How likely is No Deal?

No Deal is a misnomer, like much of the rest of the Brexit debate. No deal means leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, but with a number of other agreements in place governing trade facilitation, aviation, haulage and government procurement. It would also mean using the extensive rules and regulations of the WTO to govern our trade with the rest of the EU just as our trade with the rest of the world is governed today.  The Withdrawal Agreement was not of course allowing exit any time soon, as it was a decision to delay exit for 21 to 45 months, with uncertainty about how to get out thereafter.

The Withdrawal Agreement has been three times rejected by Parliament, and overwhelmingly defeated in the European elections with only 9% supporting the party that proposed it. It is possible a new Prime Minister will be able to negotiate enhanced arrangements before October 31 that add to the various agreements available for exit then without the Withdrawal Treaty. The new Prime Minister should offer a comprehensive free trade agreement, with a text based on EU/Canada and EU/Japan. We could then proceed to leave without imposing tariffs if the EU agrees to negotiate such an agreement.

Some say Parliament can block leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. That would be very difficult for Parliament to do. If the new Prime Minister wishes just to leave he need not ask for a further delay to our exit after 31 October, so we will just leave. How would Parliament be able to make a Prime Minister seek a delay when he does not wish to do so? Parliament anyway cannot legislate to require a delay, because a delay not only needs a Prime Ministerial request of the EU but also a positive response by the EU. Mrs May decided she wanted a delay and asked for it regardless of the view of Parliament last time this arose. European law is superior to UK law all the time we stay in, and under EU law we are out on 31 October unless something else happens.

In this issue the PM is central. If the PM is determined to leave without the Withdrawal Agreement and keen to keep to the specified date, it would be very difficult for Parliament to find a way to stop him.

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  1. Julie Williams
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    In the press today that MPs like Grieve and Hodge are threatening (blackmail) to block routine expenditure legislation to force “no deal” off the table?
    Is there any truth in this or is it just a rumour and can it be done in reality?
    They really are pushing to be prorogued.

    • Shirley
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Not only that. If the press is to be believed, the Remainers are willing to try and cut off the government cash supply.

      A general election is needed, to clear out the undemocratic dictators who would damage the UK and cause anarchy, rather than respect democracy.

      They will nod through all the EU diktats without a murmur, yet their own electorates are treated like dirt!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Apart from getting the Queen to prorogue Parliament there is the possibility of getting her to refuse consent for disruptive legislation to be introduced into the House of Commons, let alone passed.

      Moreover there is the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, under which Parliament has already given ministers sweeping powers to act alone to pass whatever emergency regulations they may deem necessary.

      “1) Emergency regulations may make any provision which the person making the regulations is satisfied is appropriate for the purpose of preventing, controlling or mitigating an aspect or effect of the emergency in respect of which the regulations are made.

      (2) In particular, emergency regulations may make any provision which the person making the regulations is satisfied is appropriate for the purpose of—

      (a) protecting human life, health or safety,
      (b) treating human illness or injury,
      (c) protecting or restoring property,
      (d) protecting or restoring a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel,
      (e) protecting or restoring a system of communication,
      (f) protecting or restoring facilities for transport,
      (g) protecting or restoring the provision of services relating to health,
      (h) protecting or restoring the activities of banks or other financial institutions,
      (i) preventing, containing or reducing the contamination of land, water or air,
      (j) preventing, reducing or mitigating the effects of disruption or destruction of plant life or animal life,
      (k) protecting or restoring activities of Parliament, of the Scottish Parliament, of the Northern Ireland Assembly or of the National Assembly for Wales, or
      (l) protecting or restoring the performance of public functions.”

      If our local council can declare a “climate emergency”, as it has just voted to do, then a determined Prime Minister could declare a “Brexit emergency” if that was what Dominic Grieve and his fellow traitors wanted to create.

      • Steve
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Dennis Cooper

        “Apart from getting the Queen to …..”

        I don’t think she’s bothered, quite frankly. If she was she’d have stepped in by now.

        She’d also have done something about the seditious BBC, and ordered retaliation when UK fishing vessels were attacked by the french recently.

        And if traitors in her government isn’t motivation enough I don’t know what is.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      About 20 of them it seems, perhaps even including tax to death Hammond, Gauke, May ? Sandbatch, Rudd, Morgan and the likes.

      What the are doing is hugely damaging to the UK, undermines the new PM and encourages the EU not to offer any sensible trade arrangements.

      All sorts of deal and arrangement will certainly me made as it is in the EU’s interest even more than the UK to have them. Leave and the deals will certainly follow. As you say there is not such thing as a no deal Brexit.

      The key thing is that we are not tied into anything that a future government cannot withdraw from should they wish to (without penalty) and that the UK voters are in complete control via parliament. Hopefully not one under the control of Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP.

      • Steve
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink


        “The key thing is that we are not tied into anything that a future government cannot withdraw from should they wish to (without penalty)”

        That’s ok, if the EU tries to penalise us, we can penalise them. But that would require a government of spine – which we don’t have.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Sorry, Beckett not. Hodge: she’s busy with other issues.

    • outsider
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Dear Julie Williams, I cannot see the Labour Party supporting anything like this. Mr Corbyn knows an electoral elephant trap when he sees one.

    • Hope
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Grieve says today he Becket are going to prevent finance bills next Tuesday.

      Hunt today on TV will continue with mass immigration ruling out numbers only saying what is in he interest of business! After lying to the public for nine years to cut immigration to tens of thousands while having historic record highs, he thinks it is just best to admit what you govt has been doing for nine years! Leave voters, AKA Little Englanders to Hunt, will not be happy. Does he or his supporters think that he will stand a chance of getting elected? I just do not see it. He is Mayhab’s twin!

      The public rumbled her and her Hammond type supporters. It will not wash anymore.

      Good luck to Gauke’s association in ousting him tomorrow. Despite standing on a manifesto to leave with or without a deal and despite voting for the Withdrawal Act with or without a deal, he now states he could not support a apM leaving without a deal. Plus he has shown to be totally disloyal with his article in the Mail with Greg Clarke and Rudd. Time oust these people who treat their voters and supporters as serfs.

    • Gorton II
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      They are acting as MPs. Brexit is all about empowering our MPs. Perhaps you could stop bothering us, Ms Russian Bot.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Leaving the EU is about asking our MPs to work for the masses not about empowerment.

        • Steve
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          It isn’t even about asking them. They shouldn’t need to be asked, they’re taking their wages from us so the buggers should be sacked for not doing as we say.

  2. Kenny Gray
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Shocking dishonesty. On aviation, haulage etc, there are no agreements, only unilateral EU measures designed to protect EU, not UK, interests

    • libertarian
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Kenny Gray

      Shocking lack of understanding , go back and try again . There are TWO sides to the agreements so they are NOT unilateral , they are agreements because they have been agreed .

