Another day, yet another debate on Brexit

The government has decided to relaunch its deeply unpopular Withdrawal Agreement with new scares. MPs are being told there could be a General election, a big delay to Brexit, a no deal Brexit or revocation of Article 50, depending on who they are and what they most fear. The good news is most of the fears are contradictory and many of the more extreme Remain ones fanciful.

The government reports to Eurosceptics almost with pleasure the progresss of the Letwin -Labour provisional coalition government which ran the highly successful debate and vote on options on Wednesday. This proved that  if you give a lot of Remain leaning MPs a range of Remain leaning options they cannot agree on their  preferred one. They tell us they could do worse things in the future. Surely the official coalition government can do a bit better and wrestle control of business back to itself? And why cant it use the privileges of government to prevent backbench legislation against government policy?It would help if the government dropped the bad Withdrawal Agreement which has created needless tensions with the DUP.

Todays debate and vote shows the government has been too clever by half. It decided to bring back the Withdrawal Agreement without the Political Declaration in the belief that it is the Declaration that annoys Labour MPs more than the Withdrawal Agreement. The government hopes Labour rebels will swell its vote. They also hope that by holding the vote on a Friday when many MPs are used to being in their constituencies quite  a lot of its critics may not turn up.

The Political Declaration is referred to in the Withdrawal Agreement and is an integral part of the deal with the EU. Under the EU withdrawal Act they need to have  a vote on both together, so today’s vote does not provide legal suppport in UK law. Labour are on to this. The government also refuse to publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, presumably  because it would show just how controlled by the EU we would be if we were stupid enough to sign it.

Some in the government think they can win on a friday because they hope sone opposition MPs will be missing. They will not be missing were the government to have to implement the Agreement by putting it into legislation.


  1. Pominoz
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John,

    Thank you for your comments – as always much valued.

    I should be celebrating Brexit Day. But I am not. I really think I must be a pathetic individual. Frustrated, ashamed, incapable. I have spent nearly three years watching on as this slow motion Brexit train-wreck unfolds and now, possibly, nears its climax. Initial delight gradually gave way to elements of slight doubt, then real concern, then anger. I could have closed my eyes, refused to read newspapers, switched off the television. But somehow I couldn’t. I remained transfixed, as if in some sort of psychotic episode. I must escape – but how?

    A movie of this would see the super-hero appearing at the very last moment to divert the speeding locomotive and its carriages full of sovereign-minded passengers away from the Euro tunnel seconds before oblivion. You, Sir John, must be that super-hero. We rely on you, and those, frighteningly few, MPs determined to adhere to their manifesto commitments, to save the day.

    This latest treasonous plan to vote solely on the putrid WA must not succeed. The separation of consideration of the PD does not make the WA any less disastrous. Please save Brexit. Get us out on WTO terms on 12th April – still two weeks too late! Another couple of years of the turmoil I, and UK businesses, have been experiencing would be an absolute tragedy.

    1. Peter
      March 29, 2019

      “This latest treasonous plan to vote solely on the putrid WA must not succeed. The separation of consideration of the PD does not make the WA any less disastrous. ”

      Agreed. An interesting spin from the BBC was that, yes, the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement might fail again – but if the margin was small enough it could be a positive with the EU ! Bizarre or desperate depending on your point of view.

      1. SecretPeople
        March 29, 2019

        ‘Bizarre or desperate’ like The Times’ bold assertion that we are looking at a 1-year extension. In order to do what?

      2. Hope
        March 29, 2019


        A Dutch customs expert (Maeson?) spoke to May and a Cabinet about customs and borders and concluded none of them understood the correct legal position.

        May will put her servitude plan to parliament today without the political declaration. So when does the country get an apology and explanation for her outright lies about paying £39 billion plus add ons equalling £100 billion to talk about trade?

        No trade deal was discussed or agreed despite lying to the public with strap lines nothing agreed until everything agreed. We had the ‘Transition’ period then the ‘implementation’ period repeated many times to give business time to adjust!

        Now it is abundantly clear there is NO trade deal and all her comments were outright lies to fool the nation it was getting something for the vast amount of money she was giving away for nothing- the EU deciding how much and when and any challenge from the UK being put to the ECJ! This is dishonest and a fraud on the taxpayer. A blank cheque book to be drawn upon at any time the EU wishes.

        JR, please tell me I am wrong. This alone is reason to vote down the dishonest servitude plan written in collusion between May and the EU. May knew this because article 184 of her plan makes it clear the EU has not complied with article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to agree a future relationship! May needs to be held account not just allowed to resign. The SFO needs to be made to investigate her servitude plan with the EU.

        Letwin has revealed the names of th traitors who have betrayed their association, manifesto, party and nation to get elected. It is now clear what they believe in. Time to oust them. Associations need to or continue to,be treated as idiots without a voice or purpose.

      3. Merlin
        March 29, 2019

        ‘Treasonous plan’?

        Do we need this kind of language when the country is split down the middle and at each other’s throats? I fear more in-fighting will get us nowhere.

        We need to find a way forward that our great nation can get behind. The paralysis must stop.

        1. Hope
          March 29, 2019

          JR, well done for your speech and vote. You need to start to get dirty towards remainer MPs on both sides.

          Those who caved in today (Johnson, Raab, proved they do not possess leadership qualities and trust will be gone forever with them) do not seem to realise that the remainers will still be present for phase two! Does anyone believe for a moment that once phase one gives the EU control over phase two the remainers will not seize upon it?

          Hammond, Rudd, Gauke, Clarke will still be about. Unity leader garb was put out to tempt these fools, it will not exist.

        2. Edward2
          March 29, 2019

          Well Merlin just accept that in the biggest vote ever held in the UK the majority voted to leave the EU
          Stop trying to spin versions of leaving.
          If you accept the EU has powers over your laws then you are not a free nation.

          1. Merlin
            March 30, 2019

            You are spinning too.

            You are pretending the referendum was a vote for No Deal.

            We voted to leave the E.U. I think it has now become horribly clear that nobody knows what that means, despite the untold people on all sides who claim they do know what it means.

          2. Edward2
            March 30, 2019

            Read the Leaflet Merlin
            Sent to every home.
            It was quite specific.
            As was the many speeches by our PM and Chancellor.
            Which I listened to.
            Did remain voters all know what they were voting for?

        3. Jagman84
          March 29, 2019

          That’s why the referendum was called because our representatives(?) were unable to agree on the subject and apparently still cannot. The only way forward is to leave ASAP, WTO or to a holding position of a time-limited offer of current EU terms (GATT 24), so that the EU negotiators can come to the table and discuss all facets of a future relationship. If they bully us or mass us around, we are free to walk away.

        4. Lifelogic
          March 30, 2019

          Well yes “treasonous” is exactly the right word for the many MPs and PM who were elected on one basis and now try to betray their manifestoes and voters and try to lock the UK into a permanent straight jacket.

          If it walks likes a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck then perhaps it is a duck.

      4. Lifelogic
        March 29, 2019

        Indeed anyone who votes for this straight jacket agreement today (or indeed fails to vote against it) is clearly a traitor or a damn fool in my eyes.

        “Only a revolution can save British politics now” says Nigel Farage today on the Telegraph site. He is quite right. The idiot and traitor Appeaser May must leave now (in richly deserved ignominy).

        She is even worse than the appalling John ERM Major (who cost millions their businesses, marriages, homes and lives with his ERM lunacy still no apology from the pathetic man), the (socialist dope) Ted Heath who started this mess, (War on a blatant lie) Blair, The (Economic illiterate) Gordon Brown & (Cast iron liar, abandon ship & “low tax at heart”) Cameron. Obviously far, far worse than Thatcher (who also made serious & rather predictable mistakes like appointing John Major as Chancellor).

        Even Dominic Rabb is going to back this lunacy (so as to join my list of Traitors).

        Just leave please or if we have to extend and leave later.

      5. 6Peter
        March 29, 2019

        I went to the Parliament Square event without knowing the result of the vote. With last minute turncoats like Raab I almost believed the media spin that May might sneak a close victory. Happily that was not the case.

        I felt better after attending. I never go to rallies or marches but a pal said they were going and I thought it was the least I could do. Good speeches from Kate Hoey, Tim Martin of Wetherspoons, Mr. Francois, Mr. Bone – amongst others. I was a few feet away from Nigel Farage, who was characteristically “having a fag”, then he came on to rapturous applause.

        I broke my journey home at the Raynes Park Wetherspoons. Some cheeky so and so had stuck a B******* to Brexit sticker on the front door like that sad Rod Stewart wannabe from Pimlico Plumbers. I removed it on my way out.

        As Ian Paisley Jr.( he drops the junior nowadays) stated “No Surrender!”

    2. Everhopeful
      March 29, 2019

      You aren’t pathetic.
      I went though exactly the same process.
      It would have been kinder and less cowardly had the govt refused to trigger A50.
      Or maybe had the guts on the day after the ref to say…
      “Ha!Ha! Sorry..we were just having you on!!”
      But then had they done that Liblabcon would already be history??
      One hopes….

    3. SecretPeople
      March 29, 2019

      I too would like to thank you, Sir John, for having kept us calm and for being one of the few residual good men and women true. In the end, this shower will come up against the electorate. They may believe they are sovereign, but they’re forgetting they aren’t EU Commissioners, yet.

    4. JoolsB
      March 29, 2019

      Well said Pominoz. You speak for so many of us in how angry and betrayed we feel.

    5. Julie Dyson
      March 29, 2019

      Superbly stated, echoing my own painful journey and no doubt that of millions around the country as we’ve watched, bewildered and bemused, this dog’s brexit unfold before our disbelieving eyes.

      To Sir John, I must say this: I honestly believe that never before in the history of our once-great nation have so many of its people been so closely involved in its politics, so familiar with its main participants, or so heavily invested in the outcome. The great Brexit Betrayal will resonate through the ballot box for many, many years to come — and its heroes will be remembered.

      1. Chris
        March 29, 2019

        Yes, Julie, the heroes, the few good men, will be remembered, and their actions of standing firm lifted my depression about the whole of this Brexit debacle. They gave me hope, they and the DUP.

        Now all the true Brexiteers have to do is to capitalise on the enormous goodwill towards them that there is in the country. Do not fall for the spin, nor the BBC propaganda. An election landslide for a revamped Conservative Party is within grasp, but certain members of it will have to hold their noses and actually accept that to win they need to cooperate with Farage and the Brexit Party followers. Many of those are former grassroots Conservatives anyway.

        I think most commenters on here have a pretty shrewd idea of what a winning ticket for a revamped Conservative Party should look like and what their manifesto should be. However, anyone closely involved with the current “Conservative” government will be tainted and rightly viewed as that. The “turncoats” also are going to have a hard time winning back support. The Cons Party is indeed viewed as the “nasty” Party, but not for the same reasons as Theresa May once gave. At the moment, the Party is dominated by politicians who have betrayed Brexit and done their damnedest to overturn the Brexit vote. They have displayed contempt for the ordinary people and have decided they do not matter. The political elite knows best apparently. I think that most voters do not admire or support people who do not stand up for their principles, and who fold when subjected to pressure or bribes, and they abhor those who tell lies for political advantage and who suddenly change their stance on issues simply for personal gain/opportunism.

