My speech on the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill

edited speech

Many people outside this House are losing confidence and trust in us and our proceedings. Tonight is another plunge in how they see us, because we are behaving collectively so badly. My right hon. and hon. Friends who have complained about the lack of time for debating both the Bill and the amendments are quite right. This is a serious constitutional matter. We have not been given time to construct proper amendments and there is no time in this brief hour to do justice to the complex issues raised by the Lords amendments. We had but a short debate on the original consideration of the Bill, when I was able to set out some of the constitutional difficulties involved in groups of MPs seizing the agenda and taking over money resolution and Crown prerogative matters. We are not allowed proper time tonight to consider exactly how all that fits with this Bill.

What we do know, however, is that the very slim majority who have got the Bill this far through this House intend to go against the clearly expressed wishes of the British people in the referendum. All those who voted to leave, two years and nine months ago, had every reason to suppose that all Labour and Conservative Members elected on their 2017 manifestos would see through our exit in a timely way. They should also have expected that from the promises made by both the leave and the remain campaigns in the referendum, the legislation put through in granting that referendum, and the clear statement of the Government at the time, who said that we would implement the wishes of the British people. The Opposition did not dissent from that particular view when the Government put out their leaflet. Indeed, during the remain campaign many Labour MPs endorsed the Government. That is why tonight is another sad night. This Parliament is breaking its word, breaking its promises and letting down 17.4 million voters, but it is also letting down quite a lot of remain voters.

A lot of remain voters are good democrats who fully accept the verdict of the British people. Quite a lot of people in our country were only just remain voters or only just leave voters and are prepared to live with the judgment of the majority. They too are scandalised that this Parliament is insisting on a second needless delay when we have had two years and nine months to prepare for exit and when our Government assure us that they are fully prepared for exiting without signing the withdrawal agreement.

I find it very odd that Members of this House think that the withdrawal agreement is, in itself, Brexit or in any way helps Brexit. The withdrawal agreement is a massively long delay to our exit, with the added problem, which the Opposition have rightly identified, that it entails signing up to a solemn and binding international treaty to undermine our bargaining position in the second part of the negotiations envisaged by the EU’s process.

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): My right hon. Friend is making an extremely good speech. Is he aware that, as I have been informed today, the withdrawal agreement and implementation Bill, which is supposed to put this appalling withdrawal agreement into domestic law, is around 120 pages long? That is what we are heading for in the next couple of weeks.

John Redwood My hon. Friend is right. The nature of that solemn and binding treaty will be to lock us in, for 21 or 45 months, to every feature of the European Union without representation, vote or voice. It might mean that we end up in large sections of it—the customs union and single market alignment—in perpetuity, thanks to the Irish backstop.

It is a massive delay, and I say to my hon. and right hon. Friends on the Front Bench that, if they are offering the public either a guaranteed delay under the withdrawal agreement or a shorter delay that they wish to negotiate, a lot of leave voters would rather have the shorter delay. All of us leave voters do not want any delay at all. That is why people will be scandalised by what this House is rushing through again this evening.

The shortage of time is completely scandalous. This is a massive issue that has gripped the nation for many months. It dominates the news media, it sucks the life out of this House on every other issue and now, when we come to this big crunch event and when leave had been led to believe that we would be leaving the European Union without an agreement if necessary, they are told at the last minute, for the second time, that all their hopes for their democratic outcome will be dashed again. This Parliament does that with grave danger to its reputation.

I urge all those who wish to get this lightning legislation through again to ask themselves what they are going to say to all their leave voters, and what they are going to say to their remain voters who are also democrats and who join leave voters in saying, “Get on with it. Get it over with. Why do we have to sit through month after month of the same people making the same points that they put to a referendum and lost?”

This Parliament needs to wake up and get real. It needs to move on. It needs to rise to the nation’s requirements and deal with the nation’s other business, and it needs to accept that this was decided by the public. It is our duty to implement it. Leaving without this agreement is going to be just fine. We are prepared for it. Business is ready for it. Business has spent money. Business has done whatever it needed to do and, in many cases, feels very let down that it is not able to use all its contingencies, on which it has spent good money.

I would say this to all Labour MPs, particularly those with a majority of leave voters in their constituency: understand the damage you are doing, understand the damage you are doing to this institution, understand the damage you are doing to our democracy and vote for us to leave the European Union.


  1. Pominoz
    April 10, 2019

    Sir John,

    An excellent speech.

    My understanding now is that Donald Tusk is proposing a ‘long’ extension that may be terminated earlier if the UK surrenders by signing the WA. So this sounds as though we have the following options:
    1. Remain in the limbo of extension for as long as the EU decides, paying billions, (with our hands tied behind our backs)
    2. Allow ourselves to be tied in permanently via the BRINO of the WA (with our hands tied behind our backs).
    3. Change our minds, cancel Article 50, and stay in permanently on terms considerably more penal than at present.
    What a tragic outcome for those sovereign-minded 17.4 million people.

