The EU confirms it is ready for UK exit in October without the Withdrawal treaty

In the run up to our exit planned for 29 March 2019 the EU passed a  number of measures to ensure continuity if the UK left without signing the Withdrawal Treaty. Measures included an aviation agreement to ensure the planes fly, a haulage agreement to allow road transport to continue, a rail agreement, “legal certainty for ship operators”, compensation for EU fishing businesses if they lose access to UK waters, continuity for students currently in the Erasmus programme, and more time for the Peace and Interreg programmes for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In the update produced for the recent EU Council they also noted that rights of UK citizens currently legally settled in the rest of the EU will be protected. They are ensuring medicines  and Reach approved chemicals can continue to be traded, and have increased customs capacity at UK facing ports and transport centres to handle any need to introduce tariffs.

This of course all goes largely unreported by the Remain facing UK media, who carry on with silly scare stories based on an imaginary exit with none of these agreements in place.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I think many visiting this site are totally comfortable that all the scaremongering by the BBC and others is utter hogwash. Hopefully Boris can tackle the biased MSM as soon as he has achieved WTO Brexit.

    P.S. The cunning plan to secure the Chancellorship for you is, so far, going perfectly.

    The next phase is down to you. All you have to do now is convince Boris that, whatever goes on at a neighbour’s house, it is you, and only you, who can guarantee complete discretion.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      The fact that many arrangements are in place to deal with a “no deal” outcome is an inconvenience to those promoting the doom and gloom narrative. They have a simple “solution”. Ignore those facts.

      For some reason neither of the two candidates left standing appeared to make this point in their first hustings yesterday. But at least we got greater clarity on their intentions. Mr Hunt even conceded the the politics of leaving trumps the economics of remaining; the first time he has been so explicit. But he is deluded to think, like Johnson, that the EU will be ready for a deal.

      • Hope
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        The only problem with Brexit is those MPs and establishment who will not accept the vote and will of the people.

        Grieve, Clarke and Hammond all publicly claiming in the last few days they will bring down the government! They are traitors to our nation and must be dealt with. Why do the the Tory associations put up with them? Surely it must dawn in them thes sort of people want serfs without a voice.

        Gauke is up this week, let us hope his association provides a vote of no confidence him. No just his views destructive views and action on Brexit, going against collective responsibility for writing apiece in the Mail with Rudd and Greg Clarke but he is useless and a danger to the public by his vision to let Warbouys walk free. It took Khan to instruct legal proceedings to prevent his release. This week Warbouys admitted another four counts! Grieve and Ken Clarke lending their support in Parliament to Gauke to prevent criticism or force his resignation of him at the time.

        Despite,how,important Ken Clarke and his likes think they are the public will must prevail in a democracy. Public democracy trumps parliament democracy rubbish they are currently spouting.

      • NickC
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Oldtimer, For Conservative party members the choice comes down to trust. Theresa May abused the nation’s trust to give us a draft treaty which was worse than the current membership. Neither Hunt nor Boris are perfect. So do CP members trust Hunt who leans to the continuity Remain position – whatever he says at the hustings – or to Leave leaning Boris? We will see.

        • oldtimer
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          I note the campaign to discredit Johnson and to promote Hunt in the newspapers and on the BBC. It looks like the latest line of defence by the Remainers to neuter the referendum result. Whoever wins this contest is likely to face a no confidence vote and the possibility of a GE The consequences for the Conservatives hang in the balance.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Boris had a row with his girlfriend, so I have changed my mind and I now support the absorption of the UK into a pan-European federation … only joking! 🙂

    • jerry
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      @Pominoz; “Hopefully Boris can tackle the biased MSM as soon [my emphasis] as he has achieved WTO Brexit.”

      I disagree, far more important is a root and branch overhaul of the education system, from nursery to higher, a return to teaching children HOW to think, not what to think, together with far less emphasis statistical measurements based on the power of -often short term- recall.

      Many of the people who are racking up debt, whether their own or (eventually) the States, by studying for a degree at Uni’ would be better off learning a practical trade at Further Education level, be that a full time course, day release or night school.

      As for our post Brexit economic policy, Oh dearly-me, the last thing we will need is a continuance Chancellor following the same polices that got the UK into its current mess, new thinking please, or at least return to what worked (before the early 1970s oil crisis). We need, in UK parlance, a Macmillan, not a Thatcher!

      • Fraser
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Independent thought is what’s required in education, there is so much left wing political bias, especially on environmental matters

        • jerry
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

          @Fraser; Funny how so many on the right-wing can’t simply say “Bias” (as in all bias is wrong), it is always left wing, speaks volumes….

          • NickC
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Jerry, “Left” and “Right” are now meaningless. Both are used as epithets. Both are inversions of their original meaning clouded by the latest political fad. Is Corbyn’s anti-semitism left or right? See what I mean? And your pious view that “all bias is wrong” is just as fake. Bias is part of the human condition. Only God is not biased.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I have a vote in this contest. I will not be casting it for Boris Johnson if I think there is a material possibility he will generate the sort of headlines we have seen over the last two days, eg in the middle of an election campaign – and so increase the chances of an inadvertent Marxist govt. I suggest Conservative MPs explain this to him very clearly and find out what else negative, if anything, is in the cupboard, and get it now for airing.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        It seems Mr Johnson was bugged by a left-wing apologist for anti-Semitism who has worked with the Guardian to try to discredit him. But that’s what we and he must expect. That is how leftists behave, and its how the left-wing media behave. A Conservative would not do such a thing as bug a neighbours private conversation and wouldn’t try to get it into the media, nor would a Conservative publication use it. But we have to deal with the world as we find it.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like fake news to me

    • Bob
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Parliament is going to debate a petition to abolish the BBC license on 15th July 2019.

      It’s a shame you missed the last one Mr Redwood, there was one MP arguing against about 2o pro licence fee MPs. It was a bit like watching a Brexit debate on QT.

      Try to make room in you diary for this one on 15th July.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I voted but this is just malarkey for the Commons. The BBC is so beyond its sell by date. The blindingly obvious changes that need to be made are ignored e.g. end postal votes for general use and introduce compulsory ID at polling stations.

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Very clever indeed!

    • acorn
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      BTW. Did you see that Minister of State for Transport Michael Ellis has told the House of Lords’ EU Committee that Brexit preparation by his department alone will hit the UK with a bill worth £109m for 2018-2019.

      Preparing to leave the EU with no deal makes up £74m of that sum. In a letter to the committee, Ellis said that “we may allocate additional resources for no-deal contingencies”.

      The letter also confirms that the termination of two ferry contracts in April by the transport department cost £51.2m. Extra services from Ramsgate and other ports were planned to reduce congestion at the main harbour at Dover in a no-deal scenario.

      According to the minister, if the department had delayed by two days, British taxpayers would have been hit with an additional £10m due to the “crossing of a contractual milestone”. (As reported by

  2. Peter
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Yes the EU are ready for a UK exit. They may think it unlikely though.

    The EU will continue to hang tough and wait for UK internal divisions to prevent a clean exit. I very much doubt they will agree to any further negotiations. So merely leaving a No Deal exit on the table will not change anything. The UK will actually have to leave in such a way.

    After that there may be some movement.

    The key question is whether a new PM will take such a step. I am hoping the presence of the Brexit Party will overcome any reluctance the new Prime Minister might have.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      What does it say about the state of our democracy, when the government of the day must be motivated by a non parliamentary political party to realise that it MUST execute a properly given instruction by the electorate. Again we have the thank Mr Farage for his continuing efforts.

      • Hope
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        The current extension agreement by Mayhab does not allow any renegotiation, it explicitly says so it is allowed to ratify her servitude plan. The only exceptions being second referendum or election where they hope the result will be over turned!

        The other terms are in direct contravention of existing treaties as a member and considered ultra vires. The UK is a member and Has the same rights albeit Mayhab, again, deferred to say the UK will remain as a quiet member Paying all fees and responsibilities! Vassalage. Unbelievable. The cabinet including Hunt, Fox, Gove and Mardaunt has gone along with it! They should be no where near power of cabinet ever again.

      • Chris
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Quite right, PW, and it just .oindicates how rotten to the core our political class is, with a very few exceptions.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Indeed on the Brexit party front. Disgraceful that much of the misinformation emanates from the government. Now where has the Business Secretary disappeared to?

    • Andy
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      There is no such thing as a clean Brexit.

      There are just degrees of mess.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        You’ve lost all arguments and are shouting in a vacuum, Andy

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        A mess of the remainers making!

        For God’s sake take a day off man and get real! Remainers hobbled the democratic process at every opportunity and caused so much division, bitterness and resentment.

        These days, when meeting a person for the first time, it isn’t so much a question of subtly finding out which political party they support, more, are they ‘remain’ or ‘leave’. Even families are torn apart by it. That is the net result of the remainers underhanded subterfuge and blocking tactics!

        If we had a decent Brexiteer from day one, instead of a proven liar who never once intended to take the UK out of the EU, who also tried to subvert democratically elected representatives by using hand-picked remainer civil service placemen to ‘negotiate’ our withdrawal in their stead, this ‘mess’ would be history, and this great nation would be swinging along nicely. Free, confident and open for business with the rest of the world.

      • NickC
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Andy, So all the other 165 nations in the world are in a “mess” because they’re not in the EU? You become more fatuous by the day.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        A clean Brexit is Freedom, Independence & self governing just like India, S Africa & all those little African states got when leaving their Empire.
        Even the Poles managed to free themselves from the monolithic communist block.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        More negativity from Andy. Perhaps now he/she will tell us about the fine, orderly ‘organisation’ that is his/her much-revered EU.

