Parliament today is in danger of losing control

The decision to have a series of indicative votes on certain backbench motions chosen by the Speaker may not produce the happy consensus its proponents wish. To many in the country it will look like a group of Remain voting MPs canvassing support for delay, dilution or cancellation of Brexit amongst themselves. MPs  can vote for any number of the approved motions so the numbers will be quite difficult to interpret. Will any of the popular ones in Parliament be compatible with the Conservative or Labour Manifesto,with what the EU might accept and with the overriding promise to implement the results of the referendum? If the options are mainly variants of staying in much of the EU , allowing MPs to vote for several of these options at the same time will give the impression of even more  Parliamentary support for failing to implement Brexit.

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175 Comments

  1. MickN
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Sir I really admire your tenacity. I am personally sick to the stomach of the so called “mother of all Parliaments”. It is a complete disgrace and deserves all that it has got coming to it.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I agree that it may look to many like Remainer MPs derailing Brexit.

      However, it may look to many like sensible MPs saving Brexit from May’s botch-job.

      It may look to others like MPs ignoring the petition and a referendum that was too close to call.

      It may look to others as a pointless exercise, which will lead to the May’s deal being voted for – as the least bad alternative.

      The whole situation is one almighty mess. Nobody seems to agree on anything anymore. I suspect we’re going to have to have another referendum to restore national unity – heaven help us all.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        “another referendum to restore national unity”

        are you kidding!!!! hahahahahaha

      • Hope
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        JR, what happens if Bercow refuses to allow May’s servitude plan and one of th options to remain is put forward by MPs?

      • Peter
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Latest news is that Bercow is reminding the government that they cannot have a crack at a third vote on the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement without substantial change to it.

        Apparently this took them by surprise. Again.

        So any potential change of votes from Mogg and company might be irrelevant and we could arrive at April 12 with no definite plan for the EU.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        ”Too close to call”, Merlin? But I daresay that you remainers would have accepted just one vote’s difference if YOU’d got the majority.

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

        JR, Tory remainers are not going away during phase two. Therefore phase two will be equally difficult. EU will not allow a long extension. Vote down her deal.

        Rees-Mogg very intelligent person better suited as a school teacher he does not have the noise or street wise to fight like with like. That is why he was very late to try to get May sacked and failed. Johnson is unbelievable bearing in mind what he has written. Better,to die standing than love on your knees.

        Leaving the EU is not going away.

        People like fighters not cowards, turncoats, traitors or people who cave in quickly. Which is why th epublic loathe May as she fits all of the above!

    • Hope
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I cannot help but think May or cabinet behind indicative votes to pressure leave MPs.

      For those changing their minds, What do they think will happen in phase two? I suggest the EU will speed up while May in power to get full capitulation and take away All benefits from leaving! Supporting May’s servitude plan will accelerate the UK return to the EU. FFS wake up.,she is dishonest, a liar and completely untrustworthy. She did not have her plan written behind the backs of two Brexit ministers and collude with the EU for nothing. Does anyone think the Eau and May have not thought this through since October last year?

      Extension is the only other option per Martin Howe QC and DUP.

      • Hope
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        30 Tory MPs need to be deselected immediately by their associations. Even the associations by now must realise they have no role, veto or voice in the Tory party other than withdraw support.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I see it is reported the latest great idea from May is for the Cabinet to abstain on all votes.

      This apparently is called leadership, to allow all the others to vote for what they like, and for the Government to not oppose it.

      No wonder the EU walked all over her.!

      Seriously John, is she ill ?

      • Mark B
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        I think it might be an attempt to keep the Cabinet together.

      • michael mcgrath
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Alan

        She is not ill

        She is not a leader

        She is devious, calculating and obstinate (Not, please, resilient!)

        While the children play at being responsible caring MPs, she is watching the clock run down

        She will give that strange head girl expression and calmly ignore these non binding suggestions from the parliamentary hoi polloi

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes – the government should now canvass the Anglosphere’s parliaments for their (indicative) opinions on the MoP and then legislate to effect improvements.

  2. Charles Crane
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Excuse my ignorance John but can you clarify the legal position on the exit date? I know you mentioned this on this site a few days back.

    As I understand it, the current situation is we leave on 29th March at 11am as there has been no vote to enact a SI to change it. Is such a vote planned? If so do you know when it might happen?

    Reply The government will demand a vote on an SI to move the date later this evening

    • Chris
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:
      I thought that the reply from the Speaker, later confirmed by his office, was that EU law overrides ours (in this case I understand that they have given May permission to extend the date already) so would that mean that any vote by MPs on an SI would not actually alter the fact that the delay has already been granted by the EU?

    • rose
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Until they do so, we are in the position where the PM has personally overridden the law and statute after seeing the EU. Can we all do that with the law? Just announce it is no longer?

      So Sir Oliver is Boy Bishop for the day. No doubt Mr Tusk will interpret the numbers on each of his options in the same way he has the equally anarchic petition.

      • Richard
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Googled that: ‘Boy bishop was a name given to a custom very widespread in the Middle Ages, whereby a boy was chosen, for example among cathedral choristers, to parody the real bishop. This custom was linked with others, such as that of the Feast of Fools and the Feast of Asses.’
        How very appropriate!

  3. Know-Dice
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    No longer “Hotel California” more “Should I stay or should I go?”

    Thanks to Joe Strummer…

    Should I stay or should I go now?
    Should I stay or should I go now?
    If I go, there will be trouble
    And if I stay it will be double
    So come on and let me know

    This indecision’s bugging me (esta indecisión me molesta)
    If you don’t want me, set me free (si no me quieres, librarme)
    Exactly whom I’m supposed to be (dígame que tengo ser)
    Don’t you know which clothes even fit me? (sabes que ropa me quedra)
    Come on and let me know (me tienes que decir)
    Should I cool it or should I blow? (me debo ir o quedarme)

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      I am also reminded of the old joke about Christopher Columbus:

      That he set off not knowing where he was going. When he got there he didn’t know where he was. When he got back he didn’t know where he’d been. And he did it all on somebody else’s money.

  4. Everhopeful
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that many of those who were chosen to represent us take great delight in taunting us.
    Poking us with pointy sticks through the bars.
    Jeering at us for trusting them.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      And WHY are Brexiteers still being so b***** gentlemanly in the face of the Remainers’ abhorrent behaviour???
      Rules are being broken by the dozen.
      Moral codes thrown to the wind.
      Can’t Brexiteers find a few “instruments” or loopholes so we can just LEAVE.
      I suppose there ARE MPs who genuinely want to leave??

      • Chris
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Jacob Rees-Mogg, whom almost everyone held up as the epitome of gentlemanly behaviour, honesty and integrity and principle, has just apparently abandoned those qualities he had so carefully cultivated, and has reportedly done a u turn and will support the WA. If he can apparently ditch honesty and principle so easily, then that really is the last straw. Sir John, does J R-M really understand the significance of what he has just said and is apparently about to do?

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Everhopeful

        An utter farse tonight in Parliament…..

        Yes, it is rather peculiar that the Parliament Brexiteers seem incapable of executing alternative Motions/Instruments/Options/Ideas, indeed any counter, to negate the Remainers’s somewhat ridiculous neverendum of challenges to thwart a clean Brexit….one could think the some P-Brexiteers (and in some quarters do) are actually in league with the Remainers.

