Correction – when will Parliament vote on the Withdrawal Agreement?

This blog contains substantial fact based analysis of the current economic and political situation worldwide. I use published official sources and wish to be accurate. It also provides my views and forecasts, which are distinguished from the factual analysis. I often compare what governing institutions say they are planning to do with their outturns as captured by official figures and reports.

In a recent blog I said that the government has delayed the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement until January 14th. I had not read this in an official source, but relied on press and media reports which I assumed were based on official briefings. I need to correct my piece, as there is still no official statement of when the Withdrawal Agreement will be voted on. All we know is the Parliamentary debate on it starts again on Wednesday 8th January and continues on the following two days. I will keep you posted as to when the debate will conclude and when there might be votes.

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  1. Excalibur
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Your integrity was never doubted, JR. Your decency and sincerity are a feature of your blogs. They are much valued, bombarded as we are by false, distorted and biased reportage.

    • Hope
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      JR, you are correct May said on 17/12/2018the debate will start week commencing 7/1/2019 and the vote taking place the following week. Look at her last statement on17/12/2018.

      Anyone,voting for it, backstop or not, must be mad. It I see a totally base servitude deal with nothing absolutely nothing for the UK. When she talks about compromise what on earth is she saying, there is nothing in it for the UK. The servitude, agreement places a gun to the head of negotiations for a trade deal. Utter madness u less you want to remain in the EU under different badges.

      There is no trust in May. It appears the longer this goes on the more the public wants a clean break without its and negotiate a trade deal from there.

      • GilesB
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        It is worse than remaining.

        With no Art 50.

        • Hope
          Posted December 23, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Johnson wrote he was misled in bad faith by May and her advisor over the Irish backstop. Gove was also allegedly taken in. May had a paralel plan written without the knowledge of Brexit,dept, Baker or Davis. She sprung her underhand plan on cabinet contrary to everything she had said publicly about leaving the EU. Despite writing and saying a leave minister would lead negotiations. The weak ministers did nothing. May authorised scare stories for public consumption to scare the public witless. She allowed Hammond to undermine Brexit at every turn and slapped down any minister who promoted govt policy to leave. Allowed Hammond to write fake reports and get BoE to do the same. Undermining two national institutions. May broke all her Lancaster speech main points, broke her red lines, manifesto and referendum lines. She has repeatedly lied to say her servitude plan is what we all voted for despite survey and polls showing otherwise. May undoubtedly conspiring with the Irish and EU to use Irish backstop scam to keep the UK in the EU by treaty forever on worse terms as a vassal state. No right minded person tasked with leaving the EU could come up with her plan to claim it is leaving. She is underhand, a liar and I agree with Farage she is the most dishonest PM in living memory.
          May condemnation for being called a stupid woman is nothing cbut pared with the criticism she deserves, when Hammond said the same to Andrea Jenkyns, one of his colleagues, on 20/07/2018 in parliament is typical of her poisonous behaviour. Hammond later called MPs leavers like Andrea Jenkyns and the 17.4 million people who voted leave and the 13 million who voted Tory last year extremists! May is not fit to hold any public office.

  2. agricola
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    It must be difficult to read the mind of government when it is dodging the will of the people, or avoiding the verdict of Parliament. Not that you are going to get a clear message from Parliament as to the way ahead other than that they do not like the WA. You are forgiven your lack of timing precision.

    • Peter
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Very difficult. May usually delays when it suits. She also plays her cards close to her chest.

      Meanwhile the various plots develop and ambitious ministers promote their own candidacy to replace the PM.

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        The only thing May is good at is kicking the can down the road. That’s her response to everything that requires leadership.

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Agricola, The clear message is that the government led by Theresa May intends that the UK should remain tied to the EU in a deep and special relationship in perpetuity.

      The latest theatre about a supposed “no deal” is only there to frighten the Remain MPs – including Labour etc MPs – into voting through her Withdrawal Agreement.

      Is there anyone daft enough to still take Mrs May at face value?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 23, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        If our Prime Minister is actively conniving with the Irish government against the British people and their Parliament, as I now suspect she is, then if that is not actually treason it is coming very close to treason.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Whenever the vote comes it will be a total disaster should it actually goes through. This even if we had a legally binding exit from the back stop. Surely even the generally dire MPs, mainly against democracy and the 17.4 million leave voters will finally come to realise this?

    Surely time for Jonathan Dimbleby to resign too. Absurd anti Rees-Moog bias on the programme from the ‘impartial’ chair. Yet again it was 4 to 1 remainers plus the chairman to add to the bias.

