Vince: Keep fighting, keep hoping. We will win

Here’s the Lib Dem contingent at today’s People’s Vote march. There were lots of us there. It was an incredible atmosphere as we filled Parliament Square and beyond to listen to speeches from Tony Robinson (who actually said “I have a cunning plan”), David Lammy, Caroline Lucas and our own Vince Cable.

This event seemed like a real step up from previous ones. 100,000 people turned out demanding a People’s Vote. The key message was that this is not a done deal and we absolutely can get out of it.

This kicks off a Summer of campaigning across the country.

Here’s Vince speaking:

I always love the optimism of his press people, releasing extracts of his speeches in the irrational hope that he’ll actually use those lines. Our Vince is always worth listening to, and he always says good things, but maybe not the ones he was scripted to say. Which were perfectly fine. His ad libs are usually better and this one was.

Brexit is not a done deal. Brexit is not inevitable. Brexit can be stopped.

“Parliament is fiddling at the margins while the country slowly burns. Silly, logic-chopping arguments over parliamentary procedure; whether we have ‘a’ customs union or ‘the’ customs union; what is the meaning of ‘meaningful’…

“Brexit is going to damage the country. Slowly and painfully. Theresa May admits there will be damage. Her policy is damage limitation.

“Better to stop the damage. To return the issue to the people – to vote on the deal (or no deal). With the option of staying in the EU and working to improve it rather than walk away

It was one of his strongest performances yet and that message is getting stronger and simpler. He’s very much talking about stopping Brexit, which is exactly what he should be saying.

He again talked about the young who had been “shafted” by older Brexiteers. Of course one such brexiteer wasn’t there today. “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn” sang the assembled throng.

I did take video of this but my thumb was over the lens. One of these days I’ll be able to use media like a boss. Really.

It was an incredible atmosphere. People came from all over the country. I met a friend from Edinburgh, one man, a hill farmer from Wales, had never been to London before but had come today because this meant so much to him.

Here’s Catherine Bearder, until 29 March, our Lib Dem MEP sending a message to Theresa May;

Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds led the Welsh contingent and I caught up with her. I’ll post the interview tomorrow once I’ve worked out the video stuff. Thanks to Callum Littlemore for the picture, which is much better than mine.

A handful of Brexiteers, some in Wetherspoons t-shirts, decided to come and have a bit of a go at us. That was the only unpleasantness. While we are on the subject, they generally say that they would win a referendum on the deal with a huge margin. So why don’t they just agree to one? It would actually settle things once an for all. I suspect that they know that they would lose. The Government knows it too. But they would rather push ahead with a disastrous Brexit that most people don’t want because it satisfies their right wing. Responsible government it ain’t.

We will only win if we work for it. Let’s make this a Summer of talking to people and changing their minds. Let’s come back in the Autumn with many more people.

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

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43 Comments

  • I hate to break this to you Caron but it is absolutely a done deal and we cannot get out of it. The referendum result demanded Brexit be enacted. End of story. And that’s from a Remainer and ex-LD voter.

  • John Marriott 24th Jun '18 - 7:07am

    Nice speech from the Lib Dem Leader. He certainly conVINCEd me. However, I tend to agree with Rob Parker. Stable door? Horse?

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 8:02am

    So what’s the plan for stopping Brexit?

    We tell the EU that we don’t want the best possible deal. We actually want a pretty bad deal which Parliament will surely reject. Then we put it out for another referendum which the voters will reject too.

    And we then say to everyone “Look we’ve done our best to leave the EU, and accept the result of ’16 referendum, but it’s just not been possible so we’ve decided to stay after all”.

    Have I got this right? Or am I being too cynical?

  • Yeovil Yokel 24th Jun '18 - 8:09am

    Rob Parker – “it is absolutely a done deal” – 2 years in and there is still no deal , and I doubt that one is going to be reached. “we cannot get out of it” – of course we can, Art. 50 can be revoked. “The referendum result demanded [that] Brexit be enacted” – no, the referendum result was advisory and didn’t say what Brexit would look like.
    John Marriott – “Stable door? Horse?” Wrong animal, John, just because some of my neighbour’s sheep decide to wander onto the dual carriageway doesn’t mean the rest should follow them.

