Delay and a second referendum

I will produce considered pieces on these two topics over the weekend.

The immediate headlines are

  1. A big majority of Conservative MP (188) and a bigger majority of Conservative members oppose delay. If the EU agreed a delay it could only go through with Mrs May and her minority of Conservatives  in alliance with Mr Corbyn and Labour. Seven Cabinet members oppose delay and other Ministers, leading to resignations if the PM were to want to press it.
  2. There is no agreement amongst delayers over how long and why.  If the EU won’t renegotiate anyway, how would the UK get a better deal after March 29 than in the 2 years 9 months before? How would delayers in Parliament explain it to voters who were promised Brexit by b0th main parties in the  2017 election ?
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127 Comments

  1. BR
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    May doesn’t seem to care about explaining anything to voters.

    You should get rid of her now. ERG to tell her that they will abstain on all parliamentary business until she goes (including VoNC) and Corbyn can effectively call a GE whenever he feels like tabling one.

    She is damaging your country AND your party; surely we are at the point where enough is enough? Yes the timing could be better in some ways, but if it left the Brexit clock ticking down to zero… what’s not to like?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      It is a delusion that the Brexit clock would be left ticking down to zero while we had a general election. Of course it wouldn’t, before Parliament was dissolved the statutory instrument would be passed by both Houses to defer Brexit, along with anything else that needed tidying up so that it would not be lost.

      https://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/wash-up/

      “The wash-up period refers to the last few days of a Parliament before dissolution. Any unfinished business is lost at dissolution and the Government may need the co-operation of the Opposition in passing legislation that is still in progress.”

      • Steve P
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 is finished business – it has already received Royal Ascent.

      • BR
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:09 am | Permalink

        A delusion, eh? Strong words, O Master of Unsubstantiated Assertions.

        You omitted to describe the Bills that would be in the wash-up period, presumably because… there are none in that state that would prevent Brexit!!??

        Sigh.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          You can insult me all you like, because I am not allowed to reply.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Please, please, please JR do all you can to convince your fellow MPs not to vote for the WA. All the talk in the papers is of Brexiteers being won over to the WA so long as the PM steps down. By doing so, she merely accomplishes her objective and locks us in to a truly terrible deal – the very stuff of nightmares for those of us who have dreamt of freedom all these long years. I would rather we had more time and uncertainty than be bound in to this straight jacket.

      • James Bertram
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Oxiana – this is from an excellent comment on today’s (Saturday) Brexit Facts4EU website by Not4EU:
        ‘…..In addition to shovels of money to ‘vote for the ‘deal’, rumours abound that May will ‘promise’ to go, but only if they vote through her surrender. Nothing will make it clearer to all Conservatives that the ‘Party’ (which will be eviscerated) is more important than the independence & sovereignty of our country….This woman has lied to the electorate. She has lied to the House. Think that she won’t lie to you for her beloved EU? They had a chance to be in power for several terms simply for doing as instructed. They have preferred to remain a puppet regime of an unaccountable foreign power…. ‘

        Brexiteers that fold become equally responsible for the betrayal of the people as the rest of our Quisling politicians. May’s deal MUST NOT PASS. Brexiteers hold the power to bring the Government down – their duty is to Country first, not Party.

        • J. Macey
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree with you. Hold your nerve please. all of you Ignore the threats and character annihilations in the press. We are right behind you.
          Just more lies ……

      • J. Macey
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Agree

  2. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Not sure why cabinet ministers opposing a delay would have to resign, just vote against and dare her to sack them – like Amber Rudd and the no-deal abstainers did.

  3. villaking
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Contrary to what you state, the EU has given every indication that it would re-open talks if Mrs May changed her self imposed red lines. For example, opening up the possibility of continued Single Market membership would provide the possibility of fresh negotiations. There is probably a consensus amongst delayers in parliament to work together to find a workable alternative to the existing WA and to your preferred WTO exit that could then gain a majority. Yesterday’s motion to force exactly that was only defeated by two votes and since the vote was whipped it did not allow a significant number of Conservative MPs to vote for the amendment.

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      But we did not vote leave to stay in the single market or the customs union which is where most remain MPs would have us remain if they get their way and that is what a parliamentary consensus would give us. We were told by both leave and remain sides alike prior to the referendum that leaving meant leaving both as did the Tory manifesto.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Indeed and if we have European elections in May the Tories will surely be almost wiped out. But even if all the MEPs that were returned by the UK were real pro Brexit people they would still be totally and utterly powerless. The EU has no real democracy at all, is not accountable. It is not even a valid Demos with common interests.

    Then again the many traitors & quislings in the UK parliament do not seem to be remotely honest or accountable either.

    Let us hope JR and the sensible wing of the Tories can still rescue a real Brexit and keep Corbyn out despite May appalling incompetence and Hammond’s project fear agenda and his absurd promised bribes (if MP agree to put the UK into May’s £39 billion handcuffs on and hand the key to the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Farage has launched his Brexit Party and says:-

      “We’ll run a full slate of candidates in May, including lots of businessmen and businesswomen – because voters want proper grown-ups representing them, not career politicians,” he says. There’s “work to be done”, he adds. “But we’ll be ready!”

