The Remain Parliament tries again to stop Brexit

This week the same MPs who look down on Leave supporters and want to dilute or defeat the decision of UK voters to exit the EU were repeating the same tired lies of Project Fear. This was the case put to voters which lost the referendum. They seem to think that all we “stupid” Leave MPs will get it in the end and change our mind about Brexit. Apparently if you shout the same false forecasts and ignorance about how trade works for long enough the country will decide to stay in the customs union and single market, and maybe in the whole EU.

These MPs perpetuate the myth that WTO trade without a customs union cannot work. They seem to think tariffs will have to be paid at the ports with lorry drivers carrying wallets of fivers as if computers and electronic manifests had not been invented. They do not recognise that complex Just in time supply chains already accommodate non EU components and supplies coming in under WTO rules with EU tariffs.They do not seem to acknowledge the substantial friction of EU UK trade, with VAT, customs,currency change, anti terrorism and anti smuggling checks at or away from borders, and with the need to complete a complex Intrastat declaration.

The government proposed a contradiction on Thursday. The Minister said leaving without a deal remains a possibility, as the law says. Yet the government motion said they were taking no deal off the table! That is why many MPs abstained, as we saw no point in voting for such a contradictory and inaccurate motion. Many abstaining MPs agreed with the part of the motion that supported trying to get a better deal from the EU and made clear their support for that.

The Prime Minister needs to press the EU for a better deal and return with that to the Commons in due course if she wishes to reverse the big defeat the Withdrawal Agreement suffered. I agree with her long held line in the election and afterwards that No deal is better than a bad deal. The Withdrawal Agreement is a bad deal. It would need a lot of improvement to persuade me to like it, as I have set out before. It’s not just a case of tweaking the backstop.

Leaving without signing it takes back control of our laws, our money, our borders and our fish. It is what we voted for. We have had 2 years eight months to prepare for leaving, and the government has said we will be ready. The government has said they are not going to block our ports or create new delays at the border, so our imports will flow as before.

I want to see them table a Free Trade Agreement so we do not have to impose tariffs and any other new barriers to trade, and to expedite a managed WTO exit in March. The sooner they do this the better. They should also publish a schedule of tariffs for March 30 so the EU can see what not agreeing to talks on a Free Trade deal looks like. I would have thought they would prefer tariff free to continue.

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173 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Sir John,

    Your outrage is shared, and the cause of it is resident at No. 10.

    I was flabbergasted at the government motion at this late stage; AGAIN the May government tried to sneak in a critically flawed, dishonest motion, hoping nobody would notice. Who does she think she’s fooling. Almost as bad, we have junior and senior ministers running around having meetings with Eurocrats and others with no ideas to propose. It’s no wonder other governments say we have not made ourselves clear; it is a fiasco.
    The May government is a national disaster and should have been removed when you had the chance. Again I say, the Parliamentary Conservative Party is not fit for purpose nor to govern.

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I agree with JR’s analysis and your comments. The May government is not fit for purpose. It presents an astonishing, degrading spectacle of incompetent attempts to deceive while it tries to breath life back into its dead horse, the WA.

      • Hope
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Is there anyone with the gumption in his association to get rid of Gauke?

        Not fit for purpose Gauke was going to allow Warbouys out of jail u tail stopped by legal instigated by Khan! Gauke wants mobile phones in prisons, presumably so drugs can be delivered on tap by drones his service moans about! He will not support irresponsible no deal,he says today, what he did he think he voted for in the Withdrwal Act!

        Gauke is an utter idiot devoid of any rationale decisions. Do not let him resign, sack him deselect him. Boles, Grieve, Soubry, Letwin, Rudd, Wollaston and the Clarkes gagging for it. Come on you Tory associations where are You!

        As for Hague spouting his nonsense it was him who started the top down know better Tory party and only use the little fodder to get you finds and deliver leaflets on issues you do not beleive in!

        Come on withdraw your services immediately and let other associations know what you are doing. Unless you do there will be no party to be associated with. Are you going to let these Psuedo Tory socialist EU fanatics, who have used and abused your trust, to walk all over you and in so doing banish your party into an irrelevance. You have less than two weeks.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed but the alternative of Venezuela Corbyn & Mc Donnall, assisted by the dire SNP is even worse.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        This is not factored in when Remainers say that the referendum should be ignored.

        You get Remain AND Corbyn. The BBC has never done an economic forecast of that.

        I see they are pushing for the jihadi bride to be brought back home – their news is always couched from her family’s perspective.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Indeed the presenter of Any Answers today was absolutely desperate to take on all the callers who nearly all did not want her to be brought back!

          On balance I would agree that we probably should bring her back. But who can say she will not be a security risk and how will the security service ensure she does not become one? Furthermore who will pay for all these officials checking up on all these many thousands of people considered s high security risk? Plus who will pay for all the lawyers that will doubtless bring endless legal actions against the government anyway. Where is a husband and father of her child, will he be allow into the UK too?

        • Hope
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          Life logic, Greg Clarke former SDP, Rory Stewart former Labour if you look these people up with they do not know what they beleive in or decide to to do a 180 turn about!

          Then we have the ever so clever Letwin who let burglars into house at 5 am, master mind behind poll tax disaster, negotiating with Hacked Off to trash press, gets rid of confidential documents in public Parks! Tells parliament acting on the wishes of the electorate more important than any issue before it and then does exactly the opposite! Not enough, now states he does not beleive in the manifesto after his supporters campaigned for him on it, raised funds for him on it and stood to be elected on it! That association needs to oust him ASAP.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted February 17, 2019 at 4:49 am | Permalink

            Indeed.

        • An appeal to JR
          Posted February 18, 2019 at 3:20 am | Permalink

          I see they are pushing for the jihadi bride to be brought back home – their news is always couched from her family’s perspective

          >
          Please stop falling for this Jihadi bride nonsense. They are trying to turn everyone against each other so we dont pick up on their treachory. She is just a naive kid wanted to live a conservative lifestyle.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–Can’t operate on basis of degrees of appallingness

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Inded.

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Maybe we need a Corbyn/SNP Government to make the English say is enough is enough and demand a parliament that represents their interests and speaks up for them for a change not just over Brexit but everything else, something which is certainly not happening under this so called Tory Government.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          This is in line with my thinking. People need a dose of aversion therapy to make them see that Socialism and rampant Nationalism (SNP) are a dangerous mix.

      • Richard Evans
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        You have tried the conservative in name only party and it is a TOTAL disaster. You have had the same experience with Blair/Brown .So what are you going to lose by voting UKIP. Give them a chance. They cannot do any worse than the absolute disreputable shower of CAREER politicians in the HoC, the majority of whom do not give a dam about the 17.5m people who voted in the referendum. How many of those 635 MPs would you employ, Very few.

        The democratic majority of the population (who bothered to vote), voted OUT. OUT means OUT. NO DEALS etc . WE WILL SURVIVE and
        UKIP deserve their chance.

        Theresa May was incompetent in the position of Home Secretary and was NEVER suitable for the position as PM. She should not have been shoe-horned into the position of Prime Minister, however as the puppet /lap dog of the UK Globalist Establishment, which was the plan from day one, she is doing a fine job?????

        Unfortunately we do not have one person who can match the aura of Donald Trump. A man who loves is country and is endeavouring against all odds to save to save it from the US Establishment (Deep state)

        • Robert Valence
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Right on there

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          Theresa May was incompetent in the position of Home Secretary and was NEVER suitable for the position as PM. She should not have been shoe-horned into the position of Prime Minister, however as the puppet /lap dog of the UK Globalist Establishment, which was the plan from day one, she is doing a fine job?????

          >
          Yes she is doing a fine job for the globalists as their puppet.
          What bemuses me is why hundreds of MPs play along with it?

