No renegotiation in prospect with EU

Mr Barnier has warned Conservative leadership hopefuls there will be no re opening of the Withdrawal Treaty. He says the choice is sign that Treaty or leave without it.

It confirms my  view that MPs should not vote for leadership candidates who offer a renegotiation to seek an amended and less damaging version of the Withdrawal Treaty whilst ruling out or disliking  simply leaving. The EU has said they would be wasting their time. They need to re think their prospectus to MPs.

Several of the long list of possible candidates are struggling to get 8 MPs to support their Nomination as now required, so there is likely to be a shorter list of candidates following close of Nominations on Monday.

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  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The news that Michael Gove damaged his brain 20 years ago automatically rules him out.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Bob …probably did more harm to his nose, the brain was already incomplete.

      • Hope
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Gove claimed it was a mistake. It was certainly not. It was a deliberate act over which he had a choice. He was an intelligent chap at the time and from a good family home. He also knew it was against the law. How could this sort of disturbing prejudice to take class A drugs be forgotten to let him be in charge of any laws relating to drugs or generally on all crime. Also to be in charge of going to war or nuclear deterrent! We only have his word it was in the past. As we know his word is worth nothing and is a backstabber who recently self proclaimed to have learnt his lesson! Even though he did not learn his lesson after Cameron or before that briefing against Mayhab. He should not be in public office. He miserably fails the Nolan tests in public life.

        Is it not time to randomly drug test MPs? Any outcome to Jim the washing machine man etc ed

      • Hope
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Gove, Stewart and all those who have used class a drugs know very well that they are complicit in a wider criminality including murder in the drugs trade. Drugs are also responsible for burglaries, sex trade offences, serious assaults, gun crimes and many other crimes. The liberal elite think decriminalising drugs is okay and hence the diluting of drug laws including cannabis. Politicos also allow softer sentencing for similar reasons. All having a direct detrimental effect on our society. So expressions of regret and other platitudes do not in any way reflect the horrors that lie behind the buying and taking of drugs. Perhaps this is why we see prisons in such a mess by a minister who has taken drugs and takes such a blaze view.

        We recently saw the legalising cannabis for alleged medical reasons. All down the slippery slope. It is the majority of the public who have not used class A drugs and does not condone its use that prevents these idiots from legalising all sorts of drugs of whatever classification.

        Peter Hitchens view on drugs is spot on. His view on the liberalisation of prisons, rims all justice system and sentencing also spot on.

    • Hope
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Two thirds of Tory MPs voted remain. There is your problem and our problem as a country. Barmier now expects the UK to beg for another extension. The only country saying no is France.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      That plus he voted for the appalling WA three times and also that he had confidence in May. After having inflicted Traitor May on us in the first place by knifing Boris. Anyway do we really want someone who had to take his driving test 7 times and “cannot” (not “does not” like me) stack a dishwasher.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the damage was to the bit that came up with knifing Boris, voting for May’s putrid W/A and trying to kill all private schools.

      • Oxiana321
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I now can’t decide whether Gove was a secret plant by Remain all along (like May), or whether he is just an opportunist who has always swung whichever way he thinks will garner him fame and power. Probably its both.
        I once thought he was the sort of reforming leader the Conservative party needed, but that view has been utterly dashed by events since the 2016 Referendum.

    • Olden
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      With his own variable innate logic and with very great intelligence in modern terms decided to self-harm.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Possessing and taking of Class A drugs is a criminal offence. The is no limitation point in criminal law. Stewart and Gove must be arrested because of their confessions. You can’t be a lawmaker if you have broken criminal law. I suggest that they resign from Parliament.

      • outsider
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        To be fair Lynn I do not think that Mr Stewart has admitted to using a Class A drug in any UK jurisdiction, or to possession anywhere at all. So unless you know differently he does not appear to have transgressed any UK law.

        • The Prangwizard
          Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          Not the case with Gove. Where are the police? But then they probably don’t wish to do anything. They’ve been corrupted.

        • Hope
          Posted June 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Nevertheless it shows his propensity to take drugs when he knows it is against the law in most countries, including ours. We also do not know for certain whether he has stopped. He admitted on BBC radio last week he lied on his previous interview about answering a question to the same interviewer! His excuse for lying was pathetic. Therefore it is reasonable he might not be telling the truth about drugs. It shows his predjudice towards taking class A drugs. Both examples show he should not hold public office and is unable to uphold Nolan tests in public office. He should resign immediately.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        The party of law and order?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Well RORY Stewart is clearly a Labour politician at heart, judging from his policies and campaign. He would be an improvement on Corbyn certainly – but why did he join the Conservatives?

        • richard
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          He was a Labourite twenty-odd years ago, coming from a socialist family….he admitted to it himself on a TV interview.

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Bob Dixon

      LMAO… that’s why Govey was on fire when he laid into Corbyn a few months ago !

  2. Mick
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    He says the choice is sign that Treaty or leave without it.
    So be it we leave with no agreement, so long as the Tory members don’t fall into the trap of believing that who they vote for as a true Brexiteer and not a closet Remainer , we need to be out on October 31st with no strings and no more extensions , or Peterborough will be repeated all over the country at the next GE and it won’t make one jote of difference if the Brexit Party don’t get any MPs they would just split the Tory vote and letting Corbyn and his cronies in, so you had better get it right this time and make sure we leave on October 31st 2019

    • Hope
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Brexit Party in office through general election is the only way forward after Mayhab has deliberately tried to scuttle leaving. Keeping the UK tied and aligned to the EU. Drawing it out to erode our will and go back in at a later date.

  3. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The Biased Broadcasting Corporation leading on Michael Gove’s admission that he took cocaine 20 years ago.
    Does anyone care?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Yes. It automatically rules him out of visiting the US. I met him some years ago. He is NOT ‘normal’ and is full of his own self-importance. I think (and I’m being honest about this) he would be as bad as PM as Corbyn, and quite possibly even worse.

      • Dennis
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        ‘ It automatically rules him out of visiting the US.’ Only if he is convicted – isn’t that so?

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          They’re threatening to ban Rory Stewart. I don’t know their laws in detail, but agree with those who’ve said that lawmakers should not be law breakers (of at least major laws)

        • Hope
          Posted June 8, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          No I don’t think so. A caution is not a conviction which bars someone. Moreover, we do not know for certain he has completely stopped taking drugs. Would you trust him?

        • libertarian
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


          Nope the Visa application says quite clearly have you ever taken any class A drug. He would be denied a US visa if he fills this in honestly.

          He was also the Sec of State that bought in a rule for teachers saying they would have a lifetime ban from teaching if they took, possessed or dealt class A drugs. Like the vast majority of the establishment he is a two faced hypocrite one law ( and expenses and tax dodges ) for them another for the rest of the plebs

          All those politicians now admitting to drug use have just eliminated themselves from the contest

          Oh and no the Greens have started , I just think it would be quicker if the Greens that aren’t on drugs told us that instead

      • L Jones
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        The Americans very much frown upon ‘moral turpitude’.

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      DA, flippant comment. If we all did it and assumed it was a rite of passage, we could not complain about the requisite criminal activity on the supply side and the ruination of many lives throughout the world to get illegal substances into the UK.

