Layla: If you’re bored of Brexit, this deal won’t help. We’ll be talking about it for 10 years if it goes through

Layla Moran represented the party in a debate on the Brexit Deal on last night’s Newsnight.

Here’s her pitch:

You can watch the whole thing here.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Michael Cole 27th Nov '18 - 1:14pm

    We should be telling people what reforms we would like to see should we remain in the EU.

  • We need more MPs like Layla Moran.

  • I am a huge fan of Layla. I helped her get nominated in my constituency and as a loyal LibDem voted for her of course. But in calling for a People’s Vote I think she is off target ( and I have told her so). Remainers want a PV because they think they would win (as well they might) but that is not a good enough reason constitutionally. Parliament got us into this mess by calling a referendum with a simplistic choice, and maybe an unfair outcome, and Parliament must get us out of it. One dodgy referendum will not be made better by a second one. MPs must now accept their responsibility. If they are afraid of voting to reverse Brexit, they are cowards, and they cannot shrug their shoulders and expect the public to take on the implications of a 500-page document — we do not have the expertise. I think our PM has done the best possible job to get the only Deal on offer. Even if most of us don’t like it (and our Eastbourne MP does) we owe Mrs May a debt of gratitude for making a huge personal sacrifice. Parliament must now go cross-party to find a way of choosing between the three options: No Deal, Deal, Remain. How they organise this I have no idea, but organise it they must. They are the experts and experts are what we need, not another round of vox populi with all the phoney stuff ( and more) that we had last time around. Shape up, MPs!

  • David Becket 27th Nov '18 - 9:51pm

    I do not like referendums, but we are between a rock and a hard place.

    If we let MPs decide the leavers can claim that MPs have reversed the decision of the public.

  • Layla makes an excellent point, which is far too often overlooked when we get the “get on with it” vox pops from street markets – that if we do leave the EU, with any kind of deal, that will mark the start of the disruption and the next phase of disagreements and uncertainty. I fully understand that people want it over, and of course the hard-core Brexiteers will want to give the impression that it will be over when we leave, but that needs to be challenge robustly and frequently.

    I also take the point that we need to find space in the debate to discuss some of the things we would like to change about the UK should the UK remain. It’s almost impossible to gain any traction on any other subject, especially from within a party that’s routinely ignored in the media. But we should try to sneak in a brief mention of the kind of things that would help to address the original concerns, even if it’s just to keep people open to the concept that we could do things differently within the UK.

  • Bill le Breton 28th Nov '18 - 10:14am

    John McHugo: possibly best for you to have a look at Wolfgang Manchau in the FT 25th Nov “This Brexit deal is the best available – It leaves several options open, including the Norway model, that would otherwise shut”

    Sorry there’s a paywall but you may also be able to access via Manchau’s twitter link to the article here

    For example he writes, “The EU even compromised on the Irish question when it agreed to an all-UK backstop. From the EU’s perspective, this is potentially problematic. It is a period during which the UK would no longer be a member of the EU. It would not contribute to the EU budget, and yet it will have frictionless trade inside the customs union. It is the ultimate having your cake and eating it type interim solution. It is delusional to think that the EU wants to keep the UK in backstop purgatory forever. On the contrary, it is far more likely that a future UK government might conclude that the backstop is a rather cozy place to be. More comfortable than the colder climate of a free trade deal.”

    The Withdrawel Agreement is also a route to Free Trade within a broader Association Agreement which is I think what Andrew Duff has been suggesting for some time.

    Lib Dems should be supporting the WA (on the second time it goes before the House) but seek to amend the Political Declaration to include an EEA noEU based Association Agreement or even going for Canada ++(etc).

  • Bill le Breton 28th Nov '18 - 2:25pm

    J McH

    Clarke, ““I’ll settle for this, it keeps the borders as they are, it keeps everything continuous for British business, industry and investment and it paves the way for the transition period, because the serious negotiations start now really, about what are the long term arrangements going to be, which will affect all our children and grandchildren.”

    He might also be frightened about just who the Tory membership would support when given their choice of two candidates for a May successor.

