Vince Cable writes: What Brexit means

 

I appreciated the large response to my post-referendum blog on the 48 Movement.  The Bank Holiday Sunday press reminds us that this issue will very soon return with a vengeance as the politicians come back from their holidays.  The Brexit hardliners in the Tory party are already preparing their narrative of betrayal by Remainer ministers and sabotage by civil servants.

When I wrote my note there was agreement on many points, not least the negative impacts which still await us, but two things I said triggered a negative reaction.  One was my argument that the result was final and could not be wished away by legal subterfuge or attempts to reverse the vote.  I see that  Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest is arguing for a re-run through a second referendum and that position appeals to many in our own party.  There will be debate on this issue at Conference. Since, unlike Labour, we have nothing to prove on the EU issue I hope we can be more realistic.  The most recent polls show that almost all Brexit voters and half of Remainers accept the result however much we deplore it.  Shock, anger and remorse are very understandable but not if these harden into the conviction that the majority of voters are gullible fools.

The second point of controversy was my view that the free movement of EU labour should not be regarded as an inviolable principle, but is now politically unsustainable and of questionable merit when at the expense of non-EU migration.  There are better ways of being liberal on immigration: opposing the self-harming stupidity of the current ‘crack-down’ on overseas, non-EU, students to help Theresa May meet her absurd target; defending the position of EU nationals who are already resident here; promoting a less pusillanimous approach to refugees, as Tim Farron has been doing.

Almost three months on from the Brexit vote, not much has actually happened.  And the more extreme forecasts of a post-referendum economic shock, by Osborne in particular, have not materialised thanks in large part to an emergency monetary stimulus by the Bank of England.   The one big change has been sterling devaluation, which will squeeze incomes in real terms but is necessary in any event to restore external balance.

I believe more strongly than ever that we have to engage with the issue of what Brexit means, and the wide range of possible options, rather than bury ourselves in the backward-looking question of how to negate the referendum result.  This debate is already taking shape within government; but it affects all of us.  It can be loosely characterised as ‘soft Brexit’ versus ‘hard Brexit’.  The former seeks to maintain as much as possible of the present arrangements: the Single Market, for manufacturers in particular; the customs union (just as important as the Single Market and potentially a nightmare, if lost, for UK exporters to the EU who would be caught up in fiendishly complicated red tape around rules-of-origin); much of the regulatory framework designed to ensure common standards; and participation in common EU programmes through a shared budget.  The negotiating strategy of the ‘soft Brexit’ tendency will be to keep as much of this as possible while securing the one objective which eluded David Cameron: some restriction on free movement of labour whether in the form of a ‘brake’ and/or restrictions on those who do not have jobs to go to (while providing complete protection to those already resident).

I have no doubt that something along these lines is what Sir Humphrey is urging and favoured by some ministers like the Chancellor:  perhaps, even, a chastened Boris Johnson.  This will also be the advice of the CBI, the EEF, the universities and others who have good reason to fear serious disruption.  Key figures in the German government are signalling that they want some kind of associate status for the UK which has many of these elements.

The counter-view is that ‘soft Brexit’ is simply unrealistic.  We hear that various EU  governments will not tolerate a ‘pick and mix’ approach to EU membership though that is precisely what the UK has been doing so far with the various opt-outs.  We also hear that the principle of free movement is inviolate, though in practice the labour-exporting countries might well see merit in having the UK applying some limited but agreed controls on EU migrants rather than blanket restrictions.  And the Single Market is potentially divisible: keeping the arrangements for industrial goods but accepting that Mr Barnier will be less accommodating to the bankers.

We should stop seeing the issues as absolutes and binary alternatives.  We are, after all, embarking on a negotiating process. It is not too difficult to see how Britain, instead of being 55% European as at present becomes 45% European.  Messy and unsatisfactory, no doubt, but not a total disaster.

All of this is complete anathema to the hard-line Brexiteers.  They want out, period.  They fear, with good reason , that the forces of common sense and compromise will mobilise against dogma and ideological purity.  I found myself on the radio, recently, debating with Nigel Farage who seems to have concluded already that his legacy will be betrayed by the Establishment.  Dr Fox will realise that if a customs union remains he will be redundant since there will be no need for him to fly round the world seeking separately negotiated trade agreements with Tanzania and Tonga.  He and the rest of the Tory Right will be up in arms.  And I, for one, can’t wait to see the Tories at each others’ throats again.

