The Brady amendment does not allow Brexit

The Brady amendment says MPs should vote for the Withdrawal Agreement if the backstop is amended or withdrawn. It is vague over how to fix the backstop and fails to mention the other many failings of the Withdrawal Agreement. I will not be supporting it. The Conservative Manifesto made clear that the government needed to keep negotiation over the Withdrawal Agreement in line with negotiation of the future partnership to have any bargaining power. The Withdrawal Agreement would lock us in for 21 to 45 more months of talks , placing us back under EU laws and taxes for that period, with no guarantee of a good exit.


  1. MickN
    January 28, 2019

    Sir, is it your opinion as it is mine that the backstop thing was always going to be removed at the last minute so that we would all breathe a sigh of relief that Mrs Mays tough negotiations had saved Brexit. I think I can probably answer for you. This topic shows that you believe that there is far more that is wrong with this awful “agreement” than getting the backstop removed.

    1. Larsen
      January 29, 2019

      The backstop will be removed. The closer we get to March 29, the more terrified the EU will become. I am expecting the tables soon to be turned, and they will be offering us money for a good deal. We just need to hold our nerve now!

      1. Ed Mahony
        January 29, 2019

        And then we have the concerning prospect of the world economy looking to dip a bit perhaps this year, and more likely next year. A successful world economy is crucial to the success of Brexit.

        Plus Donald Trump is turning out toxic for Brexit with his close association for it.

        Planning is key to success in business, but also, timing. I might be wrong, but looks like the timing is bad too for Brexit?

        1. Ed Mahony
          January 29, 2019

          Lastly, we are a country that likes to ‘muddle through.’ We don’t like too much enthusiasm or drama.

          But if people find their lives suddenly dramatically altered by crashing out of the EU, then they’ll demand that we return to the EU or something – life as before, whether people like that or not, that’s life. That’s just how it is.

      2. Andy
        January 29, 2019


  2. ian
    January 28, 2019

    Just another remainer.

    1. Ed Mahony
      January 29, 2019

      I think few people are pure ‘Remainers’ or ‘Leavers’.

      Most people are a mixture, and have decided after long thought or none at all, to go for one over the other.

      1. Ed Mahony
        January 29, 2019

        It is the UK’s stupid, stupid press (from both the left and right) that has ruined, to a degree, a proper approach to Brexit.

        I think Brexit is genuinely noble aim (in particular, for sovereignty). I sincerely do. But it’s been hijacked by the press, using it as way of rising people’s emotions (essentially to try and sell more copies of their papers) instead of appealing to people’s heads and sense of balance and perspective.

        The UK is a great country for many reasons, but sometimes / often not for its press.

  3. Nicky Roberts
    January 28, 2019

    I am so relieved to hear this. I have been searching news forums and pages to get some idea if this will be supported by the ERG and can find nothing. To read that Boris Johnson is buoyed up by a possible freedom clause is bizarre. A freedom clause to my mind would involve this whole dreadful WA being binned. What is wrong with him? This customs union fiasco is a red herring, and Brady’s ridiculous amendment another con.

    1. rose
      January 28, 2019

      If reports are to be believed, Boris asked the PM the killer question in the meeting with her backbenchers.

      1. Ian wragg
        January 29, 2019

        When the backstop is removed only to be replaced with an endless 20_ _ transition period where we transit to nowhere. May will proclaim victory as we stay in the EU as a colony for the next 80 years.
        Politicians will prostrate themselves at Mays knee and the population will revolt.
        Get this loathsome woman away from the levers of power.

        1. Mark B
          January 30, 2019


          The Tories are floundering around trying to find a way out of the problem they created back in 1972.

    2. Ed Mahony
      January 29, 2019

      I think Brexit needs proper long-term planning. Bit like the D-Day Landings, launching a revolutionary new business product, sending man to the moon (David Davis described Brexit as more complicated than a moon-landing).

      I think it would have been better for Brexit if Brexiters had lost the Refernedum but used it to launch Project Brexit, a big plan for the UK to properly leave the EU. And aim for certain victory 5 or 10 years down the line when properly ready.

      Instead you got Boris, playing a key role in the winning the Referendum for Brexiters when the conditions were never strong to succeed at this time (lack of leader, lack of strategy, lack of finance in the country, lack of widespread strong support).

      Boris was like the PR man you called in to help sell your product (a potentially GREAT product) when your product wasn’t ready yet to be launched. With all sorts of unintended consequences. But Boris wouldn’t understand this, because he’s essentially a PR man / journalist, NOT a deep-thinking strategist.

      I might be wrong, of course.

  4. Brian Tomkinson
    January 28, 2019

    Glad someone is sticking to their principles. I fear that, as previously, many Conservative MPs will put party before people and country. Ironically, what they fail to realise is that this time by so doing they are guaranteeing the demise of their own party. Some devout disciples of the EU protectionist club probably don’t care as they look to high remuneration in positions outside of Westminster. I wonder how many MPs are currently being financed directly or indirectly to undermine the referendum result by (rich Remainers ed) and others?
    I remain of the opinion that this has been Mrs May’s plan from day one. Having achieved her objective of keeping us under EU control she will resign to allow a successor to finish the job of keeping us in the EU.

