The death of the second referendum

On Thursday evening we at last got a vote in Parliament on the People’s Vote proposal, recently adopted as Labour policy.  It was massively defeated by 334 votes to 85. Labour officially abstained, lacking confidence in their new policy.  The majority against was  249 votes. The Peoples Vote campaign now say this was not the proper vote! Isn’t it interesting how every time we have a  democratic vote which they lose, it does not count. Any vote you have only  counts as long as it is the answer they want.

On these numbers even if all remaining Labour MPs had voted for the second referendum it would still have gone down to a substantial defeat. 318 votes is a majority in this Parliament, after deducting  7 Sinn Fein MPs, four tellers for each division and the Speaker and Deputy Speakers. Opposition to a second referendum runs higher at 334, a comfortable margin of 16 over an overall majority of the Commons.

Those in the EU who fondly imagine the UK will be like other countries facing unpopular EU measures and will roll over and hold another referendum to change its mind need to understand this vote.  There is no likelihood of this Parliament voting through the complex legislation for a second referendum given the big majority against the whole idea. Brussels can rule that out. One uncertainty dogging the UK  has been removed.

If there is no prospect of a second referendum which would be the only way of trying to reverse the first, there is less value in delay from Brussels point of view. They used to say they would allow a delay for an attempt to change the minds of the public but not just for delay’s sake. Now they are suggesting they might countenance a long delay to put pressure on MPs to sign up to their penal Withdrawal Agreement. If many people  had such an advantageous deal for them on the table they would try hard to get the other losing side to sign it. That is a good reason not to do so.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    On delay. This is a matter of negotiation between the PM and Brussels (Berlin); who knows what the PM is cooking up! The PM could come back with terms such as: “they’ll only allow us 2 years at £30 billion per year, so I said YES, Or you agree my deal!”.
    We must expect this kind of duplicity. For the sake of keeping our nation from revolt, PLEASE get rid of her.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      I think you wish may be granted.

      Most likely May will agree to leave, but at the price of her deal being voted through by the ERG. Then we’ll probably get Boris, who can be every bit as ineffectual as he was as Mayor of London. But we might get a bendy bus out of it.

      Otherwise it’s a long delay and more of this interminable mess.

      • Hope
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Vote down the servitude plan. We the public do not want to be in vassalage to thenEU. The days are numbered for traitors in parliament they will be dealt with.

        • Hope
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          JR, bring the govt down. The people will be with you.

          DUP are being targeted at the moment from every direction. Stand firm do,not,give in.

          I hope Bercow prevents it coming back for a third time. It was not changed as demanded by parliament and it was already brought back in contempt and defiance of not making any changes. Despite May promising otherwise. She is a pathological liar,

          ………… Soubry party griping about name calling! Yet Soubry was content to join in vile comments on national TV about Farage and Rudd about Boris Johnson.

          • Steve
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


            “I hope Bercow prevents it coming back for a third time.”

            He’ll allow it, and probably a few seditious amendments with it.

            “Soubry party griping about name calling! Yet Soubry was content to join in vile comments on national TV about Farage and Rudd about Boris Johnson”

            Indeed. Soubry reminds me of an undisciplined kid throwing stones, refusing to cease when told. Yet throw a stone back and it’s……wah wah he threw a stone at me!

            As for the expression of opinion given by demonstrators, well if the cap fits etc. Behave like one, get called one.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink



          They turned us from the sick man of Europe into the world’s 5th biggest economy. You are obviously not old enough to have voted in the 1975 referendum. I did and I don’t want to go back to the miseries of the 1960’/70s.

          • sm
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            I voted in the 1975 referendum, and I was fooled like so many others. It wasn’t the EEC that got us out of the political mess of the time, it was Mrs T and her Government supporters.

          • Steve
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink


            “They [EU presumably] turned us from the sick man of Europe into the world’s 5th biggest economy.

            Wrong again Ms Howard. That distinction would go to Margaret Thatcher.

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:31 pm | Permalink


            ” It wasn’t the EEC that got us out of the political mess of the time, it was Mrs T and her Government supporters.”

            1975 Thatcher’s referendum speech:

            * The Community gives us peace and security in a free society denied to the past two generations

            * gives us access to secure sources of food supplies. This is vital to us, a country which has to import half of what we need

            * does more trade and gives more aid than any group in the world

            * The Community gives us the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth in Europe. The Commonwealth want us to stay in and has said so. The Community wants us.

            If she thought she could achieve it on her own why such a passionate appeal?

            Reply She changed her mind about the EEC when it morphed into a Union in the making going well beyond the Common Market she supported.

          • jane4brexit
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:41 am | Permalink

            I voted in 1975 and I said no then too and I had a very enjoyable 1960’s and 1970’s which were a lot freer, safer and better than now. In fact they seemed idyllic next to now.

          • NickC
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Peddling your deceptions again? The UK was already the world’s 5th biggest economy when we joined. We are now the 7th.

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

        Also, a general point. What is it with the use of the word Quisling?

        We’re not in World War II anymore – and the E.U are our allies, so it’s a pretty poor analogy.

        • Jagman84
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Our allies? That’s a matter of opinion….

        • Mitchel
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Fellow traveller would be preferable.And (real) countries have only interests,not eternal allies or enemies.

        • Richard
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Satrap May be more appropriate.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          I disagree. The undemocratic way the European Union is run, it is not something the United Kingdom should have any part of, yet there are those in the UK who would draw us ever closer to its inescapable centre without recourse or reference to the people of this nation.

          They seek to deny us our right to leave even now, so that clearly indicates an ulterior motive, and not one that is in this nation’s best interest. I recall a certain Norwegian doing something similar in World War Two.

          As to your point about the EU not being our enemy, naturally we in the UK don’t wish it so, but judging by the way they treat us and our esteemed Prime Minister, they’re hardly friends. They seek dominance over us, not parity.

          But I would like to thank you Merlin, because without you posting things that are consistently wrong, we wouldn’t know we were consistently right.


        • NickC
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Merlin, What’s with WW2 for you Remains? The name Quisling has, over many years, become an English term synonymous with someone who cooperates with a conqueror. The EU are our enemies – not because I wish it, but because the EU itself has demonstrated the fact. Therefore Remains who cooperate with the EU in overturning our democracy and destabilising our nation are rightly called Quislings.

        • Steve
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink


          “Also, a general point. What is it with the use of the word Quisling?

          We’re not in World War II anymore – and the E.U are our allies, so it’s a pretty poor analogy.”

          Actually it’s a very accurate analogy. And incase it had escaped your notice – the EU are not considered allies.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink


        No point in May going after her deal is through, the damage is then done, and if we believe the so called experts can then not be undone.
        She needs to go before any deal is done Other than an exit on WTO terms.

        • Bob
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          I said out the outset that Mrs May’s role was to sabotage Brexit and I hope by now my opinion on that score is not considered to be a whacky conspiracy theory. So what next?

          The majority of the current batch of MPs are not honourable, they are untrustworthy and that includes the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. The few decent and honourable Tory MPs must now bring down the government and force a General Election because the govt is at odds with the governed, the legacy parties have shown their true colours it’s our turn to show what we think of them.

      • sm
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Merlin – Livingstone introduced the bendy buses; maybe you are not a Londoner and don’t therefore recall the problems with them, which was why they were banished during Mr Johnson’s mayoralty.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Apologies. You’re quite right. Got confused with the Routemasters. Another equally awful idea.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it was moronic to have bought them for tight London streets but not their money so what did they care?

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


            They seem to manage it in tight streets in other European countries. Maybe their drivers are better.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            Can Margaret Howard please try and find something nice to say about England? I am really fed up with her negative attitude. I have to wonder what nationality she is. Thank God we don’t all hate our country so much.

      • eeyore
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Mrs May, like Mr Corbyn, is not the resigning type. Nor unfortunately is she the type whose word is her bond. After Brexit she will want to get on with her real interest, social engineering to make us all perfect.

        A better strategy might be to promise that she can stay as long as she likes if she dumps her rubbish deal and backs WTO.

        Then break your word on All Fools’ Day, of course.

        • rose
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          This is the best solution yet.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Boris was great as London Mayor delivering the must successful Olympic Games ever on time and on budget with everything running smoothly bHe also was re-elected in the post by a London electorate with a large built-in Labour majority. Pity Mrs May isn’t as “ineffectual” as that.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Was May chosen and retained precisely because she could be relied upon to be incapable of/unlikely to/ certainly didn’t want to deliver a smooth Brexit?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      On QT Thursday the BBC (Fiona Bruce) squealed in delight that so many put their hands up for a second referendum. The footage shows that only about 15% did (in the Remain area of Ealing)

      The Bubble will not cease its demand for a People’s Vote – especially later, long after May’s WA gets through and the war of attrition against us reaches full flood.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      After everything that’s happened David Davis trusts May.

      Someone needs to have quiet word with him.

      He deceit and betrayal will be even worse if WA is voted through.

      • Richard
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        DD and Ben Bradley represent 55% & 71% leave constituencies.
        Public trust in British politics is at an all-time low & the electorate is watching closely. Whatever anti-democratic processes are carried out next, the ERG must realise they should have no part in them.

    • Peter
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Its worrying if reports of the DUP and others changing their minds about the Withdrawal Agreement are true. May’s people will exaggerate how many of course to help convert others.

      Leavers must stand firm.

      It was a mistake to indulge May for so long. Mogg used to say he trusted her to stick to the manifesto. Chequers showed her true nature. Then Leavers thought if we vote down the Withdrawal Agreement leaving on WTO terms will automatically occur only for May to shamelessly pull another stroke and try to force MPs to vote again until they gave her the result she wanted.