    • Peter
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      MPs need to remember that the backstop not the only problem with the withdrawal agreement. Even if the backstop is dramatically resolved at the last minute, the rest of the agreement is unacceptable as it currently stands.

    • Michael Lane
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      I agree. The Parliamentary Conservative Party is not fit for purpose.

  2. Mark B
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The government proposed a contradiction on Thursday.

    No change there then. This government, and in particular PM, has always said one thing and then gone and done the opposite.

    The Prime Minister needs to press the EU for a better deal . . .

    This is the often repeated story when it comes to the EEC/EC/EU, a Minister of the Crown goes to ‘Europe’ to ‘negotiate’ and ends up with nothing, or less than nothing. From Edward Heath giving away our fishing grounds and paying the then EEC for the privilege, all the way through to CMD and his thin gruel, we have never been able to get anything from the EU. Only the late Mrs.T achieved anything and that is because she stuck to her guns. These people, and our kind host knows it, will not budge.

    So providing the PM does not call a confidence vote on the WA and WTO BREXIT is not taken off the table it seems, we hope, that we are Leaving the EU. But personally, I am waiting for the last minute plot twist. The EU loves a drama.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      “…waiting for the last minute plot twist”

      With two months to go before the Year 2000, this is what then-Commons leader Margaret Beckett had to say about Government preparations regarding the Millennium Bug:

      “A huge amount of work has been done in this country to prepare…and we are not expecting any significant problems…. Everyone can be confident that the UK is…prepared”.

      With less than two months to go before UK independence, why is this not the standard message from the current Government?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      This cat and mouse game has gone on far too long.

      The cat (the EU) keeps toying with the mouse (Theresa May) and it might seem to fascinated onlookers as though the mouse is showing resilience by staying alive – just – but even the mouse’s kith and kin know it’s an uneven struggle, for the mouse just isn’t strong enough to overcome its foe and will capitulate in the end.

      Now is the time to stop dithering and replace the mouse with a wolf! But under no circumstances should we ever contemplate replacing the mouse with yet another mouse!

      I keep asking myself, where the hell did all these mice come from in the first place, and who left the political door open rather than shut them out?

      Tad

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Ms Soubry has cheek to complain about former UKIP members rejoining the Conservative Party. Perhaps the party would not be in the dire straits it is today, if it had been more vigilant in rejecting applications for membership from former members of the SDP like herself?

    • eeyore
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Isn’t part at least of this great struggle about who owns the Conservative brand? Though if they carry on like this it’ll be no more valuable than the Ratners one.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Agreed. You cannot help but get the feeling that the two main parties are in a race to the bottom regarding how the voting public see them.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        I’d go along with that. These pinkos took over the Tory party years ago, but they don’t speak for anyone I know, and their values are not the same as ours. I attended a meeting of the Bruges Group last Wednesday, and it was a breath of fresh air to be among fellow leavers (including a (named ed)journalist who assures me he reads this blog –

        The lessons of history repeating itself are there for the left-wing Tories to learn. They caused the party to lose heavily in 1997, albeit to a slimy con-man with a hidden agenda who promised much but ultimately fell well short of expectations. The next election could well see a new party headed by a man of inflexible resolve and pedigree make big inroads into the Tory and Labour vote.

        I cannot recall a time when this country has been so badly governed by such a motley untalented crew of out-of-touch no-hopers. How much longer can the pro-EU wing of the parliamentary Conservative party keep kidding themselves they speak for the grassroots membership when that is patently not the case?

        Their brand is tainted and discredited, and their time is up.

        Tad

        • Timaction
          Posted February 17, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          Spot on!

    • Nigl
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed and I think more recently she suggested she would join a centrist party if one existed so she is hardly in a position to preach loyalty.

      The fact is that Cameron was forced to go for a Referendum albeit thinking he would win, because of the threat of UKIP, had he not, I and I suspect many others would have voted for them.

      She thinks calling it a purple movement is a criticism. Personally I think it is shameful that Tory members have been forced to act in this way by some ‘know better’ MPs ignoring their own manifesto and the vote to leave.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Indeed they could have insisted on only having real conservatives. The trouble is there are about 200 lefty, remainer, socialists in the party (all the ones who wanted to retain May) not all quite as mad and demented as silly Soubry but rather similar. Indeed we have them in No’s 10 and 11.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Can you imagine Sir Nigel in the cabinet and how he would outshine the dross that is in there at the minute? No wonder they rejected his kind offer of his expertise in obtaining an honorable withdrawal agreement.

        • a-tracy
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          That’s what May should tell Junker she will do, make Nigel a Sir and bring him along with Sir John into the leave negotiating team. That might rethink all the weakening bravado jokes about the UK.

          The EU is fractured when the pieces of silver disappear then the loyalties to Brussels will. It should of remained what people were repeatedly told it was a European Economic Communty not a United States of Europe with a President and his top table elected by unweighted votes of tiny Countries and no regard paid to our elected Leader’s opinion.

          • Anonymous
            Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            Tiny countries that were in the USSR at the time that we voted in 1975.

    • turboterrier
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      @DRW

      Totally correct.
      Her actions along with others has totally disgraced the House of Westminster and its beliefs and purpose. They should all be banned for re-selection commeth the next GE.

  4. Peter
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Yes and politicians will need to continue to resist pressure from a government that may try to run the clock down in an attempt to force the same Withdrawal Agreement through regardless.

    Alternatively there may be a last minute delay imposed. So politicians need to be prepared for an even longer game. That is still much better than signing the surrender agreement.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      The surender document is the worse option by miles. We will leave in the end despite the appalling May.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        And the even more appalling Hammond.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Highest taxes for forty years, still ratting on the IHT threshold promise and yet he introduces a new probate tax and pretends to be a tax cutter!

  5. Hope
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Tory associations need to stand up and act for our representative democracy and deselect Letwin, Soubry, Steve Hammond, Harrington, Grieve, Clarke and all the extreme remainers who now make it clear that they want to act like dictators and become the government!

    The Gaul of it bearing in mind they let people raise money for them, campaign for them and get them elected to say they did not beleive in what their supporters did for them the principles being in the maifesto,referendum! They even now say the UK should be in the customs union and single market exactly the opposite of the referendum and manifesto and what theynstood on to be elected and most voted for in a series of previous votes! Utter shysters. Hartley- Brewer is correct in the radio today these extremists need to be disposed of.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Both Clarkes.

    • turboterrier
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      @ Hope

      The fear is that the local associations will not be big and brave enough to get rid of them. The damage to the party if they do not does not bear thinking about.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Then there’s something wrong with the selection process and local constituency chairmen are choosing the wrong people. But these remainers are not just wrong, they are positively dangerous.

        I’m not against plummy accents and university educations, but we have to get real and choose candidates who chime with the voters and do their bidding, not go their own way once elected and set out to please a master from a foreign land.

        They sign an oath of allegiance upon taking their seat, and quite a number need to be reminded of what that actually means. I have no time for Sinn Fein, but at least they openly refuse to sign the oath. Others by contrast seem not to care that their treachery might cause this nation to sink into an abysss from which we could not escape.

        Tad

  6. Nigl
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Yes and well done to the ERG for keeping HMM true to the terms of your manifesto and the referendum result. As Michael Fabricaht said it is the Remain side who are the anti democrats. Unfortunately some junior ministers, plus Soubry of course, seem to be getting more and more hysterical in their screeching about what you have done.

    I imagine the French broadcasting Dominic Grieve waking up every morning with his Legion d’Honneur pinned to his pyjamas humming the Marseillaise thinking about what calumny he can come up with to scare us into changing our minds.

    Well he is wasting his time. Indeed the calumny is all on the other side of his beloved France and the EU hence his feverish attempts to keep us tied to them.

