An agreement to talk

The government is trying to secure a deal to trigger trade talks with the EU. Today we learn that the EU is now prepared to talk about trade and the future relationship as well as the three special subjects it singled out for discussion so far. That is welcome, and means there can now be serious negotiations about a future Agreement. It was never possible to settle the Northern Ireland border issue without knowing the basis for future trade, for example.

We need to remember that leaving on the WTO option means no additional payments to the EU, whilst taking back control of our borders, our laws and our money. A good deal has to be better than this, otherwise the government’s mantra that No deal is better than a bad deal should apply.

Everyone needs to remember that this agreement is not the Agreement on the UK leaving the EU. It is an agreement to talk about all matters, and is still governed by the crucial principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

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  1. Peter
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Much hoopla this morning at 6.50am. Too early to know all the detail yet.

    Mrs. May relieved…… until the next crisis?

    • Hope
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Geisla Stewart made it clear full alignment is not leaving. It a
      So means we are not free to make our own laws as it effects all regulation. May has lied in saying we are leaving the single market and customs union, we are not we are staying in by another use of words. She has agreed the worse of possible deals staying in without a veto or voice! Idiot.

      We need Farage to lead an uprising against this govt that has betrayed 17.4 million people and made a mockery of democratic elections.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      “Brexit means Biscuit”

      Crumbly and flakey.

      We obviously misheard the woman.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Reading the text on Conhome it is apparent that we are staying in the single market and leaving the EU with a £55 billion bill for absolutely nothing.
    We now go for the second phase when the final humiliation will be agreed.
    It looks like the DUP have kept us in the EU in all but name.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, some serious questions on definition of ‘alignment’ term of commitment, and who or what decides compliance.
      Another fudge that will result in more trouble down the road I fear.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. Single market, customs union and almost certainly ECJ jurisdiction remains until the border solution with Eire is agreed on a an open basis which is almost certainly impossible. We get mostly the benefits and pay for them but without the ability to influence policy. Nor will we get the ability to negotiate our own trade deals. Trade on the WTO model will not be possible unless we offer the same deal as we get with Eire (ie open borders) to all other WTO members.

      It must be better to say in the EU than accept the implications of this deal.

      Taking back control! Not.

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Loudbarker, You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. If the scenario pans out as you suppose (wish) your putative deal between Eire and the UK can be registered as a RTA with the WTO. So we do not have to offer the same deal to all our existing WTO trading partners.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Dominic Grieve’s beaming face said it all this morning on the BBC.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      That is a very good summary. You are basically paying £40bn for the privilege to downgrade your membership from full member to what eerily looks like EFTA membership.

      That said, that was pretty obvious from the start that it would end up like this. A massive stitch-up.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see that. The ECJ role is time limited & courts in the UK already take account of foreign court rulings. The ‘alignment ‘ seems fairly innocuous also. Switzerland chooses to align extensively with the EU on many standards because it makes practical sense. The Nordic countries likewise have historically aligned laws and practices , for practical purposes without sacrificing sovereignty. And we are now assured that most at least of the £40bn will only be paid if there is a deal at the End of the next phase. Rome wasn’t built in a day. From the summary I’ve seen this looks a reasonable basis to continue, not too much has been given away. The denunciations of UKIP don’t stand up and remoaners like Chukka Umana and many BBC interviewers Are struggling to pick holes in the deal. I take heart from the failure of both to knock it down as yet!

        • Hope
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Read clauses 49 and 50, the U.K. Has been delivered on its knees as a cash cow colony to the EU. None of this is acceptable. We voted leave in its entirety.

          Parliament has defied the will of the people as made the ballot box null and void. The question to be asked is what is to be done now. When there is no representation for enforced taxes and laws people consider options available like the Irish.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          Regulatory convergence is Single Market and Customs Union Lite. It allows the EU to set the rules by which we can trade. These rules will be used to stiffle trade and prevent us from sourcing cheaper alternatives. We will still be a captive market and subject to their wims.


    • Rollo
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Correct ian. SELLOUT

    • eeyore
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      JR is of course a loyal supporter of this government. Nonetheless, I note his last three sentences. We should not forget that he and other Brexit MPs have what we don’t – a vote on the outcome.

      This is the great constitutional battle of our lifetime and it will be fought, like all English constitutional battles, in the cockpit of the Commons. The manoeuvring is all but over. Now the guns must speak.

  3. Caterpillar
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Any deal will become better than no deal if preparations for no deal are not made. All preparations need to beade and the uk govt needs to now set deadlines, not the EU.

    No bung, own laws, own judiciary, own regulations, control of own borders.

  4. jerry
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    This mornings news looks like a sell-out to the EU, how ever it gets spun, due to the (apparent) clause on the ECJ etc. Having said that though, at least we might now be able to see what the EU are going to offer regards trade.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Canada hasn’t had to accept all this rubbish , so the free trade deal we cut with the EU had better be a pretty spectacular one.

      As for ECJ I am disgusted that our Government has allowed the creation to two sets of rights here, one for EU migrants, and a worse one for our own people. I know the British establishment have been rubbish at fighting for our interests abroad, but I never thought they would permit the discrimination of their own people in their own country.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        @Iain Moore: Canada had no outstanding commitments, thus nothing to settle for an orderly withdraw

        • jerry
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          @PvR; Irrelevant nonsense, the EU either needs regulative and/or legal convergence or it doesn’t, if Canada can have a free trade deal without such convergence then so could any other country, including the UK post Brexit.

          Put it this way, to turn the tables, there are many within the EU who think that the (suggested) convergence being demanded by the USA, towards their own US standards/laws, is a price not worth paying for TTIP.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            @jerry: ??? I don’t get your point. The financial settlement I spoke of is not related to convergence.
            That the EU doesn’t want to solve the Irish “non-border” for the UK in case the UK walks away from a FTA is another matter.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            @PvR; “I don’t get your point”

            Probably because your point was even more irrelevant then, considering everyone else was talking about the ECJ and thus legal and regulative convergence!

        • NickC
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          PvL, You persist in confusing “outstanding commitments” with budgets. It is up to the EU to adjust its own budgets.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: As it will do and have to do for its next budget (2021-2028 budget)

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Not much. The UK has already accepted that it would revert to full alignment (aka single-market & custom union membership but in name) if no FTA deal can be found.

      Unless you are willing to out a border in the Irish sea (why would you do that) this will apply to the rest of the UK as well.

      By default you will therefore remain inside the Single-Market & Custom Union. There is not much to talk and Dr Liam Fox is out of a job.

    • Annette
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Don’t be silly. They now want to discuss the ‘transition’ without an identified end state, where Tusk has already said that there will be ‘additional’ demands.
      No person on earth could spin this as anything other than what it is – a spineless ‘planned’ capitulation by those who want to ‘remain’ with many so-called Brexiteers in the Tory party putting party before country & being ‘bounced’ into agreement. It will be the death of the party unless they can now ‘achieve’ a mo deal exit.

    • jerry
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      If true, that the UK will be subject to new EU laws that we’ll have had no say in their writing post Brexit then this is a very bad deal.

      If this is the best deal available then there are now only two creditable options, withdraw our A50 letter, but at least then we will still be in the room when new laws are made (but likely to loose some or all of our opt-outs) – or simply leave on WTO terms…

      Heck, on those (EU/Eire) terms the UK would be better off asking to become a USA protectorate due to our common bases to our legal and political systems!

    • rose
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      As the PM has surrendered as much as she has, just to be allowed to talk about trade, how on earth are they going to let her have a decent trade agreement? Surely they will insist on hanging on to everything she has conceded thus far, and will be emboldened to demand more. No wonder they are praising her negotiating skills. And is it true or not that the mad concessions on alignment will still apply if there is no agreement? And that they will still get the ransom?

      • rose
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        It sounds as if it would even be worth paying not to have the future agreement.

  5. Edward2
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Brexit in name only.
    Let’s hope the DUP refuse to vote for it.
    Assuming Parliament gets a vote.

    • Jack snell
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      What are hou talking about? we could have a Cobyn government by the time this gets around to a vote if ever..thc DUP will be history

      • Edward2
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        I’m talking about the poor negotiations my government has so far concluded.
        Read the deal.
        We are not leaving.
        Without the refusal of the DUP to back the first deal May was happy to agree to it would have been worse.

        I live in hope that the DUP and a few Brexit rebel MP’s might be able to win future votes in Parliament before the next election.

  6. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    We ate now at the stage where so many deeply damaging concessions have been granted to the EU that No Deal seems the better option
    Clearly Mrs May is unable to give us that. The longer she continues the worse it gets. We need either a change of PM or a change of Government. The latter would mean No Deal so it is a price worth paying.

    • Hope
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Agreed. This Govt needs to go it has betrayed the people. Let chips fall where they will. General election please.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      The latest rumour is that May will ditch the DUP. Then, bolstered by the remoaners in her party, will go into coalition with Corbyn to deliver a pretend Brexit. That done, ‘normal’ politics will resume!

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      If you want a change of government, you risk ending up with Corbyn as PM.

      I suspect Mr Redwood knows that and that it is why he has been so eerily quiet.

      Who do you think poses the biggest threat to your country: Theresa May and her Brexit-but-in-name or Jeremy Corbyn and his Socialism-in-one-nation.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May and Brexit-in-name-only would be like warming up the saucepan containing the frog, so it is more of a threat to Britain.

        And there might be a chance that the Tories, out of office, might recognise that the People voted for a Clean Brexit.
        It wasn’t going to be decided by Whitehall, Brussels, not even cabinet ministers or either House of Parliament.

        It was to be the People that decided, and the Government would implement the decision.

        Cameron’s promise looks to be worse than valueless.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        Tabulazero – No Tory Party is better than a Bad Tory Party !