        (Much better and far more dignified, Andy, to talk UP your beloved EU than to talk DOWN the potential of your country to make a success of its future. Then you won’t sound like a petulant child.)

      • libertarian
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink


        I’m just back from visiting my business in France. Everywhere on the 800 mile drive down were banners , boards and hoardings urging FREXIT . When I got there all the talk amongst the locals was when could they have a vote on Frexit

        The legal default position is in fact a clean Brexit, in that we leave at the end of October and thats it.

        • hefner
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          Hee hee, did you drink too much of the Asselin.eau? BTW, I have also recently crossed France from Calais to Montpellier via Tours and through Massif Central. One must already start with a pretty hot head not to see that all the boards and hoardings are leftovers from the May European elections. And how is your bizness doing? Are you employing Gilets Jaunes to help fight the French unemployment?

        • Sharon Jsgger
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Unfortunately, Macron will not give France s referendum because as he once said, the vote would be to leave!

        • acorn
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          Strange, I have just done a trip from Calais via Paris and Dijon to Basel, never saw a frexit sign!

          • hefner
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Thing is the Frexit candidates (Asselineau and DuPont-Aignan) respectively got 1.17 and 3.52% at the May EU elections. All the other parties even when very critical of the EU do not want to leave the EU. But as they say in France “Qui se resemblent s’assemblent” (birds of a feather flock together).

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Peter, MPs will have to learn the fairly rudimentary principle that we don’t need an RTA in order to trade with another state. The EU has shown itself as unfriendly, manipulative, and more concerned with its own ideology, than with the humdrum necessities of trade. The EU doesn’t want a comprehensive free trade deal? Good. It’s just not necessary to jump through the EU’s hoops any more. And too expensive.

  3. agricola
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    This makes sense. Will political change in the EU leadership change who negotiates on their part. Does Barnier remain until the job is done.

    As soon as Boris is PM, invite Barnier to London so that he can be informed of our WTO departure, proposed FTA, and our Art 24 of GATT solution for continuity while the FTA is negotiated.

    Any loose ends in our relationship with the EU can be written into a treaty under the Vienna Convention. Then payments for any ongoing joint ventures can be discussed and agreed. Including our financial suppirt of the ECB.

    If the EU is in a toys out of the pram mood then it is a WTO withdrawal and tariffs. All to be achieved well before Halloween and the party conference.

    • Rick
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      agricola..wrong turn of phrase..should read- summon Barnier to London..stupido..and not long to go now..they will rub your noses in it

    • Sam
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      So you don’t expect the EU to agree to an agreement in which we don’t pay the £39bn we said we would? Art. 24 is then off the table. It requires an agreement.

      In terms of your WTO tariffs – what do you say to the cheddar cheese manufacturer who will face tariffs of 48%? Do you think he’ll stay in business?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        sam…..but various people said different things. As an example I said ‘I wouldn’t pay a penny for nowt’. The EU have dragged out the whole process, and the unauthorised idiot appears to have agreed all sorts of measures with them. As I fail to grasp why we should pay anything, and in fact THEY have caused UK new costs by delays, we should do it my way, and walk away. Whistle for it, whatever the idiot said is null and void……so sue!

      • Richard1
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        He could be compensated in other ways. After all if tariffs do get imposed it’s £13bn to the UK govt and £5bn out from UK business. Plenty of room for manoeuvre. (BTW isn’t it crazy the EU puts 48% tariffs on cheese?!)

    • forthurst
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Can the Civil Service be trusted to negotiate a FTA or would it look remarkably like the WA unless fresh Englishmen’s blood is drafted in to act on our behalf?

      When we joined the EU, our fishing grounds were defined by the 1962 Fisheries Limits Act; since then our Exclusive Economic Zone has been extended to 200 nautical miles and is larger than any other in the EU apart from France; so when we leave we need to grab what is ours and invite the French who invented the CFP to share their EEZ with the Spanish, Dutch and Danes who have been in the meantime been thieving our fish.

      • NickC
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Forthurst, No I do not think the civil service can be trusted to negotiate a free trade deal (an RTA). Decisions in Brussels are made collaboratively by civil servants (including ours) then merely signed off by the relevant Minister. Our civil servants have become used to such power; and it has corrupted them. Leave politicians who may be in government need to take note of that.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        First job of new PM is sack Ollie Robbins. If he stays,we will know where we are headed – nowhere.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          And Philip Hammond, Greg Clarke and anyone who voted for May’s putrid WA three times or indeed at all.

      • agricola
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        The civil service who produced the WA cannot be trusted. They should be promoted sideways to where they can do no harm. Replace them with real industrial, trade experience. I would invite Nigel Farage to be part of the team. If anyone really knows the EU he does.

        At 10.52 I suggested how we might progress with future fishing. If we work on the principal that conservation is initially the principal challenge, and then work towards sustainable fishing methods we can create a healthy export industry. Consider line catching cod so that we can put back the young ones for instance. Above all talk to UK fishermen, identify their problems and work with them, they know more than any legislator in the HoC. So do the marine scientists involved in the industry. So were I minister for fishing post Brexit that is what I would do.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Ha, my letter published in the Daily Telegraph last July:

          “I am no fan of Boris Johnson, but he gave a cracking speech. It is even clearer to me now that either the Olly half of the Therolly combo of Mrs May and Mr Robbins should go, or the Ther half should go. I suggest it would be much less disruptive for the nation to shove Olly off out of the way, maybe as a special adviser to the government of St Helena.”

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink


        ” share their EEZ with the Spanish, Dutch and Danes who have been in the meantime been thieving our fish.”

        No they haven’t. They bought the fishing rights our fishermen had been allotted but chose to sell to them for quick profit.

        Hope you haven’t forgotten the 3 ‘Cod Wars’ we fought and lost against Iceland in the 1950’s!

        • Know-Dice
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          True MH.

          But in future it should be a condition of the licence that you either use it or it returns to HMG

        • forthurst
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          By “fishing rights”, I assume you mean the deliberately inadequate quotas allocated by the Brussels regime to our fishermen in the EU’s economic warfare intended to winkle them out of what little of our ancestral fishing grounds the EU deigned to allocate them. Leaving the EU will mean EU allocated quotas will have no force in our EEZ so no more Brussels spies in our fishing ports and the fish will be allowed to swim around without maps to tell them where their species are supposed to make themselves exclusively available for netting (Dutch: hoovering).

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


            And hopefully no more futile ‘cod wars’ against other countries!

    • Dennis
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      On BrexitCental, IDS and David Campbell say the Gatt 24 is a no problem issue but Liam Fox on today’s Marr show said that this is wrong -there are problems!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      ‘As soon as Boris is PM, invite Barnier to London’

      Make it 3:00 am then let him wait for an hour or two.

      • hefner
        Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        As Ian Wragg would say “I’ve never seen such a stupid comment”.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Well that’s how the EU treated our Prime Minister, we would just be getting our own back!

          So who is the stupid one? I venture the EU was crass in the first instance. They have form for belittling those who oppose their efforts to destroy the nation state. If you can’t see the irony, you need a brain transplant!

  4. Ian wragg
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    With Farage sat on the PMs shoulder like a Parrot there will be very little room for manoeuvre if the Tory Party is to survive.
    Any sign of a sell out will boost TBT enormously.
    I do believe the EU have painted themselves into a corner and trying to foist a similar agreement on Switzerland and failing they are revealing their true colours.

    • jerry
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; Thanks for confirming that UKIP/TBP were rooting for Mr Stewart, no doubt their party members will now be campaigning for Mr Hunt!…

      If Boris Johnson becomes the PM, taking the UK out of the EU, especially on WTO rules, then UKIP/TBP are dead ducks, with just the Welsh assembly left (with just 6 AM’s).

      Go smell the coffee….

      • Ian wragg
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never seen such a stupid comment.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          you haven’t read Andy’s contributions.

          • jerry
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            Nor does Mr Wragg read his own comments back to himself before posting either… 🙁

      • NickC
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, Why do you repeat the lie that UKIP and TBP are one and the same? It is poor analysis which will mislead you – and even if you are straining to be mischievous, I’m not sure what you think you will achieve.

        Indeed how could UKIP or TBP “root” for Stewart anyway? I can assure you that we in UKIP are campaigning to Leave the EU, so we will definitely not be “rooting” for Hunt. Given the behaviour of May, we are rather wary of any of the Tory candidates. And most Tory supporters are too, judging by the way they have flocked to TBP.

      • perebois
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, how long do you think Boris will be prime minister if he faces a vote of No Confidence in his first week of office? A week?

        A Queen’s Speech with a WTO exit as its centrepiece would have no chance of being voted through parliament. If Boris is still prime minister by then, what chance do you think he would have at the general election that would follow?

        Boris will revoke Article 50 because the only thing that matters to him is being prime minister.

        • jerry
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          @perebois; Will Turkeys really vote for Christmas. Not sure a Queens speech is due until after Oct 31st. If Boris does revokes A50 (or Hunt perhaps engineers the passing of the WA) will the other flock Turkeys vote for Christmas?

          Try actually playing all scenarios out, not just your favoured one!…

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      The Emperor has no clothes!

  5. J Bush
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Firstly, Businesses negotiate trade deals. Governments job is to facilitate an environment where this trade can occur, or not, in the case of trade sanctions with rogue countries.