    1. Mark B
      January 30, 2019

      I see Sir Nick Clegg of EU has secured himself a nice job.

  5. piglet
    January 28, 2019

    Well said. Thank you, John.

    1. eeyore
      January 29, 2019

      The best amendment today would be one providing generous funding for No Deal preparations. The sum of £39bn comes to mind.

      That would concentrate minds in Brussels.

      1. Lifelogic
        January 29, 2019

        The best way to spend the £39 billion would be large tax cuts for everyone. Government would only waste £39 billion on silly truck rehearsals in Dover, propaganda, wind farms on the HS2 route or pointless fridges for the NHS.

  6. davies
    January 28, 2019

    nor does it do anything to mitigate the issues of defence and security – a first duty of government. Also why have the MOD been signing up to PESCO schemes behind closed doors since the referendum?

  7. Denis Cooper
    January 28, 2019

    The amendment refers to “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border”, but without any qualification that those “alternative arrangements” must not shackle us to EU rules – customs union and single market – in perpetuity in the way the “backstop” would.

    But for the sake of their economy the Irish government wants us shackled to those EU rules, and they would NEVER willingly agree to any measure to replace or supersede the “backstop” which did not have a similar legal effect, and they have a veto; as for the UK government the problem of the Irish border has become a convenient pretext for giving the CBI and similar groups most of what they have been demanding:

    “… the woman from the CBI says that this is not a perfect deal but it would be far far worse to leave with no deal …

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

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 28, 2019

      This chap thinks he has found a way out of the “backstop” problem:

      “Under international law, it can only be a temporary arrangement – and this must be put in explicit, legally binding, terms.”

      Unfortunately like the similar claim that the “backstop” can only be a temporary provision under EU law that would not stop it being replaced or superseded by a permanent measure with the same effect.

  8. Peter
    January 28, 2019

    Thanks for the update. I agree with your view.

    Brexit is not all about the backstop. That is just a distraction ploy to hide other issues in the Withdrawal Agreement.

    I would rather a general election than this.

    1. Alastair Gunning
      January 29, 2019

      An election is the only thing that will sort out the obduracy of the remainers. They will not want this election because many of them will be deselected and if they dare to stand will fail to regain their seat of ease

  9. Mick
    January 28, 2019

    Conservative MP Graham Brady’s amendment
    Calls for Parliament to require the backstop to be replaced with “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border” but would otherwise support the prime minister’s deal.
    So what would be the “alternative arrangements” !!!

  10. The Prangwizard
    January 28, 2019

    Not supporting is not the same as voting against it. Will you be voting against it?

    1. Ben Ash
      January 30, 2019

      Sir Redwood apparently abstained

  11. Anthony
    January 28, 2019

    But will there be an exit if we don’t get the WA through.

    Is there any official update on whether the Cooper Bill requires a money resolution? There is a fascinating but disturbing blog on the UK constitution website explaining why a money resolution is not required to change exit day.

    If the bill passes, then we get a soft exit or no exit. I’m as cross about this as the next person, but I’d rather have this exit than no exit

  12. Mick
    January 28, 2019

    Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s amendment
    Attempts to rule out the UK leaving the EU without a formal deal by allowing parliamentary time to pass a new law.
    The bill to bring in the new law would require Theresa May to seek to postpone Brexit day (currently 29 March) until 31 December, if MPs do not approve her deal by 26 February.
    The prime minister would do this by asking the EU to agree to extend the two-year limit on Article 50 – the mechanism paving the way for the UK to leave the EU.
    It has the backing of senior Conservative backbenchers such as Nicky Morgan and Oliver Letwin, former Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb and Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake.
    And coopers amendment by cables own admission on politics live is a amendment to stop Brexit, they are really playing with fire

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      January 29, 2019

      Does the Cooper amendment explain how we will deal with EU parliamentary elections if we stay in past May. Or is the amendment happy to be a rule taker

  13. Stephen Priest
    January 28, 2019

    Glad to see you are holding your nerve.

    You are correct, the Brady amendment does not allow Brexit. How can Boris or anyone other Brexit support think could it does?

    Will MPs really want to be seen to extend Article 50 in an obvious attempt to overturn the Referendum result and General Election Manifestos?

  14. jane4brexit
    January 28, 2019

    Have MPs even read the full Withdrawal Agreement and even then might some not understand it’s implications? If no to either of those maybe you could print off or email this to some or all of them before tomorrow’s vote Sir John “The top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal:

  15. Richard
    January 28, 2019

    There was a good piece on briefingsforbrexit on the anti-democratic “Transition Period”:
    “Far from restoring control of our laws, the Withdrawal Agreement is the death of parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom and removes from British citizens civil rights that extend back to Magna Carta.”

    This is the #1 Triple Lock (The Backstop was only #2).

  16. stred
    January 28, 2019

    What a sly bunch of weasels they are.

    1. Jagman84
      January 29, 2019

      They said that the EU would try to punish us for having the audacity to try to exit. Instead, it appears that it is our own representatives are the ones who wish to put the boot in, via the WA.

