The Joint Report on the negotiations so far

The Report opens by stressing that both sides are pledged to the view that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The Report acknowledges that the detailed draft agreement on citizens rights and on a financial settlement are without prejudice to an agreement on a future relationship. The Prime Minister has stated that the payment of any money other than our contributions up to leaving date are contingent on a wider Agreement.

The UK has won some of the important arguments over citizens rights. It is important that EU citizens living in the UK are under UK law, just as UK citizens living in the rest of the EU will clearly remain under EU law. The UK has sought to avoid a situation where EU citizens living in the UK enjoy a special status which is governed by EU law and the European Court of Justice. There will be further debate about whether an eight year right for UK courts to seek guidance on EU law in this field dilutes the UK jurisdiction too much. The UK side stresses that individual cases over citizens rights in the UK will be governed by UK law and adjudicated by UK courts.

The complex clauses on the financial settlement do not set out detailed numbers or precise programmes. The main extra cost appears to be accepting the Union budget for 2019 and 2020 after we have left. Presumably this is envisaged as a transition period which still has to be defined and negotiated in subsequent exchanges. People will want to know what such UK generosity achieves in terms of the future relationship. The Prime Minister has previously made clear that there only need be a transition period if there is a good Agreement to transit to. The UK has made some general statements on so called RAL or financial items after 2020, and on contingent liabilities. It will need greater clarity of what these are and why the UK might make some ex gratia contribution, as there seems to be no legal liability for these sums.

The wording on Northern Ireland and the border with the Republic is general and about principles. It will fall to later talks to work out how the “detailed arrangements” will work. This, as the UK has often pointed out, needs decisions on the general arrangements for UK trade with the EU before anyone can finalise the border arrangements. There will be considerable debate about the meaning of this statement “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and 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 entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Peter
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” is fine in principle but the general public do not really believe our government is committed to those words. They believe that “any deal is better than no deal” is closer to reality.

    Even if the eight year right does not dilute UK jurisdiction it sends out a message that there is no clean break, we are still tied to the EU.

    The detail on what the financial payments will cover will probably be countered by a claim from Barnier that it is impossible to say. We seem to have been successfully fobbed off by this so far.

    People will definitely want to know what we are getting in return.

    The alignment approach to Northern Ireland does not really stand up to scrutiny. It is just kicking the issue further down the road and sending a message that a clean Brexit is unlikely unless something forces the government’s hand.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” That’s clutching at straws. It’s clear that May will agree to anything rather than nothing, including hopping on planes to meet EU deadlines rather than her voters’ wishes.

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

      JR it strikes me you might not have read clauses 49 and 50. If the Irish border solution proposed by the U.K. Is not agreed the U.K. Will stay in the single market and customs union forever! Benefits to EU citizens will continue including future children not born here! Family me,bets allowed in, presumably fly in get health care, sign up for winter fuel allowance and fly home! Do U.K. Citizens in EU countries have a right to appeal to our Supreme Court above the ECJ, if not why not? I read EU demands and capitulation on behalf of May I do not read U.K. demands on the EU! What about EU assets as the U.K. Was a net contributer?

      May blatantly lied it was a fair deal for the U.K. Taxpayer. Her govt just forced cuts on the police having lost 56,000’immigrants and refused increase in numbers for teachers and vital public sector staff to match May’s mass immigration policy. But she will impose dementia tax on us, EU budget not cut or reduced compare with U.K. Budget. She lied it is not fair at all when there is no legal liability to pay a penny. The U.K. Now being a cash cow colony for the EU for years to come!

      Back stabbing Trojan horse remainer Gove states future govt can change the agreement. May has made the ballot box null and void, what are we expected to do? Civil disobedience or behave like the Irish to get independence from the EU ?

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        I can answer part of your question on assets. The UK’s stake in the European Investment Bank, to which the UK is legally entitled, has been devalued from €10.20bn (2015 accounts) to a mere €0.496 billion to be re-paid in 12 instalments according to the Telegraph.

        • Dioclese
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Presumably if there is no deal we just withdraw our entire £10.2 billion

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

            I cannot envisage any situation where May will claim that she has not found a good deal. Like her fair to the taxpayer lie comment last week! Or her secure border lie where we had three attrocities this year, or cut immigration to tens of thousands, or only the Tory party will deliver EVEL, we will not pay the £1.7 billion demand by the EU, right to recall fudge, Bloomberg speech anyone? The lies will continue with May as PM. Listening to Clarke last week in parliament he have written the outcome the of first phase. There is a thought would the remainers be in cahoots with May and Labour to get what they want i.e. Stay in the EU all but name? JRs letter had no impact. Leave ministers useless. Trojan horse Gove trotting out tripe to persuade leavers a bad deal is a good one!

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Peter, Well summarised. To put it shortly: the EU is a con artist, and our own establishment is stupid enough to be conned. It’s the Danegeld mentality in the English psyche.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        ‘It’s the Danegeld mentality in the English psyche’

        – Not long too after the Danegeld, you had the Hanseatic League, a sort of precursor to the single market, with the German, Scandanavian and Dutch peoples of the time benefitting. Not the English (perhaps the English at time were suffering too much from Danegeld Complex Syndrome).

        Plus the Danegeld originated from might-is-right, pre-Christian times. It was Christianity that largely introduced the rule of law which we still enjoy today.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Your’re half right but half wrong, i think. You exaggerate your case which is fatal in trying to learn the lessons from history.

        Until people look at Brexit pragmatically, and not just ideologically, then it will be a failure. Ideology-alone always fails eventually. Whether it be politics, business, the military, whatever.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          And the Europhile ideologues are just as much a threat to the long-term peace, security and prosperity of our country as the Eurosceptic ideologues.

          Ideology is so easy as you only have to confront the logic of your argument in your own head. But when confronted by the reality of life, and the infinite unexpected possibilities it can throw up, then ideology-alone always fails in the long-run.

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

        The “con” is the view that all the UK has to do is tell the EU what it wants for the EU to come running.

        It’s not happening that way is it?

        The Con artists are those who are telling you that the UK is in a position of strength. We are not.

        • NickC
          Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          Loudbarker, Find anywhere where I have said that “all the UK has to do is tell the EU what it wants for the EU to come running.” I have said precisely the opposite for at least 4 years.

          My previous statements have been along the lines of – If you think the EU will be reasonable and friendly, then you have not been paying attention for the last 45 years.

    • Phil
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I cannot believe that a former grammar school girl has so totally capitulated to a bunch of greedy chancers in Phase 1.
      The wording that is supposed to keep NI and the Public at large satisfied is so shot through with ambiguity that I would not be surprised to wake up to the newspaper headline on March 20th 2019″We are out on paper but actually still in according to the deal Mrs May has negotiated”

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Brexiteers only hope now is that Parliament has a vote on the deal and rejects it lock, stock and barrel.

        • Hope
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          Does not matter what parliament votes, as JR told us, it is a take it or leave we still leave on the terms she agrees. Which is remain as a colony paying vast sums of cash to EU countries to help offset their home budgets!

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      the government has invested far too much in the negotiations to pull out at any stage. As it drags on the investment will grow and the stakes get higher. There is no way Mrs May would pull out and ‘waste’ all that has gone before. She will stick with it, totally determined to stick to her plan to get a deal, any deal. That was always her objective, rather than to set Britain on a new path of independence. She told us this when she took office.

    • Jack
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      The problem with still being tied to the EU is that there is a significant 5th column of “remainers” in positions of power and influence within the UK establishment, who will doubtless work to subvert the will of the people.

  2. Len Pascal
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    You obviously have NOT read the agreement. We have agreed unconditionally to pay £50 bn, we are subject to the ECJ for 8 years and, to solve the Irish issue, we are staying in the single market AND the customs union. Please Mr Redwood, do not tarnish your reputation by trying to pull the wool over leave voters eyes

    • Richard1
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      I haven’t read the full agreement. No summary I’ve seen suggests any of what you’ve said is true. I suppose we all have to read the whole thing ourselves, as UKIP and Remain types have to present it as a total capitulation. How tedious.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Do you think voting to Leave meant voting for full alignment with EU rules then? I voted to Leave mainly because of the potential for free trade arrangements and immigration for non-EU nationals. Do you think we’ll be able to do that under this agreement?

        • Richard1
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 11, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          ” I voted to Leave mainly because of the potential for free trade arrangements and immigration for non-EU nationals. Do you think we’ll be able to do that under this agreement?”

          Whatever the deal, it has to save the Irish question. The Irish want an open border and presumably will veto any deal that does not satisfy them .

          An open border means – so far as I an see – free movement of People and free movement of goods. So the “Outers” will not accept it ‘cos that means we are still in the single market. That backed up by the need for direct alignment of regulations etc.

          The EU will not allow goods and services that do not meet the requirement of the single market into the single market, so if there is to be an open border – see above – the UK has to be effectively a member of the customs union.

          So – to answer the question – the UK can’t really negotiate any new free trade agreements.

          But – why would it want anyway since the most successful trading nation in the world (Germany) is a member of the EU (so why can’t we be a successful trader) AND the EU has more free trade agreements than any other entities. Including the recently announced deal with Japan. Let’s make a decision to benefit from them.

          This deal is probably as good as we can hope for if we leave – but – why be a rule taker rather than a rule maker?

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        “Brexit means biscuit”

        Flakey and crumbly, Richard. I heard the woman clearly.

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

        I have read the agreement and you are right, Richard. There are many clauses that appear ambiguous and/or open to several interpretations (typical of politics), so the best we can do at the moment is wait & see.

        • Philip Morris
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          the best we can do is get rid of the deep state sop May who was willing to give up our freedom with her Snooper’s Charter. We need someone who will put Britain First and begin the painful process of breaking away from the Globalist vision and making it a Great Britain again.

          • stred
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            T.M also gave us up to be extradited without a hearing in the UK under the EAW and got it through the HoC by similar sleight of hand. The Cons need to get rid of the ‘bloody woman’ now or face a backlash that will put them out for good. And let the local associations get rid of the Soubry and Grieve imposters by the next election.

          • stred
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Her decision to back the mad idea that we can change genders just by thinking about it is another indication that she is unfit to run anything let alone a country.

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            “And let the local associations get rid of the Soubry and Grieve imposters by the next election.”

            I see Momentum tactics are alive and well in the Tory party.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink


          I am sure the ‘European’ courts will put us straight over these trifling matters. 🙂

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Exactly. It is totally unacceptable.

            JR says:- There will be considerable debate about the meaning of this statement “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union which now or in the future support North-south co-operation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement”

            Well what it means is that the EU (by merely refusing to reach any agreement) can clearly force such “full alignment”!

        • John C.
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          In fact, nothing has really been agreed: it’s all dependent on further talks, in which we will no doubt agree to pay thousands of millions more so that Germans can sell us their cars and kitchens.
          The only definite and clear point that I can gather from all the discussion is that we will pay 39 thousand million euros without really knowing why we should pay it. Rejoice!

      • NHSGP
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Wrong. It’s the case. 50 bn of cuts to nurses.

        Still subject to EU law.

        Still subject to European courts.

        Very simple walk away

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

      The jackpot winner Friday was the Irish Republic. Its five “red-lines” never had to be crossed, thanks to the DUP; as ever, wrecking everything it touches.

      The non – existent Irish border now becomes the prime directive for the Brexit saga. Welding together a customs union; the single market act and the WTO rules; may well out-do the Schleswig-Holstein question for sheer complexity.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Potentially a 0.1% tail of the UK economy is wagging the other 99.9%.

        That’s the 0.1% of UK GDP which crosses the non-existent Irish border in the form of goods which the Irish government doesn’t want to check.

      • rose
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Do you mean you wanted to detach Northern Ireland from Great Britain? And then Scotland? Just because that is what the EU wanted?

        • acorn
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          The UK, unlike France, is not a “nation state” and never has been, I think the British Isles is worth more in separate parts, England; Scotland and Ireland, than it is as the UK. 😉

          • NickC
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, Of course the UK is a nation state, and recognised internationally and in law We could not have signed up to the EU treaties in the first place, otherwise.

