We will leave the EU in March 2019

The Prime Minister made some good things clear. We will leave the EU in March 2019. We will not stay in the single market or customs union. We do not want to be in the EEA. We do need to be free to pass our own laws and to negotiate our own trade deals.

She also made a very generous offer to the rest of the EU. The UK will stay engaged and helpful to EU on security and defence matters come what may. The UK will happily allow continued tariff free access to the UK market on similar terms to today if the EU reciprocates. The UK may stay in various spending programmes and make a continued financial contribution to them if that makes sense to  both sides and if the UK will continue to benefit. Programmes like Erasmus and the work of the EIB may be what she has in mind.

More nuanced language was used for the passage on an implementation period. She rightly said this should be as short as possible and must have a final date. It remains difficult to know if we need such a thing, as that will depend on whether there is an Agreement to implement.  The issue of money remains sensitive on  both sides. The PM made no express offer of  cash, and stressed that budgets have to be talked about alongside trade and the future relationship.

I remain of the view that we owe them  nothing and we do not have to pay for a free trade deal. That is so much in their interests that there is still the chance they will come round to wanting it. We have always accepted we owe them contributions  up to the date of leaving, which will deliver them an additional  £30 billion ( rough estimate) between June 24 2016 and March 29 2019.

In the meantime the most important thing the PM said was Whitehall is charged with the task of getting everything ready to leave without a deal. There can  be no successful negotiation without the EU understanding  no deal is a feasible option. What matters now is the response of the EU. The UK needs to stop negotiating with itself and concentrate on selling a good deal to the other side, as the PM sought to do today.

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216 Comments

  1. David Price
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Where was the generous offer to the people of the UK, especially those who voted to leave?

    Instead there is an offer to generously pay the EU for some undefined period and to defend Europe for some undefined period.

    No matter how much you put lipstick on this it is still a pig, it is still a sell-out.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s not gone down well with Leavers if the internet is to be believed.

      I think this is the last Tory government.

      They deliberately sabotaged Brexit by puting someone in charge whose heart was not in it.

      General election please. We may as well have Corbyn now and get it done with.

      • Hope
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        JR, this is another delay tactic, another obstacle to change our minds. There was nothing in her speech for leavers. Hammond, May and Rudd lost the vote why is there still a persistence to remain tied. Joint say over EU citizens rights does not sound independent or sovereign nation to many of us. Do the the other 160 countries have such terms imposed to trade with the EU? Her position on immigration utterly useless. She thinks an island is unable to easily control orders migration ! Is she really that stupid? Look to Australia, they mange perfectly well.

        Remainers still want us stop leaving, Labour has also said this. EU commentators and French PM say U.K. Could rejoin. This was clearly another delay tactic to allow this to happen! During the transition when the election will happen what stops Labour keeping us in? Nothing.

        No deal better than a bad deal. May confirms a bad deal even if the EU accepts. You need to get her to walk away or better still she walks away and a leaver appointed PM.

      • Anon
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Corby and his bunch of extreme left wing buddies are not the answer, nor could they negotiate a good deal to leave! The only person to express clear thoughts on such matters ( and I’m not a UKIP supporter) is Nigel Farage, who does not stand for the bs from the obnoxious Eurocrats!

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Clearly there is no answer.

          A shattered country is the result.

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      David, you are right, this is a sell out. The problem is the Tory government doesn’t think it is.

      The UK civil servants who have put May up to this have 45 years of failure at negotiating with the EU. We should NOT offer concessions to the EU as a negotiating tactic. It doesn’t work. It never has. There is a cultural chasm of mutual incomprehension between us and the EU. Now, to them, we look weak, incompetent, amateurish and losers. So that’s what we are.

      But the Remains need to remember that since they haven’t accepted our vote, why should we accept theirs? Democracy is regime change without a civil war.

      • Hope
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Did Blaire get anything for giving back our rebate, no. Did Cameron get anything from his alleged negotiations, no. The EU is used to the U.K. Deferring or capitulating. Cameron did on many many occasions despite his bluster.

    • Javelin
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      May is not wise enough to know that appeasing enemies loses friends.

  2. Edward2
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    A good speech especially when you consider the current political position of the Government
    The speech also puts the spotlight back onto the EU to react and for them to demonstrate if they are willing to be positive in order to construct a good deal for both parties.
    I predict the EU will not react positively.
    I hope more UK citizens will begin to realise that the EU has no intention of doing any deal.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes I agree, the EU clerks will never agree terms with us, however we have been positive and therefore our stock with the nations of the EU should be good, which allows us to go around the EU bureaucracy to talk directly to those that have the votes.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the chink of light.

      I hope you’re right, Edward.

      All my other comments were in haste.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      They’ll keep her on a string.
      Smart she isn’t.

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I think you missed hearing a few things:
    Our laws. Not taken back under our control until at least 2021.
    Our borders. Open to any EU citizen to register and stay here. So not taken back under control.
    Our money. Still subject to whims of the EU “27” who could legitimately move goalposts in any way they wished…. They could implement a laws in April 2018 which would be contrary to our interests… conscription to an EU Army anyone?
    Not what we campaigned and voted for.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      The while point was to leave and take back control, not leave and still be under control.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:06 am | Permalink

        Exactly, “leaving” in name only, but without any of the advantages of leaving. This while still paying a fortune to them. A kick in the teeth for leavers from May.

        When May said Brexit means Brexit she clearly meant a totally fake Brexit. This hopeless socialist woman (and dire electoral liability) must go, and go very soon indeed.

    • brian
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Paranoid comment.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        No, not paranoid. Just realistic.

  4. Chris
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    We will not be allowed to negotiate our own trade deals during transition, I understand.

    I believe the EU will not accept the terms in the speech, but will keep May, as now, on a long string, in the hope that in the end people will be so fed up they will accept rejoining. The transition gives the Remainers lots of time and opportunity to do their worst, and that includes people in the Cabinet, I believe.

    This is not a good day. The situation drags on and on, with a weak (in my view) PM at the helm. The country deserves much better.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      The country deserves much better.

      Not really.

      The cities are awash with freshers’ vomit and a couple of ferals have just been prosecuted for having sex in Domino’s.

      40 years of ‘progressiveness’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed we must, at the very least, be able to negotiate our own trade deals and to get rid of the common input tariff.

      May is not just weak, she also has a compass 180 degrees out on nearly every single issue. The only positive thing about her is that she is not quite as dire as Corbyn.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      As I understand it been accepted by both sides that we can already negotiate trade deals, but we cannot conclude them and have them come into force.

  5. Tabulazero
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Liam Fox is out of a job until 2021. There are some obvious cost cutting measure there.

    • zorro
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Haha you should be a comedian 😏 Remember to put on the clown face 🤡 and the big boots….

      zorro

  6. mickc
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    “Gutless May bottles it” Would seem an appropriate headline.

    She hasn’t yet realised that Germany….sorry, the EU has no goodwill towards us and no intention of trying to be reasonable.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:14 am | Permalink

      Exactly I do not think she is capable of seeing reality. Hopefully the EU will be so unreasonable that even May will finally wake up and get real.

  7. agricola
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    After 29th March 2019,

    1.
    Do we begin controlling immigration from the EU
    2.
    Are we still subject to the dictats of the ECJ
    3.
    Forgetting about the shared cost of any ongoing arrangements, will we be expected to pay a nett £10 Billion per annum for as long as this so called transition period is in operation.
    4.
    Does the transition period assume that we have a trade deal in march 2019 or are we still going to be working towards it.

    She said lots of logical things ,but I believe that the EU negotiators are of a mind set that will block tariff free trade just because many of the other 27 might decide to follow the UK ,if it is made to look easy. The negotiators are more interested in holding the rickety EU together than doing the logical thing on trade . Their reaction in the next month will define the outcome, consequently we must be prepared to bale out.

    • agricola
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      A further question. Will we be free to sign up trade deals around the World on 30th March 2019 or do we have to wait until 2021.

      • Paul Churchill
        Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        2021. 2027. 2045

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Bla bla bla long grass bla bla bla

  9. getahead
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Stay on her case, John. The “transition period” is a sell out to Hammond and his chums.

  10. Dave K
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Mrs May seemed to also accept that the “implementation period” could take up to two years and that during that we would continue with all the EU rules. To me this meant we stay attached with no say and still allow free access and pay. I spit my coffee out when she mentioned allowing time for such things as IT systems to be set up and working. I’d better bury a time capsule for my GG Grandkids then. Maybe The 2100 Climate Change episode of Blue Peter can do a feature on it.