        The shenanigans that have gone on and the lies that have been told in order to achieve certain ends are beyond belief. We have a PM who cannot seem to tell the truth. What is it about Westminster that has corrupted our political class so fundamentally? There is another huge swamp there that needs draining, but we haven’t yet got a Trump to do it.

        Thank you, Sir John, for standing firm. I never doubted you would.

    6. a-tracy
      March 29, 2019

      “This latest treasonous plan to vote solely on the putrid WA must not succeed. The separation of consideration of the PD does not make the WA any less disastrous. ”


    7. Atlas
      March 29, 2019

      I agree with these feelings!

      In our house today it is ‘betrayal day’ with respect to those MPs who have ignored their manifestos, A PM who has given back word, and a Cabal Cabinet who want to be run by the EU for ever.

      Sad times for a great nation.

    8. Tad Davison
      March 29, 2019

      To add to the above, I listened to todays House of Commons debate and I was reminded of what happened in Northern Ireland 50 years ago. Surely the politicians couldn’t have forgotten a bitter lesson from history?

      Through intransigence and a reluctance by the government of the day to deal with the problem, what began as civil rights marches, morphed into something far more dangerous and sinister that lasted 40 years! So again I quote the late Lord Hailsham, ‘If we do not give them social reform, they will give us social revolution’.

      In this most recent case, the British people have legitimately voted for withdrawal from the European Union in a referendum. If the present government thinks that they can keep surreptitiously denying the people their rights, and it not having massive and dangerous consequences further down the road, they are incompetent, irresponsible, and should resign en masse this afternoon!


    9. Richard
      March 29, 2019

      It was a fine speech by Sir John in the HoC today. And it is good to see that Sir John returned carrying his shield. Thank you.

  2. Kevin
    March 29, 2019

    “vote does not provide legal suppport in UK law”

    Conservative MPs must be very careful to vote against the Withdrawal Agreement in today’s debate, otherwise Mrs. May is liable to run off to Brussels immediately to make it “binding under international law”. Her conduct last week with regard to exit day should tell us all we need to know about her attitude to power and the value of her promise to resign.

    What value is such a (conditional) promise anyway, given even Boris Johnson’s observation that, with the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form, “we are going to find that Brussels has got us exactly where they want us”? If MPs vote for her Agreement, they are on their own. The People’s Vote was to leave unconditionally.

    Happy Independence Day, and remember that Westminster refused for seven years to recognise 4th July 1776.

    1. JoolsB
      March 29, 2019

      I wouldn’t believe May if she swore on a stack of bibles. She thinks she has some divine right to be PM no matter how appalling she is and no matter how much her handling of Brexit will destroy the Tory party leaving us with a Marxist Government.

      1. Chris
        March 29, 2019

        Agreed, Jules.

      2. tim
        April 3, 2019

        we will not have a marxist gov, I believe 55% of Labour voters will never vote labour again. I am talking to these people, lifelong labour, who are so angry with Labour lies they will never vote for them again. General election, it will be Labour who will be slaughtered.

    2. Hope
      March 29, 2019

      Hi am surprised Nercow allowed it. It has not changed.

  3. Peter Wood
    March 29, 2019

    Good Morning,

    And yet she remains in office… Mrs. May cannot even manage a clean departure from office, so she’s never going to manage a clean Brexit.
    For the sake of keeping some logic to the machinations of Parliament, please give the WA deal a final farewell, keep a little of the trust given to you by the voters, and FINALLY send Mrs. May into retirement.

    1. Peter Wood
      March 29, 2019

      On a side note, Billy-Bunter Johnson has said he now backs the May WA deal because she promises to resign, if it passes. Well, this simply indicates BBJ will happily sell-out his country for the sake of a shot at the top office; surely this alone rules him out as ethically unacceptable.

    2. James
      March 29, 2019

      The Westminster farce continues. The clowns will be rebuked and cleared out at the next election. The conventional situation would be for politicians to threaten “If you don’t back me I will resign”. Mrs May is in effect saying “If you don’t back me I will stay”. The honourable MPs and those who will be left standing by the electorate are those who refused to vote for us to be dictated to by a foreign entity for the first time in over a thousand years.

    3. Lifelogic
      March 29, 2019

      Indeed – we can then at least celebrate this. To me anyone who votes for this deal is either a traitor to the UK or (at best) just too stupid to be an MP.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 29, 2019

        Totally agree. The voting record is all that speaks. Good intentions and half loaves of bread are irrelevant.

      2. tim
        April 3, 2019

        Dian Abbot is an MP,

  4. Mark B
    March 29, 2019

    Good morning

    . . . pleasure the progresss of the Letwin -Labour provisional coalition government which ran the highly successful debate and vote on options on Wednesday.

    I think our kind host is making fun of them 😉

    Indeed. The Government is being clever, or rather sly, in dividing the WA & The Political Declaration. But once again I hope that it gets voted down or, better still, legally challenged.

    I think it time the ERG and the DUP issued its own threat. Perhaps it could let it be known that, if the opposition were to table another vote of no confidence in the government they might well abstain 😉

    Time to turn up the heat, me thinks 😉

    1. robert valence
      March 29, 2019

      Hi Mark,
      I’ve been recommending that the ERG should join – OK abstain – in a vote of confidence – for quite a while.
      There needs to be a break, there needs to be a clean out of the Remainers who have dishonoured their manifesto pledge – nay even their vote last year for A50 – and this can only be done with a G.E.
      Both Tory & Labour will be hit hard, assuming the BREXIT / UKIP parties field promising candidates – unless they put up tried and trusted (in the literal meaning) candidates.
      [that excludes our host one of those who have acted honourably during this protracted process)

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      March 29, 2019

      Indeed, it really makes no difference now. We need to ensure Farage in charge of his new party, as he is now, is fully ready to take on this snivelling bunch.

  5. Tom Rogers
    March 29, 2019

    Section 20 of the Withdrawal Act contains the basis for a never-ending delay to Brexit until they are in a position to cancel the whole thing.

    Notice that in section 20, the Exit Date is defined twice (in sub-sections (1) and (2) respectively). Normally I would put that down to bad drafting, but in this case it seems to me that it is a warning sign that they were deceiving people who might not read the ‘small print’ and might assume that if the Exit Date is specified then it is set in stone. In fact, it looks like sub-section (4) allows the government to put back the Exit Date recurrently without primary legislation, simply by amending sub-section (2) – the only requirements being unanimous approval of the Council of the EU and majority approval in the Commons and Lords, both of which we now know they can obtain with relative ease.

    I will leave readers to draw the obvious conclusions.

    1. hefner
      March 29, 2019

      Thanks a lot.

  6. Everhopeful
    March 29, 2019

    We were supposed to be leaving today!
    Today was meant to be Freedom Day.
    We were promised x 108 ( approx?).
    Disappointment…disillusionment..despair don’teven begin to cover it.

    1. eeyore
      March 29, 2019

      I hope we shall remember Betrayal Day for a long, long time, and keep March 29 in our hearts as a solemn memorial of the day democracy died and we stopped being a free people. Theresa May’s legacy to her country.

      What our liberty-loving ancestors would make of us does not bear thinking about.

      1. Caterpillar
        March 29, 2019

        Eeyore, this would be a good date for a future national holiday; Betrayal Day is a good name for it.

      2. Timaction
        March 29, 2019

        Then be in Parliament Square by 4pm today to let these scoundrels know our thoughts and anger!

      3. Ian wragg
        March 29, 2019

        The Tory Party who took us into the EEC on a lie and trying to keep us in on an even bigger lie.
        If this treacherous deal is passed I hope there will be riots in the streets and MPs the target.

      4. Denis Cooper
        March 29, 2019

        Another Black Friday.

      5. Lifelogic
        March 29, 2019

        What an appalling dire and dishonest PM she “was”. And not just on Brexit. She has given us more PC drivel everywhere, endlessly more damaging red tape, the highest, most complex and idiotic taxes for 40 years, endless waste (like HS2, Hinkley C, Biofuels), anti-male discrimination by law, yet more restrictions on free speech, endless green crap everywhere, a betrayal of the Windrush generation, daft employment laws, prices and income controls, knife and other crimes out of control and usually ignored, a totally failing criminal justice system, an NHS rationing system that is deteriorating by the day …… plus the great Brexit Betrayal. Plus she is hugely depressing and might give us Corbyn.

        But we have nearly got opt out organ donation on the plus side anything else?

    2. Anonymous
      March 29, 2019

      I’d sooner drink my own vomit than vote Tory again.

      Come election day I will be getting drunk and handcuffing myself to a chair.

      1. libertarian
        March 29, 2019


        Monster Raving Looney , they’re saner than Tory/Labour/Libs

  7. Stephen Priest
    March 29, 2019

    Boris may vote for the unchanged Withdrawal Agreement because May may have said that she may resign as Prime Minister before May. Then again she may not.

    1. Everhopeful
      March 29, 2019

      She could even promise x 108 and STILL not go.
      After all if she were to get the “Deal” through who but Mrs M could implement it for Brussels?

      1. Stephen Priest
        March 29, 2019

        Today is Mayjà Vu day.

        If you include the two occasions the vote was pulled, in reality it’s the 5th Vote for the European Union’s Deal, which they forced her to sign by bribing her with a takeaway pizza.

        Until Britain leaves it is still in the EU. Yet Mrs May let’s the other 27 hold meetings without her being present to represent the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

        Does this show the Westminster mindset that we can only do what the EU allows us to do? She let’s them treat us like a naughty child being put in detention.

      2. outsider
        March 29, 2019

        The Prime Minister said that she would not call for a further extension so presumably that is what will now happen.

        1. Gary C
          March 29, 2019

          “The Prime Minister said that she would not call for a further extension so presumably that is what will now happen.”

          Splutter . . . . . . . . Is it April 1st?

          The one thing you can trust is ‘you cannot trust what the PM says.’

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      March 29, 2019

      Boris has revealed himself as being unfit for office. He deluded himself into believing this claptrap and was prepared to pay for his few years living in Downing Street with our freedom.

    3. SecretPeople
      March 29, 2019

      Pathetic, isn’t it.

    4. forthurst
      March 29, 2019

      I expect all those lining up to take over from May to vote for the Leave in name only deal in order to appease the majority of Remain Tory traitors in parliament. All those who joined to the Tory party recently in order to influence its leadership will find once again that those who own the Tory party still call the shots from behind the curtain.

  8. javelin
    March 29, 2019

    My main understanding of MPs indicative votes is they believe Not Revoking Art 50 counts as Brexit.

    75% of constituencies voted to leave, but MPs wont go as far to Revoke Art 50 and lose their jobs.

    When the country voted to leave they were told very clearly that meant no customs union, no common market, no ECJ and no freedom of movement and freedom to strike our own trade deals. That is what MPs must agree to.

    Turns out 75% of MPs want to stay in the EU customs union, common market, ECJ and have freedom of movement.

    MPs wanted to “take control” to prove Parliamentary Sovereignty was better than Democratic Sovereignty. Unfortunately for them it proved Democratic Sovereignty was far superior to Parliamentary Sovereignty.

    Time for mass Revocation of MPs, their powers and their salaries.

    1. Stred
      March 29, 2019

      And their pensions.

