No agreement to talk

Yesterday reminded us how far the EU wish to push the UK even to get to talks about a future Agreement. The talks ended in disagreement about the Irish border issues.

I continue to support the government’s stated view that it must take back control of our money, our borders and our laws, and that no deal is better than a bad deal. There is no news about a future Agreement, as we still have not started talking about one.

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410 Comments

  1. Time's Up
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Time’s up

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      May deliberately slipped off to unilaterally agree a deal which the public did not vote for, nor her cabinet or DUP were aware of. This is a core matter of trust. She broke it and must walk or be ousted. She thought she had her ducks lined up, leave ministers in a straight jacket and warned by Hunt the day before, Davis unable to turn for help during negotiations as he was surrounded by EU, pro EU civil service acting on their not his behalf and May torpedoing any adavantage he might gane, all remainers in parliament salivating at staying in the EU and leaving in name only. Disgusting. The remainers need to be called out individually and collectively for what they are.

      Tusk already boasting before the meeting he like Mondays! Why? And let us not forget the civil service, Olly Robbins negotiator. He must walk. Junker disingenuous comments that May is a hard negotiator should be seen for what it is. He wants her there, perhaps she could read out another of his Florence speeches and increase the blackmail demands!

      No wonder May has not taken any action against those acting against declared govt policy.

      • Hope
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Dennis, perhaps this also explains the silence from the govt in communicating its policy and party pledge to leave the EU including single market and customs union or negating the false stories out there or not chastising public sector bodies for being too polical i.e. BoE, Treasury and civil service.

      • jerry
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Hope; “This is a core matter of trust. She [TM] broke it and must walk or be ousted.”

        If Mrs May walks or is ousted then what. The party is likely even more divided!

        If a(nother) ‘Brexit wet’ is elected leader then the Brexiteers will be no better off. If Brexiteers manage to get one of their own elected leader then the europhiles on the ‘wet’ side of the party might decide that defeating Brexit (voting with the opposition, to water it down) is a risk worth taking, safe seats or not…

        • Hope
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

          No, the polls show more people determined to leave the EU and not pay the blackmail ransom.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Declared government policy? What like getting net immigration below a hundred thousand? She has acted against that herself, both as home secretary and prime minister!

        • Qubus
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          Mrs May is in a mess of her own making. It is time for her to go.

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    It really is time to do what is best for the UK. With Northern Ireland becoming a problem and other parts of the UK wanting special measures we are in danger of splitting the union and all the problems that could bring. The instability of the UK could be critical. Just tell the EU we are keeping our money and our sovereignty and walking away.

    • jack Snell
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      There is no guarantee that we can hold the union together now..cracks are appearing..Scotland will walk for sure..even Wales is thinking about going it alone

      • Robin Wilcox
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        If they would rather be in the EU than the UK then that’s their choice. I certainly would not be wanting to cling onto EU membership in the hope of appeasing the devolved administrations.

      • old salt
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        jack Snell
        …and London.
        The old adage divide and rule. EU will win if we are not careful. But with so many Remainers what hope.
        The EU is not to be trusted anyway remember the CAP reform promise and Blair also the CFP when the EEC pulled a last minute fast one declaring our fishing waters were a common resource open to all EEC fishermen which was only introduced after we negotiated to join.
        Their promises aren’t worth half a candle.
        The sooner we are out the better.

      • Rosy
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Scotland will not walk. Miss Sturgeon runs a minority government and the majority of Scots did not vote for her. She bullied people into voting remain with her threats to go for another independence referendum if the UK voted out. She says that she is speaking for the People of Scotland, she is not. She has a very loud mouth but she speaks only for the SNP.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I agree fully but clearly May and the government do not.

    Thank goodness for the DUP.

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      JR, O/T I read the US Supreme Court has backed Trump’s travel ban. Why is it not all over the news and endlessly repeated by the BBC time and gain? it would appear fair and balanced after the first coverage. It would also mitigate the ill informed comments by politicos at Westminster to ban him from coming here. Is Bercow going to retract what he said about it? Moreover, should the UK follow the US lead to provide security and safety at our borders after the three atrocities this year?

      I also note the survey that immigration was the biggest concern of German voters at the moment.

    • Atlas
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Lifelogic.

  4. Peter
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    How incompetent can you be to make an offer that you have not cleared with your own side and then have to withdraw it?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Sufficiently incompetent to rely on unreliable officials, perhaps.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–Yes–Just as with her relying on the wrondheaded underlings she allowed to write (in secret) the simply crazy Manifesto that got us where we are

    • Doug Powell
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Arrogance! The same damned arrogance that prompted the calling of an unnecessary General election.

      Once upon a time it could always be said that the Conservatives were politically savvy. Not any more! The quality of Tory leaders just plummets! Unfortunately this decline coincides with a time in our history when strong leadership was never needed more! Oh, 1922, where are you? For God’s sake save us!

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Dear Doug–The Election was a good call but the contents of the Manifesto were beyond belief bad

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Indeed at least we now have 5 years but a totally moronic manifesto and campaign.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately she has a history of doing just that.

      GE Manifesto being just one of many prime examples.

      I am sorry Mr.Redwood MP sir but I think the time has come for her to go.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes, she is a political dinosaur – just the type of politician the EU loves! No vision – incapable of learning lessons, so incapable getting anything right next time. ‘ I’m May, I’m right! – Always have been and always will be!’

        Mark B, I admire your restraint in saying “I think the time has come for her to go”, but the truth is, she HAS to be booted out. There is no time for niceties. She has to go Now!

        JR, the country needs, and deserves, BETTER! It is more than time for a gathering of the Tory hatchet weilders!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Indeed such are religious Oxford geography graduates I find – in general.

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I don’t believe an offer was made. This has the feeling of the EU using Ireland as their useful fools to undermine our confidence.

    • Donna
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      How incompetent …… or how treacherous?

  5. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness the Conservatives lost their majority at the last election. I am glad to see that the DUP are acting as effective control on Mrs May before she sells the country down the river.

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely. Thank goodness for the DUP or we could have been in the EU forever under the Hammond/Rudd model Brexit in name only and remaining and be controlled by the EU.

      May had put her leaver ministers in a straight jacket and warned by Hunt the day before her Brexit or no Brexit, project fear conditioning our minds to accept any deal she agreed, all remainers, of all political colours, in parliament lined up now to act against the public vote. Then May slipped off to unilaterally agree to be under EU control in perpetuity something not discussed in cabinet! We know this because Priti Patel remarked last week she had not discussed an end game with the cabinet.

      She would have got away with it if not for the DUP.
      May has become untrustworthy as well as incompetent. She needs to be ousted.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh boy do I agree with that!

      Tad

    • Augustyn
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Dear Dame Rita

      I suspect and certainly hope that Mrs May is doing a far better job than anybody is giving her credit for. The policy of not giving a “running commentary” on the negotiations is holding firm but it does leave the PM exposed to criticism from (anyone ed). In the absence of factual information our press seem to be grubbing about for any little tidbit in order to fill their pages.

      Maybe JR could bring to the PM’s attention that there is a difference between a “running commentary” and no commentary whatsoever. And while he is at it he may wish to bring to senior colleagues attention that spreading their wisdom through the pages of The Telegraph, which is then hidden from most behind a paywall, is not a terribly effective means of communication – talking to much less than 1% of the voting public, who are mostly converts anyway does not seem to be a progressive strategy. What a waste of so much intellectual effort.

  6. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Who pushed whom, was it the EU who pushed the government or was it the DUP?

  7. Duncan
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I didn’t realise we had a border with the EU? I thought the UK only bordered the Irish nation? I must exist in a parallel universe.

    We’re being held to ransom by a bunch of (people ed) using the historic tensions that have always existed between two sects, protestants and republicans as leverage

    I have had enough of this nonsense. Can we PLEASE have a proper PM with some pride, guts and a sense of what is right for the UK?

    I would rather starve than be held to ransom by a bunch of petty EU apparatchiks.

    Oh for Thatcher to return to sort out this mess!

    • Andy
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Thatcher actually created this mess. She basically created the single market and had no problem with the customs union. It is leaving these which creates the monumental mess.

      And, yes, the UK has a border with the EU. Ireland is a member of the EU – and no amount of wishful thinking by the Brexiteers will change that.

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        “Thatcher actually created this mess.”

        Mrs. T was bullied into joining the single market against all her instincts and she was proved right. If only she were here now, she’d know how to sort out those other bullies – the EU. And as for all those remoaners in the Tory ranks – they’d be toast by now. May isn’t fit to follow in her footsteps.

      • getahead
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Thatcher was pro free market but not political union. In her famous Bruges speech she declared she was against further integration and a country called Europe governed from Brussels.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 3:49 am | Permalink

          True, but Mrs Thatcher allowed the Single European Act to include authorisation for EU convergence. As Enoch Powell said at the time “You don’t need to share someone’s bath water in order to have a trade agreement with them.” In agreeing to the clauses authorising EU driven convergence, Mrs Thatcher acted cynically and naively at the same time. The EU Single Market as it is now is a result of the original Single EuropeanAct, overlayed by 25 years of Brussels interference. It is not a proper free trade area and is not worth a bucket of warm spit.

          Free trade does not result from Government actions. It occurs naturally. All Governments have to do is to set zero tariff and non-tariff barriers and to butt out.

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      That is the sentiment Duncan, this is not just about trade. I would rather be worse off than under EU control.

      We can change or be in control of our own fortunes outside the EU inside we do as we are told. Those politicos at Westminster who do not want the job of making laws or raising taxes at the behest of the public vote without any interference from the EU need to resign. Start with Labour Party and then followed by Morgan, Grieve, Clarke and Soubry.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      “I didn’t realise we had a border with the EU? I thought the UK only bordered the Irish nation? I must exist in a parallel universe.”

      You probably do. Ireland is a member of the EU in the real world, and therefore the EU27 will have a land border with the UK if Brexit is put into effect. And of course the sea border is there as well.

    • Augustyn
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      There is actually a border between France and the UK. It just happens to be in the middle of the English Channel. Where the channel widens beyond the combined territorial limits then there is no border.

  8. Mick
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more Mr Redwood, the eu are trying to screw us good and proper thank god labour aren’t in power because they would have given in at the first round of talks, it is now obvious to I hope most of the country that there is only one solution and that’s to walk away with no deal, we are BRITISH I’m sure we will survive but not sure about the eu , buts that’s not my problem but the eu’s there the ones being difficult

  9. Peter Wood
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,
    Please give my thanks, and no doubt many from here, to the DUP, I do believe that they might have saved the UK billions of Pounds, and at the very least shown that there are politicians in the UK with some backbone prepared to stand up for our nation.
    Mrs May has proven to be incompetent, she must go now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      May clearly cannot be allowed to lead the party into the next election as she is such a liability even against the appalling Corbyn. Surely after Major buried the party for 3+ terms they won’t repeat that mistake will they?

      But how can they replace her and with whom? Half the Tory MPs are daft socialists and were/are remainers – just like May was/is after all.

    • getahead
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      And take Hammond, the architect of this catastrophe, with her.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Thank the Lord for the DUP. The PM would have sold out Northern Ireland without a backward look.
    Thereupon must be no more concessions
    Walker away now.

  11. Mark B
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning- again

    As I have said here before, the UK Governments position should have been for no agreement and that whilst, David Davis MP work should be supported the EU should have been left in no doubt that they are Plan B.

    The UK government should now pursue a different course and leave the EU to it. We should also formally announce that we shall no longer be paying any monies once we have left.

    I said yesterday that this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and so it seems to have been. I think the EU wanted this but still think that we should pay them the money.

    Time to go !

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Sorry

      Not pay them the money.

  12. Caterpillar
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The question is how the UK Govt will react having been reminded.

  13. Duyfken
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The way you have expressed this leaves us with the – correct – inference that it is doubtful the government continues to support the government’s stated view as you described. What a shambles and why should we put up with such patent incompetence?

  14. jerry
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I really do wonder why the Irish government are playing such a high stakes game here, after all there wasn’t an effective hard border even during the “Troubles” nor before we both joined what was the EEC back in 1973, and with modern customs systems and protocols there would little need to erect check points post Brexit. If A50 fails, and the UK leaves on WTO rules, then the hard border they fear is surely far more likely?!

    Could it be that the current Irish government, in hoots with the Eurocrats, are attempting to simply torpedo Brexit because a successful exit by the UK from the EU would likely bolster those within Eire who want to their own country to leave the EU.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Probably Jerry and after the border it will be citizens

      Our government is negotiating a deal that changes nothing

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I agree entirely Jerry. And I think it’s because we have a weak leader that the EU negotiators keeps pushing.

      Tad

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I guess that the Irish government has been egged on by the eurocrats, and moreover at a point in the process that the latter have chosen.

  15. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I am behind the DUP 100%. The suggestion of placing a customs border in the Irish Sea would never fly, and would be a betrayal of NI.
    It has been suggested that Arlene Foster should replace Theresa May in the negotiations. That seems a brilliant idea. We could have someone in the negotiations with some steel.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Seconded.

    • eeyore
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      God bless the DUP. May their courage inspire all who care for Britain’s unity, prosperity and honour.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      And don’t forget the Scots wanting the same and Wales & Cornwall & London & Grimsby…

      Why would Mrs May ever think that idea could fly…?

    • Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Maybe not replace, but it might be a good idea to take her along?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        If you take her along Nicola Sturgeon will demand to be taken along …

        • Caterpillar
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think she would sign up for a confidence and supply deal.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    It appears that Mrs May either failed to take on board DUP views, knew what they were and ignored them and tried to bounce the DUP into accepting a fair accompli. One report suggests she thought they were onboard; if true then officials think they are running the negotiations not the PM. As you point out, whoever drafted the text strayed from the government’s stated objectives.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      As mentioned before, however good her intentions Theresa May will be swimming against the generally pro-EU tide of the officials around her, and that will remain the case until the civil service has been purged of all those who will not accept the will of the people as expressed in the referendum. The obvious course of action is to require an new oath of allegiance which specifically renounces any loyalty to the EU. I could name a lot of parliamentarians as well as several senior civil servants who I am quite sure could not conscientiously take such an oath.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Ms’s Souberry, Morgan, Rudd, May. Wonder if any of them ever made senior postitions in Cameron’s Cabinet? How seriously could we take his then negotiations and her’s now. She has to go!

      • oldtimer
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        I would not be surprised to learn, when the history of these so-called “negotiations” comes to be written, that UK officials were complicit in this train of events with an already prepared fallback text. Why else is Mr Juncker so confident it will soon be sorted out?

