The interpretative statements

If these new texts change something, then why isn’t  that  reflected in a changed text for the Withdrawal Agreement?

I have not had a reply to my letter to the Attorney General about the other aspects of the Agreement which concern me, and received no good answer when I raised these points last night following the government Statement.  Parliament should be shown the legal advice on EU determination of the payments under the Agreement, the role of the ECJ in disputes and the capability of the EU to legislate against UK interests throughout the negotiation period or so called transition.

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154 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    GOOD NEWS!
    1. Dr. Redwood – You agree with Dominic Grieve!

    2. The arrogance of the EU bureaucrats (as instructed by Berlin) may well deliver us completely out of the EU without encumbrances.

    3. Surely another defeat must also rid us of this incompetent PM?

    • Hope
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      May is trying to bounce MPs, once again, in an underhand way not to read, digest and understand her minor changes to the arbitration process. The backstop does not give the UK the unilateral right to walk away. The backstop is not replaced. May has failed to even ask/negotiate to replace the backstop. Parliament demanded that. She did not even try! The arbitration panel is skewed in the EU interest, any EU law to be decided by ECJ.

      Let us be clear May has wound down the clock to prevent an alternative withdrawal agreement or negotiate a trade deal. She has failed to get a trade deal but is willing pay nearly £100 billion to talk about one that she will not be able to influence or control. it will be dictated on WEU terms for her to accept. Weybound made it clear it will give the EU controls to direct. May is willing not to be more competitive than the EU by non regression clauses! May is content for the UK to be in the customs union and single market by other names. Therefore abide by EU rules directives without a voice or veto! This does not comply or honour her manifesto, referendum or national interest.

      If the vote passes who will be in charge of trade discussions- May and Robbins! Does anyone have faith they will act in the national interest? May has already claimed the UK will get a fair share of our fish! This sums up her servitude attitude.

      I have already written to my MP why he must vote down her deal. It is the only honourable thing to do.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Every day this looks more like a Pandora’s box…

  2. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Whatever reply you might be getting you are not going to vote for the amended agreement anyway , are you ?

    • Hope
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      No right minded intelligent person would. It is dreadful in every respect. no compromises whatsoever just a series of capitulations to keep the UK in the EU by another and by two other treaties.

      May no longer thinks whether it is okay to lie, mislead, misinform. As soon as she opens her mouth you know you have to verify what she says by several independent sources. If she said good morning to me I would check my watch.

      • Chris
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Guido is reporting Jacob R-M as saying that the ERG is meeting at 5 pm to decide their response (that appears contrary to earlier reports that ERG were not going to support May’s WA). According to Guido, J R-M stated that they would vote against the WA unless Brexit were threatened by this.

        Well, Brexit has always been threatened, and unless J R-M grows the proverbial his reputation will be in tatters. Stand up to those who are determined to destroy Brexit and fight them openly and honestly and do not be tempted to use underhand tactics (i.e. support something that you know would destroy the UK and Brexit) simply to “save” the immediate situation. You will be out manoeuvred again by the Remainers if you back the WA, I fear, and Brexit will be well and truly destroyed. I think the only solution is for May to resign and a Brexiter to be appointed. Failing that a GE, with a Brexiter heading the Cons Party. A landslide could be in the offing but a lot of baggage has to be dropped, and noses held by those who do not like cooperating with the new Brexit Party.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Most opinion this morning seems to be that the “amendments” are not worth a jot.

      Whilst Mrs May, may have liked to believe that the “backstop” was the only item that needed amending, that certainly was not the case.

      And what happened to “no deal is better than a bad deal”?

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Jean-Claude Juncker comes from Luxembourg, a country famous for its Waffles & Crepes.

      His “legally binding” assurances are nothing more that that.

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Hans, The “agreement” has not been amended! And as JR correctly points out the WA is not Leave (because it keeps the UK under EU control). I am beginning to suspect that you are not just an EU ideologue but have bad faith as to the meaning of plain English words.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        Read my log I asked a question, so stop silly comments

        • John Hatfield
          Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          It was your question that was silly Hans

        • NickC
          Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          Hans, And I replied to your question, so stop silly comments. The draft Withdrawal Agreement has not been amended, and therefore still keeps us under EU control. Why do you ask a silly question when a moment’s thought would provide your answer?

    • Edward2
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Maybe not, but clarity on this issue may stop other MPs voting for the WA.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      hans christian ivers

      “Sir JR,

      Whatever reply you might be getting you are not going to vote for the amended agreement anyway , are you ?”
      =

      And answer was there none!

      Reply I have made clear my constant opposition to thisand voted accordingly!

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The WA is not re-opened or changed.
    The WA is a document enslaving us.
    It must be voted down, May must go.
    Leave and start again.

    New beginnings not old endings!

  4. Tabulazero
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Because the EU has told you that it will not re-open the agreement. It is not as if it was ever a negotiation between equals. No hard feelings here, I hope.

    Likewise, the future negotiation between the UK and the US or China will not be a negotiation between equals

    You really had to be extremely gullible to think that “the UK hold all the cards”.

    • Gareth
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Quite so. It’s like we were going all-in playing Texas hold-em and bluffing with a hand consisting of the 3 of clubs and Mr Bun the Baker.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      A hardened Remainer, Mrs. May, and a Parliament mainly composed of MPs who prefer legislation to come from unelected and un-removable bureaucrats in Brussels rather than from themselves, do not want to enact the result of the EU referendum and have deliberately thrown away all our cards and given the all the “negotiating” powers to the EU.

      The Conservative Party will be held responsible in the future for electing Mrs. May and thus putting the UK into such a dangerous and exposed position where, if the WA goes through, we will be accepting laws and taxes over which we have no say or exit (even after Mrs. May’s/the EU’s last night’s pre-planned dash to Strasbourg and press conference.)

      • villaking
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Original Richard, as a matter of fact, legislation on EU law comes from the elected European Parliament, not “unelected bureaucrats”. The EU Commission proposes laws based on the direction set by the European Council (made of elected heads of the member states) but can not pass these laws.

