The sovereignty of the people, and the battle of government and the Judges

It would  be completely unacceptable if the UK’s decision to stay for longer in the EU or to leave on the due date of October 31st fell to be decided by a few Judges. The people are sovereign. We exercised our sovereign right to decide  between Leave and Remain. We accepted the promises of the main parties in Parliament that they would implement our decision. The ballot paper did not qualify leave, or suggest we could only leave if there was a deal the Establishment liked. Electors followed up the referendum by electing a Parliament dominated by two parties promising to implement the vote. The public put the Lib Dems in a weak third pace on their proposal of a second referendum because they did not like the result of the first.

The sovereign people delegate their sovereignty to an elected government and Parliament to exercise for them between elections. The power of the people is restored at election time when we can change as many MPs as displease. Between elections the force of public opinion seeks to keep the MPs and government honest , loyal to its promises and keen to serve the public.

The relative power of Parliament and government has long been fought over in the courts and in Parliament. The law courts have usually accepted that matters of  high policy and politics are matters for Parliament alone. They have also respected Parliamentary privilege which allows Parliament to talk freely about all matters, save the details of an individual’s actions which are the subject of a live court case. Parliament  respects the sole right of the courts to determine the guilt or innocence of people under the criminal law, and their  right  to determine civil cases without Ministerial interference. Ministers may of course intervene or undertake an action  in a civil case by submitting a government view to the Judge for decision.

Government has been given powers to  negotiate treaties, propose budgets and submit draft laws to Parliament for approval. Government controls the timetable of Parliament but by convention allows regular days for the Opposition to specify the subjects that most concern  to them and to debate them. It does not provide Opposition legislation time. It is based on the assumption that government commands a majority of the House. If government no longer commands such a majority then  there must be a General election so the public can choose a government who can.

There are currently some MPs who are determined to break this constitutional settlement. They wish to assert Parliament above the government so that government can no longer function. They want to strip government of its powers to control the timetable, propose the budgets and the laws. They wish to irresponsibly spend money the government has not provided and pass laws the government does not accept, without themselves having the votes or ability to take the responsibilities of government on themselves.  Worse still, when the government challenges them to an election so the sovereign people can decide whether they want the government’s approach or do want to change to that of the Opposition, they block any such move.

The final irony is that an anti government alliance in the Commons uses its temporary power to propose a law to  put through an Act of Parliament to make the PM do what he does not want to do, placing all these huge issues under the courts. So far from making Parliament sovereign as they claim, by usurping the power of the people in  the referendum and denying an election, they   want to submit Parliament to the power of the law courts. How can they seriously suggest that through this Act of Parliament our departure from the EU should fall to be decided by Judges, who will be invited to slap down the Prime Minister to do so? What Judge would want to overrule the decision of the people in a referendum?



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  1. Len Grinds
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Did you never get taught history as a schoolboy? Your ignorance is shocking. The people are NOT sovereign in this country. That was the WHOLE point of the English civil war. Our Parliament is sovereign, and it is currently doing all it can to control a rogue government. You should be supporting the brave MPs standing up to this out-of-control government

    • eeyore
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      If that’s what you were taught at school, Len, your mummy and daddy should demand their money back.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      You sound like a supporter of Jo Swinson’s Liberal Bureaucrats

      • James1
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        “What judge would want to overrule the decision of the people in a referendum?”

        I’m sure the so-called Establishment will find one. It will be one that doesn’t agree with the referendum result.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      My reading is that you are absolutely correct, Len.

      However, ever since they won their advisory opinion poll in 2016, the haters of the European Union, and of the advancement of civilisation generally seem to think that they are entitled to claim fact to be whatever they might wish it to be.

      Let’s see how far that gets them when reality makes its purchase, shall we?

      • Henry Jailer
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        As long as they are talking only to their supporters (in the country or on the media) the Brexiters get away with their lies, because no one challenges them. But it’s different when they have to face cold reality. This is why the negotiation with the EU is going so very badly. Telling M Barnier and M Juncker “we’ll get a great deal, we hold all the cards, we want to leave your club but we want to have trade continue unchanged” is treated with the disdain it deserves. The UK under the far right leadership of this Tory party is an international laughing stock

        • NickC
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Henry Jailer, What Brexit lies are those, then? Specify the exact words in context, and accept the difference between advocacy and fact (or mistake, or lie).

          The reality is that you are attempting to cover up Remain’s own lies by falsely claiming “Brexiters” lie. It’s called Remain projection and propaganda. And we’re well aware of it.

        • Ben
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          Day in, day out, on this site and others (e.g. ConHome), the same group of Remainers are up at the crack of dawn, waiting for new articles to be uploaded so they can be the first to comment.

          Their devotion to this nation’s interests – or at least their own – is tireless and neverending.

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Why do you want us governed by the EU empire?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          It is not an empire. It is an association by consent and of common aspiration.

          An empire is established by violence against the unwilling conquered.

          You don’t even have the basics.

          • NickC
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

            Martin, That’s not what Verhofstadt thinks though, is it?

          • Ben
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            Please answer the question, lest people think you are focussing on one word in order to avoid doing so. It is a question that has been put to you several times, including by our host.

            What is the advantage to us of having many of our laws made elsewhere, being told who we have to let in, being told to allow others to fish in our waters, not being allowed to strike our own trade deals with non-EU nations, and paying hundreds millions of pounds per week for the privilege? Do you think those things are good for us? Or do you accept that they’re downsides, but believe that they’re compensated for by upsides, in which case what are those upsides?

            If you believe that Remaining would be of advantage to you personally, and that matters to you more than the nation’s interests, then you are entitled to that view. But please have the fortitude to just say that.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink


        That would be the advisory referendum that was implemented by a majority vote of parliament then would it.

        There is nothing more civilised about the EU than the UK. Oh apart from France where for the 44th weekend in a row there were riots, armoured cars were on the streets of Nantes and water cannon, tear gas and clubs used on the people. Wow how civilised is that ?

        As someone Martin who has been constantly caught short by facts I really think you ought to avoid posting things like that

    • J Bush
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Then perhaps you can explain why all these people who have taken over parliament refuse to allow a GE?

      I get the overwhelming impression the reason they won’t, is because they are frit they won’t get a ringing endorsement from the populace?

      Of course I could be wrong, and maybe its just a case they want to roughshod over the referendum result because it didn’t give the answer they wanted?

    • julie williams
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      You are forgetting the tiny fact that Parliamentarians are there in the first place because the electorate put them there; we are their bosses. Quote as much history as you like, Universal Suffrage massively changed the relationship between Parliament and the electorate. Recent events have proved that our unwritten constitution is as good as the paper it isn’t written on; if politicians like the Speaker had acted in good faith we would not be in the mess we are in now.
      All this false indignation isn’t based on sound beliefs, it’s based on the fact that Remain lost.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      No. Sir John has got it right.
      The idea is that the PM controls parliament through the majority after an election.
      Her Majesty the Queen is our Sovereign, not the people, although she is careful to qualify this by accepting the advice of her Prime Minister – the person who has the majority in the Commons.
      The Speaker is the person who relays the mind of the Commons to the Sovereign formally.
      All this has now been changed just so we can obey the fiat of the EU.
      And you say that is right and historical?

    • BJC
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Sadly, Len, you appear to have forgotten the very first stage of our democratic process, i.e. it’s the people who elect Members of Parliament to represent them, from which a government is formed.

      Instead of resorting to civil war to have our various voices heard, we loan our powers to our representatives for the duration of a Parliament. Once a Parliament ends our powers are returned to us in preparation for the next General Election and a new Parliament. This means Sir John is correct; the people hold the power and sovereign, although these rights are currently being denied to us by a proxy Parliament.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      The way to do that is via a general election.

      – WA can’t have it

      – No Deal as an option, can’t have it

      – “We’ll overturn a referendum with smaller majority” Lib Dems

      – “We’ll negotiate a deal with the EU and then campaign to reject it” Labour

      General election – the one and only thing that would break this impasse and settle our country – blocked.

      Who’s out of control ? Who’s out of control ?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      I think the Civil war had something to do with Royalists vs Parliament in the shape of a virtual dictator…..but hey who cares about truth?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      At present neither the people nor Parliament are sovereign. It is the ECJ.

    • Kenneth
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      MPs are meant to represent the People.

      Any argument about who holds sovereignty becomes moot once there is a general election.

      If MPs refuse to hold one then surely their right to claim sovereignty is void and even fraudulent.

    • Stephen J
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Who elects the commons?

      There are two sovereigns… or at least, there are supposed to be.

      First there is the the legal sovereign, the crown in parliament.

      Second are the people, the political sovereign who elect and send representatives to parliament.

      As Starkey explains in his recent interview with Brendan O’Neill, Burke’s idea that members are representatives rather than delegates, is more of an affectation for members… They like to think that they are important and know better than the sum of their electorate. Well some of them anyway.

      He maintains that this description of an MP is more to do with historical myth than reality, since parliament existed before general democracy, as the plaything of the rich and powerful… the members were genuine representatives then, but the Reform Act turned them into delegates, there to represent the actual wishes of the voters.

