Liberal Democrats should campaign to fix Brexit

What should Lib Dems do now?

Should we just be campaign to rejoin the EU? Or something else?

I suggest that we fix Brexit first.

Last year people voted Conservative because they thought Brexit was a distraction from Britain’s real problems. Over 70% of the public thought this. Most people who voted Remain thought this. They thought that the only way to get Brexit out of the way, was to push it through.

Of course this isn’t true. Brexit isn’t over. And we’ll be stuck with the problems it creates for decades.

But if we campaign to rejoin straight away, it will be counter-productive. People won’t see the problems caused by Brexit, because most of them won’t be obvious until the transition period ends.

And, just as everybody sighs in relief that Brexit is over, we’ll look like obsessives wanting to restart the argument. A bit like John Redwood in the 1990s.

The British people have given the government a chance to get Brexit right.

Lib Dems should therefore work to fix Brexit. Fixing Brexit means accepting it’s happening. For now.

That means minimising the damage. Damage done to the economy. And damage done to our friends and neighbours.

Today there are three things we can campaign on.

Keeping freedom of movement

Freedom of movement is popular.

Most people, 58% in Best for Britain’s latest poll, want to keep freedom of movement, as long as it’s reciprocal.

This makes sense.

Millions of Britons live around Europe, both working and retired. Britons in Spain get access to the very good Spanish health service. Britons in Greece get to work in summer jobs. And we all get to go on holiday with no hassle.

And every single poll shows that Britons support the 3.7m EU citizens in the UK. Unsurprising when they are our friends, neighbours and crucial to the NHS.

It doesn’t have to be called freedom of movement. But if we can make it easy for people to continue moving back and forth between the EU and Britain, we’ll save a lot of heartache. And a lot of economic damage.

We can win this argument. Every month or two the government concedes that, in practice, freedom of movement is very important to the country. And then, eager for a headline in the Daily Mail, they suggest a cut in immigration. A few weeks later they think about reality, and quietly reverse their position.

We’ve not won this yet. But it’s entirely possible that we will keep freedom of movement.

Keep jobs

People aren’t passionate about free trade in abstract. And it sounds great that Britain should be able to set its own rules.

But as the Brexit trade negotiations go on, the government will have to choose which jobs it wants to lose.

Which sectors will face taxes when exporting to the EU? Who will face damaging waits at ports? Will their sales team be able to easily fly to Germany and seek a new contract?

Smart new Conservative MPs will look at these questions and worry about their majority. Every constituency has jobs at threat from Brexit.

Lib Dems are a long way from winning this argument. But we have the advantage that the government has to have an answer by the end of this year.

Keep the EU arrest warrant

The EU arrest warrant is a crucial crime fighting tool. It’s been used to arrest thousands of serious criminals, including terrorists, paedophiles and murderers.

Yet the government is abandoning the EU arrest warrant, without even trying to keep it. When we Brexit, we can’t keep it unchanged. But it’s an extraordinary move for the government to help so many criminals escape the law.

At best an agreement with the EU will help keep crime down. At worst the government will be forced to explain why it wants paedophiles to escape justice.

Lib Dems can win these three arguments. If we try to fix Brexit, we’ll have started the road back to rejoining the EU. And if the government opposes them, it will be publicly choosing to make our country poorer and less safe.

It might do that, but if it does, then it’s likely to be a one term government.

* Rob Blackie is a candidate for the 2020 London Assembly elections. When not campaigning, he advises charities and corporates on digital strategy.

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42 Comments

  • Seems to have been lost in the noise around Boris’s mutterings yesterday but the deal that the EU were offering via Barnier speech seems remarkably generous so a good starting point would be for the LibDems to promote that.

    FOM can be made acceptable to Brexiteers by accepting the govn proposed five year min residence before access to welfare etc (and at one point prior to the referendum some EU politicians were suggesting similar so should be acceptable compromise to the EU). The downside is that such an agreement can always be changed later so no real security can be implied from such an agreement but a lot better than nothing.

    Worst things that LibDems can do is to continue bashing Boris rather than offering clever solutions that are beyond the ken of the govn.

  • Laurence Cox 4th Feb '20 - 10:20am

    We should be campaigning to rejoin the EEA, which we left by default when we left the EU. There is no reason why the EEA cannot have non-EU, non-EFTA members and the EEA would also be a good interim place for European countries like those in the Balkans that are seeking to join the EU.

