May day

Yesterday Mrs May at last admitted she could not win the vote. She had to accept the Withdrawal Agreement was disliked by far too many MPs.

It was therefore a curious decision to spend the first half of the campaign rushing round the UK as if appealing to voters in a General Election, and to spend most of the last week-end wooing businesses as if they had some kind of bloc vote.

The Prime Minister did not once approach me about my intentions. Maybe she accepted my view and realised she could not change it. Her Chief of Staff told me I would be invited to a one to one meeting with her which never materialised. Several other MPs I have talked to were also left alone, when the government needed every Conservative to vote with it to give it any chance of winning. They had already lost the support of the DUP.

Stirring the country up did help generate a lot of constituency and nationwide correspondence. I received more messages to oppose her Agreement than to support, and many positive messages about the approach I took in the Parliamentary debate. It also shifted opinion against the Agreement. One recent poll says 62% wanted the Agreement voted down and only 25% support it.

Mrs May implied she can get some reassurances about the Irish backstop and then try again to get it voted through the Commons. That is very unlikely, given the magnitude of the opposition to it.  There should be no doubt that this is a completely unacceptable surrender of powers and money by the UK for no good reason. This is allied to the very worrying treatment of Northern Ireland as some new country called UK (NI), to be treated differently for customs purposes and with different legislation to the rest of the UK. Even if the whole backstop was removed  completely I would not vote for this one sided and unfair Agreement, and nor would a good many other Conservative MPs. What  bargaining power would we have left for a better Future Partnership after signing away powers over laws, borders and money?

Only a large defeat will send a clear message to the EU that a few cosmetic changes to the Agreement will not be sufficient to get Parliament to change its mind, and to get them to understand we will be leaving with no Withdrawal Agreement unless they radically change their approach. The Prime Minister’s decision not to press the vote means there would have been a big defeat.

I have given Mrs May and her team plenty of advice to avoid this outcome which they have ignored. This Agreement is Mrs May’s  Agreement, and this latest Project Fear campaign was her campaign. The more they run Project Fear and the more extreme they make it, the more most of the public shrugs its shoulders and scorns politicians who mouth such nonsense. Mrs May was unclear when she would bring this Agreement back for a vote, and unclear over whether it was even feasible to get changes to the legally binding text of the Withdrawal Agreement as opposed to the less important text of the vague Political Declaration.

Many MPs are asking why Ministers were made to go out and assert that the vote would definitely take place today, and why they had to maintain the fiction they would win. This has removed confidence in Mrs May from some more MPs who used to support her.

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156 Comments

  1. bluedog
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    At this stage in the negotiations to leave the EU it has become clear that neither party, the UK nor the EU, can take the risk of putting trust in Mrs May. The EU must be aware that Mrs May does not accurately reflect British opinion to them and cannot implement the current Withdrawal Agreement. The British side has lost confidence in its negotiating team which has no sensible option but to resign. Alas, it won’t. It seems Mrs May’s personality does not allow her to admit defeat or that she is greatly mistaken in her approach. The final victim of ‘the bloody difficult woman’ is the bloody difficult woman herself. There are now very obvious advantages in formally rejecting the WA, and giving notice that the UK will leave the EU without a formal agreement on 29th March 2019, or on such earlier date as it may determine.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Dr. Redwood,

    Can you inform us if Mrs May is required to be present in the HOC today for the ’emergency debate’ requested by Jeremy Corbyn on the delay of the vote?

    Thank you.

    Reply The government decides who to put up for the debate

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      I saw what Mr.Speaker had to say about the government and its behaviour towards parliament over this. He said it was; “Very discourteous”

      Another new low heaped upon this PM and government that has already been held in contempt of parliament. A first in a our nations history.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        This Tory Government keeps creating lower water marks on every score. The EU Withdrawal Document the worst agreement ever. Total surrender. She must go!

        • Tad Davison
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          That also goes for the standard of those they elect as leader. She represents a new low-water mark in my opinion!

          Makes me wonder where the hell these duds keep coming from. First, they get selected, then they get elected……………then they get found out!

          In the meantime, the nation suffers for their poor judgement and their detachment from the very people they are supposed to serve.

          The present so-called ‘leader’ seems to want to run to her real masters to get their approval for everything she does. Gut-wrenching feebleness and cowardice that brings this nation down, and that cannot continue.

          May continually brings the UK into disrepute, yet a significantly large group of Tory MPs are still fawning over her and saying how great she is. It just beggars belief!

          Tad

  3. Javelin
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I have reviewed social media this morning and would like to highlight that the collective narrative of the Conservative voters has moved from calling May a traitor for not accepting Canada++ or a short backstop AND has moved on to calling Conservative MPs spineless and cowards for not handing in their letters to the 1922.

    As you know I often review the comments sections as it gives the best prediction I can find to where the weight of political opinion is heading – and it’s huge mass is more than capable of sweeping the commentariats opinion to one side.

    The narrative the Conservative MPs (and not just May) are to blame for not delivering Brexit is a huge mass that is going to become accepted political opinion.

    • Student
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      I agree. Why is it that so many conservatives are lambasting May’s approach and her deal year continue to support her as PM? The ERG’s failure to unite behind a common approach to Brexit and a leadership challenge is just as to blame as May’s incredibly poor deal.

    • Nigl
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The Pizza five must be dining on the softest of crusts because they are toothless.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        ……..toothless…………NO SHAMELESS! they need to hide their faces from the public who have nothing but contempt for their inaction!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      We should maybe take a leaf from the gllet jaune movement. The strongman Macron has proved not so much in the face of direct action.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        The Paris rioting left me in two minds. On the one hand, I was pleased to see the Brit-hating Macron experience some difficulty. But the violence and damage was shocking – especially that at the Arc. J’espere that les perps get le book thrown at them. Brexiteers won’t be taking to violence; when we gather, it will be to make a polite point, have tea at F&M, and maybe take in a show afterwards.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Carney has not forecast the prospect of Remain/Brino and Corbyn.

      That is a very real likelihood and yet he has not compared that with the Leave ‘nightmare’ that he offers us.

      Brino and Corbyn would be the worst political and economic outcome possible.

      OK. We older people can’t be trusted to vote – so we won’t. Apparently we believe in unicorns. We’ll leave it to the kids then. They want Corbyn.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Javelin. ERG excepted, all those spineless and self serving Tory MPs who refused to get rid of May are totally to blame for the humiliating mess we are in now. If we end up with no Brexit, May’s dog’s dinner of a Brexit or a Corbyn/SNP Government, it will be entirely down to their cowardice and treacherous behaviour.

