Who is running Brexit policy and what is it?

If you listen to Sir Martin Donelly, former Permanent Secretary at the Department of International Trade and friend and supporter of Ollie Robbins, senior civil servant negotiator for the UK,  the UK has to accept that the Withdrawal Agreement is as good as it gets and sign it.

So we can guess there is a senior strand of advice and opinion within the current civil service which says the UK must seek to change Parliament’s mind and get on with signing up to the Withdrawal Agreement they have negotiated. Doubtless they will help the PM get some clarification or side document to the Agreement over the backstop to try to secure its passage on a second attempt.That would sign us up  to the 21 months or more of very expensive talks, submit us to  the Irish backstop which looks like a device to get us to stay in the customs union, and place us at a huge disadvantage in trying to negotiate a so called future partnership.

Much of the civil service  work as I understand it from press reports and Ministerial statements has been to map all the contours of our current relationship with the EU and try to replicate them whilst claiming we have in some technical sense left the EU. This of course has all been under the guidance of Ministers, and Ministers have to take responsibility for what the civil service does as soon as they sign the work off. There does not seem to have been any effort to design and table a Free Trade Agreement, and our best trade negotiator Crawford Falconer has been kept well away from all the EU talks.

This strand of opinion gains considerable support from the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Business. They have expressed their continued regrets at our departing the EU and have made clear their opposition to leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement. They have exuded hostility to WTO Brexit and do not look as if they are trying to smooth our passage in that eventuality. They keep in touch with a limited  number of leaders of large international businesses and seem enthusiastic every time one of those speaks out about alleged dangers of leaving. Indeed we can read reports that they encourage businesses to accentuate the negative. Many of the scare stories say we will have trouble importing, yet the government has not set out just why and how it will mess up our ports.

Within government we also have figures like David Liddington, Deputy Prime Minister and Gavin Barwell, Chief of Staff at Number 10 with strong Remain pedigrees who wish to reach out to Labour to find a compromise across Parliament to delay or water down Brexit.

The Prime Minister herself seeks to balance these Remain forces with the much larger number of pro Brexit MPs on the government and DUP benches. She herself always rules out staying in the Customs Union and single market, as stated in the Conservative Manifesto and by both sides in the referendum. She says she does not want No Deal but it has to be there in case there is no agreement which is better. She never wavers in saying we will leave on 29 March.

She has also rubbed out the clear red line in the Manifesto that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and forgotten the promise to negotiate the future partnership in tandem with the withdrawal agreement to maximise leverage and read across.

The problem is the warring factions around the Cabinet table and in Whitehall, where it appears there are more who wish to delay or thwart the will of the people than there are believers in just leaving in March. Parliament has rightly decided the Withdrawal Agreement is a bad deal – or indeed no deal at all, as it does not relate to the  future partnership. Most of the time the  PM works with the big majority in her party to get us out of the EU on time. When she does she wins the votes. When she tries to reach out to the small Remain group of Conservative MPs and listens too much to those forces in government that still cannot be reconciled to a proper Brexit on 29 March, she stumbles and loses votes. She should now set out a vision of how we will spend the money, use the new powers and settle a new trade policy if we just leave on 29 March.

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255 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    I’m sorry this does not wash; Mrs. May is simply not up to the job, she is no leader and has no vision of what we could achieve. The question is how did we get her as PM, and the answer is the expected member, one Mr. Johnson, so frequently appears like a bumbling overgrown Billy Bunter who takes nothing in life seriously, that the sheep voted for the old ‘safe pair of hands.’ This meant there was no person with cabinet experience that stood up equal to the task. The Parliamentary Conservative Party is at present an embarrassing disaster for our nation, ably reflected by Mrs May.

    • Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      I could not agree more with this analysis.
      Her enormous mistake was in ruling out the EEA solution right at the beginning. With that still in place, the Irish border would not be a problem, we would have as long as it takes to discuss directives, freedom of movement, Galileo and Erasmus. Policing would be on the table too.
      And we would be free of the CAP and CFP as well as being able to make trading agreements with the rest of the world.
      But, no.
      Not to be.
      Now it it the WA or the highway. Neither is optimal – as we shall see next month.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Mike,

        Does EEA sort out the Irish border problem? I’m not convinced.

        If it’s going to be WA or WTO, I believe that WA creates ongoing uncertainty which is the worst solution for businesses.

        Go WTO then work on a FTA, as far as Ireland goes, I know that it’s not PC to say – it seems like everyone is kowtowing to the minority Irish bullies again. Does the “Belfast Agreement” actually say no “hard border” not that I can see…

        How much cross border trade is there in real money terms that would actually disrupt the “integrity” of the Single Market – peanuts in real terms I would suggest.

        Leave the border open and monitor…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          This is for 2016, but it gives a good idea of the scale of the goods exports from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic:

          https://www.assemblyresearchmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/01-Infographic_corrected-170830_large-size.png

          Top export partner, the Republic, goods worth £2.8 billion.

          Presumably some goods will go by sea, air or rail rather than road, and so it could easily be that the goods carried across by road are worth about 0.1% of the UK’s £2 trillion GDP; that is the tiny tail which Theresa May is using to wag the whole UK dog.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            That should have been £2.4 billion.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        This staggers me. No Deal is a country mile better than either joining the EEA or Mrs May’s deal (or any deal based on Chequers). What’s more, we would be in the driving seat after making clear that the EC will not receive one penny of the £39 billion bung they are expecting unless we are treated kindly.

        • Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          In a nutshell, Lindsay.
          But they need to make it sound more complicated.

          • Jack Bennett
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            L Jones More like they are demonstrating the symptoms of Stockholme Syndrome

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/09/the-irish-border-2/#comment-994576

        “… that would be “no Irish border problem” apart from the Irish government flatly rejecting anything like the “light touch” customs border between Norway (EFTA/EEA) and Sweden (EU/EEA), in fact rejecting anything that even implied the existence of a border on the island of Ireland … “.

      • David Price
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        The EEA was never a solution if the goal is to leave the EU. Isn’t it plain to you yet from the EU and euphilic behaviour that we would never be permitted to leave any half way house like EEA or EFTA except to rejoin.

        • Andy
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Not true. Norway is perfectly allowed to carry on as an EEA member.

          The point is why would you want to?

          It has most of the burdens of EU membership with fewer of the perks.

          Like being in the theatre but being sat behind a pillar.

          Worst of all worlds.

          The more we have gone down the Brexit path the more obvious it has become that – for all the EU’s faults – membership is the least worse option.

          This is why Brexiteers now talk of ‘surviving’, of Dunkirk spirit, of growing your own veg, of taking a hit but we’ve had worse.

          Do you ever listen to yourselves and how bonkers you all sound?

          It’s like the Monty Python black knight sketch. ‘‘‘Tis only a flesh wound’ he screams as his arm is chopped off. That’s Brexit.

          • NickC
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Most of the world is not in the EU. There is no intrinsic or rational reason for the UK to be in the EU either. The EU isn’t essential to life on this planet, or life at all; it’s just an ideology. Do you ever listen to yourself and realise how bonkers you sound?

          • Monza 71
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            Membership might look to be the “least worst option” from where you sit, as an ardent Remainer, but that’s only because Brussels has been determined to make it look as if this was the case and you’ve fallen for it !

            Were May to have appointed negotiators who actually believed in what they were supposed to be doing, she would never have got us into this ridiculous position.

            We have been hung out to dry by the Civil Service and, in particular, the likes of Robbins and Donnelly.

            It will take true Brexit supporters like our Host and others to get us out with some shred of dignity while being properly independent of Brussels. But even at this late stage, May has left it to Robbins and his Remainer chums to try and negotiate the backstop away.

            They will fail because their hearts are simply not in it.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:36 am | Permalink

            The best growing world nations dont agree.
            Over 150 who dont agree with your vision of belonging to the EU in order to prosper.
            The EU is going backwards.

          • David Price
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            Norway? I made no mention of Norway.

            Are you blind as well as unhinged?

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:55 am | Permalink

        You forget that to join the EEA – apart from leaving the internal market being a manifesto commitment – UK would have to negotiate terms of membership with the EU. Have you any reason the EU would be any more helpful than now, that the issues would be in anyway different? And why would the small EFTA countries want a lumbering great UK as a cuckoo in their nest and joining only temporarily? That alone is enough for such a move to be blocked.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Not so much a safe pair of hands as one with no beliefs, no vision and no leadership skills.
      Not really safe because anyone but Corbyn would have made mincemeat of her. Certainly the rest of the world can’t understand how a democratic system has thrown up somebody so useless as their leader

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      No vision, no leadership qualities, a compass 180 degrees out on almost every issue, totally dishonest, a socialist who retains the appallingly inept Hammond. She is a Maybot playing a tedious stuck record. If Labour had a half sensible leader the Tories would have only about 1/3 of the support of Labour.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        My point is, its not Mrs. May’s fault she’s useless, its that the Parliamentary Conservative Party, knowing that she was useless, voted her in anyway! Nobody else stood up and said ‘I can do the job better’, and be supported.
        In short: Tory MP’s: NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          In a meeting abroad this week I compared her to a rotten fencepost which was being held up by two fence panels, one either side. If either or both panels were taken away she’d fall over but until then she’s there.

          • Chris
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            …until one day she finally brings both fence panels down with her, SJS.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        What continues to mystify me, given the overwhelming evidence, is why JR consistently supports her?

    • Lorna Ainsworth
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree but since the MPs voted for her in the Vote of Confidence her position is strengthened
      It is clear now to the public what Cabinet members must have known for sometime .Now thanks to the interviews with the European Scrutiny Committee we also know that May with the collusion of the Treasury and Hammond were bent on a deal with the UK remaining in the Customs Union and Single Market and that is clear in the WA agreed by her and Ollie Robbins
      Her refusal to consider an FTA as stated by Shankar Singham in the article written by Melanie Philips is further proof of her treachery
      I have asked Sir Bill Cash to call her before the ESC to explain her actions because only a few weeks ago she and David Liddington were continuing to claim that we would be able to sign a new International Trade deals and we would be leaving the Customs Union and single market under the terms of the WA
      This is as we all know an opinion dismissed by leading lawyers academics ,Ambassadors of US and Australia and GATT directors
      The public now view the entire Democratic system as not fit for purpose and MPs as all being untrustworthy . Before any more damage is done May must go or radically change her direction Is it really accidental that two stalwart Remainers were sent BY Mrs May to negotiate with Corbyn days before his announcement ?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        It’s staggering that she’s stupid enough to think this hoodwinking of the electorate and press will work.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:22 am | Permalink

          She has form.

          She has done it before.

          You only have to look at manifesto promises on immigration which she blatantly pulled the levers of power in opposite directions as both home secretary and PM.

          Or what she did with stop and search leading to knife crime epidemic.

