Britain Europe Politics

Brexit Betrayal

Theresea May has got a deal with the EU…. a deal which has achieved the impossible and united both Remainers and Brexiteers against her.   Something which causes some to feel a great deal of sympathy for her. She certainly seems determined to continue…but continue with what? 

The PM argues that her deal gets us out of theEU, the Customs Union, the Single Market, the European Court of Justice and that we get control of our money, borders and above all immigration.   So why did her Brexit secretary Dominic Raab resign over a deal which gives the British people what we voted for – a deal which he is supposed to have negotiated?! Because he didn’t negotiate it.  Like his predesscor he was there as window dressing for the Prime Minister – who in turn has been superbly manipulated by the Commission – who don’t have to bother with little inconveniences like the electorate and democratic accountability.   Authoritarian Technocrats can always say No, because no-one can say No to them.

Raab resigned because this deal does not give the British people what we voted for. In fact if anything it is about the worst possible deal that she could have come up with.  This article in the Spectator explains why. (The government have responded to this here)


The deal has us staying in the Customs Union  ‘temporarily’ – the only problem is that there is no time limit for us staying in, and we can only leave if the EU allows us to.   We now find ourselves in a situation where we are bound by EU laws and rules – which we will have no say in making and which we cannot get out of.   We voted to leave the EU and Mrs May has so surrendered to the EU that we are still bound to its regulations only this time we don’t have the option of leaving!  And we are paying billions for the privilege of being ruled by Brussels.   We can’t even make our own trade deals (at least not without EU permission and within EU rules).  Its like getting officially divorced and yet still being told that you have to live with your partner, fulfill all the obligations of marriage, not be permitted to marry anyone else and yet pay for the privilege!

The ‘compromise’ over Northern Ireland willend up giving Northern Ireland a different constitutional status – so thatNorthern Ireland will be treated differently.   This will again create long term problems –far beyond the threatened border problems.  

The whole deal is not a compromise. It is a betrayal.  It is BINO.  Brexit in Name Only.  We will become like Turkey and pay for the privilege of being a vassal state.

This deal was written by the EU Commission which is why it was welcomed and accepted with such haste by Guy Verhofstadt and Juncker.  They have got everything they wanted and then some.   Even if theBritish Parliament rejects the deal then the most likely scenario is that theUK will stay in the EU, probably through another vote  – the EU has form for insisting the people keep voting until they get the ‘right’ result.  And they have plenty of allies here in the UK.The EU can, and will get whatever it wants. Big Business, the Technocrats of Brussells, the Liberal Elites (the ‘Anywheres) who benefit most from EU subsidies,  the politicians (most of theHouse of Commons, the Scottish Government, the Greens) were never going to accept Brexit.  They have too much to lose and at the end of the day, they have the power.  They are furious with David Cameron for giving ordinary people the hope of sharing that power. Once they get their way you can guarantee there will never be another real People’s Vote.

So why has this happened?  Is it dishonesty or incompetence?   I don’t believe that even as a Remainer Mrs May was as Machiavellian as to have deliberately engineered all this.  It is far more likely that it is her incompetence together with the hostility of theBritish Establishment to Brexit, combined with her hubris (remember the general election with the bus telling us that we should all support her strong and stable government!).  She did not prepare for no deal, presumably because she didn’t think it would be needed;  so it would now mean considerable pain and disruption in the short term.   The EU of course knows this so keeps asking for more and keeps threatening to make no deal even more painful for the UK. Neither May nor the Houses of Parliament, nor the Establishment have either the desire, the courage or the know how to take on the EU.

She has muddled along from one crisis to another – trying to keep her head above the political waters, which is why for example she agreed to the Northern Irish backstop so that she could have some progress to report. The trouble is that in order to avoid short term pain she has ensured that the UK is now tied into long term decline.

Take for example the issue of fishing.  Having signed this deal Mrs May says that we will be out of the CFP – but again that will be in name only.  When the EU negotiate a trade deal they will insist on access to UK fishing grounds and the UK government will grant it, because they cannot refuse the EU who now have the ‘back stop’ to fall back on.   Britains fishermen will be betrayed for trade as they were in the 1970’s by Heath.  We will not be ‘negotiating’ a trade deal with the EU – we will be accepting our orders.

