My speech during the debate on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement, 11 September 2018

I reproduce below my speech on Monday in the Commons. To those of you who seem to think the website is some private source, you will note I say similar things in public in this speech!

The British people voted, by a large majority of over 1.25 million votes, to leave the European Union. We had all been told, by means of leaflets sent to our homes by the then Government, that this was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to vote on this—not a series of votes until people got the answer they liked—and that we, the people, would make the decision. It was a very clear issue. The leave voters I met, and I met a good number of leave voters, took it very seriously. They understood the arguments, they considered them and they meant their vote. I do find it most curious that some Members of Parliament are still saying that it was not clear that we voted to leave the single market and the customs union. One of the very few things that the two official campaigns agreed on was that point. Remain said that we would obviously have to leave the single market and customs union—remainers regarded it as a kind of threat—and leave said that we would want to leave the single market and customs union, as well as having to, because we saw it as an opportunity. So there was happy agreement and everybody voted accordingly.

I was a very strong supporter of this Government because they were elected, in the recent general election, on a ticket of getting on with implementing Brexit. That was pretty popular around the country. The Conservatives got a much higher percentage of the popular vote than in all the previous elections since Margaret Thatcher. We did not get as many seats as we would have liked because there were interesting surges in the popularity of the Labour party, which also fought the election on getting on with implementing Brexit. The bit of the Labour manifesto I most enjoyed was the rather long piece in it about how Labour wanted an independent trade policy. It was not in every respect the policy that I would have designed, but Labour made it crystal clear that it wanted a completely independent trade policy and that would of course be totally incompatible with staying in a single market and a customs union.

I was very happy with the Lancaster House speech, which I thought was beautifully crafted. It set out exactly the vision that most leave voters and many moderate remain voters who accepted the democratic verdict of the people could buy into.

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East & Saddleworth) (Lab): The right hon. Gentleman said that he appreciated the Lancaster House speech and that everybody who voted to leave did, too, but how does he know that?

John Redwood: From conversations, watching opinion polls and listening to the national conversation. I do not know about the hon. Lady, but I take my politics seriously and I regard it as my job to listen, to read, to understand and to consult colleagues. I find that coming into the Chamber is quite a good way of judging the mood because sometimes Members of Parliament, even those on the Labour Benches, know the mood in their constituencies.

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend remind the hon. Lady and the House that a pamphlet was put out by the Government during the referendum campaign that explicitly said, “This decision will be yours”? There was no question of its being decided by Members of Parliament. We operate by a system of parliamentary government, not government by Parliament.

John Redwood: Indeed, but let us press on.

My worry is about the Chequers proposal—and it is only a proposal; it is not a deal or an agreement—which was set out in the future relationship White Paper, and the consequent White Paper about how such an agreement, were one to arise, would be handled and implemented by this Parliament. My worry, and I think it is the worry of many leave voters and some remain voters, is that, having voted to get rid of treaty law—to dismiss the European Union treaty because we had not enjoyed living under its tentacles—the Government now suggest we need another two European treaties to replace the one that we are getting rid of. We are mightily suspicious of treaty law. Why are we so suspicious of it? Because the original treaty, the treaty of Rome, masqueraded as a free trade agreement, which is how it was sold to the British people in the long-distant 1975 referendum, but by accretion and development, over which the British people had no control, it changed—through Nice, Amsterdam, Maastricht and Lisbon—into a massive panoply of laws and controls and completely changed our constitutional structure, without the people ever having a proper vote on that process until the most recent referendum.

We know from our experience here that this became what I call a puppet Parliament. In dozens and dozens of crucial areas where we might like to legislate, we had no power to legislate independently of the European Union whatsoever. In all those massive areas—not just trade and business, but the environment, social policy, employment policy and even foreign affairs—we had to legislate in the way the European Union laid down. Quite often, many Members of Parliament and many members of the public disagreed with that way. Quite often, it was an area where the Government had either lost a vote or did not bother to hold one because they knew they were going to lose as they were in disagreement with other member states. It was that above all else that the British public rejected in the historic vote in 2016. They said to Members of Parliament, “Collectively, you often make a mess, we don’t always approve of you and we are very critical of you, but you are our MPs” and the joy the public have is that they can fire us if we really annoy them or we get it wrong, whereas the European Union often strongly annoys them and gets it wrong and there is absolutely no one they can, directly or indirectly, have fired because it is a system that the UK cannot control and has to receive. We are, therefore, very suspicious of the idea of more treaty law.

One of the things that makes this debate very difficult for a neutral observer to come to a sensible view on is the abuse of language and the scare stories that seem to characterise most of what passes for debate on these important issues. I do not for one moment believe that there is a cliff edge and I do not for one moment believe that we would leave the European Union with no agreements. There will be lots of agreements. We have always had lots of agreements: there are lots of business-to-business agreements, business-to-individuals agreements, business-to-Government agreements and even Government-to-Government agreements. Once we have left the European Union properly, I am sure that there will be a lot of diplomacy, discussion and joint action, but we want it to be bilateral and based on the merits of the case as we proceed each time. We do not wish it to be multilateral through the EU, where the EU has special legal powers that mean that it has duress over us or can prevent us from having a weighted dialogue with the EU and reaching an agreement if we wish and not if we do not.

The structure of what the Government are now proposing is quite alarming. The EU withdrawal agreement would take the form of an international treaty, which would of course need full ratification by Parliament in the way that has been laid out. However, if it was agreed with the EU and then subsequently ratified by this Parliament, we would be back in the position where European law had more significance and for the whole of the transition period we would of course be completely back under the control of the European Union. As my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) has pointed out, we would be even more vulnerable than we are today because the EU could legislate in our absence. At least we can see them annoying us at the moment around the same table, whereas we would be in the position where they could simply do it without consulting us or taking into account our views.

Therefore, that is not a good idea, but even worse is the proposed legal form of the so-called future partnership agreement. The UK Government call it a partnership agreement, but I think what the EU proposes, and would call it, is an EU association agreement. Such agreements are normally very comprehensive, and we can see exactly what they look like when we read the one for Turkey or for Ukraine. They have been designed by the EU to lock in countries that would like to become members but are not yet fully compliant with all its legal requirements, standards and so forth. They are used to drag those countries gradually into compliance—usually willingly, because they want to join.

We want something completely different. We want agreements on how to proceed in various areas, but we are going in the other direction. We do not want an agreement that drags us into closer compliance; we want the freedom and flexibility to have our own trade policy, our own fishing policy and our own business policy as time evolves. I am very worried that an association agreement model, rather than allowing that, would reintroduce the powers of the European Court, over which we will obviously have no control, and we would again be under strict control in a number of wide-ranging areas from which the British people wish us to liberate themselves.

Martin Whitfield (East Lothian) (Lab): In the right hon. Gentleman’s vision of the future, how does he see the nature of the devolved Governments here? There was clearly a very different relationship before we went into the EU. What influence does he see them having on the trade deals that the Government seek?

