Are we there yet?

A majority of the public just want the EU to get on with it, so we can complete Brexit.

We voted to take back control of our laws, our borders and our money, so we know our destination . Increasingly the travellers in the car are asking “Are we there yet?”. Instead they are told we are still stuck in a traffic jam in London, with arguments going on over which is the best route to our destination. Meanwhile the Opposition are rushing round trying to close the roads we need to take to get to Brexit.

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  1. Lemmy
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    It is YOUR fault we are in a mess. Leave promised frictionless trade with the EU for free, easy trade deals with the rest of the world, no immigration, 350 mill for the NHS, no border in Ireland. Cloud cuckoo land and now being exposed as such

    • Ajay Gajree
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Leave never promised any of that and you know it.

      • Hope
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Your fault. You elected a remaining PM who has a cabinet and Brexit sub group skewed with Remainers, what did you expect? She is implementing a policy she does not agree with. She has been underhand with support of the civl service to remain as close to the EU as possible or remain inky another name. Have you not read the text agreed in December? Who in their right mind would agree to give away £100 billion to talk about trade that the EU will not discuss until after the extension? Who would agree to allow a foreign court to preside over citizens living and residing in this country? Who would allow regulatory alignment to the whole of the UK whether there is a deal or not? DUP caught her out. she is untrustworthy and underhand capitulated on all her red lines, allowed the EU to edit write the Florence speech- the body she is negotiating with! She has allowed all and every remained group to collude with the EU and nor surprisingly all came out together this week.

        Look in the mirror, you and your colleagues created this situation. So what are you going to do ?

        • Hope
          Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          No deal provides more for leavers who won the vote than getting a trade deal to keep the U.K. in the EU by another name. Therefore no further talk is required eave without a deal. No one in their mind would discuss further with a body who threatened a land grab of their nation, let alone appease it, share with it or follow complete regulatory alignment for an indefinite period without a voice how those rules are made.

          May is still trying to sell out the country and make false claims she has achieved the opposite.

          May allowed the phases of discussion rather than trade at the same time as commitments. She has gone way over the top for alleged false EU commitments of £100 billion when imposing more taxes upon us.

    • Prigger
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Well Lemmy just club together with your comrades and put a sign on a bus ” Moan, moan moan”. Everyone will follow your lead as everyone bases their life on what is written on the side of a bus. However few people can remember one advert on the side of a bus they have seen in the last twenty years and more.. Weird isn’t it!

    • Gary C
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Yawn . . . . . . Open your eyes the real reason we are in a mess is the remainers wanting the UK to play cuckold to the EU!

    • NickC
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Lemmy, We haven’t left yet. And if the establishment get their way we never shall. And as others have said Leave did not promise any of your imaginary list.

    • getahead
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Leave voted to leave. It is up to the government to sort out the paperwork. Something they are manifestly having a problem with.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    They tell us we didn’t vote to get poorer without telling us that staying in the EU means we get poorer.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      That is a leap of faith. Why should you get poorer in an economic unit that grows faster than the UK, especially taking into account that growth over the past ten years was highly immigration-dependent.

      • Robert Betteridge
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        In a nutshell – because we are paying 1/5 of the Brussels budget, over the last 40 years we’ve sold most of our silver, and put our grandchildren in hock to pay it. We’re broke, and our best solution is to plug the leak.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        That’s what people in Italy Greece Portugal Cyprus etc are asking the EU

      • Caterpillar
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Rien Huizer,

        why this happens is indeed an interesting question.

        One reason you identify is due to immigration and children of new immigramts, this leads to faster labour growth and so net capital formation struggles to keep up, capital per unit of labour is a text book variable in gdp per capita growth. China is obviously a good example. There is also a problem of success to the successful; regulations, standards etc. are influenced by the more successful and are a barrier to the less successful this becomes a reinforcing generator of inequality – success allows more influence on future regulations (here the cry from UK firms who currently do well in EU compared to those for whom some regulations are a needless overhead limiting their competitiveness elsewhere in the world). A third issue might be that with a single currency that wage stickiness can be increased, some countries wages would usually adjust via exchange rates but this route is removed, therefore the market is less responsive (I think Edwaed2’s might relate to this).
        I suspect there are other issues, but I think the above contribute an explanation.

      • Prigger
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        With 40% Youth unemployment in at least one EU nation state it is easy to have good growth figures. If one of them gets a job delivering pizza menus door to door that will be 2.5% growth in employment. Well done Spain!!! A Beacon of the EU as Corbyn would put it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Rien Huizer

        In the UK national and personal debt is at record levels and the BBC reports everything from schools to housing to hospitals in crisis.

        What growth in reality ?

  3. duncan
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    The electorate made the right decision in voting to leave the EU in 2016. Unfortunately, Tory party MPs made the wrong decision in voting to elect a Europhile as our leader. To say she’s been an unmitigated disaster is an understatement.