    • Woody
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Are you actually talking about the current government ? The one that promised a referendum where the people could choose their future and that what they chose would be implemented .. and they chose to leave … is that not the case ? Parliament is paramount and parliament promised to leave on March 31 .. but it didn’t and now thanks to a rogue and self aggrandising speaker it is trying to reject our choice .. parliament hs lied and cheated and deceived the people. That sort of parliament cannot be paramount. This current government is trying to fulfill its promise . and indeed the promise of the two major parties that form the government and the opposition. The rogues are those who now want to deny the people their democratic voice, even to the limit of blocking a general election to really ask the people for the authority to do what they are now threatening to do .. blocking implementing the referendum result. Disgraceful.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Grinds on. How is this a rogue government? It was this government who, with all other parties, voted to give us a referendum and to give the public the chance to say what we wanted. It was legal and above board and everyone eligible to vote had the chance to. We voted to leave. If this government fails to deliver a real Brexit then I would say it was rogue but if Boris is serious about us leaving then he is upholding democracy. Get over yourself.

    • dixie
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The MPs are not brave, there are no significant consequences for betrayal.

      The MPs are not representing our interests and certainly not standing up for democracy. They have lied about their intent and true position to the people who elected them and in some cases abandoned their manifesto entirely and are turncoats.

      They refuse to test their new positions with the electorate in an election, they are anti-democratic, no doubt a good fit for future employment in the EU.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Our host is totally able to defend himself but your comments are hugely disrespectful and inaccurate.

      If it is a rogue government why has it proposed a General Election twice in recent weeks only to be denied by a combination of parties and individuals determined to stop it either because they do not like the result of the referendum or they do not want to lose their seats or lose their privileged positions as the Opposition Party i.e. bye bye Corbyn?

      Likewise the Liberal non Democratic party have just voted to revoke A50.

      Your definition of rogue is skewed.

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The sovereignty of Parliament comes from the people who elect their MPs.

      Before the referendum, MPs of all parties vowed to respect the result of the referendum and said they would implement it. A clear majority across the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016.

      A General election in 2017 saw 80% of the electorate vote for parties that stood on a manifesto vowing to implement Brexit. These two events were perfect examples of democracy in action.

      The fact that Remainer MPs are now reneging on the promises they made to the electorate in their party manifestoes and are grabbing power from the executive in order to stop Brexit is shameful. This is especially so when they deny the Prime Minister’s call for an election to resolve the matter.

      MPs should not be able to use the LibDems’ inept Fixed Term Parliament Act to deny us an opportunity to resolve the matter in the normal democratic manner. The first act of the next government should be to remove the act from the statute book.

    • Peter Ryder
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Len Grinds – I don’t know where you learnt history but you obviously didn’t understand it. If you read the 1688 Bill of Rights (the statute that frames and underpins our parliamentary system) you will see that Parliament has no independent existence. It is merely the forum through which the members exercise their delegated sovereignty. That sovereignty comes from the people.

      Further reading of the Bill will also show you that no court may interfere with the “debates or proceedings” that take place in Parliament (declaration 9). We might hear more on this tomorrow when the Supreme Court sits.

      Your “brave MPs” are defying the expressed will of the people without regard to constitution or law.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      The law in our country is in disrepute.

      A stolen car is awarded to the new buyer and not the person it was stolen from. We have heard similar with pet dogs.

      Sentencing is a joke.

      Certain communities get away with flagrant abuses while ordinary people get zero tolerance for parking infractions or 5mph over the limit in a sixty.

      The silent majority come last.

      The general disrespect this cause for the authorities and Parliament helped cause Brexit.

      You are about to find out what happens when millions of ordinary people stop voting and leave it to the students.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      But Parliament’s claim to sovereignty is only valid to the extent that it can be accepted as the true representative of the sovereign people, and after the Civil Wars Cromwell came to reject that claim while being unable to find any permanent solution.

      As for the present Parliament, it is overwhelmingly dominated by supporters of EU membership, so how can it be seen as a true representative of an electorate which is more or less evenly divided on the question?

    • L Jones
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      See, Brexit Central, Independence Daily.
      All positive.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      And your discourtesy and ignorance are ”shocking”, Mr Grinds.

      It is possible to put forward a reasoned argument without making an overt attempt at offence, which you ALWAYS do. It renders your ill-informed comments not worth the screen they’re typed on.

      • Ben
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        It is part and parcel of having an unshakable religious conviction that anyone who disagrees with you is immoral. Other manifestations of this include celebrating the deaths of those who voted immorally, and shouting down immoral Prime Ministers at press conferences. Because we all know that sensible politics can only be conducted if world leaders are unable to make themselves heard above screeching, infantile mobs.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    “What Judge would want to overrule the decision of the people in a referendum?”

    I am sure that treasonous mob of MPs will be able to find one.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      John, why do you permit comments, which slander our loyal, patriotic, law-abiding MPs, who have the best interests of the country and of its people at heart, and who have done no service whatsoever to any known enemy of the realm?

      I have a perfectly valid explanation of my own, but I would very much like to hear yours.

      • Peter
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I agree with you, Martin. I was hoping that the new regime of increased comment moderation would result in a higher level of discourse, but you just have to look through this comment thread to see that this hasn’t happened. The second comment on this page is “If that’s what you were taught at school, Len, your mummy and daddy should demand their money back.”

        I fear that the new comment moderation policy was just a ploy to cut down on dissenting voices and give the illusion of more support for JR’s viewpoint.

        • L Jones
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Peter – and this was in reply to Mr Grinds’ disrespectful comment ”your ignorance is shocking”. He is usually disrespectful and patronising, as is MinC, Andy, Andy’s mum, etc.

          Your attempt at defence is ”shocking” too. Why can’t ”you lot” (as Andy would say) present arguments without recourse to offence?

          This is JR’s own personal site. He can moderate has he sees fit. He doesn’t HAVE to publish your often ill-informed and discourteous Twitter-style comments and conversations with others of your persuasion.

        • Peter
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Not me posting above.

          Does anybody else find posts here with their username but written by someone else?

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Philip Hammond apparently admitted in the heat of an argument with Boris, that he had been given legal advice by the EU. That’s collusion. Remain MPs, and others such as Tony Blair, have also traipsed off to Brussels to help sell out their own country to the foreign power of the EU empire.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Nonsense, the European Union, of which the UK is a voluntary member, is not an enemy.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink


            After today in Luxembourg and Darth Verhofstadt”s the Empire Strikes back speech at the illiberal Antidemocrat conference I wouldn’t be so sure anymore. Proving how patronising, sneery and incompetent the EU are I would imagine they’ve added a few 100k more to the Leave camp now . Good work

          • NickC
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            Martin, Nonsense, EU apparatchiks boast they have made the UK “a colony” and that the EU is an “empire”. Enemies don’t have to be shooting at you.

          • Antoinetta III
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            Earlier, I had put up a reply to Martin’s post above. It was in moderation for a while, then it disappeared.

            Is this a computer glitch, or did I violate some rule or policy about posting.


            Antoinetta III

  3. Peter
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Politics has now been reduced to scheming.

    Getting your way by hook or by crook is the new way of doing things.

    • eeyore
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      To paraphrase Churchill, “Jaw jaw is better than law law”.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I agree ‘scheming’ appears to be the new approach to politics

      The normal run of daily politics and the MPs scheming was understood but not liked by the people but that was against party manifesto and bills produced by government

      However the current scheming is against the referendum and the democratic wishes of the people…..this isn’t and shouldn’t be tolerated

      • Peter
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Mrs. May thought scheming was the way for a Prime Minister to act. It did not work out well for her.

        Others now seem to think it is a clever thing to do.

    • Chris
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Peter, just one of the characteristics of Marxism: the end justifies the means.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        That cliched expression just relates to the exercise of raw power-nothing particularly Marxist about it-it’s been with us since the beginning of time and variations on that quote can be found in much earlier works than Marx-Machiavelli and the Roman Poet Ovid for instance.

        • NickC
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          Mitchel, Not so. “The end justifies the means” is neither “cliched” nor merely relates to “raw power”. It is principally a demonstration of the immorality of the believer in it. Moreover Chris said it is just one of the characteristics of Marxism: and so it is.

  4. Garland
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    As ever you misrepresent what is happening. Whether or not, and when, we leave the EU is nothing to do with the judges, and no one except you has suggested it is. This week the Supreme Court will decide whether or not Parliament was lawfully prorogued – nothing to do with the EU. the judges will just be doing their job, upholding the law. You seem to want to undermine trust in the institutions of our democracy. That is shameful

    Reply I am talking about their possible involvement in the latest EU Withdrawal Act

    • dennisambler
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      We have already left on March 29th. On October 31st, we will have to leave again.
      “When does the United Kingdom cease to be a member of the European Union?
      The EU Treaties cease to apply to the United Kingdom from the date of entry into force of the agreement, or within 2 years of the notification of withdrawal, in case of no agreement. The Council may decide to extend that period by unanimity.

      Until withdrawal, the Member State remains a member of the European Union, with all the rights and obligations that derive from membership, including the principle of sincere cooperation which states that the Union and all its Member States shall assist each other in carrying out the Treaty.

      What happens if no agreement is reached?
      The EU Treaties simply cease to apply to the UK two years after notification.

      Can a Member State apply to re-join after it leaves?
      Any country that has withdrawn from the EU may apply to re-join. It would be required to go through the accession procedure.

      Once triggered, can Article 50 be revoked?
      It is up to the United Kingdom to trigger Article 50. But once triggered, it cannot be unilaterally reversed. Notification is a point of no return. Article 50 does not provide for the unilateral withdrawal of notification.”

      • Headsup
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        No no no there will be no extension, the UK leaves 31st Oct. The EU side will not grant an extension, their priority now is to get UK out ASAP and so to have The Farage element removed from the EU parliament and also by 31st Oct. They calculate that the terms of the WA already signed off by twenty eight governments, the terms can be picked up again post 31st Oct sometime, maybe after the Christmas break but before talks on any future can take place.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the EU Council meeting scheduled for 17th 18th Oct is now put back to November sometime.

