The Commons votes

Yesterday the Commons voted down the Grieve and Cooper amendments to the government’s neutral motion. The Grieve amendment would have given Parliamentary time for a series of debates and votes on indicative approaches to Brexit, seeking to pre-empt  or direct the role of government to propose, amend or pass legislation and pursue policies of its design.  The Cooper amendment would have given Parliamentary time to enact a delay in Brexit, amending the EU Withdrawal Act, against the government’s wishes.  These amendments were rejected by  20 and 23 votes respectively, more than the government’s majority.

The Commons also passed the Spelman amendment by 8 votes. This amendment to the motion expresses the opinion that we should not leave without an agreement, but it does not overturn the legislation already passed for us to leave on 29 March. The government opposed it, in part because any suggestion we will not leave without a deal undermines the UK bargaining position.

The Brady amendment also passed requiring the government to go back to Brussels to seek to remove the Irish backstop from the draft Withdrawal Agreement. The government to win over more Conservatives to this measure promised that they will seek a rewrite of the legal text of the agreement on the backstop, when they had previously indicated they would just be seeking a protocol which would have been too weak. The PM also promised she  will strengthen the official negotiating team and will take seriously the Malthouse  compromise about the future negotiations and possible settlement.  As someone who objects to more than just the backstop in the draft Agreement I was unable to support a motion which said I would support the Withdrawal Agreement after changes to the backstop.  I do support the part of the Malthouse approach which seeks a managed no deal Brexit with talks about a comprehensive free trade agreement and use of the Article 24 of the GATT whilst in talks about such a proposal. I do not agree with more delay or payments to the EU after March. It is difficult to see what we might be able to agree after March that we have been. unable to agree over the previous 33 months. If the EU agreed this removes the need for any tariffs or new barriers to UK/EU trade.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Well done. I too object to far more than the back stop in May’s dire agreement. A managed no deal Brexit is certainly the way to go. Alas the Grieve/Soubry types in the Tory party are destroying the many negotiation strength of UK at every turn. It seems these types object to being called traitors. But what other label would be appropriate for them? Alastair Campbell even tweeted a while back that the Irish leader Leo Varadkar should play hardball with Britain over his country’s border with the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      So Alistair Campbell agrees with Theresa May that the Irish government and the EU should carry on making a mountain out of a molehill on the border.

      • Hope
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        There would be no backstop if discussions were parallel to trade. May wanted sequencing talks to make it an obstacle to remain or as close as possible.

        Her withdrawal agreement is not ‘the deal’ promised this was ‘the trade deal’ under the nothing is agreed until everything agreed. Trade talks have not started, only a sketchy outline plan with the UK on the back foot through May’s appalling servitude plan! It is not just the backstop but the whole of it.

        • jerry
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          @Hope; It was the EU who demanded sequential talks, it’s EC who have prevented a pre-exit trade deal, not Mrs May. The UK govt. wanted parallel or even combined talks.

          • Hope
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

            Davis wanted sequential talks and was prepared to hold out. May overruled him. Watch Steve Baker at the select committee, No. 10 behaviour quite disgraceful. Changed speeches, edited in favour of the direction of travel towards remain they wanted. Cash will find that she broke ministerial code.

          • jerry
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; So you admit that May did not overrule until (much) later, when it had became very obvious the EU were not going be reasonable and realistic. Had Davis held out all he would have achieved would have been to make the UK look unreasonable rather than the EU.

            Take your anti May blinkers off for goodness sake!

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Remainer talk “people didn’t vote to be poorer”

        Exactly. Nobody vote for EU loving Remain politicians to hand over €39 billion of our own money (that we don’t owe) for a deal that is great for the EU

    • Richard1
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      The EU has instantly rejected the request to re-negotiate the WA. What we see is a master class in how to negotiate and how not to negotiate. As predicted by many, Mrs May’s exceptionally pusillanimous approach, caving in at every turn, hasn’t made a deal more likely it’s made it less likely. The EU doesn’t believe it has to concede anything as it’s previous experience is mrs May will just cave in, and they will also note that Continuity Remain in parliament will do everything they can to undermine the UK’s position. Of course the EU’s approach is exceptionally hostile, but who really can blame them? If only we had had a proper robust approach from the beginning a sensible compromise would now have been arrived at!

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I favour a managed no deal Brexit as the outcome. The ERG and others have set out a basis for this. The question now is the EU’s attitude. Key EU staff have pointed out that the WA reflects UK (read May/Robbins) demands. They have succeeded in getting all 27 on board. It is also all too likely that unpicking one element of the WA risks demands from the 27 to unpick others. Also time is running out with EU elections soon. With these considerations in mind there is every reason for the EU to refuse to reopen WA negotiations and to explore a managed no deal – if accompanied by the money May has already promised.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Last act in the very poor production.
      As the WA contains most of Chequers paper at the 11th hour Brussels will remove the Backstop in exchange for all UK staying in the Customs Union. Labour will agree to this and the WA will pass muster.
      Game, set and match to the Remainiacs and May.
      UK a non voting colony of the EU.
      Tory party finished for generations.
      Taking bets now.

    • Gary C
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      It seems these types object to being called traitors. But what other label would be appropriate for them?

      There is no other label, thats exactly what they are.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Well, I suppose in some cases one alternative to the label “traitor” could be “useful idiot”. When I see Caroline Spelman on TV seriously suggesting that it will help Theresa May get concessions if we tell the EU that we will accept any deal they care to offer, however bad, then my immediate reaction is that here we have yet another person who is too stupid to be in Parliament.

      • rose
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Quislings? Collaborators? Foreign agents? Fifth columnists? Serpents in our bosom?

      • Merlin
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Really? Are we at the stage where we are calling MPs traitors?

        Do you actually believe our elected MPs are loyal to another country? If so, I’ve got a great book explaining why the moon landing was faked.

      • Captain Peacock
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        ‘A person who betrays someone or something, such as a friend, cause, or principle’.
        ‘The crime of betraying one’s country’ or ‘the action of betraying someone or something’.
        Anyone who sits in Parliament and wants us to be ruled over by unelected EU Politburo members should be sacked.

    • Hope
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      The voting last night made it abundantly clear which Tory associations have to deselect pseudo Tory MPs.

      It is also clear that the Spelman amendment only had one purpose to prevent the UK leaving the EU. Those Tory MPs who voted for it went against their manifestos, referendum result,mwhich they will not accept and against the Withdraw Act that most of them voted for. Who in their right mind would enter any negotiation not willing to walk away? Either they are stupid or EU fanatics.

      May could have accepted the free trade deal offered by the EU. The currwnt position totally May’s fault. She bungled by calling an election, she bungled the manifesto and got the result she deserved. She bungled Brexit by her bonehead, underhand dishonest actions and here we are.

      Tusk hailing MPs who voted against no deal. Says it all really. Traitors.

      World Trade Organisation terms is the best way forward. No strings attached. Everyone needs to write to their Tory MP to tell them. 18 Tory associations need to oust their MP. The constituents need to vote for right tomrcall for all those constiuencies who had an MP voting for Cooper amendment. Cooper should be ousted along with Boles. They are an affront to representative democracy.

    • Merlin
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Slightly tangential. But there have been a lot of questions on this site, so I thought I’d answer a few of them.
      1) Why do we not just have an E.E.C? Why do we need a European government?

      To have an integrated market in goods and services, economies need to be aligned. This means you need a body to oversee it. If this body does no have legislative or financial powers, nobody will listen to it. If it has power over legislation, it needs a body to pass the legislation regarding trade and standardising products Essentially, to be listened to, the E.E.C needs legislative power and to pass legislation it needs a government.

      2) Why do we need a E.U army?
      This was not seriously considered before Trump as NATO was considered to guarantee protection of Europe. However, if Russia invades Europe, NATO is no longer a protection we cannot rely on Donald Trump. Hence there needs to be a Europe-wide response to this.

      3) Why is there an E.U foreign minister?

      Because of areas such as the Iran deal, Brexit, or Immigration into the E.U where there is consensus across Europe, it makes sense for Europe to speak with a single voice. However, if say the German foreign minister was to speak on behalf of all Europe, I can’t see it going down well.

      • davies
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Indeed what you are describing are the features of a state which is central to the whole EU project. I personally think it is commendable that the continent wants to come together, I just don’t think the UK is a suitable partner as the problem it was concieved to solve were never UK ones and our dynamics and world view are totally different.

        So you either believe in it or you don’t – if you dont you vote to leave.

        A couple of issues with your answer though

        1. There is no single market for services and EU Commission tentacles go far beyond the remit of product standards. Most goods standards in any case use ISO and other global benchmarks and defined by global bodies and then passed to the EU as a middleman.

        2. Provision for an EU Army was agreed in the Lisbon Treaty, way before Donald Trump (Don’t you remember Mr Junker bragging about it on Twitter?). Pres Trumps issue is that most NATO states are not properly funding their own defence and leaving it to the US and UK – a legitimate concern even if stated in his unconventional non diplomatic way.

        3. EU foreign minister – agreed, a single foreign policy is one of the featrures of a state, as is a single currency, a soon to be harmonised tax regime, a single defence organisation and so on.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


      Totally agree. Spot on.

    • Chris Wheeler
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Agreed 100% I cannot think of another suitable word, other than traitor.

      As for Veruka, he is only acting as a tool of the EU Triumvirate. A useful idiot if you like. Should Ireland get into financial trouble, they will drop him like a hot potato.

      What the UK requires:
      To leave, after which we can talk again, and not before.
      All this can be said without leaving London.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      “A managed no deal Brexit is certainly the way to go… ”

      Yeah sure! In line with the way that this inept government have managed the rest of these negotiations. There will be no “managed no deal Brexit”. When it finally comes down to the wire next month the options facing Parliament will be either to accept the WA or a no deal Brexit. I somehow suspect even OGH might buckle under those circumstances.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    A government whipped amendment to its own proposed legislation…. with the sole purpose to focus objections on the May Agreement to just one issue; the Irish Backstop. What more evidence is needed that this is a planned and played strategy to get the May Deal passed.
    No wonder Mrs. May looked relaxed and satisfied, declaring that she would return to Brussels and negotiate a change. The fix is in. What happened to ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ , etc, etc. The Irish Backstop is of no financial value to the EU bureaucracy, the May Agreement is a financial lifeline, we are crazy to approve it.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Agree totally. The ERGs position was about so much more than the back stop but they seem to have sold out.

      The fix is indeed in.

      • Chris
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        I agree also, PW and Nig1. The whole basis of the WA is flawed but through the scare tactics of “If you don’t support the Brady amendment, then there is a real risk of no Brexit” Brexiter MPs were apparently won over. That, in my view, has always been May’s plan, and it is no surprise the May looked relaxed. All the problems (besides the backstop) with the WA still stand and that is what she is going to Brussels with. Her speech to the H of C after the vote was also very telling: she was basically listing whose concerns she would pay attention e.g. the RH member for Meriden (C Spelman), and the Unions, but nowhere was there mention of the ERG and the Malthouse amendment. She won the vote thanks to the DUP and the ERG deciding to back the Brady amendment after personal assurances from the PM.

        I personally think she has no intention of delivering on that. I fear that the Brexiter MPs have not learnt their lesson. I do, however, believe that Sir John stood by his principles, but too many have been won by a piecrust promise.

        The chances are that Brussels will refuse to reopen the WA. I wonder if that calculation played a part in the ERG decision to support May at this stage in the hope that her deal will be turned down, necessitating fixing our sights on a WTO exit.

      • JOHN FINN
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        The ERG’s position is one of trying to keep Brexit alive. I ‘m not sure if you’ve noticed but the ERG group are outnumbered by around 5 to 1 in HoC.

        As it happens May’s withdrawal Agreement isn’t that bad. Unfortunately the backstop takes away any remaining leverage in future negotiations.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Presumably the ERG calculate that the EU or one or more member state will reject May’s proposals out of hand. So no harm in them voting for the Brady amendment, just a tactic to highlight the EUs intransigence.

        • Stred
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          The next stage of the May/Robbins plot is to extend A50 and then, reluctantly, agree to a People’s Vote, which will be rigged with 3 choices or a choice between Bruno or Remain.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Selling out is a mistake.

        I remember Cheshire West Conservative flagship award-winning Council making savings for ratepayers getting booted out and dumped for two elections because of arrogance, an unpopular leader that was immune to public opinion and not listening.

        We now have a Labour Council but what really changes for the people? They all want more rates for less service, ever topping up their own pension pots with our money, litter increased, poor decisions on spending were continued on projects that anyone with half a brain could see wouldn’t work and furthermore could result in a primary towns favourite shop closing down, charged parking which was on the cards anyway and schools continuing to fail that were failing and succeed that were succeeding.

      • Turboterrier
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Sad but very true.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        I am not sure about this, using one issue to determine whether the EU will reopen negotiations seems to be reasonable. And the answer is no, the Govt can now accelerate no deal (as Spelman’s becomes irrelevant) knowing that a WA is not possible. Corbyn can discuss with May what he would like as part of no deal, the Conservatives can pull some rug from under Corbin’s feet.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        The plan all along was to deflect the wider issues within the Withdrawal Agreement. The money was the key, and always has been!

        The NI Boarder Red-herring was placed as the Elephant in the room….once that is removed, people will sigh with relief and be pleased to sign anything, just to get it done. QED

        Tactic #5: The Red Herring (How to negotiate like a pro – Top ten tactics))

        This is a rather nasty distraction technique at the bargaining table. One side brings up a minor point to distract the other side from the main issue. Effective and ethical negotiators generally agree that this tactic is the sleaziest of them all.

        When your negotiation process is bogged down with a minor problem, (though in this case exaggerated out of all proportion) and your counterpart insists on settling it before they’ll even talk about more important issues, then you are probably dealing with a red herring. In this case, use extreme caution, and suggest setting the issue aside temporarily to work out other details.

        When you have rank amateurs running the negotiations, allied with a fifth column….nefarious treachery is at hand!

    • eeyore
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      The most interesting vote was that condemning ND – 318-310. In a House we were assured is strongly anti-ND in fact only five votes need to change. Most Labour members represent Leave constituencies with majorities under 8000 and must be acutely vulnerable to pressure.

