Wednesday’s efforts by the Cooper-Letwin government

The debate on Wednesday failed to get to grips properly with the constitutional revolution some Remain MPs are trying to unleash on the UK. The approach was based on  lightning legislation with insufficient time to consider and propose amendments. A  majority of one vote from a coalition that have never stood together on a platform before sought to impose their will on the government. The result is a Bill that rushed on to the Lords, where they wish to do the same, with the government against. If the government had itself tried to put legislation through like that many of the advocates of this Bill would have been protesting strongly. MPs were having to cobble together handwritten amendments to give in just a short while before the debate, whilst also listening to proceedings. It is not a good way to behave.

The government now has to decide whether it wishes to try to get back control or not. It should assert that the Bill has large financial implications. It should refuse to move a Money resolution to cover the costs. Ministers should remind the House that international negotiations are vested in the government of the day to handle as they see fit. Only the passage of a motion of no confidence in the government should be able to stop their handling of these matters. The government in its turn where an international negotiation requires legislation to implement it needs to be fully aware of what the House will and will not pass before striking an agreement in principle.

The crucial votes on the Bill and the wish of the new coalition to control the Order paper again on Monday were knife edge with around 310 on each side. They lost the Monday business but won the Bill. Two of the other votes tell us more about the views of this Remain dominated Parliament.

Anne Main proposed that no delay should be permitted beyond the 22 May deadline for our exit. 123 of us voted for this, with a massive 488 against. This demonstrated that more than three quarters of the House are against a timely Brexit three years after the decision was made. It shows that a May/Corbyn coalition could have a large majority to railroad things through against the wishes of the minority who speak up for the 17.4m Leave voters.

The government proposed an amendment that in effect would have made delay easier for Ministers to arrange. That was defeated by 400 to 220, when many Conservatives voted against the government in favour of less delay. The Opposition decision to vote against was curious given their clear wish to delay.

What Wednesday showed in the Commons is the fate of Brexit hangs more in the hands of Mrs May than of Parliament. Despite the serious efforts to wrestle power from the government, it is still in Mrs May’s capacity to allow us to leave on April 12 without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, or in her power to do a deal with Mr Corbyn to wound and delay Brexit for as long as they like subject to EU approval.

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298 Comments

  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    So let’s leave on the 12/4/2019 and leave the Withdrawl Agreement to the shredder.

    • Richard
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Shocking proposition today by an anonymous Civil Servant: “Could it be that the Prime Minister is going to ratify a ‘final’ Withdrawal Agreement in Brussels on April 10th using executive powers and then claim that Parliament has no option but to pass the ratifying primary legislation?… Even if the Withdrawal Agreement Bill eventually falls, we would be immediately locked into the vassalage terms of the transition period while legal challenges and parliamentary mayhem followed. This is no idle speculation. Members of Parliament who still respect our democratic system need to act – ACT DECISIVELY – and fast.” https://briefingsforbrexit.com/the-great-british-brexit-showstopper-may-yet-be-to-come/

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        The Telegraph is now reporting that talks with Labour have broken down, so the above could conceivably happen.

      • Hope
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        If it is a legal position is not to leave without a servitude plan remainers, majority in parliament, have no incentive whatsoever to agree anything. Therefore the default position is remaining in, as per Traitor May’s plan announced in a pub by Robbins! After boring the nation for a long spell a referendum for remain or remain.

        Tell me I am wrong JR.

      • Bob
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        “former appeal judge Sir Richard Aikens has said the way in which the Article 50 extension was organised is “highly unsatisfactory” and “arguably illegal”.

        He told the Daily Mail: “If the argument is correct, then it would mean that, under UK law, we left the EU last Friday at 11pm.

        “The Treaties would no longer be binding and the UK would no longer be subject to EU law.

        “The argument obviously becomes much more important if there is any attempt at a longer “extension”, but, logically, if the argument is correct, then any attempt at a further extension would be a legal nonsense as the UK would already be “out”.””

        • Oliver
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

          Beautiful!

          One thing I’ve never seen remarked on is the overall legality of A50 itself, taken in combination with the EU claiming it is illegal for them to discuss future trade agreements with an existing member.

          Blair has his nauseating argument about selling your house without seeing the new one – our actual situation is like not being allowed to arrange a new job before you give notice on the old one – imprisonment!

    • Richard
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      111 Conservatives are reported within the 124 supporting Anne Main’s amendment. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-04-03-407-commons

      David Lidington & other senior ministers reportedly told Labour yesterday that Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the European Union already includes a customs union “in all but name”. So that cat is now definately out of the bag!

      Logically that means that the 236 MPs & 14 Cabinet ministers who claim to be against a CU should now be against May’s WA!

      • NickC
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Richard, It’s not just “in all but name”, Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement actually sets up a “single customs territory”. I thought that was what Labour wanted.

    • Richard
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      While MPs respecting the Referendum decision are outnumbered, it is very obvious that the anti-democratic MPs wishing to frustrate/stop Brexit are mostly afraid to take personal responsibility for doing that.

      The Grand Coalition also has the obvious tension that Corbyn wants GE. But such GE would unseat many Grand Coalition MPs.

      Polls this week show the rising popularity of a WTO Brexit.

      The ERG+friends need to maintain Clear Blue Water and Clean Hands. Make it crystal clear to voters which MPs are the anti-democrats.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Newport West by-election result

    Ruth Jones Labour 9,308
    Matthew Evans Conservative 7,357
    Neil Hamilton UKIP 2,023

    Conservative + UKIP 9380.

    I know not all UKIP votes would not have necessarily gone Conservative, but the Conservatives may have won this seat if we had left when we were supposed to leave

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      It also shows the threat that even a moderate UKIP vote could cause the Conservatives if they continue with a Brino Brexit

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        I’m disappointed the Tories got that much. The proles have really bought the Corbyn bogeyman line.

        • Martin R
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Frankly can you blame them? Unbelievably, the prospect of Steptoe running the country is even more awful than May’s shenanigans. Just about. Mrs Thatcher and Sir Winston must be turning in their graves at this spectacle. Quite what we have done to deserve this treatment I do not know.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Indeed had the Tories had a pro real Brexit, low tax (and not just “at heart” like Cast Iron but in reality), cheap reliable energy, a bonfire or red tape PM we would have won hands down. No need for UKIP or the Brexit Party to split the vote.

      Confiscatory Corbyn is a sitting duck – but not alas with the current dire combination of the dithering, sociailist, Brexit in name only liar T May and Philip (project fear, tax and regulation to death, IHT ratter and pusher 15% stamp duty) Hammond. Get rid of these people before they bury the party again.

    • Richard
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      A significant aspect was that turnout fell from 43,438 67.5% to 23,615 37.1%.

      Votes cast for both Labour -59% & Conservative -57% collapsed equally. (‘A plague on both your houses.’)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newport_West_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

      Newport West was 54% Leave. UKIP did reasonably – but it does look like a missed Brexiteer opportunity. Voters were unenthused by all parties.

  3. Pominoz
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The speed of passage through the HOC of the Cooper Letwin bill was disgusting. It certainly would not have happened with a pro-Brexit motion. And, I gather, there are aims to get it through the HoL quickly. Disgusting.

    I now understand that Donald Tusk is proposing to give the UK a ‘flexible’ 12 months extension, which would allow the UK to leave the EU earlier subject to ratification of the WA. Sounds like another way of temporarily keeping us tied in until we can completely surrender via the WA. In view of the apparent primacy of EU law over UK law, I do hope this cannot be imposed on the UK against its will. Meanwhile Jean-Claude Junker is saying that unless the WA is approved, the EU will not agree to extend. It is now clear that any agreement May has with Corbyn will only be acceptable to the PM if the WA is also approved, but approval of the WA in Parliament does not seem likely and should continue to be resisted. End result – WTO exit on 12th April. All fair dinkum.

    HOWEVER, Will the treacherous May, during her tète-a-tètes with Corbyn, persuade him that the Labour Party should now be encouraged to support her WA? That really would put the cat amongst the pigeons. And who knows what other party tricks May has up her sleeve – anything to thwart the will of the people.

    Please continue to lead the British Resistance!

  4. John Leslie
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    What we are seeing is Parliament asserting its authority. This is the very essence of the Bill of Rights, 1688. It is the bedrock of our English constitution. It is what I thought the Leave campaign, which I supported, was all about – restoring power to Parliament. But now when our Parliament makes a decision which you, J Redwood, dislike, you accuse it of a “revolution”. Your tantrum exposes you (and B Cash, J R Mogg) as having never understood that Parliament is where authority lies in this country, the government exists only to execute what Parliament has made into law.

    Reply Try reading my article and speech which explains it accurately.

    • Andy
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      The Bill of Rights does not say what you seem to assume it does. It is not Parliaments place to be the executive: that is the role of the ‘Crown’.

    • John C.
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      J Leslie, Democracy is rule by the people, not by parliament.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      The Bedrock of our Constitution will be EU Law, written by people we can neither hire not fire.

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    There is one thing you can depend on from Mrs May, and that is to do the wrong thing. So Mrs. May will be looking to pay more, delay and soften her deal. Why is she still there?
    Surely you Brexiteers have a better plan than this…

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Peter

      If May delays too far then we may enter the new EU Financial period which is for the following 7 years.

      Thus by deliberate delay, Mrs May may cost us taxpayers very many more £ billions.

      Difficult to make it all up really, only in the UK !

      Just found out she has written another letter asking for an extension until 30th June.
      Thus just when it comes to decision time, she moves the goalposts yet again.

      Utter madness.

      • APL
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson: “Just found out she has written another letter asking for an extension until 30th June.”

        1. What has this wretched woman been doing for the last two and a half years?

        2. I am trying to figure out a way to combine the term ‘defenestrate’ and ‘Theresa May’ in the same sentence, that won’t bring the full force of the British secret internal security police stazi down on my head.

  6. What Tiler
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    This “government” of which you speak; I do not see one. I see a chaotic rabble being railroaded by a psychopath against the wishes of a clear majority in the nation. It’s not a good look for a country that used to be a democracy.

  7. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Earlier this week a Dutch TV channel showed a parody “Ode to the Brits” including 22 votes in your H.o.C. since 15 January of what you did NOT want (i.e. in all votes the “No’s”had it.)

    Maybe this is easier to see from a distance than when you are emerged in it, but IMHO your democracy is simply not fit for purpose – no offence meant!

    The first ten years outside the EU you may want to completely reinvent your whole national system of democracy, more based on cooperation and building bridges between different opinions.

    • Andy
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      You shouldn’t be quite so sanctimonious. What we have is a Referendum that delivered a Leave vote. However we have a Parliament (both Houses) which are stuffed to the rafters with Remainers who are diametrically opposed to honouring in anyway whatsoever the Referendum result. However you should reflect that you Dutch had a Referendum the other year which your Government completely ignored. You might care to ‘reinvent your whole national system of democracy’, more based on your Government following the will of the people when expressed in a referendum.

      • Andy
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Firstly, your claim about the Dutch referendum is completely false. It would assist if you found out what really happened.

        Second, please change you name.

        • NickC
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          Remain Andy, You change your name – Leave Andy was here first. And as usual within the EU the Dutch politicians ignore the will of the people as expressed in referendums. That’s normal EU procedure.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      You are too smug. Unlike almost all EU countries we do not have any far right members of parliament, they don’t make it through under our system. Various varieties of fascists are well represented amongst many EU parliaments and doubtless will in the European Parliament shortly. The more national electorates are disenfranchised the worse this problem will get.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Richard1

        ” Various varieties of fascists are well represented amongst many EU parliaments and doubtless will in the European Parliament shortly”

        You prefer our kind of ‘democracy’ – a carve up between a party financed by big business and another by the unions?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: If far right and far left exist (as they do in the UK) but people cannot vote for them, they go underground, is that any better?
        Likewise the green vote is repressed (1 MP out of 650) and the UKIP vote has been repressed (1 MP out of 650, whereas it was the largest UK party in the European elections I believe).
        All those who don’t vote for the incumbent in a safe seat (= most constituencies) don’t feel that they are represented in the H.o.C.
        The adversarial culture hidden under the “right honourable” platitudes has led to shouting and heckling,
        By now this adversarial political culture has created an overly adversarial society in which people and politicians appear unable to compromise. Is that smug or just stating facts?

