The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The end of the rope

Posted on March 14, 2019 by

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament (essentially the Euro Lib Dems), is by no means our standard go-to guy for political guidance. Like most European politicians he’s been criminally silent on the outrages being perpetrated by the government of Spain, and in general he’s a bit neoliberal for our tastes.

But his speech from yesterday is powerful stuff.

As we write this, the UK’s parliament is blundering through a third successive day of toe-curling farce on the floor of the Commons, aimed this time at securing some sort of extension to Brexit to avoid a disastrous no-deal in just 15 days’ time.

It may yet be that such a request will be issued and the EU will grant it, dragging out the whole awful mess for God knows how much longer. But judging by the tone of M. Verhofstadt’s impassioned, exasperated address in Strasbourg, we wouldn’t like to have money on it. It appears that an entire continent has had just about enough of us.

Print Friendly

    1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 14 03 19 17:56

      The end of the rope | speymouth

    69 to “The end of the rope”

    1. gordoz says:

      Who could blame them ?

    2. shiregirl says:

      I’m watching and have no clue what’s happening. There is now an amendment to an amendment being voted on…I wonder if they actually know what they are voting for?

    3. yesindyref2 says:

      has had just about enough of us

      Less of the “us” kemo sabe 🙂

    4. MajorBloodnok says:

      Notwithstanding Westminster’s exceptionalist belief that all it has to do is ask for an extension and it will get one, it seems that Farage et al. have been speaking to the Putin-funded fascists in Italy and elsewhere, with the aim of encouraging them to veto any extension request.

      So it looks like it could be straight choice between a hard Brexit and a hastily written letter to the EU asking meekly for the Article 50 notification to be withdrawn.

      Whichever way it goes the EU will be mightily pissed off and if the Tories don’t implode there clearly isn’t any justice in the world (which there probably isn’t).

    5. Millsy says:

      A Marx Brothers script makes more sense than what the HoC has come up with since Brexit started !

    6. mogabee says:

      Watched that speech and agree with his conclusions.

      Any long extension with us joining in the elections will result in the ‘extremes’ getting their voices amplified by the ‘impartial’ BBC…

    7. Bill Hume says:

      Europe has had enough of this, the UK has had enough of this, Scotland has had enough of this and I have had enough of this.

      I am pissed off and bloody angry with the Westminster ruling classes using politics as a means to further their own, twisted ambitions at the expense of the people of Great Britain.

      That said, the voters in England WANT brexit………….let them have it. Scotland will not follow that path.

    8. Abulhaq says:

      Being pro-EU does not mean being pro the functionaries currently running it, however it is clear that the Brits now have the best they’re likely to get from them.
      What this pantomime has to do with furthering the cause of independence is mystifying. We appear stuck in this English procedural mire.

    9. Bill Hume says:

      Abulhaq…………it’s about Scotland being dragged, unwillingly, from the EU.

      Quite clearly it has a lot to do with furthering the cause of Scottish independence.

    10. Auld Rock says:

      Bill Hume, couldn’t have said it better myself.

    11. Tackety Beets says:

      Aye, the EU like Scotland is scunnered with it all.

      Farage takes a bashing too, accepting that he would try to destroy the EU from within.

      So there it is the end of the rope , the U.K. have tried to continue their soap on a rope , slippery as Feck with no honour. The U.K. finally found out to be “Dope on a rope” and the sooner the EU Pulls tighter the better.

      As RP suggests , let Scotland’s Sovereignty begin to surface, let the UK challenge. Feck them , it would be karma at last.

    12. Albaman says:

      Well put,
      Pity he did not mention that Scotland voted to stay in, but I do recognise that he’s addressing Westminster’s M.P.s, and Westminster in the eyes of the E.U. is the sovereign parliament of the U.K. For now!!.

    13. McBoxheid says:

      mogabee says:
      14 March, 2019 at 5:32 pm

      Watched that speech and agree with his conclusions.

