The Prime Minister’s letter to Mr Tusk

The faltering and badly drafted letter to Mr Tusk is unacceptable, asking as it does for a delay of three months in our exit from the EU.

188 Conservative MPs made clear our  opposition to any delay last Thursday in the vote, with another 12 unable to support the Prime Minister’s motion to delay. Our actions, allied to Cabinet dissent, has persuaded the Prime Minister to drop the idea of a long delay for no stated purpose which I characterised here as the phantom option.

The Prime Minister has decided to appeal to Labour and SNP MPs to vote for a short delay were she to be granted one by the EU. The letter both says she could not take the same deal back to the Commons for a vote this week under the Speaker’s ruling, and says she will  bring the same Agreement back next week after the Council for a third vote. It does not explain how this happens. The suggestion is getting Council endorsement for the documents Parliament has already considered somehow makes a difference.  The letter asks for the extension to Article 50 only to pass consequential legislation following approval of the Agreement. The letter is silent on what happens if the Agreement is voted down again or not voted on at all, though it implies we leave on 29 March with no extension.

What should the EU make of this? Many of them will feel the Prime Minister has told them before she can speak for Parliament and will get her deal through, but is still 149 votes short of a majority at last count. She has told them she would meet the timetable, only now to have to confess she cannot. They will doubtless want her to answer questions about why she wants the extension, how she would use the time, and above all why should they believe this time is different and the Agreement will go through.

They would also be wise to ask her how sure she is she could pass delay through the Commons, given the strong hostility of two thirds of her party to any such proposal. She would need to demonstrate she had a clear and reliable understanding with the Leader of the Opposition that he would provide enough MPs to offset the 200 Conservative MPs known to be against delay. This cannot be done by even a large Labour backbench rebellion but would need the Leader of the Opposition to take joint responsibility with the Prime Minister for delaying Brexit and whip accordingly. This seems unlikely, as there is little in it for Mr Corbyn to enter coalition with the PM over Brexit when any firm position on the subject splits his own party more.

Meanwhile I agree some MPs have been delaying Brexit as the PM says. These MPs clearly include the Prime Minister herself who has wasted far too much time on a negotiation and Agreement which the public rejects massively. The latest poll shows just 14% support  for Mrs May’s Agreement.

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  1. Al
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Last night I watched Teresa May do exactly what she has done for the last two years: waste the nation’s time. She still fails to understand that as the leader and Prime Minister, responsibility stops with her. Useful information would be that if there is a delay, what does she intend to negotiate, what will it cost, and what will her position be on legislation from the EU due to come in during that period. e.g. Article 11&13.

    I believe she has badly misjudged the mood of the country, as Jon Snow’s informal poll on whether the Prime Minister should Leave, Remain, or Resign had virtually 100% responding for Resign.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      The Conservative back-benches need to empty – with the MPs leaving the chamber, rather than crossing the floor – the next time she stands up at the Despatch Box. She has humiliated the country with her rolling act of surrender to the punishment-beating squad. It’s been downhill ever since her Lancaster House speech.

      • rose
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Last week 188 Conservative MPs voted against her proposed delay, as Sir John says. They included Cabinet Ministers, Government Ministers, the Brexit Secretary and Minister, and 11 whips. The Chief Whip abstained. A PM cannot survive without a party and without whips, yet the MSM aren’t discussing this.

        • Hope
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          JR, your party is finished if the UK does not leave by Friday 29/03/2019.

          History of untrustworthy incompetence, Callaghan put Labour out of office with his IMF scandal showing Labour was not fit to run the economy.

          Major blew it for the Tories on greedy scandals and trying to join the ERM where thousands of businesses went to the wall and homes were repossessed.
          Clegg’s lies on the tuition fee scandal blew it for the Lib Dems.
          Make no mistake your party is in that territory already. Your get out card is no deal next Friday. It really is as simple as that.
          Letwin, Grieve, Rudd, Clarke, Gauke, Boles, Lee, Soubry etc. Are acting against their own words, manifesto, pledges, referendum result. They will not be forgiven.
          Suggest Bercow look up the word traitor he appears not to understand it. Once again, politico thoughts not aligned to the public opinion.

          • Hope
            Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Letwin already claiming remaining under another plan is the answer! Is he really that dull? The man who brought the poll tax, the man who went off at night to curtail press freedom, the man who let burglars in house at five in the morning.
            Lemmings follow Letwin to the cliffs he has a plan to remain EU to fool the public, it is not as if he has not been there before!

            Why are Tory associations putting up with these looney tunes? Stop all support immediately until the go to and party come to its senses. You are wasting your time and money.

        • James
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Mrs May and her lacklustre team has never grasped the strength of the UK’s hand in the so-called negotiations. Her EU counterparts are desperate to avoid a ‘No Deal’ outcome. They realise that their electorates will blame them for the outcome and show their acute displeasure in no uncertain terms at the forthcoming European elections. It is likely that the HoC will next week again vote down Mrs May’s disgraceful WA, at which point she should have the decency to resign forthwith.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            Exactly we have a very strong hand, but May is pissing it down the drain. She is an incompetent, disingenuous, socialist, fool.

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 22, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink


            ” They realise that their electorates will blame them for the outcome and show their acute displeasure in no uncertain terms at the forthcoming European elections.”

            No they won’t. The few who follow our pantomime think we are nuts.

          • NickC
            Posted March 22, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Do they also think New Zealand is “nuts”? Or India? Or the USA? Get a grip.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        She simply does not have a clue how to negotiate. We need someone who understand logic, negotiation, risk management and game theory. Not someone with a degree in advanced colouring in who is robotic and as daft as a brush.

        Why on earth did she ever think her £39 billion straight jacket would be acceptable to anyone sensible it is the very worse of the options.

        Thanks Gove and the speaker who thinks no MP is a “Traitor” about half and certainly himself certainly are.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Not only that, she got accustomed as home secretary to saying one thing to the voters (eg immigration down to the tens of thousands) while doing something completely different with the levers of power, she has been allowed to get away with that by the whole political class, and she has just developed a style of being a complete liar and saying one thing and doing another. Layered on top of a lack of ability to conceptualise the big multi dimensional picture of any given problem domain.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I disliked her transferring the blame to the MPs. No decent person does this if they are in charge. You take it yourself and learn.

      I am afraid of her appeal to the people over the heads of our elected MPs. This is the mark of someone who craves for absolute power. Referendums, rigged elections, dog whistles, the blame game all appeal to the people, but leave power firmly in the hands of just one person – the Leader.
      That is the main reason I voted Leave: I do not want to be ruled by foreign people who are distant, unaccountable and not really elected properly.

      • rose
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        I can’t see her ever being able to inspire the masses.

        • Hope
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          It is far too late she is done. You cannot lie that many times and expect people to beleive or trust you.

          Better to die standing than live your life on your knees. Parliament is a sordid grubby den of traitors that needs clearing.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 12:25 am | Permalink

        Mike Stallard

        “That is the main reason I voted Leave: I do not want to be ruled by foreign people who are distant, unaccountable and not really elected properly.”

        You prefer our own system of an unelected head of state, house of lords, civil servants/bureaucrats, judiciary?

        We don’t even get to elect our own prime minister but are just given a choice of a Labour party nominee financed by the unions or big business for the Tories. A virtual two party state. Some democracy!

        • Edward2
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Yes margaret I and many millions prefer our own UK democracy.
          One lot of government is enough.

        • APL
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard: “You prefer our own system of an unelected head of state, house of lords, civil servants/bureaucrats, judiciary?”

          Yes. But the system you describe, the one that exists today, is radically different from the system we had in place 43 years ago.

          Since the EUro Rot has set in, it’s going to take some time to excise it.

          Margaret Howard: “A virtual two party state. Some democracy!”

          Point of order, hardly ‘virtual’.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      It is a national humiliation that mrs may is prime minister, she has shown herself to be completely inadequate for the role. The only consolation is that Jeremy Corbyn would of course be far worse.

      Notwithstanding the Tory Party leadership rules, it is now time for ministers and MPs to tell her to go.

      • Richard J Owen
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes Mrs May needs to go or I fear the Tory Party will be consigned to the pages of history. She needs to be forced out because we are being made a laughing stock in Europe and the world and above all this deal she wants to push through is a disaster and most of all she is failing the people!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        How could he be worse?

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Theresa May’s behaviour seems to be that of a person in total panic disguised by a determination not to show it. Her words are written by civil servants; it is they who are completely out of touch with reality (yes, abetted by Mrs May’s own Remain preferences).

      There were no conditions attached to the EU Referendum Act 2015, or the ballot paper, that Leave was conditional on a deal. If she and the government machine cannot make a decent deal (and her WA isn’t, it is just a surrender document) then the Leave decision still stands.

      She, her civil servants, and the majority of MPs have set up a strawman – that we can only leave with a deal. It is false. We didn’t vote for her deal, or any deal; we voted to leave the EU treaties.

      • Richard
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        & ‘strawman’ = untrue/ project fear.
        recent minister George Eustice: “We are as ready as we are ever likely to be to leave the EU without an agreement.”
        Shanker Singham & Lord Lilley:
        “Continuity agreements are in place with Switzerland, Chile and Israel and mutual recognition agreements with the US, NZ & Australia. Meanwhile, 111 bilateral agreements will continue unchanged. Of the 17 negotiated via the EU, virtually all have been successfully renegotiated.
        The EU would be likely to agree a nine-month [WTO] mini-transition period where a broader range of rules and regulations would remain in force, pending permanent solutions.”

        • NickC
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Richard, You have set up a strawman. I did not cite George Eustice, Shanker Singham or Lord Lilley. I cited Mrs May, her civil servants, and the majority of MPs.

          You also have failed to define a strawman properly. “A strawman is a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent.” [Wiki]

    • Peter
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      May has no credibility either in the UK or with the EU.

      The EU has to decide whether to allow her a delay, as a sort of useful idiot, or simply call time on a time-consuming and troublesome issue and refuse her any extension.

      • outsider
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Asking for a 3 month extension, which takes the EU beyond its parliamentary elections, rather than, say, seven weeks, seems to exemplify this Government’s incompetence in the whole matter.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Surely the best reason (threat!) for turning down the WA again next week is that it will get rid of Mrs. May, if MP’s vote it through they get to keep Mrs May! Even HoC MP’s can make that decision.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Some ex-Leavers are proposing ‘a dignified exit for May’. And they think ‘just leaving‘ is impossible! 😂😂😂

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Dear A1–I have come to despise the woman myself but I thought I was reliably told (I have not seen or heard it myself) yeaterday that a new Poll has her the most popular politician with Boris second and the most unpopular Corbyn. Did I dream this?

      • L Jones
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps the people specially chosen to answer in this poll were confused by the word ”popular”. They probably thought they were being asked ”who is the BEST KNOWN politician?”.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Some very interesting replies to my post yesterday about public unrest in the case of either No Deal or Not Leaving the European Union.

      Just to be super clear I’m not arguing whether No Deal is wrong, merely that if it happens then we risk a lot of people saying ‘I never voted for this.’

      Equally, I’m not arguing that Remain is right, as if we don’t deliver it, we also risk a lot of people saying ‘Parliament is not delivering the will of the British people.’

      I’m not arguing these views are right or wrong. I’m just a little concerned that a lot of people think No Deal will somehow solve everything and lead to national unity. I think it may lead to even more factionalism and infighting (as will remaining in the E.U, which I am also against).