    • jerry
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      @Javelin; The last thing we need at the moment is an unthinking social media rabble (even less French style riots on the streets Mr Narrow Shoulders 🙁 ).

      MPs are not “spineless” in their failure to send letters to the 1922 Committee, doing so could actually make things a 1k times worse for those wanting Brexit. Consider this, Mrs May could survive and be safe for another 12 months, although at least she has so far said no to cancelling A50, that might change if she knows she is safe for a year, but what if May does not survive, and what if Brexiteers fail as they did in 2016 leadership contest, the chances of a pro-EU leader is great and dangerous…

      Do not loose sight of the Brexit A50 default if nothing further happens, no leadership change, no GE, no ratified exit agreement, the UK will leave at 23:00 hours UTC 29th March 2019 on WTO rules, the clean Brexit many want, including some on the europhobic hard left -is that the reason for Corbyn’s reluctant to table a motion of No Confidence in the govt. that the europhile SNP and LibDems want?

  4. Newmania
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Sigh ..we are in the position of some Tex Avery loony tune holding a gun to our own head telling everyone,” I mean it I`m going to shoot !”It is now officially farce.
    Anyhoo, amidst the clatter of falling pounds and recessionary signs ,I read what the WTO on non tarrif barriers. It is a set of requests for clarity essentially which given the great importance ascribed to it by Mr R makes me wonder if he has. What does seem clear is that you cannot open the border to one MFN and not the others . Are we to have no checks on anything coming form anywhere then ?
    Taking back control never felt so ..out of control

    • Richard1
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Correct there are no checks on98% coming into to Felixstowe etc from global trade. Let’s do the same in Ireland

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Yep – cross-border trade is only 14% of Northern Ireland’s exports. The rest go to the UK and the rest of the world. Shame on May for allowing this smallest of tails to wag our Brexit dog.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Did you read Article 21 of GATT ? As the Remainers keep telling us the terrorists will be back if a hard border is implemented it seems an obvious situation to apply that to the WTO border with Ireland.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      You’ve been told many times that WTO does allow different treatment between nations.
      Either by agreement or by one nation doing risk assessments.

      • Newmania
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Oh quite that is why WTO alone is not used by any country …. we will be the ones prat-falling onto the word stage in our comically enormous shoes, red noses and touching faith in any gibbering charlatan capable of googling

        • Edward2
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          Wrong again
          WTO rules are used for over 90% of world trade and right now for over 60% of UK trade.
          Once we leave the EU those same trading conditions will transfer to the UK
          Many nations have already indicated they want to carry on the trading relationship they currently have.
          You are just being silly and proving you have never inported nor exported anything ever.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Newmania

      Sigh can only assume you’re not all there. You’ve been told so many times that you CAN have different treatments under risk assessment rules .

    • Maybot
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Almost a post without an insult in it from Newmania !!!

      (*sigh*)

      • Maybot
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        But the “holding a gun to our own head” situation does not exist.

        The gun is held by the EU for we dared to vote against it.

        They’re bluffing. It they shoot we won’t be in a position to pay anything at all.

        (YES. That’s the level we’re reduced to. )

  5. Mick
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I just cannot understand why if the UK /Eu /republic of Ireland don’t want a hard border and all insiste they won’t build one and also state the backstop is there as a safety net but if used will only be for a limited time why the hell is it a issue, the way the man on the street see it is to keep us in the Eu by any means,

    • Snaithy
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      I agree, Mick. Mr Redwood keeps complaining about the backstop, but both sides have said there will be no new border in Ireland, so I don’t know what he is complaining about.

    • BCL
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I heard a DUP spokesman on the Today programme say that the EU has said it won’t erect a hard border if there’s no deal. I can’t understand, given that, why there’s a problem about a hard border with a deal. Like you I cannot see why this is an issue.

      On another matter, if we end up with a second referendum and no brexit, I’ll never vote Tory again. Indeed, I may never vote again, I can’t see there will be any point if MP ignore the results.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Agreed. It’s clearly not worth the time thinking or petrol to vote in a second referendum. Tell me when the final final one is and I’ll think about it then.

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      They 27 are terrified that goods will stream across the open border without checks or restriction and damage their precious Single Market. It wouldn’t, of course.

      In reality there must be enormous amounts of smuggled goods coming across the borders of the more recent member states and there is inevitably a limit on how much can come across from NI into the South not least because of the limited amount of ferry capacity between Eire, The UK and Mainland Europe.

      One can only conclude that the whole issue of the backstop is a political device to make Brexit extremely difficult in the hope it is reversed. Spineless MPs who have no intention of honouring the referendum result are increasingly taking the upper hand. This is thanks to the totally inept handling of the negotiations from day one.

      The talks were doomed from the moment May overruled her first Brexit Secretary and agreed to the phasing of the negotiations, giving away on the money with nothing in return.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Forget logic when it comes to the EU and the Irish border – The EU have decided that they will take NI from the UK as a minimum punishment, no matter what sort of deal is done…

  6. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    She is only doing this because she wants another Christmas chequers. The longer this goes on shows there is no one suitable to replace her. Anyone with the qualities necessary to be prime minister would have put her out of her misery months ago

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I’m sure there are other better leaders, but the problem in the Conservative party is that the majority want to frustrate the will of the people. This is why Brexit isn’t working; parliament is kicking against the goads.
      She was a compromise choice, bankrupt in ideas. We really need a fresh approach, but parliament needs to accept the referendum result, and so far their heads are stuck in remain.

      New broom sweeps clean.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      No one wants the mess she has created on their CV. Best leave her in place until after the 29th March 2019 and do a to her what was done to Caesar around the same time. Metaphorically of course 😉

      • Al
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Regarding MPs, isn’t the fact they are putting their CV ahead of the good of the country proof that they do not have the qualities necessary to be Prime Minister?

        As we have just seen May is going to duck anything that could be used as an excuse to fire her, like a large Commons defeat. Sadly these are the same things that could be used as leverage in EU negotiations, which leaves her weakening the country’s position just by staying in power.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    My assumption is that she still hopes to scare MPs into voting for her deal in preference to the no deal default alternative. In an attempt to achieve this the tabling of “assurances” will be left until the New Year leaving no time for alternatives to get traction.

  8. Peter
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Classic May. Kick the can down the road. Say one thing then perform a U turn.

    It looks as if all the EU will offer is another form of weasel words which most people will be able to see through.

