What is wrong with the Chequers Agreement

I have spent time discussing  the detail behind the three page Chequers Statement that I found wanting last week. On the eve of the White Paper, which is the longer version of the Chequers Statement, let me share with you why it has to change.

The Statement is based on the false premise that there is a border problem between Northern Ireland and the Republic which needs special arrangements on customs and trade to get round. I will explain again another day why this is untrue. It offers the EU a “common rulebook” to govern trade in goods and agricultural products. It offers a guarantee of no dilution of standards in a wide range of other policy areas. It proposes collecting EU customs dues on goods circulating in the UK destined for the EU, but does not say the EU has to collect UK customs on goods circulating on the continent destined for the UK. It says there needs to be a “Mobility” Agreement which erodes UK control of our borders and  migration.

The legal structure of the proposal is particularly worrying. The government wants to enter into a new Treaty or Treaties with the EU, creating a binding international law obligation over and above any UK Parliamentary say on these matters. The government says dispute resolution will be ultimately by an independent third party, but in practice decisions and policies of the European Court of Justice towards the common rulebook will be important and will be taken fully into account should the matter reach independent arbitration. Parliament will doubtless be told should we sign such a Treaty that in practice we have to follow its spirit as well as its letter.

The so called common rulebook is not a common rulebook. It is the EU’s rulebook. That is why the ECJ will be important, as they define the rulebook along with the other institutions of the EU. The UK will have to accept all old and new laws that comprise the rulebook. It is true Parliament would have the right not to enact a new law, but there will be consequences with the EU allowed to impose trade penalties. It is also unclear how the Treaty obligation would sit with Parliamentary authority. I suspect Parliament would be told where it wanted to deviate from the EU rulebook both that there will be unpleasant consequences and that it breached the Treaty obligation.

The idea behind the dual customs system is that the UK can impose its own tariffs on goods for its market that are not necessarily the same as EU ones. This creates a complex set of arrangements, where the UK  not only collects EU duties, but has to trace and follow any good coming into the UK to make sure it does move into the EU. A Free Trade deal would be a much better way of capturing benefits, with the preservation of tariff free UK/EU trade.


The Mobility framework has still to be defined,  but it is likely the EU will push to recreate something like  freedom of movement. I presume the UK government will resist this, but they would also need to be very precise and limited with concessions to avoid losing the right to design and implement our own migration policy.


    July 12, 2018

    Let’s keep this simple shall we rather than being dragged into complexity and nuance

    This agreement will not restore UK sovereignty and independence. On that basis it is not acceptable to those who voted Leave

    Mr Redwood’s slithery slippage on such matters is most troubling. I had always considered him a true believer in the sanctity of sovereign parliamentary government but the absence of defiant opposition following May’s betrayal at the weekend suggests he’s playing his readers for fools

    John will step into line as per May’s instructions when it comes to voting because at their heart all MPs fight to protect their interests first. If that means sacrificing UK sovereignty then that’s what they’ll do

    The simple fact that May’s still Tory leader is enough to tell me that we are seeing wholesale capitulation to the EU’s demands.

    Mr Redwood needs to come clean and admit his true position because his Eurosceptic outpourings on this site conflict with his lack of desire in toppling the arch Europhile May.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it unless that is you’re a politician in a cosy safe seat and then everyday is a birthday

    Come the next GE our defiance against this PM will be expressed in how we vote. I for one, who has voted Tory all his life, will not be voting Tory with May in charge

    Reply I do not support the Chequers statement! What dont you understand about thar?

    1. Nig l
      July 12, 2018

      This is unfair and doesnt reflect what has been written. I suspect you want to see a megaphone declaration that he will vote against it etc. Which is not his style. TM was not his choice and I am certain her performance to date has not changed that view.

      Obviously if nothing changes and it is put to a whipped vote, we will,then see if your claims are correct!

      Reply I have said I disagree with the Chequers proposal and obviously would not vote for the key surrenders contained in it.

      1. Hope
        July 12, 2018

        Today we read May could not change her White paper because Merkel has agreed the text. If true she has colluded with a foreign power before she got agreement with her cabinet, not allowing changes and before allowing Parliament to debate it. Which was futile because again she would not change it as it was agreed with Merkel! Her actions appear to amount to treason. Seriously is she going to be investigated? i think she has gone too far and the authorities need to investigate her. Taking instruction from a foreign power, who we are allegedly negotiating with! How dishonest is that?

        What more evidence or proof do you and the leave MPs need to oust this odious PM. She is underhand, untrustworthy and lies. She is toxic to democracy, toxic to voting public and toxic to govt.

        I loath everything Corbyn stands for. But I would have him for a term in office any day of the week compared to May.

        Why? Tory Chief of staff two days ago inviting Labour to briefed on May’s paper to gain support (Chuka Umina confirmed on TV he attended a briefing), Lords colluding with About to overturn Brexit vote, Civil service Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU, May allowed grieve and co to vote with Corbyn against her and threaten to bring down her govt. Most of all allowing Chancellor Merkel to approve the approve before and above her own cabinet. No10 will not comment. That is disgusting. We also had the silence over when asked if the EU edited or wrote part of her Florence speech. She is not in negotiation with the EU when the other side is writing HER terms!

        I would advocate all Tory activists to leave or suspend any cooperation until May is ousted, withdraw any financial support and protest at the homes of every one of these people selling out our nation.

        This is not what the people voted for and it is Not keeping Faith with the electorate. That is a clear and blatant lie by Toxic May.

      2. Nig l
        July 12, 2018


        Thank you

      3. Peter Wood
        July 12, 2018

        Country before Party, Dr. Redwood. Time to stand and be counted. I hope you will be in a ..happy band of brothers…

      4. Butties
        July 12, 2018

        But would you vote against it sir?

      5. Hope
        July 12, 2018

        May said in January 2017 after her Lqncqster speech: “Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out. We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave.”

        Compare with the ECJ having rights over EU citizens living in our country, laws and regualtion applying to all goods that come here from the EU or anywhere else in the world, ECJ arbitrating over any dispute. Regulatory alignment is single market without a voice or veto it includes agriculture products so CAP effectively continues to apply. Labour boiling, visa free travel, student dropping by ( even though we had an atrocity committed like this last year!) is freedom of movement how cannot it not be. We do not seek to hold on to bits as we leave- Anyone tell me she is not a liar? The current white paper ifs the starting point.

        JR and colleagues need to have the honour to fulfil what they said, wrote and stood to be elected on, either resign if they do not agree with this white paper as they stood to be elected on what May said previously and assured us this would be the case, or they must oust May. Whinging without any action is only trying to serve to save their seats no more no less. Time for Leave MPs to walk the walk or resign.

        Even the useless Major had the gumption to say time to speak up or shut up.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2018

      John. I can see exactly what Duncan is saying. Here we have a complete act of treachery on the part of May towards not only her party but the country too and yet so far we see no MPs doing anything to try and stop this. We all know you and many of your colleagues feel the same but in the same way you ousted Thatcher for no good reason, you are letting May commit a serious act of what could be described as treason. The Tory voters are unhappy but nobody seems to be leading the way to rectify this unless of course they want Trumps visit out if the way first. Please God let there be some positive action soon. What you have explained here is truly horrific. I cannot believe she is going to be allowed to go through with this. We will essentially be slaves.

      Reply I supported Margaret to the very end! We are doing a lot about this – many of us have made clear we would not vote any such deal through, were the EU to surprise us by agreeing to it.

      1. nigel
        July 12, 2018

        JR: Yes, but are there enough of you to prevent it going through?

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        July 12, 2018

        Reply to reply. I didn’t say you were involved in Margaret’s demise. Some were though. I understand you are against the deal but getting rid of May is necessary when she goes behind the backs of her cabinet and party. Her and Hammond are toxic and together will ruin the Tory party.

      3. Bob
        July 12, 2018

        The problem is that the Tory Party made up mainly of EUrophiles.
        This has always been the case which is why Maggie was unceremoniously elbowed out when she saw the EUrosceptic light.

        That’s why I joined ukip, and be in no doubt the referendum wouldn’t have happened without ukip. If more EUsceptic Tories had joined us, there would have been no need of a referendum, we would have cancelled ECA72 without further ado.

        1. fedupsoutherner
          July 12, 2018

          @Bob. I’ve been a UKIP member for the last 6 years. I voted Conservative believing they would deliver Brexit as promised. I cannot bring myself to vote for them again and will therefore vote UKIP once again especially if Farage returns to the party. I had been a staunch Conservative voter from the beginning and had never voted for another party but the way the Conservative party was leaning made me join UKIP. The Conservatives have lost their way and more like LIB/LAB now.

      4. Fedupsoutherner
        July 12, 2018

        When I wrote ‘ you ousted’. I didn’t mean you personally. Just certain members of the party. I’m sorry if it looked that way.

      5. Hope
        July 12, 2018

        I agree. I want to know why JRM who has substantial constitutional knowledge is not exploring with the ERG why May should not be investigated gfor treason? She needs to answer in Parliament, forced by the Speaker if necessary, whether she let Merkel read and approve Her White paper before cabinet and Parliament. Merkel is one of those May should be negotiating with not getting instruction from.

        This is potentially bigger than Watergate. What is of profound concern is why May is not ousted by her party.

        1. Hope
          July 12, 2018

          JR, The White paper is a plan to punish the UK for a few years to show that the UK ought to be in the EU and it is hoed this will change our minds. There is no other purpose for it. The country voted leave, it was not about trade, this narrative brought on again by May and her remainers.

          May and Parliament should Listen t Mr Letwin who told you all it was more important to act not he vote than any issue before parliament.

          It is clear to sensible people like him and us, that if the vote is not upheld it is an end to democracy and the electoral voting system we have. Based on the the last close election and May’s recent perverse interpretation of the referendum Corbyn has every right to claim he won the last election. or the majority of her cabinet should be Labour, as it is now remainers.

      6. DaveM
        July 12, 2018

        “Please God let there be some positive action soon.”

        What I think, about 20 times a day. I don’t ever remember being so depressed by politics and so baffled by the weakness and incompetence of the politicians in positions of power. How has this situation come to pass?

      7. Lifelogic
        July 12, 2018

        The sensible wing of the Tories are in the minority. But May clearly will go before the next election unless they want her to bury the party John Major style for many terms.

        The question is how it can this be done and by whom she will be replaced. Also can it be done without risking the even more appalling prospect of a Corbyn/SNP government and a trip to Venezuela.

      8. Hope
        July 12, 2018

        This is her first offer! More capitulation to come. How does she gave the Gaul to say she kept faith with voting to leave, she is a liar. Look at her Lancaster speech, white paper and comments. Out her. If she wins, vote against the govt on every and all issues.

        May now has the cheek to call leavers rebels! They won the democratic vote! Is there any doubt left she lacks integrity to hold any public office?

        Sky closed Chris acobus dwn when he tried to explain the vassal,state point of goods and EU rule book, not U.K. The U.K. Has no voice or vote.

        Bring on Corbyn. May has lost the plot.

    3. eeyore
      July 12, 2018

      Come on Duncan, this is not reasonable. Our host cannot topple the PM on his own. If he and those who think like him don’t have the votes any attempt would only weaken them and strengthen her. Further, Mrs May would have to be replaced. Who, pray, is the candidate sure of sufficient votes to push through a Brexit to your taste?

      So what can be done? Why, play the ball and not the woman. Go for the measures and seek to amend or block them. This is what is happening.

      Anything else? Yes, each of us can email our MPs or Central Office to warn them we will not vote for the candidate of a party led by Mrs May or anyone else with her policies.