  • Nigel Jones 4th Feb '20 - 10:38am

    Pleased to read this article by Rob Blackie, especially that now is not the time to be arguing for rejoining the EU. Laurence Cox suggests the EEA and I recall many Lib-Dems were advocating that just after the referendum. However, I think most leavers would not welcome that suggestion as such; it smacks too much of tying ourselves again to a Europe wide organisation for most leavers to accept it as presented. If we are to convince enough people then our main arguments must be along the lines of Rob’s article and his three points might well arise in the May local elections campaign if put in the light of the effects on local jobs, crime and links between towns here and in Europe.
    I must also say I am not happy with the way some remainers refer to leavers, for example the use of the word shame has the risk of making people feel even more strongly against us, rather than making them listen to what we have to say.
    We need a strong campaign on the individual issues that affect people’s lives first together with listening to people; the generalisations can follow later.

  • Free trade is not a boon to the nation. If an overseas company produced widgets at half the UK price the UK business could become a dead parrot, job losses,loss of tax revenue to fund,for example,. state pension. The only companies that would benefit would be large ones that can provide economy of scale by producing widgets cheaply. Even then there could be job losses,drop in wages, to balance the companies survival. The only people who would benefit will be the owners and financiers To help companies to survive in a free trade scenario tariffs would have to be imposed for UK protection Free Trade in tooth and claw will only benefit the wealthy. Remember Johnson says f..k business!Indeed, we should campaign on the follies of Brexit for it is not over It is possible that the transition period is a white herring leading to no deal.

  • One small point which a friend drew to my attention only yesterday: freedom of “movement” does sound like it only refers to people’s annual holiday! What I want for my children is freedom of *establishment*, the freedom to *live* – to allow them settle for a time – not necessarily all their lives, but at least to learn and explore, preferably with a minimum of state bureaucracy.

  • @ Nigel Jones “I must also say I am not happy with the way some remainers refer to leavers, for example the use of the word shame has the risk of making people feel even more strongly against us, rather than making them listen to what we have to say.”

    Spot on, Nigel. Certainly for the next ten years or so the sooner Lib Dems get it in their heads that we lost the better. Telling people they were wrong is not the best way to persuade them to reconsider voting Lib Dem again. As any decent football manager would say after losing a play off final at Wembley, “We lost. Now get over it”.

    Any form of self righteousness and perceived superiority (of which there has been a lot) will go down like a lead balloon…… especially amongst those who still feel anger over the austerity years.

    The Lib Dems, as you say, Nigel, need to develop new policies on progressive lines to deal with Climate change, inequality & poverty, and tackling the excesses of multi-national big business both towards the consumer and their employees. Years ago the Liberals had a slogan ‘People matter’. Time to dig it out again and give it shape with practical policies for a more just and humane society…. (which we certainly ain’t got at the moment).

  • Why ?

  • Tobias Sedlmeier 4th Feb '20 - 1:08pm

    “However it matters a lot to the moral argument that we shouldn’t allow people to free ride.”

    How about an end to the significant component of the British population that has been having a free ride on welfare benefits and state housing for generations?

  • If only our MPs had the foresight to understand that remaining within the EEA was worth voting for, back when they had the chance to make a difference.

  • Martin Boffey 4th Feb '20 - 4:01pm

    I would definitely like to keep the European Arrest Warrant along with the highest level of security cooperation and a continuation of ERASMUS. I’m also in favour of Free Trade, not just with the EU but with the rest of the World.

    Freedom of movement? I’d like to see a fair immigration policy with the whole world, that attracts people with the skills that we needs, plugs any gaps in the seasonal unskilled labour market and is generous to refugees from around the world that need our help. An open door to the whole EU? I fail to see the advantage of that other than to vested interest. I think I our immigration system needs to be far more smart and sophisticated than “EU good;Non-EU bad.”

    As for rejoining the EU….ever….show me a way of doing it that guarantees we don’t adopt the Euro. Otherwise, sorry – not interested.

