Parliament cannot govern

Our constitutional settlement combines the executive with the legislature. Government Ministers have to be Members of Parliament or peers in the Lords. The government executive puts proposals for laws, budgets and treaties to Parliament, and needs to secure a majority for each measure.

The role of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Parliament is to expose government proposals to criticism, seeking to amend and improve them or seeking to vote them down if they are thought to be unacceptable. A wise Opposition also puts forward a constructive alternative, to appear as a government in waiting, a group of politicians capable of governing after an election.

Oppositions usually accept the government’s right to govern, and its right  to secure its major Manifesto proposals approved by the electorate in the last election. Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition does not usually do deals with opponents of our nation, does not undermine the government in an international organisation and does not bad mouth the UK when representing us abroad.

It is particularly important that governments have the power to negotiate treaties and international agreements. It is not something Parliament can do. There are too many different views. Foreign countries would be reluctant to accept an envoy from Parliament other than the government, concerned about the extent to which they could claim to speak for the UK.

It is always the case that Parliament has the ultimate power to vote down a Treaty or international agreement it dislikes. This does not usually arise because the government  normally has a majority it can rely on, or has taken sufficient  soundings to know it speaks for a majority.

It is particularly important when negotiating with the EU that Parliament does not undermine the government’s negotiation. Ruling out leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement does undermine the government position, and is particularly bizarre given Parliament’s justified dislike of the Withdrawal Agreement as drafted.

When opposition forces in Parliament say they do not trust the government to conduct the negotiation they do our country harm. Parliament has the power to remove the government if it really does lack confidence in it to negotiate well. It is a clear case of put up or shut up – either sack the government or allow it to conduct the negotiation as it wishes, with Parliament judging the results.

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  1. Tabulazero
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    That’s pretty rich coming from an ERG member who has sabotaged any attempt at negotiation by rejecting all form of withdrawal agreement.

    The pot calling the kettle

    • Edward2
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by MPs on all sides of the House.
      Three times by big majorities.

    • rose
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Sir John has never sabotaged anything. He is a gentleman who plays by the rules and is arguing for others to do the same.

      Bercow and the Parliamentary Junta he has enabled, have sabotaged our direct democracy and our parliamentary democracy. Now they are attacking our historic constitution.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, you seem not to have noticed that the Parliament that reject May’s WA was and still is majority Remainer MPs. You also fail to notice that Boris and ERG leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and other ERG members were in the minority voting for her WA.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink


      My advice to you as with all Remainers ( the “intelligent ones” apparently) is CHECK before posting saves you looking stupid

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, the WA Treaty is NOT leaving the EU.

      It is a treaty designed by a remainer PM from which there is no lawful exit EVER according to the AG and where we will be accepting EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign, immigration etc) but without representation or veto.

      A treaty where Mr. Macron described the UK position thus :

      “The UK will be trapped in a customs union after Brexit unless Downing Street offers European fishermen full access to British waters during the coming trade negotiations.”

      And which was described by Mr. Verhofstadt’s staff as reducing the UK to EU colony status.

      This is why so many pro EU Conservative MPs could vote for it, pretending they were respecting the referendum result.

  2. Mark B
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This all assumes that we live in a proper functioning democracy with a proper functioning parliament and government. But as events have so kindly proved, we do not !

    Currently we cannot negotiate our own treaties as parliament has ceded that competence to the EU. Parliament has never, not once, rejected an EU treaty. Even the referendum is due to be overturned by parliament. We will be made to vote again as the background noise over a second referendum and the Withdrawal Agreement (deal) is slowly being turned up. PM Alexander Johnson will comeback at the last minute from Brussels clutching a piece of paper declaring; “BREXIT in our time !” and victory. He will offer the Opposition a referendum on the WA or Remain as the two choices we have. You can see it !

    When this stitch-up happens and we are made to vote again, I shall not vote. Why would I want to void my own decision, a decision I might add I have not changed and has yet to be implemented. The WA is not Leaving the EU.

    • Otto
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Mark B – ‘ Parliament has never, not once, rejected an EU treaty.’ Not quite.

      Now I find out from the Cameron interview that he did veto a EU treaty but guess what, they just ignored it and passed the treaty anyway!! (about 8 mins in)

      This gives the lie that we could veto the entry of Turkey into the EU. Perhaps we couldn’t.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. The WA is not remotely leaving the EU even without the backstop. Let us hope Boris does not try to push it through with a fig leave or two on it.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree Mark but if the remoaners force us to vote again, please do. You are not alone in wondering what is the point but that is what these democracy deniers want. You can be sure all the remoaners will vote again.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Quite right Mark.

      “The WA pig with lipstick is still a Pig!”

      The Brexit Party lie in wait for the so-called Conservative’s looming “disastrous” miscalculation.

  3. Shirley
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    I agree with everything you say. Parliament is deliberately acting in a very undemocratic way, by seizing control but keeping the government in place and not allowing a GE. The people voted to Leave, and Parliament does not have a mandate to govern, or to delay and stymie Brexit.

    Democracy must prevail, else we are being governed by a political junta.

    • Long
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      No tax without representation. If Brexit is denied, I’ll stop paying my council tax & TV licence for a start.

  4. Newmania
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    There is no mandate for no deal .Leave politicians said the pr0cess would be quick and easy because we held most of the cards. There is no support for any real life outcome in the Commons. The government has no position to undermine
    Its policy is planned failure, a forced election where it hopes to use its ally Corbyn to gain a majority and no deal , to extinguish the Brexit Party and keep their money and power.
    That is all any of them care about , the system is rotten the maggots rule it .

    • libertarian
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink


      How many times do you need to be told the same verifiable fact

      Article 50 was triggered in an overwhelming vote by parliament . There is NO PROVISION to must have a deal , it says you leave at the end of the period.

      You clearly dont know what you voted for

    • Al
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Newmania, you say there is “no mandate for no deal”, but you also say “Its policy is planned failure, a forced election where it hopes to use its ally Corbyn to gain a majority and no deal”

      If the government gains a majority at a general election on a manifesto that contains no deal, that gives no deal (actually WTO terms) a very strong mandate.

  5. David J
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    In “normal” times trust and confidence covers covers a whole range of the aspects of our lives- and is underpinned by law. These are not normal times, and many of our politicians are taking a “no holes barred” approach to achieving what feel (often individually) is right.

    We have trusted in a referendum result but our confidence in our politicians to deliver is lost- and probably for a generation. We are preparing for an awful WA with the back removed and being stuck in every other sense within the United States of Europe

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    The majority of MPs favour Brussels and until we can make them redundant with a n election nothing will change.

  7. Prigger
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    “Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition does not usually do deals with opponents of our nation, does not undermine the government in an international organisation and does not bad mouth the UK when representing us abroad.”

    It was said on TV yesterday Ms Flint MP (Labour) and Mr Kinnock MP (Labour)held parallel talks with Mr Barnier for one, when our negotiators were there speaking with the EU.

    This is about as unacceptable as it gets.
    Should our negotiators go and negotiate with the AfD and Le Pen’s outfit? After all, they highly likely to control the EU soon.

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      “This is about as unacceptable as it gets.”

      I agree completely and wonder how this will be treated when we leave the EU and become a “third country”.

  8. Peter Wood
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    You describe a parliamentary system of government with which few of us would disagree. Parliament works under the principles you outline if its inhabitants follow the generally accepted norms. Our MP’s appear not to wish to be restrained by such norms. The willingness. from Prime Ministers on down to ordinary MP’s, to perpetrate blatant deceptions has left us bewildered. Second, the general competence and character of many MP’s appear to be so deficient that the normal function of the HoC must be in question. Put simply, to the wider public, you (Sir John and a few exceptions) are a rabble not to be trusted and are not fit for purpose.
    Is it any wonder our PM’s and ministers are treated like foolish children and disrespected in foreign capitals, when they see how poorly behaved you are?
    The incompetence of first Mr Cameron, and then Mrs May in their attempts to negotiate with the EU showed that our recent national leaders lacked any real world experience.

