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Discussion point: what do the Tory resignations portend?

Boris Johnson quits to add to pressure on May over Brexit

David Davis and Steve Baker had resigned earlier.

What will happen with Brexit? Will May hold on?

Don’t ask me, ‘cos I’m asking you.

29 comments to Discussion point: what do the Tory resignations portend?

  • A good question for which I do not have a good answer, but oh dear god (Eris? Tawaret? Cthulhu?) we need to be shot of Theresa the Appeaser ASAP 😡 👿

  • Given her track record, May will attempt to brass it out, but all this will do is alienate more Tory MP’s.

    So I doubt that Theresa May will resign until she is forced to consider her position by the 1922 Committee.

    The rumours about whether they have enough MP’s letters to trigger a leadership election (48 are required with 30 being the number so far submitted), suggest that the answer is “Not Yet”, but I suspect that unless Theresa May starts showing a bit more nouse pretty damn quick then the 1922 will be receiving the necessary support it requires to trigger a leadership election.

    Theresa May isn’t Maggie (despite attempting to dress up like her) and I suspect that she will prefer to resign than to fight and inevitably lose.

    As for BRExit, what Theresa May is pushing as “BRExit” is in fact “BRExit in name only” and it fails even on its own terms, so the whole line of bullshit about “publishing a white paper on Thursday” is just political theatre to try and bolster Theresa May’s current (clearly untenable) position with regard to BRExit.

    Given all of the above and the fact that we are now only 8 months and a bit until defacto BRExit happens PLUS the fact that the Checkers Memorandum has already been rejected by Michel Barnier since acceptance would essentially undermine the EU as a whole, then I think that we are approaching the end of the road for a negotiated settlement.

    As I’ve been saying since the referendum, I think a Hard BRExit is still the most likely eventuality, since compromise would be fatal for both sides.

    I also think that it would be the best outcome for both the UK and the EU, since the UK will not remain handcuffed to the EU after the end of March 2019 and the EU can effectively say “We won’t negotiate on the fundamental principles of the EU”.

    Hard BRExit is actually a win-win for both, though I’m sure neither side will acknowledge this at the present time.

  • Her behavior has been completely mystifying. Perhaps someone in the EU has some really good blackmail material on her. So, I would hope this portends an end to this nonsense. Britain should be dictating to the EU, not the other way round.

  • Katy Hibbert

    Hard Brexit (AKA Brexit) is now more likely. Bring it on.

  • Mr Ecks

    A Hurtel–She is a Remainiac saboteur–it is just that simple. Plus lots of character defects thrown in as well.

  • Barry Sheridan

    Guido says Mrs May actually revealed the agreement to Angela Merkel before Cabinet. Talk about surreal. I cannot see how anyone can be so dumb as the Prime Minister, she has no idea how to deal or negotiate.

  • Either the Tories deserve the appellation ‘the stupid party’ to a degree far beyond what seems possible even in politics, or they knew before this that they cannot let Theresa lead them into another election. The woman who nearly lost an election campaign after beginning 28 points ahead in the polls is not the leader they want when an election looms. That she was a poor (and Tory-voter offending) home secretary beforehand, and has had other problems since, adds to this. It is also a fact that May promised the 1922 committee to serve “as long as you want me to”. May may interpret this in a metaphorical sense but I suspect the committee understood it literally.

    My suggestion is, therefore, that the boat does not have to rock overly hard before the Tories will decide to make it lighter by the weight of one so-not-another-Thatcher ex-PM.

    What the polls (and the Tories’ own understandings and misunderstandings) say about what makes a winning (surviving) strategy with Tory voters and possibles at this point, will affect who succeeds her. I see a tougher negotiating stance against the EU as a no-brainer – but that’s an unfortunately apt phrase to use about the sort of remoaner Tory who regards their own voters as ‘swivel-eyed loons’. However, like Churchill, I see no point in being anything but an optimist. Fear may yet prove the long-awaited beginning of wisdom for some of these people. There is also the very good news that the EU is generating and will continue to generate its own bad news. Cringing to Merkel and the EU when Merkel looks so weak and the EU is itself in such turmoil looks stupid even to those who get their news from the beeb.

    Just my 0.02p, a.k.a. my wordy way of saying that, like Perry, I don’t actually know.

