Rally tonight, Parliament Square, to demand a Final Say

An email has just gone around announcing a rally tonight in London from 6 pm to demand a Final Say on the proposed Brexit deal. More info here.

There have also been a flurry of press briefings and reactions to May’s proposals going out, here are some highlights.

Brexit chaos hitting UK businesses hard

Responding to reports that UK- focused firms have been hit hard by the PM’s proposed Brexit deal, with RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, Marks and Spencer, Barratt, Berkeley and EasyJet all seeing falls in their share prices, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Ministerial resignations and Brexit chaos are hitting UK-based businesses hard. But the short-term damage caused by a rudderless Government will be nothing compared to the permanent harm the PM’s bad deal or catastrophic No Deal would inflict on UK Plc. That is why we need a People’s Vote to get us out of this mess and secure an exit from Brexit.

PM’s incompetence leaves UK unprepared for all options

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable has today criticised Theresa May for failing to prepare for no Brexit, despite admitting it was an option.

Speaking in response to the Prime Minister’s Brexit statement in the House of Commons today, Vince Cable said:

The Prime Minister rightly asserts that there are two alternatives to her plan, no deal and no Brexit. The Government is investing considerably in contingency planning for no deal. What contingency planning is she doing for no Brexit? Including, for example, advising the Commission that Article 50 may have to be withdrawn? And is she herself preparing for the fact, however much she hates it, that the House may instruct her to carry out a People’s Vote?

In response, the Prime Minister confirmed the Conservative Government was making no plans for no Brexit.

Following the exchange, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said: 

For the livelihoods of people right across the UK, there is no deal better than the deal we currently have as EU members. That is why the Liberal Democrats have consistently made the case for remaining in the EU.

Given the Prime Minister’s botched deal is falling apart already, it is beyond incompetent that she has left the UK unprepared for the very real reality of no Brexit at all. The future of our country should be decided by the people. The people must be given the final say on Brexit, including the option to remain in the EU.

The Conservative Government is in meltdown

Responding to the resignation of Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable said:

The Government started Britain on a journey with no actual idea of their route or their destination. The Conservative Government is in meltdown and it’s clear the Conservatives are now driving the country off a cliff.

The Tories are finally realising what we have always known. There is no way to prevent Brexit from leaving our country worse off.

A People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, where they can choose to remain in the EU, is the only route out of this uncertainty. It is time people had the power to end this mess.

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  • Mick Taylor 15th Nov '18 - 5:42pm

    Good luck with the demonstration tonight. I will be with you in spirit, but actually attending my branch AGM!

  • David Becket 15th Nov '18 - 5:48pm

    You should add an on line supporting petition. Reading this at 5.30 in Crewe renders attendance impossable

  • Yeovil Yokel 15th Nov '18 - 7:06pm

    It’s well worth viewing the video of the People’s Vote rally (“Not Buying Brexit”) which took place on Tuesday evening 13th. November at a venue close to the Palace of Westminster. It can be found at https://www.pscp.tv/w/1LyGBvQXBYKN or on Layla Moran’s Twitter feed. It was compered by comedian Andy Parsons and featured speeches by a number of people (mainly MP’s from 5 different parties) including our own Layla. But for me the most interesting contributions were from the 3 Tories, Justine Greening, Jo Johnson, and Dominic Grieve. The latter two appeared to be out of their comfort zones, but rose to the occasion spurred on by the youthful audience, and expressed themselves more freely & forcefully than they probably would ever dare to in the House of Commons.

  • Yeovil Yokel 15th Nov '18 - 7:10pm

    Sorry, the link should read: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1LyGByvQXBYKN .

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Nov '18 - 9:16am

    Judith Abel, a second referendum was always extremely unlikely to happen. It was always more of a symbolic policy than something that anyone really expected to happen.
    It seems ironic that all but one of our MPs now seem to be planning to basically vote for a no deal Brexit, while claiming that by doing so they can somehow get another referendum.

  • @Catherine Jane Crosland
    I think you and Vince need to have a chat, as in your opinion he is wasting his time appearing at rally after rally saying that we can have an ‘Exit from Brexit’. As for your one MP. Without naming names he is going to do the party great harm. We already get a lot of criticism for the missed votes of Vince and Tim. The one thing this party struggles with is ‘Trust’ for reasons which everybody is aware of. We are gradually rebuilding a place in the minds of the electorate, especially among the young that we let down so badly in 2010. The party has a policy and MP’s should stick to to.
    @Judith Abel.
    Don’t lose hope. There are millions of people still fighting across all walks of life. This game is far from over.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Nov '18 - 10:22am

    P.J. , I don’t think there’s any reason not to “name names”. There’s no secret about the identity of the “one MP”. Stephen Lloyd has spoken openly about the fact that he will be voting for the deal.
    He will be keeping the promise that he made to his constituents, that he would not do anything to try to stop Brexit.
    I’m not sure why you think the party will be done “great harm” by one of its MPs keeping his promise?

