I do oppose the Withdrawal Agreement

I see some are wrongly suggesting I am wobbling over voting against the Withdrawal Agreement. They are mischief making and should read this website to understand why I oppose it. They would then see I have several fundamental objections which cannot be fixed by tweaks or reassurances.

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87 Comments

  1. rose
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    This is very good news. If the reports that you are wobbling are unfounded, as we know they are, then perhaps the reports of others wobbling are equally unfounded. Let us hope so.

    Have a very Happy New Year.

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    We do not have to sign the WA. We can Leave at the end of March 2019 and that, is that !

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Indeed let us hope the rest of the sound wing do the same. The agreement is appalling and totally unaceptable is so many ways. It is amazing that anyone could think otherwise or propose to sign such a mad surrender document and even offer to pay billions for it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      What is May on about now. She suggest that if we back her appalling deal the government can move on to other issues like housing and education!

      The government employs millions of people and spend/waste nearly 46% of GDP. Yet T May thinks they can only manage to do one thing at once!

      She said:-
      “The Brexit deal I have negotiated delivers on the vote of the British people.
      It gives us control over our borders our money and our laws. It is good for jobs, protects our security and works for our whole UK.”

      “our debt is starting its first sustained fall in a generation”

      Lies, lies and yet more lies from this appalling woman. She clearly thinks we are all complete idiots.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        She is a liar, a cheat, a hypocrite and a traitor, and I curse myself for having been fool enough to trust her and vote for her in the last election.

        • M Davis
          Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          That’s good enough for me to say, hear, hear!

  4. Gary Close
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Lord Redwood of Loddon. Would that clear it for you?

    Reply I wish to serve my constituents in the Commons

    • Richard1
      Posted December 31, 2018 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      If we get WTO Brexit and after say, a year or 18 months, there has been no noticeable negative effect, and maybe even the appearance of green shoots of Brexit opportunity such as a trade deal or two, Sir John should be raised at least to Earl of Wokingham. Such has been his resolute consistency in rejecting the various stages of Project Fear since its launch in version 1.0 in 2015.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Me three

  5. Caterpillar
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Let us hope no other MPs wobble.

  6. Hope
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Ask yourself why May would sign up to this? Why May is prepared to lie and be dishonest over its implications? Does she have any sense of duty to our nation? This is a sell out in epic proportions. She deserves to be investigated and imprisoned for treason.

    I just read the top 40 horrors of May’s servitude plan. Each time you read it you cannot stop and wonder why any right minded person would agree to this. It is spectactularly bad! Horrifyingly bad. So why would she do it if not to use as a reason to remain in.

    Has Fox taken a mind changing substance? I suggest he read this article and both rebuttals by Noten and the spectator. Article 184 demonstrates the EU knows it has broken article 50 by not agreeing a future relationship deal with the U.K. before leaving!

    This is not just horrifying about the Irish backstop it is riddled with disasterous consequences for the UK as a vassal state. Including not criticising the EU, paying money to promote this servitude plan and handing over money at every turn. Give the EU control of intellectual property, follow its VAT, follow its foreign policy, not tax EU employees, not prosecute EU employees, ECJ still being the Supreme Court and for at least eight years after any potential transition period! The U.K. Gives away its rights under international law and submits to EU law interpreted by the ECJ. The EU gets to decide if the U.K. has been compliant and whether it should be punished!

    • GilesB
      Posted December 31, 2018 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      The Spectator’s list of 40 concerns about the Withdrawal Agreement is indeed utterly compelling

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:53 am | Permalink

        Indeed it is compelling. What is going on under May and Hammond is not a real negotiation it is a choreographed surrender, arranged by her in collusion with the EU. Some worthless backstop fudge will be done and May will try to push it through. It will destroy the Tories and give us Corbyn.

        A clean Brexit is hugely preferable and should hopefully give us a real and strong Conservative party while avoiding a Corbyn disaster. The case for it is overwhelming. The country and the party membership want this only the pathetic wet wing of fake “Tory” MPs and the socialist, disingenuous remainer T May are preventing this and threatening to destroying the party as a result.

        • Turboterrier.
          Posted January 1, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          @ Lifelogic

          threatening to destroying the party as a result.