  • Tony Greaves 28th Nov '18 - 8:02pm

    Bill le Breton is usually right on most things. On this he is completely wrong. If the LD MPs support the Withdrawal Agreement (whether or not tweaked here and there) it will destroy this party. And deservedly.

  • @Bill Le Breton

    AIUI it is highly likely that leaving the EU can be stopped or extended by the UK any time before 10.59pm on March 29th. The only difficulty is that the Government has to do it and we would have to amend the one line in UK legislation that say we will be leaving on March 29th.

    Clearly May is playing “chicken” with the country’s future. But I can see that if we got to say the end of February without a resolution there would be a large enough majority in Parliament to instruct her to do extend the deadline especially given the dire warning today of the Bank of England on crashing out with no deal.

  • Bill le Breton 29th Nov '18 - 10:00am

    Tweet from a Norwegian ambassador, “The new FTA between EFTA and the Philippines substantially improves the economic ties of both the parties through elimination of trade barriers. Now it is time for the private sector enter the stage and to benefit from it.”

    This is what Lib Dems could be fighting for … the freedom as an EFTA member to do and join in FTAs such as this.

    Only possible if WA goes through and Parliament amends PD to aim for EEA non EU membership.

  • Parliament has to decide if we have a people’s vote and what should be on the ballot paper. At the moment there seems no chance that Parliament will decide for that. So, although David Becket (that the country should decide) and Don Manley (that Parliament should decide by a free vote) make good points, we are caught in a very difficult situation as a nation and as a party with big risks whatever happens. Having fought hard for a people’s vote there is no political reason now to change our view, even though right from the start I had my doubts about a second referendum and ideally would prefer a free vote in Parliament.
    Tony Greaves is right that if we abandon our two-year stance, many of our new members will leave us and the public will say again that we cannot be trusted. This means taking the ideal stand that it is best we remain in the EU and want a public vote as an opportunity to persuade people of that. We are likely to fail in that task and that is why Bill le Breton takes the pragmatic view for the immediate future of our country. However, I think we currently have no choice but to carry on calling for remain and with arguments that go beyond the economic ones. There are arguments that surely go to the core of what we stand for.

  • David Blake 29th Nov '18 - 4:12pm

    There is a rumour that the vehemently pro-Brexit vicar in the audience, known as Lynn, is actually an actress.

  • Peter Hirst 29th Nov '18 - 5:20pm

    Powerfully put, Layla. It’s not easy when everyone is talking about deal or no deal to put forward passionately another referendum. Of course, we should have by now a referendum rule sheet that explains how a new referendum would be held. Without it, we are dependent on the government deciding to holding a fairer one, not a place I for one will be happy with being.

  • Sandra Hammett 29th Nov '18 - 5:43pm

    Agree with Michael Cole and tony, the current Lib Dem call for a People’s Vote is essentially ‘staying in is best’ but without really backing up why or bothering to address any of the multitude of reasons people want to leave.
    By changing our call to Reform, we would be able show that we understand people’s concerns and promote policies that deal with them, whilst remaining in the EU, rule making.

  • Tony Greaves 29th Nov '18 - 9:02pm

    We have a clear line. It’s been our clear line for the past year. Support for it has steadily grown. It may just end up as the only thing left on the table. So why do some members of this party start trying to wiffle and waffle in the middle of the battle? If that’s what you want to do – crawl under your duvets until it’s all over – one way or another, you can come to the party or the wake. Whatever, we will end up consistent and with our heads held high.

  • The cry is we should be reasonable. I’m afraid that doesn’t work with zealots and the ERG and many Tories are certainly zealots. We live in unreasonable times and only by failing to compromise with zealots can we retain our principles.

    The words that lead me through this dark time are those once told me by a Police Inspector “It’s Pork Mate you can’t teach it, you can only cure it”.

  • @David Blake
    Absolutely jaw dropping #vicargate.
    I hope the party has formally asked for a response from the BBC.
    Well done to Layla. She really seems to be cutting through with the media at the moment.

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