    To play Devils Advocate, you could say that the EU have another 18 months to drag talks on and then we leave (but not really) and then we have an election and change our minds. This is playing into our (and no doubt about this now) enemies hands.

  11. Paul H
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    “Neither is the European Union legally able to conclude an agreement with the UK as an external partner while it is itself still part of the European Union.”

    Is that true? You can make an agreement contingent on future events. After all, Remainers keep telling us we are still a sovereign state.

    • Mark
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      It means that deals cannot be negotiated on Article 207/217/218 terms until we leave. But we are much better to secure our deals on Article 50 terms, whether that is concluded before or after we leave. The difference is that Article 50 only requires a simple majority in Europarl and a QMV in Council, whereas an Article 207 agreement can be subject to much more exacting terms of agreement, such as unanimity and the approval of the Parliament of Wallonia.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Apparently the UK government has accepted that it is true, and they have now done that publicly without commenting that if it is indeed true it is utterly stupid.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    It is now nail biting . Barnier has already responded in very guarded tones and the friends I have already consulted share my view that Theresa has lost her proper leadership role . Friends include a university Don , a Property Developer , a Medic and a retired Civil Servant .The public – except for the City ones ,have expressed that they want out with dignity and expect to relish in the opportunity of a new won freedom ; no-one thinks that we will suffer from trading with the world .

    Hopefully this response will not be ” moderated ” – unless it is for a justified reason .

  13. Ian Dennis
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    “We will leave the EU in March 2019”

    Not in any meaningful sense we won’t.

    May has sold out.
    She had to decide who runs Britain and she has decided that it is the EU.
    I see no further need for the Conservative party.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Nor any party, or Parliament.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      If the EU treaties no longer apply to the UK then the UK has left the EU. That is not to say that the new treaties replacing the EU treaties will be what we want.

  14. ian wragg
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    ……an implementation period of up to two years under current EU rules and structures….. that sounds like a straight forward extension of EU membership which pushes the exit date to March 2021. That means we will be paying an extra £28 billion into the EU for absolutely nothing.
    What happens in the implementation phase, do we gradually slip out of programmes e.g. CFP or CAP or does the so called “cliff edge” become 31st March 2021 when we will need to have a further implementation period …………….and so on ad infinitum.
    Barnier has no incentive what so ever to negotiate. Our only salvation will be to crash out on 31st March 2019.

    • Mark
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      If the EU deem it to be an extension of membership it would require unanimous approval in Council – and a formal agreement from the UK (would that be a second referendum??) – in accordance with Article 50(3). That opens up the Remain can of worms, and you can be sure Selmayr will push for it. Moreover, since it requires unanimous agreement, I would not expect the EU to make a generous offer if this is read as wanting to remain via the back door. I would expect a far worse deal than we have already.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      If the EU treaties no longer apply to the UK after March 29th 2019 then the UK will no longer be a member of the EU. Of course a new treaty could impose similar legal constraints on the UK without the UK being a member of the EU.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Some people are already questioning whether we will really leave the EU on March 29th 2019. My view is that according to the current plan accepted by both sides we will indeed leave the EU then, in the strictly literal sense that thereafter the EU treaties will no longer apply to the UK. However there must be some doubt about the degree to which we will still be treated as if we had not left the EU.

    Provided we can be absolutely sure that it will only be for a maximum of two years – for some things it could even be less – I am not too concerned about that. However I become very concerned when I hear various politicians mooting that it could be forever, and the supposedly temporary transition could become the permanent end point.

    • Chris
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Regarding your last sentence, that is exactly what the Remainers in government, and some mandarins have apparently worked for.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        It must be written into the transitional agreement that it will terminate on some defined date and under no circumstances can there be any extension of its agreed duration. That would at least throw it back to the UK Parliament to approve any treaty to amend that agreement so that it could continue beyond the set termination date.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Can’t see how this transition period can work.
      Say the EU decides a maximum power output of, let’s say, 50 watts on air hand driers, and Mr Dyson’s products output 51 watts versus the continental competition at 49 watts then Mr Dyson is out of business in both the UK and Europe. The UK, not being part of the EU, has had no say in that decision, and neither have we been able to negotiate trade agreements elsewhere. A trite example but this could be repeated across all sectors. VAT rates on product s where UK is strong could be increased here and in the EU because we still need to comply.
      This hasn’t been thought through.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        If Mr Dyson wishes to sell his vacuum cleaners anywhere in the EU then he will have to conform to current EU standards, and that is true whether or not the UK is part of the EU. As I understand the UK will continue to apply the EU standards in its domestic market for some period after the UK has left the EU and so during that transitional period Mr Dyson will be faced with the same standards in the UK as in the EU, and it will only be afterwards that the two may diverge. In his case, it may simply be that some higher powered models which he could sell in the UK could not be offered for sale in the EU.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          You’ve misunderstood.
          The EU could unilaterally change the rules during the transition period to disfavour Dyson in the EU (and therefore here). Johnson has picked this up.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 24, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            a) It is still subject to negotiation whether any changes made to EU rules during the transitional period will apply in the UK.

            b) If it is only a two year transitional period then there will not be a lot of changes to EU rules.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Agreed Denis,

      If Mrs May’s speech triggers trade negotiations NOW in parallel with the separation negotiation, then may be she has achieved something.

      But, if it doesn’t and Macron’s statement seems to suggest that [the EU need more details!!!], then it’s “no deal” and we should walk away now.

  16. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Whitewash Mr Redwood. Self deception Mr Redwood. Naive Mr Redwood. Party before country Mr Redwood.

    We’ve transfered all EU laws to UK law. She now wants a treaty which adopts all EU rules and regulations into UK law. We are to take note of ECJ rulings.

    Doesn’t seem as if we are going to get out.

    Ted Heath took us in under lies and deceit. Mrs May is deceiving us in a pretence of getting out.

    • McBryde
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree with you, Prangwizard. We’re being deceived. This is no democracy. Democracy is a all pretence now.

      I don’t believe we’ll leave the EU without a serious fight. And what if the Cons have written themselves out of the script? …. UKIP resurrection?

      It’s depressing to watch the people of this nation getting slowly deceived by people we elect who apparently have other objectives in mind. Who are their superiors, and what is their reward?.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:23 am | Permalink

      Indeed the last thing we want is all the EU laws the advantage of getting out is to get rid of all the red tape not incorporate it into UK laws.

      As you say:- Ted Heath took us in under lies and deceit (and without any voter’s consent) and Mrs May is deceiving us in a pretence of getting out.

      Heath and May have similar misguided economic policies too.

      As Mr E Powell put it:- Does my right hon. Friend not know that it is fatal for any Government or party or person to seek to govern in direct opposition to the principles on which they were entrusted with the right to govern? In introducing a compulsory control of wages and prices, in contravention of the deepest commitments of this party, has my right hon. Friend taken leave of his senses?

      Why is no one asking this of the wages and price controls May Bot.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      It’s more that you’re being deceived by the media.

      For example the Telegraph headline:

      “Brexit delayed to 2021”

      is just a lie, and a despicable unscrupulous lie at that.

  17. Chris
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Latest update from Guido: (my capitals)
    “….The speech is also reopening the old Leaver splits from the referendum, with the Leave Means Leave crowd (which includes more hardline Tory Brexiter backbenchers) saying:
    “We are deeply concerned that her proposals could lead to nothing changing either during or after the implementation period – which will go on for an undefined amount of time. There is no reference to being able to deregulate, sign our own trade deals or control our borders.

    This is a rebadging of the status quo and is BREXIT IN NAME ONLY. In reality, this means we are still members.

    The Prime Minister should have explicitly committed to a no deal option and the Government should be planning for it. She has FALLEN FOR THE TRAP laid by senior civil servants, the Treasury and the CBI.”

  18. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Leaving 2019 is not what is being reported in the papers.

    In the meantime Remain will up a gear to ensure we stay in the EU – hoping for the Brexit down turn.

    They will, however, be unable to keep the bad news coming. Mass immigration via Schengen and atrocities.

    I do not think I was conned by Leave in the referendum and nor does one single Leave voter I know. So why are we here ?

  19. Simon
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    You never previously contemplated any payment beyond the leaving date at all and you know it. Or any future payments for any reason.

  20. alan jutson
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I viewed the speech and though for a change Mrs may seemed to have some confidence in delivering it..

