67 days to Independence Day

Let’s countdown to Independence and get ready to celebrate our exit.

There are only 36 days left when Parliament is in session and able to try to mess up or delay our passage to Independence.

Write to your MP today if they are showing signs of wanting to stop Brexit and remind them of their Manifesto promises and the result of the referendum and General Election.

The government should be discussing how we commemorate one of the great days of UK history, the day we restore an independent self governing democracy to these islands.

The government should also be publishing our tariff schedule, getting its Brexit bonus budget ready for March, taking back control of our fishing grounds and setting out a food and farming policy that is good for the UK.

When we joined the EEC there were commemorative stamps and coins. There were more coins for the 25th anniversary of our membership. What should we do for March 29 2019?

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  1. Alan Jutson
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Perhaps remind them that they signed up to Article 50 as well, (of course if they actually did)

    It certainly passed through Parliament with a huge majority.

    What did they actually think article 50 meant, if it was not to leave the EU ?

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      The majority of MPs appear to be in denial. After May’s version of vassal state status for the UK, we are offered delay with the ultimate aim of frustrating Brexit. This is promoted with claims range from the absurd (“catastrophe”) to bordering on hysteria from my own MP, Mr Grieve, (“national suicide”). There is no point in writing to Mr Grieve; he is beyond redemption. I voted to leave the EU, as discussed his constituency. I did not vote for May’s deal, or WA in any shape or form.

      If parliament succeeds in frustrating the will of the people I propose that the House of Commons be renamed the House of Charlatans. The future after that will be anyone’s guess.

      • Hope
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        I wrote to my MP last week about the servitude plan and the remain parliament being of no use to the public if it does enact the will of the people.

        I took the opportunity to remind him of the previous manifesto to hold the referendum, the bias referendum itself, manifestos of both parties, Lancaster speech, falling Tory membership, too much central control being a reason since 1998 and it is completely out of touch with members and public. A theme furthered by the two posh boys and virtual signaler Treason Toxic May.

        I also wrote yesterday to my MP asking him to call an urgent question and ask for parliamentary and police investigation to ascertain the full facts in relation to the correspondence between Grieve and Colin Lee the clerk of bills in the commons.

        • Hope
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          Of course May is not legally obliged to come up with a plan b. Why entertain EU fanatics?

        • Iain Moore
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          I would also like to know what Soubry and Grieve have been discussing with Barnier. The Remainers want a losers referendum saying that we need an ‘informed vote’ , well how can we have an informed vote when we don’t know what deals Grieve and co have been cutting with Barnier?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            @ Ian Moore,

            Why do you want to know that? It should not be hard to guess. I guess no one wants an informed vote now, right? You would not like to decide on the basis of information. Independence is much better.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            Independence is always better.
            Like freedom.

      • Merlin
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Again I’ll be a lone voice.

        I respect parliamentary democracy. I trust the members of parliament to thoughtfully consider the best form Brexit should take – even if it is No Deal.

        For me, this is exactly what Brexit is about. Parliament acting unimpeded and being able to decide what is in the best interests of the nation.

        I fear if we carry being so divided, we will end up with a second referendum and staying in – which will not respect the will of the British people.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted January 22, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          I’ll listen to your lone voice and even bite @Merlin

          How is removing no deal from the negotiations in the best interests of the nation?

          Without maximum leverage how can we achieve the best outcome?

          • Merlin
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t say I was against No Deal.

            We may end up with it. I prefer it to May’s deal as I think it’s the quickest way back into the E.U

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        From the Telegraph “Donald Tusk told David Cameron he would ‘lose everything’ if he went ahead with his ‘stupid referendum'” :

        **** Mr Tusk revealed Mr Cameron was confident the referendum would not go ahead because he believed he would be part of a coalition government after the 2015 election and the Liberal Democrats would block a national poll.

        He said: “I asked David Cameron, ‘Why did you decide on this referendum, this – it’s so dangerous, so even stupid, you know,’ and, he told me – and I was really amazed and even shocked – that the only reason was his own party, [he told me] he felt really safe, because he thought at the same time that there’s no risk of a referendum, because, his coalition partner, the Liberals, would block this idea of a referendum.

        “But then, surprisingly, he won and there was no coalition partner. So paradoxically David Cameron became the real victim of his own victory.” ****

        • rose
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          We have heard this story before. Each time I think, the Liberals were the first to ask for an in-out referendum, so why would they have vetoed it in a coalition? It’s a bit like those endless stories about Boris wanting to lose the referendum.

    • Peter
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      “There are only 36 days left when Parliament is in session and able to try to mess up or delay our passage to Independence.”

      However, if the Grieve amendment comes into action, 300 MPs from five parties would be able to take control of the parliamentary agenda and prevent leaving on WTO terms,

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        There are only 67 days to independence provided a) the government (plus the EU27) don’t decide to extend the Art50 process (for which there is a HoC majority); or b) the government doesn’t get some form of its revolving-door Remain withdrawal agreement passed (for which there is a HoC majority); or c) as you say, provided Grieve et al don’t effectively create a Remain coalition in Parliament (for which there is a HoC majority).

        Otherwise of course we will leave – but the likelihood is probably less than 10%.

      • Merlin
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        And if parliament decides to Remain. All well and good.

        We live in a parliamentary democracy. And if you don’t like it, then vote the rascals out in the next election. That’s how it’s meant to work. But nobody gets to tell parliament what to do in between.

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          Merlin, We live in a parliamentary democracy which includes democratic referendums. We did in this case. You may not have noticed, but if you did notice you forgot to mention it. Because the 2016 Referendum exactly tells parliament what to do in between.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Of course not. The government will hit the brakes at the right time and offer cabinet members to stay or resign. Subsequently cancel art 50 and table repeal of the Repeal bill. Back to normal.

        Or she will do something else, who knows

        • Peter
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          May says no further referendum. May says No Deal will not be ruled out.

          She will flog the same dead horse Withdrawal Agreement another time and see how that goes.

          She says a lot of things though yet she does not reveal much.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Back to normal?
          What does a future in the EU hold.
          Expansion to over 30 members.
          Common taxation
          Common foriegn polcy.
          One armed force.
          One set of laws.
          The United States of Europe.
          Run by the unelected elite.
          Do as you are told.
          No thanks.

      • acorn
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        “It’s very hard to see a clear path to a [free trade agreement] with the U.S. or any other third country for at least a decade,” said Michael Leigh, the former director-general for enlargement for the European Commission. All of Britain’s prospective trade partners—whether the United States, Australia, India, or others—have opened [discusions with increased] trade demands that are impossible for Britain to swallow.” (Ex WTO DG Pascal Lamy)

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          Of course no nation will want continue selling things to the UK.
          And all nations will refuse to buy UK goods.
          acorn it is good job we have experts like you with vision and beingvable to quote an EU technoctat as gospel.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink


          As the EU are so godawful at negotiating trade deals , i think we can safely ignore their opinions thanks

    • eeyore
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Mrs May’s cross-party consultations have failed. The EU will not help her. She needs allies. Happily, there are 17.4 million of the best out here in the country, ready, willing and able to support her, if only she would show some wisdom and support them.

      • old salt
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        eeyore – Nothing much seems to happen here without our PM’s permission, advice or instruction from the EU, some say collusion.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        May has alas decided to become the enemy of the 17.2 million. Also, she and project fear Hammond/Carney (alas still in post) are the direct enemy of the economy, confidence and taxpayers.

        Why on earth have the government after more than two years failed to prepare properly for a real Brexit?

        We shall see what the misguided May comes up with today. I am sure it will depress the 17.2 million further and damage the Conservative party hugely, and UK confidence further – this seems to be her main aim.

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Eeyore, She is showing wisdom (sarc), she is correcting our “mistaken” vote.

      • Merlin
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I wish that were true.

        If there was that level of unity in the country, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        You have no idea whether there are still 17.4 million supporters left. Maybe more, maybe less. Who’s counting? One thing is certain, about 1.5 million people died since the referendum (ONS) and no one knows how the people entering the electorate to replace them (slightly increase it I reckon) would vote. And no one knows how the current electorate would vote on the same questions or better phrased questions. For instance, “if you had the choice between. X (meaning…) and Y (meaning…) how would you vote and what would have been your second choices from the following list”. You may have seen that 1/4 of people do not even know what is meant by “no deal”. Cheers!

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          Totally irrevevant
          The once in a lifetime referendum happened two years ago.
          The result is the result.
          You going to have an annual vote?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            @ Edward2

            Many people seem to think like you do. However consider a hypothetical case. Suppose the ref result was exacly the other way around within the 3% margin. Suppose then also that coping with continued EU membership was increasingly politically difficult for Mr Cameronb (UKIP still alive etc). Suppose then that he took another turn at the roulette wheel, a rerun of the referendum with the same questions. Again the reulkt was within 3% of fifty fifty but from a different (3% refresh) but that the new entrants were more pro-brexit than the deceased. Would you have a problem with that?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            Cameron said it was a once in a lifetime referendum.
            He said it was our decision and that the Government would implement our decision.
            In the scenario after your second referendum the score is now one all.
            Presumably a third decisive referendum would then be required.
            If the establishment won’t implement the first referendum decision then a further referendum is a waste of our time.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink


          This disgusting remainer meme about voters dying is pathetic as well as morally bankrupt

          However of the 1.5 million people who have died since the referendum you have no idea how many didn’t vote at all, how many voted to remain or how many voted to leave. Likewise another cohort coming of age are unknown, but of course that doesn’t matter because if you insist on having a vote every time the next cohort comes of age it means a referendum every year. No wonder so many people want out of the EU with supporters like you and mad Andy

          The original question was plain , clear and understood by all , only the dumbest of the dumb cannot work out that Leaving means… leaving and remaining means staying … Bloody hell I shouldn’t be having to explain this to you

        • Cerbey
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Desperate arguments. Is this really the best you’ve got. Didn’t they teach you anything at troll school?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            @ Corbey,

            Read before you accuse people of trolling. Am I entitled to give my opinion here? I guess our host thins so and maybe he likes at least some contrarian comments. Always happy to entertain good comments on my comments though..