    I watched BBC parliament yesterday. May was hopeless but Corbyn was a very poor speaker. Various speakers, including Mr. Redwood, made very good points which May ignored or failed to answer. Still, at least their words provided sound bites for the later news broadcasts to highlight.

    Once again I don’t know how all this will end.

  9. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Today’s Matt cartoon is regretfully very accurate.
    A Christmas Pantomime is having to close down because they can’t compete with the House of Commons.
    Dennis Skinner made one of the more sensible contributions…Dennis Skinner !
    What a fiasco.

  10. Nigl
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    She has reduced our mighty nation to having to go round Europe begging for scraps and the Conservative Party a laughing stock, indeed she was treated with derision, rightly in the House yesterday.

    For goodness sake, put her and us out iof our misery. She is like a mad scientist creating a political Frankenstein.

  11. DUNCAN
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    We cannot allow the anti-democrats win this war. These people with such a sinister intent and disturbing mindset will undermine Trump in the US and they’ll achieve the same with Brexit if we don’t dispense with the hideous May

    Our next leader must be viciously Eurosceptic. They must explain to the general public how the EU and their acolytes operate to undermine the UK and its democracy. They must explain how New Labour used devolution as an EU divide and conquer mechanism. They must also explain the poison of Labour and they used mass immigration for political and electoral capital. They must completely expose in lurid detail the vile nature of what the UK is up against. Labour is the danger once we get the hell out of Germany’s political pet project, the EU.

  12. Bob Dixon
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Every time Mrs May sets a policy she makes the wrong decision. She needs replacing now.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bob–Absolutely right–There are many descriptions possible about her but fundamentally she lacks judgement so makes hideous mistakes. Our system (election-based when what we need is more direct democracy) is patently hopeless in itself when it is so hard procedurally to get rid of someone so obviously incompetent and viewed nearly universally with disdain. Nobody ever explains how the Tory Party managed to install Remainers at numbers one and two. “Absurd” indeed.

  13. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I can see Corbyn calling no confidence in the government and a general election looming. Corbyn won’t take us out and the Tories will all be out of a job. When is someone going to do what the man in the street said should be done months ago? For the sake of the country, let alone the party, get rid of that vile woman and go to the electorate. Clearly state what you intend to do and spell out the advantages of leaving. Dispel project fear and for God’s sake put a Brexiteer in charge. We have all had enough of this travesty.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    To go back to the EU and ask for concessions (which I think they may ultimately give) May should have allowed the vote to go ahead to have the WA formally defeated and then gone to them. By delaying the vote she provides no incentive at all for the EU to move now, they can sit and wait some more hoping (like May) that time pressure will cause the WA to be eventually approved in January or whenever. May/Rollins are totally hopeless negotiators.

  15. Richard1
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I was interested that Mrs May does not accept your view that the £39bn isn’t legally owed. She says other advice to that from the house of Lords says it is. So that’s that bargaining chip gone whether there’s a’deal’ or not.

    The vote will come back in Jan presumably with a few tweaks and vague clarifications and after another five or six weeks of absurd fear mongering by ministers and tame business lobbies, which will itself damage confidence.

    The only way out of this is to get rid of Mrs May now. Otherwise it’s surrender.

  16. David Price
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you again for your prolonged and consistent efforts on this matter.

    I smell a big rat with the confected issue over the Irish border and the backstop being presented by the May cabal as the only issue blocking acceptance of the WA when the whole agreement is frankly garbage.

    I am not impressed that Jacob Rees-Mogg is reported in Reuters as considering it “transformative” if the backstop is removed yet leaves in so much else that usurps and constrains our sovereignty and security. How many other MPs have a seemingly shallow view on this matter?

  17. Caterpillar
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    When Krugman, King and Ashoka Mody all indicate that the economic scare stories are just that (after an initial disruption) one really has to question what May, Hammond, Robbins and Carney continue to be up to. Plan to mitigate the disruption and reduce uncertainty asap and just leave.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Exactly right JR.

    May & Hammond have entirely the wrong headed approach to a Brexit (in name only) that fools no one. Just as they have to managing the economy, taxation levels, green crap, HS2, Hinkley C, red tape pushing, gender pay reporting, landlord and tenant mugging, pension pot thieving and all the rest.

    Perhaps the stupidest argument of all endlessly brought out by several remain Ministers
    But the EU of course vehemently insist on it remaining and it just cannot be negotiated out. We cannot even ask them to at it might annoy them!

    May has to go she is soiled goods and shown herself to wrong headed on almost every thing she says or does. She is also a huge electoral liability, as is highest and most complex taxes for forty years, project fear conductor Philip Hammond.

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Oh, by the way, Michael Gove went on national radio on Monday and told us the WA vote was definitely going ahead. I haven’t seen any apology from him for lying to us. Didn’t expect one of course.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Government ministers should all be on the same page. The problem lies not with Michael Gove but with No 10, which turns the pages. Amber Rudd managed to stay ‘on message’ yesterday, after her slip at the weekend.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Nicholas. Seems to me that half the cabinet are turn coats. They only do what suits them and their careers.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      We do not know what he himself was told. If he was ‘misinformed’ I should think he would be very cross by now.

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Roy

      Believe nothing of what Gove says, the wee dagger man is a pathological liar.

    • Chris
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      The “truth” is what is expedient at that moment, apparently. Thus easily changed/adapted.

      This approach of course does require a lack of morals, integrity and principles, but that does not seem to matter to so many of our politicians. That is one of the main reasons they are held in such contempt by so many.

    • miami.mode
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      RG. Mr Gove may have been misled which would be in keeping with the utter contempt that Mrs May seems to have for so many people.

      Despite the fact that she is portrayed as caring along with many other pleasant attributes, simply delaying the vote after it was obvious it would be lost and after many MPs had stayed late into recent nights in order to make a speech indicates her contemptuous attitude towards them.

  20. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    The only way the Tory party can save itself from electoral oblivion is by replacing Mrs May with Boris Johnson. This course of action is utterly confounded by the party’s leadership election rules and the primacy given to personal rivalried

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      PS. In short, the party is incapable of producing a government that believes in an independent UK.

      • Adam
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Peter D Gardner:

        As party rules prevent an extremely bad leader from being replaced, it shall be less damaging to adjust those party rules temporarily than enable that bad leader proceeding to cause extreme damage to our nation permanently.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Peter. Agree. They are their own worse enemy. Unless they come together and honour the referendum they are toast. It would seem that is too complicated for Soubry to understand.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        It seems so even though this is the only way not to bury the party electorally.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. Boris is very popular in the country at large and would be a huge vote winner but unfortunately he wouldn’t make into the leadership race as he is unpopular with his fellow Tory MPs for some reason – jealousy perhaps?

