The government needs to press on with the No Deal option

The result  of offering too many compromises with the EU is it will  make the Deal option less attractive than the No Deal Option. Paying large sums for a Free Trade deal makes no sense, when tariffs would  be a cheaper way where we can give the tariff money back to the UK consumers who paid it. Accepting EU control of our laws, trade policy, migration policy  and other matters after March 2019 means we don’t take back control.

The PM’s speech says considerably less than the versions of commentary that have been built on the back of it. She argues that we want as short a transition as possible, and says we need to  be able to run our own affairs from the moment we leave the EU. That is not the same as spending two more years in the EU and calling it transition.  She said “I dont  believe either the EU or the British people want the UK to stay longer in the existing structure than is necessary”, so lets get on with sorting everything out now. It need not be that difficult.

On money she says they might agree to stay in certain programmes where we would agree cash for benefits. I have  no problem with that, though there are no programmes which are a must as far as I am concerned, We can replicate the worthwhile ones for ourselves. She also reaffirmed we will “honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership” which some interpret to mean making  full contributions up to the end of the present 7 year budget cycle. There is no legal requirement to do that.

It is not possible to have a meaningful conversation about Transition or Interim arrangements without having a Deal agreed, or at least knowing the outlines of what the EU will offer and accept. I wish the PM well in her effort to get meaningful talks going. I am not persuaded that we owe them any money or that we want to stay in for moment longer than our legal requirement up to March 2019.

What the civil service have to grasp is there is no cliff edge. It is quite possible for the UK to have functioning borders and trade arrangements on March 2019 even with no deal. 160 other countries trade daily with the EU and most have no special Trade Agreement. The priority must be to get everything in order for 2019 exit. That will also strengthen our bargaining position for a better deal, showing we are ready and willing to just leave. The EU’s response to the speech shows that they will just go on  pushing for more and more money to make sure it is bad deal.




  1. oldtimer
    September 23, 2017

    I think that the EU will try to string us along to extract as much cash as possible. It is possible that is the preferred German option. Brexit has already been described as a “disaster”. The punishment beating option, to discourage others, could be judged the better option for Germany in order to preserve its EZ dominance and favourable euro rate of exchange in its wider global trade interests. If that is indeed German thinking then the sooner UK negotiators wake up to it the better. In those circumstances the faster the UK should aim to reach the exit.

    1. Chris
      September 23, 2017

      I think the UK negotiators are well aware of the games the EU is, and will, play, and, sadly, I think our team will play along. I do not trust them i.e. Heywood, and his team, May, Hammond, Rudd etc. I think there has never been any intention to effect the Brexit we voted for. Unless someone like Rees-Mogg takes over as leader, then I think the Conservatives are lost. I certainly won’t be voting for them again if May, or others of similar persuasion are in charge. Quite apart from her “selling out” apparently on Brexit, she is not, in my mind, a Conservative but belongs to the left of centre school.

      1. Bryan Harris
        September 24, 2017

        ….and when did the left of centre mentality do us any good – NEVER!

        The Tories have to forget all the tosh that blair spouted about labour being close to the centre, for all he did achieve was to shift the balance to the left…. and far too many Tories with it.

      2. Hope
        September 24, 2017

        There is no possibility f a good deal. if there were the other 27 would leave. The Eu will not countenance its demise after 67 years! Lord Melvyn King is right walk away. The is about May, Hammond, Rudd and others keeping us in under the guise that we have left. It was ever thus.

        Come Back Nigel your country needs you. He already has 1 million twitter followers.

    2. Know-Dice
      September 23, 2017

      Spot on…agreed.

    3. Tom William
      September 23, 2017

      Anton Borner, President of the German Federation of Trade and Services,has said he does not believe Brexit will happen and that is why the stock markets have not fallen. Presumably Mutti Merkel believes, and wants, the same.

    4. eeyore
      September 23, 2017

      Much anxious thought is given in Britain to what the EU will let us have. JR’s headline, stressing the need to press on with the No Deal option, offers a more virile strategy.

      Nothing will concentrate European minds more than a firm conviction that the UK is willing, able and ready to collapse the talks and walk away; and nothing will produce that conviction more forcibly than remorseless and well-publicised preparations here for No Deal. If senior civil servants don’t approve, let them be replaced by others who do.

      Mrs May does not give the impression of being one of nature’s barrow-boys. It would be interesting to know if she has ever done a deal for a used car.

    5. Hope
      September 23, 2017

      May has sold out the vote leave. 15 months on from when we voted to leave May announces further delay until at least 2021 under which we remain under the EU control, ECJ still has say over citizens in this country, no immigration change, still keep paying and a possible change by 2021!

      There will be another general election in this time and remainers only last week were still saying the vote can be overturned. Soubrey and Corbyn hailed the speech as a success, this should speak volumes.

      May has sold us out. No doubt about that. No deal being better than a bad deal! What utter rubbish, she has just proposed a bad deal from where the EU knows it can ask for more as this is her minimum give!

      JR you nad other leave Tory MPs must be devastated that another remain PM has sold you and the country out. Last years elections around the world show contempt for lying political class. Your party is way ahead on the stakes and only in office by the skin of its teeth.

      1. Tony
        September 23, 2017

        Lying political class sums them up perfectly. Trouble is they have planet size egos and do not understand the contempt they are held in.

        However I can see no one on the horizon who will come forward and seize the day As we have the most hapless bunch of MP’s in my lifetime.

        1. J.White
          September 24, 2017

          This definitely smacks of Hammond and Rudd getting their way in cabinet. Absolutely disgusted and feel totally betrayed by the government. We were told we leave the EU in March 2019 and immigration will end on that date. More lies from politicians, Two years with continued free movement, control by ECJ and paying more money to be wasted on useless beaucrats will be the death of this country and democracy. We will be flooded by asylum seekers from Germany the health service will collapse along with schools and local government. If this two year transitional phase means we are out in name only then the ECJ can enforce the rules they want and we would have to abide by them. Is it a case of we just accept their judgement referring to trade but can be sovereign and make our own laws. on everything else that affects the United Kingdom? They will now push for billions more and expect the ECJ to have a say. I say let’s walk away it would cost us less on WTO rules and at least we will be free and sovereign again. If we walk away they will know we are serious and hopefully discuss issues like adults instead of playground tactics or if we have to resort to that then tell them we don’t want to play anymore we are taking our ball back!

    6. bigneil
      September 23, 2017

      I wouldn’t use the term ” UK negotiators ” . The way things are going I see them as a team who are trying their best to keep us tied in, while giving the image to the UK taxpayer that they doing their best to get a good “deal “. 20bn ? – and that is the announced figure – We all know it will be a LOT larger than that. Just like any announced large govt spend – Start off at any figure – and it will be delay after delay and increase after increase in cost- HS2.

    7. Mitchel
      September 23, 2017

      There is an excellent cover article in the current(15/22 Sept) edition of the New Statesman “The German Problem” by James Hawes which focusses on the serious problems -political,ideological,financial and economic-Germany still has with the old East Germany which may inform it’s hardline stance on Brexit.

      “Since 1990 the former East has received more than 2 trn Euro from the old West-equivalent to a Greek bailout every year since 1990 – and a gift not a loan.In 1990 Chancellor Kohl promised that W German aid would soon turn the new states into “blooming” areas but they have become instead proof that age old differences resist even the most gigantic subsidies.”

      “According to Die Welt,with home ownership rates the lowest in EU,40% of Germans “have net worths of essentially nothing”,disproportionately concentrated in the East.”(so much for German prosperity!)

      “Between 30-40% of voters in the East support the AfD,Die Linke or (the neo-Nazi) NPD.Though theoretical enemies these three parties are united by cultural affinities:all despise economic liberalism,oppose NATO and the EU and want closer relations with Russia.”

      The author concludes with:”If South & West Germany’s taxes have to keep bailing out the country’s East,whilst also helping out the old and new EU lands,what is left for,say,the post-industrial Ruhr which has financial and social problems of it’s own?There are tough choices ahead,and it’s not hard to imagine a day when Germany decides to aim it’s subsidies and investments where they seem most welcome.The old idea of Mitteleuropa-a multi-ethnic German-centred middle Europe neither of the west nor the East no longer seems so antiquarian.Nothing would gladden Putin’s heart more.”

      There’s also some fascinating historical detail (new to me) on Konrad Adenauer’s (private)insistence that the East should never be re-united with the West (though I was aware that his reaction to crossing the River Elbe was always “Hier Beginnt Asien”)and a secret proposed swap with the Russians of West Berlin for Thuringia in the 1960s.

    8. Monza 71
      September 23, 2017

      It’s perfectly obvious to everyone except our Westminster politicians what the EU is doing.

      They have no intention of giving us a good deal and will string us along for as long as possible given the fact that in Florence Mrs May foolishly and unconditionally promised to carry on paying them £850m a week !

      Merkel has as good as told us we won’t get a good deal : after all she is prepared to put the cohesion of the bloc of 27 before her own country’s business interests.

      That is certainly not going to change after she’s re-elected tomorrow with, it must be said, a considerably smaller share of the vote than achieved by Mrs May.

      The only thing the EU understands is toughness. We will get absolutely nowhere by simply kowtowing to them.

    9. Brian
      September 23, 2017

      I hope I am not being paranoid in suggesting that Mrs May is looking behind her at the Remainers and the EU negotiators determined to wreck Brexit rather than looking forward to the positive Brexit opportunities there for the taking.

    10. margaret howard
      September 24, 2017

      Why this obsession with Germany? Until the 20th century Germany was the only European country Britain had never been at war with. Indeed German kings/queens have been on the British throne since George I and been extremely beneficial to the country.

  2. am
    September 23, 2017

    Of course Macron while welcoming the initiative has rejected it! So May just engaged in hot air and should realise that deal no deal with her offering the former and the eu saying the latter is the position. Britain should just move on to free trade now.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      September 23, 2017

      Macron wants clarification on all the issues that were said to be holding up progress before Mrs May’s obsequious speech. Mrs May has shown her weakness yet again.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      Indeed just leave and stop paying there is no cliff quite the reverse. This especially if we can actually get a sensible PM and Chancellor. People who are actually “low tax at heart” real Conservatives. Then move to cheap reliable energy, lower taxes, less red tape, easy hire and fire, pro business and cuts the size of the bloated and largely unproductive state sector.

      Some one as unlike May and Hammond (or Cameron and Osborne) as possible please.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 23, 2017

        The leave option and the “leave with no deal option” should have been consider and fully thought through before and certainly when Cameron (finally) called the referendum. It was grossly negligent of government and the civil service not to have done so. But they they were all too busy issuing propaganda and lies to try to get a remain vote I suppose.

        As indeed was T May – “we have control of our borders through Schengen” she blatantly lied to voters.

        This was back on 20th Feb 2016 0ver 18 months back.

        “No change no chance” as we saw with the dire John Major. There really is no point on this dopey PC, socialist and (ex) remainer remaining any longer. She has shown he hand – she is just like Cameron another long grass merchant.

        The dire BBC, needless to say, like the deal as does Soubry and Clarke it says it all.

    3. SecretPeople
      September 23, 2017

      If this is true and France denies the deal when the 27 come to vote on it, Macron may just save us.

    4. Narrow Shoulders
      September 23, 2017

      Quite, while I disagree with her saying we would make concessions, now she has said there will be some these must be the line in the sand beyond which there is no movement.

      This becomes take it or leave it.

  3. Duyfken
    September 23, 2017

    This is really vexing. I have no idea what the lady has said apart from hearing a number of vacuous platitudes uttered many times previously. There is still no clarity of what she intends but there is considerable ambiguity.

    What for instance is the character of the 2-year “transition”? Does it mean the UK taxpayer having to pay EU contributions during that period? What of the immigration issue, can we make external trade deals, and when do we withdraw from the ECJ etc? JR suggests this depends upon a “Deal” being agreed. Respectfully I say no, it is not. We have formally committed ourselves to leave the EU at the end of March 2019. No deal is required, just a series of administrative arrangements to be made with the object of facilitating the separation of functions.

