Parliamentary votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill

The government has won all but one of the votes on the Bill. The most important vote, the one to approve Clause 1 which repeals the 1972 European Communities Act, passed by 318 to 68, as Labour accepted they needed to allow the repeal to permit Brexit.

On Wednesday Amendment 7 passed against the government’s wishes. The argument was one of detail, not of principle. Both government and its critics accepted that Parliament is back in charge over Brexit. Both accepted that any UK/EU Agreement which might be reached should be voted on in Parliament. If Parliament is content with such an Agreement it will then need primary legislation to bring it into effect.

So why was there a disagreement at all? The opposition did not accept Ministerial assurances, and wanted to write their own text into the Bill to reflect the common understanding. The government offered to produce a compromise at Report stage, but Parliament wanted to get on with it.

Underlying this fairly technical debate was a series of other agendas. The Liberal Democrats openly seek to delay and disrupt Brexit as they wish to reverse the public decision. Many Remain supporting Labour MPs want to slow down and water down Brexit because they do not really accept the judgement of the people. Practically every Labour MP would like to defeat the government, as that is a usual wish of Oppositions. Conservative MPs who voted similarly can best make their own case as to why they did so.

There is now discussion of the government amendment to place the date of exit in the Bill. I hope the government do continue with this amendment, and work to ensure its passage. I recommend it for a reason which ought to appeal to most MPs, whether Remain or Leave voters. We need the date in the Bill to ensure legal continuity. Parliament passed legislation to notify the EU of our withdrawal under Article 50. That Article makes clear we will leave automatically on 29 March 2019, two years from the letter. It is therefore vital that we have in place a proper legal framework for that event.

Labour MPs now say that we might instead request the permission of the other 27 to stay in the EU for longer, to assist the negotiations. It is difficult to see why we would be able to negotiate a good deal on April 1st 2019 that we had not negotiated in the 2 years since we sent the letter. It is important not to hold out the idea of delay to slow down the talks. Nor should we assume that the other 27 would all individually consent to the UK staying in on current terms for a further period to try to get a better deal.

This would be a more difficult vote for Labour MPs to oppose, given that it is central to ensuring legal certainty and confirming EU employment law for example in UK law. Given also the enthusiasm of the government’s critics for Parliamentary democracy, surely our leaving date is worthy of primary legislation.

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  1. sm
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Once again, thank you for the calm and clear explanation.

    Seems to me the Government should ask you, John, to be in charge of ALL media communications on Brexit.

    • Norman
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      He is already – that’s why so many read his blog every morning, ahead of the BBC news and other outlets!

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Norman beat me to it. I come here before all others.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Dear Norman–Agreed–Made the mistake of watching the BBC News telling us about the scarcely existent rise in still-low inflation and was shocked not at what they said (they had little enough to say) but the glee with which they said it–always seeking, given a quarter of a chance, to inculcate in us how bad everything is. Inflation will soon be headed down again and there was scarcely a story at all. Changing gear, Nadine Dorries got it bang on with her views on the Tory disgruntled types–How lucky we are to have especially this Grieve chappie put country first for us–What a joke.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Postscript–No mention that, as I supsect, half the country were pleased to see an uptick in inflation in hopes of interest rates resuming something like normality

          • Hope
            Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

            JR forgets to mention Morgan’s article in the DT writing about a standstill transition. It appeared to me she wants an indefinite transition with EU in full control with the U.K. Without a voice. I.e. eU colony and cash cow for nothing in return. What is the Tory party going to do about getting her deselected?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 16, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            She should look up definitions of “transition”, for example “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”; so a “standstill” or “status quo” transition is an oxymoron, and surely those who advocate it are inviting the description embodied in the second part of that word.

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

        Norman, I don’t bother with the BBC anymore. They are so hopelessly biased it’s not worth wasting my precious minutes on them.

        • Hope
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Untrustworthy Tory party: May sneaking off to do a deal without agreement from DUP or end game chat with cabinet! Gove back stabber, 11 Tories acting against the Tory party, govt policy or national vote! Complete breach of trust. Hammond still in full project fear mode, Hammond and Grayling stating the U.K. Should give away billions to the EU whether there is a deal or not! E en pro EU Lords state the U.K. Not legally liable for a penny! No money for services at home though!

        • Simon Coleman
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          We hear a lot about Remoaners…but the truth is that most of the moaning since Article 50 was triggered has come from leave supporters. Endless paranoia about the BBC and MPs trying to wreck Brexit – most are simply opposed to a hard Brexit, and with good reason. It’s pathetic.

          • Pud
            Posted December 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            What is a hard Brexit? It’s a term that’s used a lot by Remainers as if it’s a bad thing but as far as I’m aware it only emerged after Leave won the referendum (feel free to cite a pre-result usage).
            It appears that hard Brexit means actually leaving the EU, whereas soft Brexit is a synonym of pseudo Brexit, i.e still remaining under EU authority.

          • NickC
            Posted December 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            Simon, I have no idea what you mean by “hard” Brexit? Certainly most of our MPs appear to find it hard to understand simple English. We voted to leave to the EU, not remain in part of it, nor remain partly in most of it. When the government obeys the voters as expressed in the Referendum given to us by Parliament, we shall be satisfied.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 17, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

            Simon Coleman

            Join us on planet earth theres a good chap. No such thing as hard or soft brexit. We leave or we dont. Brett means leaving , thats it. Its the remaniacs with their silliness that do all the moaning apart from a few right wingers who bang on about traitors and other guff

      • Hope
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Nice try JR, very specious. 11 Tories voted against the electoral system. Which puts them in office, they voted against the party and govt as well, despite lying to claim the opposite when seeking election. They should be deselected for deceiving the public. Proper right to recall required. They seek to deny the public democracy. 5 of whom represent leave constituencies. Their aim like the untrustworthy May is to delay long enough to change our minds or keep the U.K. in by another name. An EU colony and cash cow without a voice.

        Boring May now trying to create a narrative of implementation period. No such thing she is falsely promoting an extension, this is the transition period before 29/3/2019. May is extending the U.K. Remaining in the EU on worse terms, all rules without a voice for an unknown period. She already failed in phase one, anyone else would walk as it is the foundation of a tremendously bade deal breaking her alleged red line that never existed.

        Your blog is about a plea for party unity and asking us to believe this was some small technical issue. It was a treacherous act deserving of being sacked for flouting the will of the people and democracy. Shame on you for your failed deception.

        Reply I wish to work to get the Bill through the Parliament we have, not the dream one you seem to imagine

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          No only is it not “the dream one” it is a dire lefty, remain in all but name one let by May and Hammond who are essentially the same.

          The Lords is even worse. Even the (sometimes quite sensible) Lord Winston was applauding the dire A Soubry.

          For years they want to give all the powers of Westminster over to the anti democratic EU, yet now they claim to be defending the rights of Parliament!

        • Hope
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Well you should have done more to change parliament so it is fit for purpose. Keep conceding but do not be surprised to lose. Fawning over May’s disaster last week pretending she won something hardly helps the cause to leave the EU! You even voted for her!

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    We will be able to rely on the SNP delaying everything because that is all they know. When have they ever done anything of benefit to the country? As for those in your own party John, Mrs May needs to deal swiftly with them. Now, this is where a few more UKIP seats would have been beneficial to the party.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      ‘Now, this is where a few more UKIP seats would have been beneficial to the party.’

      I agree, because I can’t see UKIP people compromising their pro-Brexit principles, and you might get your wish. And for this reason:

      Labour originally said it accepted Brexit and that brought back to their fold lots of traditional Labour supporters who had drifted away to UKIP. Now, Starmer has shown his party’s true colours as he appears to want to water down Brexit to the point where it is utterly useless, at the behest of the plethora of arch Labour remainers. That is bound to lose those pro-Brexit Labour supporters all over again once the penny drops.

      The Tories have their troubles with some particularly odious remain people on their benches, but Labour has many more odious remain people on theirs, and it could be that having hit the high-water mark, Corbyn will now go backwards.

      This must surely be the time for the Tories to get a real Brexiteer to lead them. One who is strong and commanding, and most of all, compassionate to the poor and the dispossessed in order to make an independent sovereign UK, the ‘nation at peace with itself’ that it should have been all along. That would well and truly shoot the Labour fox.

