Update on Mrs May

Since I wrote this piece it has become clear that the EU is not in the business of re-opening the Agreement at all. They have also moved away from offering more formal reassurances which seemed to be on offer in draft. Instead  more of them saying the disagreement between the Commons and the Prime Minister on the Agreement is another reason to need the backstop insurance. The Prime Minister has changed her language back to reassurances from legal  changes.

It is difficult to see the  DUP coming back on b0ard given the lack of any legal text to remove the  backstop. Were there to be a change of heart by the EU in the new year on this matter, there are still considerably  more Conservative MPs than the government  majority with the DUP  who oppose the Agreement for a wide range of reasons including sending them too much money, delaying our exit without a clear end date, and putting us under EU rules for an indeterminate period with no vote or voice on what new burdens and requirements they might impose.

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229 Comments

  1. Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    John,

    Your colleagues in the Commons are conveniently forgetting that part of the reason Leave won was because David Cameron demonstrated clearly that the EU are unwilling (or unable) to negotiate because of their political goals. The EU won’t change their direction of travel, we don’t like that direction, therefore we have to leave. That’s the whole point of Brexit, surely?

    No-one outside Westminster and the media is surprised by any of these developments.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Beautifully put and succinct. And above all, TRUE.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Why would the EU change its position when it keeps hearing the majority of traitors at Westminster saying they will not allow no deal and want a second referendum! Hammond who openly calls 117 of his own MPs extremists and by implication 17.4 million people who voted leave as well as the 13 million who voted for Tory believing ”tis manifesto would be upheld to leave the EU, single market, customs u ion and ECJ. Th voters did vote for your party thinking it would change the labels and that would suffice. Why would the EU offer May anything. The EU would be stupid to especially as the cabinet voted for the servitude plan knowing the legal advice said it would endure indefinitely! What excuse does Fox, Leadsom no Maurdant have!

        You honestly do not believe that May at this point after all the lies she has told and the innumerable times she has failed to keep her word? May knew this point would arrive. It was not an accident. She knew what she intended before putting the debate before the house.

        What do you think the public make of the 200 Tory MPs who voted for May and effectively for her servitude plan? Your party is done.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Dr Redwood – you must see for yourself how the flow of opinion has changed now. There are many of us here – Hope, Mark B, LL, FUS, sm, etc – whose stance has slowly changed over the past two years.
          To begin with, we all really wanted to believe that Mrs May was for us. Gradually, the dawning realisation….
          How disappointing and disheartening. How dishonourable. And so she has consigned your party (our party) to the bin. It is a terrible end, and every day that passes it seems that the end really is nigh. How could you all let her go on and on and on?
          And even if many Tory MPs believe public opinion isn’t worth heeding – it is still real and you owe us something for putting you where you are today.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed, so where does May go now with her appalling surrender document and only 200 MPs who support her at best. The absurd Daily Mail leader today say reckless rebels risk destroying their party. Quite the reverse, the Tory Party members, 17.4 million voters and 37% of Tory MPs are largely united. MAY AND Hammond must go, a clean real Brexit and a real lower tax, pro business Tory government. Just undo do what May and tax to death Hammond have done. They are both huge liabilities get rid.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        What has happened to the DM? The change of editor and volte-face is exraordinary.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Do not read it. Prevent the paper getting your view for advertising by not clicking to read it. The readership will go down. Force change. Same as your vote, same your purchasing power, buy British.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Do we care?

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      On Wednesday morning, when he was constantly interrupting Owen Paterson, Adam Boulton from Sky said that when people voted Leave they didn’t vote to leave the Customs Union, the Single Market or the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

      In the evening he though that over a third of her own MPs having no confidence in Theresa May was a good result for her.

      These media types make the facts up to suit their arguments.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Bang on the money.

      The rebels aren’t on the back bench.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      If the EU are unwilling (or unable) to negotiate because of their political goals then what have they compromised on or given in the ‘give & take’ during these present negotiations ? Must we wait 30 years to find out, if even then?

      I also want to know when and by whom the backstop was thought of. If some time ago did no one tell TM that it would never be accepted? Does anyone know?

      If you saw Davis Davis last night in QT then it is no wonder that negotiations were so sloppy – he had nothing of substance to say. For the 1st time I switched off that nothing show well before the end.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Come on, it was not a negotiation but a collusion. No right minded person who wanted the best for the UK could entertain this servitude plan. May and Robins are not that stupid.

        Barnier said it was May who wanted the customs union not EU, it was May who wanted the static extension, the extension to the static extension. Come on, stop putting all the blame on the EU. The UK has got nothing from this servitude plan and no trade deal either! Seriously, tell me what the UK got from the servitude plan.

        • Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Hope, you are quite right.
          The blind alley that we have been led down is entirely of the PM’s and her close circle of advisers making. I can’t help but feel that the plan was to present the public with an agreement that it would have been almost impossible to approve. The resulting 11th-hour political turmoil, the febrile atmosphere that we are witnessing now is exactly the time when the Establishment are spinning the idea most strongly for a new Referendum to solve the matter. This timing seems to be too much of a coincidence.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      May is persisting in flogging a dead horse.

      EU have told her they have no legal assurances to save her bacon. Yet she has just made a speech pretending she can salvage her Withdrawal Agreement – but there is still work to do. Yeah, right!

      She will have to try a new tack if she survives much longer.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        She’s now banging her fist on the table, demanding further clarification of the previous clarification.

  2. Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The EU could be holding out on the backstop, only to waive it at the last minute in order to get what they’d be happy with, which the Uk originally decided they were against, MPs need to be on guard to the backstop miraculously disappearing at the last moment

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Christopher,
      I agree, the Backstop, if the only issue needing resolution, will disappear at the last moment; the reason is obvious, the EU will happily sell-out ROI for our money. Watch this space!

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        The ROI has a veto and is prepared to use it.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          DC, yes they could, but imagine the pressure on RoI if it came to the choice, ‘best for the EU or best for RoI’. Italy, Greece, etc. are examples of EU control over the little brothers.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

            I can imagine that pressure, but so far there is no sign that it is about to be applied. There is a sufficiently close alignment of the interests of the Irish Republic and those of the EU and most of the other member states that they are supporting Leo Varadkar even in the absurd, extreme and intransigent position over the border that he adopted late last year.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          True Denis, it also has 26 other EU States; the ECB and, a couple of dozen large US transnational corporations, tax based in the Irish Republic; to back up Mr Varadkar.

          • Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            acorn

            Trouble is the EU are threatening to harmonise CT so those transnationals might not be in ROI much longer

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I can’t see the Irish government agreeing to that, or to anything else which would allow the UK to escape from the continuing economic rule of the EU.

      Once Theresa May had put us in those shackles and given the Irish the only key there would be no reason why they should ever agree to release us.

      Once again I repeat what was reported over a year ago:

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ireland-border-brexit-latest-theresa-may-customs-union-phil-hogan-northern-a8076271.html

      “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”

      “Theresa May is facing fresh pressure to change course over plans for the Northern Irish border after Brexit as Ireland’s EU commissioner stepped up threats to veto trade talks.”

      “Commissioner Phil Hogan called for the UK to remain in the customs union and single market – or allow Northern Ireland to do so – but the Prime Minister’s DUP allies have vowed they will not tolerate any attempts to keep Northern Ireland within the trade agreements.”

      And thanks to Theresa May’s duplicity – not stupidity – that is where we are.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. This is the real danger. MPs will heave a collective sigh of relief and then vote through this appalling agreement, just wanting the affair to be over. They need to remember that this then consigns us to at least a further 2 years of this agony, during which time none of the benefits of leaving will be available to us. The real trap is the so-called “implementation period”, during which time nothing will be implemented and we will all get used to being still in the EU in all but name.
      The PM has displayed the most extraordinary naivety in thinking that she can achieve any of the UK’s objectives by being “reasonable” in her negotiations and not using the enormous leverage that was (and still is) available to us.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        I can’t bring myself to believe that the PM and her close circle of advisers are naive or stupid. To me this whole process has been planned in great detail and is wholly stage-managed. The PM is like a wrecking ball swinging every which way with the one objective of reversing Brexit, even if it entails the implosion of the party she currently leads.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      @Christopher

      “The EU could be holding out on the backstop, only to waive it at the last minute”

      You beat me to it.
      The deal has already been agreed, but in order to make Mrs May look more like Mrs Thatcher the EU will hold out until the last moment and then give a minor concession or two to the “bloody difficult woman” so that her puppet Cabinet can hail it as a victory.
      It’s all a charade.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        You should listen to what the Irish Prime Minister says, with that smug smile on his face …

  3. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Omnishambles

    Remainers – Couldn’t run a whelk stall

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Well of course they couldn’t. They would get the EU to run it instead.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      It is reported that Philip Hammond and the usual “project fear agenda” suspects (Greg Clark, Hancock, Hunt, Liddington types) are pushing T May to go for a second referendum using Labour support. A very, very, very bad idea indeed. Just leave on 29th March 2019 and tell everyone to start getting ready for it now. We will be far better off out. The sooner we adjust the better, there is no cliff. May’s deal even without the backstop it totally unacceptable anyway.

      If May does this she will be abusing some 17.4+ million voters, cheating on all her government’s promises and her manifesto and she will kill the Tory party stone dead. As John Major did.