      • Penny
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Wonderful advice! Such a shame that she is too stubborn, blinkered etc to follow it. If she did, I might even vote Conservative again but I think that ship (Titanic) has already sailed.

    • James bertram
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      If you are writing to your MP these ideas may make your letter more effective:

      ‘Not only have I told her (Anne Milton – Conservative) I will not vote for her, but I have told her (and have done) that I have joined the Social Democratic Party (who want a WTO Brexit) and that I will actively campaign against her. I have done the sums – and told her that we need only 20,000 votes in her Guildford constituency (that had 34,000 Leave voters) to unseat her. She will have done her own sums and will know her seat is at risk if she betrays the Brexit Vote. Too, I have told her that we will organise Direct Action (a Winter of Discontent) against her in her own Guildford Constituency if she betrays us (I have suggested that we bring the traffic to a standstill by all taking our cars out to join the traffic jams at the most critical points during rush hour – I have many more ideas) – so she knows that her betrayal will result in her directly being blamed for the chaos. And too, when she argues back that she is doing what she believes is best for her country I tell her in no uncertain terms that what she believes is of no relevance, that she has been given a direct order to leave, and any attempt not to do so (she voted Remain and I suspect is a covert 2nd referendum supporter) is to subvert democracy. Even then she does not listen. So I think a day of Direct Action as a shot across her bows might be the next move, just to let her know we exist.’

  2. Dougal Hamer
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The EU recently agreed a Free Trade Deal with Japan. Germany reckons it will be worth about £8 billion extra to it in exports. Britain won’t get a penny. Because Britain has walked away from the EU. But you go ahead, celebrate your “independence”. North Korea thinks it’s independent too.

    Reply Japan is very keen for us to join the Trans Pacific Agreement which is access to a huge market.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 18, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink


      Pray tell me:
      Did Japan pay the EU Billions to get that deal.
      Did Japan allow EU laws to take precedence over their own laws in their own Country.
      Did Japan allow EU nationals free right of entry into their Country.
      Do Japan now have to make all of their Products for use in their home market to EU standards.

      If not, then why do you want to us to accept all of the above and more !

      The EU think we will be more competitive outside the EU, hence they want to punish the UK, it’s a simple fact.
      You roll over if you want, but most of us would not agree.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Dear Alan–Excellent post–Doubt Dougal will have much to say against it

        • Turboterrier
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink


      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        You confuse free trade with free AND frictionless trade.

        We could have a free trade with the EU – just like Japan has.

        But this is a signifcant step down for us as we currently have free AND frictionless trade.

        It is the bits you rant about which let us have the FRICTIONLESS bit.

        So as you want trade frictions – extra bureaucracy, customs checks, borders etc – perhaps you could clarify a few things.

        1) Where will you put the hard border with Ireland
        2) How will traders complete your extra bureaucracy and how much will it cost?
        3) How will you mitigatedl delays at ports?
        4) How much extra will this cost consumers?

        While you are at it perhaps you can list EU product standards which you object to.

        Hurry up old chap – you’re leaving in 67 days.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          You do like the word “fricionless” andy.
          But do you know what you mean when you say that word?
          Have you ever made things, bought supplies from abroad and exported good worldwide?
          Plainly you haven’t.
          I have.
          For the umpteenth time…there is no such thing as frictionless trade.
          There is large amounts of admin involved whether you trade inside the EU or outside the EU.

        • Richard1
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          1) No need for a hard border in NI – UK govt will never impose one and no one else has so far said they will
          2) trivial
          3) see repeated statements by those running UK ports and N French ports. No reason for delays unless someone gratuitously insists on them – and who would that be and why would they do it?
          4) assuming tariffs are lowered, consumers will enjoy price reductions

          A few ‘product standards’ which we could do without: the specially designed anti-Dyson vacuum standards, the promotion of diesel which has killed thousands, the protectionist rubbish about GM foods to exclude US competition, the drivel about chlorine washed chicken (when we have chlorine washed salad and instance of botulism etc is about 1/5 in the USA what it is in the EU). No doubt there are hundreds of others. Our MPs can be gainfully employed over the coming years rooting them out and ensuring we enjoy the best of the world’s products, at world market prices, without the restrictive protectionist wall of the EU. Even you will benefit. You should be thankful to Sir John and others who persevere in enabling all this in the face of your silly insults.

        • Steve
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink


          “While you are at it perhaps you can list EU product standards which you object to.”

          I can;
          1) stupid electrical wiring colours.
          2) watered down vinegar.
          3) watered down everything else.
          4) metric weights & measures.
          5) fascist MOT test criteria.
          6) downright dangerous headlamp regs.
          7) every single EU product regulation there is.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Does Japan have to allow the EU to fish its waters?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 18, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Looking forward to seeing Japanese cars in UK and EU for the very first time now this trade deal has been signed.

    • formula57
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Free Trade Deals are not necessarily good news – as the Australia-US deal shows, diverting trade away from lowest cost sources to make both countries worse off.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      And £8 billion is what percentage of the GDP of Germany?


      “The GDP figure in 2018 was $3,700,000 million”

      $3,700,000 million is equivalent to about £2,900,000 million.

      £8 billion is £8,ooo million, and therefore = 8/2900 of GDP = 0.3%.

      And that is before looking at the other side, the extent to which increased imports from Japan will supplant German products and so reduce German GDP.

      I’ve said this again and again: trade deals may be helpful but they do not substitute for natural economic growth through increased efficiency, and that was true for the creation of the EU Single Market just as much as for trade deals like this or the EU deal with Canada or the one with the US that was proposed.

      • Penny
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Great breakdown of the figures, Mr C – I always enjoy your posts.

      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The EU recently agreed a Free Trade Deal with Japan.

      The EU exports around 5 times as much to the UK as it does to Japan. #

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      “Japan is very keen for us to join the Trans Pacific Agreement which is access to a huge market.”

      Any idea how much that will be worth? £8b?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        That figure is an optimistic guess and a tiny percentage of European/Japanese trade totals

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget we in the UK gave Germany more than £20 billion for new trains for South West Trains and Thamslink not one British job created.
      Now I see the traitor May is talking about a second referendum which will be rigged like the Irish one.

    • rose
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      So is New Zealand.

  3. Chris Stubbs
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with your view we should be in celebratory mode after we are finally set free from the shackles of the rotten EU. No cliff edge or falling into the abyss. March 29th will be our time for freedom and renewed prosperity. A new dawn with great hope for the future

    • L Jones
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Yes! Hang out the bunting!
      And if anyone knows where Andy, Newmania, et al, live – take them food parcels. They believe they’re going to starve.

      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        I won’t starve. When shortages occur, prices go up.

        I can afford higher prices than you.

        You and your kids starve before me and mine do. Don’t you just love capitalism?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          I thought the problem was people eating too much anyway.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          Which is why Corbyn is coming.

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            “When shortages occur, prices go up.”

            And when there are surpluses prices come down – such as with wages and mass immigration.

            At last, we appear to be getting somewhere !

            (We didn’t need minimum wage and in work top-ups before.)

        • Glenn Vaughan
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink


          You clearly live in an imaginary world with your fantasy family. Reading your nonsense it is clear to me that your only contact with business is via a game of Monopoly.

        • NickC
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Are the people of New Zealand starving? Of course not. So your view that we will “starve” by being independent of the EU is just total bs. And you still haven’t told us why you are so desperate to make us a province of your corrupt anti-democratic EU empire.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink


          Yup I love free markets , thats the beauty of NOT being in a protectionist racket like the EU. As someone on here said trade barriers make us all poorer . We can source food from wherever we like , good eh.

          Anyhow I thought you were moving to France

        • L Jones
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Well, Andy – perhaps you prefer communism instead – where everybody starves at the same time as everybody else.

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Friends in Europe offered to send me food parcels during the 3 day week in the 1970’s – the decade of strikes, electricity shortages and piles of rotting rubbish on the street.

          EU membership improved our ‘sick man of Europe’ status and turned us into the 5th largest economy in the world – now already dropped to 7th place after the Brexit vote.

          I never thought I would have to face that unpleasant time again

          Better start stockpiling again. Apparently people are already doing that with medicines etc.

          • L Jones
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            You are silly, Margaret! I’m sure you are far more intelligent than you are pretending to be. You know very well that there would be no difference in the supply of medicines. Nothing will change.

            ”Stockpiling”? Have you been reading too much Facebook again? Or perhaps listening to the BBC’s subliminal message?

            I can’t recall being told about ”stockpiling” in the 70s. Who did you get this misinformation from? You suggest you were old enough to ”suffer” then – no, I can’t quite take that on board!

          • Edward2
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            Your friends must be misinformed.
            There were no shortages of food back then.
            No one starved.
            Nor will they in 2019
            Don’t believe everything you read in the Guardian

          • Richard1
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            We were members of the EEC during the three day week.

          • a-tracy
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            Margaret we’ve got used to fortnightly bin collections now and in Birmingham they had weeks on end recently with rubbish not collected, our services are so expensive now and so much more reduced than they were!

            Our train and tube users are still getting frequent strikes, and we’re told that eu energy rule compliance is going to leave us short of energy generation capacity unless we get out and halt closures until we get new plants organised.

            As for stockpiling medicines, many of us are currently facing medicine substitutes and shortages due to eu compliance on pharmaceuticals.

        • Zorro
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          Andy is considerably richer than you apparently…. loadsamoney! 😂. He’s a charmer really if you drill down deep enough!


          • Steve
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:20 pm | Permalink


            “Andy is considerably richer than you apparently…. loadsamoney! 😂. He’s a charmer really if you drill down deep enough!”

            Careful Zorro, his dad is bigger than your dad.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Why will food prices go up ? If we set 0% Tarifs on all food imports they’ll go down.