  17. Lynn Atkinson
    January 28, 2019

    Exactly! I hope confused MPs read your blog! I’m praying for another comprehensive rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement.

    1. Alan Jutson
      January 29, 2019



  18. George Brooks
    January 28, 2019

    Thank you Sir John for bringing these facts to the fore. He was far too smooth and relaxed during his TV interviews this morning and one got a very clear impression that we were heading off once more into the ”smoke and mirrors department”.

  19. Lifelogic
    January 28, 2019

    Exactly, it is totally unaceptable and far worse than just leaving.

    Radio 4 today was endless remain propaganda and endless project fear. Baroness Manningham-Buller in particular.

    Leave mean leave get over it.

    1. Lifelogic
      January 28, 2019

      Why do remainers always assume that we cannot cooperate with EU members without being fully controlled by the EU? If the EU is so obstructive and resistant to mutual cooperation why would we want to be in their anti-democratic, misguided socialist club?

      They can harm us far, far more if we in effect remain and thus under their courts.

  20. Dominic
    January 28, 2019

    We are on the cusp of a shameless and wilful betrayal of our most sacred democracy and those perpetrating such an abomination couldn’t care less that we know. This culture change is a direct consequence of our membership of the EU

    MPs have become distant, unaccountable and untouchable and there is nothing the public can do to stop them from committing these most appalling acts of constitutional violence against the very fabric of our nation

    Shameful, utterly shameful

    1. Lifelogic
      January 29, 2019

      Indeed. The appalling betrayal started by Ted Heath continues with the truly appalling T May and every government in between.

  21. Kees
    January 28, 2019

    The Brady amendment is a complete waste of time, the EU will not agree because they know that if it is not the Backstop then it will be the 39billion or the ECJ or something else that will be a problem. The EU parliament, (for EU Parliament read ‘Verhofstadt’), will only ratify the WA as it has already been signed off by the governments. To them it looks very like Theresa May has cracked and is rowing in behind the ERG and they will never negotiate with the ERG straight or by proxy

  22. Adam
    January 28, 2019

    If it doesn’t allow Brexit, it is a disgrace & should be dumped.

  23. Richard1
    January 28, 2019

    2 1/2 years from the referendum you’d have though Brexit supporting Conservative MPs would have been able to caucus around a specific plan by now!

  24. Brigham
    January 28, 2019

    No deal is better than a bad deal. May said this. What a liar she is.

    1. Lifelogic
      January 29, 2019

      A lair, fraud, socialist, a supporter of the highest taxes for 40 years, a dope with zero leadership abilities, an electoral liability and clearly never remotely a real Conservative. One who employs a total economic illiterate to live next door.

  25. Caterpillar
    January 28, 2019

    We now seem to have retailers threatening to starve us with empty shelves, together with the claim that keeping the border open in Ireland is not possible. The Govt needs to publish and explain the preparations for leaving with so called no deal and in a calm way without mention of martial law. We still need to see the no deal tariff levels so that retailers can begin to adjust. So much wasted time and ramp up of fear. Time for project calm execution.

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 29, 2019

      Contrary to a claim on the BBC this is not the first time that they have done this, they have issued similar dire warnings at least twice before.

      From December 2017:

      “This is a little message I have just sent to the British Retail Consortium:

      “Why the hell do you keep publishing this twaddle about foreign countries forcing us to impose tariffs on our imports? At present the EU forces us to impose tariffs on imports, its Common External Tariff, mitigated as may be by any special trade deal when the source country. Why do you never mention that in your press releases? Why instead do you push out illogical crap like this? “As a member of the EU, the UK currently benefits from zero or low rate tariffs on various imports from trade deals that the EU has negotiated with third countries. From the day after the UK leaves the EU, on 30 March 2019, it will no longer be covered by these international agreements, so imported goods will be subject to higher tariffs and potential customs barriers. For consumers this means higher prices.” Once we have left the EU and its customs union we can decide what tariffs we will apply to imports, not the EU deciding and not the source countries for those imports deciding either. We could well decide to reduce tariffs on some imports below the current levels dictated by the EU, which we could do unilaterally. Or do you really think that, for example, we would have ask the Turks for permission to remove import tariffs on whatever goods they export to us? You really cannot be that stupid, and I want to know what ulterior motive you have for pumping out such nonsense.”

      And I would also like to know why the Department for Exiting the EU always allows such arrant nonsense to go unchallenged, because I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that those in charge are hoping that public opinion will swing against Brexit.”

    2. Stephen King
      January 29, 2019

      Can someone please explain to me why there should be a shortage of lettuces etc? Who is stopping them and how?

      1. a-tracy
        January 30, 2019

        They show photos of empty bread shelves, well I don’t know about other areas of the Country but we have local bread manufacturers, just how much bread do we import and why?

        I’m getting sick of this ridiculous scaremongering as Denis perfectly explained above, I’m getting fed up with C4 news constantly and unquestioning accepting this sort of ridiculous proclamation without asking why we as an independent Country would put high tariffs on any food imports after we leave, we could drop lower than the EU if necessary on salad and fruit that we can’t grow for ourselves!

