Meet our new MEPs – Breakfast edition

What a night! Thanks to Mark for his excellent coverage overnight.

The results surpassed my wildest expectations. And the media can just stop with this “triumph for the Brexit Party” narrative. They are effectively a repackaged UKIP which, in 2014, got 27.5% of the vote. They’ve only gained 4.1% on top of that to end up with 31.6%. UKIP’s 3.3% on top of that gives unequivocal Leave 34.9%.  The combined total of Liberal Democrats, Greens, Change UK,  Plaid Cymru and SNP who are all committed to Remain is 40.4%.

You can’t really say with confidence what the Conservative and Labour votes mean. I suspect much of the Labour vote did so with gritted teeth so you could probably add another 10% to Remain which would take the total for Remain to over 50%.

So, enough with this Brexit Party victory narrative.

But enough of that for now. Let’s meet our new MEPs.

As of now, we have 14 new ones – 15 in total so far. And they are a diverse bunch – a majority (8) women and two BAME candidates elected.

We hope that the Fabulous Fifteen will become the Sensational Sixteen at about 11 am this morning once the Western Isles has finished counting. Two are Newbies who have joined the party since 2015 and one more joined in 2014.

Making up my LIb Dem MEPs Twitter list was pretty satisfying.

So who are our new MEPs? Here are extracts from their biographies on the party website and a few more notes.  I will update this later if, as projected,  we win in Scotland but do not want to tempt fate.

East of England

Barbara Gibson

Barbara lives in Welwyn, Hertfordshire:

Barbara is a lecturer for Birkbeck, University of London, focused on intercultural communication and global business. With more than 25 years’ experience as a business communication professional, she has worked with companies worldwide, and is a past international chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is immediate past-president of SIETAR UK (the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and a past International Group Chair of CIPR (the Chartered Institute of Public Relations). She completed her PhD in Intercultural Communication in 2014.

 

Lucy Nethsingha

Lucy Nethsingha is the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Cambridgeshire County Council and Deputy Chair on the Children and Young People’s Board at the Local Government Association. Lucy chairs the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Scrutiny Committee, where she has played a key role in scrutinising the work of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Having grown up in Cornwall, where Brittany often felt closer than Westminster, Lucy is a passionate European. Growing up in Cornwall also gave her an early understanding of the importance of caring for the environment. Lucy has been campaigning on Climate Change issues for many years, starting with Surfer’s against Sewage campaigns in the 1990s.

London

Irina von Wiese .

Irina von Wiese is a dual German and British citizen. Her parents and grandparents were refugees from Russia and Eastern Europe. She grew up in Cologne (then still West Germany) and studied law and public administration in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S.

Her first job took her to Brussels, where she worked for the European Commission and gained a valuable insight into the functioning of European institutions. Her experience has fostered her belief in the European project as a guarantor of peace and prosperity.

In 1996, Irina moved to London where she has lived and worked as a competition lawyer since. She is currently working for an international organisation in the ICT sector.

As a Londoner, Irina is passionate about preserving the diversity, openness and tolerance of London communities – values shared by Liberal Democrats. She joined the party in 1998 and stood in several local elections. She has been campaigning for Remain since 2016 and continues her fight to keep Britain at the heart of Europe.

Irina is also a civil rights activist and volunteer for several refugee charities, providing legal advice and shelter for victims of trafficking and modern slavery. She lives in Hammersmith with her teenage daughter and an Ethiopian refugee.

Dinesh Dhamija

Dinesh Dhamija is the founder, former Chairman and CEO, of ebookers.com, one of Europe’s most successful internet travel companies. Educated at Kings School, Canterbury and Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, he worked in various companies including IBM.

He is also an alumni of IMD in Lausanne and Harvard Business School. In 2003, Dinesh was chosen, Entrepreneur of the year (UK), by Management Today magazine and in 2004 awarded Asian Man of the Year. He is a trustee of TiE Global, (an entrepreneurs organisation) based in Silicone Valley, founder of Shiksha, a charity that provides free education to 1100 pupils, founder of Chikitsa, a charity that gives free medicine to 120,000 people a year.