    2. Helena
      March 29, 2019

      You are not telling the truth. A whole slew of Brexiteers said we would stay firmly in the single market – M Gove, O Paterson, B Johnson, N Farage, D Hannan. David Davis said we would have the “exact same” benefits we have now. The official Leave campaign promised we would have a deal lined up before we even invoked Art 50. So anyone who tells you that they voted for no deal in 2016 is not telling you the truth, it was never even suggested as an option

      1. libertarian
        March 29, 2019


        Wrong as always

        I definitely voted for no customs union, no single market . Unlike the weak minded and naive remain voters I dont ever believe what politicians tell me and I dont vote on what someone else’s opinion is or what an ad agency writes on the side of a bus

        Oh and you ought to think before accusing people that they didn’t know what they were voting for when you are wholly ignorant of the EU rules on leaving the union

      2. Edward2
        March 29, 2019

        Read the Leaflet
        You had a copy.

      3. Chris
        March 29, 2019

        Helena it was written into the Treaty under Article 50 as the default if negotiations die not produce a deal. In the situation of a No Deal, reversion to WTO rules takes place. The problem is that so many Remainers say they did not know this or that. I truly believe that most Leavers knew what they were voting for and had made the effort to inform themselves before they voted.
        The real problen is that many Remainers were so complacent and thought that they would win that they did not bother to inform themselves adequately. Some have admitted that so it is not an some random accusation.

      4. Mark B
        March 30, 2019

        And a whole slew of Remainers, including the PM and government, said we would Leave them.

    3. a-tracy
      March 29, 2019

      javelin, have you heard one news reporter question the MPs who want a Custom’s Union what about the restrictions on it that aren’t Brexit like Denis eloquently explained yesterday, worth repeating until our journalists actually do their job:
      READ the “superb account by Greg Hands and every MP who voted for a customs union should be made to read it and commit it to memory.
      Just a sample:
      “On trade agreements, we have talked before about the Turkey trap. Essentially, if the EU entered into a trade agreement with a third country and the UK were in a customs union, we would have to offer access to our markets but we would not get the reciprocal access to that country in return. That would be a massive democratic deficit. It amazes me that it is the official Labour policy to do this. I remember well the disputes around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The biggest objections to TTIP came from the Labour side. Now we have a situation where trade policy will be determined by others without even a UK seat at the table. If Labour thought at the time, when we had a seat at the table, that TTIP would lead to US private healthcare companies gaining access to the NHS, what will it be like when we do not have a seat at the table? But that is the official Labour policy.”

  9. Richard1
    March 29, 2019

    Nothing has changed, vote it down

    1. eeyore
      March 29, 2019

      Nothing has changed, vote it down and get another extension, this time for a year or two. Then a referendum with a rigged question. Then revocation.

    2. Nicholas Murphy
      March 29, 2019

      Describe the route to No Deal. As much as I would like a No Deal exit – keeping the billions and putting the EU firmly in its place – I’m not sure I can see a route there. A military officer conducting an ‘estimate’ of a military situation would find himself having to write a ‘Theory of Change’, describing how what he is considering doing leads, logically, to the desired outcomes. I wonder if the fractured ERG has such a piece of ‘operational staff-work’.

    3. a-tracy
      March 29, 2019

      Nothing has changed, vote it down!!!

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    March 29, 2019

    Good morning Sir John,

    This saga is indeed dragging on, but seems to have been designed so that MPs are pressured into signing a bad deal are agreeing a long extension with no end in sight.

    Might I suggest that on Monday when revoking article 50 is debated you propose an amendment that is it immediately resubmitted after it is rescinded.

    Such a move would negate all negotiating to date, Mrs May can resign and we can approach the new negotiations having learned lessons from the first debacle.

    We do not agree that the divorce settlement is agreed first and we make it clear that any withdrawal agreement contains future trading arrangements, no payments and has unilateral exit mechanisms.

    1. BCL
      March 29, 2019

      That is a brilliant idea. With a brexiteer who has a backbone in number 10 we would be able to negotiate a proper deal on BOTH subjects, withdrawal and future relationship.

      1. tim
        April 3, 2019

        if you are not prepared to walk away from a bad deal and do no deal, then you have surrendered.

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      March 29, 2019

      This also means that after May 23 we should send 60 Eurosceptics to Brussels joining the many anti EU MEPs voted in from other countries through the PR system

    3. Bob
      March 29, 2019

      BBC reported that Article 50 could be used only once, for the reason that Brussels didn’t want disgruntled members using it for leverage when they wanted to apply extra pressure and then retracting it at the eleventh hour.

      I’m usually sceptical about anything I hear on the BBC, but this sounds plausible, the EU being what it is.

  11. James Brown
    March 29, 2019

    There is no longer a majority in the House that supports leaving the EU without a deal. Therefore there must either be a change in the composition of the House (GE) or the House must be directly instructed (referendum) and that means explictitedly because leaving does have different connotations. These are not big threats, they are realities.

    The DUP no longer has the same interest as the ERG because the respective positions cannot be reconciled. To leave with no deal means there has to be a hard boarder. Or it means that they must permanently stay under EU as some kind of enclave. The DUP seem to have finally realised that. They prop the government up so as to stay at the table, knowing another government would forget about NI pdq.

    These are the realities. The country is split. Parliament pro-soft leave / remain. The deadlock can possibly be broken by the ERG voting through the deal. Or it will be back to the drawing board.

    1. Roy Grainger
      March 29, 2019

      “To leave with no deal means there has to be a hard border.”

      So how come under no-deal planning neither the UK nor the EU are proposing to implement a hard border ?

      1. tim
        April 3, 2019

        Donald Trump said, as soon as we won the referendum, if we leave with no deal , it wont make Jack sh.t difference! as soon as we leave every country will make a deal to make sure there are no problems.

    2. Stred
      March 29, 2019

      During the debate, DUP speakers pointed out that the EU is already putting in systems for avoiding their hard border. Mr Dodds asked Mrs May why she had ever invented her backstop. Why do Remainers lie and lie?

    3. Hope
      March 29, 2019

      The country is not split. MPs are arguing among themselves to stop Brexit.

    4. Julie Dyson
      March 29, 2019

      “To leave with no deal means there has to be a hard boarder.”

      Despite everything we were told, despite all the hassle and chaos over the backstop and all the problems it has caused, both the Irish government and the EU Commission have very recently confirmed that there will be no need for a hard border in the event of a No Deal Brexit (and the UK sure as hell won’t build one).

      Ergo: the whole backstop concept was always nothing more than an inescapable trap once enough MPs had been scared / blackmailed / bribed / cajoled into finally voting for that truly awful WA treaty — and paying £39bn for Sweet Felicity Arkwright. We actually “owe” about £8bn, at best.

      This third and final time, our MPs really must stand firm.

    5. Denis Cooper
      March 29, 2019

      MPs will not allow the UK to leave the EU without a deal; but the EU insists that the deal must include the present Withdrawal Agreement as negotiated by Theresa May; so a vote against the Withdrawal Agreement is the same as a vote against leaving the EU, which is what that liar cheat hypocrite and traitor has always intended.

      1. Chris
        March 29, 2019

        …and yet, Denis, the European Commission posted on its website shortly after the vote that the situation (which they regret) is that leaving with No Deal is now “a likely scenario”, and that will be on April 12. Why were those Tory MPs, turncoats as well, claiming that No Deal was not possible (it is now and always has been an option) and that was why some of them were now supporting May otherwise the other choice was no Brexit? The EC immediately called their bluff and made them look very foolish, and disingenuous.

      2. Mark B
        March 30, 2019

        Maybe it is what they pretty much all intended 😉

    6. Excalibur
      March 29, 2019

      The reality is, James, that since the vote went against Remain in 2016, pro-EU politicians, and others, have sought to overturn the democratic decision of the British people. In keeping with these tactics, nothing can be clear-cut. It is always subject to obfuscation, proviso and caveat.

      So a straightforward decision to leave has been mangled into ‘leaving with different connotations’ Well it doesn’t have different connotations. Leave means leave. It means leaving the customs union, the single market, being out of the jurisdiction of the ECJ, and of controlling our own borders, by controlling who we admit and who we don’t. Leaving with No-deal does not mean there ‘has to be’ a hard border.

      Our sovereignty is not negotiable with anyone. May’s poisoned chalice will not be quaffed.

      1. James Brown
        March 29, 2019

        Explain how it is possible for the EU to have a boarder with a foreign country (outside common or single or agreed form) which does not have some form of restriction / customs check.

        If the UK is exempt. Why not Ukraine, Russia, Japan, China or even Australia!

        We can say that there shouldn’t be or there won’t be … But it’s EU rules.

        That’s your version of leave. Others have different ones.
        ERG had a chance to vote to leave (the deal). They did not. And have blown the opportunity.

        1. Edward2
          March 30, 2019

          You confuse what the EU might want to do and what an independent UK might want to do James.
          If the EU wants hard borders they can build their own walls.

    7. Al
      March 29, 2019

      “There is no longer a majority in the House that supports leaving the EU without a deal. ” – James Brown

      It seems, given today’s vote, that there is no majority in the house for May’s deal either. A general election seems like the best answer, particularly as it would allow certain constituencies to hold their MPs accountable and be represented by parties they voted for.

    8. rose
      March 29, 2019

      No, Sammy Wilson has pointed out that the Irish government have said they will not put up a hard border in the event of a No Deal Exit.

      1. rose
        March 29, 2019

        They don’t fear a No Deal Exit but they do fear the DWA with the Backstab in it.

  12. Newmania
    March 29, 2019

    The most popular ” real life” direction in the country and Parliament is to stay in the EU and yet we scratch around our cage, self harming like a mistreated zoo animal. This system does not work. Look at the panic that proportional European elections might allowTiggers UKIP Liberals and Greens a voice( because …omg , people vote for them !) , so much for these committed democrats.
    A two Party duopoly was alright for the period 1914 to 200o when capital and Labour were opposed but what we are watching now is the tipping point at which this Gormenghast of ancient twaddle implodes.

    1. Roy Grainger
      March 29, 2019

      I think the real panic about European elections (on both the EU and UK side) is that UKIP and the Brexit Party will hoover up protest votes and have a large representation. TIGs are an extreme Remainer grouping and are unlikely to win many votes away from Labour/Conservative who are also Remainer parties.

    2. Richard1
      March 29, 2019

      Opinion doesn’t seem to have shifted much & an extraordinarily high proportion of the public (>40%?) think the EU is on a punishment mission against the UK & we should leave on WTO terms. The only way to stop Brexit would be to hold a 2nd referendum (a very unpopular option according to polls). Bear in mind that in a second referendum project fear 3.0 would be very unlikely to work, so Remain would need to come up with positive arguments for membership of the EU, which didn’t happen in Ref 1, where the Remain argument was 1) Brexit will lead to a deep recession and possibly even threaten peace and 2) anyone who votes for Brexit is a xenophobic bigot.

      Next time Remain would need to argue: political integration and ever ratcheted harmonisation is good because….the euro has been a great success because…it’s good to have unlimited immigration from the EU (but not the RoW) because…..the CAP and CFP are great because…..etc

    3. Andy
      March 29, 2019

      Hear, hear!

      I urge everyone to listen to CONSERVATIVE MEP Richard Ashworth’s farewell speech to the European Parliament. Brilliant.

      Of course he had the whip withdrawn when his party was taken over by UKIP and when “……….

    4. Edward2
      March 29, 2019

      That is ridiculous analysis as there is no parliamentary monopoly or duopoly.
      The current mess is because of the lack of any real majority.
      The kind of government we are seeing today is what often happens under PR.

