What the government said about the referendum

Some are still writing to me saying the referendum was advisory, that it could have been the first of two, that it did not entail leaving the single market and customs union etc. Let’s have another go at explaining it.


The government leaflet said

“A ONCE IN A GENERATION DECISION    (in bold, decision not advisory, once only)

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


It could not have been clearer


Much of the text was about trade and economics. It made clear we would be outside the single market, and set out why it thought that would be negative.

It also was based on the premise that  we would be outside the customs union, though it did not say that directly. It went on at length about the need to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU after leaving, saying it would take time and be partial. You would not be able to and would not need to negotiate a trade deal with the EU if you were still in the Customs Union!

It was made clear by Remain in the campaign that leaving meant leaving the single market and customs union. Leave understood this and talked about the advantages of the UK being able to strike tariff free trade deals elsewhere which you could not do if still in the Customs Union.

The Conservative Manifesto of 2017 expressly ruled out staying in the single market and customs union. The Labour Manifesto set out a detailed independent UK trade policy which you could not do from within the single market and or customs union with the EU.


  1. Richard1
    April 7, 2019

    Get rid of May & there’s a chance for a re-set and a proper negotiation. Leave her in place and it will be Brino and probably a second referendum, with Brino vs remain.

    (Who were all those Tory MPs cheering in the HoC committee room when she got re-elected last december?!)

    1. Christine
      April 7, 2019

      Surely there must be a way of changing the Conservative rules to oust TM before she destroys both the party and the country? I can’t believe you are letting her go against your manifesto when the majority of the cabinet, MPs and the members disagree. She is behaving like a tin pot dictator. Until she is gone there is no hope for a proper Brexit.

      1. L Jones
        April 7, 2019

        You’re right, Christine.
        It is inconceivable that there is no way to oust an undesirable PM, and it seems a great number of MPs do indeed see Mrs May as undesirable at this present time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an explanation given simply and unequivocally. No doubt there would be talk of ”precedent”, etc, but surely the good of our country is more important than that. And it should be the good of our country that trumps every other consideration, shouldn’t it?

        1. Hope
          April 7, 2019

          JR, that boat about Tory honesty, promises and pledges sailed months ago. May repeatedly lies and continued to do so this weekend. She is a pathological liar.

          Even to say there will be no Brexit confirms she is now acting starkly and fully against what she said previously. The UK could have left on 29/03/2019. It could leave this coming Friday. May decided she does not want to leave.

          Again, May does not want to leave, despite knowing this is what the public voted for and current opinion polls demonstrate. Overwhelmingly so among Tory supporters, activists and associations!

          May repeatedly told MPs leaving on 29/03/2019 despite some openly stating they wanted to stay or have second referndum. It was clear from her answers she would not do what parliament wanted but what the public voted for. Now she has publicly stated and written to the EU she will do what Parliament says!

          1. Hope
            April 7, 2019

            Lancaster speech anyone? Not half in or half out or remain in,part as that would not be leaving. May said this.

            What has the UK achieved in her servitude plan? There is nothing in it for the UK. Nothing. Article 184 of her servitude plan makes it clear May and the EU collusion failed to deliver what article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty requires!

      2. Lifelogic
        April 7, 2019

        Little hope of escaping Corbyn until she and Hammond both go.

        1. Hope
          April 7, 2019

          Corbyn is a shoo-in. May’s vindictiveness coming into play, once more, for ousting her. That will be her legacy to the Tory party.

      3. rose
        April 7, 2019

        What I can’t understand is why this “bloody difficult woman” is only bloody difficult with us, not the EU.

        Cable said in the wake of her appointment that she was “controlling”. Again, why only controlling with us and not the EU?

    2. jerry
      April 7, 2019

      @Richard1; “Get rid of May & there’s a chance for a re-set and a proper negotiation. “

      How would that change the fact that 1/. the EC say there will be no renegotiations (of the WA), 2/. the parliamentary arithmetic will not change thus who ever replaces May would still not have a working majority in their own right.