The issue for our party is whether to stick to the position that only the status quo ante is acceptable or whether to define a series of negotiating objectives and ‘red lines’ which will determine whether we support or oppose the government’s negotiating strategy, once decided, and the outcome of negotiations, once agreed.  In the short term it is just about plausible to defend the status quo in the event of an early election and before Article 50 is triggered.  But an early election is unlikely, albeit possible and, once negotiations commence, it makes progressively less sense to insist that the referendum can be revisited and reversed.

Such a position is, moreover, politically dangerous.  It suggests arrogance and being out-of-touch perpetuating the errors of the Remain campaign.   It also risks our becoming tactically aligned with the fundamentalists of UKIP and the Tory right, rejecting whatever outcome is put to parliament or another referendum.  And it could contribute to ‘hard Brexit’, the worst option.

* Vince Cable is Leader of the Liberal Democrats

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41 Comments

  • George Potter 30th Aug '16 - 1:27pm

    I’m sorry to say that I think Vince is wrong on this.

    If half of Remain voters have accepted Brexit then, by implication, there are half of Remain voters (e.g. 24% of the electorate) who have not accepted it. If we stand for rejecting Brexit then, not only to we potentially widen our core vote to include the 24% of the electorate that no one else is speaking for, but we also ensure that the most pro-EU end of the debate is a position for staying in the EU.

    Alternatively, if we back soft-Brexit then that becomes the most pro-EU end of the debate. If that’s the case then any ‘split the difference’ compromise between the pro and anti-EU sides on Brexit is likely to be somewhere between soft and hard Brexit.

    I would much rather see us fight to stay in the EU completely so that, if the worst comes to the worst, the split the difference compromise ends up being soft-Brexit.

    Sadly, Vince seems to be repeating the flawed mantra of 2010 to 2015 policy making: if we pre-compromise on our policies then we’re more likely to get them accepted.

    However, we should all have learnt by now that in practice that just results in appealing to the heart and soul of no one and putting ourselves at a disadvantage in negotiations with people who will fight tooth and nail to get as much of what they ideally want as possible.

  • Paul Pettinger 30th Aug '16 - 1:30pm

    There is nothing to be gained by the *Liberal Democrats* conceding defeat or the free movement of people. No one is seriously suggesting a Breversal other than through democratic means. You are making a political mistake, and are simultaneously being patronising towards others Vince. You’re on the same side as Corbyn!

  • The Single Market with its four freedoms of movement is the only option that can have widespread agreement around the EU member states, even so there could be objections. The ‘Norway option’ – in the EAA but not the EU, is envisaged more for Nations on the way in than on the way out; Norway herself has understandable reservations.

    Nonetheless any problems with the EEA Single Market option pale into insignificance compared to a ‘special case’ negotiation. Any ‘special case’ puts into question any issues on all sides; there is unlimited devil in the details. We see TTIP running into trouble, the EU-Canada or CETA deal remains unfinalised after almost a decade of negotiations. Any such trade deal opens up opportunities for political protest groups and interest groups. If the UK is asking for limits to free movement for one of the four freedoms, what would the UK offer or be expected to offer in return? How can Polish, Latvian, Hungarian, Bulgarian etc. politicians defend a deal to their electorate that effectively consigns their people to a second class status?

    Elections are soon to take place in France, Germany and elsewhere, there will be little gain for any politicians who is minded to suggest favours for the UK. In fact, the opposite. Much as UK politicians have used the EU as an easy whipping boy, politicians will curry easy applause with hostility to the UK. A non ‘Single Market’ agreement would drag on and be contentious across EU states.

    When May announced that Article 50 would not be opened this year, there were expectations that this might happen early in the year, but she has judiciously left open further delay, in which some of these elections can be resolved, but this also is an opportunity for Lib Dems galvanise opposition to Brexit.

    It seems to me that the course pursued by Vince Cable is likely to become bogged down and merely facilitate the way for advocates of a ‘hard Brexit’.

  • Eddie Sammon 30th Aug '16 - 1:31pm

    Well said. A soft brexit is possible but I don’t think we’ll get it because too many British people are saying it’s not realistic so the EU can already see the weakness of our negotiating will.

