June 8th General Election

The pound has risen against both the dollar and the Euro on news that Mrs May is seeking a new mandate to implement Brexit. The cost of government borrowing has also fallen, with bond prices rising.

She tells us “Britain is leaving the EU and there can be no turning back…..The country is coming together but Westminster is not”. She wants a mandate given the way the Opposition parties are behaving over the Brexit negotiations.


I look forward to the election, and assume Labour will also be running on a platform of wanting to make a success of Brexit.

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  1. Ariadaeus
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The last Tory PM that called for a Doctor’s Mandate was Heath. That turned out to be a disaster.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      @Ariadaeus; Indeed, and in 1974 there were no other parties to split their vote. The more I think about this the more I get a uneasy feeling…

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Weak double crosser. May caves in to the remainers with an election and second referendum. It cannot be seen for anyone else.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      May is very similar to Heath politically, another lefty interventionist. Let us hope even now she can be brought round to reality and become a Conservative. We have seen what a disaster, Heath, Major, Blair, Brown & Cameron were. Where as Mrs Thatcher won four elections (in effect with Major as he man in the fourth until the public rapidly sussed him out). The direction needed is very clear indeed, so why can she not see this?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        If Theresa has really only just (at the weekend) come round to the idea that an early election is needed (as she claims) then she is a bit slow on the uptake.

        But then we should know that from her rather misguided, interventionist, high tax, high regulation and politically correct economics agenda I suppose. Hopefully she has looked at numbers and just how many constituecies are rather like Richmond Park.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink


    Lets hope the nation has learned the real intent of the EU bureaucrats and will vote to support a proud, sovereign and successful UK.

    PS, Will our host kindly offer to be interviewed by CNN to educate them on the meaning of the vote to leave the EU.

    • eeyore
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Our host told us a little while ago that had the referendum gone the other way he would have left the Commons. I hope very much that he will stand on June 8, that Wokingham will re-elect him, that he will continue to serve his country as one of Britain’s few true statesmen, and that a triumphant Theresa May will pay the most careful attention to his blog Speaking for England.

  3. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    This is a risk because those who don’t want Brexit will vote for one of the other useless parties and not only will the Brexit situation be affected but every thing else too. God, if the LibDims, Labour or the SNP get more votes we are done for. Good luck Mrs May.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      It is a big risk indeed in many constituencies, if the remainers can unite behind one, stop the Tory, candidate they will struggle.

    • NA
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      This is a risk because those who don’t want Brexit will vote for one of the other useless parties


      Exactly, well spotted.

  4. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood won’t like this but I have predicted an event such as this since the day Mrs May became leader of the Conservative party.
    Basically Mrs May is challenging Parliament to get behind Brexit or face an election. High risk bluff. She cannot hold an election without parliament’s assent because of the Fixed Term parliament Act. I hope they refuse. If not the entire campaign for Brexit will have to be re-run; public opinion will be reset to the referendum, legal challenges will be reinvigorated, voting will be tactical, strange alliances will be formed, Tory splits re-opened. Possibly a leadership challenge for Mrs May. Disaster. As I said when her winning the leadership was announced, Brexit is doomed and the problem is Mrs May herself. She is too absorbed in detail, she listens to anyone and everyone as often as they like and ignores advice instead of deciding what to do with it and telling the originator, she doesn’t assert bold decisive leadership but rigidity, not understanding the difference, she has no vision for Britain as an independent sovereign state; she is an administrator/manager. What she does do is to stick rigidly to her original plan regardless of events, which is nearly always fatal. She should read Clausewitz. None of this is what UK needs right now in its Prime Minister. Unable to cope she eventually throws a hissy fit. This is her hissy fit.
    Hope I’m wrong, but if I am it will be the first time.

    • stred
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      PDG. Agree 100%. She is an opportunist and bungler and is hoping to strengthen the Brexit-lite wing of the party. If she thinks that she can whack people for £12 or £20k probate tax for owning a nice house or make taxi and van drivers sell their diesel vehicles and buy another for £20k, she can expect them to whistle for their votes.

      As for leaving no time to get rid of Soubry and many others in the same mould, has this really been done without thought?

      Another in the Heath, Major and Cameron tradition.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Well May has made the right decision for once. I expected an early election, but it is not without some risk from the Libdim remoaners in some Tory areas, as we saw with the greeny, but a leave supporter Zak Goldsmith who was rather unpopular in London. At least we will finally be rid of Osborne and Ken Clarke. Hopefully May can win with a decent Majority and stop her idiotic impersonation of the socialist dope Ed Milliband.

    She also need to find a Chancellor who is not yet another tax, borrow and piss down the drain, NI ratting merchant like Hammond. One who actually beleives in far smaller government, cheap energy, bonfires of red tape and far lower & simpler taxes.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully Soubry too.

