Leaked Letter from Dame Lucy at the unit for co-ordinating Brexit

Readers will remember past leaks from a senior official, Dame Lucy. Another has come to my attention……

Dear Frank (I’m not sure who he is)

The Prime Minister is rightly pressing on with the Withdrawal Agreement. As you know, the Cabinet Office has been strongly behind this initiative, as it offers us the best chance to protect all that is best about our current membership whilst fulfilling the letter of the remit to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. We have carried out a substantial scoping exercise, and presented Ministers with the enormity of the task, reflecting all the inherent agreements and arrangements that have arisen from 45 years of membership of the EEC/EU. We have also responded to those Ministers who have said they are looking for a compromise between Remain and Leave, and wish to reflect the Opposition position that there must be no damage to jobs and trade. Some Ministers as at the Treasury and Business recognise that it will take a lot of time to try to get these features of our current membership into any future partnership agreement, though they would like to do so.

The truth is there has been no Agreement on offer which duplicates our membership of the Customs Union and single market which also meets the requirements to exit freedom of movement and to leave the EU. Because of this we worked with the EU on the sequencing proposal. Now it is established that the UK has to sign up to the money and a number of important obligations up front to reassure the EU, we can proceed to highlight the possible addition of better trading terms and some agreement on customs once the Withdrawal Agreement is signed. As you can see from the WA we have allowed plenty of time, with 21 months to be followed by up to a further 2 years. This means of course there could be one or more General elections before the negotiations are finished. The Opposition policy of wanting to stay in the Customs Union and single market would not be pre empted before at least one General election had occurred, which might be best in the circumstances, assuming we need all the time laid down to try to sort out a future partnership. Meanwhile, though we have technically left, all obligations and legal arrangements remain the same.

There is concern in the Unit that the WA might not get through the Commons. We have briefed Ministers to stress there might be no Brexit without the WA, and to highlight the uncertainties rejecting the WA will create. We need to help them respond to those who argue that just leaving and trading under WTO terms is a true Brexit. The government has successfully stressed that such a Brexit would be “hard” and like falling off a cliff. We may need to send out more of the material from the scoping survey showing just how many things might change, and how they might change for the worse without the continuity provided by the WA.I understand there are a few large multinationals prepared to forecast problems for supply chains and transport which we must give prominence to. The government is very preoccupied by the Union, so it is good that the EU stresses the significance of the Irish border issues.

This current fluid situation leaves open the danger of just leaving by default. That is why we must draw attention to the risks, and help Ministers stress the advantages of staying in and spending more time trying to get the future partnership right. In practice once we have signed the WA our bargaining position is much reduced, so we also need in private with Ministers to lower expectations of what can be achieved in subsequent negotiations. Treasury and Business seem aware of this, but some other departments are less well informed. We need to ensure the Trade department does not raise hopes of any early breakthrough for a Free Trade Agreement with the USA or some other non EU state, as that would be seen as provocative on the continent. We also need to ready departments for the rush of new EU legislation likely to come from the new Parliament and Commission, which we must implement thoroughly in our usual way.

Yours

Lucy

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109 Comments

  1. margaret
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    To be frank , partnerships will never be just right where money is linked. Philosopher A J Ayres has just tweeted that the UK ans US are led by blackmailers , come on Dr Ayres I know you thing Brexit is a wrong move but take off your tunnel vision specs and look at the EU.?

    • eeyore
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      A J Ayer died in 1989. As a pugnacious non-believer in life after death he would be perplexed to find his ghost lives on in Twitter.

      • Hope
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        JR,

        Could you have a word with Carney and Hammond to let them know whether Little Red Riding Hood is real? And is it true the Wolf in the the Three Little Piggies resides at the Treasury? What happened to all those boats that sailed over the horizon? Did they fall off? I am so scared by all the stories May has sanctioned i do not know what is real any more. I have become emotionally affected. Could I sue her?

        • Sulis
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          Yes Hope I agree, there is much to be disturbed about. I wait with patience and grace avoiding economic phantoms and eu fanaticism as much as possible. Mr Redwood does such a brilliant job dispelling them but it is fair to say the WA turned my face a whiter shade of pale.

      • margaret
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        We have a doppleganger , but those don’t exist do they. They are in someone.s mind?

        • Terry
          Posted December 31, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Margaret! Bless you. You literally believe anything! Christmas must be such a treat for you.

    • clivehoskin
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      The only ones who benefited from being members of the EU,were Germany and France.The others were only admitted so that they could be”Fleeced”

  2. Nick
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    John.

    This letter just goes to show what many in the Government are thinking. May and her cohorts are nothing but Remainers and to my mind perfectly fit the following definitions
    from the online Oxford Dictionaries.

    Traitor:-

    ‘A person who betrays someone or something, such as a friend, cause, or principle’.

