Tag Archives: nick clegg

WATCH: Nick Clegg say that Brexit is a monumental waste of time

From the Belfast Telegraph, watch the Cleggster speak at a Conference in Bath about social mobility and Brexit:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg – British cross-border supply chains will be strangled by hard Brexit red tape

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Writing in the i newspaper, Nick Clegg says that any chance of Soft Brexit has been killed off by Theresa May. Instead, MPs will be faced with the choice of a hard Brexit or no Brexit.

Nick Clegg hits the nail on the head when he describes how modern cross-border supply chains will be destroyed by a hard Brexit:

It cannot be said enough: the Brexit this Government is determined to impose on this country cannot under any circumstances avoid the introduction of extensive new barriers, costs and frictions to trade with our largest trading partners.

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BREAKING: Swinson and Clegg honoured

Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire, Jo Swinson, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The rumours were true, about Nick, then.


Elizabeth Riches, who came within two votes of winning North East Fife in June becomes an MBE. She was a councillor for many years and was depute leader of Fife Council from 2007-12.

Depute Leader of our group on York City Council, Ann Reid gets an MBE for services to local govermnent.

Another Scot, Graham Garvie, former Convener of the Borders Council and now a member of the Lib Dems’ Federal International Relations Committee, gets an OBE.

Reg Barry,  Lib Dem Councillor on the Isle of Wight gets a BEM for services to the community.

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Will Nick Clegg be getting a knighthood at the weekend?

The papers are full of reports that The Cleggster is getting a knighthood in the New Year Honours. The right wing tabloids in particular are particularly enraged at this award for an “arch remainer.” The Mail even devotes a separate article to the question of whether Miriam Gonzalez Durantez will use the title “Lady Clegg” to give them another reason to remind readers of their twin obsessions with her being Spanish and not using what they refer to as her “married name.” The fact that she just has a name, not a married name, is lost on them as usual.

It’s much better for them, of course, to obsess on these things rather than her expertise on international and EU trade which leads her often to demolish the Government’s handling of Brexit as she did in this article in the Summer.

The best thing this government could do to appease the serious concerns of UK business leaders on Brexit is to rely on the business leaders themselves. This means no more toying with extravagant and ill-founded ideas. And it also means seeking an interim arrangement with the EU to continue benefiting from the single market and the customs union for as long as is needed until an alternative EU-UK deal is reached, as business leaders have proposed. This can be done by placing the UK into the European Economic Area on a temporary basis, and/or looking for an ad hoc arrangement extending the current status quo. Neither the extreme Brexiteers nor the extreme remainers like this option, but it is the only sensible thing to do right now. It allows the UK government to win time. And time is what the government needs – to get the skills it misses, to draft proposals it has not even started to draft yet and to negotiate with the serenity that the high economic interests at stake deserve.

An interim deal is the only way to deal with the ticking clock Michael Barnier hears because, as any trade negotiator knows, there is nothing worse than negotiating against time. Except for negotiating against time in pursuit of delusional and unrealistic ambitions.

But back to Nick. We won’t know if the knighthood story has any basis in fact, or is just something that the Brexiteer tabloids using to fill their pages in the post Christmas lull. 

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Clegg criticises May on Brexit, talks about defeat and the Westminster culture that enables bullying and harassment

Nick Clegg gets loads of column inches this weekend.

He has a long interview with Camilla Cavendish in today’s Sunday Times magazine (£). They discuss Brexit, Parliament, sexual harassment and his son’s Blood Cancer.

He describes the serendipitous series of events that meant that he took Antonio to the GP:

To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to take him to the GP. It was those early days in September, you know, when you have to get kids ready for school. Miriam had to work very heavily that week, so I was at home most of the time, helping to do the preparatory things, buying clothes for the new term — and Antonio said he had this thing. We had an afternoon, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I just take him, and he’ll stop going on about it.’ ”

This was quite out of character, he says. “Normally, I’m quite brutal. My Dutch mum regarded going to doctors and hospitals as something one should avoid at all costs.

Thankfully, Antonio is now well on the mend.

Nick spoke about what he’s up to now he’s out of Parliament. He’s taken up drumming and tried (unsuccessfully) to learn to surf.

The interview was conducted just around the time that sexual harassment hit the headlines. Nick slammed the culture at Westminster which created the environment for this abuse:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Skeleton Brexit deal risks leaving Parliament in the dark

It’s been a good week for Nick Clegg. he won Best non fiction book by a parliamentarian for his How to Stop Brexit book in the Parliamentary Book Awards. We won’t mention the fact that he sadly wasn’t a parliamentarian when he wrote it. You don’t have to be – former MPs are eligible. He was quite pleased:

Writing in the FT Nick points out the dangers of the current direction of travel in the EU negotiations. With Brexiteers just wanting to get out and not caring about the consequences, they will be happy if there is only a basic outline deal on the table for MPs to vote on this time next year.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: MPs deserve a vote on the final Brexit plan not a vague sketch

Nick Clegg’s latest iNews column casts a depressing eye over the debate over the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

First of all, he looks at the ridiculous date of exit issue:

Putting the Brexit date – March 29th 2019 – into legislation is a particularly specious gesture. It may act as catnip to the increasingly agitated Brexiteers, but to our European partners the sight of the British government shutting down the possibility of extending the Brexit talks must look absurd. As they know, and as I do from my time working in the EU, deadlines can be, and are, frequently missed. And the suggestion from the Government that if MPs have the temerity to reject the Brexit deal they will be responsible for the chaos of no deal is as thuggish as it is misleading – if MPs were to reject a bad deal, the EU would pause the Article 50 timetable rather than push us over the edge of the Brexit cliff.

The whole idea of a meaningful vote on a deal is also ridiculous as we won’t have a deal about our future relationship with the EU before we formally leave. As Nick puts it:

So there is now a high likelihood that MPs will be asked to give their consent to Britain’s departure from the EU before knowing the detail of our future relationship with the EU. It will be like buying a house on the basis of a few grainy photos from a dodgy estate agent who won’t allow you to visit the inside. ‘Members of Parliament must hold firm and reject the government’s tactics’ On a recent trip to Brussels, it was made quite clear to me that the two negotiating teams are aiming for no more than a “heads of agreement” deal by the time Britain reaches its Article 50 deadline. This means that David Davis will return with little more than an outline of detail-free pledges on areas like security and combating terrorism, and a vague promise to strike a Canada-style free trade agreement

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSean Hyland 20th Mar - 11:59pm
    I agree much of the collapse of lib dem support can be laid at the door of a kickback against the coalition years. Be interesting...
  • User AvatarJoeB 20th Mar - 11:59pm
    David Raw, The last words that Timothy Evans was purported to have said to both his mother and sister were: ‘Christie done it’. Let's hope...
  • User AvatarRoland 20th Mar - 11:35pm
    @Fiona re turning 65. I agree the whole area of 'benefits' for the aged 60~70 pre-retirement group does need to be looked at, given the...
  • User AvatarRobert (Somerset) 20th Mar - 11:24pm
    Perhaps Sheila Gee can tell us if man of the people Nigel Farage retains a German spousal passport he no doubt qualified for through marriage...
  • User AvatarSheila Gee 20th Mar - 11:06pm
    @Nom de Plume “The LibDem vote share crashed to about 8% at the 2015 election. 57 to 8 seats. This was before the Brexit vote.”...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 20th Mar - 9:51pm
    Mark, surely it's ok if they actually have decent values - and they have the profile to get noticed.