      • Davies
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Send them one of those £300 brexit survival packs from leeds

  4. MickN
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Gove is my MP and not withstanding his speech to close the confidence debate he has shown that he is not to be trusted on matters EU and I for one will not waste my time or a stamp writing to him. I couldn’t believe a word he gave in reply anyway.

    • Chris
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Please do reconsider. Every letter is important. I understand that there is a rule of thumb that every letter received represents X constituents, so even although you do not trust your MP your letter will quite simply give him further insight as to the scale of opposition. You can just imagine an MP reporting back saying “Well, I did not get many letters on that, so it is not a top issue in my constituency”.

    • NigelE
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      He’s mine too.

      You could email him, as I have done several times. You will probably get a polite acknowledgement from one of his elves thanking you and saying they will pass your email along.

      His speech you mention surprised me: it showed what he could be capable of if only he would not focus on himself and his ambitions.

    • Steve
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Mick N

      True, Mr Gove does have a reputation, but you have to admit he did us proud on the night when tore into Corbyn.

  5. Al
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I have written to my MP, but sadly my MP has a well-deserved reputation for adhereing to the Prime Minister’s position of the instant, whoever that Prime Minister may be. Should the next Prime Minister be Eurosceptic, then he will change position, but until then he follows May as closely as he followed Cameron.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      I have written to my MP, Theresa May, several times, and her assistant may even say that she thanks me for my letter and will take my ideas on board but nonetheless she just carries on with whatever rubbish plan Olly Robbins has suggested, while doing her best to make sure that the population is terrified of leaving the EU without a deal, which of course means accepting the only deal on the table, her deal.

      So now I have written to Liam Fox along these lines:

      “Dear Dr Fox

      On the Andrew Marr show this morning you repeatedly said that we need an alternative mechanism to keep the Irish border open.

      Here is just such an alternative mechanism, a simple alternative mechanism which I have been proposing for the past fourteen months.

      The solution I suggested then:

      “… the UK government to give an undertaking to the EU that it did not intend to allow its territory to become a source of unsuitable goods placed upon the EU Single Market, and so it would introduce a system to licence UK exporters to the EU which would force them to meet EU requirements or suffer penalties under UK law, with the possibility of EU officials being invited to assist in investigations.”

      is basically the same solution that I still suggest now:

      “And in practice rather than theory, as pointed out in past letters including some copied to the Prime Minister, this is how the border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland can be kept open for free movement of goods – a case which UK officials were said to be studying as long ago as last May.””

      Andrew Marr kept pressing you to agree that the UK government should compromise, but it is the EU which needs to compromise by accepting that what matters for the integrity of its Single Market is not what goods may be in circulation within Northern Ireland but only what goods cross the land border into the Irish Republic.

      It is now the established EU mindset that you can only have frictionless trade in goods between two countries if they have full regulatory alignment of their entire economies; in fact that was not always the case, and it was largely through eurofederalist ECJ judgments that it became the EU norm to insist that standards must be “approximated” or “harmonised” whether goods are for domestic consumption or for export to other member states.

      Yours etc”

      I don’t suppose it will make any difference, as the Tory party is a pro-EU party and almost all of its MPs including Liam Fox have a deeply ingrained pro-EU mindset; if the EU says that the only way to avoid reinstating checks on their side of the Irish border is for the whole economy of Northern Ireland to remain under the thumb of the EU they will believe that as a matter of course; few will attempt to think outside the EU ideological box, let alone tell the EU to think outside its box.

    • Cerbey
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I have also written to Lucy Frazer without a reply. She is a member of the government so will back May despite representing a Leave constituency.

    • Penny
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like my MP, Ed Vaizey and I’ve written to him previously about Brexit and received the standard It’s a good deal reply. He also said that I was free to write to him again on the subject, but not to expect a reply. How reassuring to know he’s working hard for ALL his constituents!

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Indeed a shame it has been delayed so much already thanks to Cameron failing to keep his promise to serve the letter the day after the wonderful result. I will however be surprised if May and Hammond do not betrays us further before this day arrives.

    Five to one remainers again on Question Time the BBC bias continies (despite Brexit). At least Isabel Hardman was sound, when she could get a word in without Dianne Abbott interrupting. The new chairman seem to have the usual ‘BBC think’ misapprehension that trains use less energy than cars per passenger mile. They do not, all things considered, door to door on average.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      When we leave the EEA, we become a third country. Tariffs and VAT of course are affected. What is worse is that we are no longer part of the EU bureaucracy. Which means that people, capital and goods simply cannot get in without a check.
      This is going to cause serious shortages, a lot of bankruptcies and, perhaps, a collapse of the pound resulting in thee and me selling stuff on the streets, maybe homeless. With so few Police around, criminal gangs will flourish. The reserves have already been mobilized for the occasion.
      Mr Redwood will not like this and will edit it out perhaps – but he will have at least had my warning.
      PS I voted Leave.
      PPS I am a cradle Conservative too.

      Reply This is nonsense. Just leaving will be fine.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Mike and Sir John Redwood MP.

        I think you both had better be careful what you say from now on.

        Mike. Will we have to slaughter our first born as well ?

        Sir John. Leaving the EU was never going to be fine no matter how we Leave. There will be some disruption somewhere as we readjust. Commonsense really.

    • matthu
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      (Isabel Oakeshott)

    • Cerbey
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Think you mean Isabel Euphemia Oakeshott, not Hardman.

    • Stred
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Marr had 2 remained and 1 neutral ex May assistant review the papers, then 1 leaver, D.Raab against 2 arch leavers Benn and Sorry. She insisted they were not plotting to remain but just saving the nation from the folly if the electorate. Then it was Sir Remain Starmer, who is leading the remain campaign for Labour, at which point I turned it off. Last week it was all about how to extend the leave date and have a second referendum. The BBC staff regard it as part of the job.

      • Stred
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Smart alterations of spelling again, after correct spelling has been checked. Sorry.

    • Christine
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Brexiteers Nigel Farage and Shailesh Vara on Sky News with Adam Boulton last week was fantastic. First time I’ve seen a discussion with no remainers.

      • Paul
        Posted January 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Apart from Adam Boulton of course.

  7. eeyore
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    We must have a solemn Service of Thanksgiving for Deliverance at St Paul’s with HM in her party frock and all her Beefeaters around her. Both archbishops must officiate, at halberd-point if necessary.

    • Stred
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Welby should be made to give the sermon written by Sir JR. He would need a large handkerchief and smelling salts.

    • David in Kent
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      All members of parliament also required to attend.

  8. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    …and Sir John, The President of the United States (which has economic growth) will give us a Free Trade Deal!
    Get out the champers!

    • James
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Regaining our sovereignty will be a great achievement and doubtless will be celebrated in many ways. It will be a particular source of satisfaction to witness the realisation gradually dawning upon remainers that they were so profoundly wrong.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Can you tell me when we lost this oft mentioned sovereignty or what will happen when we regain it?

        Or is that just one the Daily Mail mantras along with fishing rights (which many of our fishermen sold), regaining our borders and those pesky immigrants?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          Who has legal supremacy margaret?
          UK or EU
          Do tell us.

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, Declaration 17 of the Lisbon treaty (TEU/TFEU) states that EU law has primacy over UK law. That means we have lost sovereignty to the EU. When we regain it we will be able to set policies to suit the UK rather than have to accept the EU’s. Doh . . . .

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      When Donald Trump said May’s deal was a good deal for the EU but not the UK, nobody disgreed with him. Not even Theresa May.

  9. Mark B
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Let’s not count our chickens before they are hatched.

    We will be using the EU Tariff Schedule. That is why we have not published ours. 😉

    I do not believe we should be celebrating anything. What is there to celebrate ? A broken democracy where, those elected do not want to govern, and openly and shamelessly lie to the electorate. A hideously biased media. Huge debt. Appalling public services. And finally, a nation deeply divided, and not just over BREXIT but how badly some of us are treated compared to other parts of the Union.

    Ask yourself, do you know why there are no commemorative stamps, coins etc ? There is a reason for it.

    Should we Leave on 29th March 2019 I shall pop a bottle of something but, I have no plans otherwise as this battle is far from over as events will show.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      I’d stop commenting about the tariff schedule if I were you. Might prove a little less embarrassing further down the line 😉

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh at last. Why don’t you just edit the bits you don’t like ?

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 23, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        MarkB, please stop moaning about moderation John is not just here to give you personally a platform. You get a free blog for yourself from blogger or wordpress and link your name to it if you’ve more to say. We ALL get posts, especially longer posts held in moderation for a day or two. Most of us read the comments from a couple of days back anyway.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      The reason there are no commemorative stamps, coins etc is that it would be an admission of by the establishment and they will not even contemplate it before the event. Acting like the sore losers that they are. That includes you too, Andy!

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        *Defeat was the word I was looking for! Ooops! 😉

  10. sm
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    If it were in my gift, the celebration would be marked by the installation of a completely new Cabinet on 30 March, with Sir John Redwood as Chancellor of the Exchequer!

    • Chris
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      A splendid idea, sm.

  11. Henry Carter
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Independence from the deals that give us free trade with our closest neighbours! Independence from the trade deals the EU has with the rest of the world! Independence from the deals that give us a soft border in Ireland! Yes! Let’s celebrate Little England’s independence! Let’s call it Irrelevance day

    • libertarian
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Henry Carter

      Read your first line FREE trade with our neighbours? As you haven’t got a clue I ignored the rest of your post

      • eeyore
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Poor Henry hasn’t twigged that in the EU tariffs paid by companies are replaced by taxes paid by citizens. It’s a continent-wide scheme to take from the poor and give to the rich.

        “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”

        No wonder big business adores the EU.

        • Jagman84
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          I have come to the conclusion that the accounts of many of the major companies are a work of fiction. It is strange that some well-known firms always manage to post a sizeable loss just before the the bi-annual pay negotiations. Most bizarre!

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink


        Totally unnecessary comment

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          I thought is was a) correct b) excellent

    • Original Richard
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      “Independence from the deals that give us free trade with our closest neighbours!”

      The free trade deal that is so good that we have a £100bn/year trading deficit and for which we pay £20bn/year gross (£15bn/year loss of control and £10bn/year net) never mind the loss of sovereignty?

