My speech during the debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 (Rule of Law)

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Of course the Government and all Members of Parliament must obey the law, but Parliament must also pass wise laws and pass them according to our traditions, practices and rules. I wish to concentrate briefly on the question of the wisdom of the law and urge those who sponsored it to think again in the national interest.

This is no normal law. A normal law applies to everyone in the country equally, there are criminal penalties for those who break the law, and we wish to see the law enforced. This is not that kind of a law. This Act of Parliament is a political instruction to our Prime Minister about how he should behave in an international negotiation. Normally, this Parliament takes the view that international negotiations are best handled in detail by the Government, and we the Parliament judge the result by either approving or disapproving of it.

I urge colleagues to think again, because two things follow from Parliament instructing the Prime Minister in the way it has sought to do over this negotiation. The first is that the EU, the counterparties to the negotiation, can see that this Parliament has deliberately undermined the position of the lead negotiator for our country. It will take note of that, and instead of giving things it will say, “There is no point in giving things.” The second thing—even worse—is that the EU will take note that our Prime Minister under this Act is to seek an extension on any terms the EU cares to dictate. How can anyone in this House say that is good law or justice or makes sense for the British people? Those of the remain persuasion, just as those of the leave persuasion, must surely see that this is not the way to treat our lead negotiator—putting our country naked into the negotiating chamber with the EU. It puts the country in a farcical and extremely weak position.

I thought that the Labour party wanted us to leave the EU. Labour Members did not like the withdrawal agreement—I have sympathy with that—but they do not like leaving without the withdrawal agreement—I have less sympathy with that—so they are looking for a third way. They presumably think they could do some other kind of renegotiation, but they have never explained to us what that renegotiation would be like, and they have never explained how the EU would even start talking about it, given that it has consistently said we either take the withdrawal agreement or just leave.

Adam Afriyie (Windsor) (Con): The Opposition have taken a really bizarre position. They have said that, even if they did manage to negotiate a new deal with the EU, they would campaign against it. It is a really odd position for this nation to be in.

John Redwood: That is even more bizarre. Normally, Governments do their best negotiation and then come back and recommend it to the House of Commons. It would indeed be fatuous if we ever had a Government in this country who negotiated a deal they knew they wanted to reject. They should not waste everybody’s time and just say, “Let’s leave without a deal.”

We are wandering a little from the point of this debate, which is about the rule of law. This House of Commons should think again. This is an extremely unwise law. It undermines the Prime Minister, but, more importantly, it undermines our country. It makes it extremely unlikely that those remain-supporting MPs who could live with our exit with a variant of the withdrawal agreement will get that because they have deliberately undermined the pressure our Prime Minister may place on the EU in the negotiations he is trying to undertake. Even worse, they have invited the EU to dictate terrible terms for a few months’ extension, and why would the EU not do it? Please, Parliament, reconsider. Parliament has a duty to put through wise laws and to represent the national interest. This miserable Act is an act of great political folly and is undermining our country in a very desperate way.

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70 Comments

  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    John, just replace the word “normal” in your speech with “commonplace” and it would just about reflect the truth re the passing of Acts and Statutory instruments.

    If it prevents the country from ruin, then history will judge it to have been a very wise law too.

    But, yet again, you know that very well, don’t you?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      No Deal doesn’t mean ruination of the country, as you full well know. And historians won’t be able to determine if it would have been. The only thing ruined yesterday was the last shreds of respect that the majority in this country might have had for the Rotten Karaoke Parliament.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        But you will hear no contradictions from Michael Gove’s rapid rebuttal unit, so it must be the case that the worst predictions of the Remoaners are true. This is why after three years of constant anti-Brexit propaganda rammed home day after day, with close to zero response from the government, people may well be prepared to believe whatever rubbish they are fed through the media.

      • Hope
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Revoke article 50 and send another notification a couple of days later with terms Johnson wishes to seek for leaving.

        I not e the Iranian tanker seized by the U.K. Military and allowed to leave Gibraltar has now delivered its oil cargo to Syria as intended. Who,authorised the seizure of the tanker and its release, was it unilaterally the UK or the EU? If the latter was it the intention of the EU to embarrass our country?

        • Mitchel
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          This country has totally embarrassed itself with this incident.If I were you I would look west,not east,for the source of the instruction.