          • acorn
            Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            Nick,. You should educate yourself on what constitutes a national state.
            A nation state, or nation-state, is a type of state that reflects both the political entity of a state and the cultural entity of a nation, this being from which it aims to derive its political legitimacy to rule and, potentially, its status as a sovereign state.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        schengen? The UK and Republic of Ireland have opted out. The UK wants to maintain its own borders, and Dublin prefers to preserve its free movement arrangement with the UK – called the Common Travel Area – rather than join Schengen.
        The UK and Ireland began taking part in some aspects of the Schengen agreement, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), from 2000 and 2002 respectively.
        The SIS enables police forces across Europe to share data on law enforcement. It includes data on stolen cars, court proceedings and missing persons.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      “This report is put forward with a view to the meeting of the European Council (Article 50) of 14-15 December 2017. Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail. This does not prejudge any adaptations that might be appropriate in case transitional arrangements were to be agreed in the second phase of the negotiations, and is without prejudice to discussions on the framework of the future relationship.”

  3. Al
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    This agreement threatens my job.
    I am required to work across the EU and rest of the world but mainly Europe ( Spain, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Switzerland), and am based in the UK.
    My company will now have to organise work permits for all of these countries. If I move to Europe it won’t make any difference as I won’t have the same rights as other EU citizens to work across the EU.
    Under this agreement any cross EU company will avoid employing Brits or setting up a UK base (unless there is no alternative).
    Can’t decide whether this was a masterstroke to prevent a London exodus (almost all London roles that might relocate to the EU will require cross EU travel), or a bungle.
    Either way a lot of people who currently export high value services to the EU will soon be stopping (and no you can’t export them beyond the EU because the logistics costs are to great).

    • Richard1
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Why so? A free trade agreement with the EU might well include free movement of labour- v different from rights of indefinite residence, benefits etc. I can’t see that anything that’s been agreed so far means what you say is correct.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      That’s odd because a relative of mine had to get a residence card and further paperwork filled in about her employment at the local town hall when in Spain recently for a six month posting.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Everyone residing in Spain needs proof of identity, as in almost all EU countries. The point is that it cannot be refused to an EU citizen. The UK does not have compulsory registration of residents, hence the UK’s attraction for people smugglers. The point is nor registration, but access to residency.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          The orginal point being made was actually about UK workers needing permits in the future if they want to live and work in every EU country.

          My point in response was that in the EU today, you still need various permits and bits of admin to be completed in order to reside and work.

        • stred
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          My relation went to Sweden to work self- employed for a foreign company. He is refused a registration card and a tax number and was told to get private health insurance. Having paid for it he was then told it was not good enough to cover all Swedish conditions. He may have to leave in order to work and obtain healthcare, despite its partner being Swedish. Holland is also much more difficult to live and work in than the UK. When May said we would require registration of Eu nationals, she was trying to fool us that she was negotiating a deal that was there already. Another deceit.

        • jerry
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          @Rien Huizer; Did you mean carry proof of ID or just be able to prove ID, if the later you need to be able to prove your ID if asked to do so in the UK to, as you are in probably any country!

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted December 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            People seem to confuse things here. EU countries that require proof of identity apply that to their own citizens too. Some countries have mandatory personal registration (citizens and non-citizens alike) plus mandatory carry of identity documents. Other countries have only mandatory registration. the UK has neither (more or less) but dicriminating between UK de facto residents and all other residents would not be allowed under EU rules. Registering only EU nationals would be rather odd (hence no obligation for overstayers to register?)
            Finally, the fact that in some countries one needs identity papers has nothing to do with EU membership. And exemption might.

    • jerry
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      @A1; So are you are employed in more than one country, or do you simply travel to those countries to do specific work, as an employee (or owner) of a UK company? I very much doubt this agreement would affect the latter, which would hurt the EU27 far more than it hurts the UK!

      • Al
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        I do internal engineering consultancy. At present I have to get a work permit for Switzerland. But For the rest of the EU is fine.

        @Bob would you employ someone where you have to apply for 25 separate work permits or somebody where you don’t have to? (It’s not cheap either as there are significant fines if you apply for the wrong permit type/ don’t keep the requisite records).

        @Richard1 I hope so – but it isn’t looking good so far for Brits that work or live in the EU.

        • Bob
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Go for a Romanian passport, I hear they can be readily purchased in Moldova.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          Why would you need 25 separate work permits you would surely only need one for the United States of Europe?

        • jerry
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          @A1; “would you employ someone where you have to apply for 25 separate work permits or somebody where you don’t have to?”

          Well at the moment, until the final agreement is signed and ratified, we are talking theory and it’s my theory that even if you do have to apply you will most likely need to apply for just one EU wide permit, not the 25 you claim.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        There would always be visum free travel (I guess unless people get completely mad) but not freedom to reside, once the UK has left.

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

          There’s freedom to reside in the UK for anybody from anywhere in the World if they have enough money.

        • stred
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Companies can employ and send consultants from anywhere in the World if they need expertise. The consultants do not reside in the country which needs expertise but travel, as they could as tourists and stay for long enough. If it is over a long period, they make trips home and then return. My relation in Sweden already does this and uses a EHIC card. The UK employs consultants like this and will continue to.

        • John C.
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Why “visum”? You’re assuming that visa is a plural :”things seen”, whereas it’s much more likely to be a feminine ending: “a thing seen” where the thing is charta or epistola or pagina. Just saying, unless you know better. More interesting to discuss than May’s capitulation.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted December 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            An error.

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


      “\My company will now have to organise work permits”

      Much ado about nothing, either buy a Romanian passport or apply for a work permit.

    • acorn
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Don’t get residency mixed up with working rules. Immigration is not an EU competence, that’s down to member states but; some movement rules are an EU competence.

    • D Gardener
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      What about those jobs that were lost because we joined the EU? 30,000 in fisheries to start with. Leaving the EU is about National Sovereignty not about any individual.
      If your company is any good they will overcome it. How do you think the rest of the world copes with the rest of the world?

  4. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This explanation is helpful and the only thing I disagree with, is that it would just be “generosity” by the UK to pay for its commitments. The idea that there is no legal basis under international law for the payments is strongly (but not loudly) disputed in the European Commission. This is also about showing to the world that the UK can be a reliable partner that stands for its commitments.
    The vague wording about the Irish border helps to clarify, that the frictionless border cannot become the EU27’s problem or fault, if trade talks were to fail and the UK would “walk away”.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Under a treaty or contract something is either due or it isn’t. Of course the two sides will have different views, but in the end this can be tested in the international courts. The EU shows no enthusiasm for this – as it knows there is no legal basis to demand money from a former member state after it has left.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: The “enthusiastic” UK hasn’t taken the EU to court either. Most of your commitments will cease anyway after you’ll have left, which will be at the end of the current budget period, all very reasonable.

        • acorn
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Peter, how are you defining “most”? Continentals are telling me that financial commitments made inside an EU Treaty, remain payable even after a member state leaves the Treaty; via an article in that Treaty (Art 50 in this case). This (I am told) is according to the UN Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. If Art 50 is silent on money matters; as it is, the Vienna Convention assumes precedence in international Courts of Justice.

          The UK has commitments that run till 2025 in the next EU seven year budget. Hence, the EU wants an eight year period for ECJ jurisdiction over such commitments from 29 March 2019. EIB paid in capital will be repaid as the loans it is backing are repaid; probably decades.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            @acorn: your continental acquaintances must know bette than me, I’m no legal expert at all. From general knowledge I could imagine that EIB doesn’t work according to the budget periods.
            I would hope for the EU/EIB to be as lenient as possible in as far as international law allows, because it has an interest in keeping the UK as a close long term partner.

          • NickC
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, Budgets are not financial commitments. Vienna is clear, whether we are talking about money or people, that obligations and rights obtained before withdrawal must be honoured. But there are no obligations incurred after withdrawal – so no obligation to pay for budgets, or newly committed spending, extant after March 2019.

            Similarly people from the EU in the UK are protected by Vienna, as are UK people in the EU. That is why that chunk of May’s agreement is just smoke – there was no substantive alternative.

            Vienna Article 26. “Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.

            Vienna Art 54 “The termination of a treaty or the withdrawal of a party may take place:
            (a) In conformity with the provisions of the treaty; or
            (b) At any time by consent of all the parties after consultation with the other contracting States.

            Vienna Art 70 “1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree, the termination [withdrawal in para 2 references para 1] of a treaty under its provisions or in accordance with the present Convention:
            (a) Releases the parties from any obligation further to perform the treaty;
            (b) Does not affect any right, obligation or legal situation of the parties created through the execution of the treaty prior to its termination.

      • Hope
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        So the U.K. Pays for infrastructure projects across the EU, gives£2 billion in overseas aid to EU to spend, gives overseas aid £159 million direct to EU countries but makes cuts at home and the Tories increase taxes again at the last budget. May then lies to say a fair deal for U.K. Taxpayer! Now she wants to give a further £55 billion plus depending on calculations for a non existent bill! I would rub my hands if the U.K. Wanted to trade with another country.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          @Hope: All these expenditures have been collectively (including the UK) decided upon. The Dutch will continue after 2020 to pay for some solidarity with e.g. poorer regions in Central European countries. All part and parcel of the EU’s philosophy.

          • NickC
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            PvL, A budget is not a financial commitment. The EU is showing both intransigence about a wish list, and spite in demanding we pay for something we won’t “benefit” from. Farage was right: the EU is a mafia extorting protection money.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        It would be tested by the ECJ, of course.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          @Rien Huizer: Or maybe the UN international court of justice (IJC)?, or an arbitration court.
          The ECJ will know most about EU treaty obligations and has recently judged in the UK’s favour against the ECB.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Show us an itemised list then!
      Without that, save your energy.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap: the list has been worked on by both sides in the negotiations. The result (a UK date with reality) is no surprise to me, and it has nothing to do with future trade with the EU.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          Show us an itemised list then!

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            @Sir Joe Soap: I’m not the negotiator, ask Mr Davis.
            If need be use a “humble address” procedure.

        • NickC
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Where’s the list!

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          I think most of us are just shocked at the true amount that has already been agreed to spend on our behalf, we were told it was only £8bn per year in its entirety. In fact George Osborne, David Cameron and Nick Clegg went to great pains to tell us that’s all it was, sorry please Europe don’t be surprised that the British Public are feeling deceived.

          You see Peter when our previous governments (both main parties) realised that our national insurance contributions and those of our employers couldn’t cover our State pension commitments anymore they were renamed a benefit, we all have to pay an extra 2% going up next year to 3% on top of the 12% + 13.8% Ers contribution , oh and we can’t retire till we’re 67, why not simply tell our EU workers sorry you will have to have the same terms as UK pensioners, retire later on less and oo we’re gonna means test it too. Don’t expect us to pay for theirs when our governments won’t honour ours.

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

            @a-tracy: all societies have money problems and less than reliable governments.
            Still, the average Dutchman has a higher net EU contribution than the average Briton, they also retire at 67, and to most of them the EU is about more than just money and self interest. Maybe this illustrates that the UK doesn’t really fit in the EU

          • Bob
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink


            “the UK doesn’t really fit in the EU”

            we can at least agree on that.

        • John C.
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          “Show us the list ,”asked Sir Joe.
          Peter’s reply was “Er, no.
          We just know the gist
          Of this mysterious list,
          But the details are not yours to know.”

        • Qubus
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          In that case, let’s see it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink


      Yes signalling to the rest of the world is important. It is clear that the UK must only pay existing legal obligations, in no circumstances must an agreement look like the EU is extorting money from a willing UK, or that the UK is bribing a willing EU. It does not look like legal obligations at the moment.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Why do you think that? There is no list. UK pays for x years of membership plus its share of projects it committed itself to plus its share of financial contingent liabilities (pensions, guarantees etc). No generosity whatsoever.

        Besides, I reckon that removing uncertainty may well add 1 to 1.8% per annum (!) to UK GDP over the coming four years., between 4 and 7% of EUR 2500 or between EUR 100 and 175 billion Hammond’s share of that will be more than what the UK will pay net..

