Ask the same question and you get the same answer

The crushing defeat for the Withdrawal Agreement again should come as no surprise. It united Remain and Leave voting MPs, as it is such a bad proposition for the UK.

We now know the government is not going to whip the Conservative party after all for the votes to come on Wednesday and Thursday. It is odd that a government which has constantly confirmed No deal is better than a bad deal, and asserted we will leave on 29 March 2019 is now not going to whip its party to support those two central policies that are very popular with many Conservative voters.

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166 Comments

  1. Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Parliament has to choose between ‘Leave or Remain’. To Remain they have to challenge the huge majority of voters.
    Thank you for your vote tonight. I was so pleased to see Grant Shapps in the same lobby – he signed the BDI decades ago.
    We get the tariff schedule tomorrow – please Press for details of all the other arrangements te Govt has made for WTO Brexit.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      It’s a complete pandora’s box now.

      I fear there is no support for any route out of this mess and the E.U is looking on aghast.

      Please tell me there is a plan.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Merlin, when the people voted Leave [even with all the warnings in the leaflet that went to every door and the tv programs] the parliament should have all got behind Leave, in fact, they all stood on a ‘we’ll honour the referendum decision platform’ shortly afterwards – if they’d been honest and said we want a second vote at that election that would have been fair enough but the Lib Dems who did got nowhere. None of this 2nd vote, neverendum, lets stay, are we in are we out because then we look weakened before negotiations even begin with Europe. The Conservatives elected a weak remain Leader and at times like this we need someone that believed in Leave. There are those that think this was done on purpose to overturn the decision.

        A clear signal needs to go out today, right we are preparing to leave with no formal withdrawal agreement, this is what is going to happen. We are offering this deal to the EU with these compromises that they required. People and goods will be able to flow into Northern Ireland but there will be checks on flights and boats from Northern Ireland should the EU want to put a border in place in Southern Ireland then that is their choice.

        Instead, I guess, we will have remain MPs in the majority capitulate and take this option off the table, they want to kick the can down the road (they said this in December which immediately weakened us) because they have no spines and want to stay in, they will offer the EU another referendum in order to get that extension, then they will try to overturn the decision whilst paralysing our Country.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        There wasn’t meant to be a ‘plan’. They have only appeared, in order to stop us leaving in any meaningful way. Even arch-remainer, David Cameron, said that it was for the voters to decide, not MPs and no further renegotiations or referenda would take place. I suspect that the record of MPs interests is a work of fiction, judging from the shocking behaviour of some individuals in the HoC. They certainly do not echo the wishes of their constituents.

    • Simon
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      For the one thousandth time of repeating tariffs are the least significant aspect of a WTO Brexit.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Who said they were?

      • Richard
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        We now know there will be the following Agreements:
        The facilitation of trade Convention
        The Common Transit Convention
        Air Services Agreement …etc http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/12/20/deals-galore-in-place-of-the-withdrawal-agreement/

        George Eustice’s recent article:
        “No Deal is a bit of a misnomer anyway. It doesn’t mean No Deal for evermore. What it really means is No Deal yet. In effect, it would morph into an informal nine month transition period, during which talks could continue and we could conclude a [Trade] deal. …
        The civil service has done a sterling job preparing for no deal. …
        Within Whitehall, fears that the EU would behave recklessly and irresponsibly in a No Deal scenario have receded in recent weeks. The body language from the EU has been very much signalling a willingness to have an informal understanding over a nine month transition period. …”

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      What a useless bunch we suffer from in Parliament – still arguing over the same issues without any plan, re-arranging the deckchairs etc…

      What’s needed right now is preparation for leaving! No more talking, get the nation as ready as possible for 30th March, mobilise all resources available.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        But May and Hammond don’t want to leave. Hammond is talking about a £20billion austerity budget if there is no deal. He seems to have plenty of money to hand over £39billion plus a billion monthly for an extension.
        Having a free vote will smoke out the Quislings on all sides so we can begin to destroy them

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Peter Wood

        Agreed, we must prepare to leave post haste!

        Yesterday’s vote for the WA was a strawman ruse by Treason May.

        She cynically tried to use the Backstop to distract us away from the disastrous contents within the body of the WA that would have shackled us to the EU forever.

        She must go immediately…we can’t have an anti-Brexit, anti-democratic, EU loving, spineless, disingenuous individual running Britain!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

        Listening to MPs in the debate today (and this evening) I find that about 80% of MPs are worthy of nothing but total and utter contempt. The chancellor in particular with his absurd green crap agenda and continued project fear. He also lied that he was reducing government debt. He meant, one assumes, as a proportion of GDP but decided just to lie instead.

    • Eddie Hill
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      I loved Mr Redwood’s article in The Guardian today – it really is that simple, and I am completely at a loss to understand why we are taking our only bargaining chip off the table at this late hour.

  2. Frances Truscott
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    People need to know what on earth they can do if it isn’t joining a political party and getting remainer MPs deselected.

    • Chris S
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      It’s now impossible to know how Brexit is going to work out.

      The best we can hope for is now likely to be a much softer Brexit. That or another referendum which will put the whole project in doubt.

      We must avt all cost, avoid another general election until a new Brexiteer PM has his feet firmly under the table.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Indeed we cannot have another election with the appalling electoral liability and daft socialist May in charge!

        As we might well get ……….Corbyn/McDonnall wagged by the SNP. This would be even more appalling than May and Hammond.

      • robert valence
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Chris – I don’t understand. If a G.E. was called, it would allow the local constituencies to pick suitable candidates and thereby the shape of Parliament would change in favour or Leavers.
        Also, I know her promises don’t count for much, but she promised not to lead Tories into the next election. So there’s be a new PM – who’d have to hit the ground running. That would be a welcome change….
        What’s there not to like??

  3. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    But not so popular with conservatives in the HoC. If they fail to act in a way that reflects the referendum result where does that leave the electorate, disenfranchised I submitt. No leadership, more can kicking.

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:13 am | Permalink

      The last time you had any leadership in the Tory party was during Mrs Thatcher’s time. After May’s betrayal they are finished who in their right mind would vote for them again. I also think the so called Tory Brexit supporters were just ‘fair weather friends’ it was all a big bluff.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Well some Tory Brexiteers are trying their very best to drag the party back to some sense but not easy with so many of the Grieve, Rudd, Soubry, May, Clarke (G and K), Hunt, Hammond types. Who have ensured the EU have no reason at all to negotiation sensibly.

