Second referendum

A number of constituents have contacted me about a second referendum. If I thought another vote could produce an answer the majority were happy with and which the rest would accept I would be tempted.  I have given this considerable thought but  have come down against supporting one for a variety of good reasons. A second referendum would increase divisions and undermine trust in the democratic process.

This issue was raised prominently in the 2017 General election by the Lib Dems. Both nationally and locally they argued for a second referendum. The national Conservative party, the national Labour party, the local Labour candidate and myself argued against. I do not normally change my mind on a promise made to my electors in a General election, and would need a very good reason to do so. In some cases where a voter was keen on a second referendum and said they could not live with the referendum result I told them they should not vote for me because I did wish to honour the national referendum result and thought a second referendum would be divisive.

It is difficult to know what question would be asked in a second referendum. Leave voters would resent the idea that they had to answer the same question twice. Nothing has changed since 2016. The arguments today are still the same as they were during the long and detailed referendum campaign examination. I was made to spend much of the time during the referendum debating customs unions, Norway and Swiss models, regulatory alignment and all the other matters that have dominated Parliament for 3 years now. The government leaflet to all households explained that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union, and the government forecast in graphic detail why it thought that would be a bad idea. Its short term economic forecasts for the first couple of years after a No vote proved to be wildly too pessimistic. I suspect Leave would win the same referendum again. If by any chance they did not, why would Leave voters be any more accepting of the second vote than some Remain MPs have been of the first vote? It would add more rancour and division to an already difficult situation. The cry would go up from many Leave supporters ” Let’s make it the best of three. ”

Some say they want a referendum on the question of accepting Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement or staying in. That is clearly a different question to Leave or remain. The problem with that is it does not offer the 17.4 m Leave voters anything to vote for, as most of us do not regard the Withdrawal Agreement as leaving. It is a Delay Agreement, keeping us in the EU without vote or voice for 21 to 45 months with a very uncertain future still to be negotiated. Were that to come about I suspect most Leave voters would simply write Leave on their ballot papers, resulting in a likely win for spoilt papers and a massive problem for Parliament trying to interpret the result.

You could have a second referendum asking the public to say would they want to sign the Withdrawal Agreement or leave without singing it. That is a new question, respects the results of the first referendum and gives Leave voters a clear choice they will like. I suspect that most advocates of the second referendum would not favour that choice, as they usually tell me they want Remain on the ballot paper.

That leaves the possibility of a three way choice between Leave without the Agreement, sign the Agreement or Remain with full EU membership. This does not fully respect the results of the last referendum. It makes it very likely that the winning proposition has considerably less than 50% of the vote. Given the passions on this issue I would not wish us to implement a minority decision disliked by two of the three groupings in such a referendum. The organisation of a three way campaign with three official teams would also be more complex than the usual binary choice approach.

For these reasons I do not recommend a second vote on this topic. I think we need to move on. I want to concentrate on the issues of schools, social care, planning and highways that have a daily impact on my constituents lives. I want to help lift the indecision and uncertainty the delay of Brexit is causing.

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  1. Nig k
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    We were promised there wouldn’t be one one, as simple as that. In any event if the first one was not respected why would a second one be.

    Your party has created this unholy mess with an out of control Prime Minister. You should sort it.

    Dealing with other issues, good, but your cabinet ministers have shown themselves to be waek and indecisive. The stables need a clear out before we can move on.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      A second referendum which was a rerun of the first would invite a mixture of derision and anger from voters. The EU drafted/May promoted WA is not Brexit; its inclusion on a ballot paper as Brexit would get the same response. People are not stupid.

      The problem now is the fact that May is still PM. Until she is gone, dither and delay remain the order of the day.

      • Hope
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        May’s servitude plan is remaining in with custom and single market under different names. No benefits of leaving. It is designed to be a prison from where there is no escape. At least four years of talks about trade reaching. O conclusion during which the public will be bombarded with propaganda of how bad it was to leave. Years later having not truly or benefitted from leaving to return defeated on worse terms as symbol to all those countries not to leave.

        May has not justified or even been properly questioned why she deceived everyone that a trade deal was being discussed over the sat three years and that a Treasury estimated £39 billion to be paid to pacify the public on the amount, without confirmation or agreement from the EU- only principles from them, when she was not even discussing a trade deal let alone agreeing one in return for hundreds of billions hidden cost to be determined by the EU and when it will be paid any challenge resolved by ECJ! May has dishonestly conflated a trade deal, known as the deal, to her servitude plan which she now calls a deal. People thinking it being one and the same. KitKat policy made clear true costs and ties to be hidden from public. This is our taxes for absolutely nothing.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        I’m 100% curtain most MPs will consider this a fair choice.

        Please put a cross by one of the following:

        1) Stay in the European Union

        2) Remain in the European Union

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Remain has lost already, it must not be a choice.

          Stay on the other hand is a new choice

        • Merlin
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          I agree. This Brexit madness needs to end. But until parliament can agree on something, we are stuffed.

          Also No Deal isn’t delivering on the referendum, when we were clearly promised a deal – so that isn’t a solution either.

          • mac
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            The referendum most certainly did NOT offer a deal. The question was very clear: remain in the EU or leave the EU. No ambiguity in that question. Leave clearly meant Leave.

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            Rubbish, Merlin. Utter rubbish.

            The government’s referendum leaflet was wholly about telling us that a vote to leave meant a vote to leave the single market without a deal.

            READ IT.

            And while we argue with the likes of you WE REMAIN IN THE EU.

          • Merlin
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            Also the government’s leaflet was very clear about us getting a deal. It stated ‘The Government judges it could result in 10 years or more of uncertainty as the UK unpicks our relationship with the EU and renegotiates new arrangements with the EU and over 50 other countries around the world.’

            It never mentioned No Deal. No Deal does not deliver on the referendum. Sorry.

        • cosmic
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          That wouldn’t do. I’m sure they’d all agree that a ballot paper without leave on it would be totally unacceptable. This would be considered satisfactory.

          Please put a cross by one of the following:

          1) Remain in the European Union

          2) Leave not the European Union

          • Stephen Priest
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

            Once you might have thought that the Speaker ripping up the Constitution would have been totally unacceptable.

            MPs are willing to do whatever they can do to stop Brexit

          • Stephen Priest
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Cosmic – I read “Leave not …” after I posted.

          • yossarion
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            And one for the English, Leave both Unions, be nice to have a vote as a nation like the Cackling Celts have been given, more than once for some.

          • cosmic
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            Stephen Priest,

            You have to step into the minds of these people. Not pleasant, but illuminating. Afterwards, you can take a shower and then possibly dip into a bit of escapist literature, like The Lord of The Rings, where at least they had fairly clear ideas of good and evil.

      • Julie Dyson
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        “People are not stupid”.

        This is in many ways the root of the problem. A huge portion of the populace were branded stupid, racist and “didn’t know what they were voting for”, thus seeming to validate the whole second referendum argument. So long as those in power / media / the establishment as a whole continue to argue for a second referendum, they are effectively still saying the same thing — just now using different, more polite, words.

        While I applaud Sir John’s thoughtful explanation and correct conclusion, I would suggest that even having to defend this position shows that this very deep division in the country will never be healed other than by a WTO brexit which is subsequently proven to work. Any other outcome now would leave out country deeply divided for many, many years to come.

      • Ginty
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        A second referendum is predicated on us not knowing what “Leave the European Union” meant.

        We have spent THREE YEARS wrangling with a rich Remain establishment about what this meant and that people did not know what they were voting for.

        We did know what it meant. David Cameron’s referendum government sent us a leaflet which was wholly dedicated to telling us that Leave meant leaving the single market and that this was a bad thing to do. Read it and see for yourselves.

        May and her handlers and the whole Remain establishment have sabotaged Brexit arguing what Leave means – THREE YEARS !

        May and her Chancellor have refused to provide funding and make provision for what was clearly defined in David Cameron’s government’s leaflet – THREE YEARS !


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

      The main problem is that May and Hammond are rowing in totally the wrong direction on Brexit (and indeed nearly every other issue). They have to go before they kill the Conservative party revive UKIP (and the new Brexit party) and give us Corbyn.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic The problem we need to confront here – the big elephant in the Tory room – is that a large number of Tory MP’s think the same way as May and Hammond…….. Our beloved party, as a whole, has moved gradually ever more to the left, as seen by their behaviour and regulations introduced…. They are no longer the right of centre party we came to respect. They are killing themselves by emulating socialist policies.
        A vacuum has thus come about, for parties to the right, and nature doesn’t like a vacuum, so UKIP and the Brexit party will do well at the next GE irrespective of which leader the Tories have.

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          I should add, of course, that It was Brexit that shone the light on this big change in the Tory party
          If I were a well respected Tory MP, I would approach my constituent party and explain my dilemma – Did they support my actions to date, the position I have taken? I would explain the options open to me, including going over to UKIP, and ask what they would want me to do: stay or leave the party, vote for or against May’s agreement – I would then ask that If I moved to UKIP would the constituent party go with me?
          Then whatever I did, I would know I was doing what my constituents wanted.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Speaking in Romania Philip Hammond announced that the UK government has no red lines. And if anybody supposes that he is defying Theresa May by doing that then they need to look up “collusion” in the dictionary:

        “collusion is the name of the game”

      • TooleyStu
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        They are rowing the the ‘correct’ direction, according to the real employers.
        ‘Stop Brexit’ at all costs.
        It is a mess because that is the way it was always meant to be.
        The cabal wants it… The cabal demands it.

        And if you think SJR, you, me or JRM will have any effect on the predicted outcome, I feel you (and me) have a nasty time ahead.

        Tooley Stu

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Excellent interview on Matt Frei Lbc today JR keep up the good work.

        CHARLES Moore suggests in the Spectator that a plan is a foot to prevent the UK having to have EU elections if there is a lomg extension. Is this true? He mentions Ken Clarke.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Gangstas are running rings around this Tory government – so called party of law and order.

      The knife crime epidemic is May’s fault.

      A disastrous politician who hijacked a right of centre party along with all the other Liberals and couldn’t command a majority because their policies failed. THAT’s what’s gone wrong with our democracy – not the system itself.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        A bit hyperbolic, but not by much. Inserting Cameron over Davis was in retrospect a strategic error by the party faithful, but then Mr. Hindsight never lost an election. It is indicative of the way the Westminster elite think that the mechanism by which Cameron was elected was changed by him to lessen the influence of the voluntary party in affairs. We are now in the position where the possibility of the wish of the overwhelming majority of Conservative members for a Eurosceptic leadership is remote, as Westminster will not put such a candidate to the test. The interference by CCHQ in MP constituency selection procedures to protect those who renaged on repeated committements to honour the referendum result merely underlines the dislocation between party and country. We will not recover until those technocrats inserted by Cameron’s Blairite stealth and nudge tactics are removed by their constituencies

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      I so agree with this.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Me too.

    • Peter
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      “We were promised there wouldn’t be one one, as simple as that. In any event if the first one was not respected why would a second one be.”

      Indeed. Just another Remain ploy to thwart Brexit.

      I have given up anticipating what will happen next. Too much clickbait. May is running out of options anyway.