    Secondly, re: MSM failures to report news, now is the ideal time to deal with this and also ‘kill 2 birds with one stone’.

    As MSM will not report this, Johnson at his hustings he can do what the media won’t. He can clearly announce the UK will not be leaving with no deal and list them off.

    This also has the double whammy of refuting claims from the remain mob and leaving them with the dilemma of voting down the ‘deal’ and them being responsible for the UK leaving with no ‘deal’ in place. I wonder if the likes of Grieve & Co in their quest to keep us in the EU come up with their own version BRINO, or will they in their spite as threatened try to bring the government down, because they don’t like the ‘deal’.

    However, I sincerely hope May’s other stupid agreements such as funding the EU army and various other costly madnesses that have no benefit to the UK, are discarded as a waste of taxpayers money.

    • Ian terry
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      J Bush.

      I wonder if the likes of Grieve & Co in their quest to keep us in the EU come up with their own version BRINO, or will they in their spite as threatened try to bring the government down.

      They are so vindictive and evil bad losers they will not only bring the new PM down it will be the party and the whole country. The only hope is that their threatened action if instigated will result in the rise of a new “real conservative” party out of the rubble. We will have plenty of time to bring in a real caring, professional party whilst we wait for the next decade to pass as all these smaller parties supporting Labour will systematically destroy everything democracy stood for in this country.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      J Bush

      ” May’s other stupid agreements such as funding the EU army”

      It’s far more important that Jeremy Hunt will refuse to fund our army to help fight America’s illegal wars in the Middle East. Apart from world disapproval these wars starting with Iraq have flooded Europe with the worst refugee crisis since WW2.

      • NickC
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Our army was told by our politicians to fight wars in the middle east, not by American politicians. Moreover, like Harold Wilson’s refusal to join in the Vietnam war, our politicians could have refused. But allowing our armed forces to be controlled by the EU means we would not have that luxury of choice and independence any more.

        Remains, like you, have already given up the principle of independence. You deliberately avoid even acknowledging that our independence is the main issue. So you could not, in principle, disagree with subsuming the UK into the USA empire, any more than you see anything wrong with the UK being broken up into provinces of the EU empire. And at least the USA is democratic.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        You seem to take it for granted that Jeremy Hunt will be our next Prime Minister. That and America’s illegal wars aside, are you really suggesting the United Kingdom doesn’t have an army?

        How might the UK distribute aid and famine relief to victims of natural disasters?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        It is nothing to do with funding the army, it is a political decision on when to deploy the army. The Labour Government chose to invade Iraq, saying the only way to have stopped that would have been to have had no army in the fist place is a bizarre notion.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Merkel’s open invitation to the world to relocate to ‘Europe’ had a lot more to do with the flood. Allowing only genuine Syrian refugees would have been a small fraction of the total and eminently manageable. Just admit you are an anti-US bigot.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink


          “Allowing only genuine Syrian refugees would have been a small fraction of the total and eminently manageable.”

          In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the United Nations (UN) identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than 6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and around 5 million are refugees outside of Syria.
          Refugees of the Syrian Civil War – Wikipedia

      • L Jones
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Good grief, Ms Howard. Hasn’t it occurred to you that your children and theirs would be conscripted into an EU army? They’re not going to be conscripted into a US one, are they? And you’d be happy for the UK to fund this EU army, then?
        Obviously you would – as you quite obviously admire the EU and all its plans of expansion and control.
        Brexit isn’t all about trade, you know.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:04 pm | Permalink


          “Good grief, Ms Howard. Hasn’t it occurred to you that your children and theirs would be conscripted into an EU army”

          “EU nations continue to phase out military conscription”

          Much of Europe has done away with compulsory military service, or made heavy cut-backs. Of the 27 EU member states, 21 already make do without conscription


          List of countries the USA has bombed since the end of World War II

          China 1945-46
          Korea 1950-53
          China 1950-53
          Guatemala 1954
          Indonesia 1958
          Cuba 1959-60
          Guatemala 1960
          Belgian Congo 1964
          Guatemala 1964
          Dominican Republic 1965-66
          Peru 1965
          Laos 1964-73
          Vietnam 1961-73
          Cambodia 1969-70
          Guatemala 1967-69
          Lebanon 1982-84
          Grenada 1983-84
          Libya 1986
          El Salvador 1981-92
          Nicaragua 1981-90
          Iran 1987-88
          Libya 1989
          Panama 1989-90
          Iraq 1991
          Kuwait 1991
          Somalia 1992-94
          Bosnia 1995
          Iran 1998
          Sudan 1998
          Afghanistan 1998
          Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999
          Afghanistan 2001
          Libya 2011

          Huffington Post

          You notice the list stops in 2011. Maybe you can find the time to tell us how many countries have been attacked by the EU during those years.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        margaret….. i’ve been in a coma for a while, but when I wasn’t I distinctly remember Merkel inviting most of the world to cross lots of countries to reach Germany, They would open their arms. Sadly many decided to stop before Germany and caused havoc, then having got to Germany decided to carry on. Thousands paid with their families lives in the seas, but nobody blames Merkel.
        The USA had nothing to do with it.

  6. Mark B
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I believe that many of these measures are for a short period. There may be a possibility to extend them but I am not sure.

    We have wasted a vast amount of time pursuing a dead end policy. The Treaty of Lisbon specifically allows for a member country to Leave the EU without signing the WA. This the EU has quite rightly planned for yet, our own government have not. There has been some serious dereliction of duty in my opinion.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      From June 26 2016:

      “JR, once again I strongly urge you to give Article 5o TEU a try rather than rushing to unilaterally abrogate the EU treaties or disapply EU laws.

      By all means prepare for the latter course, start passing legislation, but keep it in reserve in case the other EU governments start to muck us about.

      The American revolutionaries understood that their chances of success would be greatly diminished if all the world turned away in disgust from what they were doing; that is why they started the Declaration of Independence with a justification of their actions … ”

      Well, of course they did start to muck us about, but they had a friend in Downing Street who would always accept and seek to justify their conduct.

    • acorn
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The EU Contingency Action Plan is short term and dependant on the UK reciprocating on its 19 elements. It is solely designed for the benefit of the EU; see .

      I/We can’t find anything that implies that the UK has signed up for this “transition deal”, which the EU says it is nothing of the sort. Politically, it will smell like “a deal” inside a “no deal” to the media; a bit Brino-ish. Depends how you define a hard Brexit.

      • NickC
        Posted June 24, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Acorn, As far as Leaves are concerned the phrase “hard” Brexit is merely Remain propaganda, so how do you define it? As you know from comments here we think the term “No deal” is equally Remain propaganda, and is deliberately misleading.

        The UK has many “deals” with other countries on issues as diverse as double taxation, driving licences, and aviation. There is benefit to them because we don’t have to be ruled by those other countries in order to do so. So such “deals” are safe to have with the EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Excellent Mark!

      These points should not be wasted on the leadership candidates. The Tories have wasted loads of time already. In Churchill’s words, ‘Action this day!’ We can’t have all this interminable farting and faffing around!

      The candidate that gives a firm and unequivocal guarantee to leave on the 31st October will romp home. Any remainer who now stands in their way faces oblivion and an end to their political careers.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    What! A sensible comment on the EU and their Brexit meeting? Sir John, you are unique!
    Well written.

    • Ian terry
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard

      Totally agree

  8. Annette
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I should hope so. There were fewer than 10 days to go when May ‘engineered’ her request for an extension, and the (unlawful) ‘ratification’ was just before. If either side were not ‘ready’ for the lawful end of A50 notification, they would have been grossly negligent.
    Some (small) businesses that I know had refocused their businesses, identified opportunities & threats & were just waiting for officialdom to confirm/clarify tax/paperwork requirements two WEEKS after the referendum result, based on the leave result. They’ve been left ‘hanging about’ with increasing uncertainty engineered by our own Govt.
    Anyone might think that the Govt are trying to prevent us leaving in any meaningful way. There really needs to be an enquiry into the actions of Ministers, Civil Servants, MPs, Media & others which raises issues of collusion, wilful deceit and abuse of our Constitution & lawmaking for the benefit of a foreign power.
    I would much rather BoJo used the proper term ‘leaving’ instead of Brexit, which is an undefined term so is meaningless drivel – as we discovered with May. We voted to leave, so I want to hear that word. Maybe then the remainiacs (for that is what they are now) might accept the democratic decision. If someone cannot leave somewhere of their own volition, they are a prisoner. We are currently being held captive with our own Govt & majority of MPs as the camp guards.

  9. Oliver
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Perhaps, if the EU can manage compensation for their fishermen, we could be explicit about how we would do the same for Jeremy Hunt’s sheep farmer “friend”?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      He could try selling his lamb in the UK, we could eat it instead of Irish beef.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I’ve already stopped buying Southern Irish produce. If everyone did the same, the Dublin government would have a problem.

        After the way Varadkar and Coveney have treated the British, we owe them nothing!

        • APL
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Tad Davison: ” we owe them nothing! ”

          We owe them nothing in any case. The Irish have done very well out of the EU and at the same time sticking its parasitic suckers into London’s financial sector.

          And we spent an arm and a leg bailing out the Irish banking sector during the banking crash.

          We ow them nothing.

      • Andy
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        That’s what we use to do. I much prefer lamb and mutton to beef.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          NZ lamb, Argie beef…..yummy.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Stick to pork. At least you know that it is humanely killed.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Great point.

