the 29 March Brexit date.

Labour are not yet making clear what their proposed referendum would be on.

When asked to clarify this, a spokesman for the leader’s office said: “We’ve just said we’d back a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit.”

A Labour briefing paper to MPs says that any referendum would need to have “a credible Leave option and Remain”.

I don’t think that we should expect that Jeremy Corbyn will be backing a People’s Vote with the zeal of a convert. He will do so with about the same level of enthusiasm that I would have going for root canal treatment or a test on Russian grammar.

And ultimately he  would be quite happy to have a damaging Labour Brexit.

Labour MPs got the Government off the hook over the Cooper/Boles amendment which would have taken No Deal on 29th March off the table and Corbyn pretended not to notice.

If his MPs got the Government off the hook on a People’s Vote, the consequences for his party would be much more serious – yet it may still happen.

And if we do get that vote, what will Labour do?

If it’s May’s deal vs Remain, will they back Remain? And if so, will they do it with more enthusiasm than he managed to muster in 2016? Actually, it might be better if he went on holiday during the campaign and left it to David Lammy.

One thing is for sure. Liberal Democrats have never seen the People’s Vote as an end in itself. It’s always been about a democratic vehicle to stop Brexit. That is our primary objective and we’ve not made a secret of it.

We have been making the case against Brexit since 24 June 2016 and will continue to do so with massive passion and enthusiasm.

It won’t be easy to win a People’s Vote but it can be done. For  a start, the campaign to remain will not be hampered by Number 10 not wanting it to say anything remotely positive about the EU.

I think we have cause to be cautiously optimistic – but if Labour screw this up and give the Government victory, they will never be forgiven.

And while I think about it – an amusing tangent. I have been aware of the Our Future, Our Choice for some time, but it wasn’t until Jo Swinson was talking about them on Saturday at Scottish Conference and used the acronym, that the penny dropped. I can be so naive sometimes.

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

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

81 Comments

  • I only wish that the party really did send out an enthusiatic message about the European Union. I realise the problems of getting media attention. The party has control of what they send to me as a member. I see an endless repetition of asking for a public vote, and asking for money. Why are the rich right allowed to set the agenda? Nonsense about taking back control, about decisions being made by faceless bureaucrats, about the EU being undemocratic are regarded as facts by most of the people I speak to.

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Feb '19 - 7:43am

    @ Caron,
    There are some Labour MPs who will not vote for it or probably will not vote for it, but the vast majority will. There a re a few die-hard brexiteers in the party, but also a number who are fearful of the consequences of ignoring the public vote, and understandably so. It is the Tory MPs you need to worry most about. Apart from a small number of enthusiastic remainers, the numbers on that side are a real concern,

    The EU is a massive Tory problem, and always has been. It was foolish of Cameron to think that a referendum would heal the deep divisions in the party.

  • For heaven’s sake! For months this site has been clamouring for Corbyn to back another referendum because that is what his party wants. Now, it’s ……………..Obviously, it is good that they are going to – but this doesn’t mean that all of their MPs will vote for it…………..

    Sadly, as on so many other things, if it’s not done by LibDems it can’t be right.

    Last night I watched the BBC news, which has been highlighting Corbyn’s reluctance to back another vote, and it was all about how dozens of his MPs are against it and what the exact wording of the question will be, etc.

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 8:11am

    If it’s May’s deal vs Remain, will they (Lab) back Remain? And if so, will they do it with more enthusiasm than he (JC) managed to muster in 2016? Actually, it might be better if he went on holiday during the campaign..”

    If those are the options then it won’t matter who Labour backs, how much enthusiasm JC, or anyone else has, and neither will it matter who goes off on holiday.

    They will be a mass boycott of the polls by the Leave side giving Remain, technically, an easy win. But it will remove any democratic legitimacy from the outcome and the Leave side will have to pursue their objectives by other measures. This doesn’t bode well for the future of British democracy.

  • Caron, you are nip picking. It is the broader picture that matters, the plates are shifting with both parties. The PM may even have to resign tomorrow.

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Feb '19 - 8:40am

    @ Peter Martin,
    I have just shared yet another Best For Britain post. It says Thank you Labour.

    I understand the concerns of ignoring the Leave vote and those who voted leave in 2016, but we are in a political morass.

    What I would ask, is that the extremists of all sides consider the damage that has been done, and will continue to be done, not only to our economy, but also to the social fabric of our society if our parliamentarians do not take decisive action. They are Representatives, not delegates.

    If , as I assume it will, Jeremy Corbyn’s , last ditch attempt to get a better Brexit deal fails, and as with President Obama, there will be those who agree with what he is proposing but hate him so much , they will cut their noses off to spite their faces by voting against something that they actually agree with, a final say seems to be the best way of healing the deep divisions in our society. It is a last resort.

    Mrs May has failed to get a decent Brexit deal and it has had to get to this pitiful state for her to do what Jeremy Corbyn on behalf of Labour, has consistently asked, that she should take No deal off the table.

  • Devil is in the detail. I rather suspect the poltical class will be happy to kick the can again, “We need more time” they will cry; meanwhile in the real world government drifts and the economy stalls as uncertainty undermines it.

  • Jayne,
    Mrs May’s first and last priority is keeping the Tories together, if “no deal” does that then “no deal” it is.

  • This doesn’t bode well for the future of British democracy.
    Well Peter, given the mindless state of many Brexiteers – witness Question Time (audience and panelists), various radio interviews eg. John Redwood yesterday, and the comments to any BBC Brexit news article, I think this highly emotive “sod the consequences” blind politics is going to be more of a problem, particularly as you noted elsewhere on LDV many people (especially Brexiteers) have zero understanding of how Parliament and representative democracy works. As was noted when May was appointed after Cameron stepped down “the adults are back in charge”, however, events seem to indicate the adults didn’t know how to handle the children and so continued to indulge them, making matters worse…

    We are also seeing this childish emotive thinking impacting action to tackle climate change and the environmental crisis – why act when others continue to add to the problems, may as well carry on as usual, and so make the crash, when it happens, and it will, much much harder.

