Brexit Bulletin: ‘Tell me why, why, why d’you have to lie?

Brexit Bulletin: ‘Tell me why, why, why d’you have to lie?


‘You lie lie lie, tell me why, tell me why, why d’you have to lie’1


Philip Gilbert’s acerbic update pulls few punches; ‘The Leader’ May not be on his Christmas card list


After last week’s rant, I have decided that, going forward, the PM will be referred to as the ‘Leader’. This seems so much more appropriate for the dictatorship she seems determined to impose upon us.

Let us not forget that this is a Leader that came to power via a leadership election after her predecessor fell on his sword, and then, when the public had a chance to vote, turned an almost unassailable lead into a minority government.

democratically she doesn’t truly have a mandate to lead!

For someone so insistent on her pursuit of leaving and delivering the democracy demanded by the referendum, its remarkable that democratically she doesn’t truly have a mandate to lead!

The Leader’s treaty, or more accurately capitulation, has achieved some surprising results, for example:

  • It has almost reunited the Tories, unfortunately they have reunited against the Leader
  • President Trump doesn’t like it and thinks it will damage an Anglo-US trade deal.


Code for the terms will be even worse than anyone thought possible.


  • Northern Ireland and the DUP don’t like it. These are the very people the Leader bunged £1bn to vote with her party and keep her in a job.


Some people are so ungrateful!


  • Spain has objected.

So, we have given-up some control over Gibraltar


  • France is threatening problems with fishing rights.


Perhaps we can give them our coastal waters?


  • The legal opinion surrounding the ‘back-stop’, that the Leader made so much of are being kept under lock and key.

Usually, that only means you have something to hide!

So, the much-vaunted negotiations have really been no more than them asking and us giving things away; perhaps Argentina could, via Italy, get the Falkland Islands back, too?

But enough of my frivolous remarks, the best summation of the capitulation, is that the Brexit Minister resigned as a result of it, saying we would do better to stay in the EU.


Now to the ‘lies’


We have already covered points such as how much we really contribute, how much will the NHS benefit, etc, but there is one whopper that was revealed yesterday. The Chancellor announced the long-awaited government research on the long-term impact of the different Brexit Options, and guess what, we’re going to be worse off leaving that remaining;


  • The Leader’s original Chequers diktat asking for ‘frictionless trade’ would lead to reduction GDP of 0.6% to 2.5% over 15 years, depending on the level of immigration after Brexit.
  • A deal without frictionless trade, which would be closer to the outline deal on the table, would mean a reduction of 2.1% to 3.9%.
  • No deal would be far worse, a reduction of 7.7% to 9.3%. The worst-case scenario could occur if net EU immigration was reduced to zero.
  • A Canada-style free trade agreement, which many Brexiteers prefer, would mean a hit of between 4.9% and 6.7%.
  • Norway-style membership of the EEA, seen as the softest Brexit because it retains free movement, could mean a blow to the economy of just 1.4%.


Furthermore, the analysis found London would suffer the worst impact of any region under the Leader’s capitulation, given the size of the financial sector.

But London would be least harmed under no deal, which would hit manufacturering in the North East, North West, Northern Ireland and West Midlands.

So, rather than the land of milk and honey we were promised, and a small majority voted for, its back to the dark ages; Wetherspoons will be delighted, more port and lemon for the missus!

And so, we turn to London; London must lead the fight to drag Parliament back from this insanity.

London would suffer the worst impact of any region under the Leader’s capitulation

London has always tolerated the antics of kings and queens, provided it was left in peace; Westminster might rule Britain but the City of London ruled London.

London has prospered from the single European market, negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1986.

She boasted it was ‘a single market without barriers, visible or invisible, giving direct and unhindered access to the purchasing power of 300m people’. Even if London could tolerate leaving it cannot put up with Parliament barricading it from its largest trading partner, Europe who we have done business with since the Middle Ages.

Amongst other promises from the Leader, we were promised ‘frictionless trade’.  London dominates a quarter of the British economy, paying a third of its taxes, its financial services, technology and its share of Europe’s health and education sectors, are central to economic prosperity. If London wants to stay in the single market, its voice should be heard.

Whilst Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Manchester have won devolved powers; Scotland raises its own income taxes, Manchester runs its own health service.

London might have the best infrastructure, but politically we bow down before our Leader, or in the words of Boris Johnson, ‘vassalage’; although this can be blamed on him not pushing for devolution when he was Mayor.

His successor, Sadiq Khan, seems more interested in being photographed at parties with a glass of European wine.

The biggest threat to London under a hard Brexit is to the labour market.


  • 12% of all London jobs are held by non-UK, EU residents.
  • 33% in the economically critical sectors of catering and hotels,
  • 25% in building
  • 20% in health and public administration.
  • The Battersea power station development found a quarter of its EU workforce did not return after Christmas 2017.
  • London’s hospitals now have 15% staff vacancy rates, and the NHS is spending millions helping foreign staff deal with the Home Office’s hostile environment for EU nationals.


These industries will be crippled if new EU migrants are banned under skilled-worker quotas. Ironically, the rest of the country will suffer as a result. The capital will retain its financial leadership of Europe, deprived of a ready supply of new labour it will attract workers from the rest of Britain.

Jo Johnson, obviously the brother who got the brains and the comb

If our Leader continues to ignore everyone and everything in pursuing ‘the only deal possible’, then London must be heard. To make this happen, we need a real leader, one who champions a second referendum allowing London, and the rest of the country, a voice.

There are several potential candidates, but I suggest Jo Johnson, obviously the brother who got the brains and the comb.

The 21st century is said to be the century of the city; City states such as Singapore and Monaco, and powerful cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Barcelona and Mumbai, throw their weight about, New York is taking on Donald Trump over tariff barriers. They exert political leverage so must we; our own deal with Brussels.

London should be seen, heard, and fighting back. Its wealth and power should make sure that in the event of Brexit, open trade remains.

We, London, must keep our single market; London calling to the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down2

OK, so we’re not expecting our lyrical aficionados to be massively exercised by ‘another tuneless racket’1 – if you’re even considering crying foul because we’ve returned to Winterland (40 years on!) you’ll be disappointed.

So, get over it and enjoy the ‘bonus ball’2 – and come out of the cupboard you boys and girls.




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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