    Treason:-

    ‘The crime of betraying one’s country’ or ‘the action of betraying someone or something’.

    Just about sums it up to my mind.

    • Gary C
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      And they expect to win our votes . . . . . . . . Unlikely.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Dear Gary–What I’d like is for someone to explain, or even give me a clue, how Canada (smaller economically than we are) manages so well adjacent to the US (and with an exceptionlly long border and no Channel) without all the EU garbage or indeed anything remotely similar, I lived on the Canadian border for years.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          Leslie

          Re Canada – what items do you actually possess manufactured in that country compared to those from the EU? And even it cannot prosper without being part of a trading union with its US neighbour despite there being little love lost between the people of those two countries.

          And how can you compare the EU, the world’s most successful trading bloc of countries that have histories spanning of thousands of years to a johnny come lately like Canada whose forefathers stole the land and its natural resources from the indigenous inhabitants?

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Dear Margaret–What an odd reply–For a start a Trading Union is one thing, the rest of the EU garbage another–Your “little love lost” is fake news within my experience.

          • zorro
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            Nonsense Margaret – hubris will get you nowhere! So, the ‘world’s most successful trading bloc’ is so good that it has miraculously seen its share of global GDP plummet from 33% in 1980 to 15% today and looking at shrinking to just 12% by 2030 if not more after Brexit (source – IMF World Economic Outlook October 2017). That’s some success…. oh and by the way it’s not just because the rest of the world is growing, it’s because the rest of the world is growing far faster too!

            So, the exam question – why is it that the ROW economy is growing so much faster when they are outside of the CU/SM aka ‘the world’s most successful trading bloc’…?

            zorro

          • clivehoskin
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            Excuse me.The EU has only been around for the last 45 years!

          • libertarian
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            Margaret howard

            What a load of tosh, you’ve been at the christmas sherry haven’t you.

            You clearly know nothing about Canada and the USA, the EU as you’ve been told so many times isn’t the worlds largest trading block

            Canada has never been to war with the USA unlike well the entire whole of Europe has been at war with each other pretty continuously since the year forever

            What happened to the indigenous occupants of Europe then Margaret?

            Why do you need an undemocratic, unelected , federal superstate in order to have trade?

            Youre deluded

    • Andy
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      The real traitors are those of you who ignore overwhelming evidence when it does not fit neatly with your increasingly discredited ideology.

      And, no, nobody expect the lunatic fringe expects to win your votes. You do not speak for 17.4m people. You are a tiny minority of bonkers extremists. You shout loudly and whine a lot but nobody really has to care what you think.

      • Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        We the majority voted specifically for WTO terms! The Government’s £9 million pamphlet specified that in terms. Anybody who defies the peaceful majority who have legally voted to change their circumstances is in great danger.

      • Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Poor Andy. What an odd world you exist in. Do you think anyone ”really has to care” (sic) what YOU think?
        Perhaps you should spend a little less time in trying to find new and unusual insults for the ordinary people here, and a little more trying to explain to them WHY, exactly, we are wrong to think the EU ‘ruling class’ (who thinks of itself as ‘elite’) is a bunch of arrogant, self-serving, greedy beggars, dragging much of Europe to hell in a handcart.

      • zorro
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Overwhelming evidence like I quoted above about how ‘the world’s most successful trading bloc’ has such an abysmal record in its growth when compared to the ROW which is outside the hallowed CU/SM!

        All you do is spit venom at those who you disagree with, hardly an effective way to convince people….

        zorro

        • Mike wilson
          Posted December 27, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Your comments about the diminishing share of world trade are nonsense. Over the last few years China and India have transformed their economies and massively INCREASED their global trade. Therefore OF COURSE, as already developed economies, our SHARE of global trade, expressed as a percentage, has gone down! A child of 5 with a basic grasp of arithmetic would understand that.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            A child of five can also work out that growth in the EU is falling whilst in the rest of the world growth is rising.
            Umemployment is higher than comparable developed nations and youth unemployment is dreadfully high in the EU.
            Centralised protectionist and regulatory focussed the EU is falling backwards and lettingbits citizens down.

          • zorro
            Posted December 27, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            They’ve massively increased their global trade whilst not being members of “the world’s most successful trading bloc (TM)” too….. Fancy that! Is there a lesson to learn there? We also have made big increases in exports to non-EU nations growing rapidly as opposed to our exports to “the world’s most successful trading bloc (TM)” … Fancy that too!

            zorro

      • Steve
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “The real traitors are those of you who ignore overwhelming evidence when it does not fit neatly with your increasingly discredited ideology.”

        Level that one at the minority remainers. Given the fact that you refuse to accept democratic majority vote then it is your ideology which is discredited, and I dare say insanely twisted.

        There is a description for your kind of ideology that does not accept
        democracy and the will of the voting majority, it’s called fascism.