    Well done to all Tory MPs including this blog’s author. You may have destroyed this country’s one chance to finally escape from the sclerotic embrace of the EU

    • Adam
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      The best route to a destination is often beyond the departing traveller’s scope of view. ‘Best’ can change during the journey, & may be known only after arrival.

      One step backward may be a great stride. We loosely left £40bn Exit door fee, as a bouncer claimed his was our only way out. Let’s seize back control of our money for a greater escape.

  4. Andy
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    It is Brexiteers behind the wheel.

    Yet it turns out that you don’t know how to drive..

    You will inevitably crash the Brexit – hurting innocent Remain voters and the EU, who are all stood by watching.

    But you will also hurt yourselves too.

    This mess is all ENTIRELY the fault of Brexiteers.

    Stop blaming everyone else for your own collective incompetence.

    Your policies are pig-headed, incoherent and based on fantasy.

    Rather than accepting this basic truth your all continue to whine.

    Grow up and stop screwing up my country.

    • stred
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      That would be the EU presumably.

    • Peter
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      No. It is a nervous Remainer driver behind the wheel with her Remainer pals. They are frightened of roads they have not ventured down before.

      So have brought their foreign uncles along with them and those uncles have now taken control of the journey from the back seats. So far they have made unnecessary stops at some very expensive petrol stations. They are also demanding that the driver gives lifts to some very rough looking hitch hikers.

    • formula57
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      @ Andy “Your policies are pig-headed, incoherent and based on fantasy.”

      So were those of Churchill, thank goodness, on the last occasion we had to oppose an evil empire in continental Europe.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      They haven’t decided whether to walk, drive, fly or take the bus. There is a large contingent for staying put as the journey is too difficult. So it’s being trailed that Mrs May is going to remain in regulatory alignment in some sectors to appease the Irish. We didn’t vote for that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Most of the cabinet supported Remain during the referendum. The Prime Minister at that time, the one who decided he would ask Parliament to order a referendum and said the result would be decisive, made sure that there were no contingency plans in case his side lost. He also said that he expected the Article 50 TEU notice to go in straightaway if we voted to leave, but instead he delayed long enough for the applications for judicial review to go in so preventing the government putting in the notice even if it wished to do so; and he also said that he expected to stay on and see us out of the EU if we voted that way, but instead he ran off as quickly as he could leaving it to others to take on that job. These are all Remainers, Andy, not Brexiteers, who make up a minority in Theresa May’s cabinet.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Not Brexiteers Andy. Just the back stabbing ministers who are intent on keeping us in an EU which will be worse for us than the one we are trying to leave. They will be to blame for the dire state we find ourselves in now. We should have walked and made them come to us. No guts and no vision.

    • Prigger
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Can’t you get a crash helmet ready for the crash Andy? They come in all sizes!

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Two Remainers are driving in actuality.

      And you’re not innocent. You’ve exhibited outright nastiness on this blog.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink


      UK Minimum wage set to rise by 4.2% in April

      French Minimum wage due to rise by 1.2 %

      Greek Minimum wage set to oh not rise , zero

      German minimum wage set to oh not rise , zero…..

      Hmm Andy , maybe you just dont know what you are talking about.

      Anyhow I’m off to France this weekend to have a word with the folks running my French business. Meanwhile Andy will be in his bedroom crying

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian, another occasion where you may want to look at your statements on economic issues. First, Germany has no minimum wage so it is unlikely to rise or fall. However there are plns to introduce something of the sort. Second, you refer to MW increases in the UK compared to several EU countries. Did you take into account that the UK has 3% CP inflation and your comparison countries much less than one percent. Third, you should be comparing minimum wage levels,. not percentage increases, if you want to say soemthing meaningful about those.

        And what is the relevance of minimum wage increases to the comment you are commenting on? As fas as I can see that was Andy’s lament of brexiteers making a mess of brexit.

    • NickC
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Unfortunately it is Remains behind the wheel.

      We have a Remain dominated HoC and a Remain dominated civil service. Naturally they are incapable of seeing the Leave advantages. As you are too.

      Consequently we have already missed many of the Leave opportunities. Like you, Mrs May wants a deep and special relationship with the EU.

      The result, even if we eventually “leave”, it will be Brexit in name only. You will almost certainly get what you want for years to come.

      So dry your eyes, stop sniveling, and you can crow about the Remain catastrophe you are inflicting on the majority who actually want to Leave instead.

    • getahead
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Andy, all the ‘Brexiteers’ did was vote to leave. The mess is entirely a Remainer government’s and of course the even bigger mess that is of the EU.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Andy change isn’t all bad.