        Are P-Brexiteers so devoid of political nous or perhaps worse, stripped of courage and passion? Good lord, are there no real men in Parliament?

        Love or hate Farage, at least the man has B@lls!
        ————–

        Btw John, perhaps you could have a word limit on this comment blog, as other comment sections do? This may alleviate some lengthy diatribes?

        Reply Leave MPs areheavily outnumbered and you need to win votes to influence events

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          Your comment is rather tacit and does not quite reply to my question regarding the visible lack of Brexiteer political nous, compared to the ruthless Remoaners. Please offer up solutions, not a continued “this is the way it is”

          Your Brexiteer colleagues continue to be seen as disingenuous (sway with the political wind) ineffectual, and at times, even complicit surrender monkeys! Mogg/Johnson have significantly devalued their credibility recently!

          That said, you continue to be a beacon of hope and clearly non-wavering in your desire to see us out of the EU clutches! I have a saying in my Boardroom “don’t read the news, make the news” I wish the P-Brexiteers would follow suit!

          On a personal note: Your courage and passion have never been in doubt John. Thank you

  5. BCL
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Parliament does not need to arrive at a consensus it needs to do what it said it would do, implement the result of the referendum. If there’s any doubt about what that means, look to that leaflet we all received telling us what would happen. We were promised that is what was going to happen. The remoaner majority has spent the period since the referendum trying to stop Brexit. Is it any wonder that respect for MP’s and Parliament is at an all time low? The majority have been proved to be liars who said they’d respect the referendum and then haven’t. I fear for what this is doing to our democracy and what will happen if Brexit is not delivered.

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Exactly – it was a binary choice and leave won. We voted leave, we did not vote for a consensus and we certainly didn’t vote for May’s bl—–y attrocious deal. It seems the only option now not available thanks to treacherous remain MPs is the one we voted for.

  6. Andrew S
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    March 29 2019 is the date on which Leave means Leave, no deals no backstops. Anything else means this parliament is a sham parliament, a fake. Relecting the same old faces that will not give it validity. Fundamental reform, a true brexit, eventually delivered according to the June 23rd referendum result, only that will restore the democracy. So we have a general election? “Meh we lost, we don’t like the result, we demand a re run, they didn’t know what they were voting for, they have changed there minds” etc etc. A fake parliament mostly full of fakers and weasels. Any party (and collectively all its members) who claimed to honour brexit but voted en masse to obstruct it cannot be accepted as lawful from 30/3 on.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes. In this event, any changes in the law henceforth before a GE should be ratified by a public vote, as this Parliament is invalid. It can’t be trusted to follow its own promises to the people, so why should it be trusted to enact laws of the land?

  7. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    As May and Starmer have already said the Conservatives and Labour parties will not be bound by the outcome, and no-one in the Remain cabal organising the vote have bothered to ask the EU whether they would accept the options the whole thing seems odd – probably some the EU would accept but at a stiff and unknown price. And one option to hold a second referendum isn’t even an outcome at all, just a process, what would the referendum question be ?. I conclude that MPs have insufficient information on any of the options to know what they are voting for and so, following Remain doctrine, we can ignore the votes entirely.

    • Chris
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Many MPs still are surprisingly ignorant of the workings of the EU, and also its future plans. Some even have admitted not reading key EU treaties/documents which they have supported. I suspect many Remainer MPs are quite ignorant, and just have a feel good instinct about staying “part of Europe”. Also there is the snob factor that they do not want to be associated with fruitcakes and so on, let alone Nigel Farage. I believe there is this herd mentality amongst many Remainers which manifests itself as a contempt for the electorate, an electorate made up of normal people, many of whom are grassroots Conservatives whom Cameron and May abandoned, and many of whom went on to vote for UKIP under Farage.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      The inevitable consequence of a weak and useless PM as negotiator unfortunately. Mps had the chance to get rid but bottled it.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        What to make of the American ambassador sitting in on PMQs? Perhaps he already knows that this was her last.

  8. ukretired123
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    It appears that Parliament is sleepwalking into remaining in the EU who are about to impose Berlin time on us all and scrap Greenwich Mean Time based on the Atomic clock in Paris?
    That would be too much.
    Also all cars made in future will be speed limited to roads legal maximum. That should go down well with those who import fast German, French and Italian car buyers.

    We will have no say on such matters and become emasculated for the first time in 1000 years. Do our MPs wish this on us?
    The road to help is paved with good intentions as all the recent PMs have discovered too late.
    We should be saving Europe from itself by leaving.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Most of your customs are European imports.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        What a particularly silly thing to say, Margaret, even by your unexacting standards. You constantly surprise us by what you come up with.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Subtle difference is we adopted whatever best practices and customs we saw fit.
        The EU is now imposing them on us.
        Do you understand the difference margaret?

    • Andy
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      The EU is ghastly isn’t it?

      Introducing measures which will prevent thousands of children dying on the roads.

      Who are these evil bureaucrats?

      • graham1946
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Shouldn’t be necessary. You can always drive sensibly.

  9. Bob
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I hear that some members of the ERG are saying they’ll sign the Vassalage Treaty on the condition that Mrs May resigns. So what’s the point of that? ………………………..
    This just reaffirms my decision to abandon the Tory Party in favour of UKIP. We have a long struggle ahead if this treachery is allowed to continue.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      The point of this is to try to save the Tory Party. If it turns out that there is no Brexit at all (something that has been obvious to some of us since May’s coronation), the Tories will be slaughtered come the next GE, which may be sooner than 2022, so they are trying to put in some mitigation with this treaty. They hope that if they get it settled all will be forgotten in a few years, but we have long memories, we have not forgotten Heath took us in on a lie, Major forced Maastricht on a lie and so they continue to lie. There are 17.4 million angry voters who will gladly put the boot in or refuse to vote at all.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        If the EU allows us to have GEs on our own terms in the future. They won’t want any sort of election outcome that threatens their ‘project’.
        They have a finger in every other UK pie – why not that one?

    • Chris
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      I suggest that people who feel strongly about this betrayal should let key MPs know, whether they are your constituency MPs or not. For a matter of such vital importance to the whole future of the UK these Remainer and turncoat Brexiter MPs should at least be made aware of the huge anger about their behaviour and also be made aware of how out of touch they are with the electorate.

      The massive gulf between the political elite and the ordinary people is very serious indeed and has to be acknowledged and put right. Drastic measures are required to rescue the sovereignty of this country and its democracy. The electorate will note well those MPs who have the guts and honesty and integrity to fight for Brexit.

      I have been more and more impressed by Sir John and his commitment to upholding Brexit. His authoritative writing and clear headed analysis of the issues are extremely important, and I feel individual such as he should be in government. I have confidence that they would stay firm and committed, and that they would sort out the catastrophe brought about by May and her Remainer MPs and advisers.

      Thank you for having this website, Sir John, and thank you for all your efforts.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      She will say she will resign…give the precise date and the hour….
      Maybe she will repeat the pledge 108 times.
      And then having got her Surrender Treaty through…..
      SHE WON’T GO!

      • Bob
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        “SHE WON’T GO!”

        But would it matter if she did – the damage would already have been done.

        A general election is the only sensible way forward now, to allow us to kick them out and get a proper UK independence party into Parliament.

      • rose
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Of course she won’t go.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    If Nick Boles got his way I would like to attend the ceremony joining the UK to EFTA.