        The majority voted fair and square to leave the EU. If you don’t like it (as you obviously dislike our country too) then you must either wait until the next general election to cast your vote, which this country graciously accords you the privilege of on behalf of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for democracy, or, you can simply get out and live in a country that does not recognise the democratic will of it’s people.

        Whoever told you the minority rules in a democracy was lying, it doesn’t work like that.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        If theres so much overwhelming evidence I suggest you show us some hard facts. Not guess, not forecasts or opinions, some hard facts

        Until then it would be rather nice if you toddled off and kept quite while the sane amongst us build a prosperous future

    • Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      In the words of Enoch Powell: ”There is a name for appealing over the head of the Crown to an authority outside the realm, and that name is treason.”

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Nick,

      They are trying to find eh best solution for eh country under very difficult circumstances and no political direction

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Nick

      “from the online Oxford Dictionaries:

      Ostrich-:

      “A person who refuses to face reality or accept facts”

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        I suggest that you practice what you preach….. The ‘leaked letter’ is probably not too far from the truth. Your reality is tainted by the verbal diarrhoea emanating from the Cabinet Office in Downing Street. They certainly do not work for us and will face their time in court, some day in the future.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 27, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard

        ““A person who refuses to face reality or accept facts”

        Oh the irony coming from you the poster supreme of fake news, fake facts and downright misrepresentations

        Still sticking your arm out of the window to turn right 80 years after the indicator was invented in the UK

    • Lorna
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Reading the Sunday Times confirms the skull duggery between the Govt and big business .There are clearly scare stories and as Lady Lucy states there are large multinationals prepared to forecast problems which would be given prominence
      Do the more naive members of the Cabinet understand what they are up,against ?
      How low the Treasury and PM are prepared to go to sink Brexit?

  3. Peter
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    A story was planted in the newspapers on Christmas Eve that May was confident of getting her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament even if it required two readings.

    So MPs need to be vigilant and ready for battle.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      We all know what will happen. The EU will offer a minor change which May will put forward as a major change and Parliament will vote the WA through.

      So 4+ years of uncertainty what will businesses think of that?

      Companies will deal with WTO, and FTA’s can follow without the UK’s hands being tied

      And a belated Happy Christmas to all..

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        kNOW-dICE

        Interesting perspective

    • Steve
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Peter

      One might question;

      So a second referendum is ruled out but a second reading of May’s WA isn’t.

      Not that I support the idea of a second referendum of course, but the hypocrisy is truly alarming.

      ‘IF’ and only if the story is genuine.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Yes, I read that.
      I find it rather puzzling because the WA has not been altered from the surrender document that it is.
      If it goes through then the DUP will withdraw support for May and she won’t be able to pass legislation, Corbyn won’t be able to command a majority so there will be an election.
      Enter Farage with UKIP”/Leave means Leave sporting candidates against all who abstained or voted for it and both parties will be decimated.
      Obviously May thinks it is a price worth paying to destroy the worlds oldest political party just to remain under the shackles of Brussels.
      Perhaps this is the best outcome and the swamp can really be drained.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        The swamp is severely in need of clearing and electoral reform to ensure it reflects the wishes of the electorate not them!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Indeed so taxpayers money is being used to pay Hammond, Greg Clarke, Mark Carney and the likes to talk down the UK and destroy investment confidence. So much that government does and spends on is actively damaging to the UK.

    The costly red tape lunacy continues I see.

    ‘Calorie cap for ready meals and restaurants to combat obesity’ this is likely to mean nearly all restaurants serve dire industrial, prepared in factories prepacked food.

    • Steve
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      “Calorie cap for ready meals and restaurants to combat obesity”

      A better and surefire way is simply to ban chocolate, shut down all the burger joints, and deny access to the NHS concerning self inflicted obesity.

      Then they wouldn’t be obese and the NHS would get a breathing space. Win-win.

      Also they wouldn’t be getting special rights and privilege above the rest of us for no other reason than selfishly stuffing their fat faces.

      • eeyore
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        It’s eating between snacks that does the damage.

        • Steve
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Umm…that would be a lack of self discipline, and self esteem.

          The answer’s quite simple really; some people can eat all they want without gaining weight, some can’t and its dangerous to their health, therefore they shouldn’t eat so much.

          Gluttony, fat-arsed idleness and an; ‘I’ am having it now and as much as I want’ attitude.

          Then they get given an adapted car and exclusive parking as if they were royalty, and refuse to use the stairs in hospitals, instead hogging the lifts while the infirm who haven’t abused their bodies have to painfully climb several flights.

          Gluttony should be classed as much anti social as is smoking. Both a severe drain on the NHS.

          • Mike wilson
            Posted December 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Humour detection failure alert.

  5. John Westwood
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    What!!!!! Who is this person. Are they working for UK citizens? Or an EU stooge? Does she think we are truly stupid?