      100 years ago suffragettes stood up and against much fear and derision started a movement that has over the last century empowered half of our nation, took us from polishing our front door steps to becoming tax paying contributors not totally reliant on finding a good man to feed and cloth us and indeed many women now leading their Countries, one the most powerful in the EU, although struggling at the moment to regain her control. Brexiteers are not second class citizens and like those suffragettes we don’t accept that our lives are ruled by people we don’t elect, indeed DC who is supposed to have a major veto vote could not stop the blatantly unsuitable Juncker from being elected to the highest office in the EU. Our voice so marginalised because our majority MEP elected party and the Conservative MEPs were so marginalised they just took regulation after regulation being invited upon us without being able to stop them.

      We have had 40 years of being lied to about the EU, John Major nor Gordon Brown explained what they were signing away, indeed I understand papers have now come to light that Heath knew to cover up what he was signing up to because they knew the British wouldn’t agree to it. This has been the first opportunity after our fathers lost their jobs, our Cities have gone to the dogs, our Industry and Manufacturing sector being sold out and replaced by shopping centres and more houses. We are all having to retire later, our State Pension system nearly collapsing. Our NHS social model and funding through Ni contributions just Ponzi schemes that are running out of money and supporting in coming self-employed free loaders, if it wasn’t so why were they so worried about EU citizens loosing access to all these benefits for five years which is the main thing DC asked Europe for to keep us in the EU let’s not forget their complete and utter intransigence on the small concessions we asked for and being able to return EU citizens after prison sentences and if they couldn’t support themselves until they had made at least five years contributions of work and tax into the UK. This alone shows you have little veto and power we had a one of the top 5 contributing nations they just wanted to take with no give. They don’t have to keep the people happy, because the people don’t elect them!

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    If we hear again today, that we want a ‘deep and special partnership’ then we know we need a new PM. (No new ideas from No. 10)
    Will somebody in government please tell Mrs May, the EU bureaucracy does NOT WANT any such arrangement.
    Allocate maximum resources to WTO trade terms and get other deals ready to sign on 31-3-19

    • Doug Powell
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      PW, yes, here we go again! I see the PM’s speech is going to emphasise “bringing the country together.” – That is May speak for ‘SELL OUT!” Brexit is doomed if she is allowed to remain in office, because she doesn’t respect the Leavers!

      The first aim of HMG has to be ‘Deliver the Bexit the Leavers voted for’ – a vote won by 1.4 million votes!

      The country will not, cannot, be brought together until we are out of the EU! Then, if the remoaners can’t take it, tough. Their recourse is so obvious that it seems they can’t, or won’t, see it! Namely, emigrate to one of the 27 destinations in the EU flowing with no democracy, unaccountability, corruption, and youth unemployment.
      Then again, perhaps they don’t have the guts to put their backsides where their mouths are!

  6. Newmania
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    We voted to take back control of our laws, our borders and our money,

    Half of is did not; many others voted for an additional £350m per week for the NHS . Others still voted to leave the EU but on the understanding this would not disrupt our trading arrangemnets as endlessly promised; almost everyone voted in the expectation of being richer .
    A good number voted for the Brexit state to solve the shortages of housing, highly paid jobs by removing foreigners as was also ( mendaciously ) promised , many more because they don`t like brown people and others just to have a general moan becasue they are old or poorlyu educated and it made them feel important

    Almost no-one cares about our consitutional arrangements and no-one , absolutely no-one voted for the chaos and disaster we are headed towards

    • libertarian
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink


      View more on our plans to build a new train factory in Goole. A major step forward in Siemens’ journey in the UK. #siemensgoole

      The good news just keeps on coming despite the temper tantrums of Remainers

    • Edward2
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Amazing you have asked all 17 million leave voters.
      Or is this just another remainer project fear slur.

      Did remain voters all want the United States of Europe common taxation, joining the Euro,EU armed military forces and loads more poorer nations joining?

      • Gary C
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Re: Did remain voters all want the United States of Europe common taxation, joining the Euro,EU armed military forces and loads more poorer nations joining?

        I doubt it, they didn’t know what they were voting for! ;0)

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          The EU does not have any of those things and is unlikely to develop in that direction.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            Rubish read the five Presidents report
            And the many speeches by commission members.

          • Gary C
            Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

            Shutting your eyes will not stop it happening.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      So uncontrolled immigration is not chaos ?

      I did not expect to be richer after Brexit. Like most I could see that the EU is (inviting in too many ed.).

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Surely its our governments fault as much as the EU. We should have been out within 2 years of the vote.

  8. Peter
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    May still does not get it. Her speech will repeat much of what she has said before. The EU will just say ‘No’ again.

    Time to walk away. She is not prepared to do that.

    Get ready for a major exercise in spin. ‘Bringing the nation together’ or some such strapline followed by a climb down and Brexit in Name Only.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      I suspect that you are right on all counts.

