Remaining contradictions about Parliamentary sovereignty

I believe in Parliamentary sovereignty, subject to the ultimate sovereignty of the British people. In recent debates some have sought to suggest that those who favour Brexit, who made the case for restoring the sovereignty of the British people and their Parliament, now no longer reflect this view because we wish to limit Parliament’s role in the Brexit process.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Parliament reasserted its sovereignty vis a vis the EU by offering Uk voters a vote on whether to stay or to leave the EU. The government on behalf of Parliament made it clear in a leaflet to all voting households that we the people would make the decision. When we leave the EU Parliament will once again be able to exercise the people’s sovereignty over all government issues, freed of the ultimate jurisdiction of the European Court and the EU Council.

When the voters made a decision which a majority of MPs did not agree with Parliament had to make a choice. Should it honour its promise to the British people, or should it seek to overturn the decision of the people? Wisely Parliament decided to implement the wishes of the people by voting strongly in favour of sending the Article 50 letter notifying the EU of our intention to leave on 29 March 2019 in accordance with treaty law. In a General election voters reaffirmed their view on the EU by voting overwhelmingly for the two main parties who both promised Brexit and rejecting the main party that offered a second referendum or a stay in option. The Commons followed up by approving the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Some in Parliament seem to think Parliament can keep on changing its mind on this matter. They seek a further Parliamentary vote with the intent of overturning the decision of the British people and contradicting all the previous votes in Parliament on this topic. I urge Parliament not to do this. It would be difficult for the world to take the UK seriously if its Parliament kept changing its mind about whether to leave or remain in the EU.It is difficult to see why Parliament rightly thought it should honour its promise to voters in 2017, only to alter course in 2018. If after filing to leave and undertaking negotiations over the process of leaving the UK announced it wished to reverse this process, the EU would be entitled to be difficult insisting we stick to our Article 50 letter or they could demand a high price for agreement to rejoin. It would also drive a mighty new wedge between people and Parliament with people angry that their wishes had been ignored.

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160 Comments

  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    If the referendum result is overturned by Parliment then a General Election will be required to stop us taking to the streets.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      In and a General Election with Tory Party with a competent pro Brexit leader and pro Brexit Candidate. The Clark/Soubry/Grieve/Hammond/May types need to be evicted & replaced. The problem is this is about half of all Tory MPs.

      • Hope
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        May made it clear in her a Mansion House capitualtion speech she would not walk away or resort to WTO terms. Is this not what Grieve and his mates in the Lords are trying to achieve on her behalf. It strikes me she is the problem. Using her remain colleagues to force her hand so she has a firewall to claim she had no choice! No crying in her beer, as we heard before.

        Why has she just put another 8 staunch remainers in the Lords if she is fed up with their shenanigans?

        JR and chums not having the savvy or courage to oust her. JRM now a thoroughly discredited person after his public fawning praise for a loser May.

    • Deborah
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      If the referendum is overturned, proving that democracy is dead, another General Election is unlikely to stop us taking to the streets.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Deborah,

        Sadly I think we (many) are just learning to live (survive) their lives irrespective of Govt. If politicians had swiftly enacted the result there would have been positive spillovers for society, the country doing something. Now the situation for many is an indifference to the country, the result and to democracy, it is already very difficult for the country to recover from this and yet the infants in the HoL, HoC and civil service continue the ridiculous behaviour… throwing their toys out. It drives one from being proud to be British to ashamed.

        So I think we will move to apathy and resignationn, but if a large number do feel alienated from their own country it could indeed get messy.

    • Hope
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      JR, this appears to be a very poor attempt to ameliorate the concerns of the voting public who witnessing nothing short of an utter disgrace by your party and govt. May has allowed the alleged rebels to visit and/or conspire with Barnier ad the Lords to overthrow the democratic will of the public. What action is taking to have these people investigated for either criminal offenses or discipline within your own party? Both in the HoC and Lords? It appears to me the civil service are allowed to make KitKat policies to hide the true extent of ties to the EU and cost from the public without and censure whatsoever. The same is true with the Treasury, BoE and remain ministers. May has broken her word on so many occasions it is not possible to be a coincidence.

      I think we have now reached the point where you and other Tory leave colleagues are so discredited that only a general election with a new Tory leader will resolve this matter with any confidence. Perhaps May could give a few more knighthoods and awards to buy silence or prevent resistance to remainers no in the EU be another name?

      No country in the world has given away so much just to be friends and talk about a trade deal when it was clear when voting to leave this only a minor matter and remains so. May has overwhelmingly shown she is unfit for office or is capable to stand up for our nation. Your party and government is an utter embarrassment to the nation. The public and our nation do not deserve to be embarrassed by a few political EU fanatics who refuse to accept electoral democracy.

    • Richard
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Led by a Proper Brexiteer, The Conservative Party should easily win such a General Election – (since LibDems, SNP, PC & Labour are all fighting over the pro-EU / Fake Brexit vote).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed a low tax, real Tory, cheep energy, real Brexit government would wipe the floor with Corbyn. See the Redwood Hannan/Corbyn Oxford union debate on ‘socialism does not work’ to see what a disaster Corbyn would be.

    • Richard
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Pertinent facts4eu data today: http://facts4eu.org/news_jun2_2018.shtml#cof
      “Analysis of the national vote broken down by constituencies showed that 63% of constituencies voted to Leave the EU. That becomes 69% if you exclude the SNP’s seats.
      Recent polls of the electorate as a whole have shown that 65-70% think Brexit should now go ahead. In the latest poll, even 58% of Remain voters think the government should ‘just get on with it’.”

  2. matthu
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your clarity, John.

    Perhaps we could expect a little more clarity from the PM about the concessions she has reportedly made to the Rebels? Although I suspect that there is a strategic reason for not providing clarity. Until November, then, we continue kicking the can down the road.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed just like Cameron. Claim to be a low tax EUsceptic Conservative to get elected then do the complete opposite & just kick the EU can down the road again and again and again he foolishly thought he could win the referendum by sloping the pitch. Effectively kicking the real Conservative voters & supporters in the teeth again and again.

    • Richard
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Dexeu insists: “We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the Government’s hands in the negotiations.”

      There is one very simple way that Mrs May could enforce that this statement (& her red lines) really are government policy – by Mrs May saying that she will resign as leader if any of these Lords / arch-remainer MP amendments succeed. The remoaner camp would then know that restraint is required to avoid a more pro-Brexit leader.

      (This is particularly apt, since The Remoaners want to “bring the UK to heel”

      However, that Mrs May has not yet taken this practical step in itself speaks volumes.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Surely the just outcome is that every Remain MP who does not respect the Referendum result, should not expect their own election to be respected.

  3. Richard1
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Maybe we should have another referendum with three choices out of which you get two votes on an STV basis. One choice would be the govts deal, the second would be Remain / Return to the EU, and the third out on WTO terms. On the basis of how things are going now I suspect the most popular combination would be 1. WTO; 2.Remain. Certainly it would be absurd to have a referendum where the only choices are the govts deal (hotel California Brexit) and Remain/Return. If the Govt & Parliament will not contemplate the WTO option there needs to be the threat of the people forcing it in order to get the EU to agree sensible terms. As it is the EU are going to sit there and wait for the U.K. to cave in on everything at the last minute in order to avoid no deal.

    • cornishstu
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      If we are to have another referendum on Brexit it should be whether to accept the deal or leave on WTO terms. We have already decided to leave!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      So speaks a closet Remainer

    • matthu
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Why split the Brexit vote?

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1

      But would the EU take us back under our old terms ? then we have even more negotiation good grief the mind boggles. !