          Iran,it was reported(but not confirmed)last week,is going to get hundreds of billions of $ in Chinese investment to develop it’s oil and gas output and also it’s logistical infrastructure to integrate with the BRI.The Chinese apparently will also be sending security personnel to guard their investments from foreign interference whilst the Russians will be launching joint naval exercises with Iran in the region.

          With Bolton gone as of today and Pompeo saying weeks ago “we-the British- were on our own”humiliation beckons.

    • steve
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      MiC

      “But, yet again, you know that very well, don’t you?”

      I find your tone somewhat disrespectful towards a very decent and tolerant man who is highly esteemed by the vast majority of contributors to this site.

      • Excalibur
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Endorsed.

      • RDWJansen
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes Steve quite right! and more importantly held in high esteem and respect by his Constituents with whom he works very hard and diligently in an endeavour to resolve their problems or offering advice.
        MIC : you really are a nasty, mealy-mouthed little nobody!

        • Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          And very arrogant too, is MiC.
          Not just ”and this is my opinion” but ”this is my opinion and I am always right and the rest of you, including our host, are ill-informed and ignorant”.
          Probably a friendless and lonely individual?

    • David Taylor
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      No Deal is portrayed constantly as a “disaster”, the SNP leader in the house was at it again on the politics show , “falling of a cliff , crashing out of the EU ” hyperbole of the first order .
      No Deal would be regrettable , not a disaster of any sort .
      The EU`s own articles clearly state that non members of the EU are traded with under the WTO Rules , many countries do so , between themselves & the EU , so where does the disaster come from ?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Your manner towards our host leaves a lot to be desired. Sir john is one of the hardest working MPs in parliament and this is a very informative blog. We are lucky to be able to take part particularly as some of us are not constituents. Please be more courteous.

      Great speech John as usual.

  2. BR
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    All true JR, but of course… they know all that. They don’t care – no deal is code for remain (by the most underhanded of methods).

    You’re preaching to the un-convertable.

  3. Pete S
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Still think this violates Queen’s consent, so awaiting judicial review.

    • Jack Leaver
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Pete, I agree. Following Lord Justice Hickinbottom ruling on the Robin Tilbrook case which Ian Duncan Smith referred to as a point of order during the debate (see https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a91e27e8-e525-4703-aaeb-036189f4caed, at 15:06:12) it would appear that a judicial review of the Speaker’s decision regarding Queen’s Consent is urgently needed and I believe another point of order by Sir William Cash (at 15:10:25) should also be tested in court.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Well, either this awful piece of law required Queens Consent or May extended illegally, it has to be one or the other. In addition it clearly required a money bill. If this was kosher then Cooper/Letwin would have done this back in March.

        I would also like to see a SO24 debate and humble address requiring Benn, Hammond and Grieve etc hand over all emails, WhatsApp, Messenger correspondence etc. with the EU that they had prior to the bill coming before the house.

        • Stred
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          The security services will have copied the emails, correspondence and the dates of the private meetings between the Commission and the MPs and ex-ministers working with (collaborating) with the other countries to punish their own. They may have reports on the meetings from insiders. The record of meetings from the EU side are on film. The PM should demand that these details on the collaborative effort to undo Brexit are made available to his office and eventually to the public. This treachery must not be allowed to be concealed.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      It seems, from my admittedly limited understanding, that this Act is inconsistent with Queen`s Consent. It binds the government`s hands to whatever the other party decides. This is utterly unacceptable. I trust that the government will seek a judicial review.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    If this is part of the Johnson/Cummings plan to get us out on the 31st, then its awfully convoluted and appears to have a lot of holes. One has to hope that sometime in October the PM will become the deft magician, and produce the promised rabbit, or he will forever be remembered as just the clown…

  5. tim
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The Boris bravado has disappeared in Dublin, saying No Deal would be a “failure of statecraft”.

    He is now going all out for Mrs May’s “deal”, with Northern Ireland to be hived off from the rest of the UK.

    12:04 PM · Sep 9, 2019·Twitter for iPhone
    please tell me this is a lie!

  6. David Maples
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I think Martin in Cardiff is wrong in his views as to the benignity of the EU. If there are indeed any ‘mensheviks’ in Brussels, there is little doubt that once total control has been achieved following fiscal union and federalization, these people will metamorphose into ‘bolsheviks’, as one suspects most already secretly are, by casting away their sheeps’ clothing, to reveal a collective wolf!

