UK ‘forced to re-think hard Brexit’ following stunning Zac Goldsmith defeat in crucial London by-election

It has prompted the government to release a statement

LAST UPDATED: 2 Dec, 2016 @ 11:54
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pjimage-1ZAC Goldsmith’s loss in the Richmond by-election in London could force the UK government to opt for a softer Brexit.

Sarah Olney from the Liberal Democrats – a pro-EU party – won the election with a stunning swing of 23% from Goldsmith in what was dubbed the ‘Brexit by-election’.

It prompted the government to release a statement insisting that ‘this result doesn’t change anything’.

“The government remains committed to leaving the EU and triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year,” it read.

Goldsmith, who had campaigned for the Leave campaign, struggled to woo voters in the staunchly pro-EU London borough.

Olney said after winning: “It does look now as if we can have a vote in Parliament that might override the referendum. And I will, obviously, be voting to Remain because that is always what I have believed.”

Analysts have said the result – now part of a wider trend of Lib Dem resurgence – could leave Conservative MPs in marginal seats nervous about the impact of a hard Brexit on their futures.

Some 48% of voters who chose to remain in the EU are disproportionately represented in Conservative and Liberal Democrat marginal seats.

The current course towards a hard Brexit could therefore result in several repeats of last night’s by-election.

It could also encourage Remain-leaning MPs to be more confident in demanding a vote on Article 50.

Olney, 39, an accountant who only joined the party in May last year, won 20,510 votes compared to Mr Goldsmith’s 18,638.

Labour’s candidate, Christian Wolmar, got just 1,515 votes.

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45 COMMENTS

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  1. Was Zac Goldsmith an Independent with thoughts similar to other party members and why would the results force a re-think of a hard Brexit. I take it a hard Brexit would only apply if negations with the EU were not beneficial to the UK.

  2. Goldsmith became an Independent so he could campaign against a Heathrow extension. His public schoolboy finagling bit him on the bum when he came up against a committed Remainer/Soft Brexiter. THAT is what his constituents wanted, knowing full well he was tilting at windmills concerning Heathrow.

    • Your quote:-
      “Goldsmith became an Independent so he could campaign against a Heathrow extension”.
      So basically what you are saying is, it had nothing to do with the Brexit vote. Could you therefore explain this to Sarah Olney, ya’ know, the person that done a runner when being questioned about her depth in politics.

      • Do you actually READ comments “carlos”? Try reading more than my first sentence before your knee does it’s usual spasmodic jerk.

  3. This is a very good result and a definite slap in the face for the government although they will never admit it.

    OP, you forgot to mention the small matter of Labour losing their deposit!

    • Pablo, do you actually know, “forget the the tag name of Brexit” the reason the UK is wishing to leave the EU and why. If not stop writing such c**p and perhaps educate yourself more on the subject before making any stupid comments, and if the EU wishes to enter into a free trade agreement with the UK, like many other country’s wishing to do so, all the better, not only for the EU but also the UK. Bearing in mind that the UK is the second largest contributor into the EU coffers and would greatly miss the Billions being paid, and please don’t come back with the EU paying various forms of rebates, the UK still remains after such, as being the 2nd net contributor
      It will be a great lose to the EU financially besides a lose to the UK in the short term prior to the
      ball rolling regarding the free trade syndromes. The UK trade with the USA currently stands at 3 times greater than with the EU and will increase greatly once Trump takes power and that’s just the USA. I am a “leaver” but for “personal reasons” which some people tend not to quite understand the meaning of, wish to have access into the EU and If it cost £5/10 quid so be it and know doubt it would be a reciprocal arrangement for entry into the UK.
      Tusk, being Polish has a lot to loose regarding repatriation and Merkel, German, has a lot of financial loses to account for and both are playing silly games regarding just one proposal regarding the rights of people to stay A.P.Q in the EU and the UK whereas Teresa May is being positive regarding this matter.