    Thank you Mrs May for getting us into this position! The 17.4 million will get their revenge.

    1. Adam
      April 10, 2019

      The Remaining-EU fanatics attempt causing our country to self-destruct.
      Their version of Leave is not with Brexit.
      They want to leave us with their dreadful Bill.

    2. Stephen Priest
      April 10, 2019

      The very MPs who kept parroting the lines “The uncertainties due to Brexit” and “The one thing businesses don’t like is uncertainty” are now prolonging the uncertainty.

      (By the way if you don’t like uncertainty you wouldn’t go into business in the first place)

    3. Caterpillar
      April 10, 2019


      2 must be stopped.

      Under 1:
      UK has opportunity to vote in European elections. (I assume a differently composed electorate to the 2016 referendum but still an opportunity for Brexit supporting parties to achieve more than UKIP did in the last referendum.)
      The time for a second confidence vote in the PM will approach.
      The few remaining MPs with integrity can pressurise. May and Hammond into completing no deal preparations.
      A referendum of no deal vs the WA could be organised. (With more critique of the WA and wider appreciation of the implications of remaining in the CU)

      The risk of on going uncertainty (unless prep’n for no deal completed)
      The risk of the PM continuing to grow closer to the leader of the opposition.

      1. Caterpillar
        April 10, 2019

        my typo – ‘last European elections’ not ‘last referendum’

    4. Lifelogic
      April 10, 2019

      Exactly what a dire choice.

      What an appalling PM, Chancellor, Government, Speaker and Opposition we have. So many Traitors in one place – totally contrary the ‘you are not traitors’ drivel the Speaker came out with.

    5. James1
      April 10, 2019

      It boils down to one word – trust. The trust of 17.4 million has been betrayed. It has been betrayed where it counts the most, in the so-called Mother of Parliaments. Bring on the Council elections and the European Parliament elections, the result will show in no uncertain terms that we have not given up on regaining our sovereignty. We are indeed more determined than ever, and we will win.

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 10, 2019

        Actually it’s betraying the trust of all who took the government at its word and bothered to vote, 33 million, whichever way they voted.

    6. Hope
      April 10, 2019

      JR, Martin Howe QC makes it clear in the papers that despite legislation from traitors Letwin and Cooper it is still perfectly within May’s gift to leave without a deal on Friday.

      May is exercising her choice to remain in servitude or remain as it is. She is a liar and dishonest. You are not going to change those characteristics. Your only hope is to oust her. You and your colleagues are exercising a choice to keep her in office. Tell us your plan to get shot of her.

      Reply There is no easy way as she won the vote of no confidence late last year

      1. L Jones
        April 10, 2019

        Winning a vote of no confidence says more about the people who voted to keep her there than it does about her.

        If there’s ‘no easy way’ then why can’t ANY other way be considered in an attempt to get rid of her? No-one expects it to be easy – I’m sure it’ll be damned difficult – but the country NEEDS to be saved NOW from someone who is destroying the UK’s standing and credibility, and perhaps even its sovereignty for all time – and who supposes that would be easy?
        But it needs to be done and it needs to be SOON.

        1. Hope
          April 10, 2019

          JR, absolute rubbish. Do not vote for any government legislation, urge Labour to a vote of no confidence. Abstain form,all voting ntil she goes. Your defeatist approach is more t do with loyalty to party than nation.

      2. James Bertram
        April 10, 2019

        Not an easy way to get rid of May and the Remainers, just a simple way. All it takes is for Tory MPs to have courage, and put Country before Party.

        As I write each day:
        Tory ‘Leave’ MPs must resign the whip en masse, bring this Quisling Government down, having taken over the local Conservative party associations (stealing most of their potential candidates, activists, membership and some funding), fight the election as a new party – The Real Tory Party – fielding 650 candidates, win the election, deliver a clean Brexit, then perhaps re-unite with their old colleagues (minus the Remainers) as the Conservative Party.
        This should be done on 12th April if we have not left already.

        1. Iain Hayward
          April 15, 2019

          James, I agree, Tory “Leave” MPs should resign and unite as a separate party bringing down this government. The electorate need politicians who are leaders, who are prepared to stand for what they believe in, not hide behind a party that has torn itself apart and is not one thing or the other. May has tried to appease both sides of the Tory party and delivered a mess in the process. TIME FOR A CHANGE

      3. Al
        April 10, 2019

        Doing what is right is rarely easy. If the easy ways are exhausted, then hard ways must be considered.

        A shame that Hammond is unlikely to grant May an appointment to the Chiltern Hundreds, probably one of the reasons he is still Chancellor.

      4. Mike Wilson
        April 10, 2019

        There is no easy way as she won the vote of no confidence late last year

        I would have thought if enough of you said you were leaving the party and becoming independent MPS – unless she goes NOW – that ought to do the trick. Surely the most die-hard supporter of May and Remain would not want the government to fall and Corbyn in Downing Street.

        It’s time for the gloves to come off.