  6. Mick
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    All I’ve been hearing today so far by the other party leaders is how Mrs May as done a u-turn , what a load of tosh, she had no choice because of all the underhanded treatment Mrs May as had thrown at her by the remoaning leaders, well hopefully the general public will see through all the remoaner MPs and get rid and have a hoc that is for the UK and not the EU

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Well she had little choice but to lie several times (that she was not going to call a snap election), but given the circumstances it was surely inevitable that an early election was going to happen. I am still annoyed that I was too slow in getting my bet in.

      We need a strong govenment to get a sensible agreement with the EU. Given the small majority (due to Cameron’s lack of vision) and much thanks to the dire Miliband and Sturgeon, it was going to be very hard to do this in two years time, especially with an election looming in May 2020.

      Thanks goodness we still have the first past the post system (despite Cameron’s referendum on it). Let us hope it delivers a decent Conservative majority. Hopefully we can clear out many of the wet, greencrap pushing, big government socialists from the Tory party, in the process.

  7. Mark
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Excellent news. The message that Brexit means Brexit will go to the Lord’s which will have to honour the Salisbury convention, and also to Juncker and Co., who will have to negotiate seriously rather than playing games in the hope of getting us to stay in the EU.

  8. Edward
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    ” and assume Labour will also be running on a platform of wanting to make a success of Brexit.”

    That’s good, very, very good Mr. Redwood, it made me laugh hard!

    And just on that, the other thing.

    Going to the counrty, I can’t think of a more opportune moment, indeed the Tories should prosecute the ‘opening’ with maximum force. With the opposition on all sides in total disarray, it would be delinquent in the extreme if, the current executive and standing PM did not to seize the moment and go to the country.

    I do trust and assured, earnestly hope, that, some of the most erudite, thrusting, senior and sage members of the party, will continue and boldly done, to hold Mrs May to her promise, “Brexit means Brexit”.

  9. Hope
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Or you could view it that she caved in and us giving a second referendum! Despite assurances she would not have an election when remainers were asking for it. Her words are not credible or trustworthy like Cameron before her. You highlight their words that you support but fail to apologize when they fail to deliver on speeches or statements.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      What nonesense. The behaviour of the unelected HoL and the diehard remainiacs have left her no choice.
      We now have a chance to elect a truly Brexit party and flush out the 5th column.
      I hope Sourbry loses her seat or stands for the LimpDumbs because she is a disgrace.
      Mrs May has the chance of being a great PM and going down in history as the second greatest woman in the history of the Tory Party
      I just hope there’s some sensible policies like repealing the fixed term nonesense and the CCA and removing the quota for foreign aid.
      I see the BBC is already giving preference to the Scottish mouthpiece and Farron.

      • Hope
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        No Ian, it is you who is wrong. She made the statement no second referendum and no election. She made the claims several times. What part did she not understand before she said it? She knew she had a slim majority when making those claims. She knew the position of the HoL. If she went for an early election last July or August after sending in the letter I might agree with you. She chose not to. What did she actually achieve by not sending in the letter for nine months? It only helped the remainers to try to gather public support. There was no rush for negotiations until after the French elections, that was always known.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Ian, thankfully I have no need to listen to the Scottish mouthpiece or any other two bit politician because my minds made up and nothing will change it. I am voting for the only party to hold up British democracy and bring about a change for the good for this country. I think Mrs May, if she plays her cards right and gets some good people behind her (people like JR) could go down as the best PM we have ever had. She needs to do what LifeLogic is always saying. Get rid of the green crap, lower taxes, bonfire of the quangos etc. Without the shackles of the other hopeless politicians on her back and the straightjacket of the EU, she should find this easier.

      • turboterrier
        Posted April 19, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        I see the BBC is already giving preference to the Scottish mouthpiece and Farron.

        What on earth did you expect? Totally out of date and should be got rid of in its present form.

  10. Prigger
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The Opposition parties have asked for it, actually and in terms of their undemocratic behaviour after 23rd June 2016 Leave vote. They have also asked for a humiliating defeat. It is to be hoped Mrs May will be massively successful so we can negotiate properly with the EU without our people being stabbed in the back by the SNP, Labour and Lib Dems.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    She should also go to the country with a sensible manifesto, one promising smaller government, lower taxes, better more efficient public services, far less government and government waste, cheap energy, fracking, freedom, deregulation, sound money, restoration of democracy, pro jobs and pro growth!

    She should remember how Cameron threw his first sitting duck election with his silly lefty fake green, modernising, pro EU agenda and only just won the second one thanks to Miliband, the collapse of the (wrong on everything) Libdims and the threat to the English of the dire SNP wagging a dire Labour dog.

    Lady Thatcher won three election (four really with Major as her man until they sussed him). May needs to stop being a daft socialist light, smell the coffee and do what actually works for a change. Get the government out of the way. Post the election she clearly needs to fire NI tax ratter Hammond and the rest of the socialist, remainer wets in the Cabinet.