        I see the Cast Iron, low tax at heart, Eurosceptic, thin gruel, abandon ship Cameron has crawled out of his hole to criticise Brexit supporters for not supporting May’s dire deal. Well Dave it is not Brexit it is a very expensive straight jacket for the UK and if anything even worse than remain. Why on earth would anyone but a traitor or an idiot vote for it?

        Have you been any of the things you claimed to be above we would not be in this position. You wasted the golden opportunity you have by really being yet another tax to death EUphile who pretended not to be.

  4. Dominic
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Just go away May and do the world a favour

    We want a Tory PM that will fight for the sovereignty, independence and democracy of the United Kingdom

    52% demand their victory

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Dominic

      “52% demand their victory”

      But 49 million people out of 66 million didn’t vote for Brexit.

      Our democracy is a sham.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        It is ridiculous to claim anyone who did not actually vote for leaving the EU is a remain supporter.
        I might just as well claim they are actually all leave supporters who for one reason or another didn’t vote.

      • formula57
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        The vast majority of the 66 million did not vote to Remain, only 24.5 per cent. (16,141,242) of them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        It is indeed largely a sham – but not quite as much of a sham as the EU which is profoundly anti-democratic by design.

        MPs say one thing in their manifesto’s then often do the complete opposite. Usually they promise lower taxes and better public service and deliver higher and higher taxes and declining & appalling public service. In business it would be considered a fraud, obtaining money by deception or misrepresentation.

      • English Rebel
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        50m out of 66m didn’t vote to stay in.

      • R.S.Goodley
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        You actually have to get off your butt and vote for your vote to be counted.
        Not that it seems to make much difference since we seem to live in an unrepresentative “democracy”.

      • Hope
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Ridiculous comment they all had the opportunity. If they fail to exercise their right that is a matter for them.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        I don’t think our democracy is a sham.

        But we appear to have got ourselves into a situation where there is no solid majority behind any route forwards – not among the people and not among parliament. Yes, we want to leave, but polling seems to indicate about 44% support No Deal. About 49% want remain. Most people haven’t changed their minds at all.

        So Brexit trumps Remain and Remain trumps No Deal. Oh dear.

        • a-tracy
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          We do not trust British polling organisations anymore Merlin.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Margaret

        But fewer did not vote for Remain !

        Just as an aside.
        I think you will find that 66 million do not have the right to vote in the UK.

        The fact is the majority who bothered to vote , voted leave by a small majority.

      • Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        In a second referendum Leave (on WTO terms as specified in the 1st Referendum) will get more than 70% if you want confirmation.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        You cannot count the under 18’s or foreign nationals in such figures, as you well know. Those who never bothered to get off their a**e and cast a ballot get what they deserve if it goes against their wishes.

      • BCL
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        That’s an absurd or at best irrelevant assertion. 50 out of 66 didn’t vote for remain. So what? Leave won. Besides which the electorate was 46.5M not 66.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          @BCL

          Did you get to touch the trophy?

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          You forget that we are responsible for the millions of people too young to vote but who are the future of this country and we owe them consideration for our own sakes. The predominantly oldies who voted Leave will be dead and gone by then leaving this country in a shambles.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

            Of the youngsters eligible to vote in the referendum only 36% bothered to get up go out and vote.
            Blame them.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        @ Margaret Howard

        Be careful with what you say here. You are right but you might be hurting feelings. Terminating EU membership is a good idea (and that also falls under “brexit”) but what you do once outside is far more important and no one asked that question of “The People”. That would not have mattered if said “People” had been clever enough to opt for the status quo but a “leave” was certain to produce a lot of mayhem. And it has. Keep in mind that a withdrawal agreement with such a vague declaration about the future relationship is likely to produce even more mayhem, except that Parliament may not be as involved as it has so far. But ultimately there would be a treaty requiring ratification (I guess in around 2022) at least one more PM collapsing under the burden and the an influx of younger, less nationalistic voters. So, unless there is a no deal (when the UK would have to start from scratch against a very competent and by now justifiably angry EU negoriating team (uncertain composition due to MEP elections). The best gift hard line brexiteers could give to the EU status quo parties would be a no deal brexit on 29 March. Bring it on, they say. Especially with RT’s wings clipped in France and probably elsewhere.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear Margaret, you really should try and get around the fact that you don’t understand how democracy works. Try going back to school.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Indeed we want a PM that will fight for the sovereignty, independence and democracy of the United Kingdom. Also one that is not a PC, electoral liability, over regulating, tax borrow and waste socialist. We want sensible economic policies that actually work.

      Furthermore one that can get elected and avoid Communist Corbyn/McDonnall.

      It is rather funny listening to various Labour politician saying, of the referendum, that no one voted to be poorer in the referendum ( this to justify ignoring the vote as they think they know better). But anyone who votes Labour is nearly always voting to make the country poorer as that is what Labour’s over taxation and endless waste policies always do to the economy.

    • Hereton
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Dominic, isn’t it amazing that 52% of Brits voted for “victory” and yet the EU is not minded to give up all its rules and let the UK have all the benefits without being a member of the club. 52% = toddlers screaming it’s not fair. EU = grown ups.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        This is another remainer myth often repeated by Hereton and others.
        We dont want all the benefits without being in the club.
        There are over a hundred nations who trade with EU member nations without being in their club.

  5. Edward2
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    It is such incompetent politics.
    The PM must be given very poor advice.

    Doing things which win elections must be the focus of political parties.
    Why do they do the opposite?

    PS
    How can the PM have a free vote on a subject that was a manifesto pledge and where the PM repeatedly said “no deal is better than a bad deal”

    • Steve
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      Edward2

      “How can the PM have a free vote on a subject that was a manifesto pledge and where the PM repeatedly said “no deal is better than a bad deal”

      Contempt, and a few lies for good measure, that’s how.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Because she clearly meant ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ as a negotiating position.

        Nobody actually meant No Deal is good. It’s always been clear that we have to show we are prepared to walk away yo get the best deal possible (except we can’t walk away and Europe know it).

        It’s because we are in this rubbish negotiating position that I voted Remain. My opinion hasn’t changed. We are carrying a knife in a gunfight. No deal is just not credible. Not to the EU and not to parliament. Sorry.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          So merlin you want to belong to an organisation that you can never leave.
          We voted to leave.
          Over 150 nations are not in the EU.
          They manage.

    • R.S.Goodley
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      She was lying, perhaps?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        She was indeed she has lied all the way through. Even in the referendum she blatantly lied that we had control of our borders through not being in Schengen (to deceive voters into voting remain). He statement on her deal in her statement in Brussels the day before yesterday was nearly all blatant lies.

        How do you know she is lying – her lips are moving. She is a socialist (at best a Libdim) why did she even join the Conservative Party. She just preferred a nice constituency one assumes.