  • Of course the whole point is that what Theresa May is proposing, clearly is not Brexit.

    In essence what has happened is that all the components of British EU membership have been disaggregated, taken out of the box labelled “EU Membership” and put in a new box labelled “Not EU Membership,” and the UK will be put in that box, and the lid closed. The only way out of the box is for the UK (i.e. our incompetent Conservative government) to do something in a couple of years what the Conservatives have failed to do 5% of in the last two years. If we can’t do that, we are apparently stuck in the box forever.

    If what Catherine says above is correct, I think Stephen needs to discuss that with his constituents, and not allow people to be fooled into believing that Brexit is simply whatever Theresa May chooses to call Brexit.

  • Catherine
    I didn’t want to name names as I hoped this issue would be quietly taken care of internally. I think I explained why I thought this was going to do great harm. If an MP want to make random promises, as an independent, he is perfectly free to do so. But if you wear the colours you represent party policy and you get elected on the manifesto of the party. Besides, voting against this deal is not getting in the way of Brexit. Quite the opposite, as the response of the brexiteers attests.

  • I think the suggestion that the whip should be taken away from Stephen Lloyd is very, very, very, very misguided. And I speak as a strong Remainer. We can have pre-programmed lobotomised automatons as MPs carrying out their master’s instructions (and many might suggest that there is a large number of Labour and Tory MPs who fit this description!) or we can have thinking human beings.

    Many here – myself included – have suggested that we would have been better served during the coalition years – by having more rebellious MPs.

    Certainly if I was a PPC I would stand on the promise of abolishing university tuition fees and would vote for it in Parliament whether or not it was official party policy.

    We shall not be enslaved by conformity.

  • Judith: people who I know and who were against another Referendum 6 weeks ago are now either unsure or backing it. I think it is inevitable, probably in February. Do not listen to those who say it takes ages to pass legislation etc, it does not, if the will is there it could be done in a week, remember how quickly the 1974 February election was organised, and was followed by a very high turnout on a long dark, cold and in some places wet weather day.

  • Peter Watson 17th Nov '18 - 1:29pm

    @P.J. “If an MP want to make random promises, as an independent, he is perfectly free to do so. But if you wear the colours you represent party policy and you get elected on the manifesto of the party.”
    Tuition fees being an honourable exception?

  • Peter Watson
    There were lots of (dis) honourable exceptions during the Coalition period, most remarkable, I think, is how in every manifesto we have had at least over the last 30 years has emphasised our commitment to devolution and to local government, and we quietly stood by as local government has been totally eviscerated, arguably more so than under Thatcher!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Nov '18 - 2:07pm

    The country is in a political crisis. Our mps can get no or little coverage because the media are appalling and our party uninteresting. This is not because we are not radical it is because we are not mainstream.

    The party could be a patriotic stand for the uk in the EU one, but caves in to europhie sentimental I heart eu stuff. Grimond and Gaitskell, even Macmillan, the most pro european, had tough common sense patriotic love for our ways at the core, and seemed as British as you could think of.

    Multimillionaire fanatics are not met by a sense of complacency when it relates to the really awfully undemocratic and elitist Juncker . I read things he and Monet said going way back and it is a manipulative ideological extreme vision of a top down superstate.

    We are then confronted with a pm who , lets face it, is second rate , but very decent, hardworking, committed, stubborn, but genuine in one thing only above anything, to avoid a hard Brexit. And for that she is detested by the same millionaires of that awful cause.

    We have an mp who thinks his duty is to support her.

    He must urge others to allow that as his conscience view. If the whip is withdrawn, then this party can remove the two names it has and we , Catherine , those here who are both those words, should start again, a new party, this one not fit.

    We are neither Liberal or Democratic if we insist on unanimity rather than unity

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Nov '18 - 5:09pm


    My reason in often bringing him up, here with the two other parties and the excellent leaders they all had, is they had differing views but were all mainstream, liberal, and two million times better than ours in all parties now.

    Gaitskell might have evolved in his stance, mine is a combination of these , centre left all three Mac and Grimond as happily on most things, very compassionate and common sense.

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