      Designed to protect the EU, well at least you finally admit that the EU has problems and needs to protect its members markets

    • Publius
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      True. This should have been made clear. Mr Redwood must surely be aware of it.

    • David Price
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      @ KGray – Are you saying the EU can, for example, unilaterally decide that their aircraft can land at our airports, their ships dock at our ports and their freight lorries enter our country without our permission?

      • Steve
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        David Price

        Well yes, the EU thinks it has the right to do as it pleases without permission.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


      The EU has a duty to its members to protect its interests. We begged to join them, not the other way around.

      Will your local golf club, say, change its own rules when a member chooses to leave it?

      • David Taylor
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard , “Will your local golf club change its rules ?”
        Not straight away perhaps but an organisation should evolve to take into account changes in circumstances and peoples growing awareness of rules that are not quite right .

        The RAC for example of the mid last century period (how odd to think of it that way , last century , I digress) would be in the main useless in 2019 .
        That is why , amongst other reasons people voted to leave the EU and its dated political agenda . It only changes its rules to maintain or increase its own position .

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, The EU can change its own rules for itself. Only. It cannot unilaterally change international agreements and treaties. Nor can the EU control laws made by independent nations. That’s the whole point of Leave.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Other golf clubs are available…….

      • Steve
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


        WRONG !

        ‘we’ did not beg to join the EEC. ‘We’ were conned into it.

    • acorn
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Kenny. Also “… the extensive rules and regulations of the WTO to govern our trade with the rest of the EU …” is not a lifebelt for no-deal or of any immediate practical value for Brexit. We are still on the cut and paste version of the EU tariff schedule, with no sign of the Statutory Instrument to
      establish the Tariff of the United Kingdom document published in March.

      Meanwhile, can a Boris backer please decode the following.

      “It is absolutely vital that we prepare for a no-deal Brexit if we are going to get a deal,” he said. “But I don’t think that is where we are going to end up – I think it is a million-to-one against – but it is vital that we prepare.”

      He said there was a new feeling of “common sense breaking out” among MPs in favour of passing a deal, despite many of his Eurosceptic backers believing he is readying himself for a no deal Brexit.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Acorn, Rubbish – of course the WTO is used, will be used, and is of practical value for the (misnamed) “No deal” Brexit. International trade is conducted by businesses, not by governments; albeit using government and international laws. The WTO is the international law. And we already use it directly for about 60% of our exports; and indirectly for the other 40% (yes, trade between EU subject states is conducted under WTO rules).

        • acorn
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          “The WTO is the international law”. The WTO has no sanctioning powers against a sovereign state whatsoever. Ask the USA and China!

    • mancunius
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Measures designed to provide continuity. It is most unlikely that the new PM would not respond in kind to these. Such mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) are a standard procedure in WTO trading.
      The EU might refuse an Art. XXIV agreement, but that would be seen by its export industries as a most unwisely self-willed step by Brussels.
      Sometime eurofanatics forget, in their enthusiasm for totalitarian politics, that even the EU is duty-bound to use common sense to protect the interests, not of its intractable Commission, but of the actual human beings who are citizens of the 27 EU states. They know that if they fail in this regard, the EU will soon collapse under the weight of the ballot-box and the implosion of the euro.
      Which obstinate European ‘leader’ was it who used to rant constantly: ‘My patience is exhausted!’?
      And look what happened to him – a cautionary tale… :-))

      • acorn
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        The EU CAP 19 transition plans are not MRAs; they are not “mini deals” either. they only last to the next main EU committee meeting that deals with the business sectors concerned. It would be stupid for Boris not to accept the offers if there is nothing else on the 31st October.

    • NickC
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Kenny Gray, Don’t you think it is shockingly dishonest to accept and take part in a referendum then, when you lose, block the implementation of the winning outcome? Of course you don’t, you’re a Remain fanatic. And a hypocrite.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink


        you are getting carried away again and personal attacks are totally unnecessary, you should know better

    • Ian terry
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Kenny Gray

      Shocking dishonesty?

      What can you expect from a parliament that for the last three years has acted in the way it has. Our host and maybe a 100 like minded supporters are well versed in reading and understanding processes and do not follow this terrible PM like the lemmings that are blindly following her to her and the country’s version of a cliff edge, just to give her a “credible legacy”

      I refer to the decision to enshrine into law the zero CO2 targets for 2050. Remainers worry about the cost of Brexit this little package will make it look like a thousand pound mortgage, The whole thing is as you quite rightly say is shockingly dishonest the only thing I say is I would have used a different adjective.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I have tried to make that very point to Mr Redwood on numerous occasions, but have not received a response. It would be madness for us to rely on the EU’s contingency measures for our salvation as they will be unceremoniously and unilaterally withdrawn without notice once the EU are fully prepared.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
      • Peter Parsons
        Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        That is a position statement, not an agreement.

        I suggest you click on the links in the “See Also” section, in particular Article 3 paragraph 2, which states:

        “Subject to Articles 4 and 5, in the provision of scheduled air transport services pursuant to this Regulation, 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.”

        So, if UK airlines are currently operating, or have planned in their schedules, increased frequencies compared to 2018, those additional flights will have to be cancelled.

        (I wonder if Edward2 will try and tell me again that the text I’ve cut and pasted is just a figment of my imagination.)

        • Edward2
          Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          No Peter what I will tell you is,yet again, these statements hold no legal powers because airlines are controlled by international agreements which the EU has signed up to.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            The level of access to individual air markets is controlled by individual countries (or supra-national entities) and any agreements they make.

            In the event of a WTO Brexit and, therefore, no Open Skies (or equivalent) agreement between the UK and the UK, both parties are free to determine the level of access they offer to the other’s airlines. The EU’s position in this is what I already posted.

            The UK’s own position on this (again, cut and pasted from the link to the UK’s position) is:

            “The UK will, subject to the necessary approvals and under the terms set out below, grant airlines licensed in EU countries a level of access to the UK that is at least equivalent to the rights granted to UK airlines under the EU’s draft regulation on basic air connectivity, for the period during which that draft regulation applies (up to 29 March 2020). Authorisation to operate air services is granted by way of a foreign carrier permit in accordance with Article 250 of the Air Navigation Order 2016.”

            In summary, in the event of a WTO Brexit and no agreement on aviation, UK airlines will be capped at their 2018 season frequencies, and EU airlines will be similarly capped in their ability to fly to the UK.

            It’s there in the legislative positions published by both parties.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            Yet the EU and major international airlines have said there will be no disruption to airtravel in and out of Europe and the UK as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
        • Caterpillar
          Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          I suspect also that old bilateral agreements including UK are dormant, so any issues will be more likely associated with British carriers wanting to fly point to point in EU or SO carriers wanting to do same in UK. W.r.t. safety CAA website said it was making prep’n for end of March no exit scenario without on going membership of EASA, hopefully that hasn’t changed.

        • acorn
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

          The part that stops is “cabotage”. A UK majority owned and operated airline could fly into an EU state and out again. It will not be able to fly onward to another destination in the EU before it exits EU air space.