    The drone fiasco is a national embarrassment says Richard 
Dannatt in the Telegraph today he is quite right. But then most of the UKs state sector is hugely misdirected and largely uninterested in providing any service of real value to the public. This despite (or perhaps because of the huge size of it) and despit Hammond’s highest taxes for 40 years. Well done Tax borrow and waste Pantomime Dame T May and P Hammond and this fake Brexit means nothing “Conservative”party.

    Corbyn actually said under his breath something that was completely true for a change, but then ruined it by denying he said it! May is alas a very stupid, disingenuous, nasty and totally wrongheaded woman. She was never a real Conservative.

    • Steve
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink


      “surely time for Jonathan Dimbleby to resign too. Absurd anti Rees-Moog bias on the programme from the ‘impartial’ chair. Yet again it was 4 to 1 remainers plus the chairman to add to the bias.”

      Professional sht-srirrers, they’re all the same.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        And I believe some in the audience booed JRM?
        ‘Jesus wept’ as his father once said.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Cambridge don jailed for £1 million wind Farm Grant scam I see. Is suspect this is the tip of an iceberg. The whole greencrap renewablec grants Systems is wide open to fraud. Just get an extension lead and sell electricity from grid back to the grid as ‘renewable’ energy. Government loons opening the door to fraud with their mad grants for complete economic and scientific nonsense.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Life logic

        “….Extension lead…..”

        It reminds me of the Peckham Spring Water scam, as sold by Dell Boy !

        Rather too close to the truth.

        Hence my often comment about politicians not understanding Human nature and the reasons why so many policies fail.

    • Old person
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Just waiting to see which politician will pop their head over the parapet and compare the chaos at Gatwick with a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

      • Steve
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Old person

        Already happened mate, when the trouble first started the shadow Transport Secretary was on a news interview and accused brexit.

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic said: “Whenever the vote comes it will be a total disaster should it actually go through” – indeed it will.

      Remains are fond of saying a “no deal” (actually a WTO based trade deal) will lead to chaos. Of course there will be none, or it will be short lived for the obvious reason that the rest of the planet trades with the EU and has solved those problems.

      But there really will be decades long chaos if Theresa May wins her vote, or has a rigged second referendum, and overturns the people’s decision to Leave. Not from ordinary Leave voters so much as from the legal and constitutional consequences of trashing a national democratic vote.

  4. Mark B
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . but relied on press and media reports . . .

    Come on Mr. Redwood MP sir, you should know better than that ?!?! 😉

    I am amazed the government wish to continue with the ‘debate’ since, as Speaker Bercow has stated, the House has spent some 160 hours on it (citation needed). Surely it must be a straight vote ?

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    That suggests that May will be busy over Christmas, with ‘presents’ for those she thinks will support her deal with a little leverage…..
    She cannot postpone the a vote a second time, so she is making sure she has the required numbers to support her. When she thinks she might win, we will see a date set.

    JR – Many like myself do appreciate your opinions and analysis, in this blog – I realise you do not always like what I have to say, but I hope I’ve avoided offending, too much.
    HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS, and here’s to a clean BREXIT new year – May many more see the light!.

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris, I am sure we all (well, most!) echo your kind words to John Redwood and family for his continued hard work on our behalf.

      As for Mrs May she is employing carrot and stick for the majority of our donkey Parliamentarians. The carrot is preferment and the stick is the “no deal” cliff edge Armageddon in Remain speak. Strangely both carrot and stick prevent our Remain MPs from seeing the constitutional crisis looming if they fail to take us out of the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        She has more than one stick, and she has degraded herself and demeaned her office by quietly welcoming the gift of a cudgel from the Irish government, one carved with the words “Renewed IRA terrorism”.

  6. Everhopeful
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Thank you. This is a great blog.

  7. jerry
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Does it actually matter when this “Meaningful Vote” takes place, from a Brexiteers perspective, unless of course the opposition is correct when they say there is no (current) support for a so called ‘No Deal’ exit [1] meaning that MPs will allow themselves to be panicked into accepting May’s awful WA and thus allowing the UK to become a vessel state.

    [1] MPs have already given support to a WTO exit, passing the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017, and that was the time when MPs should have amended permissible courses of action for the UK Govt. should no withdrawal agreement be reached with the EU

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, No, the exact date does not matter. Yes, the most likely outcome of the vote is that MPs will allow themselves to be panicked into accepting May’s awful WA.

      • Steve
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink


        and then there will be trouble, big trouble, along with those who kept us shackled to the EU literally having to run for their lives.

        Let them dare.

  8. Adam
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    If the Withdrawal Agreement was automated, it could self-withdraw from existence & avoid being such a nuisance.