Dinesh joined the Liberal Democratic party in 2014 and 2016 was appointed as a business adviser to the party leader. In 2017, Dinesh became the Deputy Treasurer and in 2018 was elected and Vice Chairman of the Federal Board.

Cllr Luisa Porritt

Luisa is a Liberal Democrat councillor in Camden, having been successfully elected in her first ever election in May 2018. She joined the party after the 2016 referendum. She has since campaigned passionately for the UK to retain its EU membership. In her first year as a councillor, her motion in favour of a People’s Vote was passed by Camden Council.

Luisa is a fluent French speaker and proud Londoner. A former journalist, she has experience working in both the public and private sectors. She currently manages the UK arm of a French financial communications agency and teaches economic history for a university.

South East

Catherine Bearder – the only one who wasn’t a gain…

Catherine Bearder was elected as MEP for South East England in 2009.

She was born in Hertfordshire and worked in the antique trade, as a zoological research assistant in Africa and latterly after children, in the voluntary sector with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Victim Support and National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

She was a councillor on Cherwell District and Oxfordshire County Councils and parliamentary candidate for Banbury in 1997 and Henley in 2001.

She is President of the Green Liberal Democrats and has a special interest in biodiversity protection and fighting human trafficking.

Antony Hook

Antony moved to Kent during his childhood as his father sought new work during the economically difficult times of the 1980s. Both his parents worked in local public services and are now retired. He has one brother who does statistical work for an organisation that promotes excellence in education.

After attending a local grammar school, Antony studied history at University College London, followed by law at City University and the Inns of Court School of Law. He completed his training at leading chambers (a group of barristers) in the capital. He uses the skills he has developed as an advocate and lawyer to help him stand up for Faversham as a councillor.

I am especially pleased to see Antony elected as I worked with him on the Federal Board and found him to be diligent, pragmatic and someone who could disagree well.

Judith Bunting

Before entering politics, Judith was a science journalist and TV producer at the BBC for more than 20 years, directing films on green energy for Tomorrow’s World and quantum physics for Horizon and Discovery. More recently, Judith was co-creator of Magic Hands, the CBeebies television series which is presented in British Sign Language.

Judith studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. In 2017, she was selected by the Royal Society of Chemistry to be one of their 175 Faces of Chemistry.

If elected to the European Parliament, Judith will fight to preserve and strengthen workers’ rights. She will work with employers in the South East, especially small businesses, to navigate the confusion around Brexit and she will continue the long, critical campaign to halt climate change.

Judith has previously fought Newbury for the Liberal Democrats.

East Midlands

Bill Newton Dunn

Bill Newton Dunn was first elected MEP for Lincolnshire from 1979 to 1994, and then as MEP for the East Midlands from 1999 to 2014. He crossed the floor to the Liberal Democrats in 2000 because of the ever-worsening Tory approach to “Europe”.

He has written several books, including two full-length biographies. His important political pamphlets drew attention to “the EU’s Democratic Deficit”, pointed out that “Europe Needs an FBI”, and most recently explained “What Do MEPs Do?”, a collection of brief accounts by forty-eight MEPs of seventeen diffferent nationalities.

Yorkshire and the Humber

Shaffaq Mohammed

Shaffaq Mohammed was born in Kashmir, Pakistan and moved to the UK aged 4 with his father, a steelworker, who came to Sheffield to work in the steel mills.

First being elected in Broomhill in 2004, Shaffaq Mohammed is now the leading Liberal Democrat Councillor on Sheffield City Council where he holds the Labour administration to account and fights for a fair deal for all of Sheffield. Recently, Shaffaq has been central to the campaign to save Sheffield’s street trees.

He currently works as a youth worker, helping young people into education and employment in some of the most deprived areas of the city.

West Midlands

Phil Bennion

Phillip was MEP for the West Midlands from 2012-14 and played a leading role in introducing tougher safety standards for lorries following concerns about safety of cyclists and pedestrians. He was described as “someone to be reckoned with in the European Parliament” by President of the European Liberals Hans van Baalen MEP. He was also instrumental in blocking some misguided employment legislation working with Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, who was the UK minister sitting on the Employment Council at that time. Before he was an MEP he orchestrated the successful campaign to introduce environmental criteria for biomass to prevent virgin forest qualifying as renewable energy.