        • JoolsB
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Political commentators on News Night last night were convinced this was a deliberate ploy on May’s part to deliver us a ‘soft’ Brexit.

        • Hope
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          May read out his Florence speech how much the U.K. Should give the EU! For goodness sake who in their right mind would let the other side write their offer! The remainers backed the speech, it spoke volumes to me. I am surprised leavers did not make more of a fuss.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          I increasingly feel that Theresa May was deliberately set up by one or more of her officials. We’ve had six decades with selection pressure in favour of europhiles, or even eurofederalists, for recruitment into the civil service and then for promotion through the grades. Therefore I doubt that many senior civil servants voted to leave the EU.

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

            Denis, The FCO bod I know is convinced the civil service runs the government, and the politicos are just an occasional nuisance who need to be trained. That’s the house view anyway, and of course they’re Remains too.

          • Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            As NickC says, the Civil Service runs the country. ”Yes, Prime Minister” said it all. There are an awful lot of Sir Humphreys around who are (or wish to be) manipulating events. They seem to have a vested interest in remaining with the EU. More power, perhaps?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Seconded!

        Tad

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: “the will of the people” is typical populist language which I would avoid. There is a “decision of the people” indeed – the referendum result, but I don’t see much unity in what the British people want, even now, when it pretty much given that Brexit will happen.

        • Bob
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          “I don’t see much unity in what the British people want”

          that’s because you’re living in a fake news bubble and suffering from “confirmation bias”.

        • Timaction
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          It’s not your business Peter. Please be minded to your own affairs or jump when you are whistled and do as you are told by your masters in the EU, Franco/German alliance!

          • hans chr iversen
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            what a really primitive and unnecessary series of remarks.

        • Hope
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Do not b ridiculous of course the 17.4 million voted to leave in its entirety it is only the remainers trying to create a narrative.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          You should mind your own business.

        • APL
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          PvL: “is typical populist language which I would avoid. ”

          By ‘populist’ you mean trying to garner the support for a position among the Population.

          In other words Democracy.

          No surprise a EU supporter rejects Democracy.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Oh dear, how tewwibly populist we are. That’s because we have the odd idea that genuine democracy works. Only pompous bureaucrats and idealogues sneer at the will of the people. Unity and real democracy seldom go together. If you want unity above democracy then you should model the EU on the GDR . . . . . ohhh . . .

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Populist means a politician advocating an idea for solving a difficult problem that is simple, obvious and wrong.

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      It is reported that the DUP never saw the text.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I heard the same on Sky News.

        If true, there’s something seriously wrong with that. Ether an incompetent oversight, an ill-advised and naïve sleight of hand, or part of a downright betrayal. In each case, somebody doesn’t deserve to have this nation’s trust invested in them, and should go now.

        Tad

        • Mark B
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          The DUP requested the text of the agreement at the weekend. They were told that there was no text. It was only after it was leaked that they became aware what was going on. This was deliberate by the government and they hoped to bounce the DUP into accepting it.

          The PM has to go. Not just for this but catalogue of errors, from signing Hincley Point, with its expensive energy, to virtue signalling on Twitter criticising a close ally and friend over nothing.

          • rose
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            I have since read they asked for the text five weeks ago and kept repeating the request till the weekend, finally getting it late Monday morning, after Mrs May had left for Brussels. They are graciously blaming it on the Southern Irish rather than Mrs May.

            Equally unforgivable is the apparent bartering away of our national independence. Brexit is supposed to give us back our independence. If we have to toe the EU line on regulation, that leaves us under the ECJ, as well as leaving the whole country in a regulatory straightjacket, not just the businesses actually trading with the EU. Surely this regulation should only apply on a voluntary basis, where people want to trade with the EU countries, not to all of us as at present.

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      “It appears that Mrs May either failed to take on board DUP views, (or?) knew what they were and ignored them and tried to bounce the DUP into accepting a fair (sic) accompli. ”

      Or, perhaps, the EU tried to bounce the UK into an agreement by announcing it before even discussing it with Mrs. May, let alone obtaining her agreement ?

      Or leaked their silly proposal simply to embarrass the UK or generate splits within the UK ?

      • Timaction
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Their comments on Monday (Tusk) being a good day and later Mr Junker telling the press how good a negotiator Ms May is! Really, please, really! £40 billion and numerous other concessions to suggest otherwise. Get her back to UK, or perhaps anywhere else never to be seen or heard of again, and send anyone who is patriotic (please insert populism if mentioned by a quisling). She has conceded EVERYTHING that her beloved EU wanted and more. She needs to go and go now!
        I never have or would vote for a person or party who don’t represent it’s own citizens in favour of a foreign entity.

      • oldtimer
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        I agree that too is an entirely feasible explanation. Sow discord! Divide and rule! Stop Brexit! Given the 5th column that exists in the UK trying to reverse the referendum result the EU must be feeling very pleased with themselves tonight.

      • APL
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Original Richard: “Or, perhaps, the EU tried to bounce the UK into an agreement by announcing it before even discussing it with Mrs. May, ”

        No. May had hoped to make an announcement to the Commons today, she’d cleared time in the Parliamentary schedule.

        Nothing came of it. Presumably she intended to bushwhack the DUP by announcing a deal, that would leave NI in the EU.

        • Original Richard
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          Or perhaps Mrs. May, an EU supporter and playing the “nice guy” in the EU negotiations (which seems likely as she is getting on so well with Mr. Juncker that he is praising her and her negotiating skills) did agree with the EU to test out the UK’s reaction to the EU’s/Ireland’s idea for Northern Ireland to remain by itself in the EU’s SM and CU.

          Since this idea has not been well received in Northern Ireland or the rUK, Mrs. May can now say to the EU that this idea is not acceptable and another solution must be found…

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        Original Richard

        Yes, yes and yes!

  17. stred
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The usual shambles yesterday would indicate that the shoe-in had not read or taken any notice of the letter from politicians and business leaders and was only listening to Reverse/Remain civil servants and possibly her husband and the city slickers. When will the 1922 Committee come to the conclusion that we have to persuade her to resign on health grounds and put someone in charge who is competent and believes in fulfilling the promises made in the referendum?

  18. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    If the UK can imagine, pull off and implent “one island – two systems” (border-less Ireland) it will be able to pull off “one country – two systems” and keep everybody in the UK on board (DUP, N. Ireland, Scotland, London). Good to see that Mr Redwood keeps supporting his government.

    • NickC
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      PvL, There is no desire, except by those who want us to remain in the EU anyway, to have any EU system, or any part of an EU system in the UK. A majority voted to Leave and we will do our utmost to ensure it happens. Moreover the existing WTO trade deal is favoured, rather than dancing like puppets on EU strings.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: All fine with me. It will be interesting how the UK is going to implement this friction-less outside border with the EU/Ireland. It hasn’t been very convincing so far. The onus is on the UK, as it is the country that has filed for this divorce.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          How do Norway do it?

          They are not in the Customs Union are they?

          The man from the DUP said on BBC Newsnight a few days ago, that it was a nonsense being put forward by the EU et al…

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            How do Norway do it?

            They are not in the Customs Union are they?

            Norway has full access to the single market. It pays a contribution to the EU and – because it has full access to the single market, has accepted freedom of movement – one of the 4 fundamental freedoms that make up the single market as designed by the UK (Mrs Thatcher primarily – one of her finest achievements) . Norway accepts the rules, pays a contribution but has no say in making the rules.

            Much better to have all the advantages and help set the rules by staying in the EU.

        • Timaction
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          Actually we have said we are happy with the status quo. So has Ireland, it is only the troublesome dictatorship that has a problem. So let it build the wall to show the world how protectionist, unelected dictators, can make a former independent state like Ireland do it’s bidding. Lets also have some WTO tariffs to make good some of the shortfall we have made in £100’s billions in contributions over the last 42 years to make good on the EU’s obligations and its divorce bill!

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction: the status quo is the EU28 which only the UK has decided to leave and thus breach the status quo. It is therefore for the UK to find the solution for this new “frictionless” land border with the EU/Ireland. The UK has sofar put very little energy in that it seems, some just deluding that Ireland would follow the UK’s lead.

          • NickC
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            PvL, There is no status quo in the EU, there is always “ever closer union”. I thought you knew that.

        • Andy
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Actually the UK has said it doesn’t want a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. The EU are demanding this so perhaps the EU should explain how it will run the EU/Northern Ireland Border.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

            @Andy: Saying you(UK) don’t want something doesn’t make it just miraculously happen.

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Sorry – the UK has said it wants a hard border by saying it will leave the single market.

            Or arte you saying you want a soft border with goods and people going out, but no goods and people coming in?

            Or of course the magic soft border driven by technology. How please?

        • Richard1
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          there are frictionless borders between the UK and the Isle of Man (non-EY), Norway & Sweden, France & Switzerland etc etc. A mountain is being made of a molehill. I hope the UK govt reverts to the sensible plan of solving this through technology for major traders and exempting smaller ones. the whole thing is a nonsense.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

            @Richard1: The UK has just ignored and neglected this issue sofar, wasting a lot of time in the process.

        • Ian Dennis
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          The onus is no more on the UK than it is on the EU.
          If you do not agree please point to the appropriate EU law (Article 50) that states that.
          It is a bit of a juvenile idea with respect.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            @Ian Dennis: A rather nonchalant way for the UK to deal with the Good Friday Agreement. The EU is happy to stay as EU28, the UK wants to change that, it therefor has the responsibility to show how this is possible with a friction-less border, if it doesn’t want to stay in the single market nor customs union.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            @PeterVan Leeuwen, I suspect the general British public are not aware what was agreed to in the Good Friday Agreement with the Irish. It was long, drawn out and too complicated for us little people to understand.

            Discussions with me now are ‘what did the British government agree to’ that is now at risk?

            BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13194723 “Which EU countries are not in Schengen? The UK and Republic of Ireland have opted out. The UK wants to maintain its own borders, and Dublin prefers to preserve its free movement arrangement with the UK – called the Common Travel Area – rather than join Schengen.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          PvL–Snide nonsense as per usual–The filer is by no means necessarily the guilty party–Sometimes, when pushed to the limit there is no other way–Damn everything the EU has ever done and is trying to do.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

            @Leslie Singleton: The Good Friday Agreement rests on the trust-building process that the EU has been since 1957. The UK simply risks this by not providing clear, detailed, worked-out solutions that can stand scrutiny. It simply thought that one position paper would be enough.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          PvL, The onus is on the EU – it is the EU that is demanding a hard border when the UK leaves. What JR has previously suggested seems to be workable for us. And the Republic of Ireland is Eire (it’s on their euro coins); Ireland is the island. It’ll help you avoid confusion.

        • APL
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          PvL: “It will be interesting how the UK is going to implement this friction-less outside border .. ”

          Much of the problem is that the EU had a frictionless outside border with Libya, Tunisia, Turkey and Syria.

          I hear it reported that Merkels government is offering to pay refugees to go back to their own countries now.

          Presumably £37 million this year, is less than the social and economic cost of accommodating illiterate innumerate doctors and engineers from ( named countries ed)

          I seem to recall that was a policy suggested in the ’70 in the UK and the Tories were vilified for it.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-offer-asylum-seekers-1200-euros-voluntarily-return-home-countries-refugees-crisis-merkel-a7561701.html

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      The UK hasn’t proposed a “border-less Ireland”.

      Or even no border between Ireland and N.I.

      There must exist even now a border between Ireland and N.I./UK as there are still many differences in taxation etc., in particular Ireland’s predatory corporation tax which the EU would like to cease.

      What has been proposed by the UK is a “frictionless” border.

      It is Ireland/the EU who are attempting to split N.I. from the rUK with quite ridiculous and unacceptable proposals in the hope they can push through a punishment deal, intended to be far worse than a no deal, with the help of the UK’s EU supporters.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        @Original Richard: For this “frictionless” border all we (in the public domain) have so far from the UK is ONE position paper (last August), which reads as some list of dialogue suggestions and within days was branded as “magical thinking”.
        The magician (UK government) now has to provide the wording that will give sufficient confidence that it will be able to provide this frictionless border in the various Brexit results (no deal one of the possible future outcomes) in order to maintain the Good Friday agreement, which it is signed up to.

    • Yossarion
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      London is England’s Capital Peter, it is not an independent Nation and to suggest otherwise is naive and dangerous.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        @Yossarion: that would be your much respected London mayor.
        Two systems doesn’t imply not being part of one independent country, the UK, and as I understand him, he is not suggesting anything else than the same terms as N.Ireland might get – staying close to EU regulations.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          PVL London does not have a border with any EU country. They are part of the UK. What don’t people understand about that? Same with Scotland and Wales.

        • Yossarion
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          The English never had a referendum as whole whether they wished their Capital usurped into an EUSSR Region, though He is not the City of London Mayor.

    • stred
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      PvL. Why don’t you pull yourself off. We are staying united.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        @stred: Do not confuse this website with the UK, which has been looking very disunited for quite a while.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Do not confuse your personal views with those of the people of the UK, who value democracy over unity.

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Keep going Peter. Logic and fact will win out in the end. We just hope it will not be too late.

          • NickC
            Posted December 7, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

            Loudbarker, The EU is looking after its own interests, not ours. There is no logical or factual reason why we should not join the ranks of the 165 countries in the rest of the world which are not in the EU.

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Of course the EU27 are looking after their own interests. What did you or anyone else expect?? The result is that the little boy – the UK – will be pushed around by the big boys – the EU.

            The reason for staying in the EU is so that we can be one of the big boys who do the pushing around.

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Has the EU compromised on a single item since the start of the negotiations ? This is a serious question.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Not as far as I know. Nor has the UK government ever made any serious attempt to disabuse the public of any of the arrant nonsense being spread around by supporters of the EU day by day. Don’t ask me why, whether it’s a decision made by David Davis or one imposed upon him by Theresa May, because I don’t know. I do know that I can’t remember any previous instance where a government department has been so utterly feeble in defending its own government policy against hostile propaganda. I cannot imagine that Alistair Campbell would ever have allowed media attacks on the Blair government to go unanswered, nor in fact do I think Bernard Ingham would have allowed the Thatcher government to be traduced and its policies grossly misrepresented in the media without making at least some attempt to counter those attacks. I’d like to know what is going on here, whether it’s just a reluctance to get stuck in and (for example) expose the absurdity of the Irish government’s policy, or it is a deliberate British establishment attempt to frustrate the will of the British people as expressed in the referendum.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        30/1048 from 1971 explains not to criticise any unpopular EU law and directive and claim responsibility for them to protect its masters (EU) so as not to frighten the plebs on their true intentions and direction of travel until its too late! We have a totally dishonest Government and civil service who have allegiance to the EU before its own people. After over four decades of lies they must go!

