Reckless LibDems, SNP, Tinge risk hard Brexit just as much as May’s incompetence

Last night’s votes gave no Brexit option a majority in Parliament – but referendum obsession of small parties puts country at risk of no-deal Brexit

None of the options put to MPs last night achieved anything like a majority. Contrary to the spin by remain supporters, the ‘confirmatory public vote’ option was not the nearest to a majority.

Even without a Tory whip and with the backing of Labour’s leadership, that option lost by twenty-seven votes. There is simply no majority in Parliament for another referendum of any type.

But while Jeremy Corbyn backed the confirmatory option M, the Lib Dems, SNP, ‘Tinge’ group – and even Green Caroline Lucas – did not return the favour by backing Corbyn’s alternative Brexit plan that would have protected the UK from both May’s disastrous attempt at a deal and from a no-deal exit.

While Labour showed discipline to back Corbyn’s deal, the ‘Tinge’ group of quitter MPs and their hangers-on like John Woodcock voted against it, as did the LibDems’ Cable and Hobhouse. The SNP abstained in entirety, along with Plaid and the majority of LibDems:

Had the non-Labour MPs supposedly most opposed to a ‘hard’ Brexit voted for Corbyn’s ‘soft Brexit’ deal, it would have had over three hundred votes – and that’s without the handful of Labour MPs who abstained and who would mostly swing behind a Labour deal were one under negotiation with the EU.

Instead, they abstained or voted against the option that would have insured the UK against the no-deal ‘Tory Brexit’ they say they fear most.

The effect of this was to push the UK closer to the no-deal ‘cliff edge’, as those same MPs often describe it – as Scottish journalist Kenny Farquharson observed:

Not only Sturgeon and the SNP but the others, too.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Last night’s votes served at least one useful purpose. They flushed out the brinkmanship and hypocrisy of many of the MPs who make the most noise about the dangers of a ‘Tory no-deal Brexit’.

Those reckless MPs showed themselves perfectly prepared to gamble the UK falling into exactly such a scenario, while they pursue a referendum that has zero chance of passing Parliament and would be opposed by most people in the population.

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  1. Although you choose an eccentric wish-fulfilment type of analysis, it is, indeed, still an utter shit-show.

    Which is why the withdrawal of Article 50 is the first action that any intelligent government or parliament would take before working out the route back to sanity.

      1. Actually – 3 years have firmly established that it is *Brexit* that is “beyond reckless”.

        And stop using the word ‘trolling’ as if you were incapable of understanding the term.

      2. Lundiel is right. RH is definitely a troll. I would go further – judging by their futile centrist obsession with overturning the largest democratic ballot in British history they are clearly either a Lib Dem troll or an Independent Group troll.

      3. RH is indeed an obsessively regular, day-long, every day, trouble-making Troll – only interested in sowing division in our Party. And a Troll that has never once , in a gazillion Troll posts, attempted to justify his uncritical love of the neoliberal EU.

      4. Ah! The little gang of little england ERG supporters applies their collective brain to the problem.

        And can’t even join a couple of dots even if they move them around and, like ha’penny just make things up (” never once , in a gazillion Troll posts, attempted to justify his uncritical love of the neoliberal EU”)

        Note : Yelling “Waahhhh!! Trollll!! Me no likee!”
        isn’t an argument. It’s the sound of a rattle thrown from the triplet’s pram.

        Incompetents always play the man instead of the ball when they can’t score.

      5. I am very concerned over your wellbeing RH. It must be hellish having to live with such polar opposites pulling you apart. In particular, how do you manage being a Labour member and avowed “democratic Socialist” when you are so drawn to Donald Tusk? You aren’t a schizophrenic by chance? Donald loves Mrs Thatcher, that’s why he admires Britain. Anyway, with your shit or bust approach to Brexit I’m concerned that you may need deradicalising. You are the exact inverse of those old men who used to go mental at the mention of ‘bent bananas’, or was it straight? All the best, seek help.

      6. Oh dear, lundiel. Bless you.

        The simple point is that *even* Donald Tusk is more up to speed than the any Lexiteer having a fantasy massage.

    1. Can you not see that you’re just saying (over and over) that “You vote counts for nothing”

      I’ve lost all faith in the only (alleged) left wing party, and people like yourself have contributed lots towards this.

      What are you going to do when others, like me, turn to the populist* preachers?

      Not a fan of the term populist. It implies arrogance, and is often used as a deflection from our current “populist” politicians and their failures.