It is little wonder that the EU bureaucrats are crowing about the UK surrender (apparently e-mails have been circulating stating that we have lost no powers at all) .  Mrs May has crossed almost all her red lines and broken almost every promise made – even “no deal is better than a bad deal” has been turned into “any deal is better than no deal”.  The EU know that and so can demand what they want.  If the UK cannot leave the EU then the Hotel California adage of Yanis Varoufakis  ‘you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave’ will have been demonstrated to be true.  Smaller nations havn’t a hope of standing up to the EU bully.  Let the lesson be learned.  Once you are in – you are finished as an independent sovereign nation.


Perhaps I have got this all wrong?   Perhaps Mrs May has played a blinder?   Maybe this is just a temporary measure which will result in the UK becoming free from the EU in the medium term?   I think that is as likely as us rejoining the EU and finding it to be a reformable, democratic body!   But I have been wrong before so I will watch developments with interest.

What’s going to happen?

I’m not a prophet but let me take a stab at some prediction.

Mrs May will survive because its too late to do anything else with anyone else.

Parliament will, despite all the noise, pass some kind of deal more or less the same as the current one on offer.  Again because there is little alternative and no time.  Or perhaps parliament wilreject it and rather than go to the country for a mandate Mrs May will authorize a second vote where the question will in effect be “Do you accept this deal which leaves us still effectively in the EU, but with no power, or would you prefer to return to the old arrangement?”  I think this is unlikely because it would mean the end of the Conservative party and virtually guarantee a Prime Minister Corbyn.

Here is Britain in 2018: our chattering classes traipse to the cinema to weep over Mike Leigh’s new movie Peterloo, which tells the story of the heroic working-class struggle for the right to vote, and then they go home and get back on Twitter and carry on agitating for the overthrow of stupid working-class people’s vote for Brexit. They fantasise that they are on the side of the marchers of Peterloo, when in truth they are on the side of the cavalry, only they want to cut down our democracy with bad deals and shady sellouts rather than with bayonets.” Brendan O’Neill Stopping Brexit Means Stopping Democracy

The political classes will find that things return to normal.  They will talk about democracy having killed it.  They willoffer the plebes cakes and circus’s but they will ensure that we never again  get the opportunity to have a meaningful vote. Politics will return to normal.   Wewill only be able to vote for party hacks who have been bought and sold for EUgold.

We need a revolution.  But Brits don’t do revolution.  So it will be the same old story – meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  Won’t get fooled again?  We just were.

The Establishment always wins – Rod Liddle – 

And yet May was also a Remainer. And so too was her Chancellor. Their hearts are not with leaving the EU, their hearts are for staying within it as far as is possible. May’s sole purpose at the moment is to stay in power — although, frankly, why she should want to eludes me entirely. But imagine what a government with confidence and imagination might have done, secure at home and therefore immune to blackmailing. Leaving a trade organisation is not, in reality, a terribly troublesome business. Nevertheless, we have made it so.

I am told quite frequently that a failure to leave will lead to riots on the streets. No it won’t. It will lead only to a sullen acceptance that once again, you can’t beat the establishment. It will always win in the end.

This article, Will  Brexit Happen?  from over a year ago…seems to have been accurate!


  1. Great blog.

    May says she faced difficult choices but one of them was spectacularly easy – do not ever agree to a never ending customs union which you can’t leave without permission. A 5 year old could get the write answer.

    The DUP should notify the tories the confidence and supply arrangement goes unless May
    and her backstop go. May and senior tories thinks they are scared of Corbyn. At least they know where they stand with him.

  2. I am concerned that Remainers are portrayed as ‘the elite’ and Brexiteers as ‘the people’ when some of the main people driving Brexit through; Jacob Rees Mogg, Boris Johnson, etc, are hardly examples of the working class. As a sceptical Remainer, I would, and a lot of my friends as well probably, support a left wing Brexit led by the likes of Jeremy Corbyn.