        • NickC
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          PvL, Don’t be so naive, any democratic election – if it is genuine – is adversarial. And some issues cannot be compromised. Being in or out of the EU is one of them.

    • John C.
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Peter. We had thought about this, and maybe this crisis will help bring it about. Meanwhile, enjoy EU democracy, which is of course perfect.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      PvL

      “IMHO your democracy is simply not fit for purpose – no offence meant!”

      No offence taken Peter. It’s what we’ve been saying all along, although more accurately; those privileged with upholding and defending democracy at the highest levels are not fit for office.

      Democracy itself is not the problem.

  8. Mark B
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Once again I fund myself, like many others I am sure, thanking our kind host for his insightful and comforting words. It is such a shame that, I am sure, we here and many elsewhere cannot express our gratitude enough. I have over many years been both praising and critical of our kind host on many things but have always made this my first port of call in the morning.

    Thank you Sir John for making today a little brighter 🙂

    The EU Treaty of Lisbon is UK law. Article 50 gives the UK the express right to Leave the EU without signing the WA. For this reason I believe the Oliver / Cooper Bill to be itself illegal as it seeks to unilaterally change treaty law without the consent of either the EU or rEu27. There are clear implications if the UK cannot exit the EU. Implication not just for the UK but the EU as well. Were any of this debated? If not the Bill is deeply flawed.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      They don’t actually seem to care about laws any more Mark. May is totally out of control. I’d like to know who she’s taking her orders from.

    • Hope
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Not so. Article 50 submitted departure date not fixed. Legally cannot leave without a servitude plan. No incentive for 488 remain MPs to vote for anything or to agree anything. Hotel California.

      What is also troubling is Cox wanted/wants a custom union for “considerable years” with it being technically correct that we might be able to leave at some point! On the presumption presumably parliament would not vote for it!

      • NickC
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Hope, I read TEU Art50 differently. Art50/3 states “The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless . . . .“. The “failing that” must refer to the (possible) failure of a WA entering into force. I read that as meaning we were out of the EU after 2 years (subject to an extension) even if we do not have a WA.

  9. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    “What Wednesday showed in the Commons is the fate of Brexit hangs more in the hands of Mrs May than of Parliament.”. Yes and the longer she remains in place the longer the Conservatives will be out of power after the next election. She is a proven election loser so she cannot lead the party into the next one. While she has just lost you your main sales pitch that Corbyn is unfit to be let anywhere near the levers of power.

    • Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I know little about all the ins and outs and complicated machinations of our Parliamentary system – but I find it completely incomprehensible that such executive decision-making is in the hands of just one person. That she seems able effectively to control the fate of our country at a stroke, and with little reference to her peers, is absolutely baffling.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the explanation. I must confess I have now lost track of all the machinations and amendments that seek to control events in parliament. I watched a little of the debate in the Lord’s yesterday evening. From this I heard the point you made about the financial implications of the Bill and about further constraints on Crown prerogative. I also heard that amendments will be tabled on Monday to “improve” the wording about dates and timing by members well versed in law. It is clear that the Lord’s will be fully complicit with the Letwin/Cooper initiatives to keep the UK tied to the EU.

    One thing they all did agree on. Mrs May has made a complete hash of the negotiations. It is clear that she is a national liability. There will be no satisfactory outcome while she remains PM.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Postscript to my earlier comment: one peer observed that on a previous occasion parliament was asked to rush legislation through in a single day, it was related to a national emergency and was passed without division. By contrast this Bill was hotly contested and passed by only a single vote.

      It is evident from your comments above, and in the parts of the debate that I listened to last night, this rushed Bill, if passed into law, will result in bad law, contentious law and probably unenforceable law. It should be defeated.

  11. /IKH
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    ‘It should assert that the Bill has large financial implications. It should refuse to move a Money resolution to cover the costs. ‘

    If I understand correctly, a Bill that has significant financial implications requires ‘Royal Consent.’ That means that a government minister must give approval, in the House, for the Bill to pass. Before any need for the movement of a money resolution.

    I believe that the Speaker should have sort the approval of the Government for ‘Royal Consent’ prior to allowing a vote in the Commons.

    Wishing you all the best on stopping this attempt to foil Brexit.

    /ikh

    • Andy
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      My understand is that of a Bill touches on the Royal Prerogative it requires Royal Consent – I believe this does touch the Prerogative in the area of Treaty making. Further, as it has significant financial implications as a Private Members Bill I is in direct conflict with the Houses Standing Orders. The Government, if it wasn’t so totally hopeless and lead by such a dishonest woman, should have objected to it and withheld Consent. If it is passed in the Lords etc the Government must withhold Royal Assent to this dangerous measure.

    • zorro
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      These ridiculous votes on virtually no consideration remind me of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror when they used to pass all sorts of votes on simple majorities in the National Assembly to declare people outlaws and execute them or deny them a fair trial. A complete travesty of democracy!

      The only good thing about this is that it shows the complete and utter incompetence of Theresa May. A complete disaster – but then some of us always knew that!

      zorro

  12. agricola
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Too much power is vested in the hands of the PM. She knows she is on her way out so does not give a fig for honesty, her party, the country, or the 17.4 million who voted leave. She is a very dangerous, mono rail thinker determined to have her way whatever the consequences. To achieve her ends she is happy to consort with a marxist led opposition who have their own programme for the destruction and subjugation of the UK.

    If the current farce is allowed to continue the electorate will lose and the establishment will win. You the government and a majority of remain politicians have sown the seeds of civil unrest, the like of which we have not seen since the time of Charles 1. To avert such a catastrophy get rid of the women, a long overdue process. The consequences of doing nothing are too dreadful to contemplate. The charge sheet should read, two years of constant lying to the people and Parliament, actions to pervert the decision of the people, consorting with a foreign power to the detriment of the UK, and colluding with the opposition to achieve her ends against the wishes of the people. No one has been so deluded since King Canute.

    • Oliver
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Quite agree – except about Canute – he wasn’t deluded, he was pointing out to his feckless followers that THEY were deluded – as we are to believe any of the b*stards give a monkey’s for what we think – as they assume we won’t come for them with pitchforks… and as you say, they may turn out to be wrong about that.

  13. ColinD.
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Your last paragraph says it all. But we all know that that woman has not the guts to get us out on April 12. Instead she will grovel before the EU, further humiliate this nation and lock us into the EU for an interminable period. God help us!
    ColinD.

  14. agricola
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Too much power is vested in the hands of the PM. She knows she is on her way out so does not give a fig for honesty, her party, the country, or the 17.4 million who voted leave. She is a very dangerous, mono rail thinker determined to have her way whatever the consequences. To achieve her ends she is happy to consort with a marxist led opposition who have their own programme for the destruction and subjugation of the UK.

    If the current farce is allowed to continue the electorate will lose and the establishment will win. You the government and a majority of remain politicians have sown the seeds of civil unrest, the like of which we have not seen since the time of Charles 1. To avert such a catastrophy get rid of the women, a long overdue process. The consequences of doing nothing are too dreadful to contemplate. The charge sheet should read, two years of constant lying to the people and Parliament, actions to pervert the decision of the people, consorting with a foreign power to the detriment of the UK, and colluding with the opposition to achieve her ends against the wishes of the people. No one has been so deluded since King Canute……

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      agricola

      “If the current farce is allowed to continue the electorate will lose and the establishment will win.”

      Yeah but wait for the next general election ! I’d like to see them try and overturn that.

      Cons and Lab are facing electoral extermination, people will have the last say on this.

  15. Dominic
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    May is quite evidently working intimately with Cooper and Letwin to construct a Parliamentary diversion of the result of the 2016 EU referendum result.

    In effect May’s decided to rewrite the Parliamentary and political rulebook to suit the needs of the EU and Angela Merkel who’s made it her own mission to keep one of Germany’s biggest export markets tariff free.

    The EU working with British MPs are no doubt coordinating their strategy as we speak. They are interfering and managing directly the very workings of the gut of our Parliamentary democracy.

    It as come to this that our very own Parliament and its infrastructure are now a plaything of those who despise popular democracy

    And still the ERG play their part in this attack on the very fabric of our nation. Your playing by the rules simply plays into the hands of the Europhile rabble

    I suspect there’s now more than 20m pro-Leave votes out there to be had at the next GE. The Tories will be blamed for this disgusting farce no matter what your stance simply because many voters simply do not appreciate the mechanics of Parliamentary voting and how Labour and many Tory MPs have worked together to crush, as MPS see it, democratic interference by the people

    This woman’s presence has damaged, beyond repair, British politics, our democracy and our Parliament. She is without the question a malignant presence even more vomit inducing than those Marxists across the despatch box

  16. agricola
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Sorry Captcha again fouling up. Complaining of duplicate submission when it has posted nothing. Then when a sljghtly altered submission is made, extra full stops, both versions are posted. Please scrub one of them.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Also down to Mrs May to wound the Tory party by being seen to cow-tow to Labour, as well as to the EU. To anybody except those who voted to Leave.

  18. Steve
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    JR

    Except……..Tusk now suggests yet another delay, this time up to twelve months so that Parliament can come up with something to kill brexit altogether.

    What we said would happen is delay, delay, delay. Looks like we were right.

    Perhaps the time could be used to remove and publicly humiliate Theresa May ? Perhaps even put a motion to ban the woman from ever again holding publicly funded office.

    Whatever, she needs to be removed – now.

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    John,

    Mrs May and the government are going to do none of the things you are recommending.

    We voters need to get organised. The (only) power we have is that a big majority on a parliamentary constituency basis are Leave (60% I think).

    1) May council elections – vote for independent candidates or spoil ballot paper by crossing out all mainstream party candidates and writing “None of the above” – don’t abstain, spoiled ballots get counted and reported.
    2) EU elections: vote Brexit Party/UKIP according to preference – it is on a PR basis so either is effective
    3) At the next general election vote Brexit party. Even if your MP is a Brexiter Conservative vote against them, the party is institutionally Remain and we have seen that Brexiter MPs have no power so it is a wasted vote voting for them, even if their manifesto includes Brexit they will ignore it as a party when elected..
    4) Calls to withhold payment of Council Tax and/or BBC License Fee are of course unwise.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      Re: 1
      Unless there is a certain National Party or UKIP candidates as voting options, I shall be spoiling my ballot paper.

      4) If everyone did that, it would paralyse the courts and bring the establishment down. Personally I’d be in favour.

  20. Nigl
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    And I guess it will be the latter.

    • Hope
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      JR, Your last paragraph is so delusional. Traitor May’s letter is clear and the reply from Tusk agreeing to whatever time she likes. Mansion House speech was clear to take no deal off the table, her lies about leaving on 29/03/2019 has not received any civl disturbance, Tory leave MPs meekly grumbling, she has the support of Corbyn and so now she is going for full on remain.

      There was no negotiation beyond 08/12/2017. It was a charade to drag it out to bore us into submission. This was and is collusion between traitor May and the EU.

      Good grief wake up.

      • Hope
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        How about the lies regarding the under estimated £39 billion gift to the EU and strap lines by May for a trade deal when it was never discussed and known it was was not being discussed! This does not even feature in any questions to her!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Sure will be. May gets nothing right it seems. If May is forced to ask to extend she insist it is a free no fee extension as no Money Resolution is in place. They hopefully the EU would refuse.

      Lets save Europe from the dangerous EU by leading the way.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Wrong Lifelogic. May is getting everything right.

        She wants to stop Brexit without an implosion and she’s doing it brilliantly.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Well indeed, if she want to destroy UK democracy, put the UK in an anti-democratic straight jacket of the EUSSR, damage the economy hugely, destroy the Tory party and give us Corbyn/SNP/Venezuala. Then she is doing this rather well. But does she really want this?

  21. Edwardm
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your uniquely informative comment.
    Remainers prefer living under a foreign oligarchy with our parliament neutered, which is an odd mindset, but is probably what informs their contemptible actions.
    Unfortunately Mrs May, who prefers compromise with Corbyn’s Labour than with her own party, is still in place. When will Conservatives MPs rise against her en masse, and soon. Though I’m sure you and the ERG are doing your best.

    • Merlin
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Just to correct you, on what appears to be a misconception.