    7. Leslie Singleton
      April 10, 2019

      Dear Pom–Unfortunately I wouldn’t put money on revenge as regards Mrs May who will, even if she were to lose her consituency, get her Commons pension, her Damehood or whatever and her daily allowance in the Lords, all like night follows day.
      Love to be wrong–she has been an unmitigated disaster.

      1. Fred H
        April 10, 2019

        She certainly will not lose her constituency. Sadly there are too many faithful Tories there, in spite of her shocking activities as PM. Once back on the benches she will be ignored forever, who will listen to a word she says? Getting rid might mean a trip to the other House, totally undeserved.

  2. Stred
    April 10, 2019

    Mrs Balls said that food prices would rise by 10% if we left on WTO terms. Another lady MP for Wakefield thinks that the car industry is in the doldrums because of Brexit. If these are typical and have so little understanding of the economy, then how can we expect the HoC to be fit for purpose?

    1. Julie Dyson
      April 10, 2019

      This is indeed the problem. MPs clearly don’t just propagate Project BS and spout it at every opportunity for the news cameras and journalists to devour, some even seem to actually, genuinely, believe it. This is the calibre of people we have been electing to make the laws (well, some of the laws) by which we must live our lives, and that does not bode well for our future as a nation — whether inside or outside the EU.

      P.S. Excellent speech, Sir John. There yet remains a small glimmer of hope in the dark future beckoning us, so long as your colleagues and your good self are willing to fight our corner, forlorn though it must at times seem.

    2. Lifelogic
      April 10, 2019

      Indeed are they very stupid or more likely just lying? The main thing destroying the car market is threats of government action or banning so best to stick to you current car (or a cheap second hand one) until the new technology actually works and becomes practical and cost effective.

      Current electric cars can have battery leasing costs of perhaps £20,000 over the lifetime of the (rather limited range) car. This replaces the £90 plastic tank on a petrol car. Currently you pay little tax on electricity but once the government has forced you over to electric that will clearly not continue for long. We will surely get some new electric car tax to replace the huge current taxes on petrol and diesel fuel.

      1. stred
        April 10, 2019

        BBC and Ch4 were putting out the usual nonsense about car and van pollution when ULEZ came in. They show infra red pictures of hot air from exhausts which looks black. Then they interview mothers trying to save their children who say that 9000 people die every years in London because of pollution, when the official document shows that banning cars and vans will make an estimated improvement of lifespan of only weeks over 80 years. No one mentions that brakes and exhausts contribute 60% of particulates. No one mentions that half of NO2 is background and cars and vans 10%. No one mentions that pollution levels have been falling and the children are breathing air that is far far cleaner that their parents and grandparents. The car industry has been wrecked across Europe for false science. Khan’s health emergency is BS. Asthma is not killing large numbers of our children but is a problem for some which will not improve after ULEZ and the car industry is crippled. The Greens have succeeded in creating mass hysteria.

    3. Mockbeggar
      April 10, 2019

      I heard Tom Watson on Today this morning. He was wittering on about leaving with the least possible damage to the UK economy. These people have no conception of the fact that the leave vote wasn’t really about money; it was about taking back control of our laws and sovereignty from an increasingly undemocratic (and failing) bureaucracy in Brussels. If that costs money, then so be it. It’ll only be temporary anyway. The £39 bn. plus will be a useful bonus to help us with that little hiccough.

      1. stred
        April 10, 2019

        Is this the Tom Watson that was worried that there was a lot of sexual abuse by politicians and that a fantasist was telling the truth? He has as much sense as some of the senior MET officers.

    4. agricola
      April 10, 2019

      The HoC is not fit for purpose. Too many of sub standard intelligence and little experience of life, particularly international commercial life. They were just the gobiest in the bucket at that time. It is a gravy train for the inadequate.

    5. Denis Cooper
      April 10, 2019

      The Tory government has not only consistently failed to rebut these scare stories,
      it has been responsible for originating some of them, and even when this has been pointed out Tory MPs have done nothing about it.

      There is the claim that “loyalty is the secret weapon of the Conservative party”,
      and maybe that is why even pro-Brexit Tory MPs have been content to sit back
      and watch the case for Brexit being systematically undermined day after day.

      This is from August 5th 2017:

      “Off-topic, JR, I’ve finally come to the end of my patience with David Davis and his now massive department and so I’ve have just send this email to the so-called “media unit”, copied to him and to the “correspondence unit” in the Cabinet Office:

      “Hello, anybody at home?”

      “Day after day, week after week, I see pro-EU, anti-Brexit propaganda flooding into the mass media, but I never see any response from you lot … ”

      And this is the last paragraph of my letter in our local paper last week, now twenty months after that comment:

      “Over the past two and half years we have witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a government which never attempts to refute attacks upon its central official policy, and in fact sometimes appears to be the original source of scare stories and other fallacious criticisms.”

      I increasingly conclude that I may as well have saved my breath/pixels, because it was always unreasonable to suppose that the same party that originally got us into the EEC/EC/EU/USE quagmire would ever get us out it.