As the liberal (ALDE) group spokesperson on South Asia he worked hard to try and broker a deal to allow a free and fair election in Bangladesh, intervening to get the deputy opposition leader Fakrul Alamgir released from prison. He also promoted a new initiative on human rights and a political settlement for Kashmir and was an official election observer in Pakistan in 2013.

He is currently an Executive Committee member of the global liberal organisation Liberal International and also sits on its Human Rights Committee. His main area of interest on this committee is democratic rights and he has spoken at the United Nations Human Rights Council calling for the release of political prisoners.

South West

Caroline Voaden

Caroline is a freelance editor, a former Reuters journalist and former small business owner, who has lived in south Devon for 10 years. Her experience of running a small business in Totnes, with the onerous high street overheads and the relentless growth in online shopping, has given Caroline an understanding of the pressures faced by the self-employed and those running small businesses.

Her work as a journalist led her to live in six European countries and she speaks several languages. This experience has given her a deep love of Europe and as such she was devastated by the result of the EU referendum, so she decided to stand with the Lib Dems to try and change the direction our country is heading in. She wants her children to have the same opportunities she had to travel, live and work abroad.

Martin Horwood

Martin Horwood is former MP for Cheltenham, President of the Green Liberal Democrats and a longstanding campaigner against Brexit.

Before serving as Cheltenham’s MP from 2005 until 2015, Martin worked in business and the charity sector – including for Oxfam and as the Alzheimer’s Society’s Director of Fundraising.

As an MP he campaigned for local NHS services, for better rail links across the west country and for the environment. He originated the coalition’s Local Green Space planning policy which is now protecting green spaces important to local communities all over the UK.

Martin was a shadow environment minister in opposition, jointly tabling the amendment in 2008 that raised UK greenhouse gas reduction ambition to 80% and co-authoring the Liberal Democrats’ Zero Carbon Britain policy which called for the country to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050. He served on the advisory board of the Energy & Climate Change Information Unit which combats fake news about climate change in the media.

North West

Chris Davies

Chris Davies was Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West, 1999-2014, and was twice named ‘Parliamentarian of the Year’ for his work in the environmental field. His priorities now are to use his voice to stop Brexit, campaign for European leadership in curbing climate change, and to prevent the erosion of European democratic values by rogue governments.

As a MEP and team leader on the Parliament’s environment committee he introduced the EU’s largest funding mechanism to combat climate change by supporting development of low CO2 technologies. From 2020 this will be known as the EU Innovation Fund and is expected to be worth more than €10 billion. It is an achievement that entitles him to claim that no candidate in this election has done more in practical terms to fight global warming.

I first met Chris when he was our winning candidate in the Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election in 1995.

His return to office had a tinge of glamour to it:

Jane Brophy

Jane Brophy is an NHS Allied Health Professional working in the field of Dietetics, specialising in diabetes treatment. She is a member of the British Dietetic Association board and holds a degree in Biochemistry.

Jane Brophy has been elected as a Metropolitan Borough Councillor in Trafford for 19 years. Jane was a Parliamentary Candidate for North West England in the 2014 European Election promoting policies to tackle public health and climate change issues, and was the Liberal Democrat Greater Manchester Metro Mayoral Candidate in 2017. She was parliamentary candidate for Altrincham and Sale West at the last three general elections.

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

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46 Comments

  • Keith Sharp 27th May '19 - 7:41am

    High among the reasons for this hugely encouraging and inspiring set of results is that we branded ourselves and the campaign powerfully. One simple message, with a clear promise and appeal – Stop Brexit, embellished by the bold, attention-grabbing adoption of ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ at the campaign launch. This is not the place or time to kick over previous campaign branding, but how refreshing it has been to campaign on Stop Brexit rather than vague notions of ‘stronger’, ‘fairer’ or ‘Change…’ (look what happened to Chukka’s lot).

    Lesson: from now on, keep it simple, direct and with a clear promise that is relevant and differentiates us. Congratulations to those who put the campaign together, all our MEPs and of course to everyone who pitched in to get us to this position

  • Oh, happy days.

  • Patrick C Smith 27th May '19 - 8:24am

    A very talented slate of L/D MEPS elcted and with the best blessings of their suppirters wuill all represent the best progressive policies on Climate Change,EU Arrest Warrant and the movement of life-saving medicines and Health Education in the EU.