  9. Nig l
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Let us hope the Noble Lords agree with you and the majority who voted to leave and now the many more who want it just got over with.

    Worryingly I have no confidence in the outcome. They will all belong to the same ‘clubs’ that the rest of the anti democratic elite belong to.

    ‘Who will rid us of these turbulent people’?

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Talking of turbulent people,where’s Lifelogic today?

      Not taking a day off from (multiple) posting to show solidarity with the Climate Strike,surely?!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Travelling and now in Cambridge & a lovely day it is too. I did see lots of young children bunking off school going to the demo in London on the tube. A shame the teachers do not explain some real science, chaotic systems and energy engineering to them instead. But then the teachers usually have no clue either.

        The less people understand science the more they believe in all the BBC’s climate alarmist exaggerations and the renewable non solutions they and the green loons push. Even places like Imperial College seems to have been filled with deluded greens loons. Follow the money as they say. It is a scam against the tax and bill payers in the main.

        A new religion so get them young and fill their heads with C*** before they can think for themselves, rather like nearly all religions. Who would fly or rely on anything planned or designed by St. Greta Thunberg or Emma (first class) Thompson or The Prince of Private Jets!

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 20, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          I suppose our forefathers said the same about Joan of Arc.

        • Mitchel
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          See how much we miss you ,LL!

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


          Perhaps the majority of STEM-educated fellows would agree with you; alas they seem to be an increasing rarity these days and almost non-existent in Government?

          No wonder this country is in such a political pickle.

          Thank some celestial body the United Kingdom is actually managed by subject matter experts, beyond the incompetence of Politicians? Imagine the country run solely on Political grounds?….

          …Communism tried it and look at the disaster that was created?

  10. Dom
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    The Marxist leader of Marxist Labour is an avowed Eurosceptic and yet is campaigning to keep the UK inside the EU

    The non-Tory that leads the Tory party is a Europhile and voted for May’s WA.

    And the leader of the LDs wants to abolish and decimate the votes of 17.50m British people who voted to Leave

    We are represented by con-artists, rogues and liars who’d you step over in the street and then rush home to jump in the shower to cleanse yourself

    We will be betrayed both at home and abroad.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Much truth in that though not “decimate” just destroy. Very dangerous indeed. Not that the Libdim will get into power.

  11. Len Grinds
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    This would only make sense if the UK threatening to leave the EU without a deal was a useful bargaining chip. It isn’t. It’s the equivalent of saying “give us what we want or we’ll blow our own foot off”. Threatening to self-harm impresses no one, it just draws attention to how neurotic you are. You no-dealers make the UK look like a laughing stock internationally

    • Edward2
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      The EU leaders have said they do not want a no deal either.
      Did you not hear their speeches Les?

    • libertarian
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Len Grinds

      You might you know actually want to keep up with the news. saves you looking like a fool. Go and read what Junker had to say yesterday, then go and read what Mrs Merkel had to say, then go and read what the German Chamber of Commerce had to say, then get back to us and tell us how threatening no deal didn’t work

      • acorn
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
        • liberatrian
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink


          No, THEY need to go and read their own press release because its at odds with what the people mentioned in my post said publicly

          Oh and German industry isn’t the EU and thats what this post is about . I shouldn’t have to keep correcting you about everything

      • Laura Jones
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Well, they all said keep the backstop, or something else that is equally able to keep tge Irish border invisible, and if the Brits wont accept that, then no deal is unavoidable, and entirely the Brits fault for having no solution other than the backstop. So what is your point sonny?

        • libertarian
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Laura Jones

          Sonny? Lol
          There are lots of solutions to keeping the Irish border invisible. However for the dummies like you

          1) The UK WILL NOT close our border or have a hard border as per the CTA agreement of 1923

          2) Therefore it is the EU that insist on a hard border

          3) As in other parts of the world there are tried and tested technology solutions to having an open border whilst maintaining customs control of exports

          4) HMRC customs , Irish Customs and a Danish Expert in border control have ALL stated that a hard border is NOT necessary and have provided perfectly workable solutions

          This is ENTIRELY due to the EU being political and using Ireland in an attempt to keep us under control

  12. Garland
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    This is satire, right? You think we should trust the government to negotiate? A government led by Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings? You want us to trust these people? You are really a funny man

    • libertarian
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink


      Well it seems to be working

  13. eeyore
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    We are in a bit of a power vacuum and Parliament has made its grab. Looks like the judiciary, in the form of the absurd Supreme Court, also hopes for a slice.

    They all think they have the government prisoner, the fools. They are government’s prisoner. So long as ND is on the table government is safe in office, if not comfortable in power. No doubt Boris, storm-crow that he is, can live with that.

  14. villaking
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    But in the unique example of the current time, Parliament did not have the power to stop the government forcing a no-deal Brexit other than via the new Act you dislike. So even though Parliament had clearly expressed its wish to avoid no-deal, even a vote of no confidence and / or use of the FTPA to force a general election might not have stopped the government from doing something Parliament was expressly against. What else could parliament have done?

  15. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Seems like it is time for a written constitution, with clear rules.

    Afraid we do not have enough Honourable members any more to run any other type of system.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      About 80 of the 650 at best I estimate.

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

    Jeremy Corbyn’s promise to negotiate a good leave deal, then put the deal or Remain to people in a second referendum is utterly strange. EU negotiators will understand that ‘no deal’ will not be offered, and therefore will be under no pressure to negotiate in good faith. A consequence could therefore be continuing negotiations with no end date – what an awful prospect, but no doubt one that many Remainers would relish.

    This continuing disbarring of ‘no deal’ is becoming wearisome and stupid in the extreme.

    • Paul
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Even worse if they don’t want us to leave they can just insist on a deal so bad that remain is the much better option

    • Len Sawes
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      The only people who disbarred no deal were every single Leave campaigner in 2016. As Boris said, were not planning for no deal because we will get a great deal. So where is it?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        It takes two sides to do a deal.
        The EU don’t want us to have a deal.
        They never have.

  17. Stephen J
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Sir John, of all the criticism that can be directed towards Ex-PM Cameron, there can be none so deserving as the opprobrium he (and clegg) get fro that disaster that is commonly known as the “Fixed Term Parliaments Act”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Though they also voted for the insane Climate Change Act As did all but a tiny handful of MPs. Plus the damaging wars.

  18. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The Government’s right to govern is not unconditional. It must be law-abiding, constitutional, and reasonable, according to convention.

    It is not only the job of opposition MPs to oppose governments which do not demonstrably conform to the above requirements, but also the duty of all MPs.

    It is heartening to see that a good number on the Government side have had the decency and integrity to do that.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      You really mean..I want everyone to vote like me otherwise I am going to shout and say it’s not fair.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        No, I meant what I said.

        Did you imagine that your teachers all meant something else too?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          You want Parliament to refuse to carry out the Brexit they voted for in Article 50 which states we leave two years after it became law and to refuse to carry out the manifesto commitments the two main parties these rebellious MPs stood on in the last election.
          And refuse to honour the referendum promise of a “once in a generation decision”, ” this is your decision, we will implement what you decide”.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            No, I want the UK to leave the European Union and to stop poisoning and hindering it, irrespective of the damage that might do to the UK now, though I’d prefer that to be minimised.

            Your psychic powers are completely imaginary.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink


            By poisoning it and hindering it You mean paying for it and providing jobs for EU workers right ?