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 8:19am

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    “Brexit must, can, and will be stopped.”

    This reminds me of another very similar line from history.

    ‘the Union must and shall be preserved’

    Used as a campaign rallying cry in the 1860 presidential campaign, it became a popular refrain in the Northern states during the American civil war and appeared in numerous political speeches as well as a well known song.

    President Lincoln’s stanch aim was to defend and preserve the American Union, by force of arms, with the argument that the Confederacy’s secession was akin to treason against the nation as a whole.

    So is that how you see us Herr Kier? As a 21st century confederacy?

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 8:35am

    @ Caron,

    “It (ie another referendum -PM ) would actually settle things once an for all.”

    I seem to remember that this was said about the ’75 EEC referendum, and again about the ’16 EU referendum. It was said about the recent Scottish referendum.

    You could be right though, that the next one, if it happens, does turn out to be different and the result, whichever way it goes, will be unconditionally accepted by nearly everyone.

    Does anyone else think this is likely?

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 8:57am

    @ pmknowles,

    You have to be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of ‘push polling’. Or, if you are doing that you need to be aware of it. You don’t want to be fooling yourself as well as everyone else!

    The answer you get to your final question is always influenced by preceding questions. So if you start off by asking about such things as the extent of democracy in the EU, the movement towards ‘ever closer union’ ie the coming United States of Europe, whether the UK should be subject to the European courts, and be free to control its borders etc you’ll almost certainly get a different answer to your final question on voting intention.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Push_poll

  • Gordon Lishman 24th Jun '18 - 9:01am

    I am surprised by the certainty people express above. How on earth do they know with such confidence what is going to happen? It’s a bit like people being certain their football team will always win, but it’s hardly wishful thinking when you’re insisting that the future will be UNpleasant. It would be better if there was some glimmering of understanding the concept of probability or likelihood – “very likely” would grate a lot less that “done deal” or “stable door” rhetoric – and, yes, Peter Martin, your comment does sound like adolescent cynicism of the most empty kind.

  • John Chandler 24th Jun '18 - 9:11am

    It’s definitely not a done deal (although no one seems to know what the deal is anyway), and it can be stopped – although that invites the question of “how?”.

    It bugs me about the “will of the people” (dubious) and “the majority voted leave” (yeah, but). At the risk of retreading old ground: the split was 52:48, “unfinished business” to quote Farage. That’s very definitely not a clear majority. From my point of view, there are four groups: those who voted Leave, those who voted Remain, those who could vote and didn’t, those who couldn’t vote. The latter three groups (who collectively outweigh the Leave voters by a huge amount) are ignored by the government (and our illustrious official “opposition”), and judging from the polling are likely to vote Remain if given a chance.

    Those who voted Leave are not a uniform block. I know many who voted Leave for lots of very different reasons: Irish nationalism (seriously!), immigration concerns, £350m for the NHS, forcing EU reform, or giving the Tories “a bloody nose”. Anecdotally, most of them want to stay in the single market and customs union (in fact, most insist that was what they were told would happen). They’re utterly frustrated by what is being done in their name, and only a couple of them would still vote the same way now. Indeed, I have good friends who have switched and are pretty vocal anti-Brexit campaigners these days.

    Maybe a different government would’ve figured out a way to reconcile all the disparate views and fix the underlying issues that the referendum really highlighted. We’ll never know: instead, we have a Tory civil war, an ineffective opposition, and a looming car crash. At the very least we need to put the brakes on, and sort things out before we continue. The EU seems quite happy to halt the process until our government can get itself prepared, but the ERG seems to have taken control of the government.