    Not so sure about us having to possibly look and European Court of justice decisions when our Courts come to a deliberation, as that will give Eu Citizens super status over and above our own citizens (unless of course I have misunderstood what has been said)

    Not clear on how this so called transitional period operates either, do all elements of us leaving (which includes the transition arrangements) have to be finalised before spring of 2019 or do they drag on beyond that deadline.
    If they drag on beyond the original deadline then we are removing the time pressure for a settlement, which is not a good idea in my view.
    Especially as the EU workers are just beginning to realise they may be out of work if we leave without a sensible deal. It is being reported that they are just starting to put pressure on EU Country Governments.

    Pleased she still thinks no deal is still better than a bad deal, even if it came out in the question and answer session.

    No Doubt the Eu will try to dismiss it all, and talk it down, just like some of our so called reporters, time will tell.
    Its a wonder this Country does as well as it does, given those who constantly want to talk us down and volunteer to give our money away.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I think May’s chain around her neck summed up perfectly the state she’s put the uk in. I couldn’t see the ball it was attached to but it’s there.

      The EU thinks it has us on a bended knee and our leaders our lily livered, it’s the same sort of defence abused women make when they decide to give their partner a reprieve.

  21. Tabulazero
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    How incredibly generous of you.

    … so basically your long-term idea is to have a custom deal which we have already told you we will not give because it would be dumb for us to do so.

    In the meantime, you very kindly propose to pay as a gesture of goodwill €20bn for staying another 2 years with full access to the Single-market (which is what you would have paid anyway had you stay), benefit of all its advantages and take the time to find exactly what “Brexit means Brexit” means and a better way to undercut the EU…

    Frankly, it does not sound like such a great deal for us, don’t you think.

    Moreover, there was no acknowledgement of previous liabilities such as the pension liabilities for British civil servants who served the UK’s interests for 43 years and are requested to continue to do so until the UK is ready to move on.

    Do you seriously expect us to pick-up the tab for Farage’s retirement benefits ?

    Do you seriously expect us to pay for the cost for breaking the long-term leases of all the EU institutions that we have to repatriate to the continent as a result of your brilliant idea ?

    That must be British humour at its best.

    Finally, could someone please fact check your Prime Minister all-important foreign policy speech?

    There is not 600k Italian nationals living in the UK unlike what Theresa May just said. By country of birth, circa 200k according to the ONS. She is of by a factor of 3.0x but we know from her statistics on the number of foreign students overstaying their visa that she is not a number person to start with.

    Sometimes, I forget that Brexit Britain need no experts.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Please please please reject it Tabulazero.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      You don’t have to repatriate EU institutions. We paid our share in those and are entitled to our share of the assets and even to sequestrate them if they’re removed without an agreement.

      Why did you ever let us in to he EC if we’re so dreadful?
      Oh I forgot. We let you in, paid for you then you changed the rules on us. That’s why we’re off.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        What part of “Leave” don’t you understand ?

    • wab
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      One of the big benefits of the Redwood / BoJo / Gove / Farage / Hannan / Little Englander blinkered approach to Brexit is that indeed, British EU pension contributions might not be forthcoming and so the EU would be reasonably justified not to pay pensions for British citizens. It would be great to see Farage, Hannan and all the other British MEPs who have spent their entire MEP existence whining about the EU, not get any pension (although of course they have lined their pockets for years with the ridiculous salary that MEPs get). Or course pity for all the other British EU workers who actually did a decent job.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      I do not understand why there should be any pension liabilities. If the EU runs final salary pension schemes it should have been making adequate accruals over the years. If it has done, then the UK will have paid its due share through membership fees to date. If not, there needs to be an enquiry into misuse of funds – as to why the EU has been spending its £100bn pa or so on various projects, such as subsidising inflated agricultural costs, rather than properly accruing pension benefits for its employees. I’d welcome an explanation on this particular ‘liability’ from anyone capable of offering one.

      • acorn
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        The EU pension scheme is unfunded, the same as the UK Civil Service, Teachers etc. Called Pay As You Go schemes.

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          It’s time to end these none contributory schemes and put everyone in the same NEST boat, then perhaps our civil servants and politicians will start to behave better with pension funds.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Agreed, just another example of EU incompetence

    • anon
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      You have a “printing press” whats your problem?
      Spend your money ,cut spending, print your money, its your call.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      600,000 according to the Italian consulate.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    May really does not understand the logic of negotiation. The EU officials have no real interest in a sensible deal. This even though it would be in the member countries interests. Just leave. There is no point in delaying the adjustment just do it. Negotiations will continue for ever more anyway. The sooner we leave the better for everyone. May’s let’s leave in name only but continue to pay and retain all the disadvantages of membership is just pathetic dithering.

    She is full of wishful thinking and needs to get real, she sounded like a competent but slightly dim primary school teacher addressing six year old’s. No enthusiasm, no reality and no uplifting vision and the usual green crap mentioned too. Next week it seems she will play the pathetic race and gender discrimination card in the David Lammy style – but hopefully she will have second thoughts.

    What JR about the absurd ruling on UBER by TfL, a petition against this has already been signed by nearly 200,000 I see. All done for “safety reasons” of course nothing to do with the desire of Black Cabs to have a profitable monopoly. What a silly son of a bus driver he is.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      We had registered mini cabs before. It worked perfectly well.

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        anonymous.

        “Mini Cabs..”

        Indeed we did, still remember the old Renault Dauphin which started it all I believe.

        We still have private hire, with a whole range of cars and drivers as an option. Just not allowed to hail them.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          But you can – if you know how.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Uber cabs are registered mini cabs. Uber is just an efficient way of booking them, paying for them and navigating them about. The idea that this is due to safely concerns is surely absurd. It is to do with killing competition, lowering service levels, appeasing the black cab drivers and pushing up prices hugely.

        I shall never use a black cab again in London.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          Right.

          Don’t allow an apprenticed cab driver to earn a living wage in London again.

          So how do you thing your Uber drivers are affording to raise families in zone 2 London, Lifelogic ??? Cheap cladding and state top-ups perhaps ?

          And they are.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Seconded.
      I can’t even see an Obama type administration being given the run around like this by countries the US had supported for years. If May is rebuffs on this she really has to show 2 fingers.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      The Uber ruling is an outrage we should all sign the petition to stop it. It is however a useful foretaste of a Corbyn govt – regulation used to ban and restrict business activity at every turn, which doesn’t conform to the require leftist norm. I hope students and young people, who are heavy users of aubergine, will take note.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        heavy users of Uber!

  23. Caterpillar
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    “…as short as possible…” Really?

  24. Cerberus
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    UK Democracy RIP 22 Sep 2017.

  25. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Anna Sourby said it was an excellent speech. Says it all really. A “transition” period of unspecified length apparently. Lets the EU spin out trade negotiations for 10+ years and we stay in “transition” forever, or at least until a Labour/LibDems/SNP coalition is elected and formally agrees to keep the transition forever.

    • Chris
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      It was a speech for gaining us Associate Membership, according to Peston, apparently:
      https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/09/mays-florence-speech-is-a-blueprint-for-keeping-britain-in-the-eu-as-an-associate-member/

    • Monza 71
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      It’s the nightmare that is the Hotel California Syndrome……………………..

      You can check out but you can never leave……….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Bexit clearly means nothing of the sort to May. She is clearly still a remainer at heart. She is blatantly betraying the voters wishes and must go. She is wrong on Brexit (she wants non of the advantages of leaving with all of the disadvantages retained), wrong on the expensive energy lunacy, wrong on the vanity projects, wrong on taxation levels, wrong on Hinkley and HS2, wrong on endless government interventions and damaging red tape, wrong on the choice of chancellor, wrong on attacking the gig economy, wrong on building on employment regulations, wrong on gender pay drivel, wrong on the head of the BoE, wrong on playing the race card, wrong on the size of the state, wrong on the lack of competition in banking. Wrong on trying to win an election with a punishment manifesto and an endless robotic delivery of “Strong and Stable Government”…..”Strong and Stable Government”……..”Strong and Stable Government”…… Vehicle Reversing……….Vehicle Reversing ……..

      So what policies has she actually got right John? Well I suppose they (eventually) killed the absurd Swansea Lagoon Project and she got rid of the economic illiterate Osborne – anything else positive?

  26. a-tracy
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Nick Robinson has tweeted to say so, Brexit now means – paying what we pay now, abiding by the same EU rules and allowing in as many EU migrants for 2 years after we Leave in 2019.

    Does this also mean our hands will be tied for a further two years to stop up negotiating trade agreements with other Countries? This is like a job you can never leave, being a slave!

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Hotel California
      ‘You can check out any time you like
      But you can never leave.’

