Brexit is far from the finishing line

Whatever comes of these talks, democracy will still be in peril.

Tom Slater

Tom Slater
Deputy Editor

Topics Brexit Politics UK

So, at the time of writing, we’re not in the ‘tunnel’, but by the time you read this, we might be. It was announced earlier today that negotiations on Britain’s EU exit would recommence, following a ‘positive’ meeting between Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and UK PM Boris Johnson yesterday, which cleared a ‘pathway’ to a deal. But the European Union was keen to make clear we were not quite entering said tunnel – the Brussels jargon for the secretive, buckle-down stage of talks.

If you’re finding the metaphors and fine distinctions baffling, you’re not the only one. What will come of these talks is really anyone’s guess. The Irish press has been briefed that the UK has moved significantly on the issue of customs, perhaps to something resembling the Northern Ireland-only backstop, which would keep Northern Ireland in the Customs Union. But for now No10, for whom this outrageous land-grab was supposedly a red line, remain tight-lipped.

The secrecy and the accompanying chin-stroking speculation is a reminder of how the EU does business – behind closed doors, beyond the prying eyes of the people. But it is also a reminder of how shut out the British public has been throughout the Brexit process, as much domestically as in the Brussels talks. Over the past three-and-a-half years we’ve all looked on, spectators, if that, as politicians and campaigners, most of whom want Brexit to fail, cut deals between one another.

So now it falls to Johnson, the late-in-the-day Leaver, to have one last shot at securing a meaningful Brexit by 31 October. But even if he gets what he wants, it’s worth remembering that the Northern Irish backstop has seemingly consumed No10 to the exclusion of all other issues with Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement and the accompanying Political Declaration – not least the role set out for the ECJ. The backstop is just the start of what’s wrong with that deal.

Meanwhile, our Remainer Parliament has made a No Deal Brexit effectively impossible. If no agreement is passed by 19 October, the Benn (aka Surrender) Act will kick in, forcing the PM to request an extension and giving Brussels the right to dictate how long we stay in limbo. MPs claim this was about avoiding the ‘calamity’ of No Deal, but the way they have acted recently has made it all the more clear that this was about stopping Brexit and pushing the public out of the process.

They claim there is no mandate for the No Deal Johnson was allegedly hurtling towards, and yet they blocked an election before 31 October. Now MPs are mulling over holding a second referendum – a non-choice between a version of May’s deal and Remain – before a General Election, lest the plebs elect a parliament willing to take us out. That would take months. Even if Johnson pulled off the impossible in Brussels, this is what he would be returning to.

So we have a European Union that seemingly won’t allow a meaningful Brexit for the entire United Kingdom. We have a parliament that won’t allow No Deal, and won’t allow us to vote them out. And in the middle is a government, with a negative majority, in office but not in power, but kept in place because it suits the agenda of the Remoaner opposition. Any avenue through which the public might genuinely shape events has been closed off. This is what we’re up against.

Amid the infernal swirl of jargon and speculation that is going to continue these next few days, it is important that we don’t let the seriousness of all this escape us. If Brexit is thwarted, it will leave British democracy itself in peril. We would be in a European Union we cannot leave, and lumbered with a political class more emboldened than ever to use the power we lend them to overrule our wishes. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, but for now it feels much more like an oncoming train.

Tom Slater is deputy editor at spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_

Picture by: Getty

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Barney Rubble

19th October 2019 at 8:20 pm

Geoff Cox said “…then it will fall to us to vote in a Party who are elected on a mandate to take us out of the EU without further ado.”

While I endorse the sentiment, I have an uncomfortable feeling that we are not going to be allowed to have that election. The remoaner MPs may be treacherous but they’re not stupid. They do not want to face an angry public, so they will find a way to avoid doing so.

Dominic Straiton

12th October 2019 at 6:23 pm

Breaking out of perceived wisdom is the central part of human progress.

James Knight

12th October 2019 at 6:09 pm

Recall how the EU bluffed over the last extension. Just watch them grant another extension, and they will be exposed again as the ultimate bluffers.

Marvin Jones

13th October 2019 at 12:53 pm

“Use ALL your extensions wisely”. we will never leave!


