More bad news on Brexit. The jig is up, my friends, and as Peter Hitchens said last week, it is not going to happen.

Dominic Cummings, the former campaign director of Vote Leave, explains the Brexit quagmire in an open letter to Tory MPs and donors here.


Helpfully, Guido Fawkes summarises it here.

The seven truth bombs are:

1. Number 10 has botched the Article 50 process and made no serious preparations to leave the EU

2. The government’s promises on Ireland have made the negotiation impossible

3. None of the customs options on the table cuts it

4. Brexiter Tories have chickened out of forcing May to pursue a proper Brexit

Cummings sums it up thus: ‘Eurosceptics are full of sh*t and threats they don’t deliver, they say in No 10, and on this at least they have a point.’

5. The way things are going, Brexit is not going to mean Brexit

6. That is only going to help Corbyn become PM

Cummings: ‘Ask yourselves: what happens when the country sees you’ve simultaneously (a) ‘handed over tens of billions for f**k all’, as they’ll say in focus groups, which the UK had no liability to pay, (b) failed to do anything about unskilled immigration, (c) persecuted the high-skilled immigrants, such as scientists, who the public wants you to be MORE welcoming to, and (d) failed to deliver on the nation’s Number One priority – funding for the NHS, which is about to have a very high-profile anniversary? And what happens if May staggers to 30 March 2019 and, as Barwell [Gavin Barwell, No 10 chief of staff] is floating with some of you, they then dig in to fight the 2022 campaign? . . . If you go into the 2022 campaign after five years of this and the contest is Tory promises versus Corbyn promises, you will be maximising the odds of Corbyn as PM.’

7. Brexiters have only themselves to blame.

Cummings again: ‘Yes, it’s true that May, Hammond, Heywood and Robbins are Remain and have screwed it up but you’re deluded if you think you’ll be able to blame the debacle just on them. Whitehall is better at the blame game than you are, officials are completely dominant in this government, ministers have chosen to put Heywood/Robbins in charge, and YOU will get most of the blame from the public. The sooner you internalise these facts and face reality, the better for the country and you.’

The Brutal Truth.

Needless to say ‘that sodding bus’ – that £350million for the NHS Vote Leave chose to drive their campaign with – has not been out of the news since. Cummings’s train wreck performance under Andrew Tyrie’s Treasury Select Committee grilling saw to that.

Matt Chorley is right: ‘The problem with dressing the extra money up as delivering on the bus/coach pledge is that Britain isn’t yet getting any money “back” from Brussels.’

That’s the Brutal Truth too.

85 COMMENTS

  1. This is the most depressing post for a long time even though many of us already knew that Brexit was dead and our government was duping us all along.
    The real question is who is pulling Mrs May’s strings and why are our MP’s not confronting that issue rather than attempting to delude us into thinking that a meaningful Brexit will actually happen.
    Perhaps even vote leave misled us? And why did Nigel Farage disappear when his alleged intention was realised? More going on here than simple bungling I believe.

    • I think that Farage disappeared because he was sick of the death threats and abuse. Who can blame him ,and I have to tell you that some of the abuse came from Tories who seemed to find it distasteful when he told the truth on immigration.

    • why did Nigel Farage disappear when his alleged intention was realised?

      Perhaps because his alleged intention was realised. He finished the job he set out to do, which was persuade the People to vote themselves out of the EU.

      More going on here than simple bungling I believe

      I think there can be little doubt of that. I believe a lot of strings are being pulled by Common Purpose – a very suspect organisation that seems to have infiltrated all layers of authority in the country, like dry rot in a house. The only solution is to ruthlessly cut it out, then burn it to ensure it cannot creep back.

      • I agree but they are like Japanese Knotweed. Extremely hard to get rid of. Who is lining up to begin the process? Not many Tory MP’s, so who else? Trouble is only a few know about this insidious “charity”.

  2. If anyone in government wants to stand up and say, no, what you want is impossible to deliver, that’s an honourable position to take. We will gratefully accept their honesty and their resignation.