    The Officiant:

    “And do you, the United Kingdom, solemnly and sincerely swear that you will not impose any tariffs on any goods imported from the other EFTA countries, as required by the third article of the EFTA Convention?”

    The United Kingdom:

    “I do so swear.”

    A loud voice from the congregation – it is the EU, interrupting the ceremony!

    “Stop the ceremony! This country has already promised to me that I shall determine what tariffs shall be applied on imports into its territory, so it cannot now make any promise at all on customs duties to the EFTA countries or to anybody else.

    The Officiant, turning to the United Kingdom:

    “Is this true? Have you come here today with the intention of committing bigamy?”

    The United Kingdom, shamefaced:

    “Nick Boles said that it would be OK.”

  11. Dominic
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Only a change of MPs can reverse the betrayal we are now seeing.

    It is evident to all who choose to see that May and her ilk are totally complicit in this subversion of Parliament and its true purpose.

    Hammond’s smug demeanour in the Commons yesterday display his content at the direction in which events were travelling. He knows they’ve got Brexit MPs on the ropes

    Brexit is dead. Parliament is a sham. And we will have our revenge on Remain MPs at the next election

    • L Jones
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps there won’t be a ”next election”. Perhaps all these shysters believe that they now have a job for life, courtesy of the EU.

  12. Abendrot
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I see that Boris has folded as well. He says that the WA is a terrible deal (which we all know) and says he will support it if ‘phase 2’ is different. By which he means, of course, that TM has gone and a different team attempts to negotiate us out of the straight jacket designed to constrain our freedom of action while keeping us in high regulatory alignment so that a probable referendum would take us back into the EU, just in time to pick up the bills when the chickens come home to roost. Well, good luck with that.

    Boris is never indifferent to his own benefit and I assume his calculations include the possibility of his being the next PM. Given the detestation displayed by many in the parliamentary party towards him, I think there would be a very strong ‘anyone-but-Boris’ movement to exclude him from the ballot. We could just as easily end up with another remainer as PM – someone like Hunt perhaps?

    There’s all this talk of a People’s vote; perhaps a GE (without May) and a clear position to present to the country is where we are headed. Depressing.

    • John C
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      I suppose the only consolation is the chance, at the next election, to vote out anyone who has been duplicitous in this whole shoddy business. As an electorate, we have a duty to get rid of them, to show we will not be insulted.
      But will we do it? It will be a test of us as much as the political class.

  13. Peter
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    On the other hand, it is a big talking shop with no legal power.

    It also helps run the clock down (until April 12 now?) with no sign of a deal.

    Then perhaps we leave on WTO terms? Or ‘the Spartans’ force a general election?

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      You mean like King Leonidas and the 300 at Thermopylae;as it used to say on the (now lost) burial stone:

      “Go tell the Spartans,stranger passing by
      That,here obedient to their laws,we lie.”

      • Peter
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        As a minority they will have to wage a guerilla war and throw a spanner in the works at every opportunity.

        Hopefully they can last long enough until relief arrives after a General Election.

  14. Hope
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    JR,

    Five of the seven options are remain! There is no consent of the people for this. General election is the only answer because it will inevitably happen.

    Do not vote for Mays servitude plan that will last forever. What do you think will happen in phase two! This was her plan to remain. This was never not an accident.

  15. Dennisa
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    It seems the Speaker is now the de facto PM.

  16. Iain Moore
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I gather some MPs tried to have these indicative votes as a secret ballot, don’t tell me that some of these MPs have a sense of shame , and don’t wish have their dirty deeds done in public where they can be held accountable ?

  17. Amanda
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    There is a key question missing here, is there not. What is the aim and what are the objectives of these indicative votes?

    The aim should be to fulfil the promise of the referendum to leave the EU.

    The objectives should at least contain some guidance that ideally refelect manifestos, and ensure that leaving the EU meets certain standards such as ‘restore supremacy of UK law by x date’.

    If you do not have this, then how can MPs know what they are indicating? At the moment the aim seems to be ‘how do we contine as much of our current EU relationship as possible’. As there will be different ideological views on what is desireable, the outcome is highly likely to be meaningless.

    In addition the whole process is illigitamate, the ‘umpire’ is known to be biased, and indeed some of the participants no longer have a mandate from constituents for their action. If Parliament think that the people will feel in any way bound to this ‘kangaroo vote’ they are greatly mistaken. All they are doing is setting up resentments and anger which will give problems for years to come.

  18. Kendo
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The country has changed its mind, now we have seen your promises are false. There will be no Brexit

    • Marjorie Baylis
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      No it hasn’t. Polls may indicate one thing or another – as often as not according to which body requests the poll. The ones that matter are the ones on the day when the whole electorate takes part, not just a thousand or so.

      Polling was showing this kind of inclination prior to the Referendum and they got it wrong then and they could well have it wrong now.

    • Boris
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      The country has not changed its mind. Give us a general election if you are confident that it has.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      A lot of people changed their mind about the EEC, especially after it became the EU and the lies we were told about it, when we voted to join it, were exposed, but it took us 25 years to get a referendum on it. So see you in 2041.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      What promises?
      Do you mean the one written in the leaflet?
      This is your decision We will implement what you decide.

  19. ChrisS
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    When are you going to announce that you have switched to supporting May’s deal in order to secure Brexit like many of your colleagues in the ERG have now done ?

    Reply I am not changing my view

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      There’s a man of principle and unshakable resolve! Hold fast in the ranks. Wars are never won by retreating.

    • Andy
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      You will still vote for it in the end. I have a tenner on it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Well done, let us hope sufficient other sound MPs and the DUP manage to kill May’s appalling £39 billion straightjacket Treaty. If it goes through the next PM will be in an appalling position as will the UK.

      The Conservative party and socialist Appeaser May will be blamed for evermore and quite rightly so.

  20. villaking
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Do you have any other ideas for trying to find a solution which is acceptable to both parliament and the EU?

    Reply I have set out my preferred solution many times

    • robert valence
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Dear Sir John,
      I understood that our esteemed PM had cancelled the “no-deal” option??

    • villaking
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      But it is not acceptable to parliament. That is the point.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        The views of MPs were not required. The clue was … “We will implement what you decide.” “Unless it is in favour of leaving the EU” was not in the leaflet, if I remember correctly.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      ‘Acceptable to parliament and the EU.’

      Beware the false dichotomy! What matters to the people, trumps both of those first two options.

  21. Timaction
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Indeed. The legacies have failed. It’s time for change and radical reform of our voting system to allow patriotic parties to gain power and properly Govern this Nation.
    Lets take back control starting in Parliament Square on Friday!

  22. Pete Else
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    What we see is a gang of politicians bound and determined to subvert what little democracy Britain has. All this wriggling and chicanery is just smoke and mirrors to hide the fact of a coup against the people.

  23. Peter Wood
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Your PM and Government have completely assumed the corrupting, anti-democratic tactics of the EU, it is shameful to witness and will be responded to at the ballot box.

  24. JoolsB
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    John,

    Will we get to see what individual MPs vote for or is it to be a secret ballot?

    Reply I assume it will be a recorded vote

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      It deserves to be recorded so we poor plebs get to know who voted for what – that’s if the politicians have the guts and don’t fear being held to account!