  7. Stephen Reay
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Boris says we are still leaving on the 31st Oct. He will keep up this stance right up to the last minute hopeing the EU will do a deal before the 31 Oct. Boris will have to comply with the law has he says so but for the time being he’s keeping a poker face.

    • James1
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      However the Brexit blockers and disrupters try to spin and weave their wicked will, the average person outside the SW1 bubble can see through their subversions and subterfuge. It is becoming apparent and perhaps even beginning to dawn on them that their efforts are having the reverse effect, and increasing the support for Boris.

  8. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I genuinely think that Parliament is now so far out of touch with the real people that they have no idea of the damage that they are inflicting on themselves. I watched the debates for several hours yesterday evening. How on earth could your colleagues, John, feel that it was sensible to have almost an hour and a half of sycophantic tributes to our miserable Speaker who has done so much to bring his great office of state into disrepute? And how could they not see that spending time on the Westminster building project and at the same time denouncing the government for cutting short debate on Brexit at a time of national crisis were ludicrously incompatible. It’s way beyond parody. The reckoning will come, Sir John, and when it does, it will underline how arrogant and pompous so many of them have become.

  9. Everhopeful
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Apparently JR’s extremely incisive summing up caused something of a “ Twitter storm”.
    All the old melties were beside themselves at the suggestion that their ruse might fail!
    Good! Lovely! 😂

  10. Norman
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I can only say, I am utterly appalled at the recent scenes in Parliament: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49645338
    But thinking about it further, one cannot be surprised, given all we’ve seen over recent months. All who love our country, including many overseas who modeled their own parliaments on ours, will be shocked and saddened.
    This is a spirit of anarchy, abusing the normal definition of democratic lawfulness. It also reflects the spirit of the EU itself.

    • Chris
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      I absolutely agree, Norman. It was quite dreadful, and the only plus point is that they have been exposed for what they are – absolute villains in my view. Never have I wanted so much to turf out the whole lot of them (those fighting to destroy democracy) and to have an injection of fresh blood into politics. The Brexit Party have 600+ people available. Now is the time to get a good number of them elected.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

    As BR put it:- They simply don’t care – no deal is code for remain (by the most underhanded of methods).

    Let us hope Boris can still deliver and we get a solid pro Brexit majority with a Brexit Party Deal that is essential. It is also essential that not one of the traitors is allowed to return to damage the party again. They are not Conservatives they are Libdims. Let them see how popular they are standing as Libdims.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      LL.
      Surely you mean a no-deal veto is a code for remain.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Quentin Letts is spot on today in The Times:-

    Into the darkest times, a little sunshine must fall. That was what happened yesterday. Exit, from the cockpit of our nation’s affairs, a figure of molten bile. Alleluia.

  13. Leaver
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The situation now is so terrible, I see no end to the division this referendum has sown.

    While I continue to hope that a deal can be struck and we can actually leave, if I could go back in time and never have had this godforsaken referendum in the first place, I wish it had never happened.

    Leaving or remaining in the E.U is not worth the level of hatred and division at the moment. Worse still, when I point this out, I end up being attacked by both sides. It feels like trying to break up a pub brawl. A curse on both your houses.

    • Richard Holloway
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Cheer up, imagine what it must have been like during the reformation.
      Even if we hadn’t had a referendum in 2016, the next EU treaty would have sparked exactly the same debate. It was inevitable, as more powers left the UK that things would come to a head.
      At least we are having this debate now, before the next recession, which will tear the unreformed EU apart far more than anything Brexit related.

      • Chris
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        The Cons Party should have got themselves sorted out a long time ago. Instead they made a feeble effort not to be nasty and ended up chasing the mythical centre ground every relying on focus groups. No ideology or conviction. The stupidity of it. Voters do not want touchy feely, blow with the wind politics. They just want politicians with common sense, who are actually clever and honest enough to identify problems and their causes correctly, (no avoiding the elephant in the room) and who will state clearly how they want to solve those problems, and who will make a genuine and honest effort to deliver those promises.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      For goodness sake!
      The only terrible thing is that we haven’t yet Left and are still being prevented.
      “Leaver”? You sure of that??