    • Mark
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      I suspect it means we will have no votes on what happens either, as if we were pariahs under Article 7, and treated with the same disdain as Orban of Hungary.

      • Hancock
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        No. Hungary has a vote. We won’t. We will be weaker than Malta

  27. Peter Franke
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The Prime Minister has sold the British public down the river yet again. Continue paying billions in to the EU so that other countries continue to get more out than they put in whilst we get no advantages from leaving at all. She has thrown away our negotiating strengths and failed in the biggest possible way. No excuses are good enough Mr Redwood. You know it even if you won’t say it. As far as I am concerned every Brexiteer in the Conservative party should leave today in protest. If I were an MP I would resign from the party and become an independent standing for a real Brexit as was voted for by the British people. This is the moment to show whether you represent the people or the globalists.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      The time for that I’m afraid was 2009 when we were originally promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and Cameron gave himself a transition period on that to 2016.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      +1

      Corbyn’s coming anyway. Let’s get it done with.

  28. echancrure
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    ‘We will not stay in the single market or customs union’

    Obviously you did not listen to her speech…

  29. Peter
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    It sounded to me like will not be free from the EU until 2021 – five years after we voted leave.

    I agree with Nigel Farage. I did not vote for a transition. The reluctant elites and the political class seem to have won the day.

    As for ‘no deal’, we hear that the civil service have done no real work on this scenario at all.

  30. Oggy
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    JR – ‘We will leave the EU in March 2019. ‘ – excuse me but if we have a 2 year transition deal, which is in effect a 2 year extension to our EU membership and are still accepting the 4 freedoms, still subject to the ECJ and still paying into EU coffers until 2021, then just how is this leaving in March 2019 ?
    As Jacob Rhys Mogg said, ‘ if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it’s a duck !’
    I and other leavers didn’t ‘vote leave’ to have our exit kicked repeatedly down the road.
    While she made some important points I think we can rely on Mr Barnier to reject Mrs May’s speech, so better get ready for the no deal scenario.

    • Mark
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Barnier’s reaction:

      https://twitter.com/MichelBarnier/status/911253421235335168

      The reality is he has to follow the guidelines laid down by the EU Council from time to time. I gather Tusk is to visit May on Tuesday: she needs to persuade him to change his guidelines. In fact, really she should be telling him that the EU has obligations to fulfill in the negotiations that they have shown scant regard for so far – to negotiate and conclude the agreement (not the present stonewalling), incorporate free and fair trade, and good neighbour behaviour.

      https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/910231416323100672

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        She should be telling that to the whole world, not just Tusk …

    • Brian
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Actually, the EU and Barnier WILL do a deal. Why? Because they need to to get their money. Only thing is the deal will be on dreadful terms (already signalled by May in this speech) and it won’t be Brexit. The EU’s worst case scenario is the UK leaving with no deal because they will be quids out and will be alarmed to watch the UK succeed on WTO terms! Of course, May has no vision to embrace no deal and keeps creeping up to the EU. I think Mr Redwood knows what I have said is correct but he won’t say because for him Tory unity is more important than Brexit.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      “… which is in effect a 2 year extension to our EU membership … ”

      I’m sorry to disagree with you, but it isn’t, not in law nor in effect

  31. Chris G
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Spineless May has caved in yet again. Utterly hopeless.

  32. majorfrustration
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Usual political rhetoric in relation to “limited time for transition” but no mention of limited money. When will the politicians understand that when there is a law the EU breaks it but expects the UK to honour it. We take the word of the EU at our peril.

  33. Colin Hide
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Wise words, as always.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I noticed this in Theresa May’s speech:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pms-florence-speech-a-new-era-of-cooperation-and-partnership-between-the-uk-and-the-eu

    “Neither is the European Union legally able to conclude an agreement with the UK as an external partner while it is itself still part of the European Union.”

    and so I went back to the European Council’s guidelines:

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/04/29-euco-brexit-guidelines/

    to see what they said about this, and it was this:

    “… an agreement on a future relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom as such can only be finalised and concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country … ”

    I would like to see the legal chapter and verse about that: it may seem a bit odd to have a part of a larger body negotiating an agreement with the rest of the body, but then that is what is being done under Article 50 among other instances.

    However I would highlight that according to the European Council if the UK leaves the EU it has no choice but to become what they call a “third country”; even if it wished to remain in the EEA as some kind of transitional state it could only negotiate that arrangement after it had left the EU and become a “third country”; and even after it had wangled itself back into the EEA it would still be a “third country” as far as the EU was concerned.

    Oddly enough, only yesterday Michel Barnier reiterated:

    “At midnight on 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union and will become a third country.”

    No ifs or buts, no “unless it can keep itself in the EEA” or anything like that.

    • Chris
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I think T May is clueless and that the EU negotiatiors are running rings round her, and will continue relentlessly until they wear us all down, and, lo and behold, there is another referendum or change of government. I think the Cons Party itself has a lot to fear. I do not think they realise how close to being in the wilderness for years that they are. We need a strong right of centre party led by a committed Brexiteer. Nothing less will do. Theresa May is not Conservative, and does not represent grassroots.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        +1 And George Osborne’s London Evening Standard reads like The Guardian.

        To think he was second in command of the Tory government !

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      So we aren’t transitioning to anything on the day of departure?
      It isn’t actually a transition period then, but a subscription period, where we’re subscribing to the pre existing arrangement.

      We just need to leave and let businesses sort themselves out.
      What’s the worst that can happen?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        We’ll be transitioning from being in the EU to no longer being in the EU.

    • Mark
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      I read that as no more than a negotiating position. The EU Council is perfectly free to negotiate whatever it wants under Article 50 – with the agreement being concluded either before or after exit depending on how slow they are (and assuming we don’t agree to remain meanwhile). It is the Commission that wants the closer control it gets when Article 50 is done and dusted. All non EU countries, including other EEA members are “third countries”.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        That is pretty much how I see it, unless somebody can come up with a stupid legal provision which actually forces the European Council to adopt such an obviously stupid negotiating position.

  35. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    As usual Tory MPs put party unity above all else. Sorry, but that is the only interpretation I can put on your response to the speech. This was a capitulation to EU extortion. Mrs May said: “So during the implementation period access to one another’s markets should continue on current terms” which means that together with her willingness to pay unspecified sums during that period we are in effect not leaving EU in 2019. The only change will be that we shall no longer have MEPs from that date. We may not even be leaving in 2021 and many think this is deliberate to eventually keep us in the EU.
    No deal is most certainly better than a bad deal. We didn’t think our own side would be advocating the bad deal though.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      ‘No deal’ is now dead because it’s completely unworkable from the perspective of business…and there was never any mandate for it in the first place – either from the referendum or the general election. You people will have to start booking your anger management therapy…and hurry because there surely can’t be enough qualified practitioners to cope!

    • old salt
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we ought to have MEP’s if in effect we would be still in the EU.
      No taxation without representation!

      • Know-Dice
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Don’t forget that we (the UK) are already being cut out of EU research projects even thought we are a fully paid up member of the EU.

        We should reduce are payments now to reflect this.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Well if we have to pay pension premiums for past service it can be netted off against all the MEP wage payments, pension liabilities, civil service staff and assistants allocated to them from 2019 and that would more than cover the pension premiums for a few years, so we should insist they terminate their positions if they have no vote, no say and no sway!

  36. Briton
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    It is inconceivable Mrs May and the Tory Party will be in government to see this thing through. Even though electoral advantage has been taken that UKIP is now spent force, and will remain so because of its own “adversarial” “altercating” leading 40Watt lights.
    But a gift has been made to an “extremist” group and I bow to careerist Tory profound beneficence. You shouldn’t have! 🙂 My votes will gain exponentially which, means a lot ( for the benefit of my local Tory and Labour party members )

  37. Linda Jones
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    It was always inevitable that the popular press should jump on anything that it could present as negative. However, it would be helpful now if the Government could make a public statement to the British people to explain EXACTLY what the speech implies. Otherwise there will be many people who will be disappointed by Mrs May’s speech, as presented to them by the media, who have their own axes to grind. Better that the Government should itself make the whys and wherefores clear.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Basically the government cannot be arsed to do what you suggest.

  38. oldtimer
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    The restatement of the UK’s fundamental position that it is leaving the EU was necessary, if only help convince those in the EU who do not believe it will happen. The offer of a two year extension is a fig leaf to justify paying another £20 billion to the EU plus keep the Hammonds of the world happy.

    Much now will depend on her appeal to the national leaders and especially Angela Merkel.