      Long ago JR sacrificed his career to his convictions. He is among Brexit’s most formidable champions in Parliament, where the battle is uphill against superior forces entrenched in positions of great strength. So far from deserving censure it is really wonderful how well he and colleagues have done, and how resolutely they keep the flag flying.

    4. Sir Joe Soap
      July 12, 2018

      Reply to reply: I think the problem, Mr Redwood, is that you are on the brink of failing with this. It is easy to wring hands and use your opposition as a get-out-of-jail free card, but that won’t work when you come up for re-election. The Tory party are finished if they sign this away.

      1. Hope
        July 12, 2018

        Yesterday oil the Mail there was an article claiming May was lying or had a poor grasp of English. The lack of trust in her is not going away, your party either acts or is finished.

      2. Puffer Fish
        July 12, 2018

        Oh come on. In the last 30 years and 8 GEs, JR’s lowest score was 46.1% in 2001 with the LibDem at 32.4%. With the second candidate now being Labour at 14.5 (2015) and 25.1 (2017), do you really expect JR to lose his seat when in Wokingham even a broomstick with a blue rosette is more likely to become MP than Lab+LibDem together?

    5. Stred
      July 12, 2018

      The sensible wing of the Conservative Party realised that the PM is a socialist feminist incompetent who hates them more than Labour and would happily call a general election and lose it with a manifesto to confiscate property and enforce gender change on men she disagrees with. She is going to stay in no 10 and do whatever God tells her to on Sunday morning at Bray.

      1. Ex-NHS medic
        July 12, 2018

        I think you mean Merkel rather than God…

      2. Lifelogic
        July 12, 2018

        Very close to the reality. But she will be forced to go. The question is who will replace her and will they be just as bad. Not easy to be quite that bad.

      3. Stephen Priest
        July 12, 2018

        Socialistic Cuckoo in a Tory nest

        European Union Cuckoo in an Leave nest.

        The details of the white paper are far far worse than the outlines.

        And she thinks she can get away with it.

      4. jerry
        July 12, 2018

        @Stred; Your comment says far more about you than it does Mrs May.

        The sensible wing of the Tory party accept that the electorate has had a change of mindset, if the hard-line Thatcherite wing of the party do not also start accepting this then they will have plenty of time after the next general election to ponder their error, either from outside of parliament or on the opposition benches.

        1. Woody
          July 12, 2018

          The only change in mindset is the recognition by many who voted to remain who now realise what an appalling and self serving the eurogravy train really is … and they would now vote to leave.

        2. libertarian
          July 12, 2018


          You haven’t got a shred of evidence to back up your claim

          1. jerry
            July 13, 2018

            @Walter; Never more blind than those who choose not to see…

            My evidence is the 2017 GE result, the largest swing to the left since 1945, but have it your way, all it means is the next government will almost certainly be a Labour (lead) one, most likely lead by Corbyn, most likely the most left wing government the country has ever had, and once again it will be the fault of people such as yourself, people who simply can not accept they are the problem – the same thing happened back in 1964 and again in 1997.

          2. libertarian
            July 13, 2018


            Blind you say…. check the results old boy.. Labour achieved its best share of votes since…… 2001

            I’m sure you’re right about the next govt being Labour that wasn’t the point though You claim that the electorate has had a change of mindset…. the election result does not indicate anything of the sort . May is an absolutely dreadful PM and politician, her judgment is all over the place. However she is exactly the type of left wing , dripping wet Tory that you claim we are all becoming yet she nearly LOST an election with a 21 point poll lead. That obviously indicates to anyone who can think that its the left who are out of touch

          3. jerry
            July 14, 2018

            @Walter; By your logic those who voted for Mrs Thatcher between 1979-1987 actually wanted the polices as laid out by Tony Benn and Eric Heffer et al…

            You are another person who thinks people vote for the complete opposite to what they actually want because they want more of what they actually want. People in 2017 did not vote for the most left wing manifesto since 1983 because they didn’t want it, but because they did, or at least thought it a batter option at the time.

            “May is an absolutely dreadful PM and politician, her judgment is all over the place.”

            Mrs May had a lot of support up until she released her 2017 general election manifesto, trying to be more Thatcherite than Mrs T would have ever dared to be (the dreadfully miss-judged ‘Poll Tax’ pails into insignificance compared to what Mrs May proposed!), it was at that pint her support collapsed, not before – indeed it was because of her then (apparent) strong support TM called the election.

            Walter, If you think TM is a “left wing”, never mind a “dripping wet Tory”, all you have done is confirm just how far to the right you actually are, what ever you try and claim otherwise via you pseudonym. Dream on!

        3. mickc
          July 12, 2018

          There is no evidence of a change of mind.

        4. Stred
          July 13, 2018

          Your mindset may be flexible. The polls seem to show otherwise about the electorate.

          1. jerry
            July 13, 2018

            @Stred; For the majority the last general election was not all about Brexit, and it still isn’t, even if the current government is more or less moribund by Brexit…

          2. stred
            July 13, 2018

            That was the election where both parties promised to leave the CU and provide a clean Brexit wasn’t it Jerry? Before May deceived Davis and was running to the other side with her Remain civil servants and caught out lying about her capitulation. You would need to be a lawyer to come up with evidence like that.

          3. libertarian
            July 13, 2018


            If the next election isn’t about Brexit what is it about?

          4. jerry
            July 13, 2018

            @Walter; The next election will be about the same as the last 26 have been about -and most likely the 21 general elections before them- the whole gamut of UK domestic and foreign polices, not just a single issue. Even the Feb 1974 general election was about more than the single issue of “Who governs Britain” that Ted Heath attempted to make it, if you doubt my comment go read the party manifestos of the period.

    6. Man of Kent
      July 12, 2018

      Duncan ,

      Our host is doing his very best to ensure a BREXIT outcome through the routes he knows best in the HOC .

      I would prefer to get rid of May now rather than unpick Chequers but there may not be the numbers to do this .

      Each of us must decide on what action to take .

      I have told my Remain Con MP- in a Leave constituency

      – I am now a Conservative in name only [ COINO ]keeping my membership alive in order to vote for a successor to May.

      -I am also encouraging her to resign as a vice chair of the party

      -to vote against Chequers measures in the Commons to establish a ‘good’ voting record for the next election

      -to give voters a commentary on her Brexit voting decisions . If she chooses to continue with Remain then she must say so loudly and clearly.

      This is the best I can do at the moment but please let me know if I have missed a trick or two !

      I have received no reply from my MP and frankly do not expect one any day soon but at least a marker has been laid and her seat could be a little bit more at risk at the next GE

    7. Timaction
      July 12, 2018

      But you haven’t signed the letters to remove the quisling May who got “permission” we’re told from the German Chancellor for her and Ollie’s plans before its release to her own Cabinet and party. Such devious treachery would have been called treason in a different age. Your Government and politicos standards have fallen so low the public at large hold most of you in utter contempt! You will removed at the next election. I feel sick to my stomach at this absolute sell out and treachery. I stopped voting for the Tory’s in 2010 after I saw and heard Shameron and his policies and behaviours. A party that would give more in foreign aid than funding for the police in England and Wales at a time we are at most danger!

    8. Dennis
      July 12, 2018

      Jr’s reply – ‘Reply I do not support the Chequers statement! What dont you understand about thar?’

      Who knows that except those here and a very, very few others. I have never heard JR confront May in PMQs or other meetings unless the BBC is keeping that hidden. Has May ever responded to JR on his views?

      Reply We had an exchange on her recent statement!

    9. forthurst
      July 12, 2018

      In the Sun, Mrs May writes, “I’m clear that the best outcome – for both the UK and the EU – is a deal based on the ideas we are setting out on Thursday.”

      She doesn’t get it, does she? She is the PM and at least nominally running the country although I rather doubt it; if so why is she concerned about the ‘outcome’ for the Brussels regime? The Brussels regime is the enemy, intent on destroying our national sovereignty and making us in perpetuity a vassal, not even a state, but a collection of regions in the North West of Europe.

    10. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Duncan, Chequers is bad enough, but when you see what Stewart Jackson has to say in addition to the more emollient Steve Baker and David Davis, it is clear that Olly Robbins has engineered nothing less than a coup d’etat. Theresa May is no longer the Tory party leader, she is merely the new regime’s spokeswoman.

      I can understand your frustration but you are being unfair to JR and other Tory Brexit backers. What has happened is unprecedented and extremely serious. It is a dismantling of our process of government as well as of our democracy. I think few Tory MPs, JR included, have quite caught their breath yet.

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 13, 2018

        Bear in mind that Steve Baker got slapped down for criticising renegade civil servants, who under the ministerial control of Theresa May are immune from any criticism while they work to frustrate the will of the people.

  2. Mark B
    July 12, 2018

    Good morning

    What a bloody shambles !

    It would have been easier to adopt Dr. North’ s FLEXIT. Then at least we would have:

    1. A clearer idea of what the plan is and what we are getting.

    2. A path that is clear and leads eventually to full sovereignty.

    The PM has deliberately run down the clock. This in order to force her Soft Remain on parliament as there will be no alternative.

    1. Mike Stallard
      July 12, 2018

      Ooooh! You mentioned Dr North on this blog!

      Very daring!

      The fact is that Flexcit actually involves leaving the EU and joining EFTA so that we can temporarily stay in the EEA. this is, of course, the only possible course of action that will not lead to disaster.

      But – hey ho!

      1. forthurst
        July 12, 2018

        “temporarily”? Dr North is delusional if he imagines finally cutting the umbilical cord and moving seamlessly to a free trade agreement with the EU outside the Single Market with its four freedoms and full compliance with the ECJ is achievable through incremental change. All Flexcit would mean is delaying a showdown with EU not avoiding it. Norway pays the EU to be allowed to catch their own fish; EFTA is obsolete.

        1. Mark B
          July 13, 2018

          Norway pays the EU to be allowed to catch their own fish

          Utter rubbish. The CFP is not part of the EEA.

          1. forthurst
            July 13, 2018

            If you imagine the EU works according to its own rules you are seriously mistaken.

        2. Denis Cooper
          July 13, 2018

          Not utter rubbish, spot on. JLR would still be complaining about its supply chains and some components crossing the Channel five times and having to pay a tariff every time, Airbus would still be threatening that if the UK leaves the EEA they will leave the UK, etc etc.

      2. Mark B
        July 12, 2018


        I was there when Dr. North unveiled his FLEXIT plan. It was not perfect but, it was, and still remains they ONLY authoritive work on exiting the EU.

        Whatever your feelings on the EEA one thing is for sure, we have allowed ourselves to be governed by a foreign power and have lost many skills. Especially in the art of negotiation which I doubt ever took place.

        I have said in the past regarding who would be proved right or wrong. Either our kind host or Dr. North ? I will leave it to both time and others to find the answer to that.

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 12, 2018

      But it’s Dr North’s Flexit, not the EU’s Flexit, and even if it was not seriously flawed from our point of view and fatally flawed from the Irish point of view:


      there is no reason at all to suppose that the EU would have accepted his plan any more readily than they would have accepted Dr Cooper’s superior proposal for a single stage, clean break, but still phased and orderly, withdrawal.

      And Dr North has himself admitted the obvious danger that we might never get beyond the first of his multiple stages, from a year ago:


      ” … with nothing better than the EEA on offer, the danger is that the transitional becomes permanent … In that, I have a great deal of sympathy with those who oppose the EEA because of the danger of it becoming permanent … ”

      Well, of course any proposal that we should move on from the EEA would arouse the same level of vocal opposition, the same kind of propaganda campaign, from some of the 6% of UK companies who are involved in exporting to the rest of the EU, and who would still see their vested interests as being under threat and who would see no problem with having EU law imposed on 100% of UK companies for the sake of their convenience.