      There certainly is a cliff for the Tory Party in this course of action.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        LL – absolutely right, as usual.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Deader than did John Major, I suspect. There is massively more public awareness of what is happening.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        The problem is the Commons has to agree to something or the chaos will continue. A motion to exit via WTO should be made and if lost, then a referendum: WTO Leave or Remain, should take place ASAP. The bald truth is the elite has stuffed us Leavers and Remain is vastly better than this withdrawal agreement, which is a national suicide document. The EU will collapse someday anyway.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          A Sedgewick, The 2016 Referendum choice was a WTO Leave vs Remain. Why do we need to be asked the same question 3 years after the first? And what makes the second valid where the first one was not?

  4. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Agree and its not just about the Backstop. Money comes into it and sovereignty and the ECJ. However what the media and politicians appear to overlook is the total chaos within the EU both social and financial. France Italy Greece to name but a few. Do we really what to belong to the EU with so many problems that seem out of control.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      major

      “France Italy Greece to name but a few. Do we really what to belong to the EU with so many problems that seem out of control.”

      The only EU country out of control is the UK.

      So sad that these disloyal, traitorous politicians are willing to see this country divided for their own narrow minded nationalism.

      Unless they are defeated Britain will be reduced to a rump England with both Scotland and Ireland becoming independent EU members.

      Centuries of history destroyed. What would those proud Victorians who ruled over a mighty empire say if they could see the state these people have reduced this country to in just a hundred years?

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Our future is better as an independent nation.
        Look at the low levels of growth and high levels of unemployment inside the EU.

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          Edward2

          vast and unsubstantiated generalisation look at Ger, DK, Pol, Slo, Bel, Holl, Lux ect

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            There are some bright spots but the average growth and average levels of unemployment are poor.
            Both compared to other industrialised nations and to the UK
            Andcl a falling share of world trade too.

            Vast? perhaps
            Unsubstantiated? no because these are facts.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

            Hans, Vast and unsubstantiated generalisation, look at how badly Ital, Gre, Port, Esp, Fra, etc are doing. Or you could look at NZ, Australia, USA, S.Korea, etc, for non-EU examples of nations doing well.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        MH

        That would be the worlds 5th largest economy, the highest level of employment in our history,the worlds number one financial centre, the second most powerful nation on Earth according to the UN , world leader in digital tech, aerospace, satellites, music, film and fashion. Wow what a state we’re in.

        The other day you were telling us what a state Greece was in, make your mind up

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Yes, all achieved since becoming a member of the EU. Since the referendum we have already dropped to 7th place.

          Before we begged to join we were known as ‘the ‘Sick man of Europe’ on the verge of collapse.

          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.

          What short memories some people have.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

            MH

            How many times are you going to post the same lie. You’ve been told multiple times. We became known as the sick man of Europe AFTER we joined the EEC.

            I remember it very well . I lost my job due to it when the factory I worked in closed down WHILE WE WERE IN THE EEC

            Anyway you have still ignored the fact that last week you claimed Greece is a basket case, why has the EU failed them? Why have they gone from being a top economy before EU to bottom?

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, It is not a choice for the politicians to make. They gave the choice to the people, and we judged it best, on balance, to Leave.

        You are perfectly correct about these disloyal, traitorous politicians who are willing to see this country divided for the EU’s narrow minded empire.

        Unless they are defeated the UK will be reduced to a rump England with both Scotland and Ireland becoming independent EU members.

        Centuries of history destroyed. What would those proud Victorians who ruled over a mighty empire say if they could see the state these people have reduced this country to in just a hundred years?

        • Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          NickC.

          The majority of mature markets have a falling part of world trade, so that is not really and argument to sue.

  5. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    No deal, WTO rules = no back stop.
    I do hope our Irish friends fully understand the implications of their PM’s posturing and becoming just a tool of the EU’s bureaucracy.

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      It seems our own politicians, and also journalists, do not understand it.

      This morning a Sky journalist described the so-called ‘Norway option’ as staying in the Single Market and the Customs Union. If she had paid attention to her colleague Lewis Goodall she would know that Norway is not in a customs union with the EU, and it is now over a year since his report in which Irish ministers categorically rejected any idea of even ‘light-touch’ customs arrangements like those at the Norway-Sweden border.

  6. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Of course the Eu dictators aren’t going to give us anything else there just hoping that we are forced to change our mines and stay in the dreaded Eu, the PM should tell them to whistle come back home put the deal to Parliament and if rejected string it out for a no deal, after all it’s what she said she wanted “Brexit means Brexit and No Deal is better than a bad deal, or we’re they just lies as well

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Are you implying our beloved leader lies???

  7. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is a Tory problem inflicted on the electorate. You need to work out a way of removing her from power ASAP before she permanently damages the reputation and future of the UK.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood,

      Apart from the mirage “managed no deal” that will not be available if the “no deal” situation is by default or time for an alternative running out, there seem to be few possibilities that would leave either the Conservative Party intact or the apparent unity of the UK. Ideally the Party should split allowing the rump to call Corbyn’s bluff (election+art 50 extension+better trade deal) and spend a few years in opposition watching the other side fail. Alternatively the could be GFA cancelled unilaterally (which also would make the DUP happy) which would make Norway or Canada easy, or the people of NI (only a minority of whom are represented by the DUP) asked to make a choice: keep the GFA and accept some arrangement within the UK that would make the present WA feasible, of lose the GFA and let the UK have a normal and mutually beneficial trade deal with the EU.

      I find it very strange that the UK government has not done its best to activate the devolved political process in NI and pay attemtion to what the consensus is among the locals, not only the DUP’s well known truths. Scotland does not have to be a problem here, becasue the Scots do not have something like the GFA. The Irish problem is completely different from theirs.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Rien, You seem to have forgotten that the majority of us voted to Leave your corrupt, undemocratic EU empire. I suggest you start paying attention to your own rioters otherwise you might find yourself out of a job.

  8. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Dear John–What procedures if any do we have for removing a PM by reason of insanity? How or why the 200 voted for her is beyond me but perhaps they thought that she had some plan secretely agreed with the EU but now clearly not. I think she is simply losing her marbles. Nothing else makes sense. Can she possibly believe herself what she is saying?

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Half of the 200 are the payroll vote!

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Well more than half on the payroll!

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      PS To my disbelief I hear that she still playing her broken record this morning. A pox on her assurances. She’s bonkers.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Leslie, Mrs May has converted an opportunity into a disaster and a national humiliation. Apparently deliberately. I just don’t believe a word she says anymore. I think you are right, she’s bonkers. Outside the Westminster bubble we can all see it – the parliamentary Tory party is 200 sentimental jellies led by someone who is completely devious but so deluded she probably doesn’t know what day it is.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      She is beginning to make President Trump a good listener and open to persuasion, no wonder he allegedly has not been too happy with her opinions.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        Trump is bright, tough and he’s a leader. He knows what he wants and can certainly negotiate.

        He has May marked down as (stupid ed)

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 4:20 am | Permalink

      Possibly a Commissioner’s job after the plot to remain is complete. Selmayer has just given them enormous tax free pay rises and the WA guarantees that they can’t be taxed or prosecuted for criminal activity in the UK. What’s not to like for a politician with bendy principles?

  9. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The 200 Conservative MPs who had confidence in Mrs May must be thrilled with her expert negotiation yesterday, coming back with even less assurances from the EU than she had before she arrived. Brilliant. Truly she is the best person for the job. Obviously the EU calculates if they stand firm against May a second referendum is the most likely outcome, I think they are right, even the likes of Dan Hannan are now accepting that narrative.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Clearly the EU was less likely to offer Mrs May morsels of comfort once they knew that she had won a vote of confidence, thereby blocking a further challenge for one year; it would not take more than a smidgen of cynicism to imagine that this has been a charade choreographed by Mrs May’s team of globalist minders and the EU to ensure victory for the former’s puppet by hoodwinking the long tail of nice but dims that grace the Tory back benches.

  10. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I suggest we offer them free movement of people, goods, services and capital.

    What we need to do is implement that EU rule in full about no recourse to public funds.

    Starting with no welfare for EU nationals, no income support, no tax credits, no HB.

    Then we can work up to other public funds like free NHS, free schooling, ….

    How can they complain? It’s an EU law.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you

  11. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    So the promises that she made in order to win her confidence vote were good for 24 hours, maybe 36 counting generously.

    Such as shame conservative MPs didn’t get a commitment from her to either achieve get a clear legal right for the UK to exit the Withdrawal Agreement and failing that she would agree to resign and make way for someone to pivot to focusing on no-deal. Or at a minimum that she would not get the 12 month protection if she failed to deliver on the promises she made in order to win the vote.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, yet again May has not delivered on her promises to those (Remainers this time) who put their trust in her and voted for her. The question is, are they that bothered?

      I actually think their main aim is to destroy the Brexiteers and get rid of the “extremists” (a Hammond term) from the Party. They are prepared to do anything to stay in the EU and to emasculate any opposition. What political doctrine supports this statement: The end justifies the means? Marxism?

      Come on Brexiter MPs. We need a proper Conservative Party, not some left liberal “progressive” dominated Party, we need a new leader – a committed Brexiteer – and we need Brexit effected. Brexit means Brexit and nothing else – no shades of Brexit introduced.

  12. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement seems to be completely dead and just waiting for the doctors certificate to be signed.

    So she could just jettison another red line and offer Withdrawal Agreement with backstop versus WTO. She could then try to delay, so that it was her Withdrawal Agreement minus versus WTO

    She could go for a losers vote. An extension would only be granted if it suited the EU which is not likely at present. She could go for Remain.

    WTOis routinely dismissed. ‘The No Deal that nobody wants’ was the unchallenged, throwaway Line on Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme. They ignore the fact that most of us voted Leave. If this is mentioned the BBC start equivocating, or simply change the subject.