      Leavers need to be in damage limitation mode and prepared to do whatever is necessary to stop any version of the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement getting through.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I have posted this before, but it is clear that most MPs, Lords and Remainers refuse to know… Perhaps those of us with the time, could write to our MPs and point out this 15th June 1016 PMQs question and answer:

      Nigel Adams MP.
      Q14. I congratulate my right hon. Friend on honouring our manifesto pledge and delivering this historic referendum. Unfortunately, however, we have heard some hysterical scaremongering during the debate, and there are those in this House and the other place who believe that if the British people decide to leave the EU, there should be a second referendum. Will he assure the House and the country that, whatever the result on 24 June, his Government will carry out the wishes of the British people—if the vote is to remain, we remain, but if it is to leave, which I hope it is, we leave?

      The Prime Minister
      I am very happy to agree with my hon. Friend. “In” means we remain in a reformed EU; “out” means we come out. As the leave campaigners and others have said, “out” means out of the EU, out of the European single market, out of the Council of Ministers—out of all those things—and will then mean a process of delivering on it, which will take at least two years, and then delivering a trade deal, which could take as many as seven years. To anyone still in doubt—there are even Members in the House still thinking about how to vote—I would say: if you have not made up your mind yet, if you are still uncertain, just think about that decade of uncertainty for our economy and everything else, don’t risk it and vote remain.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Should of course say 2016 not 1016 !

    • Helen Smith
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Sone issue that is never addressed in the clamour for a May’s Wa v Remain referendum is who would head the campaign for the Wa.

      No one likes it, except possibly May. The EC have said it might be possible to arrange a 2nd ref in three months but I can’t see them being able to select a group to promote Wa in three years.

      In addition the EC have persecuted (there is no other word for it) Vote Leave ever since the vote. They would have to have very clear guidelines as to what would and would not be permissible before anyone dared to campaign for the anti establishment option of Leave were it ever to get on the ballot paper. There is also the issue of retrospective tax demands from HMRC, which disproportionately affected donors to the Leave camapaigns. That would have to be addressed too.

      In short it could be years before one could get off the ground.

    • Richard
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      The UK needs to implement the 2016 referendum before having another one.

      The increased popularity for a WTO Brexit explains the rush to exclude a WTO Brexit as an option.

      And because the UK is now officially ready for no-deal Brexit.
      Heaton-Harris, recent Brexit minister: “Forget the ‘end is nigh’ scaremongering – Britain is officially ready for no-deal Brexit”

    • William
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Forgive my asking this but is the Prime Minister quite well?

      • eeyore
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        I’m told by one with good Downing Street sources that she’s getting only four hours sleep a night. Her diabetes makes her blood sugar levels potentially erratic.

        Of course, I’m in no position to know if her judgement is affected.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure she has a full team of civil servants in attendance on a rota basis and medication to help her through.

        Rather like the old Soviets did.

        A zombie PM in a zombie Parliament.

        Caught right out by the Brexit vote.

  2. formula57
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    A repeat referendum would surely be laughed at or extensively boycotted as pointless unless it repeated the promise from last time, being: –

    “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Faisal Islam (political editor of Sky news) seems to be greatly concerned over some MPs and the Prime Minister being called traitors. Why? If they behave like traitors then surely it is entirely appropriate. What else does Faisal suggest we call them? Is there some soft euphemism we are supposed to use instead? As some people use he ‘passed away’ or ‘fell asleep’ instead of just ‘died’?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        I doubt Faisal Islam (political editor of Sky news) has much problem with leave voters being call thick racists or Brexit MPs being call extreme.

    • matthu
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Especially if it repeated the promise from last time, being: –

      “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

      <And even more so if the choice was May's deal or Corbyn's deal.)

    • Fishknife
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Mrs Jones winning for Labour on a low turnout with 14.5% of the electorate backing her, less than the combined Conservative and UKIP vote suggests to me that rather than a second referendum we could have an nonbinding indicative vote, as has Parliament, at he same time as the European Elections, assuming the EU hasn’t booted us out by then. The replies could form a pre-requisite to submit, or not, candidates to the election.
      A set of questions, such as: “Do you support Mrs. May’s WA, Leave with no WA, Remain, Common Market 2.0. would be less devisive and more illuminatory if coupled with a request for preferential listing.

    • SueW
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Repeating a promise which has been broken is not worth a sh1t. You can never trust someone who has lied and broken even one promise., let alone a number of them. On that basis there is only a small handful of MPs whom I could tentatively trust, Sir John being prominent among them.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      ” The government will implement what you decide.” – – ( As long as you decide to be ruled by Brussels and have absolutely NO border/immigration control – and pay the EU an ever increasing amount for all eternity).

  3. cornishstu
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning. It is a bit late in the day for worrying about undermining trust in the democratic process, May and the rest of the remain members of parliament have already done that. The only referendum I can see that would be accepted is one where we choose either to leave on WTO terms or an other option and I don’t think that will happen in case we give government the wrong answere again.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Nothing is free.
      If we stay in the EU there are consequences.
      If we suddenly leave next week, there will be consequences.
      What we, the general public have been deprived of is a robust defence of either position, a view from the top of the mountain that shows us a bright future. A leader with vision and clarity of purpose who can inspire us to face up to the consequences of our decision.

      • mac
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


        The Spectator had a debate on this, with three Leave supporters (Dan Hannan, Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey) facing off against three Remain supporters (Nick Clegg, Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall). I thought the debate was extremely well handled and both sides had full opportunity to air their opinions.

        I am not British, so Brexit will not directly affect me. Consequently, my interest is purely intellectual. That said, both I and the audience thought the Leave supporters won the debate, and they did so quite handily.

        I am sure that there will be a considerable amount of difficulty post-Brexit. I think it will be much less than the Remainers are playing it up to be, and I also think Britain will find many profitable opportunities available that are now denied her by her membership of the EU.

        For what it is worth, the smartest politician of my adult lifetime, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, never thought the EU was viable and was always certain it contained the seeds of its own demise. Prime Minister Lee got so many other important international issues right, I’m reluctant to think he would have so badly misjudged this one.

        Britain should leave the EU now on a no deal basis. Britain WILL be better off out, and the British will at least once again be masters in their own house, something that is questionable now and which will certainly not be the case in the future if Britain stays in the EU.

        • Pominoz
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:44 pm | Permalink


          Thank you so much for such sensible comment from an impartial and intelligent observer.

          It makes one wonder how so many MPs (who are supposed to be intelligent) cannot see what is so patently obvious to all those ‘stupid’ voters in the referendum.

          Perhaps they see a future for themselves on the EU gravy train.

  4. J Bush
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The comments from various remain politicians on this subject is indeed vote for Mays’ WA or remain should be the only options in another referendum and it is indeed remain or remain. and you point out, this gives no choice to the majority who voted to leave. In this situation it has always been my intention to write LEAVE across my ballot paper.

    Also, funny but not in an amusing way, how another referendum where ‘remain’ won, no matter how small the margin, that would be the only referendum, the bulk of the politicians would recognize as valid…

  5. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I would maintain that “referendums are a device of dictators and demagogues” (Margaret Thatcher, Clement Attlee). Why would a second referendum be any different?
    Why fear a general election instead?
    If people have changed their mind it would still be better to express that in a general election.
    For all their imperfections, complicated issues are better left to politicians, even in an imperfect political system.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      So they have dictators and demigods in peaceful Switzerland ?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        @Mark B: I understand that in Switzerland every party is represented in the government (relative to its size). So that would require a completely different system, which you cannot achieve overnight in the UK.
        Maybe some things can be learned from the Irish, who have embedded their referendums in a whole process of unbiased information. Neither the Dutch nor the English have that.

      • Steve
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Mark B

        In my opinion Peter does raise a valid point; perhaps we should have a general election – we could sort this out once and for all, since the result would be neither Cons or Labour returned to power. Both are not fit for purpose, so getting rid would send a clear message to Westminster: ‘do not ever try to shaft us again’

      • anon
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        They have direct democracy.
        We need it.
        We need rightsf recall, where manifesto pledges are broken.
        Where an MP has misled parliament or the public.
        Where referendums are results are not implemented.
        Where MPs are deselected. and or imposed centrally
        Where MPs decide to use millitary force where we have not been attacked without clear evidence to support such action in law.

        There should be rolling by elections during the terms of a parliament. Say once every 2years.

      • hefner
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Mark B, what about clueing yourself up about Switzerland?

        After you have read and realized the differences with the UK, what about you writing a nice summary of what you might have learned for all of us to enjoy the depth of your present ignorance.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          You have an attitude problem hefner.
          Do you talk like that face to face?

          • hefner
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            Actually yes, wanna meet?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            A keyboard warrior.
            Typical of remainers.

          • hefner
            Posted April 8, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            If you say so, oh Omniscient.
            Have you read “Audit of Political Engagement 16, the 2019 Report” on the website. I think you and some of your friends herein are just ripe for what this report is forecasting.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Or left to appointed unelected failed old national politicians as in the EU eh Peter.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        @Edward2: In the EU decisions are made by the 28/27 heads of government or their ministers together with the European parliament, all duly elected.

        Your Mr. Gove, Mr, Hammond, Mr. Hunt, Mrs May are all regarded by you as elected, aren’t they?

        The European parliament is directly elected.

        The European civil service is not elected, neither is it in the UK

        • Edward2
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Neatly sidestepping that the real power in the EU is the unelected Commission and Council.

          • Lucas
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2.. the Eu Council consists of 28 heads of governments all elected..Tusk is the president or coordinator appointed by them to steer the group

            The Commission is the same as our Civil Service unelected but headed up in the various departments by Commissioners all elected in their own countries and appointed for five years by their respective heads of Government. The EU does not have a House of Lords equivalent like we have with eight hundred unelected peers

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Do you understand the concept of elected as opposed to appointed Lucas?
            Commissioners are not “elected in their own countries”
            They are appointed.
            Not one citizen voter gets to vote in an election for these powerful people.

            The House of Lords does not make laws, nor create directives, regulations and rules via treaty.
            It has a a tiny fraction of influence on us compared to these overmighty bureaucrats.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: I’m sorry for you but .y2You are really misinformed about where the real power lies in the EU!
            If (only if) you are open to being convinced otherwise, you would find short explanatory videos on youtube about the EU decision making processes. It is complex, but you would see that actuallt the power lies with elected bodies (the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, and even the national parliaments inn cases of preventing new legislation)

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink


        I wasn’t aware that they had an unelected house of lords in the EU? Or head of state?

        • What Tiler
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          They have the unelected commission; you know the only body that can formulate new legislation? Or perhaps you don’t know, I generally find that those of a remain persuasion either don’t know how the whole mess is constituted, or perhaps worse, don’t care.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

            What Tiler

            The European Commission – the EU civil service – is no less elected than the British civil service. And like the British civil service, while it has the power to suggest laws, it can’t impose them.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Thet dont create or impose laws rules regulations or directives.
          Get your facts right.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            I was answering Margaret’s post where she claimed the house of lords were the same as the mighty EU commission.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      History shows again and again that politician are in the main far, far worse at making decisions than the public at large. This is not surprising as politicians tend to consider their own interests rather than those of the publics, they are not spending their own money or risking their own lives (in wars), they suffer from group think and live in a bubble of like minded people. Leaders also are often surrounded by sycophants and people seeking to ingratiate themselves for self advancement rather than telling truth to power. Also misled by endless pressure groups into say greencrap, endless red tape or for other vested interest groups.