      1. hefner
        March 29, 2019

        Edward2, you’re wrong. Look at other countries with a more proportional system. A coalition is created after the votes are counted. It might take some days/weeks/sometimes even months before an agreement is finally obtained out of which the Government is formed … and life goes on.
        After the dog’s breakfast of these last few weeks, it is rather difficult to say that FPTP gives a strong and stable government. Nor can it be said that the Mother of Parliament will keep the shine it had had for years, specially seen from other countries.

        And just to be excessive (I love that): only people a bitty stuck or rather un/mis-informed can write things like you wrote above.

        Why do you think the Conservatives/Labour parties love FPTP? Because even if within these parties, various subgroups hate each other, they know they are safely kept to the trough.
        Have you ever considered the number of MPs who have never had other jobs apart from politics (or “investment”, the usual fig-leaf). They are the jobs guaranteeing that one never has to take responsibility for anything: whatever bad happens, it is either because of the opposite side, the circumstances or the market.
        Look at the list of Conservative MPs and how many of them follow this template.
        As long as the UK Parliament is short of people having had a proper professional experience before entering it, having a limited time (15 years) in it, having been elected by a proper proportional system, the present mess (Brexit or otherwise) will continue.

        1. Edward2
          March 30, 2019

          I realise you love the EU and love the idea of PR hefner but I do not.
          We must agree to disagree.
          One thing is certain
          If the Government had a real majority none of the recent events in Parliament would have happened.

          1. hefner
            March 30, 2019

            Thanks for that. You might want to have a look in Sir John’s 27/03 “Parliament today …” at ‘my comment to your comment’ at 02:30pm and possibly realise there are several ways to skin a cat.

          2. Edward2
            March 30, 2019

            If the PM had a majority of say 100 things would have been very different.

      2. APL
        March 30, 2019

        Edward2: “The current mess is because of the lack of any real majority.”

        The majority Theresa May threw away.

        1. Edward2
          March 30, 2019

          Yes her election manifesto was a dismal vote loser.
          Showing just how out of touch she and Hammond are.

    5. Anonymous
      March 29, 2019

      Wrong again, Newmania.

      Multiple parties is the game that the EU plays. Drown everyone in democracy. So much choice that there is no choice.


      The problem all along has been liberals such as yourself purporting to be conservative and then calling those of us who really are conservative ‘extremists’.

      The country would have been OK if the Tories had not been hijacked by leftist federalists who lied and lied about what they were.

      You have a bloody cheek coming on here bleating that you are politically homeless (as you did in the past.)

      Welcome to my world. But at least you seem to have the whole of the broadcast media and political establishment behind you.

    6. libertarian
      March 29, 2019


      As normal, you’re wrong

      The overwhelming desire amongst the country is to leave

      That major Tigger Sarah Woolstenwasteof space is the one blaming PR voting for the mess that MEP elections are

      I agree on 2 party duopoly being bad in fact the only worse thing is a a single unelected government

      So starting at the top we will clear away the EU, once done, we will clear away the House of Lords and the two party omnishambles

      1. Andy
        March 29, 2019

        If you are correct then you have nothing to fear from a confirmatory referendum.

        I note you intend to ‘clear away’ elements of our governmental system – when you find the system gets in your way.

        A similar thing happened in democratic Germany in the early 1930s. It did not end well.

        1. a-tracy
          March 30, 2019

          Andy is the referendum you talk of for the public to make our MPs choice for them May’s Withdrawal Agreement or leave without a Withdrawal Agreement ‘no deal’?

          Those are the choices May’s government have presented the house with. Those are the two leave options now after two years of May caving in to EU demands.

    7. Steve
      March 29, 2019


      “The most popular ” real life” direction in the country….. is to stay in the EU.

      Total rubbish.

  13. agricola
    March 29, 2019

    Call for Anthony Jay and Jonathon Lynn to re write it all with a happy ending. Were it not so serious. Outside our shores we must look to be a right bunch of numpties. This farcical government are in the process of destroying democracy and we all know the alternative is, anarchy. We have it already in government don’t let it spread further. The time for the men in grey suits has passed, we now need the men in long white coats. Please drain the swamp.

    1. Paul H
      March 29, 2019

      Jay and Lynn didn’t usually provide a “happy” ending. Hacker’s principles crumbled to personal interest and the cynical, smugly-smiling technocrats won.

    2. Andy
      March 29, 2019

      You do look like a right bunch of numpties. And not just to those beyond these shores. Now to the majority here too.

  14. Dominic
    March 29, 2019

    The arrogance of the pro-EU MPs is something to behold. They challenge democratic will with a zeal that is quite disturbing

    The main instigators appear to hold significant majorities at the last GE which may explain why Letwin, Benn, Cooper and others are doing May’s bidding.

    Letwin – 19k (32%)
    Benn – 24k (50%)
    Cooper – 14.5k (30%)
    Bercow – 25k (49%)

    All MPs with hefty majorities and in little danger of losing at the next GE. No wonder they behave with vile arrogance

    We know most Eurosceptic Labour voters are automated in the voting behaviour and most rarely take an active interest in Parliaementary politics and are therefore simply unaware that their own MP is conspiring to obliterate the democratic worth of the very people that put them in Parliament in the first place

    Bercow, Cooper, Letwin and Benn. How vital it is that their constituents are made aware of the treachery of these four and indeed others and that they are suitably punished at the next GE

    1. BCL
      March 29, 2019

      I believe Bercow’s majority is illusory as the convention is that other parties do not field a candidate against the speaker. I trust someone will correct me if I’m mistaken

    2. Newmania
      March 29, 2019

      Sir Redwood is also sitting on a stupendous majority and is so safe he is able to take a view on the the great question of our age directly opposed to the the view most of constituents have.
      I don`t personally feel it is a bad thing for an elected representative to have the freedom to do what he may think is right for the country but when we are endlessly treated to lectures on the sanctity of democracy it raises questions …shall we say

      Reply A big majority of my constituents oppose the Withdrawal Agreement and I agree with them

    3. Martin
      March 29, 2019

      “treachery”. How did the Wokingham Council area vote in the EU referendum?

    4. a-tracy
      March 29, 2019

      Many cocky MPs have fallen at this belief though: Tatton, the party Chairman Chris Patten, the Portillo moment. You see to disrupt a juggernaut you don’t have to bring down the entire motorway, you just need to concentrate effort.

    5. Chris S
      March 29, 2019

      If Bercow still intends to carry on as Speaker, the convention is that he will be allowed to run unopposed by the major parties.

      Nigel Farage was pushed into third place when he stood against Bercow in 2010.
      Whether even he could unseat Bercow at the next election must seem in doubt as Buckingham had a bias (52%) towards Remain.

    6. Nicholas Murphy
      March 29, 2019

      I’ve also been struck by the pro-immigration stance of the SNP. The argument of two of them this week has been along the lines that Scotland’s population will stay roughly at the same level unless we can stay in the EU and propel population GROWTH. Yes, I know that the left has always been pro-immigration, but they usually dress up their attachment to it. I wonder what the Scottish people really think about increasing demands on their public services, land and housing. Perhaps we should have a referendum on the matter. Politicians should brace themselves for the UK public telling them that a stable population is just dandy.

      1. a-tracy
        March 30, 2019

        There are plenty of homeless people in Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and elsewhere, hundreds and thousands of asylum seekers give them passes to live and work in Scotland if they want to propel growth.

        On the same token we’ve been in the EU for over 30 years why hasn’t Scotland seen equal growth to London and England?

    7. hefner
      March 29, 2019

      “We know most Eurosceptic Labour voters … in the first place”. Are you Prof. John Curtice or more likely one at “The Moon under Water”?
      Yvette Cooper and Hillary Benn voted against the WA3. Have you ever thought of keeping abreast of developments? And what do you say about JR-M and BJ?

  15. William Simpson
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Sir John

    Thank you for this informative an explanatory post, much needed, as I was utterly confused about the current situation. I sincerely hope your description of things has some impact on those who might be tempted to pass the WA without its PD. Again, I am flabbergasted by those so vehemently opposed to the WA in its previous iterations, who now think they can vote for essentially the very same, including JR-M and BJ, et al. I do not subscribe to their claims that if the right PM is in place for the next phase, UK will be OK, based on the fact that it’s arms, legs and all other parts remain tied up in legal obstacles, and we could not just ignore those parts we didn’t like, as ironically some EU member states do; that attitude wouldn’t bode well for future trading agreements we are hoping to make, if we ever got to that stage.

    1. Chris
      March 29, 2019

      Regarding BJ and R-M, they have lost all credibility with me, and many others if comments sections are an indication. There is considerable raw anger directed at both of them. My view is huge disappointment, but better to know that these two can operate like this and apparently ditch principles when they want to. I want a leader of this country to have honesty, integrity, principle, boldness, and conviction. Someone who will honour Brexit and fight for this country. These two MPs do not fit the bill, in my view.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 29, 2019

        Seconded! They have ruled themselves out.

  16. Fedupsoutherner
    March 29, 2019

    What a sly, devious PM we have. We should be celebrating our independence today but find ourselves wondering if we will be shackled to the EU forever instead. My bottle of champagne will be vintage at this rate and I may never get to drink it.

    Please ensure that enough of you hold fast and ignore all the threats coming from this nasty woman. We have waited too long and we know this is our only chance for freedom.

    1. Mike Stallard
      March 29, 2019

      I have been studying this for years now. I used to think that a hard Brexit was a disaster. Now I am beginning to think it might be the only way out of the EU and am beginning to support it.

    2. Hope
      March 29, 2019

      May needs to be investigated over her false and fraudulent claims for the £39 billion. She lied inside and outside parliament. Impeachment in itself. May has broke the ministerial code by her u derhamd behaviour pointed out by Bill Cash several times in parliament. They keep ignoring him when he says his committee is investigating her actions.

      1. Chris
        March 29, 2019

        You are right, I believe, Hope, but “the establishment” will protect her. There is a large swamp here that needs draining.

    3. Timaction
      March 29, 2019

      We will leave. Politics is changing as this series of debacles and social media have highlighted how bad the legacies and our system of voting is. People will no longer tolerate them and vote for any one or independents as even the good guys (Sir John) have no effective say in today’s loaded system.

    4. Lifelogic
      March 29, 2019

      She is certainly just idiotic, incompetent her and she is totally out of her depth. No one who is not a traitor to the UK could vote for this deal.

      The cheers for Mark Francois – he wouldn’t vote for the bad EU deal even if a shotgun was put in his mouth. The deal is so dire he is exactly right. Yes so many MPs are it seems prepared to do so.

    5. a-tracy
      March 29, 2019

      She does not represent Leavers, I refuse to have her connected to Leave, there is nastiness in her plans, to use one of her favourite words to describe other people she describes herself.

    6. L Jones
      March 29, 2019

      Read the poem ”Say not the struggle naught availeth”, Fedup. This is how we, and those who are for us (Sir John et al), must continue in defiance of all these betrayals.

    7. Steve
      March 29, 2019


      “My bottle of champagne will be vintage at this rate and I may never get to drink it.”

      It’s French, pour it down the toilet.

      1. Mark
        March 30, 2019

        I bought British. There are several vineyards that produce excellent champagnes. I believe that some are served by the Queen. If we were outside the EU, we could perhaps actually describe them as such.