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 9:29am

    @ Roland and Others,

    Any portrayal of the EU discussion as “children vs adults” clearly isn’t helpful.

    IMO it’s the ‘children’ of the EU who have created a monster that they don’t understand and cannot control! The ‘children’ don’t understand the nature of modern money but nevertheless they have seen fit to impose a common currency on the EU. The take up is 19 countries so far but there are more to follow in their grand scheme. This is the source of most of the EU’s problems. I could say the lack of democracy accounts for the rest but the two problems are linked. If the EU had a democratic system we wouldn’t have seen the introduction of the euro in the first place.

    But I don’t normally use such language because it’s counter productive. There is a plenty of intelligent ‘adult’ argument on the unreformable nature of the neoliberal EU.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=41571

  • I think the most convincing campaign has been from Led by Donkeys. It exposes the stupidity of some of the Leaver’s statements.
    @Peter Martin if Leaver’s boycott a referendum where do they go? They can hardly ask for another one and the Tory party would seriously destroy itself if it tried to bring Brexit back.
    The EU needs to change and so does the UK. We’ve been blaming the EU for our own failings and we’ve been half in a lot of the time too – often to keep the coterie of Tory leavers happy. In 30 years time demography will have changed and the UK might finally accept that it’s better to be part of 500 million people than not.

  • John Marriott 26th Feb '19 - 9:35am

    “A democratic vehicle to stop Brexit”. If you keep saying that you will not win over those millions of votes you need to secure a really representative majority for Remain. If you only manage between a 2 and 3% for Remain, and who knows what will happen when Farage, Tice, ably assisted by Elliott and Cummings, get going, it just won’t go away.

    If we are going to get another vote and can’t get a ‘preferendum’ (Leave with no Deal v Leave with Deal v Remain) then we need a new script, not one crowded with the familiar slogans from both sides of the argument, especially if you are going to get Brenda from Bristol to listen to you.

    Above all, be pragmatic and be honest. You should use words like “We now know what might happen if we leave the EU with or without a Deal. In economic terms we may almost certainly be poorer; but less so if we leave with a deal. If you are happy with that, you are entitled to your opinion. If not then you should vote to remain”. No ‘project fear’, no ‘Rule Britannia’, just treating people as intelligent human beings.

  • Well if this 2nd referendum does get the go ahead, I believe leave will still win.
    If the option on the ballot paper is, leave with may’s deal or remain. I believe Leave will come out on top. leavers will take the attitude that I do, Take the deal, lets get at least one foot out of the door and when we have proved that the UK can go it alone and indeed prosper, when Armageddon doesn’t happen, we can then proceed with getting us fully out of the EU.
    If it’s a 3 question referendum with STV
    (A) Leave with Deal
    (B) Leave with no deal
    (C) Remain
    I believe leave will still win. It would make sense for leavers to encourage its voters to chose option (A) as a 1st Choice and (B) for a 2nd choice with the belief that remain inclined voters are going to chose option (c) as their first choice and (A) as their 2nd meaning if it goes to a 2nd round of counting (A) would most certainly come out on top.
    It would then go back to this idea, lets get at least one foot out of the door and then restart the campaign to get us fully out at a later date.
    One thing is for certain, we are not going to see Government propaganda spending millions of pounds sending flyers out to every household warning them of the costs and dangers to May’s deal.
    Remain is going to have difficulty relying on project fear again (though no doubt they will) Warnings of Emergency Budgets, recessions, rising unemployment is hardly going to be believed when since the last referendum, unemployment is at an all time low, wages are finally starting to see above inflation increases since the banking crisis and employers are having to do more to attract staff and retain employees.

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 9:50am

    @pmknowles

    “if Leaver’s boycott a referendum where do they go?”

    My comments referred to a referendum where the only two choices were May’s terribly bad deal or remaining in the EU. I find neither of those options acceptable, so I would personally boycott the poll.

    I can’t speak for what everyone else might do, but from conversations I’ve had with others I would say my feelings are fairly typical of the Leave vote.

    Where do we go from here? That’s a good question. Many people will take the view that democracy has failed and so other more direct measures will need to be taken. The country will end up in turmoil. Much worse than it is now.

  • Richard Underhill 26th Feb '19 - 10:07am

    Keir Starmer MP has also made a statement, briefly and with lawyerly precision, but he is not the leader. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keir_Starmer
    He continues to have my sympathy, for what it is worth.
    If, at some future stage, he becomes as embittered as Alan Johnson it would not be surprising. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Johnson
    It is surprising that he has not reached that stage yet.

  • Joseph Bourke 26th Feb '19 - 10:41am

    The older I get the more I think Plato in the Republic may have been right all along as to the qualties and characteristics needed of citizens elected to serve in public office.
    Within the two larger parties we probably have a majority that share broadly similar liberal views and values i.e. the social democrat wing of the Labour party and the social Liberal wing of the Conservatives. It is largely party loyalties that prevent these Labour and Conservtive MPs coalescing around the Libdem position.
    John Mann on Sky this morning was a 2nd referendum would do to the LabourParty what the U-turn on tuition fees did to Libdems.
    Plato’s Athenians would have sorted the matter out in a single day with a public debate in an Amphtheatre. Maybe we could do the same over the weekend in Wembley. Stadium

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 10:53am

    This is the pseudo-referendum the Labour Right wing are proposing. It won’t fly.

    https://news.sky.com/story/labours-sir-keir-starmer-says-second-eu-referendum-should-be-leave-vs-remain-11648505

  • I do agree that for leavers, a boycott is the best strategy. It’ll really keep the “stab in the back” narrative going.

  • Peter Martin: If you are proposing to instigate civil unrest in the event of a U-turn on Brexit (whether by a referendum with Remain as an option or a delay), then I hope and fully expect that the full force of the law will come down on you. Part of a fully functioning democracy is the rule of law. Not rule by who can get the most thugs on their side.