    This is yet another episode whereby politicians are rightly treated with, not contempt perhaps, but with suspicion. This government, like its predecessors and like its counterparts across the Channel, is unworthy of our trust. All the more reason for a quick clean exit – just quit, preferably now. Stop the politicking.

    1. Anonymous
      September 23, 2017

      It seems that the immigration issue closes just after Merkel’s guests become eligible for UK citizenship.

      Britain will be a dumping ground.

      1. Bob
        September 23, 2017


        “Britain will be a dumping ground.”

        I suspect that’s that’s the plan.

        UK should bar any further free movement after 29/3/2019.
        Immigration should be based on UK’s needs, and temporary work permits should be the order of the day.

      2. anon
        September 24, 2017

        Spot on.
        Deception by our political class at ts most transparent and worst.

        EU citizenship granted to the millions of “illegal or in newspeak undocumented migrants.That needs special attention and a spotlight thrown on it.

        All EU citizens entering the UK should have at least 10 years of prior EU residence before even being considered.

        We are full.

        One thing that is in our collective interest is to encourage ,repatriation and economic rebuilding in failed states. This should be funded, but only if the country concerned co-operates fully in identifying “economic” migrants and facilitates a proper program.

    2. Fed Up and Angry
      September 23, 2017

      Contempt at this point.

    3. Chris
      September 23, 2017

      Rees-Mogg has tried to get clarity this morning with his red lines. Bravo.

      1. Chris
        September 23, 2017

        Re my post above, on Rees-Mogg Newsnight last night and comment in papers this morning.

    4. Hope
      September 23, 2017

      Transition means delay to change our minds or overturn our vote. Transition means uncertainty not to get on with leaving. There has already been a transition by all the obstacles to prevent sending the letter which was promise to be sent the following day. It would have cost 28 billion by the end of 2019 with a further 20 billion and divorce settlement. May thinks this is a good deal for the U.K. Taxpayer for a trade deficit!

      Lord King former BoE governor is right walk away.

    5. getahead
      September 23, 2017

      Does it mean the UK taxpayer having to pay EU contributions during that period?

      What of the immigration issue,
      EU immigrants entering the UK will be registered.

      can we make external trade deals,

      and when do we withdraw from the ECJ etc?
      Possibly March 2021.

    6. Iain Bell
      September 23, 2017

      No, no. Contempt is correct.

      1. Tony
        September 23, 2017

        I think you meant utter contempt

  4. Lifelogic
    September 23, 2017

    “What the civil service have to grasp is there is no cliff edge.”

    May & Hammond clearly have not grasped this either. We must have full control from day one, cut import tariffs, cut red tape, make our own trade deals, control our borders and be outside the ECJ – this really is the very least we can accept.

    Any comment on the absurd UBER ruling. More that 400,000 have signed the petition so far. Does not look like the” Son of a Bus Driver” or indeed Black Cab Drivers will be very popular. Closing Uber clearly makes if far, far less safe not safer. This as walking home in London is about 18 times more dangerous than driving per mile. Not to mention the risk of attacks or mugging on route or the risks while standing waiting longer for a cab.

    Still TfL did it for “safely reasons” – sure they did! They are ones licencing the drivers not Uber.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      Under T May we will clearly leave in name only.

      1. Hope
        September 23, 2017

        They do not care, they want the U.K. To remain in the EU. Her empty hollow words are as credible as Cameron before her.

        The EU must be delighted the U.K. Has budged towards what they want delay a bit more and the U.K. Will budge a bit more or better still change its mind because what the UK govt is offering is remain other than name.

        The EU has not budged from its position weak dithering May has.

        The question is: what are leaving Tory MPs going to do?

        1. ju
          September 23, 2017

          Nothing except save their own sorry arses. There aren’t many peaceful options left if democracy has failed.

        2. Chris
          September 23, 2017

          I agree with you, Hope, but it is your last sentence regarding what are “leaving Tory MPs going to do?” that is key. For them there apparently never seems to be a “right time” and excuses are proffered about why no action. It is vital for the country that action is taken and swiftly. Also, one might add, it is vital for the survival of the Cons Party.

          1. A different Simon
            September 24, 2017

            The Conservative party did not survive .

            It became extinct a long time ago .

            The organisation currently trading under the same name cannot go the same way quick enough .

        3. Fedupsoutherner
          September 24, 2017

          No, they don’t want us in their club, they only want our money and some where to dump their illegal immigrants and potential terrorist’s.

    2. Anonymous
      September 23, 2017

      It would have helped had Uber paid tax in the UK to help with the in work benefits of lowly paid taxi drivers and towards the open borders policy which makes this system cheap but only at the point of delivery.

      Do we have stats on their involvement in accidents, btw ?

      Taxi drivers making a living wage to raise a family on. Heaven forfend.

      These Remain loving Londoners really do want it all, don’t they ?

    3. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      Listening to LBC this morning every caller bar one only thought Mrs May’s speech was huge betrayal. The one in favour sounded like a spin doctor from central office rather than a real member of the public. The anger against the absurd, damaging and very dangerous UBER ruling is massive as one would expect.

    4. Tom William
      September 23, 2017

      Elsewhere in the world Uber, by being cheaper, has destroyed traditional taxi services and then greatly increased its price.

    5. Original Richard
      September 26, 2017

      Uber pay little or no UK tax.

      The self employed drivers pay little or no tax and not full N.I.

      The extra drivers cruising the roads add to congestion and pollution.

      It is another pull factor for immigration to the UK as the self employed do not require to have a job offer/job.

  5. Nig l
    September 23, 2017

    All I can see a transition deal means is that all the negotiations finish 2019, we stay in the EC for another two years after that whilst every one prepares and in 2021 all the new rules and regs kick in and during that period we make a full financial contribution.

    Surely this just encourages the EC to draw out the negotiations until the last minute and effectively keeps us in for longer than we voted for a do not forget the nay sayers have already delayed triggering our exit by a year.

    You are correct we must concentrate on the no deal and I hope you and the other ardent leavers demand minimum monthly updates from Sir Jeremy and do not allow him to do nothing as he did with the actual vote.
    It seems to me that as the rest of the world trade etc not being in the Market, the No deal model exists and should be easy to replicate.

    I am still not convinced we are in a better place now than before the speech.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      We are surely in a worse place. But at least it is now clear that May must go.

      1. Chris
        September 23, 2017

        Agree wholeheartedly,Lifelogic.

    2. Peter Wood
      September 23, 2017

      I think our American cousins would call that speech ‘a big fat nothing-burger’! How that is supposed to help Mr. Davis agree terms quickly now is a mystery. But perhaps it wasn’t meant to achieve anything, just a final effort before we say, ‘we gave it a shot now lets move on to WTO and exit’. That’s my hope.

    3. Denis Cooper
      September 23, 2017

      What it means is that the UK will indeed leave the EU on March 29th 2019, but while the existing EU treaties will no longer apply to the UK after that date there will be some other, new, but only temporary, treaties between the UK and the EU which will impose continuing legal constraints on both for some limited period.

      1. Oggy
        September 24, 2017

        Dennis, you sound content with this ‘arrangement’.
        Mr Corbyn said this morning his transition period would be ‘as long as is neccesary’ – possibly a 999 year lease !

        You are much respected in this diary for your input on legal matters. A hypothetical question for you – let’s say Labour won the next election. Would being a member of the single market legally prevent Labour re-nationalising privatised industries such as the railways ? If this is so surely that would make him more likely not to want single market membership.


        1. Denis Cooper
          September 25, 2017

          I’m saying that the arrangement could be described as “staying in the EU for another X years beyond March 2019”. Whether the alternative arrangement would be satisfactory is another matter.

          I think Corbyn has always been wary about the EU possibly doing what Heath told his colleagues he hoped it would do, namely prevent a future socialist government carrying out socialist policies.

          1. Denis Cooper
            September 25, 2017

            … could NOT be described … !

          2. Oggy
            September 25, 2017

            That’s what I thought.
            Thanks Dennis.

  6. bluedog
    September 23, 2017

    This is a total sell-out, Dr JR. It is difficult to avoid the impression that Mrs May is completely out of her depth, and unable to manage the politics of her own cabinet and the EU negotiations at the same time. It’s almost as though she is saying, ‘I want to be PM for another two years, then I’ll retire from politics and you lot can sort out a Brexit deal with the EU’.

    If this is the case, Mrs May must be forced to resign now. It will be interesting to see how Boris Johnson reacts, but his recent op-ed in the Telegraph suggests that he knew what was coming in Florence. Boris must gather a team around himself, persuade Michael Gove to stop behaving like the eternal younger brother, and shoulder Mrs May aside.

    1. Anonymous
      September 23, 2017

      It was ingenious of Remainers to plant someone whose heart is not in Brexit in the leadership. Whose default is to royally f*** Brexit up.

      1. hefner
        September 23, 2017

        What about if the Leavers when about to choose a leader had not created a mess to start with? Have you already forgotten the saga Johnson-Gove, and the Leadsom story? If you think these people and those who attached their names to these candidates are “la crème de la crème”, do not be surprised if you happen to be now disappointed.

    2. Davo
      September 23, 2017

      Boris is a buffoon.
      The only man to lead is Mogg.
      Integrity, honour, intelligence and charm

      1. Lifelogic
        September 23, 2017

        Apart from when his religion overrules his brain he is clearly a good and sound chap. Is he against IVF as well as being against abortion for rape victims and for religious segregation in schools?

        I woke up this morning (half dreaming and half thinking) about poor Rees-Mogg for some reason. The power of indoctrinated religion on young minds over rational thought & reason – even in bright and sound people like Rees-Mogg or Charles Moore.

        1. Rock on
          September 24, 2017

          “…his ( Rees-Mogg’s ) religion overrules his brain…” We each have our own value-system and it could be said any one of those “overrules” the brain.Lack of a religion in a brain does not equal clarity merely a lack of a religion. I am not religious. But I am not willing to duckheadedly accept a bolt of lightening hitting a rock pool of liquid chemicals created
          anything more complex than a hot rock pool of liquid chemicals. To think otherwise would require the imagination of the Gods.

      2. Kentra Gill
        September 23, 2017

        Correct. Mogg will be PM before Christmas. Fabricant as Home Sec, I think

      3. Chris
        September 23, 2017

        Boris has missed his chance, I believe, and Michael Gove seems beyond the pale with such comments on twitter about May’s wonderful speech. If that truly is his judgement, then he doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near government, in my view. He seems to lack common sense and integrity.

      4. A different Simon
        September 24, 2017

        “Integrity, honour, intelligence and charm”

        Who are you talking about ? Surely not Rees-Mogg .

        For a man who has had all the benefits of privilege he has the most appalling manners and his charm is a façade .

        Nevertheless , I’m finding myself willing to welcome him as being just about the only chance of getting Brexit .

    3. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      This really does have to be done and without letting Corbyn in. Not only is she wrong on almost every issue and clearly not a Conservative – she is an huge electoral liability.

      Why vote for a robotic, daft, soft socialist when you can have a real one with a magic money tree in Corbyn.

      We need a proper Tory in charge, someone with a positive uplifting vision and real economic competence.

      Cameron and May both had golden opportunities to be a greatPrime Ministers and win say three elections in the row like Thatcher.

      They both blew it through being pro EU, greencrap, tax borrow and waste, socialists.

    4. Doug Powell
      September 23, 2017

      Agree totally!

      On examining the speech one would think that Remain won the Referendum, instead of a majority of 1.4 million voting for Leave.

      I had previously thought it would be convenient for May to stay until 2019, but that now appears stupid. Brexit badly needs some Ummph, so MAY MUST GO – NOW!

      From the Conservative point of view, a transition to 2021 would end (?) only months before the next GE. For the Tories self interest to win the next GE, there needs to be a safety net of a year, preferably more, to sort out the wrinkles of the new arrangements. Otherwise, with confusion fresh in people’s minds, I wouldn’t put money on Conservative chances!

      Bring on BORIS!

    5. hans christian ivers
      September 23, 2017


      I think you are forgetting the needs and transformation for UK business and it takes time.

