How we agreed to leave the EU

I find it extraordinary that people still write in here criticising me for not recommending withdrawal from the EU during the last century. As I have explained, as a democrat I accepted the verdict of the 1975 referendum to belong to a common market. That meant I did not keep on campaigning for a cause which was lost. I did keep criticising the EEC/EUU for moving further and further away from the common market people thought they had voted for. I did with others seek to create an opposition to the EU’s more dangerous and undesirable policies. In the 1980s that meant trying unsuccessfully to stop UK membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, and in the 1990s successfully campaigning and writing books to stop the UK joining the Euro. In the first decade of this century I worked as part of the official opposition to oppose the treaties of Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon which took the EU far beyond the common market of the 1975 referendum.

It was while helping the Conservatives form a Eurosceptic policy and argue the case against the new Treaties in Parliament that I and some others decided we had to help get the UK out of the EU. It was obvious it was going swiftly in a direction that had not been approved by the 1975 referendum and was likely to prove unpopular with the voters. Our task was made more difficult by the Labour government and establishment presentation of all the centralising changes as having no more significance than an edition of the Beano. Anyone who stood against these moves had to be personally vilified and marginalised in case their reasoned objections gained wider support.

The arrival of UKIP on the scene made things more difficult. I had many arguments with contributors to this site, and with correspondents around the country who wanted me to join UKIP. I refused to for two good reasons. The first was I do not agree with all their policies. The second, more important, was that I saw them making the task of getting us out of the EU more difficult, not easier. I explained that there was an easier route than expecting the public to elect a UKIP government. I always thought it unlikely the public would elect a single UKIP MP let along the 330 it would need to do the job of leaving the EU. As it turned out the public did once vote for one UKIP MP in a General election, one more than I expected. He was a former Conservative MP with his own following who promptly fell out with the UKIP leadership who did not like his views on a number of topics.

I pointed out those of us who wanted to leave had to do 3 difficult things. First, we had to help secure the election of a Conservative government. Second, we had to persuade that government to hold a referendum. Third, we had to win that referendum. As things worked out we were able to use the partial Conservative victory in 2010 to good effect. During the 2010 Parliament we built support amongst Conservative MPs for a referendum. When we demonstrated rebel voting strength at more than 100 with convincing prospects of commanding a majority in the Parliamentary party for a referendum Mr Cameron decided to make it official policy to hold one. He saw the strength of our case and realised that we could get the voting strength to replace him as leader if he was deaf to the cause. It was entirely the position inside the Conservative party that we were arguing about to secure the referendum. We did not sit around discussing how to deal with UKIP, as many of us agreed with their main aim of quitting the EU.

United the Conservatives went into the 2015 election offering the important popular vote on the EU. The rest is better understood history.

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  1. Duncan
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    You’re doing an excellent job of work Mr Redwood which no doubt explains why those embittered pro-EU souls feel the need to transfer their grievances onto anti-EU politicians like yourself

    Anti-EU tory MPs have one task. It is to threaten and cajole this PM and her Chancellor to get us out of the EU in its entirety. If the Tories lose the next election and, god forbid, Marxist labour achieve power we may never get to leave the EU.

    Thanks for your efforts

    • John
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      I second that. Thank you Mr Redwood. Your interjections in the Media ensure we are not just railroaded into sitting between two chairs.

    • Judy Spencer
      Posted August 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      I think you sir are doing a brilliant job and my respects to you. However, I do feel that the PM AND her Chancellor need a kick up the backside to get us totally out of the EU. This is what we voted for to Leave….Leave won…now make sure we get Brexit!!!

      • Pauline N Leclercq
        Posted August 31, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes I have been doubting the sincerity of May and definitely her Chancellor and Mrs Rudd. I think they have been stalling on the proceedings for far too long, it is now time to walk, if that does not suit the Chancellor then he can be replaced with J Rees Mogg who has had ample experience in the financial market a very able orator and a keen Brexiteer. He believes in us controlling our own country and not ‘some foreigner’. Can’t someone whisper in Mrs May’s ear? h

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The MSM is enjoying reporting on the misunderstanding over the ‘exit fee’. It should be clear by now to all that the only issue Mr. Barnier is tasked achieve is a substantial number; even Mrs. Merkel is apparently waiting on tenterhooks. It would therefore behove Mr. Davis to make it widely and publicly known that he is happy to discuss ANY topic EXCEPT any gratuitous payment. Surely the lives of the citizens living here, the Irish border, the security of EU nations is more important than mere money….. or perhaps not.

    • Dennis
      Posted August 30, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I heard on the BBC that someone or other is saying that perhaps an exit bill of £36 Billion would be OK. Who is saying that ? The BBC didn’t or couldn’t find out.

      It would seem that JR’s position on this exit bill etc. is unknown among the negotiators – it also seems that David Davis is hardly aware even of JR’s existence as there has been no info here that they have ever been in contact to discuss anything. Am I wrong?

      Reply Yes, comprehensively wrong

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I largely agree with the above, but without UKIP we would never have been given a referendum by the Tories. Furthermore we were only finally given a referendum because Cameron & Osborne thought they could win it. Albeit by sloping pitch, sending out absurd, one sided leaflets of lies and by threatening a punishment budget, should the voters dare not to obey.

    Even now I have no confidence that we will really leave under the socialist ex(?) remainer and general dope May. Surely the Tories cannot limp on much longer under broken compass May?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      May too played a large part in these lies assuring voters “we have of of our borders as we are outside Schengen” she clearly know this to be a blatant lie. Unless by “control” she meant just waving everyone through. As Home secretary she also colluded for years in the “net migration down the the tens of thousands deception”.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Remember,Lifelogic,Madame Mao/May’s relaunch in July just before she went off to trample the edelweiss :- “my commitment to change Britain is undimmed” ,accompanied by an “unprecedented” invitation to labour to help her create new policies.

    • Roger Parkin
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I agree. There is no doubt that but for UKIP and Nigel Fararge we woul never have got a referendum.
      As an aside I worry about these negotiations. Why are we even contemplating a transition period which will give encouragement to the Remainers while costing us billions and what’s this talk of needing the EU to be more flexible. Sounds like flexible = compromise is on the cards.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Of course there has to be compromise. What point negotiations otherwise?

        Reply There doesn’t have to be a compromise. There may be no agreement or one side might give in. The EU would be wise to give up its financial claims for starters.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          But May will clearly cave in. She is not a Conservative, other than one in the disastrous Heath, Major, Cameron mode I suppose.

    • agricola
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      In the 2015 election UKIP reflected the peoples disquiet with the EU and our involvement in it. I maintain that their vote share would have been even higher had not disaffected Tories not voted conservative because they saw the greater evil of a labour /SNP coalition. I was among them. Despite people like me they got 4,000,000 votes. Their lack of subsequent MPs, remember the SNP got 56 MPs with a vote of around 1,500,000, is only a reflection of our totally undemocratic voting system.

  4. Captcha King
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    In addition to the referendum result, the Referendum Act, the vote on Art 50 and the recent general election, we must not forget that David Cameron won an unexpected majority because he offered a referendum.

    How much democracy does Newmaniac intrnd to ignore ?

  5. Mark B
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    In the 2010 GE UKIP gained nearly 4 million votes. Sadly, for reasons better known to UKIP and others, that did not transfer into seats. And in the 2012 Euro-parliament election it won handsomely with the very pro-EU LibDems hanging on to just one seat. Both results showed the depth of feeling in the nation to our continued membership of an emerging Supranational body that was creating havoc for ordinary people. Whether it was to do with mass-immigration, flooding, because the prohibitive costs imposed on dredging of rivers, or the treatment of countries like Greece and its people, people were seeing this behemoth as something they no longer wished to be a part of. And so it was to be.

    Not joining UKIP was indeed a sound judgement. UKIP was, and very still much is, a single issue party, with that issue now won. The problem, or at least the battle, is now to make sure we leave the EU properly and, that we never again are sucked into its grasp.

    The Conservative Party is racked with division and has always been so. Ever since the days of Macmillan, the party has always sought to join the then EEC.