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink

        Two outcomes are possible with Corbyn: a) UK stays in the EU on dreadful terms (no opt-outs, no rebate), or b) No Deal (this might pass through a stage of a worse deal than Mrs May’s but would be rejected by parliament).
        Both have advantages over the bad deal Mrs May is heading for. The first would allow us to try again in ten or fifteen years time and would probably result in a much larger majority vote to leave. The second would be better than anything Mrs May is likely to get.
        Above all, both alternatives under Corbyn maintain UK’s freedom to leave or to exploit leaving. Any damage he could do domestically pales besides the long term effect of a bad restrictive deal with the EU which would make UK a vassal state unable to make favourable trade deals or even internal laws and regulations of which the EU disapproves.
        To make a good trade deal UK would have to claw back what it has already conceded. There is no way that would happen under Mrs May and her Remainer government. the direction is clear: vassal status awaits. There is nothing short of a general election that will change that.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          We cannot stay in the EU now that we have issued Art.50

          We would have to reapply as a NEW member and would automatically lose our opt-out.

          JC is a Eurosceptic. Outside the EU he would be able to fulfil his political ambitions.

          Personally, I would sooner have an avowed enemy also me in the face than a so called friend stab me in the back.

          • Mark B
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            Sorry. Auto correct changed what I wanted to say TWICE

            . . . .avowed enemy slap me in the face . .

      • David Price
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        The biggest threat to our country is the EU whether we are in or out, but at least being out we will have more freedom of action.

        And it is clear from the joint report we will be out.

  7. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    “Good deal for British taxpayers” you have got to be joking! You must think the voters are stupid but you will soon find out at the next election.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      They will vote Corbyn and Mr Redwood and Mrs May known that and are postponing the day of reckoning as much as long as possible.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Yep !

        And she will be gone BEFORE the next GE and leave the mess to someone else.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:05 am | Permalink

      Yes, we voters have a problem. Both main parties are entirely unelectable. What are we to do?

  8. Cobwatch
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    There you have it…”full alignment”. We are rule takers. We do not control our borders or our law. Transition is a fancy word for “not out”. I do not cherish being a second class citizen in my own land, but EU migrants will have extra powers of legal redress that are not available to me. They will have more rights than me to bring in children and family members from abroad to enable settled status. Rights that are presently forbidden to UK citizens. ECJ “oversight” continues. Red lines, i do not see them. Pink lines are more sturdy than this collapse before the EU. The next phase of talks will be hilarious, once a pushover always a pushover.

  9. Hope
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    May has sold the country out for a bad deal. Full alignment means staying in the single market by use of clever words. Free travel remains, i.e. No border controls, EU citizens have right to ECJ and a vast amount of money£50 to be handed over. Explain how this means leave? What did the U.K. Get? What has Davis been doing at all in the negotiations or was he just a spokeperson? I hope no one ever votes Tory again after this sale out.

    • Hope
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Sorry JR, May also accepted a two year extension, not transition, fully under EU rules, laws and new laws without a say! Worse possible deal for business and no trade deals can be made! Nothing said what the U.K. Has gained from her capitulation. Where are the leave ministers?

      • BOF
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Hope. One, Michael Gove, was putting the most optimistic spin ever heard, on the BBC this very morning.

      • bigneil
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        ” fully under EU rules, laws and new laws without a say! ” – -and those new EU laws will undoubtedly include that we will STILL be paying them, we will STILL be accepting all the foreign criminals that the EU can’t deport so dump here and we will STILL not be able to get rid of them ourselves, because the ECJ won’t let us. GEUrmany wants us destroyed and wants our money. I hope Mrs May enjoys her reward for giving them their wish.

      • Bob
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        “Where are the leave ministers?”

        They’ve been neutered.

        • Four!
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          It would seem that in all probability that would be impossible

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        An extension during which the City can be moved away.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        The Leave Ministers are relieved that they will not have to go through with Brexit. They will happily cheer Theresa May and call it a victory.

  10. Bob
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    It might be simpler to start with a clean break and negotiate from there, because it appears that Mrs May is dancing to Mr Barniers tune. Listening to R4 this morning it seemed like we still pay in, we still comply with EU regulations, and the EU courts are still in charge.

    Sounds like we’re paying £50 billion for a huge trade deficit. Shouldn’t they be paying us since the balance of trade favours the EU?

    • Hope
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      EU citizens allowed to transfer benefits out the country, any future children not born also entitled. Families of those living here allowed to come! How many millions more does this mean? Rudd makes police cuts saying any request for more money will fall on deaf ears, May’s dementia tax saying she cannot afford to look after the elderly. Yet she can give in excess of £50 billion to the EU for nothing in return!

      JR, what does a bad deal look like to the govt idiots?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Basically a trade deficit mean you are relying on foreign money to keep consuming. Not the best of starting points for a country intent on taking back control.

      I am surprised you would ask this question.

      • Bob
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        More gibberish from Tabulazero.

    • Lemmy
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:08 am | Permalink

      Excellent question, let us ask Mr Redwood. So – why is it not the EU that is paying up? You told us they need us more than we need them, Mr Redwood

  11. Bert Young
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The bland comments this morning seem to be something of a smokescreen . When the facts and truth emerge I sincerely trust we have not given way to the EU . Arlene Foster has said that more detail is needed ; it will be interesting to see what this is . A compromising leader is the last thing this country needs at the moment .

  12. Annette
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    She ain’t no Tory, nor Brit for that matter, Guv! A chance of greatness in our history & she’s thrown it in the gutter.
    A cynic might say that she is deliberately cobbling a ‘deal’ of the worst possible kind to engender a second referendum to rejoin. She has destroyed the Conservative Party.
    ‘Full alignment’ for the whole of the UK.
    CJEU with primacy for 8 years.
    No country in the world, since 19th c, has been a vassel state. Tusk is already crowing how we will just have to do as we are told, & in these backward ‘negotiations’ now wants us to discuss the ‘transition’ where ‘we will have additional demands’. Maybe, on 28th March 2019, they’ll have a 5 minute briefing on the point of A50 – framework & future relationship, & that will just be tickbox to ‘comply’ with the law.
    May is successfully hobbling every advantage of leaving this regime. She’s hobbling our law, trade, defence, economy & governance. No doubt our fishing territory is for sale a bit further down the line.
    She hasn’t had the guts to walk away. She is spineless. No wonder the EU regime are praising her to the hilt.

  13. MickN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    There are a small number of people who when they appear on TV I have to restrain myself from throwing a shoe through the screen. I am truly sorry to have to inform you that as of this morning Mrs May has joined them.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink


    I have no confidence at all that this government will negotiate a good deal. T May & P Hammond clearly think that things like “virtue signalling” over the non existent gender pay gap, attacking the self employed or killing the economy by taxing and regulating it to death are far, far more important.

    I do not think May is even capable of understanding what a good or bad deal even is. A geography graduate, who wants more religious schools, has worked at the Bank of England and as a career politician – not at all encouraging. Almost everything she says or does is misguided. She even appointed Hammond and send “go home illegal immigrant” truck adverts around the UK.

    She even lied to voters that we had control of our borders while in the EU through Schengen!

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      “I have no confidence at all that this government will negotiate a good deal”

      I agree, on the basis that what you call “a good deal” simply isn’t on offer. The EU has been very clear from the start that to give what you call a good deal simply can’t be given to the UK . If we leave the club, we simply can’t have the hard won advantages and benefits of the Single Mark (hat tip to Mrs T here) and customs union without the burdens.

      So far the managed retreat (sorry – “negotiation”) is going exactly as is expected when a large and powerful entity meets a smaller and weaker one. It is deeply humiliating for our country, and it is all the Outers” fault.

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Loudbarker, The appalling May agreement has everything in it that the Remains have demanded. So it is the Remains’ fault. What Leaves want is to actually leave (oddly enough), with 12 months diplomatic notice, no negotiation and WTO trading rules for all our exports not just the 61%. Any problems that arise after are eminently solvable because the rest of the world has already solved them.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Be grateful for what has been achieved so far. The wreckers have not won yet.

      • NickC
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        Rien, The UK exports more successfully under WTO rules than we do under your EU rules.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          No one knows. the UK exports under WTO rules as applicable between EU members and non-members. Under certain hypothetical forms of UK exit, those rules would have to be renegotiated and as we already know, that appears difficult even with “friends” like the US, Australia & NZ and a few others.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:01 am | Permalink

        What exactly has been achieved so far? She has agreed to pay £50 billion to talk about a deal!

  15. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    But the government have already agreed alignment with the EU will continue even in the event of no deal – it’s in the agreement May has signed. And Hammond has already said we’ll pay the EU even in the event of no deal. So the WTO deal you mention is impossible. Also of course the HoC would never approve it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed. This is the key Clanger. Either the UK agrees a FTA with the EU, which now INEVITABLY will have an alignment clause, or we have no FTA but are still aligned… so that will limit us in trade agreements elsewhere. STUPID.
      This is a can kicked down the road, which will explode later.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:08 am | Permalink

        You can be sure that any trade deal with the EU now cannot be an open free trade deal allowing UK to negotiate favourable deals with other countries. The current agreement excludes that.

    • Tom William
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Hammond has shown his true colours and must have known he would be “slapped down” by No 10, but clearly is not concerned what Mrs May says or thinks. His patronising comment about the new Defence Secretary are odious.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Crossing the aisle maybe. Plenty of support there!

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Just listened to Michael Gove on Radio 4 ‘Today’ extolling the virtues of Mrs May’s negotiating talents. The choreography surrounding this was quite ridiculous. Why was it necessary for a middle of the night flight to Brussels by our Prime Minister? It wasn’t necessary but adds to the constructed melodrama. Just why skuttling off to Brussels shows strength of PM is beyond me. All that has happened is that phase 1 of the charade called ‘negotiations’ has apparently ended and phase 2, which will be worse, is about to begin.