      If ever it comes to a Parliamentary vote, It should accept the deal, or we leave on WTO terms. Full stop.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Exactly but the Tories are essentailly still a Libdim remain party led by a hopeless remainer and Pc dithering socialist with an equally appalling tax ’till the pips squeak chancellor.

    All this thanks to Gove’s kniffing of Boris which prevented the Conservative members getting a vote. Will they get a vote when May goes? Hopefully very soon as the UK need a Corbyn Snp government like a hole in the head. We have far too much damaging socialism from May and Hammond already.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      If the members get a vote will they be given a choice of two more hopeless dithers and remainers pretending not to be. I assume so.

  5. agricola
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    It is simple. It is the remain parliamentarians taking advantage of Mrs May’s self inflicted vulnerability to defy the will of the people. As Mrs may always has been of a remain persuasion, as is at least half her negotiating team, it was not difficult for her to bend to the wishes of a largely remain parliament. She has allowed the whole process to be bogged down in detail. God preserve the UK and it’s people from committee woman.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Half the negotiating team and about 2/3 of her ministers.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I do get confused with all these shenanigans. Your EUphile colleagues seem to believe that if they vote against a deal or indeed a “no deal” then the March 2019 deadline for leaving is suspended.

    We have delivered our article 50 letter so the issue is what are the terms on which we leave?

    If we have not reached an agreement on terms we must leave with no deal. Your misguided colleagues should turn their pressure on the EU to encourage it to safeguard it’s £80 billion trade surplus with an FTA with no freedom of movement or tribute included.

  7. DUNCAN
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    My anger at this betrayal of democracy and the people’s will by a pernicious and disgusting Parliamentary party stitch-up is beyond expression

    All voted in the EU referenda and we cast our vote in good faith and in good humour. This process and this result has been exposed as a scam and a deceit.

    I am appalled at the arrogance of our political class that they believe they can treat decent voters in this manner

    I blame my own party and its MPs for electing a person namely Theresa May as our leader. She is a deeply disingenuous and untrustworthy character. She’s deliberately constructed various events to ensure that the decision to leave now rests with a process (Parliament (politics) not referenda (people) that is contrived and manipulated.

    The political class despise referenda because they can’t control and manage the outcome. This class can of course manage the Parliamentary process simply because they are Parliament.

    The voter and their function has been treated with total contempt

    By voting for this person namely May, my own party’s MPs revealed their collusion in this Parliamentary bypass of the EU referenda result

    I can only trust that UKIP and other parties committed to leaving the EU emerge at the next election.

    I for one will never vote Conservative again. My party and its MPs have betrayed me, the voter and democracy

    The dream of a sovereign and independent United Kingdom is now officially dead and my own party’s MPs are too blame

    I am empty

  8. MPC
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I feel you are being a little disingenuous. The ‘Remain’ MPs want a vote on the final government proposals for Brexit not a vote on whether to leave the EU. Some would argue the latter is what they really want – but if we had a proper negotiating team who believed in our democracy they would play the EC at its own game. They would say: the ‘deal’ as it currently stands is not acceptable and we require x and y before it satisfies our people and before we feel able to recommend it to our Parliament and for it to be accepted. Unfortunately there’s no indication that this will happen and Barnier et al still have their cigars out enjoying our travails and plotting their next humiliation of us.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    You are avoiding the issue John. What Remainers want is to technically leave but then join an EEA-type arrangement and stay part of the Single Market and Customs union to exactly duplicate membership. Their strategy to achieve this is to give Parliament the right to reject any no-deal option and also reject any deal that the EU offers other than full EEA SM/CU membership. May has helpfully agreed they may do this. They don’t want to revoke A50 so I don’t know why you are raising that.

    • Nig l
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree. JR do you or the rest of the Brexit group have any red lines? I mean ones that you would resign over? Someone in that group must have the cojones to stop these endless concessions or else what’s its purpose?

      Or we seem to be getting is bluster.

  10. agricola
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The mere fact that you of all people even mention the possibility of rejoining should put a shudder through the whole democratic process. If she fails to get the result we voted for I do not see the conservative party surviving.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      The Conservative party would certainly not deserve to survive and UKIP would be back taking votes of them in great strength if the voters are betrayed yet again as seems certain now to happen under May.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.” D. Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Peter Parsons

        So you are suggesting government by referenda ? Good idea, I like your thinking

  11. Mark B
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Turning this on its head a little, what would have parliament done if Scotland voted to leave the UK ? We know that GB got the then Three Stooges to sign a piece of paper committing the UK Parliament to give Scotland more powers and more money, (odd that they think a piece of paper signed by three people can bined parliament but 17.4 million does not seem to matter) and that may have swung it. But if Scotland voted to leave and the rUK voted to leave the EU, the percentage for leaving would have been even higher.

    My conclusion. I think if we are going to have reruns of referendum I think it best if we let the Scots have another go. Then we can have a referendum on the EU post them. What does everyone think?

  12. Old Albion
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Really? Perhaps you should tell Mrs May that.
    So far, it looks like we will not be leaving the EU, because she hasn’t got the guts to fight for leave. Add in Tory Quislings who spend their time undermining the Democratic will of the people and the result becomes ‘stay in the clutches of the EU, but pretend we’ve left’

  13. Stephen Priest
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    In the BBC world only remainers need be interviewed.

    No difficult questions need be asked.

    It is “MPs having there say.”

    The reality is it is MPs trying to block Brexit.

    There is nothing more shocking to the so call centrist politician than seeing Trump, Salvini and di Maio keeping their election promises.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      CORRECTIONS

      It is “MPs having their say.” (according to the BBC)

      There is nothing more shocking to the so called centrist politician than seeing Trump, Salvini and di Maio keeping their election promises.

      I see Macron’s attacking Italy this morning.

      I see Poland planning for a referendum to address EU relationship.

      I see that at least half of all MPs in Britain agreeing to whatever the EU tells them to agree to.

      • Alison
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

        Will Macron offer Corsica as a docking place for migrants’ boats?

        Btw Sunday evening I watched an hour-long interview on German TV with Mrs Merkel. She was relaxed, spoke well – much better presence than Mrs May. Again and again she answered repeated questions (but not hectoring as so often in UK) on immigration/asylum seekers in Germany that she would be seeking a EUROPEAN policy on asylum. Just a few days later she has a problem with a minister, the head of the CSU, who wants to close the German border with Austria.

        Last night, on local German TV, I heard that one in three inhabitants in Cologne “have foreign roots”. Walking around the Cologne streets, that is certainly the impression.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Indeed the bias of the BBC is totally blatant about 5:1 in coverage for remain on political programmes like Question Time, Any Questions, Newsnight and the likes.

      Are they still being paid by the EU are is this pro bono? Or rather “to harm the public” in this case.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        “Are they still being paid by the EU are is this pro bono?”

        In the eyes of the BBC the opinions of Bono are far more important the the views of the average knuckle dragging voter.

  14. Adam
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    British authority is vested in its people. It is the stalwart Brexit MPs who strive to restore our sovereignty. Those who would prefer others to control British actions either oppose democracy to pursue foreign objectives or dither in doubt.

    Most Britons are steadfast, loyal & true people who make good decisions & act accordingly. Some remnants & fickle MPs in parliament would rather our actions be subject to an EU remote control, passed around overseas, where everyone can take a share of pressing the buttons & corroding the terminals.

    Britons decided what Britain shall do: Take control!

    • Dan H.
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      You also have to remember the lead-up to the Brexit referendum. A Euroskeptic party turned up out of nowhere much and went from zero to a serious force in the span of a few years. Right before the vote, UKIP were gaining in popularity to the extent that in a few years, a government might consist of UKIP plus whoever could agree to share power with them.

