The Chequers meeting

There should be two options on the table for the discussions on Friday. There is the World Trade option, which does not require consent from the EU. This allows us to take back control of our laws, our money, our borders and our trade policy as promised on 29 March 2019. It avoids the uncertainty of a long transition and saves us a lot of money. I would advise that the extra £13bn of tax collected as tariffs on EU goods – prior to trade adjusting to more home production and non EU sourcing – should be given back to UK consumers as a tax cut.

Then there is the Free Trade Agreement option. This is much in the EU’s interest. If they thought it was a simple choice of a Free Trade Agreement or WTO, they would be likely to choose the Free Trade Agreement. Whether they do or not depends on how sensible they are, and on whether they believe we will otherwise simply leave with no agreement.

Under both these options the EU will try to argue it creates a border problem between Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland. I do not see why it should do so. That complex border today works fine, even though it is a currency, Excise, VAT and people movement border. All the UK need say is it has no plans to put up watch towers or to delay trucks whilst they work out the VAT and customs dues. IT would then be up to the EU what it intends to do on its side of the border.

Some will seek to invent or reinvent some kind of Customs partnership or EEA membership as a third option. These variants fall foul of the PM’s promises to leave the single market and customs union, and delay or prevent taking back control of our laws, our trade policy, all our money and our borders. The PM was quite clear in the Commons on Monday that she does intend to take back control as required by the referendum vote. She was equally clear Northern Ireland leaves the EU in the same way as the rest of the UK does.

We are told to expect another White Paper on Brexit. The last one was clear and fairly detailed. It stated that “We will bring to an end the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU in the UK”. “We will design our immigration system to ensure that we are able to control the number of people who come here from the EU. In future the Free Movement Directive will no longer apply.” “The government is clear that no deal for the UK is better than a bad deal for the UK” The government should repeat those decisions.

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  1. Ian wragg
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Having May as a remainer and her new negotiator Robbins a remainer,you have no chance. The discussion will be how to keep us as much part of the EU as possible.


    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      If the Telegraph is to be believed Barnier has already rubbished the mark 3 proposal and May has signed up to an extension of MEPs after March 29th. Together with the Electoral commission putting money aside for EU election I think some decisions have already been made.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        When asked directly about red lines in parliament today May emphasised the caveat over the sham Irish border Highlighting the backstop until 2020. You fools believe her, this will be extended and extended and extended.

        May has to be ousted if the U.K. Wishes to leave the EU. This means you might have to vote her out more than once if she throws her hat in the ring. She will get the message and the country will behind ridding this odious woman from office.

      • rose
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Including the political decision for the Electoral Commission to find the Vote.Leave campaign guilty without hearing its side of the case.

      • Hope
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        May’s assurances in parliament did not last a day. We read her sham third way is rejected by Davis in a leak. What is wrong with her being straight with people? Has she reached the point where she feels that whatever she capitulates on leave MPs will have no choice but to accept as she has colluded with remainers to secure parliaments rejection of leaving the EU.

        Still no action against those who threatened to collapse the govt, the Lords retain the whip and civil service promote dishonest KitKat policy to hide costs and ties to EU on May’s behalf.

        Gove has sold a ut fishing industry to keep status quo in EU favourite beyond 2020 making minor changes to inshore activity but keeping the majority catches to EU in UK territorial waters.

    • jerry
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; Yet more sour grapes… Brexiteers had their chance to get one of their own elected as leader in 2016, stop blaming Mrs May for the Brexiteers infighting and/or loosing their ‘bottle’, you can’t have a Brexiteer leading the party/government unless one of then actually bothers to stand in the first place and then stand to the last and be counted!

      As for what the UK gets from Brexit and the probable likely lost opportunity, I blame the eurosceptics, backed up by unthinking UKIPers. So desperate were they to get their referenda they lost sight of what was actually being offered by Cameron, forgetting that no politico offers a referenda or calls a snap election unless they think they will win or can circumnavigate the result.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Nobody here asks the REALLY important question: What do EU countries want out of Britain leaving?
        When one begs to join a club, as Britain did with the EU, one does so to enjoy the advantages as well as the disadvantages.

        By asking for constant opt out and special treatments the other EU members were sick and tired of us and are glad to see the back of us.
        But as our departure will affect others due to lost markets and opportunities, they will demand to be compensated

        • libertarian
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink


          Really ? You do know that the UK leaving the EU has the same impact as if the 19 smallest members left

          If the EU hadn’t been so stubborn and detached from reality they would have given some concessions to Cameron and remain would have won the referendum . They didn’t and now they are in deep do do but still can’t see it. They have been totally shocked by Trump facing them down

        • G Wilson
          Posted July 6, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          Why do you think any EU business would have “lost markets and opportunities”?

          They should probably be going to the Commission for “compensation”.

        • D.cooper
          Posted July 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          The U.K did not beg to join the so called E.u. ( common market ) we the British people and parliament were lied to by that awful man Heath and his cronies to trick us into the unelected eu dictatorship .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        About half the Tory MPs are Libdims at best. Hence we have such pro remain socialist, PC leadership. Tax borrow and piss down the drain, green crap remainers. Pushing silly “but obviously urgent & vital” things such as upskirting laws, banning plastic straws, gender change on the NHS and making a pigs ear of UK bank lending, pissing money away on the dire NHS hand over fist and hugely damaging the private rented sector with idiotic laws and taxes. While putting taxes up and up and up.

        We are governed by complete idiots and economic illiterates under this PM.

      • mancunius
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        they lost sight of what was actually being offered by Cameron,
        On the contrary, the entire country could see that nothing of any substance was being offered by Cameron, because no internal reform was being offered by the EU to address the concerns of the British people.

        forgetting that no politico offers a referenda or calls a snap election unless they think they will win or can circumnavigate the result.

        Cameron called the referendum because his advisors told him – very credibly – that Ukip would destroy the Tories in 2015 if he did not do so.
        Of course Cameron thought he could win – he had used millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, the propaganda spewed out by the civil service, the CBI, his ministers and Treasury ‘statistics’, he had persuaded the BoE and the IMF and the American President to spout ‘terminological inexactitudes’ on his behalf. No PM – not even Blair – has employed more resources to win than Cameron.

        But the voting majority still saw through him and his feints. He could not ‘circumnavigate’ the result without risking an uprising.

        Btw, as part of the essntial remainer propaganda is to claim that you are all so much better educated than Brexit-supporters., perhaps you’d like to check the dictionary for the correct forms of the words ‘losing’ (not ‘loosing’) and ‘referendum’ (‘referenda’ only in the plural).
        As for the phrase ‘stand to the last’ does not exist in English – only in German.. 🙂

        • mancunius
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          recte: As for the phrase ‘stand to the last’ – it does not exist…

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, There were over 17.4 million voters for Brexit. The best that UKIP did was about 4 million, and most of those transferred from Labour and the Conservatives. So we’re looking around 16 million voters whose natural home is not UKIP – unless of course the Tories or Labour fail to deliver Leave.

        So your theory that it was all down to “unthinking UKIPers is as potty as Andy’s theory that it’s all “hard right Tory pensioners”. Get a grip the pair of you – people of all ages and all political persuasions saw the corrupt, chiselling, thieving, evil empire for what it was and decided independence was better.

        • jerry
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          @NickC; Thank you, at long last a UKIPer has accepted that UKIP were an irrelevance!

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


          Next time you must use even more superlatives it makes it even more colourful to convey your message

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear back to Drivel Jerry.

        JR I note May replied with the single market and the custom union. Other assurances for sham versions should have been asked for as well. Poor questioning by Patterson and Leigh.

        • jerry
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          @Hope; How is the weather on Mars… What is “drivel” about pointing out the FACT that unless you stand for election (and then don’t withdraw) you can not not get elected? Duh!

          • Hope
            Posted July 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            You really are dull.

