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Nick Clegg: Be warned, Brexiteers, I know better than most the consequences of breaking a promise

October 14, 2017 1:46 PM
By Newshound in Liberal Democrat Voice

Nick CleggWriting for the Times Red Box, Nick Clegg has been warning Brexiteers about the dangers of not keeping promises you make to electorate. As he points out, he should know.

The Brexiteers are heading for the same stormy waters, he says:

When asked to reflect on the official Leave campaign's shopping list of promises to the voters during the referendum campaign, Duncan Smith, one of the most vocal campaigners for Brexit, dismissively replied: "We just made a series of promises that were possibilities."

We know that leading lights of the Leave campaign had had enough of experts; now they appear to have had enough of dictionaries.

It's easy to see why. None of their impossible promises have been met and, as I suspect Mr Duncan Smith knows full well, never will be.

And, of course, when they can't keep their promises, they blame others:

With clockwork predictability, they blame their failure to deliver their promises on Brussels and the European politicians who, let us remember, never wanted this Brexit fight in the first place.

With equal predictability, Brexit ministers have turned on the saner voices around the cabinet table such as Philip Hammond, and equate the chancellor's pragmatic realism with a refusal to let - to borrow Boris Johnson's tired cliche - the British Lion roar.

Their problem, however, is that the British Lion that was sold to the electorate last June is beginning to look a little mangier than they let people believe. The threat to delivering Brexit does not come from across the Channel - but from the failure of the Brexiteers themselves to agree what Brexit actually means.

Finally, Nick argues that any MP who votes for the Brexit deal will be as bad as the Brexiteers:

With victory and power comes accountability. So next October, when Theresa May and David Davis submit their Brexit deal to parliament, MPs of all parties, regardless of whether they voted Leave or Remain, must judge whether it comes to close to the promises which were made to their constituents.

If it does not, then MPs have little choice but to reject the deal. To do anything else, would be to connive in one of the greatest con tricks of modern times.

You can read the whole article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.