My speech during the debate on the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union, 13 March 2019

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Some 17.4 million people voted to leave. They were told by both the Government and the remain campaign that that meant leaving the customs union and the single market. They were told that many things would be damaging or wrong if we left. There was a series of very bad short-term forecasts for the first year after the vote, and the public said to the experts, “We don’t believe you”, and they were right about the short-term forecasts: jobs figures went up, not down; growth went up—there was no recession; and house prices performed reasonably well. This was a specific forecast for the year after the vote and before we could conceivably have left.

Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran) (SNP): rose—

John Redwood: I give way.

Mr Speaker: Order. Any interventions from now on are perfectly legitimate, but if Members intervene, they will be preventing others from speaking. I just want them to know that.

Patricia Gibson: Will the right hon. Gentleman explain how anyone can trust this Government? We were long told it was the Prime Minister’s deal or no deal, but that is clearly not the case because the House could revoke article 50 if it so chose.

John Redwood: I do not agree. I think that that is exactly where we are: either we leave with the withdrawal agreement, or we leave without the withdrawal agreement. That is what the House voted for when it voted to send the article 50 letter, and that is what the House voted for when it enacted the withdrawal Act.

I am not here to recreate the arguments of the referendum. The public are heartily sick of Parliament’s going over and over the same arguments in which we have engaged for three or four years now, in the run-up to the referendum and subsequently. They expect us to be purposeful, serious and sensible, and to sort out the issues and problems arising from the decision to leave the European Union. That is exactly what we should be doing, and I come here in that spirit. I understand that remain voters have real concerns, although I think that some of them are exaggerated. It is up to us, working with the Government, to show that all of them can be managed and that there are many upsides, to which we are looking forward and which leave voters clearly had in their minds.

I want to reassure the House. Calling certain views certain names is not helpful to a grown-up debate. It is not a no-deal exit that we are talking about; it is a many-deals exit. As we have just heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr Baker), a series of measures have been enacted recently in the European Parliament. On both sides of the channel, serious work is being done to ensure that lorries can move and planes can fly. Goods will move across borders, and there will be an understanding about what happens in relation to customs and other checks. The drugs will come in, and the food will come in.

I think it is quite wrong to scaremonger and frighten people by pretending that none of that work has taken place—that German pharmaceutical companies will refuse to send their goods any more, or that the workers at Dover will get in the way and block them from coming in. It is not going to happen. We have heard very good news from Calais and Dover about all the work that has been done at both ports to make things work.

So let us come together and be practical, and let us understand that certainly all Conservative and Labour MPs were elected to this 2017 Parliament to get Brexit through. We all stood on national manifestos that said we would do that. The public cannot believe that so many Labour Members in particular are now saying, “We did not really mean it; we do not care about that; we want to stop it; we want to delay it; we want to redefine it in a way that means it is no longer Brexit.”

Brexit means taking control of our own money and then being able to spend it on our priorities, and the sooner we do that, the sooner we will have the boost to our economy which taking that measure would bring about. It means having tariffs that make sense for British industry, and for importers who might like some tariffs to be removed. I am very glad that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has slashed tariffs from a load of imported goods that do not involve our competing actively in the United Kingdom. That will be better news for all the consumers who will not have to pay those tariffs any more once we have our own tariff schedule.

I have a big idea for the Government. I entirely understand that very many people in this Parliament want a bigger deal, or more deals, than what is currently on the table. My idea is that, even at this late stage, the Government should offer the European Union a comprehensive free trade agreement based on the best of EU-Canada and EU-Japan, perhaps involving more services, because we already have alignment with services. If the EU would agree just to talk about that—as I suspect it would—we could leave on 29 March without having to impose any new tariffs or non-tariff barriers on each other, and proceed, under GATT 24, to negotiate a free trade agreement. That, I should have thought, would unite a lot of moderate remain voters with most leave voters, and I strongly recommend it to the Government. Parliament must allow us to leave on 29 March, otherwise it will be the people against the Parliament.

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  1. Gordon Jones
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Your final paragraph is deeply dishonest. The EU has made it completely clear there can be no agreement without the Irish backstop. What do you think Geoffrey Cox was talking about in Brussels last week? Yet again, you, like all the Brexiters, are suggesting something that is totally impossible. You must believe in fairies and unicorns

    Reply I am not seeking a Withdrawal Agreement so no unicorn here. An FTA helps with the border issues, which can be solved with or without an FTA

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Just because the EU has said there is no agreement without the Irish backstop doesn’t mean it is totally impossible. It is a political decision and therefore entirely possible. Just chanting unicorn unicorn doesn’t change that.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        But if your counterparty simply refuses to talk about an agreement unless a certain feature is to be included – in this case, the EU, refusing to talk about an agreement unless it includes the ‘backstop’ – then in the absence of some form of compulsion – which we lack with respect to the EU – there is nothing you can do about it, you cannot force them to negotiate an agreement.

        And if you decide that you will never under any circumstances proceed without an agreement – as MPs have now decided with respect to EU withdrawal – you give your counterparty complete control. Not just a significant negotiating advantage, but complete control.

        I point out again that when Article 50 was being drafted there were fears that the EU could increasingly be seen as a kind of prison, and so it was specifically decided that the withdrawal of a member state must be a unilateral decision and not dependent on the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement; but our MPs have now voted to make it our prison.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          We will Leave the EU on the 29th March 2019. That is the law as it currently stands. When that is change or, parliament agree to sign the WA, all scenarios are moot.

      • Hope
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Join the Brexit party and start with marching next week. Treason May needs a message that her treachery and trairous actions will not be tolerated.

        Whatever happens the swamp needs to be cleared that has been overwhelmingly demonstrated this week.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Interesting letter in the D Telegraph today that should remind us why we should not approve the Withdrawal Agreement, for it effectively locks us in to a new treaty on much worse terms than present arrangements. Is it any wonder that the PM keeps coming back with this deal until the ‘right result’ is produced. It is Remain, but with a padlock and keys thrown in to ensure there is even less chance of the UK leaving in future. The ERG and Leavers should stand firm and refuse to vote this one through no matter what the circumstances.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        That is exactly the point. Both wto and remain are better. It’s a no brainer

        • Mark B
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          But WTO is the best of all and the one we chose. And at the time of writing it still is.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Remainer = no comment without insult.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Please make sure you vote down Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. It the worst of all Brinos and Theresa May would still be “negotiating”.

    • Hope
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Read consume analysis by Cash and company. No right minded person could vote for it. May’s lies completely exposed for what they are. I note the civil service still not investigated for its dishonest Kitkat policy. It was either a rogue element or with May’s and /or Robbins consent. It needs to be determined which.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Then what? One way or another our overwhelmingly pro-EU politicians would make sure we stayed in the EU, that is what would happen.

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    I have just seen two cartoons of Theresa May in Italian News. One shows her in a dunce’s cap the other one shows her crucified on the Union Jack.

    She’s making a great impression.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I have just seen a sceptic tank emptying tanker with “ This tanker contains politicians promises “ written down the side.
      True words spoken in jest ?

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      What’s worse Stephen is she and this farce of a parliament are making us the laughing stock of the world!

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        That is the thing, they do not realise the future implication of what they are doing. Selfish, that’s what I call it.

  4. Andrew S
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The DUP should dump the government in a vote of no confidence now. Leave voters will dump the Remainer Tory party. It’s deserved. UK meanwhile crashes out of the EU on 29 March which is excellent.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      My view exactly; IF the ERG members really do wish to put country before party and self, then they’d offer support to the opposition parties for vote of ‘no confidence in the government’. So the question is, Country or Party?

      • Tessa
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        ‘Party Politics’ is the problem. At this crucial time we need patriotic politicians who give priority to their country and sovereign – rather than those politicians who ignore the wishes of their constituents and give priority to their own personal ideals and career aspirations.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Very reluctantly I agree. We will lose Brexit altogether as Labour gangs up with Remain Tories to steal it from us.

      Sir John, it’s now undeniable that this is a dishonest and unpatriotic government determined to keep us in the EU. Further support for it makes you complicit. This is not about tactics or statesmanship, but a matter of conscience.

      I urge you and your 70-odd Conservative Brexit colleagues to resign the whip and call an immediate vote of confidence.

      • Nigl
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Not yet. Give the final few days time to play out. The EU may (no pun intended) refuse to play or Bercow.

        She will use the threat of a continuing delay to force a bad deal through. Utterley contemptible.

      • jerry
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        @eeyore; “I urge you and your 70-odd Conservative Brexit colleagues to resign the whip and call an immediate vote of confidence.”

        Err, they would have no power to call a vote of confidence, although they could table one (but the govt would decline to make time for such a motion…), Labour might take the opportunity to call one, if it suits their own agenda.

        Of course the ERG could resign their party membership and form their own parliamentary group, but quite how they would square that with their criticisms of the IG MPs who did likewise, then demand some concessions to keep the Tory party in power just as the DUP have.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Agreed. The only way to remove this awful Government and bring about an election to stave off public anger and action.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Hear hear!

