May’s triumph in confidence vote is ‘worst possible outcome’ and leaves Tories ‘grinding miserably forward’, MP says

Steve Baker said the Tories are now 'grinding miserably forwards'. Credit: ITV/Peston

Steve Baker said the Tories are now ‘grinding miserably forwards’. Credit: ITV/Peston

|AIWA! NO!|Theresa May’s triumph in the confidence vote over her leadership is the “worst possible” outcome of the vote and will see the Conservative Party stuck in a vicious cycle of “grinding miserably forwards supporting the Prime Minister’s leadership while opposing the Prime Minister’s Brexit policy”, an MP has said.

Steve Baker, the deputy chair of the pro-hard Brexit European Research Group (ERG) and one of the Conservative MPs who submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May, said that while the Prime Minister may have triumphed in the poll, he predicted she could end up in a similar situation to Margaret Thatcher and could see her own Cabinet calling on her to resign within a week.

In Wednesday’s poll, Mrs May’s Cabinet appeared to overwhelmingly back her.

Of the 317 Tory MPs, 200 or 63%, voted in favour of the Prime Minister, while 117 or 37%, voted against her, giving her a majority of 83.

Mrs May’s success means her leadership cannot be contested again for a year.

Appearing on ITV’s Peston, Mr Baker said that while the Prime Minister may have won the support of her party, the overwhelming majority of MPs are still unhappy with her European Union Withdrawal Agreement, resulting in it likely being defeated in the House of Commons.

Speaking to ITV News’ Political Editor, Mr Baker continued that he hoped the Brexit deal would soon be put to Parliament so that “it could be voted down”, and then negotiations re-started with the EU.

Bolton reacts to Brexit and Theresa May facing no confidence vote

Joseph Timan  josephtiman, BOLTON NEWS|AIWA! NO!|AS the drama over Brexit reaches new heights this week, people in Bolton town centre have expressed their frustration at the chaos that has descended in Westminster.

A vote on a withdrawal agreement was supposed to take place in parliament yesterday but was postponed.

The Prime Minister has struggled to gain enough support for the deal she has negotiated and is due to return to Brussels for further talks.

Tonight, Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence from her own party.

Many in Bolton town centre today were fed up and few were willing to hazard a guess about what will happen next.

The Bolton News:

Peter of Bromwich Street described the current situation as an “absolute disgrace”.

He said: “I think we should have another referendum. I didn’t vote before. I couldn’t vote last time because I was in Malta. But I would have voted to stay anyway, and I would vote to stay now. 

“A lot of people voted to leave because they promised them this money with the NHS and immigration laws, but they have not changed whatsoever.”

He thinks there should be another referendum because promises made to voters have been broken.

The Bolton News:

Joanne of Chorley Old Road also wants another vote.

She said: “I think at the moment it’s an absolute nonsense. Nobody knows what anybody wants and nobody is making any decision.

“The fact that the Prime Minister is going to a vote of no confidence today, is probably the right thing to be doing at the moment. 

“I voted to remain so consequently I would like another vote.

“I think after all the messing that’s been going on, I think a lot more people would choose to remain because it’s looking like if we leave, we’re going to have more problems.”

The Bolton News:

Tony of Derby Street said: “It’s dragged on now for nearly two years. I think democracy is dead in this country now if we don’t adhere to a vote.

“It’s never going to work. We’ve got a government of Remainers trying to negotiate Brexit.”

Jeremy Corbyn MP Emergency Brexit Debate Speech

|AIWA! NO!|Mr Speaker, I beg to move, That this House has considered the Prime Minister’s unprecedented decision not to proceed with the final two days of debate and the meaningful vote despite the House’s Order of Tuesday 4 December 2018 and her failure to allow this House to express its view on the Government’s deal or her proposed negotiating objectives without the agreement of this House.

Mr Speaker I have had the privilege of serving in this House for 35 years and I’ve had strong disagreements over policy with every Prime Minister in that time.

But, I have never in all those 35 years witnessed such an abject mess as this Prime Minister has made of these crucial Brexit negotiations and in presenting her deal to this House.

Every Prime Minister loses votes and gets things wrong.

But yesterday the Prime Minister demeaned her office by unilaterally taking her discredited deal off the table and running away rather than face the verdict of this House.

There’s nothing wrong with standing by your principles but this deal is not one of principle and she’s not even prepared to stand by it.

Yesterday Mr Speaker they didn’t even have the decency to allow this House a vote on withdrawing the business.