        On your latter point, you are correct, we would then be accepting laws pertaining to the Single Market over which we would have no say and the WA is an awful proposal. Unfortunately, it is precisely because Mrs May passionately wants to enact the result of the referendum that this has come about. Despite Sir John’s assertion to the contrary, this WA does specifically mean that we would leave the EU on March 29th and legally speaking become a third country, albeit with a kind of associate membership for 21 months. Far, far better to remain in the EU

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero, I never thought that the UK held all the cards. It was always the case that if the UK wanted something from the EU then the EU would expect something in return. That is why I said the UK should walk away, giving 12 months notice.

      The main problem is that the EU wants our independence in return for trade. Any reasonable state simply wants trade for trade. It is not the same thing. And only the EU and Remains like you attempt to portray it as the same.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero

      “Likewise, the future negotiation between the UK and the US or China will not be a negotiation between equals”

      I think Kevin Rudd answered your sentiment with typical Australian bluntness yesterday:

      “UK plan to trade with Commonwealth nations after Brexit is ‘utter b**locks’, former Australian PM says”

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-uk-trade-commonwealth-kevin-rudd-australia-a8818996.html

      • Edward2
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Odd story when a quick internet search brings up a list of stories from the government of Australia saying they want to do a fast trade deal with the UK in the event of a no deal.
        Including the FT newspaper a remain supporting favourite of yours Margaret.

  5. rick hamilton
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    On a related point I wonder why you and others have not tabled a motion requiring the government to publish its tariff schedule and general WTO terms of trade so that ‘No Deal’ can be properly evaluated in the Commons against the dreadful WA?

    We hear all the time about the side agreements being put in place sector by sector, the latest one I know of being nuclear, to make sure things will continue sensibly after 29 March with WTO. Many of those who actually do the trade etc seem relaxed about it while many ill-informed MPs are almost hysterical about the WTO option

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I too was wondering whether to submit an off-topic comment on this, because yesterday this question was put to a Brexit minister, Robin Williams:

      http://bit.ly/2F5guBJ

      “… when will the Government publish the World Trade Organisation tariffs and quotas which are going to be needed to assess the merits of no-deal, in the event that the deal is defeated?”

      and he replied:

      “My hon. Friend makes an important point, although I think it is for another Department to answer.”

      Which other department? As it is about trade. perhaps it would be the Department for International Trade? Not according to Liam Fox, when he gave evidence to the trade select committee last week, answering questions from the Tory MP Marcus Fysh. Oh no, presumably as this is about taxation it will be the Treasury under the inveterate eurofederalist Chancellor Philip Hammond which decides.

      From 10:28:13 here:

      https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/ba435b21-fa87-47d1-a032-f26597e2c01a

      “That will be a decision primarily taken … it’s of course a Treasury responsibility … when the SIs are laid.”

      “… that does not fall within my departmental responsibility … “

    • agricola
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Hysterical MPs are the ones who lost all their marbles in th playground.

  6. Jacey
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Exactly so.

  7. Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that the backstop is being used as a smokescreen to prevent focus on the other unacceptable aspects of the WA

    Did the ERG not say that 24 hours was insufficient time to study any new proposals / documents and that they would not be bounced into an ill considered vote?

    And it will be interesting to see the wording of the motion. What happens if the House votes for the agreement and then the 27 don’t ratify the new documents next week?

    Something still smells fishy here (pun intended)

    • Andy
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      That is exactly what is going on. The ‘Backstop’ is complete drivel. The problem is the rest of the agreement which is a damn disgrace. How any Prime Minister could have agreed such a vile document is beyond belief.

  8. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    That is the way the EU does things. The WA itself cannot be changed, but the effect can be modified by additional instruments. Leave it to the ECJ, they know how to handle this.

    • ian Wragg
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Today we find out who is working for Brussels and who have the interests of the British public.
      The clean out of the stables will begin with the May local elections and at every opportunity presented from then on until the very last traitorous being is removed from office.
      Vote for the WA at your peril.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      “Leave it to the ECJ, they know how to handle this.”

      Agreed and that’s why the WA is so dangerous and leaves the UK totally exposed and should never be signed.

      “No deal” (WTO terms and where arrangements have already been made over a large number of items) is the only course of action for the UK, if necessary with an extension so that the UK can make the proper plans for a “no deal” as it should have done right from the very beginning.

      A change of PM to one who respects the referendum result and believes in Brexit would also help enormously.

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Rien, “Leave it to the ECJ, they know how to handle this.” They certainly do. But of course that’s why we voted to leave. Or had you forgotten?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Rien Huizer

      “Leave it to the ECJ, they know how to handle this”……..

      ……..”Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into”

      Comical satire at its best!

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      ”There is a name for appealing over the head of the Crown to an authority outside the realm, and that name is treason. ”
      (E Powell)

      • Posted March 12, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Great Man. He would be proud of our minority of Leavers in Parliament. They are fighting like tigers for us.
        And they are on the brink of winning!
        Kill May’s ‘Deal’
        No Delay
        That’s it!

  9. jerry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    But Sir John, even if these new texts do change something and are legally binding, even written into the WA its self, without the the UK having a unilateral right to leave come Dec. 2020 the texts are legally binding meaningless waffle as we all know that international dispute resolution can take years, if not decades to conclude, all the while it appears we remain in the backstop and presumably not able to complete the next stage of Brexit..

    The WA needs to be voted down once again, yes that will risk having ‘no deal’ taken off the table, but better no Brexit (keeping our MEPs, votes &voice within the EC) than becoming a vessel state for how ever many years the EU can spin the next stage out for.

    • Hope
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Well said. International right to any treaty to leave with determined notice. Treaties last forever. Why be in servitude treaty forever.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Jerry, Agreed.

      If we stay (withdraw Article 50 notification) or delay…May EU elections could be interesting 🙂

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      And it will give the 17.4 million of us a chance to vote in a government that will do as instructed in the referendum.