    We need either something sensible or no agreement. Leaving is the objective. Let’s end the agreement there & start afresh building on what in freedom we prefer.

    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It’s nauseating and offensive to see the integrity of British Parliamentary sovereignty and the sanctity of British democracy tainted on the altar of May’s political career.

    In the greater scheme of things May’s a total irrelevance to our nation but she’s a danger to our democratic future

    British democracy is not a commodity. It isn’t a plaything of the political class. It is what we are. It is who we are. It isn’t the property of the British state. It is the property of the British people

    How dare this grotesque PM think she can treat our most treasured possession with total contempt

    It is incumbent on all MPs from whatever party who believe in the absolute sovereignty of our democratic system and desire to see it protected from people who threaten it

    We, the people, sent you to this hallowed place, and it is we, the people, who will send you packing

    Do not treat the people of the UK with contempt and disregard.

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, I am sorry to say that Theresa May has already treated us with contempt and disregard. No one reading her DWA (based on Chequers) can be under any illusion that her deal is Leave. So either Mrs May has not read her own deal – which is most unlikely since she’s authorised it every step of the way – or, frankly, she is a bare-faced liar.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Indeed I assume you mean her deal is not leaving.

        • NickC
          Posted December 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, Errr, I said: “No one . . . can be under any illusion that her deal is Leave.” So that does mean her deal is not leaving in my view.

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

    Perhaps Mrs May is spending her time investigating the real opportunities of a so called managed WTO Deal before she commits to a vote on the surrender document.

    I hope so, but past performance suggests she will be doing the rounds again to try and convince MPs that her WA deal is not as bad as it looks on paper.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, lets hope that a ‘managed WTO Brexit’ IS being looked at seriously. But, Like you, I fear the May myopia is still trying to make Chequers acceptable, which means she and the EU Politburo are working on, or have already, an Irish Backstop fudge ready for prime-time.
      IF she can bamboozle the DUP into supporting her then we’ll be a vassal state for a generation or more. Surely there is no trust in the May government any more?

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      “Perhaps Mrs May is spending her time investigating the real opportunities of a so called managed WTO Deal …”.


      You’ve just invented a new Christmas cracker joke.

  11. ChrisS
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I would like to wish our kind host and everyone contributing here a very relaxing, Brexit-Free Christmas and New Year.

    Let combat re-commence on the 2nd January !

    We will prevail.

    • TRP
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      All forward to a wassail state. Merry Brexmas everyone.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Tut, tut, JR, fancy relying on media reports without checking … 🙂

    But here’s an interesting media report:

    “Corbyn: Brexit would go ahead even if Labour won snap election”

    So if anybody was going to stop Brexit it would be Theresa May, not Jeremy Corbyn, and when she threatens us with that outcome she is threatening that she will do it.

    Just as she is also threatening that unless MPs vote for her rubbish ‘deal’, if/when a vote takes place, she will order UK customs officers to unnecessarily hold up imports from the EU and so deliberately create shortages of food and medicines as well as delaying the parts needed by a car industry working on a ‘just in time’ system.

      Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Corbyn still wants us to remain in “the” or “a” customs union. There is no chance we would leave on WTO terms only.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Yes, Labour policy is barmy but it is still not to block Brexit; and at present the position under UK law is that we will leave the EU on March 29th 2019 with or without a withdrawal agreement, that is the new international treaty envisaged in Article 50 TEU, and in the absence of any new treaty we would default to the already existing WTO treaties for trade. The anti-democratic politician who is threatening to stop Brexit is Theresa May, not Jeremy Corbyn.

      • jerry
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        @John Finn; Not quite, he says that is what he would aim for, but also goes on to say that the EU needs to change its rules that disallow state support/intervention – intervention he needs to use to carry out his (likely) manifesto pledges.

        Corbyn is a life long ‘europhobe’. My suspicion is, talk of staying in “the” or “a” customs union is to appease the europhiles within his own party, and who whilst in opposition have a Shadow cabinet power base, but should Corbyn become PM he and his Momentum backed cabinet will be in a far stronger place to sideline the Blairites and europhiles – hence why the latter two groups are willing to make their party unelectable.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


          Blimey, I find myself agreeing with you more and more. It must be Christmas !

      • NickC
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        John Finn, Theresa May’s DWA explicitly states that we will remain in a “single customs territory”, so Jeremy Corbyn’s government would be no worse than Mrs May’s for Brexit. Probably better because Labour are better negotiators.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I do not understand in what grounds Labour oppose Mrs May’s deal. It gives them more or less everything they claim to want – customs union, regulatory alignment etc. Of course they will oppose any deal for reasons of political tactics, but there is no principle involved.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, imports can only pile up on the docks if the UK makes that its policy, our port, our rules, nothing to stop us waving them through, but that wouldn’t be scary enough, better frighten the sick and elderly to death.

