Maybe you cannot keep asking the same question in Parliament

The Speaker’s ruling was a good one on the government’s Withdrawal Agreement. It has twice been decisively rejected. On the second occasion the government tabled additional documents and argued it was a amended proposal,  but  many in Parliament thought the changes did not amount to much. As I wrote at the time, ask the same question and you probably get the same answer. From this clear ruling it seems the government cannot  now table the same Agreement and vote again on it before the end of this week when the PM goes to the European Council.

If she goes to the Council and gets some material change to the Agreement then she could return to the Commons next week and seek another vote. Meanwhile the ruling should also have implications for some other hardy perennials that this Parliament likes to go over and over again. Several times we have voted down staying in the customs union. We have voted down a second referendum. We have voted down the Cooper-Boles-Letwin idea of taking over the Commons agenda to legislate for Brexit delay. Perhaps now these cannot  be put again either.

It is also true that the Commons approved a motion against leaving without an Agreement. That however contradicts the legislation the House has passed, where the legislation will take precedence unless amended.

I am urging the Prime Minister to go to the Council at the end of this week and tell them we are leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. I am asking her to table a free trade agreement and to invite them to talks as we leave the EU in accordance with their timetable. I do not see why the UK would seek an extension to Article 50. So far Ministers have been unable to come up with any plausible reason why the EU should grant us an extension.

 

 

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325 Comments

  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I don’t trust the Prime Minister, The Speaker or the European Commission

    • APL
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      I don’t trust the Tory Party.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        Does anyone trust any of the above, trust parliament, trust MP, trust the Lords, trust the BBC or even trust the UK courts on this issue. They are all against leaving and the will of the people. War on a lie Tony Blair yet again on ITV this morning.

        How can it be that after near three years the country is not prepared for a clean leave. Hammond even saying this and this admitting his and the May’s governments gross negligence. Either that or they never intended to deliver leave and so did not bother to prepare for it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          Blair was wrong about the ERM and EURO, wrong about the hugely damaging wars, was wrong with his tax, borrow, waste and over regulate government, wrong about green crap and he is wrong about defying the referendum. Why would anyone trust him? His view are very like socialist Appeaser May’s, and John ERM Major’s . Why trust people who have been proven to have such bad judgement? Anyone who voted for the wars and the insane climate change act, gives us even higher taxes, expensive unreliable energy, wants even more employment and other red tape and wants to deft the referendum is (wrong ed)r. They are totally unsuitable for any position in government.

        • javelin
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          There is a complete lack of perspective by MPs.

          Can MPs not see they are severely damaging their chances of being re-elected. Voters will not vote for politicans they cannot trust. Look at the LibDems student loan flip-flop. I think they must believe staying in the EU is so important they will sacrifice their careers to stay in. But the nature of their careers is their decision will simply be over turned in the next Parliament.

          • miami.mode
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

            javelin, it’s the Tories that will lose out as they are the current government. Local elections will probably prove this in May.

            Mrs May is almost entirely to blame, but she seems to have a total lack of awareness of her failings. Great piece in the quiz section in Daily Mail today about the Peter principle. Very apt for many in the cabinet.

        • jerry
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          Seems to me that a lot of people on this site simply don’t like not getting their own way…

          • Anonymous
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            So we win a vote only for the opposition insult us for three years and then cancel it.

            I’d say we’ve been very patient and reasonable given the circumstances. Most on the Remain side too, except those in the bubble stirring things up.

            Yes. That’s the Remain hierarchy you can hear stirring up generational and national divisions.

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

            Do you think that there are that many Remainers on this site? Really?

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            At least we don’t tell porkies in order to get our own way. Remainers have consistently done two things:

            (1) Denied or ignored the fact that the European Commission, France and Germany are all Hell bent on creating a Federal SuperState. The evidence is overwhelming – the Lisbon ‘Treaty’, the Five Presidents’ Report, the proposed Franco-German army etc.

            (2) Mounted two massive Project Fear diatribes that have no foundation in fact, wasting lots of taxpayers’ money in the process. John Redwood, Owen Paterson and Liam Halligan and others have given lucid explanations of why ‘crashing out’ will be no problem at all. Professor Patrick Minford has outlined how the UK economy could be tilted away from cheap labour towards high tech.

          • Hope
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            This is not incompetence by May. The connived plan is not going to scheduled outcomes.

          • M Davis
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            I take it that, that is directed at the Remainers, Jerry?

          • jerry
            Posted March 20, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            @M Davis; I direct my remarks to both side.

            @Lindsay McDougall; “At least we don’t tell porkies in order to get our own way.”

            You mean trying to tell 17.4m people why they voted Leave is not a whopping “porky” in its self?!

            “Project Fear” has been an unpleasant aspect on both side, different lies same fear, both before and after the referendum…

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          I don’t trust SKY, ITV, Daily Mail, Daily Express. Even the Spectator and the Telegraph are swarming with Remain journalists, with their patronising comments regarding Brexiteers.

          • Hope
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Trump Jnr, echoed by others around the world, writing today how democracy in the U.K. is dead highlighting how many times May broke her promises!

            This is disgusting and needs to be brought to an end. Reports that EU claiming May refuses to accept no deal!

        • Peter
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          Whatever your views on Brexit or the individuals involved here, it cannot be right to try to repeatedly railroad a bill through Parliament by hook or by crook. Fortunately, the Erskine May parliamentary handbook guards against this.

          It was rather ironic that May complained about being taken by surprise by the Speaker’s ruling. Surprise has been one of May’s key tactics. As Erskine May has been discussed for a number of days now, it is really lack of preparation on her part.

          • Whichever
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            The Erskine May is a handbook that’s all, the same as the old rules from 1604 and beyond that applied to ‘ye olde merrie englande’ these old rules were there for parliamentry guidance only and were not part of Irish or Scottish law despite what The Speaker might think..such nonsense that we have to put up with.

        • Gary C
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          Agreed, this is an unbelievable mess brought about by our very own politicians who will be knocking on our doors when campaigning for the next GE asking us to support and trust them!

          Don’t be fooled again, they have disrespected the destroyed any trust the electorate had, these clowns do not deserve our votes.

        • Captain Peacock
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Iv been saying for years we only have democracy one day every five years or so that’s the day we vote this lot of traitors into office. As soon as they get elected they are no longer interested in the voter as this Brexit shenanigans proves.
          I agree 100% with comments that say they don’t trust the Tory party a few ‘fair weather friends’ so called Brexit supporters they are fake all bluffing us.

        • Kenneth
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Yes, it’s either wilful disregard for democracy or negligence/incompetence.

          Whichever way, this is a resigning matter for the PM.

          What is more, the rebellious PMs, and Chancellors breach of the manifesto should result in disciplinary action from the Conservative Party. I think they should be thrown out.

          • JoolsB
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Wouldn’t hold out much hope of that Kenneth. Look how they have wholeheartedly endorsed Nick Boles thus sticking their two fingers up at his local Conservative Association. The same Conservative party that have said they would welcome Soubry back with open arms. Totally out of touch with the grass roots, the whole rotten lot of them.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          No. 10 says Bercow is trying to sabatage Brexit. Well indeed he clearly is but May and Hammond are too. May’s surrender treaty is not Brexit in anysense at all. As she must know only too well. She is the pathetic, lying puppet of her Chancellor, the many remoaner MPs and the traitors in the civil service.

          This is what the civil service are up to as we know.
          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/18/believe-civil-service-trying-sink-brexit-have-seen-inside/

      • Merlin
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        I saw question time last night. I was shocked at the division in the audience. It was practically fisticuffs in there – with everybody screaming ‘will of the people’ and saying different things.

        Changed my opinion on a second referendum completely. I was very anti the idea – as I was very much against holding the first one.

        However, I think whatever is agreed during the Brexit process has to be put against Remain (I’d prefer it was negotiated by a Brexiteer). Otherwise we risk serious public unrest, by either leaver or remainer – as both sides clearly feel disenfranchised and hopping mad. And, then whatever the result, we never hold another referendum as long as I live. Strangely, I now care more about the referendum than the result. Anything but what I saw last night. Horrible to watch good people at each other’s throats.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          The loser will never respect the vote of a second referendum.

          Why ?

          Because the winners of the first will rightly demand best of three.

          The losers of the first already don’t respect referendum results that don’t go their way.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Like most pro EU remain supporters merlin, you want another referendum but with the leave option left off the ballot paper.

          With the WA leading to Brexit in name only, we would need to wait for trade and other post March 29th negotiations to be completed before voters could make a properly considered judgement.
          This might be several years later.

          • Merlin
            Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            Great point.

            I think it might have to wait a while.

            You get me wrong about want Remain. I care about unity much more than Remain. If the country was united behind No Deal, then find me the No Deal box and I’ll tick it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 20, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Leaving has been legislated for the 29th of March.
            That is simply leaving the EU.
            You seem to think the Withdrawal Agreement is a deal.
            It is not.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          No, Merlin, what’s truly horrible is people throwing in the towel when faced with a rotten establishment. As I have said many times, if there is a second referendum, it must be truly democratic, not a Remain stitch up:

          (1) No Deal is much more popular than Mrs May’s deal and so must be on the ballot paper
          (2) The choice must be hierarchical, with Leave vs Remain at top level, and sub-options – No Deal, Mrs May’s deal, EEA/Norway, other soft Brexit – available to Leave voters only
          (3) Data entry and software will be needed for analysis
          (4) If Remain just beats Leave, there must be a third referendum

          None of the Remainers is within LIGHT YEARS of such a proposal. Their idea of a second referendum is Mrs May’s deal vs Remain.

        • L Jones
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          And you REALLY believe that a ‘second referendum’ would solve anything? Especially if the two choices were remain or remain, which is really what you are saying – and the very fact you are saying it shows how far we disagree. Because sure as eggs is eggs the EU wouldn’t allow it to be any other way but two versions of remain – and they are the ones calling the shots.

          Don’t you think people would still be divided, no matter what the outcome? And we know what that outcome would be – what the EU has ordered, of course.

          Do you recognise the fact that, if Remain had won, we Leavers would just have got on with life? So what is wrong with people who simply can’t accept the fact that more people believed in independence than in servitude?

          However, it’s too late now, anyway. The genie’s out of the bottle.

        • Whichever
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Problem is a good percentage of the people have been radicalised by the gutter press and low life politicians over a period of thirty or forty years and only now are we seeing the results

      • Alan Timmins
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        I’d widen your list a bit. Include ALL politicians, Senior Civil Servants, Judiciary, Police Chiefs and EVERYBODY involved in any way, shape or form with the European parliament. I think that just about covers it. You could include criminals, thieves, murderers, embezzlers, cold callers etc but they are probably more honest than our politicians !

      • BR
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        I don’t trust any party any more, except (to a degree) those who are largely single-issue parties.

        The Tory party needs to return the benefits of membership to its members and associations. CCHQ has emasculated them and they are leaving in droves (see John Strafford’s piece on ConHome a couple of months ago).

    • eeyore
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      I see Mr Grieve agrees with our host that the Speaker’s ruling is a good one. Quite right too. Procedure is pretty much the only Constitution we have and, after his previous sins against it, we should rejoice at Mr Bercow’s humble repentance.

      Even better, it makes more chaos and wastes more time. Only seven sitting days to go.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        All we need is for May and Parliament to do nothing for the rest of the month and then to resign in total disgrace. Replace with a pro Brexit real Conservative and not another dishonest, remainer, electoral liability, tax to death, PC, identity politics, SJW and socialist.

      • Zorro
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        We should not criticise the PM too much, she was only doing what comes natural to her….. Cravenly follow the instructions and example of her controllers – keep asking the same question until you get the answer you want – using any conniving, lowdown trick to try and load the dice in your favour.

        I don’t want anything to do with them really unless it is on the basis of fair and equal trade.

        Zorro

      • Paul H
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        It is not “repentance”. It was calculated. The right decision for the wrong reason. Next week it will be the wrong decision for the wrong reason.

      • R J EDGE
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Bercow’s humble repentance, I would not be surprised if May did not put him up to it, remainers together, in order to force us into a two or three year extension thus keeping us in .

      • rose
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        I also agree with everything Sir John says, including:
        “Perhaps now these cannot be put again either.”

        Unfortunately the Speaker has already indicated he will probably abide by a different interpretation for them.

        What can be done about his apparent capriciousness which is in fact consistent Remain bias?

      • Andrea Wood
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        An orchestrated charade in my view to enable May to kick the can into the long grass

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      @Stephen – One can only agree with your comments and those that followed in the same vein…

      That Mr Grieve agreed with the speakers action is of concern though – What trick is he about to pull?

      • L Jones
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        A very last minute one.

    • Brigham
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Why don’t the remoaners come out with it, and admit that all they are doing is trying to keep us in the EU?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        That would take a degree of integrity

    • graham1946
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Not being a constitutional expert, I didn’t know what to make of the Speaker’s ruling. However, as the new very pro EU editor of my newspaper is in opposition and has had many pages filled with anti Bercow and his ruling bile, I am now convinced it was a good thing. Sir John’s confirmation is an added bonus. It is quite clear that the Speaker is biased in the Brexit matter and as he has now stopped discussion in its tracks, I think the government could hit back by doing absolutely nothing and let the clock run down as it is entitled to do,with just a few days to go. It could hold endless meetings to discuss Bercow’s ruling, thereby filling the time.