          Should have left out the “threatening to”

          In a lot of peoples mind who have a real understanding of what being a Conservative is really all about, she is well on the way to achieving her hidden agenda. Taking the country and the party down wholesale.

    • Butties
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Well Hope you also have to ask how could a majority of the Parliamentary Party have CONFIDENCE on May. That is as much a conundrum is it not?

      • Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Self interest, perhaps? Short term personal gain, perhaps?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Theresa May is a Tory and the history of the Tory party over about six decades has been to give preference to the vociferous demands of that part of big business which exports to the continent.

      The 84% of UK businesses which do not export to the rest of the EU count for little; even small UK businesses contributing towards the 12 % of GDP which is exported to the EU count for little, although they may be useful to hold up as examples in the pro-EU propaganda campaigns.

      To repeat what I said six weeks ago, November 18th:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/11/18/a-letter-to-young-voters/#comment-974407

      “Meanwhile the woman from the CBI says that this is not a perfect deal but it would be far far worse to leave with no deal, so there would be rationing at ports and shortages and interruptions of supply chains etc etc; but the ideal of “frictionless trade” will be for the next stage, with a permanent customs union; the “backstop” is just a “technicality”; and she is thinking about real people in the country and their futures, etc etc.

      Well, if this deal is not a perfect deal from her point of view it is coming very close to that, as claimed in a CityAM article I first referenced months ago:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/16/how-not-to-negotiate-with-the-eu/#comment-966895

      “For the last two years, British industry’s focus has largely been on the UK government. The private sector, including the shipping industry, has taken to the airwaves to feed the media’s thirst for new Brexit opinion, and crammed into Whitehall meeting rooms to highlight threats – real or perceived – to their respective sectors.

      The Chequers deal is proof that the government has listened – it is as close to what we asked for as we were ever likely to get – and the Prime Minister has shown considerable fortitude in squaring the circles needed to deliver it. The rest of the government and all of Parliament now need to get behind it.”

      As for her idea that any deal is better than no deal, firstly I wonder how many of her CBI members go into negotiations thinking like that, and secondly of course leaving the EU without any new special or preferential trade deal would not mean that there was no deal at all on trade because the WTO treaties are not contingent on EU membership.”

      As for the largely fictitious Irish border ‘problem’, Theresa May is just using that as as a pretext to do what she wants to do anyway, namely keep the UK under swathes of EU law in perpetuity; and as that is what the Irish government also wants the two may well have been colluding towards that shared end.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        That should have been:

        “The 94% of UK businesses which do not export to the rest of the EU …”

    • BR
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes – Kerr himself (author of A.50) said as much on politico a while back. He stated that the UK should go to the EU, clutching the text of A.50 in hand) and show then that it clearly states that the future relationship must be sorted out before a WA.

  7. Steve
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    I think it is good that you have decided to write on this subject.

    The thing is; people have been taken for fools in a big way recently. We see those whom we trusted being obviously bought off, some of them even going against their own constituencies.

    Time after time we’ve been dropped flat on our faces by politicians the minute they get a whiff of green leather and oak.

    As a result some tend to be trigger happy when it comes to casting aspersions. you can understand why virtually nobody trust politicians anymore.

    However, the vast majority on this site and elsewhere don’t believe for a second that you would go against your word.

    Granted some people are simply out to antagonise but they don’t need to be taken seriously, they’re in a tiny minority.

    You seem to have more supporters who genuinely believe your word than any other MP I can think of.

    I’d say just ignore the antagonists. Besides all MP’s voting records are available to the public these days so how you vote on the WA will be evident. Clearly the minority who cast these aspersions don’t know what they’re talking about. My guess is they’re probably remainers attempting to propagate mistrust where there is none to propagate.

    When we leave the EU on 29th March you’ll find their response is either; to suddenly go very quiet, or scream like hell about the unfairness of democracy because they didn’t get their own way….in which case we’ll be laughing at them before we roll our sleeves up and get on with making this country great again.

    Take no notice of them Sir.

    • Al
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I would suspect that these rumours are less about whether our host is wobbling, and more about whether is can be used to create that perception in others. The majority of people I have seen using the phrase bribe/wobbling/etc are after all, either Remain or those trying to get Mrs May’s deal through.