    So losers vote, or general election, or Remain are other possibilities.

    Labour might think it timely to launch a No Confidence motion anyway.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Peter, I just don’t watch or listen to the BBC anymore. If I want to know the BBC view I could read the Grauniad. In the meantime I don’t pay the BBC’s TV Tax.

      Reply You must pay if you meet the requirements of the legislation whether you watch BBC or not

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply, It is a fact that I do not pay. I conform to the law: I do not watch live TV at all (even from abroad); and I do not watch the BBC either live or on catch-up. Not paying and not watching the BBC at all is win-win.

  13. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    It’s been clear for some time now that the EU are angling to keep the UK in their “club”. Listen to the rhetoric coming from the European Parliament, they were pushing for another referendum [which is standard EU SOP], now they have rescind Article 50 in their arsenal…

    It’s time to get the message across to those that wish to Remain or are now not so sure about Leave, that there will be a cost to remaining, let alone the EU taking this as a green light to further political integration.

    So to those that wish to remain or sit on the fence – have you read and understood The Five Presidents Report? This clearly states the direction of travel for the EU.

    Are you Ok with loss of Mrs Thatchers rebate?
    Are you Ok with an EU army, and possible conscription?
    Are you Ok with having the UK using the Euro and further loss of “opt outs”?
    Are you Ok with further enlargement of the EU by adding countries that will be net recipients of EU funds?
    Are you Ok with further dilution of the UK’s voting power?
    Are you Ok with direct taxation from Brussels?

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/five-presidents-report_en

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 4:37 am | Permalink

      In the case of May and the top civil service, yes. Robbins was chairman of a society for a federal Europe and his thesis was in praise of the Soviet Union. Why would she chose him to undermine the Department for Exiting if he was not so well qualified? He was previously in charge of security and negotiated the joining with PESCO with Mrs Mogherini,…….

  14. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    John, unfortunately, I believe this was always going to be the situation. If anything, the EU have hardened their stance and the answer is no doubt linked to the PM’s actions this week. She has consistently talked of doing what is best for the nation. Personally, the deal should have been allowed to fail. Yes, it would’ve looked bad for her, and maybe even lead to her being removed from her position, but the message to the EU would have been loud and clear. As it is, our negotiating position has weakened further and she is backing us further into a corner ensuring greater uncertainty, which is compounded by a criminal lack of preparation for a managed no-deal departure.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Stuart

      “but the message to the EU would have been loud and clear.”

      How can she do that when she can’t even bring her own party on board? It is us who are asking the other 27 EU countries for favours and opt outs, something we have been doing ad nauseum for decades beginning with Thatcher banging her handbag.

      They’ve had enough of us and will not yield an inch.

      EXIT BREXIT!

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        You argue that the EU dislikes us and them demand we remain in their club.
        Vety strange logic.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

          No. The EU does not dislike ‘us.’ The EU dislike you. The EU is fine with those of us who are not economically illiterate ideologues.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            She said “the EU has had enough of us”
            I agree with Margaret.

            Presumably extremist remainers like you are not ideologues.
            I’m not surprised the EU likes you Andy.
            You are what they would probably refer to as useful idiots

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            Andy, So the EU dislikes New Zealanders, and Mexicans, and the other 163 nation’s inhabitants just because they’re not in the EU? No wonder we want to leave.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:28 am | Permalink

            NickC

            It’s not the EU that dislikes Mexicans enough to want to build a wall across it. (and you know full well he didn’t say any of that)

            Reply EU countries have built far more border walls than Mr Trump

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Edward2, strictly speaking you are wrong: the EU27+Commission have told us numerous times they are sorry to see the UK leaving, but do not demand that it remains in the EU.
          I am very sorry but I can only wonder what could make you understand such a simple point.

          But what worries me more is that it would appear that the countries on the other side of the Channel and North Sea seem to be much more prepared to a no deal/WTO scenario on 30 March 2019 than the UK is.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            hefner

            Try reading the threads

            It was Remainaic Margaret Howard that said the EU hates us, not Edward2, he just agreed

            I’m guessing you dont actually do any business in the EU. I can assure you that most EU companies are absolutely not ready for WTO with the UK

            I was at a meeting of my UK/France/Belgium cross border trading club the other day and nearly all the continental business owners laughed when I said most UK companies have now priced in WTO and are fairly no deal ready. They said it was a waste of time preparing for that as in their view it won’t happen. They have a big shock coming

            City AM agrees with me

            http://www.cityam.com/261480/european-firms-not-ready-no-deal-brexit

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            I was commenting on what margaret said.
            It was she who said the EU was glad to see the back of us.
            So address your complaints to margaret.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, The EU says lots of things, some of them contradictory. The EU has certainly behaved badly to the UK whatever it has said. The EU could have shrugged its shoulders, accepted we were not a match, and spent the last 2 years negotiating an RTA in good faith. That would have been the decent friendly thing to do. You can see that they didn’t.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

            libertarian

            “It was Remainaic Margaret Howard that said the EU hates us, not Edward2, he just agreed”

            Hates us? I said no such thing. I said they had enough of our constant whinging and demanding special treatment and opt outs. Many will be glad to see the back of us. Can’t blame them.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, That’s not what members of the European Parliament are saying on camera, they want the UK to stay.

        What about the French and their very lucrative CAP and moving the EU to Strasbourg every third week!!!

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, I’m not asking for any favours from the EU. I would walk away but leave the door open if they want to come to London to beg for a free trade deal.

  15. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    It’s the same story every time.

    Remainers in the UK – including the PM and chancellor – do their best to undermine our negotiating position and then the eu takes the cue and yields almost nothing.

    The pm should surely now resign so we can make way for a Brexit team at the helm.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth, Most normal governments boast about how well they are managing the country. This government boasts about how badly we will do if they carry out their own election promise to actually Leave the EU. Will any other country in the world trust us after this?

  16. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I have heard nothing at all from leaders of northern power houses. In earlier times, hundreds of years ago, it would be because they are content enough for London to destroy itself.

  17. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    I think it is fair to assume that you were one of the 117 MPs who voted ‘no confidence’ in Mrs May. We all know she will get no change from the EU, she will lose the meaningful vote, lose the support of the DUP, and soon face a vote of No Confidence in parliament.

    The Conservative Party needs to remove Mrs May from office THIS WEEKEND and end this shambles once and for all. The Christmas period is the least disruptive time for a leadership election. We can then start the New Year with a new leader (Geoffrey Cox as a pro-leave unifying candidate?), and hopefully leave with a clean Brexit in Q2 2019 (perhaps to leave on 29th March on all matters but trade; and get a simple trade deal between now and next July?).

    Please use all your influence to bring this about.

    Yours sincerely,

    James Bertram.

  18. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood MP sir, it is the whole WA that I oppose. I voted to Leave the EU and ALL its institutions. Only those that would be of mutual benefit and that the UK can enter into and withdraw from with no loss of sovereignty would I be happy with. Other than that, I voted to being, once again, an independent sovereign nation.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, Indeed every Leave voter I know voted exactly for that – to become an independent nation again. There should be no deals or treaties with the EU that we would not offer to any other world nation. Somehow Remain MPs have talked themselves into believing that Leave means remaining in the single market, in the single customs territory and in military unification (amongst others).

  19. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    TheEU is being totally intransigent. Another general election or referendum achieve nothing in terms complying with the instructions of 17.4 million voters. The EU have vulnerable points.
    1.The £39 billion they want to bail out their parlous economy.
    2. Their fear that others will follow if we make a success of leaving.
    3. Putting their exports to the UK in danger of competition from other World sources.

    In the present circumstances the conservative party and the DUP combined need to put the frighteners on the EU, because the EU are the enemy. We do it by burying their divisions and concentrating on visible prepararations for leaving on WTO terms at end March 2019.
    For the nay sayers may I remind you of the facts.
    1. We save £39 billion.
    2. On present trade levels we benefit by £7 billion pa on the difference what the EU send us and what the UK sends them
    3.We can re-source much of the food we buy from the EU At lower prices, sugar is a prime example. EU Beet sugar is grossly over protected.
    4. The 60% of our none EU trade with the rest of the World is conducted on WTO terms and it is in profit. EU trade with the UK is in deficit, it costs us.

    Put an end to all this leeming cliff edge crashing out nonesense mouthed largely by MPs who know little about trade.
    Make clear those parts of the WA we intend unilaterally to comply with and put them into effect.
    Tell the EU and Ireland that if they want a hard border it will be on southern irish soil. There will be no hard border on NI soil. The UK will operate an electronic border which the Eu will have to comply with.
    If May does not like it tell her to go and replace her with a brexiteer with balls.

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Why no moderation it is only advocating more or less what you believe in.

  20. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The EU unelected politburo are trying to push the UK into a second referendum by whatever means possible. They have form on this look at what happened in Ireland. When they had the second referendum the EU spent millions on a propaganda war to get people to change their last vote. Politicians lying that millions would loose their job even the priests from the pulpit asking people to change their minds.
    It worked!!!
    May is such a weak leader look at the headlines ‘going to beg ‘ my God Maggie would have sorted this out long ago.

  21. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Is anyone really surprised at this !

    The EU stand firm, May has caved in every time.

    She agreed this deal, so they say its her problem, which it is, thats the price you pay when you allow another foreign power to take control.

    Will we now get the 200 remainer MPs who have frustrated and undermined the negotiations so far, and who voted for her to continue, try to stop Brexit Proper ever happening at all.

    The so called Agreement is absolute rubbish, even if the backstop was somehow removed.