      • James Bertram
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Sir John, I expect you and other Brexiteers are well aware of this – so just ruminating, putting the idea out there:

        A separate pro-Brexit Tory party would win by a landslide – you must have the courage and confidence to take this course, and the vision to prepare for it now.

        I expect you to give Theresa May this ultimatum on 29th March, or sooner, so as to leave without a deal. On the 30th March you either have won the argument or you bring down the Government.

        Whatever happens, May’s deal MUST NOT PASS. It would finish our country and trash our democracy. It is far better to delay, even to remain in the EU, than be subjugated by May’s deal forever – then, at some stage, a better chance to leave will arrive.

    • Nick
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      ERG members should abandon the CONservatives and form their own party which actually believes in democracy. They would win the next election hands down. The anger and disgust I now feel towards the CONservatives means I will never vote for anyone in the party again despite having voted Tory my whole adult life. May and the other Trators in parlaiment have destroyed my faith in the parliamentary system as it currently stands.

      • Andrea Wood
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Separate from the Libstervatives. Call yourselves the New Conservatives. you’ll have commandeered the best brains, the most trusted MPs, you’ll run rings round the rump of donkeys that remain under the conservative umbrella! Call it the last stand cos let’s face it, we’re as good as finished as a nation anyway

    • jerry
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      @Andrew S; Calling a GE is a sure way of getting the EC and EU27 to agree a A50 extension, remember TM will remain PM until at least 10pm on polling day, the Labour party, the LDs, the SNP will all back TM during the ‘wash-up’ in asking for an extension. Oh and what if the electorate do not sack the Remain MPs, what if Remain constituencies sack Leave MPs, what if Corbyn ends up leading a Remain coalition – even if he stands true on his own personal Euroscepticism?

      A GE is unlikely to solve anything, at least not from a Leave perspective, as we saw in 2017 it could make things even more difficult on many fronts, I doubt the DUP will buy the need for a GE one bit.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Wake up, MPs will not allow the UK to crash out of the EU on March 29th.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Even if they did extend it, how long do you think it will be ? After all, they cannot go beyond the EUParl Elections.

        I am prepared to wait a few more months for my nations freedom, rather than an eternity at the mercy of the EU and the rEU27.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Agreed, it will also sort out Conservative MPs, who are politically short sighted, more interested in their party and the elite than the people and democracy. When the Chamber is teaming with MPs it becomes more obvious how overpopulated and antiquated the Commons is. Then there is the C19 somewhere along the corridors.

      The only hope is when Brexit fails as it will, it causes a major re-alignment of the way we are governed. As previously commented I am thinking there is little difference between Westminster and Brussels. Get ready to see the can kicked down the road for two more years and infinity.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Holy cow.

      A general election. That’s all we need.

      Also I got some very bizarre replies to my various posts yesterday. Some people appear to believe that:

      Most international trade doesn’t happen between countries that are geographically close to each other.
      Burning loads of fossil fuels isn’t heating up the planet.

      The other stuff I can stomach, but this is up there with saying the earth is flat. Very weird indeed. These people must really go out of their way to find anything which argues this claptrap. Also, that I’m a Welsh windbag – though I believe that honour goes to Neil Kinnock.

      • Steve
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


        “Burning loads of fossil fuels isn’t heating up the planet.”

        Depends who’s burning it. Why should we be told what to do to alleviate global warming ? We do not have a population of over 1 billion.

        “Also, that I’m a Welsh windbag – though I believe that honour goes to Neil Kinnock.”

        Spot on, and highly amusing.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I’m with the gentleman on QT last night who vowed never to vote again. Julia Hartley-Brewer said we must vote for people who support our policies but they always get dragged into the party machine.

    All parties know the policies we want and effect to offer them “Tough on crime…” and “*Back* to basics.” etc

    “We will carry out the result of the referendum.”

    All trust is gone.

    We’ll leave it to the students and the radicals then.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      If you don’t vote then you have no right to criticise what you end with. You have abdicated that right. If you vote and the other side win then you can say “I didn’t vote for that”.
      If your side wins than you have the right to hold them to account and say “I didn’t vote for you to do that”
      By not voting you are saying “do what you like because I don’t care”

      I will vote. If there is no suitable candidate then I will write that across the ballot paper. Spoiled ballots are counted and declared.
      Maybe if our first past the post system returns a no suitable candidate, then the powers that be will be forced to take notice.

      I may be naive, but at least its a plan and a lot better than just taking whatever you get and moaning about it down the pub.

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

        Charles Crane

        “By not voting you are saying “do what you like because I don’t care”

        But everyone now knows Parliament just does what the hell it likes anyway, wether or not people vote.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Then give me, “None of the above.” on the ballot paper then !

    • oldwulf
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      When the ruling elite cannot be trusted, anarchy is the solution. It will be interesting to see how things evolve.

    • bigneil
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Anon – – Don’t forget the classic – “Immigration down to tens of thousands” – just got it wrong when it was said it was annually, not monthly. Minor detail !

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I can see why people would think that and many leave voters I know have said they wouldn’t vote in a second referendum if their first vote was ignored but I think Julia Hartley-Brewer was right otherwise the remain camp would win by default and we would also be turning down a chance to get rid of all those remain MPs refusing to represent their constituents’ wishes. I’m beginning to think we now need a general election to give voters the chance to get rid of all those MPs who have reneged on their manifesto and promise to honour the referendum. It will also hopefully give Nigel Farage and the new Brexit party a chance to wipe the smiles off their dishonourable faces.

    • rose
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Leaving it to the students and radicals is just what they want you to do. Do you really think they will lament the departure from democracy of all those voters who disagree with them?

  6. Bob Dixon
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Your speech has cheered me up.Thank goodness we have one MP who can see through the mess created by thr rest of your colleges. I voted for Cashing in.

    • rose
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      His speeches always cheer me up. They are positive and practical and framed in the national interest.

  7. formula57
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Well said! A practical way forward.

    O/T – Attorney General Cox’s reply to your 4, March letter is still awaited and remains relevant given expected repeat voting. He fails at his peril: I for one will have no compunction about reporting him for sanction to the UnBrexit Activities Committee in due course.

    • PeterM
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      The Unbrexit Activities Committee? I hope you know how Sen. McCarthy finished.

  8. Andy
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I hear 17.4m spoken about a lot.

    Here are some numbers Europhobes never mention.

    65 million – the whole population
    48 million – the number who did not vote leave
    39 billion – the upfront cost of your Brexit
    16 million – the number who specifically voted remain
    3 million – the number of EU citizens here, denied a vote on their future
    1.5 million – approximate number of 16/17 year olds, denied a vote
    1 million – the number of UK citizens there, many also denied votes
    1 million – approximate number of leave voters who’ve died since 2016
    750,000 – approximate number of new remain voters since 2016
    320,000 – number of leave voters who die each year
    2069 – the year we will be paying your Brexit bill until
    650 – MPs in Parliament
    500ish – MPs who have serious doubt about Brexit
    12ish – MPs who still think no deal is not a disaster
    2 – incompetent and nasty political parties which need eliminating
    1 – majority needed for Mrs May’s rubbish deal to become our future
    0 – chance of a better Brexit than Mrs May’s deal

    MPs need to start thinking about these numbers too.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      But Andy, you told us that the 39billion is what we are legally obliged to pay to existing EU programmes so we’d have to pay that anyway if we stayed in too – so, a literally irrelevant point. I agree though that all babies under the age of 1 didn’t vote to leave and so are included in your 48 million figure – not sure how you’d have had them mark the ballot paper ? Sounds like a unicorn if you want to give them the vote ?

    • J Bush
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      You appear to be suggesting only those who voted to leave to the EU can die, but those who voted to remain in the EU will live forever?

      Wow, amazing

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        J Bush

        “You appear to be suggesting only those who voted to leave to the EU can die”

        That’s because it is in the nature of things that the old die first.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      10m- the number of remain voters who are not, like you, supporters of EU federalism, but voted remain either because they believed some of the lies of project fear & thought it might be bad for business near term, or maybe that now wasn’t the right time to exit. The 17.4m on the other hand were all clear that they wanted out. So that’s 27.4m people vs maybe 8m on your side who do not wish to be part of an EU super state and who certainly don’t want to see democracy overturned in the UK due to the rantings and scare mongering of a fanatical EU-bureaucratic minority.

      • Andy
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Your post is interesting because it highlights the problems in the Brexit debate.

        The figures I give are based on verifiable facts. ONS population stats, referendum result figures, make up of Parliament.

        Your figures are made up. You claim 10m remainers are not EU federalists – like me. Well, I am not an EU federalist for a start – but you have no way of knowing the 10m figure. You made it up. You may be right – but you are probably not.

        But you have put your made up figure out there and that becomes truth. Like Rory Stewart – who made up a number. Iain Duncan Smith – who made up a number. Esther McVey who shared an factually inaccurate tweet – then refused to apologise. Daniel Kawczynski- who did the same.