      • rose
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        The parliamentary coup which was carried out against the membership was carried out by the Remain majority in the parliamentary Conservative party. This was beyond the control of the minority Brexiteers.

        • jerry
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

          @rose; Wrong. Brexiteer names had been proposed and accepted onto the ballot – it was the Brexiteers who withdraw or never stood. As far as I’m aware no one was removed from the leadership election, their nomination having been accepted, by the 1922 Committee.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, just what was Cameron offering pray tell me?

        • jerry
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          @Fedupsoutherner; Cameron asked a very simplistic Yes/No question, Leave or Remain that should nave have been put in such basic terms. The question is not that simple, we were going to have the same political land-grab infighting about what result means who ever had won, do you honestly believe that europhile federalist would not have taken the opportunity?

    • Hope
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      JR, you are correct everyone knows that leaving the EU means leaving the single market and customs union, that means any variants or shams of the same. That was made clear by the referendum, general election by both main parties and your manifesto. It also meant no ECJ oversight which she has already caved in on. Taking back our money, she has caved in on and lied the unfunded £20 billion NHS give away would be funded by an EU dividend, immigration/freedom of movement caved in on by inviting the families of all EU citizens living here when there is No reciprocal arrangement for U.K. Citizens!

      However, Morgan on TV who represents the traitors of electoral democracy trying to claim otherwise. May cannot keep her word as you know she said six times publicly there would not be a general election, she promised us taxpayers a line by line examination of the outstanding commitments then timesed it by four the reach over £100 billion! She lied. May skuttled off at night to make a unilateral capitulation and was caught out by the DUP. She is underhand and untrustworthy. Don’t hold your breath for her to keep her word.

      etc ed

      • Peter
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes, May does not inspire confidence.

        However, until the meeting is done and dusted we will not know for sure what the outcome will be. She might be thwarted or have her BRINO ideas rejected.

        Meanwhile, many Conservative MPs will be very circumspect regarding what they are prepared to say in public.

        Some on here allow themselves to get wound up by it all. Do what you can when you can – but don’t let it grind you down.

      • Rb
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        May cannot keep her word as you know

        They knew this before they all voted for.

    • Fishknife
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      I was hoping Teresa’s new plan was to point Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve (or equivalent silver tongued lawyers) at the Europeans and explain to them that far from Cherry Picking we are we are beset by masochists.
      We have been Shanghaied by a mob who can’t see the true benefits of Freedom Of Movement, The Euro, the Munificence of the Brussels Democracy.
      We need to be pitied and left to the gratification of our own pain and humiliation at not being the members of the Federated States of Europe, consigned forever to ignominy of being outside Fortress Europe in the forthcoming battle with the superpowers of USA, China, India.
      That these 52% are so deranged that they are not prepared to forgo the tariffs they could apply to EU imports and are willing to accept increases in direct taxation so they can subsidise BMW, Audi & Mercedes buyers.
      That these poor, benighted, ignorant, uneducated, aged trolls would rather face the economic disaster of abandoning Europe than surcharge Camembert, Prosecco & Italian shoes.

      Only 88% of the country stands to benefit from freedom. The only real fear is that Big Business, mainly foreign owned and not here for the good of their health, might be denied cheap labour. Given a shift in reality I’m sure their lobbying power in Brussels will cushion them.

      • Yossarion
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        We are already in a Union, you can’t have a Union within a Union, the need for an English Parliament and independence from the Celts is now.

    • Chris
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Theresa May apparently says things to appease the Brexiters but the reality of what she has done so far does not live up to her “assurances”. The Dublin agreement was a disaster in my mind, and gave a very clear indication of where she was heading. Charles Moore rightly referred to it as “a complete capitulation”. As long as Remainers in Cabinet hold sway, as they seem to, and as long as the civil servants and Olly Robbins play a key role in the negotiations, then Brexit will not be achieved, I believe. To the outsider, it all seems like a game that Theresa May is playing to keep all sides under her control, waiting for any crumb that might indicate she favours Brexit or a fudge. This has gone on for 2 years and yet the Tory Brexiter MPs apparently put up with it. This is no way to govern and has caused huge damage to the UK by delaying the very significant benefits we would achieve from Brexit, including regaining our sovereignty, and by apparently committing us to more and more in the way of financial contributions to the EU. The damage to the Cons Party is secondary, but it is hugely significant. I wonder if Tory MPs realise this?

      • Peter
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Who knows?

        Nobody wanted her job. Maybe the plan was to keep her in office but not in power. Let her take all the brickbats then ditch her when she had served her purpose?

        When/if the fighting really takes off we will get the answer.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        May falsely claims appeasing Brexiteers, she forgets we leavers won the democratic vote. The same vote that put her party in office last year by a minority. So by her logic as it was close should Corbyn have a say how to run the country? It is absurd. May and co are fanatics using very means to cling on to the EU including the sham Irish border problem she accepted responsibility for and her punishment extension as a vassal state that we taxpayers pay for. Get rid of thus untrustworthy underhand PM

      • getahead
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Said Chris.

      • Wisbech Ron
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        Chris, I fully share your view. Mrs May has played us Brexiters for fools. She has yielded at every step of the way in Brussels – on paying money, on Northern Ireland, on trade deals – and has them come back to the UK, smiled weakly and said “brexit means Brexit”. It doesn’t, it is Brexit in name only!
        I am powerless to stop this. But I expected more from people like Bill Cash, John Redwood, Ian Duncan Smith and Jacob R-M.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      As reported this morning following Mrs May’s meeting with Dutch PM Mark Rutte yesterday:”Downing Street said Mrs May “made the case for an ambitious economic and security partnership with the European Union”.”

      Everything must change so that everything can stay the same!

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, Now that Olly Robbins is the new UK government negotiator with the EU, whatever happened to that nice David Davis and DExEU?

      The current government shambles was predictable and predicted: many of us did so. It is a direct consequence of invoking Art50 which puts the EU in control and makes us, the UK, the supplicant.

      We should have left under international law to trade under WTO rules, whilst taking our place in international institutions to govern such matters as shipping, fishing and flying rights.

      Of course we should have left the door open for trade negotiations with the EU after we regained our independence from that evil and corrupt empire. But only if they seriously wanted a WTO registerable RTA with no compromise on our total independence from them.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:47 am | Permalink


        Lots of very interesting and sensible arguments, thank you .

        I am not sure the WTO would have been the way forward at least not according to the IoD , CBI and Association of Small Businesses..

        But now we are just going to see, where we end up. The EU wants a deal according to David Davis

        • libertarian
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink


          Interestingly since the leadership of those 3 business support organisations came out in support of Remain all 3 have haemorrhaged members, the IoD has especially had lots of problems… again . The CBI barely has any real members albeit the ones they do have are all huge firms.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Exactly, but May will surely cave in. She and Hammond get almost everything they touch totally wrong. Basically she is high tax, borrow, over regulate and waste, government knows best, BREXIT in name only person. Why is she even in the Tory party let alone leading it?

    Owen Paterson has it right as usual, good to see him back in action after his riding accident.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Yes I’m afraid it doesn’t seem there is any real contemplation of the WTO option. The EU know this & probably can also rely on Continuity Remain in Parliament to stop it.

      The N Ireland border has thrown up another false claim:that there has to be a hard border if the U.K. is out of the customs union and single market for food products, otherwise illegal foods will get into the EU single market, violating its ‘integrity’. We have seen how a cow in the Balkans was able to wander in and out of the single market unimpeded and yet not be exterminated in accordance with the requirements of the EUs rules based system. In the US cannabis is legal for sale in some states but not in others, yet hard borders are not needed to ensure the law is abserved in those states where it isn’t legal. In Switzerland you can purchase wine in 50cc – approx an imperial pint & the ideal amount for 2 for lunch – yet a hard border is not needed to stop this dangerous product threatening the integrity of the Neighbouring countries’ wine industries.