  2. Will Skwawkbox stop denigrating the 48% of which I, and my husband are two! We are not ‘spinning’ and you forget that 70% voted to join the EU 40 years ago…and the 2016 Referendum was a Tory Toffs ploy.Do not pander to the UKIP-types who hate ‘other’ people, nor to those who loathe the EU for other reasons. We will be far worse off…most of us, except the Tory Toffs, who lied to the 52%.

    1. How do you know? Do you work for the EU? You have no idea how leaving would work out long term, it might be a blessing in disguise. Other than that your post is just remain spiel you all trot out…..17 million people are idiots blindly following a few cranks in a tiny Tory group no one gives a toss about except rabid remainers who see them as a threat to civilisation. I expect you also believe that they were financed by (gasp) Putin.

    2. Who is the “we” who will , you claim, “be worse off ” ? You may not have noticed that under the neoliberal economic system that the EU is the European enforcement mechanism for, unlimited labour supply has shafted the wages of unskilled and unskilled UK citizens in the “Uberised, zero hour contrac”t, labour market that unlimited labour supply facilitates. The EU rules also facilitate and support ever-greater privatisation of our public services, and also demand “balanced budget” across the EU which guarantees permanent Austerity. But of course the top 10% , particularly the top 1%, have seen their wages, bonusses and asset values rocket – particularly via the EU-wide multiple rounds of Quantitative Easing. We live in a deeply unequal class society, poetry museum, and it is the upper middle classes and the superrich who fear leaving the neoliberal EU most – losing a bulwark of rules against a tax-imposing Labour government, cheap labour Polish nannies and plumbers, and easy access to their second homes and those ski slopes. If you are not part of this prosperous small segment of UK society, stop being so naïve as to lump everyone together in your “we will all be poorer” claim.

      1. The “we” is poetry’s family and social bubble , I should think…

    3. Have to pay extra for your holidays? Cursing a few quid for a visa? Try to think about poor sods out there who can’t even afford a passport.

      And what’s your knowledge of Walter Hallstein?

      1. Oh FFS. You really think this extreme right wing scam is going to improve the lot of the poor and embed progress politics? It’s the opposite of a zero sum game – an all round minus sum game.

        This is really in line with putting UKIP and the Communist Party in the same bed!

      2. Here’s the important part, so pay attention!

        Fat, fire or frying pan. It makes no difference. What matters is it’s _my_ choice.

        And, considering we live in a markets ruled world nowadays, the approaching churn gives me opportunity I don’t currently have.

        I have nothing to lose, and much to gain.

    4. There is a certain arrogance about the remain fold, they automatically assume that their version, which they believe in is fact. Yes we know the Tories, Ukippers tell lies, but so do the LIbdems and TINGE groupies, who these people gleefully align themselves with.

      What has been lost in this futile debate is that at the core to all of this is Neo-Liberalism, what the remainers want to exchange is one set of Neo-Liberal politicians in this country for exactly the same in Europe.

      What we really need and it really does mean you need to think about this instead of just believing, is a general election, not a second referendum, because people really are no wiser now after the event than they were before the last referendum.

      Getting rid of the Tories is what matters now and the sooner the better, because people are being lied to from both camps either side of the argument.

      This video was made in 2016 explains the futility of staying within Europe, he mentions Blair and New Labour for obvious reasons.

  3. SKWARKBOX “the Lib Dems, SNP, ‘Tinge’ group – and even Green Caroline Lucas – did not return the favour by backing Corbyn’s alternative Brexit plan”


    When will leavers such as Skwarkbox get it into their heads that there is no such thing as a Brexit which will benefit the country or anyone, apart from the ideologues, living in it!

    1. Precisely. Despite Skwawkbox doing an MSM-type job in the reporting, the two propositions that came close to a majority was the one on a Customs Union, and the one on another vote.

      Errr…. no fulminations, I note, about Labour MPs going against the whip. There’s too many afeared. Not that I’m against the principle of sometimes defying the whip. But lets have less hypocrisy about when it suits and when it doesn’t.

      Now, you don’t have to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier to see where this is pointing. And it isn’t to May’s deal or a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. These are clearly minority play-with-yourself ideas.

      Labour getting solidly behind a vote would have given it some distinction. But, hey ho, this is the Party that just expelled a committed anti-racist for … errr ….? Who needs a convincing lead in the polls when you can carry on whingeing, taking the money and watching the Tories mud wrestling for the leadership?

  4. Your illogic is a thing of wonder. No-one can fortell the future with absolute certainty, and Remainers never claim to – they are just placing a bet on the basis of the accumulated evidence rather than “it might be a blessing” as a statement. Given long enough, pigs *might* fly – but I’m not backing the idea.