      I tend to thing the Conservative, Labour, Greens, SNP, Welsh lot and Libdims will be lucky to get 50% of the vote between them. Unless the Conservatives replace May with someone who is a real Conservative and who actually believes that Brexit mean Brexit.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        May and Corbyn are in cahoots to avoid a GE or having to fight European elections, they know what it would mean. Brexit supporting MPs need to insist on a long extension if no deal does not happen – we need the opportunity to vote in European elections to show what we think and to be represented. May and Corbyn will not allow this to happen either the WA or a super soft Brexit will happen. I suspect there are also many Brexit supporting MPs who will vote for the WA at third attempt (so European) so that their parties do not visibly collapse – party before country, self before ethics.

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Most MPs who want delay only want it as a means to reverse the referendum decision. Their duplicity and mendacity is disgusting to witness. The utter contempt those MPs have for the people who elected them is disgraceful. It is clearly Parliament against the people and our democracy has been placed in dire jeopardy by those elected to uphold and protect it.

    • Chris Stubbs
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      Well said. I totally agree

  6. NigelE
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, my preference – if there’s to be a delay – is for a long one, at least a year.

    After the Local Council and EU elections, which I assume we’ll take part in, the Tories will realise from the minute percentage of votes they received that they are in serious trouble. The Party will either remove May, install a pro-Brexit leader with some leadership skills, and call a GE or sufficient Leave Tory MPs/DUP will support a vote of no confidence and we’ll have a GE. Whether the Tories achieve a majority or will need to be in bed with the new Brexit Party (or Parties) will depend on the abilities of the new Tory leader and his/her new senior team to convince a very sceptical electorate.

    In any case, we can hope that the new govt (as long as it’s not a Lab/Lib/SNP monstrosity …!) will get it right second time round. They will have a superb example of how not to do it.

  7. rose
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    “How would delayers in Parliament explain it to voters who were promised Brexit by b0th main parties in the 2017 election ?”

    They could only explain it in their usual weaselly fashion: “No-one voted to be poorer…”
    “Now people know what Brexit looks like…” plus another avalanche of fear propaganda.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I see that Mr Barclay, the current Brexit Secretary who wound up the debate for the government motion, actually was among the 188 Conservative MPs who voted against delay!

  9. David Magauran
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    A bad deal is a bad deal is a bad deal.

    We don’t need a deal. We just want to regain our Sovereignty.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      The people to ask about deal or no deal are businesses. I think you’d be shocked if you did manage to ask some. Oddly enough, Mr Redwood doesn’t talk to businesses either. Hear no bad news, so there is no bad news. Works every time!

  10. Ian wragg
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Napoleon, Kaiser Willhem, Hitler and various others have tried and failed to rule us but now May has succeeded in handing over governance to a foreign power despite the bloodshed historically to keep us free.
    Never ever again will I vote for such a bigoted, self righteous bunch of second rate non entities again.
    We are being thoroughly betrayed by a lying scheming civil service aided and abetted by the most devious Prime Minister in history.

    • old salt
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Ian:
      My sentiments precisely.

  11. The PrangWizard
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    It is a waste of intellectual and emotional effort for anyone to proceed in this matter on the basis that the Prime Minister in the person of Mrs May is a rational and sensible human being. Such assumptions have lead to error and will lead to undoubted disaster if she is allowed to get her way.

    Mrs May is not, she is a scheming mendacious obsessive who ‘speaks with forked tongue’, and has a mind completely closed to anything other than getting approval to her betrayal document. After its second defeat she continued to speak again as if the defeat was not significant. The idea that she seeks delays to present it for a third vote is an indication of her madness. It is she, and her sycophantic immoral and honourless clique who have lead us to this farcical and extremely serious situation, and she still will not see it.

    She has, I am convinced, sold her soul to the EU and clearly feels an over-riding obligation to keep her promises to them far in excess of the obligation she should have towards the sovereignty of the UK. She is not a fit and proper person and ought not to remain in post a moment longer.

    I am outraged that there are so many Tories who still think she should be supported.

  12. ChrisS
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Given the uncertain and possibly perilous future for Brexit, I think that next week, your colleagues will have no choice other than to back the Withdrawal Agreement, for all its faults.

    It may not be possible to convince you to go along with it, Sir John, and I respect your view. In fact, I entirely support your assertion that we should be leaving on WTO terms but that is simply no longer achievable. It is beyond doubt that the majority of Remainer MPs will do everything necessary to prevent that from happening.

    Esther Mc Vey has told Nick Robinson she is going to support the deeply flawed May deal and David Davis already voted for it this week.

    They have recognised that Brexiteers simply have to ensure we formerly and legally leave the institution and try to repair the damage done by May and Robbins during subsequent negotiations.

    Perhaps it is true that the 27 will hate the imposition of the backstop, especially as it means we retain full access to the single market without FOM or paying anything into the EU budget. They may after all, be more amenable to agreeing a proper trade free deal.

    At least you can then go ahead and send May to the back benches and a proper Brexiteer can then lead the negotiations of our future relationship with the EU.

  13. Gareth
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    There’s no agreement amongst Leavers as to why constitutes Leave, either.

    • What Tiler
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      There’s no agreement amongst Leavers as to why constitutes Leave, either.