      I do hope the cabinet at least resolves that the Govt should get a little more Trumpian in the next round of discussions with the EU.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        The FT reports this am that President Trump’s robust attitude to unfair tariffs is already yielding results – the EU has tabled plans to cut tariffs across the global car industry. Everyone is a winner if this is the result. Mrs May should take note!

    • hefner
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      He and the ERG might be right but they also are toothless idiots unable to organize a p@ss in a brewery; a coup to take over from T.May, dream on.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Hef, Not idiots, lack courage and tenacity. Why do you think they will not get rid of May?

    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Could Friday 6th July become the day the Conservative Party ceased to exist.
      After 40 years of lies and disemination we are about to suffer the biggest betrayal in over 1000 years of history.
      Is the Prime Minister so stupid as to think she will be in office if she goes ahead on her BRINO policy of one foot in the EU and one foot out.
      I think she ought to be arranging a villa in Brussels so she can stick to flower arranging with her EU mates

      • eeyore
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        The time for argument is over and from now on only votes count. All friends of democracy should email their MP to urge him or her to vote in the House according to both letter and spirit of the referendum result.

        If the PM or government falls, if there is an election, or if the Conservative Party should split, my support will go to the candidate for the Brexit wing. Under no circumstances would I vote for a candidate of the Brino wing.

        My own MP is a solid Brexiteer and, in answer to my enquiry, has committed himself to supporting the referendum result come what may.

        • Chris
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          I have written to my own MP and others, plus Sir Graham Brady. Desperate times require desperate measures.

      • Prime
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May confirmed to Parliament today in answer to a question that Brexit will be completed in its entirety, end of customs union, end of single market, end of EU justice system, our courts in charge, UK fisheries policy, control of our borders and ability to trade as we wish with the rest of the world. She could not have been more detailed in her affirmation, including 29th March 2019 Leave Date

    • percy openshaw
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      With a painful mix of sorrow AND anger, I agree with everything you say. Tory cowardice and defeatism are reaching monster proportions – presumably because the party is led by a defeatist coward. This does not augur well for Brexit, but the question for Conservative MPs is this: how will you react? If May betrays you – and us, the voters – she must certainly go; enough is enough. A united party, backing Britain to the hilt and exploiting Labour’s opportunistic insincerity could win a historic victory. A party held together by fudge in a state of dishonour will lose.

    • Peter Cartwright
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      May is a Neville Chamberlain for our times. As Chamberlain was determined to have peace at any price and so failed hopelessly in negotiation with Hitler, so May is determined to Remain at any price and is equally hopeless at dealing with the EU negotiators. Came the crisis in 1940, Chamberlain was deposed. Come the crisis in 2019 so May will have to go and a more patriotic premier installed. It would save much heartache and worry if May was to go now, before she sells us down the river.

      • getahead
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        You shouldn’t judge Chamberlain by his negotiations with Hitler. He was a better prime minister than the deceitful May will ever be. How was he to know Hitler was a (brilliant) lunatic.
        Chamberlain obviously did not want peace at any price as he ended up declaring war on Germany.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Paterson asked a good question at PMQ’s, and got a fulsome and unequivocal answer; quite encouraging!

      • Annette
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Except for the KEY point – WHEN…

      • rose
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but did you hear waht Mr Gove said about our fish? We aren’t taking it back as promised, but going to negotiate for a bit more of it. Gove has sold out. Only Boris left in the Cabinet.

        • Chris
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          Michael Gove is completely untrustworthy in my mind and his knifing of Boris was part of that. I was seriously concerned by his fishing industry comments. What does he take us for, fools?

  3. zorro
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    “Some will seek to invent or reinvent some kind of Customs Partnership”…. That will be Theresa May and her eminence grise, Olly Robbins. Good luck, you will need it!!


  4. Mark B
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The question on the ballot paper was simple, clear and contained only two choices. Leave or Remain in the EU. We chose leave. It was the responsibility of the then Conservative (sic) government to examine all possible outcomes deriving from a Leave majority. The fact that none of this was done and the reasons why are open to speculation but, was is for sure, we are now paying for this gross miscalculation.

    The PM and the majority of MP’s in all parties plus the HoL are for Remain. They would rather others do their jobs whist continuing to receive monies from the public purse, all the while denying us our democratic rights. It seems to me that a certain foreign political figure was right when he said;

    “We will see if they can live up to the standards of democracy they demand of others.”

    Whatever happens the death knell of the Conservative Party has been sounded. And no matter how far Left it goes Labour voters will never vote for them.

    • Hope
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Worse they collude with each other and a foreign against our country. There is no difference between Tory traitors and labour ones.

  5. Peter
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    It is now a question of which side will prevail on Friday.

    Even if an agreement is reached it is highly likely the EU would reject it.

    Then we will be back to square one.

    The reluctance to go to WTO terms gets more obvious every day. Paradoxically the EU itself seems to have less issues with this way forward.

  6. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    The word “should” doing a lot of heavy lifting there John.

  7. Prigger
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Brexiteers at Chequers should prepare for Remoaners jumping on their backs whenever they make a play in discussion and head-butting…but, but, but, but, but …

  8. oldtimer
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The choice is clearbas you point out. Unfortunately May appears to be seeking expensive compromises urged on by Remainers frightened by their own shadows.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    “We are told to expect another White Paper on Brexit. The last one was clear and fairly detailed … ”

    You mean the White Paper published in February 2017 after Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech in January 2017, the one which has been deliberately forgotten, the one I mentioned in my somewhat facetious comment yesterday:

    It did indeed say:

    “We will bring to an end the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU in the UK”

    as one of the promises which had been made by Theresa May in her speech, which Tory backbenchers, and all of us, should be able to insist upon now without being accused of trying to bully her.

    I note that in his preface David Davis wrote:

    “We hope that in the upcoming talks, the EU will be guided by the principles set out in the EU Treaties concerning a high degree of international cooperation and good neighbourliness.”

    Well, unfortunately that has not been happening; which was not entirely unexpected as we already knew from experience that they are a bunch of hypocrites for whom the rules are the rules unless the rules are getting in the way of what they want to do when the rules can be bent and broken; and is it not time that the government followed Jacob Rees-Mogg in publicly pointing this out to them:

    So that the wider world will understand who is in the wrong.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you know what’s going on? The two most natural opponents (enemies?) of the United Kingdom as an independent sovereign nation are the European Commission and the Republic of Ireland. The former want to build a European Federation and control us and rob us blind. The latter covets our territory in the north. This opposition is far stronger than any from Russia and has been consistent ever since the Second World War. Yet these are the bodies we are negotiating with.

      This duo are not going to offer us a good deal this side of the river Styx unless we terrorise them. Fleshing out No Deal and pushing it to the top of the agenda will do precisely that. No Deal would give the UK a few problems (but may not be negative overall). It would be catastrophic for the EC and the Irish Republic.

  10. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Canada like FTA for goods and a few more checks at Belfast harbour would keep brexiteers outside a customes union and free to make free trade deals all over the world.

  11. DUNCAN
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Stop pandering to May, threaten her with a leadership election and get us out of the EU

    We voted to leave the EU. Get on with it.

    Less talk, more action. If May won’t adhere to democracy then depose her and elect someone who will.

    Maybe you can elect a Tory next time to lead our party? Just a thought

    It’s time to get rid of this liberal left, Guardian reading, virtue signalling monstrosity

    • Christine
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. The can is being kicked down the road yet again with the promise of jam tomorrow. This Government has a record of leaking really bad news, then announcing something a bit more palatable but slowly moving towards BRINO. I don’t think they understand the feeling of the British people who are getting angrier by the day. The Conservative Party will pay dearly at the next General Election. My family will be voting for UKIP if Mrs May doesn’t deliver a clean full Brexit.