12th October 2019 at 3:45 pm

Why don’t you just admit that the problems in the UK stem from the outmoded and antiquated nature of the British ‘constitution’. Why are the British even still ruling over the Six Counties? Why do you have an unelected head of state, unelected upper legislative chamber? Why does the Lord Chancellor sit in the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature, undermining the separation of powers fundamental to any modern democracy? Why does the Privy Council, with its secret audiences with the monarchy, still exist? Why have you piled all meaningful political and economic power into one city in the south-east corner of the island? Why is there no proper devolved, federal structure with maximum regional autonomy? Why do you persist with this pointless charade of ‘democracy’. The UK is not a democracy and never has been. Time to change that.

Major Bonkers

12th October 2019 at 7:30 pm

Tony Blair abolished the post of Lord Chancellor.

Martin Bishop

12th October 2019 at 10:41 pm

We get to vote into power our favourite mummy or daddy every 5 years, and for 5 years they have the democracy on our behalf to save us the stress and worry. We have democracy in the same way a person whose legs work for 1 day every five years has leg mobility. What more could anyone ask for.

Marvin Jones

13th October 2019 at 12:57 pm

Why bother? rant the cowards, traitors and remainers, we will use yours and just say “YES” to all your rules, laws and demands and we will pay you anything you want.

Winston Stanley

12th October 2019 at 1:08 pm

“I’m shocked at your short-sightedness, Jim. Shocked.”

> “You are a good person, Liv. Good ppl can’t help themselves.” (Liv’s dad, iZombie S05E08.)

* 1. cannot refrain from certain actions; 2. cannot act in a pragmatic way even for their own interests.

Just heard that line on TV and it reminded me this thread.

> The self-righteous partisan who just cannot let go is always liable to be an obstacle for the popular front.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 1:48 pm

Winston I do not know what you are trying to say or to whom you are saying it.

Winston Stanley

12th October 2019 at 1:59 pm

Oh yeah.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 5:11 pm

You advocate for the Brexit Party. Remain raise, without condemnation or discouragement even, the spectre of a return to murderous IRA terrorism. What is your Party’s line on Irish terrorism? These questions will be asked. Deflection and duplicity will not do. People are not stupid.

The upcoming General Election will be bitter and violent.

A Game

13th October 2019 at 7:18 am

The written word, how to, without a million emojis, convey a tone? The repetition of the word “shocked” is to suggest a good percentage of my outrage is in jest. Its a true word said in jest. I am certainly discouraged by Jim’s short sightedness. Is that better? Everyone more comfy now?

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 11:13 am

A Game she is a liability that stops many people voting for the Brexit Party because they do not want her like anywhere near power.

Voters are still allowed to elect whoever they like for whatever reasons they choose. When they place their cross they do not have to account for or reveal their choice to you or anyone else.

You talk about how “shocked” you are that I should express my opinion on her, but say nothing of her support for the IRA, including Enniskillen. Is shocked the new offended? Are you gobsmacked by her refusal to recant that support? Do you agree with her on these matters?
I am justified in asking these questions to clear up the inconsistency of you drumming on about this being a single issue as if I weren’t allowed to consider any other factors, but accusing me of insularity. You can’t have it both ways.

When I have mentioned her past. and her defence of it, to people who support Brexit, and CF based on their radio knowledge of her, they have changed their mind about voting for the Brexit Party. I cannot be the only one to have done so. Had she been up front about all this would she have been selected?

In Negative

12th October 2019 at 2:30 pm

Don’t you think she came to that issue with a refreshing degree of political honesty? I do. There are plenty of folks in political life would have apologized immediately irrespective of whether or not they meant it. Hell, there are people in all kinds of important position that are responsible for far worse who are never asked to account for the parts they’ve played in anything. I think Fox’s response was sensitive and honest. Her view was made public and people still voted for her. She’s a politician that thinks about stuff and she tells you what she thinks. It’s more than most of them do. This is in and of itself worth voting for.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 5:56 pm

We are not talking about the Middle East or other people. That is just more whataboutery.

In Negative

13th October 2019 at 10:06 am

Aye, this was a bit of whataboutery, but I think it’s relevant whataboutery. I think here we are talking about two things.

