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The Lib Dems have less respect for democracy than General Pinochet

The Liberal Democrat party, with its host of 6 MPs (much reduced in 2015) have pledged to ignore the Brexit referendum result and to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU.

“Nigel Farage’s vision for Britain has won this vote, but it is not a vision I accept”, declared Lib Dem leader Tim Farron yesterday. “Even though the vote was close, the majority of British people want us to leave. But we refuse to give up on our beliefs”, he said.

Mr Farron, the relatively obscure leader of the party of heavyweights such as Cyril Smith, went on:

Mr. Farron argued that his party’s proposition was justifiable in a democratic society as older people’s votes were somehow less valid and because a vote against the EU was really a vote against Westminster.

“This was not a vote on the European Union alone”, he said, but a “howl of anger” against politics.

So, once the votes are counted, and if that ‘fails’, they are then ‘interpreted’ and in line with socialist logic, they don’t mean what a plain reading might fairly be taken to show that they mean. But is he not also saying that the vote was against him, as a member of the Westminster Parliament?

I would like to contrast this attitude with that of General Pinochet, well-known ‘strongman’ of Chilean politics from 1973 to 1990, who held a referendum on his junta (well, him) continuing to rule Chile in 1988, and who respected the outcome rejecting his continued rule, with a little prodding perhaps from General Matthei, the Air Force member of the junta (and friend of the UK in the Falklands War), who called for the result to be respected.

I suppose what we are seeing is a political auto-endoscopy by the Left, each trying to get further up their own arses than the other, with Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister indicating that the Scottish Parliament may have a veto on Brexit, a surprising interpretation of constitutional law from someone who is a solicitor.

I am confident that the bulk of people will see through all this, and see the Left, in all their shades, for the totalitarians that they are.

56 comments to The Lib Dems have less respect for democracy than General Pinochet

  • There is a reason that the Liberal Democrats have been reduced to a parliamentary party that could fit in a London taxi, it is because they are treacherous scum who threw large sections of their own electoral base under the bus in return for a seat in government during the 2010-2015 coalition.

    That they were nearly obliterated is a telling observation of how little they are respected. In my view the electorate were generous allowing 6 MP’s to remain.

    They are a joke party that commands no real support and deserves no attention.

  • Mr Ed

    They are a joke party that commands no real support and deserves no attention.

    Joke? yes, no real support? Any support is too much; deserving attention? Only insofar as attention is scorn and mockery, devoted to their demise. The party of dog-killers (Rinka the dog) and Jeremy Thorpe, exposed by the great Auberon Waugh, in perhaps the most unusual election address in history:

    Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking I offer myself as your Member of Parliament in the General Election on behalf of the nation’s dog lovers to protest about the behaviour of the Liberal Party generally and the North Devon Constituency Liberal Association in particular. Their candidate is a man about whose attitude to dogs – not to mention his fellow human beings – little can be said with any certainty at the present time.

    But while it is one thing to observe the polite convention that a man is innocent until proven guilty, it is quite another thing to take a man who has been publicly accused of crimes which would bring him to the cordial dislike of all right-minded citizens and dog lovers, and treat him as a hero.

    Before Mr Thorpe has had time to establish his innocence of these extremely serious charges, he has been greeted with claps, cheers and yells of acclamation by his admirers in the Liberal Party, both at the National Conference in Southport and here in the constituency. I am sorry but I find this disgusting.

    I invite all the electors of North Devon, but especially the more thoughtful Liberals and dog lovers to register their disquiet by voting for me on 3 May and I sincerely hope that at least fifty voters in this city will take the opportunity to do so.

    Genesis XVIII 26: And the LORD said If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

    1 Samuel XXIV 14: After whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

    Rinka is NOT forgotten. Rinka lives. Woof, woof. Vote Waugh to give all dogs the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Mr Ecks

    Farron is scum who is–one of Brian Mickelthwait’s phrases I believe– “about as important as a cork bobbing up and down in the Mid-Atlantic”

    And as for Sturgeon–she should stop making such jokes. The SP being able to cancel Brexit?. She would do better sending up the Bat-signal.

    Although Batman –were he real–would doubtless favour Brexit –or at least a Batxit of his own.

