The clue is in the name. Only their acquired independence from Corbyn truly unites them — otherwise, what is there? It is true that all seven are, to greater or lesser degrees, pro-Remain and in favour of a second referendum. But that disposition scarcely distinguishes them in a House of Commons already sizeably (by about two-thirds) pro-Remain: it is therefore a scant selling point. Why not join the Lib Dems, if that is your chief opposition to Corbyn?
The arrival of three Tory Remoaners confirms the Independent Group is a purely anti-Brexit, anti-democratic outfit.
Taking Orwellianism to dizzy new heights, this new political group poses as ‚independent‘ while aiming to overturn the largest democratic vote in British history
Soubry might not be quite as far Right as Jacob Rees-Mogg or Liam Fox but she is Right-wing, a Tory who left the Conservative Party but not Conservativism by justifying cruel welfare cuts which drove desperate people to the charity of Foodbanks just to eat.
Potential Labour defectors will now think twice before throwing in their lot with ex-Conservatives.
Theresa May has said she is ‘saddened’ by the decision of Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Anna Soubry to leave the Conservative party and join the new Independent Group of MPs. In statement released in the past few minutes, the Prime Minister said:
– Tory MPs Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen defect to Independent Group over Brexit
– Asa Bennett: Tory quitters have proved Independent Group is a Remainer revolt
– Markets: Pound slips on Westminster turmoil
– Theresa May to meet Jean-Claude Juncker at 5pm
– PM could hold meaningful vote next week to avoid ministerial resignations
– Data analysis: Farage’s Brexit Party has more obvious slot in UK politics than the Independent Group
Forty-two per cent said the UK should delay Article 50 and hold a public vote on the next step. However, the same amount say we should leave with ‘no deal’.
Leftish EU supporters can invoke EU workers’ rights (despite the EU’s attacks on workers’ right to strike), or blather on about the Social Chapter (despite it immiserating large swathes of southern Europe), all they like. But there is no getting away from it: the EU is the cheerleader for austerity.
Appearing as a special guest at the Tory Eurosceptic Bruges Group, Mr Stringer said: „Often in discussing the European Union my colleagues use kindergarten language – they say ‚they’re our friends, how could they not have our interests at heart?‘.
„I think it misunderstands that actually the bureaucrats in Brussels are a self-interested group of people – self-interested in their own survival and perpetuating their growing power and influence across the whole of the European continent.“
“It also misunderstands the fact that the European Union do negotiate but they usually come to agreements at the last minute – the 11th hour.
Written by Finn Anderson, Campaign Director at Socialists for Britain
I would just like to thank those at Students For Brexit for providing me with this platform to lay out a brief overview of the socialist case for leaving the EU. It’s refreshing to find a genuine student-led cross-party platform that is committed to upholding the democratic will of the people.
The European Union at its core is a neoliberal institution; shock horror I know! Brussels bureaucrats worship privatisation and purposefully allow wealthy corporations to avoid paying taxes. It is a capitalist project attempting to impose unity between nations from above, in the interests of the capitalist classes of Europe, particularly those from the most powerful nations.
(29.1.2019) These people have lied to the country, lied to their constituents. They are determined to stop Brexit, but refuse to do so openly. For all the accusations levelled at the Leave campaign, these people have done far more damage to public trust in politics than Boris could with 1,000 buses.
Regardless of what happens in Westminster today, the political class might never recover from the way it has treated voters. And rightly so.
(24.1.2019) The gang of Labour and Tory MPs who were backing a so-called People’s Vote blasted Jeremy Corbyn for killing off their chances of winning.
Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston had planned to table the ‚doctor’s amendment‘ to next Tuesday’s crunch Brexit motion to demand a second referendum.
But stood outside Parliament this morning flanked by pro-EU Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna, she announced a U-turn.
Members of the the cross-party People’s Vote campaign have admitted they don’t yet have enough support from MPs to get another EU referendum.
(20.1.2019) The results came as at least two cross-party groups of MPs plan to table amendments in the House of Commons to delay or frustrate Mrs May’s Brexit plans.
One group, including senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Tory former minister Nick Boles, is backing a bill to suspend the Article 50 withdrawal process if there is no new deal with Brussels by the end of February.
Having been a Labour member since the 80’s, he told LBC: “If Jeremy Corbyn goes for a People’s Vote and there’s a general election I will not vote for Labour.
“I will not vote Labour again, I’m absolutely sickened.”
He then turned his anger towards Labour MPs, who he accused of “acting disgracefully”.
– Macron was speaking on Thursday evening to an audience in Bourg-de-Peage, south of Lyon, in a ‘people’s debate’
– Some were so-called Yellow Vest anti-government campaigners who themselves want France to leave the EU
– Mr Macron rubbished the 2016 June referendum and warned the assembled crowd to be wary of people ‚who sell you dreams‘
As head of state, the monarch remains publicly neutral when it comes to political matters and does not express her views. But commentators were likely to see her words as a veiled reference the debate on Britain’s departure from the EU.
