It is not often I agree with Times columnist Matthew Parris, but one thing he’s consistently got right is the successful subversion of Brexit, about which he’s predictably gleeful.

He was right again on Saturday – Brexiteers may have won the vote but they have lost the war. He wrote: ‘Hardliners are suffering death by a thousand cuts and seem to have no stomach to stand and fight a super-soft exit.’


Using an angling metaphor, he describes their disastrous ‘biding our time’ strategy. Instead of landing the fish, they’ve lost control of the line. Worse, they flunked their opportunity to take back control – not once, not twice but three times – and to walk away, not just from the talks but from facing up to the permanent liability that Mrs May has become.

Unless they act soon it will indeed be too late for their dream of a Britain unbound, as Parris gloats.  For with each opportunity missed to put their marker down, Brexit sinks inexorably below the horizon. He asks: Do they not see it is urgent?

He is right. For if the British team cannot see that Barnier is winning the negotiations, they must be blind, or certainly deluded. They should not need the Financial Times to tell them why their charm offensive in Germany won’t work, or why ‘piece by piece, their vision is coming apart’.

Parris is brutal, but he is only spelling out what we know. Nominal Brexit, or Brexit in name only, is the destination we are moving towards, thanks to the Tory Brexiteers’ successive failures of nerve: ‘In death by a thousand modest adjustments, which is the bridge too far? Where is the battleground on which to make their stand?’

TCW readers know exactly where it is. The only ground is the hard non-negotiable one – on which opportunities to stand firm have come and gone.

The first chance our risk-averse Brexiteers flunked (self-interest and individual political opportunism no doubt playing its destructive part) was to ditch Mrs May after her catastrophic election gamble. Next to be shirked was her Florence speech, and the increasingly desperate money offers to bring the EU to the trade table. Finally came Mrs May’s promise to the Irish of full alignment before Christmas. What did we see n each case but miserable surrender. She crossed line after line and, like Peter, thrice the Brexiteers denied all knowledge.

Now they appear to have consented to a reshuffle that Dan Hodges says has one purpose only, to keep Mrs May barricaded in Number Ten, and to support the ambitions of one person only, Mrs May, who has no intention of quitting as PM of her own accord.

Had the Tory Brexiteers actually wanted to crown Corbyn as May’s successor and wave goodbye to British freedom, they could not have done a better job. You have to wonder at not just their failure of nerve – hard and soft Brexiteers alike – but of comprehension: their failure to grasp why either the French or the Germans were never going to negotiate a civil exit for Britain, no matter how many times the referendum was run and won.

In Where We Are – The State of Britain Now , conservative philosopher Roger Scruton explains why this is the case. Even if Brexit were backed by 90 per cent of the population, France and Germany could not soften their stance.

The bond between Germany and EU, he explains, is an existential one. Anything that threatens this bond will be met by a life-and-death struggle, and Brexit threatens it. Britain’s rejection of the EU project threatens the Germans’ new identity, which replaces one so tainted that it had to be ‘set aside as an object of shame and repudiation’, meaning that they have never been able to mourn their losses or heal the wounds of war. Their new path – the idea of Europe as an inclusive project – ‘has to work to the full if they are to be who they are now’. Now the British have set an example that threatens their very being.

Ever-closer union is equally necessary to the French, says Scruton, though for different reasons. Three successive invasions have left a residue of fear which German reunification did not help. The euro was Mitterrand’s bid to equalise power with Germany following Germany’s alarming reassumption of the status as the greatest continental power. Furthermore the statist economy of France can compete far more easily with a Britain locked into the EU regulations that constrain both countries.

This is the reality that Tory Brexiteers must weigh up fast. They can’t kid themselves any longer that their barque can be steered between the Scylla of Corbyn and the Charybdis of the Tory Remain establishment towards a Brexit shore with May at the helm. That way is doomed to send them on to the rocks. And there will be nothing to salvage. End of Brexit, end of Government and end of Tory Party.

That’s why they (Davis, Gove and Johnson in particular) have no choice but to force a vote of no confidence in Mrs May and choose a candidate prepared to set out a negotiating stall for a hard Brexit and be ready to walk away from the EU in March next year. It is the only principled route forward..

They can’t keep ignoring the battle over what their party stands for – a British Brexit party or a ‘modern’ technocratic, globalist, corporatist outfit for the elite (the Anywheres, as David Goodhart describes them).

If they believe in Brexit, freedom and democracy, they have no choice.

248 COMMENTS

  1. The Visigrad Group of Vountries, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, will be the saviours of Brexit.
    By resisting the foisting of millions of Muslims upon them by Merkel they will eventually lead to the break-up of the EU.
    May and the Tory party are wedded to Britain being shackled to the EU corpse. On 22nd January Parliament will go through the motion of a debate prompted by a petition – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200165 – to just leave the EU.
    None of the alleged Brexiteers in the Tory party will support this petition, since if they did would it have been necessary in the first place?
    The truth is the Tories just don’t want us to leave the EU.

      • Indeed……..they do not have the foresight to see how millions of the 13.6m will desert them if they do not procure a clean break…….as Cameron promised, and as the people instructed.

        Last autumn, I told my MP that he could kiss his backside goodbye to my vote if there was any fudge………..and he is either unconvinced, or else he has already decided to stand down anyway.

        Parliamentary democracy is doomed in Britain if May ignores her duty…….

        …….just what the neo-Marxist anarchists in Momentum want.

  2. I’m not sure that I agree that a true Brexit has become impossible . May has no genuine principles that are obvious , beyond staying in office . If that goal can be best achieved by a true Brexit , then that is what we shall have . There is no doubt that the remainers are well organised and possess powerful resources but it is also true that they have consistently misread the views of the British people and continue to do so . Living as they do , almost entirely in London , they have become detached from the ordinary Briton and have come to believe that the homogeneous stew that is present day London is representative of the rest of the country . Let us hope that they continue to believe so , it will be their undoing . In spite of the vast resources deployed against Brexit ( and they ARE considerable ) polls continue to show a clear majority of those who want to “get on ” with the leaving process . The remainers think that they can reverse this but , in common with most ruling elites , they simply cannot imagine themselves to be wrong about anything and will continue to misread the public mood . Brexiteers must be watchful but there is still all to play for !

  3. Strange, isn’t it? We had the likes of Mrs Thatcher, a strong formidable woman. Now we have the duplicitous May, promoted beyond her ability. The Conservatives have gone pear-shaped.

    • Labour has been taken over by Momentum, the ultra-hard left (communism) and the Conservatives have been taken over by the soft left, the loony liberals. Mrs May is a remainer, evidenced by her cabinet appointees and she should be ousted and we must declare the Brexit negotiations null and void and walk away to WTO rules.
      Southern Ireland will not commit suicide by making a hard border and the German industry will not commit suicide for their political masters.

      • We have to walk away, and to show we mean it, we should have our outdoor clothes on and be lacing up our walking boots now!

      • The they aren’t real anything. They stand for nothing. They are total pragmatists that want to cling to power no matter what.

          • From their point of view, nothing.
            For those who want the country to have some sort of successful future, a great deal.
            I dislike sophistry in all its forms.

          • I respect it. You can understand power for its own sake and people who desire to exercise it for selfish reasons. It’s the ideologues who scare me.

          • I have never wanted, nor do I respect, power.
            One advantage of my having a considerable amount of money in savings is that money can help you avoid being kicked around by those in power.

          • I’d rather be kicked around by someone honest enough to say why they were kicking me and not oblige me to believe it was for my own good.

          • The same reason that the Red Army defeated the White Army. In a parliamentary democracy it’s necessary to be able to vote on a parties principles. Partisan votes only go so far and that leaves the door open to the party with principles-even if they are bad ones.

          • That’s why you feel as you do. Without principles we are crew-less ships being towed to the scrap heap. Having and adhering to ones rational principles is the only way in which we can develop self esteem and confidence, even in the face of defeat and disappointment. Defeat and disappointment are never bitter pills for the rationally principled. I only learned that later in life-I wished I had known it when I was younger as it would have saved me a lot of anguish and anxiety.

          • Humans survive. They, or rather, we, live under any system, no matter how onerous, and need to be honest about the paucity of our control over it.