  10. Dominic
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This is simply another shameful and indeed shameless chapter in the May-EU project to deceive and manipulate the emotions and perceptions of the people of the United Kingdom

    How long do we have to tolerate this utterly obnoxious PM and Merkel’s interference in our affairs?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Dominic

      Precisely.

      This was always a Franco-German construct, with Brussels as its nefarious mouthpiece!

      France and Germany’s interference started the moment the Referendum result was known, ably supported by UK duplicitous self-seeking Remainer politicians?

      Merkel, behind the scenes, has controlled the proceedings and frankly still does.

      The solution: unshackle the UK from their vice-like grip via WTO. Nothing short of WTO terms will suffice!

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      ”….my blind, high Tory ultimate faith in the people. If they are the people I thought and still want to think that they are, those who represent them will assuredly be pulled back in time from the betrayal of their birthright of parliamentary freedom either to a European state or to a Marxist bureaucracy.”
      (E Powell – 1980s)

      But WILL they be ”pulled back in time”? And who will do the pulling?

  11. Chris
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for pursuing what is right for this country. Imagine what our country could have achieved since the referendum result if we had had a true Brexiter PM utterly committed to delivering the result, upholding democracy and effecting true Conservative principles instead of a left of centre, statist government with many features of cultural Marxism in its policies.

    Nowhere better to look at what can be achieved in 2 years. On The White House website this morning is a list of President Trump’s achievements in his first 2 years. Quite astounding.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/the-historic-results-of-president-donald-j-trumps-first-two-years-in-office/

    Our politicians in this country should take note – many in the electorate have already and the will not tolerate another left of centre “Conservative” government led by Theresa May and her ilk:

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      ‘Our politicians in this country should take note – many in the electorate have already and the will not tolerate another left of centre “Conservative” government led by Theresa May and her ilk:’

      I agree, and I’m one of them Chris – we won’t forget this in a hurry! There is but a handful of Tories whose word I still trust, but that also applies to Labour who have come a long way from honouring their manifesto pledge on the EU referendum, despite six million Labour voters wanting out.

      I subscribe to the Whitehouse newsletter and various other things. People can say whatever they like about Donald Trump, but he tries hard to deliver on his promises to the American people. Interesting that it is the so-called ‘progressive left’ who constantly try to stop him doing the very things he was elected to do.

      Why the rump of the Tory party seems to want to ape the progressive left here in the UK, is perplexing. Do they not realise that to go after the marginal vote is to disregard their core supporters?

      Tad

    • jane4brexit
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      As well as all we could have achieved, we could have saved at least some of the £billions borrowed to pay our EU membership fees. If we agree that the EU membership fee is £66 million a day, calculations no doubt vary but I give one for that amount below, then since 24th June 2016 to today 12th March we will have paid:

      991 days x £66m = £65,406,000,000 ie: more than £65.4 billion and that is before any extra amounts sent by us to the EU are added.

      Sir John, are VAT and Import duties charged by us and sent to the EU and our contributions to EU aid etc. additional to any daily amounts quoted, or included? Thank you for your vote against the WA today.

      https://independencedaily.co.uk/daily-uk-eu-contribution-66m-55m/
      (Sorry it is a UKIP one. I did start off Conservative, I even voted for them twice in the first year I was old enough to vote!)

      • jane4brexit
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        PS: …and since, but not in 2017 I knew not to trust Mrs. May, especially as Cameron campaigned saying vote for her, to stop an extreme Brexit!

  12. Nigl
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    But we were assured we would be leaving the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Presumably another lie?

  13. NickC
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Quelle surprise!! The government, the EU and their civil servants come up with a life-saving guarantee at the last minute. Only the suspicious could imagine that this was orchestrated. Hooray for Comrades Cox, May and Robbins! Applause! All stand!!

    Is anyone fooled by this charade any more? The government sets up a strawman – that the only thing wrong with the daft Withdrawal Agreement is the “backstop” – and then proceeds to knock it down with the help of the EU. They hope we won’t notice that the rest of the dWA is Remain.

    Either the government and the civil service (and the EU) hates us. Or they have swallowed their own propaganda and really believe we are thick. I can see an awful lot of new UKIP Councillors after 2nd May.

    • Hope
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The fact she flies to Strasbourg at a click of the finger shows who is in charge.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Well said!

      Sir John, please do what you can to to stifle the current hysteria in the HoC surrounding the issues of leaving without TM’s agreement on 29th Inst.
      You will note that I do not employ terms like ‘No Deal’ or ‘Cliff Edge’ as these things do not exist. Deals have been struck to preserve some continuity.

      I still live in hope that the EWA will remain untouched and that 30th March might be celebrated in future as OUR Independence Day!

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Last night Our President, Jean Claude Juncker, claimed that if this was not agreed then we may not leave.

    What is his basis for claiming this? How do we mitigate it?

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Should we interpret that as ”We will not ALLOW you to leave”?

    • DaveM
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      That reminded me of something a bit……Obama and Cameron perhaps?

  15. ian parkinson
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Where is Gina Miller when you need her? She wanted parliament to have a meaningful say, how can they do that if the legal analysis is withheld from MPs. Can we expect a vigorous media and legal campaign to force the government to share analysis with parliament so they can vote in an educated fashion?

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

      Worse, the PM herself doesn’t do things in an educated fashion because it appears she doesn’t consult the legal officers before she commits us to international agreements. As with so much else she does, this is against the ministerial code.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The way this is being handled is embarrassing and insulting. Forcing a vote less than 24 hours before details were published and therby leaving so little time for thorough scrutiny shows a desperation to bounce this through. Mrs May has shown time and again that her words and her actions are complete strangers to each other and cannot be trusted.

    • Andy
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      By embarrassing you mean funny.

      We are literally laughing at the Tories.

      What you have not understood is this.

      Labour’s problems are almost entirely caused by 70-year old Jeremy Corbyn.