    I hope that the L/D MEP Team can now raise the bar on education and improving standards inthe life threatening Air Pollution in our congested streets in our cities re all age groups are being challenged by carbon monoxide fumes, including pupils on their daily school journey either walking,cycling and on public transport.

    Good luck to this fabulous L/D MEP Team and all faithful look foward to the winning Team photo with the champion EU Election `Stop Brexit’ victor Sir Vince Cable and what a legacy to the country?

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 8:55am

    There seems to be more talk, in the media generally, about the Lib Dems coming second than that the Brexit Party actually won it by a margin of some 13% points.

    Of course it’s a big improvement for the Lib Dems on the 2014 result. But if the situation had been reversed would the Brexit Party have received so many congratulations for coming second?

    Incidentally, I’m not a Brexit Party supporter. I spoiled my vote. Two reasons. I didn’t have any one party I agreed with. We shouldn’t be participating in these elections after voting to leave the EU.

  • The WTO/Leave-at-any-costs vote looks like a mobile solid block compared to the fragmented Remain/deal-referendum vote. The elephant in the room is FPTP (first-past-the-post election system). The likely outcome is a Boris Johnson PM and galvanising the WTO block to circumvent the current parliamentary arithmetic, and winning a landslide (in MPs). If Labour switch to a referendum position the Lib Dems will get squeezed unless it can lead a stronger centre-Alliance (Lib Dem+Green+CHUK) and overtake it.

  • Bill le Breton 27th May '19 - 9:47am

    Yes, congratulations to all and their teams + echo Ruth’s special mention of the most resolute Jane Brophy. And later today, surely, the selfless Sheila Ritchie.

  • jayne mansfield 27th May '19 - 10:01am

    @ Peter Martin,

    ‘I am not a Brexit supporter’.

    As one of Farage’s little helpers you surprise me.

    There was no alternative once this election became a proxy referendum but to accept that there was a binary choice, vote for or against leaving the EU. Tactical voting was the order of the day. Yet, you chose to opt out.

    The depressing aspect for me, has been that if democracy means that one should have the right to change one’s mind, few minds seem to have been changed. Rather, minds have been entrenched.

    The analyses of Professor John Curtice on the BBC and and Professor Michael Thrasher on Sky news last night was a reality check, given that a ‘People’s Vote is likely to lead to an outcome that is hardly likely to settle the matter. As a nation, we will remain implacably divided on the issue.

    Whatever persuasive powers have been brought to bear over the last three years, they have not been effective as far as the remains side is concerned.

  • It certainly looks like Labour will come out in favour of a 2nd referendum but so what ? The likely outcome will be crashing out in October without a deal and to be honest if the prophets of doom are correct this really will herald the resurrection of the lib Dems.

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 10:55am

    @ Jayne Mansfield,

    I don’t mind you quoting me but please get the quote right. Use copy and paste so you don’t make any mistakes! I said I’m not a Brexit PARTY supporter. That doesn’t mean I favour remaining in the EU.

    There were voices on the left arguing against becoming trapped in the EU long before Nigel Farage appeared on the political stage.

  • William Fowler 27th May '19 - 11:31am

    Very well done guys, LibDem/Green vote beating Brexit Party vote, the best thing that could happen to LibDems – but not the country – is if Corbyn decides to front it out and support soft Brexit, that will get the youth vote going over to the Greens and the bulk of the remainers going for LibDems as long as their other policies aren’t too offensive – and staying in the EU is surely too important to muddy the waters. Maybe throw in some radical ideas to reform the EU, perhaps concentrating the power much more directly in the EU parliament and taking the toys of power away from the bureaucrats and commissioners.

  • Malcolm Todd 27th May '19 - 11:33am

    Peter Martin 27th May ’19 – 8:55am
    “There seems to be more talk, in the media generally, about the Lib Dems coming second than that the Brexit Party actually won it by a margin of some 13% points.”