    It had brought into its ranks the National Liberal Party in 1968, including some members who would be very prominent in the EEC/EC/EU debates for decades to come. This little known not often publicized fact is what I believe has led to the splits we have seen.

    Winning the referendum was a shock to most. But I sincerely believe that had we voted to stay in the EU, then the pace of EVER CLOSER UNION would have been accelerated and, sooner rather than later, the UK and Denmark would have come under increasing pressure to join the Euro and share in the burden, much to France and Germany’s delight, of financing the other member countries. Now it looks like we are leaving, they are in a quandary as to what to do.

    Times ahead, at least initially, will be tough, especially if the government messes things up. But long term I see a bright and golden future for the UK. And our host and others, including UKIP, can be proud of this and future achievements.

    Thanks Mr.Redwood MP sir.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Whilst I do not have any argument with you about what happened within the Conservative Party, you surely have to admit that the European election results which were won By UKIP under the leadership of Nigel Farage made your task an awful lot easier.

    Farage was give a huge amount of air time by the media, and captured Social media because he was absolutely clear in his views, he in effect terrified Cameron into listening to some of his backbenchers to promise a referendum which he thought he would never haver to deliver.

    I would certainly agree UKIP could be seen perhaps as a one man, one aim party, but the success of it in getting its points across in a simple no nonsense manner through the voice of Farage can never be underestimated.

    It was the voting system which defeated UKIP, not Conservative policies.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      It is utterly ridiculous to pretend that the impact of UKIP which won more seats and a higher proportion of the votes than the LibLabCon parties, individually, in the 2014 EU Parliamentary election had no impact on the globalists that controlled the Tory Party then and control it now. Cameron gambled that he could forestall a UKIP breakthrough in the 2015 general election, a much easier challenge under our grotesque electoral system, and win a referendum as well by controlling the message throughout the campaign with a little help from taxpayers’ funds and a lot of help from the fake news media. However, whilst some Tory MPs were nattering away on the backbenches, out of sight and out of mind, Nigel Farage focused the minds of ordinary people on the possibility of escape from the nation-wrecking globalist prison which is the EU.

      Reply Not what happened. Mr Cameron was always dismissive of UKIP and never thought they could win a single seat in a Westminster GE.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        I’m not a Farage fan but I don’t think Cameron’s dismissal of UKIP was particularly good judgement and come to that neither was his belief that he could in any way reform the EU and come away with a better deal. Having failed to get any concession at all from the EU his decision to proceed with the referendum was such an awful misjudgement that he can only be described as a hopeless ditherer. Mrs May isn’t fairing much better.

      • getahead
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        “Reply Not what happened. Mr Cameron was always dismissive of UKIP and never thought they could win a single seat in a Westminster GE.”

        John, I still believe that Cameron would not have included the referendum in the 2015 manifesto if he had not feared a loss of votes if not seats, to UKIP.
        We have Nigel Farage to thank for that.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Spot on. How can we call ourselves a democracy when UKIP received nearly four million votes in 2015, more than the SNP, Lib Dums, Greens & Plaid Cymru put together and yet ended up with only one MP?

      It’s a problem for UKIP that voters see them as a one trick pony which they are not. They are the only party proposing to cut the exorbitant aid budget and they are the only party offering fairness and equality to England by cutting the skewed Barnett Formula and creating an English Parliament, something the Tories,, there by the grace of England refuse to do. The anti-English Con/Lab/Lib parties can’t even bring themselves to say the word England let alone propose an end to the blatant financial and political discrimination they are quite happy to see constantly hurled at it.

      • getahead
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Well said Jools.

    • Bob
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink


      “It was the voting system which defeated UKIP, not Conservative policies.”

      entirely agree Alan, and in the last election ukip candidates deliberately stood aside in order to give Tory Brexiteers a clear run, and Mrs May still managed to nause it up.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Totally correct. Winning the European Elections made Cameron offer the Referendum, hoping a future coalition Government with the Liberals would mean he never had to carry out his manifesto promise. Having won by accident he then threw the kitchen sink at keeping us in the EUSSR. We remember Obama, Hollande, Merkel and her finance Minister, the IMF, all the “independent” financial groups who promised fiscal Armageddon, Gideon backed by the treasury telling us of the immediate recession and budget to finance our exit. The independent Government leaflet. All against the English and our National interest. Never again to trust a EU supporting Conservative party who have had to be dragged kicking and fighting to this point with a minority of objectors like our host. Our current fptp electoral system is a throwback to the dark ages to stop true democracy and any hope for new peoples party who are in the national interest.

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 30, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          Robert Michel’s Iron Law of Oligarchy : “Any representative system necessarily divides the members of an organisation into those who give orders and those who get given them,with the former tending to coalesce into a closed caste;there is-and can be-no alternative.”

      • miami.mode
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        But Bob, it was the voting system that gave you the referendum.

        Whilst we can all agree that UKIP and Nigel Farage had a dramatic effect, even the BBC in their report of David Cameron’s speech in Jan 2013 promising a referendum vote pointed out that many of his MPs were pushing him in this direction and this was over a year prior to the UKIP successes in the 2014 European elections. His problem came when he won an unexpected general election victory which must have been partly due to his promise.

        • Richard
          Posted August 30, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          Cameron said during the election campaign that if he was PM there would be a referendum regardless of whether there was a Conservative majority or not.

          • miami.mode
            Posted August 31, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Richard, your faith in a PM of a minority government being able to deliver on all of his/her promises is greater than mine.

      • anon
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        “It was the voting system which defeated UKIP, not Conservative policies.”

        Agreed. Mr C made the best choice he could to remain in power.ot

        What would the point in voting be in the EU? Hardly much point at the moment, given the inbuilt bias of the system to manage away the democratic vote of the electorate.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2017 at 3:09 am | Permalink

        Indeed, but without UKIP we would never have got a referendum out of Cameron and Osborne. We still do not have a proper Tory party just slightly lighter socialism. But perhaps we will now get one – eventually.

  7. APL
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    JR: “That meant I did not keep on campaigning for a cause which was lost.”

    And there you have it!** from, so to speak, the horses mouth.

    Redwood was never ‘anti European Union’ just anti bits of it.

    He was always on board with Edward Heath’s program to submerge the UK into the EU.

    And that’s why the UK independence party, or some other manifestation, was necessary.

    **He would have been on Hitlers side in 1940, ‘there is no point fighting Mr Hitler, he owns most of Europe, the battle for Europe has been decided and much of the BEF has been surrounded and captured.

    We might as well just come to terms with Mr Hitler.

    Reply What unpleasant nonsense. As a democrat I accepted the public’s wish to form a common market. As a Eurosceptic I opposed anyhting that went beyond that aim.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    A tad unfair to UKIP JR – without them the referendum would have been lost.

    It’s not always easy to appreciate what goes on behind the scenes in government, but DC only agreed to have the referendum in an effort to rid the Tories of eurosceptics – and he would have achieved that, again, if it hadn’t been for UKIP.

    Perhaps if the referendum had been lost that would also have changed things – if the eurosceptics had decided to leave the conservative europhiles, and start their own party – that might have been a good thing, but much too late to get us out of the EU.
    There again, eurosceptics were more likely to accept the will of the people, and just like after 1975, they would have stopped fighting!

    With the way that the EU is moving towards complete integration, it is highly unlikely that we would have gotten another opportunity to vote ourselves out.

    I still say that this country badly needs a new right of centre party – I am sick of the way we swing between labour and tory – People vote tory because they know they will fix the economy after labour trash it – they vote labour because of some strange death-wish … this cannot continue, simply because we are becoming more socialist as a country, and at some point the tories will not get back in to fix the economy, because there are not enough rational voters left!
    Aside from that, the left have so villified the conservatives, that a large number will never ever vote for them, no matter how bad it gets under labour – the only thing that would work is a new right of centre party that would give people a real alternative to labour!