      If that can be used to make other MPs doubt then even when it comes to the crunch and Mr Redwood, as I am sure he will, sticks to his principles, others may have already cast their votes.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        I doubt that we will never know for sure just how much of the incessant stream of anti-Brexit propaganda is actually originating in Downing Street. We have some idea of what has been done in the past in that way, and I suppose those of us who are still alive may learn something when the current Cabinet papers are made public many years hence. For the present we can only try to deduce what is most likely to be the hidden truth of the matter from its manifestations in the public behaviour of the Theresa May government, which despite her words is certainly not the behaviour to be expected from a UK government which really believed in Brexit.

        • Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          If the ”incessant stream of anti Brexit propaganda” is NOT originating in Downing Street, why is it not refuted at every turn? Surely any honourable MP worth his salt (besides our host) would have been able to rubbish this tosh as soon as it appeared. It seems not much effort has been made by Downing Street to put the record straight – if any.

  8. margaret
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s not curious you should acquire a title ; you deserve it. It is curious that you should receive it just now and in this way ; but as long as you refuse to sway , were all still with you anyway.

  9. James
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Never doubted it. It’s one of the reasons we like and trust you.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      James

      Agreed.

  10. Andy
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I congratulate you on your knighthood and on maintaining your principles. Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement is a despicable document and no one with any sense of honour could possibly support it.
    I wish you a Happy New Year.

    • Steve
      Posted December 31, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Well put.

    • James
      Posted December 31, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Wow, Andy, have you made a New Year Resolution to turn over a new leaf and become a Brexiteer?

      • Stred
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Remainers asked for the worst deal possible. May/Robbins delivered it and they are spending a fortune fixing a second referendum, dressed up as a People’s Vote. He’s one of many in on the act, assisted by the BBC and bought media. using Fear2 to scupper WTO/no deal, which is what the referendum and manifestos described and supported

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        There are at least two people using the name “Andy” to comment here, and I doubt that the fanatically pro-EU “Andy” will ever decide to turn over a new leaf because that kind rarely do. JR chooses to provide opponents with a free platform to spread their lies and insults, and that is his choice.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Andy

      despicable document and no one with any sense of honour could possibly support it.

      Not too many of them sitting on the benches. Honour and Principles. They don’t understand the meaning of the words

  11. Adam
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Naive Remainers should remain silent. Attempting to re-heat Project Fear is ineffective. The Withdrawal Agreement is disagreeable from all quarters & on cold turkey.

    A Brexit Declaration of Independence would have been a stronger instrument of UK intent for our freedom & preferences. We do not withdraw, we Leave. We strive for better with our own brainpower & skills, without EU interference.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Adam. You are so right about the remainers keeping silent. If they had tuppence worth of grey matter between their ears they would have shut up., stood aside and let those who want it to just do it and get it got. If in the unlikely event of failure they could then
      call enmass for the resignation of all those that chose to get us out of the EU.

  12. hardlymatters
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes john we all know that you are going to vote against the WA and that is generally accepted, and we know the WA will be defeated or maybe not even put to the vote, so your support of Mrs Mays government will not be needed at this point.

    However where your support will be needed is for what comes afterwards? support for another peoples vote or support to rescind of A50 is in the plan. One thing for sure they don’t hand out knighthoods without there being a payback, and as we won’t be going out to WTO rules anyway.,my guess is A50 will be rescinded revoked, parked. problem kicked into the long grass for some future generation to sort? Now what’s that you were saying about taking back control?

    reply There is no string attached to the knighthood and I will support just leaving on March 29 2019

  13. Gary C
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    “They are mischief making”

    No they are remainers aiming to contort the truth.

  14. Richard1
    Posted December 31, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I hear Jacob Rees-Mong say however that if the backstop went we would “reconsider whether the withdrawal agreement met the commitment to leave”. I think there will be a fuzzy form of words which will get enough Tory MPs + the DUP over the line and some of the Ummuna types in Labour will vote for it also such is the terror of the cliff edge.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 31, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      I hope the intellectual leaders of Leave are making contingency plans as to how best to take things forward should Mrs May’s deal scrape through, as I fear it might in the end.