  • Corbyn’s decision will probably kill off TIG . Those who boycott another referendum will probably be mostly the same people who normally never voted and do not understand why we did not leave the day the votes were counted. The law requires that a general election must be held within 5 years of the previous one and they have often been held within months or 2 or 3 years after that. The same should apply to referendums. By the time one could be held it would be over 3 years and possibly nearly 4 years since the last one. That is democracy. If the Leavers view prevailed we would have a Conservative Government for ever which is probably what they want.

  • If Remain is an option 52% of the population will be outraged, if no deal is an option then nearly half will be furious. This is not like a General Election where most people are usually mildly irritated by the opposition, this is close to hatred. How the hell can we have a referendum in that environment? Tom Brake says that “a people’s vote in a fair campaign devoid of the extensive cheating” of the last referendum would unite people. Good luck with that! It’s beginning to look like May’s deal with a few tweaks (if that’s possible) is the only way. It will make nearly everyone a little unhappy, but that might be the only way forward. Whatever, get ready for a General Election when the DUP withdraw their support.

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 2:58pm

    @ Alex MacFie,

    “proposing to instigate civil unrest” ???

    I think you must be confusing me with someone else. Possibly someone who has proposed such unrest in Northern Ireland in the event that the border ends up being not quite as open as they might wish?

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Feb '19 - 4:38pm

    @ Peter Martin,

    You are saying what Nigel Farage is saying, that if there is no leave option, he would boycott any referendum.

    Politics really is horseshoe shaped, when the two extremes are that close on such a matter of such importance for the future of the country.

    Whatever your averred political perspective, which you claim in left of centre, no deal is an extremist position. It would be an act of utter irresponsibility.

  • Whilst a genuie move would be welcome, Labour somwhat fuding the issue and not all have the same view as Keir Starmer. If their alternative as expected voted down say will support a Referendum as means of stopping damaging Brexit but questions of precise wording/timing and some suggestions would only support if a deal is passed in Commons-somewhat unclear.

    In any case even if swing firmly behind the malcontents may well swart it and would they really go for 3 line whip to exert some pressure,feeling that the defections played a big part and Corbyn likely thinks he will not have to deliver on it. However suppose should not be devoid of optimism and some may have had change of heart. As has been mentioned in media all options seem fairly unlikely and fluid times.

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 5:34pm

    @ Jayne,

    Well, I said it before Nigel Farage! Maybe he’s been reading my comments on LDV? 🙂

    I’d much prefer a deal but not May’s ultra poor deal. No deal is quite logical – even so. Why? Because if we say we will never, ever leave without a deal, the EU will know, for certain, that they can stop Brexit in its tracks simply by refusing to agree a deal with us. Or, by offering a bad deal they know Parliament will turn down. Which is effectively their game plan at the moment.

  • Jayne Mansfield 26th Feb '19 - 6:23pm

    @ Peter Martin,

    I believe that the negotiating position of Mrs May has been undermined by those calling for a ‘Peoples Vote’ ever since the erm.. peoples vote. When one goes into a negotiation one goes in hard and there should be no doubt that one will walk away from the table. On that we probably agree.

    I agree that Mrs May’s deal is a poor deal.

    However, I have family working and living in the EU, working for EU organisations, and quite frankly, their co-workers have reached a point where they don’t care whether we stay of leave. In fact they would prefer we leave, we are more trouble than we are worth.

    We can either play a Polka game and pursue a high risk strategy or we can look at the evidence that has now come to light and decide whether, in the final analysis, it is in the best interests to remain members of the EU or not. If not, the least damaging option.

    If there were to be another referendum, I would vote remain, but I would accept a deal that keeps us as close to the EU and its institutions as possible.

    On all available evidence that I have seen, a no deal option is an option for those who show ‘criminal’ irresponsibility for those who would most suffer in such a scenario.

    I do not think that the EU is perfect, far from it, but life ain’t perfect.

  • Yeovil Yokel 26th Feb '19 - 6:54pm

    malc – “If Remain is an option 52% of the population will be outraged”. Wrong. A maximum of 37.4% of the electorate might be outraged – but after 32 months of reality gradually dawning the figure will be lower.

    If posters like matt are convinced that Leave would win another referendum then there’s only one way to find out.

  • @Yeovil Yokel

    “If posters like matt are convinced that Leave would win another referendum then there’s only one way to find out.”

    I am convinced that leave would win again, however, that does not mean I believe there should be another one.

    I believe we should be enacting the result of the last referendum, which was to leave the single market and the customs union.

    But since the remainers sabotaged the negotiating strategy of the government , we are where we are at.

    If there is to be another referendum, really the choice should be between leave the EU with the negotiated deal or leave with no deal, since this would be honouring the result of the previous referendum. But still, I cannot see that happening and so therefore it will have to be a 3 option question.
    However, since the trade negotiations have not even begun to take place yet and we do not even know what the final deal would look like, it seems absurd to be holding a referendum on it.
    Therefore it seems to me the only right thing to do would be to extend article 50, complete the deal IN FULL, then hold your much wanted people’s vote.

  • Yeovil Yokel – OK, 52% of the people who could or bothered to vote in the referendum would be outraged. How you come up with a figure of 37.4% I have no idea. I presume you must count everyone who didn’t vote for leave as a remainer, I very much doubt that is true. Either way a referendum is a bad idea, just deciding what the options are will be a nightmare. The campaign would be far worse than last time and would take ages to organise. Just imagine what the EU elections would be like, with half the country wanting out and the TIG’s and Brexit Party thrown into the mix. Overall I’m sure most people would wish to avoid more months of chaos, which may still result with no clear cut winner.

  • nvelope2003 26th Feb '19 - 8:26pm

    If the date for leaving the EU is postponed we might have to hold elections for the European Parliament. As they are held under PR it would be an excellent opportunity to see what the support for Remain parties ( Liberal Democrats, Greens, TIG, SNP, Plaid, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance) versus Leave parties is now so I bet they will not be held.