    • matthu
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      She should also go to the country with a sensible manifesto, one promising smaller government, lower taxes … etc. etc,

      Now is the time to focus on one main manifesto promise, not to muddy the waters with loads of new promises that will open up many new fronts.

      Now is not the time to make radical election promises: the next election will be soon enough. In any case, cheap energy, sound money etc, probably cannot be delivered at all until we are rid of the EU.

  12. Simon
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully with a bigger majority the PM can face down the Ultras in the provisional wing of the Brexit movement. The sort of people who advocate WTO terms without any qualification.

    The same people who advocate “zero tariffs” – knowing full well if we give zero tariffs to any country or bloc we need to give them to the whole world.

    Reply You can register zero tariffs with the EU as an FTA. The PM has no need to face down Brexiteers!

    • Edward2
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Provisional Wing?
      Ridiculous labels.
      You are assuming the EU want to do a deal and repeatedly they have said there will be no pick and mix deal.
      The EU needs to frighten other EU nations thinking of leaving.

  13. Doug Powell
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Disgrace! Sell out!

    This is the ONLY way Brexit can be lost!

    May has been preparing us for months for a sell out by wittering on about “bringing the country together”. This was stupid and always a non-starter because the Remoaners would never accept Brexit! We should have completed Brexit, then the Remoaners would have had to either come to terms with it, or emigrate to the EU!

    The political classes are still referring to opinion polls, and the Conservative/May leads to justify the GE decision. Dumb! The referendum was won by an unofficial coalition of former industrial Labour areas and the Tory shires. Traditional left/right polls are therefore meaningless!

    By the way, Putin has already been on the phone recommending that I vote Conservative, so that Brexit will go ahead unhindered!

    • zorro
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the ‘bringing the country together, we must be united’ meme is a ploy to lead to the frustration of Brexit, of that I am becoming more convinced….


      • Ken Moore
        Posted April 19, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Quite right, Q dog whistles about ‘hard working families’ and ‘fairer’ distribution of money for schools etc. Mrs May always veers to the left ..handing back centralised control and personal responsibility aren’t high on her list of principles.

        I can foresee several schools in the leafy Tory shires receiving some rather sharp ‘cuts’ just to show how ‘fair’ this new Tory leader is.

        Mrs May doesn’t know how to get re-elected after her planned betrayal of the Brexit vote so she has gone for an early election to buy herself more time.

        The lady that is for turning is clever – harvesting all the popular appeal of talking tough on the EU while pleasing the establishment by pursuing an unworkable strategy that wont deliver.

        After the election it will have dawned on all parties that the negotiations are not going to be concluded in two years – or at all…

  14. Nigel
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    JR: To what extent will you have an input to the manifesto?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      I fear very little – there are far too many ministers with a tenth of JR’s ability and experience that get to sit around the table. He doesn’t tick any diversity boxes either – some African heritage or the odd bizarre lifestyle choices would certainly help.
      There is an absolute ban on senior conservative ‘euro sceptics’ serving in cabinet as the leadership believe these individuals will ‘re-toxify’ the party.
      They quickly moved Andrea Leadsom aside to make way for Mrs May or may not when it looked like a true leaver would reach the high table not one of their own…

  15. Jerry
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I to assume that Labour will be running on a platform of wanting to make a success of Brexit (what ever “success” means, what ever “Brexit” means), after all Mr Corbyn and his core support were eurosceptic before the term euroscepticism was thought up. My worry (as I stated only a day or so ago) is what impact UKIP might have, if the votes move from Conservative to UKIP we could be back to the hung parliament of 2010, perhaps with Labour the largest party – Brexit in such a situation will be very different.

    UKIP should, in my opinion, stand down -unless they wish to put at risk what have wanted for 20 years, Brexit.

    Funny, how the pond falls on news of a Brexit vote and raises on news that a GE is being called and thus a chance to stop Brexit in its tracks. Just saying…

  16. DaveM
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    There will no doubt be a lot of chat about Scotland, and devolution in general. Any chance you might be able to inject something about England into your party’s manifesto Mr Redwood?

    • John Probert
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I am not interested in Scotland
      They will not get the votes for independence
      And even if they did it would end in disaster
      The Scots need to be careful what they wish for
      I wish they would just shut up

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        John, half the population of Scotland wish Sturgeon would shut up.

        • John Probert
          Posted April 19, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          OK understood thanks for telling me
          I do actually care about Scotland and worry that it is
          heading in the wrong direction

      • treacle
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Please stop saying “the Scots”. It is the SNP, who are a minority at Holyrood. The majority of Scots were and are anti-separation.

        • John Probert
          Posted April 19, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Good point well made
          I think the Scots voted for the SNP
          I also think that there are some Scots in the SNP

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Not a chance DaveM. The Tories have proved they don’t give a toss about England except when they need our votes that is.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        They need the votes right now. The Tories will not get many seats in Scotland and Wales. They may well suffer a Libdim/remainiac recovery in some areas too, as the foolish, green pushing Zac Goldsmith demonstrated with his hissy fit.

