Monday, 14 January 2019

Brexitwatch: vote down May's deal

So a month after Theresa May promised to put her 'deal' before parliament, tomorrow the vote is finally going to happen. The delay has been a blatant attempt to simply run down the clock and deny MPs their democratic rights.

It is a disgraceful way for a prime minister behave. All MPs should vote against her deal. So write to yours and demand they do. This is what I have sent to mine, who happens to be Labour's Brexit spokesperson, Sir Keir Starmer:

Dear Sir Keir,
On 29 June, you promised me that Labour would oppose Theresa May's 'deal' unless it satisfied all six of Labour's tests. As it does not, I assume that you and every Labour MP will be voting against it.
If any Labour MPs decide to vote for it and throw a lifeline to this disgraceful 'government', I trust they will be expelled from the party. Such conduct would be inexcusable.
I also trust that if May's 'deal' is defeated, Labour will move IMMEDIATELY to meaningful action. The best course would be to revoke Article 50, and then leave Brexit-supporting MPs to get together to see if they can agree an approach to leaving the EU, while the rest of the country gets on with its life. If ever they do manage to agree anything, that could then be put before parliament, the government, and, if necessary, the people, to decide whether it is something that is worth proceeding with BEFORE it is put to the EU.
If Labour does not have the stomach for that, the next best option would be a referendum on May's deal or Remain, and if even that it is a step too far, I suppose you could try for a general election, though I do not see how you can win over enough Tory rebels to secure that.
By the way, did you see the latest YouGov poll in 'The Times'? https://twitter.com/SamCoatesTimes/status/1084786649014460416
In spite of their shambolic performance, it gives the Tories a 6 point lead over Labour. Backing Brexit isn't working! You need to change before it's too late.
Regards,
JW

Friday, 11 January 2019

Brexitwatch: a letter to the Speaker


House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has now joined judges, Remainers, MPs who ask difficult questions about Brexit, the EU and others among those demonised as 'Enemies of the People' by our extreme right-wing tabloids. His crime? He allowed MPs a vote on a matter of crucial national importance.

I have written to Mr Bercow at john.bercow.mp@parliament.uk and speakersoffice@parliament.uk to express my thanks, and to ask him to please carry on exercising his courage and wisdom on behalf of MPs' democratic rights in the weeks to come. He could become a very important figure as more sensible MPs try to halt the Brexit disaster.

This is what I said to him:

Dear Mr Bercow,
Thank you for standing up for democracy at this time of great national crisis and in the face of a bullying minority government that seems completely devoid of concern for the national interest.
The prime minister's pulling of the 'meaningful vote' in December was one of the most cynical acts of contempt for parliament that I can recall in my lifetime, which goes back almost as far as World War Two.
You will, of course, face vitriol and vilification for doing the right thing, but your courage and wisdom will be needed to help us many times in the weeks ahead.
Thank you again and good luck,
John Withington

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Brexitwatch: don't let Theresa May run the clock down. Another crucial vote

Thanks to an amendment from Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, parliament now has a chance to put an end to Theresa May's strategy of running down the clock until MPs have no alternative but to accept her rotten 'deal'.

It means that if her 'deal' is defeated, she will have to come to parliament with a Plan B in 3 days:-

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/09/brexit-how-will-the-amendment-to-stop-theresa-may-running-down-the-clock-work

The vote is this afternoon. So write to, facebook, tweet your MP NOW. This is what I have sent to mine, Sir Keir Starmer:

Dear Sir Keir,
Thank you for supporting Yvette Cooper's amendment. I trust that you and all Labour MPs will now be supporting Dominic Grieve's amendment to ensure that Theresa May is not allowed to waste any more time or money if her 'deal' is voted down.
I also trust that any Labour MP who decides to back this incompetent and discredited government will face severe disciplinary action.
btw why weren't you doing this morning's interview on the 'Today' programme? Barry Gardiner always comes over as completely evasive and must lose dozens of votes for Labour every time he opens his mouth.
Yours sincerely,
John Withington

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Brexitwatch: get your MP to try to stop 'no deal'