      • NickC
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Peter said: “Chequers showed her true nature”. Indeed it did. But before that the “Kit-Kat” tapes showed the deceit at the heart of government. Theresa May should have instigated a public inquiry and sacked the civil servant etc ed The fact the Mrs May was perfectly indifferent showed me where the PM was coming from.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I am sure with May’s fabulous negotiation skills she will manage get the price up to £60 billion PA and throw in our fishing waters and Northern Ireland just for good measure!

      • eeyore
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Gibraltar. Spain hasn’t.

      • NickC
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, That’s the size of her cheating. I suspect she is entirely incapable of understanding the enormity of her fraudulence.

        The UK sells services all round the world. To do so we depend on our customers trusting our word, not just the letter of the law. Trust, and regard for our stability, democracy and probity, are paramount.

        Remains, and especially Mrs May, have just trashed our reputation. We will suffer far more from that than we would from Remain’s imaginary consequences of actually leaving the EU.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        What about Gibraltar.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      If the EU grants us an extension it surely means that we haven’t left the EU and hence nothing changes ?

      So in the case of our money contributions this should remain as before, a net £12bn/year, and we are still able to vote in Council of Ministers meetings, still able to veto (where it still exists) legislation damaging to the UK and vote in the MEP elections etc.

      This is why an extension is far better than signing the EU’s WA and going into a never-ending transition period where we must accept all new EU directives, laws, taxation, rules etc. but without representation or a veto.

      The existing WA is so bad that it must never be signed whatever happens next.

      Those MPs who vote for this WA will not find themselves popular with the electorate as the EU starts to turn the screws in the “protracted and repeating” (according to the AG) subsequent “relationship” negotiations.

      Neither those who vote to revoke Article 50.

    • jerry
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; Oh do stop the shallow anti German rhetoric, the war ended more than 70 years ago, by using such rhetoric you show your lack of understanding, not some greater knowledge!

      The fact is, the decision on an A50 extension is made in all EU27 capitals and the EC, not just Brussels and/or Berlin, just one objection could scupper it. Perhaps such an objection will come from a eurosceptic member state, their eurosceptic govt trying to help UK eurosceptics, forcing a WTO exit anyway, and on March 29th…

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        And Empire ended over 100 years ago – not that anyone of our class was enfranchised to vote for it (unlike Nazism.)

        So may we stop the shallow anti English rhetoric that abounds in the anti Brexit camp ?

        • Peter Wood
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          To Jerry,
          I am not anti-German, I simply state what is in reality true, big decisions by the EU are first approved in Berlin.
          Germany is by far the largest net contributor to the EU budget, it has a disproportionate number of its nationals in high places. Germany calls the tune. The EU would not exist without Germany, and does what is best for Germany. Sadly, our PM also does what’s best for Germany.
          If Berlin wanted to do what’s best for the EU, it would mutualise the national debts of Eurozone nations and make the ECB a true EU central bank, it does not because that would be bad for Germany.

          • jerry
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            @Peter Wood; No you do not state “what is in reality true”, just typical UKIP style miss-information, trying to tap into the ‘small town’ simplistic thinking that those without clue so readily lap up as if the cats got the cream. UKIP did the same with their anti-migrant mantra, with truly unwholesome results. 🙁

            Why even mention Berlin when the real truths are Dublin could block a A50 extension, as could Madrid, Paris, Warsaw etc.

            As for your last paragraph, perhaps the EU will do what you suggest once the UK leaves, after all it has not like Berlin has fought against the introduction of the Single Currency and ever closer union…

        • jerry
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          @Anonymous; The only ‘anti English’ rhetoric from the Remain side I hear is that from the SNP, but then they would still be anti English had Remain won.

          The SNP simply hijack what ever the issue to push their own agenda. Had the UK voted remain, had England been staunchly pro EU, It would not have surprised me had the SNP become anti EU, claiming that Scotland was being held in the EU against her wishes!…

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

      inews: Corbyn reportedly won’t push for a 2nd referendum unless the May-Robbins WA is passed.

  2. oldtimer
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that analysis. If I have followed recent events properly, May keeps threatening a long delay and no Brexit in order to stampede Conservative MPs to vote for the WA a third time. Is this a real threat or an empty threat?

    It also appears that Hammond and co want a different deal and are ready to work with Labour to get it. That would require a long delay too. There are reports that this would split the cabinet and result in more resignations.

    In view of the existing law, what actions would be required of May, the government and Parliament first to delay the 29 March exit and then to kill it off altogether. I am aware that extension of Art 50 requires the agreement of the EU27.

    • Horatio
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      May doesn’t have the guts to revoke A50 to cancel Brexit so it’s an empty threat.

      • Steve
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink


        “May doesn’t have the guts to revoke A50 to cancel Brexit so it’s an empty threat.”

        Well that rather depends. If she can secretly get a political asylum deal with the EU she might do so just out of spite, if she can be sure of getting safely flown out of the country under heavy security.

        • rose
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          She looked full of spite and vindictiveness when her agreement was voted down. Then she made the threats about “choices”.

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


      “what actions would be required of May, the government and Parliament first to delay the 29 March exit”

      Change the law to suit themselves via Statutory Instrument. In other words; cheat and do as the hell they like.

      “and then to kill it off altogether.”

      Grand contempt for the people, big EU rewards for bringing the country down, misguided belief in thinking we’ll let them get away with it, political asylum somewhere in the EU, lifetime heavy security funded by the taxpayer…….take your pick mate.

    • Peter
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Bizarre claims are made that MPs will vote for the Withdrawal Agreement providing Mrs. May agrees a date she will leave office.

      It makes it sound like buying something to get rid of a salesman with his foot in the door. Except the Withdrawals/Surrender Agreement is far too dangerous to sign up to and May’s exit at that stage would just be bolting the stable door after the horse had left.

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Too many of your colleagues are be bullied on to submission

    Esther McVey told she was made of sterner stuff

    Now she’s not.

    If these people are going to cave in they could at least ask for Theresa May’s immediate resignation as the price.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Exactly. its not a second referendum for the people that concerns me so much as the repeated offering of May’s deal to politicians who seem to be losing their nerve and common sense.

      A bad deal gets no better the more times you submit it !.

      • Steve
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        “Exactly. its not a second referendum for the people that concerns me so much as the repeated offering of May’s deal to politicians who seem to be losing their nerve and common sense.”

        Same tactic as 2nd referendum though.

        Just goes to show what Parliament really thinks of democracy and the electorate.

        Perhaps it’s time for the people to rise up and sack the lot.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Stephen Priest,

      Getting another leader is no reason to accept the WA, the UK would be left with the penal WA.

      Just leaving on the 29th without the WA means the UK (and hopefully its democracy once there is an impartial speaker) is free to recover (and will be the lowest cost option). A long extension or revocation maintains rights and allows UK to have MEPs – Farage (or right wing) success in European elections would soon cause a change in leadership, possibly of both parties, together with policy redirection. WA and technical extension must be avoided.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


        “Getting another leader is no reason to accept the WA”

        I agree with you completely on that. But if they decide vote for it you would think they might at least say at long as Theresay May resigns and there’s a leadersip contest. She could still lose the vote anyway.

        A long extension would expose the betrayal and we could still be able to leave on our own terms if a true Leaver was in charge

        • rose
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          She would never honour an undertaking of that kind, nor, indeed, any undertaking.

  4. Redford
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Agreed. No second ref. Simply revoke art 50. All the Brexit promises have been exposed as false

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink


      The EU has lost its mandate. Keep it that way.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        I disagree that the Brexit promises were false. I feel that the promise that the offer to “Leave the EU” was genuine was by far the biggest lie told in the referendum. Nearly as big as the falsehood told in 1975 that we were joining a small *common market* of similar nations.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink


          “Nearly as big as the falsehood told in 1975 that we were joining a small *common market* of similar nations.”

          Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

          The aims of the Common Market are:

          Bring together the peoples of Europe

          Raise living standards and improve working conditions

          Promote growth and boost world trade

          Help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world

          Help maintain peace and freedom

          Who is telling lies?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:31 am | Permalink

            No mention of common currency or embassies or anthems or flags or ambassadors or going fron 7 to 28 members or 5 Presidentts or their courts with supremacy or common tax powers or thousands of laws regulations or directives or power over member states borders and budgets.
            Its come a long way from those vauge aims you keep listing margaret.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink



    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Your closing sentence is patently untrue. BTW, an agreement was signed by the UK and USA last week, governing the technical aspects of civil aviation for once we have left the EU There was no drama involved – barely newsworthy, in fact. But an example, nonetheless, of what two like-minded friends can achieve in the sphere of international cooperation.

    • RichardM
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      This of course is the correct way forward at this point, except politicians put party first instead of country. Nor would this exlude any future leave, should polititians manage to agree on what that means and resolve prerequisites like UK/IRE borders first.

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

      The only reason we are not being offer a sensible deal is that we have the appalling remainer Theresa May as PM and her negotiation position is hugely under cut by the all the anti-Brexit/quisling MPs.

      Leave on WTO terms now, sensible deals will follow as they in the EU’s interests more than ours.

    • Adam
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Now that the 2nd Referendum has been pronounced dead, Leavers should stop reincarnating it. So often Remainers would attempt to reason for that re-vote, & Leavers would argue as if it existed with living support, like a zombie on steroids.

      Arguing against something attaches importance, as if it needs to be reckoned with. The 2nd Referendum’s official funeral service was on 14 March, attended by all those who matter. Hansard records its eulogy.

      Each time a Remainder next tries to dig up the zombie, Leavers can can utter 3 letters in reply to prove its swift execution by Remainers in Parliament: RIP.