Firstly, there is whether or not CF is a hard sell and will put many voters off. There is truth to that, though I don’t think it will be devastating in a GE. It was a more difficult sell in the Euros. The BP can be sold as a cooperative of strong minded independent thinkers unified by a committment to democracy and free speech. Between folks like Fox and Widdecomb (sp?) it would be hard to make the case that the BP was a party of extremists as there is no common thread of extremity. For this point, my whatabouterry is irrelevant.

The second point, where I think my whataboutery does matter, is in trying to persuade you as an individual that CF isn’t as bad as I think you think she is. My point is that you have probably put your ‘X’ next to far worse, that whatever her thoughts, I think they are considered and worked for and that she’s willing to be held accountable for them. I think we passively accept much worse characters under the guise of their apparent inoccuousness and their willingness to take cover under the camoulflage of group–think. If you were electing her as an MP with a potential role in cabinet, that would be one thing, but as an MEP with a mandate to take us out of the EU, that’s something else. She’s very strong on democracy and free speech. As an MEP, I don’t expect her to be making judgements about who is and isn’t a domestic terrorist.

A Game

13th October 2019 at 6:59 am

J Lawrie:
I answered below to your original answer… then found this.
Well, that answer applies to this answer, also.

Unlike the Negative, I’m not getting bogged down in single issues that distract the UK during any given decade. I cover Anne Widdecombe in my other answer. You don’t have to defend Claire Fox. You have to say Brexit is bigger than these political sticking points. Get Brexit. Get out of the EU. That is the priority. That is what you need to point out to people. Staying in or leaving the EU is not going to address any of the issues you are talking about. This is one of the “problems” the Remain MPs are pretending to have with a GE. (We all know its because they know an election is last call for drinks for them.) That it will cloud other issues with Brexit. Your attitude is playing into their hands.
A different person will be standing in different seats for the BP. Pasting onto them C Fox’s historical positions because they are in the same party, with no differences… does that sound sane, to you? It does sound like you are playing into the Remainer’s hands.
“I am justified in asking these questions to clear up the inconsistency of you drumming on about this being a single issue as if I weren’t allowed to consider any other factors, but accusing me of insularity. You can’t have it both ways.”
I’m struggling to make sense of this, but what I can glean, is that you think its broadminded to narrow down Brexit to individual political issues, or a single individual in the BP. I disagree. Its insular to reduce Brexit down to historical battle fields and the sum of particular individuals.

“When I have mentioned her past. and her defence of it, to people who support Brexit, and CF based on their radio knowledge of her, they have changed their mind about voting for the Brexit Party.”
Then perhaps you should stop. Help or hindrance, Jim, help or hindrance? You are reducing the BP down to your dislike of one individual. Nigel, I’m sure, will send you a bottle in gratitude. NOT.

As for “these people in power”. Claire is an MEP. I’m not seeing Stalinism around the corner, for that. Historically, Communism in the west has not taken hold. It never will, not in our lifetimes. (And the closest version of it is the neoliberal/woke project we’ve all been subjected to… of which you seem to be a participant.) Any future BP MP will not have the power to storm Westminster. You currently have opposition benches filled with people who agree with her. You can still buy a Big Mac.

I think you should take your concerns to the source. I think you should email Farage with this issue and get a POV and instruction from him. I may be flattering myself, but I don’t think his answer will be too far removed from mine.

Leaving the EU is bigger than all of it. People either want out or they do not. Find those who want out. Stick with them. Get the result. Then go back to what C Fox thinks about the IRA.

A Game

13th October 2019 at 7:13 am

Jim, you then dismiss what’s happening in the middle east as irrelevant. You don’t want Brexit bogged down with British foreign policy. Which effects the people of the UK.
No different than wanting to bog Brexit down with the GFA, the IRA, who took what side. That the border issue has dogged Leaving… well, nice tactic, wouldn’t you say?

In Negative

13th October 2019 at 10:30 am

“Unlike the Negative, I’m not getting bogged down in single issues that distract the UK during any given decade. ”

Unlike the Negative, you’re laying out the most effective political stance to adopt for achieving Brexit 😉 The Negative is putting up a defence of Claire Fox cos he likes her 😉

Jim Lawrie

13th October 2019 at 3:05 pm

Reman have invoked Irish Terrorism. The Irish border is relevant, and so is The Brexit Party’s policy and stance on these issues.
Ms Fox is trying to reconcile her membership of two political parties and cannot do it. And neither can you do it for her.