    The problem is there is never any solutions from people advocating for Brexit and no solutions in this article. I’m not someone who thinks the world will end with a no-deal Brexit and I think in the long run things will probably be as good as they are now, but no significant economic change is without consequences and I fear in the short term a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. I am concerned that the people with power who are driving the idea of no-deal Brexit are those who either stand to make money from it, have a safety net or won’t be affected by it.

    A deal with the EU was presented as the easiest thing in the world, but it was never going to be like this. Like you said, the EU was going to do everything in its power to instigate a further referendum. Now that we’re here though I think we do need another referendum to say whether we as a society want to go over that cliff edge of no-deal, because while it may or may not be worthwhile, it’s going to be very painful for a lot of people, revolutions always are.

    1. Frederick there are some of the elite who are pro-Brexit and many of the people you are anti – but the fact is that in general the Elites are pro the EU (because it benefits them) and the people voted against it.

      The problem is not that are never any solutions from people advocating for Brexit – there are plenty…the problem is that the EU, because it is not democratic, can play hardball and also know that it has its own fifth column in the UK. The people in power are those who want to keep us in the EU – they made the mistake of giving us the power – but that won’t last long! And they won’t make it again. I also note that those who advocate Remain have not offered any solutions to the problems that creates.

      I don’t recall a deal with the EU being presented as the easiest thing in the world – if it was they were foolish – the EU doesn’t do deals – especially with those who go against it. Another referendum would only create division and it would be the end of democracy in the UK….it would also guarantee that no country could ever leave the EU – because all they would have to do is offer a rotten deal and make thme vote again..

      1. 48% of British citizens voted to remain, including me. Please remember that we are human beings, not some evil bogey man.

      2. No one said you were. And you should remember that evil bogey men are also human! But it is the case that those in power are those who have the most to gain from the status quo being preserved…

      3. Really? Find me a single economist (I am not talking about a pundit from the massively pro brexit tabloid press), who confirms that the establishment has the most to gain by the status quo. There is a overwhelming consensus that the working class will suffer most from Brexit, while the toffs in London will be delighted to get rid of all the EU worker protection rights to build a new Singapore on the Thames, the benefits of which will not be seen past the Watford Gap. And the idea that the EU is fighting Brexit is ludicrous also. They look at it bemused at the self harm that Britain is inflicting upon itself. As I have said, I am not a fan about all aspects of the EU, but I do think facts matter, not just ideological rhetoric.

      4. Of course the Establishment voted for the EU because they are concerned for the working class and the poor! For someone who says that facts matter not ideological rhetoric your post is a contradiction. Its full of ideological rhetoric and not one fact!

      5. this week ‘s article is just one, but if its facts you want, there is plenty more I can send. But as I am still waiting for a single economist who will back you up. Isn’t the mere fact that the party of the establishment “the conservatives” being the party where most Brexiteers are found not a sign that Brexit is actually a thing backed mainly by older establishment types?

        The Economist | The truth about no deal

      6. Thanks for this. Despite being totally deluded (the hard brexiteers self important idea that the EU will fall over backward to give Britain a free trade deal) it still does not answer my question. How will the working class person be better off ?

        Those who have written the article don’t seem to understand how free trade deals work. The point of a free trade deal is to decide what common standards will be adopted in order for the trade between to be fair. On that basis, and being the larger economic partner, the EU will always insist on any trade deal abides by EU standards. So love it or hate it, EU will set the rules, and the “take back control” agenda goes out the window (Switzerland has learned that). Britain could sign other trade deals, but even if Britain signed instantaneous free trade deals with every single country in the world, it would not replace the loss from trade with the EU. Given that trade deals take decades to settle, that would mean quite a hit to the UK economy in the mean time. Therefore the future trading relationship with the EU is key to the well-being of UK economy for the time being. Crashing out and trying to negotiate a trade deal overnight would just leave the UK at the mercy of whims of EU national governments (give up Gibraltar?). Not exactly the position of strength that “take back control” was promising.

        Yes, the Economist is a pro trade, and therefore pro remain, but I still conclude that despite its bias, it is better informed.