      Nonetheless, this vote will be hailed in Brussels. Although just advisory, we will be seen to have taken our last good card and binned it. Meanwhile, the truly undesirable aspects of WA remain unchanged, as does the aggressive and predatory EU negotiating style.

      The choice has narrowed to WA or ND and the more recherche alternatives have fallen away. The final vote at the end of March may be very close – possibly just one or two in it. There is still all to play for.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink


      I fear your description is right, “the fix is in”.

      Thanks for your efforts JR and do please keep on trying to push forward with a managed WTO exit, but I fear too many of your so called colleagues in the House of Commons simply want to be tied to, and by the EU, because they lack the confidence intelligence, skill, and will, to Govern themselves.

      As for voting to give up a no deal and thus taking away the threat to EU exports before anything has been agreed, shear lunacy.

      So far there are just a few pleasant words on trade, nothing agreed, and yet they are prepared to legally sign away on a one sided agreement at huge cost.

      Nothing agreed until everything agreed, just another lie, a complete and utter lie.

      What exactly has the UK got from this so called deal, answers on a postage stamp please.

    • rick hamilton
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Quite so.
      You don’t have to be too cynical to conclude that the backstop is a sacrificial proposition which neither side really needs. After much blustering the EU could scrap it at the last minute and give gullible MPs the idea we had won something. Whereas in fact we are stuck with the rest of the ghastly WA. I hope I am wrong and we end up with JR’s ideas enacted.

      BTW my understanding is that in UK law, Ireland is not treated as a foreign country and under the Common Travel Area we had an open border since 1923, well before the EU was even thought of.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      My thoughts too.

      A poster here stated that, in dealing with his boss he would always put something he knew he wouldn’t like in a letter, the boss would see it but not the stuff that he wanted so, reluctantly, he would remove the offending item and the rest would sail through.

      This has been an orchestrated setup. Focusing on the Backstop and calling the WA a deal and making out that not signing it would bring disaster. It is Remain in all but name only. A complete sellout !

    • NickC
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Peter Wood, Indeed you are right. And even assuming the EU rolls over on the Eire backstop, all the other objectionable parts of the draft Withdrawal Agreement stay in place: transition; payments; subjugation to the EU; no exit clause.

      The best deal is Leave with no transition on 29 March 2019 using the WTO system. Second would be the GATT/WTO Article 24 10 year time-frame trade negotiation – with no dWA type transition because the up to 10 years negotiations would be the transition.

      The “Malthouse Compromise” might have been a half-way house if there was no referendum mandate to Leave. But there is, and the MC is clearly not Leave. It will lock us back under EU control for years and for some policies for ever.

  3. Peter
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I am still not sure how the government managed to overcome a resounding defeat on the Withdrawal Agreement by a record margin.

    Removing a backstop – which was only an unnecessary bargaining tactic in the first place – does not address any of the other faults in the WA. The £39 billion will still be handed over without any justification. There is no progress on any sort of actual trading agreement. There is no sign of when it will all be properly done and dusted. Project Figleaf proved successful after all.

    WTO still seems the most expedient and sensible exit despite various scare stories including the latest 12000 additional victims dying of heart attacks.

    Of course if the EU stick to their guns and refuse to change the backstop we still have to see if May will stick to the planned WTO exit or try something else.

    • Stred
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      They managed the fix by playing good cop bad cop. May with her atrocious deal and Grieve and the Stop Brexit girls threatening to get no Brexit at all, as the terribly reasonable PM likes to point out frequently.

      They’re all in it together. The only answer is a new Conservative Party for Independence and a clear out of the traitors.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        A New Conservative Party. Now that’s something I’d join!

      • Mark B
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        I agree.

        • Chris
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          Me too!

      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      WTO still seems the most expedient and sensible exit

      Absolutely. Now all you need to do is persuade around another 250 MPs that WTO is the most sensible exit and we should be fine. 250 + another 100 or so that are already on board with a no deal exit should ensure a comfortable majority.

      John Redwood is already convinced about the No Deal option so I suggest you start trying to persuade Wollaston, Grieve, Soubry, Letwin …….

    • Turboterrier
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      WTO is the only answer. The rest is all smoke and mirrors.

    • acorn
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      It would be worth having a read of “EU Exit Legal position on the Withdrawal Agreement”.

      Particularly (1) Part Five: Financial Settlement and (2) the Annex – Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland; document pages 33 and 34 and footnotes “Single customs territory and movement of goods”.

  4. Mark B
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Fudge and more fudge from MP’s and the government.

    None of this takes into account the EU’s position. A position which is, that they are happy with what they have and see no reason to change it. Now, there may be at the last minute a change of view on the the so called, ‘Backstop’ but, I do not think the EU is going to throw away its biggest advantage. And that advantage is that, by keeping the UK closely aligned, if not completely under their thumb, they will be able to dictate terms of any trade agreement. If however the UK left without signing the WA, then the UK will be in a much stronger position regarding any FTA. This Brussels wishes to avoid.

    Extending the period would mean the UK having to accept paying into the EU budget for a further seven years. This will not be cheap ! We need to Leave as planned. If the PM wants a stronger hand then I suggest we just walk away. Simple.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      It is not fudge it is more like quicksand.

  5. Helena
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    A no deal Brexit (whether it is “managed” or not) means NO talks about a comprehensive free trade agreement. If you refuse to pay the £39 bn agreed in the Withdrawal Agreeement, then you can go whistle for any future talks with the EU, or with any other country. That is what “no deal” means – walking away from our country’s commitments. It also means Article 24 of the GATT is irrelevant because there will be no ongoing negotaitioons. Shameful that you continue to try to mislead people on this basic point.

    • Stred
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      A WTO Brexit would be the quickest way to get a zero tariff and other barriers removed. If they stick to 40% tariffs on Irish, Dutch, Danish, French and Spanish meat and dairy plus 10% on cars, they are not going to be popular with the EU producers.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Surely it is we who impose tariffs on imports?

        • Stred
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Zero tariff for our exports, which they impose.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          John Hatfield

          ER no currently its the EU, thats one of the major reasons for leaving , we can manage imports and vastly reduce the cost of food coming into the UK

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The WA was not approved by Parliament and so the £39bn payment was not “agreed” as you claim – parliament seized control to prevent the government paying it if you want to cast it in Remainer terms. If the EU thinks these payments are legally due (despite advice from our own House of Lords that they aren’t and one would imagine they know better than you) then they have plenty of legal redress to force payment.

      Next up Angry Andy saying Dennis Skinner is too old to be an MP ?

      • villaking
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        The £39 billion is for financial commitments made whilst still in the EU. Take the Leavers’ hero Farage for example. He wants to claim his £70k a year pension. We were part of the EU28 that made that contractual promise to him, so we have to honour that and pay our share. There are conflicting points of view on the enforceability of the divorce payment, but it is almost unthinkable that we could not pay anything and remain a nation to be taken seriously. The EU would certainly go to the ICJ. How embarrassing for Leavers who so abhor supranational judicial bodies.

        • Stred
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          We should pay British EU officials and MEP s pensions and tax them. The EU should cut expenditure, as they are losing a large chunk of membership, not increase it, as they have done. We will not be getting back any grants for research etc, so we need the £39 NN to pay for them ourselves.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      The £39bn is either due under the treaties or it isn’t. Of course the UK should pay what is legally owed under the treaties. But in a WTO brexit it should of course not pay more than it legally owes. If this can’t be agreed with the EU it would be a simple matter to have it arbitrated. Given there is nothing in the treaties saying a leaving member must pay, it seems likely the UK would win. The £39bn in the WA was a voluntary offer – of course it should never have been agreed to by May. A good thing Parliament hasn’t ratified it and thereof it has not now been ‘agreed to’.

      Of course other countries will want to negotiate FTAs with the UK. It is also highly unlikely that the EU will wish to start a trade war by implementing tariffs rather than using article 24 of the WTO agreement. If they do, it will be a vindication of the vote to leave.

      • Turboterrier
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Richard 1

        Sorry Richard we owe them three fifths of naff all.
        What about all our % shares on all their vanity projects?

      • Andy
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Barnier has been, repeatedly, asked for the exact legal basis for any payment and to date he has not come up with one word. According to the text of the treaties there are no sums due after the 29th March.

    • Dominic
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Are you still grieving that democracy’s delivered a result that offends your authoritarian instincts?

      To accuse John Redwood of misleading people when for the last two years the entire nation’s been fed a diet of lies, scarestories and scaremongerings by a Remain establishment is beyond satire

      What we are indeed seeing is a well organised propaganda campaign by Remain forces to terrify people into submission. Well, the British aren’t so easily intimidated. Certainly those who believe in the sanctity of British democracy aren’t

      It is my belief and it’s been my belief for some time that the UK will not leave the EU with a Europhile PM at the helm irrespective of statutory law.

      I care not one jot what laws sit on the statute books. They are meaningless if both sides choose to ignore them and ignore them they will

      May is a Europhile and May as PM will guarantee that the UK will remain part and parcel of the EU construct

      • Turboterrier
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink


        As usual completely correct in your thikiing and argument.

    • eeyore
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      This sum equates to £1600 per taxpayer. There is disagreement about its legal status. As no sane person pays a disputed bill the wisest thing is to let the courts decide.

      If we leave with WA jurisdiction lies with politicised European courts, but with ND it’ll be the independent British courts.

      • Turboterrier
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


        Mother Teresa and her followers would struggle to prove their sanity in the perception of most sane people.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately sane people often do have to pay very dubious and disputed bills as the UK court system (particularly on employment issues) is expensive, often arbitrary and cost are very often not fully recoverable even if you do win. So often better to cut your losses. This of course encourages even more dubious claims and lawyers (and dubious claimants) are the only winners. Everyone else loses out.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      As regards the EU this is where our £70bn a year trade imbalance – in their favour – comes in.

      As regards the rest of the world they should see it our way (and the EU HAS been unreasonable) because if London goes belly up it will make Lehmans look a tea party.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        @ Anonymous

        Of that 70 bn only 45 bn is generated within the EU the rest is transit trade (booked with virtually no added value and generating negligible employment) through Rotterdam and other large ports. The damage would ne much smaller than people believe. And then another large part is within supply chains of large companies, who will continue to buy from tgeir own subs and contract manufacturers. You should talk to someone who has modeled in detail what part of that 70 billion is sensitive to UK treade ,measures. In addition, 70 bn is a very small part of EU exports, but there may be a few industries and companies who will suffer. Something/someone else will take their place..

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Nice to hear the whole of Europe can safely throw away all the trade they currently have with the UK.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      We have not agreed the £39 bn and it is not the “country’s commitment” nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. If it is a “commitment” then where is the detailed and itemised bill for this sum?

      You can be quite sure that the EU will (eventually) have to act in their own members’ interests on trade with the UK after a clean WTO Brexit. They export more to use than we do to them and so we will collect more in tariffs than they will, should tariffs be put in place. No tariffs either way is clearly rather more it their interests than ours.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Why on earth should the UK agree to pay the £39 bn until a satisfactory trade deal is agreed? It would be idiotic to do so.

        But then we do have T May and tax to death P Hammond in Downing St. I suppose.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


        ” They export more to use than we do to them and so we will collect more in tariffs than they will, should tariffs be put in place.”

        But they can divide it by x27 – we are on our own!

        • NickC
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, There aren’t 27 economies the size of the UK’s!

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      We’ll see what the member countries say about an FTA in the event of us leaving without a deal. It’s in theirs as well as ours to have one. The obstacle is Brussels pride.
      The £39bn (or whatever amount it finally comes to) is not agreed unless we sign the Withdrawal Agreement.
      The country is no walking away from its commitments, we leave in accordance with the Lisbon treaty.
      JR is not misleading anyone.

      • Turboterrier
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        D A

        Correct. He no speak with a forked tongue.

    • William
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Who said that there will be no free trade negotiations in the event of no deal?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        @ William

        Who would negotiate with a government that disregards a highly sensitive treaty. Why would such a government/country adhere to an FTA under these circumstance? There will be many counries ahead in the queue, like Australia, New Zealand and possibly the US (post 2020). I reckon it would take 5 to 7 years.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          It took the EU 10 years to sort a simple trade deal with Canada so you may be right.
          Meanwhile trade carried on.

        • NickC
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Rien, Which government is “disregarding” which “highly sensitive treaty”? It cannot be the UK because the EU treaties are being complied with to the letter, and the draft Withdrawal Agreement is not an agreed treaty.

          Oh perhaps you mean we don’t accept arbitrary EU pronouncements, and shouldn’t bother with parliamentary procedure? Oh and pay you a bribe for no good reason other than you demanding it.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink


            Maybe you missed it, but the result of “no deal” must be either Ireland leaves the EU (because it cannot guarantee a compliant border) or the UK accepts its responsibilities under the GFA and agrees to a EU/WTO compliant solution that does not violate the GFA. That is something Mr Cameron cs should have thought about before they organised the referendum.

            You will be aware that in the case of a strict no deal (where Ireland puts up a minimum of EU compliant border infrastructure etc, a “border poll” will be inevitable and likely to be won by the nationalists, not the unionists.

            As you see, this is not the EU’s doing.

            A corrolary of the “WTO” option would of course be that the UK installs WTO compliant borders at all ports, airports and land borders. It cannot unilaterally keep the Irish border open while, for instance policing UK fishing waters and ports.

      • formula57
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Only Helena did, but I suspect it is not an authoritative comment but a remoaner fantasy.

        The obsession with obtaining a trade deal is a pity for there is abundant evidence that trade deals often work out to be sub-optimal, diverting trade away from the lowest cost suppliers and otherwise distorting markets to disadvantage the parties. (The Australia-USA deal is one such, as a google search reveals.)

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. There is no list for this £39bn, which includes tax-free pensions payable to the EU elite while we pay taxes on our income.

      Let’s wait until those accounts have been properly audited going back 20 years, then talk about the difference.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Good point and one that needs further clarification by the EU. Why should the UK pay an arbitrary sum to them on a whim without accurate figures to back up the claim, especially when our own House of Lords say we have no need to pay anything at all?

        Have our negotiators got no backbone?