    It remains to be seen how many seats her party wins in the Sunday election and what sort of coalition deal she must strike to form an effective government. She may emerge in an extremely strong position, able to form a new government quickly. Alternatively the balance of power between the parties may make that much more difficult to negotiate and achieve. That might curtail her immediate influence on the Brexit negotiations. It is also possible, contrary to many expectations, that once again politics will trump economics (especially once she is safely reelected) and that she will support a continued hard line towards the UK favouring the EU project over consequences for German industry. If I was responsible for a business my default assumption would be the adoption WTO terms on UK-EU trade.

    • Chris
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Why should Theresa May go grovelling to Merkel?

      • rose
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        This is true Merkel behaviour – kicking the can down the road, in order to cling on to power, except when she extended Free Movement of People to other continents.

  39. Timaction
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    You are very loyal to your leaders past and present Mr Redwood. An admiral quality, however:
    Why do we have to have a two year transition? Why did she say that none of the contributor or recipient Nations of the EU need worry as she’ll continue to fleece English taxpayers to give their taxes to contribute to foreign farmers and infrastructure during the transition.
    We will still have to have mass migration with some sort of registration?? Whats that. Sign a book/paper but still get all free public service entitlements and jobs?
    Can we sign trade deals with other Countries during this transition?
    Is she going to pay the billions that the EU are not entitled?
    ECB still in charge of us for another 2 years to at least 2022?
    Seems to me this is just another “kick the can down the road” technique that we expect from unqualified, overpaid part time politicos who do not stand up for Britain or in particular the English.
    Gone are the days when we rely on the mainstream media to peddle the EU, legacy party propaganda.
    The social media is as angry as I’ve ever seen it with your leaders speech. Barnier even liked it!

    • Confused of taplow
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes, mr redwood why are we paying ANYTHING? You said we wouldn’t

      • rose
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        He said we shouldn’t.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Not “wouldn’t” but “shouldn’t”.

  40. Monza 71
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t often disagree with our host but in some respects the gloss he paints on Mrs May’s speech is largely illusory.

    Firstly, while, technically we will be leaving in March 2019, in reality we will be totally tied to the EU for a further two years, possibly longer. Mrs May is offering to continue paying £850m a month and made no demand that we actually be “allowed” to undertake some measures like signing trade deals or eliminating FOM during the period.

    Then there is the assertion that we will be delivering them “an additional £30 billion (rough estimate) between June 24 2016 and March 29 2019”.

    It’s not an “additional” payment – we are contractually bound to pay this unless Mrs May decided to just up and leave. As a result, the EU will certainly not regard any of this money as a contribution towards their highly dubious “Brexit Bill.”

    So, it’s obvious, they will be demanding at least an additional €60bn on top of a regular contribution of £9.8bn pa until 2021.

    Mrs May imposed no conditions on this largess. She could, for example, have insisted that there has to be prior agreement on the outline of a trade deal before the transition period commences. Without this, it’s obvious that they will string us along until 2021 and we will probably find that we still won’t have an acceptable trade deal.

    A pretty pathetic negotiating position for next week

  41. Prigger
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    “We will leave the EU in March 2019 ” How will we know?

  42. Paul Churchill
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Quite simply EVERYTHING you promised is a lie. We are paying up, we are accepting EU rules indefinitely but we will have no say

  43. Monza 71
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    The proposal isn’t an “implementation period” at all.

    An “implementation” period means things progressively change. What she is proposing is just an extension of membership, the ECJ, full budget contributions, FOM and we will probably still not be able to sign any trade deals.

    “Around two years” could mean as long as three, it’s certainly not going to be shorter than 24 months at £850m a month !

    No wonder Barnier gave it a cautious welcome. He’s free to push for an additional €80bn on top of the €20bn of extra payments she’s offered in return for no concessions at all.

    • Na
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      An “implementation” period means things progressively change. What she is proposing is just an extension of membership

      >
      Yes exactly

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      It’s a subscription period. We’ll subscribe to belong to a club that we voted to leave. There is no end to this. We’ll accept all EU rules. so expect Mrs Merkel to demand some juicy quotas for refugees to be housed here. EU Army conscription – no problem M Junker.
      We voted for independence and got subservience.

  44. Tony Luck
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Excerpt from May’s speech: “The framework for this strictly time-limited period, which can be agreed under Article 50, would be the existing structure of EU rules and regulations.”

    Sureley that means that we will not be able to agree FTAs during the 2 years? If so, that is plain stupid. Why on earth would she offer that? I despair.

    • Chris
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

  45. miami.mode
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Usual obfuscation on ECJ, but it will be beyond deplorable if EU citizens in the UK have greater rights than UK citizens.

  46. Brigham
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    If we are going to have “no deal”why are we going to have a two year transition period. You have put a brave and loyal face on o May’s speech, but I feel, you must be seething underneath it all, as am I.

  47. VotedOut
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    The Florence speech was a total betrayal of the British people.

    Free movement for 2 years (at least!)
    ECJ oversight for 2 years (at least!)
    £billions just “waved through” to the EU
    No trade deals with the rest of the world for 2 years (at least!)

    This is a total disgrace. A sell out.

    Call it what you will. This is treachery of the highest order.

    The Conservatives WILL pay a heavy price for this.

    • Sir anthony
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree. Redwood has betrayed us. Why is he not demanding May’s resignation?

    • Roger Parkin
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      You are correct they WILL pay a very high price and so they should.

    • John Finn
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      The Conservatives WILL pay a heavy price for this.

      …. and the alternative would be what exactly?

      • Roger Parkin
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Well it certainly won’t be a Conservative government will it. I leave the many alternatives to your imagination.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        There’ll be a lot of MEPs and EU payroll higher ups looking for well paid political jobs from March 2019. Poachers turned gatekeepers, if I were one of them I’d be thinking about how I could help an Independent UK in the future with my inside knowledge and try to gain a governmental seat from wishy washy MPs who often work at the level of councillors on the back benches.

      • hefner
        Posted September 23, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        SirAnthony, because right now (I guess) there are not 55 Conservative MPs to call on the 1922 Committee for the PM’s resignation.

        And (again I guess) the alternative might be Jeremy’s brand of Labour.

  48. margaret
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    We really need to get rid of the’ four freedoms’ which are keeping us paradoxically in jail.

  49. Fed Up
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    The speech made clear that we’re being stitched up. An open ended transition is yet another delaying tactic to try and prevent our exit from ever happening.

    If the conservative party think that they can sell this to thd 17.4 million people that voted leave, then they’re more out of touch than I thought. Hundreds of you are going to lose your seats after this. This is not going to blow over and it won’t be forgotten.

  50. Davo
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    The DUP should bring the traitorous Conservative Government down.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Now that’s a plan! We’ve yet to hear their views on this May-Hammond stitch up. One can feel the itch of leadership change and deselection s in the offing, instigated by the DUP. Tory right seems to have slinked away.

    • John Finn
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      The DUP should bring the traitorous Conservative Government down.

      Oh great – because what we really need now is Corbyn as PM .

  51. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–I haven’t even yet grasped, if it so obvious that we have liability for future EU Budget costs, why this isn’t in the Treaties, which usually overflow in the direction of zealous overprescription; also why and how we should even consider paying for an FTA–Juncker recently told us he is en route an FTA with Australia and NZ who one assumes will not be paying anything for the privilege under any circumstances–Why would we allow ourselves to be different?

  52. Prigger
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    The happy smiley faces of Johnson and Davies showed them infrared like a cop helicopter scouting the countryside for felons. There they are!

  53. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Nothing changes until 2021 – she’s sold you out, Mr Redwood! And don’t get too excited about the absence of the cash offer…she will settle up but will probably need a cabinet reshuffle first.

  54. Annette
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    You normally write a sensible column regarding leaving the EU, however it’s as if you’ve heard a different speech to us.
    An implementation/transition period indicates a progressive implementation of the end state. May’s speech was just a two year continuation of payments (presumably without the rebate) & continued adherance to all EU laws & diktats. The only mention of any change in that period was that EU migrants ‘will be asked to register’. I’m sorry, but just what exactly will be different on 30th March 2019 or even 29 March 2021?

    This is a complete miscalculation of how strongly the country feels, & will put the Tories out of power for a very long time as this is nothing more than a complete betrayal of our referendum result. She didn’t answer a single sensible wuestion either. I’m so angry, I want to take to the streets.

    Pro-Brexit MPs who support this betrayal are just as bad. The speech also gives Corbyn the high ground on the amendment (NC10) to the Withdrawal Bill. Call it as it is, kicking it into the long grass to give time to reverse it.