      Also anyone aspiring to be a be an MP is by definition not very typical of the population at large, they are often people who desire to boss others about, tax and spend other people’s money, think they know best, are Oxford Lawyers or dire PPE types or (on the left) pedlars of the politics of (chip on the shoulder) envy, tax borrow and waste and magic money tree lunacy.

      Rarely are they manual workers, rational engineers, business people or good quality STEM graduates.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I would agree with your initial statement, purely as a cynic. I would add that technology and communication are now such that politicians are not required. Save for emergencies (social), defence (national), looking after the ill, and embassies, people have the ability to control every aspect of their lives, and any intervention is no longer not required. Less government, not more.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        @Horatio McSherry: that is pretty radical. I agree however that with new technology and communications, better ways of consultation and decision making would be feasible.

    • Pud
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      A referendum asks just one question so it allows the voters to clearly state their answer to that question. In 2016 the majority of the voters who chose to vote said leave the EU.
      Contrast with a general election. Parties stand on a wide range of policies, so depending on how highly one ranks EU membership over other topics, e.g. taxation, environment, law and order etc., a voter may choose a party with the opposite view of EU membership to themselves because the voter agrees with the party on those topics that the voter considers more important than EU membership. People also vote tactically in order to prevent a party from winning e.g. if voting for smaller party C might result in party B winning the seat they might vote for party A.
      It also requires that leaving the EU is an option in the manifesto – it was not Tory policy until UKIP’s success in the EU elections and subsequent opinion polls meant that the voters wishing to leave could not be ignored.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      A Conservative MP, Johnny Mercer, said in the Spectator yesterday that he had never thought about the European Union before entering Parliament and voted Remain out of loyalty to David Cameron.

      So much for complicated issues being left to politicians.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        @Stephen Priest:
        Disinterest in the EU might be a bit of an English disease.
        Maybe interest will grow, once you’ll be outside?

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 1:53 am | Permalink

          Absence makes the heart grow fonder? I don’t think so. Fond of the European Commission, the ECJ, the Federalist ambitions, and the impotent talking shop of a European Parliament?

          If there was a referendum that asked the question:
          “Do you want the four nations of the United Kingdom to become provinces of a Federal Europeean SuperState?”, what do you think the percentages for “Yes” and “No” would be?

      • DaveM
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Johnny’s constituency voted almost 70% Leave, and he has stated on numerous occasions that he will represent their views. On top of that he has canvassed local opinion on several occasions lately to check he is still representing his constituents.

        Johnny became an MP mainly because he wanted to address the deficiencies regarding mental health care provided to service personnel; as an Army officer he had a pretty rough time in that regard.

        Stephen, you should read his book and research what he has done as an MP since winning in a Labour-heavy area. He’s a good man; if we had the likes of our host as SoSs and lots of Johnny Mercers as ministers the future of our country would be bright.

    • oldwulf
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      The last person I would trust with a “complicated issue” is a politician.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        In the current situation I could imagine that.
        However, people who can spend 24/7 on complicated issues are bould to become more expert than us, simple citizens.

        • Oldwulf
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Hi Peter. We will have to agree to differ.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          that depends upon whether they are listening to both sides or just cherry picking their evidence Peter

      • Grahame ASH
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps that is the reason the EU are making the decisions. (Sarcasm)

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      A general election precipitated a government which put this decision to the people in a referendum then denied them the result. So a general election wouldn’t solve that conundrum. A written constitution in which referenda had to be adhered to (or ignored, which would make them a waste of time) might.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      The issue of knife crime is very simple to deal with. It’s politicians that have made it complicated.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        And I bet the average politician hasn’t much of a clue about the EU and its workings if you ask them.

  6. Mick
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    The one and only reason why the loser remoaners want another referendum is so that it could be rigged in the remoaners favour, and what part of democracy don’t these remoaners understand we had a vote no matter how small the win which should be carried out, and if it’s decided a lot further down the road for another referendum to take us back into the Eu sobe it, but isn’t it funny that the people who are shouting the loudest for another vote are the remoaners who quit there respective parties but don’t have the courage to go back to there constituents to see if they are still wanted as there mp, spineless jellyfish the lot of them

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I agree fully. A referendum question of accepting Mrs May’s £39 billion handcuffs (for ever) “Withdrawal” Treaty or staying in would be an absolute outrage to democracy and to the interests of the UK and the Tories. It gives no real Brexit option for the 17.4 million voters.

    As we see from the UKIP revival in Newport the only sensible option for both the country and the Conservative party is to leave now and to replace the dire Theresa May with a strong leaver. One with vision and leadership skills and who is a small government, low tax, proper Conservative and not an electoral liability and actax and regulate to death person (in the May and Hammond mode).

    Make UKIP and the Brexit party totally redundant and save us from the hell of a confiscatory Corbyn/SNP Government and Venezuela II.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Fat chance of that, the FT sez this morning that “Amber Rudd set to be kingmaker in Tory leadership race”.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        The FT, do you mean the “Foreveremain Times”?

        Amber Rudd has been the chief ‘snake-in-the-grass’, even more so than Michael Gove. She couldn’t promote a ‘King’ on a chess board!

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      The trouble, as Sir John Redwood wrote (was it yesterday), three quarters of the House of Commons are for Remain. So are the public servants who surround the secretive Prime Minister. This is not just the unpopular Mrs May: it is the MPs – and Labour is so up in the air I still have no idea what they support in the way of Brexit. Has anyone?

    • Andy
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      UKIP revival! If they revive like they everywhere they win precisely zero seats. Which is what they deserve.

      • Steve
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink


        Your comment doesn’t even make grammatical sense. You should be embarrassed.

      • eeyore
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        UKIP does not have to win seats. All it needs do is split the Tory vote. In its current ugly manifestation, however, I hope it attracts little support.

        Now the Conservatives have failed us so shamefully the proper place for a Brexit vote is with the new Brexit Party. Once again, winning seats is less important than making sure the Tories lose them. This I hope Mr Farage will do.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Our lack of representation is what got you Brexit – which is what YOU deserve.

        • Andy
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          I have long argued for proportional representation. It is the Tories, and not me, who have stopped it.

          The best way to stop UKIP and the far right is to give them a platform. Most people will understand it is junk and vitw accordingly.

          As for Brexit – it will harm all of us. But it will harm those of you who want it most much more than it will harm me.

          Don’t say you weren’t warned.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            It wasnt Tories who stopped PR
            Labour did too.
            Actually there was a vote on AV a simple first step towards PR and we turned it down

          • Steve
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink


            We leavers do not fear the far right. You, on the other hand do.

            It has been pointed out to you on many occasions that if the far right ever succeeded in a power grab, it would be you and your remainers who would have made it possible.

            It’d be your own fault mate, loose referendum – whinge – moan – interfere – subvert.

            Your concerns are not relevant, you and your fellow remainers don’t have a say, why ?…….because it’s majority rule.

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

            How many chin ups can you do, Andy ?

            I can do seven, proper full stretch ones and I’m ten years older than you.

            I’m already on an austerity diet and hard fitness routine.

            I like camping and hiking in the cold.

            WTF do you think I care, soft lad ?

    • SueW
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      …. and I suspect many UKIP voters had to “hold their noses” to vote for that candidate and others could possibly not bring themselves to.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        At the next election a lot of people will not hold their noses and vote Tory because the stench of treason, duplicity and pure malfeasance in public office is too overpowering.

    • oldwulf
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      UKIP has had much bad publicity and yet, in Newport, it still managed to double its vote at a time when the vote of the two main parties halved. Might not quite be a “revival” but it might be a sign of things to come, once Mr Farage gets his act together.

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

      Nicky Morgan on the Week in Westminster just now has it completely wrong as usual. She needs to talk to a decent psephologist. She actually thinks the Tories need to be more “one nation Conservatives” to attract left wing voters and win marginals.

      “One nation Conservatives” is a euphemism for no “Nation, EU-phile, PC tax to death Socialists” like herself, May, Hammond, Hunt, Soubry and all the rest of them.

      The reality is that the Tories need to be pro Brexit and pro low taxes to win the next election. Anything else will clearly revive UKIP and the new Farage Brexit partly & split the Conservative vote and the Tory Party. As we saw in the Bye Election.

      I assume Nicky Morgan has some innumerate degree (one can usually tell from the drivel they comes out with and vacuous phrases they use – without bothering to have to look it up). PPE, Law, Geography, Languages or similar I assume.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      There seems to be increasing amount internet traffic suggesting that we may have left the EU in legal terms already by default on March 29th, the original agreed date.

      I do not know how much substance these comments hold, but they suggest May had no legal right to extend Article 50 without proper due process being completed, and as such her action without such protocols, could be deemed illegal.

      Whilst I am probably grasping at straws, could there be any possible substance to such claims JR ?

      Would be interested in your response.

  8. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    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 take great care not to make the same mistake the second time round.

    Not that it will make any difference but I would strongly advise against any course of action which would give Theresa May and the EU a plausible excuse to hold a second referendum and overthrow the result of the 2016 referendum.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      “Jean-Claude Juncker branded David Cameron “one of the great destroyers of modern times” and said the former British prime minister had banned the European Commission from playing any role in the Brexit referendum campaign.”

      “We were forbidden from being present in any way in the referendum campaign by Mr. Cameron, who is one of the great destroyers of modern times. Because he said the Commission is even less popular in the U.K. than it is in other EU member states.””

      You can be sure that Theresa May would not make the same mistake.

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

        If Theresa May invited the Commission to campaign on her behalf, perhaps the gillets jaunes would campaign on our behalf?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Alas the EU is not alas destroyed as yet.

        If you love Europe you should despise the anti-democratic EU that is damaging it so much.

        A great shame that Cameron was never the Cast Iron Eu sceptic and ‘low tax at heart’ Conservative he falsely claimed to be when elected. He should have thrown the thin gruel back in their face and just have left. He would then have been a great PM rather than the pathetic, abandon ship, dishonest failure he turned out to be. He had an open goal with two very easy to win elections against Brown and the dire Ed Miliband.

        With a working compass rather than a broken one he could have been an excellent leader for 3+ terms. A huge wasted opportunity.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 1:45 am | Permalink

          For all his failings, I shall be eternally grateful to David Cameron for calling the referendum. I am also grateful that he tried to win concessions from the EU and failed miserably, thus exposing the EU’s fanatical nature.

      • agricola
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Well if you allow the EU to take part in the internal political processes of the UK, why not invite the Russians.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Indeed these MPs do not just want to stop Brexit now. They actually want to tie the UK in to the EU for evermore and completely destroy UK democracy for ever.

          This so as to prevent the people leaving in future (even if all 60+ million wanted to). If these MPs are not “traitors” what on Earth are they?

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink


          Nothing to do with interfering in our political process but its duty to look after the interests of the other 27 members.

          We begged to join the union and as such accepted the conditions any organisation imposes on its members. When one member decides to leave they are honour bound to make sure the others do no suffer any losses or disadvantages.

          Wonder what conditions we will insist on imposing when Ireland and Scotland want to leave the union if Brexit comes about?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            England has been very generous to the devolved nations.
            Left to independence they would have taxes much higher than today.
            England could have much lower taxes as a result.

    • Andy
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Your claim is not true. No country has been asked to vote again on the same question. Different questions, yes. The same one – no.

      France and the Netherlands rejected a proposed European Constitution. There is still no European Constitution precisely because it was rejected. Instead came the less ambitious Lisbon Treaty.