      • Whats your level of education?
        Very basic, I guess.
        Lets see…
        “Bearing in mind that the UK is the second largest contributor into the EU coffers and…blablabla”
        The UK is the 3rd (THIRD) largest contributor. NOT THE SECOND.
        But the thing is the UK owes 25 BILLION EURO to the EU.
        So before leaving, you have to PAY.

        “The UK trade with the USA currently stands at 3 times greater than with the EU and will increase greatly once Trump takes power and that’s just the USA”
        Mein Gott…The UK is insignificant when you compare it with the big guys (US, EU, China, Russia, you name the rest)
        They are the ones who will impose the rules, not the UK.
        What does the UK have to sell / trade anyway?
        Nothing since the Revolución Industrial.

        Anyway, the biggest problem for the UK is not the negotiation with the EU, but with the WTO.
        No doubts these Brexiters didnt have any plan to leave the EU.
        But what can you expect when their most important “leaders” are Johnson the buffoon, Farage and stuff like that?

        • Sorry Pablo. The question asked. How does Britain compare with other EU countries?
          For many years, Britain and Germany were the only significant net contributors to the EU budget. Now, however, there are ten countries who pay more in than they get back.
          In terms of total contribution, Britain remains the second biggest payer behind Germany.

  4. I see thrall The Olive Press has forgotten that it is a NEWSpaper and has become a forecast paper and this could happen and that might happen. Why do they not stick to reporting what HAS happened, after all this is what newspapers are for or am I missing something

  5. To Fred and stefanjo. I found this quite interesting and perhaps T. May has this as a backup as to why she can call A50

    “Prior to Prime Minister Ted Heath signing the Treaty of Rome back in 1973, an act which led us into the then European Economic Community, Mr Heath wrote to the highest legal authority in the land, the then Lord Chancellor Lord Kilmuir, asking him about the legal ramifications of signing up to such a treaty.
    Although we do not have a copy of Mr. Heath’s letter we do have a copy of Lord Kilmuir’s reply (which can be found on the internet by entering ‘Lord Kilmuir’s letter to Ted Heath’). In his reply Lord Kilmuir makes it very clear that ceding sovereignty to a foreign power, in any way shape or form and to any degree, would be an act of sedition and treason under the 1351 Treason Act and a Praemunire, under the 1392 Act of Praemunire, Treason under the 1559 Act of Supremacy and Treason under the 1688/9 Declaration and Bill of Rights. Despite this clear and unequivocal legal ruling, Ted Heath chose to ignore this warning and, Quisling like, signed the Treaty of Rome. As the signing of the Treaty of Rome constituted an act of Treason then this renders Ted Heath’s signature, to that Treaty, null and void. The Treaty itself is meaningless to the UK.
    As one Parliament is not bound by acts made or passed by its predecessor then each and every government since the time of Ted Heath has likewise committed, or perhaps perpetuated the act treason enacted by Ted Heath, including the present incumbent. No contract is enforceable if it is found to be unlawful. Likewise, no treaty is enforceable if it too is found to be unlawful, as the signing of all EU treaties constituted the act of treason committed by the signatory at the time of signing. Every and all EU treaty’s are unlawful and therefore unenforceable. That being so, then the answer to the question”Can We Legally Leave the European Union?” – is ‘No’, we cannot legally leave the EU as we are not, and have never been, a member of it, moreover, as we are not a member of the EU, we do not need to invoke Article 50. All we need do is walk away and leave the rest of the EU to extricate itself from the self-inflicted bird’s nest of a mess it has got itself into, if willingly handing over sovereignty to a foreign power is an act of treason where then does that leave all the folk who voted Remain?”.
    What say you!

    • Carlos, you should really quote your sources – the BNP in this case (“https://www.bnp.org.uk/news/national/can-we-legally-leave-european-union”). Why does Teresa May not just ignore Article 50 if the BNPs interpretation is correct? Best watch the live televised court case on Monday and see what the judges finally decide, is my advice.