  • Yeovil Yokel 26th Feb '19 - 9:03pm

    malc – let me refresh your memory: the Leave vote was 17,410,742, the total electorate was 46,501,241, therefore 37.4% of the electorate voted Leave. For the last 32 months leading Brexiteers have dishonestly been describing that result as a “clear mandate” to Leave.
    A fresh referendum might seem to you like a bad idea – until you consider the alternatives. Even if Parliament can agree on a deal, the chaos you so wish to avoid will continue for years to come.

  • Yeovil Yokel 26th Feb '19 - 9:21pm

    matt – “I believe we should be enacting the result of the last referendum, which was to leave the single market and customs union”. Where in the campaign literature and on the ballot paper was the SM and CU mentioned? Most voters wouldn’t have had much of a clue what these terms meant back in 2016. They were told ‘Leave Means Leave’, but what Leave means was never clearly spelt out.

    “But since the remainers sabotaged the negotiating strategy of the government, we are where we are at.” Remind us, matt, of the names of the Brexit-supporting cabinet ministers who have been in charge of the leading Brexit departments whose ‘negotiating strategy’ has dropped us into the present pile of dung; and of the so-called Leader of the Opposition who colluded in ensuring Article 50 was passed. These remainer saboteurs you refer to clearly haven’t done a very good job, have they?

  • Peter Martin 26th Feb '19 - 9:35pm

    @ Jayne,

    I don’t believe leaving with no deal on the 29th March is an extremist position. The negotiations so far, if that’s the right word to use, haven’t been about either the EU or the UK’s best interests. They’ve been skewed by a desire of negotiators, and not just on the EU side, to scupper the whole Brexit process.

    Actually leaving will be a huge step forward in that we can all forget about the ulterior motivations that have held everything back and actually get on with the real job at hand. ie negotiating a trade deal to our mutual benefit.

    The Labour PLP at one time contained a high percentage of individuals who were largely eurosceptic in their views. It was quite normal. It wasn’t at all seen as extremist. Even some of those on the right like Peter Shore were in agreement with lefties like Tony Benn. Where’s the equivalent of Peter Shore now? A young Tony Blair first stood for Parliament on a eurosceptic manifesto, too. He didn’t seem at all unhappy with it as contemporary accounts show.!

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/tony-blairs-election-pledges-1983-12938528

    I’m not sure if he really believed that at the time, and has since changed his mind, or if he was just doing what he thought was necessary to further his career. I suspect the latter. But nevertheless when he was in charge he saw to it that anyone that was remotely of a similar view to the one he himself ostensibly expressed wasn’t selected as a Labour candidate in a winnable seat. I myself wouldn’t have had a hope. Blair wanted people like Luciana Berger and Chris Leslie! He couldn’t get rid of people like Dennis Skinner or Jeremy Corbyn but as time went on the PLP became more skewed away from its grass roots support.

    That’s still JC’s big problem now. He has plenty of support in the wider party but not enough in the PLP.

  • @Yeovil Yokel

    It was mentioned enough during the campaign, in the house of commons during parliamentary debates.

    It came out of the mouth of No 1. and No 2. in Government at the time

    David Cameron, June 12: “The British public would be voting, if we Leave, to leave the EU and leave the Single Market.”

    George Osborne, June 8: “We’d be out of the Single Market, that’s the reality, Britain would be quitting, quitting the Single Market.”

    It is disingenuous to say people did not know what they were voting. We were voting to leave the Single Market and “The” customs union, that is not to say that there were not suggestions of creating a new “a” customs union, which is entirely different to “The” customs union

    “Remind us, matt, of the names of the Brexit-supporting cabinet ministers who have been in charge of the leading Brexit departments whose ‘negotiating strategy’ has dropped us into the present pile of dung”
    It was not the brexit cabinet ministers who dropped us in the dung. It is the remoaners who tied the hands of the negotiating party, by constantly demanding that we reveal our negotiating strategy, making demands about No deals, you essentially made the government go to a game of poker with their cards faced up for all to see. Which of course was a clever strategy on the remoaners part to try to derail the process.

  • Yeovil Yokel 26th Feb '19 - 10:11pm

    Help me, matt, a Google search hasn’t revealed to me either of these two quotes you cite from David Cameron and George Osborne in June 2016, where were they published?

  • Yeovil Yokel – You can only go by those who voted and leave had 52% of the voters. There was a clear mandate to leave and there’s nothing “dishonest” about that statement.

  • I don’t remember an asterisk on the Referendum ballot paper – saying PS this means leaving the customs union or the single market – or staying in. You are voting solely on what is in front of you on the ballot paper.

    Clearly people did say that it was unlikely that we would including from memory the Government information leaflet. But the did also say that we would have £350 million a week for the NHS, that it would be easy peasy lemon squeasy to get trade deals and so on.

    I THINK if you had asked people if they wanted to stay in the single market and the customs union they would PROBABLY have voted yes by a majority – given virtually all the Remainers would have preferred it to leave and probably more than 2% of leavers.

    Now I am not a great fan of a “Norway” option as I think as a big country we should stay in as a rule maker and “Norway” deprives you of (virtually) any voice. But I prefer leaving and not staying in the single market and customs union.

  • David Evans 27th Feb '19 - 2:18am

    matt – What a curious view of life you have. You say ” It is the remoaners who tied the hands of the negotiating party, by constantly demanding that we reveal our negotiating strategy, making demands about No deals, you essentially made the government go to a game of poker with their cards faced up for all to see.” Somehow, I thought that the Government (as the people doing the negotiating) were the ones in control of the entire process. As a result, David Davies, Theresa May etc. were the ones who set the negotiating strategy and so were the ones who decided what to release into the public domain etc.

    But you believe that those who supported remain somehow forced the government to reveal all. How did they do it? Did they threaten to give Theresa a nasty Chinese burn or something similar? Do tell us. We are all agog to see how they did it. If you tell us, we promise not to use it again to get Theresa to tell us her strategy for kicking the can up the road, so we can stop that as well. Or if we do, we promise not to tell anyone you told us how to do it. Honest.