    • W.Whitehead
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you.

    • Richard
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      “If the UK left the EU without a deal on March 29 it would briefly cause some uncertainty but then ultimately work out ok.” – 46% agree: 28% disagree.
      “Brussels is trying to punish the UK in the negotiations” – 61% agree: 22% disagree.” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/19/no-deal-better-brexit-delay-say-public-poll-finds-just-one-10/

      Allister Heath quantified the potential opportunity: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/27/tories-have-historic-opportunity-destroy-labour-could-still/ “The Tories should be targeting at least 40 per cent of the electorate, a Brexit coalition of centre-Right middle-class voters (there are plenty left, especially in the shires and suburbs), the patriotic working class, and aspiring immigrant communities. They should forget about prosperous uber-Remainers in Islington” (who Labour, TIG, LibDems, Mrs May are all chasing).

    • Richard
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      & Whitehall is ‘systematically working against leaving the EU’:
      “As a civil servant I can tell you large parts of the Whitehall machine are systematically working against leaving the EU. How would I know? Because I work within the heart of government. I have met thousands of civil servants in the past few years: I can only recall five who voted for Brexit….” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/18/believe-civil-service-trying-sink-brexit-have-seen-inside/

    • robert valence
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      It’s a pity that in the UK, it’s not possible to impeach the prime minister. Given that she’s proposed a treaty, misnamed the Withdrawal Agreement, which is great for the EU and disaster were we to sign up to it – and then continually maintains that “her deal” is the greatest thing since sliced bread – when it clearly isn’t, impeachment proceedings should be fairly straightforward.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Sir John, Thanks once again for your helpful summary

    I think this is the first time I have ever approved of a move by this Speaker. Despite your previous assurances, I still feared enough MPs would back the putrid WA should a vote have occurred. At least this scenario now seems to have been removed, although I fear there will be some cantankerous manoeuvring by May and her EU-beholden team.

    Hopefully, whatever they try, the EU have now reached the stage that they have had enough of all this uncertainty and at least one country vetoes the whole idea.

    I can wholeheartedly recommend tariff-free Aussie beef and wine, which hopefully will flow once Brexit (proper) is achieved.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed even the usually sensible Rees-Mogg was coming round to supporting May’s surender and handcuffs Treaty as the lesser of two evils yesterday on LBC!

      The idea that May can ram this down the throats of Parliament by threatening to remain if they do not show what appalling leadership we have.

      Then again Mogg seemed also to be against free speech concerning religious belief systems the other day too.

      • Zorro
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Not his finestt moment – I fear that he is getting a bit too star struck in the smiley at the camera type of way.

        Zorro

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–It’s all about degrees of appallingness as I was saying the other day, but credit where credit’s due and I cannot begin to see what else Bercow could have done–the idea of continually taking a defeated motion unchanged back every few days (never mind in the same Session) is just plain ridiculous. In any event anything is better than that humiliating utterly misconceived WA.

      • Captain Peacock
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        As I just said previously Mogg is just another Tory ‘fair weather friend’ fake Brexit supporter.

    • vera
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Italy may want to thwart the EU, hopefully they will vote the extension down. I don’t think they are the only EU country at loggerheads with the EU at the moment, pray they all vote against the extension.

      • Richard
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Good to hear Paterson & Bone call for a 9 month Article 24 standstill, which recent minister George Eustice told us the EU have informally offered: https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2019/03/george-eustice-we-have-bungled-this-negotiation-the-best-means-of-putting-matters-right-is-to-embrace-no-deal-if-we-have-to.html
        There is absolutely no need for an extension past 29 March.

      • yossarion
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        They will huff and puff and then the EU will promise them a wedge of our Money and then the stitch up will be complete, said at the time that May was a wrongun, and so it willit have turned out or rather still in, thank you Tory Party don’t ever expect another cross in your until you have an English Party like the Scots and the Welsh have.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Italy will be bribed, no doubt, and with our money too. Imagine: ”Just take this £39 billion – there’s more where that came from….”

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        I read Italy were doing a new Silk Road deal with China behind the backs of the EU so they won’t need the bribes with the new infrastructure – the Chinese wouldn’t want to put all of this investment in without a return long term.

    • roger
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Aussie beef is available in some Cash and Carries and I can say that it is infinitely better flavoured and textured than Irish or Scottish beef sold in most Supermarkets.
      Even with the tariff it surely carries Aussie beef is about 20% cheaper than Irish or Scottish in the same Cash and Carry and I have been enjoying the Aussie grass fed beef for years!

      • RichardM
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Enjoy while you can. Cattle is a top target in the Aus climate war. Beef production will soon be drastically cut.
        https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/hard-to-swallow-how-climate-change-is-affecting-australian-food/

        Besides we should be following JRs example – reducing air miles and eat UK produce. Assuming the beef and lamb industries manage to survive brexit and the predictions of brexit economists.

        • Pominoz
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 1:38 am | Permalink

          The usual green crap stuff. Tim Flannery gets his name in there, so point proved.

          Believe you me, Australian are not going to starve and will continue to enjoy their world class produce. As with all countries, prices will fluctuate dependant upon seasonal availability, but there will be plenty for us and plenty to export.

          Enjoy it, and the price, when the right Brexit comes..

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 4:48 am | Permalink

        Australia also produces excellent Brie and other cheeses, and makes a vast number of wines across all price ranges.
        UK should walk away on WTO terms. It’s a no brainer. You have to be very sophisticated to see any merit in technocratic supra-national government, the correct name for the anti-democratic, anti-nation state EU. It is the only example in the world. It is an experiment that is clearly failing. Yet the political elite pursue their EU ideology with missionary zeal.

  3. Mick
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Hopes built up, does this mean we leave the dreaded Eu in 10 days as the majority of the 17.4 million people voted for on default with no deal with no strings attached then

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      We seem to be lurching from hope to despair. We all know this is momentous, but it needn’t be such a drama. If proper contingency plans had been made from day one, then all could have been smooth, I’m sure. We should have made our own plans, on our own terms, not ask the EU to make them for us, and been so generously ready to fit in with their agenda.
      It makes everyone involved look very unprofessional.

    • Old person
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      This Cabinet office response to petition 237487 explains all.

      The Government has responded to the petition you signed –
      “The Prime Minister should advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament”.

      Government responded:

      The Government has no plans to prorogue parliament and remains committed to delivering an orderly exit from the EU in line with its pledge to deliver on the outcome of the referendum.

      The Government remains committed to delivering on the outcome of the referendum and leaving the EU in line with its pledge to deliver on the outcome of the referendum. We will continue to work towards that end in a way that is compatible with our constitutional principles, including giving Parliament its say. As the Prime Minister has set out, there will be further votes to ensure that Parliament’s voice is heard.

      As it is the responsibility of this Government to deliver the exit that people voted for, and as Parliament is clear that it does not wish to deliver a ‘no deal’, we must secure a deal.

      It is a priority of the Government to make sure businesses and citizens are ready for Brexit, including no deal. This includes consulting closely with stakeholders to develop no deal contingency plans and minimise disruption. We have engaged with businesses and other sectors to understand their needs and to make sure we are prepared to address the effects of no deal.

      Cabinet Office.

      Ignoring the poor grammar in the second paragraph, the third paragraph spells it out – Parliament trumps democracy.
      Is this proof that parallel universes exist? This response was probably drafted over this last weekend.

    • vera
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      If it happens – what a relief, surely a time for national exuberance and cracking of champagne!

    • Merlin
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I fear you have encapsulated the problem. Again I hear the dreaded words ‘17.4 million people voted for…’

      Unfortunately both people and parliament have voted against a lot of things, including staying in the E.U.

      I’m not aware of any referendum or parliament voting for any alternative of any kind … only against. At best, you can say that 17.4 people voted for Canada or No deal at a stretch (I’m not even entirely comfortable with that).

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Nevertheless, as the late, great Richard Nixon used to say “There comes a time when you have to piss or get off the pot.”

    • Andy
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      It is silly things like saying ‘no strings attached’ which demonstrate how deluded you are.

      More than 3 million of them live here. They have lives here. Families. Friends. Jobs. There are god knows how many children here with one British born parent (or grandparent) and one EU born parent or grandparent.

      There are more than one million of us there. They have lives there. Friends. Families. Jobs.

      Our companies buy and sell from them. Their companies buy and sell to us. We share coastal boundaries. We share land boundaries. (Two if you include Gibraltar).

      What they do affects us. What we do affects them. When we share all this stuff, when we have all these links then there ARE strings attached. And no amount of saying otherwise will change that.

      This pathetically unpleasant isolated little England you dream of does not exist. We have to work with them. We have to be constructive. We have to be reasonable. We have to compromise. And that means we have to have a relationship with them. And if you have not figured that out after 3 years then, really, you are beyond hope.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        The British government stated very early that Europeans living and working here will be guaranteed a right to remain.
        Quite right too.
        So stop your fantasy of unfairness Andy.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    We learnt yesterday the government’s plan is to amend the definition of ‘departure date’ on the Withdrawal Act by Statutory Instrument to whatever date the EU deems appropriate, after Mrs. May’s meeting with her chums on Thursday.
    Will the terms of such an accommodation by the EU be made known to us, so we can all see what wonderful partners we have in the EU, who are not at all interested in profiting from our PM’s incompetence, and that our representatives can make a well informed decision?

    • Timaction
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      After saying over a 100 times we are leaving on 29th March 2019. No deal is better than a bad deal. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. What a liar. She has made the Tory Party unelectable. Corbyn has an open goal. She has wrecked the Country due to her lies and incompetence.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        No – she hasn’t ‘wrecked the country’. Our precious country is not wrecked, by her or anyone else – yet. It will be if her Treaty is signed.
        But up to now the only thing she and her puppetmasters have wrecked is the Conservative Party, sadly.

    • vera
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Never mind the EU, we should all know by now that they are our enemy, and have never been anything else, but what does that say about the actions of our government? If what you say is true it must be treasonous – I’m constantly amazed at the levels of chicanery and duplicity our lot in Parliament are prepared to plumb to overturn the Referendum result. Each day I think they have hit bottom, but no, they always find yet another disreputable, cheating, mendacious ploy. A pox on the lot of them. They make me sick and ashamed we have such a bunch of crooks governing us. Banana Republic has nothing on this.

  5. Mark B
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Those in parliament and elsewhere, including here, need to come to terms with their inner demons regarding the referendum and our Leaving the EU. I say this as I want to help them in their healing and try to encourage them to join us and the rest of the world on our journey.

    We are now very close to the Event Horizon of our Leaving. I hope we will not be disappointed at the last minute.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      I too hope the 17.4 million will not be betrayed at the last minute but I suspect under the socialist, remoaner traitors May & Hammond they will be.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Be at Parliament Square with the rest of us Brexiteers 4pm 29th March 2019

      • Mark B
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        I’ll try. I have to travel a long way back from work.

  6. Steve
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    That really is a very accurate account Mr Redwood. Many thanks.

    It seems to me that the PM has got herself well and truly stymied. She is now wholly dependent upon the EU and their little sidekick Mr Varadkar

    Worse still, she has also put the country in the very same position.

    On reflection of your last paragraph, leaving without the WA agreement IS now the only way to honour the referendum.

    As many predicted, in the last days before the 29th she and her remain colleagues will get more and more desperate to keep us in, so expect May’s sneaky galavants to intensify and there to be a seriously dirty trick coming out of the bag very soon.

    • Zorro
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      As long as it doesn’t anyone’s life.

      Zorro

  7. Newmania
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    This pitiful clown show, might I remind you, is the supposed prize, the big win , the holy grail for which we have sacrificed job, our children` money, our place in the world respect and prosperity.
    We get a choice between Marxist antiques and a decaying old people`s theme park and we are all supposed to thank our lucky stars we did not ” damage our democracy” .
    Damage it ,?!! How could you damage this worthless charade , how could it possibly be worse. I have reached the point where I quite simply detest this country

    • eeyore
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Steady on old chap. Save some despair for when WTO Brexit proves a raging success. Think how sick you’ll feel then.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Well said, Eeyore. It often seems that remainers would love to see the UK fail and suffer just so long as they could say ”I told you so”. They never try to explain how we’re making a ”mistake” by telling us WHY we should actually wish to remain in this Dystopia. They never try to describe the EU’s future we would share in by remaining its milch cow in chief. They never tell us why young people wouldn’t want to come to our country (this ”decaying old people’s theme park” – how trite – see ”Andy”.)
        They prefer to throw insults around, just so that we can be absolutely sure that they are remainers, true to type. If they ”hate this country” I do wonder why they don’t leave it. And I wonder if they will come back and tell us they were wrong to be so disloyal.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          LJones

          ” They never try to explain how we’re making a ”mistake” by telling us WHY we should actually wish to remain in this Dystopia.”

          Yes we do – over and over again. But it seems to fall on deaf ears.

          We are throwing away our membership of the most world’s successful trading bloc for misguided ideological reasons and often nasty nationalism.