John Redwood: In the model that I am describing, we would get much more power back and we would keep it, and that would then be shared with the devolved Administrations, so they too would be winners. That settlement will be sorted out in the usual democratic way in a unitary country that has recently had a very important democratic event. The Scottish people decided by a decent margin in a referendum that they wished to stay in the United Kingdom, so their way of influencing the trade deals will be through this Parliament. Had they chosen to leave the United Kingdom, they would be having their own trade deals—or more likely they would be having the EU’s trade deals, because the Scottish National party does not seem to want an independent Scotland; they want a Scotland that is dependent on the EU, rather than a very important partner in the United Kingdom enterprise.

My other worry about the two prospective treaties that the Government are mulling over is conditionality. The Government have told us that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and I fully approve of that. They also seem to understand that, unless they are prepared to say to the European Union, “We will leave without signing the withdrawal agreement,” they have no negotiating position. We now know that the Government are quickly preparing to be able to leave without signing a withdrawal agreement. I think that that would be a very attractive option for many leave voters because the withdrawal agreement itself is mainly about the United Kingdom paying an extremely large bill. The Government are saying, “Yes, but you need to look at the whole package. You need to see what is in the future partnership”—the association agreement treaty to come, because they think that might persuade Parliament and people to accept the rather unpalatable withdrawal proposal. The Government’s problem, as we have just heard from the Opposition, is that there will not be a majority in this House to put through the current kind of withdrawal proposals the Government have without a very clear, bold and good-looking association agreement/future partnership and we might be looking only at rather vague heads of terms. I suggest that the Government need to introduce rather stronger conditionality than they have done so far in their negotiations. They need to make it crystal clear that there is no £39 billion unless something really impressive is available.

I do not know about the Government—I sometimes worry about how they might go shopping—but when I go shopping I do not go into a shop, put £39 down on the counter and say, very politely, “By the way, I have £39 there for you, which I thought you might like. Do you have something that I might like so that I do not leave the shop as a loser?” It seems to me that that is what the Government did. They put down £39 billion—they have rather more money than I have, lucky them; some of it is money that they took from me, actually—on the counter and said, “By the way, EU, we have these dreadful Eurosceptics back home who want value for money, so it would be quite nice if you could offer us something that might be suitable for us.”

When I look at what the EU has in its shop, I am afraid, oh Government, that I do not see anything that I would pay £39 billion for. Yes, I would like a free trade deal, which I think would be a perfectly good answer in the current situation, but I do not remember Canada paying anything for its free trade deal. A Canada deal would be just fine, with a few extra knobs and whistles—we start from complete compliance with the EU, so it will be easy to have a few extra knobs and whistles—but I do not think that is the kind of thing I would pay £39 billion for. Indeed, the tariff saving would be a small fraction of £39 billion, so it would not make a lot of sense financially. The Government, therefore, have a bit of work to do to persuade friendly, reasonable people like me that the two treaties they have in mind represent a good deal for the British people.

Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) (PC): I am listening to the right hon. Gentleman’s point about the divorce payment. Is he making the case that Nigel Farage should be deprived of his pension pot?

John Redwood: I am not suggesting that at all. That gentleman’s pension pot is a liability of the European Union. They entered into it, so I think it is something that they need to sort out. I do not think that the European Union should be the kind of body that stops people getting their pensions. I do not remember when we joined the European Union being given a big pot of money to reflect all the liabilities we inherited, so it is a bit difficult to understand why the reverse has to happen when we leave and we have to pay for the others. We simply were not given a whole load of money at the beginning to reflect the fact that we were going to have to pick up some of the pensions of civil servants who had been working in the EU before we arrived.

Peter Grant (Glenrothes) (SNP): It is interesting that the right hon. Gentleman thinks that we went into the European Union on the basis of a referendum in which people did not understand the question but we are not allowed to use that argument now. Is it not the case that when new members join the European Union, they become liable for liabilities that occur only after they join? In the same way, if any member is daft enough to leave, they are liable only for those liabilities that occurred before they left.

John Redwood: No, I think that the hon. Gentleman is wrong. I think that he will find that we were responsible for the existing pension liabilities jointly and severally with the other members. We cannot really complain about that; we were joining the club, so we had to help pay the club bills. When we leave the club, the remaining members pay the bills—it is a fairly straightforward operation.

Dr Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP): I would have thought that when someone leaves the bar in the golf club, they pay their tab before they go. That is what the ÂŁ39 billion is; it is not shopping for a trade deal. If the right hon. Gentleman is suggesting that no deal is better, so as not to pay the ÂŁ39 billion, I would be interested to hear what he thinks will happen to the EU citizens who have settled here and to British citizens who have settled in Europe, because they are also part of the withdrawal agreement.

John Redwood: I have always said that someone should pay for the drinks they have just ordered in the bar while still a club member, and once they have ceased to be a club member they cannot order drinks anyway, so there is no problem. I do not think that the hon. Lady has really got that one. As for EU citizens, I am very keen that we reinforce the Prime Minister’s assurances. I have always thought that if we do the right thing by its citizens, it will end up doing the right thing by ours. It is very important that we do not forget that our citizens have rights and need support as well, but I do not believe that the EU is as nasty as some remain voters seem to believe. I do not believe that this group of democratic nations would start evicting people from their countries after they had settled there legally under its rules. I hope that the hon. Lady is not suggesting that. If she is, why does she wish to belong to the kind of organisation that throws people out when they are legally entitled to be there?

Dr Whitford: It was the right hon. Gentleman’s colleagues sitting on the same Benches who talked about EU citizens as bargaining chips and playing cards. One of them stated in the newspapers only recently that EU citizens would not be allowed to stay—someone not very far away from him at all.

John Redwood: I suggest that the hon. Lady addresses those remarks to whoever she thinks said that, but I did not.

Mr Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): I was asked a different question, which was about the rights of EU migrants who come after we have left. I have always thought that those who are here before we leave should maintain full rights.

John Redwood: Indeed. I would not have expected anything else. I think that it is always better if people speak for themselves.

I am very worried by this drift. I am also worried by this whole so-called implementation period or transitional period. It is clearly not an implementation period, because there is nothing to implement as of today. Even if there is a moderately detailed political agreement, it will not be something we can go off and implement. I have become very nervous about the idea that we need another 21 months of uncertainty. I have heard a lot from remain about the dangers of uncertainty. I can see that going on for too long with arguments about our future is not terribly helpful. I think 33 months is probably quite long enough to have a good old argument and see whether we can get a decent set of agreements from the EU or not. I remain to be persuaded that there is something our talented Ministers can achieve in negotiations on 1 April next year, to pluck a date out of the air with no particular significance about it being April fools’ day. What is it that could be agreed on April fools’ day next year that could not be agreed now or in December? We still have seven negotiating months left. We have already had two years or more of negotiations. I would say that that was a fair enough test. I would also take the view that if there is not something at the end of 33 months that we like, then we should just say, “Fine, it is not to be. We will go off and do bilaterals on a regular basis on the things that are of mutual interest.” I suspect we would get along just fine.