Any Brexit is damaging, but a 'no deal' departure would be disastrous. An amendment to try and stop 'no deal' is being voted on in Parliament this afternoon, sponsored by Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Conservative MP Nicky Morgan.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46789565

Contact your MP and ask them to vote for it. This is what I have sent to mine, who happens to be Labour's Brexit spokesperson, Sir Keir Starmer:

Dear Sir Keir,
I trust you and all Labour MPs will be supporting Yvette Cooper's amendment to help prevent a disastrous 'no deal' Brexit.
MPs are running out of places to hide, and those politicians and parties who do not make every effort to spare the UK the damage that Brexit will cause are likely to find themselves judged very harshly.
Yours sincerely and Happy New Year,
John Withington

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Brexitwatch: the question every MP should be asking themself



There are some honourable exceptions, but the performance of most MPs during the Brexit shambles - the worst political crisis in the UK since World War Two - has been shameful.

Among the items on the charge sheet:-

1. Never bothering to have a proper debate on the implications of the 2016 referendum result
2. Pretending that an advisory, non-binding referendum was binding and giving it a status equivalent to the word of God.
3. Deliberately ignoring the fact that the referendum was won by lies, cheating and law-breaking.
4. Voting to trigger Article 50 when it was plain that Theresa May's government did not have (and still does not have) the faintest idea what it wanted.

For the last two and a half years, most MPs have fecklessly kicked the can down the road, but now they are nearly out of road. Now every MP needs to look in the mirror and ask themself this question:

Do I really want to be remembered for knowingly damaging jobs, public services, businesses, people's savings and pensions, and the UK's standing in the world because I did not have the guts to tell the British people the truth: that Brexit is a terrible mistake and must be stopped immediately?

Good luck getting the right answer.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Brexitwatch: get your MP to support the real opposition


Labour want a People's Vote on the Brexit terms only if they cannot get a general election. They could try to get a general election by moving a motion of 'no confidence' in Theresa May's government, but this they refuse to do. So hey presto! Labour can avoid supporting a People's Vote.

Is this because Jeremy Corbyn and his circle are as desperate as Theresa May to push Brexit through in the face of mounting opposition from the majority in the country? I do not know, but I do know that the SNP, the LibDems, the Greens, and Plaid Cymru increasingly look like the real opposition.

They have put down a motion of no confidence in the government. Write to your MP and demand they support it. This is what I have sent to mine who happens to be Labour's Brexit spokesperson, Sir Keir Starmer:-

Dear Sir Keir,
Having refused to try to help the British people yourselves, I trust you and all Labour MPs will be supporting the motion of no confidence in the government brought forward by the SNP, LibDems, Plaid Cymru and Greens. Or are you just going to go on sitting on your hands so Jeremy Corbyn can help the Tories push through his beloved Brexit?
I trust also that Labour MPs will NOT be taking their Christmas holidays but will be staying at Westminster, with or without government approval, to explore what you can do to save our country.
I look forward to hearing from you,
John Withington


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Brexitwatch: the alternative to a People's Vote


Brexiters like Theresa May claim that holding a referendum on the terms of Brexit will be a 'betrayal'. Regular readers of this blog will know I regard this excuse as hypocritical poppycock, but I would like to try to bring the country together, so I offer an alternative route out of the Brexit quagmire in which the UK is currently stuck.

The government should immediately revoke Article 50 because nothing sensible can be achieved by Theresa May's foolishly self-imposed deadline of March 29. Parliament should then set up a grand committee of all MPs who support Brexit. (This might simply be self-selected or it might be limited to those MPs who have spoken in the Commons in favour of it.)

That committee would then be given the task of deciding what Brexit Brexiters want, and devising a plan to be put to parliament. Once MPs had agreed the plan was credible, and had a good chance of being accepted by the EU, it would then be put to the government. Parliament, hopefully, would also consider it against other criteria such as, for example, how much damage it would do to our country.

Once parliament had agreed, the plan would be put to the government, which would then report to parliament on its proposal as to how to proceed.