True Colours Part III

I didn’t want to believe it was a stitch-up.

I didn’t want to believe it when the Tories chose a high ranking Remainer for Prime Minister.

I didn’t want to believe it when the government agreed to a negotiating sequence organised around political rather than economic objectives. I grumbled but kept my eye on the prize when the UK agreed to pay the European Union £39 billion, basically for nothing.

I started to worry when Theresa May ambushed her own cabinet at Chequers, suddenly producing a previously unpublicised plan which she’d covertly created alongside arch federalist Olly Robbins. Boris and his Brexiteers made a big mistake that day. They’d have been better served by taking that rather pleasant walk down the drive and cadging a lift to Wendover station. I’m sure someone in the press corps would’ve been thrilled to oblige. It’s not far.

Still I clung to the belief that Parliament would never agree to this “turd” of a treaty because it’s so obviously intended to tie us still closer to Brussels, while ensuring the idea of a membership referendum can never trouble the establishment again. Well, I was half right about that.

Has the Prime Minister set out a clear choice between her deal and no deal? No, although she’s been quick to threaten us with no Brexit at all if her deal is not approved, although in doing so she’s finally given the game away.

I still don’t want to believe it’s a stitch-up…but it’s true.

Now the establishment have finally made their move, coming out of the shadows with an unprecedented soft coup attempt as they try to reverse the roles of the executive and the legislature. It’s interesting to note that Dominic Grieve and the other wreckers have not been de-selected or otherwise admonished by their own party machines, despite all of the froth and noise. A cynic might say that it’s all part of the plan.

This is as serious as it gets, and it’s really hard to resist the word “betrayal” as the mask slips entirely at last. Now we can truly see the ugly mendacity of our elected representatives and their media enablers as they strain every sinew to corral us into a spurious choice between accepting Theresa’s turd and not leaving the EU at all.

I’m not easily shocked, but even I’m taken aback at the breath-taking audacity of those openly plotting to preserve the status quo by either ignoring the referendum result, or by adding yet more labyrinthine layers of complexity which always, always preserve Brussels’ position as the UK’s final arbiter and rule writer. Either outcome would suit the metropolitan machine just fine, despite all the faux outrage spilling over the airwaves right now.

This slow strangulation of the Brexit dream has been long in the making, and now the endgame is upon us.

Our mendacious MPs may succeed in stifling Brexit, for now, but I wonder if they have any conception of the price they will ultimately pay for their naked duplicity. When even hardcore Remainers like Dan Hodges are turning away in disgust, then something has gone seriously and dangerously wrong.

If the establishment believe the electorate won’t see through their smoke and mirrors act then they’re making a serious miscalculation.

This isn’t the end. It’s only the beginning.

Images courtesy of Nico1 & Alison Scott at

Labour’s Brexit Reckoning

It’s coming.

I know it doesn’t look that way at the moment, especially with the Tories tearing each other to pieces right now, but the Labour Party’s Brexit bunker is not nearly as impregnable as many inside it might like to imagine.

Brexit’s been a blast for Labour so far. For them it’s been the gift that keeps on giving. How they must be laughing themselves silly as they deliberately face every which way on the issue, carefully constructing a trail of quotes to ensure that everyone in Britain hears exactly what they want to hear from Her Majesty’s Opposition. It gets better though, because Labour knows perfectly well that no Brexit deal of any kind can pass their impossibly ambiguous six tests. A cynic might say that hurdle was deliberately set so high that nobody could ever find it, let alone clear it. Ironically, those tests may come back to bite them if Jeremy Corbyn ends up in Downing Street.

For more than two years the Labour Party has sat back and enjoyed the show, safe in the knowledge that no matter how hard they try, the government can never capture the unicorn they’ve demanded of them. Such is the privilege of sitting on the opposition benches.

To the casual Labour voter it might seem like the Tories are currently destroying themselves over the vexed issue of Brexit, while the opposition reclines in the back seat and enjoys the ride. This is half right, but Theresa May’s shameful Brexit sell-out has created a constitutional vortex which will suck the Labour Party into it just as surely as it will crush the Conservatives.

There is no way that Theresa May’s disastrous stitch-up deal will be approved by Parliament unless Labour changes its mind on the issue, something they have absolutely no incentive to do. It’s also been made clear that, true to form, the EU will not consider any form of renegotiation, save for some vague, non-binding “assurances” which will only increase mistrust among Brexiteers.

Those increasingly immovable facts leave the government with only two options. The first is to go for broke and declare a no deal Brexit, the second is to extend the Article 50 process in the hope that some hitherto unimagined solution falls from the heavens before the next election (it won’t, by the way).

Although either course is deeply unpalatable for the Conservative Party, it’s also extremely dangerous for Labour too. Whether the government attempts to extend Article 50 or declares no deal, Labour will be forced to finally whip its MPs and take a single, unambiguous and coherent position on Brexit.

I’ve written at length about how the entire Brexit process has exposed the establishment’s true colours when it comes to their real interests, and the Parliamentary Labour Party will not escape the day of political judgement. Whatever course of action the government decides to follow, the Labour Party will have no choice but to either support or oppose it. Then, at last, Labour’s true position on Brexit will finally be revealed.