If we criticise Remain for aligning with Irish terrorism they will counter that Ms Fox has not broken with Irish terrorism.

A Game

14th October 2019 at 4:22 am

If the Brexit Party has no established policy re the IRA, then how is it that The Fox’s views are irreconcilable to the BP? You are persisting in making the Brexit Party what you think it should be rather than what it is. If you are campaigning in your local area (officially or not), then get information from Farage. Or do you already have a named candidate for your constituency for the BP? Ask them what the low-down is.
You just want to bring Brexit down to your local issue. You’re fighting tooth and nail, patently, for everyone to say how right you are to do so. You need to inspire your local scene to free themselves from these issues, just once, just once, and think about a greater good, a better system. As you can see, the EU are merrily happy to use historical troubles to keep their vassal states in subjugation. Take that away from them.

A Game

14th October 2019 at 4:27 am

I Negative:
Lol. Sounds like I wouldn’t agree with her re the IRA, but I like a hell of a lot of other things she has to say on a wide range of issues. This idea that a person must be 100% right, all the time, to everyone, or else they are to be thrown on the scrap heap… who does that sound like?
Nice work.

A Game

12th October 2019 at 7:15 am

I stumbled on a panel show that had BON on it, last night. He said what I think most people are thinking… when the Irish puppet is looking happy, when Barnier is looking happy… oh sh*t. That doesn’t bode well.
It brings it back to the initial fears as expressed in articles on Spiked. That Boris’s desire to just get it done, means he’s happy to sign off on anything, just to get it done.
The EU’s form… any withdrawal agreement, no matter what it says, they will twist and turn the entire time to thwart the UK actually leaving. Who knows what rules they’ll come up with that will effect the terms of any WA. They’ve probably already written the “How To” manual to do so.
And then it always comes back to whatever plans Boz “The Octopus” Johnson has… the opposition have the power to sabotage at any time.

Though the Lib Dems have been played like violins by Labour. You can see their momentum has died. They should have gone with an election. Labour present as bumbling idiots, but… cunning as sh*thouse rats. They have a bigger, more faithful electoral base… they just needed the time to work out their moves to rally that base. Bad news trickles in about Vicky Pollard’s posh cousin’s husband’s EU funding… She’s overexposed as the talentless bore she is… The SNP… they do as they do… Lib Dumbs it is. (Stepping aside for that car crash Grieve… WTF? More serious errors of judgement.)

That the people have been shut out… nailed that. Captive audience at this point, definitely.

Martin Bishop

12th October 2019 at 12:36 am

“If Brexit is thwarted, it will leave British democracy itself in peril.”. What? I thought we had an electoral oligarchy? When did this democracy thing turn up? I always seem to be the last one to find these things out.

Kevin Murphy

12th October 2019 at 12:03 am

Yeah so how is a confirmatory referendum “pushing the public out of the process”? Frightened of a different outcome?

Andrew Leonard

12th October 2019 at 12:17 am

What outcome are you referring to?
That Leave wins again, yet by 2023, Brexit still has not occurred?

Kevin Murphy

12th October 2019 at 12:22 am

By 2023 the demographics will be even less in favour of leave, never mind the reality of leaving.

Andrew Leonard

12th October 2019 at 4:56 am

So the second time around, Remain would be even more complacent that the first?

H McLean

12th October 2019 at 10:21 am

Britain has already had a ‘confirmatory referendum’. The referendum in 2016 confirmed that the electorate voted to leave the EU. Anything else is just treason.

In Negative

12th October 2019 at 10:39 am

A confirmatory referendum by definition excludes no deal. It is to confirm the existing deal or remain.

By definition, that excludes a great many leavers who believe the existing deals don’t represent what they voted for.

A confirmatory vote would therefore shut out a great many voters.

The confirmatory vote is a vote gerrymandered to only include the kinds of voters the referendum creators approve of.