          EXIT BREXIT and stop us making a mistake worse than Suez in that it will affect the future of our children and their well being in a global world!

          • L Jones
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            So Brexit is all about trade, is it? The membership of the EU is all about trade, is it?
            Perhaps your children wouldn’t have thanked you if their future involved being part of an EU army. Or having their hard-earned wages taxed to the hilt to ensure the payment of your EU masters’ pensions and the upkeep of the rest of their ”empire”.
            Now their ”well being in a global world” will be far more assured away from the flat earth attitude of the EU. There is a big world our there, Margaret – perhaps you should concentrate on showing your children this. We love Europe – but it’s only part of the big picture.

            (And, by the way, we leavers are far less ”ideological” than remainers, who STILL seem to think there is some kind of EU status quo. ”Ever closer union” ring a bell? And ”nasty nationalism” is often an insult levelled against leavers – but the term beats ”racism”, I suppose.)

          • rose
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            It is not a trading bloc. It is a misguided ideological protection racket with nasty soviet tendencies.

          • Helen Smith
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            If it is the worlds most successful trading block how come growth in the EU is so pitiful compared to other sovereign countries?

          • Steve
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard

            “…..world’s most trading bloc”

            Not for long Ms Howard. Perhaps it has escaped your notice that the EU is beginning to fragment, and will fall apart when we have left.

            “……misguided ideological reasons and often nasty nationalism.”

            Which is the evil? populace wanting their freedom and independence, or Superstate federalism ?

            ‘Nasty nationalism’ ? Nothing nasty about wanting your country ruled and governed by it’s own people. It’s a divine right.

            When things turn ‘nasty’ in this country, as will happen, don’t blame nationalists – blame those who sold the country out and anyone who assisted the treason.

            I note you don’t mention the SNP, which by definition is a nationalist party. Would you be suggesting theirs is not nasty but ours is ?

          • Kevin Lohse
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            A protective customs union based round German manufacturing and French agri-industry at the expense of the economies of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Visigrad nations hardly qualifies as the most successful trading block in the world. Furthermore, given the adventurous nature of EU foreign policy and the drive to form a European army that you and your ilk swore blind was never going to happen makes any slur about nasty nationalism seem hypocritical in the extreme.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            That is not a very convincing argument margaret because lots of non member nations currently trade successfully with EU countries.

          • Mark
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            The world’s most successful trading bloc is China. The EU has an ever diminishing share of world trade.

          • Den
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            You really have missed the point of the National Referendum. We voted to Leave the EU to take back control of OUR Country. NOTHING else was more important. We wanted the same freedoms we rightly gave to all of the Nations within the old Empire and which the other the Nations of the world (>160) now hold dear to their hearts. The decrepit EU is out of step with the rest of the world.
            Many of these Nations trade with the EU and none of them pay out any fees nor do they have to accept any laws or dictates from Brussels. why can we not do the same?
            As for being the world most successful trading bloc -LOL that is past history. With the new TPP and NAFTA et al under way, the EU will be left in their backwash. Protectionist States always end up there.
            Just why would you want to effectively surrender your country to rule by an unelected and unaccountable cabal of foreigners living it up in a foreign country, when you can elect British citizens to govern you from London AND who you can remove if they do no perform well enough?
            Are you really happy with Brussels dominating your British life?

          • sm
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            And the severe problems of the maturing ‘ever-closer Union’ ideology, insane debt levels in Germany and France, high youth unemployment in Southern Europe etc are ignored by those who keep their eyes screwed shut, Margaret.

            And yes, ‘nasty nationalism’ is rising unfortunately, fed by people’s concerns having been sneered at and belittled by supra-nationalists and the super-wealthy globalists and their odious virtue-signalling.

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Kevin Lohse

            “given the adventurous nature of EU foreign policy and the drive to form a European army that you and your ilk swore blind was never going to happen makes any slur about nasty nationalism seem hypocritical in the extreme”

            Adventurous foreign policy? It is the US with our help who have destabilised the Middle East starting with our illegal war against Iraq, Afghanistan etc. which has flooded Europe with millions of refugees.

            And I don’t know about ‘my ilk’ but I have always been FOR a European army to stop Europe being dependent on an overwheening US – the biggest threat to world peace today.

          • matthu
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            “We are throwing away our membership of the most world’s successful trading bloc … “

            Wow – how do you measure success? Strength of currency? Level of youth employment? Lack of street protest?

          • Timaction
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            Margaret go read FCO 30/1048 from 1971 on the internet and you’ll quickly learn the true nature of the EU and how all legacy parties have lied to us for over 40 years on their federalist plans. Trade was and is a red herring. Read that yourself and then weep!

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Protectionist trading blocs are in general a bad idea. Free trade is a natural phenomenon. Governments of all types to a greater or lesser degree obstruct it.

            As for the Single Market, I recall what Enoch Powell said as the Single European Bill was passing through parliament “You don’t need to share someone’s bath water in order to trade freely with them.” We have become obsessed with the idea of a level playing field and perfect justice, a wild impossible chimera.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Hear hear!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        It will indeed be a success especially if we just replace May and Hammond with sensible real small government Conservatives, avoid Corbyn & go for cheap energy, tax cuts, freedom and choice and a bonfire of red tape. Then we can get GDP per cap up to about double – just like Singapore. Indeed we should do better than Singapore due to economies of scale and other natural advantages.

        • robert valence
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Hi Lifelogic. How can we “go for cheap energy”. Didn’t the Commons, years ago, vote for Ed Milliband’s expensive energy policy – which involves removing anything that’s cheap and efficient- like coal, gas, nuclear and replacing them with wind. Or was that just a lot of hot air?
          Anyway, that proves that most of MPs are illiterate – surely if they could have read that garbage they shouldn’t have voted for it – hence the danger with the WA.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      So why don’t you take advantage of your precious freedom of movement rights and move to live in France ? I mean seriously – why not ? It is a right that many Remoaners claim is precious but hardly any make any use of – excepting Andy who wants his kids to be able to go there on their gap year and do some light bar work.

      • Tarby
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Having just returned to the UK from France after 19 years living and working there I can only say the following and it is based on my experience. The U.K. is better off out of the EU and initially on a WTO deal. The U.K. will flourish and it is this simple fact that the EU are terrified of.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      I respectfully suggest, that if you are so unhappy here, you might want to consider finding somewhere more to your liking.
      I am old enough to remember the UK before we joined the Common Market. A time when we were proud of our Country, and the sacrifices of previous generations that gave us our freedom. We didnt feel the need to apologise for just existing, as our Politicans, seem to do today.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Cheshire girl

        “I am old enough to remember the UK before we joined the Common Market. A time when we were proud of our Country, and the sacrifices of previous generations that gave us our freedom”

        And I am old enough to actually vote in the 1975 referendum.
        The reason why we won by 67% to 33% was because we were still part of the previous generation you refer to and the sacrifices they made.

        That’s why a true patriot like Mrs Thatcher, also a child of the war years, enthusiastically campaigned for a yes vote even wearing a sweater with the EU member flags design.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          It was called the Common Market back then Margaret.
          Very different thing.

        • Steve
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

          64% of this country doesn’t like the EU. Enough said.

        • Steve
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          MH

          “…. I am old ”

          Don’t tell Andy.

        • Pominoz
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 1:52 am | Permalink

          But later Maggie realised her error and spoke vigorously against further EU entanglement.

          If only she was working for us today!

    • Steve
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Newmania

      For once I have to agree. A pitiful clown show describes it perfectly.

    • Zorro
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      You’re really not happy after this are you? 😀

      zorro

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Newmania, if you “quite simply detest this country” then why not just simply leave ?

      There is nothing stopping you.

      You are allowed to go anywhere in the world as has recently been demonstrated.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      A worthless charade, instigated by extremist, EU-loving, remainers like you. Angry Andy is technically correct when he says that this is ‘Brexit’. I voted to leave the EU, not for a deal to keep us in. Hopefully, a clean break is what we will soon get.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      You left out the alternative of belonging to an undemocratic power-hungry plutoctacy and the loss of the nation state, but then your kind always does!

    • Brigham
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Well leave!

    • vera
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Not quite sure which side of the argument you are on but I can sympathise with now hating this country. I’m not hating this country but I am hating that treacherous bunch of crooks in Westminster. God knows how I will vote next time but not for any of the current lot.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        I certainly will never vote for any Conservative remainer MPs nor for anyone who voted for May’s appalling deal, nor for the 200 who had and confidence in Theresa May. Nor for Gove who lumbered us this dire & dishonest PM.

        If the Conservative are losing support from people like myself what hope do they have? I see that Lady Warsi is causing trouble again. Why on earth (other than perhaps to show modernising “diversity”) did Cameron ever put her in his Cabinet or make her a party Chairman?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      It has been a “worthless charade” for over 20 years now – since Maastricht, probably before the deposition of Mrs Thatcher.

      Brexit has shown them all for what they are.

      This was our future anyway. Except you won’t have been be feeling that yet in Lewes.

  8. What Tiler
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    JR: I am urging the Prime Minister to go to the Council at the end of this week and tell them we ware leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Well, I certainly admire your optimism…

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      Vigilance at all times – if that will make a difference.

      The WA is worse than Leave and it is worse than Remain and it includes a Labour government soon, the impact of which is never factored.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

  9. Richard1
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    That was a clear message you gave on the Today programme. Congrats.

    It’s difficult to know who to sympathise with – Mrs May or Mr Bercow. A bit like the Iran-Iraq war where you wanted both sides to lose.

    I imagine Bercow has some sort of a scheme & would imagine he won’t be applying the same principles and precedents to continuity remain attempts to bring back votes on a 2nd referendum or permanent CU. Let’see.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      He will apply them equally. Remainers are looking down the barrel of the gun – they fear we are winning! They are right! We are ahead, have our head and the winning post is in sight! Bercow was an avid Thatcherite when that was fashionable. He wants to be in the winning side – as do most politicians – sometimes they have difficulty discerning which side that is!
      Heartfelt thanks to our mighty host for his consistency, integrity and for deploying his formidable intellect in our interest!

    • Bob
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Guido Fawkes has worked it out

      “Brexiteer MPs who have somehow got the idea that Bercow is trying to help them out in their quest to secure no deal are gravely mistaken. Bercow explicitly advised Remainer MPs how to continue their anti-Brexit machinations, telling them to table SO24 emergency debates which he will grant and then allow them to table amendments to, entirely breaching precedent again. Of course he will allow Benn, Cooper, Boles and Letwin to table their coup amendments as many times as they like to take over Parliamentary business, despite them having already been defeated twice. Breaching Parliamentary precedent once again…”

    • old salt
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Richard1-
      “I imagine Bercow has some sort of a scheme …”

      Maybe he was just doing her a favour as it was fairly obvious she wasn’t going to succeed anyway.

  10. GilesB
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    The Government needed legislation to invoke Art 50. And to revoke Art 50.

    Should also need legislation to ask the EU for an extension. Royal perogative is not enough.

    Changing the date by statutory instrument is only effective for the changes to domestic law after the EU have agreed to a change: nothing to do with the power needed to ask for an extension

  11. Richard1
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know whether George Eustice is right that if we leave next Friday we could just join the EFTA pillar of the EEA, since we’re still in the EEA in any event?

    • APL
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Richard1:”Does anyone know whether George Eustice is right that if we leave next Friday we could just join the EFTA pillar of the EEA, since we’re still in the EEA in any event?”

      We could have done if we hadn’t rebuffed their advances two years ago.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Even if we could do that, which is doubtful, it would still run up against the absurd extreme and intransigent attitude of the Irish government over the border:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/03/18/two-offers-of-delay/#comment-1004500

      “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes but Eustice’s idea is we leave without agreement on 29 March and then just join efta. No need for the Irish govts permission.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          Why should the existing EFTA states all agree to us joining them on that basis, especially when they knew that the Irish government would go whining off to the EU about the threat of renewed terrorism?

    • acorn
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Neither the EU, nor its current 28 member States, are members of EFTA. After Brexit, the UK, not being a member of EFTA, and not anymore an EU member, could not be an EEA member and could not be a candidate to become an EEA member. (Jean-Claude Piris)

      Good explanation of what the UK is trying to achieve with its one year tariff slashing MFN schedule. Expect 163 WTO objections to the “Backdoor over backstop – no checks” Ireland/ NI border arrangement.
      https://trade-knowledge.net/commentary/planning-for-no-deal-the-uks-temporary-tariff-proposals/

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Noted, and anything short of 163 objections will mean that you are wrong … but at the moment I am struggling to identify even one other WTO member which shares a land border with the UK and which could complain to the WTO that its exports across that land border into the UK should be allowed to pass completely unchecked like those of Ireland. And even if there was a country which satisfied that first criterion the next would be whether we could trust the quality of its goods to the same degree as those from an EU member state such as the Ireland. After all, it is now a quarter of a century since we agreed that as a general rule goods from fellow EU member state Ireland were sufficiently reliable that we no longer needed to intercept and check any of them at the border, so why should we suddenly start checking them at the border just because we – not they – had left the EU?