    • Doug Lockwood
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Yes, Boris, for all his obvious faults is a true leader, he has the ability to motivate by making people feel proud of our country. He would win any vote put to Tory Members and if he called a GE the Tories would win by a landslide. As I see it, he would be PM for the forseesable future and this is why MP’s eying the position up for themselves won’t support him. Heaven help us.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The system is the problem not the individual;smash the system or the problem will continually recurr.

      By the way,you Boris fanciers out there,look how his views on certain issues were turned on their head after he became Foreign Minister-and think how much greater will be the pressure to be assimilated if he were to become Prime Minister.

  21. Steve
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Sounds to me like you need to put a letter in, Mr Redwood.

    Nice article as always, but with one mistake…..we won’t be leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement, as you imply there to be possibility of such outcome.

    Theresa May will either cancel brexit altogether, or go for a second referendum with the ballot options rigged so we stay in the EU.

    Either course will have serious repercussions and anyone who did nothing to remove Theresa May or supported her will find themselves socially outcast and out of politics for life.

    There is really only one option available to free this country from the EU, which is;

    Kick May out right now, replace her with a leave voter, rip up the WA and leave immediately on WTO. If the EU, CBI, Civil Service liberals, tree huggers, snowflakes, and rainbow pacifists don’t like it….tough !

  22. Mark B
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This has all the hallmarks of a PM and government in crisis. And it is a crisis that it is of its own making for which we shall all undoubtedly pay.

    Mrs May implied she can get some reassurances . . .

    Would those be the same kind of ‘reassurances’ that, Tony Blair won from the EU for the reduction in the CAP in return for us giving up a large part of our rebate ? Only I seem to remember, Blair agreeing and the EU (France) reneging on such reassurances. So I say to our kind host and fellow readers, these ‘reassurances’ are not worth the paper they are written on, assuming they are written in the first place.

    Once the EU have their Withdrawal Agreement they have us. I voted to Leave the EU because I do not want to live under its malign political shadow. The WA would not in any way satisfy this.

    OUT means OUT !!!!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Oops !

      Sorry but the last 3 paragraphs should not be formatted that way 🙁

    • cosmic
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      The reassurances are called ‘pulling a Wilson’.

      Go off to Brussels and after the inevitable tough negotiations, which achieve little or nothing of significance, come back and with great fanfare, sell a pig in a poke to the people of the UK.

      It worked for Wilson, it worked well enough for others after, but it was wearing thin. It failed for Cameron and by now, it’s so threadbare, it’s hard to see how May can expect anyone to take it seriously.

      In her case, it’s probably just buying a bit more time, rather than any serious expectation that it will work.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 12, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

        Agreed.

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I only hope JR that even if Mrs May does get the backstop removed, the MP’s will still not support this proposed agreement.

    Its not just the backstop, its the whole bloody proposal, the backstop was only ONE of the worst elements of it.

    Indeed this so called withdrawal agreement gives us absolutely nothing on trade at all, it is in effect a hope, but NO TRADE DEAL, because nothing has been decided at all about our future other than continuing with EU rules and regulations, and paying heavily for the privilege in more than just financial terms.

    Crass incompetence on a huge scale. The rest of the World are looking and laughing at us !!!!

    May has to go before we can even start again.

  24. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the final sentence indicates that Mr Redwood has now sent in his letter, seems like it to me.

    Mrs May droned on and on in her robotic and stubborn style about assurances or reassurances she would be seeking from the EU. That she would be travelling to get them but I dare say she knows already what they will be offering having phoned around in desperation beforehand. Tusk says all he will do is help her get the un-amended deal through parliament. More humiliation, but she is not prepared to countenance change in the WA any more than he is, so she continues to with her attempts at our destruction.

    It looks as if her return will be a kind of 1939 Chamberlain moment. She’ll say she has a piece of paper which promises the goodwill of the EU and that no-one has anything to fear from the WA.

    A sickening prospect.

  25. Stred
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the title should have been May Day, May Day, as she seems to be crashing on the way to Europe, hoping to renew her special and deep relationship. The most pathetic answer was about the ability to leave with permission of the EU committee, who would only go to the ECJ for advice about legal matters and then not necessarily take it. This on the day thst the ECJ had, for the first time, rushed through a judgement that Article 50 could be postponed just to help have another referendum.

  26. Richard1
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Let’s think what the EU wants out of the UK:-
    1) (essential) a bung, £39bn will do, preferably more in the future;
    2) (essential) a customs union to ensure comtinued tariff free access given they have a £90bn or so trade surplus, also to prevent the UK cutting tariffs competitively;
    3) (nice to have) continued regulatory control over the UK to prevent a dynamic competitive offshore market developing
    4) (also nice to have but not mentioned in public) a downturn / recession in the UK pour encourager les autres.

    Mrs Mays combination of transition and backstop, which between them will clearly go on for years if not for ever guarantee 1) and 2) and most likely 3). 4) is under our control but there’s no sign of this govt taking steps to implement pro growth policies.

    So it seems we can’t run an independent trade policy, by far the main economic advantage of Brexit, and we’ve given the EU already almost everything they want.

    Remain would be better than this. At least we get a vote.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Or Leave as per the referendum and do all the things you mentioned.

    • William
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      I think your analysis is correct.

      I would go a step further and suggest that members of the ERG get behind a single coherent policy, select one person they all agree to get behind (having all made compromises) and all submit letters of no confidence to try and salvage this situation. If this is not possible, I think Brexiteers should recognise this entire episode as being a failure, which I think it will inevitably be should May remain as Prime Minister for much longer, and support calls to cancel Brexit.

      There is no point in doing significant damage to the Country’s sovereignty and economy for the simple reason that, as I see it, our politicians have not been of high enough capability to deliver on the referendum.

      • William
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        I should add that it could be that some remainers are correct in saying no politician(s) in the present or past are capable of taking a country out of the EU. But since it hasn’t been tried, we can’t know for sure until those criticising May’s deal (who also support Brexit) take control and responsibility themselves.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 12, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

          But they were capable of taking us in and keep giving away our sovereignty.