Image courtesy of Dimitri_C & Carlos Sotelo at

The Swivel-Eyed Brextremists were Right

“Brexit means Brexit…there must be no attempt to remain inside the EU, no attempt to re-join it through the back door and no second referendum.”
Theresa May, June 30th 2016

Like many Leave voters, I’ve been chewing my lip and trying to keep my own counsel for months as I’ve watched our government surrender concession after concession to the EU, while receiving the grand total of nothing in return. The exit bill, the order of negotiations, the transition period and the unending stream of calculated insults emanating from Brussels have been difficult to endure, but I’ve kept my eye firmly on the greater prize of Britain once again becoming a self-governing and independent nation state, ready to plot a new course in our rapidly changing world.

I’m not easily shocked, but the revelation that our own Prime Minister has been actively plotting to do the very thing she swore not to do when she was entrusted with the keys to Downing Street has taken some getting over. I know the word “plotting” has some very dark and emotive connotations, but it’s completely justified. There’s absolutely no chance that the Chequers agreement is something that was just scribbled on the back of an envelope as the PM awoke from a recurring Brexit nightmare one stormy night. It’s far too sophisticated for that, having been deliberately designed to deceive by talking positively about sovereignty, while vaguely referring to some unspecified “common rulebook.” Anyone who understands anything about the EU will spot Brussels’ fingerprints all over a document such as this.

And just who will be writing, updating, interpreting and arbitrating this exciting new common rulebook I wonder? Now let me think…

Who would’ve thought that those swivel-eyed Brexit extremists were right all along when they warned against putting a Remainer in Number 10? However, it’s now crystal clear that our Prime Minister hasn’t really embraced the idea of leaving the European Union and making autonomous decisions without its advice or approval. Indeed, we now know that she’s been consciously and secretly plotting to keep us shackled to that failing institution and bound to their our shared “common rulebook” indefinitely. If that’s not re-joining the EU via the back door, then I really don’t know what is.

However, even if this chequered “turd rolled in glitter”
does come to pass in its current form, there’s still good cause for optimism in the longer-term. Let’s not forget that Article 50 has already been triggered and, more importantly, the European Withdrawal Act has now passed into law, despite a co-ordinated campaign of sabotage by an increasingly desperate establishment which has demonstrated it will never accept the referendum result.

The significance of these Brexit triumphs should not be forgotten, because they mean that EU law will no longer be supreme in the UK after March 29th 2019. This date is now enshrined in UK law, and the dread European Communities Act 1972 is set to be repealed on that same day. The current babble of loose talk about simply abandoning Brexit altogether fails to acknowledge that any changes to our current exit arrangements would require further legislation via Parliament. Good luck with that.

Although at least half the country (and I suspect more) is rightly up in arms about May’s sloppy stich-up at Chequers last week, any future legal partnership with the EU must, by definition, be an arrangement ratified by the UK Parliament, and there’s little evidence that such a disastrous deal would ever make it through the Commons. How deliciously ironic it is that we can thank the reliably condescending and galactically over-entitled Gina Miller for that Supreme Court precedent. Thanks Gina, I know you’ll be pleased because I’m sure this is exactly what you had in mind when you set out to recycle, re-package, and re-brand an establishment attempt to overturn the referendum as a deeply held and strangely sudden conversion to the cause of Parliamentary sovereignty. Is anyone giving odds on Miller taking up some kind of Brussels role when we’re finally out? She’s a natural.

I could continue writing here, but my eyes have started to swivel.

Images courtesy of Peter Skadberg & Lorenzo Gonzalez at


Decision Time for Theresa

Whatever you might think of her politics or personality, there’s no denying Theresa May’s tenacity and dogged determination. So far she’s confounded all the doomsayers who prophesised that the Brexit talks would never get this far. Predictions of Jeremy Corbyn celebrating Christmas in Number 10 have vanished from more than one blog, and gleeful tweets about the imminent local election meltdown have been recycled into memes of mirth all across cyberspace.

Despite being a little grating and not especially charismatic, the Prime Minister has nonetheless managed to retain, and in some cases gain, the loyalty of an electorate which has come to grudgingly admire her patient if bureaucratically dull approach to an increasingly ill-tempered, intransigent and deliberately discourteous European Union.

Contrary to what the more unhinged factions of the Remainosphere might say, the Brexiteer who thought this would all be a breeze is a rare and strange beast indeed. The British electorate backed Brexit in the full knowledge that there would be more than a couple of bumps in the road as we embarked on the biggest constitutional upheaval in a generation. How could there not be?

This typically pragmatic, balanced and, yes dammit, British attitude explains why both the voters in general and the Tory Party in particular have continued to support the PM through the increasingly difficult and tortuous Brexit process.

However, with her latest and, quite frankly, downright dishonest sounding customs union fudge, the PM has finally run out of creative ways to yield ever more ground to Brussels while kicking the can down the road at the same time. It’s been a really neat trick which has served her well so far; but beneath all the noise and shiny distractions swirling around the Brexit debate, the influential European Research Group has finally delivered its considered verdict.

“Completely cretinous.”

The back benches have lost patience with Britain’s seemingly endless procession of one-way concessions. Their letters to the 1922 Committee are poised and ready. They have the numbers, they’re no longer scared of Corbyn, and I believe they mean business this time.

Soon we will know for sure whether the PM has been doing her best in good faith, or whether her talk of “no attempt to remain inside the EU [and] no attempt to re-join it via the back door” was just another carefully measured dose of duplicity made in Brussels.

At the moment, Theresa May seems to be the only person in Europe who hasn’t learned that there can be no compromise with the EU. I don’t know why she finds this concept so difficult to grasp. God knows, they’ve told us often enough.

Images courtesy of Adrian Olguin & Anja Ranneberg at