          The boss wouldn’t let me say what I wanted to, so perhaps I will be allowed to encourage people to look more deeply into the various ways animals are slaughtered and why.

  10. Pembroke sailor
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Why are we going to compensate EU fishermen who are losing access to our fish?

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Pembroke sailor

      That wasn’t what he said.

      What he said was the EU might compensate the french fishermen.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        No doubt using our money.

    • agricola
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Once we have control of our fishing grounds within our territorial waters we must put in place a programme of conservation. This should include fishing methods permitted.

      We must also understand a basic truth. The UK has a very limited understanding of what is edible fish and shellfish. The biggest market for fish and shellfish is Europe. So for our fishermen we are working towards sustainable stocks and a growing export market. Where it suited us I would allow EU fishermen to fish under licence in our waters using approved methods and subject to rigorous RN policing. That way we might achieve a seamless transit with a minimum of disruption.

      • perebois
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Would this licence with EU fisherfolk be an agreement with the EU? I wonder if the EU would require us to discharge all our debts first?

      • Andy
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        I don’t care if French, Dutch, Spanish fisherman go bankrupt. The fault lies squarely with their governments. I would after Brexit exclude them all from UK waters. Can you imagine how fish stocks would recover under such circumstances ? Any conservationist must be in favour of this.

      • David Price
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        I would not be as generous with EU fishing interests. Looking at how they decimated African fisheries over the years and treated the British scallop fishermen earlier this year I wouldn’t trust them to operate legally.

        Over recent years we have switched our diet to more fish and seafood away from beef so will welcome an increased proportion from British catches.

  11. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Personally I am praying for a WTO Brexit. It ,Evans. A£26 billion turn around in EU U.K. payments immediately! We stop paying £13 billion membership fee and they pay £13 billion for access to our market.

    • John Sheridan
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Like you, I would welcome a WTO Brexit rather than signing the current Withdrawal Treaty, even if the backstop were removed or ameliorated.

      That said, although the value of the tariff is collected by the UK Government by HMRC, it is paid for by UK importers and UK customers, not the EU.

      The tariff is paid by the importer of the goods (a UK company or individual). The importer either absorbs the increased cost, passes the increase cost to the final customer through a higher selling price, or uses a combination of the two approaches.

    • David Johnson
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      And, as a result of the huge tariff and nontariff barriers to trade which apply under the WTO which do not apply within the EU, we lose hundreds of billions in lost trade. It is horrifying that you Brexiters dont understand the basics of trade, you have never heard of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. You want to trade under the WTO which offers the LEAST free trade on the whole planet. In economic terms you think the earth is flat.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        And you have never read the many good (and rather more recent 🙂 contemporary economists who are not operating with outdated models: e.g. the excellent Roger Bootle, who points out that ‘a WTO exit should hold no terrors for the UK’.

      • Al
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I can’t say these “huge tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade which apply under WTO” have caused us any problems trading with the US or many other countries (and please remember just how new the Canada and Japan EU deals are – we’ve been trading with both with no problem for years before any deal was in place).

      • NickC
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        David Johnson, The UK’s total goods exports to the EU amounted to less than £158bn in 2017 (Pink book figures), allowing for the Rotterdam effect. So you will have to explain how tariffs and NTBs will reduce that by your claimed “hundreds of billions”.

        Moreover the tariffs and NTBs that the UK’s exports will encounter are set by the EU, not by the WTO, contrary to your opening assertion. By far the majority of our trade (c88% of UK GDP) is carried out domestically or is global trade directly under the WTO framework that you apparently despise. You are so ignorant you don’t even know the EU itself is a WTO registered RTA.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        “… we lose hundreds of billions in lost trade … ”

        Well, I suppose if there were any losses then over several decades they could accumulate to “hundreds of billions”.

        “In 2017, UK exports to the EU were £274 billion”

        Are you suggesting that we would lose all of that, including the 40% which was exports of services rather than goods?

        Given that according to the EU Commission the Single Market has added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states, but other studies suggest that for the UK the gross gain has been only half of that, about 1%, which would work out to about £20 billion a year added to our GDP, how do you suppose that we would lose “hundreds of billions” a year in lost trade by reverting to WTO terms?

        Why is the German ifo institute so much more sanguine about the potential damage to the UK economy if we default to WTO terms?

        What do you mean by “huge” tariff barriers? A few percent?

        You are simply repeating the same tired old exaggerations, amounting to lies, about the economic impact of EU membership that we have been fed by the eurofederalists for more than half a century.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Ah, the usual substitution of insult for argument by a Remainer.

        We have a huge trade deficit with the EU. Tell me again who loses out most from imposing tariffs on that trade ?

        Just one concrete example to ponder. We currently impose a tariff of 16% on import of oranges from South Africa. That means they are 16% more expensive for UK consumers than they could be. Under WTO the tariff would plainly be set at 0%. But you don’t want that ? Why do you want to pay more for food ?

        • Andy
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          The only reason Oranges (I think it is all Citrus) have a tariff is to protect Spanish Orange Farmers. Personally I would maintain the tariff and rapidly strike a FTA with South Africa and the USA. Once they have tariff free access to the UK market that will kill Spanish exports to the UK.

          What will happen under WTO Brexit is that the EU will very rapidly lose UK market share because their over priced agricultural produce and manufactures will be replaced by world products and those traded under new signed FTA. The EU really are being very stupid and very, very arrogant.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        David Johnson

        Oh do tell us who you currently trade with . As you clearly have no idea what the WTO is , or indeed what a protectionist customs union is ( hint neither Smith or Ricardo would think that the EU is anywhere approaching free trade )

        Er this might wake you up a bit

        UK exports to the EU were £274 billion . UK imports from the EU were £341 billion , have a guess who might suffer more…. go on give thinking a try

    • Fred H
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Lynn….update the figures….now almost at 18bn sterling.

  12. DaveK
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John, this does however lead on to a question I have asked for months and which Mr Johnson skirted around yesterday.

    Why have we not declared that we were totally ready for a No Deal (WTO exit) on the 28th March? Otherwise the only inference I can take is that my government and civil service are completely incompetent and should all be sacked.

    If any other worker in the country had a deadline and they missed it and over six months later, as Mr Johnson stated yesterday would increase our efforts to work towards it, their feet would not touch the ground. And I can say with yet again complete confidence that the head of department would not be running around with the company credit card and talking drivel to all our customers.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Mr Johnson is not yet in charge and probably cannot say what our state of preparedness is – he can surely only say what he will do, that arrangements if not yet made will be expedited.
      The fact that our government has not confirmed that we are ready can only mean that if we are, the Remainers, May and Eeyore Hammond don’t want it known or that they are totally incompetent or are trying to throw a spanner in the works. Neither of them has had a positive thing to say about Brexit in 3 wasted years and billions of pounds down the drain. Let’s hope the Tories don’t elect yet another bad leader as they have since the 1980’s.

      • Steve
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


        “The fact that our government has not confirmed that we are ready can only mean that if we are, the Remainers, May and Eeyore Hammond don’t want it known…”

        Probably because there’s a few career ending skeletons there ! i.e collusion with the ungrateful EU, lying to the country, being naughty with the contingency funding, etc, etc.

        You can guarantee, absolutely, that during the three wasted years there was some right stinky stuff going on.

  13. Dominic
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Let the EU bend to our will

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink


      Nah…..let them go to hell.

      • perebois
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Well, they’re certainly not going to bend to our will.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      and then we should supply a hefty kick up the a…

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Indeed certainly unreported by the appalling BBC propaganda outfit. Too busy interviewing Dominic Grieve, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke types I suppose.

    It seems these people plus the Hammond, Greg Clark and Bercow types are still determined to undermine the UK’s negotiation position yet again in the negotiation again. Many/Most of the people supporting Hunt (the May nightmare continues) candidate are highly dubious remainers who still think May’s putrid W/A leave was just fine.

    Grieve perhaps thinks he is just an Advocate paying back for his Légion d’honneur says leaving with no deal will be “uniquely damaging”. Does that mean very damaging or just a bit damaging but in a unique way? It will actually not be not be damaging at all. After a short period of adjustment it will be a huge liberation with far more positives than negatives. A Corbyn/SNP government will however be very damaging indeed. These types seem very keen to destroy the Conservatives bring this about by totally undermining the UK at every turn.

    • Andy
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Churchill was awarded the Legion of Honour too.

      Does that mean he was a traitor or whatever it is you lot accuse anyone who has ever been abroad of?

      • Steve
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink


        “Does that mean he [Churchill] was a traitor or whatever it is you lot accuse anyone who has ever been abroad of?”

        No not at all, and neither do we accuse anyone of being a traitor just because they’ve been abroad.

        For example; we don’t accuse the Allies of being traitors just because they landed on the Normandy beaches to liberate your stinking ungrateful EU.

        • Andy
          Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          You have not landed on a beach ever.

          Well, maybe Skegness beach with a bucket and spade – but certainly no more than that.

          And most of the brave souls who fought on D Day would be appalled that you have failed to learn the lessons of their sacrifice.

          Worse, you are repeating the mistakes which made their sacrifice necessary in the first place.

          We need to get a big group of Brexit voters together – take you over to Arromanche. Stick you in the remnants of the Mulberry harbour. Take you to the cemeteries. Show you the First World War trenches too.

          And then, perhaps, bash you all with something very hard if the penny still has not dropped.