    • Hope
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      To prevent leavers gathering momentum. Underhand slimy deal to keep the U.K. In the EU by another means without a voice or veto. Worse possible deal imaginable. Worse case for business and unable to make trade deals with the world. Sell out.

    • rose
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Surely they kept her up all night to wear her down, like the true gentlemen they make themselves out to be.

  17. alan jutson
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Judging by reports in the Media this Morning, the first stage of the sell out we all feared has been achieved by Mrs May.

    The full text of the agreement seems to appear on Guido Fawkes website.

    Not had chance to read it in full as yet, as making my way out to do some voluntary charity work with my Lions Club this morning.

    Listened to you on Radio Berkshire this morning JR, you clearly and understandibly are not a happy Bunny.

    • Weeder
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Can’t find any reference to it on Guido Fawkes

      • Mark B
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Go to BREXIT central

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


  18. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    We can interpret “alignment” as both the EU and UK have the right to go and complete their own individual trade deals?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Don’t think so. First, during the transition period (do you want to bet it will last more than 2 years) the UK will remain subject to all its requirement this means no FTA can be signed. Can FTA be discussed ? Maybe but I doubt it given the “full alignment
      ” thing.

      Second, I guess it will work a little bit like Switzerland which is not an EU member but still has to transcribe a lot of what the EU decides into Swiss law. It is not necessarily verbatim but it is often the case and its intent must be the same.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      No. The alignment only works one way, the EU does whatever they want and UK has to follow. One wonders what new laws the EU will impose on us during the two year transition now that UK isn’t involved in setting them.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Alignment is another way of saying , EVER CLOSER UNION.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      para 49 of the agreement is quite clear. If the EU rejects a UK proposal default to internal Market and Customs Union rules is automatic. As David Davis confirmed to Parliament, that would apply to all of UK not just Northern Ireland. In essence UK has given the EU a veto on anything that in the EU’s sole opinion departs from alignment with the EU’s rules.

  19. Original Richard
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The EU supporting Mrs May has negotiated that we stay fully in the EU for an indefinite “transition period” without a vote in the EU decision making and without knowing what we are transitioning to.

    So when we “leave” we will not be in control of our money, laws, immigration or assets (fishing grounds).

    We will be a colony of the EU.

    I do not think this is respecting the result of the referendum and the acceptance of new laws without a vote or a veto could lead to some very serious consequences for us.


    • Hope
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Well said. The govt needs to go.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      “I do not think this is respecting the result of the referendum and the acceptance of new laws without a vote or a veto could lead to some very serious consequences for us.”

      It’s certainly not Brexit means Brexit. It IS making the best of a bad job. And yes, Mrs May is selling the Outers up the river if she manages to achieve it.

      • NickC
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        Loudbarker, There is nothing about leaving the EU that is a “bad job”. Even though Remains don’t seem to understand the word “leave”. The rest of the world is not in the EU, or the EEA, (165 countries) and they don’t need the EU. The erstwhile agreement is a Remain negotiated deal, for Remains, with Remain priorities. It is not the Leave we voted for.

    • Chris
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Yes, OR, one of the eurocrats boasted that we have signed up to becoming a “protectorate” of the EU.

      May has betrayed us and should not be leading our country, in my view.

    • St george
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Agree. So will redwood speak up?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      The UK appears to have a lucky escape here..But this is not over yet, read Mr Redwood’s threat.

      • NickC
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Rien, No matter how often you repeat your lie that the UK cannot be independent, it doesn’t become true.

    • Tom William
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      If this goes through as proposed the Conservative Party is finished, as will the country be under Corbyn.

      How long before Mrs May is replaced as PM by a competent and courageous Brexiteer?

      Presumably if she were to resign with immediate effect through “ill health” someone could take over as PM while the Conservative Party decided, at length, on a new leader. That at least would avoid a general election. After all Brown took over from Blair without an election.

    • John C.
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      You put it well and clearly. This, amazingly, seems to be a worse deal than we have at the moment, especially since as it is designated “Brexit” though it actually isn’t, and thus prevents anyone ever again demanding Brexit.
      No wonder Dr Redwood’s comments are muted and bland.

    • rose
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      She appears to have been working all along in cahoots with the Commission against her own people.

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        Rose, and John C, Indeed. The establishment wins. We either lie down and take it, or we revolt: sheeple or lions.

  20. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The huge sums of money that the foreigners have reportedly extorted from us to settle the Irish border issue are apparently going to cost us HMS Ocean, half the Royal Marines and both the amphibious assault vessels. Hammond should be reshuffled immediately unless he can give adequate priority to the defence of the realm.

    The treasury has been underfunding the armed forces for a decade. The NHS needs the £350m a week promised during the Brexit campaign. Millions of people on universal credit are going to have a miserable Xmas. Councils are struggling to provide for our seniors in care homes. May and her “team” urgently need to get a grip on this situation – we should just walk, really we should. Otherwise, a lot of Tory MPs are going to be visiting the jobcentres after the next election

  21. Pete
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    The government has caved in just as we thought it would. £55bn and alignment- no real Brexit at all. What a pathetic excuse for negotiations it was. All the drama and BS just to make us think that we have a voice. Joke. Politics is just smoke and mirrors.

  22. Chris S
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Phase 1 is over and we move on to phase 2.

    Haven’t read the full 7,000 word document but from listening to Today there is one four letter word that is of real concern. That word is, of course “FULL” and it is reportedly used in context of the alignment of trade terms between the whole of the UK and the EU, not just NI.

    If that little word “full” was not in the agreement I would feel quite relaxed about the use of the term “alignment.”

    We are dealing with a new, inexperienced and rather troublesome Taoiseach. He is also a Eurofanatic and, I suspect, anti-British at heart. He is very likely to examine every issue that can be related to cross border trade on an ongoing basis to make sure that there is not a fag paper between our trade rules and those of the EU.

    That could very well limit our freedom to arrange other trade deals in ways that we would wish.

    As for the money, it’s been set up deliberately in a way that ensures that we never find out exactly how much we will be paying.

    I suspect that Mrs May has caved in to blackmail and it will be a lot closer to the €100bn than a just about acceptable €40bn which, we must remember, included at least €20bn of continuing net contributions to the EU budget during a two year transition.

    This is really unacceptable but there appears nothing that can be done about it however I strongly believe that the EU as we know it will not survive long enough for all that could be payable will be.

  23. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    HMS Ocean, the fleet flagship was given a £67m refit just 3 years ago. I suggest that the MOD closes Abbey Wood completely and returns defence procurement to the military. The redundant civil servants can try and sign on to Universal Credit.

  24. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    After cleverly having talked down an estimated 100 billion bill to roughly its half (although no figures will be published) the UK government, by its voice of reason, has declared it will pay these obligations whatever the outcome of the trade talks.
    I imagine that a kind of Canada deal (likely to be offered) could work without a hard border in Ireland between north and south.
    Regulatory allignment, IMHO, will only be necessary for such items which impact on cross border trade, and thus give quite a bit of freedom for the UK for regulatory divergence if it would want that. For instance, the EU won’t be regulating the UK beaches’ quality of sea water.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      A Canada deal will not work for the border. Canada does not have a high level of regulatory alignment as required here.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        @Rien Huizer: I’m certainly no expert here, but I would imagine that with a Canada style FTA plus some Ireland-only extra’s on top of those already there, might be enough?

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Does Canada have a hard border with the USA?
      I thought there were vast swathes of territory without official crossing points.

  25. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink


    It is correct ther will be no extra payments to the EU with a WTO agreement, but there will be significant extra costs or consumers and businesses and many years of long negotiations on new regulations and standards when trading with the rest of the rest of the World

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:30 am | Permalink

      Hans, None of what you say is true. Essentially what you say we can’t do, or will be more expensive, or will take more time, we do already.

      Standards: mostly international anyway; however significant differences even between EU countries; 89% of our GDP is with ourselves, or imports, or exports to the rest of the world – none of which needs EU “standards”.

      Businesses: already export more successfully to the rest of the world than we do to the EU, so no new standards or regulations needed.

      WTO: we already use the WTO rules extremely successfully; the EU RTAs are minor and may be novated as a start; under WTO rules we can set lower than EU tariffs so lowering the costs to consumers for imports from the rest of the world – hitting EU products thankfully.

  26. James Matthews
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Apologies in advance. I think this may be unavoidably lengthy.

    To repeat, for context, those of us who wished to leave the EU did so to regain full control of our money, laws, and borders.

    This morning we are told that an agreement has been reached under which we will pay the EU, over a period potentially lasting for decades, upwards of £45 Billion, without any legal obligation to do so, without any prospect of benefiting from the things on which that money will be spent and without being offered any share of the assets to which we have in the past contributed,

    We have also, it appears:

    1. Agreed to allow give EU citizens in the UK legal rights which are not enjoyed by resident UK citizens and and extensive rights of access to the UK after the nominal date of our leaving the EU;

    2. To “align” our trade regulation with that of the EU.

    3. Not to have a fully controlled border with the Republic of Ireland (and therefore with the EU)

    All this without a single concession on anything from the EU and before any talks on future trade, security or anything else. Our chancellor has helpfully explained that the payments will be made whether or not such an agreement is reached. No Chancellor could be so crass as to think this would do anything but undermine our future negotiating position, so it must be regarded as deliberate treachery.

    So we are now committed to continued financial support for an embryonic empire which, over the past two years, has shown itself to be a ruthless, grasping, arrogant extortionist, with an attitude to the independence of European nation states which is, and will continue to be, inimical to our interests. We will not just be financially propping up a competitor, we will be funding an enemy.