      • Edward2
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        You are not defining the current situation correctly merlin in my opinion.
        The Withdrawal Agreement is not a deal.
        It is just a treaty to enable a move forward towards a deal sometime in the future.
        Why not just leave and negotiate a deal instead?

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        “Just to be super clear I’m not arguing whether No Deal is wrong, merely that if it happens then we risk a lot of people saying ‘I never voted for this.’ ”


        You can blame divisive Remainers for creating that situation.

        *Soft* Brexit was only talked about after they lost the referendum. Otherwise Leave the European Union could not have been clearer on the day.

        They have also stoked inter-generational hatred, inter-class hatred, inter-educational hatred and divisions between our countries by deliberately analysing the vote and isolating Leavers.

        My. What a force for unity the EU is ! Our country on the verge of civil war.

      • NickC
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Merlin, I have realised since at least 2003 that there are no half-way houses with the EU. Either we are in it – and run by it – or we are out. We cannot be either a little bit “in” or a little bit “out”, it is one or the other.

        I do not know a single Leave voter who would not snatch at what you falsely call “no deal”. Leave was not, and is not, conditional upon a deal. Only Remain was so – it was conditional upon Cameron’s deal.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          If what you say is true, then you have nothing to fear from a second referendum.

          If leave voters won the referendum, and also all leave voters want No Deal, then No Deal must win the referendum.

          I think the only way to go with No Deal is with a referendum. I don’t get that sense of popular support for it that you do.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      The reason for Mrs. May’s appeal to the country/attack on Parliament yesterday is to prepare us for the next step in her remain campaign.

      Having broken many promises :
      “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”,

      Mrs. May is now preparing us to go back on her promise to not have a second referendum, with the excuse that Parliament cannot come to a decision.

      Only this time the options will be the EU’s WA (where we must accept EU laws and taxes without representation or veto and cannot lawfully exit without the permission of every single EU country thus weakening immeasurably our negotiating position in the subsequent Future Relationship negotiations) and remain.

      The country’s goose will be well and truly cooked.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    You raise many relevant issues regarding the letter to Mr Tusk which, to those of sound mind, are possibly unanswerable.

    What the letter does illustrate is the absolute tunnel vision being displayed by Mrs May. It appears to be her final desperate attempt to inflict her putrid WA on the UK, with potentially catastrophic consequences for future generations, firmly of the opinion that it will, somehow, embellish the legacy of her Prime Ministership. Her current reputation as the worst Prime Minister ever will be further trashed if she succeeds.

    Inevitably MV3 will take place next week. It must be defeated and your final paragraph suggests this is possible, for the right reasons, down to you, the ERG, the DUP and a few others. (with a special mention for Kate Hoey) and for the wrong reasons, many of the Labour Party and the SNP.

    Defeat of MV3 will hopefully achieve the double benefit of a WTO Brexit and Mrs May’s resignation.

    • Adam
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink


      Mrs May’s putrid Withdrawal Agreement risks sticking us in detention amid its stench of stagnant incompetence.

      • Pominoz
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes. The smell is even reaching this far!

        Remarkably on Aussie TV last night Alexander Downer, Australian High Commissioner in London was saying it was right for the UK to vote for May’s deal, even though it would delay a trade deal with Oz. Not well received here.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      A WTO Brexit and Mrs May’s (and Hammond) resignations are exactly what is needed. That, on its own, would boost confidence hugely. Just seeing May or hearing her speak is hugely depressing.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Tunnel vision by the Prime Minister and the EU. Their intransigence and enthusiasm for their withdrawal agreement confirms it’s true purpose.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. She really has to go. Like many here I find her an utter National embarrassment. Creeping to the EU and the other foreign leaders. She needs to get off her knees and grow a spine!

  3. Bob Dixon
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    So at last we are CASHING IN.

  4. Stred
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Presenting herself in front of the Union Jack as the patriot who is giving the voters what they wanted, while doing the work of the EU, it reminded me of the deluded colonel in Bridge Over the River Kwai. It may be possible to persuade her to retire on health grounds. The country can’t stand much more of this humiliation and the person in the top job has to be competent and sane.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Indeed, she is totally deluded.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      If as some MPs are discussing, she is ennobled and kicked upstairs when the whole world knows she is both stupid, obdurate and treacherous, we will confirm to them that Britain itself is all of those things. We will never recover our reputation and every body will challenge us. We will have to fight every yard.
      May must leave having lost next week. Our Parliament as a whole must be able to claim to be independent, immune to bullying and blackmail.
      And we must deal with the world as we have always done, fairly, squarely – all deals mutually beneficial! And a ‘deal’ is a ‘deal’ – nothing to do with constitutional surrender.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        ”A ‘deal’ is a ‘deal”’ – and a should simply be a trade deal, at that, nothing to do with our running of our country and its sovereign decisions.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          It is obscene that the Royal Prorogative is misused to destroy the Royal Prorogative!
          We let Heath off the hook so now May thinks she has the same right!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        stupid, obdurate and treacherous – this seems to be by far the best stategy to get into the Lords.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      There was a cartoon in an Italian newspaper last week showing her crucified against a Union Jack

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Her address to the nation was extraordinary and possibly beyond deluded.

  5. Mark B
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The PM’s creditability and that of our country is completely shot. With your leader in charge both the word and reputation of this country is worthless. And all because a minority of collective groups want to Remain at the EU feeding trough.

    I am sick to death of the BREXIT Hokey-Cokey, where MP’s and Civil Serpents conspire to keep the UK one leg and one leg out of the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Mark B, A succinct judgement. Theresa May still thinks that if she reiterates “my dWA is Leave” enough times then we will all be converted as if by magic.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Correct. She parrots the same sequence of words over and over but her WA is still a turd!

  6. Gary C
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Again TM embarrasses the country.

  7. Ian wragg
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    May cannot see that she is the problem.
    Delay until after the EU elections then ask for a further extension ad infinitum. For goodness sake get rid of her.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      A friend of mine now calls the Tory party a “meringue” party – solid looking on the outside but hollow within. Mrs May says the choice is between her surrender document or Remain. All this national turmoil and humiliation, and the collapsing main parties, just because the establishment refuses to accept our decision to Leave.

    • Billy Elliot
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      EU won’t allow that

  8. eeyore
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The first day of spring, and hope is in the air.

  9. WP
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    9 days to go, more than 1000 days since the referendum, and we don’t know if we are coming or going. The disgrace is not just of Mrs May’s making (although she is fully complicit) but the result in an utter failure of our elected representatives across the board. Article 50 should never have been triggered without a plan, but we are too late for that now.

    The view, from here in Asia, is that the rest of the world is not so much laughing at the UK but wondering what has happened to a nation that once commanded such respect. The whole situation is an utter shambles and all parliamentarians ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      In 1992 (Maastricht Treaty) Britain ceased to be a country but the pretence was carried on that it was.

      The Referendum (that we ought to have had in 1992) was everything coming to a head. The spotlight of the unexpected Leave vote on our politicians has them scattering like insects.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Like cockroaches when a light is switched on, you mean?

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        The problem goes back long before then.The Americans wanted a federated Europe including the UK at the end of WWII.As soon as we accepted the American loan (1947?)and became subordinate to the US financial system we were doomed.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      In the end it is May. We all know this would have been organised in a completely different way with a good negotiator:

      -state your position clearly at the outset
      -always be prepared to walk away
      -negotiate quid pro quo adjustments

      She’s hopeless and should have gone many many months ago. Now, she’ll slink away Cameron style if her awful agreement fails, which it will.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Please. It wasn’t a negotiation but a capitulation and agreement with the EU to come up with BRINO and later get us back in.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


    • ukretired123
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      You hit the spot on this. May and Parliament TV show how ineffective we are for the world to see. Countries wonder what have we become and our enemies will become more emboldened including our competitors.
      She is deluded and a massive handicap and liability to Britain.
      She is unaware of the damage she is doing to the country and others.

      • ukretired123
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Her WA is the equivalent of Ed’s Tablet of Stone declaration which fell flat and was a millstone round his neck consigning him to history.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink


      Like your film example, but like in the Film one of her own side (or a collective of people) have to remove her, BEFORE she scuppers the mission.

      She must not be allowed to get the Withdrawal Agreement through, that would be too late to for action.

      I see Mr Tusk has told our Mp’s to vote for the deal before anything else can be actioned.

      Proof if it was ever needed that the EU demands control over us.

      How some Mp’s can still want to be members of the EU after being told how to vote by a Foreign Power is quite beyond me.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink


      On a recent visit to the USA they are as bemused as well.

      Our International standing is in tatters, who could take us seriously ?

      • den
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        The American people saw the light and elected themselves a President who is determined to support them. Only them. He and they have stopped the rotten progression of Establishment disciples in the Whitehouse that have promised the people all but given nothing. They were answerable to the elitists not the ordinary folk of the Nation.
        The Brexit vote and Mr Trump showed these American ordinary folk the way out and he was duly elected. Unlike his predecessors (And our own PM) stood by his manifesto.
        Now look at this Country and envy the USA. Our PM dithers yet their President, unlike his deeply sad predecessor, wants to put us to the FRONT of the queue to do BIG Business in the USA. Even with the appalling EU restrictions, they are our best net customer in the WORLD. Just think where we can go from here without the shackles of Brussels holding us back.
        For starters, British Dover Sole would be back on the menus in NY! Not Dover Sole caught by the Spanish or French (and the rest of the EU) trawlers.

    • Bob
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      “the world is not so much laughing at the UK but wondering what has happened to a nation that once commanded such respect. “

      The FPTP voting system, safe seats, rotten boroughs and career politicians. The corruption of our political system has been exposed for all to see.

      • APL
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Bob: “The corruption of our political system has been exposed for all to see.”

        That’s what 43 years in the European Union does for a Democracy.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      all parliamentarians ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves.

      It has proved beyond all doubt that ALL politicians live in a bubble. They have no sense of what is going on outside Westminster. It’s both funny and tragic. A bunch of numpties – the lot of them.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Then we just have to make sure they are proved wrong PDQ. Everyone everywhere knows that politicians and governments change like the wind, and there is no reason to think one bunch of no-hopers (our host excepted, thank goodness) has set the scene for the future.

      “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.” Eventually.

  10. agricola
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t see Corbyn in coalition with the PM, having walked out of last nights meeting in a huff.

    The EU are I suspect incredulous in the face of all the evidence that she can do their bidding with just one more push.

    Last night, try as they were obliged to, the BBC in one of their news programmes I was watching confessed that they could not find one MP of any persuasion who supported her.

    Can I suggest that, should the Speaker be bullied into allowing the WA back to the Commons for debate, it should be resoundingly voted down. May should then be invited to depart No 10 forthwith.

    It then becomes make up your minds time for the Conservative party. Do you want a PM who can manage Leave or do you wish to continue down the road to oblivion with the electorate.

    I think that the time would have come when a genuine debate on all the options should be held in the HoC. By that time post 29th March we would have left but it would not be too late to discuss what sort of relationship we envisage with the EU. We know there are many options.

