Brexit in Abingdon

February 10, 2019

Brexit reaches Abingdon
The UK voted to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016. Abingdon voted to remain but had to go with the majority view. The alluring ”Take Back Control” slogan of the leave campaign won the day.

The two year process to leave the EU was triggered on 29th March 2017. There followed lengthy negotiations between various UK Brexit secretaries (who resigned one after another) and Michel Barnier (for the EU). An agreement was brokered between the UK government and the EU involving the UK paying a £39 billion divorce settlement – not a subject mentioned in the leave or remain campaigns.

On 9th January 2019, the House of Commons, including the Abingdon and Oxford West M.P., Layla Moran, voted against the agreement for a variety of reasons. Layla Moran wanted a People’s Vote. Brexiteers and the DUP MPs said they did not like the Northern Ireland backstop. Since then parliament and the government and the EU have been going round in circles, not re-negotiating the backstop.
Brexit reaches Abingdon
People campaigning for a People’s Vote were on the Market Place yesterday in Abingdon. The People’s Vote sayWhen it becomes clear there is no Parliamentary majority for any Brexit option, the only way forward will be a People’s Vote.’

On the other hand Leave means Leave campaigners say, ‘The Government must chuck their Chequers proposal – which if delivered would amount to Brexit in name only – and instead seize the opportunities of a World Trade Deal.’

Both sides are still working hard to influence pubic opinion and politicians as the clock runs down towards March 29th 2019.

Filed under: politics

28 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. newcomer  |  February 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

    As if we didn’t have enough problems with the local ‘Political Follies’!.

    People should google ‘FCO30/1048′ and read what they find.

    There’s a link to the original documentation, which is, basically, an iteration of a shortish document, about four, or five versions, interspersed with legal advice as to how the document should be ‘massaged’ should The Public question.

    That’s the ‘Long Read’ (for Guardian readers), but for those who cast their ‘news-net’ wider for a more balanced view there’s a synopsis in The Express that the search uncovers.

    ‘The Express’ … I know … how could that be?

    Moreover, The Express appears to be THE ONLY rag to have covered this.

    Considering that FCO30/1048 is all about how the EU will progressively absorb and supersede the national laws, taxation structures, parliaments and just about everything ruling the everyday lives of its member states you’d have thought that The Press would have been all over this like a rabid dog.

    But no … the legal advice in the long-form of the document is that The Public should not be told about what is happening. This is pointed out in The Express article … we are too stupid to take a ‘balanced view’.

    We should consider who’s been COMPLICIT … go on … consider … despite any prejudices you might have …

    This is the problem we have with The Vale writ large. This is forty, or so, years ‘behind closed doors’ of ‘our betters’ stealing our democracy.

    Of course, it will be difficult to unravel forty years of plotting by the self-appointed elite especially when we’ve got such a light-weight generation of politicians.

    We can only find some hope in that with our MP, Layla, we have someone who’s always ready for her close-up for the Andrew Marr Variety Show.

    The quick link to The Express article is:

    It makes me quite despondent … if not depressed.

    This is written with no party political affiliation.

  • 2. Geoff Bailey  |  February 11, 2019 at 8:40 am

    How many votes and Referendums should you have? There is no guarantee that a People’s Vote would be any different from last time, and if it was it should be a 51 per cent majority of the whole electorate entitled to vote to be a valid result.

  • 3. Janet  |  February 11, 2019 at 9:35 am

    All the people I know voted to leave. The peoples’ vote is just a trick for remainers to stay in. The options are accept the deal or stay in!! There is no option to leave. If people do not get democracy all faith in the establishment will go. We already have rising crime. We are quite happy to leave with no deal. We will go onto World Trade Regulations. Theresa May has got rid of two Brexit ministers as she has given everything away. Heath gave our fishing rights away as a sop to get into, ‘what we were lied to’, a Common Market. We were mislead in the first place. We would not have voted to join had we been told the truth that it would be a Federation of Europe with Germany and France telling us what to do.

  • 4. pjh64  |  February 11, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I voted Leave, and that was the only active word on the ballot paper.

    Whilst I understand and support the government’s desire to get a free-trade deal with the EU, clearly they’ve failed miserably in that aim. We don’t even have an putative FTA, we have a £39,000,000,000 bill to pave the way for more talks, with the other side having sole discretion as to when the UK can finally leave.

    Only a complete fool would pay that, so I fully expect Theresa May to be signing the cheque any day now.

    The lack of a deal is a shame, but the vote wasn’t “Leave with a deal”, it was “Leave”.

    Had Remain won, I would have expected to continue our journey into ever closer union, since Remain also was not qualified with a “Remain where we are, but no further”.

    In fact, a Remain win would have seen the UK accelerate its slide into the EU cultural blender, since it would have been taken as the green light by politicians and Brussels that the UK actively wants ‘more Europe’. Thank goodness we’ve been spared that ignominy, and have at least delivered a bloody nose to Juncker et. al., if not quite a knock-out.

    I expect the government to execute the majority Leave instruction on 29th March, without a deal, and thus on WTO rules. We have to move on and adapt, which business will do very quickly.