      • Lendo
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Helen, the problem for us will be at French and Belgian ports. They cannot slow down our exports now, thanks to the EU. After Brexit, they can and will do what they want. Brexit is not taking back control. – brexit is a surrender of control

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


          Control by who ?

          Oh yes the EU, just about says all that is needed, and why the majority voted Leave.

        • jerry
          Posted December 23, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          @Lendo; Whilst the UK govt say they do not intended to slow EU imports into the UK, if the EU does so after March 29th (by blocking our exports on the dockside) then the UK govt will be fully entitled to do likewise, whilst UK companies now free of EU protectionism will be able to source products and components from the RotW, hurting the EU27 economies far more that it would the UK due to the imbalance in current trade.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Lendo, do try to think logically about this. As we are not exporting the food that we need to import to avoid the threatened food shortages we will not get food shortages if the EU decides to play silly buggers about our exports, in fact any food which was going to be sent to the continent but would get held up thanks to eurosilliness could instead be diverted to the home market to help make up for any deficiency in the volume of imported food.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink


          What possible reason would the French ports have for making life difficult for their customers? If they did do that what would stop our exporters choosing different points of entry to Europe?

  13. Hope
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    JR, from recollection May made a moment on 17/12/2018 that the debate will start on 7 th January and the vote taking place the following week.

  14. Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    not to worry mid Jan we should know all about the defeat of the’s what comes next that will rivet minds..a Parliamentary vote on Departure with no deal or else revoke to A50? with us it’s always the extreme options that count- can’t hardly wait

  15. A.F.Fanculo
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    if only our esteemed mendacious duplicitous PM could be persuaded to hold the required ‘meaningful vote’ on 1st April 2019.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    And here’s another media report, with her friends and allies in the Irish government now trying to give the quisling Theresa May a bit of a helping hand by pretending that if her ‘deal’ is not ratified there could be a ‘hard border’ with customs posts and potentially a return to terrorist violence, therefore necessitating immediate reinforcement of their security forces:

    “Hard Brexit warning of reinforced anti-terror units at border in Ireland”

    “Additional armed gardai are being posted to the border in the New Year.”

    “The decision to boost the strength of Garda Special Branch and Armed Support Units (ASUs) has been fast-tracked by fears of a hard border post-Brexit.”

    “Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and his security advisers are concerned about the problems that could arise if a hard Brexit acts as a recruiting weapon for dissident republican gangs.”

    “A no-deal Brexit, which could result in the re-introduction of customs posts, will put the biggest strain on Garda strength in the border divisions and on PSNI manpower.”

    This is despite the fact that the UK government has said that it will not be erecting any customs posts or check points and the UK Parliament has enshrined that in law, as the Irish government and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and his security advisers are no doubt perfectly well aware; so why is the UK government now sitting back and allowing this lie to be spread in Ireland?

    Well, we know the answer to that, don’t we – because this vile treacherous UK government is happy to collude with the Irish government in spreading irresponsible scare stories just as it is happy to threaten its own population with shortages of food and medicine.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink


      I was under the impression that, under the Good Friday Agreement, that ALL weapons held by terrorist groups would be decommissioned. If this is indeed the case then I fail to see how a hard border would immediately bring about terrorist acts ? Unless that is the weapons were never decommissioned in the first place.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. And if the weapons do exist then a hard border should be in place.

    • NickC
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      “Additional armed gardai are being posted to the border in the New Year.”

      Is that the supposed non-existent border?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Indeed, and apparently this non-existent border will need to be guarded as if it was the border between the two Koreas. One day we are close friends with the Irish, the next day we have become a hostile power and for their own defence the Irish must fortify the border. And when these insults come from Dublin our Prime Minister does not answer back and say “Whoah there, why do you think you will need to fortify the border, we are leaving the EU but we are not going to become your enemies”; instead she is secretly welcoming, and very likely she is actively encouraging, their nonsense.