      • Chris
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Christine, I also feel they really have no idea of the depth of anger out there. I guess they are isolated, being in the Westminster bubble, and also being cushioned by a false sense of security brought on by being in power (for the moment).

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    An excellent piece on the NHS in the Telegraph today.

    It’s estimated that 10,000 deaths could be prevented each year if the UK merely hit the European “average”. So what are they celebrating tomorrow exactly? It can never work as currently funded and structured. Many excellent and devoted staff, but appallingly managed and with an absurd funding system. 26 people dying early every day due to its abject failures and many more suffering or waiting for rationed treatments. The government and Jeremy Hunt are far too cowardly to even start to address the issue. They should start to charge and encourage more private provision with tax relief and abolish Hammond 12% IPT on medical cover.

  13. Stred
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    How can we leave on WTO terms when May /Hammond and the Remainer civil service have deliberately failed to order to equipment for roll on roll off lorries at Channel ports?

  14. Nig l
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Agree totally but am only celebrating the football win this morning. Some of the ‘signals’ about the Chequers meeting are too appalling to contemplate.

  15. agricola
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately there are those in government, and advising, who do not have your clarity or sense of purpose. Not surprising as they are remainers, and at best want some sort of half way house. Predictions from the Treasury(Hammond) and big business (Clark) have consistently proved worthless. I hope that those with integrity and respect for the democratic process hold sway. The consequences of pushing through a deal that fails the democratic wish are dire for the immediate future of the UK.

    Congratulations to our footballers for keeping their cool before an onslaught of un-sportsman like behaviour from their opponents. Both FIFA and the Referees need to get a grip before the game we gave the World falls apart midst a profusion of shirt pulling ,tripping, arm wrestling, over acting, and intimidation of the referee. Offenders should be condemned to a game of premier club rugby to make them aware of real physical attrition.

    • Original Richard
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      “Both FIFA and the Referees need to get a grip before the game we gave the World falls apart midst a profusion of shirt pulling ,tripping, arm wrestling, over acting, and intimidation of the referee.”

      FIFA simply need to give referees the tools for the job, namely the introduction of the “sin bin” as already exists in both rugby and hockey so that offenders are not only out of the game for a period of time but the penalty applies to the current match and not to a future match.

  16. Original Richard
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Absolutely correct.

    The choice for Mrs. May, the Cabinet and Parliament is either to follow the path of freedom chosen by a democratic vote by the whole country or become a vassal state run by a corrupt bureaucracy.

    Freedom is priceless.

    In addition, however much damage the UK’s supporters believe the EU can inflict upon the UK when the UK leaves the EU, it is nothing compared to the economic damage it can cause whilst the UK continues to be a member of or even associated with the EU.

    The proof is our current position where we have a trading deficit of £80bn/year, massive inward migration through EU expansion and Eurozone policies, and for which we pay £20bn/year gross (losing control of £15bn/year and resulting in £10bn/year net) whilst many other countries pay absolutely nothing.

  17. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The constant bickering in Cabinet over strategy between the remainers and the brexiteers is enabling the EU people to exploit our differences and put pressure on our negotiators. The Germans are leading in this because they dont want to pick up the bill when we leave.

    This is going to go down to the wire. The England football team showed great character last night – do we have the same resilience in the penalty shootout stage of our negotiations?

    Mrs May must obtain Cabinet agreement at the Chequers meeting. It would help if you lot would stop playing politics with this hugely important issue, cease briefing against each other and agree a united position.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink


      The manifesto said out of the single market. That must be the cabinet position and we can only be strong if we are United.

    • mancunius
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      I do wonder if somebody who on her own admission became extremely nervous in watching a football penalty shootout, is the best choice of PM to play hardball with Brussels… For this (and the parliamentary battle) we need a ruthless Churchillian basta*d, not a geography graduate.

      • Dontknowsquat
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Ok so mancunius..why don’t you put your own name forward?

  18. Alison
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Spot on. But our host should NOT have to write these posts at all. In the Chequers meeting context:

    There is an important example of damaging EU directives (again), hitting at the core of the digital economy. I think it will affect our host’s blog too. Tomorrow (5th July) the EU Parliament votes on a proposed updated EU directive on copyright law. Just Google ‘Article 13’. (Article 11 isn’t good either). Recently I sat in a meeting in EU corridors with many IT entrepreneurs from across the EU, who pleaded with the Commission staff to change the text, as it is going to “kill” IT entrepreneurship in the EU. Tim Berners-Lee (a Remainer), with some 70 world computing/Internet leaders, has written to Tajani, begging him to charge Article 13 of the draft Directive. Open any Wikipedia page, and it is headed by a similar plea.

    There is a lot wrong with how people use the Internet (eg abuse of copyright). But the proposed directive (suggested & led by a German MEP) imposes legal liability on websites and internet services for the content they host: Sites that allow users to post text, sounds, code, still or moving images will be required to filter automatically for registered content and will face penalties if they do not block content which infringes copyright from appearing on their platform. The technology to do this filtering *effectively* doesn’t exist yet, and is very expensive to develop and (important) to maintain. Facebook et al have algorithms, but they cost a lot and aren’t very effective.

    how to kill off the EU digital economy.

  19. MPC
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Let’s wait with dread to see what the EU does to us during the so called ‘transition’ which is bound to be confirmed by the PM.

    My dream is there is no deal/WTO, the Government has fully prepared for it, and all of Mr Redwood’s supporters bring champagne and meet with him soon after March 29 2019 at the white cliffs of Dover to prove there’s been no ‘cliff edge’. That will surely remain a dream though.

  20. Alison
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    PS, watching German TV, interviews with SPD. The compromise agreement between Merkel and Seehofer looks very shaky. The SPD don’t like the compromise, and some SPD members are suggesting they might oppose it. They want to know what the asylum centres will be like. CSU drifting right. I don’t think Mrs May will have Mrs Merkel’s full or extended attention tomorrow.

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately Mr Redwood there is money and influence available for those seeking to make it more complicated than you describe.

  22. Andy
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    There are indeed two options.

    1) Do what is right for the country.

    2) Do what is right for the Conservative Party.

    There is a choice – Mrs May can not achieve both.

    It is a simple fact that Brexit is going wrong. It is going wrong because during their epic 30+ year anti-EU whinge Eurosceptics never bothered to think of better alternatives. Now you have to, you can’t.

    You have had two years to come up with solutions which:
    a) Respect the result of the referendum
    b) Deliver on all of the promises of the winning Vote Leave campaign
    c) Make all the things that are wrong with the EU better
    d) Make none of the things that are good about the EU worse.

    You have not only failed, you have failed spectacularly. The vast majority of people who voted for Brexit now believe Brexit will be bad. Even the true believers among you recognise that Brexit is going wrong. And yet you still plough on, headlong, into an almighty mess.

    You reject facts. You dismiss experts – all of them. You slander opponents.

    If you want Brexit to succeed you now need to stop and demand a pause to give you the time and space to fix this almighty mess you have created.

    My children, our children, will not forgive those who putting ideologue before country.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Instead we’re going to get taxed for the money pit NHS – the BBC is in full propoganda mode.

  24. Michael
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    On this I do hope you are correct but am concerned that the PM will try fudge again

  25. Flash 'arry
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Watch the Prime Minister’s former promises melt away like ice cream falling onto a hot pavement.

  26. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I seem to remember a certain MP from Wokingham saying two years ago the choice was between WTO, or an FTA which would be better for everyone.
    The advice that stands the test of time is the one to listen to.
    What I don’t understand is what we get for our £39bn.

    Reply Im not recommending we pay £39 bn

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Yes I know, and I would rather spend that money at home as well, or take it off the national debt.

  27. hefner
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Everyone in my family is looking forward to these £200 soon coming from Brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Any saving goes to the Treasury not you.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    This better not be true, or Theresa May will go down as just another Tory traitor.