    A message for him. Adieu pas Au Revoir.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Replete with linguistic embellishments that Andy (the translator) should be delighting us with daily but doesn’t.

  7. Horatio McSherry
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I thought the PM’s motion on Thursday was arguably the most disgraceful act of the whole charade. To specifically include the January 29th votes showed that the PM was personally, and genuinely, trying to scupper our leaving the EU.

    Perhaps in the coming weeks you could circulate a YouTube link to all your Commons colleagues of Milton Friedman’s series Free to Choose 😉

    • Man of Kent
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I quite agree but am disappointed whenever I hear JRM or other ERG members use the word ‘compromise ‘.

      And that they are trying to hold the party together.

      Let’s hope there is no wobbling when the inevitable codicil , add on , is delivered at the last minute .
      As Sir John points out there is plenty wrong with the WA other than the backstop .

      We will have signed up to a treaty if this ‘deal ‘ ever gets approved in Parliament .
      With no means of cancelling it .Outrageous !

  8. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    No one – absolutely no one – has said WTO trade without a customs union cannot work. What anyone who understands international trade has said is that is that WTO trade without a customs union is disastrously bad for our country, and much worse than the current terms of trade with the EU and with the rest of the world. The world trades on the basis of agreements and deals, not simply on WTO terms. What you want is for us, in trade terms, to go back to the stone age. Such ignorance is truly frightening

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Well, then, I can only suppose that the German ifo institute does not understand international trade, or at least not as well as you do …

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/12/16/the-curious-case-of-the-car-industry/#comment-981902

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

      A long term erosion of 1.7% of UK GDP, equivalent to natural growth over about eight months at the long term trend rate, would be “marginally sub-optimal” rather than “disastrously bad”.

      And I suppose the EU Commission has also got it wrong about all those countries with which we trade without any special trade deal:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/10/who-is-running-brexit-policy-and-what-is-it/#comment-994847

      Including the USA, the country which is our top export market.

      So who’s frighteningly ignorant, then?

    • Richard1
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      It is continually asserted but without evidence of explanation as to why. The two objections put up to WTO terms are tariffs on exports and delays at the border to imports. There is no reason at all why we should see either, as has been extensively explained.

    • Stred
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      The above two posts show how desperate the CBI and big business in the EU is to avoid a zero tariff WTO deal. In this circumstance non EU products, which are protected at present, would have to compete on the same terms. Prices would fall. We could buy Australian beef and wine which would win on quality and price and American technologies, which a cheaper in the US.

      The first line of defence for the Commission was to refuse to negotiate a deal before a withdrawal agreement, in order to give time to the Remainer side to collaborate in the writing of s capitulation document which ties the UK into the same regulation and tariffs with no escape possible. This is what the May /Robbins /Commission non-deal is for. MPs which support this agreement are selling out to EU big business. It is understandable that Tories are in on the game but why socialist and communist MPs are is a mystery, unless they are hoping that all the ex-communist nomenclatura in the Commission will bring them back to their ideal of an EUSSR.

      • Stred
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        The above and below posts.

        • Stred
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          EU products which are protected.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Did you read the last Tory manifesto before you voted for it?
      I accept you may live in Cumbria but how can you call yourself Tory?

      Reaining in the Customs Union means remaining in the Single Market which in turn means no ability to make any trade deals ourselves and accepting primacy of European Courts.
      And you are assuming the EU will agree to all your wish list and it is plain that they have no intention of doing any such deal with you.

    • acorn
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      It is worth having a read of the IfG on “The UK can’t rely on WTO rules to soften the blow of no deal Brexit”. Brexiteers severely overestimate the constraints WTO rules would place on the EU. WTO schedules primarily set the maximum levels of duties and subsidies a member can apply to any other member. The Trade Facilitation Agreement will have no impact on EU-UK borders.

      “This underlines an uncomfortable truth: it is the EU, not the WTO, which can limit the impact of a no deal Brexit on the UK”.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        And therefore you think we should be happy to remain under the control of the EU because we should be afraid of its ”power”? This is how the thrust of your comment comes across.

        Well, that’s a fine thing, isn’t it? That we have to be afraid of your ”uncomfortable truth” – the EU has us in its power and therefore we should bend the knee to those who YOU believe are our allies?

        I don’t think so.

      • acorn
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        The fourteen EU “no-deal” self defence plans are as follows. They are designed to make sure the UK takes the biggest hit and the EU27 takes the least.

        https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/communication-19-december-2018-preparing-withdrawal-united-kingdom-european-union-30-march-2019-implementing-commissions-contingency-action-plan_en

        • Edward2
          Posted February 17, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          With a £90 billion a year trade imbalance in favour of the EU, mainly Germany and France, you think any disruption to trade will hit the EU harder than the UK.
          I saw the German automotive unions recently said hundreds of thousands of car workers could lose their jobs.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          Hush, these are our best friends and partners and we want a continuing deep relationship, and the UK government line is that whatevcr the EU does or wants is fine, we are the ones who keep getting it wrong. So you must not start depicting the EU as a really nasty vindictive lot.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        “The Trade Facilitation Agreement will have no impact on EU-UK borders.”

        Why’s that, then? There’s nothing in that WTO treaty to say that its provisions shall not apply to EU-UK borders, so are you suggesting that the EU will just ignore its obligations under that agreement?

    • Woody
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      What a silly statement. In the stone age we bargained with clubs … it is however like the eu is trying to do now. WTO works and is effective in encouraging world trade, 60% of our exports are largely done through WTO arrangements, however eu trade with the rest of the world prescribes against non eu nations. The eu so called single market is stone age bargaining … keep out it says.

    • J Bush
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Good morning Tony

      I agree other countries who operate through WTO do have deals and agreements, but how many of those, outside the EU, are in a customs union? The answer is none. 167 countries (excluding the UK) are able to trade without the need to be in a customs union.

      The EU have told the UK they cannot sign off any trade deals until it has left the EU, so until we actually leave, we can’t have the same freedoms to trade as the rest of the World. The EU won’t even agree a trade deal with the UK until it has left. It has now been made it perfectly clear to the rest of the World, why no country should ever to join a customs union.

      They have witnessed how and in what way it would constrain their indigenous businesses who not only trade with the rest of the World, but also the costly ridiculous red tape forced on businesses who only trade internally and the cost impact all this has on their consumers, in terms of ‘membership costs’ and tariffs.

      What you are arguing for is that these constraints and ever-growing costs should continue, despite the referendum, despite Parliament voting to respect the referendum result and despite voting to put the date to leave, with or without a deal, on the statute! It appears to me, what you are suggesting is not very democratic and somewhat extreme.

    • L Jones
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      You finish your comment with an insult. Remainer, perhaps?

    • cornishstu
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the rest of the world trades on agreements and deals, using WTO as the framework. That is not a customs union! It prevents us from making trade deals outside of the EU that are UK specific and suit us, we also have to pay for the privilege along with the loss of sovereignty and all that entails. What JR has repeatedly stated and I think the majority here would agree with is that an FTA would be desirable but May & co stuck the kibosh on that with her double dealing WA, which is not a deal as the media claims but more of a treaty keeping us in the CU at the mercy of the EU to give us a deal. Better to leave on the 29th on WTO terms and then negotiate an FTA, as under the WA they have no incentive to give us anything.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      “anyone who understands international trade”
      Would that be multinationals who trade within the single market and who are afraid of losing their ability to lobby the Brussels Commissariat and losing their free tariffs, paid for by the British taxpayer?
      Trade deals can be made after we have left the EU and got our country back.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      You say that WTO trade without a customs union is disastrously bad for our country. That is precisely why the Maybot will try her level best to ensure that is what we end up with. Because it will be a disaster.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      The main reason for Brexit was not to trade using WTO terms with the EU but to retain some influence over our country’s laws, taxes and policies through the ballot box by retaining the ability to elect and remove those who make these decisions.

