Liberal Democrat Conference
The Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton ended with a barnstorming address by their Leader, Tim Farron MP, calling on Tory and Liberal centrists to join the Liberal Democrats – not necessarily a bad idea for those, who like me, think that the popular vote on Brexit was engineered by the swivel eyed loons of the Conservative Party, aided and abetted by the horrors of UKIP and the incompetence of Jeremy Corbyn. The highlights of Tim Farron’s address can be seen on the Lib-Dem website.
The Guardian has this opinion piece: “Will this Brexit offer get the Lib Dems back in the game? – Tim Farron has little choice other than to make his party the pro-European choice. But a second referendum is a risky option”.
The Conservative Home Blog has this piece: “Mo Metcalf-Fisher: The Lib Dems have become the pro-EU UKIP”
Poor Mr Metcalf-Fisher graduated from the University of Essex (established as long ago as 1963) with a BSc in Politics and later a MSc in Public Opinion and Polling. One might have thought that these Essex degrees might have have equipped him to run good election campaigns.
But in the 2011 Colchester Borough Council Elections he came 3rd with a Liberal Democrat winning the seat and in 2012 he again lost to a Liberal Democrat 477-192. After those failures he took a job as a Parliamentary Assistant to James Cleverly MP, the Tory Member for Braintree and more recently he organised some get out the vote efforts for the Vote Leave campaign.
Since he was twice beaten by Liberal Democrats in local government elections, one can understand why Metcalf-Fisher might want to seek to do the Liberal Democrats down. But one or two sensible comments from other readers of his post are worth reading:
- “As they (Liberal Democrats) have been hoovering up by-election victories in local government in recent months I think we should be cautious about writing them off. Moreover, Brexit is not the totality of politics and the more we bang on about it, the more UKIPy we sound ourselves.”
- “It’s what I would do in their place. When Brexit inevitably goes pear shaped there will be a lot of bitterness and disappointment out there to capitalize on.”
- And this from an Ex-Tory Agent:- “If the Conservatives don’t come up with a Brexit deal I like, I am open to voting Lib Dem if they offer an alternative I prefer. I’ve been a Conservative all my life, been a professional in the party, and if I feel this way, imagine the Tory Remain voters who have fewer ties with the Conservative Party.”
The Labour Party Conference is not till 25th September in Liverpool.
But as this Guardian article explains: “Labour not this far from power since the 1930s, says David Miliband – Former foreign secretary and one-time leadership favourite says party is unelectable under Jeremy Corbyn”.
The Conservative Party & Brexit
The Conservative parliamentary majority is still a very small one. So much depends on whether or not there will be Parliamentary votes on the Brexit process. As of 16th May 2016, 75% of MP’s who had declared their intention were in favour of remaining in the EU and only 25% were Brexiteers – see our Conservative Difficulty page.
Financial Issues arising from the Brexit Vote
From the Financial Times:-
- “Banks fear chill wind of EU ‘passport’ freeze – FCA study shows finance across Europe will suffer if Brexit blocks access”
- “Significant’ Brexit risk for 5,500 UK groups using EU passporting – FCA figures reveal scale of disruption that could be caused to City”
- “Philip Hammond argues against Brexit clean break – Cautious chancellor warns on dangers of going too far”
- “Wall Street warns Theresa May of need for ‘long runway’ before Brexit – US banks tell May they would like several years to prepare for impact”
- “After Brexit, could the UK be part of an EU ‘outer circle’? – Free movement of workers will be the sticking point in future negotiations”
All these articles in the Financial Times give a good perspective on the issues the Government now faces. Nicolas Véron has written a well researched article in Prospect entitled: “The City will decline—and we will be the poorer for it”.
Véron makes a very important point: “London’s financial sector is a huge generator of tax receipts for the government: according to the City of London Corporation, in the year to March 2015, the City paid £66.5bn in tax, equivalent to almost two thirds of the national education budget.”
One wonders how the government would make good that kind of hole in the national budget – perhaps all will be revealed in the Autumn Statement.