    • sm
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      JW – you do realise Dame Lucy isn’t real, and this is satire, don’t you?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        LOL. All credit to the author then.

        The question is why and secondly what? Why are there subversive people like this who are earning a living from our taxes, operating in the shadows? What can we do to remove them from public life? Perhaps it will be only through a genuinely Brexiteer right wing government that this was ever going to happen properly.

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

        sm

        If it is satire, it isn’t funny. If it’s genuine, it’s very serious.

        Note that there is a Dame Lucy in government; Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe.

        JR I think you should either confirm the letter’s authenticity or pull it from the site.

        Reply Readers of this site will recognise it as a leaked letter from Dame Lucy Doolittle whose identity here should be well known, as there have been several letters of hers released over the years. The Index function on the website is good for back history.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          Reply to Reply,

          Congrats Dr. Redwood, seems you’re almost as good at spoofing as the great Orson Wells!
          Wish you and family well and enjoying the boxing-day ham.

        • Steve
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          JR, I was unaware of this being a long standing satire. Never the less I have to admit it does seem to have a truthful sentiment about it.

          Regards

        • eeyore
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Steve – Haven’t you twigged that JR is just a figment of Dame Lucy’s imagination, specially created to show up the absurdity of Brexit? It’s astonishing how many otherwise sensible people think he’s real.

          • Steve
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            eeyore

            Yes I know. However read through and you will see I didn’t trust it.

        • zorro
          Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Blame me 😉

          zorro

      • Steve Pitts
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Of course it’s satire, and so great at mimicking government and civil service thinking some people think it’s real. But it does largely reflect their way of thinking. Do they seriously think there is a chance of getting the vote through? They need substantial Labour support and have made no real effort to get that. There is no chance of removing the backstop. There should also be a similar report showing the EU thinking. The EU are still convinced this will get through or there will be no Brexit or we will delay leaving and perhaps have another referendum as we got the first one wrong. They think there is no chance of us just leaving. The Irish pretend to be terrified of that but have no plans to erect more borders.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        sm

        Whether it is satire or not, it seemingly reflects the true nature of how Governmental Remainers are nefariously thinking and demonstrably acting….in the worst interests of the majority of UK voting citizens.

        The 17th-century proverb is reflective of our current dire situation “actions speak louder than words” Never so true than when verbally expressed by Theresa May’s constant volte-face duplicity!

      • ian wragg
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Maybe satire but 100% on the button.

      • sm
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        “Satire”: the use of humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics or topical issues.

        Heavens, I see that some of you didn’t grow up in the era of Beyond The Fringe and That Was The Week That Was!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Oh no thses people are alas very real indeed. Worse still being paid from taxes all for this sabotage.

  6. Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I always like your thoughts and appreciate their franksess and wit, even if I don;t always agree with them.
    Merry Christmas!

  7. GilesB
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Dear Lucy

    Many thanks for your recent guidance on your sterling work on steering the Withdrawal Agreement through a sceptical and reluctant Parliament.

    It continues to be important to broadcast widely all criticism of a no deal exit. Even when totally unjustified it enables us to keep the spokespersons for Remain on all of the news channels.

    Using the threat of no deal will hopefully frighten some leaver MPs to support the WA in the meaningful vote.

    Equally important however is to secure Remainer MPs’ support for the WA. Particularly those who imagine that rejecting the WA would lead to a second referendum.

    As an insurance policy against losing the meaningful vote, we also need to keep open the option of revocation of Art. 50. Although of course this would go against the referendum result and the GE manifesto of both major parties, it might be necessary in order to maintain the closest possible relationship with our EU comrades. Reporting focus group results showing voter indifference to this constitutional ‘nicety’ might be helpful?

    Yours in servitude

    Frank

    • Andy
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      In a grown up country it is important to understand the implications of a no deal Brexit.

      If the resulting difficulties only affected headbangers – like you lot – then I’d say go for it. But your Brexit car crash will hurt everyone else too.

      • Hope
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Andy, the country voted to leave not for a servitude plan under the guise of a withdrawal agreement or deal. A trade deal was always going to be signed after we left, we know because Cameron told us so in parliament and on TV!

        Andy, it is time to tell you Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale. Scary as it might seem it is not true. The Three Little Piggies as well. Some think descendants of the authors might be in the Treasury and BoE! Come on Andy it is time to grow up, the world is bright and beautiful. Let us grasp it.

        • Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Here is Andy and he’s BLOODY annoyed! (Again)
          He is probably bitter because Father Christmas didn’t know where he was. (In Cloud Cuckoo Land, obviously.)
          He simply doesn’t seem to be able to get over the fact that Baby Boomers (aka head bangers, especially those commenting here) actually worked hard for their retirement and comfort in what he refers to as ”old age” (in which they are travelling and having fun, which makes him even MORE furious) and makes him rail against anyone he considers ”a pensioner” and anything that suggests success for our country.
          Whoever it is in his family who won’t cough up the readies is making him really, REALLY cross about absolutely EVERYTHING! Perhaps they should up his pocket money.
          Do what Hope suggests, Andy – and look up at the stars rather than down into the gutter. You may feel better with that burden of envy.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Leaving the EU was on the referendum ballot paper.
        The leaflet sent to all households by the PM stated very clearly what voting to leave meant.
        This deal organised by “headbangers” like you lot, who actually do not want to leave is dreadful.
        Fortunately Parliament will not vote it through.

      • sm
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Andy, have you ever stopped and asked yourself why your vitriolic hyperbole just doesn’t seem to be persuading we Leavers to change our minds?

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        What would “Andy” know about being “grown up” and why are such moronic rants and insults from him approved by the moderator on a daily basis? They are clear examples of a disturbed mind.

        However, if they are considered to be “free speech” (??) then retaliation will probably follow and the quality of discourse declines on this site.

      • forthurst
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Remainers are ungainly people: they are Nature’s rejects.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic and facts”

        I assume William Gladstone had you in mind when he said this

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        We run a healthy surplus trading under WTO with non-EU nations. Why would that be any different with The EU after we leave? We will be happy to buy all the stuff from the EU that we already do and I am sure that they will still be willing to sell to us tariff-free. All the trading and none of the political elements of the 4 freedoms would likely satisfy both sides of the debate.

    • GilesB
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Dear Frank

      We are focussing all our efforts at present on leaver MPs and their constituency Chairpersons. Over the holiday period the PM is speaking to each of the former personally about how she can see them advancing their careers in Government, and the opportunities for them in Quangos. Constituency Chairman are being offered investments in their area by the Chancellor and invitations to the Palace from an equerry. We are making progress.

      Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude assure No. 10 that there is zero possibility of extension of the Art. 50 period. They have vetoes from several member states safely secured. They, and Antonio for the European Parliament, assure us that the veto is ‘locked and loaded’. The announcement is scheduled for 18th January, just before the meaningful vote, completely killing the People’s vote movement.

      You make an excellent suggestion that we broadcast views ‘of the people’ on revocation of Art. 50. Olly likes it and has asked the Cabinet Office’s ‘Nudge Unit’ to draft appropriate terms of reference. If, as is of course likely, the results are favourable, we’ll schedule release of the results in early January.

      Onwards! All men will be brothers (well, or sisters, or whatever).

      Yours in Union

      Lucy

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I think in light of this it’s best I don’t comment. If I said what a really thought then my post wouldn’t get put in. I think you would find it too rude to even think of printing it. I’m sure you can guess where I am coming from though. Nothing has surprised me

  9. Javelin
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    “Meanwhile, though we have technically left, all obligations and legal arrangements remain the same.”

    “We also need to ready departments for the rush of new EU legislation likely to come from the new Parliament and Commission, which we must implement thoroughly in our usual way.“

    In otherwords Business as Usual.

    Meanwhile Conservatives slump in the poll to 29 and Labour rise to 36.

    Civil service and MSM plan onslaught to remove Corbyn and replace him with a remainer in the next General Election.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Yep, it was that last paragraph that persuaded me this was a spoof, but like all spoofs it worked because it had a ring of truth about it.

  10. DUNCAN
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    This is what Mandelson meant when he made reference to the ‘post-democratic age’. A world in which the voice, will and spirit of the people is dismissed and neutralised by an administrative class imbued with an overwhelming sense of their own importance, place and destiny

    May’s government and her EU allies are using words to conceal deeds. Using words to divert attentions. Using words to deceive millions of voters irrespective of how they cast their vote in 2016.

    I believe this debate is now at end. We all know what needs to be done. May, her government and any member of the administrative class working to undermine British democracy must be dismissed. Easier said than done but the process must start now.

    I promised my family that I wouldn’t read this blog over Christmas. Now I’ll have to apologise to them, again.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Any MP who votes for this Bill in any form is denying the will of the people and consequently anti democratic, their arrogance/ignorance is bewildering.

      Giving away £39b for nothing, especially with increasing homelessness of Brits and tragically ex Servicemen, should be a political death but May is lucky Corbyn is too indecisive to take advantage.

    • Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      We hear over and over that it is ”difficult” to replace a Prime Minister. There are so many mysteries and machinations in the Governmental scheme of things.

      Well – set a precedent.

  11. Mark B
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We also need to ready departments for the rush of new EU legislation likely to come from the new Parliament and Commission . . .

