Friday, 30 June 2017

You Want An Anti-Brexit Party? You've Got It!

....."So isn't the only logical position on Brexit to be against it?

The Just Party is therefore unambiguously Anti-Brexit."....

Click here for the full article.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Brexit: "It's Quite A Lot Of Bother, Isn't It?"

Nick Clegg, the former Leader of the LibDems, writes in the "i newspaper" today that he's noticing a shift in what people are saying about Brexit.  Until recently it was "We'd better make the best of it".  Now the negotiations have started, the British public are getting a clearer idea of the complexity of Brexit.  He says he is now hearing "It's quite a lot of bother, isn't it?"

David Davis, leading the UK's negotiating team, has said in the last couple of days that Brexit is "as complicated as a moon landing".  David Allen Grren, a former government lawyer, responded with "It's lunacy".

Whether you believe that Brexit would generate a better or worse economic situation in the medium-term or long-term, even Brexiters agree that there will be an economic hit in the short term.  The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is reportednly setting aside a £60 billion war chest by 2020.  That's a massive amount of money!

Before the referendum, I highlighted that there would be a massive transition cost. Time, effort, hard cash.  This is reflected in these diagrams from the world of chemistry, but of equal relevance to Brexit.  The humps indicate the transition costs, whether the economy moves to a higher or lower level.

Few listened then, but many are realising the transition cost now.

The problem is that all the major parties are taking the referendum as the final instruction to Leave the EU.  The LibDems are suggesting a second referendum, but are not challenging the basic idea.

The Just Party takes a different view. It would be inconceivable that.the British public should not be given a further say in the matter, and indeed the chance to say "Stop!"  The referendum is best regarded as a starting gun, not a finishing line.

Food costs are going up as a result of the devaluation of the pound after Brexit. People are being hit in their pockets.  Nobody can escape the idea that Brexit simply isn't the pain-free process they were sold last year.

The Just Party is looking for 10 MPs or more from the Conservative and Labour parti4es, who on being re-elected would counteract the recent DUP deal.  That would mean the Tories could not get Brexit legislation through parliament if it wasn't a good idea.  Which MPs will run with tbis idea?

None of the Above

It is great to see younger voters getting involved in this last General Election.  It is their future after all.

But it is important that they understand not only the advantages of a party, but also the disadvantages.  Pros and cons.

So here's a quick summary:

Pros and cons
Tories (Conservative)
Believe in a business-driven economy, but for the benefit of the few.  Theresa May called them the “Nasty Party” when she was Chairman.  Recent events show that is still true
Labour expect people to pay more tax, for higher spend by government.  Sadly policies are counter-productive.  Unemployment tends to rise, national finances get out of control.  The current annual deficit is the legacy of the massive deficit left by the last Labour government
LibDems have a ‘soft Labour’ background.  Key policy is to put 1p on income tax.
Great ecological policies.  Laughable economic ones
One issue – the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.  That objective was achieved when Article 50 was triggered earlier this year.  No further role.

The obvious conclusion from this table is that "None of the Above" deserve your vote.  Many people agree with you.

In the 70s and 80s governments tended to alternate between hard-left Labour and hard-right Tory.  As soon as the pendulum swung too far, UK voters chose the other party.  It was only the introduction of New Labour in 1997 that resulted in three successive wins.

The difference?  New Labour was centrist, and tried to balance the generation of wealth with public spending.  However the underlying socialist economic policies were its undoing. They had no idea of risk management, and a downturn in the economy soon turned into a major annual deficit.


The UK needs a centrist party, somewhat like New Labour but:
  • With a strong pro-business emphasis to generate a Thriving Economy
  • A more business-like approach to taxes and expenditure
Then it is a matter of using the money generated for a Caring Society, properly supporting the NHS, care services, defence and other public expenditure.

The Just Party Logo.  Just press play!
That's why The Just Party was formed.  A party just for you.

If you agree with our vision, do please give us your support:

Tragedies and our Reaction

McDonnell and Corbyn.  Dangerous men
When my sister died young from a health matter, my first reaction wasn't to ask who was to blame.  The relevant professionals had done their best.  There was certainly no intent to kill her. Nor do we necessarily need to point the blame on an individual when something goes wrong.  Let's take some examples, and then consider the Labour leadership.


Thirty years ago the Herald of Free Enterprise sank in the English Channel when it set sail with its bow doors open. This was apparently not un-common , and was an accident waiting to happen.  193 passengers and crew lost their lives in the murky water outside Zeebrugge harbour.