      He costs them 20 points or more in the polls. When he goes they bounce back.

      The Tories will never bounce back from Brexit.

      You are toxic waste to the vast majority of under 50s.

      Bye bye Tories. Bye bye.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        The real toxicity is in our universities. The No Platforming, even of lefty figures you may like.

        I’m not sure that even you are ‘woke’ enough to survive what’s coming.

        You are already old and that will be enough to be hated.

      • NickC
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        By embarrassing you mean funny.

        We are literally laughing at the Remains.

        What you have not understood is this.

        Remain’s problems are almost entirely caused by the 77-year old EU ideology.

        It costs you 20 points or more in the polls. When we leave we’ll bounce back.

        The Remains will never bounce back from Brexit.

        You are toxic waste to the vast majority of over 25s.

        Bye bye Remains. Bye bye.

  17. robert valence
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    In other words, May has delivered another fudge, another obfuscation, doing anything to get “her deal over the line”.
    Then she can retire happily knowing that she’s delivered her country unto its enemies. Thank you for nothing.

  18. Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Have you had the whipping for Wednesday?

    Reply

    No

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply,

      Presently the whipping won’t be given until after tonight’s vote. The WA must be rejected tonight and May must support no deal tomorrow (i.e. no no no deal and no short extension).

  19. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    plus ca change………

    The catastrophe that is May is reaching its conclusion.

    • Andy
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      By May you mean Brexit.

      And it is not reaching its conclusion. It will not end for the rest of your life.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Re-read my sentence.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Damn right it won’t end for the rest of my life.

      • NickC
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Can you read? If you can do so, read Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement. You will read about the “single customs territory”; about all the UK conforming to EU single market rules including “agri-food” (ie the CAP); about being subject to the ECJ; about payments, fines and financial liabilities; about common (ie EU controlled) fisheries; and about common security and defence obligations; and on, and on. The evidence is in front of your eyes.

    • James
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Kate Hoey last night in Parliament asked David Lidington why we needed to sign a treaty in order to leave the E.U. She received no reply. Mrs May and her compadres have glossed over the fact that under her ‘new and improved’ draft WA we would still be unable to unilaterally leave the backstop. If we cannot unilaterally do so we are not a sovereign nation, we are a vassal state.

  20. John Sheridan
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Important questions that should be answered well in advance of such a key vote. Pass the flawed WA in haste and repeat at leisure.

    • John Sheridan
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Small typo by me. Repent, not repeat.

      • Al
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        “Repent, not repeat”

        I believe your original phrase may have been closer to our Prime Minister’s intentions.

  21. Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Not a codpiece – a figleaf. “reduce the risk” – what on earth is that supposed to mean in law!
    The rest of the deal is truly awful any way – it needs to be voted down and the UK deal with the consequences whatever they may be. – Not “doing wrong to make things right” that never works!

  22. oldtimer
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I read that Paul Goodman thinks that May is attempting to bounce you all into voting for the WA and Backstop with the new “legal guarantees” she has claimed to have achieved.

    This looks like Chequers Mark 2. MPs should reject it until they have had the time to give it due consideration and quizzed the AG about it. You deserve a reply to the excellent questions you have raised.

    In the meantime, no doubt, Mrs May will hope she has pulled a rabbit, bearing a remarkable likeness to J R-M, out of her hat; that it has the legs to hop through the Yes lobby; or failing that she can pin it to her lapel and march it through anyway. Time will tell.

    I await the verdict of the ten lawyers on which the ERG is said to depend for advice. And I reflect that this is what you get and must expect when you appoint a quisling PM.

  23. steadyeddie
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Some are concerned about the Backstop, others about the 39B and then others by the role of the ECJ so it is very clear to me why they don’t want the WA reopened. The UK doesn’t want it reopened either in case Spain might make additional demands about Gibraltar amongst other things like fishing.

    So this is as good as it gets for the moment, bear in mind it is a WA to tidy up the past and not a treaty for the future so pass the WA tonight, or else we enter a period of California Hotel style limbo, because it is unlikely we are going to leave to WTO rules without a deal- such a thing would be unthinkable for the vast majority.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      The WA is just the Withdrawal Agreement and was agreed by the EU27 by QMV so Spain could be or was out-voted over the subject of Gibralter.

      But the Future Relationship will require unanimity and this is when Spain will be asking for sovereignty over Gibralter, France, Spain and Holland complete access to our fishing grounds etc and we will have no negotiating strength as a result of signing the existing WA (last night’s pantomime made no difference) and thus being kept in the backstop indefinitely until we give in to ALL the EU27’s demands.

      • hardlymatters
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Original Richard..Well we are well away from the ‘backstop’ now following this evenings vote.. so what next? I hear some ERGS and DUPs are going to put forward an amendment to have A50 extended up until the eve of the EU elections..well good luck with that because don’t think EU 27 will agree as they will ask to what purpose? So looks like we are going to leave 29th to WTO rules and any discussions with them can take place after that..so changing times

    • rose
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      The DWA is California style limbo.

  24. Excalibur
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hold their feet to the fire, JR. Theresa May is as slippery as an eel, and will endeavour to accede to the EU. She must not be allowed to sell us out.

    That you have not had a reply to your letter to the Attorney General is both scandalous, and discourteous to you.

  25. John S
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    On the news, late last night, it was mentioned that should there be any disagreement on the backstop and Britain wanted to leave in face of EU opposition, then the matter would be referred to arbitration. In other words we would be at the mercy of the arbiters. Since then I have not heard this mentioned by politicians or the media.

    Notwithstanding, May’s deal is terrible. We would be better off staying in the EU. As a compromise, even though I prefer a no deal/WTO option, I might be prepared to compromise for a Norwegian option.

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      But this is what we are being coerced into thinking. That things are so bad now, anything is better. Brainwashing – and successful where some people are concerned.
      We’re really being stitched up and taken for ignorant, ill-informed fools.

