Undermining the UK’s bargaining position

The Supreme Court decision has one obvious impact on the UK. It weakens the government’s attempts to get a renegotiated Agreement with the EU. It has led to the EU casting doubt on the government’s grip on events, and given hope to those in EU councils who argue that hanging tough and playing it long is the best approach for the EU to adopt given the political uncertainties in London.

I confess I have always been sceptical about the ability of the UK to pull a decent Withdrawal Agreement out from the one sided and unfair Agreement Mrs May put her name to. The problems with it are much wider than the backstop, as we often discussed. Part of my reason is so many in the UK establishment seem to be on the EU’s side. I am not, however, in any doubt that there is far more chance of getting an improved Agreement if the UK unites behind its government negotiating team than if opposition forces continue to send every signal to the EU that it will repay them to hold out rather than making sensible concessions.

The opposition focus on the need for an agreement is bizarre. They will not set out the detail of what sort of an Agreement they want. They confuse the Withdrawal Agreement with the Future Partnership Agreement. They deny the existence of various Agreements all ready for an exit without signing the Withdrawal Agreement.

In practice there is no such thing as a No Deal Brexit. There will be a many deals Brexit. There is such a thing as an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement given EU determination. The Opposition both say we need one and then vote it down every time it appears. They seem to be saying they will do everything they can to stop Brexit altogether. They also greatly strengthen the bargaining hand of the EU making it even less likely we will be offered a deal they would vote for.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    I hope finally the Conservative party can scrap the licence fee once and for all in its next manifesto and let the BBC fund itself however it chooses, as long as it’s not compulsory.

    The BBC bias seems to reach a new level every time I watch it. I’m sure no one mind a couple of adverts in Bargain Hunt.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      The BBC must be abolished. Abolishing the licence fee will not solve the problem, it just changes the funding basis. Most of the people in the upper echelons of the BBC itself would privately love to see the licence fee abolished. Notwithstanding the current problem of anti-Brexit coverage, overall the licence fee system serves governments more than it does the BBC, as it allows political leverage without the direct responsibility of overseeing a state broadcaster.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    They don’t want a Withdrawal Agreement, they want to stop Brexit full stop. At least the Limp Dumbs are honest.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      The LibDems are not being honest, they are playing politics. They know that Labour are divided between two camps. One in the North, which is predominantly Leave, and one the the Metropolitan areas like London which is for Remain. They are hoping to pick up the latter and, should the Tories not get a majority at the next GE, be Kingmakers for a new government. Of course we know what price they will seek for such.

    • Shirley
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      The Lib (un)Dems are still being hypocritical. They claim a LibDem GE result would give them a mandate to revoke A50. What % win would be required? They ignore the 52% win of the referendum, and the 84% who voted for Leave manifestos, but claim a potential GE (which may only be 33%, or less, of voters) would be a mandate.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink


      ‘They don’t want a Withdrawal Agreement, they want to stop Brexit full stop. At least the Limp Dumbs are hones’ – this binary argument that the country is more-a-less either hard-core Remain or hardcore Leave is completely inaccurate.

      About 11% are passionately Leave. And about 10% passionately Remain. The rest are a bit one or the other / agnostic / confused / don’t care – or like me PASSIONATELY PRO SOVEREIGNTY (for ethical and practical reasons) – but want it implemented properly (1. Build up country’s finance first 2. Proper Plan in place 3. Strong leader in place 4. Honourable means and language 5. To get out of Single Market and Customs Union but with strong relations with Europe in terms of economy, culture and security). I also strongly support we leave NOW (before Jan 2020 by latest) as 1. Country now fed up. 2. Parliament failed. 3. Leavers won ultimately). But still let’s PLEASE NOT DIVIDE the country by binary arguments and language. Won’t help Brexit. Won’t help the UK. Best.

  3. Helena
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    The opposition do indeed “deny the existence of various Agreements all ready for an exit without signing the Withdrawal Agreement”. Because there aren’t any. None. There are unilateral acts of the EU, but the UK has no say at all in them. They are not agreements. So go on, Mr Redwood, give us a link to these mythical “Agreements all ready for an exit”? Show us them? Or is it just more fairies at the bottom of the garden?

    Reply Look up the aviation, haulage, customs statements that are of course agreed an d will be operated both sides of the border.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink


      There are now more than 44 agreements in place, you really ought to pay more attention . Give the Department for International Trade a follow on Twitter where they list them as the agreements are signed

      Of course the UK had a say in the EU roll over agreements . You know how I know this? Because we AGREED to them, its what WE WANTED at this stage.