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Indeed there is no list, therefore there is no calculated sum. In the UK we are used to meeting contractual commitments, not woolly ones. Our companies are obliged by law to have signed off accounts. It tends to prevent corruption of the type you guys in the EU experience day to day.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          @Rien Huizer: If there had been no list, they couldn’t have gone through it line by line, as Mr. Davies has stated.

        • NickC
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Rien, No list, no payments. We have no obligation to pay for “benefits” we won’t receive. The EU must change its budgets to reflect the fact that there will be one less payer and one less receiver.

        • stred
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          The projects were agreed when the UK was a member. Now the UK voted to leave and things have changed. The EU is to be smaller and the second largest paying member is leaving. So cut your projects accordingly. If you don’t want to cut them then get some other mug to pay for your beggars. As you said, beggars can’t be choosers. They can only be thieves if the victim is as useless as our PM.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 13, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

            The Dutch are happy to pay “to most of them the EU is about more than just money and self-interest” PVL above!

            Go on then.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        @Caterpillar: The UK team (Davis) already spoke of legal and moral commitments. The problem is only the British press – how to sell this to the UK public while never having mentioned it during the leave campaign

        • Bert Young
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Peter , You are right ; the press will never be able to sell it to the public because the public are already up in arms about it !. I – like everyone else I know am disgusted with our leadership and the way they have stitched up this deal . Hopefully from now on we will toughen up .

          • Bob
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            “Hopefully from now on we will toughen up .”

            Mrs May has always been a tough talker, although she never follows through with action, it’s just words, and words are cheap.

            You need to judge her by her actions. She has publicly berated Donald Trump on Twitter and her UN representative has publicly criticised him for announcing the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Does this sound like someone seeking a trade deal with the worlds largest economy??

        • John C.
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          “Show us the list ,”asked Sir Joe.
          Peter’s reply was “Er, no.
          We just know the gist
          Of this mysterious list,
          But the details are not yours to know.”

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      PvL, Budgets are not commitments. The EU has already had 8 or 18 months to adjust its budgets to the reality of the UK decision. Why hasn’t it done so? If the UK paid the EU for merely your budgets that would set a dangerous precedent: firstly by allowing international extortion; and secondly by being bribes for trade. Remains are not the only ones who can go to court, or the WTO.

    • APL
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      PvL: “by the UK to pay for its commitments.”

      Over the last 43 years, we’ve paid for our share, now that we’re leaving, can we have a 1/28th share of the new Athens Airport, or the European Union parliament building, 1/28th of the Galileo satellite constellation. 1/28 of the Airbus consortium, and so on and so forth …

      So you want reparations for our leaving, we might just demand reparations for having been held against our will for the last 43 years.

  5. Leaver
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Mrs May might think the payment is contingent but the agreement certainly doesn’t say that, John. I am very worried

    • Hope
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Pro EU media already making a bad deal sound good! The worse of all possible deals, we cannot trade with the world and subject to single market and customs union makes the auK subject to ECJ by another means.

    • Bob
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      @Leaver, If you voted for the establishment parties then you voted to remain regardless of the Referendum. The Tory govt openly campaigned to Remain.

      Yesterday’s “deal” with the EU was put together by a pro Remain government with the assistance of a pro Remain civil service to be ultimately approved by a pro Remain Parliament. If you have any doubt, then you haven’t noticed the glee with which the Remainers have greeted this deal.

      Michael Gove has now confirmed that if you want genuine independence you will need to vote for a pro independence party at the next election.

      • Peter
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        I noted Mr. Gove’s comments about the people having their say on the final Brexit Deal in an election. Unfortunately, both existing governments and newly elected ones can turn a deaf ear to election results when it suits them.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. That we will do next time.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    You are putting a very, very positive spin on it to say the very least.

    The proposed deal is absolutely appalling. It is leaving in name only without gaining any of the real benefits of leaving. As Nigel Farage puts it in his Bloomberg interview, it is a surrender.

    The first time we can sign any trade deals would be the end of 2021. We voted Brexit to have our own laws, have our own courts and control our own borders, to go global and to become more competitive. This deal would prevent all of this. Taxpayers are also paying a huge sum (that is not legally owed) and this just to continue to remain in the EU straight jacket which will cost the economy even more.

    We are agreeing to “regulatory similarity” which will be hugely damaging to the economy and we are even agreeing to the ECJ continuing to have considerable power over us. It is totally unacceptable as proposed.

    It is another bonkers suicide note from socialist remainer May. As was her last idiotic Manifesto.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      We cannot sign trade deals until 2021 but we can negotiate them. This is fine they normally take at least a year and often more. So long as we can get on and negotiate deals, so long as we don’t hand over the bung unless there is a deal it seems to me to be fine as a fudge in order to continue. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed means the govt can and should walk away if there isn’t a good deal.

      • jerry
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        @Richard1; Indeed. Most people know that if the case but the arch eurosceptics will spin it the way they want, even more so when they also want TM gone, she could have come back with all they ask but it still would not be good enough sort of her resignation.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          TM need to go because her economic policies of interventionism, tax borrow and waste, over regulate and green crap are a complete disaster. Regardless of her misguided “Brexit in name only” agenda. Anyway she is a proven electoral liability. She can not even win a majority against the appalling J Corbyn and has not got a clue about what should be in a Tory election manifesto. Vote for me and we will kick you in the teeth is not a good approach.

          • jerry
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

            @LL; I guess that the last GE passed you by, you (or any other on this site) might not like such policies but the electorate did and still do. As for being an electoral liability, indeed she was, since taking a more centrist stance she has become less of a liability, or have you not looked at the opinion polls?

          • Bob
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

            lifelogic is right.
            If you believe that the 2017 GE was a success for the Tories then you need to explain why so she had to buy DUP votes to remain in no.10, and why so many Tory safe seats are now marginals.

            All this while the Labour Party are led by a man that was actually installed by virtue of £3 votes from Tory supporters who did it for a laugh!!

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; I have never said that the 2017 GE was a success for the Tories, never mind for TM, clearly is was not! My point is that far to many people, especially on this site, do not want to look in the correct place for fault and blame, but few ever want to look in the mirror and point…

            As for your second point, well more fools them if they did. But unless they then voted for Corbyn’s manifesto at the GE it shouldn’t have made any difference, except it did, and considering the grubbing the Tories got perhaps they did vote for his manifesto too – I mean, Canterbury of all constituencies (Tory for 150 odd years), a 20.5% swing to Corbyn lead Labour. I can’t see how the student vote can be blamed entirely, if at all, not on an all but 73% turnout. Had the problem been the Brexit result surely the electorate would have swapped their allegiance to the LDs or Green’s but both lost votes.

            If the “TINA” (There Is No Alternative) manta no longer applies to our membership of the EU perhaps many have started to wonder if TINA still applies to the politics of the last 37 years also?

        • Hope
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Trust was broken by May. Foster made it clear she asked for the text five days before Monday and received just before lunch! No End game chat with ministers, how can you take a route to a destination not knowing where it will end up or discuss with the route with the crew? Untrustworthy and lied about a good deal for the taxpayer, look at the last budget, listen to Rudd tell chief constables any request for more money will fall on deaf ears the day after her dept announced it lost 56,000 immigrants including criminals, May’s dementia tax, tax increases including those for savers, give away £55 billion plus contributions, plus £2 billion in overseas aid, plus £159 million directly to EU countries. Then have the audacity to start a lying narrative fair to the U.K. Taxpayer for a non legal blackmail ransom to talk trade! We voted out and no more money, control of borders, courts and laws. Is she and Rudd deaf? May has undermined electoral voting system, what now, seek independence by force from EU like US or Irish? After all Morgan claimed to be a remainer freedom fighter, oxymoron if ever there were.

      • Bob
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        So Article 50 was exactly what Nigel said it was, a delay mechanism.
        2019 has now become 2021, and beyond no doubt.

        • alan jutson
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink


          “….delay mechanism….”

          Seems a fair comment !

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Richard1 said: “We cannot sign trade deals until 2021 but we can negotiate them.” But what rest of the world country wants to hang around that long whilst we fake Brexit?

        We voted to be independent of the EU. Most countries in the world are independent of the EU. None of the difficulties (some real) raised by Remains are insuperable. Why dance to their tune?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Absolutely correct. If it’s a choice between being bled dry by the EU over 10+ years, or Corbyn doing the same job in 5, then getting a good right wing government, maybe we’re better off with Corbyn?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


        let the fact that the countries demand for ever increasing national debt forces a few issues sooner than the political class getting their house in order

    • Tom
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Farage is spot on.

      Every day that the Prime Minister remains in office brings us closer to a Corbyn government and a betrayal of Brexit.

      • jerry
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        @Tom; “Farage is spot on.”

        Talk about the pot calling the kettle filthy, UKIP and Mr Farage have done more to unsettle the political right in this country than anyone, the infighting was bad enough within the Tory party during the early 1990s but at least all but a very few were still batting for the same party…

        • Hope
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Utter rubbish. F not for hm there would be no referendum.

          JR and others still not apologized for Cameron’s Bloomberg speech to deceive the public which turned out to be lies. Cameron, like May now, comes back and claimed he reformed the EU. We were told wethe EU did not cost much, so why the huge divorce bill? May now thinks people will be stupid to believe her Lancaster speech and the EU’s Florence speech she choreographed with them. She let them write their demand in her speech with some if there other demands!

          Davis needs to resign. Let us hope Green gets sacked for watching porn and Davis goes with him. 19 of the 25 ministers are remainers! May letting Clarke, Soubry and Odonis act against govt policy, what a surprise. Who would believe anything Gove says? Untrustworthy back stabber.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            @Hope, Thank you for your snowy Christmas ball gazing!

            If you care to consult political history books though I think you’ll find that it was Mr Cameron, after being pressurised by the likes of our host and his colleagues, who offered and facilitated the referenda (along with a certain Mr Clegg). Heck, when the referenda offer was made, when the European Union Referendum Act 2015 was placed before Parliament, UKIP had no MPs meaning there is was impossible for UKIP to do as you suggest.

            Thus LDs did more than UKIP ever did, were it matters…

          • Bob
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            I think you’re the one doing the ball gazing.

            Let’s get this straight, the Lib Dems voted against having a referendum. David Cameron premised one because the Tories were hemorrhaging support to ukip, obviously in the belief that he would end up with another coalition with Clegg which would render the promise undeliverable. That was the miscalculation that eventually resulted in his resignation.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            @Bob,. UKIP were in no position to facilitate the referendum as they had no MPs at the time FACT, stop trying to guild UKIP’s lilly by rewriting election history!

            “Tories were hemorrhaging support to ukip”

            Exactly my point, and in doing so it allowed europhile parties to win seats in 2010 over an increasingly EU-questioning, if not eurosceptic, Tory party. Mr Farage even boasted to the fact ‘it was UKIP who did it’ -caused the coalition- he proclaimed on the morning of 7th May.

            It would not have taken many more lost Tory seats in 2010 and there would have been no referendum Bill and no referenda, there would have been most likely a (grand) coalition of very europhile parties lead by New Labour, and who knows, had Brown not survived as PM & perhaps Darling as Chancellor, that could have been game over, lead to the end of our opt-outs, the loss of the GBP and the creation of the USE by the eurocrats.

        • NickC
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, It is a mistake frequently made by Tories that UKIP is some sort of “wing” of the Tory party. It isn’t. UKIP is most like the C19th Liberal party in political ethos.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Nonsense, I suggest you try not just reeding but understanding UKIPs (oh so carefully crafted) manifestos.

            Blair was far closer to a 19th Century Liberal party ethos of a Free Market but with a social Conscientious.

          • NickC
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            Jerry, I was just trying to help you. If you don’t want to learn I’m okay with that. Appealing to UKIP members as though we were renegade Tories is a mistake and won’t work.

            As for Blair, he is the antithesis of a C19th Liberal. Blair’s (policy was ed) controlling – just think of his ID card enthusiasm – far from the concept of liberality (not the USA view of liberal, more the Jane Austen view).

          • Bob
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink


            What’s wrong with a carefully crafted manifesto?

            Do you think it should be written on the back of a fag packet like the Labour Party’s one, without being costed, or in the form of a resignation letter like Mrs May’s 2017 effort which cost her majority in the HoC?