      1. Richard1
        April 7, 2019

        The EU have realised – correctly – that May caves in on each and every point if they stick to their guns. Faced with a real possibility of WTO Brexit they would likely find some flexibility. The hung parliament is a problem, but a PM showing leadership and vision would be in a good position to call an election and win. That in turn would reduce the opposition to any obviously improved deal.

  2. Pominoz
    April 7, 2019

    Sir John,

    Thank you for your clarity on this issue.

    As one of the ‘stupid people who did not know what they were voting for’ I well understood that OUT meant leaving all EU controls and those who try to dispute this will find some way to argue with what you have written today.

    How sad for them that they cannot accept they lost. Even more sad for us that, today, we cannot say we won. The fight for real democracy will go on – and will, in time, undoubtedly prevail.

  3. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2019

    Indeed. So can the appalling disingenuous May and Hammond be prevented from stitching up the UK, wrecking the Conservative Party and be replaces with some sensible real Conservatives or not?

    The problem with May’s endless tedious statements, yet another last night, is that her deal does not ‘respect the referendum vote’. It is not Brexit at all. It is worse than just leaving and even worse than just remaining. If we withdrew the section 50 notice at least we could issue it again. May is pushing for a totally unacceptable straight jacket and wanting tax payers to pay £39 billion for it!

    A report into fraud (3.3 million crimes PA it seems) confirm my experience the police invariable do nothing at all if they possible can – even often refusing to take reports. This even where the offenders are very clearly identifiable and large sums involved. Hacked emails with changed bank details and false websites (encouraging transfers to the wrong bank) seems to be at epidemic levels. No wonder given the lack of any deterrent from the police and the system. The report is depressing reading of almost total police indifference & incompetence. I do not imaging anything will be done to change things.


  4. oldtimer
    April 7, 2019

    On the the Leave side the argument was to take back control of laws, borders and taxes. It was a political case vs an economic case. Nothing has changed. Unless and until we leave that argument will continue.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2019

      Except that the economic case for taking back control is also very strong indeed (after a short period of adjustment).

      Why would the UK be better off under EU control in the long term, rather than under our own democratic control.

      1. NickC
        April 7, 2019

        Lifelogic, Very true. Remains never do explain why they think a foreign power controlling our economy will result in better UK prosperity. I ask them how much better off they would be if I controlled their bank accounts. They have no rational answer, only endless propaganda and whingeing.

        1. Lifelogic
          April 7, 2019


          Not just control of the bank acount – you could tell them how much tax they had to pay, whom they had to go to war with, what time they had to get up and go to work, how many fish they could catch, who lived in their house, what they could eat or drink or say…….

  5. Everhopeful
    April 7, 2019

    Why were Cameron et al so confident of winning ( ie a Remain majority)?
    Arrogance? Thinking that the fear mongering would work on the dim “ little people”?
    Have a bit of Bullingdon-style fun at our expense.
    Thinking that whatever happened they could pull the wool ..like May has tried to do.
    Whatever…offer a democracy-steeped nation a vote and the results must be honoured.
    No “ifs” no “buts”.
    The establishment taught us to be democratic ( so we would behave and fight their wars,till their land,dig their canals,man their factories. Make them rich).
    They invaded countries to impose it!! ( Oh yeah!).
    Now they must just suck it up.

    1. Alan Jutson
      April 7, 2019


      “Why were Cameron et al so confident”

      The London and Westminster bubble is the answer, and that is still the same problem we have today, Westminster and London.

      1. rose
        April 7, 2019

        Exactly so.

    2. Mark B
      April 7, 2019

      They had no positive message. Could not explain why we had to be members of the EU whilst the rest of the world was not. And generally did not make a good case for Remain.

      In short, they never knew what they were campaigning for, and Remainers still don’t today !

  6. agricola
    April 7, 2019

    True, I was in no doubt then and I am in no doubt now. My preference has always been to be a citizen of a sovereign nation trading with whoever wished to trade with the UK. If we wished to be part of a large association of sovereign nations I would choose the Commonwealth above others any day. In defence and security terms I am happy with NATO. Much as I like Europe and Euopeans they have decided to combine as a political entity in an organisation that lacks democratic legitimacy for the individual citizen. Their past experience of governance is such that they may think that what they have is democracy, but it isn’t. They may think it is an infinite improvement on the past, and maybe it is, but it falls way short of what we have.