  9. StanleyW
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    When we look over the cliff edge today following the PMs speech then we will know we gave arrived

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      If we do arrive at a cliff edge it will only be because people like you built up that cliff over half a century. The great majority of Britons never wanted our country to become so deeply entangled with neighbouring countries.

      • KeithL
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Except for Ireland..for hundreds of years..and now it’s come back to bite us

  10. jerry
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    “Opposition are rushing round trying to close the roads we need to take to get to Brexit.”

    …and that’s just the europhiles in your own party John, using the same tactics that you and others deployed when you and your colleagues were the EU rebels (to put it politely)!

    Sorry John, or anyone else, you can’t suggest that “We voted to take back control of our laws, our borders and our money, so we know our destination” but then complain that some are using that democracy to speak-up for the 48% (plus an unknown number who expressed no opinion). It is not the EU nor the Europhiles who are now attempting to trample-down on parliamentary democracy…

    • NickC
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, Parliament gave the decision to us, the people. We voted to Leave under conditions laid down by Parliament. The options were to Remain or Leave; there was no weird half-in/half-out option on the ballot paper, or even featuring significantly in the campaign.

      Like any other vote, all of which are divisive – that’s their purpose, one side won and the other(s) lost. In democratic principle it’s no different to the other 12 referendums, or to election results. It is outrageous that Remains in Parliament and the civil service are trying to stymie our choice.

      • jerry
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        @NickC, For pity sake, you simply do not understand parliamentary democracy do you! 🙁

        It is quite simple to understand, the Referenda as the IF question – we indeed voted to Leave, but it did not ask How nor When we should leave. Thus the only mandate that exists is the one given to Parliament at the last (2017) general election to govern us – want the people to directly instruct the elected Govt. on How and When the UK should Leave the EU then we need to hold that second referenda.

        Reply Clear instrucitons on the detail from 2017 election. Overwhelming majority voted for an independent trade policy and therefore leaving single market and customs union., rejecting Lib dems who stood for staying in.

        • jerry
          Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          @JR reply; Clear intent was set out (by all parties) in the manifestos, true, only trouble is no clear mandate was given by the electorate!

        • David Price
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          As to the “When”, Cameron clearly set the date by saying Article 50 would be triggered the day after the Referendum.

          • jerry
            Posted March 4, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

            @David Price; Your point being what? Article 50 sets out a _minimum_ period of negotiation [1], so even had Cameron kept his word, had there been no change in PM, no snap GE, the “When” question was still not a known-known. A50 is not the act of leaving, the conclusion of A50 is.

            [1] 3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless [my emphasis] the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.


  11. alan jutson
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Afraid the remain thinkers are doing their best to remove all the signposts, the remain mechanics have removed the spark plugs saying they are misfiring, and the remain driver has no sense of direction, and is still on a provisional licence.

  12. agricola
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Today is crunch day. Noises off from the EU suggest they wish to make life difficult, on their heads be it. Today I want our offer to the EU nation states, it should be directed to them, of a tariff free treaty on future trade and services based on the current trading arrangements. I want it made clear, that the alternative, brought about by EU intransigence, will be trade on WTO terms. That such trade will be handled electronically both in the UK and in Ireland, any hardness of border being down to the EU. I want it forcefully pointed out that UK sovereignty begins at the end of March 2018, from which date we make our own laws, and have our own immigration policy within which EU citizens within the UK can stay as long as they wish short of committing crime. That future immigrants from the UK can enjoy the same privileges after a period of registration. That the ECJ’s jurisdiction begins at Calais. That whatever is decided on trade we are open to cooperation on many fronts.

    • Helena
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      What an utterly bizarre comment. A “tariff free treaty on future trade and services based on the current trading arrangements” is freely available – it is called the Treaty of Rome, and we are members of it. The whole point of Brexit is to quit the current trading arrangements. Didn’t you realise that is what you voted for?

      • sm
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        No Helena, for many of us the whole point of Brexit is to remove the UK from the political and very costly framework and control of the EU, not to divorce ourselves from Europe, nor to go to war with our European neighbours, nor to stop trading with them.

      • Hope
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Helena, I am sure you are not as dull as you write. Leaving the EU is not about trade or mostly about trade. This just gives the EU and remainers an excuse to scare or worry people to change their minds. It has not worked. Trade was used as the main reason for joining, it was a deceit on the public who are too busy to read the Treaty of Rome or FCO paper 30/1046 which sets out how to deceive the public until it is too late to change. Only 28 countries in the EU the rest of the countries in the world trade absolutely either with a formal deal or not. Too much time wasted on this already. The treaty of Rome cost us dearly and it is not worth all the other costs, financially, socially, culturally or moreover as a free independent country able to decide its own policies including, trade policy, its own energy policy, its own agricultural policy, environment and if the public do not like any of them vote the politicians out. Whereas now MPs blindly implement what the EU tells them or within very narrow parameters. Where the public has no choice and has no right to get rid of those who really create the laws and taxes which we live under. All hidden for forty five years by lies and deceit.

