February 9, 2017

Article 50 vote blows up in Labour’s face

Article 50 vote blows up in Labour’s face

Far from harming the Government, the Article 50 vote in the Commons has helped unite the Conservative Party, while exacerbating rifts within Labour, says Rory Broomfield.

It was the Left’s reckoning that a Parliamentary vote on Article 50 would be damaging for the Government. Ironically, it appears the Commons vote has helped galvanise the Conservative Party, while exacerbating cavernous rifts within Labour.

In recent weeks, some may have felt a degree of sympathy for politicians on the Left. First, remainers were left reeling from the Supreme Court judgement and, secondly, pro-remain MPs failed in their attempts to derail the Government’s Article 50 Bill in the Commons.

Indeed, the scene from the House of Commons this week, where the Bill passed with 494 votes in favour to 122 against at third reading, was that of relief from the Government benches coupled with a sense of a job well done as none of the key amendments the Left wanted were approved.

The Bill now leaves the Commons and moves onto the Lords free from any wrecking amendments and a sense that, with the clear majority of MPs behind it, peers would delay it at their peril.

For this, much credit must go to Steve Baker MP for initiating the “Keep Notification Simple” initiative through social media. Both The Freedom Association and Better Off Out campaign were more than willing to support this plan and many of our members wrote to their respective MPs accordingly. Nonetheless, the real story of the week is of the infighting, indecision and splits that have come from the Left because of the vote.

For clarity, ‘the Left’ is made up of the SNP, Lib Dems and Labour and, yes, some Conservatives. Basically, those that wanted to wreck the Government’s chances of carrying out a “Clean Brexit” to hold onto their desire to keep elements of the EU, incompatible with being free from it.

However, the Left were split. Some MPs wanted to change how the Government consulted with Gibraltar; some wanted to prevent the Government from competing freely with the EU on taxation. Some MPs on the Left, such as Tim Farron, even went as far as to demand a second EU referendum – with the option of going back into the EU. They all failed in their attempts because, despite having support across the parties, they weren’t organised and, in many cases, they were fighting their own personal battles in their respective parties. In short: they were a mess.

But is this the end of the Left?

The answer: not yet, but it may be the end of Corbyn as leader. The Labour Party were by far the most split with 52 Labour MPs defying the whip to oppose invoking Article 50. This, as calculated by Jonathan Isaby of Brexit Central, included 11 frontbenchers and, amazingly, three Labour Party whips. With dissent in the ranks of the Labour Party heightened to mean that five (now) ex-frontbenchers quit the Shadow Cabinet to oppose Corbyn’s will, there seems to be no real meeting of eyes between the Parliamentary Labour Party and the Shadow Front Bench.

This may lead to revolts and descent, especially if the Labour Party is unable to rally behind either a leader or a cause.

However, both the Government and those that value freedom should not count their chickens before they hatch. Although the Government won the day in the Commons, there is still the House of Lords to overcome. The Brexit Secretary, David Davis, was right in saying he expected the House of Lords to do its job and to do its patriotic duty and give the Government the right to go on and negotiate the best deal possible with the European Union. But despite the clear message given from the British people and the elected chamber of Parliament, there is no guarantee that the unelected chamber will listen.

The Government must also not give the Left a chance to unite.

The Left is disorientated and disorganised, but politics is a funny game. They could come together over a particular cause. My concern, given the recent anti-Trump protests is a resurrection of the protests that greeted TTIP. That is not the only issue, however. There are a host that I believe the Left will try and mobilise against, given the chance.

But for now, they are a mess. Brexit has united (most) of the Conservative Party and divided the Left. The next problem to address is who will provide the credible democratic opposition?

5.00 avg. rating (98% score) - 7 votes
Rory Broomfield
Rory Broomfield is Director of The Freedom Association and the Better Off Out campaign. He is an authority on the EU and has written a number of books including his latest, co-authored with Iain Murray, Cutting the Gordian Knot: A Roadmap for British Exit from the European Union. He has previously worked in the City of London and in Westminster for a number of Members of Parliament, including the current Prime Minister, Theresa May; the current Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady; and Sir Richard Shepherd.
  • Shadow Warrior

    Hammond is continuity Brown. He is a hand-wringing lefty looking for clever wheezes to raise more tax in ways that people don’t immediately notice.

  • captainslugwash

    I predict the Budget will attempt to show the Left how caring the Tories are, and it will be funded by screwing over the working man.
    If Corp Tax comes down, I bet Divi tax will be going up.
    I would love to be wrong.