  17. Paul H
    March 29, 2019

    Too clever by half. Actually, just more confirmation of the duplicity of May and those around her (Hammond is a prime villain, of course). May only has to get lucky once, her opponents have to be lucky every time.

    However, I have been wondering for a while what would happen if the Withdrawal Agreement were passed but not the supporting legislation. Obviously MPs would come under terrible pressure, but – rather like the extension – would some kind of argument be made that under EU/international law the Agreement has been agreed and that trumps whatever MPs do anyway?

    Reply Of course. If Parliament voted yes to the Agreement Mrs May and the EU could bind us as they did to get the delay

  18. villaking
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John,
    Whilst I would normally defer to your superior knowledge on the legal detail here, it is my understanding from other sources that if it passes, today’s vote locks the UK into leaving the EU on May 22nd regardless of what further legislation is required. Whilst I know very well that you dislike the terms of the WA (as do I), I would have thought that you would have nonetheless taken this opportunity to get out of the EU. As someone on the opposite end of the spectrum to you, this is my great fear. May 22nd becomes irreversible and the nature of our future relationship with the EU as a third party will be guided by whomever the Conservative party elects to replace Mrs May.

    Reply No, the Withdrawal Agreement locks us back into the EU for 21 to 45 months for more negotiations to get out

  19. Dave Andrews
    March 29, 2019

    “MPs are being told there could be a general election”.
    Well that is what they are really scared of, as many of them fear they won’t be coming back again. From my perspective, it’s what we need most right now. It will give the electorate the opportunity to remove all those MPs who promised to deliver Brexit, then worked to frustrate it with unobtainable demands.
    Right now, the WA is worse than staying in a bit longer. Let the electorate vote in new MPs with real world experience, not career politicians whose only qualification is to pontificate, argue and pour out sanctimony – the fruits of a PPE degree course? Government has been ceded to Brussels for so long now, our politicians no longer know how to do it.

  20. Andrew S
    March 29, 2019

    Today is leave day, Independence Day. Temporarily and illegitimately thwarted by slime. The record will get set straight it just may take a while.

  21. Andy
    March 29, 2019

    Happy Brexit Day!

    Today was the day you thought our independent country would become, erm, independent.

    The day our free country would become, um, free.

    The day our sovereign Parliament would regain its, argh, sovereignty.

    And yet here we are.

    Our country is broken. You have broken it.

    You have destroyed the social contract between old and young.

    You have turned town on country.

    You have broken families, destroyed friendships, damaged lives.

    You have bludgeoned our economy.

    You have done more to unite Ireland than the IRA ever did.

    You have thrust our politics into crisis.

    You have turned our former great country into an international laughing stock.

    Happy Brexit Day, Brexiteers.

    Enjoy what you have done.

    1. Edward2
      March 30, 2019

      Too many paragraphs andy.

  22. Nicholas Murphy
    March 29, 2019

    I’ll certainly be looking to see how sparse are the Opposition benches. Last week, the Commons held a one-minute silence to remember the victims of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack. One of those killed was a police officer, defending Parliament. And how many MPs attended? About twenty, by my count. Well, they did have their weekends to get to, didn’t they?

  23. George Brooks
    March 29, 2019

    If one believes that the PM will resign if her agreement is passed you have to believe in fairy stories!!!!!! Mrs May has broken every single Brexit promise she has made in the last 3 years so we cannot expect her to keep this one.

    We are now entering the ‘deceit phase’ eg: separating the Withdrawal to circumvent the Speaker’s ruling. Also it is not a meaningful vote and she hopes the EU will think this meets their demand so the extension runs on to May 22.

    So that we can leave on April 12 Sir John, you and all those with similar views to you, have to start thinking ”outside the box” to prevent that bunch in No 10 pulling another fast one, such as getting the EU to over rule our laws and lock us in for months to come.

    If they attempt this, it will clearly illustrate the depth to which we have been sucked into this EU swamp and the scant regard that many MPs have for this country’s sovereignty .

  24. hefner
    March 29, 2019

    As Juana of yore, Teresa La Loca will today reopen the casket and check whether her WA has resurrected. Could she be conscious long enough to let a Carlos, any Carlos, take over?

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    March 29, 2019

    Mrs May cannot be trusted. I remain of the view that contrary to popular belief we are here, not because she is incompetent, but because she has been working to a concerted plan drawn up between her and the EU, in particular Mrs Merkel. Her mission to keep the UK in the EU by one means or another is nearing completion that is why she has declared she will resign if her legally binding international treaty, most likely drafted in Berlin, which condemns the UK to becoming a vassal state of the EU.
    Those of us who believe in independence aand self-governance for our country are going to keep up the fight.
    Thank you for your help and support.

  26. Anonymous
    March 29, 2019

    If we Remain in any form we will no longer be getting EU grants (aka our own money back minus a tax) we will just be getting tax – with no say and no benefit.

    The worst of Leave and the worst of Remain.

    Having returned modern slavery to the UK the EU is about to make slaves of us all. Our own parliament colluded in all of this.

  27. oldtimer
    March 29, 2019

    You refer to the “government”. Looking at the number of ministerial vacancies, the breakdown of the whipping system, the absence of a majority and a lame duck PM, does the collection of hapless individuals who carry the title of “Minister” actually justify the description “government”?

  28. Caterpillar
    March 29, 2019

    Pathetic comments by media about being locked in for another 1 to 5 years. We can be out on the 12th. This needs to be driven home.
    No inperpetuity WA.
    No permanent CU.

    1. Caterpillar
      March 29, 2019

      Or as a compromise the Lord Mervyn King suggestion.

  29. Dame Rita Webb
    March 29, 2019

    A diamond hard BREXIT will happen eventually. The reasons for the referendum victory have not gone away. It’s now more than ten years that interest rates have been suppressed downwards from where they should be. It’s only a matter of time before the “recovery” shows itself to be completely fake. The establishment may be celebrating today, but so was Erich Honecker in October 1989, with a big parade on the streets of East Berlin commemorating the GDR’s 40th birthday. A few weeks later he was out on his ears. 2019 may be the year when the peoples of Western Europe show they have had enough.

  30. Bryan Harris
    March 29, 2019

    Let’s face it, this government has gone off the rails.
    It has not done anything to improve the things that needed improving – The Homeless – excessive immigration – the debt – the decrepit infrastructure – a decent tax system. It has failed miserably as a Conservative government and what we expect of them. Instead they have sent huge sums of money abroad while many in this country are in great need. They sign UN treaties, against the will of the people, to exacerbate the situation.
    Where is the constitutional defender who will restore some sanity? Ah yes, successive governments have watered down that possibility – so no Cromwell for us. We just have to sit and watch while all protests for an honest Brexit are ignored, and the PM pushes us ever closer to a surrender of everything we hold dear.

  31. AndyC71
    March 29, 2019

    I’ve wavered on this in the last few days, so I’m in no position to denigrate any MPs minded to vote for the WA today. But yes, it’s an awful deal and should be voted down today. Final answer!

    My worry is that Brussels will simply and unilaterally rewrite the terms of exit, or cancel it altogether, and the UK government will simply acquiesce, as it did last week. We desperately need a government with new leadership.

    1. Pominoz
      March 29, 2019

      Is this the AndyC71, formerly known as Andy, but not the other Andy?

      If so, please confirm – and thanks for your views. Agree with your second paragraph, but not your very first sentence.

      In view of the first extension, imposed by the primacy of EU law, what is to stop a two year, or even a ten year, extension being imposed the same way?

  32. Will Podmore
    March 29, 2019

    You don’t embrace a certain defeat now in order to avoid a possible subsequent defeat. You don’t put your head in a noose in order to avert possibly being shot sometime in the future. Parliament is largely united in its determination to overturn our democratic majority vote, but unable to unite behind any one method of betrayal, as Letwin’s farce proved.
    May’s Agreement with the EU is still the worst option available. It is against all our interests. It would trap us in the EU without a voice, without a vote and without an exit. It must be rejected.
    Whether she or A N Other is PM is insignificant in comparison. To vote for the Agreement either to keep her in office or to get rid of her is to miss the point. It is not about an individual, it is about our country’s future – whether we are to be independent or a permanent dependent province of the EU.
    Will parliament vote for this act of betrayal? Any MP from any party who does so, will be knowingly betraying the decision of the British people to leave the EU.
    The day that May set off for Brussels the Trades Union Congress made a joint statement with the Confederation of British Industry calling for an extension to Article 50 in order to delay Brexit. Their joint letter referred to the Brexit as a ‘national emergency’. Another act of treachery from the TUC, which like parliament promised to respect the result of the referendum, and which like parliament lied.
    A group of young entrepreneurs dissented from the CBI position, but trade union dissent has yet to make itself heard. The TUC has three so-called ‘tests’ for a Brexit agreement. None of these tests mentions the freedom, denied by the EU, for the country to control and invest in its strategic industries and services. Who does the TUC represent any more? It does not speak for the interests of working people.
    Up and down the country ordinary people are doing it for themselves and taking a range of actions to ensure our democratic decision is honoured. This must continue and intensify. The people of Britain must take responsibility for Brexit: we can rely on no one else.

  33. Pat
    March 29, 2019

    The WA I believe does no cover all aspects of our departure from the EU.
    If so it does not fully meet the requirements of the amendment stipulating that we cannot leave without a deal.
    I wait with bated breath for one of the proponents of that amendment to point this out.

  34. JoolsB
    March 29, 2019

    10 Tory MPs voted to revoke article 50. Why are they still in the party?

  35. Denis Cooper
    March 29, 2019

    JR, you have done all that honour requires and should now let the bloody woman have her rotten treaty so that we can fight on from outside the EU.

    Otherwise I shall be shedding a tear tonight to lament Brexit, the accidental child of one Tory leader viciously strangled at birth by the next Tory leader.

    Do not join the DUP in dreaming that we may leave the EU but just with a year’s delay, “there is a tide in the affairs of men” and it has turned against us.

    1. Chris
      March 29, 2019

      I disagree, Denis. There is now much more hope since the few good men have stood up for Brexit. It was a key moment, and has already had, and will continue to have a huge effect on future happenings. Earlier today we were in the position of having the wretched deal rammed down our throats, with vassal state status looming. We were told there were no other options except no Brexit at all. Blatant untruths to frighten and bully people.

      The only way to deal with this is to stand up to the bullies, stand up for your principles, be strong and do not be swayed. Those MPs who did this are heroes and patriots and will be remembered as showing courage and principle. When I think of the turncoats, a bad feeling comes over me. No, I won’t now support Boris, nor Rees-Mogg, or Raab. In my mind they are frauds, and unprincipled opportunists.

      I, and many others, have faith that something good can arise from all of those and it only takes the few good men to start things off. Please believe that we will win .

      I have watched/followed closely how President Trump against all odds is managing to drain the swamp and undo decades of the liberal left one world government of the globalists which was slowly destroying American greatness and prosperity. Make no mistake there are criminal charges coming up soon for those corrupt politicians who have been dwelling in the swamp.

      There is a huge movement of people who are now supporting President Trump, although you will never read about it in the MSM. He has brought hope, prosperity, and restored pride in the US. He believes fervently in sovereignty and he will fight for America. We could have that here, but we have to free ourselves from the stranglehold of the EU which is slowly suffocating us in so many ways (and weakening the resolve and endeavour of so many of our politicians – many have grown lazy and complacent, having effectively handed over most of the governing of the UK to the EU).