      The main reason for independence is not economic but to ensure that we still retain some influence over our laws and policies through the ballot box by ensuring that we can elect and remove those who govern us.

      For instance, I do not want to be part of an EU where policies are made by people such as Mrs. Merkel who said at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin 21/11/2018 :

      “Sovereign nation states must not listen to the will of their citizens when it comes to questions of immigration, borders, or even sovereignty.”

      • NickC
        Posted January 22, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Original Richard, First class!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Hmm… Free trade at £10 billion, that’s not free.

      Remind me how much do Canada and Japan pay?

    • L Jones
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you should try believing in your country. You might feel better about things.

    • Adam
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Henry Carter:

      Independence Day frees you to celebrate as you please. On 29 March, go to your local cliff in the hope of seeing UK businesses crashing off the edge. If then you realise predictions of doom were wrong, don’t toss yourself off just to prove a false point.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        You’ve really been spooked by Project Fear, haven’t you, Adam? This is sad. We need people who can spell and use grammar if we’re going to get on in the big wide world. Don’t be a flat-earthling.
        Come back to us when life is becoming good (you won’t have to wait too long) and tell us you are eating your words and you’d like after all to take part in the great rejoicing of Freedom. Unless, of course, YOU are the one lying at the bottom of the cliff, having had to prove a point.
        I hope not.

        • Adam
          Posted January 22, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          My reply was to Henry Carter. Yours is awry.

      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Independence from the deals that give us free trade with our closest neighbours!

      The UK pays a net contribution of around £10 billion for these trade deals. That’s equivalent to a 5% tariff on goods. The beauty of it being it is the UK taxpayer that pays.

      This is somewhat ironic because it means the taxpayer is subsidising very big – often ‘foreign-owned’ businesses. £10 billion is about 20% of UK Corporation Tax (CT) receipts. If the government proposed to cut the CT rate by a fifth to help ALL UK businesses , the left would have screaming fit.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Free trade with them, maybe, but not free production. The EU controls what we can produce and how we produce it. They also put high tariffs on our external imports to protect their producers. They also own our fish.

      The less people know about the EU, the more they love it; the corollary is also very definitely true.

    • Davies
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Out of all the EU trade deals only around 3 are worth having.

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Henry Carter, No trade deal is worth paying our independence for. And the voters already decided that when we voted to leave the EU treaties.

  12. Dominic
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I’m sure May, Grieve, Bercow and others will, even as we speak, be formulating a Commons plan to guarantee that the votes of 17.50m British citizens are rendered pointless, impotent and without value

    Leave as we know it will not happen and I find it concerning that Sir John appears convinced that it will.

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    To celebrate let’s dismantle the BBC and privatise the NHS or force it to become “ customer friendly”.
    And have a huge bonfire of political correctness.
    Bottles of English beer and wine too

  14. Excalibur
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Celebratory coins, street parties, new stamps, mugs and mementos, and church services, JR. The usual panoply of events to mark a great occasion. And perhaps a special award for your good self for your unfailing firmness of purpose, and dedication to seeing it through to its final, historic conclusion.

  15. hans christian ivers
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    We need a deal with the EU, leaving without a deal with the trading partner with which we do 2/3 of our trade (including deals EU trade deals with third countries) would be irresponsible

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      You need to understand that if we default to the WTO treaties, which have already been negotiated, agreed and ratified by the EU collectively and each of its member states including the UK individually, and are already in force, then whatever may happen with our negotiations with the EU we will still have that general trade deal with the EU, maybe just not a special or preferential trade deal with the EU. That would be a sub-optimal outcome, but only marginally not catastrophically so:


      “In the scenario where the U.K. and the EU fail to strike a trade deal and fall back on World Trade Organization rules, the study predicts the U.K. economy would lose 1.7 percent of economic output over the long-term … ”

    • libertarian
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink


      NO it really wouldn’t be. When will you finally wake up and understand trade? I will sell my products to Spain deal, no deal in or out . As long as customers want to buy them and as long as the EU doesn’t ban them ( I say that because currently the EU because its a dinosaur is trying to prevent new technological innovations ) .

      Like all other innovations if the EU does ban products you just sell to a more open and enlightened market

      Its really not difficult hans , you dont need an MBA to understand trade

      • michael mcgrath
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink


        You are so right!

        I also trade with the EU, using their excellent manfacturing companies in those cases where they are to my benefit and selling to the EU my excellent products because they offer good quaity, value and service.
        Trade occurs between willing selles and willing buyers……simple!!

      • acorn
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        libby, I take it you already have an EORI Registration and AEO Status for export and import for non-EU “third countries”. Does that registration automatically apply to no-deal post-Brexit trade with the EU? I assume you are VAT registered.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink


        Did you know our service sector has grown twice as much as out product export to the EU in the past ten Years?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Odd that services are not controlled by the Single Market

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink


        Unnecessary remarks I have traded with all of Europe for the past 30 Years, so you do not have to teach me

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          Thats good.
          Though the single maket and customs union didnt exist 30 years ago.
          So how did you manage tp trade way back then.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            the single market and customs union just facilitated it further
            thank you for your valuable contribution

          • Edward2
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

            I thought so too.
            You post on here telling us trade with Europe will stop or be ruined if we leave the single market and customs union then you boast you have traded successfully for decades before the single market and customs union even existed.

    • Original Richard
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Leaving without signing the EU’s never-ending punishment “agreement” will not be either “irresponsible” or “national suicide” as described by the Legion d’honneur MP, as we are already completely compliant with all EU laws, directives and regulations.

      Nothing will have changed the day following our exit to cause chaos or shortages of food, fuel or medicines.

      Unless of course you believe the EU will decide to immediately impose sanctions and transport blockages to punish us?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      HCI, I though EU import/export trade was down to 38% and falling…

      Third country deals will come out of the woodwork after 29th March…and out of the EU Customs Union we can offer better deals to these countries for products that we don’t produce.

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Know-Dice, The trend of our exports to the EU is falling, and depending which recent year you pick is either just above or just below 40%. Hans is wrong, as he usually is, that our trade is dependent on being in the EU. What other country would forgo trade with us because the EU (and Hans) is having a tizzy fit?

        • Know-Dice
          Posted January 22, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Thanks for the clarification 🙂

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Hans Christian Ivers ,

      Are you suggesting that if the EU is intransigent and refuses to agree a reasonable deal that the UK should just forget about Brexit ?

      Apparently hi level UK politicians have been travelling to Brussels pleading with EU commissioners for the EU NOT to agree to a reasonable deal with the UK as a means of forcing the UK to remain .

      The British people knew that there was no guarantee of a deal when they voted to leave .

      We didn’t vote to leave if the EU would offer us a reasonable deal , we voted to leave regardless .

      It doesn’t matter whether it is irresponsible to leave without a deal , that is what the British people decided and it would be even more irresponsible not to implement their decision .

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      The rules of the EU make it impossible to leave with a bespoke deal on 29.3.19. The WA is not a trade deal. However, it would harm our prospects of getting a future deal that is fair to the UK.

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Jagman84, That is entirely true.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      A deal is possible. It is spelled out in detail by the ERG. It is not the WA negotiated by (imposed on) May. The opportunity to explore it will only arrive if and when May abandons her apparent fixation with her customs union notions which she tried to bounce the Cabinet into accepting at Chequers. The consequences of that so far are 10 ministerial resignations, the heaviest defeat yet in a HoC vote and apparent parliamentary gridlock. She is now seeking to wear down her parliamentary opposition, presumably by a succession of votes.

      If the EU has any sense it will remain implacably opposed to any variation of the WA until the clock runs down to 29 March. Then actual backstop in play, the Act of Parliament which states the UK leaves on 29 March 2019, will enable both sides to implement the temporary arrangements that are already in place, or about to be in place, to come into force. At that point the parties can seriously engage in negotiating a FTA. The bones of deal are already there.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      @ hans christian overs,

      Why spoil these celebrations now. Looks some people are intoxicated by the prospect alone. Very dangerous, you might get house calls.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Only with food parcels.

  16. Mick
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    These bastards really don’t understand the word democracy, I’m probably not the only one truely getting pi££Ed off with there constant antics to stop Brexit, come the next GE I hope that the local and national media give as much coverage of there unpatriotic stance to Great Britain as they do the bias coverage they have been giving over the years to the remoaners to reverse the 2016 referendum vote

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Mick, Depends who you mean by the media? Certainly the BBC (by far the biggest media outlet in the UK) won’t be fair to Leave.

  17. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    “What should we do for March 29 2019?”


    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Mike, to coin a phrase “You hide if you want to, this country is not for hiding”…

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


      Just like the Millenium Bug and Global Warming if you persist and nothing too bad happens, what will you do then ?

  18. Sakara Gold
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    A bank holiday, and street parties!

  19. short circuit
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Declare a permanent bank holiday

  20. Andy
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    One of my best friends is Swedish. He is now in his mid 40s but has lived in the UK since he was 3. He has lived here nearly all his life. He went to school here. He has always worked here. He pays taxes here. He has children here – with a Briton.

    And now – because of Brexit – he has to go through Tory pensioner bureaucracy to try apply for something called ‘settled status’. It will cost him £65 and apparently he can do it from his phone. Except he can’t because he has an iPhone.

    This appears to be a bureaucratic attempt to appease unappeasable right wingers. Clearly – 10 to 15 years from now it will be another Windrush, hostile environment disgrace.

    I think we should cut out the middle man and create a hostile environment for the unappeasable right wingers. Make Tory members apply for settled status. There are less than a hundred thousand of them anyway – and I suspect many can’t use a phone anyway.

    Incidentally my Swedish friend still has a Swedish passport. It is blue.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      a) why didn’t he apply for citizenship
      b) its free to apply now anyway
      c) currently no reciprocal arrangement for UK people living in the EU

    • Stred
      Posted January 22, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Brits living in Holland and Germany have to register to live there and pay, even while in the EU.

