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Guildford’s MP Outlines Her Position on Brexit As Vote on Deal Looms

Published on: 27 Nov, 2018
Updated on: 27 Nov, 2018

As Guildford’s Lib Dems ask residents to write to our Conservative MP to support a “People’s Vote”, an appeal opposed by Leave campaigner Cllr Christian Holliday, Anne Milton outlined her present position in an answer to Guildford resident Hugh Coakley, The Dragon’s advertising manager.

Ms Milton gave her permission for publication of the following letter.

Rt Hon Anne Milton MP

Dear Hugh

Thank you so much for contacting me about the draft agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

I receive so many differing views on Brexit but it was extremely helpful to read your comments, and all the many other comments that have been sent to me. Broadly speaking, of those who have contacted me:

– 2.6% feel the Prime Minister should go, and want a vote of no confidence;
– 9% support the Prime Minister’s draft deal;
– 23% voted Remain and are against the deal;
– 16% voted Leave and are against the deal, and
– 49% want a second referendum.

I have read much of the draft deal but there are questions that remain. I never for one moment believed that leaving the EU would be easy after so many years of ever-increasing integration. I always knew that we would have to compromise, as is always the case in any negotiation.

Without a doubt, the deal opens the door to leaving the EU, with us regaining authority on our immigration policy, coming out of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

But what I am less clear about is what will, or could, happen at the end of the transition, or if the backstop position was enacted. I am also aware that many people are also worried about the Irish border question.

My present understanding is that if the future relationship was not going to be ready in time, we have a choice between seeking an extension to the Implementation Period, or entering the backstop. If we entered the backstop, there will be the opportunity to call for a review.

The EU does not want the UK staying in a backstop longer than necessary because they believe it would give us an unfair competitive advantage. It will most certainly not be in the EU’s interests to leave us in the backstop.

If both sides agree the future relationship is ready, we would leave the backstop, but if the future relationship is not ready, both sides will have to consider whether alternative arrangements can replace the backstop while still avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland.

If we failed to agree that the backstop was no longer needed, the UK could take the case to the independent tribunal. Article 50 does not allow the backstop to be a permanent solution. It can be only a bridge to the future relationship.

Many people are calling for a people’s vote and I do understand the strength of feeling on this. But I continue to have grave concerns about this.

In my view, it is likely that a second referendum would produce a similarly close result, one way or the other. We would have to deal with the consequences of either overturning or confirming the result of the 2016 referendum.

If the result of a second referendum was to remain, my understanding is that the EU would not simply allow us to slip back to where we were prior to the triggering of Article 50. If the result of a second referendum was to confirm the result of the previous referendum we would be back to where we are today, I suspect, and we would be at least 18 months further down the line but no closer to agreeing a deal.

That would have a significantly negative impact on business and cause considerable uncertainty for EU nationals in the UK, and for UK nationals living in the EU. The economy would suffer substantially and we still wouldn’t have a deal.

But it is not yet clear whether there is a majority in Parliament for this deal. In such circumstances, Parliament and the Government will need to decide the best course of action and the fundamental questions will be: is this the best deal we can get, and are the compromises we have made too great?

The draft deal deserves careful consideration and I have written to both the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU and the Attorney General to raise several issues.

A “no deal” I could not support. In my view, it would cause an economic shock that would have serious social consequences. It would affect those least able to withstand a downturn in the economy. Although I appreciate that in some more prosperous areas, people would probably be better insulated from that downturn.

Some people have suggested that the Prime Minister should not continue. Whatever people’s view of the draft deal, I do not believe the interests of the country would be well served by changing the Prime Minister. I believe it would also seriously damage our negotiating position with the EU.

I wish I could answer all the individual points that have been raised but I will contact you again when I have further information. I have read and will continue to read all the comments you have passed on to me.

I can also assure you that I will vote for what I think is right for the country and for my constituents at the time. My position in Government will not affect how I vote. I will accept the consequences whatever they might be, to do what I think is right.