That is, of course, how the 160 other countries around the world get on with the EU. They do not have a special trade arrangement. They are certainly not bound by EU treaties in most cases. There are those who are terribly worried about the fate of the trade deals the EU has with 60-odd countries. I can reassure them that I still have not heard a single one of those countries say they wish to lose that trade deal with the UK. Of course, in law it novates to both the UK and the rest of the EU, but it needs to be agreed with the other party to the agreement. I do not know of any country that does not want to allow us to novate. Of course, some say we could improve it and make it better—why not? It is a good idea to have a look at it, but until I am told of a country that has actually ruled out taking on one of these trade deals I think they are there for us to continue to enjoy.

What is more important is that if we got on and left, we could sign trade deals and implement them from April next year. There are a number of countries friendly to us who would like early trade deals. There are off-the-shelf trade deals that they might be interested in developing, which they have developed with others, that would get us off to a good start. I do not like the provision in the White Paper—I think perhaps the Minister did not quite grasp it—that says, as I understand it, for the 21 months they are proposing for transition we are not allowed to implement a trade deal with anybody else. I think we could discuss them and get them ready for signing—that kind of thing—but they could be brought into effect. I think it would be rather nice to get on with it and bring things into effect.

There are plenty of other things I would like to talk about, but there are many others who would like to join in. Let me sum up by saying that my worry about the EU withdrawal proposal is that I do not think Parliament will be very willing to put the legislation through without great clarity, as Labour has said, on the so-called partnership—the association agreement. For myself, I am going to need a lot of persuading, because I think the money is far too great and the transition delay, so-called, is far too long. I am also extremely concerned that we will give up one EU treaty only to sign up to another two, which look to me as if they will have many of the problems that we had from the original.


  1. Lifelogic
    September 12, 2018

    Excellent JR do keep up the good work. Let us hope more finally listen to your sensible line.

    In the meantime however is seems as expected (from the dreadful May and Hammond) we are to be lumbered with the remainer, project fear pusher, very expensive (in both salary and through incompetence) the BoE governor Mark Carney for even longer. Why it is an appalling decision?

    I assume Carney and Hammond appove of mainsteam banks that give 0.2% on deposits and charges 68%+ (while not even stating the true rate charged by using tricks and daily fees to legally avoid doing so) on overdrafts? Does he think this shows there is real competition in the banking sector? Clearly he does nothing to address this. Does he imagine rip off and inflexible banks help UK industry compete in the world?

  2. Peter
    September 12, 2018

    Well said. Taking back control. You address many of the standard Remain arguments. You have always stated your case. Remain politicians often got more publicity and an easier time in the media but that is how the deck is stacked unfortunately.

    It is all down to the realpolitik now.

  3. Pargitter
    September 12, 2018

    If it’s all so simple, where is your own alternative to the Chequers agreement? You promised us a document. Where is it?

    1. agricola
      September 12, 2018

      In essence it is a free trade treaty on goods and services or failing that trade on WTO terms. Cooperation in all those areas which are currently of mutual benefit. It has been talked about over many months. There is a limit to how often we can pull cloned rabbits from our hat.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      September 12, 2018

      It’s not an agreement. It has been rejected outright by the side which it was intended to be agreed with, so it is merely a proposal, and a pretty shallow one at that. It doesn’t address how businesses would cope with paying EU tariffs then having to claim them back for goods consumed in the UK, for a start.

      We know how this works, a Canada style agreement, which would negate the need for any “hard” border with Ireland, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

      People have moved over the border for many years, so that’s not a problem. By all means introduce ID cards or compulsory passports if needs be, so we can check on comings and goings and on qualification for taxpayer funded services. Blair wanted it, but hasn’t spoken about it recently. Perhaps he should get his wish as part of this agreement and shut up. That solves the people entering the UK problem.

      Do spot checks at the point of use (not the border) of materials moving across the border constitute “hard”? Are we allowed to check UK companies for the validity of their VAT returns, based on what has crossed the border, or is that too “hard”? This also is a non-problem.

    3. John Hatfield
      September 12, 2018

      That would be Canada plus. See the EU for details.

      1. David Price
        September 13, 2018

        David Bannerman’s material on SuperCanada is quite good and the Alternative Brexit White Paper drafted by the DexEU is quite detailed.

    4. NickC
      September 12, 2018

      Pargitter, Are you one of the Remains (europhiles) that used to say the EU was just an association of friendly European countries? We do not need a bi-lateral comprehensive trade deal to trade with the EU. At all.

    5. Dennis Zoff
      September 12, 2018


      WTO….even you should be able to understand?

  4. Nig l
    September 12, 2018

    The ERG looks to be in a pickle over its alternative plans, playing into the hands of no 10 who claim there are no alternatives.

    1. Adam
      September 12, 2018

      Those who claim that there are no alternatives state only the limit of their own imagination.

  5. Legrand
    September 12, 2018

    Typical Little Englander. Not a single word about the Irish border. Still, I smell your fear. You are losing the argument, aren’t you? Brexit is not going to happen

    1. mickc
      September 12, 2018

      There is no problem with the Irish border. The UK does not need a hard border. If the EU wishes to have one that is their choice.

    2. Adam
      September 12, 2018


      Reflect on your prophecy as 29 Mar 2019 dawns.

    3. matthu
      September 12, 2018

      Here you are:

      Read it. We all wait for your considered opinion.

    4. Roy Grainger
      September 12, 2018

      The ERG today published a detailed proposal for the Irish border so you’ll be withdrawing your “fear” remark ?

      Thought not.

    5. John Hatfield
      September 12, 2018

      The Irish border is an EU-confected problem. In reality there is no Irish border problem.

    6. NickC
      September 12, 2018

      Legrand, A “Little Englander” was someone who opposed the British Empire, not supported it. If you can “smell” fear over the internet you have a most remarkable nose. Have you considered hiring yourself out to land mine clearance or bomb disposal squads? There is no argument to lose now. You Remains lost the argument on 23 June 2016.

    7. Steve
      September 12, 2018


      Agreed, brexit is not going to happen except in name only which was May’s intent all along.

      Reasons are because we have a PM who’s a Europhile, and the rest of the conservatives believe in ‘rallying around’ the person who is stitching up this country and it’s people, rather than remove her for the sake of the nation.

  6. sm
    September 12, 2018

    If only you had been in charge of Brexit negotiations, John – I doubt if we would have been in this dreadful mess today if that had been so.

  7. Dave Andrews
    September 12, 2018

    I have read a suggestion that if the EU makes their divorce payment (the ÂŁ39bn) demand a condition for a trade agreement, that would amount to a bribe according to WTO rules.
    Can anyone comment on the legal strength of this argument?

    1. Repiman
      September 12, 2018

      The EU has made it explicit that the ÂŁ39bn is NOT connected to the trade deal. It is J Redwood that is demanding a trade deal in return for money – now that is illegal!

      Reply I say you do not pay to trade. I am not in favour of paying them!

    2. acorn
      September 12, 2018

      True, you can’t be seen paying for a trade deal; it is effectively a state subsidy.