        • liberatrian
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          My teachers were mostly dim people with no worldly experience having never left school. Its why most of them like you are socialists .

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            Of course they were.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink


            Martin has posted a factually correct post at last

  19. Ian!
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Thank you for the insight as to what should be considered government in properly instituted democracy

    Recent events have shown the House of Commons is in contempt of its own position.

    This parliament is giving the impression that it is the Speaker that is the head of government and is the instigator of laws and rules. But, remains un-accountable to any one. This is helped by those that are clearly taking instruction from the EU i.e. agents of the EU. The contradiction here is even EU law is clear that once article 50 is underway the EU will not interfere with the process of the departing Country. Another one of their rules/laws they have chosen to break.

    Yet another illustration how it is Parliament that is fighting the will of its people.

  20. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Those organising the opposition in Parliament don’t want to leave the EU at all. They should just go ahead and revoke A50. Then have an election and see what the voters think.

  21. Pete S
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    If Parl has a problem with the way it operates then it is for Parl to change itself and rectify what is needed. If the Supreme court rule against the gov, they will have opened a door that will be forever regretted. For instance, the speaker could be challenged over the surrender bill. It did not have a money resolution or Queens’s consent.

    • John Brown
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink


      If the Supreme Court decides it can adjudicate on the workings of Parliament and the motives of the PM, then I would expect the government to take the Speaker to court for “creative Parliamentary procedures” and partiality with a view to cancelling the bill to block leaving the EU with “no deal” (on WTO terms).

  22. Simeon
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson had the perfect opportunity to get around this Remainer Parliament; he could have proposed a general election upon becoming PM. This proposal would have been accepted. He could have had what he says he now wants. Both you and we that are opposed to the WA should be grateful BJ lacked foresight. There is now still a chance the WA might be avoided. Had BJ secured a decent majority, the WA would be a fait accompli.

    Your complaints about Parliament are illegitimate. What is happening is constitutionally unusual, but it is not inconsistent with our constitution. Perhaps the constitution needs serious reform. However, a general election, as and when it arrives – and of course it will, though probably after a referendum – is the mechanism by which the people create a Parliament that delivers on the result of the referendum. In 2017, the people put their trust in the Conservative and Labour parties to deliver Brexit. They were, collectively, foolishly gullible. One can hope the people have learned from their mistake.

    A final point; this nonsense in the courts is pathetic. But let’s be clear that it was BJ’s foolish words and track record of deceit that provoked the absurd response from Remainers. Prorogation was unnecesary and futile; it has achieved nothing, and failed to prevent Parliament from legislating against BJ. It, and the court action that has followed, is a ridiculous sideshow that is irrelevant to Brexit. If BJ could be trusted, there would have been a GE before mid-October, the court nonsense would have been avoided, and we all (with the exception of the lawyers – funny that…) would be better off. Sir John, you would do well to start taking responsibility for the absurd, disgraceful situation that your party’s leadership has created, albeit with help from Remainers.

    I apologise that this post has multiple paras. I also apologise for my lack of references, and for the repetition of certain points previously made. I therefore accept that my post may not be silenced, but might well be muffled.

  23. Julie Williams
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John:
    What you say is pretty obvious and I’m pretty sure that any opposition MP would normally agree with one eye on what would happen once they get into power.
    We aren’t in normal times, however, and we must now wait until next week to see whether the judicial system is going to drag itself into disreputable fit it’s own “fifteen minutes” of Brexit fame.
    Next stop: back at court for the Benn Bill: which should also never have happened.
    Perhaps we should scrap Parliament/Government and reduce the number of MPs to, say, a hundred.

  24. Andy
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I am no fan of Mr Corbyn and Labour in its current state.

    But it is worth reminding everyone that Brexit has failed so far not because of anything Labour has done.

    You say it is the job of government to negotiate treaties and international agreements. And that’s what Mrs May’s government did with Brexit.

    When she first brought the withdrawal agreement (which I will henceforth call Brexit because it is Brexit) to the House, Mrs May had a majority. It was a slim majority which relied on the £1bn bung the Tories had slipped the DUP but it was a majority nonetheless.

    Brexit failed not because Labour voted against it. It is, after all, the job of oppositions to oppose.

    Brexit failed because extremists on the Conservative benches and in the DUP did not vote with their own government. If they had not rebelled we would have left by now.

    Many of these Tories who refused to back reality Brexit have whined about the EU for years. They now whine about reality Brexit because it does not match their fantasies. Whatever they are. I am sure, after we leave, they will find something else to whine about instead.

    Mrs May’s deal is basically Brexit. It’s about as good as it gets. For these extremists it is now time to put up or shut up. Do you want Brexit or not? And if you do want it remember you will own the blame.

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, but it needs constantly repeating.

      The WA Treaty is NOT leaving the EU.

      It is a treaty designed by a remainer PM from which there is no lawful exit EVER according to the AG and where we will be accepting EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign, immigration etc) but without representation or veto.

      But don’t take my word for it, see what EU leaders have said :

      Mr. Macron described the UK position thus :

      “The UK will be trapped in a customs union after Brexit unless Downing Street offers European fishermen full access to British waters during the coming trade negotiations.”

      Mr. Verhofstadt’s staff described the UK’s position as reducing the UK to EU colony status.

    • Lana Gray
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Simple and correct! Mrs May delivered Brexit. A dreadful Brexit but all Brexits are dreadful since the UK has no bargaining power. Then a cabal of far right backbenchers – ReesMogg, Francois, Patel, Redwood – blocked Brexit. So, two choices exist in the real world. A dreadful Brexit or no Brexit

      Reply We did not block Brexit. The public rejected Mrs Mays Agreement. Only 9 % voted for it in the Euro elections. All Opposition parties and the DUP opposed it

  25. Kevin
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    To accept the Withdrawal Agreement itself, of course, demeans our nation
    on the international stage. If Mr. Johnson succeeds where Mrs. May failed, it
    means that Britain will have met her Waterloo on the playing fields of Eton.

  26. ferdinand
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    How many people in life follow the correct route ? We have been inured to unreasonable actions.

  27. J Bush
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Our rogue parliament want power and control, but not the responsibility.

    That is the only reason I can see for not having a ‘vote of no confidence’, refusing an election and trying to force the government to hand a letter, which they have written, to give to a foreign power. A letter which allows the foreign power to decide and dictate the terms and costs of what it wants.

    The time will come when they will pay for their treachery.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Our rogue parliament want power and control, but not the responsibility.

      Exactly ! They also want to be paid for it too !

      As to you other point. What if the Parliament of 1939 ordered the PM to hand the German’s a letter telling them that we will not fight them anymore and that they can dictate any terms they wanted ? Because we are faced with a foe that seeks our subjugation and no less.

  28. dennisambler
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    More reasons we should be gone from Politico this morning

    “MEET THE EU’S FIRST PUBLIC PROSECUTOR: Romanian candidate Laura Codruța Kövesi is set to become the first-ever chief of what’s to become the next step in deeper EU integration. In a change of position, EU ambassadors voted on Thursday to back Kövesi — a win for Parliament, in particular the EPP and Renew Europe groups, which have strongly backed Kövesi.”

    • sm
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I ask myself why a ‘simple trading bloc’ needs a Public Prosecutor.

      I also ask myself why a ‘simple trading bloc’ needs five Presidents, a Foreign Minister, a Parliament and a National Anthem.

      But answers come there none.

      • Harmon
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Sm because it’s not a simple trading bloc it is a very complicated and complex bloc held together by rules. You don’t want to be there, fine, you probably prefer WTO rules? your choice but whereever you go you’ll have rules

        • L Jones
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

          ”…. held together by rules….” But they’re not just rules relating to trade, are they?