      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        When you leave a golf club you do not expect to get a bill for the pensions of all the staff and ex staff. That is a liability the club incurs when it employs them. It is part of their remuneration that should have been provided for at the time the EU employed them.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 1, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Unless you have agreed beforehand that you will.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, Sir Joe.
        Except that they’re not ”elite”.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Not that old ‘no audited accounts’ chestnut yet AGAIN!

        “It is a persistent myth that the EU has never had audited accounts. They are audited but qualified. The Auditor General for the UK stated that there were 500 separate accounts for the UK and “in the last year, I qualified 13 of the 500. If I had to operate the EU system, then, because I qualify 13 accounts, I might have to qualify the whole British central government expenditure”.

        Hewitt 17.7.13

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:26 am | Permalink

          It is KNOWN that there is corruption in the EU agricultural payments system and in its internal aid system.

          • margaret howard
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink


            “The accounts of Britain’s Department of Works and Pensions. responsible for distributing social security benefits, have been qualified by the National Audit Office every year for 20 years. Fraud and error in the payment of benefits amount to an estimated £3.3 billion in 2010-11”

            D Mail letter Fri Nov 9 2012

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Two wrongs do not make a right.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Is it snowing in Brussels. There is no legal basis for the £39billion payment to secure a £90billion deficit with the EU.
      If we leave on WTO terms the EU can negotiate with us as a third country. That gives them no leverage which is what idiots like you don’t want.

    • Butties
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      ” It also means Article 24 of the GATT is irrelevant because there will be no ongoing negotaitioon” (sic)

      Quite right Helena. If the EU do not wish to enter FTA talks then Art 24 does not apply and they simply start paying us tariffs on the huge trade surplus that they currently enjoy.

      With regard the £39billion do not forget that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ to quote the EU.

    • jerry
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      @Helena; Why would the EU27 not wish to sell their products to the UK post a WTO exit, and do so without (excessive) bilateral tariffs – me thinks you do not have a first clue…

      • Helena
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        A WTO exit means that the EU is legally required to impose tariffs on the UK to the same level it imposes on the rest of the world. That is the basic WTO rule of non discrimination. I am afraid it is you (and John Redwood) who does not have a first clue…..

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink

          Wrong helena.
          There can be differentiation of tariffs based on risk assessments applied by WTO member nations.

          • Helena
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            No, Edward (says she patiently), risk assessment affects non tariff barriers, eg safety checks, but it is irrelevant to tariffs

          • jerry
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            @Helena; You appear to be referring to the SPS Agreement

            You seem to forget that around 80% of all worldwide cross boarder trade is done on WTO terms anyway, even the EU use them were there is no other FTA in (full) operation.

            Anyway, how would the UK importing EU27 food in to the UK on “WTO rules” change anything with regards the SPS Agreement, and as the UK has or will be have brought EU food safety laws in to post Brexit UK law (via the Great Repeal Act) how would any UK to EU27 exports be affected?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            Wrong again
            There are different tariffs in countries around the world.
            There can be challenges and compromises and eventual trade deals but differences remain.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Check applied rates and bound rates.
            WTO does allow variation of rates.
            I say patiently…after 30 plus years trading importing and exporting and filling in paperwork.
            Mind you the tariff only adds small amounts onto your cost versus overall costs and currency variations.
            There is always another supplier.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:36 am | Permalink

          So what happens when the EU finally ratifies and implements its free trade deal with Canada? Is the EU obliged to give us similar favours? I think not. And what about the tariffs that the UK imposes on imports? Can we not make them lower for certain countries? For example, if we wanted to import USA agricultural products tariff free (subject to quota) could we not do so? I think that in practice we would have a lot of freedom.

          • Helena
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            No, Lindsay. Reduce tariffs for the US, and you have to reduce them for everyone. That is WTO law. The only exceptions apply between states which have free trade agreeemnts. So that is why the EU can treat Canada better than the UK after Brexit. The “free trade exception” does not apply to the UK at all because on Brexit day we will have no free trade agreeements any more, not one. This is what you voted for. Taking back control. Or, in the real world of trade rather than Brexit fantasyland, giving up the control that free trade agreements like the Treaty of Rome and EU/ Canada provide

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            You keep saying this nonsense helena but it is not true.
            Tariffs can and do vary.
            Agreements between nations exist.
            Have you ever done any exporting or importing?

          • jerry
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            @Helena; I think you totally misunderstand what a FTA is, and also how quickly they can be negotiated between two willing and able sovereign govts.

            Do not measure FTA complexities or the time needed to draft them on EU practice, were there needs to be unanimity between the External party, the EC and the EU27/8. For example the delays and the complexity with TTIP were not caused by the USA, or even the EC, but from the many vestige interest groups found within the wider EP, either in the Lobby or on the floor of the Hemicycle.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Talks about a trade Agreement will ONLY happen after we leave and if we are not caught in a scheme which allows them free access to our lucrative market. If you want a trade agreement, like the rest of us, fight for ‘no-deal’ Which is actually WTO Brexit.

    • Woody
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I’m trying to get my head round how you think a “no deal” brexit (i.e. a WTO deal brexit) will prevent future talks with countries outside the eu ? Clearly not true. I also cannot understand how anyone can argue that the uk would not meet all our commitments as has been assured .. provided the eu substantiate their claims with hard facts.

    • Original Richard
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      It is perfectly feasible to have a “no-deal” deal, or in other words a WA which is far simpler and just covers the immediate needs of both sides, even if just on a temporary basis.

      Some items, such as planes flying, ports open and citizen rights are already agreed.

      The EU, the Irish and UK Governments also have agreed that there would be no “hard” border even in the event of a “no deal”.

      This should not difficult to achieve, particularly on a temporary basis, given that the UK is fully compliant with all EU directives, laws and rules, with both sides diverging over time from the common position.

      I’m not worried whether or not the EU wants a “comprehensive FTA” bearing in mind that we have a £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

      In fact I’m not sure the EU Commission wants an FTA with the UK as it would then lose the 80% money it makes on import duty.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Helena, I would rather take notice of someone who has proven track record and experience in these matters – Ruth Lea.

      She has no fear of a WTO exit from the EU.

      • Steve
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Ruth Lea was PM, or chief negotiator.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink


      Thanks for your uninformed opinion, but as usual its drivel

      You like most ultra remainers haven’t got a clue about business or trade

      We sell the worlds most advanced cancer scanners but according to you if we leave without a deal the EU will stop buying them…. OK if you say so .

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        “We sell the worlds most advanced cancer scanners ”

        How many jobs do they provide? Talk of drivel….

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          You display your lack of experience of business here Helena.
          It is an example of the UK providing something the world wants.
          Who would be the person who tries to stop the right to buy such a life saving machine?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            Sorry should be addressed to margaret

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 1, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink


        You mentioned the “most advanced cancer scanners” before. Do you have a specific vendor in mind? The top ten diagnostic imaging firms are Dutch (1) German (1) Japanese (4) Italian (1) and US (3). I do not see a British frim among those. Are you referring to a UK division of those large vendors or maybe a startup (for instance a imaging software company that does not actually make scanning devices such as CT/Xray, MRI, PET or Ultrasound machines. As to UK prominence, I saw that Manchester got the UK’s first proton beam (radiotherapy) machine. That is much later than some continental treatment centers. I know of three centers within a few hours of driving that have had these machines for at least five years.

        But I would be interested to know what firm you are referring to.

    • agricola74
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      A no deal Brexit means we have not signed the WA. It therefore means that we are not obliged to conform to anything in the WA. For reasons of humanity and for reasons of common sense we will almost certainly apply many aspects of the WA. It reflects the sort of nation we are. Our differences are with the EU not with the people or sovereign nations of Europe.

      At this point we can invoke if we wish Art 24 of the rules of the WTO. This ensures that current trading
      arrangements continue until such time as a new trading agreement is agreed. Both the EUand the UK are signatories to WTO rules.

      On the plus side of leaving without signing the WA we are not obliged to pay the EU a sweetener of £39 billion. Long ago our H o L stated that on leaving the EU we were not obliged to pay them anything. A legal judgement. However most important in a no deal situation we would be free to sign trade deals with any nation.

      I believe that when the 27 nations have digested what the current situation means for them there will be a lot of pressure on the EU to be more pragmatic in their response. Whatever the details of the outcome, 17.4 million of our electorate got it right, we are far better as a sovereign nation. Since Napoleon, political Europe has always ended as expensive bad news for the UK.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


        ” Whatever the details of the outcome, 17.4 million of our electorate got it right, we are far better as a sovereign nation.”

        So why did we beg them to let us join their club in the first place?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          Gosh still claiming we begged.
          Hopes were high decades ago.
          A common market, an economic community.
          Sadly it has been hijacked.

        • Steve
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          margaret howard

          So why did we beg them to let us join their club in the first place?

          We didn’t ‘beg’……Ted Heath shafted us into the club.

    • acorn
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Correct Helen. WTO Article 24:5(c) (the 10 year myth) is not operable or relevant for the Brexit case. WTO Articles are glibly quoted on this site, with little understanding. The UK would have to reach agreement with the EU. The UK could not do this unilaterally. So this isn’t exactly “no deal”. That agreement would have to include a detailed plan and timetable for converting a post Brexit interim trade agreement into a final trade agreement, that was acceptable to all WTO members.

      The part of WTO Article 24 that is applicable to the Irish border is the “territorial application” and the parallel “cross border workers” provisions in the TEU/TFEU. Alas, that EU solution to the border problem got cancelled by Mrs May’s red lines and gave us the “backstop” .

    • roger
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Rule Britannia is the tune I will whistle along with all red blooded countrymen.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Fine, we will keep our £39bn, and our fish, and the surplus tariffs we will collect, being a net importer, and the savings in health care we will make, as Catherine Tate would say ‘Am I bovvered’.

      • Hellman
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Fish! You know we sell most of our fish to the EU right now? So you think we can kick them out of our waters and they will still let us have access to their markets , do you? Dream on. Tariffs and health checks will follow Brexit and within a month the UK fishing industry will be dead. Nice work Brexiters

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          We will have control over fishing in our territorial waters.
          Tariffs and health checks on EU imports will follow….just as you say.
          Two can play your game.

        • Steve
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink


          …..except that with a clean brexit we won’t need to export fish to the EU.

          “and within a month the UK fishing industry will be dead.”

          It is dead, hadn’t you noticed ?

    • Zorro
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense, the WA has not been ratified anyway, and has nothing to do with any other talks following exit. Helena, you are displaying a lot of naivety and ignorance about the legal and ‘facts on the ground’ position post 29 March…..

      You sound edgy and worried, you are not Sabine Weyand are you? 🙂


    • Steve
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


      There is no legal obligation to pay the £39n.

      Clearly you know very little about our Island and it’s people, which is why you post vitriol telling the British that they can whistle.

      We do not take kindly to threats or blackmail. So if you think the EU will somehow prevent us from trading with the rest of the world, you need to think again. The EU would be well advised not to go down that route with us.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


        “We do not take kindly to threats or blackmail. So if you think the EU will somehow prevent us from trading with the rest of the world, you need to think again. The EU would be well advised not to go down that route with us”

        Why all that shouting and abuse by Brexit fanatics here? We few remainers here are far more reasonable and avoid attacking others like you do.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          If you have people threatening their right to trade then you must expect people will do what they can to continue to make their living.

        • Steve
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          margaret howard

          “Why all that shouting and abuse by Brexit fanatics here? We few remainers here are far more reasonable and avoid attacking others like you do.”

          We do not ‘abuse’ others on here, the posts are carefully moderated.

          And while we’re on the subject; do you not think that attempting to destroy the nations sovereignty, and put the UK under the rule of unelected foreigners is being ‘unreasonable’ ? especially given the fact that you lost a referendum concerning the matter.

          I think it is fair to ask who exactly do you think you are ?

          If remainers manage to keep us in the EU, they will come to realise what being ruled by a foreign pariah is. Only, don’t come moaning to us expecting us to get you out of the mess, because we will not have forgotten the appalling contempt you had for sovereignty and democracy.

          Brexiteers abusing remainers, what a joke.

    • Chewy
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      No legal commitments to pay anything. House of Lords reported that.
      You could argue we have moral commitments, but that wouldn’t obstruct a deal with another country. If you accept that then the EU also has moral commitments to treat us fairly and decently, otherwise no cash. In reality we will probably pay some or all of the £39B and in return a No Deal situation will be more managed and smoother than the EU or the “crash out” merchants would have us believe.

  6. hans christian ivers
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    We know the Eu does not agree with the latest proposals, so what are we then really talking about?

    • libertarian
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink


      It is showing up the EU for what it is, an intransigent , undemocratic dinosaur which is failing to protect the interests of its members

      The state of the German French and Italian economies, plus mass unemployment across the southern members should be a priority for the oligarchs but no its all about their power project.

      The fact they were so intransigent and inflexible with Cameron is what led to the referendum and the defeat. In the UK unlike our Danish, Dutch, Irish and French friends we will not vote until we agree, we are leaving despite what our imbecilic politicians want. That will signal the break up of the current EU .

      • gordon winton
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        Ditto for Ireland their intransigent stupidity is breathtaking

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink


        Very interesting and insightful perspective, which I do not share.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


        ” In the UK unlike our Danish, Dutch, Irish and French friends we will not vote until we agree, we are leaving despite what our imbecilic politicians want.”

        They did what any grown up country does and refused to throw out the baby with the bathwater. They negotiated with the EU to amend/change particular items they/their voters did not want and achieved their objectives before another referendum.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      @ hans christan overs

      The point is that Mr Redwood & Co are aware that “no deal” is almost unavoidable now, unless they accept a severe loss of face, or see their life’s work undone at the very last moment. Given that they all know that the transition without a deal will be very difficult and likely to harm the more moderate members of the Tory Party as well as a very lasge part of export oriented manufacturing (of course there are exceptions that may “thrive”) they must be concerned that there will be a bit of a bill to pay later on. In that case they are now facbricating the case of the unreasonable EU. Pretty good spinners this lot, no one should underestimate them and their friends.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        Parliament voted by a large majority of over 200 to reject the Withdrawal Agreement.
        So to focus your comment on a few MPs is silly.
        The WA isn’t a deal.
        So we leave on March 29th either with a WA or without a WA.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink


          That’s the spirit, even the WA would be a victory, because the WA “isn’t a deal”. OK with any people I suspect.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            The WA is not OK with me and many millions of voters I suspect.
            It ties us into the EU and it results in the UK remaining in the EU.
            Fortunately Parliament refused to accept it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      We are talking about alternative arrangements to the ‘backstop’ which may or may not have essentially the same legal effects as the ‘backstop’.