Dominic Straiton

12th October 2019 at 10:48 am

Your “demographic” has been the lefts hope for 40 years. Guess what. Children grow up and change their minds.

Kevin Murphy

14th October 2019 at 10:48 pm

So you imply that showing left wing thinking is a demonstration of a state of childishness. Does that mean I can look forward to ‘growing up’ into a right wing bigoted, xenophobic, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, nature-hating, climate change denier like the magnificent Donald Trump?

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 6:01 pm

Who appointed you to speak for those still at school? Is that your comfort level?

30yrs ago the demographics argument promised by now overwhelming support in Northern Ireland for a United Ireland. We are still waiting.

In Negative

11th October 2019 at 9:53 pm

Kind of sick of people letting Labour MPs get away with saying “We don’t want an election as we want to prevent Boris taking us out without a deal.”

Literally no one ever states concisely and clearly that what they mean is they want to prevent the electorate taking us out without a deal.

That is fine. Not trusting the electorate to make important decisions is a legitimate position, but they need to be forced to admit it: “We don’t want the electorate to put in a party that would do a no deal.”

Drives me nuts.

Winston Stanley

11th October 2019 at 7:38 pm

Never vote Tory, Labour or Lib Dem ever again.

All vote Brexit Party at the next GE and get a proper no deal Brexit.

Jim Lawrie

11th October 2019 at 8:00 pm

They shot themselves in the foot with Claire Fox. Her views are abhorrent to millions, and cast doubt on Farage’s claim that extremism in UKIP made him leave.

A Game

12th October 2019 at 6:51 am

God, that is such an insular view of what the Brexit Party are about. They are not the second coming of centre right politics. That you want to make it that, after Brexit is delivered, knock yourself out. Nige is obviously a Tory, but a Eurosceptic tory, who believes in democracy, national sovereignty. Patently he needed to bust loose.
Claire Fox is a free thinking, non-tribal lefty. That is an excellent thing. And she believes in democracy and national sovereignty. There is your common ground. Whatever her views have been over the years, for the purposes of Brexit, are irrelevant. That is the point of the Claire Foxes. To show the commonality across the board. That Brexit is not the left/right issue that Remainers have wanted to paint it as. Good people versus bad people.
The Euro elections showed what the Labour/Lib Dem collaborators are about. They are going after the Brexit Party as a single issue party, with no central, shared ideology. Seriously, who gives a flying f**k if that is the case. On this single, once in a lifetime issue, they can be trusted in what they say. After that, in government, they’ll probably keep it all pretty measured and calm as they find their post Brexit feet.
In that Labour leave voters have to take the leap of faith… so, too, do you. The Boris sceptics have to park it for the time being, and will him on to get a satisfying Brexit delivered. Claire Fox might be your traditional foe… but not at this point in time, she isn’t. She’s doing her bit giving them hell in Brussels.
I’m shocked at your short-sightedness, Jim. Shocked.

Claire D

12th October 2019 at 7:12 am

I must say I am surprised at your comment about Claire Fox, she has always seemed to me a reasonable, straight talking sort of person. What is abhorrent about her views I’d like to know ?

Claire D

12th October 2019 at 7:13 am

That’s in response to Jim Lawrie.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 10:45 am

Claire D her support for IRA murders. Her phone call to the working class parents of one of the victims during the election campaign, to try put them straight on the matter. I doubt she would have made the call had they been middle class professionals.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 10:47 am

A Game see my answer to Claire D.

Claire D

12th October 2019 at 11:38 am

Thank you Jim, I’ve checked myself now with the Liverpool Echo, which seemed the source most likely to give a balanced report. That’s upsetting. A lesson perhaps re: youthful enthusiasm for extreme politics.

In Negative

12th October 2019 at 11:46 am

@Jim Lawry
Claire Fox was probably the only vote I’ve ever cast where I was sure I liked the candidate, irrespective of her views on the Warrington bomb. I actually admired the factt that she didn’t apologise for them. I thought she handled that whole incident with a great deal of integrity and dignity regardless of whether or not I agree with her.