      • Nigl
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        Agreed there is a fudge on the way. We have been duped into thinking it is only the backstop that is the problem but the whole agreement is fundamentally flawed, designed to neuter U.K. plc by tieing us as close to the EU as possible whilst being able to claim we have left.

    • Steve
      Posted December 31, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Richard1

      But the issue here is about disrespectful and wrongful accusations that John Redwood was bought off. Clearly they are cynical yet futile attempts to reduce his support and spoil his receiving the recognition he deserves. Cynicism in the minds of semi – educated people best describes it.

      Of this you can be certain – the gentleman will vote honourably and according to his beliefs and conscience, unlike some.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        Yes indeed quite absurd. Rather like those silly continuity remain people who think James Dyson producing cars in Singapore is some kind of vindication of their view of Brexit. Dyson of course will produce in Singapore as a commercial decision and makes the decision as any rational global business would.

      • Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        And, I think, not simply HIS beliefs and conscience – but those of his constituents, whose wishes he considers above his own. They are fortunate to have him.

        Would that my MP were as honourable. Here’s one seat that the Conservatives will definitely lose at the next election. We have a turncoat.

    • Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Richard 1- So Jacob Rees-Moog, the minister for the 18th century, has decided that the Backstop can be fudged with, and that maybe that would be acceptable to ERG types and the DUP to drag the WA over the line. Well nice try but no cigar- the EU and the Irish are not going to be messed with anymore. The WA is on the table, vote for it, or don’t

      • Stred
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        This false Backstop issue is demonstrated by the fact that, as on the EU website, it is the EU and not the UK which is planning a border post on the border between NI and SI by 2020. It will be for electronic visas for a 3 month stay. Now that Mr Varadakar is panicking, he is hoping to get the EU to agree to put them on the Irish sea border and airports. This was, perhaps, drawn to his attention by posts on this blog. Best of luck. Perhaps get an EU backstop, as the UK doesn’t propose customs on the border.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        The Irish govt has grossly overplayed it’s hand as has the EU. In the case of Ireland it’s a potential disaster if we end up with WTO brexit – if the EU then force them to impose silly border checks and tariffs. I’m not sure the penny has dropped on this in Ireland yet?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          In recent weeks I’ve seen a few articles in the Irish press suggesting that the government may have gone too far, and a contact in Dublin drew this to my attention from just before Christmas:

          https://www.businesspost.ie/business/ireland-must-blink-first-game-chicken-433249

          “Ireland must blink first in game of chicken”

          However my appreciation is that if this is a game of chicken then it is not between the UK and Irish governments on opposing sides as is suggested in the article, rather it is a game of chicken between the UK and Irish governments colluding on one side and the rebel Tory MPs, representing the UK electorate, on the other side.

  15. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Good. I’m glad to hear it. Any deal based on the Chequers White Paper is unacceptable because the concept of a common rule book is unacceptable. We must recover sovereignty IN FULL.

    There is a danger that the EC and the Irish Republic will panic if the draft Withdrawal Agreement is rejected by the Commons and offer to insert a time limit on the backstop. Some MPs might think that that is enough. It is not nearly enough.

  16. John Sheridan
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    1) I would be very surprised if John Redwood’s views on the WA could be changed by the offer of a knighthood.

    2) It would not surprise me if the suggestion of a potential change of heart regarding the WA came from sources close to the Number 10 inner circle.

    3) Even without the backstop in the WA, the WA should be rejected. It’s a negotiation straitjacket for the future trade deal discussions that will hamper the UK.

  17. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    John works tirelessly on all his parliamentary duties. I have no doubts about him voting against the WA. I am certain he will be as gutted as we will be if we don’t get a proper Brexit. Thank you for all your hard work over the last years and for many to come. We need MPs such as yourself.

  18. DUNCAN
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I do hope JR remains true to himself and his principles. It would prove far too shaming if he was to appease May at this juncture and back her democratically and constitutionally destructive WA in the Commons

    But do not underestimate the capacity of Tory party MPs to sell the UK, its constitutional construct and its people ‘down the river’. We expect treachery from the contemporary Labour party. It is what they are after all. We expect the opposite from our own party considering its historic attachment to the politics of patriotic allegiance

    Since 1973 many Tory MPs have worked tirelessly towards the erosion of British democratic institutions in the name of European integration. I don’t believe this will change even in the face of an overwhelming defeat for Remain in 2016.