      Not all Remainers do not see the E.U as a foreign oligarchy. Som, like myself, believe political power generally connects with the ability to raise direct taxation. That power remains firmly with parliament, not the E.U. So I simply see the E.U as a trading block that has very little influence over the U.K and parliament – hence my lack of concern with all this Brexit balony.

      Also, I’m not quite sure what I’ve done to earn you contempt, but apologise nonetheless. I am trying to be polite.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        ‘I simply see E.U as a trading block that has very little influence over the U.K and parliament’

        The EU is responsible for the austerity policies that Osborne had to implement to keep with their debt and deficit ratios, they caused hardship to the population in order to tidy up the mess the last Labour government left in the UK remember the note Byrne left “I’m afraid there is no money” – at least we could get rid of him and Brown when the IMF were warning the UK our government were failing. If we don’t follow the rules we get fined, unlike other EU Countries that are let off.

        We do not charge tax on prostitution and drugs Merlin, the EU make-up how much they think that should be and we have to contribute 80% of that made-up figure to the EU. Just two ways we do not control direct taxation because then the government have to dream up Nest contributions be employer and employee because they know another 8% national insurance tax would have raised an uproar but if they make people think it is for their own benefit they’ll not understand that in future they can then lower the State pension and all those self-employed and none contributors will just get pension credits.

        We have never been taxed so heavily, can I simply suggest you take a bit more concern about what is actually happening to most people. We pay more and get less service because it’s being dispensed into the EU coffers for them to spend and even when we get a bit back we’re told what we are allowed to spend it on.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        If we remain those tax raising powers will go. Effectively £39bn is just a start. A tribute to the EU without any representation or say.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        I’m trying not to laugh!

      • Edwardm
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I should have said
        ….what informs Remainer MPs in doing their contemptible actions.

        I realise many Remainers outside parliament do accept the referendum result.
        Many Leavers see the EU has having too much influence – but we can disagree on that.

      • NickC
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Merlin, It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant Remains are about the EU. HMRC acts as the collecting agency for all import tariffs. The EU sets the tariffs, and collects the tariffs via HMRC, allowing us 20% for our trouble. That is direct taxation.

        And since the EU walks like an oligarchy, talks like an oligarchy, and acts like an oligarchy, it is an oligarchy. The EU directly controls the UK over a wide range of policy areas, taxes us both directly and indirectly, is undemocratic, and hence corrupt, and is by definition a foreign power.

        Like the populations of India, USA, etc, I want my nation to be independent. It’s not that difficult to understand.

  22. Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    OK. But the other side of the coin is the EU.

    They are embarrassed by the Irish border. Mrs Merkel doesn’t go to places without a very good reason.
    So there are two possibilities:

    The first is that the EU simply cuts us off as promised. This is not going to sit well with parliament because, as you say, “more than three quarters of the House are against a timely Brexit”.

    On the other hand the EU can offer a long extension on condition that the withdrawal agreement is accepted by parliament. Mrs May could return next week with that eleventh hour proposal which would be eagerly agreed to by a very quick vote.
    Then the trouble would begin in earnest.

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I admire your tenacity John, and the finer points of dancing on a pin heade on procedure are all well and good, but the point you make that the majority of Mp’s in Parliament wish to scupper Brexit is a fact.

    David Lammy on question Time last night was the epitome of project fear, saying a no deal meant exactly that, no trade, and no agreement on anything with the Eu would prove to be a disaster.

    He was of course telling porky pies because we do not leave with no deal, but with WTO Rules, with tariffs we can set, where the WTO has an independent arbitration system.
    A trading system under which 164 nations in the World use as a basis for trade, of which both the EU and the UK are already members.

    No one challenged him with those facts, so in effect he was allowed to get away with telling lies, absolute lies, simply to try and put fear into people to believe his argument.

    • Dimitrios
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      You are the liar. Not a single country trades on WTO rules. Everyone does deals. “No deal” is economics of the madhouse

      • Fuddy Duddy
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Dimitrios – you are the liar – ‘164 nations in the World use as a basis for trade,..’

        ‘basis’

  24. Kevin
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    As you point out, recent events in politics, including the current passage of the Cooper bill, have raised some serious questions about the separation of powers in this country, particularly between Parliament and the Government:

    1) Under the traditional theory, if, for example, Mrs. May overreaches herself in her negotiations with the EU, backbench MPs, asserting their (separated) power as representatives of the people, can refuse to ratify. If, however, MPs acquire a taste for executive power, who has the necessary (separated) power to contend with them if they overreach themselves?

    2) Similarly, if the executive assumes legislative power, as it did when it bound us in international law to a new exit date, who is left to contend with the executive?

    To quote Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws:
    “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.”

  25. BW
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I think it is pretty clear now that the PM, a remainer, who lied so many times to get her job and maintained her lies, had from the start, no intention of letting us leave the EU. Especially now that she has the support of those remain MP’s who lied, or at best were economical with the true, to get their seats. She will not lose a no confidence vote as the house is full of her true supporters on both sides. The ultimate betrayal sealing the help of Corbyn, to shackle us to the EU is sickening. Tusk, Junker, May, Blair, Corbyn, they are all in it together to bypass the referendum in any way they can. Only the 17.4 have no say. As seen in the horrendous one day law making shambles. It would be funny is it were not so sickening. It seems there is normally uproar in the house when it has been misled. Unless of course the misleading is to establish another agenda. Which has now been clearly seen.

  26. Richard1
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Mr Carney, in denouncing the sensible points made by his predecessor lord King that WTO Brexit is nothing to fear, has asserted (correctly) that applying article 24 of the GATT to ensure continued tariff free trade requires the agreement of both parties. But, extraordinarily, mr Carney has also assserted – completely incorrectly- that article 24 only applies if you agree moving to “guess what, a customs union”. I suggest he reads the Relevant article himself and I suggest he be asked publicly to correct this false advice. We will only have tariffs if the EU decides it wants to start a trade war in order to punish the UK for Brexit. Given the other problems the EU has and given they have a £100bn trade surplus to correct, given also how this would play in the world stage given the negotiations they are having with President Trump, this seems inconceivable.

    If we do exit in WTO terms the new PM should insist mr Carney resigns.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Trade surplus to protect

  27. Martin R
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Leaving the EU has been within Mrs May’s power to do since July 2016. She has wasted three years of this nation’s time strenuously avoiding doing that which she promised to the electorate. It’s hardly likely she’s suddenly going to come good when the shining prize of finally wrecking the country’s last chance ever of regaining its sovereignty is within her grasp.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Martin R

      “…..country’s last chance ever of regaining its sovereignty…..”

      Not so, Martin. Maybe not this time, but it will happen.

    • javelin
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Have to agree. It’s pretty obvious she is game playing her intent on this one.

      If it was a lottery win she would be taking the day off to get it done.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Indeed she must be brought down & destroyed before she does this. The most appalling & treacherous PM in living memory with the grim prospect of Corbyn’s Venezuela II to follow.

      • Hope
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Corbyn will get in. All he has to do is bide his time. So the Leave MPs,who think otherwise lost that ship two years ago. They have rectified with time to spare. Now it is not likely.

        I hope the Queen takes a principled stance and refuses to assent a bill that her government did not propose. After all if an umjump squirt like Bercow can rewrite the constitution so can she.

  28. ukretired123
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Not good enough (NGE) applies to the EU after 47 years.
    Not good enough (NGE) applies to TM and government after 3 years.
    Not good enough (NGE) applies to JC and opposition, ditto.
    Not good enough (NGE) applies to House of lords nearly empty.
    In summary Parliament is not working.
    Mrs May has made her bed of nails and has to lie in it!
    We do not wish to do so.
    Her wonderful concoctions of the Withdrawal Agreement and destruction of promises and the above will be her legacy.
    You cannot rush through stuff written on the back of a fag packet and not subjected to intense scrutiny.
    We must leave this poisoned chalice Asap now as too priority.

  29. William Simpson
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I have read a comment from a reader in the Telegraph who suggests that the obsessive compunction of Mrs May to pass her Withdrawal Agreement is based on the fact that she has already signed it, (so needs parliament to endorse her unilateral action).

    Although there is currently no way of knowing this, it does make some sense to what appears to be an otherwise deranged mindset.

    It would also be rather a worry (for Mrs May) if the action by English Democrats, (Robin Tilbrook) in the High Court rules that UK did actually leave the EU on 29 March. A former appeal judge Sir Richard Aikens has said the way in which the Article 50 extension was organised is “highly unsatisfactory” and “arguably illegal”.

    Whatever these rushed and ludicrous votes have done, including the current one for ruling out “no deal” and compelling the PM to ask for a further extension, they are certainly not going to die off quietly. Many are now prophesying a long and acrimonious relationship between Britons, and Britain and the EU, as the subjugation that will come from the May Agreement (WA), and any add-ons from Labour, will become self-evident, and result in chaos, like the Greek tragedy. How this plays out is difficult to foretell.

    • NickC
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      William, An interesting thought – and I hope that Robin Tilbrook makes headway. There is another aspect to the Art50 extension – the Miller case. The Art50 extension changes the rights and obligations of all UK citizens. So Parliament’s endorsement should have preceded Theresa May’s request.

  30. Peter R
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Irish Home Rule destroyed the government of the day. English Home Rule appears to be doing the same. Ireland had to go through revolution and civil war to gain its independence. What is in store for us?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Precisely what I keep warning about, but May and her cohorts aern’t interested. They just keep ploughing on, telling lies and doing the EU’s dirty work. She’s out-manoeuvred everyone with her sham sincerity. And STIL they fall for it and speak of her in respectful tones. A fool always returns to its folly like a dog to its vomit.

      • rose
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Do they fall for it? Or are they just terrified of what would be unleashed if she finally went? Not that she has any intention of going.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Don’t quite follow you. What might you be referring to when you use the word ‘unleashed’?

          I agree with Anne Widdecombe who says May is the worst Prime Minister since Anthony Eden. In my opinion, May is the biggest impediment to this nation’s advancement. Her downfall could be to our huge advantage.

          • rose
            Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            I think I was the first on here to say she was beyond the pale, before she was appointed.

            I meant the people who have been keeping her in place fear the Grand National of a contest which would follow her removal, with the good horses getting destroyed in the race. It won’t be a Derby. The Party might also get destroyed. But I think the 200 who kept her in must now be seeing she is doing that anyway. The Cabinet could refuse to serve with her but they don’t.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Rose, you certainly have a valid point and there’s much to commend it.

            Tad

  31. percy openshaw
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John

    If our fate is indeed our awful PM’s hands then we’ve had it. We read in today’s Telegraph that cabinet brexiteers have realised they might have to walk out “en bloc”, but that they wish to delay their demarche until the 22nd of May. Why all this delay? Does the Tory party always have to squabble and hang around? Don’t you talk to each other? Can’t you plan? It is clear that a mass walkout of Brexit supporting cabinet ministers is an urgent necessity, followed by a formal resignation of the party whip by the ERG. You should then set up your own party, field your own candidates – many are walking away from the official party as I write – and … oh, what’s the use? I despair.

    • NickC
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Percy, As others have observed we are in uncharted waters. One possible way out would be for all Leave supporting Tory MPs to leave the Tory party and form their own group: the Independent Conservatives, or somesuch. This would bring down Theresa May, and precipitate a general election.

      We need a “single task” party, like Goldsmith’s Referendum party, solely to achieve Leave. But it must be trusted by both Tory and Labour voters to dissolve itself as soon as we are out of the EU. The Remain propaganda storm from the EU, the BBC, arms of the state (Treasury etc), and defunct old Remain politicians, must be resisted.

  32. JimS
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    If we are allowed to vote in general elections ever again there are a lot of MPs who will be ‘crashing out’ of a job.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      JimS

      “….crashing out of a job.”

      ……..will be the least of their worries. These people will be seen as grossly antisocial, they won’t be able to go anywhere without security. No employer will touch them, society will not accept their presence – they’re finished.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Yeah crash out of their jobs, and how did that go for Portillo, Patten, Balls, Clegg!? – oh, hold on…

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          I think you’re onto something. Could there really be an ‘old boy’s network’ at play where even political failures do well provided they have shown loyalty to the pro-EU cause?

          • rose
            Posted April 8, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Portillo is not pro EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Certainly any Tory MPs who voted that they had Confidence in T May should go just for abject stupidity – 200 of them. All the TIG ones Grieve, Letwin ….. and biased Bercow.