        • Oggy
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Which is why come late October the remaoaner and rebel alliance will attempt to revoke A50 in the HoC. It’s coming down to no deal or revoke. If they lose we are free, if A50 is revoked it will spill over into the streets and end in tears.

          This is why the UK is a laughing stock around the world, not because of Brexit but because the UK preaches about democracy and the democratic process around the world but makes a mockery of it in our own Parliament.
          No one will ever take UK politicians seriously again.

    • NickC
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Garland, We voted Leave in 2016 in a legal, national, binary Referendum – authorised by the UK Parliament, which promised to honour either result. We’re still waiting for the “institutions of our democracy” – Parliament – to implement it. Hence why we do not trust your Remain Parliament. Or your EU empire.

      • Ken Graham
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        In 2016 Leave promised we would get a great deal, they need us more than we need them. So where is it? Aint leaving til we get it

        • Oggy
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          EU law states we cannot get a trade deal with the EU until after we have left. Have you learnt nothing in the last 3 years.

        • NickC
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          Ken Graham, No, the main VoteLeave leaflet (and I distributed thousands of them) made no mention of a “deal”, never mind “promising” one. It was made plain by Cameron and many others that no deal was a possible Leave outcome.

          Since he was the PM and the instigator of the Referendum he ought to know what he was talking about. I agreed with him. I (and many others) have been publicly advocating “no deal” (no WA, and no trade deal) since 2013.

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    So BJ is meting J-CJ with a view to agreeing a ‘deal’. Would that ‘were so simple.

    Either a deal has been agreed already, and this is J-CJ’s farewell diva swansong, appearing as the Emperor of the EU finally agreeing to the supplicant’s pathetic demands, OR
    BJ is going there, plays the clown, has a few drinkies, then comes home and says, ‘sorry chums, looks like we’ll be playing alone this term..’
    Either way, look for more embarrassment for the UK..

    • Andy
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      The deal is Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement with a few tweaks. That is Brexit. It will come back to Parliament and it will be voted through. The thing MPs were so appalled about it suffered some of the biggest ever defeats (plural) in Commons history is what you are gifting to our country and our children.

      Well done Brexiteers. Well done.

      • Pud
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Despite Sir John’s recent rule change regarding repeat postings, you have once again spouted your nonsense that the Withdrawal Agreement is Brexit. How is remaining under EU control leaving the EU? The WA may well have been the best that May and her fellow Remainers were willing to offer, but it ain’t Brexit.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Thank you, history will record that the UK began its rise back to an economic power with high employment and good pay the day we left the eurocracy. We will have done well.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


        1) This is a Brexit website! (You, and I and others lucky to comment here at all).
        2) You have to acknowledge, surely, there are good things about leaving the EU, in theory, at least – most importantly, surely it’s more ethical and practical for the British to run Britain, instead of, to a degree, a conglomerate of nations in Europe?

        Personally, I think what makes a nation great is its people, not its systems (important as these are). If its people are lousy at a particular time in history, then the country will be too.

        The real question isn’t being in or out of Europe (important as this is) but how do we make our people great (in best sense of the word). People who are family-minded, have work ethic, sense of public duty and sense of patriotism (as opposed to nationalism). If we had more of this, then we’d never have entered the EU in the first place, we’d have taxation at 25% maximum, we’d have high productivity, high quality exports, happy families, healthy individuals both mentally and physically, great arts scene, and a cheerful, happy nation overall.

        How do we do that? (Return to the values and spirit and faith of traditional Christianity – Catholic / Protestant – values that built our country, our party, and that have made our people happiest and most fulfilled in the past – and present. I think.).

        • Ed M
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Personally, I think Brexit can work / be a great success, but it too much be brought about by Christian / Christian-like values, including first building up the economy of the nation (by investing in infrastructure to build up the high tech industry, I think), then planning for leaving, and with a sense of honour (and an honour befitting the honour of our great people and history) – all of which would win people over heart and soul. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone would oppose Brexit then. It would be a resounding success. It is possible. And could be a great success (but ultimately I think, a great success through traditional Christianity – values, spirit, faith).

          Brexit could also fail / be a great failure. All depends on how individuals approach it.

          God bless England / The UK

          • Ed M
            Posted September 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            So the success or failure of Brexit and our country’s future in general, doesn’t ultimately depend on systems (including whether we’re in or out of the EU – important as this is and important as systems are of course) but on the people of the time – their values etc / what makes them tick .. Which is why I think we ultimately should be trying to bring the best out in people, including uniting the nation. Whoever can do that the best, and in the most honourable way, will have the longest-lasting legacy. I think.

            (And philosophical-like thinking like this is important. Edmund Burke did it all the time! And he was the main founder of British Conservatism at least from a philosophical / ideological POV).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Journalists worth their salt would point out that Jean-Claude Juncker is near the end of his term and about to be replaced by Ursula von der Leyen:

      And in any case he has never been and is not the EU’s Brexit negotiator, that was and apparently still is Michel Barnier, contrary to some earlier reports, but in any case it would be a breach of EU law for there to be any negotiations on either the Withdrawal Agreement or the future UK-EU relationship during this period of extended EU membership:

      So whatever Boris Johnson hopes to achieve by this meeting it would probably be both nugatory and illegal under EU and therefore also UK law.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    My views exactly and expressed perfectly.

  7. Mark B
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    They wish to assert Parliament above the government so that government can no longer function.

    Nail, head, hit ! This is not about BREXIT, Leave or Remain, this is about destroying the Conservative Party. I am afraid, Sir John that you underestimate your opponents. They do not seek to gain power through the usual channels but, take power and then hold on to it in perpetuity as is their nature. History supports this.

    The impasse is quite deliberate. Art.50 (3) clearly states that is we do not agree a Withdrawal Agreement then we Leave after 2 years. Well, it is more than that and parliament has rejected the WA 3 times already. So the only logical course is to Leave but parliament has legislated against this.

    The Judges will only debate the law and the points of it that are before them. They will not, and should not take into account the referendum result since no one except the LibDems has openly rejected it. We need to establish the law and the points first to see what can be done. It may, as our kind host suggests, be a political decision that they will not wish to deal with.

    Finally. The more I read elsewhere the more I am seeing the same general comments. We need a General Election and soon !

  8. Julie Williams
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Whilst Bercow has caused enormous damage to our constitution and I will only respect a political party with the will to reform, the last three conservative Prime Ministers cannot escape from the part they have played.
    Cameron ran away, May refused to accept the idea of No Deal and did the most suicidal electoral campaign in 2017 and Johnson should have clearly challenged the Speaker with regards to the recent Act: the public won’t be able to work out if he’s an idiot or a genius but they don’t trust him.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      BJ should have challenged the Speaker, whether there is some arcane mechanism to do this or not he should have made the point vociferously that Bercow is behaving unconstitutionally, against precedents and endangering the stability of government and the country.

      • Jack Leaver
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        A. Sedgwick, yes he should but he and all MPs that support Brexit appear to have meekly acquiesced to the Speaker’s ruling, I have not seen any concerted effort in the MSM by Brexit MPs to bring the Speaker’s bending of the accepted rules to the public and his blatant bias to the Remain cause. It appears to me that Remainers have free reign to push their agenda with little or no response from Brexiters. Leavers need to raise their game by relentlessly bringing to the public’s attention the massive traps of the WA/PD and how they will allow the EU to keep the UK in a legal straitjacket if it was brought back and agreed by Parliament. A clear example of this is the control of our national defence as Lt Gen Riley has detailed in his briefing on the defence threat from hidden EU deals, see: Why aren’t Brexit MPs screaming this from the roof tops? And why is the black hole in the EU’s debts being ignored and the fact that without a quick and clean Brexit, the UK is liable for to £394bn (

      • Fred H
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        A.Sedgwick …..and we should have expected nothing less.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Judges who are alas a subset of lawyers and who, as a group, are extremely heavily pro remain. Not the rule of law but the rule of unelected lawyers perhaps.

    Charles Moore today is sound as usual:- Here’s the truth about lying, Mr Cameron.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

      Unelected judges inventing, rewriting and stretching laws to mean just what they want them to mean. Often mainly in the interests of lawyers. They often do not even realise that is what they are doing.

      He also poses the sensible question should we give proper British passports to those who hold British National (Overseas) passports in Hong Kong? If they knew they could escape if necessary, they would be more confident in staying.

      • Bob
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Derry Irvine ruled, only those who have dedicated their career to championing equality/diversity can become a judge. This is why we have a left wing, globalist judiciary.

      • Leaver
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        If you question judges, you question the law.

        And without law and order, what’s left?

        • NickC
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Leaver, Remains have broken conventions and made questionable law. Remain actions have consequences that even many Remains do not like. We did warn you not to go down the path of cancelling our majority vote to Leave.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Judges are certainly better educated than most people. And we know the best predictor of how people voted in 2016 was education – the better educated you are, the more likely you voted remain. Doesn’t the fact that the less educated in our nation have chosen the future concern you? I think it should

      • dennisambler
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        “Judges are certainly better educated than most people.”

        What a silly comment, depends on the subject. Yes, they are better educated than me on the law, I would suggest not on some other subjects.

      • James1
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Len, you are confusing education with intelligence. I believe that many would claim that people of greater intelligence voted to Leave.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        So you are against the universal franchise.