      The Lisbon Treaty was rejected by Ireland. But the reasons for Ireland’s rejection were dealt with – exemptions were made for Ireland and it subsequently approved it based on those exemptions.

      Should there be another referendum here it would not be the EU instigating it. They want rid of you. It would have to be a different question. And, now we know Leave promises in 2016 were all false, this seems not unreasonable.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Let them force us back in. I won’t be manning the barricades. I’ll be satisfied with our mark in history – pointing out that the EU is a dictatorship.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    A three way choice offers two versions of Remain and one of Leave. Rigged.

    Brexit is done anyway – sabotaged by May and her civil service handlers.

    I want our government to have the balls to overrule the referendum result up front – not do it the cowardly way by kicking cans and hoping Brexit dies of old age, and then have a rigged referendum to make the people think it was their idea.

    ‘People’s Vote’

    Sly. Very sly.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I totally agree.

    • NigelE
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I agree with you and do not support a second referendum. As to the question of what the Question might be if one was held, I read an interesting comment (somewhere, DT I think). The question would be a) Remain b) Leave with May’s Deal or c) Leave with No Deal. This on the face of it is unfair to Leavers splitting their vote, but the answers would be evaluated so that if b)+c) was greater than a), we would Leave, either with May’s Deal or No Deal depending which had the greater vote. If a) was greater than b)+c), we Remain.

      This to me seems at least a fair question IF we had to accept a second referendum which as I say I do not support for all the reasons outlined here by others.

      • anon
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        This a cabal of MPs who are not faithfully respecting of honouring the referendum.

        The answer is not a referendum but by-elections for all MPs who are not respecting the referendum. Starting with the cabinet then government ministers.

        My question to these strategic thinkers is what happens afterwards ?

        If we are not out of the EU I forecast huge economic and social problems.

        Of course the serfs on the plantation respect the MPs dictates and EU laws. If you believe that I’ve got a yellow jacket you can buy.

  10. Oliver
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I had a meeting with my MP [a Minister] a few weeks back, in which I pointed out to him that the record for spoilt ballot papers at a General Election, nationwide, is only about 5,700 (1963, iirc, the actual total spoilt was 117k, but almost all of them are categorised that way due to people apparently being incapable of putting a mark in the write place, whereas the 5,700 refers to those who have perhaps found a more Anglo-Saxon way of expressing their enthusiasm for the purposelessness of the process), and that I expected that to be beaten by many individual constituencies at the next GE- including his (he has a c30k majority).

    I hope there is a nationwide campaign for spolit papers – or something stronger than “None of the above”, or “no-one can be worse than this shower” – unfortunately likely wrong in the case of the now bespectacled xxxxx

    • Al
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Sadly there is no electoral distinction made between those who put an X in the wrong place and those who protest vote. My local electoral group confirmed that unless it is a close election, they do not even review them.

      If there are no, or all spoilt votes, they just draw straws.

      Vote for any candidate, even a nonsense one, if you really want to vote against something.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      I understand the frustration of people who deliberately want to spoil a ballot paper, but that then lets in those who not.
      Spoiled ballot papers have absolutely no representation.

      If you want to stick two fingers up to the establishment, then I can only suggest you vote at least for an independent of some sort (Raving Looney etc).

      Actually amazing how many raving Loony policies have come to pass from the established Parties over the years !!!

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        I agree Oliver.

        My Wife has had a lot of experience at the ‘count’ and she tells me that nobody takes any notice of spoilt ballot papers unless there needs to be a recount.
        Spoiling a paper would be a waste of energy. One might be better off voting for a candidate who represents a party that has not yet gained a seat in Parliament.

      • Steve
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        “Spoiled ballot papers have absolutely no representation.”

        But we’re not adequately represented anyway, so may as well signify where they should shove their rigged ballot.

  11. Dominic
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Without a significant change in the political complexion of the Commons then we must accept that Brexit is now history. This Parliament is determined to destroy the implementation of a referendum result they themselves sanctioned. Trust has been smashed into smithereens.

    May is directly responsible for what we are seeing but she’s not alone in this act of arrogance and utter treachery. The destruction of British sovereignty is a process that stretches back many decades though accelerated following the election of the offence that is Blair in 1997

    Many MPs and other Remain vested interests have worked damned hard to undo the process of democracy and I am sure we will all pay a heavy price for this. The confidence and authority of the Remain political class is now very much in the ascendancy and they will now want to press home their advantage

    All Tory MPs remain loyal to their party. That in itself is very revealing about the nature of the contemporary MP and what they consider to be of the highest importance

    If the electorate decided to punish the Tories and elect a Marxist Labour government the UK is finished and our liberties and freedoms will be crushed. This is no ordinary party. This is a party determined to smash the UK into a parallel existence. They will take no prisoners. They will build a client state so impenetrable that it will last for generations

    I hope at the next GE the British voter expresses their preference towards any party that offers Brexit in its entirety. The two main parties have obviously betrayed our trust and they have done it in the most arrogant of manners.

    I shall never vote Tory again. Even ERG members by remaining loyal to the party have exposed their true nature

    Reply 3 Conservative MPs so far have left the party and 200 of us have opposed the PM in a vote to stop delays to Brexit

    • Richard1
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      If you will never vote Tory again you are in effect voting for the Marxists. Get real.

      • Dominic
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        R1. I shall abstain as is my right.

        I am a democrat through and through. If the electorate decide to choose a Marxist Labour party to enter into government then they must be prepared to accept the disastrous consequences that will ensue from such a choice.

        May’s hijacking of the Tory party to enact her liberal left utopian strategy will eventually lead to the most destructive of consequences

        This PM is without question the most destructive and intolerant bigot it’s been my misfortune to witness.

        She’s taken our party towards authoritarianism and right into the hands of Marxist Labour. Their extremism is now viewed favourably and that is May’s entire fault

        Do not underestimate the myopia of Labour’s traditional core vote. They’d vote for a parrot if it stood as a Labour candidate at a GE. They act robotically, emotionally and without thinking. Labour’s class indoctrination strategies have worked wonders with them

        Bypass the intellect and aim right for the emotions as always been Labour’s core strategy and the Tories haven’t got a clue how to counteract it. naive doesn’t even begin to describe how clueless they are

        Only Thatcher understood Labour’s core vote

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        And if you do vote Tory you’re voting for socialists.


        Not playing any more.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Those 3 are Remainers and would have either been deselected or, out on their ear at the next GE.

      I sorry Sir John, but I and I am sure many others feel the the Conservative Party needs to pay a price for this as a warning to others.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply. The problem with your thinking, Sir John, is that our PM, realises that the worst you EVER prepared to do, whatever outrage she performs, is vote against her. She can afford to ignore your votes, knowing that you’ll never in any circumstances resign or form a new party. Because of this, you do indeed bear some responsibility for the current situation. When are we going to get some politicians with integrity and courage?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        May has her instructions. She knows that all she has to do is to ignore, to lie, and to obfuscate. All the time, others play by the rules, but she is laughing at them – MPs, and the wider public – in complete contempt for both. Aided and abetted by civil servants, she knows exactly what she is doing. It has been her intention all along NOT to deliver Brexit.

        The most immediate need is for May’s removal. I suggest parliament finds a way to do it as expeditiously as possible or risk losing the peace and stability of the nation.

        If parliamentarians would wish that upon us, then all they have to do is nothing at all. The consequences of their inaction really are that great.

        Please don’t shoot the messenger. I am just conveying some measure of the dangers I have already seen and witnessed.

        Tad Davison


    • Andrew S
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      But 200 or more kept her as PM in the vote of confidence. Tory betrator mps kept her there to overturn Brexit.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, you know May needs to be removed. Anything less will destroy any hope’s we had to leave. She is the worst Prime Minister in history and should have been removed just after her Chequers betrayal.
      We are all watching as she and Hammond are destroying your party and its reputation.

  12. Steve
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    A second referendum would obviously be an attempt to overturn the result of the first, and would further divide society.

    Besides; “no deal is better than a bad deal” “there will not be a second referendum”

    She needs to honour what she promised by 12th April or else. ‘WE’ the leave voting public do not give permission for further extensions.

    • Andy
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Correction. A third referendum would be an attempt to correct to the narrow result of the second referendum, which – after a campaign of lies and cheating – overturned the overwhelming result of the first referendum in 1975.

      • David Price
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        The 1975 referendum was not to join the EU which was formed in 1993.

        We have never been asked if we wanted to join the EU. Ever.

      • oldwulf
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        ……. and there was nothing underhand in the 1975 referendum 🙂

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Myopic again Andy. Think on this. Consider what the EU was like in 1975 when people largely voted for it, then consider what is was like in 2016 and why people voted against it. They are very very different entities, but hey, why let a few facts get in the way of yet another pathetic rant.

        • Andy
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes. It is much better in 2016 than it was in 1975.

          Mrs Thatcher’s single market project largely complete for goods – and with good progress made on services too.

          Peace and prosperity now stretched across the continent and the EU the most powerful economic force and political force for good in the world.

          We joined a cygnet. We are leaving a swan.

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

          No Tad, you will not get out of this so easily. The European project has from the beginning always been presented by its top advocates as a move towards more than just a common market, some elements were already discussing closer cooperation and federation ideas, even in 1973. That’s why people like Sir John and a few others have been long-time Eurosceptics.
          What I really cannot stand right now, even as a person who just hope the UK is out on 12/03, is the bunch of hypocrites (a nice bunch here on this blog) telling us “oh, I love Europe but I have always been against the EU”.
          With the very low voting record of British people in successive European elections over the years this cannot be true. Do not try to rewrite history. ( Well BTW that’s a very English trait, so nothing really surprising).

      • Edward2
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        In 1975 we were decieved.
        We voted for a Common Market
        We’ve now got the United States of Europe.
        As usual andy you forget the huge propaganda campaign of Project Fear and all their lies.

        • Andy
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          And yet in this United States of Europe you erroneously claim exists France has not stopped being French. Italy has not stopped being Italian. And Germany has not stopped being German.

          Only the little Englanders fear that their country and culture can not thrive as part of the most successful trading bloc in history.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            See the rise of anti EU parties on Europe fed up with the march towards the United States of Europe.
            Of course tjey are french in france just like they a texans in texas.
            But it is about who controls the main power areas of law making taxation etc
            And slowly tje EU is taking over those powrrs from the nation states.

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:24 am | Permalink

            Are you ignorant of what is happening in France, Germany and Italy? Italy already has a far right government. France an d Germany have large parties of the right getting close to power. You think everything in the EU garden is rosy? You are either ignorant or deluded.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

            Mike Wilson

            ” Germany have large parties of the right getting close to power.”

            Do you mean the AfD who at the last elections got fewer votes than the Greens?

            It’s only because of our unrepresentative system here that a right wing party like UKIP doesn’t have many more MPs in parliament.

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

          Edward2, you were not deceived, you let yourself be deceived by not getting properly informed, not the same thing.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:33 am | Permalink

            People like Heath Clarke and Heseltine told us we were fantasists and deluded when as eurosceptics we challenged the various treaties content and their effects on our power as a nation to make our own laws, control our own borders and set our own taxes.
            We were lied to by those who were pro EU.

      • mac
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink


        You are most certainly correct in that the second referendum was “a campaign of lies and cheating.” The Government did both to the greatest extent possible, throwing every bit of their weight and leverage to the Remain side. Leave STILL won.