    • Matt
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Denis..a few days ago there was serious trouble in Co Roscommon not too far south of the Irish border. It turns out there was an eviction of an old couple in a remote area taking place. To help with this there came a team of security men maybe ten strong or more came in from NI, some of them English nationals. Then when a lorry load of Irish nationalists, vigilantes, some old IRA, some just anti eviction activists decended on the place and attacked the security. Six of the security detail had their cars burned out and six had to attend hospital for injuries, a security guard alsation dog was shot dead and the rest of the security escaped back again over the border. The bank concerned responsible for getting the court order has had three of it’s branches attacked already. Last night again in Swords north county Dublin, a lot of damage was done when the same bank had one of its branches attacked and fire bombed and largely might think..all of this alone just for an eviction.. but Ireland is different..the people have long memories. Anyway the gardai are investigating

      • Mark B
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        . . . but Ireland is different..the people have long memories.

        And that is the problem. They remember everything, but learn nothing.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 23, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Matt, are you trying to tell me that beneath the veneer of pan-European sophistication, so proudly vaunted by journalists on the Irish Times, the population of Ireland are in reality still the same wild Irish of the history books? If I suggested that you would probably accuse me of racism.

        But what has this eviction in Roscommon, which was actually going to take place, got to do with hypothetical attacks on customs posts which have not existed for a quarter of a century and do not exist now and will not exist at any time in the future UNLESS THE IRISH GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO PUT THEM UP, which it has so far said it has no plans to do even if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement?

        It is all a load of nonsense, Matt, and if the UK government was on our side then it would be denouncing it as a load of nonsense.

    • acorn
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      The customs posts will be on the EU side. The EU will not be bothered by what goes out of the EU into the UK; but, it will be about stuff trying to get into the EU Single Market from the UK via the NI border.

      If the UK has an “open border” policy with the EU in Ireland, it will fall foul of the WTO, MFN prime directive. If you lower trade tariffs for one trading partner, you have to lower tariffs to all your other partners. In WTO terms, if you declare an open border you are telling WTO members that the UK “most favoured nation” (MFN) tariff is zero.

      • acorn
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        JR. Should your “no-deal” Brexit come to pass, I admit it is likely at present; there need to be some Sterling currency/capital protection countermeasures available, in a statute, for the Treasury to enact as required.

        A large part of the UK infrastructure is increasingly owned by foreigners. It is easy for foreigners with portfolio investments to cash in and go back home overnight. Not so easy for FDI but still possible for them to reduce their losses by just suspending their UK operations.

        It may become necessary for the government to nationalise some infrastructure holdings to keep the economy operating. The question needs to be asked as to what action Downing Street is contemplating to control capital flight out of Sterling assets.

        • NickC
          Posted December 23, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Acorn said: “It is easy for foreigners with portfolio investments to cash in and go back home overnight”.

          Do you have any business experience? At all?

          You have identified a willing seller. Where or who is the willing buyer? If there isn’t one, then your EU corporate will lose all their investment. If there is, then what is the problem?

        • NickC
          Posted December 23, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, An “open border” policy by the UK with Eire will not fall foul of the WTO or its MFN procedures. The WTO is not concerned with borders, it is concerned with trade. An “open border” does not mean varying tariffs or NTBs, or zero tariffs. Each consignment will be billed as normal by HMRC, and inspected on an intelligence led basis, as now. Nor does it mean that standards are not met, unless you are suggesting that EU standards will fall below ours.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 23, 2018 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        This is a remainer myth.
        You don’t have to have the same tariffs and border arrangements for every single nation you trade with.
        Nations can and do differentiate, having done risk assessments and by having bi lateral trade agreements.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 23, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        “In WTO terms, if you declare an open border you are telling WTO members that the UK “most favoured nation” (MFN) tariff is zero.”

        What rubbish, all you are telling the other WTO members is that you see no new need to intercept and inspect incoming goods as they cross the border, and if there are customs duties to collect or any other new functions to be performed you will arrange to do all of that away from the border.

        You have got it the wrong way round: it would arguably be a breach of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for the UK to suddenly and arbitrarily start intercepting and inspecting goods from the EU which it had deemed to be of satisfactory quality when it was in the EU, just because the UK had left the EU. If it was the Irish Republic that was leaving the EU then the UK could raise questions about the standards which would be applied to goods in Ireland in the future, and the UK could become cautious about allowing those goods to be freely carried across the border into the UK; but of course the Irish Republic is not leaving the EU, and (notionally at least) the Irish government will continue to apply EU standards on goods, including those goods exported to the UK.

  17. Original Richard
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May is possibly hoping that “something will turn up” (Micawber), perhaps an event that will cause a change of mind by Parliament to accept her deal or a last minute “clarification” from the EU which our remainer Parliament can then use to fool the country that it now makes her deal acceptable.

    Or perhaps that Project Fear over the holiday period will convince the country to overturn Brexit. If you tell a lie often enough….