  • Perhaps someone should point out to Nicola that the Welsh parliament could block the Scottish parliament’s vote; surely that would follow from her position. I suggest the Welsh parliament not follow the Scottish one but get ahead of them and state that the Welsh parliament can block the Scottish parliament from even holding a vote. If it’s open season on constitutional claims, why hold back, Wales. 🙂

    Meanwhile one thing is clear: it must now be indisputable that Berwick town council can block any attempt by Scotland to leave the UK. If only I had known this in September 2014, much concern over that referendum could have been avoided.

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” (“but when we’ve practiced for a while, we get along in splendid style”). Given that Nicola’s had plenty of practice, she does not seem to me to be getting on that well.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Mr Farron and his ilk should bear in mind that the one thing the referendum has made clear is a large proportion of the electorate were never in favour of a union or a closer union in Europe, and his party, and all the others, conspired to make sure that such a voice went unheard for decades. The problem is his party and his candidates refusing to recognize this and it took a populist like Farage campaigning doggedly for years to bring this all about. Let’s be fair, if he wants to present the Liberals as a pro-Europe party then make sure every candidate understands this and if they don’t agree they should leave and join another party, and not be shouted down or silenced as has been the policy for the last dozen elections.

    The political elite, which includes Farron, brought this on themselves, and if they still refuse to admit this and continue their “nanny knows best” attitude then they need to be confined to the dustbin of history.

  • Kevin B

    I’m stuggling to understand Farron’s thinking here:

    “The Labour party’s imploding today because of all those MPs looking at how big the leave vote was in their various constituencies. Let’s seize the moment and make a big statement that will show that we still count.

    “I know, I’ll say that we’ll ignore the referendum result and campaign to stay in the EU! That’ll win the voters over!”

    So that’s most of labour, most of the tories, all six of the lib dems and even, (after freezing Nigel out), those tories who were on the right side of the leave vote who are now campaigning for a Farage government after the next election.

  • Robert

    “The Lib Dems have less respect for democracy than General Pinochet” is a daft comment. The Lib Dems have a perfect right to say they disagree with the majority. Just like most of us Libertarians disagree with the (much bigger) majority on the NHS. Or is all dissent to be suppressed in the independent UK?

  • But that’s not what he’s saying Robert. He’s saying that as an elected representative of the people he will actively frustrate, undermine and attempt to overturn the result of this referendum.

    Disagreement I can understand, but treason is something else.

  • rosenquist

    I agree Robert, a daft post, Farage himself said “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way.” In other words there would have been equal resentment from the leave side had the result gone the other way.

  • Nigel Farage represents UKIP with a single MP stolen from the Tories. He doesn’t even speak for the official campaign, Vote “Leave”. This is the same idiot that conceded defeat at the closure of the polls.

    So why should I pay attention to him about a second referendum?

    Cameron already ruled this out (admittedly when he expected to win), so this would require Tory boy to renege on YET ANOTHER of his promises?

    Nah. Not going to happen. Any MP that attempted to do this would be crucified and their career would be over the moment they closed their mouths.

  • Mr Ed

    Robert, I disagree, Pinochet respected the outcome of a referendum and took it on the chin, it is not about suppressing dissent, that is a complete non sequitur with no rational basis, the only ‘dissent’ that anyone is trying to suppress is the referendum outcome, which the Lib Dems are campaigning to nullify, presumably on the basis that if they get 5 MP after the next GE, and can squeeze into another coagulation, they will demand an application to join the EU (If we have left by then) as the price, and claim a mandate on the basis that it was in their manifesto.

    The comment is about realising that if there is an outcome to a referendum, you respect it whether you like it or not, (unless, e.g. it’s on a Bill of Attainder) and it is not that they are saying that the disagree with the majority, Mr Farron said:

    “This was not a vote on the European Union alone”, he said, but a “howl of anger” against politics.

    So If you vote against A, he claims the right to interpret it as a vote against A but also a vote about whatever he chooses to interpret the vote as being, so he claims the right to complain. As for his slogan, ‘We are the 48%“, i.e. we are anti-democratic scoundrels who will strive to frustrate the popular will because we know why you voted better than you do.