    • RAF
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Edward2

      The person in charge may be given any amount of bad advice but he/she is not duty bound to accept it. Our problem is that Mrs May has surrounded herself with people of like mind, including civil servants. It’s clear that she is not receiving, and maybe as an EU zealot she doesn’t want to receive, a wide range of competing advice.
      May obviously lacks the vision and flexibility of thought that a successful leader must have in their armoury. Repeating the same mantra time after time, as she did last night after another crushing defeat, indicates that she is only interested in tying the UK to her beloved EU. Her whole WA is a crock and she has painted herself into a corner by adhering to its 585 pages of serfdom for the UK.
      What is truly disappointing is that so many Tory MPs have their focus on to the Backstop, a clear case of misdirection designed to try and cover up the other true EU horrors that May wants us to suck up. How poorly we are being served by so many of our MPs.

    • Woody
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      A bad leader is one who cannot pick her advisors and cannot direct them .. now we have the europhile Civil Service, epitomized in the form of Oily Robbins, pointing her away from her promises of no deal is better than a bad deal and “we will leave on the 29th March”. She isn’t just bad, she is a defunct PM. This was clear during the 2016 GE .. she stood on being “strong and stable” in accordance with her “advisors” advice, and after presenting an absolute horlicks of a manifesto, drawn up by her “advisors”, she blamed the ensuing election disaster on them.

  6. Katy Hibbert
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    “It is odd that a government which has constantly confirmed No deal is better than a bad deal, and asserted we will leave on 29 March 2019 is now not going to whip its party to support those two central policies that are very popular with many Conservative voters.”

    “Odd” is a bit of an understatement. I can think of other words, but I’m too polite to use them.

    • matthu
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      “It is odd that a government which has constantly confirmed No deal is better than a bad deal, and asserted we will leave on 29 March 2019 is now not going to whip its party …”

      I guess the reasoning goes that whipping would make no significant difference to the way MPs vote. Furthermore, the PM gambles that she can just about stumble on if she loses a free vote, but not if she were to lose another whipped vote.

  7. G Wilson
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Former Conservative voters, that is.

  8. formula57
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. May:

    – called an unneeded and unwise general election which she proceeded single-handedly to lose through her bad policy proposals, poorly presented;

    – served the Article 50 Notice seemingly without any good strategy, has failed to negotiate playing to the UK’s strengths and advantages, and produced deeply flawed agreements now repudiated that did not deliver Brexit rather would bind the UK to the EU often in perpetuity and in ways not to our advantage;

    – has neither demonstrated leadership nor even a capacity for followership, rather has shown repeatedly (in Dr. Newsome’s words) “her uselessness as a negotiator and her dishonesty as a public servant” ;

    – has clung to office in the expectation of seeing her vision of Brino prevail irrespective of the corrosive damage being done to the British body politic and the social contract with the British people;

    – now proposes to permit Remainers in Parliament a freehand to thwart the Brexit demanded by the people in the Referendum and which she was elected promising to implement.

    Had she listened to you over the last two years or simply read this diary, she would not have made all these avoidable errors that have rendered her premiership a dud. Yet all the reading in the world would not overcome character. Alone amongst her predecessors, the epithet “quisling” is commonly applied to her.

    We cannot expect that she might listen to you now. For how much longer must we await her replacement in order to have someone with sounder judgement willing and able to do well for Britain?

  9. James Bertram
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I sent this to my Remain Tory Minister, Anne Milton, just now – it is an argument that’s time has come:

    Dear Anne,
    Tomorrow you vote for or against keeping ‘No Deal’ on the table. It is a free vote – so there is no place to hide.
    You have indicated that you will vote to remove No Deal – despite this being against the referendum result, against your manifesto promises, and against your having voted to trigger Article 50; too, it is against your local AGM’s motion on 8th March. Frankly, I regard you as a lost cause.
    However you may not have considered this matter of self-preservation:
    If we do not leave on the 29th March you will split the Tory Party. With Labour bringing about a vote of no confidence, you will have left the Brexiteers no option but to bring the Government down. The Brexiteers will then fight the election as a separate pro-Brexit Tory Party – it is the only way the Tories can win – and too, they will win, and probably by a landslide because who else will 17.4 million betrayed voters vote for? And you will be out on your ear, deservedly so.
    So, if you want to stay in Government, then you need to make sure No Deal remains on the table, and that we leave on the 29th March.

    • Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Well done! I am convinced this is what will happen. Brexiteers now have 20 million people supporting them. That is what has changed! It’s the Biggest Change – the Country has Made Up It’s Mind!
      But we do need our host and his colleagues to propose themselves rather than leave Farage as the only (unviable) option! Again!

  10. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    I suppose we should no thank you and the ERG for assisting is making sure we have a second referendum?

    Reply I expect that to be voted down

    • Gareth
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      But it may not be voted down. There’s plenty of Tory Remainer support, and very popular with Labour and SNP. You may well have lost your chance to Brexit.

      • R.S.Goodley
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        The WA was in no way Brexit, and it matters not a jot how often you say it was.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        It is enshrined in UK law so, without new legislation in the HoC, it is happening in 16 days time, despite your wishful thinking…

      • BCL
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        And even if there is a second referendum, Leave may win again perhaps by a bigger margin. Remoaners seem to assume that won’t happen. They were confident of winning last time. Be careful what you wish for, remoaners. The behaviour of the Eu hasn’t exactly endeared them to us.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Gareth

        You seem to fear a second refrendum and yet you want to impose the first result on the population of the UK. Is that democratic? Democracies change their minds constantly. That is why you need Parliament.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          ” democracies change their minds…So when will your demand for more referenda stop?

          Presumably when you pro EU elite get the answer you want.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            @Edward2

            That is one reason why I am against referenda, especially poorly structured ones.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            But only against them when they don’t go your way.

  11. Edwardm
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    The government should now show conviction for leaving on the 29th, with a clean Brexit – either WTO or FTA/GAT24 (but only if the bribe is small).

    Should a majority of our MPs very mistakenly vote to further delay implementing the referendum result, let’s hope that the EU fails to get unanimity for an Art 50 extension.

  12. ukretired123
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May was unfortunate to lose her voice trying to flog a dead deal.
    The EU were not going to offer us anything to deter other EU exits, now or in a future delay.
    Corbin wanting No Deal off the table cripples Brexit and undermines the Referendum as does another second one.
    MPs are leaderless and need reminding what we voted for. Simple.
    Anything else is unacceptable.
    We have a legal mandate to leave end of month.
    If we don’t we will all be true April Fools to complete our total incompetence in the eyes of the world.