  8. Cheshire Girl
    September 12, 2018

    I watched your speech. It was excellent. You spoke for many of us, I’m sure. I am always reassured to hear your very reasonable views on the subject. Always worth listening to.

    September 12, 2018

    11 September 2018 • 11:59pm

    Theresa May is facing a potential leadership challenge within days after 50 Tory MPs met on Tuesday night to discuss how to get rid of her.

    Brexiteers plotted to force a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister, which could come before the Conservative Party conference at the end of this month.

    Leave supporters are so determined to kill off Mrs May’s controversial Chequers plan for Brexit that they are now prepared to oust her if she refuses to change tack.

    One MP who was at the meeting said: “If she won’t chuck Chequers then I’m afraid the Party will chuck her.”

    Good riddance to liberal left fascism, misandry and gutless capitulation

  10. Alas
    September 12, 2018

    The anti-brexit brigade and EU foreign flag wavers at the last night at the Proms. Oh they do believe we are the EU, as one part. They are guilty only of misthink rather than misUK which possibly be treasonable if done by very mature adults unaffected by Fake News.
    It is hard even for UK patriots to believe our media are not of us, not for us, not us. Alas, it is the truth unpunished, to quote everyone

  11. Ian wragg
    September 12, 2018

    Very sensible and astute John
    Pity the majority in Parliament wish for continue rule by foreigners. Led by May we are being lied to on a gargantuan scale
    This morning she was on the radio spouting how the Chequers proposal would give us seamless trade. Of course it will because we will still be under EU control.
    When is she going

  12. Norman
    September 12, 2018

    Thank you for once again clearly articulating the will of the people expressed in the EU Referendum. We do not want to be duped by some clever sleight of hand by senior politicians, who think they know better. If they cannot see the writing on the wall, then what lies ahead for this country is continued confusion and decline. Sadly, on present showing, that’s exactly what we are going to get. But please keep going, making it clear to all what is at stake.
    May I add, I too hear from people who I once had the role of enforcing EU law upon, and the impact that it had had on their small businesses. One rather sheepishly told me, that rightly or wrongly, he’d voted leave. I think he was encouraged to hear that I agreed with him! So there’s a real need for those who voted on their natural instincts to be affirmed. How many small businessmen and employees out there in the countryside are so bombarded in this ‘Civil War’, they are not sure whose side they are on any more? Worse, how many are susceptible to the subtleties of Chequers? Now is the time to fire!

  13. Mike Stallard
    September 12, 2018

    I think that was a jolly good speech and it reflects what you say on this blog too which is excellent as well. I also liked the way that you handled the interruptions which must be very annoying.
    ” I do not for one moment believe that there is a cliff edge and I do not for one moment believe that we would leave the European Union with no agreements. ”
    Allow me to ask, have you studied the Advice to Stakeholders yet?

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    September 12, 2018

    Well said.
    This is worth fighting for, and if necessary taking to the streets for.
    I suspect that at least 17.4 million agree, and many of those who voted remain too.

    You might wish to comment separately on why Messrs Grayling, Gove and Fox, to name but three, are still dangling over the fence but not on our side of it.

  15. Newmania
    September 12, 2018

    .. we will have a new UK-EU trading relationship. There is a European free trade zone from Iceland to the Russian border and we will be part of it. The heart of what we all want is the continuation of tariff-free trade with minimal bureaucracy.

    Leave Official Web Site and I could quote endless material when the voters were told they could have their cake and eat it


    We will leave on the same terms as Mauritania ( the only treaty free nation ) dumping the terms under which we trade not only with the 27 but due to onward treaties with 90% of our trading partners impoverishing the country and blowing a cavernous hole in public finances .
    There was a pot of money when we joined you are outright wrong . There was lead in

    Who are these countries that want to do trade deals …. the whole of Africa is about half of France , the whole of the Commonwealth ex India and Canada is less than the UK
    AND if they have trade deal with the EU any country will need the agreement of the EU for any further major trade deal for example Canada where it is there in black and white

    Objections ot WTO have already gone in so you are wrong there as well as you have been spectacularly wrong about the negotiations

    When are you going to get something right ?

    1. libertarian
      September 15, 2018


      Top financial hubs, 2018

      1. London
      2. New York
      3. Hong Kong
      4. Singapore
      5. Tokyo
      6. Shanghai
      7. Toronto
      8. San Francisco
      9. Sydney
      10. Boston
      11. Beijing
      12. Melbourne
      13. Montreal
      14. Chicago
      15. Vancouver
      16. Zurich
      17. Los Angeles
      18. Shenzhen
      19. Dubai
      20. Frankfurt

      Oh look the EU is totally and utterly nowhere to be seen

      The UK has been praised as one of the world’s “digital elite” in new research unveiled by Mastercard and The Fletcher School at Tufts University. The Digital Evolution Index 2017 is a comprehensive study tracking the progress countries have made in developing their digital economies and integrating connectivity into the lives of billions.

      The UK is identified alongside Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Israel, Estonia, UAE, and New Zealand as the so-called “Stand Out” economies in the field of Digital

      Oh look the EU is nowhere

      According to Oxford Research Academy

      The UK leads the world in the following industries

      Medical Research
      Financial Services
      Aerospace technology


      The UK has 4 in the worlds top 10 rankings . The EU none

      Still at least they make diesel cars… oh and cheese, dont forget the cheese

      Its the 21st century , the EU is a last century throwback to days of empire

  16. Historians repeat
    September 12, 2018

    Brexiteers if they honest and they are…fairly recently delve into history articles.Because of their particular interests of History was left in their school desks.
    There is a repeat of history isn’t there.
    France, Spain, Holland, and yes Germany have a history.
    They specially and always paid attention politically, economically and with military landing parties to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, to detach them , use them, ally with them, trick them, attempt to bribe them in so many ways. they even tried, which one, of them, doesn’t matter, sent a landing party to the south of England. Unfortunate for the invaders.

    The UK historically always beat them. Brexit is just another defeat of their wanderlust open borders and fake love for all of us.

    Thanks EU for eyeing us up and down in tiny detail blurring your eyes again and again and, again. But we’re married! 🙂

    1. Historians repeat
      September 12, 2018

      There’s a name for them

      1. Historians repeat
        September 12, 2018

        One or two people read my very serious stuff of what is for them genuinely, an utterly boring uninteresting topic and they have honestly got better things to do and read it under duress. Nevertheless, they half expect a jolt at the end.
        It always comes.

    2. margaret howard
      September 12, 2018


      ” they even tried, which one, of them, doesn’t matter, sent a landing party to the south of England.”

      Didn’t manage as many as we did!

      A new study has found that at various times the British have invaded almost 90 per cent of the countries around the globe.

      The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British”

      1. Prigger
        September 13, 2018

        22 left? I blame our Generals

  17. BartD
    September 12, 2018

    When we go into the EU shop..the proprietor is more likely to pull out his ledgers and say we owe 39 pounds for past promises, past purchases, past investments jointly made when we were part EU owners..he’ll say let’s settle the account outstanding first before we move on to new business..I know I would if I were the proprietor.