    “17 million people are idiots”. Now that is simply putting words into imaginary mouths. Did poetrymuseum say that?

    What is certain, given the mountain of examples, is that far more than the margin between ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ patently didn’t have much idea about the proposition, and had swallowed whole the long-running right-wing campaign of the propaganda press.

    Which is why a much larger number than that margin want the withdrawal of Article 50 in order to reconsider a patently flawed vote and it’s minority outcome that has been misrepresented as a ‘majority’.

      1. No. It was a response to every leave voting Labour supporter and was selective thinking portrayed as truth. There are just as many economists who predict that after a period of “difficulties” and negative growth, we will see an upsurge in the economy as there are predicting a cliff edge….and that’s only in a no deal situation. No one makes predictions about leaving with a deal…..they can’t.
        There is “no accumulated evidence”, there is only propaganda and opinion. Not only do you refuse to accept that anything leave voters may say is of any value, you have also convinced yourselves that the whole referendum was a con job.
        There is no arguing with you, you’ve never taken any notice of my comments regarding the Euro, the fixed budget, neoliberalism built into law, the impossible discrepancies between north and southern Europe, the whole European Parliament being swamped with lobbyists, the pro German economic bias or anything else remotely pro leave. Instead you (remain supporters posting here) doggedly stick to likening Labour leave voters to the ERG and kippers, and when I bring class into it, you ask me to define it.
        I’m sorry RH, you are countering me with a load of bollocks.

      2. PS. The reason you doggedly refuse to accept anything other than capitulation and staying in the EU is, the minute we leave and the whole country doesn’t start tearing each other to bits and 200 mile queues form at Dover, your argument turns to dust.

      3. “you’ve never taken any notice of my comments ”

        What? It’s just that you don’t like the answers – which are, in summary, that an isolated country will be in a worse condition when it has to renegotiate things that it has already, and will be at the mercy of stronger economies (the ERM becomes an issue only if we leave, like the current opt-outs.)

        Your contrary economists are in a small minority – and we’ve already taken an economic hit before leaving. Any ‘upturn’ will be from a low base.

        ‘Leave’ voters are supporters of the ERG program – like it or not. And ‘Labour’ Leave voters are a very much in the minority. It’s the majority that are being ignored.

      4. You keep posting out and out lies RH. By Constituency Party Labour voted148 Leave : 84 Remain. Metropolitan areas voted largely remain. The country as a whole whole voted leave and Labour constituencies voted to leave by a margin of 64. Individual votes only count in the referendum as a whole. The Labour party has to function in a world of constituency votes.

      5. @lundiel

        Your claim of metropolitan areas is beat displayed by Bristol. The affluent centre voted remain. The sinkhole estates to the south voted out.

        It really is haves Vs have nots.

      6. 1. The majority of Labour voters *in all classes* voted ‘Remain’. Constituency parties didn’t vote

        2. The country as a whole voted only 37% for ‘Leave.

        Currently 6 million voters – massively more than the majoritarian margin like the idea of withdrawing Article 50 in order to consider the issue properly.

        I’m happy to put the reality to another test. Are you? What’s not to like if you’re a democrat?

      7. P.S. lundiel – you do yourself no justice by throwing silly strops like this :

        “You keep posting out and out lies”

        See above

      8. @RH Campbell would be proud of your spin if he cared about who you are.

        Here the cold reality numbers.

        1074 leave votes to every 1000 remain votes.

        Spin that!

  5. I am getting heartily sick of the sometimes abusive tone of remainers here,(of which I am nominally one) and even more sick of ignorance of party policy,which is to leave.Would you please try and understand that compromise is needed ,regardless of your personal opinion.Failure to compromise may well see us with a no deal Brexit and a Tory government still in place.

    1. John – I’m afraid you’re off-beam. There is no such here. For ad hominem stuff – go to Leaver posts about ‘trolls’ and generalised attributions about ‘the middle class’ and the personalities of Remainers etc. etc. I confess to sometimes retaliating, but I generally try to focus on the arguments and their logic.

      I think your discomfort simply comes from not agreeing, and not facing the hard fact that there is *no* compromise in a binary choice, even if there are a range of detailed choices from bad to disastrous on one side.Once out of the EU, the country has given up all the advantages it currently holds. There is simply no ‘compromise’ in that.

      As to Party policy – it is out of date now and never was written on tablets of stone (I’ve never been religious). It was a pragmatic attempt to square a circle – which failed.

      The ability to change is the essence of democracy – especially when the unworkability of an idea has been amply demonstrated.