  • I think it’s probably right that part of the feeling behind Brexit was people feeling ignored people wanting to change things dramatically and bring support/attention back to them rather than “demands” of EU and people just entering the UK. Brexit may or may not be stopped but stopping Brexit will not end those feeling and in the short term will likely strengthen the despair they were feeling at the time, so ,while we see that Brexit will in fact make things worse for people feeling like that, the Lib Dems would still need to say what happens after Brexit is exited in order to make things better.

    One option could be re-shaping the Union closer to home. If people don’t like the feeling of overly centralised power, unrepresentative government, things being done for the bigger nations and little concern for smaller nations then we have a union more easily changed.

  • OnceALibDem 24th Jun '18 - 9:52am

    “It’s a bit like people being certain their football team will always win,”

    Bang on! A lot of Remainer comments (and Brexitieer comments about the certainty of getting ‘a good deal’) exactly mirror those of football fans on radio 5 phone ins about how they are sure their team will avoid relegation/finish in the top 4/whatever

    Opposing Brexit is absolutely the right idea, but it needs to be set in a realisation of where things actually are.

    The UK leaves the EU on March 29th because Parliament voted to do that. That’s a simple constitutional fact. That decision can be reversed – there’s some debate about whether that can be stopped but it’s generally accepted that a good faith withdrawal of Art 50 would do that. But any way of doing that requires Parliament to vote otherwise. Possible of course. But it’s a simple question of maths. As LBJ said, the first rule of politics is learn to count.

    Even if Labour change their position there still aren’t the votes to do that. And then there is the question of Parliamentary time to do that (in the face of a huge guerilla action by people who are very good at technical procedural obstruction (question – why aren’t the remain side similarly so skilled?).

    And Labour have just comfortably won in a heavily remain seat in a week when their divisions were (again) exposed. The pressure on their leadership to change tack is pretty limited.

    There is no example of a piece of legislation (ie 3 readings in both houses) being passed with opposition from the Government of the day in anything like recent history – and it would need legislation not a one off vote.

    The political strategy is to oppose Brexit and get any dividends (most probably) when it goes badly. But that’s not a strategy for stopping Brexit – and I don’t see any such strategy being put forward.

    There is now to be ‘a summer of campaigning’ – well 3 months ago was ‘the biggest ever campaign outside of an election’ – and email I had said that over half a million people have been reached with online ads. That has added less than 3000 names to the party’s exit from Brexit petition.

  • Indeed Brexit was in many ways a shout of “look at me” or perhaps ” look out for me” would be more correct. It worked for a while and many Brexiteers told me theyd shown the man and everything would be better, the problem was the man scampered and Brexit got handed to the hard Tory right. Now we still have many Brexiteers pushing their own personal Brexit and many others muttering we need to get on with it. They can see the deverstation, but to them it is like a party that has got out of hand, yes the house will be wrecked and the parents will kill them but you can’t stop it by ejecting the rabble because they might think you are less than cool and being uncool just isn’t on no matter what the price. It takes a strong person to change their mind in public and most of us are not that strong. We will evade the question and pretend it didn’t happen rather than admit we are wrong. The problem is when Brexit happens it isn’t over we merely move into trying to explain to the parents why the house has been trashed and how it wasn’t our fault (that seldom ends well).

  • @Peter Martin
    We deliberately picked questions that have been raised by both sides as positives or negatives- if you look at the picture you will see. There were some who said yes, yes, yes, yes and quite a few that said no, no, no, no. The bulk did no, no, yes, yes or no, no, yes, yes.
    And, by the way, we have the ability to control our own borders now but we don’t. Immigration from outside the EU (which we have absolute control of) is higher than the total government target and substantially higher than EU immigration. We could control immigration from the EU (as Belgium does) – we choose not to.
    The European Courts have protected us from abuse from government because we don’t have a written constitution. The press are very selective about which judgments they publish.
    I think the classic was Theresa May tweeting earlier this year that the Tory government was giving us more rights against the banks. They didn’t it was an EU regulation.
    And what ‘coming Unites States of Europe.?