    • SueW
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      I no longer trust our elections to be run honestly. The Electoral Commission has already shown it cannot be trusted as has the Civil Service I feel utterly bereft. Once I stupidly thought I lived in the greatest country in the world, now I find myself envying my octogenarian father for probably not living to see the forthcoming disaster.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        It would have been nice to give you some kind of reassurance Sue, but there are think-alike pro-EU placemen in almost every institution and office of state. Celebrate the fact you’re a free-thinker, and not just a production-line clone. Things are easier to bear that way.

  33. Richard1
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I suggest embracing the one year extension. So long as Mrs May is got rid of this is the only chance to re-set and do things properly: table a comprehensive FTA with WTO brexit as the alternative. Only a PM with credibility can do this. Mrs May has none. If we get some inspired new domestic and tax polices as well – which could easily happen – we need not fear an election during that period either, should one be triggered.

  34. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    You know Mrs May won’t allow us to leave on 12 April. She has spent almost 3 years working to keep us in the EU one way or another. We have been betrayed and our democracy destroyed by duplicitous and mendacious MPs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Not quite yet!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I always have a lot of sympathy for your position Brian, and I think you’re right yet again, but I hope you’re wrong. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen all the underhanded subterfuge before, that we are so sceptical now.

      According to news reports, May is sending a letter to Tusk to ask for an even greater extension. I wonder if the result of the Newport by-election had anything to do with the timing?

  35. Julie Dyson
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I noticed that the uneven sides you describe as existing in Parliament were once again inflicted upon us by the BBC in last night’s QT, both in the makeup of the panel (three for Remain or BRINO versus one carefully-invited journalist who is far better at making his case in writing than in speech) and in the number of Leavers in the audience allowed to actually pose a question.

    But what annoys me most about all of this is that everyone, both in Parliament and in public, inevitably talks about “healing the divide”, while failing to grasp that with each passing day of ignoring the democratic wishes of the majority, they are themselves simply driving that wedge in deeper and deeper, causing a longer and harder division.

    More to the point, they all fail to realise that the only way this deep division could ever be healed is with a WTO exit that is subsequently proven to work. But then, that would prove the Establishment wrong, and that must clearly be avoided at all costs, regardless…

  36. robert valence
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Whilst I sympathise with your concern that Parliamentary business be conducted in an orderly manner I feel that the urgent issues prevailing demand urgent action.
    As Sherelle Jacobs writes today in the DT, the nuclear button is needed. The ERG and other faithful MPs need to make clear to the PM that she can’t continue one day more with this nonsense. Force a vote of confidence, withhold your votes from any government business and force a G.E. We need a Brexiteer leader with vision, drive and even charisma and a HoC whose members reflect the views of the country as a whole – LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE!

    Reply Only the Leader of the Opposition can table a No Confidence motion in the government that will b e debated and voted on. I and other Conservative pro Brexit MPs who stand by the Conservative Manifesto promises to get us out will not use our votes to keep us in.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Brexit has shown up our political establishment for what it is.

    We are utterly aghast. So is the world.

    If we do end up being railroaded into Remain may we abolish the UK Parliament and be ruled direct from Brussels ?

    What a total shower of shit. And the one with the prison tag on has really brought that home to people.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Amen to that!

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous

      Spot on.

      Despite the shafting, at least one good thing has come out of brexit ; the lid is off and everyone now knows just what kind of detritus runs this country.

      Also yes I agree the UK parliament should be abolished, why do we need the EU’s quislings ? may as well stop paying for their presence and have direct rule from Brussels. Cut out the middlemen as it were.

      Yes they are a shower, absolutely. No surprise they allow convicted criminals to enter Parliament and cast votes. Then again, she was convicted for lying, so the pheromones smell favourably with the rest of the crooks running the country.

  38. Mick
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    So now there’s talk of a 12 month flexible extension, you politicians are really trying the patience of the British people, let’s have a GE so we can drain the swamp in Parliament and instale it with true believers in our country and remove it of all the self serving politicians who do not give a toss to the 2016 referendum result, this as to be done before riots start to happen in our towns and cities

  39. Abendrot
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    It’s all very sad Sir John. If reports of substantial agreement coming from Peston have any truth to them, the Conservative Party is finished. You should, with other decent conservative members, form a new party to destroy the limp dums that the disastrous Cameron recruited. I wondered if you might have any thoughts about the brazen misconduct of the BBC in switching from a known Leave area (Bolton), to a known Remain area (Dulwich), for last night’s QT? And why, when there are more than enough MPs and MEPs to go around, must we be blessed, for the second time, with a representative from Fine Gael? The BBC is, without doubt in my opinion, the most dangerous organisation in the UK today.

  40. Lifelogic
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    As you say::- it is still in Mrs May’s capacity to allow us to leave on April 12 without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, or in her power to do a deal with Mr Corbyn to wound and delay Brexit for as long as they like subject to EU approval.

    Given a choice May will invariably make the wrong decision as wee have seen many times.

    Interesting that the Newport bye election result suggest that were the Conservatives pro Brexit and led by someone competent they might even have won it. UKIP plus Conservative votes exceeding Labour’s.

    Well done to Charles Moore for questioning why yet again Question Time had four panelists remainers to one leaver. All four Jeremy Wright MP, David Lammy MP, Mairead McGuinness MEP and Ash Sarkar were absolutely dire lefty remainers. Fiona Bruce clearly another remainer had no sensible answer.

    This policy means leavers do not even get 1/5 of the time due to endless interruptions for the other 4 plus the chairman. The BBC’s appalling bias is to a large degree responsible for May’s attempted betrayal. Moore despite this did well, the only sensible voice on the programme.

  41. Al
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    It seems Ms. May wants the 22nd May to be the earliest date we leave, with the alternative a long extension that is already in the works. The people did their job, voting in the referendum, and now Parliament is failing to do its task and deliver it.

    My MP is one of those keeping her in power, making my voting choice at the next election an easy one.

    Newport West byelection may give an idea of how disillusioned people are with politics, both through the reduced turnout and the resurgence of the UKIP vote.

  42. Dominic
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    ‘against the wishes of the minority who speak up for the 17.4m Leave voters’

    We have a major concern of who now represents the interests of those who won the EU referendum result. Who now speaks up for the Leave victory and Leave voters?

    We have no Parliamentary influence. No political influence. Brexit is dead without Eurosceptic power at the heart of Parliament and at the heart of government

    We need a complete realignment of British politics.

    Labour is a cancer
    And the Tories are totally split down the middle between pro-EU, liberal left bigots and Eurosceptic MPs who represent the true face of the party

    Any Tory voter will never vote Labour but millions of traditional Labour voters that have been betrayed by Marxist Labour would vote for a Eurosceptic Tory party

    Of course all MPs have both eyes on their pay and pension and I understand that completely. No one wants to be exposed to the uncertainty of losing your employment and income so I doubt anything radical will occur

  43. Mr Ecks
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Treason May is an EU agent. You express a silly idea Mr Redwood. She will use all occasions to force her worse-than -remain WA garbage on us in service to her EU masters/owners. No Conf vote and GE now is the only option now left.

    Both parties deserve to be utterly destroyed but BlueLabour most of all.

    • Martin R
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Blue Labour? I don’t know where you got that. I always thought they were Green Conservatives.

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Only if there is mega-money to be made from putting wind turbines in your father-in-law’s back garden.

        • Steve
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Jagman84

          …..or one’s husband has business interests in the security industry that would benefit from the UK remaining in the EU.

      • agricola
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Just very wet.

      • rose
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        She isn’t in the least bit green.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    ” with the government against”

    Really? Just because ministers go through the superficial motions of opposing it that does not mean that the government is genuinely opposing it. Collusion is the name of the game; collusion with the EU over the negotiations, collusion with the Irish government over the largely invented problem of the border, and now collusion with the Labour party to force us to accept the/a customs union and swathes of EU single market laws in perpetuity or else face a second referendum with all those forces – and this time including the EU, which David Cameron discouraged last time – ranged against us.

    I repeat: it is not unknown for the EU to lose a repeat referendum, but it is rare.

    In fact the only case seems to be Norway twice rejecting EEC/EU membership.

    Why is this? Well, because as we have seen with the repeat referendums in Ireland the eurofederalist establishment may misjudge the strength of the opposition and also fail to identify some of their own weaknesses going into the first contest, but they do not make the same mistake the second time round.

    I think I would prefer to give Jeremy Corbyn what he really wants if that means we can stop Theresa May giving Keir Starmer what he and she really want, which is not just a dilution of Brexit but a chance to reverse the result of the 2016 referendum.

    • NickC
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper, Yes, it has got that bad.

  45. Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    In plain language, this is not democracy.

    Lord Lawson pointed out yesterday that this process poses a serious risk of civil insurrection. He is not wrong.

    Be prepared for Meaningless Vote 4 on the WA next Thursday

    • Geoff Travers
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      This “process” is our Parliament considering what to do. It is the lifeblood of our democracy. Anyone who advocates civil insurrection because they disagree with Parliament is seeking to undermine the very basis of the British state. Any such person should consider living in another country instead (except Lord Lawson already has shown us his trust in Brexit by moving to France)

      • rose
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        I suggest you read all of their Lordships’ speeches which pointed out the danger of doing something very important to the country by jettisoning all the constitutional checks and balances. He in particular pointed out why ours is an unwritten constitution, because other countries which have written constitutions have had them written in the wake of defeat in war, or revolution, which we have mercifully been spared. He wishes to keep it that way.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        The people have already TOLD the UK parliament what to do!

        The UK parliament is being as obstructive as it possibly can be short of cancelling Brexit altogether, which no doubt most of them would wish to do if given the chance, in total and flagrant disregard of what the people voted for. So it is Westminster that has created the problem, yet its remedy is so very simple. Which part of ‘just leave’ do they find so difficult to understand?

        There is a vast difference between advocating civil insurrection, and warning that it could happen. The French government itself was warned of the disaffection felt by the French people, and the unrest that would likely result when a ‘new broom’ failed to deliver. May is taking what is otherwise British good nature too much for granted. She is undermining the very trust the people have in this nation’s democratic process. That won’t be put up with indefinitely.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Geoff, I would agree with you but for the fact that the Speaker is only selecting certain bills, all on the side of those trying to disrupt our exit from the EU. On top of that we have a PM who is out of control and riding roughshod over conventions, constitutions and laws right now.

    • Martin R
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Apparently May has 10,000 riot police lined up to put down any Leave protests according to the MSM.

      • Dave Clemo
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I thought she got rid of all the police when she was Home Secretary. What little remains sit at desks investigating hate crimes and historic sexual abuse. I can only imagine she’ll do what Macron has done- use rent a thugs and off duty servicemen to beat the plebs into submission

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          And then have a quiet word with the EU’s mouthpiece to stop them reporting events as they largely do now with weekly riots all over France. How utterly ridiculous that we have to turn away from our own state broadcaster to foreign channels to find out what is really going on in the world.

    • APL
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Charles Crane: “Be prepared for Meaningless Vote 4 on the WA next Thursday”

      Parliament, has of course knocked one of the supporting pillars of our democracy away, with this meaningful vote inanity.

      Now after any election, that goes ‘the wrong way’, why! we can hold another ‘meaningful vote’, and if necessary another, until we get the result Theresa May or God forbid, Jeremy Corbyn feels is appropriate.

  46. Lifelogic
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    So the appalling May will request another extension. It seems it will be a year unless we put her appalling £39 billion straight jacket on.

    The ridiculous BBC was on, yet again, about the gender pay gap. Everyone sensible knows is entirely due to the different work life balance choices, subject studied and career gaps and other choices woman take on average. If we had no pay gap it could only happen with some huge anti-male discrimination and damage to the UK economy. It seems this discrimination is what May wants to see happen. Are the BBC and T May really too thick and innumerate to see this? About 80% of students taking Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science A levels are male for example. Women largely choose not to.

    If there were lots of under paid female talent, willing to work for less than men, then any sensible business would take these women on and have a huge competitive advantage. A shame T May herself did not study a bit of logic, reason and game theory then we might not be in this Brexit Betrayal mess.