      If our trade with the EU returns to the “stone age” then this will be as a result of the EU’s policy of intransigence “pour encourager les autres”.

      The Remainer description of “catastrophe” if we leave with a WTO deal is because of the way they expect the EU to behave.

  9. Dougal Hamer
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    You seem to be totally confused. There are no trade talks until after we leave, on March 29. What is the point of tabling a free trade agreement now? It is completely irrelevant. The only things under discussion between now and March 29 are the money we owe, the rights of settled citizens and the Irish backstop.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      There is no reason for that to be so. The govt foolishly acquiesed in that EU sequencing of negotiations and so have made huge concessions for no benefit. A stronger and clearer line at the beginning would, ironically, have meant no Deal was much less likely than it now is.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Actually there is more to the WA than that. It includes protected status for certain products. eg Champagne.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_indications_and_traditional_specialities_in_the_European_Union

      This can be arranged post BREXIT through an FTA but, the EU, who has most to lose, insist on it.

    • miami.mode
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Dougal, you can’t have been listening. The reason things are apparently as you say are because at the outset we submissively allowed the EU to set the agenda.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Anybody who says that we should take no deal off the table is in effect saying that we should simply accept any deal that the EU cares to offer, however bad, or alternatively stay in the EU. It would help if we had a Prime Minister who pointed this out rather than robotically repeating that the way to avoid no deal is to agree a deal, which as it happens would be her bad deal . But then it would have helped us all the way through if we had a Prime Minister who was actually on our side and refused to silently accept whatever rubbish the EU and its supporters came out with.

    • Adam
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May bumbles erratically as if she has been hypnotised by Franz Mesmer, to act in favour of the EU. She has made a mess of our negotiating capability.

    • Lucas
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Denis..why do you go on about deals the EU may want to offer? We voted to leave..we did not vote for new deals with them

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Some of us voted for an orderly withdrawal. The strategic error on the part of some Tory MPs has been to extend the concept of “no special trade deal, just defaulting to the WTO treaties” to “no deal at all on anything at all”.

  11. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Looking ahead, the problem you have is that these people will try to wreck the country to prove that they were right. We’ve left too many of these people in key positions from which they could cause a lot of damage post 29/3/19.

    Frankly that is the real Project Fear.

  12. Ian wragg
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I fail to see why anyone with a modicum of common sense would want to accept the WA. It is in fact an accession document the same as Ukraine signed when applying for EU membership.
    Obviously May believes that the deal is so bad we will fall over ourselves to rejoin on less favourable terms.
    The EU is a Franco German protectionist racket and Trump has exposed it as such.
    Why does all non EU wine and coffee have to be shipped via Germany. The same goes for shoes. Ground coffee is all processed in the same way with penal import taxes on processed beans.
    It’s time the Remainiacs woke up.

    • Tom Weston
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Much worse than the Ukraine accession document, more akin to the Treaty of Versailles, and we know where that led.

      Having seen the way in which the EU does not negotiate, what would we be forced to give up or accept in any trade negotiations after acceptance of the WA?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      The EU is a Franco German protectionist racket . . .

      Exactly ! The Germans and the French are known to always have their little ‘meetings’ prior to any Summit or Conference. That way they can agree between themselves everything in advance and use their large block vote to force it through. 😉

    • GilesB
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Tariff on cocoa beans is 4%. On chocolates 48%.

      This is totally designed to keep down the natives in the Belgian and French colonies in Africa. Better to keep them sucking at the teat of international aid. Don’t let them advance up the value chain by processing cocoa and manufacturing chocolates close to the source.

      Keep spoiling the earth by expensively shipping the bulky heavy beans to Northern Europe, waste gas to dry them and then extract the cocoa butter in factories here. Always resist the creation in Africa of high value skilled work and entrepreneurial opportunities.

      Better still get European citizens to pay for it all. Particularly people in Ireland and the UK

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Most MPs don’t want the UK to leave the EU despite their oft repeated statements to respect the result of the referendum. I remain of the opinion that Mrs May is in that group. The shear duplicity and mendacity of those MPs has repulsed many people who are appalled by their calibre and behaviour. They are undermining our democracy.
    The charade being enacted by Mrs May in conjunction with the EU is now nearing the end of Act 1. Mrs May should be nominated for an award for her role as best supporting actor. Pity no one has leaked and published the agreed script that has been played out for more than 2 years.

    • Tom Weston
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Duplicity and mendacity are but two of the defects of many of our MPs. In the case of the LibDum lady MP who appeared on Sky last week saying that the UK is not a member in its own right of the WTO you can add either or both of ignorance and stupidity.

      And these MPs want to decide our future against the expressed wish of the majority of the people!

    • formula57
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      @ Brian Tomkinson – Agreed.

      A good few of the most of M.P.s who wish to remain in the Evil Empire seem to take refuge in repudiating a clean Leave by insisting some form of deal is essential (and the May Withdrawal Surrender suits them fine), and thus I expect they suppose they are hedging their bets with the divided electorate.

      The problem of course with those who see themselves as being “in the middle” is that very often they are really nowhere at all.

    • agricola
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      UK TV media seems to thrive on the mendacious mutterings of the likes of Grieve and Soubry to mention but two who would destroy democracy. The will of the people has no place in their mindset. When I hear them spreading their propaganda it makes me wonder what they are doing as fellow travellers within the Tory manifesto. I wonder what their constituency party think, never mind their electors. Additionally there are some two hundred so called Tory MPs whose loyalty to their electors is highly suspect. Similar observations can be made of the Labour party, just emphasising how out of touch with the electorate most of our MPs are. We have all the ingredients for a political revolution. Labour should divide into Marxists and Social Democrats. The Conservatives should split, the majority joining the Liberal Democrats where they will feel at home, that party being neither liberal nor democratic. The remaining Tories would feel more at home joining Nigel Farage’s new party were they able to swallow their pride. It will be where their electors go.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        The Tory party should split and the name Conservative be binned. A new brand for the ERG/Farage party – a shame, they rightfully deserve to keep the original brand but it has been so sullied as to be toxic now.

    • Andy
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      It will come out at the public inquiry – where lots of your favourite leave backing MPs will be blamed. They’ll then face justice and many will be going to prison.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        On what charge?
        Having the wrong opinions in your opinion?
        Only dreadful dictatorships imprison political opponents.
        Is that the kind of EU/UK you want in the future?

      • agricola
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        What a weird world you live in Andy.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        ”… lots of you…”
        Oh Andy. Andy. What a silly billy you make of yourself. And all by yourself too! You don’t need anyone’s help.

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        On what charge, Rumpole? You really do live in a delusional world. The only place there will be retribution is at the ballot box. Even then, it’ll be the Remain-obsessed MPs who will be getting their P45s.

  14. matthu
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Not before time, and not without reason, a significant portion of the parliamentary CP has simply lost confidence in the PM. A portion which is still substantially smaller than that in the wider membership.

    And now we have school heads encouraging their pupils to boycott classes for political purposes.

    People may generally agree that climate change is actually happening – after all, when has it not been changing? – but the appropriate response and its likely effectiveness is much less clear cut. And that is why encouraging school children to demand action is pure political indoctrination. School heads must be sanctioned by government if this ever happens again!

    • M Davis
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more, matthu!

      Absolutely disgusting to bring children into the politics of adults. ‘They’ should all be ashamed of themselves but of course, ‘they’ will believe that ‘they’ are duty bound to indoctrinate the next generation with their own proclaimed prejudices. Who are the ones, besides the School Headteachers allowing this to happen? Solely in my opinion only, they are the Socialists!