      Tad Davison


  3. Duncan
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I suspect most have stopped listening and have moved beyond the denial stage and reached acceptance. It is an acceptance that the UK political class have conspired and will continue to conspire to ignore and eventually circumvent the people’s will expressed through the EU-Ref result

    When Mr Redwood, who I have always respected for his quiet dignity and his principled stance on many issues, was shown to have voted for a pro-EU MP to become leader of our party it became clear that the strategy was one of deceit, delay and eventual capitulation by both the UK Govt and the political class.

    When one of the staunchest critics of the EU backs a pro-EU leader to take us into negotiations with the EU then you know the end result is set in stone

    In the real world outside of politics there are millions of individuals watching events in the Commons open mouthed at the blatant treachery on display. The effrontery. The sheer contempt for the people’s will. The hatred. You can almost smell it seeping out of the pores of every MP.

    The political class despise our right to participate directly in democracy. Yes, they can manipulate a general election but a plebiscite is beyond their manipulative skills.

    The date of EU withdrawal will be expunged from the Brexit bill as detailed in the DT. We will never leave the EU

    The people have been betrayed by a bunch of gangsters

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Prepare for Corbyn. By default – not because anyone wants him.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I revise that last statement. The Oxford dictionary has just made Youthquake word of the year and it has a photo of a load of youth surrounding Jeremy Corbyn.

        Remainers have painted themselves as the revolutionaries and defenders of democracy here. They are the exact opposite.

        • Hope
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          May last week proved to be untrustworthy sneaking off to a deal without telling the DUP, who asked for five days for the detail! Two voted to stay in the single market and custom union, stay in, even though Soubry represents a leave constituency, two nights ago more treachery which rightly leads the public to know the Tory party are untrustworthy. These people are trying to subvert the will of the electorate no matter what clever words or parliamentary procedures exist. As with reforming parliament the hope is last it out to erode public will, which they did over expenses and many other issues.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 16, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          They would have done better to announce a new definition of “transition” which precluded any change taking place …

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        I still think that despite T May’s very best efforts (to damage the Tories electoral chances by acting as Corbyn light) that Corbyn will not actually get in.

        Surely even the youth vote is not quite that daft! Last time was a protest and they did not think he would actually get in. Next time we will hopefully have someone sensible doing the manifestos and the campaign – rather than half witted donkeys!

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        How has Wednesday’s vote brought Corbyn a step nearer Downing St? Statements like these get repeated over and over until people think they are facts. But the whole Leave campaign operated in a fact-free environment, so at least you’re consistent.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 16, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          What ? Fact free ? Like your comment here ?

        • libertarian
          Posted December 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Simon Coleman

          Whereas the Remain campaign with their 3 million lost jobs, the City moving wholesale to Paris and Frankfurt, the £4300 cost per family , no EU Army, no plan for a fully federal EU were all correct facts….. Oh wait a minute they where bs ….oh politicians in telling lies shocker

    • sm
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      There WAS NO VOTE for the leadership, Duncan – check it out!

      • Richard Evans
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        May was the “Establishment” choice as PM as she is a true Remainer. She was not democratically elected. The ‘Establishment” did not want Andrea Leadsom, a Brexiteer, to win the leadership battle, hence the planned shenanigans that caused Andrea Leadsom to drop out. Regardless of what anyone says, May has to repay her puppet masters. In all truth, following her disgraceful tenure as Home Secretary, why would any sane and intelligent person want May as a leader?

        In the last election, many Brexiteers who voted UKIP previously gave their allegiance to the Conservatives as May and co stated “Brexit Means Brexit”. However she will sell the UK “down the river”.

        She is still deliberately promoting EU propaganda so as to achieve a watered down Brexit. Why so many one to one meetings with the complicit EU.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Duncan, don’t give up just yet, the game is only at half time. One possible solution to the Grieve amendment would be to put a hard date in the departure Bill for concluding the ‘new relationship’ terms; at say 31 Dec 2018. This MUST be associated with the existing plans to prepare for WTO terms. If there is no substantive agreement by 31-12-18, we walk and move to WTO or WTO Plus.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink


      I am sure John will answer your disparaging comment and trust it will be a good response, as I too am interested in his rationale in supporting May?

      Let’s be completely honest and self aware. Our Politicians are only as good or as bad as we allow them to be….unfortunately, the UK political establishment have had many years to skilfully engineer the people’s incompetence!

      But make no mistake. Because of Brexit the People’s eyes have been well and truly opened to Politician’s shenanigans and their perfidious behaviour…and now fully understand that this is the nature of the beast? Caveat emptor!

      Don’t be discouraged. It is important to focus on the the end game and the prize to be had?

      “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear”

      This one quote from “Ambrose Redmoon” above, has kept me in good stead over the years!

      • Hope
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Don’t blame me I voted UKIP when Cameron came on the scene. They were are the only party to support leaving the EU. Tories will fudge at best and lie to say there is a distinction. Like the current extension being spun as a transition and now an implementation. It cannot be the latter two when EU rules still apply. May is trying to disguise under phase one nonsense i.e. Paying a huge sum, ECJ applies, EU rules and laws apply, freedom of movement by family and sham registration scheme. This is not a special partnership at all, there was nothing equal in phase one agreement. The EU demand d and she capitulated. The EU applauded for having her party over!

        JR tell us what the U.K. Demands were and what the EU capitulated on i.e. UK citizens having right to Supreme Court over ECJ, what assets we will get back?

      • Alexis
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 2:31 am | Permalink

        Good comment.

        Our money, resources and continuing goodwill are seemingly held very cheaply.

        But, as a truly great PM once said – this is no time to go wobbly.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      The date is not actually in the Bill as it stands.

      Don’t ask me why not, it does seem strange to me that the government or the parliamentary draftsmen should have had an afterthought that maybe the date should have been specified in the Act, but that is the case.

      That is why the proposed amendment 381 would insert the date and time into Clause 14 rather than leaving it to the minister to decide:

      “This amendment removes the power for a Minister of the Crown to appoint exit day by regulations and ensures that exit day is fixed at 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m. for all purposes.”

      I very much hope that the government insists on this amendment and it goes to a vote so that we can see who is trying to kick Brexit into the long grass, preferably to be lost for ever in their anti-democratic minds.

      After all if it really turned out that another couple of weeks was needed to finalise the exit arrangements then the government could always ask Parliament to quickly pass an Act to make that amendment, if absolutely necessary such an Act could be rushed through both Houses and given Royal Assent in twenty-four hours.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      I have some sympathy with that, and I don’t claim to know JR’s reasons, but I DO know there was a lot of ‘persuading’ going on behind the scenes.

      May was proffered as the ‘Unity’ candidate who could knit both ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ factions together in what was a very divided camp. It is with deep personal regret that she was the one chosen by way of coronation, especially after a very lack-lustre lengthy tenure at the Home Office.

      That in itself suggests there is a leadership candidate deficit in the Conservative Party if she is the best they could come up with. If they want to skip a generation and get somebody who talks the people’s language rather than cling to an out-moded idea that a leader should be some grammar school prefect, then they could do worse than Philip Davies.


    • NickC
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, I see our host, Dr Redwood, as hoping that decency will prevail. His is an essentially optimistic and loyal outlook. I believe he is mistaken and you are correct. Dealing with a problem is only possible if a problem is acknowledged.

      The Amendment 7 scuppers the WTO option, leading to the EU giving us a very bad deal, making it likely the HoC will send the PM back, ad infinitum. Or until there is another GE. We are heading for limbo: subject to the EU; paying into the EU; not in, but definitely not out.

      The EU and the Remains have us where they want – over a barrel. Just watch: they will now blame the concessions, the appeasement, the A7 vote, all leading to a bad deal, on Leave. You can see their tactics plain as day. And they are winning. We must admit that before we can do anything to rectify it.