    “But I stand by what I said, because the new proposal of the PM and her officials, led on this by Olly Robbins, retains the NCP’s most controversial element, namely that the UK would at its borders collect duties on imports at the rate of the European Union’s common customs tariff.

    The UK would in that sense be the EU’s tax collector, and although the UK would have the right to negotiate trade agreements with third countries where tariffs could be different from the EU’s or zero, companies in the UK importing from those countries would have to claim back the difference from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), much in the way they currently claim or pay different VAT rates when trading with the EU.”

    Just as insane, and in just as much contradiction with her earlier promises, as two months ago when I suggested that:

    “Mrs May should get herself a new Brexit adviser who will not talk such nonsense.”

    He’s a menace, JR, and he’s got to go.

    Either he must go, or she must go, and he would be more easily replaced.

  29. Newmania
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    she does intend to take back control as required by the referendum vote

    The referendum vote only required we leave the EU. It did not require us to leave the single market ,the customs union , the ECJ and so on . In fact it was the belief of the majority of voters on the Brexit side that the country would be better off .
    That rules out leaving the single market and customs union
    Half the country did not want to leave at all , and we do not live in a majoritarian dictatorship still less a banana republic in which endless complex and dangerous powers are derived from populist plebiscites characterized by lies and the use of prejudice.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


      As someone who voted to Remain, you would look less illy if you knew what you were actually voting for.

      The EU has been quite explicit about this. Leaving the EU and triggering A50 means leaving the EU & the 4 pillars that make it up. So yes it does mean exactly that leaving the internal market in goods , freedom of movement and customs union

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      I sense that the time for talking is over, don’t you ?

      You didn’t vote Leave so don’t you dare tell me how I think.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      The ECJ the SM and the CU are the beating heart of EU control of member states.
      If the UK remains subservient to these three institutions then we have not actually left the EU
      I think you know that.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, It seems extraordinary to base your view of Brexit on your own guess about Leave voters’ motivations. Maybe you should try asking us, instead of telling us?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Is that what you have done frequently asked the remainers on this web-site?

    • Oggy
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      Jesus wept. How many more times do you have to be told !

  30. Democrat
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    BBC Business today concentrated on British Business’s instructions to Mrs May.

    I hope our “business” leaders after Brexit receive appropriate lessons on democracy. We heard their “expert” opinions before 23rd June 2016. They had a vote each. They as individuals lost. They harm our country when they in crucial negotiations try their utmost, with boring regularity, to undermine it. Their workers deserve proper employers. Boris had the correct Anglo-Saxon terminology for their pert betrayal of our people.

  31. Adam
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The options are a litmus test of Theresa May’s declared intent.

    WTO would reveal she is true blue.

  32. libertarian
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Breaking News

    Andy has reported from the World Cup

    Last night England won 4-3 on penalties , this is too close to call so doesn’t count as an England win

    There were more Columbians in the stadium than England fans, therefore we need to play the game again

    There is huge indisputable evidence that there was a massive Russian influence on the match

    The referee was American, he was ordered by Trump to give us a penalty

    The England team lied because they NEVER won a penalty shootout whilst in the EU

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Ha! Very funny.

      I expected a game of football and I got a game of football.

      As a motor racing fan, I prefer the car analogy.

      Brexiteers promised you a brand new top of the range convertible Aston Martin.

      They’re actually delivering you a second hand beat up Robin Reliant.

      It’s still a car but it’s not what you were promised.

      Rather than whinging at the mechanics (Remainers) who have to fix your turd on wheels, perhaps should take it up with the salesmen (Brexiteers) who sold you a dud?

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Fantastic !

    • ian wragg
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


    • hans christian ivers
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:43 am | Permalink

      Again unnecessary rubbish

      • libertarian
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


        You would be better of paying attention to whats happening in Denmark right now

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 6, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          I am and we are doing just fine although not on the immigrant front but then you know too little about the Nordics any way

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          I live in the UK and the problems are much larger than in Denmark so I am not worried about Dk

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink


    • Chris
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Hits the spot.

  33. Donna
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    All the indications are that the Remainers in the Cabinet – including May, and her EU-phile Civil Servant Olly Robbins – are preparing to renege on her promise to enact a REAL Brexit, which means out of the EU, Single Market and Customs Union.

    We are about to see, like the battle over the Maastricht Treaty, whether those Conservative MPs who respect this country’s independence and Sovereignty are prepared to put COUNTRY above the wishes of the PM.

    We voted to LEAVE the EU and it was made very clear that it would mean leaving the Single Market and Customs Union (since we couldn’t “take back control” if we didn’t). We didn’t vote for EU-lite or a BRINO. If May attempts to bounce us into that, the Party will lose the support of many ex-UKIP voters and many former Labour voters who gave her the benefit of the doubt.

    I hope the Brexiteers in Cabinet make the right decision, but I’m not confident. The Party has a long history of betraying the British people in favour of “unity.”

  34. Beecee
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Apparently the ‘economic cases’ of various options have been costed by the Treasury.

    The ‘clean’ exit will therefore be the worst of all options.

    It will be a cop-out, as the leaky writings on the wall have been suggesting for some time.

    Time to get those letters in, and before Friday, so that she knows the consequence!

  35. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Many of us expect capitulation to the EU by Mrs May and if that does come about will never vote Conservative again. In fact, the whole democratic process will be plunged into crisis.

  36. BOF
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Yes, that is all quite clear an unambiguous. unfortunately, rumour has it, a new fudge is being proposed to replace the previous fudge.

    Does Robbins have any experience of the world outside the civil service? Has he ever stood for election to actually represent real people? I ask these questions because he seems to be the prime source of fudgy deals and the Prime Minister seems overly keen on his advice, even to the extent of potentially abandoning her red lines.

  37. dittoagain
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed- thought it would be when I saw Rudd the Netherlands PM over here the last couple of days smoothing the way..looks like most things have now been only waiting on Fridays meeting when two government ministers will be fired..this is also all agreed with the EU side in case of fallout.. has to be because there has been too much uncertainty about and for too long which is damaging business.

  38. Oggy
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Well Dr Redwood I admire your confidence and belief that Mrs May will deliver what she promised in the election Manifesto and Lancaster house speech. But the noises coming out of Westminster don’t support that view.

    If, as we are hearing that Mrs May will attempt to go for a ‘BRINO’ – Our hope is that the EU will reject Mrs May’s third way proposals and secondly that JRM and others ensure this deal is voted down in Parliament in the ‘meaningful vote’ and that we leave on WTO next March.

    If she renegues on those promises to get us out of the EU and backtracks on her own red lines the Tories will be history for a generation and will cause a huge backlash with the public.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink


      Well Dr Redwood I admire your confidence and belief that Mrs May will deliver what she promised in the election Manifesto and Lancaster house speech.

      In your dreams it will never happen. You are watching the slow but calculated destruction of the once great Tory party

      • Oggy
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        That’s Exactly what I said.

  39. a-tracy
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    When the newspaper journalists write: Mrs May is considering the UK collecting EU import tariffs? What exactly does this mean? Is she offering to collect EU taxes and pay the current 80% of the money collected across to the EU on goods we import from the rest of the World?

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      It means that Brexiteers have created a monumentally expensive and unnecessarily bureaucratic system for imports and exports. Despite promising to cut red tape.

      It means they are raising your taxes to pay for the NHS and to leave the EU because the Brexit dividend they promised never existed.

      It means you won’t get the immigration points system you were promised but you will get more migrants from India and fewer from Spain.

      It means the charlatan Leave cheats who sold you this entirely predictable mess need to be held to account, removed from office and brought to justice. And one day they will be.

  40. Chris
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I hope those at Chequers also bear in mind this very apt warning from a Mr M Davies whose letter appears in D Telegraph today in response to Owen Paterson’s article:
    “Many Conservative politicians have not grasped the scale of the electoral disaster that they are creating for themselves at the next general election.