      Your discomfort also comes from a situation that should never have happened – because, as parliament shows, it artificially splits the nation down the middle about an issue that was never of much concern. There is no comfortable way out of this political morass now.

      1. “There is no compromise in a binary choice” says all anyone needs to know about you, and makes any subsequent comment trolling.
        Of course there is compromise, I’d like to leave without a deal, just walk away, but I’m realistic. That’s not going to happen and with this lot of remain supporting MPs, we’ll be lucky to leave at all. However, I accept what will be, I’m not fanatical, or incredibly selfish, or totally blinkered….you should try it.

      2. ““There is no compromise in a binary choice” says all anyone needs to know about you, and makes any subsequent comment trolling.”

        Wat the f. lundiel are you on about?

        (a) I’m simply stating a mathematical fact. It’s not rocket science. There’s ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’. Every variation is just a version of ‘Leave’. That’s not a compromise: it’s faster or slower suicide.

        (b) As to “says all anyone needs to know about you” – that’s just silly tantrum talk.

        I’m sorry if this business upsets you to that extent – but a lot of people I know are very (and really) upset at the whole stupid morass of this Tory jape.

      3. Err are you Richard Hayward or RH, or both?
        I was replying specifically to a comment made by RH. What you said leaves no room for maneuver, it fits with your comments. It’s stay in or nothing. That makes you an extremist and any comment you may make isn’t an argument, it’s an attempt at justification/closing down the conversation…. Trolling.

      4. Sorry about the confusion – purely down to the operation of IT completion. But not really a critical issue, is it?

        “What you said leaves no room for maneuver,…That makes you an extremist”

        Uh? Do you really mean ‘I haven’t got an answer’? That’s Ok – there isn’t one to that particular point.

  6. Just looking at the (originally) Labour MPs wo voted with the Tories on the Confirmatory Vote amendment. Despite Sqwawkbox’s rather odd comments, there was a possibility of winning that vote. An odd crop of individuals prevented that happening by supporting the Tories.

    Nothing like renewed democracy to put the fear of god into some.

  7. Couldn’t agree more with John Thatcher sentiments and I voted the same way . We are at each other’s throats on the Left here on this microcosm world of a Blog . Its very depressing to say the least and very counter productive as no matter how valid the points made and some are very good , the abuse from all sides ( me included , sorry ) simply destroys any chance of compromise and ultimately agreement , or at least understanding and acceptance of others POV.

    Its utterly destructive .This sadly is reflected throughout society at the moment and it all boils down to one party and one party alone and it’s psychotic obsession over British greatness and the EU .
    Just read a interesting article by Gary Young over on the Graun ( amazingly enough )

    This about sums it up IMO .

    I fear that even if we are lucky enough to get to power with JC at the helm the party has so much ingrained Blairite tendencies and vested interests still in control of vital structures ( Jackie Walker etc ) that the DS policies would be still born.
    Perhaps we should focus on trying to correct those party issues , as they are infinitely more within our control than the machinations over in Parliament and the MPs , whom we cannot de-select and passing motions of NConf is ineffective.

    1. rob – I understand your wish for civilised debate, and I confess that I, like you, do occasionally respond in kind to ad hominem stuff that is posted (see silly posts by lundiel, jpenny and internal affairs – above). But I don’t think that I start out on a thread with the tone of a rattle-thrower, even when I attack arguments. I’m clear about the distinction.

      It’s no good, however, pretending that there is some magical ‘middle way’. There isn’t. It’s either ‘In’ or ‘Out’, even if some versions of ‘Out’ are slightly less fantastic that others.

      .. and no, I’m not going to give ground on the fact that denying another vote on the grounds that the last was sacrosanct is other than devious Faragist bullshit – even if the difficulties are apparent. I’m not giving ground on statements that the earth is flat, either.

      As to the substantive question on the attempt to engineer agreement to a national suicide pact (even if my days are numbered – I’m not off to Switszerland any time soon) – here’s a few of the previous insights from the collective brain of the current ‘Leave’ camp :

      1. Within two years, the UK could ‘negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU’ – David Davies 11/07/2016

      2. A new British trade deal would be ‘one of the easiest in human history’ – Liam Fox 20/07/2017

      3. It was ‘inconceivable’ … ‘that a vote for Brexit would not have a negative impact on the north-south border’ in NI – Theresa May 21/06/2016

      Well – at least the last, negative prediction was correct.

      The ‘Remain’ campaign might have been pretty awful – but at least it was correct in essence. The Leave campaign was just deceptive dross for the 1%’s benefit.