I remain open-minded about the best course of action and will wait to gather more information as the situation develops further. I would like to thank you for your continued interest in this and for sharing your concerns.

My best wishes,

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Responses to Guildford’s MP Outlines Her Position on Brexit As Vote on Deal Looms

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    We must all give our thanks to our MP for laying out what is a most complicated of subjects. What worries me is that 49% believe that repeat voting until they get the answer they want to hear is so rife in Guildford. I thought everyone liked our current democratic process. It appears 49% do not agree with democracy.

    I note it was around 49% who lost the vote in the first place.

    • David Pillinger Reply

      November 28, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      In response to Mr Allen, there was no democracy in the referendum. If I recall correctly, it was a feast of exaggerated and unfounded claims that many vulnerable people believed.

      As we have seen since, it is not possible to be better off with Brexit, hence the alternatives available are either a bad deal or an even worse no-deal!

      I can, however, think of one brilliant deal… the one we already have which made this country great again…remember the pre-EU 1970s?

      • John Perkins Reply

        November 29, 2018 at 9:22 am

        Mr. Pillinger seems to suggest that politicians lied and 17.4 million people fell for it and that therefore the referendum was undemocratic. Piffle! Even if nobody told the truth it was still a democratic vote. The PM said one thing at Lancaster House two years ago and is now saying the opposite. Either she was lying then or she’s lying now. Whichever, only an ingénue would take her at her word.

        It might be difficult to find a single forecast made by UK bureaucrats that has proved to be less than hopelessly inaccurate. There is little about falling back on WTO rules which makes that alternative “worse”. Certainly nothing is worse than the vassalage offered under the Withdrawal Agreement.

        Some of us do remember the pre-Common Market days of 1970-72, they were a bit like the tail end of the 60s – still optimistic. The rest of the decade was dreadful. Although I’d hesitate to blame it on the Common Market, Edward Heath, that staunch advocate of the European project and proven liar, had a lot to do with it. How about the pre-EU 1980s, were they so bad?

        • David Pillinger Reply

          November 29, 2018 at 4:02 pm

          To deal with Mr Perkins’ points:

          Yes, I do believe politicians lie (or twist the truth) and that there is a lot of duping of the public in referendums; and the EU Referendum had it in shovel-loads. It was not democracy. The House of Commons is democracy. That’s our system for good policy origination, not a bun fight referendum.

          No, I don’t believe experts are wrong; they tend to be right, otherwise they wouldn’t be experts. If, as Mr Perkins implies, experts give out randomly produced opinions, one would expect roughly half to be in the Leave camp. However, it is almost impossible to find an expert who can say anything positive about Leaving the EU. For me that is conclusive.

          So, regarding Mr Perkins’s statement about WTO rules, I will tell him what every manager in international business will confirm: they will have a catastrophic effect and are miles apart from the completely seamless system we have within the EU and with the numerous countries around the globe where we trade under excellent EU trade deals, jointly negotiated by us. International business is my expertise, by the way. Mr Perkins’s ilk can repeat their clap-trap as much as they want, but the fact remains.

          Yes, I remember the 1980s extremely well. The UK was well invested in the European project by then and it was the beginning of the recovery from minion status country to a powerhouse.

          Finally, Mr Perkins’s use of the term “vassal state” is tiresome. We have never been vassals and never will be. In the EU we are “Partners”. We do stuff together for a greater common good.

    • Richard Carpenter Reply

      November 29, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Jim Allen has a very puzzling idea of democracy. On the basis of his comment, we’d still be stuck with Walpole’s Whig government because the electorate cast their vote in 1721 (the first General Election in the modern sense) & any subsequent General Election would be a case of ‘repeat voting’.

      Let’s be honest, Leavers don’t want another referendum cos they got what they want from the 2016 one. Remainers want another cos they didn’t get what they want. ‘Democracy’ doesn’t even enter that equation.