    • outsider
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes Dave. I do not judge Mr Gove personally. He just adds one more to the tally of Cabinet ministers of the past dozen years who have been obliged to admit taking illegal drugs when in the 18-30 age group but who, in office, maintain laws that current members of that age group should be prosecuted for doing the same.
      It is redolent of the gulf between the self-identifying elite and what they call “the public” who must be instructed how to behave on pain of punishment by the law.
      If so many of that era held the law in contempt, it may help to explain why, when in office, they pass so many laws that are held in contempt by those to whom they are meant to apply.

  4. agricola
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Barnier is correct, the WA is dead, a draft agreement that never happened. Why is anyone of sound mind still talking about it.

    There are only two routes out of the EU. Leave on WTO terms having submitted a draft FTA on goods and services with the offer of Art 24 of GATT as a means of maintaining stability of the status quo while the FTA is discussed. If the EU are so up their own egos that the above is unacceptable then the only option is leave on WTO terms with no deal.

    The EU will have to answer to their own industrialists
    and electorates. Either way we get on with being a sovereign nation once more. Failure to exit under either option will ensure the end of the conservative party.

    As a sovereign nation we then present the practical steps of working with the EU for the benefit of our citizens. The dispute mechanism should be the Vienna Convention on treaties.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      If you look at the figures for Audi, 20% of their global sales are in UK and ONE THIRD of their profits. Having run manufacturing businesses, I can vouch for how challenging a 5% reduction in turnover is. If the EU decides to play hard ball for petty vindictive reasons, this business would go under quite quickly.
      The reason their profits are higher in the UK is because they produce right hand drive cars for the UK and are therefore able to argue that their costs exempt them from the legal requirement to sell at the same price throughout the EU. If the EU wants to, they could wreck German businesses in short order. God save us from all politicians!

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


        I am happy to trust your figures – but not the argument. Notwithstanding possibly higher costs to produce a right-hand drive vehicle specifically for the UK market, there has got to be a much higher profit margin in the UK to turn 20% of sales into 33% of profits.

        In other words, the EU are allowing ‘one of their own’ to screw the British public more than the rest of the EU. Another example of the far from level playing field.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

          I didn’t say I accepted their arguments!
          You are absolutely correct – Audi is screwing the UK consumer

          • Pominoz
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink


            Good we are on the same page. Sorry I misread your intonation.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        According to the official stats for Audi 2018

        They sold 1,812,500 cars world wide

        China 663,049

        Germany 260,456

        USA 223,323

        UK 143,716

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          Libertarian, you and I are comparing apples with pears. If you investigate the detail, you’ll find that the Chinese sales are all made in China, whereas the UK sales are all made in Germany.
          Figures in my possession show that if you look at the sales of cars made in Germany, UK represents 20% of the sales and one third of the profit

    • majorfrustration
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Seems like a plan – just one problem: Westminster

  5. Richard1
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Mrs may has holed Brexit below the water line. The EU have now painted themselves into a corner. So good for them is the May deal – UK a non-voting member for 2-4 years, great bung of money for no return, the UKs trade policy indefinitely in hoc to the EU – that they will not now give this up, though the UK has never agreed it, only mrs May did.

    So the new pm, whether a no deal spartan or continuity may mr Stewart will get nowhere with either of the two tactics of renegotiating or putting Mays deal a 4th, 5th , 6th time to Parliament. So on about Oct 15 we will again be faced with a choice between leaving with no deal or not leaving. I suspect the EU will at that point make it easy for Parliament by saying ok you can have a nice long extension but you’ve got to have another referendum. I’d expect Ref 2.0 to be c. March 2020.

    What fun.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      The EU won’t demand another referendum, nor will there be one. If parliament continues to rule out “no deal” there will be another extension. They will make a fuss and all sorts of noises, but agree because they don’t see themselves as being there to make the UK’s decision to leave. The UK will continue to pay Danegeld, which suits them.
      Remember – “kick the can down the road” trumps all political options.

    • Frank
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Richard1..I don’t think so, Oct 31st is a final date unless there is going to be another referendum, so maybe something could be worked out, but anything more than that would be a distraction for them and they have other business to get on with. So I see 31 Oct as final..they have already factored it in and will make the necessary adjustments. The Eu is probably 500 million consumers strong at present with three more countries lined up to join.Summer is here and not long to go to Oct there will be no more time for anything else.

  6. Dominic
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The EU and Germany has expressed through Barnier’s continual intervention in the running of our nation is one of the main reasons the British people voted to leave in 2016

    I doubt other sovereign nations around the world would tolerate this level of intimidation and interference in the election of their eventual PM

    It is completely unacceptable but it is the consequence of decades of prostration and supplication to a foreign entity by deceitful British politicians who appear to hold in great contempt this nation and its people

    If Gove becomes PM this country will remain in the EU

    If Johnson becomes PM he is on record as saying we will leave ‘with or without a deal’. Well, that’s disingenuous tosh. It is not possible to leave with a deal. The two positions are incongruous and Johnson knows it.

    Leave can only mean leaving without a deal. A deal would not mean leaving. On that basis and taking into consideration Barnier’s assertion today then it seems inevitable that BJ, if he becomes PM, must get this nation out of the EU

    • rose
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Leaving with or without a deal has long meant, in effect, leaving without a deal. That is why we are subjected to these extensions. Opposition to No Deal is just code for We Are Stopping Brexit. The “with” is put in by Brexiteers for diplomatic reasons, to appear reasonable and careful, not to frighten the horses. They know the EU will not acquiesce, but they want the EU to take public responsibility for the breakdown.

      What we want is someone to come out and say that tearing up the DWA is reasonable and careful. Only a defeated nation would have any truck with it.We are leaving at Hallowe’en, and from outside we will offer a FTA. If they refuse our offer, then we get on with our future.

  7. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Yes it’s odd isn’t it – despite everything that has gone on for the last 3 years, that some MP’s believe that they have superhuman charisma to make the EU go back to the drawing board and give us a greatly improved deal – delussional perhaps?
    The new rule means that only mature figures will make it even through the first round – No doubt when the thinking goes back to having a leader that can grow into the job, then they will quickly change the rules again.

    Gove is surely playing to the Tory remainers, to get their vote – but he does seem to live in his own little bubble

    • Fred H
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Bryan….bubble or snort?

  8. Peter Wood
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Given this comment, will you kindly work on the question of the nation’s preparedness for leaving on WTO terms? Mrs May says we were making the necessary arrangements but there is much doubt about it. The electorate will be greatly encouraged, and the argument for leaving without a WA strengthened, if government can confidently refute the ‘project fear’ merchants with a clear answer and examples.

    • agricola
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Members of the CBI are prepared because most of them will already be importing and exporting under WTO terms. Goods will continue to flow, only the content of the electronic paperwork will change.

      At present levels our Treasury will be better off to the tune of £7 billion PA. As we find better sources round the World our shopping basket should cost less , but our customs take could be less.

      We need a “Having left” budget to redistribute EU contributions to domestic needs, and then put the UK tax system in an attractive light to all investors in industry in it’s widest sense.

      I would have little faith in any preparation that May’s government might have done. The new PM needs to create a small action unit on a war footing to prepare a map for the future.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Why has this official left her job, what is behind it?

      Surely she should be bringing all our border preparations to completion, including those for the Irish land border, not leaving her post at this juncture?