    I favour a complete break on 29th March. It is not the cliff edge that those with limited knowledge believe. After all 60% of our trade is conducted that way and is in profit. Current EU trade is in defecit, the positive side of which should give the Treasury a positive income stream in duty. On the 30th March I would hit the Eu with a draft Free Trade Area agreement and invoke Art 24 of GATT the day after. The aim being to create a stable unchanged trading environment until a FTA is established. Simples, everyone is happy apart from those who are addicted to the political shackles of the EU, the Stockholme Syndrome brigade. Finally disect the WA to identify those aspects that are beneficial to the UK/EU and agree them.

    My final caveat would be to approach any trade talks with the USA with caution. Know what we do not want particularly in terms of food and the NHS before deciding what we do want. Sorry for it’s length but one liners are passe at the moment.


    • agricola
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Posted at 6.25 why is it still a bride at the altar.

  11. Dominic
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    This unedifying, sordid episode of abuse of our democratic system by a cabal of fixers, insiders and troughers should provide a salutary lesson in what happens when popular democracy is deliberately undermined and weakened to facilitate a transfer of political and constitutional authority

    Both Labour and the Tory party is directly to blame for what we are now seeing excluding of course our host and a minority of Commons MPs who have shown principle and determination in their attempts to prevent our system of democracy being dismantled

    The ERG must fight to save and protect that most precious of national assets, British democracy.

    We cannot look to Marxist Labour to protect our nation from threats for they themselves are also intent on infecting and destroying from within

    The ERG is now the only pro-UK presence in the Commons.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


  12. javelin
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The only good thing about a June leaving date is that Conservatives will see in the local elections the fate that awaits them in the General Elections. It’s going to get very ugly.

    • javelin
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Or put it another way. The June leaving date will cause an unecessary wipeout of local councilllors in the May local elections, pointless if we are going to leave in June anyway. Local councillors will not forgive May for losing them their seats and will not campaign for the Party in the General Election.

      It makes no strategic sense.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        If your MP is one of the few that stood up for Leave then vote to help them.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Wiping out councillors can be claimed to have nothing to do with Brexit. It might not be a full wipeout as there is anger at Labour as well. Going for longer would require standing in the European elections which would be a clear loss as there would be Brexit parties.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Remember her negotiating “strategy”. That makes no sense either.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        You are so right, if May had bothered to turn up to meet the 1922 committee yesterday no doubt they would have told her that, but she hadn’t even the grace to attend.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          Brady is voting for her Surrender document.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Correct. The local elections are a “free” vote, no real consequences for switching away from voting Tory. Just like UKIP got a big vote in the last EU elections – a protest vote.

  13. Border Colin
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I fully agree with these criticisms of our lamentable PM. She must go. No deal is off the table. So, at last, sanity will prevail – Boles/ Cooper will now command a clear majority in the Commons, an extension to the end of 2020 will be sought and granted, and the nation can come together around a realistic strategy for our future close relationship with the EU. Also I think it is necessary to that a full investigation is pursued into the motives of the tiny band of fanatics who have brought our great country to its knees with their false tales of frictionless trade with the EU after Brexit, us holding most of the cards, third countries queueing up to do great trade deals with us, etc etc

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      We don’t have frictionless trade with the E.U. as full members – there was never going to be an improvement on that but it will be no worse. The payoff is that we have free trade with the rest of the world which we have not had since becoming a vassal state of the German Union!

    • Dominic
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Parliament derives its authority from the British people. We have instructed Parliament that the UK must leave the EU. Parliament’s decided it no longer recognises our authority by refusing to implement the wishes of the majority

      According to your analysis we may as well suspend democracy and install an authoritarian regime

      Disturbing indeed

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      So for the nation to come together you have to get what you personally want ? That’s quite a coincidence.

      Still waiting for the 500,000 job losses and recession you promised in the year following a Leave vote. Maybe your investigation should take a look at that ?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      You have misread the situation as comprehensively as your ilk misjudged the mood in June 2016.

      Do keep up.

    • Alison
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Border Colin – the blame lies entirely with Mrs May and her negotiating team. The political declaration shows clearly that frictionless trade is feasible. Mrs May side-lined and removed the Brexiteers. Her Cabinet is 75% Remain, and has been throughout her tenure.
      She and Mr Hammond, and others, have done their utmost to delay, pollute and stop Brexit. They have done it with a total lack of consideration of ordinary people.

      Leaving the EU is the only sane thing to do. It takes our money – well over half of what we pay in (and of course you know that we pay a lot more than the budgeted amounts, Mrs May though doesn’t want to tell you). It condemns EU citizens to high unemployment. The euro zone is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, if not already there.

    • Edwardm
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I think you’ve overlooked we had a referendum with a majority for leaving the EU. That is to regain our sovereignty and democratic accountability free of the EU. Trade is important, but trading arrangements can be altered accordingly.

      The rest of the world trades successfully and frictionlessly using WTO and FTAs, as indeed we already do with non-EU countries. We already have a frictionless VAT and excise border with other countries in the EU (including NI and Ireland), so we just add WTO to it.
      The USA, Australia and New Zealand want to do trade deals (and I’m sure many poorer countries will welcome our proposed tariff free access for many of their goods).
      Those who wish to defy the result of the referendum are manufacturing artificial problems over trade to impede us leaving the EU. Blame for the mess we are in belongs with Mrs May and Remoaners, not the ERG.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      You’re another one of these peculiarly myopic people who seems to think the UK cannot possibly function successfully outside the European Union with all its restrictions and entanglements. There’s a story in the Daily Telegraph that you might like to read headed:

      ‘German alarm grows over the EU’s dangerous ultimatum terms to Britain’

      ‘There will be an acrimonious backlash in Germany if the EU’s hard-nosed Brexit strategy leads to a Eurozone crisis and a break-down in relations with a key ally.’

      There ya go, not even the Germans want the EU to punish the UK for having the temerity to leave the club, because they know what a good customer we are and why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?

      May however, seems not to realise the strength of the UK’s hand, and slavishly runs to the EU cap-in-hand whenever they demand it. She’s incompetent to the point of utter embarrassment. No wonder we are now seen as a joke by some. Hopefully, her tenure as the EU’s sock puppet Prime Minister will end very soon, and we’ll get a leader who is strong, patriotic, and demanding. A leader the country can rally behind and rely upon to deliver the result of the 2016 referendum, not one they want to drum out of office!

    • mancunius
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary, a so-called no-deal exit (i.e. leaving the EU on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement, a contingency explicitly provided for in Art. 50) is the current position, and has been unaffected by any votes in the House of Commons, as the provisions of the Withdrawal Act 2018 are statutory: the Speaker confirmed in the House on 13 March in reply to Jacob Rees-Mogg that no motions of the House can or do invalidate statutory law.
      Therefore by default – unless S. 20 of the Act were to be altered by a government motion in both Houses – we leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and go immediately to the WTO and bridging arrangements we have already put into effect.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Border Colin, 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU treaties – one of only two options provided by Parliament.

      Why do you suppose Parliament was wrong to think the UK could be independent? What reasons do you have for “knowing” that the UK cannot live outside the EU? Why do you think the EU should rule the UK? Please point out in the EU Referendum Act 2015 where it says that Leave was conditional on a deal; and also point out where it says one of the outcomes – Leave – can be discarded.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Indeed May just seems incapable of doing anything sensible or accepting any responsibility for the mess. Her expensive handcuff deal is so appalling that it has to be voted down yet again. The remainer traitors have undercut her and ensured that the EU have no had any incentive to offer any sensible deal. But her lack of vision and real leadership has been the main problem. She is wrong on the deal but has essentially socialist, tax and regulate to death economic policies too.

    I see that Downing Street even found some Union Jack Flags for a change, I thought they were virtually banned as the UK establishment prepared to break destroy England and break up into mere regions of the EU.

    Just leave and replace the dire May, Hammond, Hunt, Grieg Clark and all the tax to death remoaner types with some Real Conservatives as soon as possible. This while avoiding Corbyn/SNP at all costs please. Not that easy form this mess created by May (and Gove for inflicting the dishonest dope on the country). All we really meeded was what May promised in her Mansion House Speech. She clearly has made no serious attempt to deliver this.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      A real leave, real UK democracy, lower simpler taxes, cheap reliable energy, freedom and choice with how we spend our own money, far less government and government waste, sensible (quality controlled) immigration and a bonfire of red tape. That is all we need to be twice as rich as we currently are. As indeed Singapore is already and with rather fewer natural advantages.

  15. Mick Anderson
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The only way we are ever going to see Brexit is if MPs continue bickering for the next ten days and let the time expire. Even then I don’t trust Mrs May not to sign her wretched WA tying us to the EU forever.

    Her only “talents” are in procrastination, and divide-and-rule. The former only works when you have plenty of time to spare, and the latter when people don’t realise they are being manipulated. As she has been comprehensively found out, the men in grey suits really should have a quiet word.

  16. William Simpson
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Does the Tusk reply now ensure that UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, as the MV on the WA cannot be reintroduced unaltered, according to the Speaker, and there is no alteration to MVII.

    Please God we’re at the end of this phase, exit with Brexit on WTO on 29 March and Mrs May resigning as a completely failed prime minister.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Tusk wants to eliminate the possibility of a short delay in order to implement a long delay. That’s all.

    • matthu
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      There is still opportunity for the EU to bring something that looks (at first sight) like a rabbit out of the hat.

      I would suggest we have a couple of greyhounds on hand – and if they turn their noses up at it, don’t touch it with a barge-pole. If they do see it off the property, then nothing lost.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      More alarming is the Merkel reply, saying she will move heaven and earth to prevent us leaving without the surrender document being signed.

  17. oldtimer
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    On your analysis the EU would be wise to reject an extension. But there are EU interests that do not want no deal who will argue for an extension. Merkel represents such an interest. As the prime EU expert in kicking the can down the road, I expect her to do so again followed by the rest. This farce will run and run unless or until May is removed from office.

  18. Nigl
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    And how many times has the EU said that it will not change the deal, so what of substance is she going to bring back? Esther McVey seems to have crumbled under the pressure, so much for her leadership potential and there have been other mutterings about Brexit fatigue and the threat that it won’t happen at all.

    Mrs May seems to think that merely parroting that she thinks it is a good deal, will change people’s minds. As her authority drains even further away together with any credibility, it is doing precisely the opposite.

    There is a well known phrase ‘you cannot polish a turd’.

    • Helen Jones
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense. David Davis has explained the EU only does deals at the last minute. The German car makers will NEVER accept no deal. We just need to hold our nerve, the EU will cave in for sure

      • matthu
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        There is nothing the EU could bring to the party now that would make me trust them.

  19. sm
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Whether viewed from a Leave or Remain stance, the Prime Minister’s conduct has been so erratic and incomprehensible that she has been unable to satisfy neither a decisive exit nor a respectable (and respected) form of full participatory EU membership.

    Mrs May has made the UK a laughing-stock, and has trashed the reputation of the Conservative Party; no more than any other member of the public do I know her mental state, but I believe she, her wildly-deluded Chief of Staff and Mr Robbins MUST be despatched from their posts within days.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      The immediate appointment of a failed MP to a very well-paid position in No 10 was shameful.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I don’t believe the UK has been made ”a laughing stock”. Every nation derides its politicians now and again, and again, and again. We’re no different, and other countries see that, I’m sure. Just because Merkel sounds and acts like a caricature of the old guard, we don’t think ALL German people are like that, and we don’t think that all North Koreans are barking mad like their leader, do we?

      No – our country is not the laughing stock, but our so-called ”leaders” most definitely are here, and probably elsewhere too.