    You do see things through the goggles of Brexiteer paranoia, don’t you? I did a quick scoop of top headlines from various online sources, to find:

    BBC: “Brexit Party dominates in EU elections”
    The Guardian: “Tories and Labour savaged as voters take Brexit revenge”
    Mirror: “Stop Brexit parties win MORE votes than pro-Brexit campaigners”
    Sky News: “Tories and Labour suffer as Brexit Party triumphs”
    Daily Mail: “’This is the beginning of a new political movement’: Nigel Farage promises the Brexit Party WILL contest a general election and wipe out Tories if Britain doesn’t leave EU by October – after his crushing victory in the Euro polls”

    Looks like some discrepancy between the reality (of media coverage) and Peter Martin’s perception.

  • One of the most delightful aspects of the results was the pathetic number of votes Tommy Robinson got in the North West…

  • Congratulations to everyone who contributed to a very positive result. The hard work is paying off.

    I too have seen the analysis by John Curtice and while polls are saying that more of the public favour Remain, it’s true there is a risk that in the event of a 2nd referendum, younger voters in favour of the EU might not quite get around to voting. But what’s the alternative? Steam ahead with a Brexit we know is definitely damaging?

    I also agree that it is probable that when Labour finally get around to properly supporting a vote on the deal, and allow their activists members to properly campaign for that to be a Remain vote, that it will nudge a lot of undecideds towards a firmer Remain position.

    However, it’s fair to say that it’s not enough just to fight for a vote on the deal. We need to be prepared to make a fresh case for Remain and to offer better solutions to the problems that encouraged people to vote Brexit in the first place. We also need to ensure that Remain isn’t blasé about the result, or find ourselves caught up in inter-party bickering.

  • The media has reacted to the brilliant Lib Dem results in the E U elections as they did with the equally stunning results in the council elections ie doing their best to ignore us. Well done anyway!

  • Jayne Mansfield 27th May '19 - 12:19pm

    @ Peter Martin,
    Apologies for misquoting you. So let me try again.

    ‘Incidentally, I’m not a Brexit supporter.

    At Peter Martin, I know there were voices on the left arguing against being trapped in the EU long before Nigel Farage appeared on the political scene’. I hope that I have taken more care and have not misquoted you this time Peter.

    The point is, they were unsuccessful. I pointed you to an article that gave a cogent argument as to brexiteers from your political persuasion would only facilitate the rise of the right, and the extreme right at that.

    Nigel Farage is proving successful in picking up working class votes that you can only dream of, and when he and his merry men and women take their seats they are likely to form pan European groupings in an attempt to undo the advances made by liberal democracies on behalf of those people you claim to be concerned about.

    Forgive me is I am mistaken, but my opinion of you as one of Nigel Farage’s little helpers seems apt to me.

    As far as not voting in the election is concerned, given that the election took place whether you agree with it or not, it was becoming clear that the election was going into a proxy referendum by many and the result used as a propaganda exercise by the party that won most seats, ( and does anyone have any one party that one agrees with on all issues?) We are fortunate to have a vote, so why didn’t you , as we say in the north, put your money where your mouth is? Abstaining is as good as voting for the Brexit party given the polling figures before the election.

  • What these results show is that the majority still support Brexit
    Hard Brexit (Brexit & UKIP) 34.9
    Some form of Brexit (Labour & Cons) 23.2%
    Remain (Liberal Democrat & Green & Change UK & SNP & Clyd) 40.5%
    What they also show is that a 3rd of the UK supports leaving the EU with no Deal, so should remainers get their second shot at a referendum, democracy demands that NO deal must be on the ballot paper when it is clearly supported by over a 3rd of the electorate.

  • Sue Sutherland 27th May '19 - 1:25pm

    What a great list of MEPs! Well done everyone.

  • Jayne Mansfield 27th May '19 - 1:42pm

    @ Fiona,
    The alternative is a general election.

    Anne Widdicombe was on television this morning arguing that the vote for Brexit was from those who wanted Brexit and that was the only reason for them voting for the party because that was the one reason to vote for them, there was no other.

    I think that a General election will cause the electorate to consider other issues before placing their vote. The die hard brexiteers might vote for Brexit policies not yet agreed and publicised, but a GE will force the issue with the electorate having to vote for a party that more closely reflects personal values and the policies that are most likely to translate those values into practical solutions.

