Brexit Bulletin: ‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night!’

Brexit Bulletin: ‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night!’


‘There’s unlimited supply, and there is no reason why, I tell you it was all a frame, they only did it ’cause of fame, Who? E.M.I.’1


Perhaps the lyric should be amended slightly to read; ‘There’s unlimited supply, and there is no reason why, I tell you it was all a frame, she only did it ’cause of fame, who? M.A.Y’ – writes Philip Gilbert.


So, we have finally capitulated.

The PM who proudly told us that, ‘No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain,’ obviously did not mean it. What the PM meant to say was; a bad deal was always going to be better than no deal.

What the population got was Churchillian rhetoric and Chamberlain’s actions.

There can be no better summary of our capitulation than that offered by Deputy Chief negotiator at the European Commission Sabine Weyand; ‘the European Union will still have control over the customs union after the UK leaves on March 30, 2019’.

She has said on the proposed Brexit ‘deal’:

  • ‘This requires the customs union as the basis of the future relationship…They must align their rules but EU will retain all the controls’.
  • They apply the same rules. UK wants a lot more from a future relationship, so ‘EU retains its leverage’
  • Ms Weyand added Britain ‘would have to swallow a link between access to products and fisheries in future agreements’.

Now, for anyone still in doubt about my thoughts on Brexit, I am a committed ‘remainer’; however, if we are going to leave, then let’s leave. The PM has delivered her version of political hokey cokey; is our left leg in and our right leg out? Or is our right leg in and our left leg out?

the British people want us to get this done’. Yes, ma’am, and we have been well and truly done!

This is dumping your girlfriend and saying, ‘don’t worry darling, here’s £39bn, we can still be friends, and you can pick the film we see next week.’

To add insult to injury the PM said in the commons, ‘the British people want us to get this done’. Yes, ma’am, and we have been well and truly done!

But, how did the Cabinet react?

  • Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned, saying, ‘First, I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the U.K.’ ‘Secondly,’ he added, ‘I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit.’

The resignation of the man charged with delivering Brexit says it all; this an intrinsically dysfunctional government and so is the deal they are selling

  • Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey also quit
  • Junior Northern Ireland minister, Shailesh Vara, resigned in protest at the deal
  • Junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman, and parliamentary private secretaries Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ranil Jayawardena also stepped down
  • Jeremy Corbyn called it a ‘botched deal’ that breaches the government’s own red lines
  • The value of the pound dropped by over 1%
  • There is ongoing speculation about International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt resigning and Michael Gove is a will he/won’t he after apparently being offered Raab’s job.


So, what happens next?


An emergency EU summit will be held on 25th November, where EU leaders are expected to sign off on the withdrawal agreement and future relationship declaration, as well as gloating over their victory; no doubt toasting it with Krug champagne and not Chapel Down sparkling wine

After that humiliation the PM needs to get the capitulation through parliament. Mrs May does not have a Commons majority and many MPs on her own side, along with members of the Labour party and the other opposition parties, are at best sceptical about her Brexit plans, and at worst openly hostile to them.

The DUP, which Mrs May relies on in key votes, has already said it is likely to vote against it, claiming it will lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.

Several Conservative MPs have also said they will vote against it, a number of backbench Tories are calling for the prime minister to stand down, and there could be more resignations from the cabinet.

Another Conservative MP has handed a letter of no- confidence to the 1922 committee; 48 are required to trigger a leadership challenge.

In addition, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group, which represents about 50 Tories pushing for a harder Brexit, has submitted a letter to the 1922 Committee, requesting a no confidence vote in the PM. Boris has been keeping his thatch down.

Downing Street’s best hope, perhaps only hope, is that the capitulation is the only choice presented to MPs, and that the PM’s version of Brexit or no-deal, will frighten enough waverers into backing our defeat.

The question is should the country be sold down the river because MPs are too spineless to stand-up for themselves? They speak-up, tell the PM this is a bad deal, and vote it down.

should the country be sold down the river because MPs are too spineless to stand-up for themselves?

If the PM loses this vote, what then? Given her obdurate behaviour to date, she will likely try and cling onto power by attempting to renegotiate with the EU; otherwise known as the most forlorn of forlorn hopes!

Fortunately, it is hard to imagine the Conservatives standing by a thoroughly discredited, lame duck leader; she will have to resign, leading to a general election and/or a new prime minister.

On both sides of the House there are MPs hoping the PM will head-off this almost inevitable charade by postponing Brexit day and calling another referendum.

Whilst I would be totally in favour of this, and given, that she has negotiated one of the worst deals in history, that is what should happen. But this PM who has constantly ruled out this option, seemingly determined to take us all down with her.

As someone said to me yesterday, she doesn’t care what people think of her, what he could have said is that she just doesn’t care so long as the she is in charge.

Now in summary I turn to history; this quote was originated by Oliver Cromwell, when addressing parliament, and repeated in the Commons in 1940 by the respected Conservative backbencher, Leopold Amery:

”You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go!”



1Those of you that enjoy trying to identify the lyrics in my weekly updates will sense more than a little anger, so who better to express it that than those bad boys the Sex Pistols. The lyric is from their ‘tribute’ to record company EMI which dropped them after, the ‘Bill Grundy interview’ and other misdemeanours – couldn’t upset the share holders don’t you know.

The eagle eyed may have spotted a bonus ball sneaked into the title –  ‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night!’ was Mr Rotten’s sign off at the end of the last Sex Pistols concert, Winterland Theater, San Francisco, California.

Oh, by the way, it was 40 years ago; still get into those bondage trousers? So Never Mind the Bollocks at Westminster – here’s the Sex Pistols





Philip Gilbert 2Philip Gilbert is a city-based corporate financier, and former investment banker.

Philip is a great believer in meritocracy, and in the belief that if you want something enough you can make it happen. These beliefs were formed in his formative years, of the late 1970s and 80s


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