  4. Mick
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Labour MPs now say that we might instead request the permission of the other 27 to stay in the EU for longer, to assist the negotiations
    Who are these traitors to democracy trying to kid, they got the votes at the last GE by telling alot of porky pies, so long as Mrs May stands her ground and gives the 17.4 million what they voted for I think come the next GE the Tories will wipe the board clean of all the eu loving luvvies
    And I would love to see a exit date March 2019 set in law , the only reason grieve Soubry Clarke and all the other traitors to democracy don’t want it is so they can try and overturn the referendum result in there favour

    • jerry
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      @Mick; “they got the votes at the last GE by telling alot of porky pies”

      A statement of “fact” that all can agree upon, who ever they support or vote for!…

  5. oldtimer
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I think some the Conservative rebels do not want Brexit to happen, even if they pay lip service to it. I was disappointed at Mr Grieve’s role in this. He is my MP. His constituency voted Leave. Although the practical implications of the government’s defeat may be small, the psychological effect is large. And there are reports that the intent to include the date of leaving has been dropped from the Bill. I will not be voting for him again.

    • Bert Young
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer , I don’t think Grieve is likely to be a candidate again ; he should and ought to be de-selected .

      • jerry
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        @Bert Young; That depends on the feeling of the local party surely. There might well have been a majority for leaving the EU but who knows what the feelings are about when and how Brexit should happen, no one has been asked those two questions – could it be that MPs (rather than bloggers or ‘shock-jocks’) know their local party and constituents better?

        • libertarian
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink


          That is true the dozen or so party members might be a known quantity, but they won’t get him or anyone else elected so I would suggest the fact that a majority in that constituency voted to leave the EU is a better indication , and the fact that none were asked any other supplemental question is totally irrelevant

          • jerry
            Posted December 16, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; Oh come on, you really think that those dozen or so party members [1] do not talk to locals, knock on doors, hold coffee mornings etc?!

            Stop trying to twist the exit vote to mean what you want all the time, after all had Remain won you would not be very happy if Europhile Federalists were now hijacking that ‘simple’ Remain vote, demanding that the Remain result means that we now have to join the USE, Euro et al. No, I suspect, you would be demanding a second referenda on those specific options…

            [1] and do you really think the constituency branches only have a “dozen or so party members”, remember we are talking the Conservatives here, not UKIP!

          • NickC
            Posted December 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You are wrong: the Europhile Federalists were demanding that we should join the Euro, the EU Army, et al, and be part of the USE, previously. They were (mostly) shut-up during the Referendum precisely because it would have given the game away.

            Remaining in or leaving the EU is a once in a lifetime binary decision. The Referendum result should be respected if democracy is to mean anything. Yet a number of Remains, in various positions of power, are deliberately trying to stop Brexit: they boast about it. They should be careful – democracy is the peaceful alternative to civil war.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 17, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            Jerry jerry jerry

            If you had ever been involved with local politics you would know the answer to that question. They talk to each other, their coffee mornings are for each other. I’ve lived in my present place 14 years not once has any local political party knocked on my door.

            People voted in the biggest vote ever recorded in British democratic history , thats NOT twisting facts .

            Yes I really do think that most constituency parties only have a dozen of so active members, in fact I know some that have less. The total party membership as of August 2017 is down to a paltry 149,000 across the UK

    • stred
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Tell your local Con club. Get the …. (self ed) out and back doing conveyancing.

      • oldtimer
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        I have thought about that – though with my own choice of words – with the suggestion that Daniel Hannan would make a good choice for MP.

    • Prigger
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Mr Grieve stated on Newsnight following the debate that ” I would vote against a definite date , I wish to keep as many options as possible in negotiations”
      We voted to Leave with the promise that “I will trigger Article 50 the very next day after a leave vote and in two years we will definitely leave”–Cameron…to the cheers of the House. It should not be the Grievers option to choose to violate the Will of the People . Mr Grieve sounds most honourable and genuine. But his fellow travellers do not have tight arguments. They they have a track record of Referendum Outcome Violation (ROV ). These ROVers wish to delay with the traitorous hope of violation.

    • Andy
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Grieve is my MP too. And his constituency actually voted remain (narrowly but it was still remain).

      • libertarian
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink


        Not according to your local paper!!!

        “South Bucks voted to Leave, despite Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve campaigning to Remain”

  6. stred
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    As Questiontime was at Barnsley last night, the BBC was unable to fill the audience with Remainers and it was good to see the Labour and Conservative MPs squirm under straight questioning. These two should be out of politics as soon as possible. But Robert Winston is someone that I always admired and it was disappointing to hear him try to scare the audience into believing that, if we left the EU, we would have to leave Euratom and then be unable to obtain the isotopes necessary for treatments in the NHS. ‘Leave the EU and get cancer’ really must be the lowest form of Project Fear.

    Euratom is separate from the EU and Switzerland is a member.The US, Canada and other non- EU nations co-operate. Why some civil servants said we needed to leave is a good question. Why Barmier says we have to leave is another. He is also the lowest form of political life if he is using fear of not having cancer treatment as a weapon. We can get the isotopes from the US or any other country if we can’t manage our own stocks.

    The sooner we get out of this snakepit the better. Get the Traitors out of your party or form another one with decent Labour MPs who would be respected by voters in Barnsley.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink


      Agreed, I thought Professor Winston’s argument/point that people who had cancer may not be able to be treated if we left the EU was simply disgusting.

      Shame on all who peddle this sort of rubbish.

      • The Big Ear
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Professor Winston’s argument would have been challenged almost purely ad hominem because he was not elected and therefore in democratic and Barnsley terms not qualified to speak on democratic procedures. No challenge came from a largely odd audience given the nature of Barnsley folk.Even the Tories in Barnsley don’t agree with the Lords at all.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        alan jutson

        Professor Winston was created a life peer on 18 December 1995 as Baron Winston, of Hammersmith….it is clear where his allegiance lies!

        Sadly, reputations are diminished in our eyes when said individuals try to use their professional accomplishments to enhance a particular narrative, but then there is nothing Remainers will not stoop to, in their quest to overturn the democratic will of the people!

      • BrexiteerwivMusket
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        So often one hears remarkably intelligent people on BBCQT, those against Brexit, who put forward pathetic arguments which they could not possibly hold given their intelligence.
        One can tolerate and celebrate in political discourse people of genuine views who may have only a variety of “second-hand proofs”due to their place in life. They have a respectable view based on available information to themselves.
        V. Intelligent people of some standing, mixing with “people-in-the-know”, have no excuse in questions relating to the atomic energy agency and availability post -Brexit of necessary drugs. They …know… and have had such negative arguments crushed by their peers without possible logical retort.. They have no excuse for making propaganda to the opposite.

      • zorro
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Vote Brexit – get cancer…… almost as inspirational as T May’s manifesto earlier this year 😒

        Project Death from Lord/Professor Winston!


    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Seconded. I felt the same.


    • Iso
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Euratom is an EU treaty, and Winston was and is correct

      • libertarian
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink


        Wrong both you and he are incorrect

        The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organisation founded in 1957 with the purpose of creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus to non-member states. It is legally distinct from the European Union (EU), but has the same membership, and is governed by many of the EU’s institutions. Since 2014, Switzerland has also participated in Euratom programmes as an associated state.

        Currently, its main focus is on the construction of the International Fusion Reactor ITER financed under the nuclear part of FP7. Euratom also provides a mechanism for providing loans to finance nuclear projects in the EU.

        It was established by the Euratom Treaty on 25 March 1957 alongside the European Economic Community (EEC), being taken over by the executive institutions of the EEC in 1967. Although all other European postwar communities were merged into the EEC and then the EU, Euratom has maintained its legally distinct nature and is the only remaining community organization that is independent from the European Union and therefore outside the regulatory control of the European Parliament

      • longinus
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Because radioactive isotopes don’t exist outside of the EU and we don’t have our own nuclear industry. Euratom also includes Switzerland as an associate member…

  7. Nig l
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The conservative MPs who voted against have been against it from day 1. Frankly it is rubbish to say as Ms Soubry does that her vote for article 50 indicates her commitment to reflect the popular vote. She is a lawyer and would know the arcane practices available to her to slow down/defeat the process on its journey. They must be held to account and that means the end of their political careers. I view their actions as contemtabke and I suspect I am not alone.

    • Gary C
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      ‘I view their actions as contemptible and I suspect I am not alone.’