  9. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Agreed John that UKIP had and has a long way to go before it can be considered a real threat but you have to understand that many of us desperately wanted to get out of the EU and they were and still are to a large extent the only party that was committed to this cause. This is why people joined. People like myself and friends who couldn’t see any other way of letting governments know what we were thinking and feeling about the subject. Up until UKIP came on the scene nobody was asking the electorate what they wanted. The last vote on the EU was many years ago and another was long overdue. If nothing else, UKIP brought the issue out into the open and we have them to thank for that. At heart I am a Conservative and always have been. I like many of UKIP’s policies but not necessarily the way they go about promoting them. Many of their candidates leave a lot to be desired. They have good views on immigration, are totally against the subsidy sucking green crap and are in line with Conservatism on many other things. I just wish the Conservative party would go back to being conservatives and not try to be many things to all people. There doesn’t seem to be any difference between the parties now. They are all trying to be Mr nice guy and the green lobby seems to have more of a voice than they should have. If UKIP can get its act together or if Farage came back and the Conservatives don’t get on and deliver what we voted for then I can see trouble ahead.

  10. Duncan
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    It is becoming evident to me that the transition phase now being talked about represents a serious threat to our leaving the EU. If Eurosceptic Tory MP’s do not impose themselves and force the PM’s hand then this country WILL NEVER LEAVE THE EU

    The transition phase must be time limited and legislated for. If it’s nothing more than a timetable or a promise then the referendum victory will have meant nothing

    A circumvention of democracy and the wishes of the British people is now underway led by Labour and other pro-EU forces

    It is incumbent upon decent politicians like you Mr Redwood and your anti-EU colleagues to almost threaten to ensure we achieve fulfilment of the wishes expressed last year by a majority of the British people

    • michael mcgrath
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I cannot understand the idea of a “transition period”.

      Surely, the space between Article 50 being triggered and March 2019 IS the transition period

      Let’s just get on with it and make clear to M Barnier that the clock is certainly ticking

      Let us at the same time take steps to find alternate sources for goods currently imported from the EU and customers outside to replace any possible lost volume from EU intransigence. ( I have to add that I am sure that pragmatic British firms are already doing this )

      • alan jutson
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink


        ” I cannot understand….”

        “surely….IS the transition period”


      • John C.
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        As you say, we are in the middle of the transition period, and we are just faffing about, getting nowhere, blocked by an E.U. that clearly does not want us to leave and is therefore making it very difficult to actually negotiate it.
        The “transition period” that is being touted to begin from March 2019 is just a delaying tactic aimed at weakening the resolve of Leavers: a classic case of kicking the ball into the long grass.
        We should not even contemplate it, if we seriously intend to leave. Anyone who supports it is a palpable Remainer, however sweetly they may sing about “making transitional arrangements”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      “Labour Remainers call for permanent transition to reverse Brexit”

  11. Prigger
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you JR for making your position clear, again.
    The BBC in the last day or so says Mr Barnier and his EU negotiating stance is very clear and the UK’s is a mess.”He has told us what we must do! Well that’s sorted then.

  12. Julian
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Ultimately, it was Cameron’s fear of losing seats to UKIP which forced his hand on the referendum.

    Reply Simply not true! I was at the meetings.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      He won an unexpected majority on the offer of a referendum.

      It was a popular policy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2017 at 3:12 am | Permalink

        It was not unexpected to me his majority could have been far better had he promised lower taxes, cheaper energy, less red tape, less EU and far more efficient government. But alas he was not a Tory.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply Simply not true! I was at the meetings

      What was said at meetings and the actual driving force may be two separate things. UKIP gained the most votes in the EU elections in 2014 …

      The UK Independence Party (UKIP) came top of the poll – the first time a political party other than the Labour Party or Conservative Party has won the popular vote in a British election since the 1906 general election …

      Nothing will convince me that this was the driving force behind Cameron who I think it is fair to say was a very committed Europhile offering a referendum.
      Why do you think he did it? A sudden attack of ‘democratic deficit conscience’.

      What I would love to know is why the likes of Cameron are so pro EU.

      Reply He accepted our advice to hold a referendum because we had enough votes to change the leadership of the party!

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, there’s a ‘not’ missing in there. ‘ … Nothing will convince me that this was not the driving force …’

      • John O'Leary
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        Thank you for that JR. It was never quite clear to me why he offered the referendum. The threat of a no confidence vote makes it crystal clear.

      • miami.mode
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Mike and Julian. It’s all a matter of semantics.

        Whilst JR said it was the MPs advice, it was more than likely that some of them were worried about losing their seats and David Cameron’s promise of a referendum was well over a year prior to UKIP’s successes in the 2014 European election.

      • rose
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        “What I would love to know is why the likes of Cameron are so pro EU.”

        I never got the impresssion he was that pro EU. He resented the 40% of HMG time given up to implementing EU directives that were impoverishing and not in the interest of the country. But at the same time he didn’t dare stand up to them and allow the ministers to throw them out. He didn’t enjoy the EU junketing as other leaders do, but he still kept going. He didn’t, in effect, dare to think of coming out, and he thought those who did were fruitcakes and swyvel-eyed loons. A typical “centrist”, which so many in the media and even in the public think a desirable and responsible thing to be. He was very good at that. Not everyone is.

        • rose
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          Because he thought banging on about Europe was unbalanced, he didn’t understand just how many of us there were. I suppose he very rarely came across Brexiteers in Witney or Westminster, to the extent that he would think it normal.

          So he thought it would be a pushover. His mistaken judgement on this led him to take a partial position, which became ever more desperate as the campaign went on. It meant he told the civil service not to prepare, and that meant he couldn’t stay when it all turned out as it did. And that meant he couldn’t execute the decisions necessary which would have spared us the trouble we are now having with Article 50 and the EU mafia. He should have stayed above it all as Harold Wilson did.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        He accepted our advice to hold a referendum because we had enough votes to change the leadership of the party!

        In which case why did you and your colleagues not force him to do a serious renegotiation? If he had gone there with serious, sensible demands – made known to the rest of us – and the EU had told him ‘No’ – he would have been in a much stronger position.

        If one of his demands had been ‘we must be able to limit the number of people moving to our country to mitigate demands on housing and public services’ – and they had said ‘No’ – he would have been able to say, and no-one would have been able to argue – that they would not listen to reason. But, no, the ‘renegotiation’ was all smoke and mirrors. Why was he allowed to get away with it.

        I would have preferred a real renegotiation and staying in to the mess we have now. One has the sense of being in a rudderless boat.

        Reaply We advised him to ask for more but were happy to vote to leave when he came back with so little

  13. Paul Edwards
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Amusingly, ironically, I came to this website in order to sense-check my recollection that you have sneered and jeered at the EU for more than 30 years. As someone who would not style himself either Brexiter or Remainer, but who tires of the remorseless online drone from Brexiters that Remainers complain all the time, I wanted the name of someone who has moaned for a generation.

    Imagine, then, my surprise to see you claiming not to have challenged EU membership since 1975! What a jolly idea! What larks! How come I know who you are then?

    But then you always were good with words, managing as you do to claim Conservative unity in 2015, or that you were simply being democratic in not challenging the 1975 referendum result, and so on. Still, you at least were not guilty of Boris’ fanciful claims or Farage’s weasel insinuations about immigration, I grant you that.

    So let’s give it 10 years. Let’s reassess in 2026 how well Britain is doing outside the EU. It too will have changed beyond all recognition by then of course, so it should be fascinating. And let’s see who gets the last laugh then,

    Reply Why do you bother to come on here to make such huge misrepresentations of what I have said and done?