    Our battle at the moment is less with the EU than with the remain establishment on our own shores and in Parliament in particular. They would clearly overturn our evolved contitution to have their way. They are the rapists of democracy. Problem is we are led by a PM who has lost all credibility in Parliament and with the people. Respectful of our hosts sensitivities I am being very restrained in the words I choose to describe our PM. Rest assured by her actions she is an accomplished liar. She has the intellectual capacity and flexibility of approach as King Canute. For there to be any resolution to the current impasse she must go as quickly as possible.

    Failure to remove her spells the end of the Conservative party as we knew it, and a bigger political upheaval in the UK than I would wish. Make no mistake, out here we are exceedingly angry with the performance of our political representatives. Most of whom will pay at the next GE.

  7. Gary C
    April 7, 2019

    What we did not know was voting to leave would mean our very own government would choose to fight against the people be prepared to throw away democracy and our countries honour to keep us subservient to the EU while at the same time risk ending up with a Labour government.

    Remain may think they have won but when the dust settles and they realise what a mess they have created their celebration will no doubt be short lived, I hope they will be able to sleep at night.

    1. L Jones
      April 7, 2019

      I don’t hope they would be able to sleep at night, Gary. I hope the anguish of seeing what they have done to our precious country would keep them awake, racked with remorse, if they got their way, which, please God, they won’t.

      ‘Independence Daily’ (Moraymint) had a good description of what remainers STILL believe what staying in the EU is all about. Well worth a read, though I think we know their mindset. But many of them don’t even appear to know any more, and certainly don’t seem to be able to put forward a cogent argument for staying in – and it certainly wouldn’t be the ‘status quo’ they voted to remain with in 2016. Don’t they see how things have changed? Why is it so important to them to be able to ‘win’ even now when we’ve seen the EU’s true colours, and at the expense of our country’s good?

  8. heavenSent
    April 7, 2019

    It was all based on spin and lies, from both sides. The government under Cameron hadn’t a clue at the time and Labour under Corbyn was in its own little cocoon. Corbyn is just as much to blame as anyone else for sitting on the fence trying to ride two horses at the same time.

    So we are not going to get Brexit as most leavers would understand it because it does not suit big government, big business or the Civil Service and the clock is being wound down until we are all worn out and eventually give in. The clear message in all of this is that democracy in Britain doesn’t work, it doesn’t exist, it is all pretend stuff, democracy is a puff of smoke- so the sooner the people understand this life will become easier.

  9. Roy Grainger
    April 7, 2019

    The choice, the only choice, is Remain or No Deal. All other scenarios currently default to that because all others require (according to the EU) the WA to be signed first and there is a large parliamentary majority against that and polls indicate the electorate agree. Even if A50 was revoked and resubmitted later the exact same position would apply. Luckily we’ve already had a referendum on this simple choice. Remain lost.

    1. L Jones
      April 7, 2019

      And still Mrs May is ”warning” us of the “stark choice” between leaving with a deal or not leaving at all.

      Since when has it been in HER gift to allow or deny the result of a legitimate and conclusive referendum?

      She gets more and more outrageous. Can someone please tell us WHY she cannot be removed?

  10. DaveM
    April 7, 2019

    May is effectively a dictator – she has broken manifesto promises, is creating her own manifesto on the hoof (possibly at the behest of foreign powers) and cannot be removed from power. Sounds dramatic but it’s true.

    If what she is doing is legal then the law needs to be changed.

    1. DaveM
      April 7, 2019

      She even had a long Cabinet meeting to get a consensus then ignored the majority decision. How much longer does our country have to suffer this PM?

      1. rose
        April 7, 2019

        All her Cabinet meetings are “confirmatory”.

    2. L Jones
      April 7, 2019

      And WHY can’t she be removed?

  11. Julie Dyson
    April 7, 2019

    In view of this utter betrayal, Sir John, I do have one question: at what point do you, and other Conservative MPs who have kept faith with both the party’s stated position and the people’s majority decision, demonstrate this fully and properly by threatening to resign from the party en masse unless we leave on April 12th with or without a deal, as enshrined in the law of the land and voted for by the majority?