        • acorn
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          27 WTO members share a land border ( Ireland) with the UK, so call it 163. minus 27 WTO members. Most Favoured Nation status applies to borders as well. UK would be discriminating in favour of the EU.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            And then the UK would be doing what the WTO says it should do – Article 7.4 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement:

            https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art7

            “4 Risk Management

            4.1 Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control.

            4.2 Each Member shall design and apply risk management in a manner as to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or a disguised restriction on international trade.

            4.3 Each Member shall concentrate customs control and, to the extent possible other relevant border controls, on high-risk consignments and expedite the release of low-risk consignments. A Member also may select, on a random basis, consignments for such controls as part of its risk management.

            4.4 Each Member shall base risk management on an assessment of risk through appropriate selectivity criteria. Such selectivity criteria may include, inter alia, the Harmonized System code, nature and description of the goods, country of origin, country from which the goods were shipped, value of the goods, compliance record of traders, and type of means of transport.”

            The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will not affect the legal standards applied to goods in the EU, and at least for the foreseeable future the UK could justifiably continue to treat imports from the EU as being very low risk, just as it does now, while continuing to treat imports from some other parts of the world as being much higher risk, just as it does now, and arguably it would actually contravene Article 4.3 not to do that.

            You’ve been told this before, and more than once, but even so you still try on the same old nonsense.

          • acorn
            Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is designed to be applied by developed nations, for the benefit of developing and lesser developed countries (LDC). Developed countries are considered to have achieved TFA status already. It is one of the very few developments that have come out of the, far from concluded, 2001 Doha Round.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 22, 2019 at 12:28 am | Permalink

            It is designed to be applied by all WTO members for the general benefit, as is perfectly clear from the text.

      • acorn
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        “Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said: “I admit that I wasn’t on top of the British parliament’s 17th-century procedural rules.”

        I have said numerous times, that the UK’s democratic system is at least two centuries out of date. Mrs Merkel reckons it’s four centuries. Either way, with the current self serving set up in Westminster and Whitehall, the UK will be dead in the water outside of the EU.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think this is right. Doubtless Sir John knows the answer, but he is silent on this issue….

      • Mark
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        We remain an EEA Contracting Party until 12 months after we give notice to withdraw, which we have yet to do. While many provisions that only apply to the three EFTA states and the EU and its members, such as freedom of movement, cease to apply, other obligations on Contracting Parties remain including no tariffs or quotas on trade and facilitating customs.

        • acorn
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Procedurally, in order to become a member of the EEA after « the (EU) Treaties shall cease to apply » to it (art 50(3) TEU), the UK would first have to present its candidacy and negotiate and conclude an accession agreement to become an EFTA member (art 56(1) of the Convention establishing the EFTA). This is because the EEA cannot apply to non EU member States, with the exception of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, precisely because they are members of EFTA (art 126(1) EEA). Thus, the UK
          will have to negotiate an accession treaty to EFTA with the four members of this organisation: Switzerland and the three EEA EFTA members.

    • KZB
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I believe we quietly gave notice to quit the EEA just before Christmas

      • Richard1
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I thought Eustice said we didn’t. Odd that this isn’t discussed at all.

      • Mark
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        That should surely have required at the least notice to Parliament. It has not happened, because the government simply believe that the agreement falls away when we leave the EU. This isn’t quite true – see my comment below. I has negotiated deals with the EFTA States that take effect when we leave the EU on at least some issues that replicate the EEA agreement.

        https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8129/CBP-8129.pdf

    • Mark
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      He is wrong in that in order to join the EFTA pillar, not only do we need agreement from EFTA, but also from all signatories to the EEA Agreement, in accordance with Article 128, and that includes full ratification by every competent Parliament e.g. Walloon (just joining EFTA is not enough – Switzerland is in EFTA, but not in the EEA).

      What he is missing is that we remain a Contracting Party, since we have not given notice under Article 127. When we leave the EU, we are no longer an “EC Member State”, and so the territorial extent rules in Article 126 come into effect, so anything that requires action on UK soil is no longer binding. However, just as the fact that the Antarctic Treaty only applies to territory south of 60 degrees South, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t mutual obligations that apply to Contracting Parties. They include no tariffs or quotas on trade, so the EU should not impose any against the UK, and neither should we against them. However something like freedom of movement only applies to EFTA states and EC Members.

      There is nothing in the agreement that requires us to be an EFTA state or an EC Member rather than just a Contracting Party (signatory). Article 2 simply defines the EFTA States as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and says that references to Contracting Party can mean either the EU as an institution or the governments of EU Members, depending on whether the topic is an EU competence or not.

  12. Dominic
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    May will find a route out of her current predicament. She’s still the leader of the Tory party. That fact alone tells its own story

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Dominic

      I fear your comment may be correct.

      The Conservatives need to get rid of Mrs may before any agreement with the EU is reached, she should not be allowed anywhere near any future negotiations given the last nearly three years of farce and capitulation.

      Problem is at the moment the Conservative MP’s will not elect a Brexitier.

      • James Bertram
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Might they accept Geoffrey Cox as the compromise candidate? He gained respect across the House for not bowing to government pressure to alter his legal advice, and seems the only Cabinet member with clean hands. Too, I understand he is of the ‘Leave’ persuasion, though keeps independent of all groupings.
        Of course, I’d prefer a Brexiteer, including our host.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        If any of them want to keep their seats they must have a Brexiteer on the list for members to support.

      • Steve
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        You are right. There is the possibility May would stitch us up by getting a long extension agreement with the EU, and then doing a runner.

        Extension as we all know is a mechanism for remain to buy more time, in the vain hope people will forget.

  13. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    What you are asking the PM to do in Brussels is impossible as you know the position of the Eu, you are asking her to do the impossible because you personally want us to leave without a deal and this has always been your position.

    A fundamental mistake

    • Edward2
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement is not a deal either.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      No he doesn’t and no it isn’t. Read the last paragraph of his blog where he recommends tabling a free trade agreement. To continue once we leave with frictionless trade pending an FTA seems a very good deal to me; the WA is rubbish.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Dave Andrews,

        We do 80% of our trade without tariffs the government free trade proposal will raise that to 88%, let us not get carried away for 8%. and let us try and be realistic of what the Eu are willing to offer

        • John Hatfield
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          If we left the EU cleanly, the total cost of all the tariffs we would face from the EU is £5 billion. We currently pay £10 billion or more into the EU coffers — so we’re paying £10 billion to save £5 billion.
          The only difference is that it would be the business in question paying the tariff, instead of the taxpayer.
          That is apart from regaining our freedom and our fishing grounds.

      • agricola
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Spot on and after tabling a FTA on 30th March we should then invoke Art 24 of GATT to perpetuate current trading arrangements until a final FTA is agreed with the EU.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Agricola

          We can alwys try but will it end well?

    • agricola
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      The WA is a yoke not an agreement.

    • Steve
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      HCI

      “What you are asking the PM to do in Brussels is impossible”

      No it isn’t, even I could go to Brussels and tell them how it works, anyone could – assuming they had a pair.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Steve,

        What is telling another is delivering

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      ”A fundamental mistake”. You mean like a majority voting for an unconditional and unqualified ”leave” nearly three years ago?

  14. crazyTimes
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Tell them we are leaving without a WA and then tell them (invite them) to do a FTA..what absolute and utter nonsense. But don’t be too concerned because by Thursday we’ll have a better idea of where all of this is going. For instance there is little chance that they are going to allow sixty Farage lookalikes to sit on the EU parliament benches next term. Also we now know that Italy’s populist government has been listening to some ERG people and so will probably be disposed to veto anything else that UK government brings up like a extension to the A50, so we can forget it. We leave 29th and very likely talks with them will continue after the EU elections and after the terms of the WA have been met. So buckle up.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      crazyTimes

      The EU will threaten any Country which does not want to tow their line by withholding cash/aid/loans to that Country, that’s how it works.

      Mrs May is now offering to spend money in certain constituencies for Mp’s who may prove difficult, hence the reason some Mp’s are now suggesting they will hold their nose and vote for her surrender document, whilst knowing full well its not the answer to anything but years of more uncertainty.

      Politics for some is getting your own way at any cost.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      CrazyTimes,

      Yes optimistically one of EU27 will do UK a favour so that leave does mean leave on the 29th. I do think you are correct that the EU is so antidemocratic it wouldn’t want UK MEPs for a couple more years.

    • agricola
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Me thinks you are running scared that the will of the electorate will prevail.

  15. Andrew D
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    John Bercow’s statement to the House is splashed all over this morning’s front pages, with most pillorying him for helping to block Brexit. I think this is wrong and he has done us all a favour by helping to block Theresa May’s vassal-state Withdrawal Agreement. Her options are becoming ever more limited, which can only be good for getting us to a clean Brexit.

    The urgent question that followed the Speaker’s statement was revealing I thought. Kwasi Kwarteng, the Exiting EU minister, said that Theresa May would be taking “a letter” to the EU Council meeting on Thursday/Friday this week in which she would be asking for an Article 50 extension. Mr Kwarteng was asked repeatedly, including in very patronising tones by Anna Soubry, exactly what the letter would say: how long an extension would be asked for and what reason would be given to the EU for requesting the delay? He replied several times that these matters would be debated in the House next week! So let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Theresa May attends a high-level EU Council meeting this week clutching a letter saying “we need more time to sort Brexit”. They will surely say “how much time and what for?” “Err, we’ll let you know some time next week” says Mrs May.

    Talk about rudderless government, you couldn’t make it up. Our best hope is for the EU Council to decide that enough is enough, time is up and we certainly don’t want a load more anti-EU MEPs in Brussels thank you very much. We must hope that they are all so fed up with hearing about the never-ending Brexit saga that they refuse the Article 50 delay request and she’s sent away with a flea in her ear.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      The EU will only grant an extension if there is to be a second referendum or a General Election.
      They certainly don’t want us participating in the EU elections.
      The new Brexit Party would wipe the floor at the expense of the Tory Party.

      • Whichever
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Ian ..exactly.. the last thing they want is for a large group of noisy UKIP or Tory anti EU sceptics elected to the EU parliament,,so for that reason the only extension allowed will be for a few months to the end of June only..but on condition that we hold a GE or a peoples vote or maybe both on the same day. We should know Thursday of Friday

    • Amanda
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed the press seem to be living in ‘neverland’ if they think Mrs May’s Associate Treaty (aka WA) was Brexit. However, maybe it’s all part of their fake news plan so that people clamour for the Treaty instead. If that is their plan they are very mistaken to think the public is so gullible.

      Funny how it is always the anti-Brexit amendments that come back – what is stopping someone now putting forward an amendment on a leaving under WTO rules each week? Even if the Speaker is unlikely to accept it, it would make the point. Everyone (including the ERG types) treats the vote last week on ‘no deal’ as if it was a holy writ, yet it was simply an advisory position as at last week !! It was MV1 and MV2 that were supposed to be the Meaningful Votes, but which are being treated as the meaningless votes !!! Well, until the Speaker spoke yesterday.

    • agricola
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      It has a whiff of Munich and “Peace in our time ” about it. Dreadfully demeening.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Agricola,

        Interesting context but totally misplaced , we are leaving

        • Steve
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

          HCI

          “Interesting context but totally misplaced , we are leaving”

          Hans, when you say ‘we’ are leaving, to whom do you refer ?

          Correct me if I am wrong, but for some reason I have it in my mind that you are Dutch. To use the term ‘we’ in that context you would have to be UK resident and entitled to vote.

          The Netherlands has not made any plans to free herself from EU rule together with the UK.

          Strange indeed.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Thank you for that take on Kwasi Kwarteng`s statement. I missed that. It sounds as though May has decided to be the begging supplicant on Thursday, as a consequence of Bercow`s ruling, instead of making a robust decision to leave without her WA. Bercow must have enjoyed making his statement on procedure and putting the May node well and truly out of joint.

    • vera
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Sorry knowing the EU I think your hopes are akin to fairy tales. The EU wants to keep us in the EU, coughing up lots of money and with no say over anything they do. This is not a friendly negotiation, this is war, albeit without killing. In a nutshell, they want to asset strip us and then destroy us – they are that evil. They haven’t given up hope of achieving this, in fact I doubt they will give up that hope even after we leave, if we ever manage it.

      • Iago
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Completely agree. Also we should be encouraging other European nations to escape. Somewhat unlikely with this government, but it would put the fear of God into the EU Commissioners.

        • Steve
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

          Iago

          The EU superstate is already in the process of collapse anyway. The UK’s departure will just hasten matters.

          One thing I’d put good money on; if we leave on WTO then other countries will follow

      • Helen Smith
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        You know the, Vera, I know this, I think Sir John knows this, maybe even most in the HoC know this and are just fifth columnists.

        • Timaction
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Most of them put the interests of the EU ahead of their own Country as we witnessed last week. Gloves are off. People v Parliament. No more mandate to rule and we’ll vote them out and overturn Mays supplicant treaty!

      • Steve
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Vera

        That’s precisely why we need to leave on 29th minus WA. Then future ‘negotiations’ could be formed on the basis that; any disrespect from the ungrateful EU and we bring it down.

        Also make it clear that next time tanks roll across European borders, we won’t won’t be getting involved.