    Democracy’s become a hindrance for many in the Commons. The people’s will a nuisance. The man in the street simply a bore to be tolerated. This is what each tax-paying, law-abiding, patriotic British citizens is up against. A political and administrative that is determined to override our most fundamental democratic expression, a legal binding vote

    And May will take advantage of the general lack of understanding of many members of the public regarding the issue of sovereignty and independence. She is quite wiling to sacrifice the most sacred thing we possess to get her way.

    We have a despicable PM and a despicable and increasingly arrogant and careless political class. I believe they genuinely despise democratic interference. That is very dangerous indeed

    • Richard
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Wise up Duncan – Brexit is being driven by the super rich intent on avoiding the upcoming EU tax avoidance legislation. The vote wasn’t the ‘people’s will’ and ‘overwhelming’ – it was 52-48. Nearly 57% of Wokingham voted to remain. More would now do so with a people’s vote now we better understand the financial consequences to most of us, whilst the super rich get richer.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        That is nonsense Richard..
        The rich elite establishment love the EU.

    • jerry
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      @Duncan; You raise many constitutional issues.

      You arguments could and are made by the UK based Nationalists parties and have similar problems. The nation state, like language, has never stood still in its evolution, if it did I would be a citizen of my beloved Westseaxna not of a union called the United Kingdom of England, never mind anything that came later. I’m sure many could not understand the politicians of those days either. Indeed the SNP do believe that their beloved Scotland was ‘sold down the river’ in 1709 by their forebears, on the other hand I doubt many in Wessex truly believe that they would be better off as a nation state in their own right, although a few -as in Kernow- no-doubt do!

      “May will take advantage of the general lack of understanding of many members of the public regarding the issue of sovereignty and independence.”

      As indeed some on the Brexit side did, and still do…

      “wiling to sacrifice the most sacred thing we possess”

      A bit like politicos in the Lone Star State did in 1845 you mean?…

      For all but a few, the very elite in society, sovereignty is nothing more than a state of mind. Texans will always be Texans, of course, but they are also above willing (by 52.23% in 2016) to “Put (the United States of) America First’.

      The UK needs a full Brexit for many reasons, some notion of sovereignty, whilst on the list, is not high on that list, many other political and economic reasons are far higher.

      As for your last paragraph, I take it that you despise the FPTP election system, and that consequently the Tories should not currently be in government, considering they did not obtain the required 50.1% of the popular vote, that there should democratically be a grand coalition of parties to archive that minimum of 50.1%, if not, do you not yourself “genuinely despise democratic interference”? Of course if we did have such a democratic grand coalition of the 50.1% would we now be less than 90 days away from Brexit (notional as the WA is, or a full WTO exit)…

  19. Javelin
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    President Trump’s UK representative Woody Johnson says a trade deal looks unlikely under Theresa May’s Brexit Agreement

    • DUNCAN
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Of course if the next POTUS is a Democrat then a FTA with the US is simply a non-starter. Now is the perfect time to exit the EU and enter into FTA negotiations with the US. Yes, those on the continent will find that prospect horrifying since they despise Trump but it’s an option the UK must seriously embrace

      • Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think they ”despise” Mr Trump. I think they fear him. Where he is concerned, they posture like weak and powerless cowards.

  20. Javelin
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Theresa May left trying to find “legal” wording and reassurances from the EU.

    In otherwords, as I have pointed out for months, the Withdrawal Agreement would not pass a judicial review because it breaks the UN law on political self determination because the EU would alone be able to determine if the UK could leave the treaty.

    The EU just keep saying “tell us what you want” because they would be breaking international law, with the UK (or N.I) under the EU courts and the EU telling the UK (or NI) they can’t exit an international treaty without the EU permission.

    In otherwords the civil service plan to have the UK tied into the customs union (and the EU) by the EU, to try to keep the UK in the UK is fundamentally illegal under international treaty law.