      Are you sure you have not been out of business for too long to be able to look at the real practical implications of this transitional period?

      thank you

    6. Atlas
      September 23, 2017

      I agree with bluedog.

      Since the Labour Leadership has given back-word to their voters in the Remain areas I think we should have a PM who is indeed ‘Strong and Stable’ and who will get on with getting us OUT of the EU’s clutches – and not try to bind us in a never-endium subservient role to the EU. We voted out because we did not like the EU – not to have a deep and special relationship with it.

    7. Ex-Tory voter
      September 23, 2017

      I actually voted Tory last time… the first time in over 35 years. I shall not vote Tory again while Mrs May and her Remainers are ruling the roost. We voted to Leave, she does not respect that at all. As far as I am concerned the Tories through Cameron promised to “sign Article 50 the day after the referendum.” The so-named transition period, to me, is the two years directly after Article 50 is triggered. I did not vote for this delay-nonsense. She clearly is not actually going to take us out of the EU.

      1. Chris
        September 23, 2017

        Well said, ETV.

    8. Longstone
      September 23, 2017

      I’ve never been convinced of Boris’ Leave-sincerity and I wondered whether his letter/article in the Telegraph was his prompt to Theresa for a bribe? What happened on that plane-ride back from the U.S.? Is his reward, for going along with the Florence speech, that he is to be prepared as the next Conservative P.M. (which is what his motivation has been all along) with Gove as the Robin to his Batman?

    9. Stephen Berry
      September 23, 2017

      I do not understand why Mrs May seems to be in the dock here after her speech. What about the role of the Tory Remain ministers and anti-Brexit MPs of both parties? What about the relentless absurd anti-Brexit propaganda of the broadcast media which have done their best to keep the country split. It is the essentially political pressure of these groups which has brought the Prime Minister to the position where she feels she has to make this speech.

      From the beginning, I have thought there would be a deal on trade as long as the UK stumped up money to Brussels and I still think this is the case. It’s obviously in the economic self-interests of both sides that this happens. The point is that, as long a there is a powerful Remain camp in the UK with their endless absurd scare stories (emergency budgets and cliff edges etc.), the price of the deal keeps going up. But that is not Theresa May’s fault.

  7. Man of Kent
    September 23, 2017

    I thought perhaps the ‘transition’ was a way of paying money to the EU which did not need Parliaments authorisation and that probably a deal had probably been done on trade .

    How wrong I was !

    We are paying to stay in the EU for two more long years when the forces of of the establishment will thwart the will of the people .

    Shame on all connected with this dreadful decision .

  8. margaret
    September 23, 2017

    Stalling again ,,Michael Heseltine has said that we will not leave and we will take up the Euro as currency or even if we do leave, we will re join!
    No deal option on the cards definitely.

  9. Tabulazero
    September 23, 2017

    If you want a working border by March 2019 then you should be investing heavily in its infrastructure and its people.

    Yet you are doing nothing.

    Either your government is incompetent and not preparing for the future or you are not wining this argument against the combined forces of the Civil Service, the City and the CBI.

    1. Oggy
      September 24, 2017

      Tabulazero – for once I totally agree with you.

    2. Longstone
      September 24, 2017


  10. Bryan Harris
    September 23, 2017

    One can only hope that all of this is working towards a real plan to leave without a deal – if the EU do not pull their fingers out and agree something substantial, then perhaps the speech by Ms May will be later considered a master stroke….

    In any case, we should not be offering any further concesions – NO – NEIN – NON

  11. Anonymous
    September 23, 2017

    Brexit uncertainty is caused by Remainers trying to drag us back in !

  12. Freeborn John
    September 23, 2017

    The EU seems intent on getting the UK to ask to join the customs union in order to keep the Irish border free from physical checks. That is why Barnier tweeted the Florence speech did not say anything about Ireland. The Irish PM is asking for the UK to stay in the customs union ever since Philip Hammond visited Dublin. The Irish Time is today saying this has to be the next British climbdown. Brussels is still saying it wants to Uk to propose a solution to the Irish border without naming that solution itself, but that is only so they could react to a UK offer to stay in the customs union with their usual “that is going to be expensive”reply. In May’s previous speeches she said the goal was a comprehensive free trade agreement; yesterday she ruled that out. She has ruled out many things and appears to have no clue. May is bad but it is Hammond who is the real poison. May is also making frankly rediculous offers to give them a security treaties, etc. which will just lock us into something that looks very much like EU via this new treaty. No deal has to be infinitely better than this treaty mess she is getting us into.

    1. Longstone
      September 24, 2017

      The Conservatives are not brave enough (nor prepared enough) to go for no-deal, free trade. May’s speech signalled this. The EU now has us where it wants us: no-man’s land. The EU can toy with us at its leisure while the UK twists in the wind, indefinitely.

  13. stred
    September 23, 2017

    No wonder Barnier has welcomed this collaborating Prime Minister’s words. In between the waffle, she said that no country (in the EU) would pay more as a result of us leaving and none would receive less. In other words, the EU need not trim their budget to account for a major contributor leaving. They can carry on expanding their superstate activities, Germany, Holland and Sweden will not have to pay more and the UK will pay for their activities, even though we are ignored now and will not even be a member after 2019. We have already agreed to support their new armed forces, lead by Belgian and German generals.

    The civil servants, who ignore their duty of independence and in one case is a supporter of the USSR have teamed up with May and Hammond to pay the extortionists for 4 years. Then they plan another election and referendum, by which time the EU supporting snowflakes will vote to re-join. What is the point of voting when the UK is controlled by pro-EU collaborators who work behind the scenes?

    1. stred
      September 23, 2017

      And Mrs Merkel will have time to grant citizenship to her millions of new gastarbeiters without the arbeit and count on them going to their favourite destination without border controls for another 4 years.

      What gutless waffling dunces we have in Downing Street. The grassroots Conservatives need to make changes or start a new party and quickly. Unless they do, those of us that thought we had won the referendum may as well not bother to register to vote.

      1. stred
        September 24, 2017

        Another lie from the |May speech . She mentioned that free movement would continue for another 4 years, but would be subject to ‘registration checks’. How generous to Brexiteer! I have visited Holland and Sweden in the past few months with a view to moving there to avoid the most grasping IHT taxes in the world. In both cases, they require registration upon arrival. This is something Mrs May, as Home Sectretary decided to avoid. I wonder why. She is as bigger liar than Cameron or Bliar.

  14. Richard1
    September 23, 2017

    It is essential that the government sets out clearly the consequences of no deal. The danger of the current proposed transition is we go on negotiating through that two year period, and at the end of that there is also no deal, so the transition needs to be extended. This will be just fine with the EU as the money keeps flowing, the UK obeys all their laws etc and there are no trade restrictions – but they don’t have to take any notice of the UK on new laws and regulations.

    It also needs to be clear the UK can press on with independent trade deals from March 2019 – that needs to be a deal breaker.

    What is all this cliff edge stuff about pensions? Are there not American, Canadian, Australian etc pensioners drawing pensions in the EU even though they are being paid from non EU countries?

  15. Excalibur
    September 23, 2017

    One hears much in these columns, in newspapers and in television commentary of the ‘democratic process’.

    What Mrs. May’s speech in Florence amounts to is a capitulation to the unelected, undemocratic, corrupt EU, for an additional two years. . It sets out a programme of huge commitments of taxpayers’ money, virtually open-ended, in my view, that could be better spent at home. As you rightly point out, it makes the No Deal option look more attractive than the Deal option.

    There is no guarantee that the EU is going to accept her proposals despite their generous nature. In addition, any transition period gives more time to the mischief makers to ensure that an effective Brexit does not happen.

    To reiterate, we want back control of our laws, our borders and our money forthwith.

  16. The PrangWizard
    September 23, 2017

    However it is spun by ultra loyalists to the party, yesterday we witnessed a demonstration of supine appeasement. A day of national shame and embarrassment.

    Our PM must be an admirer of the former Lord Halifax. He favoured concessions to Hitler prior to WW2, and in 1940 when we had suffered wartime losses and defeats he hoped to involve Italy to intercede on our behalf for peace.

    The people of the UK who wanted out of the EU, not partly out, but wholly out without delays, and believed Mrs May and the government when she said ‘Brexit means Brexit’ have been betrayed. Mrs May’s serious character flaws are leading us to disaster.

    Today as if to prove, as if proof were needed, that the weakness that we saw leads to further demands and disdain, President Macron is now demanding more concessions without agreeing anything.

    The EU have not negotiated, they see and can smell weakness and they will hold out for complete surrender, which under May, Hammond, Rudd and others in government and in the Remain establishment supported by the media they will they will get unless the people get rebellious, as I hope they will.

    We just cannot have this.

  17. alan jutson
    September 23, 2017

    Afraid Mrs May’s speech whilst delivered confidently, has raised many more questions than answers.

    Far from being a clear statement, it has left me somewhat even more confused.

    Just as time pressure was building up on both sides, which was starting to concentrate the minds, we now seem to have added a couple of more years and taken any urgency out reaching an agreement, unless of course negotiations are still supposed to end in March 2019.
    Where do we now stand on negotiation of our trade deals with there rest of the World.

    Why mention the ECJ at all.

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    September 23, 2017

    Well I heard her speech and it definitely implies that whilst we will have left the EU we will be subject to all it’s strictures without representation. In my book we’re subscribing to a service rather like a mobile phone service where we pay the fee, can’t move to another provider for 2years and are limited as to what we can do. This is a step back from where we are now and is totally unacceptable. Also of course there is a danger of this period being repeated because we can’t remove ourselves from it by negotiating elsewhere. That makes it similar to us locking ourselves in jail and flushing the key down the loo

  19. Iain Gill
    September 23, 2017

    Mrs may now must go, she is an embarrassment.

    Probably the conservatives are unelectable after this crack handed mess.

    On brexit jfdi and asap

    1. Iain Gill
      September 23, 2017

      Spell check sorry

  20. mickc
    September 23, 2017

    May has always been ineffective. Her approach is to be bossy with the British people but subservient to others.
    It seems the inevitable Labour victory at the next election is the only thing which will make the Tory party wake up.

    1. Tony
      September 23, 2017

      If we lose the next election we only have ourselves to blame.

      We have Been incredibly naive. In spite of varoufakis pointing out exactly what would happen and despite the EU openly saying that want to punish us and ensure no one else dares to leave, we have just blundered on with these part time talks which have been a charade as the other side do not want to do a deal

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    September 23, 2017

    I have no confidence that your government will take the UK out of the EU. Mrs May is totally out of her depth, was a Remainer and still seems to be. Why did she think she needed to make this over-hyped speech? The only consequence has been to weaken the UK’s negotiating position.

  22. Ian Wragg
    September 23, 2017

    Me thinks you’ve just lost the next election and many subsequent ones.
    A clear attempt to thwart the electorate and remain tied to the rotting corpse of the EU.
    Total capitulation and Brussels will just keep increasing their demands.
    JRM was correct this morning on the radio. If the ECJ is still in control after March 2019 we are still in the EU.

  23. agricola
    September 23, 2017

    Question, so far unanswered. Under this fog of bonhomie and extended membership can all our new trade treaties commence on 30th March 2019. If it all has to wait until 2021 then it will have been forgotten or at the very least will have lost it’s momentum.

    On reflection, the speech though thick in rhetoric lacked substance. It may have pleased your party and cabinet, but from the responses to your diary it did not convince the leavers or those who won the referendum.

    If Barnier et al at the EU fail to respond in a meaningful positive way, but instead continue with their carping negative grasping way then leaving cleanly is dead in the water. You only have to reflect on Cameron’s abysmal renegotiation to realise that the EU is set in concrete, short of internal revolution. If in the next month this is confirmed then the PM and our negotiating team must drop their inclination to bend over further, and spell it out to the EU that enough is enough and we go on 29th March 2019 or sooner minus further payments. They the EU must be shown that they will be the loser. We are not a supplicant in this parting of the ways.