    • Dominic
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      The decision to leave is a decision for the British electorate. It is not a decision for independent arbiters (chosen no doubt because they’re not independent). It is not a decision for May, for Merkel (EU) or for the EU or for Parliament

      WE DECIDE NOT A POLITICAL CLASS

      Why is this simple truth so difficult to understand?

      An agreement is NOT BREXIT as it involves COMPROMISE and compromise means not leaving

      Jesus wept

    • Andy
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      May’s deal is Brexit. It is what Brexit means. Not fantasy bus Brexit. Reality Brexit.

      It is as good as Brexit gets. It is as good as Brexit will ever get.

      You say we would be better off staying in the EU or being like Norway instead.

      So make your choice. Because your choice is between May’s deal, Norway or EU membership.

      Pick one and we can move on.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Wrong.
        1 It isnt a deal
        2 Just leaving is much better than the WA

      • Andy
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        If you bother to read the Withdrawal Agreement it is not ‘Brexit’ in any sense of the word. The people instructed the political class to ‘Leave the European Union’, not to negotiate an agreement which keeps the UK in vast swathes of EU institutions, Laws and regulations. It is the blatant refusal of many members of Parliament to respect the Referendum result which has caused this mess.

        • Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Now we have two ”Andys” it reminds me of Gollum arguing against himself!
          I think we can judge which persona is which – but I wonder how they feel about one another? Will there be a virtual reality punch-up?

        • Andy
          Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Please – change your name. You are giving Andy’s everywhere a bad name.

          Mrs May’s deal delivers on the referendum – and then sum. It takes us out the EU and single market. It takes us out of the customs union – which none of you had even heard of in 2016. It ends the jurisdiction of the ECJ – which is good because none of you can name an ECJ case to which you object. (It’s the ECHR you don’t like – and that is nothing to do with the EU. It ends free movement.

          Mrs May’s deal is Brexit.

          I agree it is a turd. But I did not vote for this turd and you did. Worse three years on you have not even figured out that this is the most palatable turd you are going to get. Enjoy it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

            You need to call yourself angry remainer Andy.
            Then the other Andy can be nice calm Andy.

      • NickC
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Remain Andy, Quite clearly Mrs May’s dWA is not as good as British exit will ever get. For the obvious reason that there are 165 states in the world who are already out of the EU. Or are you incapable of lifting your eyes from your infatuation with the EU ideology?

    • rose
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Sammy Wilson mentioned it, good and strong.

  26. Owen
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    What about you all doing a deal: voting for the agreement in exchange for places on the negotiating team in the next important stage. Surely this better than no deal when probably you will all be excluded.

    • DaveM
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      And with the condition that May stands down as soon as possible.

    • rose
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      She wouldn’t keep her side of the bargain.

    • cornishstu
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      And once signed the EU has no incentive to give us anything other than more demands to compromise.

  27. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    From my skim reading of it last night, Article 184 (or thereabouts) of the WA says that we are to set up a Joint Commitee arbitration panel with the EU, but where matters of EU law are concerned they will have to refer it to the ECJ and accept the verdict of the ECJ as absolute. There is no mention of whether the EU must see U.K. law in the same light.

    Furthermore, there is text encouraging the two sides to work within 2 years to avoid the backstop altogether, however, where there is a dispute on EU law, the matter is handed to the ECJ and the clock is stopped while they deliberate. There is language over when they need to start deliberations, but as far as I remember, not for how long it need take to come to a conclusion. I can imagine this mechanism could be used to push us further toward, or even beyond the 2022 GE. As we get closer to it, and the Government becomes ever more frit about showing the electorate results, the EU will use this to press even more concessions.

    It is hopelessly asymmetric. How anyone could negotiate such an agreement and think it was satisfactory is beyond me. It really does speak of a dearth of smart and talented individuals in key positions in our establishment – unless of course the aim was to give the EU the upper hand, in which case they expertly succeeded.

  28. Mark
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I have heard various commentators from the exit camp say to the effect “if we had been offered this three years ago, we would have taken it”

    Given the angst today, I doubt this is the case.

    Tonight will be interesting…

    • Mark
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      You are evidently a new Mark here. Can I ask that like Mark B, you add some other identifier to distinguish us?

  29. Old person
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    What we witnessed last night was a well choreographed pre-arranged piece of pure theatre. We all guessed this was coming.

    The last minute dash to Strasbourg to finalise details at the eleventh hour. A last minute press conference with Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker. The body language said it all – if Theresa May had secured anything, she would have been smiling and looking triumphant. Instead she had a face like thunder and played with her glass of water to distract herself.

    When it was her turn to speak, she went into politics speak and trotted out the same old mantra – good for the UK and the EU, protecting jobs and the future, a legally binding backstop…
    She even had the gall to mention the Defence Union being negotiated out of sight of MPs, half the Cabinet, and the General Public.

    What will be witnessed today? The ‘codpiece’ will be dragged across the HoC chamber like the Speaker Bercow when he was first appointed. He will play the part of a Shakespearean actor in loud barrister tones, waving his arms in gestures to the people weeping in the public gallery, and declare that the 454 grams of flesh being taken from every person in the country can now safely be measured in pounds. We will be assured that we have the ‘legally binding backstop’. His side mission will be to run down the clock like last time.

    Two years later, we will find the backstop is legally flawed and not quite as binding as we thought. And the arbitration panel will not be totally neutral and out of influence of the ECJ.

    Of course, the backstop is only one of The Spectator’s 40 horrors.

    Please, do not be fooled by this charade. It is a bad deal and deserves to be voted down again.

  30. stred
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    We have an opinion here on the addendum to the unchanged German EU WA. It appears that Mrs May has been carrying on as usual. It’s a con.
    https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/the-shameful-truth-about-mays-backstop-deal/

    • formula57
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Dr. Newsome sums matters up very persuasively in saying: –

      “May has reaffirmed her uselessness as a negotiator and her dishonesty as a public servant.”