    • margaret
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Paul . this is not a laughing matter , nor will it be the last emotion shown on world unity . If you persist to change things around and try with you bad interpretation of the English language, you will probably find that these tactics come back to haunt you .
      There are sometimes grounds for a tautological mistake , but you final comment demonstrates you are simply being offensive.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      “So let’s give it 10 years …”

      Actually at the time of the 1975 referendum there was a rumour that if we voted to stay in then that would not necessarily be the final decision, we might have another chance to vote on it after some years. Of course that was a lie.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        42 years qualifies as “some years” doesn’t it?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 30, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          So would 420 years …

  14. Tony Harrison
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Very sound and sensible, Mr Redwood, though it would be better were you to acknowledge the achievement of UKIP/Nigel Farage in raising the profile, the presence, the pressure for a referendum to such a degree that it could not be deferred any longer. Let’s face it: the great majority of Labour and Conservative MPs were opposed to a referendum. Genuinely “EU-sceptic” Tories were always thin on the ground. The Tories collectively spent decades equivocating about the EU and bitching from the sidelines, while doing nothing substantive. Even Margaret Thatcher, the most effective PM in my lifetime, failed to achieve much beyond the rebate – and she signed up to Maastricht. We have UKIP and Nigel Farage to thank for achieving what she and her Party failed to do.

    • Andy
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Maggie had already left office when Maastricht was negotiated and signed.

    • sm
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Actually, Mrs T was NOT Prime Minister when the Maastricht Treaty was signed by John Major for the UK; she commented that he was “putting his head in the fire” by doing it.

    • Bob
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      “Even Margaret Thatcher, the most effective PM in my lifetime, failed to achieve much beyond the rebate – and she signed up to Maastricht. We have UKIP and Nigel Farage to thank for achieving what she and her Party failed to do.”

      agreed, we owe a debt of gratitude to Nigel Farage and his many supporters (like me).

      The Establishment’s reluctance to acknowledge Nigel’s tireless efforts in trying to restore democracy says more about them than it does about him.

  15. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, every single person in UK wants us to stay in the Common Market and to continue as we are because we mostly lead comfortable lives with full supermarkets, lots of cars and most of us in lovely houses. Immigrants do a lot of the unpleasant work for us and although we grumble we are pretty content really (compared with a lot of Africans/Greeks/Romanians/Texans/Venezuelans).
    Nobody wants Brexit to mess this up.
    M. Barnier seems determined to do just that. Mr Davis has nothing much to argue with and Ireland and the “divorce settlement” are not going to be solved either.

    Please could you explain exactly what is wrong with the EFTA/EEA interim?

    Reply we voted to take back control of our borders, our money and above all of our laws. You cannot do this inside the bodies you talk of.

    • Richard
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Every single person? I don’t, nor does my wife. Nor, I strongly suspect, to any of the 85 pc of voters who voted for parties wanting to leave the SM and CU in the last election.

      So not quite every single person. Try again.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      “every single person in UK wants us to stay in the Common Market”

      As you know, Mike, this is utter tosh, in fact not worthy of even that comment.

      “Please could you explain exactly what is wrong with the EFTA/EEA interim?”

      For whose benefit, Mike? Not for yours, obviously, as you will not be coming back to read any explanation let alone argue against it.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Stallard, We wanted to be able to control our borders and hence immigration.

      We are a small country with a small population and if we continue to import large numbers of people from the EU and all over the world (1200m in Africa alone increasing by 30m/year) then our country will inevitably change and we will no longer be “pretty content”.

      BTW, why is it that there always appears to be an organisation or group of people who do not want to see our country govern itself ?

      Last century it was the communists who wanted our country to be ruled by the USSR.

      This century it is the EU supporters who want us to be ruled either by an unelected EU elite and/or by the QMV of 27 other countries – soon to be expanded to 34 other countries.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Speak for yourself. I want the UK out of the EU. I want UK control of our borders, our lawmaking, our trade agreements with other countries – independence, self-governance and trading with the world. We don’t need an interim or any other device which is merely a ploy to keep us in the ant- democratic EU.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      we voted to take back control of our borders, our money and above all of our laws. You cannot do this inside the bodies you talk of.

      So how come Liechtenstein have unilaterally declared what appears to me to be a permanent block on EU immigration using Article 112 of the EEA agreement and have the protocol to prove it. Also Iceland unilaterally used Article 112 to block free movement of capital during the financial crisis of 2008?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 30, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Tiny Liechtenstein has not unilaterally declared any such thing, because of its peculiar, near unique, geographical circumstances it insisted on a specific derogation as part of its original accession to the EEA, and so far it has been able to maintain that protocol as part of the treaty with the agreement of all the other EEA member states.

        The suggestion that the UK could at this stage turn round and say:

        “Even though in the past we have always welcomed uncontrolled and unlimited mass immigration from the rest of the EEA with open arms, we have now decided to unilaterally impose arbitrary annual limits, so in the future we will be repeatedly invoking Article 112 for that purpose”,

        and all the other parties to the agreement including the EU will say:

        “OK, fine, we’re happy for you to stay in the EEA on that basis, even though it flatly contradicts one of the four freedoms we’re all signed up to”

        is quite laughable, as you must know.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


      NO, every single person in the UK DOES NOT WANT TO STAY IN THE COMMON MARKET. What a stupid thing to say. I know plenty of people who are still hoping against hope that we are coming out in full. OUT!! Not in and out, shake it all about. Please don’t speak for me and others who don’t feel the way you do and are seething over the fact that many MP’s are trying their hardest to overturn a democratic vote. It will be a sad day if they manage to thwart the will of the people and politics will find itself in the gutter.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      @ Mike Stallard

      As the cards fall so you must play them and it has been obvious for a long time that the EU has been rapidly heading for its sell by date. Too many countries are facing unrest and financial problems. Have you actually lived and worked abroad? I have and it reads better than it lives in many ways thanks to the tentacles of Brussels only because the people hear what is said and then just carry on doing what they have always done. If you are so in love with the EU emigrate, it is still quite easy but just prepare yourself for one hell of a culture shock.

      Your rose coloured perception of the population being content would suggest to me that you use less tonic or whatever you are drinking ditch it. You are in La La Land.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Well, with a personal history of being not only a member of UKIP but a branch chairman it’s unlikely I will agree that our withdrawal from the EU could or would have happened without the intervention of UKIP … however that is all in the past, against the odds we won the referendum last year and what matters now is that we join together to defeat the traitorous Remoaners who are seeking to neutralise the referendum result.

    I’m not talking about all of those whose judgement led them to voted to stay in the EU, I’m talking about a very small, utterly despicable, extreme minority of that 16.1 million, just those whose primary loyalty is to the EU not the UK, who actively campaigned to deceive the mass of voters and who will simply not accept their defeat.

    The fact that some of these traitors are sitting in our national Parliament is something which will need to be addressed in the future, and especially with regard to the unelected legislators-for-life in the House of Lords.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Denis.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Second that Brian

    • Timaction
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      As a fellow Kipper and campaigner I totally agree. Those in Parliament who still argue for continued membership after our referendum should do the honourable thing and resign. Unfortunately honour seems in short supply in the bubble.

    • John C.
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      I can understand Remainers openly arguing their case, though I oppose them. What I thoroughly detest are the hypocrites who say “We must respect the people’s vote”, and then go on to delay the process, to create obstacles and to twist it out of all recognition, hoping that the verdict will be overturned.
      I’m pleased to see that you too distinguish between honest, open Remain supporters and those whom you describe as “traitors”.

  17. Caterpillar
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    All of this history now seems irrelevant as we move towards a lengthy transition period and expensive exit. The simple, clean Brexit now appears to have been kicked into the long grass with DD trapped between Mr Hammond and Mr Barnier. A leap and a bound escape from this situation is needed.

  18. agricola
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I do not doubt the longevity or sincerity of your EU doubts and eventual outright opposition to most things EU.

    I think you downplay most things UKIP, even though on EU matters they articulated and popularised your own thoughts on the EU. Your strength is in putting the case in an academic sense. Nigel could connect with and put it to the people as a whole. UKIP were very effective particularly after becoming the largest UK party in the EU Parliament. I think it was this, plus dissent in the Conservative parliamentary party, and the flea in his ear from the so called EU negotiation that persuaded Cameron that there was no option but to offer a referendum. My view was that on the EU UKIP were one pole and the Lib/Dems the other. The Conservatives were and still are flaky on the subject while the Labour party are on the dark side of the moon.