          Solution. Make sure your airline is majority owned and operated from inside the EU.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            Odd that many non EU airlines manage to do this currently acorn.
            Amsterdam for example is a world hub for air travel.

          • acorn
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

            When the UK leaves the European Union, the UK will leave the EU Common Aviation Area. Unless a new agreement / “open skies” type treaty between the EU and the UK are made.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Just because you are unaware of something Kenny, it does mean it isn’t so.

  3. glen cullen
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Exiting the EU policy options to date…both leadership contenders state

    1. Renegotiate the WA and/or maybe just the backstop and/or maybe just the future relationship and attempt to leave on the 31st October with a possibility of another extension to ensure deal is made

    2. Renegotiate the WA and/or maybe just the backstop and/or maybe just the future relationship and leave on the 31st October with WTO and/or FTA and/or GATT 24

    What isn’t on the table and should be

    3. Confirm to the country and EU that we are leaving on the 31st October and invite the EU to enter into immediate negotiations for WTO

    Also….what has the government achieved during the ‘extension’ period ?

  4. Barbara Castle
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Step forward Dominic Grieve and Margaret Beckett who’ve tabled amendments to routine finance legislation set to be rubber-stamped by MPs next Tuesday. It’s being reported that they’re attempting to force the new PM to either pass a withdrawal agreement through the Commons or secure Parliament’s prior permission for a “no deal” exit on October 31. If it fails, funding to a series of key Government ministries would be immediately cut off, and Whitehall would grind to a halt.

    It’s quite extraordinary that our own MPs would even consider sabotaging Whitehall, whilst falling over themselves to continue bankrolling the EU.

  5. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Why not general elections instead?
    After 3 years of seeming paralysis it would be right to go back to the people.
    Why fear Labor?
    Why fear the Brexit party?
    Why fear the people, both the 17 million as well as the 16 million?

    • Richard1
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      We had one in 2017 and we have 5-year fixed term parliaments

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: only in principle 5 years. After all, you had one in 2015 as well.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Because the electoral system is not representative.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      PvL, The “paralysis” has been cause by the losers blocking the implementation of the the people’s decision to leave the EU. To use that as an excuse to hold a fixed second referendum is the most shockingly cynical exploitation of establishment power I’ve seen. And there has been a lot of it in the last 3 years.

      Leave must be implemented fully, as promised, and as legally required (the 2015 Act did not authorise that one outcome – Leave – could be discarded). Why fear implementing what was democratically decided? Like the EU you don’t do democracy when it doesn’t suit. You, and the EU, are the heirs to the GDR.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: I’m not suggesting a second referendum (which might be just as much a mess as the first one), but a general election.
        Then you might get a government and parliament that are able to implement this brexit.

  6. Dominic
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    This country is teetering on the precipice of something deeply unpleasant. When open Anti-Semitism and voter fraud is tolerated by Labour’s client State and even the incumbent government then you begin to realise that there is nothing the State will not do to keep this nation in the EU

    Not one Tory MP has stood up and condemned events at Peterborough.

    What the hell have your party and Labour done to this once wonderful nation of ours?

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:57 am | Permalink

      Hear hear.

  7. Peter
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    You write:

    “The Withdrawal Agreement has been three times rejected by Parliament”

    Allow me to remind your readers that at the end of March, Parliament held a series of indicative votes on eight different Brexit options. None of the options commanded a majority, however the two options that came closest were that of a confirmatory referendum, and a customs union, which were defeated by 27 and 8 votes respectively. The “no deal” option was defeated by 240 votes.

    I don’t know how you can make the logical leap that “no deal” is therefore the acceptable alternative to the withdrawal agreement. In fact, given that 160 MPs voted in support of “no deal” and 184 voted in support of immediate revocation of Article 50, why are you not supporting the latter?

    I am one of the 56.7% in your constituency who voted “Remain” in the 2016 referendum and I feel that your actions over the last three years have not represented our interests.

    Reply Thank you for your comment. I was elected by more than 56% of those voting in 2017 on a Manifesto to leave the EU, if necessary with no deal. That is my mandate, not the preceding referendum. I am keeping my pledges. The Wokingham constituency includes parts of West Berkshire and excludes parts of Wokingham Borough, so your referendum voting figures are anyway not the figures for my constituency. Parliament has subsequently rejected a motion to try to rule out a No deal exit. A no deal exit is mandated by EU law unless both sides reach an Agreement before 31 October.

  8. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    That is why there is so much effort being put into trying to prevent Boris suceeding. The MSM and all the other subversives are after him and won’t give up, even after he wins. He is their President Trump.

  9. stred
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Fear is showing the Japanese foreign minister saying that parts may be held up for a day and halt car production and so they may have to relocate to Europe. He wants to be reassured that this will not happen. Perhaps Boris could phone and tell him that parts will not carry a tariff and our customs will wave them through.
    My friend tells me that he took the train from London to Birmingham, paid £3 for first class, was given excellent service with breakfast and coffee and arrived very quickly. He could work but hardly had time. There was plenty of spacen too. Today J.Hunt tells us that HS2 is an important national project and must go ahead.
    Then he suggested that a student could wipe his debt of say £60k by starting a business and employing someone. That sounds like a remarkably easy way to make £60k tax free. The man must be as mad as May.

    • Helena
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      stred, will Boris be able to tell him that they will be waved through at Calais and Rotterdam? Don’t think so. We were strong in a bloc of 28. As 1 against 27, we are weak. Japan is simply exploiting that weakness. Loss of power – that’s Brexit for you!

      • Stred
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        British customs are st Calais. The Dutch have already employed staff to speed up their exports to the UK. You seem to be very confused. Are you a lawyer?

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Helena, We live in a world of buyer power, not supplier power. You, and the EU, are 50 years out of date.

        • Chris
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          NickC, you are right. The EU is based on a model/concept that is outdated. Helena et al all need to move into the 21st century?

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Failure to leave on 31st October will spell the end of the Tory Party.
    You will be known as the party that couldn’t deliver Brexit so anything else you propose will be rightfully ignored.
    I think Boris understands this and it’s a pity so many PCP don’t agree.
    You will become an irrelevance in UK politics.

  11. agricola
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Your submission would seem a lengthy way of saying:-

    The WA is dead, it only lives in the minds of some of the EU who cannot accept a three times failure to get it through Parliament. They do not accept democracy.
    Within the cadaver of the WA there are organs of mutual benefit to the UK/EU. Transplant them to a draft treaty to be agreed under the auspices of the Vienna Convention.
    We should leave on WTO terms at latest by end October, preferably earlier. Having declared this as our intention, there are two possible courses.
    Having left on WTO terms, present the EU with a draft FTA on goods and services for negotiation. If they like the idea, the EU/UK could agree to invoking Art 24 of GATT to ensure stability in ongoing trade and services until a new FTA is agreed. This is a very real deal that should please everyone and cause no disruption. For the EU not to accept it confirms that their only tactic is political humiliation of the UK. They then have their own industrialists to answer to.