    The end game appears to be Theresa May trying to break international law with the whole world watching her. I guess she will give up.

    • Javelin
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      ** UK in the EU

    • Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      ”Political self determination” – somewhat at odds with the words emblazoned for all to see at the EU Parliament Visitors’ Centre.

    • Helena
      Posted January 2, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Javelin, what you write makes no sense at all. If the UK agrees to enter a Treaty which includes terms which may be set aside only if the other party (the EU) agrees – and that is exactly what the backstop under Mrs May’s deal involves – then that is the UK’s choice. No one is forcing the UK to agree to this. It may be stupid. But it is not illegal.

  21. oldwulf
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    When the UK electorate voted “Leave” there was no deal of any sort on the table. Presumably the MP’s who seek to disregard this vote have weighed up the pros and cons both as regards the future of democracy as well as their own political futures.

    Also, the so called divorce bill sticks in the craw. If the EU wants some money they should tell us how much they want and exactly what they are offering for it.

    No deal is better than a bad deal … so I was told.

  22. bigneil
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I watched the Bond film Spectre last night. Eerily strange to what is happening now. All the planet run by one group. Destruction of individual nations.

  23. William Long
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Any rumours of wobbling by our host can only come from the most wishful thinkers of the project fear brigade, but among those I certainly think May and Hammond are low enough to think they can buy people off with titles. If so, they have met their match in this case.
    I can only say I am sorry that enjoyment of such a well earned honour should be trammelled in this way.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      William

      ” I certainly think May and Hammond are low enough to think they can buy people off with titles.”

      Not just titles but money as well. See the £1b bribe given to the unsavoury DUP in return for their 10 votes to keep her and her party in power.

      • rose
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        You have made this nasty allegation against the DUP before. there is nothing unsavoury about them. They are unusually decent for politicians, and intelligent.

        They came to a confidence and supply arrangement with the Conservative Party to restore the majority Mrs May had thrown away. The billion pounds, which hasn’t all been paid yet, was for the people of Northern Ireland, especially for their mental health in the wake of the troubles. The DUP also asked that old people throughout the Kingdom should not lose their triple lock, heating allowances, TV licences etc which Mrs May was threatening to take away. This was a lot less than David Cameron had to concede to the Liberals in forming the Coalition.

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 1, 2019 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

          rose

          On top of existing spending, taxpayers across the UK will have to fork out an extra £400m for infrastructure in Northern Ireland, £350m more for health and education, another £150m for better broadband and £100m to tackle deprivation.

          The cash – equivalent to an extra £537 for every person in Northern Ireland – should in theory secure Ms May’s position for the entire Parliament in Westminster, but there will be ample opportunities for the DUP to up the stakes.

          This is how much extra money the DUP have extracted from Theresa May

          A further £500m could also be available to Northern Ireland as the UK Government agreed to loosen spending rules constraining existing money already committed to Belfast.

          Former permanent secretary to the Treasury Nick Macpherson branded it “profligacy”, adding on Twitter: “£1bn for Ulster is just a downpayment. DUP will be back for more…again and again… They have previous in such matters.”

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            No different to Scotland and Wales (nor other regions of the UK) who use their best political endeavours to extract extra funding for their areas.

  24. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    “I do oppose the Withdrawal Agreement”

    We know that – support you and thank you for being steadfast.

  25. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Those of us who have been following your blog for years do not doubt your commitment, your sound logic and strong intellect. Unfortunately we, as a country, are blessed with too few such MPs. Anyone in their right mind and that includes Remainers knows that this total so called withdrawal agreement is disastrous for the UK.

  26. Man of Kent
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I never thought for one moment that our host could be bought off .
    He was not one of many all pushed through at the same time to achieve some sort of result ,like for example the DC farewell honours list to reward his Remain campaign team, while overlooking the Leave team .

    It seemed quite likely that TM was looking for someone sensible who might just help her out when her disastrous deal founders .

    Much more likely still is the simple fact that Sir John is and has been an outstanding MP who also contributes original thought to the national conversation and is respected by his peers including the Speaker and Prime Minister and swathes of backbenchers .

    Any detractors are just that ‘detractors ‘ who seek to wound for personal reasons .