      • acorn
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        The agreements so far represent 10.7% of the UK’s £1,300 billion total trade (imports and exports of goods and services).

        • Edward2
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Is that 10% of all our trade (imports and exports) or just EU trade (exports and imports)?
          Is the UK likely to stop imports coming into the UK, do you think acorn?
          I presume you know the UK cannot conclude any trade deals until it has actually left the EU.

          • jane4brexit
            Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            I wonder about that, the extension was conditional on us not trading as a separate nation and not altering other things, VAT is another option, but what if we were to break the conditions? Might that make the extension void…if so it might be what many of us wish for and no extension cannot be extended again.

          • acorn
            Posted September 28, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

            All. Ultimately, assuming the government doesn’t do anything silly, the Sterling exchange rate will regulate the imports that UK voters can afford. Then the voters will regulate the government to the exit door.

    • Richard
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Helena, Hope this helps: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/12/20/deals-galore-in-place-of-the-withdrawal-agreement/

      And David C Bannerman ex-MEP: “I have personally voted on 50 ‘no deal’ mini deals in European Parliament which will be enacted if there is no deal, just on the condition the U.K. reciprocates, which we will. From keeping planes & trucks moving to visa waivers to social security to citizens’ rights. We’re ready” https://twitter.com/DCBMEP/status/1130884905544683522

  4. Garland
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    We need to unite behind the government, says John Redwood who three times voted down the agreement his government had struck with the EU

    Reply That was a different government with a policy of giving in to the EU!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      You acknowledge John, that no government can be bound by its predecessor, but on that hinges the extremist argument, that Cameron’s warning – not promise – that leaving the European Union meant, without more, leaving the single market and customs union were now essentials binding on whatever government and Parliament.

      This is rubbish.

      Get a sensible deal including those.

      Reply A referendum result or an election result is binding.

      • J Bush
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

        So by your thinking, if the referendum result had been to remain, it wouldn’t be binding? Why am I not convinced.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          I did not say that the referendum result was not binding.

          However, it was, and remains, silent on the post-exit relationship with the European Union.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        Thank you John, but the electorate were never asked what the post-exit relationship with the European Union was to be, neither on the referendum ballot paper, nor in the 2017 manifesto of your party.

        So stop pretending that the government’s hands are tied by either.

        Reply Our Manifesto made quite clear we are exiting the Customs Union and Single market

        • libertarian
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink


          You get more and more desperate by the day

          We were not told what the post joining relationship with the then non existent EU would be at the 1975 referendum either .

          If you care to take a look even when we ARE told about post vote relationships then it doesn’t happen

          the 2017 Election for instance when all major parties agreed to accept and implement the referendum result .

          ps Just as a little aside , the remainers might want to have a little word with Ms Millar about her court cases as they seem to bring about unintended consequences . Looking forward to chatting with you on Nov 1st

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          With a majority of minus forty or so, it is quite clear that the Government will likely have to depart from that manifesto – which as you rightly say was for a different government, May’s – so not binding anyway.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink


            But YOUR party ALSO stood on a manifesto of fully implementing Brexit and its YOUR party that are now denying their own manifesto

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            Leaving the European Union and the-post exit relationship are two completely separate things, and there has been no referendum on the second.

          • Robert Lewy
            Posted September 28, 2019 at 12:03 am | Permalink

            “Leaving the European Union and the-post exit relationship are two completely separate things, and there has been no referendum on the second.”

            Precisely, and it is for that reason that we should leave first and later negotiate a trade deal. Given the EU’s lack of speed in negotiating deals a UK General Election after we have left would allow the Parties to compete for the electorate’s attention.

      • DLP
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Martin. A sensible deal as you call it is not negotiated by removing the possibility that you will walk away if reasonable terms for both parties can not be negotiated. The deal may agreed too with the eu was totally one sided in favour of the eu. Removing the stance that we will not walk away with a “no deal” scenario merely adds strength to the bargainjng position of the eu. Why do you think that they the eu are just sitting biding their time when they see the political fiasco created by the undemocratic mp’s who have quite openly said they want to reverse the referendum vote and are using the similarily anti leave legal system to create every road block imaginable to subvert the will of 17.4m people.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Garland – the agreement May and her remainer Cabinet struck with the EU was worse than staying in. It was not delivering Brexit.

      • Garland
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        It was worse than staying in. But it was Brexit. And there you have it – all realistically deliverable Brexits, whether deal or no deal, are worse than staying in. The only Brexit better than staying in is one where the UK keeps all the benefits of membership but none of the burdens. The one you were falsely promised by Leavers in 2016, the one that does not exist

        • Edward2
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Having been rejected by all sides in Parliament three times it plainly isn’t Brexit.
          The Speaker has said he will not allow it to be brought forward again.
          As you say, it does not exist.