      You certainly are not alone, the treachery openly displayed in their actions to discredit, disgrace and dishonour the UK electorate is embarrassing and will be remembered for many a year to come.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      I find it hard to stomach them telling us they are just trying to reassert Parliamentary sovereignty when the likes of Ken Clarke said he looked forward to the day Parliament was no more than a council, and boasted that he had never read the Maastricht treaty. Especially when they are trying to use the residual sovereignty we still have ( no thanks to them) to stop us restoring our full Parliamentary sovereignty. The cant is staggering.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Dear Iain–This Parliamentary Sovereignty business loses me a bit–Does not the Government have any role at all according to the malcontents? Personally and as I have said before individual MP’s don’t often impress me much for the simple reason that they are not voted in because of their judgement. Some are undoubtedly intelligent but that is not the same as judgement–They are voted in because they look good (nice legs helps these days) and say the right things, often mendaciously, on the telly or most often purely because of their Party. Candidate selection is for Party loyalty, and perhaps hard work–nothing to do with judgement. Let’s hear it for more, much more, direct democracy. “Representative democracy” leaves me cold and I reckon was always nonsense.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Fine Iain.

        Let’s dispense with the security, the bars the pay…

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    We are surely now going to get Brexit in name only or Brexitino. With non of the substantial advantages of leaving. Parliament, Morgan, Soubry, Grieve and the rest seem determined to damage the UK’s negotiating hand as much as they can.

    Still, if May and the Tories can keep Corbyn and Labour out of office at the next election then I suppose we should be a bit grateful. Not that May or Hammond shows any great electoral appeal – quite the reverse.

    The government and BBC keep going on about the low productivity puzzle. What puzzle? If you tie up the productive in endless red tape, over tax them at every turn, have absurd employment laws, absurd tax and HR & H&S complexity, force them to use expensive energy, have restrictive planning, congested roads, very poor infrastructure and rip off/totally non competitive banks plus uncontrolled low skilled EU immigration what does the government and BBC expect?

    • Nig l
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      You always have a very dark view of life. Is there any light in it?

      • Bob
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        @Nig l

        Reality is what it is; if you’re afraid of the dark you could always close your eyes.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Few would argue with the view that this country is very badly governed, and without people telling the politicians where they’re going wrong, nothing would change.


      • NickC
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Nig 1, I think LifeLogic is adding up the salami slices and concluding that we have a sausage: a mystery bag full of concessions, payments, alignments, appeasements and limbo re-deals. Too many people see only the odd slice.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Not dark at all, I am very optimistic in general and would be even more so if we had a proper Conservative party and some decent leadership. This instead of the current largely Libdem rabble of Lawyers, Geography and PPE graduates and the PC, lefty, green crap, interventionist, ex(?) remainer leader dope – doing a warm up act for Corbyn.

        In business you have to be optimistic or you would never invest in very much at all.

    • stred
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      The BBC has about ten different newsreaders for their local BBC London office. Not terribly productive possibly. Well, it’s only licence payers money.

    • Chris
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Regarding the red tape comment, Lifelogic, you might enjoy one of Trump’s tweets yesterday – a videoclip of the symbolic gesture of him actually cutting the red tape round a pile of paperwork, indicating the launch of his campaign to fight against red tape. Another thing that he understands the significance of to industry and business, and ordinary people.
      “In 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. Today there are over 185,000 pages, as seen in the Roosevelt Room. Today, we CUT THE RED TAPE! It is time to SET FREE OUR DREAMS and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is massively damaging, endlessly distracting the productive from being productive. I have turned down many deals as the government red tape make it not worth the candle. The red tape inflicted on bank lending currently makes HSBC (and doubtless other banks) only really interested in commercial property lending if it is over several million. This also does huge damage to the UK economy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        And of course ignorance of these 185,000 + pages (nor indeed the often bizarre) way the courts choose to endlessly extend them) is no defence.

  9. George Brooks
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    There is absolutely no good reason not to have the leaving date in the bill. If we don’t, it will only encourage the EU to hold up and wreck the negotiations as they have done for the last 7 months.

    Also it is stupid to discuss a ”transitional” / implementation period first when you don’t know what the final deal is. It would be helpful if the BBC got off this tack and reported news instead of their own ideas on the negotiations

    • majorfrustration
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Dream on – but hope springs eternal

  10. Mark B
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Conservative MPs who voted similarly can best make their own case as to why they did so.

    That’s a bit of a cop out ! The PM has sacked Steven Hammond MP. That is no small thing.

    I agree with the Labour Party on seeking to extend our membership rather than a transition period. At least with the former we will still be sitting at the table.

    Having parliament vote on any final deal is good. If the Government does a really bad deal, as seems to be the case, then I expect them to throw it out.


    What must be clear is, no matter what, we are leaving the EU.

    Thank God 🙂

    • getahead
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Leaving the EU gets more elusive every day Mark. Theresa May’s half-hearted approach has given the opponents of Brexit every chance to interfere. Not to mention Hammond’s “transitional period”. What a scam !

    • NickC
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Mark, Unfortunately as we re-negotiate (how many times?) we make ourselves more, not less, dependent on the EU. Why would the EU concede on the second negotiation where they didn’t on the first? There is nothing in it for the EU.

      Moreover that way the EU can neuter us – no UK MEPs, no Farage slagging them off, no awkward votes or trade-offs – but still subject to the EU, still paying in, it is a win-win for the EU, not us.

      It incentivises the EU to give us a bad deal. And now we have no alternative. If the HoC won’t vote for a “bad deal” (on whose judgement?) they certainly won’t vote for the WTO deal, for which most MPs have a phobia.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Dear Nick–Please be of better cheer–It is simply not true that there is nothing in it for the EU–It is easy enough to make all this very complicated and many do but I suggest focus on the simple fact that they, net, export to us, for which we write them a big cheque, and are going to want to continue to do so–We have a winning hand played correctly.

        • NickC
          Posted December 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Leslie, We are being Remain salami sliced. Some recognise the sausage before others.

      • stred
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        It’s just like Lawyers for Britain warned a few week back as on Facts4eu. May and her advisors must have read it and decided it was the best way to keep us in the BREXINO.

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The 12th of never wouldn’t suit the majority in Parliament as a date to leave the EU.
    I see the gangsters in Brussels want the phase 1 agreement setting in law so the mantra nothing is agreed until all is agreed is another vacuous promise.
    No doubt we will still be fully paid up EU members at the next election.
    Traitors the lot of them.

    • Annette
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      The EU are demanding that the capitulation & retained EU control are legislated and enacted. So much for ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed ‘.
      Combined with the expected ‘end of transition’, which is as a vassal state, just before the next election (& they think we don’t see their plan), if stage 1 is legislated the EU citizens (around 4-5m is a proper figure) will all have voting rights when the next ‘referendum ‘ is engineered.
      As many EU countries, who do not have our type of history, have not known democracy long they have no problems with federalisation & it is widely approved. I wonder what they will vote for.
      The EU have got no incentive whatsoever to offer anything other than a punishment budget, as May’s capitulation with no return has demonstrated. What we have so far is already worse than no deal & she hasn’t given them our fishing industry yet. Walk away now. The people are getting angry with the antics of both Houses.
      When the ballot box has shown to fail, what option is left for the people?

      • Timaction
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Exactly right. If democracy has failed, which it has, then what IS left for the people? I am fed up with years of treachery from the self serving legacy rabble in Westminster. Didn’t see Grieve, Soubery, Morgan, Hammond etc standing up for sovereignty over decades when EU laws or treaties were up for enactment. No they cannot fool the people any longer. After the referendum, the genie is out of the bottle and the internet is the proper source of news!
        If my patriotic party had witnessed such treachery those concerned would be gone by the next day. Not the Tory’s, as usual.
        The people are watching and are incensed with May’s capitulation! But hey, she got a cheer from EU’s leaders and a slap on the back from Junker/Tusk etc. She makes me physically sick.

  12. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Don’t these rebel MPs understand that they are giving the other side the advantage when it comes to negotiating? The EU can see our politician s are weak and will play on that. We will end up with a really bad deal and we will all know who to blame.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      FUS – Initially my thoughts were the same as yours, but remember that Barnier, Juncker & Tusk have to get 27 other countries to approve their side and for them to know that May etc. hands are tied by the UK Parliament may not be as bad as it first appears.