    • sm
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      All the Brexit possibilities have been sabotaged, Redford.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      What Brexit promises were they? That we were given the referendum and the government would implement the people’s decision? That they would be true to their manifesto pledges?
      Everyone knows politicians lie, but they still believed they would have a residual honour to act as instructed.
      Simply revoking art. 50 would be the crown of their deceit.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      And remain threats have not been ”exposed as false”, then?

      To which ”Brexit promises” do you refer? In case you haven’t noticed, Brexit hasn’t happened yet, so our hands are still tied by your much-admired EU. Speak about false promises once it’s happened and we can see what is true and what false. You may even be pleasantly surprised.

      Perhaps you’d like to enlighten those of us who haven’t been taken in by Project Fear in all its incarnations. Tell us why we are wrong to dismiss the prophesies of doom and gloom – and why you believe them in the face of hard evidence to the contrary?

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      The only false promises I have noted in relation to Brexit, so far, concern leaving the customs union, single market, ECJ jurisdiction and taking back control of our borders and trade. Only a WTO or free trade agreement would honour these promises. A standstill transition in line with Art. XXIV would get us from A to B.

  5. Mark B
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The Peoples Vote campaign now say this was not the proper vote!

    That has got to be some kind of sick joke, surely ?

    Many thanks to our kind host for this. It seems another referendum is fast diminishing, not that I was bothered by one, just the question and the possible answers offered.

    Less than 2 weeks and counting. I did say the EU likes a drama. Makes them the centre of attention and self important.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      If there is a second referendum you can be fairly sure it will be fixed one. The last one was on a pitch sloped towards remain by Cameron, Osborne and the government’s endless project fear and the one side only propaganda leaflet.

      Perhaps fixed allowing younger voters over 16 and or EU nationals living in the UK (or having a right to live in the UK) to vote. They they will proably give you no real choice – A remain or B leave (but in name only).

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

        A 16-year-old is deemed too unworldly to be excluded for joining ISIS but wise enough to vote ?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Dear Mark–Clearly we need a second referendum to decide if we want a third–but if the third was contrary to the first we would need a fourth as a decider (etc).

      • Mark B
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        At that stage I’d just go for just tossing a coin.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Yes, Mark B. They wouldn’t want the other 27 countries to get the idea the EU might just be irrelevant to world trade and peace, would they?

      Because that’s what all this seems to be pointing to.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    “a second referendum which would be the only way of trying to reverse the first”

    Well not quite. May’s appalling withdrawal agreement is not Brexit in any real sense and we might well get that rammed down our throats by the dire Theresa May. Also May, Hammond and the many remoaner MPs might just withdraw the section 50 notice completely. May and her ilk just think they know best. They think that the 17.4 million voters are dim, uneducated, wrong headed little people and need to be protected from their abject stupidity by anti-democratic people like themselves.

    Best if they are rules bureaucrats that they can never remove (people with little knowledge & no real interest in the UK’s welfare) people such as Juncker and Tusk.

    As Hillary Benn’s rather more democratic father put it:-

    “In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person–Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates–ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.”

    Perhaps a bit unfair to attack Bill Gates in this way though. No one has to buy his annoying time wasting software. Anyway he has surely more than made up for this with his foundation’s good works.

  7. Freeborn John
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    There is a lot of media comment about Hammond in ‘constructive’ talks with the DUP to buy them off, and the Attorney General changing his legal device on an unchanged WA to reverse his previous opinion and allow the DUP and ERG to climb down. I urge you never to accept this Withdrawal Agreement as it will endure indefinitely locking us in for centuries to come to the eu customs union and its ever expanding body of law. Never cave in to it. We must beat these Remainers once and for all time.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      If the DUP crack it’s time to say goodbye to Ulster and let the Republic have it. I do not see why England should be trapped in the EU by a party that only picked up 292,316 votes at the last election. Its been nearly fifty years since the province made a positive contribution to the Treasury so we have nothing to lose in saying ta-ra.

      • formula57
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        @ Dame Rita Webb – NI is less costly than Scotland and with less tiresome whinging but you are certainly right, it would be time to say goodbye.

        There would be some amusement in witnessing the Republic struggle to absorb NI, both fiscally and otherwise.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Quite. We now seem to have a Groucho Marx Attorney General : ‘Here is my legal opinion, if you don’t like it, then, I have others’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      We should never accept May’s W/A even if the backstop were removed it is appalling. Far worse than just leaving and we save all the £billions too.

      The quislings keep saying that the EU “do not like the back stop” and “do not want to push us into the back stop (or use it to push for an even more appalling trade deal)”. If so why are they so insistent on it having to remain in the deal?

    • Andy
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement is Brexit. It is what you voted for in 2016. It is, apparently, the will of the people. And, no, you are not allowed to change your mind now that you have seen the detail of what you voted for – and have decided you do not like it.

      As Liz Truss told Eddie Mair the other day people are not allowed to change their minds on Brexit. Except Mr Mair then pointed out that she had changed her mind. It’s very funny to watch. A bit like the Brexit Secretary urging MPs to vote for something which he then voted against.

      There is genuinely no word to describe the awfulness of these people.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        *In soliloquy*

        [Sighs and shrugs]

        This has long passed the point where we listen to each other. I blame Andy as much as he blames me.

        This once settled country is now fragmented beyond repair and in many more ways than one. So much for this force for unity, the EU.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        More verbal diarrhoea from you I see. How are the EU flags for the 29th March? So looking forward to showing you where to stick them. My mother commented that you make Owen Jones sound grown-up. That’s quite some feat! She now enjoys reading what daily nonsense you manage to come up with.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        It is all part of the strategy being used by a remainer majority house of commons to frustrate the result of the referendum and keep us in the EU.
        You ought to be thrilled andy.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        How do you keep getting away with these distortions?

        May’s Withdrawal agreement isn’t remotely like what I voted for. It’s the Brexit of a remainer, but you ascribe it to Brexiteers as if her duplicity and selling us all short was our fault!

        Twisting the facts to fit your myopic arguments and make the thought that you lost and can’t get over it that much more bearable. Now let me see, wasn’t there a certain doctor and propaganda minister who did a similar thing in World War Two?

      • Steve
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        “The Withdrawal Agreement is Brexit. It is what you voted for in 2016.”

        You keep on saying that. It was BS the first time you said it, and still is.

        The WA was not revealed in 2016, and was therefore not on any ballot paper.

        • Andy
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Nor was no deal. But that doesn’t stop you lot lying about it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:33 am | Permalink

            The WA isn’t a deal.
            There is no trade deal yet.
            That comes after we leave.

            No deal isnt no deal it is simply leaving and trading usingvWTO trade tariffs.

    • Steve
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Freeborn John

      “We must beat these Remainers once and for all time.”

      Yes, I’m in favour of beating them.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      DUP report that money doesn’t feature in discussions with Hammond. They add that while the WA hasn’t changed, what has changed is a renewed focus from the British government on addressing their concerns. (The Times, Ireland section)

  8. Mark
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    “If many people had such an advantageous deal for them on the table they would try hard to get the other losing side to sign it. That is a good reason not to do so.“

    Nailed it.

    With or without the backstop, the deal is shocking.

    Vote it down, and we get WTO, or, potentially a GE. I would rather extend to fight another day then surrender. The desire of the majority of Brits to leave the EU will not go away once the “victory” of the WA is declared.

    Perhaps, once they reslise how bad it is, it will make hings worse?

  9. agricola
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Cher Barnier,

    When Parliament voted down any suggestion of a second referendum they were defending the democracy you have historically held in contempt. That route is now blocked off.

    Your WA fas been sunk twice. Rumour has it that like some malignant U Boat it might appear next week for a final depth charging. It remains to see if Kapitan May chooses to go down with it.

    You are always saying you do not know what the UK wants. Well to date you know what we do not want. Here is a face saving suggestion designed to create the minimum of disruption. Tomorrow we will submitt a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement on trade and services paralleling how we conduct our relations at present. Theory says you have up to ten years to peruse it. It’s a long time to wait for that tax free pension. In parallel via the WTO we will invoke Art 24 of GATT which as a member you will know allows the current status quo on trade to continue until the above FTA is agreed. You have ten years of navel gazing in prospect.

    It maybe surprise you to hear thst there are aspects of the dead WA we like, especially treating all expat citizens with good grace and equanimity. There are others, we will keep you informed.

    Forget the £39 billion bribe for trade, it is illegal in most commercial society. We will of course continue to contribute to any joint projects we are already committed to. No longer being a member of the EU we will not be making the annual contribution. A small incentive to you to conclude an FTA.

    We will return to the brave new world we left on joining the EU. We will be promoting democracy worldwide, supporting NATO, and trading worldwide. At some stage you may wish to join us but be warned it requires a whole different mindset and respect for people and democracy. We wish you well.


    The United Kingdom.

  10. Steve
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink



    Further referenda might be a cheap stunt which can be pulled off in other countries, but not ours.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Do not count on it with the current MPs and Lords we have in Parliament – at least 60% of them are dreadful.

  11. Dominic
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    May’s still PM and therefore leave will not happen.

    The very fact she’s still in charge is enough I need to confirm that pro-EU forces still rule the roost in the Tory party and that Eurosceptic Tory MPs have become neutered

    May and her clan will secure a Parliamentary victory and we will have our revenge at the next GE

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

      But the revenge will alas then be too late. We already have her hand cuffs on, given the key to the EU and will have paid Billions for them.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      If the EU allows us to have a GE on our own terms, once they are securely ruling over us.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Listening to Any Questions last night I learned that Layla Moran (the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Science & Young People) has predictable anti-democratic remoaner views. Not only that but she thinks that children should bunk off school to protest about “Climate Change”. Can someone tell them and her it always has changed and always will do?

    I suppose only the young (preferably the ones with very little knowledge or understanding of real science or energy production) are rather easy to indoctrinate in the new runaway catastrophic warming religion. A massive new religion with it’s clever new version of a man made fiery hell on earth – unless that is we pay ever more taxes for politicians to waste and buy over priced electricity to subsidise other premature greencrap products.

