Caroline Flint and Labour rebels judging public mood on Brexit far better than fanatical Remainers: Bill Carmichael

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint. PIcture: James Hardisty
Don Valley MP Caroline Flint. PIcture: James Hardisty
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They said the EU would never agree to re-open the Withdrawal Agreement. They said the EU would never agree to ditch the Northern Ireland backstop. They said Boris Johnson would never reach a new Brexit agreement with the EU. They said the Prime Minister didn’t want a deal and was secretly plotting to crash out without a deal. They said that even if he came up with a deal the House of Commons would never vote for it.

So that’s wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire

Even considering their past record of miserable failure, I think it is fair to say it hasn’t been the best of weeks for fanatical Remainers.

Why Remain-backing MPs should back a General Election: Bill Carmichael

Of course no sooner had the Prime Minister achieved some concrete progress and injected a sense of hope and optimism throughout the country, then this Zombie Parliament ruined it all by wrecking the parliamentary timetable required to turn the deal into law.

Watching MPs making frankly pathetic excuses for their mindless sabotage this week, I couldn’t help wondering if they have the faintest conception of how this pointless vandalism is playing out in the country.

Caroline Flint speaking in the House of Commons, London. Picture: PA

Caroline Flint speaking in the House of Commons, London. Picture: PA

Do they ever venture beyond the Westminster bubble? If they did they would very quickly find out the mood of the people is hovering somewhere between boiling rage and spitting fury.

They will find out soon enough, when we have a general election. The Labour party can’t keep running scared forever. And when that day of reckoning arrives I think it will come as a terrible shock to those MPs who think they can play childish games with our country’s future.

In fact I think the truth is already beginning to dawn on some politicians, as shown by the 19 Labour MPs who defied the party leadership to vote for the Government’s new Brexit deal.

Their reward was a tsunami of 
threats and absolutely disgusting abuse from far left thugs and Remainer extremists.

Their only crime, it should be noted, is to stick to Labour’s 2017 manifesto promises to honour the result of the 2016 Referendum – a solemn pledge that has been unceremoniously ditched by Corbyn and Co.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell warned darkly that the rebel 19 would face “consequences”. This is a man, let us never forget, who said we should honour the “bombs and the bullets” of the IRA and who joked about kneecapping his political opponents.

It takes true courage to stand up against such sinister characters and the Labour rebels should be commended for their bravery.

Tony Benn and other past giants of the democratic left would be immensely proud of their principled stand.

Their defiant attitude was exemplified by the words of Don Valley MP Caroline Flint who said: “I wasn’t elected to parliament to bow to threats and intimidation. I won’t now.” Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Caroline Flint: I won’t bow to threats and intimidation

There are grounds for cautious optimism amid this mess.

The polls show that support for Johnson’s sensible compromise deal is growing. Voters can see that it respects the democratic result of the Referendum while maintaining close links with the EU that should satisfy all but the most fanatical Remainers.

The endless whingeing and hysterical shrieking of the Remain camp is not making the slightest bit of difference.

With every cry of “It’s all a fascist coup!” and “Johnson is a dictator”, the Prime Minister’s approval ratings improve and the Conservatives stretch their lead over the other parties.

The momentum is all one way. The longer MPs delay progress with their silly manoeuvrings, the further the Conservatives and Johnson will pull ahead. Brexit is going to happen either before or after a general election.

Isn’t it time Remainers opened their eyes to this reality and accepted defeat? The sore loser act has gone on for more than three years and we are all thoroughly sick of it.

MPs should stop messing about and get behind Johnson’s compromise Brexit deal. If it is good enough for Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier, it should be good enough for most sensible Remainers in the UK.

Then perhaps we can repair our democracy, come together as a newly independent country and begin to tackle the many other issues – crime, housing, transport, education and health – that need our urgent attention.