      That is why we had a referendum; Cameron had no choice in the matter. He either held a referendum whilst the UKIP/Brexit forces were sitting at about 50%, or he could wait and hold it when he had no chance of rigging the result.

      Yes, there was a definite attempt to rig the Brexit referendum; we were supposed to vote to stay in the EU. Notably, a majority of the thoroughly-bribed little minions in London and Edinburgh voted the way they were supposed to; as you got further and further from the centres of power, the rigging got poorer and poorer. Ultimately we voted for Brexit.

      Yes, the government could ignore this referendum. Come the next election the UKIP majority government would simply do it anyway.

      • Adam
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Dan H:

        I’m not aware of bribery, yet agree with your fuller description, Dan. There is a powerful latent force within previous UKIP voters, & other British folks with the same objectives. Whereas they are not yet galvanised into a cohesive dynamic entity, the organisation to achieve it is the simple part. We need only a distinctive leader with attractive pulling power to exert heavy lifting. Pow!

    • Drachma
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Adam..d’ya think?

  15. agricola
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    With apologies for a third submission. Does not parliament and May’s team realise what a detrimental effect this abysmal performance is having on productive industry. First the open mouth before engaging brain in parliament destroy the diesel vehicle industry, then they contrive through their ineptitude to persuade Land Rover Jaguar to move all their Discovery production to Slovenia. It would not surprise me if Rolls Royce Aero Engines announced that they were moving to Toulouse or Seattle. Were I on their board it would get serious thought.

  16. Oggy
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    It is quite irrelevant to suggest the remainiac MP’s who want to overturn Brexit care about what the rest of the world thinks or what their constituents think, they just want to stay firmly seated on the EU gravy train and to hell with democracy.
    It’s now time to get that letter sent to the 1922 committee and get someone in number 10 who has some backbone to get us out of the EU, because the present incumbent has sold us out.
    But let me tell you this, there are 17.4 million reasons why this is going to come back and bite you in the backside. Yesterday’s post about Venezuela was quite fortuitous as I, like many angry voters will be soon be voting one last time – for Corbyn !

  17. Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what is happening now.

    The government bought off the rebels and won yesterday’s vote in Parliament.

    Then we heard it meant there was now no possibility of No Deal and thus played into the EU’s hands.

    Next the solicitor general said discussions may or may not result in changes to the EU
    Withdrawal bill.

    Rees Mogg took a contrarian view and said No Deal was more likely.

    Confused?

    If so, it is par for the course and seems to be the way this government chooses to work.

    If I was a betting man I would say No Deal is almost certainly off the cards even if it is not yet official.

    As a side show, a junior minister resigned. He was from a Leave constituency and had changed from a Leave to a Remain position. There was talk of deselection. So far nothing has happened though the constituency says deselection may happen in due course.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    This morning I read and hear comments from MPs about “meaningful” votes and “understandings” given by Mrs May (behind closed doors). I was under the impression that the referendum was a meaningful vote. It is obvious that the proposed amendment to the bill now being debated seek to overturn it. The arrogance of these MPs is breathtaking.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, Indeed. Almost all MPs in Parliament gave the decision to us. We made the decision for them. Now some MPs are ignoring our decision, and behaving as though the decision is theirs to make. It appears that these Remain MPs have not thought all this through. Why should any subsequent vote be respected if the Referendum vote isn’t?

  19. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    John,

    This probably means that the scenario of your “NO Deal” is most likely no longer very viable and most likely no longer on the table

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      No deal is all that is on offer until 30.3.19. The EU grandees refuse to discuss trade with us until we have left the EU. The current Parliamentary waffle about single markets/custom unions is pointless until then. It just shows how unfit, many of our MPs are, for public office.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      This probably means that the scenario of your “NO Deal” is most likely no longer very viable and most likely no longer on the table

      On the contrary. Clearly, the EU do not want a deal. Why would they? If, after we leave, we carry on trading as before – others will think ‘why don’t we leave too, it hasn’t hurt the Brits’.

      It is interesting to watch this unfold. The closer we get to March 29th 2019, the more pressure there will be on the EU to do a deal. Do you think the political, national leaders of Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are going to watch people thrown out of work because ‘the EU’ won’t compromise?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      If the only option left to government is a deal at any price, the EU will exact this. The PM will then have the dilemma of signing off a really bad deal (freedom of movement, vast tribute sums, no say in EU directives), or resigning. If the deal is signed, it will be a running sore with the electorate, who may well elect a government that reneges on it.

    • getahead
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      It is not “John’s” no-deal. It was on the ballot paper.

  20. Helena
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    “I believe in Parliamentary sovereignty, subject to the ultimate sovereignty of the British people”.

    That means you do not believe in Parliamentary sovereignty. Parliament is either sovereign or it is not. You think it is not, bowing instead to the “people”. It is the rhetoric of the mob, as we saw on the disgraceful front pages of the Mail and Express yesterday.

    Your version of Brexit was rejected by Parliament yesterday. Three cheers for Parliamentary sovereignty.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      The problem is one of inconsistency. A Parliament which is sovereign, as you say it is, also needs to be consistent to maintain credibility.

      In voting for the referendum, Parliament expressly handed the decision to the people as to whether to stay or leave. As per Cameron’s leaflet at the time, the GOVERNMENT was to enact the will of the people, not PARLIAMENT.

      In restricting the government in its actions per the vote yesterday, Parliament is effectively wresting control of the process back from the government. This is understandable, even from a Leave point of view, because the government is unclear about its intentions or methods to leave and appears incompetent. However Parliament is also being inconsistent and therefore has lost the right to make decisions in its present construction.

      • Guy Fawkes
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Exactly, Mr Soap!

        This Country needs, now, to define what the Executive can, and can’t do, in our name!

        We have the “Pillars of Power”, in this Country, running around, with no Frame of Reference, not subject to the Rule of Law!

        Even if it’s not a written Constitution!

        Those within the HoL, and the Privy Council, controlling MP’s like puppets on a string, simply because they do not have any defined tenure, and are not subject to any real challenge, all but Absolute Power!

        Surely, it’s time for a change?

        June 18th Parliamentary Debate on the HoL?!

    • Adam
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Helena:

      The majority of Britons voting create parliamentary sovereignty, which is concentrated within the fewer people representing their authority in the House of Commons. Mavericks in parliament who favour external authority above that of British, trade only in dud sovereigns. Devalued MPs are worse than worthless & should be expelled.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        And when you don’t have a properly functioning democracy,the “mob” can be very useful in chasing out of office poor rulers as any student of Roman and (even more so) Byzantine history will tell you!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Parliament is supposedly the representative of the people.

      Here you can see the late father of the fervently pro-EU chairman of the Commons Brexit committee referring to that concept as promoted by Levellers in the core of their so-called Agreement of the People of 1649:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/civil_war_revolution/benn_levellers_01.shtml

      “The Levellers’ demands were encapsulated in a remarkable document called An Agreement of the People … ”

      “1. That the Supreme Authority of England and the Territories therewith incorporate, shall be and reside henceforward in a Representative of the people consisting of four hundred persons, but no more; in the choice of whom (according to natural right) all men of the age of one and twenty years and upwards (not being servants, or receiving alms, or having served with the late King in Arms or voluntary Contributions), shall have their voices… ”

      And here you can see a discussion of the reality as well as the concept:

      http://www.olivercromwell.org/wordpress/?page_id=873

      “In resisting and fighting Charles I, parliament claimed to be acting as ‘the representative of the people’. The strength of that conviction in the popular mind is indicated by the protests which it provoked. For the protests were not against the principle of representative government: they were against the failure of parliament to live up to it … ”

      For practical reasons our system is basically one of representative democracy, but with Parliament occasionally deciding to refer a decision back to the people.