  27. Gally
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It seems clear to me that May is deliberately running the clock down so that in the end it will be her deal, revoke article 50 or no deal with no time left. She knows that most MPs will then choose her deal as the least worst option or remain. In fact she has already said that these are the choices. The only thing missing yesterday to achieve this was the pressure of time, or lack of it. Either way she would be happy with the result.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Gally. So what happened to her statement about making sure the referendum was respected? Another lie. It makes me wonder how anyone can serve under her.

      • Gally
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes another lie I’m afraid.

  28. Arnie from Newington
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Disappointed that the vote did not go ahead.

    We have a deadline and things need to be brought to a head. Theresa May is clinging to power despite making ill judgement after ill judgement. If there is no acceptable deal from The European Union then we should leave unilaterally. It is not in the European Union’s interest to give us a good deal and all they want is our £39 billion and to give us as little as possible. Just now they have achieved this and whilst it would be desirable to come to an amicable agreement if that is not possible we should keep our money and act without them.

    As you say why not speak to those who will not vote for the deal instead of running of to beg European leaders for a better deal it’s embarrassing.

  29. Steve
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    No deal is better than a bad deal – LIES.

    Leave means leave – but not as you define leave, so again LIES.

    A brief summary of the legal agreement covers all relevant aspects of the WA, nothing is being hidden – and as we later found out, LIES. Whopping great big ones in fact.

    JR, on the theory that if it walks like a duck, etc, has is ever crossed your mind that your boss might be a ‘liar’ ?

    Should have got rid when we said, but hey, what do we know ? we’re too thick to realise we have a liar and con merchant in No 10.

    Reply I do not have the power to get rid of the PM on my own! I have made it quite clear I do not have confidence in her main policy and stated I think she should want to resign as her main policy of signing the surrender document has clearly failed.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply:- But with respect John, myself and many others on here have asked if you sent in that letter and you refused to answer. If enough of you had done that, there is a chance you would have got rid of her.

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      JR

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. I don’t suggest you try on your own.

      However I am now hoping the EU will refuse to budge, she’ll be out and we leave on WTO. The only potential problem as I see it is the timing. She might be foolishly left in place to scrap brexit. It’s vital she doesn’t get that chance.

      Personally I don’t think she will resign, she’s a Prima Donna and will need to be kicked out.

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        She’s hanging on til the last minute so all those frit MPs will vote for her rotten deal because the alternative so late in the day would be no deal which they are all against because they have no faith in our country to get on just fine outside of the EU.

  30. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    PS
    “The Actor & The Text” by Cicely Berry O.B.E.” ( “Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company” orignally published in 1987 One of a few works I am reading in preparation for the continuation of my first book(now a half-written masterpiece ) The title undecided as yet and my pen-name.
    Pg 48 of Mr Berry’s book
    “But I think there is something more. We live in a time when people are less articulate about feelings. As we become more educated in the sense that we have more information, we become less in tune with our instincts, and so our response to words becomes only literal:……”
    Yeahsss. I have my own idea how that has come to pass. As Dickens was fond of saying in his writings. Over that, I shall “draw a veil.” ( I write this in 2018 )

  31. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    And that is why I was concerned.

    I don’t know who is in tomorrow to authorise payments.

    I’ll see what I can sort but demanding a payment in the morning is unreasonable. Especially when we have a credit account with the courier.

    He can’t pay the courier until we pay him so you might get a delay.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      I do wonder if the only leader of a parliamentary party who is EUsceptic, ie Jeremy Cornyn, is the best bet for actually getting us out of the EU.

      I suspect not, and the other consequences would be awful, but it is a measure of Conservative incompetence that it has crossed my mind.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders. Corbyn would be no good. He wants us to stay in the CU and SM. That’s not coming out of the EU. They have all gone back on their word when they voted to honor the referendum result.

  32. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, in Newsnight I heard:
    “but we are British and we are different”.
    Let me hope that in one or two decades it will become:
    “We are British and we’re no different”.

    • Al
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      **“We are British and we’re no different”.**

      Wouldn’t life be boring if everyone and every culture was the same?

      While the EU is good at erasing differences, this is not one of its more admirable qualities. If everyone thinks the same way it is a good way of stifling debate, innovation, and progress.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Who said, “but we are British and we are different”? and in what context?
      Most of us don’t consider ourselves different from any other human on this planet and this sort of silly commenter doesn’t speak for us.

    • David Price
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      @PVL – Because you cannot bear anyone believing they are not a standard euro-drone, someone who may only do what the eu elites tell them to do and think and is easily replaced by fresh fodder from outside the eu?

      Being different is not the same thing as expecting different treatment,which I don’t. I just want to leave the EU and have a trading relationship without the political control and interference.

      Why does the EU believe it should be treated differently than every other country?

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      It is more likely they will say, “ I really liked the Dutch when they had their own country”. Sameness and conformity are vastly overrated.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Luckily for you we were different 80 years ago and luckily for you again we will be so in 20 years time.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      It all depends on what is meant by ‘different’ ?

      We certainly have a ‘different’ system of law and that makes us very unique compared to many of our continental cousins.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      PVL. How about “We are British and we LIKE being different”?

      We don’t all want to be the same. We like our culture thank you.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Don’t believe everything you hear on Newsnight, Peter.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Mind your own business Mr EU!

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      PVL

      Dream on.

    • yossarion
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Comes to something when Newsnight in its new format brings in four people to do the papers, as for that French Journalist saying that London voted remain, The English have never had a vote for their capital city to be handed over to foreign control as an EU Region controlled by Brussels.

    • rose
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      That was referring to the possibility of people rioting against the Brexit Betrayal.

      Do you think we should be rioting in one or two decades time?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        @rose: for me it sounds though as “We British are special”, betraying “British exceptionalism and superiority feelings” will hopefully not last for many more years.
        In all the rich variety of peoples there will always be, the British should be “no different than anybody else”.

        The comment was indeed in the context of the unrest in France, conveniently forgetting about the Brixton and other past riots in the UK.

      • Steve
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        rose

        They could be rioting against the brexit betrayal at any minute. Depends on what May and her MP’s do.

        One more affront our democracy and sovereignty could spark it. We’ll have to see what she comes back with in the next few days.

  33. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    As some have said, all along, May will do anything to keep this going until a way can be found to tie us completely to the will of the EU, and wreck Brexit.
    ENOUGH, surely, is enough! She is never going to let go of this to our benefit.
    Where are the challenges to her pathetic leadership?
    JR – One can understand your loyalty to your party, but even you must feel betrayed, because sense and good argument is just not going to change her mind – She will pursue this forever more unless something drastic is done, and the ball is now in the court of the Eurosceptics like your good self.