      • stalemate
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Vera – lighten up – heard the story this morning where a lady from Ghent has call her cat ‘brexit’. Apparently the cat was scratching at the door so much that when the woman opened the door the cat refused to go out, it stood at the doorstep, couldn’t make its mind up!

        • James
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          We made our minds up in June 2016. The problem is the unusually high number of less than competent politicians that currently inhabit the House of Commons, much the majority of which will be unceremoniously turfed out at the next election. The electorate will not stand for their clear referendum instruction to be disregarded. We do not work for politicians, they work for us, or at least they are supposed to work for us. It seems that they need to be reminded.

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

    The Sqeaker is conniving with Labour and Conservatives like Grieve to fix a long delay while planning for Right Sort of People’s Vote. Robbins told us a few weeks ago. It’s the usual EU procedure.
    We will have to dig up the evidence for collaboration with the German lead Commission and Merkel. The referendum rules will force the BBC to allow the truth to be known.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Sounds like a plan, Stred.
      When you say ”we”, who would that be? And would they do it?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      After they have served their useful purpose, argued the EU’s rather flimsy case ad nauseam, and pulled every stunt imaginable to draw the UK ever more tightly to it, many politicians and civil serpents find themselves in lucrative jobs. I can think of two pro-remain former Prime Ministers who seem to have done quite nicely for themselves after leaving office but I am quite sure there couldn’t possibly be a connection. Even mere former party leaders strike it lucky. Perhaps JR will permit me to ask a benign open question, I wonder where May and Robbins will end up after all this is over?

      Tad

      • Mark B
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        And one former Labour Party leader and his wife. This despite losing a GE to Mrs.T and giving a defeat speech in which talked about the poor. Hypocrites.

    • vera
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Of course, we should have known. Whenever politicians are doing something which seems illogical or out of character it is always because there is another agenda we haven’t spotted yet. Let’s hope Italy and others deny the extension.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        If Italy does deny the extension they might even make up more in the way of tourism than the EU is offering them in a bribe to toe the line! There are a lot of us who would be travelling Italy-wards in the very near future!

    • Steve
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Actually Stred, the European Commission is led by the French and their walloon sidekicks.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Steve,

        whom are the French leading the Commission?

      • Stred
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        May and Robbins dealt directly with Merkel before showing the details to the cabinet. The WA reads like a translation of German. The top civil servant chosen by Herr Junker is Herr Selmayr, put into his job over the heads of the EU Parliament.

  17. javelin
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It’s not a Withdrawl Agreement – It’s an Associate Treaty.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      It is, in fact, a Surrender Document. The only precedents are documents signed by a country defeated in war.

  18. Iain Gill
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Yes just leave asap. And the PM must go.

    • robert lewy
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      The repeated demands that May must go however well meaning ignore the reality of the political mess which is sustained by the political imbalances in the county.

      Why did May emerge as PM?

      A remainer who made the right noises on her accession to power seemed at a first glimpse to be ready to do the right thing and follow the instruction given by the British people.

      The truth is that the divisions in the Conservative party and the overwhelming predominance in numbers of Remain MPs made it impossible for a Leave supporting PM to emerge at that point in time.

      May was there for the party to manage Brexit not to achieve it.
      Therefore, planned Brino is the unfortunate consequence.

      As nothing has changed as regards the proportion of Conservative MPs supporting a Brexit which was consistent with result of the Referendum it seems futile to rely on the hope that the party will let her go. Moreover, even if they did what reason is there to believe that her successor will be more sympathetic to the Leave cause?

      The present situation is so unclear that it could arguably be said that the real outcome will be no more than the clash of the certainties on either side egged on by the preferences of the audience which includes not only the electorate, but the Opposition, the Speaker and the EU itself. In a word anything could still happen.

      Brexit supporters in Government are miscalculating by believing that May’s deal is the only way to save Brexit. Apart from the argument that it is not Brexit the dynamics of the situation do not mean that a long extension entails Remain or a soft Brexit.

      With a 21 month extension to Art 50 the next GE will be close at hand. The Poltical Declaration is unlikely to have produced by that time any form of Trade Agreement.
      It seems also very unlikely that news will emerge of beneficent offerings from the EU
      which will appear as compensation for the £39 Billion plated shackles of the WA if ever passed.

      This reality will cause both Parties and any new ones to think very hard about their offer in the next manifesto. Early campaigning may describe a path towards a true Brexit. How will HMG account for the uncomfortable reality of falling unemployment and rising wages when Brexit was forecast to cripple the economy?
      The battle may appear challenging at present but there is still a war to be won.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Yep – go she must. Anyone would be an improvement on May.

    • James
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      I believe we have been far too reasonable and accommodating in the so-called negotiations. The Brussels side has been distinctly unreasonable, and indeed malevolent in some of their objectives. The time has come to simply walk away, and wish the 27 the best of luck. We wish them success. We wish them to prosper. We would rather have prosperous neighbors than poor ones. The trade agreements that were reached with Canada, Japan and other countries did not require those countries to agree to their economies being subject to micro management and alignment with rules from Brussels, nor oversight by the ECJ. Laughable that we should ever do so.

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I agree with the suggestion that Bercow wouldn’t have blocked MV3 if doing so would have made it more likely for us to leave on WTO terms. Let’s see.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Toynbee agrees with you Roy she writes ” Bercow.. champion of the house will guarantee that MPs get the chance to stop no-deal dead”.

      People like Toynbee cry about inflammatory language but doesn’t mind if she indulges. The DUP are bible bashers and bigots. We have no deal implacables, John Major’s “old bastards” – well if she thinks on those implacable B******s turned out to be right and Major finished the Tories off for a decade.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Major finished off the Tories for 25 years! Quarter of a century. They won the n4xtbelection only because of the promise of the referendum.

  20. oldtimer
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The Speakers explanation made clear that that this is a sound ruling. In answer to a question from JR-M a few days ago he confirmed that an Act enjoyed precedence over HoC motion. This reduces the options available. Much will depend on the EU response. Barnier has been ultra clear that the negotiations are finished; they will not be reopened. One can see why. The EU has itself run out of time with the forthcoming elections and the appointment of a new Commission. May is running out of wriggle room and of time. She has long since run out of trust or credibility.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      >The EU has itself run out of time with the forthcoming elections and the appointment of a new Commission.

      A very good point you don’t hear much about.

  21. Tooley Stu
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    SJR,

    Hammer it home.

    Best regards, as ever,
    Tooley Stu

  22. Nigl
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The Speaker seems to be getting all the rage for what he has done. It is Theresa May’s fault that we have got to this sorry state.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed and Gove’s for lumbering us with this appalling woman. But the speaker is an appalling man too. Why on earth was he elected when there were far better candidates? A great shame the voters did not kick him out when the sound Farage stood against him.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Theresa has no initiative. She takes her orders from the high command.

  23. agricola
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr Speaker for blocking this one small route to government anarchy.

    Time has come, when the current dust has settled, for Parliament to debate the power wielded by PMs and government.

    There is just cause to question it. Remember Blair taking us to war on doctored intelligence and then putting a 75 year block on the evidence. Now we have a PM intent on defying the electorate and Parliament to satisfy what is loosely called the Establishment, ie anyone who disagrees with the electorate for their own vested interests.

    Mr Speaker has put his head above the parapet like any whistle blower in support of honest politics. Make sure he gets your full support, because from the look on the face of the leader of the house he will need it.

  24. L Jones
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    There was a petition:
    ”The Prime Minister should advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament”
    And yesterday the government responded:

    ”As it is the responsibility of this Government to deliver the exit that people voted for, and as Parliament is clear that it does not wish to deliver a ‘no deal’, we must secure a deal.

    ”It is a priority of the Government to make sure businesses and citizens are ready for Brexit, including no deal. This includes consulting closely with stakeholders to develop no deal contingency plans and minimise disruption. We have engaged with businesses and other sectors to understand their needs and to make sure we are prepared to address the effects of no deal.”

    Rather contradictory, isn’t it?

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Well, I suppose that the other EU leaders will have to decide whether to:

    1. Grant Theresa May some concessions of sufficient substance to persuade John Bercow that the Commons could be allowed to vote on the amended package.

    2. Grant Theresa May an extension to the Article 50 period, possibly the first of a number of extensions, in the hope that in the end the UK will stay in the EU.

    3. Grant Theresa May nothing at all and simply allow the UK to leave without any deal at all on March 29th, the exit day presently fixed in the UK legislation.

    Either of the first two decisions would require unanimity, so Theresa May’s buddy the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will have a veto to wield on either question, and it is worth recalling what he told the Irish parliament on November 21st 2018:

    https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2018-11-21/18/#spk_356

    “Obviously, the best outcome would be for the UK not to leave the European Union at all, but the UK has ruled that out. An alternative solution would be for the UK to stay in the Single Market and the customs union … “

  26. RAF
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    To have May appealing to her MPs to show patriotism and vote for the Withdrawal Agreement she brought back from Brussels (or was it Berlin?), was plumbing the depths of desperation. Her fanatical support for the EU and her desire to tie the UK to the EU in perpetuity exposed for all to see.
    On another site I posited that Samuel Johnson’s quote: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”, fitted May perfectly. However, another commenter thought that Wilde’s, “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”, was more suitable. Bearing in mind May’s attitude and behaviour during her tenure as PM, it is difficult to argue with the latter quote.

  27. Adam
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The Govt repeatedly ask the same question.

    It is like a film of a teenager nagging her parents for money.
    Her parents paid for history lessons & want to invest in science for her future.
    She prefers to waste & spend in a gang, at high cost within their control, & little hope of escape.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Tell Andy. He might be interested in such an analogy.

      • Adam
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        As an avid reader of JR’s Diary, he’ll be aware already, but his ambivalent attitude nags in favour paying the gang.

        Reply I am not ambivalent

        • Adam
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          To JR:

          L Jones suggested telling Andy. My reply to L Jones referred to Andy as the avid Reader of JR’s Diary, & not to you as the Author.

          Ambivalence referred to the contrast between Andy’s wish to be controlled by the EU, & paying for whatever it demands.

  28. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    JR: ” I do not see why the UK would seek an extension to Article 50.”
    It will be done as part of the plan to keep the UK in the EU. It is clear to those outside Westminster that most MPs (elected and unelected), despite their oft repeated claims of respecting the result of the referendum, are intent on having their own way and overturning that result. They treat those who elected them with contempt and undermine the democracy they are meant to uphold and support. The first casualties of the electorate’s reaction to this will be seen in the local council elections.

  29. ferdinand
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    If only what you suggest happens. If only. If only.

  30. Simon
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The Council has no powers or capability to alter a single word in the Withdrawal Agreement. So what on earth can the PM bring “back from Brussels” ?

    • matthu
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      She can bring back a conditional offer of extending Article 50.

      If the UK pays billions, and if the UK agrees to get the People’s approval for extending Article 50 (with the alternative being revoking Article 50), or if the UK agrees to holding a new election within 3 months … etc.

      The possibilities are endless.

  31. a-tracy
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    How much money does the UK contribute to the erasmus scheme annually? It is a failure of your government that, reports in the Guardian today say, you didn’t sort this out in the event of no deal being arranged, so students are being told their schemes for this year may not be honoured. Lots more EU students than UK students take advantage of erasmus. Why would the Conservatives not sort this out, did we as a Country pay in this year or provide guaranteed places in the UK without reciprocation in the EU?

  32. villaking
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I agree that the Speaker’s ruling is wholly correct and it would be an affront to parliamentary democracy if the motion returned and perhaps was passed but only after bullying and perhaps bribing some MPs. One government tactic may, according to the Today program, be to have a vote on whether to ignore historic convention on this occasion. Which way would you vote?

  33. Shieldsman
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Government MP’s are squealing Bercow’s decision came as a surprise. I read days ago WA3 would be up to him.
    In all the in/out shake it all about membership options discussed over the years, the best was probably the Swiss EFTA non-member bilateral agreements.
    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes: –
    Meanwhile, the EU’s other showdown with a democratic European state is going badly wrong. The Swiss are holding out against the hegemony of the European Court and an attempt to gut their national sovereignty.

    Switzerland is facing an excruciating squeeze. Its old bilateral accords with the EU are no longer deemed acceptable. Brussels wants to shut down the idiosyncratic “Swiss model” once and for all.
    The country has until the end of June to submit to the EU’s new framework agreement, or see its trading and financial access progressively cut off.
    We should take note and get out quick on WTO. Instead of long term pain, get it over with.

  34. Pat
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I understand that there are sundry agreements regarding Nuclear power, flights, shipping etc.
    If so could these be construed as the deal the commons voted for?

  35. James Bertram
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Yes, good plan, Sir John.
    May’s withdrawal Agreement is dead as long as Brexiteers stand firm (regardless of Bercow’s manoeuvrings).
    The EU might ensure that any extension is also dead if just one country refuses any extension (Italy, Hungary, Poland?)
    That results in 3 choices: Leave, another plan, or revoke Article 50.
    The last is, or should be, totally unacceptable, and will lead to the fall of the Government (deservedly so) and mass Civil Disobedience.
    Another plan: Sir John’s idea of a simple FTA (negotiated under GATT24?). At this stage, knowing the game is up with their Surrender Agreement, the EU might well accept. Too, it would allow May (possibly) and the Tories to save face by arguing that they have left with a deal. The WA is only an agreement to then negotiate a trade agreement – so in this respect, the concept of leaving and then negotiating a trade arrangement, as with GATT 24, is nothing new and has already been accepted in theory.
    Leave without a deal. I’m content with this, but Parliament shamelessly isn’t. Again the Government may well fall.
    So, once again, Sir John has come up with the sensible solution.
    If only May would listen!