  26. Chris Rooke
    January 28, 2019

    Please vote for this deal. It’s not perfect by any means but pass it and get a new PM. The membership will vote in a Brexiteer PM who can fight for the free trade deal we need.
    The threat of Corbyn is just too great to take the risk. If there is a general election he has a too great a chance to risk. I have 3 young children and his policies will make any type of compromise Brexit look like a picnic in comparison. He is more than capable of destroying this country in a few short years and all our futures along with it.
    Please take a longer term view for the country and treat this as stage 1 of the process. Let’s just get out. We will be an independent country. If the EU plays hard ball at a future point then we can unilaterally leave.

    Chris Rooke

    1. rose
      January 28, 2019

      Our best hope is that he will shed a lot of people who voted for him in 2017 and didn’t vote Liberal as one might have expected them to do. Conservatives cannot win when the Liberal vote collapses. It should recover when all those young people and their elders revert to the true remainiac party. He must prioritise the Labour Leave vote at the moment.

  27. Lorgo
    January 28, 2019

    So when will the German carmakers insist Britain gets a great deal? Tomorrow maybe? How well Brexit is going !

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 29, 2019

      I’m more worried about our own Prime Minister than German carmakers. Even if the latter started to shout from the rooftops that they needed the UK to have a good deal she would probably do what she could to suppress and contradict that news. I reckon that historically she would now be well into impeachment territory.

    2. Jagman84
      January 29, 2019

      People of your mentality are in charge. How could it go wrong?

    3. a-tracy
      January 30, 2019

      When we stop buying and renting German cars Lorgo. If they continue to play hardball we will do just that and if they don’t realise the impact they’re making on British psyche then more fool them.

  28. Harka
    January 28, 2019

    Quite right we don’t need a WA nor do we need further negotiations. We voted to leave, simple as that, so let’s get on with it

  29. James bertram
    January 28, 2019

    Well done, Sir John.
    The Withdrawal Agreement is a total sham designed by a Remain Prime Minister and her cronies to keep us locked into EU influence – Brexit in Name Only. I am at a loss as to why ERG and Brexiteers recently have seemed to be wavering towards some form of acceptance of it – it is, and always will be, a total disaster. We just need to leave (and negotiate a FTA from there); and leave by the 29th March.

    1. Alan Jutson
      January 29, 2019



  30. Mike of Wokingham
    January 28, 2019

    The EU would block any change to the agreement any way.
    But seriously, do you still have a plan for how we leave the EU?
    Because time seems to be running out.

  31. Anonymous
    January 28, 2019

    Ant Middleton SBS man of SAS Who Dares Wins fame supports Brexit.

    He says a hard Brexit would be a blessing in disguise and that a bit of hardship would unite us as a nation and make us stronger – that drastic change is needed. And I think he’s right. We face a cultural cliff edge under the rule of slippery federalists.

    We need more Ant and a LOT less Andy.

  32. ferdinand
    January 28, 2019

    Quite right. I was becoming fearful that some sensible people were wavering.

  33. billR
    January 28, 2019

    WE didn’t vote for a good exit- we just voted to leave

    1. Alan Jutson
      January 29, 2019


      Amazing how complicated politicians can make even the simplest of tasks.

  34. Nicholas Murphy
    January 28, 2019

    At the end of this process we need to stop kidding ourselves that we have first-class diplomats. The government needs to conduct a root and branch reform of our negotiating capability.

  35. rose
    January 28, 2019

    I can’t understand anyone who has read the DWA thinking taking out or amending the backstab makes it acceptable.

    The whole thing is unacceptable because it is a craven capitulation – like the Belfast Agreement and the December Joint Report. The Northern Irish Protocol is only part of what we must not sign up to.

    We must not pay for trade talks and certainly not £39 billion. No-one else in the world does. We must not sign away our armed forces and intelligence to a foreign power. We must not share a common foreign policy. We must not align ourselves. We must not in any way give up the chance of being a fully independent country.
    Even the silly little clauses are unacceptable, like the ones about not saying anything nasty about the EU or doing anything against its interests; and not prosecuting any employees or ex employees of the EU; and allowing them to go on avoiding full rates of tax.

    1. Lifelogic
      January 29, 2019


  36. Mark B
    January 28, 2019

    Good morning.

    It is incomprehensible why our own MP’s would do this, other than to say they know they are not up to the job of governing.

    These people need to explain their actions and be made to confront their stupidity.

    President Junckers useful little idiots.

  37. James bertram
    January 28, 2019

    On BrexitFacts4EU website today and tomorrow they are listing all the MPs who don’t respect the referendum result, who are attempting to subvert democracy. (Check whether your MP is on the list; and help add information to the research on your MP).

    The relevance to Sir John’s article above is their opinion of the Withdrawal Agreement (which I thoroughly agree with) – and thus why the Brady Amendment is no more than tinkering with something that should, in all honesty, just be binned:

    ”Readers will note that we have included MPs who support Mrs May’s disastrous non-Brexit Brexit, represented by her Withdrawal Agreement. We did this because it is such an atrocious deal that no self-respecting person who wants to deliver on the result of the Referendum could possibly back it.”