      7. You asked for one single economist who supported Brexit. I gave you several. You call them deluded. Apparently these economists don’t understand how free trade works!

        The Economist’s problem is not that they are pro-Trade – you can be pro-trade and anti-EU (which is itself a protectionist bloc). Their problem is that they hold to ideological positions (eg pro abortion, pro SSM, pro-EU) and do not permit articles which show a different point of view – Its why I stopped subscribing . I can get propaganda on the Internet!

      8. Granted, there is much that irritates me with the views of the Economist, but at least they lay out where they stand from the outset, and they seek to do it from an informed point of view. They have for example just recently wrote a revealing article about the whole gender craze, I’d have thought you would have liked that.

        Yes, of course you can be pro-trade, and anti-EU, and yes the EU is protectionistic in many different ways (agricultural policy the most blatant of them, it should indeed be scrapped), and it’s institutions are flawed. But the same goes for any country. However, they have sought to define, far more than any other free trade deal or agreement, how to create an environment where trade can be fair, building barriers for those on the outside as your blog rightly points out.

        What I do question is this, wasn’t this obvious from the start? The whole cake and eating it was just never going to happen. Theresa’s red lines just showed a total lack of understanding as to how the EU worked and what the EU’s own red lines were (and that ultimately it had the power). Labour’s tests are no different for that matter.

        Therefore, for me the betrayal was not Theresa May’s capitulation to Europe, but the promises given during the referendum (and continually given since).

        The question is now where ?
        There could be another referendum. Though, despite what is said on this blog, it is not what the EU want (as they fear it would be close again and cause further uncertainty and division). I still don’t think it would answer the fundamental questions, and whatever the result will leave the country divided.

        We could stick with a deal that satisfies nobody, that might bring unity in anger, so not the best outcome.

        I think the only thing that we can hope for is renewed leadership that can bring the country together around a common vision, but undoubtedly there will be a lot of pain in the interim.

      9. David Davis, the first Brexit Secretary, is the person who famously claimed that negotiating a deal would be easy.

      10. If you don’t consider the 48% of voters who voted remain to be the bogey man then please reconsider your tone.

        The country is very divided at the moment. It really doesn’t help when church leaders seek to dehumanise those they disagree with – intentionally or otherwise.

      11. You are welcome to post here but please argue against what I am saying, not what I do not say. I do not consider the 48% who voted Remain to be the bogeyman, and I certainly do not dehumanise anyone who disagrees with me. When you misrepresent what I say and then justify such misrepresentation by your feelings, you are stepping over the line. Stick to facts and logic. Try to avoid the psychoanalysis and the guesswork passed on your feelings.

      12. David in your above comment you have described remain voters as a fifth column. This is really unhelpful

  3. ”Authoritarian Technocrats can always say No, because no-one can say No to them.”
    The death of UK Democracy, except of course, for viewers in Scotland.
    Ironies of ironies upon ironies.
    ‘Authoritarian technocrats’, now who does that remind me of?

  4. Nonsense. It was clear from the beginning this was to be the outcome, given the “red lines” she painted in the Lancaster house, and the EU’s rules. You can’t have the cake and eat it, the seamless trading while not abiding by the EU rules. Other countries have learned that the hard way (eg Switzerland). Theresa May’s mistake (as was that of the brexiteers) was to not be honest with this reality from the start.

  5. Also, the only upper class people I know (don’t know that many), are staunch pro-bexiteer “bring back control” types. I have far more sympathy for the working class brexiteers, as they are dealing with the reality brought on by the freedom of movement. However I still claim that the impact on the poor could have been mitigated by increasing minimum wage sooner, not being so driven by austerity and enforcing the rules allowed by EU (like the initial cap, or sending people home who don’t have a contract). So therefore the problem is not so much with the so called lack of say on EU rules, but rather the broken political system within the UK where the establishment panders too much to the rich and only pays lip-service to the needs of the poor.

    1. Yes, I’ve never understood how moving from the single market (in which all British citizens have the right to work throughout the EU) to a U.K. only market (where we do not) is somehow supposed to help the working poor. There will be less supply of labour, but not sufficiently less to push wages above the minimum legal. I don’t think it actually does improve wages or quality of life, which is probably why a majority of working age people voted remain.