      • NickC
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Helena, Do you not realise you voted for our country to disappear as an independent nation, swallowed up into an undemocratic fourth resurrection of the Roman Empire?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        You mean that treaty which started by committing all parties to a process of “ever closer union” which we didn’t want then and we don’t want now.

      • mancunius
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        No, we’re quitting the EU because it insists that trading arrangements are only available if we accept unlimited immigration. On the other hand its ‘free market in services’ is virtually non-existent, and it has been trying to make us finance its mad (and doomed) ERM experiment. Nowhere else in the world is a ‘trading arrangement’ so skewed against one of its major participants.

        It is as if every time it sells us a wedge of cheese it insists we invite into our home to feed, house, clothe, educate and medically treat: the goatherd who milked the goat, the goatherd’s children, parents, grandparents and relatives, – and even insure the goat as well.

  13. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    “Increasingly the travellers in the car are asking “Are we there yet?”. ” Maybe the question should be: Where is “There”. That is not the same for all passengers. And unfortunately the car can stop only once..

    • libertarian
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink


      So you’ve lived somewhere where the government of that place enact individuals laws per person depending on what each person wants?

      Theres a simple system behind our imperfect democracy . That is that the majority get to pick the destination and we picked LEAVE.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        I do not believe that “leave” is a destination all it says is that the place where you are now in not what you want. “There” should be a different place, but not “antwhere but where we are now”. May be too difficult to understand.

        And no, I’ve never lived somewhere” (a country?) where the government gave everyone what they want. But to respond to your underlying question: democracy is a lot more than just having a majority. It is government with the consent of the people and not the result of a match between two opposites over a poorly defined set of alternatives. That is the main reason why very few serious political scientists recommend referenda, especially ones that are poorly structured, about vital issues without a clear bunary structure. Look at how Switzerland and California do it.

    • Robert Betteridge
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      “There” ~ herein lies the nub of the problem. Us wrinckleys are very attached to our Common Law and have no desire for our grandchildren to grow up under Napoleonic Law. We are still paying for the last two wars that ‘bought’ us that freedom and gave Europe the chance of choosing democracy, unfortunately it is heading for an Autocracy.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        It appears that the younger generation was largely in favour of remain. And that Europe is heading for autocracy is complete nonsense. I have no idea of what you may mean by your reference to common- vs “Napoleontic” law. Iguess you are referring to statute based civil law versus “evolved over time” case law. Penal codes and adminsitrative law are a completely different matter and administrative and constitutional law too. Just limiting this to the civil area would show that satute- and case law exist in both legal families and that outcomes are not very different. The idea that statute law is in some way less “democratic ” is nonsense. The role of elected lawmakers is theoretically greater in statute systems, but of course, no lawmaker makes perfect laws, even elected ones. Hence a usually wide discretion for the courts. And come to think of it, what about written, transparent constitutions?

    • Robert Betteridge
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m not against EU Federalisation if that’s the way you want to govern yourselves. But what I would like to see is a network of free trading nations, under the WTO, hopefully to encompass ALL Nation States and groupings that are prepared not to use Trade as a weapon to subjugate others. Ideally Trade should be the way the emerging countries better themselves. The Internet has broken the world’s markets open and we all need to co-operate. The future is coming whether we like it or not. Do we need to form protectionist groups – especially at a time when AI will transform our lives?

  14. gordon winton
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Trapped on the M25 with no way to get off is how it feels to me, these negotiations are going precicely nowhere and never were from the start. The eu can give us no sort of satisfactory deal because almost everybody will immediately want the same and that will be the end of the eu as we know it and equally appalling is the huge majority in parliament for us to remain tethered to this dinosaur which is indoubtedly heading for an overdue extinction and in the process, the slowest most painful death imaginable. If the eu is to be saved it can only be in its fully fledged, eurozone all singing all dancing federal united states of whoever really wants to be a part of such an organisation. This will not suit many countries and it most certainly will not suit the uk. So I say lets abandon that car on the M25 and lead the charge to a more enlightened destination where others are bound to follow it might surprise us how many will chose to do so, then we could perhaps have an alternative free trading bloc to rival the eu itself.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Good post Gordon.