    • Resignation. For any politician who resigns – the people will honour.

  3. Sounds to me like too many bubble dwellers have lost their bottle.

    We leave the EU next year – Parliament has already voted on the process.

    If Brexit is botched it is because someone wanted to give us a punishment beating.

    I’ll take it, won’t be the first time in my life I had one.

    And I’m still here.

  4. If you vote to try to make a government do what it believes, and openly says it believes, is damaging to the country, then how can you expect a good result ? Hello Conservative ladies. why do all the commentators here appear to be male?

  5. Lord John Kerr, the author of Article 50, has said in a speech in Edinburgh on May 24th, that if the Parliament deems the Brexit deal to be unfavorable for the UK, then it can simply vote to withdraw from the Brexit process on those grounds, and it will be as though nothing had happened. There is no legal or contractual or constitutional compulsion to proceed.
    The rest of the EU would certainly be annoyed with us for the trouble we have caused, but would be pleased to see us stay.
    He reckons that those of 3.8% margin in favour of leaving have now seen the real truth, which is that there is actually no benefit to leaving, and have changed their minds, so the general public view is now in favour of calling the Brexit process off, so such a Westminster decision would be be popular. No need for another referendum.
    The Tories are certainly not trying to scupper the process, they are merely the party in office who is finding the process unworkable and disadvantageous to the UK, as many predicted it would be.

      • But Churchill, a Liberal for a lot of his career, would have been a remainer IMO (because however strong some of his opinions were he was always sensible about ditching them when it was necessary).

    • I’m on board with this approach – it’s common knowledge that the referendum was advisory only.

      The government never had any intention on delivering brexit – if it did it would have done more than exactly zero preparatory work.

      One thing that really winds me up is when members of parliament start wittering on about democracy as a reason for respecting the referendum – this country is not a democracy, it’s an elective dictatorship with the uncontrolled power of a monarch wielded by the government. it wasn’t that long ago that it was impossible to sue the NHS if they amputated the wrong leg.

      i would be very happy if the government canned brexit and focused on setting up a true democracy in this country.

    • Perhaps he should have given us the wisdom of his experience before the referendum on what the vision for the future of the EU is among his fellow travelers.
      The desire for ever closer union means nothing, I want to know what the train terminal has, is it totalitarianism where the only paper in the kiosk is Pravda or is the place stuffed full of goodies for us to buy cheaply with exits everywhere where people can travel unfettered by rules and regulations to their destinations, where we get to elect people who will actually make a difference or will that so called right quietly be withdrawn after another European value is pulled from the bureaucrats collective ass that tells us that it is European not to bother and to trust the men with the pen.

    • Isn’t he the same man who declared that there was no need to invoke Article 50 to leave the EU – one only had to stop paying the bills and attending the meetings, and eventually it would dawn on them that you had left?

      And he should know, he wrote it, his Masters arrogantly oblivious to the possibility that someone might use it.

      The blunt truth is that there are too many sticky elite fingers in the Euro pot. Leaving is like taking a bag of sweets away from a spoilt, bawling child.

    • The notion that the fifth largest economy on the planet, with a nascent trading network the envy of the galaxy, will collapse in smoking ruins on freeing itself from the latest iteration of European bureaucratic (soon to be military) despotism is simply risible.

      As for the elephantine Euro-Dictator being ignored in the corner, words fail me. British representative democracy may not be perfect, but it is light-years more highly evolved than the communistic, unfolding totalitarian nightmare that is the EU. Hitler would be proud of it, as you will realise if you closely investigate its origins.

  6. The Tories were always going to botch Brexit and Labour’s plans, despite their manifesto promises, would have us cosying up to the EU for a lifetime.
    Vote UKIP in the next election or see the UK forced to give up more of its soul.
    Or stick to the main parties and whinge that they’re ignoring you, as usual.
    Your choice.