  15. Caterpillar
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I agree with paragraphs 2, 5, 6, but Mrs May’s government fails to publish, fails to be clear and hence leaves massive uncertainty on the table. Moreover, Dr Fox has stated he is against unilateral trade liberalization, this indicates that we will not get a new sensible tariff schedule. It is clarity on the no WA route that is needed and for which the HoC has failed to hold the government accountable.

  16. Richard
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Poweful speech by Dominic Grieve yesterday. It was the sort of speech the useless Labour leader should be making.

    Brexit in whatever form it takes is going to be damaging. All options are inferior to participation, whether it’s the shallow populism ‘have cake and eat it’ of Boris or ‘having a plastic cake and pretend its real’ from Corbyn.

    Government is not acting in the interests of the country. Pretending to negotiate whilst threatening to just leave is indeed the behaviour of 3 year olds holding their breath if they don’t get given the toy they want.

    Parliament has clearly voted to reject no deal. You should be respecting the sovereignty of parliament and support this outcome. Your minority ERG party within a party, with it seems it’s own whip, now needs to just leave the Tory party.

    The correct conclusion in this is to go back to the public with the options, pointing out the limitations of the 2016 referendum, asking which fully laid out options can be delivered, or whether we now believe we are better off in.

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

      How many days is until we Leave ? Only I haven’t looked. But it cannot be long as you seem to be losing your cool and showing your Europhile roots 😉

  17. A.Sedgwick
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Logic and honesty has gone out of the window with May and her wets. The Whig and Liberal Parties crumbled, Labour is becoming a real Socialist/Marxist Party and should be so labelled, it no longer relates to working Brits. The CP has become dishonourable and when the “grey suits” repeatedly deny democracy you know its format is finished.

    As you say Remainers are repeating falsehoods and wilfully ignoring the political and financial chaos in the EU, which is accelerating, latest snap Spanish election. If we stay in any form for any time in this disintegrating oganisation it will be at our huge cost. Project Fear talks of e.g. car production going continental. It has been for years and will continue in or out. We need to make products with high UK content not just be assemblers. I never hear the climate change propaganda decrying the mass movement of parts.

  18. David in Kent
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    You have frequently asked for our proposed post-Brexit tariff schedule to be posted. The government has still not done so, have they told you why they will not?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Well we know why.

  19. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    It’s unfortunate that in this universe, LIES PERSIST – Until they are squashed completely underfoot by events, or the truth…. As remoaners are unable to spot the difference between survival and non-survival choices, then their ability to spot the truth is also sadly lacking.

    The EU can sign a free trade deal with Singapore, but for their greatest friend, that they now despise, they give nothing, no crumbs, no help – How on Earth are these remoaners so blind to the reality of what the EU really is?

  20. Anonymous
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    It is not just a Remain Parliament. It is a HARD Remain Parliament.

    There is no going back to the pre referendum arrangements. Full EU integration if we do not leave. Which version of Remain were Remain voters voting for ?

  21. Iain Moore
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The vitriolic comments directed at the ERG by the likes of Soubry, Harrington etc for abstaining, on what we were told was a irrelevant amendment, suggests the ERG were correct in their fear that this was an attempt to compromise Brexit and take No Deal off the table.

  22. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Has this website opened the hunting season on some oterh MPs?
    Not much “right and hounorable” about it, I would say.
    A lack of moderation?

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Britain is in a state of civil war… without the war.

      Remain started it.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      You don’t have to come here you know ? Not that I want you to go but . . . ?

  23. Michael O'Sullivan
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Bring it on John! bring it on- at this stage I can also look over the cliff edge but in my case can see only a vast empty canyon- with disorder and chaos at home and with no sweetheart deals lined up- so but bring it on ‘you brexiteers’ only a few weeks to go and at this stage I am bursting with curiosity just to see what others say they can see- only a few weeks to go- so bring it on!

  24. William Long
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    We surely have one of the least competent Governments of recent times, with its negotiators being run round in circles by an intransigent EU, determined to ignore the best interests of its members in single minded support of its ‘Project’.
    But every cloud has a silver lining. Like our host, I think there is everything to be said for leaving the EU on WTO terms, if we cannot obtain a deal that is manifestly better, which now seems to be the case. However, with a Remain Parliament, I think our best hope of achieving a WTO exit is by accident, caused by the incompetence of Her Majesty’s Government and the intransigence of the un-elected EU heirarchy.

  25. Lorna
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    The spectacle of Liam Fox gleefully confirming he had not achieved the roll over of trade deals particularly with Canada and Korea was bad enough .However when he robustly called for ministers to vote for Mays WA was a shock .A request he repeated five times
    I found it difficult to believe he could seek to deceive the House by further stating that under the WA they would be able to make new Trade deals also
    Martin Howe has made it abundantly clear that this is not the case as have multiple academics evenAmbassadors of Australia , US and GATT
    Victoria Hewson lawyer for IEA goes further regarding trade with countries currently enjoying trade agreements with E.U.in article Selling a Sell Out

    Her warning which makes a mockery of Liam Fox’s position

    UK-EU partnership, make independent trade deals extremely unlikely in reality. The future partnership declaration mirrors the terms of the backstop, which creates a customs union with the EU. This requires us to implement EU tariffs and trade sanctions, mirror the EU’s trade policy, observe close regulatory alignment with the EU and allow the EU to set highly restrictive state aid, competition and environmental laws for the UK.

    Free trade deals with any other countries could not happen – indeed, under the ‘backstop’ we would lose access to the markets of countries with which the EU has Free Trade Agreements, but those countries retain access to our market.

    In other words those countries would have no reason to negotiate with the UK, as they would get access to the UK anyway via a deal with the EU, without having to offer any quid pro quo to U.K.
    Do MPs ever research policy issues ? Except you Sir
    John

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Keep saying it John

    Keep saying it

  27. L Jones
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Why do these ‘Remain’ MPs want the UK to remain tied into the EU?
    Is it really altruism, because they believe our country would be better off by far if we remain shackled in every possible way (including, I suppose, joining the Euro)?
    Do the believe that our country will fail if we’re not a part of the EU?
    Are they putting their own sincere wish for the success of our country before their own inclinations or careers, because they think that its safety and success lies in the bosom of the EU?

    We never seem to hear well-formed and passionate arguments as to why we should all feel as they do. Don’t they understand the concept of ‘hearts and minds’?

    Or don’t they actually care what we ‘little people’ think? Or, perhaps, they are so concerned with their own personal interests that they think we don’t need to know, lest they come across as somehow self-seeking. Surely not!

  28. Kenneth
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness we have a good number of MPs who want want to uphold the 2016 People’s Vote and main party manifestos.

    The anti-democratic Remain hard-liners are indeed repeating the same warnings and hiding behind spurious arguments like the N.I. border.

    Conservative rebels such as Mrs May and Mr Hammond have waived their own party pledges and treated their own membership with contempt. It is as if they know their time as Conservatives is coming to an end.

    I trust that honesty, democracy and moderation will win out despite the barrage of Remain propaganda by much of the MSM, seeded by unelected vested interests such as protected big-business and led by the BBC.

  29. David Waller
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Since the A380 is destined for the scrap heap one useful final trip
    would be to fill one with 580 MP’s who cannot treat our precious
    democracy and electorate with the respect they deserve.
    Let’s treat them with a one way trip to a Far East venue to
    learn from the oldest civilisation what values we have in
    OUR precious parliamentary system. They might then respect
    that to be elected on a published and agreed manifesto means
    just that: be HONEST with constituents and fulfill their promises.