    Like millions of others I voted Conservative at the 2017 election on the strength of the commitment to implement the referendum result, to leave the single market and the customs union, to end free movement and to end the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

    If the Government fails to deliver these in full, then the Conservative Party will lose those millions of votes, perhaps forever. Without a proper clean-break Brexit, the Conservative Party will be extinguished as an electoral force”.

    • acorn
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Oh please God let it be. If the UK never elects a laissez-faire; neo-liberal Conservative Party government again this century, there is hope.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Gosh I must have missed the laissez-faire neo liberal government.
        I’ve noticed recent governments spending loads more creating huge numbers of new laws regulations and directives.
        I’ve noticed the growth and power of multi nationals and the growth in power of the EU
        Interfering more in every aspect of our lives and our freedoms.

        • acorn
          Posted July 8, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          So tell me Edward2, what can’t you do now, that you could do a couple or three decades back?

    • Henry Spark
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      I too read that letter. I am puzzled by it. Those were manifesto commitments made by the Conservatives. And the British people decided they would not give the Conservatives a majority. So the commitments were rejected by the British people. Is M. Davies asking the government to deliver something that the British people have said they do not want?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 6, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Over 80% of votes went to parties that had manifesto commitments to leave the EU
        Greens and Lib Dems who were in favour of remaining did badly in the election.
        Leaving was rejected you say.
        I don’t see how you can claim that.

  41. Chris S
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I’m quite sure that a majority of Brits would like to see our negotiators offer Barnier just these two options but it won’t happen. May is too soft to do it and the EU knows it.

    She has mishandled the whole thing right from the start when she catastrophically went along with their phasing of the so-called negotiations

    They cannot have believed their luck facing such ineptitude

    David Davis has been undermined by his boss at every turn.

  42. Chris S
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    PS wrote this while waiting more than 30 minutes in my car just to get to the French “security check” at the port of Dover, only to be waved through with no check at all !

    Lorries were queuing all the way into Dover on the M20.

    So much for the single market !

    • stred
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      French customs are on a ‘go slow’ because they don’t like Macron’s reforms, taking so long at the airport that the plane filled and left before the arriving passengers were allowed through.

  43. Dennis Zoff
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    John, thank you

    Clarity, simplicity and definable/executable objectives are required to circumvent another delusive anti-Brexit fudge.

    17.4+ Million citizens have an expectation – We trust you and your clear thinking “Real Brexit” colleagues will eventually win the day. Good luck!

  44. graham1946
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    If as expected, Mrs. May keeps us in by the backdoor or simply a name change, it will be interesting to see how she squares that with her speeches at the Mansion house etc. No amount of spinning can cover it. Mind you, she also made a fine speech on the steps of Downing Street when she was crowned PM that she understood and cared for the ‘Just about Managing’ people. That was forgotten as soon as she went through the doorway and she immediately started hammering them, so no, sorry Mr Redwood and Mr Rees-Mogg, we do not have your faith in your ‘leader’. She has form, both as a failure and a ditherer. It is impossible to believe that two years after the referendum she is only now getting around to designing her EU fudge.

  45. Blue and Gold
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Mr.Redwood still doesn’t seem to get it.

    The British people did not vote for the sort of Hard Brexit, (which would damage the lives of normal people unlike wealthy people such as himself), that he and his elite chums want.
    The result of the ‘vanity’ General Election last June made that absolutely clear.

    Furthermore, the importance of the UK/Republic of Ireland border situation is not trivia.

    It seems very unfair. The majority of voters in the North of Ireland voted Remain, the Republic is in the EU so the whole of Ireland should remain in it. Likewise Scotland, London and all the other Remain areas.

    Mr.Redwood and James Rees-Mogg et al could go and form their own ‘Little England’ ,(with the Leave voting areas), of the 1950’s. They could have heaps of fun with lashings of ginger beer.

    And of course today we learn that not only did Vote Leave spout many untruths during the Referendum debate, but they were also fiddling the books.

    Looking forward to the fireworks at Chequers over the weekend, and the continuing debate which will last decades.

    • Prime
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      ” the continuing debate which will last decades.” But you will be suffering malnutrition, your owned home worthless. How will you continue a debate?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Re read the Leaflet.
      Our PM said…this is your decision we will implement what you decide.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      B&G, We were lied to by EU-philes from day one about the EEC/EU: from Heath to Cameron, via Wilson, Howe, Major, Clegg, Adonis, and Osborne. The EU is a vile, corrupt re-creation of the Roman Empire, or perhaps the Roman Republic, just not as democratic. From 1973 to 2019 we have put up with Remain. They can now put up with Leave for 46 years.

  46. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    In 1973 Britain joined the Common Market and the Government put on a festival of European culture so that the British people could share what the then Prime Minister, Edward Heath, called his “heart full of joy” at their country’s shiny new Euro-future.

    In 1975 the UK held a referendum on continued membership of the European Community.

    The Single European Act, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon followed along with a host of EU Regulations and Directives.

    The treaties and laws were presented as mere tidying-up exercises having no impact on UK common law and involving no loss of powers or transfer of sovereignty. To our cost we now know this to be horribly untrue.

    All along, leading members of the conservative party have conspired with others to present this as necessary for peace, security, trade, funding, crime and now climate change, energy and consumer protection.

    For 40 years conservatives have colluded with others in the establishment to ensure that we were dragged further and deeper into the EU clutches and worse still to keep the British people in ignorance of what was going on.

    And it continues to this day.

    Will Friday’s cabinet meeting mark a change? I doubt it.

    What is the point of voting Conservative?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Alan Joyce

      What is the point of voting Conservative?

      Exactly, there is no point.

  47. DUNCAN
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Just read JRM’s comments about ‘regulatory alignment’ is not Brexit. Of course he is correct.

    This PM is a grotesque on every level and a disgrace to honesty, truth and democracy. She will betray 17.50m UK citizens who voted Leave

    I am telling you Mr Redwood that if this hypocrite stays as our leader I for one will never vote Conservative again

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


      I am telling you Mr Redwood that if this hypocrite stays as our leader I for one will never vote Conservative again

      You are not alone

      • Chris
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        There are rather a lot of us, and enough to make a significant difference. It won’t be for want of telling them. Ostriches come to mind. Conservative MPs will realise too late, I fear.

  48. AndyC
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve given Mrs May the benefit of the doubt so far, and would still like to. But the disconnect between her reasonable public pronouncements and the rabidly pro EU spinning from her office is becoming unbearable.

    Mr Redwood, you and your colleagues have to be prepared to bring her down now if need be. Any brexit climbdown now will rip the Conservative party apart and, not incidentally, bring an end to any future for the UK as an independent nation.

  49. PaulDirac
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The futility of the last 18 months of negotiations with the EU is solely the result of the EU’s bad faith stance.
    The EU doesn’t care a rat’s as* about the Irish border or any of their invented obstacles, they with the help of a few turn coats (and a large disruption budget) are seeking to force TM to surrender and create the “vassal UK state”.
    The only argument which might help is being completely ready for a NO-DEAL, but if it doesn’t – we will have some problems, but the EU will have even more and they might relent.
    However, TM said that a no-deal is better than a bad deal, she must deliver on that or be ousted.

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I could not agree more, but from the point of view of EU interests. The EU and the UK are simply not compatible, the EU organisation and several influential members have -as far as I know- developed a deep mistrust in the capacity of the current UK government to adhere to any agreement that risks becoming unpopular or is vulnerable to manipulation by anti-EU interests in Britain and elsewhere. So what does the EU negotiators do? Rather let the UK stew in its own juice but bend over backwards to keep the process going. So a “no deal” is more likely than a soft brexit and even continued membership (revoking art 50 notice) is more likely than a soft brexit, though not certain to be granted.