  47. agricola
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    An interesting situation is arising. It seems likely that an extension of one year will be granted by the EU. The first side effect will be UK participation in EU
    elections. The government is very much against a second referendum with which I agree. A referendum is an expression of opinion/choice on a given topic. How ironic that via the EU election government and May in particular will get a very strong sense of what the UK electorate think of her stewardship and that of most in Parliament. Brace yourselves for a reality check.

    • rose
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      The EU will quickly adjust “International Law”, as they did to veto our exit on the 29th, so that we are no longer required to send MEPs.

      • NickC
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Rose, That, or a short extension will take us past the date of having Euro elections, and then be magically extended again (we didn’t think another extension would be necessary, honest guv!”). Theresa May will prevent us having effectively a re-run of the Leave/Remain referendum because she knows Leave would win again.

  48. Fred H
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Tusk dithering? Merkel softening? Macron cooling? The dice rolls again.. now the proposal is a flexy-delay! Mrs May could yet revitalise her mortally (?) wounded reputation. Stick to the timetable and realise NO Deal. You know it makes sense!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      All sensible people know this is now the only way to go. But Appeaser May will not do it (unless forced to). She never gets anything right after all. From Gender pay drivel, the red tape to tax rates, to the choice of Chancellor and cabinet, to the dire NHS – the only positive I can find is opt out organ donation and even that has not yet been delivered.

      Plus the NHS is so badly organised and incompetently structured that they waste organs already (due to poor admin and lack of capacity). So they probably will not cope with them anyway.

    • hellbent
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Fred H..Yes but it’s only a pretend flexy – delay on behalf of Tusk to make it look good for the EU side.

      We are out next Friday no doubt- there is no way they are going to take a chance on sixty seventy UKIP’s packing the EU parliament next term disrupting everything- it’s just not going to happen

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Farage has been brought back to disrupt the UKIP vote.

        Where are the biggest leave enthusiasts who were on tv prior to the vote:

        Boris
        Farage
        Gisela Stuart
        Hannan
        Fox
        Hoey

        Farage quit
        Boris quit
        Gisela quit

        They’re not given air time,they’re not allowed to sort this out. Why? May is allowed to fail and flail around. She has now paralysed our Country for a year or more. Giving time for Europe now to tell Brits you’re not allowed to apply for jobs without a European passport, Brits not allowed to apply! whilst we still abide by all the rules and have no agreements in place. We will be stripped and whipped and people will beg to stay in because May has put them on their knees with her dithering and poor leadership.

      • NickC
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Hellbent, I doubt we will be out next Friday, but we will be cheated out of being able to vote in new Leave MEPs.

  49. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    By chance (my patience has gone to watch much Parliament TV) I saw your excellent speech largely detailing today’s comments and particularly noted the spurious points raised by Sandbach, Grieve and Letwin, which you courteously and completely demolished.

    At some point the talking has to stop with 80% of MPs defying or completely outside the will of the majority of the people particularly in England – the walking must start soon or your and others’ credibility will disappear. The deficiency of devolution which did not address the English Parliament/West Lothian question is coming home to roost.

    The recent poll showing that a majority did not care if N.I. left the UK is not a surprise and someone who has some C19 Irish ancestry(famine emigres) I am very ambivalent about that. It is an elephant in this backstop saga which everyone has been avoiding. 62% in N.I. voting to stay cannot be ignored.

    A second referendum either Leave WTO or Remain on the ballot paper is a serious option but any other choice is totally outrageous.

  50. Beecee
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    But she will not leave on April 12 as you must know – she is wedded to her WA garbage.

    Mrs May is now so ‘lame’ that if she were a horse she would be put out of her misery!

    Why is the Party persisting with her?

  51. Chris
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    thank you for your analysis. It is very helpful, and it demonstrates so clearly that we have a hugely worrying and dangerous situation for our future, and for our democracy. Your conclusion surely shows the Brexiter MPs what they have to do.

  52. NigelE
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    What a tragic state of affairs. Keep fighting, Sir John; I fear we have probably lost a Brexit as most here would recognise.

  53. John G
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The charade goes on but one thing is clear, TM does not want us to leave without her WA and is willing to pass the probable failure to leave onto others so she can free herself of guilt.
    Having listened to Steve Baker’s earlier testimonials on YTube yesterday, it all becomes clearer how this situation has been allowed from within. Why? is the question, do they truly believe the scare stories that they and other prominent remainers continue to convey?
    The fact remains, the Government stated in black and white before the referendum:
    “It is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide” despite the many reservations they set out at the time, which, incidentally contradicts the claim that people did not know what they were voting for – they tried to put people off from the start.

  54. Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Sir John you heroic few cannot hold the line for us much longer. We need a GE where Brexiteer Candidates are easy to recognise so that the British people can change the composition of the House. As it is to be proper Parliament for the first time in 46 years, I have hopes that quality people will be available. But first we need a single, United Leave entity. Farage cannot provide that as he has proven repeatedly over decades. So I have hung onto my Tory membership card and will vote for the worst possible candidate when the chance comes to lumber this toxic party with more horror and to encourage you Brexiteers to walk away. There is no Deal for us Conservatives availabe from the Tories – they don’t even recognise it – they can’t hear you because what you say is so easy, they simply can’t hear it!

  55. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    We are not leaving. The referendum was pointless. The whole thing has been a complete waste of time and money. Democracy is dead.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Worse than pointless. It has set families against each other. It has destroyed trust in democracy… or maybe it has revealed that our Parliament and civil service cannot be trusted. It has revealed the BBC to be a political organisation… and on.

      • What Tiler
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        It has revealed that there is much that is rotten in the state of great britain, who is there however with the fortitude to begin the cleaning of the Augean stables?

  56. Norman
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    And yet, only this morning (5 April), I received the following reassurance:
    The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Parliament must honour the Referendum result. Leave deal or no deal 29/03/19”.
    Government responded:
    The Government stands by its commitment to uphold the result of the 2016 referendum and to deliver the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
    In 2016, this Government stated that it would honour the result of the referendum, whatever the outcome.
    During the 2016 referendum campaign, this Government wrote to every UK household to promise that it would implement the result of the referendum. With that commitment in mind, 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at a UK Government.
    The British people voted once again in the General Election of 2017, with over 80% of those who voted, voting for parties, including the Opposition, who committed to respecting and implementing the result of the referendum.
    The British people have made their view clear. It is now our responsibility to uphold the result of the referendum.
    The Government’s policy was to deliver Brexit on the 29th of March. The Government has agreed a short extension with the EU, and continues to try and find consensus that will ensure the UK leaves in a smooth and orderly way. However, in the event that the House does not pass the meaningful vote, the legal default remains that the UK will leave the EU on the 12th of April without a negotiated agreement.
    Whilst the Government has conducted extensive preparations to ensure that the UK is prepared for all scenarios, the best outcome remains for the UK to leave the EU in an orderly fashion with a deal; this is the best way to secure certainty for businesses and citizens in the UK and the EU.
    Department for Exiting the European Union.

  57. Old person
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Hello Sir John,

    The Newport West by-election results are in, and as expected Labour hold the seat.

    2019 by-election (2017 general election in brackets)

    Labour 9308 (22723)
    Con 7357 (17065)
    UKIP 2023 (1100)
    PC 1185 (1077)
    LD 1088 (976)
    GP 924 (497)
    Other 1630

    Majority 1951 (5658)
    Turnout 37.1% (67.5%)
    Votes cast 23515 (43438)
    Registered voters 63623 (64399)

    There is normally a lower turnout in by-elections, but these results show a serious drop in enthusiasm from the voters. Labour votes dropped by 41% and Conservative by 43%.

    Any comments and analysis?

    Reply I f I find time. Moderation is absorbing a lot of my time at the moment which is a problem. Will people please keep it short and not several every day, and avoid links and long quotes

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Sky has gone back to lumping UKIP in with “Others”.

      • rose
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        UKIP trebled its vote – but didn’t have the Brexit Party there to split it.

    • oldwulf
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Newport turnout 37.1%, which means that 62.9% chose not to vote for any candidate. Maybe, in future, if the turnout falls below 50% then there is no MP for that constituency. At least that would save a few quid.

      • oldwulf
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        And another thing … in the Newport vote, Labour and Tory votes have more than halved whereas UKIP has nearly doubled, albeit from a low base. Is this a small start of a swing to the right.

        A few minutes ago I signed up to the Brexit Party. I don’t feel 100% happy with this, but what are the options available to us plebs.

        • Old person
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          The Newport West by-election no longer on the home page of BBC News.
          An earlier report observed that the result saw a swing from Labour to the Conservative of 2.4%.
          Unbelievable spin from BBC, and totally accurate.

          • APL
            Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            Old person: “Unbelievable spin from BBC, ..”

            The BBC is the ‘British deep state broadcasting arm’.

            Don’t expect news, or unbiased analysis from them.

            As an ‘Old person’ I do hope you are getting your licence fee paid by the State?

    • William1995
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Sir John, I suggest setting a word/character limit to each post.

    • JeremyG
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, please focus on the task in hand… Removing Mrs May and delivering a clean Brexit. In terms of priority, moderating comments on here comes way down the list. Is there no one else available to do this job. What about using a team of mederators from the more sensible who post here?

  58. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I wonder what you will do, Mr. Redwood, if 300 people in parliament frustrate the instruction given by 17,400,000 people.

    May’s Surrender Agreement + a Customs Union will be ten times worse than remaining. What, I wonder, will you and colleagues do about it. Nothing much, I imagine.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Or even just a tiny handful people: Gove for giving us May, Appeaser and serial liar T May, Philip project fear Hammond, Bercow for his blatant bias (and it seems the criminal Fiona Onasanya with her ankle tag as the casting one vote). All cheered on by the biased BBC.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        There is an article on The Conservative Woman which has comments querying if the time of some votes, might have been outside tagging curfew times. I have no idea but is interesting idea re whether votes are valid? I won’t link to save Sir John time, title is “A convicted perjurer has the casting vote. Hurrah for fair play!”.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Mike Wilson

      I think Mr Redwood could be forgiven for wanting to retire, quite honestly. He’s stood by the country and his constituents like no other MP I know of.

      Reply I do not wish to retire

      • Steve
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Well I don’t know how you do it Mr Redwood, most people would end up burned out.

        Still, we’re glad you’re here.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Good we need more of your type not less.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          not “fewer”

  59. Chris
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    A commenter in the D Telelgraph in response to Nigel Farage’s article quotes Cameron about how there would not be a second referendum and what we were voting for.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/04/05/dramatic-realignment-british-politics-now-inevitable/
    ” Article title: A dramatic realignment in British politics is now inevitable”.

    Edward Studor 5 Apr 2019 9:15AM
    ‘To those who suggest that a decision in the referendum to leave… …would merely produce another stronger renegotiation and then a second referendum in which Britain would stay… …I say think again. The renegotiation is happening right now. And the referendum that follows will be a once in a generation choice. An in or out referendum. When the British people speak, their voice will be respected – not ignored. If we vote to leave, then we will leave. There will not be another renegotiation and another referendum’.
    David Cameron, June 2016.

  60. Old person
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Should read by 59% and 57% – obviously a drop to the 40%’s was shocking enough for the figures to slip through in the earlier post.

  61. hellbent
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile the whole world is looking on aghast at the machinations of an English 17th century parliament – will be great stuff for the history channel in a few years time.

    And yes! she’s trying to do a deal with Corbyn just to defy everyone – so what’s new?

  62. Turboterrier.
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    It appears if the DM poll results are to be even considered as a possible marker that there are only two areas within the UK that do not want to leave with a No Deal. London and Scotland.
    No surprises there then. The perception is that there are 488 within parliament are not remotely concerned about the future of this country and its inhabitants. Bit like Mrs May and her my way or no way. The promises that this woman has broken over the last 3 years just begs belief. How the occupants of Parliament allow her to stay in her position is frightening. How will they all react when a real disaster befalls us I ask myself. You cannot make this up.

  63. BOF
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I agree that money should be refused to finance this bill. Unfortunately this is likely to be in the gift of Mr Hammond, so it will be forthcoming. The same Mr Hammond who refused to provide sufficient finance for a No Deal exit.

    My friends and family around the world now equate the UK with a banana republic. Even South Africa, with all its problems has a strong constitution which (so far) has been respected.

    Sadly, it seems that the Conservative party and the Labour party will have to be brought to their knees by the electorate. They no longer have legitimacy.