    Junker’s praise for Theresa May as a tough negotiator warned us we were in trouble. The abnormally cheerful, even smug, tones of the presenters of the Today programme this morning confirmed it.

    The Prime Minister’s melodramatic flight to Brussels just reinforces the echoes of Munich, but unlike Chamberlain she does not have the excuse that she was trying to avert a war. Theresa May was under no such pressure. All she had to do the achieve what the UK needed was to sit tight and wait.

    By no stretch can this be regarded as leaving the EU, we are on course to become an EU vassal state. We now have to start a Campaign for Real Brexit. It is going to be a long haul.

  27. CeeDee
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Sorry Mr Redwood but what I have read this morning (not having a good head for legal jargon), and as I understand it, being but a simple rural peasant… appears to be nothing but an utter stitch-up. We are not leaving the EU but having our voice gagged and our country turned into a slave-girl, to be obedient to all new laws without question. No independence to set our own path, no freedom to make trade deals….just what was the point of Dr Fox’s department, therefore….a red herring. EU citizens permitted to bring all and sundry into residence, the continued open borders, ….sorry but this is a joke. I note it’s still a “draft” document, but it says more than enough already. The Prime Minister has stuck two fingers to Leave voters.

  28. mickc
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    May was, is and always will be useless. The people have voted out, our rulers keep us in.
    There is effectively a constitutional crisis in which the “elected” represent only themselves and those whom they really obey.
    etc ed

  29. Iain Gill
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    T May must go, please stop supporting her

  30. JoolsB
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Love your optimism John. I am beginning to fear that under May, the Brexit we voted for will never be achieved. Remainer May is making us look a laughing stock and desperate. The 50 billion so called divorce bill is a disgrace and I despair to see Davis and ‘let them go whistle’ Johnson now falling in with it. So much for her no deal is better than a bad deal. We should walk away now.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      But this is much better for you

      • James Matthews
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Better for us In much the same way as Mrs May is a “tough negotiator”. Fortunately most people are sensible enough not to take advice from their opponents (possibly not Mrs May, however, as although seems to have been negotiating on behalf of the EU).

  31. Nig l
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I look forward to a reasoned analysis, umpteen pages of meaningless to me politico speak does not a knee jerk reaction make. Certainly the coordinated ‘what a great deal etc’ spin this morning makes me suspicious.

    My guess is that in the main, we will have got the very thinnest end of the wedge. One aspect seems certain, paying for the two year transition but no say whatsoever over the laws in that period.

    Mr Redwood, one of your legitimate complaints is that parliament has no say in what comes from Brussels. Now you cannot even influence it over there. So even less(no) democracy during that period and what is to stop them rushing all kinds of law through against our interests?

  32. Freeborn John
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    This is a catastrophic failure by May and Davis and Hammond, paying £50bn to sign up in perpetuity to be a rule-taker from Brussels and give their citizens more rights in the UK than British citizens. You should hang your head in shame that you and your colleagues did not act to depose her before she did this. Now we have to figure out how to escape these new chains.

    • rose
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t the brutal haste with which this was done – getting her to stay up all night before a 6.30 am meeting, and not leaving time to do things in a civilized way with her party and the DUP, suggest they thought the government was about to fall any minute?

  33. BOF
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I heard two words on the BBC this morning ‘FULL ALIGNMENT’, and knew that without question, this is just another way of saying that we will remain in the Customs Union.

    In other words the Prime Ministers promise that we would be leaving the CU were not true and we have indeed been sold out. So much for the Lancaster House speech!

    It would seem that NI only concern is that we are ALL in the same boat and they care little as to whether we have left or not.

  34. am
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    sell out by the brexiters who are only interested in their political future. soubry loves this deal which is rather embarrassing for gove, etc.

  35. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Let’s keep it simple. We are being sold out. What will Mr Redwood do now? Will he follow his leader or will he oppose and resign the whip? Is he prepared to be made a fool of and do nothing? Actually do, beyond talk.

    We are doing what we can but he ought to have more influence than us.

  36. rick hamilton
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    We start with an open border with Ireland which we have had most of the time since 1923 and which works well. The EU then comes along and threatens to ruin a perfectly good arrangement between two neighbours on the basis that it is ‘their’ border. After tortuous negotiations we then return to where we were to start with and it is hailed as a wonderful achievement. Then we get a massive bill for it.

    No doubt the same process will happen on tariff free trade and every other useful arrangement we have already paid billions to set up.

  37. Jason wells
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    So at last some realism is creeping in..i don’t know how anyzny can possibly think now the the UK is leaving the EU?.. we will leave but end up being aligned sufficiently so that borders will not matter..the ECJ will have to be considered in all UK law matters from now on and we will continue payng in to the EU just as before the same amount..according to what will change..well we’ll have all these commitments still and have to pay in for the privilage but will have absolutely no say at the top table of the EU..we are going to become a satellite economy to much about taking back control..all made by messrs farage..gove.. and all of the other bullshitters who sold us 350 on the side jof a bus.

  38. Prigger
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The Leader of the Republic of Ireland had to look triumphant whatever the detail. The Leader of the DUP had to look reluctantly in agreement. The Leader of the UK had to look like a Philip Hammond when its raining. The Leaders of the EU had to look tired. They all looked their parts.
    The EU has wasted one and a half years. The Remoaners in Parliament have hindered as much as is humanly possible and probably in their case as a group much more than humanly possible.

  39. Tabulazero
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I welcome you all to the Protectorate of the European Union colloquially known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and gleefully accept your generous donation of your taxpayer money to our coffers.

    I would feel sorry for you Mr Redwood, if I was not convinced that you played a major role in bringing this very sorry state of affair.

    The UK will pay what it owes, remain subject to the ECJ & EU regulation during the whole of the transition period, it will guarantee EU citizen rights & benefits subject to ECJ oversight for 8 years and it will de facto remain into the Single-Market & Custom Union by default.

    Phase 2 talks will be very quick: there is nothing left to negotiate.

    What a happy day !

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Haw Haw.

  40. stred
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The Commission must have been reading all the blogs and realised their pet ‘good negotiator’ could be replaced by a competent honest politician who would actually inplement the promise made in the referendum. Hence the scramble to get the extortion into writing. The Irish had realised that if the UK left they would become net contributors and their low tax high tech industries might be tempted into the Uk when they obeyed Brussels and raised taxes. The reverse campaign has reached a peak and they even advertise on Leaver blogs with plenty of money coming through from………….

    This government will not get away with this treachery in the end. They would be advised to budget for security for all those guilty of welching on the simple promise made in the referendum. In the meantime, the only thing we can do is boycott EU produce where possible and be ready to travel to Westminster and the BBC when called.

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Just on the basis of what I have heard so far I cannot honestly say that my cup runneth over, but on the other hand I see it as more than half full – unlike most journalists, who prefer to concentrate attention on the possibly bitter dregs at the bottom.

    Provided that the whole UK economy only has to conform to EU Single Market and EU Customs Union requirements for just two years of transition after the UK has left the EU then that does not bother me. That would be another two years on top of forty-six years since we joined, and it would be another two years on top of the two decades during which I have been doing my small part to try to get us out of the EU.

    But I do want it to be just a transition, or even several different transitions for different matters, it should not be an oxymoronic “standstill” or “status quo” transition.

    And my preferred end point would be one where only those businesses across the UK who wish to export their goods to the EU, which is a minority of businesses, are compelled by law to conform with EU requirements, which I think could be achieved through a system to license them as authorised exporters to the EU (or EEA).

    Thus as now there would be no checks on UK exported goods at any of the geographical borders between the UK and the EU, not with Ireland nor with the continent; instead the effective border would be a kind of virtual border within the UK economy, with those companies who want to export to the EU on one side and those many more companies who do not want to export to the EU on the other side and free from EU law.

    I gave some reasoning behind this novel concept yesterday, here:

    Bear in mind that we have always objected to the fact that all UK companies are subject to the drag of EU law even though only a minority do any business with the EU.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink


      What does, “FULL Regulatory ALIGNMENT” mean to you ?

      Oh, and there is no end date as it is linked to the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border.

      If this so called ‘deal’ is OK by you, then you have wasted 20 years of your life for nothing.

  42. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    It seems that I’m more positive about the UK government than most people reacting to this blog. So be it, and I’ll just patiently wait at the moderator’s gate.

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Well, well, PvL “more positive about the UK government” capitulation than us. Who’dda thunk it?

  43. Lee Taylor
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry John, but this is a bad deal whatever way the Tory Party spin it. The red lines appear to have been completely illusory. I think the Conservatives will get hammered at the next election. This is smacks of a total stitch up and the EU must be laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Lemmy
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      Spot on Lee. Red lines? More like Scotch mist. Iam surprised that Brexiteers of 25 years standing like Cash, Redwood and IDS can bear the humiliation of this. 25 years in vain!

  44. mancunius
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    According to the text of the agreement, May has conceded that we shall use ‘single market rules’ for the whole of the UK, if no other way can be found to avoid a hard border. And we can be pretty sure that Brussels will resist any ‘other way’.
    How the blazes does this constitute leaving the EU? How does this enforce our mandated vote to leave? How can we possibly get the benefit of independence, economic freedoms and low-tarif world trading, if we are still tied to this rancorous, spiteful, preening bunch in Brussels?

  45. Mel Cornwell
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink


    The ramifications of this total betrayal of the democratic Brexit vote will, I have no doubt, be an even greater footnote in British history than the Brexit vote itself.

    How exactly, in the interim, do you now propose to enthuse or motivate the 17/18/20+ million people in the UK who must now fester and rage until they can exact revenge at the next GE..???

  46. graham1946
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    How can leaving the single market and the customs union mean ‘alignment to the EU’?