    As a matter of proceedure, I would call Barnier into the Foreign Office to present him with this plan. I would invite as witnesses the ambassadors of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and any country that we considered had a significant export trade with the UK. This is precautionary to ensure the message is not lost to the member states in translation.

    Should the EU reject A then the default position is to revert to WTO terms immediately.

    I would make it clear that from the UKs position there would be no hard border with Eire. There would be a continuation of the existing electronic border with whatever information additions trading on WTO terms demanded.

    I infer from your submission and from my own investigations that Parliament is not necessary to execute such a course of action. They may not like it, but they have largely brought it on themselves. As I read it, it is treaty change and a PM supported by his Cabinet can change or institute treaties as an act of Government without recourse to Parliament.

    • agricola
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      Skmewhat overdue for moderation considering how long it has been posted.

  12. Pominoz
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    “In this issue the PM is central. If the PM is determined to leave without the Withdrawal Agreement and keen to keep to the specified date, it would be very difficult for Parliament to find a way to stop him.”

    Sir John,

    I really do hope you are right.

  13. graham1946
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The new government should avoid putting any new legislation through concerning Brexit. To do so would mean that the likes of Cooper-Balls, Letwin and Grieve could tinker with it via amendments and would be asking for trouble.

    We have enough legislation in place to enact withdrawal and the clock should just run down and we leave Halloween. The government should of course approach the EU with an agreement as you suggest and if they agree we could implement Article 24 of WTO which would benefit both sides. If they refuse it would be just a sign of petulance and a desire to try to make the UK suffer as well as their own people. In that case, the gloves would have to come off, no payment of any kind and a demand for our investment in the Banking arrangements to be returned.

  14. margaret howard
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Japan now warning about no-deal Brexit. I suppose they, like all the other warnings from business leaders etc have got it all wrong again and we will thrive.

    Happy days!

    • jane4brexit
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The Japanese PM supporting the May/EU deal was the ninth item on the ‘Brexit Communications Grid Summary’, leaked last November and printed by Guido Fawkes on his order-order blog. Whatever that means…other than it being behind schedule and planned long ago?

    • Stred
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Fear had Peugeot Citroën make a statement about the Astra being built here only if the deal suits them. They don’t want 10% to be applied to C1, 2,3,4,5,6s. Well, it’s up to the EU. I like Astras, having just hired one.

    • Steve
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


      Sod business, brexit is about the majority voting to restore sovereignty and independence.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m weary of saying “I told you so” in one way or another, but I did say a long time ago that it was important to distinguish between:

    a) Leaving the EU without any agreement of anything at all, not even on whether Jack in UK customs at Dover is still allowed to speak to his counterpart Jacques at Calais; and

    b) Leaving the EU without any new special or preferential trade treaty, just defaulting to the terms of the existing WTO treaties, but with new agreements on many other matters, including on the technical and practical arrangements to keep trade going.

    • Don Carrow
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

      Denis, (a) is fine. (b) is NOT LEAVING. We do not want any new agreements with the EU, we have voted to take back control of our laws. British laws only. That is what we voted for in 2016, and that is what we knew we voted for. We must simply ignore the EU, they will come running once they realise we are serious.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Don Carrow, Rubbish. We have agreements and treaties with many nations covering such issues as aviation, driving licences, double taxation, etc, already. Each of those is useful, without the other state being able to make new laws to impose on the UK.

        The EU treaties are different – they hand power to the EU to enable it to be our top tier of government. Once we leave the EU treaties, we can make the same separate mundane limited agreements with the EU that we already have with India, the USA, (even some European states already), etc, without losing the power to control our own laws and government.

        In Denis Cooper’s definitions both a) and b) are Leave. It’s simply that a) is impractical and would not exist even if we walked away from the EU tomorrow.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        I’ve no idea why JR allows trolls to post such rubbish.

  16. broadsheet
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Nothing else is going to happen we are in wind down mode now just to let the clock run out.
    Even if the new PM wanted to negotiate, there is nobody in the EU to negotiate with- we are into summer recess and by the time we get back together again there will not be enough time for talks. So better brace ourselves for 1st November when the first shocks will come with ferries turning round in mid channel and heading back into departure ports to anchor because officials on the front lines will not have a clue about how to deal with the new situation. There are no agreements in place to deal with any of this- none

    • Noneoftheabove
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      This kind of comment reminds me of the sort of petulant outburst from my children when they couldn’t get there own way. I can still remember, with fondness, the ease with which my ship could enter European ports before we joined the EEC.
      The ability of ships to enter and exit ports, load or discharge cargoes or passengers is governed by International Maritime Law.
      I recommend that you read it before commenting further.

      • broadsheet
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Yes but the ships on the Dover Calais run are not transporting goods according to International trade Law but to EU trade law. After midnight 31st Oct we will revert back to a situation as a third country to them where documents like Bills of Lading, Cargo Goods Manifests etc etc will have to be reintroduced to show tariffs, points of origin, points of delivery, weights etc etc, Nothing has been prepared for any of this, and don’t tell me computers will do it, computers will not do it all by themselves, it will take computers documentation and properly trained officials to do it. It will take years to lead in. This is not the 1950’s or the 1960’s of which i remember myself so very well when we spent a week in every port- signing bills of lading and receipts for every little piece of cargo.

  17. J Bush
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    What happens if the ‘politicians’ who don’t believe in democracy because the majority voted to leave the EU, pull a ‘no confidence’ stunt?

    Can the PM ignore it and still go ahead? Or would he have to prologue Parliament to ensure democracy is upheld?

  18. Everhopeful
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The “No Deal”is a perfect example of why any right of centre politician should vigorously resist every single nonsense that comes out of a leftist’s mouth.
    The left has been allowed ( by those who wish to be seen as nice andFAIR) to take control of our language.
    And the Remainers are using it to stop us leaving the EU.

  19. Kathleen Jennings
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I think at some stage you should write a book about Project Fear and it would be good if it exposed who receives money from the EU and how and in what way that has driven Project Fear!

    In the business world a conflict of interest is expected to be disclosed. In our campaign to Leave the EU, any conflict of interest of leading Remainers has never been revealed.

  20. James Bertram
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    …And yet, across the gulf of space
    Minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes
    And slowly and surely
    They drew their plans against us….

    The chances of anything coming from Mars
    Are a million to one, he said
    The chances of anything coming from Mars
    Are a million to one, but still, they come

  21. Nigel E
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    It’a amazing the lack of knowledge about ‘No Deal’ that’s still out there. I listened to two people one Leaver, one Remainer, on Radio 5 Live arguing about whether there would be a shortage or delays in getting medicines from the continent. Neither seemed aware of the arrangements HMG has agreed with Brussels. What was noticable was that the BBC moderator did not point out the facts.