      • Blazeaway
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        I have been wondering the same thing.

        The government never speaks up for Brexit, never argues for it, never lays out a vision of a free and democratic vision. They approach is purely managerially and with a long face.

        Didn’t Theresa the Appeaser say last month that she would vote Remain again?

        Yes, I have thought from the day after the referendum that the Remainers would buy time to allow them to work out a way to ignore the referendum.

        • Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          Blazeaway – yes, it is becoming more and more apparent that there are mischief-makers in the Civil Service who are playing for time. It is a great pity that Mrs May is not strong enough to stand up to them, if indeed she wants to. If she truly were whole-heartedly working to implement the ”will of the people”, is there any constitutional reason why she should not address the people directly, to elucidate the situation?

          • Tad Davison
            Posted December 7, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            I agree that would be desirable as it would put her in a place she couldn’t get out of, but for that reason, I can’t see it happening.

            I once thought of May as just merely uninspiring. That impression diminished to the point where I saw her as thoroughly useless. Now, I’m deeply suspicious of her motives and see her as a quisling, along with most others in the House of Commons who secretly and surreptitiously strive to frustrate Brexit, and for the UK to stay in the EU.

            You mark my words! I’ve seen they way they work. It’s a nest of vipers.

            Tad

    • Richard1
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      yes they seem to have come down from €100bn to €50bn

      • bigneil
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Don’t worry – they will demand the rest ( and more ) later on. They have an EU army to fund ( from the UK money).

        • JoolsB
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Apparently 100bn is what has been offered which amounts to 50bn net once the rebate has been applied.

    • Andy
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Nope.

    • Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      And ‘No’ is the serious answer

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      They do not have to but there may be a few minor ones in the pipeline. EU is a status quo enterprise with a rhetorically activist agenda but little practical energy for radical change in any way. Hence their response to the political chaos in the UK: caution and trying to support whoever is serious about getting an orderly dissociation. Hopefully for the UK, the DUP is just grandstanding. Incidentally, the Scottish response is predictable but easily defended: that would create another useless land border. By asking for NI-like treatment they are making it impossible to support the government when the DUP ceases to do so (assuming that neither side will give in, a risky assumption).

    • Andy
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Why should the EU compromise? You are leaving it, not the other way around. The EU is merely stating and restating its principles. If you don’t like those principles, that’s your problem. Good luck explaining the inevitable economic consequences of your position to the electorate.

    • Pierre
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      No. Do you now grasp reality? The uk is weak?

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      This is what happens when a little country negotiates with a big country. The little one gets kicked about.

      • James murphy
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Yes as we Irish know very well

      • longinus
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, hope Ireland enjoy what they are due.

  20. Richard1
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Was Mrs May really prepared to offer regulatory alignment for Northern Ireland until scuppered by the DUP – the govt having expressly & tightly stated that we can’t have a different set up for different parts of the UK? If so this explains why the EU continue to drive a hard bargain – If they sit there arms folded they know the UK will cave. To get a deal, at some point the govt are going to have to say No.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Rightly!

  21. Cobwatch
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Yesterday was remarkable. It wasn’t concession after concession, not even that, it was a vigorous waving of the white flag. This was not PM May alone. The Cabinet stood behind this deal. Unless Varadkar is lying this WAS to be the deal. Not just a bad deal, a catastrophically stupid deal. £100 billion, if not more, ECJ supremacy, and Northern Ireland lobbed in as a sweetener. You couldn’t make it up. The Integrity of the Union served up on a plate. But the deal is close, very close…and the broad strokes are now clear. No wonder all those MEP’s were gloating.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      A fear you will be proved to be spot on.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        …………..and unrest is coming!

    • Pierre
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      So mate, do you now realise the brexiters conned you?

      • Oggy
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        May isn’t and never was a ‘Brexiter’.
        But I am concerned that the true ‘Brexiters’ have been very very quiet ………..

      • NickC
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Pierre, No, I realise that the Remains are about to con me.

  22. Nig l
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    In the absence of agreed solutions there will continue to be regulatory alignment with …………. etc. If that is accurate what can that mean other than Northern Ireland does not leave the EU on the same terms as the rest of the U.K. or is that going to be the phrase for a wider agreement. Again if correct no wonder Scotland and Wales are wanting the same.

    Once again smacks of a typical agreement with the EU, our red lines get compromised, we sign it off and sit down to a celebratory lunch with smug Eurocrats grinning like Cheshire cats.

    Well done the DUP but what was she or her advisers thinking? Did they not realise that it would cause a furore. Again looks like signs of desperation to sign anything off on the EUs terms. I am starting to think a leadership challenge is worth the political risk.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      The image endures with me, of Theresa May during the last election campaign after the care for the elderly policy had been solidly rejected, standing with palms upwards and pleading ‘Nothing has changed!’

      She was right. She was useless before and she’s still useless. It seems she has learned nothing, nor has she suddenly gained the necessary level of acumen and courage that a leader needs.

      We just cannot let that go on. A strong and decisive leader will carry the country with them, and I cite Mrs T as a prime example. A weak one constantly devalues and erodes their own, and their party’s political capital. Not to get rid of May doesn’t just put Brexit at risk, it puts the nation at risk. Just look at what is waiting in the wings!

      Tad

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Beggars can’t be choosers..

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Go and tell that to Tusk and Junker! They are in a position of weakness. Our problem in the UK is that we are in a position of strength, but our leaders can’t see it, and for whatever reason fail to exploit it.

  23. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    It seemed, and I accept that my understanding relies on the media, that your government was prepared to acquiesce to the EU’s myriad demands in order to get trade talks. Money was promised, Northern Ireland was to be compromised and EU citizens would have recourse to the ECJ.

    Similar to an England batting collapse your government seems incapable of staying the course.

    Maybe the position has been misrepresented ib the media but the DUP appears to have prevented us being sold down the river for which I am thankful.

  24. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Despite all the hype about our PM being a tough negotiator from the EU leaders the time has come to face the reality of the situation. Regarding our PM the gild has gone off of the gingerbread. Regardless of the to be expected fallout surely there must be 48 members in the house who have totally had enough of her ineptness as a leader. The perception is her heart is not really in it and she is just bumping along from one disaster to another. This has all been a very clever move by the EU over the Irish border to keep us in the single market.
    Whatever happened to Brexit means Brexit. No deal is better than a bad deal?

    With the figures announced yesterday about the UK poverty levels it is going to take some real incredible spin to justify the figures that are being considered to buy the EU off. Start looking after your own first.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      There is nothing more condemning than have your opposition praise your negotiating skills. If May had been doing her job Juncker should have been spitting feathers.

  25. Tabulazero
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    There does not seem to be a majority in Parliament for a hard Brexit.

    Labour, save a few exceptions, does not want it. The Libdems do not want it. The SNP does not want it. The moderate wing of the Conservative party does not want it.

    You can strut and huff and puff as much you like, issue ultimatums and red lines as much as you want, Mr Redwood but it will ultimately boil down to whether you prefer Theresa May and her version of Brexit (as soft as it gets) or Jeremy Corbyn as PM.

    Of the two, which one represent the greater risk to the Conservatives ?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      But the people want Brexit, and if the Remoaners hadn’t lied and distorted the truth to such a deplorable extent to win an unfair advantage, even more of the people would have wanted it. They struck fear into the hearts of some and that is cynical and unforgiveable.

      There’s an important matter that seems to have passed you by. The House of Commons is made up of people whom the ‘people’ have elected to do their bidding. They are servants of the people, and not the other way around.

      If the people express their will to leave the EU, then it is incumbent upon the politicians to deliver it. It then comes down to putting the right people in place to make that happen. People who are properly committed to the cause.

      To choose between May and Corbyn is a false choice. We don’t get rid of one no-hoper just to replace them with another. What we really need is a good leader but from the same stable, if one can be found. In my view, the entire UK negotiating side should be made up with solid Brexiteers. That’s the only way to make real progress.

      Tad

    • graham1946
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      You mention the parties who do not want it, but forget the most important bit – the people. The people voted out.The parties are our servants, not our masters. There is no such thing as a hard Brexit. We voted leave, so leave we will, not half in or out, still under EU control. Any party signing up to a fudge like that will be toast next election. Threats of a Corbyn government are a last ditch scare by Remoaners who have run out of road. He’s got to get elected first and that’s not a certainty or in my view even likely. This whole thing should have been done on a national interest level and the HoC was stupid to have to have left it to party incompetence presumably hoping that the Tories would cock it up and hang themselves, which they are doing. Seems party loyalty trumps national interest every time with short termers like politicians.

  26. Original Richard
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    “I continue to support the government’s stated view that it must take back control of our money, our borders and our laws, and that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

    Agreed, but please include our assets in this list as to give away our fishing grounds for a second time is not acceptable.

    As Mr. Hollande said about Brexit 07/10/2016 :
    “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price….”

    No deal is better than a punishment deal negotiated by the UK’s EU supporters and designed to keep us under EU control and still paying large sums to the EU, via fees or trade or monetary commitments, to enable it to keep expanding.

    • Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      And what actually constitutes a ”bad deal”? How long is a piece of string? This ”deal” sounds bad to most of us – can it get any worse? – and ”no deal” sounds much more promising. We believed this sound bite, not realising just how bad a ”bad deal” could be.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      @Original Richard: This has nothing to do with punishment and indeed, there is no punishment, just a settling of assets and liabilities for an orderly withdraw from the EU.
      “As Mr. Hollande said about Brexit 07/10/2016” – that is old hat, in the French elections the exit-camp was clearly beaten.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        We’ve seen no mention of assets or even a detailed list of both – not surprising since the EU is so corrupt it could not get it’s books signed off by auditors for 22 years. It has no clue of its assets or liabilities, just a figure plucked from the air and our lot look like falling for paying half of it and calling that a negotiation. It stinks.

        Lets have a fully audited and detailed invoice which we can pay then no-one will complain.

      • Andy
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        There is never any mention of ‘Assets’ and actually the thieving EU has specifically excluded these. Read what Barnier has said. You can’t have ‘liabilities’ without also having ‘Assets’.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 7, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          “the EU has specifically excluded these”

          When the UK joined the EU ewe never got a share of the assets. Its a nit like leaving a club and demanding the building be sold so you can have a share of its value.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        PvL–I forget–Did you ever explain why if you reckon that ‘settling assets and liabilities’ is so obvious such a procedure is not written in to the otherwise so very prescriptive Treaties? Instead there is nothing even resembling such a thing.

      • NickC
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        PvL, There are very few “liabilities”. What the EU may be thinking of (we don’t know because the EU still hasn’t listed them) are budgets. Budgets can be changed whereas a liability is money spent or a commitment to spend. The EU has had 18 months to adjust its budgets, why hasn’t it done so?

  27. Blazeaway
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    John, I’m disgusted by the apparent willingness of the government to countenance the break-up of the UK as the behest of the EU.

    Time to speak up for Britain.

  28. Nig l
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Ps Ms Soubry says the solution is to stay in the singe market. I despair.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Nig1

      Makes me wonder if this has all been orchestrated to keep us in the single market. Just an excuse not to deliver Brexit. What a bunch of idiots we have in government at the moment. They really think they can pull the wool over the public’s eyes. Laughable.

    • NickC
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Nig 1, Soubry should be reminded that the Remain campaign warned us that voting to Leave meant leaving the single market. As did the Leave campaign of course. Neither side, nor the government, warned us that a supine post Referendum government would be eager to pay the EU danegeld to get access to the single market that we get under WTO rules anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Well what did you expect of Ms Soubry? bBut also we have Ruth Davidson with a rather similar line.

      May is so depressingly wrong on every issue. Brexit means Brexit was clearly a Cameron Type of Cast Iron promise. Rather like the £1M each inheritance tax promise we got from Osborne about 8 years back was it but still not delivered. Thank goodness for the DUP telling he to get lost.

      • stred
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Even president 3 Tusk told us we could not leave and stay in the single market. If an MP can’t understand this simple fact, they really should not be an MP.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–She seems almost to have negative judgement

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      “Ps Ms Soubry says the solution is to stay in the singe market. I despair.”

      Well she is right…… Norway does it this way for example.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Norway is not in the EU Customs Union, and if it was adjacent to Ireland rather than Sweden then the same problem would arise.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          “Norway is not in the EU Customs Union”
          You are correct, but that is not the same as the singlemarket which (to correct my comment above) above Norway is not in either, though ti has full access to it in exchange for full freedom of movement, paying a contribution, and accepting all the rules imposed on it.

          Turkey is in the Customs Union but not in the Single Market. As a result it gets the benefit of the 60 odd free trade agreements the EU has. More free trade agreements than the US, Japan, Australia etc etc etc

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            Turkey is not in the EU Customs Union either, it has a separate customs union with the EU Customs Union.

          • rose
            Posted December 7, 2017 at 1:32 am | Permalink

            Turkey is not in the Customs Union but in a customs union.

  29. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    As time progresses it is becoming clear why May called the election.
    She hoped to get a large majority so she could sell us out to the EU.
    This has spectacularly backfired as she now has the resolute DUP holding her to account.
    The EU has no intention of negotiating just issuing demands.
    Enough is enough.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Ian

      I am still awaiting your reply from the import/export question from yesterday?

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        I don’t reply to Brussels trolls.

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Ian, if this is the level of conversation you lead I would rather not have an answer.

          thank you

      • NickC
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Hans, You got an answer from me. Part of that was: The UK exports more successfully under WTO trade rules than we do under EU rules by about 61% to 39% (Pink Book, using ONS 4% guess for the Rotterdam effect). The WTO rules are ready made, the only trade deal on offer at the moment, and demonstrably better for us than the EU.

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          NickC

          Please, kindly explain the 39/61% in more detail, that would be very useful?

          thank you

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      She hoped to get a large majority to neuter the sensible wing of the Tories – but made three huge and very basic & blindingly obvious mistakes. First she decided to have a vote for me and we will kick you in the teeth manifesto, second she had too long a gap between calling the election and having it, third she robotically repeated the phrase “strong and stable government” like a stuck record.

      Her problem is that she is just far too dim to be PM and has compass 180 degrees out on nearly every single issue. Religious schools, climate alarmism, the gig economy, over regulation, the size of government, the route to Brexit, taxation, the choice of Chancellor …….

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        + the Gender pay gap lie, the attacks on the gig economy and self employed, HS2, Hinkley…… Wrong on almost everything she touches.

      • rose
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        …and her raucous attacks on our main ally.

      • APL
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “Her problem is that she is just far too dim to be PM ..”

        What does that say about the MPs that selected her??

    • Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Mr Wragg, you are SO spot on!