    • Steve
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:05 am | Permalink

      ukretired123

      “Theresa May was unfortunate to lose her voice trying to flog a dead deal”

      Not so long ago she’d have lost more than her voice.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Steve,

        What is the real point of this sort of nonsense?

  13. mancunius
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know why Philip Davies, David Davis and Nadine Doerries voted for the WA this time round?

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      Frightened that ‘we will not get another opportunity to ‘leave’’ – Philip assured me that ‘gutlessness’ would not be the reason he decided to vote for May’s Oblivion!
      But it was want it – hang onto Nurse for fear of something worse …

    • Gareth
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Because they know that Brexit could lost if May’s deal was voted down. And it looks that way; Article 50 revocation and second referendum are now much more likely.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        @ Gareth

        Again, do you think a second referendum would produce a different result? Why?

    • Steve
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      ermm…….idiocy ?

    • Stred
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      Presumably, because they know what a treacherous load of bustards 2/3rds of Labour and Conservative MPs are.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      I do hope David Davis doesn’t have the support to put himself forward for leader

      • Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        YES! He’s LAZY and LIMITED!

        • Posted March 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Yes, didn’t he say he wanted to craft a deal which would appeal to as broad a section of the population as possible, leavers and remainers, ie in effect we would not leave? In accord no doubt with Theresa’s “deep and special relationship”.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        He’s a quitter the last thing we need is a quitter.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Fear of worse if they did not – one assumes. But not much could be worse than May’s appalling, expensive, straight jacket W/A.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Gareth probably knows this but hates the UK.

    • hardlymatters
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes because they knew the vote for the WA would be defeated anyway and when in the future it becomes clear that the defeat was the defining moment that led to the total loss of Brexit- they can always say that they voted for it– smart but sneaky coming from typical low life

  14. Chris
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    You write: “It is odd that……”.

    In normal circumstances yes, but sadly we have become so accustomed to Theresa May being deceitful, telling untruths, saying one thing and doing completely the opposite, that this situation that we are in is not at all surprising. The No deal is better than a bad deal mantra was apparently simply what was expedient to say at that moment. Truth and Theresa May are strangers it seems.

    My own view is that it is a disgrace that she is our PM, representing our country. I want someone with honesty and integrity to lead our country, and someone who upholds democracy and who will honour the referendum result. The Cons Party should dispense with her swiftly. It that really the sort of person you want to represent you and the Party? represent you?

  15. Mark
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    “ It is odd that a government which has constantly confirmed No deal is better than a bad deal, and asserted we will leave on 29 March 2019 is now not going to whip its party to support those two central policies”

    Classic British understatement there Sir John….

    I think we know why this is. The vast majority of the body politic and their followers in the civil service and media care not one fig for the plebiscite or the views of the hoi polloi.

    I have been predicting this for the last 24 months . We will be sent back to the polling booths.

    • Mark
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      I think May fears the polling booths.

      Are you Mark C or J?

    • Stred
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:15 am | Permalink

      It’s the standard EU plan. They know that most politicians are on the gravy train.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    It reveals May as a true Remainer.

    I should appreciate your comment on the apparently tricksy wording of Wednesday’s motion. At the very least it will reveal to voters who is for and who is against Brexit. No doubt this will be noted for the next election. I also suspect that May is angling to try for a third time to get her deal through the HoC. How much longer will the Tory party tolerate her incompetence and ineptitude?

  17. Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    My apologies for duplicate posting.
    Various folk e.g. ‘Gina’ have tried to use legal means to stop Brexit. Can Brexiteers now use similar tactics to ensure that Brexit happens by 29th March. – What is good for the goose (Gina) is good for the gander! Surely the tight time frame is ripe for such tactics?

    • matthu
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      Good thinking. (But I guess this is a tactic hardly likely to unite either the Party or the electorate.)

  18. J Bush
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I did suggest that is what May would do, but you saw fit not to allow my comment on this.

    I happen to have respect for you in attempting to uphold democracy, but sometimes it is also necessary to face uncomfortable truths. I respectfully suggest that until you take off those rose tinted glasses and they are thrown in the bin, attempts to protect democracy will fail.

    May actions are those of a traitor and until she and the other traitors are removed from the cabinet, you will be endlessly fighting.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Not for the first time in EU history are the winners of a national vote called ‘rebels’.

    • Stred
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:23 am | Permalink

      The new Conservative Brexit Party must have a manifesto which includes the reinstatement of the Treason Act, abolition of the House of Lords and Proportional Representation in addition to conservative policies. 100k pledges of support + so far.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      She is indeed a misguided traitor, but one undercut by Labour and the Tory, SNP, LibDim remoaners who have ensured the deal offered by the EU is so appalling.

  19. Andy
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Today has again shown that most of the ERG are cowards.

    Mrs May’s deal is Brexit.

    And rather than admitting it to your constituents you pretend there is something better.

    There isn’t.

    This is Brexit. And now it time to honest with voters about how naff it is.

    • Al
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      How is something that leaves the UK implementing EU laws and tied to future ones, like article11&13, unable to form its own trade deals, and still bound to follow EU direction, Brexit?

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Well then, Andy aren’t you cockahoop? May can cancel A50 to give people the chance to vote again now they know that binding, suffocating WA agreement is the only deal the EU will offer to a weak negotiating remain team and a parliament who want to stay anyway.

  20. TROD
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I am pleased that the Withdrawal Agreement has been voted down again because, having voted ‘leave’ in the 2016 referendum, one expected a straightforward (simples) Brexit. However, I predict that the UK will not leave the EU on 29 March and will be granted an extension to Article 50 so we can have another referendum.

  21. Simon
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    It is widely believed that the PM intends to resile from her manifesto and vote No to No Deal. This is the end of trust in the Conservatives. You would need a heart of stone not to laugh.

    • Chris
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Rule of thumb with May: listen to what she says and believe the opposite. Simples, as she might say.

  22. Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, what chance of the ‘managed no-deal’ Amendment getting through do you think?

    I’m not afraid of a referendum so long as WTO leave is 1 of the 2 options. We will win with 75% of the vote!

  23. John Archer
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    It is odd that a government which has constantly confirmed No deal is better than a bad deal, and asserted we will leave on 29 March 2019 is now not going to whip its party to support those two central policies that are very popular with many Conservative voters.

    “Odd”, you say? Well, steady on there!

    There’s no call for that sort inflammatory language — people might lose all respect for the personages infesting the system of government in this country.

    Those few who haven’t already, that is.