      • matthu
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        It’s apparently only the cabinet who don’t have the guts and fear being held to account.

  25. sm
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Have I missed something? Just who holds the position of British PM now – Letwin, Bercow or May?

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      “Just who holds the position of British PM now – Letwin, Bercow or May?” sm

      Answer: Donald Tusk

  26. William Long
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    You ask if any of the motions to be put to’Indicative vote’ that are popular in Parliament will be compatible with the Conservative or labour Manifestos. Sadly it has become completely clear that a geat number of the MPs of both parties, from the top downwards in both cases, pay little attention now to what they undertook when they asked people to vote for them. The Government in particular is now proceeding on the basis of a totally false prospectus.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree!

      The only future for the Tories is a complete clear-out of the stables and with a big shovel. Their credibility is completely shot through. I just feel sorry for those honest people of integrity who have done their best to stay loyal to their principles. They shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush.

  27. Ian McDougall
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John
    It has been apparent for some time the true idea of the Government Withdrawal Agreement was to ensure the UK remained under EU jurisdiction for is long as it was possible, so as we could vote and vote again until the right (EU’s) answer was achieved.

    So-called indicative votes come over as an instrument for the Re-moaners to implement the EU instructions and manoeuvre to situation totally against the wishes of the people.
    Could you tell me, did some members of the UK Parliament have a different version of the referendum ballot paper to me, mine just said simple remain or leave. It would also appear that when the UK Parliament passed into law we would be leaving, then when the respect parties said in their subsequent manifestos, they supported leaving, did they have their fingers crossed behind their backs.

    It is also interesting that on Monday the 1st April the UK Parliament is to debate the UK’s Petition Board motion of leaving the EU by the 29th March 2019.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Ian

      “It is also interesting that on Monday the 1st April the UK Parliament is to debate the UK’s Petition Board motion of leaving the EU by the 29th March 2019.”

      April Fools Day?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Let’s just think of it as an abject betrayal, but then we’re British, we should be used to it by now. We’re no longer respected, just a dog to be kicked and abused.

      Good to hear the stories of our brave fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain who laid their lives on the line, day in, day out, and were determined to stop the invader taking control over us.

      Compare that spirit with the gutless duplicitous cowards we now have in parliament, and it’s easy to see where the people’s contempt stems from!

      Tad

  28. a-tracy
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The people I speak to are saying that once the Leave vote was agreed EVERYONE should have united from every party and got behind getting the BEST deal for the UK instead of keep fighting the old battle that was had in 2016 to overturn the decision. The parliament are just winding remainers up.

    Once the UK Parliament are sovereign again they can stand on manifestos and platforms that give things they say only the EU have provided like employees rights and set out their own social and spending priorities so that the public can again decide the way forward.

    The EU should have just listened to David Cameron with his requests on benefits (housing; tax credits; child tax credits etc) ahead of the referendum instead of just ignoring him. I read yesterday Austria are now abusing the EU EC 883/2004 rules with regard to paying benefits abroad in the future want to transfer less because in 2016 they transferred £273 million abroad in benefit payments for 132,000 children. In 2017 Germany cottoned on and they asked for a similar restriction. When their GDP contracts this will become more of an issue to them and others in the EU we were just the lit taper.

    I see the blame for ‘Leave’ being put on Farage all the time, but what is this about? It gives him too much credit and credence? He is just one voice, one man, much more damaging were all the programs every night on C4 news about the ( numbers ed) of people (mainly young men) waiting to come across to the UK – notice we never hear one word about this now and overcrowded rentals in London; the C5 benefits programs about people being given social housing because they couldn’t afford the private rent and were getting kicked out over UK people waiting in overcrowded private rentals they can’t afford on waiting lists. Demands to house rough sleepers because UK men couldn’t get flats even veterans because we were overwhelmed and we couldn’t keep up the pace of building because of the dire state of our deficit that had to be controlled because of EU rules on debt and deficit ratios.

  29. Original Richard
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The UK should NEVER, EVER sign a permanent, unending treaty from which we cannot lawfully exit.

    This is just madness and no one Parliament has the authority to give away the country’s sovereignty FOR EVER in this way.

    It is certainly the opposite of the “taking back control” referendum result and the election promises made by the two main parties in the last GE.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I agree, and that has been the problem with our entanglement with the EU where they have bound the hands of governments for some 40 years. I wondered if it was reasonable to have every new Governments having to reaffirm their support for all the standing treaties we have. This would at least force politicians to vote for the renewal of all the treaties rather than just accept them as a matter practice, and if they did have to vote for them, then they could also be voted down. It would be a small change in emphasis , but possibly not practical in light of there being a lot of treaties on the statue books.

    • Bob
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      ” no one Parliament has the authority to give away the country’s sovereignty FOR EVER in this way”

      I don’t believe that the current parliament can bind its successors, especially in view of the fact that the Vassalage Treaty does not honour the 2016 plebiscite and the subsequent voting patterns based on the 2017 manifestos and the Parliamentary vote to invoke Article 50, which was not conditional on a “deal” with Brussels.

      A future UKIP govt should have no hesitation or compunction in repealing the 1972 ECA and declaring UDI.

      Don’t be fooled by my polite demeanour, I am extremely angry at these treacherous Quislings currently occupying Westminster Palace, the Civil Service and the BBC.
      The UKIP govt will have a root and branch reform to drain this stinking swamp.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I imagine you’re just as fed up with them as I am then Richard. They do as they please and an MPs word isn’t worth a candle.

      Tad

    • Andrew S
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      When the true brexit is finally delivered by a restored democracy, any sham undertakings by this illegitimate charade will simply be defaulted on. Any such treaties unilaterally ripped up.

  30. Krishna Siva
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr Redwood for your direct insight into this Brexit process.

    If tonight’s votes are only indicative, and Govt. refuses to effect any of them, then it naturally follows that Parliament has to support a No Confidence vote in Govt. Leading to GE. As much as Corbyn’s spanner-in-the-works attempts would like that, we DON’T NEED that distraction or issue.

    Alternatively, a Conservative MPs lead coup of the leadership or resignation to allow a real Brixiteer to deliver the result, in the next process. I would like to see Mr Redwood as the next leader of the Tory Party to deliver quick decisive Brexit. This will have immediate effect on Sterling in forex markets of a dive, as the internatial financier cabal want globalised world. Brexit and America First is trend setter for decoupling international trade, er, due to climate change concerns.

    Also why is tonight’s ballot of MPs a secret one? Why no transparency of perfidy?

    • hefner
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      It is not a secret one, it is a paper one. Results will be collected and very likely published nominatively.

  31. John Probert
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    It is incredible how the cabinet and our MP’s continue to fail
    to implement the will of the people
    Letwin acts to defy democracy

  32. James Bertram
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I understand that MPs can express a free vote. This will then be public knowledge. Only leaving on WTO terms, or with a simple FTA, are options that respect the 2016 Referendum Vote and the Tory and Labour 2017 manifestos. The options will be discussed, so no MP can claim to be ignorant of what they are really voting for. It will give us a clear picture of how dishonest, anti-democratic and disreputable each of our politicians are. We will know who to boot out at the next election. There is now no hiding in the toilet for these MPs – they have to come out of the closet and face the public. This has to be a good thing.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Just watching the grinning faces of MPs at PMQs, and checking out the body language. They really are detached from reality and I again make the charge that within their number, there is a large contingent of sociopaths who use and abuse, and simply do not care about others or their obligations to the people they are supposed to serve.