        • JoolsB
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Exactly – they rely on England and yet what have they done for England to remedy the rotten deal it gets post devolution? Absolutely nothing, that’s what!!

      • turboterrier
        Posted April 19, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Jools B

        Very True

  17. Anonymous
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    To implement what sort of Brexit ? Amber Rudd’s version ? With visas for yet more coffee shop workers and an effective amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been caught and then claim to be slaves ?

    Most Tory MPs are Remain. So a Remain (soft Brexit) government will achieve its official mandate by election.

    Sorry to be ungrateful and negative.

    Remain will go on to say “Ah. The public voted in Remain MPs in large numbers – so they want to stay in the EU. Soft Brexit it is !”

    People on the blogs are saying don’t vote UKIP but I’m inclined to disagree if it’s going to get the BBC pointing out that the people are voting for Europhile MPs whichever party.

    • zorro
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Unless the manifesto is crystal clear – I will NOT vote Tory.


  18. E.S Tablishment
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    A Bill of Rights and a solid British Constitution should go straight onto the agenda with a Mrs May victory. One grows increasingly weary of SNP MPs being allowed entry to the “Westminster Parliament” when their only mission is to sabotage it.
    An oath of allegiance to the UK as well as HM The Queen should be a priority. Whether they wish Independence for Scotland is something they can discuss with those interested in Holyrood. By definition, and indeed their own definition, the matter is none of our concern. We are British.

  19. Mitchel
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    “This is no General Election – this is a coup” declares Anne Perkins of the Guardian,imploring MPs to rush to the barricades!

  20. Man of Kent
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I have been less than impressed by our local conservative MP .

    She was a Remainer and still is by inclination .
    I would far sooner have a full hearted Leaver but it looks as though there will be no time to sack a sitting MP as no contingency plan has been set up .

    There is usually a serious Lib Dem presence with Labour well back .
    Let’s hope we can hold our noses and vote for the sitting MP since I can see the 40 % Remain vote here now going to the Lib Dems .

    I do hope at least Anna Soubry’s constituency are organised and they get rid of her .

  21. ChrisS
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I welcome the General Election. Mrs May’s Brexit strategy is pretty clear but there is less certainty over domestic policy. The election campaign will give her an opportunity to let us know what kind of Conservative leader she really is.

    There can be no excuses now : we need her to campaign under a full-on Conservative programme with support for a low tax economy, although that will have to be in the longer term and will have to depend on the success of Brexit. However markers can be laid to reassure us of the direction of travel.

    If her current poll ratings hold up, I predict a majority of 35-75 on the old boundaries. Possibly up to 100 if the LibDems fare worse than they expect in the West Country where there is strong support for Brexit.

    Bring it on.

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I think that you final paragraph is either tongue in cheek or wishful thinking.

    My hope is that Labour Remoaners are defeated in droves – whether by Conservatives or UKIP I care not – and that someone with the opinions of Kate Hoey emerges as the new Labour Leader.

    Then we move into phase 2 – clean up the House of Lords, sack Carney, etc ed.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Lindsay McDougall

      Kate Hoey emerges as the new Labour Leader.

      At least that is one of the Labour party that is good enough and fit enough to wear the mantle of leader. Could be the only one

  23. margaret
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe it. Do you mean to say that sending the letter according to article 50 can be overturned by some clause or other?

  24. Jason wells
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The labour party is in disarray so the opposition parties are not her problem.. as always the tory right is the biggest problem facing the prime minister and the country..if it works out as i think it will the election might throw up a coalition government that will put a brake on give us some hope of a rational outcome to the brexit talks.. and save the very UK itself

    Heard iain duncan smith on tv this morning saying the election had nothing at all to do with brexit? The tory right are still spinning fake news..but the people are awake this time so now so we’ll soon see what happens.

  25. graham1946
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Let’s hope the pols are right for once and the Remoaners in the population won’t turn silly. If the young who seem to be worried about their future out of the EU turn out to vote instead of not bothering as they usually do, plus all the Remoaners, things may not be as simple as
    you think and could be changed. This could be the end of Brexit if they do.

    • zorro
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Does make one wonder. Let us hope that we are proved wrong….


      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        There is quite a risk that remainic Tory supporters in the Major/Clark/Soubry and Hesetine mould may well move towards misguided Libdims.

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Yep , that is my worry too . I wanted Brexit done and dusted before a G.E.

      What if Labour , the Lib Dems and Greens form the Machiavellian “progressive alliance” which Paul Mason calls for ?

      The mess UKIP are in may just be enough to allow the Conservatives to get it over the line .

  26. APL
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    “Heath tried to bolster his government by calling a general election for 28 February 1974 ..”