  38. Steve
    January 28, 2019


    I was just reading about Sir Ian Brady’s amendment.

    I’d say your scepticism is justified, his proposed amendment doesn’t appear to suggest a clear alternative to the backstop.

    – there is really only one alternative; no backstop at all, and if Southern Ireland and it’s EU masters have a problem with that, tough !

  39. APL
    January 28, 2019

    An article at the BBC.

    Where the BBC on it’s supposed ‘news’ site forecasts, some might say incites people to panic stockpile goods.

    Currently, there is no shortage of food, so why the BBC is speculating in a ‘news’ article that there may be shortages of food – is anyone’s guess.

    Perhaps it just normal BBC project fear?

  40. Kevin
    January 28, 2019

    “and fails to mention the other many failings of the Withdrawal Agreement”

    By way of emphasis, on 27 December, JR provided a convenient, numbered list of seven other “things wrong with the Withdrawal Agreement”, of which I believe the following is a reasonable summary:
    1. The loss of bargaining power.
    2. The money given for nothing in return that we do not legally owe them.
    3. We have to accept and follow any law they pass for the next two years or more.
    4. We cannot sign any trade deals during the implementation period.
    5. We might be another 45 months stuck in the EU.
    6. The Withdrawal Agreement is legally binding. The Political Declaration is a vague wish list.
    7. Far from ending business uncertainty it prolongs it and makes it worse, as it makes a good outcome for the UK less likely.

    I propose a Democracy amendment to the effect that any MP who actually supports the result of the People’s Vote has the weight of his or her parliamentary vote on Brexit multiplied by 17.4 million.

  41. James
    January 28, 2019

    It goes without saying that you are right not to lend your support. It is difficult to see how any MP in their right mind could contemplate support for such a measure. It’s not complicated. It’s very simple:-
    1. We want to regain our precious sovereignty by leaving on 29 March
    2. We want to have done with every vestige of the sclerotic nonsense that emanates from
    the undemocratic self-serving incompetents in Brussels (and Strasbourg)

  42. Rien Huizer
    January 28, 2019

    Mr Redwood,

    You can be sure that the Brady amendment is unacceptable to the Irish and the EU. Hence you can safely vote for it.

  43. Mike Paterson
    January 28, 2019

    Quite right, looks like the aeRg will not back it and it is fortunately unlikely to be passed. I hope that is the case. GATT Article 24 Paragraph 5 appears to be a great way forward.

  44. Mike Paterson
    January 28, 2019

    Quite right, looks like the ERG will not back it and it is fortunately unlikely to be passed. I hope that is the case. GATT Article 24 Paragraph 5 appears to be a great way forward.

  45. agricola74
    January 28, 2019

    My last contribution, awaiting moderation, to your previous article just about covers the present shinanigans in Parliament and my suggestions for a way forward.

  46. margaret
    January 28, 2019

    Whilst all the attention is focused on Brexit the focus is not elsewhere . So many years of wheeling and procrastination and wheeling and not dealing. What a very big diversion !

  47. Dennis Zoff
    January 28, 2019

    The current “Withdrawal Agreement” is an unmitigated disaster for Britain. We trust there is a sufficient backbone in the Brexteer collective, to continue the support towards a WTO solution!

  48. oldtimer
    January 28, 2019

    I have not read the actual text, but from your description it sounds like another version ofkicking the can down the road. In that respect it is no better than the WA itself. Elsewhere I have read that it is being described as Operation Figleaf.

    The sooner we leave (on 29 March) the better

  49. forthurst
    January 28, 2019

    Has the EU agreed to any changes to the wording of the ‘Withdrawal’ Agreement; is Parliament being invited to vote on a hypothetical situation? Is it time to increase the medication all round or even have some removed to a place of safety?

  50. Chris
    January 28, 2019

    At least we have one MP who is honest. Thank you, Sir John.

  51. Bob
    January 28, 2019

    The Withdrawal Agreement is an attempt at treachery and should be consigned to the dustbin of history along with the Brussels shills that support it in Parliament.

  52. Edwardm
    January 29, 2019

    Quite right.
    The WA contains far too much to dislike to consider voting for it, backstop or no.

  53. ian
    January 29, 2019

    It well-known ploy, stuff your opposition full of gov supporters and wait to the time is right and then pull the trigger hoping that the 35 really Brexiteers will follow them and vote with the gov.

    That means you still have the same amount of Brexiteers that you started out with, in 2016, 35.
    Yes still only 35 or so Brexiteers out of 318 con party MPs in parliament and 6 in the labour party, look like you lot need a new party.

  54. BR
    January 29, 2019

    I hear what you’re saying, but voting in favour of the Brady amendment does not guarantee that you’ll vote in favour of the revised WA.

    I assume that there is sufficient latitude for one to assume/infer the word ‘satisfactorily’ prior to ‘amended’.

    They may not have written that explicitly but you would be within your rights to point out in the debate that you would be voting on that assumption if you were to vote in favour of the vague notion now but reserve the right to vote differently when the text of the revised WA becomes known.