  64. Alan
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    These people in Europe have spent a thousand years to do what letwin / cooper did in one day . They have meekly handed the keys to the kingdom to an unelected bunch of egomaniacs. Goodbye Britain hello USE.

  65. Alan Joyce
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    If the fate of Brexit lies more in the hands of the Prime Minister then heaven help us because as sure as night follows day she will get it wrong.

  66. Toffeeboy
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Rather than blaming a ‘Remain’ parliament for frustrating ‘The Will of the People’, I think you should just accept the parliamentary arithmetic. You’re in denial that you failed to win the last election, which strikes me as odd given that you berate Remoaners for failing to get over the 2016 result.
    We’ve had an election since the Referendum. You might say both main parties stood on a ‘Hard Brexit’ manifesto but it was quite clear to everyone that the Tories were the new UKIP and because of the shortcomings of our first-past-the-post political system, Remainers had little option but to back Labour in the hope they might change tack, unless they happened to be living in a seat where the Lib Dems had a chance of victory.

    Is this not democracy in action? If you say not, when will an election start to take precedence over the 2016 vote.

    • rose
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      This is fanciful. You only had to look at the Conservatives to see they and their leader, and the main office holders of state were remainers. So were the Cabinet Secretary and the Governor of the Bank of England. There were about 100 or so Conservatives who would uphold the result of the referendum. That was not “hard” but democratic and honest. They were up against 200 in their own party, plus another 300 or so in the rest of Parliament. However, if we had had strong leadership from a Brexiteer PM, Parliament might have been carried, as it was before the 2017 election. Democracy would have prevailed.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Seeing May and the Conservative Party replace MPs with Remainers, in constituencies needing a new candidate, and Cameron campaigning saying vote Conservative to avoid an “extreme Brexit”…I voted UKIP, even although my constituency really needed my vote being one which changes regularly. I knew what my head v heart wanted to do but I wasn’t sure until I signed my ballot for those reasons, then I realised I would be too upset and angry at myself when she let us down to be able to vote Conservative. I am glad I did so every day, my blood pressure couldn’t take more upset and anger!

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      May stood on a socialist manifesto – deliberately punishing old people (Brexit voters.)

  67. ukretired123
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    May going for extensions is beyond nonsense.

    • Nigel Seymour
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      May still in position is the real nonsense! I see no change happening until Dec when she can be replaced.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      uk123…….and this is in addition to the madness of requesting guidance and advice from the man who wants her job.

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      She signed her letter off to Tusk as:

      His Excellency Donald Tusk!

      Unbelievable nonsense grovel, make you wonder what he calls her too?

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        ukretired123

        I suspect that letters from “His Excellency” to her begin with “Dear Doormat”.

  68. bigneil
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Now a Brexit extension for a YEAR? – Why doesn’t she just stick two fingers up to the voters and carry on throwing their money away to Brussels. I think at the next chance to vote ( if there actually ever is one ) i’ll look for someone with more integrity and honesty. How about Peppa Pig, Scooby Doo, or the Teletubbies. I’m sure they’d do a better job.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      She sticks two fingers up every single day. What does she care about people. She works heart and soul forb the EzU.

  69. Malcolm White
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    ‘The government in its turn where an international negotiation requires legislation to implement it needs to be fully aware of what the House will and will not pass before striking an agreement in principle.’

    I would have thought that this would have been abundantly clear immediately after Theresa May bounced the Cabinet with her deal at Chequers. It’s a very sad state of affairs that she and her cohort continued regardless and signed up to it with the EU before having the nouse to check it through Parliament first.

    These are very disappointing days for democracy and the rule of law and precedent. And its not over yet.

    WTO rules OK.

  70. zorro
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    ”What Wednesday showed in the Commons is the fate of Brexit hangs more in the hands of Mrs May than of Parliament. Despite the serious efforts to wrestle power from the government, it is still in Mrs May’s capacity to allow us to leave on April 12 without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, or in her power to do a deal with Mr Corbyn to wound and delay Brexit for as long as they like subject to EU approval.”

    Absolutely, so now she’s gone and requested an extension until 30/06!! Surely to God, it must be clear to you that she has no intention of leaving without a deal and never did have. All lies and backstabbing, she’s with her natural bedfellow Corbyn now, she’s not interested in what you think.

    So what are you lot going to do?

    zorro

  71. Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Can we not insist Mrs May has a psychological test? She is now. DE FACTO DICTATOR. Surely she can be made to stand down in ‘health grounds’?

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Lynn

      “Can we not insist Mrs May has a psychological test? She is now. DE FACTO DICTATOR”

      The diagnosis would likely be something involving psychopathy.

  72. Chris S
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I see we are likely to be offered a one-year extension, albeit one that could be ended early.

    That long extension is only being offered in the hope that Remainers can dictate what happens and force a second referendum. I wouldn’t bet against that, either.
    Of course, we don’t know the terms Tusk will offer but it will be very expensive, won’t it ?

    And all because the hardcore Brexiteers insisted on going down with their ship.
    As Denis and I pointed out before the last vote, leaving on WTO terms, the preferred option of a majority of Brexiteers in the Country, was never going to get through this Parliament. By failing to realise this and continuing to vote against May’s flawed deal, those Brexiteers, including our host, then handed the initiative to the Remainer majority.

    Had they backed the deal and seen off Mrs May, there was then at least a chance that a new Brexiteer PM could have rescued the situation through phase 2 of the negotiations. However, their intransigence is inevitably going to lead to a far softer Brexit and there is a real chance that it will not happen at all.

    Of far more significance in the long term, if there is a deal with Labour, Corbyn will be able to claim a big victory and by just being invited to talks, he has already gained credibility he does not deserve.

    I am sorry, Sir John, but while I am one of your strongest supporters, history books will record that on 29th March your small group of less than 30 hardcore Brexiteers made a catastrophic miscalculation.

  73. georgeP
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Prior to the 2016 referendum sterling was trading at 77 pence..today its 87 pence..and after we leave with no deal will be 97 pence predicted..might be ok for some but not good for the foreign hols

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Have a ‘Staycation’ in the UK, while it still exists. I haven’t had an EU-destination holiday for a decade or more. If the leading EU members wish to treat us like s**t , then they will not getting any of my cash.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Go to Florida. Go to Tunisia. Go to the Gambia.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      not a problem surely? I thought the EU were going to ban aircraft from UK being allowed to land in the 27? Ha Ha. Bit of a drop in tourist income for them.

  74. georgeP
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Against the Euro..

  75. ferdinand
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    As Hayek said ‘the power behind a democracy is with those who vote’ meaning those who don’t vote have no power yet how often do we hear Remainers adding the no voters to the Remain figures. The democratic majority want us out and soon.

  76. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Why does anyone imagine that May will do the decent thing now, and leave as we always wanted on WTO terms?

    Hasn’t she shown her contempt already for such an exit?

    When are trusted Brexit MP’s going to force may to act with integrity? – Never it seems…. All we have to look forward to is becoming a vassal state…. Yipeeeee

  77. James Bertram
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    ‘international negotiations are vested in the government of the day to handle as they see fit. Only the passage of a motion of no confidence in the government should be able to stop their handling of these matters.’
    Well, then, when is the ERG going to have the urge, courage and confidence to bring this about?

    We need a ‘REAL TORY’ party. Time to split, takeover the local Tory party machine, field 650 candidates, and allow the 17.4m to vote for you.

  78. BR
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Conservative MPs are increasingly coming across as powerless. What is the point in voting for such people?

    The flex-extension idea is her way of clinging to power indefinitely. She knows that if there’s a long extension, there will be plenty of time for a leadership election and she will be toast.

    I suggest that you turn your attention to replacing her. Treat a flex-extension as indefinite and therefore long and act as you would in that situation. May has to go or Brexit will be dead. That is now clear.

    P.S. Get a written constitution and clear rules of procedure. This cannot happen again.

  79. RichardM
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Just think of all the benefits of a long extension – we can do what Jacob Rees Mogg suggests and be as difficult as possible by vetoing budget increases, obstructing the presumed EU army, blocking EU integration schemes.
    Who’d have thought we already have all this power and control ?

    • Len Bottomley
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      It is amazing isn’t it? The Brexiteers assured us we are powerless in the EU, yet it turns out we can hold lots of power to stop things. They also told us how the EU is run by unelected bureaucrats, yet here we are organisning elections for the parliament

      • Chris Dark
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        The EU parliament is only a front for those behind the scenes who actually set the laws and who themselves are unelected. EU parliament is just scenery to convince people that they have a “democratic” set-up.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        You are clearly not very good at logic or are you suggesting that Mrs May’s government wants to stay in the EU so that they would be able to obstruct it from within? The EU regards elections to the EU parliament as essential in order provide an appearance of democracy which is sufficient to fool typical Remainers who on the whole are not very bright.

  80. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood.

    How you must rue not moving decisively (and more forcefully) with your ERG colleagues to get Theresa May removed from power sooner! You and your colleagues should have got rid of her when she botched the 2017 General Election and lost your Majority, but the signs that she did not want a True Brexit were evident when she agreed to the Back-stop in December 2017. Since then there has been Chequers and the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Now the supposedly Conservative Prime Minister- whose Party was voted back into Government to deliver Brexit is negotiating with Labour- the result will be NOT be Brexit!

    How bad does it have to get before you go en-masse to Sir Graham Brady to get him to DEMAND Theresa May resigns forthwith, before you decide to vote against the Government in a No Confidence Vote (even at the short- term risk of a temporary minority Corbyn administration)- for the long- term good of the Conservative Party?

    Do you want YEARS of Labour Government with the Conservatives proving un-electable for a Generation? I sure don’t and rapid drastic measures are needed to stop this outcome!

    Ian Pennell

    Reply She would have won an earlier motion of no confidence. I was against the timing of the one JRM did organise as I thought it premature before more MPs were fed up with her.

  81. graham1946
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    A criminal wearing a gaol tag was allowed to vote, and the bill was won by one vote. I was under the impression that these tags usually carry a curfew of something like 7.oo pm each night. Does this one? If it does then surely the vote is illegal having taken place late at night.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      graham1946

      I agree the vote must be illegal. Moreover anyone on a tag would have grounds to be exempt from curfew.

      Oh wait a minute I almost forgot; MP’s can do as the hell they like, after all those empowered to remove laws to suit their own agenda must themselves be above the law.

      Disgusting isn’t it.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      And if you are right? They’ll just have the vote again during the day.

    • eeyore
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Normal law does not apply in the Palace of Westminster, nor to MPs in the course of their Parliamentary duties. The vote by this person was certainly offensive to public sentiment but questions of curfew cannot be used to set aside the House’s decision.

  82. William1995
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    May has asked for an extension, which is good because remaining is better than her WA. Now is the time to remove her and replace her with someone competent. We cannot get to 30 June and be in the same position as today. Conservatives are really dropping the ball here.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      There is no mechanism to remove her. The Conservative Party is completely split. Either one half, or the other half, of the cabinet should resign. But they like their ministerial cars and salary.

      And, best of all, who on earth would you replace her with?

      • William1995
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Almost anyone. Gove, Johnson, McVey, JRM, Hunt, Javid etc would all be better choices.

        • matthu
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Not Gove.

  83. Michael
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    What recent events have shown in the Commons is the fate of Brexit hangs more in the hands of the PM than of Parliament and that what is needed is a change of PM

    • Chris
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      See the article about a civil servant who has given the background to Theresa May’s manoeuvres and how she is likely to use her executive powers to ram through her WA and PD regardless. It is obviously written by someone with detailed knowledge, and it explains exactly how she can do it, and why, apparently, it is likely she will do it:
      Briefings for Brexit website. Article entitled:
      “The Great British Brexit Showstopper May Yet Be To Come”

      • eeyore
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        You’ve hit the nail in the head.Our constitution is predicated on the people in charge bring honourable and honest. We are now finding out what happens when they interpret these virtues creatively.

        In 1688 the country faced similar problems as government attempted to impose continental-style absolutism against the popular will. It solved them by a coup and a Bill of Rights. Something along those lines may be needed in the end.

        Not a happy prospect, but for the moment MPs still have the power to forestall it. For the moment.

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I have just read that article and knowing what we’ve seen of TMs actions to date- I believe it very likely she will use prerogative powers to push through the withdrawal agreement on the 10th April.