      My strong hunch, backed by all recent polls suggests that Remain would relatively stroll a new referendum & both sides know it. Should there be a new referendum in (say) 2019, which would best reflect what the electorate want now – the latest result, or the three-year-old one??

  2. D Bisdee Reply

    November 27, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Why is Christian Holliday quoted? He is a totally discredited councillor who once called for Remain supporters to be tried for treason and was suspended as a result? There are many councillors of all parties locally who supported Remain in 2016 and continue to do so. The story about Anne Milton would have been perfectly adequate without mentioning Cllr Holliday.

    You could have quoted Paul Spooner, the council leader, who supported Remain in 2016. Or Caroline Reeves, the Lib Dem group leader, who supported Remain and continues to do so. Not very balanced.

    Cllr Holliday was invited, as the organiser of the Leave campaign in Guildford, to comment and give a different view than that expressed in the Lib Dem press release. Ed.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      November 27, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      D Bisbee should look at the man, not the politics. Christian Holliday is one of the best councillors in town. He, like the Leave vote, is only “discredited” if you disagree with him. How many separate town council voting procedures votes would you like to take place to replace him in Burpham?

    • John Perkins Reply

      November 28, 2018 at 9:38 am

      “Totally” discredited for making a joke? Only in the eyes of the humourless.

      Quite how could quoting only those who supported Remain be considered balanced?

      • Ciaran Doran Reply

        December 4, 2018 at 3:55 pm

        Wait a minute – did Christian Holliday make a joke? What was it and why was he was suspended from his party then?

        It seems that neither the Conservative leadership didn’t get the joke at the time either. Crass and stupid was what his leader said but I’m unsure if he was referring to Cllr Holliday or his ‘joke’.

        Personally, I didn’t find it humorous given the circumstances of the major divisions in the country then.

  3. Helena Townsend Reply

    November 27, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    In response to Jim Allen, “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

    If he is so certain the decision won’t be reversed what is he afraid of?

  4. Adam Aaronson Reply

    November 27, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Anne Milton states “If the result of a second referendum was to remain, my understanding is that the EU would not simply allow us to slip back to where we were prior to the triggering of Article 50.”

    I’m sure that she is very busy with her parliamentary duties and I wonder whether that is why she may not be completely up to date with developments.

    On Monday 26th November 2018 the Government admitted that MPs could by a simple majority direct it to cancel the Article 50 Notice [ ].

    On Tuesday 27 November 2018, there was a hearing before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. And the Court was asked to consider which of the three possibilities was right. First, that the die is cast and it is now too late for us to stay in the EU. Second, that we can Remain if the Council agrees. Third, that we have the right just to cancel the Article 50 notice.

    What became apparent during the hearing is that everyone – the Petitioners, the Council and the Commission – agree that the die is not cast. The only debate is between the second and third possibility. And we know from the words of Donald Tusk that the EU still wants us to remain.

    I think that it is important that Anne Milton, together with her colleagues Sir Paul Beresford (my MP), Jonathan Lord and Michael Gove are aware that they are not facing a choice between this deal and no deal.

    I do find it a bit odd that the government don’t seem to be briefing their MPs with the true position and instead has taken every step possible to resist this application.

    Of course, the court has not yet given its judgment, but in the meantime, wouldn’t it be more sensible for parliament to delay voting on Mrs May’s proposed deal until the Court has clarified the position?

  5. M Jones Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 8:47 am

    As I read and listen to all the comments both pro leave and pro remain I see a lot of comments about the “people have spoken” that referendum was final. I note that 52% of Leave voters represents about 37% of the total electorate, hardly a significant majority which has left our country polarised and the draft agreement offering little to either bring us together or to make us better off after March 2019.

    I also note that the PM is using an old parenting trick of “consequences of decision making” which is to control the choices so as to make one feel part of the process. The point here I believe is that “my way or the highway” approach is not the only choice here. Let the Tory party tear itself apart but not at the expense of our country.