      Oh, I don’t know about that. In my traversing of the net I’m seeing quite a lot of agreement amongst leavers, and it seems to be settling around WTO or massive, hopefully peaceful, civil disobedience.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Er…. do you remember we had a referendum, Garth?
      Do you remember the wording on the ballot paper?
      Remain in the EU
      or
      Leave the EU

      The word there is the clue: ”Leave”: depart from, go away from, go from, withdraw from, retire from, take oneself off from, exit from, take one’s leave of, pull out of, quit, be gone from, decamp from, disappear from, abandon, vacate, absent oneself from, evacuate; say one’s farewells/goodbyes, make off, clear out, make oneself scarce, check out; abscond from, run away from, flee (from), fly from, bolt from, etc.

      Got it now?

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      And what do you think Remaining in the EU means ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        An unremitting and unlimited process of “ever closer union”.

  14. Mick
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The only reason remoaner mps want a delay is so they can have more time to try and stop Brexit, don’t take us for fools we are not stupid we can see what the remoaners goal is and that is to stop Brexit at any cost but we will have the last laugh when we make the remoaners unemployed after the next GE

  15. Dominic
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    A liberal left fascist in alliance with a Marxist to circumvent the will of the people. This is what the UK’s been reduced to. Our future in the hands of the two most vile, mendacious and downright despicable politicians this country’s ever had to endure

    The two main parties are now today mere vehicles of political convenience compared what they used to be

    We’ll have our revenge through the ballot box against those who choose to confront and challenge our authority

    Parliament derives its authority from THE BRITISH PEOPLE

  16. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Indeed, Sir: I saw the votes with the Majority voting down Theresa May’s deal, proceeding to vote down a sensible WTO “No Deal” Brexit then voting- by a big Majority- to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union! 17.4 million people who voted “Leave” in June 2016 must be aghast at what their elected representatives are doing- as I am sure you must be too!

    However, Conservative MPs propping up Theresa May’s Government and “Sticking with Nurse for Fear of Worse” [Worse being Jeremy Corbyn] has got us to this predicament. It has been obvious- certainly since Theresa May’s “Chequers Deal” in July last year that Theresa May really does not want to sever ties with the EU in any way shape or form. Since then you have had two real chances to be rid of Theresa May- Conservative MPs failed to both times!

    We have a Government without a Majority, without Power and divided and a Weak Prime Minister. The EU no longer takes the UK seriously and will (if anything) offer Britain the worst possible Deal (Vassalage). The ERG and Conservative MPs must do all possible to oust Theresa May from office- with the threat of voting with Labour the next time he tables a “No Confidence Vote” in the Government if she does not resign- and do this fast!

    Then we need a Brexit- sympathetic Leader and Government formed that will prorogue Parliament to ensure Brexit happens (and, if need be, get a fresh mandate with a General Election). Yes this carries risks- but IF this is NOT done and Theresa May’s government pivots to Norway- plus or a second Referendum the Conservatives WILL lose the next Election that eventually happens.

    Keeping Theresa May in office (but without Power) will lead to a much more damaging majority Labour Government in future than anything that might (remotely) happen if you topple Theresa May ASAP and put a Brexit- supporter in charge of the country.

    Surely, Sir you do not want to let the Conservative Party become so heavily implicated in the Betrayal of Brexit that millions of voters in Marginal Seats in the North of England and the Midlands turn right against the Party and lead to a Labour Government in (say) 2021 or 2022??

    Ian Pennell

  17. Rhoddas
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Please consider/advise if you feel there is strategic merit in (either party) calling for vote of no Confidence in this turncoat Government, which if successful, should mean Parliament was immediately dissolved and no further business permitted. This could help us over the 29/3 line with an automatic exit on WTO and other terms as currently agreed…

    It would also enable voters to purge the betrayers, as we now know whom they are… “drain the swamp” and then we can set out to deliver professionally negotiated FTAs with all the opportunities that will enable.

    Sincerely, thank you

    • Andy
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      That is not correct now we have the silly ‘Fixed Term Parliaments Act’. If there was a no Confidence motion and it was won then, as I understand the Act, there is a 14 day window during which others might seek to form a Government which has to be confirmed by a motion of Confidence. If this is not forthcoming then Parliament is dissolved by Her Majesty. If the house wishes to dissolve then any such motion (as happened last time) has to get 75%+ of the vote.
      Personally I doubt that without this daft Act we would be seeing the disgraceful behaviour from some, particularly Remainiac MPs.

  18. Iain Gill
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully Nigel can get the EU parliament to reject an extension anyway.

    Mrs May needs to go.

    We need a Brexit PM, and that means Boris in the short term.

    We need to change political candidate selection in all the political parties.

    • Natalie Tallis
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Why Boris? The perfect candidate is right there at the top of the page.

  19. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m not looking for any logic in what the May government does – It’s intentions are clear, and she will try to manipulate Parliament any way she can ….

  20. Stan
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    What is it about your party colleagues..we voted to leave..we did not vote for a new agreement..so tell them just leave and no more voting on anything..leave 29th march

  21. Nigl
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    You would make an excellent poker player.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, JR, how would you and your ERG colleagues explain it to voters if we ended up staying in the EU because you were determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

    And please don’t say that Theresa May’s deal would not be Brexit, when it plainly would be Brexit, albeit Brexit to an unsatisfactory new position, or that it would leave us in a worse position than being in the EU when even that unsatisfactory new position would plainly be better than being in the EU and trapped in the process of “ever closer union”.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      No deal is better than a bad deal Denis. We know that because Theresa told us so. Claiming that we are out of the EU when we are still subject to its rules, laws and restrictions is clearly not leaving, despite the label on the outside.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Would we still be a party to the EU treaties? No; so it is not a question of a “label” but of legal reality.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Exactly !