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      The deliberate delaying tactics of remainers in Parliament is precisely designed to make you feel the way you currently feel Leaver.
      The idea is by a process of attrition and frustration to make us all think like you, so that we all give up the democratic struggle to see the referendum result honoured and remain in the EU.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Without the referendum we would never have had a clear idea who our enemies really are. It’s always easiest to just go along to get along….I can understand why people do it, but the long-term effect would be the loss of our country’s identity and name as we integrate into the EU….also the loss of our culture and reducing the native Brit to a minority in his own land, amongst other things. Ignorance is usually considered bliss and many people don’t care because they think it won’t ever affect their lives, but when it does they then ask “how did it come to this?”. Be thankful that the light has been shone on the cockroaches. What is happening, and will happen, is necessary to bring about a fresh start.

      • Chris
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, CD.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Hold your horses a moment. Firstly this is all the EU’s doing – if they hadn’t have been so intransigent when Cameron went to ‘reform’ the EU and get some concessions on mass immigration into the UK, the EU may not have hacked off as many voters as they did. But all Cameron came back with was ‘thin gruel’,
      Remember ?

      Plus In the previous referendum of 1975 the leavers lost but we didn’t make a song and dance about it. We just got on with our lives. Now If the losing remainer people had accepted the 2016 result so graciously the ongoing rows and arguments wouldn’t have been seen. So we know the fault lies don’t we ?

      Besides now the Brexit genie is out of the bottle it won’t go back in until it is achieved.

    • Peter
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      “Leaving or remaining in the E.U is not worth the level of hatred and division at the moment.”

      No attack from me, Leaver. I feel exactly the same way.

      • rose
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Curious that the referendum is always blamed rather than the EU. Foreign rule is notorious for sowing division in order to prolong itself.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      No its not the referendum which is at fault, it is our entanglement with the EU that has cut across our constitution which has made the mess, a mess that was glossed over by the original lie Ted Heath told of the EEC having no effect on our sovereignty, made worse by the Maastricht treaty, worse again by the Lisbon treaty, that left precious little doubt our Bill of Rights had been contravened ….’No prince , prelate, potentate, hath or ought to have prominence’ etc… and confirmed by May’s Withdrawal Bill and the Surrender Law that has made us a vassal state. What has been done in the name of the EU is treasonous.

    • John C.
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      You’re saying that it would have been better to have kept the majority of the population in unwilling servitude to the EU, and not to have allowed them a choice, than to have exposed the extraordinary devotion to the EU that so many MPs have displayed in defiance of their constituents?
      Surely not.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like you are surrendering to those who are doing most of the hating, Leaver.

    • Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      ”… is not worth the.. hatred and division..”
      But wasn’t this the plan? Divide and rule? Isn’t the EU good at it?

      • old salt
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        L Jones
        Very well said.
        It’s what the EU has been doing all along.

    • APL
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      leaver: “if I could go back in time and never have had this godforsaken referendum in the first place, ”

      It is not the referendum nor the referendum result that has been divisive, our membership of the EEC/EU has been a festering wound in British politics for the best part of 40 years.

  14. Richard Holloway
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    It was my understanding that Parliament cannot make amendments to treaties. It can ratify or reject a treaty, but it can’t amend it.

    Couldn’t the Government ignore the surrender bill by arguing that it is ‘Ultra vires’ that is, beyond Parliament’s role, since the original article 50 bill was the change of treaty and since then parliament has rejected the withdrawal agreement three times.

    It strikes me that Parliament binding the government’s hands in negotiations is exactly the reason it isn’t allowed to amend treaties and would therefore make the surrender bill passed by Parliament unlawful.

    • James1
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      It has been something of a shock that we have ended up with quite so many what can only be charitably called numpties in the House of Commons. They appear to be unable to see that taking ‘no deal’ off the table achieves the reverse of what they are seeking, or perhaps they just don’t care and just want to delay the inevitable. Bring on the GE. The sooner they are consigned to obscurity and hopefully unable to darken our biased BBC screens again, or indeed even be heard from again the better.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Not only that, Mrs May when she asked for an extension has committed to NOT try and re-negotiate the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

      So, which takes priority?

      And as we all know the Withdrawal Agreement is NOT a deal in any case.

    • Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Quite. I was astonished the government let it go through without Boris asking HMQ to block or delay Royal Assent, for the reason you give, and also because Queen’s Consent had not been sought.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      How could the legislature of one state unilaterally amend a treaty which has already been agreed with other states? There can only be one final version of the treaty, the same for all the parties; if one state is to have some kind of exceptional treatment then that has to be written into the treaty as agreed by all the states.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      How could the UK Parliament possibly amend a Treaty with twenty-seven other signatory nations unilaterally? Or even one with just one other party?