          • We have control over ourselves, what we think and how we act. For those without rational principles there is a feeling of a malevolent universe and the only way to cope with that feeling is not to think. The effect is comforting, because if one believes no one can know anything for certain/do anything with integrity, then going with the flow seems a sensible option. The problem is that it cancels out self esteem and that’s the worst feeling of all.

          • I rest my case. I know you better than you know yourself. You have a choice, it’s not about ‘positive thinking’ or any of that cranky new age nonesense -tried that.

          • If you want to believe that, then marvellous. Me, I think that I’m one of many turds in the huge water pipe of human existence and what I think, say or do matters not a whit.

          • Does it make you happy ? That’s the only question you need to ask yourself. If it doesn’t, then that would suggest trying something else.

          • Not passive at all, otherwise you would have ceased to exist. That’s just something you tell yourself, it’s easier that way. However, you were concerned about leaving the EU and losing that contract as a writer. Admit these factual truths to yourself and perhaps you will discover that you simply fear reality. That, as a conscious living entity, you must do something to sustain your existence so you can never be passive-take the first step and accept that it’s true, or wallow in a hopeless, nihilistic, self pity, feeling worthy of nothing, especially not love. I would not want that for you, but sometimes the man on the bridge just has to jump and no one can stop him doing so.

          • You choose to be. Thankfully we don’t live in a deterministic universe and you have free will- you can use it.

          • I’m a nihilist because that position commends itself to me as the logical one and coward because I don’t take the final step and remove myself from existence. Ergo, I am trapped in a world I abhor.

          • The world is the world-reality is what it is. It isn’t the world that is the problem but your abandonment of your own mind in respect of dealing with that world. You might just be broken beyond repair-it happens-but if it’s fixable at all, then only you can fix it. People tend to remove themselves from existence by indulging in hedonistic pursuits, which give a short term sense of pleasure, but are often fatal long term. Alcoholism is one of those, but there are many.

          • I’m not a hedonist.I’m sure you’ve read Brave New World and I’ve often thought that if you could be sent on a permanent soma holiday, that would be preferable to existence, but it’s both temporary and illegal, so that’s the end of that. And the world, incidentally, will remain in the same shape whether I deal with it or not. We are where we are.

          • Ah yes Mr Huxley. You’re a budding hedonist then : -)

            It’s in your dealing with existent reality that the sense of ones self esteem grows. Rather like going to the gym and lifting increasingly heavy weights means you get stronger. The strength that results is not just physical. The epistemological defines the metaphysical and vica versa. Doing nothing means getting weaker and, weakness has real consequences that can’t be avoided. So, doing nothing is really just evasion-you can evade, but you can’t avoid the consequences of the evasion. Work now, or pain later.

          • What are the consequences of being weak? It seems that whether you’re weak, strong or somewhere in between, it all ends in a hospital bed, your mouth working away and staring into the middle distance, wondering what the point of it all was.

          • Reduction, or even elimination of that time. Out with a bang and not a whimper. Instead of crawling along at 10mph in the slow lane for miles, you run slap bang into a wall at 100mph. Life should be taken by the scruff of the neck and happiness taken where you can find it, the sooner you can realise it, the better. When it’s over, it will be as we never were, so, my advice is to try not to make the time we have a living purgatory if at all possible.

          • You might like this excerpt from Rand’s speech to the officers at Westpoint:

            Since I am a fiction writer, let us start with a short short story. Suppose that you are an astronaut whose spaceship gets out of control and crashes on an unknown planet. When you regain consciousness and find that you are not hurt badly, the first three questions in your mind would be: Where am I? How can I discover it? What should I do?

            You see unfamiliar vegetation outside, and there is air to breathe; the sunlight seems paler than you remember it and colder. You turn to look at the sky, but stop. You are struck by a sudden feeling: if you don’t look, you won’t have to know that you are, perhaps, too far from the earth and no return is possible; so long as you don’t know it, you are free to believe what you wish — and you experience a foggy, pleasant, but somehow guilty, kind of hope.

            You turn to your instruments: they may be damaged, you don’t know how seriously. But you stop, struck by a sudden fear: how can you trust these instruments? How can you be sure that they won’t mislead you? How can you know whether they will work in a different world? You turn away from the instruments.

            Now you begin to wonder why you have no desire to do anything. It seems so much safer just to wait for something to turn up somehow; it is better, you tell yourself, not to rock the spaceship. Far in the distance, you see some sort of living creatures approaching; you don’t know whether they are human, but they walk on two feet. They, you decide, will tell you what to do.

            You are never heard from again.

  4. The Tories will bottle it as usual. They’ve had half a centiry of capitulation to leftist utopian stupidity, of which the EU is the ultimate symbol. Even the old guard of labour realised what a mess the EU would be when the Tories were in love with it. The sooner the party dies the better.

  5. The coronation of May was done for the express purpose of avoiding Brexit in anything but name, and she will be kept in place by her masters until the avoidance of Brexit has been fulfilled.

  6. The question was asked, it was an unequivocal answer – Leave.

    I sense no weakening, if anything the resolve of the British people is stiffened – Britain needs to get out of the Fourth Reich and now.

    All mother theresa maybe does and with her every sinew is to further the drive to a federal EUrope run by Berlin and her control freakery, its cultural Marxist devotion to all things deep state, her ambitions remain – unchanged.

    The tory patricians chose mrs may with canny foresight and the executive indeed the whole of Westminster is run in main part by remoaniacs, the establishment baulks at leaving their precious guaranteed gravy train and the corbynites, will do whatever they do – no one knows, not even jezza.

    The British political landscape becomes foggier by the minute where – soft Brexit means no Brexit and from a great height the popular mandate is dumped upon, “will of the people be damned” – the UK establishment proclaim it – insouciantly ref parris.

    Old men with no sense of irony, anti British bigots like Aaronovitch (one of Parris’s communist mates at ‘the Times’), laughing boy Branson and others of similar vintage tell it, that, the Leave generation is dying out, in saying it they may be correct but they should also know this, you can urinate on some of the people some of the time but you can’t urinate on them – in perpetuity.

  7. Amazing how there is almost no one in the political sphere that is for leaving the EU despite the majority of people voting out. Its almost as though the remain side is controlling the narrative by keeping people away from the arguments for leaving to psychologically manipulating people into equating Brexit with chaos and fear. Very much the pluralism of the ‘British values’ that they go on about but never actually define.

    The only thing that will save Brexit is honesty and understanding what exactly is going on but as the government and its supporting institutions lie on an hourly basis, there isnt much chance of that.

  8. Ah, you people are never happy. You get Brexit, you have a Tory government and yet you’re still moaning. It’s impossible to imagine how a state might be run in a way that you find entirely to your tastes. Perhaps if Parliament was abolished entirely and the country went back to being a monarchy unfettered by MPs with some form of custodial sentence for abortion and, of course, being favourable towards the EU? Would that placate you?

    • A conservative party that was actually worthy of the name would be a start. The only reason Labour has gone so far left is that the so called tories have invaded their territory!
      As for Brexit, I have seen teenagers being forced to get out of bed and go to school, look more enthusiastic and engaged.

      • This is just bizarre. You want them to LOOK more enthusiastic about a policy whose principal effect is uncertainty? Also, what ‘conservative’ policies do you expect to see?

        • I am starting a business, the outcome, as in life generally, is uncertain. Do you think my business will have more chance of success if I approach it with enthusiasm and positivity or if I mope around and tell my customers and competitors that I don’t really think I am going to succeed and actually would rather fail and go back to my old life of working for someone else?
          I don’t know, lets look at some conservative ideals – Free enterprise, property rights, fiscal responsibility, self reliance, national pride and social conservatism. How many of these ideals do the current Tory party exemplify?

          • The uncertainty that comes with Brexit threatens real financial harm, though, so if your business idea was to cause yourself lasting financial damage and ruin your relationship with important markets…

          • Only about 5% of businesses actively export to the EU but given the scare tactics from every quarter with a vested interest, that is hardly surprising.
            So what are the other 95% scared of?

          • I run a business and the thing that scares me to death is GDPR. That is what is destroying my industry and that is EU legislation.