    The idea of a so called ‘People’s Vote’ was always a high risk strategy. The ping pong arguments about what constitutes democracy were a gift to shrewd brexiteers like Mr Farage, who was able to turn the arguments and appeal to a sense of victimhood amongst those who felt that their voices had always been ignored. The arguments became less about the benefits or otherwise of EU membership and more about the nature of democracy and trust.

    A general election is also risky given the political polarisation that has taken place, but I see no alternative.

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 1:42pm

    @ Jayne Mansfield,

    ” I hope that I have taken more care and have not misquoted you this time Peter.”

    You’ve still not managed to say that I’m not a Brexit Party supporter!

    But never mind!

    @ Malcolm Todd,

    Of course you can cherry pick quotations to suit your argument. It’s probably impossible to prove but it did seem to me that the BBC was trying their best to avoid discussing what had actually happened. Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t like the idea of the far right doing well, but they did and that was much the most important point to discuss.

    The EU needs to accept responsibility for what they have created and not just in the UK. I don’t remember anyone saying that.

  • David Evershed 27th May '19 - 2:30pm

    The Lib Dems have crushed their closest competitor, Change UK.

    As a result Change Uk will die.

  • Innocent Bystander 27th May '19 - 2:30pm

    This vote has deepened my despair over national unity. The lack of any unifying leadership since 2016 has encouraged the steadily polarising views into 100% Remain and 100% Leave. Is there no one else interested in comprising?
    “Bollocks to Brexit” is, of course , a high stakes game. Instead of some partial withdrawal we could end up with a People’s Vote which was 100% Leave, no matter what the consequences. What then?

  • Like a broken clock, it seems, Anne Wideicombe can be right sometimes. She said that the voters for the Brexit Party wanted one thing – Brexit. I think it’s likely given the circumstances of this election that every Brextremist in the land will have been out to vote – so we know now their true strength, about 1/3 of 1/3 of people. Just as ‘[email protected]@cks to Brexit’ was clear we now n Ed to be saying ‘Brexit is dead’. We’ve seen the full extent of it – add in the kippers and Tories too if you like, they don’t come near to a quarter of the population. And this is at their high water mark!
    Yes, they’re angry, aggressive, stubborn – so must we be. Their last hope, having fluffed their big change earlier with their ‘my brexitbismlurer than here’ squabbling is a sort of coup taking in the Tories and capitalising on labour being useless

    Last sad thought, if the Chukkas has worked with the LDs the matter wouldn’t have missed out on the 4th seat by just a few hundred votes. Instead it went to Brexit, somehow giving them 50% of seats on about 34% of the vote ….

  • Jayne Mansfield 27th May '19 - 2:53pm

    @ Peter Martin,

    OK, in the spirit of compromise, I am prepared to say that you are not a Brexit Party supporter. In my opinion, you are a Brexit Party enabler.

    Happy now?

  • First leaflet to arrive, (in East Renfrewshire, was from the Libdems, & it was really brilliant…catchy, clear concise, & honestly, the best leaflet I’ve ever received. Congrats to the artist.

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 3:21pm

    @ Jayne,

    “In my opinion, you are a Brexit Party enabler. ….Happy now?”

    Not really. I’ve never voted for the far right and I don’t see myself ever doing that. 🙂 But of course your are entitled to your opinion.

    The European far right are almost entirely the creation of the EU and it is time they accepted responsibility for their own creation. This isn’t just my own opinion. Bill le Breton makes the same point that if the EU/ECB deliberately creates the conditions of economic deflation, inevitably they are creating the conditions for the far right to thrive.

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 3:30pm

    Maybe slightly off topic but I’ve just found these three BBC videos. If you missed them the first time around they are worth a watch.

    This is the first one. Then there’s E02 and E03

    Inside Europe Ten Years of Turmoil S01E01

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x71isj8

  • With Mrs May’s impending departure, the case for putting her “Deal” to a popular vote has evaporated. Had she supported a People’s Vote, she might have been able to structure it so that her vote got a first bite at the apple: “The Deal, Yes or No,” and only if it were rejected would voters have had a chance to decide between Revoke and No Deal.

    But now that the “Deal’s” constituency of one is leaving office, and the “Deal” itself has been resounding rejected by the Commons in vote after vote, there is no case to be made for even considering it.