          Etc

          Sadly she does get away with this…

        • Chris
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          She has the globalists/cabal/deep state behind her. There is a network of power bases of the globalists in all key countries, established to further their agenda and ultimately achieve their aim, One World Government. I believe she is merely a tool, but a very willing one, and that fact that she is so blatant in her dishonesty would indicate that she has very significant support behind her. She doesn’t think she can fail (but then Hillary Clinton thought that….).

    • Richard1
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I have just read Graham1946’s entry of yesterday pointing out, which I had also thought, that the Swedish-Norwegian border is up to 70% smart, and like other borders is moving towards being 100% smart. graham cites an interview with the former head of the Swedish customs service. The EU have rejected this solution for Ireland, presumably as it would remove the trick of keeping the UK in the customs union. Continuity Remain will need to do better – denial of the state and direction of border technology won’t be enough to keep the UK a vassal state. As others have also pointed out, there are numerous crossings between Switzerland and France, including in the valley a few miles from Geneva, which have no infrastructure or personnel. This whole Irish border issue is a red herring.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        FYI from the EU:

        Smart Border 2.0
        Avoiding a hard border on the island of
        Ireland for Customs control and the free
        movement of persons

        http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596828/IPOL_STU(2017)596828_EN.pdf

        • Stred
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          The link opened as a page that says that the link does not exist. We get the President giving comments instead. I think he’s the one that told us that the EU had defeated fascism rather than the Yanks, British, Canadians, Poles, Russians and others. He may not want the publication to be available when they are in mid lie.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink
          • Stred
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            They are still talking about a gate like the ones when entering a car park. It lifts automatically when it sees s truck number plate and has the information about the load. Cars are checked like they are between Spain, Italy and France but quickly waved through. For this, the Irish are willing to threaten violence and prevent us having independence, while having free travel and voting in the UK. The barriers are not necessary at the actual border and any loads or unauthorized travel can be picked up by cameras and intercepted.

      • Stred
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        I go to Lausanne that way, over the mountain pass in order to avoid paying £40 for a years motorway toll. The customs post has been empty for years. We couldn’t buy motorway toll and had to find s shop. May’s backstop and the reason for it are baloney.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree and would recommend listening to Messrs Davis, Baker and Raab to the European Scrutiny Committee. Whilst they don’t say May,s deceitfulness it’s very clear her actions have been so. The worst and most dishonest Prime Minister ever!!!

      • Monza 71
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Heath was worse – He lied and cheated to get us in in the first place.

  2. Javelin
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    The Sun reports today that the final vote on the Withdrawal Agreement will be on March 26th as May thinks the EU is playing chicken.

    If the PM gets her WA BRINO deal through she will not be forgiven by the majority of Conservative voters. If she gets a WTO Brexit she will not be forgiven for not negotiating a free trade agreement. The Conservatives cannot win with these options.

    My best guess is Labour will find some reason not to vote her deal through to balance maximum damage to the Conservatives and minimum damage to Labour. Labour can always claim they wanted neither option.

    May has very little strategic insight.

    • Javelin
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      A key point is what will happen if the WA agreement goes through.

      The UK is not in a good position to rejoin the EU and would have to meet many requirements such as adopting the Euro.

      Neither is the UK in a good position to negotiate a free trade agreement because the EU can always threaten a No deal.

      History will be honestly cruel to Theresa May.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        I don’t really care about T May. More of a problem for most of us is that history will be cruel to the UK.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I get tired of pointing out the obvious, that once we have agreed to the shackles of the “backstop” through the withdrawal agreement the Irish will never agree to release us through any future agreement which does not have the same legal effect, which does not keep us in those shackles:

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/09/the-irish-border-2/#comment-994468

        “And nor will the Irish agree to any time limit or sunset clause for the backstop, or to the UK having a unilateral escape clause; of course they won’t, if you want to have somebody permanently shackled you don’t agree to the shackles being fitted with a time lock so they will spring open after so long, nor do you agree to give your prisoner a key to his shackles. That is so obvious that it was very stupid to even suggest such things.”

        • NickC
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper, Exactly right. If Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement – even with a modified Eire/EU backstop – is voted through, the EU has absolutely no incentive to offer us anything better for the final deal. The dWA is a trap.

        • acorn
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          “I get tired of pointing out the obvious”. Do us all a favour and stop doing it!

          You may think you know more than 5,200 of our top four grades of Civil Servants; but, I would bet very large you don’t, and never will. You have insufficient of the little grey cells as Poirot would say.

          The Civil Service is the machine that keeps this country operating. Countries can go for months / years without an elected, so called government; like Belgium recently. Northern Ireland is currently being managed by the Civil Service.

          An electoral system where a candidate can be washing cars before the election; then, after the election, become Secretary of State for a multi-billion spending Ministry; will always totally be dependent on a highly educated and skilled permanent Civil Service.

          • libertarian
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            acorn

            As one who has done many management consulting and leadership assignments in multiple departments of the civil service I would bet that most people who run a market stall could do a better job than your average top civil servant

            They are a bunch of unimaginative jobsworths, allied to a common purpose mindset and totally devoid of any creativity.

            To a man and woman they have no fiscal management skills and lack any form of dynamism

            We would get on far better with a civil service a fraction of the size

            They rung rings around ministers because they are mostly also devoid of any experience

          • Martyn G
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

            You mean, I suppose, like those who are ‘highly educated and skilled Civil Servants’ who presumably persuaded the responsible Minister to appear as an abject fool that letting an expensive contact for additional shipping services to cover Brexit, to a company without ships, experience and all other aspects of doing so, was a wise move?
            Hardly supportive of your claim, I posit.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            So now lacking any other argument you descend to an appeal to authority with a dash of personal insult. And you with your own superior capabilities presume to know what those thousands of brilliant minds in the civil service are thinking … but has it not occurred to you that like me pro-EU civil servants may see that once they had got us into shackles the Irish government would never willingly release us, but unlike me they are not particularly disturbed by that prospect?

          • Timaction
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            The Civil Service is the machine etc etc…….You obviously haven’t met or worked with them!!!! Your beliefs are way off reality! Totally left of centre, pc useless!

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            Acorn

            I did chuckle at your comment.

            My personal experience over the past 30+ years dealing with the Civil Service mandarins, on multi-million contracts, is similar to dealing with individuals in one’s own local authority; inexperienced, out of touch, though generally nice people, but wholly inadequate to deal with the real world complexities where knowledge, acumen and real experience are key to success.

            Indeed, there are the odd one or two intelligent individuals, some are my friends, but alas, on the whole as a collective bunch, they are lacking in imagination, subject matter expertise or any concept of commercial reality. However, they are, without a doubt, one step ahead of the usual incompetent Ministers that I have worked with in the past.

            If only I had to deal with governmental individuals such as the John Redwood of this world; commercial life would be so much simpler!

        • Whichever
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Denis ..this is all BS, nobody can hold us in a treaty agreement that we don’t want to continue with..so just sign the WA get it done..proceed to the next stage Transition and then to a new deal..if after a few months or few years the Backstop hasn’t gone away the we declare UDI and just walk..simple as that

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            Are you seriously suggesting that we should sign up to a treaty with no intention of keeping to its terms?

          • NickC
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Whichever, That is bs too. If we have to declare UDI sometime in the future to be free, why not declare UDI now and be free sooner?

      • Andy
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        No. History will be cruel to Brexiteers. May will be remembered as the victim of extremists both on the right and left.

        Brexit as sold to voters in 2016 has always been undeliverable. It wa always a lie. Some of those who told the lies did so deliberately. Others were simply too stupid to understand. There is a mix of both in the Tory party and in the Cabinet.

        Mrs May could not deliver your Brexit unicorn because unicorns do not exist.

        • NickC
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Leave is perfectly deliverable. All that’s needed is for the UK to be as independent of the EU as New Zealand. The last I heard Canada, Japan, India, Mexico and the USA, and the other 160 nations on the planet, are also not unicorns. Try thinking instead of slogans.

          What is a unicorn is your notion that Remain is deliverable: it isn’t. That’s because the EU is moving toward ever closer union. Is your Remain the 2015 Remain, or the 2016 Remain, or the 2019 Remain? Or the sub-NATO military Remain where your children get called up to defend the likes of Juncker?

        • Original Richard
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Remainers have been entirely in charge of the Brexit process and negotiations with the EU so there is no way that Brexiters can be blamed for the final result.

          If our current pro-EU PM and Parliament effects a coup against the people of this country by reversing Brexit either directly or via a surrender deal WA deal, despite Leave winning 64:36 by constituency, then one day our nation will wake up to the realisation that our country has been stolen from us when we no longer have any way through the ballot box to influence the policies of those who govern us.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        The British people are being very badly served!

        The point that is being missed here, it is not about the self-serving Conservatives/Labour’s personalised puerile bickering, but the will of the democratic majority that voted to leave a shambolically declining neo-soviet style anti-democratic bureaucracy.

        It is not important what the Politicians think, it is simply their responsibility and duty to follow the Referendum mandate handed down to them.

        I shudder to think how this current crop of so-called politicians would cope in the real world, where they would be competing against real talent in the workplace?

        If a BOD makes a decision, it is the responsibility of each member of the team to execute the decision to the best of their ability, drawing on years of experience, business acumen and guile, to fulfil the objective.

        The current UK Government is an utter bumbling shambles and not fit for purpose!

    • jerry
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      @Javelin; You assume TM is delaying the vote to force BRINGO, on the other hand the BBC are reporting that Labour are trying to force an early parliamentary vote for fear that TM is simply winding down the clock to force her ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ Brexit, a March 26th vote (if true) would all but ensure a WTO exit if the WA is again rejected.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Jerry, that’s certainly what it looks like.

        But as it’s been said that Mrs May specifically asked for the Backstop (extended to cover the whole of the UK with no incentive for the EU to negotiate any FTA) and rejected Canada++ is she really that stupid? or has she/will she outmanoeuvre everyone – I for one don’t believe that she is that clever 🙁

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Dear Javelin–Yes and she is the least inspirational person in the entire Universe.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Leslie, agree but it is the fault of the Tory party not to have got rid of her when they had the chance. What a spineless lot. The new party with Farage looks good to me and if it split the vote then that’s tough. I cannot vote Tory with this mess on the horizon.

      • James
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Leslie, I think that’s something of an overstatement. Though I do believe that many people are having some difficulty in trying to decide whether our prime minister is a complete idiot, or whether she is in fact extremely clever. I guess the answer is likely to be determined either way within the next several weeks. Irrespective of whether she takes a wrong turn we will correct matters at the next election. I think the whole Brexit morass is causing a reawakening, and we are rediscovering our values and common sense.

        • NickC
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          James, Mrs May is neither a complete idiot, nor clever. She is a proven liar – her Chequers deal showed that. Chequers – probably written by an EU/Robbins team – was created in secret from DExEU, and given to the EU before the Cabinet. As PM she must have authorised both actions and lied to her own Ministers and MPs to fool them.