    She said this morning that that we are leaving both whilst agreeing to ‘stay in alignment’, with the ECJ holding power for 8 years and continuing payment of more money than ever for an unspecified time, probably forever. She has achieved the impossible in making Brexit worse than staying in. If this is anything like the ‘deal’ we are not leaving, just giving up all powers. Hopefully was a subterfuge to get talks on trade going, though I’m not confident. May is now weaker than ever and the DUP now know they can have her any time they like.

  47. Epikouros
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    If the deal includes having to be subject to the ECJ or a divorce bill that is no more than a miniscule token or subject to any permanent EU alignments or a more than a short very short transition period. Then definately “no thanks”.

  48. Mark N
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I see your party has gone back to resume as normal. The referendum was a cry from the British public to be heard . In your own heart you know you cannot wait another two or three years for your government to capitulate completely to the EU because by then it will be lost.
    I would suggest it is time for you forty or so Conservative MP,s to resign with immediate effect and form a party of centre right Conservatives that will deliver a true brexit and a country we can be proud of once again.
    If you don’t do something radical I think we can all kiss our dreams goodbye along with our country

  49. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Listening to the explanation by Barnier (in French), he made clear, that neither side ever felt it had to make “concessions” (citizens’ rights, friction-less border, money promised to thousands of contractors and to countries in the current budget period). It was all about clarifying the various details and coming to a reasonable solution for an “orderly withdraw” from the EU.

  50. James murphy
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Like i said a long time ago..we’re going to end up half in and half out..paying the price one way or the other but with no say at all on decisions at the top table..our choice

    The reason it has to be like this is that there are no new international deals waiting out there for us..nothing at least that could ever compensate for our loss of trade relations with the EU..there are a large cohort of right wing politicians and others including some Lords who advised us to take this road..they must be having some serious reflection time out this morning.

  51. Juiliet
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    May sold out her own citizens!!! “give and take approach” is more like she given the EU citizens more rights in the UK over UK citizens in the UK high price to pay to secure NI ROI border and next phase. Preservation of the constitutional and economic integrity of UK was just weakened by our PM, this is the cliff edge. #weakwobblystupid

  52. Andy
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    A Tory PM goes to Brussels and grovels to the Europeans.

    Her dying party a national disgrace and an international laughing stock.

    Bigoted, failed, pensioners delighted.

    The aspirational young lumbered with a monumentally lousy deal they don’t want.

    Brexit has belittled our country. Little England.

  53. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood – a presenter on LBC is saying that we may be leaving the Customs Union but we will be joining the ‘Union of Customs’ and that we may leave the ‘Single Market’ but staying in the ‘Market of Singularity’. Is he right? Have we all just been shafted? Is this a complete joke and a democratic travesty. Some straight talking please.

  54. Barbara
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Mrs May clearly wanted us to stay in and now she has achieved her aim – we will pay, stay and have no say. She has shackled us to a corpse. Why does she want Britain to do so badly?

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      @Barbara: comparing the EU27 to a corpse isn’t very flattering. How about saying that the UK prefers deals with a faster growing ROW (rest of the world) than with a slow-growth EU27. I would understand.
      But the same is true for the EU: Already now, Germany exports more than 3.5 x as much to fast growing China than the UK. The Netherlands ranks higher on the list of most competitive countries than the UK. The EU just concluded FTA negotiations with Japan and South America (“Mercosur”) may soon follow. This year UK is growing half as fast as we do. Why think that we are “a corpse”or ” a dead horse” (MP Carswell’s pet name for us)?

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        PvL, Errr . . . because what you admire is an oligarchy disconnected from its own people with a large number of dodgy banks, dodgy sovereign debt kept afloat by ECB QE, massive unemployment in the south, and a massive migrant problem? And Carswell is not an MP.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Well Germany took all of our car manufacturing, I watched a program on it the other night. In my opinion when Rover and BMW were start getting competitive in the U.K. we allowed German companies to buy them out and then close down the end of production and move it, loads of cables and wireless companies closed down, many other factories were tempted with EU €s to move to Eastern Europe if the EU want to continue on their ‘hurt the UK path’ that our papers report many politicians saying then there is an expression ‘he who laughs last’. You all chuckle away, the majority of British people aren’t all like Mrs May whatever you think.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Not BMW – Mini they bought them out.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Both benefit from an artificially low Euro thanks to all the other failing States, one if which we helped during the crash and has now stabbed us in the back. Hardly something to grow about.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          Crow not grow

  55. Knotted Hanky
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The Agreement does not amount to anything except a mish-mash of non-committal Understanding, enabling the proper trade stage to go on.
    This could have started on 24th June 2016 except for Mrs May’s delays on behalf of Remoaners wishing a reversal in the Referendum vote using Time’s Amnesia on the electorate. It didn’t work. So Mrs May needs to pull her socks up and focus on leaving.

  56. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    What a humiliating mess May and her cohorts have made of things. The EU have got what they want and we are handing over a disgraceful amount of money to do no more than we did before. All members of the EU must be ecstatic that our team were such a weak load of numskulls. They can sit back and implement whatever rules and regulations they want yo while we have no say and pay them for the privilege. We have been shafted big time and we may as well have stayed in the fleecing EU. I am finished with the Tory party. Where’s my UKIP membership form?

  57. Iain Gill
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    The conservative party has lost the next election. This shambles makes corbyn the least worst option, which is bad considering how terrible he is. I am staggered you are not giving the PM the tough love she so obviously needs.

    This is not brexit in any meaningful sense, and it’s stretching out for far too long.

  58. Qubus
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I simply dispair.

    I have the impression that we are being represented by a set of mendacious clowns.
    I don’t know about the rest of the UK, but I am completely sick of the whole charade.

    Perhaps it would be best if we were to end up as a colony of the EU; we couldn’t do much worse than being governed by our present lot.

  59. Richard Butler
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    No one is a more passionate Brexiteer than me and I’m cool with things thus far.

    Once we’re out rest assured we’ll go for a Thatcher style take-back, will renegotiate terms and money and quietly make our own laws and rules regardless.

    At this stage we’re simply playing along with the EU’s need to be seen to have dictated terms in order to deter other would-be leavers.

    EU wouldn’t have come this far if they didn’t want a decent trade deal with us. This proves the Remoaners were wrong all along that we wouldn’t get a decent trade deal.

  60. Paul H
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Can you please clarify for me a couple of points.

    Have we or have we not agreed to pay the estimated £50bn even if there is no further agreement? Hammond seemed to imply so – even as he is busily cutting our armed forces.

    Ditto “regulatory alignment” (whatever that means – presumably EU red tape for all and no other freewheeling trade deals)?

  61. Rollo
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    So we remain subject to the european court. You saud this would not happen

  62. DaveM
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Time to start garnering cross-party support for a “no deal” vote in Parliament? Conservative Party just lost my vote unless something changes significantly.

  63. Stu1408
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative party under a totally useless third rate, quisling of a leader has betrayed the people who voted to leave the EU with this appalling so called deal. We voted to leave and it means just that not this half in half out nonsense.
    I have voted Conservative all my life and for the first time ever I will vote for another party in order to destroy the Tories and get rid of May in the same way that the Conservatives have destroyed democracy in the UK. Theresa May is possibly the worst Prime Minister this country has ever had and that takes some doing. Whats her next trick introducing sharia law in our country.

  64. Javelin
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    It appears our courts are not only to be aligned with the EU on the issues of human rights but the EU has the right to “interfere” with UK law. They explicitly say they can interfere with our law.

    This is NOT a Brexit.

    “Consistent interpretation of the citizens’ rights Part should further be supported and facilitated by an exchange of case law between the courts and regular judicial dialogue. In the same vein, it is envisaged to give the UK Government and the European Commission the right to intervene in relevant cases before the CJEU and before UK courts and tribunals respectively.”

    Not only that citizens can challenge UK law when not aligned with EU law

    “The provision in the Agreement should enable citizens to rely directly on their rights as set out in the citizens’ rights Part of the Agreement and should specify that inconsistent or incompatible rules and provisions will be disapplied.”

  65. frankfrankly
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    John-what do you calculate ‘the bill’ as? I have asked my MP directly, but so far he has refused to answer. Thank you.

  66. Colin Hawthorne
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I loathe current Labour party but Conservative party deserves electoral wipeout for this. It has ALWAYS subsumed us deeper in the European project, notwithstanding the efforts of a few maverick MP’s who seem to be a utterly credulous at the minute. Basic integrity totally absent in British political system.

  67. John
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like the no deal is better than a bad deal has been replaced with full alignment if they offer us a bad deal!

  68. turboterrier
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    How conservative members of the HoC who have fought so long and hard to escape from the chains of the EU are able to turn up and take their place in the chamber with this present PM is totally beyond me. What a sell out she begs belief. She has all but handed the keys to Mr Corbyn for the next decade at least. Our only hope lies with the country revolting and the resurrection of UKIP. That is how poor government had dragged us so low towards virtual annihilation as a party. Leaders? Couldn’t lead us out of a wet paper bag

  69. Doug Powell
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Though “This agreement is not the Agreement on the UK leaving the EU,” the capitulation in this pre agreement ‘agreement’ sets a most dangerous precedent! Politicians who are capable of producing this dubious pre agreement are more than capable of producing a similar Leaving Agreement sell-out!

    We are told there will be a Commons’ vote on the final agreement. So, if this final agreement is a sell-out, how can it be stopped, and who can stop it? We know May won’t change her mind, and the numbers in the House probably favour the remoaners.

    Therefore, to safeguard Brexit, a ‘Hard Brexit’ has to be put before the House, so if it is voted down, we revert to WTO rules. If a sell-out is put before the House and approved, Brexit must be doomed!

    If it looks like a sell-out and it smells like a sell-out, chances are it is a SELL-OUT!

    This scenario must be considered now before it is too late. Time for a change in personnel!