  7. The tories seeking to scupper the Leave vote?

    Well, what a surprise – or, erm, not.

    The toryboys always were the party of cronyism, supporters of the vested interests and big government/statism keeps and aims to maintain Britain and Britons: under the cosh of the Berlin Empire.

  8. Having no confidence in May, it’s tempting to take Cummings seriously. Who knows what the government’s real strategy is with May doing everything she can to slow walk decision-making on crucial issues and the lead Brexiteers in the cabinet ominously silent or lethargic?

    What we seem to be heading for is a half in, half out Brexit that will satisfy no one and will not work. Since this will be intolerable, Remainers presumably hope it will persuade us to abandon the experiment and rejoin the EU, accepting the inevitability of its federalist objectives. I cannot believe that the political fabric of England could survive such an outcome intact never mind the Union.

    Democracy itself cannot survive when the losers win as the Remainers are doing with the Remainer Mrs May as the ultimate arbiter of Brexit. With every passing day it becomes clearer that “no deal is better than a bad deal” did not mean what it appeared to mean in plain English. I do not mean that Mrs May lied. It’s just that her idea of a bad deal is not the same as that of someone who took “Brexit means Brexit” literally.

    Mrs May is now holding us hostage to the prospect that we either accept her untrustworthy government’s undefined strategy or risk seeing her replaced by Jeremy Corbyn. There is a problem with this reasoning. Remainers think they have manouvered Brexiteers into a lose-lose situation. Take the faux Brexit May negotiates or get the hardest left Labour government since 1945 – you decide which is the lesser of the evils one of which you are going to get.

    It’s time to confront this challenge. Kick May out now, replace her with a committed Brexiteer and see if the anti-Brexit Tory rebels in the Commons are prepared to run the Corbyn risk themselves. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Corbyn is any more electable that Foot or Kinnock. There is greater danger to a real Brexit in not sacking Mrs May than in keeping her.

    • great, just what we need, another unelected PM. Major, Brown, Cameron, and May have all made it to PM without winning an election.

      Having a 5th unelected PM is seriously concerning for anyone who wants to live in a democracy.

    • Whether you were for Leave or for Remain, and whatever damage you believe it will do to the UK economy, the greatest danger now for the country is for the Government to disregard the referendum and the manifestos and to produce a name-only Brexit.

      • You are right, Roanoake, but the political elite is apparently far too arrogant to think that matters. They believe they know best.

      • If they can ignore us on, arguably, the most important decision we’ve made for decades, what else can they ignore us on?
        Neither of the main parties gives a toss what the people wanted, constantly throwing out the line ‘this isn’t what the people voted for.’ I’d never presume that someone else who voted leave did so for the same reasons as I did, however, what I would presume is that every leave voter saw the same question I saw on the ballot paper – Do you want to leave the EU or Do you want to remain in the EU. All this guff about how we leave is only made by a government, an opposition and a commons that would rather the referendum hadn’t taken place at all.
        By the next general election in 2022 (though I reckon it’ll be sooner), we’ll still be in the EU and our daft electorate will vote in either Tory or Labour. UKIP are the only party who can get us out of the EU but voters will be manipulated into voting nurse for fear of something worse.
        There are times when I despair of our people.

  9. So we get to pay the EU an extra £40 billion and stay in? Do government think we are that stupid?

    • Perhaps we are, don’t see many protests out there demanding the Government get there act together.
      They know that no matter how much they scr3w this up, leavers will do nothing of importance. To them the only body they want to stay in power with is Brussels, where the big bucks are. Who currently is leading the provincial government in the UK doesn’t matter to them.

  10. The Tories must know full well that if they don’t deliver on Brexit, they will lose support to both UKIP & Labour.
    They will, in effect, be finished as a political party in the UK – too many of their supporters are Brexiteers and most of these will not continue to support them.
    The slippery slope is , of course, what type of Brexit they produce. Most people know a BINO when they see it.