          Why not answer sm’s questions as to why a ‘trading bloc’ needs all these accessories and unelected personnel? Is it hubris?

          As sm says, we don’t expect an answer from any remainer, including you, I daresay.

        • Lana Gray
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

          Correct, sm wait til you meet a WTO dispute panel, then you will REALLY find out about unaccountable bureaucrats

          • sm
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            Lana, my years of experience dealing with NHS management and its brilliant technique of stonewalling coupled with astounding incompetence would no doubt assist me.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Wrong Lana, there is disputes process but it is a process resolved by negotiation.
            There are no treaty laws as with the EU.

        • sm
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

          But, Harmon, Ms M Howard repeatedly tells us on this site that the EU is but a ‘simple trading bloc’ and therefore our fears of Imperial ambition on the part of Brussels are unfounded!

        • liberatrian
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink


          As a “rules” based organisation its kind of strange that they often dont follow their own rules dont you think?

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink


            There are laws and rules in place to ensure all 28 countries are treated equally, and therefore they must all abide by them…..unless, of course, you are Luxembourg, Ireland, Germany, France or Spain….funny that?

            I guess some countries are more equal then others?

  29. MPC
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    This line of argument assumes a government has a working majority which the current one does not. Even if there were a GE tomorrow with the Conservatives in favour of EU exit, wouldn’t many voters say, to coin one of your favourite phrases ‘we don’t believe you’ in terms of really getting us out of the EU, and would stay at home resulting in a hung parliament or Remain coalition.

    • tim
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      MPC– Brexit Party landslide, Labour buried under it.

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The EU works in secret hollowing out the constitution of countries which it does not like. Sgnr Berlusconi, Alex Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis all testify to this.
    Now us.

  31. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019, commonly referred to as the Cooper–Letwin Bill, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that makes provisions for extensions to the period defined under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union related to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

    It seeks an extension to the period in which the United Kingdom is to continue to negotiate the terms of its withdrawal from the European Union (“Brexit”) under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union.
    The instant the extension was granted its Terms and Conditions negated the purpose of the Act to continue negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement.
    This extension excludes any re-opening of the Withdrawal Agreement. Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act by the United Kingdom should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement, and must not hamper its implementation. Such an extension cannot be used to start negotiations on the future relationship.
    Parliament has failed to abide by the condition that it uses the time to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement as written.
    Michel Barnier has reaffirmed on 18th September 2019 that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened. The UK and EU “should not pretend to be negotiating” a Brexit deal if there are no new proposals on the table, the EU’s chief negotiator has said. He cast doubt on a UK proposal to give Northern Ireland a future veto over EU rules, saying all parts of the UK would have to sign up to the terms of exit.
    The European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, commonly known as the Benn Bill or Benn Act, with the Kinnock amendment, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which requires the Prime Minister to seek an extension to the Brexit withdrawal date. Prior to the bill, this was 31 October 2019—should he not be able to agree a withdrawal by 19 October 2019

    This request if granted will have the same restrictions placed upon it, therefore it has no purpose.

    The Commons and the Lords did not act in good faith in passing these two Bills. Parliament brought no fresh proposals forward on solving the backstop and shown no intention of ratifying the WA, set in the T & C’s of the extension.

    The proposers of the Bills aim was and is to delay leaving the EU by default as Article 50 has expired. They want to kick the can down the road

    The Prime Minister cannot be held in contempt for not making a request which has no purpose under the T & C’s.

    In enacting

    • sm
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Forgive the frivolity, but perhaps the EU Withdrawal Act 2019 should be termed the Bill&Benn Act – I would welcome suggestions for the casting of Little Weed.

      Or perhaps reference to The Woodentops is more appropriate?

  32. David Maples
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    ‘….our constitutional system is based on parliamentary government, not government by Parliament'(Bill Cash/letter to DT yesterday).

    As I have said before, our system is one of Queen in Parliament, not Parliament in Queen. The Commons and Lords validate laws, budgets and treaties drawn up and negotiated by ministers and their civil servants. They do not have the knowledge, experience or wherewithal to govern the country; this not their legal or legitimate responsibility. It therefore follows that the Benn bill is fundamentally unconstitutional and ultra vires.

  33. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    How can the judiciary be truly independent when senior members are in the HoL?

  34. Bob
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition does not usually do deals with opponents of our nation, does not undermine the government in an international organisation and does not bad mouth the UK when representing us abroad.”

    You’re right about that Sir John, and it’s not only the opposition that have been betraying us, some Tory’s have also been tripping over to Brussels to conspire with the other side, no doubt encouraging them to be intransigent in order to undermine negotiations.

  35. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Too many MPs will go to any lengths to overturn the result of the 2016 EU referendum. Membership of the EU and being subservient to it is like a form of religion to many of them. In the process they have undermined not just our democracy but are also in the process of dismantling our constitution. In this task they have been shamefully aided and abetted, and at times led, by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

  36. Arnie
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I think the reason for the undisguised contempt on so many levels for our country, it’s constitution, laws, culture and so much more by these ‘Remainers ‘ is because as far as they are concerned the UK will imminently become part of the Western region of the EU empire and therefore all of the above will cease to have any meaning. As with so many things EU I suspect that the ‘inconvenient’ truths about a country able to govern itself will be written out of the history books and the children will be taught a very distorted history.

    My children are already experiencing this; in their school history books the Second World War is referred to as the ‘Second European War’, not as genuine history tells us that there was a European theater of war. The other theaters of the war are literally single sides of a page. There is so much else that I could add to this brainwashing of small minds into the ‘European way’. Suffice to say that we parents spend a lot of our time correcting the children’s teachings, luckily we have a decent collection of history books and are able to show our children evidence that what they are being taught is incorrect.

    Interesting times to say the least!

  37. glen cullen
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    But it was May’s government that keep the door open to ‘remain in the EU’ and indirectly supported the opposition’s role against leave. And with a small majority in the house, this situation of appeasement has continued. Even now the current PM is weak only producing the TM deal without backstop with no majority….the remain door is still open and the opposition parties know it

  38. Ian Pennell
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    SIR, it would appear that Lady Hale of Richmond, the President of the Supreme Court is the most powerful woman in the land. She is the ultimate backstop and if she (and her fellow lordships) rule that Boris Johnson lied to the Queen, that Parliament was Prorogued unlawfully and that the Speaker John Bercow should have the power to re-open Parliament that will leave Boris Johnson’s negotiating strategy in tatters!

    If ever there was a case for moving over to the US system with a written and legally codified Constitution – spelling out firm legal boundaries of who can do what – and of what they cannot do the time is now. Like in the USA, the time has come for our eleven Supreme Court judges to be elected. If Judges have more power than the Prime Minister and the Government – and they are not elected by the general public that is not a proper democracy!

    Could you not persuade Boris Johnson to ask the Queen – through her Privy Council – to threaten the Supreme Court judges with “The Sack”? That is should they rule in ways that a) Undermine the governments negotiating position and b) Lead to the frustration of government in carrying out the wishes of the Voters as clearly expressed in that 2016 Referendum?

    If Supreme Court Judges are not the Ultimate Power in Britain it is time to do something – and fast to put the said- Judges in their place!

    Ian Pennell

    • Lemur
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      The government wants to leave with no deal. No one voted for that in 2016

      Reply 17.4m voted Leave whilst being told that meant leaving the Customs Union and single market as well as the wider EU. We certainly did not vote for a deal to keep us in!

      • tim
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Lemur- we voted to leave the customs union completely OR Remain in the customs union completely.
        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.” FREEDOM

    • rose
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Who would write this constitution? The sort of people who gave us the FTPA and the sort people who tell us what a brilliant argument Lord Pannick and Mr O’Neill have made.