  30. Sean
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Surely John, Mrs May has to go now!
    If not for The DUP she would have broken up the UK and signed up to Keep Northern Ireland in the Eu.

    What is the point of all the past months of negotiations, when giving the Eu all they ask for. Omg!

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      What is beyond belief is that the proposal would have given the Scottish Nats and Khan in London a case to peddle their own demands for a deal to keep them in the Single Market. Who on earth thought this proposal was a flyer?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        KHAN, amazingly, actually supported something I agree with yesterday – more public water fountains in London.

        Not sure that May has yet.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          It’s a Gove initiative isn’t it, and a good one.

        • APL
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic: ” more public water fountains in London. ”

          So, he’s the Mayor of London!! Who else is going to to it?

        • APL
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic: ” more public water fountains in London. ”

          Two further thoughts about this. You can buy a bottle of drinking water from just about any tourist shop in London or M&S or Sainsbury’s for next to nothing. There is no constraint of trade for purchasing drinking water in London.

          Providing at the public expense drinking water would amount to a restraint of trade for a perfectly adequate existing market. I’d be against it for that reason.

          Secondly, given the prevalence of diseases that were though eradicated in the UK in London, I personally would avoid any public drinking water source.

          But thirdly, as I alluded to in my first reply, Khan is Mayor, he doesn’t need to grandstand on this issue, he is in the position to do something about it. He should make the case for the initiative in the London Assembly get it approved and then shut up and do it.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Dear Iain–Best I gather, she still does think it is a flyer, perhaps after a bit of ‘presentational’ tweaking, which is all she and hers have been doing for months now. To think the Tories believe she is their and our best leader. Would be a giggle if not so very very serious.

    • NickC
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Sean, We stand amazed at the incompetence of our own government as it frantically appeases the EU: loadsa money; remaining in parts of the EU; ongoing ECJ supervision; fishing rights compromised. And now breaking up the UK. Just what stupidity will they think of next?

      • rose
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Giving away Gibraltar, of course.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        “Just what stupidity will they think of next?”

        Just re-read the Remain campaign’s warnings to find out……

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps we should now put Boris, Gove, Leadsom, in charge and May should leave them to it.

          We need a new cabinet if they were prepared to ditch the views of N Ireland.

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

            A-tracy, Northern Ireland is part and parcel of the UK. Trading it away, or even hinting at trading it away, to appease the EU is shameful. Never was the saying: “The English sell their friends and buy their enemies” more apposite.

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness for the DUP, as it appeared that Mrs May was about to capitulate yet again. What she was about to agree to wasn’t just an affront to the people of Northern Ireland it was another step on the journey she is taking where we leave the EU in name only. Instead of having the best of both worlds she seems determined to secure the worst. No freedom, no independence, no end to payments and no influience over what the masters in Brussels dictate. No deal is the answer.

    • NickC
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Brian, Well said. The break up of the UK is beyond incompetence, it is treasonous. No trade deal with the EU, our government simply cannot be trusted to negotiate sensibly. We should use the existing WTO deal that we already use for 61% of our exports (ex-Rotterdam effect).

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        “The break up of the UK is beyond incompetence”

        Indeed. And yet predicted as a possibility before the referendum. …. Who voted for it I wonder?

    • longinus
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      If the DUP selected a local candidate in my English constituency I would vote for them as the only true conservative option.

  32. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Indeed but the behaviour of the leader of your party in not consulting the DUP is both stupid and embarrassing. Compare that with the EU organisation and coherence between the Irish leader and EU leaders. Again, just embarrassing.

    • Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      It certainly IS embarrassing, and incompetent. Are there mischievous civil servants/advisers behind a lot of this? If so, it’s a pity Mrs May isn’t strong enough to counter them, if indeed she disagrees with them.

  33. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Disingenuous. Why doesn’t May come out then and deny reports that she agreed to give over control of NI then had to backtrack? Thank goodness for Arlene Foster.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      In every instance , not just in the issue yesterday , the No 10 spin machine is nothing short of useless, I begin to wonder if it exists. Yesterday the text of the proposed agreement was given to MEPs , this was leaked and spun by the Irish, which got to the ears of the DUP. At no point did the Government come out and try to correct the narrative being spun, if there was one to correct, with the result the DUP said no. Even after the debacle, that now calls into question May’s competence, they can’t be bothered to protect their interests. Its no wonder Corbyn is having so much success for he finds he is up against a party, government and individuals who won’t fight their corner or defend themselves.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Dear Joe–Nauseating watching her say that there were one or two items (implication just tiny ones–nothing to worry about) when in fact they were fundamental matters of principal that could hardly be more important, like splitting the UK.

  34. Michael
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The government keeps making concessions and compromises in its negotiations with the EU. Meanwhile, the EU sticks firmly to its position and makes no concessions or compromises.

    As regards money we have agreed a form of words which amount to a blank cheque. At any point in the future the UK may be landed with bills that the EU say we have a moral obligation to pay. Who knows what may come out of the woodwork after March 2019 which the EU will expect us to pay. Unless the amount of money is expressed In figures the words will be capable of being interpreted against us in the future to our cost.

    On the question of EU citizens in the UK the government simply must NOT agree that the ECJ has any role to play. We must leave the jurisdiction of the ECJ in March 2019 for ALL purposes

    Finally on the question of the Irish border Northern Ireland must not be treated any differently than the rest of the UK. The UK must leave the EU as one unit all subject to the same terms.

    If reports are to be believed the Government is going to deliver a bad BREXIT deal at the outset before moving on to trade talks.

    But no deal is better than a bad deal. The government needs to waken up to political reality otherwise there is a real risk it will not survive

  35. Fed Up and Angry
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    John – at what point in the day should the government make focusing on no deal the priority – we have a little over 12 months left now until we are meant to be leaving.

    Also if it’s true that the Irish government leaked an untrue story yesterday regarding Mrs May and N Ireland, then IMO the talks should end as they are proving themselves completely untrustworthy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The government should have already done that, because it must have been clear to ministers for some time that the Irish government will not shift from an absurd, extreme and intransigent position. TV journalists report from outside disused customs posts on the border to deliberately give the false impression that the UK government wants to reinstate such posts, and security check points as well, when it has long been clear that this is not the case. Does the Department for Exiting the European Union then respond by saying or tweeting something like “X on Y news reported from outside a disused customs post on the Northern Ireland border as if the UK government wants to bring them back, when it has always been perfectly clear that is not the case”? No, it does not, it let’s the Remoaners spread their false propaganda completely unchallenged. Why is that? Any idea, JR?

      • Javk snell
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Denis.. it would be so much different if we could see new international agreements out there waiting for us..but there are no such deals..the government knows this and knows now very well that we have to do the best deal we can with the EU..we have little choice in tge matter. Crashing out without a deal would be catastrophic for this economy

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Of course there cannot be any such new deals while we are still in the EU. I’m surprised you don’t understand that basic fact.

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      It isn’t yet clear whether the EU and Southern Ireland tried to bounce Mrs May, or Mrs May tried to bounce the DUP. If the latter, then we have further evidence of control freakery: going off to Brussels without showing the DUP the text of what was to be agreed. It looks as if no-one on the mainland knew what was in it either. This is very like Heath’s behaviour when he gave away the fish. If it hadn’t been for the Southern Irish boasting, the DUP wouldn’t have found out in time. The control freak needs to learn that she can only keep people here in the dark, not people in other countries, and she can’t control what the latter say. Now she has actually managed to unite her party! Against her. The one thing they all agree on is that they are the Conservative and Unionist Party.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        “This is very like Heath’s behaviour when he gave away the fish.”

        Yep.

  36. Bert Young
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    We must not be blackmailed into an agreement for any reason , nor should we be offering all kinds of money . Yesterday Arlene Foster showed us what true guts is , her statement was a determination to keep the unity of our country together as well as to show Varadkar that the EU cannot filch away our territory .

    I am afraid that Theresa has lost the plot and has shown a weak presence to the outside world , she cannot keep her Government or Party together with compromise after compromise . The sooner she goes the better .

  37. am
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Hopefully at the cabinet meeting today pressure is put on may to resign. It has become an issue of trust. Forster should continue to hold firm.

  38. JoolsB
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    John, no matter how you dress it up, May is the wrong person to negotiate on our behalf. The idiots in your party who crowned a remainer as PM are to blame. It’s becoming clearer by the day that despite the tough talk from May, she is ready to capitulate on every single issue. She obviously didn’t mean her ‘no deal is better than a good deal’ mantra and is making us a laughing stock who appears willing to do a deal at any price.

    She has betrayed NI and by trying to make them a special case, something they specifically said they would not accept, we now have the Scots & Welsh First Ministers jumping on the band wagon and demanding special treatment too. Of course England, the country that overwhelmingly voted Brexit, has no-one saying on their behalf “what about England? what about what we want?” The worry now is the remainers of which May is one will deliver what some describe as a soft Brexit which will be a total betrayal.

    Once again your party will have sold England down the river. I despair!!

  39. David Williams
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Thank you to the DUP for preserving the integrity of the United Kingdom. For now at least.

  40. robert lewy
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the DUP refusing at the last jump was pre-arranged?

    • Nig l
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Wow that is conspiracy theory at its best. However it raises a question that none of the contributors has mentioned yet. The Good Friday Agreement cited as one of the reasons for the current problem and whilst everyone is talking about the break up of the U.K. what influence does Ireland have already through that agreement. We all lauded it but did anyone look at the fine print and do not forget Ireland was interfering in the affairs of another sovereign country then looking to ‘influence’ a united Ireland and they see this as another opportunity to promote that. No wonder the DUP are suspicious.

      David Trimble knows as much as anyone about this and voted to leave having had coalface experience of EU committees. Why isn’t anyone asking his view/advice? I hope he is well.

      • rose
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        The Good Friday Agreement, worded by the sort of people who are now putting together the Brexit agreement, has enabled Sinn Fein to bring down the Assembly and keep it down indefinitely. Imagine if one party were able to do that to government and parliament in London. Well done civil servants like Jonathan Powell who say politicians are too stupid to be trusted with treaties.

  41. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Having scanned through a lot of comments on various websites, it seems clear that there is very great anger at May, but huge admiration for the DUP and Arlene Forster, who is regarded as having principles and a steely resolve. There are many comments saying they wish she were our PM. There is also anger at the Tory Brexiter MPs who they perceive as weak and not holding May to account. My own view is that this situation cannot go on, and that Brexit will be lost if May remains in power. She is apparently prepared to offer one concession after another. If any ordinary person left a club and resigned their membership, they would not then start negotiating with that club to allow them a different type of membership and offering them sums of money and concessions in order to wheedle their way to a sort of three quarters in and quarter out membership. That is nonsense. The PM has been entrusted to deliver the Brexit we voted for, and not some fudge, which is arrived at because a) she is not really wanting to leave, and b) she is apparently too weak, easily manipulated, and lacking in vision to effect Brexit.

  42. Chris S
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I can’t imagine that the firm of words proposed before Mrs May left for Brussels wasn’t already agreed with the DUP.

    It would appear that a change of wording was demanded by the EU side yesterday morning but that this was unacceptable to the DUP.

  43. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    When will Conservative MPs get the message Mrs. May is a useless PM, regardless of her disastrous attempt at Brexit. Her credibility is zero. She has not made one right decision in her tenure and our Government must be close to being a laughing stock in Brussels. How Davis, Johnson, Fox, Gove and any other declared Cabinet Leavers can continue to support her is beyond comprehension.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      “our Government must be close to being a laughing stock in Brussels.”

      Humiliating isn’t it? We were supposed to be taking back control, and all is happening is that we at being kicked around. That’s what happens when we are the little boy playing with big boys. And there will be plenty more of it.

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree, AS. Perhaps none of the MPs really want to leave at all, and this has all been stage managed? I cannot really believe that, but it is illustrative of how bad things are that people are actually asking questions elsewhere in the blogosphere about whether this is a possibility.

  44. BOF
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    It seems that the DUP has rescued us from this subterfuge, but how many more bear traps have been built into this ‘agreement’?

    A fair question, I think, considering that the British people are being kept in the dark.

  45. Pete
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    If the government really thinks that no deal is better than a bad deal why are we hearing reports of abject capitulation to the EU’s demands. If they really do intend to stand up to Brussels come out and say it. “No cash unless we get everything we want”. Then walk away and let Juncker and his …… cronies come begging.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      “If the government really thinks that no deal is better than a bad deal …”

      Because almost any deal is better than no deal and the government knows it.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Dear Barker–“No deal” is a ridiculous and misleading term–Why is it so hard to understand that the “deal”, actually not a deal at all, that we would have is no more nor less than that which the best part of 200 countries already have–Ever so slightly hard to see why we, one of the very largest of that number should have any kind of problem.

  46. piglet
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    You are in denial, John. Your first sentence should read
    “Yesterday exposed how far the PM wishes to push the UK even to get to talks about a future Agreement.”

  47. Shieldsman
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    ‘regulatory alignment’ Now that really is worthy of Gerry Adams weasel words.

    The tweet that really brought the talks to standstill. Nicola Sturgeon at 14:46 with – If one part of UK can retain regulatory alignment with EU and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can’t.

    What did Laura Kuenssberg make of it. “Hearing it was the DUP call that sunk today’s chances of a deal – Foster held her press conference , 20 minutes later May leaves talks with Juncker to call her, goes back into the room and the deal is off”.
    But that’s not the half of it. Theresa May is not just negotiating the Irish Border on behalf of N.I., but for the whole of the UK. A sniff of a separate single market & customs union deal for N.I. and every remainer wants special consideration.

    End of negotiations, an interpretation of those two little words ‘regulatory alignment’, that is tantamount to breaking up the United Kingdom, Theresa May could not agree to that. No point in blaming the DUP Laura!!

    The Taoiseach must live in la-la land if he was happy to accept, convergence, no divergence or regulatory alignment, and that all those things essentially meant the same thing. A bit of blarny that did not work. No UK Prime Minister could knowingly make a deal that would be responsible for the breakup of the UK. Not even Jeremy Corbyn if he came to power.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    It is repeatedly stated on TV that the UK government is “desperate” to get agreement at the “crucial” EU meeting next week that “all-important” trade talks can start.

    Clearly then the media do not accept that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, and I suggest the reason is that the present May government is not yet prepared to contradict the false economic analyses which were actively promoted by the Cameron and all preceding Tory governments over decades.