      Any long extension with us joining in the elections will result in the ‘extremes’ getting their voices amplified by the ‘impartial’ BBC…
      I agree with Guy Verhofstadt, but I would include the BBC amongst the extremists. The have supported Farage and UKIP in every way they possibly can and popularised their movement to the same degree that they have put down Scotland and our people.

    14. yesindyref2 says:

      From a link by Mike Cassidy, I posted this elsewhere, it fits here.

      With the incompetence and weakness shown by the UK Government over its Brexit negotiations, the UK Gov will be desperate to wave a bit of paper around with a UK-US trade deal. Which means the Yanks can do what they like. Here’s some of the answers to a survey by the The US department of trade to business there – what would they like?

      Lobbyists for big firms made more than 130 demands, which include:

      Changing how NHS chiefs buy drugs to suit big US pharmaceutical companies
      Britain scraps its safety-first approach to safety and food standards
      Law changes that would allow foreign companies to sue the British state
      Removal of protections for traditional British products.

      We all knew this would happen, this puts it in words, and with Gove and Fox still standing on that “mythical” Atlantic Bridge, the above is not a possibility or even a probability, it’s a dead cert.

      ALDE by the way in my humble opinion, are likey to vote to fast-track iScotland’s EU formal application, and do all they can to keep Scotland in the “holding pen” meanwhile. That’s up to 68 EP votes out of a total of 500 I calculated during the night likely to support – a 2/3rds majority in the EP. Not that I want to be presumptious.

      EU? Help us.

    15. Davosa says:

      Terrific speech only spoiled by the camera cutting to that fuckin prick Farage. Well said Guy. Bravo Sir.

    16. SilverDarling says:

      Westminster there just now showing Guy Verhofstadt that it is not worth giving them the time of day.

    17. Terry says:

      Great speech by Mhairi Black on article 50. Note the badge she’s wearing – not an Snp one – it’s a Yes one. It’s happening.

    18. Capella says:

      Watching the farce acted out in Westminster. So HoC has voted against extending A50 to have a People’s Vote. Labour mostly abstained, even though it is supposed to be their policy.

      It has voted against taking back control of the BREXIT process.

      They are blocking every possible route out of the impasse except Theresa May’s deal or crashing out. (Unless there’s a last minute motion to revoke A50?)

    19. dom says:

      Westminster is going back to the EU and ask for an extension to Article 50.

      They have no plan and no timescale regarding the length of the extension they are asking for.

      I hope the EU tell them that they have had enough of their incompetent fucking about and deny Westminster the Brexit extension they are looking for.

    20. Not Convinced says:

      If we take it as read for the moment that a Brexit extension is in the UK’s best interests (or at least the government believes that it is) then wouldn’t that mean that someone who works with foreign political parties to prevent such an extension is conspiring with foreign organisations to thwart the best interests of the UK? And isn’t there a specific word for that kind of behaviour that begins with ‘T’?

    21. Abulhaq says:

      @Bill Hume
      Does it really? Must be a question of perspective. All I see is wasted time and opportunity. In no way does anything now going on in this political danceathon remedy the fact that Scots, a minority constituency, can exercise any meaningful influence on this situation other than by completely severing links with the British state. And we are as far away from that as ever.

    22. ann says:

      Safe to say Guy feels exactly the same as the electorate.
      Totally exasperated…. And I totally agree with his comments about Farage and his political group trying to tear the EU apart from inside.

      If they get near the EU elections with brexit still in the mire, then his fears will be totally justified.

    23. Essexexile says:

      Unwillingly sounding out some leavers at work (ie not mentioning politics but having to listen to their cretinous views on Brexit anyway), it is clear they are moving into a period of anger and suspicion at not getting the Brexit they wanted. The theme seemed to be strongly that May, as a remainer, has planned it this way all along.

    24. Capella says:

      HoC has now defeated the Labour Party’s frontbench amendment tabled by Jeremy Corbyn.