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, Bring ID cards in to the debate just proves that you are the one who has no wish to understand, party political propaganda is more important to you. Many Labour MPs and members were against ID cards, as were many Tories MPs and members, even LibDems MP and members – to hear some UKIPers talk anyone would think it was just UKIP who opposed ID cards. For example, NO2ID was a broad church, containing campaign groups, trade unions and cross party support.

            I do not consider UKIP member to be Tory renegades, just unthinking, easily lead (down the garden path). Individual thought appears unwelcome within the party, just look at how the party leadership treated any member, MEP, and even MP, who expressed their own opinion to loudly!

            @Bob; “What’s wrong with a carefully crafted manifesto?”

            Nothing, assuming that it doesn’t mask true intent, in that respect UKIP are no better than Trotskyists…

            It was UKIP’s manifestos that were un-costed, other than vague assertions about how much money the UK would save by not sending money to the EU, and why would they bother with such details, after all whilst they might win a few seats they were never going to form the next govt. – well not as the largest party.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes but they were batting for a Tory party that was, a pro EU, tax borrow and waste, big government, green crap socialist party in the main. Sometimes lying and pretending not to be I admit.

          With May the lie continues.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            @LL; You seem to have difficulty understanding how democracy works I fear, you do not seem to understand that polices need the support of the HoC’s to proceed.

            Mr LL, at times you appear to be someone who will stubbornly carry on stepping upon that wrongly laid garden fork, how ever many times it hits you in the face, being determined never to divert from your chosen course across the lawn. Congratulations on the black eye, but what have have you actually achieved in five years?! 🙂

            As Mr Gove implied yesterday, any A50 Brexit deal is not set in stone.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          UKIP won a European election

          They won the Brexit referendum

          They represent the majority more closely than either Labour or the Conservtives

          They are the majority position on a lot of issues

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            @Iain Gill; Individual MEPs are irrelevant, and unless parties can form effective groups they are largely irrelevant, if they were not the EU would be far more palatable, never mind democratic!

            If a single group has to be named victors then it was Vote Leave, largely devoid of UKIP, who won – otherwise it was simply a loose collective of Eurosceptics who won, be they from Labour, Conservative or indeed UKIP etc.

            As for your last two points, if that is the case then why were they unable to secure more than two MPs in 20 years, yet (leaving aside the special nature of NI politics) parties such as the LDs, the SNP and PC, the latter two also with single issue doctrines, were able to hit well above their weight in the HoC?

          • NickC
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, I can assure you in our area, whilst VoteLeave supplied the bulk of the leaflets, by far the majority of activists were UKIP members, or friends and sympathisers. VoteLeave had the cash, we had the people.

            There was one prominent Tory out of about 30 of us. Our Tory MP was nowhere to be seen – a lukewarm Leaver. The people I met on the streets were Remain, Labour In, LibDems, and Green Leaves, apart from us. No Tories. It was similar in adjacent areas.

          • Bob
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


            As always you disingenuously willfully overlook the poarising effect of our FPTP system, which makes it very difficult for new political parties to achieve a breakthrough, especially when the incumbant parties gang up and even break electoral rules to prevent disruption to their cosy cartel.

            You also obviously took no part in any of the Leave campaigns, or you would know that ukip supporters played a huge part in all of the campaigns, not just the ukip one.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Yes, and in some areas Vote Leave won because of the footwork done by Socialist and eurosceptic Labour groups rather than UKIP or eurosceptic Tories – Vote Leave was a cross party combined effort, at least at grass roots level which is why it probably won official status.

            @Bob; FPTP is not a problem for other ‘minor parties’ the SNP were once a minor party, the Greens have returned a MP for the last three general elections (increasing their swing each time). Why is it that these parties can gain and then keep support but UKIP can’t, not even in what they consider their natural grass roots areas?

            ” or you would know that ukip supporters played a huge part in all of the campaigns”

            Try actually reading what I said, UKIP did not align themselves with Vote Leave unlike other groups (UKIP wanted to run their own campaign, wanting to be the official Brexit group), that is not to say that at street level UKIP members did join with the Vote Leave campaign just as all shades of eurosceptics did.

        • Chris
          Posted December 10, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Rubbish, Jerry.

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

            @Chris; Care to tell me what you consider “Rubbish”, and be specific (not just “everything”), otherwise the only thing that’s rubbish is your debating skills!

            Before you do though, please read my replies to @NickC and @Bob. wee I have expanded on my opinion.

  7. Nig l
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Yes, still very much a work in progress. In the absence of agreed solutions is a give away to the EUbecause all they have to do is refuse to agree! We are a sovereign country so what was she thinking when she agreed 8 years to interfere and as you say, why is she giving our money away ex gratia? Cameron came back and we heard the same spin, good for Britain etc and we know how much he really achieved, almost nothing, as this gets dissected, I suspect that the thinking will go that way.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Yes, the EU have all they need here. Of course they will agree to continue to sell us cars etc, so long as we keep the Americans, Commonwealth and Far East out with high duty levels. They can bleed our financial services business-there’s nothing here to say they can’t. And all the time we keep on paying.
      It’s like we lost a war and are paying reparations.

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

        We’re the first country ever VOLUNTARILY paying reparations

        • Bob
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          It makes me wonder if the deal was signed in a railway carriage.

          • Twinkle
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            It would have been but the train was cancelled due to a snowflake on the line. Eventually the Lib Dem member awoke and walked away but the train had gone, run right over him causing no meaningful injury

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

        But what did the U.K. Obtain? Nothing as far as I can tell.

        • jerry
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          @Hope; Nothing……….Yet.

          There, corrected that for you!

          • NickC
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Since we have capitulated this much, so early, what gives you the confidence that we can recover that appeasement in the future? It will be so very much harder precisely because of this bad Friday deal.

          • zorro
            Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            I haven’t commented for a while, because it is frankly too depressing to think about the abject humiliation heaped on the UK and how everyone will think that we are an easy touch. I hope that T May gets the reward she deserves.

            We will get nothing either. Further demands will come in on various matters from Guy V et al because they know that she will cave in at every opportunity, and who can blame them…. I can guarantee you that there will be no services agreement, and they will charge for access to the SM. We will continue payting in as well and be effectively captive to EU refgulation and the ECJ.

            We are screwed with this deal. There is nothing in it for us. As they say in USA, it is a big fat nothingburger!

            JR can say ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’, but ‘Brexit means Brexit’ also. These are vacuous phrases which mean nothing and are pie crust in the hands of T May. Hammond has already let the cat out of the bag that May will pay whatever even if she doesn’t get a deal… So, we will have a huge exit fee and continual payments for whatever they ask and also for the SM access (because they know that she will pay)

            So really good job guys…. The reds lines have are no longer pink but distinctly yellow,,,,,


          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            @Zorro; If we get nothing but a bad deal, as a whole come mid to late 2018, we still have the option to walk away on WTO terms – bar any proven legal obligations.

            Many political commentators appear to hold the opinion that it was the EU who blinked this week, not TM – did she threatened to walk away?

          • NickC
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            Jerry said: “Many political commentators . . . .”!?!!?!! I hope you are not serious? I think most people stopped trusting “political commentators” years ago. That’s why Brexit was such a surprise to the establishment.

            From May’s “iterim agreement”: “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union …“. That prevents us going for the WTO option, because all the EU has to do is not agree. The EU has us over a barrel, this early.

          • jerry
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            NickC, Unlike you I read and listen to a cross section of opinion, not just the Eurosceptic right wing press. Oh and you’re also mistaking political commentators with political (opinion) pollsters. 🙂

            As for Thursdays agreement, if we do not agree to the end settlement (which will not be known until mid to late 2018) the EU document UKIP is getting all hot under the collar about is irrelevant. Even then, if we do “maintain full alignment” until 2021, as some think we will have to, it will not preclude trade negotiations that can take effect upon the Brexit agreement running its course.

            Nothing will ever be good enough for UKIPers, we could leave on WTO rules tonight, pay not one penny more than we have to date, but UKIP will still complain – it’s all UKIPers have left, or so it seems…

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    We will be stitched up when it comes to trade and rushed into a deal that is bad and expensive because the EU will make it so. How high is the ultimate bill going to be? More than now, I bet. What for? If they can do a deal with Canada then why not us? We have been trading for years and know what is expected in terms of standards etc. We should have walked away and got on with what was important to the UK and spent that money at home. Goodness knows we need it. This will be a bad deal.

  9. Ian Dennis
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union which now or in the future support North-south co-operation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement”

    The only way that works would be for the U.K. to continue indefinitely observing EU rules, norms and standards like Norway — not just during a transition period but as part of a future trade agreement.
    Taxation without representation, that is what we have signed up for.

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

      Spot on. A cash paying colony without a voice. JR and May says this is a god deal!

      Reply I have said this is not a deal – that remains to be negotiated!

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        JR, “Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out below in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail.” That may not be the deal but it is a deal – “shall be reflected” makes that clear.

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

          JR, Hammond and Grayling have already said the U.K. Will pay the EU even without a deal. That is part of leaving deal irrespective what happens. You can not deny it. If you do not support it change your words.

          Reply PM said not so

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

        Reply to reply – Surely you don’t believe that T May will stand firm on handing over the exit bribe only for a good deal?? Hammond has already let the cat out of the bag! She has zero cfedibility and the EU think that she is a pushover. There will be further demands as Tusk has already intimated for phase 2 and she will happily cave in. A UK PM travelling at 0430hrs in the morning to meet a forced deadline imposed by a bureaucrat? Pathetic and hopeless!


      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        John, if you keep up this line of supporting the PM you are going to look silly.

        I hope and assume you are giving some harsh frank advice behind the scenes, and keeping your powder dry publicly.

        Having listened to all your positions over the years you cannot possibly be happy with this current omnishambles.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the Report kicks the can down the road. There is a twofold problem. The first is May’s negotiating strategy and what she really means when she says Brexit means Brexit. The other could be her own self regard – to want to be the PM who negotiated a Brexit deal rather than ending up with a bad deal and no deal. Will personal interest trump national interest when crunch time arrives?

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      To add to my earlier comment after reading the first sixty or so other comments on your post today, the critical issue for May and the Conservative party is the issue of trust or rather lack of it. Many do not trust her to deliver the referendum result because the weight of establishment opinion (and votes) voted Remain and because she is surrounded by like minded advisors in the civil service. I am in the untrusting camp.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Open borders, open doors immigration, handing lots of money across, subject to their rules

    What exactly is the point?

    This is not brexit in reality…

    • Enrico
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      May should have gone to the EU just after she became PM with a letter stating exactly what the U.K. voted for.She then should have said you have 3 months to decide whether you agree to these terms,if not we say bye bye and go onto WTO terms.End of story.

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

        “No deal” is better than what the clowns in charge of our negotiation will come up with, so suggest we just go for that. That is a far better starting position to evolve from subsequently.

  12. mickc
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I refer the Honorable Gentleman to my previous statement…”May was, is and always will be, useless”.
    The true meaning of the statement you quote is that we do what we are told by the EU.
    Things have to change in this country. I now understand the Labour landslide of 1945; any change was better than returning to the status quo ante bellum. I suspect the next election will be similar and Corbyn will win.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      As May said in another context “Nothing has changed”
      I think this will turn out be the definition of her Premiership.
      Things will certainly change with Corbyn.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        If people like me don’t vote conservative they have no chance of winning

        Maybe if the unthinkable happened like joining forces with ukip

        Otherwise we are number one on the runway for the corbyn venesala solutions

        I don’t think the political class realise what a mess they have got us into

        • NickC
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          Iain (and Sir Joe), I think the problem is the bulk of the Conservative party doesn’t trust us, doesn’t like us, doesn’t believe us, and won’t learn until Corbyn/McDonnell are actually in power. They made the same mistake over the Leave vote. Mind you, I don’t think Tory voters will vote Corbyn, but they’ll certainly stay at home in sufficient numbers.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            They will stay at home like we did at the last election forcing a minority government.

            And they have still done nothing about stealing families houses to pay for the oldest members care, while the feckless get the care for free paid for by the first family through their taxes too. Despite basically having lost the election on that issue.

            Clueless and arrogant, far too insular, and surrounded by “group think”.