    People over estimate the influence of politicians. European farmers hate tariffs on their exports (but they like them on imports), car manufacturers hate them too. That’s two of the biggest industries of the major European powers already and if people think politicians don’t listen to lobbyists then they have to ask why the EU is soft peddling on Putin and why Germany is being so nice to us.

    Money talks.

  • George Potter is right and he makes points that need to be addressed. My question is to ask, is no Party to represent the voice of the large chunk of the electorate who oppose Brexit? If not the Liberal Democrats who then (outside Scotland) should we turn to?

  • John Peters 30th Aug '16 - 1:51pm

    I keep an eye on the Guardian and Independent below the line comments as I think they are most biased towards Remain.

    Remain has crumbled, frankly my guess it is now down to less than Lib Dem support, so less than 8%.

    Doesn’t the failure of http://www.moreunited.uk/join to even get 30 thousand supporters give you pause for thought?

  • Paul Holmes 30th Aug '16 - 2:10pm

    Vince is absolutely right.

    The first vote I ever cast after my 18th birthday was a Yes vote in the 1975 Referendum and this summer, although with somewhat less enthusiasm than in 1975, I voted Remain. However we have to be realistic and accept that, barring an unlikely ‘snap’ election, there will be a fundamentally different situation by the time of the next General Election. Having by then left the EU -on whatever soft or hard terms have been negotiated -should we really campaign for an unquestioning attempt to reapply for membership?

    In terms of practicalities we would be a new applicant negotiating from a weak position and obliged to join the Euro, adopt Schengen and with no rebate, so the terms would immediately be less favourable than those we had before. Also, in reality, how welcoming would our former partners be towards their troublesome neighbour’s attempts to play the Hokey Cokey? In -Out -In -Out.

    In terms of votes those advocating a ‘Party of In’ style campaign for the next 4 years should reflect on how well that succeeded in 2014. The electorate, especially under FPTP, really are not blocs of voters to be moved around at will by armchair/keyboard strategists in accord with their own priorities. Tribal and historical loyalties hold far more sway than single issues as the 2014 debacle clearly showed.

    Yes we should campaign for the best possible terms and hold the Brexiteers feet to the fire over every lie and broken promise as they face up to the reality of delivering what they campaigned for. But Vince is spot on in his last paragraph when he warns that we must not “appear arrogant and out of touch, perpetuating the errors of the Remain campaign..”

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Aug '16 - 2:18pm

    I like the approach and the view of Vince on this . I do think though, if we are to consider a second referendum with stay in as an option ,instead of just agreeing the new settlement for brexit ,the remain we might secure would look similar to the brexit Vince wants anyway . We need to accept the electorate do not see the status quo the solution, nor should we !

    I think that rather than either or with any of these matters , we need to find ways forward that unify and satisfy , but not appeal to extremes , obviously .

  • Richard Underhill 30th Aug '16 - 2:32pm

    Vince: Please also note the statement by the European Commission on tax, Apple and the Republic of Ireland. What are the implications please?

  • An ‘emergency brake’ in the form of a beefed up version of what Cameron was offering is not the same as saying ‘free movement is no longer defensible’.

    You can defend free movement and have some controls on specific aspects of migration. Although whether or not that is something we can negotiate with 27 EU countries is another matter entirely. A sensible position would be:

    1) To commit to keeping us in the EU if there is a general election in advance of triggering article 50 or another point at which it becomes clear we could no longer stay in the EU under our current terms of membership.
    2) Once that point is reached, commit to campaign to protect the 4 freedoms of the single market and importantly push the government to prioritise retaining the movement of goods, services and capital in any negotiations over any excessive restrictions on free movement. Protecting the rights of existing EU citizens in the UK would also be paramount here.
    3) Once we leave (assuming we don’t get everything we want), we could then make it a a long term aim to seek a better deal with access to all 4 freedoms of the single market without joining the Euro or Schengen area. Whether or not we adopt a long term aim to rejoin the EU would be dependent on whether we could realistically get opt outs for these 2 areas (at the moment that is unlikely).