  3. Mark B
    April 10, 2019

    Good morning

    Good speech. But were any of them paying attention ? You see, with a scheduled general election another 3 years away, they can afford to. And that is why May had the snap election. 😉

  4. Dominic
    April 10, 2019

    If the Remain vested interest that’s infected the main parties, the media and the administrative class including powerful ex-politicians like Blair, Major et al can take us this far down the road of treachery then they can take us much further as well.

    I believe that what we are seeing today is but the start of the process of chaining the UK into a set of arrangements that will last for perpetuity and if we fail to leave then we will never have the opportunity again. The escape door will be closed and bricked up.

    Leave simply doesn’t have the political leverage, access to power or sense of revenge that should see us confront this appalling PM and her Remain co-conspirators

    It is obvious now that the Tory Eurosceptic MPs have zero intention of destroying the vehicle responsible for this treachery, the Parliamentary Tory Party. We expect treachery from Marxist Labour.

    The next General Election is the final opportunity for Leave voters to take their revenge against the very people who look down their noses at them.

    Traditional Labour voters are still unaware of the treachery still taking place simply because they have neither the information nor understanding of the political and Parliamentary process. They see the term ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ and simply assume that the UK is withdrawing. The trust that they show in the political class is mind-blowing in its naivety

    The great fear is that the voter punishes the Tories and rewards Labour at the next GE. We need a new party to break the duopoly or else we could end up with a Labour-SNP coalition and that would be disastrous on Venezuelan scale. Prosperity, freedoms, liberties would be swept away

  5. Lifelogic
    April 10, 2019

    An excellent contribution.

    So why on earth do so many MPs totally fail to follow the clear logic of your arguments? Is it stupidity or just an overwhelming desire to defeat the will of the people, destroy their parties and remain rules by anti-democratic EU? Why did most of them stand on manifestoes promising to leave?

    They clearly have no moral justification whatsoever.

    1. Mike Stallard
      April 10, 2019

      Thanks to our history, MPs have a political career. This means that they have to be very carefully where they tread. Their mortgages, their families, their children’s education depend on their decisions and their re-election. Laugh if you like: they are human too.
      And many of them have spent years and years as bag carriers to other MPs too. They know the unwritten rules.
      In the past, it was easy. You just complied. Did what you were asked by the experts. No argument. The King’s men have always been there. And, secretly, the EU pumped out Directives which were made into law without parliament being asked (StI).
      Now all that is under threat. The MPs are like soldiers on the battlefield whose officers are all shouting contradictory orders. It is so easy to be scathing.
      Mr Barclay, who is our MP is certainly not a wimp. He is certainly not wicked (as far as I know). He is a decent sort of chap who is also very likeable and courteous to everyone.
      His problem is that nobody is telling him what the party line is. And he is legally in charge! (Several people have already resigned from his job.)

    2. Richard1
      April 10, 2019

      No it’s because they don’t want a catastrophicnodealbrexit. They are humbugs. No member of Parliament who says it is unthinkable to leave without an EU-approved deal should have voted for the referendum nor for article 50. And none of those should have intoned that they would/will respect the referendum result or stood on the manifestos of either the labour or Conservative parties in 2017.

      You have to hand it to the EU they have seen all along that May would cave in at every stage and perhaps anticipated that Parliament would undermine any attempt by the govt at robust negotiation. The European Parliament elections will be an interesting new test of opinion.

    3. Lifelogic
      April 10, 2019

      Or even manifestos.

    4. KMILLS
      April 10, 2019

      Only because they are looking foreward to a decision free life in Hotel Califonia bathing in the warm sunshine of their brilliant decision with all expenses paid by someone else.Hopefully we can upset their complacency but it will be very hard work.

    5. cynic
      April 10, 2019

      Socialists believe that people are misled and do not understand where their true interests lie. It is the role of the intellectuals to look after the real interests of the workers.

    6. rose
      April 10, 2019

      Not just Parliament but the Prime Minister also refusing to listen to the clear logic of these arguments.

  6. Robin Brooke-Smith
    April 10, 2019

    Excellent. A ray of common sense in the fog and gloom of the pathetic Remainer Parliament . But what to do?

  7. eeyore
    April 10, 2019

    Earlier this week the Queen signed the Brexit Delay Bill into law. Without going into details, this action has politicised the monarchy and forced the Queen to take sides on Brexit.

    The side she has taken is not that of the people as expressed at the referendum but that of hard-line Remainers who seek to frustrate its result.

    HM can act only on Ministers’ advice, but Ministers serve the Crown not Parliament. We must know who advised her to do this unconstitutional thing and on what basis they advised it.

  8. agricola
    April 10, 2019

    You know the answer. May must go along with her weak compliant cabinet. She must be replaced by a leave PM and cabinet who have the guts to remove us from this EU/May contrived arachnoid web of destruction by leaving without a deal. This is something thst EU industry is increasingly very worried about. Follow it wjth a draft free trade proposal on goods and services and Art 24 of GATT if considered viable. Then get on with life under WTO terms and see how European exporters react to EU intransigence. In other parlance, cross their T.