  24. Duncan
    September 23, 2017

    I’m tired of this nonsense but then maybe that is the main aim of all this politicking. To grind people into boredom and lethargy so that we finally capitulate and agree to anything offered to us. That ain’t gonna happen!

    The UK’s sovereignty, its independence and its dignified place in the world is far too important to millions of people to allow that to be sacrificed on the altar of Tory political infighting and that’s from someone who’s voted Conservative all his life

    It is now incumbent on backbench Tory MPs, well certainly those who place the sovereignty of the UK above all else, to get together to force out May and the despicable Hammond. They despatched Margaret Thatcher in the blink of an eye so why can’t they do it with May and Hammond?

    1. Chris
      September 23, 2017

      Yes, they got rid of her very quickly, but then they had the EU on their side apparently.

  25. Peter
    September 23, 2017

    The reports are that the civil service have done no significant work on a ‘no deal’ scenario.

    Maybe they are relying on some sort of fudge to carry the day?

    1. Chris
      September 23, 2017

      More likely they plan to wreck it by lack of preparation?

  26. Anonymous
    September 23, 2017

    Sorry for over-posting but I’d like this one to pass moderation and drop the rest, please.

    Perhaps we should all calm down. Especially me. I’m enraged but then I could never make a politician/statesman/negotiator. I’m torn between two comments on this blog:

    “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.”

    Closely aligned to my own instincts, which have often failed me in life.


    “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.”

    Above my intelligence and patience.

    I’m tending towards the latter. There seems to be no useful purpose in tending towards the former – no point in being a pessimist, as Churchill would say. PvL is right too. Our intention is not to drop our European friends in the shit and we are obliged to help out.

    But we must leave completely and as soon as possible. The uncertainty is causing great harm.

  27. formula57
    September 23, 2017

    Lest the Florence speech is a prelude to capitulation (and who can say it is not?), I am minded to give an encouraging update (for my MP is sound) on my entryism to my local Conservative Party, begun you will recall after concerns about T. May’s attitude, approach and resourcefulness.

    I cannot do it publically in these comments of course for fear of facilitating counter-measures by party managers nor to you privately lest that is discovered by knaves who would wrongly suppose that you were a co-conspirator. So all I will say is I am making satisfactory progress and if ever it becomes clear what was said in Florence and it was bad, I shall expect to strike effectively.

  28. VotedOut
    September 23, 2017

    We were told we would leave the EU if we voted out

    We were *not* told it would take years and years and cost billions and billions with the ECJ over-ruling our courts.

    There is even talk of EU nationals having “enhanced rights” i.e subject to ECJ laws over UK law

    We didn’t tell Hitler in 39 we needed a “transitional period” to build more spitfires or our civil service needed to hire more border guards. It was done because the elite was facing wipe out.

    This speech shows that the elite has taken 15 months to find some way to stop Brexit… any way.

    Farage is “thinking hard”.

  29. David Murfin
    September 23, 2017

    I voted to leave, not to dither.

  30. Fed Up and Angry
    September 23, 2017

    It should be obvious by now that if Theresa May remains as PM, then we’re not leaving (not properly at any rate). Until she’s removed any further discussion is rather pointless.

  31. Bob
    September 23, 2017

    If Mrs May had been British PM in 1945 she would have surrendered to Adolph Hitler as he lifted his pistol to his own head.

    She has effectively caved in without the slightest reciprocation from Barnier.


  32. A.Sedgwick
    September 23, 2017

    Brexit means manana

  33. Original Richard
    September 23, 2017

    I don’t think Mrs. May’s Florence speech provided any further clarity other than to say that we will continue to “remain” in the EU for a further 2 years after “leaving”.

    Consequently we will continue to be under the jurisdiction of the ECJ, paying into the EU budget, accepting FOM, unable to sign any trade deals or take back our fishing grounds but without any UK representation at the EU.

    Mrs. May is evidently hoping that an “event” will take place between now and 2021 (or is it even later?) to save her the trouble of dealing with this matter and avoiding exiting the EU.

  34. Roy Grainger
    September 23, 2017

    May is either a political incompetent or a political genius. Well, we know which it is but consider this:

    Look at the people lining up to praise her offer: The Guardian, Labour, Sourby, Ken Clarke. One rule of negotiating is to always reject the first offer. The EU will reject May’s offer out of hand, probably in particular the offer only to pay annual contributions up to 2021 (Macron has already implied this still talking about a divorce settlement). What do all the left-wing supporters of her offer do then ? It is hardly likely they could support a huge divorce payment. They will have to start criticising the EU intransigence instead. May, hopefully having prepared for No deal, can then sigh “Well we tried to be reasonable but you see how impossible they are. We have to just walk away”.

  35. Bert Young
    September 23, 2017

    May has made another blunder of judgement . Her speech was more about the cohesion of the Conservative Party than the deal with the EU . The public are fed up with her lack of leadership and want someone who will deliver on the referendum result .

    It is clear from John’s blog today that he wants a clear and final position at the time of Brexit making our independence from the EU the main and only priority . Fudging around at the edges ignores the referendum result .

    May has to face up to the fact that she is not the capable leader this country wants and she should now face the discipline of the 1922 committee .

  36. Michael
    September 23, 2017

    The problem is that many senior members of the cabinet, the treasury mandarins and civil servants generally, want us to remain in the EU.

    The EU would also prefer us to continue as we are, them taking our money and exercising undemocratic and unaccountable control of our affairs.

    There is an unspoken understanding developing to keep us hanging in there for as long as possible in the expectation that the mood of the British electorate will inevitably change and at the end of the day Brexit will not happen.

  37. Dave Andrews
    September 23, 2017

    I wonder whether the civil service is a big part of the problem. To get them to do what is needed means they get off their backsides and do some work – the people who have spent the last couple of decades sitting back and lazily implementing whatever Brussels demands.
    If that wasn’t a big enough problem in itself, they are being instructed by wishy-washy ministers with no vision of what they are supposed to be doing either.

  38. zorro
    September 23, 2017

    For the love of God please do something about this. Otherwise, what is the point?


  39. SecretPeople
    September 23, 2017

    John, we lost.

    May has given the EU everything it was hoping for; their 100m euro bluff worked, and TM didn’t even haggle, just rolled over and offered them unconditional co-operation on security, unconditional security for EU citizens in the UK and fingers crossed there will be reciprocation for UK citizens living in the EU, continuous payments and open door immigration. This last is the least responsible to my mind.

    People at the sharp end are suffering every day from the strain to too large a growth in population and this needs to be addressed, urgently. We need to reduce our population, not add to it. If we can’t organise border controls by March 2019, how on earth are we going to be able to set up a registration system for incomers? A registration system – so English! Please form an orderly queue and wait for your turn to sign the book and press your thumbprint onto the paper. Does TM realise people are flooding in, in lorries, at small airports and all around the coast of our vulnerable country. Oh, but they are no EU citizens – really? What about the Somali and Moroccan ones? What about the poorer EU countries said to be selling passports to anyone passing through? What about the calls to cease conducting tests to verify the ages of the ‘boys’ seeking asylum, despite 85%+ of them being proven to be men? TM may be naïve, but we aren’t.

    And those trade deals – what was the point of being seen to shake hands with world leaders – how are they going to feel having had their expectations raised and waking up today to realise they probably won’t be in office IF and when the time finally rolls around to be able to enact these deals?

  40. Javelin
    September 23, 2017

    May is a double-crossing, foot-dragging, back-stabbing traitor who is taking longer to leave Europe than Churchill took to defeat it.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      Indeed. She must go now.

  41. Helen Taylor
    September 23, 2017

    As a person in Westminster have you got any influence in ensuring that we are pushing ahead to have all the necessary controls in place by march 19. We know we need our borders so are we hiring and training this staff. Also can you assure us that we will be free to sign our own trade deals etc from March 19, I believe we need more clarity on what leaving on that date actually means.

  42. MikeP
    September 23, 2017

    Predictably since Theresa May’s speech, Guy Verhofstadt is saying that during the two-year “transition” period, nothing can change. Same rules, same obligations, the four freedoms still sacrosanct, ECJ jurisdiction. Really? How is this a transition?
    Like you I sincerely hope that this strident and unrealistic line isn’t upheld by Michel Barnier because, if it is, then the no deal option must really come in to play. Unlike the Greeks, we should not tolerate these games with an amorphous mass of bureaucrats who won’t give an inch on anything.

    1. zorro
      September 24, 2017

      He has been consistent at least in saying this in the EP. He has said that we would keep the acquis and keep on paying. They will never sign off any deal so thta will carry on in perpetuity…. May must go, she is just not up to the job 😡


  43. Bob
    September 23, 2017

    We are truly living in Orwellian times.
    • Leave = Stay

    • Independence = Subservience

    • 2 years = 4 years (unless it refers to a jail sentence!)

    • “free” trade costs £10 billion p.a.

    Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry both very happy.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 23, 2017

      Spot on.

  44. James Matthews
    September 23, 2017

    The speech was not as bad as I thought it might be, but is not in the least reassuring. It still looks like a coded preparation for a sell-out involving an arrangement which leaves the UK with none of the (admittedly limited) advantages of being in the EU and few of the advantages of being outside it.

    Delay favours only the EU and those within our country (apparently including much of the Civil Service) who still hope to sabotage Brexit. A greater sense of urgency really is necessary.

  45. George Brooks
    September 23, 2017

    The dangerous word is ”transition” and TM should have used the word ”implementation”. If she cannot describe the, hopefully very short period, after March 2019 as one of implementation then we know that she does not have either the confidence or may be the intention to have reached an agreement by that date.

    She does not have the mandate to extend negotiations beyond that date so you are absolutely right that we should be putting all the plans and preparations in place for a ‘no-deal’ situation.

    The EU is causing all the delay and it would not surprise me if they continue to do so right up to March 2019 in the hope that we then allow Brexit to slowly evaporate during the transition period which by then could be longer than 2 years.

    I am sure many ‘remainers’ have a similar aim and would then blame the government wrongly for not having a plan. Any members of the Conservative party who subscribe to this view should realise that they will handing this country over to Corbyn who will, with the help of the EU, destroy this our economy.

    We did this in 1945 when we let Atlee in for 5 years which then took us another 10 years to recover, not only from the war but also the mistakes that were made Labour

  46. Peter
    September 23, 2017

    May has just kicked the can down the road. I agree with Tim Martin, the Wetherspoons owner who says it is a partial step to not leaving the EU. It buys more time for Remainers to mount further challenges.

    Nigel Farage is considering a return to politics which is good news.

    Jacob Rees Mogg has also outlined three concerns arising from May’s speech- the continuing role of the ECJ, Freedom of movement and payments in advance. He points out we could easily leave in 2019 if the civil service got its act together.

  47. Horatio McSherry
    September 23, 2017


    I thought Mrs. May’s speech was fair to middling (the BBC felt betrayed by it so it couldn’t have been that bad) but I disagreed with her making it in the first place. It shows an astonishing weakness in her character and the inbred political view that the UK has nothing to offer the world. There was no need to make that speech; the EU have contributed nothing since the triggering of A50 and will not until the eleventh hour. This is the modus operandi of the EU. Saying that, I don’t think it was the sell-out that Nigel Farage made it out to be either.

    At the moment I have to say it seems Mrs. May wants to lose another election. To avoid that she needs to shut up and get on with it…and dispose of Hammond and Carney.

  48. Javelin
    September 23, 2017

    May has now guaranteed the communist-wolf Corbyn in at the next election who will nationalise UK companies.

    The choice is not whether to leave or stay in the EU.

    The choice is whether to leave the EU or let Corbyn nationalise UK companies.

  49. MickN
    September 23, 2017

    Well John I am the wrong side of 60 now, but if I have to take to the streets to fight for the democracy that has held this country together for hundreds of years then so be it. I never believed that a so called “conservative” government would turn against the people of this country in such a way. I cannot use the words I want to as you would not publish this. With one or two notable exceptions I am ashamed of my government.