  70. Tad Davison
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    At this early stage, this appears not to be clear cut and needs to be looked at line-by-line by a great legal mind.

    Bring on Bill Cash! His expertise and guidance is badly needed lest we fall foul of another fudge.


    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

      Reading the rest of the comments today, I am beginning to wonder if there was a grubby ulterior purpose to the ‘delegation’ that visited the EU’s Barnier recently – Clarke, Clegg and Adonis?

      Could it be they gave advanced notice of May’s intent at her behest?

      If the Tories betray the voters yet again, those who instigated and supported it should be permanently disqualified from holding public office. Yet they know if there’s a change of government, Tory MPs will walk away with a fine pension, and the new administration will simply carry on the dirty work where they left off.

      So it comes down to parliament versus the people and constitutionally, the people’s will must always prevail. But the best I can hope for is a resurgent UKIP that wipes the floor with the rest and that is unlikely at this time.

      It’s not Guido we need now, it’s Guy!

      Tad Davison


  71. Atlas
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Indeed following on from the general opinion of other people posting here on this, it seems that the “Regulatory Alignment” clause is the Trojan Horse that the arrogant EU wanted in order to control us into the distant future.

    May’s Munich ‘piece of paper’? – Discuss.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      @Atlas: the “full alignment” fall back clause is only for those issues which would endanger a friction-less border. E.g rules for the quality of sea water at the beaches could be made quite different in the UK and there must be many more areas where divergence doe not endanger a friction-less border.

  72. Br1
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Total silence from JR on what should be a matter that forces the government to resign. i.e Gavin Williamsons outrageous outbursts.

  73. Dennis Zoff
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink


    Now is the time for Politicians, such as yourself, to speak out (action time) and openly, demonstrably, support a hard Brexit while at the same time denouncing May’s handling of this disgraceful debacle!

    None action and the continued support for Theresa May, is tantamount to agreeing with these onerous terms and conditions demanded from the EU bureaucrats!

    Politicians (Brexiteers) reputations will stand or fall based over the next 72 hours, including yours!

  74. Dennis Zoff
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    So, T. May calling an early election is patently clear now and was the first part of the plan….the pantomime we have witnessed today was the second part? This was the full plan all along, to hoodwink the UK citizens!

  75. alte fritz
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The starting point post referendum should have been to make it clear that we would assume no deal, plan on that basis, and work from there. Instead, Mrs May is leading us to a death by a thousand cuts. We are being humiliated.

  76. MPC
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    The WTO option is now surely dead. It pains me to say but you have to admire the EU – it’s used its considerable resources to follow UK media coverage of Brexit in great detail, influenced perceptions of reality, and identified how best to play on Mrs May’s weaknesses and lack of fundamental commitment since Article 50.

    Our cause has not been helped either by those such as Daniel Hannan with his ‘we should pay our accounts’ and ‘who cares how long it takes to leave’. Well I hope he’s satisfied with being given literally what he’s suggested.

    My Remain voting friends ask me so what’s been the point and where’s your ‘Brexit dividend now’. When we hear Mrs May saying it’s a deal fair to the UK taxpayer we know the opposite is the case. It’s to be a ‘deal’ at any price and may even result in a worse form of forced adherence than before to EU rules for an indeterminate period . I wonder how many people of the 17 plus million who voted Leave will vote in future General Elections? I expect a low turnout next time.

    To all intents and purposes it looks certain we are staying in for a considerable time if not permanently and will have to comply with new EU laws and regulations. I predict during the so called transition period that, at the very least, there’ll be new laws/Directives meaning we’ll have to go along with new restrictive laws on the City of London and will have to take a huge number of asylum seekers/migrants allowed into the EU.

    We appreciate all you continue to do Mr Redwood and need you and your colleagues to please try and retain and restore whatever is possible for our democracy.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      In two years time there’ll be lots of MEPs looking for jobs. Macron caused an upset in France with the existing two party system, perhaps if May does prove to be her strong and stable self we’ll get something to vote for.

  77. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    An interesting fact mentioned by Barnier: By Brexit, the UK will “automatically” leave some 750 international treaties (not just Euratom membership). Lots of work for British lawyers ahead, apart from working on a future EU-UK relationship.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      its always interesting to read what excites you PVL. So this is the next battle ground is it?

  78. Beecee
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand why we are agreeing to fund future pension liabilities?

    The Actuaries will have estimated each year the funding required in the pension fund to meet both existing and future liabilities etc. Annual premiums are based on these calculations

    Each year as a member of the EU we will have paid into the fund from our net contributions and VAT payments.

    When therefore we leave, we will have fully contributed. Any future shortfall should come from the remaining Countries.

    Or is it that pensions in the EU are paid from the current account and there is no Fund?

    As in the UK!

    • Jane4brexit
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I found a document online called EU Terms and Conditions of Employment some time ago, admittedly dated 2008 or thereabouts but that does not negate it, which kept stating that EU Employees did not represent their countries but had a duty to represent the EU first and only. Another reason the EU is and should be liable.

      It also had details of pensions terms and conditions which stated that deductions had been taken from Employees salaries of quite a high %age amounting to nearly 10%, so the argument that they are not funded should not be valid.

      If we are foolishly about to pay pensions we are not liable for, to people who support another state and not us, we should at least be asking for the return of an amount equal to these deductions plus interest and investment income.

  79. Linda Jones
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you could explain why this pledge of such a huge amount of money simply to ”talk” about trade can be anything else than a bribe? And isn’t it illegal to pay a foreign government for trade?

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      @Linda Jones: IMHO it has nothing to do with future trade but with already made UK commitments it cannot simply walk away from. It is all very reasonable if you are prepared to listen to both sides.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      Linda, looks like the ultimate bill will be more in that case. Can someone remind me how much a trade agreement cost Canada?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        @Fedupsoutherner: nothing . . . which goes to show that this financial settlement has absolutely nothing to do with a trade deal, but with your orderly disentanglement from the EU and all the commitments you have made while being a member of this voluntary club.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          All the commitments our sneaky politicians made that we’re obviously not aware of. We reasonably keep asking for this list of commitments an invoice if you like, I think Brits will be much happier with one.

          Nick Clegg shouldn’t be so smug either he’s one of the biggest liars about the commitments, still telling fibs about how little the EU rules and regulations and costs of the marriage impacted on us just before the vote. And remember it was he, the arch EU ally (that even though he’s not elected by anyone to represent the UK was granted an audience with Barnier?) that promised us a referendum in a leaflet.

  80. Paul Cohen
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh Dear! Looks like May is caving in big time! I grant that perhaps being questioned by Mr Benn is not a life changing event, but David Davies insoucience when questioned was
    insulting to all serious parties.

    So, who do we have to take over from Mrs May after this humiliating performance? I think the Party now has to take over the stewardship of this debacle and install a dedicated Brexiteer with some bite and savvy.

  81. Anonymous
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    A revolt is quite simple and does not require activism, simply in-activism:

    – we don’t vote turn out and vote Tory*

    – we don’t pay our BBC licence (they can’t prosecute 17 million of us)

    *There comes a point, very soon, where even good politicians are complicit in the sell-out by by giving Parliament the air of authenticity.

    Scrap Parliament. If we are to be ruled by Brussels let’s have it directly and openly.

  82. Michael Hurley
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest that you read the column by Johan Eliasch in today`s Telegraph Business,titled “It is time to put `no deal` firmly back on the table”.
    Mrs May is quietely but firmly selling the UK and 17.4 million voters ” down the river” as we say in south Wales. I am afraid that an election is looming with a wipeout for Conservatives and Corbyn will then complete the ruination of this country.
    Having voted Conservative for 55 years I am utterly devestated. As the previous comment says – We will be a colony of the EU!!

    • roger
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Democracy died today at the hand of the Conservative Party.
      55 Years for me too but I no longer recognize the principles of the government as conservative.
      The heroes of British generations down the centuries must be turning in their graves tonight.

  83. Loudbarker
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile the EU gets a free trade deal with Japan:

  84. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    JR, the government would be wise to accept the substance of these proposals:

    “The Chair of the Procedure Committee, Mr Charles Walker OBE MP, has today, on behalf of the Committee, tabled amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which will provide a statutory process for greater Parliamentary scrutiny of the delegated legislation to be made under the Bill.

    Separately, Mr Walker is writing to the Leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, with draft standing orders for a new European Statutory Instruments Committee which will have the job of sifting instruments proposed under the Bill.”

    • Mark B
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Oh good, another useless talking shop. Do you know what regulatory alignment means ? It means the EU can dictate how we govern. The whole point of leaving the EU was to rid us of their governance. But too many people wanted to talk about trade, money and immigration as if leaving would solve all our problems.

      I said here that the UK will leave the EU but then sign back up to everything except the Euro and Scheghen. Knowing the EU it will not belong before they use that damned clause to wrangle us into those two as well.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Keep cool … this is only about making sure that the government does not play fast and loose when using its powers to modify EU-derived laws.

        At present we have a Commons European Scrutiny Committee whose role is to sift through proposals for new laws as they come from the EU:


        The Committee assesses the legal and/or political importance of draft EU legislation deposited in Parliament by the Government. This amounts to around 1,100 documents a session. The Committee receives an Explanatory Memorandum on each document from the relevant Minister. It then looks at the significance of the proposal and decides whether to clear the document from scrutiny or withhold clearance and ask questions of the Government. All documents deemed politically or legally important are reported on in the Committee’s weekly Reports.

        Referring for debate

        The Committee also has the power to recommend documents for debate. A list of all documents that have been debated, or have been referred for debate, this session can be found here …”

        The role of that existing committee in sifting new EU laws will eventually disappear as we leave the EU and cease to get those 1,100 EU documents per session, except perhaps just as a courtesy, for information purposes, and instead the new committee would have the role of monitoring a reverse process whereby the government modified existing EU-derived laws.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          And I take it Japan, the USA, China and all the other free countries around the world do the same?