    • What would placate me would be more direct democracy. For example, setting immigration levels and deciding who gets access to UK citizenship should be referendum issues and not within the purview of Parliament. This is a good starting point: http://harrogateagenda.org.uk/

  9. Thinking last night about two PMs who inherited power from previous PMs May & Brown who are surprisingly similar. Both of them on achieving their goal of becoming PM had no idea what they wanted to do after that singular goal.
    May now, aside from the work on Brexit is an empty vessel, and if it hadn’t been for the mechanics of Brexit everyone would see the Emperor has no clothes.

    Just think for a minute what is it that May stands for? What is it she wants to do with the country in her time in office? To me she is little more that a senior civil servant. As indoctrinated with public sector political correctness as the rest of the drones.

    Now she has lost her mentors Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill she is even more bereft of ideas, not that the ideas those two gave her were actually any good! May is at her best merely an administrator and a clever party would allow her the time to finalise Brexit, and then get rid of her before the next election, because if they don’t they will lose it – again.

    • They won the last election. Get angry with May all you want, and her performance was utterly abject, but she still defeated Corbyn who the country decided was too much of a reactionary and there were too many unanswered questions about his support for various unsavoury regimes and people.

      • They didn’t win the last election though, that’s why they entered into a coalition. May lost the election, and if it hadn’t been for Ruth Davidson’s incredible success in Scotland we would be talking about Prime Minister Jeremy now.
        If you’re going to credit anyone with the election it’s Ruth Davidson, Nicola Sturgeon for her blinkered intolerance and hatred for the English, and the DUP.

    • One difference between May and Brown is that Brown resisted the temptation to go to the country while the polling was good, May did not. Cameron agreed to the referendum to settle the question of Europe in his own party for once and for all. They are more divided now than ever. May holds a trump card in that no one in their right mind would want to preside over this utter mess. So she fronts up a legion of the back stabbing talentless lurkers, happy to watch her blunder on, biding thier time. It is a classic zugzwang.

    • “May…is an empty vessel”. That is the problem. A few years ago I followed the ‘Draft Investigatory Powers Bill’ Select Committee’s gathering of evidence and opinions from various interested parties – internet providers, BT, the police, security experts, for example – and they nearly all felt storing all internet activity was a costly and not very useful thing to do to combat crime/terrorism. A more targeted approach, filtering out unnecessary data with search algorithms, was deemed less expensive and more useful. At the end of the sessions Theresa May came along and was utterly underwhelming. I thought then – she is am ’empty vessel’ just spouting selected excerpts from the previous sessions, doubtless proffered by her advisers, to make the Home Office case for storing every single piece of UK internet activity.

      The trouble with ’empty vessels’ is that they tend to be filled with whatever advisers on hand see fit to pour in to them. One only has to look at the mostly socialist leaning/pro EU/Donald Trump hating people that Theresa May is/was surrounded by, and getting advice decanted into her ears from, to understand why she seems to show such poor judgement and have no enthusiasm and grand vision for what this country can be once free from the control of bureaucrats overseas in Brussels. To be honest, too, I think ‘senior civil servant’ is a little generous.

    • May would be better employed as a fence post, anything more ambitious might require decision making faculties, of which she is utterly bereft.

    • Brown deliberately set out to get it at any cost and then had absolutely no idea what to do with it once he got it.

      May, for all her faults, is not in the same mentally ill league as Brown.

  10. Spot on again Kathy! Tories need to make up their collective minds fast as to who or what they stand for as May stumbles on from one crisis to another.
    Brexit (or rather a non Brexit) will finish off this ever accommodating lady who is all things to all people.
    Bring on a vote of no confidence asap and lance the festering boil.

  11. I think she is going to cling on to the bitter end. This is what unprincipled people do. And since nobody in the Tory party has the guts to lead a rebellion, she will be there for the duration.

    But at some point, May has to come back to the British people and say “OK, we have completed our discussions, and this is our version of Brexit. So you can see exactly what it consists of, and what kind of a job we have done. Now, what do you think? And will you vote for it – and me?”

    She has just about enough intelligence to know that if she presents us with an unworkable mess, a botched and shoddy deal that does not equate to what the majority voted for, a dog’s breakfast that is clearly more to the benefit of the EU than to the UK, then she is not only toast, but she will have a place in history as one of the most reviled and disastrous PMs ever, who betrayed her country.

    This is why she is wriggling so badly. Her instincts to capitulate are in conflict with her ambition to carve out a place as a great, or at least a successful, or even just a mildly competent, PM. If she had a conscience, she would know which way she should turn. But when you have neither conscience nor principle, you are lost.

    Is it just our rotten luck to have such a nonentity in charge at such a vital time? Or has luck had nothing to do with it?

    • May was especially chosen for Brexit – I’ve said this before she is like an ‘anode’ and those who have boats will know what I mean – they’re sacrificial metal parts on an engine – that is May’s role in this farcical negotiations.

      • No she wasn’t. Boris was chosen for Brexit. But he messed it up. His own carelessness was as much to blame for why he isn’t PM now as anything else.

        • If they are labelling themselves as Tory then you know they are for remain.
          Shoving us into the maw of Brussels has made all our politicians wealthy. Why would they give it up now?

      • Good one. Although the “Utilisation Factor” of an anode is constant over time, the same might not be said for Mrs May.

  12. The Brexit politicians, of whom May is definitely not one, have no power in parliament and never have. They were able to gain some traction otherwise the government would look like they were ignoring the public but as most politicians are aware, the public have short memories and even shorter attention spans. They just need to wait it out and then come up with some fluff of a deal which will effectively leave us worse off than before in the detail but look good in headlines.

  13. its well known that he who wields the sword doesn’t become PM and frankly no one in the tory party has the spine to do it. The party comes before country. Corbyn will win the next GE and the tories will be out on their ears and deservedly so for betraying the people and Brexit. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can rise again.

  14. In the future, will everyone will Leader of UKIP for 15 minutes? No, in the present, everyone is being Leader of UKIP for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, the next Leader of the Conservative Party is shaping up to be Gavin Williamson. Yes, he is a Remainer. Of course he is a Remainer. As determined by the party itself, that is the minimum qualification for the job. Neither he nor his patroness, Theresa May, is any good at government. But look at how she became Prime Minister, and look at how he became Defence Secretary. She is not at bad politics, and nor is he.

    • Luckily, Corbyn hates the EU. Always has. Always will.
      He will take the uk out and over every cliff he can find, the very first time the French say “ non” to him giving EDF 3p in the pound for their shares and nationalising them.

      • You are getting there. Of course Labour will vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill, an Executive power grab that Tony Benn would have opposed to his last breath. But of course Labour wants to withdraw from the Single Market and the Customs Union. Jeremy Corbyn is more Eurosceptical than any member of the present Cabinet, and he has been so since before most of them were in public life at all.

    • How’s your Aljabeeba pension holding up these days, David?
      Are you getting extra for your continual fulminations against Brexit, UKIP, Trump and any one else vaguely right of Mrs Merkel?

  15. End of the Conservative party can’t come quick enough for me. Out of values, principles and ideas, it is propelled only by the need to hold on to power for the sake of power. It’s no wonder that the anti-EU faction remain silent, their real fear is that the Conservatives will be ejected as a Government first and foremost-Brexit is a distant second now the referendum is over and A50 is triggered.

    • What Conservative party?? ohh you mean those centre-left liberals who cant even be bothered to pretend to be anymore

      • They aren’t even liberals, they have no rudder. Ms May wanted that party to be a chameleon which changed its direction dependent on the back ground of the moment. They forgot about principles and simply wanted to be liked, they sought the ultimate in prestige, to be bereft of ideology and values-as maleable as wet clay. Thatcher knew it of those within the party-‘no backbone, weak’ was her commentary.

  16. The bottom line for the EU – and specifically Germany and France is money. It always has been and always will be. Without our contribution they will either have to up the amount they put in or cut the expenditure. They are not prepared to do either.

    Accordingly, we should stop trying to be nice and lay down our terms. This is what we want, this is what we are prepared to offer in return and it is now up to you to come up with what you are prepared to give in return. If we do not get a reasonable deal we are out with any payments whatsoever. Over to you mates.

    • … to which the EU will say “no”, stand up, leave the room, crashing the UK out of the EU immediately and burn. Great idea.

    • Yes, but I think it is far more than that. For the past 400 years it has been England and then the United Kingdom that has prevented first France and then Germany from dominating all Europe. They both resent this fact hugely. Now they have embarked upon dominating and subjugating all of Europe jointly and it was the United Kingdom which has stood in their way. They need to diminish the UK economically and politically to achieve their objective, and to ensure that the UK could not be a rallying point to oppose their evil vision.

