Leader’s Update: 11/10/2019

The word is Boris Johnson may get a “deal” by the end of next week but that’s not the same as getting it signed off. Parliament is due to sit on Saturday October 19th, which was already hard wired into my diary as the long standing date of the People’s Vote March in London (hope you’re working on your placard!).


If (and I still think it’s a very large “if”) Johnson does shift his position and somehow secures a withdrawal agreement with the EU, then he will struggle to get it through Parliament without the support of a number of Labour MPs. His best bet would be to make any agreement conditional on a People’s Vote and my fellow TIG for Change colleagues and I will continue to make that argument. Today I am urging you please to email or write to your MP and urge them to support a confirmatory referendum. 


As we all know a General Election will solve nothing so it’s imperative we persuade MPs and people at large that only a People’s Vote will solve the Brexit crisis and then we can move on to a General Election.


This week I continued to be at the heart of opposition party leaders’ talks on stopping a no deal Brexit, exploring a Government of National Unity and agreeing a position on the forthcoming Queen’s Speech. Chris Leslie and I were active in the Commons holding Ministers to account on the impact, on business in particular, of a no deal Brexit.


Chris forced the International Trade Minister, Conor Burns, to come to Parliament and make a statement on the Government’s plans for tariffs. Businesses have been waiting for months for the schedule, increasing the blight of uncertainty in business. The Government has finally published the schedule which will add significant costs for businesses of all sizes and from all sectors. The Government then announced the cost of administering the new system – an eye watering £15 billion bill to be paid by business. As Chris pointed out, it’s the equivalent of a 7% rise in Corporation Tax (matching the plans of Labour’s hard left). Our politics are indeed broken with both main parties abandoning British business for narrow ideological reasons.

I locked horns with Michael Gove when he detailed the rest of the Government’s no deal plans – you can watch both our interventions in Parliament below.

As ever,


Leader of the Independent Group for Change