Rather than trying to save her skin in the court of public opinion, she stated with a great deal of honesty what she thinks right now. I also believed her when she expressed sympathy for all those injured during the troubles. War is difficult – you support a side. How many people do we force to apologize for their views on the Iraq war? Like seriously, how many people are still being paid and in respectable jobs who helped engineer that arrogant self-aggrandising horror?

She came across more honestly than most of the principle bankrupt moral hypocrites we seem to elect. For most of them, they’d just have apologized and made it go away irrespective of what they’d thought and would think in the future.

It’s also worth mentioning that the views attributed to her are so through her former membership of the RCP. That would associate many at spiked with the same views.

Claire D

12th October 2019 at 12:08 pm

I do think it is important though not to judge people too harshly on past youthful indiscretions, there must be the possibility of redemption. The potential for a deeper understanding of life and it’s complexities. It does sound to me she has sincere feelings of sadness for both sides, that may not be enough for some people and I can sympathise with that. The Troubles left terrible scars, I just hope very much we can preserve peace.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 1:47 pm

Claire D if it were only the past and youth that might be let go. But she refuses to recant in the present. In the face of the acceptance of The Good Friday agreement by an All Ireland plebiscite, supporting IRA violence is not consistent with the democratic professions of this publication and she is of this manor. She could resign, stand as an independent, give some of us at least the opportunity of the ballot box and test her absence on the Brexit Party vote.

In Negative

12th October 2019 at 1:52 pm

I like Claire Fox. I thought she handled herself with a great deal of integrity over that whole Warrington bomb thing. I think her sympathy with all who suffered during that time is sincere and I think her committment to a peaceful solution is sincere too.

I’d ask how many people we hold to similar account for their support of what we’ve done in the middle-east? All those folks currently holding jobs in all kinds of important positions who helped engineer the Iraq invasion, not to mention the members of the public that supported it.

At least Claire didn’t apologize for the side she took in that conflict. It would be far easier to have done so and right now our politics is riddeled with the kinds of hypocritical creep that would have apologized just to make it go away. I gave her a lot of credit for that.

In Negative

12th October 2019 at 3:54 pm

” In the face of the acceptance of The Good Friday agreement by an All Ireland plebiscite, supporting IRA violence is not consistent with the democratic professions of this publication and she is of this manor”

Assuming I’m understanding you, I don’t think this is correct. Fairly sure I’ve read her say she supports the Good Friday agreement. Moreover, the views attributed to her are so due to a statement put out at the time by the RCP. By that reckoning, a good few of the writers for the present publication are associated with that view. Should Brendan be made to renounce that position prior to being allowed back on Politics Live?

So far as I understand CF, she refuses to apologize for a view she held at a particular time and in a particular context. She supports the progress of the current arrangements and the GFA. This may still be a problem for you – perhaps it is obnoxious to you that she still defends the position she held at the time. That’s fine, but it is incorrect to suggest that she continues, post GFA, to support armed Irish resistance to English rule.

Jim Lawrie

12th October 2019 at 5:53 pm

In Negative. You resort to whataboutery. The other writers are not an issue unless they are candidates, or advocating for a particular party. By being part of public life, they are fair game for such questions. No-one who supports terrorism is respecting the GFA.
She supported the IRA’s right to perpetrate Enniskillen, and stands by that and much else. That will come out in an election campaign. That is a vote loser. That is my point.

In Negative

12th October 2019 at 8:39 pm

Not what abouterying. Just trying to flesh out what you’re actually saying. Agree her views will probably lose her votes. Not sure about this though:

“No-one who supports terrorism is respecting the GFA.”

I think you can support a peoples’ armed struggle in one historical context and support a peace process when that context changes. CF seems to me to be standing by the views she held back then given the historical context.

Absolutely nowhere does she say that she still supports armed struggle in Ireland. In fact, she says the opposite.

A Game

13th October 2019 at 5:45 am

J Lawrie:
You are persisting in dictating on what terms someone may be a Brexiteer. Its all your way or no way.
There are people in your country that were/are sympathetic to the IRA and their methods. That’s not going to change. So all of those people are to be Remainers by default because the only person who shares those views are in the Labour party. J Corbyn gets a clean sweep of all the pet issues, does he?

You are reducing Brexit down to party lines, traditional allies, traditional enemies. That is wrong.
Its about under which system you will operate in future, to battle your traditional allies/foes.