      There are those in Parliament who actually voted for the Bill to refer a decision on the UK’s membership of the EU back to the people who now wish to renege on the promise that the decision would belong to the people and the government would implement whatever the people decided.

      That is disgusting, just as it is disgusting that members of Parliament who didn’t care two hoots about our national sovereignty when successive governments of both main parties went off and negotiated treaty after treaty to transfer more and more power to the EEC/EC/EU/USE are now suddenly exhibiting entirely fake concern about the sovereignty of Parliament. It was notorious that once such a treaty had been negotiated and signed by the government parliamentarians could not alter so much as a comma, yet most of them didn’t care then.

      But even worse, even more disgusting, is the sight of a particular MP who was originally selected as a Tory candidate in 2009 through a novel primary election process, which was supposed to enhance democracy, now openly threatening that if necessary the unelected legislators-for-life in the House of Lords will reinstate an amendment which has just been rejected by the elected MPs.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      When Parliament voted to hold a referendum on membership of the EU it effectively surrendered its ‘sovereignty’ to the people for that decision. It must uphold that decision, which is to leave the EU. It was not to enter some sort of halfway house in which sovereignty is effectively delegated to the European Commission.

    • agricola
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      A democratically held referendum is not bowing to the mob of 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU. If there is a despicable mob it comprises all those who would wish to overturn the wish of the people while pretending to acknowledge the decision of the people. Members of Parliament are there to reflect the wishes of the people not to undermine them. Charles 1st tried it in a blind fit of arrogance and we all know what happened to him. These days it is only political oblivion that awaits those that try it.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      That means you do not believe in Parliamentary sovereignty.

      Utter nonsense. The debate about sovereignty is about who has the sovereign right to MAKE LAWS. Is it our national parliament, or the EU, that is sovereign?

      The right to govern is derived from the people. We vote, we give them the right to govern. We don’t like how they govern, we throw them out. The people are sovereign and they delegate that sovereignty to parliament to make laws. When we had the referendum, sovereignty (the right to make decisions) was handed back to the people – to each and every one of them. It’s not rocket science.

    • Blue and Gold
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Well said, Helena!

      Come on the big march on the 23rd.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        The right for Parliament to be subjugated from abroad if it likes.

        If this is how it’s going to be then cut out the middle men. Let’s go for direct EU rule instead.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        B&G, Is that the march to make Mrs May give us the Leave we voted for?

    • stred
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      The government will implement what you decide.

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

      It takes a lawyer or unelected peer or perhaps a collaborator elected on a lie, to turn this £9m letter from a promise to something ‘advisory’ which the parliament may reject and twist into nothing. You should be ashamed to be where you are, paid by the taxpaying public and flinging arrogant insults to them.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      We will see what the voters think about these decisions made by Parliament when the people vote at the next election.
      MP’s power is created by us the voters.
      It is not permanent.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      No Helena ,

      When parliament is dissolved before a general election , it must return all the power which the electorate entrusted it with during the previous election .

      It must return this power intact because ultimately the power belongs to the people as a whole and it is not parliaments to give away or cede to foreign powers like the EU .

    • getahead
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Parliament gave the decision of continued EU membership to the people. Leave or Remain. The people voted to leave.
      “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”
      Despite the majority of MPs not liking the answer, Parliament is obliged to honour its original decision.

      • Poldark
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        But what did they decide? To leave and be like Norway? To leave and be like Switzerland? To leave and be like Russia? To leave and be like Canada?

        We are in this mess precisely because leave was never defined. There were many different stories. John Redwood said we’d leave the single market. Dan Hannan and Owen Paterson said the exact opposite.

        We need a fresh referendum, in which we are told what leave really means, ie the deal the government gets from the EU

        • ji
          Posted June 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          We want Brexit not a re-negotiation of our relationship with the EU. Cameron tried that & it didn’t work. The general public are getting increasingly annoyed at the antics of our politicians who clearly think we are idiots. Aaron Banks had the measure of them yesterday, they only have the authority we give them, that can go very quickly.

        • MickN
          Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          No Poldark. We voted to leave an be like Great Britain again. Just like we managed to before we became subsidiaries of the evil Empire.

        • Adam
          Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          We voted to Leave to be like BRITAIN before the EU grew into a nuisance.

        • mickc
          Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          “the deal the government gets from the EU”? We can just use WTO rules; we don’t need a deal “from the EU”…

    • Andy
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      It was also rejected by the British people in June 2017 – as was hard Brexit. This is the most up-to-date consultation there has been with the British people. But the Tory hard right chooses not to respect the will of the people.

      • ji
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Labour & Conservatives both stood for election on a manifesto that supported Brexit. The LibDems did not and were annihilated. Not hard to understand is it?

      • graham1946
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        In 2017, the only party offering to stay in got trounced and is now a small rump. The parties offering to implement the referendum result won most of the seats. Do try to keep up and stop the Remain myopia.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Andy, How’s that £1 per income taxpayer per week for the cost of the EU coming along? Because you don’t seem to get anything right. The 2017 general election was fought on many issues, not just Brexit, and both main parties (Tory/Lab) said they would respect the Referendum result.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Helena, Each new Parliament derives its sovereignty from the votes of the people that elect it. This is UK democracy Primer Part 1 stuff.

  21. Richard1
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Is it true that President Trump proposed the immediate abolition of all tariffs at the G7? If so why on Earth didn’t Theresa May jump on that idea and agree with him? Such a measure would clearly give a massive boost to the world economy as well as render redundant much of the acrimonious nonsense about cliff edges in the Brexit debate.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      There is a lot that May could have agreed with Trump about, but she’s frightened of the reaction from half her party, as well as from the EU, which cares not a fig for her.

  22. Nig l
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I am afraid that this simpleton of a voter is now completely baffled albeit I I know we are being sold out. Simpleton because although I knew about the four freedoms/customs unions etc, apparently I didn’t and need to be protected from myself by the we know better brigade. Liberal elites (self centred/egotistical,thick skinnedEtc)ride to the rescue of the proletariat. What utter garbage.

    What makes it even more contemptible is that the Conservative party who elected this prime minister, more to prevent other people getting it, is now engaged in protecting itself rather than respecting the democratic wishes of the referendum voters.

    The DT cartoon sums it up,perfectly. The government survives to surrender another day.

    If it was a sick animal it would be put down. Just do it.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Nig1, Isn’t it wonderful how the Remains just know why I voted the way I did? They must be geniuses. In their own estimation.

  23. Mick
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    No matter how you dress it up or sugar the pill there is a element in your party Mr Redwood who’s game is to try and thwart Brexit, a lot of the mps who now sit in Westminster did so on the back of a clear manifesto pledge to get us out of the dreaded Eu which means No custom union or single market, well to me that was lying to the voter to get elected but we won’t be fooled again

  24. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious that certain member of Parliament would overturn the vote if they could. They only believe in democracy when it suits them and when it reflects their views. Cameron went to the people and gave them the referendum and that clearly stated leaving the customs union. Not having some kind of close relationship with it or being a part member or whatever. Leaving!! That is what we need to be able to make our own decisions regarding immigration, fisheries, trade etc.

    Mrs May might be intent on getting us out but it will not be out in the full sense of the word. We will still be subject to certain conditions, indeed, if the EU get their way, and it seems they might the way talks are going, they will be able to make laws etc without any input from us. How is that getting out? Enough time has past just to say to the EU, ok , we’re leaving and you just get on with it. We’re spending the money we were so generously going to give you on better things and necessary things like look after our elderly here at home. People know the longer this goes on John then the more likely it is that we won’t really leave or we get a second referendum. I for one would not trust the outcome of a second referendum.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      My comments today and yesterday are being moderated. Any reason John? Only saying what everyone else seems to be saying and some in several posts.