    • RichardM
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      You need to apply a filter to those Climate Change Scientists you listen to based on who they are funded by. The 2 quoted on this forum recently by you and someone else are both in the pockets of the oil corporations.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        You clearly didn’t see my follow-up to your earlier question, so I’ll try again.

        Go to YouTube and search for ‘The man who predicts the weather better than anyone – Piers Corbyn’.

        He would win bets on the weather and bases his predictions on solar activity. Hos long-term forecasts were better than the Met Centre. He is also independently funded. If you can counter that, I’m sure Mr Corbyn would be interested to hear from you.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      It always utterly astounds me that they have been able to “sell” windmills to the general public.
      Ugly, disgusting monstrosities causing goodness knows what damage. But a nice little earner for landowners.
      Wind and water power are obviously not new but it has to be said that not many millers chose to stick with their “sustainably” run mills when newer more reliable methods became available.
      Probably the EU favours wind power because it makes countries interdependent. ie closer union.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        There’s much truth in that. Germany had to export excess power from wind to near neighbours. When Denmark pulled the connection the German grid almost collapsed. Hence the Germans building a dozen filthy lignite power generating stations.
        Much of the equipment from shutdown UK coal fired power stations has been shipped to Germany.

        • rose
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          I thought the very green-minded Germans were cutting down their ancient forests to dig up lignite because the oil and gas they import from Russia is not enough to make up for having given up nuclear power? (Thinking a 30 foot tidal wave might come up the Rhine.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Those children need to be made to give up everything that they don’t need.

      ‘Cheap’ disposable fashion clothes, holidays, sweeties, latest games and smart phones…

      Then they can start to preach on climate change. In their own time and at weekends.

      All they are being taught at the moment is Leftist hypocrisy.

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

      I look at those young people – my daughter among them – and feel huge pride.

      Their generation has to live with the climate change disaster the baby bombers failed to fix. I am confident they will do it.

      They will also be the generation which holds the public inquiry into Brexit. Let’s see how well that works out for the Europhobes.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Make sure she studies STEM then. Lots of maths and science homework and gets to a Russell Group like mine did, so she might invent things and cure people like mine can.

        Start ’em early. Give up the flights to holiday destinations, the purchase of fashion items, latest gizmos and sweeties etc… like I did with mine (holidays in a tent, second hand stuff, bracing hikes at weekends.)

        Because I’m a REAL environmentalist. And I don’t understand how your mass immigration of ambitious poor people, eager to consume more, reduces the carbon footprint I’ve worked so hard to keep small.

        • rose
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          I brought up mine not to drive. We went on our bikes and still do. Those marchers playing truant, chanting obscenities about their female PM and dropping tons of litter, including plastic, looked to me as if they had been driven everywhere.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
      • L Jones
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Let’s hope then, Andy, you have told your ‘daughter’ the difference between the EU and Europe.
        And do try to explain to her what the words ‘referendum’ and ‘democracy’ mean (not your version, but the real one) and then tell her how she was saved from conscription into the EU army.
        Then ask her to work out (because she’ll be really interested) the carbon footprint of one wind turbine and multiply it by several million, take away the cut for all the pensions and profits of the fatcats who make money on them and then explain the difference between fatcats’ lifestyle choices and those of ‘baby boomers’ came about, and to guess where the rest of the profits go. And then ask her to work out for herself how the country has been saved from incineration by being covered with useless eyesores while they’re demolishing hydro-electric dams all over the world and building coal-fired power stations in your beloved EU.
        She’ll love you for it. She’ll feel huge pride in you.
        Really, Andy, you are such a nitwit.

        • Andy
          Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Because fatcats don’t make profits from burning coal or gas – or from nuclear power. Honest.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Green energy is a good idea. Burning oil is stupid and dirty. But, hey, every pupil in some city schools having a locker to keep their asthma ‘puffers’ in is okay with you. We must keep burning oil in internal combustion engines. Caring about the quality of the air our children breathe is for wimps.

      Green energy is not ‘crap’.

      If it’s more expensive than burning oil, we should pay up. And if that means increasing the state pension so elderly people can beat their homes, we should do it. Take the money from the foreign aid budget.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        The UK CO2 output is now below levels last seen in 1888. The problem is that whatever we achieve as a nation, it will never be enough for the Left-wing extremist, young eco-terrorists (that’s in Andy-speak, BTW). When they start to accept that the only feasable way to eliminate all ICE vehicles and move to EV’s is by adopting nuclear power on a truly massive scale. If they do, then they may see some chance of success.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Can you tell us the level of particulates in the UK’s atmosphere now, compared to years past?

        I seem to recall seeing something on the BBC of all places (it might even have been Andrew Neil), that showed it is tiny by comparison.

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

      Brexit means Brexit

      Natural climate change means carbon taxable man made global warming.

      Car salesmen and estate agents would be locked up for fraudulent lies.

      The ballot box cometh.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic. Spot on yet again.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The children school strikes to me looks like the result of political indoctrination going on in our schools by activist teachers. If it was part of educational programme, then the children would have been made aware of the difficult choices involved in any policy area , including Global Warming , like being informed that the internet has as big a carbon footprint as the airline industry , and the likes of Facebook get the power to run their servers from coal 27%, renewable sources 23%, gas 17%, nuclear 13% etc, then ask the children if they would like to delete their social media accounts and throw away their mobile phones. They would then see the problems and the difficult choices involved, instead we get these silly virtue signalling demonstrations demanding the Government do something, as long as it doesn’t require them to go without.

      • Dame Rita webb
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        The young lady who is organising these strikes would be better spending her time asking why her state school has a demographic totally out of line with inner city London. As you would expect it’s where all the lefty bourgeoisie send their kids

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Political indoctrination is precisely what it is, and I base that upon things I have witnessed first-hand. Especially when my kids went to university. Such places are supposed to be open to all points of view so that the overall knowledge base continually expands. These lefties want to close down anything they disagree witb so their ideals prevail.

        Perhaps parents who let their kids skip school for the day to attend a strike that has dubious merit should be fined. Wouldn’t that be something!


    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      And please may no-one ever think they’re beyond God’s forgiveness. The Prodigal Son is absolutely key to traditional Christianity. A parable that is absolutely key to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for children, which I am sure was blessed by God.

      I believe that many people in our country are tortured by things they have done or said or not done or said – and can’t find a way out (perhaps at a deep level) – and this can have a profound impact on people – their mental as well as physical and spiritual well-being.

      (St Peter betrayed Christ – but never believed he was beyond God’s forgiveness. Judas also betrayed Christ – but he – WRONGLY – believed (through his own pride) that he was beyond God’s forgiveness.

      God’s forgiveness is infinite and so as long as repentance is genuine (which might involve penance if there is time / opportunity to do so), God forgives EVERYTHING (and fills what was internal torture and gloom and despair with great peace and joy and blessings – like Scrooge at the end in a Christmas Carol!)

      ‘I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.’

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Apologies for going on, but I believe that the Death of Traditional Christianity has had a profoundly negative effect on the world today.

      I was fortunate enough to experience an extraordinary miracle in a beautiful English country field – that makes me think of think of Shakespeare’s famous lines, ‘the clouds methought did open up ..’ that’s what it was like (plus I felt a bit like Scrooge after it as well after his change at the end of the story – and convinces me that The Divine (and Traditional Christianity) is real. And I feel extra patriotic towards the UK because it happened to me in a beautiful, English country field – like a Jacob’s Ladder to Heaven (please God).

  13. James Brown
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    As shown, there are 3 or 4 legitimate versions of “leave”, none of which command a majority in parliament. And MPs are not prepared to compromise. So it has to go back to a referendum.

    Just because the population have more information, knowledge and opinion on leave/remain, there should be no fear for the ERG in a 2nd referendum. After all the majority supported it just 2years ago, why would they not again.

    Yes/no vote. 3 or 4 preferences for leave vote.

    • Steve
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      James Brown

      But what you suggest goes against democracy.

      • James Brown
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        Really ? Parliament couldn’t decide on reform of the Lord’s, or our relationship with EU, or Scotland … So used a referendum. It’s part of our democracy

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      That is not how democracy works.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      May we discuss all the versions of Remain for once ?

      As it happens the one literal meaning that “Leave the EU” had (and what I and most here voted for) is the one that has NOT been prepared for.

      This is why we are in such a fix.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      They would never give us those options on a ballot paper. And they also know the strength of feeling for Leave, so rigged ballot boxes would be the order of the day. Don’t ever say that it doesn’t happen….it does and will. They know the game is up and will fight tooth and claw and very dirty to get what they want.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Only a short time ago these things would have been unthinkable in the UK, Chris.
        Appalling, isn’t it, how far down we have been dragged by people who are putting self-interest before honour?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Fine leave on 29th March – see how it goes for say ten years then have another referendum to join. The majority not to would surely be overwhelming. You have to leave first that is what 17.4 million people voted for and were promised.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Mr Brown – Why should there be a second referendum when the first has not been honoured?

      And why should you think a second would be honoured if the first wasn’t, should there be another ”wrong answer”?

      And how many times should these be held as ”information, knowledge and opinion” evolve?

      • James Brown
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Does it work by having 80 MPs making decisions for all of us?
        Do 80 MPs know best

        Reply It takes 318 MPs to make a decision

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      >Yes/no vote. 3 or 4 preferences for leave vote.

      You’re funny.