  20. Everhopeful
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Seriously, Mrs May must still be ill?
    She had a terrible sore throat the other day…all that medication?
    I mean surely she knows that patriotism and the Union Jack are verboten? Tsk tsk!
    Back to bed with a hot lemon drink methinks!
    Until March 30th.
    Can’t Brexiteers do a bit of old fashioned filibustering to fill up the time?

  21. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    One of the many, many mistakes made by May was to seek too close a post-Brexit relationship with the EU. That weakened our negotiating hand – making us a supplicant – and also got us to the point here, where a No Deal exit, or a WA exit, or something else, is to be delivered in a week. This will be a serious test of the Civil Service’s ability to ‘deliver at pace’. (Take a look at any Civil Service vacancy job description: they all seem to demand it!) The lesson learned? Keep international linkages small in number, narrow in scope and easy to manage.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I’m reminded of the curt dismissal,in 1999,of the suggestion that there should be any formal connection between Russia and the EU by the then Foreign Minister,Igor Ivanov:”Our country is not in need of affiliation with the EU.Great Powers do not dissolve themselves in international unions-they create them around themselves.Russia is a Great Power.”

  22. David Price
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    With support for the WA so minimal Conservatives better have a plan for the 30th March which has to include the wholesale replacement of May and her cabinet to focus on making WTO + a success.

    You will have your work cut out since progress will involve dealing with the likes of BBC flak and the civil serpents but the difference will be the majority of the country will be behind you in support.

  23. Peter D Gardner
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    You may rest assured, my girl, that you sre
    The instigator of the situation.
    Kipling as applied to young naval officers under training seems appropriate.

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

      Well said Peter,

  24. Peter D Gardner
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    How does Mrs May intend UK to avoid legal challenge for not holding elections smile UK is a member of the EU?
    Perhaps this is the first letter she has written herself.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    And yet May and the Government have both survived no confidence votes – a clear indication of the aggregate ability of MPs.

    Not only does the UK need to take back control on the 29th with a no deal outcome, there will be the need for a fresh start for democracy. The embarrassing Palace of Westminster needs to be demolished, the Lords scrapped, pure FTP dropped, an English parliament created, a deep investigation into the civil service’s potential bias carried out (Geography degrees closed down?) … Getting trust back in UK democracy is a long but necessary task, alongside rebalancing the economy, law and order, health, education etc. Getting tied into a long winded WA will be no help.

  26. Dave Andrews
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I just hope all this indecision will carry us over the line with no signing of the WA and no extension at 29th March.
    Perhaps in the final hours the PM will take your advice and invite the EU to continue frictionless trade. Do they want to jeopardise healthy trade on a principle right now?
    We can carry on negotiations in a more relaxed atmosphere, we don’t need to insist we pay nothing, we can offer some contributions to help them square their budget, for something in return of course.
    It looks like the EU will have an emergency summit on the 28th, the PM could have that on the table for them to consider. The Commission won’t like it, but I think the Council will.

  27. villaking
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    There are still over 100 SI’s to pass through parliament to prevent legal black holes as well as bills on things like financial services and immigration to give legal effect to the changes we might want to make as a consequence of a WTO exit. How would you expect parliament to pass all of these within a week and is it not irresponsible in these circumstances to continue arguing for no extension at all?

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      This just says to me May and her cabinet is incapable of running the show if they have left this to the last week with 100 SI’s to pass if what you way is true. Totally and utterly incompetent. The public has been reassured and reassured throughout that she had this in hand.

  28. Bob W
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Can someone explain the comment by Nadine Dorres, “The deal will pass if the PM resigns”. Why? If you voted against the deal, does it make it a good deal with a different PM. Or even a different party. I am convinced no matter who leads, if this surrender document is signed it will keep us tied to the EU for decades. The anxiety this treaty is causing, yes the EU are already calling it a treaty is similar in history to the Germans being forced into the treaty of Versailles after the First World War. We all know what happened after that.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Mad idea of Nadine Dorries and anyway, the PM doesn’t keep to agreements.

  29. James Bertram
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Of great interest is that the EU looks like it will make a new offer on the 28th March. Will this be:
    a) leave on WTO terms, then talk?
    b) Agree FTA ‘deal’, with WTO for now transition – GATT24 arrangement (my preference) or Malthouse compromise – ?
    c) A long extension (with intention to call 2nd referendum)?
    Certainly May’s deal MUST NOT PASS – that appalling subjugation arrangement would scupper any chance for both Leavers or Remainers from profiting from the EU proposal on the 28th March. Both Leavers and Remainers must now be persuaded to hold their nerve, to wait for the 28th March, and gamble on getting the EU proposal they want.
    On the 29th March there will then be the choice for Parliament of accepting the EU’s proposal, Leaving without a deal (the default option), Revoking article 50, or a General Election. They will have until 11pm to decide (and enact the legislation!).
    Good luck, Sir John; it’s certainly looks more promising than last week. .

  30. miami.mode
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Mrs May came back from Brussels waving her 585 pieces of paper saying that signing this will ensure we go to pot (Peace in Our Time). She took it to parliament and in true pantomime fashion they said “Oh no it won’t”.

    The current situation could be her Falklands moment and to go out without a deal would prove how resilient the British can be and she could become a heroine. Alternatively she could play the puppet to a superior and have a Blair/Iraq moment, succumb accordingly to the EU, and forever be detested as the desertion of Conservative voters will probably ensure a Labour government.

    We will then be truly POTless.

  31. APL
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Your leader has stated at the dispatch box and on fifty discrete occasions that Britain would leave the European Union on the 29th March.

    In the light of her request to Donald Trusk, asking for an extension to the UK leave date, would you Mr Redwood, kindly move to have the house censure Mrs May for either lying to or deliberately misleading the House?

    By the way, she only wants to ram her rancid withdrawal agreement down Parliaments throat again.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      108 but I have also heard 112.

  32. Jack Falstaff
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Mrs May deliberately turned up late to give her brief speech last night.
    She always does this and has also done this with Brexit.
    She has become a prima donna who incredibly believes it’s all about her and has no respect for the public.
    Next time she leaks the fact that she will be making a speech shortly, I shall switch over to a decent, less stressful, cooking progamme because her speeches are nothing but reruns and pledges she has no intention of keeping.

  33. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    May is the worst PM in history and that’s an understatement. How dare she humiliate this country in front of the whole world? We have seen too many smirks on TV including plenty from Hammond let alone Tusk, Junker etc. The majority of people in polls I have seen have no faith in this government and none in Labour either. Its disgraceful John that your party didn’t get rid of May when they had the chance to do so. They have shot themselves in the foot and are taking the country to hell and back. God forgive them because I don’t think the country will. No wonder May feels the need to keep going to church!

    • Timaction
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      She goes to confessional as she has a lot to say to the preacher!! Forgive me Father as I have sinned………..

  34. RichardM
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Since Mays performance last night the government petition to revoke article 50 has more than doubled to 500,000. This is the real will of the people.

    • Wonky Moral Compass
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Suspicious, isn’t it? There’s an interesting article on Guido Fawkes about it.

    • Al
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      And before Christmas, the government petition to Leave without a deal hit 300,000 in a similar period, was debated and then effectively ignored. Attempts to start another one have been blocked as that one already exists, neutralising any attempts by Leave to respond to the one you mention.

    • MickN
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      What you mean this one.

      Courtesy of Guido Fawkes site Order Order.

      The petition saw a suspicious jump in signatures last night, with blatantly fake signatures arising everywhere from Russia, to Afghanistan, to North Korea. Tens of thousands of signatures have also come from EU states including Jean Claude Juncker’s tiny Luxembourg…
      Signatures have even come from non-country ‘Western Sahara’, and Vatican City. Remainers are using sham numbers, dodgy foreign actors, and disinformation.

    • matthu
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Tell me when you get to 17.4 million …

    • Oggy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      When the number reaches 17.4 million give us a nod.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      No, it isn’t. How many of those are over 18? How many are foreign nationals, living here but without the right to vote? And as Andrea Leadsom rightly pointed out just a few moments ago, they still need to get to 17.4 million. (She really is growing on me, you know.) The People’s Vote took place on June 23rd, 2016 and was endorsed by 80% of those voting in the subsequent general election. Suck it up.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Undoubtedly, with hordes of petitioners with multiple email addresses. If it gets up to 17.43 million, you might have a point. Until then, don’t embarrass yourself with such nonsense.

    • Owen
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      The petitions are indicative of topics for debates. Great.

      Multiple voting with multiple e-mail addresses with different IP addresses is easily possible.

      I am surprised that Andrea Leadsom did not comment on this.

  35. Kevin
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    1) Under Mrs. May, the UK Government has been found in contempt of Parliament for the first time in history.
    2) Mrs. May’s Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by Parliament in the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.
    3) The Speaker has cited a convention dating back to 1604 to prevent Mrs. May from effectively giving MPs a neverendum on that same Agreement.
    4) Mrs. May’s leadership has been voted against, in one way or another, by 423 out of 650 MPs.

    I cannot believe that our constitution is incapable of stopping the intolerable situation of her continued premiership.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Our constitution allows the Queen to sack the PM.

  36. Lifelogic
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Very kind of Theresa May to tell the public that we are tired of this, that and the other. The main things, in my experience, that people are tired with is Mays total betrayal of the Brexit vote, disingenuous T May herself and the tax to death, project fear pushing, Brexit undermining grim reaper and economic illiterate Philip Hammond.

  37. javelin
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Tusk will only grant an extension to Art 50 if MPs back May’s Remain Treaty. If May gets her Remain Treaty through, and she stays in power, she will drag it out and finally say enough time has gone by and we need another vote. One last push by May and Tusk to get us to stay in the EU.

    If a Brexiteer PM is voted in then the “backstop” in the Treaty will prevent the UK from exiting the EU. Nothing more nothing less. The EU will then wait until a remainer PM gets in and calls for a second referendum.

    The backstop already has an EIGHT year clause after us leaving when the commission can take the UK to court. This will literally drag on for decades if we dont leave .

  38. MickN
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    So Grieve said yesterday that Mrs May had made him feel ashamed of being a tory.
    Good!! Now he knows how it feels for a lot of the rest of us out here. The likes of him and Sourbry etc have made me ashamed of being a tory and ashamed of my country.

  39. William
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    May is completely deluded. She must be ignoring or not even told about poles such as 14% of the Country support her deal. Why else would she have the nerve to stand in front of the Nation 40 minutes late and say it is MPs’ fault for not voting through her terrible deal, which by implication we all support as she is “on our side”? It’s a farce. May is an embarrassment to the Country and to the Conservative party, to which she might have done irreparable damage, and needs to be removed from her position immediately.

  40. Shieldsman
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The way Theresa May is acting I doubt her sanity. She is out of touch with the Conservative Party membership and most of the electorate, to whom she appears to be appealing. At the same time she is blaming Parliament for the affliction of not passing her diabolical Withdrawal Agreement.
    As she struggles on she gets deeper into the mire.
    How does she hope to overcome the speakers ruling?
    If she does the Labour Party could still hijack it for a Public decision, which most of the opposition would favour.
    Finally the Robin Hoods of Westminster will vote it down again.