    Academic or not you were the only one talking sense this morning on ITV. As you say, the sooner the EU realise which side of their bread is buttered the better. It will be down to the key economies in the EU to tell them as our departure and trade on WTO rules looms. The EU is a church with little responsibility for current life or the after life within the EU countries. They can only talk doctrine.

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    More pointless red tape, costs and misguided nonsense lumped on to companies in relation to pay reporting announced today from this socialist May government. Private businesses belong to shareholders so empower the shareholders with better mechanisms to enable them to control executive pay and fire incompetent bosses far more easily and cheaply. The problem is a failure of shareholder democracy and the the misguided over protection of employees with a legal maze.

    She suggest a public register to name and shame plus a worker’s representative on company boards. What a daft, misguided, socialist dope she is. Such a complete failure to understand the realities of business or economics. In general you should be changing things to ensure fewer lawyers and less red tape, not even more.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Theresa May should concentrate on excessive pay in the largely unproductive (or worse still counterproductive) state sector. She is, effectively, the CEO for the state sector – so what is she doing to stop the endless waste, high pay and general incompetence here?

      This would be far more useful than silly gesture politics and virtue signalling. The more I see of her the more I dislike her silly, left wing agenda.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The post has come early today, and I find that we have a peremptory demand for payment of some uncertain total for various unspecified reasons. It just says:

    “Although you’ve paid us vast sums in the past we think you still owe us a lot more, so we want you to say how much you are willing to offer us in full and final settlement of these debts, which we do not plan to itemise or justify at present.”

    I wonder if anybody could advise: should we just pay up, or should we demand to know exactly what we are being expected to pay for, or what?

    It seems a bit like blackmail, should we take the letter to the police?

    • margaret
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      This is a civil matter Dennis !

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      It sounds more like one of those begging letters to save a dreadful disaster:

      “Please give what you can. We need 100bn euros to save ourselves from complete disaster. We know you can afford it and we are in dire straits if you walk by on the other side.” etc. etc. and suggesting that terrible things will happen to you if you fail to comply.

    • Derek Smith
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Neither, we should simply leave. Then invite the EU to our table to negotiate how much they are prepared to pay us for tarrif free export of their members goods into our market.

  21. Pat
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    But UKIP did get a lot of votes, enough to swing an election if they all went in one direction.
    The truth is that without UKIP’s contribution there would have been no referendum, and even if there had been it would have been lost.
    Of course a bit of grace from UKIP would be nice- no way could they have brought about a referendum or won it on their own.

  22. MPC
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    We continue to be very grateful for all of your previous and current work on strategy. Perceptions of reality matter now more than ever and they are being created by our media and Brussels with its ”the UK needs to be realistic, the clock is ticking” type statements. The Government needs to counter this by moving more explicitly into planned delivery of the arrangements for EU departure assuming continued EC intransigence. So how about:

    – regular press conferences on (contingency) planning for EU departure. These would in effect be plans for a ‘no deal’ scenario if Brussels continues to refuse to discuss future arrangements. They could include updates on trade discussions with other countries and be chaired not by ministers negotiating directly with Brussels but say Amber Rudd and Dominic Raab if not the PM. They would feature strongly in the daily UK media summaries that are no doubt fed to Michel Barnier by his staff.

    – publicity of the principles behind key planned changes, covering matters such as WTO tariff planning, managed migration/work permit principles all wef 31 March 2019; all aiming to reassure our exporters in particular

    – a timetable for the drafting and completion of the relevant changes and Parliamentary discussion/approval

    All this would stop the ‘cliff edge’ scaremongery and increase the pressure from, amongst others, German car makers on their government and the EC. When other EU member states realise we mean business they will see what trade and other risks they face and be more likely to put pressure on their Brexit negotiators to be more collegiate.

  23. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    The 1975 Referendum result was universally accepted, in mark contrast to the legions of Remainers from all sides after the 2016 result. Even in the 1980s it became apparent the UK was a misfit in the increasingly obvious tide towards federalism and unelected elite power of Brussels. I expect you were one of Major’s “bastards” and your challenging him does you great credit.

    I disagree totally with your opinion of the effect of UKIP, they scared Cameron, a very weak PM, into the Referendum. Had he not agreed to it, UKIP would have won seats and GB still been in power. Nigel Farage won the Referendum.

    May, Hammond and Rudd in the key positions of Government, the FO is really becoming irrelevant, is causing this exit farce. You are repeatedly pointing out the facts, we just leave March 2019, pay no exit fee, go to WTO if free trade not agreed.

    Reply Yes I challenged Mr Major, primarily on the issue of keeping us out of the Euro.

  24. Michael
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Well done and let us move forward to an outcome (away from the EU with all its works and pomps ) we know is right for our country free from long term domination by Germany and free to be masters in our own house.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Your comment reminds me of an article in last Sunday’s Sunday Times by Dominic Lawson in which he draws a parallel between what is happening now (trying to make a trade agreement with the Brussels politicos) and what Harold Macmillan tried to do back in 1957 with the original 6 of the EEC. Macmillan “…bleakly asked himself if Britain would now be caught between a hostile America [this was not long after the Suez debacle] and a boastful, powerful ‘Empire of Charlemagne’ – now under French but later bound to come under German control”.

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    JR: “The rest is better understood history.”
    Alas that is not the case. There are many on social media, including well known Parliamentarians who should know better but won’t accept the result, who constantly claim the referendum was only advisory, its result has no relevance, article50 has not been properly triggered, Parliament can change its mind and stop Brexit……
    Clearly much has to be done to stop the anti-Brexit propaganda campaign. I hope that you and your colleagues have given serious consideration to this and are ready to act again.

  26. margaret
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Of course . it was a silly request to join UKIP . You have your own followers in Wokingham who would be upset by anything radical . They see you as a stabilising force.
    In the run up to fighting for Brexit it would again be fatuous to put yourself in a minority position. You have to be in it to win it. That does not apply to the EU though as we don’t want to win it . We don’t want all those internal struggles . We don’t want to be beaten down by those whose only tactic to win is to bring others down . We want our GB to flourish and grow and be in a position to have an impact on the larger world territory .

  27. JoolsB
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I would have thought you would have been an ideal candidate for UKIP John rather than the bunch of socialists and Liberals currently calling themselves Conservative that you are a member of now. For starters, UKIP propose a complete withdrawal of the EU with NO exit fee, grammar schools, an English Parliament, a cut in the foreign aid budget to sensible proportions, scrapping tuition fees for English kids for STEM subjects. All very sensible policies. What’s not to like? What a pity the socialists and Liberals your party is stuffed with don’t have a clue about anything that is fair or sensible for the British people, especially the English.

    The Tories may be feeling very smug because UKIP did so poorly in the last election. Your predictions of them not gaining a single MP is partly to do with the fact they didn’t field any candidates in many constituencies which had pro-Brexit MPs, mine included which meant I had no choice but to vote for the incumbent Tory MP. I (a lifelong Tory) would certainly have voted UKIP if they had put a candidate up because I do not trust this so called Conservative party, stuffed with Euro loving remainers, to do what is right for the British people regarding both Brexit or England.

    • Bob
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink


      “I do not trust this so called Conservative party, stuffed with Euro loving remainers”

      I feel the same way, it feels like they’re dragging their feet on Brexit in the hope that something will turn up to give them an excuse to backpedal and dilute it into something resembling the status quo.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


      Your entry is the best today in my book.

  28. ChrisS
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    After the 1975 referendum it would have been completely wrong to have carried on opposing EU membership. However, the circumstances changed when the EU started serious moves towards the goal of a single European State which we most certainly did not vote for. In my view, at that point the UK leaving became inevitable.

    The only point at which I have disagreed with our host was over the refusal of the Conservative party to do any kind of electoral pact with Nigel Farage.

    Had one been done in 2009 it is just possible that the extra votes of UKIP supporters might just have delivered a right-of-centre government in 2010 with a small majority bolstered by a few UKIP members rather than the LibDem coalition.

    In 2015 Cameron did scrape home unexpectedly but the outcome would have been much more likely, certain even, had there been a modest agreement for the two parties not to oppose each other in a limited number of seats.