  14. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    So in all likelihood the British people face prospect of either remaining in the EU or accepting Mrs May’s deal which should frighten the rest of the peoples of Europe, as to show what ‘ever closer union’ actually means, along with the shame of us handing over at least a £39 billion tribute. Meanwhile the ERGs main card seems to be their support demands the removal of Mrs May, at some undetermined time. What sort of leverage is that, when the replacement is likely to be somebody of the calibre of Amber Rudd? Hopefully the voters will come to their senses, at the next general election, and administer a punishment beating to the Conservative party, otherwise this country is finished.

    Reply I would not vote for the Agreement in return for some words on Mrs Mays future

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Well, then, how about in return for some clearer words from both the UK and the EU, and in particular from the Irish government, about the future of the UK’s independent trade policy? Which has been repeatedly promised by Theresa May, but which would be incompatible with the continued subjection to the rules of the EU’s Customs Union that you, and also I, fear may be the long term outcome. Not least in my case because I cannot visualise the Irish government willingly agreeing to release us from those legal shackles in whatever agreement superseded the backstop.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      I bet enough will cave in and May will believe she is invincible. All that is left is for her to agree free movement, joint sovereignty over Gibraltar and keep us in the Common fisheries policy and it’s game, set and match to to Brussels.

    • Nigl
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Thank you. This deal is too bad to hinge on its perpetrator moving in. Owen Patterson has it correct. It is not Brexit.

      Come on Esther you are made of sterner stuff. The winning line is very close.

  15. Everhopeful
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Industrialisation…urbanisation…political ideas…rolling out of franchise.
    In this country we all believed in the sanctity of “ democracy”. It was absolutely ingrained.
    Unfortunately democracy has always been just a useful tool for our leaders as we have seen from the Fred Karno’s show they have treated us to over the Referendum.
    The shock and horror of watching them behaving so shamefully has destroyed a great deal of trust.
    But they will be held to account and made to honour the system that used to work so well for them ( when we voted along the “correct” lines).
    We do not vote twice.

    • Steve
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink


      “But they will be held to account and made to honour the system that used to work so well for them”

      More like they’ll be in fear of their lives by the wrath of the people.

      Eggs & spit will be the least of their worries. They won’t dare show their faces.

      Do they really think the British public will let them get away with it ? Anger doesn’t even touch the sides.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes..absolutely..and GOOD!

        I was just referring to no second Ref.

    • Andy
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Except we do. And as a country we change our minds dramatically and swiftly.

      We have regular elections to check in with the public. And the public can be brutal if things are going wrong.

      We get to vote ever my five years to renew our consent.

      Except on Brexit when we are never allowed to vote on anything again – apparently.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        “Except on Brexit when we are never allowed to vote on anything again – apparently.”

        Your vote is not to be trusted. You have reneged on what you agreed when you placed your ‘X’. To uphold the result.

        You have done more than your bit to subvert it since.

      • Steve
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Traitors don’t deserve the right to vote. In fact many would say you don’t deserve citizenship, what with your anti – British rants, blatant refusal to accept democracy when you lose a vote, and your fascist-like hatred of the elderly etc.

        Oh I almost forgot; you also had a go at disabled people recently, didn’t you.

        To think, so much blood was let on the Normandy beaches to liberate ungrateful Europe and to give the likes of you freedom to stab the country in the back.

        For your own good I recommend;

        Get rid of that chip.

        Move to another country since you clearly hate the English. No one will attempt to stop you.

        Respect the fact that people older than yourself usually will have more than you, because they worked hard for it.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        You bunch of traitors had an unopposed run of 41 years, from 1975 to 2016, with your beloved EU, so 2057 seems an appropriate year to repeat the referendum exercise. At least all of your baby boomers will be off the scene. You’ll need someone else to hate by then.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Vote Green or Lib Dem andy.
        They want to remain in the EU
        If they get a few seats they might hold the balance of power.
        According to you millions are waiting to vote for them

      • L Jones
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Have you noticed, Andy, that the first referendum hasn’t been honoured yet?

        Do we usually have a GE and then quickly have another if the minority don’t like the result, before a new government gets going – just in case the others have changed their minds overnight? Not that I can recall.

        Give it five years then, as you say, before you can brace up to being soundly beaten again – you might have got over yourself by then.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        This was simply not true Andy, in 2017 the Lib Dem’s and Greens offered a vote as follows:
        Lib Dem: Key policies; no1. Second EU referendum on Brexit deal
        Green: A referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU.

    • Mark
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Exposing the truth of our democratic institutions and parties may energise rather more people to get engaged in their local politics.

      I am very concerned that the smokescreen of the backstop has done its job, and we are going to get the WA…..which in my view is worse than leaving !

      I would prefer new parties, and GE…

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink


      behaving so shamefully has destroyed a great deal of trust.

      I think it goes a lot deeper than that. We are experiencing a mortally wounded animal (democracy) bought about by a few in her own pack and they are relentless by their actions to hasten her death rather than protect her and honour her principles and values just to ensure that a new order will take over against the wishes of the whole pack in general. The few will use very conceivable tactic to turn about a majority decision and cannot see that their very actions are bringing about the one thing that was always believed to be the benchmark for every other freedom loving society on the planet.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Campaigners for a second referendum advised that it was not the right time for MPs to vote for a second referendum and Labour officially abstained. The next time it comes up could be seen as the right time and with the clearly visible drift of opinion against Brexit among MPs, assisted by the unremitting government-inspired false propaganda campaign against Brexit, then it could pass. It would be very foolish to conclude that the idea is dead.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Why doesn’t anyone ‘with influence’ ever make the point that you shouldn’t have a second vote until the first vote has been honoured or actioned?

  17. Oh well
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “…The Peoples Vote campaign now say this was not the proper vote! ..”

    Corbyn was on TV within 30 minutes of the Parliamentary democratic vote advocating a People’s vote. Within one hour Ummuna was on TV saying the democratic vote was not legitimate somehow.
    There ought to be a rule in Parliament that such utterances, especially given the timescale, be an automatic custodial sentence for Parliamentarians.
    They are becoming very dangerous people indeed.
    There will inevitably be demonstrations by either of the “sides” for which Remainer MPs are responsible.
    In all huge groupings people get injured by accident or by conspiracy.
    If I were Emperor I would hold the MPs responsible and jail them for something or other.
    Well is it it really the fault of regular people on either side of this equation that they have been railroaded into believing they each are for democracy and their country and are in war-mode?
    The vote was clear. It was even more clear to the extremely intelligent MPs. They must know the outcomes of their treachery!

  18. RichardM
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Except peoples Vote campaign didnt say that. You are misquoting. I’l quote it here though for the benefit of doubt. This was before the vote :
    “But we do not think today is the right time to test the will of the House on the case for a new public vote. Instead, this is the time for Parliament to declare it wants an extension of Article 50 so that, after two-and-a-half years of vexed negotiations, our political leaders can finally decide on what Brexit means”

    This is perfectly true, you ERG ers still have no plan, and even if you did only a small minority would vote for it. Mays plan can only win by using blackmail and bribery. What happens if it loses a 3rd time ? Will a 4th attempt be permitted ?

    The only sensible way forward if parliament cannot reach consensus would be to present the options to the public. Quite why you describe this as an “uncertainty dogging the UK” is mystifying.
    You object to it as you know you have no cohesive plan you could put forward to the public, evidenced once again in you speech when you started talking about EU-canada EU-Japan and Gatt24 nonsense.

  19. Steve
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The fact that Theresa May is insisting on the WA for a THIRD time causes me to believe it was actually concocted by the EU.

    It looks like the EU is secretly behind this insistence that the WA is endorsed, with similar strategy for further referenda until they get the answer they want i.e keep ramming it until they accept defeat.

    May must be flung out, along with her beloved capitulation document and the pro remain biased speaker, and we need to tell the ungrateful EU we are out on 29th without any deal, if they wish to trade with us after that, they can come to us.

    Otherwise, we’ll be looking at anarchy. People vs Parliament and remain traitors. The leave voting people will win.

    • Dennis
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Steve – ’causes me to believe it was actually concocted by the EU.’

      As I wrote in yesterday’s blog (if accepted) that in ‘Question Time’ on Thursday Catherine Barnard said that the first draft (at least) was (written/formulated forget exact ) by Brussels. No one commented on this statement!

      • James Bertram
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Dennis –
        See the Brexit Facts4EU website:
        Thursday, March 07, 2019, 06:18

        Over the past 20 years, Germany has sold €1.3 TRILLION of goods to the UK
        Last year alone, Germany’s trade surplus with UK was equivalent to the ‘divorce bill’

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      It really does look as though Mrs May is in thrall to the EU, under its influence and following its directives. What other reason could there be for all this? Unless she has simply agreed with them to make exit look difficult to keep their ‘project’ alive, for the sake of who knows what. Future trade, perhaps? Security? A promise to back off?

      Or perhaps so that the EU masters actually APPEAR to be relevant and influential, arbiters of peace in Europe and originators of successful trading between diverse nations. So that the ‘dream’ doesn’t die with others waking up – as we have.

    • rose
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      It is actually the fourth time as the first time, in December, she lost her nerve just before the final act.

  20. Ian wragg
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    So it’s a war of attrition with the WA. May will bribe the DUP and keep presenting the bill until everyone is thorough fed up and it passes.
    There is no wonder MPs are held in such contempt.
    The people will win in the end. Believe me.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      We the people have to win because if we don’t it is the end of democracy as we know it.

  21. William Simpson
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I am assuming that the default position of leaving on the 29th March without a deal is very likely to be overturned by a Statutory Instrument. But, being unfamiliar with such niceties, don’t SIs take time to come into effect, and long enough to be negated by the existing European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018? Please enlighten me.

    If the SI now has a chance of precedence over the Act, I would now rather we remain in the EU, especially with the current make up of Parliament. I know this was probably the intended consequence, but I think it’s wiser to choose the lesser of two evils, the WA, or remaining. The situation is so fluid, it is difficult to know how things could play out in the coming 14 days.