    I don’t think these are far from what Vince is arguing (although he seems somewhat complacent about the negotiating process under article 50) but as we’ve seen for years there’s a real danger with this ‘we support immigration but…’ rhetoric. Firstly curbing EU migration will not change the contorted immigration rules we have for the rest of the world, especially when our government is committed to reducing net migration to ’10s of thousands’. Secondly, you will never sate the anti-migrant sentiment as long as you pander to it. The ‘UKIP are right but don’t vote for them’ strategy is not a strategy but a hiding to nothing, as we have consistently seen ever since Gordon Brown’s ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ speech all those years ago.

  • Matt (Bristol) 30th Aug '16 - 2:59pm

    I agree with George on the ‘pre-compromising’ issue.

    I’m more than slightly fed up of our leaders spending more time perusing the Tory and Labour manifestoes for policies to liberalise, rather than endorsing coherently liberal thinking.

    That said, those of us who live in majority Remainer territory (as I do, as George does, I think, and as Vince does, come to think of it) do need to think hard about how such a message goes down in the more pro-Brexit places, some of which are our historic ‘heartlands’.

  • Laurence Cox 30th Aug '16 - 3:42pm

    I respect your views, Vince, but in this case I think that you are wrong. Parliament is sovereign, and if it in its wisdom were to decide by passing an Act that the result of the Article 50 negotiations shall be put to a binding referendum before taking force (in effect a second referendum, but one where the electorate know what they are voting for) then it is within its rights and within the letter and spirit of Article 50 to do so.

    “1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

    As we have no written constitution, Parliament is able to do this and as other EU countries use referenda to ratify their Governments’ decisions, they can hardly argue if we do. I would like to see you making the case for a post-negotiation referendum on the basis of Parliamentary sovereignty. A second referendum would not take long, say three months from the end of negotiations.

  • I wish Vince would write more often: He cuts the hyperbole with a knife. My only quibble is that I think the BoE did more harm than good with its pre-vote pessimism and the new QE just devalued the pound a little bit more. Whether QE does anything tangible is under considerable academic dispute.

  • Leave The EU 30th Aug '16 - 6:38pm

    Don’t forget UKIP – what does anyone think will happen if the electorate feel they have been hoodwinked (actual, or imagined) for actual Brexit come the next election? Peace and all the best.

  • jedibeeftrix 30th Aug '16 - 6:47pm

    @ Matt – “I agree with George on the ‘pre-compromising’ issue. I’m more than slightly fed up of our leaders spending more time perusing the Tory and Labour manifestoes for policies to liberalise…”

    Isn’t that the logical consequence of pursuing an electoral strategy such as George suggests?

    “If half of Remain voters have accepted Brexit then, by implication, there are half of Remain voters (e.g. 24% of the electorate) who have not accepted it.”

    Endorsing coherently liberal thinking is all very well, but how about governing by coherent liberal lawmaking.
    It’ll require more than 24% of the electorate.

  • David Allen 30th Aug '16 - 7:01pm

    Opinions, opinions, opinions. Everybody needs to have a strong personal opinion. I opine therefore I am. Never mind that this generates conflict between people who ought to be pulling together. What’s wrong with a little bit of disagreement amongst friends (oh by the way, don’t ask Labour that question)?

    Actually, nobody knows what the future holds. Brexit might fall apart under its manifold problems and contradictions, in which case we’d look damn silly if we’d listened to Vince. Then again, a strategy of active involvement in the Brexit negotiations, with a series of demands not to throw away all the good things EU membership has brought us, could also pay off. It could help to soften a Brexit: equally, it could help persuade more and more people that Brexit wasn’t working and had to be abandoned.

    To traduce the Owen Smith proposal as “re-running” the referendum is unfair and unhelpful. As people grow to realise that the proposal is for an entirely new referendum question to be asked some years ahead, support will grow. And I hope the shorthand they will then use for the idea will become the “Lib Dem” proposal, not just the “Owen Smith” proposal!

  • 62% voted remain in Scotland.
    If only the SNP will stand up for Scotland’s interests then you can’t complain when Scots only elect the SNP.
    This issue is a salient illustration the importance of putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

    Remain means Remain.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 30th Aug '16 - 7:27pm

    I feel that Vince Cable is absolutely right in saying that, as a party, we need to accept that Brexit will happen, and focus on trying to get the best possible Brexit deal.
    I do hope that when the party votes on the issue at Conference, we will opt for an approach similar to that which Vince is suggesting. If we were to adopt a policy of attempting to block Brexit, we would no longer deserve the second word of our party’s name.