  30. Chris
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    There was an article by Tobias Ellwood in D Tel online last night which condemned the Brexiters, and said that they did not belong in the Cons Party. His remarks received short shrift in the comments section, and deservedly so. A pompous, self opinionated individual apparently, who is determined not to respect the Referendum result and uphold democracy. I think he does not understand what the Conservative Party stood for and why the current Party betrays grassroots Conservatives in vital ways.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/15/hardline-brexiteers-could-trigger-battle-soul-conservative-party/

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Looking at the Brexit section of the website of the Irish Examiner newspaper this morning I see a succession of articles which are hostile to and contemptuous of the UK without any of the false points which they make being answered by the UK government.

    Some time in the past one might have thought that the UK government had attempted to rebut the criticisms but the Irish media had refused to publish those responses, however we know that there has never been any serious attempt to rebut criticisms of its official government policy apart from a brief period when seven entries were made on a blog to support Theresa May’s rubbish ‘deal’. In fact it’s more likely that many of the lies and scare stories have actually started life in Downing Street.

    Who is on our side, and on the side of our democracy? Certainly not Theresa May.

  32. ferdinand
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Another excellent piece. As the days wear on and the machinations of MPs turbidity our peace, one can arrive at only one conclusion. Remainers do not believe in democracy.

  33. ferdinand
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Another excellent piece. As the days wear on and the machinations of MPs disturb our peace, one can arrive at only one conclusion. Remainers do not believe in democracy.

  34. Original Richard
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    If the predictions of the Remainers are to be believed that leaving with no deal would be “catastrophic”, because of actions taken by the EU, then we will be needing far more from the US president than “substantially increased trade” with the US.

    We will be needing a Berlin type airlift of food and medicines.

  35. ian
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Deselection, I am so sure how that works, i always thought Tory party HQ pick the candidates and then the associations have a pick between the ones they are sent, is that right Sir John Redwood or have i miss understood how things work in your party.

    I think picking your candidate is breaking the Tory party rule book.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    This article is worth reading:

    https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2019/02/letwins-wildcat-executive-would-reduce-ministers-to-marionettes.html

    “Letwin’s wildcat executive would reduce ministers to marionettes”

    I was pleased to see the word “usurp” appear in the second paragraph:

    “To listen to Oliver Letwin’s speech of Tuesday – which we have a video clip of, if you missed it – is to gaze a long, long way through the constitutional looking glass.

    In it, he admits to what had previously only been hinted at: that if the House of Commons passes the bill known as ‘Cooper/Boles’, the legislature will fundamentally usurp the proper role of the Government in running the country.

    As he puts it, the House of Commons will be the Cabinet. It would be, as he acknowledges, a situation almost certainly unique in the uniquely long history of Parliament as a representative institution. He asserts, perhaps sincerely but inevitably falsely, that this upheaval would be temporary.”

    As pointed out:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/15/paying-for-a-degree/#comment-995744

    he is proposing a usurpation of power which would certainly place participating MPs in breach of their Oath of Allegiance, and so render them liable to various criminal charges including potentially treason.

    The last paragraph in today’s article also includes that word:

    “You cannot honourably claim to have confidence in the Government whilst usurping its power to direct policy on the single most crucial challenge facing the country. The Prime Minister would be within her rights to treat Cooper/Boles as a de facto confidence measure.”

    But would she do that, given the possibility that she is conniving with the would-be revolutionaries in Parliament just as she is colluding with the Irish government?

    • Andy
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Which is why if the Cooper/Boles Bill is passed Mrs May needs to advise Her Majesty to refuse it Assent. It is not the place of Parliament to usurp the proper role of Her Government. It just wont do.

    • rose
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      I can’t understand why Oliver Letwin is behaving like this when not so long ago he was actively upholding the result of the referendum, putting his shoulder to the wheel in all the Brexit debates, and saying not to do so would damage our democracy. Yet now he appears to be taking a sledgehammer to our entire constitution.

  37. JoolsB
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Maybe we need a disastrous Corbyn/SNP Government to make the English say is enough is enough and demand a parliament that represents their interests and speaks up for them for a change not just over Brexit but everything else, something which is certainly not happening under this so called Tory Government.

  38. Christine
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    My worry is that TM will cave into the Labour demands and we will end up with BRINO. Although anything is better than her WA. If she does this, it will be the end of the Conservative Party. The whole Tory party needs a clear out from No. 10 to Central Office. The people there are totally at odds with the party members.

  39. Davek
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Some would say that this whole uk brexit thing is contrived, that there is a conspiracy at the heart of it between the ERG and Mrs May and that Corbyn is also involved all in order to get a cherry picking equal status deal with them european plonkers..but I don’t think soalif true the whole thing would be too bizarre

  40. JoolsB
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Why Wollaston and Soubry haven’t been deselected or at least hauled over the coals by their local constituency associations is a mystery. They were both on the airwaves yesterday suggesting members of the ERG were not Conservatives and should leave the party. I agree that they should leave the party but for the opposite reason to these two loathsome women. Unlike Wollaston and Soubry, they are the only true Conservatives in a party that has become anything but. We now need a new party to vote for because the current one is not fit for purpose.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      JoolsB

      ” We now need a new party to vote for because the current one is not fit for purpose.”

      UKIP?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        Margaret. Ukip? Why not? A better alternative than Labour/SNP. Better still, a party led by Farage. Too democratic and too British for you?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        Margaret, why are you so incapable of ever expressing any confidence or shred of loyalty to your own country? What is it about the UK that you seem to hate so much and why aren’t you living in your beloved EU yet? By EU I mean anywhere in Europe except here.

  41. roger parkin
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Everyone is talking about the ‘Irish Back stop ‘I’m sure the government and the EU will come up with a fudge that is acceptable to parliament. However there are 7 other major failings in this so called Withdrawal Agreement. I wonder if our host would advise us of the likelihood of those issues being made into law. Such an acceptance would not be Brexit and would be devastating for the future of the Conservative Party.

    • rose
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Only 7? There are many more, seriously damaging to our status as a country.

  42. ukretired123
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    It seems not many MPs are too concerned about May’s Brexit/Brino as they head off on half term holidays facilitated by the PM. Perhaps she was allowing them this concession as a sweetener to warm to the May-EU toxic Withdrawal Agreement.
    (May the force be with EU)?

  43. JoolsB
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The irony is that had it not been for our warped voting system, there would now be sufficient numbers of UKIP MPs in Parliament helping to get the Brexit we voted for. It’s a disgrace that 4 million people gave them their vote, more than the SNP, Lib Dums, Plaid Cymru and the Greens put together, and yet received not one MP in return. And we call ourselves a democracy!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Too right Jools!!

  44. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Agree John. I am fed up to the back teeth of the lot of them. Mrs May has to go. How long have we been saying this? She has taken your party into the gutter. I don’t trust a word she says. This fiasco has gone on long enough. May is a disgrace to the party.

  45. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    The problem ehre is time we have run out of time even if we make a free trade agreement with the EU, we will still be outside the more than 40 separate agreements the EU had made with more than 70 countries around the world, which we will not longer be part of, if we leave without a deal . This will take time and in the meantime, create more uncertainty for British business and uncertainty we really do not need to have anymore of.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Meanwhile trade throughout the world will continue between willing buyers and sellers.
      The recent EU deals with Japan and Canada may be an improvement but there were plenty of Japanese goods in the EU and the UK for decades before that deal.

      • rose
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Aanyway, when the EU finally makes a trade agreement with a non EU country, it is not with British interests in mind. This inconvenient Franco-German fact is always left out by the remainers when they count the number of EU trade deals.