    What relevance is what Mr Farage says? He is not an MP, he was not in the ‘official’ campaign, he leads (in questionable circumstances given his resignation and apparently unconstitutional reappointment as UKIP leader) a party with one elected MP, Mr Carswell, who was at least twice validated as UKIP MP by the voters of Clacton-on-Sea, and he is not, unlike what Mr Farron claims, what people voted for. He has got himself into a position where he may have abolished his job as an MEP and his party may well expire, its function fulfilled.

  • Stonyground

    I suppose that this could be a political move. Maybe he is hoping to get the 48% that voted remain to vote for his party at the next election. Personally, I don’t think that anyone who is proposing to ignore or reverse the referendum result is fit to be an MP.

  • Stonyground

    Also not fit to be an MP:

    Labour MP David Lammy has called on Parliament to “stop this madness” and to vote against the referendum decision to leave the EU. In a statement on his Twitter feed, the MP for Tottenham and former Higher Education and Skills Minister said: “Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU.”

  • Cal

    I said a while ago that if Leave win then a lot of the Remainers will try to scupper it. That’s why I want Article 50 to be invoked straight away, so at least that bit is a done deal.

    (I don’t think they will be able to scupper it, mind. But no point giving them the chance.)

  • Laird

    “This was not a vote on the European Union alone”, he said, but a “howl of anger” against politics.

    In a broad, philosophic sense Mr. Farron is correct: elections are exceedingly blunt instruments, and drawing conclusions from the result is often pure speculation (or simply wishful thinking) by the victor. In the US, Obama won only 51% of the popular vote in 2012, yet he claimed that his victory gave him a broad popular mandate to radically restructure the country, and he has governed in precisely that fashion. But a referendum is a much sharper tool, and the meaning of the simple “in or out” question in the Brexit referendum is unmistakable. It may (probably did) include elements of a “howl of anger” against politicians generally; that sentiment seems to be sweeping the world right now. But it is clearly a rejection of the EU specifically. Mr Farron is simply wrong.

  • Robert

    Mr Ed, the remark about suppressing dissent was little more than a rhetorical flourish, and yes was a bit of a non sequitur; your response is fair. However I still don’t think the Lib Dems are doing or saying anything at all objectionable (although I do disagree with their views on this point). In fact had the result been 48/52 the other way I can well imagine Nigel Farage and other leavers making mirror-image comments and pledges, and that would have been perfectly ok as well. Nigel Farage’s thoughts after a vote to remain would have been at least as relevant as Tim Farron’s thoughts after a vote to leave.

  • Sam Duncan

    I think it’s now safe to say that Brexit Derangement Syndrome is a Thing.

  • Mr Ed


    Sorry if I was being too lawyerish. I would respect (and still loathe) Mr Farron if he had said ‘OK, we’re out, and Leave we must, but we will show you that you were wrong, and then we will campaign for the UK to be re-admitted to the European Union, and we will ask you for your approval.‘. What I object to is his indication that he would frustrate the referendum outcome, on the basis of a frankly messianic worldview with Herman van Rompuy as one of his saints.

    Mr Farage is a true bogeyman for the Left, he has his flaws from my point of view, but he has at least been willing to stand up and be counted, and to be hated.

  • William H. Stoddard

    If the government doesn’t trust the people, why can’t it dissolve them and elect a new people?

  • Mr Ed


    Re Mr Lammy:

    Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU.

    I suspect that of all people, the late Brigadier Enoch Powell would have agreed with that statement, whilst perhaps pointing out that Parliament was no longer sovereign. The paradox of a ‘sovereign’ Parliament voting to maintain its subordination to the EU may or may not be lost on Mr Lammy, who appears to have an impressive academic record and background in the law, but he reminds me of an energy-saving light bulb, not as bright as what he replaced, but in his case, actually less toxic.

    And of Powell’s aphorism, ‘All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of all human affairs‘, step forward David Cameron (Yes, I know that this is a happy juncture 🙂 ). And yet, on his own terms, Nigel Farage may have been the exception (in terms of what he sought) that proves that ‘rule’.