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Article 50 clearly states that the UK will Leave the EU upon either, signing a Withdrawal Agreement or, after 2 years from the date we issued our letter of intent to Leave the EU. We are now less than two weeks away from the latter. The law, as it currently stands, supports this. So why sign the WA ? A WA that is so disadvantageous to the UK and would effectively hand control of the UK to the EU. You yourself have stated that the RoI would never let the UK out of the Backstop ! So what has changed, if anything, in your views ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        It is true that “The law, as it currently stands, supports this”, but that may no longer be the case even by the end of next week. It would only take a vote in each House to approve the statutory instrument, with the minister cutting short the normal period after it has been laid on grounds of urgency.

        Reply And legislation to make legal any penal terms imposed on us for delay. IT would take a May-Corbyn coalition to get delay through as 188 Conservative MPs voted against delay on Thursday

  23. Original Richard
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Bearing in mind :

    That Mr. Hollande, the French President at the time of the EU referendum, said 07/10/2016 about Brexit :

    “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price, otherwise we will be in negotiations that will not end well and, inevitably, will have economic and human consequences,”

    And that UK pro-EU supporters, which includes our PM, were determined to make with the EU a WA that would be seen to be worse in the immediate term than remain by subjugating the UK to be a permanent vassal state of the EU, then it is not surprising that the final choice to be made is whether to blindly remain in the EU and take whatever comes as a result or leave with no deal and suffer possible short term issues but retain our democracy and hence freedom to control our future.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      The aim is to kick the can down the road as per, Robbins. There is a real risk to this. If the government goes for an extension and the EU grants one, the DUP could pull their support forcing a GE. If that happens then the Tories are going to lose BIG TIME. It will then be down to Labour to get us out.

  24. Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Please include the time David Cameron was ‘negotiating’ too – so maybe 5 years?

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I recently happened across this quote from Charles de Gaulle, which was of course of its time and would bring trouble down on the head of any politician who said it now:

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/charles_de_gaulle_134425

    “Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses; they last while they last.”

    And somewhat in line with that there is this, from last November:

    https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2018-11-13/HL11478/

    “The UK has unilaterally withdrawn from 52 treaties since 1 January 1988.”

    Of course as a general rule I am against the UK giving its word and then going back on it; but on the other hand if we are clearly promised that we will have an independent trade policy at some point in the future, and the EU clearly consents to that promise being given at the time the treaty is concluded, but later unreasonably refuses to release us from the constraints of its customs union, then it would seem to me that we would be fully justified in unilaterally freeing ourselves from those constraints.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      From the Political Declaration:

      “4. The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations … with regard to the development of its independent trade policy … “

      “17 … the Parties agree to develop an … economic partnership … recognising the development of an independent trade policy by the United Kingdom …”

      Contrary to the fantasy cynically promulgated by the Labour party, we could not have the independent trade policy adumbrated in this joint political declaration if we were still bound by the rules of the EU’s Customs Union.

    • rose
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      “Une Europe des Patries” would also bring down trouble on the head of any political insider who said it today.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        I was thinking more of the blatant male chauvinism about “girls”. But roses might also object …

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Why do we need a political declaration for what you write ? We can have all of that on 29th March 2019 by right. No need to seek another’s permission for anything.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        But MPs have just voted against us exercising that unilateral right; in fact it is clear that many of them would prefer that we did not even have it.

  26. Captain Peacock
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A second referendum then a third , a fourth till our EU masters get the result they want.

  27. Newmania
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    If both Parties had the same manifesto then its hardly a ,meaningful vote..simples

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      There was a third (absolute Remain) party which got trounced in the last general election and its leader unseated.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        BTW. The one thing that wasn’t prepared for was the *meaningful* meaning of “Leave the EU” on the ballot slip, nor the preparations for World Trade rule framework this month.

        You and your like utterly hobbled us, Newmania. Glad you are stuck here. That’s my only consolation.

    • Martin
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      I hate to mention this but the Opposition party’s job is to oppose! Having been defeated at the ballot box they are free to change their rejected policies. Of course defining which ones were rejected is up to the Opposition – they try again next time and repeat until successful.

  28. Stred
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    If the Remain establishment refuses to let UK candidates take part in the May EP elections, this should be challenged in the European Court. What chance of a decision in favour of the Brexit Party and Ukip,?

  29. agricola
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Avoid becoming distracted by the minutae of delays long or short. The key is to present a coherent plan for our extraction from the EU minus all the imagined or threatened penalties that some would have us believe.
    Remember, the EU is just as subject to the articles of GATT as any other country that aspires to trade with others in the World. GATT is just as important to those who run the EU as anyone else. The EU is not an entity in a vacuum.

    The key is to sell two things to T May. First her WA is dead and should not be on anyones table, and that the EU accepts it’s demise. Second is that salvation is at hand in that were we to submitt a free trade proposal, we could then announce that under WTO Art 24 of GATT both parties can continue with existing trade arrangements until such time as the FTA is ratified.

    It could be that within the WA there are items that benefit both parties, others that are toxic and the reason for Parliament’s two times rejection. It should be pointed out to the EU that Parliament could agree a much revised WA. It may be alien to them but this is how democracy works. Messy though it’s convulsions can be.