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Those 40 agreements were made with the UK as an integral member of the EU. Why should they still stand when the UK exits? The 70 countries will be getting a lesser benefit from them. Maybe some of the countries entered into the agreements, solely to gain access to the UK market? Morally, the EU should open them all up for renegotiation. We would then be in a similar situation to the EU.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      @ Hans Ivers

      You cannot believe that the EU is going to conclude an FTA with the UK. First, there is no one who can keep a bargain and second, those who have negotiated with the British (in good faith) are pretty fed up. The EU can afford to have a clean break, the UK not. But there are politicians in the UK who seem to want a complete breakdown of relations. I wonder why. What is in it for them? They are not young usually, reasonally well off, were respected despite maverick preferences. and I do not see an upside for them personally.

      On the other hand, they seem to see a pot of gold on the horizon after all the scorched earth. Sorry for the metaphors.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Rien
        You actually think the EU can stop its member countries trading with the EU?
        “The EU can afford a clean break”
        What is the unelected Commission going to do?
        Place their limos parked across the roads leading to the ports and airports?

  46. Iain Gill
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    How about making it a crime for any MP to take action contrary to the manifesto they stood on?

  47. Prole
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    ‘Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance… I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.
    Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!’

    Oliver Cromwell, 20th April 1653, and as true today as it was then. Enough of this shameful nonsense. Prorogue the rotten parliament NOW and hold a general election in April as a free nation fully out of the EU.

  48. Robin Wilcox
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This has to be the most dysfunctional Government in living memory. All they n exercise do was stuck to the promises made in their own manifesto and in The PMs Lancaster House speech.

  49. mancunius
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    JR, you were all quite right to abstain. The forked-tongued motion was an absolute disgrace, and it was a pleasure to watch the proceedings and hear so many principled backbenchers standing up for leaving the EU.
    ‘Cultural Cringe’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ are inadequate descriptions of the mesmeric thrall in which many MPs seem to be held by the EU. They cannot imagine living or breathing without having a foreign power telling them what to do.
    Btw, I hope you are pushing for real free trade. Ideally, we should go for UTF, to reset our course radically and show the world we mean business in every sense.

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Your Parliament (including your own party) seemt to favour a form of brexit that you reject and your favorite form does not command a majority. So what is your complaint? That your colleagues are traitors? Misguided? Nort responsive to public preferences? I do not believe that there is a majority for “no deal” among the people who voted in favour of terminating the UK’s EU membership and it appears that your c0olleagues’ behaviour reflects this.

    Of course, no deal may be what you were seeking since 1992 (a traumatic year for many UK politicians, I am sure, but also then only a minority). But what good would it do to the UK economy in the short term (I consider the long term unpredictable and certainly not predictable in isolation from economic developments in other countries). Disruption is costly. Not for all of course. In every disruptive event there are winners and losers.

    Reply Managed WTO offers great scope for us as a country to better off

    • Edward2
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Out PM kept saying no deal is better than a bad deal.
      So if the EU will not budge then no deal becomes the final outcome.

    • Den
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      The complaint is that in Mrs May’s eyes, ‘Brexit’ certainly does not mean ‘Brexit’. No matter that “Brexit” was never mention on the ballot paper but “Leave” was. And in English “Leave” means “To depart from Permanently”. So we Brits voted to depart from the EU Permanently and anything less than that is a betrayal of British democracy.
      Democracy – Something the Brussels cabal clearly avoid and it is strange that you would voluntarily accept such abject terms given the dire history of the previous dictators in Europe.

  51. mancunius
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    One useful result of the vote has been to confuse the foreign press (as I noted on reading round the German and French press after the vote) into thinking the HoC no longer supports any renegotiation of the WA, and has given Brussels the impression it cannot now usefully make any adjustments to the backstop, as there is now no guarantee May can sell them to the HoC.
    This is excellent. Most of us never wanted any cosmetic adjustments to the backstop. I always regarded it as a diversionary issue: it is the entire WA document that we should have set our faces against from the start.
    Brussels is now hoping for some parliamentary coup by cabinet and backbencher remainers in league with the Speaker and Labour’s Blairite rump, to force a second referendum or revoke Art. 50. We must remain vigilant.
    I see the EU are planning to throw the RoI out of the single market if it does not agree to bankrupt itself by building a hard border with NI. I think we should now offer the RoI government a free trade area with the UK.

    • Dancer
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Mancunius..the ROI to leave the EU and join in a free trade area again with the UK..not in a million years..so dream on

      and where are you getting this garbage from about the EU throwing ROI out of the single market for not building a hard border..more fake news..no wonder you guys are in so much trouble. The fact is if there is a disorderly withdrawal then no doubt there will be a hard EU border across the land and if there is.. then there will also be a hard border across the north of France, the Netherlands and Belgium and so I don’t know how all of this is going to work out

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        An 80Bn trade surplus, in favour of the EU27, suggests that a hard border is not on their agenda. In their eyes, the ROI is expendable, in economic terms. The pro-Irish lobby in the USA would not let them fall if such a scenario played out.

  52. Giselle
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    We hear lots about MPs being against a lot of things and not for anything.
    Would you support some HoC time for Ken Clarke (and others)’s idea of ‘indicative votes’?

    Could these include one which asked MPs to indicate whether they wished to be members of an independent sovereign Parliament?

    Reply Inducative votes would change nothing

  53. margaret howard
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    “Leaving without signing it takes back control of our laws, our money, our borders and our fish. It is what we voted for.”

    One is used to similar grossly misleading sentences regularly appearing in the letters pages of the likes of the Daily Mail rather than from the pen of a government minister, especially one recently having been ‘elevated’.

    So here we go again:

    1 We never lost control over our laws

    2 We never joined the euro

    3 We never joined Schengen

    4 Our fishermen chose to sell their fishing quotas to the highest bidders for a quick profit

    • Edward2
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      1 EU courts are supreme most laws regulations and directives come out of the EU
      2 The EU sets budget deficit limits and is working to harmonise tax rates
      3 Open borders means we have very little control over EU immigration numbers
      4 The CFP rules meant disaster for our fishing fleets, selling up and leaving the industry was the only option for most of them apart from bankruptcy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      “1 We never lost control over our laws”

      Yes we did.l The EU Commission and the ECJ. And from that all else followed.

      Vote Leave and you still get Remain.

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      1. The ECJ is the final arbiter so you are wrong (yet again).

      2. The one good thing that Gordon brown did as Chancellor. He sold lots of gold on the cheap to maintain his reputation as economically inept.

      3. As an island nation it is easier to maintain a physical border. Schengen was the admission of defeat by European nations, regarding illegal migration, hence the migrant camps in Northern France.

      4. Many of our fishermen had nowhere left to fish economically so the sale of IFQ’s became more of a redundancy payment than making a quick profit. Although the UK-registered boats catch the 2nd highest amount, by weight, about 50% of the catch is owned by Dutch, Spanish and Icelandic companies.

      • rose
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        Giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry, Rupert Murdoch took the credit for persuading Brown not to take us into the single currency.

    • David Price
      Posted February 18, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      On (1) are you not aware of the Bolkestein directive and the action now underway for the EU rachet to dictate local government affairs over planning, energy, water etc all backed up by the ECJ?

      Why are you remainers so against local and national democracy.

  54. L Jones
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    ”No deal is better than a bad deal”. So what is a ”bad deal”? How long is a piece of string in Mrs May’s world?

  55. Elaine
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you, 100%. So nice to hear someone in parliament talking honestly and making sense.

  56. Dennis Anthony
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    “post-Brexit tariff schedule to be posted…..”

    Don’t expect any enlightenment on this subject from JR.