  6. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    So, by open-minded, I read still sitting on the fence. We deserve a straight answer from our MP.

    Will she vote for or against the deal? A simple yes or no will suffice.

    There will be no change to the deal before the vote, so she has all the information she needs. For all our sakes, I ask her to get off the fence.

  7. Susan Parker Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    It’s time to decide. In my view we should choose to Remain. MPs can enforce this directly, as a demand on the government (it is Parliament, not the Government, that is sovereign, after all) – but if necessary they could do so after a people’s vote.

    Ms Milton is profoundly mistaken in her remark above that, “If the result of a second referendum was to remain, my understanding is that the EU would not simply allow us to slip back to where we were prior to the triggering of Article 50.”

    Following a case in the Scottish courts, and with reference to the European Court of Justice, it was clarified yesterday in a court hearing at the ECJ (27/11/18) that everyone – the government, the EU council and commission, and the ECJ – agrees it is possible to revoke Article 50. This is accepted common ground.

    In other words, if we withdraw Article 50 the UK will be exactly where we were pre-referendum (except of course for those businesses that have already moved abroad, which sadly we’ve lost through this exercise). We keep our rebate; we keep sterling; we will have control of our own borders; we even keep our veto; we get a (substantial) seat at the table deciding EU law as part of the EU democratic process (which we won’t either under No Deal or Theresa May’s deal).

    The only question is whether our government can revoke Article 50 unilaterally or need the permission of the European council to do so, on which we’ll get a firm answer on 4/12/18. So, frankly, this is wrong and possibly disingenuous.

    Furthermore, it is clear from the reports published by the Treasury this week that all forms of Brexit will leave us worse off than we currently are, and that to Remain is the best prospect for this country – economically, but also in terms of the environment, security, and sovereignty.

    On that basis, my personal position is to Remain and Withdraw Article 50 as soon as possible. I think it is time we all stood up for democracy and said what we think.

    • John Perkins Reply

      November 28, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      I’m not convinced MPs should enforce the view of Mrs Parker any more than any other citizen. Nor could revoking Article 50 be remotely regarded as standing up for democracy, given that that would repudiate the democratic votes already taken to invoke it.

      The UK government opposed the Wightman case on the grounds that it was meaningless. If the ECJ (c-621-18) has “clarified … that everyone agrees it’s possible to revoke” then perhaps we can be given a link to that judgement.

      Until there is a ruling, it doesn’t mean anything. Nor does speculation that we might get back everything we voted to give up, no doubt with a cherry on top. Anne Milton is correct in her understanding – EU members and officials would demand more out of the UK if possible (the rebate at least). That much has been shown by their words and behaviour so far. Useful to know that we might need EU Council permission to do what “everyone agrees”, though. Not to mention the EU Parliament and all those bureaucrats.

      Our beloved Treasury has been consistent in its pessimistic reports on the effects of leaving. Thus far they have been proved to be complete tosh.

    • Graham Potter Reply

      November 29, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      I don’t understand how if we cancel everything and go back to “exactly where we were”, we will have control of our borders. We didn’t – we had to let in the population of 27 other countries plus any of their badly screened illegal immigrants and criminals.

      This was the main reason for the “Yes” vote which our leaders and too many others refuse to acknowledge or discuss. Few of our (grossly overcrowded) 65 million people are too bothered about ‘big business and the City’ – would these be the same valuable people who plunged the UK into ruin in 2008?

  8. David Pillinger Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    From my personal contact with Anne Milton, I truly believe that she is seriously taking soundings in the constituency and that she is considering matters deeply.

    I hope that after more than two years during which we have all gained a deep understanding of what Brexit entails, Mrs Milton will side with many in her party and its business constituency, that believe we should put the question of how or whether we Brexit to a People’s Vote.

    In a People’s Vote, we have the chance either to correct the mistake of voting Leave, which we did with minimal understanding of what it meant in 2016, or to confirm that it was not a mistake and that we really do want to Leave.