          Jobs for the boys, that’s what it is.

  85. Peter K
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    In trying to satisfy both wings of the Tory party the PM is on course to deliver a Brexit that will satisfy no-one. A Hokey Kokey neither-in-nor-out Brexit, paying into and regulated by Brussels tethered to the EU for decades without so much as a Farage in the room to object.

    And no-one voted for that.

  86. Andy
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Brexit means capitulation.

    Brexit means humiliation.

    Brexit means subservience.

    Thank you for Brexit Mr Redwood. Embarrassing, isn’t it?

    • DaveM
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      The capitulation, subservience and humiliation is courtesy of the remainers you prat.

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Andy, Capitulation, humiliation and subservience have all been demanded by Remains. Leaves want none of it.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Yes. All courtesy of a PM who campaigned to remain and would do so again.

      Take s chill pill Andy, it’s the weekend.

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Cheer up Andy. You’ve got another prat working for you as Prime Minister and three quarters of the cabinet are prats that she carefully chose. While the ministers we voted for are little sprats that can be ignored. You can now relax because anything we make or sell to ourselves will not be smuggled into Eire and presumably anything we make for the rest of the World will have to be carefully watched in case it sneaks out and poisons the Irish. BBC, Sky, Dominic Grieve, Anna Sobry and Labour’s Sir Starmer have all confirmed you will get your beloved EU in the end.

    • Prigger
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 3:00 am | Permalink

      I never feel humiliated speaking to a foreigner.

  87. Trevor Butler
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Today T.May has vindicated my decision, relatively late in life, to leave the UK – That is not a deal – it’s a ‘roll over and play dead’ for her masters in the EU – I’m sad that she took her opportunity to go down in history as a great PM and declined it to, instead, go for being labelled the UK’s greatest traitor…..

  88. Andrew S
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Surely it is time to have May out and a Brexit prime minister in. Then Hammond out in the reshuffle. May Hammond and the conservatives will be out of office at the next election with this performance, a betrayal of what was set out in the PM’s Lancaster House speech.
    Mogg in, he has the brains and the voter appeal. Then Mr John Redwood in the cabinet.

  89. oldtimer
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    One of your colleagues (Mr Jones MP I think) commented on the World at One on the insidious implications of paragraph 49 of the Report. This refers to protecting North-South co-operation and the guarantee of avoiding a hard border. It states the UK “will propose specific solutions”…and that “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South co-operation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.” This gives the EU a veto on UK proposals; which they would have every incentive to use.

    When you have had more time to study the implications of paragraph 49 and the related paragraph 50, I should appreciate your understanding of how the UK could avoid regulatory alignment for the rest of the UK in such circumstances. According to Gisela Stuart, writing on Conservative Home yesterday, regulatory alignment is Single Market membership in all but name. This is, of course, the objectives of the Remainers and anathema to Leavers.

  90. ferdinand
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    When I talk with people many just cannot grasp that that principle must be the thread running through all the negotiations. I do fear that even Mrs.May might, in a weak moment, break the thread.

  91. Br1
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


  92. Old Albion
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    A £50billion sell-out. That is approx equal to another five years net payments. Walk away from negotiations now!

  93. Michel d'Anjou
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ve not read the whole document fully but it seems to use a forward date on which to base obligations leaving us out-of-the-room but on-the-hook. Of particular note is the EU’s ability to accrue liabilities (or “commitments”) from now to our final departure date over which we would have no say, but would be required to finance (potentially in perpetuity): this is how a small divorce bill becomes a very big one without tax payers knowing what’s been done to them! Finally, my reading is we are now creating super-citizens leaving natural born Brits as 2nd class of citizens. Can the Government really sell this to 17 million voters?

  94. ale bro
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Does leaving on a WTO basis breach the Good Friday Agreement?

    The answer to that appears to be yes, so that route is a dead end.

  95. Derek Henry
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Lets look at this problem from a completely different starting point.

    If we were not in the EU and currently trading using WTO rules.

    Imagine the UK were not in the Single Market & Customs Union now. And we were invited to join on existing terms, meaning a £9bn annual contribution and acceptance of endless regulations, free movement, ECJ jurisdiction etc. Who in their right mind would campaign for a yes vote?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      I take your point, but you answered your own question – who in their right mind would campaign for a yes vote?

      At a guess I’d say the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems, and the EU fanatical BBC. In fact, anybody who lives in a bubble and eats the Lotus fruit. Those who live in the real world and are of sound mind and judgement would of course reject it.

      Doesn’t this tell you something about how the dice are loaded in the EU’s favour, and makes any rational thinking person suspect there is something going on behind the scenes that the people are not being told?

      This madness cannot be allowed to continue.


  96. Michael Wood
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    John, you can not be happy with this agreement!

    Perhaps you will actually let us know your true feelings?

    Forget the loyalty, let’s have the truth.

  97. John Francis
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    If this deal is so good for the UK it will be easy for those who support it to give us the benefits and costs versus the benefits and costs of making a clean break with the EU.
    Don’t forget to include the £80 billion trade surplus the EU has with us. Looking forward to your replies, courtesy of our kind host.

  98. Kevin
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    What could be worse than this…Jeremy Corbyn

    So all those who think the end is nigh ( like me ) should vote for him in revenge

  99. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Having concluded its largest ever free trade agreement (with Japan) on this same Friday 8-12-17 (Gouda cheese now becomes 30% cheaper in Japan 🙂 ) I trust that the EU is more than ready to start working on an FTA with the UK. Let’s have/keep a friction-less border between Holland and the UK!

    • And Onion
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      You can keep your Gouda cheese. It tastes like…well, not like cheese. Not like anything except itself. Closest to it is an extremely mild bar of soap but rather more expensive with a shelf life beyond the death of our sun.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Peter VAN LEEUWEN

      Gouda indeed…

      Let’s eat Cheddar instead!

      As we say down in the south of England….

      “better to have an enemy who slaps you in the face, then a friend that stabs you in the back”

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Peter.I like Gouda personally but have managed to spend £130 on the weekly shopping without buying any EU produce except a tin of Danish spam, as we don’t make it in tins. Wine, cheese, meat, wine-the lot made in the UK or ROW. My last Irish steaks were last night. Your 30% discount to the Japanese may not make up exports if other betrayed Leavers all do the same as me, they think cheese makes them smell. The trip to Bruges is off too.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I read the Japanese don’t like cheese they think it makes them smell.

  100. nigel seymour
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Britain will be able to carry out criminal record checks, should it wish, on EU nationals seeking to stay in the country after Brexit.
    The government has said it wants applicants for settled status to have to declare any criminal convictions and for the authorities to be able to check UK databases and, in certain cases, verify international records.
    The UK’s position was initially met with resistance in Brussels but ministers believe that they have got their way over the issue in Friday’s agreement.
    The document, released earlier, says: “Systematic criminality and security checks can – in the specific context of acquiring status under the Withdrawal Agreement – be carried out on all applicants for status under the agreement and applicants can be asked to declare criminality.”

  101. Fed Up
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    We are so lucky to have a tough negotiator like Mrs May handling any trade talks aren’t we….

    They’re fooling no one, we can all see the stitch-up that’s being carried out. In the end she will agree a totally rubbish deal and get it through parliament thanks to opposition MPs backing if needed.

  102. Original Richard
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    “We need to remember that leaving on the WTO option means no additional payments to the EU, whilst taking back control of our borders, our laws and our money.”

    We also need to take back control of our assets (fishing grounds).

    I believe that trading on WTO terms with the EU will be better for us because trading with the current FTA terms mean we have a massive £100bn/year trade deficit with the EU and this cannot continue indefinitely without serious economic repercussions.

    So if the government insists on continuing with these current terms, for whatever reason, then I personally will be checking very carefully the country of origin of everything I buy.

    In fact I have not bought any French agricultural products since 1990 when French farmers (behaved badly ed)

    As recently as 2015 French farmers attacked and destroyed seven British lorry loads of fish which had in fact been caught by French trawlers and landed in Scotland before being shipped to France.

    I also would not buy today a German car after the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

    etc ed

  103. Rocking Chair
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    The nation breathes a sigh of relief. EU citizens living in this country are happy.We can all lay back now and think of England.

    • Linda Jones
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      ”Lie” back. And yes, if you wish your EU masters to take total control.

      • Rocking Chair
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 2:48 am | Permalink

        Yeah “Lie” . I must have been thinking of something other.

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      While being screwed.

  104. George
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    This deal is a treacherous betrayal of the British people.
    May has achieved nothing for the UK.
    It is a disgraceful capitulation and she has no negotiating ability.
    This is a complete failure and we need a real Prime Minister.

    • Chris
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Charles Moore in D Tel agrees with you about the “complete capitulation”.

      Are the Brexiter MPs now realising that they have been outmanoeuvred thanks to their apparent refusal to face up to many signs coming from Remainer May that a fudge was planned, and thanks also to their lack of courage and decisiveness to act. There was a bit of “talk” but that was never going to win the day. Even Ms Soubry got the better of them. Where was that “rapid rebuttal unit” that Denis Cooper kept asking for. The blame for this betrayal of the electorate (as that is how I see it) lies not only with May, but with those Brexiter MPs who apparently refused to act in order to uphold the referendum result. Mrs May really had a very easy ride.

      I also have not been taken in by the great drama of last minute decisions and bargaining and early morning flights. I would suggest it was merely typical EU choreographing. It was all pre rehearsed, I think, with Greece, right down to a showcase on how to bully, wear down, and get what you want. However, you make sure that there is great drama, followed by quite disgraceful spin, in my view. Varoufakis warned you, the public warned you, and so did many on this blog.