      We need our great awakening, but we have yet to find our Trump who will drain the swamp of our politics and breathe renewal into our entire political system. The politicians who voted against the WA and stood up to all the pressures are a start. They could go on to great things.

  36. Bob
    March 29, 2019

    BBC reported that Article 50 could be used only once, for the reason that Brussels didn’t want disgruntled members using it for leverage when they wanted to apply extra pressure and then retracting it at the eleventh hour.

    I’m usually sceptical about anything I hear on the BBC, but this sounds plausible, the EU being what it is.

  37. Brian Cowling
    March 29, 2019

    I have just seen a clip from last night’s Newsnight where a cabinet minister is quoted as stating, in very strong bad language, that he does not know what is happening and does not care.

    My mood which has left me bereft is changing from despair to anger.

    30+ years service in HM Armed Forces, a loyal subject (never considered myself a citizen) and I now I think for the first time that we need a revolution to achieve the freedom I voted for in all good faith when asked.

  38. glen cullen
    March 29, 2019

    Not one word of the MV3 has changed, are they taking the voting public for fools

  39. Alan Joyce
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It was a wonderful sight to behold the other day in the House as MP’s got stuck into their indicative votes. They got up in turn to extol the virtues of cross-party collaboration and waxed lyrical about how the House was coming together. They talked excitedly of compromise and gushed over the oh so much more mature tone to the Brexit debate…..

    …..then they proceeded to trash everyone else’s plans but their own.

    It was brilliant and even better than that we get to do it all again on Monday!

  40. William1995
    March 29, 2019

    Why on Earth are MPs so close to backing the UK staying in the customs union but leaving the EU? Barnier has said if MPs vote for that “it might only take 48 hours to update the political declaration.” They probably can’t believe their luck that the UK would vote for such a ridiculous update to the deal.

    1. Richard1
      March 29, 2019

      Absolutely this would be the most absurd of all possible outcomes.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      March 29, 2019

      MPs will be taking lectures from financial specialists next week to find out what a ‘customs union’ is! Queer old world! Anyway – that’s why they have supported a Customs Union. They don’t know what it is!

  41. jerry
    March 29, 2019

    Today is not “Independence Day”, as some would have called the 29th March, but it might well be the day democracy in the UK died…

    Sir John, might I use your site to appeal to your colleagues.

    If Tory MPs want Brexit, if they don’t want Brexit, they should vote against the WA motion.

    But if your only concerns are to secure Mrs May’s legacy so she will resign then all you will do today is to reinforce the idea that Brexit was never about leaving the EU but a turf war within the Tory party.

    Do you duty to your country, not to your party, even less your own personal career ambitions.

  42. Iain Moore
    March 29, 2019

    Today should have been a day for renewal instead our inept, useless, treacherous political class have sucked the life out of Brexit. It will not be forgotten and they will not be forgiven.

    Mervyn King on the Today programme this morning laid it out pretty well. After two years and 24/7 of the BBC promoting Remainer dross, they allow a few words of wisdom to intrude when the damage has been done and its all too late.

  43. Pat
    March 29, 2019

    I understand that you won’t like this suggestion one bit.
    But it is apparent that there is no way forward whilst Mrs. May is in office.
    Given that she cannot be challenged for the Conservative Party leadership for some eight months a vote of no confidence is the only way.

  44. A.Sedgwick
    March 29, 2019

    Just seen a QT clip with Damian Hinds, someone I have never clapped eyes on before – what a political joke he is. Education Secretary – wouldn’t want him educating my cat.

  45. Mike Wilson
    March 29, 2019

    I voted reluctantly to Leave. Reluctant because I didn’t want to lose the good things about the EU – the ease of travel and reciprocal medical treatment etc. But I thought the scope of the EU political project meant that, for the sake of democracy, we must LEAVE the EU.

    The ‘Leave’ on offer means we lose the benefits but gain no advantages. It is worse than remaining. If asked again, I would now vote to remain.

  46. Alex Ferris
    March 29, 2019

    Those MPs switching sides to back the Surrender Treaty are victims of fear, which the electorate at large do not understand. This Prime Minster who has been found in Contempt of Parliament is bullying MPs with threats. Stockholm Syndrome is taking hold. The reason May has to behave this way is directly proportional to the democratic deficit were it to pass. MPs are seen by the public as untrustworthy, and most are. However, I am not prepared to tar them all with this brush. You and the other eurosceptics need to be lauded to the hills. The prize of a no-deal is possible. If the ‘deal’ fails to pass today, the 14th April will be the exit date subject to further skullduggery by our disreputable PM, but she is running out of time. Any further delay would mean BREXIT MEPs flooding the EU Parliament and I’m not sure Juncker, Tusk and Barnier will stomach that.
    Were the Orwellian deal to pass, we would be locked into the EU expanding superstate with no unilateral means of leaving. We’d pay £39 billion for which the EU has no imperative to negotiate a decent FTA with us dragging us into a downward spiral. They’d pass laws which when we transgress will cost us a fortune and we’d be on the hook to bail-out the failing eurozone members. All the hard work lining up free trade deals with the rest of the world would be lost.
    So what can the Tory member do? Well this one puts posters up around the entire Constituency of Somerset & Frome urging all members to attend the AGM on 22nd. They needed to put out more chairs. We held our MP to account:

    “Your letter to me indicated that you rely on Burke’s comment in 1774 regarding the ability of MPs to decide issues for constituents. The only problem is there were no referenda in 1774. All I get from you is fear. You’re afraid of the PM, the Speaker and the EU. The electorate is not afraid. The Withdrawal Agreement will not allow us ever to leave unilaterally. We will be under the ECJ as final arbiter, and will not be able to make
    free trade agreements already lined up to sign. We will be on the hook to bail out failing eurozone members. You had the chance to get rid of May (I’ve been checking his voting record) and you didn’t do it. ”

    To this extent the Westminster muddle has increased political involvement. I notice a change in voting patterns of our MP. It wasn’t for nothing. If the Tory party is to survive it needs to reach out to its members. CCHQ could consult members in the process of the forthcoming Leadership election to choose the next party leader. This would go some way to recover support lost by the worst PM in history.

  47. Chris
    March 29, 2019

    Another helpful post, Sir John. Thank you. However, re your last paragraph I think it is vital that MPs make the effort to be there on Friday. I am sure their constituencies would understand. If May gets any further encouragement for her deal by a fluke win, then the situation would be very serious indeed. The damage would have been done, even though you state that when it was to become law those MPs would make sure they were there. Too late, and causes further delay and speculation, and further impetus to those who want us to be a vassal state. We can ill afford that, and time is not on our side. This is a deadly game of political manoeuvering and the Brexiteers have to go all out now in my view in order to win. Please do not cede any advantage.

  48. Stephen Elliott
    March 29, 2019

    I saw you on TV saying that if we propose an FTA to the EU we can continue to trade on current terms while this is negotiated, Do the EU have to agree to this?. If so, surely they will still demand the divorce settlement as a pre-condition. What then?

    1. Andy
      March 29, 2019

      No. The EU have made it clear no deal is WTO rules from day 1 – so tariffs on many U.K. products and customs checks. Indeed, the EU needs to do this to comply with WTO rules.

      1. Mark
        March 30, 2019

        And to breach the EEA Agreement?

  49. Pete Else
    March 29, 2019

    What a disgusting shambles. I like the idea of a general election. Voters need to have their revenge for the scheming, plotting, backstabbing and lying from the entire house. I hope every single MP gets thrown out by the electorate. Quite honestly most should be put on trial for treason.

  50. Edwardm
    March 29, 2019

    Useful comment.
    The WA is bad with or without the PD. I do not understand how some MPs who have strongly criticised it can now support it. In doing so they and lose their credibility.

  51. Norman
    March 29, 2019

    Parliament in its inception, like our universities, was a Christian Institution. The Bible, delivered in English was our bedrock, inspiring gospel missions the world over. It was made an open book through the toil and blood of but a few (and yes, ‘the elite’ tried to snuff out the truth, even then, as they always have done!) How else, could such a small island nation have made such an impact?
    Sadly, we’re now witnessing the final outworking of decades of apostasy, leading to the collapse of democracy, and with it, our freedom.
    Even the best politicians fail; we their electors do, too; and hence, nations fail. But Christ did not, and will not, fail!
    True to form, the BBC (on the current affairs programme PM) is offering all sorts of ‘New Age’ palliatives to people perplexed over Brexit, but I doubt they’ll ever air this one: the ABC of salvation:
    A = Admit you’re a sinner;
    B = Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who after bearing our sins on the cross, God raised from the dead;
    C = CALL UPON HIS NAME! – ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED (Romans 10:13).
    “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:13.
    PS: Many will mock, and our kind host may hesitate to publish this: but it is, and always was, our only sure and certain hope. I do still love my country, as I know the Lord does – but not in its present state: which is why we’ve been given over to such ‘confusion of face’. Just read The Book!!

  52. billR
    March 29, 2019

    Well what else did you expect? can you see any other way to run the clock down than by engaging in this non stop buffoonery? it’s as if democracy and the people don’t count one bit.

    Business and the establishment has decided that we have to remain in closest contact with EU and if it means Norway plus plus then as far as they are concerned government has to work towards it- long extension is the next step. So to that end confusion and consternation will be the order of the day- Mrs May is playing a blinder- and more than that she has Bercow, Corbyn, DUP etc etc all on her side

  53. bigneil
    March 29, 2019

    Our local BBC radio Breakfast show presenter has actually been having a celebration day and saying “We are NEVER leaving ” – have they been told something we haven’t? – Isn’t it time this forced tax institution ( and we know what institutions are full of ) is made to fend for itself instead of being the Blatantly Biased Company.

    1. cornishstu
      March 29, 2019

      likewise to the point of gloating that we are still in, unbiased my A***

  54. Iain Gill
    March 29, 2019

    Thanks John

    Much appreciated

    Keep up the good work

  55. Alan Joyce
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Many Conservative MP’s still do not get it. All of the various Brexit scenarios will lead to poor results or defeat at the polls except one.

    The Prime Minister’s deal, a second referendum, a softer Brexit involving a customs union or single market access, EEA or EFTA, a long delay or any combination of these will cost the Conservatives at the ballot box. All of these options will ensure that Party splits will continue for years and years amidst acrimonious debate and recriminations.

    Only by backing a clean and managed WTO break will the Conservative Party do itself any favours.

    And if a snap general election proves to be the only way forward is the Conservative Party really going to go into a general election with Theresa May in charge?

  56. Kenneth
    March 29, 2019

    In contrast to the advanced promotion by the BBC and other media of the anti-Brexit demo last week, today’s pro-Brexit demo in Parliament Sq at 4pm is has not been mentioned.

    Its scary how far the fake news BBC is going to brainwash us

  57. Mark J
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John, some of your Conservative colleagues need to get a reality check. Although we would all love a “Hard Brexit”, it simply isn’t going to happen with the current state of Parliament. The numbers (and largely Remainer bias) will simply will not allow this to happen.

    Some of your ERG colleagues hold out this false hope that “No Deal” is still achievable – it isn’t. If TM’s deal is voted down yet again, Brexit will not happen. Your Remainer colleagues in Parliament will almost guarantee that.

    If it is a case of TM’s deal and NO Brexit at all, we (the Leaver public) would all prefer TM’s deal – with changes made to OUR benefit (by a Brexiteer) further down the line.