    • Germany has a EURO 289 billion annual trade surplus much of it with the rest of the EU. The largest export surplus in World history bigger than China’s.

      The Bundesministerium fur Finance immediately collects about 40% of this surplus directly in taxes of all kinds on the earnings and profits made on these exports. It collects more as the money is respent in the German economy. So Germany can easily afford to pay the paltry 15 Billion Euros paid by the British. They have a tax surplus. Of course they don’t want to, but that is not the issue. It is also the case, that on current trends, with the export surplus continuing indefinitely, there is not the slightest chance the money owed to Germany for goods sold can actually be repaid. So remitting money to the EU is not a problem.

      The Germans fear the break up of the EU because that will destroy the EURO overnight and the huge German trade surplus would cause such a huge valuation of any new Deutsche Mark that many, perhaps most German exports would simply become unaffordable across the EU and across the World. Some 30% of German workers work in export industries. No politician wants that problem on their watch. Much better to put off the problem to a later date.

      Germany is giving the British a hard time because they are terrified that if the British make a success of BREXIT then the central argument that only EU membership brings prosperity breaks down and other countries will see the light and seek freedom.

      Deal or no deal the Germany will directly and through the EU wage economic warfare against the UK. It’s nothing personal, it’s just self preservation (with a bit of revenge for WWII).

      The UK must see this as the threat it is – go for a hard BREXIT and fight back. If the EU and or the EURO zone breaks up then German will want all the British business it can get. If the EU and the EURO zone gain strength then German fears will retreat and there will be no need to punish the British at great cost to themselves in lost trade.

      Half in – half out constrained by EU laws at every turn and fighting to sell products to a market that is unable or unwilling to buy them would be an act of such lunacy only the naive would consider it.

      (As far as France is concerned, I don’t think they matter. After German reunification,30 years of the ERM and the EURO and German industrial colonization of East Europe, the EU is very firmly the German Empire, not the Franco-German Empire.)

  17. After all these years, and David Cameron’s public humiliation still haven’t taught the government the fact that the EU doesn’t “do” negotiations.

      • Are you saying that Muslim immigrants will always be Muslim zealots, believing that homosexuals should be killed, Muslims leaving Islam should be killed, and all the other alleged attributes of the religion of peace, and that these wonderful, enriching people will not change to become happy, carefree, new Britons?
        What nasty fascist views!

  18. I remember listening to a local radio programme at the time of the referendum in London where the whole agenda was basically to stay in the EU. The most interesting thing was when they had a call in from the public and being London it was mostly the same self congratulatory stuff about being in the EU,but then a lorry driver rang in,it was wonderful,he basically said that being a driver,going around the country his feeling was that the country would vote leave. You could hear from the mocking tone of the presenter that he could not believe what the guy said, but what was telling was when he went around the UK he would see 10 leave boards for every 1 saying remain.
    That summed up the campaign entirely to me, The populous of the cities could not see the damage that the EU has wrought upon the country but live in the bubble. I do live in London,I come from Devon,I travel around the country and can see the slow downward spiral that we are in and is totally ignored by the Londoncentric mob.
    If you look at the leaders of the political parties…all are from the South East,none have had a long term job in business,all are full time politicos. The referendum was the first chance the population had of voting for change in decades,all other elections have had no real choice.
    Brexit is a chance to reinvigorate the entire political and economic future of the country and May and her little cabal do not have the wit,wisdom,vision and political nous to see it.

    • I never saw a Remain poster until about two days before the Referendum and that was only because I drove through a small town right alongside a notoriously left-wing university and presumably where its work-shy, never-hard-a-proper-job-in-the-real-economy, lecturers and their fellow travellers resided.
      I also never heard one positive reason for staying in the EU from Remain supporters only silly scare stories (since all proved hopelessly wrong) about leaving.
      Finally, let’s note that the pound is just 3c below the level it was at in February 2016 – four months before the Referendum and has risen 15c in the last year. It fell by around 20c between May 2015 and February 2016!

    • I saw one pro remain poster in my outer London Borough and made a particular point in leafleting his house with Vote Leave leaflets in the hope of demoralising him by showing how busy we were in the area.

      I should also point out that you should not tar all London with the same remainer brush. My outer London Borough was one of a few that voted Leave and did so by a margin of 56% to 44%.

  19. Brexshit always was, and remains (sic) a spectacularly stupid idea – at odds with the very clear global trend towards regional trading blocs, inevitably causing enormous problems for our critical exporting industries, stripping priceless rights from Brits to go and live and work in 27 other countries, and destined to be ruinously expensive.

    Why on earth would anyone seek to “save” such a heap of crap? It’s a mad right-wing dogma which is already visibly falling apart as soon as it comes into contact with the realities of the 21st century. If something is that useless, that expensive and that impractical, only idiots would refuse to do the sensible thing, and pull the plug.

        • Sadly I continued to read and discovered that bobworth has nothing interesting to say. He repeats tired old propaganda that nobody capable of thinking for themselves believes. It’s a shame really. I would like to read a genuinely at least half way compelling argument for Remoaning. Surely, at least one of them must have one that bob could parrot.

    • You appear unaware that the Continental EU has an annual trade surplus over the UK now around £100 billion a year. The single market for goods, in which Germany and France excel, was completed in the 1990s. The single market for services, in which the UK excels, has never been completed. It is no coincidence that Germany and France are weak in services. And the right to go and live in 27 other countries only exists for those who can speak all languages of the EU, fluently. By calling a perfectly sensible decision “mad right-wing dogma”, namely a desire to be responsible for our own future, rather than entrusting it to people who do not have the interests of the UK at heart, and who demonstrate an increasingly anti-democratic stance, you show that you are, at heart, an anti-democrat.

    • You seemed to have ‘missed’ the fact that the EU has ‘evolved’ from a ‘regional trading bloc’ into a nascent and undemocratic superstate and that momentum is continuing.

      • I think ‘undemocratic’ is putting it politely. I would say we’re at the point of ‘soft-dictatorship’, and getting more totalitarian by the day.

  20. Well reasoned article. May is indeed the problem..but surely there is enough common sense left in the tories to see that every minute she stays, the chances of winning another election decline.

    And that is against a diehard commie lunatic, who can’t wait to ruin the country.

    May must Go.

  21. “That’s why they (Davis, Gove and Johnson in particular) have no choice but to force a vote of no confidence in Mrs May and choose a candidate prepared to set out a negotiating stall for a hard Brexit and be ready to walk away from the EU in March next year.”

    And who the hell in the current Tory party is genuinely willing to do that? Boris Johnson is a posturing buffoon, David Davis a narcissist and Michael Gove appears to be made of cardboard given the way he instantly folds under any attack from the left or the right.

    Seriously Kathy, who the hell have you got left?

  22. A major part of the problem is the Civil Service and the inertia of our “expert” negotiators. The majority of those involved seem to want to remain in the EU, which not only makes lots of extra jobs in the service enforcing more red tape, but also offers the possibility of very highly paid jobs in Brussels.
    Civil Servants dislike any change to the status quo and Ministers have a major task on their hands if they wish to make any significant change.

    • I believe that EU membership has transformed senior British Civil Servants into the real political masters in the UK.

      The phrase “Yes Minister, but that’s illegal under EU law.” Is used thousands of times a day from your parish council all the way to cabinet. It is the Golden goose that keeps laying for the Civil Service.

      They remember the days when they had to do as they were told and they will fight as hard as possible to keep their undemocratic power.

      • It also saves politicians from taking any responsibility, they simply blame the EU for a particular problem. The EU also saves them from making decisions, given enough time, the EU will make it for them.
        Local Councils are much the same, although mine seems to rely more on Health and Safety for doing (or not doing) something.

    • Mrs T. claimed the continentals tricked her into signing the Single European Act.
      She was only partially correct.
      “Our’ civil servants are no longer ours, they serve the EU as well as themselves.

      • I just wonder at times how many of Boris’ ‘mistakes’ are as a result of deliberately poor briefing by his Civil Servants who would like him to be replaced by someone who doesn’t want to get involved in policy matters which, in their view, are ‘best left to the experts’.
        One also wonders which Civil Servants advised on the continued use of Carillion as a contractor and why?