  36. Edwardm
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    What you write is such patent common sense.
    Why is it that people like yourself (JR) are not running the government – everything is so up-side down.
    John Bercow has made a good decision (for once). Mrs May might not like that, but that’s only because she cares nothing about us in her determination to inflict her WA.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    And when they were up they were up,
    And when they were down they were down,
    But when they were only half way up,
    They were neither up nor down!

    Half in, half out of the EU is wires than useless. There is no point to it. It is worse than remaining. It is worse than leaving. Who will rid us of this useless government and parliament?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      In fact it is the worst of Remaining and the worst of Leaving.

      Even Leavers such as myself know Leave is going to be difficult.

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I was pleased to hear you on LBC with Iain Dale last evening making clarity over the obscuration of May and her fellow Remainers.

    A previous guest had made the point that this is the most momentous Parliamentary situation since 1660 because it is the people versus the government, not the executive vs legislature. He rightly said this was inevitable with the majority of MPs, Lords and the Cabinet supporting Remain. Even the Leave members of the Cabinet have been found wanting.

    Our Leaving status could have been sorted in six months max with a committed business like approach.

  39. JOHN FINN
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    John

    For perhaps the first time I totally disagree with you. I think the speakers decision is wrong on 2 counts. Firstly, the last vote was taken before the full legal details could be properly assessed. A couple of reports have emerged in recent days which suggest that te UK has more “wriggle room” on the backstop than was initially feared.

    Secondly, and more importantly for me personally, I now think Brexit is lost. Bercow hasn’t taken this decision to help the Leave cause and I worry that, at best, we are eventually going to see a cross party ‘consensus’ Brexit plan emerge. Labour’s wishes for permanent Customs Union membership will certainly be met.

    But, possibly worst of all, could be that the ERG will become irrelevant. While May’s WA was on the table, the ERG (and the DUP) had leverage. If 400 Labour and Tory remainer MPs can find agreement I can’t see how your opinion will count

  40. Julie Dyson
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve never been big on conspiracy theories, it must be said, but I can’t help thinking that The Speaker has actually just done the PM a huge favour — for the simple reason that I believe the terrible WA would have been voted down once again, albeit by a much narrower margin than on the previous two occasions. That WOULD have killed it, completely and irrevocably — three strikes and you’re out. Bercow has just bought the PM the time she desperately needs to drag it all out and ultimately force, bribe or cajole further submissions from both sides of the fence.

    Of course, the Speaker’s real motive (and ultimate aim) is to stop Brexit entirely, aiming for a second referendum with the options being Remain or the WA. Too many people now know it’s a terrible, terrible deal for Britain, while many others either won’t vote at all or — like me — will simply and angrily scrawl NO DEAL across their ballot paper. Ergo: Remain will win, hands down, and both the PM and Bercow will have succeeded in getting what they really wanted all along.

  41. javelin
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Those of you who remember my philosophy is that calibration is very important. Whether it’s evolution, the markets or democracy. I also believe consciousness is one side of real time quasi static electric and magnetic in the brain.

    The is a phenomena is calibration (from psychotherapy) called “the paradoxical theory of change”. What it means is that if you don’t deal with an underlying issue then trying to repress the problems of that underlying issue will lead to that problem occurring in a different form.

    Think of anger. Unless you deal with the underlying issue (eg child abuse) the problem might come out differently like depression (inward anger) or drugs (suppressing anger).

    So we have Brexit where May predicts economic chaos such as lorry’s stuck on motorways, but by trying to ignore the underlying issues of Brexit she will create different chaos. So we now we lorry drivers saying they will cause traffic jams.

    Unless Brexit is dealt with the chaos will not go away.

    Note: I’ve posted twice about the paradoxical theory of change in the past two years. The fact I’m now seeing evidence of it happening means the argument has predictive strength.

  42. Bob
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    ” So far Ministers have been unable to come up with any plausible reason why the EU should grant us an extension.”

    Because they don’t want Brexit. Isn’t it obvious?

  43. Original Richard
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The EU’s WA should never be signed under any circumstances, whatever happens next, as it is a treaty under which we become non-voting members of the EU without a lawful means of exit. At least the Lisbon Treaty contained Article 50.

    It is worse than remain as it is intended to be used as the “leave” option against “remain” in a second referendum.

    The EU’s WA shows that the only way to leave the EU is with “no deal”.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      But what can WE, the little people, do about it? We all know that this Treaty is worse than anything – and we can keep saying that we know it, that they know we know, that they know we are angry, etc, etc. We know it’s worse than ‘remain’ and that is why it has been devised. They know we know that.

      But what CAN we do about it?

  44. Original Richard
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    If a “referendum where you decide” is not sufficient for our majority remain Parliament to implement, despite election promises to do so, then the only course of action for leavers will be to elect a majority leave Parliament.

    This will only be possible if the leave voters ignore party allegiances and simply vote for leave supporting candidates. No big deal as party loyalty has broken down in Parliament.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      But if we are tied more and more tightly to the EU, should this Treaty be signed – then perhaps we won’t be ALLOWED to have the sort of GEs we have had before, if they look as if they will not yield the results the EU wants.

  45. oldwulf
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    “So far Ministers have been unable to come up with any plausible reason why the EU should grant an extension”

    I feel that the EU will grant an extension if it suits the EU and will not need a plausible reason from the UK. We may need to rely on Mr Silvini and his veto.

  46. yossarion
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    So We now go back to an act the pre dates the act of the Union of the Crowns? or was it just after absolute Monarch Usurped the English thrown and the English had to have a Civil War to sort out., does this mean that under the 1689 Bill of Rights it was legal for Brown to sign the Lisbon treaty as a foreigner?.

  47. ukretired123
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    It’s now or never!
    Counting down has started. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 lift-off!
    Day 1 post EU should be a day of celebration for the result of the Referendum 3 years late.
    Anything else will not do, will not wash.
    Parliament has been a shilly-shally nightmare for everyone not knowing who to trust.
    Mrs May needs to reverse out of her self-created maze and the EU cul-de-sac and show what a stubborn woman (Ken Clark’s words) she can be for finally honouring the Referendum both in Letter and more importantly in Spirit.
    The consequences of not Delivering the Referendum will render Democracy futile and MPs will find out in April – Fools of us or Fools of themselves, present company excluded of course.
    The HoC will become known as the House of Crooks who enslaved us.
    As Michael Caine observed “Better to be poor and free than a rich slave” to the EU.

  48. agricola
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    We have as a matter of law a facility to leave the EU on 29th March. What are government allowed to do to negate this decision of Parliament, independent of any view expressed in the HoC. Rest assured that in the present state of government arrogance led by a duplicitous PM, if such a loophole exists they will use it. Do not hold hopes of any of the 27 members of the EU voting against an extension of Art 50. They only have a tentative concept of democracy and tend to vote as instructed. Witness the speed with which they endorsed the WA. I doubt they had time to read it before putting their collective hands up.

    Be on red alert, this government has not finished in it’s work to deny the electorate.

  49. Ken Farke
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Look John, all wars are caused by nationalism, the only way nation will not lift up sword against nation is if we have no nations, duh. This is what we must work towards, as John Lennon said in his song Imagine. Now stop being an old dinosaur and get on board the project, thanks old bean.

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    “I am asking her to table a free trade agreement and to invite them to talks as we leave the EU in accordance with their timetable. ”

    Do you seriously believe that anyone in Brussels will find the time to talk to the UK after too-ratification of the WA and no alternative arrangements, such as an extension to discuss transition at least?

    The UK has a lot more to lose in this than the EU as a whole and you can be sure the EU will support Ireland. Holland and France have plenty of room to do state intervention to compensate losers (and if that would violate the stability pact temporarily, so be it).

    The government might indeed do what you want but I do not think that is likely. The idea of short term pain for future gain does not appeal to enough MPs, imo. The refendum has been superseded by an election (and the outcome cannot be implemented anyway). Maybe the repeal legislation etc could be repealed if the EU would grant a substantisal extension, of, say one generation. Meanwhile there would be no British MEPs (for atonement purposes, the current ones are not really an advertisement for UK pragmatism, that essential quality of EU politics) and of course people would convert to right hand driving, using the EU as their primary currency and welcoming 1 million immigrants per year. Or something similar.

    But, seriously, how can anyone negotiate with a country in a state like this? Or rely on past agreements.

  51. Ken Farke
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Here is a worrying thought. How do arms manufactures make money if we end up with a one world tyranny? Surely they need nation States to go to war? Ok, so we are left with a choice as per Isaiah, we either ban nations or we ban the arms industrys? Which is more practical?

    • Mark
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Under a one world tyranny the tyrant would need a lot of arms to remain in power. For a test case, look at how Maduro depends on the army to stay in power in Venezuela.

  52. Ken Farke
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The Globalists = we must ban nations so there are no more wars
    The Rationalists = we must ban arms and arms manufacturers and thier MSM so their is no more wars?

    Guess who wins? The globalists in the short term (book of Rev), the rationalists in the long term, (i.e God etc).

  53. Monza 71
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I would not be quite so sure that a WTO exit is back on the cards. It will depend entirely on what happens at the summit. As I said yesterday, it has been reported that Italy may veto any extension to Article 50 as a favour to Nigel Farage. If they do, that would be the game changer we need.

    With no deal in place and no extension beyond 29th, where would that leave May on Monday ?

    It would then seem likely that Bercow would find a reason to allow another vote on the May deal but it would be a dead cert that every member of the ERG would again vote firmly against it. With a WTO exit back in play, every other Brexiteer, including David Davis and Esther McVey would also vote against. The only way forward for May would then be if Labour swing behind the deal. How likely is that ?

    If May loses that final vote, is there then any way that the Remainers, including Bercow can prevent the default exit on WTO terms in 10 days time ?

    Hope Not.

  54. Den
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Again SJ talks sense and lays out a logical proposal. What is so difficult about it?
    How much more will it take for our Prime Minister to see sense?
    She has become completely obsessed with her wretched Withdrawal Agreement. One that has twice been heavily rejected by Parliament, even by her own appointed Attorney General. If Mrs May ignores the expert advice of the legal expert she appointed, why did she waste taxpayers money in employing one in the first case?
    She obviously believes her level of intelligence is greater than anyone’s but no longer runs the Cabinet. Very odd that. Four Ministers defied the Whip and thus went against the Cabinet’s decision. That is normally is a hanging offence in such circles unless the Leader is too weak. Hmm. It is this weakness that has allowed the EU 5th Columnists within Cabinet and in Parliament to run riot with our decision to Leave the EU.
    Let us hope that most of these dubious person see sense at last and let us leave, WITHOUT CONDITIONS on the 29th. If they do not, they must expect to take a big hammering at the next General Election.
    Let them prove what is more important to them, their jobs and the freedom of this Country or perpetual subservience to the unelected and the unelectable Brussels cabal , the acting kings of the EU.

  55. Chewy
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Excellent point re second votes on Cooper-Boles, 2nd ref and CU. I think we can take it for granted a different set of rules will be applied to these by John Bercow but on the principle of getting your retaliation in first please question him long and loud and publicly as to if he is going to apply a different set of standards to these amendments.
    Less than 2 weeks to go and Brexit is still in play despite Parliament. Everything crossed that a week Friday I’m in a local in Wednesbury at 11 raising a glass to you good sir.

  56. Jane
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    If the EU gives us what we need to pass this Treaty, the unilateral get-out clause, it would get through and things would progress.
    They will not do so as it is not in their interests.

    They will extend as it is in their interests not to have a No Deal (No Treaty) outcome, as we would be free and that is not their endgame.

    We need to leave on the 29th, the EU will then be serious, as they would have no leverage and if we need a GE to shake out the dissenting Remainers so be it.

    The PM has led us a merry dance in cahoots with the EU.

    A GE to save face is a risk but at least the electorate would have a say as so many MPs want!

  57. agricola
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Spot on and after tabling a FTA on 30th March we should then invoke Art 24 of GATT to perpetuate current trading arrangements until a final FTA is agreed with the EU.

    • agricola
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Captcha screwing up again

  58. agricola
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The WA is a yoke not an agreement.

    • agricola
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Captcha yet again. This was destined for HCIvers contribution.

  59. nhsgp
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Can you ask the A50 question again? Clearly not now. Ask a question of Bercow how you can resubmit the A50 question for another vote.

    Even the extension. It’s asking the same question

    The referendum 2. That’s been lost. Unless there is a substantive change, such as May’s deal versus WTO, its just a rehash of a vote that has taken place and been lost.

    To prevent Bercow from flipping and flopping, ask him directly now.

  60. nhsgp
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    On the proposed extension until June. That means EU elections, with UK MEPs in place for another 5 years. They will be telling the EU what to do. The EU will hate that.