        Whilst I disagree with Mr Redwood on most things he at least argues his case with evidence. The problem is that many leading Brexiteers don’t. They literally just make stuff up. The damage this does to our country is huge.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          My figure is illustrative – 10m is probably a conservative estimate. The support for EU federalism, eg the euro which you support, is vanishingly small. You have made up numbers of leave voters who have died – neither you nor anyone else can have any idea, made up numbers of new potential remain voters (who knows how people would vote having been exposed to debate), made no estimate for the number of remain voters who might have died – or indeed the many who might have changed their mind.

          I was making the simple point that your post is full of tendentious nonsense and that there are many remain voters who reject your EU super state and don’t want to see democracy subverted.

          • Richard1
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            Talking of making up numbers, the most egregious examples have of course been all those project fear economic ‘analyses’ which had numbers on increases in unemployment and fall in GDP. The economy is now c. £100bn larger than project fear numbers predicted it would be.

            (Rory Stewart was a remainer)

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          If you are pro EU then you must support their future direction and policies andy.
          Read the Five Presidents Report and see where you are agreeing to head.
          Tell us if you youngsters are cool with conscription into the EU Army to fight for expansion Eastward.

    • Pud
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Andy, following your own logic reasoning thought process:

      65 million – the whole population
      49 million – the number who did not vote Remain (this is a figure you didn’t mention)

    • HJ
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      “39 billion – the upfront cost of your Brexit”

      Could I point out that, whatever you think of May’s proposed deal, this is not the case. Just over half of it is effectively continuing EU membership fees (just as now) over the 2-year period of the proposed withdrawal agreement. If we were to leave without a deal on 29th March, nobody could reasonably argue that this would still be due.

      Much of the rest is down to proposed longer term commitments, i.e. not payable upfront.

    • jerry
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      @Andy; “48 million – the number who did not vote leave”

      But 32m of those did not vote Remain either, they simply did not vote!

      “3 million – the number of EU citizens here, denied a vote on their future”

      All qualifying UK citizens, regardless of were they were born, and indeed were they lived in the year before the referendum, had a vote or at least had the legal option to register to vote. How many UK citizens who are convicted prisoners were also denied their vote, should they also have been given a vote too?

      “1 million – approximate number of leave voters who’ve died since 2016”

      How low can you get! 🙁
      But I’ll play to your rules for a moment; 1 million – approximate number of Remain voters who’ve died since 2016…

      You do raise the issue of the youth vote, except in a shock live programme aired on Ch4 a few months back they asked a collection of University students what they thought of Brexit and how they would vote now they have reached the age of majority, many said they would vote to Leave – do not take it as a given that the youth vote are europhiles. In the internet age many are now looking well beyond the EU27, given the option I suspect many would chose a great USA university before a great German, French or Spanish Uni – even before language is taken into account.

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

      There are lies, damn lies, and Andy’s interpretation of statistics!

    • nhsgp
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      We need to change it from May’s forced “consensus” to consent.

      I’m a leaver, I didn’t consent to being forced to fund the EU, low paid EU migrants so the elite get their cheap servants etc.

      Your a remainer. You certainly didn’t consent to being forced out of the EU.

      So perhaps you should have paid attention to the consent of the majority when you forced the EU on them against their will.

      However, consent does show the way forward. We open up a system where you can register your demand to be an EU citizen. You sign and tick the box, and you get that from the EU.

      People like me sign and we say no, we don’t get those rights to turn up in the EU and demand that the host country fund us.

      What then happens is tax codes are adjusted. Yours goes up, because you and fellow remainers have to fund the EU, and any migrants who are net consumers, where you make up the shortfall. Leavers tax codes go down, because we no longer fund the EU or the subsidies.

      Idea, because it involves a basic human right, ignored by the state, to informed explicit consent. You know what you are signing up to, and you get benefits for signing up to it. Cheap servants, access to the EU for your Tuscan villa etc.

      Equally consent means the right to say no. Leavers exercise that right, with the draw back of not being able to go to that Benidorm apartment unless the Spanish agree.

      Why not have consent, then both sides get what they want?

      Or do you want others to be forced to pay for your wants?

    • bigneil
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      1 Million – number of Merkel invited Migrants she wanted to shove over here before “inviting” more for us to keep if it was a Remain vote

      The “48 million who didn’t vote leave” implies that those who didn’t vote at all WOULD have voted Remain if it was law TO vote.

      The 39bn upfront cost – -what would the cost be of staying in?? – AND PAYING RISING COSTS FOREVER – not 2069 -no mention of what Brussels would raise the daily contribution to.

      Why do you imply that new voters would ONLY vote Remain?

      About a million new arrivals (since the vote) who have walked into this country, able to use the NHS, get housed, kids schooled, etc – -all for NO contribution whatsoever – -cost?? – we are never told – but you want the whole world to be able to get their lives and healthcare on our taxes?

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:39 pm | Permalink


        “1 Million – number of Merkel invited Migrants she wanted to shove over here before “inviting” more for us to keep if it was a Remain vote”

        You give us half the story.

        Merkel was the only world leader with enough compassion to alleviate the tragedy of refugees caused by the illegal wars and invasions by US/UK which has destabilised the whole region. Millions had already fled before she offered some hope to the survivors.

        Merkel hoped that altruism can be infectious and that no European country can afford to continue standing by as refugees drown in the Mediterranean.

        Our aggression in the Middle East was the cause but we abandoned her.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          It wasnt her compassion.
          It was a desire for cheap labour.

          Refugees should seek temporary sanctuary in the nearest place of safety according to the UN treaties.
          They crossed many of those to get to Germany and are simply economic migrants who want to remain permanently in Europe.

          You ignore the effects of the Sunni Shia civil war going on in the Middle East and the dreadful violence of ISIS and its offshoots.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Be sure to run those figures and their original sources past Professor Sir John Curtice of Strathclyde University. I’m pretty sure he’d appreciate the laugh.

      Attracting ridicule upon one’s self used to be something we associated with circus clowns. I’m trying to place your vocation.

    • MickN
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      The other thing that you fail to factor in is that in our youth we were probably all remainers. As MOST of us grow up we realise that we were wrong and change our minds. As many will have grown up as will have died.

    • Den
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      All totally irrelevant to the decision of the people made in 2016 to leave the EU.
      BUT true to form you have conveniently omitted the rather glaring examples of what the EU have cost this country over the past decades. Approaching £500 Billions in contributions in return for a £80 Billions yearly Trade deficit. Only because we are prevented from buying from the cheaper sources across the world as the debilitating EU Protectionist Racket (Customs Union) administered by Brussels not forgetting the loss of jobs in Agriculture and Fisheries which now approach alarming levels. 30,000 Fisher folk on the dole along with a equal number of farm labourers . 139 British Dairy Farms have already closed down this year.
      But all this is irrelevant to a dedicated Remainer of course, as long as they get what they want out of it and damn the people in their selfishness. People are irrelevant to you.
      Just why would you want to be ruled by the unelected and unaccountable cabal of foreigners based in Brussels than by your own elected MPs based in Westminster? Is it a form of constant political obedience you have to want yourself and your Country to be subservient to an Oligarchy? And forever?

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:52 pm | Permalink


        “not forgetting the loss of jobs in Agriculture and Fisheries which now approach alarming levels. 30,000 Fisher folk on the dole along with a equal number of farm labourers . 139 British Dairy Farms have already closed down this year..”

        Before you blame Brussels for this can you give us the figures for other EU countries? Or are these job losses due to our own government’s incompetence?

        Our ‘fisher folk’ sold their fishing quotas for a quick profit rather than take the long term view like the Spanish did for instance.

        Farm labourers jobs might have gone because of mechanisation and 139 dairy farms out of about 16 000 in the UK seems just natural wastage. Very misleading.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


        “forgetting the loss of jobs in Agriculture and Fisheries which now approach alarming levels. 30,000 Fisher folk on the dole along with a equal number of farm labourers . 139 British Dairy Farms have already closed down this year.”

        Our fishermen sold their fishing quotas for a quick profit.

        Farm labourers no doubt lost their jobs because of mechanisation of much of the old back breaking work of their profession.

        And 139 Dairy farms closing out of a number of over 16 000 is hardly news.

  9. Newmania
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Liar ! The people were not told by Remain that leaving the EU meant leaving the customs union and Single market, they were told that, contrary to Leave`s lies about ” the easiest negotiation ever” retaining those advantages whilst leaving the political and other structures would be very difficult. That was stone cold truth.
    Leave told the voters they could expect a dividend which was a lie. They relentlessly blamed every problem, we have on immigrants, a worse lie
    No Deal was denied as a possibility, it is loathed in the country, no -one voted for it and it is an arrogant attack on jobs families services whilst are already stealing form our children in the form of debt piling up to pay for Brexit
    Lastly there are no moderate remain voters there are those of us who are furious and those who do not care about politics at all. The same is true of the Leave side and there was, may I remind you , NO CALL for this referendum outside the ranks of UKIP in the first place
    This is will never never never be over it is getting more angry not less and that will go on until you are defeated . I hope you live to see it

    Reply The pro Remain government itself sent a leaflet to every house saying leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union.I and other Leave supporters made clear at meetings we could not guarantee an agreement but were happy to leave without one if necessary. I also sketched a free trade agreement which I would like, which still hasnt been tried by the UK government

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      “No Deal was denied as a possibility, it is loathed in the country, no -one voted for it ”

      I did.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        So would I if it was the alternative to Remain. I still prefer JR’s plan described in his last paragraph above.