    Oops no, that was then. Let’s hope it’s different this time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      May is alas rather like Ted Heath politically. Esentially an interventionist, socialist who clearly believes in high taxes, building on EU worker “rights”, gender pay reporting by law and even central wage controls. Daft as a brush, but clearly far better than the alternatives.

  27. Richard1
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I think its time to call a halt to invoking short term market movements. Remainers would point out that (1) the FTSE is down > 2% (but Dax down only 0.5%) and (2) one of the reasons speculated for the Election is Mrs May will be less beholden to Brexiters in the Conservative Party & therefore a ‘softer’ Brexit is more likely, so we get a stronger pound. You can really argue it any way you like!

  28. Richard1
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Having said which the Election is very good news for the Country as it will surely remove the threat of a far left govt under Corbyn and his extreme socialist henchpersons. perhaps there will be a realignment on the left with rump Labour + Libdem. Not something I’d vote for but surely less of a risk than than the neo-Marxists who in theory could now form a govt.

    • zorro
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Labour currently has Bob Hope and No Hope of forming a government – never a risk in a million years … A realignment of Labour/Lib Dems and SNP will threaten Brexit – look at the maths/constituencies. I suspect that any potential Tory majority will be used in the service of other aims rather than Brexit…..


      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Under ex(?) remainer May that is certainly a huge danger.

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    More importantly the Libdems will be running on a platform of not making a success of Brexit… or of no Brexit at all… let’s see how young Tim’s plan for that runs…

  30. Ken Moore
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Most sensible going for an election before the voters realise they have been betrayed by Mrs May deliberately going for a car crash brexit designed to render arguments in favour of leaving the EU obsolete.

    Reply Mrs May is going for the only possible Brexit designed to create a global positive prosperous UK

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      To reply: I hope you are right, but then you did support Cameron – falling for his “I am a Eurosceptic” and his “Cast Iron” lies.

      Reply He gave us the referendum which made all this possible

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      JR, you do not know this? She has broken her word, why believe her now? She stated no election, no second referendum. By calling an election she has given both to the remainers! What part of breaking her word do you not understand and why do you not consider this a breach of trust that we should be fearful of? You really need to start apologizing for your leaders lying and breaking their word to the public. Whether it be speeches, statements, manifestos or referendums.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      I hope that is correct Uncle Redwood. It seems that your party leadership is merely playing to the gallery and ignoring the finer details of what Brexit entails.
      We have barely begun to grasp the consequences of a failure to strike a deal with the EU over recognition of existing registrations.

      I say ‘ignore’ but perhaps someone as well briefed as Mrs May already knows her objectives are unobtainable and so will present some kind of perpetual ‘half in-half out’ arrangement as a victory.
      Hers is an exercise in lowering expectations – it wont be long before the talk of ‘taking back control of our borders’ is quietly dropped.

      At some point the leadership will have to engage with the tedious and boring details and conclude that there simply is not the physical infrastructure to deal with the checks that will be involved when the UK becomes a third country. The Eu will be in no mood to set a precedent and make a special case for the Uk.

      I say all of this with a heavy heart – Brexit seemed like the dawn of a new age but I suspect it was just a decision that will be exploited by Mrs May then reversed.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      It seems that the party leadership is merely playing to the gallery and ignoring the finer details of what Brexit entails.
      We have barely begun to grasp the consequences of a failure to strike a deal with the EU over recognition of existing registrations.

      Someone as well briefed as Mrs May already knows her objectives are unobtainable and so will present some kind of perpetual ‘half in-half out’ arrangement as a victory.
      Hers is an exercise in lowering expectations – it wont be long before the talk of ‘taking back control of our borders’ is quietly dropped.

      At some point the leadership will have to engage with the tedious and boring details and conclude that there simply is not the physical infrastructure to deal with the checks that will be involved when the UK becomes a third country. The Eu will be in no mood to set a precedent and make a special case for the Uk.

      I say all of this with a heavy heart – Brexit seemed like the dawn of a new age but I suspect it was just a decision that will be exploited by Mrs May then reversed.

  31. zorro
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Interesting…. Alea iacta est as one might say. There are different ways at looking at this apart from the obvious one which John mentions about (her) wanting a mandate to push through change….. Although, as John has argued extensively on the blog, the British people have already given a clear and comprehensive mandate to leave the EU in the referendum, almost two to one in parliamentary seat terms on the spread of the vote, and there was no necessity to have an election.

    So why now, after continual denials that she was not going to hold an election until 2020? Too much of a temptation with a 20+% lead over Labour? Is it that she doesn’t want to look like the Tory Gordon Brown? Is she unsure of getting through Brexit with the current composition of Parliament even after a massive majority to undertake Brexit after the parliamentary vote?

    Hmmm…. You are always going to have some opposition no matter what. What real difference would a bigger Tory majority make? Well, it depends on who the ‘Tories’ are I guess. It goes back to my old argument when I said that if Cameron had obtained a big majority in 2010 he would not have gone for Brexit or even a referendum. I still stand by that too.