  5. dom
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    An impressive volte face by a long standing Eurosceptic.

    It is my belief that the UK is faced with only two options. One is Leave, the other is Remain. Anything other than this is Remain in all but name. The fact that one of the party’s ardent Eurosceptics appears to have shifted his position suggests the Tory party’s embrace of a Remain deal is now party policy

    And Labour. What can we say about this tumour spreading its destructive ability throughout the body politic? Corbyn and McDonnell are Eurosceptic to the core. They always have been. They are also playing this issue for its full gain. Their aim is government. If they achieve it they will destroy the UK using total open borders, asset sequestration, crippling tax levels and the removal of civil liberties using the power of a newly constructed Marxist client state. They will take no prisoners.

    Reply Why don’t you read what I write? I have made very clear – and voted accordingly – that I do not accept BRINO

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      It’s a comical feature of small children that they can only deal in absolutes, and we find it funny.

      In supposed grown ups it is a lamentable sight, however.

      There are a whole range of relationships possible with the European Union, none of which involve “remain”.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Isn’t remaining in the EU an absolute?

        Yet again you assume the EU will agree to any of your “whole range of relationships”
        They will not.
        They have a plan and they are not for changing it.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


        “It’s a comical feature of small children that they can only deal in absolutes, and we find it funny.” Small children AND the EU as the politburo has just ONE absolute stance and refuses to change it .

        Lamentable as you say

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink


      This is a classic example of someone making the same daily accusations (which often includes mispresenting your opinions) using a variety of identities whether it be for example Duncan/Dominic/dom or Tom Cobley.

      None of us need lessons about the perils of a Corbyn government so repeating that mantra while masquerading under several identities is futile. Expect more of the same under different names in the course of the day etc.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Should read “…misrepresenting your opinions” re. the above.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – absolutely John. The withdrawal treaty is BRINO and yet worryingly we hear talks of it being brought back again. We need a clean break on the 31st – a no deal Brexit. We also need to accept Farage’s offer of a pact otherwise the Marxists/Lib Dums/SNP will emerge the victors as you can be sure they will form an anti – Brexit alliance.
      Please have a word in Boris’s ear and tell him to stop being so stubborn in refusing a pact with the Brexit party. Not to do so will split the leave vote. To do so would give us a thumping majority.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        There is no such thing as “leave in name only”.

        If the UK loses its MEPs and other officials, and is no longer bound by the treaties then it has left.

        The facts of being near-surrounded, by its largest external market by far imply realities that you simply will not face, however.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          If you agree to the continued supremacy of the ECJ and agree to continue in (either or both) the customs union and the single market and accept all future laws, directives,regulations and rules the EU creates in the future, and not be able to negotiate independent trade deals and pay them billions a year then that is leave in name only.
          It exists.
          It is defined the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink


          Our largest external market is in fact the USA which looking at an atlas doesn’t appear to surround us at all

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            No it isn’t, not by a long way.

            External trade with the single market is about the same as with the rest of the world, including the US added together.

            The clue is in the word “single”, referring to all those countries.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            You are aggregating all 27 EU member nations to get that figure Martin.
            Libertarian is correct.
            USA $66 billion
            Germany $46 billion
            Then Holland France Ireland
            Then China $28 billion
            Lots more significant non European markets in the top 20.
            The EU isn’t a nation.
            We trade with national markets.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


            If you had ever, you know , actually traded anywhere you would have a better understanding of what a market actually is. The EU has an INTERNAL market , the single market is what people who dont understand incorrectly call it. The EU refer to it by its proper name internal market. There are 27 markets in the EU and we do a high level of trade with 4 of them .

            Meanwhile the USA is our biggest single market and I can assure you it does not surround us geographically .

            What I love about remainers is they give us lots of lectures about international trade but none of them have ever actually done it .

            Its a bit like all these people suddenly believing that theres a hedge fund conspiracy to get a wrecking Brexit. Its laughably incoherent . I even had an argument on twitter with a Professor from London Business School no less who tried to tell me people were shorting Gilts to make a killing…. took me ages to stop crying with laughter

            ps If you want to learn about business I will happily explain why the EU is never treated as a “single” homogenous market , you only need to ask

  6. Mark B
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The opposition focus on the need for an agreement is bizarre.

