But, err, Polly, the national unity ain’t on your side

Only a government of national unity can deliver us from no deal
Polly Toynbee

So, we constitute a government that reflects the national majority then. Great, that’s 52% for Leave and off we go, right?

20 thoughts on “But, err, Polly, the national unity ain’t on your side”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    Well that’s jolly good news because there is not the remotest chance of a ‘government of national unity’ achieving office.

    At least Polly Toynbee is expressing her opinion (however worthless that might be) and nothing more.

    Robert Peston’s pieces in the Speccie are much more irritating because he claims to write with the benefit of inside knowledge although his output is no more than the maundering of a skewed mind. The consolation, for me, is that he fell at the hands of Ridge and the preposterous man with the ears.

    Sorry to go off piste.

  2. National unity. If not through thinking the right ideas it should be by the boot. Polly’s obviously

  3. Jesus Christ. These people had a “national unity“ option which was May’s crap deal. If Labour had backed it, you’d have avoided no deal.

    Instead, you gambled on wanting to give nothing to the fucking *majority*, the treacherous 2nd referendum, courts doing your bidding.

    Do these people really think leavers are going to give them an inch after all that, especially as we’re now on autopilot for October 31st?

  4. The words ‘government of national unity’ do have something of the 1930s about them, don’t they?

  5. They say no deal but they mean no leave.

    They say national unity but they mean get a party into government which can’t get there in the usual way.

    Does Polly by chance (I can’t read her myself, of course) actually tell us why we would want to remain in the EU?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    Nationwide unity only happens organically when there’s a common, external, enemy. As we haven’t got one of those and the Germans don’t look like obliging in the near future we aren’t going to get one.

    Absent the common enemy everything else leads to civil war.

  7. m’Lud: The words ‘government of national unity’ do have something of the 1930s about them, don’t they?

    They are indeed redolent of 20th century Germany combining National from the Hitler period with Unity from that of Messrs Ulbricht and Honnecker.

    The golden age of people doing what they’re told.

  8. In fairness, 52% voting Leave is not the same as 50%+ actively desiring No Deal. Things do seem to have morphed a long way from “we’ll get a deal easily” during the referendum campaign itself, to Leavers proposing No Deal as some kind of national duty.

    But as BoM4 says, self-proclaimed “moderate” MPs voted down a deal which Brussels does not seem over-anxious to renegotiate, so what options did they think they were leaving open?

    And I can also understand why hardcore leavers want No Deal, or at least, are no longer prepared to accept a deal with a long transition period. From their perspective, escaping the maw of Brussels has always been a key national objective, and given the delays and extensions so far then their fear of being hoodwinked into an eternal and inescapable semi-colonial “transition” is objectively a reasonable one.

  9. @MyBurningEars I was on the fence between Remain and Leave during the referendum, eventually voting Leave. I say this to show I was very open to both sides at the time and wasnt someone who had made up their mind years prior. I don’t remember being promised a deal as the Brexit option (though to be fair I don’t frequent BBC or any other dinosaur media so may have genuinely missed it). I do remember month after month of Remainers saying leaving the EU meant leaving the Single Market and 99% of their argument being based on how good the Single Market was. I then remember, following the vote to leave, those same voices saying “we voted to leave the EU but not the Single Market!”. These same voices then started using the term “no deal” to describe leaving the Single Market (I.e. what had been explained to me, by Remainers prior to the referendum, as Brexit) and “deal” used to describe staying in the Single Market (I.e. what had been explained to me previously, by Remainers, as staying in the EU).

    The shift is horrifyingly Orwellian and I am honestly astonished at how many people have fallen for it.

  10. @Mal R

    To be fair the “deal” that was talked about by Leavers in the Ref campaign was the kind of comprehensive trade deal that’s meant to be the follow-on from the withdrawal agreement, and not May’s deal (or its hypothetical renegotiated version) itself. But certainly the working assumption of the Leave campaign wasn’t that there were going to be lots of tariffs and quotas between UK and EU.

    I think the shift has been towards the extremes on both sides – Brexiteers leaning more heavily to WTO terms as if that’s the only kind of Brexit they’ve ever been interested in, Remainers arguing that the vote didn’t mean we should pull out of the EEA or even (extraordinarily for Labour and Tory MPs who stood on a “leave” manifesto as recently as 2017) needn’t pull out of the EU itself…

  11. Just look at the left response to NYT running a headline that the President urges unity not hate.
    They only want unity if it means doing what they want and are oblivious to their contribution to hate and disunity

  12. Thing is, Mr Ears, I voted to leave. I did not vote for a deal. I was then, am now and have always been of the view that the bargaining chips are overwhelmingly in our favour.

    But I did not vote to leave on the basis that we had to have a deal first. I voted to leave. How many others did the same? Of course I do not know. But my sense is that the EU’s framing of negotiations, happily indulged by our so-called negotiators, in terms of ‘negotiate a withdrawal, then leave, then we’ll talk about future relationships’ has been the landmine.

    The only plausible explanations for the extraordinary agreement of our elites to this course of action are either a) incompetence, or b) an active desire to thwart Brexit. Take your pick, I cannot quite decide.