  • Mr Ed

    Mrs May will take the resignations, and Guido reports that Chris Green MP, a Parliamentary Private Secretary (an MP who takes an unpaid position as a Minister’s ‘eyes and ears’ in the House of Commons) has resigned from his post for Cabinet Minister Chris Grayling.

    Mrs May will see herself as rid of traitors and replace them with whatever fool she can find with the ambition to hold position, any position, in government. She will then consider it right to carry on as before. Mrs May does not appear to understand honesty, honour, decency, integrity or anything other than her own situation. She hates her party, of which she remains the unelected, appointed leader, she loathers her country, which she regards as Moldova with a coastline, she despises the voters who don’t take what’s good for them, and this makes it all the more important that she carries on, for the sake of being in power and stopping anything that the Guardian might disapprove of from happening. As Mrs May is only embarrassed by doing what is best for her country, she would carry on if she won a leadership contest by one vote, and probably regard herself as entitled to carry on if she lost by a landslide.

    How long before her Parliamentary Party wises up? Some point in April 2022, unless we are lucky.

  • …and so Dress Up appoints Jeremy Hunt as new Foreign Secretary.

    More hilarity ensues…

  • AndrewZ

    The EU negotiators have repeatedly stated that they will not compromise the integrity of the Single Market. That’s a genuine “red line” for the EU and not just a rhetorical one because the consequences of doing so would be so enormous. But May’s Chequers fudge would require them to do just that, so they will certainly reject it.

    If this is really the British government’s definitive proposal to the EU then there will be no agreement on anything and we will drop out of the EU with no deal when the two-year negotiation period required by Article 50 concludes at the end of March 2019.

    It’s also possible that it is a political ploy to shift the Cabinet towards a deal that involves remaining in the EEA to retain access to the Single Market and thus allow for “frictionless trade”. If so, it is succeeding. Davis and Johnson have resigned and no longer have any influence over the final decision. There is virtually no chance of Tory rebels making any serious attempt to depose May or bring the government down when they know that it could (a) let Labour into government, and (b) destroy their own careers because the Conservative Party never forgives disloyalty (even if it will forgive literally anything else apart from electoral failure). In this scenario, May is racing against time to get her preferred solution in place before the Article 50 clock runs down and if she fails it will still be “no deal” by default.

    Either way, the resignations are political theatre that probably won’t matter at all.

  • The Pedant-General

    “I see the River Tiber, foaming with much blood.”

    This will not end well.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Barry Sheridan: “Guido says Mrs May actually revealed the agreement to Angela Merkel before Cabinet. Talk about surreal. I cannot see how anyone can be so dumb as the Prime Minister, she has no idea how to deal or negotiate.”

    Well, she had to run it past her real masters first. Consider this rather prescient forecast from the Salzburg-born political scientist Leopold Kohr (1909 – 1994), in his book, ‘The Breakdown of Nations’, published in 1957 (coincidentally, the year the precursor organisation to the present EU was founded):

    “European federation, based on its great national blocks, unequal in size and strength, would in the end become a federation in the interest of Germany, because Germany alone would be large enough to enforce a federal law, and no law could be enforced without Germany’s consent. Germany would be arbiter and master.”

    Who did Cameron have to go grovelling to for his ‘thin gruel’ of a deal? Merkel. Who pulls the strings of the Greek economy? Merkel. Who rolled out the welcome mat – unilaterally – for hundreds of thousands of ‘refugees’? Merkel. What more proof does anyone need that Kohr called it right six decades ago?

    As for May, my guess is that she will be left in position, at least until after 29/03/2019 when UK membership of the EU formally ends. She shows no sign of wanting to quit, and probably no-one would want the job at the moment as a change of PM does not alter the Remain-heavy Parliamentary arithmetic. But when ‘Remain’ has to change their offering to become the rather harder sell of ‘Rejoin – and give up the pound / rebate / border controls / £350million a week’ … that’s when things might just begin to change.

  • She has in her hand a white paper…

  • I watched the BBC at ten tonight. According to Laura K. “There are two equally-likely versions”. In one, the “dozens of rebellious Tory MPs will actually do what they are muttering”. In the other, May will “wave a cheerful goodbye” to the resigners and “rejoice in a cabinet more loyal to her”. According to Laura K, “It all depends on whether Boris and Davis will actually provide leadership to the rebellious MPs”. (All quotes are from my not-infallible memory.)