  21. Andy
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I am not sure about coins or stamps.

    But the good news is that we already have Brexit mugs.

    17.4m of them.

    (Well – actually – 16.1m of them as 1.3m have died since 2016),

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      V. funny. I mean really. I’m laughing, albeit inwardly.

      I’ll be honest. I’m not one who’s here to celebrate or bang gongs. I’m apprehensive, as I was when I marked my ‘X’ but I’m holding fast.

      I took my vote sincerely and after listening to a wide variety of different opinions.

      I dislike being called a mug. You’re lot really have to stop it if we are ever going to heal this country.

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The only mugs are those, like you, who can’t see that giving up our independence for the EU trade deal is a Faustian bargain.

    • Kevin Lohse
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      You don’t even attempt civilised debate any more, do you? I’ve been playing hideandseek with the Grim Reaper for a couple of years now. One thing that keeps me going is the pleasure I will get from seeing smug pseudo-intellectuals, who value cultural Marxist materialism more than the traditional liberal values of self-determination and national sovereignty, with their noses in a sling on 30 March. The fact that you’re reduced to wishing good people dead merely reveals the intellectual vacuity and amorality of your position.

      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        It’s called a sense of humour. Some of us have one.

        Maybe this is not understood by grumpy granddads.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          Your first witty comment andy.
          You claim a sense of humour.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Andy – has anyone ever told you that you are quite unashamedly disgusting? Not even the Baby Boomer in your family whose death you are daily anticipating?

      If your Mum ever catches you posting such ignorant and offensive tripe, you’ll be for it.

  22. Andy
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    If I notice any angry pensioners celebrating in my town I’ll pop along with some
    EU flags, some facts and the intention to make them angry. Which is pretty easy.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I will be in Beaconsfield on that day. I hope you can run fast. In my day I was a 10.6 sec 100m sprinter. I will happily show you where to stick your flags!

      • Beecee
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        You really are a sad but unfunny git Andy – it almost makes me feel sorry for you!


        But I really do feel sorry for your family who have to put up with your constant misanthropy!

    • Stred
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget that pensioners can be large and fit. They also have less to lose if given life for murder.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      No audited EU accounts for 21 years

    • Pud
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      If on 29 March you are looking to make angry pensioners even angrier then you should either take Union Flags or burn the EU flags you were planning to take, because the angry pensioners will be those who voted to Remain.
      Personally, I regard planning to annoy pensioners or celebrating their deaths* to be in very bad taste but the price of free speech is hearing opinions and ideas that one finds offensive.

      * In a previous post today, Andy jokes that 1.3m Leave-supporters have died since 2016

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Andy, You have facts? Really? You’ve kept them well hidden, haven’t you? Like facts proving why we cannot be as independent as New Zealand.

      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        We can be just like NZ. People in NZ are poorer than us and poorer than the EU average. You want us to be just like NZ – poorer.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 22, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          I’ve told you are wrong on this before, but you carry on repeating your nonsense andy.

          GDP Per capita New Zealand 42,940 US Dollars 2017

          GDP Per capita European Union 37450 US Dollars 2019 est

          GDP Per capita United Kingdom 39,720 US Dollars 2017

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Says the permanently angry Andy. Oh the irony !

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        I put it down to either acute BDS. That is, Brexit Derangement Syndrome. Or he is sick in the head and needs urgent help. An individual who hates his parents for voting to leave the EU, is not of sound mind.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted January 23, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Jagman 84


          Might be writing some nonsense but you really seem to follow him in his track

  23. Al
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    “The government should be discussing how we commemorate one of the great days of UK history,”

    Sadly, they are instead giving Ratner-esque speechs about the UK economy and prospects. The good thing is that, unlike Ratner, no one believes them.

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Al, The Ratner government? Hmmm, very appropriate.

  24. Dominic
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Party or country? You choose

    A vote for May is a vote for the destruction of British democracy

  25. Richard1
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I’d suggest not too much triumphalism. Besides if Mrs May’s deal goes through, if there ever is ‘independence day’ it will be years in the future. Once we go into the backstop the EU & Irish Govt could consider a victory parade to celebrate the conquest of their new colony.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink


      It’s not actually the EU’s fault. I view it as not independence from the EU so much as a return of responsibility and accountability to our Parliament – they’re the ones (and our courts) who kept blaming the EU then expected us to want to stay in it.

      Not having our referendum for Maastricht was the disaster. We knew by then that the Common Market had changed out of all recognition.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        I absolutely agree.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. Had Maastricht been vetoed the single currency, had it gone forward at all, would have had to happen under a parallel structure. The EC would have remained predominately a trade based arrangement.

    • TRP
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      “I’d suggest not too much triumphalism”. I hope you are right.
      On a Fred Olsen cruise (a Norwegian company) around South Africa in NH winter last year, the management had organised a British evening, with British “specialties”. Well, all tastes must be respected, but that evening the menu was somewhat less appetising than the usual more exotic menu … Then at the dinner seating I attended a sizeable group of (how to call them) overexcited Brexiters spent the whole evening dressed in Union Jack attire, waving English mini-flags, being even louder than usual, … a behaviour I would have thought more suited to English supporters at some World or European Cup games, specially considering this was from people in their 60s, 70s +.
      So is that a future to look forward to, some Brits making a spectacle of themselves whenever/wherever they happen to be, impervious to other people around, simply because Brexit won. We already had some of them shouting English at shopkeepers in Asian, African and South American countries. Will this generalize?
      Do we have to wish for a further drop in the currency to possibly minimize the possibility of such behaviours on an international scale?

      • Richard1
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        That sounds very disagreeable

      • Cerbey
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Fascinating anecdote, yawn.

  26. Kevin
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    “There are only 36 days left when Parliament is in session and able to try to mess up or delay our passage to Independence.”

    In other words, 36 days in which Britain could be about to “crash out” of democracy.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      You don’t crash out of something, you crash into it ! And since when have we been a democracy ? I don’t remember Edward Heath asking the nation if they wanted to join the EEC before we actually joined, do you ?

  27. George Brooks
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Stand by all confectionery lovers at 3.30pm this afternoon for one enormous FUDGE!!!!! to be delivered, but watch out for what is buried in the small print and the seemingly simple answer to a subsequent question asked after the statement. The PM is a Remainer so we know where she is heading

    TM has not listened, she has spent a week ‘ear-bashing’ MPs of all persuasions so we must take your advice Sir John and make sure our MPs vote the WA and all amendments down.

  28. Richard1
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Could I suggest to the MPs proposing measures to force a ‘peoples’ vote’ build into the legislation a mechanism for a subsequent ‘peoples’ peoples’ vote’, and then a ‘peoples’ peoples’ peoples’ vote’ etc etc, in the event that these referenda don’t achieve the objective of a majority for Remain?

    • Penny
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      I believe our politicians would prefer a people-free vote.

  29. Iain Gill
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    We need a new set of conservative party candidates that are genuinely in favour of an independent country.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Absolutely, but it was making that kind of suggestion which got me banned from the ConservativeHome website some years ago. For most Tory MPs their primary loyalty is to the EU, not the UK. It is not necessarily an exclusive or a fanatical loyalty, but it is still their primary loyalty notwithstanding their Oath of Allegiance. I remember Sir Richard Body saying that like a supertanker it would take a long time to turn the Tory party round and that manoeuvre is still less than half complete.

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Denis, Indeed, 196/317 incomplete.

      • Adam
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        If ConservativeHome bans innocent free opinion, it puts censorship above common sense; less worth reading.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Please see the BDI on Rodney Atkinsons website. We have been trying to effect this for 20 years. Anyone who cannot take the Oath of Allegiance to the British people and their independent Parliament cannot sit in the House!

  30. A different Simon
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    J.R. ,

    Have you thought about tabling a private members bill for the Royal Mint to produce commemorative coins ?

    Maybe send one to every household gratis plus one extra for each of the kids ?

    An annual bank holiday too ?

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Along the lines of the Dad’s Army stamps they recently produced?

  31. Pat
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    To answer your question. The same thing we did after Dunkirk.

    • Henry Carter
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      What, wait for the Americans and Russians to bale us out of the mess we’ve made?

  32. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Bet we have longer transition period!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Ouch, more uncertainty, more kicking the can down the road in to the long grass…

      But unfortunately FUS you could be right 🙁

  33. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I don’t feel up to making arrangements celebrating anything until it actually happens….. There are still too many working against us, for us to feel sure of victory.

    I would be happy for the day to pass quietly into history, with a huge sigh of relief…..

    Then I suggest we have one heck of a party, one year later, to celebrate our freedom.

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris, I think you have hit the nail on the head. We voted to leave the EU treaties but the majority in the HoC is doing its damnedest to overturn that vote. I do not feel safe in organising a celebratory event because I cannot trust the establishment to honour democracy. It’s Remain corruption really, and it stinks.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes, one feels that the Establishment would welcome a huge, celebratory party in order to bury bad news and hide the real goings-on going on. ‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may…’

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted January 22, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      @NickC and L Jones – Yes…

      It would rub salt in the wounds if the establishment, at our expense, ran a great big celebration, in the event that we still remain tied up knots with the EU…

      We must keep reminding everyone that a WTO is the only real way to exit.

  34. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I have written to my MP (Labour unfortunately) about opposing the WA and supporting leaving on WTO terms. In his reply he favoured another referendum. I followed up with a response to his reply in which I reminded him that he was one of 544 MPs who voted in favour of the EU Referendum Act by which Parliament delegated the decision of whether or not the UK should remain in the EU to the British people. I also reminded him that he was also one of the 498 MPs who voted for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 and that included the default position of leaving the EU on WTO terms in the event of no other arrangement being agreed. I reminded him that he knew that when he voted for it. I received no response.
    Many MPs are not representing their constituents or the country, they are representing themselves. Parliament is trying to thwart the will of the people as expressed in the June 2016 referendum.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      It’s amazing how many MPs and others who were previously dead set against holding referendums on EU issues have now been converted to that idea. And it didn’t take very long for some of them to see the merit of holding another referendum to reverse the outcome of the first, just a matter of days or weeks. Nothing to do with “Last time we didn’t know what Brexit would be like, now two and a half years later we know exactly what it would be like and so the people would be better able to judge whether they wanted it or would prefer to stay in the EU”; it wasn’t even two and half days before some of them set about trying to overturn the result.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      @ Brian Tomkinson

      “I reminded him that he knew that when he voted for it. I received no response.”

