Agriculture minister and MP for Camborne and Redruth, George Eustice, has resigned from government over the PM's decision to allow a Brexit delaying vote.


George Eustice has resigned from his post in government as agriculture minister in order to be "…free to participate in the critical debate that will take place in the weeks ahead" he said in his resignation letter, as well as saying that the EU did not conduct the talks honourably.

Although he said he would vote for Theresa May's deal when it came before the house again, he also said that we should not be frightened of walking away without a deal.

But he is worried that we will end up with:

"…a series of events culminating in the EU dictating the terms of any extension requested and the final humiliation of our country."

And he went on to say that:

"This is uncomfortable for everyone, but we cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door.

"We must therefore have the courage, if necessary, to reclaim our freedom first and talk afterwards.

"We must be ready to face down the European Union here and now.

"The absence of an agreement poses risks and costs for them too."

He's wrong about May's disastrous deal in my opinion, but right about the no deal scenario.

Now, in readiness for the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC, to return to the Commons and present his attempts to take the sting out of the Irish Backstop protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement, the Eurosceptic MPs have put together a team of eight lawyers to cast their beady eyes over it and deliver their verdict.

These eight will examine what is being dubbed as 'Cox's Codpiece' (cue smutty jokes) to determine whether it is just a glorified fig leaf or does in fact do the job properly.

These are:

Sir Bill Cash MP, Tory who qualified as a solicitor in 1967.

Dominic Raab MP, Tory who qualified as a solicitor.

Nigel Dodds MP, DUP who qualified as a barrister.

David Jones MP, Tory and solicitor.

Suella Braverman MP, Tory and barrister.

Michael Tomlinson MP, Tory and barrister.

Robert Courts MP, Tory and barrister.

And finally the highly eurosceptic chair of Lawyers for Britain, Martin Howe QC, who is not an MP.

It will be interesting to see what this group comes up with.

Woo-Hoo, our worthy MPs have gone and got themselves another pay rise! Isn't that just wonderful?

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (or Ipsa), has announced today that our representatives are to get an increase in basic pay of 2.7% as of the 1st of April.

This is a rise of £2,089 a year and takes MPs' annual remuneration to £79,468.

And yet just two days before that they could well be giving us rock solid proof that they are not up to delivering what they promised they would, when they've either voted to keep us in the EU for years or signed up to Theresa May's 'make-the-UK-a-permanent-colony-of-the-EU; Withdrawal Agreement, or even just reversed Brexit altogether!

Well, I bet they get their pay award in full, while public servants may have parts of theirs withheld.

But back to MPs. The putting together of seven Tory MPs who are solicitors and barristers to check out Cox's Codpiece, got me thinking.

How many lawyers are there in the country, what proportion of the work-force are they and how does that compare to The House of Commons of 650 MPs.

Firstly, the ONS says there are 32.6 million people in work in the UK.

Of those about 157,000 are solicitors and about 17,000 are barristers, according to relevant professional bodies. That means solicitors and barristers make up about half a percent of the entire working population.

But, according to a House of Commons briefing paper on the social background of MPs from 1979 to 2017, at the last general election the Tories alone provided 38 MPs with a background in the legal profession, that's six percent of all MPs and twelve percent of Tory MPs.

The legal profession provided the four biggest parties of Conservatives, Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems with just a tad over ten percent of all MPs in the house.

But when you go down all those useful jobs of farmers, armed forces the NHS etc, you come out with pitiful numbers.

And between the Tories, Labour and the SNP they could only muster seven manual workers, none from the Lib Dems. That's one-ish percent of the total in the house.

Labour did buck the trend here with 32 MPs or five percent of the 650 from the voluntary sector. But they well made up for that by providing another five percent from trade union officialdom.

So, all those lawyers and they still churn out rubbish laws.

It's worth googling for that briefing paper and having a quick gander.

The search for diversity in politics should not just be about gender, ethnicity and disability (many apologies if I've missed out a grouping or two – wouldn't want to appear un-PC, would we?), diversity should surely also be about working background.

And people wonder why the politicians that the officials in the major parties choose for you to elect from, are so out of touch with ordinary voters.


Meet the eight lawyers who will judge whether 'Cox's codpiece' cuts the mustard

House of Commons Briefing Paper – Social background of MPs 1979-2017

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