  34. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    PPS Sorry The Title on my comment of the book cover of her work is “The Actor & The Text”( a revised updated edition no doubt but Wiki has it orignally titled The Actor and His Text…”
    Well well

  35. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    She should have been removed after the 2017 election. She has shown time and again that she ignores all but her small coterie. There have been numerous opportunities since then when she should have been removed. She will not go of her own free will and she has virtually destroyed support for your party in the country.

  36. nigel
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    JR: Mrs May appeared to refute your suggestion (made by the House of Lords) that we are not legally obliged to pay anything to the EU on leaving, stating that there are other legal opinions which suggest that we do owe them significant sums. Have you asked her to provide these alleged legal opinions?

    Reply I know the argument and disagree with her view

  37. Old Albion
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    During early 2016 we witnessed the unedifying spectacle of a British PM scuttling around the EU begging for some crumbs he could take home and declare a lavish meal.
    December 2018 we’re about to see a repeat performance (and result) from Mrs May.
    These people heap shame upon this once proud and strong nation as they capitulate to the unelected cabal that runs the EU.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion. Yes, fancy our great nation having to suck up to the EU. What a difference 80 years make and especially when you have a weak leader.

  38. formula57
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    T. May will indeed leave Downing Street on 29 March and move the government to Vichy, France because “there is no alternative”. Totally true, according to a rumour I am creating!

  39. majorfrustration
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I think the PM thinks that the only problem with the WA is the Irish Backstop – its not – there are still the issues of the money and the continued involvement of the ECJ in the UKs affairs. Surely it now makes even more sense to go down the route of the WTO and then talk to the EU about some form of STA thereafter.

  40. oldwulf
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I am really sad that MPs of all persuasions are seeking to ignore the will of the 17.4m democratic majority. It has been reported many times that Parliament is overwhelmingly “Remain”. I believe that most people do not trust Mrs May. I get the impression most people do not like Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell.

    The next General Election will be very interesting. For my own part it is likely I will vote Labour in protest. This is unlikely to make much difference as my constituency already has a Labour MP whose personal attitude to “Brexit” is unknown to me.

    Hopefully someone will come up with an alternative.

  41. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Keep at it, Mr Redwood. The myriad of campaign-like actions of the past few days have shown the poor political judgement of the PM and/or the complete ineptitude of the No 10 Spad team. They thought that style could triumph over substance. There needs to be a clear-out.

  42. Jiminyjim
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Your colleagues, Mr Redwood, seem to be proceeding on the assumption that there is no point in sending in letters because the subsequent vote would not be won, and this mendacious PM would be gifted another miserable year in office. I think you have a duty to stress to them that the appalling embarrassment of yesterday, which reflected well on absolutely no-one, will cause lasting damage to our political system, from which your party and indeed Labour will not escape. During my lifetime, most aspects of life have improved out of all recognition. Our politics and politicians, who started from a very low base, have now become craven. The people will not forgive.

  43. a-tracy
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    What is the point of her wasting time dashing off to Europe, they have been clear, Barnier, and Tusk only yesterday, this is their only deal so we just have to leave. If they want to change their mind invite them to come to her and then carry on with some of the UK’s home problems. Labour are making hay with this big homeless problem in major Cities that Labour in the majority run but it’s all the Tories fault! Crossrail £3bn in the red and Khan messing up the TFL funding with his bans on advertising and fiddling while TFL burns. Perhaps it’s time the Tories suggest people electing them in big cities to try to sort this problem out, what does Berlin do, France do, Madrid? To hear homeless men on the news talking about committing crimes to try to get put in prison over Christmas and the New Year is heart-breaking and ridiculous in this day and age.

  44. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    ….and still 48 letters are not in – beam me up Scotty.

  45. JimS
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I am disgusted that the BBC refers to those MPs that want Brexit as rebels.
    The people are sovereign and they voted to leave the EU and all that that implies. It is the ‘remainers’ and ‘deal’ takers that are ‘rebels’, (stronger words are available).

  46. libertarian
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Why is Mrs May still PM? Why does the Conservative Party have a death wish ?

    Just ordered my yellow vest

  47. fredH
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Mrs May, smart woman that she is, is just winding down the clock until after the New Year, A50 is there so we are leaving 29 March. The ‘peoples vote’ in February will be a choice between leaving without a deal or to remain where we are- It’s called ‘down to the wire’-high stakes stuff- so with only the choreography to be worked out? hence more visits to Brussels

  48. William Long
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It is about time Mrs May ‘Crashed out’. When is the Conservative party going to make it happen?

  49. Adam
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    This errant PM is the cause of a major problem, risking permanent damage to the nation.
    The major problem may removed by a temporary solution: Adjust the Party Rules.

    The Party Rules rule the Conservative Party, but evidently not a prevailing errant leader.
    When facts & circumstances change, actions must change to suit what is right.
    The present leader is wrong in the extreme, however hard-working, well-meaning & resilient some supporters might describe her in mitigation.
    The leader needs removing from control, Now.
    The rules are supposed to maintain sensible control.
    The present rules are preventing the errant leader from operating in the national interest.
    The Party Rules need changing now, or they are left remaining unfit for purpose, as are we all in consequence.

  50. Original Richard
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Our elites, led by the Treasury, the BBC and most of the MSM, the Governor of the BoE, the EU funded CBI with its secret list of members, remainer MPs etc.all keep pushing how moving to WTO terms would bring the UK crashing down.

    As well as countering this false narrative I think leavers should do more to reveal to the public, and even some MPs, just how much the Withdrawal Agreement leaves us exposed to damaging EU legislation without representation and indeed how remaining a member of the EU will mean that people we do not know, do not elect and cannot remove will be in control of our laws, money, taxation and now even our foreign policy and our military.

    Unlike the elites, for the majority of people the ballot box is their only means of exercising power, of defending their rights and fighting for the future they want.

    So if either Parliament, by seizing power and overturning the referendum result, or the country by another referendum, mistakenly decides under pressure to vote to remain in the EU, or in an “association” with the EU, it will be the last meaningful vote we ever have.

  51. David Magauran
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Mark my words. She is prepared to take the Tory Party with her when she goes down.

    • DanB
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      David Magauran..My thinking as well..she’s been listening to the BS from the extremists for decades now and had enough so that will be the outcome. As soon as a move is made against her she will go to the Palace

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Yep ! And good riddance to most of them. Our kind host excepted of course.