      It is nothing to do with “being allowed”, and Parliament is the supreme UK authority anyway.

      It is simply the very basics of contract-drafting and self-evident sense.

  15. steve
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Well said JR.

    But I have a more sinister view than to put it down to mere folly.

    I think there is probability that what we’re seeing is traceable to EU interference. We know for a fact that Blair has been acting as some kind of broker for the EU and Labour, no doubt many others have been doing so as well.

    We have a Speaker who mouths on about rules and conventions while at the same time contravenes them to facilitate weakening the country’s position. ……..
    We have Plaid Cymru and the SNP Jacobites also sticking the knife in at every opportunity.

    I hope one day the truth will outetc ed. But at the moment it certainly looks to me like somebody’s trying to break up the UK.

  16. Original Richard
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    “Even worse, they have invited the EU to dictate terrible terms for a few months’ extension, and why would the EU not do it?”

    Couldn’t the EU require a very long extension (to 2099 for instance) and this remainer Parliament agree to it ?

    In fact, could this remainer Parliament also amend the FTPA so it lasts until the end of the EU’s required extension ?

  17. Mark B
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon

    It also, potentially, could make the PM a political prisoner. Farcical I know, but there are those suggesting he be put in prison. Bizzare.

  18. Peter from Leeds
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    On a positive note parliament has just demonstrated that MPs are able to come together and pass binding laws in a matter of hours. That surely is a good sign for those worried about any “cliff edges” we may face with a sudden departure.

    It is clearly what we will need – fast responsive leadership once (if) we leave the EU with its myriad rules, regulations and guidelines.

    Always look on the bright side of life. (Ill winds and dark clouds …)

    • Konta
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree. At last MPs from all parties have come together to block the far right isolationist posturing of the ERG. Now let us move forward, ignoring the ERG, and settle a future very close relatiobship with our major trading partners in the EU

  19. Steve P
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    PM has twice given parliament the opportunity for a GE and twice they rejected – amounting to 2 votes of confidence in the PM. This gives the PM the mandate to do what PM always does. The opposition can call a vote of no confidence anytime – but obviously, they are confident in the PM. This contradicts with the Traitors Act that “infers” no confidence but lacks the courage to do it. The Traitors Act hands over sovereign right to decide the UK’s future to a foreign power – it requires a referendum, not just a parliamentary vote for sovereignty. PM has to choose which set of instructions to follow 1) votes of confidence to do what a PM always does 2) Traitors Act. It’s hard to see how a court could override the decision or punish the PM for it when there are two legal positions that contradict one another.

  20. George Brooks
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Those MPs who put this Bill before the House and those MPs who supported it have committed a treasonable act. They have kicked the PM’s negotiating platform from under him, tied him hand and foot and thrown him in the path of the EU with the instruction to ask for an extension to Brexit

    There is no difference to a regiment knocking their CO off his horse , binding him hand and foot and leaving him in the path of the advancing enemy with a white flag to wave.

    Furthermore we pride ourselves in our judicial system and one has to be absolutely astonished that lawyers came up with this Bill which as you have explained Sir John cuts right across our parliamentary system and practice.

    They are endeavouring to write off Brexit and destroy our country.

  21. Peter Lavington
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    If a three or more month extension is granted or
    asked for it is going to cost tax payers £1 billion a month. Surely we should be asked if we eant this to happen?

  22. Robert Evans
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Boris Johnson should adopt the language of Remain supporting MPs who keep saying that they respect the results of the 2016 referendum but then do everything possible to disregard the will of the people. The Prime Minister should now say “of course I respect the law that instructs me to seek an extension of our EU membership” but Parliament haven’t made it clear what shade or type of extension it wants and on what terms.

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    The ridiculous nature of this ‘law’ can be seen if the Government wishes to test it in the courts. Normally the Executive would be challenged by others, but as this is not the Executive’s law, who defends it in court? Or as it seems to be an orphan law is it a case where it can’t be challenged? This seems to be another example of the unconstitutional situation that has been created with this aberration of a ‘law’.