      I do object to Morgan’s and Soubry’s constant wittering that some Tory Eurosceptics want a “Hard Brexit”, this is just not true…

      Everyone wants a Brexit that benefits the UK, but, May’s current record on negotiating will not achieve this. The deal that May is currently peddling is certainly worse than “No Deal”, it’s as simple as that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Correct, they are working against our national interests.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      I believe they do understand that. I also believe the EU understand that and if they offer a really bad deal in consequence, Parliament will be bound to throw it out. Since by then the deal will have been ratified in the other 27 countries there will be no time to re-negotiate, we will be out according to Article 50 on 29th. March 2019 on WTO rules. This terrifies the EU which is why they have been more conciliatory this last week because they can see the 40 billion offered by May slipping away if she sticks to her guns. What I don’t understand is where May got her mandate to offer such a sum in the first place. We got Crossrail which took 3 years of high tech engineering, new trains etc for 15 billion, yet here she is tossing nearly 3 times as much away for nothing except permitting the EU to sell us their goods.

      • Melvin Cornwell
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        She hasn’t given it yet. And there are moves afoot to haul her into court if she attempts to do so. It is OUR money – she does NOT have the rightnto simply give it away.

        • graham1946
          Posted December 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          I only wish you were right, however,

          ‘She hasn’t given it yet’.

          There is the clue. She will put the so called deal (actually a full capitulation) to Parliament. If they accept it, including the money then surely that’s it, all legal. Seems she is just taking Parliament for granted and she is no doubt correct because if push comes to shove the politicians will all fall in line if they think they may lose their cushy jobs.

          As you correctly say it’s our money, but they don’t see things like that.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I noted two claims that the Remain side were making on the Jeremy Vine show yesterday in which Anna Soubry and Nigel Evans appeared:

    – Remain think it appalling that 15 ‘hardline’ MPs should hold the Government to ransom

    – Remain think that the fifteen are forcing a ‘hard’ Brexit that people just didn’t vote for.

    I can answer those points. Nigel got the second one – the so-called hardliners do not want No Deal either but the difference is that they want the option on the table.

    The first point I can answer myself:

    If there are only 15 politicians advocating hard Brexit as an option then clearly Parliament is not made up of people who represent a mainstream and – as far as we know – majority opinion.

    Soubry presumes to know what we want and what we are thinking. On the referendum slip Leave meant Leave. None were clearer than Remain during the referendum campaign that Leave meant leaving the single market.

    Now they continue the campaign on the basis of us not knowing what we voted for.

    By golly Soubry came across as the terrifying 1950s school mistress yesterday.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      73% of MPs are Remainers.

      At least 52% of the population are Leavers. We’re not even close here.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I also listened to the Jeremy Vine and I think Soubry was a disgrace, “of course I back the PM”. Only thing is she will stab her in the back at every opportunity.
      What was she doing out dining with the derail Brexit mob.
      I hope she is as diligent at scrutinising every piece of EU legislation that is issued between now and leaving.
      I didn’t hear any noise from them for the 40 years that it was nodded through.
      etc ed

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      ‘None were clearer than Remain during the referendum campaign that Leave meant leaving the single market’

      – No. Some like Mr Cameron and Osborne were making a claim about what could happen if we left the EU.

      Meanwhile Brexiters such as Owen Patterson said before the Referendum that leaving the market would be madness. And other leading Brexiters said similar things.

      No doubt if we got neutral-minded judges, from say the USA, to preside over a judgement on this, they’d argue that it wasn’t black and white but grey and that neither side could clearly make a claim on this issue. No doubt, what the judges would be more black and white about is how shambolic the whole referendum was in how it was put together and what was being voted for.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        Oh dear

        There is nothing unclear about shall we leave. It means leave, go, exit.

        Shall we leave the pub, doesn’t entail a supplemental question, like shall we leave but buy another round , or shall we leave but actually stay in a different bar in the same pub. It means shall we leave and a majority voted in favour of leaving, knowing full well what they were voting for.

        The referendum didnt offer a menu of alternatives, it often 2 stay or go

        If you wanted to remain in the EEA or EFTA or single market or customs union your vote was Remain

        If you wanted to leave ALL of it your vote was leave

        52% Voted to leave everything , all of it, walk away.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        I thought the referendum was pretty well conducted.

        It just didn’t deliver the result that Remainers wanted and true to nature of the organisation they support they do not accept losing.

      • NickC
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Ed, Cameron and Osborne said “will” leave the Single Market repeatedly, not “could”. See Guido’s video of Cameron emphasising that we would leave the SM on 28 occasions. Cameron was the de facto leader of Remain. The Remain campaign itself said a vote to leave meant leaving the SM, most notoriously with a poster comparing the UK to Albania.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Once more this week we have had to listen to the mendacity and duplicity of MPs, pretending to asccept the result of the referendum and doing all they can to delay and obstruct with the aim of reversing it. Lord Addonis gave the game away when he tweeted after this week’s government defeat: “First step towards defeat of Brexit. And this is before the Lords has got going on the National Betrayal Bill.” – at least, unlike the others, he was being honest. Next week’s plan will be to ensure the leaving date is not included in the Withdrawal Bill with the hope that when they reject whatever is agreed in ‘the deal’ there is no time limit to negotiations which would continue ad infinitum. So subservient to their EU masters are the likes of Soubry and Grieve that they would accept a Corbyn government as long as it helped keep the UK in their beloved EU.

    • Oggy
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I totally agree Brian.
      Grieve also admitted the real truth on Wednesday evening on newnight.

      “It is in the country’s interest that we keep a close relationship with the EU or we’re going to suffer serious economic consequences. So I would like a Brexit that minimises risk and maximises activity.”
      Therefore he will vote against anything other than membership of the SM and CU to keep us shackled to the EU.

      Amendment 7 is an oxymoron because it makes the return of Sovereignty to the UK from Brussels LESS likely which was the whole point of Labour’s argument.
      Interestingly I see the Luxembourgian and Lithuanian Prime Ministers have already ruled out returning to the negotiating table if the deal agreed by Mrs May is rejected in the UK parliament.

      The EU last night gave Mrs May a big round of applause which speaks volumes about the direction of travel of her negotiations.

      Finally the contemptible Tory rebel MP’s and my own MP should bow their heads in shame, they have shown their true colours and duplicity and will have to face the consequences of their actions, I hope sooner rather then later.

      • Melvin Cornwell
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Yes, Oggy, they will of course remove the option to return to negotiations. That is the ACTUAL ‘next step’.

        What they are engineering is a straight in or out vote by Parliament at the end of the negotiations i.e. an “MPs only” re-run of the referendum sans democracy by the people as we thought existed.

        At that point, they will vote to stay in. And our country, and the people in it, will never recover from that. Some actions are simply unforgivable, and do not diminish with time.

        HELL will not so much break lose, as creep loose, but it will be just as insidious… the Establishment is about to kiss the UK’s ar*e goodbye forever.

    • Javk snell
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes Brian a lot of us think that the EU will be able to offer us a bettet future if we sonehow stay attached. We were promised all kinds of new internatonal trade deals by the brexiteers before the referendum but none of this has materialised as of yet..the empire has gone but we still have a lot of old people especially in this country still clinging to memories..we were all horribly lied to and are now facing into the truth..there is no pot of money 350 mill extra for the NHS..only boris’s lies, Goves’s deceit and IDS and his promises about the ferman car workers..all lies

      Reply. we have not left the EU yet!

      • libertarian
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Dear Snell

        Couple of things that are actually facts

        We haven’t left yet so we can’t negotiate new trade deals with anyone else

        It has nothing to do with empire, USA, China and India are all bigger growing markets than the EU

        BMW, Siemens , QIAGEN ( all German companies ) Have invested in UK and created new jobs, since the referendum

        Since the referendum

        Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs have all agreed to build new European HQ’s in London

        Britain attracted a net £119.6bn of foreign investment in 2016, the highest since the measure was established in 1946. Overall foreign direct investment was £220.5bn.