    Can someone please pull the 25 hard-core Leavers and DUP to one side and clearly tell them, “Some kind of Brexit, or no Brexit at all?” The 25 hard-core Leavers and DUP will NOT be looked upon favourably, if they are ultimately responsible for Brexit not happening at all.

  58. Nigl
    March 29, 2019

    If nothing in the WA has been changed and it hasn’t and it was worse than bad for people to vote against it twice, why is suddenly acceptable now? It isn’t. Why suddenly does it meet Conservative party manifesto promises that I voted on. It doesn’t.

    Snow flake politicians many driven by their own ambition are going to sell us out. We have only one real chance. This is it.

    Stay strong JR and company. Vote it down, again and again and again. Until this appalling woman and her grubby secret EU loving agreement are consigned to the dustbin of history.

  59. Lee Taylor
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Sir John, I watched your speech today and I just wanted to thank you for standing up for what is right. Its a pity some of your colleagues were not able to locate their principles.

  60. Cheshire Girl
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John:

    I have just listened to your speech in Parliament this morning.

    You put the case for voting against the WA in a nutshell. Well Done!

  61. agricola
    March 29, 2019

    Thank you for your very clear speech in the HoC this morning. It brought clarity where confusion reigns. I find actions of our government are at best confusing, at worst downright dishonest. Whichever way it sews the seeds of confusion. It was said pre Euclydes that ” Those the gods would destroy they first drive mad.” Such madness is evident in the HoC every time members are given the freedom to speak. Any madness among the electorate will turn to boiling anger that will manifest itself at the next GE.

  62. Mark
    March 29, 2019

    I hope that Bercow doesn’t start taking lessons from Europarl. I see the most contentious part of the Copyright Directive (article 13) was passed by tricking MEPs into pressing their voting buttons by changing the order in which motions were voted on. MEPs who complained afterwards when they found how they had been tricked were allowed to have their individual vote record changed, but although this would have meant that the article was rejected, the overall vote count was not altered, and the article allowed to stand. It reminds you of their tactic of adding 300 pages to the Withdrawal Agreement that had never previously seen the light of day. This is what Remain MPs want us to sign up for?

    Get us out.

  63. Nigl
    March 29, 2019

    I see Mervin King has come out in favour of No Deal.thats good enough for me. Give me his economic knowledge and experience over the intellectual minnows who occupy much of the H.O.C any day of the week.

    1. Monza 71
      March 29, 2019

      I too heard Mervyn King on the Today Programme.

      Everything he said was absolutely right. Leaving on WTO Terms would have been my preferred option but, whatever our thoughts are on the matter, the Remainer majority in parliament will do everything necessary to stop in happening.

      Instead, they will try to engineer a long delay in the hope of cancelling Brexit altogether. With Bercow’s help, I fear they will succeed.

      Do you and the 30 or so Brexiteers who today refused to vote for May’s flawed deal have a way of preventing that, Sir John ? I do hope so. Please enlighten us ?

  64. Phil
    March 29, 2019

    More than having another debate about brexit, today we have the chance to test reality and vote for this WA.. for afterall that is what it is..and it is so necessary to get us to transition and the next stage. Even if we were to crash out to no deal and take up with WTO rules at some stage in the future, then sooner than later, we would still be obliged to face our responsibilities for leaving John you have a chance today, get real and vote for the WA.. get it out of the way so that we can move forward

    1. mancunius
      March 29, 2019

      @GregH – What responsibilities for leaving? Once we have left we have no further ‘responsibilities’ to the EU.

  65. Sue Doughty
    March 29, 2019

    Is it true that if this gets voted down the EU will demand we remain for another 2 years?
    They say voting for this gets the bill that took us in repealed immediately. Is this true?

  66. Denis Cooper
    March 29, 2019

    I listened to the Tory MP Andrew Mitchell speaking today, and what he said had me reaching for my Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations to look up a statement by William Gladstone, made in a speech to the Commons on January 29th 1855:

    “Your business is not to govern the country but it is, if you think fit, to call to account those who do govern it.”

    Some MPs seem to assume that because various eurocrats have been prepared to enter into informal discussions with them – obviously to help stir up internal division – then the natural next step could be for a deputation of MPs to be recognised by the EU as having full powers to act on behalf of the UK, negotiating and concluding agreements, or perhaps just revoking the Article 50 notice which the official UK government put in.

  67. mary
    March 29, 2019

    Nothing but nothing will kill Brexit more than the suicidal “Withdrawal” “Agreement” or rather Suicide Surrender Treaty. Anyone in parliAment or journalism who caves into advocating the WA as being g the best deal on offer will be responsible for all the appalling consequences of thos horrendous WA.
    Many thanks Sir John for drawing attention to the fact that the Govt refuse to publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. We the public are fully aware that May is trying to get MPs to vote on this veiled horror without knowing the full horror of it.

  68. Gareth Warren
    March 29, 2019

    I hear we have “lost” by 58 votes.

    As a brexiteer I believe this is good because the WA was both expensive and unworkable, it reads more like a surrender document.

    Now comes the problem for remainers, implement no deal and keep faith with the electorate, or break faith and stay in the EU converting the UK from a democracy, the door to door rounds will be very interesting for many MPs.

    Long term we will win brexit, the EU’s case will be forever broken if we do not gain brexit and its supporters pushed out of power. I’ll be devoting all my energies to do so.

  69. Denis Cooper
    March 29, 2019

    In view of the comments from the DUP leader Nigel Dodds after the result of the vote was announced I would recall my last letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    which was published yesterday under the accurate heading:

    “UK law could easily fix Irish border problem”.

    Except of course Theresa May did not and does not want any easy or rational solution to that largely invented problem, instead she has preferred to use it as a pretext to give the CBI and other business lobby groups as much as possible of what they want.

    1. Chris
      March 30, 2019

      Denis, I think so many of us are quite staggered by the lying and duplicity of our PM, and so they should be. I think she has taken everyone by surprise, and that includes honourable Brexiter MPs. That is one reason why they often seemed to “behind” in all the proceedings. they were completely duped, but they themselves always gave her the benefit of the doubt. Unwise, and disastrously so, because May apparently relied on that honourable behaviour of those MPs just to plough on regardless, swiftly and ruthlessly. In my view, it is political shenanigans of the worst kind. there is absolutely no doubt that “good men” were taken advantage of and completely outmanoeuvred.

  70. Les
    March 29, 2019

    It will be to the utter shame of the UK if it is the EU which has to make the break – and kick our GB!

  71. Old person
    March 29, 2019

    So here we are. Brexit day, the 29th of March, 2019.

    The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected again for a third time. By not leaving today, this is the day that UK democracy died.
    Hopefully, the Government may save UK democracy by just leaving on the 12th April, or the EU will refuse any extension and do the Government’s job for us.

    No deal is better than a bad deal – no government is better than a bad government.

    The Brexit referendum was of such importance that the electorate needed their say with the Government promising to honour the result. Any deal or Withdrawal Agreement was barely mentioned – people had just voted to leave. A General Election was called and both main parties (consisting of 579 MPs, elected by 26.5m voters) had made written manifesto promises to enact the result of the Brexit referendum.

    No formal consent has ever been given to govern us. This betrayal means that any implied mandate to govern us is now invalid and withdrawn.

    Whenever legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.
    John Locke ¹ (1632-1704).
    What strategy can be used in the future? Stay away and don’t vote. No thanks – I will go to vote even if I vote for the none-of-the-above-party. Local elections on this second of May – expect the worms to turn.


    ¹ John Locke’s use of the word ‘property’ had a wider definition in his day and would include abstract ideas and rights under Common Law and The British Constitution.

  72. CvM
    March 29, 2019

    I have seen Steve Baker of the ERG, and one of the half of that group that voted against the deal, has said a new PM must negotiate a better deal.
    Fine so far.
    I am curious to know how what type of deal he has in mind and if it is more of the Canada+ type deal how he thinks parliament will vote for it.

    It seems to me after the vote today that Brexit is much further away and much less likely to happen. I don’t see a coherent leave plan. To me it seems as if the likes of Baker have tried to fight the whole war rather than win it battle by battle and lost.

    1. Bellboy
      March 29, 2019

      1/ we voted to leave we did not vote for a deal

      2/ Steve Baker might say that a new PM must negotiate a better deal? A better deal but with who? The Japanese or Canadians? because it won’t be with the EU- that boat has sailed

      3/ it’s exactly because we havn’t got a coherent leave plan that the EU will not grant an extension- so therefore we leave 12thApril..written in the stars.

  73. John Probert
    March 29, 2019

    Good Speech

  74. William Long
    March 29, 2019

    Thank you for making all this clear. What is not clear is whether the Government are being devious or stupid: probably both! It does seem though that there is still a chance of a WTO by default, and my sincere hope is that is what happens, though as we all know, hope springs eternal!

  75. 'None of the above'.
    March 29, 2019

    One would hope that this leads to a WTO departure on 12th April but why am I not so sure?
    What is keeping my enthusiasm in check?

    If the TM tries to apply for a further extension, or worse, I advise that a General Election should be engineered for the good of our democratic future.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  76. Chris
    March 29, 2019

    Thank you, Sir John, to holding firm. There were a “few brave men” amongst the Brexiteer MPs, but enough thank goodness.

    I see that the European Commission are well prepared for a No Deal and us leaving on April 12th – they apparently regard it as a likely scenario. Rather flies in the face of those turncoat Brexiteers who said they had to vote for May’s deal otherwise there would be no Brexit.

    European Commission Press Release on H of C vote:
    “European Commission – Statement
    Statement by the European Commission on the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons
    Brussels, 29 March 2019
    The Commission regrets the negative vote in the House of Commons today. As per the European Council (Article 50) decision on 22 March, the period provided for in Article 50(3) is extended to 12 April. It will be for the UK to indicate the way forward before that date, for consideration by the European Council.

    “A “no-deal” scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The EU has been preparing for this since December 2017 and is now fully prepared for a “no-deal” scenario at midnight on 12 April. The EU will remain united. The benefits of the Withdrawal Agreement, including a transition period, will in no circumstances be replicated in a “no-deal” scenario. Sectoral mini-deals are not an option”.

  77. Lynn Atkinson
    March 29, 2019

    Thank you Sir John. Fantastic contribution and of course for your vote! We live to fight another day or vice verse!

  78. George Kerr
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John, we have the EU just where we want them, as you predicted. I am sure BMW, Mercedes etc are even now telling Mrs Merkel to give us every concession we want ! We just have to hold our nerve a little longer. We hold all the cards, and I can smell the EU’s fear

    1. Bellboy
      March 29, 2019

      Yeah George..when they look across at us they see a mad house..I think you have it wrong..they are going to cut loose at the first chance ie 12th April…they have it all factored in from a long time back and nothing to do with mercedes or bmw

  79. Chris
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John, this tweet by Tom Newton Dunn claims that Theresa May is considering bringing back her deal for a fourth time:

    “No10 adamant the PM’s deal is not dead, yet. PM will try to bring it back a 4th time next week – probably in a run off with Indicative Vote winner. So; MPs’ final choice will be May’s deal v Customs Union?”

    Surely she cannot be permitted to do this? What extraordinarily stupid, defiant and unstatesman-like behaviour, truly unworthy of a PM.

  80. Steve
    March 29, 2019


    “What a sly, devious PM we have.”

    More the fact that she’s a PC namby pamby and weak as……expletive.