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 10:35am

    @ pmknowles,

    I don’t normally like to quote the late Milton Friedman but he was quite right in saying:

    “The drive for the Euro has been motivated by politics not economics. The aim has been to link Germany and France so closely as to make a future European war impossible, and to set the stage for a federal United States of Europe”

    There’s plenty of other discussion if you’d like to Google the term -United States of Europe. For obvious reasons, its not a term that those like Emmanuel Macron like to use, at least in public, but if you read what he’s saying about the future of the EU, that’s clearly what he has in mind.

    We effectively made a decision to only become associate members of the EU when we also decided not to adopt the euro and not to be a part of Schengen and to effectively keep out of “the ever closer union”. To have had any real influence, and be part of the inner circle, we’d have had to be in to the same extent as France and Germany.

    So the vote for Brexit is a continuation of that process. We’ll probably end up with some sort of soft Brexit which won’t please either side but will be seen, in a historical context, as a formalisation of the position we adopted in 2003/2004.

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-euro–monetary-unity-to-political-disunity

  • So Peter your preferred Brexit is a soft one, please remind me where that was on ballot paper, and pray what will you say if it doesn’t happen “This isn’t my sort of Brexit” perhaps. Fear not I expect that to be muttered by many of the Brexit tribe.

  • ‘Brexit’ WILL happen; the ideas floated here are just wishful thinking.

    There is ONLY one question, “How will we leave?”. I note today “Theresa May has been urged by hardline Brexiters to speed up preparations for a “no-deal” Brexit to put pressure on Brussels”…Logic won’t work; Boris’s remark about ‘business concerns’ says that much.
    Ona personal level none of my friends who voted ‘Leave’ have changed their minds; their only change seems to be that they blame May for not being tough enough, with the “intransigent and punitive stance” taken by the EU, and that she should ‘just get on with it’.
    As for the ‘march’? Despite a million marching to stop the war in Iraq the country, as a whole, was in favour of the invasion. The war went ahead and it was only ‘after the implications and the lies became clear’ that a backlash against the instigators happened. That backlash, sadly, didn’t undo the harm and the repercussions that are still being felt today.

    As a staunch ‘Remainer’ I believe that ‘Brexit’ will be the same.

  • In my humble opinion the arch Brexiters around the cabinet table and beyond have been causing successive governments much grief over the years and when a weak Prime Minister ie. Cameron gave them the chance to have their say ,re, the referendum, they took it with open arms with the disastrous result we all witnessed. I hope that we remainers do not put up and shut up as they would wish but keep up the battle to prove the undoubted benefits of belonging to the EU whatever happens over the coming years.

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 11:05am

    @ Frankie,

    “So Peter your preferred Brexit is a soft one”

    When I was at school, we had what used to be called comprehension tests. We’d be asked to read certain passages and answer questions to show we’d understood what we’d read.

    We’d get a big red cross if we made this kind of mistake!

  • The Government spent 9.3 million pounds to put a leaflet through every letterbox.
    Under the heading “A once in a generation decision”, the leaflet said “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”

    Vince Cable will not reverse Brexit. He can only undermine the Government’s negotiating position. He can alienate would be voters.

    I have voted Liberal in the past. At the last election I wrote “None of these” on the ballot paper. In response to Vince Cable, I have decided that I will never ever vote Liberal again.

  • John Marriott 24th Jun '18 - 12:25pm

    I was one of those who voted pragmatically two years ago to remain. I did it not out of any love for the EU but rather because I recognised that, in economic terms, Britannia no longer ruled the waves and I also had a feeling that the EU itself would need to consider a reboot in order to cope with changes in the world’s economic environment. It now looks as if migration might prove to be the tipping point in various member states as it proved to be over here. Add to that the possibility of a Trump inspired trade war and a certain amount of ‘buyers’ remorse’ and there might indeed be a few surprises still to come. “More or less the same” might just now be off the agenda.

    Finally (sorry, Phil Knowles) the 2016 EU Referendum was not advisory. So, how do you get roundbthat?