    I prefer to see his knighthood as a just reward for many years of principled service
    Long may he enjoy his honour and continue his consistent line of national self determination underpinned with strong argument.

  27. Richard
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to you acting in the best interests of your constituents and the UK as a whole in supporting parliament in rescinding Article50.
    A PeoplesVote as a next best choice. Even though nearly 60% now want to stay there is no guarantee good sense would prevail against the lies and deceit of those driving Brexit. Happy New Year.

  28. Shieldsman
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    It amazes me that MP’s can act as if they are ‘thickos’.
    Theresa May pulled the Withdrawal Agreement at the last minute, realising it would be rejected.
    You have to be rather dim if you expect the passage of a few weeks into a New Year will make any difference. Especially when the un-elected heads of the Commission say they will not budge.
    It is not just the Irish backstop that is the problem, careful analysis of the WA shows it to be a disaster area.
    Can the Conservative Party allow a stubborn PM to risks its annihilation?

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Shieldsman

      ” Especially when the un-elected heads of the Commission say they will not budge”

      Wiki:

      “Each Commissioner is first nominated by their member state in consultation with the Commission President. The President’s team is then subject to hearings at the European Parliament, which questions them and then votes on their suitability as a whole.”

      Meanwhile we ‘enjoy’ an un-elected head of state, house of lords, judiciary, civil service…..

      • Edward2
        Posted January 2, 2019 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        The Commission are like the USSR Politburo.
        Nominated by leaders in their own countries.
        Not one vote from us the people of Europe.
        And it is these technocrats who hold the real power.

  29. Stred
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Dr Fox seems to look worried, even hunted, these days. He seemed to have cheered up since his days as a defence minister. Could it really be the prospect of queuing lorries that is getting him so loyal to the capitulation?

    • rose
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      His moral collapse is the most extraordinary thing since Geoffrey Howe’s. Perhaps he has just had enough of the beastliness to which a brexiteer is subjected and wants a quiet old age.

  30. Posted January 1, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    My electric night storage heater was still receiving power at ten this morning! I have several, but I dare switch only one on – the whole situation, receiving power at this time and the price, the result of the mad, detached from reality EU power and climate laws, which you have mentioned, that the government so willingly enforces.

  31. Den
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Is it going to really happen? Are we really going to be Independent of the EU by April Fools Day?
    Very appropriate because in this case, the fools are there in Brussels, for believing the Brits would surrender to their totalitarian methods. They should learn more from British History – not seek to destroy it.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Den

      “for believing the Brits would surrender to their totalitarian methods”

      Seeing that both Ireland and Scotland voted overwhelmingly to Remain you should really say ‘English’ not ‘Brits’.

      No doubt they will soon apply for independent EU membership if Brexit is allowed to happen.

      • rose
        Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Careless of you to forget the Welsh.

        We voted as one country, as we always do.

        We were taken in as one country, and we shall come out as one.

        • Penny
          Posted January 1, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          Nice post!

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 1, 2019 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          rose

          The Welsh voted Leave.

          • libertarian
            Posted January 2, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            margaret howard

            Do you not read what YOU post? You said English, as Rose rightly points out English AND Welsh

            Anyhow it was a UK vote and the UK voted to leave.

    • BR
      Posted January 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh have the EU now moved April Fools Day to the 30th March?

  32. Mike of Wokingham
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    If, as you say, this agreement is worse than remaining in the EU, then logically you should oppose it, even if the consequence is that we do not leave.

  33. BR
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear that this man is not for turning. Keep up the good fight JR.

    And please do something to allow MPs to be more accountable / removeable by their constituency associations. This Soubry/Grieve etc noinsense shows that thr uoles don;t work.

    Also – we desperately need a rule change to ensure that members get a vote on a new leader – NO MORE CORONATIONS!

    The Parliamentary party stitching it up with last-minute drop-outs is transparent manipulation of the rules. No more please – change the rules to prevent any such machination in future.

    Hint: test any proposed rules by thinking of the worst case (what you would do if you were trying to get round those rules).

  34. Edwardm
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Never doubted you.
    Your consistency gives confidence.
    Your recent honour was awarded quite properly.

  • 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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