She let down all MPs and the people we represent on both sides of this House, the overwhelming majority of whom know that this deal is dead and want to get on with putting a realistic solution in place.

However, Mr Speaker, I want to thank those Conservative MPs who boldly stood up yesterday  to secure this debate  the Hon members for Totnes, for Wellingborough, for Stone, for Rayleigh & Wickford, for Putney, for Beaconsfield, for Broxtowe, for Morley & Outwood, for Nuneaton.

This is no longer a functioning government and the Prime Minister must admit her deal is dead. Her shambolic negotiations have ended in failure and she no longer has the authority to negotiate for Britain when she doesn’t even have the authority of her own party.

Parliament may not have had the chance to vote down her deal, but as she herself has admitted if she had put it before this House it would have been defeated by a significant margin.

She has no authority to go to Europe and negotiate when she can’t even command a majority in this House.

She’s wasted £100,000 of public money in just seven days on Facebook adverts trying and failing to sell to the public her dog’s dinner of a Brexit deal.

In the days when she and I served on local councils, council leaders would have been surcharged for wasting public money like that.

She has failed to convince this House, failed to convince the public and she now seems doomed to fail to convince the European Union to accept any meaningful changes.

She cancelled her own Cabinet meeting this morning – presumably she’s not even sure if she commands a majority there anymore?

And who can blame them? About a dozen of them were sent into the TV and radio studios to deny the Prime Minister would pull the vote shortly before she phoned to tell them she was pulling the vote.

The Northern Ireland Secretary was quoted saying: “the UK must move on with Brexit or risk being riven with division”, shortly before the Prime Minister decided not to move on with Brexit.

This is the same Prime Minister who said hers was the best deal and the only deal.

Corbyn calls for unified European strategy to fend off far-right

Jeremy Corbyn addressed socialists in Lisbon

Jeremy Corbyn addressed socialists in Lisbon

European politics must change if the left is to fend off the far – right “fake populists” who feed on people’s fear of low living standards and inse

|LAMIAT SABIN, MORNING STAR|AIWA! NO!|EUROPEAN politics must change if the left is to fend off the far-right “fake populists” who feed on people’s fears of low living standards and insecure work to fulfill their political agendas, Jeremy Corbyn urged today.

The Labour leader was in Lisbon at the Congress of the Party of European Socialists, where he said his party is committed to “build a new Europe, inside and outside the institutions of the EU.”

Donald Trump hailed Boris Johnson as a future prime minister, accused the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, of doing “a bad job” on terrorism and said there had been too much immigration in Europe in an incendiary interview that raised questions about the decision to invite him to Britain.
A day before the US president was due to have bilateral talks with Theresa May, Trump used an interview with the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun to endorse her principal Tory rival just days after he resigned from the cabinet in protest at her Brexit policy.
Trump described Johnson as “a very talented guy” for whom he had “a lot of respect”. He claimed he was not trying to pit Johnson against his host, but added: “I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”

The Guardian

He slammed EU support for austerity that had caused “serious hardship” across the continent.

He warned that the far right will “always find a scapegoat” for national problems and that the left needs to find real solutions.

“The stakes could not be higher. If we cannot rise to the task, then we will smooth the path to power of the fake populists,” he said.

“The far right feeds on fears fuelled by falling living standards, damaged communities, insecure work and underfunded public services. It diverts the blame away from the powerful few responsible for economic and social failure and on to minorities.

“If the European political establishment carries on with business as usual, the fake populists of the far right will fill the vacuum.”

He paid tribute to the Portuguese example of progressive political parties working together to curb austerity and said that that approach should be taken across the continent.

Mr Corbyn said: “Inside or outside the European Union we are internationalists to our very core.

“As socialists and trade unionists, we will work together to help build a real social Europe: a people’s Europe, a socialist Europe, that will strengthen solidarity across borders, resist the race to the bottom in rights and protections and work together to extend them for all workers, consumers and our environment.

“We have to recognise that EU support for austerity and failed neoliberal policies have caused serious hardship for working people across Europe, damaged the credibility of European social democratic parties, and played a significant role in the vote for Brexit.

“European socialists have to fight for a different kind of Europe.”

With Prime Minister Theresa May’s botched Brexit deal likely to be voted down on Tuesday with the help of Tory rebels, Mr Corbyn laid out Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit in his speech.

It includes “a new comprehensive customs union with the EU, a new strong relationship with the single market, and guarantees on existing EU rights at work, environmental standards and consumer protections.”