    Be very controlling as to who may be allowed to discuss the above with the EU. There is no place for the failures of the past three years.

    • agricola
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      It is supportive , why not.

  30. formula57
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I very much appreciate your efforts, both here, in Parliament, and elsewhere.

    To deliver our country to the Evil Empire, we should not be at all surprised at how low Mrs. Ramsey MacMay is willing to stoop

  31. a-tracy
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Owen Jones “Most MPs would back a compromise: a customs union and close alignment with the single market.” in the Guardian.
    There you go, this is what they want the extension for. This is not Brexit so if this is what the MPs want to do – instead revoke Article 50 and give us a general election to elect people on proper platforms of what they are going to do if they are selected. But only on manifesto pledges that the EU have agreed they will agree to not lies (a customs union and single market – but they’ll let us strike off on our own trade policies with the rest of the world with no EU 80% taxation for imports into the UK for the EU – like hell get real Jones you call the Brexiteers but you’re being the charlatan now with this false prospectus).

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Most MP’s, but what about the 17.4m people in the referendum and all those that voted for said MP’s in the last GE ?

      It was OUR choice, not theirs !

  32. Peter
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Explanations do not worry many current politicians. Mrs. May would happily claim that black was white if necessary. Awkward questions are usually avoided anyway.

    Delay is currently being used to try to force MPs to accept the current Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement. If that fails delay will be a means of avoiding Brexit indefinitely.

    Mr. Chope’s suggestion of collapsing the government and seeking a General Election has great appeal.

  33. Nigl
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    And now we hear Hammond is looking to bribe the DUP I still smell sell out.

  34. noname
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    There’s little point in producing any more considered pieces we are leaving 29th what more is there to say?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Well, for a start that very probably we are not leaving 29th.

      • old salt
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        Denis:
        I fear the EU-Wag-Treaty(?) will be presented ad nauseum until enough acceptances via delays past 29 March if necessary thus entrapping us in the EU with no A50 get out option. The EU would be absolutely delighted with their subjugating control over our lolly fish etc etc. for ever and a day. Legal opinion on QT mentioned the WAg being a Brussels construct. Speaks volumes. They will “do what it takes”.
        Better we have a clean Brexit or, if not possible, stay and retain the A50 right to fight another day.
        No hope now with people the likes of Dave Davis voting as he did. It’s just a matter of time! Bye-bye Brexit! Hello “5 Presidents Report”.

      • old salt
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Denis:
        I fear the EU-WAg-Treaty(?) will be presented ad nauseum until enough acceptances via delays past 29 March if necessary thus entrapping us in the EU with no A50 get out option. The EU would be absolutely delighted with their subjugating control over our lolly fish etc etc. for ever and a day. Legal opinion on QT mentioned the WAg being a Brussels construct. Speaks volumes. They will “do what it takes”.
        Better we have a clean Brexit or, if not possible, stay and retain the A50 right to fight another day.
        No hope now with some in the ERG voting as they did it’s just a matter of time! Bye-bye Brexit! Hello “5 Presidents Report”.

  35. New Zealand Observat
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    John, we had May say we would leave on the 29th over 100 times. So of course we are going to have a Second Referendum.

  36. New Zealand Observat
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    John, the only way we are leaving the EU is if the ERG force a General Election and we get a proper Brexit govt. The alternative is we end up trapped in a German dominated Soviet Union, so which will it be?

  37. miami.mode
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Based on their sometimes imperious attitudes, who knew how many supplicants there are in the House of Commons?

  38. michael mcgrath
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Reasons for the EU to agree a delay:
    Mrs May quits
    A new PM (Brexiteer) and negotiating team of brexiteers appointed
    EU advised that the flawed May deal is dead.
    Proposal to start official FTA talks under WTO rules (ten years allowed??)
    With talks underway, there is no problem in Ireland
    They have said so often they don’t know what we want…this will clarify the situation

    • Martin
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t the same parliamentary arithmetic apply ? The time the ERG will become the European Remainer Group etc etc etc.

  39. Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    This looks like a huge victory for the Civil Service to me. Led by Mrs May, Olly Robbins and the team of some 200 civil servants at No 10 – remainders have got their own way.
    I am not going to vote again for either Mrs May or Steve Barclay (my MP) although I am a cradle Conservative and live in a true blue area.
    I would never vote for Mr Corbyn.
    So I am considering Nigel Farage now if he gets his act together.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Nigel needs to make his peace with Gerard Batten and unite with his old party, UKIP.
      Despite making the right noises, currently Nigel is splitting the Brexit votes.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Nigel is the Brexit vote.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Nigel would get my vote over Batten any day.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        UKIP has attracted a lot of very bad people.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been considering this issue. I have never in my 50 odd years of voting age ever voted Labour. Now though I will. Labour will make dreadful mistakes and the economy will suffer, yet it can recover from this.

      I am prepared to risk this if it means punishing and destroying the present Tory party for their election of of a traitorous leader their abandonment of principle and their moral cowardice on many issues. The party and many of its MPs deserve to be eliminated.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      I too shall be voting for whichever party, obviously not the LibLabCON, promises to take us out of the EU.