  22. Richard1
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Is it the case, as asserted eg by George Eustice, that if we leave on March 29, a possible option is just to join the EFTA pillar of the EEA? This could at least be an interim solution. May should then go immediately and a new PM can then sort out a longer term relationship. Presumably if that happens the £39bn and the permanent CU can be forgotten which is a much better basis to re-start negotiations.

    • rose
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Why do we need a relationship? That is what we are supposed to be escaping. All we need is an FTA with mutual recognition – or not if they won’t agree.

  23. Dominic
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    We are witnessing nothing less than the death of democracy using threats and the incitement of fear. Down this road is a world in which the political state becomes ever more imbued with its own sense of undeniable authority and confronts all challenges with increasingly stringent impositions

    Look around and see for yourself how certain people are being targeted by the authorities for the views they express and are now considered seditious and criminal

    I am, as a British taxpayer, financing my own subjugation and politicisation

    The British people have a sense of fair play and the political class isn’t adhering to the rules of the game. They must be severely punished and defiantly so at the next GE or else their confidence to act with impunity will only expand

  24. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The rejection of votes that don’t suit is a hallmark of ultimate Fascism. The arbitrary implimenatation of the law is another. It’s not jackboots, that comes later etc ed.

  25. Andy
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.

    We all know you will have to vote for Mrs May’s deal in the end Mr Redwood.

    Maybe not on its third go – but perhaps the 4th or 5th time.

    You should let your readers down gently. They have not figured it out yet.

    Her deal is the best Brexit Europhobes will ever get. You should tell them.

    Incidentally, the EU mostly want us gone.

    Reply Not so. I have always said I am happy to leave without a Withdrawal Agreement.

    • Andy
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      But you will not have the option to leave without a withdrawal agreement.

      Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected it and will stop it from happening.

      So your choice is Mrs May’s deal, a soft Brexit – which is pointless – or Remain. C

      You may not like those choice but that is all you will have.

      I suspect we will end up with a Norway type arrangement.

      Nobody likes it very much but it is everyone’a second or third choice.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Sir John – Andy doesn’t actually read that which anyone’s written. He/she has decided Orwellianly – four legs good, two legs better.

      For once though, I do hope he/she is right – that the EU mostly want us gone! That’d be good news for both us AND our friends in Europe. Great stuff, Andy! Keep it up!

  26. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    A new referendum would solve nothing – It’s intransigent wrong-minded arrogant politicians we need to handle – If the Leave side won again the establishment would throw up more roadblocks to us actually leaving…. so having one would be a total waste of time anyway.

    I would suggest someone locks the PM in a cupboard somewhere, to stop her running to Brussels for further help and instructions – If we can stop her begging for ‘just 2 more years’. Then perhaps, maybe, we can reach the 29th and laws currently in place come in to play…

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      In fact a 52/48 for Remain (or near it) would be even worse if it were respected.

  27. Edwardm
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I am glad about no second referendum, as it would have been a delaying tactic, though I’m confident that Leave would again win an unrigged referendum – though the danger is that remainers would try to rig the question.

    The ERG must still vote against Mrs May’s WA for the reasons JR has previously given.

    The WA and backstop could not come about by accident or by poor negotiation – because any negotiator loyal to the UK would have said no and stopped the negotiation. The WA and backstop look like a deliberate collusion with the EU to undermine our country and the wishes of its people.

    The chief colluder is Mrs May, and she has no shame in persistently promoting the WA. Just think, if it is passed there will then be no holding her (or those complicit with her) back, and will proceed to lock us more firmly under the EU as a vassal state.
    I spy traitors.

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I notice sky news asked Roger daltrey about Brexit live on air, expecting their liberal elite remainer view, when he replied with pro Brexit views they quickly moved on, and removed that bit from online repeats of the show.

    Outrageous biased news all around us.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes! Hoist by their own petard. Because they expect any ”personality” to toe the media party line.
      The very fact that now much of the MSM is biased toward ”remain” yet the country has generally adhered to its anti-EU stance, just shows that the people are not for turning.
      Think Rudyard Kipling:
      ”When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
      And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.”

  29. Anonymous
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Modern slavery cases up by a third to 6300 a year.

    One of two things. Slaves coming into the UK are up since the referendum or people caught working illegally are declaring themselves ‘slaves’.

    I go for the former.

    Now let Remain explain how their beloved EU reintroduced slavery to Britain, then they might explain to us what’s ‘modern’ about it.

  30. Jane
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I read your posts every morning as they are very informative, thank you.
    My humble belief is that all the shenanigans have been orchestrated right from the start. The primary aim of May & the EU is to tie us back in as the referemdum result was a ‘mistake’ in their eyes.
    The pressure is now being put on the DUP and the ERG so that it is their fault we do not leave on the 29th.
    The blame really lies with the underhand way this WA has been agreed – behind the backs of the Brexit Secretaries!

    Snowwhite was presented with a delicious looking poisoned apple and we all know what happened next when she swallowed it. Vassalage awaits if we agree this WA so we need to leave without the WA and the EU will come back to the table promptly because they have to.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Jane.

  31. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Who is the leader of the Liberal ‘Democrats’ these days? When it was Tim Fallon one would see him interviewed a lot. You were reminded that there is another party apart from the appalling and despicable Labour and Tory parties. Oh yes, it’s Vincent again. Has he semi-retired? Is it now a part-time job?

    One now has to rely on the wonderful Caroline Lucas to keep the flag flying for sanity.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Is that the same EU to the core Caroline Lucas who preaches environmentalism, yet wants the country concreted over to provide roads and housing for the hoards of people she want to bring in?

      There seems to be something wrong with that. Both can’t be right.


    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      is that the same woman reported to own a number of properties all by accounts using gas for heating and hot water and does numerous air travels to environmental conferences across the world to preach her sermons for the Church against Everything Normal

    • rose
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      The wonderful SNP is now the third party.

  32. Dave Andrews
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    It’s not just that the Remain camp want a 2nd referendum, they also want to rig it as well, by giving the people the choice between May’s WA “deal” and Remain.
    At least they can unite the country Leave and Remain in ruling out one option which both think is worse than remaining.
    I trust their efforts would be rejected by the Electoral Commission but trust even more that we shall never find out.

  33. Lifelogic
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Why do the BBC and politicians keep referring to the terrorist attacker in New Zealand as “extreme right wing”. There is nothing “right wing” about these appalling murderers.

    Nor is there anything right wing about leaving the EU and restoring real UK democracy. The presenter on LBR radio just now was telling people not to call the many traitors in parliament “traitors” – “particularly in the light of the events of the last 48 hours”. What on earth is he on about? If they are traitors I will call them traitors. The idea that this is in someway related to the appalling murder of 49 innocent people is hugely offensive to millions of people.

    • rose
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      They really do have it both ways. They can call Conservatives anything nasty they like. Tell any lie against them they like. But no-one must say a word to show up their own people.

  34. Shieldsman
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It is reported that the PM plans to return to the Commons on Tuesday for the third time with her diabolical Withdrawal Agreement. Having whittled down the massive 230 defeat to 149, she is resorting to bribery and coercion in a attempt to whittle the numbers down further. The Grand Old Duke of York marches again.
    This Government is corrupt, having failed to bribe Labour MP’s, the Chancellor is offering a further proverbial 10 shekels of silver to the DUP.
    The ERG are being asked to hold their nose and go against their better judgment as some Conservative MP’s have done.
    Disregarding the backstop, their is no known outcome to the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The WA was written by the Commission and they hold all the Aces and Trumps.
    “As Sabine Weyand – Mr Barnier’s German deputy – recently told reporters, the Withdrawal Agreement hands the EU sufficient leverage to ensure the UK remains in permanent high alignment with it.” Whatever that means.
    It will be like a non swimmer jumping in at the deep end.
    WTO on 30th March is a definitive choice in getting the show on the road.
    ‘The Peoples Choice’ was to leave not to stay in vassalage.

  35. Newmania
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Agreed; Europe does not get it. No wonder, it has democracy designed in after recent revolution despotism and war .The UK`s ancient rotting system now exists only to preserve its eccentric sinecure holders hidden in,mumbo jumbo.
    Tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber are not the future the young the bright the good , who hate Brexit and the growing coalitions outside the sham Parliament cannot be unmade

    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
    And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Now that’s the way to do it, Andy.

      A winsome, educated flourish and no big gaps betwixt the lines. And those young, bright, good people – so clever… they can even text and drive simultaneously – I see them doing it all the time !

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      I felt like that on the morning after the referendum. At last! We can cast this evil cloak aside and breathe fresh air! The people have spoken and the politicians dare not go against us any longer.

      Oh how naive I was to think the politicians would ever let us leave the European Union. They will always fudge it and find some mechanism to thwart us. Democracy will never do. We, the people, must now overthrow them via the ballot box and vote for people who truly represent us, rather than their own selfish interests.


      • Turboterrier.
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Well said Tad . totally correct

  36. Remington Norman
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    Why are you so sanguine about all this? Our democracy is being subverted by parliament against the clear instruction of the referendum, ratified – if obliquely – by the General Election. The conduct of these (non) negotiations and that of ministers and MPs shames our nation. The ritual humiliation of Theresa May – self-inflicted perhaps – ridicules us and highlights the incompetence which pervades government. This should provoke strong condemnation, not just mild language recording an unfortunate passage in the UK’s proud history.Weak, unprincipled governance has important implications for our future.

    Britain has lost its way. We no longer take a firm moral stance on crime or political defalcation; we seek to punish soldiers who acted under orders, yet turn a blind eye to gang rape, knife crime, FGM and the rest. We waste money egregiously on overseas aid and vanity projects while our health service crumbles and our police forces face front line cuts. We allow the Chinese to build our nuclear infrastructure – against a background of dubiety – and areas of the country to become effectively ghettos / no-go areas.