        The majority of the British people want OUT of the EU, Andy. They weren’t deceived by the lies promulgated by Cameron and Co. I watched that election in real time, and was absolutely stunned by the number of Labour constituencies that voted Leave. I had thought that it was only Eurosceptic Tories that were pushing Leave, but that election definitely proved me wrong.

        You clearly dislike the outcome of the referendum, but there is no denying this was a vote of the British people as a whole, not a party-line vote. The position you have taken here shows that you don’t think Parliament and the PM should deliver what the British electorate has definitely shown they want.

        Maybe you will get what you want at this time, and see Britain forced to remain in the EU, but this issue is not going to go away. It will fester in the body politic, an infected wound that will not heal, and it will poison political discourse until it is addressed in a way that satisfies the desire of the majority.

        Britain has some pretty bad recent memories of what happens when even a large minority is angered, and there are a lot more Leave supporters than there were IRA supporters. I am just a foreigner, and my opinion counts for very little, but I think Britain and the British political establishment ignores the outcome of the referendum at their very dire peril.

    • James1
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      I think many people may not realise the degree to which MEP candidates of a Brexit persuasion are likely to sweep the board in any European Parliament election. They will assuredly be sent not just from the UK, but also from the Brexit equivalents in Italy, France, Germany etc. They can be relied upon to create veritable mayhem as a massive spoke in the European Commission’s wheel.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        I agree. I have been tempted to value a long delay because of this.
        Also, it might explain why TM doesn’t want us to take part in elections for the EU Parliament. It could damage her precious EU and upset her friends in the Commission.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        I think I’d rather have that scenario than a good lottery win James! Corrode it and fight it from within to the point of collapse. And that is the inevitable fate of all corrupt empires empires anyway.

        The two things I can never understand:

        a) Why can’t some people, especially those in power, see the EU for the iniquitous undemocratic power-grabbing institution it is?

        b) If they CAN see it but do not challenge it, does that not make them equally corrupt and dangerous? (and yes Mrs May, your civil servants, and every pro-EU MP and peer of the realm – that means you!)

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Have a second ref. But never again use majority decision for anything. Ever. Never. Nowhere.
    See how that works!!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      They clearly only ever abide by democratic decisions when it suits them. In other words, UK democracy can rightly be seen as a sham unless and until the result of the 2016 referendum has been honoured.

      We on the leave side have been honourable and patient whilst the other side have used that to their advantage to plot and scheme.

      No more time wasting!

  14. hellbent
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    No chance – no chance, there will not be a second referendum ever – government has learned an important lesson here- the British public will never again be trusted to make important decisions affecting the country like happened in June 2016. So we leave in six days time and then probably in the Autumn we’ll have a GE where Corbyn will get in – he’s a leaver as well and is only interested in setting up his own little English fiefdom a la Lenin style- himself and McDonnell in No.11 – careful what you wish for

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I accept what you say about there not being any more referendums in future as the politicians have a vested interest in keeping all power for themselves, but what true Tory would not fight hard to keep Corbyn out?

      I’ll tell you – one that really couldn’t care less who wins just as long as the EU is overarching and controls everything from Brussels!

      Taking a straw poll, as it stands today, Labour and the Tories would heamorerage support to minor parties. The Lib Dems would only see a marginal improvement because of their pro-EU policies.

      Labour hasn’t a chance of changing because they are awash with pro-EU types who would just love an EU commissioners job.

      The positive advantages of delivering a clean Brexit on WTO terms should be clear to the Tories, so they have a choice. Get the job done quickly, or risk losing the bulk of their core support.

      It would be madness to delay any longer, so they must remove the obvious impediment to securing their future, and the nation’s future. But who the hell in their right mind trusts remain Tories anymore?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        (Haemorrhage! poxy mobile phones!)

  15. Mick
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    It remains the case that if no withdrawal agreement is approved by the House of Commons, either by 29 March 2019 or in an extended Article 50 period if this is agreed, then the UK will leave the EU without a deal unless Article 50 is revoked
    This was taken from the BRIEFING PAPER
    Number 8496, 21 March 2019
    Extending Article 50: could Brexit be delayed?
    So we leave with no deal next week and I’ve also seen headlines that we left on 29th March is this true

  16. Mark B
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    There are only two options as stipulated in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Either we sign the WA or, Leave after two years. Parliament rejected the WA three times which Leaves Leave as the default position.

    Regrettably parliament has decided that it no longer wishes to Leave and respect the wishes of the people. It has decided to go for a long extension and effectively ignore the result. A second referendum will be held further down the line as a manifesto promise. The choice, if one us offered, will be between Remain and the WA.

    I understand the reasons why our kind host wishes to move on. He has fought a good fight against impossible odds, playing by the rules all the while he knows the other side (sic) are cheating. I share his sense of disgust at what has happened.

  17. Simeon
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I would suggest that Brexit has already been successfully sabotaged. The only true Brexit – leaving cleanly, regaining national sovereignty, THEN negotiating a future relationship as an ‘equal’ of the EU, is long gone. A no deal outcome at this stage, given the obvious failure by the government to prepare even adequately, will inevitably be very disruptive to at least some in the country. Others may see little difference, but the effects will be real and tangible, and the victims will be rightly furious at the failure of their government. Many unaffected will nevertheless have great sympathy for these victims, and be angry with the government and indeed the wider political class. Even the prospects of making Brexit a success in the long term are undermined by the instinctive interference of politicians whom, with previous few exceptions, are worse than useless. And this doesn’t even account for the dead hand of the civil service. One might be forgiven for believing that, given only bad governance from within this country is on offer, we might in fact be better off under the governance of those from without. What an utter travesty!

  18. matthu
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    ‘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.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      With the Single Market and the consequences of leaving it clearly defined by the Government of the day.

      Yet we have spent THREE YEARS arguing that voters didn’t know what it meant and a failure by the Chancellor to prepare what was written on the leaflet and on the ballot slip.

  19. Pominoz
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I can’t really be bothered to think about another referendum.

    Your topic today seems like one you chose to avoid focussing on he disaster which is now unfolding. I am so sorry that your, and the few likeminded MPs, valiant efforts appear to have failed, but thank you so much for trying.

    All we can do now is hope that one of the EU member countries refuses to accede to May’s treacherous request for the extension.

  20. matthu
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    But an overwhelming majority of Conservative MPs continue to support Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal agreement.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Hence the disparity between parliament and the people. The referendum decision was referred back to the people, yet parliament still haven’t given the people what they voted for.

      ‘If we don’t give the people social reform, they will give us social revolution!’ – the words of a late but very noble peer.

      Those contemporary parliamentarians who ignore the warning signs really don’t get it.

  21. Peter Lawrenson
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The only referendum question acceptable to the current parliament is:

    Q1: do you wish to remain in the EU
    Q2: do you wish to remain in the EU

    • jerry
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      @Peter Lawrenson; Perhaps, but who elects UK parliaments, if not the people?

      On the other hand, the only referendum question acceptable to some, not all, Brexiteers is:

      Q1: do you wish to Leave the EU on WTO terms
      Q2: do you wish to Leave the EU without a deal

      Ho-hum, what goes around tends to come around, especially ill-thought out snide comments about perceived problems with our democratic system…

  22. jerry
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    If the govt can have less than 51% popular support then so can a referendum result, it is also possible to either stack options to arrive at an absolute majority or have a multi stage referendum, ending with the two most popular choices going into the final run-off.

    Just because those who have not accepted the democratic result of the first referendum want Remain on any second referendum ballot doesn’t mean they should get their wish, the govt and Brexiteers should be taking the lead from the nay-sayers, selling the idea as a “How-to” referendum not a re-run of the ‘Should-we’ vote that gained a decisive majority in 2016. Of course that would not prevent Remainers pushing for BRINO, and there are no doubt some who voted to Leave in 2016 who also wanted a light weight Brexit anyway, but that is the price of democracy and not an autocracy!

    There are many who want a WTO exit, but not necessarily for the reasons many on this site do I suspect, so hard-line Brexiteers should not despair of getting a WTO exit, the real issue for the right is retaining a united Conservative party that is still electable at the next GE – think about what the hard left can do without the shackles of the EU rules, why do you think Corbyn is defying his own party wishes with regards holding a second referendum?…

  23. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    As a member of the general public, I am not given the advice of a professional lawyer on the withdrawal agreement. Nor have I got experts (except on here!) to discuss it with. Nor have I got the House of Commons Library.
    Yes, I have read it. Yes, I can see where it is impossible to accept for a free and proud nation like the UK. But how many other voters have done so?
    We out here have got lives to live. You in Westminster have been chosen to fix stuff like this.
    You must do this for us.
    General advice: Labour or Conservative? I can handle these and I expect to be consulted regularly too. Referendums can be manipulated because most of us out here know where the shoe pinches but we do not do detail like you in parliament do.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    A second referendum is a losers’ vote demanded by those who won’t accept they lost.
    On LBC last night, when asked to explain why it was that he had never heard Leavers ask for a second referendum, a caller told Jacob Rees-Mogg that’s because they won!

  25. Adam
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Leave the 2nd Referendum. Discussing adds its momentum.

  26. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Holding a binary Leave WTO or Remain referendum could end the logjam.

    The Remoaning are attempting to defeat democracy e.g. Ken Clarke with Andrew Neil last Thursday was laughable and pathetic. Many MPs don’t have a clue what a custome union is. In a new vote the Remain argument needs to be destroyed particularly emphasising the EU is going to change dramatically for the worse in future. Something I don’t think happened enough in the first campaign or subsequently.

    FPTP is here for generations and it is clear from the last two years our governance is at serious risk if Brexit is not clinically decided. The current chaos will continue otherwise, the country could become ungovernable, which it is close to now.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      A Sedgwick

      the country could become ungovernable, which it is close to now.

      “very close” in my book. Good entry all the same

  27. Everhopeful
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Rerun of EU elections if too many eurosceptics elected??
    EU might have to chuck us out on a No Deal??

    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Referenda are democracy in pure form. One issue. Every vote counts. As a form of democracy, though rarely used in the UK, referenda should trump representative parliaments. In this case 400+ constituencies voted to Leave. The reverse numbers apply in HoC who if not actively voting to remain (which must of course be Revoke while Article 50 is still under extension) are voting to delay, aka Brexit denied.
    My solution, arrived at yesterday while collecting firewood, is a referendum with three options (a) Revoke (b) Leave (c) the WA and Political Declaration. Options (b) and (c) would be added together versus (a), the larger of b and c being used to determine the mode of exit. The HoC would be required to enact the choice, which is simple, because all three are available in extensive legal written form. Under this arrangement I would support an extension to article 50 and a referendum.


  29. Andy
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The government leaflet did not mention the customs union. Tory MPs were still asking each other what a customs union was in October 2017. And just last week 45 Tory MPs attended a seminar about what a customs union is. It is simply untrue to claim that most voters – leave or remain – has even heard of it in 2016.

    And it would not be a second referendum. It would be a third one. You lost the first one by a huge margin in 1975. And even after that it took EIGHT years to fully implement the result. Just saying.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      It is possible there was a degree of confusion between the single market and the customs union at the time of the referendum. But to say trade policy played no role in the referendum is simply untrue. It featured in every debate. Remain argued that we are better off being Part of a big trade bloc and pooling our sovereignty on this issue, and leave argued we would be better off being able to strike our own trade arrangements, including tariff cuts. It was one of the main issues in the referendum. Which Leave won.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Leave won based upon the arguments at the time. No good trying to re-write history by clutching at straws. We have still never been told where the EU is heading, unless you bother to read the 5 Presidents Report, which most won’t, and Remoaners want kept hidden.