        That leaves FIVE DAYS to get shot of her from her OM position. She is deadly!!!

  84. William1995
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    May is legitimising Corbyn as a statesman capable of running the Country by essentially ceding power to him over Brexit. How are the conservatives going to ilegitamise his ability to govern come the next general election? We are headed for a Marxist government if we continue on this path with May.

    • Steve
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      William

      Corbyn, a statesman and capable of running the country, ha ha ha hah……that’s a cracker !

      • William1995
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        That argument worked before May went crawling to Corbyn asking for help. I think it will at least be difficult for May to make the same dismissive claims about Corbyn after this episode.

  85. Andrew S
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    What a missed opportunity for the conservative party. Had they delivered a true brexit leave on time, they could gone to the forthcoming elections as saviours of the UK, intact with scottish independence seen off by the scots themselves. Free to trade in the world and outshine the EU which is stuck in a massive economic and bureaucratic corrupt mess.
    And with a marxist oppostion in the UK, itself hugely split, a healthy westminster majority was on offer.
    Instead, MPs chose a remainer, (assisted by sneak weasel Gove) with the result of broken promises, betrayal, democracy destroyed, a civil war effectively started.

  86. boffin
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Oliver Cromwell: address dissolving Rump Parliament –
    20 April 1653

    “It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,

    which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

    Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

    Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

    Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

    Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

    Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

    Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

    I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

    Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

    In the name of God, go!”

  87. Anthony
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    May doesn’t want no deal.

    It doesn’t matter if the way the commons is behaving is unfair or dishonest. They’re going to do it anyway.

    If you think that following a long extension, one can replace May and get to no deal, fair enough. Otherwise, brexit only gets softer from here.

    Do you think another PM can be brought in quickly? If so, how can that PM get us to no deal?

  88. NickW
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You may have jam tomorrow, but never today.

    With May in the driving seat, Brexit will always be “tomorrow”, never today.

    April 12th will be put off, as was March 29th, and if there is another extension, there will be another one after that, and another after that, and another and another ad infinitum.

    If we are to have Brexit, something needs to change, and fast.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Kick the can down the road – politicians favourite course of action when faced with difficult decisions.
      And when the can reaches the end of the road? Why, build more road of course.

  89. Pete
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I agree with your point, that huge decisions shouldn’t be made on the basis of slim majorities that ebb and flow seemingly from week to week. However, it seems to me that there is one matter on which the majority consistently agree (both within Parliament, and the population as a whole) and that is that a no-deal Brexit is undesirable. It seems to me that, whatever the problem to our solution might be, it’s got to be one of the ones with ~50% support, not the one with only ~20% support?

  90. Pete
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I agree with your point, that huge decisions shouldn’t be made on the basis of slim majorities that ebb and flow seemingly from week to week. However, it seems to me that there is one matter on which the majority consistently agree (both within Parliament, and the population as a whole) and that is that a no-deal Brexit is undesirable. Surely whatever the solution to our problem might be, it’s got to be one of the ones with ~50% support, not the one with only ~20% support?

  91. iain
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I saw on the news that 1000 Police Officers are ready to give assistance in the event of a no deal scenario with potential problems at ports etc. In the event of a basically remain scenario they will I imagine be quickly be reassigned as close protection for those MPs who ignored the Referendum result. Just joking…I hope.

  92. Merlin
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I agree. Though I don’t think either alternative delivers on the referendum.

    No Deal does not deliver the deal we were promised two year ago, when the E.U would supposedly roll over and have their belly tickled at the threat of us leaving.

    The Customs Union means we will still have to accept E.U immigration, which was a primary cause of popular discontent.

    Seems like Scylla and Charybdis to me.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      ” the deal we were promised two year ago”. Sorry, I was given no such promise, nor were you, nor was any voter. When the UK voted, we did so knowing that well in advance of the referendum the EU had loudly warned that the UK would be ‘either in nor out, but not in between’ and that it ‘would be given no special arrangements’.

      We were also ‘promised’ an instantaneous recession, a slump in the housing and share markets, and a massive and lasting loss of GDP that would instantly set in on 24 June. There was also the ‘promise’ of Obama that the US would take years to make a trade deal, and the ‘promise’ that there would be mass unemployment – simply as a result of having voted to leave.

      The UK was also threatened by the EU (again, in advance of the referendum) that if it voted to leave, it would be ‘punished’ – and yes, the word was used by Juncker and the Commssion.

      And the 17.4 million majority still voted to leave, knowing in advance the opposition we would face from Brussels. So we don’t need Remainers like yourselves remain-splaining the vote.

  93. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Today Sky News is scaremongering about the disastrous impact of Brexit on cereal farmers and flour millers and exporters, and their report does not include any comment from the government. Well, of course the government has never offered any effective responses to criticisms of its Brexit policy, right back to the beginning when David Davis was the Brexit secretary, so why should we expect them to start now? What we should expect is that they will continue to plant anti-Brexit stories in the media just as they always have done.

  94. Fed up with the bull
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I just give up with your party John. Useless is polite. Brexit is finished. Time to accept we have been shafted big time and British politics stand for nothing. The people have no way of telling the government what they want. I hope they do it at the ballot box. I cannot put down on paper how angry and totally pissed off I am with this whole fiasco. Fiasco is the right word. A friend in Canada who was born in the UK said thank God she was out of it. I felt the same. Unfortunately getting into Canada isn’t as easy as getting into the UK even when you have no security or no job. What a mess.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I mean illegal immigrants coming into the UK with no job or security, not myself and my husband who have both but couldn’t emigrate to Canada due to our age.

      • RichardM
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Fed up with the Bull illegal immigrants entering the UK is nothing to do with EU membership, its the responsibility of our own government. Legal EU migrants are required to have jobs within 3 months or can be sent home. They have been a net contributer to the Economy. They share the same employment rights. It’s the government’s fault if they allow them to stay without a job, not the EU.
        The vast majority of immigrants are from outside of the EU from places like India and China who are employed by foreign companies replacing us UK workers as they can get away with low pay no sickness pay low holiday allowances. This is our government’s fault, not the EU, which protects workers rights.

        • rose
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          And what is Comrade Corbyn going to do about it with his pretended concern about “Workers’ Rights”? Keep the borders open.

  95. Lorna
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you .
    Pity the PM has not taken advice on how to handle these tricky situations .Your this deals are very wise as usual
    It was suggested a Money Resolution was not required when the matter was raised by Sir
    Bill Cash .
    In the Lords last night they were committed to fully examining that aspect
    Somehow knows what will result from their perusal
    Their Lordships were magnificent !

  96. Tony Sharp
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    This is just a whinge – the way to defeat Mrs May’s Coalition with Corbyn is to offer her head in a Commons No Confidence Vote 0 – only by removing Mrs May will we get a clean Brexit – I doubt Corbyn would support a Confidence Vote in this administration.
    Whether you regard this as a mtter of puttig Country or Party First the solution is the same – No Confidence in May.
    Standing on your dignity and stating you voted for this i or that before is not doing what matters now – save the UK, Brexit and your Party.

  97. Brigham
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Where is Guy Fawkes when you need him?

    • Ian Pennell
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      @ Brigham,

      Just need to arrange a Big flood in the House of Lords, like the one in the House of Commons yesterday. Perhaps you could pray for a miracle and for this to happen before Monday: Then the Remainer- dominated House of Lords would not be able to ratify Yvette Cooper’s Bill To Stop Brexit before April 12th.

  98. robert lewy
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The asymmetry between the In Out Referendum and the EU Deal offered to us is very striking:

    The EU required a legally binding Withdrawal Agreement to be agreed alongside a non-legally binding Political Declaration as a framework for the future relationship.

    The Referendum took place in the full knowledge of the Treaty requirements to leave in accordance with the provisions of Article 50 which set out the above required components.

    Therefore, it surely follows that the decision initiated by Government and agreed by Parliament chose to ONLY address the decision of whether to leave without asking the electorate their views on the future relationship.

    The decision of the British people was clear and should have been acted upon BEFORE a future relationship was decided upon and pursued.

    The contentiousness of the future relationship was not a valid excuse for failing to carry out the wishes of the people. As can be seen by recent events it remains a possibility that Parliament will never agree on a future relationship and that this will result in either Revocation by Parliament or disorderly departure declared by the EU. Both outcomes would be unsatisfactory as they would represent failure to follow the clear instructions to HMG to take us out i.e No Remain and No being turfed out.

  99. John Payne
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    All legislation must receive Royal Assent before becoming Law.
    The Prime Minister has the power to request her Majesty not to give Royal Assent, our Queen may then decide to refuse her Royal Assent on any specific legislation currently passing through Parliament.
    Parliament is currently attempting to stop the majority will of our Queens subjects by passing law against the will of Her Government.
    Theresa May has a legitimate reason to make a request to our Queen so She has an opportunity to give consideration whether or not to give Royal Assent.

  100. John Probert
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    What a Surprise

    The EU have offered a long extension 1 year

  101. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Where are the mass resignations from the Cabinet over recent developments and similarly why haven’t individual members of the ERG resigned the Conservative whip?

    My questions are purely rhetorical of course.

  102. John Dodds
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone going to formally challenge the vote cast by the lady with the tag?

    • jane4brexit
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      “A convicted perjurer has the casting vote. Hurrah for fair play!” article The Conservative Woman, has comments asking about time of votes if there are curfew times.

  103. Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that dear old Macmillan saw this coming at the beginning of the 60s.
    But long before that 1942 Churchill said to his minister of State, Hitler will turn Europe into the United States of Europe.
    Neither of those two great men could have seen the Treacherous behaviour of those that we trust to see us right.
    I have said it here before, we might have already had our Last Election, one or two here are starting to say that now.

    Do not delude your selves any longer.

    We do not have a Democricy, and we have been this way for many years.

    We are indeed in a very dark place indeed.
    This Parliament is not working, our protection is only the ERG, there is no one else, the nasty State is winning hands down, the State owns the Lords and the vast majority in the Commons ?

    I kid you not, May is here to stay, she has worked hard for the State not you, anyone thinking she will change must be super optimistic.

    Because of Gove we have May, sadly not Boris, this has all been stagecraft from the off.

    We will be very fortunate indeed to to be given an election.
    There is one person that will have us all in his hand, he started this, not a politician, but a Patriot, he has been at this for over 20 years.

    He and his party will give us back our Democricy forget who you voted for of the three main parties, I think from what you have witnessed this last three years, Sir John and a few chums will not be able to even come close.
    I feel in the end the EU will break up, there people are also scratching there heads as we are.

  104. Jane
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    While watching the House of Lords I picked up that something is going on behind the scenes for the adjornment to take place.

    Everything Hammond says comes to pass (and Ollie Robbins).
    The stitch up is near complete.

    We can only spoil the Remainer celebrations now and what a pleasure it will be.

  105. outsider
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Even the morning after the Referendum, most Leave voters must have expected pressure for a rerun to correct the perceived mistake.
    Maybe we did not foresee that we would face a rerun of the Greek bailout (or punishment beating in Sammy Wilson’s phrase). The Greeks rejected the terms, reckoning correctly that they would bring a generational depression.
    They held an election, won overwhelmingly by parties pledged to refuse and renegotiate. The EU simply stood firm while the Athens parliament held endless debates and votes that made no difference.
    For reasons that I never quite understood, the vast majority of Greek MPs ruled out the only real alternative, a clean break from the euro, crystallising debts at the old drachma parity and letting the new drachma float to a sustainable level. So, in the end, they had to agree even harsher terms than the EU had first demanded.

    By ruling out a clean break from the EU, without a great deal of serious investigation and informed discussion, we have failed to learn from history and set ourselves on the road to capitulation.

  106. John Francis
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Thank you for being a shining light of sanity amidst the current Parliamentary madness, for giving us such helpful and practical insights and for providing this blog from your own income.
    I have no idea what can practically be done, but hope you and your colleagues will find a way through.
    P.S. There is no need to publish this. I just want to encourage you and your like minded colleagues.

    • Norman
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Very well said, Mr Francis. Seconded.

  107. NickW
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Your information is wrong. The majority favors a so called “No Deal” Brexit, because there is a huge body of Internationally agreed legislation and standards which facilitate trading outside the EU, it is not therefore No Deal.