    Political correctness rules – people seem unable to differentiate factual description from attribution. Minorities are protected as they climb on PC bandwagons to further their sectional interests.

    This needs to be recognised and reversed. This requires political leaders – not third-rate civil servants – who command respect and who have integrity, dignity and principles that are both clear and widely accepted. I believe that there is righteous indignation among voters at this lack which will play out when the opportunity arises. This inept leadership casts a bleak shadow over our future.

    MPs need to speak out rather than trying to finesse the lamentable situation in which we now find ourselves.

  37. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink


    Don’t fool yourself. Those who want a second referendum will have another go. We must continue to assert that, if there is a second referendum, it must include No Deal as an option. No Deal is more popular than Mrs May’s deal in the vast majority of constituencies and in all of the national polls. The ballot paper should be hierarchical:

    At primary level, Leave vs Remain (a rerun of 2016)

    At secondary level, choices for Leave voters only:
    – No Deal
    – Mrs May’s deal
    – EEA/Norway option
    – Corbyn’s Customs Union (if different)

    It would need data entry and software to analyse the results and to exclude Remain voters from the choice of Leave options.

    If Leave vs Remain goes the other way, there must be a third referendum.

    I think that it’s about time that Chukka Amuna, Vince Cable and Sarah Wollaston were told that’s what a second referendum must be like. It might cool their ardour.


    We only lost the first (Whipped) vote by 4 votes. The larger defeat in the second vote came after Bercow had caused chaos by not advancing the Government’s original motion but only Yvette Cooper’s wrecking amendment. Essentially, that was Conservatives not whipped vs Labour whipped, hardly a fair contest.

    We should propose a reinstatement of No Deal, the right timing being after Mrs May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement is voted down for the third time.


    Some 40 MPS switched sides in the second vote on Mrs May’s deal, including David Davis, Philip Davies and Nadine Dorimer. Please try to convince these faint hearts (a) just how rotten Mrs May’s deal is and (b) to look beyond the current parliament to a post General Election scenario.


    To reiterate, we need a Brexiteers’ Manifesto to demonstrate that Brexiteers (ALL Brexiteers) would be able to govern. After that we can choose our moment to support a Labour no confidence motion.

    • Den
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      This is ridiculous. First of all there is no need for a re-run of 2016. Leave won. Secondly, can you image the problems with having a choice of FOUR Questions on the National Ballot paper?
      How would you decide who had won? It would be doubtful that any of them would reach the required >50% of the total vote. In a National Referendum that is the only figure that counts, so would that require a re-run then another and another, until you got the answer you wanted?? By which time we would have left the EU, or filled their Parliament with passionate Leaver MEPs who would bring together all of the anti-EU groups to work together to bring the wretched oligarchy crashing down

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay, it seems that 3 of your 4 leave options are substantially remain options.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      Den and Caterpillar must realise that they are not MY options; they are the options under public discussion. If a second referendum is authorised, there is a huge danger it would be Mrs May’s deal vs Remain. That is what is being advocated by Kier Starmer, Vince Cable, Chukka Amuna and Dominic Grieve. We have to make it clear that a biased referendum will not be tolerated. If Leavers were to say to me that they were going to. etc ed

  38. percy openshaw
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I hope to goodness that the rebel vote holds, Sir John. This Withdrawal Agreement is a trap – as is now abundantly clear. The only argument left in its favour is the threat to bin the democratic decision altogether, as certain infamous and contemptible commentators are suggesting in today’s papers. Let them know this, therefore: it would be better to be openly defeated by an arrogant, Remain-led parliament than for the last spokesmen for an independent Britain to compromise now. As Charles Moore observes, “clean hands” will be needed to lead our country once the dead wood of the careerist puppet show has been swept from the green benches.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      There you go Sir John, an opeing for you. Somebody who is untainted by compromise. You’ll have to pick your cabinet from contributors to this blog though, because you won’t find many with clean hands at Westminster.


  39. Norman
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Your perceptive analysis, JR, is so appreciated! For all those screaming from the rafters, there will be many more quiet, sensible people up and down the land hoping your cool analysis and clarity of purpose will prevail. I hope your Parliamentary colleagues read this, and agree!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


      I hope your Parliamentary colleagues read this, and agree!

      Don’t hold your breath.

  40. villaking
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Whilst I agree, for slightly different reasons, that a second referendum is a bad idea, I think your confidence in thinking it entirely ruled out by Parliament is overstated. As you note, Labour abstained. But you fail to note two other things: the Conservative MPs were whipped to vote against it and, at this juncture, there seems to be a chance that the WA might finally pass at the third attempt. If however, Parliament remains unable to find any compromise that commands majority support in the near future, there could be pressure to refer a decision back to the electorate (with the surrounding controversy as to what the question would be this time) simply because of there being no other way.
    If the WA passes, is it conceivable that despite your (well placed) dislike of a second referendum you might, in these strangest of times, support an amendment to such WA approval making it conditional upon a second referendum? It is, after all, surely worse than remaining in the EU?
    Reply An overall majority of the enture Commons voted against it.If Conservatives had wanted it they would have rebelled in the current climate

  41. Paul Cohen
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Sagacity – With this administration this is in short supply, both individually and collectively. The UK were once renowned for this, but with the present PM this vital attribute is non- existent and we continually lurch from one crisis to another. For goodness sake relieve us of her useless involvement.

    The Speaker doesn’t help, watching him preen himself and his self importance is painful to observe.

    The Green lobby do not seem to understand that the UK input is but a mere pinprick in the scheme of things , given the pollution generated in Europe, Asia and S America.
    What about other matters such as murder on our streets, poverty, homelessness etc,etc

  42. javelin
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Will the EU and UK be held hostage by an EU27 to give an immediate yes/no to extend Art50.

    How many billions will be extracted ?

    And you can be sure the cost will be passed into the UK.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      It begs the question, Javelin, what are the 27 being told by their EU masters? We hear nothing of the propaganda that is being spread around the other EU vassals regarding Brexit. Do they believe we are right to want to quit, or do they think they will be worse off if we’re ”allowed” to leave? Or don’t they care?
      There must be people here who have contacts and friends among our European neighbours who have an inkling as to how their so-called ‘governments’ and people are being coerced/informed. Or are things so very much controlled by the EU and its media influence that nothing is getting through?

      • rose
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Many of them are watching, as the Austrian Foreign Minister said, to see how we get on. They are losing heart. The Sweden Democrats have even ditched their suggestions for a referendum.

  43. mary
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    It may look as if May might have the gall to re -try passing the “Withdrawal Agreement” a 3rd time? . For all those who are fooled that this would put an end to this pantomime so we can live happy ever after: I can’t emphasise enough: THE WA IS PURE POISON. Technically we leave EU, but pass another treaty signing in again to all the elements of the original treaties, and worse. Putting us under the heel of the innocent-sounding but misnamed and lethal secret “Joint Committee.” Plus they quietly signed the UN Migration Compact legalising all migration, which will be enforced by EU. and which is being made LEGALLY BINDING IN THE EU.
    The UK remains exposed to massive EU liabilities, so expect massive taxation in future, without representation.

  44. Cis
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The referendum result will be an albatross around the necks of our political class until it is honoured in full. The WA does not honour it. Instead it traps us in the relationship on worse terms than fuelled the ‘leave’ vote. The focus on the backstop has distracted attention from this, but the true opposition on all sides of the House should stand firm against it. I read commentators urging that they vote through the WA in the hope of getting into the backstop more quickly, but I cannot see the logic of adding a new layer of risk that the pro-Remain faction in UK and EU would not find ways to subvert that too.

    The Commission have asked ‘what does the UK want?’., but ties our hands while we are still members. I hope that somewhere below the radar officials are preparing a draft Trade Deal, drawing on the EU-Canada and EU-Japan models but adapted to suit UK’s status as fully-compliant-on-departure, ready to be tabled as the basis for negotiations at 0001 hrs Brussels time on 30 March.

  45. mary
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Re the “Withdrawal” Agreement ” and its the innocent sounding but misnamed “Joint Committeee” read this:

    It is indeed a junta, operating in secret, overriding our executive legislature and judiciary and government, operating secretly and backed by brute force to stem any rebellion. Welcome to the EUSSR thanks to May and all the traitors who support this, plus the vile Mainstream media who kept ity all quiet.

    • cornishstu
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Interesting link. one of the comments says that Richard Drax mp is reported as saying that he and others were assured no deal would be kept on the table in return for goverment support in Corbyn’s motion of no confidence. Explains a lot.

      • rose
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        They were also promised that the negotiators would be changed and that the Malthouse compromise would be advanced. No-one should ever make a bargain with her again, on anything.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      I only read this after I posted in reply to ‘Javelin’. Scary, eh?
      And to think – a very short while ago, we’d have dismissed such thoughts as ”conspiracy theorist bunkum”. And people STILL think we’d be allowed to have GEs on our own terms if we allowed the EU to continue keeping us in thrall.

      I won’t ask ”What went wrong?” because we know.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Read it. Thank you. This is one reason why the UK needs to be out of the EU altogether, but trying to get remainers to accept the blindingly obvious is nigh impossible. And while self-interested parasitic blood-sucking politicians keep getting rewarded for their treachery, they’ll keep on promoting it.


  46. Atlas
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    May plays a game of Chicken. Call her bluff.

    I reckon she would sooner leave under WTO terms than have the history books describe her as the PM who brought ‘troubles’ to the streets of this country.