    3. Alton Conservative
      July 12, 2018

      North’s FLEXIT means we do not have control of our borders. It is not compatible with the vote to leave the EU. North is rightly treated as irrelevant

      1. Mark B
        July 13, 2018

        And the PM’s version does ? If so then you are deluded.

    4. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Mark B, Here we go again. The EEA agreement was offered to the EFTA countries as a sop to entice them into the EU. Their politicians wanted EU membership but the people didn’t (where have we heard that before?). The EEA is EU rules under EU control. It is not the Leave outcome we voted for.

      Neither you nor Dr North can guarantee that the EEAA is a “path that is clear and leads eventually to full sovereignty”. It’s not clear because the EU does not have to offer it to us. Even if they do, they’re likely to add extra strings to it, because they want us to fail. The idea that it will lead to full sovereignty is the triumph of hope over experience.

      The VoteLeave plan was perfectly clear: the outcome of the Leave vote was independence. What we choose to do with that independence is up to us via future Parliamentary elections, not for some arrogant authoritarian to lay out now like a communist 10 year plan.

    5. Al
      July 12, 2018

      I disagree, only in that I would not call it Soft Remain. It is Remain’s agenda completely. I don’t see anything in it that exits any part of the European Union, aside from removing our vote at the table.

      For example, as a company that doesn’t trade with the EU, why are we still going to be bound to follow EU trading rules instead of our overseas trading partners?

  3. G Wilson
    July 12, 2018

    You are a slow-boiling frog, Mr Redwood.

    Will you ever jump out of the pan?

    Reply I am not in the pan! Try reading what I write.

    1. Ex-NHS medic
      July 12, 2018

      We need action now rather than words, get this traitorous, vile, deceitful woman out.

    2. G Wilson
      July 12, 2018

      The frog never believes it’s in the pan. That’s the point.

      I read what you wrote! “Precise and limited concessions”, for example, is the jumping-off point for concessions that will leave Tories backing free movement with sufficient re-badging to provide a fig leaf for party loyalty. We on the sharp end will see no difference.

      Actions speak louder than words. Tory Brexiteers are letting us down.

      1. G Wilson
        July 13, 2018

        By the way, thank you for publishing my comment, Mr Redwood. A lot of people wouldn’t have, and I would like to say that I respect and appreciate your not attempting to silence voices that aren’t necessarily aligned with your position.

  4. Ian wragg
    July 12, 2018

    A dog’s breakfast disguised as a solution.
    This must binned.

    1. Hope
      July 12, 2018

      Sarah Vine (wife of backstabbing no Gove) writes an article yesterday in the paper about these events. Perhaps she ought to reflect on her husbands backstabbing actions to Boris Johnson showed his disloyalty and lack of integrity and whether she could influence her husband to change to act as a better role model for his children let alone a mentor for other MPs in Westminster? After all his behaviour is what she is really griping about. Gove was part of Cameron’s team who promised to clean up Westminster. Collective responsibility applied then as well.

      Gove now telling us he is 100% behind the White paper!

    2. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2018

      Even worse than remaining in. Which is doubtless why May has fabricated it. Let’s us all pretend we are leaving!

    3. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Ian Wragg, Indeed it must. And Tory MPs saying that they will wait until after the recess are part of the problem. Even the most loyal Tory can now see that Theresa May is a liability. We voted Leave, and we want the outcome to be Leave. No more can-kicking: it’s almost too late.

    4. Richard
      July 12, 2018

      The original Brexit White Paper that DexEU had done 9 re-writes of is summarised on ConHome. It seems to be a mutual recognition Canada+++ FTA.

      Interesting comments by DD’s SpAd at DexEU, Stewart Jackson: https://twitter.com/BrexitStewart/status/1016760715238084608
      “Robbins et al blocked the publication of the [DexEU] White Paper from at least March because 1) they’d lose policy control and 2) Ipso facto it’s contents might not be the Hotel California Brexit they delivered at Chequers”
      “This WAS the plan and our policy as enunciated at Mansoon House and previously and which united our party. Who blocked it and why?”

  5. Nig l
    July 12, 2018

    Thank you for your dissection. You might like to tell Theresa May that only her sycophants, my MP in Aldershot being one, believe her, and merely parroting the same responses, will not change that. Her failure to rebut the derailed analysis of Martin Howes, JRM Boris etc and now you, is telling. Maybe she does not understand the detail, merely accepting her advisers, presumably, Ollie Robbins, words.

    We now learn that No 10 holds Brexiteers in contempt. Cameron called us swivel eyed loons. All 17 plus million of us. Shades of Blair over Iraq and look what people think of him umpteen years later!

    1. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Nig 1, Yesterday the Sun said this: “Justice Secretary David Gauke warned Tory Eurosceptics that a “no-deal” Brexit was “not an attractive option at all””. So a senior Tory Minister thinks that being independent is not an attractive option?

      So what about all the rest of the planet? Does Mr Gauke speak for them too? If not, what is the difference in principle? This is a shambles. Chequers is a sell-out. And the establishment hold us Leave voters in utter contempt.

  6. Chris S
    July 12, 2018

    I suspect the reality will be even worse than you describe and that’s before the EU makes demands for further concessions ( meaning more control for them ).

    They have consistently failed to understand that a negotiation has to be two way. From Merkel’s disastrous miscalculation over Cameron’s “renegotiation” ( ultimately the cause of his defeat in the referendum ) to the entire Brexit discussions, they have conceded nothing.

    It starting with Barnier’s demand for phasing, which May immediately agreed to and which placed us at an immense disadvantage from the beginning. She has since forced David Davis to go along with everything they demanded, like a lamb to the slaughter. No wonder 60-70% of voters think she has handled it badly.

    This will inevitably end badly for us because Barnier knows that Remainers in Parliament will never vote for No Deal/WTO terms.

    A travesty for which politicians will rightly not be forgiven.

  7. Iain Gill
    July 12, 2018

    May must go

    If you have not put your letter in for her to go do it now

    Brexit and immigration practice are nothing like manifesto promises, and the voters are furious

  8. Andy
    July 12, 2018

    The Chequers agreement is a total mess. A shambles. Awful.

    It’s complicated, it’s bureaucratic, it is infinitely worse than what we have.

    But at some point you all have to figure out that this is what Brexit means.

    In whatever guise it comes Brexit makes nothing better and everything worse.

    Boris Johnson described Chequers as ‘polishing a t*rd’.

    He’s right. Brexit is the t*rd.

    1. Anonymous
      July 12, 2018

      The EU is the turd.

      How can anyone call it democratic if there is a
      *wrong* way to vote ?

      Brexit has revealed our puppet parliament.

    2. Bob
      July 12, 2018

      Andy’s double spacing reveals much about his character, but nothing we didn’t already suspect.

    3. libertarian
      July 12, 2018


      Never knowingly right about anything

      The United Kingdom has overtaken France to rise to the top of the Soft Power Index, which rates countries by how much soft power they exercise. https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2018.pdf

      Oh and the UK has been ranked 4th in Global Innovation Index report

      ( Germany 9th, France 16th, Belgium 25th)

      The future is global Andy and the UK is one of the Worlds Superpowers, meanwhile the EU is a a club for out of touch countries still trying to act like its 1955

      1. Puffer Fish
        July 13, 2018

        Thanks for the SoftPower30 report. It was a very interesting read, what with its upward and downward arrows, its weighting of the objective and polling categories, and its results with two decimal points, and a bunch of essentially self-selecting experts.
        But at the end what will be the use of such a report?

        1. libertarian
          July 13, 2018

          Puffer Fish

          What ever use any report is ever put to. Did you have any thoughts about the Global Innovation Index report?

    4. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Andy, British exit from the EU restores our independence. Independence is an excellent outcome. You have no argument against it. Chequers is Remain by another name. And it is, as you would expect of the Remain plan to stay in the single market etc, an utter shambles.

  9. Alderbaron
    July 12, 2018

    How many times do you have to be told, Mr John Redwood? A Free Trade deal is on offer. It is called the Treaty of Rome. A slightly less good one is also on offer – it is called the European Economic Area. Take your pick. But don’t imagine you can write your own deal, where the UK has its cake and eats it. That is not on offer. How many times do you have to be told, Mr John Redwood?

    Reply Do you have to be so rude and so badly informed? The EU has offered a free trade deal along the lines I prefer, but unfortunately wish to leave Northern Ireland out. All they have to do is reunite our country and all will be well.

    1. Roy Grainger
      July 12, 2018

      Alderbaron – Just remind me, is Canada subject to the Teary of Rome ? Is Canada in the EEA ? Does Canada have a free trade deal with the EU ?

      As the answers to this are No, No and Yes your post makes no sense at all.

    2. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      July 12, 2018

      Reply to reply: No checks by the UK on EU goods at the N. Irish border could very well make the UK violate WTO non-discrimination rules and has not been researched.

      1. NickC
        July 13, 2018

        PvL, Rubbish, only about 0.5% of all imports from the rest of the world are physically checked by HMRC. You also make the mistake that the EU having rules automatically means that everyone obeys them.

      2. libertarian
        July 13, 2018


        Oh boy…. remainers ….dont you love them. Telling us whats good for business without a clue how the modern world works.

        Peter google TIR and educate yourself

    3. acorn
      July 12, 2018

      Outside of the EU Single Market and the EU Customs Union will result in the imposition of some physical border controls because the legal guarantees of regulatory equivalence, mutual recognition, and non tariff barriers, will require WTO “frontier” checks.

      The EU would still have to maintain its side of the border. That would require checking goods coming into Ireland from the UK. The EU’s existence as a free trade area, depends on its ability to demonstrate to the WTO, that it can control its frontier borders properly. The EU would need a physical border to check goods coming into the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

      In theory, the UK could decide not to impose checks on goods moving the other way. But; under WTO rules, unless you’re in a free trade bloc, the UK would have to obey the “most favoured nation” rule. That means if the UK lowers trade tariffs for one WTO trading partner, it has to lower tariffs to all UK WTO trading partners.

      “If the UK chooses not to impose any tariffs on goods coming north across the Irish border, it will de-facto be granting “open access” to the EU. Hence, it would have to give a zero MFN tariff access to every WTO member. Most UK producers could not compete with imported and probably subsidised goods; particularly agri-food products.

    4. Dennis Zoff
      July 12, 2018

      Good afternoon John

      Reply to your reply.

      Sadly we are witnessing more trolls on your blog! Easy to spot “no erudite or researched suggestions”, merely disguised (or not) fallacious arguments and downright rudeness. Their poorly constructed delusive ramblings are simply for mischievous purposes!

      Your supporters try to rout them out on here but have noticed their growing intensity and most probably are the same one or two individuals wishing to disingenuously dilute the Brexit dialogue?

      1. Mark B
        July 13, 2018

        The solution is simple. Ignore them !

    5. Richard1
      July 12, 2018

      The treaty of Rome has all sorts of political conditions which are not needed for free trade, like paying money, unlimited immigration from EU countries, subjugation to EU institutions, tariffs vs the Rest of the World etc. Coming done the track are common tax and foreign/security policies. We’ll find it increasingly difficult to stay out the euro as well. It’s free trade that has support in the U.K. so we need an FTA not the treaty of Rome.

    6. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Alderbaron, How many times do you have to be told, the EU is not a free trade deal? It not only costs us a lot of cash – over £350m a week – it takes away our sovereignty (see Declaration 17). The EEA agreement is still EU rules, even if fewer of them, and adjudicated by the EU court. We can continue to trade with the EU under WTO rules, we don’t need the EU.

    7. Mark B
      July 12, 2018

      The Single Market is NOT free ! The Customs Union prevents the UK from sourcing cheaper produce.

      You clearly do not know what you are talking about.