  41. Chewy
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I’m curious to see if some of the Conservative MPs such as David Davis who backed the deal in the second vote swap back to opposing it now that a WTO deal is a viable prospect.
    No one seems to be discussing what is in Jeremy Corbyn’s interest although our host touches on it here. Thank heavens for JC (the Marxist as opposed to the Son of God). We could be in trouble if we had a conviction Europhile in charge of Labour.
    It is not, I’ve said this before in his interests to either facilitate Brexit or stitch it up, in either way he’d alienate both Remain and Leave voters likely at the same time. However this scenario has presented him with a golden opportunity, ie his best shot of a GE and power. I suspect he’ll oppose the deal while making it clear a No Confidence motion will follow arguing that any Con MP voting with the government is effectively voting for No Deal. He washes his hands Pilate like of the responsibility as he cannot be seen to facilitate a ND and deters his MPs from backing the deal as they’ll be missing the opportunity to trigger a GE.
    If there are any significant problems following “crashing out” be it real or Remainer generated, then he’ll be in the perfect position to exploit.
    Personally I don’t think he’ll succeed in becoming PM but this gives him a realistic shot.

  42. Original Richard
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Both Mrs. May and her EU supporting Parliamentary colleagues and the EU do not want the UK to take part in the EU MEP elections where there is no doubt that UKIP and the Brexit Party would gain many seats.

    So the plan is to have a short extension to take us past the MEP elections and then a longer extension when the danger has passed.

    In the meantime Mrs. May and the EU continue to threaten us with either No Deal (WTO terms) or revoking Article 50 as if no other option could possibly exist.

  43. Original Richard
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The WA is an international surrender treaty where we have no representation or veto on laws and taxes imposed upon us and with no lawful means of exit. So weak would our position become in the following Future Relationship negotiations that, according to our Attorney General, we would have “protracted and repeated rounds of negotiations”. These would continue until every single EU country had got all they want out of us.

    Mr. Macron has already openly threatened of how he would use the backstop to get what he wants from our fishing grounds.

    This WA should never be signed and contrary to Mrs. May’s claim yesterday evening that it would bring closure to Brexit it would in fact do the exact reverse as we entered the interminable Future Relationship negotiations with our hands already tied behind our back.

  44. TomTomTom
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Why is it always referred to as “May’s Deal”? This is a deal negotiated between two parties.

    It should be called the “May-Barnier Deal” or the “UK-EU Deal”.

    A deal has been negotiated but it’s clearly not acceptable to one side.

    There is too much focus on the UK side and not enough on the EU.

    If you negotiate a deal, but the other side doesn’t accept it, you don’t “Win”.

    • TomTomTom
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      ….. and another thing.

      There has always been speculation that the EU would blink at 5 minutes to midnight.

      Yet parliament has stupidly tried to take “No-Deal” off the table. Thus ensuring that at 5 minutes to midnight all the pressure is on them and not the EU.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Nor is it a deal but a treaty. The dealing only starts after the treaty is ratified, and under it we will have no power to deal fairly in our own interest.

      The so-called Unequal Treaties that China was forced into in the 19th century come to mind.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary it should be called the EU’s deal as there is nothing in it for us or by us. It has been dictated.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      It should be classed as an EU directive, as it was clearly written by the Commission with a few crumbs from the table for us. A fitting successor to Cameron’s ‘thin gruel’. Any of the EU27, rejoicing in our discomfort, should note that the WA will be their future in a few short years. Rule takers, with no representation. The EU’s answer to the rise of Populism.

  45. DanF
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    More than deluded, the mask slipped at PMQs yesterday, and the vitriol was confirmed with her statement to the public last evening- seems to me there is a real problem here right at the heart of everything and if she is left to her own devices unchecked she will drag the whole nation down- ‘for her it’s some kind of payback time’

    Something bad happened to her over the past, thirty, forty years to make he like this and none of you have a handle on it yet – dangerous times indeed when the country’s leader turns round and points the finger at everyone else for her own failures.

  46. ukretired123
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I don’t listen to the news on TV anymore because it is unnecessary froth and I am sure that I’m not alone. What a complete waste of millions of people’s time.

    Thank goodness for your daily blog Sir John for your sanity in a sea of nonsense amongst our so-called elders and betters.

    In the words of Bob Dylan I would say to Theresa May:

    “I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
    You’d know what a drag it is to see you”

    That’s how many see her now.

  47. Edwardm
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    A useful article giving the fuller context.

    I’m happy with WTO, but Mrs May is clear about her preference to leave with a deal on 29th March, then she ought to back a clean FTA/GAT24 (if EU willing) and help save the electoral prospects of her party.

  48. Shieldsman
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    If Conservative MP’s need further incentive to vote against the WA they should read Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: – German alarm grows over the EU’s dangerous ultimatum terms for Britain

  49. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    How much longer is this charade going to go on for?

    We have nothing left to bargain with the EU – May has surrendered everything already.
    The EU will not improve the agreement – So what is the point of begging for an extension?
    We have had over 2 years to get a deal – Just what does the PM imagine we can do in an extra 3 months that was not possible before?

    This pantomime is all about bribing or otherwise changing the minds of MP’s to get her pathetic deal through…. But how will that happen, when the deal will remain the same and the Speaker has rightly said that her deal will not be allowed in again, to be voted on, without significant changes?

  50. Ian McDougall
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    No one knows what as yet is the final outcome of parliaments shenanigans. But, on seemingly yours and everyone else wave length is an article in todays Daily Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard quoting the German Institute for Economic Research – “No Sovereign Nation could agree to such terms” & “Europe is well on the way to inflicting huge damage on itself” and lots more.

    No one in their right mind would accept such terms, especially with a gun to their head. Better to stay in and start over, it is a position worth winning on terms that are right for the country.

  51. RichardM
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The Governmemt Article 50 revocation petition website is now repeatedly crashing due to over demand. Latest count 619,000.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Only 17 million to go then.

    • MickN
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      There is a good reason for that. It’s called “Bots”
      I expect to be over a million in the next half hour or so but it means nothing. The only number that counts is the 17.4 million who voted leave.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Nowhere near 17.4 Million then?

    • Oggy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      and repeatedly I say- give us a nod when it reaches 17.4 million.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Just another 17 million to go.

    • RichardM
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Petition for revocation now over 1.2 million. Leadsom and you lot comparing this with 17.4 m referendum voters are deluded. Its clearly a false equivalence. 1.2M is over 3 times the petition for leaving EU with no deal, which started earlier and sits on around 370,000.
      You no-deal wishers are massively in the minority against revoke.

  52. hefner
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Please UK, get out of the EU on 29 March 2019 and face the consequences of your decision to leave: “I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan for how to carry it out safely” (D.Tusk, 06/02/2019). Among them Sir JR who has been opposed to the EU from 1973, the former NI Secretary O.Paterson who had never thought that the NI/Ireland could become a problem, JR-M et al. unable to count properly their support when having the no-confidence vote.
    To all the dedicated JR’s worshippers, think about how unprepared all these clowns have been, before, during, and since the referendum.

    Reply We opffered the government a detailed and good plan but the government decided to make its own mess of the negotiations against our advice.

  53. Matt
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    See some of your deluded Tory polìtico types and media commentators taking an old fashioned swipe at Ireland again, for instance, if only the Irish would fall into line with UK on the border backstop business then all would be sorted- well I don’t think so, and not even the DUP believes this. If Uk leaves with no deal 29th there will have to be a EU border anyway so it will not come as any great surprise to us as we can see with plans well underway. Matt Dublin

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      What plans can you see, and has anybody told Leo Varadkar about them?

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Matt, If the EU insist on putting up a hard border on Eire’s border with the UK, then your gripe is with the EU not the UK.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Dear Matt

      No-one needs to fall into line, just stop weaponising the border. It was a low trick and will damage our relations which had been excellent under the two previous Taoiseachs.

  54. agricola
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    So now we have Heidi Hautala telling us that our referendum was only advisary and that were the HoC to reject the WA the process should be extended well beyond June 2019 so that we could have another referendum. The arrogance of the EU knows no bounds. May must go before she is stupid enough to fall for such a keep us in ploy.

  55. L Jones
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your voice of sanity in all this. I read this blog first before I can face the unhinged maunderings of the MSM.

    I wouldn’t have thought I’d quote a German politician during my frothing anger at Mrs May’s appalling performance, but this, from the Bruges Group (on Facebook, I believe) is worth a read:

    ……..”Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice-chancellor until last year, says Europe can’t afford the luxury of a strategic break with Britain. The EU is split on multiple lines of cleavage – North-South over money, East-West over the rule of law – and is surrounded by dangerous neighbours.

    “We’re the last political vegetarians in a world of meat-eaters. When the British go, everybody will think we have become vegans,” he said.

    ”Mr Gabriel advises the EU to rewrite the Withdrawal Agreement or risk geostrategic oblivion in a G-2 world run by US and China, warning against the temptation to punish a nuclear-armed, military ally with the world’s premier financial hub….”

    The rest of the article is well worth reading. It certainly demonstrates the danger of allowing unelected people (theirs and ours) free rein.

  56. O'Connor
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Standing beside Union Flag is not going to extricate Theresa May from her self-inflicted problems. Samuel Johnson was right when he said ‘Patriotism,is the last refuge of a scoundrel’.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      O’Connor, Very true – and Mrs May is definitely a scoundrel.

  57. Everhopeful
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Off topic. Apologies.
    I see on Twitter that JR ‘s constuency is suffering from too much “development” ( destruction).
    He wants the rate slowed down.
    Yes..all these truly terrible policies are worse when one is personally compromised by them.
    I also see that Mr Mogg is a keen supporter of buildingon the green belt.
    In Somerset I wonder?

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      And your point is?

  58. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You ask what should the EU make out of this?

    The EU has given up on dealing with the UK and adhered strictly to the process agreed earlier regarding sequencing.

    Tusk’s statement should be seen in this light. Nothing the UK has done recently give reason to reopen the WA or change the schedule. Should the UK decide to ratify the WA before next Friday, that would be fine but regarded with suspicion, because what is the value of a UK government promise under these circumstances and given the prospect of another two years of grandstanding, partyu politics and blatent disregard for the economic interests of both UK and EU, the idea of letting the UK stew in its own juices has some appeal, certainly in circles I am familiar with.

    So you may get your no deal after all, but possibly not in a very friendly way.

    I do not think there is much Mrs May can do from here. Even if the Opposition parties would be prepared to support the WA and it would be ratified after all, that would only lead to even more difficult negotiations. The only ways out of this (imo) if one is to avoid a very strict no deal, are, a general election or a fresh referendum (with a qualified majority). Either way, there would be political pain and frustration. What seems special here is that the past “winners” seem to be afraid to play again.

    • David Price
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      “What seems special here is that the past “winners” seem to be afraid to play again”

      What an odd thing for a euphilic to say, after all this is precisely the process the EU uses – the so called ratchet.

      Or perhaps you are simply a hypocrite.

  59. Freeborn John
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The ideal would be a heavier majority against MV3 than MV2. That would really kill off MV4. However the ERG is very quiet, we don’t know if the DUP have been bought or the prospect of those like David Davis who flipped on MV2 to return to the fold like prodigal sons and vote against MV3. But I really hope there is a majority of >149 against MV3.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I am taking comfort from 188 Conservatives having voted against delay.