  24. Chris
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    The Comments section to the article written by Theresa May on Cons Home is revealing and CCHQ should take note pdq.
    https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2019/03/theresa-may-why-the-commons-should-support-this-improved-brexit-deal-today.html

    It is worth remembering that there was a cull of grassroots Cons commenting on that website, so the only commenters who were permitted to post seemed to fit in with the Cameron mould. Thus, if these more left leaning Cons are calling Theresa May out I would suggest she is in even more trouble.

    I just wonder who is advising May? Either she is surrounded by sycophants who are giving her a false sense of security, or she is still useful to the PTB and they need her to stay put a bit longer? Very curious, as to anyone else the honourable thing to do in her circumstances is crystal clear.

  25. miami.mode
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    How foolish are these Tories who are intent on remaining in the EU or staying under their jurisdiction in some way?

    Do they not realise that the anger generated among Tory voters will cause their votes to be shared between the Conservatives and whatever party or parties promise a proper Brexit? The No Deal vote should have been whipped.

    May (the month) will prove extremely interesting.

  26. Paul
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    JR, today was the day that you and all your ERG friends killed Brexit. The choice was May’s Deal or Remain. There is zero chance of “No Deal” in this parliament dominated by Remainers. You have just ensured we will end up staying in. The public doesn’t give a stuff about the backstop – May’s Deal ended free movement and that’s all that really matters. It doesn’t matter if your ideal Brexit is right or wrong for the country, it does not have support and will never happen.

    • Chris
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Paul, May’s deal did not represent Leaving the EU. So voting for May’s deal would have killed Brexit. It would have been BRINO.

      The ERG and others did the honourable thing and voted against it. Thank goodness there are still some MPs who honour the Referendum result and who are fighting to uphold democracy.

  27. Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    They’ve done a good job in making people think that Brexit is completely dependent upon a trade deal.
    It beggars belief.

  28. 'None of the above'.
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    If this parliament is dissolved due to an election being called, can you confirm that we will leave on ‘Exit Day’ (29th March) during the election campaign period?
    Will anyone have the power to prevent that?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      A minister only needs to get a Statutory Instrument for a regulation to defer exit day approved by a simple resolution in both Houses.

  29. Caterpillar
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Odd? No, the PM and most of the HoC has been against the democratic referendum result all along. Fundamentally, the Govt should have put preparing to leave with no deal as uppermost importance (i.e.a strategy that is robust w.r.t. the EUs actions), the free vote shows the government has not done this, nor intends to. One way or another Remain or some vassal-protectorate hodgepodge is the intent of the HoC. I continue to be a Brexit supporter, but if so-called ‘no deal’ won’t happen I do not want a CU/Norway option or A50 extension without representation. If no-deal, is taken off the table tomorrow then any acceptable alternative must include the UK maintaining its rights (powers) in the EU and representation (MEPs), whether this is revocation (and fight another day) or delay to end 2020 with no WA (just leave, but be prepared). Any costly, powerless, unrepresented path is not taking back sovereignty.

  30. mancunius
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I see May intends to vote tomorrow against Leaving on 29 March – if she dares to speak against a no-deal exit (assuming she would be physically able to speak tomorrow) must she not face a party rebellion??

    Btw I thought Bill Cash and Owen Paterson spoke rousingly, with incisive and passionate energy today.

  31. ian
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s not odd to me, remain rule both the big parties, they continue to avoid any decision on leaving the EU.

    The EU 27 are going have to make the decision for them when they meet, it will only take a country like Hungary to say no to an extension and the UK will have to leave on the 29th of March no matter what parliament says in the next two days and leave parliament no choice but to leave no deal on the table.
    Parliament cannot legislate to take any no deal off the table for that reason.

  32. Caterpillar
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    We will see tomorrow how many Conservative MPs, including the PM herself, stand for democracy and trust the people of the UK and how many don’t. MPs of all parties who vote against leaving with no deal are voting against democracy, against the electorate and confirming that UK politicians do not trust the electorate nor can ever again be trusted by them.

  33. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    She seems not to have a mind if her own. Civil servants and elite are leading the donkey against the people. The donkey will always lose.

  34. rose
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    You did very well in the petition debate and I liked your alternative budget. If only…

  35. Captain Peacock
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    A second referendum was on the cards from day one, this is what the EU have told May to do. The EU have form holding second referendum like Ireland millions will be poured into EU lies and it will be rigged. There is no point voting Tory anymore they are all a bunch on EU lackeys I hope not one on the 17 million who voted for Brexit never vote Tory again.
    From today you will see the likes of the BBC go full EU propaganda mode after all the EU are paying them well.
    ‘BBC has secretly obtained millions of pounds in grants from the European Union. Licence fee payers might assume that the Corporation would have been compelled to disclose the source of this money in its annual reports, but they bear no trace of it specifically. In the latest set of accounts, for example, these funds are simply referred to as ‘other grant income’.

  36. Peter Thompson
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I am afraid there is real momentum now for a second remain/leave referendum.Today will be looked upon by historians as the only opportunity to leave the E.U and it was spurned by the ERG.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      What hogwash! Read the WA – it is not leave. When one balances the risk of voting down the WA against the certainty of what the agreement entails, one can understand why ERG members preferred to vote against it.
      Ever since DD and SB were relieved of their duties and replaced by OR, the intent of the PM has been quite clear, which is to offer two Remain options, either the WA or what we have now. This impression is further supported by her openly opposing No Deal in tonight’s vote.

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      That is the view peddled by the lying mainstream media. The facts are otherwise.

  37. Steve
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Theresa May should resign, right now, and quit politics. Everything she has touched has gone rotten.

    Hopefully her sneaking off to Strasbourg without anyone else’s knowledge or consent was to secure asylum.

    However that would mean she finally understands what will be unleashed in this country if WTO brexit is not delivered on 29th.

    She is a threat to national security, same as any MP who attempts to stop no deal.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Steve,

      Very interesting considerations , delivered very assertively but not with much substance

  38. Steve P
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    I’m going against the expert prediction – I expect no deal stays and we are out on 29. The question really pits MP against constituents. Like the 100 or so that voted May today that didn’t for her first time because they were scared of the consequences I think large numbers will swing towards keeping no deal on the table scared of deselection or GE.

  39. Kenneth
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Mrs May and her fellow rebels should have been removed a long time ago.

  40. Freeborn John
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    We need a different Prime Minister to get brexit. This one is an incompetent Remainer. She must step aside this week and be replaced by an interim leader until the leadership process is complete. You won’t get a different answer with a leader who is against no deal no matter how bad the alternative is and has an infinite capacity for more delay. A delegation has to visit May to say she must step aside and now is the time.

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      The Conservatives would never replace May with a genuine non globalist brexiteer. Its not in its DNA.