    I can honestly think of nothing else that would make a scrap of difference with this PM.

    1. DaveM
      April 7, 2019

      Still not convinced the delay beyond 29 Mar is enshrined in law.

      1. Know-Dice
        April 7, 2019

        I believe that is because the UK Withdrawal Act withdrawal date is based on the date that Article 50 says that we leave. So that date can be changed at will by the EU… quite a big flaw in the Act. …

  12. eeyore
    April 7, 2019

    For constitutional reasons all referendums are advisory: a mandatory referendum would infringe Parliamentary sovereignty. But government always pledges to implement the result and, until now, has done so.

    I care far less about Brexit than about the collapse of honest dealing and good faith in public life. When government and Parliament lie shamelessly the game is really up. Now they even lie about lying.

    Next we shall see corruption flooding in (if it hasn’t already). The EU itself admits it is “endemic” within its borders and costs €120bn a year. Plus the rest no doubt.

    1. NickC
      April 7, 2019

      Eeyore, You have a point that the loss of honesty and good faith is ultimately more corrosive than the EU (at least the EU in theory). But actually they are one and the same. The EU modus operandi of sneaking in new unpopular policies, ignoring the electorates, and politicising the civil service is exactly what has caused the rot to our own government machine. Our own civil service has been corrupted, and so have very many of our politicians. They are now incapable of seeing their own bad faith.

  13. Andrew S
    April 7, 2019

    Try telling that to your own party leader, the abysmal betraytor hammond, and the legions of turn cost careerist mps in your own party who kept may in office. This mess is the fault of the above, Corbyn didn’t have to commons votes to stop a true Brexit if executed properly. See the pieces today how Tory councils will be wiped out locally, and Brexit party is ready to contest mep elections if necessary.
    It’s not a bluff, but tory mps are leading their own party over a cliff.

    1. The Prangwizard
      April 7, 2019

      For those readers and contributors here who are not regulars to The Conservative Woman blog visit today and read the piece comparing May’s behaviour with Lenin’s. Shows what party loyalists are prepared to bring about and tolerate. The Tory party dare not move against May. She knows it and sweeps their views aside to achieve her end.

      Evil will prevail when good people do nothing and make their excuses.

      1. L Jones
        April 7, 2019

        But WHY dare they not move against her? Why, for goodness’ sake?

        1. mancunius
          April 7, 2019

          Because the leadership election rules Hague foisted on the Tory Party preclude a challenge until 12 months have passed since the last one, so it will be mid-December 2019 by the time they get round to wondering if she is the perfect leader for these times.
          By then she may have led the Tory Party into another catastrophic election.
          (Oh, you say she promised to give way to another leader before the next election? But it was Theresa May who made that promise…:-)

  14. Pud
    April 7, 2019

    If a Remainer claims the referendum was only advisory, ask if they would be happy in the hypothetical situation that Remain won the referendum but the government decided to leave the EU anyway.

    1. Dave Andrews
      April 7, 2019

      Good point.
      Also, if there was a parliamentary decision to revoke Art 50, can a future administration take us out without reference to the electorate?

      1. mancunius
        April 7, 2019

        If there were a GE on the issue, and the Brexit Party stormed home with a big majority, they probably could. Labour won’t honour another referendum result to Leave, and now we know a Tory government won’t either.
        Even a Brexit government could not do it without a parliamentary bill to repeal the 1972 Act.
        They could mirror 1973/75 by having a referendum two years later…

  15. jerry
    April 7, 2019

    Whilst the question actually asked was;

    Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

    “It also was based on the premise that we would be outside the customs union, though it did not say that directly.”

    Norway is not a member of the European Union, nor did the question ask about leaving the customs union, we cast our votes according to the question asked, not if we trusted a promise. In fact much of the Vote Leave and UKIP campaigns was built around telling people not to trust Govt promises, namely to reject the promises made in Cameron’s renegotiations with the EU…

    Also did not many Leave campaign groups, beside the govt leaflet, also talked about retaining frictionless trade between the EU and the UK, hardly surprising if ‘average Joe’ (with otherwise little political interest) takes that to mean some sort of CU – such as the Norway or Swiss models, indeed at least one eurosceptic contributor to this site suggested that the UK should become a “Greater Switzerland” post Brexit.