      Yes Brian, of course he kneeeeew.

      But did he ‘reeeeeally understand’ what he was voting for?

  35. Laurence Hodge
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    What should we do for March 29 2019?

    March 29th should henceforth be marked by parents giving their children little bags of chocolate Euros.

    • Adam
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Disposable Euros, appropriate for dumping.

  36. Kenneth
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I get the impression that many remain MPs like Mrs May’s deal more than they are letting on especially as it delivers a non-Brexit.

    I wonder if the silly plots to delay or stop Brexit are really an attempt to marshall leavers to her deal.

    They are plotting quite openly, many in tv and radio studios!

  37. Writer ( the Best! )
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Knowledgeable website on the 1600s Globe Theatre:

    “most poor people wouldnt have showers ever …”

    Perhaps difficult to get the appropriate shower heads. We weren’t in the EU then.

    Me thinks people know little of Shakespearean times.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      The great unwashed were known as the “Penny stinks”, who got to stand on the floor around the stage. The Globe is well worth a guided visit, IMHO.

    • Kevin Lohse
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Apparently good Queen Bess was thought dangerously bohemian for taking 2 baths a year, whether she needed them or not.

  38. Shieldsman
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Facing facts. The wording and interpretation of Article 50 by Commission negotiators could never lead to a satisfactory trading relationship with the EU on 1st April.
    There was NO requirement in Article 50 to conclude a leaving package – a DEAL in the two year time scale. The requirement was for the EU Commission to write and present a Withdrawal Agreement to the Country leaving. Without acceptance the follow-on Political Declaration, the basis of the real negotiation and DEAL will not take place.
    The W.A. is not a DEAL It is a very expensive invitation to more prolonged talks about a possible deal. Little wonder Parliament rejected it.
    A NO deal exit from the EU is being forced on the UK by Politicians and Bureaucrats here and in Brussels failing to negotiate a trading relationship.

    A democratic vote resulted in a majority to leave. Parliament has passed all the necessary legislation, meaning Deal or no Deal we leave on 29th March.
    Waffling MP’s have finally awoken, or have they, to the shortcomings of Article 50. They are engaging in the blame game, even attempting to renege on the ‘Peoples’ result by having another ‘People Vote’.

    Was anything other than a NO DEAL EXIT ever possible?

  39. William Long
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately it looks as if the majority of the current Cabinet, and the Conservative Parliamentary party, judging by recent voting figures, will consider it anything but a cause for celebration if we Leave the EU on the proper day, so my expectations of any bunting in the streets, special issue stamps, extra day’s school holiday, etc., etc., are zero.

  40. BOF
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I have written to my MP and emailed him. I shall try again!

    How about a street party in every town and village to celebrate the return of the UK to being a sovereign country.

    June the 23rd should be made an annual public holiday. INDEPENDENCE DAY.

    • BOF
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Anyone listening to the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation would conclude that leaving the EU is never going to happen!

    • TRP
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      What about moving it by 11 days, to correspond with the suzerain’s Independence day.

  41. Shieldsman
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The Telegraph constantly prints
    Article 50 – It gives the leaving country two years to negotiate an exit deal.
    It DOES NOT, It is two years in which to conclude a Withdrawal Agreement.

    • old salt
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Shieldsman –
      “3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period”

  42. Adam
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Add a permanent smile to the face of the lion on the UK Coat of Arms.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      what about the unicorn?!

      • Adam
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        He has the right & stands in support of it.

  43. steadyeddie
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    March 30th – first day as UK influence declines in Europe and rest of the world as a major trading nation. We are moving from the 2 dimension chess of European politics to 3 dimension of WTO politics and some of those countries don’t even know the rules – viz. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Good luck with them Mrs May.
    Consider the facts- rather than pie in the sky- ‘ everything will be fine when we leave’. Can we have the Brexit Gdp projections for (say) the next five years assuming no recession or major political upheaval. In the EU we can assume Gdp growth of 1-4% as we have had for last 30 years except for the 4 recessions.

  44. Chris
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I was very concerned by Jacob Rees-Mogg seeming to sound out on the possibility that if MPs did not support May’s deal we would not get Brexit. Katy Balls refers to this in The spectator:
    “A growing chunk worry that unless they get behind some form of May’s deal, the UK may not leave the EU after all”.

    This is arrant nonsense. If May can’t get her deal through we will leave without a negotiated deal and revert to WTO rules with a clean Brexit. If Dominic Grieve et al attempt to stop this, then they have to be faced up to and dealt with. Their actions should be called out for what they are. Retreating from bullies never leads to victory, and only makes the matter far worse.

    There is radical action that Tory Brexiter MPs can take which would stop the betrayal, but it seems that they are not prepared to take it and are acting to save their Party (so they think), instead of the country. Shameful. It hardly needs saying but if the Conservative Party betrays Brexit then there will be a wipe out of the Tory Party.
    I believe the demise of the Tory Party will happen anyway after this disastrous display of treachery by so many MPs, including Theresa May (undermining of Davis with Robbins). It is just a question of when.

  45. Stred
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    If MPs succeed in stopping Brexit, there will be a party. A new Conservative Independence party and it will have the support of 75% of conservative voters. Grieve will grieve and Sorry will drown her sorrows. The website and finding are being prepared.

    • Stred
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      It’s altered Sobry to Sorry again.

  46. MPC
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    My wife who also voted Leave, has been saying for at least 12 months now that we won’t be allowed to leave the EU because in effect the influence of the likes of Richard Branson et al are too powerful. I fear she’s about to be proved right.

  47. Alastair Harris
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Fireworks and English champagne.

  48. Michael
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Yes let’s celebrate, commemorate but I have a bad feeling about all of this. Today marks the 100 years since the start of the Irish War of Independence- so called- when two policemen of the old RIC were shot dead at Soloheadbeg in Co Tipperary- there were some quiet events yesterday to mark the occasion but no cheers or celebrations, only some quiet words and tears- Independence came at a terrible price. So you guys had better be careful what you wish for- sometimes you can put in train events that cannot be stopped and may not even turn out like you intended- here I’m thinking of the very survival of the UK itself. Michael

  49. ian
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    That more like it Sir John.

  50. Philip Stephens
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Writing to my Labour MP is pointless. She has defied Labour’s three-line whip in order to express an even more Europhile approach. The only voice such MPs will listen to is that of the Returning Officer announcing the result of the next election. I hope my fellow electors will join me in consigning her to the history books.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      True. I don’t think there’s a single MP in the place who at this point would listen to their constituents.

  51. Martin Conboy
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    When Edward Heath signed Britain into the then EEC in 1972, at the signing ceremony the europeans brought out a copy of the Acquis Communautaire in boxes, and stacked up either side of him in piles. This was to signify all that he was signing us up to.
    These days they would need a fork-lift truck to do the same, as the AQ now runs to some 170,000 pages of currently active legislation and at 5g per sheet A4, that would be 870kg, well over three-quarters of a tonne.
    So I propose we have a big bonfire in Trafalgar Square, weighing 870kg and comprised of boxes of A4 paper, where we burn boxes containing 870kg of paper, with the legend “Acquis Communautaire” clearly printed on the side of each box. We light the fire at Midnight on 29th March 2019. Before then we could have speeches, and maybe a rally, assembling in Hyde Park and marching to Trafalgar Square.

  52. Old person
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The MEP, David Campbell Bannerman, has an article on his website…

    A ‘Managed No Deal’ WTO option using Article 24 of GATT can avoid raising tariffs or quotas.

    Has the government explored this option as it appears to give us two years of trading on the same basis with the EU and time to build free trade agreements?

  53. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    listening to your colleague (the one with the posh stage character) this morning it appears that he is smelling victory (as well as a potential backlash) and maybe one should answer your question by giving a menu: a commemorative coin (could be signalling both pity and glory), NHS compatible champaign (sorry, British bubbles) to be served in a Red Bus. Or Army issue sackcloth and rubbish dump (“ashes”) dust (to camouflage the remainer face). Maybe some large doses of Fentonyl for those who want a painless, smooth Brexit.

  54. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    A little extra that may inspire you in your search for appropriate celebrations:

    Ireland celebrates its first sitting of an independent Parliament (Dail) today, as follows:

    “A special programme to mark the event ‘The Centenary Commemoration of the first Dáil’ will be broadcast on RTÉ One 3.25pm presented by David McCullagh and with live commentary from the Mansion House ceremony from Áine Lawlor.”

    Simple and effective. No English – style pomp required.

  55. formula57
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “Write to your MP today…” – done. (The poor chap supports T. May (although he knows that is very wrong because I have told him so before) in getting some sort of deal.)

    As for how we celebrate our Liberation from the Evil Empire:

    – on a personal level I shall be reassuring known Remoaners that absolutely everything is soon bound to become very bad indeed and urge them to make clinic bookings;

    – at a national level, we might have some sort of “British Week” (loosely modeled on what I assume embassies organize, but on a grander scale) where we showcase to ourselves the economic and cultural strengths and opportunities that the UK enjoys. The Great Exhibition comes to mind, but then so does the Millennium Dome, and in any case it should use contemporary technology to reach everyone, eschewing a single location.

  56. Mark Nottingham
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    How about we cancel HS2 and use the funds to build a brand new Houses of Parliament in let’s say Staffordshire. With that sort of funding there would be enough left to produce a leaflet for MPs with a map and culturally relevant phrases should they get lost. After all it’s a big place outside the London bubble.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant idea! They wouldn’t need to have their salaries augmented then, because they could live in reasonably priced houses, close to their place of work. Wouldn’t they love that?