  23. May is hopelessly out of her depth and displays a stubborn stupidity borne our of a desire to cling on to power at any cost.

  24. I want Brexit as much as anybody ,but the problem with May is she is bad for the country even without Brexit. Some of her policy pronouncements are bizarre ,so politically correct and why she allows the Mayor of London to keep putting Britain and Brexiteers down I really don’t know. Its like she is paralysed to take the fight to anyone. She needs to slap him down and remind him he is London not the UK..The Conservatives are finished as far as I’m concerned and I doubt I will ever vote again in any election.

  25. Excellent article. Mrs May has to go. She is a liability to the UK.

    Scruton, if you have quoted him correctly is wrong about Germany and only half right about France.

    France was indeed traumatized by its wars with Germany and even more traumatized and humiliated by being rescued twice by the English speaking world and sees political integration with Germany as the only way to prevent a further war and further humiliation.

    The French bitterly regret allowing the EEC to expand from 6 nations. Until then, they were able to influence Germany as they wished. When the UK joined the EEC, in France’s view, “the ignorant and stupid British, believing as they do in free trade, and ignorantly trampling of the feelings and interests of France joined with Germany to expand the EEC”. This threatened to weaken the French-German partnership to the point where the primary French interest of avoiding another war with Germany was endangered.

    The French invented the idea of the EURO (preceded by the ERM) because they wanted to create a Europe of concentric circles. An inner circle much like the EEC6, joined by a single currency and with close political union and an outer circle of countries that do not want a currency union or the political union that goes with it. The EURO was designed by France specifically to exclude the British from the EU inner circle to allow their eventual political merger with Germany.

    Germany’s motivation for the EU and the EURO is entirely different. Germany lost two world wars. Despite claims, for the great majority of Germans, privately there is not the slightest regret for those wars or the crimes they committed. They only regret defeat. Because they despise the British, they do not blame the British at all for their defeat.They blame the USA and in particular they recognize the superior industrial might of the USA was the cause of both defeats.

    For Germany, the purpose of the EU is to create a United States of Europe, that is actually larger than the USA in population and in industrial production so that a defeat of Germany can never recur.

    The Germans wanted the EURO because the regular upwards revaluations of the DM caused a cold shower on its export industries that employ 30% of German workers. 70% of German exports go to the rest of the EU so by creating the EURO nearly 70% of exports are fully shielded from upwards revaluations and the weaker economies of the EURO zone dilute its value compared to the USD and the JPY, so the remaining 30% of German exports are also significantly protected from revaluations.

    This policy has been massively successful for German exporters, but its very success threatens the EURO because of the huge trade imbalance between Germany and the rest of the EU. One thing is certain, if the EU collapses, as it might, the EURO will disappear virtually over night resulting in thirty years of revaluations in one swoop causing a massive economic problem in Germany. So protecting the EU, protects the EURO and protects the German economy. It has absolutely nothing to do with feelings of guilt about two World wars.

    The problem for the UK, is that most sensible British people do not see the USA as a threat, they see it as a friend and have no wish to join with Germany to rival the USA. This fact alone is a good enough reason it was a huge mistake to join the EEC in the first place.

  26. Yep. Agreed. But that’s why it won’t happen. Just like Brown’s lot did, they will all follow May onto the rocks and expect us all to vote for them again.

    Which ain’t gonna happen. I suspect that out in the shires when the next GE comes along that the Tory vote will have collapsed. I’ll certainly never vote for them again, not while it exists in the current form.

      • no one (or anyone non mainstream whose entire party is 4 square behind brexit) is better than signalling to the useless Elite that they can shaft us and get away with it, wasted vote perhaps but who cares any longer this is no longer a democracy anyway

        if that brings corbyn so be it, he will be meaningless in the EU superstate by 2025 anyway

  27. Part of the problem is that time and again people use the word “Brexit” as if the listeners know what they mean. The reality is that nobody knows what “Brexit” means in terms of the likely or preferred outcome for a post-EU Britain, there is no universal agreed view. It has never been the subject of a vote, and there are as many views as there are people saying “Brexit”. As a matter of techincal practicality, the number of people who would be happy to walk away with no deal and thus face what is termed by many as a very Hard Brexit is almost certainly a minority. If you start with 52% voting leave, the suggestion that near 100% of them would be happy with no deal despite that not being part of the sell of any of the campaigns is farcical.

    It’s no good pointing to the Lancaster House speech because that was far too thin, and more an unrealistic wish list than a genuine vision of the future of the UK – certainly not an endorsement of ‘no deal’.

    We are experiencing via a long-term slow-burning political crisis why referendums don’t really work in long-established Parliamentary democracies.

    • Brexit is only Brexit when sovereignty returns to the Crown.
      Brenda broke her coronation oath signing four bills into law, which ceded the sovereignty she swore to protect and preserve, to Brussels.

    • When it comes to alteration in our constitutional arrangements which determine how and by whom we are governed, which must by definition include joining or leaving the EU, then a referendum is the only means by which the consent of those being governed can be determined. Without such consent being obtained any system of government cannot claim to have democratic legitimacy, which is precisely where successive governments have gone wrong on the EU question. Parliament only ever held the sovereignty of the nation in trust and cannot expect to give it away without consent from the true owners. Brexit was always an inevitability without that.

    • Tripe! Brexit means leaving the EU and the EU ceasing to have any sovereignty over Britain. Any deal which cedes any sovereignty to the EU is not leaving.

      All this tripe about no-one knows what Brexit means is just a Remain spanner thrown into the works.

  28. What Nigel Farage realised is that the potential option – of staying in the EU under all current terms – does, in fact exist. Both Lord Kerr and the recent letter from Matrix Chambers to the PM “helpfully” pointed out that the PM could invoke Article 49 and reverse Article 50 – so long as it took place before March 29 2019. This is the remainder plan – and, I suspect Nigel Farage’s nightmare:
    1) Generate a confusing set of negotiations and discussions. Continue to appear on the backfoot with the EU.
    2) Limit any positive communications, reduce public confidence in its potential success and rehabilitate project fear (the Chancellor’s Mansion house speech and the recent Mayoral assessments for example).
    3) When the HoC gets a vote on the deal – any deal – it will reject it because there are always going to be clear negatives to point to.
    4) Given this impasse, Theresa May “could” call a second Referendum on the basis that, if the country “agrees” with the HoC that the deal is not sufficient, then, dependent on the outcome, she would be prepared to invoke Article 49.
    This describes the approach that people like Philip Hammond have been following and, given that the PM had already received legal advice re Article 49/50 but chose not to reveal it (hence Martix Chambers publishing their opinion) the backdrop to what the entire Cabinet have been aware of.
    Those in favour of Brexit ( Davis, Johnson, Gove etc.) have been fighting against this for months as they realise that the lack of a commons majority for Brexit has made the decision for a meaningful vote and the removal leaving date on the document key prerequisites for the potential invoking of Article 49.
    I suspect that the “Tory rebels” are completely aware of this too and Lord Hesseltine’s suggestion that a Corbyn government was preferable is predicated on the view that if the Labour party gained power before March 2019, Corbyn would, indeed unilaterally invoke Article 49 using the obvious argument that it has been “…a shambolic negotiation by a team of incompetents – we will start again”.
    This gives the PM both a position of strength and of weakness. She gets to stay in power because she will have neither the pro Brexit team against her (the risk of an election and Corbyn invoking Article 49) or the pro remain tories (who think that the option of a second referendum and article 49 can come before March 2019 but they get to stay in power).
    Her biggest risk, of course, is that, there is a second referendum and the vote to leave increases. However, were that to happen, then it would almost certainly prompt a GE. This, I suspect, is why Nigel Farage is highlighting it now. He WANTS No. 10 to RULE OUT a second Referendum or, if not, to at least mobilise pro leave forces now to win any potential second vote.
    She therefore has only one option politically – to produce as soft a Brexit as possible, try and win a vote in the HoC and leave in 2019 with the hope that by 2022 the economy will be in good enough shape to help the conservative hold on. This explains a cabinet full of Remainers, a lack of potential leadership challengers being promoted recently and all attempts to downplay any further domestic political volatility by seeking to appease lobby groups based around the environment, students, NHS expenditure etc.