  57. Den
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May’s “agreement” in simple true to life terms! Or why we should just LEAVE.
    Mr Britain is at the golf club returning his locker key when Mr Barnier, the membership secretary sees him.
    Hello Mr Britain”, says Mr Barnier. “I’m sorry to hear you are no longer renewing your club membership, come to my office we can settle your account”
    “I have settled my bar bill” says Mr Britain.
    Ah yes Mr Britain”, says Mr Barnier, “but there are other matters that need settlement”
    “Well Mr Britain” begins Mr Barnier, “you did agree to buy one of our Club Jackets”.
    Yes” agrees Mr Britain “I did agree to buy a jacket but I haven’t received it yet”. As soon as you supply the jacket I will send you a cheque for the full amount”.
    That will not be possible” explains Mr Barnier. “As you are no longer a club member and you will not be entitled to buy one of our jackets”!
    “But you still want me to pay for it” exclaims Mr Britain.
    “Yes” says Mr Barnier, “That will be £500 for the jacket you had on order”.
    “There is also your bar bill”.
    “But I’ve already settled my bar bill”. says Mr Britain.
    “Yes” says Mr Barnier, “but as you can appreciate, we need to place our orders from the Brewery in advance to ensure our bar is properly stocked. You regularly used to spend at least £50 a week in the bar so we have placed orders with the brewery accordingly for the coming year. You therefore owe us £2600 for the coming year”.
    “Will you still allow me to have these drinks?” asks Mr Britain
    “Of course not Mr Britain “. “You are no longer a club member!” says Mr Barnier. “Next is your restaurant bill” continues Mr Barnier.

    • Den
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      “We have to make similar arrangements in advance with our catering suppliers. Your average restaurant bill was in the order of £300 a month, so we’ll require payment of £3600 for the next year”.
      “ I don’t suppose you’ll be letting me have these meals either?” asks Mr Britain
      “No, of course not,” says an irritated Mr Barnier. But
      “Then there are repairs to the clubhouse roof”.
      Clubhouse roof!” exclaims Mr Britain, “What’s that got to do with me?”
      “Well it needs to be repaired and the builders are coming in next week but the contract was signed before you decided to leave, so your share of the bill is £2000″.
      “I see,” says Mr Britain, “anything else?”
      Now you mention it,” says Mr Barnier, “there is Fred the Barman’s pension”. We have decided you to pay £5 a week towards Fred’s pension when he retires next month. I doubt we’ll need to ask you for payment for longer than about five years, so £1300 should do it. This brings your total bill to £10,000″ says Mr Barnier.
      “Let me get this straight,” says Mr Britain, “you want me to pay £500 for a jacket you won’t let me have, £2600 for beverages you won’t let me drink and £3600 for food you won’t let me eat, pay £2000 towards a roof I won’t be allowed under and not be served by a bloke who’s going to retire next month who I am going to provide with £1300!”

      “ Total £10,000. Yes, it’s all perfectly clear and quite reasonable” says Mr Barnier.
      “What!” says Mr Britain
      And that, my friends, is how the decrepit money grubbing EU works…
      Legal Fact -WE OWE NOTHING!

      • Stred
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        This should go viral.

  58. 'None of the above'.
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you to those who encouraged me not to give up my vote, at least I’m lucky to have an honourable MP (Suella Braverman).
    What worries me least, (in many respects) is what our PM will do. She may well try to sell a modified version of the articles of surrender that we know as the draft withdrawal agreement, predictable but not the major issue. The worry for me will be how many MPs could be mug enough fall for an EU inspired chat-up line and vote for this traitorous document. Opportunities to clear the dross from the HoC will come too late to save our Country and we will need to rely on a future PM who is prepared to break International Law by tearing up the agreement. Heaven help us.

  59. Original Richard
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The Spelman amendment, to ensure the UK may only leave the EU with a deal, can only lead to 2 possible outcomes :

    1) We never leave the EU because no agreement is reached with the EU or

    2) We can only leave by accepting ANY rotten deal offered by the EU to leave, which is essentially the same as unconditional surrender terms.

  60. Barbara
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    These MPs dont understand the anger they are fomenting in the leave population . Trust is totally gone and I find it hard to believe anything they say.

  61. rose
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Wooodn’t it be luvverleee if those 8 ministers resigned as they are threatening to do, and 8 Brexiteers were appointed in their place…we can but dream.

  62. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    I watched Question Time in which the Labour party representative said the Malthouse is dead because the EU said ‘No’. What does she expect the EU to say at this stage. I have the distinct impression that a great many MPs have never actually negotiated anything since they were teenagers threatening mayhem if they weren’t allowed to watch TV. They are certainly not fit to take control of the negotiations from anyone else. And some of those Idiots who should know better want No Deal taken off the table. In a commercial company you would simply fire such idiots or put them into a position from which they can have no influence whatsoever.
    As for Mrs May she clearly does not want to renegotiate the WA. She devised the motion in order to be defeated by the ERG for two reasons. She does not believe in Brexit and wants UK to remain under EU regulation so sees no point in trying to renegotiate. Secondly, she needs someone to blame for what will look like her failure and who better than the ERG, the only group in the Parliamentary Tory Party who are standing up for the majority of the public and who are not technocratic anti-democratic supra-nationalists.
    Her intention for the last two years has been to end up in Feb/March 2019 with just her one deal, in effect an accession agreement to re-join the EU under its new treaties replacing Lisbon in 2025, and a Remain dominated government and parliament too frightened to do anything other than accept it.
    So now she need only sit and wait for the clock to run down to 2300 on 29 March, while maintaining Project Fear and doing the odd bit of window dressing to disguise the reality and to pretend to be negotiating. Then the petrified and outright anti-Brexit Parliament will outvote the group representing the British public and accept May’s accession agreement plus further fudge from May and the EU and further concessions to the EU.
    On 30 March Mrs May will proclaim that she has delivered Brexit, technically correct, but the new treaties being actually so much worse than membership, that re-joining in 2025 will be a relief from vassalage.

    • rose
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      “Secondly, she needs someone to blame for what will look like her failure and who better than the ERG, the only group in the Parliamentary Tory Party who are standing up for the majority of the public and who are not technocratic anti-democratic supra-nationalists.”

      This is the first explanation for her extraordinary motion that I have come across. It sounds bang on.

  63. BR
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Did you wonder why the government tabled a motion that they knew that the ERG could not support?

    Assuming that no-one is that dumb, there’s clearly a strategy there. What does it add up to?

    • Stred
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Treachery from the day they lost.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Theresa May is a cheat and she hoped to pull a fast one.

  64. Ian
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    All Remainers
    Should have there names taken, and be banned from ever putting themselves up for election again.
    There crime is as bad as it gets.
    That being the wonton Betrayal of a Nation, cooperating with those from another Block to bring about an out come contoury to the wishes of the people of this Nation.
    Named and shamed for bring Parliament into disrepute, in times gone by there would have been a real penalty

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Your arguments should be put forward robustly in parliament. You need a debate in which to advance them. Try putting forward a motion that “This House has No Confidence in Project Fear and in the people and institutions who have promoted it throughout the last three years”. If the Speaker grants the debate (he should) then that gives people like yourself and Owen Paterson a perfect platform. it doesn’t matter if this rotten parliament defeats the motion. Getting your arguments across to the public is what matters.

  66. John O'Leary
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    JR wrote:

    ” The government has said they are not going to block our ports or create new delays at the border, so our imports will flow as before.”

    So have the government made any plans to prevent UK trucks heading for UK ports if they don’t have goods certified by an EU recognised authority (i.e. a non-UK authority)? If not are they going to commandeer a fleet of RoRo ferries dedicated to run empty to the Continent in order to ensure imports continue unaffected?

  67. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but notice that many individuals, companies and institutions are stockpiling imported goods, probably quite unnecessarily. As long as they don’t try to pass on their increased inventory costs to tax payers, it does no great harm. But anyone who asks the Government to subsidise their inventory costs should receive a very loud raspberry.

  68. gyges
    Posted February 18, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    But what happens after all is said and done? They still wanted to repudiate the social contract, I don’t see how they can go back from that position.

  • About John Redwood


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

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