        • Len Grinds
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          No, I am against a yes/no referendum on a very complex matter that almost no one fully understands, and most don’t understand at all

          • NickC
            Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Len Grinds, That is a false argument for two reasons:
            1. General elections are about complex matters which almost no one fully understands. So you’re against democracy?
            2. We had the Referendum already – your dislike doesn’t come into it.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            Basically you are against losing the referendum, like that other paragon of liberal democracy Jo Swinson.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        The ‘less educated’ do the jobs you would not have the courage to do or get out of bed for. You feel that those workers who keep our environment clean, dispose of your filth, cut your hair or serve you in shops and warehouses have no right to vote?

        That is the mindset of the typical Remoaner, who has a very high opinion of himself and has no tolerance of any opposing opinion.

        Here’s a thing – there are more ‘lowly educated’ than highly educated, so they get to say what happens to their country and taxes. Perhaps you would like to go back to giving votes only to Landowners and exclude the ‘highly educated’ without such. You were born 200 years too late,except that had you then tried to sell out the country to the French and Germans in those days, your ‘high education’ would not help you.

      • SecretPeople
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        But isn’t how you voted a measure of how EU membership directly affects your life? The people’s vote was not just an intellectual exercise, but a reflection of whether quality of life for each voter has been better or worse while the UK has been a member. The majority are at the sharp end.

      • agricola
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        What a load of arrogant cobblers.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        …………and your evidence with links to prove this are where?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Not at all it is more of a young old spit. Or rather wise people with more experience of life against young people with far less. Young people are more likely to have formal qualifications but qualifications do not make you brighter. My parents did not go to Uni and I went to Cambridge but I was not any brighter I suspect. When I went to uni only about 5% went now it is nearer to 50%. You are confusing cause and effect. Perhaps you need more life experience!

      • Trevor Butler
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Well my wife and I both hold degrees and work in skilled occupations as expats in a territory that has a basic requirement that no local can do what you do before they’ll grant you an employment visa – We did the research and voted leave….And suck it up because ‘under educated’ people like us are on the UK voters roll for several more years before we lose that right….

      • Fred H
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Grinds on …..If you are seriously saying the vote should only be given to those with the highest educational ‘passes’, you ignore those with high IQ, and those who are blessed with great common sense. Having mixed my working life with many dozens PhDs, I have to say I trust the man in the street just as much as those supposedly learned. The PhDs have assembled >50 pages of close typed detailed examination on the most pointless bizarre subjects, but the common man deals with everyday life and makes working judgements. Just as worthy!

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        50% now get a degree of some sort. Often the smarter young people don’t bother.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Better educated in the artificial, man made, convoluted, ambiguous and often idiotic complexities of the UK/EU/international legal systems. Not alas always educated in game theory, mathematics, physics, engineering or logic. Or indeed in the ways many ordinary people live or thing.

      • piglet
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        What a condescending – and dangerous – remark. Democracy is democracy. You are advocating Oligarchy. But I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised: the EU is more akin to an oligarchy than a democracy since all the power rests with the Commission. The Parliament is just window-dressing.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Len Grinds

        In what way are judges BETTER educated ? Educated in what exactly .

        I had this argument with the Neurosurgeon bloke who thinks that because he’s a brain surgeon then his opinions on say import/export, JIT manufacturing are better than people that actually do it for a living. In fact the good Doctor is totally ignorant on those topics which lay outside his field. I expect judges fall into the same category

        • graham1946
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          My brother had a similar discussion with his doctor who then told him that he was more educated and more highly qualified. My brother said ‘I know, I paid for your education’. End of discussion.

  10. David J
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    We live in interesting times. We have seen just how far the rules can be bent and re-made to suit the needs of opposing factions. Would we be surprised to see judges exercise their power in political situations? This is old news. Tomorrow we will get the next instalment from the Supreme Court? I am not expecting an impartial outcome. The legal teams must be thanking the naivety of the common people paying taxes.
    The scary undercurrent is that our PM seems to be getting closer to waving a piece of paper proclaiming “WA in our time!”. Oh dear

    • Oggy
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      I also fear that Boris is trying to foist version 2 of May’s appalling WA upon us.
      If he does the remainers will vote against it when it goes to the HoC for approval, because they don’t want any deal and want only to remain. If it did pass, amendments for a rigged second referendum would be added – the WA or remain. Remain most likely winning.

      I also think Boris by saying he would break the law rather than ask for an extension, is purposely winding the opposition parties up so that have a vote of no confidence in him.
      Either way HE won’t need to ask for an extension.

  11. Graham Wood
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Sir John. An excellent comment on the current usurpation of power by a claque
    of MPs who fail to understand the working of our Constitution.
    As you say, to hand over these political decisions to the courts is wrong.
    Indeed so, for as Dr. David Starkey rightly asserted recently in his interview with
    Brendan O’Neil of the Spiked blog, such a course is directly in conflict with clause 9
    of our (unrepealed) Bill of Rights revthe freedom of speech and debates in parliament
    Not to be questioned in any place outside of parliament

    • tim
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Graham Wood Excellent , However! Judges taking note, mmmm- in about 30 minutes we can repeal – clause 9
      of our (unrepealed) Bill of Rights revthe freedom of speech and debates in parliament
      Not to be questioned in any place outside of parliament. Another loop hole closed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      That’s the wrong issue. It would be his defiance of a law duly enacted by the Queen in Parliament, and his contempt for Her Majesty’s courts when ordered to comply with that law, which would send Her Prime Minister to prison, and rightly so. Of course he could avoid this by resigning his office so another person could take over and perform the legal duty which has been expressly imposed on the Prime Minister.

  12. Excalibur
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    A wonderful summation, Sir John, and a massively pertinent question to conclude.

  13. steadyeddie
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    A Prime Minister chosen by about 100,000 people out of a population of 60 million.

    • Shirley
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      So how many chose Juncker, or the other EU Presidents? He was the only one on the voting slip, after all, just as we always had a choice of a pro-EU party or another pro-EU party, until UKIP came along.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      So you agree – lets have a General election then.

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Remind me how the various Presidents of the EU are selected?

      • Andy
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Brexiteers really get their knickers in a twist over Europe’s ‘five presidents.’ All but one has a direct UK comparator. Most are chosen in similar – or more democratic – ways than we choose ours. The EU’s are called ‘president’ because the word translates more easily into dozens of languages than the titles we pick.

        EU : President of the European Parliament – picked by MEPs
        UK: Commons Speaker – picked MPs

        EU: President of the European Central Bank – selected by the elected EU Council, approved by elected MEPs
        UK: Governor of the Bank of England – selected by the unelected Chancellor, approved the unelected Queen

        EU: President of the European Council – selected by the elected EU Council
        UK: Cabinet Secretary – the last one was appointed by the PM with no process

        EU: President of the European Commission – selected by the elected EU Council, approved by elected MEPs
        UK: Prime Minister – selected by 100,000 old white men

        The one which is not comparable is the President of the Eurogroup. But then the UK does not use the Euro.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Andy, the UK has plenty of actual unelected presidents too:

          President of the Law Commission
          President of the Supreme Court
          President of the Queen’s Bench Division
          President of the Family Division
          President of the Board of Trade
          Lord President of the Council – oh yes – one Jacob Rees-Mogg, and more.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


            Why have you posted this again when it was totally debunked last time

            Your list not for the first time is factually wrong

            You just prove how ignorant you are by posting it again

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            Interesting, are you claiming that those positions do not exist, or that they do but that they were elected?

            Come on, logic dictates that it must be one of those.

            They are both wrong too, aren’t they?

            I think that the “proof” relates to you, then.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            You gave been explained how poor your argumen this post are before but as you have forgotten:_
            Three are learned judges that rule on law made by our elected Parliament
            One is a politician elected by a majority of voters in his constituency appointed by the elected government.
            The other two are heads of public bodies appointed by elected politicians after taking advice.
            None make laws as unelected EU appointees do.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink


            Get someone to read the reply to you this time as you aren’t capable of reading yourself it seems

            One of the positions you list DOES NOT EXIST

            Two Are held by ELECTED politicians

            Three report to a department headed by ELECTED politicians

            Do not post your silly, incorrect list again

        • NickC
          Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          Andy and Martin, or is that Andy/Martin? – We, the people, can, and do, elect (and un-elect) our UK government by having the democratic power (sovereignty) to elect a constituency MP. All MPs then making up a new Parliament. We cannot elect or remove the EU government which rules over us. The UK system is neither perfect, nor infallible. But, for the UK, our system is democratic and representative, where the EU system is not.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            There is no European Union “government” as such.

            It is a groundbreaking entity, never seen before on this planet.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            Wrong Martin,
            iThe EU system of government copies some of the German system mixed with some 1950s USSR system.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink


            Lol apart from every communist politburo and every middle eastern state with absolute monarchy rule

            In fact government by unelected apparatchiks is the oldest and most widespread form throughout history of any form of “government”.

            Congratulations the EU is reintroducing feudalism

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Which is why he called for a general election but was denied it by our *democratic* Parliament.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      but they are usually chosen by so-called like-minded 300 to 400 souls.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      S. E.

      The rules are the rules for electing their leader.

      Is it not any different when the unions have the control in the Labour Party election for leader process.

      It is what it is.

    • Woody
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      A lot more than chose the president of the eu empire to be.

    • David Taylor
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      This is a straw man argument , Mr Johnson has been chosen as leader of the Conservative Party , said party won the last election .
      Gordon Brown was chosen as leader of the Labour Party , so became the Prime Minister after Tony Blair in the last Labour Government .
      These two Prime Ministers are not the only ones , for example ,

      A J Balfour
      H Campbell-Bannerman
      H H Asquith
      David Lloyd George.
      Alec Douglas Home
      James Callaghan
      John Major .
      A mix from all the parties .