      If you put [“Karen Wheeler” HMRC] into google a whole lot of worrying references come up, such as:

      “British official in charge of Brexit Border preparations leaves her job”

      “Karen Wheeler had previously criticised the idea that technology could prevent a hard Border”

      But what does not come up is any clear explanation of why she has quit.

  9. Ken Gray
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    We need to leave with no deal or remain. On that choice, we need a referendum, because that was not the choice in 2016 when a good deal with the EU was expected eg by B Johnson, M Gove, J Redwood etc

    Reply I always said I was happy to leave with no deal, the only outcome the UK could guarantee without EU consent

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Ken – Yet another person who voted Remain telling Leave voters they didn’t know what they were voting for – truly they are blessed with such great insight.

    • MPC
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      If we get a true Leave PM – still a big if – the challenge is to communicate that we will leave with several already drafted agreements (‘Deals’) and that several is better than one single one. These cover haulage to and from Calais for example, and others that Mr Redwood has mentioned and which now need fully publicising. That will demonstrate effective risk management and undermine the tiresome pessimism of Remain MPs and others (CBI et al). If combined with the communication of an uplifting vision of our post EU future by a new PM and cabinet, we can perhaps still secure a highly beneficial departure from the EU.

    • rose
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Nothing was said on the paper about a deal and I never wanted one. What was the point of coming out of the oppressive treaties only to go back into yet another? And that was before I had any idea how treacherous and duplicitous what was to become the May regime would be.

  10. jerry
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    “there is likely to be a shorter list of candidates following close of Nominations on Monday.”

    Just so long as there are at least three, for the first ballot, democracy is served…

    • rose
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Democracy isn’t served if people like Sir John have been squeezed out of the campaign by the rewritten rules.

      • jerry
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        @rose; Who said anything like that, but should Sir John wish to stand (has he given any hint he does?) I suspect the new rules would help him, not hinder, he would have no problems getting the required suport and with a better S/N ratio his message would get a better hearing both amongst MPs and the wider membership via the MSM.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Indeed just leave now, negotiate later where mutual benefits exist for both the UK and the EU.

    Carolyn Fairbairn one of the main architects of the “Project Fear” lies in the EU referendum campaign has been awarded a damehood I see.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      As I said previously I rather admire the way she has managed to twist the Brexit debate to serve the narrow sectional interests she is paid to represent.

      Only about 6% of UK businesses are involved with the 12% of UK GDP which is exported to the rest of the EU, but under her direction the CBI has managed to convey the impression that more or less every UK business and every part of the UK economy critically depends on “frictionless trade” with the EU.

      Obviously that is important for some businesses, but even if the benefit for them is at a 20% level it will be diluted down to a 2% level for the whole economy.

      However as I also said previously the CBI and other lobby groups have only been able to accomplish that brazen deception because pro-EU politicians in the upper echelons of the Tory party have allowed and encouraged them to do it.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        It also needs to be borne in mind that since the CBI does not publish either a membership list or from whom they receive their funding (although we do know some comes from the EU) we have no idea who the CBI are really representing.

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    How can we truly leave anyway if we are caught up in the European Defence Union?

    • mancunius
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Once out of the EU, we can give notice, or lay down our own conditions.
      Under the anti-American, anti-Anglo-Saxon de Gaulle, France withdrew from Nato from 1959 on. De Gaulle wanted to give France, (if East Germany invaded West Germany) the option of coming to a separate peace with the Eastern bloc instead of being drawn into a larger NATO–Warsaw Pact war.
      France only returned to full participatory membership in 2009!

      Sauce for the goose, etc

  13. grahamW
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Yes, I don’t know why some candidates are talking about renegotiating- the EU have said it load and clear- there will be no reopening of the WA- and in any case we did not vote to renegotiate- we voted to leave- so let’s put someone in there who has only that one thing in mind- ‘we leave without a deal 31st Oct’ or earlier if possible

  14. Dominic
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Gove’s in the press today for all the wrong reasons. He’s been exposed for what he really is. A careerist not to be trusted

  15. Noneoftheabove
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    It worries me that some MPs seem to think that they can continue in a similar vein toMrs May but achieve a different result. This is totally unrealistic! Even if you elect a candidate who will not extend beyond the end of October, how will he/she push against the inevitabl remain rebellion?

  16. Ian wragg
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Probably all including Boris seem to think that time limiting the backstop would be sufficient to get the Withdrawal Agreement through.
    The whole treaty is rotten and Farage will lose no opportunity to remind the voters.
    WTO and offer Brussels a comprehensive FTA and leave it in their court.

  17. J Bush
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I don’t dispute your statement.

    However, MSM is promoting the EU will consider another Brexit extension beyond the October 31 deadline, providing the next PM runs another referendum (probably with the already pushed 3 choice scenario – remain, the WA, or no deal), a senior EU source has revealed.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      J Bush

      The EU quite obviously feel justified in poking their nose into our business with regards what we do or decide to do. They are over stretching their remit with their continued threats… irritates me intensely.

      However, we do need a strong PM who will realise that the EU will not negotiate any further, so we need someone who will take us out without a deal!

      And no, it won’t be easy, fighting the remainers, but leaving was what was voted for after all!

  18. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove can now be ruled out as the next PM with the disclosure that he damaged his brain 20 years ago by using class A drugs

  19. Kevin
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The sight of Andrea Jenkyns backing Mr. Raab, and Owen Paterson
    offering his support to Mr. Johnson is deeply dispiriting. I like the “Spartan”
    metaphor. Why would you stand your ground so determinedly only to
    make it all pointless by following someone who chose not to? If it is that
    you don’t have a “Leonidas”, then it us up to Mr. Farage to be “Themistocles”.

    • Iago
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink


    • Mitchel
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Themistocles…Are you sure?!

      Themistocles eventually went over to the other side,the Persians,after he fell from favour in Athens!

      According to Thucydides,he appeared brfore the Persian King,Artaxerxes I,with:

      “I,Themistocles,am come before you,who did your house more harm than any of the Hellenes….”

  20. Piet
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Bursting my chops here at you Brits pretending to want to leave but really wanting to stay and how to engineer the ignorant classes to that point. Well good luck

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      We don’t have ‘ignorant classes’ or indeed under classes, most of us are working class nowadays as we all work, and the working class has the same standards as the Queen. This is not the Continent you know!

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Indeed,not after Blair’s “Educashun,Educashun,Educashun”

      • hefner
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, right, there is no difference between somebody earning £15,000, another the median salary at £28,000, or the one with a BTL portfolio making several hundreds of pounds annually. Obviously not, all working class, mama mia!

        • libertarian
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


          You might like to try again with that post , as it is your usual nonsense currently

      • villars
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        lynn Atkinson..yes you do ..Britain is the most class ridden society in western europe with layers and layers of class..that’s how the establishment hopes to keep a lid on things..didn’t work this time however when the brexit genie escaped the bottle..but so it will remain until you guys throw off the shackles?

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink


      Maybe it’s time for all of us to remind ourselves what this country was like before we joined the EU.

      Britain was bankrupt having to go cap in hand to the IMF to help us out of our crippling debts and broken industry and infrastructure.

      We begged to be allowed to join this burgeoning club which has now become the most successful trading bloc in the world and has made us one its most prosperous members.