  50. Christine
    September 23, 2017

    The EU in response to her speech has said “more work still needs to be done to unlock all-important trade talks”. They won’t be happy until she gives in to everything they are asking for. The Government needs to use the window of opportunity that the Trump administration has given them. Whatever people might think of Trump he is a powerful ally to have in these troubled times. Sort things out before he gets replaced. Get a good trade deal with the US whilst we are at the front of the queue. All the dithering will have long-term implications for this country. We are seen as weak and indecisive just what business doesn’t like. As we saw at the General Election TM isn’t a leader. She fails to put across her argument to the public.

    1. ju
      September 23, 2017

      Given the short duration of recent encounters and obvious body language, think Trump has now realised that May is a useless, dithering globalist puppet who can’t be trusted. Would rather have him as PM.

    2. stred
      September 24, 2017

      May and her pro-EU colleagues would like to see Trump replaced with politicians like themselves. She is a false conservative one-world subversive.

  51. MickN
    September 23, 2017

    From another site someone has said that May is taking longer to leave Europe that Churchill took to defeat it. Who could argue with that. She could have secured her place in history alongside Churchill and Thatcher, but seems determined to be mentioned in the same breath as Heath and Blair instead.

  52. Caterpillar
    September 23, 2017

    Yes, focus on the no deal option. This is the route of speed and certainty. (Having reread the speech, of does not appear helpful. Starting with irrelevant history and ending by begging leaders to set the tone, even the structure is disappointing. In the middle, the suggestion that indeterminate transition times for different aspects goves certainty, I am afraid is inconsistent. So, I think some might read it as irrelevant, – history, inconsistent argument, beg.)

  53. RupertP
    September 23, 2017

    I completely agree that the country should be fully prepared for no deal to ensure we have the best possible negotiating position. But, I hear that the issue with properly preparing the UK public for a “no deal” outcome is that the government thinks the UK population would be extremely scared when the government’s papers on what a “no deal” scenario actually looks like is published.

    You’ve said that the planes would keep flying the day after a “no deal” Brexit, but you have no legal substance to backup your claim, amongst many other “cliff edge” problems that need to be resolved. I agree with you that the politicians would be told to sort it out and I have no doubt that it would be resolved eventually, but there would be a legal vacuum for a period whilst this was done and this must involve disruption.

    The solution to this problem seems pretty clear – The UK must at least sign a “withdrawal agreement” with the EU, which should cover all of the things necessary to at least continue trading with the EU under WTO terms (e.g. mutual recognition of standards checking bodies etc) like any other “third country” has with the EU. It should also include other non-contentious items like citizens rights, security co-operation, flights to and from the EU, nuclear monitoring, chemical standards (REACH) etc. This only needs majority approval by the EU parliament, unlike the “mixed” free trade deal, that would come later and will need unanimous approval by all of the governments of the EU.

    I am doubtful (and I suspect you are too) that it will be possible for the UK to agree the bold and ambitious free trade agreement the UK government says it wants with the EU. It might be in the EU’s economic interests to do so, but it is not in their political interests, since they want to keep these economic benefits for EU members only, to avoid tempting other EU members to exit too.

    The EU has already said that any free trade deal must amount to worse terms than being a member. They are also saying that a free trade agreement would have to manage the “risks of regulatory divergence”, which would likely mean that the UK government’s freedom to make changes in the UK would be severely restricted by an EU free trade agreement.

    Surely therefore the government should be preparing the country for “no trade deal”, not no deal whatsoever. We do need a withdrawal deal that will enable the UK to exit the EU in an orderly fashion and to trade with the EU satisfactorily on WTO terms.

  54. Leslie Singleton
    September 23, 2017

    Dear John–I didn’t think much of May’s speech and as usual I liked what Nigel had to say. Having just read Macron repeating that as he sees it we will not be allowed even to talk about Trade without preconditions, in order of course to squeeze us in to bigger concessions, it seems to me that we should tell him, with the great clarity he says he wants, that we give him, and them, one month to climb down from that high horse, meaning obviously everything should be considered at once, and if that hasn’t happened by the end of that month we shall immediately just have to choose No Deal. And what we should also do is quit saying how much we want to be friends, which is becoming embarrassing. They don’t act like friends, which is half the problem.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      September 23, 2017

      Postscript–And to think I once naively thought that the two-year delay immediately after the Referendum WAS the transition period but apparently we need a transition period to give effect to a transition period. Having just read the papers it just gets clearer and clearer that the Conservatives ran mad putting two Remainers in charge, especially that wet rag Hammond, always dripping poisonous inactivity as he does. How did it come to this? So Gove had doubts about Boris, well I hope he is happy about his last minute treachery now–All of us have pluses and minuses and had Boris been in charge a great deal more would have happened by now. Nigel has of course got to come back immediately and be given a free hand to change whatever gets in his way in UKIP

      1. No More Tricks
        September 23, 2017

        So Gove had doubts about Boris, well I hope he is happy about his last minute treachery now

        don’t trust either of them

  55. Epikouros
    September 23, 2017

    I have not read or heard the speech but what I can pick up from the comments is that Theresa May is dithering yet again. She should be telling them that if they are going to continue to be obstructive not negotiate responsibly then nor will the UK. She should abruptly suspend talks and tell them the the UK will not return to the table until the EU acts far more reasonably without hostility and in a spirit that is far more conciliatory.

    She should make it unequivocally that the UK will leave the EU on the UK terms of no single market, customs union or financial obligations but is prepared to continue with mutually beneficial arrangements on cooperation and negotiate on the mechanics of leaving. Such as security, ESA, the status of expats, customs arrangements, tariffs or non tariffs and a few others. Telling them that they can take it or leave it as the UK has nothing to fear if they decide to leave it and leave without a deal.

  56. Iain Moore
    September 23, 2017

    I find it really insulting for the EU to demand they, via the ECJ, should have oversight on EU migrants rights here, and I am disgusted with the Government that they haven’t told the EU where to get off on the issue. We have 800 years of Common Law, perhaps the oldest legal system in the World, and yet the only country in the World that the EU seeks to have juridical oversight on is us. What level of insult can be thrown at us before the British Establishment actually get insulted? May be there is nothing that the British Establishment can be moved to defend, there is no demeaning demand that they won’t consider as a point of negotiation.

    One further issue. Cameron wandered around the EU for two years getting nothing for his renegotiation. It took us 6 months to activate Article 50, we have two years till we leave, and now another two years have been tacked on . It took Churchill less time to defeat the Nazis than it is taking us to get out of the EU. Its time to call a halt to this prevarication

  57. Tad Davison
    September 23, 2017

    Thank God for a politician who actually tells it like it is!

    I said on the radio last night that I see Mrs May’s speech as just a ploy to delay Brexit so that the Goldman Sachs placemen can have more time to find a way to stop it altogether.

    The time to get out of the EU is more urgent now than ever. We want no more dithering and back-sliding!

    Tad Davison


  58. Kenneth
    September 23, 2017

    I am concerned the powerful axis of the unelected – spearheaded by the civil service and the BBC – has far too much influence over policy.

    Every day more of our assets are being sent overseas and there is now a danger that these forces want us to send even more.

    Stop them!

    Please sign this:

    1. Iain Moore
      September 23, 2017

      We give aid to 53 countries, and give money via the EU to another 20. The British political class have got us giving money to over a third of the world .

    2. M. Davis
      September 23, 2017

      Thank you, signed!

  59. MickN
    September 23, 2017

    How about a “What if” scenario.
    What if the likes of Germany and Italy from home grown political pressures give the hundreds of immigrants that are landing there daily adding to the millions already there EU citizenship and a large number of them decide that the UK offers them a good future. What if a million or so turn up on our doorstep during this so called “transitional” period. How will we be able to stop their entry into the UK?

  60. Prigger
    September 23, 2017

    Mrs May said in the speech in Florence the transition period would be , quote “ABOUT two years”. I guess it will depend on whether we are good, tidy up our bedrooms and run errands when asked instead of going out to play. She is fooling next to no-one.

  61. Original Richard
    September 23, 2017

    “The EU’s response to the speech shows that they will just go on pushing for more and more money to make sure it is [a] bad deal.”

    The EU has known for a long time (at least ever since the Maastricht Treaty/the introduction of the Euro) that the UK population is against the EU’s goal of further integration/federalisation.

    So it makes perfect sense that the UK leaves the EU and the EU should be grateful that leaving has become a UK decision and it has not become necessary for the EU to eject the UK from the Union.

    In which case, why is the EU making it so difficult for the UK to leave ?

    The only logical reason is because of the money the UK brings to the EU, and which is of course the only reason why the UK’s membership was continued to be tolerated.

    It is increasingly clear that the EU just wants a sufficiently large “bung” from the UK in order to give the UK its freedom and that is really all that is being negotiated at present.

    Other items are just side shows/planned distractions.

    It will boil down to money in the end as this is the only attraction the EU have ever seen in the UK’s membership of the EU and the EU will spin out “negotiations” for as long as we keep paying the membership fee.

    For this reason the government should be planning for a “no deal” position in March 2019 and not an everlasting “transitional” one which involves accepting all the rules of the EU but without any representation.

  62. Chris
    September 23, 2017

    Jacob Rees-Mogg on Newsnight was excellent. Why are there apparently no others stating exactly what he said. May’s speech does seem to be a sell out, and would have been worse if Boris had not written his article. Going away on a walking holiday at a criticial time seems to have allowed the mice to play, and for Hammond, Rudd, Heywood and others apparently to finalise their stitch up of Brexit. The situation is disgraceful, in my mind. We have to have a new leader of the Cons party, and very quickly indeed as a disaster is unfolding.

  63. percy openshaw
    September 23, 2017

    Perhaps the best option will be to allow this lame duck PM to limp into 2018, ditching her in time for a fresh election based on new boundaries, with Boris as leader. Before then the Tory party must pull itself together, put together an attractive, conservative manifesto with retail offers to its likeliest supporters and establish a campaign on the ground. Likewise, reliable ministers should be preparing as far as they can for the No Deal scenario. Then we go to the country on a full Brexit ticket, exposing Labour’s lies and prevarications – which should deprive them of enough of the north to ensure a Tory victory. We should also tighten up voting procedure to prevent the electoral fraud among idiot students which undoubtedly cost us Canterbury and other constituencies.

  64. Dennis Zoff
    September 23, 2017

    Yes John, we mostly agree with your echo chamber. However, can we please refrain from stamping on ants and letting the elephants through?

    Moreover, we have been hearing these comments or paraphrases since before the Brexit vote. I have each bullet point ingrained on my posted notes around my office! No need to re-reiterate the blindingly obvious, as if constant reminders will somehow appease the waiting Brexiteer hordes.

    Please be demonstrably constructive. Announce your opposition to Daisy May’s (peace for our time – appeasement nonsense!) and push to become PM….please take the initiative and be brave!

    We support you, but there comes a time when each individual needs to stand up and be counted, regardless of the personal consequence; else we can only assume that individual is, indeed, somewhat sympathetic to the status quo…for their own reasons?

    1. True Tory
      September 23, 2017

      Yes. I am an admirer of John Redwood. But he has to stand up now and oppose May and Hammond, the betrayers

  65. E.S Tablishment
    September 23, 2017

    One year is sufficient a transition period for a farmer to take his foot off the carrot planting pedal and grow something in line with British labour availability. He could try growing beans, potatoes, corn, barley, wheat, rapeseed, or turn over his land to cattle. The inflow of labour from the EU should stop two years from 23rd June 2016. They will be required in that two years to give farmers, growers, basic skills in farming, growing and harvesting and appropriate use of land and labour.
    Mrs May is not believed here. She and her so-called negotiations are an insult to our people. She should resign.

    1. anon
      September 24, 2017

      Increasing technology and automation mean many things can be accomplished with less unskilled and skilled labour. (note Japan and others)

      We do not need an excess of labour via immigration unless of course you are a “faux con capitalist” and want to employ them without paying the full social costs, whilst claiming obscene bonuses.

  66. Steve Reay
    September 23, 2017

    A leadership challange in now required. Hopefully a Brexiteer will take over and implement Brexit sooner rather than later.