      • Agreed. However, after March 29 2019, Article 49 is not applicable and any attempt to reverse the process could not take place under current terms and conditions. Matrix Chambers make the point in their letter to the PM that a revocation of Article 50 can be done by the UK executive unilaterally (using Article 49) without consulting the other 27 – and with existing conditions preserved – but only up until that date. After March 29 2019, any rejoining would require both agreement by the 27 and new terms and conditions (Euro? Schengen? no rebate?). This is why they remain side are pushing for the meaningful vote in the Autumn with sufficient time to potentially prompt a second Referendum. Watch David Davis drag things out until March 28th…

        • Fortunately using Article 49 can only be laid at the door of the executive – at least Article 50 had the figleaf of shared responsibility by the HoC. Were she to use that option, there would be no way for May to disguise the fact or share the blame.

          • – hence my point that it could still be used as the basis for a second referendum by the Executive wanting to try and engineer Remain in the wake of a HoC vote and the “emergence” of popular demands for a “rethink” or an option for a Labour Government should it appear before then. Just imagine – “…vote Labour and we will stop this madness (by invoking Article 49) ” as an Autumn 2018 election/manifesto slogan should the government lose a vote of confidence and a GE emerge. Labour could claim it was a mandated move by people voting for them (should they win) and invoke it. Tactical voting by Lib Dems and Remainers Labour moderates all on board with Momentum – doesn’t bear thinking about for the Conservatives right now does it?

          • May will still just about scrape through, so it’ll all have been a complete waste of time. I simply don’t understand why the Government doesn’t choose to be feted instead of despised though, but it’s their choice to make.

          • For the same reason that they pander to the talking points from the BBC, The Guardian and social media – they have no innate sense of what being a Conservative means anymore. CCO lives in a world of focus groups and Social Media”likes”. No. 10 is run by Gavin Barwell who would appear to be someone who spends most of his time wanting people to like him.

  29. It was UKIP that won us the referendum. Since then the party has been neutralised. The problem with this is that there is now no banner for Leavers to rally round. Leave voters could wait in vain for Conservative Leavers to oust May. One possible answer, it seems to me, would be for voters who support Leave to assure the government that they will certainly not vote Conservative in the next election if a strict Brexit is not achieved, rather they will vote for a worthy alternative candidate or no one. An online register could be set up for this purpose, but the technicalities are way above my IT competence. Anyone interested?

  30. The more Parris pushes his BS, the greater the chance of a very nasty backlash that will sweep the current establishment from power.
    We will almost certainly bimble our way into a no deal scenario if only because there is not the remotest chance of all 27 EU states agreeing to a deal (other than one which would be political death in Britain). We will therefore avoid all the current stuff proposed by May in her Florence speech and subsequent increases since. We will manage, but the great thing to look forward to is the public reaction to the efforts by the establishment & Parris to subvert the referendum vote and that in Parliament.

  31. A clear battle line has been drawn between the Hydra of the metropolitan establishment and the British electorate. A majority in both houses of parliament oppose Brexit who, if they cannot rescind it, want a soft divorce that leaves the door ajar to rejoin. The forces opposed to Brexit have a monopoly of executive power and are organised to fight the people they nominally represent. They are the source of the sickness in our democracy that has birthed the populism – aka expression of popular wisdom – they so hate and fear.

    But Parris leaves something important out: if Brexit has inspired the rage of Remainers, it will be nothing compared to the fury of the Leave majority if they are cheated. A majority voted for Brexit for specific, fundamental reasons: regaining national sovereignty, getting control of immigration, rejection of EU federalism. In the abstract, there was also the visceral antipathy towards political Europe that is part of Britain’s historic DNA. British independence is a virtue in itself to the British people if not to its transnationalised establishment.

    None of this has changed since the referendum. Kelly is right that May has been a catastrophically bad prime minister and leader of the Tory party. She may be right that Remainers have a step by step plan to sabotage Brexit that is unfolding behind the scenes. There is precedent. Harold Wilson’s renegotiation of EEC membership in 1975 was a fraud from start to finish. But this is not 1975 and the British electorate know now where the EU is headed and how willing Remainers are to sacrifice British independence to Brussels’ superstate fantasies.

    May is weak which is why she gives in to Brussels. But her weakness is also a weapon that enables Boris and Gove to bind her to her Brexit promises under threat of resignation. There were strategic reasons that seemed good at the time for not sacking after her election defeat and we are stuck with her whether that decision was right or wrong. The worst thing Leavers can do now is to give in to pessimism as Brexit moves to the Lords for a preordained bashing from the clapped out political jobsworths who can’t wait for the spotlight to swing their way.

    • Lots in here, and much of it is how I see it from over here. Just a couple comments, you gentlemen and ladies of Brexit, are one of the groups that gave us the courage to elect Trump, he was not my candidate, and yet now I will happily say he is our best president since Reagan, and perhaps Coolidge. You helped to give us that courage, and now, if you could find a leader to learn the lessons he teaches (They are not new, they are in large part the fearlessness that built our countries, and go back to Alfred at least).

      But your problem is the same as ours, you too have swamp in Westminster, and it needs draining. I have confidence that you will find a way, not least because you always have.

      The reeds remember, and so do we, and so do you. In the end, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well, if we do our duty.

      “At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
      Your rights were won at Runnymede!
      No freeman shall be fined or bound,
      Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
      Except by lawful judgment found
      And passed upon him by his peers.
      Forget not, after all these years,
      The Charter Signed at Runnymede.”

      And still when Mob or Monarch lays
      Too rude a hand on English ways,
      The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
      Across the reeds at Runnymede.
      And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
      And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
      Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
      Their warning down from Runnymede!

        • It was built on courage, optimism and self-belief, all characteristics missing from too large a part of today’s establishment.

      • Reminds me when Cameron was celebrating a Magna Carta anniversary a few years back.
        Simultaneously, he was subjecting UK citizens to arrest by foreign powers on completely unspecified charges – totally against Magna Carta – under the
        European Arrest Warrant.

        • Yep. I was taking an extension course from UCL on the Charter at the time. It got a little pear shaped when (mostly) American conservatives pointed that out, rather loudly and rudely as is our wont. The instructors were not overly amused, and the British students were rather WTH are those Yanks on about.

          Of course, the Charter itself has long been repealed – there, here it underlies the law.

          • Not really sure it was ever entirely ‘repealed’ by Parliament? Some parts may have been amended on the grounds that they are no longer relevant but, I understand that the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights remain extant in that they were relevant to the Crown and created before any Parliament was ever formed, so Parlaiment has no jurisdiction to repeal?

            Someone more legally qualified can probably do a better job on my understanding of the law?

          • According to Bury St. Edmund’s Magna Carta 800 Partnership of the 63 clauses these remain. Are these important? Of course. But it seems to me that many of them have been traduced as well.

            Magna Carta clause 39.
            No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, be stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his position in any other way, nor will we act or send against him, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

            Magna Carta clause 40.
            To no one will we sell, to no one refuse or delay right or justice

            Magna Carta clause 1.
            The English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights in full and its liberties unimpaired.

            and

            Magna Carta clause 13.
            The city of London shall have all its ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water; all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.

            Parliament owes its origins to the Anglo-Saxon Witanagemot, someplace between Alfred the Great and the Conquest, nothing but the King/Queen is older, and not much at that. True the Commons were not represented until de Montfort, and that was experimental, but I think the Charter was passed in one of the sessions.

            One could make the case that it was revoked by the Act of Supremacy (1534) which made Henry the Head of the Church, requiring a personal oath for all officials to him as head of the church, the penalty for violation being not heresy but treason.

            In any case its great proponent was Sir Edward Coke, especially in his role as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, which authoritatively placed the King again under the law, leading to Sir William Blackstone in the eighteenth century, whose Commentaries were the second best selling book in the nascent United States in the period before the revolution, and scarcely less important in British (now) law.

            Memory says that the Bill of Rights has been mostly explicitly repealed, parts certainly have, or you (as a protestant, anyway) could walk down to the shop, and buy any weapon you desired.

            I don’t see how any law can be permanent as long as one Parliament can not bind any other. That makes anything even approaching the American Constitution simply impossible. For all is continually in play.

    • +1’d because you’re right that we need to allow disinfectant sunlight to shine on the workings of the Lords.