    Not bizzare at all. This is not about BREXIT, it is about destroying the Conservative Party. If the Conservative Party cannot deliver that which it has promised by 31st October, it is toast. Locking the UK and the government in is the name of the game and they have played it well. All agree the government is in paralysis. It is in office but not in power and is at the mercy of the opposition that does not have to take the responsibility of failure.

    I notice that the EU Council meeting is the 17th October. If one takes into account that, should it lose a vote of no confidence on that date, according to the Fixed Term Parliament Act we have 14 days to form a new government or a GE. If I read it right ? If one adds 17 and 14 together one gets 31. Which coincidentally, equals 31. 😉

    • Mark B
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Sorry should read: Which coincidentally, falls on the 31st October, the date we are supposed to Leave 😉

  7. Ian!
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    The Corbynista plan is to create mayhem and confusion, so as to tear down structures of government and law. It has nothing to do with Brexit or democracy, but power to invoke revolutionary change on society.

    If anyone believes Corbyn is against Brexit they are mistaken his brave new world requires the UK to be outside of the EU.

    He is assisted in his endeavours by the quisling agents of EU that sit in HoC, that haven’t got a brain between the them to see they are his puppets as well as the EU’s. They are just feeding destruction of laws, democracy and respect we should have for one and other

    Sir John thank for this blog site and the useful insights it provides. Although for now it does appear to have become a little overbearing with the contributions from the Momentum Goup and its followers

    Have a Good weekend

    • Mark B
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      The Corbynista plan is to create mayhem and confusion, so as to tear down structures of government and law. It has nothing to do with Brexit or democracy, but power to invoke revolutionary change on society.

      Hurray ! Someone else who can see what the opposition are trying to do.

      • Julie Williams
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Everyone knows what they are up to, it’s whether you’ll support them anyway.Thank goodness for their level of ineptitude.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Lenin : “the worse,the better.”

  8. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    The Supreme Court decision relates to the unlawfulness of an abnormally long prorogation which was obviously designed to prevent Parliament legislating further to once again alter the default date for leaving the EU. As such it was conceived as a clever legal wheeze to get us out of the EU on October 31st, with or without a “deal”, that is to say specifically without a withdrawal agreement under the terms of Article 50 TEU, the concept being that the prerogative of the Queen in Council could be used to exclude the Queen in Parliament from further interfering in the process. But that clever legal wheeze has been defeated by even more clever moves by inveterate parliamentary opponents of Brexit, with or without a “deal”, with the willing connivance of the Speaker and now with the assistance of the Queen’s judges. If the effort which has been expended on looking for clever legal wheezes had instead been put into fighting the propaganda war by defending the government’s policy, rather than letting opponents construct an entirely false picture in the public’s mind, then the outcome might have been better.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink


      I think the opponents of Brexit know that a huge communication effort to defend the government’s policy would be effective and this is why they have chosen to use unconventional means to stop Brexit. The government allowed the ‘surrender’ bill to pass unhampered in the Lords and offered a GE, an early date could have been fixed in a one line bill. The government’s only choice has been to respond with wheezes, it is prevented by the fixed term parliament act, the speaker, and an anti-democratic opposition from pursuing either the referendum result or a democratic GE.

    • MPC
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      I agree with your final sentence. ‘No Deal’ could have been publicised as a coherent, well managed exit programme incorporating the various side agreements in place, an effective risk management plan, comms plan and budget provisions. This would have brought on board the ‘sensible remainers'(of which there are many) who voted remain as the safer option but who now want Brexit completed. The previous and current governments have chosen consciously not to do this. Ultimately Messrs Gove and Johnson would accept and recommend a tweaked WA.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        As I said on this website two days ago, given the fact that it is the Government’s right to govern as Lady Hale said in her Supreme Court statement, why can’t the Government challenge the Benn “No ‘no deal’ ” Act in the High and Supreme Courts?

    • Richard
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that HMG’s box of clever wheezes is still fairly well stocked. Eg:
      1) John Major: “My fear is that the Government will seek to bypass Statute Law, by passing an Order of Council to suspend the Act until after 31 October. It is important to note that an Order of Council can be passed by Privy Councillors – that is Government Ministers – without involving The Queen.”

      2) “The government believe it is possible to circumvent parliamentary legislation requiring them to delay Britain’s departure from the EU by invoking European law, City A.M. understands.”

      And I can think/ have heard of other possible ideas, so I’m sure No. 10 lawyers can too.

      The point is that there is absolutely no excuse for any MP who pledged to “Stand Up 4 Brexit” to break that promise. The Spartan phalanx should stand intact if offered a re-heated awful WA Treaty.

