My contribution to the debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): This is a travesty of proceedings. This is a major debate about the future of our country. This is a massive bill, committing us to making huge payments to the European Union, which we voted not to make anymore. It of course warrants a debate on the Floor of the House and a full vote of this House. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Stone for the enormous work that he has put in. His case stands completely unanswered today by the hapless Minister asked to represent the Government on this occasion. My hon. Friend made it clear why he thinks the statutory instrument is defective, and why the proceedings pursued by the Government did not live up to the constitutional standards that we expect. There may well be a serious legal challenge in the courts following these proceedings.

I urge the Minister to go back to the Prime Minister and to think again. We did not vote in the referendum to delay our exit beyond two and a bit years, which was forced upon us by the rules and regulations of the treaty we were leaving. We did not vote to leave one treaty in order to sign up to two new and even worse treaties, the first of which has singularly failed to get through this House on three separate occasions and is universally condemned by most voters, remain and leave.

We need a Government that understand the mood of the British people. We need a Government that believe in democracy. We need a Government that understand that the British people voted with good purpose to leave. Almost three years on, they are appalled that we, their elected and collective representatives in this place, have collectively done everything in our power to delay, prevent and impede a proper leaving of the European Union.

The Committee should vote the statutory instrument down. It should unite in condemning the procedures being pursued. It should recognise that it has been packed to do the Government’s work, which the public do not want it to do. I hope that the Committee does the decent thing and surprises us all. I fear it will not, but I trust that people outside this House will note that some of us came to make the case they wish us to make. Some of us stand up for democracy, and we are appalled by the proceedings.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted May 21, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much, John. We see what is going on in parliament and we are appalled. But, we are so glad there is a minority of Conservative MPs and a few others who know what is right, and know that the British people want what is right!

    • S Butterworth
      Posted May 22, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Yes I thank God that there are indeed a small number of the whole Westminster bubble who are decent people. However I think that the Conservatives are a spent force. If they continue on the present path and they will rightly deserve a thrashing at the elections. They have to get rid of her and replace with a No Deal PM.

  2. Posted May 21, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Well said Sir John,
    Atleast you know why we are deserting the Tories on the 23/05/19.
    Frankly it could not happen to a nicer bunch.
    I keep saying .All we want is for the elected , by us the people to do our bidding, that Is Democricy.
    90% of Westmonster are blind to anything we put them there to do.
    Multiple parties are daily tearing Democricy to shreds, they are beyond help or listening.
    So confident that the 1353 Act of Treachery is sadly no longer in action, by the slight of hand by the ghastly Blair.

    What we have is a scandal as Cromwell found, sadly we do not have a Cromwell in the House today.
    The likes of Vince Cable and the rest continue with over turning Democricy at every chance

  3. Posted May 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh, dear, this is what happens when there are only words… and yet more words. In a modern democracy when you take action, it is deemed a crime. So, the politicians know that the electorate are, in effect, mute fools (apart form, of course, the lefty liberals who are nothing but horrific noise). It is a tragic state of affairs. Politicians not listening to the people must be considered a crime. Keep at ’em Sir JR, they must be harried at every opportunity. My hat is off to you, and wishing you well. You would make the most brilliant PM.

  4. Dominic
    Posted May 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Well done Sir John Redwood. We salute you

  5. formula57
    Posted May 21, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Well said and thank you.

    The antics of this Parliament of Quislings is noted.

  6. mancunius
    Posted May 21, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree with every word you spoke, as I’m sure do those who voted to Leave.
    The next government pamphlet sent out for the next referendum should say ‘We shall implement what you decide – but only if it coincides with what we have decided. Otherwise we shall ignore it’.
    I watched as much of the meeting on parliament tv as my craw could stand: what complacent, patronising, bullying guff emanated from the government remainers. And clearly they can neither understand the legal arguments Sir Bill articulated, nor can they even imagine they will have legal consequences, which I trust they will. (The English Democrats are already pursuing the extension in the High Court.)

    As Sir John says: “We need a Government that understands the mood of the British people.” Ah, but they do understand it, they have invented their own alternative plastic version in which only system-loving academics and the europhile political class are ever attended to.

    It reminds me of when in the 1930s some well-meaning associate of Reith’s suggested that he should be less concerned with preaching and elevating the BBC listeners, and broadcast rather more of ‘what the public wants’. Reith snapped back grumpily: ‘I know very well what the public wants – and they’re not going to get it!’

    He would fit in well with today’s parliamentarians. The very idea that this temporary parliament can try to get away with tying the hands of future parliaments, is disgustingly unconstitutional.

    Do not let go, Sir John, do not relent or relax your personal and collective vigilance for a moment.

  7. David
    Posted May 22, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    As much as I agree that the current withdrawal bill on offer from the EU, via Teresa May, isn’t what Leave voters really wanted, it must be time to acknowledge that unless it can be passed by the Commons, Brexit is unlikely to be delivered at all.

    It’s clear from Parliamentary votes to date, and soundings of MPs, that the Commons will NOT agree to a no-deal Brexit. By far the most likely alternative to the current withdrawal bill is therefore the revoking of Article 50, with the UK remaining a full member of the EU for the foreseeable future.

    The LibDems, SNP, Greens etc will be overjoyed by such a result, as will Remainers throughout the country. John – do you really want to hand them this victory by digging in your heels with a stance that is 99.99% likely to deliver exactly the opposite of what you believe in?

    If there was ever a time when practical, pragmatic political compromise was needed, that time is now.

  • About John Redwood


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

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