      The 1975 vote was for a ‘Common Market’ (as we were told by lying politicians) not the EU so that argument is irrelevant.

      The EU was not formed until Major forced through Maastricht (without consulting the people) and Brown subsequently completed the treachery secretly with Lisbon (again not involving troubling the electorate by asking them if they wanted it). He didn’t have the courage to sign it in public when all the other EU heads did. The public were NEVER consulted about the EU and when they were finally (due only to a misjudgement by Cameron and the EU) in 2016 they rejected it.

    • Steve
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink


      “The government leaflet did not mention the customs union.”

      Exactly. Which is why we didn’t vote for a customs union.

      BTW – the 1975 referendum is not the issue.

      • Andy
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        As the customs union was not mentioned, you did not vote against it either.

        Reply It was

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      It did mention the single market and the consequences of leaving it.

      In 1975 Edward Heath’s campaign was based on us being, what he called, the Sick Man of Europe.


      Project fear even then. I remember 1975 well. Factories and farms practically all the way from London to Newcastle along the M1 corridor. Not a thing in our house that wasn’t made in Britain.

      • Andy
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        The single market and the customs union are not the same thing. And this is where the whole Brexit problem lays. Tory MPs did not know the difference. Some still don’t. And that is why we are where we are.

        As for your fond memories of 1975. Very rise tinted. The 1970s were largely rubbish. And the goods in your houses are now not British because Thatcher largely destroyed British manufacturing. Brexiteers intend to finish it off. Patrick Minford says it is what Brexit is all about. Enjoy filling your house with stuff from China.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

          You weren’t there in the ’70s Andy. I WAS ! You were in a cot.

          Was that pro EU Thatcher you keep talking about closing down the factories ??? I think so.

          Please explain why selling things to each other needs political union.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      You speak for yourself, most Leave voters knew exactly what they were voting for, and it was to, leave the Eu completely, as we were promised.

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

        In 3 years I have yet to meet a single leave voter who understood what they were voting for. Most still don’t understand.

        Though, admittedly, I try to avoid people that I know voted leave. Thankfully the few I was friends with I am not friends with anymore.

        • Richard1
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          A very revealing post

        • mac
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


          After watching you in this forum, I am absolutely certain the Leave people who are no longer your friends are quite happy with that turn of events. I suspect they understand and recognize the advantages of “addition by subtraction.”

          Maybe you should consider moving to a country that has less antipathy for the EU.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

          Andy doesn’t know how many parties are in the EU Parliament or what they stand for.

          I LOVE having this guy on this site.

          Sir John has him here because he’s such a goon.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink


            “I LOVE having this guy on this site.”

            No you don’t. He annoys you because he comes over as a well informed, reasonable person whereas many of you strident Brexiteers can only answer him with silly, unsophisticated insults.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:36 am | Permalink

          Presumably Andy in your remain bubble all remainers knew exactly what they voting for.
          Yet no leave voters knew what they were voting for.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      If you are in the SM you agree to the CU and you agree to the ECJ having supremacy.
      Did you not hear the PM and the Chancellor say dozens of times in speeches what leaving meant.
      I did.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      The referendum in 1975 asked the question as to whether we wished to remain in a European Economic Community, which in those days was little more than a customs union.. Any idea of loss of sovereignty, at that time or in future, other than an ability to set our own tariff schedules, was forcefully denied. Heath’s government had already burnt our boats with regard to fishing and trade with the Commonwealth, so the scare tactics we see this time were also in full play in 1975.

      The situation in 2016 was vastly different as people had become aware of the EU’s creeping federalisation. The EU’s areas of competence had advanced to the stage where the intention to bring about a European superstate had become obvious.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Andy, the referendum in 1975 was not about EU membership.

    • Stred
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      The leaflet mentioned the single market and the Treasury and others stated that in order to stay in the single market we have to be in s customs union with the same tariffs. That’s the whole point of the common market. It’s common. We voted to have our own tariffs and trade and to stop paying 80%of the tariffs to Brussels

    • zorro
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


      Well, they must have been deaf/stupid or both. A lot of the major figures including Cameron/Gideon stated very clearly that a vote to leave meant leaving the SM/CU. Perhaps you were asleep when they said it?


      • Anonymous
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:00 am | Permalink

        It’s in the leaflet which you can still find on line.

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    A second referendum would be an insult to democracy, but that is the EU deceitful way – when the results go against what you want, run it again until the correct result is obtained.

    I agree with many others, and those on here, that should another referendum be forced upon us it will be contrived to ensure we couldn’t possibly leave the EU.

  31. William Long
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Once you have a second referendum on the same subject where do you stop? It immediately legitimises a second and a third and a fourth.
    I wonder how many of the followers of this blog are aware of the current Petition:” Leave with no Deal if Parliament rejects the EU Withdrawal Agreement”, at It is a rather sad comment on the Leave side that it has not gone viral like the recent Remain one.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      For things to go viral, publicity is needed. The MSM and particularly the BBC, made a big thing of one and nothing of the other.

    • Al
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Sadly that’s because this similar petition – to leave without a deal – was debated on 1st April:

      And the response was to say that they would continue trying to pass the withdrawal agreement as “the best outcome remains for the UK to leave the EU in an orderly fashion with a deal”.

  32. Iain Moore
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    ‘People’s Vote’ ? Hmmm when causes use descriptions like people or democratic in their name you know one thing for sure, they care little for the people or have any democratic values, and more likely be some totalitarian agenda trying to hide their true nature.

    This is the same for the People’s Vote campaign, they do not want to respect the referendum on the EU, and having thrown a tantrum when they found they had lost, then resorted to insults and abuse, followed by claims that they were cheated and trying to discredit the vote, are now trying to claim that its been so long since we had the referendum, 3 years, that we need another, forgetting that it was 40 odd year gap before they allowed us to have a say if we wanted to stay in the EU. Or that it wasn’t what we voted for, when it is the Remainer’s who have so corrupted the process. Or that we need a confirmatory vote between May’s deal and Remain, which really takes the biscuit, for they remove the option that won, leave, and keep their cause Remain as a choice. The bloody nerve of it.

    The People’s vote is a spoilt brat losers vote, and any self respecting politician should have nothing to do with it.

  33. Richard1
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Reculer pour mieux sauter. There is no possibility of a satisfactory outcome with mrs May as PM. Go for the long extension which she can’t possibly justify holding on through and get rid of her ASAP, next week if possible. Once we get a new PM then do a complete re-set. Immediately guarantee the rights of EU citizens as should have happened on 24 June 2016, assure the EU they will get ever cent they are owed – owed under the terms of the treaties that is – and table a comprehensive FTA against a WTO exit as a backstop. It’s the only way. Otherwise it’s going to be Brino and probably EUref2 with Brino vs remain. Remain (or abstain) will be the only rational choice.

    • William1995
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Agreed. But how can May be gotten rid of next week? Presumably the only way is for a significant part of her cabinet to resign, but even then it would not surprise me if May continues to straggle on. Another way could be voting with Labour on a vote of no confidence, but that could of course usher in the Marxists.

      As Osborne said in his interview with Campbell, a PM who doesn’t want to go is very difficult to get rid of. At the moment it looks like we will be stuck with her until 30 June, then she will delay again and we will be stuck until December when she can be voted out again.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      She wants a long extension so she can cling to office. That is everything to her.

      I was thinking just the other day about how much the UK’s political leaders ‘earn’ after leaving for pastures new. Could that be the reason why they yearn to be Prime Minister?

      They keep using the phrase ‘to serve’, but to serve who?

      • miami.mode
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Tad, Mrs May professes to love the Conservative party and yet is well on the way to doing great harm to it by ignoring its voters (destroying it is rather too strong as it will undoubtedly survive in some form).

        Some years ago she branded it as the Nasty Party and yet, like me, I’m sure many people will have never heard this expression prior to her outburst. That must be considered a comment comparable with a certain jeweller saying some of his products were basically rubbish

        Her apparent lack of interpersonal skills, judgement, and choice of advisers has let the party and country down badly.

  34. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The country rarely has referendums. If this one isn’t respected, it means we can never have another one ever (unless they are explicitly described as advisory).
    Why should the electorate ever again take one seriously?

  35. Julian Flood
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    ” a likely win for spoilt papers and a massive problem for Parliament trying to interpret the result.”

    Sir John, may I disagree? My experience of politicians is that they care only for votes, particularly the number of votes against. Parliament would spend no time fretting over those who waste a vote — they count even less than those who vote.


  36. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    If, and only if there was a second referendum, there can only be two questions, and they must be.

    Vote to leave on the Governments deal.

    Vote to leave on World Trade Organisation Terms.

    We have already done the remain/ leave bit, and LEAVE Won.


    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      Totally correct

  37. MOC
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I would support a second referendum, contingent upon the result being binding not advisory and the question being a straight-up leave-WTO vs. remain-revoke.

    As you say, everyone knows all the arguments by now, so we could hold it this Thursday.

  38. Newmania
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood argues that complex choices cannot be reduced to a simple binary questions; he will be saying the reverse tomorrow. His objection to “Informed consent”, is that he would not get it.
    Neither division, or trust in our democracy, could be worse, and a two Party system offering one opinion reveals nothing .UKIP did not win a GE I missed did they ? As to the question to ask ; well ,Mr Redwood claims a mandate for rock hard Brexit , from 23.6.16. I merely suggest we check that he is right.
    Informed Consent 2019
    1 Do you wish leave the single market, customs Union and all other Institutions associated with the EU
    2 Would you prefer to stay as we are .
    Any problem with that ?

    • matthu
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you forgot that UKIP convincingly won the EU MEP elections in 2014?

      Conservatives only won the 2015 election because enough UKIP supporters were persuaded by Conservative manifesto promises.

    • Pominoz
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Those precise questions were asked last time. Leave or Remain.

      • Newmania
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Strange then , that the last Polls out on the options showed
        45% remain
        12% May Deal
        28% No Deal
        It is almost as if the question asked was actually the one on the voting form especially when a straight in or out question is also showing a lead for remain in every poll for a year now
        Nonetheless I admire your spunk and your hugely popular No Deal/ Hard Brexit , would surely obliterate boring unpopular Remain giving Brexit the rousing popular mandate Ms May said it needed until she failed to get it

        • Edward2
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          Polls other than Guardian and Independent ones exist.
          With different results.

          • hefner
            Posted April 11, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            Funny, I looked hard and there is no such thing as a Guardian or an Independent poll agency.
            Have you ever considered how the same polls are sometimes reported differently by various news organizations, more or less, following their own biases. Try it, going to the individual polling agency, getting to the questions actually asked, getting the raw results, and see how these are afterwards amalgamated by this or that politician. And don’t think that Sir John is exempt of this sort of games.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      “Mr Redwood claims a mandate for rock hard Brexit”?
      I don’t think so. He has campaigned for a much softer leaving of the EU, offering them continuance of frictionless bilateral trade.
      There are people in the country who want to cut us off from Europe and raise the drawbridge – but not Sir John.