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      That is a devastating indictment of her sell out.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      @ Stred

      That should not surprise anyone. There is no way to allow the UK to be in the single market AND have an FTA with a country with which the EU will not conclude such an agreement (for instance a UK_US FTA allowing imports of US agricultural products currently not allowed in the EU). That would create undesirable back door. Likewise, Ireland can not avoid to veto any agreement between the EU and the UK that would violate the GFA. Back to square one.

      Of course the transition period is the really sticky point but that is not being discussed. The transition period (during which no FTA with the US is possible, in practical terms, unless the EU does a congruent one). Those MPs who want brexit as an instrument to transform the political economy of the UK will never agree to such a transition and in fact would welcome the turbulence created by no deal. A sort of Leninist strategy executed by Conservatives. It would be interesting to see how a democratic polity will respond to this.

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      When I read such things I do wonder if Mrs May herself has done any research, or if she relies on people such as Oily Robbins to do the reading, then to brief her.
      I can’t think of any other excuse for her. I’ve run out of excuses and I really DID want to believe in her once upon a time.
      A fairy story.

  31. Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    If ever there was a time for straight answers to questions it would be today’s debate. If there are not straight answers, MPs should walk out and just come back at the end to vote it down.

  32. George Brooks
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely right to raise these questions Sir John and you should continue to press for definitive answers and if no answers are forthcoming I would ask you to use every means at your disposal to broadcast the fact that your questions are being ignored.

    For the last two and a half years we have had damaging un-certainty and now we have the PM trying to blackmail parliament into extending this grave un-certainty for yet another two years. Furthermore it would be stupid and gullible in the extreme to assume that the EU has any more intention of reaching a trade agreement in the next 2 years than they had in the first 2 years.

    What the PM is doing is nothing less than criminal and the country will not forgive her

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      ”… the country will not forgive HER” – but they won’t forgive the Conservative Party either, and she is their representative, after all.
      How many voters has she lost the party? How can it ever recover after what she has (appeared to have) done? Maybe she still has a rabbit in her hat. But hope is almost gone.

      She is someone’s stooge (willing or unwilling) and no doubt we shall know the truth before we die. (Yes, Andy, some of us are young enough to count on the future.)

  33. Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    That word ”should” again.
    Wouldn’t it be good to hear ”will” instead?

  34. Ian McDougall
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    It seems to be a kick in the teeth for those people in the EU State of the Republic of Ireland that their Taoiseach and their Ruling Overlords in Brussels don’t trust them.
    I am sure the peoples of the island of Ireland have the integrity and honesty required of them to administer fairly the border between the two communities. This mainly imaginary divide is the essence of their mutual security.

  35. Paul H
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    This is a political stitch-up by the most disgusting government in decades – possibly centuries. The legal aspects are mere fig-leaves which will be positioned as required by the powermongers.

  36. Edwardm
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    In my view anything less than a comprehensive cull of the WA and removal of the backstop will not be acceptable and not to be trusted.
    Thank you JR for asking and persisting with the right questions.

  37. Norman
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    If we value the wonderful freedom we’ve known in the past, everything we’ve witnessed over the past 3 years confirms the Leave voters were right – and are still right! The very nature of the EU construct, which is of A DIFFERENT SPIRIT to what made our country what it is, means that the attempted fudge is entirely predictable and must be resoundingly rejected. LEAVE MEANS LEAVE, NOW MORE THAN EVER!

  38. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    ~

    Remember Baldwin – This ‘legal addition’ to the agreement is worth just as much as the piece of paper he waved around after appeasing Hitler…

    We shall see how many MP’s get fooled by this stage-managed chicanery.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – Wrong appeaser – It should have been Chamberlain

  39. ian
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    For anybody who is interested, the Unity news network makes good reading this week.

  40. Everhopeful
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Gosh …they really do think we are stupid don’t they?
    Last minute break through???
    Lol, lol, lol.
    As many have said …total pantomime, charade, school play etc etc etc ad nauseam.
    Betrayal.

  41. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    David Anderson QC, Jason Coppel QC and Sean Aughey of 11 King’s Bench Walk have given their legal opinion on Mrs May’s “new measures” :

    “It is crystal clear that the measures do not alter the fundamental legal effect of the backstop, as previously and correctly explained by the Attorney General. The backstop will endure indefinitely, unless and until superseded by another agreement, save in the extreme and unlikely event that in future negotiations the EU acts in bad faith in rejecting the UK’s demands.”

    https://www.daqc.co.uk/2019/03/12/can-the-backstop-be-beaten/

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      11 pages of legal detail, but do they mention that the Irish government would have a veto over whatever new agreement superseded the backstop?

      Just as Wallonia could hold up a trade agreement between the EU and Canada so Ireland could stop a new trade agreement between the EU and the UK.

      From October 27th 2016:

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/27/belgium-reaches-deal-with-wallonia-over-eu-canada-trade-agreement

      “Even if the EU and Canada sign the treaty in the coming weeks, Ceta will only become a complete and permanent legal document following ratification by at least 38 national and regional parliaments in Europe.”

  42. ukretired123
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    The Non-Withdrawal Agreement or Capitulation Agreement authored by Grouse Beater-in-Chief Barnier and his Junk-message chief has been like force feeding the UK for 3 years causing legal constipation.
    The EU legal tentacles are suffocating the life out the UK and the fact there is no legal concept of “reasonableness” in EU law must surely be the final straw.
    Under UN charter every country has a right to self-determination and our Parliament has no mandate to give it away but rather the reverse. Leave is mandatory, simple No!
    Gove’s marketing Mays WA as good for the country is a falsehood…

  43. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    You are a cultivated mushroom in the eyes of those in power. To be kept in a dark place and receive periodic
    doses of natural fertiliser. We the electorate have suffered much the same treatment specifically because we can only bite back every five years.
    You do however reside in a place where you can ask some very awkward questions and watch the disreputable squirm. Tight lines.