  6. I used to feel a terrible obligation to argue for every unpopular decision the government ever made. (It wasn’t restricted to government so when it looked — 12 years ago — like I might be coming back to Scotland, it was a depressing thought that I might have to spend my life explaining and even arguing for the English ways of seeing things.) However, the obligation seemed to be lifted off me with both Cameron Governments since I could never see any merit in what either goverment was doing.
    The obligation is back however, with the present government. It isn’t that Mrs. May doesn’t have her blind spots: her lack of awareness of what happens to children that don’t get into Grammar schools is a key to her attitude to so much more. (And she is still all at sea with migration as her CBI speech shows.) But I believe that she has grasped the most important point of this withdrawal disagreement, which is that there must be no second referendum.
    Just once in her answers to the baying hoards of objectors to her Commons statement she mentioned the persistent EU trick of getting member states to rerun Plebiscites when the bureaucracy doesn’t like the result but it shows that she is aware of it. Noone could have engineered these circumstances where there is almost universal condemnation of this deal and almost universal impotency to replace it. We are in God’s hands and — since I do not know what outcome he will provide — I am thankful to look on and marvel at the sight of a Government, unable to do what it wants to do but somehow able still to do what it has to do.
    The link to the Spectator article was most helpful since all of the Government replies make perfect sense to me. Mrs. May’s blindspots may yet turn out to be the reason why for this hour she has been ‘called to the kingdom,’ so to speak.


    1. But it’s not the (rest of the) EU who want us to remain, it’s half of British people who want us to remain. The protests for a second referendum have not been French and German people, but British people.

      May has a deaf ear to the fact that very nearly half the country voted to remain. She either ignores or villifies us and has failed to listen to our concerns.

      1. May is a Remainer. And the people have nothing to do with anything in the EU – its not a democracy. The EU uses the institutions of the states to impose its will. It has never accepted the result of any referendum which went against its will. The EU has been funding a campaign to keep us in the EU….its working…

      2. May may have given lukewarm support to remain during the referendum, but she is no remainder. She has ignored the concerns of remain people from day one. She has called us “citizens of nowhere”. Her deal totally ignores all of the major “remain” concerns. This is a Brexit deal so please don’t blame remain voters. We don’t want it.

        I’m sorry but I don’t find it credible that Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and May have all been helpless puppets by some faceless European bogey man. The truth is that the EU is run by the national governments especially France, Germany and (until now) the U.K.

      3. May’s deal is basically Remain by another time – which is why Ken Clarke and the EU have warmly welcomed it. I’m afraid that you make the basic category error of the EUphiles – the EU is not run by national governments – it was designed so that it could not be. It is a supranational organisation which is designed to take over the power of elected national governments and hand it over to unelected technocrats. Read any history of the EU (from the 1920’s onwards) and you would see that.

      4. Pete,
        as you know there has been a lot of rhetoric about people not getting the Brexit they voted for but as one of the 48% who voted remain, I have to confess that the ‘Remain I voted for’ has proven to have been a myth all along.
        If the Eurocrats fail to secure a think-again referendum then that weapon in their arsenal will be — if not decommissioned — then at least outgunned. They may still be willing to cut off the nose to spite the face but the ghosts of national sovereignty and of self-determination may be expected to rise up and remind unelected officials just whose face and whose nose are threatened by severance thereof.

      5. So if the EU is not run by our elected politicians but by faceless puppet masters why has no government minister or prime minister ever said so?!

        When has any PM been forced to enact EU policy against their will? You might argue that Cameron was a useful fool, but I cannot see Thatcher being told what to do. There is no credibility to your claims. “its in a book” isn’t much of an argument against the wealth of evidence that the direction of the EU is the choice of the elected leaders of its governments.

      6. And yet you have provided ‘nothing of this wealth of evidence’. Feel free to do so. I would suggest that you don’t disparage books and learning. If you took the time you would learn that the EU is NOT subject to the choice of the elected leaders of its governments. It is a supranational organisation which rules over the governments. Ask the government of Italy just now how much choice they have?!