  32. The documentation on
    Reject-the-Eu.co.uk

    Is worth reading…it appears to show the EEC was set up in 1941 to ensure complete German domination of Europe…

    The ECJ was set up a little later with the same aim…which is why in their rulings the judges must always “further the aims of the EU”…ie German domination of Europe…

    • Essentially you’re correct.
      However “Germany” must be taken as a region rather than a country & those behind
      the EU find Germany strategically useful.
      Just as they pretend there is some kind of government in Brussels.
      Ordinary German citizens don’t get much benefit from EU membership, but obviously
      German/international hyper capitalists do.

    • Jezza has played a blinder on Brexit. No one knows what Labour party policy is, and no one cares. Or alternatively it is whatever you want it to be.

      • No, you’re wrong there.

        Jeremy has been very clear that Labour will respect the result of the referendum.

        • I would venture to suggest that, were there to be a GE before March 2019 (unlikely given the fixed term parliament act and Turkeys not voting for Christmas but possible in the face of a HoC defeat over the final deal) then Mr. Corbyn would change his stance. The argument that Labour could/would make is that they would (reluctantly, of course) invoke Article 49 in order to “pause things” so as not to be “forced” to leave Europe under the “catastrophic” deal proposed by the current Government and rejected by the HoC as not fit for purpose (assuming that it had been) or “crashing out”. Labour would propose re- entering discussions with the EU on Labour terms and the inconvenient fact that there would then no longer be an option to ever leave again would be lost in the noise and nonsense of a General Election. Throw in the tactical voters from the Lib Dems and marginal remainers in Tory marginals and the result is 5 years of Labour Government with no Brexit,

      • Her name is Ms Emily Thornberry.

        It’s the 21st Century, women don’t take their husband’s names any more.

        • It can’t be the 21stC when we still have a feudal hangover called the House of Lord’s as part of our national parliament. Until that goes the correct title for Lady Nugee is, err, Lady Nugee.

  33. The real worry is that it is not just the Conservative Party that is at risk from a betrayed Brexit but trust in, and even acceptance of, the whole political system of so-called democracy in the UK. If a free and fair vote, legally conducted following an Act of Parliament, the result of which the government of the day publicly promised during the campaign to respect and enact, is subverted, then why should anyone trust or partake in the political process again? Having exposed democracy as a complete sham, the price this previously stable country might have to pay could prove a Pyrrhic victory for those who sought to undermine the expressed wish of the electorate. Peaceful politics and respect for the law of the land could end up like queueing, (something else for which we used to be famous), a fond but faded memory.

    • The referendum was, in legal terms, only advisory. (Cameron’s ill-advised leaflet was not a legal document.) Parliament cannot legally be bound by any referendum.

      Parliament has the right to say to those who voted Brexit, “Thank you for your advice, but in the national interests we cannot proceed with Brexit and must remain a full member of the EU (or at least stay in the Customs Union and Single Market).

          • Malcom is right, you do have a problem understanding simple words. He never admitted what you manipulatively claimed he did. Unable to defend yourself you deflect to mutilating the conversation into an irrelevant patronising, polarising, feminist power struggle between the sexes. Not strong, but pathetically weak. How very sad for you.

      • Will somebody tell me: what’s all this about the Florida Board of Professional Engineers?

        (I’ll give you a few minutes to reply before I block you again.)

      • In the Miller case the pro-EU judges found that in a document produced by a lawyer working in the HoC library had advised that the referendum was ‘advisory’. The judges therefore decided that it was advisory only. This was not picked up by any of the politicians and the debate was had on the assumption that it was for the people to decide and the politicians promised to act on the result. For judges to negate this is not democratic or reasonable.

      • In short,’we’re up here, you’re down there, we know best, do as you’re told’.
        Spot the democratic deficit?

    • I think you over estimate the will and attention span of the general public.
      If it is fudged or reversed, there may be a few demonstrations but given the now stasi type surveillance culture we now live in and the willingness of certain groups to destroy those with whom they do not agree with impunity, the public will just shut up and put up until the next time they can anonymously express themselves without fear of reprisal. Which for the record will be never.
      Unfortunately a society that will not act because they have too much to lose, will invariably lose everything in the end.

      • I have more faith in the spirit of the British public than you appear to have. The silent majority put up with a lot it’s true, but I do believe that there is a limit to their patience. Having waited for 40 years for the chance to democratically object to the creeping erosion of national sovereignty I cannot think that they will lightly see their wishes ignored. Obduracy is the defining characteristic of the British and I can’t believe it could have been erased in one generation. If I am wrong then, frankly, the nation and its sovereignty are not worth saving, which would be tragic.

        • One generation? This has been a work in progress since the 50s. The Eu referendum was probably a last gasp from those that have some knowledge of the past, families and have not been made to feel ashamed of their country and who they are.
          The EU ref and Trump were just minor skirmishes in a cultural war that is being won by the collectivists. The far left can almost taste their time is coming having put all that hard work in dividing, isolating and socially engineering us to accept the yoke!
          Don’t under estimate the power of bread and circuses; welfare, sky tv and hands off drug laws at one end, financial responsibility at the other.
          Who, apart from political activists and students, who are mainly on the left, are going to bother risking anything to protest.

          • Your knee jerk defence and use of the word anger is also bizarre and probably says more about you than my comment did about me.

          • I’ve never taken anything stronger than aspirin, but if people want to get off their heads, fine. Legalise, tax, regulate.

          • You forgot pick up the pieces at the lower end of society and socialise the damage to the rest of us.
            Follow the money, big business and more government is who will benefit so as middle and upper class students can experiment with drugs with little effect to there gilded lifestyles. Meanwhile the lower classes destroy themselves on cocktails of cheap drugs and alcohol.
            You are aware that the British almost destroyed the Chinese with cheap, plentiful drugs and one of the biggest causes of death among the white working class in the US is opiate abuse.

        • I am trying to point out that we are at the mercy of the establishment and the politicians doing what we want them to do.
          I really cannot see a way out of our predicament. Sorry.

          • Well we can at least punish the traitors by voting them out. If you want more of something, vote for it. If you want less of it, vote it out.

          • By definition if you vote someone out, you get the other guy. As much as the tories are useless the other guy is a menace.
            Unfortunately we are a two party state so the only thing that can really be done is to infiltrate the tory party with conservatives. Now that’s a phrase I never thought I would have to use!

          • The Tories are not useless – they are actively and cynically trying to blackmail and betray their voters. If they persist I’m going to punish them, simple as that. They don’t have to do what they’re doing, they are the ones who will ensure a Corbyn victory. If they don’t want to lose their seats and gain a Corbyn victory, they can try not being traitors. Just a suggestion.

    • Barring truly remarkable turn around, the regulatory alignment garbage was my red line. No-one to vote for any more, not playing the game. May, Corbyn, Cable, who really cares? We never get a choice on fiat currency or central banking or nationalised health and education, everyone always runs deficit finance and the retirement stuff is all a massive Ponzi scheme. It’s over for conventional politics and soon it will be all over for conventional economics. Immediacy bias makes most people think that deficit run, fiat economies are normal but they mark the end stage of an economic epoch. None of the politicians will be able to save anything. What comes next after massive financial dislocation is truly chilling. Brexit was arguably the last exit. We’ve passed it. Don’t want to sound all “Private Frazer” but…..

    • If they can’t treat the British voter and democracy with a modicum of respect, then let’s at least vote the Conservatives out. That’s the only language they understand. The choice is between maniacs and traitors, but the traitors are traducing our trust deliberately and must be punished.

      • It will be interesting to see if those on the Conservative benches who wish us to remain in the EU or parts of it are so wedded to that idea, and so determined to obstruct Brexit, that they will be prepared to usher in a Corbyn government, which in terms of national damage would dwarf even the absurd claims that they make for Brexit, by rebelling over a proper exit. That is the only possible outcome of a failure to deliver what the electorate clearly demanded in the referendum and I don’t for one moment believe that they are so stupid that they can’t understand that. If they do indeed pursue that course of action I can only conclude that it is their way of punishing the nation for voting as it did in 2016, which makes them no better than the EU that they love so much which is trying in the negotiations to do the same. I am sorry for my own MP and others who have supported leaving the EU properly, but I will find it difficult to vote Conservative now whatever happens because the true colours of the modern parliamentary party has been exposed in all this, and it isn’t what I call Tory. Unless the rebels in the party come to heel and support their own government this year could the end of an ancient and once proud political party.