  10. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2018

    To be honest I cannot make much sense of the Robbins Customs Plan as described in the media. The implied starting point seems to be that almost all the goods landed in UK ports from around the world are not destined for consumption in the UK but are just in transit to the rest of the EU, the UK is only acting as a kind of super-Rotterdam entrepot. Well, I have no statistics to hand, but I would guess that the reverse is true and only a small minority of the goods brought to the UK from say China are intended for onward shipment to the EU; and rather than continuing to impose EU tariffs on those goods on behalf of the EU it would seem a damn sight simpler to designate a duty-free area in the port where those sealed containers could be separated out prior to their onward shipment to the EU where they could impose their Common External Tariff. As for the idea of continuing to impose the EU’s Common External Tariff on everything that comes into the UK from outside of the EU and then reimbursing importers for those goods which are intended for consumption in the EU, that is madness and I can only think that it has sprung from a mind which is obviously extremely clever but which has not yet fully accepted that we have voted to leave the EU. However maybe all will become clear when the White Paper is available for dissection.

  11. Tarrasco
    July 12, 2018

    Typical Brexiter snivelling. Lots on what Mrs may should not do. Nothing constructive on what she should.

    Reply I wrote the positive version yesterday! Do you have no memory, or do you just have to make false cheap points for the sake of it?

    1. Roy Grainger
      July 12, 2018

      John – The Remainers have moved on from simply chanting “evidence-based policy” to chanting “no alternative plan”. The alternative plan of a comprehensive free trade agreement similar to Canada makes no difference to them.

    2. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Tarrasco, You would snivel if you’d voted Remain, and Remain had won 52:48, and the government was leaving the EU.

  12. Caterpillar
    July 12, 2018

    It is difficult to know what one can add other than despair. Two years after a clear result (over 400 constituencies, over 50% of the vote), the Govt produces a BRINO (negotiating) position.

    What is its reason for doing this?

    1. Catherine
      July 12, 2018

      65% of constituencies voted leave. A lot of MPs will be in an uncomfortable position next GE.

    2. Bob
      July 12, 2018

      You surely don’t need to ask?
      Didn’t you know that the Tory Party consists of more Anna Soubrys, Nicky Morgans and Theresa Mays than John Redwoods or Jacob Rees-Moggs?

      People should find out about the person they’re voting for before marking the ballot paper.

    3. jerry
      July 12, 2018

      @Caterpillar; “[BRINO] What is its reason for doing this?”

      Because parliamentary Brexiteers were to scared to ask the people How they want to leave having decided to leave, and no it would not have been a rerun of the original question, thus they are now likely to have won a battle but lost the war, let’s just hope that they can win the peace post Brexit.

      1. NickC
        July 13, 2018

        Jerry, We were asked what outcome we wanted. We decided on Leave. No other outcome is democratically possible.

        1. jerry
          July 13, 2018

          @NickC, Head, brick wall, hit, for the 100th time…

          The UK decided to Leave and the UK is leaving the European Union, the date has even been fixed in UK law (29th March 2019), the problem is that we are not leaving how you (and indeed I), some, many or perhaps the majority wish.

          The correct outcome should have involved asking the people HOW they wished the UK to leave the EU, not just If they wished to leave. This could have been done either by limiting the legal campaigning during the 2016 referenda to only the two official groups [1] and thus their ‘manifestos’ (as I think was also the case in 1975) — or hold a second referenda asking ‘How questions’ applicable to the first result, in the case of a Leave vote, asking how the UK should now leave.

          No other outcome is democratically possible, nothing less is democratic. As things stand today, there having been 29 different Brexit groups all legally campaigning for the same result, how many of the 17.4m who voted Leave in 2016 did so for ideals of the Flexcit group, how many for the Leave.EU group, how many for the Vote Leave group, how many for the other 26 groups, no one can possibly know.

          [1] Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe

          1. Edward2
            July 14, 2018

            There were many different views put forward by the various Remain campaigns too.
            Many different visions of a future of what remaining in the EU would look like.
            So those who voted remain also did so for different reasons.

            I think there is some merit in a second referendum on the final deal when we can see what has been accepted by the EU and the UK government as the best and final deal.

            To have a referendum shortly after the first one, on the basis of asking “what deal would you like”? would result in a ballot paper of several A4 Pages and perhaps 50 options.
            So my view is that it is up to the elected government to do its best in negotiations.

  13. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2018

    I thought I’d check whether the promised White Paper has been released but it seems that there is still only the previous White Paper on the government website:


    “The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union White Paper”

    “This White Paper provides Parliament and the country with a clear vision of what we are seeking to achieve in negotiating our exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union.”

    The one from February 2017 which we all have to pretend did not exist, because you know we have now been waiting two years since the EU referendum for a White Paper to tell us what the government will seek to achieve in its negotiations with the EU.

    Of course whenever Labour says that the government just stays quiet and lets it pass, the Tory party leaders have a long history of gross, systematic, deception of the British people over the EEC/EC/EU/USE and old habits die hard.

    1. Bob
      July 12, 2018


      “Tory party leaders have a long history of gross, systematic, deception of the British people over the EEC/EC/EU/USE”

      Yes, but Tory supporters seem to be oblivious to the fact.

    2. Stred
      July 12, 2018

      Can the ERG get hold of the white paper that David Davis and Steve Baker thought would be used, while Mrs May was telling her unelected helpers to write the one for Mrs Merkels approval. It may have been shredded by now of course.

      1. Stred
        July 12, 2018

        The DFE Davis paper is on Conservative Home and seems sensible. The EU and UK should recognise each others standards because they will be the same for goods sold to each other. But goods not sold to each other need to be regulated to be the same and should be marked as only for sale in the UK. What is difficult about this?

        1. Stred
          July 12, 2018

          need not be regulated..

  14. gordonB
    July 12, 2018

    Let’s wait to see what the white paper says..my guess is that it won’t be acceptable in Brussels anyhow because what government is looking for is some kind of equal partnership deal with them under our own terms..cherry picking and that is a non runner..it would be too confusing for everyone..and threaten their EU four freedoms.. No..it very likely we’ll have to make a clean break of it and leave..and then after a suitable period of time out make submissions for trade access if we want but that might take a few years..it was our call

    1. Bob
      July 12, 2018


      “equal partnership”

      You haven’t read it, have you?

    2. Christopher Hillidge
      July 12, 2018

      Why would the UK need to make submissions to the EU for trade access
      following a clean Brexit, when both we and the EU are WTO members…

  15. agricola
    July 12, 2018

    Not everyone who was at Chequers was able to agree to it, never mind those who have studied it’s wording and find it duplicitous and totally at odds with a return to sovereignty. Based on Chequers the UK becomes the bastard son of the EU. It displays a mind boggling level of incompetence in negotiation. Those who acquiesced to it confirmed their fitness to run nothing in government, least of all this reversion to UK sovereignty.

    I believe now that May has cynically played this out over two years in the hope that the electorate grow tired of it and accept any scheme she and her civil servants dream up. Yet another big mistake Mrs May.

    1. Simon Coleman
      July 12, 2018

      Two whole years since the referendum and not a single piece of Brexit good news. Anyone with an ounce of logic would ask one simple question: maybe this wasn’t such a great idea?

      1. Timaction
        July 12, 2018

        I know remainers aren’t the brightest but we have a majority traitors in the Cabinet and its leader. Finally exposed last Friday. Just the lies now which will be exposed. Goodbye May and Tory Party! Hello UKIP!!!

      2. mickc
        July 12, 2018

        The good news is simply regaining independence.

      3. Jeremy G
        July 12, 2018

        What wasn’t such a great idea was putting a remainer in charge of Brexit.

  16. gordonB
    July 12, 2018

    Free trade access

  17. alan jutson
    July 12, 2018

    The fact that we are looking to agree to conform totally to the EU’s rulebook which is then overseen and enforced by the ECJ should raise enough alarm bells to reject such a scheme.

    As I have said many, many times, if there is a complicated way of doing anything that should be simple, then a politician will find it.
    Just look at our present tax system and how that has grown in complication in the last couple of decades.
    Now we are looking at trying to track all goods imported into the UK in case they are then subsequently sold on to EU customers, and then collecting tariffs on such, with the ECJ punishing us if we fail.
    Mrs May and her unelected advisor Oily Robbins are getting into more and more complication, with more situations for error.

    For goodness sake “Keep it simple stupid”

    WTO rules are already in place, and the system is already accepted by the EU who are members, whats the problem !!!!

    May has to go if she insists on this, a new leader does not mean a general election, the real problem is who will eventually succeed her, and will they really believe in a clean break Brexit.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    July 12, 2018

    After the referendum much was made that immigration was a driver for voting out.

    This does not address that problem. Nor does it take back control as we will be subject to others’ rules.

    I do not understand how cabinet could have reached consensus on this proposal. No one who seeks to extract us from the EU could have backed it as you describe it.

    If Olli Robbins’ position papers did indeed paint this as the only solution then we should be asking if it is wise to be so entrenched as a sovereign nation?

    I think not which is even more reason to leave completely.

    1. Christopher Hillidge
      July 12, 2018

      Apparently, Oliver Robbins is regarded as a genius within the Civil Service…
      he certainly seems to be a genius at getting his own way – but we might have
      been better served by an average civil servant with a trace of national pride…

      1. Timaction
        July 12, 2018

        Shows the calibre within the civil service after 21 years of pc nonsense. Every one selected by minority status etc etc! Meritocracy died a long time ago in our public services and we all know it!

  19. Andy
    July 12, 2018

    I note the one part of Chequers the Brexiteers like is the additional preparations for no deal.

    These preparation include stocking up on processed foods because Brexit will damage supplies of fresh foods.

    And acquiring electricity generating barges to keep the lights on in Northern Ireland because Brexit means crashing out of the all-Ireland single electricity market. Most of it is generated in the Republic.

    Go Brexit! It seems that Mr Rees-Mogg appears to be from the 19th century because that’s where he’s taking us back to.

    Your children will be in workhouses before long.

    1. Roy Grainger
      July 12, 2018

      You are wrong on the reason for stocking up on processed food, it is not to do with the supply of fresh food. Try an evidence-based argument next time maybe ?

    2. Glenn Vaughan
      July 12, 2018


      For every true patriotic Brexit supporter there is a troll somewhere bashing at his keyboard in his mummy’s basement so I advise you to get out into the sunlight and see what’s actually happening in the world.

    3. Jagman84
      July 12, 2018

      Have you ever considered writing comedy? Most of your output falls into that genre. It is so wrong that I do not know where to start. So I will not bother. BTW, sacked all of your staff yet?

    4. Fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2018

      Andy, perhaps if the UK hadn’t followed Germany down the complete renewables route we wouldn’t be in a mess regarding energy. Trump has already pointed out the folly of relying on Russia for its gas and that includes much of Europe. We have run down our power stations too quickly, not pursued fracking before we have a sensible option in place. The question of how people living in high rise blocks and terraced homes will charge their cars has not been addressed either. All EU rubbish but not all EU countries are taking it to the extremes that we are.

    5. Anonymous
      July 12, 2018

      EU membership has returned slavery to Britain.

      One of the reasons I voted Leave was BBC reports on modern slavery in the UK.

      What’s modern about slavery ? The EU is dragging the whole of Europe back to the dark ages.

    6. Stred
      July 12, 2018

      Norway shares electricity with Denmark and Sweden in order for them to make their wind farms work. The UK sent electricity to France when they were short of nuclear and France and Ireland are pleased to sell us electricity and buy it back when they are up the creek with no wind or cracks in reactors.

      But, of course, British customs may hold up food from the EU because Mrs May told them to.