      If the Irish government continued to get its way then anything that replaced or superseded the ‘backstop’ would have the same legal effects, whether that change took place now through renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement or it took place some time later after the agreement had come into force.

      And that development would not in the least disturb Theresa May, who at some point hit upon the jolly clever idea of using the fictitious problem of the Irish land border as a pretext for doing what she in any case wanted to do to placate the likes of the CBI, that is to keep us under as many of the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market as she can get away with.

      She even boasted that she had extracted a concession from the EU, a strange sort of concession through which the whole of the UK would remain under the thumb of the EU rather than just Northern Ireland.

      On the other hand the alternative arrangements could really be an alternative in genuine practical rather than just superficial legal terms, in which case the UK would achieve the kind of clean break from the EU that Theresa May initially said that she wanted, back at the time of her Lancaster House speech.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        @ Denis Cooper,

        You seem not to understand that (a) Ireland has a veto and (b) the Irish interpretation of the border properties counts in intra EU negotiations. So indeed, if there is no deal (ie if the UK refuses to ratify a document already negotiated completely, there will be no other deal (maybe a different political decralartion) and in a no deal scenario the UK and Ireland will have to violate the GFA (or the Belfast agreement as Anglos might call it).

        The EU cannot have an open border with third country UK and a heavily guarded border with third country Russia (Pol;and/Kaliningrad, with a visit)
        It is exceedingl;y simple but maybe hard to grasp. The UK took the refendum risk fully aware that certain modalities would conflict with the GFA and without prior approval of the other contract parties. In civil law one would call this breach of contract.

    • Jumeirah
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      What we are REALLY talking about is to leave the EU completely the deal being that we agree to leave on WTO Terms etc and we aint gonnuuu pay ’nuffink’ to leave. That’s Le Deal take it or leave it.

  7. Mick
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Neither of the Spelman nor the Brady amendments are binding on the government, although support for them puts political pressure on Theresa May to follow their direction.
    I see that the government had votes from labour which if not would have been a different outcome, me thinks that the chickens are coming home to rest and that these labour mps know that the people would make them pay highly at the ballot box as for the conservative mps well there fate is sealed they’ve backed the wrong horse and I can only hope they are deselected at the next GE because they have shown were there loyalties lie with the Eu and not Great Britain

  8. Dougal Hamer
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    So your “plan” involves going back to Brussels to ask them to re-think what they have said they will not re-think, given that what you rejected yesterday in Parliament was exactly what the UK has negotiated over the last few months and what the PM was, until yesterday, insisting as the only possible deal. You are making sure the UK is a laughing stock globally and that the Conservatives will be out of power for a generation

    • libertarian
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Dougal Hamer

      Actually it has put the EU in the position of being a laughing stock. Once again it proves they can’t negotiate

      When the EU can’t negotiate FTA’s as well as the worlds 52nd largest economy ( NZ) does it shows you up for what you are.

    • Steve
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


      Tend to agree. However it seems to me that John Berkow should not have allowed the spelman amendment.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Dougal Hamer

      Hear Hear! It’s getting beyond a joke.

  9. Andy
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    We now know that Mrs May’s deal, or something very close to it, is what Brexit means.

    There might be a bit of a tweak to the backstop but that’s basically it.

    It will eventually be approved by MP.

    That’s your Brexit. It’s rubbish, isn’t it?

    You proud Mr Redwood?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Indeed if the backstop stays and the UK is locked into the customs union in perpetuity, and UK(NI) becomes in effect a colony of the EU, without the consent of its people, that will be rubbish. But it seems that will not happen – MPs will not vote it through.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      No, that’s your type of Brexit. A Remainers Brexit. Worse than what we currently have. I think that you actually like it, as it would make us even more subservient to your beloved EU. That’s why I hope that the EU refuse to budge and the WA is torn up, ASAP.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Scratched record.

      No. It is NOT our Brexit. We didn’t even call it Brexit for a start .

    • stred
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Andy. On Guido > there’s a new tv show that will reassure you. It’s called Elite TV, about 5 articles down. Your wonderful EU approved children will be fine.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Probably not as proud as you are, Andy, thinking up your usual tosh all by yourself.

    • jerry
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      @Andy: “We now know that Mrs May’s deal, or something very close to it, is what Brexit means.”

      Wrong, Brexit is still very much a known unknown.

      All the indications are, from the EC, there will NOT be any changes to the WA text, that means no legally binding “tweaks”, thus the basis of the Brady amendment falls and so does last nights qualified approval for the WA. As Mrs May made clear, from the despatch box, in reply to the divisions – a ‘no deal’ WTO exit is still very much on the cards, and that is looking even more likely this afternoon, judging from what has been said by both Juncker & Barnier in the EP.

      Interestingly what was also very clear last night, looking at the amendments that fell, the HoC have all but ruled out there being no Brexit, indeed didn’t one LD MP resign the whip to vote with the government rather than obey his whip to frustrate Brexit?

      The WA is the result of what people such as yourself Andy have created, the EC smelt your fear, heard your crying, thought they would be able to exploit your weakness – are you proud Andy?

      • Steve
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink


        You need to come down off that fence before you do yourself a mischief.

        I am not a UKIP supporter, Andy is not responsible for the Withdrawal Agreement.

        Kindly stop trolling.

    • Steve
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink


      You don’t know what the outcome will be any better than the rest of us.

      I can tell you this, however; leavers want a no deal exit, and if they get anything less all hell will break loose. That much IS certain.

      • jerry
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        @Steve; That much is NOT clear, yes many who voted leave want a WTO exit but how many, who knows, we have never been asked that in a referendum, stop imposing your ideals onto the majority, that is most undemocratic, but then that’s the UKIP type for for you.

        • Steve
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink


          And what association do I have with UKIP ?

          Do explain.

          • jerry
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            @Steve; You do not need to be associated with UKIP to sound like them, if you keep repeating their traits do not then complain if people mistake you for UKIP!

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Yesterday we dodged five bullets in succession but were slightly winged by the sixth, while the EU has already dismissed the seventh and last shot as a futile blank … and apparently we will have to go through it all again in a couple of weeks. All this is because we have a Prime Minister who is not only a Tory but an unreformed Remain Tory who prefers to give the CBI and their ilk whatever they want, and who is prepared to use a fictitious Irish border problem as a pretext for keeping us under swathes of EU laws in perpetuity.

    • Stred
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Sky had the deputy chief on giving a long uninterrupted monologue about what a total disaster leaving without a deal would be, ignoring what port owners, HMRC and businesses which trade on WTO have been saying. His name is Hardie . Looking him up, he had s job with Tesco before they had their bookkeeping disaster, where he advised on corporate presentation and looking green. He then advised government on how to look green and, according to the Business Green website, he thinks the bed thing for business ever was the Climate Change Act.

      • Stred
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Deputy of the CBI.

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Your starter for ten:
    Who said: “No deal is better than a bad deal”?
    Who promised “Strong and Stable Government”?
    Who said: “The Withdrawal Agreement is not open for re-negotiation”.

    Answers – (no peeping!):
    Mrs May,
    Mrs May.
    Donald Tusk yesterday.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Q. Who said all UK trade with the EU will end after we leave?
      A. You (frequently!)
      Do you still believe it to be true?

  12. Edward2
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Odd how Japan and Canada (as two recent examples) negotiated trade agreements with the EU without paying £39 billion and all the other requirements hidden in our Withdrawal Agreement.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      @ Joe Soap

      “She” did not “give the EU the upper hand”. The EU had that already when Cameron did not get what he wanted.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      @ Edward2

      You may want to remember that these countries did not have 40 years of European integration behind them and nothing to unwind. Plus tose countries are not parties to the GFA. The FTAs you mention would imply a UK breach of contract under the GFA.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Well yes but…it shows that the EU can manage to have trade agreements with various nations without demands of huge payments nor complex requirements.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink


          The payments are not a price for an FTA. The payments are (a) for continued membership privileges (much more extensive than under an FTA) and existing obligations. Suppose under a no deal scenario the UK would apply for an FTA this summer, I guess it would have to make any missed payments under existing obligations (ie if the no deal entailed a default -in the opinion of the EU- under existing obligations) but of course not pay for membership, because there would not be a transition agreement. Simple..

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            When the EU provide a document displaying and proving what is owed by the UK (less what the EU owes the UK) I will take your claims more seriously.
            Until then I will agree with their Lordships who said nothing was owing.

    • Andy
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Free trade is not frictionless trade. You confuse the two.

      Canada and Japan have free trade deals.

      But they do not share EU rules so trade with them is not frictionless.

      Either deal would require a hard border.

      Will you tell the DUP or should I?

      This is basic stuff. Keep up.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        You are back to using that word “frictionless” andy.
        It is meaningless.
        All international trade has a degree of friction.
        You have some requirements and technicalities and quality requirements to meet if you sell to export markets.
        But companies who buy from abroad or who sell abroad meet these requirements as part of their standard day to day processes.

    • acorn
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Japan and Canada were not leaving a customs union; reneging on their accumulated debts, then trying to rejoin. Just like putting an insolvent company into administration and the same Directors starting up a new company the next day.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        That isn’t a real comparison acorn.
        If the EU wants to carry on with “frictionless” trade with the UK then the EU will eventually need to come to the realisation that they need a sensible trading agreement with the UK.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        acorn, interesting comment, what accumulated debts did we take on and from what date did we commence responsibility? Do you know?

        I knew they hadn’t signed off accounts in the EU year after year but I didn’t realise they were in such a state that the public couldn’t be told what we’d been apportioned to pay. Also, do we get to charge rent on the buildings and infrastructure our payments have contributed towards building? A proportionate share of the assets.

        There was a clause which enabled people to leave, we were told that existed and if it wasn’t available it shouldn’t have been there.

        We didn’t instruct great buildings and expenses to be taken on in two locations only fools would do that, they can sell one of the buildings and just use one and why don’t they?

        The common market was founded in 1957, the european parliament 1952, we didn’t join until the mid-1970’s was the debts they’d accrued up to that point ringfenced for just the original members? Do new members joining realise they’re taking on all the accumulated debts and to what degree?

  13. Javelin
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    WTO – Article 24 – If we are to use WTO agreements then there appears to be lots of limitations and rules to follow. This looks nothing like a No deal, but following quite strict WTO rules.

    The question to me is whether the EU is going to drop out of the WTO or follow WTO rules ?

    “Reaffirming that the purpose of such agreements should be to facilitate trade between the constituent territories and not to raise barriers to the trade of other Members with such territories; and that in their formation or enlargement the parties to them should to the greatest possible extent avoid creating adverse effects on the trade of other Members;”

    For example are the UK going to submit the new trade deal to the WTO Council for approval?

    Is the commons decision to have a “No” deal the same as a WTO deal?

    Looking at all these rules it looks like ALL international trade deals are WTO deals.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      All FTAs and regional arrangements must be WTO compatible of course. WTO sets rules , FTAs etc set preferences (WTO recognized) and further rules. But much of WTO is motherhood and apple pie, ie riddled with procedural difficulties. But I do not rule out that a violation of WTO rules could lead to an ECJ procedure as well one with the WTO. But remember, the WTO is largely toothless.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        You are getting a bit confused Rien.
        First you say the WTO makes the rules.
        Then you end by saying the WTO is toothless.
        Over 90% of world trade carries on successfully using WTO rules.
        And politicians especially unelected politicians get in the way between buyers and sellers in this internet
        age at their peril.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          @ Edward2

          I am impressed. You are very well informed.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            If you have different facts then state them Rien.

            Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

  14. Richard
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Relying on Article 24 is a nonsense. It’s clutching at straws. You have to have a plan and you haven’t got one. The experts have warned. Listen to them for all our sakes.

    “Trade lawyers are exasperated that Article 24 keeps resurfacing, despite their attempts to knock it down.

    “It’s amazing how this awful misinterpretation of Art XXIV GATT won’t die, no matter how many times I point this out,” Lorand Bartels, reader in international law at the University of Cambridge, tweeted in May last year.

    “It’s utter nonsense,” former Australian trade negotiator Dmitry Grozoubinsky tweeted in December.

    “It relies on your being too busy to read Article XXIV of the GATT, or too confused by trade legalese to parse it.”

    • Richard1
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      I have read it myself. It is very clear. Two WTO parties in negotiations on an FTA are free to maintain zero tariffs for at least ten years. If there are tariffs post WTO Brexit it will be because the EU wishes to impose them. Look it up.

  15. Kevin
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    “I do not agree with more delay or payments to the EU after March.”

    Thanks for staying consistent. My concern with this so-called Malthouse “Compromise” is that a compromise was already reached when it was agreed that the decision to Remain or Leave would be submitted to a free vote on 23rd June 2016, and that that the Government would implement what we decided.

    For example, the Brady amendment “passed” by 317 to 301. But did it pass, or is the Commons now in a phase of seeking a “post-Brady amendment compromise” that satisfies the 301?

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Mrs May appears to have taken back control? And managed a little temporary party cohesion?
    The voting last night was quite cheering to watch….it felt .as if the parliamentary machine was functioning properly again. Hopefully.
    If Mrs M can faff around for a bit longer with her one sided renegotiations unencumbered by wrecking amendments we might just squeak out of the EU sans deal.
    “ O frabjous day”.
    ( expect there will be more attempted spokes in wheels though.)

  17. agricola74
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    A sensible balanced outcome, it remains for the EU to join us in the real world. Were I returning to the EU I would strengthen my team by taking Michael Dodds with me. He is now the key person who needs to be satisfied over the removal of the backstop. If he is happy, the government has his DUP support and conservatives will with some labour members vote it through.
    Should the EU remain intransigent then I am pleased to note that you have come round to invoking Art 24 of the WTO rules when we leave on 29th March enabling a continuation of tariff free trade until such time as a new trade agreement is agreed. A no pressure situation. The added bonus is no payment of the £39 billion sweetener, and our freedom to set new trade deals worldwide.