  57. Den
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    According the DT a Civil Service whistle-blower has informed them that Government Departments have been working flat out to ensure a smooth transition should “No Deal” be the final outcome. Plans are almost ALL complete.
    It was announced by Downing Street last year, they were taking on a further 7000 employees to do just this work and although the PM has been rather quiet about their progress, it seems the job is all but done.
    Accepting the leak as factual, I wonder why Mrs May chooses to keep it so secret when it could have been a vital tool in her negotiations. She sure does work in mysterious ways which are anathema to much of the country.
    I do hope that her Plan ‘B’ is the ‘No Deal’ option, for that is the only deal that will satisfy the decision made by the electorate in 2016. To Leave the EU – Lock, Stock and the Umpteen smoking barrels full of debilitating Red Tape that goes with the over-bloated bureaucracy.
    After March we can soon make our own new trade deals across the Globe, including the European Union.
    Just imagine, a new market place of 160 Countries and 6 Billion people compared to a mere 27 in the EU with just 450 Millions people. No wonder the OEMs and food producers of Europe are worried.

  58. JoolsB
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m fortunate in that my MP, Derek Thomas for St. Ives and the Scilly Isles is a Brexiteer who voted against May’s deal and believes in delivering on the referendum. If only the majority of self serving MPs were as honourable.

  59. Steve Pitts
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Is the Government still concentrating on trying to get a deal so too busy to worry about what to do when we leave ? My MP is sound and voted against the WA and for Article 50.

  60. agricola
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Lets see what she has to say ,though I am not hopeful.
    The majority of commentarati are still living in their own fantasy world, inevitably divorced from the leave democratic vote. Government are in effect lamped rabbits and I have few expectations of any intelectual or practical intervention they might attempt.

  61. Alan Joyce
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I hope you are right and that a fully independent and sovereign nation leads to an annual day of celebration. A Bank Holiday might be fitting.

    It is, of course, wise not to count one’s chickens before they are hatched.

    We still have a Remainer-dominated Parliament determined to overturn Brexit aided and abetted by an out of control Speaker. And some conservative MP’s and ministers happy to see them succeed.

    It is said that David Cameron granted the referendum as a ploy to finally put paid to UKIP’s threat to conservative election chances.

    How ironic it would be if that threat returned with Nigel Farage at the head of a new Brexit party!

    Conservative MP’s that were deemed to have failed to deliver a ‘clean cut’ Brexit, i.e. one that establishes the UK as an independent nation, might find their election chances severely hampered.

    Having seen how our traditional parties and their MP’s have carried on in the last couple of years a new Brexit party would be very attractive to many voters.

    • Den
      Posted January 22, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      A celebration of Britain leaving the EU might be anti-PC and upset the Brussels cabal. Yippee! Cheers! Hallelujah!
      And after we leave, we must get rid of that liberal-left inspired plan to undermine Britishness. PC. Being British is in our DNA, it is our culture and it should be a crime to dismantle it.
      Ironically should we attempt to do that to the immigrants in this country we are labelled racists. This is just more of the Liberal-left Plan to take over the country by stealth AKA ‘Divide and Conquer’.

  62. Gareth
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ll just do my normal days work and not celebrate at all, thank you. This has been a thoroughly unpleasant, highly contentious process, leaving us a deeply divided country, and many friends from the EU unsettled and questioning whether they are welcome here and whether the British are the people they thought they were. Even if this is something that works out in the end, I see little cause to celebrate.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Tell your friends that they are confusing ”Europe” with ”the EU”. They should also stop reading social media and try going out and talking to people (people besides you, that is. Have you poisoned their minds, perhaps, as a sore loser?) They will find that they are as welcome and as fairly treated as any one of us ”natives” if they are decent, honourable people with the good of their host country at heart.

      You sound as though you’re afraid to go out to your local pub in case someone asks you about your political leanings. Perhaps you live too narrow an existence. Have faith in our country, whether you’re native or not.

    • Den
      Posted January 22, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Were they made unwelcome before we were conned into the EU? Not at all.
      ALL visitors to our country are welcome as long as they respect our culture and our Laws.
      Your friends pay too much attention the the ravings and the lies of the Europhilliacs that prowl Europe, much like their predecessors, the Stasi.

  63. margaret howard
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink


    “The government should be discussing how we commemorate one of the great days of UK history, the day we restore an independent self governing democracy to these islands.”

    I don’t know how you can write this with a straight face.

    As for getting our fishing grounds back – are they the ones our fishermen sold for a quick profit after they were allocated by the EU? Are they going to buy them back?
    Take them back by force?

  64. Baz Lloyd
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I noticed some distinctly conciliatory and positive remarks on TV today from Jacob Rees Mogg about the possibility of a deal being agreed by Parliament after all.

    He said it wasn’t a question of Brexiters backing down on the existing proposals. He said that if changes came forward it would be a ‘new reality’.

    The complaint still seems to be the backstop, and the fact that it isn’t time limited.

    If and when it’s changed (maybe by way of a parliament passing a motion suggesting to the EU that if they time limit it), sane voices in the chamber will just about create a majority to back the deal and it will be approved after all.

    The DUPs problem with the agreement, isn’t the extension of the Customs Union departure time limit itself. Their problem is the worry that that Northern Ireland might end up being treated differently from the rest of the UK.

    If this can be resolved. when push comes to shove, Rees Mogg will likely be able to lead the Brexiters into voting for the deal.

    There are already serious concerns amongst Brexiters that a minority in their ranks will try to take advantage of us leaving with No Deal in order to impose tariffs and drag the UK back in time into a protectionist pit, which would be betrayal of the reason many of us voted Leave.

    And they might also, in the end, conclude that the deal with a further guarantee on the backstop, is better than postponing the departure date indefinitely.

    The small number of fringe ‘Tory’ nutters who still hold out and side with Corbyn, might be outnumbered by enough on the opposition benches.

    Reply Mr Rees Mogg also queried the large sums of money in the WA

  65. a-tracy
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    John, your government is messing people around. First, you tell EU citizens resident in the UK they have to pay £65 to register for settled status, I know someone who has had two lots of £65 taken out of their account, do they get their money back? How?
    May can’t keep jerking people around and expect them to do the right thing, this isn’t fair, just or organised. If you don’t sort this out properly the Country will be dealing with another Windrush pathetic undocumented residents fiasco in another twenty-five years time.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      That’s discrimination as practised by HM Government. Why should non-EU citizens have to pay this?
      Yes, jerking people around with lies is her MO.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 22, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Hi, Joe, I agree it does seem discriminatory but the politicians knew what they were signing up to in all of the European treaties they just didn’t inform the public from Heath to Major, Blair to Brown and Cameron they signed away and made European peoples equally (if not more equal in the case of EU students studying in Scotland) than English people.

        This was never the deal with people emigrating from other Countries they knew the deal if they wanted to make settled status here when they came and I don’t think a £65 is too extortionate, I know our emigrants to Australia, for example, have to pay.

  66. Karl
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    She’s determined to run the clock down but to what end..nobody knows!

  67. agricola
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for mentioning WTO Art 24 and the way in which it could facilitate discussions with the EU on a new trading agreement should we leave on 29th March without a formal WA. I am fairly sure that not many members of the H o C understand or even know of the existence of WTO Art 24. Can I ask you to bring it to their attention in detail. I ask because it is a very positive way forward and would be very reasuring for all those who trade with the EU. Owen Paterson also highlights the possibilities of Art 24 though the PM played it down. Does she understand it. If so can she explain why. I get the impression tbat she shuns any solution and that she dismisses anything that is not in her plan, of which we know very little.

    • Old person
      Posted January 23, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      A post, by myself, about Article 24 was logged at 11:43 am on the same day.

      You are correct that Mrs May’s response to JR was an avoidance or disregard of the question. But the answer to Owen Patterson’s question was a little longer – presumably a note about Article 24 had been passed to her in the meantime.

      Unfortunately cognitive dissonance kicked in, making Mrs May unable to fully appreciate the implications, because she is too wrapped up in her own plans A, B, or whatever.

      The original reference to Article 24 was by David Campbell Bannerman MEP on his website and went into considerable detail.

      It is curious that the H o C Hansard, quotes JR’s number 24 as XXIV, as if some pro remainer living in Londinium has yet to come to terms with leaving the Roman Empire.

  68. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, how can Speaker Bercow be compelled to stick to the rules?
    On every hilltop a bonfire should be lit running across the whole Kingdom, in the traditional way, with the message of FREEDOM – BRITAINS NO LONGER SLAVES!
    No commemorative anything could encapsulate the joy of being the first generation to actually recover our country – our fathers and grandfathers only held it – at great cost – they never actually lost it as we have done!
    Te Deums for the rest of life! I am still thanking God for the Referendum when the British trapped Cameron into the vote by returning a Tory Govt.! Sophisticated people trapping the politicians.

  69. Duncan
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Polish foreign minister could be on to something, if say 5 year time limit was put on the back stop and then if no agreement was reached within that period then the UK and Irish governments could instead hold a border poll for Irish unification simultaneously in both parts of Ireland. It would be like a backstop to the backstop

    Reply This is not acceptable to those most involved.The UK as a whole voted to leave.

    • Lookalike
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Duncan- good point but a border poll would have to be according to the rules of the Belfast agreement – anyhow five years from now might be correct time to hold one

  70. Alex
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame that John Redwood regards the fact and date of our ‘Independence’ as being subject to the whims of an Article in a ‘Treaty, which itself didn’t exist until 11 years ago.

    Ever since it came into existence, the UK has always been ‘Independent’, and is listed as a Sovereign State by the UN. We even have veto on its’ Security Council!!

    The Crown in Parliament is Sovereign, and it is, and always has been, open to to us to revoke any International Treaty we wish when we wish.

    When we Leave the EU we will still be bound by numerous International Treaties including the WTO, which requires us to observe strict trade rules, (many of which we have had no say in establishing), and NATO which requires us to fight in wars without the consent of Parliament, or of the people.

    That does not however alter the fact that we are ‘Independent’ and can ignore them.