  • If the government doesn’t trust the people, why can’t it dissolve them and elect a new people?

    New Labour attempted to do exactly this by opening up the floodgates of uncontrolled immigration, in effect to import a new electorate from overseas, an electorate that they thought would vote Labour in gratitude and keep the Tories from power forever.

    What they failed to realise is that a lot of these types, such as the Poles were entrepreneurial types hoping to escape socialists in their own countries, the others such as the members of the Religion of Peace who masqueraded as asylum seekers fleeing prosecution would only vote for a member of their own community or pretty much not vote.

    The rest like the Romanians only came here to fleece us of housing benefit and welfare which was channelled back into the Gypsy palaces of Romania, they had no intention to settle here, but were simply parasites feeding on a host. Why should they vote for anyone? Let alone Labour.

    So the attempt to import a new electorate failed, but brought with it the consequences that lead to Thursday’s vote to leave the EU.

    Now we have to sort out the wheat from the chaff and evict the chaff.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Mr Ed,

    The British reaction to Farage seems familiar to me, because it remarkably remembers the American reaction to those bogeymen the Koch brothers.

  • Alex

    Britain is totally hollowed out, a shell of a nation. Less that 48 hours after politicians on all sides stressed the importance of “listening to the people” each and every party is busying itself with politics as usual. The slight majority who voted leave will be further disengaged from politics by this and retreat again. Those who predict any kind of meaningful push back from the 52% are engaging in wishful thinking.

  • Am I right in thinking that Parliament is not sovereign in this regard? I may be wrong but I thought treaties came under the Royal Prerogative and we’re the gift of the Queen and the Pm.

  • Stuck-Record

    Is it at all credible that Parliament would negate the Referendum?

    I know it was not legally binding, but to go against the will of the people! Even if they dressed it up as an act of concience to save the country.

    Does anyone think this could actually happen?

  • Mr Ed


    Yes, the signing of treaties etc. comes under the Royal Prerogative (i.e. the Prime Minister’s whim) and the communication of an intention to leave would be just that, a matter that Parliament could not prevent without a specific Act declaring itself master of that Prerogative, which could be got round by the PM simply sending the letter before Parliament could pass a Bill (even if it wished, given that the PM controls the Commons).

    Once Article 50 is invoked, Parliament would have no say over the European Council’s decision on the matter, and the process of trundling to exit would be irreversible but indefinitely delayable (such a word?).


    The simplest ruse is to pfaff about without invoking Article 50 until a General Election and then hoping everyone has forgotten about it. I suspect that that is the plan. Puts the blame on one person not all the MPs.

  • Is it at all credible that Parliament would negate the Referendum?

    I know it was not legally binding, but to go against the will of the people! Even if they dressed it up as an act of concience to save the country.

    Does anyone think this could actually happen?

    It’s possible, but it would be political suicide and the result would be chaos. Far better to grin through gritted teeth, negotiate the best deal possible and then blame any problems that arise as “entirely the fault of those who chose to leave the EU”.

    There is a great deal of political opportunity here, not least of which is the potential to break both the Tory and Labour party and form a new version of the SDP, then seek to bring the government down and hold an election on the basis of overturning the referendum or seeking readmission to the EU, but these things take time.

    So the sooner Article 50 is exercised the better.

  • Stonyground

    I’m not sure Alex. So many people have, for so long, being pathetically lying to themselves that they live in a democracy, that voting makes a difference. If the referendum result is ignored by those in power this lie will be massively exposed. Maybe we can now have a referendum on whether our taxes should be spent on maintaining the roads, or on fake charities that lecture us on how much alcohol, salt and sugar we should consume. My point being that, in that particular case, the result would be obvious, they know in advance what the answer would be. So why are they doing the precise opposite of what they know that the people that they pretend to represent want? I really thought that the expenses scandal would cause a huge clear out of sitting MPs. That this didn’t happen suggests that the proles really are as stupid as the politicians think they are. But there has to be a breaking point. Whether this is it only time will tell.

  • Maybe this will be the time the Queen will raise her head and actually DO something. She can boss the pm, no? Have the household cavalry clap him in irons until he invokes? She’d have a clear mandate to do it.