  18. Jingleballix
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    It occurs to me that 230+ MPs voted for the Brady amendment for tactical reasons.

    The PM now has two weeks to ‘re-negotiate’, this takes a large chunk of time off the clock.

    The ERG and DUP can vote it down later, and we will be much closer to the WTO Bthat we all voted for.

    • rose
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink


    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      She has no time. The EU has said no, resources should not be directed towards the WA, the PM must focus on leaving on 29/3 without a WA.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Bloomberg now reporting ‘EU ready to push UK near point of no return’…surely the PM must know to stop playing the EU’s game just prepare for no deal (including explaining what has been done and where UK is going to the Spelman supporters).

        • David Price
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          Firing Olly Robbins would be a clear message to his EU buddies and a good start, his role is clearly redundant.

  19. David Webb
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Last night we saw the defeat of the attempts to overturn the referendum result by parliamentary subterfuge (Cooper/Boles and Grieve).

    The EU is unlikely to make any worthwhile change, given that Parliament’s determination to weaken the UK negotiating position (Spelman).

    I fear that the most likely outcome is that Labour Remainers will join the Government Payroll vote to get the WA through.

    PS – I really struggle with this Captcha verification on Sir John’s website – I don’t have a problem with the principle, but in practice it’s a nightmare.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Yep, re capcha!

    • James
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      An accounting with the biased BBC is well overdue. Their announcers are still blatantly trotting out their “crashing out” and “falling off a cliff” nonsense. Much the majority of their political reporting and programmes are clearly weighted towards remain, both by contriving a majority of remainers on panels, and the way they bookend the interviews of Brexiteers by so called experts whose testimony is such as to invariably rubbish the Leave perspective. It’s about time something was done about it, and action taken to redress the situation, and in a way that will never be forgotten.

  20. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Well the problem is she spent two years giving the EU the upper hand. The showdown was delayed until now, purely in the interest of the Tories and T May herself. She is being buffeted around. Businesses are left without knowledge of their tariffs payable in 2 months’ time, purely in her interests.
    Her weakness and stupidity are palpable. She has let down the country along with your party and both should go.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure that it was quite as long as two years. She gave her Lancaster House speech setting out the government’s negotiating objectives on January 17th 2017, almost exactly two years ago, and while there were a few quibbles overall that was more or less OK. But a year and a series of surrenders later and she was well off the rails. Then on March 2nd 2018 she said in her Mansion House speech:

      “We have been clear all along that we don’t want to go back to a hard border in Ireland. We have ruled out any physical infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls.

      But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.”

      And it gradually became clear that her preferred way to “help find a solution” just happened to coincide with what CBI wanted, as well as what the Irish government wanted, namely that the whole of the UK should remain forever subject to swathes of EU laws.

      Not that just the goods comprising 0.1% of UK GDP which are driven across the Irish land border should continue to comply with relevant EU laws – all that would be necessary to relieve Irish customs of any need to routinely inspect them at the border – but that 100% of the UK economy should continue to comply.

  21. Adam
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    We should Leave on 29 Mar.
    If the EU wants our business it can compete for it.
    We as consumers choose what is worth buying or refusing as unwanted.

  22. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The bookies odds are getting shorter for us escaping without a rip off deal. However as yesterday showed with the planned cancellation of blood donor sessions in Kent. We need to be vigilant of fifth columnists within the civil service, who will go out of their way to cause unnecessary trouble post the 29th, to prove the UK has taken the wrong road.

    • Andy
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Bless. You think when the bell rings on March 29th that the fight is done.

      Not so. It will have just begun.

      Brexiteers then have to deliver on their lies.

      They have to make everything better and nothing worse.

      Even if they were competent they would have no chance.

  23. Christine
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    What the PM and her lackeys seem not to understand that it is completely against the EU’s interests to negotiate anything that is right for this country. Juncker et al are trying to shore up a crumbling edifice and cannot afford to give ammunition to any other country that might contemplate a referendum (and one can easily come up with two or three who would find it quite an attractive exercise).
    I am disappointed that the so-called Malthouse compromise is finding favour with the likes of ERG but I am heartened that you at least can see through the nonsense that it is. Those of us who voted Leave are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that we leave, as voted for, on 29 March. Talk of ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ is no more than an unnecessary distraction from the goal of a rosy future free of the straitjacket of the EU.
    Sadly the mismanagement of Brexit has done untold damage not only to the Conservative Party but also to the people’s faith in democracy. As you so rightly say, Parliament is on trial and judging by events so far is failing miserably.

  24. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Please God give the EU strength not to budge! We are edging towards freedom, day by day!

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      I have it on good authority that they won’t – they can’t wait to be rid of us.

      But will many other countries want to have anything to do with us?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        If they have goods and services to sell to the UK or they wish to buy goods and services from the UK then yes Margaret they will want to continue dealing with us.

    • Steve
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink


      “We as consumers choose what is worth buying or refusing as unwanted.”

      LMAO….. yeah and many people are already starting to not buy French and Irish produce in the supermarkets, myself included.

    • Steve
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Lynn Atkinson

      “Please God give the EU strength not to budge! We are edging towards freedom, day by day!”

      I think you should brace yourself Lynn, for Mrs May has yet to have her Chamberlain performance.

  25. BenD
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    It is because of all of this uncertainty and infighting coming from the UK side that there is no chance the EU will agree to the WA being reopened. Mrs May knows this so she is just running down the clock to 29th March. Thinking is that we can leave 29th without a deal and then take our time about how we want to proceed from there without the added pressure of time hanging on us- makes sense.

    • Steve
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink


      “It is because of all of this uncertainty and infighting coming from the UK side that there is no chance the EU will agree to the WA being reopened.”

      Not so, Ben.

      It is because the EU knows the WA is the mechanism to keep us as a vassal state.

  26. James bertram
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Glad you’re sticking to your principles and standing firm, Sir John. Shame others aren’t.

    The EU will play these negotiations to the wire, not buckling before the last week of March. I doubt anything substantial will be offered before then. They will bet, rightly so, that May and her government are too weak-willed to not blink first. Anyway, before then I’m expecting Parliament to undermine her (probably in a fortnight’s time) by passing the Cooper amendment in another guise, thus taking a WTO exit off the table. No sense of optimism here. The fight continues.

    The only thing worth doing with the Withdrawal Agreement is to put it where it always belonged – in the bin. The people voted to Leave, and a clean break on the 29th March (giving immediate certainty) is the way forward now. A WTO exit, with or without GATT article 24 (would be nice if we can get it), is what is needed.

  27. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It is amazing that remainers wish to tie our hands in such complex ways – They should be called out for what they are: ANTI-BRITISH.

    So, more fruitless talks with the EU…. and it’s doubtful they will give anything back.

    Let’s just keep this circus running until March 29, without an agreement, and without an extension – That’s all I ask…

    • Andy
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I am a Remainer. I am not anti-British. In fact – I am the patriot in a sea of nationalists.

      You all have such little faith in your country, your culture and your identity that you think being in the EU destroys them.

      As a patriot I know that the contrary is true.

      Being in the EU has not made France less French or Germany less German or Poland less Polish. You think it has made Britain less British.

      Wrong, wrong, wrong.

      You fundamentally misunderstand what being British means. This is why you rage against our values of tolerance, justice, respect for human rights.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        That is not what Bryan said at all andy.
        You just made it all up.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        You are wrong on every count
        If you looked closely you would see that one aim of the EU is to destroy national identities….

        How can you be a patriot when you want to give so much power to an oppressive regime that cares not a jot for democracy, and will reduce us to peasants, to serve our masters?

        As for your version of human rights, justice and tolerance – What a sham this is. The whole area of human rights has been perverted by the political correctness the EU bestows upon us, while tolerance is a allowed only against a set of perverted conditions.

        Open your eyes man – The EU is a false God!

      • The pits
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        And being in England has not made the West Celts of Cornwall the less West Celts of Cornwall. Their own language is spoken and written by all as you are aware.
        This is how it works

        • Edward2
          Posted February 1, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          Those living in the Catalan area of Spain would probably not agree with you.

  28. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, I wonder if you could tell us what will actually happen after March 30th. A family member has a child having treatment for leukaemia. As if they are not stressed enough, they are now terrified that the drugs needed will not be available. Should they be worried?
    Supermarkets said the other day that shelves would be empty. In the news on th BBC a presenter gleefully pointed out that ‘this lettuce is from Spain and said the fear was that we would no longer be able to buy them after Brexir. Is he right? Why would they stop selling them to us? Why would we put up barriers?
    Some reassurance from the government would be helpful.

    Reply There is no reason why the UK should blockade its own ports to stop imports.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      There are three possible reasons why import of food and drugs might be impeded: the companies producing them refuse for some reason to sell to the UK; the EU or EU governments launch a blockade to prevent exports to the UK; or the UK govt for some reason decides to blockade its own ports. Which of these do Continuity Remain think is likely?

    • Chris
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The problem MW is that the government is often the source of Project Fear stories, I believe. Also, if they aren’t part of it why on earth are they not rejecting these claims loud and clear on the airwaves?

      I hugely sympathise with your family member, having had a child treated with leukaemia myself. Government should be issuing loud and convincing reassurances to the public, instead of letting Project Fear stories gain hold, causing immense worry/stress to those with serious illness.

      • jerry
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        @Chris; ” Government should be issuing loud and convincing reassurances to the public, instead of letting Project Fear stories gain hold”

        But HMG do issues counter statements or at least stats that can be used to argue a counter point, but the MSM do not repeat/use them when “project fear” re-announce a past scare story. What is more, sometimes the MSM doesn’t even give the original govt counter statement equal weight when first issued as the scare story gets, because that’s not what sells newsprint or jacks up audience ratings and thus adversing revenue.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      “Some reassurance from the government would be helpful.”

      Haven’t you realised that the government is active in initiating and spreading baseless scare stories, not rebutting them and providing reassurance?

    • davies
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      I saw an interesting piece this morning on the bad environmental practices of Lettuce farms run by the Spanish using North African slave labour. Bad for the environment and no workers rights – so much for the glorious EU

      I also don’t think most EU countries are in a strong enough position to hold back supplies to anyone – looks like the Italians are all but frozen out of global markets and have no functioiing lender of last resort and bank bad debt levels in the EZ are dangerously high and getting worse.

      There is no apparent reason other than UK officialdom mistakes why supplies should not continue coming into the UK, even if Customs points arent ready. Many journalists are going to look very silly indeed once we pass March and things carry on as normal.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink


        “I saw an interesting piece this morning on the bad environmental practices of Lettuce farms run by the Spanish using North African slave labour. Bad for the environment and no workers rights – so much for the glorious EU”

        As bad as the Morecambe Bay cockle field disaster of 2004 when at least 21 Chinese illegal immigrant labourers were drowned by an incoming tide after picking cockles off the Lancashire/Cumbrian coast.?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Correct margaret.
          Both caused by the stupid open borders policy of the EU.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Reply There is no reason why the UK should blockade its own ports to stop imports.

      So, why are a number of supermarkets saying they will have empty shelves?

      • rose
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 12:37 am | Permalink

        Big Business, much of it foreign owned and foreign run, has an interest in retaining borderlessness. They like Free Movement of People because it drives down wages and conditions. In fact Lord Rose had to be got rid of as the head of the Remain Campaign because he warned us if we left the EU wages would rise.

        They also like us being in a big bloc because they can lobby the corrupt powers that be and get regulations that make it hard for small business to compete.

        So naturally they are pulling all the stops out now to frighten us into changing our minds.

        It is evil to frighten old people living on their own, telling them there will be no food and no pills. But big business has no sentimental attachment to this country or its people. It is just somewhere to make money out of.

    • jerry
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      @Mike Wilson; You need to direct your questions to the EU, as our host said in reply, the UK will not be blocking our own imports, and indeed the govt has said that provision is being and will carry on being made to protect the supply of vital drugs. Also, once outside of the EU, should it be via a WTO exit, the UK would be free to source drugs from elsewhere, so long as long as (to our health professionals) regulatory tests are equivalent or better.

      As for the supermarkets, what the British Retail Consortium failed to mention was that the affected foods are those out of season here in the UK, hardly a hardship not to be able to get your fresh strawberries or even lettuce in February will it?!

      You mention the BBC, on one of their web pages dealing with the BRC Brexit comments regarding empty shelves, the BBC provided a graph showing were our food is sourced; 50% UK, 30% EU 20% RotW. (data from UK Govt).

      Project Fear is getting desperate, if not despicable, in the last four days or so we have had threats of food shortages, threats of blood donation sessions being cancelled (how, why???) and drug shortages leading to treatment/operations being cancelled, all without any shred of hard evidence.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Project Fear in all its glory! You don’t really fall for that tripe, do you? I suppose you must, though, and a few others too.
      The BBC is guilty of scaremongering on a huge scale – how irresponsible to gee people up to go stockpiling, and to strike fear into the hearts of those (like your family member) of those who are already worried. Cruel and unjustified – and this is our national broadcaster.

      If we don’t buy Spanish stuff after Brexit, it’ll be out of choice. Buy British produce instead, seasonally, like we used to. Buy Moroccan tomatoes, fruit from Africa and South America. Buy stuff manufactured in the UK (there’s plenty of it) and, as Sir John says, don’t fall for the tosh about blockading our own ports.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry that they are having this needless extra stress.

      I am beyond cross that unreconciled Remainers think it OK to cause sick and vulnerable people worry. Yesterday’s efforts were peaches, halting blood doning sessions due to traffic problems in Kent and 12,400 extra deaths from to cardiovascular events due to shortages of fruit and veg!!!

      Remember though that foreign food and drug companies have signed contracts to supply the UK and that they will not want to renege on these and their share holders will certainly not want them to stop selling us goods, the port authorities here and abroad have all said goods will flow as they do now, U.K. Authorities have said they will prioritise the smooth transit of goods over custom checks, which in any case are no longer done at the border and similar disaster stories were trotted out if we didn’t join the EURO and if we were to dare to vote Leave!