    There is of course another thing the more influential, pro business EU members do not want: a Corbyn government trying to resurrect completely obsolete ideas about economic nationalism with a socialist cover, within the EU or on the EU’s doorstep. For a long time the fear of Corbynism was dominating the fear for a (potentially disruptive) soft Brexit but now that seems to have faded away. The May government will stay for a while, produce no “future relationship” versions the EU members can agree on in time, be difficult about payments and hence leave truly, in 2019. No extensions, no trade favours.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      That would be nice, but contrary to the interests of your “big business” friends in Airbus etc. They need to find a middle way where neither a fully independent UK nor a Corbyn government occurs. So most likely use the dithering nincompoop to create a transitory period of quasi membership pending a milliband type puppet to take us back in fully as it’s”the right thing to do”.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Rien, I wish I shared your optimism that our government would be so rational and far-seeing. Unfortunately a majority of our establishment – like yours – wants to continue as a vassal state of the EU Empire – itself a corrupt, technocratic re-creation of the Roman Empire. Maybe we will just escape by the skin of our teeth, and act as a beacon of hope to the remaining enslaved nations of Europe.

    • whatsinaname
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink


  51. Whataboutschmidt
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Whether the EU is sensible or not hardly counts..whether we think we know what’s good for them is neither here nor there..they are a political concept built on economic whatever it takes they are going to do what’s necessary to hold the centre together – as they see it – not as we see it

  52. John Booth
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    So all the media are wrong? All are leaking rumour if another May climb down and concession. Mrs May has never, not once shown strong leadership on this issue.

    Your loyalty and kind words towards her are admirable and understandable but I hope your private thoughts are different. To this observer (and Tory voter for 50 years until 5 years ago when you changed to a wet, liberal party, Mrs May has done everything possible to stop Brexit and manoeuvre us towards a BRINO.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      John Booth

      Totally agree

  53. Bill
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Neil on Twitter

    “The May line is becoming clearer by the hour:
    There is no majority in Parliament for no deal.
    My deal is only one with a chance in Brussels.
    If you reject it, Parliament will vote for EEA status, the EU will accept — and Brexit will be in indefinite limbo.”

    Let’s hope that the Brexiteers in cabinet and in Parliament have the courage of their convictions (but I am not holding my breath)

    • Chris
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      What treachery. My anger and disgust is off the scale. It would appear that these MPs have no concept of honesty and principle, nor any desire to uphold democracy. Theresa May is not so stupid that she did not realise what her strategies over the last 2 years would result in. Her appointments in Cabinet and elsewhere demonstrated absolutely where her loyalties lay and in which direction she was headed. The Tory Brexiter MPs wanted to appear honourable by saying that they trusted her but all they have “achieved” by adopting this strategy is to look very foolish, weak and easily duped, and to be the losers.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Whatever EEA status may mean precisely, if it is a “Norway”, the Council will probably go along and the Commission would probably see that as a sufficient basis for aprotocol re the future relationship, hence the consensual withdrawal and, more importantly, the transition period, would be safe. However I do not believe that a Norway-style (or EEA) solution is possible without also dealing with the residual border on the island of Ireland. The Republic might prefer a “no deal” because that would bring a referendum much closer. An uneventful brexit as you suggest would not do that (ie do relatively little harm to the UK economy) and then the reunification might still take some six to eight years. But maybe the Irish are less cynical than that.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Parliament has rejected EEA status though, and if the Tories made it policy Labour would oppose it out of bloody mindedness.

  54. Tad Davison
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    “The government is clear that no deal for the UK is better than a bad deal for the UK” The government should repeat those decisions.

    Fine, but it depends on individual interpretation as to what constitutes a good or a bad deal. I recall Cameron coming back from his negotiations with the EU telling us what a fantastic deal he had managed to secure for the UK, which to most of the rest of us was absolute junk – just another con-man out to snow us for his own pro-EU ends.

    Let’s see what May comes up with, but I hope you like fudge because something tells me we are going to get bucket loads of the stuff. And as any doctor will tell us, too much fudge makes us pig sick!

    Tad Davison


    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Ted, but we are only going to prevail if we let our MPs know that we won’t be voting for Socialists with a Tory label at the next General election. It’s not only Europe, it’s failure to fund extra health care without raising taxes, it’s the bureaucratic meddling ‘industrial strategy’, it’s failure to get rid of tyrannical regulators and the nanny state.

      There is a sense of natural justice here. If the Tories adopt Corbyn’s policies, Corbyn deserves to win.

      Consider yourself warned, Mr Redwood.

  55. iain
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    At PMQs today Mrs May seemed to leave no room for doubt that she intends to fully carry out the Referendum result. We shall see.

    • Hope
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      No she did not. She said the the customs u ion and th single market. She will later claim, if allowed, her partnership is something different from the two in existence.

  56. Newmania
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Btw I doubt the anti business Party care but the timing of this is becoming a problem. If the transition period is not firmed up in the next month or so contingency plans will have to proceed . It is no use announcing that we have another two years grace grace in January next year .

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      I have to say, the EU has played a blinder. We are effectively locked in until the end of 2021. As a result the full consequences of hard Brexit will not really be unleashed until Jan 1st 2022.

      Huge queues at ports and airports, medicine shortages, prices rises, expensive visas for travellers etc will all follow. But I suspect the EU will stagger it – so rather than it all happening at once the car crash will unfold slowly – week after week, month after month. As bad news piles upon bad news it will plunge this inept government into meltdown.

      All just in time for the June 2022 election – when following months of dire Brexit headlines, the Conservatives will be all but wiped out.

      • Oggy
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        And mr Corbyn will increase your higher rate of income tax. Poetic justice.

  57. Helen Smith
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, would that you were ic of negotiations, I would be a lot happier.

    May should do all these things, but she has surrounded herself with Remoaners like Robbins, Civil Servants who have no idea how commerce works, who thinks drug companies will stop selling to the NHS if we leave the EU.

    I despair and am close to tears at the thought of our having freedom and increased prosperity in our grasp, and then throwing it all away.

    Please, please get rid of May ASAP and get someone who understands that Brexit is a wonderful opportunity in. She lied to gain the votes of Brexiteers, lied to us when she said she wouldn’t call a GE, and is lying now. Get rid before the Tory party is consigned to the dustbin.

    • Chris
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      You sound as desperate as I am, Helen.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Helen Smith

      I despair and am close to tears at the thought of our having freedom and increased prosperity in our grasp, and then throwing it all away.

      Close to? Been weeping for weeks /months over her total incompetence ably supported by her cabinet

  58. isp001
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Excellent plan and has the merit of Keep It Simple Stupid – i.e. less risk of messy operational screw ups.

    Speaking from the private sector I hate the idea of a transition period. It just means 2(+) more years of uncertainty and having to incur all the legal/organisational cost of a change in regime twice.

  59. Atlas
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Agreed John,

    Any notion of a BRINO should not be countenanced by the Cabinet. It would be a foolish soul so to do, as the Wrath of Leave voters may lead us in unexpected directions.

  60. rapscallion
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


    Isn’t it about time someone reminded Mrs May what the British voted for on June 23rd 2016,
    Any deal that subverts our sovereign rights and laws, or in some way keeps us shackled to the EU corpse is just not acceptable.

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you need reminding of the general election result in June 2017. Mrs May went to the country demanding a mandate for a complete amputation from the EU. The country said no. What part of democracy do you not understand?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        There was no such call from Tesera May
        The election was fought on traditional party lines
        Health Education Employment Costs of Care and Economics.
        Anyway both parties had manifestos that said leaving the EU was their policy
        Over 80% voted for them
        The greens and Lib Dems who were the only parties in favour of remaining in the EU saw their vote fall.

    • Gary C
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      @ rapscallion

      I agree and would add;

      The longer this idiotic situation goes on the more I am convinced we are being sold down the river and the chance of ever voting Conservative again is fading fast.