    Remain groups campaigned on many issues, including what they believed worse case scenarios, just as Leave groups did, otherwise why all the ‘Project Fear’ from eurosceptic regarding the prospect of a EU army and uncontrolled immigration etc?

    Also, are you seriously suggesting that, just because some Remain groups talked about a more federated EU, a Remain result would have given cart blanch to those euro-fanatics who wish the UK to join the Euro etc, of course not. In the same way the Leave result does not automatically mean a WTO exit. If it did why bother turning up for the A50 negotiations, something the Govt also committed themselves to should the country decide to Leave.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    April 7, 2019

    Cameron’s silence could be significant.

  17. KMILLS
    April 7, 2019

    The establishment are fighting for their future so it is no wonder they are playing dirty!If we succeed with this venture their guaranteed incomes and tax free pensions will quickly diminish/disappear for a start from the EU.We might then make a start on the dreadful BBC and similar outfits .Where might it end if our wishes are allowed to progress? Better to make a few Westminster sacrifices in the hope that we forget as usual and then consolidate as best that can be managed.Its always worked well in the past……..why not again so that the influence / money can continue? Hopefully not this time though?

  18. Denis Cooper
    April 7, 2019

    Nobody cares what it said in the 2017 Tory manifesto, least of all the liar cheat hypocrite and traitor who apparently was the best person that the Tory party could find to be its leader and our Prime Minister after her equally despicable predecessor deserted his post.

    1. APL
      April 7, 2019

      Denis Cooper: “least of all the liar cheat hypocrite and traitor who apparently was the best person that the Tory party could find to be its leader ”

      It’s not as if they hadn’t had plenty of warning, she must have been the worst Home Secretary for quite some time.

  19. Bryan Harris
    April 7, 2019

    Total Treachery:

    “BBC News reported that, addressing her MPs in a statement last night, Theresa May clearly ruled out the option of the UK leaving the EU on WTO terms – and warned of the “stark choice” between leaving with a deal or not leaving at all.”

    She cannot be allowed to continue…

  20. Chris
    April 7, 2019

    Can you do the same with Article 50, please? It would help stop the nonsensical and dishonest claims coming from politicians and some “pundits”.

  21. Pat
    April 7, 2019

    Best of seven?
    If the first referendum is not accepted why should the second one be?
    There are two logical reasons for a second referendum.
    One would be to check if the country has changed its mind, in which case the questions should be identical to the first, and subsequent referenda scheduled to check for further mind changes.
    The second would be to agree on the terms of leaving, so the choice would be between May’s deal and WTO.
    Anything else would be a fraud.
    My observation is that public opinion has been moving away from the EU since it’s inception, hence remained wriggling might well delay our departure by a Parliament or two, but will not stop it.

    1. nhsgp
      April 7, 2019

      Why not have a WTO versus May’s deal vote?

      We haven’t had the first implemented. Until then you haven’t any things implemented to change your minds on.

      Now for May’s deal. When you look at the WA , there are no numbers for payments documented.

      Will May and co list the costs, in full so people know what they are voting for?

      Of course they won’t. No MP will

      John, you can always surprise us. Just don’t leave off the cost of subsidies.

      1. APL
        April 8, 2019

        nhsgp: “Why not have a WTO versus May’s deal vote?”

        Because if you haven’t yet figured it out, this is a stitch up. If we concede a new referendum there will be three or four varieties of remain questions thinly disguised as leave options, and one overtly Remain option.

        Thus splitting the leave vote into three or four factions, none of which individually will achieve the vote total of the remain faction.

        Presto!! Remain will win.

        Pat: “One would be to check if the country has changed its mind, ”

        We’ve only just – been asked, 43 years after the first decision to join, if we wish to stay in, and the result was as clear as you could wish for.