    “…all the threats coming from this nasty woman”

    Tusk is making the threats, she just works for him.

  81. Mark B
    March 29, 2019

    Good afternoon. Just wanted to say a big thank you to our kind host for today. We may not be Leaving but we live in hope.

    1. Gareth Warren
      March 29, 2019

      I’ll second that, I deeply appreciate your vote John. Some people have this belief that we would be able to compromise just the once, yet the agreement would have cost us more than membership, likely making brexit so bad the case for remain is appealing.

      Now the remainers have to make the choice between no deal or no democracy.

      The EU has to decide between not blinking, thereby forcing a no deal, or being publicly shown to be bluffing.

      Momentous times.

  82. javelin
    March 29, 2019

    MPs are scurrying out the HOC by tunnel like criminals running away from a robbery.

    MPs can only play at being in a parliamentary dictatorship until the next election.

    MPs may act like dictatorship is real but dictatorship is a farce.

    MPs may act like democracy is a farce but democracy is real.

    1. agricola
      March 29, 2019

      Democracy has reached a tipping point both in the USA and UK. In both cases the people voted democratically but found themselves in conflict with what we loosely call the establishment. Trump has been doing battle with them up to the resolution of the Russian slur. In the UK the conflict began when we had the temerity to vote leave the EU, an iconic establishment entity.

      Nowhere does the establisment wish interference in its grand plan for World order. Ask yourself what is the purpose of Davos and Bilderberg. Fortunately communication, the exchange of information, and knolwledge are no longer the prerogative of the parson,the doctor, and the land owner. Once the electorate realise how they are open to use and abuse, real democratic power will return to them.

  83. Chris S
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Sir John

    This afternoon you and your colleagues have helped engineer yet another 58-vote defeat of Mrs May’s deeply flawed deal which, despite its faults, was by today, looking to be the only possible way by which we can get to leave the EU.

    I think you owe it to all of your Brexit-supporting friends posting here to explain in detail how you are going to achieve Brexit in the face of overwhelming support for Remaining in the EU across the House Of Commons ?

    How can you now avoid either a Brexit in name only, with us remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union, with everything that implies, or a “temporary” revocation of Article 50 as was being gleefully proposed by SNP spokesmen immediately after the vote ?

    Given the arithmetic, a WTO exit now seems impossibly difficult to achieve because, in coming days, Remainers across the House will do anything and everything necessary to prevent it. In this they will be aided by every opposition party, the Speaker and Brussels.

    Please, Mr Redwood, can you tell us how you now see any form of meaningful Brexit being achieved ???

    1. Mark
      March 30, 2019

      I think it falls to us voters to sort it out. I see that Dominic Grieve lost a confidence vote at his Beaconsfield constituency, paving the way for him to be deselected. It is a procedure that needs repeating until we have MPs who will represent us, and not the bureaucrats from Brussels.

  84. Denis Cooper
    March 29, 2019

    In the Irish Times today, a letter from a Dublin resident:

    with this significant sentence:

    “As we view the political chaos in Westminster, it is only right to acknowledge that it has been partially stoked by our own Government’s tactics and December 2017 commentary.”

    Well, the November 2018 commentary as well:

    “The Telegraph reports that today’s Irish Times has this front page headline:

    “Victory in Dublin, chaos in London””

    1. forthurst
      March 29, 2019

      …but the only one not to call the bluff of the Irish is Theresa May; even the Irish admit the Irish border is a paper tiger; the reason for that is she is using it as a fig leaf for herself and the treasonous Tory party.

      Meanwhile elements of the EU armed forces are already ensconced in Northwoods; one has to wonder for the Tories which has the tastier backside, the globalist controlled US or the globalist controlled EU.

  85. ian
    March 29, 2019

    28 Brexiteers left in the Tory party.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      March 29, 2019

      What an indictment – hardly a cabinet!

  86. Warren
    March 29, 2019

    Well done to you and your like-minded colleagues for holding your nerve and voting down the WA Sir John.

    I’m not sure what will happen with these votes next week, but even if we end up with a long delay, it would still be better than the WA (at least we’d have a vote and a possible escape).

    Hopefully Mrs May will ignore any majority votes for a second referendum etc. I feel that your party would likely take a terminal beating in the next GE if she does not. WTO is the best option now.

  87. MickN
    March 29, 2019

    Thankyou Sir John.

  88. matthu
    March 29, 2019

    If there is a general election before Brexit, one thing the electorate cannot risk is a Conservative majority – otherwise there must always be the risk of May’s withdrawal agreement being resurrected!

    Fortunately, if there is a general election before Brexit, the one thing the electorate can count on is that there will not be a Conservative majority.

  89. Lindsay McDougall
    March 29, 2019

    You can be immensely proud of your speech in the Commons. You stuck to the subject – just how rotten Mrs May’s Hotel California BRINO is and how many promises it has broken – rather than get into craven risk calculations.

    1. Chris
      March 30, 2019

      Well said, Lindsay.

  90. miami.mode
    March 29, 2019

    A chap on Channel 4 says that we have to come up with a detailed plan by Monday 8th April. I guess that if we don’t come up with such a plan then the EU president will impose one.

    Ringmaster and clowns come to mind.

  91. Les
    March 29, 2019

    Notice the awful conditions being presented by the EU for any future negotiations. We see clearly the horrible, unrighteous people that the UK has to deal with.
    No deal and a very tough negotiator – while seeking trade elsewhere is needed; i.e. what they should have been doing for 2-3 years – this government is getting what it deserves. Are the people getting what they deserve?

  92. Ian Pennell
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Now that Theresa May’s Deal has been roundly rejected by the House of Commons for a third time there is a real Danger that a Remainer Parliament will Take Control of the legislature to pass Statutory Instruments and Bills that mandate the Government pivot towards a Customs Union or a Second Referendum and mandate that a WTO “No Deal” Brexit should be illegal. This will all happen before 12th April- believe you me!

    On Monday, MPs will vote on the Indicative Votes most likely to pass- and it is almost certain that the triumvirate of Sir Nicholas Boles, Yvette Cooper and Sir Oliver Letwin will (with the acquiescence of the Speaker) will force the Government to pivot to a Customs Union or a Second Referendum (dependent on what passes). They might even take control of the House of Commons to pass legislation to make a “No Deal” Brexit illegal (and whose to say they won’t succeed?).

    Brexit- as 17.4 million folk voted for it- is now in Mortal Danger! You do not have a moment to lose- Theresa May must be brought down, her Government collapsed and a Brexiteer (with true leadership skills) put in charge of the Conservative Party: You do not want Sir David Lidington (a paid- up Remainer) running the country!

    To that end, you must collaborate with the DUP and your Brexit- supporting colleagues to table a Motion of No Confidence in the Government, inviting Labour to support it. Then (through a show of hands) put the Brexiteer in charge of the Conservatives- who should do everything possible to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister in the two week interim, whilst preparing to run on a WTO “No Deal” Brexit and popular Tax- cutting Platform during the subsequent Election.

    It’s the only way to save Brexit- and to save the Conservative Party from later annihilation. With your colleagues Sir, you need to do drastic Catharsis to save Brexit and you MUST do this now.

    Ian Pennell

  93. PaulDirac
    March 29, 2019

    Sir Redwood,
    Thank you for standing up to this useless PM, I call her Calamity Theresa.
    A good joke from Scotland: Today Theresa may tried to fall on her sward and missed.

  94. ian
    March 29, 2019

    Today on the 29th of March Brexit has been subverted on leaving day.

    Millions of people will no longer recognise Parliament authority after the subversion of their vote to leave the EU, instead, a blatantly FIXED second EU referendum is being engineered which would open Pandora’s box as the RESULT of a second REFERENDUM will never be TRUSTED by the people.

  95. mancunius
    March 29, 2019

    Sir John, Thank you for speaking and voting as you did. At least we now stand a chance of getting out of the EU: with the WA we would have been endlessly trapped.

    You and your colleagues were absolutely right to give this dying duck another kick, regardless of others in the lobby with you, who were voting against in the hope of reversing Brexit. As Nigel Dodds said, ‘You just have to see what is in front of you and vote on that.’

    It troubles me that May now constantly repeats (as she did today) that ‘Parliament has voted against leaving with no deal.’ Surely that was a non-binding vote? Should she not be reassuring the country that leaving with the arrangements we have in place is already prepared for – as it is.

    1. Chris
      March 30, 2019

      Re your last para, the European Commission in their statement immediately after the vote said that a No Deal was a likely scenario, with leaving the EU scheduled for April 12. Seems that May was talking dangerous nonsense again.

  96. Simon Coleman
    March 29, 2019

    There is no official ‘coalition government’. As you know perfectly well, the DUP are not coalition partners. So why do you keep using the term ‘coalition’? And as for the initial ‘failure’ of the indicative votes, I wouldn’t rule out an agreement based on a customs union on Monday.
    Just remember, the government is a minority one…and there’s been a general election since the referendum. So when Leave moaners talk about it being a Remainer Parliament – well that was the one voted in in 2017!!

    1. Edward2
      March 30, 2019

      With a number of MPs elected on their party’s manifestos which promised to respect the result of the referendum who are now doing the opposite.

  97. javelin
    March 29, 2019

    Look at it this way. The EU has now been eliminated from the UK and has been contained in Parliament until the next election.

  98. Caterpillar
    March 29, 2019


    And moreover the PM would have accepted the Snell amendment. Standing down but leaving the next negotiation team to have to cope with the Commons. This continued behaviour is shameful. Why do they persist? Why do people like Fox support this?q

  99. ukretired123
    March 29, 2019

    “We are leaving the EU on the 29th March 2019” at 11pm precisely in half an hour?
    It sounds like Chamberlain’s “Peace in our Time” now and will be May’s sad legacy.

  100. Caterpillar
    March 29, 2019

    Dear Dr Redwood,

    As Lord King observed the Govt has not been completely open with its preparations for no deal. He suggested a 6 month extension to mitigate the dislocation. The Govt must be completely open on the prep for no deal, the financing that can be brought forward and whether 6 months would be viable. Lord King is respected, the PM and Govt would do well to show him some respect and be fully open about the preparation that is complete, and the detail of what is incomplete.

  101. Peter Thompson
    March 29, 2019

    Well with today’s vote we know that Mrs May will be asking for a 1 to 2 year extension. That will take us to 2021 and 5 years since Brexit. There will of course have to be a second referendum because 5 years will be too long since the referendum in 2016 for it to have validity. I think the forces of Remain will win then and Brexit will be shelved.
    It was good whilst it lasted , but it s never going to happen now.
    I just wonder in a few years when the history books are written will there be people saying well the Leave campaign had its chance but they threw it away.

  102. Chris
    March 29, 2019

    Deselection of Grieve update: I see that Beaconsfield Conservative Association members have voted that they have no confidence in him. Does not surprise me one bit. I believe that now that the people in this country have been roused from their stupor by Theresa May and Remainer and other MPs betraying Brexit, they will act and make their feelings clear.

    Jackson Ng‏ @JacksonNgUK
    Latest from @BeaconsfieldCCA re our AGM this

    “……Our members had a robust discussion with our MP Dominic Grieve QC on Brexit before voting on a motion of confidence in him as our MP, which I can confirm, with a heavy heart that he failed to retain. He remains our Conservative MP but I will be speaking as soon as possible to my fellow officers and the Executive Council”.

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