    A People’s Vote can now be clearly binary:

    1) The Government shall revoke Article 50, allowing the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union pending further legislation;

    2) The Government shall allow Article 50 to take effect without a Withdrawal Agreement.

  • @George
    “So how can you say that all those Labour votes are pro-Brexit?”

    I can say it because Labour have campaigned saying that they will deliver on the 2016 Brexit vote.

    Therefore I can logically conclude that
    34.9% voted for Hard Brexit
    and
    23.2% voted for some form of Brexit
    Therefore concluding that the majority is still in favour of leave.

    I would imagine that the vast bulk of Labour remainers, already switched their vote to Liberal Democrats and the ones that are left are those that are in favour of some form of brexit.
    Not an unreasonable conclusion.
    Either way, I do not see these results as being any endorsement for a second referendum, the only clear single one can conclude is that should another referendum take place, No deal must certainly be on the ballot

  • @David-1
    no more binary choices please! We should champion ‘sensitive democracy’ 1,2,3..

  • Roland Postle 27th May '19 - 4:54pm

    @David-1 No deal forever? If it’s there at all option 2 should be more honest and state:

    “2) The Government shall allow Article 50 to take effect without a Withdrawal Agreement *and then re-attempt to agree a comprehensive trade deal with the EU as quickly as possible*”

    ‘No Deal’ is an appealing misnomer. A new deal will still have to be struck at some point if we leave, and at that point the same problems over N.Ireland and inability to split the EU’s four-freedoms will reappear. The EU of course will state that the starting point for such a deal will be the WA, making the whole option a bit farcical. The only value of leaving without an agreement for Leavers is that it’ll be harder to reverse. Some of them also dream it will improve our negotiating hand, but with a collapse in trade with EU, goods shortages, clogged ports, a looming recession, and numerous discredited politicians who’ve either argued for No Deal or enabled a referendum on it while hoping Revoke would win, it’s difficult to see how our position would be anything but pitiful.

    Having No Deal on the ballot paper without linking it to what happens next would be the same category of mistake made in 2016 when Leave was on the ballot paper without any clear idea of what happens next. I do hope MPs don’t repeat that.

  • John Marriott 27th May '19 - 5:14pm

    So pleased to see Bill Newton Dunn back where he belongs.. He needs to get some advice from Lewis Hamilton had to get a good spray out of a champagne bottle! My only question is how long those British MEPs will actually be operating in Brussels and Strasbourg.

    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of another General Election sooner rather than later. We certainly need something to break the logjam.

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 7:56pm

    @Joseph,

    I’m not quite sure why you have a problem with the word ‘deliberate’. The EU’s SGP, and the later and even worse Fiscal Compact, deliberately creates the conditions of economic stagnation. There’s enough highly paid, highly educated, economists in the EU to be have been able to figure this out for themselves, right at the start. Even if they couldn’t, they only had to read the warnings that economists such as Wynne Godley were making at the time. This was written as long ago as 1992:

    “If a country or region has no power to devalue, and if it is not the beneficiary of a system of fiscal equalisation, then there is nothing to stop it suffering a process of cumulative and terminal decline leading, in the end, to emigration as the only alternative to poverty or starvation.”

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n19/wynne-godley/maastricht-and-all-that

    The only other possibility is that the PTB in the EU didn’t know what they were doing and this has all come about by accident. I really don’t know which is worse. Either way, you’d really have to ask why we would want to be a part of it all.

  • @ George

    Thank you for the links
    I don’t much go for these kind of polls as people tend to say one thing and do another, as has been seen time and time again.

    I did see some paragraph that caught my attention that you may have missed.
    “Overall, 89 per cent of Euro-election voters who voted Leave still want Brexit to happen – 55 per cent of them with no deal – and seven per cent now say they want to remain. Meanwhile, 81 per cent of Remainers who voted last week say they still want to remain, with 15 per cent now saying the best outcome would be to leave. Among all those voting in the European elections, 50 per cent said they had voted to Remain in the referendum and 45 per cent to Leave; now, 50 per cent said they wanted to leave, 46 per cent said they wanted to remain, and 4 per cent didn’t know.”