  • skynine

    We really need to look at tax credits, in particular in work tax credits that encourage people to work part time to preserve the benefits. 45% of women work part time and I would hazard a guess that tax credits are the main cause. This leads to low pay, low skill work in supermarkets and the retail sector including coffee shops. The government needs to get back to the employer paying people to do a job for economic reasons rather than to get onto the tax credit ladder. Like all government benefits it distorts the market and diverts government expenditure into non productive areas.
    The refrain that the government has cut expenditure is not true, it increases every year as more and more goes into welfare.

  • MrVeryAngry

    fat chance

  • MrSauce

    So, when wouldn’t we want a ‘budget for growth’?

  • Rob

    I note that the UK Government has just slapped on a 25% tax charge for anyone moving abroad and wishing to move out their private pension from the UK.

  • SonofBoudica

    The Remoaners will do their utmost to sabotage the Government’s negotiating position. They do not want a successful outcome; they want a failure. They want to be able to scream “Told you so!” from the rooftops.

  • EnglandLaments

    Thank goodness for Andrew Neil, the one media hack who scares the pants off the established politicians. He was spot on with Heidi Allen!

  • joshuafalken

    I had a very long, hard, studied and considered look at the hope, care and aspirations of all Europeans, before I voted to get the UK out of the toxic grasp of Brussels.

    The European Union and it’s charge of “ever closer union” has borrowed and spent its way to oblivion, whilst enslaving the working and middle classes in debt.

    The central control mantra of the unaccountable Brussels ruling elite, delivered through a mixture of socialism, globalism and corporatism is entirely responsible for the populist revolt by the millions of “Just About Managings” across Europe.

    We must remember the ultimate goal of socialists, globalists and corporatists is control, not prosperity. see https://mises.org/blog/goal-socialists-socialism-—-not-prosperity.

    Social equality and economic growth always fail under central control and fighting against the Brussels doctrine on behalf of all Europeans is why I voted for Brexit.

    Britain has a long history of helping Europeans depose tyrants and Brussels is just the latest incarnation.

    Britain is the most racially advanced and accepting society on the planet. We welcome those in need and those that can help us with open arms and a smile; that will not change.

    We are also one of the most innovative, talented and open societies in the world, which why everyone wants to live here. However, we cannot fit everyone in, so we have to have clear, balanced and fair immigration policy which is where the arguments start between the monetarists and humanists will never be reconciled.

    I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that leaving the EU was in the best interest of all Europeans, as Brussels is toxic and cannot be reformed from within.

    Also, I find it insulting that people who voted Remain have insufficient faith in British ingenuity, compassion and skill to get a good deal for us and see the Europe that we love get a better deal from Brussels and the reform that European people deserve. https://mishtalk.com/2017/03/29/bad-brexit-deal-better-than-no-deal-mathematical-idiocy-odds-of-no-deal/ and https://www.worldheadlines.info/2017/03/after-brexit-9-reasons-to-be-bullish-on-great-britain/

    The politics of left verses right are dead because neither have delivered the promised economic growth and social mobility for anyone, but themselves. The populists are not selfish per-se, they just want to take back control of their own destiny that left/right politicians have freely given away and/or exploited for their own ends. In my constituency, the local residents group are taking over the councils as politicians ignore voters, so Westminster should beware of the well-organised, local resident independents at the next election. This is a peoples revolution which should be shouted from the rooftops, but liberals remained deafened by the socialist, globalist and corporatist “vested interests” that have spectacularly failed us and are obediently crying foul and fake.

    There will be an initial unpalatable inflationary cost to fighting globalism and rolling back central control that few appear to have factored in, but dismantling failed left/right vested interests should eventually free libertarian socially-conservative capitalism from the shackles of TBTF corporatism to feed economic growth and social mobility.

  • agdpa

    The EU usually makes the wrong decision – on immigration, on freedom of movement, on the euro, on the Ukraine, etc. etc. Little hope it will get Brexit right.

  • brownowl

    Eh? Reference please!

  • Neil2

    Sod caring. Screw the spongers and breeders. Kill HS2. Stop all “green” subsidies. Slash “foreign aid” and walk away from the EUSSR with immediate effect.

  • Rob
  • John C

    What a confused article. It conflates surveillance by the security services with poor defences against fraud.

  • John C

    Err, it’s the UK that’s leaving the EU, not vice versa.

  • John C

    Me, now. ‘Growth’ is a manic obsession.

  • La Face Nord

    Mr Redwood – are you aware of the Biased BBC website? It’s been exposing their agenda for a long time, but I imagine you’ve been well aware of the BBC’s agenda for quite some time…

  • Contact Rvtech

    The post is great

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