      The amendment:

      rejects the prime minister’s deal
      rejects no-deal
      seeks an extension of Article 50 to avoid no-deal on 29 March
      seeks an extension of Article 50 “to provide parliamentary time for this House to find a majority for a different approach”

      Which the EU has already said umpteen times is not possible as they will not reopen negotiations.

      Now voting on the Governments motion. I have no idea ATM what that is. Are there any other options left other than revoke?

    25. Capella says:

      So the Gov are voting on asking the Eu for an extension to A50 for…what? Just on spec? Haven’t the EU negotiators already ruled that out?
      Or are they planning to hold a snap election?

      Waiting for Nicola’s tweet.

    26. SilverDarling says:

      Jeremy Corbyn making me want to smash my TV now.

    27. Donald anderson says:

      Queen and which country?

    28. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, I can feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices are suddenly crying out “what the feck is going on? Get me the feck outta here.”.

    29. Essexexile says:

      Me too Silver Darling.
      He goes from wet flannel to Student Grant in a few sentences. He is surely the lowest calibre opposition leader for a very long time.

    30. Sinky says:

      I dispair over decent reporting by MSM no coverage by bbc scotland or stv over fact that Labour abstained over a People’s Vote while Sky claims SNP abstained

    31. dom says:

      Meanwhile,,,the mighty Yes Movement is put back in it’s box again.

      Stand down guys, stand easy…

      More waiting!!!

    32. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Bill Hume @ 17:39,

      As is starkly evident from Verhofstadt’s powerful speech, the EU has certainly had enough of this WM self-abuse, not least because of the likely collateral damage.

      I agree that if Leave is genuinely the English preference, let them get on with it, provided they don’t drag us down unwillingly with them. But as more facts begin to penetrate, it seems enough of the general public down south may be changing their minds to Remain. Which explains why Theresa the Great Peoples’ Democrat is so pathologically unwilling to truly discover what they think now.

    33. marsfries says:

      May’s going to bring back her deal for a third time on May 20th. It’s going to fail again. The EU has its council summit on May 21-22. This is when they would be discussing any request by the UK to extend A50 but they have been crystal clear that the UK needs to have a compelling reason for the extension to get unilateral approval.

      Since May’s deal will get rejected again and since she will therefore not be asking for a short extension to June 30, the questions now are: is there going to be a House of Commons majority for a longer extension and even if there was, could the EU stomach having the UK participate in the European Parliament Elections and stay a member?

    34. SilverDarling says:

      So the demonisation of Indy voters is well under way now. Ross Thompson claiming damage to his office and now Luke Graham making some serious claims of harassment and threats to his staff.

      If true, I hope those responsible are dealt with quickly. If true…

    35. Macart says:

      He didn’t miss and hit the wossiname.

      On today’s carnage. Is this how politics dies? In hopelessly confused farce?

    36. Scottish Steve says:

      If I was the representative of one of the other member states, I’d definitely vote against an extension. The Brits have been wasting time and resources for too long. Just get the hell out already and don’t come back would be my attitude.

    37. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      ann @ 18:11,

      Yes, it was something that had already flitted across my thoughts, but to see it articulated so powerfully by Verhofstadt really made it register. Clearly no UK participation in the upcoming EU elections is likely after that. Whatever WM “decides” today, it will be lucky to get any extension at all.

      The pressure has just been raised a notch or two, but no-deal just took another big lurch closer.

      Which is a kind of clarity, of course.

    38. dom says:

      Scottish Steve 6.52pm

      Nailed it Steve…

      Tell Westminster to take a hike.

      And let us get on with IndyRef2.

    39. manandboy says:

      A long extension of the march 29 deadline only suits Westminster by my reckoning. I’ll be amazed if the EU grant a long extension as things now stand. But, the Brexit avalanche has not yet come to rest. Not by a long way IMO.

    40. yesindyref2 says:

      It’s all coming together one way, or another.