  44. Mark J
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    To the ERG I say this. The deal isn’t perfect, however I would rather this deal than no Brexit at all. If the deal is rejected tonight, you can bet that efforts will be quadrupled to stop Brexit entirely, by the dishonourable members of Parliament. No one one the leave side wants that at all. The “People’s Vote” will be rigged from the outset, to ensure a Remain win. So who really wants that to happen?

    Can we not get this deal through as it currently stands, with the possibility of a future anti-EU Conservative leader, with an anti-EU majority of MPs to take us further out of what has been principally agreed? Although we would all like a stronger Brexit, it simply isn’t going to happen (at present), until Parliament has a clear out in a GE and the Conservative party fields more anti-EU candidates. This ideally needs to be done whilst labour is in turmoil with their ongoing issue. If Corbyn is replaced, or falls on his own sword, the Conservatives have little chance.

    Let it be said however, the whole Brexit negotiation process has been a SHAMBLES from the very start – not helped at all that is was led by someone who didn’t really want to leave in the first place.

    TM should do the honourable thing and stand down.

  45. William Long
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    At best a transparent plastic fig leaf for the Emperor’s new clothes!

  46. formula57
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I note Attorney General Cox can tell the truth about May’s interpretive texts even if she cannot.

    With apologies to the slightly irritating popular song of a few years ago:-

    “May the quisling. Can she fix it, no she can’t!”

  47. Everhopeful
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Cox has just said that it don’t change a thing!!

    Woo Hooo!

    Much hope and faith and gratitude to JR and the like minded.

    Let it all go well tonight.

  48. ian
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I think you will find that talk on the backstop will take up most of the first 21 months of talks and payment of the 39 billion. If no agreement on the backstop by that time the backstop come into force and then you continue on to trade talks while under the backstop, you can not trigger arbitration on the backstop till you have a trade deal with the EU because you will still in the CU while trade talks are ongoing, there is now no time limits on trade talks, if you ever get an agreement on trade, you then able to trigger for arbitration on the backstop, but as you say, John, how long does it take, what are the rules and who is doing the arbitration on the panel.

    As the backstop is written into the WA it can always be used again if they think you have infringed any part of the new trading agreement if you ever get one.

  49. 'None of the above'.
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    AG has just published advice about the documents agreed by TM last night.

    These documents still refer to the Articles in the WA which refer to arbitration and these articles give the EU superior interpretation on any dispute. He sticks by his comment about political judgement and admits that the risk of entrapment is reduced but reiterates that the legal position is unchanged.
    Nothing has Changed!

  50. Ken Moore
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    The ‘legally binding’ document is meaningless..do we need the attorney general to tell us this ?. Will enough Mp’s delude themselves that the document is meaningful and vote for it ?

  51. rose
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Keep asking the important questions. No-one else seems to be. I hope I am wrong about that last.

  52. Original Richard
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May’s “Unilateral Declaration” is designed to be confused with “Unilateral Exit” and it means absolutely nothing without the EU’s joint declaration/signature.

  53. Lorna
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    This is a bad deal and no tinkering will make it a good deal
    What alternatives are available now John ?
    Malthouse is too lengthy and does not appeal for a variety of reasons
    Could we introduce a discussion on a straight F.TA with a short transition period,?This preventing the sudden change that could cause some short term confusion
    It seems as we decline this WA some sensible less complex approach may be acceptable

  54. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The proposed arbitration panel which will decide if we can leave the backstop will have 10 representatives nominated by the EU, ten by the UK, and 5 joint nominees. The problem with that is that at least 5 of the UK’s reps will always vote with the EU giving them a permanent majority.

  55. hardlymatters
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    So we now know the Attorney Generals advice and on the face of it is not good news for the PM..but we already know its all only part of the longer term plan of the Establishment to trap us in the EU forever..all part of ‘the fix is in’

    • Nigl
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Shades of Cameron indeed we knew what to expect. A blather of words, spun relentlessly and eff all content

  56. Atlas
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    May’s new deal does not do what she claims on the tin. Vote it down.

  57. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    There’s been a lot in the media recently about women, and also men, who are stuck in what are being called “coercive controlling relationships”. Perhaps we have one example in front of our eyes with Theresa May and Leo Varadkar? No prizes for guessing who has control in that relationship, recalling which of the two governments has always been closest to the Irish nationalist men of violence, historically providing terrorists with a safe haven south of that border on the island of Ireland which they claim does not even exist? Or perhaps what we in fact have there is more of a “collusive”, rather than a “coercive”, relationship?

  58. rose
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I wish the AG would not only answer your questions, but also that he would stop referring to the EU as “The Union.”

  59. ian
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cox comes out against the new deal in writing and says nothing has changed but in the house defends it, can he make up his mind.

    Mr Cox is covering his back in case anything goes wrong, only his letter will be recorded and not his speech in the house today, to which I suspect the gov has asked him to make to get the WA over the line.

  60. Mark
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    We need some friendly members of the EU Council to veto our continued membership.

  61. Den
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I, as a British citizen, become concerned when a democratically elected Member of Parliament asks a Government Official for information concerning the future of this country, he is ignored. Such officials need to remember that MPs are the Representatives of the people who are supposed to be their own ultimate “Boss”.
    Sadly, this is more evidence of the lack of concern for anything or anyone outside of Government circles and of Goverment notions. This is not acceptable.
    I believe over the past decades, British democracy has been deliberately eroded which will explain why now our leaving the EU has become such a battle.
    Had we decided to Remain, I suggest such a battle would not have evolved because the Leavers would have accepted the democratic will of the people, as should be the norm.
    However, that speaks volumes against those who would continue to defy democracy and even their own Party manifestos. They are nothing but wretched EU Fifth Columnists who never seem to explain why they are so against an independent Britain but are really happy to be ruled by the unelected and unaccountable cabal in Brussels.

  62. Original Richard
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    It looks likely that Mrs. May’s/the EU’s WA will be voted down in Parliament today.

    If, as also looks likely, our pro-EU remain majority Parliament makes the deliberate decision to weaken our negotiating position by voting that we cannot leave without “a deal”, then it follows that they will also be voting for an extension to Article 50 simply because the EU has said the existing WA is the “only deal” and we cannot force the EU to agree to another deal by the leaving date.