  • The People’s Vote campaign for a referendum is contingent on Parliament rejecting the deal negotiated between the government and the EU:

    “We have watched the chaos unfold in Cabinet and the turmoil in negotiations with dismay and foreboding. None of us voted for a bad deal or no deal that would wreck our economy. Nor do we accept that either is inevitable. If the Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament, then we, the people of Britain, should have the democratic right to determine our own future. That is why we are demanding a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”

    If the government secures Parliamentary support for the deal negotiated with the EU then there is no People’s Vote. The key is still Tory rebels and the DUP. If the government retains their support for the negotiated deal, then the UK will exit next spring as planned, and we will be into the transitional period when the final longer-term arrangements will have to be concluded.

  • So what is and what was your preferred form of Brexit Peter?; in fact I think it is time for us all to put our cards on the table

    Mine was no Brexit and it still is no Brexit. Now I await with interest the replies because I’d be amazed if anyone had voted for the mess we are in.

    Expats yes the hard-core Brexiteers are mad at not getting the Brexit they want, the sad thing is they’ll be even madder at the Brexit they get. They’ll either mutter it’s not too bad, tis but a flesh wound, we woz betrayed by remaniacs, Maybot or the EU (delete as appropriate or us as many as you like), or we made a bad mistake. Now I expect few to use the “made a bad mistake” but as time goes by I suspect that will be the perceived wisdom, after all it is with Iraq.

    Many Brexitees in my opinion are people of vast selfimportance admitting they are wrong is just a step too far for them. What would people think seems to run through their head, I’m afraid for many it will be they think “much less of you”.

  • Referenda in the UK are advisory in law as Parliament is ‘sovereign’ Under PPERA 2000 Parliament can make a referendum binding (as the 2011 one was on changing the electoral system). The EURA 2015 did not make it binding therefore it is advisory. David Cameron may have said that they would act on the decision but that is not the same as making it binding in law.
    Interestingly, the provisions of S4 of the European Union Act 2011 require a referendum to be held if there is any modification of the EU Treaty which will alter the obligations to the EU by the UK.
    (i) the conferring on an EU institution or body of power to impose a requirement or obligation on the United Kingdom, or the removal of any limitation on any such power of an EU institution or body;
    (j) the conferring on an EU institution or body of new or extended power to impose sanctions on the United Kingdom;
    The ‘deal’ may therefore trigger the requirement for a referendum even if Parliament approves it.

  • Sandra Hammett 24th Jun '18 - 1:34pm

    Brexit may as well be called the Tory Civil War Part II (the darkest of the trilogy). The Brexiteers consider Mrs May the Glass Lady to be a useful idiot and scapegoat while the Tory Remain camp want her as PM because they fear any alternative, she’s weak not a leader but a tool for the forces around her to manipulate, her only currency being both sides needing her.
    As to the protest, why it won’t work simple. Location, location, location. I get that it’s a march on Whitehall but it is simply too easy to get a whole bunch of the metropolitan Remainers to come out on a warm Saturday in June.
    If you want the Tory machine to alter course protests should have been staged simultaneously in strong Leave voting Conservative held constituencies.

  • Peter Martin 24th Jun '18 - 6:35pm

    @ Frankie,

    My preference would be for no Brexit at all but that would mean that the EU would have to get itself into much better shape than it is and fast! It would mean that the EU would be doing itself a favour, too. There’s plenty of people in the world with the expertise to help them do that. The problem is they won’t listen!

  • I get two Sunday papers both with a pro remain stance. The peoples march had less than half an inside page coverage in both papers. If there was still massive interest the coverage would have been more and on the front page. I think the media are beginning to recognise that people just want brexit over and done with.

  • Peter,
    Alas even if the EU reforms I fear it would change few minds. I expect the EU to muddle along and to be different in five to ten years, but perhaps not in ways we may like. The problem we have is we choose to leave the biggest trade block in the world at a time when trade wars are starting, the future as a small isolated economy is therefore bleak. Already the EU are urging manufactures to live without us, use EU suppliers they are saying and I expect their plea to be acted on. We will soon find out how exceptional we are and it is likely to be a shock. Now I know a lot of older Brexiteers think they are fine but actually they are the most likely to suffer, just look at who suffer when economies crash hint it isn’t the young they can move.