    1. Know-Dice
      September 12, 2018

      The UK has always had it’s account in credit and the shop keeper has carelessly given the UK’s credit to its other customers…

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      September 12, 2018

      We still haven’t seen the full ledger of assets owned by us versus liabilities. But then the EU and its sycophants don’t do figures.
      Until that’s on paper and agreed, we should go nowhere with this.

    3. Jagman84
      September 12, 2018

      With that approach, you would not have many customers! Only devotees of the EU mafia consider that we have a tab to settle upon exit. They can always sue us (in which court?) but they cannot prevent us from leaving.

    4. NickC
      September 12, 2018

      BartD, We cannot possibly owe more than we would have paid if we had remained full members, up until the end of the current MFF term. That totals about ÂŁ18bn net, from which the amounts owed by the EU to the UK must be deducted. We do not owe the RAL (reste a liquider) amounts. So the ÂŁ39bn is a bribe.

    5. Dennis Zoff
      September 13, 2018


      You are quite correct….then please explain why they don’t produce such an itemised list?

      1. BartD
        September 13, 2018

        Dennis Zoff.. The itemised list has been produced at the negotiation table ..DD, Mrs May and others who were involved know full well the content..the only thing is.. it has not been put out there yet for the public to see..the surprising thing is that the newspapers have not got hold of it by now- makes you wonder- maybe the content is too frightening even for them..costs of pensions etc for the fat cats

        1. NickC
          September 13, 2018

          BartD, So the entire population including the MSM don’t know about “the itemised list”, but you do? Yeah, right . . . .

        2. Dennis Zoff
          September 13, 2018


          You are probably right-fat cats and all.

          Just go to the published EU’s own remuneration doc, which I have read, that itemises salaries and staff benefits….then one quickly realises how well Brussels is living off the backs of hardworking UK taxpayers; it is a real eye opener.

          If Remainers were to read this document and the five Presidents report…these two docs would persuade any person to reconsider EU membership? It is just a greater manifestation of WasteMinster – but using old style Soviet mismanagement, cronyism and gross profligate unnecessary spending (bribery).

          If indeed an itemised list does exist and it is a true reflection of the UK’s liabilities and shown to the public, no one would complain. But there is now so much distrust in the way this whole dabacle has been conducted, mislead by T. May et al, and the intransigence shown by Brussels, best we leave on WTO terms “clean start” and restart the whole agreement process as equals. But first, T. May must go, for people to believe there is no longer a hidden agenda?

    6. mancunius
      September 13, 2018

      The ‘EU proprietor’ is asking us to pay ÂŁ39bn for his staff, their pensions, his overheads, mortgage, future banking arrangements, mending his roof in the future, as well as an indemnity for our not continuing to pay for the goods he will no longer agree to sell us.

      So it’s a rather obvious Hey-Nonny-No to that one. 🙂

  18. A.Sedgwick
    September 12, 2018

    Brilliant – it would be revealing to see key Remoaners reply – some hope.

    1. Dennis Zoff
      September 13, 2018


      What could the Remainers/Remoaners possibly reply with? They simply have no coherent counter argument……however, and to be quite fair, should a Remainer have a cogent argument as why the UK should remain in the EU, now is the opportunity to speak?

      Again however, I will not hold my breath. For two years now I have been waiting for an erudite argument from them? Remainers just cannot debate their argument, because they have none?

  19. Southsouthwest
    September 12, 2018

    Yeah John we all know you love speeches but can you walk the walk?

    1. agricola
      September 12, 2018

      Is this the Silly Isle take on what was said, with apologies to an area I grew to love during my sailing days.

    2. Whis kiddy
      September 12, 2018

      Juncker would not be able to walk the walk.

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      September 12, 2018

      I trust we will all be watching our MPs to ensure that they are one of the 80 or so… and e3nsuring that any who aren’t are reneging on their promise and will be ousted at the next GE.

    4. Steve
      September 12, 2018


      Doubtful, very doubtful. He’s too frightened to allow posts on here that tell the truth, so is sure to cower when it comes to a scrap with Theresa May.

      All this John Redwood standing up for Britain, man of the people etc, it’s all just words, a load of guff, basically.

      Next general election, John, is going to be like no other. The conservatives are in for the shock of their lives.

      Should have gotten rid of her when we said.

      Now leave this one stuck in moderation or remove it I don’t give a toss because finishing the conservatives off at the next election is what matters now.

  20. Cynic
    September 12, 2018

    Clear and convincing argument for leaving without Chequers, but the scaremongering will continue. Sound and fury signifying nothing!

  21. libertarian
    September 12, 2018

    OFF TOPIC but….

    Last night Conservative MP ( yes a Tory ) Andrew Bowie Tweeted that its an outrage that different store petrol stations where offering different prices for fuel in his constituency . He wanted all outlets to be the same price

    A Tory for christs sake, a tory that doesn’t understand how markets work… My god this party has become a total disgrace

    Dear Conservatives

    In a free market suppliers set a price and COMPETE with each other for customers . Once one lowers a price others will follow , thats why free markets are the fairest of all to the consumer. Plus costs of operating differ in different locations based on site, size and other factors

    Here’s the big one you Tory duffers

    Fixing prices so that they are all the same is called a cartel, its illegal and it causes all prices to rise

    No wonder the Conservative government keep attacking business they haven’t got a clue. Who chooses this rubbish to represent us?

  22. oldwulf
    September 12, 2018


  23. Adam
    September 12, 2018

    Well-spoken, JR.

  24. Andy
    September 12, 2018

    No offence, but this is basically the same as every anti-EU speech every Tory Eurosceptic has given for the past 30 years. Some of the details may have changed but the plot remains the same.

    I’m afraid there remains a fundamental problem with the Brexiteer’s case. IF you could have delivered on all of the promises made by Vote Leave in the referendum you would have come up with a plan to do it by now. Mrs May wants you to come up with that plan. The British people want you to come up with a plan. The EU wants you to come up with a plan. And you can’t.

    I have always thought of that Brexit would be worse than the status quo. But if Brexit could be delivered on the terms promised by Vote Leave – the only terms for which there is any kind of mandate – then I could just about live with Brexit. It does not matter who is PM – your promises are undeliverable. Indeed, I would quite like Mr Rees-Mogg to have a go. Comedy Jacob would be laughed at in Brussels. He’d get a worse deal than Mrs May ever could – and the Brexiteers would literally have no one else to blame.

    1. Anonymous
      September 13, 2018

      There is no status quo.

    2. Edward2
      September 13, 2018

      Leaving is easy.
      It is the plan to stay in that is causing a problem.

    3. NickC
      September 13, 2018

      Andy, even the rather dim Remains should be able to understand that most of the planet is independent of the EU; and that there is no reason (well, you haven’t managed to produce one) that we should not join them.