  60. Original Richard
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May is following the remain strategy to :

    1) Delaying exit as long as possible in the hope that the country will eventually change its mind or the Brexiters die off

    2) Produce a WA which is far worse than remaining (no representation at the EU whilst they impose their laws and taxes upon us and with no lawful means of exit) and either hope Parliament signs this surrender treaty or failing this submits this as the leave option in a second leave/remain referendum

    3) Continue with project fear assisted by not preparing for a “no deal Brexit”.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      original Richard, You are right. But what the astute (sarc) political minds in Westminster now realise is they will be held to account for their Remain surrender – suddenly they’ve become quite shy about it.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


        this is another of your illusions

        • Steve
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


          So if it was an illusion, why have MP’s been instructed to only leave Westminster inside a car, and not to venture outside on foot ?

          Why have tougher anti – stalking laws just been been passed ? Coincidence ?

        • NickC
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Thanks, you have confirmed I am on the right track. Not even our Remain MPs want to admit to owning the dWA because they know they will be held to account when it goes wrong – as it rapidly would.

  61. Christine
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    So let’s get this straight. Theresa May wants to spend £5 billion of our hard earned money in order to get yet another vote on her Withdrawal Agreement that nobody wants. Enough is enough, she needs to go.

  62. Freeborn John
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    What action would Parliament have to take to legislate for Uk participation in EU elections? It seem to me that if this is not done by the April 4 recess then the precondition set by Donald Tusk for a long delay cannot be met.

    Reply It would need to amend the EU Withdrawal Act which cancels our involvement from March 29

    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The latest poll shows just 14% support for Mrs May’s Agreement.

    True. But there’s no majority for No Deal either. I accept this is due to the No Deal case not being heard but that is still the reality. The media have been mentioning revocation of Article 50 with some frequency this morning.

    While many are critical of May – and I agree she has been awful – her determination to stick with the WA looks to be the only barrier to Brexit cancellation or permanent Customs Union membership at best.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      And another poll showed 40% + for “No Deal” and at the same time less for the WA and “Don’t Knows”.

      I would suggest that polls do tend to be very inaccurate…

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      John Finn, Only Mrs May still hides behind the WA, pretending it is Brexit. Everyone else realises the WA is a surrender document. The EU is not going to change the WA. Even MPs are not such fools as to put their names to the WA now. Cancelling Brexit would destroy the country. The only viable option is to leave without a deal.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        What Redwood and Co are proposing as an alternative is not a viable or implementable proposition

        • NickC
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Leaving the EU treaties without a withdrawal agreement is perfectly possible, viable and implementable. Did the USA colonialists sign such a surrender document? Of course not. Neither should we.

        • David Price
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          What is not viable about leaving on WTO and offering talks on an FTA – The EU doesn’t have to accept and we don’t have to give them reciprocal access to our internal market.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t just that the No Deal case is never made: it is comprehensively trashed in the media 24 hours a day, and in equally so Parliament. 46% is astonishing against that barrage of propaganda.

  64. Andrew S
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The Brexit Party is the vehicle to rip apart the tories, labour, and the EU itself. We only got to have the referendum in the first place because of years of campaigning by Nigel Farage.
    Farage has stayed true, Farage has delivered. The tories never threatened to take their own commons seats from themselves. It has to be done from outside.
    Tories have failed the country, they had the votes and the chance. Instead they chose a remainer and consensus politician that had no experience hard negotiating, just another london bubble careerist non leader. Great for a home secretary but no use at all at this pivotal moment.

    • MickN
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I watched “Peston” last night. He had Nigel on for an interview along with Philip Lee. Mr Lee took Robert Peston to task and wanted to know ” why are the media still giving airtime to people with racist views” Frightening. If you don’t think as I do you have no right to be heard. We castigate third world banana republics for this sort of thing but I don’t think we have any room to preach to others.

  65. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Weird times indeed.

    My wife came off the phone after talking to her Remainer friend in Dorset, last week.
    Both she and her husband are now saying it has to be No Deal!

    Last night, at a family reunion in London, my cousin and her daughter were there. I usually avoid Brexit at family meals! They always were strong Remainers.

    They are now saying “Just get on with it…we are being humiliated…No Deal”.

    OK…anecdotal evidence obviously, but I am genuinely surprised because those people are/were staunch Remainers but now want No Deal.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      My experience too, ever since the WDA was published.

  66. BOF
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    In discussion with my wife this morning, I wondered how I could sum up Mrs May’s position in on sentence and concluded it would be this:

    The Withdrawal Act takes back control for the UK and the Withdrawal Agreement plus Political Declaration hands it right back to the EU, this time, with no way out.

    I hope for the sake of the country that it is heavily defeated again.

  67. michael mcgrath
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Jolly nice of Mr Tusk to tell our MPs how to vote….saves them having to think

    It would be even nicer if he removed the obstacles within the “deal”, the ones which make it so biased in favour of the 27. If he did this, the problem would be solved in a trice and we could all get back to business

    • Jacques
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Yeah..if he removed all mention of 39 billion and the problem of the Uk border in Ireland..also any mention of the ECJ.. cherry pick our way to what we want is to have no rules with them and trade as we your dreams

  68. margaret howard
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Article 50 petition: Government website crashes after more than 600,000 demand Brexit is cancelled

    Margaret Anne Georgiadou, who started the petition, told the BBC: “I became like every other Remainer – very frustrated that we’ve been silenced and ignored for so long.

    “So I think now it’s almost like a dam bursting, because we’ve been held back in a sense – it’s almost like last chance salon now.”

    • Edward2
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I dont think the numbers are surprising as many millions voted to remain in the EU in 2016.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      This has been on BBC news today – first time I have heard of such a thing. Certainly I never heard them report of the Leave petitions, at least one of which was actually discussed in Parliament. BBC bias again, but don’t get your hopes up, 600,000 is nowhere near 17.4 million and anyway, Parliament never accepts any petition of this nature.

    • MickN
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      They are called Bots dear.

    • sm
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      “Remainers have been silenced”?????? Blimey, virtually all the media is anti-Brexit and have gaily/daily and constantly accused individuals such as our host as ‘extremists’ for daring to adhere to the result of the Referendum!!!!!

      And it’s not like you’ve been refused entry to this comments section either, Margaret!

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard, We don’t need Art50 to leave the EU treaties. Indeed my preference was not to invoke Art50 because it always was a trap. As we have seen. The next UKIP government will make sure we leave fully.

    • rose
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      This is the Losers’ Vote crowd in action. The mask has slipped.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink


      Yes it is growing fast, but it is being suggested and reported that names and addresses from all over the World being added to it in vast numbers.

      No idea if that is true but that is the problem with ALL electronic polls, they are easily to manipulate by clever people who have an agenda.

      • NickC
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson, I have signed it under a pseudonym – as have thousands of others – in order to discredit it. Remain is hollow: the BBC, a few hundred civil servants, some MPs, academics and luvvies, and not much else. This “petition” shows it.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      “Remainers have been silenced”…hahahahahahahahahasha oh my goodness hahahahaha we’ve heard nothing but remainers.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Over 26 million voted for the Conservative and Labour Party 2017 manifestos – no single market, no customs union………..

      Remoaners win gold medals for cherry picking. All the discussion is on the possible downside of Leaving, not Remaining, but that is a sunny uplands paradise! As Sam Goldwyn said “you aint seen nothing yet”.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      I see the liberal celebrities have learned nothing about their part in the Leave win and the Trump win.

      And if Brexit is cancelled because of a mere petition…

  69. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Theresa May must be made to RESIGN ASAP. Delaying Brexit is not honouring the 17.4 million folk who voted “Leave” in the 2016 Referendum. The Conservatives will suffer electorally if Britain does not leave the European Union in any meaningful way soon.

    You need to get the Men in Grey Suits to pay her a visit – and Fast!

  70. bigneil
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Would I be right in assuming that during any extension the £55m a day still continues? As the EU is desperate for our money flow then I think their fake anger is deliberate. They must be laughing their heads off.

  71. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    A letter to three newspapers in the Irish Republic, plus the Belfast Telegraph:


    Today our local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, has run a full page advertisement addressed to our local MP, Theresa May, and calling on her not to risk peace in Northern Ireland.

    I wonder whether the same organisation has also placed advertisements in the Irish press with a similar message for Leo Varadkar.

    In an effort to protect the economy of the Republic the Irish government has been running a high risk strategy, using the largely invented problem of the land border as a ruse to try to force the UK to stay under the economic thumb of the EU.

    While for her part Theresa May has been content to use that ruse as a pretext for going back on her previous promises in order to placate vociferous business lobby groups led by the CBI, but inevitably arousing opposition within her own party by doing so.

    In November 2017 the Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan publicly demanded that the UK must stay in the EU customs union and single market, and warned that Ireland would “play tough to the end” over the border issue.

    Well, that end is now nigh, and we shall see over the next week how that hardball strategy has worked out.

    Yours etc”

    With this reference, from November 26th 2017:

    “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”

    “Theresa May is facing fresh pressure to change course over plans for the Northern Irish border after Brexit as Ireland’s EU commissioner stepped up threats to veto trade talks.”

    • James Snell
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Denis when UK leaves 29th or whenever and probably without a WA, UK will then have its freedom to start up new trade deals with partners overseas and good luck.. so then the EU will have to enact some kind of a EU border in Ireland, it’ll probably take the form of a buffer zone about fifteen miles south of the UK political border where checks on goods coming into the EU will be carried out. More stricter checks will have to be carried out in the Irish seaports Airports etc and thats how it will work so the ordinary public won’t be too put out and so expected border friction will be avoided. All just what I hear

      As regards your other point about mr Veradkar?? I have no idea what Mr Veradkar has got to do with you..he’s the Irish PM and looks after his own little patch ok, in fact he looks after far better than the leaders of some other countries closeby.

      Then you talk about Commissioner Hogan..Hogan is an elected Pm to the Irish parliament seconded by Veradkar to the EU for five year term. His time is up in June, he is free to express his views to the Irish electorate as he wishes and again no business of yours. Idiocy

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        So what you’re saying is that anything Irish, such as a border or a protocol or a ‘backstop’, is nothing to do with me. Idiocy.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper, I have stopped buying stuff from Eire.

      • Original Richard
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Me too.

      • David Price
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Eire, Germany, France, Netherlands and Spain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink
  72. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    New lows were plumbed last night. I was hoping for some leadership. It’s time for ‘Call my Bluff’. She should have said ‘I am sick to death of this. I think my deal is okay – not great, but okay, but Parliament won’t back it. Fair enough. I am not offering the EU anything different. They, therefore, will not give us an extension. Why do we really need an extension? I don’t know. I am not starting again. So, we leave on the 29th March without a deal – and start trading on WTO terms. In the short term, I will suggest to the EU we carry on as if nothing had happened for 6 months to let us all get our ducks in a row. I’ve worked round the clock for months, I am now taking a week off. I’ll be back next week to see how things pan out. Ta, ta.’

  73. ian
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    No extension, her deal will not past in parliament, it between, leave on the date or revoking article 50, once article 50 is revoked, it won’t be used again.

    The Tory will need a new leader if Article 50 is revoked, they will need a new leader anyway.

    Whether she will stand down is not sure but she will go in DEC this year anyway, can’t see her staying with her MPs support.

    The quicker she goes the better for all concerned.

  74. a-tracy
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The remainers have got a jump on a petition to revoke A50. I wonder where the petition was to leave without the WA offer and just leave.

    • Al
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      The petition to leave without a deal is here:
      It was debated before christmas, but the response from government was unpromising.