  24. ukretired123
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Excellent summary Sir John of the total nonsense coming out of the Westminster Asylum!
    They have brought the House into disrepute worthy of a banana republic.
    Unbelievable that they don’t see how crazy they all will be viewed by others outside London and Overseas!!!

  25. Just Leave
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I feel sad, disillusioned but most of all very angry at what this parliament has done. They have trampled over my vote and those of 17.4 million who voted to leave. We were not stupid and knew we were voting to leave the EU- not with a deal but to LEAVE. I am perfectly happy to leave without a deal- it is my preferred choice. This country will survive the initial upheaval and in my opinion will thrive after or IF we ever leave. This law makes a mockery of the referendum. I hate to see all these smug politicians saying their doing what their doing in the national interest. They most certainly are not! They passed Article 50 by a big majority which said we left with or without a deal. Surely this new could be challenged in a court of law and found to be unlawful. I would dearly love to see the smugness wiped from these treacherous politicians. It will not end well for them. Thank you Sir John for your stance

  26. HarveyG
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Today we read on the news the Iranian Ambassador has been called in again. Presumably if there was something wrong in law with the movement or intent of the Grace 1 then there was ample time to charge the Captain before releasing- why does our host not raise some questions about this in the House- either international law was breached or it wasn’t?

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    “This is an extremely unwise law.”

    It is, but nonetheless it is a perfectly valid law, an Act of Parliament which incidentally starts with the normal “enacting words”:

    https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095750537

    “The introductory words in an Act of Parliament that give it the force of law. They follow immediately after the long title and date of royal assent, unless preceded by a preamble, and normally run: “Be It Enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows…”

    So to make it clear, anybody who defied this Act would not just be defying the two houses of Parliament but also the Queen, and I suggest that would a mighty peculiar position for the person she has appointed as her Prime Minister to adopt.

  28. Jasper
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Last nights result and theatrics from some MPs were a disgrace and an embarrassment. I have heard today that a possible solution to this situation is to is revoke article 5o, have a GE, then enact article 50 again – would this work anyone ??

  29. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I believe the ECJ specifically ruled this out when last year they ruled that the UK could unilaterally revoke Art 50

  30. Lee Smith
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    A better and shorter version of this speech would have been “I and my ERG colleagues have been routed by the decent majority of MPs who want a deal, boo hoo”

    • Edward2
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      They don’t want a deal they want to remain in the EU.

  31. Posted September 15, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, it is a very clear and valid point to me that the whole of Parliament ( or the majority) voted together that the public should have a referendum on whether to leave the EU.
    Not ONE SINGLE MP has the right now to say to the people or Parliament that they want to stand against the people’s ( including Parliament’s own MP’s – they had the chance to vote too ) majority vote to leave and try to subvert or subjugate the people and the majority decision.
    However, by law ( we now know, owing to the legal challenge by Gina Miller – who is this woman?) Parliament MUST vote on the deal presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister.
    This they did overwhelmingly not just once but three times under Theresa May. This was the deal rubber stamped unanimously by the EU, with the instruction attached that it was the only deal they would accept.
    It occurs to me, that all our deserved indignation must be directed now at the EU. Just because the EU has many member states, all of which thought that the deal was a jolly good deal. It is not a jolly good deal at all.
    This current deal on the table has been the deal to suit the EU alone and not us, not for remainers or leavers.
    Parliament must obey the instruction of the people, we SHOULD have had a more detailed ballot paper but we didn’t – that I can see now. But the remainers were so cocksure that we would vote to stay in, it didn’t occur to them to make the ballot more specific. A vote for NO was a simple matter, nothing to change, no debating, nothing to add. But a vote for YES carried so much import and challenge.
    The vote for Yes, to leave, meant that the whole of Parliament get behind the Prime Minister and encourage him/her to go full steam ahead and negotiate or even fight for the best deal for England – it’s people.
    Parliament, you have stalled, twisted and turned, and tried to insist that we hold a referendum again because you think that people who voted to leave the EU have either died, are in Prison, left the country, gone into space ( sorry, I couldn’t resist ), have got bored or fed up with the process of leaving. In the eyes of the electorate who voted out, this must be seen as illegal!.
    Please get behind the wheel and push Parliament. Perhaps the people will decide to Rise and rise again until lambs become lions ( don’t worry I know where this comes from and was changed for the movie, but it felt relevant to use it ). I wish we would.

  • About John Redwood


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

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