          • NickC
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            Andy, Except that my parents generation did actually fight to prevent a European empire succeeding on the continent. I talked to all who were still alive in my family, and all who had lived through Katyn from my wife’s side. They all believed it worthwhile to preserve or regain national independence.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink


            “European empire succeeding on the continent. I talked to all who were still alive in my family, and all who had lived through Katyn from my wife’s side”

            You are aware that Katyn was a dreadful crime committed by one of the Allies, namely Russia?

            And that it was them who imposed a Soviet regime on Europe post WW2 that was only defeated after 5 decades through the bravery of many of the oppressed people like Hungary, Poland etc.?

          • NickC
            Posted June 25, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Why do you suppose I am not aware that “Katyn was a dreadful crime committed by one of the Allies, namely Russia”, when I have already told you that I knew some of the survivors, including my own father-in-law?

            Frankly, Margaret, you are a pompous, patronising, know-nothing. And certainly your juvenile intervention fails to address the issue that national independence is vital, so vital that Poles were willing to sacrifice themselves as Poland was invaded by the Germans and the Russians at the same time.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Glad to see you sticking to English this time Andy after your previous failed effort at French/Spanish !

      • L Jones
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        ”You lot”. For goodness’ sake, Andy. When you’re in a hole, stop digging.
        And don’t end a sentence with a preposition – are they teaching you nothing at school?

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          L Jones

          Is that the best you can do?

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink


      “Indeed certainly unreported by the appalling BBC propaganda outfit. Too busy interviewing Dominic Grieve, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke types I suppose.”

      …..and running a smear campaign against Boris.

      If they succeed in nudging Hunt into No 10, I for one will not be paying anymore licence money.

      Why the hell we tolerate such a biased state broadcaster defies belief. The disgusting thing needs bringing down, and not gently either. News editorial left wingers need to be made social outcasts, unemployable, have their pensions seized, and not be allowed any state benefits.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Russia has a more balanced and truthful broadcaster. You know its all lies, with the BBC people still believe the twaddle.

  15. Shieldsman
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    ‘NO DEAL’ as reported by the Guardian 13th June.
    A senior Tory MP has said parliament has now run out of options for preventing the UK from crashing out of the EU.
    Oliver Letwin, was among the signatories to a Labour-led attempt to tie the next prime minister’s hands by ruling out no deal, it was defeated by 11 votes.
    Letwin said, “We have run out of all the possibilities that any of us can think of.”
    BBC Radio 4’s Today programme interviewer Nick Robinson pointed out that MPs could not block a no-deal exit happening by default if no legislation was put before parliament.
    Current extension ends on 31st October. A further extension is most unlikely even if the PM was foolish enough to ask for one.

    • perebois
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      There’s an amendable Trade Bill knocking around.

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink


      ‘further extension is most unlikely even if the PM was foolish enough to ask for one.’

      ……or indeed suicidal enough.

      The people of this country will not tolerate another extension, nor will they tolerate any kind of ‘deal’ with the ungrateful EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      ‘Current extension ends on 31st October. A further extension is most unlikely even if the PM was foolish enough to ask for one.’

      I don’t trust Jeremy Hunt. Let’s hope he is not in a position to sell us out.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Oh I’m sure Bercow will think of something.

  16. Caterpillar
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Given that the UK’s efforts to be ready were stood down, that we often hear of Mr Hammond withholding funding, and that Mr Carney warns of 150,000 firms not being ready – all in a background of MPs doing everything to stop no deal and the Conservatives wasting another month to decide a leader whilst May and Hammond are in place … will the UK be ready?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Given that Companies House reports about 600,000 new registrations each year, that 150,000 represents just 3 months worth. Not ready for export? Give them a chance, they’ve only just started.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Making money is the incentive for any good decent well-run business. I am confident all will be well as they adapt. The sickly ones would probably go to the wall anyway, without Brexit, but needless to say, that is where they will place the blame. Any scapegoat in a crisis.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Well said. All these claims need to be put in a proper perspective.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Dave Andrews,

        About 2 to 3 hundred thousand UK firms trade with EU, so the 150k is a high proportion. My criticism is good the Govt for not ensuring readiness, whether due to the message or the systems. If EU27 are ready so should the UK be – don’t want to give Mr Hunt’s deal and delay position any strength.

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar, It is the government of which Hammond is the no.2 which is not ready. Every business that I know of is waiting for Parliament to sort itself out. Worse, businesses have had to plan for all outcomes – because the government has not done its job in providing clarity and a timetable. Hammond has been a party to defrauding the electorate and lying about it. Does he think we don’t notice?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        Yep, May and Hammond being in place then handover to remain voting Hunt is a disaster happening. Future PM Mr Hunt who (ironically) only shifted to leave because of the EU’s arrogance is increasing in likelihood. Under Hunt the negotiator Conservatives are no more, under Johnson the executor they and the UK have a finite chance.

  17. ferdinand
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    This is a good platform on which to build a free trade deal, to be introduced after we have left on the 31st October.

  18. Chris S
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Looking at the likely candidates, our host is head and shoulders above any of the possible candidates for Chancellor.

    I regret to say that the appointment remains unlikely because White Anglo-Saxon Men of a certain age like us are considered non-PC and past it. The former is probably true but we could certainly do better than the likes of Hammond and others.

    As for the matter of the moment, the forces of Remain are going all out to discredit Boris, although it must be said he’s doing his best to help the cause !

    I would prefer not to support him but there appears to be nobody else in the party with the character and charisma capable of delivering Brexit or a majority at the next election.

    If Dan Hannan was an MP he could probably do it. He has the ability to deliver a devastating critique of Brussels, Labour and the SNP with surgical precision. There have been rumours that Remainers have been keeping Dan away from any constituencies where the seat is relatively safe.

    There is still all to play for !

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      The Conservative could put Dan up for election in Chris Davies seat, Dan has already proved he’s the only one that could stop The Brexit Party filching votes away and splitting the vote so Lab or Lib Dem’s squeeze in.

    • Chris
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Please remember Daniel Hannan’s reported role with Douglas Carswell in the plan to infiltrate UKIP and try to discredit/sideline Nigel Farage in the referendum campaign. They succeeded in that Vote Leave won the nomination, but they did not prevent jFarage being absolutely crucial to the winning of the Referendum vote for Leave. How many people on the world stage know about Carswell and how many globally attribute the Leave success to Hannan? Nigel Farage is acknowledged as Mr Brexit worldwide, whether the Cons like it or not.

      Also, Hannan has, in both speeches and writing, indicated that he was more amenable to a softer Brexit and for that reason I never had him down as a committed Brexiteer.

      My view is that Hannan cannot be trusted and he has never been a genuine Brexiteer who viewed Brexit as leaving on WTO terms if a deal could not be reached.

    • outsider
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Sir John is two years younger than Mr Corbyn Chris,

      • outsider
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        And Sir John is the same age as John McDonnell, as well as being more forward thinking.

  19. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Well this is music to my ears. I hope whoever is the next PM will start to put out a more positive message and let the media know that we are ready. I can see that already there is a plot out there to try and discredit Boris. Do people really think that just because he is PM material he won’t have the occasional argument with his partner? It’s life! She was probably the one throwing the crockery around. It’s a woman thing. Why don’t they just leave him to get on with telling us how he would run the country? That’s all I’m interested in. I like his attitude and his ability to stay calm during interviews and when he has an inappropriate question he manages to answer with humour. He’s very clever. Let’s just now get on with the job of sorting out the mess May left behind and become the great nation we can be.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Well said, Fedup. Let’s hope he realises what a great prize he has almost within his grasp.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      He is indeed clever and sound politically but most Conservative MPs are alas not essentially EUphile, greencrap pushing, tax borrow over regulate and waste Socialists (or Libdems at best). Look at the appalling Theresa and highest taxes for 50 years Philip Hammond as examples. I see T May has once again made a totally duff decision over Mark Field. He did absolutely nothing wrong at all. The sooner these fools depart the better.

      If you look at the MPs who are supporting Hunt it is very clear why he must not be elected.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I agree Fed up..It’s just as embarrassing for Carrie this loud argument, it’s her neighbours who stood on the landing recording them, it was said the neighbours had ordered in a takeaway at midnight and were just going back into their part of the split-house. They must be a pair of saints never to argue. It’s a good thing Boris didn’t push her by the back of her neck out of the house to cool down (really only joking). I thought the lefties were all for just verbal altercations over violent acts, who is going to want to be a politician in the future when your political opposites want to attack your personal relations, unless you live in a big detached with no friends.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Go forth and sin no more.

      There’s one for the Jeremy Hunt camp and the hoards of duplicitous Tory remainers to chew over! I’ve had rows with my other half. So what? We all have. Who hasn’t?

      I wouldn’t be too pleased if some lefty neighbour had been earwigging and recording everything that happened in the privacy of my own home to use in some spiteful act, deliberately undertaken to undermine my position and chances of advancement. That’s where Boris and I differ, he can’t do anything about it.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink


        It might perhaps not be unreasonable that someone called police to check safety of neighbours, though to me it is a reflection of the world the elite live in to here a few raised voices and panic – if only they lived amongst the majority as many of us do then they would recognise more concerning behaviours – it is another world to many.

        Nonetheless, however defensible calling the police was, calling the Guardian and releasing eavesdropping is appalling.

        However appalling releasing eavesdropping, it is nothing compared to the apparent glee of Mr Hunt. Mr Hunt should have risen above this, it seems that he did not, perhaps implying there are questions to answer – who would want to be a Conservative MP knowing what Mr Hunt might be capable of in the name of ambition.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Hunt is trying to gain advantage, but I have a feeling the party membership is largely seeing through him and I for one don’t trust him.