      • Hope
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Newmania, Apologise to JR.

        Cameron stated it in parliament. The UK has not negotiated a trade deal! May has failed to negotiate one let alone agree one per her personalised manifesto!

        The deal referred to throughout the campaign by both sides was a trade deal not a withdrawal agreement or servitude lan to remain in the EU. May has deceitfully conflated thew two. She never said nothing agreed until everything agreed for her servitude plan!

        Who would pay £100 billion to talk about trade while in servitude and a limited time clock! MPs need to carefully think about this point because they will end up in servitude without a trade deal worth having. This is May’s plan to get back in the EU.

      • Bob
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        ““No Deal was denied as a possibility, it is loathed in the country, no -one voted for it ”

        I did.”

        So did I.

        • Steve
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          I voted for no deal also.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Me too! It is precisely what I have been campaigning for, for nigh on thirty years!

        This is just yet another poor loser who distorts the facts to try to justify the result that went against them. But they couldn’t even have the courtesy to say they disagreed with Sir John who happens to be one of the most decent and erudite politicians of our age, this one had to be offensive and use expressions that were not called for and do no apply. All credit to our host for allowing it. The rest of us were able to see these nasty people for what they truly are.


      • Colin Iles
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        I believe Roy Grainger that’s precisely what most of us wanted and voted for.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Me too.

      • MickN
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        So did I. I wonder if we could start our own Metoo thing.
        Remainers seem to think that all of us that voted to leave made up our minds in the run up to the referendum whereas I and I suspect very many other had decided that we wanted to leave over 20 years ago. This just afforded us the opportunity.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Great speech. Why not just Sir John and Jacob Rees-Mogg speak, in public, for Brexit (a lot of other Brexiters – and Remainers – make me twitchy).

      I’m like millions of others, i think, who support Brexit in principle but twitchy about leaving without a deal.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        ‘Great speech’ – I meant Sir John’s …

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I think neither side should take the moral high ground for the Referendum. Both sides exaggerated (and worse) – but both cancel each other out here—-and Leave won!

      I definitely support Brexit in principle and think it would succeed and succeed brilliantly if we had a more coherent plan, stronger leader, more finance in the bank, and a more positive message (saying the EU is shit is not persuasive enough!). (And if we still completely leave the EU, we still need to have excellent relations with the EU in Trade, Security and Culture outside the SM and CU).
      (And personally I think the best plan would be to try and break up the EU in an ORDERLY fashion – for our own sake but also because there’s a good chance the EU might implode at some point, which will profoundly affect us if we in or out of the EU).

      Also, there is the tension now between Plebiscite Democracy versus Parliamentary Democracy.

      Pray. Seriously. Because things could go any way right now, i think. And we ALL want the best for our country.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        ‘saying the EU is shit is not persuasive enough!’

        I understand the reason behind that statement, and it is always best to back up an assertion with proven statistics, but there’s nothing wrong with telling it like it is.


        • Ed Mahony
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          I agree Tad.

          All I am saying is that I want more than just, ‘the EU is shit’ (which so often has been the case).

          I genuinely and passionately believe the UK could have such a great and exciting future (and outside the Single Market and Customs Unions – as a fully Sovereign Nation AND with excellent, healthy relations with Europe in terms of Trade, Security and Culture (and armies working close together in some ways but 100% independent). But it all depends on the VISION which our leaders have. In fact, that everyone has. And if that vision is just based on how ‘shit’ something is, then that just doesn’t get me jizzed up (it’s just human nature).

          Something small that I would have done (at least tried) is to say offer a special Brexit Arts Fund for budding composers, writers and artists, to TRY and produce the Handels, Shakespeares and Turners of the future.

          This would give some real SOUL to Brexit. And connected to this, PATRIOTISM. But above all (although arts funding is a risk, I admit – but all real growth in capitalism requires some ‘creative’ risk as well), it could also lead to the next JK Rowling bringing in lots of £££££ to the country.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            And don’t forget, people of an artistic nature often require special help as they often suffer from depression and live on the breadline – but if they hit gold, with their creative work, then the result can be huge.

            And arts are a vital part of British Patriotism (and the Economy).

            And although private sector funding is very important and welcome it doesn’t completely cut it either. Success in the arts can depend on very subtle things and private sector funding can and does fall short (but not completely at all either – it can do a great job as well).

            But there are many, many other ways to increase a positive sense of patriotism in the country, as well, which is vital to the LONG-TERM success and legacy of Brexit.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            Also, we need programmes on TV, for example, discussing for example the nature of Patriotism.

            Many people, including the young, associate Patriotism in some way, with the Nazis. This is, OF COURSE, an heretical way of looking at Patriotism.

            Pure Patriotism is something good – a VIRTUE (in the tradition of the ancient Greek Philosophers and traditional, Christian theologians and creative thinkers such as Dante and others). And Patriotism is related to the virtue of love of parents and family.

            Brexit Patriotism has to be built on this positive kind of outlook to attract the young and others ignorant of what true patriotism is and clouded by what happened in WW2 and elsewhere.

            Patriotism is a bit like romantic love – it can be good and bad. Good is obvious. But romantic love can be bad when it becomes obsessive / fanatical (just look at Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights but many other famous cases in literature).

            But now, sadly / tragically, some/many people are at least suspicious of Patriotism when Patriotism is really, at its best, a virtue – that benefits the country and each person in it in so many profound and great ways.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Ed,

            I would struggle to disagree with any of that, and I am indebted to you for taking the trouble to write it, and of course to JR for publishing it.

            People with talent can make this nation a fantastic place in which to live, and where everyone can thrive. First though, we have to extricate ourselves from the European Union in order to re-establish our own identity, and spend our own money on our own priorities.

            The remainers will inevitably say you are wishing for a kind of Utopia, but they never seem to be able to comprehend the positives of leaving for they have little or no creative imagination whatsoever. They will always be embittered and sit sniping from the side lines, yet never come up with a positive vision of what UK independence could look like. It’s as if the EU is a protectionist comfort blanket to which they must never let go. But that was always destined to be the case.

            Thanks once again, it was an enjoyable read.


          • Ed Mahony
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Tad,

            Whatever happens to Brexit – good or bad from Brexiters POV, I am indebted to Brexiters and Sir John’s blog for challenging me to think about the true value of Sovereignty (I didn’t actually know, but Catholic Doctrine actually supports the main principles of Brexit about Sovereignty – I didn’t know that until after Breixt – and it has challenged me to think harder about Patriotism being literally a moral virtue – I kind of knew that before Brexit but not as much as now).

            One of my dreams is to write a very short book on Patriotism which I’m going to call Faberge Egg or something. It might turn out to be a complete pipe dream … but if not, I will be in debt to Brexiters for challenging me to think about what Patriotism really means. And the great value and beauty in it (yes, beauty, to borrow from the kind of language of Dante);

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            ‘actually supports the main principles of Brexit about Sovereignty ‘ – although the ends don’t justify the means – so the end is right (Sovereignty) but whether the means (to reach Sovereignty) are right or not is another matter.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Remainer = no comment without an insult.

      I think Sir John must allow these commenters simply so that they can be mocked as the ill-informed bigots they are.

    • Colin Iles
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Sir John is NOT a LIAR Newmania:-
      With Brexit Britain will be leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union according to Cameron and Osborne.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Newmania you need to calm yourself down. John Redwood is an honourable man, he is not a “liar”.

      You say “there was, may I remind you , NO CALL for this referendum outside the ranks of UKIP”. There was a Referendum Party, Nick Clegg in 2008 called for an EU Referendum, and again in 2010 supported a referendum, there was LfR Labour for a Referendum one of its supporters was Owen Jones!

      If the Members of Parliament didn’t want to give the public this vote they shouldn’t have done. They marched everyone to the top of the hill and now they want to march them back down again.

      If I were May I’d put Boris Johnson in charge of the Brexit negotiation from today. Diplomacy, softly, gently, bend over hasn’t worked, a new approach is required.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink


        “Newmania you need to calm yourself down. John Redwood is an honourable man, he is not a “liar”.

        He is the equivalent of a medieval martyr who is willing to die for his principles which few others share. Obscure dogma is more important than the wellbeing of the country. The tragedy of this is that no one now knows or cares what it was all about. Most likely the number of angels who could dance on the head of a pin.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Calling someone a liar everytime they say something you disagree with is childish and very silly.
      We need to hear all arguments and opinions even yours Newmania.

    • Andy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      The single market was mentioned in the government leaflet but the cutsoms Union was not.

      And you did not vote for a no deal – nobody did ever because no deal has not been put forward as an option to the electorate.

      In 2016 the vote was to leave broadly on the terms offered by Vote Leave. Which as Michael Gove explained in Parliament the other day included a deal.

      Mrs May took her plan for a complete amputation from the single market and customs union to the electorate in 2017 – but with a deal – and she lost. The majority voted against her. The majority favouring either soft or no Brexit parties.