          • Stred
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:59 am | Permalink

            Donnelly is another PPE Oxford. Home of the Federal EU supporting society chaired by Robbins and most of our communist traitors in the last century.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          No. There’s no way anybody with an ounce of nous would announce a come up with a treacherous plan, expect Parliament to support it, delay the vote fearing losing it, lose massively then keep pushing it. If she were this Machiavellian, she’d also be insane. I call stupid.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Indeed it looks like she will bury both the country and the Tory party if she continues on her current Brexit in name only path.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Exactly right. But of course May cannot be trusted one iota, as we have seen many times over already. It seems she is being controlled by foolish & misguided civil servants rather than directing them. The same civil servants who, in an act of gross negligence under Cameron and May failed to prepare of a WTO Brexit (for the nearly three years that it has been rather likely to happen). The woman has no working compass, no backbone and is essentially a misguided socialist remainer and huge electoral liability (even against the ever more appalling Corbyn). She clearly wants to render the UK far less competitive by building on workers right, tying us to EU regulations perhaps for ever and attacking the gig economy and businesses at every turn. She allows Hammond, Carney, the chief medical officer and many others to talk down the Uk economy almost every day with project fear.

    She and Hammond have given us the highest (and absurdly complex) tax levels for 40 years yet our ‘public services’ leave a lady in Devon on the floor with a broken hip for 7 hours (a short distance from the ambulance service building) and fail thousands in similar ways every single day. The police too seem to have given up completely on most crimes that are reported.

    Why on earth is she leading the Tory Party when she has clearly never actually been a Tory?

    Now we have Farage and his new Brexit party too. The only solution that will not split the vote put the Tories in the wilderness (perhaps for ever) is for the sound wing to take over and get a real Brexit delivered. Make the party a party of far lower taxes, far less red tape, economic competence and freedom to choose for individuals. In short the direct opposite of the idiotic May/Hammond socialist agenda.

    • Stred
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The Conservative MPs who believe in Brexit should join Farage and call the new party The Conservative Brexit party or Independence party. Labour Brexiteers could do the same. Steal the name, the members and the votes.

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree. Better for the few true remaining Tories in the party to join ranks with Farage and form a true Conservative party worth voting for rather than stick with the party which although calling itself Conservative is anything but.

      • Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Independence Party has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

        And let’s not forget that Labour is as divided as the Conservatives…and definitely not just on Brexit. Corbyn’s pursuance of the Trotskyist tactics of purging opposition and antisemitism is splitting his party as well. Memebe could come from all sides of the House.

        Traditional politics is gone. It’s now not left and right, blue and red. It’s pro and anti EU.

        Incidentally, a new book about Corbyn has just been published. It’s a fascinating read…

      • NickC
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Dioclese said: “Independence Party has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?” It does indeed, and there is already a UK Independence Party.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Yup

          And its called the UK Independence Party because the electoral commission refused permission to register the name Independence Party

    • agricola
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Observation suggests that both tory and labour are irreperable, so the return of Nigel Farage is no bad thing. In the light of the evidence of how the present establishment and parliament have handled matters his return would be a breath of fresh air.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Arigcola. I can’t wait for the return of Farage and if he gets a party behind him that go for lower taxes and incentives for business then he gets my vote. We are due a change from the staid parties we have had to choose from. I think dire sums it up.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        The Brexit Party is canvassing interest 20,000 plus already.
        thebrexitparty.org

        • M Davis
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          thebrexitparty.org

          Very interested!

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          got my name on it as well

    • Chris
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, re your last paragraph, I think you and many others here could compile a brief Tory manifesto for the next election which would result in a landslide for the Conservatives. It would take us about 2 mins to draft it.

      It goes without saying that firstly radical changes would be needed in the leadership before anyone could actually believe anything in a Tory manifesto again.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Chris, agree. Bring on L/L.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        It would help Chris is they actually stuck to the terms of their manifesto. They seem to say one thing to get the vote and once elected, do what they like

        • Chris
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          thebrexit party.org could produce a striking manifesto, in addition to Brexit, and it would be largely what the true Cons Party should have produced. With regard to doing what they say, JH, I think no one would have any worries about Farage et al as they always speak their mind and practise what they preach. In short you could trust them far more than May et al.

          • Stred
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            Just use the last Conservative manifesto minus stealing the homes of people with dementia, the probate tax, taxes on profit not made, retrospective taxes, banning driver milking cameras, but child benefit for middle earners, capital gains tax indexation, and grants to students paid at the same interest rate that government borrows. And have a blue heading and logo looking conservative.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        It has to be a new party. Nobody will trust these folks, Lab lib dim ever again.

    • jerry
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      @LL; But it was your type of ideas that almost buried the country back in 2017, people did not vote in droves for the most left wing Labour manifesto since 1945 because what they really wanted was policies even further to the right than what May proposed in that omni-shambles of a Tory manifesto.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    John I can’t see Mrs May delivering what she promised. I think a transition period will come into play and it will mean us paying out for more talks and getting nowhere. We are all sick of it! When is someone going to act like a grown up and stop playing games? When are we going to hear the truth? Enough is enough. We look pathetic. We don’t appreciate that and this country deserves better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Far far better than a disingenuous, essentially socialist, an appalling negotiator, a pusher of Brexit in name only and robotic, daft geography graduate and electoral liability to. We could also do with a Chancellor who stopped pissing money down the drain all over the place and actually cut taxes and cut tax complexity. Instead of which he gives us the highest taxes for 40 years (while pretending to be a tax cutter) and keeps running the country down with project fear as does Carney. Plus he is still spending (or rather wasting) more than he raises and so adding to the national debt.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        She’d probably suit more being a governess of a small private girl’s school, well away from real people’s lives. If only.

        Cameron meanwhile apparently found his new vocation still, having blown his only real skill of being hot air and fine words.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Hasn’t found

  5. Stephen Priest
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I seem to remember voting in a Meaningful People’s Vote in June 2016.

    A year after MPs celebrated women getting the vote they want to overturn democracy and hand the keys of power to the “male, pale, and stale” European Union Commission and the European Courts of Justice.

    • jerry
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      @Stephen Priest: I also remember that meaningful People’s Vote of June 2016, but unlike you I also remember the question actually asked…

      What do you not understands about the fact that Norway is not a member of the European Union?

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Let’s leave first Jerry and if the EU wants to negotiate a free trade agreement later, it only has to ask.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        I don’t understand your point.

        The question was Remain or Leave. Leave means Leave.

        Norway voted not to join the Common Market in 1972.
        Norway voted not to join the EU in 1994.

        Norway’s EU loving politicians and media still trapped them into large numbers of EU rules.

        When given the the chance the voters never choose the EU route.

        Sweden and Denmark voted against the Euro.
        Holland and France voted against the EU constitution/Lisbon Treaty
        Ireland voted against the Nice and Lisbon Treaty.
        Switzerland voted against joining.

        • jerry
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          @Stephen Priest; “I don’t understand your point”

          Then you did not understand what you were voting on in 2016! 🙁

          ‘Leave’ meant leaving the “European Union”, the question asked nothing about the Customs Union or anything else.

          Norway is not in the EU, but it is in the Customs Union, and some groups and manifestos were seeking just that route for the UK, and still are, they want to leave the political Union but remain in the Customs Union via the EEA/EFTA.

          Just to spice the ‘Leave’ options up even more, Monaco and Andorra are, like Norway, not in the “European Union”,but both are in the CU, although unlike Norway both also use the Euro…

          Please stop trying to make out that everyone who voted Leave agrees with what you think Leave means, they don’t.

          • libertarian
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            You clearly STILL dont understand

            The EU rules prohibit any kind of negotiated agreement until AFTER we have left. Its not difficult. First we leave, THEN we negotiate

          • Stephen Priest
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            Norway is NOT in the Customs Union.

            The Customs Union, ECJ and Single Market are all part of the EU. During the campaign it was made extremely clear by all side the leaving the EU meant leaving all of these.

            Next you’ll be saying voting leave didn’t mean we wouldn’t be joining the Euro.

            The high unemployment in France, Italy and Spain showeveryone how good it is for prosperity.

          • Andy
            Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            Norway is not in the EU Customs Union.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            “Norway is not in the EU, but it is in the Customs Union”

            No, Norway is not in any customs union, neither with the EU nor even with the other EFTA member states:

            https://www.efta.int/About-EFTA/Frequently-asked-questions-EFTA-EEA-EFTA-membership-and-Brexit-328676

            It is because Norway is not in a customs union with the EU that the Irish government can categorically reject even the kind of “light touch” customs border it has with Sweden.

          • jerry
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            So members of the EEA do not have to comply with all or most of the rules of the EU’s CU?….

            Stop splitting hairs!

          • jerry
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; I never said otherwise! My point was about what we were asked in the referendum, not the structure of the post referendum negotiations.

      • NickC
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, We were not asked if we wanted to remain under partial EU control like Norway. We were asked either to Remain under the terms of Cameron’s renegotiation, or to Leave. And there was no pre-condition of a deal being necessary before we left. Since we are “in” (we are not a member, we are part of the EU) because we signed the EU treaties, to Leave we must abrogate (leave) the EU treaties.

        • jerry
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          @NickC, Exactly, we were not asked so stop trying to insist we answered a question that has never legally been asked!

          You are also very wrong when you say the referendum was solely about Cameron’s renegotiation deal, it wasn’t, as you would know had you actually bothered to read more than just the Govts. explanatory booklet and the Vote Leave (or was it UKIP’s?) manifesto, in some of the other 26 manifestos our future relationship within a/the Customs Union were also discussed -as they were on this site too (and still are), many people could well have voted “Leave” believing that the UK would stay within a/the Customs Union.

          There are many levels to our membership [1], the referendum asked about our membership of the European Union, nothing more, a country does not need to be a member of the EU to be a member of the CU.

          [1] and it is still just a membership, “Europe” is not yet a country, how ever much both the EC & EP try and make out otherwise

          • NickC
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, It is a fact that the options were to Remain in the EU subject to Cameron’s renegotiation, or to Leave the EU. Only. Leave cannot entail remaining in the EU, remaining subject to the EU treaties, or remaining partly in the EU, otherwise we won’t have left, by definition.

            That may not be what you want, or wanted, but that is what the government provided. You cannot now re-define the meanings that were clear and explained (before the vote) to suit your current notion of a partial Remain.

            It was widely acknowledged by both sides before the vote that Leave meant leaving the EU treaties, leaving the jurisdiction of the ECJ, leaving the single market, leaving the CFP, leaving the CAP, and regaining control of our trade policy (hence leaving the customs union). Without those it’s not Leave.

          • Stred
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Centre page of leaflet.
            Some argue that we could strike a good deal quickly….but the government’s judgement is that it would be much harder than that….
            No other country has managed to secure significant access to the Single Market without having to , follow EU rules over which they have no say, pay into the EU, accept citizens living and working in their country.