  67. BOF
    September 23, 2017

    I am impressed with your calm assessment. I saw it as capitulation and an abuse of tax payers money. The reality is that the EU will always demand more, however much is offered and this is quite evident from post speech statements, the latest one I heard was Macron. This two year period she speaks of is a massive waste of time and will not be helpful to UK business. It is a bogus argument.

    Mrs May might see her approach as keeping the cabinet together but it is far more important to the electorate to see resolution. Procrastination and fudging will not win votes.

    I have also noticed that TM, having fired Mess rs Timothy and Hill, has simply replaced them with a close knit group of die hard remainers, to the exclusion of the cabinet (and the country). Has she learned nothing?

  68. Trumpeter
    September 23, 2017

    I wish Trump could be our PM. We need one. The Cabinet is like the Democratic Party B Team. A set of losers.

    1. Iain Gill
      September 23, 2017


  69. Mark B
    September 23, 2017

    Good morning.

    As said many times before, the EU is not a trade body but a political project and, the UK’s decision to leave is seen , quite rightly, as a threat to its existence. The UK will not get a good deal, or any deal that it remotely likes because, that is not in the EU’s interests. No matter what harm is done to them (the other 27 countries) the EU will be largely unaffected. It is time to get touch and NOT to offer concessions. They will just take the concessions and demand more ! JUST STOP TALKING TO THEM !!

    It is time to prepare for leaving the EU without matters on our future relationship (not trade deal) unresolved.

  70. Augustyn
    September 23, 2017

    You are absolutely right that we need to get moving on the basis that to the EU the UK will be a third party country from March 2019. There will be major changes and these will be required whatever the date of implementation is, whether there’s a trade deal or whether WTO rules will apply. The good news is the systems for third party imports into the EU already exist and at least major importing companies and shipping companies and Customs warehouses will have a good understanding already of what will be needed.
    There are significant issues to be dealt with though:
    – those UK importers who have only,ever imported from the EU will need to acquaint themselves with the new paperwork and have a means of paying the incoming tarrif if WTO rules apply to HMRC
    – UK exporters need to be speaking to their EU customers identifying the paperwork trail is going to change and the customers need to establish how the tarrif is going to be paid to their customs authorities
    – meanwhile EU exporters to the U.K. will have to change their paperwork
    None of this stuff is very complicated but there is a vast amount of it and the sooner some simple guide is produced by government the smoother the transition might be.

    And just one final point please. Let’s not forget that on day 1 every customs authority throughout The EU will need to change their systems and educate their officers.

  71. NickC
    September 23, 2017

    No, Dr JR, this whole sorry saga is just not good enough. Leave is being dismantled before our eyes, slice by slice. Agreed each slice is so small it is difficult to say of any one slice thus far and no further. But in my view Mrs May’s speech in Firenza is it.

    Because the British don’t understand how to negotiate with the EU (proven by our failure over 45 years) I can predict that the EU will make encouraging noises but will squeeze a little bit more. Then a little bit more after that. Where does it stop?

    Our independence is not available to negotiate away for putative trade deals. That’s a principle of the Leave vote. But that is exactly what Mrs May has done. In principle there is no difference now between Conservative and Labour.

  72. Chris
    September 23, 2017

    I think Gerrard Batten sums up what so many people feel about Theresa May and Brexit (his comments about the Defence Treaty are also highly significant. I don’t think the people had realised what our government has signed us up to, even after the referendum result).
    Comment by Batten
    “Theresa May has betrayed the British public by offering Brussels a transitional Brexit with continued free movement of people, according to UKIP’s Brexit spokesman.
    Gerard Batten MEP said: “After fifteen months of doing nothing she has revealed her desired outcome. Her intention is for us to leave the EU in name but not in reality.

    “Her ‘vision’ is for Britain to be an EU satellite state: such as Poland was to the old Soviet Union. She has made concession after concession and has received nothing in return.
    “These include continuing freedom of movement, continuing jurisdiction by European courts over the UK, continuing payment of billions a year to the EU, continuing capitulation to the demands of an EU which does not want a mutually advantageous deal with the UK.

    “The idea of a new Treaty on Security and Defence signals that she wishes us to become part of a future EU Army, something that is clearly against the wishes of the British public. Not only that but it is clear from her own position whilst Home Secretary that we will be keeping all the police and criminal justice measures including the invidious European Arrest Warrant…”
    Source: Westmonster website.

  73. forthurst
    September 23, 2017

    Brexit has been so badly handled; unfortunately for the Tories, their leaders are selected for them by people hiding behind the curtain which explains why, although the Tory Party does contain some intelligent and some patriotic individuals, they never quite make it.

    As soon as Brexit was decided by the electorate, the Article 50 letter should have been sent and the Brussels regime should have been given a date by which if they had not agreed to continue with free trade, we would opt for WTO rules, thus enabling business and HMRC certainty over what they would be planning for. We would them have been able to leave entirely within two years. There should, in the meantime have been a refusal to begin discussions with the Brussels regime until it had dropped its illegal demands for a leaving bounty and other demands which they would not presume to make on any other sovereign nation.

    The WTO option would be better for us since our farmers would not have to compete with CAP subsidised food and our manufacturers with goods using an artificially low currency exchange rate. We could then focus our interest in free trade deals on those nations that trade fairly. The WTO option would also be more painful for the Brussels regime thus teaching them a lesson about realpolitik.

    Losing out to a bunch of nonentities, not all of who can even manage occasional sobriety, is really rather humilitating, but of course we are used to that because we keep voting for those who are either stupid or in the pockets of people who hate us.

    1. forthurst
      September 23, 2017

      Sign the ‘parliament UK petition 200165’ to ‘Leave the EU immediately’.

  74. John S
    September 23, 2017

    This transition period will just push the “cliff edge” 2 years further away. We are giving money away without anything in return and that is how it will be. Concession after concession and the promise of a free trade deal will be just out of reach, similar to the torment of Tantalus.
    We need to leave now.

  75. Denis Cooper
    September 23, 2017

    Before I offer any other comment, JR, I need to say that having commented here for years, with the same name, the same email address, and the same IP address, I am fed up to the back teeth with your Captcha system treating me as if I was not only a total stranger but a very suspicious total stranger. It is often taking me more keystrokes to convince this idiotic system that I am not a robot than it takes to type in a short comment, and increasingly I feel that I just can’t be bothered. For God’s sake get onto your IT support people and tell them to sort it out, there must be a better system to block robots than this one.

  76. Graham Wood
    September 23, 2017

    John You say: “Lets get on with sorting everything out now” Indeed. Put that slightly differently and one could well argue that means leaving the EU right now, without any of the growing complications and procrastination introduced by TM in her speech.
    This seems to be the view of about 20,000 others who have already signed a petition entitled ‘Leave the EU Immediately’. What is wrong with that? It is what the voters called for in the referendum, and not an “neverendum” series of delays and obfuscations.
    The link for those who support such a move is:>

    1. M. Davis
      September 23, 2017

      Error 404 – Page does not exist.

      Kenneth at 10.02am has the correct address, that being:

  77. Denis Cooper
    September 23, 2017

    As nobody can define a theoretical upper limit for how bad a bad deal could be it should be beyond any reasonable dispute that no deal might be better than a bad deal.

    Suppose that the deal on offer involved us paying the EU a trillion euros a year, but still being faced with one thousand percent tariffs on all our exports to them without being allowed to impose reciprocal tariffs on any of their exports to us, would the Remoaners still claim that even such a bad deal would be better than having no deal at all?

    1. Know-Dice
      September 24, 2017


      It is quite clear to me as has been suggested for some time that Mrs May is willing to accept a “bad deal” that is worse than “no deal”.

      Nick Clegg banging on again about cancelling Brexit, surely to cancel Article 50 requires the agreement of the other 27 EU member countries? – I’m sure the cost of remaining would be joining the Euro, Shengen and what monetary and credibility cost?

      It seems that his desire is that the UK becomes part of a “United States of EU Land” – Truly a traitor to the UK and England.

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 25, 2017

        Article 50 TEU makes no provision for a withdrawal notice to be cancelled, let alone for the country which has served it to have a unilateral right to revoke it. On the other hand there is no express statement that once served a notice can never be cancelled. It might be possible for all the member states to agree to extend the two year negotiating period in perpetuity, or for long enough to get Article 50 amended so that the notice can be cancelled. However it is hard to believe that after two years of increasingly fraught negotiations all of the other member states would agree that as the UK Parliament/people did not like the new deal which had been agreed the UK could just stay in on the terms which applied before the referendum and/or before the notice had been delivered.

  78. anon
    September 23, 2017


    The people of the UK will insist we press on with the no deal.

    The EU do not need our money to spend in the EU for the EU’s benefit. They want to be able to control the UK for purposes which have little to do with local democracy.

    The prime political objective is to at a minimum deter others from leaving the EU. All else is subjugated.

    We have those in our country who seek and support this kind of rule, generally in powerful positions of influence, which it appears they are using to thwart democracy. Reference delays and lack of direct democracy and powers of recall.

    The EU and quislings will continue any charade that maintains EU control.

  79. DaveM
    September 23, 2017

    My biggest concern would be the inability to sign bilateral free trade agreements before 21. Any update on that Mr R?

  80. Andy Marlot
    September 23, 2017

    You seem to be reading a different speech than the rest of us Mr Redwood. To me she sounded like someone that really didn’t believe in Brexit and someone who was entirely willing to give billions of pounds to an organisation we are supposed to be leaving. The EU is the first to quote legal niceties so lets go with your point about there being no legal requirement to pay more. Nor is there any need for a transition period. Just get on with it, if the EU want to play hard ball let them and we’ll see if we can’t send the ball back harder still. Out now.

  81. Dioclese
    September 23, 2017

    I am amazed at the reaction of prominent Brexiteers to May’s Florence speech. Why are Gove and Boris for example not screaming from the rooftops that the will of the British people is being defied.

    “Brexit means Brexit” doesn’t it? Not staying in for another two years in the hope that it will never happen. Juncker’s speech on the state of the EU the other day was terrifying enough without the British Government selling us down the river by leaving without really leaving.

    This so called transition means that new EU laws will be incumbent upon us while we have no say in what they are. No deal is better than a bad deal. What May has offered looks to me like a very bad deal indeed.

    I rely upon you and those of your persuasion to bring her to book. It’s a bit strong, but some commentators are already referring to her as ‘Treason May’. I might not go that far, but I must admit that if I had the power, I’d fire her!

    1. No More Tricks
      September 23, 2017

      Why are Gove and Boris for example not screaming from the rooftops

      Because they are fakes.

  82. Denis Cooper
    September 23, 2017

    Some of the mass media misreporting of Theresa May’s speech is an utter disgrace to the journalistic profession, unpatriotic and deeply damaging to our national interests.

    Completely untruthful, misleading, destructive headlines like:

    “Brexit delayed to 2021”

    “2 year delay for EU exit”

    “No real Brexit until 2021”

    are the kind of reasons why I refuse to pay for any of those newspapers.

  83. nigel seymour
    September 23, 2017

    No deal is looking to be the best option but, alas, will never ever happen. The Gov seems to be on course to appease the EU, 48% of remainers, and 27 states. The referendum result was always going to be a problem for any UK government on account that the EU cannot be seen to lose face and encourage further ‘members of the club’ to jump ship. I think TM was right to call the election but every decision we make in life is based on risk- like travelling on the tube via Parsons Green. We pride ourselves on welcoming people to the greatest country on the planet and then?

    There but for the grace of god.

  84. Lorna J Ainsworth
    September 23, 2017

    I read this article with a growing sense of relief .It stares eloquently my own views .
    There is so much misinformation about cliff edges perpetrated by Hammond and Co
    It be scessential that voices like yours are heard widely
    How can we possibly have implementation without a deal to implement ? If we are leaving
    On March 2019 why should we remain in the single market with free movement of people and not able to strike our own trade deals ?
    Keep up the good work J.R.Much appreciated !

