On #Brexit, these #EUelections2019 show that, if a political party stands in the middle of the road, it gets squashed. That‘s what I predicted when I resigned from Government last year. And it’s what has happened to @Conservatives and @UKLabour
So what next? If the purpose of government is to follow the will of the people (at any cost), the only politically viable Brexit is a hard one (WTO etc). But neither major political party will get a Westminster majority by delivering Hard Brexit without explicit public consent
And forget any soft Brexit. It’s not politically viable (for the record, I’ve always held that it’s the worst of both worlds) and anyone thinking we get further concessions from the @EU_Commission by playing hardball is living in cuckoo land. The WA is it, take it or leave it
But hard Brexit has a democratic problem: only about a third of voters supported it at this election. Over 12 million 2016 Brexit voters didn’t. Vote Leave didn’t campaign for No Deal in 2016, so to claim 17.4m now want “to just get out” is wrong and democratically illegitimate
So the question is: how to get the public consent to govern in a democracy? As things stand, hard Brexit won’t reunify a divided country or win elections. It has neither public consent nor a Parliamentary majority. The only way now is to give the British people a #FinalSay

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More from @DrPhillipLee

May 7
This is right and has good advice for @UKLabour. It won’t be enough to get rid of this awful Government though and get the UK back on track. Here’s why…and what needs to happen next theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
The #LocalElections2022 confirmed a permanent shift. Labour isn’t going to win back all of the ‘Red Wall’. London is increasingly politically & economically separate from the rest of the UK. Scotland is still SNP dominated. Opposition parties haven’t caught up & must change more
The Lib Dems made good progress. Worth remembering, though, that disillusioned Tory voters find it much easier to switch parties in local elections than in general elections. Their support is still fragile. They now need tax and business policies attractive to ‘soft’ Tory voters
Read 9 tweets
Feb 27
In 2010 I stood for the Energy & Climate Change Select Ctte. My contemporaries (many of whom are now in Cabinet) questioned why I wasn’t going for “something more important”. It said much about their ignorance of the strategic need for a UK energy policy independent of autocracy
Prior to joining the committee, I knew very little about energy policy, but I thought it essential to try and get a basic understanding. Quite simply, energy = GDP. To confront and overcome Putin and his type, will require a reduction in our GDP. It did not need to be this way
Extensive EU-led plans already exist to install a super grid linking the democratic nations of Europe to each other. Connected to it would be various energy generators - solar from the south, wind from the west, hydro and gas from Norway, etc. - supplemented by some nuclear power
Read 5 tweets
Feb 5
We need to set the record straight. Theresa May and you made a historical contribution to the mess we’re living through now because you misjudged the politics. We won’t get anywhere with excuses & lies. Those who care about our country’s future must confront reality together
I’m not saying anything new in this thread - just putting on record what I told you and May in 2018, including at the ministerial briefing you organised at No10 in April that year. A meeting to which you invited all junior ministers but only Guto Bebb & I turned up
The reality back in 2018 was that we’d negotiated a deal and needed to put it into law. (I say “we” because I was a minister at the time and took collective responsibility.) It wasn’t a great deal. But I didn’t doubt May’s and your assurances that it was the best we could do.
Read 9 tweets
Jan 23
One thing we can *all* start working on now is creating a better, genuine choice for us all at the next election and beyond….
The political parties have all started to select candidates. Take a look at them. If your local parties have done the usual thing of choosing candidates for blind loyalty, not competence, then find a way to create an alternative….
This could mean: supporting someone you’d genuinely like to represent our interests nationally to stand or even standing yourself; making your views known and asking candidates to respond; or finding some other way to make our many silent voices heard.
Read 5 tweets
Jan 23
Unsurprising. Williamson, Spencer etc are all part of the same mediocre, bullying, inept clique that no rational system or person would allow anywhere near public service. The fact that anyone was persuaded to elect them underscores the urgent need to change our party system
This particular dysfunctional pit of the Tory Circus started at the Pimlico Tandoori in 2010. I know because I went a couple of times until I couldn’t take their narrow-minded, manipulative, selfish games any more. But that’s what got them promoted. Not ability or public service
At the same time, thoughtful, bright, compassionate & well-motivated people like Steven Phillips & Rory Stewart were edged out. There are nuances: it’s good that Ben Wallace is at Defence now. But he’s there because he helped run Johnson’s early leadership campaign. He’s culpable
Read 4 tweets
Jan 23
This is dangerous myopia. Our security structures - collective and national - aren’t fit-for-purpose. They haven’t been for a long time. Our problem in the UK and other democracies is that not enough people engage until it’s too late. This needs to change to avoid future conflict
For a more objective, rational appraisal of the situation, try @FrencLindley lindleyfrench.blogspot.com/2022/01/vsf-20…
Read 4 tweets

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