    It’s clear that the MSM are never going to be clear and will only present bad news. Why do Boris and Jeremy not give out the information? If need be, over and over again!

    I also have to wonder why we cannot manufacture our own medicines, especially the generic drugs.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Nigell, I don’t think amazing, Govt has not been sufficiently transparent on prep some and prep remainimg.

  22. Kathleen Jennings
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Personally I do not believe there is such a thing as No Deal. WTO rules are a Deal!

    Our largest single trading partner is actually the United States and we do not have a trade deficit, we have a profit and we do not pay £billions to the United States and forced to have unchecked borders.

    I hope you have some influence with the Boris campaign Sir John, please tell them in no way to accept any of the ties in the Withdrawal Treaty that traps the UK.

    We must be free of the EU and the UK will be fine. Business people will establish trade and despite the EU, German carmakers will want to sell us their cars and the French wine makers, designers and perfumers will want to continue selling to the UK.

    We Leaver would be furious if Boris and his team capitulated.

  23. Richard1
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Here’s how it could work. There is no progress on any kind of change to the WA. On about Oct 15, Brexiteers, or at the least the Spartan subsection thereof, will say lets just leave it will be fine. Continuity Remain will say we cant leave with no deal, millions will become unemployed, may even drop dead and all trade with the EU will cease etc. The govt, probably including either of the two PM candidates, will vacillate. at this point the EU will step in and say ok you can have another 6 months / one year extension conditional on Parliament voting for a 2nd referendum, with remain on the ballot paper. Bercow will then facilitate that vote, which will probably then go through. Which way Ref 2 goes is however a guess at this point.

  24. Jack Leaver
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I have noticed when the issue of a WTO deal and tariffs is brought up TV and radio, the discussion is usually one sided with air time mainly given to the remain caucus. Unfortunately, on the odd occasion when a true leaver is interviewed they are rarely fully versed with the details and information that is essential to robustly defend, support and promote their position. I consider that all leavers who back Boris’s policy (including Boris) must do their homework and speak with authority and knowledge. There is no excuse for not knowing the facts, expert and legal opinion set out in articles such as by Martin Howe QC and the letter signed by Sir Richard Aikens et al which Sir Bill Cash tweeted on the 25th June.

    I would also suggest further reading to include:

    • Stred
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Could you please print these off SJR and tell Boris to swat them up when his bird isn’t telling him to save us from extinction in 5 years etc. The Conservative Party will actually be extinct soon if he doesn’t get his act together.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Jack leaver, Thank you.

  25. Newmania
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    It would also mean using the extensive rules and regulations of the WTO to govern our trade with the rest of the EU just as our trade with the rest of the world is governed today

    Not true the vast majority of our trade is under additional EU trade deals form which we would then be excluded . Such trade as in on purely WTO base is the EU schedule to which we do not have a right and many countries have now raised objections . Furthermore , none of this addresses the attack on Services who will face regulatory and capital issues in Europe , WTO does nothing on this
    I think you will find there is an additional wish to take as much UK business away as possible out of some bitterness about our behavior infantile anti EU rhetoric and encouragement of European Fascists
    Emotion ,as we know , can trump sense and self interest for all of us
    You just cannot believe this is actually happening

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Actually it is true – global trade, including with EU states, is conducted under the sole international framework of WTO rules. Such rules are derived from the international treaties that make up the WTO. The EU cannot arbitrarily or unilaterally change WTO rules.

      WTO rules are global and sufficient, but not the only rules. RTAs and MRAs, registered at the WTO, are additional agreements between two or more nations. So not global. Such agreements are not made by the WTO. Nor does the WTO set specific tariffs. The WTO is collegial, not dirigiste like the EU.

      It is the EU which is fascist. And unfortunately so many Remains have succumbed to the emotional high of “belonging” that the EU engenders.

  26. Fred H
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The (so-called Tory) MPs threatening the new PM’s authority need to be taught a lesson prior to them hopefully be deselected and not retaining their seat. Boris should be willing to prorogue on the evidence that a very threat to democracy exists. After 24th July (?) I hope he immediately explains to Her Maj. how dangerous the existing deadlock in the H of C is, and the disturbing behaviour of senior Civil Servants.

    • Stred
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      That Sandbach woman was on the box yesterday threatening to stop leaving on WTO. How anyone who voted to leave could vote Conservative again with this on the list is beyond me.

  27. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I assume as an extension has to be agreed unanimously on the EU side, which still includes UK, then the PM could also block it that way by refusing to agree it.

    I see Grieve is threatening to stop disabled people’s benefits if he doesn’t get his own way. But he is still apparently welcome as a Conservative party member. Will be interested to see which MPs vote for his plan if it is voted on – a handy list for Nigel Farage.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Further to the above comment on the largely fabricated problem of the Irish land border I mentioned yesterday that reportedly the Irish government had refused to engage with the Alternative Arrangements Commission:

    That had emerged at 9:56:56 here:

    But later on there were additional revelations, sparked by statements from the DUP MP Ian Paisley starting at around 10:46:26.

    Not only have the Irish authorities refused to talk with this Commission, which admittedly is not an official government body, they are also holding back from discussions with the UK government and even with the French, who will come into it because so much Irish trade passes over the Great Britain “landbridge” across to Dover and Calais.

    And the reason was explained by a French witness, Bertrand Rager, at 10:49:17:

    “Ian, there has been an instruction from the European Commission to all EU customs authorities not to talk to the other side. And I received the same reply as you got in Ireland from the French customs two days ago; I said ‘I am going to London, do you have any ideas you would like to be exposed?’ ‘We are to remain silent.'”

    So the EU Commission, which professes deep concern about the Belfast Agreement and about the future of north-south cooperation and therefore peace on the island of Ireland, has ordered Irish customs not to talk anybody in the UK about anything, including about possible alternative arrangements for the land border.

    So are we to suppose that Theresa May is unaware of this situation, and that is why she has not come out and said very loudly and clearly that this is not only a hypocritical, but also a damn stupid, way to proceed?

    Or is it because like Leo Varadkar she does not want the idea of alternative arrangements to gain traction and succeed and so remove the claimed need for the UK to remain under the economic thumb of the EU?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      This is from Stephen Barclay in the Commons today:

      “My hon. Friend has made an astute observation. He will be aware that 40% of Irish exports go through the short straits between Dover and Calais. We hear forecasts of delays at Calais from Labour Members, but it is not simply UK goods that will be delayed there; it will obviously be Irish exports too, as well as the many Irish imports.

      There are a number of areas in which it is in Ireland’s interests to avoid the disruption of no deal. There has been very little debate in the UK about the impact on Ireland, and my hon. Friend is right to highlight it.”

      • Steve
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Dennis Cooper

        Except that Ireland as a nation has insulted us, and tried to separate NI from the UK, so why should we give a toss about how brexit will affect them.

        Not our problem.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Pity this has been missed for moderation.