      7. John

        I’m not in favour of the second referendum, but it is false to claim that this is being pushed by “Eurocrats”.

        It is being asked for by a substantial proportion of the British people.

        I feel frustrated that in so many places in these comments it is assumed that all British people must be for a hard Brexit and those who disagree are either not British or a “fifth column”.

        I suspect that Mays deal will go through and then when it has the obviously negative impact on the country all the leave voters will blame the EU for their own poor choices.

      8. The protests for a second referendum are fundamentally dishonest. Its not about a second referendum – its about stopping Brexit. And no one assumes that all British people are for a hard Brexit. Please try to keep your comments sensible and avoid the habit of making up what others are saying – and I’m sure your frustrations will lessen!

      9. But, Pete,
        the eurocrats always want a second referendum. If they don’t in this case that is a triumph for the PM, and a first. There must be many reasons why people want a second referendum and they cannot all be valid. I have to say that I don’t recognise the things that you say about ‘these comments’. Are you referring to some other blog?
        I don’t know whether the deal will get through or not but if it does then I know of at least one positive benefit: a significant number of people who are presently poised to be deeply — and possibly permanently — cynical about the political process will have to think again. I can’t think how any of the touted not-on-offer outcomes would have such a positive effect.

    2. I should add that I’m not in favour of a second referendum, but I sympathise for those who do, especially since so many leave voters seem unhappy with their deal.

  7. We can’t put our trust in anybody, its come down to trusting God. He sees it all and although we may think they have won by cheating I can see a time coming whan He will intervene. Must keep praying.

  8. This is a video of Tory MP Andrew Bridgen being interviewed by Politics UK in which he gives some insight into what has been going on regarding negotiations for Brexit. I have no reason to doubt what he says, and it isn’t very complimentary about Theresa May, to say the least:

  9. I vote leave based on democractic sovereignty of the British Constitution, which by very constitution of of the EU was ceded to the EU, and so that we’d not be subject to the ECJ and we’d revert to the Separation of powers in the UK, that is , the checks and balances between the Legislature (the Executive – Cabinet, the Commons, HoL) and Independent Judiciary. I’ve not changed my view.
    I was in opposition to Parliament voting on the “deal” as I took the view that it was a matter for the Executive. I’m now pleased that the Supreme Court decided otherwise. That is because of the way that May has acted, more as a President, than PM, working independent of the Cabinet, seeking to bounce the Cabinet, Parliament and the countries (200-300 years) into her Hobson’s choice.
    Perhaps I was hoping for greater integrity from her.
    What we have is what was simply put by Rees-Mogg. It is worse than being in the EU, with a possibility, more of a probability, that the UK will be permanently welded to the EU, without even any pretence of influence on decision making. The UK inheritance of the Sovereignty of Parliament, which has been sold, Esau -like, for a mess of pottage. A key principle of UK Sovereignty is that Parliament cannot not bind its successor, that Parliament can pass legislation that will be irrevocably entrenched. But now the UK will not even have Article 50.
    And the European Court will continue to be the ultimate arbiter of judicial decision, even over UK Parliamentary decisions and laws.
    As for Labour, I’ve not heard much if anything about the EU’s restrictions on State Aid. Anna Soubry (yes,conservative, I know) made all the right noises when the Redcar steel works closed, but acknowledged that EU rules (conveniently for the conservatives) prevented state aid , investment. At the same time, the EU did little to prevent China overproduction, flooding the steel-market.
    As for CFP, Macron has already threatened to block movement away from it and acknowledging at the same time it would block UK from leaving.

  10. Correction.
    Should read: The UK inheritance (200-300 years) of the Sovereignty of Parliament, which has been sold, Esau -like, for a mess of pottage.

    1. The voice has been heard, but unfortunately has been either, ignored, twisted, mis-interpreted or totally opposed. We did not vote for a BINO deal, backstop, bus stop, full stop, second referendum, delay Article 50, revoke Article 50 or any other device our elected representatives dream up. What part of LEAVE don’t they understand? Bring on the next general election. We certainly need some changes. That’s if there’s anyone that still thinks their votes count for anything.

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