      • rose
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        It is not our unwritten constitution which is at fault. It is a thing of beauty and simplicity, tested by time. What we are suffering from is a surfeit of untrained minds let loose on it.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink


          How can something ‘unwritten’ be a thing of beauty and simplicity? You can make it mean anything you like. That’s what must have driven our forefathers to invent writing

          Otherwise you end up like the sayings of Nostradamus – anybody can interpret them as they like.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink


          I agree with Margaret.

          Sadly, many of our issues today are because we have an unwritten Constitution…perhaps the question to ask is “why do we not have a written Constitution?”

          Lawyers, certainly profit from ambiguity and legal interpretation?

          • rose
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            We don’t have a written constitution because so far we haven’t suffered a revolution or been defeated in war. That is how constitutions come to be written.

            Perhaps if we capitulate to foreign rule after all, we may have our constitution written for us.

            A written constitution is a blank cheque for lawyers.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


            The Glorious Revolution could have been an opportunity, I suppose?

            “A written constitution is a blank cheque for lawyers.”……could not agree more!

      • tim
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        The USA constitution consists of 4 pages, very simple. Not like the WA , Thousands of pages, incredibly complicated, constructed by the EU. Impossible to understand, except by the EU lawyers who created it. Designed to make us slaves.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          If you find it impossible to understand, then how do you know what it is designed to do?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

            By recalling the sweet words told to us when we signed the equally dense previous treaties of Mastricht and Lisbon.
            Just a tidying up exercise we were told.

          • liberatrian
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink


            Because unlike some we aren’t gullible and naive. Its like the small print in an insurance contract. Its there to cover their backsides whilst being as obtuse as possible .

            Its designed to be impossible to understand , thats the point

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink


          “The USA constitution consists of 4 pages, very simple”

          What a spurious comparison. The national government of 18th century America as it was then was weak and its 13 states operated like independent countries.

          21st century Europe consists of 28 sophisticated individual democracies where a common framework has to be found.


          • tim
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            27 when we leave!
            sophisticated individual democracies? I think you will find Frau Merkel calls all the shots

    • Antoinetta III
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      One correction: In the US, the Supreme Court is not elected. They are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Senate, and their terms are for life.

      Think back a few months ago to the intense three-ring circus in the Senate we had here in the States when the minority party (the Democrats) attempted to block Trump’s appointment of Brett Kavanaugh.

      Antoinetta III

      • Ian Pennell
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        @ Antionetta III

        Thankyou for correcting my oversight on that matter: I do now remember President Donald Trump trying to get his man into the US Supreme Court and yes, he did succeed.

        All the same, it might be no bad thing if we had a system whereby Supreme Court Judges in the UK are elected: At present they are not directly accountable to the voters, yet they are much more powerful than the MPs that we do elect! Thats not exactly democratic.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          It was set up just how Blair designed it.
          He knew the eventual effect of it.

  39. Dan
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    And yet many members of our government, allegedly acting on their own, MP’s of the opposition and ex members of government have done exactly this in negotiations with the EU. Is there a solution to prevent this as I have not seen a single motion in Parliament or public argument against this. Many, many people have commented on it, suggesting it is stymying the government in their attempts to get a good deal, effectively stabbing the government in the back by providing alternative options in the event our government is removed or replaced and actually advising the EU on how to progress the negotiations to achieve a specific outcome. Is there a recourse to prevent or apply some sort of sanction against those? Every single one will say they were acting as private individuls with the interest of the nation at their heart. What do you propose?

  40. Kenneth
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I find it nauseating that some MPs are saying the PM is “unaccountable” while at the same time denying a general election.

  41. ukretired123
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Parliament has effectively written it’s own death warrant in ordinary citizens eyes as elected on Brexit 83% of MPs, talking about it for 3+ years and then failing to deliver.
    Ordinary folk want to simply leave and regard Parliament as too clever for its own good.
    Trust in politics is now rock bottom and everyone wants it sorted and quickly too!
    Anyone who gets in the way now will be toast at the next General election.

    • rose
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Not very clever if 500 of them voted to leave with or without a withdrawal agreement, set it in law, and now mislead us on the point.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      retired – or is it just ‘tired’? I know millions are tired of it all, bring on a GE and give the recruiters a challenge to place a couple of hundred ex-MPs.

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Yes people are tired of having to listen to EU.
      They are bored stiff with MPs.
      They are punch-drunk !
      Give us all a break, what we voted for, retire please or suffer the consequences and have the decency to admit the so-called Mother of All Parliaments is corrupt and unfit for democracy.
      Break-time is nearly 50yrs overdue.

  42. Bernard Gallivan
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    It is to be expected that opposition MPs and parties will do all they can to bad-mouth and bring down the government of the day, even a government that is intent on delivering the tested and agreed will of the people. It is quite grotesque when members of the governing party, from within the party, turn on their own elected ministers. If they are so strongly of the opinion that the government should disregard the will of the people they should present their views directly to the people who voted them into office, who then have the opportunity to help them change their minds or be deselected. Ex Tory big-wigs (or should that be big mouths) should definitely shut up.

  43. Chris
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    An interesting take on events by Richard North on his blog, basically highlighting the extreme ignorance of UK politicians about how the EU works, and how, despite all the snippets from government and Juncker about “progress”, no deal is almost an inevitability.
    Brexit: clutching at straws

    I sincerely hope no deal is an inevitability but I have been angered and very concerned about how Johnson apparently is resurrecting the WA, even though it is a vassal state treaty, and even though he had said it was dead when he was trying to win support in the leadership bid. My own view on him is that he is untrustworthy, not up to the job and that he will not honour Brexit. He is a huge disappointment and so are those members of the ERG who apparently are going to support Boris in his WA4.

    The effect for me is to be even more determined to vote for The Brexit Party. The Cons simply cannot be trusted, and will have tricked the electorate one too many times.

  44. agricola
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Parliament does not accept the right of government to govern, even when the rules of the referendum stated that government would implement the result of said referendum. Nor do Parliament accept that they were elected on Labour and Conservative manifestos that also declared that they would carry out the wishes of the electorate and leave the EU. None of the above was qualified by degrees of leaving or remaining, that all came when many in Parliament discovered that they did not wish to leave. How we might leave or the degree to which we might leave was purely an invention by those who did not wish us to leave. It was an excuse to explain their duplicity. The supreme court action is their dying gasp of duplicity.

    The attitude of Parliament and the connivance of some of them with the EU is directly responsible for all the difficulties that Boris has experienced in extracting us. These individuals are undoubtedly traitors to the interests of the UK and to democracy itself. They must not be surprised when they find themselves excluded from mainstream politics at the next GE. Draining the swamp was never a more appropriate term for what needs to happen.

  45. Mitchel
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Off topic but some news items re Iran in the past few days which may interest those who think our foreign policy should be hitched to the US.

    Forbes :”China’s giant $400bn Iran investment snubs Trump.”

    Brookings Institute:”Trump engaged in a stupid,unnecessary,dangerous bluff and Iran has called him on it.”

    From the Russian media:”Iran to join Eurasian Economic Union next month.””Russia and Iran switching to SWIFT-free banking transfers next week.”

    No wonder Trump has been so vague and evasive on Iran this week.History may record that this was the month when US power effectively collapsed.

    • rose
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      You forgot to point out that the Iranians attacked when Bolton retired.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        That has not been verified.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        The Saudis’ radar was facing their enemy, Iran, in a fixed 120 degree arc. That is why they did not spot the incoming missiles from Yemen.

    • Chris
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Far from it, Mitchel.

