Iain Duncan Smith.mp4_20151109_105713.821

The abrupt resignation of Britain’s top EU Ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers yesterday sparked a lively debate on radio this morning on the meaning of Brexit.

But rather than shed light on the matter, the debate illustrated how even the most ardent Brexiteers have no idea of what is going on.

The Today programme invited former minister Iain Duncan Smith and former Labour advisor Sir Jonathan Powell to debate the issue.

Suffice to say, it didn’t go so well for IDS (from 8:10am).

And this segment perfectly illustrates the fog even Brexiteers are in:

John Humphries: Doesn’t the Prime Minister have to tell us, at some point, before the end of February, because we’re talking about March [for triggering Article 50] and all that… doesn’t she have to tell us, at the very least, whether she would like this country to remain in the Single Market or the Customs Unions, or whatever. Surely she has to do that? And if she doesn’t know whether she wants to do that, that is in itself deeply worrying isn’t it?

IDS: No, I think what you’re looking at here is a government that has to decide, on balance, what is the best way to leave the European Union. We forget what Article 50 is all about. Article 50 is two elements. The first part of Article 50 is discussing how and when we start the various arrangements…. [inaudible]

Notice how IDS tried to move to the subject on to different details, rather than explain what the government’s position is.

But the presenter tried again later:

John Humphries: We are entitled surely to know from our Prime Minister, at this stage, whether she wants us to stay in the Single Market or the Customs Union or what the… and this is Sir Ivan’s word, what the ‘objective’ is. Not the details or how you get there and the negotiating bits and pieces in between… what is the objective is.

Do you know what that objective is yourself?

IDS: Yes, it’s very simple. We are leaving the European Union [laughter in the studio], we are leaving the rule… wait, hang on, … we are leaving the rule of European law, we are taking back control of our borders, as she’s made very clear. We will then look to make arrangments with the European Union over what kind of trading system we want.

But we are already at the stage where we are looking to make arrangements over our trading system.

And yet the likes of the IDS, let alone the government, cannot say what they want.

It’s been over six months since the Referendum and the Brexiteers are just as clueless about their plans as they were before it

  1. I think they could tell us what they want. They want to sever all structural relationships with the EU. That’s the situation we’ll almost inevitably end up with.

    If this is stated as an objective it will start a flight of companies out of the UK before negotiations even progress so they can’t tell us that.

  2. Brexit: voting to ‘take back’ what we had never lost, in order to lose everything we had.

  3. The opportunity to remove the loathsome and dishonest Duncan-Smith from the political scene was lost in 2003 when he and his wife should have been thoroughly investigated by the Fraud Squad over the very serious allegations that he invented a fictitious job for his wife and paid her a “salary” from public funds. The allegations came from responsible and upstanding people, including Duncan-Smith’s Constituency Agent who later (under what pressure one wonders?) withdrew their allegations. In the event he was removed as Tory leader and the whole episode was swept under the carpet. It can still be seen on Wikipedia under “Betsygate”. To sum up Duncan-Smith is a serial liar and not even a very bright individual – just another extremely unpleasant Tory who, as can be seen from his garbled answers above, has been promoted well beyond his limited capabilities.

  4. What people have to realise is wether we’re in or out of the eu it’ll make no difference to ids and that idiot Boris and the likes. It’s the ordinary man in the street that’ll suffer. We need to know what this government is aiming to achieve.

  5. Typical IDS bluster of nonsense designed to parry any questions put to him. It’s only a matter of time before he is a busted flush.

  6. IDS and his ilk cannot tell the truth, because the truth will impact negatively on every commercial sector in the UK and will very likely lead to the break up of the UK.

  7. Nicky Marshall says:

    IDS should have known better than to go up against John Humphries, who makes pit bull terriers look toothless in comparison – Great interviewer, couldn’t have chosen a more well deserving bum to sink his teeth into this morning!

  8. He also by deception took away the rights of Expats lining in France to have the winter fuel allowance,

  9. From the Science page of the BBC website.

    Brexit poses a huge risk to UK wildlife and habitats and a new environmental law will be needed, MPs have said.
    Even where EU law is incorporated into the UK’s legal framework there could still be problems, they warn.
    The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee also says farmers are facing significant threats including loss of income and tariffs on exports.