      Many of our European friends are now saying: “Please leave and let us get on without your ingratitude and constant carping. Maybe fawning to the Americans will be far more suitable for you.”

      • Steve
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink


        “Please leave and let us get on without your ingratitude…”

        Ingratitude ?

        HOW DARE YOU come on here accusing the British people of ingratitude !

        Especially so close to 6th June.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        It was Mrs. Thatcher’s policies and our own hard work which put the country back on the right track.

        In the meantime, to help other EU countries, we have paid billions into the EU budget as a net contributor, accepted an unfair trading deficit of £100bn/year with the EU, and provided jobs for millions of EU workers made unemployed in their own countries through the adoption of the Euro.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink


          Yes, ingratitude after being rescued from being the ‘Sick man of Europe’ and turned into the world’s fifth largest economy, now all about to be thrown away


          Makes you wonder why Margaret Thatcher was such a keen EU supporter.

          During the 1975 Referendum campaign she was actually wearing a sweater showing the flags of the then member countries.

          • graham1946
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Margaret Thatcher was NOT an EU supporter – it didn’t even exist when she was in power and the ‘Common Market’ was much smaller and richer. She was a single market fan and if it had stayed at that, we probably wouldn’t have voted leave. Yesterday on the radio, Sir Bernard Ingham her adviser stated categorically that Mrs. Thatcher would not have supported federalisation, and would have stopped it. Why do you Remainers continually lie?

      • Edward2
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        You keep posting this cut and pasted nonsense margaret.
        A bizarre take on UK economic history.
        Your claim tjat all our improvement and all the growth the UK has achieved is all due to the EU is ridiculous.
        We have paid more in each year in all but one year out of our 43 years since we joined.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


        How many times are you going to post this nonsense and ignore the easily verifiable facts ?

      • outsider
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        As I recall Margaret Denis Healey called in the IMF three years after we joined the EU.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, whenever you venture into UK 20th century history the result is always entertaining.
        Britain approached the IMF for a loan in 1976, three years after our entry to the EEC, as a result of the almost immediate drop in economic growth that followed our entry, from 1973 second quarter on.

        But then, I doubt you will bother to apologize for constantly posting such fake news.

        • APL
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

          mancunius: “, I doubt you will bother to apologize for constantly posting such fake news.”

          It’s propaganda, who when posting propaganda admits it and apologizes ?

          Margaret knows perfectly well what she is doing.

          Be it the laughable assertion that while the UK is a net contributor to the EU we get back much times more than we pay in.

          to the

          EU saved the UK from the IMF three years after we joined the EU then had to go cap in hand to the IMF for a bailout.

          ‘Margaret Howard’ has a thick skin, I’ll say that much.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        How much of our national wealth had been consumed fighting German aggression in WW1? And then again in WW2? And then how much was contributed – or tributed – to Brussels? Amazingly, at one stage we were borrowing money to give to the EU, to give to an ROI which had a higher GDP/capita than us? And also borrowing money to lend to the ungrateful Irish! The day we leave the EU will be the happiest of my life.

  21. Simeon
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Agreeing a comprehensive deal meaningfully different from the WA with the EU prior to October 31st, even if the EU were inclined to do so, is obviously impossible. Therefore, when Johnson says he intends the UK to leave by the 31st, deal or no deal, what does he mean? What he says is ambiguous, and I’m sure deliberately so. Is he a leaver attempting to appeal to soft/no Brexiters, recognising he needs their votes? Or is he a remainer, offering the prospect of no deal before leaving, whilst having no intention of delivering that, but instead ‘modifying’ the WA?

    Together with his intentiom to leave by October 31st, his antipathy towards a second referendum would seem to rule out a meaningful renegotiation. So it’s the WA or ‘no deal’. It is also obvious that ‘no deal’ will not be delivered by this Parliament, so Johnson should be acknowledging this and preparing for a GE – though this would have the effect of destroying the deliberate ambiguity, and fatally undermining his appeal to the majority of Conservative MPs.

    On the one hand, it is easy to see why Johnson has adopted a strategy of ambiguity; the initial electorate is majorly soft/no Vrexit. But this ambiguity means that Johnson’s pitch is essentially ‘trust me’. The fatal flaw in this is obvious; he voted for the WA, he was a remainer on the eve of the referendum, and his views generally have often been inconsistent. He is inherently untrustworthy – or, if one wishes to put a positive spin on it, he’s a maverick.

    And yet it would seem that a sufficient number see Johnson as the Conservative party’s best, and perhaps only, hope of surviving. These people may even be right, and it certainly looks like we will find out soon enough But this is why my money would be on the Conservative party’s days as a popular party being numbered.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen enough of Tory “eurosceptics”, otherwise known as “europlastics”, over three decades to know better than to ever trust Boris Johnson, let alone Michael Gove, and even as far as Dominic Raab is concerned really I can only say that he seems to be the least untrustworthy among the leading candidates. That would change if Steve Baker bit on the bullet and joined the happy throng, which I hope he will do. Even if he got knocked out early on he would have put down a valuable end marker.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink


      • DaveK
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Totally right, I don’t understand why the ERG do not have a couple of candidates enter the fray, surely they can muster the 8 then 17 MPs to get past the early rounds. They would have a platform to get the information Sir John kindly shares with us out to a wider audience.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        DC, You may well be right that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted and certainly not Michael Gove.

        However, they should bear in mind that if the Conservative Party, or any other party, manage to pass through the HoC the existing WA treaty, or anything remotely similar, pretending to implement the referendum result, then if not immediately but in time they will become electorally destroyed as the public wakes up to just how bad a treaty it is and begins to suffer its consequences.

        The public will not forgive any government or Parliament who signs a treaty where we accept EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign etc) but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit – the one described by Mr. Verhofstadt’s assistants as reducing the UK to EU colony status

  22. Graham Wood
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    “the EU has said they will be wasting their time”. Indeed so Sir John. The WA is dead
    and for any prospective new leader to even think of re-opening negotiations on this
    thrice failed document would not only be a waste of their time, but more importantly
    our time also. That should exclude Rory Stewart therefore for example.
    The last thing we need is yet more tinkering, and the prospect of yet further
    months/ years of procrastination at huge public expense. Let’s leave on WTO
    terms and let the EU serve its own interest and ask for a mutually acceptable
    Trade deal if they wish.

  23. Nigl
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    As there is no a parliamentary majority for No Deal, we have deadlock. As they will vote for unlimited time extensions and the EU will agree because it keeps our money, we will not be leaving anytime soon.

    How do you get out of that quandary Sir J R?

    Reply We leave under EU law on 31 October whatever the UK Parliament says. Its the one time I am happy EU law is superior!

    • Nigl
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Sorry to be thick but won’t they just extend that period?

      • Frank
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink chance time is up..they have lives to get on with as well

    • rose
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I thought UK law also said we leave on 31 October?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      At the centre of the way out of that quandary must be the choice of a new Tory leader and Prime Minister who will unequivocally reject the treacherous course adopted by Theresa May and instead will do whatever is necessary to stop MPs going back on what they previously agreed and put into law.