    Her last sentence could have been understood as, “It all depends on whether Boris and Davis are actually ambitious and are not happy to spend the rest of their careers on the back-benches.” – but I’m not asserting it should be so understood, still less that she meant it so.

    Balancing the beeb’s love of “careers snakes and ladders” (which makes them hope for a challenge) against their remoaner instincts (which would incline them to hope May survives for now), and noting a likely desire in Laura to avoid an overtly unbalanced presentation, I feel Laura’s version was much like Perry’s comment, and the last line of my comment above: “Um, don’t really know.”

  • The big problem is that if May wins a confidence vote then she is immune from challenge for a year. And at the moment she’s likely to win, unless can can be destablised further by some more resignations — more here:
    http://hectordrummond.com/2018/06/08/challenging-a-conservative-leader-what-everyone-on-the-internet-has-failed-to-realise/

    She’s also said explicitly that if she wins by even one vote then she’s staying and ploughing ahead. So the rebels *have* to win, because if they don’t they’ve just given her more power.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Hard Brexit (AKA Brexit) is now more likely. Bring it on.

    lmao

    “likely”

  • Mr Ecks

    Andrew Z–“There is virtually no chance of Tory rebels making any serious attempt to depose May or bring the government down when they know that it could (a) let Labour into government, and (b) destroy their own careers because the Conservative Party never forgives disloyalty (even if it will forgive literally anything else apart from electoral failure).”

    Absolute nonsense.

    1- If they go into the next election with both the Torys and ZaNu promising only Brexit sellout–Corbin will win anyway. Only with a decent Brexit does any party have a chance.

    2-The Conservative Party etc. Who is the Conservative Party outside its members? And do you think they are going to “forgive” their scum MPs disloyalty to the largest vote in UK history? You think they are going to stand by remainiac traitor MPs who might cost them a truly bright future free of the ESpew? Sheer tripe.

  • Lee Moore

    I have to say I’m a wee bit more cheerful than I was a couple of days ago.

    As to Brexit, I still think May hanging on and delivering a non Brexit Brexit is likeliest, but a no deal Brexit seems a real possibility 🙂

    I think May has done Boris an enormous favour, as he can now wash his hands of the whole mess, and be in prime position to take over next year when May eventually gets booted. And Boris might actually win a majority. Which might allow a proper Brexit to proceed. With a majority, you can unpick whatever nonsense May agrees, and give the Lords a good kicking at the same time.

    So I think we were at a low with a total sellout and the Brexit ministers staying on board. Now they’ve gone, their position post either a non Brexit Brexit or a chaotic one is much improved. “Not my fault” is such a useful line.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Perhaps history will record her as being called, not Theresa May, but TRAITOR May! Anyone out there writing history books to be sure that she is so called?

  • Mr Ecks

    Remember Nicholas etc that this is the bitch who wants to criminalise saying nasty things to political scum. Not threats etc –which are already covered in law–but calling them nasty names. Which in her bullshit book=”bullying” them ( see how this Marxist “no on can be offended” cockrot is weaponised).

    They can brazenly betray us and piss on our instructions to them but we can’t be nasty back.

    Luckily I don’t think that will fly now in her present and likely worsening state.

  • Polidori

    Here is a question that has been puzzling me for some time: if we remain under the effective control of the EU, why would I be scared at the prospect of a Corbyn government? After all,as one glorified parish councillor has no more power than another, I would probably abstain at the next election or, if I was feeling particularly annoyed, vote labour just to annoy my Tory MP.
    Have the Tories thought this through?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    May is a combination of buffoon and authortarian bully at the same time. She needs to go, and her allies, such as arch-Remainer Philip Hammond, who appears not to have a classical liberal bone in his body, needs to go as well.

    For the UK’s departure from the EU to be a success requires boldness, imagination and the ability to harness the process to reboot this country’s economy and repair and strengthen certain institutions. May, who is a fan of arch imperialist/social welfarist Joseph Chamberlain, is utterly unsuited for this task. I don’t particularly trust Boris Johnson, but in the circumstances, he is the man most likely to do the job. Javed, the home secretary, is good and would make an excellent choice, not least because he actually seems in favour of the free market economy.

    Whatever happens, May has to go. She can’t go on forever using the threat of a Corbyn administration to bully people into rejecting the 2016 result.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    Javed, the home secretary, is good and would make an excellent choice, not least because he actually seems in favour of the free market economy.