      • Fred, My point was on the reply by Lord Kilmuir to Ted Heath and not the interpretation of the person that submitted the article and as you well know interpretations can be “dreadfully wrong”. One current example is the meeting of EU Foreign Secretary’s where 4 of the Secretary’s had stated that Boris admitted that he “favored free movement” and cut short on that part of his statement which was providing it was controlled. Other Secretary’s at the meeting confirmed the whole passage as to what Boris had said was true, “providing it was controlled”. but the media only mentioned that part of “the free movement”.
        As for Teresa May and A50 it has been mentioned by other prominent lawyers that she does not need to trigger A50, she can simply walk away from the whole situation and just give a date as to when the UK intends to be leaving, even a EU parliament lawyer had mentioned this fact. Fred, it’s not the interpretation that I question but the letter by Lord Kilmuir which happens to be fact and not hearsay. BTW, one could also say that the referendum that is currently on the table in Italy is also illegal based on the assumption that referendums are not binding which as like Mr.Cameron Mr.Renzi may fall. It has also been mentioned that the European Courts may have a final saying in this. False. Once A50 has been implemented the EU Courts will have no legal rights as the UK will not be part of the EU.

  6. Carlos,
    your quotes are historical fact but Fred chose to ignore that because it did’nt suit his argument . You speak from strength but the likes of Fred and Aunt Sally speak only from self interest (what’s in it for me) and fear. Dare to struggle, dare to win – anyone for the front line – not the cowardly Remoaners, a bit like Italian tanks.

    • You choose some strange, mendacious bed-fellows Stuart. Suppose that reflects desperation in ones position. Head down old chum, Marine Le Pen is coming for you.

    • Stuart, you mentioned fear over on the other Brexit thread too, and your argument there was obliterated, as it was total rubbish lol. Fact is, Brexiters voted to leave the EU did so out of fear. The top lawyers are currently debating the matter in the Supreme Court, so rewinding to 40-odd years ago is plain daft. Your arguments on this subject have become like playground banter, where everyone who has a different opinion to you is a “remoaner”.

      • Fred, I think the fears that Stuart is talking about are the fears for Europe and the fears that people who think, as he states, “what’s in it for me” and not the well being of the UK. But rest assured the well being of “whats in it for me” will be protected within the
        negotiations. Lets face it, the only “remoaner’s” are the remainders. Leavers are not moaning.

        • You have misunderstood human nature completely, Carlos. When someone makes a voting decision, the primary thought is to their own family situation first, and then to the wider issue. It may be an initial fleeting thought, but it remains the first thought. Also, “leavers” do very much moan! Just look at the legal process currently underway, where the Supreme Court appeal is being criticised, with many papers calling the judges “enemies of the people”. Carlos you are sounding more and more like Stuart, strange that.

  7. I realise that everyone is very divided on Brexit and lively debate must always be encouraged but can we please cut out the name calling. Stefanjo and I have different views on certain issues (Podemos and Jeremy Corbyn!!!) but he always comes across as a decent person with a great deal of humanity so let’s have less of the Aunt Sally stuff.

    Re the actual topic, does anyone seriously think that Farage and Co would have accepted a Remain win and never ‘moaned’ about the EU again? He was calling for another referendum when he thought he had lost on the night of 23 June. If I remember rightly, it was the constant ‘moaning’ about the EU that brought about the referendum in the first place.

    We all know the EU is far from perfect, must reform and yes, it might collapse in the future but I would much rather it collapsed on a level playing field. If it does go west, the UK will probably get a large portion of the blame and we will be just as affected by the fallout as the rest of Europe.

    • Thank you Jane. May we continue to agree to differ amicably. As for moaning on either side, it has gone quite too far. Gina Miller, the lead claimant against the Government, has been receiving death-threats and is afraid to now leave her home. The spokesman for the eleven judges has had to issue an injunction barring the addresses and details of the claiments involved to be revealed, due to menacing threats against them. This all smacks of BNP/ National Front tactics. That filth never went away, they simply donned suits and ties and found refuge in a certain Party that welcomed them with open arms.
      It took an act of Parliament to join the EU. It seems reasonable to insist on the same act to leave. If leave we must.