  29. Peter
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    “ If the PM is determined to leave without the Withdrawal Agreement and keen to keep to the specified date, it would be very difficult for Parliament to find a way to stop him.”

    That’s it in a nutshell.

    Hunt is a Remainer who says he will deliver Brexit, but we have heard that before.

    Johnson is a Leaver, yet he says things like No Deal is one in a million chance. I do realise he is trying to get elected and equivocation is sometimes prudent, however his interviews have been hesitant and unconvincing. His strength is dealing with the public, Hail fellow well met but I am not sure he has the resolve to deliver a genuine Brexit on time even if he is the better of the two candidates.

    Thank God for Nigel Farage. He is confident, says what he means and does not get browbeaten by interviewers. We rely on him to pressure the eventual PM into doing the right thing.

  30. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Parliament could do what it did last time, pass a law requiring the Government to ask for an extension. To avoid this, we may need to remove Speaker Bercow using the army or prorogue parliament. Alternatively, Conservative Eurosceptics and the Brexit Party could form an alliance and fight a General Election on the basis of No Deal vs Remain. The Brexit Party would write the European policy of the manifesto. It would be asked to put up candidates against Conservative Remoaners who have not been deselected and against Labour MPs in Leave voting constituencies.

  31. Simeon
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    It might be difficult for Parliament to prevent a ‘No Deal’, but it is not impossible. Maybe all the Parliamentary shenanigans of the past few years are a game of bluff rather than the result of deeply held principles. Maybe, if it actually came to it, less than two or three Conservative MPs would not actually collapse the government, and Hunt or Johnson could force through a ‘No Deal’ exit. But it doesn’t seem likely.

    A question. What do you think a deal that would both carry the support of the House AND the EU would actually look like. And no cheating; some modified form of the WA that nevertheless retained the essential feature of shackled us to the EU indefinitely is not an acceptable answer, if only because it is so obviously what this Parliament is desperate to deliver.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Simeon, I can see no possibility of an agreement between the UK and the EU, which also is Leave (ie leaving the EU treaties). That suits the EU fine – with no agreement the EU keeps control and keeps getting our money.

  32. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I agree it is up to the PM whether we leave on the 31st of October. The only effect MPs have is in possibly bringing down parliament, this would need to be done before September.

    In this case a formal or informal agreement would likely need to be made with the brexit party and would result in a vast number of pro-remain MPs losing their seats. Not really a believer the conservatives would do well on their own.

    However, on no deal (or WTO deal), I expect it is likely now to occur. The EU officials are leaving office and brexit is a threat to the existence of the EU. Italy would be encouraged and Swiss negotiations hurt if they fold. They are also on holiday and would take time to get agreement from 27 countries, likely not enough time to amend.

    In this case the government must move to FTA’;s with other countries, the threat of them then gaining preferential access to the UK market would leave the EU no choice but to sign a FTA or force continent into depression. For the UK we will benefit by less VAT, import tariffs going to government and no EU fees so won’t be hurt in the short term, long term will be great with many FTA’s.

    Lastly Trump’s America has a problem with EU exports, we would do well to not be part of the problem, which really is Germany, we also benefit from their food exports that are no longer exported due to China.

  33. oldtimer
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I read that my MP, Mr Dominic Grieve (God rest his soul – he will need it), is seeking to prevent the government meeting its spending commitments. If it came to that, with OAPs not receiving their pensions, than this should be a GE issue for the PM of the day.

    As for “No deal” this term appears to have acquired significant ambiguity in statements made by Johnson and Hunt. Perhaps it should rank alongside the ambiguity Mr Johnson has attached to the £39bn + conceded by Mrs May but so far rejected by Parliament and presumably held back by him in reserve to sweeten a future free trade deal with the EU.

    • Steve
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink


      Dominic Grieve obviously has a problem with his fingers.

  34. BR
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The Grieve nonsense continues with a plot to table amendments to routine money instruments such that a withdrawal agreement has to be signed before govt depts can be funded.

    I’d be interested in your take on this – if May can push through £1Tn of funding for silly zero-carbon purposes without MPs having a vote, presumably a new PM could do the same?

    And presumably, the £1Tn doesn’t need to be spent just because May makes money theoretically available? A Chancellor could refuse it in any case, as Hammond has said he will – about the only sensible thing that bloke has ever done.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      BR, It will be a lot more than the magic round number of £1trn. It almost makes the £39bn look a bargain. How come our “representatives” are so keen on wasting our cash?

  35. Mick
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
    No deal is better than a bad deal, so just shut it Mrs May you had your chance and blew it, as for Mr Johnson taking any advice from you forget it and I hope he as the b@!!s to follow through with to prorogue Parliament if he as to get us out on October 31st 2019 then call a GE so the people can drain the swamp of Westminster and fill it with true and patriots of Great Britain and not there beloved Eu

  36. BW
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, You have not factored in the Bercow effect, where Cooper, Grieve and the rest of the shambles can make law in a day to prevent it. I seem to recall you saying that the default position on the 29th March was to leave without signing the WA. You also said it would be impossible to get the legislation in place for that to be avoided. However when back benchers can make the law hour by hour with Mr Bercow, which they will do again. Nobody knows what the likely outcome will be. Do we need to wait until the 31st October?

    Reply I have. A determined PM can overcome any such attempt

    • Andy
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Bercow, Grieve, Cooper cannot ‘make Law in a day’ to prevent anything. It is the Prime Minister who can advise Her Majesty to refuse Assent to any Bill passed and although this has not been done since 1708 it is very much a live Prerogative and if exercised there is not a damn thing Bercow et al can do about it. The evil May was a fool not to use this power last time with the Cooper, Letwin nonsense.

  37. formula57
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Let us trust that the new prime minister is not a Quisling then.

  38. Rob Pearce
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Are there really no ways Remain can block WTO exit?

    Then why are the MSM Talking Heads and their interviewees continually discussing the issue as if they can?

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Rob Pearce, Because they’re idiots? The MSM, especially the BBC, have lost all semblance of honour, integrity, honesty, sincerity, and authority. Like millions of others I hardly bother with them any more.

  39. tim
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I am certain, Treason May has slipped something in the small print to stop us leaving {to preserve her husbands dealings with the EU}, I do not believe we will ever get out!

  40. David Price
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Lets not even offer an FTA.

    Instead spend the effort on agreements with countries who want to trade and want friendly relations that don’t require payments, oversight of our finances, control of our policies and laws, unequal access to our waters, internal market and resources.

    • Steve
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      David Price

      Exactly, took the words right out of my mouth.

      This country has the best of everything others would give their right arm for. We’re capable of doing very well with out the EU.

      We should just dump the EU and split our sides laughing when it fragments, and the likes of Tusk, Barnier and Verhofstadt get caught trying to do a runner with the money.

  41. Caterpillar
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Of the standalone deals that were signed in case of leaving with no deal at the end of March, how many were of a specific duration starting at end of March, and how many were due to run with an indeterminate start time? Are Mrs May, Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson throwing away time by waiting until the end of October?