      “UK Government accused of undermining The Vow and ‘rolling back devolution’”

      (archive makes it garbage)

      Professor James Mitchell, a leading public policy academic at the University of Edinburgh, said the government had broken the “rule-based-approach” to devolved funding and had “undermined” the ‘Vow’ – the promise made by Unionist leaders during the 2014 independent referendum that the Barnett formula would be protected.

      This is the Mitchell who said in an hours earlier tweet:

      Not convinced that Brexit involves a devolution ‘power grab’ (sure that you’ll disagree) – complex and need to wait and see – but this most certainly is a power grab.

      and posted this in 2012 (and similar):

      Evidence shows most people favour a looser union short of full independence, but that option is not being made available

      Basically speaking, it’s a once perhaps highly influential devo-maxer realisng that not only is devo-max not coming, but it’s becoming devo-less.

    41. Maria F says:

      And what happened to the SNP’s agreement that said:

      “Scotland should not be forced to leave the EU against its will given that 62 per cent of the population there voted for Remain” and that

      “The best future for Scotland lies in becoming, like so many of its neighbours, a full, equal, sovereign, independent Member State of the European Union”

      What happened to that amendment? Where is it? Was it rejected and for debate by the England speaker and buried deep underground by the UK state propaganda machine? I did not see anything about this.

    42. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, and as a very speculative thought, if the result tonight is to beg for an extension, it would be helped by an announcement by Sturgeon that we’re going to go for Indy Ref 2, and the EU-27 would, in that case, likely grant the extension. Happily. On condition perhaps that it wouldn’t be granted unless the Indy Ref went ahead. You read it here first. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone in the HoC.

    43. manandboy says:

      The UK is still dreaming, with the nightmares still to come. But the damage to the UK’s standing in the world continues. It’s still ‘headshaking in disbelief’ time.

    44. jfngw says:


      Caught Luke Graham claim as point of order at end of debate. He wasn’t there he says but could verbatim quote what they said. I’m sure he has CCTV footage and has handed it to the police, I look forward to the police investigation. Now he has it recorded in Hansard. If there are no charges/police report then I would take the claim with a pinch of salt.

      I suspect they are expecting a referendum soon are building a case of how bad independence supporters are.

    45. Bill Hume says:

      Abulhaq……I really am beginning to believe that you are a complete and well rounded ar… wait a minute…..idiot.

    46. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi yesindyref2 at 6:57 pm.

      You typed,

      “It’s all coming together one way, or another.

      “UK Government accused of undermining The Vow and ‘rolling back devolution’”

      (archive makes it garbage)”

      The Internet Archive, which I have mentioned in numerous comments on WOS, has it fine (apart from the video).

      The Internet Archive saves stuff and doesn’t allow its captures to be overwritten by newer edits to pages, like does. So, if you want to, you can see what edits are made to pages as time goes by.

    47. Cactus says:

      From The threshold of patience video above…

      Notice how Farage and his co-orcs have got their wee ceremonial token dad’s army ukUnion flags on their desks, whereas the other groovy cool independent members already have their own independent countries and remain collectively confident, unlike ukFarage who sees it as a bored-game of UK RISK.

      Well said Guy, SO lookin’ forward to doing direct iBusiness with y’all.

    48. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, wayback is great. On the other hand I also think the Scotsman deserves a direct link for an Indy favourable article. If such links got 4 times the traffic say, that anti-ones did, we might see more positive articles …

    49. Blackhack says:

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I think May’s plan is to bore us to death with votes for this, votes for that, Meaningful votes, Extensions to the deal ? no deal amendments after amendments until we all just give up…….I’m quite interested in politics, but I’ve reached the stage where I’m just switching off….God* knows what the average person on the street thinks…
      * God is used as an example, other deities are available

    50. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Terry at 6:05 pm.

      You typed,
      “Great speech by Mhairi Black on article 50. Note the badge she’s wearing – not an Snp one – it’s a Yes one. It’s happening.

      Yes, it was a great speech. Thanks for the link. She’s no’ backward in comin’ forrit, iye? And yes, she’s a Yesser!