    You might even ask May to comment on that point.

    That would at least head off the Grieve cabal for now. However, if you feel that a GE is necessary then it may not matter what happens tomorrow (in saying that I am assuming that no government would allow control of the process to be usurped in this way).

  55. William
    January 29, 2019

    Dr. Redwood, why is this Article 24 only now coming to light? It allows the UK to continue trading with the EU tariff-free for an interim period until a trade deal is agreed, thereby completely solving all problems with project fear & Irish boarder. Why have Brexiteers not been using this, and more importantly why have they not tabled a motion for MPs to vote on whether article 24 should be triggered?

    Reply Because the government will not adopt it yet, and some of us are pressing them to do so. Getting the idea a heavy defeat in the House would not help.

    1. Henry Carter
      January 29, 2019

      Art 24 applies only if trade talks are ongoing. If we leave without signing the WA, then obviously they are not ongoing and so Art 24 does not apply. If anyone tells you we should leave with no deal and use Art 24, they do not know the first thing about Art 24

  56. Original Richard
    January 29, 2019

    If the Remainers in Parliament who intend bring about a coup against the people of the UK and vote to keep the UK in the EU’s institutions and under their laws, including those of taxation, either by remaining in the EU or via the EU’s (non-) Withdrawal Agreement are deluded if they believe this un-democratic action will be forgotten by the people and that everything will return to normal.

    There will be severe repercussions as the EU laws, either without any representation or without the ability to elect or remove the people who make them, roll in.

    The referendum and our remainer Establishment’s/remainer Parliament’s attempts to thwart/delay Brexit has brought to the fore-front EU laws and how it affects us and now that this genie is out of the bottle our Establishment and politicians will not be able to hide from the people their actions or hide the fact Parliament is no longer in control of our affairs.

  57. Monza 71
    January 29, 2019

    I am getting very concerned about the proposed sweetheart deal between Remainers like Nicky Morgan and Ian Duncan-Smith. It appears even JRM might support the initiative.

    In theory, anything that brings the more extreme Remainers and Leavers together should be welcomed, however, what alarms me is the fact that this proposal involves extending the s0-called transition period to three years – until March 2021. This will cost us at least an extra £9-10bn and would end only a short time before the next general election.

    It looks suspiciously like a plot by the Remainers to leave the way open for Parliament to delay the final break for a few more months to enable one party to go into that election with a manifesto calling for Brexit to be reversed.

    I’m convinced that WTO terms is the right way forward. Only a clean exit on 29th March ends our involvement with a degree of finality and will put an end to the constant undermining of our Country’s future by Remainers.

    We can do a lot to mitigate the short term effects on trade with some of the £39 or £49bn we will save. I don’t think the public really appreciates just what a huge sum of money it is that May has been proposing to hand over with nothing guaranteed in return.

    We can then go into free trade negotiations from a position of strength, being prepared to concede some of that money to help fund some of the institutions we want to continue with. This would make sense for both sides.

  58. A.Sedgwick
    January 29, 2019

    Anyone who supports this Withdrawal Agreement in any shape or form is either a Remainer or has completely lost the plot.

  59. Bryan Harris
    January 29, 2019

    On this subject I wrote to my own MP:
    “As we approach the important votes in the Commons, mostly amendments to deny Brexit, nobody can be unaware of the panoply of untrue scare stories circulating.

    What amazes me though is the number of MP’s that are either perpetuating the stories, or believe in them. It must be clear to all, or at least it should be, that the political establishment is using propaganda on a scale not seen since Blair came to power on the back of the propaganda campaign against fox hunting.

    It is vitally important for the future of this country that we do not get stuck in a never-ending subservience to the EU. I trust that your impulse is still to reject the false deal the PM negotiated, and to vote down any amendments that will interfere with a clean Brexit.

    How has it gotten to this state, where so many are actively working against democracy to reverse the referendum result? They can’t all be bad people with ‘interests’ in the EU. That leaves the misguided then, and in this remainers have done a superb job in muddying the water. There is no truth in the scare stories – You will note how they always use ‘could happen’, instead of ‘will happen’ – This is because there is nothing to back up the stories – no analysis has been done. They are simply using sound bites as propaganda.

    A real future for this country is within our grasp, if we can only throw off the chains that tie us to the EU, a failing undemocratic power hungry institution based on socialism. We must leave the EU on WTO terms – It’s the only real option for our Grandkids, and I promise the sky will not fall down on us.

    Of course we can expect some minor teething problems, because the EU is still out to punish us, but none of them will be beyond our capabilities to easily resolve. We are still in a stronger position than the EU, because without a deal, you can bet EU countries will be begging for a free trade deal, because they will not want to lose any our custom.

    I would be eternally grateful if you could make these points to the House.”

  60. Everhopeful
    January 29, 2019

    Take a step back. We all know the whole Brexit thing is a charade…a trick why take every step of the way as Gospel?
    All anyone needs to do is to look around the country. See what the powers that be have done to us!!
    May has signed up to the Global Compact for Migration…is that really the act of someone who thinks we are leaving the EU in any meaningful way?
    Can the carry on we see presently in Parliament really be acceptable to anyone? Can it really be allowable? If so why have we not seen it before?
    To stop the Iraq war for example?