    7. Little Englander
      July 12, 2018

      Andy: workhouses? no- but Slavery would appear to be still much in evidence if one looks at the position of Governments in the Southern regions of the Europian Union as they bow to the dictates of their EU Masters leading to no jobs, no future no money NO LIFE and ‘hamstrung’ by an over saturation of economic migrants whom they cannot move on. No slavery here , plenty of jobs and ever increasing prosperity and prospects in a world willing to do business with us under WTO rules. Move forward with us or move over.

    8. Richard1
      July 12, 2018

      Why will electricity suppliers in Ireland stop supplying the north post Brexit? In those inconceivable circs presumably the U.K. would retaliate eg by blocking Irish trade. It’s heartening to read these absurd scares – it means there can’t be anything to worry about.

    9. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Andy, There are almost no preparations for the WTO deal. Despite most of the planet being independent, the Remains and the government don’t believe that’s possible for us. Why, they and you never can say.

      The announcement of a few extra food stocks fools no-one. Lack of electricity comes from lack of capacity due mainly to the 2008 Climate Change Act – a gold plated version of EU rules like the LCPD.

      Since Chequers means we will be remaining under EU control, your children will be in the EU army before long.

    10. a-tracy
      July 12, 2018

      “And acquiring electricity generating barges to keep the lights on in Northern Ireland because Brexit means crashing out of the all-Ireland single electricity market. Most of it is generated in the Republic.”

      What does this mean Andy? Have Ireland threatened to cut of electricity supply to Northern Ireland?

      Does Germany get governed by Russia because it supplies a high % its energy?

      What is this threat you speak of? Ireland is beginning to really annoy me now, the UK bailed them out for billions of pounds, reduced the interest rate and allows Ireland to repay only the interest at the moment. They need the UK a lot more than we need Southern Ireland and they are turning attitudes against them right now.

    11. L Jones
      July 12, 2018

      Better the workhouse, Andy, than serving in a foreign army. I’m sure your children would have written fond letters home to you, thanking you for your far-sightedness in voting for their country to remain shackled to your EU masters’ mad schemes.

      But, what the hell – better the shackles you know than the freedom you haven’t the courage to imagine?

  20. Lifelogic
    July 12, 2018

    It is not remotely acceptable. How on earth can May ever have thought is could be? How on earth can Gove, Raab and Leadsom remain in government they look absurd.

    May must be evicted as soon as possible. The anger in the country, and especially among Tory supporters, is massive. Furthermore she is wrong on her economic policies, on HS2, on political correctness, energy & climate alarmism and nearly everything else the dope touches touches. She is a huge electoral liability with robotic delivery and totally out of sync with the voters.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2018

      Wrong on employing the economic illiterate, tax ’till the pips squeak Hammond as well.

      1. getahead
        July 12, 2018

        Hammond is the real prime minister. May is just his secretary and mouthpiece.

    2. alan jutson
      July 12, 2018


      Afraid the time has passed for Gove, Leadsom and Raab to resign, they are all singing the praises of this deal.

      The problem is they all now look like absolute fools, if they resigned now they will prove it.

      The time for them to resign was last weekend before they supported the plan in public.
      For them high office under any other Prime Minister should now be finished, they have firmly pinned their names to the May mast.

    3. graham1946
      July 12, 2018

      I would imagine that Gove, Raab and Leadsom are regretting their actions now, but have invested so much political capital in it they cannot reverse, though they would be more respected if they did so now. I cannot believe that sensible passionate Brexiteers could accept this. If May had given them the full low down a week earlier for consideration, I think the result would probably have been much different, but she did not have enough belief in it herself and bounced them into it without proper cool thought. She thinks this is leadership, but it is just bullying and shows just how low grade a manager she is.

      1. L Jones
        July 12, 2018

        But also how poorly she is advised – as well as being ‘low-grade’ enough to listen, perhaps uncritically, to said advisers.
        People like this Oily bloke have a lot to answer for. They are not elected – see ”Yes, Prime Minister” for further elucidation!

    4. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2018

      A Heath is right as usual. Except that I think T May has already passed the point of no return, she must be evicted in short order before she buries the party John Major style for many terms. Nick Timothy today in the Telegraph says it is the least bad option. What complete drivel it is far worse than just leaving.


    5. Bob
      July 12, 2018

      “She is a huge electoral liability”

      She obviously wants to outdo John Majors attempt to finish off the Tories.

    6. forthurst
      July 12, 2018

      HS2 has not been cancelled because the Tory government never had any intention of leaving the EU.

      Why do we have an energy deficit with the EU as well as a trade deficit? Because the Tory government has used the SavethePlanet Act to shut down our generating capacity and create that dependency to ensure that leaving could cause the lights to go out.

      Why are the Irish so keen on the EU? Because the Brussels regime have been bankrolling the republic with our’s and Germany’s money to the extend that it has gone from a poor backward country to the country with the fifth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world.

      Never trust a Tory.

    7. NickC
      July 12, 2018

      Lifelogic, Mrs May has surrounded herself with those she’s comfortable with – Remains. A clearer case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory couldn’t be dreamt up.

    8. Christopher Hillidge
      July 12, 2018

      Theresa May became Prime Minister only because Michael Gove withdrew his support for Boris Johnson’s candidacy… so, we should regard Gove as a greater
      traitor than is Theresa, the appeaser…

  21. George Brooks
    July 12, 2018

    This is all part of the Remainer’s plan to keep us in the EU. They are gambling that the White paper will be passed in order to avoid the threat of Corbyn.

    All Brexit MPs and all those who represent a constituency that voted to leave should follow the will of the people and should reject this bill. If they don’t we will be sucked back into the EU who will slaughter us economically, and then we will be sucked down the vortex when the EU collapses.

    What a legacy to pass on to our children and grandchildren. It will be far worse than what followed the second world war.

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    July 12, 2018

    The point is that there will be no opportunity for us to diverge in a creative way and compete by using novel technical and commercial solutions in business. The UK thrives on creating competitive advantage through innovation. Would the hovercraft pass EU Health and Safety rules? Or Whittle’s jet engine? Or Stephenson’s Rocket? Would the world-wide web pass EU telecoms and data protection rules? Probably none of these unless they were “modified” by EU “inventors” to meet the “common rulebook”.

    If we accept May’s plan our UK-owned creative industries and abilities are dead in the water.

  23. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    July 12, 2018

    The EU will have to fair to other third countries. As nicely presented in a slide on 19 December 2017, the UK wants to be like Canada and South Korea due to its own red lines. For any more than that it would have to scrap one or more of its red lines. So Canada or less (WTO) it will be for the UK.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 12, 2018

      It doesn’t seem to be fair to third country farmers who wish to sell to the EU, nor to USA car manufacturers 🙂

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        July 12, 2018

        @Sir Joe Soap: I was comparing other third countries to the UK. Of course where a measure of protection of EU farmers exists that could be seen as less fair to farmers elsewhere and especially if farmers in African countries were to get a better deal it might even help in reducing migration. The EU is not alone in this, a few years ago Norway imposed a 400% tax on Gouda cheese in order to protect its farmers. Anybody home to protect UK farmers post Brexit?

        The US already imposed a 25-percent tariff on European-built vans and pickup trucks, don’t be too fooled by their 2.5% tax on ordinary cars. According to Dutch sources the various categories pretty much balance out, reason why there now is an \\9unofficial?) EU idea to mutually slash all these taxes on vehicles.

    2. oldwulf
      July 12, 2018

      Thank you …… although whether WTO is “less” or “more” depends on one’s point of view.

  24. Old Albion
    July 12, 2018

    We voted to LEAVE the EU. Time to leave.

    1. PaulW
      July 12, 2018

      Old Albion..yes you’ll get that soon enough..because what is being proposed in the white paper will not be acceptable to the EU side..so we’ll be able to trade by WTO rules then as soon as we get ourselves organised.

      More than this the EU side knows very well that in the long run that a large segment of the UK public will not be happy with what is being proposed..in fact it doesn’t matter what is being proposrd tgey will never be happy..therefore brussels and the EU 27 will take this opportunity to ease us out..so don’t worry..out mean out..that’s what were going to get

  25. JoolsB
    July 12, 2018

    This is not the Brexit we voted for and will not allow us to be a sovereign nation once again. Brino will see us worse off than we are now – rule takers but not rule makers. May and Hammond have betrayed us. Hope you and your Brexit colleagues will be voting against this John.

    I hope when the Cabinet get to read and digest the full details, the likes of Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt and newly appointed Dominic Raab who all backed leave, will resign and force a leadership challenge but I doubt it. Obviously they are enjoying the taste of office and their Ministerial cars far too much.

  26. isp001
    July 12, 2018

    So 1 man locked in a closet has come up with some heath robinson structure to let him pretend that we are still in the EU. The plan is so robust that it has been hidden in order to protect it from the merest whisper of criticism. Half of the work on the plan has been designing it as a roach motel in order to make it practically impossible for future administrations to modify it. Lions led by donkeys indeed.

    Back her for now if you don’t think you have the numbers but if this ever comes into law then you will have destroyed the UK. A properly resourced effort to produce a no-deal plan that is publicly discussed would seem imperative and a fair price for postponing a challenge. Firstly as this monstrosity can then be voted down. Second, the EU does not have accommodating this crazy fantasy as their priority and no-deal has a very meaningful probability.

    Or get rid of her. Move every civil servant that thought this was good for the country into the department for paper clips (given they are so hard to sack). Announce no-deal as the primary strategy as you control your destiny then. Race to do the unilateral changes that would smooth the edges of an exit, and start doing FTA with everyone (the EU is the last FTA you do as they are notorious for using them as tools for extending power rather than facilitating trade).

  27. Adam
    July 12, 2018

    Theresa May is what is wrong with the Chequers Agreement.

    1. robert lewy
      July 12, 2018

      A TM is a device for handing out money and much else besides. It is unthinking and merely carries out what it has been told to do.

      She must go.

      “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly”

      Is this the time for a decisive change in Party composition of Parliament?
      BREXIT demands a focus which only UKIP or its successor party can provide.
      The constitution of this party should make it time limited to the successful achievement of an exit from EU. It should attract MP’s from other political parties and be led by Nigel Farage because he correctly predicted the resistance by the political classes, civil service and liberal elite.

      Even if TM succeeds in driving through her Chequers proposals to a political and legislative conclusion, the people must express their view in the next GE to display to all who care that this Government acted contrary to their expressed will.

      Even if this battle has been lost the war is not over.

  28. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2018

    “I suspect Parliament would be told where it wanted to deviate from the EU rulebook both that there will be unpleasant consequences and that it breached the Treaty obligation.”

    I’m sure that’s right, it’s what has happened in the past. Looking back four years I find a comment on this thread:


    in which I wrote:

    “I’ve just been watching my own MP speaking in the chamber. She has been Home Secretary for just over four years, during which time she has visibly aged by many more years than that; and that is not surprising when it is considered that she is constantly trying to find ways around the adverse judgements made by unelected eurofederalist lawyers on two pan-European courts that she herself supports as a matter of principle, despite the practical difficulties that they create for her and the damage they may do to those who elected her.

    In this case, it is a judgement of the EU’s Court of Justice, delivered in April, that has made it necessary for her to now introduce fast-track legislation to ensure that those charged with protecting us from terrorist plots can do their job; she could of course ask Parliament to expressly disapply that judgement within the UK; but even if she could get a majority in both Houses to do that it probably hasn’t occurred to her that this would be the best course of action, because she is committed to our membership of the EU and therefore she will reflexively fall upon her knees before its supreme court in Luxembourg.”