Similar in tone to her Christmas Day address, the Queen expressed the importance of “never losing sight of the bigger picture”.
Indeed, some of the more stinging critiques have come from the left. Guardian columnist Owen Jones, a supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, declared the People’s Vote campaign an ‘absolute disaster’. If there is another referendum, he says, ‘and they run the Remain campaign, we might as well chalk up a second Leave victory now’.
(22.1.2019) Pro-Remain MPs and officials on the People’s Vote campaign are split on the overarching strategy of how to secure a public vote, on campaign events and tactics, whether People’s Vote should run the Remain campaign if a second referendum is called, and over the actions and motivations of its leading politicians, the sources said.
The ongoing internal wrangling is making it less likely that the Labour party will ultimately back a public vote, a shadow minister and a senior Labour backbencher told BuzzFeed News.
(29.11.2017) After her comments were disclosed, the Shadow Home Secretary said her remarks were “poorly worded” and insisted there was “no important story here”.
(1.2.2017) She added: “Are we going to vote with the Tories come what may? This is a question of opening the process. We will seek to amend and, if we are not able to get any of our amendments through, clearly we will have to review our position.”
(22.1.2019) Brendan O’Neill on the QT row
(24.1.2019) According to Labour’s rule book the NEC must include “three frontbench Members of Parliament, at least one of whom must be a woman, nominated by the Cabinet (or Shadow Cabinet in opposition)”.
But two senior members of the Shadow Cabinet told PoliticsHome they were not told of the decision to put Ms Abbott on the NEC.
(23.1.2019) Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of ignoring Labour rules to appoint Diane Abbott to the party’s ruling body.
(22.1.2018) Labour’s move was welcomed by a leading anti-Brexit campaigner.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph Eloise Todd, chief executive of Best for Britain, claimed it represented “a momentous day in our campaign”.
She added: “Labour have put a second referendum on the table with this amendment and this is a massive step forward.”
Re-released today – Best of Tony Benn – talks European union (todays EU) and democracy to Roy Jenkins in 1975 – These are the highlights and have never sounded more relevant than today with the Brexit debate.
For full debate see playlist. Subscribe to our channel and share our playlists if you agree with Tony Benn.
Comments welcome below on anything to do with the current EU / Brexit debate.
The left leave case for democracy from Tony Benn – President of the Stop the War Coalition – 2001 – 2014 –
Tony Benn 1975 European Communities debate highlights
With thanks to Why Vote Leave
When young children are losing at board games they demand to change the rules. Yet this same juvenile intent drives the cabal of democracy defying MPs.
Speaking to BBC business editor Simon Jack in Davos, Mr Osborne said that the prospect of no deal meant „the gun is held to the British economy’s head“.
„Russian roulette is a game which you should never play because there’s a one-in-six chance that the bullet goes into your head,“ he said.
(20.1.2019) Former Ukip leader says he will ‘re-enter the fray’ if Brexit is put back beyond 29 March
– Corbyn tables amendment for Government to debate alternative Brexit plans
– It would require the Government to give Parliament time to legislate for new vote
– Mr Corbyn’s move is the closest he has come to backing a second referendum
– The move reflects the pressure he is under from party members to shift to a position of trying to block Brexit
Can you smell that? It’s the stench of decay. With every layer of pretence and political posturing that Brexit rips away, it gets stronger. And now the locus is shifting from our rotten Government to the corroded mess of our Parliament.
The Unite general secretary has been issued the unprecedented invite to No10 as the Prime Minister desperately tries to win support for her deal.
A union source said GMB leader Tim Roache and UNISON’s Dave Prentis had also been invited for one-on-one talks on Thursday.
[tap to expand] http://bbc.in/2DqA9wf #Brexit
Join us: studentsforbrexit.com
Some deal or proposition that can command a Commons majority, versus—what?
When it came to external relations, Luxemburg pointed out, the idea of a European Union was also deployed to divide Europe from the rest of the world: ‘Every time that bourgeois politicians have championed the idea of Europeanism, of the union of European States, it has been with an open or concealed point directed against the “yellow peril”, the “dark continent”, against the “inferior races”. In short, it has always been an imperialist abortion.’ They could write those last words on the EU’s tombstone.
Corbyn’s move, tabled on Monday night, “requires” ministers to vote on alternatives that would avoid a no-deal Brexit.
Corbyn’s u-turn came Labour MPs today openly defied Jeremy Corbyn by heading for a Downing Street meeting with Theresa May’s top aides.
Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and other leading moderates visited the Cabinet Office this morning for talks with ministers along with Tories such as Anna Soubry.