  42. JJE
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ll find it’s not that simple.

    I see Mrs. May is saying she will vote against her successor to block No Deal.

  43. NickC
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Up until late 2016 I would never have believed that our Parliamentary system was so rotten that a majority of MPs could take a binary national referendum result and trash it. I still have difficulty believing it, even though the evidence is in front of my eyes.

    Whilst many ordinary Remain voters accept the majority choice to leave the EU treaties, it is very evident that a substantial number of Remains, particularly in the establishment, have come to believe their own loud and persistent propaganda. They think they can block Leave with impunity.

    They can’t. It is a scandal that they have tried – and succeeded so far. Their dishonourable, shameful, even fraudulent, actions have consequences. And we are not giving up. Let us hope that Boris Johnson has the strength of character to resist Remain MPs, as you have outlined, JR.

  44. ian
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    That right, only the PM can extend Article 50, parliament can try other things, but with a new budget, after you leave, there wouldn’t be any point in remain opposing the whole new budget, they can if they have the numbers but again you can still carry on as you are with extra 12 billion coming in from leaving the EU.

    I don’t believe in free trade with the EU at this time, they say agriculture is a problem, I do not agree, with fishing coming back to the UK, the money coming from that will make more money available to agriculture because two are the same and run by the same department which would balance out the shortfall in agriculture, in fact with the two under the control of the UK I am looking for profit from the sector as time goes on and means most subsidies would be a thing of the past.

    Yes, i would at this time take extra tariff money from the goods the EU sends to the UK and take the extra 5 to 6 billion on offer from the trade between us which can be used for services like the NHS, education or where the money is needed, companies say it would be a big problem, i don’t see that it a big problem, lots of overseas companies are ready looking at pulling out of the UK anyway and shutting down due to climate change policy.

    You new factories and done in house without relying upon overseas companies.

    When change comes, companies will change as well to suit the new gains on offer to them, remember there are only a few problems with trade with the EU and most tariffs are under 5%, only tariffs on agriculture and cars stand out, agriculture 35% and cars 10% and could 1 per cent tariffs on goods from the rest of the world which would bring in another 6 billion pounds to spend, when your importing country and not an exporting country small tariffs work better for you, it give you a income to spend on services for overcrowd country.

  45. ferdinand
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    There is no prospect of No Deal if Britain in leaving and the EU look after their own interests.

  46. Andy
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    In a no deal scenario passionate remainers like me cannot lose. And Brexiteers like you cannot win.

    Let me explain.

    If we have a no deal and it is a relative success then I win. My country gets marginally better and my family gets marginally richer. That’s a win.

    If your Brexit is a failure I also win. I don’t want to leave the EU and if it goes wrong and you fail to deliver, Brexit will be permanently undone. And the perpetrators will be brought to justice. That is also a win for me.

    You, however, cannot win.

    If you fail your project is gone for good. It will be undone, we will go back into the EU and you will, rightly, be condemned. And you will be held to account.

    But you also fail if Brexit is not a complete disaster either. The fact is that you can not deliver what you promised in 2016 – so any form of Brexit, even if it is not a catastrophe, will be a major disappointment to most of those who voted for it. They’ll wonder what the last four years of pain has been about if they don’t notice the sort of demonstrable changes in their lives that your Brexit has never been about anyway.

    I know you are all exasperated by Brexit already. Hard luck. You haven’t even finished the easy bit yet.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      There are millions of moderate remainers who voted remain because of the lies and balderdash of the remain campaign, but who who are now relieved to see that in fact the economy has continued to grow, that we have record employment, that the UK continues to attract more FDI than any other country in Europe, that sterling has stabilised at approx the level it was at in 2013, and most of all who accept democracy. Unlike you they also see the opportunities of brexit – like global free trade. Unlike you however they aren’t calling for their opponents – the likes of you – to be put in prison.

      You desperately need brexit to be a calamitous failure. You also need the EU to avoid a disaster, like an Italian exit from the euro. Otherwise you will look very silly. Judging from your posts it wouldn’t be a surprise if righteousness trumps prosperity of Others for you. You really really need a failure. What a terrible state of mind to have to live with – I do feel sorry for you. Let’s hope you are disappointed!

    • Noneoftheabove
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Dear Andy,
      Perhaps you could team up with “Newmania” under the new username I have suggested.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        What, OldAndyMania??

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Dumb & Dumber?

    • Ian
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      If we make a clean break making things work is down to us. Staying in the EU it only works in the manner the un-elected EU Commission dictates.

      Having a preference for one gang or another in a EU election, then that gang selects someone to represent you, Isn’t the same as democracy. Especially when these MEP’s don’t propose and can’t amend the laws and rules dictated to them by a higher power – EU Commission.

      Are you a puppet, dancing to someone else’s tune or a person that is responsible for your own life?

      It is nothing to do with getting on with our neighbors

  47. Alan jutson
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    At last confirmation that no deal (nothing agreed for anything) is a completely false headline
    A managed WTO exit should be the plan and that is what it should be called

  48. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    A Remain diehard of some organisation, sufficiently prominent to be given radio time yesterday was in full project fear mode, including the planes won’t fly routine – I thought that had been totally rubbished by all sides – obviously not. Another Japanese fighter in the jungle?

  49. David Maples
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    US General Anthony McAuliffe, when requested to surrender by a senior German officer during the Battle of the Bulge, in late 1944, replied tersely, ‘Nuts’!

    It is all too obvious that the EU and assorted Remainers in this country, are demanding that Boris should similarly capitulate. However, because they’ve used up all their powder, and as long as the new PM holds his nerve, this famous monosyllabic riposte, would not be inappropriate.

  50. Jumeirah
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I find it the height of arrogance and an insult that this ‘hopeless’ ‘little’ Foreign Secretary inferred that Leavers are ‘Little Englanders’ when he said “deliver a Brexit that works for the 48% not just the 52%” etc etc (Great Britain not Little England). Only by signing the withdrawal agreement will the EU consider further discussion on Brexit and THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS THAT! and once signed it’s ‘fait accompli’ which in this case means subjugated under the rules of a foreign parliament and their legal system indefinitely and THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS THAT TOO. This bloke reckons that he can dismantle parts of the WA so that it becomes more “acceptable”- NO why would they do that? Why would anybody have a ‘serious’ ( that’s a word he uses a lot) discussion, assuming he makes PM, with a then ex Foreign Minister who visits China and announces to THE WORLD but more specifically the Chinese that his wife is Japanese ¿¿ albeit correcting it straight away. A horrific error on “all fronts” and one which does not to exactly instil confidence or indeed competence in the bloke sitting across from you. Never mind Boris’ socks why is Hunt not being hung drawn and quartered over THAT error of judgement? What ever Boris is he is not a coward and whilst Foreign Minister and in that capacity attended a conference in the M.E with Foreign Ministers of the Region and courageously told KSA, UAE and Qatar they were conducting a proxy war in the Yemen. That conflict has been more devastatng against the civilian population than any so far in that in Syria the people could escape across borders – in Yemen they can’t!

