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 the 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.

The government would then consider the proposals, and report to parliament on its suggestion as to how to proceed.

Sunday 9 December 2018

Brexitwatch: complaint to Channel 4 about Brexit bias

Channel 4 are planning to mount 'The Real Brexit Debate' tonight at 1900. It will be heavily biased in favour of Brexit, with three Brexiters on the panel to just one Remainer. It you think this is unacceptable, complain to Channel 4.

This is what I have sent:

According to Krishnan Guru-Murthy, you are planning to load the panel with pro-Brexiters for 'The Real Brexit Debate' on C4 tomorrow at 7pm. It will comprise supporters of 'Theresa May’s Deal, a softer Corbyn Brexit, a harder Mogg/Johnson Brexit and a PeoplesVote to Remain'. In other words three Brexiters to one anti-Brexiter, when those who oppose Brexit make up at least half of the country. This bias is inexcusable. I look forward to your ensuring the panel is balanced between pro and anti-Brexit spokespeople. You have, for example, no one to speak for the view that the we should withdraw Article 50 immediately, nor anyone to speak for Scotland which voted to Remain.

Saturday 8 December 2018

Brexitwatch: history as it should have been

The morning after the referendum in 2016, prime minister David Cameron stood in front of 10 Downing Street and made the following speech:

'I am surprised and disappointed at the result of the referendum, but I promised that whatever the result, I would stay on as your prime minister, and that promise I will keep.

I do not have a plan for leaving the EU, but I know the people who advocated leaving must have, because if they hadn't, they wouldn't have advocated leaving.

I have formed a special cabinet committee comprising those cabinet members who campaigned for the UK to leave. It will be their task to come up with a plan as to how this should best be achieved.

That plan will be put to the cabinet, and once the cabinet has approved it, it will be put to parliament.

In the meantime, the government has a lot to do on many fronts, and I am going back into number 10 to get on with that work.'

Thursday 6 December 2018

Brexitwatch: write to your MP NOW

It feels as though the Brexit phoney war is finally over. I know there are rumours that Theresa May may try to kick the can even further down the road, but don't count on it. The big debate is finally on. If you want to stop Brexit or at least get a referendum on Theresa May's 'deal' (which, of course, isn't a deal at all but a wish list to try to negotiate with the EU over the next decade or so), you need to write to your MP NOW.

My MP happens to be Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's Brexit spokesperson. This is what I have sent to him:

Dear Sir Keir,
There is no longer any excuse for proceeding with Brexit, and in any proper democracy, it would have been buried long ago.
1. It will make the UK poorer, and damage most the people Labour is supposed to care most about.
2. It will make the UK weaker on the international stage.
3. It will hand a victory to those who stoke the fires of intolerance and xenophobia.
4. The referendum which is being used as the excuse for pursuing it was won by lies, cheating and law-breaking and was in any case advisory and non-binding.
5. The Brexit that people voted for cannot and will not be delivered.
Following your promise of June 29 that Labour would vote against any deal that failed to satisfy your six tests, I assume that you and all your Labour colleagues will be voting against Theresa May's so-called 'deal'. I trust also that firm disciplinary action will be taken against any Labour MPs who continue to try to prop her up.
Labour should now be working to bring this sorry story to a close at once before it does any more damage to our jobs, rights and public services, by demanding the immediate withdrawal of Article 50. If you and your colleagues do not have the stomach for this, then I trust you will at least support the demand for a referendum on the Prime Minister's terms, with Remain as an option on the ballot paper.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
John Withington

Sunday 2 December 2018

Brexitwatch: don't let the BBC mount a pro-Brexit stitch-up

On December 9, the BBC is planning to mount a 'debate' on Brexit between.....two Brexiters! Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

If you want a fair debate with equal representation for anti-Brexiters, complain to the BBC here -

This is what I have sent:

For years I have had to endure BBC interviewers failing to challenge pro-Brexit spokespeople when they have used your programmes to spread lies and untruths.
Now I understand you are planning to silence anti-Brexit voices altogether by mounting a 'debate' on Brexit between two committed Brexiters - Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. All the opinion polls indicate that more people support Remain than Leave and even if you made the assumption that they exaggerated the Remain lead, at the very least you would have to conclude that opinion was evenly divided.
MPs are about to make one of the most crucial decisions in our history, and it would be a dereliction of the BBC's duty to present a debate that does not give equal prominence to both sides.
The BBC has so far failed the nation over Brexit. It would be inexcusable to mount the kind of propaganda for Brexit that you are proposing.