      • stefanjo, I agree it was an act of Parliament that allowed the UK to join the EU but then it was the EEC. Since then it has changed dramatically and each and everyone agrees it has to change, not only in the UK but members of the EU, explain WHY. It appeared it was not willing to change which has created the situation we now find ourselves in. Basically the main stumbling block really started with Immigration which was the crux of the matter which EU country’s who previously had ridiculed Trump for his wall, are now finding themselves in the same position. In-fact Merkel has now closed the boarders and intends to return thousands of immigrants but the damage has been done.
        Fred what don’t you understand the meaning of “personal reasons” without explaining each reason. Do you think people do not take every consideration before they take such decisions, ie; “what’s in it for me”.

        • Carlos, I have already told you what my reasons are, on numerous older threads. You will have to search for them as I’m not doing your legwork for you. The phrase “what’s in it for me” is just an antagonistic way of saying “how will this affect me and my family”. That is a personal decision that everyone, even you, has made at some point. Immigration has been happening since man existed. No amount of walls or rules will stop it. Merkel cannot take in migrants forever, as indeed no country can. The migrants you says are being returned are failed asylum seekers, which is just normal international law working, so don’t act as if it’s a surprise to you.

          • Fred I don’t need to look back on your reasons, I am well aware of your reasons and like everybody that makes decisions it’s called “personal reasons” what don’t you get. As for Merkel regarding the migrants whether they be asylum seekers, refugees or financial opportunist they were allowed in. The surprise is that they were allowed in in the first instance the same problems that the UK is facing and please don’t go back to the first bipeds as they were not failed asylum seekers, refugees or financial opportunist.

          • Carlos, you previously said “Fred what don’t you understand the meaning of ‘personal reasons’ without explaining each reason”, and then said “Fred I don’t need to look back on your reasons, I am well aware of your reasons”. Make your mind up! lol.

            “As for Merkel regarding the migrants whether they be asylum seekers, refugees or financial opportunist they were allowed in”

            Yes, they were allowed in, under international law, and then those who gained asylum were permitted to stay, and those who did not were told they could not remain in Germany. I expect those who were rejected were not the people in the greatest need. Again, this is the way international law works, and it’s not even EU law.

            The UK is not facing the same problem, since these people were welcomed to Germany, and many were headed to Germany on the basis that Merkel welcomed them. EU migration is totally different to asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are people forced to move from their country due to war and displacement e.g. from Syria etc. It is very surprising that you cannot make that fundamental distinction.

        • Here we drearily go again. Conflating illegal immigration and refugee surges with EU freedom of movement and labour. This is one of the methods used for pulling the wool over voters eyes. In fact, apart from dross about “sovereignty”, “taking back control”, “border (note spelling) security” and all the other fake patriot flannel, the one thing that steers this nonsense is pure racism/xenophobia.
          Once again “carlos” focuses on a single sentence and even screws that up.

          • stefanjo I am not against free movements of people providing they have a bonafide job to go to. As for racism/xenophobia that’s what people accuse others of when they have no proper answer. I wish you had some patriot flannel about you and could see you being the first person of holding up a white flag in the trenches.

  8. European leaders have agreed UK must be forced into hard Brexit.
    It is the best way to counter the possible rise of populist movements in Europe.
    You know, nobody in his right mind wants leaders like May, Johnson, Farage, Le Penn, Más, Puigdemont, Salvini.
    They need a lesson ASAP.