  52. rick hamilton
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    So now we see it. An evil plot to write an utterly unacceptable WA and insist that it cannot be changed, take it or leave it. But, just before the expected rejection of the dreadful draft by all sides, the ECJ rules that we can revoke Article 50 and continue in the EU like good little peasants. How convenient.

    By 21 January the only workable options will be Brexit with WTO terms, or Remain. We all know that WTO would be the end of the world. ( It must be true, the BBC said so ).

    Therefore our spineless parliament revokes Art 50, traps us in the EU and T. May walks away with the Charlemagne Prize in her handbag. Cynical ? You bet. In that case I don’t expect the Conservative party to survive the next GE. And I don’t expect T.May will take up ocean yacht racing..

  53. BOF
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    ‘This Agreement is Mrs May’s Agreement, and this latest Project Fear campaign was her campaign.’

    And a small clique of civil servants, advisers and close confidantes who have aided and abetted in the construction of this surrender document. Plus all those who have willingly taken part in Project Fear with which we have been assaulted for so long.

  54. Andy
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I feel immensely sorry for Mrs May. Whatever she does can not win.

    It really is now time for the country to take back control from the frothing Europhobes.

    They have had their chance to come forward with a vision.

    They have miserably failed.

    We need a revolution. And I suspect we will get one.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I feel immensely sorry for Mrs May. Whatever she does can not win

      I don’t. She is not up to the job. Her negotiating ability is non-existent. Right from the off she has been wrong. When the EU said they would not discuss the future trading arrangement until after we had agreed and signed a Withdrawal Agreement she should have said – 2 years ago – ‘no thanks, we discuss it all or we’ll just leave’. Instead, she let them have their way and then told us ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. But that, of course, is not actually true. Is it?

      Even with this latest farce – she cancelled the vote and has gone running off to the EU begging them to ‘give us a few tidbits, so I can get this through Parliament’. She would have been in a much stronger position if she had let the vote happen, been soundly beaten and then gone to the EU with the FACT that ‘I can’t get this through Parliament, if you want a deal you need to give me something’. Again, she has got this wrong. She cannot negotiate. She might work hard. She might be resilient. But that is not enough.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Remainers like you have been in charge of leaving.
      Thats why it is such a mess.
      It has been hijacked and deiberately ruined.
      Leaving is easy.

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      “I feel immensely sorry for Mrs May. Whatever she does can not win.”

      Her own making.

      “It really is now time for the country to take back control from the frothing Europhobes.”

      Time to take the country back from seditious twits, millennial snowflakes, work shy woolly rainbows, and politically correct mouthy little minorities obsessed with blaming everything on pensioners.

      “They have had their chance to come forward with a vision”

      They did, they voted to free the country from foreign domination.

      “They have miserably failed.”

      No, the way to look at it is this; the MINORITY who LOST the referendum, and thus the right to have things work the way they want, have miserably tried to sabotage democracy.

      “We need a revolution. And I suspect we will get one.”

      You will, but you might find yourselves running for your lives when the chains come off them frothing europhobes.

      Hmm, now what’s the phrase ? Ah yes……’be careful what you wish for’.

  55. Man of Kent
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I am looking forward to her return from touring Capitals and visiting Juncker et al .

    Please could she fly back in a bi-plane to Croydon Airport , step out waving a piece of paper and saying

    ‘ I have this reassurance from Herr Juncker that the backstop will only last for as long as he wishes .’

    Peace in our time .

  56. Alan Joyce
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Intransigence, arrogance and incompetence. It’s a potent combination.

    I understand that many conservative MP’s are very reluctant to lodge their no confidence votes with Mr. Brady as it is clearly a very serious thing to have to do but just how much they are prepared to put up with? She is single-handedly destroying Britain’s reputation for good governance and humiliating the country to boot.

    What further depths of uselessness does she have to plumb? What more evidence is needed of her ineptitude?

    Perhaps a repeat of yesterday’s debacle in the House but in several more weeks time when the ‘worthless backstop reassurances’ are obtained and the meaningful vote is finally lost in the most crushing and embarrassing fashion.

    What then? This precious time needs to be used by a new Prime Minister on preparing the country for a no-deal WTO future. The £39bn saved should help.

  57. Malcolm White
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    John, thank you for your staunch support of Brexit.

    As mentioned by David Price, there are considerable flaws in the WA.

    Not least of which are; ECJ oversight, no divergence from single market rules, security and defence, no guarantees over fishing and the manufactured Irish border issue.

    Obtaining non-legally binding ‘assurances’ regarding the backstop – even if possible – does not make this agreement acceptable for any who voted for a clean break from the EU and undoubtedly many others.

    It should therefore be the remit of every MP who hasn’t done so to read the fine print of the WA – after all many are lawyers – that would lead, I suspect, to the only conclusion that this is a very bad deal and not in the long term national interest of the UK.

  58. Ken Moore
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I do wonder if Mrs May ‘not being very clubbable’ is her Achilles heel?. A typical only child reluctant to accommodate a range of views it’s all about her . Aside from her ignorance of the true nature of the EFTA/EEA option ,her inability to form alliances and keep break out of her clique of advisors has let her and us down badly.

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Ken Moore

      “I do wonder if Mrs May ‘not being very clubbable’ is her Achilles heel?”

      Not clubbable ? no, she just lacks the balls to get into a scrap with the EU, which is what’s needed.

      “A typical only child reluctant to accommodate a range of views it’s all about her”

      Spoiled brat basically.

      “her inability to form alliances”

      Yep, it fits.

      Good analysis, Ken.

  59. Edwardm
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is only going back to Brussels because she fears the outcome of a vote, not because she has changed her mind.
    Any PM who believes in and has the interests of an independent UK foremost, would never have countenanced the WA let alone the backstop.
    Whatever the EU offers Mrs May, much more than small changes are required.
    The WA needs to be dismissed, and WTO adopted (with a clean FTA in the future).

    Under any scenario, before any money is handed over, the government must publish the legal justification and specify the treaties and articles that apply, and how it over-rides the opinion from the HoL.

  60. AndyC
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I think at this point the more MPs go public with their letters of no confidence the better. I don’t quite understand the reticence any more.

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      AndyC

      They should, that way we can be sure the rules are being followed. Many people suspect something is being covered up, and I’d have to agree the number of conservative MP’s opposing Theresa May certainly appears to exceed 15%

  61. cosmic
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I’d say Mrs May deliberately set out to create a universally unacceptable deal. A deal so bad that remaining was a preferable alternative to most. Leaving with no deal has been carefully rubbished, and no serious preparation made for it, making it even less attractive.