  • Peter Watson 4th Feb '20 - 4:21pm

    @Ian “If only our MPs had the foresight to understand that remaining within the EEA was worth voting for, back when they had the chance to make a difference.”
    No foresight was required: Lib Dems simply bet the house and rolled the dice.
    As a not-very-wise man once wrote: “Sadly, if (and admittedly, it is still a big if!) we leave with no deal (or even with a deal for a very hard Brexit) then the uncompromising “all or nothing” gamble by Remainers in general and Lib Dems in particular will also deserve a significant share of the blame.” (https://www.libdemvoice.org/lib-dem-lords-vs-brexit-sarah-ludford-outlines-consequences-of-no-deal-60461.html#comment-495711)

  • Innocent Bystander 4th Feb '20 - 5:29pm

    Remainers and the LibDems would not bear the slightest particle of blame for a economy breaking hard Brexit.
    100% of that falls on those who voted Leave. A no deal and its consequences were predicted and they ignored all warnings. Everything that goes wrong, and it will, must be shoved up their noses

  • I agree with much of the above. The hardness of the exit will depend on the EU. It is paranoid about the UK becoming more competitive and wants to impose controls not seen in trade agreements with other nations.

    The UK will not and should not agree to all the EU regulations that we have just left behind, together with law enforcement of these via the ECJ. There would be no point in having left.

    This approach served the EU well when dealing with the Theresa May government and with the powerless administration that followed. I don’t think that the EU has fully understood the new political reality of a massive majority.

    I think it underestimates the new mood of the government and the country. Barnier may push his demands with the same intransigence as shown before but will find that Johnson is not going to spray concessions in the manner of his predecessor. When it becomes obvious that the UK is not going to relinquish sovereignty for trade, Germany and other countries will abandon the Commission’s obsession to control and punish. This may lead to a more reasonable resolution of a trade deal.

    Unfortunately for the EU, it may be the beginning of the end for the authority of the Commission as member states realise that the EU is an inward looking protectionist bloc that is now stagnating as nations outside grow and flourish.

  • Adrian Sanders 4th Feb '20 - 11:10pm

    We should be campaigning for a Liberal society where none are enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity. We tried to fix Brexit and we got shafted. We can’t fix Brexit until we regain the trust of the electorate and we can only regain the trust of the electorate by addressing the issues that matter most to them consistent with our values and principles. I think poverty, ignorance and conformity are enough to be going on with.

  • Doug Chisholm 5th Feb '20 - 8:46am

    The Tories will keep the EU as the enemy for the next decade regardless of what happens. It is good to have an evil empire to rage against. Of course we should be the voice of reason and moderation but let us not forget that Tories want these nationalist arguments to fuel thier support.

  • A bit out of the main stream, but one idea that has occurred to me is to build on the government’s short lived enthusiasm for free ports. Instead of having high crime, low tax, ports we might have ones that remain in the EU customs union and single market. This would allow businesses that depend on truly frictionless borders to continue to do business while paying tax to the UK without the whole country being in the single market. Dover and Belfast would be obvious places to have them.

  • Kathy Erasmus 5th Feb '20 - 10:12am

    I totally agree, keeping close alignment with the EU is our priority. Freedom of movement, Jobs (access to the single market ) and for a government that is going to great lengths to avoid bad press, opting out of the EU Arrest Warrant is bad news. When Lloyd George was at the centre of negotiating the Versaille Treaty in 1919 trying to bring Peace and Prosperity to Europe Great Britain was the powerhouse of Europe. It is a pity that 100 years later we are trying to do the opposite

  • What people like Peter still somehow fail to understand after 4+ years of this is that the EU is a collective project, not something that member states fell into accidentally or through coercion. The EU makes and enforces rules because that’s what’s ultimately in the interests of its members and if you’re waiting for the German car makers to ride in and make sure we get a special deal you’re going to be waiting a long time.

    Rob – your list seems like a sensible one. Adding something on education and training – ERASMUS/ERASMUS+/uni and PhD fee arrangements for EU citizens etc – seems like it’d be very popular among pro Europeans, fit well with LD priorities and have the potential to win support among voters more broadly if marketed with the right stories.

  • Ian Hurdley 5th Feb '20 - 12:30pm

    The next general election is not for five years. Even if the Government pushes through the repeal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, there is no short or medium term prospect of a return to the polls. I suspect that the public would turn a deaf ear right now to campaigning on any subject; our desire for a close relationship with the EU is well-known by now. At a national level the focus needs to be on Parliament which is where decisions will be made, and clearly our MPs will be fighting their corner.
    However, in May we will have local government elections and that is where our focus and our energy should be directed. We have consistently performed well in this arena recently and that is where we can attract more further support with policies related to people’s immediate concerns; schools, libraries, social services, transport and the like. Continuing to build support locally is what leads to successes at regional and national level.
    So let’s get our priorities right and work to address people’s immediate needs.