  • @Catherine

    How do “we” focus on getting the best possible Brexit deal? Do you think the Brexit team that May has appointed will take into account anything our 8 MPs and membership think or say?

    As a party, the Lib Dems gain absolutely nothing by attempting to influence the type of Brexit we get. We gain something by being the party that is against Brexit.

    That doesn’t mean we are trying to “block” Brexit – it means being the voice that keeps trying to politely and democratically persuade Leavers that they made a bad choice, and keeps pointing out the Leave camp’s false and broken promises.

  • Alastair Thomson 30th Aug '16 - 9:30pm

    Absolutely with Vince Cable on this.

  • Rarely do I agree wholeheartedly with an article but this one makes so much sense. Pity Vince never stood for Leader. Brexit denial is not a credible policy, nor is rejecting a democratic result.

    “Do you think the Brexit team that May has appointed will take into account anything our 8 MPs and membership think or say?”

    No but they are not there to do anything but fail and discredit themselves and neutralise their brand of Brexit. They were appointed by a Remainer and you couldn’t come up with a trio less likely to deliver a viable and beneficial diplomatic solution that keeps the UK in one piece. No-one should be bothering those three whilst they self-destruct as intended. We should be going to senior Remain Tories and anti-Corbynistas to talk about the best Brexit team. It is the Remain bloc not party allegiance that is the route to influence.

  • Best Brexit terms not team. Autocorrect.

  • Eddie Sammon 31st Aug '16 - 6:23am

    Martin, what we offer in return for controls on free movement are less British expats going to countries without speaking the language.

    It is not a big offer, but do they really want trade tariffs instead? EU-wide reform is still the best option though.

    Europe thinks it can get our businesses but I’m afraid we’ll just have to do something similar to Ireland and offer tax breaks that aren’t politically feasible in other European countries.

  • @Eddie – “Europe thinks it can get our businesses but I’m afraid we’ll just have to do something similar to Ireland and offer tax breaks that aren’t politically feasible in other European countries.”

    I’m not sure a race to the bottom for corporation tax rates is a credible post-Brexit economic strategy.

  • Eddie Sammon 31st Aug '16 - 9:01am

    Hi Nick, what’s plan B if we get a poor deal and companies start moving to Europe? Re-enter the EU on their terms with no questions asked? We need a plan B and tax reduction would be part of it.

    The alternative is to “build a new economy”, but it’s fraught with risk and people will probably prefer the tax breaks than losing their jobs and retraining as something else.

  • George Potter 31st Aug '16 - 9:44am

    @jedibeeftrix

    Generally speaking it isn’t possible to move straight from 8% of the vote to 50% in one go.

    What you need to do first is to establish a dependable core vote and only then start to build a wider coalition of voters sufficient to make you the largest party.

    Going for 24% of the electorate and solidifying them as a core vote is a sensible step on the road to a majority. Being a minor party which tries to appeal to the majority of the electorate in the hopes that that will delivera majority is, by contrast, idiocy.

  • David Evershed 31st Aug '16 - 11:06am

    How good it is to read this common sense article from Vince Cable.

    A breath of fresh air.

  • grahame lamb 31st Aug '16 - 11:26am

    Whilst reading Vince Cable’s thoughtful article I was reminded again about the shallowness and triviality of the Referendum campaign itself: slogans and statistics signifying nothing.

    In the ante-penultimate paragraph of his article Mr Cable alludes (in respect of Mr Farage) to “the Establishment”. Who knows, we might all be embraced in due course and find ourselves remaining within the EU after all. And remember – you read it first here.

  • I want to say thanks for Vince for another sensible piece on the EU. He is right; politics is a mixture of the ideal and the practical and reluctantly we must act carefully and see how it goes before making absolute statements. I would add that our zeal for the EU should also contain the need for reform of the EU; indeed I campaigned on the streets and in the local newspaper on the basis that it is better to be IN a position of influence for change than outside on our own.

  • jedibeeftrix 31st Aug '16 - 12:51pm

    As long as that is the end goal, George.