      • Newmania
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        He generously offered the EU the option of letting us have our cake and eat it , picking cherries all the while.
        Some would say this shows Mr Redwood is a stupid man who never had the slightest idea what the EU and should not have advised anyone else on the subject. I disagree . I think he does know perfectly well that his laughable suggestion was laughable and would lead to No Deal

        • Dave Andrews
          Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          On cake and eat it, again I don’t think so.
          He is offering reciprocal arrangements on trade and open borders, giving the EU just as good a deal as we would offer them.
          Picking cherries is just what deal making is all about – otherwise why trade if not for mutual benefit?
          Not at all laughable, only from the perspective that the EU was dedicated to making things bad as possible for the UK in order to dissuade the others – some friends!

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Vote Labour get full on Marxism

      Vote Conservative get Socialism and Continuity Social Marxism in our institutions.

      That’s been the problem with UK politics, the confusion of identity and the reason why we got Brexit. You should have stood for the LibDems not the Tories but were too thick to know it. LibDems is your true political alignment. So of course we look extreme to you !

    • Edward2
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Red Herring alert from you Newmania.
      Read the leaflet
      Listen to all Camerons speeches.
      Obviously if you leave the EU you leave its beating heart.

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

        Fair point Edward 2 and seeing how much cleverer Brexit voters are than we boring old remain wets I would be quite happy to have a referendum limited to those able to prove they have more idea of what the single market is than the average bivalve mollusc.
        Think how many stupid remainers would be disqualified .. and how your theory would be resoundingly vindicated .
        Not tempted?
        Why-ever not ?

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:04 am | Permalink

          You stood in the wrong party, Newmania.

          It’s destroyed our politics and caused perfectly ordinary people to be outcast as extremists.

          You should have been a LibDem all along.

          So what made you move from Islington then ?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:40 am | Permalink

          Why is it you remainers are so rude?

          To answer your question which I think is about a second referendum, I do not want a referendum where the question is WA or remain.
          Which is what you want.
          I know what the single market is thanks.
          Having spent decades exporting and importing.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Your first question would at least have invited people to read up on what the single market and customs union were as very few people, including MPs, seem to know even now. Your second question suggests a status quo, which given the EU’s direction of travel to full European federation, was never a realistic option.

  39. Pat
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    As I read the tea leaves support for the EU has been slowly and unsteadily declining in Britain and across Europe since it’s inception. On that basis a second referendum, without fiddled questions would likely produce a larger leave majority, though of course campaigning skills will affect that.
    I agree that a second referendum would solve nothing, unless it was sufficiently delayed to reinforce the first result, and merely reinforces the impression that people who want change are best ignoring the democratic process.

  40. Kevin
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    “I suspect most Leave voters would simply write Leave on their ballot papers, resulting in a likely win for spoilt papers”

    If a neverendum were to be foisted on us, it would be critical for the above result that all Leave voters and sympathising democrats knew that a “win for spoilt papers” was possible.

    This is not, of course, to say that our rejection of a neverendum should be limited to such a step. I do think, however, that it is important to obstruct any attempt to treat democracy, not as a principle to be applied, but merely as a word that focus tests well and must therefore be controlled.

  41. glen cullen
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    There is only one universal political truth; the referendum 2016 was won by those wishing to leave the EU. This is not in dispute.
    The issue, and the only problem, is implementing the peoples wishes
    Its time for the ERG and fellow MPs to save the nations democracy

  42. bigneil
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    John, I see your recent plea for shorter posts, multiple posts and posts without links seems to be already being “forgotten” – or bypassed by other means. Am I the only one concerned about you actually having some time off for family time ?

  43. Anthony
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    You could have a referendum on different modes of leaving: May + intention to negotiate FTA vs May plus intention to negotiate Norway plus or something along those lines

  44. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    As you correctly write the advocates of a new referendum all assume and want the result reversed.

    We voted to leave so any discussion about a second referendum should be about a referendum on methods of leaving. Revoking Article 50 must be discounted as an option.

    By removing this vehicle for potentially remaining we can move the conversation on to only how we leave. That will concentrate the minds of those who are trying to stay tied in the EU

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      If there were to be a second referendum and leave won again by a 9% margin (4% is 9% of 48% is it not) will the agitators to stay in want best of five?

  45. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Forget it. The Letwin/Cooper government, after the EU rejects a further extension, will enact a bill to revoke Article 50. It will pass. We can all go back to sleep. Nightmare over. Mummy and Daddy Brussels will take care of everything.

  46. nhsgp
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    MPs didn’t accept the first referendum.

    The won’t accept a second

  47. javelin
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    An interesting point is that the agreement reached between the EU and UK by Cameron took the form of a mini-treaty, under international law, signed by heads of state.

    Did Cameron not say that no further treaty powers could not be transferred to the EU without a referendum. It was definitely in the Referendum leaflet. So this means that May’s new treaty deal, giving the EU extra powers over the backstop requires a referendum.

    (Interestingly the leaflet that was delivered was ordered by the Electoral Commission to clarify the referendum question. It is therefore a legal extension of the question under the 2000 Voting and Refetendum Act. Whilst it says no customs union and no single market – it also doesn’t mention of change in migration from the EU, only to the EU, and it does say there could be 10 years of disruption).

  48. richard verney
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    One of the issues that I have not seen discussed is what we should do with VAT once we have left the EU.

    Obviously, VAT is not charged on all goods, eg., it is not charged on food, but if we leave the EU on WTO terms, which attract different tariffs, depending upon the goods in question, VAT could be replaced by Purchase Tax which is variable depending upon the type of goods involved.

    The exchequer will receive the WTO tariffs and since we have a balance of trade deficit with the EU, this will give the exchequer plenty of income that could be given back to consumers should these tariffs be passed on by the EU seller to the UK consumer.

    I expect that a lot of EU sellers will not pass on these tariffs or only partially pass them on because of fears over losing market share. But what I have in mind is this. For example let us assume that there is 5% tariff on motor cars and EU sellers pass this expense on to UK purchasers. The Government could replace VAT on motor cars with a Purchase Tax set at 15% so there is no increase in purchase cost to the consumer. This reduction in tax would be funded by the tariff that the EU seller pays to the exchequer on import of the goods that the EU seller is selling in the UK. So this would be revenue neutral to the exchequer.

  49. Original Richard
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The EU with the collusion of Mrs. May and her pro-EU colleagues have deliberately designed the WA to be so bad (transition period where we accept all EU laws and taxes but without representation or veto leading to a “backstop” with no lawful means of exit) that it either can be used to trap us in the EU via a Parliamentary vote or used as the “deliverable” version of Brexit against “remain” in a second referendum.

    The EU/May treaty is not leaving the EU and thus we are witnessing a Parliamentary coup against democracy.

    If such a referendum does take place then the only option for leavers is to make sure they go to vote but write “Leave” or “No deal” clearly across the ballot paper.

  50. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Agreed – we are content with the Referendum result. We want to be able to vote for and get Conservatism on all the domestic subjects you mention. Why do Brexiteer MPs see that being constantly outvoted in the EU is unsatisfactory but do not recognise that being constantly outvoted in a so called conservative (but really a corporatist) Party is not?

  51. L Jones
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    How on earth can anyone contemplate a second referendum when the result of the first hasn’t been implemented? It is barking mad.
    I believe that any referendum from now on will be ‘nobbled’ by the EU, whatever it relates to, as the EU overlords will make sure the result is manipulated to suit them. As will be any GE if we are tied to the EU through May’s shameful ”surrender treaty”. They will surely find ways to prevent any party getting into power that just might jeopardise their project and plans for ‘ever closer union’.
    After all, they state baldly that ‘sovereignty is a crying evil’. They’re just not going to put up with our continued independence if they are given any chance to scupper it. And a second referendum would give them that chance.

  52. Gareth Warren
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I agree with the conclusion, my principle would be one that drives parliament, the voters should not vote on the same vote twice. In parliament that rule is kept per session, for the electorate that was talked about for a generation, a minimum of 10 years is reasonable.

    So we vote to leave the EU and the politicians tell us they are deadlocked as to how. If they were sincere then the proposal for another referendum would be only for that question. I would be happy for the only two options to be put to “the people” as these merchants of democracy keep repeating.

    Those two options are the withdrawal agreement and no deal, no other option such as a customs union can be applied without the withdrawal agreement. Of course we already know what the result would be, overwhelmingly for no deal, which is why the referendum debate is angled to ask the same question twice, very insulting and very undemocratic.

    The EU have been to clever to themselves and drawn up an agreement that is wretched to the , I suspect that in the event of a no deal hurried negotiations would ensue to protect EU trade, perhaps even with “temporary” waivers of tariffs. This would be good for Britain, but a free trade deal with the US while we were under EU tariffs would also be good. But that is the benefit of believing in British industry, we will always prosper if free.

  53. David Warren
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Ironically, maybe you could refer the European Commission’s own ‘Code of Good Practice on Referendums’
    Section I – 3.1.c. The question put to the vote must be clear; it must not be misleading; it must not suggest an answer; ….; voters must be able to answer the questions asked solely by yes, no or a blank vote..
    It also contains some interesting observations on the neutrality of referendum conduct:
    I – 2.2.c. Balanced coverage must be guaranteed to the proposal’s supporters and opponents in (other) public mass media broadcasts, especially news broadcasts.
    I – 3.1.a. Administrative authorities must observe their duty of neutrality
    II – 3.1.a. An impartial body must be in charge of organising the referendum
    As if ….

  54. alexsandr
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    John. why haven’t you resigned from the tory party? It is becoming increasingly toxic. 23,000 people stayed at home in Newport rather than voting labcon.
    And it will start to taint you by association, and that would be sad for you are a good man.

  55. Turboterrier.
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    A second referendum would increase divisions and undermine trust in the democratic process.

    Undermine trust? I believe parliament are undermining the integrity of our legal system as well. The UK has I feel, always been a benchmark for its legal and judicial system and on my understanding the leaving of the EU was passed and made law. We now have 488 politicians voting in a manner which is breaking the law. Unless the original law is repealed then the law is the law and must surely stand. Compound this with a convicted MP being allowed to join in and vote after her curfew limitations just is sending out all the wrong signals. If the elected politicians cannot uphold the laws in which they have passed then it sets a precedence that why should the electorate obey laws set by parliament which they themselves will not and do not obey.
    A second referendum/peoples vote will achieve nothing than further destroy our democracy so ably undermined already by the present PM. The very future of this country is in the balance if we ignore the results of elections and even referendums, the electorate will talk with their feet and not vote for the traditional parties, opening the doors to every Micky Mouse party imaginable being elected .

  56. L Jones
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Your last paragraph says what we all feel.
    All we ever wanted was to leave the EU when promised, with no strings attached, knowing we could talk trade later, if we ran out of time. We wanted to leave on good terms and with optimism for an independent future. We wanted our Government to deal fairly, and then just get on with life.

    Nigel Adams, resignation letter: ”In a stinging letter, Mr Adams said Ms May faced two “great challenges”, to “deliver the Brexit the people voted for” and to prevent Mr Corbyn entering No 10.” She didn’t get it – or, if she did, that makes her even more culpable.

    When she was seen to be failing, WHY couldn’t the Party remove her? We’ve never been told WHY – or did I miss something?

  57. am
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    How, in our system, do we start a Mueller like investigation of collusion with the eu by remainers?