    • Pablo, you must be the most deluded person where ever you are living besides the minds of the EU. The EU keeps mentioning that the UK will lose the protection of the EU. Pablo, name one protection, in-fact Europe came under the protection of Britain twice which cost the UK dearly.
      The British government had stated from the beginning it would be a hard Brexit and is prepared for it to be if the EU does not come to an agreement that was suitable to the UK. Rest assured during the negotiations Britain will achieve goals that it will set out which will be suitable and trading will continue, and trading between the UK and the EU is more favorable to the EU, but you tend never to mention the great opportunity that Britain will achieve outside the EU. Control of it’s own boarders, own democracy, not being dictated and controlled to by un-elected cronies, Britain in control of it’s own laws and free trade with the rest of the World which Britain had done for hundreds of years prior to the EU and country’s now willing to have free trading arrangements with the UK and I’m talking about the big boy’s, not poor country’s that joined the EU for handouts which hit the British tax payers pockets/
      Besides Pablo, the EU is crumbling and the Euro will soon be finished and these country’s will slowly leave the EU and will wish to have trading arrangements with the UK. As for a big delusion of a EU army which the cronies are after, forget it, they have more or less agreed to start paying their due’s into NATO. Remember Britain still has armed forces not only in the EU but scattered in other country’s.
      Pablo, can you name one EU country that will be as free Britain, but there will be, just wait and see in the year of 2017. Keep dreaming.

    • Pablo, I think the last line of your input should have read “the EU needs a lesson ASAP”.
      Not sure what planet you live on but Britain is quite prepared to have a hard or soft Brexit,(English terminology, not European) but the fact remains that Britain leaving the EU will happen.
      Britain’s stance has always been “self determination”, “control of it’s boarders”, to “control free movement of people”, “democracy”, “control over it’s own laws”, “nation of free trade” which they were masters of hundreds orf years ago and not being controlled by the un-elected cronies that are currently ruining the original concept of a Common Market.
      As for the protection that the EU keeps harping about, what protection, in- fact the protection one can talk about is the protection that America and Britain gave Europe in two wars costing a heavy financial and loss of life to both country’s. Please to see that other members of NATO are now to meet their financial obligations to NATO, naturally under the threat by Trump.
      If you are content in being controlled by such that is your prerogative but not the choice of the British people and as one well known British politician once said, “get own your bike”. The problem is that Junker and his crowd continually assume that the EU is World class power, Trump proved him wrong, didn’t even phone him. No comparison to America, Russia, or China which are classed as being World powers. Russia alone could send Europe back to the dark ages in 24 hours, that’s power, not blocking trade which only incites aggravation as seen with the blocking of oil to Japan in WWII.
      I could go on but would be pointless. BTW, do you know we still have British troops stationed in Germany for their protection. Europe is on a downer and so is the Euro, lets wait and see how this stands this time next year in the EU, perhaps they may wish to join Britain in the long march to freedom and free trade. Da.

      • Carlos, we can read thousands of posts like yours in papers like the Daily Express.
        You should stop reading them ASAP.
        They are brainwashing you in a massive way.

        • No Pablo, just being a true Brit and I don’t need to read the Daily Express I read sufficient c**p in what the EU keeps coming out with. EU is petrified that the UK will be leaving, so much so they are trying their hardest to keep Britain in by threats, but it won’t work. As I had said before if you are happy to remain in the EU, what’s the problem, and more than pleased for you to remain and would expect the same curtsy and response of happiness for the UK to remain out. BTW how come you have not been able to respond to my questions, and why are you so upset that the UK will be leaving, doesn’t make sense, thought you would be pleased seeing the UK is such a burden. BTW. I live in Gt.Britain and proud to say so, are you equally as proud to say where you live, if not, stop wasting my time.

          • “EU is petrified that the UK will be leaving…”

            Not true, in fact they keep asking us to leave as quickly as possible, and that is public record. Another fundamental error, Carlos.

          • “and why are you so upset that the UK will be leaving,”
            Upset?
            Who told you that?
            I think the best is that Britain leaves the EU.
            The thing is they should do it NOW.

            The funny thing here is the UK still wants to be part of the single market.
            And Gibraltar wants freedom of movement.
            Of course not.
            They / You are out.

  9. Marine Le Pen is’nt coming for me but the arrogant aristocrat Catholic fanatic Fillon is. If elected he will turn France inot a real revolutionary hotbed of outrage. He adores the memory of Thatcher, wants to sack 500,000 government workers, introduce zero hours contracts, is a good buddie of the CIA hate figure, Putin and is chums with Assad.