            So vote Remain, or else.We didn’t believe them and voted out. Canada, Japan and Korea show the lie. Junker and Tusk are panicking about a no deal WTO and when Trump hot awkwar, Junker was on the next plane to Washington.

          • Stred
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Centre page of leaflet.
            Some argue that we could strike a good deal quickly….but the government’s judgement is that it would be much harder than that….
            No other country has managed to secure significant access to the Single Market without having to , follow EU rules over which they have no say, pay into the EU, accept citizens living and working in their country.

            So vote Remain, or else.We didn’t believe them and voted out. Canada, Japan and Korea show the lie. Junker and Tusk are panicking about a no deal WTO and when Trump hot awkwar, Junker was on the next plane to Washington..

          • Stred
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            got awkward.. sorry. Smart alteration.

          • jerry
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “Leave cannot entail remaining in the EU, remaining subject to the EU treaties, or remaining partly in the EU otherwise we won’t have left, by definition.”

            Wrong, otherwise best you tell the people of Norway that they are -by your definition- actually members of the EU, despite voting not to join!

            Norway is subject to the EU’s treaties on the “Four Freedoms”, via the EEA agreement (which, from my reading of Article 24 of GATT, is a Customs Union, just not the EUCU).

            As for your second and third paragraphs, talk about the ignorant filthy pot trying to call the kettle dusty, it is you who is attempting to re-define the question asked, whilst not understanding the EEA (nor probably the EFTA either).

            @Stred; Very true but the part you cite is talking about a post Brexit FTA, not Brexit is self, the operative words being “quickly”, for example CETA negotiations began in 2009 and concluded in 2014, ratification took another 2 years, and is still not currently in full operation. I am not worried by a WTO exit but many are, and when some Leave manifestos talked about joining the EEA/EFTA you can not just assume that those who voted Leave want a WTO exit.

  6. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I understand your obvious panic. Mrs May is cutting a deal with Mr Corbyn which will get through Parliament with Labour support, it will involve a permanent customs union plus commitment to remain in lockstep with the EU on workers rights, climate policy, social policy, etc. If you had compromised instead of just yelling NO at every step of the way, you might have avoided this outcome. But the ERG’s failure to support Mrs May in her tough task is now resulting in Brexit In Name Only.

    • agricola
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Were she to do this it would destroy the conservative party in the eyes of the electorate. It gives Nigel Farage time to create an alternative for both those disafected tory voters and all those labour voters who voted leave. I feel so disillusioned with the majority of our spineless representatives.that I would welcome such a move and change my voting habits of a lifetime.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      There is nothing in Mrs May’s CV to suggest she is anything more than a light weight who should never have been given a cabinet level job. Her mediocrity is reflected in her retention of ‘talent’ like the equally useless Mr Grayling. A new set of boundaries and the return of Mr Farage means you have more to worry about being a Tory in Cumbria than the machinations of the ERG.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        I’ve always quite liked Chris Grayling, even defended him in the past but as Transport Minister he’s lost the plot, I don’t know if the ferry contract was his big idea and recommendation or whether he was just played as a fall guy but stitched up he is, lost all credibility a big must for Conservatives, Labour candidates can get away with rubbish ideas and mind blocks, stumbles etc. But right wing supporters have bigger expectations of their representatives and their competence.

    • Stred
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      May’s WA ties us to all of your list. Corbyns adds freedom of movement. May’s probably will too. Both cost a shedload for EU expansion.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Compromise? – Brexit In Name Only ?

      Mrs May is the one who gave us Remain with Extra Chains on?

    • J Bush
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Good morning Tony

      Why should there be a compromise against what the electorate voted for?

      I agree the ERG could have been more strident, but that said, would May have listened to anyone, unless it was to agree to her complete capitulation to the EU?

      The politicians voted to uphold the result and voted to put the date we leave on the statute. By a huge margin on both counts (I think it was 6 to 1). At no point leading up to and during (and even directly after) the referendum did any politician say, if you vote to leave there must be a deal. Even the rabid europhiles Clarke and Heseltine didn’t suggest this. They just want everyone else in the country to stay in the EU, because it suits their own selfish desires.

      All that has been happening over the last 2 years or so, is that politicians who didn’t like the result have been trying to manipulate it into something which bears no resemblance to the vote to leave the EU.

      My opinion of these people is that they only believe in democracy when the vote goes the way they want. They are not honourable and unworthy to sit in Parliament. My own MP Trudy Harrison (as far as I am concerned lied to the Copeland electorate) and voted for Mays’ paper of servitude. Her justifications to me for voting this way completely ignores the fact the Copeland constituency voted to leave, the country voted to leave. So her excuses don’t convince. Copeland became a conservative constituency for the first time, whether after this bit of treachery, it remains conservative is questionable.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        The new West Cumbria seat should a prime target for Farage. Ms Harrison loses a lot under the new boundary. Cockermouth is added to Rory Stewart’s already safe seat, so she inherits the Labour voting rump of the old Workington constituency. With an uninspiring CV and her voting record she has not got much going for her.

        • J Bush
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          I hope he does.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      This would indeed be a disaster. But the blame would lie with the totally dishonest and grossly incompetent T May, Gove for his knifing Boris, and the appalling remainer MPs in the Tory party who still want to overturn the referendum defy the electorate. Also the idiots who threw away a majority at the last election with their idiot punishment manifesto and a dreadful campaign. Not with the sound wing of the Tory Party and the ERG.

      Hopefully May will still be prevented from doing her suicide mission.

      • Chris
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        The Tory Brexiter MPs seeking compromise and a bit of tweaking of the WA are also very much to blame. They thought they were being clever, but the electorate, I firmly believe, have seen through their naïve/novice attempt to play political games and have shaken their heads in disbelief at u-turns by Brexiters apparently to save May and the Cons Party.

        The future of the UK is at stake, and as it stands May is supported in her mission to render us a vassal state of the EU. No amount of spin can hide that. The Tory Brexiter MPs voted for May’s WA plus a few tweaks, and they deserve what I suspect is coming to them – wipe out in local elections, and a mega upheaval in any upcoming General Election. thebrexitparty.org has provided a home for those voters who have been abused by the contempt and dishonesty of so many MPs. The future of the Cons Party is very uncertain indeed if May goes ahead with a tweaked WA supported by Labour.

    • Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Commrad Vorbyn cannot command his parliamentary party, so he cannot deliver a ‘bloc ‘ vote. This is Parliament not the TUC conference. May’s Surrender Deal will NOT pass.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      The circa 8% of British businesses that trade within the single market get a free ride from the UK taxpayer who pays their EU contributions. The likes of Hammond and other Remainer cabinet members are effectively working with these businesses to perpetuate their privileges – at the taxpayer’s expense. They should not be allowed to succeed.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Mrs. May’s WA deal is even worse than remaining in the EU as it leaves us with no exit clause. At least the Lisbon Treaty contained Article 50.

      I am surprised that either UK law (a Parliament cannot bind a future Parliament) or even international treaty law would allow such a clause to exist when it involves something as fundamental as who governs us in perpetuity.

  7. Andy
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Civil servants are keeping meticulous notes about Brexit.

    They are insisting that decisions are made in writing.

    They are keeping a paper trail.

    And there is a very simple reason for this.

    They know what comes next: the public inquiry.

    It may take 20 or 30 years – but it will come.

    Blame will be assigned. People will be punished.

    When it does it will not be Olly Robbins who takes the blame.

    But I don’t fancy the chances of much of today’s Tory party.

    It is simply a question of how many of you end up in prison.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Your threats are getting more extreme by the week young andy.
      Exercise your right to vote in a secret ballot but vote differently to me then I want you punished by the forces of the State.
      Sounds like 1950s Russia.

      • eeyore
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        “I will have such revenges on you both
        That all the world shall—I will do such things—
        What they are yet I know not, but they shall be
        The terrors of the earth.” (King Lear).

    • DaveM
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Bit early to be hitting the booze Andy.

    • Stred
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Robbins will not keep notes of his meetings with his opposite numbers in Brussels, in case he is found to be working against the democratic vote. If politicians who believe in leaving ever are elected there will be an enquiry and trials but it will be your stooges who end up in prison.

    • Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      What a master of hysterical hyperbole you are, Andy.
      It’s hard to know if you really believe the twaddle you indulge in, or if you simply enjoy stirring the pot.

      • Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Or perhaps that should be ”mistress”.

    • Sakara Gold
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      A very interesting and incisive analysis of the current state of play from Sir John, a very accurate description from Andy of exactly what our civil servants do best – cover their backsides.

      One can probably hear the sound of the departmental shredders working overtime half a mile away from Whitehall, as incriminating documentation and briefings are destroyed

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      Abandon your fantasies and begin looking for a job.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Andy, I expect you are correct if we remain controlled by the EU

  8. oldtimer
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Is Mrs May actually capable of original or independent thought? Or is she swayed/directed by those in her immediate circle – die hard Remainers? IIRC that inner circle were all appointed by her. Nothing is going to change until she is removed from office. That will require defeat after defeat in the HoC and/or the contemporary equivalent of a visit by “the men in grey suits”. The longer she is permitted to remain in office the greater the damage she will do to this country’s international standing, to its own well being, to the reputation of the HoC and to the political party she now fails to represent.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      As you say:- The longer she is permitted to remain in office the greater the damage she will do to this country’s international standing, to its own well being, to the reputation of the HoC and to the political party she now fails to represent.

      Yet 200 idiotic Tory MPs still had confidence in her!

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        LL, 200 idiotic Tory MPs had confidence in her wish to remain in the EU.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        And over 100 of them are on the government payroll.

  9. eeyore
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “She never wavers in saying we will leave on 29 March.” According to reports today she is indeed wavering, and plans to ask MPs for more time.

    It is imperative that the country knows the full cost of an extension. Estimates run from £50bn and £100bn. I hope that MPs will not rest until they get it out of her and that when voting they bear in mind the cost to taxpayers.

    An extension must be agreed by the 27 nations individually. It is not unreasonable to think each will have its price: fishing for France maybe, Gibraltar for Spain, cash for others. These arrangements must be open and itemised too so we know just what we are giving up in return for the WA.

    • MPC
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      I hope you are wrong but agree with you about what’s likely to happen. I don’t watch any TV news bulletins/political discussions right through any more as there are no longer any pro Leave/clean Brexit guests on Sky or BBC from what I’ve seen recently.

      I recall during the Referendum saying to a leave campaign colleague when we were the underdogs that if we lose then life within the EU, with its ‘5 Presidents’ agenda, is going to become considerably worse and there may well be pressure for a further referendum in future. The comment back was ironically prophetic – ‘but there’ll be nothing left to restore by then’. I never thought that after winning the referendum we’d be faced with just that prospect under the Withdrawal Agreement.