    The deep divisions we have been suffering since 2016 will somewhat subside because no-one will be able to claim that the People did not know what they were voting for.

    • Stuart Barnes Reply

      November 29, 2018 at 8:43 am

      The people certainly knew what they were voting for – freedom from the corrupt EU interfering in all aspects of our democracy and life. Project Fear was used by Cameron & Co, with the use of taxpayers money, to scare people but they voted to be free nevertheless.

      Vast sums of money from questionable sources ever since have been used to try to get a losers new vote and the Establishment is still telling decent people that they are too ignorant to decide their own future.

      Are we going to make it a best of three referendums?

      We need to get out now on WTO terms as Mrs May has made such a hash of the negotiations. The 29th March cannot come too soon.

  9. Alan Cooper Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I have spent some with Anne Milton on a couple of occasions. She is impressive, intelligent and articulate. Absorbing to listen to, no matter your political views as she tends to be open minded. She has always responded to my queries on any matter and wisely enough says there are still one or two issues she is concerned with, regarding Brexit. Honest of her not to say that all is rosy.

  10. Matthew Smith Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    There seems to be some confusion about the European Court of Justice case. The judgement of the Court is still to come but some have alluded to the fact that the UK government did not contest the substance of the case.

    However, what is not clear at this stage is whether the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 or whether it would need the support of the EU27. If it’s the latter, then there is clearly the chance that some of the rest of EU would not support the UK remaining on the same terms as before.

    • Susan Parker Reply

      December 4, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Today (4/12/18) the European Commission confirmed that if Article 50 is withdrawn the UK would be staying on the current terms, including keeping our rebate. See an article in Yahoo finance: “Answering a question from Yahoo Finance UK, Oettinger said: “The rebate which was negotiated by Mrs Thatcher – this is something which is permanent and needs to be respected.””

      So we can unilaterally withdraw Article 50 and keep our rebate.

      We’ve obviously already lost some businesses, but we can stop any further damage, we can rebuild – and we will keep our sovereignty (which we would lose with the proposed deal). Scotland might even decide to stay in the United Kingdom.

  11. Jim Allen Reply

    November 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    The deep divisions are caused by those who do not accept the result of a democratic vote. We voted using our own abilities and knowledge. If you did not understand the implications you should have not voted.

    It is notable that Bank of England boss Mark Carney reported worst-case financial scenarios. Why, tell me, did he not also provide best possible scenarios? Could that be “project fear” which seems to be reaching hysterical levels recently?

    • Keith Reeves Reply

      November 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      How many of us can confidently state we understand the implications of our vote in a general election, say? I’m thinking of the average person in the street’s real understanding of complex issues of foreign policy, education, transport, health, welfare, defence and so on. Yet we still vote.

  12. John Schluter Reply

    November 29, 2018 at 1:00 am

    I received a similarly worded letter from Anne Milton in respect of her voting intentions. Perhaps the (not too surprising) news that no Brexit scenario will benefit the economy may sway her further. If not, this may be of interest:

  13. John Armstrong Reply

    November 29, 2018 at 1:06 am

    The trouble with trying to weigh up all the options is that one ends up being indecisive. These things are not always a matter of logic, we’re not computers. Better, I think, to choose the path that you want or live forever with your cowardice. Do we want sovereignty or do we want someone else to have it? Are we too weak, are we not safe hands?

    Of our paths into the future, none lead to ruin, a fact omitted from project fear or Leave would have won by a country mile.

    It’s “No Deal” for me. British Business may baulk at first, but being world class, once someone has the guts to sound the charge the adrenalin will surge, the hooves will thunder and the pennants will catch the wind emblazoned with the legend both feared and envied by trade ministers around the globe, “Made in England”.

  14. Maurice Barham Reply

    November 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    A briefing note in The Week, states that “the very existence of the backstop will mean that the EU has no incentive to negotiate a decent trade deal” (or on fishing grounds or agriculture?) “while Britain remains a captive market for EU exports”.