        Oh and despite project fear and the lies of the Remain camp we have created
        300,000 new jobs since June 2016

        Despite project fear saying 10,000 City jobs would go in fact vacancies in City of London rose 13%

        Despite project fear telling us the banks would relocate to Paris…. NOT ONE has left or is planning to leave

        £6.3 billion of new funding for the NHS in England announced in the budget bringing a record of £124.7 billion in total

        etc ed

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Old people now were wearing flowers in their hair in the swinging sixties and wearing platform boots and flares in the seventies. I was a Punk.

        Stop banging on about Empire.

      • Alexis
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 2:11 am | Permalink

        “the empire has gone but we still have a lot of old people especially in this country still clinging to memories”

        Just how old do you think they are, bud?

        As for trade deals that have not materialised – you do know we are forbidden from making any through our membership of the EU?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      I agree Brian.

      Interesting to see the camera-shy Soubry making so many spurious interventions. She also gave a running commentary, something Lindsay Hoyle rebuked her for the previous week, yet she continues to get away with it.


  15. Bert Young
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Setting a date for leaving the EU is absolutely necessary . The defeat the Government suffered now needs to be overcome and setting a precise date is one way of doing it . Of course I am extremely annoyed at the “cheaters”who let the side down and I firmly believe as I have indicated to Oldtimer – they should be deselected . This was a key moment for the Government and for any representative who chose to ignore the will of the people – and in some cases the votes and will of their constituents , they have no right or standing to be in the HoCs.

  16. agricola
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Whatever weasel words those conservatives use who voted with labour, they are traitors to the 17.5 million who voted to leave and should forfeit their political careers at the end of this parliament. As they say” When the s..t hits the fan, you know who your friends are.”

  17. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    It is ludicrous not to have a fixed exit date.

    Who ever heard of a legal contract not having a completion date? Obviously the bunch of lawyers who defeated the amendment. It is pure sour grapes and the quicker the Conservative rebels leave the party the better will be its chances in the next election. They are equivalent to a few cricketers who don’t like the pitch refusing to play on the day – it doesn’t happen.

  18. VotedOut
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Parliamentarians who do not want Brexit, should have voted against the referendum bill.

    There is no valid argument now for any MP to resist Brexit – that decision and power was transferred by that Act to the people.

    I suggest that the Edmund Burke argument that MPs make decisions is dangerously thin on this issue.

  19. Epikouros
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Right from the start when the vote was for the UK to leave the EU remainers have been waging a campaign to not honour that vote. They have done it cynically and with the usual irrationality that we come to associate with a zealous fanaticism that we expect from the deeply religious. Labour’s leaders now also imbued with a religious fanaticism to turn the UK into a socialist Utopia have joined forces with them seeing it as a means to further their agenda. Which is even more cynical than the remainers as to remain in the EU does not help them achieve their objectives as to do so despite the EU being heavily progressive socialist it would block Labour from implementing much of their proposed policies and practices.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Entirely in character with and sharing the same tactics as the EU.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Wouldnt be surprised to see UKIP win landslides at the next election

    If you think the ordinary people are impressed, think again

  21. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    John. What we have at the moment within the House of Westminster is of its own making.

    The world has moved on and the parties selecting the Clarkes, Soubry, Morgans and many others highlight how out of touch it has become with the perception and expectations of the people.

    Parliament needs professional people but more importantly it desperately people who are or have been in industry, engineering, manufacturing, science and have experienced the dealing with the general public and workforce on all the different sectors that operate on the front line of real life. Those who listen and hear and are not still trapped in the political dogma of yesteryear.

    The only thing constant in life other than death is change and the party has not moved with the times.

    The people expect and demand better than what we are getting at the moment and it will need the whole selection process has to be geared to what the country needs and not what educational standard you have achieved in some non life experience degree.

  22. Javelin
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Democracy works because the voters are smarter than the politicians.

    If you have to question that statement get out of politics.

  23. alan jutson
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The test

    If Mrs May willingly backs down on the present Brexit date, and delays our exit, then that will really show her weakness to all.

  24. Iain Moore
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I understood Amendment 7 was a way for Parliament to not accept the take it or leave it choice to any agreement arrived at , but give Parliament the power to force the Government to go back to the negotiation table. Their agenda seems to be to stall as much as they can and hope something comes along that they can use to stop Breixt, which is why they are also implacably opposed any Brexit date being put on the statue books.

  25. Kenneth
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Going to WTO appeals to me on many fronts.

    Remainers dismiss it using the term “crashing out”.

    Surely leaving a protectionist block and moving to a more open system of global trading is a positive step.

  26. Bob
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Mrs May was applauded by EU leaders at a dinner banquet.
    Being a cynical type I’m thinking of two possible reasons for this, either they’re taking the pee, or they’re genuinely pleased with the way she’s handling the negotiations for with them.

    • Richard
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      This is a good summary of what happened in Phase 1:
      “many British people have come to a painful realization regarding those who govern them. Whenever they see their leaders, accompanied by the weasel “officials” who hone the sharp edge of betrayal, flying off to negotiate with foreigners they know that they will not put Britain first; that they cannot be relied on to defend this country’s interests against foreign powers; and that, on the contrary, they can reliably be predicted to sell Britain down the river.”

      Has anyone ever seen a negotiation where one side starts by resolving all the other side’s pressure points while simultaneously creating pressure points on oneself?

    • treacle
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      If someone agreed to pay me £40 billion when they weren’t legally obliged to, I’d applaud them as well.

      • Bob
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        I would do more than applaud them, I’d offer cashback.

  27. mickc
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    It would be amusing, were it not so tragic, that some MPs have become jealous of Parliamentary sovereignty only after the referendum result; not so when they rubber stamped EU legislation.
    Regrettably, Parliament having been given the chance to recover it’s sovereignty by the British people, seeks to give it away again.
    It really is time for a proper Swiss type democracy in the UK, and the “Princes of Westminster ” made true servants of the people.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Dear Micke–Agreed–I push for more direct democracy at every turn–The Swiss seem to get by

    • longinus
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes please, we can get rid of the House of Lords as well. They haven’t started their treachery yet.

  28. They Work for Us?
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The rebel MPs reinforce my view that our system is broken and that we can no longer trust Parliament to act in the best interests of their employers, the electorate that gave them the privilege. Proper right of recall, prompt deselection of MPs like Mme Soubry (whose electors voted firmly to leave the EU) and control in the Conservative party for candidate selection being with grass roots (the pay masters and foot soldiers during campaigning) and not with Central Office would help restore popular appeal and democracy. Above all we need fewer major issues, many are manufactured for sensation and these to be decided by Direct Democracy. If only all MPs had the wisdom of our host …….

  29. CharlesV
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    As you say, “the argument was one of detail, not of principle”. It’s therefore a shame that this has caused the reaction it has.

    The Conservative party should by now be capable of having a civilised debate about this kind of technical detail without name calling, threatening people with de-selection etc… The fact that you can’t does call into question how fit you are to govern and lead us through the withdrawal process.

    Parliamentary arithmetic dictates that you should be approaching this in a very consensual and collaborative manner and avoiding situations where you are relying on heavy whipping.

    The interesting figure for me in this are the more free minded labour MPs – Frank Field and Dennis Skinner. Because this became a debate about government authority and not the actual point of substance you then make it harder for these figures to vote with the government, the more tribal Mr Skinner didn’t.

    Why you want to repeat the process about the withdrawal date is beyond me. The detail is immaterial in the wider context but the lasting damage that is done to your party by having these kinds of arguments will do lasting damage.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    “There is now discussion of the government amendment to place the date of exit in the Bill. I hope the government do continue with this amendment, and work to ensure its passage. I recommend it for a reason which ought to appeal to most MPs, whether Remain or Leave voters. We need the date in the Bill to ensure legal continuity.”

    That is a very good reason, but personally my main reason for urging the government to stick to its guns on this amendment is to smoke out those MPs and later those peers who want to defer our withdrawal for as long as possible and preferably forever. Let them vote against having a definite date and time set in the Act, and let them expose themselves for what they are.