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      No , the PM was essentially chosen by Conservative MPs put in office by 13.5 million people , with over 51 % of MP’s supporting Boris in the leadership contest. So it would be fair to say Boris was elected to office by the votes of MPs who represent 7 million voters.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Ursula Von der Leyen, President Elect of the EU Commission, was on a ‘shortlist’ of one for the EU Parliament to endorse. A very short list indeed, and she did not even achieve the normally expected vote of 400 votes out of 733 votes cast – hardly a ringing endorsement yet she will wield enormous power over Europe.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        No, she is subservient to the Council of the twenty-eight leaders.

        The Commission only has a remit within the limited areas of law defined by the Lisbon Treaty too.

        And all of its proposals must be passed by both the Parliament and by the Council of Ministers.

        She is basically the head of the civil service, but she has a ceremonial and symbolic rôle too.

        • NickC
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          Martin, I see you haven’t read the Lisbon treaty either. “Limited” is not a description applicable to it. The EU Commission is not a “civil service” it is an executive.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            It keeps surprising me how lacking in knowledge pro EU fans are.
            Either they really know very little how the EU works and what its ambitions are, or they do know but are deliberately putting out false posts to try to hide it from us.

  14. Amanda
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    It is about time the Government acted to stop this and restore order. A number of options have been suggested by sensible people, the Government must use them on behalf of the people. Boris needs to step up to the task quickly or he’ll lose our faith and the polls will slide. At the moment only The Brexit Party is rallying the troops yet the Government has decided they are ‘unfit’ for public office !!!!

    • Turboterrier
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink


      ” not fit for public office”
      I think that the electorate just might have a large say in that albeit it will cost us a clear majority and leave us with a rainbow government with no direction or purpose. At that stage it will be too late to say “you were warned”

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Amanda, it beggars belief that they are saying Farage and his party are unfit for office when they are the only party campaigning to leave the EU in the fullest terms. No ifs, no buts. You know where you stand with Farage. This is a man that has devoted his life to leaving the EU, much like our host and should be rewarded for it. Instead we find undeserving MP’s and civil serpents getting rewarded for going against the democratic will of the people. It’s disgusting and the public are fed up with it all.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      What is the point of appealing to ‘the Government’?, it is formed from MPs who are widely believed by many to be corrupt, as are the political parties who control them, so Government is corrupt too.

      There can be no change until a major change takes place in how prospective MPs are chosen and they are genuinely chosen by popular ballot. At the moment we do not have democracy, we have an elite in politics as mostly everywhere else in authority who widely despise the people and know they can do exactly what they wish with no punishment at the ballot box or anywhere else.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Many judges would like to slap down the government as they love to expand their power.
    With the connivance of Brussels they will happily overturn the referendum result.

  16. Turboterrier
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    Sadly for this country we are cursed with a vast number of morally corrupt politicians withe no pride and principles in the position they hold all deciding that their own aspirations and dreams are superior to any legal decisions made by the electorate. This is why the country now finds itself in this insidious position of them using the legal system to cover up their inadequancies and incompetence. The LibDems are the pinnacle of prove how low our parliamentary system has fallen into disrepute. No chance of ever holding power and so grasping at anything to get it. How can people ever trust people like this with no respect for the electorate. It is a fact of life when you lose you have lost no arguments unless it seems you can involve judges.
    How you and your like minded colleagues must despair at these happenings.

    • BJC
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Don’t dismiss the LibDems, TT. They have a leader more determined than ever to disregard the referendum result and who has an immature black/white approach. The LibDem ideology will appeal to the young and with Mr Gyimah, a former universities minister in the fold, we already know their target.

  17. Dominic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Disturbing doesn’t even begin to describe what we are currently witnessing. Even more sinister is that elected politicians are working with unelected bureaucrats and State employees to undermine the British system of government

    I BLAME the Tories. Since 1997 you have sat idly by while Labour and indeed the EU have infected all aspects of the body politic and you have conspired with it by failing to oppose it

    Look at the BBC. They are at the core of what we are seeing. Their propaganda is there for all to see. Their alliances with Labour, Milne, the EU and other left of centre organisations are all displayed and yet I don’t believe I have seen nor heard one Tory MP call for the dismantling of the BBC.

    The tyranny of the minority is upon us and they all reside in the great ****hole that is London

  18. Shirley
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    We are getting closer and closer to Orwells Animal Farm. Remainers=good, Brexit bad.

    The fury within the electorate is palpable. Give us a GE and lets vote on whether the UK wants to be a democracy or a junta!

    • Peter
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Both sides are getting increasingly polarised and unable to listen to the other side’s viewpoints. This, to me, seems more important to me than which side is right and which side is wrong.

      • Peter
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Not me posting above.

  19. George Brooks
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    We are being held to ransom by a bunch of crooked ‘basket cases’.

  20. Mick
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I now think it’s about time the people took all remoaner Remainer mps to court for there lies to gain there parliamentary seats, nearly all MPs true goal is to stop Brexit so they need to be made accountable for their betrayal to the voter, I’m sure there is some rich people out there to start the proceedings then crowd fund the legal fees to fight the remoaners in court

    • Shirley
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      I’d be one of the first to contribute. It’s sickening that politicians can obtain votes and positions of power via fraud. What is to stop them doing it over and over again?

    • tim
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Mick -but the remoaner MP would just use your tax paid money for expensive lawyers to be infront of a remainer Judge to suck you the tax payer dry. Democracy is just make believe. Rich people will decide what is best for them.

  21. Dominic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The British judiciary is now an extension of the Labour-EU political state. Gramsci will be ‘looking down’ or should I say ‘looking up’ with a huge smile on his face.

    When high court judges are related to serving MPs then we can only assume that the entire system has been deliberately nobbled

    What is worrying is that we still have a Tory party without guts, fire in their bellies and an iron will commitment to their fundamental beliefs

    If at some stage we do achieve a Tory majority or Tory-BP coalition I would like to see the complete destruction of the Labour-EU political construct

  22. GilesB
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    ‘Remain and reform’ was never a viable strategy for our dealings with the EU given the ratchet of the acquis and the Commission’s obsessive pursuit of ever closer union. Leave is the only option.

    Similarly, ‘Rely on the system’ is not a viable strategy when the system was developed over time with a presumption that MPs would always be honourable. I am increasingly pessimistic that the current generation of politicians will make the necessary changes. If they don’t pitchforks (whatever the modern equivalent – a General Strike perhaps) will be the only way forward.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Remain have been confusing sovereignty of Parliament with the sovereignty of the Nation. Sovereignty of Nation is what we voted to restore.

    What they are now saying is this. “You voted to leave the EU to give us, the politicians, the power to do what’s best for you. We have decided to remain in the EU.”

    • Shirley
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      They are contradictory. Remaining in the EU does not satisfy sovereignty, or democracy.

  24. villaking
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Absolutely, Sir John. Let’s hope that Boris obeys the law and we can keep this matter out of the courts. Let’s hope too that if a deal is found there are none on the Conservative benches this time who vote against it because it’s not the kind of Leave they envisaged. I never imagined we would agree on this.

  25. Oggy
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    The opposition parties with the connivance of the appalling Bercow have usurped the executive for their own ends, the Government in Bercows mind is now the opposition. In addition they refuse to have a GE to continue the imposition of their will over the Government and the people. This is nothing less than a coup. How much more of this treachery can be tolerated ?

  26. Andy
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    They key point you make is that the referendum ‘did not qualify leave’.

    (Except of course it did because Vote Leave – the winning campaign – said what leave would look like).

    But let’s take your claim at face value that leave was not qualified.

    Who, other than MPs and Parliament, is there to qualify leave in that case?

    This is a 40+ year relationship – which covers all sorts of facets of our economy, our politics, our constitution, our diplomacy, our people’s lives. It was ludicrous to think that a one word answer could encompass all of that.

    Even now I hear plenty of Leavers say there are some aspects of EU membership – Erasmus for example – that they think we should still participate in. Who is supposed to decide that if not MPs?

    Against their better judgement most MPs voted to trigger Article 50. Against their better judgment many voted repeatedly for Mrs May’s Brexit plan – still the only thing to have been formally put to MPs by government. And for that they have faced abuse after abuse after abuse from ranting Brexit voters.

    Your party has behaved appallingly. Your faction of your party has turned into a weird cult. The damage you have all done to our politics will take generations to fix.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Andy you claim the Government’s official referendum was qualified by an organisation called ‘Vote Leave’? Oh dear you are getting desperate in your claims now.

    • NickC
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Andy, It is neither weird nor cultish to want independence. Most of the world’s nations want it too. Is everyone else out of step except you?

      You clearly struggle with the English language too – the term “qualify” used by JR means there were no conditions attached to Leave. Duh . . . He even went on to illustrate this by saying that there were no qualifications (conditions) under which “we could only leave if there was a deal the Establishment liked”.

  27. Fred H
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    What Judge would want to overrule the decision of the people in a referendum?

    Indeed, but a majority of MPs have been willing over and over again!

  28. Alison
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    What judge would want to over-rule the decision of the people in a referendum? Indeed. But fairly cleverly, the remainers are using the Scottish courts. I don’t think the petition on ‘nobile officium’ has been much reported south of the border. Ms Cherry et al again, using Scottish law, in another case before the Scottishc courts: they demand that if Boris Johnson refuses to sign and send the Benn Bill letter, then somebody else can do so per procurationem, with the same effect.
    The non-Scottish MPs involved in the first petition and appeal probably do not realize the extent to which these will be exploited for the SNP’s independence demands.