    He is the far right, not Le Pen. The French are’nt frightened cretins like so many on the island, what tyey have done once they can and will do again. The Left in France is the same as the rest of the continent.mostly composed of arrogant stupid metros that are really upset that the ‘inferior’ working people are’nt doing what they are told to do.

    I had to visit the hospital in Rodez yesterday and everywhere there were posters and banners – the words were strong and defiant and I spoke with nurses and doctors who all said “we will not allow our health service to go the way of the NHS, is’nt there any strength in the British people anymore” – says it all really . MY reply was – “there will never be a British Danton, only Robespierres – sad really.

    Fred – still does’nt want to say what he does for a living – can only be one reason for that.

    • Stuart, I have already answered that question on another thread, which you will have to search for. Do keep up. What is your profession btw?

  10. Fred – you have always hidden just what you do for a living – can only be one reason for that. Your doctorate is completely phoney as exposed by Chas and others – what exactly is your ‘post doctorate’ in – you never said, nor what university you ‘obtained’ it at, again can only be one reason for that. I was a qualified builder, not a chancer. Worked in Britain,Netherlands and Germany. Chas has stated clearly what he did, Janer G is no friend of mine but she stated clearly what her work was. Stop the b/s Fred no more pathetic mind games – come clean.

    • Whatever I tell you Stuart, you will just take it, twist it, and say it’s B/S again, so say what you want as I’ll not be falling for that. You are a very angry man. I used to like your posts, but not any longer. I don’t answer to you Stuart, and if that annoys you, tough. Now you have two people that are not friends of yours lol.

  11. Fred, petrified by the fact that the effect of Brexit leaving has on the rest of Europe. Slowly the block is crumbling. Lets see 2017.

    • Carlos, as I’ve said before, if the EU collapses then so be it – clearly they did not reform fast enough. EU break-up will only lead to a rise in the far-right (as we’ve already seen) and you know where that led Europe previously, so don’t be so overjoyed. The EU have told the UK to leave as soon as possible, so they are clearly not “petrified”. You must stop making things up, Carlos, and if you live in the UK and are a “true brit” (lol) why are you posting on a Spanish expat forum?

      • Fred, don’t recall you mentioning that the EU will collapse you have always maintained the EU needs to reform. Would be interesting to know where you did mention the collapse. Shall allow you to search your own posting for this.

        As for the far right, I’m more concerned of what is happening now in the EU and taking a line from you the EU needed reforming and perhaps your wishes may come true, but if not perhaps the far right may put things right. For a start hows about going back to the original concept of the Common Market, maybe a call for a Brexit would not have been called for and Britain is not the blame if and when the EU does collapse but the top cronies at the EU who’s dreams have nothing to do with democracy but more in line with dictatorship.

        As for being a “true Brit” I think you may find there are many that live in the UK that are interested in what is going on in the EU and Spain, perhaps the name of Carlos may give you some indication, but better still hows about starting with Jane G, who also lives in the UK and is a constant contributor to the OP comment section. Da.

        • Carlos, if you don’t recall, then you need to read more threads. I am not your search engine. I never said the EU will collapse – no one can know the future, you will appreciate. What I said is if it did not reform, then it is likely that it could collapse. As for the far right “putting things right”, well they got the trains and buses running on time last time around, but unfortunately created a world war in the process. No wonder you quote from the BNP.

          I also note that you could not tell us what a “true brit” actually is. You should take a DNA test, see “http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2016/09/19/how-british-are-you-dna-study-reveals-uks-ethnic-diversity/”, then you might get a big shock. It’s ironic that most British people are less British then they think, indeed some who took the test found their “Britishness” was even in a minority to other European countries. Of course, it also makes the label “true brit” totally meaningless, so you should stop using that. As for the name “Carlos”, well you’ve had so many names that it really makes no difference, does it? Da?

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