      Which should include issuing a declaration to signed by all those who aspire to be Tory candidates in the next election, including sitting MPs:

      “The Conservatives must deselect every MP that will not accept a WTO Brexit if it comes to that. And that’s what needs to happen. Then the country will back the party because they know full well that who they’re electing is already going to carry out the will of the people.”

      I’m glad to see that Dominic Grieve faces the chop from local members:

      but it needs action from the top to purge the entire parliamentary party.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The electorate have lost trust in politicians. Do you trust any to do what they say to get the job?

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Twas always thus Brian.

      Have you ever known a general election where the winning party didn’t leave their electors flat on their faces soon as they got in power ?

      I certainly can’t remember any.

  25. Mark B
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    I think the EU have been straight from the outset. They have negotiated and acted in their own self interests and I for one cannot blame them. It was just such a shame that our side (sic) did not act likewise. 😉

    Of course those that are stating that; “I will renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement (Treaty) with the EU.” are either being delusional or downright dishonest. Both qualities we have come to realise do not make for a good First Lord of the Treasury.

    I know candidates want to say things that will attract MP’s votes but, both candidates and MP’s do need to take our kind hosts words here seriously. By denying the people the power of their vote, you deny democracy. Deny democracy and you have tyranny. And if it’s one thing the people of this nation despise more than anything else, its Tyrants !

  26. Fred H
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr Barnier for clarifying with our PM-wanna-be candidates that there will be no renegotiation. It has been clear all along that so many are p*ssing in the wind pretending discussion is all it takes to have the EU agree to what we would like. Now, once we have just up and left, discussion and some agreements are a certainty. Others will be extremely difficult, example our fishing waters, and may never be resolved.
    How will the declared nominations be supported now Mr Gove has come clean about cocaine use? Will any of his backers back away? Interesting. The traditional members may find the subject rather unsavoury.

  27. Shirley
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I agree that there is no hope of the EU offering the UK a deal that is worth having, even if they would re-open negotiations.
    It’s a straight choice between a WTO Brexit, or no Brexit, and I fear what would happen if MP’s voted for the latter. It would be clear that democracy in the UK does not belong to the people, as it should, and (as the EU like to say) there would be ‘consequences’.
    I am also interested to hear why Remainers think a WTO Brexit is impossible. All the ‘reasons’ I have heard so far are easily disproven.

  28. JoolsB
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious to those in the real world who have done real jobs, but not unfortunately to the majority of career politicians in parliament that if no deal is taken off the table we will be offered a crap deal such as May’s deal. Why would the EU re-negotiate when we have plonkers like Stewart, Hunt and Gove who would not entertain the idea of walking away? The new leader must be someone who not only voted to leave but someone who the EU believes is prepared to walk away.

    Boris, Raab, McVey – are our only hope of getting Brexit over the line and it must be done by 31st October at the very latest.

    • DaveK
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      In my opinion the only hope to get us out would be Mr Baker who has shown by his actions and words that this is the case. Unfortunately everyone seems to be taken in by the media popularity culture. Why would we “need” someone who has had a cabinet position for example when we don’t trust the judgement of the person who gave them the job and they proved unable to do it? And as for the earlier comment about government honestly discussing a WTO leave arrangement, you must be aware that our remain establishment and tame media will not allow this discussion as it would affect their catastrophic, cliff edge, disaster meme.

  29. Peter Miller
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Unlike Germany at the end of World War 1, the UK is not being forced to sign a Treaty of Versailles Mark 2, with huge reparations, admissions of guilt and restrictions on what we can and cannot do.

    Michel Barnier fancies himself as victorious and is piqued the UK will not sign his surrender document. Any Tory candidate for PM is doomed if he, or she, fails to acknowledge this simple truth.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Peter…just like our ex-PM, Barnier was elected (against stiff opposition) to lead the EU project ‘Cripple the UK’s future and frighten all of the sheep members ‘ – he hasn’t accomplished anything yet. Oh, except he’s hated by possibly half the UK.

  30. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Agreed John.

    We have too many who think it will be a simple matter of tweeking the existing appalling agreement and everything will then be OK.

    We need a complete change of mindset as the first plan, simply leave and then try to get some trade and co-operation arrangements in place with the EU if they are interested.

  31. Shieldsman
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I am despondent about the two Conservative MP’s I will have to choose from. Too many MP’s are remainers and want a meaningless compromise.
    I ask the simple question are Johnson and Gove trustworthy.
    Gove we know is not and he has no intention of leaving the EU without a deal, so as PM he would have to attempt to get May’s Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament. Marcel Barnier is adamant he will not modify it, so that puts paid to Goves plan.
    There are signs that Johnson will end up with the backing of many remainers as being malleable and not a real brexiteer, jumping on the bandwagon to further his ambition to be PM.
    It is doubtful Hunt would be bold enough to go for WTO.
    So that leaves RAAB as the only candidate determind to pursue a WTO brexit.
    Andrea Leadsom makes WTO noises and has always been a leaver, but remember she could have been PM but chickened out. She lacks the moral fibre to do the job, as do many others.
    The fate of the Conservative Party will be in the hands of the new leader.
    I look forward to leaving by default.

    • sm
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Mr Johnson obviously has a burning ambition to be PM, which is fair enough.

      If he doesn’t produce a clean Brexit this year, I suspect his premiership will be painfully brief.

      • victor
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        sm..He was the worst Foreign Secretary ever and will be the worst PM, even worse than May. The EU crowd will observe all the protocols listen to him but send him on his way shirt tails hanging out

  32. Peter
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The EU will act tough in the face of a divided UK government.

    A Conservative leader first has to get elected and overcome a Remain-dominated party.

    Leaving on WTO basis before October makes sense but Parliament will do its utmost to prevent that.

    For this reason a General Election would be my preference – a chance to remove those that are blocking the decision the country made in the 2016 Referendum and which they all promised to abide by.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      That is a decent strategy, but the risk is a minority Labour+SNP government who bind us into the EU via a treaty identical to the WA but with CU extensions. That would be very hard to subsequently unwind. I would prefer the Commons to be forced into a position where they vote to revoke A50 – then at the GE we can sweep the lot of them away.

    • nhsgp
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Easy to overcome. There is a court case the extension was illegal.
      Attorney General says its a fair cop and we are out.

  33. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Thank God on both counts. The EU knows we are leaving – it just needs to sink tinto Remainer heads. Leadership candidates are making fools of themselves (allowed) and the party (not allowed) and the idea of public hustings when the electorate is all in Westminster is ridiculous! The BBC wants to highlight the madness of Tories! Must put a stop to this please.

    • matthu
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      If the last two standing are voted on by the membership, then a TV debate would have something going for it. Although I would prefer a Leave presenter to be chairing the debate, so that rules out most of the BBC.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        The membership know what their criteria is. The Spartan will win if there is one, else the most convincing Brexiteer. We know who they are. No need for a TV debate.

  34. NearlyDead
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    From my perspective this is great news as I’m not in favour of trade deals as they fundamentally distort the market and do little to improve overall trade volumes. Protectionism is bad in any form. The first thing we should do is revert to trading under the WTO scheme for ALL trade, not just EU trade. Second drop ALL tariffs to zero. Third cut corporate tax to zero. Fourth privatise existing public sector services such as the NHS and introduce a pay per use health care system, fifth scale back our spend on the military and other vanity projects. Get back to basics, super small government, a simply tax system. Get the government out of people lives.