    I know this is a bit of fun but, this last part was actually true. The EU held back many a report and much legislation BEFORE the referendum. This was so that the Leave campaign could not use it. And Remainers have the gaul to blame the Russians etc.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    This letter is an indication of a huge failure of UK government action, the extent of which, more than half the country, do not understand. “… though we have technically left, all obligations and legal arrangements remain the same. “ Sums up the failure completely – Out in name only.
    Lucy – a presumed civil servant – demonstrates just how inept government has been in talking with the EU, when it is clear that the civil service has led the government by the nose.
    It would seem that the only course for those of us wanting to leave cleanly, is to keep on showing up the scare stories as false, and emphasising the deceit that accompanies each lie….But we are still at the mercy of government propaganda and a civil service which is in bed with the EU.

  13. Over 50 year old
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Good News!!
    I’ve told the French Authorities Lucy is a relation of mine and she can come too!

    Went fishing off Dover at Xmas in my rubber boat, a French ship picked me up,Docked at Calais, given free taxi ride to Paris, gave me a free 3-bedroom apartment plus benefits. I start school in January with a free school uniform and free dinners. I ❤️France..

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      (:

      Nice one…

      Just don’t wear your yellow vest.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Over 50. That is hilarious. The numbers coming over in boats now is truly alarming. We don’t know anything about any of them. John, can you tell us what happen to them? Do they get to stay and how much does each one cost the taxpayer?

      • libertarian
        Posted December 27, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        FUS

        In the last week just over 100 entered the UK at Deal and Ramsgate . We haven’t been told if any of them have been deported back to the safe country they came from

  14. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Who is this Dame Lucy ?
    If this letter is factual it is an abomination of anti democratic treachery.
    The Death wish of the Conservative Party is coming closer. The next GE will wipe the Party out and deservedly so. After 50 years of voting Conservative I may as well vote Monster Raving Loonie as they are at least as sensible as most Tory MP’s.

    • gordon
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      my thoughts precisely screaming lord such would be a shoe in i doubt i will be able to bring myself to vote for any of them.

      as to the eu and change there will certainly be change and none of it good and all of it implemented by the good old british

      has everyone in parliament taken leave of their senses the only thing left in future will be fo me and others to take leave of this country and move elsewhere (not europe)

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      That’s two then. Veracity is clearly there.
      Perhaps the author should post this “genuine” leak more widely in the national press!

    • Monty
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      It’s satire Arthur. Our kindly host likes to entertain us with these occasional forays, in the best traditions of ‘Yes Minister’.

    • bigneil
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I suspect as it is Panto season ( Oh no it isn’t – – oh yes it is ) Dame Lucy may well be some reference to a male person.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Ann Widdecombe’s message to T May on LBC promoting her Panto was for May to forget her pantomime and get on with Brexit. One of the few MPs to (very sensibly) vote against the totally mad climate change act too

  15. George Dunnett
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The smoking gun has been found. Many thanks Mr Redwood.
    Just proves that the Brexiteers have been correct all along and justifiably sceptical of the government (in name only) and their true intentions.

    How can anyone with a straight face support an organisation, when the tipsy “president” ruffles women’s hair, uses water canon and tear-gas on its citizen, has far right parties popping up all over the place like mole hills on a lawn and is possibly facing another banking crisis very soon.

    Wow!

  16. Andy
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    You and your party want to inflict what is, probably, the biggest act of self-harm on this country in its history Mr Redwood.

    And you are laughing about it.

    At the inevitable public inquiry into Brexit the judge will be scathing.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      If the deal is voted through we remain in the EU
      So I don’t know why you are so angry.
      You should be thrilled.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      It’s Remainer May who is the original pantomime clown with her WA.

    • James
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      It’s about sovereignty. Sovereignty cannot be “shared” or “pooled”. We are either sovereign or we are not.

  17. oldtimer
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Alarmingly the idea of cancelling Brexit because of its complications has gained some ground with someone I met on Xmas day. My riposte was to prepare for a civil war if parliament attempted that dodge.

  18. Steve
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Oh my giddy aunt,

    That letter could equally be a wind-up or could be genuine. The identities of sender and recipient need to be established.

    Reason; if it’s genuine it’s potentially explosive.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I note that Dame Lucy omits any mention of collusion between the UK government and the Irish government to push forward their joint propaganda project of building up a molehill on the Irish border into a mountain which can only be overcome through the ‘deal’ which suits them both best, of all the ‘deals’ which are available, that negotiated between Theresa May and the EU under the constant threat of an Irish veto.

    Perhaps those of us who are still alive will learn about this some decades hence when the Cabinet papers are officially released. Or perhaps we the British people may get the benefit of an earlier unofficial leak confirming that traitors in our government have been secretly conniving with this foreign power against our national interests for over a year.