    It’s a sad day when our only hope is the hubris of the EU, or its collapse.

    • Hancock
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      You are right, a pro Brexit MP who backs May on this has now become part of the problem, not the solution

  55. Michael
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May is on borrowed time. Hammond and Rudd are also passed their best before dates and should go.

    On the current offer it will be five years after the referendum before we move from where we are now to our future relationship with the EU. Doubtless the EU will spin it out even further so that we pay but have no voice for years to come. At no stage is it likely that the government will walk away.

    This is not unexpected. We should focus on operating under a no deal scenario and stop silly dallying. Get on with it PDQ.

  56. ChrisS
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    It’s clear that British Politicians are not good negotiators. There were glaringly obvious blunders in the speech : For example, no conditions were placed on the very expensive so-called “Implementation period”

    To have an “implementation period” one has to have something to implement !

    Mrs May should be insisting that we will not pay a single penny after March 2019 unless there is an acceptable deal on the table ready to be implemented.
    That would certainly concentrate minds in Brussels.

    Then we should be insisting that at least 50% of that deal comes into force in March 2020. That’s the meaning of the term to “implement”

    I fear we will be strung along for another four years at huge cost and therefore suffer a long delay before we can start our new life of freedom, only to be cut loose without a deal just before the next election.

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      PS : When Mrs May mentioned that we will pay what we owe she singularly omitted to include the word “legally”.

      In other words she should have made it clear that we will pay only what we legally owe, nothing more.

      Just more proof of catastrophically poor negotiating skills.

      It looks like David Davis’ team’s much-admired forensic tearing apart of the EU’s financial claim was a waste of time. Mrs May has just given them cart blanche to demand whatever they like.

  57. Monza 71
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, it’s not going down well, is it ???

    I hope you are sending Downing Street a selection of representative posts so they know just how badly !

  58. Oracle
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Our grief should be continental. Loud. One simple cross. A two movement pencil mark on a piece of paper. Our Prime Minister ignores it. What more evil can she be capable? It seems infinite. She has crossed the darkest border.

  59. agricola
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    This could be the resurrection of Nigel Farage if everything I read here becomes the will of the electorate. He is the only politician, who from close of speech saw clearly through the rhetoric

  60. treacle
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    All the speech did was to expose weakness. Most of it was waffle and the rest was fudge. Meanwhile our extrication from the EU is spun out for a further two years, with the end still unclear. But we knew that we could expect nothing from the government when it rubbished Boris’s sensible proposals. With any luck, the EU will react with its usual intransigence and insults, and the government will at last take the No Deal scenario seriously.

  61. graham1946
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    The Tories taking dictation from big business as usual.

    Two more years. Think what Remoaners will achieve in that time. In 15 months we have gone from winning the Brexit vote to being sold out by our own government as many here thought all along. Our only hope now is for Farage to come back.

    Bye Bye Brexit, R.I.P. You were so young and never stood a chance.

  62. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I was left with the distinct impression that the extra 2 years (or so) is down to the civil service being too incompetent or unwilling to do what is necessary to reclaim our sovereignty.
    I know, it is so difficult to get good staff.

  63. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Just by the way what May has announced seems to be exactly the same as Labour’s current policy as explained by Starmer (in single market and customs union for unspecified transition period) so on Brexit there’s no downside in voting Labour at the next election is there ?

  64. Ian Dennis
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    And to put some icing on the cake we are to continue to spend more than any other country in Europe on defence, to protect the EU without equivocation.
    If the EU is going to run this country, we don’t need a Conservative party to pretend they are doing it.
    Why don’t we just take instruction direct from Brussels, we won’t need to refurnish Westminster after all.

  65. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    We are likely to see a dramatic revival in UKIP’s popularity after today’s capitulation and a leadership contest in the Conservative party before March 2019.

    The momentum behind Mr Rees-Mogg will accelerate.

  66. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    As an example take “Horizon 2020”, the research programme, which as the name suggests, runs until 2020. All the international research firms and joint ventures in that programme will expect that also the UK honours its commitments until the end of the programme, a bill not to be picked up by the EU27. So it is only logical that the UK honours its financial commitments, for which these two extra years after March 2019 provide an elegant solution. It illustrates that the money is no “punishment” but just fair play.

    The good news remains that on March 2019 the UK leaves and in Mrs. May’s words “we will no longer sit at the European Council table or in the Council of Ministers, and we will no longer have Members of the European Parliament”.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      It isn’t the money, Peter. I’m sure most of us agree with you on this. I certainly do.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Yes Peter, have your puerile laugh! But this is not over by a long stretch!

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      We’re good at fair play as you well know Peter 😊

  67. Freeborn John
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    It was a terrible speech.

    You should also re-read her words before concluding we will leave the EU in March 2019. She said she will seek an “implementation period” (actually a standstill) which she then immediately said could be agreed under Article 50. But A50 has nothing to say on implementaion periods, only saying that the date of withdrawal can be extended by unanimous agreement. Her only reason for mentioning Article 50 when speaking of the implementaion period can have been to imply using A50(3) to extend the date of leaving. There is nothing else with any relationship to time in Article 50 except the following…

    A50(3): The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

    She is making a complete Horlick of Brexit and has to be deposed now. Get your white coat on!

  68. Shieldsman
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    What are media reading into the speech a lot more than is in it. They were disappointed that there were no specifics on money.
    Watching and listening to it I thought her message was, we are leaving, but do not be a dog in the manger. We have achieved great things in the past, the UK and the Countries of Europe working and cooperating together. Why do we not carry on in that spirit, it will be to our mutual advantage.
    Thr grace period is probably in the realisation there is no off the peg trading agreement and a one off will take time.
    When freedom of movement ceases EU citizens cannot expect special conditions not enjoyed by our own citizens.

  69. Bert Young
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    A further observation : Theresa has put the need for an across the board acceptance in the Conservative Party above the will of the public ; it is a further sign that she has given up on the determined leadership she alleged she would adopt . She became weak-kneed knowing full well that the likes of Soubry would torpedo further progress in the HoC . Leadership is about creating policy and sticking to principles . Farage is right – she must now resign .

  70. Sally
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m just angry and upset that she has made this offer. It is not what we voted for. We held all the cards and she’s just handed them over without once thinking of what her country wants. The EU must be laughing up their sleeves – what poor negotiators we are! I despair!

  71. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    The likelihood is that, being in a subscription period, we’ll be made to realise that we’d be better off re-applying for EU membership in 2021. We won’t have deviated from any of the rules, which of course oblige all new members to adopt the Euro.
    Game over.

  72. Fed Up and Angry
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    So we’ve had:

    The failure to execute Article 50 for months and months.
    The inclusion of Hammond and Rudd in leading cabinet positions.
    The unneeded election and the deliberately bad campaign designed to try and lose the majority.
    The failure to ever paint a proper positive picture of Brexit Britain.
    The failure to begin to prepare a plan for no deal.
    Finally today’s speech and the announcement of another unrequired substantial delay to the process.

    When you look at the evidence, this PM has clearly been trying to undermine Brexit throughout the entire process.

  73. zorro
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Pig with lipskick indeed! Congratulations John on giving credence to this speech. Here is what your colleague and former leadership partner Ken Clarke said about the speech….

    Discussing Mrs May’s speech on BBC News, Mr Clarke said: “It was much nearer the tone of the speech she gave during the referendum campaign than it was Lancaster House.’

    Enough said!!

    zorro

  74. wab
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, presumably trying to be a comedian with his post-post-modern irony. It’s certainly one of the most risible posts he has ever written, and there is a lot of competition for that. May said little of any real content and we still don’t know what deal she wants post EU. The fact that the government still has no plan over a year after the referendum tells you all you need to know about the failure of the British ruling elite. Lions led by donkeys.

  75. Dennis Zoff
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    The Remainers must be quietly smug…better laughing!

    Dear oh dear, what a weak capitulation..quisling springs to mind?

    I came here from four other blogs that are displaying the same disdain and disillusionment for Daisy May and the Conservative’s obvious spineless acquiescence.

    This will not go well John, and I note other blogs have brought up your name in the same disparaging vein as that of May, et al!

    There appears to be a strong notion that all the speeches conducted by the Conservative Brexiteers were simply huffing and puffing with no substance; rather they were disingenuous and deceitful lies. Unfortunately, your name is being tarred with the same brush!

    We can only hope the EU and its regular mendacious cohorts will come to the rescue and kill the negotiations stone dead by demanding the impossible; ensuring the UK walks away!