  105. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Just listening to the 6 o’clock news and wondering what the celebrations are all about. Any one would think we’d actually achieved something advantageous to the UK!!! Ha, ha.

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      From their point of view, they have won and are celebrating. More subsidies for their collaboration.

  106. Dennis Perrin
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    The EU should pay the UK. Backbenchers not coming forward. No spine.

  107. Doug Powell
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    If the EU is happy, you can bet your life we’ve been had!

  108. nigel seymour
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The separation agreement on citizens’ rights will not fall under the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (officially called the CJEU but commonly referred to as the ECJ) which was the initial demand from the European Union.
    But the ECJ will continue to play a role, because this agreement says UK courts will have to pay “due regard” to its decisions on an indefinite basis.
    And for eight years after Brexit, there will be a mechanism for UK courts to refer questions of interpretation directly to the ECJ.
    It is a compromise, but the sort of compromise that some supporters of Brexit will find hard to stomach.

  109. D Gardener
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    You might want to believe that it is ‘just to talk’ but we in the backstreets of Britain know this is HER real deal (Not Ours) and it will remain so regardless of the EU reneging on their side of it. As they always do.
    They are untrustworthy and a waste of time dealing with. Only a stupid, naive person or one with vested interests at stake would willingly submit to their demands.
    Either way, this woman has not put the best interests of the Referendum Leavers at heart and therefore she must go. She is abusing her power and denying us our democratic decision. This shameful Tory Government is not to be trusted with our family jewels. Like Total freedom from the clutches of the EU and everyone else we have fought over the centuries. We need Patriots running the country not quislings.

  110. Steven Dowds
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Your party leader has surrendered utterly. I trust you will depose her & ensure we do get the Brexit we want.

    I didn’t vote out so we could maintain regulatory alignment, continue to pay the bills and be a vassal state subject to the ECJ with continuing freedom of movement.

    The Tory party is finished if this goes ahead.

    • Chris
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree with you, SD.

  111. Edwardm
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Though we have no final agreement, the fact that Mrs May has agreed in principle that the UK can pay a vast sum to the EU and have a transition period under EU diktat is a disastrous staring point.
    Mrs May is bouncing the EU’s terms on to us late in the day so giving little time for objections – this is likely to happen again at the final agreement. Whose side is she on?
    People I have spoken to are stunned and angered about this.
    The conservative party has little time to turn this around in the minds of ordinary voters. Mrs May must be replaced by a patriot and go for WTO. Given the low nature of the EU, any other agreement with the EU will be to our disadvantage – and why pay for it.

  112. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    ” the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

    True. It means that UK will now have to regain what it has already given away for anything better than ‘No Deal’ to eventuate. As Lawyers for Britain have pointed out the agreement already constrain’s UK’s ability to become more competitive than the EU by maintaining alignment with the EU in the very sectors where high prices hit the poor hardest, greatly constrains UK’s ability to strike trade deals with other countries, and cements the jurisdiction of the ECJ over UK.
    I also notice that the UK’s stake in the European Investment Bank has been devalued from €10.20bn (2015 accounts) to a mere €0.496 billion to be re-paid in 12 instalments.
    Mrs May has been taken to the cleaners and seems not to know it.

  113. Mick
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Betray the British voters at your peril Mr Redwood, we are not idiots as all the eu loving luvvies and traitors will find out at the next GE

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully before then.

  114. Peter
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    “Everyone needs to remember that this agreement is not the Agreement on the UK leaving the EU. It is an agreement to talk about all matters, and is still governed by the crucial principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

    True. However after a day to reflect on the announcement I have concerns about the direction in which the negotiations seem to be heading. We have heard what the UK will do but nothing yet about what we get in return.

    I also have grave concerns that clause 49 could be used to lock us into ‘alignment’ simply by not reaching an accommodation on Ireland. So we pay the EU billions of pounds, have ECJ interference for another 8 years and may be hampered in what we can offer in trade deals with non EU countries.

    Understandly those who want a clean Brexit are upset. However, rather than expect others to deliver – which has not happened so far – can readers suggest ways that each of us can do something constructive before the final deal is done?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Local council elections are in May. I suggest that people use that as a means to register their disapproval.

  115. Chris
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    This extract is from Donald Tusk’s statement about the deal. It makes for very alarming reading, and simply backs up Charles Moore’s assessment of May’s deal “a complete capitulation”.
    “This allows me to present the draft guidelines for the December European Council, which I have just sent to the leaders. My proposals are the following.

    First, we should start negotiating the transition period, so that people and businesses have clarity about their situation. As you know, the UK has asked for a transition of about two years, while remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union. And we will be ready to discuss this, but naturally, we have our conditions. I propose that during this period, the UK will respect:
    •the whole of EU law, including new law;
    •it will respect budgetary commitments;
    •it will respect judicial oversight;
    •and of course, all the related obligations.

    Clearly, within the transition period following the UK’s withdrawal, EU decision-making will continue among the 27 member states, without the UK….”

    • Mark B
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      And of course they, HMG will sign.

  116. James neill
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    This is the best that can be done for the UK now under the circumstances..the people were horribly lied to during the campaign by political figures and the low rag press and without much thought voted for this brexit not knowing how it would turn out..and a large number realize now that it was a big what to do now is to get the best deal possible with our neighbours..there is nothing much else out there and the empire is not going to come back..we’ll probablh have to line up behind Canada and now Japan to see what FTA we can do but I suppose it will be as JR and R-M, IDS, boris etc WTO i suppose at least some are happy.

  117. Ex-British
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    So, if British, the only plus is if you live abroad. And never wish to return.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      No nation can ever survive its enemies within.

  118. Sour Cream
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Anna Soubry thinks it is good.In fact very good. What more can you say?

  119. Chris S
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Judging by what has just been conceded few here have any confidence that anything that looks like a good trade deal will be achieved.

    We can only hope that whoever is in charge of the next stage of negotiations has the guts to stand up and walk away when that becomes obvious.

    I’m not holding my breath………………..

  120. Me
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    The Remoaners are actually in feigned full support. The wording of the agreement is clever enough rather than very clever, to convince their Remoaning electorate that the Brexiteers have failed and that we are all heading for a Soft Brexit ( if an exit at all), which they had steadfastly fought for against overwhelming odds . The Remoaners are in fact scuppered. It is sad though so many on both sides cannot read plain text let alone comprehend the implications of what just has happened.We have torn the EU to shreds. A great victory!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      You should change your name to Neville Chamberlin, he suffered from the same affliction after his visit to Munich to see the German Chancellor.

      • rose
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Chamberlain was playing for time as we weren’t ready for war. He has been much maligned. During his tenure defensive preparations were being made.

  121. GilesB
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    The regulatory alignment is with respect to preserving the Good Friday Agreement and no hard border.

    As there is no significant car manufacturing on the island of Ireland, presumably we can negotiate our own trade deals in that sector.

    Similarly wine. And chocolate where we can abolish the immoral 50% on finished products from Africa

  122. Ron Olden
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    John Redwood makes the key point. I noticed Arlene Foster said the same thing, yesterday morning even before the text came out.

    Para 5 Page 1 of the agreement says ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.

    This isn’t just a throwaway line inserted to fill space. Remainers however appeared oblivious to its’ existence. It amounts to total victory for the UK. We are getting the Trade Talks without irrevocably agreeing anything.

    The decisions are yet to come, and the closer we get to departure day, the more pressing it will be for the EU to agree something we are willing to pay for, and make compromises for.

    Otherwise we leave with no agreement, and it’s ‘Hard Brexit’. Which suits me fine.

    Time is running out for the ‘Softees’. Leavers can afford to stay quiet until judgement day.

    It might be an idea perhaps if Leavers started pressing this message on TV shows. Doing so will panic the Remainers, unsettle the EU, and strengthen Mrs May’s negotiating position.

    • James Matthews
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” is clutching at a very flimsy straw.

      In order to get trade talks started TM has provisionally agreed not to take back control of our money, our laws, or our borders for at least eight years. There is no trade deal that could possibly justify such an abject surrender, so either there is no point in discussions on trade, or the government fully intends to stand by that surrender and will sign up to any crumbs the EU deigns to throw us. What isworse, the EU now knows this.

      Since June 2016 Remainders have told us that Brexit is making us the laughing stock of the world. It wasn’t true then. Thanks to Theresa may and her supporters, it is now. We are ceasing to be a member of the EU in order to become a dependent territory of the EU.

      If the Conservative Party as a whole and, in particular, the people in the party who have claimed to support our leaving the EU are willing to go along with this they richly deserve the permanent electoral oblivion which is almost certainly coming to them.

    • rose
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Every time she has a strong hand she throws it away. So does Hammond.

    • stred
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Collaborators are in the majority in the HoC. They will approve the draft deal put to them by Traitor May and out vote MPs who wish to respect the promise made in the referendum. It will be spun as a sensible arrangement by media collaborators.

  123. Original Richard
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but paragraph 49, located in the Ireland/Northern Ireland subsection, states :

    “In the absence of agreed solutions [for the Ireland/Northern Ireland issue], the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment of those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union, which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 agreement.”

    And paragraph 50 states :

    “In the absence of agreed solutions, as set out in the previous paragraph, the United Kingdom will ensure that no new regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, unless, consistent with the 1998 agreement, the Northern Ireland executive and Assembly agree that distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland. In all circumstances, the United Kingdom will continue to ensure the same unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the United Kingdom internal market.”

    I take this to mean that without an agreement we will continue to be in the SM/CU and this could be indefinitely as there is no motive for the EU to make an agreement because they want our money and our assets.

    A situation made even worse, thanks to Mrs. May, of having no voting or veto rights in the decision making processes, made to be fully complaint with all existing and new legislation, and fully under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

  • About John Redwood

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

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