      So – the country is split down the middle. Want a resolution? Have a proper, representative referendum that (a) includes more of the relevant population and (b) takes into account the muchgreater awareness that now exists. Of course the rattle-throwers will protest – but they aren’t keen on democracy.

      1. Thank you RH , in fact we have referred to the very same Gary Younge article , so some common ground there on this topic . For others like AS and JW so forth I think we like many others here are in complete agreement.

      2. You’re right, rob. But it’s no good us pretending that there’s some half-way house on Brexit. It is a choice – and that’s politics.

        I think what we can agree on is the devious sort of manipulation that is called ‘politics’ in the JW affair.

      3. I’ve no real wish to argue with you RH, I agree with your stance on Palestinians. However, I feel you leave me no wriggle room because you, and people like you, won’t accept the referendum result. If the boot was on the other foot we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I don’t care if you feel the vote was rigged, it happened and it isn’t going to be nullified, there was nothing legally wrong with it. I am, like many leavers, thoroughly sick of Brexit but I’m also very angry that unlimited funds have been invested into changing the result by corporate and foreign entities while you (remain supporters) moan about leave funding which was a drop in the ocean compared with the last 3 years investment by remain.
        The way I see it, I’m willing to compromise on the ‘hardness’ of Brexit, as a majority probably is. But you aren’t willing to compromise on anything other than a second referendum or abandonment of the whole thing. Therefore, all I’ve been able to do is trade insults because when I try and debate you close me down.

      4. Thank you for that, lundiel. I can at least clarify the specific point that you make, which focuses on a key practical issue :

        “you, won’t accept the referendum result.”

        What I won’t accept is :

        (a) That the structure was appropriate for a constitutional (one off) referendum, both in terms of the defined electorate and the lack of an appropriate definition of a convincing majority, accepted as the norm for such votes (Remember – the 1976 vote was far more representative in this respect)

        (b) That the claimed ‘majority’ ‘result’ was a actually only a 37% *minority* in favour of a major constitutional change.

        (c) That if the simple majoritarian view of the referendum is taken, then it stands as an irrevocable verdict incapable of revision (i.e. that it has to be regarded like an election vote, and subject to re-vote). This is a corollary of point (a).


        (d) That the issues flowing from the referendum were sufficiently and widely enough understood, and that this situation has critically changed.

        I hope this clarifies why I believe another vote is necessary.

  8. The Brexit vote was a rightwing coup yet to have full control. The EU is crap but leaving is going to be a whole lot worse and will cause suffering. How is it possible for left socialists to align with people like Farage and Mogg?

    1. I have no control over Night or any other politician. The fact is, EU membership isn’t working for me. So I voted out. I don’t care about anyone else. After all, why should I? It’s been a harsh lesson, but I’ve finally learned it. I’m alright jack.

      The only way to compromise is to agree that parliament and its members are not fit for purpose, and to go another way (in or out).

      Continuing our current course (in or out) is the problem.

      The social fabric of Britain is in shreds, and its this that has delivered brexit. Neither side is going to back down, because it means a return to the previous that brought us here to begin with.

      The problem is, for some it’s a good thing, for others it’s bad.

  9. I sense great frustration today creeping into the comments of the Leavers now they can see their precious ill gotten Brexit slipping away from them. Instead of turning their ire on to those such as Farage who spun them a pack of lies they are lashing out at Remainers who have been trying to educate them in the practicalities of Brexit and the damage it will do to the country.

    It’s not the fault of Remainers that Brexit is being shown up for the mirage it is. It is Leavers own fault for conjuring up a vision of a Britain long gone when we could take advantage of the naivety and lack of business experience of others to exploit them.

    Leavers, look to yourselves and realise that ‘Britain’ is only a tiny country but even so, we punch well above our weight in the EU and have a trading relationship with our partners which is far better than anything which could be obtained by leaving.

      1. Get a grip, lundiel, and stop taking everything as a loaded slight. If it’s difficult to distance yourself, you don’t *have* to cope with arguments about Brexit – there are lots of others who will.

        But please stop loading the argument with imputations that are unjustified. This is about *ideas* not individuals.

  10. Let’s remember these results next time pathetic Cable and his Lib Dums accuse Labour of ‘playing politics’

  11. Linda. “And that load of condescending sneering is supposed to help?”

    Not really, until you face reality you are beyond help, sorry.

  12. And whilst we debate amongst ourselves over Brexit , this is happening


    A sobering reminder to put our arguments into perspective , a reminder if you are a Left winger on either side remain or leave this is what we should be about and fighting against .
    The real enemy the TORIES and their murderous policies .

    1. PS when you’ve read the blog poorside and if you can afford it , think about a small donation

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