    He is also, apparently, more than familiar with the work of Ayn Rand, making him possibly the first non-authoritarian Home Office secretary we’ve had in a long while.

  • Mr Ecks

    “He is also, apparently, more than familiar with the work of Ayn Rand, making him possibly the first non-authoritarian Home Office secretary we’ve had in a long while.”

    Is he then going to shut down the antics of the HO “Sentencing Council” who are planning to arrange 6 years in jail for anyone saying anything not nice about the RoP?

    Thought not.

    I will shortly be posting the link to their PDF “consultation” which closes next month so that people can express their opinions on this tyrannical attack on free speech.

  • Some thoughts.

    (i) Following PM Theresa May’s decision to risk and lose the parliamentary majority of the Tories, her party quite rightly wish to avoid her leading them into the next general election (around May 2022). Their best hope has been for her to be replaced by a new Tory leader, most likely around some 18 months before the next general election, which is November 2020 – well after (the expected) leaving of the EU by the UK.

    (ii) No other leading Tory politician wishes to take over at the moment, because of the risk that their longer-term ambitions will be seriously damaged by the ongoing BREXIT process. Thus (i) is a good plan for prospective Tory leaders.

    (iii) PM May is however totally messing up the likely outcome of BREXIT for the 17.4 million who voted for it. Also, ongoing lack of decisiveness is damaging to confidence in the UK economy and all sectors of business. Thus it is becoming apparent that May’s continuation as PM, even only until November-ish 2020 (given her current untenable BREXIT approach) will very likely actually scupper the ability of the Tories to win the next general election. This problem is becoming clearer with every day of PM May’s continuation in post.

    (iv) But still no senior Tory wishes to take the (somewhat poisoned) chalice. Because that would damage their personal future prospects as PM – to win the 2022 general election.

    (v) In these circumstances, what is actually needed is a brave action by, pretty much, the only person with: (a) strong personal belief that we need a proper BREXIT no later than March 2019 (with sensible but minimal transition arrangements), (b) sufficient credibility with the Tory Parliamentary Party to lead the Party into rejecting May’s continued PM-ship and (c) the least to lose personally in the longer term (because of age and inclination).

    (vi) That person is David Davis (aged sixty-nine and a half). Previously also one of two contenders in an election for the Tory Party leadership. The one that did not fail to win the ‘unlosable’ election against Gordon Brown’s Labour Party back in 2010. The one that did not break his word after the EU Referendum – to carry out the will of the electorate.

    (vii) Davis should indicate his firm intention to stand against May, if and when a no-confidence vote goes against her. Also that, following a March 2019 BREXIT in actuality, he will stand down in/around late 2020. This could all be arranged without an actual election for the Tory leader (as was done, supposedly for the good of the Party, with May). Then the Tories could have a proper and unrushed election for a new leader, in place as PM for around 18 months before the next general election must be called.

    (viii) Throwing in, first, another cabinet resignation would help a lot. Fox – as Gove is now definitely past his use-by date (sad though that might be).

    (ix) As for fear of Corbyn’s Labour, what really is there to worry about – that makes a Davis government a worse risk that a May government? Note too, the Tories have 317 seats and Labour only 262. Even a coalition of Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrats adds to only 309 seats.

    Best regards

  • Mr Ed

    Faint heart never won fair terms.

    Treacherous heart never wanted fair terms.

  • Lee Moore

    Nigel Sedgwick : Davis should indicate his firm intention to stand against May, if and when a no-confidence vote goes against her.

    I like your theme, but unfortunately the rules don’t work like that. First May has to stand against Not May. If Not May wins then Davis can stand…..but May can’t. The deposed leader is not allowed to stand.

    So the difficulty is getting a majority of Tory MPs to vote Not May. Which, since 70% of them would prefer a non Brexit Brexit isn’t going to happen, unless the Tories swifrly fall to 10% behind Labour in the polls. We will see whether that happens. If it does May could be out. In such a case would Boris be willing to let Davis have a free run ? Maybe, maybe not.

  • Paul Marks

    For the sake of the independence of our country we must defeat Mrs May.

  • APL

    Niall Kilmartin: “Either the Tories deserve the appellation ‘the stupid party’ to a degree far beyond what seems possible even in politics, or they knew before this that they cannot let Theresa lead them into another election. ”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Theresa May lost her seat at the next election. I know, it’s unlikely, but it would be something.

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