          To know what these remainer MPs are really like, it might be revealing to watch tonight’s Panorama. It appears they would go for the nuclear option and risk a Corbyn government rather than let the UK leave the EU without a deal.

          They really are brainwashed!

  20. Gordon Nottingham
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Am I wrong but does this smell of GOOD NEWS

    • AlmostDead
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      It has the potential to be GOOD NEWS, but in fact everything announced by the EU related to No Deal planning is unilateral and subject to time limits. They have not announced any sort of extension to any of these temporary arrangements and there is no “Agreement” in place which would restrict them from cancelling these arrangements. That being said, one hopes that the both sides come to agreement. But it is difficult to predict how the EU will react post-Brexit. I think it’s highly likely that we will not have predictable trading conditions for at least 24 months after Brexit day.

  21. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The EU are prepared. But are we ? I assume not as Hammond refused to fund preparations.

    I see Grieve says Tory MPs will block Boris from being PM even if he wins the membership vote. Obviously once Grieve, after some agonising, ignored the outcome of the referendum it became easy for him to ignore the outcome of any subsequent vote in which he was on the losing side. Really he should sit as an Independent as he is not bound by any form of collective responsibility at all.

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Well, the EU have made preparations, but has the UK? Word is, members of the current cabinet have been obstinate in allowing preparations to leave. My worry is there isn’t the wit in government or competence and motivation in the civil service to do what is necessary.
    It looks like a Johnson premiership soon, but will he appoint wise counsellors in his cabinet, or do a Rehoboam and choose individuals as foolish as he?

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Three years since the referendum, and still no certainty that we will ever leave the EU.

    I have just sent the following letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser; it may or may not be published there, as it may or may not be published here.

    “According to the Financial Times the Irish government is preparing two alternative budgets for 2020, one being described as “frugal”.

    Why “frugal”? Because it assumes the UK will leave the EU on October 31 without any agreement, and therefore default to WTO terms of trade.

    And the report continues:

    “Such a stance is difficult for Ireland, which because of strong UK trade links is the EU country most exposed to a hard Brexit.”

    It could mean a loss of six per cent of GDP, according to the Irish central bank, or eight per cent of GDP according to plausible advice given to the German government.

    (Viewpoint, March 14, “Irish Republic will be worst hit by Brexit”)

    The truth is that for the past two years the Irish government under Leo Varadkar has been playing a high risk game, making a mountain out of a molehill on the Irish land border in an attempt to force the UK to remain under swathes of EU laws in perpetuity.

    And, shamefully, it seems quite likely that our own Prime Minister was complicit in that ruse, which provided her with a pretext to give business lobby groups such as the CBI much of what they were demanding.

    Now it looks increasingly probable that he will lose his gamble, just as Theresa May has lost hers, and thanks to his folly Ireland will unnecessarily suffer the level of economic damage that he has been desperate to avoid.”

  24. Nickyroberts
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John I would very much welcome your opinion of D Grieves’ threat to bring the government down should no deal happen either by design or default. If we have already left at that juncture could there be a process they could engineer to reverse that decision? Many thanks…

    • Andy
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Once we have left the Treaties cease to apply – we are no longer signatories to them. The 1972 Act is repealed and that is the end of EU membership. Grieves can huff and puff all he likes but it wont help his cause at all. Personally if I won when I go to the Palace for audience I would request Her Majesty, after I’ve kissed hands, to Prorogue Parliament.

  25. Giles
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink
    • hefner
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. Interesting, specially the date of that document. According to it, it could be said that for almost three months any difficulty has been not so much a UK-EU problem, more an internal UK problem.

  26. William Long
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I should have thought that armed with this information, any competent politician could spin what you have said into: ‘There ain’t no such thing as No Deal’! But would they try? I think Boris would; I am not so sure about Hunt.

  27. Rita Shaw
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    EU knows that if we leave with no deal, they have 10 years time in which to make deal with us.
    After ANY customs union breaks up, there’s a 10-year derogation period during which both sides can decide on zero tariffs without having to offer them to rest of world market.
    Have never understood why this has not been pointed out more often.

    • tomes
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Rita, no deal means no deal. if the UK walks out with no deal there is NO derogation period. The Uk will be a rogue state until it signs up to the already agreed Withdrawal Agreement

  28. rick hamilton
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    When will somebody influential remind the Labour party, the SNP and the howling mob of the lefty media that Islam is not a race but a belief system? And that their characterisation of Conservative party members as old, white and middle class is racism according to their perverted definition of the word.

    • hefner
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      CUP: 97% white, 71% male, 44% 65+ years old, 63% would let Scotland go, 59% would let NI go, 61% willing to accept significant damage to UK economy, 54% wiling to see the CUP self-destroy in order to achieve Brexit. Aren’t those just statistics based on a recent poll?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more! And all sides must be treated equally and with respect, without fear or favour.

  29. Pete S
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    What is going on !! The Parl committee about leaving was last week. The subject under discussion was medicines. The so called experts said with the EU pulling us out of the authorisation systems for medicine, meant we will be having big problem. The EU claim things are in place. These words and deeds to not match up.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      The man in charge of the Pharmaceuticals Industry in the UK said on radio only last week that there will be no problem with medicines, all has been agreed. The EU need medicines from the UK which they do not produce as well as us requiring theirs. It is a world business not restricted to the EU and factories in various parts of the world produce different drugs. Don’t worry what certain politicos with axes to grind say, listen to the people doing the job. Politicians usually know the least about anything.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        I expect Theresa May knows what would happen if she could not get hold of the insulin with which she has to inject herself four times a day. And yet she remains silent when it is suggested that supplies from the rest of the EU may be cut off when we leave. There are 0.4 million type 1 diabetics in the UK and she is content to see them worried sick that they may no longer be able to get the insulin upon which they depend, yet she calls herself a Christian. And that is one reason, among others, why I call her a hypocrite.

  30. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The EU is making sensible precautions to protect its market share in the UK.

    On the topic of fishing though I would indeed like to see the EU lose access to our fishing grounds, on the principle that France would never countenance British farmers using their fields for free, so why should they fish our waters for free? The other problem that needs to be solved is that they have been heavily over fished, every year they set a quota too high for the waters to sustain, for ecological reasons they should be rested.

    I wonder though how valuable they will be when fully rested, surely worth another 2-3 billion more to our economy, that can be added to the benefits of receiving tariffs and not paying the EU £13 billion or so a year.

    • perebois
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Where would we sell all our fish, Gareth?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Japan, China?

        • hefner
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

          Indeed, both being landlocked countries would be happy buyers of UK fish.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            hefner ….a pretty stupid uninformed response.
            Maybe you are not aware of the world you live in, but the Japanese take fish from wherever they can get them. They rather like them! the Chinese, well there are a lot of them, and it is not easy to provide enough to go with the rice. Now go and try your pathetic incorrect sarcasm somewhere else.

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink


      “I would indeed like to see the EU lose access to our fishing grounds”

      I suspect the traitor has already signed our fishing grounds away. So whatever she has sneakily done behind our backs will just have to be ripped up on Oct 31st.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I think many of us feel that there has been quite a bit of nefarious stuff going on in secret – and that perhaps is why Mrs May has been so anxious to cling on for as long as possible.
        It probably isn’t because she needed a few more weeks’ pay. Was it to give someone time to bury the bodies, perhaps?

  31. Shieldsman
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Are other Tory MP’s with no ideas prepared to bring the Government and Party ‘crashing down’ ?
    A senior Conservative MP has warned Boris Johnson he will not “survive very long” if he persues a “crash-out” Brexit, because fellow Tories will bring him down.
    Dominic Grieve, who supports Britain remaining in the EU, predicted “a large number” of his colleagues would turn on the new prime minister, even joining a vote of no confidence to block a no-deal exit.
    Mr Grieve admitted the new prime minister – widely expected to be Mr Johnson – could call a general election to win the public’s backing a for a no deal, if thwarted in parliament.
    But he warned the Tories would lose badly, saying: “That is likely to be catastrophic for the future of the Conservative Party.”
    No skin off his nose as he has been threatened with deselection.

  32. Stred
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Liam Fox is on TV backing Hunt and getting the WA through parliament. Never trusted him. Must send another £50 to the Brexit Party.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Watch for Johnson retreating to this position in the coming weeks and months, and keep sending money.

      • tomes
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        you brexiters now hate gove and fox too even though they are two of the most articulate leave campaigners. you only will be satisfied when you have a scorched earth Brexit. any talk of realism is poison to you. poor boris, youll kill him off too when it turns out he isn’t frrancis drake.

        • stred
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          The EU crowed that the WA made the UK a colony. Therefore Gove and Fox, along with their apologists are too. Scorched earth Brexit is what other non-EU countries have and the EU would soon prefer a preferential deal rather than lose custom to the US.

    • Chris
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Liam Fox was very pro Leave, taking part in Leave rallies along side Nigel Farage and looking hugely supportive, and also very comfortable in that environment.

      When a sudden change comes over politicians, and they start supporting things that must have been anathema to them earlier, alarm bells should ring. Working alongside Theresa May, supporting her to the hilt with the WA, and now supporting her continuation candidate can mean several things. The classic thing is that the establishment has something on you and has threatened to use it against you unless you support them. I believe our dodgy politics is full of this, as was the US system under the last administration. Hence President Trump needing to drain the swamp. Urgent action is needed in this country to free politicians from the grip of the deep state.