    On that basis let’s have a “People’s Vote”- to Leave, yes or no – but this time require any majority to exceed 40% of the electorate to be valid. If this is not achieved, we stay as we are.

  15. Sue Hackman Reply

    November 29, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I am surprised that our MP of many years (and also a government minister) doesn’t know what to think. I recall that she had the same problem prior to the referendum. Most of the respondents here are doing better.

    I say to her, come on, this is the biggest political issue of your lifetime. It’s a crisis. Don’t bother waiting to work out who will win this time; no-one is going to win this botched policy.

    Your constituents voted to Remain, by the way. If you can’t decide, I’d accept their lead.

  16. Ian Stewart Reply

    November 29, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    If John Armstrong is serious in his response and not just trying to wind everyone up, then I despair. It has been a feature of the debate over the last two years that the arguments have been parochial and introverted, rarely showing any interest in what the EU thinks or how our departure might affect them.

    Having lived and worked in seven current member countries of the EU, I can assure him that sovereignty is as important to other EU citizens as it is (apparently) to those in the UK. Few in the UK seems to be interested in why the other 27 countries value free movement, like to share resources -and yes, a bit of sovereignty – and to work together to solve problems facing us all.

    They can do all this while feeling proud to be Finnish, Portuguese or whatever. As a Scot, I have at least three identities: Scottish, British and European. Judging from Mr Armstrong’s last line, I am not included in his perception of his country or identity, for which I am mightily relieved, but I do wish he and other little Englanders would learn the difference between British and English.

  17. John Armstrong Reply

    November 30, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    I must say I am a little disappointed in Ian Stewart’s reply to my letter. I enjoy a little back-chat, but why do Remainers always have to resort to “little Englanders” when talking about Leavers. It’s where their argument always falls flat. There is, nor has there ever been anything little about England; ask the world. We bestride global history like a colossus. Everyone knows who we are, where we are, and indeed how to get here. London is the most famous city in the world, thrumming with enterprise and innovation, and our language is the lingua franca

    Our arguments parochial and introverted? We’re after global trade, so how so? Of all the EU 28, Britain has the largest export trade outside the EU, with the U.S being the largest, and with whom we do more than with France or Germany; about £80bn with a trade surplus. With the EU we have a trade deficit of about £80bn. There’s nothing in it for us, no money, few jobs, everyone comes here for jobs; and we are the EU’s largest export market. We have to pay them: net £10bn on top of the trade deficit, that’s £90bn for the privilege of being told what to do.

    Identity? I would be OK with Made in Great Britain, I think of myself as British; but the trade mark Made in England is so iconic. It’s actually worth billions, more in fact than any engine block it is stamped on.

    Little England? I think not Sir.

  18. Ciaran Doran Reply

    December 1, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Anne Milton is wrong when she says: “If the result of a second referendum was to remain, my understanding is that the EU would not simply allow us to slip back to where we were prior to the triggering of Article 50.”

    This is factually wrong. Since article 50 was triggered we have remained and still remain in the EU. Nothing has changed. We are still EU members and EU citizens.

    So, if the article 50 period is extended then we still remain in the same position we are now in and rhat we have been in for 44 years.

    I suggest Ms Milton stops trying to bend reality by suggesting that the triggering of Article 50 has meant we have left the EU – we have not.

    Ciaran Doran is the chair of Guildford Liberal Democrats

  19. John Schluter Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 2:25 am

    May I take issue with just a few statements here?

    “Unelected”? I voted for Catherine Bearder MEP in the 2014 election.

    “Border control”? The UK has the right to refuse entry to anyone suspected of illegal activity, irrespective of their nationality. All entrants to the UK are screened. EU Nationals are free to enter but must have the means to support themselves. All non EU citizens must have a valid and qualifiable reason for entry. The fact that the government has been lax in applying these laws is another issue.

    “Democracy”? We had an election in 2015, why another one two years later? Surely ‘the people had spoken’?