  51. Stephen Elliott
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    “We could then proceed to leave without imposing tariffs if the EU agrees to negotiate such an agreement”.

    The EU have repeatedly said that they will not do this without agreement on the divorce bill, citizens rights and the Northern Ireland Border.

    What reason do they have to change their mind?

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      If they do not, they will suffer financially. The EU is nothing if not sensitive to money issues.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Because they might have to build a border, but can’t in practice, and there are more EU citizens needing rights in the UK than UK citizens working in the EU.

      • Steve
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink


        Well I don’t see why we don’t call their bluff, let them build a border. It isn’t as though we actually ‘need’ southern Ireland, for anything at all really.

        Besides, the Irish have regularly insulted us during the brexit fiasco. They need to learn a lesson.

    • Steve
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Elliot

      “What reason do they have to change their mind?”

      Oh flooding the Channel, banning new french cars, kicking french fishing vessels out of UK waters, building a border across N.Ireland, etc.

      ……should persuade them.

      They’ve been threatening our country for far too long, time we started to do it back & give the ungrateful buggers a dose of their own.

  52. BillM
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    “Difficult to find a way to stop him”. Sorry SJ but does that actually mean, impossible?
    It occurs to me that much of the Brexit debate and the “unintended” delays have been all about dodges to the system and not secured by British Law. Does the Withdrawal Act of 2018 not force us to leave the EU? If not why not?
    Surely our Prime Minister could not have been so devious as to incorporate huge loopholes into the Act? Bearing in mind that it had to be signed off by Her Majesty the Queen to become statute, would that not make HM complicit in this subterfuge? A new Constitutional crisis possibly beckons.
    Why could we not just have left as we decided in 2016? It would have been far simpler to resolve then.

  53. Marcus
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    The EU is not going to agree to anything without the WA being ratified by the Uk parliament but also by the new EU parliament and we have no way of knowing at this remove how that will ģo. In any case there is no Commission in place now and with newcomers incoming they will be finding their way Sept Oct so not likely to be in a position to negotiate before 31ST Oct. Negotiations then might take place in the beginning of the new year, my guess, but only after the WA matter is settled

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Marecus, That is exactly why we must walk away without a WA and without a trade deal.

  54. Simon
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Probably the worst article Sir JR has ever written. Calculated to mislead in every respect.

    • Simon the remainer
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you counter the various points with some verifiable facts then?

    • L Jones
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      You’re a remainer, aren’t you?
      The very fact that our host allows comments like yours to appear on HIS blog, shows that he has more respect for you than you have for him.
      So who is the more honourable?

  55. Steve
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


    Good article.

    However, re your third paragraph; what will probably happen is some change to the law by remainers before 31st Oct, facilitated by remainer Bercow.

    We saw Bercow and his EU loving remainer friends pulling this kind of stunt quite a few times during the last HoC spat.

    If the law obstructs their aim of dismissing the will of the people, they just change the law.

    Also you say ; “European law is superior to UK law” Well, the majority of people in this country don’t see it that way, which is one of the reasons why the majority voted leave.

    Most of us don’t recognise foreign laws as having any legal validity here, we are a sovereign nation, not a colony of the franco belgian empire.

    Those of the Westminster bubble might arrogantly think we respect EU laws, but we don’t, far from it.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Enoch Powell again:
      ”The England of Henry VIII found it impossible that its laws should be made, that its causes should be judged, or that a revenue should be procured from it by an external authority. In other words, there was no such thing as external authority: the expression was a contradiction in terms… There is a name for appealing over the head of the Crown to an authority outside the realm, and that name is treason….”

  56. Helen Smith
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    What can be done about Grieve Sir John, he has completely lost the plot and appears ready to vote to ignore the ref result, the party manifesto, to bring down the Government and to install a Marxist in No 10, all because he, personally, thinks Brexit is a bad idea. Are there no sanctions that can be employed to make him keep the promises he made in 2017?

    • Andy
      Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Mr Grieve is my MP. His constituency voted remain. And he is representing us. Good man.

      • Ian
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        MR Grieve in his manifesto to you said he would take you out of the EU. As an MP he became party to the law passed to take us out of the EU. Looks like the wonderful Mr Grieve just lies to keep his job and up yours to everyone else

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Grieve is doing you harm. He, and you, cannot select the democratic votes to suit your prejudices. In doing so he harms your democracy as much as mine.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Ahh, 17.4m people voted Leave but Andy and Dominic don’t like it so they are stamping their collective feet and throwing a hissy fit, very adult.

      • miami.mode
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Andy, I thought recently you claimed to be a Hillingdonian and that Boris is your MP, or am I mistaken?

  57. Antoinetta III
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I have read that as soon as BoJo walks into #10, that Labour will call for a vote of No Confidence, and that there are enough traitors to England among all the parties to pull this off. Is this true, or is there a way to block this Remoaner perfidy?

    Antoinetta III

  58. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Nice clarification on those finer points..

    Let’s hope Tory member elect the right PM, and that he is able to proceed as outlined

  59. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that all the new PM has to do is to distract Parliament from Brexit, somehow – perhaps with some superficial argument over the Barnett formula.
    Why not several distractions?
    Then while Parliament are focused elsewhere simply do not raise the subject of Brexit, do not even talk to the EU, and simply allow the October date to pass.

  60. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile the Tory Leadership contest continues.
    “Stop and Smear Boris” still the order of the day.

    I much prefer a Leader to be someone who rightly calls the French “túrds” about Brexit…over a Leader who calls me a “Little Englander” because I voted for Brexit.

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


      Thing is, those who call us little Englanders never do so to our faces, it’s always from the safety of social media.


  61. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I attended the meeting of Wokingham Conservative Association, addressed by Sir John Redwood, as to the merits of the two leadership contestants. It was depressing how many in the audience talked about the need to bring the country – and worse just the Party – together again. That is simply impossible. In the matter of Brexit, there has to be a winner and a loser. The real problem within the Conservative Party is that the pro-European tail insists on wagging the Tory dog. Even after receiving only 9% of the vote in the Euro elections, some people have not grasped the need to form an alliance with the Brexit Party to get a No Deal Brexit over the line.

    Both candidates said that they can get a better deal than Mrs May’s before 31st October. I don’t believe it. For negotiation to be successful, some fairly rough wooing will be necessary. For starters, we could ask the EU to reduce its average WTO rules tariffs, which are currently higher than those of US and UK.

    For years, ever since the late 1940s, the European Commission has held the opinion that you can’t have free trade without political union. The theory is bunkum. The old USSR was politically unified but you could hardly describe its economic system as free trade. There are countless examples of free trade in most products without political union.

  • 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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