    4. margaret howard
      September 13, 2018


      ” Indeed, I would quite like Mr Rees-Mogg to have a go. Comedy Jacob would be laughed at in Brussels”

      One German paper called him ‘ein lebendiges Fossil’ – a living fossil.
      Just about sums him up. Third rate ham actor with a bad taste in pinstripe suits.

      1. Edward2
        September 13, 2018

        Why are you lefty people so personal and rude.
        Attack the policies.
        Not the individual.

    5. libertarian
      September 13, 2018


      Your beloved EU yesterday cast itself adrift from the rest of the modern world. In July MEP’s voted against article 11 and 13 in true EU fashion they were made to vote until they”got it right” Implementing this will remove 27 countries from full internet access , well done EU . If you really insist on having a bunch of unelected dinosaurs run things you end up with this kind of nonsense. This is on par with the Ming dynasty banning sailing vessels . Google etc are falling about laughing.

      The EU is just a bunch of old blokes, trying to live in the past but running a protectionist racket of dying industries. The EU and its fans are quite simply a laughing stock

      1. margaret howard
        September 14, 2018

        Makes you wonder how they managed to create the largest, wealthiest trading bloc in the world with countries queuing up to join them.

        If you want to see a laughing stock the average Brexiteer is your best bet.

        1. libertarian
          September 15, 2018

          margaret howard

          Its no longer the largest, its no longer the wealthiest, it isn’t a trading block its a customs union and they by their own admission are falling behind in global trading terms.

          Living in the past isn’t really a very clever strategy is it margaret

          Anyway I’m just off to France to buy another business, Yup I’m a laughing stock, laughing all the way to the bank, cheers

  25. The Prangwizard
    September 12, 2018

    The brilliance of analysis will surely persuade many that it is in the long-term best interests of the UK and all its people to leave the EU cleanly and quickly.

    It is so encouraging to read such words and arguments. I was one who way back voted against joining and I hope we do get out. I am disgusted however at the behaviours of the PM who I will call traitorous. She is clearly acting to undermine the democratic vote and maintain her grip on power to be with the EU elites and others in a protected world designed for such kinds.

    I would also observe that the effectiveness of the words here have shown how mean spirited viscious and dangerous are the Remainers and the anti-democratic forces and foreign interests that support them.

  26. agricola
    September 12, 2018

    Well said, it suggests that in the weakness of what was put forward in opposition to your case that more MPs are beginning to think about this seriously. I would like to think they are. Basically we are talking about retrieving the sovereignty of the UK, while retaining a friendly cooperative relationship with the EU, minus the format from which they wish to run their remaining members.

  27. ferdinand
    September 12, 2018

    A very good summary of the position; logical and concise. Why are we not telling Mrs.May that she can set up Canada ++ for next March and get all her Brexiteers behind her ?

  28. George Brooks
    September 12, 2018

    Thank you for publishing the full text and you have explained our present position so well.

    What confounds me is that here we have a God fearing ,intelligent woman, as our Prime Minister who makes an excellent speech at Lancaster House committing her government to implementing Brexit in line with what Leavers voted for. Eighteen months later she has turned very nearly 180 degrees and is proposing a deal that will put us in a far worse position than we were before the referendum.

    Something is going on behind the scenes and I don’t know what it is but it has all the indications of bribery and dishonesty. At the time of the Lancaster House speech I trusted the PM but certainly not now nor at any time in the future.

    Sending her ministers around the country in an effort to ”sell us a pup” can be described as ‘doing a Cameron’. After his trip round the EU capitals he tried to tell us it was a great success and then spent ÂŁ9million of tax payers money launching Project Fear MkI.

    So how on earth was she persuaded to concoct Chequers? More importantly, what is going to persuade her to bin it and get round the negotiating table and get a decent deal for this country. I doubt nothing less than her P45.

    One further matter which is complicating the whole Brexit saga is that politics has now become an occupation and we have far too many MPs with absolutely no commercial or business experience and too many lawyers who have given up the cut and thrust of chambers or developing a law practice.

  29. rick hamilton
    September 12, 2018

    It seems to me that a lot of MPs and civil servants are terrified of a Brexit future in which they have to come up with solutions to all the technical issues which are now handled, generally quite competently, by the EU Commission. Whatever we think of its anti-democratic nature and arrogant leadership it is staffed by some impressively bright people.

    For 40 years our parliament and bureaucracy have steadily sub-contracted a lot of tedious work to Brussels at a very expensive cost. Many of them have enjoyed prancing on the European stage with 27 others, but soon the chickens are coming home to roost and they face the harsh reality of actually attempting to govern this country ‘on time and within budget’.

    No wonder they mostly loathe and detest Brexit. Having told the NI assembly their pay will be cut as they don’t do the job, will our Remain MPs now expect a pay rise as they take on this challenging task ?

    1. margaret howard
      September 13, 2018


      “For 40 years our parliament and bureaucracy have steadily sub-contracted a lot of tedious work to Brussels at a very expensive cost”

      EU membership turned us from being the ‘Sick man of Europe’ on the verge of collapse into the world’s 5th biggest economy (now alas already dropped t0 7th place since Brexit).

      Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant. You obviously can’t remember the food, fuel and power shortages of the Heath government or the steadily growing balance of payments deficit.

      The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise the nation, the highest ever figure.

      1. Edward2
        September 13, 2018

        More nonsense from you
        The EU turned decent countries like Spain Cyprus Portugal Italy and Grerce into places where growth was zero.
        Banks failed.
        Businesses failed
        Jobs disappeared with youth unemployment at 50%

        It wasnt the EU that turned this country round from the grip of socialism with unions wrecking industry into a modern nation.

      2. rick hamilton
        September 15, 2018

        Yes, I remember Heath. And Wilson, Callaghan, Scargill, Red Robbo, Jack Jones and all the other heroes of the Left who brought our manufacturing industry to its knees. You must be so proud.

      3. libertarian
        September 15, 2018

        margaret H

        ……………. You’ve been told by a few people now that the UK became known as the sick man of Europe AFTER we joined the EEC

        We were the worlds 3rd largest economy before joining the EEC

  30. Atlas
    September 12, 2018

    Well put John.

  31. Norman
    September 12, 2018

    Thank you for once again clearly articulating the will of the people as expressed in the EU Referendum. We do not want to be duped by some clever sleight of hand. Please persevere, making it clear to all what is at stake.

  32. Geoff not Hoon
    September 12, 2018

    it is a great pity we do not have more MP’s with your wisdom and experience Mr. Redwood. Your speech seemed to be listened to by all sides which is a bit of a rarity. On the subject of EU pensions is it your understanding we are being asked to pay 20% of all EU future pension liabilities and grant tax free status to any EU official visiting/living in the UK? If what I read is correct what is your view of such an incredible demand?

  33. Denis Cooper
    September 12, 2018

    JR, why is Theresa May so cruel?

    Are you proud that your party has elected a leader who could see that the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover was racked with fear that the day after Brexit he might not be able to import all the components he needed as smoothly as now, and so he could be forced to shut down his assembly lines:

    and she was actually there in the same building, and yet she didn’t just go over to him and put a reassuring arm around his shoulders and tell him it would all be OK, Ralf, because she wouldn’t be ordering UK customs officials to hold up the parts he needed?