      Maybe a candidate should be psychoanalysed prior to selection because anybody who now aspires to belong to such an iniquitous dishonest place must be mad or bad to begin with!

      Tad

  33. rick hamilton
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I cannot see how May alone can rule out No Deal. It is what is left on the table if all the other useless propositions fail to pass the vote. She might as well rule out No Majority at the next GE.

    • Sue Doughty
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Not sure she has ruled out No Deal in law.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      The Tory party used to be steadfast and erudite where the mantra ‘my word is my bond’ actually meant something. The people consequently trusted them as they saw them as the natural party of government, and Labour as the upstarts always squabbling amongst themselves. We might reasonably pose the question, what changed?

      I’ll leave that one open…..

      Tad

  34. glen cullen
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Friday 29th March should have been a day of national celebration our ‘independence day’.

    The majority who voted and gave an instruction, not a suggestion nor consideration but an instruction expected its wishes to be implemented.

    However we the voters never expected our direct instruction to be ignored and so flippantly manipulated to cancel our vote.

    The political contract between the parliament and the people has been breached.

    Friday 29th March a sad day for democracy

    • Gary C
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      “Friday 29th March a sad day for democracy”

      Indeed it is and proof that we the electorate are looked upon as no more than pawns on a chessboard or cannon fodder in the trenches, there for them and only for them.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      They need to know your displeasure. Flood their letterboxes and email boxes with letters of protest. The only thing that un-nerves them is the thought of losing their seat and getting booted off the gravy train.

      Tad

  35. Stred
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Presumably, MPs feel safe to thumb their nose at the electorate because they live in their metropolitan bubble most of the time and rarely venture into the places where the people who elected them live. They also know that the UK is disarmed and that cameras record every movement by car and foot in cities. In the USA, outrageous behaviour would not be possible.

  36. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    It still does not change the facts of your flawed economic analysis of the EU

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Yanis Varoufakis might be able to enlighten you. I’d start by watching his YouTube videos, then looking at all the other commentators with first-hand experience of the EU. If you approach it with a neutral mind (a very big ask I know), you might even have a different opinion at the end of the process.

      • hefner
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        It took you long to discover that. It has been written black on white from the beginning of the Treaty of Rome and the beginnings of the EEC, and further revitalized/reaffirmed in the Lisbon Treaty. But that’s the problem for most of you here on this blog. If you did not have Sir John to blow up your …. the good word every day, most of you would be completely clueless (there are a few exceptions and I enjoy reading their contributions, you know who you are).
        You limpets: Never bothered to read any of the EU documents, for most never bothered to vote in EU elections, and then surprise surprise to realize what the EU is.
        You get what you deserve.

        • hefner
          Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Tad, that was not for you but for rose.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            That’s OK, I happen to agree with you. I think it is incumbent upon everyone who wishes to take an interest, to search out the facts. If only a lot of MPs would do the same. We’d probably be closer to a solution.

            Tad

        • Edward2
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Many of us warned what the effects of the t.reaties our pro EU political parties signed on our behalf and how our powers as an independent nation were being given away.
          But we were shouted down by EU fans like you hefner and people like Heath Major Heseltine Clarke and Blair.
          Even during the referendum campaign people like Clegg said our courts were still supreme and that people who warned of the coming of an EU armed force were fantasises.
          We realised it was a political project decades ago.

        • rose
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          “You limpets: Never bothered to read any of the EU documents, for most never bothered to vote in EU elections, and then surprise surprise to realize what the EU is.
          You get what you deserve.”

          What on earth are you on about? Are you alright?

    • rose
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not an economic project but a political one.

  37. 'None of the above'.
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Sir John.

    Not withstanding my remarks yesterday, I believe that MPs should be reminded of an old saying; “When in trouble at the bottom of a hole, stop digging”.

    On another matter, I have on Brexit Central, read a copy of the letter sent by ERG lawyer MPs to Mrs May seeking answers to their questions over the legality of using prerogative powers to request an extension to Art.50. I believe that they expect a response from her today when she meets the 1922 Committee.
    I’m not a Lawyer and therefore do not presume to be able to match the Knowledge of these Learned Ladies and Gentlemen but are there any plans to apply to the Court for a ruling on this question.
    I understand that the ECJ in its recent rulings concerning Art.50 says that any application from a State must comply with that States Domestic Law.

    I would welcome your view, particularly if it provides the reassurance I seek.
    Many Thanks, Sir John.

    P.S. Keep up the good work.

  38. Marjorie Baylis
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Sir John, clear sighted and succinct as ever.

  39. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I have copied below an article from a recent edition of the Daily Telegraph which may resonate with some of your readers.

    ‘Never before has the political class of this country been held in such contempt. Every day, new revelations of MPs’ greed, dishonesty and venality provoke further waves of justified anger.’

    ‘Those words were published almost exactly ten years ago at the height of the expenses scandal.’

    ‘They could be reprinted today, except greed, dishonesty and venality would have to be replaced with incompetence, shamelessness and brazen contempt for the voters.’

    Parliament is not only in danger of losing control but MP’s seem hellbent on destroying what little faith people have left in our democracy.

  40. The PrangWizard
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    And then we will get the PM who may well use the whole mess to justify signing her surrender document anyway. She has said she does not feel obliged to take any notice of any of the votes, she has ignored all the ones which have gone before which didn’t suit her, and I suspect that given her devious scheming mind and obsession to betray us that will be her story and she may have been working up to it for a while.

    Anyone, especially Rees-Mogg, who allowed himself to believe any assurance she has given and has put the Tory party and personal preservation first, is the biggest fool in Christendom, and will come to bitterly regret it.

    It is the people of this country however, who will suffer most.

  41. Steve Pitts
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Is the maths correct that even if most of the Conservatives now would vote for the WA but not all, say around up to 20 are against, if the DUP do not approve The WA , then there’s not much chance of getting enough Labour support to get it through? If it does not go through and none of the other options are acceptable to the government, even if approved by the votes in the next few days, what is likely to happen if Mrs May refuses to allow no deal? A long delay and an eventual general election? This is difficult to work out and may depend on the DUP sticking to their opposition to the WA

    Also it is also reported the Labour frontbench will never vote to repeal Article 50.

  42. RichardM
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Mogg last week : Mays deal is a worse than membership of EU – we will be a slave state.
    This week – hes voting for it.
    Boris cares not a jot for anything as only has eyes on number 10 and will vote for it as long as May resigns.

    You know your on the right side when you oppose these 2 …………………………. Why anyone ever took any notice of these 2 is beyond belief. Many of you leavers even want Boris as PM. Astonishing.

  43. BW
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    So are the public

  44. Edwardm
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    We have a parliament of pigmies agitating to diminish our country and using chicanery to cheat the people of their shout for freedom.
    I am grateful to you, JR, and those other MPs who stand for a clean Brexit and vote against anything that isn’t.
    It is a matter of great regret that a number of ERG MPs feel the need to cave into Mrs May’s WA. In doing so they are voting for defeat and they will become pawns in Mrs May.

    In voting against the WA, they would keep their integrity, and will survive to fight another day. If the overwhelming number of treacherous Remainers in parliament bring us to a bad outcome, then let them be solely responsible.