  46. Mactheknife
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Much as I detested the Labour governments of Blair and Broon, I had to accept that they were the elected government with a manifesto and had the right to govern accordingly. In EU treaty negotiations I thought their actions were wrong and against our national interest, but they were the government of the day.

    We have a situation where the opposition is not opposing at all, it merely a party of protest with no ideas or direction for the future. The electorate are not stupid and can see what’s going on. Corbyn knows we know and that’s why he won’t go for a GE as all the polls suggest a disaster for Labour.

    As part of my job I negotiate contracts and anyone knows the art of negotiation does not include putting your strategy out in public or giving away your ‘best hand’ before negotiation starts. But again the opposition see this as an opportunity to weaken our position and May fell into this trap…or maybe she was willing to fall ?

    The government should keep quiet on any potential deal and ignore the Corbynista’s efforts to derail negotiations. Even Junker is now saying a deal is possible before 31st. Progress indeed.

    • Andy
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Alas – you do not negotiate anything like Brexit.

      If you negotiating and those negotiations do not go well you simply walk away and the status quo resumes.

      Not so with Brexit. The status quo does not resume. You walk away and straight off a cliff.

      I have never minded Brexiteers hurting themselves. You voted for it – it’s your problem if it harms you. Trouble is it harms the rest of us too.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Ah the cliff cliché.
        Is that where every non EU independent nation is?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink


        But despite being asked multiple times, you cant provide and evidence or even a reason exactly why it is /would harm us. In what way ?

        • Len Sawes
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Tariffs on trade withe EU, vast non tariff barriers too (health checks, confirmity assessment etc), loss of all the EUs trade deals (korea, japan, canada etc, all refused to brexit britain). 3 years on, you dont even know what you voted for?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 12:31 am | Permalink

            Tariffs on trade for the EU too.
            We will collect more in tariffs than we pay out.
            No tariff barriers will be the same as exporting to non EU countries now.
            You remainers are obsessed with trade deals.
            Many nations have no trade deals with each other yet trade carries on.
            Only recently did Japan have trade deal with the EU.
            Did you see any shortages of Japanese products in the UK over the last 40 years?

      • ukretired123
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        The Remainer Cliff painted for Project Fear by the EU useful idiots but most folks see through your treachery and wish to paint their own future thanks very much for your usual nonsense Andie.

      • liberatrian
        Posted September 21, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink


        I notice you are still hiding without comment on my post about UK trade success . Heres an update from this week alone

        ▪️INEOS: New factory, 500 jobs
        ▪️Fairline Yachts: 180 new jobs
        ▪️BAC: £20m export win
        ▪️QinetiQ: £67m contract,100 jobs
        ▪️Norbord: £35m investment
        ▪️Airbus: Record apprentices
        ▪️Scottish Leather: New factory,100 jobs
        ▪️Exxon Mobil: £800m investment

        This cliff edge you keep frothing about, what is it exactly ?

        • tim
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          liberatrian- awsome!
          please post more of this! Do you mind if I cut and past to other websites?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 21, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            Feel free Tim

      • tim
        Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Andy – please see my previous post on this but the British/Brussels Brainwashing Corporation say, Clif edge, sunami, earth quake THE END of the WORLD,
        WTO will cost us £4,500,000,000 each year to EU But we already pay£18,200,000,000 each year to EU – a no brainer!

    • rose
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn isn’t deciding when we have an election. He is as much a prisoner of the Parliamentary Junta as the PM is.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Too many Blairites on either side.

  47. James1
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Somewhat alarming that Mr Juncker thinks a “deal” can be done by 31 October. If Boris (after all his Theresa style promises and assurances) implements a Brino Westminster fudge the disappointment and anger that ensues will be devastating to the Conservative Party

    • Chris
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      If Boris and Cummings do not realise this, James1, then they are both utter fools.

    • Len Sawes
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      A deal HAS been done. The Uk has a month to accept it

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        It’s not a deal
        The Withdrawal Agreement is a treaty and Parliament rejected it three times.

  48. G Wilson
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The backbenchers won’t sack the government, because they know that in the subsequent election, we will elect a government that will actually remove us from the EU.

    The pro-EU backbenchers are working to deny what they know to be the will of the people.

    • Andy
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Not according the pollsters. You might get a government which revokes Brexit entirely.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Well that isn’t correct Andy.
        Add Conservative and Brexit party together plus DUP and you get a really big majority.
        Lib Dems need to go from 16 to 316 MPs

      • libertarian
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink


        Just because the LibDums have overtaken Labour they are still way behind the Tories and Brexit Party in the polls

      • Mactheknife
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Your faith in your comrade leader is touching. Sadly every poll I’ve seen in recent weeks still puts the conservatives way ahead of Corbyn. If he can’t beat them at this point he has no hope at all. Perhaps he ought to move to Venezuela, he seems to like it there and might do better.

      • steve
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        ….and then the fun starts.

    • steve
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      G Wilson

      “The pro-EU backbenchers are working to deny what they know to be the will of the people.”

      It’s bizarre, since they must know they cannot perpetuate their stunts, at some point there will have to be a general election – no ducking, no diving, and no cry baby abstaining to avoid facing the music.

      I suspect their agenda is to piss about until they think they can find a way to revoke A50, and naively hope that once revoked we’ll all settle down and forget it ever happened.

      Trouble for them is – thanks to brexit we have become very astute as to where their loyalties rest. They will have to tread very carefully or they’ll find the next election is payback time. We might even decide to clear their swamp anyways, just for old time’s sake, regardless of leaving or remaining in the EU.

  49. Donna
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    But the Remainers have an over-riding objective which is to prevent Brexit. They can’t do that if they allow Boris to negotiate an alternative deal or take us out without one if the EU refuses to negotiate.

    And they believe they won’t be able to do it if they hold a Vote of No Confidence and a General Election because they strongly suspect (correctly in my view) that Boris would win a majority – and a landslide if he had the good sense to agree a non-aggression pact with Nigel.

    So they are aiming to continue with a stalemate; force yet another extension; pursue their Constitution-wrecking shenanigans in Parliament and Lawfare out of it and hope that the British people eventually give up and accept that we “can’t” leave.

    What this whole debacle has demonstrated is that OUR Parliament is no longer fit for purpose and our Constitution and governmental institutions need complete reform; starting with the role of the Speaker.

    • Andy
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I’m a remainer and I don’t want to prevent Brexit.

      I want no deal Brexit to happen. I want it to go (predictably wrong). I want to laugh at you all and then undo it.

      And then I want to wipe out the hard right and lock up the perpetrators of a crime against our country.

      • margaret
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        This comment Andy is nasty and a ‘told you so’ attitude. I never ever want my country to fail , I believe in it , so do many others who fight hard to enter our Country from the abroad’s. If you want to bring down the UK so much and detest our finest minds and craftsmen having a go to make us stand tall then why don’t you just leave and go amongst others who would like to see us sink.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Is that your little fantasy Andy?
        With you as judge, jury and jailer.
        Tells us a lot about you.
        Imprisoning anyone who dares to have different opinions to you.

      • Ed
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        No-one has committed a crime. People have strong views both ways – that’s all.

        The country needs to unify. History shows that a divided nation is weaker than when it is united. This is NOT rocket science. The same can be said for a company, a rugby team or an army.

        Let’s keep communication channels open and keep our respect and good will towards others.

        ‘This is England, not Spain’ as The Duke of Norfolk said to Sir Thomas More.

        • steve
          Posted September 20, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink


          Interesting comments, but why make peace and unity with those who betray the country ?

          The better option is to nullify, not welcome them.