  34. I have tried hard to keep faith with Mrs Mays Conservative party. However I have reluctantly come to the conclusion Mrs May has no intention of honouring the result of the Brexit referendum in any meaningful manner.
    Under the leadership of John Major, David Cameron and now Theresa May, the Conservative party has morphed into a political party which I no longer recognise or identify with as being Conservative.
    .
    Jeremy Corbyns/John Mc Donnells Marxist inspired Labour party is to be abhorred, as is Vince Cables pitiful little party. UKIP by incompetence or indeed deliberate sabotage has imploded.

    I have always tried to use my vote in a responsible manner. Not just for myself but what I perceived to be in the best interests of all of society
    I fear my vote has been rendered as worthless by all political party’s whatever colour rosette they sport, be it Blue/red or /yellow’ as they have gleefully gift wrapped Britain and its people in the flag of subservience to their beloved EU.

    Thus I have no intention of wasting my time or energy in any future GE’s ‘or fake referenda.
    The ballot box has become little more than a theatrical prop for low grade political parties to facillitate their own venal agenda.

  35. Hear, hear. Where do I vote for Kathy Gyngell? Sign me up now. I’m positively livid with May’s so called Tories. I’ll stand with anyone that can overturn what is rapidly becoming a Brexit “aquis” of humiliation.

    • No. But perhaps we can scare them? By voting UKIP, if they put up candidates in local elections, or at least by not voting Tory in local elections. Save your Tory vote until we have a Tory worth voting for, or at least until the next general election. Hopefully by then appeaser Theresa will be gone. Not sure about Williamson mind, looks like a wrong ‘un to me.

      • You can’t trust Gove further than you can throw the misshapen little elf. Davis has a walnut for a brain and Johnson is so privileged he thinks the world is his.

  36. There is no prospect of Boris, Gove and Davies coming to an arrangement between themselves. All politicians with any ambition, first want to sink their rivals below the water line. Someone has to seize power, and it won’t be any of them. Sounds like Mr Defence Secy is the man positioning himself for that -and he looks entirely untrustworthy.
    They’ll fritter away the next two or three years, and get some hopelessly shambolic exit, proibably exit in name only.
    JR-M is stuck playing Marquis of Queensberry rules, and after-you-Sir, which he should abandon and get stuck in. He spent time as an investment banker, he should heave learned some of their tricks.

  37. Let’s see now – what have we got ?

    Well, first off we have elected members of the British Parliament and British government – openly colluding, collaborating and scheming with an overseas foreign power to negate the democratic decision made by their own British people.

    In what way is this NOT treason ? In what way is this NOT betrayal ?

    Secondly, wwe have elected government MPs and Cabinet ministers deliberately allowing this pretend Brexit to continue – and knowing full well they are.

    In what way is this NOT cowardice ? In what way is this NOT utter betrayal ?

    Britain has come a long way these past thousnd years – I guess we had a good innings.

    But knowing how far we’ve sunk – morally, spiritually, ethically – perhaps it is better to give up the ghost and say goodbye to this once bejeweled and sceptred isle.

    • Who’s this ‘we’? You are talking about members of Parliament, not the public. Giving up the ghost makes us like them, and we aren’t.

  38. Tories are banking on Corbyn continuing to be unelectable so any sort of decent manifesto at the next GE will deliver a Tory win of sorts. A proper Tory one would return a clear working majority and for most, that’s enough. They’ll sell us out to the softest Brexit possible, in effect Brexit In Name Only because they calculate they can just get away with it. I hope they’re mistaken…

  39. I often fail to understand many Brexiteers.

    I am a UKIP member. It was obvious to me and most fellow UKIPpers that the country would not, in any circumstances, be allowed to leave the EU.

    This was obvious to me immediately after 23 June 2016.

    It was clear from Day One. It was clear from the Conservatives choosing May. It has been clear since in that no-one in the ‘Conservative’ government ever actually speaks up for Brexit. None of them describe any sort of vision, any vision of a brighter future. No vision of how Britons would benefit by making their own rules; by deciding issues in a General Election (when was a General Election last a forum for people to decide the way they would like the country to go?).

    It was also clear to anyone except a pinhead that the 2017 General Election was called to pass the mandate from the people (in the referendum) to the ‘Conservatives’ to do whatever they wanted.

    I helped raise over £1,000 for my UKIP branch to fight the election in which, to be blunt, we were walked upon.

    And so we end up with a Commons which is approx. 70% Remain. A Cabinet which is 72% Remain.

    Sorry to be dismissive of many of the people posting here. If you want Brexit, then why did you vote Remainers into parliament?

    Until people wake up, we have no hope of majority Leave opinion prevailing. Remainers are in power, they control the institutions, the banks, the Civil Service and the media.

    You have to vote for Leave candidates and Leave parties. If you vote for Remainers then you are the architect of your own misfortune. Let’s hope it’s not too late to rectify.

      • You may say that we are nutters. It wasn’t us, however, that lied to you or let you down. It was the people you disparage as ‘nutters’ that warned you about May. That kept the fight going. That do our best to keep the fight going in the face of severe disparagement.
        Who are the real nutters?

        • The nutters didn’t warn me about May.
          You need 326 grown ups to form a government. Ukip struggle to find one.

          • Maybe the nutter was YOU.

            Any fool could have seen what May was – yet you voted for her. Unlike the good people of UKIP who tried to warn you

  40. Listening to the conversation yesterday at a gathering in one of our shires I was struck by the total assumption that we all wanted to leave and drop negotiations asap. No dissenting voices it was just a given.
    Mrs May had better take heed. The Tory party is on the verge of disintegrating and not before time unless it responds to it’s voters.
    The EU is making a huge mistake by showing how hostile it is to the people of this country.The same attitude as they are showing to the Visegrad group.
    The Western political class class has not learnt from the election of President Trump or the Brexit vote. I now think it is incapable of learning or modifying it’s behaviour.
    Normal behaviour from regimes on the verge of destruction by forces that none of us really understand but seem to be part of life.
    I feel sorry for Mrs May. She was the plan B and even that is beyond her .

    • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
      Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
      Body Snatchers (1993)
      The Invasion (I) (2007)

      • Very apt. See Takuan Seiyo’s essays on the very same films . On Brussels Journal and Gates of Vienna ithink.

  41. The reshuffle was not about propping May up as an end in itself, it was about putting Nick Timothy’s protege Williamson in an unassailable position to win the leadership contest. Iain Martin details it here: https://reaction.life/nick-timothy-propped-pm-weird-plot-make-gavin-williamson-tory-leader/

    They are quite literally playing petty internal politics while the country collapses around them. It took the country 17 years to forgive them when they did it to Major…this time I suspect the wound to the Conservatives will be fatal.

  42. Hear, hear!

    One minor point : in your eighth paragraph, should not the middling sentence read “Finally came Mrs May’s promise before Christmas to the Irish of full alignment ” rather than “Finally came Mrs May’s promise to the Irish of full alignment before Christmas”?

  43. The well-regarded article of a few days ago (referenced below by a reader) by Iain Martin on Reaction.life explains the tactics of the widely-criticised reshuffle – see it at:
    https://reaction.life/nick-timothy-propped-pm-weird-plot-make-gavin-williamson-tory-leader/

    What is needed is a complete change, bringing in new Ministers in the Foreign Office, Chancellorship and DEXEU who are clear in their aims, tough enough to stand up to the Juncker and Barnier lot, ready to walk away from negotiations and ready to drive a good bargain. Johnson, Hammond and Davis are not good enough.

    But as Iain Martin explains, the Theresa May aim is to keep herself in power and if toppled to ensure that Gavin Williamson, ex-Chief Whip and now Defence Secretary, has a head-start in any contest. Good MPs who should be in the running for Leader (Dominic Raab, Johnny Mercer, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Rory Stewart, and Jesse Norman) are not being allowed into the Cabinet. So for personal political survival reasons we have a poor government led by a Prime Minister who needs to make way for a better and more effective leader.

  44. We will not leave the EU unless May is replaced. It really is that simple.

    The woman is utterly out of her depth and and is one of the weakest tory politicians of her generation.

Comments are closed.