Lamiat Sabin is Morning Star Parliamentary Reporter.

BORIS JOHNSON: Don’t underestimate the deepest sense of responsibility I feel for Brexit


|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Boris Johnson has said Theresa May “can do much better” than her Brexit deal with the EU.

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the ex foreign secretary, urged the PM to renegotiate with the EU if her deal is rejected by MPs on Tuesday.

He said it “absolutely breaks my heart to think that after all we fought for… that we should consign ourselves to a future where the EU effectively rules us in many, many respects”.

Asked whether he would take responsibility if jobs were lost in a no-deal scenario, Mr Johnson, a leading member of the Leave campaign, said: “Do not underestimate the deep sense of personal responsibility I feel for Brexit, and for everything that has happened.”

Brexit deal legal advice Theresa May tried to withhold from parliament

Here's the Brexit deal legal advice Theresa May tried to withhold from parliament
Thomas Colson 
1h 	463
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London Reuters / Henry Nicholls

Downing Street has published the legal advice it was given on Theresa May's Brexit deal by the government's top law officer, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

The Prime Minister caved in moments after MPs decided her ministers were in “contempt” of Parliament.

THOMAS COLSON, BUSINESS INSIDE UK|AIWA! NO!|The government tried to prevent the full legal advice being published, and MPs found the government in contempt of parliament for refusing a demand to do so.

  • Downing Street has published the legal advice it was given on Theresa May’s Brexit deal by the government’s top law officer, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the legal advice the government tried to withhold.

LONDON — The government has published the full legal advice it was given on Theresa May’s Brexit plan after MPs found the government to be in contempt of parliament for refusing to do so. 

The advice, from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the country’s top law officer, examines the legal effect of the proposed backstop arrangement, or Northern Ireland protocol, which is a fallback measure designed to maintain an invisible border in Ireland.

The measure is deeply unpopular among Brexit-supporting MPs because would keep the UK in the customs union and Northern Ireland even more closely aligned to the EU, as well as requiring checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Here’s what you need to know about Cox’s legal advice:

  • Cox warns that the backstop arrangement contained within the withdrawal agreement would “endure indefinitely,” a phrase which has enraged Brexiteers who say it would represent an incomplete Brexit.
  • It confirms the government does not have the right to withdraw from the backstop unilaterally, something Brexiteers have advocated.
  • There is a legal risk that the UK could become stuck in “protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations” with Brussels. 
  • The date on the Attorney General’s advice is 13 November, the same day MPs asked for the advice to be published. This could mean that the government had not actually received any formal legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement before, despite May publishing her formal Brexit plan weeks earlier.
Screenshot 2018 12 05 at 11.58.38

Business Insider

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “Having reviewed the Attorney General’s legal advice, it’s obvious why this needed to be placed in the public domain.

“All week we have heard from Government ministers that releasing this information. could harm the national interest. Nothing of the sort. All this advice reveals is the central weaknesses in the Government’s deal.

“It is unthinkable that the Government tried to keep this information from Parliament — and indeed the public — before next week’s vote.”

The government had refused previous requests to publish the advice, which comes just a week before MPs vote on the deal itself, saying it would set a dangerous precedent if the Attorney General could not provide the Prime Minister with honest, confidential legal advice without fear of it being made public.

Cox instead published a 48-page legal commentary outlining the advice he had provided on the Brexit plan and was grilled by MPs in the Commons for two hours on the subject on Monday.

But MPs voted 311 to 293 to find May’s government in contempt on Tuesday afternoon, forcing Downing Street to publish the advice in full. It was the first time in British parliamentary history the government has been found in contempt by MPs.

Brexit “wrong” lead over “right” in double figures at record level; YouGov Tracker Poll Finds

|AIWA! NO!|With the political process of the UK leaving the EU completely dominating the headlines the latest YouGov brexit tracker has unwelcome news for those who want to follow the referendum result.

The figures are in the chart above. 49% believe that in hindsight it was wrong to vote to leave the EU with 38% saying it was right.

The question has been asked several times a month by YouGov in exactly the same form since the referendum in 2016 and this, by far, is the biggest lead lead for “wrong” and it’s the first time that those believing that Brexit was right is below 40%.

This trend chart from the Times has just been published.

This will give heart to those MPs at Westminster who are pressing for a second referendum.

Mike Smithson

Follow @MSmithsonPB