  41. russ
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Listening and watching Ken Clarke today it seems the Bilderburg steering committee who probably planned Mays strategy years in advance seemed to think Labour would support it. Ken Clarke seems to think Corbyn has bizzarely thrawted the script. I thought Theresa May looked an embarassed puppet tonight.

    I am increasingly disturbed by this BBC and MSM rhetoric that in normal times a PM who suffered such a defeat would resign, but these are not normal times. This is not acceptable and the BBC must not be allowed to get away with these precidents or they will end up justifying some sort of emergency powers so we can never get rid of her until we pretend to leave the EU. Also, the BBC and others must not keep getting away with this narrative that “no one wants her job”. The BBC are literally falling over themselves to be sychophantic to May, but why? The BBC are so sychophantic to May they are starting to look like a bunch of brainwashed North Korean peasants.

  42. Steve
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    JR

    “ It is odd that a government which has constantly confirmed No deal is better than a bad deal, and asserted we will leave on 29 March 2019 is now not going to whip its party to support those two central policies”

    Well Mr Redwood, I’m not surprised. Theresa May is known to want the UK shackled to the EU and is behaving like a despot to achieve that aim.

    The problem goes right back to Mrs May herself. She is the inverse to what was needed i.e someone with the guts to go to the EU and tell them how it works, in the very beginning.

    The EU don’t play cricket, as it were. To them, negotiation is about threats and protectionism.

    To deal with the ungrateful EU, a real bruiser is needed. Someone prepared to threaten to bring the whole rotten cabal crashing down.

    However I do know this much; anything other than no deal / WTO on 29th, Labour and Conservatives are dead, no longer viable as political parties. Then all hell breaks loose.

  43. Cark
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    It is odd that you have consistently pushed for no deal, which all serious economists regard as illiterate, and now seem surprised that the vast majority of MPs are going to take it off the table.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      If you had been following the narrative, you would know that JR hasn’t pushed for “no deal”, only that it is better than the WA. He has roundly supported an FTA with the EU, as that is best for everyone.

  44. Philip
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Interesting quotes from a Cabinet Minister noted by Sebastain payne of the FT: “There is a huge amount of anger against the ERG .. they are unable to take responsibility for decisions rather than needing to be permanent rebels. They have a pathological need for grievance”. Who do you think he has in mind, Mr John Redwood?

    Reply If you name him I will ask him. i disagree with that view

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Philip,

      Good quote. I would totally agree with that view, when we are talking about the ERG.
      They have now come up with a new amendment which they call a compromise on the transition period, which the EU has made clear is not negotiable, but they keep coming up with non-implementable and not supported solutions

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        So do the pro EU MPs.

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

      I’m afraid everybody tarred by the May Cabinet brush is a complete irrelevance. They have proven their incompetence beyond reasonable doubt. They suffer from self-delusion beyond repair! They were under instructions!
      Now today, the PM is going to vote against Government policy!
      Surely this is an all time first?

  45. Nigl
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    And now we know she supports a No Deal and wants to make it policy. U turn or previous lying? In any negotiation walking away has to be an option indeed the party that can walk away has the strongest suit.

    By taking that away we play into the hands of the EU. What I don’t understand is why she allowed Ollie Robbins to come back with so palpably a poor deal, surely he would have updated her regularly and surely she and/or her advisers would have seen the elephant traps and sent him back to re do it?

    Why keep it all secret from and therefore lose and make enemies of two Brexit secretaries? Surely a political mistake?

    I thing a word that Cameron used is telling. He called it a ‘partnership’. Partners are almost joined at the hip, hence her aim to ‘leave but not leave’ despite what she said on a regular basis which with other utterances that seemed merely ‘of the moment’ made her look secretive and duplicitous.

    We voted for a customer/customer relationship a.k.a a (free) trade deal obviously meeting the other sides standards, regs etc as you do with any country not the handcuffs of the WA.

    I think she thought the tag ‘bloody difficult woman’ something to be proud of. Regrettably it has become her epitaph.

  46. Big John
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    May has deliberately created this problem, by undermining any attempt to do a real leave deal with the EU.

    She was always forcing us into this BRINO rubbish that only a minority wants.

    Even after another historic defeat, she is still going against the manifesto by
    not whipping her MP’s to vote against the removal of the “No Deal” option !!

    Removal of the “No Deal” option means remain !!

    I suppose, at least we will be able to get a complete list of all the traitors,
    who don’t believe in democracy and should not be in parliment.

    I read somewhere, that she went for the free vote, because she was worried about some of her cabinet resigning.

    But it didn’t seem to be a problem when a large number of the leave supporting cabinet members were resigning !!

    The only way to recover from this, is the “No Deal” clean exit on the 29th march.

  47. Martin Bowden
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Another nail in May’s coffin. Unfortunately it’s difficult to keep a zombie down.
    Cox revealed the terrible truth of her connivance
    and duplicity.
    Shame on Matt Hancock, who’s doing such a bad job as Health Secretary, for suggesting suppressing the truth.

  48. formula57
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Reviewing the briefings I have given my own M.P. I saw I had sent him your earlier diary entry @ http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/11/brexit-end-game/ and it occurred to me that readers here might welcome the chance to refresh their memories about that as it remains an informative and predictive article.

  49. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Is it possible that the government have discovered that no bad deal is bad enough to be worse than no deal? The government does have a duty of care and willingly expose your country to uneccessary harm would be a breach of that duty, even if a large segment of the population, for whatever reason likes an event to happen that they are not convinced (or ignorant of) to cause serious, even if only for a couple of years, harm.

  50. Anthony
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    John, what actually is the plan for getting out with no deal? The Commons doesn’t want it and has shown it is prepared to take control of the business of the House to prevent it. Moreover, they are prepared to take control of business in order to foist a soft brexit on us not taking back control of immigration, laws or money.

    It’s all very well saying the law is that we leave on 29th March, but changing that date is in the control of the government, and the PM said at the despatch box that she was willing to change it because she was under pressure from Remain MPs. Following extension, the Remain group will then use the order paper to move our negotiating position to a soft brexit and vote for that deal.

    What I outline above now looks like the most likely outcome to me. What tools are available to prevent this? I can only think of voting for the deal or a vote of no confidence in the government (and even then that may lead to a government of national unity ie. soft brexit in the 2 week period following the vote). What else is there?

  51. mary
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Well done the ERG and others voting down the dreadful WA. They will of course get slated by the totally dishonest remainer MSM, but more and more people are seeing through MSM’s lies now and support ERG over this. . Let MSM whinge , and well done. Surprised at David Davis though, whatever made him vote for it.
    On to next stage and hope it ends in clean break on WTO terms so that we can escape the horrible totalitarian EU that wants to bleed us white.