    Love him or hate him, given his pivotal role, in changing the course of UK political history, it is a travesty that there is no role for Mr Farage at Westminster.

    Who knows, in those circumstances, May’s disastrous campaign might then have been unnecessary, or at least run differently.

    • Captcha King
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Nor were so many other countries mentioned in 1975.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Never mind, Nige is still raking it in at the European Parliament and of course there is that cushy phone-in show on LBC.

  29. Ed Mahony
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The eurosceptics in the Conservative Party had enough support to trouble David Cameron but not enough support to implement Hard Brexit as the general election result demonstrated.

    Mrs May is now a lame duck with no euroskeptic in the Conservative Party able to win a general election. Only Ruth Davidson can but she’s a remainer.

    Rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater, the euroskeptics should have come to a compromise with the europhiles in the Tory Party, whereby the UK seeks to remain in the EU only as long as we try and reform it – properly reform it – for our benefit and the EU’s. Then we would have got the best of both worlds (benefit’s of the single market and reform), whilst uniting the Tory Party and the country, and we could now be getting on with really important non-EU affairs.

    It’s not still to late. It’s still possible for the Conservatives to unite over Europe – Remain BUT REFORM.

    Reply We are united in wanting out, as recent votes in Parliament have shown

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Let’s avoid the tragedy of ending up with Soft Brexit (and losing our power to reform the EU at at all) with the Socialists in power.

      Unintended consequences of Brexit and a referendum that was called not because of Europe but because of internal disputes within the Tory party over Europe.

      Rather let’s turn it into a comedy, by focusing on the benefits of the EU (businesses certainly think there are), whilst working hard to reform the negatives (and i agree, there are many). But it is possible.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        The Referendum never actually stated clearly whether Brexit was about Hard, Medium or Soft Brexit. I’ve seen lots of evidence from the internet of leading Brexiters talking about a Norway-style Brexit. Things like that. In other words, Soft Brexit.
        A legal case could easily be made that the referendum was insufficiently clear what the referendum was about (in particular, out of the single market or not). And so Parliament takes over to decide how best to proceed for the long-term future of this country.

        Reply. Nonsense. The official Leave campaign made clear we would be leaving the customs union and the single market, as did the Remain campaign who saw that as a negative! It was one of the few things they agreed about, as well as agreeing if we voted Leave Parliament would have to implement that.

        • Oggy
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          What part of ‘OUT’ don’t you understand ?

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            ‘What part of ‘OUT’ don’t you understand ?’

            – You mean Norway-style ‘OUT’?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          To reply: Indeed but will this ever happen give that we have May & Hammond (sort of) in charge?

        • bratwurst
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          Vote Leave did not ever present to the electorate a plan for Brexit, and did not advocate leaving the Single Market.

          Reply It did say we would be leaving the single market, as did Remain

          • bratwurst
            Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            The website is still up. No mention of it. Individuals on both sides made all sorts of claims, most of them lies, none of which can be taken as a formal plan to leave.

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply,
          Ed has given a very good example of the nonsense going around the internet, much of it supported and inspired by traitorous Parliamentarians some of whom are in your party.

        • ChrisS
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Ed : Like the contemptible Clegg and his Remainer cronies, you are either blatantly promoting a lie or you have a highly selective memory of the campaign.

          As you are a valued regular contributor here, I hope that it is the latter.

          In the case of Clegg, it’s clear he’s been lying through his teeth every day since June 23rd 2016.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          The Referendum never actually stated clearly whether Brexit was about Hard, Medium or Soft Brexit.

          The question was whether to REMAIN in, or LEAVE, the European Union. How much clearer do you want it?

          For example. Ghana is not in the EU. Ghana is not a member of the Single Market. Ghana is not in the Customs Union and Ghana pays no fees. (On the contrary, tariffs are raised against countries outside the EU.)

          So, when we LEAVE the EU, clearly, obviously, we will not be a member of the Single Market etc.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            What on earth has Ghana got to do with this??

            Instead of Ghana, focus on Norway, that’s not in the EU, but is part of the EEA, more Soft Brexit than Hard Brexit.

        • tomF
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Yes and the leave campaign also told us about 350 million extra per week for the NHS

          • Bob
            Posted August 30, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            What they actually said was that we pay 350m per week into the EU, “let’s fund the NHS instead”.

            Don’t you agree?

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


          Those who voted Remain voted to support and implement the Five Presidents Report (written before the Referendum)

          Unless of course they did not know what they were really voting for !!!!

          I wonder how many who voted Remain actually read the report which outlined the proposed future of the EU ?

      • Captcha King
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        David Cameron DID try to reform.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          David Cameron DID try to reform.

          Yet he wouldn’t tell us what he was asking for. I guess he knew he would get the square root of nothing so if he didn’t say what he was asking for he could not be taken to task for not getting it. What did he get? Something about not being able to claim benefits for a while? Where everyone knows people that move here from the EU come here to work – and they work hard. They don’t, to generalise, claim benefits.

          Of course what is needed is the ability to restrict numbers – to suit availability of housing etc. But there is NO WAY common sense can enter the EU thinking.

          reply He did ask for various items including freedom to delay paying benefits for 4 years to new migrants which they roundly rejected.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply. Yes John, quite right and so when people say we should stay in a ‘reformed’ EU they are talking out of their backsides. We couldn’t get reform all those years before and DC couldn’t get it so what chance of getting it in the future? Zilch, I’d say while being asked to pay more and more into the coffers of a dubious club.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          Not he didn’t (not really). He basically just tried to get concessions for the UK (he managed to get two as far as i remember).

        • Turboterrier.
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          @ Captcha King

          He did not try very hard then. He did not have a clue to the general feelings of the electorate. He thought he could just swan it and we would support him.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      “Remain BUT REFORM.”

      Surely you’re not still flogging that dead horse, Ed.

      Let me remind you that Merkel reformed the EU, just to her taste not ours.

      “MEPs hail Merkel’s Reform Treaty success”

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      You,in a past post,have claimed to be a historian,what evidence do you have that this-or any other past- Empire or pseudo-Empire could ever be reformed?If they were to compromise on their founding principles they’d be finished anyway.

      Lenin had it better :”revolutions are the locomotive of history….the holiday of the oppressed and exploited”

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        I think the problem with the EU is that everything has happened too soon.
        The euro is a good idea, but it came at least decades too early (and we were right not to join the euro). Same for free movement of people etc … But again decades too early. You can only have these things when you have more parity of wealth across Europe. And you need time to create this parity of wealth across Europe (not by socialism – knocking down – but by capitalism – building up).

        So the EU has to look at what it is doing right, right now. And what it is doing wrong. And then create a pragmatic/realistic roadmap for the future.

        One of the reasons why i’m against too much integration is that you need a strong leader to lead. And you can only have that within a nation state. So i think the EU has to rethink how it can best work together without being too integrated either. It will time / decades to work out. But i think it’s possible, and worth it for the economy, peace and security of Europe.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          My grandfather was shot at by Communists in Spain and by Nazis in France. The war wasn’t just horrible, it also ruined our economy for years (as well as being the final death knell of the British Empire).

          And at the heart of these wars was poverty / economic turmoil. That is why we need economic prosperity throughout Europe. But not just because of peace and security. But also because the more trading partners you have within a single market in Europe, the more your weaker business / companies are protected from more competitive ones outside the single market, in Asia, America etc ..

          But we can only argue for Remain, IF we really try hard to REFORM the EU (for our benefit and the EU’s).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Lastly, the extraordinary transformation of a disastrous, bureaucratic, mammoth, empire-like IBM, into a sleek, high-profitable company, under Lou Gerstner, is a great example from business, about the sort of things that can be achieved. But it does take imagination, ambition and fire-in-the-belly that Mr Gerstner demonstrated in spades.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    This may possibly be of some use to some people:

    “Please use the form below to email the Department for Exiting the European Union. All emails are read and we will do our best to ensure you receive a response. Where appropriate, your email will be forwarded to the government department with responsibility for the matters you raise.”

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Denis. I sent this this afternoon and copied the link to some like-minded friends.