    Afraid we need to start the process again, but exactly how when so many MP’s want to Remain, is the real problem.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      No, leave without a servitude plan. Negotiate a trade deal after leaving without a gun to the head of the UK. Appears a better bargaining position to me. Better still, reduce corporation rates before negotiation, then offer state aid to industries t undermine EU businesses, slap tariffs on cars etc etc. The EU might take the UK seriously then.

      No more army in EU operations in Bosnia wearing EU flag while generals salute the same flag while listening to EU anthem! What is May thinking! What is the Tory govt thinking!

  22. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The future of the UK as a sovereign nation is at stake. May’s abomination of a ‘deal’ is designed to achieve the opposite and must not be allowed to pass into law. Time for the mythical grey suits to be donned and the realities of failure explained to the incumbent at No 10. Anything less is a dereliction of duty to the UK and its people. If the Tory Party allows this PM to continue along her destructive course they will certainly pay dearly for their negligence for decades to come. Who would believe a word, let alone a promise, from them ever again.

    P.S. The 200 lackeys, or maybe only those with a sense of humility, must be feeling pretty desolate now.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      RAF, Unfortunately the 200 jellies are part of the Westminster bubble.

  23. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Everything Mrs May says and does seems to have another meaning as we find out later.

    These prevarications are intolerable, they must be deliberate and thought out, with the usual intention of gaining more time to introduce even more misleading statements – result absolute chaos for those trying to follow events! Can nobody control her?

    Watching the smug Chairman and followers delivering the result of the vote was unedifying – Knew the result by the smirking going on.

    The sooner these people are done and gone with the better! (all of them)

  24. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    There’s not much the EU can do considering that they have no idea what UK wants.
    The only thing clear is that UK is leaving 29 March next. There is a proposal document for orderly withdrawal on the table but it is unlikely to be ratified by parliament..so therein lies the problem. British politics is divided, fractured in fact, so it would not matter what the EU dreamt up to offer Mrs May by way of assurance, it wouln’t matter, because whatever could be offered would never be good enough for the ERG and by extension the DUP. When I see IDS standing out in front of Sky news saying that the problem is the EU’S and demanding that EU step up to the plate? Well Junker gave him his answer last evening- this is the real problem-

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Hangingon, Unfortunately we are not likely to leave on 29 March 2019. The date can be changed, the Art50 process could be extended, or even cancelled altogether. There could be a second (rigged) referendum.

      The most likely scenario is that the DWA is passed by Parliament, with the help of Remain MPs from Labour etc. The DWA is Chequers and is a revolving-door Remain. 200 stupid, sentimental Tory MPs have probably condemned the UK to constitutional turmoil for a decade or more, and possible break-up.

  25. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Mr Starmer is trying to make Gel commit to a no-confidence vote next week, no doubt the Tory rebels will be voting with labour again if there is one, I have now lost count how many times they have voted against their own gov and made the amendments against the gov WA to get a second ref or people vote as they say, as usual, Mrs May will do all she can to stop them from overturning the people ref.

    I would like to point out that it was the high court in London that insisted on the WA and not Mrs May, knowing that parliament was stuffed full of remainers wanting to stay in the EU, Her own cabinet is stuffed full remainers along with Torys on the backbenchers voting against her if DD or BJ had of been in charge, parliament would have already been in control of the WA because remain MPs will vote against anything that means they might have to leave the EU.
    The vote against her by Brexiteers has done her a favour because she hasn’t got to be worried about them any more and can now just concentrate on getting the people ref in 2016 done and stop parliament from overturning it.

    The EU couldn’t care less about the WA, anything they think they are owned will go through the normal channels, citizens right, they do them their selves that why you do not need a WA to leave the EU, it was the high court of London decide that the UK did need a WA, they have always said that trade talks would only happen when the UK has fully left the EU and talks would start then but parliament is against the UK leave the EU first and others want something to show from the EU for their 39 billion pound and all Mrs May wants is the people vote upheld in accordance with the ref.

  26. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Referendum..Leave won…much rejoicing
    Remain faction of Tory Party wangled Remainer May as PM.
    Held unnecessary GE dominated by Dementia Tax and lost just enough of Tory majority to make delivery of Brexit very difficult.
    We could all see what was happening. Why could the “ Brexiteer” ministers not see it??
    .

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      But if the last GE hadn’t been such a near disaster and she’d secured a clear majority, it would have been far easier for her to get her dog’s dinner agreement through.

      I see no reason to believe that May’s mess wasn’t in the works all along.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Cosmic
        Yes..we are in agreement. All done “ accidentally on purpose”.

  27. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Why doesn’t she ever show some British spirit in light of these insults and humiliations?

    JR – When will the 117 accept that they no longer belong in the same party as the 201? The 2 groups are miles apart, and we badly need a real right of centre party that isn’t dominated by Tory socialists…. It has to be under consideration, Surely?

  28. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Those MPs and members of the public who voted Remain and have stayed staunch Remainers, act as if the EU has remained exactly the same as it was at the time of the referendum; but it hasn’t.;

    There are widespread yellow jacket protests across Europe from people who want their National Sovereignty back.

    France and Italy have both been pressured by their public to break EU rules on Deficits. Macron is in serious trouble because his people want their Country back.

    Eastern Europe States are refusing to accept EU mandated migrant quotas, and are being threatened with punishment as a result.

    The German / French domination of the EU is breaking up with the increasing political vulnerability of Macron and Merkel.

    EU Elections come in May 2019. If we don’t leave in March 2019, we will be left being a Member State with no MEPs. If we sign any kind of binding agreement whereon we have to comply with any newly mandated EU measures; those measures will be forced on us without us having any input or say in the matter; a state of affairs which will apparently continue for an indefinite period under May’s “Agreement”

    Is there any way of bringing reality back into the National argument on the EU by the publication of weekly or monthly updates on the “State of Europe”.? If you were to do it here on this blog, I am sure your readers would do their best to publicise it and get people talking about it.

    The EU is disintegrating as we speak, yet Remainers in all political parties have covered their eyes, put their fingers in their ears and clapped a hand over their mouth, pretending that all is perfect and that our lives depend on shackling ourselves to an EU which is increasingly ready for the reading of the last rites.

    We need to swim away from the sinking ship, lest we go down with it.

  29. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May HASN’T ASKED the EU to ‘re-open’ the deal. So it makes no difference to her, or to us, if they say they won’t re-open it.

    But it suits Mrs May to get the EU to keep repeating that the deal CAN’T be ‘renegotiated’, whilst also continuing to offer these ambiguous assurances that something might be forthcoming in the form of ‘clarifications’.

    This both enables Mrs May to say to her critics that the deal is as good as it gets, whilst still keeping the ball in play, and the Remainers at bay.

    She’s playing for time, and seeking to get ‘assurances’ and/or some further agreement or protocols separate from the ‘deal’ itself, that she can take back to the House of Commons at the last minute to see if they’ll accept it.

    Nothing the EU has said, precludes her from getting what she’s asked for. Then it’ll be up to the Commons.

    The closer we get to the Brexit date the more likely the outcome will be that we either Leave with No Deal, or, that this Deal, in some modified form, gets through Parliament.

    As the weeks pass, it becomes less and less likely, that the Remainers will be able to force another Referendum or delay the Brexit date.

    I’ve said all along that the UK needs to spin this out to January 21st , the if Mrs May loses the vote, carry on spinning it out for as long as she can after before the House of Commons starts trying to call the shots.

    Given the timetable, she should be able to do so till around February 4th .

    After that some other form of obfuscation might enable her to carry on time wasting for a few days more.

    In the meantime I think the EU will assist her in doing just that by promising another Summit in January.

    If it does, everyone will have to shut up until Parliament comes back on January 8th and won’t be able to do anything until we hear whatever the summit comes up with.

  30. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    They are laughing at May in Europe. She is not a negotiator she is a capitulator.

    1. Ignoring her in photo ops and leaving her isolated so she looks weak.
    2. Sending a car for her with child locks then not jumping out to open the door for her, leaving her a laughing stock.
    3. Junker reported in the Newspapers saying “the UK hasn’t been clear what it wants” – surely this is a joke!!! “It is the UK leaving the EU. Our UK friends need to say what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want. I find it uncomfortable.” He finds it uncomfortable, I find it downright pathetic. She assured us she was strong and stable.
    4. The Swedish PM yesterday saying May hasn’t been clear what the UK wants. Really??

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I could tell the EU what we want. Independence !

  31. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood quite soon you are going to need to deal with the truth. You are the other Brexit extremists are not going to get your own way. You haven’t got the fire power. Then you will fade into historical irrelevance where you belong.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      How can representing the majority of the public be extreme?

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        How can conspiracy theorists be domestic extremists when everything’s a conspiracy?

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Offensive to call what is mainstream opinion ‘extremist’.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      @ Simon: Dream on. JR and his colleagues have been proved right time after time, and I suspect they speak for a majority of voters (though not the shouty, placard-waving variety). I speak as someone who, a couple of decades ago, was just like you Simon – I too once vilified the Eurosceptics as wonky and out of touch. Events proved me wrong and I’m now hugely grateful that these people have stuck it out, raising inconvenient facts (but facts, nevertheless) about the direction that ‘fashionable’ types have prefered to take.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Simon, do you think the Conservative general election manifesto was “extreme”? And that Mrs May’s speech to the party conference was “extreme”? All the Brexiteers are asking for is for the Prime Minister not to break her manifesto and party conference promises. In 2016 the government sent a leaflet to every household in the country saying “The government will implement whatever you decide.” Why do you think it is “extreme” for the government now to implement it?