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The problem is that the majority of MPs, despite the wishes of their constituents, have no intention of allowing the UK to leave the EU. In this regard they are receiving financial backing from George Soros. Our democracy is in a very dangerous situation. Those who want to keep us under EU control won’t care as democracy is anathema to the EU.

  26. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    If the referendum had gone the other way would parliament have given any time to the discussions of the EU with those that wanted to leave. NO. Of course they wouldn’t. It would just be the end of it. Parliament is not there to do what they want but what we want. They work for us although you would never think so sometimes.

    • Andy
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      If the referendum has gone the other way we would not have immediately joined the Euro and Schengen without proper discussion of the future. And yet a narrow vote to Leave – on the basis of a bunch of increasingly spurious claims – appears to have resulted in the majority of the population being completely ignored. If you are one of the 48m who did not specifically vote Leave you do not count. And if you did vote Leave and do not agree with a few dozen ideologues in Parliament you also do not count.

      Brexit was always a lousy incoherent idea which will make most of us poorer. But it has also been pushed through in the most inept, incompetent and deeply divisive way. The Tory hard right penisonera could have tried to bring the country together. Instead they dumped on anyone who did not share their vision. They declared war on millions of (mainly younger people). We’re fighting back. And we’ll win the war.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        For all you know Andy your 48 million who didn’t get to vote might all be leave supporters even the babies and toddlers.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        You forget the Tories are the pro EU party, pensioners and all.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        “If you are one of the 48m who did not specifically vote Leave you do not count.”

        No-one under 18 counted. They did not during the first EU referendum so should not have this time.

        Those that voted in the first referendum voted against this time – knowing better.

        They were not told first time around “We’re going to dismantle your country’s borders, extend them to the Mediterranean and open them up to Africa.”

        How was that for a pro EU whopper ?

        Open access for the third world and weak EU states is what has made the young poorer.

        We are NOT declaring war on our children and you well know it.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If the Referendum vote had gone the other way (52:48 for Remain) would David Cameron be negotiating with the EU to leave the EU’s internal market (sm/cu)? That’s the reverse of what is happening now.

        Brexit is no more lousy and incoherent than any other country gaining its independence from a foreign empire. Independent countries tend to be richer than they were as vassal states.

        A few pathetic Remain hardliners have declared war on the British people and democracy. Probably due to IQ levels plummeting among the young. You’ve already proved how gullible you are with your ludicrous claim that the EU costs only £1 per income tax payer per week.

  27. percy openshaw
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I agree with everything you say, Dr Redwood, but isn’t your comment a trifle “behind the curve”? What we’re looking at now is a rebellion among Tories far greater than the fifteen known saboteurs. Ministers are resigning. The Telegraph tells us that three current ministers are in touch with a group that wishes to re-run the referendum. These people, in my view, are nearly traitors – to their party, their voters, their country – to democracy itself. And what happens if Leave wins again? Will they then give up? Or if Leave loses narrowly? What will be the resentment then? Could the Tory party withstand the punishment meted out by its core vote in that scenario? The core has stood a great deal of nonsense from the Tory left in recent years, sustained by the thought of Brexit, but I doubt that many of them will support a Left-Bremain party led by the inept Mrs May. In the name of pitiful economic “caution” the Tory left are playing with political fire. I have never voted UKIP at a general election, believing in right wing unity. But should Brexit be deliberately botched by sour, sore-losing, poison Remainders, I shall be ready to do so at the next election.

  28. Ron Olden
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    There’s nothing in this which ‘limits Parliament’s role in the process’.

    ‘The Crown in Parliament is Sovereign’. Full stop. Whatever the Government says or does Parliament has the power to stop any deal in its’ tracks on a motion tabled by anyone, or even to vote to seek to withdraw Article 50.

    Parliament can bring a vote of No Confidence and install a different Government, any time it likes. and the Parliament Act makes it is even more Sovereign now that it’s ever been. It can bring down the Government and install another without the Prime Minister being able to force a General Election.

    The real arguments here, are about tactics, willingness to take executive responsibility, and trust. It’s downright insane and treacherous for Parliament to undermine the negotiating process like this. You can’t have 650 people, of all manner of diametrically opposing views negotiating simultaneously.

    Just about the most disreputable of these people are Sarah Wollaston, who changed during the Referendum Campaign itself, from being pro Leave to being fanatically pro Remain. She says she did so because she ‘didn’t like the people in her own side’!!

    Do any of us what someone like that ‘participating’ in serious negotiations on anyone’s behalf?

    Negotiators have to take responsibility and have the power to conclude deals which are likely to be ratified. You can’t have every Tom Dick and Harry meddling at every juncture.

    When Parliament voted to invoke Article 50 it did NOT do so conditional upon the EU coming back with a deal which took its’ fancy. If it did, it betrayed the nation, and has exposed us to ridicule.

    You cannot threaten someone with a contested divorce, and start the process whilst saying to the other side that you’ll only leave if they give you what you want. Once you’ve started you have to just get on with it and get the best deal you can.

    On that basis we might just as well have entered the Falklands War conditional upon Argentina letting us win.

    It’s up to the Government to go and get the deal, and when the deal is known it’s up to Parliament to decide whether it still wants to maintain that Government in office to ratify it.

    Did Parliament have any say in the ‘process’ during any of the other EU or Trade Negotiations from the time of accession to today? No, it left it to the Government, and sometimes (but even then not always), had votes on whether to accept the outcomes.

    And quite right to. That’s the way that any sane country or anyone else, (including the EU itself), conducts negotiations.

    These people who demand endless votes on the same question, whether the votes be in Parliament or in Referenda, are bringing Parliament into disrepute, and therefore undermining it’s sovereignty.

    As Cromwell might have said, if that be the case, ‘you are no Parliament’.

    If anyone has undermined Parliamentary Sovereignty it is these Remainers who voted to hold the Referendum in the first place and then voted to invoke Article 50 whilst quite plainly, not believing in either leaving the decision to the British people or invoking Article 50 at all.

    The Supreme Court also undermined Parliamentary Sovereignty when it I ruled that Parliament had to vote to invoke Article 50. Parliament had quite plainly passed a law in which it chose to delegate the decision to the British people in a Referendum, and the mechanism existed to put that decision into effect via the Royal prerogative.

    But the Supreme Court still interfered and told the Crown in Parliament that it had no right to proceed in such a way.

    In the end the Supreme Court decision turned out for the best, because it forced the Remainers’ hands. But it was still a violation of Parliamentary Sovereignty.

  29. Andy
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Yes well this is all very well but you need to tell Soubry, Grieve, Morgan, Hammond (both of ’em), Clarke, Rudd etc, etc, etc to their face to shut up and honour the Referendum result and that means carrying out Brexit, NOT staying half in the EU. And you need to get rid of that blood*y useless woman who pretends to be your leader and our Prime Minister. I have never seen a more lamentable, incompetent and stupid Government than this one, and like many natural Tories it is getting to the stage where I wont vote for you again.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Quite. If Labour was a genuine Labour Party with a strong, uniting pro-Brexit leader (thus representing the majority of its core voters (as opposed to some kind of linden middle class appropriation) I would have little or no hesitation in voting for it next time round.

      People keep talking about the Lords voting themselves into extinction but the meek behaviour of the majority of Con MPs regarding the dead duck in charge is far more likely to bring their demise. May is Christmas, and the Conservatives who let her remain in charge are turkeys.

