24 Jan 2018

David Cameron busted over Brexit remarks

David Cameron’s been caught on camera at Davos saying: “Brexit has turned out less badly than we thought.” He describes it as a “mistake” and “not a disaster.”

Brexit supporters in parliament and the press are already waving it as proof they were right all along and his referendum campaign was full of puffed up lies. Nigel Farage tweeted: “Busted.”

It’s quite interesting to see what happens just before and after the exchange. He’s talking to the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal who opens the brief exchange saying that everyone at Davos is talking about Brexit. Mr Mittal then seems to get distracted by someone else he wants to talk to over Mr Cameron’s shoulder. It’s a cruel place.

Back in Westminster, David Davis was up in front of the Brexit Selext Committee. He was questioned by Jacob Rees-Mogg, newly elected leader of the Tory pro-Brexit group of MPs, the European Research Group.

Mr Rees-Mogg repeatedly and tartly questioned Mr Davis about the status quo transition that the government is now committed to. Was it not making the UK a “vassal state,” he asked?

The truth is that just about everyone in the ERG has known for some time that the “transition/implementation” phase would involve keeping pretty much all EU rules. Pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers helped to convince their backbench supporters that the transition/implementation period was a necessary evil. One ERG supporter said the Rees-Mogg sally was all about reminding the government that the ERG had swallowed the mighty indignity of a transition with great discomfort and wasn’t up for swallowing any more.

Amongst the ERG’s worries, reports that Philip Hammond’s approach to Brexit is winning the battle for Theresa May’s support. Another worry: the government’s trade bill, and sections 31 and 32 suggesting the government might be able to gain powers to sign up to the EU Customs Union.

The pro-Brexit Tories are lifelong outsiders, not unacquainted with paranoia, convinced their enemies are everywhere.  It’s suggested that some 50 Tory MPs attended a private ERG meeting last night: a significant show of strength given that it takes 48 Tory MPs to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Tory leader.

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

3 reader comments

  1. Mud dog says:

    When is Theresa may going to stop Johnson and gove running the country from the men’s room?????

  2. H Statton says:

    So, the street fighting leaver Nigel Farage tweeted David Cameron has been “Busted!” A Brexiteer accusing a Remainer of spreading pre-referendum ‘Puffed up lies?’ It sounds like the pot is trying to call the kettle black.

    There is no doubt Cameron’s legacy will be defined by Brexit and the ensuing political pandemonium. His vision was myopic, his judgement reckless, and using London devotees as a barometer to gauge the mood of the country was frankly, idiotic.

    In Cameron’s 2013 Bloomberg speech he said, “It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.” “Simply asking the British people to carry on accepting a European settlement over which they have had little choice is a path to ensuring that when the question is finally put – and at some stage it will have to be – it is much more likely that the British people will reject the EU.” If he foresaw this and truly wanted to Remain in the EU why call a referendum? Unless of course the speech was a bluff – he didn’t really think the Brits would vote to leave the EU. Was it an attempt to unite the Tory party, or just gain another five years in office?

    At Davos, Indian steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal’s lack of focus on Cameron as he spoke of Brexit being “[a] mistake, not a disaster” and “It’s turned out less badly than we first thought. But it’s still going to be difficult” seemed to barely register on the radar. Mittal looked like he welcomed the escape route from the conversation.

    Davos does seem a merciless town this week, BBC financial and economic journalist, Sally Bundock, commented on Trump’s message of “peace and prosperity” at which the hardened audience laughed; a warm reception then.

    May appears not to want to talk about Brexit but rather Uber, social media, business and trade, much to the disappointment of many hoping to hear about the UK government’s future plans.

    The recently appointed leader of the Tory pro-Brexit European Research Group and unofficial spiritual leader of “Moggmentum”, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said in 2011: “We could have two referendums [on EU membership]. As it happens, it might make more sense to have the second referendum after the renegotiation is completed.”

    Rees-Mogg then asserted the best attitude towards the EU was to “Stiffen your sinews, summon up the blood and imitate the action of a tiger, for that is how you should behave towards our European partners, not like Bagpuss.” His views haven’t changed much. If anything he displays even greater irritation by contending the UK will become nothing more than a “vassal state” subject to the whims of the EU. Talks of a transition/implementation period must be acting an emetic.

  3. Cathy Griffin's therapist says:

    Was ok until the last, obnoxiously false paragraph. Y being a reporter, or don’t be a reporter.

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