  9. Ken Marsh
    April 10, 2019

    A dull repetitive speech which no doubt to ensure your cause was defeated by a huge majority. Brexit has been exposed as a fairy tale and we ain’t leaving

    1. L Jones
      April 10, 2019

      And here we have another one.
      Remainer = no comment without an insult.

      As I’ve said before, I believe Sir John allows tripe like this through his moderation system so that people like you can make fools of yourselves, and give a little light comedic relief.

      Perhaps you should just stick to presenting a cogent argument for loving the EU………. What’s that? You haven’t got one, you say? Ah well, it’s back to the Beano for you, then.

  10. Roy Grainger
    April 10, 2019

    What is the supposed purpose of the delay ? Has May explained it to anyone ? As the EU constantly say the WA can’t be changed what can May do with the extra time ? If Labour won’t support the WA now why would they do so later ? What has she said to the EU ?

    Well, actually we know what the time is really for. May wants to be”forced” by Parliament to have a second referendum which will be organised for a Remain outcome. If there is insufficient support for that she wants to run the time down on this delay, have the EU refuse another one, and then be “forced” to revoke A50. And what will Conservative MPs do about this ? Nothing, by the look of it except make speeches and write articles and brief journalists saying how terrible it all is.

  11. Mike Stallard
    April 10, 2019

    Super speech – well done! Courage and upwards!

  12. Mike Wilson
    April 10, 2019

    Please, please, please – let’s have an end to this awful mess. Let’s revoke Article 50 and forget all about it. Maybe, in the future, another country will leave and show us how to do it. I am sick to the back teeth of this.

    1. MickN
      April 10, 2019

      Steady Mike, that is the plan
      Remember “Nil Illigitimus Carborundum” (never let the bast*rds grind you down)

    2. L Jones
      April 10, 2019

      Well, Mike, didn’t we hear something just like that in 1940….. Ah, wait a minute. No, actually we didn’t.
      Good job too, eh?

  13. DaveM
    April 10, 2019

    I wonder what new and inventive ways May will find with which to embarrass us today.

  14. Bob
    April 10, 2019

    Mrs May never intended to honour the referendum result, she and her cohorts just delayed, obfuscated and lied, while they sought a way to avoid leaving. I suspect they’ve all been reading “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu.

  15. Alan Jutson
    April 10, 2019

    Good speech John

    Amazed that Liam Fox has had to send a letter out to Conservative Mp’s to clarify what exactly is meant by being a member of the so called Customs Union.

    If Mp’s still had no idea last week, how on earth could they have made proper decisions and cast their vote in the last 3 years.

    Perhaps all Mp’s of all Parties should have been issued with a copy !

    Miss information and fake news seems to be the norm in Westminster bubble.

    Please keep up the good work.

  16. Christine
    April 10, 2019

    People are entrenched in their position. They believe they are right and no longer listen to arguments to the contrary. Delay is causing untold damage to our democracy and country. May needs to go before she ruins your party. The people will not forgive or forget this massive betrayal. It’s imperative that the WA is never signed even if we have to wait longer to get Brexit.

  17. acorn
    April 10, 2019

    But likewise, I would say this to all Conservative MPs, particularly those with a majority of remain voters in their constituency: understand the damage you are doing, understand the damage you are doing to this institution, understand the damage you are doing to our democracy and vote for us to remain in the European Union.

    1. Edward2
      April 11, 2019

      Isn’t that what most MPs are doing?

  18. David Maples
    April 10, 2019

    The dire fallout predictions of no-deal are a myth believed by economically illiterate MPs, but are in any case a smoke screen to hide their deep seated revulsion at leaving the EU. However, [ceteris paribus], we will surely be thrown out at the end of this latest extension.

  19. Glenn Vaughan
    April 10, 2019

    Full marks for your excellent speech John.

  20. Merlin
    April 10, 2019

    Just replying to everyone who suddenly claims No Deal is delivering the referendum.

    1. Nobody was discussing No Deal during the referendum. We were told it was all going to be great. It was quite simply not mentioned until about six months ago.

    2. The leaflet does in fact mention us coming up with a deal and not crashing out. And the words were ‘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’. Just in case you didn’t read it.

    3. 17.4 million people did not vote for No Deal – though I’m willing to be proved wrong through another referendum against Remain.

    1. Merlin
      April 10, 2019

      Indeed the very fact we can even have this argument is not a promising sign.

      Nobody seems able to convince anybody else.

      1. Edward2
        April 10, 2019

        The Withdrawal Agreement is not a deal Merlin.
        Even if signed we begin negotiations towards a deal with the EU shortly afterwards.

        1. Merlin
          April 10, 2019

          True. But my point still stands.

          1. Edward2
            April 10, 2019

            Do you really believe that Merlin?
            It strikes me you have a fantasy version of the referendum campaign when our PM and Chancellor told us many times what leaving meant.
            As did the Leaflet.
            Of course a deal is preferred.
            And one day one will be done.
            But as our current PM said over 100 times, no deal is better than s bad deal.