  52. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Well, JR, have your ever heard of a Pyrrhic victory?

    We know you won the battle yesterday, but who do you think will win the war?

    Theresa May, the liar cheat hypocrite and traitor who has wanted to undermine Brexit from the very start, and who may well get what she wants with your help.

  53. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Good news that the ‘deal’ was voted down, one can only hope finally.

    It makes no sense to veto a No-Deal. The Government has had 2 years to come up with an acceptable EU deal, and failed miserably. Another 2 years, or more, with the UK in limbo will see no progress on negotiations because the EU will have no reason to change anything – We have already given up all our ace cards, so that option should be off the table.

    I hope to see Parliament doing the right thing now, and allow a No-deal (WTO) exit to proceed – Anything else will be a betrayal of promises made.

  54. Owen
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Imagine the fighting there would be over the alternative questions in a second referendum.

    1. May’s deal must be excluded since our MPs have rejected it twice.
    2. We cannot simply re-run the first referendum.

    Could be,

    Remain in the EU
    Vs
    Leave the EU on WTO terms

    The remainders will want the second choice to be ….. Leave with no deal ….. because looks worse.

  55. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwoood,

    Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, submitted an amendment in his name that was subsequently passed and gave the Prime Minister a mandate for the backstop to be replaced by alternative arrangements. As we know the changes brought back by the Prime Minister did not amount to a hill of beans and were subsequently rejected.

    I thought it rather a surprise then to learn that Mr. Brady chose to back the PM’s deal in the second meaningful vote.

    • Colin Hart
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Or to put it another way ‘a bit odd’.

  56. Chris
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Could you advise if the vote tonight on taking No deal off the table is not actually binding?

  57. Chris
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Interesting tweet from Peston responding to Barnier’s tweet:

    Robert Peston‏ @Peston
    “For the avoidance of doubt, the EU is warning that if @theresa_may’s Brexit deal is voted down, as far as they are concerned it’s full steam ahead with planning for a no-deal Brexit
    Robert Peston added,

    Michel Barnier @MichelBarnier
    “Listening to debate in @HouseofCommons : there seems to be a dangerous illusion that the UK can benefit from a transition in the absence of the WA.
    Let me be clear: the only legal basis for a transition is the WA. No withdrawal agreement means no transition”.

    Sir John, does the phrase “Let me be clear” used by politicians have particular alternative translations?

  58. a-tracy
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    May “It will be no good blaming the EU, responsibility would lie with this House.” If Mrs May believes this she should have given the house the option to ‘Leave with her Withdrawal agreement’ or ‘Leave without’. No mention of remain, another referendum, an extension.

    It is time to ask the MPs to choose their sides and choose them carefully. They say they are making a stand for the British People, but what if we don’t want their new ruler who has bribed them for their votes? Rather than a three-way vote maybe it should be a deal or no deal vote with those MPs who lose the peoples vote resigning as they would no longer represent the people. You can’t have it both ways. Get behind the people and fight for their future, do not capitulate it is time to fight. People think they gave you your power back do not kick it back in their faces or they’ll wonder what they need you, the Lords, and the other structures of government for if you want EU rulers instead.

    Toynbee writes this morning, “Labour will not be to blame” that’s not what I hear around here Madam. Sitting on the sidelines or at the back of people lining up for a fight will not be admired at all.

  59. JeremyG
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I understand today and tomorrows votes are on motions so will not stop leaving on WTO. However if parliament does find a way to stop the UK leaving on the 29th March, then please have the courage to vote against the government in a confidence vote, so Mrs May is forced to change course or resign.

  60. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    The Prime Minister clearly has no real power to direct Brexit anymore, last nights vote exemplifies the fact that she can neither unite the Conservative Party behind government policy nor negotiate a Deal with the EU remotely acceptable as a form of Brexit . A Remainer- dominated Parliament has forced her to make room for votes today against a “No Deal” Brexit and tomorrow on extending the Article 50 process. It is a disaster!

    She has to go- and FAST! You, along with as many of your colleagues as possible must agree to go to No 10 Downing Street to each tell her- firmly and sternly- that she has no authority left and has to resign forthwith. This country needs a strong Conservative Leader and Prime Minister who really believes in Brexit and who is willing to lead the troops into battle (even at the risk of death- for who knows to what extent the Remainer Deep State will go to stop a true Brexit)- to Make Brexit Happen on schedule.

    You and your colleagues did not succeed in deposing Theresa May in December 2018 but you can- and must- now. You Sir could plead with Brexit- sympathetic Cabinet Ministers like Sir Liam Fox to demand that Theresa May stand down, you could get your ERG colleagues to threaten to defect to Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party unless Theresa May is gone by the end of the week. There are all sorts of things you could do to achieve this outcome. You could even write to her husband to persuade him (because of these factors) to tell her that the time is up!

    Theresa May is a disaster for Brexit, a disaster for the Conservative Party, she can no longer run Government- and she is weak: Theresa May MUST GO!

    Ian Pennell

  61. ChrisS
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Mrs May and Robbins bare most of the responsibility for the tragic mess we are in however the Cabinet has failed in its duty to keep an eye on what was developing and redirect the negotiations when they were clearly going in the wrong direction.

    Even a cursory examination of the proposed backstop would have told those with acute political antennae that it would never be approved by parliament. In that respect, cabinet members have been supine in the extreme.

    However, that is in the past, we are where we are.

    Our host and his Brexiteer colleagues have now put Remainers in a position where they will be able to take a WTO exit off the table. That guarantees that there will be no chance of obtaining any kind of further enhancements to the deal.

    All the EU now has to do is sit back and wait for events to play out in Westminster.
    If I were Juncker or Tusk, with WTO off the table, I would only offer an extension to A50 if Parliament agrees to hold a second referendum or a General Election.

    May can then bring back her deal for a third attempt before 29th March and invite Brexiteers, having then looked over the abyss, to vote for it.

    I don’t like the deal any more than our host but it is now the only way we can be sure of securing any form of Brexit.

  62. Monza 71
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I see that Little Leo is becoming apoplectic over the tariffs on beef we are proposing. It’s a pity that May didn’t advise the EU of the proposed tariffs months ago during negotiations. It might have made Varadkar think twice about doing Junckers’ dirty work for him in screwing us over the backstop, an entirely fabricated issue as far as Brexit is concerned.

    If only our MPs could have the backbone to keep exit on WTO terms on the table !
    Can’t they see that removing it today, on the very day that the announced tariffs might make Varadkar blink, leaves us with no cards to play in getting further progress on the backstop ?