      It does look like a postponement will be announced in March and that means never really leaving the EU. This has been our one and only chance to leave and be free again. If our hopes are dashed it’ll be like serving a prison sentence under a wrongful conviction. We’ll just have to get on with it.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        No. Democracy is democracy. We won’t just get on with being dictated to. Don’t give them that Impression please. On ,30 March EU laws aren’t automatically UK laws any longer. UK people will decide on our own laws.

      • NickC
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        MPC, Well said.

  10. Peter
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    More delay on the cards according to newspapers. Vote on WA to be delayed until the end of March.

    May is completely useless. I think the EU are more keen on Britain leaving than May herself.

    • Adam
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      May leaving Britain may be an improvement.

      A 7-year walk amid the snowflakes in the Himalayas might suit her, following which we could welcome her back to a then independent nation, free from the hazards of her muddling interference.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Adam, let’s crowd fund to send her and perhaps fund an extension, say a lifetime?

        • NickC
          Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Sounds a good idea to me. A crowdfund to send Mrs May on an extended hiking holiday will be very popular.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Peter

      ” I think the EU are more keen on Britain leaving than May herself.”

      I’m sure you are right. From speaking to many of my European friends they have been sick and tired of our constant whinging for special treatments and opt outs.

      Now the country’s bluff has been called they are wriggling!

      Priceless.

      • Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        It’d make a nice change to hear you expressing some loyalty towards your country, Margaret. Your crowing every time you think there may be a reason to imagine the United Kingdom suffering in some way is becoming tiresome.

        Shameful and contemptible.

      • NickC
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Actually the UK has historically been rather poor at gaining advantages within the EU that other countries manage. No doubt because UK negotiators have predominantly been so keen on the EU, like you.

        It is pretty ironic that the europhiles who have decided UK policy on the EU for 47 years are largely to blame for the lousy deals we have had, from the EU stealing our fish to the odious EAW. And thus your unthinking idolatry has largely been to blame for us leaving.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, it’s only remainers that are wriggling. Us leavers, you know, those of us with guts don’t worry. We have faith in our nation.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        Any of your “european friends” got anything to say about the widespread Yellow Vest protests in France Belgium, Sweden, Holland and now Germany?

        Any of your “european friends” got anything to say about the collapsed Greek economy, the collapsing Italian and French economies and Germany going into recession

        Any of your friends kids hopeful of getting a job?

        I couldn’t care less what your “european friends ” think , they should focus on the massive problems they face in their own countries

    • Chris
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      May’s crime is far more serious than “uselessness”. Covert operations with a civil servant/adviser to betray the Brexit vote and to undermine David Davis and others are extremely serious. Just because she has succeeded in carrying off her deceit and dishonesty so far does not mean that there will not be a comeuppance. I believe it will come sooner than she realises and possibly in an unexpected way.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Historically she would now be well into impeachment territory.

  11. Mark B
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The Referendum set the location but we never gave much thought to the path(s) that we would have to take. I have made it no secret that I prefered the EEA route on the understanding that that was only part of the Transition process, and that too would be discarded in time. I accept that this is not what many here and elsewhere wanted and that it too had flaws. I have since moved on. And that is the point ! At what point is it that both Parliament, the government, the PM, the Civil Service and those that still want to be in the EU are prepared to accept that we cannot Remain in the EU and must therefore Leave ?

    Remain failed to make the case for the EU in the Referendum. They used fear, and old tactic, which resulted in their defeat. That have to accept that. They cannot excuse themselves of blame by saying the electorate did not know what they are voting for when it was they, Parliament, that set the question and answers in the first place.

    Time is running out. Soon we will need to stop all this and concertrate on the way forward. Remain have to be made to accept that the UK is Leaving and that for the good of the country they must now unite behind us. To do otherwise is to expose our country to harm and it is they and their Remain fellows who will be to blame.

    • NickC
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      MarkB said: “… we never gave much thought to the path(s) that we would have to take”. “We”? Speak for yourself please. There was plenty of thinking about the paths to leave the EU. They were amply debated from at least two decades ago.

      Essentially they boiled down to: 1) the Art50 route, or 2) the ECA repeal route. And the Art50 route divided into those like you who wanted an EEA/EFTA transition first, or those who simply wanted to leave via Art50 without a transition.

      I was firmly of the ECA repeal camp. In my view Art50 was a trap; and so it has turned out to be. My problem with the EEA sub-route was that it is in the gift of the EU, where we would remain under EU control, never being able to finally escape.

  12. Ian wragg
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    When there is no legal requirement for a Withdrawal Agreement does anyone think that this is the best deal. No half intelligent moron would sign up to such nonesense.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      We are obliged to negotiate one but not signing one does not prevent us from Leaving.

    • NickC
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement should be re-named the EU Re-joining Agreement.

  13. Tabulazero
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Wrong.

    It is actually Martin Selmayr because the Brexit the UK will get is the one the EU let it have.

    All those girations in the Cabinet, while amusing, do not matter in the end. Have you not learnt anything in the past two years ?

    • Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you and Margaret H should get together sometime, Tab, and have a good old snigger about your mutual enjoyment in wishing ill upon our country.
      I say ”our” country deliberately, because it sure as hell isn’t yours, judging by your sneering comments.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      You’re correct. The remainder of the world awaits. We can’t wait.

    • NickC
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, Yes the EU is intransigent, bullying, short-sighted, doctrinaire, dirigiste, and corrupt (as witnessed by Mr Selmayr). So we should have given the EU 12 months diplomatic notice, repealed the ECA on 25 June 2017, and told the EU to get in line behind our friends for a trade deal. But our government has no foresight, no courage, no honour, no patriotism, and is in hoc to the globalist corporates.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        NickC.

        This sort of solution would have led to a disaster for businesses in the UK

  14. Nig l
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    When your Government’s tawdry dealings are discussed in company two words are prominent. Sell out.

  15. agricola
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The civil service are, in relation to Brexit, undoubtedly traiterous. They need to be cut down to size in terms of the power they have usurped. They have achieved their position through the ignorance and ineptitude of our elected representatives.

    The prime minister is a trojan horse, largely surrounded by trojan donkeys. All determined to thwart the will of the people by lying through their teeth until cornered. Chequers was but one cornering moment that went badly for the PM. A number of parliamentary votes should have rammed it home for her. However we are still left speculating on exactly what it is she has asked for ref this artificial backstop.
    It all emphasises the appaling state of democracy in the UK thanks largely to the establishment fifth column determined to run the country in a way that suits it’s interests and not those of the electorate. It is the same position the honest citizens of Chicago found themselves in while Al Capone roamed their streets.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      The Civil Service has enjoyed something that none of their forbares, pre-EEC, have enjoyed. Power without accountability. When Senior Civil Servants can, through various back channels, get the EU to enact laws that both bind the UK and others without parliament and ministers getting in the way, let alone the people, you are not going to go quietly into the night on this.

      • NickC
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        MarkB, That is very true. The EU’s bureaucrats hold the political power. And our civil servants have copied them. It is corruption. It is a fundamental problem even if we leave.

        • Stred
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

          Acorn has pointed out that there are over 500 of these subversives. Their bloated salaries and pensions would be a big saving if they could be weeded out.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I have written before that I do not trust Mrs May. Her words and actions are often complete strangers. She excels in her duplicity. Whatever has happened in cabinet and civil service has been at her direction. The Brexit party has now been formed. Your party is doomed I’m afraid.

    • Penny
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Rightly so. In the space of six months I’ve gone from Never Vote Anything But Tory to Never Vote Tory Again.

  17. Dominic
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    May is in charge of the Remain plan. That much is obvious to anyone who cares to see. I suspect Sir John is making an appeal direct to May by treating her with a degree of respect and showing an appreciation of the trying position she finds herself in though I suspect flattery won’t work with her

    May’s a political animal of the liberal left and very much of the pro-EU mindset. She’s unprincipled to the very core and therefore doing the right thing simply doesn’t register. Moral considerations represent an inconvenience.

    Her obsessions with race, gender and sexuality legislation reveal a politician so immersed in liberal left culture that she’s become an offence to all right thinking Tory voters. She may as well belong to the cultural Marxists on the other side of the despatch box

    She passes laws to criminalise the innocent. She deposes editors of Eurosceptic newspapers. She abandons policies that work in response to rights activist. She imposes her liberal left bigotry and forces advertising companies to adopt it. All around I see my country being turned into a liberal left utopia in which a particular type of person exhibiting certain physical characteristics are targeted and slandered.

    She uses legislation to change the fundamental nature of our world. To force change according to her liberal left world view.

    Her embrace of EU domination is so entrenched that she is prepared to challenge the divine result of a referenda delivered by 17.5m British voters

    It’s all quite simple. It isn’t difficult to understand. May must be deposed.

    If May remains as the UK PM the UK remains in the EU

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Crime through the roof after her disastrous tenure as Home Secretary.

      Why is zero tolerance applied to speeding ? The justice system tells us that criminals need caution after caution after caution – softly softly rehabilitation. A yob can nick a car, crash it, run away and still end up with a smaller fine than a dad doing six over the limit in a momentary lapse of concentration on a crisis trip to his kid at Uni.

      So is zero tolerance a deterrent or not ? And if (as in the case of driving) it is then why is it not being applied to the present disintegration in law and order ?

  18. George Brooks
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Two years ago when Theresa May spoke I thought ”good she is heading in the right direction to achieve Brexit”. Now when she makes a statement I look 180 degrees in the opposite direction to see what dreadful U-turn she is plotting so Brexit fails.

    She is completely out of her depth and under the spell of the Civil Service remainers. Then we hear this morning that she is going to ask parliament to ”kick the can” further down the road. What ever happens the WA and it’s Back Stop has to be voted down otherwise the UK will disappear forever.

  19. Alan Joyce
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    You make an excellent case for conservative voters to turn to the newly-established Brexit party.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Oh please FFS don’t hassle our kind host and demand that he jump ship and join them. Loyalty, even if it be misplaced, is in rather short supply right now.

      • NickC
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        MarkB, That’s rather intemperate. Alan Joyce wrote “conservative voters” and not “our kind host” as you said. Actually the Brexit Party will appeal mainly to Tory voters, so Alan is correct in his main point anyway. And frankly the bigwigs in the Tory party only have themselves to blame. No wonder the Conservatives are called the “meringue party” – solid looking on the outside but hollow within.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Search me!

  21. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Your mantra remains the same: will of the people, spend the money, suspicion of the public device. Would it occur to you that your priorities are not shared by enough people? You implicitly argue in favour of a no-deal exit. Very few people doubt that the WA can be imroved upon (from a UK perspective), at least there where the bargaining power lies. Accept the reality that it is no deal (and no subsequent FTA for a very long time due to serious reliability problems the UK has) or not the brexit you personbally prefer.

    • Penny
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      The only way the WA can be improved upon involves petrol and a box of matches.

      It is an absolute disaster for this country.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Come to us with something sensible then. This was a non-starter so you have yourselves as authos to blame. Just because you managed to get an idiot to accept it doesn’t mean the British public will. We’d rather just leave.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      No deal is better than a bad deal.