The coroner's inquest reached a verdict of "unlawful killing", citing design flaws in the ship as contributory factors. In particular, the bridge did not have sight of the bow doors nor any warning system that the doors were open, which is an obvious safety matter.   Criminal prosecutions for manslaughter of senior personnel and the Herald's corporate owners followed. Whilst the cases collapsed, the idea that such negligence could and should be criminal at both personal and corporate level was firmly established.


Today, 28 years and over 10000 days after nearly a hundred people died at the Hillsborough stadium, criminal prosecutions are also being brought for manslaughter against the police commander at the stadium and five others.  There is a significant difference to the Herald case.  This is principally about actions on the day, not about the safety regime. 

One has to wonder if charges have been brought simply so someone is held accountable, rather than for any useful purpose.  Nobody will be brought back from the dead.  Lessons have already been learned, and the people charged have surely suffered enough in their consciences already.   I'll say no more whilst the prosecutions are in progress.


Estimates of the death toll as a result of the recent fire at Grenfell Tower are of a similar magnitude.  There have been immediate calls to hold someone to account. 

As the "Factcheck" article in today's "i" newspaper (right) suggests, there are deficiencies in the Building Regulations that go back decades, across all hues of Governments.  But fundamentally the products used were against the manufacturer's advice in respect of a tower of that height.  Subsequent tests on many other high-rise blocks have all failed fire tests.  Yet every one of those buildings was presumably inspected during construction at least once.

Grenfell is a national disaster that has highlighted a major national problem that has arisen over decades. It is not the time to score cheap political points.

Yet that is exactly what senior members of the Labour party have done, before the facts have been established:
  1. Jeremy Corbyn has tweeted that he blames the fire on Tory austerity.  As many of the blocks had the relevant work carried out by Labour Councils back under a Labour government, his claim is clearly absurd
  2. John MacDonnell has called it "murder", when clearly it could only be manslaughter.  His own party has admonished him.
The point is these two people are currently lined up to become Prime Minister and Chancellor if Labour were to win the next General Election.  That could be as early as August this year.  These are just two examples of why these men are unfit to govern.  Recent converts to the Corbyn bandwagon should take note.  These are dangerous men, in economics, defence, and any other matter that requires judgement.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

An Escape Route For Philip Hammond

Theresa May's decision to hold a General Election has weakened her, potentially fatally. 

Rumour has it Philip Hammond is now being lined up as a potential "caretaker" Prime Minister, to take over from Theresa in the autumn.  That would be in time for the party conference.  Assuming of course the Tory government doesn't fall earlier.

But is Philip's heart in it?  Before he was made Chancellor, he was Foreign Secretary. In early July last year he attended his last Foreign Affairs Committee meeting.  There has was grilled about Brexit.  The Leave vote had just been decided, and the Tory members of the Committee were all Leavers.  Gloating.

You can read the report of that meeting yourself, or watch it here.  But I was there, and the over-riding memory is of Hammond being less than positive about Brexit.  I'm sure at some stage he was told to "show some enthusiasm" by the Chairman, or words to that effect.

As Chancellor, I'd hoped he would try and soften Brexit.  But until recently it looked that his views would mean he would be shown the door to Number 11 and asked for the keys.  The General Election has changed that.  He is now in  the ascendancy, and as mentioned above, is in line to be PM.  He can at last publicly tell the Theresa to steer clear of a 'hard' Brexit.  That's part of the "Cabinet Chaos on Brexit" in the photo above.

He knows that tax receipts are forecast to be lower than if Brexit had not occurred.  The pound's lower exchange rate since the Referendum is producing food price inflation, and an increase in general inflation. That means higher costs for the Government in pay for public sector workers and general pensions. Indeed today it was announced that at least some public sector workers would be in line for a pay rise, something which Labour has hailed as an early vistory.  In fact, in being linked to inflation, those rises probably would be happening anyway.

Tax receipts down and government costs up.  A LOSE-LOSE.  I'm sure Philip would actually far prefer to call the whole Brexit thing off.


The Just Party is looking for at least 10 moderate Conservative and Labour MPs to defect to the party, and vote against Brexit bills in Parliament.  That would neuter the recent deal with the DUP.  It would also create a new party in Parliament that better represents the majority of voters in the UK.  Truly for the many.

That group of MPs needs a leader.  Would Philip prefer that to leading the Tories?  Fight to stop Brexit without the shackles of Tory policy?  Shape a new party to truly represent the British people?

