A Botched Brexit Campaign


Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Jermaine Jenas reflect on the  2-1 Euro 2016 defeat by Iceland, which Shearer says is “the worst performance I have seen from an England team“.

Well, the PM had to resign over the Referendum debacle, now the England Manager has had to do the same.

The Reality of Brexit

The reality of Brexit is starting to become apparent.  It is becoming increasingly clear that Clown Boris, Poison Dwarf Gove, the unspeakable Farage and his backer Aaron Banks, have mis-sold the supposed advantages of Brexit to the British public.


Their promises on what they could do with the money paid to the EU, on how they would cut immigration – or the brave new world the UK would have on its own have all been discredited.

In effect, the referendum vote was procured by falsehood and it is now up to Parliament to put matters right.  Just how Parliament can do that is open to debate.

This morning’s session of the European Parliament was broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel and it was, to say the least, interesting.  Some considerations:-

  • pleas from Scotland, and Northern Ireland MEP’s (Remain) to protect Scottish and Irish interests were warmly supported – Scottish MEP Alan Smith got a standing ovation;
  • the Dark Lord Farage was roundly condemned;
  • There was fair amount of sympathy with the position in which the UK finds itself.

David Cameron is in  Brussels to explain to the Commission and the Leaders of the other EU Member states how we have got ourselves in the mess we are in.  It is to be hoped he is making the following points:-

  • The referendum result is technically advisory. A vote of the UK Parliament is required to validate it.
  • A 2nd referendum might be required once the proposed terms of any Brexit deal on offer are known;
  • The position of HM Government can only be determined by the next PM and Cabinet. David Cameron is now a “caretaker” and if that means the Commission has to wait, that’s too bad;
  • The insistence of Mr Junker as President of the Commission that there can be no discussions before delivery of the Article 50 notice is unhelpful and a bad start to the negotiation process;
  • Angela Merkel has made it perfectly clear to the German Bundestag that access to the single market will necessitate accepting freedom of movement – so much for Clown Boris’s ideas.

See the report in this morning’s Financial Times:  “Pound bounces as Cameron holds talks in Brussels on Brexit” which contains a report of what Mrs Merkel said – in effect no free market without freedom of movement.


As the FT report above makes clear, this morning there was what is often referred to as a “dead cat bounce”.  The FTSE  100 was  up by 2.9% and FTSE  250 also up 2.9%. Sterling rose by 0.8%.

The Bank of England has injected funds worth £3.1bn into UK banks, following a special auction for six-month finance showing that the Bank of England will support market stability.  Trading is likely to be rather volatile as long as the future of the UK relationship with Europe remains uncertain.

Tory Leadership Stakes

It is highly desirable that the Conservative process for electing the next leader does not result in the election of Clown Boris or anyone else who is tainted by association with the anti-immigrant campaigns of Vote Leave and UKIP.


The memory of that dreadful poster is not going to fade away and Vote Leave is as tainted as UKIP by the way the leave campaigns fuelled hatred of foreigners.

As this report in the Guardian makes clear: “After a campaign scarred by bigotry, it’s become OK to be racist in Britain“.    Baroness Warsi, who switched from backing Leave to Remain citing the Brexit camp’s “lies and hate”, called on leaders of the Leave campaign to “come out and say that the campaigning was divisive and was xenophobic”


This photograph from my own birthplace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, speaks for itself. It appears to be a National Front effort.   Baroness Warsi is right.  These people bring back to my mind some very dark days – those of the 1964 Smethwick election campaign

The  many Conservatives who campaigned for Vote Leave will want one of their own to be the next leader. Having condoned the language of the campaign they supported, no such person should ever become the leader of the Conservative Party.

It is encouraging that The Times front page proclaims: “May is Tory Favorite after surge in support” even as the Daily Express opts for Clown Boris.  The Guardian has this:  “Tories: general election could be avoided with Theresa May as leader” the thesis being that since Teresa May is a prominent member of the Cameron Government, there would be no need for an immediate General Election.  But under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act there is no imminent election so the thesis is flawed:-

(a)   The next election is not scheduled to take place on until 7th  May 2020.

(b)   An early election can only be held only if: (1)  a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House or without division; or (2)  if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.

(c)   There are an awful lot of constituencies in the country where the Liberal Democrats were second to Conservatives in the last election.   The Liberal Democrats would campaign on a pro Europe platform – see “Liberal Democrats will fight election on halting Brexit, says Farron“.  That might not suit Conservatives in such constituencies.

 Labour Party

The Labour Party seems also to be in deep doodoo.   The Leader, Jeremy Corbyn has had to replace 20+   members of his Shadow Cabinet   (1 sacked and 19 resigned with more  to come) and the parliamentary party has today voted on a motion of no confidence in their leader which would lead to a leadership contest.  See this in the Guardian: “Jeremy Corbyn to face no-confidence vote as Labour rebellion builds“.  The result of the no confidence motion has just been announced.  It passed by 172 votes to 40 with 4 abstentions.

But the Leader’s job is in the gift  of the members of the party rather than the Labour Members of Parliament and Mr Corbyn has been saying that if there is a new election process he will stand again.    In effect, the Labour Party is now not an effective opposition and will not be until the leadership issue is resolved.  Some Labour MPs are are already talking about leaving the party  (much as the SDP people once did).

The Scottish National Party

Scotland voted Remain.  The SNP is not prepared to see Scotland taken out of the EU when the Scottish people voted to Remain.  Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP Leader has no intention of allowing the Scots she represents to be taken out  of the EU against their wishes.

See this in the Scotsman: “Nicola Sturgeon set for Brussels talks with Martin Schulz

The practical point is that the SNP has 54 Members in the Westminster Parliament and 75% of Members of  Parliament identified with the”Remain” campaign.


The plain fact is that the Referendum vote was advisory and was tainted by a dishonest Leave campaign.  It is now up to Parliament to decide on the best course of action.


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