      It is completely dishonest to pretend no deal has ever been put to the public. It has not. So you might support no deal – that may be true. But you have never been asked to vote on it. And Brexiteers are too frit to ever ask the public it.

      So we now know that Mrs May’s deal – or something softer – is Brexit. That is what Brexit means. Watch the ERG and DUP flock to support it next week – like rats to a sewer.

      Reply I made clear throughout the referendum debates the only thing we coukd guarantee was a no deal Brexit

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

        Reply to reply: And a hell of a lot of people would be quite content with just that. Bring it on!


      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Did you not listen to our PM and Chancellor Andy?
        They both made many speeches as to what leaving meant.
        I did.
        Yet according to you only leave voters were uninformed.

  10. Ian wragg
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    So now Farage has his target list. All the Quislings who want to stop Brexit flushed out.
    Your party is finished starting with the council elections.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Ian, I do hope so. Unfortunately, my Tory Mp is a leaver and I would love to vote for him but won’t because he is part of a lying Tory party.

      • Bob
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        IDS’ majority in Mr.Churchill’s constituency was slashed in 2017 from 20 odd thousand to around 3k, and the labour controlled council in part of his constituency have been moving in a lot of non Brexity types.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          If you vote for May or Corbyn that would look like you actually approve of their actions regarding Brexit and a lot more. Why would you do that? We need change even if only to knock some sense into some MPs.

        • sm
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          Bob – I used to live in IDS’s constituency.

          1. The boundaries have changed considerably since Churchill’s day.

          2. The demographics of NE London have altered drastically over the past 30 years.

      • jerry
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Yes, we need a Corbyn lead Govt. if not a majority Socialist govt…

        Vote UKIP/new Farage party, get Labour, or the most europhile coalition in history!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        It won’t make much difference to me personally living in Cambridge, the constituency has become a Labour/Lib Dems bastion in recent times, thanks to the student vote – people who quickly move on and don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions. But if we had elections to the European parliament again, that’s a different matter! The traditional parties could have a very big problem.


    • Fishknife
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The answer to the Brexit impasse lies within the Conservative Party – it is called Democracy.
      The MPs are out of synch with the membership.
      There needs to be a reset.
      Permit reselection where desired by the current members of each constituency.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Really! who do people vote for instead? A weak Labour government that will put up their Council Taxes, spend more on daft projects like two 20 mph speed limit discs on multiple cul-de-sacs people couldn’t do more than 20mph on anyway! Move money from street clearance and litter to each and every little socialist project they like to support. Put in parking charges in towns that are already dying. Yes that would teach them! Our 412 MPs have shown they deceive the same irrespective of party.

    • Andy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Earlier today an extremist walked into two mosques in New Zealand and live-streamed a video of himself indiscriminately murdering almost 50 people, including women and (probably) children.

      He posted a ‘manifesto’ online speaking in admiring terms of Donald Trump and of far right groups and figures – including some in Britain and Europe.

      I mention this because language is important. Words like ‘target list’, Quisling, traitor, collaborator and so on are deeply unhelpful.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        The events in New Zealand are deplorable. They are to be condemned and guarded against in case such circumstances ever happen again.

        I wondered how long it would be before Donald Trump’s name was connected with it, however tangentially, by those who see his clampdown on immigration as somehow racist. I don’t believe he is. If anything, he’s a pragmatist, and our own politicians in the UK could do with dose of his strength of purpose.

        On the last part of your post, I use words that fit. If you look up the dictionary definition of Traitor, Collaborator etc. they can quite easily cover those who work, and have worked towards this country being governed from elsewhere.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        So stop your provocative language andy.
        Keep debate polite and decent.

    • Steve
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      “Your party is finished starting with the council elections.”


      The other day I got a leaflet in the post urging me to vote conservative. I think to myself…you must be bloody joking !

  11. oldtimer
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I watched you give that speech on the Parliament TV channel. It was one of the few that actually made a coherent contribution to the debate. Mr Eustice made another drawing on his knowledge of the practical work already done to handle exit without the WA. Too many MPs appeared to rely on sound bites and sweeping assertions without evidence. Some were just wrong or untrue. Some were even offensive about voters – the contribution from the Lib Dem member for Bath sticks in my mind. Fortunately there remain some MPs, like yourself, who know what they are talking about, are prepared to say it and are willing to stand up for what they believe in. Thank you.

    • robert valence
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Excellent speech by Sir John, as always. I was also impressed by Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) who when challenged agreed he’d consider voting to bring the government down based on its BREXIT failure.

  12. Mark B
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Thank you Sir John

    I will only disagree with our kind host on one thing. BREXIT is not about taking back control of our money. To me BREXIT is a political decision designed to restore the UK back to the point before we joined the Stupid Club (EU). That is, an independent sovereign nation. One able to make decisions based on its own national interest. It is that why I voted to Leave the EU and do so again if I must.

    • APL
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Mark B: “BREXIT is not about taking back control of our money. ”

      I’ll give Redwood a break on that on, he said it means taking back control of our money, not that that was the only thing it means.

      Mark B: ” It is that why I voted to Leave the EU and do so again if I must.”


      • Mark B
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink


    • David L
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      An independent, sovereign nation that has allowed much of it’s infrastructure to pass into foreign hands…Being independent and sovereign will always be problematic I’m sorry to say.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Politically independent, not in terms of who owns what.

  13. Mick
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink
    This is exactly what the remoaners in Parliament are after so by giving them more time to try and thwart Brexit, you politicians must really takes us for idiots this delaying is a conspiracy in Westminster to kick the can down the road and into the long grass to be forgotten , it’s mps against us now and if your any good at mathematics you will see 17.4 million is a lot more than 650 which all of you will find to your disadvantage at the ballot box at the next General Election you have forgotten who your boss is and it isn’t Mrs May it’s the General Public

  14. GilesB
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    If, hopefully when, Mays Deal is voted down again next week, will there be sufficient time to pass legislation to revoke Art 50?

    Reply Mrs May has ruled out revocation. There is discussion of delay which woukd first need agreeing with the EU

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      But no one can trust a word that the lefty remainer T May says. The contemptible Speaker is clearly determined to defy the will of the people in any possible way he can.

      So can we really still manage to leave the EU cleanly in two weeks times and avoid Communist Corbyn too?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        We’ve got a big problem with Bercow! He is very selective in what he allows and what he doesn’t, and it seems he chooses anything that might potentially damage Brexit. It would also be interesting to see a breakdown of the speeches and interventions he has allowed Anna Soubry to make when compared to other backbenchers.


    • eeyore
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      RtoR – Mrs May has no credit left. Her word is worthless. She will swindle you again.

    • Bob
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      “Reply Mrs May has ruled out revocation”

      Is that the same Mrs May that said that “no deal” is better than a bad deal and that we would be leaving on 29th March?

    • Andy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Article 50 will not be revoked. Brexit will happen.

      The next thing we need to think about is Article 49.

      This is how we rejoin. The question is just when.

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


        “The next thing we need to think about is Article 49.

        This is how we rejoin. The question is just when.”

        You and your remain have got no chance once we’re out.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Re-join? On what terms? You have just got to be joking!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          The idea that the public would vote to rejoin is insane. They might be forced in again without a vote at Heath did but even that would be very hard to do.

  15. Alan Jutson
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    So Parliament has voted no deal off the table, voted for an extension to article 50, and has taken the pressure off the EU.

    If Mrs May’s deal (the worst of both Worlds) ever gets through, we will have at least 4 more years of negotiations (Mr Barniers words last week) 4 more years of uncertainty, yet another extension to implement the results of those talks which again will go to the last minute, with Mrs May in charge of our side of negotiations.

    What a complete and utter fiasco when we could be in control in 2 weeks time by leaving on WTO rules, with our own set tariffs, with our own rules and being in charge ourselves, then we could bargain with the EU over a sensible trade policy having paid them nothing, and with no EU legal ties restricting what we can do.

    One thing for sure, Mrs May needs to go now before she does any more damage.

    Thank you for standing firm and for common-sense John, please do not waver.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      If business wants certainty, then voting for Mrs may’s deal is not the way to get it, the talks on trade have not even started yet !

      Vote for May’s deal and I suggest it will be at least another 6 years of negotiation and implementation, by which time businesses who export or import from the EU would have given up waiting.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    You are spot on. But the many remoaner MPs, who clearly hold the public in complete and utter contempt, have ensured that the EU have offered only an appalling and totally unacceptable deal. May, Hammond and Carney’s project fear, the appalling bias of the BBC, the government’s huge dishonesty and total lack of vision has further damaged confidence. Carney’s appalling tax borrow, waste and insane misguided over regulation the banks (and everything) has done further huge damage to the economy.

    I have always been a happy and optimistic person but listening to the debates in parliament for the last couple of days has been hugely depressing. Then to wake up the the appalling outrage in New Zealand.

    It seems that 17.4 million people can be ignored and just a few individuals can hugely damage and control the whole of democracy. The appalling Speaker, Gove with his knifing of Boris, Appeaser May, Grim Reaper Hammond, Grieve, Corbyn for playing politics rather than acting in the interests of the UK.