    • Nig l
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Well said

    • Richard1
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      there must be 2 andys

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes Richard. I think there must be two Andy’s and it’s confusing. Either that or remaining Andy is having a lapse in concentration. Perhaps old age is coming early to him – God forbid that he ever becomes a pensioner.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        There is. I believe that the angry, pensioner-hater Andy, vents his spleen on other blogs, under a different moniker. I recognise the style of some of his rants from these other websites. ‘Bless’. If he is 44, as he claims, he is very immature for his age. As for running a business, I doubt that he could run a bath!

    • libertarian
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Andy

      The problem is that this Tory mob are totally useless but they know ( they think) that we won’t vote in the other lot as they are far far worse

      The interesting thing about Corby’s Labour is that I dont believe they actually want to be elected . Corbyn has been a Brexit supporter all of his political life. If he want to be the next PM he would support Brexit and be elected on a landslide. I can only conclude that he prefers to agitate rather than govern and that means unless a new , fresh, radical party appears then we are going to suffer more and more of this current Tory ominshambles

    • Gary C
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I share you thoughts Andy.

  30. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The problem being Mrs. May, a Remainer, albeit one who nailed her colours to the fence, but still she will not say the UK is better outside the EU and her keeping Hammond in the Cabinet is a sign of weakness or agreement with him. I do not regard her as some tactical genius or Machiavelli.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      No – more like Chamberlain in 1939/40.

    • Adam
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Remainers take a fence, so Mrs May should have nailed her colours fast to the mast of a British flagship.

    • Beecee
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Mrs May’s weakness became clear when Mr Hunt refused to move from Health.

      Allowing him to stay undermined any authority she may have had to continue as PM.

      As such she is now useless!

  31. Peter Divey
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    A meaningful Brexit is almost dead…the attempts to remove a possible No-Deal will win out because that is what the majority in Parliament now want. They always did really. The behaviour of Lee was a disgrace…protecting the majority from themselves, how kind of him! There will be more of this to come. The Referendum result will not be ignored, but it will be deviously implemented and thus rendered moot.

  32. margaret
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    There are those who think that with hindsight some Brexiteers would have voted to remain and that if they had another opportunity to vote then they would vote differently.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Margaret, maybe so, but there are also those who voted to remain but seeing the way the EU operates would vote leave now. We cannot have referendum after referendum. If I don’t like the result if the next election can I have another one? No, thought not. I am sick to death of listening to those who wish to overturn a legal and fair referendum. Can you all shut up please?!!!

      • margaret
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        I agree with the results, however there is a reason for everything even if it is emotional. We cannot silence those who want to be heard even though it may be both in their interest and our interest to do so. That is democracy. A Change of mind happens . Remember J Corbyn at one time wanted to exit the EU quickly .It is a case of being boringly grown up and addressing the issues as they arise.

      • Bob
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        @Fedupsoutherner

        “fair referendum.”

        It wasn’t a fair referendum. The Remain side were defending the status quo and had the full weight of the govt, the BBC, LBC, and assorted celebs who like to curry favour with the media. Remain side spending heavily outstripped Leave and the Electoral Commission turned a blind eye.

        The Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce was sacked because he said that the UK would be better off outside of the EU.

        And now we have Oxford University mobilising it’s alumni at the Palace of Westminster to block Brexit because they receive hundreds of millions of pounds in EU handouts. Bought and paid for with our own money.

    • sm
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Are you suggesting that the electorate should keep voting until they ‘get it right’? And ‘get it right’ according to whom?

      There were plenty of voters who came to regret voting for Blair, or Major – so what?

      With hindsight, everyone can claim 20/20 vision, but the world doesn’t work that way.

    • agricola
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I do not have your crystal ball, however defying the will of the people is likely to harden the will of the people. In recent times look what happened in Cataluna. At the start 40% pro independence, then Rajoy steps in with the heavy mob and the result is 60% in favour of independence. The issues are not the same for us but the principal is, so I would suggest that Parliament treads very circumspectly.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      There are those who think that with hindsight some Brexiteers would have voted to remain and that if they had another opportunity to vote then they would vote differently.

      I know some Remainers who have changed their mind – disgusted by the EU’s lack of willingness to negotiate.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Mike

        Many of our Politicians have not yet woken up to the fact that the EU does not want to give an inch.

        Why should they when our lot are giving them the encouragement to continue to offer nothing, whilst we give, and give, and give again.

    • Bob
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      @margaret

      ” if they had another opportunity to vote then they would vote differently.”

      And there are those that voted remain and have realised that project fear was bogus propaganda and would now vote for independence.

      At the last election, Labour and Tories campaigned on a Brexit manifesto and the LibDems campaigned on a Remain manifesto. The results speak for themselves.

      The govt spent £9.5 million sending a leaflet to every household which clearly stated that they would implement the decision of the decision. Do you still have yours? I do.

      • Bob
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        * decision of the referendum.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      All polls suggest otherwise with a very low percentage of “regret” on either side. Still, I expect you know best.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      John, the question is, not what MPs think the new horse-trading deal is, but what the EU judges it to be.
      Barnier looks at it, and says – ‘Bon! if there’s no deal by 30 November my friends in the House of Commons will decide to vote for EEA-membership. In that case, we shall ensure there will be no satisfactory deal by 30 November. ‘

      • mancunius
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        PS My comment was intended as a stand-alone, not a reply.

        If I were to reply, it would be to point out that, despite remainers’ unsupported claims that leave voters have changed their minds, I haven’t met, read or heard of anyone who has done so. Yet many have commented that they voted remain, yet are so outraged at the disgraceful behaviour of the EU, that they now support leaving the EU, lock, stock and barrel.

    • getahead
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Wishful thinking Margaret. No doubt there are those who voted to Remain who, after the EU’s appalling performance, would vote to leave.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Some Remainers like to think this but the opposite is true, they are deluded because they only ever talk to other Remainers.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense.
        If you watch TV or listen to radio all you see and hear is remain supporters.
        Question Time on the BBC have panels of five where 4 are regularly remain supporters.
        Preston had six guests recently where all were remain supporters.
        And in the current Parliamentary debates it seemed most MPs called by the Speaker were remain supporters.
        So those of us who voted to leave are well aware of the views of remain supporters.
        It’s virtually all we hear.

  33. BartD
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It was foolish to offer people a referendum vote in the first place..The Tory leadership under Cameron thought to allow it as a PR stunt and to get the UKIP crowd off their backs- but it went unexpectedly and horribly wrong.

    The people of some countries, namely republics and small kingdoms with written constitutions, are used to holding referendums on a whole range of issues- the British people are not, they are not brought up that way, they are trained to allow important national questions be decided by parliament – and that is the reason for the present British dilemma – and so after all of this brexit is over we will need to have a good look at how government/ parliament business is conducted in this country – maybe the old traditional 18th century way of doing things is not good enough as we look to the future?

    • David Price
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      It was politically foolish because Cameron et al didn’t know what the outcome would be before setting it off.

      I agree with your second para, technology allows for a greater degree of discussion and involvement in debates and decisions. However, politicians don’t want well informed general opinion to influence decisions, rather only for their own opinions to decide the matter.

  34. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Off-topic: It is good to see that today, Mr Barnier is in the European Parliament listening to the Dutch Prime Minister (Mark Rutte) in a European debate. Thanks to the UK, there isn’t much Brexit negotiation taking place yet outside the UK. 🙂

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      PvL, Well, the EU didn’t listen very hard when the Dutch rejected the Constitutional treaty.

    • David Price
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Make your mind up.

      Junckers was very clear at the outset that individual countries must not negotiate with the UK and instead leave everything to Barnier eta al.