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        Treacle, It is no good being rational with the likes of Simon. He is fired only by emotion, he is on-side and that’s all that matters to him, not the facts. Above all he has no arguments against Leave – even if he did he would have to accept that the Referendum has already been fought, and his side lost. It’s too painful for him to admit that even to himself.

  32. Posted December 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Nebulous? Far too generous Jean Claude.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      To be fair this has been a common criticism that I have heard about her from various sources. Vague.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Mark B, That’s because her lies are so convoluted they are difficult to follow. After all she says: “Brexit means Brexit” when what she really means is “Brexit means remaining in the EU’s single customs territory, aligned with most EU rules, subject to the ECJ, whilst undergoing military unification with the EU, paying through the nose, and without any say.” She is the Humpty Dumpty of politics where her words mean what she wants them to mean.

  33. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear John Redwood

    Having failed to get rid of Theresa May on Wednesday (and with it, an incompetent government that will lose the Tories the next Election) you must realise that there is another (high risk) way to skin this particular cat, as it were. In the process, it may bring the extreme Remainers in the Conservative Party into line- those like Kenneth Clarke, Anna Soubry or Nicky Morgan who must be licking their lips at the chance to “Pivot” to the Norwegian EEA “Brexit” (in reality no Brexit at all).

    You, along with other True Brexiteer colleagues, need to go to Theresa May- and to all the extreme Remainers in the Conservative Party- with this Ultimatum:

    “You have a week to decide we are going to Bin the Backstop and tell the European Union we are not talking to them until they come up with a fundamentally different free- trade approach: If, after a week we get the slightest hint from either of you that you are trying to muster support in Parliament for “An EU Customs Union/ Single Market” Deal or an EEA/ Norway-type Deal WE will team up with Labour, bringing the DUP on-side- to bring about a Vote of No Confidence in the Government. This will be done- with a view to having a General Election fought under a different leader who actually believes in Brexit (we will not support Theresa May in the 14-day interim trying to cobble together a Government, but will make sure we stop Jeremy Corbyn trying to take over as Prime Minister, again urging the DUP to be on- side.)

    “WE will make sure the Conservatives fight the General Election on Leaving the EU to trade on WTO terms, saving all the money we promise them to boost our public services, slashing Foreign Aid to increase or Police and Army and abolishing HS2 to pay for Income Tax Cuts. We will also promise a Referendum on Capital Punishment for murder and child-rape.

    “We might lose. Jeremy Corbyn might win an election but is very unlikely to get a majority on current polling- and we will oppose his regime and some of his extreme policies (like muzzling the Press) all the way- whilst strongly making the case for Leaving the EU straightaway to trade on WTO terms. We will come back stronger and more pro- Brexit come 2024 (or sooner) having voted Jeremy Corbyn’s minority government down- but YOU will no longer be Conservative MPs and we’ll see to that.

    “So how about it? Stop trying to frustrate the vote of the British people. We are prepared to risk a small electoral defeat now to prevent a much bigger 1997-style electoral defeat come 2022 (because the electorate will blame a Conservative Government for screwing up Brexit). You might think you are safe for a year to try and get the electorate hood-winked with the help of Labour and the SNP. But we say today “DON’T EVEN DARE! Or WE are prepared to bring Theresa May’s hapless government down for the Long Term Good of our Party!”

    If you tried that approach, you will succeed in putting some more “backbone” into Theresa May and we will hear the less from the likes of Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Kenneth Clarke…..they would probably give way if they saw you were willing to vote down the government to save the Conservative Party (and Brexit) in the longer term.

    I sincerely hope- and pray- that the tide will turn early in 2019 so that a proper Brexit becomes a more certain result as we approach 29th March.

    Ian Pennell

    Reply No, I will not vote against a Conservative government in a motion of confidence. I stood as a Conservative party official candidate.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.

      Dear Mr Redwood,

      Then how else are you going to get rid of Theresa May- before she caves in to the Majority in the House of Commons who want Britain to Remain in the EU except in name. December next year, the next chance Conservative MPs have of getting rid of her may well be too late.

      The way things are going we might have a Labour Government in a years’ time. Better to deal with an abscess sooner (even if its excruciatingly painful in the short term to dig it out)- rather than let it fester and cause major problems later. There are major threats to Brexit- and to the Conservative Party- that need facing down urgently for the long term good of the Conservative Party.

      You could, of course, write to Theresa May demanding that she stand down and get your Brexit- supporting colleagues to do the same. Notwithstanding her winning the Conservative Vote of No Confidence in her Leadership she is weak, she caves in and she has lost all authority and credibility in Parliament. You must do all you can to decisively get rid of Theresa May as Prime Minister- or risk a much worse electoral defeat in the future.

      The threat of a “Nuclear Option” of “No Confidence in her Government” may be what it takes to bring this about, or at least to get Theresa May to change course drastically. Ultimately you may have to risk a short term Jeremy Corbyn- minority government (that a Brexit- supporting Conservative Party could soon vanquish- then leave the EU properly) to prevent a Jeremy Corbyn Labour Majority government later, one that could effectively cancel Brexit, wreck our democracy and stay in power for years.

      It is, of course, your call and that of your Brexit- supporting colleagues to decide where you go from here, but you must realise that you need to plan ahead strategically to weaken the Remainers and make Brexit actually happen.

      Ian Pennell

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        I guess the 117 can still obstruct normal business of the day without voting the government down in a no-confidence debate, and May and Hammond will be aware of that.

        • Posted December 14, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          matthu:

          The 117 operating in unison comprise a potent force in achieving what it seeks.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Does this not give you the opportunity to abstain/ absent yourself from the chamber for a vote. Caught short seems to be a good excuse. Lots of MPs caught with their pants down.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Well there was one such MP I remember but he was the Liberal Leader.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      A General Election at this stage with just 105 days to go, will create a reason to delay our departure in March 29th 2019. With no Government established it would be a problem to administer.That date is written into British Law. However, I still do not understand why there is any standard talk of a delay because such a deal would contravene the existing Withdrawal Law, would it not JR?
      And it is unlikely than any Leaver MP would vote out his or her own party because of party loyalty. Also that the DUP would not join in any vote that would bring down the Conservative Government. They will be fearful that a new GE might bring Corbyn into Number 10 so he could invite his friends in the IRA to decide all future Northern Ireland policy. As the saying goes “Be careful what you wish for”.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        @ Den

        It would be a risk precipitating a No Confidence Vote against this so- called Conservative Government, but since the Tories cannot vote to get rid of Theresa May for another year, not doing this (or at least not threatening this) gives the Remain Majority in Parliament an open goal to thwart Britain leaving the EU on WTO terms in 105 days’ time- and securing support for a “Norwegian Model” or “Customs Union/ Single Market”. The Tories will then be stuffed electorally until 2022 (at the latest) when Jeremy Corbyn will win the General Election that year by a landslide.

        An alternative is to prepare for another Referendum that the majority may well foist on Britain. If Theresa May’s government try to promote her “Deal” and Remain win that second Referendum (as recent polling now suggests), in that situation the Tories will also be toast come the 2022 General Election because they will be seen to have betrayed the majority who voted “Leave” in the first Referendum!

        Better to have a General Election now, with the Tories at least level- pegging with Labour and with a strong Brexiteer taking over on a WTO platform (plus promises of popular tax-cuts and spending increases based on ending all EU contributions and slashing Foreign Aid) the Tories may regain their Brexit- supporting Majority. They could de-select the Remainers in the Party in the process.

        There is a small risk of Jeremy Corbyn getting enough votes to get a Minority Government (that a healthy pro-Brexit Tory Opposition of 260 to 300 MPs could thwart), but better to risk this small (temporary defeat) sooner rather than have a certain heavy defeat later- the Conservatives could be out of power for years in the latter instance allowing Jeremy Corbyn to do much irrevocable harm to Britain.

        I have tried to persuade our wonderful host of the merits of this approach to getting rid of Theresa May and have e-mailed a number of Brexiteer Conservative MPs. Mr Redwood himself is not convinced of this measure, but if Brexit- supporting Tory MPs can at least threaten this “Nuclear Option” it might bring Theresa May (and the Tory Remainers) into line so they don’t run around causing mischief collaborating with Labour and the SNP with “People’s Votes” and “Norway Options”!!

        Ian Pennell

        Reply I do not support an early election. It would require either the leadership of Mrs May and the government to require it, or for Mrs may to lose a confidence vote in the Commons followed by the loss of a second confidence vote 14 days later. How does that happen on your model?

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply, Your reply, JR, is disappointing but regrettably not a surprise. Many of us could see the shambles sell-out developing before you and the other Tory Brexit MPs did. Now the time for misplaced loyalty is over. The government quite rightly does not have your confidence, and it certainly does not have the country’s. Trashing a legal national referendum is unprecedented. It can only end in tears. The country and the constitution must come before party loyalty.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      Moan, moan, moan. Whine, whine, whine.

      You lost. Get over it.

      Will of the people etc etc..

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Andy, So you think Remain has won?

  34. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Having worked through all the options and constraints on the PM I think a Judical Review of May’s next decision need to be shown to be a real possibility to stop her making unconstitutional actions. For example pulling Art 50, calling a snap election or second referendum.

    Finances need to be in place such as crowd sourcing.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      No, we’ve had a referendum in 2016 and the result was clear and unequivocal. The democratic preference as expressed by the British electorate was that the UK should leave the EU. It’s beyond too simply to understand

      What we are now seeing is a concerted and seditious attempt to destroy the democratic spirit and will of the British people

      May, Blair, Mandelson, Juncker, Merkel and all the other vile turncoats who have spent many decades trying to undermine our nation’s cultural and democratic foundations

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Completely agree.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Correct, the organisation should be in place to apply for judicial review quickly before she sent off a letter revoking the Article 50 notice.