  • @matt
    It wasn’t the remoaners scuppering the deal in parliament it was the ERG. TM has a majority in parliament plus some Labour MPs plus the ex-LibDem.
    What scuppered the negotiations was not remoaners either but Theresa May’s red lines and nothing else. They are mutually exclusive. She was told so at the time. She wants to leave the Customs Union and not have a border on the island of Ireland. WTO rules (which the ERG are keen to quote) require countries to maintain their borders. If we aren’t in a customs union there has to be a border.

  • Arnold Kiel 27th Feb '19 - 8:19am

    We are now facing two votes, the PV and to the EU Parliament, which I cannot imagine happening simultaneously, only one of which can wait. Therefore the resolution of the EU membership question needs to be postponed.

    The EU Parliament elections, UK participation being a prerequisite for maintaining the remain-option, could serve as a valuable proxy for the current will of the people. UKIP would naturally, and the Tories tactically field leave-candidates, Labour would end up having remain-candidates and a remain-minded campaign. All others should coordinate and not compete. It could become a decisive victory (certainly outside England), quite possibly forcing also a national political realignment via a snap-election which would serve as another proxy. Then the EU membership-question could be revisited, including the right resolution mechanism. It might just be that then the time is ripe for simple revocation by the new Government based on two clear expressions of popular sentiment. The capital- and labour-markets will provide additional sobering background.

    In consequence, a short extension is counterproductive and must be fought hard against. Extension, or, even better, prolongation of full membership until end 2020 must be the goal.

  • Nonconformistradical 27th Feb '19 - 8:37am

    “let me refresh your memory: the Leave vote was 17,410,742, the total electorate was 46,501,241, therefore 37.4% of the electorate voted Leave. For the last 32 months leading Brexiteers have dishonestly been describing that result as a “clear mandate” to Leave.”

    And was a ‘mandate’ (quotes deliberate) obtained via a pack of lies and alleged dodgy electoral/finanical practices

  • Ian Hurdley 27th Feb '19 - 8:50am

    Always look for the get out clause. Labour will support a People’s Vote if TM’s deal is passed and it is used to ‘validate’ *that* deal. And if May’s deal isn’t passed (the expected outcome)? Ah, that’s different!

  • @David Evans

    It was the remoaners in parliament.

    What did you think the Eu was going to do when they could see that remoaners in parliament were going all out to scupper the deal by demanding no deal was taken off the table and demands of 2nd referendums, which they have been doing since day 1 of the negotiations starting?
    The EU knew that their best chance of getting the uk to abandon brexit was by giving it such a bad deal that it would be rejected parliament and we would somehow stay.

  • Roger Billins 27th Feb '19 - 9:34am

    I am not a fan of “ The People’s Vote” because rightly or wrongly millions of ordinary Leave voters will feel betrayed and will probably abstain, which would mean that such a vote would lack legitimacy.i don’t really care whether Corbyn supports it or not. I have always thought that the Party should support the Norway option and to campaign for a referendum to rejoin in 5 years time.

  • Ian Hurdley 27th Feb ’19 – 8:50am……………..Always look for the get out clause. Labour will support a People’s Vote if TM’s deal is passed and it is used to ‘validate’ *that* deal. And if May’s deal isn’t passed (the expected outcome)? Ah, that’s different!…..

    Where does it say that?

    Thelatest I have from the Guardian, which is hardly a Corbyn fan, is, ““We would have a referendum on whatever deal it is that MAY OR MAY NOT (my capitals) pass through parliament and we would be saying to people: ‘Do you want this, or do you want to remain?’”

  • Ian Hurdley 27th Feb '19 - 9:49am

    Gospel according to matt: Thou shalt have no other view than mine.

  • Peter Martin 27th Feb '19 - 10:00am

    @Arnold Kiel,

    You really should be helping sort out your own problems in the EU before meddling in UK politics.

    Pierre Moscovici seems to be somewhat worried about the expected influx of “populists” who’ll become MEPs in increased numbers after the EU elections. He tends to confuse the geographical entity known as Europe with the political entity known as the EU. I’m sure the Rhine river will continue to flow, as it always has before any human “management”, but nevertheless we know what he means:

    “Here, a surge in support for populists will allow them to expand their influence and force [pro-Europe parties] into compromise. My feeling is that Europe will be difficult to manage after the election.”

    He’s got a nice way of understating the problem but I’m sure he’ll be proved to be absolutely right.

    https://worldabcnews.com/eu-crisis-eu-election-results-risk-leaving-bloc-ungovernable-as-furious-voters-revolt-world-news/

  • @ expats Rob Merrick in yesterday’s Independent.

  • Sandra Hammett 27th Feb '19 - 10:22am

    It may seem like putting the cart before the horse but we should prioritise making the case for staying in the EU, decry ANY form of Brexit as the last two years have shown deal or no deal both are a bad deal compared to what we have currently and THIRDLY demand a People’s Vote. We need to build up the CLEAR public will for it.
    The children who walked out of school in protest over global warming are a good example of how a little civil disobedience can put your argument across.

  • matt, your arguments get ever more curious and convoluted. So MPs in parliament (not the Conservative government who won the election on a manifesto promise to implement the referendum result, nor their newly bought Democratic Unionist friends, nor the Labour opposition who fought the election on a manifesto promise to implement the referendum result (in each case except for a few MPs in each party who saw the downside of the decision), but the Lib Dems, the Scot Nats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens) got Theresa in a quiet corridor in Westminster and forced her to give up all her secrets!!

    Do give over. It’s your side that have made the total mess we are now in. Man up and accept your responsibilities.

  • @David Evans

    “Man up and accept your responsibilities.”
    Really? It’s those kind of comments that tells me the kind of people that we try to engage with. Do you know see how offensive those kind of comments are? Are bet you are one of the first people to scream and shout when someone says calm down dear as degrading to women.

    I accept my responsibilities and stay by my principles, which is more than I can say for some.
    What is your parties legacy, please tell. Dont forget the part that whilst it was on the opposition benches it promised to abolish tuition fee’s, no top down reorganisation of the NHS, to protect the most vulnerable in society….. And what did it do when it got a sniff of power? abandoned everything it stands for, tripled tution fees, complete overhaul of the NHS wasting billions of pounds, Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit, freezes on welfare payments, dwp sanctions. You smacked the poorest and vulnerable in society.. And what did you achieve? What is your legacy? apart from failing millions of poor and vulnerable people, as well as being responsible for making 50 constituency office staff from all losing their jobs due to your complete incompetence and lack of standing by your principles that you promised to the electorate?