  40. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    So what will the weekend bring? Some movement by the DUP? And maybe that bringing forth some movement by the ERG as it realises – sadly – that May’s terrible deal is the only way to get us out? If the ERG gives way then I hope that they will be bright enough to demand that any extension is limited to the few weeks needed to complete legislative action – and the government is bright enough to agree. We should not be participating in the May EP elections.

  41. Freeborn John
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    This is no time to go wobbly Sir John.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mrs Thatcher! What would she say! TM is certainly the inverse of MT in every respect!

  42. percy openshaw
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Well said. Clearly, the real motive for delay is to reverse the referendum result. This must not on any account be allowed to happen – but I fear that it may. The litany of blunders that have led us into this appalling betrayal of democracy – which will itself have terrible and unavoidable consequences – is a scandalous reproach to most of the men and women whose job it is to lead or represent us. It seems they now seek to coerce us on the grounds that we are beneath representation, being too simple and too ignorant to understand our own interests. My own MP shall not get my vote again if I find that he is among this wretched cabal.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m not going to mince words. In all probability, you are going to have to bring down this Government in order to force ‘No Deal’ over the line. The problem is not the people, it’s this rotten parliament. It will mean supporting a Labour No Confidence motion.

    Don’t worry. Mrs May and her deal are not worth saving. Yourself, Steve Baker and the Leave means Leave lawyers have it right. Mrs May’s deal is rotten to the core, is not Brexit. Since it is not time limited, it is worse than a temporary continuation of EU membership.

    I wrote to Boris Johnson and Steve Baker as long ago as last September urging the preparation of a Brexiteers’ Manifesto. It is now urgent because the next General Election will need to be Brexiteers vs the rest (that’s ALL Brexiteers, not just Conservatives).

    I for one have more in common with Kate Hoey and the DUP than with the Wet wing of the Conservative Party.

    As for the danger of a soft Brexit, let Hammond and Corbyn and Kinnock try to prepare one. We mustn’t touch it with a bargepole. It is likely that the EU, assuming they grant an Article 50 extension, would tolerate only the EEA Norway option. It will prove electorally unpopular.

    • Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      That’s the new division. Not left and right but Sovereigntists v Supplicants. Even the cradle socialist fishermen in North Shields were agreeing with us on that yesterday. They recognise we are in the trenches. The BDI foresaw and wanted Leave-Conservatives and Leave-Labour in their traditional heartlands so we produced a Leave-Parliament.
      Look at the British Declaration of Independence on Freenations. Enoch supported it, also Alfred Sherman and many others both left and right! After this crisis – assuming we survive, we must oust traitors from our Parliament!

  44. Jack Falstaff
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I have read in a tabloid today that certain members of the ERG are giving serious thought to voting in favour of Mrs May’s third attempt to push through her already twice-defeated “Deal”, which would be even worse than remaining in the EU.
    Has it really come to this or are we being fed “fake news”?
    If it is true it looks like a case of rats from a sinking ship who cannot hold their nerve when No Deal is surely the default.

    • Cloud
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jack, in my opinion the ERG are heavily infiltrated by spys (as you would expect) and those who are currently going soft and wobbling are following a Script. It is upto the sincere men within the ERG to recognise this and take control, immediately.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      So who has told you that her ‘deal’ would be even worse than remaining in the EU, and on what grounds?

      • Jack Falstaff
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Common sense, my tax bill when it comes to an added burden of paying for absolutely nothing in return, the fact that we would have no further say in matters that concern us, the EU going over our heads in terms of legislation and, generally, the fact that this in no wise could be described as a version of Brexit that gives us full freedom to negotiate free trade with the rest of the (more serious) world and give developing countries an opportunity to trade fairly with us outside the despicable protectionist customs union, and in a nutshell the utter betrayal of those who voted leave by our self-aggrandised politicians (with the exception of the honourable man that Sir John Redwood is) as well as the deleterious effect on UK business confidence. Those are the reasons why Mrs May’s “deal” is worse. Anything else my liege-lord?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:46 am | Permalink

        I said worse than temporarily staying in the EU. The draft Withdrawal Agreement is Hotel California. What I am proposing is that we hold out for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit and that it will probably only come after a General Election changes the composition of parliament.

        What makes you think that the present Conservative Party can survive? What will its next manifesto say about Europe? A broad church is one thing, total incoherence another.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          The Withdrawal Agreement is not Hotel California, it is an agreement for our orderly withdrawal from the EU. Nor is it “Brexit In Name Only”, another lazy caricature which adds nothing to any sensible debate. It may not be a good agreement from our point of view, we can thank Theresa May for that, but it is still better than remaining bound by the EU treaties forever more.

          Reply It is binding us to a new EU Treaty, the Withdrawal Treaty, in order to put us under pressure to sign up to yet another EU Treaty, the EU Partnership Treaty, negotiated under the duress of the Withdrawal Treaty. You normally read these things and understand them, so re read the Withdrawal draft Treaty. It binds us every which way for 21-45 months, with no guaranteed way out.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            We will inevitably end up being bound to the EU by new treaties, but that is not the same as being bound by the EU treaties.

    • JeremyG
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      I think number 10 are going for the fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD) technique to undermine opponents to their capitulation.

  45. Hope
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    JR, May never wanted to leave. How many times were you told by me and others over the last three years. You cannot change her fundamental horrible character traits. After tabling to take no deal off the table, which is a national betrayal who could ever beleive or trust your party ever Again? May will undoubtedly lie again to say it keeps faith with her manifesto and referendum result or that it is a good deal.