    If the MP for Abingdon doesn’t like it, she can campaign to re-join the EU at the next election.

  • 5. Chris  |  February 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    £39 billion divorce settlement – not a subject mentioned by the EU when we joined (the common market). Can we not just deduct it from the debt the Germans owe us from ww1 and ww2?

  • 6. newcomer  |  February 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm


    I too voted Leave, in fact I made money on the result as they were neck-and-neck polls on the outcome while the bookmakers were giving money away (large odds against for a two horse race) on an Out result. Serves them right for betting against democracy.

    You made telling points in your post, particularly vis the fact that ‘Remain’ wasn’t an immovable choice. The Remoaners have no ‘high ground’ to defend. If they read FCO30/1048 with an open mind they’d realise that that the ground was progressively being cut from under their feet with the passage of time.

    I’ve lost one long-time friend (from school-days) over this issue as he loudly denounced me as a ‘facist’ in a crowded lunchtime central Oxford pub. It would have been far more dramatic had he been wearing a black trilby and a long dark cloak which he could have flung over his shoulder as he marched out, though he milked the melodrama despite the lack of these theatrical props.

    Every argument expressed to me by Remoaners has been trite and fear based. Ditto our National politicians who are having a crisis of competence. After decades of the EU making all the big decisions they know they’re not up to running the country by themselves.

    I’m not worried about the short-term, solvable problems brought about by a hard exit from the EU, I’m worried about the panicked reactions from our low-grade politicians.

    Can you imagine the damage which Layla could inflict if she was given a meaningful decision to make?

  • 7. ppjs  |  February 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Referenda use a plebiscitary form of democracy. They are single-issue and binary: Yes/No.

    Parliamentary and local government elections use a representative form of democracy. They are neither single-issue nor binary.

    Using the word ‘democracy’ as though it means exactly the same thing in two widely different contexts is a confusion, and means that it becomes far more difficult to talk sensibly about how a plebiscite can be managed.

    Whoever thought that we could walk out of treaty obligations without protest from our treaty partners and without their exacting a cost?

    Remainers glossed over the cost of Brussels’ rising ascendancy over the governments of member nations – something we didn’t sign up to when we joined the Common Market.

    Leavers exaggerated the simplicity of the process of departure. Nothing was ever going to be that easy.

    People voted as they did for all sorts of different reasons and we must now negotiate new treaties with partners in an existing treaty which we are about to abandon.

    Slogans won’t do; we are trying to unpick and re-stitch 40+ years of history. And whether you are Leave or Remain, that’s a big job.

    Who on this blog would know where to start? Not me!

  • 8. newcomer  |  February 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm


    You have a balanced view. If you can’t see both sides of the argument then you don’t understand the argument.

    I’ve thought myself around the Brexit thing until I’m dizzy, but the imperative has always to ‘get out’. Not one scintilla of the remain argument makes an impact.

    Our liability are the brain-dead politicians we have in Westminster … they and their puppet-masters are the sole agents of this media storm … total look-at-me people.

    If we get the democratically desired outcome re. Brexit we must then start to clear-out the useless MPs from Parliament (starting with our own)

    If this is the beginning of ‘proper democracy’ in this country then it’s worth taking the pain.

  • 9. ppjs  |  February 11, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    You ignore the distinction, newcomer. What do you mean by ‘proper’ democracy?

    If you mean plebiscitary democracy, how would we formulate and implement policy?

    If you mean representative democracy, do you believe that we are sending delegates to Parliament?

    Personally, I always vote as a compromise. I am content to accept the outcome and allow our representative to make her/his own decisions.

    I do not want clapometer government. Empty vessels make the most noise.

  • 10. Horsesmouth  |  February 11, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Eloquently put Newcomer, no one ever asked me if I wanted to join the EU, it was wheather to join the Common Market or not and that was an entirely different animal than the out of control quango that holds us ( the UK ) to ransom,
    I voted to leave, to a divorce and anyone with half a brain should know that inevitably no one wins in a divorce, there are only losers, we should just walk away!
    BMW won’t want to lose an 80k cars a year Market, the Danes won’t want to lose £billion a year bacon market, the French won’t want to lose their biggest European wine consumers, the Spanish tomatoes, peppers, courgette, the Dutch their flower exports, Greece, Portugal, Spain are all bust, Italy has just officially gone into recession, France is in a perpetual state of anarchism etc etc- why would anyone want to be in a club with that lot ?
    Rule Britannia the world awaits us with open arms/ not only that think how much we’ll save by not employing M E P’s?

  • 11. Janet  |  February 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    In negotiations you have to hold out for what you want. The negotiators in the EU hold out for what they want. Hence we only have 20% of fishing rights in our own waters. The British have always been known as appeasers. We only have to look at Chamberlain and his pathetic attemp to appease Hitler. Two Brexit ministers have resigned because of Theresa May’s appeasement of EU negotiators.

  • 12. newcomer  |  February 11, 2019 at 9:02 pm


    Ahh…you’re a nit-picker and an ache in the anus. I mistook you for a reasonable person.

    Hacking my way through your vocabulary, which gets in the way of what you’re attempting to say..