      Of those I know the vast majority are thinking the same as in this government is a lost cause condemned to death by whinging anti democratic remainers who are failing to pull together to deliver the referendum result.

      If the Conservative party want our vote at the next election (which it doesn’t look like they do) then they need start looking to to a future where the electorate will be wanting to vote them in again, at this moment in time they are loosing voters faster than a colander drains water.

      There is no reason why anyone would want to vote for the best of a bad bunch after being let down so badly.

      I’d so much like to be proven wrong and hear we are properly leaving . . . . . So come on TM prove me wrong!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink


      Isn’t it about time someone reminded Mrs May what the British voted for on June 23rd 2016,

      They do and she has been totally blind and mutt and geoff to the voice of the people

  61. mancunius
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    It is now clear that May has been privately briefing Robbins and others to negotiate our rights and money away in Brussels, while telling the nation and her own MPs that she is pursuing our independence.
    Neither she nor the Tory Party will survivie a final cave=in at Chequers.

    ‘Infirm of purpose, give us the dagger!’

  62. Derek Henry
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    On Friday pay your money and take a chance. Which is it going to be…

    1) A customs union plus extensive compliance with single market rules – similar to that of the EEA.

    2) A Canada-type trade deal (though it is not clear how that could ever solve the Northern Irish question).

    3) A a time-sequenced combination of the two options above: a temporary customs union/EEA deal for as long as it takes to implement a Canada agreement.

    4) The whole deal could still blow up once the UK realises fully the sheer extent of the EU’s inflexibility on the four freedoms.

    For me if the EU does not budge then there will be another election. Since voters recognise leaving is under threat the Tories will win by a landslide.

    Millions of left wing voters ( 4 million) who went back home to the Labour party after the referendum result at the last election thinking that we were leaving. Will run back to the right if they think leaving is in danger.

    This time putting a leaver in charge.

    It ultimately boils down to will the Tories on Friday break their manifesto pledge of leaving the single market and customes union and will they go against the referendum result which would be political suicide.

    I just can’t see that happening if the Tories are crazy enough to do that. Get ready for another election. When a leaver gets puts in charge the whole thing turns a full 180.

  63. Augustyn
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I do wonder just why the UK Government has a problem in understanding it is responsible to the electorate and should fulfill it’s wishes and in full. The electorate gave parliament a very clear instruction to depart the EU. If the Conservative party or parliament do not complete the instruction (and in full) then both bodies will have failed perhaps fatally.

  64. Iain Gill
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Well said John, keep saying it

    The more complete and proper the Brexit the better

    That’s what we voted for

  65. Dennis Perrin
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    This is good clear stuff John. All you are doing is making certain that the British people get the Brexit they voted for. They voted by a clear margin to leave the EU Institutions because they are recognised as undemocratic. “Remainers” lost the vote because the majority value all the things that make us sovereign. We make our own laws, trade freely and co-operate where we can. Those who lost the vote are realising the benefits of Brexit if it’s constantly made plain to them. I’ve copied this message to my Facebook page having sought permission from you before the vote in 2016. Thank you for your clear Brexit Leadership Voice!

  66. Dontknowsquat
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    How can we say we know what’s good for the EU or that we know how sensible they should be..they for their part are going to paddle their own canoe from now on as should be, and very probably without a second thought about UK’s new WTO rules trading position..Friday’s meeting in Chequers with Mrs May’s white paper will throw up nothing new and in any case it’s content will not be acceptable in any way to Barnier & Co..truth is they are just looking forward to the summer don’t understand why JR-M, IDS and others were looking so glum at PMQ’S today..and think of it I didn’t even notice Gove or Fox in attendance..anyway the final countdown is really happening now so it’s time for all brexiteers to cheer up..

  67. Colin Hart
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Spot on about the UK-Eire border. It is the EU’s problem, not ours.

    Prior to referendum the word in Ipswich was that their then Conservative MP was telling everyone ‘Don’t worry. Even if people vote to leave, we won’t.’ Looking increasingly as if he was right.

  68. tapped
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    The comments above don’t reflect ( enough ) the Rage of the populace.

  69. rick hamilton
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    You only have to look at the mess government made of the metric system to see what’s coming with Brexit. Filling our tanks in litres and driving along in miles per hour – no other developed country could live with such ludicrous fudge. The Good Friday agreement sounds like another one. The so-called reform of the HoL another. Devolution another. All with loose ends that never get tied up.

    Do we British just love living in a mess or should I be polite and claim we are ‘comfortable with ambiguity’ ?

  70. robert lewy
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    If Chequers is really the time for a final position to be reached on the Government’s position which is BRINO, what will the fall-out be?

    DD resignation seems inevitable as he will be unable to feel able to remain a passenger on this autonomous vehicle directed by Robbins. His record is clear in that he was prepared to resign as an MP to fight for civil liberties. Well, this must be history repeating itself as our liberty is indeed under threat.

    The question will therefore be whether DD resignation , rather than its mere threat, will inspire others to seek a leadership change.

  71. hans christian ivers
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


    Pots of interesting and challenging subjects and hypothetical opportunities for Chequers, but the chances of realising them all and still have a prosperous Britain today, tomorrow and in five years time, with the input we have form the OECD, IMF, IoD, CBI and a number of larger manufacturers, your proposals seem rather imaginative and not realistic.

  72. G Wilson
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    So what are you going to do, Mr Redwood, if there’s more than two options, and one of them is largely keeping us in the EU?

    Are you going to do anything useful, or cling to your sinecure?

  73. Derek
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    This day is INDEPENDENCE DAY in the USA.
    Now why would the Americans want to celebrate a Brexit-like departure from Foreign rule? British rule, as it happened.
    For the simple reason they wanted to run their own affairs, and elect their own representatives to work for them. Ditto for the wh0le of the Commonwealth.
    The USA did not want to be ‘commanded’ by unelected, faceless foreigners based in a foreign country (London). And rightly so. So where were the objectors – the “Remainers”, there?

    Britain now has elected to do exactly the same with the EU. Yet there are these Remoaners who do not wish our country to have its Independence. Those same people in 1939, would be classified as traitors. So why does our country even tolerate them? And why can’t we go the American way and have our own Independence Day?
    It certainly has not done the USA any damage at all. And the same will be for Britain and the Rest of the World who adopt the practice. Freedom is priceless.

  74. Simon Coleman
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    You are the only person in the UK who thinks the PM has been ‘clear’ about any of these issues! Two full years after the referendum she has no position on customs arrangements, the NI border, the ECJ, movement of labour from the EU etc etc. The one thing she has been clear about is preventing parliament having a meaningful vote on any deal. Your kind of clarity is the result of a total denial of the vast business and employment interests that have depended on the single market and the customs union. You refuse to accept that Brexit could have any negative impact. An absurd position – but at least it’s clear!

  75. Steve
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Frankly I’m disgusted at the secrecy of Theresa May’s BREXIT shenanigans, which as most of us know is a deliberate ploy to keep us in the dark while she sells our nation out.

    This traitor is doing her best to keep us as much a part of the EU as possible behind our backs and apart from the gender I don’t see much difference between her and the idiot who took us into the common market in the first place.

    As long as that odious woman is in office we won’t get our fishing waters back, we’ll still be living under EU law, and whenever you go about your daily business you’ll face the same old problem: EU law says this, EU law says that etc.

    I’m sick of it, why can’t we have a leader with total loyalty to the nation and having some balls for once! instead of bowing down to threats from big business and walloons.

    The daggers need to come out and get rid of this seditious traitor before we become the laughing stock of the world.

    Replace her now with a hard brexiteer – we owe the EU nothing, they actually owe their very existence to this country, so why do we have to have a submissive traitor giving in to franco german Walloon bullying ?

    J. Public (VERY angry)

  • 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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