    51. defo says:

      I hope there’s a LIDL group !

    52. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says:14 March, 2019 at 5:26 pm:

      ” … has had just about enough of us”.

      Less of the “us” kemo sabe”

      Now I do not always agree with yesindyref2, Wingers, but I give that comment my 100% approval.

    53. SilverDarling says:


      I’d be surprised if they don’t all have CCTV. Most people also have a mobile phone they could record at least some of it. It all seems very convenient after Mike Russell’s dig at them but nevertheless, the outrage will be forthcoming. Expect a Mike Blackley front page special soon.

    54. Rob James says:

      @ Major Bloodnok

      re the “Putin funded Fascists” in Italy, you could also add the CIA funded fascists in Poland.

    55. yesindyref2 says:


    56. Robert Peffers says:

      @Terry says: 14 March, 2019 at 6:05 pm:

      ” … Great speech by Mhairi Black on article 50. Note the badge she’s wearing – not an Snp one – it’s a Yes one. It’s happening.”

      I’d bet that the majority of Yes supporters are also SNP members or supporters as are those in AUOB. It isn’t a competition to see who is the best or worst supporters of Scottish independence.

      I only know one political group who claim to be indy supporters who invariably attempt to undermine the FM/SG/SNP and the less said about those idiots the better and I do not mean the Greens.

    57. defo says:

      OT, but worth a punt.

      I heard Judy Murray on Radio Jockland earlier saying Tennis Scotland got a whole 1% of the LTA pot.
      Auntie fails to mention that here…

      Pooling & sharing the benefits that the Murray men brought!

    58. Cubby says:


      Lord Steel ( David Steel ex leader of libdems and still a member) may be suspended or kicked out of the party for his testimony at the Child Sex Abuse Enquiry.

      He testified that Cyril Smith confessed to him that he was guilty of being a phaedophile and had carried out various offences when Steel was leader of the party. Steel as leader said he did nothing. Steel actually said it did not enter his mind that Smith might continue to abuse children. BLOODY UNBELIEVABLE.

      This is both sickening and a disgrace that these people actually got some power in Westminster.

      It was also stated in the enquiry that Thatcher insisted on Saville getting his knighthood even though she was briefed about his sexual misdemeanours.

      Westminster is a cesspit.

    59. Robert Peffers says:

      @Maria F says: 14 March, 2019 at 7:02 pm:

      ” … What happened to that amendment? Where is it? Was it rejected and for debate by the England speaker and buried deep underground by the UK state propaganda machine? I did not see anything about this.”

      Well you weren’t watching very hard, Maria F. Quite simply Bercow just didn’t call it. Simple as that.

    60. sandy says:

      Here’s me thinking that elected MPs were there to vote either for or against.
      Labour & a certain purported Scottish tory obviously disagree. I wonder why? Job security?

    61. Backstop Brexit with the Text-out is the amendment to be amended,
      Delay by May of the Article is a neck tickler to abstainer remainers to repent.

      “The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!”
      They’re coming to take them away, ah ha.
      We now know that there be no extension, and that May best of three will fail, and we will be dragged out of Europe and lose our European Citizenship by the English.
      NS needs to make a game changing speech tomorrow.
      It is not Scotland’s poison chalice; it is a 100% English manufactured ding up.
      I’m using a neologism ‘ding’ because Scoop Hutcheon over at Herald Britland is a wee shrinking violet and is offended when we write the F word.
      ‘Ding’ off ,Paul; grown ups talking here.
      Beware the Ides of March, WoS followers.
      The backstabbers will be abroad tomorrow, gladii at the ready.

    62. Maria F says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      14 March, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      “Well you weren’t watching very hard, Maria F. Quite simply Bercow just didn’t call it. Simple as that”

      Thank you Robert. Well, that is very disappointing, particularly considering that the TIGs got theirs forward. But what can we expect in this “union of equals”? I guess it was an act of self-preservation to avoid putting the UK parliament through the international embarrassment of having a majority of England MPs actively denying Scotland, an equal partner and an equal signatory of the treaty of union, its right to self-determination, potentially dodging for the English establishment some legal challenge. Needless to say of course that it has also saved the English establishment from the headache of another boost in support for independence and for the referendum should that had happened.