    2. Know-Dice
      April 10, 2019

      But as is widely known the EU will not negotiate an ongoing trade deal until the UK is a “third country”.

      So, any mention of a deal before leaving was always “pie in the sky”. May’s Withdrawal Agreement is NOT a deal and the Political Declaration will never be delivered.

      I certainly find it extraordinary that the EU should take such an intransigent position over the future relationship and it really does emphasise why we should leave.

  21. Stred
    April 10, 2019

    They have swallowed the Fear and do no read the counter arguments or care to remember statements by neutral civil servants or by qualified economists. Hammond and his department have been unashamedly behind the Fear lies and disruption of no deal preparation. If we ever do get to leave there should be an enquiry into the actions and punishment for treachery.

    1. Bob
      April 10, 2019

      “If we ever do get to leave there should be an inquiry into the actions and punishment for treachery.”

      I would vote for that.
      These people need to be brought to account for their deceit and skulduggery.

  22. Special K
    April 10, 2019

    In the meantime we have a knife crime epidemic – the barbarians are on the rampage.

    Three years. THREE YEARS.

    Well here we are. Our hapless PM stuck in EU mud – sad-clown-faced, begging for kind treatment, woeful reports from the BBC of businesses struggling under ‘Brexit uncertainty’ all news reports framed in the grim language and mood of ‘Brexit disaster’.

    And it IS a disaster. And an utter humiliation both nationally and personally.

    There was one minor detail missing from the Leave plans and had I known that there was not the leadership to get us out of the EU I would never have voted for Brexit. Those few in Parliament for Brexit have been completely overwhelmed by the Remain establishment.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the mice.

    I watched surgeons operating on TV last night. The is the kind of very special quality, expertise and confidence we needed at this hour, but what do politicians deliver ? Further diminution of marriage at a time that fatherless boys hack people to bits and then plead mitigation that they come from broken homes in court. Unisex toilets, curbs on free speech…

    Clowns the lot of you. You’re clearly not running this country.

    I resent paying any of you a wage.

  23. RichardM
    April 10, 2019

    A very poor speech. The people have been lied to from the start by brexiters and continue to be lied to. The polls suggest 25% think a no deal would be a positive outcome or the nation yet you still falsely claim to represent the will of the people.
    Shame on the likes of Francoise and Mogg. They are an embarrassment to the Tory party and the nation. It is these who should be being deselected, not the decent honest ones standing up to lies and deceit being ousted by UKIP infiltration into your party.

    The EU have behaved with amazing patience to us. Their democracy works far more efficiently than ours. They are our allies, not enemies as some seem to portray. It is Russia who seek to destabilise the West and are being very successful at it. They are our real enemies.

    It should be clear to all that a flexible brexit extension without absurd time pressures is required for all to calm down and reconsider our future relationship.

    1. Special K
      April 10, 2019

      I would say the reverse is true, Russia/EU. We have TV evidence of Baroness Ashton/EU interference in Ukraine.

      Your accusations against Russia are unfounded conspiracy drivel – fake news as against Trump.

  24. Dennisa
    April 10, 2019

    If I were your constituent I would vote for you. Great speech.

  25. George Brooks
    April 10, 2019

    You are absolutely right Sir John, the standing of parliament has plunged to unbelievable depths in the last 12 months and is still in a head long dive.

    We did not vote for parliament to tell us if the referendum result was good or bad as we had been told it would implement the peoples decision. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

    I am not going to bang on about a botched General Election called for by a useless PM who has been hopelessly out of her depth ever since she took office but direct my comment towards those MPs drifting towards voting for the WA as though this was the only solution.

    The WA is the worst of all worlds and one only has to be read it to realise the damage it will do to this country. It puts us into a far worse position than our current membership and one only has to read the document to understand this.

    Therefore the two options are to leave on Friday evening or revoke Article 50. Theresa May and her team have broken every single promise that they have made during the last three years so why not break one more if you haven’t got the guts to leave under WTO rules on Friday

  26. Lifelogic
    April 10, 2019

    £100 million wasted just for the EU election costs it seems (plus of course the extra £billions in membership fees). Just the £100 million that could pay for perhaps 20,000 urgent operations for people on the NHS waiting list instead. But May and Hammond clearly prefer such government waste.

    1. MickN
      April 10, 2019

      £100,000,000 looks a lot but in perspective it is less than we will send to the EU over the weekend.

  27. Robbie1975
    April 10, 2019

    May cannot be got rid of soon enough. In both senses of the sentence.

  28. billR
    April 10, 2019

    The WA was negotiated, yes, but its terms were largely dictated to us from an EU Agenda, that was the first mistake. Second mistake was letting May get at the helm. Thing is it has been mistake after mistake that has led us to this. Parliament counts for very little it seems in the greater scheme of things- so just like yesterday’s theme- the EU has the power and all the fine speeches by MPs in the HoC is not going to change that.