  35. agricola
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    There has been much erronious talk about climate change. I accept it,’s reality but think in many cases it is in man’s hands to mitigate it’s effect. Much talk this morning about the vulnerability of Venice. Looking at Admiralty Chart 1483 suggests to me it feasable to create sea defences. It would involve a concerted effort by engineers who understand the issues, the Dutch come to mind, but to a layman it looks doable. So EU, here is a positive task to apply your minds to.

  36. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Barnier will keep saying that up until the point it is in his interest to concede. That is negotiation. As long as he can count on Grieve and company to block no deal he has no incentive to shift his position.

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      “Barnier will keep saying that up until the point it is in his interest to concede. That is negotiation.”

      No, it is not negotiation, it is ungratefulness.

  37. GilesB
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Which candidate would put the most effort into ‘no deal’ preparations?

    We are due to leave on 31st October 2019. The PM should be focussed full-time on preparations for that departure.

    We can also have some discussions with the EU about an FTA, but that shouldn’t be the focus of attention.

    After we’ve left, we can have discussions about a divorce payment, if any.

  38. The Swamp
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Of course he’s a dastardly moaning undemocratic untouchable Remainer too but that does not mean I’m biased in my assessment of his worth one little bit

  39. Nigl
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately I had to read the Times this morning. If ever you want to know about the thinking of the small group of metropolitan elite desperate to keep us in the Eu and contemptuous of the views of the wider population, read it.

    Matthew Parris, whose importance is only in his mind, continues the vitriol. This time a hatchet job on Boris, I guess jealousy fuelled by the knowledge his political career was an insignificant failure together with the usual pompous letters to the editor.

  40. TheMariner
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Yes Sir John, I understand Esther McVey is one of those and yet she is the truly “stand out, leave on WTO rules, get us out immediately” candidate. How she would achieve such a feat I don’t know but would like to find out. She is singing from the right hymn sheet no matter how you look at it though and she is interestingly “streetwise “. Mrs Thatcher had big problems with backers when she first applied to be leader but she managed to do it despite her earlier gaffes and colleagues lack of faith?….She became our finest. I’m not saying Esther is of the same mold at all, she’s very different, but I do hope she gets her chance and if not an influential position in a Brexiteer cabinet!

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


      “How she would achieve such a feat I don’t know”

      Simple; just don’t talk to the EU any further, and give ’em two fingers. It’s just a question of having the balls to do it.

  41. Gandalf1
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Would you be prepared to comment on the Robin Tilbrook Case, and its implications for Brexit and the Tory Government. Many thanks.

  42. Caterpillar
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Whilst I agree that candidates should not offer renegotiation as it is impossible and a waste of time, I do think all candidates should state which parts of the WA they agree with and which they do not. There will undoubtedly be a plethora of smaller agreements if /when UK leaves without transition period and we should know how the candidates lean. I also think the country (firms and individuals) needs regular and frequent updates on preparation for leaving with no-deal and progress on border technology solutions.

  43. ian
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    It only takes one letter to leave the EU and as far as i know, you left on the 29th of March 2019 but the day after this letter will now due.

  44. nhsgp
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    EU is still deluded we will pay them.

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink


      …….we will. You just watch some soft brained liberal minded twit gets to be PM and goodbye to £39bn.

  45. Ian
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    What amuses me is the remain and pretend leave MP’s all seem to think that the answer is some sort of deal to protect industry and jobs.

    There is no such thing on the table. What we have from the EU is you pay us money, you submit to our courts and laws all in a new treaty, then and only then we may, or may not talk about trade and getting on with one and other.

    While Gove admits that drugs have been to his taste you have to ask what are the rest of them on.

    MP’s who suggest a deal, of the type coming out of the EU has anything to do with trade commerce, cooperation or prosperity they have either not read what’s is on the table or they are just lying.

    The comment by the EU negotiators with regards the withdrawal treaty on the BBC documentary, the UK is our colony now. That sums up what parliament is seeking

    The only way the UK Parliament gets to control its own destiny is with a Clean-Break.

  46. MickN
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    O/T Whilst I am not alleging postal voting fraud in the by election last week would you not agree that 6,000 in the Peterborough constituency was rather high? I remember a time when a postal vote could be used if you were unable to attend a polling station through ill health or being away from home on the day of the election. This seems perfectly reasonable, but the current system does lend itself to fraud. I also read that someone with a conviction for such was working in Peterborough on Thursday. I don’t know if this is true or not, but do you not agree with me that the Electoral Commission should investigate with the same speed that they went through the books of the Brexit party a few days ago.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Attendance (with ID and a painted finger after voting) should be the default requirement, other means of voting (prozy, poatal) should be exceptional.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Until a non-woke Conservative government dismantles Labour’s client state this open and unashamed abuse of our democracy will continue unabated

      I believe this Tory government and others before it have known about these abuses and simply refuse to intervene preferring to accept such a denigration of our precious democracy for the sake of maintaining the two party duopoly that keeps the UK inside the EU

      You’d be surprised how many political favours previous Tory governments have done for Labour in the name of maintaining the two party grip over the Commons

      I can think of one but……….

      • rose
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        70% turnout in Peterborough in postal votes!

        As with so much else, including boundary reform, the May Regime has been grossly incompetent.

  47. Freeborn John
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Most of the Candidates to replace May are very weak-willed. The prospects for your party are dire indeed if none of them would dare even to prorogue Parliament. Why will none of them make leaving the EU a confidence matter? Any MP who will not support leaving in october simply has to be deselected and replaced by someone prepared to implement the referendum result. Yet no lilley-livered “leader” seems prepared to do what is necessary.

  48. Ignoramus
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that if the EU insists that we leave at the end of October then, as Sir John says, we do as EU law trumps whatever UK Parliament wishes. The EU will be so busy establishing a new Commision hierarchy they will not want to bother about a new negotiating team just to satisfy a UK Prime Minister. If, repeat if, a new PM can hold his nerve – we just leave. Hurrah.

    • victor
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      where are you getting this roundabout thinking from- the EU is not insisting on anything- it is we who have decided to leave so it is our call- they are just standing by looking on in amazement

  49. libertarian
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The news that by their own admission that some senior tories are coke and smack heads explains a lot about recent conservative party behaviour

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Makes you wonder if the HoC is really a crack den.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        Steve…..or full of ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ inmates.

  50. libertarian
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Really really like Sam Gymiahs tax manifesto shame about the rest of his offering .

    What a golden opportunity he’s missed by being tied to the EU

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Here we are in June 2019 and some people still think we should carry on pleading with the EU to grant us a better withdrawal treaty, when it had started to become clear to the UK government nearly two years ago that the EU was prepared to back up the new Irish government in a deliberately obstructive attitude over the land border.

    And when that information came more into the public domain it lead me to post here on November 26th 2017:

    “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

    And we should have made damn sure that the wider world heard and understood that the stupidity and intransigence was on the side of the EU.

    Instead Theresa May decided to use the obstructive attitude of the Irish government as a excuse for giving the likes of the CBI much of what they wanted.

    There is little uncertainty in my mind about that, only about whether or not she actively colluded with Leo Varadkar to that end. For sure, we never heard Theresa May or in fact any other UK minister pointing out what a load of rubbish he was talking.