    Lets put it this way.

    An MP is a delegate who should represent the wishes of his/her constituency colored by his/her political bias, but not dominated by that bias. You hope they have an ear for the zeitgeist. You hope that they ain’t got the judgement of a teenager (like ours)

    I hope that brings some clarity for you and, if not, I suppose you’re a bit of a time waster and you’re not going to waste any more of our time.

    I’ve had cleverer factious nincompoops trying to piss my time away and they’ve never been worth the effort.

  • 13. Janet  |  February 11, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Now now gentlemen. Would I trust M P’s to carry out the wishes of the people? No way. M P’s are also swayed by lobby groups, personal interests etc. There are very few politicians who’s primary interests are serving the will of their constituants.

  • 14. The Real Another Steve  |  February 11, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    How could it be possible for all MPs to carry out the wishes of their constituents even if they could ascertain what they were? The MPs are our representatives and should act in the interests of the country as a whole (no comment).
    That arse Cameron should have had the courage to stick around and deal with the mess he caused. He should have said ‘37% for out, 34% for in, and 29% don’t know/don’t care is hardly an endorsement for anything. We shall do our best to find out what people are unhappy about and do something about it.’ May could have done the same but both main parties put party before country and have continued to do so.
    It seems to me that FCO30/1048 was mainly concerned with the problems that would be caused by monetary union which we have managed to keep out of. Unfortunately, in a few years, when it becomes obvious how much worse off we are outside the EU and not just monetarily; that there are no magical trade deals etc. and we reapply for membership, the current rules say that new members have to accept the Euro. Then we will be in trouble.

  • 15. ppjs  |  February 12, 2019 at 6:08 am

    You make yourself perfectly clear, newcomer. We have to agree to disag

  • 16. ppjs  |  February 12, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Sorry! we have to agree to disagree. You may not like the words I used, but I hope I wasn’t abusive.

  • 17. DavidofLuton  |  February 12, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Yes, you were.

  • 18. newcomer  |  February 12, 2019 at 8:02 am

    The Real Another Steve,

    ‘It seems to me that FCO30/1048 was mainly concerned with the problems that would be caused by monetary union …’

    Have you read the document?

    ‘ the current rules say that new members have to accept the Euro. Then we will be in trouble’

    This could never be a problem for us. For a common currency to work you need an overbearing political entity.

    Go wave your big stick at someone who finds you frightening.

  • 19. Julian Annells  |  February 12, 2019 at 8:15 am

    I believe, naively I suppose, that now a decision has been made, rightly or wrongly, that EVERY MP of whatever colour or flavour should work together to get the best possible outcome for that decision. NOT deliberately act and do their utmost to scupper that decision! To do so is treasonous and should be treated as such! Any traitor to the Country who has fought against the democratic outcome, should at the very least be banished from politics for ever!
    Stop acting like sulky kids and start doing the job you were elected to do!

  • 20. ppjs  |  February 12, 2019 at 9:12 am

    David and newcomer. If you find the expression “empty vessels make the most noise” abusive, I apologise unreservedly.

    I think it abusive to describe an intelligent woman as having the judgement of a teenager.

    I also think it abusive to suggest that another contributor is waving a big stick simply because you disagree with what they say.

  • 21. Sarah  |  February 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

    The mistake was to make Brexit party political. Cameron should have had his own personnel in charge of both the leave and remain campaigns, so that one’s political persuasion became irrelevant. Brexit is far bigger than party politics.

  • 22. newcomer  |  February 12, 2019 at 11:32 am


    My ever-so-’umble apologies for bruising your tender sensibilities.

    And, FYI, at one time we all had the judgement of a teenager, it’s just that our MP doesn’t appear to have learned anything since her ‘coming of age’.

    If she can’t take criticism she shouldn’t be in politics.

  • 23. Horsesmouth  |  February 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    This entire subject was a shambles from the start, all Dave and George were concerned about were their mates in the city might take a hammering, had ALL the pitfalls of an exit had been brought to the table before the Brexit election took place then it’s probable the outcome would have been quite different? The next ( and just as big a blunder) was this governments decision to take it upon themselves to come up with an exit deal that would please all, impossible if not Houston because the opposition, by their very nature, would oppose any such deal, the exit negotiations should have been by an all party team !
    As for this country not having competent negotiators? Quite true, apart from Churchill !

  • 24. the Lady  |  February 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Everyone i know voted to stay…strange world

  • 25. Daniel  |  February 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Despite not knowing any facts some of the most intelligent people I know STILL voted.

    It’s a funny old world…

  • 26. Horsesmouth  |  February 12, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Devoid of the facts Daniel they/we voted with eyes closed! Bit like the Abingdon BID really, instead of hanging on in there and enjoying the good bits while endeavouring to change the bad bits from the inside, we chose to bail out with scant regard for outcome!
    Problem now is ? What a total mess! Totally brought about by incompetent politicians who care more about themselves than their commitment to us,

  • 27. ChickenDinner  |  February 13, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Long live the queen

  • 28. ChickenDinner  |  February 13, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Love how brexit has been compared to an Abingdon problem! We have to keep it local guys!

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