            The silent majority are getting very cheesed off.

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

          UKIP are more Conservative than the Tory party are.

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

      It was a weak and divided Conservative party that brought us to Brexit.

      We should have killed it in 2010.

      I cannot bring myself to vote for it again. I will not listen to the Daily Mail telling me “We ask you to hold your nose to keep Labour out.”

      This is not a democracy.

      There is no point.

      • Bob
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        The question is, can the Establishment parties pull the wool over the eyes of the public long enough that it becomes impossible to regain sovereignty?

  13. David Price
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I admit to being a bit deflated yesterday with the first headlines but I’ve read through the report a couple of times and have started to wonder just how much has been given away. It definitely needs financial and legal analysis along with some understanding of civil service mind-set.

    I don’t claim any expertise in those three areas but it is clear to me we are leaving so I’m not sure why the remainers are celebrating so much. Particularly as at first blush it appears the UK gets ridiculously less from the arrangement so why would they celebrate such humiliation? If this went too far it would make it much harder for even remainer MPs to accept a final deal. It’s almost as if the EU is being handed a piece of rope that Schultz, Verhofstadt and co are already taking advantage of.

    They key will be the trade discussions, mutual recognition and repeal of the ECA.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Under this proposal we are not really leaving at all. They have just changed the name to “Regulatory Similarity”, just as the constitution became the Lisbon treaty and it was then rammed down the public’s throats.

      A turd by any other name would smell as foul.

      • Leaver
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        You have been played for a fool.

        Didn’t you see it coming?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Bob, isn’t it funny how nobody trusted Farage but he has proved to be the only straight talking person in all this mess.

      • David Price
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        The report does not say “regulatory similarity”. It says;

        49. … In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with 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.

        50. 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.

        It all depends on how you interpret these words but the simplest appears to be Eire-NI specific

        The next stage will tell. For what it is worth I think we will end up with no deal.

    • mancunius
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      The Remainers celebrate all our negotiation defeats as they see it as a step towards a re-joining referendum they cockily think they will win.
      The worse the deal, the better they feel.

  14. Richard1
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    All sounds pretty general and non committal, which is good news. Maybe what’s happened here is a face saving form of words to get the EU and the Irish govt out of the corner they had painted themselves into. The govt should approach phase 2 in a friendly and co-operative spirit and of course be ready for compromises. But it’s essential to be prepared fully for no Deal and to be very clear that if there isn’t a good deal, meaning free trade Inc financial services, there will be no Deal. And if there’s no Deal there will be no money. This is the way to get a good deal.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Not good enough.
      The can can’t be interminably kicked down the road on this.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        This deadline was always artificial. The can can be kicked down the road until 29 March 2019. At that point there will either be a deal or there won’t be.

    • zorro
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes Richard1, but you must feel in your heart of hearts that no such deal will be offered or rather laughingly negotiated, and T May will not walk away, and will accept a bad deal. Admit it, I have, you just know that is how it will play out.


  15. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    If I were the EU during the trade negotiations I’d start off by demanding an annual payment for single market access – there seems to be an excellent chance May/Hammond would pay.

    • Bob
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      WW2 would have been avoided if the British Civil Service had been controlled by the Reichstag.

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

        Well, WW2 certainly would have been avoided if the current British Civil Service were in office in the 1930/40s as they would have granted Hitler everything, and perhaps even an anschluss fee!


  16. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    You’re being wishy-washy here and avoiding facing up to the reality of your colleagues’ behaviour and the net outcome for the UK with this statement.

    May has just effectively snubbed the US with this EU deal, just to top up telling Trump what he can and can’t re “tweet”, and who he can and can’t let into the US. Yes, the US, and a democratically elected President has been dissed by her while she cosies up to the EU, which we voted to Leave.

    Do you admit that agreeing either an FTA or regulatory alignment with the EU will hobble our ability to agree deals with the US and many other parts of the world?
    Do you agree that the government has thereby sacrificed the potential for good deals with countries where our exports are growing, to permit a “good” deal with the faltering EU?
    Do you think that when 17.4 million people voted to Leave, they actually voted for align themselves with EU regulations and pay for the privilege?

    You’re continuing to hitch yourself to the wrong wagon, I’m afraid.

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

      May’s pathetic virtue signaling over the Trump re-tweet of a re-tweet was very damaging and foolish. Given the huge mistakes made by the security forces over the recent terror attacks, as Rudd partly explained, perhaps May will now take Trump’s sensible advice to consentrate on stopping Islamic terrorists rather than worrying about Twitter.

      • Bob
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        It doesn’t stop there, the British have joined the baying mob criticising POTUS for carrying out his election pledge to move his Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

        It appears to be part of the Tory’s policy to undermine their Brexit negotiating position.

        • stred
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          Mr Frei on LBC criticised Trump for ‘picking a fight’ with Mrs May. He should have just said ‘Yes dear’ and not mentioned her jihadi problem.

        • zorro
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          It’s in their DNA….


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

      Worse, she supports illegal takeover of an elected president in the Ukraine, a hostile threat from Cameron and the EU Russia to March to the Urals and has the bare faced cheek to criticize an allay who stated to support our country post Brexit and would intervene if the U.K. were punished.

      May is an embarrassment to our great nation. Through her action on mass immigration has tried to rid us of national identity, culture and values. She has now delivered our country on its knees to the EU as a cash cow colony. She has to be ousted.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Agreed and the sooner the better.

  17. Duncan
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I know this is a farce and Mr Redwood knows it’s a farce but cannot say so

    The Commons is predominantly pro-EU. The Lords is predominately pro-EU. The snivelling Civil Service is pro-EU and May and her grotesque Chancellor is pro-EU. In the light of this it should come as too much of a surprise to learn that the possibility of the UK leaving the EU is virtually nil

    Victor Hill, an economist, composed a superb article regarding Brexit, the danger of the Tories falling apart and the real threat of Corbyn to the UK. It is well worth reading. It lays bare the dangers we are all facing now from both the EU and from Labour

    Indeed Mr Hill appeared to believe that even the most ardent of Tory Brexiteers believe we have only about 40% chance of a clean, full Brexit

    Brexit is dead it it were ever alive in the first place

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Also academia is very largely pro EU and the BBC and ITV, Channel 4 & 5 are outrageously biased to pro EU too. They are wrong on this, just as they usually are on energy, climate alarmism and their lefty big state, high regulation economics.

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

      Agreed. It is a terrible situation, I thought we we were simply voting to stay in the EU or leave – a clean Brexit, but it appears not. As Dr Redwood notes “maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union” – in other words no change, be in the free market and customs union and Conor to the lack of ethics and lack of freedom that goes with these. It is a shocking statement.

  18. Chris
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    This deal with the EU makes us a satellite state of the EU, which the people will not accept. Spot on D Tel. Please do not try to spin it as anything else as that only makes the government and politicians look even worse:

  19. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    At the present it is poppycock. No deal is now the only option.

  20. James neill
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Somebody should tell that Farage that we have our own establishment here a lot of them not elected, the Lords 800, the Royal Famiy all unelected and a huge civil service all unelected

    • John C.
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s all right , then. Phew!

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

    The real question as always been, why did Tory MP’s vote for May as of our party?

    If this leader isn’t removed before the next GE Corbyn will win simply because far too many traditional Labour voters think that Labour is still the party of Atlee

    If Corbyn wins where does that leave the UK-EU relationship? Corbyn and his Marxist sidekick McDonnell have always been Eurosceptics but being politicians they would and will quite readily change direction for political gain

    The next 2 years, the weakness at all levels (organisation and its adherence to the liberal left) of the Conservative Party and the possibility of a radical leftist government, will determine the future of the UK

    If Corbyn secures power his hatreds and his prejudices will be manifest in legislation.

    I blame every Tory MP who voted for May as leader of our party. On your heads be it

    • hefner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      How many times do you need to be corrected? In the last “round”, Mrs May was not elected, she was the last one standing after the ridiculous choice of Andrea Leadsom to represent the Leavers. Once Mrs Leadsom gave up, it was Mrs May without any type of elections.
      As for your comment about politicians changing direction for political gain, does it not apply to most (all?) politicians? Think of Mr Gove.

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, Whilst true that Mrs May wasn’t voted in – but became a shoo-in courtesy of 1922 committee wheeler-dealing – if Tory MPs had made their opposition to May felt, another candidate would have magically appeared. In essence Duncan is correct, Tory MPs must bear the responsibility.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Gove is the reason we have to suffer the wrong on everything T May. Leadsom or Boris would have been far better than T May. Indeed almost anyone would have been.

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

    Can we stop pretending that UK citizens who live in EU countries are the same beast as the vast majority of EU citizens who live in the UK? Be honest for once – huge swathes of unskilled UK workers don’t go to European countries to do menial tasks because they know the benefit system will top them up. And they don’t take their whole families to live 10 to a flat.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Dear Dave–A very sensible comment

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Huge swathes of expensive retirees clogging up the French and Spanish health systems. That is what a Frenchman or Spaniard could say with the same sort of uninformed conviction..

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Those health systems get reimbursed by the UK taxpayers, while the IHS, due to shody book keeping, does not.

        And those countries could do with the foreign exchange too!

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Which our NHS pays for.

      • anon
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Costs which are reimbursed by the UK. Which allow economies of scale.

        The spending which if repatriated to the UK would expand the UK economy.

        Then there is the fact that most will probably be self funded and not net claimants on the locals

        Maybe this is the reason the EU wants to insist that EU, non UK citizens are entitled to benefits.

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

        Read up pal – the NHS pays for all of them.

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink


        But the invoice for such treatment is sent to the HNS is it not !

        Those retirees also spend a considerable sum of foreign exchange (Pounds Sterling) in the Countries in which they reside probing up that countries economy do they not.

      • ian wragg
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Utter tripe as usual. The pensioners spend their money and the NHS refunds in full the health charges .
        Without the retirees, many French and Spanish towns would become unviable.

      • zorro
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Paying lots of money into the Spanish economy which would collapse in some parts of the country without them. Are these UK pensioners claiming French/Spanish benefits? What a lot of rot!


  23. Original Richard
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    If the EU does not agree to any of our proposals for the Ireland/N.I. border then we remain in the SM and CU with “full alignment” meaning that we accept all the rules of the SM/CU including freedom and movement and with no ability to make trade deals with other countries etc..

    Since we will also be continuing to make our EU budget payments, expected to increase as the years roll on, the EU will have no motive to agree to any proposal and consequently we will be trapped in the EU without any voting rights.

    Mrs. May’s agreement to implement all new EU legislation without any veto or voting rights could leave us totally exposed to increased EU expenditure and decisions on the EU’s expansion for Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldovia, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine to become EU members.

    And no return of control of our assets (fishing grounds).

    Those voters who voted to leave the EU have been betrayed by an EU supporting PM who is not respecting the result of the referendum.

    Hence the willing acceptance of this deal by the UK’s EU supporters.

  24. alan jutson
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I wish I could be as positive as you John, unfortunately I cannot.

    This looks like a one sided stitch up to me, we have not really got anything positive out of this at all.

    ECJ still in control, New EU rules during any transition period, a huge sum of money to be paid for possible free trade (which means its not free trade) with no hint of such.
    No control over immigration until we leave, special status for up to 8 years for immigrants from the EU already here and yet to come.
    The Irish border a smugglers paradise for goods and people.

    In my view it is 6 months completely wasted when we could have been planning and working for WTO terms and not subjecting ourselves to humiliation.

    Due you really think May will have the courage and backbone to walk away now or eventually if the EU will not agree on trade or anything else in the next round.?

    It all promised so much 18 months ago, now we see our politicians have gained so little because they have no vision or pride in our Country, they (the majority) have become brainwashed by 45 years of subservience to the EU.

    • John C.
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a fact, it’s an opinion, but a correct one. Rarely has a country lost such confidence in itself and become so fearful and dependent. We’re still perfidious Albion, though. Perfidious to our own population.