  29. Kevin
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    There are many fundamental ethical questions on which this country has no
    overall consensus. Neither side accepts that the other’s principles are
    morally sound. Democracy is the peaceful means we employ to resolve such
    matters. The side that loses a fair vote may continue to try to change opinion;
    yet some seem to think that the courts should impose their morality regardless.

  30. Everhopeful
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Bercow et al, covered in cobwebs, riffling through ancient manuscripts ( written for/by very different parliaments) looking for precedents to subvert Brexit.
    Effectively, since we are now a democracy with near universal suffrage, the people de facto must be sovereign.
    After all, those who are now establishing a dictatorship are TERRIFIED of a general election!

  31. Tabulazero
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Her Majesty the Queen is the Sovereign, not the people.

    Thank you

    • mancunius
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      You do realize, don’t you, that with a capital letter the word is entirely different in meaning? A ‘sovereign’ is also a gold coin. Which is as irrelevant to the subject of constitutional sovereignty as your misunderstanding.

      • hefner
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink


    • Dennis
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Tab. ‘Her Majesty the Queen is the Sovereign, not the people.’ Maybe, but is she ‘sovereign’?

  32. None of the Above
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    If a Government loses its majority by General or By-Election, then so be it.
    But if the Government loses its majority by desertion of its MPs (and those MPs do not submit their actions to the scrutiny of their Constituents) then that is a different matter altogether. The Parliament can no longer claim to represent the People.

    Add to this, Parliaments refusal to table a motion of no confidence in the Government and its rejection of a Government motion for a GE and you have a situation where the Electorate are being denied their Democratic Rights.

    Is that not Justiciable?

  33. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I would hope that the decision would not be taken by judges. I would hope that all a judge can signal is the legal process by which the decision can be taken.

    I would also hope that judges can signal if a further extension is legal within the scope of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Much debate about the meaning g of “this period” within the treaty Have we had the only legal extension? If so let us see the scramble for an election before 31 October.

  34. Richard1
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Good to see the Libdems, the first party to advocate an in-out referendum on the EU, now declare themselves against a ‘people’s vote’ and just go straight to revoke and stuff the referendum. Now we have court cases left and right on political issues what about a challenge under the trade descriptions act to compel the Libdems to remove the word ‘democrats’ from their name?

  35. Alec
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Let’s be honest here. Parliament has never carried out the wishes of the people unless it suits it. The Brexit issue has merely made the lies and corruption so obvious it cannot be ignored. Unless there is a right for the people to recall their MP at any time (possibly by a local petition requiring double the number of signatures of the MP’s majority) democracy is a sham. The Remainer rabble in Parliament have zero respect for the voters, zero respect for the country and in a just world would be removed from Westminster in handcuffs.

  36. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Afraid too many self serving politicians seeking power through any and every means is one part of the problem.
    The other is the party political manifesto’s where they say one thing and then try and implement another.

    The sooner right of recall comes in the better.

    If you leave one Party and want to join another, a bye election should be an automatic requirement.

    Our political system is failing fast.

    • Antoinetta III
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Why not just abolish political parties altogether? Everyone runs as an Independent. It would end the temptation to put the interests of the party ahead of the interests of the country.

      Antoinetta III

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Antoinette III

        Another thought.

        Perhaps we should have a separate election for a Prime Minister

  37. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Came through Calais port yesterday, a massive amount of infrastructure improvement going on, as well as huge Port expansion.
    Armed Police and Army inspecting every vehicle.

    In Dover absolutely nothing.
    M20 has 30 miles of roadworks with only two lanes open at reduced speed of 50 mph, not a sole working or any equipment at all on a 20 mile barrier stretch, been the same since September last year.

    What a contrast. !

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Alan, it makes you wonder who is held responsible for these M20 roadworks and cones with no workers on those sections for months on end? Is it the Conservative Transport Minister Grant Shapps?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Which shows how diligently the French are implementing the Le Touquet Agreement.

      It may not always be so, and who would blame them for one moment?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


        The French were certainly diligent at the weekend ( the 44th in arrow) Armoured cars, water cannon, tear gas and clubbing people. Height of civilisation I would have thought

        Oh and the Le Touquet Agreement has been implemented since 2004 and has no baring on what Alan said , you clearly dont know what the LTA is even

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


          Actually got handed one of their leaflets last week when in the South of France, its headlines stated that this was the 44th week of protest.

          Clearly the BBC do not think it worth reporting as it would spoil the present narrative on their view of the EU.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Alan….Indicative of the French (and EU)need to continue exporting to UK, whilst here in UK we see little concern in the other direction.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink


      The M20 is a remain stitch up . The miles of barriers have been there for months . It called Operation Block and its there as an emergency to cope with no deal Brexit . The fact that all the way through 30 years of Operation Stack they never bothered with this tells you why its there , its a con . The rest of the blockage is installation of new junction 10A and smart motorway . Its a fiasco

  38. Ian Murray
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    I completely agree with you

  39. Gareth Warren
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    When I was in court as a juror I was told the judge sat in place of the queen, and that his powers were therefore those of the queen.

    If this is true for all judges then it makes their current involvements absurd. The prorogation was both a legal act and agreed by the queen, why should she change her mind?

    Parliament does not rule, it contests and argues with the government who advises the queen how to rule. As such the queen already has an instrument to advise her how to rule, parliament, why should she need another?

    I watch as remainers are happy to trash even the rule of law, a bad government could use what they have already done to take us to a dark place.

  40. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Reported in the Telegraph today:- BRITAIN could remain yoked to the EU until the end of 2022, the Brexit Secretary has admitted, in the latest sign that Boris Johnson could be ready to accept compromises to get a deal.

    No thanks. Just leave then negotiate. 2022 is just absurd.

  41. Yorkie
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    In short, aside from all your genuine explanations and all the whining Remainer explanations put together, it is now in the minds of electors by default that the only way of absolutely ensuring individual MPs do NOT do something is if God takes him.
    Ensuring individual MPs WILL do something is faith in God
    Yet, belief in God is not as strong as some MPs believe and should pray for…

    • Ed
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      The case can be made that God used France’s enemies, the English, to punish and teach a lesson to the French during Henry v and Agincourt for the various sins of the French leaders at the time. But fortunes reversed in the short (and long) term under Joan of Arc, thanks to her faith, honesty, humility, and Christian patriotism.

      • Yorkie
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Christian patriotism? I’ll need to sleep on that one.

  42. Chris
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Nobody explains it better than Paddy Ashdown in this interview about why the Referendum result has to be respected. Just brilliant. Worth listening to whole of clip.
    (NB interview on night of Referendum before results).

    “Whether its 1% or 20%, I will forgive no one who doesn’t accept the sovereign voice of the British People once it has spoken! Either you believe in democracy or you don’t!” As said by the greatest leader of the Lib Dems Paddy Ashdown (@joswinson)’

    • Andy
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Your issue is very simple.

      The British people spoke – they want to leave the EU. That is fine. You can do that.

      The problem is that the British people have not been asked what comes next. And, whether you have figured it out or not, there does have to be a next.

      ‘Just leave’ is not an end state. What is the end state? The same sort of relationship with the EU that’s Norway has? Or the same sort of relationship Canada has? Or the ‘no deal’ which is the same sort of relationship North Korea has.

      You do not have any specific mandate from the British people for any of these sorts of relationship – or for anything else for that matter.

      And what you will find is that the further we get from Brexit the more the lack of that specific public mandate for ‘what next’ begins to hurt you.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        You forget that the EU refuses to open talks on the issues you mention until after we have left.
        So what is the point of asking the people what kind of deal they like when the EU has offered no deal yet or has not agreed any deal with the UK?

      • NickC
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Andy, You seem transfixed with “what comes next” like a Soviet planner who has lost his next 10 year plan. What comes next is independence. What we do as an independent nation is up to future sovereign electorates to choose. We must not “plan” for that.

  43. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    University students live it up on payday loans reported today in research by Money Supermarket. If these people are so daft they they cannot work out interest rates are on these rip-off loans they clearly should never have been going to university. At least 50% should not be receiving these soft, taxpayer funded loans either, they should get a job and do some day release or night school.

    Start them off with some compound interest calculations and financial common sense.

  44. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Also reported “Eco-anxiety makes children turn to therapy, experts claim”. I am not at all surprised given all the alarmist drivel they get endlessly from the BBC, the Guardian and indeed from government. Even brighter ones seem to fall for it. The followers of the St Greta/BBC/Libdim religion have fallen for this exaggerated alarmist tosh hook line and sinker.

    I wonder how many attempted suicides, mental illnesses and the likes they are actually causing?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Media in general have a lot to answer for, and much of it quite serious stuff. All this childish tantrum talk of crashing out, going over the cliff, food shortages, drugs no longer available, 50 mile lorry queues, drowning in form filling, exports stopping…..they should be ashamed. It may make headlines most laugh at, but for some people already in a poor mental state it is very upsetting and dangerous for their wellbeing.

  45. Ian!
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Your comment ‘anti government alliance in the Commons’ shouldn’t that read ‘the anti democracy and anti The People alliance’

  46. sm
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I strongly believe the UK electorate has a right to know who is financing the appeals to the Scottish, Irish and UK/Wales High Courts. If the people who are involved so truly believe what they are doing is ‘right’ and ‘democratic’, they should feel no shame in identifying themselves.

    I would like to see members of the ERG starting to demand names via all sections of the media.