    Hillary Benn’s father must be spinning in his grave at his son’s total contempt for voters and democracy (through wanting to keep the UK in the moribund and totally anti-democratic EU). As must Winston Churchill at his grandson’s behaviour. The Tory party seems determined to self destruct by going to war with the voters. Get rid of the appalling dishonest, socialist, idiot Appeaser May and Hammond- if only to cheer me up a bit.

  17. Dominic
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    If Remain is victorious and our leaving is scuppered British democracy will wither and die though the Remain cabal will take pleasure in such an eventuality

    When will people understand that democracy is our insurance policy against an authoritarian political class?

    We are teetering on the edge of an abyss and Remain have dragged us here to this very point through their infantile and spiteful refusal to accept the result of the EU referendum

    Leave won. Remain lost. Simples.

    Implement the result in its entirety to preserve British democracy

  18. Gary C
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    This duplicitious, backstabbing, treacherous and self serving bunch of remainer MP’s and to that I include the PM has totally lost respect, trust and confidence of the electorate as well as reducing our country to a laughing stock in the eye’s of the world.

    I predict a riot!

    • Timaction
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      So do I. No mandate to rule is left. All reason to support Government has evaporated. It is them v us!

    • Andy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May’s deal to deliver Brexit was rejected by Brexiteers.

      It delivers everything they said before the referendum – but they are still unhappy.

      Perhaps they realise that Brexit is a dud.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Plainly andy you have not read the WA.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Who pays you to spill this incessant tripe, or do you get some perverse pleasure out of looking stupid?

  19. Nigl
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    So it is the bad deal that you have voted against constantly or interminable delays keeping us in.

    How does the ERG solve that one?

  20. sm
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    That, John, is what the Prime Minister should have been saying – and meaning.

    • Bob
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      “saying – and meaning.”

      Those are two words that don’t belong together in the context of Mrs May’s speeches.

      The Chequers plan was produced in Brussels and given to Mrs May to present to Parliament, and she was told that if they vote against it, tell them to keep voting until they approve it, using bribes and threats as necessary.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink


      • am
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        some are saying it was produced in Berlin not Brussels.

  21. villaking
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    If, as seems likely, an extension to the March 29th deadline is agreed and if, as is possible, Mrs May’s WA is not approved by the House, would you in those circumstances be prepared to work across the House in seeking a compromise to take us out of the EU but possibly not on the terms preferred by you? Or is your preferred WTO exit the only form of leaving the EU you would countenance?

  22. agricola
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    My TV timing was such that I heard/saw your speech.
    The last paragraph is key and knowing a bit about the way you go about matters it would not have been casually thrown in.

    It is a viable route to a pragmatic working relationship with the EU. It is about trade in goods and services. It does not envisage any controlling political umbellical. It should delight industry because it offers continuity of present trading arrangements until such time as a final trade agreement is reached.
    It also gives us that freedom to set up trade deals Worldwide.

    The WTO under Art24 of GATT allows a negotiating period of up to 10 years to reach an agreement. This should concentrate a few minds.

    First you need to get the ERG singing from one hymn sheet. Then you need to invite the PM in for a throat soothing drink and a thorough briefing on Art 24. If you can find an executive of the WTO to support you at such a meeting even better.

    It must be made clear to the PM & EU that the toxic WA is dead and gone. If she has the whit to agree and then get behind it there should not be a problem in gaining assent from a parliament that has just voted against leaving the EU without an agreement and generally finds the WA unacceptable.

    There are items in the WA, such as citizens rights, that are laudable. The good bits need to be quickly settled. A good and bad cull is required. I ‘m sure someone in the ERG wil have already done this. There should be no talk of the payment of £39 billion to the EU for nothing. Payment for trade is called BRIBERY. It is illegal in the EU and elsewhere. It should put a smile on our chancellor’s face.

    The final bonus is that the Conservative party continues vagina intacta as a force for good in British politics. With a bunch of scruffy marxist aided and abetted by the SNP as an alternative, we just must not put good government at risk. Observing the HoC over the last few days it most certainly is at risk.

    Please go to it with vigour.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Does Theresa May’s geography degree explain the mess we’re in? Ponders Ross Clark in the Telegraph today. Well what is needed in a negotiation is maths, game theory, logic, vision, a cool head and an ability to understand your strength and weaknesses and carry people with you. “Advanced colouring in” at Oxford – as he puts it is not the best training. People who choose geography are usually people who rather struggle with maths, engineering, logic or physics much above GCSE level.

    Indeed if we had more sensible Maths/Physics/Engineering people in the house we would not have moronic proposals like banning gas hobs and heaters from homes (they are actually far more efficient than electric heating) or see appalling bills like the climate change act pass with (only a tiny handful of sane people against it). But then what sensible Maths/Physics could put up with all the green crap and tedious dishonest politics of envy drivel and duff economics that most MPs come out with.

    Sir Peter Lilley is a saint for having putting up with these scientific (and economic) illiterates for so long. And for voting against the mad climate change act.

  24. Andrew D
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Thank you for posting the speech you gave to the House yesterday. I voted Leave on the basis of the seldom-heard left-wing case for Brexit, but there is nothing in your speech that I disagree with. However as is often said “we are where we are”. Yesterday the House voted to have another go at approving the WA by March 20th and if it passes then request of the EU a short Art 50 extension in order to dot i’s and cross t’s. But if it fails then request a long Art 50 extension and have a good reason ready why we need this delay. The EU Council meeting, when the UK has to present one or other of these requests, is on March 20th-21st. I cannot see how the WA can possibly be passed by the House – Robert Peston said yesterday it was about as likely as himself being picked to be an England centre-forward. Therefore the UK is extremely likely to be requesting a long extension. My question is this: what good reason for an extension is the UK government going to offer under those circumstances and how can it possibly have agreed one with the House within 24 hours? The only two credible reasons likely to be acceptable to the EU are (a) in order to hold a General Election and (b) in order to hold a second referendum. Yesterday the sentiment in the House was against (b). Is calling a GE Theresa May’s only option now available, her final roll of the dice, if she wants to satisfy MPs demands to avoid a so-called “no deal” Brexit? It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas!

  25. villaking
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Before positing your suggestion of a period of time outside of the EU but with no changes to tariff or non-tariff barriers, should you not also remind your readers of Michel Barnier’s clear public statement “there seems to be a dangerous illusion that the UK can benefit from a transition in the absence of the WA. Let me be clear: the only legal basis for a transition is the WA. No WA means no transition period”. In your position, you owe it to your public to give the full truth.

    Reply I am I stated the EU would need to agree to FTA talks. Why woukdnt they agree if that is the only offer but I made clear they choose

    • Hereton
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood, the EU has said (a thousand times) there will be no talks about trade unless the UK meets its promises under the WA (money, Irish backstop, citizen rights). Are you deaf, or do you just only like the sound of your own voice?

      • M Davis
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        You are disgustingly rude!

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

        That was surely uncalled for.

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

        Let us see shall we ?

  26. RichardM
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    You cannot disagree with Patricia Gibson. She made a true statement of fact. We can revoke Article 50 should we so choose. We can then reimplement, should we so choose at a later date if and when someone comes up with a workable plan. You may not like this, but it is true. This is why we are in this mess, polititions blatantly lying and getting away with it time after time.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      If that was to happen, Atricle 50 would be removed from the Lisbon treaty in a heartbeat. There will be no second chances. If it takes civil insurrection to get us out of the EU nightmare then so be it.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      And you don’t think, RichardM, that the EU would find a way to disallow any reimplementation ”should we so choose at a later date”? Do you think they’d allow us to go on having choices?
      If you believe that, then you have a higher opinion of the EU and its honour than many of us have.
      It wants ”ever closer union” and NOTHING will be allowed to come in the way of that if it can possibly be avoided. And any clause or article that allows freedom of choice could easily be dispensed with in the near future, and something comprehensively binding put in its place.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      They will change the rules regarding Leaving. ie BEFORE we can Leave we have to agree to their terms first. How’s that for starters ?

  27. David Price
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Good speech. We need to stay focused on the outcome – we leave all EU entanglements on March 29th and if European countries wish to trade to our mutual benefit then we should be open to arrangements.

    The political amnesia, puerile comments and hatred oozing from some remainers probably ought to be ignored though one is tempted occasionally.

  28. Dominic
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    David Davis. What can anyone say other than depressing. Just when you think some of these people can’t stoop any lower then another event appears from nowhere and leaves you speechless

    This politician resigned on the basis that May was deliberately conspiring with the EU to hand over partial control over our economy and our legislative and now he votes to extend A50.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that what is now needed is the destruction of the Con-Lab duopoly in the Commons and the removal of Bercow

    This is ripe and fertile territory for a new Brexit party led by a moral politician

    We will only to protect democracy by refusing to vote for both Labour and the Tories

    We need a UK centric party

  29. georgeP
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Am afraid, JR, you’re only wasting your sweetness in the desert air

    Without the WA being signed off there will be no movement on a FTA or anything else for that matter..not with the EU.. not through GATT24.. not through WTO rules..This whole thing about brexit is first of all political business and needs to be settled politically, pretending that it is just about trade agreements and sitting around haggling about tariff levels is delusional at best and dishonest at worst.