  25. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The front page of the Telegraph shows the price we are paying just to talk about trade.
    Every red line crossed.
    Now we will have the theatre of being offered some pale agreement on goods not services.
    No doubt policed by the ECJ.
    We will have to pay an annual contribution which roughly equates to the net payment for the privilege.
    Associate status and unable to do deals with third parties and all the relatives of the EU coming to access benefits. Adjudicated by the ECJ of course.
    100% sellout.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Dear Ian–Surely it won’t be the ECJ doing the policing–That would be the outside of enough almost by definition

      • ian wragg
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Not for the traitorous baskets in Westminster it won’t.

  26. am
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink
    Formerly a strong brexiteer this article shows that Gove has caved and will not vote against a non-brexit and dares shift the responsibility from himself to the voter in effect negating the referendum result and making a general election a second referendum. An outrageous sell out by the man who sold out Boris Johnson. Surely Gove was a remain plant all along as others no doubt are and will be gradually be seen as sell out.
    One of Mugabe’s achievements was to place Zanu plants in the MDC to disrupt and sell outat the appropriate time.
    Further this hysteria about tying Brexit to a corbyn election victory jus shows how dishonest the tories are. Who won the next election was no condition of the referendum but it is now being used as a condition. The sooner they are gone the better.

  27. Terry Mushroom
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Who do I believe now? I just don’t know.

    How would I vote tomorrow? I’d express my opinion by writing “None of the above” on the ballot paper.

    My fear is that unless matters change rapidly there is only the streets. Be assured that I’m a social conservative who seeks balance and the middle way in politics.

  28. Oggy
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    We’ll Dr Redwood, as I said last week, ‘didn’t she do well !’ You are putting out a positive message about TM’s EU deal when we can all see it is just ONE BIG FUDGE.
    She’s just put Corbyn in number 10 at the next soon to be GE, because as I am seeing in the various media the Brexiteers now want to punish May and the Tories by voting for Corbyn and everything that comes with him, and it will be deserving.
    What happened to the ‘red, white and blue Brexit’, or ‘Brexit means Brexit’ ? Or more importantly what happened to the Tory party ?
    Your only hope of salvation now is to replace Mrs May with Jacob Rees Mogg ASAP.

    • Jane4brexit
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      JRM 4 PM!

  29. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I think you have put a very positive spin on this report, which appears to have been written to justify how much (or how little) work the civil servants have been doing recently.

    The EU are obviously trying to achieve two ends…firstly, to extort as much of our money as they can and secondly, to drag the whole thing out as long as possible in the hope that we will change our minds.

    I was never a fan of Mrs Thatcher, but she was able to stand up to the foreigners and won some meaningful concessions. What has Mrs may achieved? Seemingly whatever it is it’s going to cost us about £40b which should be spent on our priorities not theirs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      The DUP MPs are not foreigners.

  30. Oggy
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I used to be proud of this once great nation and all it has achieved, and that GB stood for GREAT Britain, now GB and Garbage Bin seems to be more apt.

  31. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Congratulation, Mr Redwood, this sounds sensible. The Brexit Ultra persona seems to have a day off. Progress.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      If the resident Brussels spokesperson likes it then we definitely are being stitched up.
      I notice on the other blogs, the EU trolls are laughing at us.
      What has happened to this once great country and by a so called Tory government at that.

      • Bob
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        “What has happened to this once great country and by a so called Tory government”

        It’s a long story, but it started with the Frankfurt School, and their strategy to destroy conservatism by infiltration and subversion, the results of which you are now observing.

    • zorro
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      There you go JR – that says it all about this matter


  32. Sally
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I heard Gove on the radio this morning saying if we do not like it we can always change the government at the next election. This initially sounded like ‘if you don’t like it, you can always vote Labour’ with the veiled threat of what they would do! However, on reflection, this could be UKIP’s moment to start getting organised. If Farage (the only credible leader really) could field enough UKIP candidates, I’d vote for them.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Sally, so would I in a heartbeat. It would really humiliate the Tories to lost to UKIP and would be better than Corbyn.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Dear Fedup–And if our host had quit the Tories when he should have done at the critical time and joined UKIP and fought a by-election (not to mention winning that) the position would be quantum jumps better now–Chances are he would be Chancellor with Farage as PM. I view the (“effing”, quoting the previous PM) Tories with horror these days–the silly newspaper headlines likewise.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Dear Sally–There are many who would, certainly including me

  33. Kenneth
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The joint report seems to be deliberate fudge with something for everyone.

    We need to step up planning Brexit on a WTO basis as the longer this goes on the more of our assets are being sent abroad.

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth, The vast majority of our economy is domestic, about 72% of our GDP. Another c17% of our GDP consists of exports to the rest of the world under WTO rules. No Remain that I have seen has addressed fairly how little of our GDP depends on exports to the EU (c11%).

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Dear Kenneth–We should indeed complete planning for WTO–We should inform the rEU that they have treated us unreasonably and inimically thus far and that if they do not rapidly become a lot more neighbourly in agreeing a trade deal we really shall walk away–Better late than never–Am I alone in detecting that they are beginning to realise that they (net) export to us?–As a great little letter in the Torygraph recently had it, why should we be paying to buy a trade deficit?

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

    On the face of it and in theory there is not much for leavers to be concerned about. Yesterdays headlines were as usual exaggerated hype or even faux sensationalism. However what this statement means in practice is that nothing has been agreed other than to save the EU negotiators face as the devil is in the detail and that has been swept under the carpet for now. The UK has in fact scored a partial victory as talks can now move on much to the chagrin of the EU negotiators no doubt. They will of course be looking to extract their pound of flesh and vengeance later on so a no deal is still much on the cards but less likely.

    It appears to me that wiser EU heads have recognised that EU intransigence and vindictiveness was making them look bad. So by allowing the the talks to move on the EU now look like nice guys and gals again and can if future talks stall point the finger at the UK and say they are now the bad ones and are being unreasonably difficult.

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The farce continues, I am beginning to lose faith in all MPs. The majority voted for a clean break not a likely 10,000 page multi year agreement with unaffordable ex gratia payments to a profligate, undemocratic, unaudited organisation.

    The EU has lots of form in reversing decisions the politburo don’t like and this is another example, albeit by stealth and working their vested interests very skillfully.

    Once this feeble cabinet puts on the table to we, the people, what the final stitch up is, the only option I can see is another referendum with the question:

    Do you want an unconditional exit on 29/03/19?


    Do you accept this agreement?

    • cornishstu
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      My view too, the majority of those we have elected to represent us cannot be trusted to carry our democratic will. So we need to have our say once more and in my opinion on a few more of the big decisions, such as HS 2 etc. I also see that there is a petition for such with the added choice of staying in, what part of we have voted to leave do these people not get!

  36. majorfrustration
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Surely its time that the UK now made it clear that if further talks have not achieved the broad basis of an agreement/understanding on trade come end of 2019 then we will walk away and concentrate on preparing the UK for WTO. Its time the pressure was put on the EU.

    • Dennis Perrin
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Hear hear

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Really? Was there not a sort of preliminary agreement to the contrary?

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Rien, No. Cite this “preliminary agreement to the contrary”. Who signed it? When was it voted on, in Parliament?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Not going to happen. WTO is not an option. May has already agreed we’ll stay compliant with Single Market & Customs Union even if there is a no deal outcome. That means no trade deals with other countries. The EU have pocketed that pledge – it is not contingent on anything.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        It is contingent on everything being agreed.

        • Leaver
          Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          No Dennis, it is not. Roy is correct. Read para 50 of the Joint Agreement.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

            I have read it, thanks. And you should read not only the remarks at the start which condition everything that follows, but also a statement of the same core principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” in the European C0uncil’s April guidelines:


            “2. Negotiations under Article 50 TEU will be conducted in transparency and as a single package. In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately … ”

            This is not something that the UK has just invented off its own bat, it is a core principle accepted by both sides.

  37. Newmania
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    This is just unbearable. Shall I explain to you what has actually happened?
    The money the EU want has been handed over. It matters not a fig whether all is agreed or not the principles behind it have been agreed and that’s that. It is contingent on nothing .
    The EU have allowed the UK to tell any lie they like about what the final bill which is why there is no figure. Come on I thought you UKIP volk were good at sniffing out a convenient EU obfuscation, wake up!
    You will never know the true size of the bill, not for decades, the best guess has to be it is exactly what they said they wanted and more .
    The rest of it is gaseous blurb signifying nothing
    There as never any question of anyone being told to go home on any side so that’s not an agreement, and the jurisdiction is a load of ‘so what’. Either works; nobody cares .
    The wish to have an open Irish Border, and yet a closed one , by virtue of “alignment “ and eerrm magic, sits where it did in nut case territory, and on Trade they have agreed nothing.
    So, to summarise, for the hard of thinking, we have handed over our children`s cash to be allowed in to see the headmaster.
    Hope makes you proud, not sure I have felt my chest swell so much since I saw our PM grovelling around Donald Trump,.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 1:46 am | Permalink

      Not a penny has been paid to the EU.

  38. Alison
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This ‘deal’ is a sell-out of Brexit.
    We the public need to give our help, desperately urgently. So Dr Redwood, (and a plea to fellow spirits here) I am here to help, and I can roll my sleeves up.
    The impending Cabinet discussion re ‘end state’ is extremely important. We cannot have the Cabinet producing a marzipan-fudge wrapped pro Single Market, pro CU position (which will also mean the EU Commission will demand and get ECJ jurisdiction), but I fear it will.
    Duncan says that the Commons, Lords, are predominantly pro-EU. At Lancaster House speech time that MPs were quietened, tamed because they were worried about 2 things – losing their seat, and being seen to be undemocratic (going against the will of the people). Because Brexiteers have been ousted from the Cabinet (Mr Gove seems to be a yea-saying weathervane, Boris kept too busy .. sent to Iran for the Cabinet discussion next week??), and because there has been so little in the media supporting, explaining, encouraging – indeed, the BBC has been orchestrating this (good economic news hidden, insinuation, massive imbalanced panels) – these MPs think they can get away with reverting to their Remain position, rejoicing in the text of article 49 of this agreement.
    We the public need to express our opinion so that it is heard, but we need to bolster it too.

    It would also help to get rid of Mrs May, and get those senior civil servants into line (who I think should be sacked and prosecuted).

  39. Mick
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    What’s your bet that Mrs May is going to get the worst deal possible because let’s face it she is a Remainer, then she’ll u-turn on not giving another referendum because she doesn’t want to leave the eu, but this time it would be rigged in the Remoaners favour

  40. Tweetie Pie
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed Channel Four’s interview with Dominic Raab 8th December 2017
    “Dominic Raab on Brexit deal: ‘It’s your wilful inability to accept that we’ve actually made a positive step forward’ ”
    It went viral on Twitter and interesting because the viral tweeters for the most part sillily thought his pronounced argument had been trounced thoroughly be the interviewer. It is easy for the Labour Party and Lib Dems to pick up votes from our university wallahs who people Twitter. Badly educated indeed.The Education Secretary and PM should not continue barking on about how great our education system. Quite obviously it is nothing of the kind.

  41. formula57
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    May looks like she is delivering a betrayal. I would rather even have Corbyn handle matters from now on if that is the only alternative and hope in his aftermath for some sensible deal a few years hence should anyone proper be elected.

  42. Yossarion
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I can only conclude We are being held inside the constraints of the EU for as long as possible to set up another referendum in about Ten years time when the Gerrymandering immigration demographics will work in their favor. We keep hearing so much about the Belfast agreement, that agreement that created the British Irish Council that the English have No representation on, Just who is fighting for England?
    I believe the ECJ was made law as part of the Lisbon treaty, the constitution We were promised a referendum on that never happened, We now end up with a Law that would never have been implemented had We been given the vote as promised in the GE at the time.

  43. BOF
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you are doing your best to show this deal in a positive light. Not nearly as positive as Mr Gove. He thinks that we can change it at the next election! But we can only vote on the manifestos put forward by the parties, who then invariably do whatever they please.

    By any stretch of the imagination this is a very poor deal, the result of appeasement and capitulation and Ireland, apparently, able to hold the UK to ransom.

    The long delay in escaping the EU will be bad for business, preventing free trade with the rest of the world. It appears that the EU fears a free trading UK.

    This is not the free independent United Kingdom that we voted for.