  63. Den
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Obviously it is a topsy turvy Government we have in Britain. Under Mrs May’s direction we should not be surprised. Dithering is her middle name.

  64. Den
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    It matches Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. Doing the same over again, expecting a different result. Could Mrs May have a mental block against doing the right thing for the British people? She sounds more “Establishment” than Conservative which prevents this country leaving the EU in an orderly fashion. Procrastination has become her weapon of choice.

  65. Martin Conboy
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Theresa May is at a fork in the road for the Conservative party. The easy downward path leads to dishonour and eventual ruin, the harder looking upward path might just lead to honour, victory and glory.
    Given the europhile majority in the HoC it is inevitable now that they will betray Brexit. Corbyn has a problem in that his MPs are predominantly europhile, whereas much of his working class constituencies are eurosceptic. He must not be gifted a way out of that. The Conservatives have a similar problem, though perhaps not quite so bad.
    The easy path is to allow a free vote on No Deal. This allows the europhiles to thwart Brexit with, effectively, the permission of the government. It gifts Corbyn a cast-iron, true excuse: “look, Brexit has been betrayed by the Conservatives who called a free vote in full knowledge of the likely outcome. There was nothing I could do”. The europhiles then vote to extend Article 50, the EU will exact a huge price for this but how huge won’t become known until after the vote. Almost certainly we’ll be staying with no voting rights and the Thatcher rebate will be cancelled taking our net contributions up to £12bn/year or more. This will rightly be seen as the biggest failure of British statecraft since Suez.
    The hard path is to whip the vote for No Deal. She will lose it, but Corbyn will be forced to whip to betray Brexit and therefore a large chunk of his own core support (result), and her own eurofanatics will be forced out into the sunlight with blood on their hands as they resign and defy the whip (result). After losing the vote, the house is effectively ungovernable so it should not be difficult to build a cross-party consensus to seek a 3-month extension of Article 50 and use the time to hold a GE. That will sort the HoC out, and hopefully Bercow as well (result!).
    Unfortunately the hard path requires qualities of courage, vision and leadership which are in short supply.
    Be brave, Theresa!

  66. am
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The plan is coming together: present a remain biased deal that the brexiteers would never accept; take no deal of the table; extend article 50; eventually hold a second referendum with no deal not an option. Who cares about 17.4 million?

  67. matthu
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Possible options remaining

    a. PM puts WA to the house a 3rd time, MPs vote in favour and UK leaves on 29 March with a WA.
    b. UK leaves on 29 March without a WA.
    c. Article 50 extended to 22 May or thereabouts to enable a compromise agreement.
    d. UK leaves on 22 May without a compromise agreement.
    e. UK leaves on 22 May with a compromise agreement.
    f. Article 50 is extended way beyond the EU elections to enable a 2nd referendum.

    I think a,b and f are extremely unlikely.
    That leaves c leading to either d or e.

  68. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    May’s sole aim from now and a Art50 Extension is to bring back her Wa, againa nd again. It is unacceptable even if Ireland simply did not exist – even a WTO Brexit will be sabotaged by this devious woman who has no interest inBrexit and simply has ‘negotiated’ an arrangement to smooth the UK back into EU membership.

    The RemaINiacs under may will destroy the Conservative Party unless you remove her from office. The DUP, ERG etc should tell the Opposition that they will support or Abstain on a Commons No Confidence motion – that will leave the Tory Payroll Careerists who support May with the choice of either ditching her or losing their seats – probably deselected – in a General Election if they still support her in the second No Confidence Vote as required by the Fixed Term Parliament Act for an early GE.
    Get rid of her now – the Brexiteers can distance themselves from her mess or otherwise you become part of it..

  69. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Incredibly, there is talk of a third meaningful vote once No Deal is taken off the table and an Article 50 extension is asked for.

    Clearly, the Prime Minister is set on ‘grinding the bastards down’ in order to get her deal through.

  70. NickW
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Before the No Deal vote takes place; there needs to be an agreed definition of what constitutes “No Deal”.

    If No Deal means the absence of an agreement between the UK and the EU, then Parliament is handing a veto to the EU to forbid and prevent any Country from leaving; nobody agreed to that; No Treaty mandates that.

    If No Deal focuses on our agreements and relationships outside the EU; preparations appear well in hand, evidencing that the UK does, in fact, have many Deals in place with the rest of the World.

    Putting it another way, Leaving without a formal agreement between the EU and the UK, but on the basis of understandings and agreements between the UK and the rest of the World does not constitute “No Deal”.

    Is Parliament going to say to the UK people; “We can’t leave because the EU won’t let us”.? Is that what this Country has come to, because if it is, we do not need a UK Parliament, and UK Parliamentary elections need to be abolished as meaningless; if we take our orders from Europe, Parliament is a redundant Institution.

  71. Sam Duncan
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    At what point does “odd” become “suspicious”?

  72. Chris
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Farage on top form at the European Parliament today referring to our current predicament. Well worth the 3 mins listening:
    https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/1105859005044482048

  73. CvM
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    With the first vote to vote against no deal at any time Brexit of any sorts is on life support

  74. Chris
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink
  75. Chris
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The Express editorial:
    https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/1099676/brexit-news-remainer-parliament-theresa-may-european-union-deal
    A Remainer Parliament has sought to thwart the will of the majority – EXPRESS COMMENT
    PARLIAMENT is now entering the endgame with Brexit.

    “….Any decision made by Parliament that blocks Britain leaving the EU, tries to seek a second option from voters, or significantly delays departure in the hope we will all change our mind, will be treachery.

    Within the Westminster bubble, which today feels more detached than ever from the views of the British populace, MPs must understand that the citizens of Britain voted to leave the institutions of the EU. If they reverse that in any way, there will be a crisis of trust in democracy greater than at any time in our history.

    Not only was there a majority in the referendum to leave but both the Conservatives and Labour ran on manifestos in the 2017 general election to respect the result of the referendum….”

  76. Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I confess to being somewhat confused.

    The PMs awful deal has been heavily defeated twice so she purposes to have another attempt to get it passed next week and if it’s voted down for a third time, she will try again on the 26th March.

    Am I missing something?

    • Chris
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Keep voting till you get the “right” result. A well known tactic of the EU, which has been successful so far in other EU countries. The UK always was awkward and hopefully will stand firm.

  77. Russ
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Sky News has just said MPs will have “the chance” to vote for TMs ‘agreement’ again. This is how they are spinning it, Lucky MPs getting 3 chances is what the Sky political correspondant thinks.

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  • About John Redwood


    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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