    • Chris
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Who funded the 50,000 EU flags that one lady apparently rustled up to hand to as many people as possible at the Last Night of the Proms? That is not pocket money and the whole thing was apparently carefully planned.

  47. formula57
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The remoaners, manipulated by the quislings, have gone a long way to corrode civil society in this country and it is to be hoped that the judges do not give a boost to that process.

    What sort of country do these people suppose we will end up with if Brexit is thwarted?

  48. whichway
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    We are told Sovereignty resides with the Monarch- the people get to vote on the parliament makeup and in turn the parliament throws up a government with a PM who in turn can advise the Monarch. The Judges and Lords stand at the sideline to judge and advise parliament the PM and government. So then the only problem is- who is minding ‘out of control’ and ‘unelected, but not yet appointed by any of the above- Dominic Cummings- prince of chaos- I fear sovereignty has been turned on its head.

  49. whichway
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Cummings- we have no idea from whence he came or what his official role is in all of this- not exactly democracy at work?

  50. EarleyRiser
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Goodness what a confused piece. I guess it serves your purposes to mix Parliamentary sovereignty with the actions of the Government. Of course the judges are not deciding the leave date, they are deciding whether the government improperly stymied Parliamentary scrutiny of it’s actions. I thought that restoring true Parliamentary sovereignty free from the EU laws and courts was a key reason for leaving the EU. Be careful what you wish for I guess.

    The relevant principle was laid down by Dicey in the nineteenth century; “Parliament has the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.”

    Reply I am not talking about the prorogation case!

    • Marvin
      Posted September 24, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Dicey’s application continued up until the UK became a member of the EU. After this it required some modification since on occasions EU Law conflicted with UK Law bearing in mind The Human Rights Act in addition. This means that previous to the EU, UK law was applied strictly – after, it became a three way focus of contention.

  51. BOF
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir John, for setting the situation out so clearly and concisely. I have, ever since the W/A first showed its ugly face, been saying that we are in the situation where Parliament is clearly against the people and will do anything to overturn the result of the Referendum but most wish to do so by devious means and present us with a Brexit in name only solution. Now the Libdems have openly adopted a policy of revoking Art 50, which, although illiberal and anti democratic, is at least honest.

    Our Parliament legislates to delay or even stop Brexit but refuses to grant an election which is deeply anti democratic and a clear sign that it has gone rogue, with a speaker more than willing to facilitate.

    In answer to your final question Sir John, I believe that a politically motivated judge would be willing to make such an overruling.

  52. Jack Falstaff
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    So refreshing to hear an MP say that the PEOPLE are sovereign instead of just saying that parliament is sovereign without pointing out that it is only so because it is there to serve the people and their wishes.
    The recent hijacking of parliament by less respectable, Remainer MPs has seen several of that particular species continually stating that parliament is sovereign to make a case for basically doing what the hell they want and riding roughshod over the electorate.

  53. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Off topic, in this article today:

    David Trimble writes that the Irish backstop breaches the Belfast Agreement.

    I find it difficult to come to a view on that aspect, but what puzzles me is that the new UK government under Boris Johnson still does not point out to the EU that the integrity of its Single Market only requires that goods which are actually entering that market conform to EU rules. For example it is simply none of the EU’s business that the dreaded “chlorinated chicken” circulates freely within the US, it is only when there is a risk that some may enter the EU Single Market that the EU has any legitimate interest. Likewise when the UK has become a “third country” like the US it will be none of the EU’s business whether or not we allow “chlorinated chicken” to be legally produced or imported and bought and sold within our own territory, their only concern need be that none of it spills over the border into their territory. And the UK Parliament could easily pass a law to control what can be exported to the EU, and most especially what can be included in that 0.1% of UK GDP which is driven across the land border from Northern Ireland into the Republic, so why is this possibility still being ignored?

    • acorn
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Denis, 0.1% of UK GDP is a nonsense number quoted by BoJo. 33% of Northern Ireland’s goods exports (as part of the UK) went to the Republic in 2016. The Republic is Northern Ireland’s single largest export destination, worth more than its sales to the rest of the EU27.

      Northern Ireland as part of the UK, means its sales to the rest of the UK don’t count as exports. The same as Hampshire’s exports to Dorset don’t and are never quoted as a percentage of UK GDP. Northern Ireland should stay part of the EU to get rid of the back-stop border problem.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        The usual “acorn” made-up rubbish from start to finish …

        I have NEVER heard Boris Johnson, or any other Tory politician, not even MPs in the ERG, including even our host, despite the fact that he has published many of my comments on it, nor indeed any politician in any other party, quote that number.

        If only they would, if only politicians who command a wider audience than me would point out just how tiny this molehill on the Irish border actually is, instead of leaving it to a private citizen to:

        a) Do the calculation, see for example one of my earliest comments on this, from December 9 2017:

        “On page 9 in this House of Commons Library report … in 2016 Northern Ireland goods exports to Ireland were worth £2.4 billion, which would correspond to 0.1% of UK GDP.”

        b) Point out just how stupid it would be to keep the whole of the UK economy under EU control for the sake of that 0.1%:

        “Are we going to allow every business in the UK to remain bound by EU law because of the Irish government’s absurd, extreme and intransigent refusal to contemplate any kind of controls over imports of goods corresponding to 0.1% of the UK’s GDP? That would be literally a hundred times sillier than what we have at present.”

        As for the importance of those exports to the Northern Ireland economy, from February 21 2018:

        “The Legatum Institute paper contained two surprising (to me) sets of trade statistics: first, turnover in Northern Ireland, with only 5 per cent going to the Republic of Ireland (and 3 per cent to the rest of the EU) … ”

        And that is the 5% of the Northern Ireland economy, 0.1% of UK GDP, which is being used to try to keep 100% of the UK economy subject to all EU laws.”

        Of course you would want to keep Northern Ireland in the EU.

        • acorn
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          See: just another example of how leavers get conned by apples and pears data.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            What, you mean:

            “In 2015 (the latest year we have GDP data for), Northern Ireland’s goods exports to the Republic amounted to 6% of its GDP.”

            5% or 6% of Northern Ireland GDP, it really makes little difference; what is clear is that some people are vastly exaggerating the importance to the Northern Ireland economy of the goods driven across the land border into the Republic; if anybody is trying to con anybody it is people those like you who refuse to accept the statistical evidence even when it is put on a plate for you.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            Well said Denis.
            It is really good to have your analysis of thev facts and figures on here to rebuff the few remain posters dodgy claims.

  54. Dominic
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Oh, what’s that I see over the horizon? It’s a betrayal of British democracy, the subjugation of the British constitution and the abolition of British sovereignty perpetrated by a Tory PM. More sinister is the destruction of trust between the electorate and a political class determined to assert their dominance and control over how we act, how we speak and how we perceive

    We now need Farage and the BP more than ever to prevent Johnson’s shameless political act

  55. agricola
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    As you point out we have a perfectly workable system of governance which is acceptable under normal circumstances. These are not normal circumstances. The people have spoken, but a rogue number of MPs are intent on ignoring the decision of the people in addition to ignoring their own party manifestos. They are an irresponsible collection of political hooligans trying to take advantage of the government’s vulnerable position. Their methods are questionable if not despicable.

    If Boris can achieve our departure by the 31st October I for one will offer him undying support and the electorate will heave a great sigh of relief. Even after this point he is still encumbered with a rag bag of a Parliament to which the solution is a general election. The dissenters must be removed from the Conservative candidate list and it be left to the constituency parties to choose real conservative prospective MPs who have made clear their support for leave. An informal pact with the Brexit party to leave the field clear for them in Labour seats in the North makes sense as does Brexit not opposing committed Conservative leavers. That way we get a Leave parliament geared to making GB Ltd work, and the threat of a Corbyn Marxist coalition SNP government pushed firmly into the background. The unreal woolly Lib/Dems and Greens can take their chances.

    • Marvin
      Posted September 24, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      We can only hope! Although a general election now makes me very nervous. The dissenters in Parliament were elected in by the people whom they now oppose. Another election would result in more MP’s being elected on their given promises – what if they too were to become turncoats? What protection do we have against such an outcome?

  56. Leaver
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you miss a very important point.

    The purpose of a judge is to interpret the law.

    ‘Overturning the will of the people’ has nothing to do with this. Indeed, your statement sounds perilously close to questioning the independence of the judiciary.

    Personally I think to question the independence of the judiciary is to question the law itself – and therefore very dangerous ground. Or perhaps I have misunderstood.

    Reply Judges should not interpret political law. Parliament and elections need to do that

    • Fred H
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Why would it be wrong to question the independence of the judiciary?
      Very useful whenever you need a massive delay in findings, or cover-up!

  57. ian
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    WA agreement has become a new treaty before the future agreement has been agreed, surely you have to have a whole agreement before a new treaty with the EU is signed.
    Why signs a new treaty first before knowing what the whole agreement is going to be, this is just another fraud is being committed on the people of the UK by its government and parliament, for the EU.

    BJ is also against the people by allowing a new treaty to be signed instead of an agreement as set out in the WA and then the future agreement, then the signing of a new treaty.

    The government and parliament want the people hands tried before a GE takes place.

  58. Lakanal
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    If the Legislature (including the Speaker) acts in defiance of constitutional conventions, the Government should exceptionally advise the Queen not to assent to the unconstitutional Bill. The Legislature would then be thrown back to its proper remedy, which is to dismiss the Government.