    • NickC
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Rien Huizer, Given the state of sovereign debt and dodgy banks in the EU (well, the EZ), it is the EU that will prove “unreliable”. Meantime the UK has obeyed EU laws to the letter, even though they are detrimental to us and merely the product of a rootless dirigiste ideology. You’re in a glass house.

  22. Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    It would be good to read ”will” instead of ”should”.
    Many are telling us what what Mrs May SHOULD do – these words have been ringing rather hollow for some time now.

  23. Mick Anderson
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    To answer the questions posed in the title: Brexit policy is being run by the EU, and the plan is to tie the UK into the EU even more tightly and in perpetuity.

    I’m not entirely sure whether this is with the agreement of Mrs May, or because of her chronic unsuitability for the post she is in. However, the end result is what matters, and I don’t believe we will be allowed to leave the EU on 29th of March or at any time in the future.

    I voted to leave, and would do so again. – this in the full knowledge that my vote was never meant to matter.

    • Steve
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Mick Anderson

      Any compromise to leaving on 29th and ‘no deal’ will have radicalised patriots declaring war on Parliament.

      She gives so much as an inch – we’ll be going for the throat.

  24. Jingleballix
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I simply cannot understand the mentality of the Conservative Party leadership, and their lack of willingness to face the reality of empirical data.

    The nation is hugely anti-EU, in 2014 well over 4m voted UKIP in EU and local council elections – more than for any other party. A year later, nearly 4m voted UKIP in a general election.

    17.4m voted to leave the EU, and 13.7m of them voted for a party that promised to make it happen.

    Such has been the duplicity of the Tory leadership – and 550 MPs – that the people are absolutely livid. If May does not deliver a clean break then the Tory Party will be sent into oblivion.

    Leave voters will vote in droves for the Brexit Party……..they could conceivably form a government.

    Yet here the Tories are, sucking up to Corbyn’s hard left Labour Party, whose EU policy is being made up by Keir Starmer in consultation with out enemies.

    Stupid, stupid Tories – the end is nigh.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      As someone said elsewhere, our government is in hock to the globalist corporates.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The Government has been a failure. The people’s vote, voted to leave. The EU won’t negotiate on trade until after leaving, this has been known all along despite May’s red line. The Government should have made preparations to leave and then left. It has not. It is an abject failure. The opposition similarly has failed to hold the Govt to account to follow through with the democratic vote. The HoC has failed, democracy has failed. The power of the technocrat (whether civil service or EU) has won and grown.

    May will not allow UK to leave without a BRINO WA at the end of March. It is far, far better not to leave now, push her to revoke Article 50 and lose this battle. There is then a chance to win the war with a Brexit party standing in the European elections (and thereafter in the UK). Lose the battle to have a chance of winning the war (… this feels like Marvel, lose the Infinity War to win the Endgame).

    • Steve
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar

      “May will not allow UK to leave without a BRINO WA at the end of March.”

      No, she will do as we demand, or else.

    • Penny
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      You’re one very smart caterpillar. If we leave under the WA, we’re trapped for ever. I’d rather stay now, and live to fight another day with a government dedicated to a meaningful Brexit.

  26. ColinD.
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    The fact you are now naming the names of those who are trying to stop Brexit, must show how desperate our plight now is. If you add the information from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s article in last Wednesday’s ‘Telegraph’ that any ‘assurances’ from the EU on the backstop would never stop us being trapped in the legal requirements of a signed treaty, then it looks like we are doomed to be subservient to the EU for ever. God help us!
    ColinD.

  27. agricola
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Sophy Ridge this morning on Sky interviewing the chairwoman of the CBI was pathetic. Not once did she question the flow of propaganda. It was appalling. Members of the CBI already trade on WTO terms as well as trading with the EU. Their unstated fear of Brexit is losing control of their market in the EU. A control they exercise with similar big businesses in the EU. How dumb is Ridge not to nail her on this point, never mind questioning the CBI on flaunting democracy.

    • Helena
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      No one in the whole wide world trades “on WTO terms”. Every country does deals on top, because trading “on WTO terms” is a complete disaster (tariffs, safety checks, health inspections, customs controls, paperwork, etc etc). Anyone who tells you no deal is fine cos we can trade “on WTO terms” is in fact telling you we should move to a worse trading status than any country anywhere in the world (except North Korea)

      • agricola
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes and the moon is made of blue cheese.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        The European Commission says otherwise.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41859691

        “Who is trading with the UK on WTO rules?”

        “24 WTO rules countries”

        “Source: European Commission”

        The country which is our top export market, the USA, being one of them.

        OK, so:

        “Even with those 24, the EU has a variety of arrangements which make trade easier. For example, there is an agreement between the EU and the US about the language which can be used by wine exporters on their bottles.”

        but those arrangements to facilitate trade are just minor agreements among a huge number of such minor agreements on a extensive range of topics made between the nations of the world and distinct from full-blown special or preferential trade treaties. I don’t think it will be hard to arrange for the US and UK to continue with the same agreement on the language that wine exporters can use on their bottles, even if only on a provisional basis.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Helena

        Come back to me and let me know what it is you actually trade in and with whom

        Currently you speak (nonsense? ed)

    • Stred
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      The deputy chairman was on Sky last week telling us that WTO was s disastrous. He seemed too slick for s business man. Looking him up, he was an advisor for Tesco on how to have a good image when they were having problems and is now greeny of the year for Business Green and thinks that the Climate Change Act was the best thing ever for business.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      I was hoping that Sophy Riidge would ask Carolyn Fairbairn just who the CBI represent.

      The CBI do not publish a list of members or from where they receive their funding, although we do know they do receive some funding from the EU.

      So they may even be representing businesses or persons who have no manufacturing or warehousing or even offices in the UK.

  28. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is not a victim, she is the prime mover in the betrayal. She has a mind which is honed to treachery and deceit and anyone who places any reliance on her words being honest and truthful is a fool to himself. There has to be a limit to loyalty or risk losing ones own credibility and support, after all history shows us that not all leaders are good people.and decent people must at some oint abandon them in total or be taken down with them.

  29. Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Sir John it looks as though the Withdrawal Agreement will be unchanged – surely it’s not possible to ask Parliament to vote on the same thing twice?

  30. rick hamilton
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Those of us who voted Leave to get away from control of our country by unelected bureaucrats cannot understand why our own bureaucrats have been allowed to do the negotiations. After 40 years following the Brussels way of thinking they have literally no idea how to do things independently or with less complication.

    They are simply on the EU side and so apparently is T. May. One can only conclude that the purpose of Brexit is all too complicated for many ministers to understand, and with precious little commercial experience among them they seem terrified to grasp any new opportunity.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      . . . they have literally no idea how to do things independently . . .

      It’s called, clinging onto nurse. They know that they will have to finally take responsibility and it is that, and the fact they are not up to the job, that frightens them.

  31. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If the Commons seizes control and passes a motion telling May to request an A50 extension then May should just veto it at the EU level (assuming France doesn’t veto it anyway).

  32. Welldone
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Yes John, it always comes back to how we will spend the money. But what money are we talking about? the 39 billion I presume? But where is this money going to come from..is it already in some escrow aside account there waiting for us, perhaps earning interest at this very time? Or is this more pie in the sky money that we will have to borrow from the worlds banks to throw at the people in order to prove an ideological pie in the sky political point..I am beginning to think that Tusk is correct- when the dust settles on all of this some of you WTO politicos are going to have to answer to some very serious questions.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      And where does the money come from for our current annual EU fee of £15bn/year loss of control, £10bn/year net ?

      A fee to ensure we continue to have a £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU and uncontrolled, unlimitable immigration from an ever expanding EU.

  33. onlyjoken
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    What speaks volumes is who she chose (according to the press) to accompany her to dinner with Varadkar, namely Barwell and Robbins.

  34. formula57
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Will the Donelly person have his knighthood stripped from him once the UnBrexit Activities Committee is in session?

  35. Chris
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Any version of the WA (it cannot be altered, as the EU has made clear) is unacceptable, and any deals that MPs make, based on accepting a version of the WA, will be viewed with huge anger by so many in the electorate. You have only to read the letters in the S Tel. to see the depth of feeling about this. People are not stupid, Sir John, and they know when Tory MPs are trying to deceive them and fudge Brexit. The fact that these are so called Brexiter MPs involved in compromise and not delivering Brexit is of grave concern.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2019/02/10/lettersremoving-backstop-wont-make-mays-deal-acceptable/
    Letters: Removing the backstop won’t make May’s deal any more acceptable

  36. Ed Mahony
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I support Brexit BUT with a plan. There’s never been a proper plan. And even if there were – no clear, strong leader to implement it.

    Britain is like one big headless chicken. And it all began when David Cameron acted like a headless chicken calling the Referendum – without a plan either.

    Planning is just key to life, whether introducing a big new business brand, directing an army on the Normandy beaches, or organising a moon landing.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Again,

      END: Brexit – regain British Sovereignty. Noble Goal.
      MEANS: No proper plan. No proper leader.

      The end does not justify the means. Not just in an ethical sense. But in a practical one as well.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      The WA is such a bad deal that it should never be signed whatever happens.

      It binds us in perpetuity to be controlled by the EU without representation. Only a traitor would sign such a deal.

      We are under no obligation to sign a deal.

      Since you mention WW2 I would say that our not having a detailed plan did not stop us from doing the right thing and declaring war in 1939.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        ‘Since you mention WW2 I would say that our not having a detailed plan did not stop us from doing the right thing and declaring war in 1939.’

        – That analogy is dangerously incorrect.

        The EU is NOT Nazi Germany. The EU is undesirable but it is NOT Nazi Germany.

        Also, Nazi Germany walked into Poland. We had no choice but to declare war on Poland.

        90% of the Britain strongly support Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. Far less support Hard Brexit.

        Also, we’ve been in EU for 40 years. Even if it gets worse, it hasn’t suddenly got worse like Germany walking into Poland.

        We’ve had 40 years to plan to get out of Europe. And we could still get out of Europe if we have a proper plan in place. We could even work towards breaking up the EU which would be the best solution (as long as in an ORDERLY way – if in a non-orderly way it could be lead to chaos for Europe and for us). But even if we don’t break up the EU, we could still get out of Europe with a proper plan in the place.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Therefore my analogy of planning to land an army on the Normandy beaches is far more analogous than yours of declaring war on Nazi Germany.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          ‘Far less support Hard Brexit’

          – About 75% would if we have a proper plan (even many Remainers are strong supporters of HARD BREXIT in principle as long as there were a proper plan / leader in place to implement it with appropriate savings in the kitty and a strong economy).

          And about 95% would if we had a more positive vision for being outside the EU (saying that the EU is evil is not a positive vision for the UK outside the EU).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted February 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            I’m still happy for Brexiters to get on with it.