    However, interestingly:

    “In opposition back in 2006, when her party was pretending to be opposed to the EU, it was a somewhat different matter; you can see her name amongst the “ayes” in a division on an amendment for Parliament to authorise ministers to disapply EU laws by order, Division 239 on May 16th 2006 here … ”

    Kenneth Clarke said about that amendment:

    “… my hon. Friend is advocating the repudiation of our treaty obligations — and, effectively, our leaving the European Union … ”

    and no doubt the same kind of objections would be raised.

  29. matthu
    July 12, 2018


    You make no reference above to any obligation to align ourselves with EU environmental and social policies.

    These two unnecessary alignments alone conceal a whole multitude of protective policies which will complicate our ability to pursue free trade agreements with other countries and put the lie to the UK being able to re-establish itself as an independent, sovereign country.

    Fracking, vacuum cleaners, GM foods, welfare benefits, water reservoirs, flood plain management, fishing, motorway speeds … probably also LGBTQ+ … the list goes on and on. All could cause us continually to be looking over our shoulder to see what the EU oblige us to do. Our courts too will continually be having to interpret EU legislation in all of these areas and more.

    Reply I do mention it. The vacuum cleaners issue is covered by the common rulebook anyway

    1. Ian wragg
      July 12, 2018

      So vacuum cleaners made in the UK for sale in say USA have to comply with EU legislation. Hardly having our own trade policy.
      All future technology will be legislated on to suit Germany even if development is in the UK.

      1. Puffer Fish
        July 13, 2018

        … strictly speaking made in Malaysia, only the HQ and a research centre are in Malmesbury, UK, if you think of the same UK vacuum cleaner brand as I do.

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 12, 2018

      Some of those matters that matthu mentions have only arisen in recent decades and so could not possibly be covered by EU law on goods, which has been very stable for a long time, virtually unchanged for decades according to both Robert Buckland on the BBC and David Lidington in the Commons yesterday:


      “… the EU acquis on goods has been stable for about 30 years … ”

      Every little lie gets added to the existing pile of lies and makes it bigger, it cannot be said that the Tory pile of lies on the EU has been stable for 30 years.

    3. matthu
      July 12, 2018

      Sorry, John, but mentioning (almost in passing) “no dilution of standards in a wide range of other policy areas” while drawing no specific attention to the impact of these policies does not even *begin* to cover the extent to which the EU has in the past demonstrated its ability and willingness to use these standards to encroach on almost every other aspect of our life in the UK.

      EU Social policy has probably impacted most of our craziest gender equality, political correctness and hate crime legislation, none of which we would be likely to be able to change going forward.

      Environmental policy has contributed to most of our craziest energy policy, including the very poorest helping to subsidize inefficient solar panels, unreliable and ruinously expensive wind farms, not to mention the terrible state of our roads and our high level of taxation and energy pricing.

    4. Ian
      July 12, 2018

      Oh yes, wait until the courts get involved. German manufacturers claiming in the ECJ (with no British judges) that British-made cars breach the common rulebook and can’t be sold in Britain.

      That’s a sure-fire vote-winner right there. It’ll make the dementia tax look like free lollipops

    5. Andy
      July 12, 2018

      Vacuum cleaners are one of my favourite Brexiteer objections to the EU.

      We want to take back control so we have the right to buy inefficient, noisy, over-priced, unreliable vacuum cleaners!

      If my experience is anything to go by we could stay in the EU and you could just get a Dyson instead – and you’d achieve pretty much the same result.

      No wonder he wants to leave.

      1. libertarian
        July 12, 2018


        Shame you lacked the courage and knowledge to argue against the long list of other regulations you were given

      2. L Jones
        July 12, 2018

        How shallow, Andy. Please do try and find some solid arguments for your (albeit weak) stance.
        Or, then again, perhaps you’re trying to bring a little levity to the situation! I can think of no other reason why you should make yourself appear to be a fool.

        Remember: it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt. I think you’ve proved the point.

        1. Denis Cooper
          July 13, 2018

          Andy is probably trying to comment here while also banging a saucepan outside Blenheim, and as we know “Empty vessels … “.

  30. Dave Andrews
    July 12, 2018

    Well let’s see what Michel Barnier makes of the white paper. No doubt he will ask for more clarity, which I take as code for more concessions from the UK.
    Aren’t we already at the stage where the proposal isn’t going to get through the HoC? What chance after May is forced to water it down with more appeasement?

    I’m really sorry David Davis isn’t still in the negotiators chair, as he seemed to have a good balanced approach. Evidently though his hands were tied all along and he could never perform to his ability.

  31. David D
    July 12, 2018

    All this demonstrates that when you vote for something that the elite does not want they will stop at nothing to frustrate your wishes. In fact all you are doing with your vote is giving legitimacy to weak and corrupt figureheads like May and her cronies. Euro sceptics are tolerated in parliament to give the impression that our wishes might be carried out but look at the history of the Conservative party. They took us into a free trade area knowing full well it would be a lot more than that. They signed agreement after agreement to take our rights away. Now they’ve put known Remainers in charge of Brexit. If that’s not a litany of lies and fraud I don’t know what is. Don’t get me wrong, Labour and the Liberals are just as bad or worse. Why does anyone believe that doing the same thing (voting) again and again will give us any different outcomes (deceit and betrayal)?

    1. matthu
      July 12, 2018

      Is it only coincidence that the UK has led the way in scrapping the law on treason and introducing strict gun control?

  32. Nick
    July 12, 2018

    Will the White Paper bear the title ‘The Merkel Plan’? It should.

    Mr Redwood has done a good job here explaining why it is unacceptable. If this faux-Con government insists on ramming it down the throats of the 17.4 million then there will be a clear need for a single issue political party to finish the Brexit task. The ERG, BrexitCentral, Leave means Leave, and a busted-flush UKIP aren’t sufficient.

    1. Ian wragg
      July 12, 2018

      Under Gerald Batten UKIP is coming on nicely. Membship is rising and they have some sensible Tory policies. May is acting as recruiting sergeant for them so the battle continues. Like millions of others i voted Tory expecting a proper Brexit.
      Once bitten…………

      1. Timaction
        July 12, 2018

        Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me!!!

    2. matthu
      July 12, 2018

      Especially as governments have historically sought to introduce legislation wherever possible to defund opposing political groups, or limit the number of groups permitted to campaign on particular issues to one “official” party (preferably headed up by one or two friendly plants), or filter what they are allowed to publish on the Internet.

    3. old salt
      July 12, 2018

      I read UKIP are far from a busted flush with membership and polling rising dramatically in recent months with many now belatedly realising the ‘job is not done’.

      What is on offer is far worse than the status quo with ‘pay and obey’ for ever and a day.

      Our so called representative democracy is almost dead with the lack of trust in our politicians.

    4. Bob
      July 12, 2018

      “Will the White Paper bear the title ‘The Merkel Plan’?”

      Nein! It’s “Operation Sea Lion”.

    5. libertarian
      July 12, 2018


      Totalyl agree , we need a temporary party to stand on Brexit means Brexit.

      A sunset clause to retire as soon as job done. Anyone with the courage to start this will cause a big shift in the broken politics and so called democracy in our country . They would make history

    6. forthurst
      July 12, 2018

      Go to the Electoral Commission website and you will see that there are about three hundred parties to choose from already, the majority of whom have said at one time or another, “we need another party” to replace the liblabcon; there is only one replacement to the liblabcon with membership in the tens of thousands andf only delusional idiots continue to call the formation of yet anther party.

      1. Puffer Fish
        July 13, 2018

        What do you expect without a change on the voting system?

    7. Mitchel
      July 12, 2018

      Will it be presented in Gothic script?!

    8. old salt
      July 12, 2018

      I read UKIP are far from a busted flush with membership and polling rising dramatically in recent months with many now belatedly realising the ‘job is not done’.

      What is on offer is far worse than the status quo with ‘pay and obey’ for ever and a day.

  33. A.Sedgwick
    July 12, 2018

    Thank you for again exposing the unbelievable duplicity and deceit of this government. Any minister reading your piece should resign immediately or face the electoral consequences.

  34. ian
    July 12, 2018

    I see that my party DUNCAN has to soften statement from, I will never vote for the Tory party ever again, too, I will not be voting Tory with May in charge when it comes to the next election.

    When the next election is called he be the first in line at the polling station to vote for the Torys after the media have frightened him nearly to death with stories about labour party and what they might to his bit of money.

  35. Ian wragg
    July 12, 2018

    Conhome has published DexEu plan for Leaving the EU before Robbins and Merkel ‘re wrote it.
    It puts to bed the notion that Leavers had no plan.
    Makes good reading.

  36. Prigger
    July 12, 2018

    Well prior to the Statement, the government policy and insistence on LAs providing more land for building tells us migration is planned not just expected. Otherwise we would expect normal housing building to cope given the numbers of persons emigrating from the UK.
    Mrs May has no intention of control of our borders except a controlled ermmmmm YES, do come in.

    1. Lear's Fool
      July 12, 2018

      Good. Let 30 million more migrants come in and settle here in this land.

  37. ian
    July 12, 2018

    The Tory party have been selling their voters out since day one and that will not change, no matter what anybody says.
    Biggest sellouts, the 1970s, 1990s, 2010 to now. The Tory party only let the right wing of the party have its way in the 1980s because they needed to but keep the policy on Europe alive and well, when they didn’t need them anymore they put, kill all the dogs in charge and carry on with their EU project with ERM and another treaty.

  38. Glenn Vaughan
    July 12, 2018


    Does Neville Chamberlain feature somewhere, anywhere in Theresa May’s family tree?

    Their mutual policy of surrender toward Europe is so remarkably similar I wonder if it’s genetic.

  39. Iain Moore
    July 12, 2018

    We know for a certainty, that if a British widget maker is going to be driven out of business because of some rules the EU is imposing, our ‘protectors’ in Parliament will never ever pull apart the common rules treaty being envisioned, for they have never summoned up the courage to do that in the last 40 years, and won’t in the future. Locking us to another EU treaty makes something more permanent than the word of god, and the little guy will continue to get sacrificed for the interests of those multinationals who can afford to lobby in Brussels.

  40. formula57
    July 12, 2018

    Thank you for this cogent analysis and for your efforts to secure a correction.

    Had T. May availed herself of your advice prior to the Chequers meeting, she might have saved her premiership and won an honourable place in history.

  41. BOF
    July 12, 2018

    How naive of me to think that the Government was against slavery. They now wish to enslave the whole country to the EU in perpetuity.

  42. Andy
    July 12, 2018

    Some economic analysis today puts the costs of Tory hard-right pensioner Chequers Brexit at £770m per week. £40bn per year.

    And it assumes you get good trade deals with the US and other after leaving the great one we have with our neighbours.

    Chequers Brexit makes us 3% poorer in 15 years. By we I mean me, my kids and many of your kids because many of you clearly won’t be around to experience the fruits of your destruction.

    £770m a week less for schools, hospitals, pensions. But, hey, you get a few less Romanians around. Have any of you ever met a Romanian? No. I thought not.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2018

      Oh Andy, your suppositions get worse by the day. You ask if any of us have ever met a Romanian. Well, yes actually. My husband employed two when we lived in Spain. Yes, they were pleasant enough and worked hard but they each had a gang master who they were answerable to. We paid them more than their ‘boss’ knew about. The boss takes a big share of their wages. This goes on all the time and this is what will happen in the UK more and more. Please stop making assumptions about people you don’t even know.

    2. L Jones
      July 12, 2018

      My ‘kids’ and I will be around to enjoy the fruits of our struggle to free ourselves of the shackles of your execrable EU social experiment. I shall be proud to accept a little of their approbation.

      You closet xenophobes should look inward for a change. Do you understand the acronym ”NIMBY”? That’s how you and your ilk run your lives, I imagine. Or how many of these ”Romanians” do you acknowledge in your comfortable social circle?