    If Mrs. May is forced to go down a second referendum route because Parliament cannot decide upon how to leave (not whether to leave) then the referendum must only contain leave options as the remain option was already eliminated by the first referendum, by the GE where both main parties agreed to recognise the referendum result and by Parliament triggering Article 50.

    However, Mrs. May will want to avoid a referendum which included her deal as an option as the Leavers would tear it to shreds and show it up as very bad deal with loss of sovereignty, no representation and without an exit date exposing us to permanent business uncertainty and political and social instability.

  18. Den
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Another case proving that we still cannot believe all that is written in the newspapers.
    A pity that those printing false scare stories are not subject to British Law.

    How many times have we Leavers been told “we were lied to” by the Leave Campaign. LOL. That is ironic when considering the tsunami of false fear factors that came in from the Remain Campaigners and much of the Press, almost daily.
    Now, I have wondered just how many hesitant and reluctant Remainers have been persuaded by these phony scary tales of what bad things are going to happen to us if we do leave. Subsequent events has proven them completely wrong. Despite the despicable tactics, the majority of us did vote to Leave which should have been the end of the Remainer groups but it was not. They still persist in denying us of our freedom.
    Clearly there is proof that the people were actually lied to by these pro-Remainers and this point should be constantly highlighted by both the Leave Campaign and the ERG.

  19. ian wragg
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I would be amazed if the WA was ever voted on. I understand there are about 12 cabinet ministers who are favouring a managed WTO solution.
    If Hammond and May deliberately undermine the British public then I’m sure there will be some legal recourse to have her stripped of office and jailed.
    Have a Happy Christmas and thank you for your blog.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Latest is we really will die of stavation if we leave on WTO terms, truly, truly, shocking.

      Well, we won’t be short of egg if we ever do escape, have to scrape it off Gove’s face though.

  20. Alison
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    It seems Varadkar et al have ‘let slip’ that Eire won’t be putting up a hard border in the event of no signed withdrawal agreement before UK exit. Does this provide an excuse for EU to review the backstop element of the proposed WA, remove it, and keep everything else? (part of the plan all along??)
    Which would then make the WA acceptable to many MPs (quite wrongly, almost the whole thing is dreadful for the UK).
    Just wondering.

    Reply Possible but unlikely. EU keen to keep full text. There are various complex consequentials on removing backstop. Still a decent number of Conservatives who are against the money and other features of this oppressive Agreement

    • Oxiana321
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Thanks JR. I agree with Alison; this is a very real concern to those of us who think there is more to fear from the WA than just the back-stop. Could rogue elements in the Labour party ultimately swing this for the PM I wonder?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Alison Oxiana321

        Agreed that is the possible fear scenario.

    • Alison
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Dr Redwood – thank you for the reassurance. I think all of us need to continue to be prepared for/guard against eventualities.
      As a group of us analyze the Withdrawal Agreement again, we are finding more and more areas where the UK is being seriously ‘stitched up’. Right and proper.

  21. Steve
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The focus should be on getting us out on ‘no deal’ This is the only hope the conservatives have of marginally winning the next election.

    If government passes May’s WA, that’s the conservatives dead, along with the electorate’s trust. The people will never forgive such betrayal and will sack accordingly. I dare say it might also be the end of labour too.

    When I say ‘dead’ I don’t just mean a period in opposition – it will be terminal.

  22. bigneil
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I see some of the “low skilled migrants ” have already arrived – by boat – as stowaways – threatening violence before even getting on our soil. No doubt they’ll be housed, benefits set up and all registered with the NHS before xmas day. Just the sort to work here – NOT.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      We need someone to stand up in the Commons and ask Sajid Javid just what percentage of those arriving across the Channel over the last year have been removed from the UK. Care to do it, Mr Redwood?

    • Maybot
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Arrested under the Immigration Act rather than for piracy, hijack.

      In other news…

      George Osborn says the Tories will be in opposition for many years. Damn right. Wrong reasons given though (not liberal enough, apparently – as though the real Liberal party are doing well.)

      Can he seriously say that a tough on immigration, tough on criminals and pro Brexit Tory party would not win the next general election by a landslide ?

      I agree. The usual suspects would make the country ungovernable.

      • Steve
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink


        “George Osborn says the Tories will be in opposition for many years.”

        George Osborn is detached from reality when he comes out with rubbish like that.

        If the tories keep us subservient to the EU in any way, they won’t be in opposition they simply won’t exist as a political party, they’ll have to disband and make a run for it, along with anyone else who betrays us. That, is what George Osborn is not telling you.