Only he would know.  Do bring this to this suggestion to his attention.  Thank you.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Will the DUP Deal be the Downfall of the Tories?

QTWTAIN is the scourge of newspapers.  It's a technique often used by the Daily Mail, especially in their Health section.  But it is banned at the Telegraph.  John  Rentoul at the Independent is an especially vociferous opponent.

What does it mean?  It's a headline with a "Question To Which The Answer Is No".  For example, today's offering in the Mail is "But are trendy snacks TRULY healthy?"

So how about this headline:  "Will the DUP Deal be the Downfall of the Tories?"

Emily Thornberry, the Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary and a lawyer by background, has said it is a "shabby and reckless agreement" that will put the Northern Ireland peace process at risk.  This echoes comments made a few days ago by former Prime Minister John Major.

Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein President, has added it threatens the Good Friday Agreement.  Even The Tory Telegraph has announced "£1bn for DUP is just the start". 

The deal certainly does look reckless.  A desperate attempt to get the Queens Speech through the initial votes, and force Brexit legislation through the Commons.

Grant Shapps, a former Tory Chairman, today blamed the hung Parliament on "the world's worst manifesto" from the Tories for the recent General Election.  A 20 point lead in the polls was lost,  in part also due to Jeremy Corbyn pumping out bribes to younger voters.

So what will the public's reaction to the DUP deal be?  I suspect a major backlash on the Tories.  There's certainly little chance that this blog's headline will be a QTWTAIN.  The DUP deal could well be the downfall of the Tories.


The only question is when?  We are asking at least 10 Conservative and Labour MPs to defect to The Just Party as a means of stopping Brexit, and neutralising the DUP deal.  So sooner rather than later, it is hoped.

If you believe it is in the UK's best interests to stop Brexit, and many MPs do, then do form an orderly queue at The Just Party's door!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Brexit One Year On. Soft Brexit? No Brexit!

Today marks the first anniversary of the UK's Brexit Referendum.  Formal negotiations to leave the EU started earlier this week.

I've just been listening to Theresa May's press conference about her proposal for EU citizens in the UK.  There was also a phone-in to the LBC radio station where several callers were saying they had either switched from Leave to Remain, or were more fervent advocates of Remain.

The negotiations have already highlighted just how difficult, distracting, costly and time-consuming leaving the EU will be.  Also how the "Project Fear" economic predictions of last year are coming true,

People argue that the General Election, when the Tories lost seats, was a vote for a softer Brexit.  That is to remain in the Single Market, like Norway, and/or the Customs Union, like Turkey.

Let's take it a stage further. Let's call the whole Brexit thing off.  No Brexit.  Now.


The Referendum vote was 17,410,742 Leave to  16,141,241 Remain, with 12,948,018 registered voters abstaining (of which some 25,000 spoilt their ballot papers). Only 37.4% actually voted to Leave, and only 635 thousand of those switching to Remain would have swayed the vote the other way.  It was a major mistake not to set the Leave bar as 50% of the electorate, rather than 50% of those voting.

The £350 million a week for the NHS on the side of the bus was arguably enough to swing the vote.  That wasn't the only lie or half-truth of the campaign.  Both sides were at fault.  (Though Liam Fox will tell you that people weren't "hoodwinked", according to his interview in the Sunday Telegraph 26th June,)

The bus was the most blatant lie. The annual cost to the UK was agreed before the referendum as a third of the amount, yet the bus was still used prominently, with little contradiction by the media.  But more importantly, that assumed no economic impact, positive or negative.  Suffice to say there will be not even a penny extra for the NHS according to current predictions.

Nor will food prices be going lower any time soon, as Leave promised.  Food price inflation is rising from:
  • Firstly a lot of our food is imported, purchased in foreign currency.  There has been a Brexit-induced deterioration in the Pound's exchange rate against currencies such as the Euro and US dollar. 
  • Secondly expected rises in pay for the lower grades of staff on farms and the food supply chain as cheap labour from the continent dries up.  Strawberries are forecast to be 50% more expensive next summer.  Now that really is shooting the UK in the foot!

So I prefer the expression "The Deception of the People".  In the circumstances the resulting majority was not sufficient to have any authority.


Wouldn't it would be silly to say the result was an instruction from the British People without any further opportunity to comment?  Some people suggest a second referendum.  But that would mean the EU would provide a worse deal in the hope it would be rejected.

There must be further opportunity to comment.  It is better to regard the referendum as a "starting gun" on leaving the EU, not authority to leave at any cost.