  • Malc people indeed want it over with. They want Tinkerbell to wave a magic wand, unfortunately in the real world unravelling our relationship with the EU will take years if not decade’s. The fact that many Brexit leaders said it would be a piece of cake and a lot of people believed them is sad but it doesn’t alter the fact we still have years of pain to come. Now I know harking on about the mistakes people make is embarrassing, unfortunately we all love to scape goat and deride (it’s part of being human) and I expect as Brexit goes badly and it will and it is the publics desire to find someone to blame will indeed rear its head. Cheer up they may settle on the EU and remaniacs rather than the Brexiteers. Tis sad that Brexit has and will split the country but alas it is a fact.

  • I don’t believe that there’s any chance of campaigning changing the course of Brexit, although I was on the march yesterday. That doesn’t mean that I am certain that it will happen: both the government and the opposition are like rotten teeth; they just have to bite on the wrong thing and they will collapse. The most significant thing about yesterday was the recurring chant in Parliament Square of “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn?”, almost exactly a year since his rapturous reception at Glastonbury. The political situation in this country at the moment is much more unstable than it appears to be. I don’t know what the tipping point will be, but we should make sure we are prepared for another election, the outcome of which would be anybody’s guess.

  • “Under PPERA 2000 Parliament can make a referendum binding (as the 2011 one was on changing the electoral system).”

    Where is that section in PPERA? I can’t immediatedly find it but it is a large act 🙂

    AIUI the 2011 referendum wasn’t technically binding but it did contain a provision that the minister ‘must’ bring the relevant changes into effect. That would have been done by an SI so technically could have been opposed in Parliament.

    It could have been done in a binding way with an act that said that s.9 came into effect (say) 14 days after the declaration of a yes vote (or was similarly repealed). I assume the advice to the drafters was not to set that precedent.

  • William Fowler 25th Jun '18 - 6:29am

    Yes, all rather odd isn’t it? The Conservatives are supposed to be the party of big business yet big business mostly wants to stay in the EU but are probably open to lowered corp and income taxes (the latter probably through some complex accountancy tricks)… the business cycle lurks in the background and Sterling could go every which way (which will have the currency speculators ordering new Mercs, if no-one else)… yet tougher immigration except if you are American, Indian or Chinese because those free trade deals are going to be crucial… actually, the vectors are so complex and unpredictable that no-one really has a clue where we will be in five years time – could be calling each other Comrade if Corbyn gets his way or forced to learn Chinese if you want to get a job in the expanded tourist industry that means we will all be letting out spare rooms and running around in amusing (for the tourists) costumes.

  • Peter Martin 25th Jun '18 - 7:59am

    @ Gordon Lishman,

    You say:

    “your comment does sound like adolescent cynicism ”

    But you don’t say it’s wrong. How can you when your leader says “Brexit can be stopped”. Another post on this thread “We will not rest until we have stopped Brexit”.

    There’s no ifs or buts. There’s no suggestions on how the UK can come to the best leaving deal with the EU. You don’t want any leave deal except a bad deal which you’ll hope the electorate will reject. In your minds the only good deal is to stay in the EU.

    And that means doing what you can to ensure that the negotiations are undermined so that we don’t have any other realistic option but to remain in the EU.

  • David Howarth 25th Jun '18 - 8:43am

    @OnceALibDem
    The 2011 referendum was legally binding but in a complicated way. You need to look at the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, rather than PPERA. The relevant sections are 8, 15 and 19.

    A ‘no’ vote obliged the Secretary of State to repeal the AV provisions of the Act (s 8(2)). That had to be done by statutory instrument but without any parliamentary procedure at all. That is the effect of section 15, which crucially does not subject orders made under the Act to any parliamentary process. The Secretary of State had no choice and Parliament could not block the repeal.