          Remember these people lost a referendum and in doing so became the minority…..they need to shut their moaning gobs and accept it, otherwise if they succeed in overturning the majority will of the people they are not going to like the outcome.

          For starters the majority are getting angrier by the day at the remain side’s loud mouthing at every opportunity….and by the way I object to the BBC taking my money and giving these big mouth losers free platform every morning on the news.

          They won’t be satisfied until they’ve taken brexit to a sectarian level…..which is fine by me. Bring it I say.

          But unify with these losers ?……..never, not a cat in hell’s chance.

          Whinging whining semi-educated people most of whom probably don’t actually know what they’re demonstrating about, but they do so simply because we have a big bad evil tory government that promotes filthy disgusting enterprise and the equally abhorrent emphasis on working to make things work. To remoaners such values are comparable to the antichrist.

          They’re an accurate reflection of what Blair did to this country, a generation that has been shielded from hard graft at expense to those of us who do know what real hardship is, and have worked bloody hard to get out of it and make something of ourselves.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink


        Apart from the vitriol and bile, the essence of your post is as it should be and as leavers have behaved for last 40 years.

        By all means wait for us to leave and if it all goes wrong campaign to sign up again. The thing is there isn’t really anyone in the EU that believes it will go wrong. Or else they would have kicked us out, lets us fail then readmitted into the full Euro/Federalist farrago

      • Alan Joyce
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr. Redwood,

        Dear @Andy,

        The idea that former or current government ministers could be tried for the indirect consequences of policy on the citizens of the UK is such a laughable notion that no one, apart from you that is, would take seriously let alone commit it to writing.

        Perhaps you would tell us what judicial punishments you would hand out to the evil hard-right fascists who implemented the manifesto of a democratically elected government?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        What a kind, considerate soul you are. I wonder what your relatives think of you, Andy no-mates.

      • steve
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink


        “I want no deal Brexit to happen. I want it to go (predictably wrong)”

        Then you’re in for disappointment. Generally though I think you should be careful what you wish for.

      • Shirley
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Like the pre-referendum Project Fear? It was a work of fiction created to sway the vote, and you know it.

      • steve
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink


        “And then I want to wipe out the hard right”

        So how you gonna wipe them out tough guy ?

        They must be terrified 😀

      • Original Richard
        Posted September 20, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        “I want no deal Brexit to happen.”

        Unfortunately the EU and its supporters in the HoC do not agree with you.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        “Action ranks higher than contemplation” wrote Pope Innocent III (I think it was him)….launching the Inquisition.

    • Chris
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Donna.

    • steve
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink


      “Boris would win a majority – and a landslide if he had the good sense to agree a non-aggression pact with Nigel.”

      I agree with all you say Donna. Re the above – A pact with Nigel Farage would have been the ace to pull…..Given that Corbyn is scared of a general election you can imagine he and the rest of his work shy tribe might as well shut up, pack up, and go home.

      It’s probably too late for a pact now, shame really as that would have blown the pants off Labour. Remoan problem solved in a jiffy.

      Then again there WILL be a general election, and when there is one Labour are finished forever. The conservatives will survive, just. Though in my opinion Mr Farage has yet to have his day.

      As far as I’m concerned the instant Corbyn and his mob turned their backs and abstained from a vote on an election, they forfeited their right to sit in the commons. The cowards brought the country to political stasis then turned their backs on the electorate, they have no rights, they are not fit to be members of society let alone Parliament.

      • Al
        Posted September 21, 2019 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        I suspect a pact with Nigel Farage will be “the ace to pull” nearer the time, because if one were announced now they would never get an election out of Parliament.

        With the various lawsuits going through, it makes sense to wait, see what the situation is nearer to 31st October, and not pull an ace until the rest of the hand is right.

  50. David Webb
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Parliament cannot govern, but in addition to the legislature trying to be the executive, we also have the judiciary trying to be a legislature and an executive at the same time. Lady Hale (Queen Brenda I as she will crown herself) is openly suggesting she can order the Queen to end the prorogation of parliament. This is even more significant than Brexit and suggests the EU is trying to do real damage to our constitution. The Queen could end all of this easily — and we have the right to expect her to “govern us according to our laws and customs” — but she claims the Coronation Oath requires nothing in particular of her, other than to be neutral… I would suggest the Queen uses her reserve powers to sack the Law Lords and replace them by other judges prepared to stick to their oaths of office. Johnson should very forcefully tell the Queen that if we are still in the EU on November 1st – in contravention of the Coronation Oath to govern us according to our laws — there will be an abdication after the next election and an alternative monarch found who will guarantee to abide by the Coronation Oath. This business of “not embarrassing the Queen” is quite wrong indeed: there is a contract in place, and she has never upheld her side of the bargain.

  51. BR
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The FTPA should be scrapped next time there’s a majority.

    I hope that the current impasse is part of the Johnson/Cummings strategy to show the country just how poorly that legislation works in practice.

    Given that they could have contested the Squeaker’s ruling on Queen’s Consent at any time up to Royal Assent, which they could also have refused… surely there has to be a cunning plan.

    I don’t want to speculate as to what it might be, since the loonies in the HoC will no doubt try to legislate against it, but I would have preferred to see a government refuse Consent/Assent to show that the opposition cannot pass legislation without becoming the executive. That is not their role, nor should it ever be so.

  52. Peter D Gardner
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, you are far too generous to the opposition and to Tory Remoaner MPs. They ate not taking the honourable, honest and dutiful actions you elucidate because they are dishonest. They say they want a deal but take action that endures UK will not get a better deal than the one parliament has rejected three times. That rejection was also dishonest. The truth is that these people want to stop UK leaving the EU but until very recently none was prepared to say so openly. Being fanatic EU-philes they have no patience with democracy, which is an obstacle to the technocratic supra-national government they desire for UK. do they have no qualms about denying the people of UK a general election until they have got what they want, by which time, what voters Vite for will be immaterial because the governing of UK will be firmly in the hands of the EU.
    These Remoaners like Grieve, Letwin and the Lib Dems are acting as agents of the EU. They should called out as such. Their cabal of approx 320 can sit there going as they please for as long as they please up to May 2022 and nobody has any power to stop them because they have an absolute veto on any attempt by parliament to call a general election and that power to call one is exclusive to parliament.
    If the courts want to get involved in constitutional matters This is the question they need to address: how has parliament turned democracy upside down by making MPs absolute rulers of the people for periods of up to five years without any means for the people to hold them to account? The people are no longer sovereign in their own coountry, being allowed a vote only if and when parliament allows them a vote and furthermore the parliament feels no obligation to respect that vote and can wilfully overturn it or ignore it.
    This is what Remoaners want because they see the EU operates this way and they love it so much they want it to replace democracy in UK.

  53. BillM
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    It has been 50+ years since we had a Lord as PM in Number 10 and I hope the current status will continue. Only elected persons should govern this country. Furthermore it must be clear to all lovers of democracy that only the elected Government can Govern.
    It is therefore, both shocking and disgusting that Parliament now thinks they should govern this country despite not being a Government.
    The electorate votes for a Government made up of a Party and they are overseen by the elected Party Leader. In a democracy the majority always wins.
    The Conservatives won the last election and therefore were entitled to form a Government, as requested by the Queen. For Parliament to over-rule the decision made by Her Majesty in this way is tantamount to anarchy.
    As SJ has mentioned, Parliament have the right to show their displeasure with the Government by calling for a vote of no confidence and if it succeeds, they must hold a General Election to allow the people to decide who should Govern them. However, the current batch in the HoC are again aborting the democratic process that will be required for a change in Government. This is evil practice.
    This is shades of Cromwellian days again but where now can the people turn to regain their democracy?