            Except that time is fast running out. And I don’t see any detailed plan yet about how we deal with what happens if we leave the EU with no agreement.

            It makes no sense to me what so ever not to have such a plan – such a plan would simply make any Brexit scenario more likely to succeed. And it’s too passive to say it’s up to the civil service to come up with such a plan. Brexit is an extraordinary event and requires an extraordinary plan to make it work.

            And if there is such a plan, let’s please see it. Let’s discuss it in detail. Let’s promote in order to promote as much confidence in the British people and in British industry as possible so that IF we leave with no agreement, we’re in the best position possible for Brexit to succeed.

            It just doesn’t make sense to me at all not to.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Also, when Britain went to war in 1939, the country was under no illusion what that meant. They’d been through the horrors of WW1.

        As it is, less British people died during WW2 than WW1 (about 2:1).

        Where as with the Referendum, people were being promised all kinds of sweet things, outside the EU, with little or no mention of the bitter things.

        (I know Remain exaggerated / lied as well – I’m not defending Europe – I support a Sovereign UK but as long as we plan properly for that).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        ‘The WA is such a bad deal that it should never be signed whatever happens’

        – Fine. But leaving the EU without a deal is also bad.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Also, if the Conservative Party had had its way, it might have voted in Lord Halifax as leader and PM. If so, stronger chance we might have lost the war.

        As it stands, Churchill was selected instead (albeit after the beginning of the war).

        But I don’t see any Churchill waiting in the wings. People say Boris is a new Churchill but Boris has nothing to show for himself thus far compared to Churchill who had shown extraordinary traits in South Africa. Yes, he had a bad / terrible WW1 record. But he demonstrated real grit during the 1930’s in his solitary position of standing up to Nazi Germany.

        Churchill had form. Boris does not (except as a talented journalist).

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Cameron told us what voting to leave the EU would mean. In his broadcasts on TV, he detailed what would need to happen. 17.4 million voters said that’s fine by us. Unfortunately, he did not hang around to carry out those statements. The more that you examine events, he appears to have been forced out by powerful individuals, rather than bailing out by choice, then a stage-managed Coronation of Mrs May.

  37. graham1946
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t give a toss what over-paid and arrogant parliamentarians think. They could not agree in 40 years about the EU and handed it over to the people to decide. They kept us out of the arguments for as long as possible and Cameron only agreed to the referendum to try to settle the Tories over the issue, but unfortunately those pesky voters didn’t do as he instructed and voted out.
    The people decided and small majorities (although 20 Wembley Stadiums full of people is not a small number) have never had any impact in reversing votes in this country. The fact is that if we took the result by constituency, the vote was 63 percent leave and 37 per remain. The parliamentarians should remember this and do what they were told and implement Brexit. If any of them want to go back in they can start a new campaign afterwards and those ‘honorable’ members who cannot abide by the public’s wishes should resign.

  38. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    John, I cannot believe you are truly comfortable in the Tory party any more. After all the years you have served as a true Tory and in previous years worked with other true Tories your days must be disappointing now to say the least. My guess is that Farage’s new partyi will take over as the true Tory party. Good luck to him.

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    There simply proves that there is a well dug in pro-EU deep State – in the judiciary, in the BBC, in the Civil Service, in CCHQ and in the House of Lords – that we will sooner or later need to destroy if a hard Brexit is to be made to stick. Thank goodness for Nigel Farage, who is making plans for The Brexit Party, which will in due course play its part in destroying the pro-EU deep State.

  40. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    There is no money to spend this is part of our obligations for the EU 5 to 7 years economic plans (£ 31 Billion) and our membership.

    So this is illusion that we can just walk away and not pay anything and I am afraid to say “fake news”, so please just stick to facts as they should be presented

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Nope. Can’t pay, won’t pay. Sue.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 11, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Less our share of all the assets we have invested in over 40 years and less our share of money we have in the EU bank.

  41. Mr Ison
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I’d be interested in seeing what form the new build architecture could take in Sir John’s constituency, it’s clear that we all dread the imposition of high density housing and planning authorities implausibly denying colluding with developers with the lure of civic amenities that are like promisory notes from a bank with no collateral.

    The gambrel, cupola, indeed, the flying butress all have a place if integral to the design whilst not some sort of erratic sprinkled over the design.

  42. Martin
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    1) When are the WTO elections?

    2) Are you looking forward to the WTO court telling the UK what to do?

    3) What does President Trump think of the WTO?

    4) How is the UK-Japan trade agreement coming on?

    5) How is construction of the Heathrow third runway doing?

    6) Is Chris Grayling joining the Green Party? -At least his non-existent boats were carbon free!

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      1. They are just after the ECJ elections….

      2. All 164 signatories are obliged to accept the judgements. The UK would be no different. Currently it has only 4 ‘judges’ out of 7, due to US objections on the impartiality of proposed candidates, so is not exactly functional at present.

      3. You’d be better asking him yourself. However as he is anxious to barter a deal with the UK, ASAP, he probably thinks it can be greatly improved on.

      4. A UK-Japan trade deal cannot be commenced until we exit the EU, but I am sure you already know that and are being deliberately obtuse. I am sure that Japan will be happy to accept similar terms to the ones in the agreement with the EU.

      5. I do not recall the construction of a 3rd runway being agreed upon. Maybe you are confusing it with HS2?

      6. As with #3, you should ask the man himself but I personally think there are enough closet Marxists in the UK political system already…..

      • Martin
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        1) We the people don’t vote for WTO, we used to elect MEPs.

        2) So it is a foreign court telling the UK what to do. Your same logic applies to the ECJ. A judgement about say Germany affects all countries.

        4) Japan trade talks have stalled – see https://www.ft.com/content/5ce60af2-2b90-11e9-a5ab-ff8ef2b976c7 I guess large countries like Japan see us as little Britain.

        5) The Heathrow runway delays are caused by the Conservatives. This has been going on since 2010! If we are really talking about Global Britain this project should be a priority,

        6) You cannot bring yourself to criticise the worst minister in the present government, what a loyal Comrade you are.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 11, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          Martin

          Oh dear oh dear

          the WTO isn’t trying to be a federal empire, it just negotiates global trading frameworks.

          MEP’s have no power whatsoever .

          Remainer ignorance is so worrying

    • Caterpillar
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      The WTO does not have an executive that makes laws.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      The WTO only deals with trade.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    We have a Tory Prime Minister and so it is natural that to a very large extent big business lobby groups like the CBI are determining the government’s Brexit policy.

    That’s the CBI which was falsely represented by Sophy Ridge this morning as “the voice of business”, when its position on Brexit is dominated by its concern for the interests, and in fact even for just the convenience, of the most vocal of the 6% of UK businesses which are involved with exporting 12% of UK GDP to the rest of the EU.

    With its coyly smiling, calm and reasonable, Director General, Caroline Fairbairn, saying that we are now in the emergency zone and we must urgently get a deal with the EU, and wanting us to be in a customs union to ensure frictionless trade – which it alone would not do, as the Labour leadership had come to realise when it started to add on the bit about “a strong Single Market relationship”:

    https://www.politico.eu/article/jeremy-corbyn-calls-for-new-strong-single-market-relationship/

    and not caring whether or not the UK will have an independent trade policy.

    But also now being concerned that without a deal with the EU we might have problems with our trade outside the EU, and in particular with South Korea, which she described as “one of our main trading partners” even though in 2017 our total exports to South Korea amounted to just £8.2 billion:

    https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7593

    and even though that would be only 0.4% of UK GDP of £2040 billion in 2017:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/281744/gdp-of-the-united-kingdom-uk-since-2000/

    and even though South Korea is a member of the WTO and so in the absence of any new special trade treaty a large chunk of our exports to South Korea could continue under the existing WTO treaties.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper

      This is not only about Japan and South Korea this is about 40 different trade deals covering 71 nations outside the EU, which are covered by the Eu and therefore also the UK for the moment. So, it is not quite as simple as you present it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        But the CBI person in question specifically raised South Korea, as “one of our main trading partners”, so you could take it up with her. I have not presented anything as simple except numbers in the case she chose to mention.

  44. Iain Gill
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Let’s have Boris as PM, and drain the swamp.

  45. Jacqui
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    If we are not out of the EU on 29 March it will definitely be the people v parliament. There will be massive civil disobedience, if parliament ignores the people what’s to stop the people ignoring parliament. I voted leave and that meant the CU and SM. Anything less than the return of our sovereignty, borders and money is a betrayal. As for a second referendum the remainders seem to think the question should be Mrs May’s deal or no deal. As both of these options are remain that would be grossly unfair. Now a cross party want a referendum on the deal if the deal is passed in parliament with option to remain. We voted in 2016 to leave therefore any referendum should only be deal or no deal. If not you are telling 17.4 million people your vote is worthless. It is not Democratic to have another referendum there is no evidence to prove we have changed our minds. In fact there are more young people turning against remaining after the EU bullying and would vote leave in another referendum. You cannot preach democracy to other nations and ignore it yourselves! Any Brexit party at the next election is going to clean up and remain supporting politicians are on notice of being ousted out of there well paid job. The choice was given to the people not parliament, we voted leave and expect that to happen.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      a new Farage party could wipe the old parties out in many areas

      Labour areas just as much as Cons, the Sunderland MP’s are a laughing stock it wouldnt take much to wipe them out as an example

  46. Adam
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Brexit Policy is not running, much.
    It is often frozen solid in Parliament.

  47. uk
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you once again JR for your insight into the conflicting currents of the corridors of power and influence as they like the Channel ebb and flow.
    It seems some stick to the perceived safety of the status quo like the Civil Service and also many MPs who see their future workload increasing after a proper Brexit.
    Many MPs will have to consider their future on how they voted on Brexit as I’m sure their track records will be challenged by all voters.
    As you have said consistently leaving the EU is a major positive by far. So sad so many have no vision for this and cling to the outdated scare stories.
    Where there is risk there is opportunity and if things aren’t changing one is being left behind in an increasingly changing world. This has been increasing business philosophy coinciding with the Digital Age but I always used to find an ‘Old Europe’ mentality prevailed among those feeling no need to step outside their perceived comfort zone.
    The analogy of the frog that found itself in warm water getting hotter until it has to decide when to jump out. ‘Change or be changed’ is a fact of modern life as IBM and others found out the hard way.

  48. Walter
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ll tell you what huge disadvantage is..huge disadvantage is crashing out on the 29th without a deal and waking up the next morning 30th wondering what happened and what are we going to do now. Huge disadvantage is when we have taken some more time like a few months and considered everything including the benefits of WTO trading versus the crash in the economy that we should approach the EU for a ew crumbs FTA..”please sir” that will be the ‘huge disadvantage’.

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Sorry ‘Walter’, but “Crashing Out” is so last year. Have you not been given some more believable adjectives to use? Your trolling would be far more self-satisfying if your handlers were more imaginative.

    • Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Oh – ”crashing out”. Now, where have we heard that before? Ah yes! Project Fear, wasn’t it?
      Well, it certainly worked with you!