      “Mr Davies has my full support but I’m alarmed at the way the EU is subverting the negotiations. They are saying that every point that gives our side leverage ( defence, security, NI border etc ) cannot be a consideration.

      I urge you to refute all claims for a penal Brexit bill. Both sides have legal advice that there is nothing in the Treaties about any kind of bill. They are getting £9.8bn pa up to March 2019 that’s it.

      The 27 cannot expect us to fill their budgetary black hole just because they haven’t the guts to cut their budget or demand more from the net-contributing countries.

      We may continue with Europol and 1 or 2 other organisations but should contribute no more than a fair share of their direct running costs.

      Finally there can be no role for the ECJ in the UK after March 2019. In order to protect and cement our new status as a fully independent country, Mr Davies should apply a USA Test” to everything.

      The test being : “If the negotiation was between the USA and the EU, would what the EU is demanding be acceptable to the US Government”.

      If not, our answer must also be, to coin a famous phrase, “No ! No ! and No !”

      Would the 27 demand the ECJ overrule the US Supreme Court on behalf of their citizens living in the USA ? Of course not, the very idea would be ludicrous.

      Even President “Back-of-the-queue” Obama would reject the suggestion out of hand”.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink


      Many thanks, have already made a comment.

      I hope they get lots of supporting suggestions for a clean and timely settlement.

  31. Bert Young
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Whether we liked UKIP or not under Farage’s leadership it did its job . Unfortunately it was a “one person” Party ; when Farage pulled out it was gone . The Conservatives had been moved to to left and with Cameron’s leadership and the deal with the Liberal Democrats it put paid to what was a cohesive Party . My local MP was very much a Cameron man and I chose not to vote for him . He is still my MP and he has reassured me ( via e-mails ) that he will support Theresa urging me “to move on “.

    The dilemma today is still the number of Conservative MPs who are basically “remainers” ; in my book they are not Conservatives they are ” Liberalists “; Clarke , Soubry , Hammond and a number of others typify the split that exists . The Jacob Rees Moggs and Redwoods represent the heart and soul of the Conservatives and the sooner others gather around them and initiate actions and policies that they adhere to , the sooner I will like it .

    The history of John’s journey with the EU shows what determination and belief can accomplish ; he – and the others like him , have the best interests of this country in mind . The public responded to this sort of attitude when they voted to leave ; it is now up to Westminster to respect this vote and to deliver our independence and sovereignty .

  32. Remington Norman
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink


    If it is self-evident from reading the EU treaties that the Brexit bill should be zero, why does David Davis appear ignorant of this fact. If fact it be, he should be proclaiming this at every opportunity to M. Barnier and the wider public. From what I read, he is busy negotiating our payment.

    The matter is simple: DD should ask MB to present his detailed bill a) with legal justification and b) a precise calculation of quantum for each demand. Only when a) is found acceptable will b) be discussed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      And publish that detailed bill so that the whole world can ridicule it.

  33. Paul
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    JR, I don’t think it’s ever been in doubt for people that take an interest in politics that you have wanted the UK to leave the EU for some time, you just haven’t been as explicit as a number of other MPs. For example, you were never part of the Better Off Out group and you belittled UKIP strongly during the 2010-15 parliament; as a result, when people think of the most Eurosceptic MPs you were never top of the list. Many of us flirted with UKIP simply because we had had enough of the Cameron/Osborne show – two people who were not fit to hold such high office. Since we voted to leave you have been more vocal and are one of the leading voices providing sound and sensible reasons for us to make a clean break and get out as quickly as possible. Keep up the good work.

  34. Epikouros
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Human and social development at it’s best requires slow and deliberate movement toward goals that are not preset or ordained by the few. It requires experiment to find out what works and what does not and that which does not must be rejected and it needs to be by persuasion not coercion. Examples of progress that has not been by design but by natural evolution which has been highly beneficial are free market capitalism, common law, secularism, globalised trade and civil and political self determination.

    Those things that we build by design because vested interests or misguided individuals and groups tell us we should be because they are in our best interests seldom benefit us at all and quite often do us considerable harm. Examples of which are the EU, socialism, narrow focus progressivism and big state governance.

  35. BartD
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Nothing to say- no comment

  36. VotedOut
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood’s use of the democratic process is correct and laudable particularly give the derision heaped out in the past. Staying the course in the face of that is not easy and is a lesson today’s pro-EU MP’s would do well to learn from.

    Now we have MP’s openly rejoicing at a Labour party policy shift and saying that staying in the EU is now a reality. Some saying ‘rejoice, rejoice’. Just who do these people think they are?

    I am politically of the left, and I will stand by anyone who bats for my country because what we do as a nation should be decided by us and only us. Huge Gaitskell’s much derided ‘end of a thousand years of history’ was not an exaggeration. In 2016 we voted to regain that history. Whatever your political colour, nothing is more important that the ability to govern ourselves as a free independent people. Everything starts from that point. We voted for freedom knowing that there would be a price to pay – there will be a price because freedom always has a price.

    We look to our MP’s to help us stand the course in the difficult times ahead. I therefore wish that those MP’s who still resist the referendum decision would accept democracy and honour the will of the people. I respect their differing view, but they lost the argument and in a democracy that happens from time to time. Attempting to subvert our democracy is not the way and is extremely dangerous.

  37. Peter
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I have not criticised Mr. Redwood’s early stance on the EU. I also think he is currently doing more than his share to promote the leave case in the media.

    Unfortunately our main players are not doing likewise.

    It seems a bit like the early days of negotiating to join ‘The Common Market’ only with a different Frenchman constantly saying ‘Non’.

    I am getting tired of all the foot dragging.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      The “Frenchman” was probably right when he said:

      ‘England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her interactions, her markets and her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has, in all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions.’

      Although at the time it was taken as an insult…

  38. PaulW
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Looking back is all very well but we have a real present day situation now that we have to deal with. The nation is divided like never before and with all the uncertainty about we are not helping ourselves or business or anything else.

    So what to do? We’ll have to face up to these talks in a real sense and not waste too much more time. Surely by now the bones of the EU migrants and the Irish border could be formulated and that would leave agreement on the mechanics for working out what is owed for our departure. The final figure can always be offset against anything else we may have to pay during the transition period- i’m sure i could work it all out myself in an afternoon. It’s time to get this exit business out of the way so we can start discussing the future.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      “The nation is divided like never before”

      Is it? As I understand the current position, although the referendum vote was close the great majority of the nation promptly decided to accept the result and they just want the government to get on with taking us of the EU. On the other hand there is a very small minority whose primary loyalty is to the EU, not the UK, and who do not believe in democracy, who are trying to neutralise the result of the referendum.

      “It’s time to get this exit business out of the way so we can start discussing the future”.

      This “exit business” is only in the way because the EU has chosen to put it there, without any legal basis in the treaties and against all common sense.

  39. ian
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    There is no agreement within the con party to come out of the eu, if there was, the uk would already be out of the eu after the ref vote. Triggering article 50 was not needed to leave the eu, Wasting time and the triggering article 50 was poly by the con party for it MPs who wanted to stay-in, and to give them a chance to change the vote by the public for out. The party is more important to con party MPs than anything else apart from being globalist to further their own goals with companies and the elite.

    Reply Not true. We had to design a twin track process, as under the Treaty we could have been taken to an international court if we renounced it without going through the Article 50 process that the Treaty specifies. Like you I want out asap, but we need to do it in a legally watertight way.

  40. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Why doesn’t Mrs May say, and keep on saying, we are paying nothing. The whole time she dithers on the issue gives the EU hope and expectation she will cave in and the opportunity to keep pressuring.

    Not good negotiating. Indicates weakness.

    • lp
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      We paid to join, paid to stay, pay to leave and will be asked to pay to remain out of the EU. Notice any pattern?

    • miami.mode
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      TP, if Mrs May did say we were paying nothing and we ended up paying even £1, then she would look foolish and weak.