      And yes, we have one or two of these ”foreigners” in our family (do you?) so we know what kind of people they are. Far better and more accepting than you and yours, I’d imagine.

    3. Edward2
      July 12, 2018

      It’s just more project fear predictions from the rich old remain elite establishment.

  43. percy openshaw
    July 12, 2018

    Dear Sir, many thanks for clarifying the nature of the Prime Minister’s proposals. However, I think there is some danger of allowing attention to detail to obscure the simple moral case – that Britain voted Leave and therefore has to leave! There is also an important publicity angle to all this. With her usual misplaced contempt for making her proposals palatable, the Prime Minister has allowed the media to portray her plans in a wholly negative light. Even if they were workable, sensible and pragmatic as she says – and I don’t believe for a moment that they are – the public do not believe it. Worse, they no longer believe her. She has destroyed her own reputation and is at serious risk of contaminating the whole Tory party with the same fishy odour. As Alison Pearson says, she has to go. I know the parliamentary difficulties of your situation but there is an unanswerable case for boldness here.

  44. Michael
    July 12, 2018

    The PM does not make good decisions. When she does she is an unlucky general. The PM does not change her mind unless her own political career is seriously threatened.

    Those wanting a full BREXIT need to hammer away at ALL aspects of government policy. Guerilla parliamentary warfare across the board. Including voting against finance bills. All out non cooperation

  45. Steven Smith
    July 12, 2018

    Mr Redwood,

    You bend over and take it if you want, but you will not have our support.


    Steven Smith

    Reply I do not support this policy! Why cant people understand that?

    1. Steven Smith
      July 12, 2018

      I did not say you supported it. How have you misunderstood that?

    2. L Jones
      July 12, 2018

      Dr Redwood – they don’t read in detail. They have preconceived ideas. More to be pitied than censured, I feel.
      You are voicing what many of us feel.

      1. Steven Smith
        July 13, 2018

        Mr Jones,

        I did read the post carefully. Unlike yourself who clearly didn’t read what I have written.

        Where is the evidence of this preconceived idea that you have assigned to me for no apparent reason and what is it exactly?

  46. Brian Tomkinson
    July 12, 2018

    Mrs May has been very clear time and again that we are leaving the single market and the customs union …..etc etc. What she deliberately failed to mention was that she intends to replace those with new treaties which in effect keep us in the same subservient relationship with the EU but now with no say in what they propose and “consequences” should the UK Parliament have the temerity to fail to enact the dictats from Brussels. We know what that means, EU control and the UK a vassal state. How we have been brought to such a craven position is outrageous. This is unacceptable now but will be even worse after the EU has extracted further concessions from Mrs May who has put us in this invidious position. She must not be allowed to proceed.

  47. Kenneth
    July 12, 2018

    How did No. 10 think they would get away with it?

    We need a deal that is good for the country, for jobs and prosperity and not one that pleases a few civil servants, big business and socialists.

    We should offer a free trade deal and if that is not acceptable then No Deal

  48. Bev Stein
    July 12, 2018

    As clear as the light of day! We are getting duped of our Brexit. Whitehall is re-wording for Brussels open ended ECJ greater integration of UK again. My Red Line is a NO ECJ or equivalent.

    Bev Stein

  49. am
    July 12, 2018

    well said, Sir.

  50. Sale now on!
    July 12, 2018

    Barnier to Juncker

    Barnier :”Mrs May is willing to pay us the Earth for our clapped-out EU jallopy ( chuckle )”

    Junker: “We saw her coming! Tell her Good progress sweetie! But the engine is extra.The deal doesn’t include our steering wheel and she must pay in addition for our unique insurance.”
    Barnier:”What if she doesn’t bite?”
    Juncker: ” As a sweetener tell her the exhaust pipe comes free.

  51. Richard1
    July 12, 2018

    its all very well eurosceptic Tory MPs opposing it but unless and until there is a clear willingness to go to WTO terms – by the govt – this deal, maybe very slightly amended, will be the starting point for negotiations. I suggest all efforts of Brexiters are focused on the cliff edge and why it isnt there. until we have public confidence in that (which we certainly dont at the moment), Remain will be able to push through the polished t**d. Continued membership of the EU by cancelling article 50 would be better than May’s proposal.

  52. Nig l
    July 12, 2018

    Great cartoon in the DT today

    England 1 – Croatia 2

    Mrs May said it was a good deal because it gave us most of what we wanted

    1. Mark B
      July 13, 2018

      The same as John Major said the Masstrict Treaty was a good deal, remember ?

  53. Edwardm
    July 12, 2018

    We need clean and simple arrangements, not complicated and open to re-interpretation and undermine our sovereignty.
    Mrs May has a record of saying one thing to us and agreeing something else and giving in to the EU. She keeps tying us into the EU – such as EAW and defence.
    It appears Mrs May is quite untrustworthy and doesn’t value or respect our sovereignty and her loyalty is to the EU.

  54. Toffeeboy
    July 12, 2018

    I wouldn’t worry yourself too much Mr Redwood. There’s little change the EU will accept the deal. Contrary to Mr Johnson’s assertion that we could have our cake and eat it, the EU has made it abundantly clear there won’t be any cherry picking. As for your assertion we can merely rely on WTO, you ought to pay more attention to developments. With your friend Mr Trump in charge, the WTO to all intents and purposes is disintegrating before our eyes. Without any judges, who’s going to rule on any trade disputes with the EU?
    While you may be intelligent enough to understand the risks of the policies you advocate, I think a fair few of your more gullible supporters are going to be in for a shock when they see the full extent of the damage wreaked on the UK economy by crashing out with no deal.

  55. Ian wragg
    July 12, 2018

    So the latest You Gov poll shows the public massively rejecting Merkels exit plan. May hoped we wouldn’t Notice her completely craven betrayal.
    The mad woman must go NOW.

  56. Blah Blah
    July 12, 2018

    We may as well quit scratching over this White Paper. The EU won’t accept even this thin gruel.

  57. Iain Gill
    July 12, 2018

    Labour ahead in the polls

    It takes a certain amount of crap from the conservatives for Stalinists to be ahead in the polls, but that is what may has delivered

    Hope the ruling class are proud

  58. Trumpeteer
    July 12, 2018

    Trump is going to speak to a bunch of UK Business leaders soon, privately. They will not wish an interview with the media until they have rested and consulted their boards, major shareholders in exhaustive and challenging meetings.

  59. Nick O.
    July 12, 2018

    White Paper? White flag, more like.

  60. DUNCAN
    July 12, 2018

    There’s something deeply concerning at the heart of the Tory party that their MPs would choose a liberal left Europhile as their leader. Ask yourself why? What’s the reasoning? I am genuinely intrigued by this act of stupidity

    May is an appalling leader, indecisive and a minority activist panderer. She’ll betray all Tory principles to pursue her career

    She will destroy our party with her treachery and betrayal and it is nauseating to see decent politicians like John Redwood still stepping up and supporting her.

    I am speechless. The Tories will pay a heavy price for keeping this person as their leader

  61. Augustyn
    July 12, 2018

    I’ve been following politics fairly closely for over 40 years. Over that time I have never been so disgusted at a PM’s behaviour as I am today. I’m at a loss to understand just what destination the lady has in mind.

    Please do your best to get rid of her asap. Ideally by tomorrow.

  62. Chewy
    July 12, 2018

    I think Michel Barnier’s recent comment that it would soon be apparent to all in the EU and UK that the best position is to be an EU member says it all.
    With this attitude achieving a good Brexit deal will not be possible. Clearly this Chequers agreement has been drawn up in collusion with the Comission and senior politicians like Merkel. A “pragmatic Brexit”, a current phrase used by Remain supporting politicians to what was earstwhile called a “punishment Brexit”.
    The more the terms “Real Brexit” and “delivering what the people voted for” is used by our Remain dominated government the more it can be guaranteed it’s a sellout.
    I don’t think they understand the level of revulsion they’re creating to effectively trying to turn us into as our former foreign minister put it a colony. Finally I think that it shows they don’t trust the good sense of the electorate because the justifications for this awful proposal is that if Conservative MPs don’t go along with it you be at risk of putting Corbyn into number 10.

  63. mancunius
    July 12, 2018

    There is an even more sinister development behind the Chequers Agreement, which is that Government Ministers and MPs have effectively handed over its own responsibilities to a small clique of unelected civil servants who are themselves acting as politicians.

    As to ‘it is likely the EU will push to recreate something like freedom of movement.’
    Likely? It is inevitable. And it will not be ‘something like’ free movement: it will be free movement. And as such it will be specifically written into the agreement – even if May waits until 28 March 2019 to do it. The EU will not deviate one iota from its rigid ‘pillars’.

    I do not care if the Tories sink or swim. I do care about the future of my country. Yesterday Merkel told Trump ‘Germany is an independent country with an independent government’.

    The same can no longer be said of Britain.

    1. mancunius
      July 12, 2018

      handed over their own responsibilities

  64. David Cockburn
    July 12, 2018

    We hear the white paper was written by Merkel for presentation to Chequers and that’s why nothing could be changed.
    So much for cabinet government and parliamentary sovereignty.

  65. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2018

    I’m beyond disgusted with what has happened in the Commons today, and I hold Theresa May ultimately responsible for that appalling exhibition. How can we possibly claim to be a parliamentary democracy when the executive treats the legislature with such contempt?

  66. Dennis Zoff
    July 12, 2018

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    Please, less of the despair and trembling regarding T. May’s (the sycophantic EU patsy) attempts at political subversion. This just provides Remainers/Remoaners with additional whinging oxygen and the faint hope they are possibly winning the game?

    The louder Remainers childishly demonstrate, protest, produce greater sophistry, cry, scream or wet their pants, are excellent indications they are losing the plot!

    Plan 1. Project fear. Frighten the populace – did not work!
    Plan 2. Ignore the populace – did not work!
    Plan 3. Lay the foundation for post Brexit dismantling – will not work!

    The Remainer’s (Establishment) clear objective from day one after the Referendum’s historical result (starting with the political dishonesty from Cameron and the placement of a demonstrably self-confessed Remainer, T. May) is to ignore democracy and circumvent the result at all costs. They initiated a plan to sow the seeds of doubt, make you question your original decision, negate all positive Brexit benefits, infiltrate comment blogs with anti-Brexit narratives and most importantly drain you of confidence and the will to continue….straight out of the quasi-communist, ops sorry, Establishment’s “how to ignore the electorate” handbook.

    Don’t be fooled, we are winning the argument in greater numbers. The UK’s honest majority will get its clean democratic Brexit, come hell or high water!

    The Remainer’s game is up and they know it. However, watch them continue to wet their pants..…it certainly makes my day reading their miserable, rather amusing, drivel!

  67. PaulW
    July 12, 2018

    Right now I’m of the mind that I think we should push the pause button on A50 if we can get agreement from the EU27..with the proviso that we will abandon A50 altogether or restart it, in the year 2060, when all of this generation has passed🤣

  68. Javelin
    July 12, 2018

    We will have to follow the EU Rule Book and get no say. We will have to follow EU movement rules under threat of UK ex-pats being treated horribly. We will have huge amounts of red tape to prove where goods came from.

    Eventually the civil aervice will try to get us back into the EU after the economy was sufferring.

    This is worse than the previous option of having no soveriegnty and little control because now we have little sovereignty and no control.

  69. Dennis
    July 12, 2018

    As this Chequers Agreement essentially keeps us in the EU, the EU surely will accept it, no?

    1. Dennis
      July 12, 2018

      Surely accept it as they don’t want us in WTO only.

  70. Peter Divey
    July 12, 2018

    John, I wrote elsewhere that the Chequers agreement had been drawn up by Robbins with EU oversight…damning enough…but to have been pre-approved by our overlord Angela…Cabinet nothing more than a rubber stamp for the EU.

