Brexit Big Beasts Going Wobbly

Brexiteers are getting seriously nervous after Parliament voted this week first to block no deal, and then in favour of an Article 50 extension – with Theresa May’s support – with another load of egregious antics from Bercow thrown in. The Benn/Cooper/Letwin coup was seen off by just two votes. While neither of the main votes was legally binding, the fact that an extension was proposed by the Government and carried with a majority of over 200 has alarmed many committed Leavers…

Numerous Brexiteer MPs have been dropping hints over the past few days that they are starting to feel that voting for May’s dire deal may be the lesser of two evils, given the risks of losing Brexit altogether once lengthy delays start being put into law. The price is that May herself agrees to quit

Resolute Leaver Lucy Allan told the FT: “I have to seriously consider supporting the prime minister’s deal, although in my view it is a worse option than remain”. Conor Burns added: “I’m actively looking for reasons to support the withdrawal agreement. That’s why the attorney-general’s advice was so important, critical to many of us to see whether we could be persuaded to support it.” Burns is one of Boris’s closest allies…

Even Esther McVey dropped a very strong hint today, saying “people are going to have to think a different way next week”. Her diehard Eurosceptic other half Philip Davies already raised eyebrows by voting for the deal at MV2…

Other leading Brexit supporters are also coming round to this view, Fraser Nelson wrote in The Telegraph yesterday that May’s deal is:

“a pale imitation of the Brexit that could have been, the Brexit a different leader might have been able to negotiate. It’s half a Brexit – but it’s better than no Brexit.”

Matt Ridley tweeted out Fraser’s article this morning, adding: “I am fairly sure now, after yesterday’s votes, that this is right.” Even deeply committed Brexiteer economist Professor Patrick Minford wrote yesterday: “Let not the best with little chance be the enemy of the good with a reasonable chance”…

The DUP will be in London all weekend to try to hammer out further reassurances from the Government over the backstop, after Nigel Dodds told the press “we want to leave with a deal” this afternoon. Ultimately they still hold the key, if the DUP come over then many MPs will follow, if they don’t budge then MV3 is going the way of MV1 and 2…

100 Tory MPs Back Conservative Way Forward Push For Freedom-Loving Policies

100 Tory MPs have tonight formed the new parliamentary council of the Thatcherite group Conservative Way Forward. Eight Cabinet ministers – Sajid Javid, Chris Grayling, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Esther McVey, Jeremy Hunt, David Davis and David Gauke – are among them. This is a much needed push from the sounder wing of the Tories to fight back against the ever wetter direction of the party. And the increasing prevalence of Corbyn-friendly views among some voters.

At a reception at the IoD this evening, new CWF chairman Conor Burns made the case for freedom and talked up CWF’s nine principles of democracy, capitalism, deregulation, freedom, community, enterprise, nationhood, security and choice. Some good words on Brexit too:

The British people voted to again be and independent self-governing country. We – unlike the establishment – believe not that this is some disaster that needs to be mitigated but rather an opportunity to be embraced. We want to build a modern, outward looking, liberal country that trades with the world. As we approach the second anniversary of that historic vote we hear the quiet but strong instruction of the people. Insistent they tell us clearly: get on with it. We are not renegotiating our membership of the EU. We are leaving. The public knew exactly what they were voting for – indeed the Government used millions of their money to tell them.

We are leaving the Customs Union. Leaving the Single Market. The Supreme Court in London will now be THE supreme court of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister could not have been clearer on Britain’s Brexit red lines. And she will have the support of Conservative Way Forward as she delivers them. Every one of CWF’s new Parliamentary Council will be in the lobby next week supporting the Prime Minister and upholding the democratic decision of the British people.

Boris was the keynote speaker, calling for his colleagues to back leaving the customs union and remake the case for free trade. He branded Corbyn a Chavez apologist and vest-wearing Marxist condoner of anti-Semitism.

About time this wing of the Tory party stood up to Theresa May’s joyless statism of sugar taxes, energy caps and price controls, and the Ruth Davidson / Philip Hammond view that they need to tax more, spend more and regulate more. 100 MPs and eight Cabinet ministers is an impressive and encouraging reminder that there are some friends of freedom left in the Tory party…

Guido’s Labour Brexit Explainer As Seen in the Commons

Conor Burns borrowed from Guido’s handy explanation of Labour’s Brexit mess during his Commons speech last night. Glad we were able to help clear it up for them…

Hacker Asks Barnier Reasonable Questions About Brexit Bill

A series of entirely reasonable tweets from Conor Burns’ Twitter account asking Michel Barnier for some detail on the Brexit bill were apparently sent by a hacker.

The ‘hacker’ was right…

Snow Respect: Jon’s “Anti-Thatcher” Outburst At Her Funeral


Jon Snow shouted that he was part of the “anti-Thatcher brigade” while covering Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, Guido can reveal. Chartered accountant Craig Gardner witnessed the Channel 4 News anchor make the comment during the former Prime Minister’s funeral procession in 2013:

“When I attended Thatcher‘s funeral I was standing on Ludgate Hill in the City of London waiting for the cortege to pass towards St Paul’s Cathedral. Jon Snow and his Channel 4 News camera team barged through the crowds to get to the front to rig up their camera. While making his way through the crowd Mr Snow was shouting “anti-Thatcher brigade coming through”, so his recent remarks come as no surprise.”

Conor Burns MP, a close friend of Lady Thatcher, said in response:

“A comment and behaviour characteristically grubby and typical of the hard left – not one to be expected of a mainstream broadcaster whose credibility is fast evaporating.”

This is pretty much the consensus view of most Tories, good luck to Jon getting them to appear on his show, that is assuming he still dares to risk inviting any on…

UPDATE: A Channel 4 News spokesman says of this on-the-record eye witness account: “This is simply not true.” Notable that a spokesman gave the denial, not Snow himself. More to come soon…

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Quote of the Day

Councillor John Thomas, Keith Vaz’s Leicester East Constituency Labour Party Chairman says…

“This is great disappointment to me, realising that I have spent over 30 years of my life working for a party that I now know that I have nothing in common with. This is not the party I joined, the party for decent working people. I can no longer follow the clown that leads the Labour Party, he is heavily influenced by the Trotskyite Len McCluskey and is now as the Hoki Coki leader, in out, and shake it all about he has turned this great party into a laughing stock.”

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