    I think that we have to look where the PM (ex remainer) really stands on the issue and who she is feeling the pressure from either outside or inside her party. What are the chances of a real Brexit (not Brexit lite) if she gets a big majority? Well, it depends what goes in the manifesto. Let us see…. Whose influence/threat might she be trying to wriggle free from?


  32. David Price
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Gutsy call – it will be interesting to see what is in the new manifesto and how rebel tory MPs are managed.

  33. agricola
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I am not surprised and look forward to placing my proxy vote. It could well act as a great cleanser . As to what labour are running on, I would anticipate a lot of badly conceived promises and much hot air. It would also indicate to the EU that they had better take Brexit seriously.

  34. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure this is a good idea.

    Leaving Europe has not proven to be a determiner of votes in a General election in the past, there are a great many leave voters who will never vote Conservative but scared remain voters may decide to vote tactically.

    Many of UKIP’s 4 million votes are as likely to return to Labour as to vote Conservative, Labour’s heartlands remain Labour’s heartlands and the metropolitan hordes still think that champagne socialism or handouts and spending (dependent upon which side of the income divide they sit) is the answer. The chances of the Conservative majority increasing are not as high as the opinion polls would have us believe.

    If the Conservatives’ gamble does not pay off and we are forced by the voting breakdown (hung parliament, reduced majority, coalition of EUphile parties) to go cap in hand to the EU for concessions we will pay a heavy price for rocking the boat.

  35. Oggy
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I welcome Mrs May seeking a new mandate for her Brexit negotiations.
    BUT I fear the next 6 weeks is just going to be a rerun of the EU referendum debate all over again, with the lefty BBC giving much airtime to the likes of Cleggy/Farron and Clark et al and their delusional wishes to overturn the referendum result. – No thanks.

    • Rb
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      The LibDims, Labour or the SNP could get more votes. It is the second referendum. May played the Hegel dialectic with this ‘hard’ Brexit neme. The idea is to play to extremes so the pendulum swings back the way the political elite want it.

  36. acorn
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    El Presidente May, wants an Election (GE) to cull the Eurosceptic wing of her own party.

    Enough Treasury techies have told her that a “hard Brexit”, alias “no deal is better than a bad deal”, is a claim that has not been substantiated; no economic assessment of “no deal” having been done. May is going “soft”.

    As we don’t have constituency Primary Elections to choose a leave Conservative or a remain Conservative candidate – other parties are available – the opposition will have to find another way to turn this GE into a referendum re-run. 😉

    Reply Not so. If she wanted to water down Brexit the current Parliament has a majority to do so with all those SNP, Lib Dem and Labour Remain MPs.

    • acorn
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Alas JR, those MPs are irrelevant. It is the story in the tabloid media that counts with Mrs May’s “executive”. The tabloid media IS the Opposition. The HoC is an annoyance that just has to be dealt with, day by day.

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      No true. If she did so your party would be history and as everyone pointed out there would be a constitutional crisis because she went against the public vote and wish, what rubbish JR.

    • hefner
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Well, now it is to be hoped that the PM can get a nice 100+ Conservative majority, so that the score of Hard Brexit barking dogs are sent back to the doghouse, where they will go on dreaming of WTO tariffs.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink


      Blimey mate your analysis gets worse and worse. The commons is packed with softies , if thats what she wanted she’s already got it. Nope this is going hard all the way. Thankfully

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Acorn – Remain will still be disatisfied, even with a Tory landslide.

      They will say “Look how many Tory Europhiles the public voted for !”

      And “They voted for Rudd/Hammond”

      Soft Brexit it will be then.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 20, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May could find herself up against a reformed Labour Party under a new leader, better capable of pointing out the weaknesses of her Article 50 settlement, ready to provide a lightning rod for public dissatisfaction.

      That being the case, May winning this election could be just delaying the inevitable. To survive, she need to use the extra time wisely, crafting a solution that will ensure we are fully out of the EU by the time she again goes to the electorate with a plan in place that really will reduce migration to the promised ‘tens of thousands’.

      If not the Conservative face being out of office for another generation if they make a mess of this.

  37. John Probert
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Well done Mrs May a True Leader

    The Mandate will be yours

    Watch the rest crumble

  38. oldtimer
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The reasons given by Nrs May for the GE are valid. By the time the two years are up it is important for her, assuming she is re-lected, to have a strong personal mandate to negotiate on behalf of the UK; she will, after all, be up against several other PMs, Presidents and Chancellors who will themselves have been elected in the interim. Not having the personal mandate and bumping up against a GE in 2020 would put her and the UK in a weaker negotiating position, especially with the predicted level of sniping and opposition in Parliament.

    Of course it could go wrong for her. That said, now is probably the only time to go for it while other key elections are pending in several EU countries and the substantive negotiations have yet to start.