    • I agree. Although May is an utterly useless leader of the ‘Conservative’ party, she must be aware that betraying 17.4 million Leave voters will result in the ‘Conservatives’ losing the next election. Enough furious former voters of the party will simply abstain giving victory to Corbyn. And there will be protests and riots if the 17.4 million are betrayed (remember the poll tax?) by May.

      So this piece is pessimistic. We are leaving the EU in 10 months’ time. Whatever happens with this ‘transition period’, however, remains to be seen.

    • You are more likely to see a resurgence of the LIbDems where today’s Tories and middle class voters really belong.
      They are all career politicians, do you honestly think they care much what label you put on them so long as they have access to the EU trough?

      • They are exactly the same as politicians the world over – interested only in votes, although the EU does have that gravy train appeal, or as the man in the street would say, winning the lottery.

    • They are finished. They’ve been finished since they deposed Mrs Thatcher, it’s just been the slowest, most humiliating death in all of history. They’re so truly awful I’ll happily endure five years of Corbyn horror if we can be assured that it kills the Tory Party off forever.

      They’ve spent the last 70 years in permanent retreat, blundering around and failing to ever question Labour social reforms. Despite having held office for most of that time we might as well have had Labour in power ever since 1945 as the only time the Tories ever rolled anything back was under Mrs T and even then it was entirely focused on economics.

      The Tory party is the biggest threat to conservatism in the UK.

  11. Car crash performance? The one coming out of that questioning session as an arrogant, pompous, slippery Tory grandee is Tyrie.

  12. Anyone who seriously thought we would be allowed to leave was fooling themselves. Many people like myself thought before the referendum that no matter what the result, the outcome was always going to be the same.
    There is a solution though – vote Corbyn and make sure the Tories know why. I want to see a wealth tax seriously harm some of these over privileged idiots in central office who believe they are their by entitlement and that the plebs know nothing and need to be ruled over by people like them.

    It doesn’t come down to money, it comes down to attitude, although it is money which sustains it.

    • If you vote Corbyn you are one of his useful idiots. You might already be one of his false flag agent provocateurs.

      • If you vote Tory despite them deliberately sabotaging Brexit, you are complicit in the death of democracy in the UK.

        If the Tories get away with this they deserve to die as a political party.
        And they will.

  13. Brendan O’Neil of ‘Spiked’ says it all. Worth quoting in full:

    Theresa May wants to keep Britain ‘half-in’ the Single Market and beholden to a new customs-union arrangement. Labour wants to retain ‘a customs union’ and is open to keeping Britain under the heel of ECJ rulings for a few years.
    It has the gall to call this ‘respecting the Brexit vote’ when anyone with the ability to think, and a sliver of honesty, knows it is Remain by another name. Meanwhile, EU officials still play hardball on the Irish border. That is, they’re exploiting Ireland, a country they actually loathe, as was made clear when the Irish had the temerity to vote down the Lisbon Treaty in 2008, to weaken a British democratic demand. The anti-democracy is ceaseless. It comes from every quarter.
    The entire political class seems devoted to diluting or even killing off the ‘control’ – the democratic control – that British people voted for in 2016.
    Let’s stop beating around the bush: if Brexit doesn’t happen – real, full Brexit – then Britain has no claim to be a democracy. It will confirm what many Britons already think: that the political elites view us with unrestrained contempt, and look upon our political beliefs as idiocies to be worked around. The stakes are so much higher than Britain physically leaving the EU; British democracy itself is on the line.

    • Our democracy is already a sham as stylised as kabuki or Bian Lian Japanese theatre.
      The mask keeps changing but the actors underneath remain the same.
      How many of the changes that have actually changed this country did you vote for or were in any manifesto?

  14. The most important task in British politics today is for the ‘Conservative’ party to be destroyed. Everything else (radical policy on immigration, sacking the cultural Marxists who have taken over everything, etc.) depends on this. Still, Peter Hitchens has been banging on about this for years from a newspaper column that must be seen by almost half the population, and they’ve ignored him, so what chance have we got?