    Repky Lets just leave and then we will find out

  30. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    I am afraid I cannot see the logic of the people against Parliament if we do not leave on 29th of March, which we now most likely will not be doing.

    This is an antiquated constitutional idea , which has no purpose nor any logic as does offering a free trade agreement, when most MPs have voted that they wish more than that as part of a deal with the EU.

    Sir JR,you seem to be operating in the past

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    When are Remainers going to stop being…
    Incredibly rude, especially to people who know better than they do
    Incredibly childish
    Incredibly disloyal
    Incredibly dishonest..we were lied to when we joined.
    Incredibly naive, the EU will not maintain the status wants ever closer union.
    Incredibly emotional over trade ( which rather proves that Remoaners are the ones who have no grasp on reality).
    Incredibly attached to their childhood books ( unicorns,fairies etc!!)
    Mind you I suppose they are mostly what can one expect. And of course they did LOSE the Referendum and nasty spoilt kids do find losing very hard…….

    • Andy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Probably for as long as you go on calling us disloyal, dishonest, naive, lefties, nasty spoilt kids etc…..

      All Brexiteers have ever had to do is deliver on the promises you made in 2016. It is telling that you can’t.

      • Steve
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        Fact Free Andy

        “All Brexiteers have ever had to do is deliver on the promises you made in 2016. It is telling that you can’t.”

        Because of your remainers.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        How can we when Parliament is at odds with the majority of the people?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Here we go again!

        It must have passed you by that we have a ‘remainer’ Prime Minister who doesn’t really want Brexit to happen. Your kind have done everything to hobble the Brexit process at every opportunity and to stop the majority having their way.

        Secretly though, you just talk bollocks to get people biting. I have never once asked Sir John to exclude anyone because it is always good to hear the opposing point of view, but you don’t want to engage in serious debate, you’re just a gamer who lowers the tone.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        The broken promises have been entirely on the Remain side.
        The country was made an offer based on a huge lie.
        The Remainers in the govt had no intention of leaving the EU.
        Cameron said . “This choice cannot be undone, if we vote to leave then we will leave.”

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      They will stop on 29th March 2019 at 23:01 hrs. Unless the deadline is extended. Then we have another few more months until we really have to Leave.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink


      A more diplomatic tone wold seem appropriate if you wish to have serious debate.

      thank you

  32. Sakara Gold
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    An excellent speech from or kind host. Unfortunately, despite Sir John’s persuasive arguments, after three days of debate, the Remainers have won a major victory having secured an (indefinate) delay to Brexit.

    The EU will regard this as manna from heaven, indeed Tusk has already declared that they will only accept a long delay – provided the UK holds European elections in May.

    The PM’s remainer WA has been rejected twice by Parliament. The lady clings on despite cabinet members voting against the government; at the third vote it is either Theresa May’s WA or no Brexit.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Our PM won’t budge for the simple reason that her mission is to ensure Brexit does not happen. I don’t think we should underestimate the elite’s sheer desperation to do whatever it takes to overturn the 2016 result, perhaps even at the cost of one’s own reputation and that of one’s own party.

  33. Peter R
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    ” Calling certain views certain names is not helpful to a grown-up debate.”

    Number one on my list of unhelpful names is Brexit itself, conjuring, as it does, unhelpful subliminal images of stalking out of Europe slamming the door behind us. It was of course chosen by the establishment to have precisely this effect. A much more apposite term would be “home rule” which, besides rather more accurately representing our aspirations, would have been readily understood by our Irish cousins. It would also have served a warning to those with a little knowledge of history to expect the Establishment to resist to the utmost any diminution of their power.
    The American colonies and Ireland both wanted home rule, but thanks to the blundering intransigence of the Establishment they ended up with independence after bloody civil war. Where are we headed?

  34. Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    What chance of Bercow upholding Erskin May and refusing to allow May to bring her Surrender back again. It’s overt bullying! No way to take decisions –

    • Steve
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Lynn Atkinson

      One of the prime reasons for this farce is Bercow’s bias in selecting amendments.

  35. Christine
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    ‘Morning all, I have been wracking my brains to think of a way we can take power away from the EU, who, we have to acknowledge, hold all the cards at the moment. I would like to suggest a boycott of all EU goods. Hit them where it hurts. If we stop buying French agricultural products, the French farmers will be up in arms and are known for their feisty actions. Stop shopping at Aldi and Lidl, that should rub the Germans up the wrong way. There are many approaches to this. Question is, if this is a good idea, how do we kick start it and make it a success?

  36. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Superb Big idea JR – What response did you get?
    I suspect the silence on this great idea was overwhelming, because the government is not interested in solutions….
    A book by Quentin Letts, called PATRONISING B******S explains away much of the attitude of Parliament in their views of the public.
    Certainly, THEY have forgotten whom they represent – Short of revolting what is the public supposed to do? The next GE is too far away, and the government totally ignores our views anyway – They are determined to keep us shackled to the EU.
    Great speeches will continue to be made and recorded, but listened to, or acted upon? Very unlikely. The world has moved on and it’s not going in our direction.

  37. a-tracy
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Our 412 MPs that made this decision disgust me.
    My MP was one of these, she stood on a ticket to honour the referendum decision to leave.
    I will do everything I can to make sure she is not re-elected.

  38. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    During the discussions yesterday on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union I could not help but compare the words (and actions) of Hilary Benn to those of his father.

    Tony Benn’s speech during the Maastricht debate was described by Norman Tebbit as the best speech he had ever heard in the house. It was admired by many Conservative MP’s. He spoke about parliament, democracy and the right of the British people to elect and remove without bloodshed the people who govern us.

    Hilary Benn’s amendment was a constitutional outrage, an affront to democracy and was an attempt to take control of the Order Paper to allow indicative votes next week. It was only defeated by a very narrow margin.

    Tony Benn also posed the question ‘what will happen when people realize what we have done?’ They could just slope off he said and apathy could destroy democracy. The second thing that people can do is to riot.

    The papers are full of headlines about betrayal and brand our MP’s as failures. Few would disagree. MP’s themselves talk of yawning gaps and breaches of trust.

    They should have more of a care.

    • Steve
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Alan Joyce

      “The second thing that people can do is to riot.”

      Correct, and highly likely to be the case.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      I agree. To quote that late great political ‘signpost’, he spoke of the European Union in these terms: ‘What power do you have, who gave it to you, and how do we get rid of you’.

      They have virtually total power, they assumed power for themselves with the acquiescence of successive UK governments who freely gave away our sovereignty, and we cannot get rid of them via the ballot box. Says it all really, yet there’s no convincing some blinkered people of the dangers of totalitarianism.

      Best leave the EU whilst we still have the chance!


  39. Nick Thompson
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    It is an extremely sorry and sad state of affairs that I have to go the the Q boards to obtain some kind of solice in this Brexit mess.

    POTUS posted on the 14th March:-

    Very SAD to see GERMANY pulling the strings on the UK!
    Democracy must and should always prevail.


    Stand strong, Patriots.

    If only we had a PM who backed this country as POTUS does for the US. I’m hoping he will bring May some pain.


  40. NickW
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    A good speech; Sir John’s Constituency is lucky to have him as their MP.

    The silver lining to an Article 50 Extension beyond he Local elections in May is that we get to watch the faces of Conservative MPs when every single Conservative Councillor in the Country is unseated.

    Given the usual low turn out in local elections, tactical voting by infuriated leave voters stands every chance of achieving just that outcome.

    Don’t get mad; get even.

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    “Mrs May has ruled out revocation.”

    Your natural party loyalty is leading you into another big mistake there, JR; you will remember that she said over a hundred times that we would be leaving on March 29th and you assumed that meant we would leave then with or without a deal; after all that was, and still is, “the law of the land”.

    If you and your ERG colleagues continue to give her more opportunities then of course eventually she will take one to revoke the Article 50 notice, and how do you think you would be able to stop her doing that?

    The mood of the Commons has already shifted a long way in that direction, and as for the unelected Lords some like Baroness Wheatcroft have planned from the very start to buy time and work and wait for the climate of opinion to change:

    “The Lords would be resoundingly “not content” and could remain a blockage to the legislation for up to one year … Much might change in that time … Then their lordships might argue that there was a good reason to call that second referendum and hope for a very different result.”

    “Much might change in that time”, she hoped in August 2016.

  42. ukretired123
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Refreshing to hear your speech, bringing sanity, focus and insight back to those on board (or rather not on board) what appears like ‘tbe Good Ship Lolly-Pop” rolling around like driftwood in the North Sea’s 40foot waves tossed and floundering in ever decreasing circles.

    When folks Cry Wolf too many times others stop listening – well known amongst voters.

    As you say folk are tired of this nonsense and just want out of EU, thank you very much.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “That is what the House voted for when it voted to send the article 50 letter, and that is what the House voted for when it enacted the withdrawal Act.”