  39. MPC
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Tim Farron is still implying we can exit the EU and stay in the EU Single Market. Well I hope you are given air time to demolish that continuing line of argument Mr Redwood.

    My other hope is that after this election and post Brexit, there will be a new political party formed which incorporates the Lib Dems and which has as its primary aim the return of the UK to EU membership. Those of us who campaigned for Leave during the referendum last year will then become Remainers (Remain Out) with our own Project Fear founded on the facts of our actual EU membership and led by Mr Redwood.

  40. Nig l
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Let’s hope the manifesto includes doing something about the amount of money we are shovelling out in foreign aid. Today we hear that we are giving money to North Korea, just the latest piece of nonsense. Any one who has ever had to spend a large fixed budget will know that eventually the levels of diligence weaken just to get rid of it.

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Last budget showed you the Tory manifesto is meaningless.

  41. Caterpillar
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Mr Corbyn negotiating with the EU … I hope this isn’t a bridge too far … polls have not been good predictors, even the Turkish president was pushed closer than expected.

    Will the vote for an early election be won?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      So on reflection, the choice

      A so called progressive coalition of Lab/Lib/Green/SNP/PC negotiating with the EU


      A Conservative Govt with more messy/soft Brexit supporting MPs allowing the PM to not fully Brexit

      Without UKIP taking some Labour seats or the Conservatives selecting only clean Brexit supporting candidates then this is a messy/soft Brexit move by the PM. Can the Conservative remainers be deselected? It is difficult to see any good coming from this, but we will see.

  42. Jack
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Who to vote for when the high-level insiders in the Chinese Communist Party understand economics and aggregate demand management better than all UK political parties?

    Even Corbyn thinks a sovereign currency-issuing government needs to “pay for” more spending with higher taxes….

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      And judging by China’s long term growth AS and productivity as well (low pop’n growth, high saving ratio, spillover investments).

  43. Bert Young
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Tactically the decision to go for an election was right . Theresa ought to win by a considerable margin according to the opinion polls . Were I in her position I would certainly want to have a strong majority in the HoC while conducting negotiations with the EU ; the stronger her influence is seen to be the better .

    The position with UKIP is now interesting . Basically their job is done and we are leaving . UKIP will have to re-align itself to some other appealing cause in order for it to continue to exist . I have voted for them in the past 2 elections because I have no identity with our local Conservative . It probably means I shall revert to voting Conservative again merely to align myself will Theresa and trust she will not have remainer Hammond again as Chancellor .

  44. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I have felt she has had a faultering approach to Brexit but has now made the right decision. Her comments about Westminster today are potent and when the courts became involved with threats of more court action then an election was long overdue. The people of the UK decided on 23rd June, we knew the implications, we knew the potential risks, we knew the likely EU backlash to justify its existence. The Conservatives need a good majority to accommodate the rebels e.g. Clarke, Soubry, Osborne, if they remain as candidates of course.

    The HoL has to be sorted in the manifesto, it has gone beyond a joke.

    The voters of Scotland and N.Ireland need to decide whether UK or EU membership is more important.

    Having 56 SNP MPs disrupting the Commons with their antics and voting on English laws is totally unacceptable. Mrs May should call their bluff with a commitment to granting Scotland independence if SNP win 50% of votes cast in the election, so bypassing any further referendum.

  45. Simon
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I am now beginning to think the PMs “bringing the country together” is code for ditching the Ultras – the likes of Bill Cash and Peter Lilley – and backing us into a Single Market EFTA / EEA arrangement. Not before time in my view. The biggest danger to Brexit are the extremists.

  46. margaret
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    It is the labour party who brought us initially to the brink by spend . spend , spend, make businesses out of state, let in so many people to overcrowd us, ignored British people and made it impossible to have a view without being called sexist , racist etc, thereby pulling our roots out and now when the Tories are trying to do something about it they don’t like it. If an individual spends too much , they don’t get any more money and have to cut their cloth according to their means . Why do the millions of people who have abused our services and have gained control in many areas think they can go on an on without consequences.?

  47. James neill
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Everything is up in the air now..for instance if the young people come out to vote in large numbers then the outcome could throw up a whole differrnt scenario..

    Article 50 is already activated so there is no going back on that now..even if we wanted as the EU is so pissed off with the uk, ukip, tory and rag tabloid press behaviour over the years that it would be impossible now.

    So what needs to be done now is to get the best deal possible for the sake of the country and especially for the young people.. we should realise yhat there are no fairy godmothers out there in the bigger global world waiting to rescue us so all of this talk about new deals in foreign exotic places is only pie in the sky..we have to be realistic and try to make the best deal possible with the 27 remaining countries in the EU.. these are the only countries in our own region, right on our doorstep, and nothing else makes any sense.. also on top of that we have to remember about what the EU leaders have already said that however things work out.. the uk can never be better off outside of the eu than in it….this is the stark reality

  48. Paul w
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    This is very probably the end of the road for boris, liam fox and david david..its very likely that post election there will be a whole new team in place..if yhings work out we are going for a soft brexit..and thats how it should be. At the same time its going to wipe out labour and jeremy corbyn..very clever woman

  49. StephenS
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Five more years of Mr Redwood MP I hope, and a place at the top table one would also hope.