  85. Lorna J Ainsworth
    September 23, 2017

    I read this article with a growing sense of relief .It states eloquently my own views .
    There is so much misinformation about cliff edges perpetrated by Hammond and Co
    It is essential that voices like yours are heard widely
    How can we possibly have implementation without a deal to implement ? If we are leaving
    On March 2019 why should we remain in the single market with free movement of people and not able to strike our own trade deals ?
    Keep up the good work J.R.Much appreciated !

  86. Norman
    September 23, 2017

    “The government needs to press on with the no deal option” – yes, but only if the EU show themselves unworthy of the conciliatory approach set out in the PM’s speech. Goodness, however strongly we feel about it, we are not at war, are we? Either way, we need to win ideologically, and in a gentlemanly fashion – which indeed is your style, JR. On the basis of her words, I hope Mrs May will prove to be vindicated.

  87. ferdinand
    September 23, 2017

    You are absolutely right. I am continually amazed by the number of people including friends some of whom are high powered accountants and lawyers who seem to think that if we cut our EU links now then trade would instantly cease. It is hard work explaining that trade is between companies and consumers and the only variation in trade before and after leaving would be prices, some against us but many in our favour, and a little bit of extra paperwork.. I can only assume that a sort of laziness has subdued all ambition and drive and an easy life is too attractive. Keep up the good work.

  88. Denis Cooper
    September 23, 2017

    Given the prevailing hysteria I’m not sure there’s much point in repeating this yet again, but it’s commonplace for international treaties to include transitional provisions.

    So, to quote the same example I’ve offered here before, under their 1957 Treaty of Rome the six founding EEC countries allowed themselves no fewer than twelve years to gradually set up their common market, stage by stage, after the treaty had come into force.

    “ARTICLE 8

    1. The common market shall be progressively established during a transitional period of twelve years.

    This transitional period shall be divided into three stages of four years each; the length of each stage may be altered in accordance with the provisions set out below.

    2. To each stage there shall be assigned a set of actions to be initiated and carried through concurrently … ”

    And all of this was to be AFTER the treaty had come into force; indeed there was another precautionary paragraph as follows:

    “6. Nothing in the preceding paragraphs shall cause the transitional period to last more than fifteen years after the entry into force of this Treaty. ”

    The treaty came into force on January 1st 1958, when the six countries joined together as members of the European Economic Community and the transitional provisions started to operate. In the case of the UK as it is now planned the transitional provisions will start to operate when the UK leaves the EU on March 29th 2019.

  89. Nerwmania
    September 23, 2017

    This “No deal ” bravado form people who live in some half baked Henry James novel of a world,infuriates me.

    I have been unemployed. I remember walking into the room where my children knowing that the house they have grown up in is now at risk as is everything else .
    In true Tory style I got on my bike and forced my way back into work but the experience is terrifying.
    This is the risk that John Redwood is taking , and not with his life which will continue to be one of sixth form debates and waffle, but with other people`s lives . Other people , alone in their misery who will discover , as I did , that most of what know –nothing politicians say , has no connection with the reality they must face
    You have no idea what the result of cutting off decades of agreement will be, you do not know everyone`s business better than they do, you barely know enough to comment on the grossest of questions and this is detailed work , real work .
    You promised it would be easy; you lied , you campaigned alongside outright racists and Populists fomenting ethnic hate . You frequently employ weasel words such as “ A lot of people are concerned that migration may increase housing costs “. Do you think we don`t know what you are up to ?
    There is now majority for staying the EU; there is also a 25% core remain constituency that will never be reconciled. This is far from the few odd balls and nuts that objected the first referendum, and that is the future .

    This will never be over no matter how many years it takes.

    1. anon
      September 24, 2017


      The best protection for employee is the next employer, offering better terms.

      Look what happened after the “Black Death”, real economic power transferred to the people. Tell me why?

    2. Anonymous
      September 24, 2017

      Racists – ethnic hate. I saw no such thing.

      Besides. It would have been illegal.

      1. Anonymous
        September 24, 2017

        I have been unemployed with children too.

        You get yourself out of it.

  90. bony
    September 23, 2017

    We need a Churchill but get a Chamberlain plus. Theresa May must not be allowed a place in history but to expose her inhibiting our freedom, liberties and place in the world by tying the balls and chains of EU federalism around the ankles of the United Kingdom and Realms of HM Queen Elizabeth ll

  91. LiamB
    September 23, 2017

    It’s all BS, Boris by his comments yesterday is also full of BS- what is very clear is that all he wants is the top job no matter what- it’s all about Boris and nothing for the country.

    The truth is that the UK is never going to be able to leave the EU bloc altogether.. the penny has finally dropped and hence Mrs Mays speech..and so we’ll trundle along for another few years until we get a new agreement in place for tariff free access for our goods backwards and forwards and by paying in an agreed amount each year but with no say at all at the top table. EU people will move in and out freely, as will UK nationals, and the Irish border will remain the same quiet peaceful place it is today. geographically we are in the orbit of this giant collosus the EU bloc and despite Liam Fox’s best efforts we are never going to be able to replace cliff edge lost EU trade with new partners overseas- it’s just not going to happen.

    And so maybe at some time in the distant future when we have conducted ourselves in a more realistic manner to the EU Europeans they just might let us rejoin the club at some level.

  92. iain
    September 23, 2017

    I got the impression that Mrs may wants to be best friends with the EU. Presumably she expects them to reciprocate. Zero chance of that happening. She has missed an opportunity to express disappointment with Barnier’s response to our proposals/papers. We should endeavour to get them on the back foot and keep them there otherwise our “leaving” will be dragged out for as long as possible so that they can wring evermore payments from us.

  93. Chris S
    September 23, 2017

    Listening to Question Time From Arundel on Radio 4 on Saturday, it was clear as crystal that the audience was packed with anti-Conservative Remain supporters. The panel was at least balanced with Charles Moore and Penny Mordaunt on the panel supporting Brexit.

    Why does the BBC persist in recruiting such grossly biased audiences ?

  94. agricola
    September 23, 2017

    Assuming you are on the champagne guest list at Chequers, please make sure that Mrs May fully appreciates the disquiet among the 17 million who voted out of the EU. Just because it may suit a large swathe of your parliamentary party it does not mean she has the approval of the majority in the country. She is effectively under scrutiny as are the main players in the EU. If they fail to respond in a meaningful way and she fails to react to any further delaying tactics then I suspect it is the end of her political career. By the New Year we will know if this negotiation is going anywhere. If not we should be out by March 2018. We can apply our own solutions to the Irish border, the security of EU citizens under UK law in the UK, and the membership fee paid up fully until our date of departure. We should not be in the business of making Barnier or the EU look good. Getting it wrong will deal a devastating electoral blow to the conservative party, and possibly allow that opportunist Marxist Corbyn to take control of the country.

    1. ferdinand
      September 23, 2017

      I was told some time ago by someone who ought to know that Labour supporters have been pressed to attend these ‘shows’, and that if asked to say they support the Conservatives. I have no idea as to whether that is correct or is still the case.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      We also need to think about sequestrating EU assets based here until quid-pro-quo arrangements have been made for us to receive our share of EU-based assets.

  95. Linda Jones
    September 23, 2017

    Mrs May should address the nation DIRECTLY. She is, after all, pledging our money and making promises on our behalf. The very least she can accord to us, the citizens and taxpayers, is the courtesy of an explanation in detail of what, exactly, this all means to us and our country.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      I think this does indeed have to happen once we have received a considered reply to her offer to the EU, such that it was.
      It would have been altogether better if she had made the offer of free trade explicitly, so that the EU had to give a “Oui” or “Non” to it. That’s our timetable, and if it isn’t met with a “Oui”, we pack our bags. As it is, we will have to work on a waffled answer to a waffled proposal by T May.

  96. Tabulazero
    September 23, 2017

    The British position on the transition period is utterly ridiculous.

    It is after all Theresa May herself who started the clock before having finalised what Brexit exactly means and how to achieve it by serving article 50. She then wasted a few more months the U.K. did not have in a botched general election that transformed her into a lame PM.

    … and now you tell us that 2 years is not enough and that Brexit must be postponed by another 2 years because bad things will happen to the U.K. otherwise ?

    You seriously could not think about that beforehand?

    If Theresa May is indeed the best Conservative candidate for the role of PM then the Torries are done for as a political party.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      For once, you have a point.

    2. Know-Dice
      September 24, 2017


      All we can hope is that the EU rejects her “offer” and we can then walk way,

      Unfortunately, I think they [the EU negotiators] will string us along and continue to take our money – Why wouldn’t they?

      Mrs May certainly isn’t a Maggie MkII, at every turn she shows how useless she is…her lack of political radar for the General Election continues…

    3. Denis Cooper
      September 24, 2017

      Brexit will not be postponed for two years, that is a media fable.

    4. Denis Cooper
      September 24, 2017

      From January:

      “But there is one further objective we are setting. For as I have said before – it is in no one’s interests for there to be a cliff-edge for business or a threat to stability, as we change from our existing relationship to a new partnership with the EU.

      By this, I do not mean that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status, in which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory. That would not be good for Britain, but nor do I believe it would be good for the EU.

      Instead, I want us to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the 2-year Article 50 process has concluded. From that point onwards, we believe a phased process of implementation, in which both Britain and the EU institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us will be in our mutual self-interest. This will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements.”

  97. acorn
    September 23, 2017

    Take no notice of a credit rating agency downgrading the UK, it is a nonsense. The UK is a sovereign “currency issuing” nation. Such nations, never have a problem with credit in their own currencies because, they never have to ask themselves for credit in their own currency.

    If you are a “currency using” nation, like the Eurozone members, then they are using (effectively pegging their own Euro) and borrowing in a foreign currency, the German Euro, over which they have no control. The same goes for countries that try to peg their own currencies to a foreign currency; Venezuela for instance; or, the UK that tried to peg the Pound to the Deutschmark back in 1990/92.

  98. Oggy
    September 23, 2017

    I’m afraid like many here Dr Redwood, I am now very suspicious of Mrs May’s motives.
    She tried to offer an olive branch to the EU but instead she showed unbelievable weakness, which they noted.
    She also, and yet again completely misread the mood of the British people who just want out of the EU – the sooner the better.
    What she did succeed in doing though is put My Corbyn into number 10 at the next GE with a landslide.
    Ironically it could be the EU that comes to the rescue of the Tories by totally rejecting her proposals outright which I’m sure most of us here are now wishing for.

    Please let’s just leave and no more bloody nonsense.

  99. Ian Stafford
    September 23, 2017

    I support the idea of a clean brake. May has made a great tactical negotiating mistake. She has blinked first. He who blinks first against the EU loses. It is only necessary to consider how the Greek government fared to understand this. What May has done is accepted the principle of an associate status after March 2019 and a continuing obligation to pay. She has put forward a two year associate member status but in the course of negotiations the EU will up this – 5 years 10 – 15? She has accepted paying £18B when there is no legal obligation to pay anything: now it is for the EU to up the sum they require. Associate status and paying tribute are the new concessions. A sovereign nation does not pay tribute. And can you think of anything which cannot be done before March 2019 which will be able to be done during associate status? Remember that if the EU law still applies – as she implied – the same restrictions on Britain’s legal competence will apply. If leaving on March 2019 is a cliff=edge leaving on a date in 2021 is also a cliff edge.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      A clean break please. We’ve had far too may clean brakes in this process.

  100. Timaction
    September 23, 2017

    So if there is no stopping free movement Ms May must know she can’t possibly meet her manifesto promise on migration to the 10s of thousands. Therefore is there a plan to increase the number of Hospitals, Doctors surgery’s, Police, Doctor’s, teachers, firefighters to accompany the millions she’s let in and continues to do so? Of course not. Therefore English taxpayers will be paying more for less services. Her language yesterday clearly puts foreign interests above Britain. No competitive advantages. Assurances we’re foot their bills to ensure no Nation will pay more or receive less AFTER we have left. Get off of your knees and stand up for Britain Ms May!

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      September 24, 2017

      I wonder how many people on this blog who are clearly unhappy with the current situation will have the courage of their convictions to vote for another party who can deliver democracy?