    I wouldn’t go along with Daniel Hannan’s recent claim that moving to WTO terms would cost us only a quarter of a percent of GDP, because that particular World Bank study dealt only with the immediate effects of trade in goods and there is at least one other World Bank study which comes out with higher projected losses of GDP:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/11/19/so-the-eu-budget-rebate-is-ar-risk/#comment-901924

    It can be seen I had an exchange with Leslie Singleton about this a couple of weeks ago and we agreed that even on the other study the numbers are still small, as I put it ” just as the converse numbers for the benefits of the EU Single Market are small”.

    Apart from force of habit and a reluctance to go back on what she said in the past I cannot understand why Theresa May persists with the mistaken idea that the EU Single Market is of great economic importance when in a previous incarnation the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier only claimed that it was worth about 2% of GDP across the EU.

    For goodness sake, why doesn’t David Davis just print out a copy of this report that Michel Barnier issued in 2012:

    https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/c505dbb4-64f1-40a6-8062-ebdea6240bd4

    and slap it down in front of him opened on page 13, in which he stated:

    The collective GDP of the EU member states in 2008 was 2.13% higher than it would have been if the Single Market had not been launched in 1992.

    Over the same period the Single Market helped to create 2.77 million new jobs, a 1.3% increase in employment across the EU.

    While a separate German study estimated that for the UK the benefit was only half of the EU average at about 1%.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Dear Denis–Fame at last!–And I most certainly agree with you that it is impossibly hard to understand why Davis and his Department aren’t much more proactive in their defence and in their rebuttals of what emanates from Remain types.

  49. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I fear that whatever you may think, Mr Redwood, that May was intent on a deal with the EU which would betray Brexit, and also potentially cause immeasurable problems with Sturgeon et al demanding single market concessions. Arlene Foster is apparently getting stick in the Press. Why? She is the only one with any backbone. Why did our own Tory Brexiter MPs both inside and outside Cabinet allow this to happen, and why wasn’t there an outcry by them? May is forever conceding apparently. I did not vote for this, and the tragedy is that this was entirely predictable. Tory MPs, by voting in a Remainer as leader, effectively voted for this to happen. Yes, there is a large majority of Tory Remainer MPs, but they were trusted to deliver Brexit. They have not so far, as shown by the disastrous situation we find ourselves in (EU lapdog, a muddled and unconvincing strategy, transition period, plus huge Brexit divorce bill) and they appear likely to fail to deliver it. Instead it will be leaving in name only. The spin merchants who are working overtime, it seems, will not fool the electorate.

  50. Alan Joyce
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Once again I find my contribution awaiting moderation. Again it is not controversial nor is it as lengthy as two or three other submissions that were posted on the day in question in response to your blog ‘Two Views of Brexit’.

    I re-submit my comments for publication in today’s blog as follows:

    As predicted, Mrs. May completes her hat-trick as she adds a third climbdown on the Irish Border issue to her first two (own) goals on the Brexit Bill and role for the ECJ.

    We know how the EU works. Regulatory alignment, whether it applies just to Northern Ireland or possibly the whole of the UK as some have said already, will metamorphose into a requirement to slavishly incorporate all rules and regulations – backed enthusiastically by those in the Civil Service “who want to mirror all the arrangements and controls we had when in the EU” and “interfere in our government and daily lives”. I wonder which body will interpret claims and disputes as they arise?

    Already, we have the Scottish and Welsh First Ministers seeking to stir things up with a demand they should have the same deal as Northern Ireland. Similarly, Sadiq Khan thinks London should do the same.

    The Prime Minister has become a liability. She is behaving like a loose cannon making decisions on the hoof. Decisions that have profound implications for the UK. Decisions that one would think could not possibly have been agreed in Cabinet or the reduced Brexit Cabinet bearing in mind the stated positions of some leading pro-Brexit ministers?

    This is becoming a fait-accompli. We are being softened up for the ‘deep and special partnership’ where we have a Brexit in name only. Hardly suprising with May and Hammond in charge and with some senior Brexiteers seemingly more intent on saving their ministerial careers rather than sticking to their principles.

    Having extracted the maximum number of concessions on the Brexit Bill, the ECJ role and the Irish Border problem, the EU will allow the UK to move onto the future relationship.

    Ronald Reagan once said “You ain’t seen nothing yet”. Get ready for more of May’s negotiating skills when trade talks begin.

    • Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Very well said, Mr Joyce. Although I have my doubts you will see this post agreeing with yours, as nothing I write seems to get past the moderator! Even, probably, this one!

  51. a-tracy
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Guardian today: ‘Hard Brexiters have just discovered Britain is weaker than Ireland’

    ‘Hat trick of defeats; people, money Ireland.’

    Just what are our government agreeing to with regards to Ireland as an independent state and EU member that isn’t in our interests and are seen as a ‘defeat’?

    Why are we giving Ireland the whip hand?

    Are we agreeing to give them full free movement of people into the UK after Brexit?
    Is this agreement to allow their goods into the UK different from what the REU will be doing? and Out of the UK into Ireland?

    How could Mrs May go into a deal and try to sign up to something she hadn’t already agreed with Mrs Foster, this is the sort of sneaky, backhand deal-making that upsets people so much all of these behind closed door deals that are for the best that turn out to be for the worst for the general public.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      “Why are we giving Ireland the whip hand?”

      As a member of the EU Ireland has this level of influence over the EU policy making process. It’s part of the control members states have that we have lost since article 50 was triggered.

      I am yet to see any sign that the UK has or will “take back control”.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        “As a member of the EU Ireland has this level of influence over the EU policy”

        Well how come we never heard about the UK blocking and vetoing things the British public were against all these years. Surely the common EU currency and EU bank should have just been vetoed as not in our interest. The rules are made up as they go along. When it suits you don’t need everyone to agree but when they want to be heavy-handed everyone has to agree.

        schengen
        Why not just veto it completely if one little State can veto what it wants.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          “Surely the common EU currency and EU bank should have just been vetoed”

          In case you hadn’t noticed we are not in the common currency, or in schengen. The UK negotiated a fabulous deal and we are crazy to give it away.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Why not just veto it, if we had that power, that was my question? Why allow the EU to progress into fiscal union and do something we didn’t agree with if we didn’t have to, just like Ireland having “this level of influence over the EU policy-making process”.

            What did the UK ever veto Loudbarker?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 7, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            @a-tracy: The last thing the UK vetoed was the “fiscal compact” and Mr Cameron was applauded by his Tory back-benchers for his “bulldog” spirit. A bit of a laugh this proved to be.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            PVL – had to look this up ecb europa
            “The fiscal compact as enshrined in the new “Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union” was agreed at the EU summit of 30 January 2012 and
            signed on 2 March by the Heads of State or Government of all EU countries, with the exception of the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic.

            That is not a veto, this is an opt-out of something we’re already opted out of, the problem with opt-outs is that over time they just get reduced until we agree to the terms behind closed doors.

            My question is if even little Countries like Ireland who take funding rather than give to the EU machine get to have a full veto, why not simply say NO we do not agree to this for any of you.

            The UK and Ireland opted out of Shengen to the public but behind closed doors they agreed to the terms of it.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Dear Barker–Nonsense–In general the Republic’s influence is close to zero (Unarguably well below one twenty-eighth on any basis) but in this particular case they are, as they would see it, in the right place at the right time–To think that their first Referendum vote was No–The very fact that a second vote was forced down their throat shows in itself how much influence they (don’t) have.

        • rose
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

          Also, they relied on us to stick up for them on the matter of their tax rates etc. Who will stick up for them now? Or do they think an attack dog, which they were against Greece too, will have permanent privileges?

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          “The very fact that a second vote was forced down their throat shows in itself how much influence they (don’t) have.”

          Are we suggesting the Irish were forced to vote at gun point? I prefer to believe they realised what was in their best interest. As I continue to hope the UK will too.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 6, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            Dear Barker–Metaphorical gun point, Yes–Plain as a pikestaff

  52. BOF
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I know that the final deal will have to be submitted to Parliament but I am at the same time shocked that as the process unfolds, it is being stitched up with the EU to finally be presented as a completed part of the deal. Parliament will in the end feel under pressure to accept it no matter how bad for the UK.

    Looks like the only hope is for the whole process to collapse or be voted down by one or more EU countries..

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      BOF – The expression is “like herding cats”, can you get 27 cats all to agree the final destination…I don’t think so.

  53. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The DUP sem to have saved us from a traitorous sell-out by May, at least for the time being. Pity there are not more people like them. They speak plainly and forthrightly so people have to listen. I suspect they were being tricked and realised at the last moment.

    Did the traitor May tske any notice of your polite letter? Did she act on it? I’m sure we feel we are entitled to know.

    • stred
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      The DUP would be unwise to expect anything other than treachery from May and her civil servants in No 10. Only 8 more of the gutless Remainer MPs are needed to remove this embarrassing disaster of a PM. If the DUP threaten to withdraw support unless a Leaver replacement is found this would concentrate minds. May is betraying Brexit on behalf of the Remainers in the City of London and Big Business. They will not want a Marxist government any more than they want to lose their easy earnings and monopolies. The Tories know they would be out for if they called an election now with May as PM. The DUP need to insist on the removal of Reverse traitors who would split the UK to please the EU.

  54. Tom William
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    There is no possible excuse for a British Prime Minister being forced to change a proposed agreement because all the homework had not been checked in advance. This follows surrender after surrender.

    Only the Conservatives can deliver the Brexit which the massive Leave vote demanded but a fudged “Brexit Lite” will make them unelectable for many reasons. It is time Mrs May was replaced by someone who really means “no deal is better than a bad deal” and declares that we will go for WTO.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      “The EU has no intention of negotiating just issuing demands”

      Indeed. That’s how it works when you are the little guy “negotiating” with the big guy. That’s one good reason why we need to stay in the customs union. That way we can be with the big guys doing the kicking rather than being kicked.

      We can expect more kicking when Liam Fox tries to negotiate free trade deals with the US, China, Japan, and the EU. We haven’t heard much about how that is going.

      I thought this was about taking back control rather than being kicked around. We were told it would all be easy. Our country is being humiliated, and it’s all the outer’s fault.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Nope, it’s the fault of those who took us into the EEC/EC/EU/USE project and have kept us in it while quietly handing it more and more power.

  55. Iain Gill
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I am concerned that nobody seems to be in place to represent the English specifically.

    The Northern Irish, the Scottish and the Welsh all have loud people shouting their demands.

    Yet nobody seems to be eloquently describing the unique problems the English have, such as the inevitability that economic migrants will overwhelmingly gravitate to South East England and will abuse any weakness in the Southern Irish immigration system, the land border, and the ferries to the British mainland to get in. Weakness in the immigration system will not be such a big deal for the Irish, Scots and Welsh it will overwhelmingly be an English problem.

    Who is there to veto a deal if the English needs are not listened to?

    No deal is better than a bad deal, and the last thing we need to be listening to is a bunch of overpaid European technocrats. Just tell them no, no, no!

  56. JimS
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Any sensible negotiation starts by discussing the outcome desired by the parties to that negotiation.

    The price and conditions should be agreed at the end, not at the start. The EU has got the whole process backwards and is therefore not acting in good faith.

  57. Edwardm
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Although you support the government view, it appears that Mrs May doesn’t.
    In agreeing to so many of the EU’s unreasonable demands that undermine Brexit prior to further “progress” is a complete and utter sell-out of our country.

    In my view we have passed the decision point about Mrs May – we need a new leader now – one who will not betray Brexit, and one who does not show willingness to pay the EU anything for deals that other countries can get for free. (Also some of her ideas on social policy are worrying).
    Conservative party support is on the verge of plummeting – action needed now.

    One way forward would be to hold a national referendum on the maximum we pay the EU, with zero being one of the options. The remoaners will be put on the spot, and it will resolve the issue at what ever level is acceptable nationwide.
    (If it suits our foreign policy objectives, we can contribute to projects in the poorer parts of Europe until 2020, as a direct payment not via the EU, our decision, not the EU’s).

  58. hefner
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    What I still cannot comprehend is why the NI border problem had not been properly thought out by the clever people wanting Brexit, the Patersons, Lawsons, Duncan Smiths and other Redwoods? Some of them have had thirty years to prepare for it. How is it possible that they appear to discover there might be a difficulty there? The EU people are obviously not helping but the level of what looks like amateurism on the British side is incredible.

    • Andy
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      They haven’t thought through any of it. They’ve wasted a good thirty years ranting and raging (notice that even the referendum result didn’t stop that) but they have never come up with a plan. And that’s the problem. As soon as they do come up with a credible plan to deal with these very real problems it’ll look very much like EU membership.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      hefner, the Irish government does not want any solution to the border problem; as I have repeatedly posted they want there to be no border, or there to be a border but one which does not exist, or one which will not re-emerge. There are solutions, the head of HMRC has said they are workable solutions, but the Irish government does not want any solutions. Even if you went along to them with a brilliant solution they would tell you that it was totally unacceptable. You are blaming the wrong people here, you should blame the Irish government and the EU.

      • James neill
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Denis why don’t you start by drawing a border between yourselves and Scotland and see how you like it..or maybe closer to home draw one around cornwall? Or some other county in England..well that is what we are living with..imposed by your governments of the past but what we have to live with..jim neill clones co monoghan

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          There is already a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, a border accepted for the time being by both and by the UK government, and it is plain silly for the Irish government to try to pretend that there is no border or that nothing can be done which might imply a border or could lead to a border re-emerging. There is a point where “creative ambiguity” becomes sheer absurdity, and by its own words the Irish government has gone a long way beyond that point.

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Of course it has been thought out. Whatever gave you the idea it hasn’t? Just listen to Owen Paterson alone to understand why the “border problem” is all EU propaganda.

      Why do you think they put it in as a subject to be “resolved” before we could talk about trade? How do you think they can talk about the border arrangements if they haven’t agreed the trade arrangements? They don’t care about the border at all, just as they don’t care about their southern and eastern borders. It is all a nasty attempt at exploiting the troubles of the past. Another part of Project Fear.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I seem to remember telling our kind host about the problems of the border with the RoI. But all he wanted to do was talk about trade and how much more they sell etc.

      The EU is not interested in trade or successful arrangements. It is only interested in its own survival.

  59. ferdinand
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Don’t blame the DUP, blame the Irish. It is a deliberate ploy. Stand up to it.

    • Peter
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Blame the government. They should be calling the shots. It is clear ‘any Deal is better than no deal’ as far as they are concerned.

      They should walk away. They won’t.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      On the TV news this morning the overall order for blame is:

      1) DUP 2) Theresa May 3) leading Brexiteers.