      (Also if you check the json data for the Cancel Article 50 poll, it appears the signatures to the Remain poll are being botted, with signatures from Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxemburg, Chile, etc…. The same thing happened with a Second Referendum petition.)

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Yes Al but was the ‘no deal’ petition on the BBC, was it on every main news channel, was it shared extensively throughout twitter? I hadn’t heard it was there but within minutes the revoke petition was everywhere.
        The BBC this morning had three articles remain based articles including revoke article 50, no balance whatsoever now. They will never be forgiven and when the vote comes to stop the licence fee they have failed to remain impartial and fair and balanced. An institution I have always supported and believed in, one after one the institutions of State are all falling in truth, trust and respect they may well win this battle.

    • MickN
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Don’t take any notice . Guido will show you why.

    • What Tiler
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      If you go to search the government petitons site you’ll find a dozen or so such petitions; all rejected…


  75. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I see that you don’t need to stand by while Mrs May destroys the Conservative Party in Parliament and at local association level. Mrs May is trying to create a coalition with Corbyn and the other opposition parties to force her PWA through (for more years of rows).

    It is Mrs may who is the problem, alienating even her own RemaINer supporters in the Cabinet, the 1922 and the local associations.

    Why does not the DUP and ERG form a coalition with the Opposition by encouraging them to do one or all of three things and Abstaining on these Votes:-
    1) A Vote of No Confidence in Mrs May; (let’s see how principled the Payroll Vote is in facing a general Election !)
    2) A Vote Against Suspending Standing Orders
    3) A Vote Against a Queen’s Speech after Prorogation – State Opening.
    Sir John, there is no point in you continuing in a Conservative Party that allows Mrs May to continue in any role of leadership – or even as an MP.

  76. mancunius
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    JR – Jeremy Hunt has raised the possibility of the HoC now voting to revoke Art. 50. Is there really a possible majority in the House for such a massive betrayal of the 2016 referendum vote to Leave the EU?

    Reply That will just be pressure on MPs to vote for the Agreement. Expect plenty of disinformation in the run up to a possible vote, Speaker permitting, on Monday. The government still has to show there is something new to decide. I do not think this government would ever move revocation. That would generate a huge rebellion!

    • RichardM
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Huge rebellion from where ? over 1 million have signed the revocation petition in under 2 days. Around 150 (being generous) have turned up for Farages Leave means Leave march.
      If you get your no-deal option that only a small minority want, I suspect even your safe Tory seat could be under threat from the rebellion from the majority.

      • mancunius
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Before the referendum the EU made it clear that it would set its face against any co-operation with the UK if it voted to leave the EU. It was obvious there would be no terms of withdrawal that would be acceptable to the UK.

        Nevertheless, the majority voted to leave. They have not changed their minds.

        Your ‘petitioners’ – many of whom are citizens of foreign countries whose agencies have targeted the petition, as the data analysis has made clear (one of the reasons why the petition has been taken down) are irrelevant. It is votes that count, not shouty people claiming to have the right to vote.

        17.4 million – the majority – voted to leave the EU. Parliament has voted to do so.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        People voting on the internet from Russia and China do not count!

        • Steve
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          One bloke is on record as bragging that he voted 4 times, and his wife voted 9 times.

          Moreover, word is out that the petition server was botted from a source in Chile.

          This particular e-petition won’t be taken seriously.

          • Steve
            Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            Apologies, vote should have been ‘sign’ as it is a petition not a referendum.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Fools !

        Now that they’ve started this petition…

        Do they not realise that any revocation of Art 50 and abandonment of Brexit will be seen as Parliament responding to a Celebrity/Remain petition whilst ignoring a Leave referendum win ?

        How incendiary do they think that will be ?

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

      Dear Mr Redwood, I try to be an optimist (pessimism is so enervating) but it seems only too likely that the Prime minister will win her WA3 vote by adjusting it to hand over negotiation of the final trading agreement to some some all-party HoC or Privy Council committee that would back customs union, perhaps with a promise of a General Election before the end of the two years. Please say I am wrong.

      reply She has shown no signs of doing that so far. 4 main Parliamentary days left for Remain to frustrate Brexit

    • zorro
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes – from that great brexiteer JH – his judgement is second to none. Now what nationality did he think his wife was? And who can forget his command as foreign secretary of 20th century history when he referred to Slovenia 🇸🇮 as a former ‘Soviet vassal state’ ..:.. LOL 😂


  77. Sue Doughty
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Many presently sitting MPs know their actions have ruined their own job security, on top of the Islington factor. And are voting accordingly. Thye really don’t care any more.
    The majority wish the UK to remain in the EU because they know more power and influence also brings responsiblity and work. And they will not be able to blame remote Brussels for their own failings. It looks as if their are shirkers and nobody in work and paying taxes likes that.

  78. Helen Smith
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, do you think the Kyle/Wilson amendment will be passed and then the WA with Labour supporting it on the grounds that the people will have a final say in a referendum with Remain or Not Leave as the two options?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Again that is some UK MPs under the delusion that they can decide such things (just like the ones who think they can unilaterally have a delay/extension) – they haven’t noticed that such decisions are out of their hands. They can’t “Remain”. If the WA is passed then “Remain” as such ceases to become an option, the option would be “Rejoin the EU under new terms defined by the EU” – higher membership fees for sure with the rebate gone, but maybe membership of the Euro too ?

    • Oggy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Chuckle Helen – Remain or not leave.
      But you are correct the Kyle/Wilson amendment seemingly would have a referendum where the choice would be – Leave or rather Remain with Mrs May’s WA or just remain. So if you are a leaver you wouldn’t bother going to vote – so it’s just another conived con trick to overturn the 2016 result by excluding Leave voters.

    • Heleborange
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Nick boles has explained clearly that if Redwood, res mogg etc had compromised with the 48 per cent, we would have had Brexit. But redwood, res mogg etc sneered at peopke who think differently from them. Well, tough, now you wont get Brexit at all

      Reply What nonsense. The Agreement is the opposite of Brexit.

      • hefner
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        A bit of a red herring, isn’t it? That was not the point. Indeed the WA is awful and the opposite of Brexit, but if the top leavers had been properly organized and had prepared themselves (i.e., not the usual WTO-deal verbiage) Brexit could have happened already several months ago. But no, “purity” and the absence of a proper project to be discussed beforehand among Conservatives and other Leavers and then pushed unanimously by, say, the ERG et al. has brought us to where we are.
        You might again reply “nonsense” but try to see whether you really have no responsibility in the present mess. Well, I know, a politician never recognizes their mistakes.

        Reply The ERG developed and pushed a fix for the alleged NI problem for many months b ut the government refused to adopt it.

      • Andy
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        The agreement IS Brexit. It takes us out of the EU and single market. It takes us out the customs union – which we know virtually none of the ERG had heard of in 2016. It ends free movement. It ends the jurisdiction of the ECJ. It does everything you wanted.

        The truth is more sinister. Hard Brexiteers know May’s deal will be a disaster. So they are now pretending it is not Brexit so they can try to avoid blame. Tell the public inquiry. See if they believe you.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          Fact Free Andy clearly hasn’t read the WA.

        • NickC
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Theresa May’s dWA does none of the things you claim. Read it. And your theory hardly holds water if Leave voters want the falsely named “no deal” rather than her Remain dWA, as we do.

  79. Leslie Singleton
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Why isn’t it obvious that once we are out with a WTO deal a FTA would happen in short order because it really really would be highstakes win-win–We are the EU’s biggest customer are we not?!

    • Hele Schmidt
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      I TOTALLY AGREE. the eu will collapse without us, we have to hang tough. Our econ9my is bigger than theirs, as mr redwood has pointed out

      • Timaction
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        No our economy is equivalent to the 19 smallest Nations………….all together.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          It’s worse than that.

          We were helping to support the smallest nations. Germany is going to have to take on our burden.

          Worse than that…

          They can leach our businesses away but they will discover that they are all nothing but smoke and bluff – and toxic smoke at that (debt and bullshit.)

          We’re all going down together.

    • Andy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      The Fantastic Mr Fox has, so far, only managed to negotiate deals which are either the same or worse than we already have as an EU member. And he has not even managed many of them.

      He really is inept – isn’t he?

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        You should know. You’ve made it an art form…..

      • NickC
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The EU has had 40+ years and not managed much. Wow, a trade deal with the Pitcairn Islands? – hahahahah . . .

      • Original Richard
        Posted March 22, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Brexit was never about making trade deals or even about the economy.

        A majority voted to leave the EU despite being told by the PM, the Chancellor, the Governor of the BoE, the CBI, the Trade Unions, the BBC, the IMF, the OECD, the POTUS, the banks, the corporates, the hedge fund managers, the wealthy elites many of whom do not live or pay taxes in the EU, the Archbishop of Canterbury etc. that a vote to leave would bring economic ruin to the UK.

        We were promised 500K job losses and an emergency budget.

        A majority voted to leave becuase they wanted to retain some influence over their laws and taxes by retaining the ability to elect and remove those who govern us.

  80. Original Richard
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Update : 21/03/2019 :

    Mr. Juncker : “Re our previous conversation. The problem for us both to not have UK MEP elections in the UK has been solved. We’ll give you an extension until just after the elections (we’ll say the extension is to get our WA through Parliament) and then, if MVn fails, we’ll gladly give you further extensions as the MEP danger will have passed.”

    Mrs. May : “Excellent, and thanks”.

    Mr. Juncker : “So what is the next move?”

    Mrs. May : “Well, yesterday I started preparing the public for my next U-turn on Brexit by saying that I was on their side to get Brexit finished and attacking Parliament for not passing your WA.”

    Mr. Juncker : “How will attacking Parliament help?”

    Mrs. May : “Don’t you remember our previous conversation where I said we would have a second referendum where the options will be your WA (where we must accept EU laws and taxes but without any representation or veto and where we cannot lawfully exit without your permission) and remain? Well, Parliament’s intransigence to pass your WA will be my excuse to the public for breaking my promise to not hold another referendum. Good idea, yes?”

    Mr. Juncker : “That should do it. Your leavers will not know which way to vote as both are remain options. I hope they go for the WA as we will then be able to impose whatever laws and taxes on the UK we like and for as long as we like. Mr. Macron has already made it clear (a bit too early in my opinion) to go for all the UK’s fishing grounds as a starter to help his popularity ratings which are bit low at the moment.”

    Mrs. May : “Good, the UK deserves it”.

  81. ian
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Leaving the EU without a WA slips into the lead, revoking article 50 in second place with Mrs T May WA in third place.

    If Mrs T May WA come before parliament next week I will be surprised.

    As for revoking article 50, it could happen but it would have to be a straight vote between revoking article 50 and leave without a WA, but Mrs T May has already said she will not countenance revoking article 50 even if it is past by the commons.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      And revoking Art 50 now looks suspiciously like Parliament sucking up to a celebrity petition whilst ignoring a Prole referendum win.

      Proles fix things and keep them running. They aren’t stupid. They aren’t irrelevant.

  82. Norman
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I have some pity for Mrs May. She may be wrong in the course she has charted, but I don’t think many understand the enormous pressures involved, and the far-reaching consequences, either way. I doubt she will continue much longer, for her own health’s sake. From where I stand, I commend the way Andrea Leadsom, as Leader of the House, has maintained dignified personal support towards her Right Honourable Friend, without compromising her own principles. We could do with more like her in Parliament, though I would not wish the task on any such gentle soul.