    A ‘yes’ vote obliged the Secretary of State to bring the AV provisions into force by a commencement order (s. 8(1) and s. 19)), which also had to be done by statutory instrument without any parliamentary procedure (s. 15). The Secretary of State again had no choice. But there was a complication, namely an additional condition. The AV provisions would not apply until Parliament had approved the new parliamentary constituency boundaries reducing the number of seats from 650 to 600 (see s 8(1)(b), to understand which fully you need to go to s. 4 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986).

    The combined effect of sections 8 and 15 was that the result of the AV referendum was entirely legally binding if the result was ‘no’, but if the result was ‘yes’ parliament could still block AV although only by blocking the reduction in the number of constituencies.

  • OnceALibDem 25th Jun '18 - 8:49am

    Thanks David (as always!)

    Rather convoluted – and not particularly suitable to the situation of the EU referendum though!

  • Malc.
    I think there’s some truth in what you were said. But the Lib Dems are mostly a pro EU party and it’s therefore entirely reasonable that this event should be covered positively on LDV. It’s also sort of moving. It depends how you look at things. I don’t see people I disagree with as enemies.

  • Peter Martin 26th Jun '18 - 10:51pm

    I’m told the marchers on Saturday repeatedly asked the question:

    “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn? “

    The answer is: he was in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan.

    Maybe he shouldn’t have been or maybe he should. That’s a matter of opinion. But he can’t be in two places at the same time.

  • We need to combine conviction, flexibility and a long-term view to get the best deal for our country and gain some political benefit from this debacle.

  • Neil Sandison 28th Jun '18 - 9:03pm

    Brexit is politically becoming Mrs Mays Iraq War .No matter what unreal blandishments she offers us like a NHS dividend that isnt there .No matter how many Tory MPs play the loyalty card if the public believe Brexit is a bad deal and keep on believing its a bad deal she will be punished at the ballot box or stabbed in the back by her own party at the ides of March .

  • Richard Underhill 29th Jun '18 - 6:24pm

    Peter Martin
    “marchers on Saturday repeatedly asked the question: “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn? “
    The answer is: he was in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan.
    he can’t be in two places at the same time.”
    Of course he can and more, modern technology enables. They might have been satisfied with Keir Starmer or a recorded speech. Simple questions needed to be answered: What would be done about the Irish border? Is he still friends with Sinn Fein? Does he support a referendum on the border in Northern Ireland (or in the south as well?) Has he been talking to the elected government in Dublin? or with a selection of TDs?

  • Peter Martin 29th Jun '18 - 7:39pm

    @ Richard Underhill,

    I thought everyone on the Remain side was friends with Sinn Fein these days. Traditionally they have always been eurosceptic but that’s all evaporated now that they sense there’s much more mileage in a Remain posture.

    The change of attitude was quite abrupt and coincided with the June’16 referendum result. Now, I wonder why that can be 🙂

    JC probably takes the view that the less said about the EU the better, just at the moment. He’s not running the negotiations. If the Government collapses, which is quite possible then he’ll end up being PM and will want to have as close to a clean sheet as possible.

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  • User AvatarJohn Bicknell 23rd Jul - 10:14am
    David Raw: you are not the only person with a knowledge of history. I had the 1918 Coupon GE in mind when I used that...
  • User AvatarGordon Lishman 23rd Jul - 10:09am
    The Party, as well as the Social Liberal Forum, should say a big "thank you" to Helen for her time as SLF's Chair and particularly...
  • User AvatarCarl Gardner 23rd Jul - 10:02am
    A fundamental belief of Liberal Democrat philosophy is the right to free speech and the right to question things. But ... I do understand that...
  • User AvatarStephen 23rd Jul - 9:53am
    To Dev: Yes, that is the reason. But why should young people, whose living costs are the same as 25+ year olds, be the ones...
  • User AvatarStephen 23rd Jul - 9:46am
    I disagree on 5 - just because maintenance loans essentially are in part grants when they get written off anyway. I think the biggest problem...