Jeremy Corbyn has endorsed a plan to force a second EU referendum as he bowed to pressure from Labour party members and MPs.
Mr Corbyn wants the Government to give MPs the final say next week on a second referendum. If a majority back a referendum, Parliament could force Theresa May to hold a new in/out public vote that could lead to Brexit being reversed.
Corbyn’s rejection of the Downing Street invitation has turned out to be a bit of a gift for May, as she can deflect attention from her own procrastination and failures in people management onto the Labour leader. She now has someone else to blame for the ongoing struggle to reach an agreement on Brexit.
She also appeared to invite MPs to put the matter of a second referendum to a vote, not just in order to kill talk of it off through a Commons defeat, but presumably because this will force Corbyn to take a position on a matter which he has been very reluctant to approach.
Shifty Dominic Grieve fancies himself as a Remain superhero, outwitting the Government to rob 17.4million voters.
He doesn’t give a damn about the little people, of course, being a grand QC and former Attorney General.
But Grieve is doing catastrophic harm to his party, to Parliament and our democracy. History won’t be kind to him.
As you might expect from Grieve, a QC, it’s well put-together. It identifies a weak point in Britain’s constitutional architecture, and proposes to take a shot. If he hits his target, it might not just take down Brexit but a whole lot more besides.
If his amendment passes a minority of 300 MPs across five parties – with only 10 Tories needed – would be able to control the parliamentary agenda. Effectively creating a minority opposition controlled legislature.
Legislation could then be tabled by backbenchers to block a no-deal Brexit — something for which there is likely to be a Commons majority.
Previously it has been thought that only the executive would be able to extend or revoke Article 50 to stop the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
The calamitous situation in Parliament is being exploited by a small band of MPs determined to use any mechanism, however constitutionally absurd and deleterious to the public’s faith in our democratic institutions, to stop Brexit.
The move, which was launched by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, demands Parliamentary approval for a withdrawal agreement by February 26.
And if the Prime Minister fails, MPs would automatically get the chance to extend Article 50 and delay our exit until the end of the year or even 2020.
The bill is supported by senior backbenchers, including Select Committee chairs and former ministers, from across the House.
Which of the Conservative and Labour parties is most likely to split over Brexit? Or perhaps it is more apposite to say which party will break up first, since the gravitational force of competing visions of the UK’s future relationship with the EU are threatening to fracture each of them.
As letters go, it was punchier than most. Sent to party chairman Brandon Lewis, it formed part of an irate postbag received by Conservative central office after one of the most tumultuous weeks in the party’s 184-year history.
Yet for once the highly critical correspondence was not from Momentum thugs or UKIP headbangers but the Tories’ own members.
The frontbencher stresses the party’s commitment to consider a further Brexit vote if it could not force a general election.
Europhile Grieve is working with other Remainers, including Labour rebels, to try and block the UK leaving the EU on March 29 without an agreement with Brussels.
They plan to put their motion to a vote in Parliament which if backed by 300 MPs could spark legislation to extend or revoke Article 50.
That would be considered highly controversial as it would challenge the unwritten constitution that only an elected majority government can control UK policy.
The letter, published in the Times, is signed by 31 people, including the leader of the Christian Democratic Union – and likely successor to Angela Merkel – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
They cited post-work pints and pantomime as beloved British habits.
„Sir, Without your great nation, this continent would not be what it is today: a community defined by freedom and prosperity. After the horrors of the Second World War, Britain did not give up on us. It has welcomed Germany back as a sovereign nation and a European power. This we, as Germans, have not forgotten and we are grateful.“
A second referendum would take more than a year to organise, according to civil service guidance shown to MPs holding talks with Theresa May and senior ministers.
The one-page document published by the Daily Telegraph sets out the stages required to mount another poll in bullet-point form.
A string of junior shadow ministers have told the Guardian they are strongly opposed to the idea of a second referendum, which they fear would expose Labour to a vicious backlash in leave-voting constituencies.
The latest ComRes poll asked voters whether they wanted to see the referendum result respected and found a clear majority in favour. Excluding ‘don’t knows’ (18%), 65% of people agreed that the result should be respected, while only 35% disagreed.
Three-quarters of voters say the crisis-hit EU departure process has shown that the current generation of MPs are “not up to the job”, according to the data from polling firm ComRes. A root-and-branch overhaul of the country’s entire political system is wanted by a massive 72% of people quizzed in the survey. But despite the chaos embroiling Brexit, a majority of voters (53%) still want the result of the 2016 EU Leave vote to be honoured by ensuring the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc and do not want a second referendum to be triggered.
Jeremy Corbyn was wrestling with a growing split in his party on Thursday night as Labour MPs defied his orders and began talks with ministers over a new Brexit deal.