    Reply As I have set out this is not the deal! Lets judge if and when we get to a deal. Meanwhile lets carry on preparing for exit under WTO terms

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Comment to Dr Redwood’s reply – when will preparations for exit under WTO terms ( and a full clean Brexit) be completed sufficiently to be publicly declared executable? An option is not an option unless it can be executed. I suspect many would have more confidence in the Govt if we knew that the option were ready.

    • piglet
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply…

      It’s the direction of travel though, John. That is what is alarming and angering us all.

    • zorro
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – the borders are a mess and not ready or on the way to being fit for purpose. The lack of preparedness was self evident when the HASC was questioning the Border Force SCS recently…..


    • Qubus
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      “Let’s judge if and when we get a deal….”
      does this mean we should can reverse it at a GE?

  44. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Mrs May went to Brussels on Monday ready and willing to sign a ‘deal’ which she now says was inferior to the one she agreed yesterday. How can she command confidence, support or respect? There is a strong whiff of betrayal in the air as your colleagues rally round her. It seems this was more about her keeping her job than anything else. I find the whole ‘negotiation’ a charade and as phase 2 begins we shall see more stage-managed theatricals before Mrs May capitulates yet again to EU demands. Someone has said old Tory adage “In Europe but not run by Europe” has now changed to “Out of Europe but run by Europe” – has ring of truth about it.

  45. Bert Young
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    It is now 10.15 am and I have just read all the responses ; these infer considerable disagreement with the so called “deal”. I join ranks with these sentiments . From now on we start a second round of talks and if they progress in any way like the first round I believe we are sunk . The problem is in the Cabinet and the extent of compromise that persists ; sadly we do not have a leader who is cut out to insist on a hard line , Theresa has from the word go suffered from a disgruntled Hammond who has used the Treasury as his support weapon . Change must now occur .

    John reminds us that “nothing as agreed until everything is agreed “;- very well , this means we now have to negotiate with the EU from a different footing – one that is based on the principle of a proud and independent people . It is in the hands of the 1922 committee to start the process and deliver us a leader from the right wing of the Party .

  46. Dennis Perrin
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    We need an itemised list clearly stating how we have taken back control by March 2019. Every penny of donations the EU needs explaining. Transition periods need defining the reasons why. Fuzzy language with double meanings or obfuscation needs putting into English.

  47. Paul Cohen
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Article 50 calls for both parties to negotiate and conclude an agreement. This indicates an assumption of goodwill on both sides to conduct proper talks and in a businesslike manner.

    However this is not the EU way! Whereas the UK can be relied on to follow rules to the letter, the EU is known to be adept at bending rules if to their advantage. The EU strategy so far has been to obfuscate, delay matters and blame the UK for any hold-up in proceedings. They have also tried to stir up discontent and demoralise events in the UK to the extent of suggesting we think again about leaving and have another referendum ( a well known EU ploy that has suceeded for them before) They will spin matters to the point that it is out of sight, all the while seeking to undermine the UK position – time is on their side and we must deny them this.

    We ought now give the EU an ultimatum of our own, stating that unless we see satisfactory progress within a certain time frame we will consider that an agreement is now improbable and will seek a different route under WTO rules.

  48. Dennis Perrin
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Is loyalty to your PM more important than integrity?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      I think you know the answer to that. The same record with Cameron who we could all see was screwing up royally. He ran away and this one will.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      What is important is that there is no General Election because Corbyn could well win given the state of the Conservatives.

      That’s why Gove and Johnson supported the deal.

    • zorro
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Clearly – and you only have one life to make an impact in your chosen field. Regrets can be very bitter and pervading…..


  49. Annette
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    No Deal is better than this deal.
    Time for true Brexiteers to stand firmly for what they believe in & start a new campaign for No Deal.
    There is no point in trying to spin or defend May’s abject & unnecessary capitulation as she has effectively destroyed the Conservative Party & any values that it once had. Anyone trying to defend her ‘pieces of paper’ will fall with them. No-one will forget that May’s betrayal follows the same from Cameron. He only won a majority so we could have a referendum. May lost her majority because nobody believed that she didn’t want to sign away our country without some form of challenge.
    Hard it may be, you should resign the whip. I sincerely hope that you & others can form a party with traditional Conservative values & committed to us leaving ‘properly’. This now can only mean a No Deal. The people need a proper party to vote for, & the Tories are burned toast, whatever happens.

    • zorro
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      It is strange – surely JR must see that the Tories are toast after this. What is there to lose?… alea iacta est


  50. Sarah
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I believe that TM has done an excellent job of getting all matters moved on the session 2 of the trade arrangements. Most of the detail of the “divorce arrangements” will be worked out in that context.

    I am sure you would agree with me that the UK must pursue its interests with ruthless pragmatism rather than idealogical purity , subject to maintaining focus on sovereignty and taking control of borders and trade.

    Most of what we are seeing at present in just grandstanding of which the SNP are the most obvious exponents.

  51. Andrew S
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I think we Brexiteers need to punish the tory MPs for their bad behaviour. Let us vote them out and take away what they prize – MP seats. If they can’t deliver what we want then they can’t have what they want. We can handle the consequences we are the resolute Brits.
    Doing so will focus minds.

  52. graham1946
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I don’t see why there will be considerable debate over the meaning of the ‘alignment’ statement.

    I’d say in plain English it just invited the EU to offer us a rubbish deal and we will then simply stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union (and by definition keep paying)

    What happened to your previous idea that the government were not legally permitted to offer money to the EU which was not part of the Treaties?

    Your spin is turd polishing par excellence.

  53. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The emphasis on ‘nothing is a agreed…..’ is merely a device to deceive us, a smokescreen. The idea that the treacherous May and her Remainer clique will demand renegotiation of any of the concessions agreed by her or reject any at any time in the future is ludicrous. She will need to sent with a gun at her back to get any change.

    The details announced were clearly settled months ago and the ‘negotiations’ nothing of the sort, merely a charade. May is simply an EU puppet and supporter and is more than happy to go along with its demands.

    We have been sold out, and it is really time Mr Redwood and others who claim to want the UK completely out of the EU and others like him started to declare their positions clearly and act, including of course members of the cabinet. To do nothing is to give tacit approval. The longer May is allowed to travel the path she is on the worse it will get for the our country and it will become impossible to row back. She and the EU know this and are acting accordingly.

    May and others must be removed from office. She and they have betrayed the democratic will of the people, and conspired to do so over a long period.

    There are many traitors in our midst; there should be no place for them, nor for Quislings and collaborators. Is direct action the peoples only recourse now?

  54. Tad Davison
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Maybe instead of a forensic explanation, we ought to just substitute the words ‘typical Tory fudge’.

    That’s usually what happens whenever they try to sell the public a bad deal and wish to blind us all to what is really going on, just like when Cameron came back with his ‘thin gruel’ deal and then tried to wrap it up as a resounding victory.

    We’ve had enough of the Tories putting party before country. We’ve also had enough of the Tories putting the EU before the UK. It’s about time they recognised that through forcing this bilge on to us, they have alienated large swathes of their core support and are literally facing political oblivion.

    Lord Hailsham once said: Give the country social reform, or they will give us social revolution!

    That wholly applies now more than ever. Out means out!

    Tad Davison


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s deja vu all over again, isn’t it?
      Cameron was on the wrong side of history and I trust that May will be too.
      We have to hope that Farage is keeping his powder dry to pocket those 17.4 million votes for UKIP when the true nature of this betrayal becomes even more obvious.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      It really is over for them. I don’t think they get it.

    • longinus
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Vote Corbyn, get Rees-Mogg. Sounds good to me.

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    For many years some of us have pointed out that only a small part of our economy is involved in trade with the rest of the EU but all of our economy is subject to the drag of EU law, and so now we will have to be careful that this silly and highly undesirable feature of EU membership is not made even more silly and kept just as undesirable after we have actually left the EU.

    Which is what would happen if for the sake of maintaining a completely open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic the whole of the UK and the whole of our economy had to remain subject to EU law.

    Just to give some numbers, in 2016 our exports to the rest of the EU corresponded to 12.2% of our GDP – taking into account the various distortions it would have been closer to 10% – but just for the sake of making life easier for exporters to the EU every business in the UK had to conform to EU law. But out of all that, exports of goods from Northern Ireland to the Republic amounted to only 0.1% of our GDP.*

    Are we going to allow every business in the UK to remain bound by EU law because of the Irish government’s absurd, extreme and intransigent refusal to contemplate any kind of controls over imports of goods corresponding to 0.1% of the UK’s GDP? That would be literally a hundred times sillier than what we have at present.

    * On page 9 in this House of Commons Library report:

    in 2016 Northern Ireland goods exports to Ireland were worth £2.4 billion, which would correspond to 0.1% of UK GDP.

  56. anon
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    This is a farce, and its embarrassing that a so called democracy has been completely hijacked by powers which are obviously unaccountable to the public.
    This is a shameful display.

    There is no “Trade agreement in the world worth what you have already implicitly agreed” Despite having little support in the UK population for this.

    Everything you say we have “won” was already ours and should never ever have been up for discussion.

    EU citizens need to understand that or leave.

    Your Joking: This is a win for a sovereign nation.

    The UK has won some of the important arguments over citizens rights.
    It is important that EU citizens living in the UK are under UK law.

    If this gets voted through by our so called “parliament” that’s it for me. This country is no longer a democracy. Events will then follow

    We need to start unorthodox tactics,
    – starting with the BBC, stop watching live TV claim a refund.
    – start prefixing sentences despite not living in democracy.
    – never ever vote for any remainer MP who subscribes to this.
    – never ever vote for an MP unless they have a proven voting record. Ignore what they say in the non legally binding manifestos.

    Sorry .. this is going to get a raspberry from the public if your amazingly lucky.

    Just stop talking and quit. I want nothing less than that.

  57. Jane Northam
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea why those who are suggesting this is a fudge are expecting anything else. It HAS to be fudge because the order of negotiation is not conducive to anything vaguely conclusive at this stage. The EU (granted with a degree of complicity on our part but I’m not sure what the alternative would have been) deliberately set it out this way so as to ensure that there would be plenty of time for the anti Brexit brigade to attempt to cause further grief and to no doubt achieve a reversal of the decision. The EU does NOT negotiate in the normal sense of the word. It lays out it’s terms and that’s it – if you don’t like it and comply you will be made to feel the pain – look to Greece to fully appreciate that political dogma means more than economic sense to the EU. Until we are in a position to come to grips with the type of trade deal that can be negotiated, it would seem to me that everything is still up for grabs. The government has had to get to stage 2 of the talks but we are there now. My major concern is that, if push comes to shove, our government will not have the bottle to hold the lines it must in order to achieve a proper Brexit and will lead us into an arrangement with the EU that would mean that we would be staying a member in all but name but with no say in what happens. We simply must be in a position where we will walk away with no offer on the table (other than perhaps upholding our moral obligation to EU citizens and hope the EU would do likewise for ours in the EU). To my mind it seems that the EU actually would prefer for us to fail rather than prosper and that is a dangerous position for our so-called friends to adopt. I am sad to say that I have never viewed the EU as our friend….

  58. Kevin Lohse
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Your loyalty, and making the best of a bad situation, is praiseworthy John, but entirely misplaced. May has dismally failed the electorate, which twice instructed her to leave the EU. What has emerged so far is a camel of an agreement to the detriment of UK interests. I note that the admirable Mr. Gove is still fighting the Brexit corner, but his notion that we can sort things out at the next GE inevitably envisages a generation of internecine warfare between Leave and Remain. May should go, preferably before Christmas.

  59. Treacle
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    So we leave in name only and hand over tens of billions. This wasn’t what I voted for, but I suppose is the inevitable result when you have a weak Remainer Prime Minister who won’t contemplate leaving without a deal, and who won’t plan for leaving without a deal. The next step will be when we are shafted by the EU over trade, but we won’t be able to opt for No Deal instead because we have not planned for it. The step after that will be a heavy defeat for May at the next general election, when the Brexiteers refuse to vote for her. What a cock-up. But inevitable with a Remainer Prime Minister, and the most talented Brexiteers (Mr Redwood, JRM) left out of government and ignored.