  47. Iain Moore
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I gather there is a poll out that now puts Labour 4 points ahead of the Tories , an 8 point turnaround in the last day or so , suggesting there will be a price to be paid by the Conservatives in failing to deliver Brexit. While No Deal was on the table the Conservatives were gaining in the polls, now its not the Conservative polling is falling. Why do the Conservatives always make the mistake of thinking that going Euphile gets them support when it never does.

  48. ian
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I understand that cave in might be on the way from the ERG before they have even found out whether the EU 27 would allow an extension.

    Reply What evidence for that?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Esther McVey is effectively canvassing for others to follow her and Philip into the May lobby! Giving HOPE to te PM. I can’t even convince them to abstain! Philip wants to ‘limit the amount of surrender’. But Surrender is total!

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply …. It was on the BBC, so it must be true. The world’s most trusted broadcaster and all that!

  49. Monza 71
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    While I agree that it would be difficult for the Remainers to get the legislation through for a second referendum, I also believe that there is now no chance of achieving our preferred option of a WTO exit. The numbers just don’t stack up across the House. Then there is the House of Lords to contend with.

    I hate the deal every bit as much as you, Denis and countless others posting here, but May has got us into a position where there appears to be no other option that gets us out of the EU on any kind of acceptable timescale. The next Brexiteer Prime Minister will then have to sort May’s mess out.

    If the deal is not voted through this week, we will be faced with a very long delay. Brussels might or might not come to understand that a second referendum bill will be near to impossible to put through Parliament, but a two-year delay would give Remainers a chance, that, or Brussels can also hope for a change of Government to cancel Brexit.

    Agreeing to a delay is a gift entirely in the hands of the 27. The financial cost would therefore be immense – at least an additional £20bn and they could make it much more than that by refusing to extend the rebate. Then there would be the political cost – difficulties over the fishing industry for example.

    Whether we leave under May’s deeply flawed deal, or are forced to request a delay, without the option of a WTO exit, we have no cards left to play. There is now a real risk that we will become a totally subservient country.

    Whatever the outcome, that is the catastrophic legacy of the member for Windsor and Maidenhead. She has been the least effective Prime Minister and done more damage to our country than any other Prime Minister in more than 200 years.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Only Maidenhead, the previous constituency was split!

      Otherwise I agree with more or less everything you say.

  50. a-tracy
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Cameron opened Pandora’s Box then ran away unwilling to deal with the consequences. I hope we never hear from him or of him again.
    The EU can’t afford to lose our contribution. High RofW Import taxes, fees that are triggered whenever they need a top up and fines and May’s government is tying the UK in knots, so that a punishment can be delivered and we are put on our knees in the future.
    If the WA is signed then we will be hollowed out over time, because our Parliament is weak they will not defend, attack in return and rebuild, we will be shackled to rules that bind rather than free us, supplicant with no say. It’s not Brexit and it’s not better than remaining that’s what they want people to say.
    We have to be out or in, no middle ground or they will poison the UK slowly, 412 don’t want to leave, we now know who they are.
    If we can’t leave without this WA and the 412 won’t sign no deal through then what is the point? These MPs are willing to mortally wound us in the battle. They’ve given up.

  51. William Long
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    If there is to be a delay it is important it takes us beyond the anniversary of the failed Conservative leadership vote. Then it would give a chance of getting rid of Mrs May and replacing her with a Leave inclined leader. We should then have General election to get a new Parliament and we hope, a real Conservative majority. The risk of course is a Corbyn win, but with a Conservative leader with at least some vision, I think the odds are worth taking..

  52. BOF
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Should enough MP’s fall for the PM’s blackmail to pass her WA, how will we ever get out of it?

    Will we then have to find a party or independents that will stand on a party or personal manifesto to tear it up and walk away, with inevitable reputational cost to the UK?

  53. formula57
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “…. a second referendum which would be the only way of trying to reverse the first..” – aside from a vote in Parliament where Remainer Quislings decide they know best after all.

    I am stepping up my own plans to recover my share of the £39 billion plus and otherwise to limit co-operation with the State.

  54. Dennis Zoff
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Just a thought:

    One could suspect the Political elites/Corp. businesses/Banks/Brussels/Remainers are most probably waiting for the UK’s older more informed generation to fade out, leaving a younger less politically adroit or indeed less interested group. This group would become more pliable/manageable citizens that can be manipulated for nefarious political objectives; sending us back to the pre-Brexit days of political ignorance and detachment ….essentially, closing the Referendum Pandora’s box and sending us back to a political slumber!

    Resultant: the younger population would be stymied as before and less lightly to interfere with the Politico’s day-to-day unaccountable shenanigans! Ah yes, the good old days when the populace knew their place! Close down the ruckus outside the gates and bring back normality to the status quo.

    WTO cannot/must not be allowed to happen, such is their arrogance!

    • Den
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Such persons forget that the young of today will be the mature of tomorrow. Once they have had work experience, bought a house and taken on the responsibility of their own homes, their own lives and of their families, they will come to realise, as most always do, that their socialist euphoria was based on nothing but wind, smoke and mirrors AND costs far too much, for all but nothing in return!

    • Andy
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Basically you are saying younger people will undo Brexit as old people die off.

      Spot on.

  55. Plantman
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink


    You will suffer.

    We will remember.

  56. Den
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that Brussels is acutely aware that any delay MUST be based on the UK being unable to return their own newly-elected MEPs into the EU Parliament. Their elections are in May and if the UK was involved there is little doubt that now they would be swamped with pro-Leavers. All eager to join the other growing band of “rebels” over there in Brussels.
    Also, it would be in the interests of those anti-EU leaders within the EU, to block any delay to our already agreed Article 50 exit date. This would demonstrate their true belief in National democracy and enhance their own standing within their communities. They might say that they could not stand idly by, to watch the decision of the British people to leave the EU become denied by the self-serving Europhiles within the British Parliament. No doubt these Nations have their own anti-democracy, die-hard EU lovers in their respective Parliaments.
    Who knows? It may well be Brussels themselves who secure the Brexit we voted for.

  57. Amanda
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that we have reached a position that is just not democratically legitimate

    1) Manifesto pledges have been overturned
    2) Cabinet Ministers are staying in place despite cabinet responsibilities (the reason why the so called ‘no deal’ vote ever was pushed through with 4 votes)
    3) The Speaker is acting in a partisan manner
    4) A criminal voted in Parliament against her constituents’ wishes
    5) MPs have left parties for the Tiggers with no by-election

    And now Nick Boles has left the Conservative Party in his area but says he will keep the whip; the Chief Whip says this is OK !!!

    Democratic legitimacy lies with the result of the referendum, the manifesto pledges of both Tories and Labour, and the Withdrawal Act which gives 29th March as our leaving date. The ERG et al, the DUP and all other honest MPs including the handful of Labour ones should fight for this – whatever that takes: the majority of the people are behind you.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink



      The whole of our parliamentary system is imploding before our very eyes.

      And the majority at Westminster are prepared just to sit there and let it happen.

      Worse still they don’t give a stuff about the people let alone the country.

      In the good old days when they were respected four cabinet ministers would have resigned for disobeying the whips.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Time to clear out the stables me thinks.

      There are still honest people who cannot be bought with 30 pieces of silver, to whom dishonesty and corruption of one’s principles is anathema. But they’re a dwindling minority at Westminster. To save the UK’s democracy from these people, we need to weed out the bad ones, and where necessary, start afresh.


    • Norman
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Amanda.

  58. Lester Beedell
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Never was Oliver Cromwell’s speech to Parliament on April 20th 1653 more appropriate, we need him now
    She has destroyed my faith in our Democracy, people sacrificed their lives for us, would they consider their sacrifice worthwhile?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Too right Lester! Couldn’t agree more!

      I have repeatedly looked for that clip from the film ‘Cromwell’ so I can write down the words (as delivered by Richard Harris). I’ll have to buy it.

      This Parliament, as the one in Cromwell’s day, has become an inequitous (if not iniquitous) self-serving morally vacuous den of serpents. It’s a global laughing stock lacking in authority and leadership. It has lost the confidence of the people it is supposed to serve, and it is time it was completely overhauled.


      • Lester Beedell
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Tad Davidson, thank you, you can find it on YouTube, I hope that helps!

  59. ian
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I said it might happen not that it will.

    Revoking Article 50 is not the same as cancelling Brexit, you need GE or second ref to cancel Brexit, the rules say, a country has the right to decide how it wants to leave the EU, Article 50 is only one way, GATT 24 is another way or sending a letter with a date on it is also a another way.
    Negotiation is not needed, is the politician who want talks before leaving not the leave voters, as always it comes down to money and assets at the top with big businesses and bankers who hold the sway in the people’s parliament.

  60. BenD
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    we don’t need a second referendum, we didn’t need a first referendum either..see the trouble we’re in now.. there would have been no need for a first referendum if only government and the Tories had squared off against the UKIP Farage crowd but they didn’t – so the bottom line now is that people in this country are trained to always defer to their betters in these matters and so cannot be trusted with serious stuff. We need a complete clean out and overhaul of the whole thing. As a country and as a people we need to grow up

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 16, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      There is nothing more serious than the supreme power of the Electorate. They are Governed By Consent! Nothing is ‘too complicated’ for the great wisdom of the electorate to sort out. Look at the results of elections etc. Always the best option! The only time they made a mistake was when they could not believe that a British PM would trick them into surrendering the country by presenting a ‘trade deal in the common Market’. ‘Do you think the French would give up France (you idiot)? Don’t worry about ten responses you get canvassing – the British are polite and don’t tell you to sod off or how they will vote! Look at the results of every poll. It’s miraculous actually – and now the Nation has Made it Mind up about The EU. You can ‘feel’ it! Everything has changed!

  61. Peter Parsons
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    If reports in the Sunday papers are accurate, it would appear that this particular article may be rather Mark Twain-esqe.

  • About John Redwood

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

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