      Either you are rules based and comply with Junkers request or you are not and yet you want things both ways as long as only the EU benefits. The EU is fundamentally dishonest and you cannot even be trusted to follow your own rules, making things up as you go along which is one reason why I voted to leave.

  35. Iain Moore
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I find the argument of the Remainers that they are only using our sovereignty to empower Parliament, with the aim of making us a vassal state of the EU, one that is hard to stomach.

    A warning to all MPs could be found in Damien Collins MP face as he found that all his authority had seeped away and he was left with pleading, as Arron Banks called an end to their Parliamentary committee meeting yesterday. Parliament is only there by the will of the people, as their actions of late have been nothing short of insulting the people, they might just find out their authority amounts to zilch without the people.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Insightful comment.

      It was a pleasure to watch that pompous committee hung out to dry by its assumptions and preconceptions.

      As Mr Banks asked, how many remain groups have been called to give evidence?

  36. Edwardm
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    As you say, the people have made the decision to leave the EU and not to be tied to it in any form, and to reassert the sovereignty of parliament thereafter.
    This decision by the people is over and above parliament. If parliament intervenes to dilute it, then the situation becomes one of parliament versus the people.

    I suggest that those MPs and candidates who do not wish to exercise sovereignty (because they wish to delegate it to the EU) are in the wrong role should stand down and should not choose to stand for election to parliament. Unfortunately many remainer MPs (mainly opposition but some conservatives too) show themselves untrue to the people, and it is urgent that local associations now deselect such representatives.

  37. mickc
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The Remainder MPS don’t object to giving away Parliamentary sovereignty….except to the British people.

  38. JJE
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I have to admit that I’ve lost track of what’s going on. But it seems that the PM keeps coming up with compromise options that are not really options because the EU rejects them all.
    I don’t see the point of her trying to buy time when she has no clear objectives of her own. The clock is ticking and I think push needs to come to shove quite quickly.

  39. John Bell
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Professor Vernon Bogdanor (Telegraph 26 June 2016): “The people … have become, for constitutional issues at least, a third chamber of the legislature, with the power to issue instructions which the politicians cannot ignore. The sovereignty of the people trumps the sovereignty of Parliament”.

  40. VotedOut
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    A change of PM is now inevitable.

    The UK is an international joke.

  41. Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The problem is the majority of the conservative party did not want brexit.

    They’ll pay for it over many years if they do not deliver.

  42. James Matthews
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Accepting everything Mr Redwood says, the question remains, given that Parliament and Government have accepted (many believe, deliberately engineered) a situation in which a meaningful Brexit will be impossible, what, if anything, will any of our elected representatives do about it? On their track record to date, nothing at all.

  43. Blue and Gold
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    It is utter nonsense that the British people know more than politicians about leaving the EU, utter nonsense.

    We ARE a sovereign nation and to say we are not is ..utter nonsense.

    The elite Brexiteers have nothing new to say. Mr Redwood has been grooming people on-line for months with his Right wing ideology, not caring if we have a ‘No Deal’.

    Parliament is reflecting the views that are out there in the country. People DO NOT want the kind of Brexit that the Right wingers do.

    We want a deal that is good for business AND for the Irish, in the Republic ( not Southern Ireland as Brexiteers keep saying) of Ireland and the North of Ireland.

    The only good things that may well come out of all this is that Scotland will get nearer Independence, and the chance of a United Ireland is closer.

    Seeing the Tories at war with each other is high entertainment.

    It is about time the Brexiteers start to realise it, you will not be getting the outcome you want. Our country will be saved.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Saved for the EU to rule.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      “Mr Redwood has been grooming people on-line for months with his Right wing ideology”

      *grooming*

      Do give it a rest. Do you know just how individualistic one has to be to be Right wing and support Brexit among loud Remain Leftists who seem able to spout their opinions uninvited and in public ?

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      B&G, How can you possibly know it’s nonsense? Are you talking about Leave politicians knowing more than the Remain public? I agree with you there. As for sovereignty, Declaration 17 of Lisbon says you are talking . . . utter nonsense.

      We were repeatedly told by both campaigns that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and controlling our own trade policy (ie leaving the cu as well). And we still voted Leave “despite” knowing that.

  44. Tad Davison
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    It’s yet another case of the people being shafted by the EU-loving milksop majority in the House of Commons who have presided over the managed decline of this nation.

    We need a leader who can sweep away liberalism and make this country great again. Someone who has direction and purpose – a signpost, in the words of the late Tony Benn, not a weathercock. Clearly, Theresa the appeaser is not that person.

    The thing they don’t seem to get, is that a great swathe of the people hold most members of parliament in contempt, but is it any wonder when they see these shenanigans being played out almost on a daily basis?

    Twists, turns, and convulsions, all designed to stop the people getting what they voted for. They shouldn’t be surprised if the people finally turn on them in a big way!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  45. stred
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I was in my car and heard James nO Brain on LBC for a minute before I could turn him off. He was very certain of his argument that the HoC should decide what was best and ignore the xenophobes, as usual, endlessly. He said that he had done a course on the constitution when he was 12 ( or something close) and knows all about stuff like this. He also doesn’t like you and has been chosen by the BBC to let us have his impartial comments on their impartial programmes. Perhaps MPs have been listening to him and decided to rat on the referendum for this reason.

  46. Andy
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    There are numerous flaws with your analysis.

    The most fundamental of your mistakes is to assume that the referendum decided what the UKs relationship with the EU should be. It didn’t. It simply decided what the UKs relationship with the EU shouldn’t be.

    We know what you don’t want. But you don’t even agree with each other about what you do want.

    Ah – Brexiteers cry, we can have the same relationship with the EU as we do with the US, or South Africa or Morocco or North Korea. But wait – we have different relationships with each of those so where does our new relationship with the EU sit?

    And you fail to take into account what the relationship HAS been. This is like a divorce. And as we all know some divorces are incredibly acrimonious while others are relatively harmonious.

    With Brexit you have 40 years of joint history to separate – of course is it not going to be straightforward.

    To give a metaphor – Brexiteers still want to sleep with their ex-wife but don’t want the commitment of marriage.

  47. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes it really is very simple. the people give consent to Parliament to govern Parliament was undecided on Brexit (whether couldn’t or wouldn’t make a decision, makes no difference) and did decide the voters should make the decision instead. the voters made a decision and handed the baton back to parliament in the just expectation that Parliament would then deliver the Brexit both Leavers and Remainers understood it to mean: not applying to join the internal market, not joining in the or a customs union, rejecting free movement, taking back control of laws, borders and money.
    So what is your problem, MPs? Your authority to govern derives from our consent. If you cannot support our decision the honourable thing to do is to get out of Parliament. There is no sensible compromise on Brexit. It is black and white. Even the EU agrees with that. if the decision as understood by most (cannot say all because there really are some thickos with a vote) is to be implemented these things cannot be fudged. Step up or get out. When you step out of line you get fired. Life is tough.

  48. Chris
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid with ‘negotiators’ like the PM and David Davies, we”re going to be worse off after ‘Brexit’ than before. They spent months saying they weren’t going to ‘show their hand’, and then go in with an offer of £39 billion and pleading for a ‘deep and special relationship’. I voted out in 1975 and had to wait 40+ years to vote out again, and after the biggest vote in history, we’re still going to end up being ruled by the very people we helped rebuild after the war. It looks rather like the only way to get out of the rotten EU, is to take the Government to court for forcing us to join in the first place.