    The ERG wavers need to remember that the people across our country will not accept anything less than a clean break and the fight will continue, probably by the rise of a Eurosceptic party, and eventually our country will break from the EU, even if it has to break treaties. So I say to Waverers and to Remainers, don’t put us in an unwarranted situation from which escape could be untidy, but escape we will.

    The best resolution at this stage may be for a vote of no confidence in the government and for it to succeed and herald a general election so prevent further legislation between now and April 12th. I’m sure Brexit parties could have candidates ready to stand against Remainer MPs. (I’m aware tribal voting will continue but it will be reduced).

  45. Sue Doughty
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    While MPs are messing around pension funds are failing to achive. The most largest and powerful of them are British trades union pension funds. I wish the trades unions would remind their sponsored MPs of this cold hard fact.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’ve just watched Michel Barnier tell the EU Parliament that after the issue of EU citizens’ rights – which Theresa May quite unnecessarily decided to threaten, on the terrible advice of Sir Ivan Rogers – the next most serious problems are in Ireland; and that to respect the EU Single Market, and also – looking to his side, where Nigel Farage was sitting – the UK internal market:

    “there are going have to be checks carried out somewhere”.

    But he did not say “at the border”, nor even “near the border”, only “somewhere”.

    Well, firstly those checks would not be related just to any customs duties which may be applicable; as pointed out before, checks on the Irish land border did not cease when the UK and the Irish Republic both joined the EEC and its customs union, it was only later with the advent of the EU Single Market that border checks could be ended.

    And, secondly, nowadays there would be no reason for either the UK or the EU to collect any import duties at the border itself, that could be done well away from the border and the customs authorities on either side could intensify their present close cooperation to help enforce each others’ rules.

    While, thirdly, the Irish Republic is not leaving the EU and unless we believe that the Irish government would take the UK’s withdrawal as a good reason to disregard EU law and allow non-compliant goods to be sent across the border then there will be no immediate new need for the UK to intercept and inspect goods at the border.

    The UK has not been doing that on a routine basis for more than a quarter of a century, because there was no longer any sufficient need to do it once Irish domestic law had implemented EU Single Market law; so why should we suddenly start doing it?

    However, fourthly, the same is not true for the Irish Republic and the EU, because the UK will be repealing its domestic legislation to implement EU Single Market law; and so they could no longer assume, as now, that all goods coming in across the border would comply with EU rules, unless the UK Parliament put in place an alternative law to guarantee that goods carried across the border will comply with EU requirements.

  47. Newmania
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Parliament has already lost all credibility due the obscene mis-use of our corrupt Party system by extremists trying to crow bar a Brexit outcome in that no-one wants and no-one voted for .
    If we were to arrive at Common Market 2 that would have the broadest support in the country, Parliament and the least strong objections by a long way
    It would of course be worse than staying in the EU but that was inevitable the moment a farce of a referendum was used by the Conservative Party for its own purposes.
    There is nothing to lose and , personally , I very hope that there will now be a long overdue reform of the outdated and disfunctional rotting old system that holds us back

    • Ginty
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      A Trotskyite government is inevitable before that reform.

      You’re about to find out what happens when ‘gammon’ stop voting for mainstream parties and students take over the polls.

      Got your house on the market ?

    • Edward2
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      There is absolutely no chance of a common market 2 option.
      The EU has a plan and it is moving towards it.
      PS
      Silly to say ” no one wants and no one voted for” when 17.4 million did.

  48. hefner
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks “whoever” for Dominic Cummings. And to think that some delusional and useful idiots are still offering their prose here every day.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      What is it with bitter remainers like you Hefner that you have to call any person who has a different opinion delusional and idiots.
      You live in a democracy.
      Your vote is worth exactly the same as everyone elses.
      Ever thought your opinions might be wrong?

      • hefner
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        “delusional” and “useful idiots” were Cummings’s words. You can check this on his website. I was just reporting his comments.

        • hefner
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          And if you think Cummings is a Remainer, maybe his qualificatives apply to you. Try to check and think before you write.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            You said hefner:-
            “And to think some delusional and useful idiots are still offering their useful prose on here every day”

            Trying to hide behind a quote to make your usual insulting comments is very poor.

          • hefner
            Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            OK, Edward2, I take you to task: have you read “9 lessons in Brexit” by Ivan Rogers, Short Books, £5.99, only 96 pages in 12 point Roman fonts, readable in about two hours by an average person.
            Lesson 1: It has of course to be that “Brexit means Brexit”.
            Lesson 2: Other people have sovereignty too, and they too may choose to “take back control” of things you would rather they didn’t.
            Lesson 3: Brexit is a process not an event, and the EU, while strategically myopic, is formidably good at process against negotiating opponents. We have to be equally so or we will get hammered. Repeatedly.
            Lesson 4: It is not possible or democratic to argue (as hard Brexiters do) that only one Brexit destination is true, legitimate and representative of the revealed “Will of the People” and that all other potential destinations outside the EU are “Brexit in Name Only”.
            Lesson 5: If WTO terms or existing EU preferential deals are not good enough for the UK in major “third country” markets, they can’t be good enough for trade with our largest market.
            Lesson 6: The huge problem for the UK with either reversion to WTO terms or with a standard free trade deal with the EU is in services.
            Lesson 7: Beware all supposed deals bearing “pluses”.
            Lesson 8: You cannot and should not want to conduct such a huge negotiation as un transparently as the UK has. And in the end it does you no good to try.
            Lesson 9: Real honesty with the public is the best, the only, policy if we are to get to the other side of Brexit with a healthy democracy, a reasonably unified country and a strong economy.

            Read that book, then come back to me to say I am a Remainer. What about somebody who cannot swallow the vacuous b…s..t provided day in day out by Sir JR.

  49. Vernon Wright
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    In a sense the Prime Meddler is right: some things for which the Parliament might vote would require the consent of the EU.

    There are three (mutually exclusive) things Britain can choose to do without that consent (or further consent):

    (a) leave without a deal;
    (b) leave under the terms of the May régime’s ‘deal’;
    (c) rescind the notice lodged under Article 50.

    Other choices, not immediately affecting Brexit, include —

    (d) a further plebiscite (in which, one might hope, the referendum or referenda would be properly thought out … unlike the binary question of the Cameron régime);
    (e) a general election. (Ever since Mr. Corbyn became Labour leader I’ve said Britain needs to see what a real Labour government looks like: most voters are too young, forgetful or, perhaps, stupid — to understand what a disaster it would be.)

    ΠΞ

  50. percy openshaw
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    If parliament thwarts our liberation from Brussels, there will be consequences. Thanks to the mishandling of Brexit and the endless leftward drift of policy in areas such as taxation and schooling, my one remaining reason for supporting our local Conservative MP is to prevent the still worse Corbyn from taking office. This is thin gruel, to coin a phrase. And for many it is too bitter. On the other hand, sheer inertia and despair can shepherd a number of loyal voters into the voting booths, so the chances of a successful Brexit rebellion are not – alas – promising. So the result will very likely be minority Corbyn administration faced by a disunited, discredited, exhausted Tory party. Recrimination is vain, but why could you not find someone better than Mrs May to lead you? Why did the alternatives implode or melt away? History will not – I imagine – be terribly kind to the Conservative party of 2016.