        We deserve at least another half century of working out how to live outside the European Union, before we decide, ‘Wah! It’s too difficult’.

  22. Billy Elliot
    April 7, 2019

    Brexit it peculiar phenomena. There is no easy way of executing it. No middle way. BRINO doesn’t anyone happy. Choices are pretty much leave or remain. And we voted leave. No CU no single market. However that brings along the risk of UK being dissolved. If “hard brexit” will be chosen it is just a matter of time when NI will have they referendum and join Republic of Ireland. Scots? Who knows. Is it worth it? Go figure.

    1. sm
      April 7, 2019

      “the risk of the UK being dissolved” – well, if that’s what majorities in NI, Wales and Scotland want, that’s what they should get.

      But that means Hard Leave: no more subsidies, no more slipping over borders for better medical treatment for free, no representation in the HoC, no special treatment regarding voting rights in England, defence etc.

  23. Mark B
    April 7, 2019

    Dear Remainers,

    What part of LEAVE, do you not understand ?


    Mark B

    PS Explain to me where you think the EU will be, and what it might then be called in 10 years time ?

    1. L Jones
      April 7, 2019

      Remainers voted for a status quo in 2016. That state of affairs doesn’t exist now. Yet most still don’t seem to be able to grasp this fact – unless winning their point is more important than anything else. Can’t they see the future darkness into which we and our children are being dragged by their much-admired EU?
      If they want our country to suffer, they are going to right way about it. But their children will suffer too, along with ours.

    2. Paulo
      April 7, 2019

      The bit which says, will we be like Norway, or Ukraine, or Canada, or Japan, or Brzail, or Mexico, or Sudan? Do tell. The leave campaign never did tell and it still doesnt have a clue

  24. An idea...
    April 7, 2019

    Cameron’s silence could be significant.

    Yes, he doesnt care, he never cared. Did you not see his photos afterwards with his buddies laughing at us? Laughing how easy it is for us to be conned?

  25. Anonymous
    April 7, 2019

    Absolutely right, Sir John.

    So why have we allowed Remain to stall leaving for THREE YEARS by saying Leave did not make clear what leaving meant.

    What Leave said was irrelevant.

    The Government of the day defined what leaving the EU meant !

    Our Chancellor and PM have flatly refused to plan and fund what was defined in the leaflet and what was on the ballot slip. This is criminally negligent.

  26. oldwulf
    April 7, 2019

    I recently read an interesting comment about a customs union. A letter to the Financial Times from Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at King’s College London, said, “we would have to open up our markets to the third countries with which the EU had trade agreements, but the markets of such third countries would not be open to our exports since we would be outside the EU. And such third countries would have few incentives to sign trade agreements with us since their goods would already enjoy free access”.

  27. Denis Cooper
    April 7, 2019

    During his interview with Sophy Ridge this morning the Tory MP (and ex-minister) Sam Gyimah said that maybe the current impasse in Parliament could only be resolved by the public in another referendum, and he would vote to remain in the EU.

    Firstly given the mass of (largely artificial) complexities that have arisen with withdrawal from the EU to create that impasse I do not quite see how voters with jobs and families taking up their time and energy could reasonably be expected to do what full-time MPs are (deliberately) failing to do and resolve it in any detail; secondly I have no confidence in any guidance that the elite including Sam Gyimah might provide for the assistance of the voters during the referendum campaign; and thirdly I do not see why he assumes that remaining in the EU should be an option offered on the ballot paper.

    1. L Jones
      April 7, 2019

      Yes. But they’re not ”elite”.

  28. SidneyIngleby
    April 7, 2019

    In her formal notification,to Tusk,on 29/3/17 that on 29/3/19 The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would leave the European Union, the Prime Minister said”It is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership ALONGSIDE(my caps) those of our withdrawal from the EU”.
    If she meant that why did Robbins ignore it.If she did not then she has lied from day 1.

  29. Sue Doughty
    April 7, 2019

    Leaving the EU was a manifesto promise the House of Lords is not legally allowed to overrule. I do hope they bear this in mind and refuse the Cooper bill that might prevent the UK leaving the EU now that we all know the Withdrawal deal is unacceptable.
    NB, in a divorce there is a sharing of assets. Brussels owes the UK our share of what are joint assets already valued with the proportionate sum payable on time to the UK. We owe them nothing more. They owe us.