  54. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure that I trust the Government either but from the opposite standpoint from most of parliament. The message coming out from the Government is that, as long as the Irish back stop is removed, the draft Withdrawal Agreement is OK. It isn’t; it is a Hotel California BRINO and it stinks to High Heaven. We are relying on you, Sir John, to say so in parliament and maybe vote accordingly.

    The Conservative Party cannot take my vote at the next General Election for granted. In terms of a fear factor, I’m less afraid of Jeremy Corbyn than of the undemocratic LibDems and their smug, self-satisfied, self-important Leaderene.

  55. Iain Gill
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    the ex public school, oxbridge, neo liberal, ruling classes that infest the top of all of our public sector, the civil service, and politics, as well as much of the private sector cannot govern… thats the reality. we seem to have invented systems to pick the least able to club together and self select people like themselves and run things badly

    that is both all recent governments and parliaments

  56. acorn
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    In theory, JR what you describe should work but the last three years have demonstrated that it doesn’t when stress-tested by a thing like Brexit. I suggest it won’t until the “executive”, that is the Cabinet, is removed from the legislature.

    Because the UK has never become a Republic, we still have a monarch as head of state and a prime minister who is head of government, neither popularly elected. Additionally a nonexecutive monarch is no substitute for a popularly elected president, that can appoint an executive / cabinet from the great and the good and not from a legislature of limited talents.

    Sadly I can’t think of any process outside of a civil war that could ever change the present regime: we are doomed I tell you doomed!

    • Edward2
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps if an election was allowed by the opposition that might return a majority government who could then get on with business.
      Better than your idea of a civil war dont you think?

    • liberatrian
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


      ” appoint an executive / cabinet from the great and the good ”

      Cheers mate I’d make a good appointment as Prime Minister . My first act would be to confiscate all of Andy’s “wealth” and give it to the economic migrants in Calais

  57. Rhoddas
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I avoid all MSM broadcast news as it’s gone into surreal status again, relying on your good site, order-order, Brexitcentral and a few others. Our MSM is heavily manipulated by the eu, as are their own european media and newspapers. It’s 1984 with knobs on.

    If the Supreme Court rules agin the current Proroguing, then their ill-judgement should actually mandate a GE to resolve the matter, correctly it’s then back to the people [who put them there as our representatives] to decide, not the remainer elite

    If Boris does finesse a clean-exit by 31/10 via proroguing & other arcane means then he will be the Hero and get my vote of thanks; if he does a dirty backstop fudge with heavy lipstick on the pig (putrid WA and PD) then it’s the Brexit party for me and I imagine most Leave voters. I hear the opposition are being whipped to vote against any deal anyway.

    Then Boris WILL need a pact with Nigel…. and so lets get ready for that.

  58. formula57
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    It would serve this Parliament of quislings right if in a few days time the following conversation took place somewhere in England: –

    H.M. the Queen (for it is she): “So prime minister, I note you [won] {lost} in the Supreme Court on the prorogation matter.

    Prime Minister: [Yes Ma’am.] {Apparently Ma’am}

    HMQ: So what would you like to do now?

    PM: {[Ask if you would graciously consent to a further prorogation]}

    HMQ: Hmmm. We think we ought to ask the purpose.

    PM: To thwart the quislings who are trying to stop the Brexit the people were promised and voted for Ma’am.

    HMQ: Hmmm. An honest, cogent view we presume. We thought you would never ask prime minister. How long for?

    PM: Perhaps until Christmas Ma’am?

    HMQ: Rather make it until Easter prime minister. Good day to you now.

  59. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting, that one of the favourite screeches of the European Union haters is that its Parliament has no such thing as a Private Member’s Bill.

    One of their shrillest of shrieks against the UK’s Parliament now is that it does.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Very odd post.
      How many times have remain supporters called for private member bill rights for EU MEP’s or criticised the UK Parliament for allowing MP’s that right?
      Perhaps you could come forward with loads of examples Martin.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        That’s your job. Prove your own case. I did mine.

        Your side have multiple contradictory standards, as my post demonstrates.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          You claimed “one of the favourite screeches of EU haters is that its Parliament has no such thing as a private member’s bill”
          That is what you said.
          Yet you can give us no examples of that.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 21, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink


          Just saying something IS NOT PROOF . Give examples of shrill shrieking of leavers about Private Members Bills

          Come on facts, not opinions

  60. XYZ
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Tax. Yes I can vouch for how life-changing that can be.

    I’ve worked as a freelance consultant in IT for decades. Pre 2001, we spoke to clients and it was often a case of “Can you start after lunch?”. We worked hard and didn’t have to worry about earning ‘too much’.

    Then along came IR35. We need to get insurance against the hit. The insurers review contracts and other red tape. We often have to turn them down if the client or agent is intransigent.

    Once we get to earn a certain amount each year we worry that we will be in the sights of HMRC. After 2 years working for one client, HMRC in their infinite wisdom decided that we become employees of our client, just for doing well enough to win repeat business (surely an aim of any genuine business?) such that we can no longer claim travel or stay-away expenses (which come out of my remuneration). And we often have to work a long way from home – no-one moves house for a 3 month contract that may not be extended for reasons beyond our control, so we have to stay in a hotel or a rented stay-away flat or some such if we live in say Birmingham and have a contract in Edinburgh, not to mention a flight on Mondays and Fridays. if anyone thinks this level of hassle is done as a tax dodge they should try it some time and see how long before they burn out.

    The overall effect of this that I leave contracts frequently when the client would like me to do more work for them. I work (much) less than I used to, I make less, I pay less tax – everyone suffers. I am now looking to move out to a less fraught business, possibly in the hospitality trade, which requires much less effort and skill level – the skills I have are a rare commodity, so this does not seem the best use of my time for the UK as a whole.

    Javid is on record as calling for “repeal of the silly IR35 tax” a decade ago. Will he do it now? Will JR advise him to do so, one wonders.

    Why are there ridiculous ’employment statuses’ at all??? This artificial nonsense is at the root of these issues and needs to go. All workers should be treated the same – ‘permanent employees’ should be able to claim travel and subsistence costs as well, if we want a truly flexible workforce – or do we prefer that people sit in their home towns and valleys waiting for work to come to them? If we want to change this, make it easier for people to find work further afield.

    Please – get real with tax.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 21, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      yes – but the dividend payments scewed honesty re-earning sum and tax levied. Something needed to be done.

  61. steve
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


    “It is a clear case of put up or shut up”

    You’d have thought that should also apply to the referendum result and the left’s incessant moaning, but hey ho.

  62. John Hatfield
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Well said John.
    I note you say that the Opposition normally allows the government to get on with the policies offered in its manifesto. Sadly this government has tried to do something which is the opposite to its declared intentions in its manifesto. Hm.

  63. Jasper
    Posted September 21, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    What are we to do – our own parliamentarians have completely tied the Governments hands, we the people cannot have an election and the EU will not agree to anything we put forward- how long is this going to go on for? I have a client who invested £46k of their own money back into their company in order to buy extra stock in view of Brexit in March- yes they will get their money back – but how many times do they have to keep doing this. The uncertainty for businesses is absolutely appalling!! What happened to ‘We will HONOUR the referendum result’ ????

  64. tim
    Posted September 21, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    The EU are determined to punish us. They extract £18,200,000,000 each year as punishment, along with all the tax on goods we give to Brussels. They are also flushing their toilet in to our country via the illegals resettlement program.

  65. a-tracy
    Posted September 26, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Eddisbury Conservatives have got to be kidding if they reselect Sandbach I predict the Conservatives will lose the seat. I was right about Mike Jones losing it for Cheshire West with his patronising, bossy demeanour and overly aggressive leadership.

  • About John Redwood

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

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