It shows an identitarian outlook. Isn’t that what you apparently hate about western politics, currently? Dominated by identity politics? Unable to separate a person from their politics, they are to be labelled “good” or “bad” and never shall that change, issue to issue.
You and C Fox both agree that the EU is nightmare.
That Brexit and the Brexit Party is to be reduced to who you approve of, personally, and not, what position is to be taken on any issue… sounds a little control freaky to me.

(And I watched one of Piers’s (on breakfast TV) efforts to pin Nigel on Anne Widdecombe’s religious views of homosexuals. He MUST either back her or trash her. He refused to do so. Is Brexit to be reduced to an individual’s positions on same sex marriage? If you agree with AW, then you must be a Leaver, if you don’t, then you must be a Remainer? Again, its about the arena you want these ideas battled out in… as a Sovereign nation, where representative democracy still has accountability, or its all handed over to the EU, with no accountability and certainly no ability, as an electorate, to disagree with their diktats.
I agree with separation of church and state. If I was a Brit, by your reasoning, AW’s presence in the Brexit Party means I would have to support remain because I disagree with her. Many would be nervous of the BP because of her presence. You need to undo this knot, not pull at the threads and tighten it.)

Jim Lawrie

13th October 2019 at 11:11 am

A Game;

I am talking not about “a brexiteer” but a Party seeking election as representative of Brexiteers.

Do you think her refusal to refute her support for Enniskillen is a;

1.) Vote winner

2.) Vote loser

3.) Makes no difference

Why are the replies about 5 times as long as my original posts?

Why I am being called short sighted, identitarian, insular etc …. ? Why I am being strawmanned? Or Cathy Newmanned as it is put in some circles?

You all need to get out a bit (more?).

All the verbiage spouted against me on this issue will cut no ice with the electorate.

A Game

14th October 2019 at 4:07 am

J Lawire:
These are the questions to ask the person who will be standing for the BP in your constituency come the next GE. If that is what you want your vote to come down to. Like every other election.

I could elaborate… but hey. I’d hate to strawman you.

Paul Ilott

11th October 2019 at 7:06 pm

The light at the end of the tunnel could be 17.4 million people refusing to vote for any of the mainstream parties and looking around for alternatives. That’s a sizeable chunk of the electorate and even if the likes of Blair and Miller retain control of the reigns, they will know deep down (like the EU) that any talk of ‘unity’ and ‘working together’ is hollow rhetoric. Of course apathy and disengagement is a possibility, but that is still no easy ride for a ruling elite that needs legitimacy.
I could say take to the streets, but then we might have to mingle with Extinction Rebellion, which is truly an apocalyptic prospect.

Jerry Owen

11th October 2019 at 7:02 pm

With reference to Verhofstadts latest uttering , we can quite realistically without ridicule call it the European Empire. I hope the left will acknowledge this.

Katie Woolford

11th October 2019 at 6:25 pm

Is there any way we could have a mass petition to force a general election? Surely there has got to be some way we can stop this farce.

Jim Lawrie

11th October 2019 at 7:36 pm

All of Boris’s MP’s, bar one, could resign their seats. He could then ask Her Majesty The Queen to dissolve Parliament.

Winston Stanley

11th October 2019 at 8:44 pm

Are you on that bottle again? You pack it in.

Jim Lawrie

11th October 2019 at 9:52 pm

If they did that they would still be the executive. It would put the ball in Corbyn’s court. What would be his options?

Geoff Cox

11th October 2019 at 6:14 pm

This is about as succinct a summary of events as I have seen. That is the exact position and so many (though by no means all) of my (ex) remainer “friends” seem to think that is ok. It is quite incredible that so many in Parliament, the media and the wider world are prepared to turn a blind eye to all this chicanery.

If it goes this way and the non-government government try to stitch up a second referendum with a gerrymandered electoral role and a dishonest question, then it will fall to us to vote in a Party who are elected on a mandate to take us out of the EU without further ado. It would be at about that time that the Supreme Court stepped in to tell us that would be illegal. so they will have to be dealt with first.

It is a staggering betrayal of democracy and the country that we thought we knew.

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Deplorables — a spiked film