Given the UK can opt to remain, we should be questioning the wisdom of leaving the EU at every stage until the UK actually has a deal for which it is worth leaving.  As the EU have made it clear that a deal for the UK cannot be as good as being a member, as that would result in other countries wanting to leave, the chances of a good deal are virtually nil.  And "No Deal" is clearly worse than a bad deal.  That would mean falling off an economic cliff, not least because the new IT systems required could not be put in place in time.

With that in mind, it is only a matter of time before public opinion clearly turns against Brexit.  People are already realising they are worse off, and getting worse.  They will also realise the transition is stopping the country operating as normal.  The risk is thousands of jobs in the City will go to Frankfurt, with consequent loss of tax revenues.  That's just one example of many.

Before the UK shoots both feet off, let's call Brexit off!


A commercial business advertising its products has to do so in accordance with the Advertising Standards Board mantra of "Legal, honest, truthful and decent" and protecting "the interests of the audience".

Political advertisements and statements do not need to comply.  This is for a number of reasons as stated here..  There are no alternative standards that do apply. The result is that all the major political parties have stretched the truth to a greater or lesser extent in electoral campaigns in recent years. The referendum was more extreme, but the established political parties have to say the result was legitimate, otherwise they would be two-faced.

The Just Party, however, does not carry that historical baggage.  We can say it as it is.  The referendum was "The Deception of the People".


The formal notification of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU was made under article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.   This had to be done in accordance with the Constitution of the country wishing to leave. It is now argued that the UK Government took a short cut, there should have been another Act of parliament, and the notification was therefore not valid.  However putting the extra Act in place would be an easy solution to that problem.

In any case the leaders of both Germany and France, amongst others in the EU, have said the UK is welcome to withdraw the notification at any time. Apart from any other reason, the UK has been a net contributor of funds to the EU.of around 150 million euros a week.  They really don't want to lose the UK.

The sooner the notification is withdrawn the better.  No Brexit.


Wanting "No Brexit" is  not because the EU is the best thing since sliced bread  Far from it. The Euro in particular is a disaster, set up to fail as many predicted at its creation.  Set up in the wrong way, and fudged to let Greece and other weaker countries in.  How the Greeks have suffered since.  Their plight is still threatening to bring the Euro down, with a new rescue deal in only this last week.

One can be "Eurosceptic" without being outright "Europhobic".  To want to Remain, whilst still being highly critical of the EU and its institutions.  In fact there are very few in the UK who are strong EU supporters.

David Cameron did his best to get a better deal from the EU.  The next step isn't to leave but to persevere.

The reason is simple.  The economic consequences of leaving could be disastrous. "It's the economy stupid" didn't hit home with voters as well as VoteLeave's "Let's Take Back Control".  We'll look at the economy in a minute.  But of course with 'Control' it's not as simple as made out:
  • Control of immigration of non-EU personnel has meant net immigration higher than the total target including EU personnel.  No effective control there currently. 
  • A 'hard' or 'soft' Brexit will mean no longer having any direct influence over the regulations under which we will need to trade with the EU.  Hardly control!
Then take sovereignty.  The ultimate badge of sovereignty is for a country to have its own currency, not linked to any other.  That is the current position with the pound.  If the UK leaves the EU but finds it wants to rejoin, it will inevitably be forced to adopt the Euro.  Given the comments about the Euro above, this would be foolish. The only sensible approach is to keep the UK's advantages under the current membership arrangements with the EU by remaining in the EU.


So ignoring economic factors, the conclusion is that leaving  the EU is a bad idea.  How about the "sunny uplands" promised by VoteLeave last year?

Their idea is that by leaving  the Customs Union, the UK can  negotiate its own trade deals with countries that don't yet have a deal with the EU.  Australia, New Zealand, India and others, mainly with strong historical associations with the UK. That's all well and good.  But not if that is at the cost of a bigger drop in trade with the EU.  That's the risk.

Domestically, we already have rising food price inflation, as mentioned above.  Translating that into higher overall official inflation indeces, and there will need to be big rises in the Government's payroll and pensions bill.  Where's the extra money going to come from?

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has said the economic forecasts which they are using will be poor.  Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, has said the same.  There is a net economic cost to Brexit..

Lower economic activity means less tax receipts, not more.  Less money. More cuts to public services.  Exactly what the hard right of the Tory party want, with a smaller state.  No wonder they are so keen to leave the EU.