  49. Tony Sharp
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The point is that the May governeemtn and Civil Service intend to make a hash of Brexit under all and any circumstances – they will even after WTO Brexit try to retain as much of the EU alignment as forms of ‘transition and tidying.

    There are rumours about a split in the Labour Party – but it is only of the MPs disgruntled with Corbyn – a dozen at most, yet the majority are careerists who ignore their own constituents and core supporters – the ordinary national membership love him no matter how awful.

    Yet the Conservative MPS who are against May not only form a considerable number, who are not simply careerists, the majority of Conservative MPs are careerists who ignore their own constituents and core supporters – yet the ordinary membership despise May but the MPs love her no matter how awful.

    Why do not the principled Tory MPs split off and take the national membership and supporters with them – to remain under this leadership is a one way trip to political oblivion.

  50. margaret
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    One can imagine bribes , tacit blackmail and all other means of mafia- like manoeuvres in the dark, but this only imagination isn’t it?

  51. Chris
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    The Cons Party should bear in mind this tweet from Matthew Goodwin regarding the chances for thebrexitparty.org (Interestingly some search engines apparently do not want people to find http://www.thebrexitparty.org).

    Matthew Goodwin @GoodwinMJ

    Would a new Brexit Party work? 3 recent data points

    1. 73% Leavers would consider “new party on right committed to leaving EU” (YouGov)

    2. 70% Leavers feel “main parties don’t offer appealing choice” (ComRes)

    3. 72% Leavers feel Conservatives handling Brexit “badly” (YouGov)

    • Stred
      Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Disillusioned Conservative members would appreciate the chance to choose a candidate for their constituency and avoid Europhile stooges chosen by central office.

  52. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    This morning when discussing the Irish land border Andrew Marr read out the following passage to government minister James Brokenshire:

    “… no technology solution to address these issues has been designed yet, or implemented anywhere in the world, let alone in such a unique and highly sensitive context as the Northern Ireland border.”

    He then revealed that he was not quoting somebody within the EU apparatus, or some Remoaner in this country, a domestic opponent of Brexit, but our “Brexit means Brexit” Prime Minister, speaking in Belfast on July 28th 2018:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-belfast-speech-20-july-2018

    Some commentators interpreted that as a swipe at Boris Johnson, and personally I would have been happy to take at least a metaphorical swipe at him or anybody else who kept on foolishly urging that the largely fabricated Irish border problem could easily be solved by “technology” after this very clear statement by the Irish Republic’s Europe Minister Helen McEntee on November 24th 2017, starting at 3 minutes in:

    “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

    The correct solution would depend on law, not technology; just as routine checks at the border were rendered unnecessary in 1993 by the UK and the Irish Republic both passing laws to ratify the Single European Act and to implement EU Single Market legislation, so the UK could pass and enforce new laws to make it unnecessary for the EU and the Irish to reinstate routine checks on their side of the border after we have left the EU.

    I am quite sure that Theresa May knows this, and has known it for a long time, and before she gave that speech; and she also knows that the new UK laws would only need to apply to goods destined for carriage across the land border into the Irish Republic, not to all goods in circulation within Northern Ireland or within the UK as she proposes; but she will not pursue that sensible line, because it would not placate the CBI.

  53. Shieldsman
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    There is no end of blame being cast by remainers at leavers, with claims they lacked plans for leaving the EU.
    If the official Brexit leave campaign had said we favour the Booker/North leave plan (remaining attached to the EU) would the Government have adopted it? NO, because they were mindful that the referendum result was to LEAVE.
    Once the vote was over the two campaign groups ceased to exist. They had no part in implementing the vote.
    The Government actually had two choices as they still have today.
    As signatories of the Lisbon Treaty they chose to invoke Article 50 and then present the Withdrawal Agreement, backstop, warts and all to Parliament. The Withdrawal Agreement has been resoundingly rejected which leaves us where we are today.
    If the Government had been more forward looking they would have realised that Article 50 could end up as a dead end which it has.
    The wording of Article 50 – “In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union”. In writing the Withdrawal Agreement the EU Commission has in bridge terms dealt themselves a grand slam, they take all the tricks.
    All the plans that have been kicked around in the Media can now be discussed, accepted or rejected by the Commission at their will, once the WA is signed.
    Many in Parliament want to go into negotiations without the NO deal option. The equivalence of a blind mute signing away his life.
    To get out of this blind alley we really only have one choice – to walk away and trade on WTO.

  54. Original Richard
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Mrs.May is merely leading us into a position whereby she and her pro-EU colleagues in Parliament, with the assistance of the Civil Service and all elements of the deep state (swamp), will at the last minute effect a coup against the people to blatantly cancel the referendum result either directly or via such a bad deal that we remain tied permanently to the EU and without any say over our laws.

  55. Original Richard
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    If Mrs May and the EU say there is no solution, technological or otherwise, to the Irish border issue how can they also say that the backstop will only be “temporary” ?

    Are we about to be told that we must give in to the threat of terrorist violence on the island of Ireland and sign Mrs. May’s vassal state surrender deal ?

    If a Parliament cannot bind future Parliaments how can we be having one which intends to sign a treaty for which there is no exit ?

    When Parliament votes that we must not leave without a deal it means that either we must never leave or that we must accept any deal offered by the EU no matter how bad it is for us.

    Mrs May has engineered it so that it appears we are totally unprepared to leave without a deal. But being unprepared did not stop us from doing the right thing and declaring war in 1939. The WA is such a bad deal that it should never be signed whatever happens next.

  56. LondonBob
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    My brother’s best friend is a civil servant working in the Treasury, all of this is spot on. These lunatics talk about stockpiling food!

  57. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I was trying to remember an incident involving a missed deadline during Theresa May’s tenure as Home Secretary; finally I resorted to google, and when I searched for:

    [ “theresa may” appeal deadline]

    the first reference was from a few hours ago, about the March 29th Brexit deadline, but then there was a clutch of references dating back to April 2012, such as:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9224056/Theresa-May-refuses-six-times-to-answer-question-on-Abu-Qatada-deadline.html

    “Theresa May refuses six times to answer question on Abu Qatada deadline”

    “Theresa May refused six times to answer the question of whether or not her officials had written confirmation of the deadline for Abu Qatada’s court appeal.”

    If I was one of those people who desperately want a deal with the EU then I might be a bit concerned about this kind of report:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/8393121/theresa-may-brexit-deal-72-hours/

    “DOWN TO THE WIRE Theresa May plans to clinch Brexit deal just 72 hours before March 29 with a ‘tight landing zone’ for vote to avoid No Deal”

    Meanwhile, Tony Blair has crawled out of the woodwork to assert without any explanation or evidence that if the UK left the EU without a deal that would definitely result in a hard Irish border, “a very hard border”, “a really hard border”. As we will not be doing anything to harden the border, at least according to Theresa May’s current storyline, that could only be because the paranoid EU had ordered the immediate construction of a kind of Maginot line of defences to keep out those US-style chlorinated chickens which the UK will still not be permitting in its territory for some years, if ever.

    • margaret
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t it tell you that the procrastination is probably designed.

  58. Den
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Why are such pathetic, cowardly people even involved in such a decisions for the future freedom of OUR country?
    Thank Winston that such 5th Columnists were never listened to in the run up to WW2 years.

  59. mika
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood’s obsession with wasting other people’s money is not merely ‘socialism’. In his case it’s turned into a psychological affliction.

    Most socialists at least have some idea what they want to spend our money on before thinking up schemes to spend it.

    John Redwood however routinely invites people, including the government, to think up schemes to borrow and spend money for the sake of spending it.

    Incidentally the £350 Million a week saved from not being in the EU, has already been committed several times over. And at least £5 Billion a year is going to required to replace the money that the EU spends here out of the £350 Million a week we’ve been sending to them.

    The government announced several months ago that it’s going to increase spending by an extra £394 Million a week on the NHS alone.

    Some of us said at the time that it was waste of money, not least because socialists like John Redwood would be back demanding more, regardless of whether they had any idea what to do with it.

    Reply More silly lies about my views.

  60. Original Richard
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Remainers are now threatening the UK with the return of Irish terrorism and by large non-British owned corporates closing their UK factories.

    Who deserves to go to Hell ?

  61. Captain Peacock
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Who is running the Brexit policy well we know for sure its not May. My guess its Merkel and Soros May just goes to Brussels to get the latest delay tactics. I noticed yesterday the Daily Mail were running several anti Corbyn stories but sorry to say its not going to work if May and her party betray Brexit it makes no difference who is in No10 because they wont be running the country.
    Can we ever forgive the Tories for having such a useless leader.

  62. Mr Ison
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    At the end of the Day, whatever MP’s may see or seem or wish or want we already decided to Leave the EU and this is the need.

    Do they feel their security should be decided by the French or will the 5 eyes do?

  63. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    How much longer do we have to wait before MPs challenge Mrs May to come clean about her intentions? Steve Baker in his evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee on 30 Jan was clear that the Government’s aim (ie, Mrs May’s and her Remainer colleagues’ aim) is to limit the departure of UK from the EU to the minimum they could get away with. However, the assumption is still that she is acting for UK. It is time to challenge her.
    She really wants UK to re-join the EU under its new treaties, intended to replace Lisbon in 2025. That is her aim.  She is sticking so doggedly to her WA because there is no other way to capture the narrow window of opportunity for UK to slip effortlessly into the new treaties as a ‘pre-qualified’ applicant. The timing is perfect. Thanks to the extendable transition period UK’s future relationship will be negotiated in the context of the new treaties. UK will still be compliant with EU laws and therefore on an equal footing with the existing members. Through  her deal she will already have committed UK Armed forces to EU political control so will not have missed out on developments during the transition phase. Best of all, UK will be a participant in the negotiations on the new treaties, at least indirectly if not fully involved. 
    If Mrs May’s WA is rejected, UK will miss this golden opportunity – that is, it is golden if you are a technocratic supra-nationalist like Mrs May.

  64. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Ramping up support for the ‘deal’ is bad enough – but leaving the final vote to take place on March 26th suggests other things are afoot.
    I do like the idea that if May fails to win this allegedly final vote, then we would by default simply leave the EU.
    MP’s though, it seems, are still being briefed on the negative aspects of a WTO exit – EG losing £90B of trade for our services industry… So the thoughts are still on maybe’s and could’s – They have failed to consider at all what our future would be like if we get sucked into this awful stasis agreement.

  65. Mr Ison
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    In answering Sir John’s question it is easier to describe what the Brexit process is not.

    It is nothing to do with the electorate, it has nothing to do with the referendum or democracy it’s none of our business, as to who’s running the EU’s greater political integration show it’s Cui Bono.

    The EU is a cabal, they desire resources and living room, their means are laws in exchange for corruption.

    The Commons and Lords are only ever full when MP’s are voting for their own remuneration.

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

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