    I expect Labour to be pushed to their low tide mark, and a majority of about 100 at least. The question will be how well Farron fares with his hopeless remain campaign amongst those who are disaffected Labour and Conservative leaning Europhiles-in-denial.

    The unknown at the moment is what Farage and Banks and the other chaps have up their sleeve?

    A good decision with Article 50 notification safely delivered and of course irrevocable under treaty law.

  50. Eh?
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    A convincing and victorious vote for Marine Le Pen in the French elections 23rd April-
    7th May would possibly be the first time the outcome of a French election had a great influence on our own. Of course the EU would be then finished bar the moaning.There would be nothing for Libdems and Labour Remoaners to rejoin. Who knows what they would moan about then

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink


      Oh my God I do hope that for once in their existence that the French people actually do something right for us.

      If the French vote the right way for us then the future of the EU will all but be sealed to Room 101.

      Then what will all the remoaners be talking about, I ask myself?

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I also hope that LA Pen wins but the two stage system makes it very hard for her to win in the second round. The outcome will very much depend on whether the other parties are able to persuade their supporters to vote for their political enemies to keep Marine out of office.

      It would be rather like Mrs May asking Conservatives to vote for Corbyn or vice versa. They succeeded last time but they ended up with Hollande !

      I support her, not because of her economic policies, but because she would bring some realism to Brussels and Berlin that will end the suffering of so many young people who are unemployed, not just in France but all round the Med.

      For France, her economic policies will have a short term positive effect, just possibly for long enough for her to be re-elected but protectionism, the short working week and restrictive employment laws are continually eroding competitiveness against other Eurozone countries, especially Germany and the Netherlands.

      • ChrisS
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        At least a France with a new, devalued Franc and free of the straight jacket that is the Euro will be competitive at a stroke.

  51. Mark B
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    This assumes that she gets her 2/3rds majority. If so, then Labour really are filled with a bunch of idiots who deserve to be annihilated at the polls.

  52. Freeborn John
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I can’t see any advantage to May’s chicanery in calling this election now. Brexit could have been delver during by the current parliament. If it had voted against the EU deal in late 2018 we would simply trade in WTO terms with a clean institutional break. Even if it had voted against or amended the Greta Repeal Bill it would simply have meant parts of EU law would not have been transposed into UK law which is hardly a disaster. Even if May felt differently she could have called an election when the ‘sabeuteurs’ had actually put a road block in place appealing to the people to override the blockers.

    The reality is that this is an attempt to neuter EUsceptic MPs so that she can agree to the compromises on the huge EU exit bill and the continuance of EU law and ECJ jurisdiction and freedom of movement that the pro-EU British press and continental newspapers were signalling last week. There has been no attempt to deselect pro-Remain Conservative MPs meaning there would be a large majority in the next parliament in support of a soft-Brexit that keeps us de-facto subjects of Brussels to at least 2023. It would be better for the 52% who vote Leave if May’s majority is no more than 25.

  53. Antisthenes
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Contrary to my opinions of Theresa May she is turning out to be an impeccable strategist. To date her stated objectives have been delivered as promised and on time. I believe her calling an election now and assuming the opposition parties do not chicken out is well timed and have the makings of a master stroke. However there is still the risk that election votes may not turn out the same as opinion votes but the numbers even if subject to a high margin of error are still favourable.

    It is understandable why she is calling this election. As she and the party are at the height of their popularity and that cannot last as Brexit and many economic indicators are suggesting that the road ahead is going to be a bumpy one. Remainers at Westminster and beyond need to have their abilities to spoil and obstruct Brexit replaced with only powers to oppose Brexit constructively. If she pulls off a spectacular election result for the conservatives I hope she will not use it to implement her more wacky left leaning ideas. Instead to pursue liberal conservatism. Less prohibition, less government, less public sector, more consumer choice, address the culture of dependency and entitlement and so much more that is currently blighting our society.

  54. nigel seymour
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Radio 5 live were taking questions this pm re election. I was dismayed at some of the comments made by callers who wanted a TV debate. Several callers phoned in to say that they didn’t have the time to grasp the issues and that a TV debate would be their only chance to understand what the PM’s message is…the PM pointed out that PMQ’s was held on most weeks giving the public a chance to see exchanges. For all the callers that don’t have time, or intelligence, to understand something less than TV debates I would suggest the following – parliament.uk , Hansard, BBC iplayer, YouTube, IFG, contact your MP, speak to your mum or dad…

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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