      The Irish government is completely blameless – of course it is perfectly reasonable for them to flatly reject beforehand “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”, and automatically treat any change at all in the present border or cross-border arrangements – however minor, however unobstrusive, however inoffensive to any normal person – as being tantamount to the creation of a “hard border” with customs posts, and security check points, innocent people and their vehicles being routinely stopped and searched – and yesterday David Davis not only rebuffed but casually insulted a DUP member who had suggested that in fact it was the Irish government which was the original source of the problem with its “intransigence”, Column 904 here:

      https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-12-05/debates/900DF557-19AD-468B-B8F3-4D03172C3E33/EUExitNegotiations

      David Simpson (Upper Bann) (DUP) –

      “The Secretary of State will know that the Democratic Unionist party and businesses in Northern Ireland have advocated a ​sensible Brexit deal with Northern Ireland, but does he also agree that the Republic of Ireland, through its intransigence, could risk everything and lose the most out of this?”

      Mr Davis –

      “The hon. Gentleman is asking me to break my vow of courtesy, so I say, “Get thee behind me, Satan”— this time anyway.”

      I suppose this “vow of courtesy” may be one reason why his department has never made any attempt to fight back against Remoaner propaganda.

  60. Alison
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr Redwood, thank you SO much. Briefly: Mrs. May, “Brexit means Brexit” – Lancaster House speech seemingly made totally irrelevant, drip by drip, by Mrs May & her remainers – advisers, civil servants, cabinet. This is what comes of having a cabinet 25% Leavers, 75% Remainers. That is not “Brexit means Brexit”. ***Le Monde indicates that with ‘regulatory alignment’, the UK will find it very difficult to negotiate trade agreements eg with US, China. Unless she has a major cabinet reshuffle, with the 52:48% balance, she needs to go. I hope there is a Conservative Party/ 1922 Committee extraordinary procedure for this.
    I gather also ‘agreed’ by Mrs May yesterday was a FIVE-year time limit on ECJ over EU nationals in UK .. then the EU said, ‘no time limit’. Fury; if EU nationals want to stay here, our laws are fine.
    PS I’ve asked my MP (here in Scotland, conservative) what his view of ‘regulatory alignment’ is.

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Your Scottish Conservative MPs are doing very well in the H of C. The SNP don’t know what has hit them. Sometimes they have a Scottish Deputy Speaker too to keep them in order.

  61. Oggy
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Thank God for the DUP, I chuckled rather loudly yesterday when I saw Arlene Foster give her speech in response to Mrs May and all I can say is – it serves Mrs May right for trying to give the EU even more concessions.
    Now Dr Redwood the question arises if 10 DUP MP’s can stop Mrs May in her tracks on selling the UK down the river – where have all the Tory Brexiteer MP’s been ?

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      It seems to me that almost the entire Conservative Party would have opposed her breaking up the Union. Even Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve are sound on that.

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      A very valid question, Oggy.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Exactly !

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Good question Oggy, why are they all sitting on their hands?

      We’re being told every tiny, low paying or no contributing EU State can veto every decision in the EU, why didn’t the U.K., one of the top funders of the EU, that we’re also discovering is more to the tune of £20-£25bn pa, veto everything from Schengen to the Euro.

      Get a UK leaver in our main decision maker position and veto everything until we leave. Then at least nothing changes for a couple of years.

  62. Epikouros
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    The EU is throwing one obstacle after another in the face of UK Brexit negotiators. No doubt in an effort to thwart Brexit by gaining time for remainers to do just that and of course to teach recalcitrant members to behave themselves. Also to force concessions without acceding to any of their own. If they cannot keep us in the EU then they at least want us under restraint. At some point the UK has to decide when enough is enough and walk away without a deal. That timing and in what manner that is done is crucial as the UK does not want to be seen as the unreasonable party. The EU would like nothing better than to say they did their best but the UK was being unreasonable and the UK public believing it and so setting up a backlash against Brexit.

    • Andy
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not being unreasonable at all. If you voted for Brexit you voted for these obstacles. They didn’t put that on the side of a bus, did they?

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        We agree Andy, there is no point negotiating away any payments, deals, concessions it’s not going to get anything. In 40 years we’ve never vetoed anything we didn’t like.

      • Epikouros
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        What was put on the side of the bus was somewhat misleading (subsequent calculations points to it being entirely accurate if the desire is to spend all the financial gain on the NHS even if that is not the desire or practicable it can still be substantial) although is was not as inaccurate as everything else remainers have printed or said. The EU boasts as being fair and reasonable and look to have good relations with all those obstacles tell a different story. So no we did not vote for these obstacles.

  63. Atlantic Span
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    If Theresa May makes an appearance in the Commons today,I hope you tell her that so far the UK has made all the concessions and the EU has made none. It’s getting close to crunch time now, and if they persist with their bully boy tactics there can be only one outcome.

  64. DaveM
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    NI holding things up. Carwyn Jones, Sturgeon and Khan bleating. Who’s speaking for England Mr R?

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I should say the DUP is speaking for England. And the Brexiteer backbenchers on both sides of the House.

      • DaveM
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        The brexiteer MPs? Indeed – the silence is absolutely deafening. They have no loyalty to their constituents or their country, only to their parties and their disastrous leaders.

      • Yossarion
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 1:28 am | Permalink

        I see Andrew Muirison was getting involved, Maybe someone should ask Him why the English have No! representation on the British Irish Council?

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I’d like to know from Mr Redwood if he would make another declaration of loyalty to Mrs May. I fear he is not as keen on protecting the UK as much as he claims. If he still supports the PM he is part of the problem.

      If the terms of his letter were ignored he must resign the whip. Sovereignty must now come before party.

  65. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Just a reminder of what the Irish Europe Minister told Sky News last week, from 3 minutes in here:

    https://news.sky.com/video/is-the-norway-sweden-border-a-solution-for-ireland-11141058

    “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

    Note this is not just “ruling out the reinstatement of customs posts at the border”, the false impression which might be gained from many media reports, it is:

    “ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”.

    In fact I’m surprised she isn’t demanding the instant removal of those existing signs saying “Welcome to Northern Ireland” and reminding drivers that speed limits are in miles per hour:

    Theresa May should give up on this, as there is little point trying to negotiate anything with these people; just say now that thanks to the silliness of the Irish government we will not even attempt to get any special trade deal, we will just trade on WTO terms.

    But also make sure that all the blame is laid where it should be laid.

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I have seen a photograph of a Southern Irish policeman removing a GARDA PATROL notice from the border just before a Eurocrat’s visit.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      “We will just trade on WTO term”

      Does this mean there will be a hard border between Eire and North Ireland? If so, do we tear up the good Friday Agreement? Are you willing to go back to lost of Irish people killing each other?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you would care to say what you mean by a “hard border”.

      • rose
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        This is the nasty Project Fear I was referring to above. There is no need for a hard border in either case. There is a sensible arrangement there already which will suffice.

        The anti border sentiment is really anti British sentiment being stoked up. The people doing the stoking up should answer for what they are doing.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          If there is not a hard border how are you going to keep the immigrants out and the terrorist weapons out? That’s the kind of hard border I mean. The one the Outers want.

  66. Beecee
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Politicians just love to compromise with a version of words which both sides can claim as a victory.

    Yet nobody wins!

    Mrs May and her background team is way too light on business hardened negotiators, a weakness clearly identified on this blog and made worse by an obvious lack of published red lines.

    Mr Davis and she were ambushed from the outset, failed to stand up to Barnier and his hitmen, and now may (no pun intended) face and lose a vote of no confidence in the House.

    The N I fox is now in the chicken house.

  67. VotedOut
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I was in Germany last week talking to my client – a major German engineering company. The topic of Brexit never arose. In fact, they were keen to increase their use of UK expertise. Even more interesting was their request for names of possible UK manufacturing suppliers they could source from. They simply had no issue with the UK in or out of the EU.

    It is clear that the MSM and commentators can talk themselves into hysteria – pulling us all into this depressing vortex.

    Trade deal or no trade deal, we are seen as open for business. Perhaps politicians believe they have more influence than reality would suggest?

    I was very uplifted and have become much more positive.

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I am not positive as I am sure the majority of our politicians all want us to stay in the EU and those that don’t do not have the will to take any steps to ensure it. Yes, they may make some noise, and then say, Well, we tried, but that is not good enough. It is radical and bold action that is required and pdq.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      VotedOut

      I share your positiveness. I have had the same experience all over Europe.

      We can conclude, our MSM outlets are producing completely misleading drivil, for their own duplicitous agendas?

  68. Peter A
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Deceit and betrayal are punishable by revolution. I hope May’s Govt realises they cannot expect to survive such an outcome. Every day that passes it becomes clearer the deceit and betrayal that May is leading towards.

  69. Michael
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The EU clearly values unity of the single market more than the UK government values unity of the UK. Can the government be trusted with keeping the UK together?

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      “Can the government be trusted with keeping the UK together?”
      Yet another “Project Fear” prediction coming true…..

    • getahead
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Michael,
      And more than it values the referendum result.

  70. Peter
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    May says ‘Brexit means Brexit’ while planning to sell out and concede to the EU.

    Still nobody has toppled her. The fix is in.

    • BartD
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Peter..No she said “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it” instead it looks like with the DUPs help she has made a dogs breakfast of it.

      What if we crash out? do we have to wait until March 2019 to start with WTO rules?

      When will Liam Fox’s new international deals be revealed?

      I see in that recent budget nothing was put aside for shipbuilding and sea ports?We should be making plans now.. because we can see there will be no future with EU countries..perhaps we could do a deal with Russia? they have plenty of raw materials

      • rose
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        I think if we soar out in advance of the official date we can be independent right away. As Mr R points out from time to time, we save money too.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        ‘..perhaps we could do a deal with Russia? they have plenty of raw materials’.

        I have been saying all along that Russia could make a good trading partner. They have huge natural resources and could be a source of cheap energy and much more besides. They could even be customers for our own goods and services, but May was busy slating them a week or two ago. She’s not just useless as a PM, she’s not too good as an industrial strategist either!

        Tad

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          Dear Tad–As I said a few months ago, put me in the camp that would rather deal with Russia than the EU–Apart from trade, and with a fair wind, we could very possibly help bridge the gap between Russia and the US

  71. Tad Davison
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I have said all along, never trust remainers to negotiate for Brexit. They will give ground and compromise all the time. They will keep chipping away and giving in until nothing is left.

    It matters not what the people want, remainers want something else and will lie, prevaricate, obfuscate, stall, and use any ploy they possibly can to achieve their ambition. And it should be pretty clear by now that they are busily trying to out manoeuvre Brexit supporting MPs and dividing the rest.

    So why should we be surprised at the present impasse?

    I really am bitter that I once supported the Tories, and I wouldn’t pay Labour or the Lib Dems in washers!

    I hope they don’t come anywhere near me, and this should be taken as a measure of the anger people now feel at the sheer treachery of it all.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  72. Dennis Zoff
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    JR, taken from “facts4eu.org” today. They make a very good point. “why are you and your pro-Brexit colleagues not shouting from the rafters about this shambolic betrayal, such as the DUP?

    …In other words, forget the DUP for a minute. Every single Brexit-supporting MP in Parliament should have been shouting from the rooftops. They should have been making the Prime Minister’s office aware that they would not be able to support the government if it acquiesced on any one of the three issues….

    …In most governments, the Prime Minister would have been made aware of the views of her party and would negotiate agreements accordingly. The PM would know that he or she would require the MPs’ support for the deal. When it comes to Mrs May, however, we are starting to doubt very seriously that she has any idea of what is and is not acceptable to Tory MPs, to say nothing of what would be acceptable to the country at large….

    …It would reassure a large part of the country greatly if the body of MPs representing the majority view of the electorate in the Referendum were to start speaking rather louder about their red lines!

    Is there something we do not know?

    • Peter
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      All good points. I suspect there are not the numbers to challenge successfully.

      As for the Leave ministers, I suspect their allegiance to Leave is not as strong as their personal ambitions. They will mostly be looking to ensure blame is not laid at their door. Letting someone else carry the can in difficult times was the reason May was not challenged after her election performance.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        ‘Letting someone else carry the can in difficult times was the reason May was not challenged after her election performance.’

        That’s fine – just as long as she’s not allowed to sign anything!

        Tad

      • rose
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        She wasn’t challenged and won’t be now because of the damage a contest would do. Nothing to do with the low motives you attribute.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Peter

        Could you be right? Could this be the end game?

        MAY takes the blame for this ridiculous situation and is ousted…and behind the scenes (behind the flak) Brexiters save the day by appointing a “real” anti-EU candidate, who immediately initiates new negotiations that are actually beneficial to the UK citizens?

        In other words, the Government does its “tax paid” job and executes the will of the people….what the UK citizens demanded in the first place?

        JR….is this the game afoot?…and please don’t say ” I support May” again, as this would appear disingenuous!

    • rose
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      She looks exhausted to me. Does she even know what she is doing?

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      “Is there something we do not know?”

      Perhaps it is that we live in a Parliamentary Democracy whereby Parliament is sovereign and MPs at expected to make decisions in an informed way for the good of the country; and not just parrot the views of the electorate?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Please don’t pretend that you care about parliamentary democracy.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Parliament is not Sovereign whilst we are in the EU

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          But I do.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Dear Barker–I prefer the views of the Electorate and more Direct Democracy in general–I have never seen much to make me want to trust the judgement of certainly most MP’s–MP’s are voted in because of their party or because they are good at kissing babies or these days because they have nice legs–Nothing to do with judgement–Indeed for new MP’s there is literally no basis for assessment

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, DZ, they should have been and their failure to do so is highly significant.
      I fear there is something we do not officially know about, but I suspect what it is, and it is something that we will not like. They are going to sell us out, I believe, all of them.

    • Patrick Mallen
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Maybe because JR is doing the far more necessary thing of supporting the government. Maybe it’s because he understands that these dramatic flare ups are going to happen along on the way to Brexit, that its a long march, and we’re going to need to keep our heads and not get into a frenzy over headlines, leaks and passing squalls. That’s my understanding, anyway.

      We’re leaving the SM & the CU and ‘regulatory alignment’ is creatively ambiguous enough to be interpreted in multiple ways. The huge pressures mounted by the EU and the Irish government regarding the border might be turned against them at a later date, as minds have been focussed and straightened by the NI question and the conditions it imposes, which need to be answered and might be used to leverage a deal. Accepting EU standards in traded goods means we don’t have to put up a border. Not asking for reciprocal recognition in standards allows the EU redline, where the “primacy” of the SM is upheld, to be their partial “victory”.

      As long as such concessions are limited to trading standards and are matched by the customs facilitators on the EU side that maintain free and frictionless trade on the Irish and continental borders, and the UK retains its own standards, it may be a workable compromise. What conditions it might place on a Services agreement, is another question.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Of course the EU will have a say (as will the UK) in determining the meaning of regulatory alignment. It might lead the way to a constructive outcome, CU and single market membership in all but name but without the label that seems to attract hostility in England. Ideally the interpretation of the term would be left to the ECJ, otherwise it would be too easy to cheat.