  • Maybe this will be the time the Queen will raise her head and actually DO something. She can boss the pm, no? Have the household cavalry clap him in irons until he invokes? She’d have a clear mandate to do it.

    Which is exactly why Brenda has retained her crown this long, because she doesn’t interfere with parliament. If she did then parliament would simply force her abdication, explain the terms and conditions to her successor (probably William rather than that prick Chuckles Buggerlugs III) as we have done before with Charles II, James II and William and Mary.

    Every time the monarch has intervened or defied parliament they have been replaced, because we are constitutional monarchy where the monarch is a figurehead whose powers reside with parliament. Any monarch failing to understand that has been shown the door.

  • Jerry

    Um, is there a chance that someone on this site could give some basic insight to a poor ignorant Texan ?

    I can’t seem to figure out exactly WHAT the advantage(s) is/are to Britain for staying in the EU !!
    From what I’ve read here and elsewhere, it appears that the only thing the EU does for Britain is cost you monies ( a LOT of it ) and then turn around and try to control every aspect of you lives !!
    VAT ?
    How curved bananas and cucumbers can be ?
    How much wattage your tea pots and vacuum cleaners can use ( someone needs a HEALTHY DOSE of elementary physics here ! )

    What am I missing ?
    The idea that if we all suffer together and go/do without it will lead to a glorious utopia for EVERYBODY sometime in
    the ( undefined ) future ??

  • Cal

    The screaming remainer crybabies seem to have a view of the EU as some magical fairydust organization who hold back the dark forces of racism rising up and killing all the dark-skinned people, who can single-handedly prevent us all going broke, and without whom Boris Johnson will soon have everyone clapped in chains and spending the rest of their life in slavery. Quite how a group of self-interested, faceless career bureaucrats in Brussels manage to achieve this isn’t ever explained.

  • CaptDMO

    Other than THAT Mrs.Lincoln, how was the play?
    “Well,…you see…it’s complicated!

  • Alex

    I can’t seem to figure out exactly WHAT the advantage(s) is/are to Britain for staying in the EU !!

    The main ones are visa-less travel and work (“free movement of people”) in other member states. In practice this seems to be much more complicated than necessary for most Britons and could be negotiated separately in any case. What I mean by this is that I, as a UK citizen, can move to Bulgaria should I so wish however as the taxation in most A8 (accession eight) states is complex and so far UK taxes are still not that bad it isn’t really favourable for me to do so. In short, it is largely a one-way street as the net migration figures indicate.

    The free movement of capital principle is realised through various directives that allow financial products and services to be “passported” to other member states. I am sure there are others here who can explain this better than myself (my understanding of this regulatory area comes principally from non-mainstream financial services so might not be very relevant). This is the big one as it affects the City of London considerably.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Over at Instapundit it’s all Brexit, all the time! Never seen anything like this.

    WRT the topic of this post: if i have to live under a dictatorship, i’d prefer a junta of generals rather than fascists, Marxists, or theocrats of any sort.
    (Though the former does not necessarily preclude any of the latter.)

  • Alex

    I should add I ignored the usual argument about so-called free trade as the WTO Uruguay Round tariff reforms essentially obviated the need for the customs union. The modern globalised world is not the world of 1972.

  • PeterT

    The political implications of the referendum are super interesting.

    Liberal Democrats. Not sure that it is such a stupid decision. A policy to stay (or re-enter) the EU could win the Lib Democrats the youth vote. Unfortunately for them this may not matter much in our first past the post system. To be frank though, at this point the Lib Dems seem pretty irrelevant.

    Tories. As I think Perry pointed out, it will now be politically suicidal for almost any Tory MP to go against the people’s decision.

    Labour. Similar to the Tories, but they could probably retain quite a lot of their inner city vote, but may lose votes to UKIP in the North.

    All things considered I think the Tory party would stand by far the most to lose by going against the people’s will. They would stand a good chance of annihilation given that the membership is well to the right of the MPs.

  • PeterT

    Jerry, I am afraid it gets complicated. I’m not an expert but below is my understanding. If you want to get geeky on the topic eureferendum.com is the place to go to.