  61. Ronald Olden
    January 29, 2019

    IS John Redwood absolutely determined to keep the UK IN the EU?

    OBVIOUSLY the Brady amendment is ‘vague’ on the timing of the ending of the backstop. Legislating for ending the backstop is not the amendment’s purpose.

    The details will be in any proposed new agreement, protocols to the existing one, or simply mentioned in UK legislation, and Parliament can vote on the details then.

    OBVIOUSLY the amendment doesn’t mention any of John Redwood’s other perceived shortcomings on the agreement either, because the amendment is solely about the backstop.

    The purpose of the Brady amendment is, if it’s passed, to show the EU what sort of an agreement is capable of being enacted by Parliament. Otherwise, quite reasonably, the EU won’t offer anything.

    Most Tory MPs who voted against the agreement including many ERG members, and some opposition members have made it clear in private that they will support the Agreement if the backstop is satisfactorily addressed.

    So voting FOR the Brady amendment should be a no brainer for any Tory MP.

    When the legislation comes to be voted upon it’s still open to all MPs to argue links between the backstop and other things, say the backstop hasn’t been adequately addressed, or simply t0 change their minds.

    This whole thing is a waste to time manufactured by the EU, on the one hand, and Remainers and Leavers in the UK on the other, anyway.

    The Crown in Parliament is ALWAYS sovereign. So regardless of what any Treaty says we are can end the backstop whenever we like, or never implement it in the first place anyway.

    Reply To the MPs who think the WA has many bad features in addition to the backstop the Brady amendment is unattractive. I suggested to them that they table an amendment which just condemned the backstop, which would have got a much more support and sent a message to the EU without telling them we could put up with all the other undesirable features of the WA.

    1. rose
      January 29, 2019

      A very wise and sagacious reply – as one would expect.

  62. Baz Lloyd
    January 29, 2019

    Does John Redwood have difficulty reading? Neither Brady’s Amendment, nor the motion as a whole, ‘allows’ nor ‘disallows’ Brexit.

    Brexit is already provided for in the Brexit Act at 11pm on March 29th. Whether or not it actually goes ahead on that date, is still up to the Government and Parliament.

    But without a Withdrawal Agreement either the Government, Parliament or both, will decide we are not Leaving.

    Reply The Withdrawal Agreement is not Brexit!

  63. a-tracy
    January 29, 2019

    The Withdrawal Agreement would lock us in for 21 to 45 more months of talks.

    How can anyone support this? It’s already been horrendous. Dithering is giving remainers hope Brexits just going to get cancelled. The EU have been clear there is no other deal they won’t budge. The end of negotiation so what the hell is left to talk about. May and the Conservative cabinet have weakened us, Davis just walking away, Johnson just walking away… everyone leaving it to JRM to make the case and take all the flack.

    The fact our major supermarkets have made our Country so dependent on imported key foodstuffs absolutely infuriates me. They put our butchers, bakers and fishmongers out of business and just as I predicted once their competition was removed from the vast majority of large towns – they cut the fresh food service. It’s about time these big monoliths got their comeuppance.

  64. a-tracy
    January 29, 2019

    Plus any extension deal needs to finally put to bed this “the uk can’t sign other trade agreements until any extension ends”. We must be able to sign alternative trade agreements with the start date agreed on the withdrawal date to stop this incessant remain narrative that no other Country in the World wants to trade with us for goodness sakes.

    We also need to get our own manufacturing of foodstuffs created, British made live saving pharmaceuticals (no more being held hostage to foreign companies), and encourage other Countries and brands to fill our factories that EU companies wish to desert and create loyalty for British made cars for British users right-hand drive instead of treating our Country like rats trapped in a box. Much more of this we’re closing down this factory and this factory and taking all your jobs and I swear I will go from someone that is open Europe open World to open World screw Europe.

  65. Chris
    January 29, 2019

    The heading for the Letters section in D Tel today says it all:
    Letters: Never mind the backstop, the whole deal’s a deceit on the British people

    Absolutely spot on.

    1. Helena
      January 29, 2019

      They sound just like my 5 year old when I say he can’t have ice cream. It’s not fairrrrrr, waaaa

  66. Chris
    January 29, 2019

    A very relevant comment on Project Fear by Martin Selves in the Comment section for D Tel. Letters today:

    “I think this Project Fear, without exaggeration, is the biggest the World has ever seen. It cannot be accidental. This is a programme running on schedule, and flexible enough to adjust on a day to day basis.

    It MUST have a Central Office, a Controller, and a Management Team.

    The Fear Subjects come out on a regular time scale. They do not overlap, and they have taken time to assemble. The “Lists” of prominent people or organisations takes time to make into an “Item” that Sky and BBC can run with.

    This is a professional Make Over Job. This is not an accident imho.”