    And not just cruel, but unpatriotic, content to see business uncertainty continuing and increasing as part of her propaganda campaign to persuade us to support her rubbish Chequers proposal.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      September 13, 2018

      Perhaps offer this guy a course in running a business. One of those start-up courses at the local college where you learn about diversifying your supplier base, and learning that input costs alone aren’t a justification for buying from a particular supplier.

    2. Stred
      September 13, 2018

      May and Clarke probably told him what to say if he wants Bruno. By the way, the zero emission cars she’s bringing our millions at, aren’t. Over half the electricity is from carbon fuel and more is lost via the grid and battery charging. Ralf is right about the lack of charging points. Still waiting for someone to Invent one that works for people living in flats or houses with no parking. How is the 57000 pound zero emission taxi selling when cabbies can buy a second hand Prius for 5k?

      1. Stred
        September 13, 2018

        Oh dear, my smartphone will keep correcting, while I can’t see the script. Bruno and bunging.

        1. stred
          September 14, 2018

          Brino. (laptop)

  34. Newmania
    September 12, 2018

    I do not know about the Government—I sometimes worry about how they might go shopping—but when I go shopping I do not go into a shop, put £39 down on the counter and say, very politely …..

    Oh no, the sort of shop you like the one that tells you to turn out your pockets when you go in, counts your change examines your mouldy boiled sweets, and then sells you the same thing you could get next door for no trouble at 30 % . They go through the same procedure on the way out and probably wave nicely as you head off to anyone else on the planet

  35. Stred
    September 12, 2018

    It was good to see David David and other leave politicians with a record of competence put forward a proven method of ensuring that no hard border is necessary in Ireland. In this case we can easily negotiate a good trade deal and friction free supply of materials and food. The EU has already said it will agree to this. What then is Mrs May playing at?

    1. Stred
      September 12, 2018

      Davis. – smart alteration while posting.

  36. Denis Cooper
    September 12, 2018

    And then I read in the same article:

    “The necessary procedures described can all be implemented within the existing legal and operational frameworks of the EU and the UK, based on the mutual trust on which regular trade depends.”

    which is true while we are still in the EU and still have that legal framework, but will cease to be true once we have repealed our Single Market legislation unless relevant parts are incorporated into a new UK law controlling exports across the border.

    So rather than the Theresa May and Olly Robbins prescription that UK law should remain aligned to EU law on imports, to cite the notorious example the EU law forbidding the importation of the dreaded “chlorinated chicken” from the US, have a new UK law forbidding its export across the border into the Irish Republic and the EU Single Market.

  37. David Price
    September 12, 2018

    Excellent speech and I agree with all your points.

    The troubling issue for me is that I felt we were originally taken in to the EEC in the 70’s on false pretenses and this government looks intent on doing the exact same thing all over again.

  38. Paul Cohen
    September 12, 2018

    Bravo for producing this “overnight”

    Would be good to see this taken up for wider circulation.

  39. Brian Tomkinson
    September 12, 2018

    Today we hear that most of you support Mrs May and hope to persuade her to drop her Chequers plan and adopt yours. Whistling in the wind I fear, unless the EU come to the rescue by totally rejecting Chequers. It’s all got a bit of a whiff of Maastricht about it. Party before country again?

  40. John Hatfield
    September 12, 2018

    Wow! Strong stuff. Nicely said John.

  41. Everhopeful
    September 12, 2018

    I never thought that this website was a source of private info. The reason I read it avidly is because Mr Redwood actually talks to us and tells us what is going on. My MP doesn’t even reply to e mails!
    Agree with all those who say Mr Redwood should be in charge of Brexit.

  42. margaret howard
    September 12, 2018

    “Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East & Saddleworth) (Lab): The right hon. Gentleman said that he appreciated the Lancaster House speech and that everybody who voted to leave did, too, but how does he know that?

    John Redwood: From conversations, watching opinion polls and listening to the national conversation.”

    Do you delete those you don’t like as you do here? (no doubt this one will suffer the same fate)

    1. Edward2
      September 13, 2018

      You post on here multiple times nearly every day Margaret.
      There is no shortage of remainer views in the media..

  43. acorn
    September 12, 2018

    If Brexit is so great, why do Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Bone look so sad? (Guardian; Google it.)

    Also, If you want to get an idea of how post Brexit UK Conservative Party governance will impact your family and friends, then look what Conservative MEPs voted for today in the EU Parliament.

    “Conservative MEPs have given their support to the authoritarian government of Viktor Orban in a crunch vote in the European Parliament. Almost all of the politicians representing Theresa May’s party, voted against a motion to censure the Hungarian leader, which, in the end was overwhelmingly passed.”

    Their support for the right-wing leader – accused of violating press freedoms, undermining judicial independence and waging an antisemitic campaign……– was attacked by Ms May’s critics in the UK.

    Orban says, EU bid to censure his government is a plot by liberals. But, her [Mrs May] spokespeople attempted to distance the prime minister from the move, by claiming on Wednesday afternoon, that she had not been consulted in advance, how her MEPs would vote.

    Naturally, commenters on this site, would be kissing Viktor Orban’s feet.

    1. libertarian
      September 15, 2018


      What? What a totally deluded and dumb question. Johnson is going through a divorce, JRM has had his kids attacked and abused and Bone always looks like that

      Scrape the barrel why dont you

  44. NickC
    September 12, 2018

    JR, That was a first class speech. You set out almost all my concerns about current government Remain policy, and the dangers of further embroiling ourselves in the EU.

    The Chequers (Robbins) plan is based on the illusion that the government, and MPs, can choose the outcome. Not so; Parliament gave the people the right to decide. We decided; and MPs must implement our decision. Who could believe Parliament otherwise?

    Civil servants are very contemptuous of politicians (I am told). Clearly the Robbins plan extends their contempt to the electorate. I think many ordinary people would regard our civil service as thereby verging on the corrupt.

  45. BenM
    September 12, 2018

    It is clear now that the irish border is only being used by the EU side as an excuse to push for a no deal. Junker made his speech today and he got a standing ovation from the parliament..all except for Farage and a few others who remained seated. They want Farage out, they also want all remnants of the Tory MEP discontents out and it’s just their way of engineering it. They don’t really care about 39 billion for the moment because they have factored it in and know that the bill will have to be paid anyway at a later date and with’s the way I see it

  46. Rien Huizer
    September 12, 2018

    Mr Redwood,

    I suspect (given your very cautious speech) you are not going to rock the boat once there is something on the table that, say 60% of parliamentary Conservatives would support, given a free vote. Some deal is in the making and it is too cleverly put together. Now what? The UK will cease to be part of the EU. But the future relationship will contain provisions unacceptable to the US. Anyway, the US (not the president of the day but the lawmakers who would have to ratify) is not in the mood for trade deals, unless they are mere photo-opportunities. So what will be the achievement you could be proud of?