      In short food and drugs will not only be available but in the case of food will likely be cheaper as we will be free to lower tariffs from imports around the world.

      • jerry
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        @Helen Smith; Indeed, the UK feed its self with home grown fresh veg until the mid to late 1970s, and what we could not grow was more often than not imported from non EEC countries or we simply eat only in season crops, people were not dropping dead back then of cardiovascular events due due to only being able to eat in-season crops!

        In my areas we have some very large greenhouses, some of the largest in the UK I believe, I have to wonder what Mike Wilson and other Remoaners think gets grown in such places, button-hole Roses or otherwise out-of-seasons/forced climate (peppers for example) food crops?!

        How much farm land is currently set-aside here in the UK, assuming a WTO exit on March 29th, much of that land could be back being ploughed by mid April given the will or necessity, harvesting a late crop by this coming autumn, assuming Gove allows farmers to actually farm of course! 🙁

        The UK also used to have a thriving Market Garden industry, we could again, and what better way of protecting those smaller fields that the NIMBYs and Greens are always complaining about being built on.

  29. James bertram
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Good article on BrexitFacts4EU website on Anne Marie Morris – the only ERG member to refuse to back the Brady amendment.
    Too, there is a list of the 17 most anti-democratic Tory MPs. These are the ones who will attempt to take WTO off the table. They need to be targeted with continuous protest (particularly if they ‘represent’ you as an MP).

  30. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The Brady vote yesterday could lead to all sort of trouble if the EU comes up with a fudge which May will sell as a success. We will end up with all the other dreadful parts of the WA, the money will be handed over and we are then lost.

    Party first, country second, hoping that the EU will refuse to negotiate is not acceptable. It seems like a sell-out to me.

    We will find out how Sir John acted in the vote as I note he makes reference again to not supporting the amendment which is not the same as opposing it, and thus voting against.

    • James bertram
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The eight Conservative MPs who voted against the Brady amendment are:

      Heidi Allen

      Guto Bebb

      Ken Clarke

      Dominic Grieve

      Phillip Lee

      Anne Marie Morris

      Anna Soubry

      Sarah Wollaston

      The seven Labour pro-Brady rebels were as follows:

      Ian Austin

      Kevin Barron

      Jim Fitzpatrick

      Roger Godsiff

      Kate Hoey

      John Mann

      Graham Stringer

    • Chris
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      PW, Sir John is not recorded as voting against, according to ConsHome article. Maybe an abstention?

    • Mark B
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      The Brady vote yesterday could lead to all sort of trouble if the EU comes up with a fudge which May will sell as a success.

      Yes, shades of John Major and the Maastricht Treaty with his tennis analogy. And the Tory faithfull lapped it up. But a sellout is a sellout no matter how attractive the packaging.

    • TRP
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The votes of all MPs are available on the Guardian website: Sir John opposed all amendments but one, he abstained on the Brady one.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      It would seem Sir John must have abstained – he’s being very coy – which to put it mildly is a disgrace as far as I am concerned. Put his party before country, will never vote against the whip etc.. Only Ann-Marie Waters had the courage to vote against Brady. Good on her. A plague on the rest.

      Reply I said I woukd not vote for it and did not. I did not say I would vote against as I agreed with part of it.

      • hefner
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        TPW, it is not a disgrace at all, it is being consistent. Most of the ERG after voting explicitly against the PM two weeks ago finally produced and supported the Brady amendment, which you have to be rather starry-eyed to be able to claim that it was putting country before party.

        While I am at it: Do you think the EU owes us any favors? Why should they stop us from doing what we said we want to do? We say we want to do just that, we’ve had all the time in the world (18+ months) to separate from the EU in an orderly fashion. What happens next then is down to us and us alone.

        Cheer up or check which Kuebler-Ross stage you have reached.

  31. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Last night Sir Graham Brady passed down a ladder to help May clamber out an elephant-trap of her own making.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Only to allow her to imperil our freedom.

  32. Mockbeggar
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Off topic; but this spell of winter weather has made me wonder if Just-in-Time deliveries have been affected.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The companies pay professionals for accurate weather forecasts
      And adjust accordingly.

    • KZB
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Mockbeggar I was going to say the same !!
      Here in the north-west all routes are virtually blocked with huge HGVs all stuck.
      I would’ve thought all the JiT-dependent businesses would be up in arms on the BBC ?

    • Steve
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink


      Yes, because the weather was caused by brexit. didn’t you know.

  33. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Very pleased that you stuck to your guns as I knew you would. Article 24 seems an obvious option why it wasn’t promoted before is curious. Grieve in an interview brought up the Good Friday “Treaty” – he is beyond the pale! Hopefully, perversely,ironically the EU may come to our rescue and refuse to budge and we get out on 29 March.

    The vast majority of callers on phone ins I listen to want out, think MPs are a disgrace and there are a noticeable number of declared Remain voters who agree.

  34. miami.mode
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Supposedly the EU are stepping up preparations for no deal. If they wish to protect their single market and customs union, what arrangements are they planning for the border in Ireland? They’re bluffing!

    • Kenneth
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Michel Barnier said on 23rd January 2019, in the event of “no deal”, “we will have to find an operational way of carrying out checks and controls without putting back in place a border”.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Sadly when the UK steps up its preparation it all seems to be project Fear in nature. It is not calm, carefully considered preparation, it is not clear strategy about future tariffs, it is not about increasing the amount that triggers customs duties ( good for USA deal, good for the smaller flows across the Irish border), it is not about funding and rolling out technology for the Irish border situation … The Govt needs to show calm mitigation and the positive view for the future

    • James
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Even Mrs May must now realise that the prowess of her negotiating team leaves something to be desired. She would do well to either sack the lot of them or at the very least put them on gardening leave, and bring in JRM, IDS and not least our host to navigate and advise on the final laps.

  35. JoolsB
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The EU have already said they won’t budge on the backstop but it’s not just the backstop which is wrong with May’s pathetic deal, it’s everything, and the fact she is willing to hand over £39 billion of our cash for such a rotten deal is the biggest insult of all.

    It is also time Grieve/Soubry/Wollaton/Allen/Morgan etc.were put in their place. Why on earth their Constituency Chairmen haven’t hauled them in for a good talking to before now is a mystery.

    The only option now is to go out on WTO terms but even that won’t happen if our stupid treacherous EU loving MPs gets their way. No doubt they would rather see May get through her pathetic surrender deal than let that happen.

    • JoolsB
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      On another note, what on earth has Caroline Spelman ever done to deserve a Damehood.? What has this wishy washy nondescript MP ever done to deserve such an honour?

      The number of Knighthoods and Damehoods in the Commons is now getting to the point of ridiculous. I lost count when watching the debates. I am sure some like your good self deserve this honour John but the fact there are now so many Sirs and Dames in Parliament makes the whole honours system a farce.

  36. Shieldsman
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Recently remainers, including Sir Ivan Rogers according to Christopher Booker are blaming the leave campaign for not having a brexit plan. The impasse is being blamed on the temerity of the 17.4 million electors who voted LEAVE.
    I do not remember the Irish Border or Article 50 being mentioned.
    Article 50 preordained that the United Kingdom Parliament would have to accept the terms of the Commission written Withdrawal Agreement in order to negotiate our future relationship. Parliament has resoundingly refused to do so.
    Without any agreement the NO deal exit which I personally welcome looms.
    It would throw the onus for the closure of the Eire Border on their Government and the EU.
    The UK Government has never suggested closing the N.I. border and thus threatening the GFA. The UK has bitter memories of past attempts to control the border against the IRA bombing and murdering campaigns.
    The Taoiseach has until recently said he does not wish to close the border. So with both Governments in agreement the Belfast Agreement is a red herring to cover up for other reasons.
    On our leaving the Eire border becomes an EU border and Barnier has said he wants to protect the EEA with border controls.. The backstop is evidence of this as it would maintain a Customs Border in perpetuity unless there could be unknown other arrangements.
    The intransigence of Varadkar and Barnier has left the PM dangling and the clock ticking down. An enforced NO deal exit would really put the cat amongst the pigeons.
    As I do the shopping I have already decided not to buy produce from Eire.

  37. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    There was some confusion in my team about your voting but from your post it appears you did not really change your mind. Of course this is completely unacceptable for the Commission, the Republic (I guess the DUP will once look back on thies episode and wonder how this could have happened) and even countries like the Netherlands who may be more like neighbours than adversaries, despite their virtual integration in Greater Germany. Hence it increases the chance that there will be no deal at all. I mean the opposite of a “managed no deal”. The one thing rules-bound organisations like the EU have, is consistency so the discussions will be very brief and may result in some fudge but nothing substantial. No reason to add further commentary.

  38. Iain Moore
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The Spelman amendment was a 2% win on a non binding vote. We know what MPs think about close wins on a non binding vote.

  39. RupertP
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Conservative MPs + DUP + a few Labour rebels vote for the government to pursue “alternative arrangements” to the backstop and Brussels just says “No, negotiations are finished”. How does this get us any further forward? It doesn’t… This just runs down the clock for a few more weeks before the hard decision in this big game of chicken really has to be made.

    Labour / LibDem / SNP / Conservative Remain Rebel MPs vote to advise the government that they would not approve of a “no deal” Brexit. I wonder how many MPs voted for both amendments – I would guess not many! This vote seems less important in that it is what the majority Conservative + DUP MPs think should happen next that matters, as they are the ones whose votes are needed every day to get government business through the House of Commons.

    The real question is who blinks first? UK or EU? Brussels is good at keeping the pressure on and the UK government / cabinet is full of MPs that believe no deal is unthinkable. It seems pretty obvious that the UK government is not really willing to go through with no deal, so in the end, Brexit will end up being cancelled once the government recognises that it is finally out of time and that there is no deal available from the EU that can be approved by parliament.

    If Government won’t cancel Brexit, I presume the large majority of remain supporting MPs will ultimately be able to find a way to get a motion through the House of Commons to instruct the government to cancel Brexit once all avenues for further negotiation are exhausted.

    Alternatively, assuming the UK did manage to leave the EU without a deal, the EU will surely keep coming back with the same demands regarding the Irish border. We will have to enter into deals with the EU ultimately, whether this is before or after Brexit and a pre-condition of any deal will be settlement of the Irish border issue as well as the money and all the other issues that are in the withdrawal agreement. I can’t see that there is any way of avoiding these issues ultimately…

    The real purpose of the Brady amendment is therefore an attempt by MPs to shift the blame for the eventual cancellation of Brexit onto Brussels. The narrative can then be put forward in the UK that Brussels prevented Brexit by being completely unreasonable on the backstop. Meanwhile, the EU will blame MPs in parliament for failing to approve the agreed deal.

  40. George Brooks
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    A huge number of MPs are totally and utterly out of their depth (mainly the under 50s) because if we were witnessing a commercial negotiation it would have collapsed 18 months ago. David Davis was pulled out of the negotiations just as he was about to corner the EU and if he had continued we would have either entered into meaningful talks on trade etc or exposed the EU for the bunch of dictators that they have turned out to be.

    The EU’s attitude clearly indicates that they are the last people that should ever rule this country and when one reads the WA one does not need the brains of an arch bishop to realise that they have absolutely no intention of reaching an amicable trade agreement. They have one aim and that is to conquer the UK and use our wealth creation ability to prop up their corrupt and failing Union.

    We could have walked away 18 months ago and spent the time preparing to leave and minimised all the risks and had a relatively painless departure. We have one last chance and so does the EU to bend towards us and remove the Back Stop and amend the WA. I cannot see this happening so we walk away and put up with a painful departure. If we don’t take this opportunity we will commit our children to a life of declining standards as the EU fails and drags us down as well

    We are in the ”last chance saloon” so let us stand up and govern ourselves

  41. Gandalf
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Sir John Could you comment on the post made by Sir William Cash following a question to the PM yesterday, that if any part of May’s WA is accepted by MP and made law, it would override the Repeal of the ECA 1972. Thus leaving us chained to the EU.

  42. Enrico
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Why oh why has no one picked up on the Lisbon Treaty whereby all London’s financial affairs will be transferred to Frankfurt by 2022 thereby making many thousands of people redundant?

  43. Simon
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The Malthouse Plan is just a Shanker Singham thing jazzed up and rebadged. It will never get out of the starting gate. Pure unicorns from beginning to end rejected by the EU over two years ago.

  44. formula57
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    So now the same person who spent some two years producing a bad deal she insisted was the only deal and in the best interests of the UK is charged with renegotiating one aspect of that same deal to make it slightly less bad. And that is progress?

    May has ruined Brexit, not least by her poor formulation and negotiation. It need not have been like this of course and should not have been and that it remains so is to condemn the Conservative Party that sustains her.

  45. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I see 8 Tory MPs voted against the Brady amendment, including Grieve and Soubry, but not Morgan. One ERG member voted against: Anne-Marie Morris.

  46. KatC
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Love to see IDS on sky with his usual bouncy self..but we’ve been listening to this old spin for two years now..and don’t think the EU side is paying much attention either..remember..”do you seriously think the bavarian car workets etc etc”

  47. rose
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I was horrified by Oliver Letwin’s speech. If he can think like that, what must the risk-averse pro EU PM be thinking?

    Anyway, the government has continually harmed the population with its actions: particularly Blair’s war mongering and all governments’ reckless and incompatible mass immigration. Horrible things have happened to our people as a consequence of both these policies.

  48. oldwulf
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve never understood the UK’s negotiating position. The true “backstop” is the UK leaves on 29 March with no deal and no £39bn to pay. If the EU wants some money then it needs to offer something better than no deal. We’re prepared to listen.

  49. bigneil
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    The BBC are still at it. Now trying brainwashing. After the news on Brexit about 5 am the track played was The Eagles, Hotel California with the line that “You can never leave”.

  50. Alan Joyce
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    One has to treat EU pronouncements with a large dose of salt. Nevertheless, senior figures are saying that the backstop and WA cannot be renegotiated. That, coupled with the UK’s demand that it must be changed and be backed by legal guarantees, entrenches positions and makes a No-Deal scenario more likely than ever.