  35. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    In this political crisis of the PM’s own making, the BBC is only interviewing the people who represent the minority, not the majority. They are determined to overthrow the referendum and only people like Blair, Kinnock, and Vaizy are allowed to suggest what to do, Blair’s suggestion being to go straight back in, and Vaizy’s to go into the EEA (presumably also the Customs Union). None of these people has any shame.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Not true. Over the last few days I have heard Mogg, Farage, Jenkyns, Bone, Duncan Smith, Bridgen, Fox – and I’ve not even been watching closely.

      It is simply untrue for you to claim they are not interviewed – they are. It would be true to say they have nothing constructive to say.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Andy, By “nothing constructive” do you mean nothing to advance the Remain agenda?

        • Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          NickC

          you have too much time on your hands or maybe not enough sometimes

  36. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May has indicated her intention not to lead the party into the next election (I can’t really use the word ‘promise’ in her case, because they are wholly meaningless). Well I think I’ve found a place in the South West where they accept tired, worn-out old donkeys.

    I am thoroughly sick of my country’s reputation being trashed by incompetent politicians who seem to live in a parallel universe. Just think if May had been in charge back in those dark days in 1940 when Britain was crying out for strong decisive leadership.

    It isn’t hard to see what is needed now, and it is far removed from the wishy-washy nonentity the 200 toadies voted for!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Tad

      “Just think if May had been in charge back in those dark days in 1940”

      Well, I guess the french and Belgians would have been speaking German or Russian, European leaders wouldn’t have had sanctuary in our country and therefore be unable to stab us in the back when the war was over, and we wouldn’t be having the disrespect and ungratefulness we get from them today.

      It’s a matter of perception though, as probably if we didn’t declare war on Hitler, he’d likely have us as well sooner or later, since his treaties were not worth the paper they were written on.

  37. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Just because Mrs. May won her confidence vote earlier this week doesn’t mean she won’t resign of her own accord next week.

    If there is one thing of which we can be certain it will be that Mrs. May will not be the PM should the Withdrawal Agreement be signed because the agreement is so bad for the UK that it will destroy any PM negotiating the “future relationship” as concession after concession has to be made in order for the EU to allow us to leave our vassal status.

  38. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    It seems that May and MPs are again not being honest with the electorate. The view from the EU, as reported by L Kuenssberg is that we have agreed in legal terms to the WA and there is not going to be any alteration to the legal terms, only “clarification”:

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1058926/Brexit-news-video-Theresa-May-EU-Conservative-Party-BBC-Today-Laura-Kuenssberg

    “The Prime Minister went in to see her counterparts and said ‘look, you can trust me if you give me just this little bit more. “More legal promises on the backstop – if only that can happen, trust me, I can get this through parliament.’

    “But the answer to ‘if only’ was ‘no’ and EU leaders said to her privately what they’ve been saying publicly for at least a couple of weeks: ‘Look, this deal is done, we can’t reopen it, we can’t suddenly give new legal guarantees that would actually undermine what’s written down in black and white – what has been legally agreed between the two sides.’

    (Juncker) ” We don’t want the UK to think there can be any form of renegotiation, that is crystal clear. We can add clarifications but no real changes”.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I hope this deluded woman hasn’t actually signed this WA–and won’t ever

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Even if signed it does not become law until parliament agrees. What chance that ?

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        She did.

  39. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    We seem to forget that Theresa May is probably being nobbled at every turn by the CBI scum and those of her own party who want to overturn the referendum for their own personal agenda.

    We need to get out now without a deal.

  40. Posted December 14, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    What is more likely now Mr Redwood; No Deal or No Brexit?

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Stephen, Obviously I am not Mr Redwood, but no Brexit is the most likely – either Theresa May’s Chequers (Remain) deal or Remain, with or without a second referendum.

  41. Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I try my hardest to imagine what sort of deal Mrs May could possibly announce now that would make us, the unruly citizens, believe a word of it and say ‘oh, that’s OK then’, before quietly going about our regular (i.e. pre referendum) business.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      What colour jackets did you have in mind?
      Or do you think we should honour our patriotic allies the DUP by wearing sashes?

  42. Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Why not persuade Mrs May to give up on her impossible task of finding a deal that agrees with her promises, satisfies Parliament, and is agreeable to island of Ireland and the EU?

    Her simplest way out is tell Parliament and the EU she has withdrawn support for the deal. The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 She would be delighted if Parliament or the EU come up with a better deal but the HMG will not propose one.

    HMG wants to agree the arrangements for a frictionless border with Brussels and Dublin within two months. They must decide whether they wish to do so. It is up to them.

  43. Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    You can walk in mid winter from Manchester to Leeds. Doggedly going up hill and down dale over the Pennines you lead your group through inclement weather and adverse conditions only to find you end up in Sheffield.

    On reflection you realise that your compass was set in the wrong direction when you started and in order to get to the right destination you have to completely reassess what needs to be done. Do you accept Sheffield is still in Yorkshire so it’s not such a bad result, or do you realise the error of your ways and set off in a new direction to get to where you really should be?

  44. Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    A phrase comes to mind, “Flogging a dead horse”. However, in this case, there are two “dead horses”, namely the EU and Mrs May. Mrs May with her continual humiliating and embarrassing visits to Brussels and beyond, attempting to extract more from the EU and the other with the true Brexiteers in Parliament trying to get our Prime Minister to change her agreement and her subservient and ingratiating approach to Brussels.
    Clearly neither are going to change a thing so the best thing to do now, as with any dead horse, is to bury it and let’s just Leave without any deal with the EU.
    Something we should have done in 2016.

  45. Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh fcs blah blah blah blah blah about nothing .The talking is now over either we :
    1 Take the awful deal
    2 Stay in under the same favorable terms we previously enjoyed and which the majority now see is the right way to go
    3 Drop off a cliff into chaos

    The solution to this quiz does not seem overly taxing to me .

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      You have missed out 4: Leave in March on WTO terms and negotiate a sensible free trade deal from outside the EU.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, our original terms of membership are not on offer. Also, you may not be aware that the EU project is dynamic, working towards ever closer political union, with the goal of sovereignties completely surrendered, and government from the political core by an unaccountable elite.

      Pay attention to all the legislation being quitely slipped through e.g. EU defence policy that May has signed us up to in the last few months, the UN Global Compact on Migration, which means that it will be a human right to migrate to wherever you want, and that any criticism of this in the media and in social media will be a hate crime. Don’t believe me? Tthen see the videoclip of the key eurocrat stating this publicly.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        @Chris: You have a flawed idea about the EU. The leading institutions are the European Council (and councils of ministers), all democratically elected in their own countries and the European Parliament (directly elected in each country). Juncker and the other commissioners, our civil service, are accountable to the European Parliament.

        The “original terms of membership are not on offer” if you revoke article 50, be it much to my regret, because these are much too skewed in Britain’s favour and I think you should leave and first become a normal country without these flawed ideas. (no new referendum for one or two decades please)

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          correction: I meant “original terms of membership are still on offer”

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          I have been in a parliament session and am aware of exactly what goes on.The people who make the laws and are subjected to intense lobbying are the Commission. The European Parliament merely rubber stamps them. Have you watched them all with their fingers on the buzzers just clicking through all the parts of the legislation like automatons. The heavy work on the legislation has all been done by the non elected individuals and the most powerful lobbyists. The Parliament merely tinkers with/tweaks what they are given. Often when you see them on video, they appear like automatons, perfectly well aware that there is little they can do to alter the main thrust of the legislation. Never mind they are paid handsomely for the apparent charade.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            @Chris: I’ve been in EP sessions as well, and know, atleast from the Dutch MEPs how closely they are involved in the negotiations (e.g. in the trialogs) and decision making.
            I don’t dispute the heave lobbying going on, and something tells me that there are also lobbyins active in the UK insitutions, although I have no intimate knowledge of what goes on around Westminster.

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          PvL, It is you that has flawed ideas about the EU. The Commission is the executive, not (merely) your civil service. Still, if we ever do leave I shall be glad to leave your state as a province of the EU empire, a fate you will richly deserve.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: You understand far too little about the EU it seems, why not just stick to cricket at this late stage of your impending departure.

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Only MEPs are elected in their own countries, by us the voters.
          All the others (commissioners presidents council members ) are appointees.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: If you consider your PMs and ministers as mere appointees (by your queen I believe?) then ok! What does that say about UK democracy (forget about your 800 unelected H.o.L. parliamentarians or the majority of very safe seats in which MPs can have themselves re-elected more often than Mr. Putin)
            Commissionars go through an intensive vetting process in the EP, by which they can be sent away (jointly or even individually as has happened). The whole civil service (European Commission) is acountable to the European Parliament.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Twaddle
            We vote for MPs and their parties and policies
            Directly every few years.
            Displease us and they are out.
            Unlike all the EU appointees.
            Not elected directly bu any voter in Europe
            5 Presidents…how ridiculous is that.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. Why do you think so lowly of OUR country that it would “Fall off a cliff” because we dared and decide to leave its severe jurisdiction without any subservient deal? Especially when most of the Rest of the Wh0le World can trade with the EU without any binding mutual deal, apart from the one provided by the WTO? Have they fallen off of this cliff yet?
      Do you not realise that we, Britain are the largest single customer of the EU and that we are their second largest contributor to their budget? We actually pay them so that we can buy their products. And you consider that situation “Favourable” and one that we should “enjoy”? No other country in the World outside of the EU does this and for very good reason. I’ ll guess and say that you are afraid of such change in the way your life has been run over the past decades because you know nothing better. Change is inevitable it is a process of life itself. Get used to it, for this time it will be for the better of this country and for you and your offspring. Britain shall be FREE!
      However, I despair for the young of this country when I see such anti-Britishness and pro-Dictatorship activist posing as British people and trust this will die off with FREE time.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      Could you please clarify what staying in under the same favorable terms we previously enjoyed actually means in practice?