  • Yeovil Yokel 27th Feb '19 - 10:59am

    matt – thanks for the two links which you posted last night, from ‘fullfact.org’ and the Spectator. I’m impressed by your ability to locate specific information about Brexit so quickly, you’re clearly well-briefed on the subject.

    Unfortunately, I’ve taken the trouble to check the links and I’m wondering whether you’ve read them yourself.

    fullfact.org says with respect to the Customs Union that “the customs union was rarely mentioned by Leave campaigners before the referendum.” As for the Single Market, because of the “loose use of terminology” and the “confusing” and “inconsistent” claims of Leave campaigners, “it’s unsurprising that there were times when claims about our possible future relationship to the single market became unclear.”

    In my area of the UK, matt, amongst the gradually diminishing number of people who will enthusiastically claim to have voted Leave, most seem still not to understand what is meant by the CU and SM, and your link helpfully supports my view and not yours.

    As to the claimed quotes from David Cameron and George Osborne in the second link: I’ve read the Spectator transcript twice and cannot find them. I had my biannual check-up at the opticians yesterday so I know my eyes are not at fault.

    So, try harder next time.

  • Yeovil Yokel 27th Feb '19 - 11:04am

    ….that should be “biennial check-up”, not “biannual”. It’s a very long time since I took my English Language O-Level.

  • @Yeovil Yokel

    I also posted the video link for you, which you couldnt have watched, so you would have been able to “hear” them say it, not just read it

  • Yeovil Yokel 27th Feb '19 - 11:24am

    matt – I had watched the video, which was published 4 months after the Referendum by the dubious Change Britain organisation, and it consists of cleverly edited quotes taken out of context and with no source information. The Cameron excerpt may be credible but the rest aren’t. And they still don’t explain what is meant by the CU and SM. I prefer to trust your fullfact.org link.

  • Peter Martin 27th Feb '19 - 11:27am

    @ David Evans,

    I’m sure both Matt and myself accept our fair share of the ‘responsibilities’. But all we’ve done, between us, to supply a couple of votes to the total Leave vote. There’s still the not-so-small matter of the 17,410,740 others who voted the same way.

    The EU is a nice idea. All countries coming together in peace and harmony to trade and increase our mutual prosperity. If the EU was run properly your support level should be 90% Plus. So why isn’t it? How have the EU PTB managed to mess it all up?

    That’s the question you should be asking. If you ask everyone whether they like what you’ve all cooked up between you and the majority give you the thumbs down, who’s fault is that?

  • @ Matt “What is your parties legacy, please tell. Dont forget the part that whilst it was on the opposition benches it promised to abolish tuition fee’s, no top down reorganisation of the NHS, to protect the most vulnerable in society….. And what did it do when it got a sniff of power? abandoned everything it stands for, tripled tution fees, complete overhaul of the NHS wasting billions of pounds, Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit, freezes on welfare payments, dwp sanctions. You smacked the poorest and vulnerable in society.. And what did you achieve? What is your legacy? apart from failing millions of poor and vulnerable people, as well as being responsible for making 50 constituency office staff from all losing their jobs due to your complete incompetence and lack of standing by your principles that you promised to the electorate?”
    For someone who clearly loathes and detests this Party, you spend an inordinate amount of time on here. Have you nothing better to do?

  • Peter Martin 27th Feb '19 - 11:43am

    @ Yeovil Yokel,

    Are these the quotes in question?

    PS it could be that you should have a biannual check up (ie every 6 months) rather than a biennial check up (ie every two years). It could be important to find these quotes!

  • “But since the remainers sabotaged the negotiating strategy of the government, we are where we are at.”
    Once again this urban myth surfaces, from last nights news it was obvious that it was the Brexiteers in the Conservative party who have been sabotaging the negotiating position, with many being very ‘shifty’ to the point of being dishonest as they tried to avoid answering the direct questions, resorting to empty emotive soundbites. So yes, Peter acting like spoilt children. If the remainers really were sabotaging the governments position, then you have to ask why, given the various opportunities leading Brexiteers haven’t stepped up to take over from May… The only conclusion is that May is doing the job they want her to do….

    @Peter, The problem I was pointing out was the increasing value being placed on baseless emotions in debate, much of which we have seen from the delicate Brexiteer flowers, to the point where they are held in higher esteem than rational argument. Last night we had the leading Brexiteers crying “the people were promised” – no they weren’t, we live in representative democracy, it was and is up to Parliament to decide how to interpret the referendum result. Hence, the problem going forward will be moving politics back on to a more rational basis and getting all those over excited people to understand that they don’t always get what they voted for.

  • @Ian Hurdley

    “For someone who clearly loathes and detests this Party, you spend an inordinate amount of time on here. Have you nothing better to do?”

    I don’t loathe anyone, that’s not a choice of words that I would use at all. I dislike the betrayal of the coalition years, but I do not loathe anyone.
    I have voted for the party in previous elections and I have every right to post here and express an opinion. This is a public forum after all.
    I take it you only ever stick to posting on Liberal Democrat forums and you do not express your views anywhere else publicly?
    My comments are pretty tame compared to some of the views expressed from members within your own party over the coalition years.

    I always try to be courteous to people, unless they come at me with discourteous comments first

  • nvelope2003 27th Feb '19 - 1:12pm

    And it goes on and on and on. How many of those 46,501,241 voters had a clue what the Single market and the Custom’s Union meant ? How many of them understood what leaving the EU would involve ? I still hear people say they do not understand why we did not leave the day after the votes were counted like we change the Government after a General Election although we are not allowed to have another vote on the EU but we can have General Elections whenever the Prime Minister feels like it despite saying she would not and despite the law saying they must be held every 5 years.
    I think I know all I need to know when I learned that a leading Brexiteer refused to shake the hand of a visiting German politician because he was a German. People need to stop fighting the War and live in the modern world but it seems that is impossible for those who were born after it was over unlike me who remembers only too well the destruction and loss of life the last one caused It is time to end this nonsense

  • nvelope2003 – out of interest who was that?