  60. SecretPeople
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    “The Prime Minister has previously made clear that there only need be a transition period if there is a good Agreement to transit to. ”

    Though next steps are to discuss the transition rather than the trade deal itself, I have read. I have also read EU sources describe this as a ‘stand-still’ transition, ie not ‘from’ something, ‘to’ something, so not necessarily an implementation period (which should be now).

  61. forthurst
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    What the Brussels regime is trying to do is to use the puny trade across the Irish land border as a means of blocking our potential WTO escape route with the intention of ramming through a thoroughly disadvantageous trade deal that maintains our alignment with almost everything we voted to leave. We now need a PM in No 10 who is prepared to call the Brussels regime’s bluff because neither they nor the Irish want a hard border.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Precisely. That was the binary decision to be made now, and she fluffed it.

  62. Tabulazero
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    We can all move on from Brexit.

    We now know it was a con. To think the UK can still walk away after announcing full regulatory alignment is clutching at straws.

    The UK will remain inside the single-market and custom union but in name. Except it will not have a voice. It will in all likelihood continue to pay into the EU budget for years to come and remain subject to the ECJ.

    £40bn (and likely more if you read the Continental press), a deeply divided country… for nothing to significantly change… ah yes ! I had forgotten : the UK is now a rule taker as some kind of far flung colonial protectorate from Brussels and a (Labour leader ed)who has Hugo Chavez has a good chance to be the next PM. So things will change but not at all in the way you predicted Mr Redwood.


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      No, we need someone who will tear up this stupid piece of paper and start again.

  63. Andy
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    The most evident thing in the text is that the UK will be permanently subservient to the EU.

    This is the reality of what 17.4m people voted for.

    Of course they thought they were voting for the opposite.

    When they finally figure out they they’ve been had – that’ll be fun.

  64. CL
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the following.

    The recently reached agreement with the EU includes a clause on the fall back scenario, should the parties be unable to reach agreement. It stipulates that if that transpires, the whole of the UK (thanks to the whipping up of the NI question) is mandated to shadow the EU from a regulatory perspective, in perpetuity.

    This is staggering. Not only does it sign away our strongest negotiating card: the ability to walk away. But by tying us into a regulatory framework with the EU (in which we no longer have a say) it circumscribes and limits our future opportunities in trade and science.

    And really Mr Redwood, is ‘shadowing the EU’ the behaviour of a sovereign and independent nation?

    The creeping soft Brexit now being advocated by everyone from the PM to the BBC and all the other Remainers, is a calamity.

    To salvage Brexit (and to prevent a complete collapse in popular trust in our politicians) Mrs May must go.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Dead right. the whole point of leaving is to diverge. The EU, with Mrs May’s not inconsiderable help, has effectively neutered Brexit. Funny, I predicted she would the day after her appointment as Conservative Leader was announced.

  65. bigneil
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I see your “ban” on multiple posts is going well. Clearly some people are exempt.

  66. Anonymous
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I see from blogs that the idea that the UK Parliament should be scrapped is gaining ground.

    Clearly we do not live in a democracy.

    The fear that terror and general nastiness may resurface because of a hard border in Ireland shows that we are too cowardly to deserve democracy.

    The fact that another form of terror will come via the open EU border is overlooked, however.

    UK politicians are taking money under false pretences.

    There is no general appetite for watching our Parliamentarians debate in a chamber that fills them with self importance but which serves no other purpose than to legitimise the EU.

    Scrap Parliament and the Lords.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      If we’re going to be ruled by Brussels then let’s get on with it.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Only the Belgians are rules by Brussels. The other EU countries are souvereign, but have agreed to cooperate in certain matters and for that purpose that have a “Commission” in Brussels.

    • SOS
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Scrap Parliament and the Lords.

      We are historically at a time of great change.

    • Michael Wood
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I say; if we stay in why do we need any of them!
      Of course, they want to stay in but don’t the consequences – that is close the HOC and the Lords. John did say that the HOC was just a puppet Parliament.

  67. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The other week, when it was unclear if May would capitulate to the EU, Matthew Parris said he was thinking of voting Labour to stop a hard Brexit because he thought Labours economic plans were largely impossible to implement, would have to be modified in light of reality and their effect would blow over in a couple of years. Maybe he is right and we can take our lead from him too. As May’s Brexit is identical to Starmer’s, voting Labour at the next election could force some long-needed realignment in the Conservative party.

  68. ian
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    It about the date in the repeal bill for leaving the EU on the 29/03/2019, if that stays in the bill going through parliament then you will leave the EU if there is no agreement on that date or have an agreement and go to the transition period, which could last to the next GE. IF the date is taken out of the repeal bill coming up in parliament, then you know that it goes on to the next election and give the people of the England 4 years to get ready for that election, if the Brexiteers on this blog and elsewhere do not get their act together by then, they deserved all they have coming to them.

  69. Twinkle
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Even funnier for we British is that there are Canadian Snow Birds ( essentially retirees who spend time in Florida throughout the Canadian winter and then fly back and live in “rural” communities in Canada in summer. They complain to their regional governments that Dollar Stores, equivalent to Pound Shops do not set up shop in their rural communities ( where they know no-one even the names of their next door neighbours ) 🙂

  70. Jack snell
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Well.. Bill Cash, IDS, Hannan et al..what say ye now?

  71. Dennis
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I heard (correctly?) that EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU will be permitted to ‘import’/’invite’ family members, spouses (servants/maids?) into the UK/EU without any restrictions but…

    it was never further discussed whether this did or did not apply to resident UK citizens in the UK. I thought there were restrictions to UK citizens in this regard, income levels of those immigrants etc.

    Is this correct?

    • Ian Dennis
      Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Income levels only apply to UK citizens.
      The bloke from ( EU ed)yet to arrive can bring in whoever he likes with no income level restriction.

  72. rose
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union which now or in the future support North-south co-operation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement”

    I can see why Mrs Foster says they ran out of time and there is more work to be done. What a disgraceful episode this has been: the EU suddenly saying, after months of obstruction and delay, that Mrs May had to be on parade at 6.30 in the morning, knowing things hadn’t been resolved here. Why is she acquiescing like this, to the point of risking her health? It can only be because they and she are colluding against this country.

  73. am
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    If there are 3 million eu’s in the uk and 5 relatives come in per person that will mean 15 million extra. This will put quite a strain on the benefits system,nhs, housing plus bring down wages further. Of course Labour will emphasise this last point to the british working and middleclass and romp home at the next election with a massive increase in corp tax and higher income brackets to pay for the incomers.

  74. Pete
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    All I see is total capitulation to Brussels on every important point. There is clearly going to be a complete sell out of the British people as Westminster has consistently done for the last 40 plus years. Brexit that isn’t Brexit. All the power kept in Brussels, all the money coming from ever poorer tax slaves here whilst our country is swamped with immigrants, our culture destroyed and the political class lies and cheats it’s way into riches. I don’t believe a single word from any political party with the possible exception of UKIP. If there were a single REAL Brexiteer in the Conservative party they would be screaming blue murder and voting against the governments treason. But of course there isn’t. What we have is actors pretending to be Brexitieers but actually wrecking the whole thing from inside. I will never, ever trust any person calling themselves a Conservative again. Liars one and all.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Right or wrong I think many people are with you. If Mrs May continues UK will enter the next general election with both main parties being considered unelectable. one wonders to whom the people must turn if betrayed by both government and parliament? En passant, I would remind people that the Armed Forces owe their allegiance to the Queen in Parliament, not to the government nor to parliament itself. The Queen and the Armed forces are the last resort guardians of the democratic constitution of UK. How the people are supposed togo about invoking that I do not know but I think we might be finding out some time soon.

  75. Simon
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    John you know perfectly well that there will be no future deal agreed or on the table before it is necessary to say whether we are adopting any transition or not. Such a thing is not only impossible in the time available but the EU papers make it quite clear that the future is running on a different track, different process and a different timetable. Thus any attempt to continue Mrs May’s absurd idea that there will not be any transition till future deal is agreed (where incidentally she conflates implementation with transition (really an extension of time) ) is a veiled way of preparing for a hard / abrupt Brexit. We know it. The MSM do not yet seem to.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think Mrs May is surreptitiously preparing for a hard / abrupt Brexit. I think she is delaying all the hard choices and has not the faintest idea what is required of the PM of a sovereign independent nation. If she has it is not evident in any vision for UK. The cabinet, it turns out, have not even discussed what the so-called transition is transitioning to, yet they have agree to ask for a transition. It’s called kicking the can down the road. I have said before, when so many were calling her tough (now Junker, too, making them allies) that she is not tough but brittle, meaning inflexible and liable to sudden fracture. If UK gets a hard Brexit it will be because she suddenly breaks. Either there will be a new Tory Leader or a new government. under Mrs May, the only deal UK will get is deal worse than No Deal. That is now the only way UK could get a clean Brexit in March 2019. It can be made slightly less than chaotic only if the Tories remove her asap and install a government that truly believes in a sovereign independent UK. Mrs May does not and cannot.

  76. Leaver
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Para 50 of the joint agreement shows some things are now finalised, whatever might happen later. So your reading is wrong, JR

  77. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    This post is unusually limp for John Redwood. Tusk puts it better:
    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.

    More at

    Clearly Mrs May has been taken to the cleaners and seems not to know it. No wonder Junker now sees a need to bolster her as a tough negotiator. She can expect a tough time back home and will need all the support she can get from junker. They are now allies.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 9, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      PS. it seems to me the only things Mrs May has achieved so far are: a) delaying Brexit by at least two years, b) removing all British representation in EU institutions for the period of membership from March 2019.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        She is averting the negative consequences of an instance of folly accommodated by her vain and incompetent predecessor

  78. Lear's Fool
    Posted December 10, 2017 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    How now nuncle? The deal ensures the UK is bound by new EU laws and regulations adopted during the transition period.

  79. Original Richard
    Posted December 10, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The basic situation is as follows :

    As Mrs. May says, we are leaving the EU. This will respect the result of the referendum. There will be an initial cost to leave of around £40bn.

    However, although both sides in the referendum said that we would be leaving the SM and CU, we will continue to belong to both. This will keep the majority of the HOC happy, as well as of course the EU and the corporates etc..

    This means that we will continue to pay into the EU budget and continue to accept freedom of movement and all other existing and new EU regulations.

    In return we will not have any representation at the EU.

    The forthcoming negotiations will only now be to decide how much extra we pay the EU for belonging to other EU institutions, such as the CFP.

  80. Norman
    Posted December 10, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    We are dealing with an ideology, not another sovereign state. That’s why negotiation is likely to be fruitless, and lead to a robotic ‘default to type’. Perhaps, in the end, no deal will be the outcome – probably the only way we are going to get the full return of national sovereignty we voted for.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink

      The only idealogues in this process are Mr Redwood and his fellow Brexit fanatics, who will pursue a no deal outcome at any cost. So far the EU have been looking after their citizens over here, their new border in Ireland (which we’ve just given them) and their budget – hardly an ideological approach.

  81. Simon Coleman
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    On EU citizens’ rights, the main concession has been by the UK, as their rights will be enshrined in UK law. That it’s taken the UK government 18 months since the referendum to get to that obvious position – the only one that would work – shows how muddled the negotiating process has been from our side. And I thought your position on the ECJ was that all its involvement in UK law should end when we leave. You’ve obviously chosen your words carefully but you must be completely livid!

  82. MKB
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The only difference that Brexit will make to the majority of people is they will be worse off financially.
    The extremely wealthy Brexiteer politicians will stay extremely wealthy.

    Sovereignty? We have a Sovereign, unelected.

    Democracy? We have no Democracy in the UK. As usual we have a government that the majority of the electorate did not vote for.

    We have a second chamber, unelected.

    • rose
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      If Brexit were being executed by Brexiteers there is a good chance people would be better off. But I don’t think they voted out to be better off.

      Would you rather government was always at the mercy of the most unpopular party?

      Would you rather have an elected second chamber in constant conflict with the first elected chamber?

      Would you rather have an expensive and divisive elected president who hadn’t been trained as head of state ?

      • MKB
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        It’s called Democracy. It is amazing how insecure and selective the vote Leave side are.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page