    Someone mentioned “big business and the City plunging the UK into ruin” in 2008. May I suggest they read The Big Short (the hint is sub-prime lending in the US).

    As for the jingoistic guff about hooves and pennants, all I can say is stick to the medieval jousting re-enactments, you might win a coconut.

    • John Armstrong Reply

      December 2, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Interesting that it’s always the remainers who resort to insults. One would think that Remain had won the referendum and that the establishment had asked them to vote again.

      Coconut? I’ll settle for nothing less than a cuddly toy.

  20. John Lomas Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Would John Schluter be able to explain where the “Border Control Checks” are, or are going to be, between Eire and NI and subsequently Mainland UK?

    • John Schluter Reply

      December 6, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Unfortunately, I cannot explain where they will take place, although those who advocated our departure no doubt have given the matter long and serious thought and will have come up with solutions. I’m sure it was on the side of that big red bus or maybe as Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested: “There would be our ability, as we had during the Troubles, to have people inspected. It’s not a border that everyone has to go through every day. But, of course, for security reasons during the Troubles, we kept a very close eye on the border to try and stop gun-running and things like that.”

      • John Lomas Reply

        December 7, 2018 at 6:32 pm

        That is the point. anyone who has entered Eire will be able to subsequently gain access to any part of the UK, if they then chose to join the black economy there will be no way of knowing how many are here.

        But this is the same situation we are in now before Brexit so there is No Control Over Our Borders.

        I have no objection to the open border in Ireland for Irish and NI people and goods, so I think it is down to the Irish to control whoever and whatever they let into their country from the rest of the world and ensure they don’t come here.

        Currently, under the Common Travel Area (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands) which goes back to 1923 (suspended in World War 2), each party enforces the other’s immigration decisions and a party who enters another territory without proper leave is in breach of the law but, as with other illegal entrants, could remain undetected if he/she does not come to the notice of the authorities. Ed

  21. Vivienne Johnson Reply

    December 3, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I appreciate Anne Milton’s lengthy, reasoned response and can fully understand why she – like so many MPs – is reluctant to nail her colours.

    Each Brexit option has been criticised as being “not what people voted for”. If we are to heal the deep divisions that now exist within our society we need an informed “people’s vote” that lays out the genuine options clearly, based upon independently agreed facts, including retaining the status quo. We seriously need public support to provide a mandate that everybody should accept.

  22. Adam Aaronson Reply

    December 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

    There has now been a development on the issue that seems to have taxed Anne Milton and others:

    “Anne Milton states “If the result of a second referendum was to remain, my understanding is that the EU would not simply allow us to slip back to where we were prior to the triggering of Article 50.”

    See here:

    “While the opinion from Sánchez-Bordona is not binding on the judges, it is unusual for the ECJ to reach a decision which contradicts the advice of an advocate general”

    So it looks as if it would be possible for the UK to unilaterally revoke Article 50, if parliament so desired. The government has wasted a lot of time and money trying to oppose this clarification being made available.

    • John Perkins Reply

      December 7, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      In their 2017 manifestos the main political parties pledged they would obey the result of the referendum. Many individual MPs also promised. Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to initiate Article 50, beginning the process of keeping to those pledges.

      Were MPs to vote to revoke Article 50 they would simultaneously break their promises and show Parliament as vacillating. They would also be displaying an arrogant disrespect for the wishes of the people.

      What price the word of any of them after that? Not just here, but throughout the world.

  23. A Bate Reply

    January 11, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Why if our MP is against ‘no deal’ did she, according to online vote records, vote against the Jan 8th motion preventing government implementing no deal provisions without the explicit consent of parliament?

  24. David Simpson Reply

    April 10, 2019 at 11:52 am

    It’s simple we voted to leave the EU when we were given the choice leave or stay. The people who wanted to stay never considered there would be the biggest vote in history for a Leave vote. Undemocratically they, and I include Anne Milton, decided they would overturn the result with propaganda.

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