    “I learned that a leading Brexiteer refused to shake the hand of a visiting German politician because he was a German”

  • nvelope2003 27th Feb '19 - 2:10pm

    malc: Sir John Redwood

  • Katerina Porter – What you say is true, but the pro remain parties didn’t do very well in that GE either. The biggest gainer was Labour and they promised to respect the result of the referendum.

  • Jayne Mansfield 28th Feb '19 - 7:51am

    @ Peter Martin,
    I rather think that Nigel Farage is more likely to be reading Donald Trump’s posts rather than yours Peter. Is there some similarity in what you post?

    Peter, you can blind me with economic facts, I have not so much as read Economics For Dummies. I do however, remember that under the leadership of Gordon Brown, the economy was growing again after the economic recession. I do know that Keynes had a view about spending in such circumstances. I do know Liberals favoured the theories of Keynes not Osborne prior to 2010.

    The thing I notice about modern economists, is that they rarely mention that economics is about people not numbers. I therefore ask you this question Peter. What is your world view? In what way will it be achieved by leaving the EU, . a grouping of still democratic states that have the muscle to change the world for the better ( if that is what we choose to do), in a way that we as a small island do not.

    When people like David Davis and Co, speak of doing deals ( yet to materialise), they fail to understand that we have very few friends outside the EU.

  • Peter Martin 28th Feb '19 - 8:41am

    @ Jayne,

    Sadly you’re probably right re Nigel Farage, Donald Trump and myself! 🙁

    Yes the economy was recovering under Gordon Brown. He’d been running a very neoliberally inclined economic policy prior to the 2008 crash. The emphasis was on controlling the economy via interest rate adjustments (ie monetary policy) which were designed to minimise Govt borrowing and encourage everyone else to borrow instead. That’s why we had such high house price inflation.

    After the 2008 crash there was still more of that. Interest rates were reduced sharply from about 5% to 0.5% . The reduction was designed to encourage yet more borrowing and reduce any desire we might have to save more. Gordon Brown wanted us to start spending again. We still weren’t too keen to do that so he dusted off his his old Keynesian text books and decided that the Govt had to play its part too and spend more. We had cash-for-clunkers schemes etc. It wasn’t just a UK thing. I was in Australia at the time and the Government there handed out $900 cheques and told us all to spend the money! The problem was that the Govt’s deficit, in the UK, increased to something like 11% of GDP which spooked the political right with their penchant for ‘tight money’. Except when there’s a war on then its OK!

    We all know what happened when the Coalition took over in 2010. The economy did slowly recover but it could have recovered much more quickly had the Coalition kept on with the same policies as Gordon Brown was running. The way it did recover was via the lowering of interest rates to re-inflate the private debt bubble. So we saw the return of house price inflation. The economy was refinanced on private debt – rather than public debt.

    We’ll see the consequences of that very shortly as the debt bubble deflates again. We’re seeing falling house prices, the stock market will follow soon if it hasn’t already and we’ll see recession again big time. Its not just in a UK problem. The same thing is happening in Australia, NZ, USA. Canada, and the EU. I doubt the euro will survive. The weak point is the Italian Banking sector. If that fails then so too does the entire EU banking system. We’ll find out in the not too distant future.

  • Peter Martin 28th Feb '19 - 8:59am

    @ Jayne,

    (Cont) Countries don’t have friends in normal sense of the word. They have interests and alliances. The EU’s interest at the moment is self preservation. Yanis Varoufakis says that Brexit is a symptom of its fragile unity and I’m sure he’s right about that. The EU PTB don’t want us to leave. That creates a bad impression and reflects badly on them. That’s why they’ve offered us a terrible deal which we can’t accept.

    My expectation is that we won’t have another referendum. The politicians won’t allow a genuine leave option so any such referendum will be boycotted. They’ll soon realise that is going to make matters much worse. Instead, we’ll probably have something like a two year extension to Art50. We all, including the rest of the EU, could be in a very poor economic state by then! Your guess will be as good as mine. But I’d say the EU will be is such bad shape that the case for leaving will be even stronger than it is now.

  • Peter Hirst 28th Feb '19 - 1:23pm

    This victory will be as a result of multiple positive steps, not an almighty one. I see this as a sign of Labour’s movement. Let’s celebrate and plod on.

  • David Evans 28th Feb '19 - 2:03pm

    matt, Ah, the fortitude of a true Brexiteer. Take offence at someone pointing out your inability to provide facts to support your random claims and instead change the subject to something totally irrelevant to the item under discussion.

    I suggest you talk about how the remoaners (as you so courteously call them) managed to get Theresa may to give up her negotiating plans, and how someone who (according to you) screams and shouts doesn’t feign offence at your use of the term remoaner, but you do when you are asked to man up.

    As I said before man up and accept your responsibilities.

  • @David Evans

    I provided facts to my arguments.

    And yes, I do take offence to telling anyone to man up or calm down dear, oh don’t be a sissy and any other masochistic language.
    So on that note, good day to you, and I will not bother to engage you further

  • oops thought i better apologise meant machoistic not masochistic

  • Jayne `Mansfield 28th Feb '19 - 3:28pm

    @ Peter Martin,
    ‘ Sadly you are probably right re Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, and myself’.

    You have some strange political bedfellows Peter, so perhaps I am.

    ‘ Countries do not have friends in the normal sense of the word. They have interests and alliances’.

    True, but here you are teaching your granny to suck eggs. The EU isn’t a country it is an alliance of countries where there are shared interests, and shared values about liberal democracy. Anyone who has been married to the same person for 50 years knows a thing about fragile unity. The answer to fragile unity is to find ways of strengthening it, not walking away. Out of interest, do you know how many people who give up on a relationship express regret when they realise they have exchanged one set of problems for another, out of the frying pan and into the fire, and that it would have been better to stay and fix the problems?