Senior party figures, including Yvette Cooper and Hilary Benn, met David Lidington, Theresa May’s deputy, in the face of pleas in a letter circulated to Labour MPs.
Some in May’s circle think that the Labour leadership’s support can be obtained for a price. Jeremy Corbyn, they reckon, doesn’t want a second referendum. Nor does he want to get any of the blame for a no-deal Brexit. This makes them think that Labour will back a new deal with the EU if it extracts some very visible (and embarrassing) concessions from the government.
Yet perhaps May is entirely the right prime minister for this pathetic collection of politicians. She is a double-speaking technocrat among 650 MPs who appear to have hardly an honest political principle between them. And she is a Remainer in a divided parliament where we now know there is a majority for only one thing – stopping Brexit, and defying the democratic will of 17.4million Leave voters.
She will tell her divided Cabinet when it meets for a fiery discussion on Plan B this morning that the German leader suggested the EU could grant extra concessions once the troubled agreement is shot down.
And that could include persuading Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to agree to an end date to the hated Irish backstop – which the DUP and dozens of Tory MPs have demanded as their price.
A senior Government figure said the PM and Mrs Merkel agreed there needs to be “a blood-letting moment” first.
(14.1.2018) Mr Johnson said that voters would feel betrayed if Parliament tried to thwart EU withdrawal.
He said: “I think that people will feel betrayed.
“And I think they will feel that there has been a great conspiracy by the deep state of the UK, the people who really run the country.”
Senior MPs are predicting a defeat for the prime minister of between 100 and 200 votes, which is likely to be followed by Jeremy Corbyn calling a vote of no confidence in the government.
Mrs May’s allies insist that whatever the scale of the defeat she has no intention of quitting or calling a general election, but she will come under enormous pressure to unveil a Brexit Plan B.
Brussels expects Britain to ask for an extension to Article 50 to allow Brexit to be delayed if the House of Commons rejects Theresa May’s deal tomorrow, The Times has learnt.
(8.1.2018) Much attention has focused on Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxemburger EU Commission President, and Michel Barnier, the Commission’s French chief Brexit negotiator.
But most Brussels commentators maintain that Brexit details are determined by their respective number twos: Martin Selmayr (Chief of Staff to Juncker since 2014, and – controversially – General Secretary of the European Commission since March 2018) and Sabine Weyand, deputy to Barnier.
Both happen to be German. Indeed, Die Welt, the leading German daily, early on in the negotiations did a feature titled ‘The top German players in the Brexit poker game’, with a certain pride, on their central role in the coming talks.
Prime Minister Theresa May is making a last-ditch attempt to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal as Tuesday’s key Commons vote looms closer.
She will use a speech on Monday to warn that Parliament is more likely to block Brexit than let the UK leave without a deal.
A cross-party group of MPs, including Dominic Grieve, the former Conservative attorney general, wants Theresa May to give Parliament a greater say in deciding how Britain leaves the European Union.
It comes after reports emerged at the weekend of a planned “coup” by unnamed senior MPs to grab control of the parliamentary timetable by allowing backbenchers’ legislation to take precedence over the Government’s.
Brendan O’Neill v Anna Soubry on #AllOutPolitics
And there is only one possible name for this one. It has to be the Parliament of Pygmies, presided over as it is by the pygmy-in-chief, Speaker John Bercow, who, early in his period of office, was denounced by one infuriated Minister as a ‘sanctimonious, stupid dwarf’.
Ordinarily all this would be no more than matter for wry amusement. But the times are anything but ordinary. So strange are they, in fact, that the pygmies think they are giants and ape the gestures of the parliamentary greats of the past.
Commons Speaker John Bercow secretly met Tory rebel Dominic Grieve just hours before throwing out centuries of tradition to allow the MP to scupper Theresa May’s Brexit plans.
The pair spoke in Mr Bercow’s grace-and-favour Commons apartment the day before the Speaker tore up the rule book to allow the former Attorney General to table an amendment to wrest control of Brexit from the Prime Minister, The Mail on Sunday can reveal
SPEAKER John Bercow hurled insults at aides and binned their advice when they tried to warn against anti-Brexit bias, it was claimed yesterday.
He allegedly bawled them down and declared: “I’m not interested in what a gaggle of clerks has to say.”
The astonishing clash came two hours before he ripped up the Commons rule book to allow rebel MPs the chance to frustrate Britain’s exit from the EU.
But if you think the only thing that matters is that a majority voted to leave the EU in the referendum, then you are likely to think Mr Bercow is a dishonest and biased scoundrel who has broken the rules in his determination to stop Brexit.
It is possible to take a different view of the Speaker’s behaviour. For a start it is entirely consistent with the way that he has done the job over the past 10 years – when a majority of MPs have repeatedly chosen to keep him in the chair.