    Delingpole: “That’s one of the things that is so disgustingly inexcusable about yesterday’s vote to take No Deal off the table. It was an act of both of voluntary suicide and national betrayal: surrendering all your advantages to your opponents, without even putting up a semblance of a fight.”

    He is absolutely right and why no right minded person would ever vote Tory again or for that matter Labour. But May made that clear in her Mansion House surrender.

    Today we see school children, taken out of school, outside No. 10 chanting obscenities at her encouraged by teachers! Who can blame them.

    • Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid that is right. The word ‘Conservative’ is now so toxic nobody can stomach it.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Indeed. As a former Conservative voter until 2010 the present Party disgusts me with its lack of morals, judgement or values.

  46. Peter Wood
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Good evening,
    Sir John, you have to rid us of this PM, you know how to do it; Country before Party..

    • margaret
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      I am going to have to come down to London and shout from the gallery re broken promises. How can you trust people who don’t deliver what we keep supporting them for?

      • Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Christopher Gill has done that already. We need more than shouting I’m afraid, but shouting helps!

  47. Steve Harper
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi John,
    A few thoughts from one of the 17.4 million.
    Where do we go from here?
    I imagine that your position remains that we hang tough, exit on the 29th on WTO and offer the EU a comprehensive FTA. That would be the ideal outcome but I don’t see how we get there. The PM won’t buy into it and, if she did, there would be a vote of confidence that would be very close. Given the parliamentary numbers, there would likely be a majority for preventing no deal.
    It seems to me that the only option is to accept the WA on condition that May steps down on 30th March. It is a bad deal but it gets us out and, once out, we won’t go back in. if we don’t leave now, I fear we may never get out. The legal arguments for getting out of the backstop may be rather thin but you must hang on to them and use them to break the treaty if needs be. I understand that you and your colleagues are parliamentarians, some are lawyers and you believe in the rule of law but the problem is that Brexiteers are far too honourable compared to the forces that oppose you. Brexit is a revolutionary movement and you and your colleagues are in the vanguard of the revolution. The forces of reaction (remain MP’s, the MSM, the EU, the liberal establishment, Blair, Campbell, Osborne et al) have consistently lied, cheated, used propaganda, fear and every trick in the book to subvert the will of the people. Why is it that Brexteer ministers resign and Remainers seldom do? They must not be allowed to win and you should fight fire with fire.
    Once the WA is ratified and we are out, May needs to go immediately and be replaced by a committed Brexiteer (preferably young and who would slaughter Corbyn in a TV debate) with a vision of Britain and a roadmap to the future. We need to negotiate with the EU for a FTA with a fresh team of negotiators who share the PM’s vision, modernise and expand our ports and infrastructure. Plan for freeports in Belfast, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Hull, negotiate FTA’s with key overseas partners, invest heavily in technological solutions to the Irish border (but use Silicon Valley suppliers and don’t let the Civil Service anywhere near it) encourage immigration of the best and brightest from around the world. Also prepare robustly for WTO terms with the EU should they not act in good faith with the negotiations.
    Best wishes,
    Steve Harper

    Relly Once signed we are locked into the WA. Why would Mrs May keep a promise to go afterwards and what could a new leader, tied by the WA

  48. Anonymous
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Question Time BBC last night.

    Fiona Bruce squealed “Oh my gosh ! Have you been sitting on your hands ?” after asking how many would want a second referendum. Barely 15% put their hands up and the proof is in the video.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1100543/BBC-Question-Time-UK-Brexit-news-Theresa-May-European-Union-Theresa-May

  49. Robert Duncan
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir, for your continued efforts in support of this country’s sovereignty, and against the intolerant, faux-liberal, international elite. I wish Mogg were PM and you the Chancellor.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      @ Robert Duncan

      Not the other way around? I guess Mr Redwood is abit more electable..

  50. Pominoz
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Why talk about delay?

    May’s putrid deal will be approved by the various factions who hate it, all for different reasons.

    I do hope I am wrong – but then there still must be no delay. Out on the 29th !!!

  51. James Brown
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    By refusing to compromise, ERG are pushing the middle into staying in the EU. The slim majority of the referendum is accurately reflected in the red lines of the Govt/EU deal. It’s 80 MPs that are betraying the vote of the people.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      If I thought that the EU could still be induced to make significant changes to the terms of our withdrawal then I might say “Vote this down and hold out for better terms”. But after four months and two heavy rejections by MPs nothing has been changed in the agreement, not even a comma, we have just had some extraneous reassurances and clarifications. Which is, of course, exactly what has happened in similar circumstances in the past, for example with the Lisbon Treaty when it was complained that the Irish people were being made to vote again on exactly the same treaty in the second referendum. So even if there was once any potential for improving the terms of the agreement that has now been exhausted. We could perhaps still get stronger and clearer pledges outside the actual treaty, and in particular it would help if we knew how the EU would stop the Irish government preventing us from eventually having the independent trade policy which Theresa May keeps promising.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      @ James Brown

      What you observe is probably correct but irrelevant.

  52. mancunius
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Is the DUP really going to vote through this appalling WA in return for a bribe from Hammond?
    Are ERG members really trying to kid themselves that the clear intention of the WA’s drafting by the EU is not to keep us firmly tied to the customs union? Or more accurately, to allow remainer MPs to keep us firmly tied to the CU?