    Do you really agree with Yanis Varoukakis that Greece’s problems were all the doing of the EU, that the way Greece had been governed had no part to play? I remember the Spanish PM commenting that his people were being expected to stump up money so that Greece could have pensions etc. that the country could not afford whilst millionaires not payed no taxes. I don’t and fortunately after the referendum Alex Tsipras realised that he had to do a U turn despite his referendum result.

    I am no Mystic Meg, but one thing I am pretty certain of, is that a no deal Brexit will not herald a far left movement across the UK , or indeed the EU, but a far right one.

    I suggest you stop circulating Nigel Farage’s idea of boycotting any further referendum if one was to be held. priming people , putting ideas into their heads so that you have an argument about political legitimacy if there is a significant ‘remain victory’.

  • Peter Martin 28th Feb '19 - 5:17pm

    @ Jayne,

    Nigel Farage and Donald trump aren’t my political bedfellows. Any more than David Cameron and George Osborne would be for the left inclined Remainers.

    “The EU isn’t a country it is an alliance of countries where there are shared interests, and shared values about liberal democracy”.

    That would have been a much easier argument to have made in the old EEC days. I was basically OK with that. I don’t think we needed the European Parliament. That was just an irrelevance. But all the same the EEC worked reasonably well. The problems have arisen with the change to the EU and the Lisbon and Maastricht Treaties. It’s in a in-between state that doesn’t work very well. That’s an understatement. It’s really a disaster. It could be like the USA and that would work. Or it could go back to what we know already worked with the old EEC.

    If anyone had asked, there would be plenty of people to have advised that Italy, Greece, Spain ( I would have had a much longer list!) shouldn’t try to share the same currency as Germany. The UK tried to peg the pound against the DM and that ended up with Black Wednesday. Big mistake. But a useful lesson! I’m not sure what it is about Germany and Germans. They are normally smart enough people but they fall into the trap of thinking that the eurozone would be fine if everyone was like them and ran a trade surplus to bring enough euros into the economy to keep the wheels turning.

    They don’t seem to appreciate that their surplus has to be someone else’s deficit. And that someone has to run the deficits. Don’t ask me why but they just can’t see it! Again, there were plenty of people around who could have, in fact did, forecast exactly just what was going to happen. The EU can’t have it both ways. If you share a currency, it’s like sharing a bank account with someone. You have to accept that your partner won’t spend what you might consider your hard earned money on something quite silly. If you can’t do that, then get break up, or have a divorce or whatever. It works in the USA not because the people of California and New York like subsidising Mississippi and Louisiana. It works because they don’t have the option of saying no. The Federal Government decides on who gets what.

    https://www.ft.com/content/e257ed96-6b2c-11e4-be68-00144feabdc0

  • Peter Martin 28th Feb '19 - 5:26pm

    @ Jayne,

    Correction: should be “You have to accept that your partner probably will spend what you might…….

    Cont/

    I don’t think anyone needs Nigel Farage, me or anyone else to tell them that if there are two very unappealing choices on the ballot paper then there’s no need to vote for either of them. Maybe, like a Lib Dem trying to decide how to vote when there are just two candidates? One a Tory and the other a Socialist!

    If that happens I might just add my own tick box to the voting options!

  • Jayne Mansfield 1st Mar '19 - 11:56am

    @ Peter Martin,
    I don’t want to discuss economics ad infinitum and this is my last post on the subject.

    It seems to me that when it comes to the Euro and the Eurozone, your economic guru is Joseph Stiglitz. who has always been critical of the Euro. In fact your argument seems to mirror that of the Nobel Prize winner and articles that he has written in The Euro and in newspaper articles like the Daily Telegraph.

    ‘Single Currency experiment has been a disaster’ (2016)

    However his criticisms and suggestions for improvement have been countered.

    ‘Why Joseph Stiglitz is wrong”. Guillaume Duval in Social Europe. 2016.

    And I note that Professor Stiglitz in a later article accepts that Germany and other Northern countries can save the euro by showing more humanity and flexibility. As Guillame Duval noted in 2016, the EU politicians were already embarking on such a path, as with Professor Stiglitz, the issue is one of political will.

    ‘The Euro could be nearing a crisis can it be saved ?’ The Guardian 2018.

    I actually believe that the average person would not bother to read the economic theories, even those of such a renowned economist as Professor Stiglitz,.To many they are impenetrable. What people want to know is what staying in or leaving the European Union will mean for themselves and their family in terms of jobs, income, social security etc.

    Blaming the EU has been a welcome diversion for politicians in the UK who want privatisation and austerity measures for ideological reasons. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    I recognise that many decent, thoughtful people voted leave and would still vote leave if the situation arose. Personally, I am appalled by the glib answers given by those who think that overturning the last referendum result is a mere trifle, or that they can twist the term ‘democracy’ to suit their interests, but I hope that those who did vote leave who have been upset by outrageous comments, will put them aside and think anew given the information that has emerged since the last referendum.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRossMcL 18th Nov - 1:12am
    Well Yousuf you started saying it was "very likely" the SNP would win ED, and now you're saying: "they might. who knows." In other words,...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 18th Nov - 1:10am
    Paul Pettinger, Ed Davey in his speech has said: " I can announce today that across a 5 year Parliament, Liberal Democrats would spend and...
  • User AvatarYousuf Farah 17th Nov - 11:58pm
    @Peter Martin Come on, there is no way the Lib Dems will form any kind of coalition or pact with the Tories after the election,...
  • User AvatarYousuf Farah 17th Nov - 11:45pm
    @RossMcL Well the SNP won it in the EU parliament elections this year, so that's usually a good indicator that the people there might vote...
  • User AvatarRossMcL 17th Nov - 11:00pm
    @Yousouf "It’s very likely that she will lose her Westminster seat." Really? How do you know that Yousouf? Are you local to East Dunbartonshire? Do...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 17th Nov - 10:34pm
    Its much too early to give up on our chances in this Election, the situation is highly unstable. The Government is currently more unpopular than...