  71. Mike Wilson
    July 12, 2018

    This country has been on a slow, downward spiral for many years. Stagnant wages. Large areas of the country left behind. Poor education and training. No vision. No investment. We survive on the entrepreneurial spirit of the few. For most of us it is long hours to pay big mortgages or high rents – and not enough money to save for a decent pension. It’s all changed since the 1960s/1970s. Then the grammar schools took working class kids out of the working class. Most working class people could afford to buy a house. We worked a 40 hour week. Now people commute for hours and sit working on their laptops in the evenings. It was all slowly falling apart.

    Then the idea of Brexit took hold. And a referendum took place. And those of us who voted to Leave did so in a spirit of optimism. Time to get the country back on track! Well, thanks Mr. Redwood and your fellow Tories – you have created a depressing, sludgy morass of half in/half out membership of the EU which will see this country decline further.

    I’m almost ready to vote for the socialists. No party could be as incompetent and uninspiring as the current government. Must go, time to start laying in tins of beans, flour, diesel and get the generator serviced.

    Reply I have created no such thing and want us to leave on 29 March

  72. Bryan Harris
    July 12, 2018

    Ms May has already said that it is not possible to change this absurd document, because it was ‘signed off by Merkel’.

    She got the signoff before showing the document to the cabinet, so we know who she is working for, and it is not the British people.

    When is someone in the Tory party going to do something effective and challenge Ms May, because we are all totally incensed at her duplicity and deception?

  73. Jacqui Dowgill
    July 12, 2018

    Why is it so complicated? The majority voted out please just leave, the EU needs us as much as we do them if not more. I voted to belong to a common market not a political union. Even though Mrs May was a remainer I put my hopes in the fact that she would respect the majority of voters, sadly not.

  74. Bryan Harris
    July 12, 2018

    My MP has responded with the following in supporting this document – Can you please talk to Mr Fallon JR?
    “… It is not possible, for example, to achieve a “clean break” when so much of our trade in manufactured goods and food is done with the EU. Continuing that trade in goods and food as smoothly as possible after Brexit means keeping as far as possible to a common rule book of standards and regulations. Equally, whilst freedom of movement will end and we will regain complete control of our borders, we will still want to ensure that some EU nationals are able to live and work here just as we want British nationals to continue to be able to work freely on the continent. Finally, we must respect the integrity of the United Kingdom and protect the position of Northern Ireland. “

  75. ian
    July 12, 2018

    The Tory party was always the party for the EU, that why they decided to have a referendum in 1975, No support in parliament in the 1970s to join the EEA because of the labour party and their union leaders and good third of the Tory party so they decide to talk the people into it instead by way of the media.
    There was never any support in the Tory party to leave the EU when this last ref was called, the party knew they could always rely on the party itself and support of the house of commons and lords to overturn any leave vote.

    The new white paper is full of falsehoods and at the end of the day the things which will change is the money paid, 3 years payment up 2022 to the EU, for now, and can give them more as years go on after that and the laws you have from EU at the moment will stay as they are because parliament, will not charge them and all new laws from the EU will be voted on in parliament now instead going straight into UK law.

    Have i left anything out? like free moment.

  76. ian
    July 12, 2018

    A total waste of everybody time.

  77. Jonathan Tee
    July 12, 2018

    It’s all going a bit Ted Heath at the moment. I fear the Conservatives are going to have a hard time of it if they wait for the electorate to put the government back on track. Wilson was no deterrant to removing Heath, and Corbyn won’t be a deterrant to removing May. It’s bad enough to renege on a manifesto pledge, much worse when the pledge is so prominent and the u-turn so crass.

    Best of luck to everyone in the parlimentary party still fighting the good fight. In extremis, treaties can always be un-made but lets hope it doesn’t come to that.

  78. acorn
    July 12, 2018

    Yet another example of how Downing Street totally dominates the HoC and treats it with utter contempt. The brand new Brexit minister gets to make a statement about a White Paper he hasn’t read and no other MP has seen never mind read, so can’t ask any informed questions about.

    At least the Speaker tried to get some balance by suspending the sitting while MPs left the chamber to get a copy. Times like the present expose just how useless the HoC is and has been since the Victorian era.

    1. libertarian
      July 12, 2018


      At last a whole post from you that I can totally agree with

  79. ian
    July 12, 2018

    I forgot the MEPs will be leaving the EU but most diplomats and lawyer will be staying to run the new treaty.

  80. Blue and Gold
    July 12, 2018

    Mr.Redwood and chums are losing touch with reality.

    The people of Britain did not vote for a Hard Brexit.

    Mrs.May is taking in the opinions of the whole country, not just Brexiteers.

    Brexiteers STILL don’t understand the problem with the North of Ireland.

    Mr.Redwood and chums are stirring up trouble deliberately and annoying normal citizens who just want this all settled so that we can prepare for life such as it was in the 1950s.

    May I suggest that all you Brexiteers up sticks and go to the USA with your adorable Donald Trump.

    Leave the UK to us patriots who do not wish to harm our great country.

    Mr.Redwood and chums are making the country a laughing stock on the world stage.

    1. libertarian
      July 12, 2018

      Blue and Gold

      Really, a laughing stock you say?

      Thats odd because we just claimed number 1 spot in the Global Softpower rankings


      They’re not laughing now

    2. Edward2
      July 12, 2018

      Soft brexit=staying in the EU
      Hard brexit= actually leaving the EU

  81. Enemy of the State
    July 12, 2018

    Vince Cable has appeared in BBC just now and says we should treat people like Trump on his visit as we would do to Putin.
    Why is Mr Cable allowed to stand in any election in the UK? There are standing laws to prevent such as he.

    1. Sack these nutters
      July 12, 2018

      Obama wanted us at the back of the que but hey ho he was a nice charming liberal. Never mind about the billions of trade we have lost by ostracising Trump?
      That’s not so important?

  82. Ban the MSM
    July 12, 2018

    How have we ended up with some sort of James Bond villan as PM?

    1. Simon Coleman
      July 12, 2018

      Bond villains knew what they wanted to achieve.

  83. Hans
    July 12, 2018

    The Plan has been approved by Merkel so it will be accepted.

  84. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2018

    I watched the Commons debate this afternoon and I was staggered by the contribution from the Tory MP Vicky Ford, who of course used to be an MEP, about the views of her ex-colleagues:


    “… There is a complete understanding that if we want to keep an open border with Ireland, we must have common standards on goods and that if we want to keep the UK united, we need that to apply to all the UK …”

    In my view that is in fact a complete misunderstanding; and here I will point out that in paragraph 11 of the White Paper:


    it says the UK and the EU would maintain a common rulebook for goods, but covering only those rules

    “necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border”,

    and that is getting close to my repeated suggestion that EU rules should apply only to UK goods which are being exported to the EU, while still managing to miss the point that all other goods in the UK need not, and should not, be subject to EU rules.

    Obviously only those goods which are going to cross, or attempt to cross, a border can possibly have the capacity to cause friction at that border; other goods which are only circulating within a country can have no effect on the border.

    1. Cis
      July 12, 2018

      Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford.

      Her constituency, like the rest of Essex, voted Leave.

      The party should remember that before they sell out on Brexit. They may never have an MP in Essex again.

  85. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2018

    Off-topic, with President Trump about to visit the BBC ran a piece about our trade with the US, without mentioning that it is conducted under WTO terms without any special trade deal – as Labour’s Emily Thornberry admitted back in January:


    – and managing to make it seem that we had a problem with a deficit when we sold them goods and services worth £100 billion while they sold us only £66 billion.

  86. John Probert
    July 12, 2018

    I would suggest a return to the original plan put together by the
    Department of Exiting the EU which is based on Mutual Recognition
    so standards are the same or higher. If not WTO
    The white paper is an outrage and a disgrace

  87. Derek Henry
    July 12, 2018

    Why are they now saying this is the start of the process.

    I thought it was a one time offer ?

    Offering no deal at the start should have been the start of the process.

    It’s a complete and utter joke.

  88. DUNCAN
    July 12, 2018

    We know the Tories, the party I have always supported, will betray the nation and its people over Brexit but we will have our revenge at the ballot box, believe me, we will have our revenge. if that means Corbyn then so be it

    We will blame YOU and your colleagues when Marxist Labour and Corbyn does destroy the UK

    May’s an absolute disgrace to the party, to the UK and its people.

    Humiliated like a second rate nation, forced to accept ECJ jurisdiction and patronised by Merkel like errant children

    Grow some balls, depose May and take back our party from the liberal left parasites

  89. Victor
    July 12, 2018

    Instead of the white paper we should kick the can way down the road at least until we reach a clear consensus..50% plus one is just not good enough to decide things of natipnal importance

  90. Iain Gill
    July 12, 2018

    Just seen first hand outrageous NHS in action again.

    Staggering that they get away with it.

    Ten day limit from GP referral to see a consultant met, when it’s potentially cancer, but the consultant does not carry out the obvious test there and then (like they would in the rest of the world or private practice) that’s a long wait. So if it is cancer treatment will still take a very long time to start.

    Consultant openly lying about treatment options too (not allowed to admit treatment options would be completely different in his private practice)

    Really this waste and shambles should get no money.

  91. Steve
    July 12, 2018

    Just found out something very interesting about May’s ideological alignment on Wiki.

    The woman was never going to honour the English.

    But what I find hard to understand is why on earth don’t the tories get her out now, because unless they get off their backsides and sling her out – there is no way on this earth you will ever see another tory government.

    Are those idiots totally thick or what ? Surely they must realised there is no way they’ll be returned to power because of what this foreign agent of a PM has done.

    The only way the tories will win the next election is if they kick May out now, and go for hard BREXIT.

    UKIP for me.

  92. Blue and Gold
    July 12, 2018

    Mr.Redwood, even your ‘mate’ Donald Trump believes in Free Speech.

    1. Edward2
      July 12, 2018

      What are you on about?
      Your ridiculous rants are published on here several times a day.
      Start your own blog site

  93. ian
    July 12, 2018

    You have to accept the truth that the majority of MPs in parliament in all parties and the lords are putting the EU before anything else, country. party, most businesses of the UK, even banking, why I can not say but it feels like some sort of global movement taking place that these people want to win at all costs, the loses is the majority of the people.

  94. Helen Smith
    July 12, 2018

    1. May must be asked to confirm to Parliament that she did not show Merkel the proposal before her cabinet.

    2. An amendment must be added to the trade bill that transport of live animals will be outlawed by the UK.

    3. May must be informed that Robbins and Barwell must be removed.

    4. DD’s white paper must be shown to parliament and become our negotiating position.

    5. Keep up the good work Mr Redwood.

  95. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    July 12, 2018

    The BOSS is visiting your country and he doesn’t like soft Brexit!
    So do as the BOSS says!
    After all you want to be independent! 🙂

  96. BrexiteerwivMusket
    July 12, 2018

    Juncker appeared staggered by Trump

  97. Iain Gill
    July 13, 2018

    Trump is correct the chequers deal is not what we voted for

  98. Steve
    July 13, 2018

    Who will NOT vote tory at the next election?

    approx 20 million who wanted leave.

    UKIP voters.

    Most of those who don’t want a labour government.

    Those who want revenge for this treason.

    Now, still fancy your chances at the next, or any future election ?

    That self serving corrupt bunch of traitors are finished.

    1. Iain Gill
      July 13, 2018


      There is no way conservatives can win a general election if people like me don’t vote for them. I don’t think the DUP is big enough to save them after this.

      Hard to see any of the political elite worth voting for.

      Something radical needs to happen, maybe ban anyone from being an MP if they have not worked in the real world for at least twenty years.

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