  33. Matt dublin
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    You guys missed your chance in the 1650’s you should have stuck with Oliver Cromwell republic but instead you invited kings and lords back in the early 21st century your’re in a state of identity crisis playing catch up..anyway don’t forget your neighbours are here..we understand and will help whatever way we can.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately you’re not helping this far. Some solidarity with our position on this, that the EU is a Franco-German construct built for those two would be nice. There’s trouble brewing for Ireland when it decides to take the EU or Cromwellian line against the remainder of the Anglosphere.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      @ multi-ID GregH etc etc etc etc
      I see you’re visiting Dublin today :-))
      You don’t fool anybody – and it’s comic that you still can’t work out why you are so easily identifiable.

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Matt dublin.

      Are we to assume you are representing Ireland in your post ?

      If so you need to get rid of Varadkar before we would even consider your offer.

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Matt, You wouldn’t accept help that comes at the price of control; and neither do we. You have sold your independence to the EU for a pocketful of baubles. Well, good luck with that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, so could you possibly elect a new government which would behave more sensibly than the present government under Leo Varadkar?

      That would be in your interests as well as ours:

      “Now it looks increasingly probable that he will lose his gamble, just as Theresa May has lost hers, and thanks to his folly Ireland will unnecessarily suffer the level of economic damage that he has been desperate to avoid.”

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      As I see it, the people of Southern Ireland need to condemn Varadkar and Coveney in the most vehement terms. They have damaged the relationship with the United Kingdom immeasurably. Considering how much trade the Republic does with the UK, that seems totally illogical and irrational. Those named individuals may be looking towards the EU for a lucrative e career move. Feathering their own nest at the expense of the relationship between the two countries would seem to explain it.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      We have had stability for the best part of 1000 years. Any republic match that? We have no identity crisis, we just don’t want to be subsumed into a foreign set up.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Err do you write from Dublin? I’d have thought Oliver Cromwell wasn’t too popular there?

  34. David Johnson
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    None of these are “agreements”. They are unilateral measures taken by the EU, solely to protect EU interests. The UK has not been consulted on them, still less agreed to them. That is how “no deal” will work – the EU will act, the UK will stand impotent on the sidelines

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      David Johnson, At least do a bit of research so your comments appear less silly. International flights are covered by the 1944 Chicago Convention which established the International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the UN charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel. Not the EU.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted June 24, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        International flights are governed by more than just the Chicago Convention. That is why the various Open Skies agreements exist e.g. EU-US Open Skies, the European Common Aviation Area.

        The relevant wording in terms of flights is:

        “The total seasonal capacity to be provided by UK air carriers for routes between the United Kingdom and each member state shall not exceed the total number of frequencies operated by those carriers on those routes during respectively the IATA winter and summer seasons of the year of 2018.”

        The current schedules have increased frequency over 2018. Those extra flights will not be allowed to operate, and airlines will have to cancel flights, and either rebook or refund passengers.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 24, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

          Complete nonsense Peter.
          Flights are controlled by international agreements.
          To which the EU is a signatory.
          If you were right this would restrict both European and non European airlines and lead to huge fines for the EU.
          And from ruined international reputation for the EU.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted June 25, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            That wording is a direct copy of the EU’s draft legislation in the event of a no deal.

            Not my words, theirs.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 25, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

            Note, draft legislation.
            So not legislation.
            And even uf it were the international treaties on aviation the EU has agreed to cannot be overwritten.

  35. bigneil
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I’ve just seen Andrew Marr’s guest say that they take instructions from the voters – Oh my sides are aching with laughter.

  36. Prigger
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Our media are obsessed with the private life of someone. It goes against the grain.
    It is hard to see how Boris can get Parliament to allow us to leave the EU whatever he does.
    There are very bad people in The House. They stand in the way of all democracy and progress.
    If it is possible to prorogue these few hundred for a few weeks to get us out of the EU then good. There would be calls after a few months as many realise we are not starving to death, for their total exclusion from public office for ever. This would be kinder than what they deserve. But we are British and they are working and living in a false and deceitful culture and they have never known anything better.

    • Norman
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      What screams out louder than anything in the Boris domestic incident is HYPOCRISY on the part of the prurient media and most others.
      Yes, a statesmanlike PM of exemplary, impeccable character would be desirable: but the truth is, no such person exists!
      So in the end, what matters is this: Is he sincere, right-minded, and capable, and at the same time, realistic about his own faults and failings? Such a person might be more representative and thereby able to identify with the faults and failings of others – especially when the awesome mantle of high office descends upon his shoulders. We shall see: and we all have our part to play, too.

  37. Lucas
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    All very well explained and in a a civilised way but I ask will it hold up come the day?..i doubt so.. who can see ahead how the French customs and immigration are going to aply the rules, and for instance, are the Dutch and Belgians going to take advantage again..who knows?.we will be opening a Pandora box i fear

    • mancunius
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      @GregH etc etc etc

      Another day, another ID or two or three.

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Lucas, Clearly to you, the world is a fearful place. There is no helping it.

  38. Yorkie
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The EU HQ does not seem to be moaners with irratioanal behaviour. They seem like an Administration with Rules of their own interactions and they do as we would expect. They will stick to their red lines because that is their instruction.

    The behaviour of Remainer MPs is something else. You would think they would secretly wish we left the EU and see their predictions come true and then they could say with boastful face “We told you so” but diplomatically, and then get into power for the next thirty years. But no, they are hellbent on all forms of dividing our people into young,old,single,married, nation states, regional areas, men, women and calling our main ally by all the names you might attribute to the worst dictatorship in the world.

    In London, though nowhere else in the UK, they have a problem with their own anti-semitism, Islamophobia,Homophobia, and every mental handicap you can decide upon. They fight it out under euphemistic banners covering up their nasty hatred of each other and attribute their mental disease to all the rest of us who are thinking and behaving quite nicely thank you very much and, have done for at least half a century.

    London may not be a different country to the rest of the UK but if we outside London were the EU we would not consider an application for membership from London for one moment. Barbarians!

  39. agricola
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    The media are saying that Boris’s private life is disadvantageously affecting his did for the premiership.

    No it is not, the media are busy throwing petrol on it for the express intention of denting his campaign. It originated with left wing activist neighbours who were milking it to feed their own agenda. As the Donald would say ” Fake news”.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      He’s human. That’s an improvement on what has gone before.

  40. Sue Doughty
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    A link to that would be handy?

  41. Simon
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Sir John now you are reduced to simply lying.

    A unilateral time limited measure at the EU discretion is NOT an “agreement”.

    You really are the pits.

    You should sue me for libel. Then we will see.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Another Brussels troll. They’re coming thick and fast on all the websites now.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink


      Are you saying the EU didn’t agree to it? Think youre wrong there… So it is an agreement then…..smh

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


      If you call someone a liar, you need to be sure of it. Mr Redwood will not sue you for libel…..because he’s a gentleman. Even hard right wingers like myself respect him for that.

      John Redwood was my MP for many years and despite the odd difference of opinion now and then, I can honestly say I have never known him ‘lie’ about anything.

      John Redwood is not a liar.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      That our host allows such comments (when he able to chuck them out if he wishes) just shows us that he is the better person.

      Perhaps you should set up a blog of your very own so that you can spout your bile to your heart’s content, and see how many people will want to post reasonable and thoughtful comments on it. Your ignorance would really be shown up then.

      Stick to Facebook. It’s more your style.

  42. John O'Leary
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    They are not ‘agreements’!!

    The EU have unilaterally made some contingency plans with which we are free to co-operate, or not, as the case may be. It is obvious that these are totally in their interests while they make alternative arrangements and will be terminated without notice once they are ready. So rather than the cliff-edge anticipated there will likely be a more gradual decline in trade. At least that will give the UK more time to find other markets, but it won’t be an easy ride by any means.

  43. ian
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Quite right, John, I am not even worried about most tariffs on most goods of two to three per cent, these tariffs usually get washed out through the system after a year and are not a worry.

    Five per cent of tariffs are more of a challenge but not insurmountable, car parts, quite a few parts manufactures in the UK, I cannot see the problem of importing raw materials at zero per cent and manufacturing the parts here in the UK at a cheaper price than you are paying now, in fact, the only people standing in the way of it are PMs parliament and people who want all factories shut down because climate change, otherwise none of it is a problem, there is nothing that cannot be done, all is doable and at cheaper prices than now.

    Farming is the challenge on tariffs but mostly on meat produces not grains and veg, it just really the meat and dairy products, on the other hand, the world is a big place with more countries with a growing middle class looking for high-quality foods and meats, so again i do not see a big problem as some reports say there will be.

    If companies cannot get over these problems then they shouldn’t be in business and if they are a zombie business they should be shut down anyway and work given to new companies or one who can make it pay who are already up and running, by closing companies because they cannot make it pay does not do away with demand for their service or product if it what people want.

  44. margaret howard
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink


    And none of this would be necessary if Leavers hadn’t got us into this awful position. We had it all and threw it away. The nearly 50% Remain half of voters must carry on to try and limit this fallout.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      ‘We had it all and threw it away’. Don’t much go for facts, Margaret, do you?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Yawn, yawn. Same old. Had what and threw it all away? We have our country, our people and our strength of character and determination to be sovereign once more. Its enough. Have a little faith in your nation Margaret.