  15. Annette
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I did not vote for Brexit. I voted to LEAVE. I voted for us to become INDEPENDENT. Please reduce the amount of times that leaving is referred to as Brexit. Brexit is a remainer’s version of leaving which is leaving in name only, at least for those who claim to ‘respect’ the result whilst undermining our ‘side’ at every opportunity.
    LEAVING also makes our position clear. There is no such thing as a ‘soft ‘ or ‘hard’ leaving, just as there’s no ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ independence. You are allowing the pro-EU anti-democrats to create the chaos over words, ably assisted by remainers negotiating & others undermining our leaving.
    All that I’m seeing is fudge & delay. An unnecessary ‘transition’ to an unknown state where, for the duration, everything stays the same. That’s neither transition nor implementation, it’s certainly not leaving.
    We will never negotiate a ‘good’ deal from inside. We need to cleanly leave, and then start talking of a possible trade deal.

    • NickC
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Annette, Spot on.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      You may get what you want. I hope you can afford it.

    • zorro
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      It’s called Neuro Linguistic Programming…..


      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


        Ah yes, the good old NLP….”in education, NLP has been used as a key example of pseudoscience!”

  16. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Walk away.

    I didn’t for vote for all this delay and waffle. I voted out and completely out and quickly and that is what must be delivered – now.

  17. NHSGP
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    So when do we take back control?

    When do we get to tell you what laws to implement?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Never, if Michel Barnier has his way; only yesterday he explained very clearly what the EU is all about, and it’s about setting up a federal system of government:

      “In the absence of a common discipline, in the absence of EU law that can override national law, in the absence of common supervision and a common court, there can be no mutual recognition of standards.”

      Which is not surprising to some of us, because that was made clear back at the start on May 9th 1950 with the Schuman Declaration:

      “… setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe”

      ” … the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation”

  18. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    On 24/06/16 I commented on this blog ” now the fudge begins” – nothing has changed.
    Cameron lived up to most of our expectations and threw the towel in when he had the opportunity to redeem himself in history by delivering a clean exit and the baton regrettably went to another ditherer.

    • zorro
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      In military terms, he fled the field in ignominy….


  19. oldtimer
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The speed (Monday following the Friday declaration of the referendum result) with which the legal challenge to serving Article 50 notice was made suggests someone had a contingency plan B in place. Perhaps Cameron’s immediate resignation was part of it too – to cause a lengthy Tory leadership contest. Attempts to scupper or otherwise undermine Brexit have continued ever since. The constant procession of Remain politicians to the EU suggests the effort is closely co-ordinated The Irish border issue is but the latest example following after the arguments about transition/implementation periods. Attempts to build new road blocks will continue including an attempt to defeat the government and replace it with a Corbyn led government and/or a second referendum. The EU has form. It is what it does.

  20. Epikouros
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Every day that we are stuck in the congestion of the negotiating road that is leads to nowhere is another day lost to the UK improving her economy and taking up her rightful place in the world. Another day that we are shackled to the EU no better than serfs who have react to their every whim or we will be whipped back into line by the imposition of threats and/or heavy fines. We have the opportunity to break free and do that which we want, when and how we want. Let us do it now before the EU and remainiacs find a way to to keep us caged up permanently.

  21. Mick
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I’m sick to the back teeth of all these remoaners getting to spill there bile on most tv channels and media papers, just been watching the labour (MP ed) Umunna on sky giving his usual flannel and that labour didn’t put leaving the single market or custom union in there last manifesto, mybe not in them words but you did a bloody good job of convincing your labour following that you were for leaving the single market and custom union just to get votes, because I’ll tell you what mister come the next GE your mps up north will be looking for alternative employment because we will not fall for your lies again,unlike the snowflakes in the London bubble

  22. Bert Young
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    We’ve had enough ; get on with it !!. I do not want to hear one sort of compromising word from Theresa today , what I want to hear is a straightforward outline of our independence and determination to face the world . The EU can do and say what it likes but the plain fact is they can not and will not be able to continue the way they are . The economic and cultural differences across the EU are wide and disperse ; without the financial contribution we make and the depth of experience we have added to their operation will have a devastating influence on its bureaucracy . The EU have to face the hard fact of life and admit failure .

  23. JM
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    The EU want to make life difficult for us. If it goes well, then others will be off too.

    Hence they EU is not interested in a deal at all. For them it is all about what they can extract from us.

    This being so, we should simply walk away in March next year.

    I refuse to think so little of my country and fellow countrymen to believe that we cannot, with a lot of hard work, make a success of ourselves outside of the EU. I accept (and always thought prior to the vote) that it would be bumpy at first. Nothing that has happened since the vote has displaced that opinion.

    What I fail to understand is why Brexit should cause the Irish to resort to arms. It is beyond my comprehension. I am told to read my history, but I fail to see how the fact that there has been violence before justifies future violence after the period of comparative peace that we have had. In a democratic society there is no place for it. It appears to me that the Irish government/the EU are literally seeking to hold a gun to our head by irresponsibly raising this spectre.