    There is no benefit to being in the EU. BUT there is a significant benefit to being in the EEA. Norway, Lichtenstein and some others (Iceland?) are in the EEA but not the EU. The EEA is what is referred to as the ‘single market’.

    The name ‘single market’ is not very apt. What it is, is a single regulatory regime. The main benefit of this is that once the UK (or any nation)’s regulatory agencies declare goods fit for sale, they can be sold anywhere in Europe without further inspection. If we were outside the single market, that causes significant inconvenience and delay, as goods would have to be inspected and so forth. There would also be tariffs, but these are not very high so of less importance. UKIP and others have advocated leaving the single market, but this is stupid, for the reasons I just set out. The reason they don’t like it is that free movement of labour comes with the single market, and they have campaigned on the issue of reducing immigration. This is not quite true, as within the EEA there is only free movement for the purpose of work; you can’t just go somewhere then go on benefits, but this is a right in the EU. Furthermore, the EEA allows memberstates to apply, unilaterally, an emergency break on the rules of the EEA. Lichtenstein used this many years ago, and put in place a quota system. This is still in place.

    Financial services are not actually part of the single market, nor are any other services. This is not by design; I think its just proven very difficult. (There are common financial rules, such as the recent EMIR directive, and Solvency 2 for insurance) For asset managers it is not such an issue really, as most investment funds operate out of Dublin or Luxembourg based funds. Indeed, it would be a much bigger deal for the asset management industry in the UK if there was ‘Irexit’.

  • Paul Marks

    Classical Liberalism and democracy are two different things – they may not be opposed things, but they are different things.

    Classical Liberalism is about limited government (rolling back the state), and democracy is about the people having the final say (different things).

    However the “Liberal Democrats” believe in NEITHER.

    They do not believe in rolling back the state (they believe in making it bigger in the name of “Social Justice”).

    And they have nothing but contempt for the ordinary people having the final say – for democracy.

    Damn the “Lib Dems”.

    They are not nice-but-dim people.

    They are vile.

  • Pardone

    Why not set Article 50 in motion today?
    Why is Cameron staying on for 3 months when he could leave No. 10 tomorrow?
    Why has Boris gone into hiding? Is Boris upset that Cameron refused to do the politically poisonous Article 50 stuff?
    Why the hesitation to implement Article 50 immediately? Makes no sense.


    Could be done in 5 days but as usual politicians drag things out for months as they put themselves first.

  • The pm can’t just invoke it without the consent of parliament

  • Mr Ed


    I think that the Prime Minister can, legally, invoke Article 50, under the Royal Prerogative to run affairs of state and international relations, it may well be politically unwise, but not legally. The Crown, as advised by the Prime Minister, conducts foreign affairs, and receives Ambassadors at the Court of St. James’. Article 50 merely requires notification of intention to withdraw from a member state, and that is it, the clock starts ticking subject to extension (again by HMG).

    As Pardone points out, it could be done tomorrow, but I doubt that Mr Cameron wants to go down in history as the one who did it (first) and is happy for his successor to do it and is hoping that something will turn up.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The Liberal Democrat party should be prosecuted under the Trades Descriptions Act for operating under a false name, since that party is neither liberal or democratic if it wishes to thwart the outcome of a democratic vote involving a larger turnout than in the 2015 election.

    This whole process has been most revealing.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    PeterT’s argument about EEA and the movement of workers point is spot on. I wish more people could grasp this.

    As a libertarian Brexiteer, I really hope that we do enter the EEA, because the alternative is not good at all.

  • Sam Duncan

    “a surprising interpretation of constitutional law from someone who is a solicitor.”

    Oh, sure she is. My father was a partner in a legal firm with a couple of politicians. He ended up doing half their work for them because they were always off politicking. (And they ultimately contrived to kick him out.) Politicians are, above all, polticians.

    “Norway, Lichtenstein and some others (Iceland?) are in the EEA but not the EU.”

    Yep, Iceland. Switzerland is in EFTA and Schengen but not the EEA, although it has a set of bilateral agreements with its individual members. Technically, the EU as a whole is a member, not the individual states, but the participation of new states must be ratified by all EEA members. Croatia’s participation is still pending.