    I will admit that it was some time before it dawned on me that Theresa May was using the largely fictitious problem of the Irish border as a pretext to get the kind of ‘deal’ that she and business leaders would want, failing continued formal membership of the EU, which is why the UK government never refutes any of the nonsense that comes out of Dublin, and even longer before I realised that probably the UK government is actively in cahoots with the Irish government to generate and spread that nonsense.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 26, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. It has become blindingly obvious since Chequers and her underhanded treachery behind not just one but two Exiting Ministers with her traitor cohort and civil serpents.Her withdrawal document is a National disgrace and humiliation. Her intent to get us back in asap!

  20. Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    There was an old American TV show way back in the 1950’s, in the black and white days, “I love Lucy”- could be something to do with that?

    Otherwise we can put it down to the silly season- the season to be jolly- or could be code for fake news. In any case Dame Lucy is talking through her hat, she talks as if there are choices there, but it’s much too late in the day for any of that.

    So let’s try a little reverse engineering- first of all the WA will not be passed in the House- I think we are agreed. This then leaves the Remainers dream of another peoples vote- but this is out of the question, it being considered much too dangerous because it would appear to overturn democracy itself, so then that leaves the idea of revoking A50 and to forget all about leaving- which might be acceptable to some in the EU Commission like Junker Barnier and friends but am afraid completely unacceptable to the EU Parliament which has an overriding say over such matters at the interface with the Council, so am thinking this avenue is also ruled out- and then that leaves only one final possibility- despite what Dame Lucy says I can’t see it any other way.

  21. Alison
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Dame Lucy,
    Further to my note of thanks above (@GilesB, 7:21 am), I note I failed to mention that the Chancellor has been doing his bit of sterling work all year, reassuring foreign leaders that the change will be in name only.
    As those nice people at Facts4EU reminded us today, he told the Chinese that we are “committed to creating an environment which will effectively replicate the current status quo so that businesses can carry on trading with their commercial partners across the European Union, as they do now”.
    I am sure we can be confident that he will continue to lead and bolster statements from the multinationals who are on message.
    Yours, Frank

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I have reacted very badly to some media commentary on the Queen’s Christmas message, and especially the interpretation superimposed on it by Sky News as another part of their campaign against Brexit.

    Her Majesty’s Government used taxpayers’ money to send a leaflet to every household, in which there was this crystal clear, unambiguous promise:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

    “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”

    33.5 million people took the government at its word on that, at least to the extent that they decided to participate in making that decision, and I have no quarrel with most of the 16.1 million who formed their best judgment on the matter and voted to Remain in the EU, but then accepted that the Leave side had won the referendum.

    I do have a quarrel, and an increasingly bitter quarrel, with the small anti-democratic eurofederalist minority who barely waited until all the votes had been counted before they started up their efforts to try to overturn the result. I do not care that some of them have noble titles and others claim to be Right Honourable, in my view they should be stripped of their titles, expelled from Parliament, barred from any public office and denied the vote in any public elections for the rest of their lives.

    And nothing the Queen could say would change that, unless she followed up her words by insisting that the likes of Philip Hammond are removed from the government.

  23. BOF
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Spoof? No, far from it, this is exactly the thinking in No 10 and establishment. They really do want to trash democracy in this country. They really do want the UK to be a region of the EU and subordinate in all respects.

    Perhaps the hope is that even though it will kill off the Conservative Party, by then there will be effective EU administration here, backed up of course by the EU army. No British troops (they will be deployed in trouble spots elsewhere in the EU) while troops from across the channel deal with any resistance here!

    As a footnote, EU administration of the UK will be run by those UK politicians with the ‘correct’ EU thinking.

  24. Den
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The single line, Ministers “looking for a compromise between Remain and Leave” tells me why our Brexit is in a mess. PM May’s vain and questionable attempt to satisfy the minority has alienated all but everyone. It has failed, miserably.
    The majority of the electorate voted to Leave the EU. In a democracy, a National Referendum result decides the outcome. The result is not up for negotiation or further interpretation. neither should it be, lest it denigrates the primary status of a National Referendum.
    I do not believe we would have had such a difficult time had Remain won by the same margin, as the people, whichever way they voted, would have accepted the result.
    Seeking this farcical compromise has elated the Brussels regime but disheartened the Leavers and even managed to disappoint many of the Remainers.
    It is time for Mrs May to get a grip on the real meaning of a National Referendum and do as the People decided in the People’s Vote of 2016.
    As I see it, the only way now to achieve that, is to leave the EU with No Deal and immediately adopt the Deal provided by the WTO. It already works for the much bigger Rest of the World and it will work for us because it will give us TOTAL FREEDOM to do our own thing without the meddlesome interference of the dire Brussels bureaucracy . I look forward to a happy New Year in a Free Britain.

  25. Ronald Olden
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Can John Redwood guarantee that if this Withdrawal Agreement doesn’t pass the vote to be held on near January 21st, that we will Leave the EU at 11pm on March 29th?.

    We don’t need his views in what SHOULD happen. We need his guarantees about what WILL happen.