    And there was I thinking that it was only the Americans who didn’t get irony.

  61. nhsgp
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Finance bills. Introduce an amendment that says you need a special finance bill to fund the WA.

    That way remainers have to be clear what services they axe, austerity that is needed, to pay for the EU.

  62. NickW
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The Government has delivered a formal response to the Petition to prorogue Parliament which has now reached around 80,000 signatures;

    Quote;

    “The Government has no plans to prorogue parliament and remains committed to delivering an orderly exit from the EU in line with its pledge to deliver on the outcome of the referendum.

    The Government remains committed to delivering on the outcome of the referendum and leaving the EU in line with its pledge to deliver on the outcome of the referendum. We will continue to work towards that end in a way that is compatible with our constitutional principles, including giving Parliament its say. As the Prime Minister has set out, there will be further votes to ensure that Parliament’s voice is heard.

    As it is the responsibility of this Government to deliver the exit that people voted for, and as Parliament is clear that it does not wish to deliver a ‘no deal’, we must secure a deal.

    It is a priority of the Government to make sure businesses and citizens are ready for Brexit, including no deal. This includes consulting closely with stakeholders to develop no deal contingency plans and minimise disruption. We have engaged with businesses and other sectors to understand their needs and to make sure we are prepared to address the effects of no deal.”

    Delightfully ambiguous.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237487

  63. NickW
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Correction. Petition to prorogue Parliament on 90,000+. @11.00am 19/03/19.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      But read the contradictory statement from government. What should one make of THAT?

  64. John Swannick
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The way I see it, we’re going to end up staying in. Or at very best out but in a customs union and single market and all that goes with it. If that’s better than Mrs May’s deal then you need to say so? I see no prospect of leaving with no deal, whatever its merits, unless there’s a general election and a new leader, campaigning on no deal, gets a thumping majority big enough to dilute Tory remainers. And then I woke up. You may have to bite the bullet on this one.

  65. Lorna
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I do appreciate your efforts for Brexit .These are bad times when the public really are losing trust in all,our politicians
    Your idea of a FTA is undoubtedly the only solution
    You have the support of many Brexiteers
    Thank you

  66. am
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Today it is reported she will try and force her deal through next week. It is also reported she will ask for a nine month extension of article 50. EU will just play the long game. No deal is the only option.

  67. Original Richard
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Mrs May and Parliament are now breaking promises as they wish :

    “We will respect the referendum result”
    “Brexit is Brexit”
    “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”
    “No deal is better than a bad deal”
    “The UK will leave on 29/03/2019”
    etc.

    Mrs. May and Parliament will, through “indicative voting”, offer Parliament to choose between the EU’s deal (remaining in the EU as a non-voting member with no lawful means of exit) or “No deal” or revoking Article 50.

    There won’t be another referendum (even a rigged one with two remain options) or a GE.

    Parliament will select revoking Article 50, which will trigger an enormous change in UK politics.

  68. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Parliament has failed. It’s time it was sent home until after March 29th. We have a Privy Council for times like these.

  69. Alison
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    It would be very helpful to change PM as soon as possible. ‘Rudderless government’ – yes, but the steering it does do is clearly towards ‘remain’. With civil servants also allowed to steer, invisibly – yet another article today from a civil servant indicating this.
    Allowing that WA through, however, is far too high a price for change of PM (& team).

  70. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Only slightly off topic but one thing that is very welcome during all the Brexit turmoil is the continuing good performance of the British economy during testing times. Today’s latest employment figures are testament to this.

    It got me wondering if this has coincided with the paralysis of Parliament because of its overwhelming focus on Brexit and consequently its inability to pass ever more burdensome legislation on business and commerce or continually interfere in its day to day running?

  71. Ian
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Very well said yet again, yet more common sence, if only more Brexiteers would stand up as you do, for just plain Democricy, we only ask for that.

    Of coarse we are more than fed up with the current PM, rushing here and there like a female Oliver, desperately trying to get a bit more porridge.

    For God Almightys sake this is supposed to be the fifth largest economy , we do more trade with them than they do with us, we understand they are desperate to keep us in, because when we GO we will leave a big gap in there budget and yet they think they have the whip hand?

    Only because our busted Parliament is full of Treachery, My God what wet gutless lot politicians we have bred , this is the pathetic out come of every party stuff full of wish washy

    Liberals and do Gooders.

    We need more like our host, people with courage a sence of History , Common sence,
    Destiny and a stiff back bone.

    Someone who has embraced Democricy.

    If more Politicians would take it on, how much better life would be for the rest of us.

  72. formula57
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Parliamentarians who know May’s deal is bad and yet who propose to back it as they suppose it is the only way out of the wretched bind the Prime Minister’s maladroit leadership has created are deserving of a special place in a now crowded Hell. You show a route to safety and prosperity: they should back that, clearly.

    O/T but related – 4, March is sufficiently long ago to now designate Attorney General Cox as correspondence-challenged. I am sorry for it, but he will forever be so condemned.

  73. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I read that European ministers have warned Theresa May they are ‘exhausted’ from negotiations following John Bercow’s intervention and his veto on a Meaningful Vote 3.

    What are we to make of this?

    Clearly, we must now ensure we press home our advantage and ensure the Prime Minister is despatched to Brussels, every day if possible between now and 29th March, and instructed to do nothing else but carry on in her own inimitable procrastinating and prevaricating way.

    They may decide that a short extension period never mind a longer one involving further talks with our Prime Minister is just too much to bear and expel the UK forthwith.

    • rose
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Frau Merkel is surely in consternation not exhaustion that something happened which wasn’t run past her first.

  74. Andrew S
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s an easy calculation for me. We leave the EU on 29 March 2019 no deal, May has to go, if a true Leave tory leader emerges (not Gove/Hunt/Javid pretender) I may continue my electoral support. Any other circumstance, I will bin the tories and support whoever tactically is best to unseat their candidates at local and national level for as long as it takes to reinstate democracy. Of course, if brexit is delayed or thwarted then any vote, be it village committee, company shareholder meeting, public vote, these will all be meaningless as the losers have the right to overturn and question it. As many times as they like until the get the answer they want. And then of course that produces other losing sides, who of course have the the right to overturn and question it. As many times as they like until the get the answer they want. … and so on. The tories will be held to blame as they alone had the commons votes and announced at the Lancaster House speech how they would deliver. They have failed us.

  75. KZB
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Article 50 says this:

    …the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.

    I would say there is a case for an extension to fulfil the legal requirements as set out above. There cannot be a withdrawal agreement without taking into account the future relationship. Take the EU to court demanding an extension to conclude A50, as required in the EU’s own treaty. We can dream.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Art.50 also says that (I paraphrase) two years after submission of the Notice of Withdrawal the treaties of the EU will cease to apply to that State, whether an agreement has been concluded or not.

      I ask the following:-

      a. Does anyone know if the UK has the power to apply for an extension without primary legislation?
      b. Is the government permitted to lay down an SI (under the EU Withdrawal Act) without stating a new date for ‘Exit Day’?
      c. Approximately how long might it take to get the approval for the SI from both Houses?

      All constructive responses would be gratefully appreciated.
      Many thanks.

    • Mark
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      There is no requirement in Article 50 for the agreement to be complete by the time we leave. Indeed, it explicitly provides for leaving with no agreement in place under the two year guillotine.

  76. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I see a German minister is saying, to his friends in London, ‘please deliver’.

    Translation ‘please surrender’.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      “But yield your weapons ane an’ a,
      O yield your weapons, lads, to me;
      For, gin ye’ll yield your weapons up,
      Ye’se a’ gae hame to your country.”

      Out up then spak a Lennox lad,
      And waly but he spak bonnily!
      “I winna yield my weapons up,
      To you nor nae man that I see.”

      (Ballad of Bothwell Hill)

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Very interesting. I looked it up and both German words ( that I found anyway) can have the sense of “surrender”.
      Well..well!!

    • stalemate
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Yeah today’s modern day reverse Treaty of Versailles talks are drawing to a close..

      Heard that Tusk was over in Dublin today, the thinking is that with UK departure 29th there will have to be an EU border of sorts in Ireland but it will not be located right on the border but in a buffer zone fifteen to twenty miles South and to help with this hundreds of Customs officials from other EU countries will be drafted in to help. In effect the whole of Ireland will become a buffer zone with the main EU checks taking place at Dublin and other southern Ireland ports. Of course to help with all of thisthis the EU will be offering a generous adjustment package.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        it’s about time we reviewed our arrangements with the Irish. For a hundred years we have bent over backwards to be nice to them. Let’s adjust our relationship and put the Irish on the same footings as the Bulgarians.

  77. Atlas
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Sir J,

    I agree with you that the speaker’s decision is the correct one. These rules about what can be tabled were intended to stop overweaning Governments from trying to ram through legislation by the method of attrition. The speaker may have his own agenda no doubt, but given the damage to our way of conducting business that May has inflicted upon us, he is right to say ‘enough is enough’.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      ”… enough is enough – and incidentally it’s bought you a bit more time. Use it profitably. Let me give you a few hints…..”

  78. Paul Cohen
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Switzerland holding out against EU ultimatum

    A “must read” article in Business section of Daily Telegraph today!

    The country has until the end of June to submit to the EU’s new framework agreement or see it’s trading and financial access progressively cut off.

    The Swiss are holding out against the hegemony of the European Court and an attempt to gut their national sovereignty.

    Lets get on with WTO!

  79. BR
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If Bercow allows any such issue (2nd ref, seize control, CU) to return, the government would be within their rights to refuse to comply and to do everything in their power to achieve that including prorogue or even simply ignoring any votes that were held since they are the executive so parliament can hold any votes they wish, but nothing more happens unless the government decides to act.

    Therein lies the flaw in seizing control of parliament – they have no executive powers, they have no-one who can tell civil servants to do things (such as enact a ‘Bill’ that was passed by a rogue parliament). Without their hands on the levers of power, they may as well hold a vote at the local pub (unless of course, May decides to comply… being the remainer that she is).

    I hope you are taking steps to ensure that May does not comply with votes that should not be binding on the executive (since they should never have taken place).

    I hope you will also stand up in the HoC one day and thank them for embarrassing you – surely any decent MP must feel some embarrassment at being tarred with the brush of being part of a parliament such as this?

  80. Andy
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    According to Mrs May’s spokesman Brexit Britain is now in crisis.

    This taking back control thing is going well – don’t you think?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Except it isn’t Brexit Britain – which is why we are not in control.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Are you still here?

    • Steve
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      The problem here, Andy, is Parliament vs people.

      You know we will win. We have plenty of time, the government can extend as much as they like, but come next general election…..the conservatives will suffer such retribution as to likely be forced to disband as a political party.

      Corbyn will just find himself being laughed at and not taken seriously at all.

      So maybe not this time, but we will be leaving and we will be draining the swamp.

  81. Everhopeful
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Masterly JR interview on the ghastly BBC.
    Loved the bit about Remainers having the brass neck to tell Brexiteers they got it wrong
    Interview brought to rapid conclusion. Rapier like…it hit home!
    On YouTube.
    It’s great!

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful

      This remainer /leave syndrome has outlieves it time, it is now we need to get together

      • Steve
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        HCI

        Not a chance !

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Funny how when things get serious they turn to responsible people. JR doing a lot of interviews thank God!
      Bit like being in a plane, once it starts dropping like a stone we look for the guy who is sober, washed his face and knows what to do rather than the politically correct idiot!

    • Stuart K
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      The agenda should be clear: Remove May and her fellow Remainers in the Cabinet; replace them with committed Leavers, including Sir John who would be an excellent Chancellor.

    • Nation deceiving nat
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Masterly JR interview on the ghastly BBC.

      >
      I am a very big fan of Sir JR in the Media. Always comes accross a level above everyone else.

  82. Mick
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1102076/Brexit-news-latest-theresa-may-brexit-deal-vote-EU-john-bercow
    Just get us out, I’m getting a little bit cheesed off with all these remoaners including Mrs May and the rest of the Eu loving mps trying to keep us tied to the dying Eu , get us out next week or risk civil unrest not seen since Oliver Cromwell’s day 🤬🤬🤬

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it just appalling that one unbalanced (and I use the word advisedly) woman and a self-interested bunch of talentless nobodies can influence the course of history for the whole country. And influence it in the most abominable way.

      I feel truly afraid of how we would fare under EU domination. We would not escape punishment for daring to attempt a bid for freedom.

      We MUST get away. NOW.

  83. Andrew S
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see an end to long parliamentary careers, we should have a limit of three terms overall in any twenty five year period for persons elected to the commons. No more house of lords, instead a directly elected senate of maybe 100 or 200, with written constitution limiting it’s revisary powerss. I am ready to ditch the first-past-the-post electoral system for the commons, and go to direct proportional representation.
    Before long we have to ask, why should our head of state be hereditary? We should have a directly elected dignatory with primaries to ensure only serious suitable persons can get on the ticket.
    And judges for life? Why so? Who in everyday occupations gets the security of a job for life? Time limit I suggest 15 years. Plenty more to go at, civil service and BBC.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      A head of state – for example ”President Tony Blair” or ”President Richard Branson” because these are the type of wealthy individuals who can pay their way to the top.