The Just Party believes it is in the best interests of the country:
  1. To have a Thriving Economy
  2. To provide the funds to be a Caring Society
Clearly Brexit risks the economy and therefore threatens the Caring Society.  Brexit therefore is counter to The Just Party's objectives.  Our only logical position is to be anti-Brexit.


 If you agree that Brexit must be stopped, and quickly:
  1. Spread the word that Brexit must be stopped, for the reasons above and many more
  2. Encourage people to join The Just Party
  3. Make a donation to The Just Party funds
  4. Encourage your MP, to defect to The Just Party if you know they are moderate and do not believe in Brexit
  5. Encourage local councillors to do the same
It is our objective to represent "the many not the few" by creating a new centrist party.from the moderate wings of the Labour and Tory parties. Let's do it!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Is it Candidate or Party that Drives Voters?

When you go into a polling booth, the voting slip shows three things:
  1. Candidate name and address
  2. Candidate's party name, (if there is one)
  3. Candidate's party emblem (if there is one)
It is said that for many Labour voters, the party could put up a donkey as the candidate, and it would still get votes.  The same is no doubt true of the Tories and other parties.  Party loyalty can be strong.

But there are also floating voters, who don't decide until the last minute. Perhaps when they are actually in the polling booth, staring at the voting slip.


A candidate without a party emblem looks second rate.  It is important for a candidate to represent a party registered with the Electoral Commission, with an emblem they have approved.


Once a party has an MP in Parliament, the party has a different status.  They will be invited to discussions and hustings arranged by TV, radio and others to which other candidates are not invited.

Inevitably that means the public ignore 'minor' parties that are not at that 'top table' enjoyed by the 'major' parties.

It can be that a party is also invited to the 'top table' where they have a clear and demonstrable following, without an MP.  Now that UKIP does not have an MP, it will be interesting to see when they are and are not invited to 'top table' events, given that they still have significant support. Having an MP is a simple black and white justification for organisers.


A new party does not have an MP or an established following.  One option to get on the 'top table' is to get a sitting MP to defect, and win the subsequent by-election.  That is how UKIP did it.

Ofcom sets the regulations under which the UK's TV and radio transmissions are governed, including the BBC from April 2017.  In the case of political coverage, both at a national and local level, they recognise that it is not practical to invite all parties and candidates to the 'top table'.

Clause 6.2 of the Ofcom Broadcast Code says:
"Due weight must be given to the coverage of parties and independent candidates
during the election period. In determining the appropriate level of coverage
to be given to parties and independent candidates broadcasters must take into
account evidence of past electoral support and/or current support. Broadcasters
must also consider giving appropriate coverage to parties and independent
candidates with significant views and perspectives."

i.e. Broadcasters shoudl include candidates that:
  1. Have past electoral support and/or
  2. Have current support, [or]
  3. Have potential through offering a signficant view and perspective
All people arranging debates and hustings should also  apply all three criteria for inclusion of candidates.


The newspapers in the last few days before the election started to run headlines that gave the public the impression that this was May versus Corbyn, Tories versus Labour.  What effect did that have?  What about the distinction between 'major' and 'minor' parties?

The election in Maidenhead, Theresa May;s own constituency, gives an indication.  Based on % of the local electorate, the 'major ' parties who were on the 'top table' of hustings and debates were:

                                                                      Votes                              Vs 2015    Vs 2010

Conservative Theresa May 37,718
49.5% 1.7% 5.7%
Labour Pat McDonald 11,261
14.8% 6.2% 9.6%
Liberal Democrat Tony Hill 6,540
8.6% 1.4% -12.2%
Green Derek Wall 907
1.2% -1.4% 1.2%
UKIP Gerard Batten 871
1.1% -5.0% 0.4%
Theresa May's share of the electorate increased over 2015 and 2010. Perhaps her mantras about needing support hit home.  That and regaining voters UKIP lost.

Pat McDonald of Labour stood in 2010, but not in 2015.  His personal icnrease of 9.6% is arguably purely down to Labour's national resurgence.

Tony Hill of the LibDems was slightly up in 2017, having been well down in 2015.  This reflects the LibDems generally.

The Greens were slightly down, and UKIP were signfiicantly down.  Their time has been and gone.

What about the minor parties?  The highest candidate polled just 282 votes, less than a third of the lowest 'major'.

  1. Arguably NONE of the 'major' candidates outperformed (or indeed underperformed) their national parties.  Hardly worth campaigning locally!
  2. A 'minor' candidate does not have a chance of competing
It si essential to be on the 'top table'. That should include any party offering "a signficant view and perspective" even if they do not have past or current support.  Broadcasters and other husting arrangers please take note!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

'Hard' Brexit? 'Soft' Brexit? No Brexit?