    For myself, I am satisfied that no one seems to be looking at undoing the UK’s departure. Whatever privileges the UK will be getting is not material because it will be less than membership and anyway we will be one spoilsport less. A “clean break” would be worse because that might create tensions within the UK that might trigger a movement in favour of returning to the EU, which can only lead to disappointment.

    Reply I oppose Chequers!

    1. NickC
      September 13, 2018

      Rien, You keep plugging the buyer’s remorse meme. It won’t get you anywhere, but it keeps you out of mischief.

  47. Robin
    September 12, 2018

    Excellent, clear eyed, and superbly evidenced. A pleasure to hear such well reasoned argument amid the cacophony of nonsense from Remain

  48. Edwardm
    September 12, 2018

    A good speech.
    As you say, what is the purpose of the transition period, what is being proposed for it that couldn’t have been achieved in the preceding 33 months. If we had a solid program of withdrawal finalised which used a short (say 6 month) transition period that is one thing, though I think 33 months should have been long enough not to need a transition period, but it looks like it will just be an extension of living under EU rule whilst Mrs May continues her mix-up towards a bad solution, battling the EU who want a different bad solution, only agreeing on the Danegeld.

    The UK held the cards, could have had clarity of purpose, chosen the WTO solution (unless the EU agreed to better), sorted out administrative changes, left the EU behind and be poised to deal with the rest of the world openly. Clean and certain.
    What have we instead ? Mrs May making the UK appear muddled and unsure.

  49. margaret
    September 12, 2018

    I don’t ever write anything which the public at large could not read and as my words don’t matter as much as yours on the whole , I cannot imagine you doing any different. I do see much written abuse of people and cannot understand why these people who make rude comments don’t see how their manner of speaking spoils their case and incites negative argument.
    Much of what you said in the house , you have said before and as a person who was once running for PM you are taken seriously. I laugh sometimes at your ways to simply put over the reasons for not paying ÂŁ39 billion, but I am sure that most of your cronies feel ineffectual,

  50. Prigger
    September 12, 2018

    And it is true, Arizona. Just as it is written. I talk like that

  51. Original Richard
    September 12, 2018

    It appears highly likely that we are about to see the current PM and Parliament effect a coup d’etat by seizing power and refusing to implement the result of the EU referendum and ignoring the manifestos of the two main parties through the signing of two treaties with the EU which not only mean that we do not leave the EU but even worse become a vassal state/colony of the EU.

    These MPs may think they have fooled the country again but I think this time they will find that 17.4m leavers, plus many remainers who believe in democracy, will not accept this position.

    The population has now learned too much about the EU and its corrupt and undemocratic controls over us and will no longer accept future directives, laws, regulations, etc. with no representation and no veto.

    The inevitable result will be a massive change in the composition of our Parliament even with our FPTP system still in place.

  52. ukretired123
    September 12, 2018

    John Redmond has a command of his brief and never fails to explain complex issues with delightful language that is flows straight to the heart of the matter unlike the many shallow thinking detractors he has to contend with both in and outside Parliament.
    This speech is a peach challenging any serious Remainer to stand up and debate at your peril the indefensible case to remain with the EU given the historic 2016 vote after its poor track record of nearly 50 years.
    Theresa May is not ‘Theresa Will-Leave” unfortunately and I often associate her awkward dancing to the EU’s tune – the Hockey Cokey – In-Out In-Out Shake-it-all-about, that’s what its all about -totally out of her depth with zero integrity pretending to be strong for Britain while highjacking Brexit for a hidden vested interests.
    The fact she allowed Uk gem Arm Holdings to be bought by foreign investors -unlike how the French would protect their interests – says a great deal about her shallow thinking. She is incapable of complicated brief and needs advisors galore.
    “Paralysis of analysis” sums up what Brussels and May have achieved to date and Chequers is a sellout. Appalling leadership by May.

  53. Richard
    September 12, 2018

    Successful barrister Francis Hoar, Martin Howe QC & Professor David Collins have opined that the UK is currently legally entitled to negotiate Non-EU FTAs and Interim FTAs before Brexit, so long as they are only intended to come into force after the date of exit. Some legal opinions can be found at:

    Essentially, Mr Hoar argued that a treaty only capable of coming into force after the UK withdrew from the EU would be outside the EU’s competence and the ECJ has never suggested that the Member States’ duty of sincere co-operation gives the ECJ jurisdiction over member states negotiating treaties outside the EU’s competence.

    In addition the EU treaties also have the legal objective of creating an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness outside the EU and, in taking steps to enhance its economic prosperity once it left the Union, the UK would be acting in accordance with that object.

    Whitehall doesn’t like this opinion, but David Davis said in Washington on 1 sept 2017, as Brexit Secretary: “the duty of sincere cooperation reduces as we get closer to the end” , presumably referring to the EU’s duty of good neighbourliness.

    Therefore a key part of our World Trade Deal preparations clearly must be to ramp up discussions with the RoW countries that are currently around 60% of our exports (Rotterdam-Antwerp adjusted) and 86.1% of global exports

  54. Cis
    September 12, 2018

    I think you will find that UK had to pay a significant fee on joining the Common Market, and that it was based on a calculation of what we would have contributed if we had been members from the outset. The rules may have changed and recent/current candidates may no longer be asked to contribute towards pre-existing commitments, but I am sure that we did have to pay upfront.

    Also, we did not ‘go into the European Union on the basis of a referendum’: we were taken in (in every sense!) before the referendum in which the majority decision was to stay in.

    Mrs May needs to go back to her own Lancaster House proposal as the basis for Brexit, including the ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ proviso. She would recover substantial support from everyone who accepts the democratic decision of the referendum vote, including from her own pro-Brexit backbenchers – they are only restless because they know that if she betrays the referendum result the Tories will be out of government for a generation.

    1. Know-Dice
      September 13, 2018

      It’s also the EU that are saying “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”…

      “Negotiations under Article 50 TEU will be conducted in transparency and as a single package. In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately. “

      Which is strange because from the outset they [the EU] have separated the Withdrawal Agreement from future trade arrangements

  55. Dennis Zoff
    September 12, 2018

    Excellent summary John. Thank you.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    September 13, 2018

    Excellent. So, just answer me one question: why cannot we start trading under WTO rules on 30th March 2019 (possibly relaxed to include zero tariffs on cars) and move steadily towards a Canada plus style of Agreement, with no particular deadline on completing the process?

    1. Dennis Zoff
      September 13, 2018

      Lindsay McDougall

      Two words…Theresa May!

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        September 13, 2018

        Quite. She has to go, preferably before 30th March 2019.

        But first things first. Given the current House of Commons, our best bet to thwart Chequers is a filibuster. It should be easy enough to get Corbyn to agree to oppose all timetable motions to limit debating time. In all probability, once any Chequers based Agreement is being talked out, people like Dominic Raab and Michael Gove will jump ship.

        1. Dennis Zoff
          September 13, 2018

          Good point Lindsay.

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