    I however can guarantee that if Parliament votes for the agreement in the vote, that the treaties WILL lapse at 11pm on March 29th and that Parliament will still be free to vote down the details of the agreement when the legislation comes before it.

    I can also guarantee that whatever is enacted in that legislation, the Crown in Parliament, being Sovereign, will be able to repeal it whenever it likes.

    Eurosceptics in House of Commons have a terrible history poor strategy and tactics. They followed Mrs Thatcher blindly into enacting for the Single European Act, and empowered Mrs May enormously by their misguided vote of confidence.

    John Redwood was Downing Street Chief of Policy when the Single European Act was forced through Parliament, was a Member of the Government when we joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism, and was a Member of the Government which negotiated and signed the Maastricht which he himself voted to enact.

    I don’t know how he voted in the 1975 EEC Referendum. But I think I can guess.

    Reply I voted against the EEC in 1975, advised Mrs T not to accept majority voting in the single European Act, and published a pamphlet against the ERM before we joined predicting the economic disaster it would be. I cannot offer guarantees about what Parliament will do over the next 3 months as I only have one vote there. I was one of the leaders of the campaign to avoid entering the Euro which was successful.

  26. acorn
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Dame Lucy, your letter reads like a pre-surrender document from the ERG. My department is expecting a significant collapse of the latter, particularly the later the “meaningful vote” occurs. As I always say at times like these, the “establishment” must be conserved at all costs.

    The current governing political party is the party of and for the establishment, and that establishment will not allow its tethered MPs to play silly buggers with the state machine and put the wealth of the 1% at considerable risk of sequestration by alternative ideologies.

    You say, “… once we have signed the WA our bargaining position is much reduced …”. Alas, the UK never had a bargaining position from day one. The country joined the EU on EU terms and it will leave the EU on EU terms. The internal market of the EU is far larger and more important to the 27 than the UK, particularly further expansion into the Council of Europe’s 47 states.

    The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is the best we could get inside all the red lines. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to change that many words to convert it into a trade framework agreement. Sadly, failure to accept Northern Ireland as an EU “frontier territory” under WTO Article 24, will have made all our efforts a waste of time.

    All the best, Frank

  27. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Dear John

    Please thank Dame Lucy for leaking that letter, next time you look in the mirror.

    I notice that facts4eu are going to push out more facts about a clean, Managed WTO in the coming days.

    Given that some prominent Cabinet members, with access to private Government information about a WTO Exit, are now comfortable about a WTO Exit, the more facts are known about WTO, the better.

    Best wishes for a Happy and Successful New Year!

  28. Fed up
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    The Sussex police have been given the task of investigating this leak.

  29. Lendo
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    The bitterness and paranoia of the Brexiters has no limits. You won the referendum and youve done nothing but throw tantrums ever since. Davis, Raab, Johnson, Mogg, Redwood have one thing in common, they never ever take responsibiity for anything, they just snipe from the sidelines. If you dont like Mrs Mays plan, where is your alternative?

    Reply Set out endlessly on this site . It’s in full view! We leave without signing the WA

  30. Nigel Seymour
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    No wonder I’ve switched off from Brexit! All I’m interested in is Art50 March 2019. It wont happen though and May will do as she has done for 2 years and lie her way to political oblivion in an attempt to keep us in the EU.

  31. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    It’s started. Channel 4 is advertising a film called Brexit The Uncivil War.it stars Benedict Cumberbatch. How much do we all want to bet it will be promoting remain? Beam me up Scottie. I want to leave planet earth.

  32. Norman
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Dame Lucy and her letter are a telling caricature of the machinations within the corridors of power. The reality is probably even more devious and unfathomable, as there is so much at stake here. May truth win out. Meanwhile, God save the Queen – what a blessing she’s been to the nation!

  33. Ann Lord
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    This makes my blood boil! Who are these people working for? Thank you for sharing John.

  34. Posted December 27, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Dear Ann,
    These people are the Establishment, they are a mix of the three main parties, they were able to get rid of our best PM since Churchill, that being Mrs Thatcher, in very quick time.

    They are able to keep this one here only because she is doing what they want.

    No we are not a Democricy, and we have not been ( apart from Mrs Thatcher) for at least since Ted Heath became PM

    Still can not believe it,, just watch what happens next year.

    We probably will only get out if the EU comes apart.

    Our host has explained that there is nothing whatever to worry about Leave, and I believe him.
    This Deal should have been the easiest in history, and could have been done in no time at all, say if John Redwood was PM.

    Why, well he does not buy the Establishment lies, he is a believer in Leave and would have had a Leave Team with him.

    As he has said we already trade under WTO very successfully, as do most countries.

    Plus we buy more off the EU than they buy off us, how is it that a strong hand of cards like that is given away ?

    Happy New Year everyone
    Ian

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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