    Provisions for a” No Deal” exit have been discussed and are currently being discussed with the necessary people and bodies in the EU, and that negotiation and discussion will continue once we leave.

    Note that once we have left, the negotiating environment will change in our favour, because instead of putting obstacles in our way to prevent us leaving, the EU will be forced to negotiate access to our very substantial markets for their exports, or face a huge hit to their economies.

    Please do not allow yourself to be manipulated; it is better to research and form your own opinions rather than allow yourself to be influenced by blatant propaganda.

  108. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Hope this isnt too off-topic, but this afternoon, I am watching the Revoke Article 50 Debate, in Westminster Hall, and it was comforting to see Sir John intervene to challenge a load of waffle from Catherine McKinnell. Labour MP for Newcastle.

    The Conservatives seemed to be outnumbered in the Hall, and only Labour MPs seemed to speak, but perhaps that how these things go.

    Sir John and Julian Lewis ‘s interventions to this Debate spoke for me, and I suspect for many others.

  109. Lucas
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s all only about the legacy now when we crash out one weeks time. Historians in time are going to want to apportion blame or credit and in this the EU side will not be found wanting, neither will government be blamed for asking for an extension.. but what government doesn’t know yet is that the Czech Republic or Slovenia or some other small country for some other obscure reason is going to object to an extension..could even be Spain over Gibraltar Thereafter we will leave by default 12th and then can take our time, all the time in the world, to see how we go. As I say it’s all about legacy and how the blame game is written up.

    There is no chance the EU is going to have sixty or seventy UKIP types in their parliament next term..so all you brexiteers relax looks like your work is done

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      “Crash out”

      I object to that expression.

      The BBC have been allowed to get away with that sort of politically loaded wording.

      You are being fundamentally dishonest.

      • RichardM
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Crash out is a legitimate term. It’s not what leavers voted for. We were promised a negotiated deal. Go back and re-read Vote Leave leaflets. ‘Only a madman would leave the single market’ they said.
        Its those who promote no-deal who are being fundamentally dishonest.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Leave on WTO rules is a proper description.
          Perhaps you might re read the Government Leaflet.
          What is dishonest is describing the dreadful WA as a deal.

          • rose
            Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            Farage during the campaign said No Deal is better than a bad deal; he also said it would be better than the rotten deal we have at the moment.

            When I voted, I didn’t vote for a deal. It seemed undesirable to me to come out of the existing treaties and then get tied up in new ones. Also, how could one negotiate with a protection racket which kept rigging the rules?

  110. SueW
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I would urge everyone who has not already done so to read the UK Column’s article in which Lord James says that remaining in the EU will constitute perjury by the Queen. It seems we could have recourse to International Law to protect us from various aspects of membership of the EU which are in contravention of the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaty Making 1969. In the same publication see also John Bingley’s Brexit: The Constitutional Position. Surely some learned and wealthy patriots could mount a legal challenge to save us and our Queen. People who think it’s a good idea to remain, should especially tread these articles.

  111. Rb
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    for some other obscure reason is going to object to an extension..
    >
    Can you give any rational explanation why they may do that? The EU will lose money so I cannot see any of them objecting.

  112. Rb
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    There is no chance the EU is going to have sixty or seventy UKIP types in their parliament next term..so all you brexiteers relax looks like your work is done

    >
    May only said we will prepare, not that this is going to happen?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Not sure Rb. Projections are that the Parliament could be 30% “populist”’ even without UK, Farage and chums will add to the fun but their absence doesn’t remove the problem.

  113. Chris
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Guido for this:
    https://order-order.com/2019/04/05/letwins-rousing-eurosceptic-pamphlet/
    Oliver Letwin’s rousing eurosceptic pamphlet

    It seems that Sir Oliver Letwin was well informed about the EU in the early days. Being co author of said pamphlet”, Battle for Britain (1999), he seems to be spot on. To quote Guido:

    ‘The pamphlet warns of the creeping federalisation of the European Union, taking more and more power from the United Kingdom. The pamphlet explicitly states “We believe that Britain should govern itself”’.

    Letwin and his co authors then expand on the importance of sovereignty, and that the defence of sovereignty epitomises the Conservatives:

    “In the end, it becomes a matter of purely academic interest how we organise our own affairs if real power – the power to make decision that affect our everyday lives, that govern the prosperity of our economy and that determine our relationships with the rest of the world – rests elsewhere. If the Conservative Party stands for anything, IT STANDS FOR RESISTING THAT DESTRUCTION OF OUR NATIONHOOD”

    See also the very sound policies Letwin promotes on the need to control borders and to control immigration, plus he warns of the dangers of “European socialism destroying Thatcher’s economic legacy” and “our competitive advantages that we built up in the 1980”. He underlined how “we have no power to prevent (this)”.

    I think the Cons could win an election based on that. Whatever persuaded you to change your mind, Sir Oliver….?

  114. Original Richard
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    We’re nearly there.

    Next week Mrs. May/the EU will announce a second referendum where the two options will be/become the EU’s deal (remain with no representation or veto or lawful means of exit) or remain (a mandate for further integration and inward immigration, joining Schengen, the Euro, EU army etc.) unless we can put together a Parliament in time to trigger Article 50 again before the next treaty.)

    Leavers’ goose will be well and truly cooked as there is clearly only one way to leave the EU and that is with “no deal” and our PM/Parliament will not allow it.

    Our PM/Parliament and the EU probably don’t care which option we take.

  115. Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    ‪Great job on Channel Four tonight John (against Brexit Bashing gentleman!) Well done. ;)‬

    • RichardM
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Dennis your deluded. This was yet more blatant Brexiter lies. Over 14000 Wokingham constituents have petitioned to withdraw A50, as opposed to less than 1000 who have petitioned to leave with no deal.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Many dodgy auto “bot” votes amongst the total in that petition.

        • RichardM
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          More delusion, just like your WTO nonsense. The only bots in this game are Russian Moggmentums. You will be quoting Gatt24 rubbish next.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            Tens of thousands of duplicates and thousands from one tiny area and the methods have been exposed by a journalist with cheap available software.
            Open your eyes indeed.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        RichardM – this is in the petition of 6million that Jacob Rees-Mogg has apparently signed over 6000 times ? I imagine the true number for Wokingham is closer to 140 and the rest are fakes deliberately targeting Brexiter constituencies. Really how you can believe such obviously spurious data is beyond me.

        • hefner
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Given that such a signature had to be done in two steps (first filling a form with name, email address, postal code, then in a second stage answering an automatic message to confirm one’s identity) with roughly 30 seconds between the two steps, even assuming working on two computers/tablets/smart phones side by side, that would require 180000 seconds, i.e., five hours. So either JR-M has a lot of time to play these games (as he would have had to declare a different email address for each of his signatures) or he has some “slaves” to do such things for him. Or could it be that he is somewhat economical with the truth? and that some readers are incredibly credulous?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            A journalist in a few hours made several thousands of votes.
            The system is open to abuse.
            10,000 votes from one name.

          • hefner
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            Who? From which newspaper/agency? Russia Today? Sputnik? Breitbart?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Look it up yourself
            If I gave you a reference you would refuse to accept it.
            There have been loads of articles showing how many votes were automated.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        RichardM

        Would be nice to know your source of information !

        I am a Wokingham Resident, and these figures do not seem like they reflect what I am hearing locally.

        • RichardM
          Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          57% voted to remain.

    • Alison
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, I am putting in a formal complaint to Channel 4 about Krishnan Guru-Murthly. He must apologize to you on air and in writing. I’ve also tweeted a link to him, to at least one of the polls you mentioned.
      Heidi Allen came after you, and KGM clearly hoped to get support from her. He was disappointed.
      KGM was obviously very rattled by your comments.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        I dont like KGM. He always asks a question, and then makes suggestions as to what the answer should be. He never lets the person trying to answer, get a word in edgewise. Well, he met his match in Sir John, who didnt allow KGM to talk over him. It was heartening to me to hear someone put him in his place.

        More people should do the same. These Presenteers thing they’re God!!

  116. Posted April 5, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I hope that Mrs May reads your comments but I fear not!

  117. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    The Cooper/Letwin approach will be useful when Corbyn wins without an overall majority and needs the SNP to prop him up. I imagine at that point the BBC will be horrified by Parliament grabbing control in an unconstitutional way.

  118. Fred H
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Farage could make a lot of money by quickly running a ‘What you need to know about causing havoc in the EU’ course. Numerous days training a 5th column for us. As he said in their presence ‘ Do you really want me back?’

  119. georgeP
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    There are some simple folk who think that as soon as we leave 12th we can start talks straightaway on a FTA with them..but this would be a big mistake..first of all the WA will still have to be ratified.. before anything else..and even then it could take years before the talks for a FTA will get underway..don’t forget they are on record as saying that we can never be better off than we are right now..as far as they are concerned..and thats a cert

  120. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    John

    Your performance on Channel 4 News this evening was pathetic

    1) Your economic facts are totally out of date
    2) Saying there is majority of free trade deal with the EU, is actually not true
    3) Behaving like an angry teenager because you are contradicted just makes you rather foolish
    .

    Considering your experience you did yourself few favours tonight and you should really know better

    • Edward2
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      You seem to be a bit touchy about this TV interview hans.
      I reckon it must have hit a few nerves of yours.
      I thought our host did well.
      Keep calm hans, years to go yet.

      • Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Edward. Why can’t remainers present what they see as arguments and facts without recourse to insult?

    • Dimelow, Gordon
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      Angry teenager is right! How petulant J Redwood seemed

  121. Simon Coleman
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I switched on to Channel 4 News…and you suddenly appeared, spluttering with rage, barely coherent, talking over the interviewer to such an extent that he could hardly get a question in. You gave us all the usual stuff about the manifesto commitments. You don’t understand the basics of party politics. That manifesto didn’t win you a majority – in fact it lost you your majority. No majority means manifesto doesn’t get implemented, unless a majority can be found using other parties. Yes, ok you’re angry because May lied to you when she said ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’…but you Leavers lied your way through the referendum. What goes around comes around.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Dreadful post Simon.
      What is it with you pro EU fans.
      Why do you have to be so rude.
      PS
      You never mentioned the Project Fear lies throughout the referendum campaign.
      Predictions already seen to be false.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Spot on Edward.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          Edward2

          Busy bee

          • Edward2
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            You have be to refute remainer hobbyist multiple posters like you hans.

    • Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Remainer = insult. As usual.
      Try presenting your ‘argument’ without trying hard to cause offence. Or don’t you think it would be forcible enough without it?

  122. Iain Gill
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    So Ann Widdecombe has said on the radio she may well vote for Nigel Farage‘s Brexit party.

    Says it all really, if the Conservatives cannot even get Ann to vote for them.

    • rose
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      And as a former Home Office minister what must she be thinking of history being rewritten about the Birmingham bomb? We are being told the jury found it was a botched warning call which was responsible! Why haven’t the police put them right on this? Those “warnings” a few moments before the bombs went off weren’t warnings at all: the IRA were laying claim to them in advance, in case someone else did after the event.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes, the ‘lady’ who as prisons minister, defended the Government’s policy to shackle pregnant prisoners with handcuffs and chains when in hospital receiving ante-natal care.

      Uttering the immortal words:
      “Some MPs may like to think that a pregnant woman would not or could not escape. Unfortunately this is not true”

      Maybe she ought to have started her show business career sooner.

  123. Simon
    Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    One reason you are always in such a pickle Sir John is because you are out of date and clearly wrong.

    In the Miller case the Supreme Court held that anything to do with EU treaties invariably affected UK domestic law and that therefore negotiating the same, whether in or out of, could no longer be carried on under the prerogative.

    Reply Not so

    • Edward2
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Glad to see Simon now telling us that EU laws have supreme power over UK laws
      Please report for re training immediately.

      • Simon
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        What the UK Supreme Court ruled is obviously a matter of public record.

  124. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    The way ahead is now clear. The EU will not agree to an extension. Faced with ‘crashing out’ the Letwin/Cooper government will bring forward a bill to revoke Article 50. Job done. Democracy dead. And they’ll get away with it. Everyone will roll over and it will all have been a bad dream.

  125. Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Your page is very useful and clear – are you writing any of this for a newspaper also as I think more people would benefit from the clarity.

    Until I read your page I was becoming increasingly confused by Parliament.

    I look forward to reading more.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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