*UPDATE 6/12/2017* Parliament has been misled by David Davis, Tory Brexit Minster, over the impact assessments, or ‘qualitative quantitative sectoral analysis’ documents (if you prefer to now call them that like the Tories do to deny responsibility) about what Brexit means for the economy.

First he said the 58 assessments existed, then Parliament demanded to see them, now he says they don’t exist despite telling Parliament they did when they voted to see them.

How on Earth he can do his job properly without knowing the risks of Brexit to sectors of our economy is baffling? Is it blind faith, arrogance, incompetence or contempt?

David Lammy, Labour MP, has today accordingly written to the Speaker of Parliament, as per protocol, to raise contempt of Parliament proceedings against David Davis.

In any other job, David Davis would have been sacked for gross misconduct born of negligence and dereliction of duty. Tory MP’s, it seems, think they are Teflon coated, such is their arrogance and contempt not only for their jobs and Parliament, but for the electorate too who put them there. Has there ever been such a self serving lot of fools running the country?

Tories, Brexit, & The Grubby DUP Deal – the end is in sight

Make a note in your diaries of this date: Monday 4th December 2017. Then remember it well. It will most likely turn out to be a significant date for British politics and the demise of Brexit in its hardest form, if not in its entirety. And the end of the Tory Government, ultimately.

We all know Wyre Forest voted ‘leave’ and like many areas damaged by austerity, it is my belief that austerity was a significant causal factor here. Immigration and bashing the EU was merely a convenient Tory/UKIP scapegoat. Those on the left who voted leave argued it would free us up to nationalise and pursue a socialist agenda to reform our economy. I never swallowed this line because it’s hamper was to ignore the reality of public ownership across the EU, including EU Governments’ owning our privatised rail & utilities, and the fact a Tory Government hellbent on privatisation and starving our public services will be responsible for delivering Brexit. When was the last time the Tories did something to ‘sincerely’ benefit working people?

Their handling of the EU Withdrawal Bill and sensible motions to protect employment, environmental, safety, and animal rights, well and truly busts any myth their version of Brexit will enrich the poor, the vulnerable, or workers. The Tory right and UKIP Leave agenda has always been about enriching the rich further, tax dodging (check what EU anti-tax dodging rules will come into play in March 2019, the month we leave the EU) and a low regulation economy, all stuff they hid from plain sight under a banner of sovereignty. When, in fact, we never lost our sovereignty, just pooled 15% of it to enrich our economic and cultural lives. Sure, the EU has its faults, but from what happened on 4th December, quite apart from the whacking bill of £50billion (magic money tree anyone?) being talked about, we see the prospect of some if not all of the UK now remaining in the single market, and the customs union, whilst paying for the privilege yet having no say over any of the rules like we currently do. Take a look at Norway.

So, in my view, this day marks the beginning of the end of the Tory Government, their grubby DUP Deal to stay ‘in office’ but not in power, and a signalling that even the Government’s chaotic approach to Brexit is finally unravelling under the vacuous soundbite strains of ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ as the load on it increases. Especially, as the looney right of Theresa May’s own Party ratchet up their barmy undeliverable demands for Brexit. Demands that were encapsulated in the Leave lies of the referendum. You’ll recall what they said, “they need us more than we need them” and “we’ll get a better deal than we have now”, along with “absolutely no one is threatening our place in the single market”. None of it true to this point and all said to get your vote and to promise something they never had the capacity or imagination to deliver on, because they were so focused on getting a leave vote, the reality of understanding the single market, customs union, and WTO rules passed them by, deliberately so, if they ever really understood it in the first place. And to be frank, it’s quite clear from some of the things said by the likes of David Davies, Brexit Secretary, (who himself is now looking for an easy way out by supporting his scandal hit mate Damian Green) that he didn’t have the basic grasp of international trade, WTO, the EU, or the implications of a leave vote for the integrity of the UK remaining as the UK as it is now. All of which has been put into sharp focus, and not before time, by the Irish border question. The ‘grown ups’ debate has now started in earnest it seems.

The fact that Theresa May finally recognised that to ensure economic prosperity and peace in the North of Ireland, and to preserve the Good Friday Agreement, requires no hard border with Ireland and hence staying in the single market and customs union, is an admission no deal is a better Brexit as described by her upon her coronation as Tory leader, is dead in the water. It is untenable however that North Ireland gets a deal denied to everyone else, as much as it is untenable Theresa May abandons her plans to allow a bunch of political misfits to run policy in number 10. What’s driving the DUP though? I’d say it’s about the money, their grubby deal to empower themselves, getting the upper hand in North Irish politics, and bad old fashioned power play. They are overplaying their flimsy hand as they don’t even represent the majority referendum decision in North Ireland. Just 10 MPs holding everyone else to ransom with their stubborn, out of touch, and backward looking views. Is this the state of UK politics? Really? I think not. We are better than this as a proud nation. The DUP just broke what they thought they had and the deal with the Tories is about to wither into the ether. The clock just stopped on the DUP Deal, Hard Brexit, and the alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. If an exemption is good enough for North Ireland, what about Scotland? London? Those industries like auto, fishing, agriculture, retail, etc now demanding an exemption too and ironically many also in the largest leave areas signal a seismic shift here in the Brexit debate. Something bigger is happening.

Some may ask why is Labour playing its cards close to its chest? Well, when the Tories, our natural enemy, Bevan had a few things to say about that, is making such huge mistakes, why should we interrupt them? They own Brexit, it is their bad, they will fall into the political wilderness because of it. Labour has said all along we want a Brexit that works for jobs and the environment. That can only happen if we stay in the single market and customs union in my view. It is also my view that it is only a matter of time, as this mess plays itself out as it sadly must, and as Labour prepares for Government, that the right timing for the people to decide what type of Brexit, or no Brexit, will be back on the table. I predicted that in June 2016. My own view on Brexit has been clear from day one, I’ve not changed it, it’s bad economically for the country and its bad for our global influence. On the 4th December 2017, it seems that even elements of the Tory Party grasped that plain fact too. How many Tories will show some guts and come out and say it remains to be seen.

My view remains staunch, I haven’t shifted with the wind for expediency like our MP Mark Garnier does, the yes man of Tory HQ, who sucks it up so he can carry on enjoying the privilege of representing Wyre Forest. I’d prefer to hope that Wyre Forest, ultimately, might prefer an MP with their own mind who acts in the national interest, rather than their own, for the benefit of their constituents, even when there is a disagreement with those constituents on something as fundamental as this. That’s the foundation upon which our democracy is based, and it’s about time our MP recognised it and acted accordingly. If you happen to come across Mark’s own mind, do let me know and return it to him. He might need it at some point to see what damage him and his support for Tory policies and the Grubby DUP Deal is doing. He has, unwittingly however, unleashed the end of Brexit with his support for the Grubby DUP Deal, and with his road to Damascus Support for Brexit, just so he and his lot could put Party above Country and stay in power, and keep their seats. That is about to change, watch this space.

Stephen Brown
Wyre Forest Labour Party

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