  51. JoolsB
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    John,
    I can understand their reasons for doing so but am disappointed that so many Brexiteers such as JRM and possibly Boris have now said they will vote for May’s deal and are now being ridiculed in the media and being portrayed as ‘having changed their minds’ All dependent on the good old DUP of course who I hope will stand their ground and not vote for it. I hope there are still enough MPs, hopefully yourself included, who will not vote for May’s surrender document under any circumstances.

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      I expect they have their hard-headed logical reasons for caving in, and Boris and Mogg know they can’t be the future leadership, so perhaps they have concentrated instead on wringing a public announcement from the PM that she would go. She won’t, of course.

      I didn’t like Mogg saying the DUP are the guardians of the Union. The Conservative and Unionist Party are supposed to that, and he should be saying so loud and clear, and should have been all along.

  52. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The phrase ‘deep and special partnership with our EU friends’ seems to have resurfaced in recent parliamentary exchanges. And I thought the UK voted to leave the European Union.

    Conservative MP’s still do not get it. Anything other than a clean break will cost them at the ballot box.

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      All these reinterpretations of the Brexit vote are just reneging on it without admitting it. Especially the pseudo-panic over “No Deal”. Taking No Deal off the table has always spelt: take Brexit off the table. Getting on for 500 or so of them voted for No Deal didn’t they?

      In the case of the deep and special relationship, that was the PM’s own idea. Nobody voted for it. It was just assumed that as an independent country we would be a good and friendly neighbour and hope to goodness they would be too.

  53. Pieter
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    While the British Parliament might be in danger of losing control thank goodness we have the EU Parliament standing firm

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      The MEP’s have as much influence on proceedings in the EU parliament as an audience in a theatre has on the events on stage. That’s how dictatorships are meant to work. Just a veneer of democracy.

  54. ian
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Today Parliament is having some votes on ideas that they have, to go with the WA. Whatever comes out of today’s votes will be sent to Mrs May to look at for approval and then come back to the HOC on the following Monday to be voted on, anything that is pasted that day apart from Mrs May deal and no deal will have to go to Brussels for approval, who are your Masters, then back to Mrs May to look at the details of conditions imposed by your Masters for final approval to go for the HOC the following Monday for voting on with whatever the gov put forward with it.

    Now your Masters must make a decision by Sunday the 7 of April to have the vote on Monday. The 12th of April is the last day that parliament or the gov can order EU MEP elections in this country and they need extension approved by Brussels by the 7th of April so it can be voted on for that to happen.
    If on Monday parliament cannot come up with a deal by voting and extension has not been approved by Brussels then there may be a vote on Wednesday to revoke article 50, if not you will leave the EU with no deal.

  55. woodsy42
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Of course it looks like a lot of remainers frustrating Brexit – because that’s exactly what it is!
    I don’t understand how debate has moved so far that we can calmly discuss ‘remainers’ in the Conservative party (or in Labour), they all passed article 50, agreed to abide by the referendum, were re-elected etc. They are turncoats and anti-democrats, and MPs will never be trusted again by 17 million people.

  56. Trod
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I have noticed some remainer Parliamentarians using the Vote Leave slogan ‘Take back control’. Because of their irritation with David Cameron’s decision to hold the 2016 referendum, I think what they mean is ‘take back control from the people who voted Leave’.

  57. Original Richard
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I would never have believed I would live to see the day when our PM and a majority of Conservative MPs would be daily haranguing their colleagues and Parliament to sign a treaty with a foreign entity, where we would be accepting laws and taxation from this entity without any representation or veto and from which we cannot lawfully exit, rather than haranguing this foreign entity for a better deal.

    Is our PM working for us or for the EU ?

    It just goes to show just how damaging has been our 40+ years in the EU.

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Very well put.

  58. agricola
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    When one considers the May WA I conclude.

    Those that conducted it had no interest in the result of the referendum. Felt no responsibility towards the 17.4 million who voted leave.

    Those that negotiated the WA were as negotiators completely out of their depth or so congenitally against leaving that they came up with what they did.

    There are forces at work, loosely called the establisment that were so affronted by the referendum result that they decided to sabotage it. You will find these forces in both houses of Parliament, the senior civil service, operating on intellectural grounds. The BBC of course. The CBI because they would loose their seat at the control table of their industries in the EU. The TUC because of their desire for international socialism of which the EU is an example. Then there are all the movers and shakers of Davos and Bilderberg who feel that their plan for society and business unencumbered by democracy is the way forward.

    This is basically why there is so much manufactured difficulty in carrying out the referendum result.

    There is a parallel in the USA. Trump a none establishment businessman, like Marmite love it or hate it, got elected as President. Ever since he has been in conflict with that self same establishment.

    I believe that this establishment has decided that democracy has gone far enough. Any further and it will encroach heavily on their varied interests. Here we have the big political conflict for the future. Sadly many of our current politicians are part of the problem, or fail to grasp what is going on. The people will need to bee very resolute to survive this assault on democracy.

  59. ian
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Leave MPs have caved, there is only Sir John left for no deal, they didn’t even wait to the 8th of April, they are now voting potentially to annexe NI away from Britan and dissolve the UK and if that happens Scotland will have a new ref.

    Brussels ambition of breaking up the UK is coming, the way they see it is, there can only be one Master, not two in the same area called Europe.

    I would not mind but parliament after losing NI will insist on Britan taxpayers still paying for it.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      If the UK suffers a dissolution, do all 4 nations end up out of the EU? The WA treaty(?) is between the EU and UK. No UK = no treaty. Was this subject explored at the time of the Scottish independence referendum?

  60. Monza 71
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Project Fear Update :

    I read on the Autocar website today that BMW is in discussions about taking over Honda’s Swindon factory when they pull out. The aim is reportedly to be to produce BMW-branded cars rather than Minis. It seems likely to be true because Autocar states that BMW has already obtained planning permission to expand their existing body panel manufacturing plant which is only half a mile away from the Honda factory.

    As with so many pronouncements made in the interest of Project Fear, even if these talks come to nothing, they make complete nonsense of the dire predictions made recently against Brexit by the head of BMW UK.

  61. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Not sure this idea of passing the WA on the back of May resigning is a good one.
    Don’t let the awful be the friend of the inevitable.

    • John C
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      I fail to see any logical connection between voting for a rotten, despised deal, and May resigning. What strange thought process links the two?

    • cosmic
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      I’d see May remaining in place as a lesser evil than her rotten deal, after all one is for a relatively short time and the other is not. So trading getting rid of May (quite likely to be supplanted by a similar clown) for accepting the WA, isn’t an attractive bargain.

  62. michael mcgrath
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I see the anxious and concerned looks on the “indicative votes” proponents and I am reminded of the observation:

    “They confuse movement with action”

  63. SueW
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I have just read an article in “Westmonster” about there now being no hard border requirement in the event of a so -called “no deal” scenario. I assume this will mean that now, beyond the eleventh hour, we will be told the backstop can actually be removed and hence the horrendous surrender deal will pass. This will have then all been an EU scam to get a further budgetary contribution from us by going into another financial year as well as keeping us in penal servitude for the foreseeable future. I didn’t think I could get any more depressed, but I fear I am about to.
    God bless you for keeping a small flame of decency alight in Parliament.