  58. Everhopeful
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Sky News

  59. Brigham
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    May is an out and out LIAR. Because of stupid rules this cannot be said in the HOC. I hope our host does not censor me for telling the truth.

    • Brigham
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Thank you John.

  60. BR
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    You missed the key point about a 3-way referendum. The proposed options are always designed to split the leave vote but Remain is always a single choice.

    Also known as: a rigged ballot.

  61. I Turner
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I voted for you in the last General Election Sir John – despite my very real reservations about the Conservative Party. Stick to your guns and I will support you again in the next election – assuming that you are still my MP.

    Should you (for any reason) decide to retire, then I have to say that your ‘Conservative’ successor could not rely on my vote – and it would be foolish of the Conservative Party to assume that I (and many others I suspect) will do so.

    My best wishes to you at this difficult time, especially when many in the media seem determined to portray the few politicians who have kept their manifesto promises as far-right “extremists”.

  62. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Having not done what we told them in the first referendum why would we believe they’d obey a second or third?

  63. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    There won’t be a Second Referendum.
    The one in 2016 has not been honoured yet.

    Hammond and others can try to change the name to sanitise it.
    The latest pathetic ruse is to call it a Confirmatory Vote.

    It’s not that…it’s a…CONFIRM-A-TORY Betrayal Vote.

  64. Helen Smith
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, one issue that is never addressed in the clamour for a May’s Wa v Remain referendum is who would head the campaign for the Wa.

    No one likes it, except possibly May. The EC have said it might be possible to arrange a 2nd ref in three months but I can’t see them being able to select a group to promote Wa in three years.

    In addition the EC have persecuted (there is no other word for it) Vote Leave ever since the vote. They would have to have very clear guidelines as to what would and would not be permissible before anyone dared to campaign for the anti establishment option of Leave were it ever to get on the ballot paper. There is also the issue of retrospective tax demands from HMRC, which disproportionately affected donors to the Leave camapaigns. That would have to be addressed too.

    In short it could be years before one could get off the ground.

    • matthu
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Promoters would be Theresa May and all of the other dozen or so members of the cabinet who think it is such a good deal, including Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Greg Clark, Geoffrey Cox …

  65. rose
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    We are seeing that, as with Vichy, Surrender is a process, not a single event.

  66. BR
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    By the way, your party will be destroyed if you don’t get that woman out of No 10 immediately and honour your manifesto commitments to leave all EU institutions.

    As someone who has voted Conservative all my life, I will no longer vote for your party (or any other party currently in Westminster) until these things are done. Expect problems in upcoming elections. I will look to vote for the Brexit Party or similar ‘populists’ and will even offer to stand as a candidate if they don’t have one, or (for the first time) to deliver leaflets etc if they do have a candidate.

    May is the death of the Conservative party; some of you MPs need to get together and get her out by whatever means necessary.

    And tell JRM he must never, ever vote for the WA again. Brexit will not be “lost”, the fight will go on (if necessary). At least if we have not signed a treaty to leave a treaty, we actually have the option to exit properly in future.

  67. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink


    I think you have raised some very important and crucial issues that we need to deal with as a society as soon as possible and not just Brexit, thank you.

    However, reacting like a burned child in the interviews with Channel 4 , does not promote you cause particularly well either I am afraid

  68. Prigger
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Brexit has failed.We lost

  69. agricola
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    You disappoint me Mr Redwood, you appear to fear shadows. When you submitt to PC crap what hope is there.

  70. L Jones
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    ”The House of Commons is at this moment being asked to agree to the renunciation of its own independence and supreme authority—but not the House of Commons by itself. The House of Commons is the personification of the people of Britain: its independence is synonymous with their independence; its supremacy is synonymous with their self-government and freedom. Through the centuries Britain has created the House of Commons and the House of Commons has moulded Britain, until the history of the one and the life of the one cannot be separated from the history and life of the other.”

    So said Enoch Powell in 1972. This is what we understood when we voted ‘leave’, given our ‘once in a lifetime’ choice. No second referendum, said Cameron. Puh.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      L Jones

      ” Through the centuries Britain has created the House of Commons and the House of Commons has moulded Britain,”

      What he should have said was that England created both and imposed them on Ireland and Scotland forcing them into a union they did not want through undemocratic means.

      And you do the same when you want to force your ‘Leave’ vote on the Scots and Irish who voted overwhelmingly ‘Remain’.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        No popular vote has changed the situation that they wish to remain part of the UK Margaret.
        Despite England saying if you want to leave the UK we will respect your wishes.
        But as you refuse to accept any popular vote then I can understand your feelings.

  71. L Jones
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    We don’t need or want a second referendum, especially if directed by the EU. Our own referendum, not directed by the EU,
    ”…. (was) the life-and-death decision of Britain itself, as a free, independent and self-governing nation….”

    There will never be another like it now that the EU has recognised its own folly in allowing us a choice.

  72. John Payne
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    John, I am surprised you even mention a second referendum. with regard to the first referendum everyone wrongly assume the people did not know what they were voting for, but did because they wanted TO LEAVE THE European Union.
    Your Government and media have only discussed partly remaining in the EU without any discussion of what it will be like to remain.
    For example how many are worried about “free movement of people on jobs” regarding the following countries not yet in the EU system


    There those say it won’t happen. Well either it’s happening or planned to happen in future. I wonder what Labour Party think what this will have on their demand to protect Jobs?

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Brexiteers are very keen to join with others like the Commonwealth again.

      The 54 commonwealth countries contain some of the poorest in the world like Bangladesh, Nigeria, Tonga, Swaziland and many others with unstable democracies.

      • matthu
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        By “join with” I think you mean “trade with” rather than grant unfettered immigration rights to, don’t you?

      • agricola
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        The whole of the Commonwealth are joined by consent, nothing more. If we used that consent to trade with each other tariff free it might help the poorer elements. Trade being better than aid. Better because it encourages self esteem and reduces dependency.

  73. John Hatfield
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    “The government leaflet to all households explained that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union, ”
    Not sure that’s true John. At least I can’t find it.
    Both Cameron and Osborn stated it publicly, however.

  74. Lucas
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    There will be no second referendum, I don’t know why we are even talking about it

    Next friday night 11pm we are out..all of this business about talks going on between Corbyn and May is just for show

    We don’t want to be in and the EU certainly don’t want us in although they pretend differently, you see they understand UKIP and Tory sceptics would be much too disruptive to future proceedings especially in the EU parliament..

    So sit back and wait for some obscure objection to any extension from one of the EU 27 on Wednesday.. then count down Thursday and Friday..and we are out. Simple

    • Oggy
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Wish that it were true. Except there are about 400 MP’s that would be falling over themselves to pass immediate legislation to revoke A50.
      Of course that would cause a rebellion but what do they care at least we would still be in their beloved EU.

  75. Christopher
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    If we can’t exit on WTO, a delay would be infinitely less worse than signing any of the current incarnations of a deal currently on offer

    The PM and entire cabinet has to go

    New team, new approach is needed

  76. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    A recent poll by YouGov for the London Evening Standard (a Remain paper) offered a sample of 2098 interviewees a straight choice between No Deal on 12th April and Remain. Polling was conducted on 31/03 and 01/04. The results by region were:

    London – Remain 48% No Deal 26%
    Rest of South – Remain 34% No Deal 44%
    Midlands/West/Wales – Remain 31% No Deal 46%
    North – Remain 34% No Deal 41%
    Scotland – Remain 47% No Deal 28%

    The combined population of London and Scotland is about 14 million. The combined population of the other three regions is about 50 million. So, if the results are weighted by population, No Deal might even have a slight lead. What I think has been happening is that Leave voters have realised that No Deal is the only way to avoid Mrs May’s Hotel California BRINO.

    Conservative voters are 72% in favour of a No Deal Brexit.

    Conclusion: If Messrs Juncker and Macron haven’t evicted us from the EU, we can be confident of fighting and winning a General Election or a Referendum on the basis of No Deal vs Remain, probably in the Autumn.

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


      Of course, about three quarters of the country wishes to leave on no deal / WTO.

      However judging on the mood of people I don’t think the Conservatives or Labour will win a general election. The Conservatives will likely be destroyed as a viable political party and have to disband, Labour might survive by a whisker, but as a fringe party.

      Theresa May really should take heed of the fact that 64% by constituency voted to leave, and 75% of Tory voters demand WTO.

      My conclusion has for some time now been;

      1) The EU has been threatening this country behind closed doors, and Theresa May doesn’t have the guts to tell the nation what’s really been going on.

      2) Theresa May is the lead actress of a choreographed plan to shaft the UK.

      3) She’s incompetent, and a pacifist (well she is a vicar’s daughter).

      There will be trouble if the woman either extends brexit again, or she is not removed.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay – if the EU allows us to have a GE if we haven’t left by then.

  77. Magna Carta
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Appalling behaviour and lack of journalistic integrity, never mind accuracy or politeness from Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 recently when ‘interviewing’ Sir John. How dare Guru-Murthy treat anyone like that and aspire to call it an interview, let alone a public servant and former minister. I hope Channel 4 discipline Guru-Murthy as his behaviour and standards are despicable.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      the channel 4 world view is so obviously warped, their jordan peterson interview shows everyone how bad they are, its not changing

      • Norman
        Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        The media, and the people it attracts at times of any emotive national crisis like this, can be utterly febrile, mischievous, hypocritical and hateful. They thrive on sensation, and are always bent on catching one out or getting one rattled. We’re up against hugely devious and destructive forces, that can be draining and exhausting to deal with. However, the British people now have no excuse for not knowing what makes for their freedom. Those in the front line need every encouragement and support.

  78. Iain Gill
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    keep up the good work john

  79. James Bertram
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    William – the dilemma can be solved if a large part of the Tory party (the Leavers) resign the whip and bring the government down. They don’t have to join another party – they can just be themselves, stand in the election as the Real Tory Party, takeover the local Tory party machine, field 650 candidates (some temporary) in the General Election, and win by a landslide. Yes – a mutiny, then coup, defeating the current dysfunctional party. Having won the election, they can then bring in their ex-colleagues slowly, those they want, and reform as the Tory Party minus the PM and the rotten Remain element. It can be done. They need to think it through, have courage – and GET ON WITH IT.

  80. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    A re-run would be a waste of time because the result would be the same.
    The die-hard remainers and leavers won’t change their vote but are a relatively small (and disproportionately noisy) part of the electorate. As in most elections, it’s the swing voters that decide it.
    In the first go, many non-hardliners voted remain because the status quo is easier and who knows if any of those project fear scare stories could be true.
    Project fear has now been crying wolf far too long and many people are totally fed-up with remain MPs and the EU. They may not change their vote but will just stay at home.

  81. Lucas
    Posted April 6, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Where did it all go wrong..I think the whole brexit thing is lost..the longer it drags on the more people will change their minds.. I think we’re looking at 12 months extension now if she promises the EU another referendum is held in the Autumn. Other than that a GE.. the protagonists should by know that If old spin and lies could have done it then we’d have been well out of here a long time ago

  82. Charles Crane
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    This has always been the way the EU deal with things. If they don;t like the result of a referendum, then they have a second one, and if they don’t like that then they have a third.

    These referenda are never final until they they get the result they want, then all of a sudden the latest (desired) result becomes irrevocable.

    It must have really annoyed them when Norway kept saying no, especially when it worked a treat in Ireland

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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