    She’s spinning things out to leave a choice of remain or her deal, or no deal and as little time as possible to decide. Neither her deal nor no deal have much support in Parliament, so effectively we are steered to remain. The option of revoking Art 50 has appeared conveniently. Note the way that the possibility of remaining has been slyly introduced and talked up.

    She may look like completely out of her depth, and now operating in headless chicken mode, but I think it will turn out that she’s taken us all for a ride.

  62. James Bertram
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    Why haven’t you sent your letter in to the 1922 Committee?
    By not doing so, you prolong this shambles; and therefore are equally responsible for it..
    With best regards,
    James Bertram

    • Chewy
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps he has. You don’t have to broadcast it for it to count you know!
      Could be a good time. With the EU already as expected ruling out meaningful concessions we’re now looking at the prospect of another wasted month before the inevitable rejection of the deal. That month could be better spent selection a new leader.

  63. Sue Doughty
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Brussels refused to listen to her or to budge. Yesterday she had the BBC do it for her, using the grand old chamber of the House of Commons as her backdrop. Brussels watched BBC all day! Now they say they will find a way of making British MPs change their minds. Cloud cuckoo land!
    I hope our MPs keep up the good work, keep arguing in detail and responding as the people want you to, as they told Mrs May they want you to.
    Thank you, House of Commons, that deal was unacceptable.
    Even now the EU has men standing up as if they are Gods telling our MPs they are wrong. But you are our MPs and you are right.

  64. Everhopeful
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    So…all the “clock ticking”nonsense is just that since a “ crucial” vote can be so easily delayed. Just trying to rush and panic us into a totally rubbish deal. No concessions from the EU…were there ever any? No..Mrs May has gone to get a strategy update!

  65. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Just watch the money men make the pound fall further to add fuel to the fire. The BBC will love it. May’s continued resistance to get on with the job is making things worse – can they get any worse?

  66. Ron Olden
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t waste my time quoting polls like this. No doubt Remainers will be telling people that the same poll means that 62% of people now want us to Remain.

    I’ve been monitoring the polls for my ‘UK Opinion Polling’ Facebook Blog, and I haven’t seen any, where 62% of people said they ‘wanted the agreement voted down’ and 25% ‘support’ it.

    I wonder if John Redwood is referring to the recent IPSOS MORI poll which shows 62% think the deal ‘will be bad for the UK as a whole’, whereas 25% say ‘good’.

    This poll didn’t ask whether people wanted MPs to ‘vote down’ the deal.

    And that 62% must also include the 48% of people who voted Remain who, presumably, think leaving AT ALL is bad for the UK.

    Given that the deal is definitely not any better than they hoped for at the time of the Referendum, we can safely put the whole 48% in this column.

    The 62% must also include the people who think that it’s a bad deal but nevertheless think its the best on offer, so still want to take it (or at least take it closer to the event if nothing better comes).

  67. Nigel Seymour
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Between now and 29 March the chamber should be locked down for Brexit only debate. All other business should be held in PortHse in committee or down the pub. As a backstop to this, Lords should be given a long period of gardening leave and MP’s can use their chamber as a sort of ‘ political out post’ This will save taxpayer’s £300 a day for the aforementioned elite.

  68. ian
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May will carry on because of Brexiteers not having numbers in their party oust her and if they do she will be replaced by another remainer or Mr Gove who wants Norway plus which is SM and something but as you all know Ireland won’t sign any agreement without the backstop in it, all deal must have Ireland backstop or they will not sign, so it leave, remain or Mays deal.

  69. Chewy
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The cave in by pulling the vote after insisting it would go ahead is typical May, and is a good indicator of why the WA is so desperately bad. The initial willingness to debate Corbyn and now this looking to tweak the WA with in all likelihood and dashing round EU capitals is Desperation of the highest order. There is no further road down which to kick the can.
    The vote was pulled because May didn’t want a 200+ drubbing in the Commons.
    Prediction based on this being a PM who doesn’t like confrontation although she can soak up a lot of punishment as been proved. She’ll resign before the vote if the maths are the same and save the Con MPs a job. Message; don’t mess it up next time!!!

  70. Freeborn John
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Her touring the country like that probably indicates she an election in mind as a personal escape route, either a general election or a 2nd referendum. Liam Foxes comments also indiate a possible 2nd referendum. As she runs out of road some unpredictable gambles become likely. Brussels don’t take her seriously thinking she will cave every time they stonewall. Probably she is thinking referendum after surviving 48 letters going in but not enough to unseat her, or pivoting to no deal if that looks like offering her survival.

    The cabinet would likely not support an election with May as leader and some ministers would not want to be tainted with having to support May’s deal in a 2nd referendum knowing a leadership contest would follow soon after. Can she survive as PM with the payroll vote, DUP and EUscpetic backing if she pivots to no deal following further Brussels intransigence?

  71. Steve Pitts
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    The EU think we will agree the deal or stay in the EU so they offer no changes. They are confident we will not leave with no deal. Not enough letters to challenge Mrs May as many think MPs would re-elect her still so she would be safe for a year. If the EU won’t change the deal Labours position makes no sense only if they go for a new referendum. Only makes sense if they try to impose new loaded referendum splitting the leave vote between May deal and no deal so remain can win. Or leave to mean leave not even on the ballot.

    Another election with Mrs May as leader means many would find there is no one to vote for but if they let Labour in, is it worse?

  72. ian
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    They say that the 48 letters have been received so you will now see.

  73. Alan
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Regarding a second referendum: The narrative is that we voted once and that vote must be honoured. I voted to save the NHS £350m a weeks. Why isn’t the government honouring that?

    It is a farce to say that it would be a repeat of the first referendum. The first said we would be better off leaving. Now the truth is known I believe many people will vote differently

  74. Colin Hart
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that your meeting never took place. I had a similar non-experience with a county council leader. He is not there any more. If May is not replaced by Christmas I would not be voting conservative at the next election, even if I lived in Wokingham.

  75. John S
    Posted December 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I think the confidence vote is premature. I think she will win and the party will be stuck with her for another 12 months. Should have waited until after 29th March.

  76. a-tracy
    Posted December 13, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I wonder about these 48 + letters, I wonder who the sudden surge was from to tip this over the top, were the last minute waverers May supporting MPs who have spoken out in favour of her I think we have a right to know.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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