In June 2016 the UK went to the polls in the 'Brexit' referendum that asked a simple question:
"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

However it isn't that simple.


In 1973 the UK joined what was then called the European Community (EC) for purposes of being a member of the 'Common Market'.

In the UK, for a long time goods and services have been able to move from Lands End to John O'Groats without having to stop at border posts between counties, and without duties and tariffs being applied along the way.  The idea of the 'Common Market' was for that to be the case across the borders of member countries.  Economic activity would increase, and greater prosperity ensue.

Over the years the EC became the European Union (EU). Just like people can move freely from Scotland to live or work in the South East (and vice versa), the principle of 'free movement' across the EU was put in place.


Just as the EU has evolved, the 'Common Market' has morphed into three concepts:
  1. The 'Single Market' in which not only EU members but also other countries participate, notably Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein
  2. The 'Customs Union' which involves all the 'Single Market' countries plus a few others such as Turkey
  3. The 'European Free Trade Area' (EFTA) which involves not only the Single Market countries, but also Switzerland

In simple terms:
  1. The 'Single Market' eliminates tariffs, quotas or taxes on trade, and includes the free movement of goods, services, capital and people
  2. The 'Customs Union' means each country applies the same tariffs to goods from outside the union, and may not negotiate its own trade deals 
  3. A country that is in the EU is bound by the rules of both the Single Market and the Customs Union 
  4. A 'Free Trade Agreement' could be struck between the EU and UK, such that no tariffs or taxes or quotas on goods and/or services would apply when goods and/or services moving from one country to another.  This would allow the UK to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries
 Further details can be found in this BBC article.


There is one issue which the EU has identified as one of the top three to be resolved before any new trade deal is put in place.  The land border between Northern Ireleand and the Republic of Ireland.

This would remain open if the UK remained in Single Market or Customs Union.  But a Free Trade Agreement would almost certainly mean border controls between the UK and the EU countries, including between Northern Ireland and the Republic.


Given the various options, plus the possibility of a new style of relationship between the UK and EU, it is better to think of 'harder' and 'softer'

A proper 'hard' Brexit would mean leaving the Single Market and Customs Union.  A softer Brexit would involve remaining in one or both, or some other arrangement that retained elements of them.

The problem is that a form of Brexit that meets the desire to stop free movement and lose the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, would mean a 'hard' border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. To maintain free movement across that border would mean a softer Brexit, and inevitably compromise on Leave's objectives.

Impossible to resolve?  Let's see.


The fundamental problem is that the referendum question was not specific about the options that were feasible without being a member of the EU.  Maybe that was deliberate, to give the government wriggle room in negotiations.

The Government published a leaflet titled "Why the government believes that voting to remain in the EU is the best decision for the UK".  This was delivered to all households in the UK

This did not specifically say that leaving the EU would mean leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, but did state that only "Remaining inside the EU guarantees our full access to its single market".

Some people say that it was clear that leaving the EU would mean leaving the Single Market and Customs Union.  Indeed some people on both the Remain and Leave sides said that.  But there were also those who pointed at Norway and Switzerland as possible models for the UK's relationship.  It was all very confusing.

Ultimately though, the referendum question about leaving the EU did NOT rule out the possibility of remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union, like other non-EU countries.  Given the question was written that way, that flexibility was actually what people voted for.


The Tories have been talking about a 'hard' Brexit for some time. Many influential Tories simply want a complete break with the EU, at whatever cost to the economy.

A lot of people voted for Labour.  What has Labour said?  The manifesto says:
    • We will scrap the Conservatives’
    Brexit White Paper and replace it
    with fresh negotiating priorities that
    have a strong emphasis on retaining
    the benefits of the Single Market
    and the Customs Union – which
    are essential for maintaining
    industries, jobs and businesses in
    Britain. Labour will always put jobs
    and the economy first.
There  has been talk about "access" to the Single Market, other than membership.  Yes, all countries have "access", albeit under rules that are more or less punitive.  Now we have "benefits of".  John  McDonnell, the Labour Shadow Chancellor, has now said Labour would expect to leave the Single Market.  So what does "retain the benefits of the Single Market" actually mean? Nothing, it would appear.


It is not too late to realise that any form of Brexit would damage the economy, potentially seriously. Looks liek a  transition period of ten years or more where the economy would suffer, tax receipts would be lower, and essential services starved of funds.  "Project Fear" or just common sense?