  • @ Kathy Erasmus “When Lloyd George was at the centre of negotiating the Versailles Treaty in 1919 trying to bring Peace and Prosperity to Europe Great Britain was the powerhouse of Europe…..”

    Afraid not, Kathy. Britain was bust after the war and Lloyd George’s contribution was a disaster. It made things worse and he did not bring Peace and Prosperity to Europe. On a personal note, in 1921, one consequence was that one of my Granddads was locked out of his pit after refusing a 50% pay cut and the military paraded the streets and put machine guns on the pithead. Charismatic LLG may have been, but mistrust of him was a factor in the long term decline of the Liberal Party.

    Try reading John Maynard Keynes, ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’.

  • David Raw – corruption was Lloyd George’s biggest flaw that prevented him from reaching the same league as contemporary American statesmen such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson (both were charismatic and transformational leaders, great reformers and both are my political heroes). (Well, sorry, for me lacklustre Asquith was below Lloyd George and far below those two American Presidents, who laid the foundation for the New Deal).

    Kathy Erasmus – it was Woodrow Wilson, the pioneer of liberal internationalism, who advocated for breaking away from cynical imperialism and realpolitik with his Fourteen Points proposal. Today, many small Central/Eastern European countries that gained independence after ww1 still hold him in high regards. Meanwhile, Lloyd George actually advocated for “hanging the Kaiser” before placing himself between Wilson and Clemenceau.

  • Charley Hasted 5th Feb '20 - 3:18pm

    I couldn’t disagree more. We can’t fix brexit any more than we can go visit Mars for a long weekend. We can’t be an anti-brexit party and then go ‘we’ll actually let’s just get on with brexit’.

    We know people didn’t vote for the Tories because they wanted Brexit so why give them the credibility of acting like that’s what happened?

    We’ve spent the last three+ years trying to be reasonable and conciliatory and it’s gotten us exactly nowhere because you can’t reason with the unreasonable. We accepted the result and tried to delay the triggering of art 50 – we failed, we accepted the triggering of article 50 and tried to get a soft brexit – we failed. I could go on but literally the only significant wins we’ve seen on Brexit is when we absolutely put our foot down and said no absolutely not. Leaving with no deal, Bollocks to brexit, even our Revoke message in the GE saw our vote share go up across the board even in leave voting areas – We doubled the Lib Dem vote in the constituency I stood in – the fact this didn’t translate to more seats is the fault of numerous factors but absolutely not our stance on Brexit.

    Maybe it’s time to take a small leaf out of Farage etc.’s books and get stubborn. To fight for rejoining at every opportunity- to hammer the Tory party every single time they mess up. To stop accepting every rubbish decision they make just because we’re scared we might look unreasonable.

    We are not being unreasonable- they are. Brexit is fundamentally, intrinsically and irrevocably a bad idea it is unreasonable to want it- all the evidence shows that – but every time we step back from saying that we let people think that the Brexiteers are right, that Brexit won’t be that bad really, that we can make Brexit not be a disaster if we only do the work (with the implication being that we don’t want Brexit because we’re too lazy to do the work) and it’s not true and we know it.

    We have to keep on fighting or we have to give up completely roll over and accept our fate. Anything else is pointless and just going to wear everyone out to no ultimate purpose.

  • @ Thomas “lacklustre Asquith” ? Wilson “a hero ?”

    Depends what period you’re talking about and it’s a bit more complicated than that I’m afraid……. the fourteen points were based on the British Union of Democratic Control proposals of Morel, Ponsonby, Trevelyan and Angel.

    In some ways Wilson’s sad final period and decline matched those of Asquith. He is open to huge modern liberal criticism for his attitude to segregation, and I’m afraid his desire for small government is a far cry from F.D.R.’s Keynesian inspired ‘New Deal’..

  • I agree with Charley

  • Paul Holmes 5th Feb '20 - 4:09pm

    I don’t agree with Charlie.

  • Peter Hirst 5th Feb '20 - 4:13pm

    We need a nuanced approach while we see how these themes develop. There is no rush to decide on our stance. We can campaign on free movement, jobs and security much as if Brexit has not happened. Then as the next General Election approaches we can debate what our position should be, to rejoin, accept Brexit or some other approach.

  • Innocent Bystander 5th Feb '20 - 4:16pm

    “We accepted the result and tried to delay the triggering of art 50”

    How can a sentence contradict itself within 9 words?