    So, I will stick to my original opinion, nothing has changed, a majority still wants to leave the EU, these European elections have changed nothing

  • Peter Martin 27th May '19 - 8:32pm

    @ George Kendall,

    The graph on your last link shows 45% Leave 50% Remain with 4% DNV. I suppose I was one of the DNVs as (1) Left Leavers like myself didn’t have anyone to vote for (2) Many, across the political spectrum, took the view that we shouldn’t be having anything to do with EU elections after we’d decided to Leave.

    But as the turnout in the EU elections was only about half of the turn out for the 2016 referendum, and seems to be much lower in Leave inclined areas, I’m just wondering how its been possible to come up with any kind of figure at all?

    But, even so, the graph shows that the country is pretty much split down the middle and any meaningful referendum, ie one which offered the options preferred by either side, could still go either way.

  • I didn’t vote in the EU elections. Most the people I know didn’t vote either. As per usually the EU inspired a mass out break of frenetic apathy, because of course the public far from being divided by the Brexit issue is mostly disinterested in the actuality of European politics of any sort and show this by consistently not turning up at the ballot box. This is why the central conceit of the EU, ever closer union, is getting ever further away. The EU is not going to collapse but it isn’t really going anywhere either. It’s basically a dying belief system held together by a single currency and the piety of its priesthood.

  • Peter Martin 28th May '19 - 8:46am

    @ Glenn,

    Me neither. If you count a spoilt paper as not voting!

    I don’t agree that it’s entirely about apathy. Most people take the view that the EU Parliament is an expensive talking shop. They don’t see the need for it and don’t want anything to do with it. I agree. I’m all for the Dutch being able to sell their Gouda cheese over here, if they can find anyone who really wants to buy it, but why do we need a common Parliament to be able to trade freely?

    The point is that the EU has got quite ahead of itself and is imposing an additional and unnecessary tier of government on the European population that only a minority want.

  • Peter Martin
    I think it really is mostly apathy and disinterest, until there’s a big splashy vote. A lot of people in the Remain camp like think Leave voters are angry with an EU we don’t understand. When really it’s more because the political classes signed us up to a pointless expensive legally binding project few people were actively asking for and which doesn’t actually show much positive returns on the investment. What the EU most resembles, to me, is one of those timeshare deals that gives investors an off season fortnight in an unfinished bungalow with no running water. Except, some people think it’s hippy commune with face painting for the nippers and a spiritual awareness tent, hence all the ” open v closed”, love v hate, let your children run free” stuff.

  • Peter Martin,

    “The EU’s SGP, and the later and even worse Fiscal Compact, deliberately creates the conditions of economic stagnation”

    There is flexibility in the EU’s fiscal rules and Italy has been making full use of them but with little effect on its economic growth so far.
    Eurozone members have different cultures, but an agreed set of fiscal rules to prevent financial contagion spreading from one member country’s banking system to the others.
    The yet to be completed banking union and common European deposit insurance scheme is a key element of that framework. The slow progress to date is principally a political and cultural issue.
    German politicians are loathe to take on the liabilities of the Italian banking system while it is in such poor shape. They think Italy could do with a bit more of the protestant work ethic and a bit less of La Dolce Vita. Italians beg to differ (as is there right) and tend to quite frequently throw out any government that doesn’t immediately deliver improved living standards. As with many countries where government changes frequently, there is a large informal sector that pays no taxes and operates outside of the formal economy.
    Italy, nevertheless, remains a major developed economy with high standards of living although the poorer, more rural south, has high rates of youth unemployment.
    The UK, of course, has an opt-out from both the Euro and Schengen and has one of the most flexible deals of any country with the EU.

  • Peter Martin 28th May '19 - 7:41pm

    @ JoeB,

    “There is flexibility in the EU’s fiscal rules”

    There’s some flexibility in those old Classic 50’s cars built on a solid chassis. The problem is that, like the EU’s fiscal rules, there is nowhere near enough, so if you crash them into a tree you’ll probably die.

    The UK, of course, has an opt-out from both the Euro and Schengen and has one of the most flexible deals of any country with the EU.

    Yes I agree. These are some of the best bits of the EU. The parts we don’t have to be involved in!

  • Richard Underhill 29th May '19 - 3:19pm

    “Silicone Valley” Typo?

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