    Incidentally, while Donald Trump was ridiculed about his recent comments on the Irish border it seems he may be winning over his border problem:

    “US and Mexico sign agreement to tackle immigration and avoid tariffs, says Trump”

    Maybe we should make a reverse threat to the Irish government, that we will react with swingeing and escalating tariffs on Irish exports to the UK if they do anything to impede the free movement of people and goods across the border.

  52. BR
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Shows what a bunch the EU are. If another country is that unhappy with a treaty, why would they try to force it on us? Strange to me that no candidate is saying that…

    Except that they have yet to get past the duplicitous, brainless and utterly self-important remoaner electorate a.k.a. MPs.

    It’s a shame McVey probably won’t make it to the end since she’s the only one telling it like it is (possibly unwisely) – but if she goes down that route she needs to go full-bloodedly for the EU’s throat and tell MPs that these people are behaving extremely badly and get the public on her side so that the existential threat to the Conservative party becomes clear and MPs fear for their jobs sooner rather than later (those how’re not retiring, or that have already lined up a Cleggbook job).

    This race desperately needs a candidate who tells it straight and loudly in the national press, Guido, Con Home etc. Have you thought of joining the race, even just to achieve that?

  53. BR
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    P.S. The series in the Daily Mail is a fairly chilling tale of Boris’s past. I’m not sure how much of it is true though and how much is due to the new remainer editor attempting to influence the contest… bigging up Gove over Boris is a very useful thing for remainers to do at this point…

    After all, if that article were true then why would they fear Boris so much?

  54. BR
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh and – the EU saying no renegotiation is probably just a negotiating stance in itself. Let’s see how they behave if they ever believe that we will leave on WTO terms.

  55. mancunius
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Just to point out that the last two Tory leaders (May and Cameron) were both elected on EU policies they subsequently reneged on. It is even possible (being cautious here) that they both simply said what they did in order to be elected. What guarantee have we – given the daily finessing and fudging of the current candidates for office – that the same outcome will not ensue?
    What is driving all these candidates is naked fear of the disgracefully remainer parliament, and of a general election they fear Labour would win; they all appear to lack any sense of conviction for doing the Right Thing (which is a managed no-deal exit, of course).
    We do not want t see our nation’s independence and prosperity sacrificed for the sake of the Tory party.

  56. John Probert
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I think those MP’s that expected a smooth transition are completely unrealistic
    We need to inflict much financial pain on our EU friends and walk away

    • Steve
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      John Probert

      “We need to inflict much financial pain on our EU friends and walk away”

      Yes I agree, though I wish people wouldn’t refer to the EU as our friends – they are not, and never were.

      If they were ‘friends’ they would be grateful for their liberation and not be doing their best to hold us over a barrel.

      I’m all in favour of causing them pain, which doesn’t necessarily include financial. That’s how you deal with ungrateful sods.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted June 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        I notice Macron and many other French falling over themselves to say they owe the US a lifelong debt. They don’t say they same when it comes to us.

  57. John Sheridan
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    “He [Barnier] says the choice is sign that Treaty or leave without it.”

    Please, please let there be a candidate in the final two that will refuse to sign the Treaty (or any cosmetic variation of the Treaty). They will get my vote in the ballot.

    That said, even if the successful candidate says they will not sign the Treaty, I wonder how well they will stand by their pledge?

    Most of Mrs May’s red lines went pink before vanishing altogether. They only ones which had not, were ones which would be negotiated after we had signed the Treaty.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and it would be curious that none of the candidates is addressing this breach of faith, and giving reaassurances that it will not recur under their premiership – were it not that they are all talking across our heads to their fellow MPs, who will do the main voting, and who would be horrified to hear any such reassurances: they all want ‘pro-brexit’ candidates who will get the DUP on side, then immediately change their tune after their first visit to nice M Barnier.

  58. Steve
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    ‘EU says the choice is sign that Treaty or leave without it.’

    I think we should take that as yet another threat by the French – lead EU.

    I read in the news that another EU member state (former sovereign nation of Ireland) is having a go at grabbing UK territorial waters around Rockall, and as a consequence is threatening Scottish fisheries.

    Perhaps the English government can send the Royal Navy to ensure the Scotts have their maritime rights protected, or is that asking too much for Westminster to show some balls ?

    Do we now have to witness Scottish fishing vessels being rammed and attacked by EU vessels, and do nothing whatsoever to apprehend the culprits and confiscate / sink their vessels.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Steve….send the Royal Navy?… you mean that delivered late £5bn aircraft carrier that will breakdown as soon as it meets the Irish Sea?

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Don’t expect our traitorous government to protect our country’s interests. They are appeasers every last one of them with yella streaks down their backs. Expect the weasels to give in.

  59. Andy
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement has failed to be agreed by Parliament no less than three times. It cannot pass and note the EU has not laid it before the EU Parliament nor the Parliaments on the member states.

    If the EU are unwilling to negotiate further in the face of Parliaments refusal to accept the WA then it is the EU that has chosen ‘No Deal’, not the UK.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink


      We joined the EU and agreed to its conditions at the time and all the other developments in the decades afterwards.

      Now just over half the voters have decided to leave and an agreement has since been reached with the other 27 members of the bloc.

      How the leavers agree that among themselves is of little interest to the other members as long as the dues agreed upon joining are honoured.

      Should we fail to do so few will trust us or be willing to deal with us in the future.

      Would you?

      • Woody
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        The conditions we agreed to and voted on in 1975 were about joining a trading bloc not a super state tax taker. Average net earnings for EU27 from UK are now c.€10 billion per month … 120 billion a year … so over the 44 years we have been a so called member / payee the eu must have earned c 5 trillion in todays terms from us. We owe them nothing.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        margaret…..well UK can manage without German cars, Italian white goods and French wine & cheese. We can sit back amused and watch the EU go into economic and political meltdown, not to say violence in the streets, just because some bitter and twisted wanna-be-dictators are/were in power over there. The unemployed and investor classes will go ape-s*it as their business/livelihood crashes.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          Fred H

          Violence in the streets? Well so far we are the only EU country that has had an MP murdered and a nearly weekly toll of fatal stabbings.

          Apart from that no other EU country has been stupid enough to leave what is the world’s wealthiest, most successful trading bloc in exchange for becoming the 51st US state with no input in the running of it.

          Britons never never will be slaves?

          • Robert mcdonald
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            Every nation has had irrational murders, sadly it’s human nature. But to say the eu is the world wealthiest and most successful trading block is somewhat extreme in light of the fragile economies in most of the bloc and the importance of the UK to whatever success they have had. And then to haver about the UK becoming a sub state of the USA just defines your inability to get the loss of the peoples referendum out of your mind.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            Oh God Margaret give it a rest. the UK to date has not had fighting in the streets for a long time, the murders via stabbings are gang/drug related etc ed. We have seen fighting in the streets in EU countries and it is against state policies, not mafia or gang culture supremacy. I simply warn that a repeat of fighting against state policies over there or even against individuals, should UK leave and the EU refuse sensible trade deals, workers thrown out of work by the punitive EU policies may well be the catalyst. Macron has already climbed down from intended measures damaging the unemployed in France. The right wing extremists made gains in several countires in the EU elections, or would you rather not notice?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Correct, the EU can not, and so will not, ever “take no deal off the table”.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      The EU has done what is necessary under their system to ratify the WA, and they have signed it. However I agree that they accept that there will be no deal when we leave. There will be a trade deal shortly thereafter – they offered one but May refused! You know Mrs May could have gone down as the most successful PM almost in history with a free trade deal with the EU and USA under her belt, restoring democracy to the U.K. and setting off the most successful economic period in history.
      All she had to do was shut up and not unilaterally suspend Brexit!
      That is why she is an unprecedented loser! The magnitude of the victory she turned into a monumental defeat for her party. Literally inconceivable!