  71. Mr. Alexander Hine
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    If Mr. Redwood is having a celebration party. He is one citizen with whom I would like to celebrate.

    The voice of reason and true conscience.

  72. Barry Leamington Spa
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood could you remind those cheering MPs that tens of thousands of Expat Brits have funded their own registration to live in the EU. Many of these will be elderly pensioners.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Does that make them inferior?
      Ageism is a discrimination.
      Just like all the other ones.

  73. Steve P
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    “What should we do for March 29 2019?”

    We should sing our new national anthem – “We’ve got more fish than you”

  74. ferdinand
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Raise the Union Jack everywhere

  75. Dominic
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    67 days to No Brexit and I believe Sir John knows this to be true.


    Please tell it as it is. May will betray 17.50m. May will betray the UK. May will betray British democracy.

    Brexit is not going to happen.

    There is a cancer at the heart of Parliament and that cancer is a detestation of popular democracy

    Politicians resent, they absolutely resent democratic intervention

    Please, please oh please tell it as it is

  76. Welcome!!!
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    How many German-ish asylum seekers now being deported to other EU countries is Wokingham taking in?
    You know, the ones who cannot get EU citizenship, German citizenship for the nine years which would enable them to go straight to the UK.
    Expecting any from France, Croatia etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc?

  77. ian
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Leaving on 29th of March deal or no deal all other option off the table.

  78. Dennis
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    ‪A question to the PM today might better have been “What is the nature of the individual payments that together in total constitute the £39 billion being paid to the EU?”‬

  79. rose
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know whether it is Clever Clogs Cummings’s fault but it seems to me too much emphasis is put on themes other than national independence and freedom. Take Back Control struck me at the time as an understatement and it obscured the actual goal. Individuals like Boris did indeed emphasise independence and still do, but it needs to be shouted from the rooftops now.

  80. Norman
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    “Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has told Britain that Australia will begin formal post-Brexit negotiations on a free-trade agreement “the second Britain is ready”, signalling the Morrison government wants a deal progressed before the likely May election.”
    So nice to hear that pleasant, friendly Aussie voice on the radio this morning – thank you Simon Birmingham, and thank you Australia! You left the BBC interviewer quite taken aback!

  81. ian
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I see that more amendments have been tabled tonight and no doubt more will be coming, it will make no difference to leaving on the 29th of March with or without a deal, Mrs May is the leader of the country by order of the people and the Queen and as such will decide all outcomes on Brexit and no doubt has the full backing of the Queen of England as they meet from time to time.

    As for Rudd trying to get as many ministers as she can to walk out of the cabinet, I doubt if Mrs May would even notice that they have gone and carry on as usual.

    MPs and Ministers had their chance to stop Brexit but decide to vote it through parliament, it too late now to change their minds, they should have thought about that before voting to leave the EU on 29th of March.

  82. Ian Pennell
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    I hope that you are right and that Britain does celebrate its Independence from the European Union on 30th March. I also read Boris Johnson’s article in the Daily Telegraph, though his optimism is more guarded- i.e. “I hope that the Remainers Cannot pass legislation to force the Government to rule out a “No Deal” Brexit or extend Article 50.

    I am not sanguine with regards to the inevitability of Britain leaving the EU by 30th March. The Remainer Majority in Parliament, through Dominic Grieve’s and Nick Boles’ attempts to get Parliament wrest control of Brexit from the Executive and to force the Government to rule out “No Deal” and postpone Article 50 are likely to pass: There is a Majority in the House of Commons for these Parliament/ Select Committee related bills (aimed at thwarting/ weakening Brexit) to pass and they would almost certainly succeed in the house of Lords (with an even stronger Remainer Majority).

    Radical measures need to be discussed by Conservative Brexit-supporting MPs and the DUP- and then implemented quickly in order to stop the Remainers in Parliament getting their way. The following options should be taken seriously:

    1) Approaching Her Majesty the Queen to get her to prorogue Parliament until 5th April- on which date a General Election is held.

    2) Approaching Her Majesty the Queen to ask her to REFUSE to give Royal Assent to any legislation NOT tabled by the Government. If the Queen were encouraged to make a statement to this effect it would kill any plans of Dominic Grieve, QC and Nick Boles dead.

    3) Put as much pressure as you can on Theresa May to resign so that (through a show of hands) a Brexiteer can lead the Conservatives, calling a General Election (as best as possible through the provisions of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act) and going to the country on a popular pro-growth WTO “No Deal” Brexit platform. Remainer Conservative MPs would be de-selected prior to this Election, and a Conservative Brexiteer would stand in John Bercow’s Seat- Good bye Mr. Speaker! Result- a Conservative Brexit- supporting Majority Government to see through a proper Brexit, cut taxes and boost Public Spending with the £40 billion “divorce money” plus current annual contributions to the EU.

    4) Failing (1) to (3) happening fairly quickly ERG Conservatives siding with Labour to bring down the Government, get rid of Theresa May and put a Brexiteer in charge of the Conservatives to fight the ensuing General Election as in (3).

    Sir, doing nothing is a risky! What will you do when leaving the EU without a deal is made illegal, Article 50 extended to 31st December 2019 and Theresa May (under pressure from Remainers with their Parliamentary Legislation) buckles and agrees that Britain will stay in the Customs Union? Because, if that happens you can forget about the Conservatives winning the next Election altogether- Jeremy Corbyn will be 20% ahead in the polls!

    Ian Pennell

  83. ian
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I cannot believe that most MPs have sat in parliament for years and don’t even know how their own system of government works.
    They have been completely brainwashed by the EU and have lost sight of who govern parliament.

  84. Christine
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    My MP is weak. He chose to vote remain the week before the referendum thinking he had backed the winning side. He voted for May’s deal, as he follows party lines. I’ve written to him five times. He does write back and tries to justify his position. I’m afraid he’s not for turning and sitting on a 20,000+ plus majority there’s not much else I can do.

    I’ve also written to TM at Number 10 Downing St. several times. I’ve never received a reply.

  85. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    When will the draft free trade agreement be published.?Take the unknown out of no deal and remove the fear factor. Shoot that fox.

  86. Iain Moore
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    A little snippet of information Newsnight let slip was that Mrs May is getting reports from our embassies in EU nations saying Blair had been touring them, and advising these Governments to not make any concessions on Brexit as this would force us to have a losers referendum.

    I don’t know about anybody else but I find this pretty outrageous , a past Prime Minister colluding with foreign nations to overturn our referendum vote . Doesn’t this go against the Privy Council oath he took?

    “You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance unto the Queen’s Majesty; and will assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty, and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all Foreign Princes, Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates.”

    This goes along with a load of other stuff, where we have the ‘People’s’ Vote being bankrolled by a foreign national billionaire, and no one cares. I thought foreign money was barred from our politics. Grieve and Soubry spending so much time in Barnier’s office I begin to wonder if they have made it their postal address, but no one seems to care what these two are cooking up with Barnier behind our backs, and now Blair.

    The British establishment have become a cesspit of treachery.

  87. a-tracy
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “the main reason that the vast majority of people voted to leave was based on issues around immigration.” Andrew Marr

    NO, IT WASN’T you silly man and you obviously aren’t talking to people that voted Leave!!

    We want to be a global outward looking UK, not tied to CAP deals and restrictions on which industries we as a Country are allowed to develop, not to be restricted on our fishing rights, not told where to buy our cheese and milk with loads more unnecessary road miles being used for deliveries. Developing industry and subsistence farming again for ourselves, we were sick of our industries being tempted by the EU to relocate to Eastern Europe killing swathes of working-class male-dominated jobs in the process. The worst recycling disaster was when we had to import milk in plastic 4ltr bottles and our doorstep recycled glass bottles disappeared because of the cheap semi-skimmed imports pricing milk delivery agents out of business.

    We are sick of being told where and what type of fruit we can buy and sell, having carved up our meat production so we’re now buying in cancer-causing watered down bacon for the mass market.

    And on and on. These metropolitan elites didn’t listen then and they’re not listening now. Our relatives are sinking down on social housing lists as Europeans are taking on private home rentals then getting kicked out because they can’t pay the rent and given priority on social housing rentals over people waiting their turn for years on end.

    Our schools are filling up with children in poverty requiring extra time, tuition and holding other children back. Our hospitals are full of people that weren’t told they needed to buy extra Health insurance for multiple problems but our NHS just keeps struggling to cure everyone, whereas in Spain you would be left in dirt poor hospitals trying to get home to continue your treatment without private medical insurance.

  88. Chewy
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    SKY Bet offering 5-2 against Leaving on 29th March. Second ref around 7-4 with second + Remain 3-1 same as Leave with No Deal.

  89. Simon Coleman
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement has been voted down by almost everyone except MPs on the government payroll. The government has no majority (which it lost in an election…on Brexit) and has no Plan B. And you still want Parliament to have no say in what happens next. We know you’re anti-business; we now know you’re anti-Parliament. Why are you in the Conservative Party…or even in Parliament at all?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 23, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      MPs voted by a large majority to make Article 50’s provisions law.
      So we leave the EU on 29th March 2019.
      It is quite simple.

    • Dennis
      Posted January 23, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      It’s not about parliament or the government. It’s about fulfilling the mandate the British people gave in June 2016. It’s about the will of the majority who won the people’s vote

  90. margaret
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    What many don’t seem to grasp is that really we are not looking at contracts,trade agreements and ease of working together or not, we are viewing the nature of many people coming from different ideologies and upbringing and enforcing their attitudes and preconceived ideas of right , wrong and competition on everybody.Some arguments seem ridiculous to myself and mine must similarly be misunderstood by others.
    We have the nasty ones who like to insult , use aggressive phrasing and language with doom laden prophecies and the more objective who like to calm the waters. We also have ones who put their trust in some divine being and cannot really handle things themselves and those who truly appreciate the preservation of humanity. These are not contracts they are people pushing and pulling, enforcing egos and wills; collective or otherwise. It is the nature of man we observe.

  • About John Redwood

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

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