  101. agricola
    September 23, 2017

    I have given some thought to our historical and current relationship with Europe. Over the last two hundred years we have saved them from their follies numerous times. Trafalgar, The peninsular War and Waterloo putting an end to Napoleon whose only contribution to humanity was the death of millions of Europeans. The Kaiser who did much the same on an industrial scale and following French intransigence over the peace gave birth to Hitler who brought citizens as well as the military into the carnage.

    Now we have the EU’s answer to the creation to a collection of peaceful trading nations. It believes in protectionism and assuages democracy. In doing so it sows the seeds of greater dissention, all at the altar of political ambition.

    The UK, having saved Europe from the above two hundred years of folly, should not feel guilty about leaving them to get on with it. They have denied our input apart from money, increasingly as they became less democratic. Let us away soonest and leave them to their own salvation.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      The Americans (Obama excepted) probably feel the same. I wonder if our diplomats have brought this up on the other side of the pond? Probably not.

    2. Andy
      September 24, 2017

      That is the long and the short of it. Over the centuries many countries have tried to dominate Europe, but in the last 300 years it has been France and then Germany. Neither succeeded, so now they have joined forces and are using the EU to rule the whole of Europe, although the balance in the relationship has tilted in Germanys favour. It won’t end well, because it never does. Chruchill was right when he said if we have to chose between Europe and the Open Sea we should always chose the Sea.

  102. Chris
    September 23, 2017

    Superb performance by Jacob Rees-Mogg on Newsnight last night. He could effect Brexit, if he were PM, and he could also save the Conservative Party.

    For those who claim he is a “toff” and won’t appeal to working class and marginal constituency voters, think again. He is making huge inroads, and gaining huge praise from unexpected quarters. He could win an election with a large majority for the Cons Party, I have no doubt. The hitherto silent majority are, I believe, crying out for a proper Conservative government, and not the left liberal approach of Theresa May.

    1. John wayne
      September 23, 2017

      Mogg must be PM soon. An intelligent and honest man. Perhaps Mr Redwoid could be his Speaker of the House?

      1. Chris S
        September 24, 2017

        Much as I admire JRM, and would like to support him for PM, I fear he is unelectable as Prime Minister.

        The Media will never let go of the fact that he has sincerely held views that are very un-PC on abortion and Gay Marriage. In an ideal world these views, born out of his deep religious faith, should not effect his standing but we live in the real world and they will.

        The feminist movement would run a hate campaign against him, not least because he employs a Nanny to change his children’s nappies !

        In any event why on earth would he want to be PM ?

        He has a substantial private income from the business he founded himself, a lovely large family and a beautiful country house in Somerset. He wouldn’t see much of the house or his children and would have to give up the business.

        1. stred
          September 25, 2017

          Mrs Merkel is against gay marriage and Macron fancies old ladies, but the voters still vote for them. Moggie’s views make no difference to political policies, just as an atheist would not be able to act against religion.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        September 24, 2017

        No hope there. Labour will get in first. Forget about Brexit. Did anyone ever really think democracy would be upheld? A load of tosh by the rich elite.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      I suspect you’re right, and that we’ve gone full circle from Douglas Alexander-Home.
      There’s clearly a collection of Tories which do “get it”, just as they did in ’75/’79.
      The problem is that until May gets soundly trounced to Corbyn, change is unlikely. That could be too late.

      Right now, though, we’re in an era worse than Heath, who was neither timid nor a renowned “ditherer”.

    3. No More Tricks
      September 24, 2017

      Superb performance by Jacob Rees-Mogg on Newsnight last night.

      The trouble is we get so excited by so little these days.

    4. Prigger
      September 24, 2017

      Jacob Rees-Mogg is being diplomatic. Also I believe too much is being made of his being a “toff”. If he were putting his accent on, now that would lose him votes.

  103. Voted Leave in good
    September 23, 2017

    You promised we would get a great deal, because they sell us more than we sell them , and you promised we would not pay a penny. Neither is true. Explain yourself

    1. Anonymous
      September 23, 2017

      Radar up. You voted Remain, didn’t you ! I don’t care how you answer – it’s what you think .to yourself that counts. Consider it.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      September 23, 2017

      Premature. Neither is true yet.

  104. Javk snell
    September 23, 2017

    The more time goes by the more chance that the British public will change their minds on all of this. It is a pity we did not have all of this agonising before the referendum- if we did I’d say the referendum result would have been totally different.

    What is becoming clear now is how much we were lied to and then cheated of our young peoples futures by ukip and other tory discontents with their navel gazing and fake slogans.

    Although i accept that we are leaving the EU, i have a feeling now that we will never really leave…we’ll more than likely end in a position half in and half out..with all of the responsibilities lncluding paying in but with no say at all on how things develop..some might call it a bad deal

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      September 24, 2017

      We will now end up worse off thanks to an incompetent government. Corbyn is already talking about propping up the wind industry. We are doomed to being flat broke and a third world country.

    2. Prigger
      September 24, 2017

      It is becoming increasingly annoying that persons who voted Remain will not really accept a democratic vote and believe we will “change ” our minds. The evidence suggests many people who voted Remain have changed their own minds as they did not suffer dropping down a well like a pussy on 23-24th June 2016 as threatened.

    3. Democrat
      September 24, 2017

      Our schools and colleges are guilty of failing to teach our people about the meaning of democracy. The idea isn’t that you have a vote and then all who lost the vote try their utmost to overturn and reverse the vote. Yes, retain your opinions but honour the vote without saying “I accept the vote BUT…” Clearly you do not accept the vote. The EU is attractive to un-democratically minded people so it is no surprise.

    4. Sir Joe Soap
      September 24, 2017

      Were you out of the country in 2016?

  105. Simon Coleman
    September 23, 2017

    The whole point of the speech is that the UK has recognised that it isn’t possible to get everything ready by March 2019. The government has known that for a long time but was running scared of you lot – the Brexit hardliners. We could have been at this point months ago if the cabinet had just been allowed to get on with it and find a natural consensus – which it now appears to have done. It took the intervention of business leaders to finally persuade May that her hard Brexit (leave everything in March 2019) is completely unworkable. That’s the end of the transition / cliff-edge debate. If only you’d stop feeding your supporters all these fantasy outcomes, the country could begin to unite around a common-sense Brexit.

  106. Tony
    September 23, 2017


    As can be seen here and on conservative home people are very angry. They know a sell out when they see one.

    Why such people as you and Duncan smith are so sanguine is a mystery.

    May must go. Are you going to start agitating for change or do you really believe the stuff you have written here?

    Did we listen to different speeches perhaps?

    Come on, we all know that May is hapless and the only reason she has been allowed to continue is the fear of Corbyn. However we are now beyond that stage when we must fear him as something much worse is now centre stage, the sovereignty of our country by respecting the votes of those who want to leave the EU

    Please start agitating. Do not disappoint us

    1. Simon Coleman
      September 24, 2017

      Good questions! And I don’t think you’ll get an answer from Mr Redwood, as he’s led you all up the garden path. May was simply the puppet of the Brexit hardliners, but there’s a problem with puppets – they can be taken over by other people. She’s now controlled by big business interests which was inevitably going to happen. The people you should blame are Mr Redwood, Duncan-Smith etc for selling you a fantasy Brexit outcome.

  107. Beecee
    September 23, 2017

    It is a simple yes/no question:-

    Will the EU and the UK continue to trade tariff free in each others markets when the UK leaves in 2019

    If the answer from Barnier is NO, then we can leave tomorrow under WTO. If he is not empowered to answer the question then who from the EU is? Anyway it does not need 18 more months to give the reply!

    Why do we need a transition period if the answer is ‘yes’ as nothing will change in the short term for our trade with the EU.

    Who from the UK is trying to complicate things? Or more importantly – make a meal of it!

  108. GreesT
    September 23, 2017

    You british have been so brainwashed over the years about your own invincibility that it is hard for you to now accept the reality that is staring you in the face.that you are never ever going to be able to leave the EU completely..that you have voted to leave but that is not in the gift of the government or ruling classes to deliver because there are too many other considerations and complications to totally breaking connection with the largest economic bloc on the UK will very likely limp along half in and half out until you arrive at another generation in fifty or a hundred years time who will put their own stamp on things…by then your host JR, Jacob rees moog, IDS Farage etc etc will all be foot notes in history

    1. No More Tricks
      September 24, 2017

      that is not in the gift of the government or ruling classes to deliver because there are too many other considerations and complications

      We believe in democracy, if the people of this country do not wish to be ruled from overseas then our politicians must deliver. Talk of other “considerations and complications” is not a permission to override the will of the people. We are prepared to suffer is necessary to win our freedom. Please try to understand that.

    2. James Matthews
      September 24, 2017

      You vastly mistake the ambience in Britain. Actually, since the nineteen sixties we have been thoroughly brainwashed (by our own political and educational elite) as to our weakness, inadequacy, perfidy and dependence. That is why Mrs May adopts such a cringing stance and why something which could easily have been accomplished in one year now looks set to take five, if indeed it is ever accomplished at all. It is also why the vote to leave was 52% and not 92%.

      Your prediction may indeed come true, but it will not be for the reasons you cite. It will be entirely due to the spinelessness and incompetence of our leaders.

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      September 24, 2017

      You sound like a Roman in the last days…

  109. Chris
    September 23, 2017

    Please, Mr Redwood, could you despatch all these comments forthwith to those in the Cons Party who can do something about the hugely worrying/damaging situation that we are in? Far more revealing than any focus group or think tank effort. Theresa May has effectively betrayed us, in my view and many others’.

  110. Fedupsoutherner
    September 24, 2017

    Mrs May has made this country a laughing stock in this world. There is no way I will vote Conservative again and I hope the British electorate have the guts of the Americans to vote radically and vote in UKIP even as a protest. They will do no worse than a Labour government but at least they will get us out of theEU.

  111. Denis Cooper
    September 24, 2017

    I’m watching Andrew Marr interviewing David Davis and I can only do so in short sections because David Davis is so infuriatingly feeble and will not get properly stuck into any of the critics, not Marr, not the god-like Barnier, nobody. There is an ongoing propaganda war, he and we are losing it but apparently he does not care, he is not bothered.

  112. Tabulazero
    September 24, 2017

    Live Labour Party conference live: Jeremy Corbyn backs open-ended post-Brexit transition period.

    Here we go

    How do you say “welcome to the EFTA” in Norwegian again ?

  113. Oggy
    September 24, 2017

    It’s interesting that our host has not replied to a single comment on this particular blog, but seems to have allowed all our comments to appear. I can only assume he agrees with most of what we have said but is constrained not to say so.

    1. RupertP
      September 25, 2017

      Not all of our comments have appeared. Mine from Saturday morning still says “Awaiting Moderation”, meanwhile many other comments have appeared.

  114. Longstone
    September 24, 2017

    I note there are no replies from John to these comments, my respect for him notwithstanding.

  115. James Matthews
    September 24, 2017

    If our host will permit it this petition on the Government petitions site is relevant ot this topic:

  116. Tony
    September 24, 2017


    The EU is by no means the largest economic block on the planet


  117. Original Richard
    September 27, 2017

    Mr. Redwood you are absolutely correct that we need to press on with the “no deal option” as this is becoming the most likely option as the EU’s negotiating position hardens as a result of the efforts of the UK’s EU supporters to scupper Brexit.

    This option will very likely lead to Parliament voting for there to be a second referendum.

    The BBC is certainly pushing hard for a second referendum – a Labour politician was recently asked 6 times in the space of just 4 minutes if they would support a second referendum.

    As a result, those of us who wish us to leave the EU need to make sure that we are prepared for this second referendum and continue in the meantime to make the case for the benefits of leaving and pointing out the disadvantages and false “benefits” of remaining in a changing EU.

    At the moment there is insufficient promotion for the benefits of leaving the EU and this is very dangerous given that all the media coverage is given to EU supporters.

  118. Simon
    September 28, 2017

    No deal John ? You are so funny. Ollie Robbins is now in charge. The government has just surrendered. The PM will bluff her way through conference then make huge concessions straight after. In exchange we get zero except more talks. I thought you said leaving the EU was simple ?

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