  41. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Regardless of what is thought of UKIP,without the input of Farage there would not have been a referendum.
    UKIP wiping the floor at the Euro election was the catalyst for Camerons decision to hold a referendum.
    He was confident that he would win having the majority of Parliament behind him together with the BBC and Establishment.
    It is a testament too the common sense of the UK people that despite project fear we won.
    I will repeat that if after March 2019 we are still in the single market and customs union and paying tribute to Brussels the Tories are finished as a serious party.

    • Andy
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      I agree with you that it was because of Farage that Cameron conceded a Referendum, and I am sure he will go to his grave bitterly regretting that he did so. I am also sure that had the fight been a fair one, with less ‘Project Fear’ and Remain actually explaining the case for the EU, the majority to Leave would have been far greater than it was. For myself, seeing what the EuroZone have done to Greece and the suffering inflicted on the Greek people (and my many Greek friends) with callous indifference has turned me into an implacable enemy of the EU and all its wicked works.

  42. Oggy
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The Labour party fought the GE on a manifesto of leaving the single market and customs union, they have now changed this policy which negates the legitimacy of the elected Labour MP’s including my own. I have written and voiced my strong protests to her as to this change of policy as 65% of my constituency voted to leave the EU. They are likely to lose thousands of supporters.

    A Parliament that doesn’t listen to the people they are supposed to represent is just a dictatorship. Is this My Corbyn’s drive towards his beloved Venezuela ?

    Why doesn’t the Tory party take advantage of this change of Labour policy and drive it home to the British people that the Labour party is blatantly ignoring the result of a democratically held referendum, – oh I forgot the Tories are all still on holiday.

  43. lojolondon
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Full marks to you, John, I was one of those who wanted Eurosceptic MP’s from both sides to sign up to UKIP to force the issue. I was and remain concerned that 80% of the British public now want Brexit but most MP’s are opposed to it and only following the motions because compelled and completely against their own instincts. As things stand you went about this in a way that has proven to be absolutely correct.

  44. Anna
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The attitude of the EU to these negotiations come as no surprise to me. They were predicted in every detail by Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, himself a victim of EU misrepresentation, negative briefing, attempts to divide and rule, prevarication and delay. It is quite chilling to see these disgraceful tactics coming to the fore again. We must not allow ourselves to be bullied like Greece was.

    Mr Barnier’s complaint that the UK position is ‘not clear’ suggests that what he really means is that the UK is not saying what he wants to hear: the offer of a large sum of money, which he knows we have no legal obligation to pay, in return for trade talks. It is nothing short of extortion. The UK needs to follow Varoufakis’s advice and refuse to succumb to this gangsterism. He advises making a generous and firm offer to EU resident in the UK and then walking away, on the moral high ground.

    • Andy
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I don’t like Varoufakis at all, and you should hear what my Athenian friends say about him many of whom know or have met him ! But I have to say that in this he is right. The EU are doing exactly what he predicted they would do, so perhaps a way forward is to lay a position on the table and then leave. The EU will never negotiate in good faith, honestly and fairly, so there is no point in expecting anything other than what we have now. So lets prepare for a ‘No Deal’ out come.

  45. ian
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The vote by the british people was watertight, and taken to court for what, on going payments or settlement of a bill which is not in the treaty, please explain yourself. Anyway it would of not of been the eu who would of taken the uk to court, it would been the uk MPs and own british people who would been taking the gov to court, as you have seen over the last year.

    The article 50 was a provision put into the treaty later on, so that if a country wanted to leave the eu it could use article 50 if it want to, but it did not say that the country leaving had to use the article 50 of the treaty, and that that would be the only way of leaving the eu, and you know it, your a party man and that all there is to it. As it happens i don’t care if you are in or out of the eu, because i know it will not make much difference for the people of this country, because MPs in parliament are nearly all globalist, and want more green crap and more migration with the dumbing down of it own people.

  46. BOF
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with LL. Without UKIP there would never have been a referendum and left to the Conservative party there would never have been any hope of leaving the EU as they are seemingly incapable of electing proper leadership. I have the greatest respect for our host but give credit where credit is due. And do not overlook the millions of votes brought to the Leave cause directly from UKIP.

  47. PaulDirac
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    We were fortunate that the juxtaposition of a sizable conservative Eurosceptic “faction” and a huge wave of popular support for UKIP, more or less forced Cameron to give us the referendum.
    I for one, fully support you and your colleges in your efforts to ensure that we get a well defined BREXIT on March 2019

  48. Fizzer
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    UKIP deserve some credit for forcing Cameron’s hand on the referendum as do some Conservative MP,s as Mr Redwood points out. The most pressing issue now is not to cave in to the EU,s ridiculous demands & threaten to walk away unless some common sense is brought to the table by Mr Barnier et al.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


      Well we know one man who wouldn’t cave in to Barnier et als demands don’t we?


  49. ian
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Con party MPs Rudd is leading remainer in the cabinet and party, looking to take over from mrs may to keep the uk in the eu, May leaving office in aug 2019, if the uk is not out the eu by then, and rudd wins the post of PM and leader of the con party, brexit as you know it is over for good.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink


      God, I hope Rudd doesn’t get elected. She’s worse than May.

  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I think most people in this country realise and accept we would NEVER have been given an in/out referendum by the Tory or Labour parties. UKIP forced the Tory Party’s hand.

  51. Shieldsman
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Dennis Cooper, it is blackmail. Barnier wants Davis to offer a very large sum of money towards an unstated claim. The media are having a great time printing figures supposedly leaked by Brussels officials based on future planned but not committed EU expenditure after we leave. Barnier not having made any justified claim can say any offered amount is not enough, I want more.

    On the Irish border Barnier says there is a problem, drags in the peace agreement and wants the UK to offer solutions to his problem. Yes, it is his problem, an EU problem created by their saying as a third country an external EU border now lies between Eire and UK (Northern Ireland). The map delineated non active border is the result of years of painful terrorist clashes being overcome and peaceful settlement agreed by two neighbours. The two Countries want to maintain the statis quo, it is Barnier and the EU he represents that prevents it.

    Has Brussel’s ever offered a relationship for the UK outside of full EU membership, I think the the answer is NO, NON.

  52. Prigger
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Am I alone in thinking it extremely odd that before and after a few hours of two sides negotiating trade deals and other multi-national and bi-lateral relationships that they have a mini-joint press conference and then someone like Juncker makes a person/professional statement pouring cold water on everything? Not to mention a weirder and weirder media on OUR side saying how bad our own position is and with an Opposition main party accepting everything our opposite number in the trade deal wants before negotiating begins? This is a total farce. We should walk out of this BBCEULabour Party discussion and tell the EU if they must negotiate with our government alone.

    • rose
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      As the BBC presenter blurted out to Frank Field: “We only say what the EU tells us.” Two days ago?

  53. LizzyD
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    If trade negotiations are dependent upon a large sum of money paid to the EU, how is this different from a bribe? Bribes are surely frowned on by all the high-minded folk among those now backing ongoing membership of the SM and CU?

  54. Freeborn John
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I just re-read the final 2 chapters of your book ‘Stars and strife’. As in 1st reading it is surprising that you were arguing against EU withdrawal in 2000/2001 fully 26 years after the 1975 referendum with the benefit of hindsight as to how the EEC has morphed into something not on the ballot paper in 1975. The penultimate chapter on Uk membership of Nafta still serves as useful today though and I hope Liam Fox has a draft accession agreement in his briefcase ready to be implemented before the next US election.

  55. Original Richard
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    “The arrival of UKIP on the scene made things more difficult”

    Mr. Redwood, whilst I thank you for all your efforts for many years within the Tory Party to persuade your party to hold an EU referendum and the winning of this referendum I do not think it can be denied that UKIP’s winning of the most MEP seats in the 2014 EU elections must have had a positive effect.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:07 am | Permalink

      It showed the UK political landscape’s tipping point, that point which a party needs to reach before it is a threat to the whole system. Four million votes .
      Of course UKIP kicked its “People’s Army” in the teeth as soon as the MEPs were elected. Now UKIP MEPs are getting a similar kick in the teeth. No MP jobs for them. No Lordships. The dole!

  • 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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