      • David Price
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        After we leave the single market & customs union any company wishing to trade with the EU will need to comply with EU regulations, just like they would need to comply with USA regulations to trade there.

        This does not mean that a region or country must entirely comply with those regulations so there is no automatic requirement for NI as a region to be treated any differently that the rest of the UK.

        “Regulatory alignment” of a geographic area is EU/euphilic trickery.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Patrick Mallen

        “Maybe it’s because he understands that these dramatic flare ups are going to happen along on the way to Brexit…….”

        …this ludicrous debacle is happening because there isn’t a clear picture/plan as to what T. May is negotiating? It therefore comes across as another politically designed “don’t give a damn about the citizens” stitch-up.

        This is not the fault of the electorate, don’t blame them, they did their job and placed the next stage in our Government’s hands to execute!

        It is the sole responsibility and subsequent fault of these incompetent politicians, who clearly demonstrate a lack of negotiating experience, guile or indeed guts, to protect the interests of the UK citizens. In all my years of international negotiating, I have never witnessed such downright dire clownish ineptitude!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Dennis, yes, everyone is being very quiet. Nothing from our MP’s who profess to want Brexit proper. The silence tells you everything.

  73. Patrick Mallen
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    One solution to the question of ‘regulatory alignment’ and the UK/EU Irish border would be for the UK to recognize all current and future EU regulation regarding trading standards without asking that the EU recognize UK regulation. The UK would be able to regulate within its own borders and sign Mutual Recognition Agreements with other countries, thus honouring the Referendum result to make its own laws and to be able to do free trade deals with other countries. The decision as to which standards/ regulation to follow would devolve to individual businesses in accordance with their own business needs.

    There would be no need for customs posts on the UK side as we’d recognize all EU products and produce. If there were the will on the EU side a computerized pre-clearance system would mean UK goods cleared both the Irish and the Continental borders, with the bolt ons of existing trade facilitators such as ‘frequent trader waivers’. There would be no need for a physical border in Ireland.

    • John Barleycorn
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Patrick,

      At last a thoughtful contribution. It is good to see a contributor who has an idea what a sensible solution might look like. I hope Mr Redwood is reading.

    • stred
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:30 am | Permalink

      We do comply with EU standards and will do so when we leave. If we change our standards afterwards, we will still comply with EU standards to sell into the EU, as we comply with US standards to sell there. We have asked for zero tariffs but the EU is refusing at present. In this case, we will need the cameras as you say. It is the Irish government, egged on by the EU, which says it does not want the cameras. If they want tariffs, they will need cameras. This is about scuppering Brexit and extortion.

  74. Andy
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I genuinely have to thank you all for giving me a good old laugh.

    The Brexit car crash – and more precisely your reaction to it – is a genuine joy to watch.

    Who’d have thought the Irish border could be so tricky? (Except everyone sensible).

    This is as good as it gets for you Brexiteers. Enjoy it. I am.

    What do we reckon? March election? PM Corbyn delivers a socialist Brexit. The irony.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Long way to go yet.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Andy, your puerile comment demonstrates a rather immature character…you are better than this, please grow-up and add value to the proceedings!

    • Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Those individuals (and of these you are a prime example, Andy) who sound positively gleeful at the idea of our country failing and suffering in some way, must fill most right-thinking people with disgust.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Correct, he is showing his true colours and it is not a pretty sight.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        “the idea of our country failing and suffering must fill most right-thinking people with disgust”

        It does. And it’s all the Outer’s fault. They voted out – and there isn’t even a destination.

        What is amusing is the sight of those who caused it running around trying to blame someone else (“the traitor May”) when their beloved project collapses under the weight of its own contradictions.

      • James Matthews
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. They would much rather see the UK fail than Brexit succeed. As disloyal to their own country as Burgess, Philby and Maclean and for much the same motives, Ego and an internationalist ideology, with the former being paramount.

  75. SeamusC
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Best thing now would be if TM and government want to enhance the NI and hold it together as a united then Scotland Wales London etc should be given the same status as NI..also Gibraltar

    • James Matthews
      Posted December 7, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Far to high a price. It would, as you must be obvious ,make the UK meaningless. If Scotland or Wales want a separate relationship with the EU, then that should be on the basis of full independence. London should not be allowed it, period. It is an integral part of England with no separate history. Northern Ireland can go if a majority want that, either though independence or by joining the South (if the South is willing to face all the social and economic costs). Otherwise one deal for the whole of the UK is the only acceptable outcome and that deal should be a clean break.

  76. Peter
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Arlene is reportedly ‘too busy’ to meet Mrs. May.

    It shows how well regarded our Prime Minister is these days.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter–She (that’s Arlene) shows good taste

  77. bigneil
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    All the university educated posh speaking people who, over the last few decades, have kept signing us up to further and further control by the EU must be SOOOOOO proud of themselves now. Just keep throwing money at it in some vain hope it will all be ok.

    • rose
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:06 am | Permalink

      John Major didn’t go to University. Gordon Brown wasn’t particularly grand.

  78. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    It is clear at this point that all the Brexiters in the cabinet have lost all credibility. In a short time all the Brexiter Tory MPs will have lost credibility too. Yet they all do nothing. There must be more to this than meets the eye.

  79. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/05/brexit-britains-natural-home-could-end-efta/

    “After Brexit, here’s why Britain’s natural home could end up as Efta”

    “As Europe evolves once more with Brexit, there are a number of paths the United Kingdom may take as it charts its future outside of the European Union. Some of these could involve the Efta, a body whose creation was the result of British politicians.”

    Except that Efta now is not the same as Efta then:

    http://www.efta.int/legal-texts/efta-convention/detailed-overview-of-the-efta-convention

    “The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) was established by a Convention signed in Stockholm on 4 January 1960. The main objective of the Association was to liberalise trade among its Member States, and the Convention thus contained basic rules regarding free trade in goods and related disciplines.”

    “The updated EFTA Convention, the Vaduz Convention, was signed on 21 June 2001 and entered into force on 1 June 2002, in parallel with the EU-Swiss Bilateral Agreements. It included several significant changes, of which the most important was the integration of the principles and rules established between the EU and the EEA EFTA States in the EEA Agreement, and between the EU and Switzerland in the EU-Swiss Bilateral Agreements. Important new provisions included the free movement of persons, trade in services, movement of capital and protection of intellectual property.”

    NB, “… new provisions included the free movement of persons …”

    • John Barleycorn
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      My understanding is that the EFTA free movement of people is more restricted than the Single Market one. For example, Switzerland expects people moving there to have a job.

      A more substantial problem would be the EFTA court. It looks rather too similar to the ECJ to fit with ‘taking back control’
      “The judgments in direct action cases of the Court are final and binding and the parties to the dispute are required to comply with them. However, the Court has no means of enforcing its decisions. In preliminary reference cases, the Court also hands down judgments. They are not formally binding on the referring national court. However, that court is bound by a duty of loyalty and has to live up to the legitimate reciprocity expectations of the EU. ”
      http://www.eftacourt.int/the-court/jurisdiction-organisation/questions-and-answers/

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        I don’t think EFTA free movement of people is significantly more restricted in practice, and once it becomes EEA free movement of people as some want that is the same as EU free movement of people. But the point is that EFTA now is not the same as EFTA when we helped to set it up, that is misleading.

  80. John Booth
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I realise you have to be a little circumspect about making comments about your Party leader, but no comment at all? Surely it is obvious to any casual observer that yesterday was an enormous cock-up by our Government and especially the Prime Minister. She and our country is a laughing stock once again.

    How many disasters does she have to be responsible for before someone replaces her? It is beyond a joke now. The game is up for her.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Agree with John Booth. Unless Mrs May is replaced with someone who can deliver true Brexit then the Tory party are toast.

    • miami.mode
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      You’re doing the comment for him, John!

  81. Prigger
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    The Speaker of the House today authorised an Urgent Brexit Debate. He cautioned an MP who he thought might be questioning that a debate was necessary at all and reminded him that it is for The Speaker to determine this and not for an MP to question it.
    When Mr Speaker retires, it may speed the business and seriousness of the House if a Chairman of the House replaces the role of a Mr Speaker with the customary business-like and non-smart-alec personal sarcastic attacks which a Mr Speaker could if he so wished vent reprehensibly upon House Members. This would also prevent the possibility that the House would not become a laughing stock in the world of adults.

    • rose
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      I am looking forward to having Speaker Laing. I don’t think she would necessitate reforms.

  82. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid David Davis is obviously and totally wrong when he says that the Irish border problem would be more easily solved as part of future trade negotiations, even if the Irish Prime Minister once agreed with this or Keir Starmer once agreed with it.

    If the Irish position continues to be one of “ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”, as stated by the Irish Europe Minister, see above, then whatever the UK government proposes will be rejected out of hand at that stage as well.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Of course the EU will have a say (as will the UK) in determining the meaning of regulatory alignment. It might lead the way to a constructive outcome, CU and single market membership in all but name but without the label that seems to attract hostility in England. Ideally the interpretation of the term would be left to the ECJ, otherwise it would be too easy to cheat.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        There will be no general “regulatory alignment” with the EU imposed on the UK by the UK Parliament, it will be down to companies in the UK who wish to export to the EU to make sure that they are sufficiently aligned, in the same way that companies in the UK who wish to export elsewhere must meet the standards required by each of the receiving countries.

  83. oldtimer
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    In case anyone was wondering, it appears they are already arguing what do to do with the 50-60 billion euros the EU is expecting from the UK and who will control it. See this Spiegel article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/commission-and-eurogroup-vie-for-control-of-esm-a-1181815.html
    It looks as though the EU plans a vast bail out fund.

  84. Richard Butler
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Brexit can be incredibly simple.
    1) Withdraw from negotiation
    2) Prepare for WTO
    3) EU panic as they fear we will do well under WTO* & have left without paying a divorce bill and this could encourage more EU nations to leave
    4) EU quickly offers UK an excellent trade deal so we cancel our WTO plan

    * We could slash corporation tax for example and attract masses of EU biz.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Dream on!

  85. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Omg, I don’t think I have ever felt as depressed about the political situation the UK finds itself in as I do now. What an absolute carve up. I feel sure we will now be told we are staying in the single market. Of course, there is another way of looking at things. Perhaps all remainer ministers planned it this way so they got the outcome they wanted all along. I always said to my husband that we would never actually leave and he told me I was being cynical. I don’t think he feels that way now. We will never get another chance to leave in my lifetime. The establishment will ensure that. The only way I will ever vote Conservative again is if we walk away and May dhows some bottle.

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      I share your sentiments completely, Fedupsoutherner. I am hugely angry and depressed, not only with May et al, but with the Brexiter Cons MPs who have so let us down. There really is no other way of looking at it, I fear.

      They have let us down because they had so many opportunities to do something about it, and did not. The key really was in the early days, when they could have swallowed their pride and taken moves to embrace the original grassroots Conservatives back into the Party, (and I am also thinking Farage here), or at least work with them. Instead they insisted on keeping the left liberal approach of the Conservatives, which May epitomises. That sealed the fate of Brexit.

      I think the only thing that keeps me going is that Trump is succeeding in many things, things that our media do not report, and he will continue to give the liberal left a good run for their money.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Fedupsoutherner,

      I too am fed up, there will be no party wort voting for, but also no purpose. We are going to be an unrepresented administrative part of the EU. Why MPs on all parties want this rather than independence is bewildering. Opposition and media should be questioning if uk is getting fee enough of EU, but neither is concerned with this. Madness.

    • longinus
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      If the democratic process fails then there are other options.

  86. Alan Joyce
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Yesterday reminded us how far the Prime Minister is willing to transgress her own red lines even to get to talks about a future Agreement. In today’s Urgent Question in the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg had to offer his gratitude to the DUP for ensuring that the government had stuck to its own policy.

    I think that the government’s stated view, that it must take back control of our money, our borders and our laws and that no deal is better than a bad deal, is becoming rather threadbare. The Prime Minister and her inner circle of Remainers, by their actions and words, have no intention of delivering on this.

    And there is now news about a future agreement. Regulatory Alignment is the news and the Brexit Secretary intends it will apply to all of the United Kingdom. It could allow the EU to continue to dispense rules and regulations all of which will be enthusiastically applied to the UK by the very Civil Servants you identified previously who seem to think after Brexit we need to mirror all the arrangements and controls we had when in the EU.

    At the moment the DUP appears to have taken over as standard-bearers of the Brexit cause. Can the Brexiteers rediscover their cause celebre?

  87. David Price
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    So which is it, did some civil servant over-reach their mandate without political sanction or is this an inept attempt at testing the water by a politician?

    In the first case the civil servant should be fired for cause and the PM replaced for having appointed him as her Brexit supremo. In the second case the PM should be replaced for being so inept, on top of the dogs breakfast she is making of the opportunity.

  88. Peter
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone else in favour of the ‘Samson option’?

    Bring the whole government crashing down and start again.

    There may be considerable pain – but you can only paper over cracks and compromise for so long.

    I have felt for some time now that the government is not acting in good faith.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      We have had both a referendum and an election.
      What you propose is insurrection and revolution.

      • Peter
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Yes we have had both an election and a referendum.

        The referendum told us the country wanted Brexit. The election told us Mrs. May was not as popular as she thought she was.

        Bringing down the government by denying it support is neither insurrection nor revolution though. It is the final use of power when all else has failed.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Brining down the government you say.
          Mob rule?
          Pitchforks outside Parliament ?
          You remainers are far more undemocratic than I ever imagined.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I have said it before and I fear it may need to be said again. There is a danger and justification enough with the treacherous and traitorous May as PM and with Hammond and Rudd in the cabinet that the only way we will get the Brexit we voted for and to get out of the EU completely is for someone to start throwing bricks through windows. We have been betrayed enough by her and these supporters.

  89. James Matthews
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    We have a cabinet which contains a majority of people who did not want to leave the EU. That majority includes the PM. We have foreign office staffed by people who overwhelmingly did not want to leave the EU.

    The reasons for these people wanting to remain are, for the most part, exactly the reasons why leavers want to leave. In these circumstances it is no great surprise that the Remainers wish to conclude a leave agreement which will prevent any of the actions desired by the leavers from happening, thus undermining the whole process and preparing the ground for eventually re-joining the EU, albeit on even worse terms.

    It is starting to look as though the Vichy supporters are going to prevail. That will be the greatest national disaster since 1066 and almost certainly terminal.