    “I wish more people could grasp this.”

    I think that once it all starts to be discussed during the negotiations, many Remainers will come to appreciate that it’s not actually going to be as bad as they feared (dammit, I’d have voted against what they thought I was voting for too). We will still have the “single market”, there will still be freedom of movement, there won’t be mass deportations, and there won’t be “legislation by fax machine”.

  • Jerry

    Thank You Alex and PeterT.
    That information helps and brings up points I was not aware of.

  • Lee Moore

    and see the Left, in all their shades, for the totalitarians that they are.

    I believe Heseltine – yup, still alive – is also agitating for Parliament to put the brakes on. Not everyone’s cup of tea, and certainly not mine, but hardly a member of “the Left.”

    I think this phase is all useful true colours time. Just as getting all those “Eurosceptic” Tory MPs who turned out to be Remainers out in the open will prove to be very useful in the years ahead.

  • Lee Moore

    I disagree with Peter T’s analysis, as I don’t think there are very many advantages of being in the single market. What is at stake in being outside the single market is the costs of that initial product inspection and delay at the first port of entry to the EU.

    Which is

    1. a fraction of the total profit margin on sales of goods to the EU
    2. itself a fraction of the gross sales value of sales of goods to the EU
    3. itself less than half of UK exports of goods and services to the EU
    4. itself less than half our total exports
    5. itself a rather modest fraction of the total economy

    In short a hill of beans, amounting to – even with hugely stretched assumptions to maximise the damage – a year or two’s worth of GDP growth.

    And on the other side of the ledger there is the massive overregulation of the whole domestic economy required by single market membership- an order of magnitude bigger than the export of goods to the EU sector. Which is probably worth twenty years of GDP growth.

    Happily I think the EU will have a good snit which will ensure we are kept out of the single market, and we will then be able to see how unimportant it is. (As the 100 countries who aren’t in it, and who still manage to export to the EU, could already tell us.)

    The fall in sterling in the last week is way more than is necessary to compensate exporters to the EU for any loss of competitiveness from leaving the single market. And that’s before any tax cuts from getting our money back.

  • PeterT

    Hi Lee, obviously quantum is all important. That said, the EEA and the EU only have 25% of legislation in common, of which about half (including the famous banana regulation) are UN rules that would apply to us in the WTO. So the potential reduction in regulations is 75%/87.5% = 86%. Seems pretty good to me.

    Furthermore, staying in the EEA for a few years will provide a stable platform from which to deal with the Scottish (and Northern Irish) questions.

  • Mr Ed

    I believe Heseltine – yup, still alive – is also agitating for Parliament to put the brakes on. Not everyone’s cup of tea, and certainly not mine, but hardly a member of “the Left.”

    Lord Heseltine is of the Salazar mould, but without the ‘patriotism’, a believer in the corporate state, he was the nephew that Ted Heath never had. He might be perceived a ‘right-wing’ because of his bombastic behaviour, but he is not.

    Some are less charitable about him.

    Michael Heseltine is the establishment’s oldest hitman, a liberal infiltrator and a traitor to the conservative movement. It’s time for conservatives to hit back hard.

    and claims of him this:

    An associate ran into him late one night at the Tory Carlton Club while he was still on the rise and confided in him in an unguarded moment:

    “I’m a liberal, really, but the Conservatives are the only party of government. I want to turn them into liberals.”

    And he is currently working, say the Guardian, on negating the referendum result, but to his credit, by Parliamentary means. By their friends shall ye know them.

  • Lee Moore

    I have no objection to a sojourn in the EEA, if it smoothes the process of escape. The key thing is to escape. Subsequent escape from the EEA would be easy peasy compared to the first step. I think a rip the plaster off approach would be much better though.

  • Steve Borodin

    How did the Liberable Democrats come to defile two honourable and useful words?

  • How did the Liberal Democrats come to defile two honourable and useful words?

    With ease as they have neither balls, nor conscience. They are happy to throw anyone under the bus to obtain narrow, near-term objectives.

  • Lee Moore

    I agree with Steve that positively the last people on Earth who can complain that their opponents won a vote by lying are the “Liberal” “Democrats”