    Incidentally I saw Lord Winston on Question Time muttering that the Lords might put up much more opposition to this Bill, and nobody bothered to point out that he and his fellow peers have zero democratic mandate for defying the will of the people as expressed in the referendum.

    Leave the EU – 17.4 million votes; Robert Winston – zero votes.

    • stred
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      I reckon he was conniving with Lord Kerr and the ‘Ignore the ignorant dim witted electors Committee’ to come up with his ‘Leave and get cancer’ line. Medical Lords are ideal. Wait for the bishops to tell us we won’t go to heaven if we leave.

  31. Evan Owen
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    What happens if we want to leave earlier but the date is set in stone?

  32. Peter Parsons
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Whatever deal is finally arrived at will be voted on in a meaningful way by the Parliaments of the EU27 and various regional assemblies as well. For the UK parliament to not have an equivalent meaningful vote would be crazy. Many people who voted Leave did so to “take back control”. This vote is an example of elected representatives “taking back control”.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Why didn’t they take control when for 40 odd years they have been nodding through EU legislation.
      Hypocrite3s the lot of them.

      • rose
        Posted December 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        They aren’t taking back control: they are voting to leave it in Brussels.

  33. Leaver alone
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    A date removes Uncetainty. Remoaners have dropped the Uncertainty Argument as it does not now fit with their delays relating to an extension of the Leaving Timetable. The Extremist Remainers in Parliament are a continuing and severe threat to our democracy.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I whole heartedly agree with you on Swiss type democracy.

  34. D Gardener
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    On top of this there is the new demand from Brussels that the agreement made to open trade talks is turned into Law. This is contrary to terms or Article 50 and the EU Guidelines laid down for ourselves and the EU to follow.
    So, I would ask why OUR Government has not been pointed this out to those in Brussels?
    Why are they not being told that they are breaking their own written Law and written Guidelines?
    To ignore this is to display a sinister affiliation to Brussels and that is my worry.
    Para 2 refers “Single package” and “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Individual items cannot be settled separately”. It is quite clear.

    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. The Union will approach the negotiations with unified positions, and will engage with the United Kingdom exclusively through the channels set out in these guidelines and in the negotiating directives. So as not to undercut the position of the Union, there will be no separate negotiations between individual Member States and the United Kingdom on matters pertaining to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union.

  35. Rp
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Reading the draft EU guidelines for the next phase, it is clear that the EU does not have any intention of having substantive trade discussions before we have left. They plan to talk about transition, security and defence co-operation, more detail on phase 1 issues, the draft withdrawal agreement and just the “framework” for a future trade deal, ultimately leading to a political statement on the future arrangements only (ie full of fudge).

    The U.K. will therefore be signing and legally implementing the exit agreement to pay the full Brexit bill long before there is any full discussion or agreement on a future trade deal between the EU and the U.K.. The EU will ensure that no trade deal will be possible for years and in the meantime we will be in transition – In the single market and customs union, paying contributions to the EU like a member would, subject to all 4 freedoms (including free movement), subject to ECJ jurisdiction but without any representation in the EU institutions.

    Upon entering transition, we will have left in name only – The EU is lining us up for indefinite transition with repeated extensions until circumstances change. I call it “extend and pretend” – Extend transition (repeatedly, humiliating the U.K. further each time and asking for more money) and Pretend we have left. The EU can keep this up for some time as there won’t be a majority for the alternative no deal Brexit in the House of Commons.

  36. Chris S
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    It is looking increasingly likely that the majority in Parliament, backed by their friends in the media who want to remain, might succeed in delaying Brexit until after the next General Election.

    They appear to be trying to ensure that the “transition” period ( which is nothing of the sort ) is either open ended or extends so that it is still in effect after the next election. That would be dangerous for those of us who are determined to leave.

    The Hard Left are so desperate to get their hands on the reins for the first time that they will stop at nothing, including going to the country on a manifesto cancelling Brexit. There are even one or two diehard Remainers on the Conservative benches who would probably be prepared to see a socialist/communist Labour faction in power for one term if it means they can stop Brexit.

    That is why we need to establish a definitive leaving date now that will be before the next general election and it needs to be written into the legislation next week.

    A definite

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I feel sure that Dominic Grieve is aware that his amendment actually adds nothing to the democratic process and does nothing to uphold parliamentary sovereignty; despite the media hype it is just an unnecessary obstacle put in the way of an orderly withdrawal from the EU and therefore a nuisance which could undermine our national interests. But let it stand, in case somebody decides to press an alternative amendment which could be more effective in preventing Brexit and/or more destructive of our national interests.

  38. Duncan
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    **Brexit Phase Two Gets Go Ahead – Sufficient Progress Reached** – Tusk praises PM May

    The betrayal is complete. When we have the EU praising this wretched PM we know the EU have us over a barrel

    Thanks Mr Redwood and indeed all of your colleagues for installing a pro-EU politician as leader of the party I have always voted for.

    Your actions and the underhand behaviour of those who purport to support Brexit have been exposed as a sham

    One can only hope that UKIP will target every Labour MP (every Remainer) and every Tory MP (those Remainers and indeed those leavers who voted for May as leader of my party)


    • Hope
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      You smell a rat when Junker claims she was a bar negotiator! She got nothing and gave away everything! I presume he is congratulating her for doing the EU bidding and suppressing leavers into silence in her party.

    • rose
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Mr R didn’t install her. He backed someone else, a Brexiteer.

  39. Andrew S
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    It was real threat of conservative MPs losing seats due to UKIP votes that caused Cameron to provide the referendum. The only way to get results from most tory MPs is to threaten them with loss of seats and loss of power, loss of wealth through socialist agenda.
    Theresa May would lose large numbers of middle ground conservative votes whereas Corbyn will not be losing labour leave votes. The 12 tory remainers who supported Amendent 7 have shown how fragile her position is. In the new year she should be removed and replaced with Mogg, he has the intellect, principles, debating and presentation skills to be a major figure on the world stage. Ably supported by a new chancellor at no. 11 Mr John Redwood MP. Thus concludes my letter to Santa.

    • rose
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Woooldn’t it be luvverly?

  40. Peter
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I have absolutely no idea how the whole Brexit process will pan out.

    If we got to the end date without agreement does that mean we would automatically go to WTO terms?

    That would suit me, but there will be probably be a get out clause somewhere along the line.

    In theory it should be easier to crash the talks, rather force a particular Brexit-lite solution.

    As I said, I have no idea how it will play out but we are in a numbers game now. It was always going to come down to that.

  41. forthurst
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    If the HoC rejects the negotiated exit deal, what then? If the government does not have March 29th 2o19 set in primary legislation, what then? Will the government claim that we have left and the BBC and opposition that we a still in on that date? Will Gina Miller have to step to claim that it is against her human rites not to be in the EU?

    This whole affair is demonstrating how FPTP does not yield parliaments and governments that reflect the will of the people.

  42. Oggy
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I mentioned the oxymoronic Amendment 7 above which perversely makes it less likely that Sovereignty will be returned to Westminster from Brussels.

    Turning to Clause 1 which ends supremacy of EU law in March 2019. If this clause does end the supremacy of EU law then how can we still be subject to EU law during any transitional period after March 2019 – the two are contradictory.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Another point in that book:

    “However, the advantage for FTA and WTO options are that EU rules will only need apply to exporters and not the 94% of UK firms that never sell into the SIM, but currently have to abide by EU regulations. This will give rise to an economic benefit to the UK economy, which we cautiously estimate could be around 0.75% of UK GDP in the medium term.”

    Another side to this would be that if our government could persuade the EU to accept a continuing guarantee, backed up by UK legislation and by its efficient enforcement as now, that in the future all UK exporters to the EU will still be compelled to maintain their present compliance with EU rules then that could avoid creating any new need for checks at the EU entry points, including at the Irish land border.

  44. majorfrustration
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Instead of all this backing and froing and the total loss of respect by the public for the shower in Westminster lets just walk away from negotiations now and work towards WTO. Cant the muppets in Westminster see that the EU will drag out trade talks – up until March 2019 – and where will the business men in the UK be then – even more uncertainty. WTO makes sense and if the EU want a trade deal then they can COME TO US – its surely not that difficult. First stage needs to be to get rid of the muppets.

