MP Craig Mackinlay: Brexit, the news and business at Ramsgate’s Wetherspoon

Royal Victoria Pavilion Photo Frank Leppard

As Parliament returns this week, the most simple, yet, for some, contentious piece of legislation has its second reading – the Repeal Bill, or to give it its full title – The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Despite all previous Parliamentary votes on matters relating to our withdrawal from the EU passing comfortably, we now have mixed messages from the Labour Party as to what they think a post-Brexit Britain or interim should look like. This topic is too important to play politics with and I hope, on this historic issue, the country will be put first, not petty game-playing.

My interpretation is simple – the regaining of our laws, borders and money and honouring the clear intent of the majority who voted for that in June last year. This cannot mean allowing the jurisdiction of the increasingly ambitious European Court of Justice to have effect in the UK by staying in the Single Market, nor allowing the EU to speak for us on international trade matters via continued membership of the Customs Union. The opportunity for new trade deals and friendships is the true ‘Brexit dividend’ of a truly global Britain.

The behaviour of EU negotiators has been questionable, insisting on the settlement of a divorce bill before allowing talks to advance into matters of what the shape of trade between the EU and the UK will look like post-Brexit. I am sure I speak for many that this behaviour merely confirms all the suspicions about what was wrong with the EU, and that our vote to leave was absolutely the right one.

News review

Early rising has never been one of my strong suits, I’ve always been more of a ‘night owl’, but the opportunity to do the newspaper review at 7am for BBC Radio Kent, live from Tunbridge Wells, was sufficient to get me on the road early. Spare a thought for all who work unsociable hours as the norm to keep the world turning.

I covered diverse news topics from the strange irritant gas that hit the Sussex coast, the increasingly worrying situation in North Korea, the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, to the very human story of a local illegal immigrant whose attempts to remain through the courts system had concluded and failed and the quite bizarre new adverts by the Financial Conduct Authority encouraging final claims for PPI compensation, utilising Arnold Swarzenegger in its multi-million advertising drive.

Underlying this is the fact that £50 billion of potential claims still exist. This would represent £75 million in South Thanet alone if successfully made.


I am yet to try the new Wetherspoon in Ramsgate, but will do shortly. All I have spoken to are hugely impressed with the quality of the refurbishment. By all accounts it has been extremely busy which has caused some consternation by local bar and restaurant owners.

I’ve always taken the view that business makes business, so let’s see the effect on the local economy as it beds down.


  1. Why on earth are you giving this crook a mouthpiece?

    Another deluded Tory that thinks the EU should just do whatever we say because we said so. If you want a decent deal with the EU, you need to start being humble, because the current attitude your team has with the EU is getting us nowhere.

  2. Surely, if there is a potential for a “Brexit dividend” which the Leave brigade likes to conjure up, then there must also be a commensurate potential downside associated with having placed all your eggs into one very risky basket? (but then again, Crooked Craig was never very good with keeping tabs on financial flows).
    At the moment, what I see is that the Brexiteers’ rhetoric has shifted from a xenophobic & arrogant “we need you less than you need us” to a so-called strategy of “constructive ambiguity” to calls for the EU to be more “flexible and imaginative” to, most recently, extensive whingeing about the EU “blackmailing” the UK (this is also reflected in Mackinlay’s comment about the “questionable behaviour” of the EU in the negotiations).

    Can the Rt Hon Gentleman explain how the UK went from having the all the cards and the upper hand in the negotiations to being blackmailed, all without the EU having said very much except what they’ve always said ..?

    Is this due to the incompetence of the government?

    The only political party that has had a consistent position on Brexit is the LibDems. The cowardice before the tabloids press and the shambolic incompetence that is on show among both Labour and Conservative MPs has turned the country into a laughing stock. I hope it will be remembered by the electorate for many years to come.

Comments are closed.