    We can just walk away- yes- but walk away to where? who’s going to lead us?

  29. Brian Tomkinson
    April 10, 2019

    Cromwell’s words in 1653 seem apposite today:
    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,
    which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.
    Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.
    Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?
    Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
    Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?
    Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.
    Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.
    I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.
    Go, get you out!Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
    In the name of God, go!

  30. formula57
    April 10, 2019

    A Parliament against the people and the constitution – but what can one expect when it is packed with quislings?

  31. sm
    April 10, 2019

    I know it won’t happen, but by Heavens, you ought to be Prime Minister, John.

  32. Ian wragg
    April 10, 2019

    Fine words but totally wasted on a remain Parliament who will ignore everything.
    Brussels is going to Impose a year long extension with punitive measures which May will gladly agree to.
    That woman must go immediately. We are the laughing stock of the world and you will be judged by her actions.

  33. Everhopeful
    April 10, 2019

    So the bill actually DIDN’T have enough time?
    It was rushed through?
    So why did no one object?
    Like Chope did over “upskirting”?
    How come we have not seen any number of undemocratic bills passed over the years if it is as easy as this?
    All very weird!!
    And very disappointing,and upsetting and depressing. it just me?
    Does no one else see a connection between internet censorship and this Brexit delay?
    How will we get the real news…know what is being organised…what is going on etc??
    Oh..I see the French govt has been blocked on Twitter under it’s own fake news law!!

    Reply A majority in Parliament voted to prevent us using the time weapon against this Bill.

  34. Oliver
    April 10, 2019

    Just on the subject of only 133 of 312 Con MP’s obeying a 3 line whip.

    The NYT have an interview with Robert Caro – he says this:

    “You read in every textbook that cliché: Power corrupts. In my opinion, I’ve learned that power does not always corrupt. Power can cleanse. When you’re climbing to get power, you have to use whatever methods are necessary, and you have to conceal your aims. Because if people knew your aims, it might make them not want to give you power. Prime example: the southern senators who raised Lyndon Johnson up in the Senate. They did that because he had made them believe that he felt the same way they did about black people and segregation. But then when you get power, you can do what you want. So power reveals. ”

    May thought the party “nasty”. And she’s abused the power, weakly and timidly, invested, wringly, in her, to conspire with the EU to destroy it – which is what a long extension, and failure to deliver Brexit will do.

  35. John Sheridan
    April 10, 2019

    Very good speech and contribution from Bill Cash.

    The Withdrawal and Implementation bill needs careful scrutiny. The fact that the government has not released it for scrutiny is a red flag. It suggests that more flaws with the WA will be found.

    I read yesterday that during the negotiations between the government and the opposition, the government was keen to fast-track the WA through Parliament. Another straw in the wind that they do not wish the Withdrawal and Implementation bill to be put under analysis.

  36. A.Sedgwick
    April 10, 2019

    The only positive from this political chaos is the sham of our democracy has been exposed.

    Most who are interested in our governance have turned blind eyes to FPTP, marginal seats that decide elections, percentage doesn’t mean seats, cabals who select candidates, leaders and PMs e.g. Major, Brown, May.

    PR could lead to coalitions but they are more visible and accountable than the deep state shenanigans to which we have been subjected. The EU is part of this and is why our UK section has fought such a fierce battle to maintain the deception of democracy. May’s deceit is beyond parody.

    The silver lining is the prospect of MEP elections, what an irony! We are now able to kick the establishment backside good and hard. I forecast queues at polling stations.

  37. am
    April 10, 2019

    EU had two objectives either of which was acceptable but one preferred:
    1. Get a deal through massively in their favour. WA. If this was passed then pleased enough and further screw the thumbs in the negotiations over the future relationship. This deal was likely to be rejected but would have the tendency to achieve the main objective.
    2. Main objective. No brexit.
    So the plan is coming together.
    If you have allies in number 10 and the HOC then easy to achieve.

    1. am
      April 10, 2019

      How to prevent this.
      1. New leader of tory party not enough even if brexiteer as hoc bias will not change.
      2. New leader of tory party and new constitution of hoc with large number of leavers by deselection of remainers.
      3. New parties who are for Brexit.
      So minimum is a general election. We will get Brexit no other way.
      But brexiteers will be shown to be more for their party than Brexit by opposing a general election.
      And so brexit will never happen.
      Future may be the destruction of the tory party.

  38. Bryan Harris
    April 10, 2019

    Nice speech – but far too polite…….With so many in the House having drifted towards socialism, a more direct approach is required, using words that impact on them, not wash over them as being above their ‘progressive’ inspired comprehension.
    Please describe for them what we the voters have to look forward to trapped within the deceitful EU, none of it beneficial to our wealth or health. Emphasize the red tape, the dictatorial control they exert, and their contempt of democracy..
    With so many discussions in the House on ways to delay Brexit, it would be really nice if there were to be an honest debate on just what we can expect from the EU – We know what they have planned – well let’s spell it out clearly – We deserve that much truth.