    The Conservatives have become a lame duck…and everybody knows it!

  76. Doug Powell
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    When you hear Clarke and Soubry speak in glowing terms about the speech, you know the Brexiteers have been stitched up!

    There is nothing in this speech to give encouragement to the Brexiteers. It just one bloody great Christmas present for the Remoaners!

    JR, you have previously said, “It will take as long to negotiate a Transition Agreement
    as a Full Exit!” That point needs ramming home to the PM! 29th March 2019 has to be EXIT date – NOT TRANSITION DATE!

    We can but hope that the EU is so arrogant and hell bent on humiliating us, that they reject what is on offer – then we can proceed to WTO asap!

  77. Ken Moore
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    ‘Mr Barnier – The United Kingdom recognises that no Member State will have to pay more or receive less because of Brexit.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-3427_en.htm

    I thought we were supposed to be ‘taking back control’ of our own money Mr Redwood??

  78. Beecee
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    From Mrs Thatcher’s – I want my money back – to Mrs May’s – how much do you want, in a few short years. What a disaster.

    Our politicians fell for the simplest negotiating trick in the book – the EU keeps silent whilst we cannot stop ourselves giving more and more in the hope that they will start to talk to us.

    So much for not giving our tactics away so that we can get a good deal?

    I thought David Davis was supposed to be this hard core leaver, ex SAS territorial, determined give nothing away tough? Clearly all talk and no trousers.

    To say I am disappointed by our mainly English elected government, which country voted nearly 54% to leave, is putting it mildly.

  79. Norman
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I must be more naive than most – but I note a number of my predictions have been realized. So, for what it’s worth, here is my ‘take’ on the PM’s speech. She has sketched out, in measured, reasonable terms how we see our exit from the EU coming into reality, She has balanced these amicable terms, in the statesmanlike way one would expect of a major NATO ally, with a firm commitment to leave the EU by 2019, and has repeated that ‘no deal’ is still the fall-back position. At the same time, she has acknowledged that a limited transition period to facilitate trade might be helpful to both parties. Now for the response: if the EU does not respond in kind, the whole world is watching, and Mrs May will be vindicated. Let’s not pre-judge the issue.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Norman – ‘if the EU does not respond in kind, the whole world is watching, and Mrs May will be vindicated’ -that fact had occurred to me too – but is Mrs May that clever/devious ? – I don’t think so.

  80. Stuart K
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    This is a turning point in the post-referendum period. We should have submitted our Article 50 letter within days of the referendum, making clear that the decision of the people was irrevocable. We could have been leaving the EU for good by next summer.

    Now, we have been drawn back into the EU’s clutches. The Government has surrendered to the harbingers of doom and has basically bottled it. Even if we became poorer as a result of leaving the EU, which I would doubt, regaining our freedom and dignity is far more important.

    This is a pitiful state of affairs for a once great, proud nation.

  81. Peter
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Everything Brexiters say is predicated on the basis we will be able to negotiate our own trade deals. There is nothing about these trade deals being better. There is no evidence whatsover that any new trade deals will compensate for what we lose by leaving the Single Market and there is actually evidence that they won’t be.

    I want to know if Brexiters would still want to leave the EU if it was certain that we not secure better deals than we have now.

    • Peter
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      More than one Peter on here now it seems.

      Those are not my views. I cannot leave soon enough. My only fear is that this will never happen.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      YES. – better to be a poor master than a rich servant.

  82. Christine
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I feel so let down as I’m sure many other Brexiteers do. TM might be listening to businesses and other politicians but she isn’t listening to the people of this country who have remained strong and steadfast in their wish to leave the EU. Many people turned away from the Conservatives at the last election and I’m sure many more including myself will look for other parties to vote for at the next general election. As many have stated here it’s a very sad day for UK democracy. This betrayal won’t be forgotten.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely Christine – I’m equally infuriated. Jeremy Corbyn will be in number 10 at the next GE via a landslide thanks to Mrs May’s total incompetence and yet again misreading the mood of the British people. A total sell out.

    • Kenneth dyson
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree. UKIP gets my vote now. The Tories have betrayed the people

  83. bluedog
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    A surprisingly conciliatory article, Dr JR. One’s own instinctive reading of Mrs May’s speech was that here’s a conditioning process that clears the way for Remain.

    The political leadership itself now assumes great importance. During Mrs May’s summer holidays, when the Chancellor if the Exchequer simply re-wrote the Brexit agenda, it seems that on her return, Mrs May has simply accepted the Hammond proscription. in short, Remain is currently in the ascendant and is playing for time, hoping popular opinion swings in support of Remain. True Brexiteers are now forced to bide their time, hoping for events to create an opportunity.

    An opportunity for what? Well, now that Mrs May has tacked away from Brexit, if Brexit is to happen, it will not be under her leadership. Which begs the question, under whose leadership? Hammond is an unelectable Remainer, which leaves only one possibility. Boris, a proven winner of elections and a Brexiteer to boot. If the Conservatives want to win the next election, neither Mrs May nor Phillip Hammond, nor Amber Rudd have got what it takes. On the other hand, Boris would romp home.

  84. Monza 71
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Our host should not be too astounded by the reaction of his loyal posters.

    We’ve followed this sorry tale from the morning after the referendum and it’s been frankly, a shambles. I’m sure Mrs May means well and she is sincere about wanting strict time limits etc but I don’t think she’s realised what Hammond and Co have done to us.

    It’s obvious that, even if we supposedly leave in March 2019, Big Business, the Remainers and the 27 will engineer it that we aren’t quite ready so transition or implementation lasts indefinitely. The EU wins hands down : they keep taking our £850m a week, they can carry on creating their superstate without the inconvenience of having to take any notice of us and we can no longer veto the EU army or anything else for that matter, although we will still be paying 15% of the budget for it !

    They then conspire to create the conditions to take away any involvement of the City in the financial affairs of the Eurozone and under threat of losing all of that business, we are forced to join the Euro so we can keep what’s left after the French and Germans have finished plundering the Square Mile of jobs, profits and taxes.

    As long as the Remainers can keep Mrs May in Downing Street until 2021 it will be all over bar the shouting by the 2022 election. The Marxists behind Momentum will have replaced the hapless Corbyn with McDonald and suddenly we have a Marxist-led Government to complete the utter destruction of our economy.

    • Monza 71
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      If this scenario looks like it’s coming true, only Nigel Farage will be able to stop it.

  85. Peter D Gardner
    Posted September 22, 2017 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    The most likely meaning of the speech is that it leaves all options open including staying in the EU – despite assertions to the contrary, which could be just a smokescreen because such a radical decision would be made after Mrs May’s term of office. As for control and sovereignty, Mrs May means no more than UK following EU membership voluntarily of its own free will under a new treaty that can be varied and extended as required.
    Article 50 provides for indefinite postponement of withdrawal by unanimity. Mrs May’s speech can be seen as a prelude to obtaining that agreement. The notice to withdraw is not irrevocable either. It requires only EU agreement. It would be easy. The transition deal becomes Associate Membership which neatly solves the EU’s issues about the next steps to becoming the Federal State of Europe: the core and a second tier which would include UK and one or two others. It could be good, or it could be disastrous. We haven’t a clue and that is the way both government and parliament like it.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 22, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      PS. the irony is that if Cameron had a truly advisory referendum before his negotiation he could have got the associate membership he was after from a position of strength as Mrs May seems now to be on the point of achieving.

    • Mark
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Why do you think that agreement to remain would be easy? If the EU think that the UK is desperate to stay because their Project Fear has worked alongside the failure of government departments to do what they should have done to prepare for leaving, they can demand almost any price they like. Moreover, since it requires unanimity, each country will get to impose its own demands. It would be the worst of all possible worlds.

  86. Ron Olden
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    APPEASEMENT

    This so called ‘Brexit’ proposed by Mrs May is so ‘Soft’ it barely exists. And is a complete surrender to the Remainers.

    The deal Cameron negotiated and which we rejected at the Referendum, at least involved tightening up on migrants rights to claim benefits here.

    But this offer means we stay in the Single Market and Customs Union, in all but name for at least two years, migration and migrants rights to claim benefit remain, and we still keep paying in whilst having no say in the rules, nor having any MEPs from June 2019.

    This will turn the UK into a Colony of the EU, and place us in the ludicrous position where, despite not being Members after March 2019, we will still be paying much more into the EU Budget than 26 of the remaining 27 Member States, including France, which is the second biggest remaining Member.