    To quote a pre-war German satirist, I cannot even eat the amount I want to throw up.

  53. Simon Coleman
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    ‘Considered pieces’ – plural. Why not just cut it down to one? We know you haven’t got a lot to do as you watch the clock tick down to Brexit day. For the last time, the 84% or whatever it was of voters who voted Cons or Lab in the election were not all voting for Brexit. May told us that no deal was better than a bad deal…and she lost her majority. The only sensible conclusion to draw from that is that the country does not want a hard Brexit. And nor does Parliament, which you think shouldn’t have a say in the matter. And nor did the small Leave majority in the referendum point to a hard Brexit. You’d better pray that the EU doesn’t extend Art. 50…because if it does, we will get a soft Brexit.

  54. Jane
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    The EU will not give us what we need to unite Parliament (a unilateral exit clause), only what they need to keep us in (extension).

    Simple strategy really and it’s working so far.

    And to provide us with a terrible vassal state treaty as the only other option. Hobson’s Choice.

    The EU think that they are in control of our destiny and it is up to the Remainer MPs to wake up to this reality as Parliament will just become a talking shop with no power.

  55. MikeP
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, Theresa May stood up in the Commons last October and said, with steely-eyed determination, “I can ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE that we will leave the EU on 29th March 2019”. Such an unequivocal statement undeniably set expectations. This week she added weight to this by saying after one of the motions had been voted upon that, while she had a quavering voice, “she understood the voice of the people”.
    Taken together, and knowing she has, some say, a great sense of public duty and Christian virtue, are these two statements grounds for optimism that she may yet go against the wishes of Parliament in recent motion votes and stick to the letter of the Law as enacted in the Withdrawal Act and have us leave without a deal on 29th March if her Withdrawal Agreement is voted down again ?

  56. BR
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    “”Seven Cabinet members oppose delay and other Ministers, leading to resignations if the PM were to want to press it.”

    This is perhaps the key point. If those resignations did happen then they must lead to a change of leadership. It cannot be useful to have Brexiteer ministers resign while May remains as leader while remainers simply stay in post and blackmail May.

    Seven resignations leading to a 100% pro-remain cabinet with May at the helm would be something of an own goal.

    Did you mean to imply that those resignations would definitely result in a change of leadership? In view of how thick-skinned May is, would she simply brush off any of the normal proprieties and stay in post anyway?

  57. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    As always, Nigel Farage has his eye on the main chance. It only takes ONE Member State to veto an extension of the Article 50 period.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood,

      Appareently UK politics have a high degree of unpredictability. That must be frustrating to almost anyone with a stake in this process.

      You are right that a delay (especially after a third or fourth defeat of the WA in Parliament) would be pointless unless there was an objective (or maybe a coherent set of conflicting, but separate objectives to choose from) that could be shown to the EU representatives as the UK’s and be the subject of serious, rather than artificial negotiations..

      You are also right that the WA and the very limited trade benefits outlined in the PD are not attractive. Apart from a little money (deemed more important in London than in Berlin) there is also very little in it for the EU that the EU could not do unilaterally. And the prospect of the backstop turning into a vehicle for a future UK free rider position is rarely noticed, but real.

      The backstop is there for Irish politics , on both sides of the border. But I cannot imagine the UK mean voter to be prepared to commit resources to maintaining a UK presence on the island of Ireland if the NI mean voter does not want that anymore.

      So where will this go from here? Either May’s deal (with an extension but the deal itself also a de fact extension) or a very drastic no deal. Imo the economic damage from the latter would be serious and abrupt. But the former does not guarantee an upswing, unless the prospects for the future relationship would be towards an enhanced version of Norway, which seems to have too little support, even if given some time. So maybe, as some people in some member states are saying: a therapeutic No Nead (TND) and a very strict one at that, would be the optimum solution.

  58. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    There is not only No Governemnt currEntly, there is in fact No Cabinet as Mrs May does not even control her allies!
    The issues before the Conservatives survival as a united party is to remove May and the only mechanism for that is that those of the 1922 who want rid of her have to abstain in a Commons motion of No Confidence moved by the Opposition. That would put the Payroll MPs in a situation of a prospective General Election which would actually “Shoot the Fox” of May’s ‘threat of calling one (led by her despite another ‘solemn promise’ to go before the next one). The Payrollers would have one clear choice – because that would mean if they supported her over the following few days there would be a General Election. Somehow knowing their venal careerist positions I would hazard may would not last 24 hours.

  59. C Maylor
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    This misbegotten “Deal’ would be more accurately described as a National Suicide note.
    No voice, no vote, ripe for asset stripping of all our resources, Surrender of command of our Armed Forces – how much are they worth? And pay £39 billion for the privilege.
    Trade with EU is 45% of our total and falling as they move into recession.
    This deal has absolutely nothing to do with Brexit and should not be billed as such.
    It must not be signed. Stay strong MPs – the people will resist along with you.

  60. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Before the referendum, there was much talk about the sort of deal we would strike with the EU. Perhaps naively, I assumed that this meant a free trade deal not a – well a what? I don’t really get what this deal does for us. I believe may other leave voters are in this boat.
    Since it seems that a free trade deal is not on offer, can we please revert to the stated position that no deal is better than a bad deal.

  • 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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