      Would we have to accept the Euro?
      Would we retain Mrs Thatchers rebate?
      Would we have to agree to an EU army, and possible conscription?
      Would we accept further enlargement of the EU by adding countries that will be net recipients of EU funds?
      Would we be happy to accept further dilution of the UK’s voting power?
      Are we fully in accord with direct taxation from Brussels?

      (Thanks, Know-Dice!)

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Would we have to accept the Euro? No
        Would we retain Mrs Thatchers rebate? Yes
        Would we have to agree to an EU army, and possible conscription? No, we have a veto
        Would we accept further enlargement of the EU by adding countries that will be net recipients of EU funds? We have a veto
        Would we be happy to accept further dilution of the UK’s voting power? That is up to future UK governments
        Are we fully in accord with direct taxation from Brussels? The EU does not have a direct role in taxation.

        None of this stuff is hard. Basically all of the stuff you lot whine about is protected by veto – and not just our veto either – other countries have it too.

        To take your argument to its logical extreme being in the EU would make France less French, Germany less Germany and Italy less Italian. How preposterous.

        You all claim to be patriots but you have so little faith in the British that you think being part of the EU makes us less British. Not so. It makes us more British – and of if you truly loved your own country you’d understand this.

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Sooner or later pro EU politicians in tje UK governments will agree to all the things you say you don’t want.
          Its been slowly happening for decades.

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Andy, No, we think being part of the EU makes us less independent. And your reassurances don’t reassure – since we cannot trust Remains like you to honour our vote how could we trust any other assurance you gave?

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Not sure this chaos will be all it’s cracked up to be.

      The sun will rise and set. Business finds a way or it goes out of business, and other more intelligent businesses spring up to deal with the situation instead.

      Don’t worry, be happy!

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      “2 Stay in under the same favorable terms we previously enjoyed and which the majority now see is the right way to go”

      How are you qualified to make that statement? Conducted a poll, have you?
      and if they were favourable terms why did people vote by a MAJORITY to leave ?

      “3 Drop off a cliff into chaos”

      Typical statement from a remainer who wants to keep the whole country in subservience to a foreign power, simply because they personally benefit from it, and object to the notion of doing some hard graft for the common good.

      Terrible that brexit thing you know…..remoaners might have to go out to work and lose their human right to ponce off the state.

      Terrible, that they will have to work to pay for train tickets to demos up and down the country, and for turquoise hair dye and placard materials etc.

      “The solution to this quiz does not seem overly taxing to me”

      Assuming of course that you might have been taxed at some point in your life.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Can you tell me how much of a cliff New Zealand dropped off, into what chaos, to be independent of the EU? I’ll answer for you: none and none.

  46. Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Hey Newmania, Andy, Helena, Maggie H etc good news

    The Swiss Government have announced that a trade agreement has been reached between the UK and Switzerland to “maintain existing economic and trade relations with the country after its departure from the European Union” whether or not a deal is reached with the EU. The Swiss Federal Council announced that if the UK leaves the EU in a disorderly manner, it could sign and apply the agreement from the date on which the UK leaves the EU.

    Announcing the agreement, the Swiss Embassy tweeted that the agreement will “support existing commercial and economic relations between the two countries post-Brexit… regardless of the eventual Brexit scenario.”

    Newmania

    Thats two of the worlds leading financial centres agreeing to work together , both in Europe neither in the EU. I think EU financial services could be in a spot of bother

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      ps folks

      The Eurozone’s economic woes continue to mount as the latest PMI figures sunk to a 49-month low of 51.3 in December. Germany’s PMI also fell to a four-year low at 52.2, while crisis-ridden France entered contraction territory at 49.3.

      Whoops…

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Nah this cannot be true. Anything that denigrates the EU is classed as “Right Wing” propaganda!
        LOL. As though they have been no such failings in any Socialist Empire. The USSR died of it BUT the EU rises to take its place further westwards.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian:
        GDP growth y-o-y UK = 1.5%, euro area is 1.6%. Ans if you do a proper comparison over a few years, you’d seen that the euro area outperforms the UK

        A UK trade agreement with Switzerland is good news, but last week, during all the turmoil in your parliament, the European Parliament spent its time a bit more efficiently by ratifying a comprehensive FTA (JEFTA) with Japan, with a combined GDP of 10x the UK. I’ll be curious to see what Japan will – post Brexit – be willing to agree with the UK, which is 6 x smaller than the EU.

        • Posted December 15, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Strip out Germany’s figures and you begin to see how poor the figures for the other EU nations are.
          And now German growth is falling too.

          • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: O really??!
            The Dutch have outperformed the British for quite some time now and on many fronts.
            Just to mention one: your youth unemployment has always been poor compared to ours, and that, apart from our better GDP figures, (which are not what the ordinary people feel in their pockets), should tell you something: Try and do something about your country, which has the “honour”of having the five poorest regions in Northern Europe. Stop comparing yourselves just with Greece, and see the real competition.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            Yes really. Read what I said.

            Average performance of the whole EU is poor.

            PS
            I never mentioned Greece nor Holland

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: Point taken, you did indeed mention all of the EU instead of just the eurozone. However, the whole EU (EU28) also includes your country, that must have confused me then.
            Implicitely you did mention Holland (not Greece), as you stripped only Germany. It sometimes upsets/irritates me, when UK contributors think as though the EU consists of Germany plus some subsidiar countries.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            In response to a later comment of yours re P v L, which I think is valid: P v L seems adept at putting up straw men. When people do that it indicates they lose the argument.

          • Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            It was a simple point.
            The performance of the EU as a whole is not good.
            Growth unemployment share of world trade etc.
            Strip out the impact of Germany and the figures would look much worse.
            I’m glad Holland does well.
            Lovely people.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      The EU is putting a squeeze on the Swiss insisting on their observing new EU laws and regs as they come along on pain of losing access to trading EU shares. Of course the UK and Switzerland should do a mutual recognition based financial services deal to include share trading and other services. Post Brexit we could both ask the EU whether they’d like to join also.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Richard1

        “Post Brexit we could both ask the EU whether they’d like to join also.”

        And then give ’em a big fat NON!

        In any case the EU will collapse within five years of the UK leaving.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      I think we can tell who our real friends are on the continent.

      Somehow the Germans are just a bit frightened of them as they need those little widgets, Rolexes, pharma products and lots of parts for their Mercs and BMWs from Schweiz… although less so when the German car sales to UK drop like a stone.

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      And?

      Brexit was supposed to make everything better. And you are putting forward claims from the Swiss government that – at best – everything will stay the same as good news.

      None of which masks the fact that Leave lied and cheated to win the referendum.
      Probably because you would not have won if you told the truth.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Staying the same is quite different from your ridiculous claims of doom, cliff edge, chaos, calamity, poverty, disaster etc.

        Remain’s Project Fear predictions during the referendum campaign for what would happen immediately after a vote to leave can now clearly be seen to have been lies.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Andt, Remain lied and cheated to lose the Referendum. How inept is that?

  47. Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Leo Varadkar, as quoted by CityAM:

    http://www.cityam.com/270593/theresa-may-says-crystal-clear-eu-must-provide-brexit

    “As Europe we reaffirmed our commitment to the need for a backstop, and not just because it protects Ireland and ensures no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, thus protecting the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement, but also because it’s a European issue too, and an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland can’t become a backdoor into the single market.”

    And any alternative arrangement which fufilled those requirements to the satisfaction of the Irish government would inevitably share the unacceptable features of the backstop, whether it was in place soon enough to avoid the backstop being triggered or it came later and was intended to supersede the backstop after it had been triggered.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper

      “Leo Varadkar, as quoted by CityAM”

      Who ? never heard of him.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Ask Alexa … or look at the linked article, where he is described as the Irish Prime Minister. In other words, the man who is being allowed to call the shots over our withdrawal from the EU, at least for the moment.

  48. Posted December 14, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Exiting the EU Committee: Michel Barnier evidence (Translation):

    “Hilary, we want to settle all these matters in agreement. That is why we are negotiating. Now if there is a no deal there is no more discussion. There is no more negotiation. It is over and each side will take its own unilateral contingency measures, and we will take them in such areas as aviation, but this does not mean mini-deals in the case of a no deal. We want a deal. We want an overall agreement; otherwise, each will take their own contingency measures on their own side. That is why I want an agreement. I know full well, the worst scenario is indeed the no-deal scenario.”

    I take that as meaning we won’t get a bilateral agreement and a price for airline landing/cabotage rights in the EU, till some days; weeks; months after no deal Brexit day.

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      If the EU did stupidly refuse any co-operation to keep things going then they should stand condemned in the court of world opinion. Except of course Theresa May would be agreeing with them that the UK is to blame, not her beloved EU.

      • Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Aren’t the EU obliged to treat the EU fairly under the terms of Article 50 and not indulge in vindictiveness?

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Not good for Ryan Air and other EU airlines that wish to land in the UK…

  49. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    It appears civil disobedience has started today with Brexiteers blocking Westminister bridge. Search Youtube – Brexit Westminister Bridge today for footage.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Need larger numbers.