    If talks restart and as the Government has a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP; cannot a DUP MP bolster the negotiating team? At the very least they could teach our team how to say NO and mean it.

    The UK should now be preparing at full tilt for No-Deal. Conservatives should be worried that their reputation for competence will be destroyed if chaos does follow in one way or another. And they would be crucified at the next general election.

    In the event of No-Deal it is impossible to say that there will be no difficulties although Remainers deliberately exaggerate these to advance their case.

    However, one thing I do predict in a No-Deal situation. French trawlers will still be fishing in our independent coastal waters and our supine government will let them.

  51. BOF
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    ‘ As someone who objects to more than just the backstop in the draft Agreement’.

    I suspect the ‘backstop’ is being used to get MP’s on board when, at the last minute some changes will be made to get it through the House.

    Unfortunately there is so much wrong with it that we will indeed become a vassal state, as JRM so aptly put it.

  52. Kenneth
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    What annoys me is the deceit.

    The use of the Irish border as cover for us to remain in the eu.

    The ridiculous stories about traffic jams and shortages as cover for big business to remain protected from competition.

    • BenD
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Kenneth- Yeah strange how history comes back to bite. One hundred years ago the PM at the time Lloyd George made the border at the point of a gun- still don’t understand why they call it an Irish border

  53. Original Richard
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Does not Parliament by passing the Spelman amendment to not leave without a deal, together with the legislation to leave on 29/03, mean that Parliament will have by 29/03 to select between accepting a rotten deal offered by the EU or to not leave by voting to extend Article 50 or even by voting to remain ?

    In which case why would the EU re-start any negotiations or make an improved offer ?

    Which will Parliament decide upon ?

  54. a-tracy
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The MP that was imprisoned for lying should be dismissed with due notice and a by-election called in their seat. They got a softer sentence than others would and if she appeals should be told her term could increase if she doesn’t have a good case against her soft punishment. There should be an easy way the public in her constituency can vote to remove her. It will be a good test on public opinion of what is going on this week.

  55. Andre Ballista
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hello Sir, would you care to explain your approach to yesterday votes? BBC is reporting you voted against all the amendments and did not vote at all on the Grady’s amendment. So what are you in favour for? What is your plan? Why didn’t you engage on the debate and tried to build consensus across groups and parties? I find frustrating that my representative did not participate at all.
    Best Regards,
    Andre Ballista

    Reply I have set out many times what I favour, to leave in mArch and offer a comprehensive free trade agreement

  56. Den
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    It seems to me as though the Remainer types are still having some control over our leaving.
    As long as the final outcome assures me that Britain will LEAVE the EU on March 29th thereby repealing the European Communities Act 1972 and therefore leave us free do do our own “thing” around the Rest of the World, FREE of ANY EU dictates, I shall have no further complaint. For, as far as I am concerned, the People will then receive their true Brexit. A long time coming though!

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink


      “For, as far as I am concerned, the People will then receive their true Brexit. A long time coming though”

      You mean the 17m against the 16m?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        It is what is called a majority.

  57. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Somebody on TV referred to a new study of the likely, supposedly devastating, effects of a no deal Brexit on the economy of the Irish Republic.

    There have been previous studies, including this one by Open Europe in April 2015:

    “How would Brexit impact Ireland?”

    Which concluded that potentially Ireland could suffer more than the UK:

    “… leaving the EU could either lead to a permanent gain of 1.6% to UK GDP by 2030, in a ‘best case’ scenario, or a 2.2% loss to GDP, in a ‘worst case’ scenario … In a worst case scenario Ireland could see a permanent loss of 3.1% to GDP in 2030. Even in the best case scenario the loss would still total 1.1% GDP.”

    So I was interested to see what this recent study suggested, and googling I found a clutch of media reports such as this:

    “No-deal Brexit would knock 4.25 percentage points off Irish GDP”

    “A preliminary assessment by the department suggests that a no-deal Brexit will reduce the level of the Irish GDP by around 4.25% by 2023, and by around 6% relative to a hypothetical “no Brexit” scenario.”

    But it is noteworthy that all of these numbers for potential loss of GDP growth are much more modest than those churned out by the scare-mongering UK Treasury under George Osborne and now under Philip Hammond.

    However one can still see why the Irish government has been unscrupulously playing up the largely fabricated problem of the land border with Northern Ireland in a determined effort to get what the Irish EU Commissioner demanded in November 2017:

    “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”

    Unfortunately Theresa May has been playing the same game.

  58. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Just liase with the 5 eyes and produce chapters on topics such as Media Subversion, Business Subversion, Foreign Subversion, Domestic Subversion, Government Subversion, Opposition Subversion, Referendum Subversion, Sport Subversion, Election Subversion, Manifesto Subversion, Speaker Subversion, Cult Subversion, Bank Subversion.

    It’d be a weighty tome detailing all the people who seek the benefits not recognised by the DWP.

  59. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The Heath subversion of course has been the Conservative issue for four decades, this of course enabled the EU to foster subversion across Europe and beyond but we British voted when given the chance and chose to knock subversion of democracy on the head.
    Some subversives would rather risk assassination by the intelligence services than cease and desist.
    This extends throughout the political parties and culminated in May’s defiant political integration agreement, which was rejected by all parliamentarians not employed directly by the Cabinet Office.
    Clearly the Cabinet Office is the most subverted aspect of the state apparatus, as one would expect as the EU was never going to waste it’s time subverting the electorate.

  60. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I see one pundit suggests that May will come back from Brussels with nothing, and then will come back to Parliament and ask them to vote on her original WA agreed with Brussels or No Deal. As the H of C is Remainer and seems determined to keep the UK as a vassal state, it would appear that May has won them that result. I wondered, Sir John, what your view is on the likelihood of this?

  61. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    The joint article by Nicky Morgan and Steve Baker in the D Tel today is attracting considerable criticism in the Comments section, and it is in response to this quote from the article:
    “Of course people want us to honour the referendum result – we entrusted this decision to the people in what turned out to be the biggest act of democracy in our nation’s history. But they also want us to come together and forge a mature compromise that enables us to leave on time and to plan for our post-Brexit future. They need us to get on…”

    There is considerable anger expressed about our vote being interpreted as wanting a “compromise”, and there is also anger at what is referred to as this “sanctimonius drivel” from Nicky Morgan, who has spent the last year or more fighting against Brexit being effected.

    Mr Redwood, there is real anger out there, and I certainly do not want a compromise to attract the likes of Nicky Morgan. That would not be Brexit. This seems an exercise to keep May in power rather than deliver the Brexit that we voted for.

  62. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The threat posed by EU subversion was the reason the US chose to pressure the then government out of it’s missile program and thus the termination of British space efforts ,aye, Blue steel was terminated due to the inherent ability of the US to control more effectively the nuclear subversion threat posed by Britain from the submarine.

  63. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    You can understand US frustration as they do a fair bit of due diligence to weed out subversives from legally requesting to live there but then even god doesn’t know who and what is waltzing up from the south.

    It’s a vast achilles heel and is replicated by the EU’s freedom of movement.

  64. a-tracy
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “Scots Nationalist MPs accused Mrs May of “capitulating entirely to her Brexit right wing”. The Sun

    I have a question for the Scots specifically the SNPs. When they were campaigning for an Independent Scotland they regularly said there would be no border with the RUK.
    “The answer from the Scottish government – led by the Scottish National party, the lead campaigners for a vote for independence in September – is simple: no. It says that, as is the case for UK citizens who travel to the Republic of Ireland now, no passport would be needed. It intends for Scotland to remain part of the Common Travel Area (CTA), which allows all citizens of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to travel freely across those borders.

    There are “no plans in the foreseeable future” for an independent Scotland to sign up to the Schengen agreement. This allows all EU citizens to cross internal borders within the EU without being subjected to border checks; currently, the UK and the Republic of Ireland have opted out of Schengen. Scotland joining the EU as an independent country would not require it to lose its automatic opt-out of Schengen, the SNP says.

    The Scottish government position is unequivocal:

    There are no circumstances in which the Scottish government would countenance any measure being taken that jeopardised the ability of citizens across the rUK [rest of the UK] and Ireland to move freely across the borders as they are presently able to do. It is for this reason that following independence Scotland will remain part of the Common Travel Area (CTA). ” The Guardian


    • a-tracy
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Will all of this border problem become irrelevant because when Ireland is forced to sign up to Schengen the CTA would end anyway?

  65. Paul H
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Your colleagues need to understand that the deal, even without the backstop, will simply waste money and be the prelude to another long period of uncertainty before the end-state is understood. In the meantime the EU will make good use of the agreement to denude the UK economy, unless the UK is prepared in such circumstances to renege on the agreement – unlikely, given the posture of the government to date.

    We need to take the shortest route out of the EU, accept the pain of such a sharp change (made unnecessarily worse by the government’s deliberate actions, of course) use £39bn to mitigate that pain, and then get on with life.

    And we should also remember who our friends are. It appears that the Irish are not to be counted among them.

  66. Christine
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Like you, I’m concerned about much more than the Backstop.

    What happened to the legal advice that demanded from the Attorney General? Why has he only produced the advice relating to the Backstop? Where is the rest of it?

    It is a common ruse by the EU and politicians to propose a terrible deal then backtrack to a bad deal. Even without the Backstop the Withdrawal Agreement is BRINO. The electorate will see through this subterfuge and react at the next elections.

    If there is so little time in the calendar to get the legislation through for leaving on WTO rules why is Parliament wasting so much time on these shenanigans. It’s a dereliction of duty to our country.

  67. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Why is Sir James Dyson moving to Singapore?

    If he were a start-up, I would understand. But his company’s well established. He’s making loads of money. How much more money does he want to make? How much more money does one need?

    Patriotism is also about supporting your country if you do well in business. And after supporting Brexit, how does Singapore help the Brexit cause?

    Sir James Dyson was an important reason why I turned more to supporting Brexit. I feel let down by this man. And thinking now as well, why should I trust him over Breixt, anyway, when he was a strong supporter of the UK joining the euro (which I only recently discovered)?

    I strongly support Brexit for Sovereignty reasons. But I want our country to be properly ready. With proper leadership and advisers (Sir James Dyson and Boris Johnson simply do not cut it for me – they fill me with no confidence in Brexit whatsoever). (As well as, of course, with a proper Business-like Plan and plenty of money in the national kitty and a strong, international economy).

    (I’m not opposing Brexit – I want Brexiters to be free to get on with it and to the best they can – but people such as Sir James Dyson and the pessimistic outlook of some people in City about the world economy, at least for next year, does concern me much more than I was concerned say 3 months ago).

  68. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I also think that if you receive a knighthood, like Sir James, then you should be expected, if you work in business, to keep your HQ in the United Kingdom.

    That to me is just a basic requisite (of course, not a black and white rule. There can be exceptions – for example, if you’re a start-up and your company needs all the help it can get to get going). But in Sir James’ case, he’s made loads of money already (good luck to him). He’s under no financial pressure to move to Singapore. He just wants to make more money at the cost of an important element of patriotism to the UK.

    (Because Business / British Brands is also a key part of British Patriotism, not just being a Soldier, Scientist, Artist, Academic, whatever).

  69. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    (Unless, I’m just a hopeless romantic when it comes to Patriotism? And that I’m out of touch – a quaint anachronism – with the modern, ‘real’ world).

  70. matthu
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    As long as the EU continues to set rules for UK intellectual property law and the EU continues to prescribe procurement regulations (which could mean we are forced to contract big projects out e.g. to German companies instead of our own) and as long as the UK undertakes to match the EU in health & safety, employment and working time regulations, we should expect that the UK will continue to be forced to wind down all of our heavy engineering, industrial and energy sectors and rely more and more on importing all of our future requirements from the EU.

    In this manner we would soon also be forced to trade off our fishing interests …

    Even without the backstop, May’s WDA stinks.

  71. Jiminyjim
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    The Irish border issue is now out in the open. At lunchtime on BBC World at One, Edgar Morganrot stated that any tech solution to the border question was unacceptable, because any change in economic conditions, however minor, between N and S Ireland would be enough to trigger ‘armed conflict’. When the questioner asked him to confirm that that meant that the whole of the UK would have to remain in the Customs Union and close to the Single Market ‘for ever’, he replied ‘Yes’. So there you have it, people. The UK has to be subservient to the Republic of Ireland and the EU for ever, or face a terrorist threat. At least we know where we stand. We need to go WTO, and refuse to erect anything at the border. If the EU enforces a hard border against the specific promise they gave the Irish people, let their infrastructure be attacked by the blackmailers

  72. MickN
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I keep hearing that the Spellman amendment means Parliament has categorically voted that we cant leave without a deal. Perhaps someone on here who is smarter at maths that I can work out what the percentage of the majority was. I suspect it was as close or closer than the one that they are ignoring as too close to call.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

      EU Law takes precedence over UK Law. Currently, under EU Law and the terms of Article 50 we are scheduled to Leave the EU on the 29th March 2019. The only way, and it is the ONLY way the UK can stop BREXIT is by extending Article 50. The ECJ has claimed that the UK can rescind Art. 50 but I would not be too sure as there is nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon that says so but, the Treaties are self amending and, if so, one could go on to argue that if this can be changed then so to can the rest. Which would be fun.

    • David Price
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The first amendment was Labour’s demanding we avoid a no-deal and see a customs union, this was defeated. The Spelman amendment was advisory only so it seems that the House voted to retain WTO as an option but would prefer a deal.

      Personally, I believe we should elect to go WTO for trade now and continue working on the operational agreements for non-trade interactions except for military and security aspects where we should limit ourselves to NATO and sharing information on criminal matters, subject to early review.

      We need to establish a degree of certainty and should act on the basis that the EU does not wish to negotiate in good faith on any issue while our dealings with individual European countries may be a different matter.

  73. The Way of the World
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Curiously both Remainers and Leavers think the media is biased. One wonders why, how??????

  74. BR
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    How come the article on Conservative Home (as to which Tories voted against the Brady amendment) doesn’t show JR as one of the 8?