    We were not asked whether we wanted to leave conditional on a deal. We were asked whether we wanted to leave. And we said we did, despite being threatened with super gonorrhea (sic?) and all the rest of it.

    If I were dictator, which might happen, I’d send the EU a memo saying we’re leaving tomorrow at 3pm. At midday we’ll put a line of emergency legislation in front of the House to the effect that we all agree nothing happens in terms of tariffs and border checks. And, EU, if you don’t do the same, if you want to play silly buggers, we can do likewise. Then watch the CEOs of Audi and BMW invite M Barnier for an interview without coffee, if he cuts up rough.

    Or if the Supreme Court courtesy of that public-spirited G Miller says we can’t do that (even though I’m dictator), sit it out to the end of March 2019 then, oops. We left. Same line of emergency legislation. Same memo to the EU.

    And if we’d been asked if we wanted to leave in the face of a risk of the EU playing silly buggers, I’d still have voted to leave.

  13. “Things do seem to have morphed a long way from “we’ll get a deal easily” during the referendum campaign itself, to Leavers proposing No Deal as some kind of national duty.”

    We would have gotten a free trade deal easily if the people charged with procuring one hadn’t preferred to negotiate a national humiliation instead.

    The last 3 years have been an exercise by Remainers in Leavers clothing in attempting to hoodwink the voters into thinking that they were getting Brexit when they weren’t. If we had started off with Boris’s attitude of ‘We’ve leaving on X date with or without a deal’ then a free trade deal that suited both sides would have been forthcoming.

    More by luck that judgement we have avoided the WA BRINO, and if anyone is to blame for the increasing prospects of a No Deal (not that I think such a thing will be anywhere near as bad as predicted) its those that have used the last 3 years to try and deny the vote of 2016. Which isn’t the Leave side of the argument…………

  14. MBE,

    If there’s one thing that fucks me off good and proper, it’s servants ignoring orders.

    That’s why I’ve hardened on leave. It’s not about the EU. It’s about their impertenance and making sure these undemocratic scumbags don’t win.

  15. @Lud

    The two-step process was designed to let the EU keep more cards in the negotiations I believe, but it might just have blown up in their faces. I think a deal could only have got through parliament if it was truly comprehensive – even with a bigger government majority “vote through stage 1 which has a lot of ugly stuff we don’t like, and if we are lucky and the EU are generous then a few years later you’ll have a chance to vote through stage 2 which has the nice trade stuff in it (provided no EU parliament finds its terms too generous to us, and blocks it)” was always going to be a tough one to sell MPs on.

    @Jim

    Indeed, if those remain-backing MPs currently doing their “sky’s gonna fall” act over No Deal had wanted the EU’s deal to pass through parliament, they knew at the time what they had to do… But they didn’t vote for it. Not sure what that makes them. Hypocrites? Gamblers? Idiots?

    @BoM4

    I think the hardening of both sides was probably inevitable. Leavers have been put in the kind of position now where they know they’d be mad to make any concessions, especially ones like further delay or endless “confirmatory votes” until the public gets the “right” answer – why at this stage should they gift their opponents the win? It’s been rendered a matter of principle by their behaviour to date.

  16. @Mal Reynolds August 6, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    +1 Gov’t booklet sent to everyone said Leave means leaving single market, customs union, ecj etc

    Single Market: Before Referendum – Compendium
    What they said in the campaign.
    Remain voices: Cameron, Osborne, Javid, Eagle, Clegg
    Leave voices: Leadsom, Gove, Johnson, Leadsom, Farage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CFOzkWj_P4

    .
    Andrew Neil: You were clear we’d leave the Single Market, Clegg!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJt3bEA_ylg

    “The shift is horrifyingly Orwellian and I am honestly astonished at how many people have fallen for it.”

    .
    @Edward Lud

    “But I did not vote to leave on the basis that we had to have a deal first. I voted to leave. How many others did the same? ”

    My Swedish Wife, my brother, mother, cousins, aunts/uncles and me – locations: Eng, NI & Scot. An FTA was a hope.

  17. That nice Mr Cameron promised that voting Leave would mean leaving the Single Market, the Customs Union, Freedom of Movement, etc., so I voted Leave.
    When the vote was won 52-48 I decided, ok, We’re leaving, but it’s so close we should go gently, convert some wobby Remainers, so started evangelising EFTA – leave the EU, but one step at a time, get out of the EU and then see where to go from there.
    But that got shot down, stamped on, and buried with a stake through its heart. Then Kinnock Junior was drumming up support for a surprisingly well-researched Common Market Two, essentially go back to what we beleived we entered in1973, a shared set of common trading standards. After all, China doesn’t have to be in the EU to understand that it would be pointless selling mains plugs unless they were sized to fit into mains sockets.
    But then Common Market Two was in its own course shot down and buried under the patio. So now I’m advocating Just F*** Leave and get on with it, we’ll sort everything out afterwards.

  18. What if the nation is united on leaving with no deal?

    I don’t understand why people want a ‘deal’ anyway. All that does is open the door for the UK to end up paying a lot of money to an organization its no longer part of.

    Just walk away and let them come try to collect ‘what is owed’.

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