  64. A.F.Fanculo
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Telegraph online comment Ollie Robbins was right ‘either May’s deal or a long extension.’ He would say that after he and May have royally screwed us with their ‘negotiations’. The machinations of Government and Parliament will cost them dearly at the next elections.

  65. piglet
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Manifestos? Implementing the result of the referendum? What eccentric ideas.

    These goons have become intoxicated with power and are acting like irresponsible children. Their actions further undermine our democratic system because parties who lost at the GE can now shape policy. This should never have been allowed to happen.

    I’m reminded of “Lord of the Flies”.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Piglet
      I agree.
      An air of “The Feastof Fools”.
      Chillingly as if they know they will never be held to account.
      Even more chilling viewed against the backdrop of an ever more totalitarian state.
      There is also almost a feeling of “ End of Term.”
      Is Westminster coming to an end?
      We are finding out things that we only ever dared to suspect!

    • miami.mode
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      piglet……and now they are playing their version of Brexit bingo. What a farce.

    • cosmic
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Voting for a party on their manifesto, even a manifesto shaped by a referendum result, is like investing in “A venture of great profit, but none may know what it is”. If you do that you deserve what you get, which is quite unlikely to be anything you expected.

  66. Mark
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile the EU are trolling us with the unworkable Copyright Directive, Berlin standard time, and cars controlled by satellite. All of which our supine government will implement, Brexit or no Brexit.

  67. BR
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Any government that loses control like this should really be going to the country.

    Are there no circumstances under which they can force legislation onto the books? Can we be sure that May will not capitulate if an option does find a majority?

    That said, any majority of these weasels should not override the will of the people as expressed in 2016 and as yet not implemented.

  68. a-tracy
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Parliament have effectively put Bercow in charge.
    The votes are pointless because there is only one deal on offer or no deal.
    Our MPs are behaving pathetically and are losing all respect.
    The House is giving hardcore remainers the impression we are now staying – Parliament is messing with people’s heads and they will regret it.
    There will be a day of reckoning over all this.

  69. Robbie1975
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    The WA must not be voted for in any circumstances. Call her/their bluff. They do not have the bottle openly to revoke Article 50. And there is no appetite for or sense in a second referendum at this stage.

    The worst that can happen is an extension.

    Were the government to lose a Parliamentary confidence vote, presumably it could salvage the situation without the need for a general election: by replacing May with a leader who could indeed demonstrate he commanded majority parliamentary support. Even holding his nose, no Remainer Tory would vote against his own party in such a circumstance, risking a tripple whammy of losing the whip and his seat, and opening the way for Corbyn.

    Also I believe the mood in the country is being misjudged: I am fairly confident our side could win another referendum if it did ever come to that.

    It is far too early to surrender to May.

    If surrender it is, she will find a pretext not subsequently to resign.

    And further down the road, who knows: maybe a half plausible case will be made to put the subsequent FTA (if we are not in the backstop) to a “confirmatory referendum”, “now that all the details of Brexit are known”, the alternative being to remain, for which so much groundwork is clearly being done.

    Nor do I buy JRM’s surrender-line that we would only be bound by international (as opposed to EU) law. Can you imagine our political and bureaucratic class backing the idea of breaching our international law obligations, still less to our friends in the EU?

    No no no to the WA.

    We could even get lucky and get booted out by the EU.

  70. Simon Hargraves
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    We have effectively had three democratic votes for Brexit! A general election in which David Cameron achieved a majority on the basis that he would offer an in out referendum. i.e. a vote for the conservatives was a vote to leave. You wouldn’t vote for a party offering an in out referendum if you didn’t want to a chance to vote out! We then had a referendum which produced a majority for leave and we then had another election where the two main parties got most of the votes on the basis that their manifestos included a promise to deliver Brexit i.e. yet another “people’s vote” for leave. How many peoples votes do they want before it is believed that Brexit is what the voting majority want!!! If it is not delivered, it will be the death of democracy in this country. Yes, of course a democracy can change its mind, but the opportunity for it to do so is at the next election, not through mob rule. If you want to go back into the EU after we have left, you vote for a political party who is offering to do so. Bet you won’t find one who will however. Unless you want to start one of course. That’s democracy!!! Not petitions or marches!!!

  71. Andy
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    It is quite clear that we now need a government of national unity.

    Ken Clarke as interim PM
    Dame Margaret Beckett as his deputy / foreign secretary
    Places in Cabinet for Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin, Yvette Cooper, Hilary Benn, Ian Blackford, Sir Vince Cable – the few remaining Parliamentary grown ups.

    Assistance from the Lords – with Lord Hague among others.

    And the immediate establishment of a public inquiry to hold the Brexiteers to account.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      That hilarious list of yours Andy, would produce a government of extreme pro EU remainers.
      Certainly not one that would produce unity.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      As a dog revisits it’s vomit……..

  72. George Mann
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    PLEASE STAY STRONG, SIR JOHN. It doesn,t matter who is PM. It does matter that we do not sign over our freedom under Mrs May,s WHITE FLAG surrender deal. Shame on Rees Mogg etc, but i believe J Redwood will stay strong

  73. Simon
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    So Sir John How is your kind and friendly (lol) trade offer to the EU going now then ?

    Quick and simple Brexit which is the lethal snake oil offered by the ERG charlatans it clearly is not.

  74. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Is the Queen following these events – Does She have any authority to do anything about them?

    Logically, the Queen should dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections… While time plays on and existing legislation comes into play…

    An emergency government would have to be sworn in of course, just as long as we get rid of the current crowd.

  75. hefner
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    … and at the end of the process the final result of the June’16 referendum will depend on the “enlightened” votes of the 120,000 in the Conservative Associations.

  76. mary
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Re the horrendous “Withdrawal Agreement”(which Mogg and co it seems are going to cave in to), this can’t be ratified till the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is subsequently made law. The contents of the WAB MUST immediately be published. May has not done so yet probably because the contents are so contentious that they could scupper the WA.

  77. Paul Freedman
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Indicative votes now. Seriously, what’s that? It only provides further opportunity for remain MPs to corrupt the referendum process. Government needs to protect democracy. The people will understand as long as it is explained to them (from the top). In this regard the government has been totally lacking

  78. hefner
    Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    As some of our continental neighbours can easily be watching the dealings in the HoC on their computers, they must have been amused by the Winchester vs. Eton spat or the absent Bercow vs. still present mace rumpus. By now they must certainly have concluded that we are all mad.

  79. Topper
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John, Your words today were remarkably prescient. NONE of the indicative votes produced any consensus!

  80. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    As I write, all eight measures in the indicative votes have been rejected by the Commons. Sorry to be cruel but I laughed like a drain.

    Mrs May has a way out of her dilemma that might work if she has the courage to stand up to the European Commission:

    (1) Add to the draft Withdrawal Agreement the sentence “All provisions in this draft Withdrawal Agreement are time limited to 31st December 2020”. This meets Bercow’s requirement of a significant change.

    (2) If the Commons approve it, give the European Commission the choice between accepting the amended Agreement and No Deal.

    One way or the other, the matter would be quickly settled.

  81. Steve
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    We need a general election, the sooner the better. Aside from laughing at their campaign manifesto lies, we’d have the chance to destroy the conservatives and Labour – force their abolition. Being made unviable as political parties is least they deserve.

    Revenge without mercy – get them, get the spineless cowards out !

    …..and ban them from ever again holding publicly funded office.

  • 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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