  10. In the same interview he said Sir Ivan Rogers could no longer be trusted. This from the most untrustworthy charlatan in Parliament once described as a ‘comfortable liar’

  11. The greater truth is that our ‘objective’, in the present circumstances, is entirely irrelevant. We will get whatever kind of Brexit the EU members are prepared to give us, just as Cameron got merely the kind of ‘renegotiation’ they were prepared to give us. Why should it be otherwise? We’re playing silly games with grown-ups, not some indulgent nanny. It was only ever arrogance and some dim notion of our own exceptionalism that made these clowns think otherwise.

  12. I don’t know what you people want, it’s perfectly clear! Brexit means Brexit, there you go…
    We have a Brexit, and forgive me if I’m wrong, it’s Brexit shaped and smells just like Brexit should.
    You take your Brexit, pop it in the oven 200° fan for two years and there you are a perfect Brexit, but keep an eye on it because we don’t want it hard do we?.

  13. This is the exit that dare not speak its name. It is to be complete and absolute. No links left with the EU at all and probably because none are possible. To speak of it now would be to send our economy into a crisis. It will all happen later, in slow motion and by then it will be too late to retrieve the situation.

  14. It’s fairly obvious that what the Government wants is a hard Brexit, I don’t understand why they don’t say it?
    It’s the no fail option (or avoid admitting you’ve failed option).
    Screw up soft Brexit negotiations and you end up with hard Brexit. Whereas if they come out with nothing after telling us nothing they can pretend that’s what they wanted all along.

  15. So, one of our “senior politicians” (if he can be called such) has no idea what is going on? Well, there’s a novelty.

  16. They should get Drumpf to do Brexit. He does great Brexits, trust me it’s gonna be great. Nobody does Brexits like Drumpf. And the Europeans are gonna pay for it. And we’ll ban them coming in until we figure out what the hell is going on.

  17. You have to understand that if they give us their strategy at this point all the other 27 countries could argue them and get ready….to do what exactly that they will not do in any cases ????

  18. IDS pretty much admitted that they are after a hard brexit with no structural ties to the EU ‘or else there’d be no point leaving’

    They don’t like to be explicit about this because it will spark an immediate flight of business from the UK to the rest of the EU. They don’t care if this flight happens because they think they can do some jiggery pokery tax haven thing to attract inward investment afterwards and they know that the calamity will provide the cover for them to make radical changes of a Libertarian bent.

    What they do care about is getting Article 50 triggered and brexit underway asap before the effects start to be felt and the horses get nervous.

  19. I was trying to find the bit in the recording, you mentioned it was at around 8:10 so I forwarded the show you linked to by about 2:10 mins but it’s not the bit. I don’t want to listen to the whole 3 hours. At what point does the interview take place?

  20. Are we all stupid? We all KNOW what Brexit means – it means BREXIT! We also all know that it is going to be red, white and blue! For goodness sake – wake up, people!!!

  21. IDS must be a serious embarrassment even in such mediocre company. He was a failure as a minister, a failure as leader of the Tory party, a failure as someone resigning to try to divert blame for the stupid things he had done in government and he is now a government failure again. No wonder he’s popular with Brexiteers.

    One wonders how long it will be before the medical specialists take him and Grayling and try try to make an intelligent human being out of the combining of the parts. A miracle could result.

  22. grayling is beyond repair. gove is dead in the water. Johnson is history. Whittingdale is mad. the only sane person is Phillip Hammond and may doesn’t trust him either.

  23. In “Revolting” last night on TV, a brexiter was interviewed and stated he did not want to be dictated to by European bureaucrats. He was asked if he would prefer British bureaucrats and said yes. Sums them up.

  24. Dear BBC keep pushing. The government haven’t a clue. Keep asking the hard questions because this is a deeply serious and disturbing situation for us to be in. I work in HE and Brexit has serious implications for us.

  25. Honestly they know it will be a hard ‘Brexit’ (Shudders at using that loathsome word) but there plan is to screw this country into the ground because they know they are going to lose the next election to Corbyn and they are going to leave him to try to clean up their mess then blame him for the state of the economy for the next 5 years. It’s been their plan all along to discredit this decent politician who’s threatening all their perks and livelihoods.