  90. Freeborn John
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe May is telling you the truth. In the account of her 1st meeting with the EU Comission that was published in the Frankurter Allgemaine Zeitung she is reported to have told J-C Juncker that she anted to model Brexit on her earlier opt-out from EU Judicial and Home Affairs Policy where she actually opted back in to all the specific individual measures later on. She thought this was a good model because it meant no change while giving the appearance of an opt-out. Her latest wheezes about regulatory alignment clearly between either NI or the whole UK and the EU are seemingly at odds with her statements about the UK being outside the single market and customs union but she is clear aiming to mimic EU membership.

    Why you fall for this I do not know. She needs to be toppled before locking us into the EU again at enormous expense.

  91. Edward2
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    The sooner we realise that the EU will not allow the UK any deal the cheaper it will be.
    Leave.
    Stop the membership fees.
    Become an independent free nation again.
    As we were a few decades ago.
    And as over 150 nations already are.

  92. George
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    As we are said to have offered 45 to 55 billion, which is way too much, we already have a BAD DEAL.
    We know what May said is better than a Bad Deal …… So lets get on with it now.
    No need for any more “negotiating”.

  93. Donna
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    The only reason the talks failed yesterday was because the DUP did what any decent Conservative and Unionist PM should have done and said NO.

    Theresa May was all for capitulating to the EU’s demands on NI – just as she’s capitulated on everything else.

    And today we learn that the PM and David Davis’ plan is to sign up the whole of the UK to “alignment” with EU regulations. In other words, they’ll deliver Brexit on paper, but in reality we will still be subject to the EU’s regulatory burden, thereby immediately negating any benefit from Brexit.

    If the Conservative Party wants to stand a chance of being re-elected in 2022 (or earlier) get rid of her: she’s useless.

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      I think not only useless, Donna, but treacherous. What she has apparently done is totally unacceptable and not worthy of a PM, in my view.

  94. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    https://euobserver.com/uk-referendum/140166

    “EU sets Brexit ‘deadline of deadlines’ this week”

    • Ron Springett
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      So Dennis, how do you feel about the Brexiteers’ promises that the EU will bend over backwards to give the mighty UK a great deal, now we are exposed as weaker than Eire?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        So Ron, how do you feel about the Irish government adopting an absurd, extreme and intransigent position which will probably to lead to greater damage to the Irish economy than to ours? That you would like to carry on with those foolish Irish politicians helping to govern our country?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted December 7, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Good come-back Denis. Sounds like he’s thrown the ball into his own net.

          Tad

  95. getahead
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    “the government’s stated view ”
    It appears John, that what the government states is not in truth, its view.

  96. Peter Parsons
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    On tonight’s Ian King Live on Sky the CEO of ICAP was interviewed and he stated that Hard Brexit (which I took to mean “no deal”) was the worst deal of all for the City of London

    • rose
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      They all said the same thing about the single currency. But they stayed, and they prospered. How would they feel about an FTT?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Not sure what you mean by an FTT. It’s only meaning I can find is the medical one of “Failure to Thrive”. (Or maybe that is what you do mean.)

        In the interview the CEO also talked about his company being ok in the short term as they already had brokers based elsewhere (France, Germany), but if the outcome ultimately meant that traders left London for other locations, brokers and infrastructure would follow.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Financial Transactions Tax.

        • rose
          Posted December 7, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

          A Financial Transactions Tax is what is on the cards in the EU. We have been fighting it for years. It would have a severe impact on little people as well as big, but it is sold as being a painless tax. Stamp duty is the FTT we already have…

  97. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I think it highly significant that David Davis would apparently not give Rees-Mogg an assurance on his question:
    “…The Brexit Secretary avoided Mr Rees-Mogg’s request to say that his “red line” was to free the UK to diverge from EU standards, insisting that “the red line for me is delivering the best Brexit for Britain”……”
    Source D Tel.

    This is bad news and I am sure the significance of this is not lost on J R-M.

    • Ron Springett
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Mr Davis is facing the reality of our very weak position. Rees mogg is playing to the gallery and is a mayfly

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Can’t see it your way a all.

        With a good negotiating team, the UK would press home its considerable advantage. In football parlance that should be familiar to you, poor team selection is holding things up and frustrating the crowd. As life-long Man City supporter, could you possibly imagine me advocating something for the red half of Manchester?

        Never in a million years!

        That applies equally to Brexit negotiations. Only committed Brexiteers can be trusted to get us out.

        Tad

  98. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Our apparently grovelling PM has now got us into this situation, IF the D Express reports on EU comments are to be believed:
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/888368/Brexit-news-EU-officials-Britain-protectorate-of-Brussels-May-plan
    EU blasts Britain will be ‘PROTECTORATE’ of Brussels under May’s Brexit alignment plan
    BRITAIN will become a “regulatory protectorate of Brussels” if it proceeds with Theresa May’s plan to align rules and regulations after Brexit, an EU diplomat said today….Officials said the PM’s idea that the whole of the UK will continue to apply European standards as a way of solving the Irish border question will have wider democratic implications.

    They insisted such an approach would be tantamount to “accepting EU rules without having any say over how they are made” despite the fact Britain will have formally left the club.

    The remarks, coupled with Mrs May’s plan, are likely to raise questions over how different accepting “regulatory alignment” in a number of key economic areas is to simply staying in the Single Market… .”

  99. rose
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    You have summed up the position well, Mr R. And so have Mrs Foster and Mr Dodds.

  100. James neill
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Would love to know what IDS’s alternative is..eeejit

  101. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    John,

    I think you should help Ian Paterson, his performance on the Irish border on Channel 4 this evening came really across as aggressive, unconstructive and very unstructured your more structured approach to argue would have helped him a lot this evening.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      this was of course Owen Paterson and not Ian Paterson

      • rose
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Owen Paterson is usually interrupted in every sentence. It is very difficult in a severely limited time to get out an argument under those conditions. That may have accounted for your impression. He is not an aggressive person at all. Far from it.

  102. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Our worst fears about May are confirmed apparently: she had never consulted senior ministers about the regulatory alignment text apparently, and the statement by Davis that NI wouldn’t be left on its own but instead all of the UK would have regulatory alignment has finally got some Brexiter MPs in Cabinet to act (if this report is true). They fear that she was planning to “bounce” them into supporting a soft Brexit.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/05/brexit-deal-chaos-theresa-may-warned-will-face-leadership-challenge/
    Boris Johnson and Michael Gove lead Cabinet revolt against Theresa May over fears she is forcing a soft Brexit.
    Theresa May is facing a Cabinet revolt after Brexiteers led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove expressed “genuine fear” the Prime Minister is trying to force through a soft Brexit.

    Mrs May was accused of trying to “bounce” the Cabinet into agreeing to “regulatory alignment” between Ulster and Ireland after it emerged she did not brief senior ministers before talks in Brussels on Monday that stalled over the controversial issue.

    David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said that any alignment 
between the north and south in Ireland would apply to the whole of the UK, which Leave supporters interpreted as Britain remaining yoked to the EU.

    One Cabinet source said: “It seems that either Northern Ireland is splitting from the rest of the UK or we are headed for high alignment with the EU, which certainly hasn’t been agreed by Cabinet. The Prime Minister is playing a risky game.”…..”

    Interesting that the article was only published online 2 hours ago and it has over 3,500 comments. Yes, people are very angry indeed.

  103. Lear's Fool
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Nuncle – good to see you at the politeia event. I was seated second row to your left. I worked in Mr Reynolds team for 8 years.

  104. Yossarion
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    The Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) is a multilateral treaty that was concluded at Geneva on 14 November 1975 to simplify and harmonise the administrative formalities of international road transport. (TIR stands for “Transports Internationaux Routiers” Still valid?

  105. Norman
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    We are truly at a crucial moment in our long history as a sovereign United Kingdom – a nation with a distinct identity and impact upon world history. I am not going to speculate, but this is now high drama, and it would not surprise me to see some seismic developments within a matter of days. Suffice it to say, I love my country, and the best of what it has stood for.

  106. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen a minister say that everybody wants the same thing, which is clearly not true when the UK government and the DUP want to arrange matters so that there will still be completely frictionless movements of people and goods across the border while the Irish government doesn’t want there to be a border at all.

  107. Mancunius
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Endowing any agreement with ambiguity is a non-starter. There is no doubt as to how the EU will regard and enforce any nod-and-wink agreement by the UK to apply ‘regulatory alignment’ not only to NI but to the whole of the UK, in such a key sector as agriculture. Brussels, Berlin and Paris would exploit it to the full, by insisting on the UK making continued CAP payments and being subject to any new EU legislation (they’d swiftly pass new restrictions on 1 April 2019, just to be awkward). They would insist the ECJ supervise UK policy on these matters.
    It’s horrifying that May and Davis have agreed to this: they have been captured by their own keenness on a FTA, and have not noticed that the EU has no concept of F, or of T – let alone of A. It certainly has no concept of *mutual* agreement with the UK.
    Did May get confused and think she was agreeing to Mutual Recognition Agreements? There is a vast difference between those basic agreed trading standards and allowing UK sectors to remain in the EU ‘single market’. And you can be sure Brussels knows the difference, even if our government does not.

  108. Qubus
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Unless I am mistaken, Eire is not presently a member of Schengen; what will be the situation post-Brexi,t vis-a-vis the UK?

  109. Norman
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Irish border and NI sovereignty issues aside, presumably the Great Repeal Bill, transposing all EU Regs into our own legislation, is, in effect, achieving Regulatory Equivalence. Of course, it goes both ways, and on the basis that ‘the customer is always right’, and either party can specify what standard it likes to allow importation of goods, I wonder if we are overreacting on this point?

  110. rose
    Posted December 7, 2017 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    The Leader of the Opposition asked something important today: he asked for an itemised account of the ransom demand. A pity the PM avoided answering him at all on the point. I hope he persists with this request.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 7, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Yep, I noticed that. A bit late, he should have demanded that months ago.

  111. a-tracy
    Posted December 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Guido “James Forsyth quotes a leading Vote Leave figure warning there is “a week to fight back” against a soft Brexit. His piece blames the whole clusterf**k on a “hopelessly understaffed” Downing Street, “a general lack of direction and grip” ”

    John, I know you’re busy with this blog giving people an outlet, but the backbench Conservative MPs, the real patriots and supporters of Leave – Bone, Hollobone etc there were 127 of them won’t they give some time to staff ‘Downing Street’ on a project each to make a success out of this, it is the most important thing we will do for the rest of this year.

  112. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Congratulations UK. It seems that the DUP hurdle has been taken and that 27 EU countries will be advised to start the second phase of Brexit negotiations. Brexit for Breakfast talks today.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      If you’re congratulating us PVL then this is a bad thing – what on earth have we agreed to.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        @rose: I must confess that I am not in the least embarrassed! Is that bad?
        Why did Mrs May make citizen’s rights into a negotiation instead of fully guaranteeing them from the outset (e.g. in July 2016)? Why all this grandstanding and whistling about money instead of looking together at the details right from the start? Why treating the north/south Irish border with benign neglect (1 flimsy position paper) instead of hard work with all parties concerned? Why so little time spend in Brussels compared to the EU side?

        This UK date with reality is coming very, very, very late! And more delusions will follow and will no doubt have to be brought to reality as well. Barnier has repeated three or four nonnegotiable issues at the end of his news conference, because they are simply “automatic consequences” of leaving the EU. Do the UK politicians realise? Do they have the guts to tell their constituents?

        • rose
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Dear Peter

          Mrs May didn’t make citizens’ rights into a negotiation. France, Germany, and the Commission did. You must know that as soon as she became PM she went all round the 27 to settle the matter at once. Pretty well everyone agreed to do this, including the Dutch. But the French, the Germans, and the Commission refused to be civilized and humane like the others. They said it could not be talked about at all until the formal negotiations, because nothing could be talked about until then, even though they were talking like mad to all sorts of people about all sorts of ways to do us down. They insisted on our sticking rigidly to this rule that they weren’t keeping themselves, because they wanted to cause pain and anxiety as a continuation of their Project Fear and Project Smear; and because they wanted some extra means of holding things up and exerting pressure.

          On the money, the British have been very weak. No grandstanding at all, just initial insistence on proper itemised accounts, on keeping to the law, and then…capitulation!

          You must not believe all the anti British propaganda on the border with Southern Ireland. It is a long and complicated story which one has to be something of a specialist to grasp properly. A little while after the Brexit vote, I watched a young Portuguese lawyer addressing the EU parliament on all the different ways in which to do down the British. He certainly had done his homework and knew exactly how to exploit the Northern Irish situation to break up the United Kingdom. It made for dispiriting listening from our oldest ally. Briefly, there is no problem about the border. It is fairly “hard” already. Well guarded on the Southern side by the Garda, and equipped with various bits of discreet technology on the Northern side. A certain amount of smuggling takes place as it always has done, but it is local not international. Sensible Southern Irishmen are saying just let it be. Live with it. It isn’t a problem. We can manage it between us. The HMRC people are saying the same. But the EU wanted it to be a problem for other reasons. So the EU got all sanctimonious about the Belfast Agreement and has even tried to give the impression it had something to do with that process. The only part the EU played was when M Barnier popped over for a photo opportunity when the hard work had all been done. Besides which the Agreement is fraught with difficulties, not the angelic document the EU makes out. For example the government and assembly of Northern Ireland have been brought down and are still down indefinitely, because the Agreement gave Sinn Fein the power to do this. Imagine if a treaty enabled that to happen in Amsterdam or London!

          On time spent in Brussels, I am puzzled by your saying this as it looks as if Mrs May does quite enough scuttling over to Brussels to do the bidding of the Commission. What about spending a bit more time in London? Or at least having meetings at civilized times?

          On reality, I fear we must differ. It seems to us the EU took a very long time to accept we wanted our independence back, and they still don’t seem to understand – neither do the majority of our politicians and civil servants – what independence means.

          See you in the next installment.

    • stred
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Yes, we saw the traitor sneaking over to sell us out. Get ready for more extortion. My last Dutch produce was bought last week and I won’t be going there again. Also, have decided to sell my French house. etc ed

    • rose
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Peter,
      Aren’t you thoroughly embarrassed at the way the EU has behaved? Holding up the talks on the future relationship which the treaty says it must have? This Irish border question was deliberately made up, to split the British and the Irish, and rake up the troubles. A great pity the present man Mr Varadkar fell straight into the trap. Now our PM has had to stay up all night to get him off the hook after his foolish grandstanding. And why has the EU kept her up all night anyway? They didn’t have to have a 7 am press conference. This is nasty, ungentlemanly behaviour and makes a very bad impression.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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