    I rather think outside events will save us. The EU is going to internally collapse soon. There may even be a European war.

    • I rather think your last paragraph could prove rather prescient. I suspect the Islamic Invasion of Europe will put the stuttering EU on the sidelines before very long, as I see little likelihood of it being resolved without a Continent-wide bloodbath.

      I think the people will have more important things to worry about than an EU Directive on Washing Machine Knobs that runs to three times the length of the Bible.

      • I tend to think you are right. And it is not going to be anything like the wars Europe has seen in modern times. It will be a civil war on the English/American pattern, with only vaguely regional groupings, neighborhood against neighborhood. Essentially a religious war, Islam vs Christianity vs secularism. I fear I know who wins, and it ain’t the good guys.

    • Unfortunately the world can be irrational a lot longer than you can remain sane or solvent!

    • “The most important task in British politics today is for the ‘Conservative’ party to be destroyed” Even more than the Marxist Corbyn and his pals? In my view , yes..
      Purge is the right word. A political enema is urgently needed and the presence and governance by the Tory party is now a national existential danger.
      If that takes even a disastrous, but temporary, rule by an equally dangerous Corbyn government, then the medicine must still be applied, notwithstanding the political chaos that would ensue, again, temporarily.
      Only then will the British public wake up sufficiently to accept that the whole political class is working against them, in terms of Brexit either by incompetence, or deliberate choice.

      • I don’t think it would be temporary. At least not in the sense that the situation in Venezuela is ‘temporary’.

      • Exactly. The Tory party must go. Then chaos and may the best man win.
        Long overdue is a showdown with our ruling class whatever the cost.

  15. Both sides lied, but Leave won without any sort of plan as to what would happen next; and we are now supposed to be surprised (or angry?) that the fairy tales spun by Cummings et al cannot be delivered, and that the whole thing is a train wreck? Who’d a thought it?

    • It was not the job of the Leave movement to implement Brexit. Their job was to persuade the people to vote for it. They succeeded; and it is now the job of the Government to implement it. That is what they are employed to do, just as your plumber is employed to plumb.

      If your plumber fails to do his job he should be sacked, and replaced with a more competent tradesman who can, and will do the job. The same applies to the Government, whose sole reason for existence is to serve the People; and the People have ordered it to release them from the totalitarian clutches of the EU.

      Seems pretty straightforward to me.

      • No they haven’t. They voted to Leave. We are leaving. Otherwise, much better cut and paste than your other effort.

      • You gloss over the truth that 70% of the people were not persuaded to vote for it – with or without confidence trickery.

        • As I understand it a straightforward simple majority of those who voted voted to leave. The Government promised to implement what the majority voted for.

          I take it this 70% figure includes those who did not cast a vote as they were too lazy, too drunk, too tired, too far away, too ill or got the date wrong?

    • You still don’t ‘get it’ do you? Remainers were the ‘House’ and held all the cards in a stacked deck but still they lost.

      If it had been less rigged they would have lost by more.

      • Rigged..?? Pass the tinfoil. Leave won by having better liars, and now people are angry that their fantasy is un deliverable.

    • Er, Leave were not the Government so were not required to make a plan. They had a vision instead – like the Labour party often professes to have, also without making plans.

      The Government, which wanted and expected Remain to win, failed to make the plan for Leaving. The Prime Minister, having conducted a campaign of Project Fear, broke his promises, again, and cowardly abandoned ship in pique, allowing it to drift whilst new and equally mediocre leadership was cobbled together.

      Remainers then took over government and procrastinated, allowing Parliament and all sorts of other third parties to muscle in and insert spanners into the works, as well as clouding a simple proposition with all sorts of EU imposed complexities, real or imaginary.

      Whether we are better off in or out is totally irrelevant. The British people voted to Leave. That means shaping our own destiny for good or ill.