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard, Most countries in the world already do it. If tiny (in GDP terms) nations such as New Zealand can do it, why do you fear that we cannot? And if you think being ruled by the EU from Brussels is having it all, you are in for a wonderful fillip when we become independent again

    • Dan Rushworth
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Margaret as the remainers are mostly Scottish they are welcome to leave the UK and try and do better under an even bigger controlling entity than Westminster. Maybe the Scott’s could promote their skills and experience in building nuclear submarines for the upcoming EU army.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      We had it all? Are you serious? I wonder what we are going to do with all that extra money we won’t have to shell out once we’ve left? I bet all you woolly liberals will soon be vying with each other to spend the windfall on your pet projects!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      No. Remain has had their chance with three years of a Remain government and a Remain parliament and monumentally screwed things up. Time for the more-than-50% Leavers to take over.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find it was the Remainers who did it. Leavers won the referendum and you have been bitching about it ever since instead of supporting your own country. It is not 48 percent now anyway. A lot of them are democrats and want it done, so it is much lower than that figure now.

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


      “And none of this would be necessary if Leavers hadn’t got us into this awful position.”

      Wrong. None of it would be necessary if remainer cry babies had kept their traps shut.

      “The nearly 50% Remain half of voters must carry on to try and limit this fallout.”

      Wrong again. Firstly they need to shut up. Secondly they need to stop interfering, thirdly they need to roll their sleeves up and get ready to graft for the country like the rest of us. We won’t be carrying any freeloaders, so they’re welcome to leave the country.

  45. Richard1
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Liam Fox unequivocally backs the Carney- Hammond view that WTO Brexit = automatic immediate tariffs on EU trade, and GATT article 24 doesn’t apply. I suggest your side gets its act together on this one. Perhaps it’s one of those cases where you can interpret the legal language as you like.

    • perebois
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      A WTO Brexit doesn’t necessarily mean big tariffs. We could, as Sir John recommends, drop all tariffs and hope the EU does the same. But they won’t do that because they would have to drop them for every other country too.

      GATT24 doesn’t apply to a WTO Brexit and it is only charlatans who have been claiming otherwise.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      In the 2005 leadership contest, my friend and mentor, Sir Teddy Taylor, supported Fox when he was a true Eurosceptic. I bet Teddy would have something to say about Fox’s position now!

  46. Billy Elliot
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    So great in case of No Deal EU will pay compensations for their fisherman in case they do not have access to UK waters from the Fisheries and Maritime Fund.

    Has our government created some fund or support plan for farmers, fishing industry (export goes 50 % to EU as we all know).

    Quite strategically you don’t mention “that despite best efforts some medicinal products and medical devices may not be compliant in time. There is, therefore, a risk of shortages if economic operators do not act swiftly to remedy the situation”

    I agree with you. They are well prepared.
    I am not totally convinced that that is the case with us.

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Billy Elliot, The government has already said that farmers will continue to be supported in the same way as the EU supports them. It will be with the same money too! Existing medical products are already compliant by definition. Do you think they will suddenly cease to be compliant on exit day? “Economic operators” do not make medicines compliant, the medicines agencies do that.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        It is very difficult to explain things to remainers who seem to be overwhelmingly in thrall to Project Fear – STILL!
        It really does seem as though it’s only ever been Leavers who did any ongoing research after the referendum – many of the others simply believed the propaganda pamphlet and then closed their ears and shut down their brains.

  47. MPC
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    ‘The remain facing UK media’ certainly includes David Smith of the Sunday Times. He reminds me of William Keegan in the 80s who held the same post and constantly disagreed with Chancellor Lawson’s every move whilst implying he spoke for the majority of economists.

    Mr Smith is at it again today suggesting our trade should be fine ‘if we dodge no deal’. Yet again there is no rigorous analysis at all justifying this stance.

    I hope Boris, if elected, will immediately publicise the arrangements you highlight. This could be sold direct to the public ‘over the heads’ of Mr Grieve et al, making their undertaking to force a vote of no confidence very unpopular.

  48. Mick
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    The bbc/sky/channel 4 and all the other Eu loving celebrity’s and MSM are all going to have one big dose of egg on there faces when we leave on October 31st 2019 and our country starts to get stronger and stronger and if these Eu loving luvvies love the Eu that much they can feel free to go live there bye bye you’ll not be missed

  49. Rob Pearce
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Couple of questions that maybe Sir John, or one of the cognoscenti who regularly post here, can answer please:

    1. Can the Prime Minister (Boris, ’cause Hunt won’t do it) spend the next three and a half months AVOIDING introducing ANY legislation that would allow ANY sort of HoC vote?

    2. Is there ANY non-Brexit-related legislation it would be safe to introduce that the Remainers could NOT amend somehow, in order to try to kill WTO exit?

    Please God Boris has a backbone and a thick skin, and I’m not referring to Leftie neighbours..

  50. perebois
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    We’re not hearing quite so much about GATT 24 these days. We won’t be getting a standstill for ten years as the ERG has been claiming. We need these comforting side deals that Sir John is talking about because we won’t be standing still. Even Liam Fox is now saying that what Boris claims about a two-year period in which we can stand still because it is a transition period under GATT 24 has just said ‘It is not true’. And that’s because it is not true. The ERG is gradually imploding in a slow realisation that eventually the Conservative Party will just comprise ideologues for whom the Union, the prosperity of this country, the welfare state, the NHS, the BBC, and even the Conservative Party itself are less important than leaving the EU.

    Come on. You have to admit that a government that does all that to its people in the service of a policy that will take fifty years (Jacob Rees-Mogg) or a hundred years (Lord Digby Jones) to benefit Little England is stone cold mad.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      ”We’re not hearing quite so much about GATT 24 these days…”

      Err…. Brexit Central two days ago. Sir John Redwood yesterday. Etc, etc. Or don’t they allow you to see things like that on Twitter or Facebook?

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 24, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      The NHS is far safer if our trading policy is in the hands of politicians elected by the UK electorate.

      If our trading policy is in the hands of the EU, especially if we have been so stupid as to sign the EU’s Withdrawal Treaty which means that we cannot lawfully leave the EU’s institutions and have no representation or veto, then there is every likelihood that the EU will trade away access to our NHS in return for cheaper tariffs on German cars and French cheese and wine.

  51. Rob Pearce
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    For the attention of Prigger and all the others who apparently don’t understand that the Prime Minister does NOT have to do anything to get us out of the EU:

    No Deal /WTO is the treaty DEFAULT. This means he doesn’t have to ask HoC for permission and would of course be crazy to do so.

    Sir John, if you haven’t already, can you please make sure Boris has this fact clearly in the front of his mind? For all our sakes.

    • Steve
      Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Rob Pearce

      But then even if law was illegally changed by the remainers in HoC, they’d be suicidal to try and stop or delay brexit further. The country wouldn’t stand for it, you’d be looking at mass civil unrest, and remain MP’s going in to hiding.

      We’re out on 31st Oct without a deal, or else.

  52. BR
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    It is rather disturbing that this is the only place I have seen this said.

    Why are other MPs so silent on this matter? Including the two fighting for the leadership of the Conservative party. Even arch-leavers such as Francois, JRM.

    This needs to be shouted from the rooftops at every opportunity. Do what the political cheats on the left/remain side do – turn every question into what you want to say and refuse to be deflected or interrupted.

  53. agricola
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Tonight we have an earnest Country File presenter wandering about in a ditch collecting samples of crayfish. The crayfish that infest some of our rivers are mostly alien. Catch them with dead fish tied to an old bicycle wheel. Put them in boiling water for a few minutes and you have an excellent meal with lemon mayonnaise. This is what I mean when I say the Brits know nothing about fish and shellfish. A cash crop ignored by ignorance. The Spanish would be delighted to buy them.

    • Norman
      Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Agricola – by definition, you are probably very well versed on country matters. But I must say, I don’t think I could eat crayfish if it meant having to drop them live into boiling water, even if I were starving. I remember Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) did some good work on prior stunning of lobsters and crabs a good 50 years ago, and their website indicates they are still pursuing the issue with Defra, in terms of giving these creatures the benefit of the doubt as to their level of sentience, and including them in animal welfare legislation (an area of work I was involved with as a Veterinary Officer).

  54. Steve
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


    You chopped some of my post off. Maybe you thought I wouldn’t notice ?

  55. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I cannot believe the hostility being generated by the media towards Boris Johnson – One report on ITV was almost hysterical in their criticism of him. This is no longer reporting, this is attempting to shift public opinion.

    It’s not just the BBC that is a disgrace…!

  56. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Good. So all we need now is for the political class to show a modicum of bravery.

  57. Original Richard
    Posted June 23, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Remainers and fake leavers, such as Mr. Gove and Mr. Fox amongst others, continually try to con the public into thinking that the Withdrawal Treaty defines our trading relationship with the EU and represents leaving when in fact it locks us into the EU and all its institutions for ever with no lawful means of exit.

    It is the complete opposite of leaving the EU made worse by the fact that we shall have no representation or veto to any new EU laws, budgets and policies.

    It is a treaty which should never be signed under any circumstances and any Party or MP whose support leads to its passing will suffer electoral annihilation as the public wakes up to its terrible consequences.

    • Martinz
      Posted June 24, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      The WA is just a treaty for leaving in an orderly just tidies things up and leaves the way open for discussions about the future. If we leave in a disorderly fashion there will be chaos..for sure..and it won’t be the well cushioned politicians who will suffer but the struggling public, business and disgusted that such spin and fake ideas are still being put about..what Liam Fox and others are on about now is about a climb down, a climb down to reality

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  • 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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