  • Laurence Cox 5th Feb '20 - 4:39pm

    Adrian Sanders is quite right; whatever we campaign on has to be driven by our values, not by expediency. The thrust of Vicky Pryce’s new book “Women vs Capitalism”, reviewed by Anna Sofat here: https://www.ftadviser.com/your-industry/2020/01/31/anna-sofat-reviews-women-vs-capitalism/ would fit well with our values as would campaigning for proportionate minority ethnic representation on company boards.

  • Charley Hasted 5th Feb '20 - 5:31pm

    @Paul Holmes. I’m sure Charlie will be distraught to hear you don’t agree with them. I mean I don’t know where they are or what you might be disagreeing over but still.

  • Steve Griffiths 5th Feb '20 - 5:48pm

    Adrian Saunders is indeed correct; “campaigning for a Liberal society where none are enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity” is everything we should be doing. It should ‘frame’ our every action and maybe every local Lib Dem committee and meeting table should have it displayed there, rather in the same way Clinton displayed “it’s the economy stupid” to remind himself. Poverty, ignorance, or conformity seemed to get rather forgotten in the coalition years and I would also add LVT and co-ownership (straight out of Jo Grimond – The Liberal future). Lawrence Cox would push for “proportionate minority ethnic representation on company boards” and that’s fine for me. I would also add worker representation on company boards.

  • George Crozier 5th Feb '20 - 10:21pm

    A good and important article.

    I broadly agree with what Rob says. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be portrayed as people who don’t accept that Brexit is happening. We shouldn’t campaign to rejoin straight away. We should focus on concrete ways in which the harms of Brexit can be reduced, such as those Rob has identified (and maybe, in time, try to identify additional projects on which we might partner with the EU even though we are not a member, perhaps around international development, refugees or scientific cooperation).

    But language and tone is very important, and for that reason we should not talk about ‘fixing’ Brexit. We should not sound relaxed about the fact that Brexit is happening. We should not let anyone imagine our passion for international co-operation including with our European friends and partners is in any way dimmed.

    We can – and should – still be angry, and deeply saddened, that Brexit is happening – but it is happening and our main task for now is to reduce the damage it inflicts on people’s lives. And to hold this government accountable on public services, on the environment, on the economy.

    But to be in no doubt that Britain’s future lies in Europe. For now that is about effective cooperation from outside, but one day, at some currently uncertain point in the future, when the impact of Brexit – on jobs, on quality of life, on Britain’s standing in the world – is clear for all to see and the propaganda of its supporters has been exposed – and perhaps the EU itself has changed – we will make the case that we should be insiders again, and the British people should have a chance to vote on whether to rejoin.

    It’s a difficult tone to strike, and I may not quite have got it, but it is incredibly important that we get it right. We don’t want to look like we are fighting the last battle but we also must not look like we are doing a handbrake turn. Those who remember the first few weeks of the Iraq war may recall the dangers of adjusting your tone and position too quickly in the face of events.

  • Mario Caves 6th Feb '20 - 10:53am

    Our approach should be to promote policies that align with the EU wherever we can, but without the label of them being “EU”.
    Much of the general public don’t realise (nor many politicians for that matter) just how much common sense and benefit EU laws and regulations have given us, or that much of what we take for granted today is EU based.
    Promote those good policies as our own, and then let the public make the connection themselves, “that’s how we used to do it before we left the EU”, or more pertinently, “Hey, that’s a benefit that the government is taking away from us”.

    References to the EU or Brexit will only invoke the old passions, which are so difficult to rewire. If we concentrate on the policies, without the labels of Brexit or the EU, and concentrate on the policy merits, then it makes them much more acceptable, regardless of whether one was a Leaver or a Remainer before.

  • Mario Caves 6th Feb ’20 – 10:53am:
    Our approach should be to promote policies that align with the EU wherever we can, but without the label of them being “EU”.

    That’s been the approach of successive UK governments since we joined. As voters got older and better informed, more and more of them realised this.

    Why do you think it’s a good idea to impose 20% VAT on energy saving materials?

    ‘Court of Justice of the European Union’: ‘Judgment in Case C-161/14’ [June 2015]:
    https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2015-06/cp150065en.pdf

    The United Kingdom cannot apply, with respect to all housing, a reduced rate of VAT to the supply and installation of energy-saving materials, since that rate is reserved solely to transactions relating to social housing.

    Or to make it illegal for struggling families to remortgage onto a CHEAPER mortgage?