  30. yossarion
    April 7, 2019

    The War on the Narrative was lost over two years ago when the language was put out there by your so called political ally and leader, who was put in place by the Establishment for the Establishment and held in office by the Establishment.

  31. Alex Dov
    April 7, 2019

    Welcome travelers and BBC WORLD INFO Fans from across the globe! We always show you the latest news! We know there’s no substitute for bbcworldinfo.com News and you shouldn’t be denied our Fair and Balanced coverage just because you’re outside. You have let us know loud and clear that you want your BBC WORLD INFO and we know It’s a big world and we need your help, so keep those emails coming. We want to hear from you.

  32. Jim Whitehouse
    April 7, 2019

    I’m quite sure that many less politically active people were not well aware of the distinct components of EU membership (customs unions etc.). One reason for this is that we were never asked if we wanted to join them in the first case.
    Those of us that put a cross in the leave box just meant leave the EU – all of it, without particularly knowing or caring that EU membership is a jigsaw puzzle of different bits.
    When we heard politicians saying that they will try and negotiate a deal I, at least, assumed they meant a free trade deal. I accepted that a free trade deal could be a good idea but that no deal would be preferable to a bad free trade deal. The current deal on offer will cost us £39Billion and does not offer any free trade. To me, that counts as a bad deal.

  33. Peter Thompson
    April 7, 2019

    When I voted in 2016 to Leave I was under the impression that the government would negotiate a deal so that the UK could leave in an orderly manner. The only deal which has been given is Mrs May’s WA which is not “pure ” and comes with a lot of fudges but at least we wouldn”t be an EU member.
    I am disappointed that we didn’t leave last week and yes I do blame the ERG some of whose members seem so extreme that they will not settle for anything less than toeing the UK out into the mid Atlantic.
    If you think there will be a ” peoples revolution ” you will be sorely disappointed . Outside certain closed cliques the issue is hardly discussed and as Newport which is a typical post industrial British town showed last week most people don’t care.

    1. Helen Smith
      April 7, 2019

      You need to look at who voted, even if all the ERG had supported the rotten WA it still would not have past because arch Remainers like Jo Johnson and Grieve voted against it to ensure it didn’t.

    2. nhsgp
      April 7, 2019

      The ERG aren’t part of it. May has taken control.

      It’s simple. Leave now. Then the EU and a more honest PM can sit down and do deals. Plural.

      e.g. Do they want cooperation on security? Yes or no. My view is yes. A simple deal is done.

      Do they want the UK to extradite their criminals? [We can always deport them]. My view is yes. A deal is done.

  34. Helen Smith
    April 7, 2019

    Once Art 50 is revoked, and I hope MPs at least do it openly instead of hiding behind a rigged second ref, then the 100 decent Leave supporting Tory MPs need to leave and start a real Conservative party. No way can they share green benches with the likes of Hammond and Letwin.

  35. nhsgp
    April 7, 2019


    Lets be even clearer. You can hear and see for yourself, that it wasn’t an advisory referendum.

    Now if it was a court of law, lots of politicians would be sent down for perjury.

  36. Blinkered
    April 7, 2019

    What does it matter now about who said what – we should just sit back and enjoy the ride- Friday night we’ll be out for sure- there will be no agreement between May and Corbyn- the WA will still not be ratified and the EU will not grant a further extension- they cannot do so because of the danger of polluting the EU parliamentry system.

    The only way for UK to stay in now is if we revoke A50 and not even May could do that.

    So out we go 2300hrs 12th and we can resume the argument with them from outside, that’s what she will be told Wednesday – they, like the rest of us have had enough

  37. Ian Bland
    April 7, 2019

    At least this has proved once and for all that we live in a democracy in name only. Our votes are not intended to decide policy, but simply to supply justification to an incumbent oligarchy. This is why politicians have bemoaned lack of engagement with the voting process, not because they want our opinion, but they want its legitimisation.

    So that’s something, I suppose.

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