    • Chris
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      This is not my comment above. I am the Chris who has posted on this site regularly for some years. Obviously another person has been permitted to use my “ID”, Mr Redwood, and this means your website is not secure for commenters. Other websites have in place suitable safeguards so one’s identity cannot be used by someone else. It is a serious matter, Mr Redwood, and easily rectified. Please could you do it.

    • Chris
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      My comment explaining that I, the Chris who posts regularly on this site and has done for some years, did not write the comment starting “I’m afraid with negotiators like the PM……” has not been posted. This really is unacceptable. To have a website which allows different identities to use another person’s identity is not safe and could, in theory, give rise to a very unpleasant situation for the innocent commenter. You should be providing basic safeguards for your commenters. Please could you put in place the safeguards which other websites have which simply do not allow you to adopt a user name which is already in use.

      Reply I cannot alter the names people use to send in posts, nor is it easy to see how just one person can claim to be Chris when it is a very common name. I suggest you add something to make your identifier more unique if it worries you. I do sometimes delete a post because I think a name could be offensive to some people, but I never amend names.

  49. ian
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Remainers seem to think they can walk into the negotiation with EU and have any deal they want, as you all know, this will not be the case.
    The EU will not let them back into the inner circle or voting parliament and will not have any MEP in the EU parliament and, all British personnel will have to leave on the 29th of March 2019.
    As for remainers getting some sort of deal with the EU without the EU making them take on the euro is laughable, the EU will have remainers over a barrel, of cos they will try to offer more money for a deal but considering that the EU has just got rid of the biggest pain in their anus, they might say, money isn’t everything.

    When the bankers and elite see that they have to take on the euro to have a deal with the EU which is the reason they call for a ref in the first place to make sure they did not have to join the euro, you will be crashing out anyway, without a deal.

  50. Dennis Zoff
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Reality check! Kicking Brexit further down the road until……?

    Sorry to say John, your Brexiteering colleagues are simply lacking substance or creditability and consequently appear to be acquiescing to political intrigue and its inevitable outcome…..it will be down to the people to bring this whole insidious debacle back on track. This current pseudo-conservative party will be toast in the next election! I trust you have an alternative plan to join a real Conservative party post a “possible” Brexit?

    BREXIT DELAY AFTER DELAY FOR LEAVING – Facts4eu

    SUMMARY –

    Referendum vote and decision to leave EU: 23 June 2016
    Original leaving date: 22 June 2018 (based on Cameron’s promise immediately to invoke Art 50)
    Delayed leaving date: 29 March 2019 (2 years after delayed triggering of Article 50)
    Even more delayed leaving date: 31 December 2020, following a ‘Transition Period’ of 21 months
    Still more delayed leaving date: 31 December 2021, following an extension to the Transition Period

  51. Torchy Candleman
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Emergency! 14.38 Hours 13th June 2018

    Sky News has just informed us on UK TV that there is an electricity outage in Ukraine for the past three hours.
    May I make a plea to all electricity users on the planet that when a bulb goes in your living room, don’t breathe a word about it to Sky News!

  52. Eh?
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The SNP has just woke up and realised the EU was controlling Scotland by certain measures.

    They want those powers returned to Scotland,not to the UK in general. Unfortunately, they have no idea what they are. But if they did, how can those measures be returned when the SNP is blocking our leaving the EU via Holy Rood which won’t give permission.
    Much higher prices for alcohol is their good idea

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Eh? The SNP aren’t fit to run a childrens nursery let alone a country. Their whole reason for being is to make things difficult for the UK and they don’t care about the outcome. Devolution was a waste of time and money and just makes everything harder in negotiations. Another big cock up.

  53. Helen Smith
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    The time is now for May to be challenged. A Brexiteer must be elected as PM, someone with a bit of gumption, they must then put clean Brexit before the house as a confidence vote, if we win, good, if we lose then those who voted against have the whip withdrawn and will not be able to stand as Conservatives in the forthcoming election.

    An election that the Tories could win with a charismatic leader, decent manifesto and against a Labour Party led by Corbyn that would have to plump for Leave or Remain.

    • Ratso
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      But Helen, a clean Brexit was put to the British people by the Tories last June, and the British people said no, and took away the Tory majority. Don,t you accept the will of the people?

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Helen

      Agreed

  54. Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    This is a simple (not so simple) matter of constitutional law. Can Parliament “delegate” its sovereignty? One might argue that The People (That term always reminds me of the rhetoric used by a once popular leader of a very large Middle-European country who caused my People great hardship after the failed and utterly reckless Market Garden caper- see Beevor’s account) that The people are the true sovereign and that Parliament depends on delagation via the electionprocess for its powers and hence the delegator can always exercise the powers Parliament does not want for that specific issue. One could also argue that in a constitutional monarchy/democracy, parliament’s powers are limited in that respect, bcause Parliament has both the right and the obligation to act as sovereign.

  55. agricola
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I interpret Barnier’s purpose is to retain the political integrity of the EU. The more disadvantaged the UK exit the better to discourage anyone from thinking of following us. This could well put him on a collision course with those EU members in trade surplus with us.. Maybe they will lean on him, maybe not.

    It would be in everyone’s interest to have a free trade treaty in goods and services, with no strings attached. The UK should not fear reversion to WTO rules. We score £7 Billion PA on duty difference. 60% of our trade is already on WTO terms and is in surplus. We could also score £20 Billion on any integration period, we know how it works. The real benefit would be that we could immediately start trading where we wished in the World, and start to dramatically reduce our food costs. The Irish border can be controlled electronically as it is now. It is only a matter of altering the information exchanged. HMRC and it’s Dublin equivalent have already agreed that this is so. Those who talk up the problems are only feeding their own self interest. How do you think trade with the EU and the rest of the World is currently conducted.

    Given EU intransigence we should make clear that WTO rules are our approaching backstop. Let there be no half measures like EEA or EFTA, because they are incompatible with the UK leaving EU jurisdiction and trading worldwide.

  56. nigel seymour
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Let’s all admire the SNP yesterday when the children were led out by their chief child! What a complete embarrassment these people are! They are privileged to be able to enter the chamber let alone speak and they treat parliament with utter contempt whenever they have the opportunity. It tends to sway me toward a 2nd indy ref if only to see the back of them in Westminster… as the speaker would say ” we can get on without you!”

  57. Simon Coleman
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Your analysis of the General Election is just plain wrong. And here’s why. The election was not called in order to review the referendum result. It was called early by Mrs May in order to gain more Tory seats and thus more ‘power’ to take into EU talks. She said ‘Give me the power…’. Labour had already said that it accepted the referendum result, so what happened was broadly a return to usual party affiliations with the UKIP vote splitting. So the referendum played little part in the outcome which was the loss of May’s majority. However you want to interpret the result, you cannot do it without reference to the original reason for the calling of the election – and that came from May herself. The outcome was an increase in the numbers of soft Brexit / former Remain MPs. If May had possessed an ounce of political skill, she would have looked for areas of agreement with the soft Brexit majority. But she was saddled with useless Brexiteer rhetoric that has already had the EU laughing at us. You are, quite simply, wrong about the purpose of the election and its relevance to the Brexit process. And the most successful anti-Brexit party at the election was the SNP, who only happen to operate in Scotland!

    And as for Parliament ‘overturning the decision of the British people’…that’s one of your favourite straw men. Yes, it would be unconstitutional if it were trying to do so, but it isn’t. A handful of MPs are exploring the idea – mainly because of the antics of the Brexiteers calling for No Deal etc. Most want Parliament to have more say, not control, over the process. And as that process has been botched by the government from day one, wouldn’t a sensible approach be to see what help Parliament might have to offer instead of dismissing Grieve’s people as traitors? And the threats and abuse these MPs have received is further evidence that Brexit itself is toxic for our country.

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  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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