    • HardyB
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Andy- we see here a strange sort of twisted logic that has put us in this mess..we have made the whole running on all so far including to decision, three times in parliament, to not ratify the WA which means the default position is we leave 31st Oct- all by our own doing.

      Sometime after we leave, perhaps next year, talks will begin again about our future arrangements and then the first thing to appear on the table from the EU side will be the terms of the old WA, and not even Boris or others with their old bravado talk about not paying the bill or dismissing the irish backstop is going to circumvent any of this.

  60. Paul
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I see McVey is going for the hardcore Leave vote by saying under her leadership we will be out by 31 Oct no matter what and she will only have Leavers in her cabinet. I admire her for putting herself forward but she’s clearly got no chance (along with the other 3,000 candidates who are standing).

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      It will be telling to see how many MPs will endorse her.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      It is true, and remarkable that she alone seems to have the passion to push it through.
      Perhaps that explains her lack of support in the majority pro-EU parliamentary party.

      The Tory remainer MPs know that all they need is one vote more than the Leavers. And they have that in spades.

    • BR
      Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Saying this at this stage is suicidal. As I have said before, it’s got to the managed no deal option and no-one can say that now and get to the membership vote. So…

      The question is, who do we believe?

      Who will really take us out on WTO, fighting the constitutional wreckers such as Bercow, Grieve et al tooth and nail as necessary? Raab may be the only one (and he has more genuine small-c conservative policies). I suspect that his statements re the WA are simply a way of not alienating the remoaner MPs at this stage and he can say later “I tried but they wouldn’t see reason, so it must be WTO on Day One, then see if we can get them to see sense after that”.

      The key thing is this: no-one in office has as yet tried to sell the positives of WTO, or said that it is nothing to fear. Once there’s been a proper campaign for that we may see a different picture emerge.

  61. Original Richard
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    MPs voted by a majority of 384 to trigger Article 50, a decision which should have meant we were leaving 2 years later on 29/03/2019 with or without a deal.

    If we were to have a PM who truly believed in Brexit and thus planned properly for a no-deal Brexit, stopped all the civil service briefings against leaving the EU and countered the anti-Brexit propaganda from the BBC and the CBI (both of whom receive EU funding) then there is no reason why this PM cannot persuade sufficient numbers of these same MPs that the rational “no deal is better than a bad deal” negotiating position, promised in the CP 2017 GE manifesto, is the right one and take the UK out of the EU on 31/10/2019 with or without a deal.

  62. Andy
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    To be fair – the ludicrous positions taken by many of the candidates strongly suggests that they are on drugs.

    Which we now know a number of them are.

    Personally I have always favoured legalisation of pretty much all drugs – even though I have never taken them. It is largely politicians who have taken them who think they should remain illegal. Ironic.

  63. mancunius
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    JR, so far I see you as being (rightly in my view) quite sceptical of all the candidates.

    Is there one you think you might reasonably support?

  64. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Anybody who is toying with the idea of supporting Sam Gyimah might like to know that he has the support of this chap, John Stevens:

    Who was once a Tory MEP, but then split off to help found the Pro-Euro Conservatives, and later went to the Liberal Democrats:

    I expect Andy and Newmania would welcome his advice.

  65. Simeon
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    To Dennis Cooper

    Steve Baker standing would give MPs the option to pick someone truly committed to delivering a proper Brexit. Or rejecting a proper Brexit. I think it’s clear which it would be. I think Baker announcing his candidature could mark the beginning of a last stand for true Brexiters in the Conservative party.

    This said, there is talk of him throwing his weight behind one of Johnson, Raab or McVey (no other option seems to be on the table). The question is, when he does support a particular candidate, will that scare off MPs that refuse to consider ‘no deal’?

  66. Olden
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Christopher Guest More Jr has now tossed his hat into the ring for Leader of the Tory Party. He seems to have come from nowhere and is now a front runner.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      who he?

  67. Steve
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Re Mr Gove.

    Seems to me there’s quite a bit of nasty muck raking going on. So what if Gove did a few lines, its hardly the crime of the century.

    Whoever is scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for smear material needs to realise we’re not interested in ‘dirt’.

    We are only interested in leaving the EU on WTO terms.

    Though Mr Gove would not be my choice for PM, I do say give the man a break and lets have a fair contest.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Maybe snorting is not the crime of the century, but what supports it is – organised crime, gangs, county lines, prostitution, people trafficking, guns, knives, murder.

      Anyone who does it and cannot see that is not fit to run a church fete let alone the country.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        I agree. By the age of 30 or so I would have expect someone to show respect for the law, to be capable of resisting peer-pressure, and to have wised up to the dangers of Class A drugs.

  68. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh, just get on with it. I’m sick of all the bull.

  69. Iain Gill
    Posted June 8, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I still think the best hope for the country is for a brexiteer to win, and do a deal with Nigel…

  70. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I’m warming to Boris Johnson’s campaign. He is now determined to withhold the £39 million bung until we get a decent deal. This type of conditionality is the sort of thing I have advocated many times on this blog site in the past. If the European Commission remains unbending, then it’s No Deal.

    Another of my ideas is that people wanting a WTO rules Brexit must form a Brexiteers’ Alliance prepared to fight a General Election in the Autumn, preferably after we have left the EU but if necessary before. I have identified two components to this:

    (1) A Brexiteers’ manifesto containing a programme of Government, preferably for a 5 year term. Contributions to its contents are needed from the Conservative and Brexit parties, from Labour Leave, from the DUP and UKIP. Nothing has yet been done. This is a high priority item for the next Conservative Party leader.

    (2) A non-aggression pact between pro-Brexit political forces so that there is only ONE Brexiteers’ Alliance candidate in each UK constituency. This is a formidable task requiring a lot of analysis and horse trading to produce an agreed list. Again, nothing has been done. Again, it is the new PM’s in-tray.

    It’s not enough to will the end, Sir John, you need to provide the means. Not for the first time I ask: Where is the Will to Power, the determination to PREVAIL?

    Maybe I should volunteer to write the first draft of the Brexiteers’ manifesto.

  71. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    In just the past few days, we have seen Mexico, with its huge trade surplus with Uncle Sam, fold in the face of a potential trade war with America. They believed that Trump would do as he threatened. A No Deal threat from the new PM, along with a run-down-the-clock strategy would see the EU beg to re-open the WA. It saddens me that so few Conservative MPs can play hard-ball. They are, of course, the same lot who showed no anger when Spain repeatedly intruded into the territorial waters of Gibraltar. A Trump would have called in the Spanish ambassador and told him to pack his bags and leave the country within 24 hours.

  • About John Redwood

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

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