  26. Philip Alan Bartram says:

    I have a vague memory of that failed Tory leader Duncan Smith warning us to beware of a quiet man. Can the Tories really have a whole flock of dead sheep?
    I have a better memory of Mrs May in the street where I live on the eve of that regrettable referendum. At a Q & A meeting, she spoke out strongly in favour of Remain. Yes, she had doubts about the bureaucracy of the EU which needed resolving, but Mrs May was keen to maintain contacts with other European security organizations. How can she lead this exiting government with any conviction?

  27. Its obvious why the Westminster shower are adamant in leaving the EU. They want to stop paying into European economy so that they have some money left. When Scotland leaves the UK, they’re fooked.

  28. This interview was one of the most cringe-worthy I’ve heard in a long time. But the thing I was most alarmed about was IDS’s repeated slagging off of civil servants, who are, as a matter of course, (correct me if I’m wrong) supposed to speak truth to power through facts. Oh, but perhaps that would make them experts so….

  29. Terry Johnston says:

    IDS is an utter fool, bitter from his removal as Tory leader, totally cold from the misery he has heaped on the most weak and has no idea how this brexit process will end up.

  30. Bring back Spitting Image. Just think of the characters at its disposal now.
    They could do a mean Brexit Special.

  31. I tried to listen to the interview, but at the given link a voice says: “this program was edited since broadcast”… It would be good to know, why?

  32. I’m all for understanding idiots need a few dishonest escape routes. But ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and a ‘Red, White and Blue Brexit’? And IDS to explain it all? I mean, C’mon.

  33. patrick newman says:

    Why does BBC waste so much time talking to this failed politician who spent the best part of six years re-inventing excuses for the monumental failure of Universal Credit (UC – Unending Chaos!).

  34. Will the Prime Minister and the Brexit Puppets she is stringing along please remember that every single childish comment by one of her puppets will only make our position even more problematic.They should shut up as we are not even a passenger in the bus taking us to the exit from the EU. We are running behind it desperately trying to get on board with the 27 other nations who are laughing at us gleeful that we are going

  35. a) Proper Brexit is border controls for people coming into the country and leaving the country as well as tariffs on imports and tariff on exports. And EU laws would not be applicable in the future to the UK.

    It is really quite simple.

    b) Half brexit is allowing free movement of people or having tariff free trade.

    c) False brexit is tariff free trade and freedom of movement.

    Ask you MPs which option is their goal a) b) or c)

    There may be exceptions that are of mutual benefit to the EU and the UK, but that is BREXIT in a nutshell.

  36. Can any one really believe a word that these Jokers ( sorry: jokers means that they know what they are doing) have a clue, and they are telling us any think of substance? This is a collection of individual, you would not trust to go into Lidle, or Aldi, to do you shopping. How can we possibly trust these pathetic individuals to run a country. The countries of great britain are doing not too bad Dispite this totally incompetent governement. They are a sorry excuse for Parasites. let’s face it, the Europeans will run rings around these idiots. PLEASE NOTE SPEAKING POSH does not make you intelligent.

  37. Telling the opposition what your aims are before debating is like playing high stakes poker and dealing the cards out face up. Look how well caMoron did when he agreed with the pro EU lobby. Anyone who disputes this is either a EU brainwashed sycophant, or a rich elite business owner who likes the low paid workers driving down wages for working people,and of course the banking and money services.

  38. Nathaj Edwardson says:

    Here in Scotland we have no choice but to leave the idiots of Westminster and become Independent. Wouldn’t you? IDS, Boris and Farage or stay in the EU with Nicola Sturgeon.

  39. This man should be stopped. He is unprofessional inhumane and lacking the knowledge and understanding .i feel sorry for him knowing that he himself has brought death starvation and mass suffering to his fellow humanbeings and the hatred that follows him with in the public eye. Shame on you Mr Smith

  40. They have NOT deleted the broadcast, I’ve just listened to it from 2 hours in, including the interview referred to.

    (Whether/how they’ve edited it I cannot tell, it’s true that a voice at the beginning says they have. And I found it impossible to click to start it playing from 2 hours 10 minutes …)

    In my opinion it’s not worth listening to : politicians saying almost nothing are ten-a-penny 🙂

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