    • Jonp
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink’ve said it in the first sentence..the EU is an econonic club in the first cannot allow or have a la carte relationships with countries who also have their own ideas on FTA and on other ways on how to do things. There has to be some comformity, as they see it, otherwise there would be chaos. Can you imagine how things would be if Mrs May got even half of what she wants..very likely some othe EU country could turn dog next year and demand the same deal..maybe Bulgaria or Rumania over migrants perhaps …no its a non runner.

  24. BOF
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I cannot say I am excited at the prospect of Mrs May speech today. The Prime Minister who just keeps giving. Unfortunately, giving way, giving money and giving control to the Evil Empire.

    I have said this before, that I am sure this will continue right to the end when a very bad deal will be presented to Parliament and will be passed. How very depressing.

  25. KeithL
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    First thing to remember is the EU is not a country, so when TM is arguing with them about sovereignty they have no conception when working as a collective about this term- they are civil servants to the EU. The are a collective- of a trading bloc. Of course when it comes to their own national communities they understand it well enough but have a way of compartmentalising their own outlook on things to suit EU thinking. For instance they have the ability to be both French or German and also European- this is something a lot of British people don’t have and that is why we are writing in a diary ‘speaking for England’ the focus of which is very narrow..some would say bordering on Nationalism..

    Secondly ‘taking back control’ has no meaning to them because they have full control of all they wish and need..through the Commission, through the Parliament and overall through the Council. Mr Barnier is their chief negotiator, he like Junker, who will be replaced soon, are mere contractors. But we know all about this having helped to make the structures over the past forty years- problem is now as they see it we want to dismantle this bloc and set up our fact there are those who write in this blog who would like to wreck it. This negative thinking is well known and understood throughout Europe and the EU and as a bloc they have decided that they are not going to oblige- you see being a citizen of the EU is a state of mind just like being British is for most people in Britain.. So how we exit according to Mrs May speech in a few hours time will determine how we can proceed- but according to early reports I don’t think what she says in the 5 step tests will do it for Europe unless she deletes some of the red lines and changes the British tone from one of defiance to one of reconciliation, full honesty with the British people as to the dire situation facing them and face down the Boris Fox and IDS and Gove DD factor. If she can’t then am afraid the game is up- we’ll know in a few hours

  26. Eh?
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is on a magic roundabout at the fairground. That’s why she comes into view regularly and shouts “let me be perfectly clear” then we see the back of her for a bit followed by a plaster-cast of Winnie the Pooh riding a Penny Farthing. Is it only me who has noticed?

  27. ferdinand
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I think you are right. Last night on Question Time, Nigel Farage received loud applause but Ken Clarke only sparse approval. Six months ago I think they would have had equal support. The public just want us to get on with it.

  28. John Payne
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Government must insist at start of all negotiations, that British people voted to have full control of our Sovereignty also meaning having control of our laws after we leave EU.

    Therefore Government must not agree to any EU proposals unless British independent Sovereignty is first guaranteed, otherwise our referendum mandate will not be fulfilled and further negotiations will be a waste of time and therefore cannot be started.

  29. robert lewy
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Who believes in EUthanasia?

  30. MikeW
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Now i know Mrs May has finally lost the plot..if you think the EU is going to work with this you’re badly mistaken..what Mrs May and the hard brexiteers, it seems, who have won out, wants is their cake and to eat it..more than that she wants to cherry pick her way to it,, pay no dues and nothing extra to the EU bloc and then to trade outside with whomever you wishes …She want’s the best of all worlds with littlest or no cost – great for her if she can get it – but she won’t – this is your cliff edge looming so better hold on

    • Hope
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      There is no hard Brexit, it is a fiction created by remainers. We voted leave in its entirety, Cameron made clear in parliament that included single market and customs union, no second chance. We voted leave.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I don’t call 39 billion little or no cost. It is huge and twice the amount due.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        39 billion is less than 5% of the UK’s annual budget deficit. A rounding error.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          This year the UK budget deficit will be approx 50bn

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Touche! I meant budget..

        • zorro
          Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Rien, try not to put your ignorance on display too much. Do you know the difference betweennationall debt and annual budget deficit?


          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink


            That’s what an English Degree will get you, innumeracy!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      “She want’s the best of all worlds with littlest or no cost” FOR BOTH SIDES.

      Still, if the EU doesn’t want to carry on racking up huge trade surpluses with the UK, year after year, if the eurocrats are too stupid and vindictive and hypocritical and dishonest, then so be it, WE CAN TAKE OUR BUSINESS ELSEWHERE.

  31. Peter
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    In fairness to the BBC, they correctly spotted that May’s speech was just aspirations. They are not concrete proposals.

    The EU don’t want to dance anyway.

    Time to make the big move. Leave on WTO terms.