  83. The Special Relation
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Brexit: US must ‘put the EU first and Britain second’, senator warns on UK visit

    Brexit: US must ‘put the EU first and Britain second’, senator warns on UK visit

    Ok then, ive changed my mind.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Notice the surname ? And he is probably a Democrat.

      It seems the RoI has been up to mischief.

  84. The Special Relation
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    When will the Americans learn to put Mexico first and the US second? You have to make sacrifices in a globalised world Mr Senator.

  85. Martin R
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    If May has stated she has dropped the idea of a long delay then that is the signal her plan is for a long delay.

  86. Iain Gill
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Lorry drivers have threatened to cause blockades on major UK motorways, placing a stranglehold on traffic in the event Theresa May extends Article 50.

    A group named Brexit Direct Action have proposed the protests.

    According to their Facebook page, they “demand a clean exit from the EU” without the government’s Withdrawal Agreement.

    Civil disobedience I will have every sympathy with.

    Abandoning democracy is not going to end well for the politicians…

    • James Bertram
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      In case you do / don’t want to get caught up in a traffic jam, check this twitter site for details:

      4h4 hours ago
      A quick reminder of the first 5 ProBrexit Go-Slow protests that will take place tomorrow (22nd March) around the UK. Please try and get to your nearest event and cheer from any safe position you can✅ #GoSlow #GoWTO #Brexit

    • Andy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Abandoning their jobs is not going to end well for the lorry drivers.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Always worked for the pro EU French.

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

        Andy, You should know because you advocate young people abandoning their jobs just to support your EU ideology.

  87. den
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Alas, as has been proven by this awful debacle, public opinion has no bearing on the Number 10 plans. Even the result of THE National Referendum has been swept aside.
    To suggest that Mrs May and her documents are ambiguous is insufficient an excuse. She and of course they, are absolutely diabolical and only fit for the waste bins of Downing Street.
    In order to salvage the Conservative Party from the certain fallout due solely, to the ravages of Mrs May’s Premiership, should not Graham Brady et al urge her to step down from any further attempts to prevent our leaving the EU on time? Or alternatively and more simply, just resign NOW?

  88. adam
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    “451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time.”

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Get VPN

  89. Alice Krautgartner
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Alice Krautgartner
    it occured to me today that the present stategy of the whole political class except our good host and members of the ERG could be explained as follows.

    Damage limitation to future carrieer prospects across the board in future elections:
    If the country leaves on a WTO on the 29th as expected, the leavers will be so happy they might forgive remoaner politicians antics. The will of the people will have been carried out.
    Remoaners cannot blame the politicians, because it was no one’s fault, as it was the default position and nobody actually voted for it.

    Even TM can say to the remoaners:
    “hand on heart I did my best to deliver Brexit and they wouldn’t let me. It’s not my fault it wasn’t passed” .
    To the Brexiteers :” I got you exactly what you wanted with my Maciavellian strategy

    So is this what everybody meant by running down the clock-so Brexit becomes
    an Act of God?

  90. Mick
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    THE EU SUMMIT has kicked off in Brussels with Theresa May refusing to rule out a no deal and offering an admission of regret about the Government’s handing of Brexit.
    Mrs May along with Corbyn and the rest of Westminster remoaner mps want to try and join the real world of UK we the 17.4 million want out next week , keep us in at your peril, it’s not rocket science but come the next GE there is going to be a lot of career mps looking for employment, but there again we do need shelf stackers

  91. MickN
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I see the speaker has told MPs that they are not traitors. Perhaps he can then offer a different definition of people that act against the interests of their own country in favour of a foreign power. I’ve looked and I cannot find a more suitable word. Possibly if Bercow realised what the word meant he would not so easily allow himself to be counted amongst their number. He’s not Happy !!

    • Stred
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      He means that they are not traitors to the EU, his country.

  92. Original Richard
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Our Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Hammond, promised he would make a substantial payment to the EU on exit day even if we left with “no deal” (viz not signing the EU’s surrender treaty)

    Will Mr. Hammond be making his promised payment to the EU on the 29/03/2019, whether or not we leave on this date ?

  93. Matt Cronin
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May, and the entire parliamentary estate have only one thing to do, to enact the will of the people: Nothing

    My money is on them not even being able to do that right!

  94. Andrew D
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Anti-Brexit newsfeeds including the BBC are going into overdrive on speculating what will happen if a third Meaningful Vote again rejects the Withdrawal Agreement. All of them seem to assume there will be an MV3 next week, but why would the Speaker allow the vote to be tabled, given that nothing in the WA has changed since the last time it was voted on? If he did he would be flatly contradicting everything he said on Monday this week.

  95. agricola
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    The BBC have been at it all afternoon espousing remain. The latest a retired UK representative to the EU council, no doubt on a fat tax free EU pension. His arguement was that everything has changed over the last three years because many remainers have died.Then of course the sisters from the CBI&TUC in a rare mlment of harmony spreading doom and gloom in a re run of ERM, the Euro, and the Millenium Bug. Do these people have no shame.

    Where is the opinion of the ERG. Are you banned from the BBC.

    • agricola
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      For remainers read leavers. Leavers have died apparently and remainers have multiplied. Where to the BBC find them.

  96. den
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    What is more disheartening, nay, worrying, is the fact that the National Referendum was not about trade. It was about regaining our Complete Political Freedom, in order to govern our own affairs. Yet these “Brexit” negotiations have focussed entirely upon the future trading aspects of our leaving, completely ignoring the real purpose. It is another con trick by Brussels, supported by our own PM. ALL Trade deals must come AFTER we have left the EU, as they a secondary to the main act.
    Furthermore, our trade with the 27 EU countries represent around 44% of our Total Exports and it is been falling for decades. However EU Imports represent 53% of our total World Imports. This provides the EU with a handy £80 Billions per year SURPLUS!
    I suspect that in those EU imports are certain products that we are forced to buy from the EU because of the high tariffs levied on their overseas competitors – by EU orders. It’s part of their protectionist “Customs Union” at consumers expense.
    Once we are free to do our own thing again, we consumers will see the benefits of being free to buy whatever we want from whoever we like and at a cheaper price! Roll on Leave day next week.
    Fancy shopping baskets costing less along with lower costs for our utilities? Leave is a win for the consumers and a loss to those that rip-off the British public.

  97. agricola
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    The BBC have been at it all afternoon espousing remain. The latest a retired UK representative to the EU council, no doubt on a fat tax free EU pension. His arguement was that everything has changed over the last three years because many remainers have died.Then of course the sisters from the CBI&TUC in a rare mlment of harmony spreading doom and gloom in a re run of ERM, the Euro, and the Millenium Bug.

    Do these people have no shame.

    Where is the opinion of the ERG. Are you banned from the BBC.

    Captcha is seeing double again.

  98. Duncan
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    As soon as MV3 is out of the way there will be another letter to Mr Tusk this time revoking A50. Am not surprised by this because she has already prepared the ground by signalling that this could be a possibility. Following that she will go to the Palace and then back to No10 when she will resign and so bye bye.

  99. Steve
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    So now we have MP’s taking the precaution of not being on foot outside Westminster. Makes no difference though, if the people want to get their hands on them to hold them accountable, they will, and they have the right to do so.

    And who naively believes the MoD’s operation Redfold has anything to do with coordinating a no deal brexit ? More like suppressing civil unrest after we’re shafted.

    A lot depends on Bercow. He either does the right thing and refuses MV3, or makes himself look like the biggest fool ever to set foot in the HoC – especially if he allows a third vote and MP’s vote it through. Unimaginable consequences, down to one person.

  100. Andy
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised to see how gloomy you all are.

    You are on the cusp of what you have always wanted and you are all so miserable.

    Shame. I find it really amusing.

    Because, for you lot, it’s only going to get worse!

    Enjoy. I am.

    • Steve
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink


      No, the worse is for you and is yet to come.

      We’re resigned to life being a bit tougher when we leave the EU. We accept there will be hardships, but we’ll graft our way through.

      You contribution, however will be nothing more than to whinge and moan that you have lost some stupid right or benefit facilitated by the EU and at our expense.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      A very cynical attitude andy.
      Switch your views and imagine how you would feel if leavers had hijacked your decision in the referendum and blocked the majority decision to remain.

      • Andy
        Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t hijacked anything. I’ve just been able to sit back and watch you clueless bunch get on with things.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          I didn’t say, you, personally, had.
          But I have sat back and watched as a clueless bunch of remainers like you, have hijacked the referendum result and made a mess of the leaving process.

    • NickC
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Andy, No we wanted to be as independent of the EU as New Zealand is. Not tied up in Theresa May’s single customs territory, conforming to SM, CAP and CFP rules, subject to EU military, security and diplomatic control, paying money, all adjudicated by the ECJ.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Andy, from what you say I can only assume that you’re in fact not British because even remainers are not happy with the EU’s WA.

      If we sign up to the EU’s WA, we assure the destruction of British democracy and the British economy.

      Democracy will be destroyed because the EU’s WA will transfer parliament’s authority to set tax rates, define spending priorities, make British law and generally administer the country to an unelected, unaccountable Joint Committee.

      The membership of the Joint Committee will have an inbuilt pro-EU bias and will be empowered to administer the UK under all existing and new EU law, treaties and trade agreements.

      Under the agreement there is no way out except with the permission of the EU. Nowhere to appeal to except the ECJ. And nobody empowered to make such an appeal except the unelected Joint Committee.

      This creates a framework for the EU to punish us economically for daring to vote leave and we are fools if we should think that they will not. They will pillage and loot our economy.

      Mr Macron has already threatened to use the backstop to get everything he wants from our fishing waters.

  101. robert lewy
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    The signal that No Deal has would be when Project Fear is frozen into inaction.

    • robert lewy
      Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      The signal that No Deal has won would be when Project Fear is frozen into inaction.

  102. Simon
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May has said very little that makes sense for three years. But then nor have many of most vocal critics. Notice too how Boris has fallen silent this week ?

  103. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    In your next article or two would you consider writing about all the benefits that a No-Deal WTO Brexit could deliver including what a Chancellor ought to be considering to ensure that the UK keeps its place as one of the most attractive places in the world for business and commerce.

    I know that you have run similar articles in the past but with Meaningful Vote 3 coming up next week, who knows, it might even help strengthen the resolve of those who are beginning to waver and, perish the thought, thinking about voting for the PM’s dreadful deal.

    It would also be a welcome antidote to the poison of unrelenting doom and gloom pushed by the stick-in-the-mud Remainers.

  104. Simon Coleman
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    ‘188 Conservative MPs voted…’ You’re talking as if you’re in a majority government. May should only take notice of Cons. MPs – that’s what you are saying. Only the total votes cast by all MPs count in any vote!

    I agree that May’s deal should be dead by now and not come back to the House. But if even a short extension to Art. 50 is granted, it must be used to allow MPs to explore possible areas of agreement – and quickly. If there is still no way forward, then we leave without a deal. If there’s no extension, then we also leave without a deal. Wouldn’t that be a reasonable compromise given the dire circumstances we are in?

    Reply The Conservative ?DUP coalition is a majority government. The votes of MPs in that coalition are the normal way anything happens in Parliament which is why they are relevant. Mrs May would be unwise to rely on Mr Corbyn’s votes to get something through against us.

  • 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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