    It is clear therefore that the use for this time extension should be to negotiate and agree with the EU the “alternative arrangements” needed to prevent the use of the backstop being implemented.

    Since the EU consistently say they do not want the backstop to be triggered, and, if it was it would only be “temporary”, then these negotiations should not last very long before agreement is reached and consequently a revised WA could be signed.

  63. margaret
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I heard this am that the legally binding clause was to have the opportunity to talk about withdrawal problems not to actually have rights. Good gracious , if we were to take any notice of that and based on the talking which has been continued for the last 2 years , then it seems we would get nowhere !

  64. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    May wants it all to go through based on: “I now consider that the legally binding provisions of the Joint Instrument and the content of the Unilateral Declaration reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained within the Protocol’s provisions at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU.” ……….. Note, REDUCES – It doesn’t take it away.

  65. stred
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    There are 221 visitors to SJR’s site from Spain, France, Holland and Germany , according to the chart>. They must be getting worried about the money and sales.

  66. a-tracy
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I saw an amusing exchange on twitter this morning, Nick Robinson wrote “It’s over. The deal and perhaps May’s premiership. The DUP & the ERG & Cox have seen to that. What’s extraordinary is that no-one knows what happens next.” 7:26 12 Mar 2019 then Heidi Allen MP replied “Which is why @Anna_Soubry @sarahwollaston and I left the party – she has only ever been interested in working with the hard right of the party, putting them ahead of the country’s best interests. ” at 7:38.

    If Mrs May was working with the ‘hard right of the party’ then how come the ‘hard right’ don’t agree with this WA being signed? What concessions did she make to the ‘hard right’? Most of the ‘hard right’ had to resign from her cabinet because she wasn’t working with them.

  67. Chris
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    There is a list on the Spectator website of the Tory MPs (12) who have changed their mind and are apparently going to support the WA this time round:
    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/03/which-tory-rebels-have-now-changed-their-minds-on-mays-brexit-deal/

    Also there is a list of 10 who apparently will still vote against the WA.

    I have no idea of where they got the data from, whether it is accurate or up to date.

  68. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I have heard Geoffrey Cox on the latest BS tinkering. I have heard Robin Walker trying to sell a dead parrot on Politics Live. The paucity of leadership is embarrasing. The only group showing clarity are the DUP. It is shameful to realise that within the HoC there is only the DUP & ERG who have the clarity of vision to realise that the WA is toxic.

    I am frankly tired of the PMs regurgitation of baseless rhetoric. I have reached the point where I ask ” who will rid us of this priestess” she must go.

  69. John Dodds
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    In Mr Hunt’s Sunday interview with Mars Bar he stated that the Prime Minister was a woman of her word! Does anyone know what that word is? Liar perhaps?

  70. Nigl
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    If you vote for this deal that you all acknowledge is a bad one because of the risk of no Brexit, they will have won because not much difference between the two, tied ad infinitim to the EU either way which was always their objective from the PM and Chancellor down.

    Fortune favours the brave.

  71. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I submitt a solution to the current dilemma.

    1. Rid yourselves of T May, and appoint a Brexiteer as PM and a Brexit cabinet.

    2. Call a general election.

    3. Only accept Leave candidates to represent the conservative party.

    4. Get elected and implement a leave on WTO terms policy

    5. Start running the country for the benefit of the country.

    2nd referendums with the current membership of the HoC is only a can kicking exercise. Re-electing the current conservative mix of MPs only carries the current problems into the next parliament.

    If the commons vote to cancel no deal the above is what needs to be done ruthlessly.

  72. A.F.Fanculo
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    If she has to call a general election tomorrow doesn’t this mean as parliament is dissolved that there will be no MP’s to vote against our leaving with no deal on 29th March? ~Or am I being too naïve and hopeful?

  73. Jane
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    The EU will not give us what we need, a unilateral exit clause, because it is not in their interests to do so.
    They will not let us leave without being mugged on the way out so we are no threat to them.
    We cannot agree to this vassalage because we will lose all the family silver and suffer abject humilation.
    It is now no deal and they will need to reconsider their position as they are dictating to the UK even before we are in the WA treaty.
    Hopeless unless you are a Remainer cabinet!

  74. APL
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Could you interpret YOUR leaders comment at the dispatch box, that if she doesn’t get her way ‘BREXIT might be lost’ ?

  75. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Well now we have it. An opportunity for a clean break exit or will May be allowed to subject the UK to further can kicking uncertainty. I fear that Parliament is full of willie wobblers.

    Where are those grey suits and are they prepared to tell her enough is enough. The drift is too terrible to contemplate.

  76. mancunius
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I am genuinely surprised that MPs such as the normally sceptic Philip Davies, David Davis and Nadine Doerries voted for the WA this time round.

    Has anyone any idea why? The WA is just as awful now as it was last week. I could find nothing in Bill Cash’s passionate attack during the debate to disagree with.

    Reply No I did not understand their explanations

  77. Martin R
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for putting our country, our democracy and our constitution first, and voting against this appalling and treasonous “deal”, which is not a deal but merely unconditional surrender to an arrogant and probably vengeful EU Empire. May, who seems to be acting as the agent of Brussels, wants us to remain forever locked in as a non-voting associate member while the EU continues its federalisation program and controls us more and more. Even cancelling Brexit and staying in would be better than that. At least we would have the right to leave again if we ever managed to elect a Parliament that believed in our country .

  78. Martin R
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Having seen a small split in the Labour party I would be interested if you, Bill Cash, Rees-Mogg et al would split from the faux Conservative (actually the Liberal Democrat) party and form a new party that actually believes in our democracy and our future as a free nation. I think you would be on to a winner. As it is the current Conservative Party is going to be destroyed by May’s perfidious treachery. This leaves us also open to the real danger of the Corbynista crypto-Marxist Left.

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

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