    I know she finds that hard to accept, but if she cannot do it then it’s time to make way for a leader who can.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I turned on the BBC’s Daily Politics to watch Theresa May’s speech and before she started speaking the two guests in the studio were asked what they would be looking out for. The reply from the Labour MP was that she would be looking to see what solution was proposed for a problem affecting just 0.1% of UK GDP, namely the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. That seemed a rather distorted sense of priorities.

    • acorn
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Denis you are the one with sociopathic distorted sense of priorities. It is not about “0.1% of UK GDP”; it is about six point five million people on the Island of Ireland!!!

      • NickC
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, You are the one with …………… distorted sense of priorities(?). It is not about six point five million people on the Island of Ireland, it’s about seventeen point four million people all over the UK who voted Leave!!!!

      • gregory martin
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        According to the information derived during the 2017 census, approx 1.22million seek to remain within the UK.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Oh, and I thought you were interested in statistics, acorn, you’re always going on about your (non-existent?) “number crunching” friends.

        The value of the goods exported across the land border into the Republic is about 0.1% of UK GDP, and it is also about 0.1% of the EU’s total trade; as a problem it is a very small problem and certainly not one which need cause great distress to the people in either part of the island of Ireland.

        What do you suppose would happen if that border was just left open?

        How terrible would that be?

        “The EU reveals its true nature with its duplicitous manoeuvres on Northern Ireland”

        “It is worth stepping back for a minute to consider why an Irish border solution is even necessary at all. The UK and the Republic of Ireland could simply make unilateral decisions to maintain an open border even in the absence of any agreed solution for the border.

        The practical consequences of this would principally be a small loss of customs revenue and a minor increase in the risk of goods circulating which had been deemed legal in one jurisdiction but not in the other, for whatever reason. That is ultimately all that the “integrity of the single market and customs union” amounts to.”

        • acorn
          Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          If a border is not necessary at an EU frontier in Ireland, why does the same not apply at the other 40 bilateral borders the EU has?

          According to your Brexit thinking, there would likewise be no requirement for a border between Spain and Gibraltar; Cyprus and Northern Cyprus; Northern Cyprus and the UK base!

  33. christopher edwards
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    As leaving on WTO terms appears less of an impossibility now than some previously thought ( not including you of course) when and how should the UK plan for this contingency and is there still time to do so for it to be a valid fall back position?

  34. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May in front of a slogan ‘Our Future Partnership’. She not ever stand in front of one saying ‘Our Future Independence’ She never mentions our future sovereignty.

    And then she says ‘we are still Europeans’. No, we are not.

    Her heart and belief is not in it. She wants us to remain entwined somehow with the EU. She makes offers, they are rejected, she tries again. She is pulled back by us. She tries again.

    It is not acceptable. She is not acceptable. She is bad for us and our sovereign aspirations. Get rid of her.

  35. Andy
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t Mrs May’s speech dull?

    She wants the nation to ‘come together’ behind the clueless rabble in her party.

    On behalf of the vast majority of under 45s – the future electorate – I have a message for the hard-right Tory pensioners imposing this Brextastrophe on us.

    Our response to your call for unity is two words long.

    The second word is off.

    • NickC
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink


      Isn’t your post dull? And predictable?

      You want to stop us leaving, and come together behind your clueless EU-phile rabble.

      On behalf of the vast majority of the electorate – I have a message for the hard-Remain metropolitan establishment imposing this BINO catastrophe on us.

      Our response to your call for unity with the EU is two words long.

      The second word is off.

      • zorro
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        And the third word to Andy is sideways 🙂


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Andy, how dull and unimaginative!

    • Edward2
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately for the rest of us, we have an elected Government and a Parliament which will decide and vote.
      It is democracy.
      Being so cross because you can’t impose your own opinions on everyone is a very poor place to be.
      The hard right agist slur lie again Andy.

  36. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party is going to take a pasting in the local elections. Mrs May’s speech will not fool any Leaver outside Parliament. Her micromanaging our departure to the point of Remaining will see her off as PM and who knows what after that, which is the crux of the decision by those Conservative MPs, who blatantly admit to wanting to frustrate the Referendum result. The option of a second Referendum on 100% out on 29/03/19 or Remain is looking a serious alternative. Which side would Mrs. May support?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      That second referendum will come too late. It should have happened already. One of the reasons the PM is completely vague about what she would like to propose is that she knows that there is no basis left for an alternative for a UK leaving in about a year and a very messy divorce procedure. No one would like to be in her position.

  37. nigel seymour
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink


    One major concern at the end of the Prime Minister’s speech today was the disagreeable rhetoric alleging that Europeanism is a key part of British identity. Mrs May stated: “We are all still Europeans”. For most Britons this is – at most – a fringe element of their selfhood and it is certainly not appropriate for a UK Prime Minister to forcibly assign such an identity onto the British people.

  • 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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