      Am I the only one here that feels that the main engine responsible for all the faux drama, carnival of nonsense,theatrics galore and chaos unchained in Westminster at the moment – desperately avoiding the “people’s vote”, a gov that brings a motion and then whips its MPs to vote against its own motion, a general claim that brexit is about bringing control to Parliament only to vote down amendments for Parliament to get control then bizarrely voting against delaying A50, then voting for delays of A50, then labour abstaining for an amendment asking for a people’s vote only to claim immediately after that will support one and of course attempting to silence the SNP at any opportunity, like by rejecting its amendment but however putting forward the one of the TiGs- is the frantic, desperate attempts by the English establishment to keep control of Scotland’s assets?

    63. Morgatron says:

      I have said it for 4 years on here,The BBC delivered Brexit for Mogg, Fox, Johnson and Farage , they supplied the oxygen and platform for these fucking wits and are still doing so. We really do need to get out of this Cuckoo nest.

    64. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Jack collatin at 9:50 pm.

      You mentioned,
      “They’re coming to take them away, ah ha.”

      Like this? Something I put together back in 1974.

    65. Petra says:

      @ Defo at 8:35pm ….”Tennis Scotland gets 1% of the LTA pot.”

      I heard Judy Murray say that too defo, that is that Scotland receives 1% of their potential funding pot. Does anyone know if we, Scotland, should receive 8/9%, or more, by right? Not forgetting of course that it’s players like Andy and Jamie Murray, Scots, that have been / continue to contribute greatly to filling their coffers. Frigging disgraceful. Scots being taken for mugs as per usual.

      I doubt they’ve got any Scots on their Executive Team either.

    66. Brian Doonthetoon @ 10.23 pm.
      My first record player was a Dansette.
      Great memories.
      I watched the start of Neil’s this week nonsense despite myself where he and Portillo ripped into Dominic Grieve.
      Neil argued, ‘what crisis’ quoting his Blue Tory handout, most people in work, productivity up, and we are all as happy as shite.
      He believes that Brexit is a breeze.
      He’s either an idiot or one of the Brit Nat Elite’s obedient servants, and a liar to boot.
      Switched off.

    67. defo says:

      Petra, there was a glaring omission in my post.
      Mrs Murrays own contribution to the prosperity of the LTA.
      Apart from the obv biological thing!

    68. Clootie says:

      The entire fiasco that has been choreographed for over 3 years to take us to a hard Brexit and blame Europe. This included making full use of the Labour leaders incompetence and inability to make a decision.

      Europe (like Scotland) wants to move on but the little englanders want an Empire to rule. Aircraft Carriers, WMD and long range nuclear submarines that let them pretend they are powerful and to be respected. Very much like their DUP buddies the still look to the past instead of the future.

      The EU is not perfect but they are trying to make it work. The U.K. Media has painted a very negative image of the EU for over 40 years. This was also part of the long term planning ” build a negative image of the EU and lock it in”.

      We are returning to the days of “The Greenwich Meridian” the line through London that ensures London is at the centre of every map. It was once the Rose Line through Paris……but how dare those frogs when with our bigger Navy we are the centre of the Universe. They are not nationalists at all!

    69. Brian says:

      It’s nice to hear an adult talk about Brexit. To tell the truth about Brexit. To take the pish out of Farage and point out his wages go to an offshore company.
      All done in English by a guy who speaks more than one language.

      The toad faced fucker and his ilk are scared shitless because of people like him and that’s why he’s shit scared of the Scots too because we have pretty good BS detectors.

      Scrap Brexit as it was advisory and give them a generation to go away and think about it. By that time we should have a arm-gammon and they’ll be dead and buried.

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top