    • old salt
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      to majorfrustration & comment earlier by NickC
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
      “The Amendment 7 scuppers the WTO option, leading to the EU giving us a very bad deal, making it likely the HoC will send the PM back, ad infinitum. Or until there is another GE. We are heading for limbo: subject to the EU; paying into the EU; not in, but definitely not out.”
      So, John, clarity on WTO is needed in view of the above please.

  45. mick
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
    • Richard
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      As soon as we legally commit to this one-sided Withdrawal deal, we lose a massive amount of leverage. So we should return the Brussels jibe that “we are not naive”.

      In economic terms the EU needs a agri products-for-services trade FTA just as much as the UK does. £39Bn = 2% of UKGDP so we are already overpaying. The UK should set out the comprehensive (eg Aus-NZ style) FTA terms that would allow the EU to earn its unjustified pot of gold and simultaneously loudly prepare for WTO in case there’s no movement by EU.

      If WTO is the result in April 2019, that will not help EU Europhiles in the June 2019 EU Parliament elections.
      So the UK still holds a decent hand – if it chooses to negotiate properly.

  46. Dennis Zoff
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    So to summarize our latest negotiations with the EU:

    UK Parliament

    Pre-phase: The Conservative Remainers install a Remainer to run the negotiations!


    Phase 1. Disaster: We give the EU everything they demand and more, without any tangible assurances, concessions or agreement from their side. Bravo Tories!

    Phase 2. The EU continues to run rings around our Government and now they set the agenda down with their latest dictate: March 2018 at the earliest for Trade discussions! Most probably a disastrous deal outcome. With the Remainers rejoicing once more that the UK citizens have been walked over again by the EU (their heroes). Bravo again Tories!

    Phase 3. Who knows what is coming next?….not good for the UK citizens that’s for sure! Bravo Tories!

    Meanwhile, we have the Remainers chipping away at the people’s resolve, try at every twist and turn to negate progress by continual interference and ignore the will of the people at every opportunity! Priceless. Bravo Tories!

    Such “Clownish” deceitful behaviour has never been witnessed in our lifetime…..or just a continuation of Political form!

    • Andy
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      I love that you admit Brexit is going badly – but that you also blame everyone else for that.

      It’s going badly so it must be the fault of the EU, or the Remoaners, or Labour, or the BBC.

      It couldn’t possibly be going badly because it is a rubbish idea based on a series of untruths and flawed assumptions. Staggering.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Of course this is only Luxembourg and there are 26 others who might think differently and might bully small dissenters into line, but:

    “Bettel: UK to get one shot only at Brexit deal”

    “Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel has said that if British MPs rejected the Brexit deal after it was concluded, then the UK would exit with no deal. Asked in Brussels on Thursday if the EU would be prepared to renegotiate the text in such an event, he said: “No”. He said the idea of going back and forth between Westminster and Brussels was “not good for the position of the negotiations”.”

    • rose
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      But the Belgian said it would take up to ten years and we would have to extend the transition aka delayed exit.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        That would be after we have left the EU, while this would be before we had left the EU. So when somebody writes to our local newspaper suggesting that once the deal had been agreed we should have another referendum to decide between these three options:

        1. Accepting the deal and leaving the EU
        2. Rejecting the deal and leaving the EU
        3. Rejecting the deal and remaining a member of the EU

        it seems he hasn’t worked out that the UK electorate would have the unilateral right to choose either of the first two options but not the third, and according to this chap it would not be an available option.

  48. John O'Leary
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Can you show me where in Article 50 it suggests that a FTA will be negotiated within the 2 years? As far as I can see it only refers to defining a “framework for a new relationship”. That may include some elements of trade, but it most certainly will not be a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement that May keeps on about. I really think you are all living in cloud- cuckoo land.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      It does not. Because this whole thing is nothing but a carefully choreograph charade to keep us in the AM and the CU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      And where does it say that negotiations on different matters must be conducted in a foolish time consuming sequence determined by the EU, rather than by much more sensible parallel processes? For that matter, where does it say that the UK must leave the EU before a new trade agreement can be agreed? How does it come about that the UK and the rest of the EU can legally negotiate a UK withdrawal agreement while the UK is still a member state of the EU, but they cannot legally negotiate an agreement on future trade relations? And moreover, why has the UK government just gone along with this nonsense?

  49. hefner
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
    A beautiful database covering wealth and income over the period 1980-2016 for more than 50 countries.

  50. Andy
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    It is irrelevant anyway. A far more important date is our re-entry date. Brexit – having clearly (but unsurprisingly) failed to deliver everything the people voted for – will be relatively swiftly undone.

    It is largely being imposed, by pensioners, on younger people who do not want it. Look at the Labour Brexiteers in Parliament. Average age 72.

    The most vocal Tories – Bill Cash, Duncan Smith, Paterson, David Davis – are either pensioners or close to it. Out of touch, angry and irrelevant.

    All Brexit will ultimately do is give us demonstrable proof that the Eurosceptics and Brexiteers were full of lies and hot air all along. So get on with it.

    The quicker it happens, the quicker it fails, the quicker we all undo it. And demographics alone mean you can not stop us.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Brexit will be a failure…but I wish I could share your optimism that it can be undone. The army of grey-haired, angry, nostalgia-gripped, gullible people – plus the just plain ignorant – have got their way for a generation at least.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        That’s nice … then people wonder why the debate has got heated.

  51. acorn
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    The bottom line IMO this Friday evening is (1) We remain a full member of the EU till March 2019. (2) We continue (i.e. we transition) as a sort of, “ex parte” full member of the EU till, at least, March 2021. (3) A General Election follows in 2022; at a time when the UK economy may not be in the best of health, having been austeritised; brexitised and generally neglected since 2010.

    As a government plan to keep the UK in the EU, I would suggest it is working out quite well. It should, some of the best brains in the UK and EU are working on it. If the 1% Elite think there is more profits inside the EU than outside it; then inside it we will stay. 😉

  52. oldtimer
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Given the initial comments from EU leaders, the UK needs to reinforce its preparations for a no deal outcome.

  53. MKB
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    The insecure Brextremists !!

    Vote Leave came out with nonsense phrases such as ‘Take Back Control’. Dominic did exactly the right thing for Democracy.

    Strong, Prosperous, and Secure said Theresa May today. She forgot to add…but less so than within the EU.

  54. Chris
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Jacob Rees-Mogg has it summed up exactly: (like Charles Moore with his “complete capitulation” description of May’s action). We will be a “de facto EU state”. Disgraceful. What a sham May has been, in my view, and what a disaster for the UK, and democracy, and incidentally the Conservative Party itself.
    ‘Remain in all but name’ Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses Government of ‘ROLLING OVER’ for EU
    JACOB Rees-Mogg has accused Theresa May’s Government of “rolling over” for the European Union – and guiding the UK down a path that would leave it as a “de-facto” EU state.

  55. Simon Coleman
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    So if it’s a ‘technical’ debate, then why the hysterical reaction and talk of deselections?

  56. Javelin
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    John – there is currently a petition at number 10 to leave the EU immediately.

    It is currently on 97,000 signatures.

    I signed the petition 3 hours ago and still haven’t received a confirmation email. A friend signed the petition a day ago and hasn’t received an email.

    It appears that number 10 is throttling the emails.

    This could be to slow down momentum.

    The petitions have a limited time. By throttling the emails Number 10 is denying some people their right to sign a petition.

    Could you please ask Number 10 to ensure that petition emails are sent out within the hour.

    • rose
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      We both signed a long time ago and never got the confirmation either.

  57. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    There is no way to spin this positively Mr Redwood. Mrs May and her negotiating team has been undermined. My negotiating experience does not include multinational or intranational deals but those who you are negotiating with respond well to dealing with the final arbiter.

  58. ian
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    They are only interested in a free trade deal for services, like banks, they will sacrifice everything else to try to get one, which will mean only big businesses will get something out of it and not the people.

  59. Simon
    Posted December 16, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    This is what happens under a “dualist” system. It is a complete mess. Brexit aside we need root & branch constitutional reform.

  60. Dennis Perrin
    Posted December 17, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    We must be careful of pinning hopes just on what “the prime minister said”.

  • About John Redwood

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

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