    1. am
      April 10, 2019

      HOC rules on polite speech are circumvented by an extensive vocabulary and direct questioning.
      Sadly it looks as if erg lack someone who can grab the moment by covering themselves verbally in the union jack and the remainers in the eu flag. Regrettably they look more tory than brexiteer.

  39. ukretired123
    April 10, 2019

    Great speech and you could not have put your views any more clearer Sir John.
    We only pray that the Cabinet and Hammond in particular take this on board because Theresa May is in Orbit and needs to come back down to earth before democratic meltdown if we don’t leave as promised. They are completely out of touch with the silent majority.

  40. John Partington
    April 10, 2019

    During the negotiation of the so-called Withdrawal Agreement, I remember the PM saying that she was not going to give a running commentary on how negotiations were going. The reason has now become apparent; the negotiating team(capitulation team) were busy betraying the British people. It is strange how all these civil servants have melted away now leaving our hapless prime Minister to try to sort out the mess.

    1. am
      April 10, 2019

      she was a “useful idiot” for the remain cause to be abandoned when she had served their purpose. Or, more likely, she is just toughing it out with them.

  41. Dorothy Johnston
    April 10, 2019

    Isn’t it ironic that the people of this country want our Parliament to be sovereign but it appears that some MPs don’t want that responsibilty. They would rather some unelected burocrats in another country tell them how to do it. Why do these MPs go to the trouble of getting themselves elected. It beats me.

    1. Richard
      April 10, 2019

      Some of them see it as a career, time spent in exchange for a salary, not a vocation or a matter of principle.

  42. a-tracy
    April 10, 2019

    Great speech.

  43. Roy Grainger
    April 10, 2019

    Hammond now suggesting if May doesn’t get an extension A50 will be revoked “by Parliament” to stop the pound falling. Two reasons he’s said this:

    1) To make damn sure the pound DOES fall in this situation – he’s the Chancellor and his words move the markets
    2) To start normalising the idea of revoking A50, to get it into the debate as his preferred option.

    Ok. Let’s try this. Electing Corbyn will certainly cause the pound to fall. So let’s immediately nullify the result of any general election that elects him. How do you like that idea Phil ?

  44. Edwardm
    April 10, 2019

    A good speech, yet again imploring those who want to frustrate Brexit to do otherwise.
    But people who wish us to live under a foreign oligarchy are immune to reason.
    Since the middle ages the people have striven to have more freedom and then the vote. Now the remainers are wishing that our vote should be ineffective. They are moving against the historic longing of the British people.

    1. Edwardm
      April 10, 2019

      How about having a vote of no confidence in the government today and letting it succeed, depriving Mrs May of authority to agree to anything with the EU, and under the fixed term parliament act, then reform and pass a vote of confidence in a new conservative/DUP government in a few days time.

      Reply Only the official opposition can table a no confidence motion which will be debated and voted on.

  45. Chris
    April 10, 2019

    Excellent contribution.

  46. Chris
    April 10, 2019

    Sir William Cash has written to the Commission informing them any decision by our PM to accept a long extension is likely to be challenged in UK courts. Copy of letter on twitter.
    My letter to @eucopresident Donald Tusk:
    Any decision by the Prime Minister to accept a long extension to Article 50 is likely to be challenged in the UK courts.

  47. Gary C
    April 10, 2019

    Very well put, hopefully it didn’t fall on deaf ears.

  48. villaking
    April 10, 2019

    Sir John,
    The level of trust in the government is so low that the legislation that attempts to block a no-deal (WTO exit if you prefer) had to be rushed through before April 12th. Only a minority of our elected representatives wants a no-deal, that’s democracy. We don’t know what proportion of the electorate wants a no-deal, some opinion polls suggest it is a majority of leave voters (meaning a minority of the total electorate) but you yourself have pointed out that opinion polls can be misleading. Unfortunately, this level of detail was never discussed during the ill considered referendum so we can not test public views properly, we have to let our elected representatives decide collectively what “leave” actually means. Such are the consequences of holding a referendum with such an undefined choice. I doubt very much your WTO exit is the majority preference of the population and you don’t have the right to assert that it is.

  49. Alan Joyce
    April 10, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    “I got us into this mess I’ll get us out of it” said the Prime Minister after the 2017 General Election.

    It would be funny were it not so serious.

  50. Abendrot
    April 10, 2019

    Good morning Sir John,
    It was good to see this morning that, once again, the UK posted stronger-than-forecast first quarter GDP figures after consensus economists were once again surprised by stronger than expected gains. The underlying economy seems to be performing reasonably well, despite the disastrous capitulations and shenanigans taking place in the mad house otherwise known as the HoC. Sadly, it appears that the ERG, the only group in the HoC that appear motivated to implement the 2017 manifesto, are slowly crumbling at the edges under the relentless pressure from the implacable Maybot, otherwise known as Kim Ill May, or Lino, the EU’s ambassador to London.

  51. Richard
    April 10, 2019

    A great speech and thank you for making the case for leaving the e.u. consistently.

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