  75. GregH
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Dominic Raab says the ball is firmly in the European court now, but what does this mean? As far as I can see the WA is still the only thing on the table, so what exactly is Raab on about? Just how can the EU consider the alternatives to the backstop when the PM herself cannot say what they are..same old BS.. methinks we’ll be back here agàin in a few weeks

  76. R. E. Pay
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    “The government opposed it, (The Spelman Amendment) in part because any suggestion we will not leave without a deal undermines the UK bargaining position…”

    If we had prepared for a WTO exit at the same time as negotiating we would be in a better position with Brussels from the outset! At last some light but I expect we will have to make even more concessions…

  77. GregH
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Correction..we’ll not now be here again in a few weeks..just heard Junker and Barnier and think the game is up..reason is they are not going to entertain May speaking as proxy for the ERG..the WA is on the table and is the only way to go

  78. Helen Smith
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The EU has a choice, £39bn and our fish for 21 months with no backstop, or £0 and no fish with no backstop.

  79. S J Matthews
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Why not a condition put into the WA, such that we stay in transition until the WTO judges that our border control is adequate? Take control away from the EU.

    • ChrisS
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      All the time we stay in “Transition” ( which is nothing of the sort ) we will be paying more than £850 EVERY MONTH for the priviledge.

      To quote a wonderful Lady : No! No! No!

  80. Ian
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Yes I could not agree more with Fudge Fudge Fudge.

    It seems that even Jacob Ress Mogg is going soft now, certainly not the man we were used to.

    I think sadly that Common sence is a very scarce commodity in Westminster these days.

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me just what is the reward for this gross Treachery ?

    This is the worst government in Living memory, and there is still no sign of any change at all.
    Bring on the election, so we can vote for real people decent people, and for me our Freedom will only be gained , with Leave means Leave

  81. Mick
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Just been watching the bbc news with the vice-president of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala and her stating the people’s vote should be taken seriously, so there you have it from the horses mouth that’s the Eu goal to force the government into a situation to have another vote so it can be fixed in us staying in the Eu and be dictatored to by foreigners for another 40 odd years or more

  82. mancunius
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Let’s focus on the positive: so far, so good. Luckily, the EU will accept neither the Brady Amendment, nor the Malthouse ‘Compromise’ – which in any case (from the small print I’ve seen) gives Brussels far too much money and leverage.

    We are presently set to leave without a WA. I agree with Sir John that this is the best option available. A real Prime Minister who was not merely trying to cling on to power would by now be reassuring the country about the management of our unilateral departure from the EU on 29 March.

    On attending (i.e. watching) the entire debate in the HoC yesterday I was struck by the curiously attention-seeking behaviour of the Speaker. He appears to think he is the focus of the debating process, instead of merely being its arbiter. Why were so many points of debate and inflammatory jibes allowed to be raised as ‘points of order’ and not immediately quelled as previous Speakers would have done? Entire hustings speeches were given under the fruadulent guise of points of order.

    I’ve just looked at the proceedings of the Second Reading of the 1972 European Communities Act on 17 Feb 1972. (Which was passed by only eight votes, one of the noes being Norman Tebbit MP, another rather surprisingly, being Roy Jenkins.)
    One is struck by the relatively orderly manner and tone in which the debate proceeded, and the way false points of order were immediately cut off by the Speaker. It is true that in 1972 there were no noisy wrecker caucuses of chauvinists trying to waylay the debate and broadcast to their local audiences. The speeches were longer and the speakers fewer than is now the fashion. But the arguments about sovereignty and the danger of usurping future parliaments were soberly and thoroughly discussed. The transfer of levies and the automatic enactment of future EU law were sticking points for many. Only John Mendelson, the Labour left-winger, was bold enough to point out the obvious:
    ” In fact, the Solicitor-General was avoiding his duty in this debate, which is to answer the case of the Father of the House and to prove to Parliament and people outside how the reduction in the sovereignty of Parliament is to be made good by other means. He completely failed to do so…The Government in this legislation are abolishing the British constitution by unconstitutional means. That is the real charge in this debate.—[AN HON. MEMBER: “Rubbish.”)—”Rubbish” is not an argument. The hon. Member must do better than that. I repeat the charge that the Government in this legislation are abolishing the British constitution by unconstitutional means.”
    Yes, indeed so. That’s exactly what they did. It is down to us to make every sacrifice now to wrench us out of that limbo to which we consigned Britain for a half-century.

  83. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Impostoring is what they are about.

  84. Bob
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    So Mrs May is running back to see if Mr Barnier is prepared to compromise on his position. Mr Barnier says it’s not possible. A serious negotiator would say “okay, we’ll leave it at that then, but if you do change your mind, you have my contact details. bye bye”

    We really need to replace May/Robbins with proper negotiators.
    The Irish border issue is an issue for the EU not Britain.

  85. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    They all sing from the same hymn sheet, but we are the many and they the foreign propagandists.

    As i remarked to Rudd, her stated objectives are identical to Sinn Fein, no Disprespect to Mr Adams et al but ye are being played like a fiddle by those moving poverty about their sphere of subversion.

    I’m not suggesting unity i’m suggesting we instruct them to cease and desist..or else.

  86. Alex
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    According to the BBC Website today there’s going to be yet another Commons vote on this Withdrawal Agreement after Mrs May has obtained whatever ‘alternative arrangements’ she can get, on the backstop.

    Why? The motion already says that the Commons would agree the Withdrawal Agreement if some changes are made to the backstop.

    It doesn’t say the backstop changes have to be agreed by the Commons. In any case this is an International Treaty. It’s possible to enact it by Royal Prerogative. Only the domestic legislation (if any) associated with it requires Acts of Parliament.

    Hopefully however the further vote will be so close to the March 29th deadline that Mrs May can either threaten Remainers with a No Deal Brexit if they don’t vote for it, or Leavers with an indefinite postponement of the Leaving date if they don’t.

    In respect of the latter, she’s already got the Spelman Amendment to fall back on for political justification.

  87. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Aye, an attack on western democracy by a foreign powers intelligence agency and no it isn’t Russia, it’s the EU and their useless idiots.

    Not fit to shovel shit?

    PM material.

    Common Purpose copied most of their playbook and called themselves a charity for tax purposes.

  88. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    This morning I watched Dominic Raab being questioned by the Commons Northern Ireland Committee and by far the most important point he made was about the contrast between what he called the “high legislative alignment” paradigm for keeping the land border open, which is preferred by the Irish government and the EU, and which some hoped would keep the UK under a large measure of EU control even after it had left the EU, and his preferred “operational technological” paradigm which would not involve the UK remaining subject to large tranches of EU law. But he failed to mention that the UK Prime Minister actually agrees with the Irish Prime Minister over which approach should be adopted, and that is why we now find ourselves in a right pickle.

  89. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I can’t speak for others but what i would say is that May’s rhetoric suggest that she is not human, merely the legacy of Heath’s perversion and subversion.

    Naturally no sane person countenances such a thing with a vote in it’s favour, but then many MP’s are not sane enough for any other employment.

  90. Malcolm McGill
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Danger of staying in the EU. France has a pay-as-you-go pension system, therefore no pension reserves and 1 in 4 is a civil servant. Disaster is looming. No wonder they want to tie themselves to Germany.

  91. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    We sometimes take it for granted that other people are human but that is a mistake as ideology is always dehumanising to think otherwise means you are susceptible to being their mark.

  92. Dennis Oliver
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Let’s force the government to explain what the £39bn is for

    • Mark B
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

      Done !

  93. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    As I understand it, the D Tel online tonight is suggesting an “unravelling” of the assurances May gave to Brexiteers (to get their vote last night), and that she seems to be moving towards a customs union “solution” asked for by Labour. If true, I am not surprised by May’s behaviour one bit, and wrote about the potential for this in a comment on this website much earlier today, which has not been posted.

    By far the best summary of the situation was Nigel Farage’s excellent speech in the European Parliament today where, as usual, he went straight to the point. Well worth watching the 2 minute videoclip. He explains how May should never have signed the WA in the first place and that she was summoned by Brussels at 4.15 am to go over to sign said document, which she dutifully did. The comments section to the article in the D Express covering the Farage speech pays great trubute to Farage as the best PM we never had. He certainly is a superb orator, gets straight to the point, and would never accept any nonsense. He is far better acquainted with the ways of Brussels than May ever was. He would have been superb on the negotiating team, simply because he is utterly committed to Brexit, and because he has the knowledge that May and her MPs and team are sorely lacking.
    May BLUNDER: Farage warns NO COUNTRY would agree to EU deal unless ‘DEFEATED IN WAR’

    • Chris
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      PS to my comment above: excerpt from D Express article (link above)

      “NIGEL Farage has delivered a powerful speech in the European Parliament pointing out no country would have agreed to sign Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU unless they had just been “defeated in war”.
      Addressing President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Ukip leader claimed Theresa May had made a terrible mistake in agreeing to the Irish backstop. Mr Farage argued no other country, “unless defeated in war”, would have ever agreed to the EU’s Brexit ultimatum. He said: “I accept she made a terrible mistake by signing up to the backstop.

      “You summoned her at 4.15 in the morning, she left Downing Street, she went to meet the ultimatum that you set her…..
      There was now an “appreciation in Britain that unelected bureaucrats in Brussels have been talking down to and humiliating the Prime Minister of our nation, and we don’t like it”.
      He added: “Many will say we are simply dealing with fanatics who are not prepared to be reasonable and make any sense of compromise.”…….”

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Chris. You are so right when you say Farage should play a big part in the negotiations. He is always right in what he says and knows the EU inside out. I would like to see more of him in political programmes arguing the case for the UK but the media are frightened of him as they know he will tell the public in no uncertain terms what is going on. The truth is missing from the main media outlets.

  94. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Well deserved praise from D Express for Sir John’s contribution to the Bruges Group presentation:

  95. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Closer we get to WTO Brexit, the higher the £ floats. Stocks too. A few ‘burned bears’ trying to prove how damaging Brexit is 😂😂😂

  96. Andrew
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m not bothered about deleted posts only that i did my bit for the record, it aint much but then there must be thousands of career useless drawing millions, billions, in EU swindles who do a lot less. Ho-hum, it’ll have to do.

  97. ChrisS
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I might have some sympathy with the EU over May’s handling of everything had Brussels not been so intransigent from day one.

    They insisted on sorting out the money first ( because that was all they were really interested in ) and feigned interest in securing the rights of Poles and others living in the UK. May fell for it and everything went downhill from there, Hardly surprising because she gave away our strongest bargaining chips and obtained precisely nothing in return. Barnier simply couldn’t have believed his luck !

    Then May compounded things by sending a Civil Servant to conduct the real negotiations and agree a deeply flawed deal behind the back of her own Brexit secretary. David Davies is no fool and politically astute. He would never have agreed to the backstop arrangements that Robbins and May conceded. Remember, Robbins and May agreed the deal without consulting anyone !

    Once May gave in and accepted the appallingly one-sided terms of the Withdrawal agreement, we were always going to have to fight a rearguard action to change anything. That has been made immensely more difficult by Remainers undermining the negotiations at every turn. They were at it again last night, attempting to force No Deal off the table completely. How can May go back to Brussels without No Deal remaining a serious alternative if Brussels won’t budge ? I despair !

    So, we come to the events of today and Brussels and its most vociferous supporters are just saying Non ! to any re-negotiation at all. They are making the same spectacular miscalculation as Merkel when she sent a humiliated Cameron home with nothing. That is what led directly to the referendum result, the one she most definitely did not want.

    If Juncker and Co aren’t flexible and give a little by softening the backstop, they are going to find themselves with No Deal. By their own perverse logic, it will be Brussels that will be insisting that their little poodle, Varadkar, puts up a border across Ireland, something that no British Government would ever do.

  98. Chewy
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the EU will back down over the backstop. I know they bent the rules over Greece but that was to preserve their precious project. This is different there’s too much credibility invested after the backstop has been part of the agreement for a year. Parliament can’t backdown after rejecting the WA by 200+ votes and the chances of a second referendum are looking remoter; Chucka Umana’s tone and body language after the results were a treat.
    Prediction; Corbyn won’t sabotage Brexit but if a ND looks likely he’ll pull another confidence vote with the a big speech about any MP supporting the government is voting for ND. If that hurdle’s cleared he’ll look to exploit and turbulence to bring the government down.
    All to play for folks.

    • mancunius
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      The EU do however want to preserve their £39 bn. So expect some dramatic last-moment pseudo-concession intended to be greeted with a sigh of gratitude by the UK. It will need a firm ‘No, not on any account!’ from Parliament – and some of the naive posing I heard yesterday doesn’t fill me with great hope.

      As for Corbyn – he wants to leave the EU, he just doesn’t want to admit it and fight his entire party, or share any blame for the short-term fall-out.

  99. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    The number of Labour rebels – those voting against the amendment or abstaining – was greater for the Cooper amendment than for the Spelman/Dromney amendment. This was probably because the former was binding but the latter was not. There is reason to hope that, when it comes to the crunch, No Deal will be OK.

  100. Chris
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The Malthouse compromise is summarised on ConsHome website:
    There is a lot in there that voters for Brexit will not like and for good reason. What a far cry it is from actually leaving the EU. Is this really the best that a Conservative government could do? They came up with what is effectively a Remain deal i.e. the WA and then now expect us to accept a Brady amendment or a Kit compromise, neither of which fulfil the terms of Brexit.

    The only course is for us to leave on due date on the WTO basis, which will give us time then to flesh out the Davis Plan which was apparently well on the way to completion until he was undermined by May and Robbins. Farage has been speaking about the Article 24 route in some detail and there is another article on it today in the D Tel by Farage.

    In the Comments section to the above article, a comment by RogertheDodger about Corbyn is rather interesting. He puts forward some ideas on Corbyn’s strategy…!

  101. Alan Rogers
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Politically, I support your view that we now need a quick exit on WTO terms, and you have frequently made reference to some of the issues that seem easy to resolve. However, with so many Cassandras foretelling disaster, has somebody catalogued all the potential problems and solutions? The Government is obviously far behind in passing the necessary standing orders and making other provision to prepare us for this scenario, but is there still time to minimise the problems. A post on this topic would be greatly reassuring.

  102. Steve
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    @ Edward2

    “Two wrongs do not make a right.”

    Have to disagree with you there Edward. Doing it back is deeply satisfying, you should try it.

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    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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