    ‘No resolution for 140,000 mortgage prisoners as Treasury Committee calls for immediate action to help them’ [November 2018]:
    https://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2018-11-14%E2%80%8C%E2%80%8C/no-resolution-140000-mortgage-prisoners-treasury-committee-calls-immediate-action

    …the economic secretary says in his letter that lenders’ hands are tied due to stringent European Union directives relating to mortgages. The EU’s Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) prevents lenders from waiving the affordability requirements when a borrower moves to a new lender.

    Ot to impose austerity measures on the economy?

    ‘Austerity has not been a Tory choice, but an EU one’:
    https://joelrwrites.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/austerity-has-not-been-a-tory-choice-but-an-eu-one/

    These are remarkable powers for the EU to hold over its member states. The United Kingdom, as a non-Eurozone member, cannot be fined or be the subject of punitive action, as it has an exemption to Article 126. However it is obliged to comply with any recommendations issued by the EU, as a treaty obligation, and the United Kingdom is bound by Treaty Protocol No 15, which states: “the UK shall endeavour to avoid an excessive government deficit”.

  • David Allen 7th Feb '20 - 7:24pm

    We shouldn’t waste time arguing whether to “fix Brexit” or “fight Brexit”. It’s a false dichotomy. What we should say is:

    “We think Brexit was a huge mistake. We will identify all the worst potential consequences of Brexit, and we will argue and fight for policies which will make the consequences less bad. We will lambast a government which still thinks it can have its cake and eat it, which will allow industrial collapse, which will accept humiliating one-sided trade deals in place of the fair deal we used to have within the EU, and which won’t win any of the gains on fishing, agriculture or the NHS which they claimed they could win.

    We expect that by the time of the next election, most people will have come round to recognising that Brexit was a mistake. Then we will engage in a conversation. If the popular consensus is that Britain has made its bed and must now lie in it, we will accept that. But if there is a clear popular will to re-join, and if we believe that it would be practicable, we will campaign to re-join the EU.”

  • Yousuf Farah 7th Feb '20 - 11:01pm

    @David Allen
    Well said, re-entry if it is ever possible will need to take time anyway. Though I still think that Remain would easily win in another referendum, were all bets are off. The majority of people voted for remain leaning parties in the recent election, but the votes were split between different parties and FPTP favours a concentrated vote, hence a Conservative majority, it’s a corrupt system I know.

    The whole thing is so depressing, I just hope that we can get back in the EU as soon as possible, the very idea that we can re-enter, or the fact that there are other people saying we can is probably the only things holding me together right now.

  • Andrew Tampion 9th Feb '20 - 11:07am

    I disagree with Charley Hasted’s analysis.
    “We can’t be an anti-brexit party and then go ‘we’ll actually let’s just get on with brexit’.” That is not what the article is suggesting and is a false dichotomy. Brexit has happened because that is government policy and they have a majority. There is nothing anyone (other than the Tories) can do about that. The choice is between sticking your fingers in your ears and saying this isn’t happening or trying to use what influence you have to move things towards the best outcome you can achieve.
    “We know people didn’t vote for the Tories because they wanted Brexit”. You think? Not one of the people who voted Tory did so because they wanted to leave the EU especially given the fact that the Tories spent the entire campaign going on about “getting Brexit done”? Seriously?
    “even our Revoke message in the GE saw our vote share go up across the board even in leave voting areas” No it didn’t in the constituency I live in, Bosworth a Leave area, our vote went down 1.2% having gone down 5% in 2017. In Eastbourne, also a Leave area it went down 5.9% and we lost the seat having regained it with a swing of 8.7% in our favour in 2017 when our candidate promised to respect the referendum result.

  • Richard Underhill 10th Feb '20 - 2:34pm

    ALL TOGETHER NOW!!
    Goods AND SERVICES AND INTELLECTUAL PRPOERTY, as in pharmaceutical patent rights, copyright,

  • Richard Underhill 10th Feb '20 - 10:29pm

    Are you advising a leadership candidate?
    Did Maynard Keynes foresee the invasion of Germany by France to empower the enforcement of the Versailles treaty reparation terms? Did he foresee an amed rebellion in the Dublin Post Office?

  • john littler 27th Feb '20 - 9:45pm

    David Raw, things were done differently in the 20’s and Lloyd George did head a coalition with Tories, who mounted a massive military offence against Unions and strikers in the General Strike a few years later.
    My Grandad also did not like Lloyd George, because of his tax on Whisky, but it helped pay for the embryonic welfare state, pensions, national insurance, sick pay and unemployment pay, which are still recognisable

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