  59. Ian
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Spot on

  60. David Maples
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Neither judges nor backbenchers can realistically supplant government, simply because civil servants take orders only from ministers, and ministers are appointed by the PM, who is the custodian of the royal prerogative. All the nonsense about commissioners being appointed by parliament to ask Brussels for an extension, or for judges, or Uncle Tom Cobley, or whoever, is fanciful and ridiculous. The cabinet secretary will not lift a finger without direct instruction from the PM.

  61. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Jo Swinson’s Brexit referendum U-turn, for future reference …

  62. ian
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I see in the news that the C whip of the TORY party has told BJ there are only 8 Eurosceptic against him signing a new treaty with the EU.

    It is funny how BJ now wants the WA signed now which by the way has morphed into a new treaty with the EU tiring the hands of the voters before parliament calls for a GE.

    Another fraud is to be frustrated on the voters of this country, nothing is agreed to everything is agreed, was the slogan of the con party.

    The signing of a treaty should come after all the fact are known and that means the new relationship as well needs to be agreed before the signing of any new treaty with the EU.

    The chicken before the egg.

  63. Anna K.
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Reply to Mr Grinds: Don’t assume that older people without higher education are either stupid or ignorant. When I went to university many years ago only 2% of the population did so. Many of my contemporaries, some much cleverer than I, developed worthwhile careers by learning ‘on the job’ or starting their own businesses, contributing to their communities and living useful and productive lives.

    Since the expansion of the universities, we have swathes of ‘graduates’ in subjects such as ‘golf course management’; employers complain constantly that many are incapable of critical or original thinking and, indeed, are semi-literate. Others are virtually unemployable except in poorly-paid jobs. I have heard ridiculous pro-EU arguments from these people such as, ‘We wouldn’t have an NHS without the EU.’

    If we accept your argument that only the views of educated people should be allowed to determine major issues such as EU membership, then surely you must also wish to see the franchise in general limited to the ‘better educated’?

    • Marvin
      Posted September 24, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      I also was fortunate to receive high education – but the very first lesson we were given was ‘that no matter how much you achieve in University, you must never believe that you are superior to other people, since even the disadvantaged, living on the streets has knowledge and learning that you do not have’

      As opposed to better educated people leading the country – it should be more adept people leading the country. People, with just a mere few from the Public Sector – having been able to prove by action or examination that they are wise, strong and honest leaders. ( I suppose in which case, the country would have no leaders)

  64. mancunius
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    “The people are sovereign. ”
    Exactly so: and parliament certainly has no right to hand over its sovereignty to a foreign power without the explicit consent of the people. This they did not even give in the 1975 referendum on the EEC (misled as they were by Heath and then Wilson). They were not allowed any voice at all in 1993 when the EEC was abolished and replaced by the EU – despite the clear warning of the Commission that the people must give their consent. (Major claimed Parliament would do that for them, then rammed the measure through Parliament purely on party lines.)

    As Bogdanor has pointed out, there were no referendums in the 17c on specific constitutional issues: the people had to trust MPs to represent their interests and those of the nation. We do have referendums now, should have had one in 1993, and had one in 2016 that was conclusive. Parliament has voted to fully accept its result. So get on with it, ladies and gentlement, stop prevaricating and attempting to stymie an election that the more two-faced MPs know will end their careers.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Do you really think the 17c Members of Parliament (landed gentry would be a more accurate description) needed to concern themselves with the interests of the constituents, and the nation?

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        If they didn’t, it would not be a reasonable excuse for a modern day Parliament to follow suit.

  65. Iain Gill
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Its not just the government and judges, the people are cheesed off with the entire bloated public sector, which spends so much and delivers so little, and preaches hypocritically so much. So many parts of the public service supply simply rotten service, from the financial ombudsman service rolling dice to make decisions, to the job centres staffed by people who themselves would never be able to get a job in the private sector, to the housing associations trapping people in areas with no jobs, to the NHS lying about its stats, the whole public sector edifice, including the BBC, are in very wobbly territory, the anger is obvious.

  66. tim
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    unable to find anything even on the internet positive about a NO DEAL BREXIT, there is a total media block.

    Parliament’s legal intention for the UK to leave the EU is not conditional upon a withdrawal agreement
    no deal allows the UK government to scrap thousands of import tariffs on non-EU imports, which will reduce prices; to save £39billion; to regain control of fishing and to increase the level of democracy in the country.”

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a media block. There is nothing positive.

      Who do you think controls the internet as a whole, to block every such site in every country?

      There is no one, is there?

      Are you incapable of even the simplest deduction?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Martin iC

        Well it depends on HOW you search the internet really doesn’t it, and the search engines like Google certainly CAN control what you see, theres a whole industry around it.

        However I can find plenty of positive pieces about the benefits of leaving the EU , I suspect what Tim means is that no main media outlet has bothered to research the positive aspects of which there are many .

        Oh and when you are rude to people ( a remainer trait) then end up with egg on your face it makes you look, well … foolish

  67. forthurst
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “The sovereign people delegate their sovereignty to an elected government and Parliament to exercise for them between elections. The power of the people is restored at election time when we can change as many MPs as displease. Between elections the force of public opinion seeks to keep the MPs and government honest , loyal to its promises and keen to serve the public.”

    This whole paragraph is not fulfilled either in theory or in practice. We do not vote for governments, we vote for MPs. We cannot remove MPs that displease if their party is not prepared to replace them and they are in one of a majority of safe seats. The force of public opinion manifestly has no effect on the scoundrels in either House, one collection of which are not even pretend accountable: to whit, a million citizen march to prevent Bliar from sacrificing 300 Englishmen for the benefit of a ME country or the fact that the overwhelming majority of English people do not wish to be multi-culturised or the disgraceful antics of the last three years in which the majority of MPs have either actively tried to block Brexit or foist BRINO on us as though we are are thick as some …….. Geography graduate.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      forthurst (not fortnite!)…Absolutely agree with your views(protests really).
      As the years go by I reinforce the opinion that the Establishment has it way with the electorate, like the Lord of the Manor did in years gone by. Will the senior Conservative members examine the recent chaos, learn and unseat lots of the comfortable ‘old boys’ sitting easy in the posh boys/blue rinse constituencies? Not a chance! Even with the prospect of a hammering in the next GE, where is the indication that ‘a change is gonna come’ as the old blues song goes. Graduate of the cynics university.

  68. Derek Henry
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    David Starkey explains all of this in a podcast with Brendan O’Neill it is excellent.

    Well worth a listen

    • Mark B
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      I agree.

  69. BillM
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    “What Judge would want to overrule the decision of the people in a referendum”?
    A Scottish one? A Remainer in the Lords? Too many I fear.
    None of these people are accountable to the public and there lies the problem that allows then to do their own thing.
    Just who are these judges accountable to? Anyone? Only themselves? That can never be right for OUR democracy.

  70. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Mob rule in Luxembourg. Not that Boris Johnson would have had anything worthwhile to say, but the local authorities should have at least done him the courtesy of making sure he could say it without being drowned out by a baying mob of hysterical eurofederalists.

  71. Paul Steele
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh I wish this would be true. It is obviously the case that this is a political matter.
    However, most if not all the judiciary are not likely to be Leave supporters.
    So who knows. ?
    I worry some “legal” way might be found to deny Brexit.

  72. Harka
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Would love to be a fly on the wall listening to what’s going on now between Boris and Cummings- what next?

  73. Iain Gill
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    John, if ministers and Dom are actually listening to you, please tell them they have to do a deal with Nigel.

    Really little else matters but that, a Brexit party/Conservative pact would wipe out all comers at election time.

  74. Trod
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    I agree, it is not the job of the Judiciary to take the place of the Legislature in lawmaking but to apply the law.

    One feels, however, that trying to have a conversation with those trying to thwart Brexit is like ‘banging one’s head against a brick wall’ because we are now speaking two different languages, and the irony you mention is being lost in translation.

  75. ukretired123
    Posted September 16, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, This week is the 75 years anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.
    The Dutch still regard the brave Glider Pilots and Paras of Allied Forces with deep respect 75 years on. So much they heard of the replica Horsa glider built between 2001-2014 at RAF Shawbury stored at RAF Cosford with no home in the UK to fund it and offered one near Arnhem.
    It is now being put on display in Holland which is a great shame for the UK but great for them. Our politicians ignore our history and the sacrifices given for our freedom.
    The Dutch “Wings of Freedom” organisation took the project on knowing its significance to ordinary citizens. Interesting that they regard Freedom as of paramount importance….

  76. Shirley
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    I wonder why Jo Swinson claims that a manifesto promise to revoke A50 gives her a mandate to Remain, but the 2017 Labour & Tory manifestos to Leave the EU are not equally valid, and which were supported by over 80% of voters?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Lib dems, neither liberal nor democratic nor honest. Just foolish pushers of the anti-democratic EU, climate alarmism and big government. Rather like the propaganda outfit the BBC in fact.

      Why is Vince Cable so in favour of a Honk Kong takeover of the London Stock exchange I wonder?

  77. Lifelogic
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Indeed they surely know this. We must avoid Magic Granpa OR STEPTOW and a Venezuelan economy at all costs.

  78. Sue Baron
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the Paddy Ashdown video today about the absolute need to honour the votes of a majority made me very sad indeed. We have allowed unworthy individuals to penetrate what should be our most precious institution – Parliament. No matter what we vote on as a nation losers need to go back to good old fashioned values of honouring the outcome. Parliament equally needs to change because to be in opposition does not mean that you destroy the will of the people for the mandate the Government has been elected to carry out. Both sides of the house have a collective responsibility to manage as business has to daily….in an responsible manner to secure the value of that business for its shareholders. If we behaved as the MP’s do they would simply have no role.

    • Paul Cohen
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink


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    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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