  23. Captain Peacock
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    There was a find example of May’s negotiation skills a few days ago when she met the President of Poland. At the meeting she told him Polish citizens could remain and come to the UK after Brexit. I don’t remember Poland giving the UK any support during Brexit yet here’s May giving things away and getting nothing in return.
    All we have had in return is Brits will need a visa to visit Europe , our aircraft wont be able to fly over Europe and the latest from Ireland [ no surprise there ] UK drivers wont be allowed to drive on Irish roads. They have forgotten that their lorry drivers pass through the UK on their way to mainland Europe. But perhaps May’s already conceded that one.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 23, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      There are also voices that want us to find alternative ways to channel funds to Poland and Romania after we have left the EU-for geopolitical reasons.

  24. rose
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    We are living through the longest, most reckless filibuster in our history and Parliament is in contempt of the people. Mr R does more than anyone to keep us properly informed of what is going on.

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Off topic sorry.
    Just got an e mail from Amber Rudd and Broughton editor of Independent through Wanting me to sign petition for second referendum.
    They reckon they have over 1 million signatures. First I’ve even seen of this petition.
    Should Rudd be petitioning like this?

    • Steve
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      No she should not.

      In attempting to nullify the will of the subjects of a sovereign state that was granted legitimacy by the grace of the Monarch, she is guilty of sedition.

      Repeating referendums ’till you get the answer you want obviously works in Ireland because they’re stupid enough to roll over and accept it, but not here.

      I should very much like Amber Rudd to come nocking on my door with her nasty little petition. She and the detritus trying to wangle another referendum need to get it through their thick heads; ‘we ain’t having it’

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 22, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely agree!

  26. Kirriemuir Tory
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    What, if anything, is to stop her refusing to hold the vote in January, if she once again looks set to lose it?

    • Steve
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I think she should chuck the damn DWA in the bin, and get us out on no deal.

  27. Steve Pitts
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Most interesting. Mrs May only said it was the intent to hold a vote 14 January not definite so what would happen if she again were to cancel if she thinks she would lose? What would she do then, what can parliament do, what if she never holds a vote, there are so many permutations as to possible events. No doubt some remainers will do anything to stop us leaving though with no deal. But Corbyn is not a remainer really and has said if there is an election and he wins Brexit will go ahead but he will attempt to get his version of a deal, but it seems unlikely the EU would agree that. But it indicates to me he might oppose a second referendum in the end.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      This week has shown Corbyn to be a shame-faced liar. He is also a humbug. Of course you can’t be in ‘a’ customs union with the EU and have an independent trade policy. Even allowing for Corbyns clearly very limited intellect it’s time he was called out on the hypocrisy of his Brexit equivocation .

  28. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn’s Guardian interview is interesting. Wants to stay in the CU but doesn’t want any level-playing-field restrictions on state aid. Good luck negotiating that. Overall he wants to leave, as we always knew from his voting record going back decades.

    Amusing piece by Matthew Parris in the Times saying that if there’s a Leave vote in his longed-for Peoples Vote then this time he’d accept it. He must think we’re stupid.

  29. Helen Smith
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Honestly I am soooo angry right now with the latest outburst of Project Fear about needing the army to ensure rural areas don’t run out of food, and loss of livestock as food is diverted for human consumption to stop us dying of malnutrition.

    I’m so embarrassed, what must other countries think of our politicians? That they have wasted two and a half years that should have been spent preparing, that they would rather take the easy option of scaring us into staying in the EU than actually run the country, that the EU they love so much is going to forbid European companies from exporting to us to put the frighteners on anyone else thinking of leaving, that leaving the EU will be worse than WW2?

    So very, very shameful, who in the media is going to call this behaviour out for what it is over Christmas?

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Here is some more nonsense from an Irish government minister on top of all the nonsense we have had from that quarter over the past year to fifteen months, which like so much other anti-Brexit nonsense will go unanswered by our government for the very good reason that it is happy to see anti-Brexit propaganda circulating, indeed will happily add to it.

    “Coveney lashes Rees Mogg over border claims”

    “Tánaiste Simon Coveney has warned outspoken Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg to learn about the Troubles and realise the crucial importance of the backstop after the Conservative MP claimed the emergency plan is not needed.”

    Note how the “insurance policy” has now evolved into an “emergency plan”, all part of the deliberate racking up of groundless fear by both the UK and Irish governments.

    “Mr Coveney separately said it is “extraordinary” of some British politicians to “blame” Ireland for the Brexit stand-off, adding the “responsibility” for avoiding a hard border lies with Britain and that Ireland has no emergency plans for the return of “physical infrastructure” on the border.”

