Vince: People’s Vote is now probable

Well, it’s been quite a day.

I don’t work Thursdays, so under normal circumstances, I would have been glued to the telly and social media bringing you a blow by blow account of everything as it happened.

As luck would have it, I was at a housing conference. It was excellent, I learned loads, I met lovely people and I wouldn’t have missed it for any political drama, even without the excellent scones, jam and cream at the afternoon tea break.

I will admit to the occasional glance at Twitter to see the drama unfold. Looks like my crystal ball was a bit wonky the other day when I said that ministers wouldn’t create a fuss to cling on to power. However, the way that Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan have been shoring Theresa May up today makes me worry that some Tory Remainers are folding as they have done fairly regularly for the last 30 years or so. Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston are still flying the People’s Vote flag, though.

I was on a cold station platform when May held her press conference. I spent the journey home glued to Twitter. No, she wasn’t resigning, she was just spouting the same Brexity rubbish and clinging to her deal that only she really loves.

There is no way her deal is in anything like the national interest. David Lidington couldn’t say it would make us better off. We would end up abiding by rules we had no way in making. I think those rules are generally ok to be honest, but it’s better if we have some deal of ownership of them.

Not only that but a Sky News poll became the second major tv poll in a week to show a majority of support for remaining in the EU. 54% would choose Remain, while 55% want a People’s Vote.

The party hastily organised a rally for an exit from Brexit in Parliament Square tonight. Vince told the assembled crowd that a People’s Vote had moved from possible to probable. Here he is:

Earlier in the day, Christine Jardine talked about how the Liberal Democrats had led the way on campaigning for the People’s Vote and how it was now the only way out of this mess.

And we do have to get out of this mess. I was struck by a tweet today. If we allow Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to botch this up, it really could be a matter of life and death for some:

That was in response to a friend of mine who needs insulin to survive. Every day.

Nobody should be put in a position where they have to worry about whether they are going to be able to get their life sustaining drugs.

We really need to demand better than a Brexit secretary who resigns over a deal he negotiated and a Prime Minister who knows that she doesn’t have the votes in the Commons to carry it through but comes out with the same old rubbish regardless.

The next few weeks are critical for a People’s Vote. There’s a big anti Brexit Lib Dem action day in Scotland on Saturday, which is quite handy in the circumstances.

I shall leave you for the moment with our Press Office being on point again:

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

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Katharine Pindar 15th Nov '18 - 10:04pm

    Lovely post, Caron. Good for Vince, outside Parliament to make his voice heard at a real people’s rally.. Onward and upward now!

  • Good effort by Vince…… and, as per usual….. good post by Katharine….. The only spresm a dodgy mike.

  • John Marriott 16th Nov '18 - 9:12am

    Yes, bring it on; but stop calling it a ‘People’s Vote’. It’s EU Referendum Number THREE!
    If it does happen, let’s make sure that at least some those 27% or so, who failed to vote last time, get to vote this time and more of those wonderful young people, whose future, we are told, depends on our EU membership, vote as well. If they can do it for Corbyn, why not do it for something that is far more important for their future.

    Finally, despite her apparently battling for a seemingly lost cause, I have a certain amount of admiration for the way that the Prime Minister has stuck to her script. As Ken Clarke famously said, she is indeed “a bloody awkward woman”. As Churchill said about Parliament; “The opposition occupies the benches in front of you; but the enemy sits behind you”. My wife and I have a bet on. She reckons the ‘deal’ will survive, I don’t. Does she know something that I don’t?

  • John Marriott 16th Nov '18 - 4:25pm

    Apologies to Ken Clarke. What he actually said was that Mrs May was a “bloody DIFFICULT woman”. Perhaps there are times when being “difficult” might be a virtue.

    So, we get to vote again. Rule One: it’s advisory. Rule Two: you need more than one choice on the ballot paper (my suggestion a) we accept the ‘May’ deal b) we reject the ‘May’ deal c) we attempt to withdraw our decision to leave the EU). Rule Three: Parliament has the final vote.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Nov '18 - 5:33pm

    On BBC TV Question Time Mark Serotka said that he represents the “people who know”. This is the biggest civil service trade union, but not the top ones. Their representation is in the First Division Association.

  • paul barker 16th Nov '18 - 5:48pm

    A group of Academics at University College London have just published ther estimate of how long it would take to organise a Legal Referendum, they think it would be just under 6 Months.
    The question is whether Real World Actors like The Stock Markets, Currency Markets & Business generally would be prepared to wait till next Summer ? They have already put up with more than 2 Years of uncertainty & more waiting will do more Long-term damage to our Economy. We may to find another route out of this mess.

  • Nom de Plume 16th Nov '18 - 8:52pm

    Six months would take it past 29 March 2019. The Government would have to withdraw article 50, if possible.

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