  • Sometimes the best thing to do is say nothing. I agree that the soft Brexut option can be made to work. But I don’t agree that we should be seen to put it forward. If we do then we will get the blame for the ongoing arguments. We should stand back and let the Tories and Brexiteers get on with their infighting. In due course it is they who will have to defend the various deals they might achieve on the media and in Parlianent. It is only thru this that the electorate will see what a mess the Brexit vote was/is. We might, if we are lucky, get part of the electorate to think again at a general election – but not if we are in the frame for “sabotaging” the Brexit deal. I agree Vince, let’s see the Tories at each other’s throats. But give them room to do this.

  • I disagree with Vince. First I think we should accept the will of the electorate, but not confuse it with intent. I have had many debates with people that voted Leave and when you are polite and apologise for being a metropolitan elitist they often come round. I don’t think many would be disappointed if we stayed in 2 years’ time, especially given that the consequences will start to bed in – and hard – from the end of this year or so.

    The other issue is that by accepting defeat, particularly around free movement and immigration, we are pandering to extremists. This, more even than the economics, is my major concern. We are seeing people hurt and even killed because of this issue and I never thought that would happen in my country in my lifetime.

    If you appease extremists they get worse not better. Give an inch take a mile and so on.

    We’re suffering from what I call logical drift here. A series of well meaning actions taken to try and be reasonable but which all include small errors in the same direction that gradually multiply and result in a disastrous outcome.

    That’s what I sense is happening and that is why I am a) hard Bremain and b) still talking as politely as possible to as many Brexiters as I can so that they understand that this campaign was based on lies and false hopes of security and prosperity when the exact opposite is the most likely outcome. The are innumerable tropes that the electorate still believe. And the major one is that EU immigration has damaged wages (it hasn’t), the economy (it’s helped it), the NHS (ditto – damage from austerity and an ageing population) and education (neutral – damage from austerity again).

    It’s a shame that so many politicians are saying what Vince is saying. Continuing the debate is not an arrogant thing to do if done properly. People are still trying to understand what the EU is for heavens’ sake. We need to push back, and use reasoned argument and the evidence in front of our eyes to separate the reasonable people that were fed lies from the extremists who threaten the very existence of this nation.

  • Gwynfor Tyley 1st Sep '16 - 8:05am

    A straight rerun of the previous referendum is not just “undemocratic” but pointless as it provides no further clarity on what out means if that was the result again.

    We should be campaigning for a second referendum but on the terms of the brexit. As it stands, out can mean anything from a Norway style deal with freedom of movement, contributions and compliance with EU law though with no say in it to full WTO. Now a Norway style agreement could be considered worse than being in the EU to many who voted out whilst WTO fails to deliver what many out voters were promised in continued membership of the single market so a vast range of possibilities.

    Currently, that decision is not going to be put to the people or even to Parliament. So we have a massive constitutional change being decided by just a few and we will repeat the mistakes that got us into the current mess . The government would appear to be taking the position that control of immigration is more important than remaining in the single market even though they have absolutely no mandate for that position.

    How does the Lib Dems position on staying in the EU feed into this? Once the government have negotiated their “out”, this should be put to the people with remaining in the EU as the alternative.

  • Peter Watson 1st Sep '16 - 6:44pm

    @Gwynfor Tyley “We should be campaigning for a second referendum but on the terms of the brexit”
    Would that really bring “clarity”? Would a rejection by voters of the terms of the brexit mean we wanted “in” or a different “out”?
    I think the best bet for those wanting to remain is to learn from the failure of their dismal campaign and start making a positive case for the EU in the hope that they can at least salvage something from the mess they created by generating support for membership of the European Economic Area.

  • Gwynfor Tyley 1st Sep '16 - 7:53pm

    @Peter Watson: Once we know what kind of Brexit the government negotiates it would demonstrate what is achievable by brexit and then the electorate can decide if that is a better proposition than remaining in the EU. If the brexit leaders can deliver on their promises then I am sure the electorate will continue to support them.

    If it transpires that what they promised isn’t achievable then the electorate may yet decide that the status quo is a better proposition. It does provide greater clarity – the brexit option would be the best that our political leaders could negotiate – the electorate may not like it but it does not mean what they want is possible. At some point one has to trust the politicians.

  • Yellow Submarine 4th Sep '16 - 8:15am

    This really isn’t complicated. #1 Oppose Brexit until A50 is invoked. #2 Seek to limit the damage once it has been invoked.

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