    Nor does the UK have any plans for the return of physical infrastructure on the border, indeed that has already been expressly ruled out by Section 10 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018:

    Although Theresa May is always reluctant to highlight that because doing so would tend to undermine the case for the ‘backstop’ she has agreed with the Irish government.

    Personally I think we would be doing more than enough to help the Irish, and the EU, if we passed and rigorously enforced a law to control just the goods that were being carried across the land border into the Republic, so there would be no new need for inspections on the other side of the border; but that is not enough for Theresa May, she wants the whole of the UK economy to continue to conform to EU standards.

    • Steve
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Dennis Cooper

      “Coveney lashes Rees Mogg over border claims”

      LMAO, do they want a fight or something ?

      Time to call in that massive loan we gave Ireland and show the goons how it works.

  31. Ronald Olden
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    The date of the vote (if ever takes place) hasn’t yet been set. But if it happens at all it will almost certainly be in the week commencing January 14th.

    The January 21st deadline is the following Monday.

    I would try and delay it till the 21st and make out that the Deal might be amendable over that weekend to make it acceptable to more MPs, following what they’ve said in the debates, decided in ‘indicative votes’, or in amendments to the motion.

    But the important feature of this final vote is that it only takes place at all if the Government has a Deal to offer the House and wants the House to Vote on it.

    There WAS a Deal to vote on, but if it becomes blindingly obvious that there’s no hope of its ‘clarified’ version passing, Mrs May might say, that owing to the EU having failed to offer the ‘legal clarifications’ etc etc that she’s been asking for, there’s No Deal at all any more.

    The existence of any Deal to vote on could also be scuppered by amendments to the motion itself.

    If that happens, the timetable of events after January 21st is different and somewhat less advantageous to No Deal Brexiters than voting down the Deal would have been.

    Now that Mrs May is immune from a leadership challenge for a year the best thing for both No Dealers and for Mrs May’s own Deal (if she really does want it accepted) is to put off this vote till the last date possible.

    The losers are the Remainers, and those who want to postpone the leaving date.

    The events of the two weeks starting January 8th will be as important as the events of the ten days which ended on December 20th.

    Who knows what will happen. Perhaps there’ll be these, so called ‘indicative votes’ in the Commons or amendments to the final motion which will affect whether any ‘Deal’ motion is voted on at all, and what (at the last moment) the Deal comprises.

    Mr Rees Mogg Mr Redwood and Co need to be on the ball and make sure they play their cards right.

    Their (and Mrs May’s) potential trump card is the fact that unless something legally significant is enacted in Parliament by then, both Article 50 and the Brexit Act come into effect on March 29th

    So make sure you all play the cards wisely. Mrs May seems to have been playing her cards deftly enough.

    The object of the exercise should be to get a ‘Managed’ or ‘No Deal’ Brexit if possible but failing that, to accept whatever deal Mrs May insists on and try to wreck it when the detailed legislation comes before the House after we’ve left.

    Even if it finally passes however it’s still better than postponing the leaving date or Remaining, No Deal is forever can be made to unravel at future date. And when we’re legally out, were legally out.

    Whilst we’re still in Remainers in the UK and the EU itself have a vested interest in undermining serious negotiations and sensible mutually beneficial agreements.

  32. mancunius
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May knowingly, deliberately, willingly, and for a period of more than a year, secretly negotiated while reversing her declared position on NI and UK being in the EU Customs Union. She is perfectly capable of ‘postponing’ the parliamentary vote yet again and either prolonging or reversing Art. 50 by appealing for Labour support against her own backbenchers, while she first pretends to haggle with Brussels, and then gives way, launches a massive fearmongering campaign against leaving without a WA, and calls for a ‘second referendum’ which will be deliberately loaded towards a ‘remain’ result.

    And don’t forget that while you and your colleagues are making excellent, principled speeches in Parliament, the remainers are silently e-conspiring with each other and with the EU Commission to thwart Brexit. Please don’t assume they can’t. It’s obvious to me that they can, and I can even see how they can do it without a single motion in the HoC.

  33. margaret
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t comment much these days as most of the other bloggers say similar, but I just don’t see how Mrs May kept her job. I get the feeling she is being manipulated to see it through to paying a penalty to the EU.

  34. Javelin
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Traditionally the left have sought clarification on the right to civil disobedience on behalf of small numbers of people.

    However the law in a country where the rights of the majority of people have their rights taken away is a different matter altogether.

    Where the majority vote for one thing and a small minority enact another then a question of law arises – Who is the lawful authority in a country. The majority or a small minority with their hands on the levers of power?

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    That was intended as a reply to NickC, and I have now copied it there.

  • 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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