  67. JM
    January 29, 2019

    The Europeans have made it clear that unless and until we say precisely what we want, they will not engage in further negotiations. Parliament needs to stop flanneling on about what it does not want, e.g. leaving with no deal, and to decide on what deal would be acceptable to it. Then the PM can be sent back to Brussels to say this is the deal that will pass, take it or leave it. My hunch is that they will take it. At the very least, she needs to be put in a position where she can call their bluff. At present, saying we will not leave without a deal removes at a stroke the one negotiating card she has left (however fictional it might be perceived to be) and gives the Europeans no incentive to negotiate further.

  68. hardlymatters
    January 29, 2019

    The Brady amendment is a complete nonsense..’vague’ is hardly the word to describe it.. and anyway it won’t be accepted in Europe- not a chance.. the only thing on the table for parliament to consider and ratify or not is the WA and only as it is- opening up negotiations again to suit some kind of cherry picking pipedream is out of the question. So it’s time to get real, the default position is to leave without a WA and without a deal for the future, so better face up to the facts in an pragmatic way. We can pick up the pieces and deal with the future afterwards

    1. Ronald Olden
      January 29, 2019

      Leaving without a deal is not ‘the only thing the table for Parliament’.

      Parliament will vote to Remain rather than leave with no deal.

  69. Sakara Gold
    January 29, 2019

    Ms Cooper’s amendment, to rule out a no-deal Brexit, would weaken the PM’s negotiating position should we go back to Brussels to re-negotiate the WA. So in my view it would be a mistake and should be voted down

    Now is not the time for wavering from the likes of Boris Johnson and William Rees-Mogg. We should issue the EU with a list of our demands to include them paying us £39b for access to our single market, our continuing in the Galileo project, no freedom of movement and completely scrapping the so-called backstop. Consideration should be given to including a demand that Barnier and Junker should be dismissed, or at least moved upstairs where they can no longer influence events.

    Only by standing firm against the incessant bullying by Macron and the Gang of Four will we obtain sufficient concessions to carry a revised WA through Parliament. The PM should stand firm.

  70. Den
    January 29, 2019

    I cannot resist the feeling that each time someone comes up with a Withdrawal alternative from the Remain side that it will NEVER be a good deal for Britain and the Leavers. They are becoming boring con artists.

  71. PaulDirac
    January 29, 2019

    Sir Redwood,
    Well said, the surrender deal which TM negotiated has huge number of serious problems, we will be better off with a WTO exit.

  72. Andy
    January 29, 2019

    Watching the Commons today – and it is clear the angry Tory pensioner Brexit farce has shamed our country.

    Most MPs are not good enough to be described as second rate. They are a humiliation. Our country is the subject of international pity.

    If you voted for this entirely predictable mess – and if you backed Brexit you did – then you should be throughly ashamed of yourself.

  73. Chris
    January 29, 2019

    It appears that the ERG group and others have been persuaded by May’s words/reassurances (with regard to the backstop and the Malthouse amendment) to support her. I hope they have their own backstop on this as Theresa May has consistently broken promises with her actions contradicting her words.

    I believe she feels she has won the Brexiteers over and got herself some more time. I don’t think the signs are good for the delivery of real Brexit, and I fear the Brexiteers have fallen into yet another trap. Perhaps Churchill quoting Santayana is appropriate here:
    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

  74. Helicopter pilot
    January 29, 2019

    There seems an, inevitability, writ large, in the abusages Parlia-ment just now.
    The “Debate” at 2pm onwards was not seen on TV by most people as they were at work in Labour’s non-existent jobs.
    Meanwhile, Dover NHS has indicated it wishes a change of management of their local NHS domain quickly root to branch. Lives depend on it.

  75. Peter D Gardner
    January 29, 2019

    Dr Redwood, if you have not heard Sabine Weyand’s speech I strongly commend it to you. Only 15 mins and a goldmine.

  76. Lindsay McDougall
    January 30, 2019

    We all remember the words contained at the end of the pamphlet issued by HM Government at the start of the Referendum campaign: “This is your decision ……………” We also remember the propaganda of Messrs Cameron and Osborne, seeking to spread fear: “If you vote to leave, that’s it; we’re out.”

    All that we are doing is to hold the Government to those words. There was no mention of a Withdrawal Agreement, a transition period, a £39 billion exit payment or a common rule book.

  77. BR
    January 30, 2019

    The list of 8 Tory MPs not supporting the Brady amendment doesn’t include JR.

    I’d be interested to hear what caused the change of heart.

    Reply I did not vote for it

  78. Peter D Gardner
    January 30, 2019

    Wooziness tells truths that logic is deaf to.
    WH Auden

  79. Paul Stockley
    February 1, 2019

    Hi John
    Has much research been done into the effects of making Northern Ireland a customs free zone following a successful Brexit?
    The advantage would be that the border issue would become an EU problem as the incentive to dodge border taxes would be on entering Eire not the other way round.
    It would also give a boost to the NI economy reducing the cost to the rest of the UK in the long run. The customs & Excise checks for the rest of the UK should be manageable as the Irish sea gives a natural fence for the zone.

  80. a-tracy
    February 3, 2019

    John, dont you think if TMay and Corbyn stitch us up into a restrictive Customs Union it’s worse than revoking A50 altogether?

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