      Yellow jackets tactic for the UK.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Seriously, if such behaviour has started it needs to be nipped in the bud, civil disobedience is not the way to settle a dispute, what ever it is – after all wasn’t that the right wings rational for banning flying pickets?

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        I disagree. Civil disobedience is sometimes the only option.

        Elites just ignore the grumbling masses. When they find their policies are challenged in a way that disrupts they are forced to give way.

        As for flying pickets, I still remember the Grunwick dispute and I certainly had no sympathy for the owners or their supporters.

        More recently, we have the illegal blacklists in the construction industry. Flying pickets got targeted. Belatedly, those who were affected won millions in compensation.

        Don’t let the bar stewards grind you down!

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        I disagree. I still remember the Grunwick dispute and its loathsome owner and supporters.

        More recently, I note the blacklists maintained for construction firms including the discredited Carillion amongst others.

      • Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        The disobedience started in Westminster and Whitehall when they chose to defy the democratic will of the people by unconscionable sophistry subterfuge and conspiracy.
        They have sown the wind and must expect a whirlwind of unpredictable size and consequence.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Javelin. They even did it yellow vests, just like the French. How original is that? Do you think they actually knew which Bridge they were on?

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Hard borders in London weren’t ruled out by the WA.

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Yeah – it was 12 old men wearing day-glo standing on a bridge in the middle of the day – presumably because they do not have jobs to go to.

      As a statement it said nothing more than “laugh at how pathetic we are.”

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Andy
        That comment is similar to Macron’s response when the French people first started their protests.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        If it were true that there were only 12 old men wearing day-glo, then isn’t it quite remarkable how much disruption and publicity they could bring about with even minimal organisation?

        Imagine if this were to transform into hundreds or thousands – or even tens of thousands – of younger men and women disrupting traffic and normal business in unpredictable locations across London of further afield?

  50. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Strange..haven’t seen any of the usual ERG tupes on TV today..must be all gone on hols!

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      James, I don’t believe any of the ERG members own/controls a TV station, so how do you propose they appear on TV unless invited to appear?! Your comment, if it tells us anything, says more about the state of the UK MSM than it does the ERG…

  51. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    If Mrs. May told the CPP at the 1922 Committee meeting prior to the confidence vote that she would be able to obtain a legal guarantee from the EU that the UK could unilaterally leave the backstop or that it would not be permanent/would not require EU approval and since she was not able to obtain this legal guarantee today, surely the CPP can request a re-run of the confidence vote as they were given false information ?

  52. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    It seems Twitter does not like the good news about the Swiss decision to trade with us after Brexit and I can’t get it “Liked”, “Retweeted” when you would think it would be mentioned a bit.
    Can’t see anything about it on BBC or Sky News either. These entities should all go on stage in Concert
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-swiss/swiss-cabinet-approves-text-of-trade-deal-with-britain-after-brexit-idUSKBN1OD1JJ

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      The Switzerland stuff is currently mentioned in the top story on the BBC website.

      • Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Hardly a mention on TV

  53. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The headline writers of certain newspapers know the script. Do not be fooled. The EU will offer back stop concessions shortly.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately the headline writers are just that, headline writing or pushing titillating titles for their readership. They are rarely the journalists doing the painful work of standing in listening to politicians in meetings and actually writing the reports. I would not be so sure about EU backstop concessions being offered or arm-twisted from the EU27 as practically speaking when everything is considered the EU27 have not much moved in the 39 months since July 2016. But let’s hope if anything because the British always seem to be convinced that something better is around the corner.

    • Posted December 15, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Like what?

      Is this self-delusion, or are you trying to delude us?

  54. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The illusion that TM is going to resolve this in a real democratic way is starting to fade.
    Since TM doesn’t want to give Parliament a real choice (because she will lose the vote), she will delay the vote until sometime in late March 2019.

    TM will bring a form of words and continue her “struggle” with the EU during the next few months, bringing an assurance sentence here a clarification paragraph there, all without ANY bearing on the main problems presented by the withdrawal plan.
    If TM does that, she will force the Parliament to choose between her surrender plan, and a WTO exit.

    The task of the Brexit supporting PM’s and any supporters of Brexit is to make sure that preparation ARE started for a WTO exit, and that people and BBC, ITV etc. will get a coherent statement and plan of how a WTO plan can be a success.

    We have to remind them that without our 39 bn they will have a giant hole in their finances, Airbus will not be able to sell planes, continental car manufacturers will lose 25% of their sales and French, Dutch, Spanish farmers will need to dump their unsold produce at low price or let them rot.

    We can buy cars fruit and veg from plenty of places in the world, remind the BBC of the FACTS; When you are shopping in a world of sellers YOU are the king.

  55. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes John…There will be a change of heart in the new year and Mrs May triumphant.

  56. Posted December 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s surely not a bad thing. Better to leave without a WA in March or extend a50 so all no deal planning has time to be enacted

    This agreement needs to be thrown into the bin along with your useless leader and her cronies

  57. Posted December 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    The media has nothing they can report on what Mrs May has got from the EU so they have spent all day speaking about “nebulous” and lip-read chat of May and Juncker.
    Another day in Fleet Street

  58. Posted December 14, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    This week we witnessed the bizarre spectacle of Mrs May offering not to lead the Conservatives in the next election as her USP to win the vote of confidence. Why would anyone want someone so inept to “negotiate” a deal and the rear and leave it for someone else to pick up the resultant shambles? At least 200 Conservative MPs have taken leave of their senses.
    Do you ever wonder why Mrs May doesn’t look seriously stressed when speaking publicly in UK despite all the chaos surrounding her – criticism from MPs on all sides, being held in contempt of Parliament, vote of no confidence held by her own party MPs? Is it because far from failing she is carrying out her instructions from EU to the letter? Is it all just a huge charade to demoralise us and keep us in the EU? Leaving on WTO terms and keeping our £39bn to spend on people in the UK instead of squandering it on the EU is perfectly acceptable and should have been the starting point. However, Mrs May and the majority of MPs, who were and still are Remainers, put their loyalty to the EU above all else and rule out the one option which had any chance of getting the EU to negotiate seriously. Ask yourself why and the answer stares you in the face – because they don’t want a deal – they intend to keep us in the EU. Parliament has become the enemy of the people by treating us with contempt by doing all it can to overturn the referendum that it itself legislated. Do we live in a democracy? It certainly doesn’t feel like it.

  59. Posted December 14, 2018 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May says “I sought clarification with my EU partners”. Firstly, they are not her “partners”, secondly she is not even receding to elected representatives of nations such as Merkel and Macron but Juncker and Tusk. If she is a democrat she should look down on these people not refer to them as her “EU partners”.

  60. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    She thinks it’s in the EU’s interest as well as the UK’s to get a deal but this is a mistake- she can only speak for the UK and what’s in the UK’S interest and then depending on what she asks for? only then can the EU know and respond.

  61. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    If you want a WORLD TRADE EXIT please sign the Petition.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229963

    Let’s just get on with it!

  62. Posted December 14, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    I believe your preferred Brexit Option is WTO/No Deal.

    A better name for that is a WORLD TRADE EXIT.

    I suggest that an article by you, on here and elsewhere, promoting this petition would greatly help our cause:-

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229963

  63. Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    This update by James Delingpole on Theresa May’s manoeuvres is very alarming indeed, right down to the timing of the 48 letters announcement, which apparently was due to Gavin Barwell and not the choice of the ERG. If true, very dirty tricks were in play. But that is not all. See the article on Breitbart by J Delingpole entitled:
    “The looming Brexit betrayal is even worse than you feared”.

    I will post link in separate comment.

  64. Posted December 15, 2018 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    It is reported Mrs May was upset with Mr Juncker as she thought he’d described her as nebulous (he said it was the British position he called nebulous).
    Yet in the HoC Mrs May responds to specific concerns about the WA and backstop with warm sounding platitudes and never addresses the specific issues. Touchy Mrs May has no problem being nebulous when it suits her.

    Mrs May has rejected the EU offer of Canada++ and led to a diaboloical WA that she can’t deliver (fortunately) and losing the DUP and has snubbed the PoTUS. Plus many other offences.

    Will no one rid us of this woman.
    (Yes I know 200 conservative MPs have a shared responsibility for this travesty).

  65. Posted December 15, 2018 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    I believe we are in the same situation as before the referendum : Just as they did to probably their most important ally in British Politics, David Cameron, the EU – and by that I mean Merkel and Macron – have made a catastrophic mistake in throwing Mrs May to the wolves.

    British voters saw Merkel and her little French poodle, Hollande, send Cameron home deeply humiliated and with nothing. That more than any other single factor was what caused the referendum to be lost.

    Now the arrogant and intransigent attitude of Merkel and her latest poodle, Macron, is scuppering any chance of a deal that would allow the UK to leave with two-way trade intact.

    Where do we go from here ? A second referendum is a big risk but I believe that a renewed Leave campaign could win a second referendum by a bigger margin. After all, the NHS has already been given more than the famous £350m a week, Project Fear, the only ammunition in Remain’s arsenal, is a busted flush, and voters have now seen plans famously dismissed by Clegg and Co for full political integration and a European Army put firmly on the EU agenda.

    Furthermore, voters have now seen how Mrs May has been treated and they won’t like it any more than when they saw Cameron being shown the door.

    Remainers are chancing their arm in calling for another vote. Like last time, they have got nothing positive to campaign for, just another version of Project Fear backed by big business.

    By contrast, the Leave campaign can be positive and uplifting, just like last time and it will have a great campaign slogan : Tell them Again !

  • 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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