      The close run nature of the vote is also irrelevant. When a party wins a General Election the other side do not campaign to overturn the result on the basis that the party which lost had a better plan and the country would be better off with that party in government (although Corbyn comes close to doing just that). The way the referendum result has been dealt with by Parliament, the Government and the EU is nothing short of shocking. It shames them and insults the British people. I will never forgive it.

      • “They had a vision instead – like the Labour party often professes to have, also without making plans.”…I agree, Farage & co are as trustworthy as Labour, and people that voted for them are fools. PS. We are Leaving, it’s just the nature of Leaving that is still up for debate.

      • Your last 2 paras crystallise many peoples thoughts & gut feeling.

        Conservative party canvassers are going to be made very uncomfortable when interacting with the electorate in years to come.

      • The close run nature of the vote is also irrelevant

        It is also interesting, given that I believe it was the Remain lot who insisted on a simple majority – however small – as they were confident of winning but feared it might be by a small margin. They were, it seems, well hoist with their own petard.

        I agree with your last sentence wholeheartedly.

      • Incorrect.
        It was the conduct of the referendum itself which ‘shamed and insulted the british people’
        The margin does matter if credibility matters because this was not a general election but single-issue medium-term decision using a deceptively simple (abstract) question for the purposes of Conservative party management only.
        And yet here we are.
        No successful organisation operates this way.

  16. If we stay in the “single market” until 2023 – That means that we will be unable to control our borders until 2023. If this is not stopped we will see a rapid change in the demographics of this country.

    Still lots more votes in the long term for those parties that no longer wish to embrace British values and wish to see turn into some sort of “Sorosland” Fantasy Island

    Thanks Tories.

    Cowards.

  17. I can suggest the name of the Party to replace the “Conservatives” – Purge.
    It will have a huge list of Objectives.

  18. If the current Conservative party cared about Brexit and controlling immigration, there would have been a 48 signature letter delivered to Sharia May calling for a leadership election.

    The fact there isn’t and will not be, speaks a thousand words on where we are with Brexit.

    Open betrayal on Brexit and immigration = no action.

  19. Then we destroy the Conservative party and start again.

    This is looking like even more of a win that i could ever have imagined.

    If the Conservatives don’t do Brexit, then I, a lifelong Conservative voter will move heaven and earth to destroy them.

    • You won’t move heaven and earth because you’re a single individual with little or no clout whose ability to influence events is as limited as that of any other single individual.

      Even if you got together with all the other Outraged of Tunbridge Wellses to topple the Conservative Party, your ability to influence what would happen next would be virtually non-existent.

      Impotence is the defining characteristic of the social conservative. That’s why places like this exist. You can come here and rant and wail and pretend to wield power, which makes your actual powerlessness easier to bear. Who knows, perhaps the twin-setted and pearled authors of this blog are actually in league with the powers-that-be to provide a forum of dissent which can be watched and monitored. Many of their missives certainly read like something a semi-talented staff hack on a progressive monthly might write as a parody of swivel-eyed conservative lunacy.

      Is this place a honey-trap for extreme right-wing bees? It could be. And perhaps you’re being watched…

      • If it’s all so pointless why do you spend so much time here clanking your chains and wailing?

      • What arrant nonsense. 17.4 million voters in 2016 were “single individuals” as they are now. Neither will you as a “single individual” be able to stop the collective will of the electorate once sufficiently awakened to the menace posed by our undemocratic political class.

      • And yet I and others voted for Brexit, people who share my views voted for Trump.

        Run along little one.

  20. Some fine comments so I’ll keep mine brief. Once Mrs May has finished betraying Brexit I’ll be finished with ever voting Tory again. I’ll abstain or vote UKIP or Britain First. In my 100% Tory constituency it won’t matter but just as they’ve already lost their majority it WILL matter in enough marginals to KILL any chance of a Tory government.
    Either May goes or your party goes. What’s it to be, Conservatives?

  21. Cameron should be alongside Bliar in the dock for weaseling out when he did.

    They have both caused untold damage to the country!

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