    Had I known our own Government would be placing us in this position, I wouldn’t have voted ‘Leave’ in the first place nor voted Conservative at the General Election.

    These proposals are to Britain, what Marshall Petain’s Government was to France, and Quisling’s to Norway.

    And this is only the OFFER!! The EU, sensing that the UK is a pushover, will reject it and demand even more.

    The only silver lining in this cloud is the fact that this will have to be passed by Parliament. The current payments etc are permitted in law solely because of the existence of the Treaties. The Treaties however lapse when we formally Leave in March 2019.

    So the payments and surrenders of sovereignty beyond that date cannot be made without legislation.

    Given that it amounts to a reversal of the Referendum Result and these proposals were not in any Party’s Manifesto, there should either be a further Referendum or a General Election to approve them, otherwise Tory MPs (and definitely DUP Members) are duty bound to vote them down.

  87. svcop3
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    An apology by the government to say they admit to having effectively dropped the ball on preparation for a no-deal and then a commitment that this will be the priority during the implementation period might mitigate the fallout from this speech.

  88. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    BREXIT – BUT NOT IN OUR LIFETIME
    I have grave misgivings about the concesions Ms May gave to Brussels, regarding BREXIT.
    “Mrs May opened the door to a significant Brexit bill, softened Britain’s stance on the role of EU courts policing citizens’ rights and requested a two-year transition deal on “current terms”.
    This sounds like capitulation rather than a deal, and I for one do not understand the surrender involved. Sounds like we have given the EU everything they demanded!

    Please tell me again that BREXIT is going to happen – in full.

  89. Monza 71
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Even if Mrs May is able to bring the transition/implementation period to an end after 24 months, there was one crucial thing missing from the speech. Without it the whole offer is deeply flawed :

    There should have been strict conditions attached to our agreeing to continue to pay £10bn pa for at least another two years :

    It’s obvious that the EU will want to keep taking our £850m a week while they carry on creating their superstate without the inconvenience of having to any longer take any notice of us. Our voting rights will be gone together with our veto over the EU army or anything else for that matter but we will still be paying for it.

    The only way to move forward at our pace will be to insist that we will continue to pay but ONLY if by March 2019 there is a signed heads of agreement in place for an ongoing trade deal acceptable to us.

    Without this and other conditions we simply won’t get anywhere.

    Ask yourselves, wouldn’t we string things along indefinitely if we were being handed £850m a week ?

  90. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I thought Mrs May made quite a good fist of delivering her speech, however who thought a cramped room in Florence was a goood venue – what was wrong with No 10?

    One hopes that concilliatry tone is part of a well thought out strategy, by putting the EU in a position where they have to respond in a similar vein – some hopes, Barnier et al will be dismissive and critical as always, seeing the proposals as a weak attempt to gain some traction. The EU cannot be seen to be the loser in negotiations, this is paramount.

    The “NO DEAL” option should have been stated in the main speech and not in a Q&A session at the end – even then it was not enunciated forcefully.

  91. Dennis Zoff
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    John, please join Ukip….difficult to support you while you remain with the mendacious Tories!

    • Kenneth dyson
      Posted September 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree. Mr Farage has the charisma and leadership skills that Mr Redwood lacks, but redwood could be Nigel’s chancellor or maybe whip

  92. ChrisS
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    It’s clear that Brussels and the 27 need constant reminding that we are returning to being a fully independent and powerful Country.

    Instead of travelling to a miserable and bland room in Florence, it would have been far better and more symbolic of our return to power and independence had Mrs May chosen to give the speech in one of the grandest rooms in the Foreign Office.

    A good alternative would have been the Great Hall at 1 Great George Street W1
    with its wonderful ceiling and wall paintings.

  93. Eric Sorensen
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Once a Remainer always one…

  94. hefner
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    “The parliamentary democracy … involves the British perversity of electing a legislature to form an executive: this has created a unique breed of legislator, largely unqualified to legislate, who has sought election only in order to wield (or influence) executive power. It has produced governments obliged to focus more on politics than on policy or performance. It has distorted the voting preferences of an electorate that knows which individuals it wants but not necessarily which policies. It has spawned parties that are shifting alliances of individual interests rather than the vehicles of coherent sets of ideas. It has forced governments to concentrate less on governing than on staying in office, and obliged them to cater to the lowest common denominator of their (internal) coalitions.”

  95. Brian
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Actually, the EU and Barnier WILL do a deal. Why? Because they need to to get their money. Only thing is the deal will be on dreadful terms (already signalled by May in this speech) and it won’t be Brexit. The EU’s worst case scenario is the UK leaving with no deal because they will be quids out and will be alarmed to watch the UK succeed on WTO terms! Of course, May has no vision to embrace no deal and keeps creeping up to the EU.

  96. Colin Hart
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Disappointing, your charitable interpretation of May’s speech.

    Surprised it is not by now clear to you, John, that May has no intention of us really leaving the EU. She will spin this out, in every sense of the word, with civil service-inspired detailed double-speak until we all forget we ever voted to leave. As we watch that happen, many of us will also forget to vote conservative ever again.

  97. Colin Hawthorne
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Well John have you read the comments above? You sometimes respond , I see you haven’t deigned on this occasion. Taken aback by the vehemence of the reaction perhaps. It’ s the same on every blog, all over the internet. You face a real danger of haemorrhaging votes for a long time to come, nothing is immutable, even the existence of political parties as venerable as the Tories.

  98. Mark B
    Posted September 24, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I have read all the comments so far. All but a few tell the same story – a deep sense of betrayal.

    I have said on these pages that the UK will, in the end, be offered associate membership. This can be done because the treaties are now self amending and the other 27 see the advantages of having the UK pay but have no say.

    Game set and match to the EU and our bought up political parties and civil service.

  99. Mick
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    The Tories, labour, lib’s are dead in the water come the next GE you are all going to be given your marching orders for betraying the 17 million plus and growing voting public, you should not have put a remoaner in charge but hey not to worry because we are the BOSS which Westminster seems to have forgotten, so start to make out your CV’s because you will need them

  100. perebois
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    There need to be massive lorry parks all over Kent to accommodate the queuing vehicles and of course a detention centre for the migrants awaiting clearance for our various border authorities. Oh yes, and we also need a lot more border authorities. And we’ll need visas when we go on holiday to France, and imported wine is going to be a lot more expensive if we can’t afford to go on holiday any more and just want to get drunk in the garden.

    Interesting that John Redwood is now saying that the EU might come round to wanting a compendious agreement on free trade. He wasn’t so hesitant when continually assuring us that the EU needed us more than we needed them. What is Mr Redwood’s solution to the Irish border?

    The comments on this thread are also illuminating. There is no certainty about the outcome of Brexit any more, and there are sulphurous allegations of betrayal, sell-out, cowardice, and the prospect of a Labour government. Brexit was always a dead-end that provides no haven from the real world. And it will ruin our country.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Most of us would be relieved to have better and more thorough border controls, even if this injects delays in the logistical function. We may even get around to getting our factories up and running again to make the parts we need on a regular basis that get tied up at the tunnel and ports – a silver lining if you like.

      EU transport companies have flooded our logistics market and their often self- employed HGV drivers will be the ones disadvantaged by long waits for insufficiently planned journeys, backloading may become more prevalent.

      Cornering people like rats never works out quite the way that experimenters think it will. Scotland assured everyone that borders wouldn’t be an issue if they left the UK, they had a plan for it we should look at how they were expecting to work around that internal border issue. The Scandi countries have special arrangements.

  101. a-tracy
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I wonder what the EU payroll bill is?
    All those MEP’s over 70 members plus their allowance;
    European Commissioners;
    UK Members of the European Council or the Council of Europe
    The Council of Ministers of 18 Like Lord Prescott and Alex Salmond.
    All their assistants, staff members, employees applied to the UK contingent like cleaners, waiters etc.
    This must be a fair chunk of money that will also be saved.
    plus their pensions, travel and other expenses.
    Does this all end in 2019?
    Its no wonder our MPs want to keep up in the EU,

  102. Ron Olden
    Posted September 28, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    SLOW PROGRESS

    This will, like all EU deals, be concluded at the last minute. So don’t expect any concrete progress for at least a year.

    The vital thing is, however, that the UK formally leaves the EU in March 2019.

    The ‘transition’ period itself, whatever its terms, must NOT be the extension of formal membership, as provided for in the Treaty.

    When the Treaties cease to apply, there’s no turning back without rejoining, regardless of the terms of the transition, but they will not cease to apply until we have formally left.

  • 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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