      No thanks. I’d rather stick with our own royal family. It is an asset to the country. Anyone can have a president.

      • Andrew S
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Yes I get that. We want the royals there because it suits us. It saves us from the possibility of having a blair type. The Irish model, their guy just shows up and opens things in the name of the state, doesn’t run anything. That’s the kind of HoS we could have. Be nice, smile, open things, shake hands with visiting heads of state. after 4 years, you’re gone. Next.

  84. Alan Wheatley
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, good to see you writing here and speaking in the Commons in favour of leaving on 29th March under WTO terms AND exploiting the facilities of Schedule 24 of GATT.

    This arrangement would deliver “leaving WITH a deal”, which surely would command a majority in Parliament!

    Many would be further encouraged by not having to pay £39B for the privilege, and so would the population.

    But, surely, it is even better. GATT24 could equally be applied to all the “third countries” with which the EU currently has a trade deal, as the UK currently does as a member of the EU. So when we leave we can continue free trade on the existing basis until agreeing a deal upon the end of negotiations.

    I hope you will be able to harness like minded people within and without Parliament to the cause. I am sure very many would support GATT24 if only they knew of the possibilities.

    Of course, the EU have to agree, but for them GATT24 is much better than “no deal”.

  85. Nation deceiving nat
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Brexit…my phone keeps auto changing the word Brexit to Need it…which is funny.

  86. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Maybe my opinion is optimistic but the Bercow (attempted?) decision gives some hope.

    What is the minimum change to the draft Withdrawal Agreement that would count as substantial? Surely, it would be to make the whole agreement – not just the Irish backstop – time limited to the end of the current transition period (end of 2020). May I humbly request that you ask this question at the next PMQs, in the presence of the Speaker.

    The EU may well refuse to grant a time extension to Article 50. Mrs May is as yet unable to give an answer to the EU’s persistent question “What is the extension for?”. I would love it if Macron were to do a de Gaulle and say “No”. Nigel Farage is attempting to get one EU Member State to veto an extension.

    The alternatives to May’s deal are No Deal, a soft Brexit, a second referendum or No Brexit. I believe that all except No Deal would be profoundly unpopular with the electorate. That gives Brexiteers a terrific opportunity to be obstructive in parliament, to move many amendments and to filibuster, and to attempt to reinstate No Deal. Since Mrs May has lost all authority, so too have her Whips.

    It remains urgent that Brexiteers produce a Brexiteers’ manifesto and publish it by mid-April. What must be kept on the table is the threat to support a Corbyn No Confidence motion, with a view to a General Election on Thursday 27th June. And it must be no idle threat.

  87. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    All this goes back to the autumn of 2017 when Theresa May took the strategic decision to exploit the largely fabricated problem of the Irish land border as a pretext to go back on what she had said in her Lancaster House speech on January 17th and instead give the CBI and other business pressure groups what they wanted (that is to say, short of the UK actually staying in the EU, which they may well now hope to get):

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/03/18/two-offers-of-delay/#comment-1004471

    She could have dismissed out of hand the ridiculously exaggerated concerns about a renewal of terrorist violence that were being systematically propagated by the Irish government as a ruse to keep us under the economic thumb of the EU; she could even have referred to her recent Florence speech:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pms-florence-speech-a-new-era-of-cooperation-and-partnership-between-the-uk-and-the-eu

    ” … we and the EU have committed to protecting the Belfast Agreement and the Common Travel Area and, looking ahead, we have both stated explicitly that we will not accept any physical infrastructure at the border.”

    But instead she deliberately allowed the opposite impression to be spread, including with the mass media using Irish republican propaganda pictures showing grim-faced British customs officers holding up traffic at the border. And then in her Mansion House speech of March 2nd 2018:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union

    she went even further by gratuitously accepting responsibility for ensuring that the EU would keep its promise:

    “We have been clear all along that we don’t want to go back to a hard border in Ireland. We have ruled out any physical infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls.

    But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.”

    And in what does that “help” consist? Keeping the whole of the UK under swathes of EU laws in perpetuity, that is what it is; it may be that originally the “help” demanded by the Irish government was only to apply to Northern Ireland, but our government made the counter-demand that the same “help” must apply the whole of the UK, and then claimed that as a “concession” that the UK had wrung out of the EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      The border only has to exist in so far as people can’t claim citizenship and welfare simply by crossing it.

      A radical rethink of asylum laws too. Especially if they come via back door Ireland.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      I think nothing at the border is a bit strange. The French are leading the way with a basic implementation for Calais and Eurotunnel goods., And this with nothing particularly smart

      http://www.douane.gouv.fr/articles/a16171-the-smart-border

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Well, in that case it has been a bit strange since the advent of the EU Single Market on January 1st 1993. Not the earlier EEC customs union, mind, that removed tariffs but not checks on goods at the border. But having let stuff flow in from the Republic without any border checks for 26 years, why should we suddenly start checking it? Because we think that once we are out of the EU the Irish government will stop complying with EU law and start allowing goods which the EU classes as illegal to be taken across the border to the north, like a disgruntled neighbour throwing rubbish over the fence?

    • Whichever
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      There were some easy solutions put forward to this age old border issue but the DUP dressed it up with the 1 billion demand to mrs May for their support and so the whole thing became a problem. As it is part of the WA but now the WA is discarded therefore the backstop is also not a problem anymore.

      The border is not an issue now because after you leave 29th an EU border buffer style will happen maybe ten to twenty miles south of the border..it will be for checking goods only but there will be more exacting checks in Dublin and the other south of ireland ports..all will be helped by the drafting in of customs officials from some of the other EU countries..all according to what I hear. Thereafter there will be a generous compensation package to help with the adjustment. Nothing could be simpler

  88. javelin
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    May has broken her promise and asked for a two year delay.

    The internet is saturated with Conservative voters calling May and her followed traitors.

  89. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    https://order-order.com/2019/03/19/vindictive-ico-hits-vote-leave-40000-fine-not-data-agreed-delete/

    “Brexiteers who think that Brexit will somehow come out more to their liking after a two-year delay or a second referendum only need to look at the way Brexit campaigners have been relentlessly pursued since the referendum to see how it will play out in reality. It’s now or never for Brexit …”

  90. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Once again – it is Mrs May who is the problem, for the Country, for the national Party, for the 1922 and even for her Cabinet. She MUST be removed – that is the only policy that will mean anything. I suggested before there is a simple procedure for yourself, the DUP and ERG to abstain on an Opposition Vote of No Confidence.

    However, if Mrs May prorogues Parliament to go for a third vote, may I suggest that at the following State Opening the Queen’s Speech must if it contains the PWA material must also be Voted Down – so that Mrs May cannot actually form a Government and cannot propose any legislation.

  91. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    This speaker has frequently failed to act with convention, and has often been the stooge of irrational opposition…. I suspect he will go down in history as the worst possible example of Speaker ever, providing Parliament do something to ensure that nobody like him can attain the position again. He has always been on the labour side, although he came from the Tory benches, and has frequently been seen as unfair in his decisions…. Hasn’t he read the Equalities Act 2010?
    There must be a reckoning, after we win a WTO exit, of all those in authority that have used, and abused, their position to manipulate Parliament or indeed have been conniving with the EU…

  92. Phil
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s much too late for parliament now, we are leaving 29th, it is unlikely the EU will want to give us an extension of A50, but in any case what would we want an extension for. So, in fact, Mrs May need not go to Brussels Thursday, she can just stay at home and let the clock run down like she has been doing for the past two years

    Well what then? well the EU will need tò get on with their EU parliamentry elections.
    We will need to look to see how we are affected by all of this, and just like the Speaker invoking a rule from 1604 which was made for England we’ll probably be looking for precedent but there will be none. Some think we have it all covered but we don’t

  93. javelin
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The Sun reporting Corbyn might quit. I have been thinking about this for a while. If Labour become more voter friendly the Conservative Party are very deep in the Brown stuff.

  94. Freeborn John
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Please under no circumstances vote for the current Withdrawal Agreement and urge your ERG colleagues and DUP to do the same and hold fast. A delay followed by a real Brexit is better than signing up to BINO in an international treaty that would endure indefinitely. The only route to brexit now is with a new Brexiter PM who has a majority in Parliament and who the EU take seriously when they say no deal is better than the Withdrawal Agreement. There is risk in a new election but a new parliament is necessary. The mantras going forward must be “new leader, new deal” and “new deal or no deal”.

  95. Vanessa
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    What ! Playtime isn’t over yet ? God spare us from these childish games.

  96. Jacques
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    So many being interviewed on Sky Tv still talking about having your cake and eating it..even at this late stage they havn’t come to terms with what is happening..let’s be clear..you are not going to be allowed to cherry pick your way to your own dream deal with the EU..you’ve caused too much upset that there will cettainly be consequences..i have no doubt..but it will be the ordinary people going about their business who will pay the price not the well fed politicians

  97. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    What if, in the classic Major way, she declared a WTO Brexit successful in hindsight on the back of her own ideas?
    An awful thought that this PM could be there for a while yet!

  98. Caterpillar
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    Has the PM at any time given you a coherent explanation as to why the WA satisfies her public stated objectives more than leaving with no deal. What is it that makes the WA, in her mind, better than no deal?

  99. gregory martin
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    A signatory to the prorogue petition would have received today this:
    “The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “The Prime Minister should advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament.”.

    Government responded:

    The Government has no plans to prorogue parliament and remains committed to delivering an orderly exit from the EU in line with its pledge to deliver on the outcome of the referendum.

    The Government remains committed to delivering on the outcome of the referendum and leaving the EU in line with its pledge to deliver on the outcome of the referendum. We will continue to work towards that end in a way that is compatible with our constitutional principles, including giving Parliament its say. As the Prime Minister has set out, there will be further votes to ensure that Parliament’s voice is heard.

    As it is the responsibility of this Government to deliver the exit that people voted for, and as Parliament is clear that it does not wish to deliver a ‘no deal’, we must secure a deal.

    It is a priority of the Government to make sure businesses and citizens are ready for Brexit, including no deal. This includes consulting closely with stakeholders to develop no deal contingency plans and minimise disruption. We have engaged with businesses and other sectors to understand their needs and to make sure we are prepared to address the effects of no deal.

    Cabinet Office.

    Click this link to view the response online:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237487?reveal_response=yes

    The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

    The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

    Thanks,
    The Petitions team
    UK Government and Parliament”
    So thats that?

  100. matthu
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Patriots should vote down Theresa May’s deal – it is the worst for the country of all the alternatives. 18 March 2019 – by Martin Howe

    https://lawyersforbritain.org/patriots-should-vote-down-theresa-mays-deal-it-is-the-worst-for-the-country-of-all-the-alternatives

    (This article shows how alarmingly close the Conservatives have come to miring the country in the worst of all possible worlds for an eternity or more.)

    • rick hamilton
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately the EU-nannied, lefty-liberals of the civil service, media and academia regard patriotism as an outdated evil. They want ever closer union and eventually world government, controlled of course by an ideological elite with no imagination such as themselves.

      The historical evidence that the ‘ordinary’ people who do the actual work and keep the country running do not want this at all, ever, has completely passed them by. Which is why we are in this stand-off between essentially the tax eaters and the tax earners.

      It always brings me back to the same question: “What’s wrong with these people ?”

  101. Original Richard
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    “So far Ministers have been unable to come up with any plausible reason why the EU should grant us an extension.”

    They don’t need to.

    It will be EU who decide the reason for any extension (with Mrs. May’s collusion).

    Mrs. May will be told to organise another referendum with the EU’s WA (remain in the EU with no vote or veto or lawful means of exit) or remain in the EU as the two options and Mrs. May will tell us that we have no other option but to comply…

  102. rose
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    “Make a mess of Brexit and none of you will be PM” said the PM who made a mess of Brexit.
    And on the same day she was wooing people she had marginalised all the time she was doing this.

  103. Peter D Gardner
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    If I were an EU official or politicians I would regard Bercow’s ruling as the traditional English two fingers.
    Remainers, typically, do not see it as enhancing UK’s negotiating leverage to secure a better deal, but as an excuse to press for a delay. Project Fear has been a brilliant success in rendering many MPs, both Remain and Leave, incapable of rational thought, leaving them terrified of a WTO exit.
    I have commented before that it is my belief that Mrs May intends that UK should remain in the EU. Her Plan A was her Withdrawal (Vassalage-Accession) Agreement. Her Plan B is to use the useful No to No Deal idiots to force her to seek an extension. When the conditions for that and the associated legislation gets too unacceptable, she will revoke UK’s Article 50 notice of withdrawal, which, since it means a change to UK domestic law would also require legislation. UK will find the ECJ ruling on revocation was not as simple and clear cut as supposed by Remainers. UK will have to prove intent to remain for the long term and to be a sincere partner in the EU project. But, being on the same side as the EU, Mrs May will have all this worked out with the EU long before British MPs have even begun to think about it through.
    If I were the Queen, I would not wait to be asked. I would send for both May and Corbyn and tell them to get ready for a general election and that in the meantime the law will remain unchanged.

  104. Craig
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    The country voted to leave. So it should be done.
    I play the lottery. I never win. Hey ho.

  • 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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