    And do you think that the House would vote for either of those things now?

    Could you now get either measure through a House of Commons which is still packed with EU supporters on all sides, many of whom have become gradually emboldened with the passage of time and under the influence of a constant stream of anti-Brexit propaganda, much of which originating from, and possibly orchestrated by, the government, and none of which is ever effectively refuted by that government?

    I have warned about this again and again; even a stone will get worn down in a stream, that is only a matter of time, and paradoxically the ERG has actually helped to give EU supporters in Parliament more time to get themselves organised.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink



  44. am
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    BRINO, Brexit In Name Only, by the LINO, the Leader In Name Only.

  45. Dennis Zoff
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Well said, John

    Stated with clarity, honesty, and qualified pragmaticism.

    I fear none of the above is happening within Parliament. What a shameful and completely shambolic disaster!

    The Brexit Party is on the horizon and gathering momentum, and I for one would now join.

    Simply put, the UK Political infrastructure needs a comprehensive overhaul…belief in the UK’s democratic apparatus is now irretrievably broken?

  46. N.C.Watkis
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    An excellent speach, with well thought common sense. The problem lies with a Parliament, the majority of which would like to overturn the referendum result. It these politicians succeed, they will have destroyed democracy as we know it. MPs of any party who voted or abstained on their manefesto pledges on which they were elected should resign and be replaced by new candidates. If the Conservatives fail to carry Brexit and their manefesto pledge of a good deal or no deal, they will be heavily defeated in the next and subsequent elections leaving an extreme left wing Labour party to govern, which will even less democratic.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      There are four main political parties in the House of Commons, some independents, and one or two singletons. Out of 650 politicians, there is a diminishing number for whom I would now vote. That is down to a complete loss of faith and trust in their ability, their honest, and their integrity.

      I used to enjoy going to Westminster to lobby MPs and had aspirations to become one. Now, the place gives me the creeps and I avoid it like the plague.

      We have a democratic deficit in the UK that must be put right. That cannot happen whilst the present incumbents reside in Nos. 10 and 11 Downing Street.

      So too must we get rid of every other professional politician who cannot keep faith with the people who elect them, and at the earliest opportunity. We cannot continue to be governed by those with private vested interests.


  47. Simon
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    So Sir John how is your quick simple Brexit going now ?

    And by the way I am delighted that the first immediate effect of Brexit and our restored sovereignty will be that my next Mercedes will incur a further 10% import tariff. Thanks a lot.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Buy a (UK made ed)vehicle.
      Support UK jobs.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      BREXIT is still planned for 29th March 2019. So I’d say it is all going to plan.

      Sorry about the Merc’. Still, look on the bright side, at least you can afford one.

  48. Original Richard
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The WA should never be signed under any circumstances, whatever happens next.

    Its transition period leaves us totally exposed as a vassal state forced to accept any damaging laws and taxes that the EU may want to impose upon us without our having any representation or veto. Even ones which do not apply to the EU27 countries themselves.

    [It is worth watching Sir William Cash in the HoC yesterday from 14:26 to 14:41.

    This “transition period” would continue indefinitely until the EU released us, having extracted from us every piece of flesh demanded by all rEU27 nations.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink


  49. JoolsB
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    After having spent a day in the public gallery recently, I was disgusted at how the SNP ‘rabble’ (which is the only way I can describe them) seem to take over every debate, even English only matters such as tuition fees, and are allowed to shout abuse at the Tory benches in a way that would not be tolerated by Bercow if it were the other way around.

    The dishonourable and undemocratic behaviour of MPs over Brexit and the fact the SNP, Lib Dums, Plaid Cymru and Greens are all sitting in their numbers in parliament trying to overturn the democratic will of the people and stop Brexit whilst having received less votes combined than the pro Brexit party – UKIP who don’t have a single MP in Parliament to represent our wishes just proves that this country is anything but a democracy. Democracy in this country sucks.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Jools, let’s face it. When did the SNP ever do anything for the good of the country? Its only ever been about them.

  50. am
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Farage in Westminster would have grabbed the moment. Why no brexiteer got on his feet after the delay vote indicates the problem. Admirable although the brexiteers have been their party loyalty constrained them in their utterances and it has been used against them successfully. Either the tory rank and file will need to clear out the rebels like Grieve et al or a new party will need to be formed.

  51. Trevor Butler
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Just my 2 cents worth:-
    “It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,

    which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

    Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

    Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

    Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

    Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

    Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

    Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

    I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

    Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

    In the name of God, go!”

    Oliver Cromwell dismissing the rump parliament

  52. KZB
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    The GATT 24 idea has been suggested before but it never gains any traction. I think we know why: it is because it is a way to make a success of Brexit, which of course is not the desired outcome.

    I also do not know why we are not pushing the wording of Art 50 in the international courts. It quite clearly states that the withdrawal agreement must take account of the future relationship. In other words the future relationship must be known before there can be a withdrawal agreement; not the other way round !

  53. Edward2
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    If we leave the EU on March 29th we then begin negotiations on trade and other matters with the EU.

    That happens whether we sign the Withdrawal Agreement or we just leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Which is what we and MPs were told many times would happen, without a WA.
      However on 15th June 2016, at the last PMQs before the referendum in answer to Q14, all MPs there were asked to especially take into account that we would leave and “then” arrange a trade deal and surely some of them should remember:

      “I am very happy to agree with my hon. Friend. “In” means we remain in a reformed EU; “out” means we come out. As the leave campaigners and others have said, “out” means out of the EU, out of the European single market, out of the Council of Ministers—out of all those things—and will then mean a process of delivering on it, which will take at least two years, and then delivering a trade deal, which could take as many as seven years. To anyone still in doubt—there are even Members in the House still thinking about how to vote—I would say: if you have not made up your mind yet, if you are still uncertain, just think about that decade…”

      • jane4brexit
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Apologies, I should have added to “…, not only Sir John.”

  54. Lorna
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Why has no one but you and Bannerman spoken of this alternative ?
    It has not been discussed in Parliament. Why Not?It seems very obvious
    To,those concerned about the Irish border most of the issues but not all will not be relevant with a FTA.
    The French have made a SMART border at Calais which could point away forward
    How do you plan to proceed with this suggestion ?

  55. Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Very good Speach Sir John,
    One might add a breath of fresh air , we could do with seeing and hearing much more, a much more from the other Leavers with you.

    If there is allowed , another election there will be a huge amount of the Remainers looking for another job.
    The people will remember this for a long time, my money is on a clean sweep by Nigel Farage, now that is a mighty breath of fresh air.

    We are so sicken by the Shenanigans and damned lies from all parties in both houses.

  56. Original Richard
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    The WA is so bad, and will cause so much anger and grief in the foreseeable future from remainers and leavers alike, as EU directives, laws, taxes are imposed upon us without our having any say or veto, many damaging our competitiveness and not even applying to other EU countries, that unless the Conservatives manage to also implicate the Labour Party in this EU surrender they will never be forgiven and will be electorally destroyed.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      It doesn’t give much detail but this article in The Conservative Woman today, praising Telegraph articles by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard ,says there are EU plans to impose VAT on the City:

    • Cloud
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn thought their was a Tory plot to drop us out with No Deal and TM was in on it, now he can see his conspiracy theory was all wrong, and she is, as he must now know for sure, a EU puppet. What is going to do to help us? Can someone from the ERG hold their nose and go and have a sensible and enlghtned conversation with him (for the good of the country)?

  57. Dennis
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    On Question Time last night Catherine Barnard stated that the first draft of the WA was the work of Brussels and therefore had the flavour of EU’s thinking! No one on the program thought that this was worth commenting on altho it surprised me as I had never heard such a thing. Was I the only one in the UK to be ignorant of this or is it just a nothing piece of info?

    • Max Taylor
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      I was aware of this at the time it first surfaced as some media commentators pointed it out (sorry can’t remember who); also it was obvious it was an EU drafted document if you just scanned it. To be fair we do(!)/did stump up our generous contribution of taxpayers money to fund them to do it… and it wasn’t neccesarily a bad thing, as it was then clear early on they were taking a very challenging position, which should have got the ball rolling from our side. But you raise an important point which is worth remembering – well spotted and said – I saw the same QT but didn’t think too much about it.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      The whole of the WA was drawn up by the EU. It took less than 1 hour for the rEU27 to agree to it. Says a lot that !

      As for it being a ‘first draft’, that is an outright lie. The EU have stated categorically that not a word or a line of the WA, as agreed by the rEU27, can be changed. PERIOD !!!!

      We have less than two weeks and then we can walk.

  58. Max Taylor
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Please keep going Mr Redwood, your impact is very positive and highly significant. Here’s hoping your ‘voice of reason’ prevails…My optimistic self says it will – thank you!

  59. Ian
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Brilliant speech . MR Redwood has absolutely nailed it in my opinion.

  60. Ed Mahony
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    I’m going to stop commenting, at least for now.

    Thank you very much, sir, for allowing me to comment. Apologies for writing far, far too much and off topic at times.

    In return for your kindness, I will keep you in my prayer list – list of my family, friends and others – over Lent.

    Best wishes.

  • 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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