  9. JimS
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Most MPs don’t want a ‘deal’ of any sort and they can, from outside the HoC, be called what they truly are, liars.

    They like being in the EU because being in the EU gives them the sort of government that we can now see fully exposed in the UK, namely one where ‘the people’ have no say.

    Pet policies that wouldn’t stand a chance of being voted through national parliaments are worked up behind closed doors and then imposed by EU directive, at which point the liars in the national parliament declare ‘nothing to do with us guv!’

    Now that they have been exposed we will see no general election until 2022 and the HoC will pass a succession of ‘three-day’ bills while the Supreme Court sees no evil, hears no evil but speaks plenty of evil.

    Let’s hope JFK’s words, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” aren’t proved right.

    • Andy
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Name some of these pet projects which would not get through national parliaments.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


        A11 , A14 , VATMOSS

        There have so far been 26 “infringements” on Labour law alone from other EU member states ( not the UK we gold plate everything). I’m not going to list them all it would take too long. Infringements is when EU member states refuse to implement, so by definition would not get through their parliaments

        Its almost as if you haven’t got a clue about the thing you voted for Andy.

  10. Richard1
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    If I was the EU, given what has happened in the UK, I would not agree anything at the mid-Oct summit, but rather say the UK can have an extension for as long as we like – 6 more months maybe – conditional on parliament mandating a new referendum before Oct 31, with Remain an option. Sterling would pop 10%, the BBC would flood the airwaves with remain supporting voices of ‘business’, mr bercow would ride roughshod over whatever normal parliamentary conventions are to secure a vote, remain MPs would say ‘we’re awfully sorry, we don’t want a referendum but if we jump over the cliff all trade will stop, no food or medicines, millions will die etc etc…’

    I suggest being prepared for such an outcome.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Richard1. Do you mean exactly like the last 3 years?

  11. Everhopeful
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Control the language and control of just about everything follows.
    The bizarre, beyond anything ever, words and phrases around our leaving the EU have been crafted to stop us from leaving. Enthusiastically aided by MSM.
    Soundbites to confuse and divert. “ Leave means leave” etc etc ad vomit.
    The cleverest is of course “Deal”.
    A deal gives Remainers a reason to say “No”. It was only ever a delaying tactic.
    As we all understand.

  12. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    There is not such a thing as an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement, not a stand alone one. Negotiations to pay an exit bung must go hand in hand with trade negotiations. If the EU will not treat us nicely, they will get ZILCH.

  13. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Oh come on John.

    Threatening to burn down your own house is no way to get a good deal when negotiating the purchase of a new one.

    Removing that option from the Government has therefore done zero harm, and you know this as well as I do.

    As Dominic Cummings allegedly said, triggering Article Fifty in the first place, at that point, was the real absolute howler.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      The idea that we would be threatening to burn down our own house has come from certain residents who simply do not wish to move.

      As long ago as June 2017 the German government was receiving advice which disagreed with the doom laden forecasts from our own Treasury under both George Osborne and, later, Philip Hammond:


      “I hope you can appreciate that the important point here is not that according to the German Economy Minister the UK would be hurt more than Germany but that all the UK numbers are much smaller than predicted by the UK Chancellor:

      “In the scenario where the U.K. and the EU fail to strike a trade deal and fall back on World Trade Organization rules, the study predicts the U.K. economy would lose 1.7 percent of economic output over the long-term”

      Not Philip Hammond’s “disastrous” 8% of GDP, but a very manageable 1.7% over the long term – similar to the recent forecasts from Open Europe … ”

      And even that relatively minor long term loss of 1.7%, equivalent to about 8 months of natural growth of the UK economy at its trend rate of 2.5% a year, could be reduced to 0.6% if a free trade deal was agreed.

    • Pud
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Carrying on your house buying analogy, would you agree to pay any sum the estate agent demanded before knowing which house you would be buying? That illustrates just one flaw of the way May’s government handled Brexit, the UK would be committed to paying the EU with no guarantee of trading terms after we have left, merely vague promises that such terms will be discussed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        The sum is not for a purchase of anything. It is the calculated sum of obligations to which the UK had already committed.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          You obviously have not negotiated many business deals Martin.
          I wish you were the other side of the table to me.
          You are happy to pay me a large sum of money I ask you for, before you ask me to agree or even outline our future trading relationship.
          Very happy to agree that deal with you.

        • Pud
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Even if the UK was obliged to pay something, you’ve missed the point. By caving in to the EU’s demand that the UK must first agree payment before trade will be discussed, Mrs May handed the advantage to the EU.
          In fact, once we leave we have no legal obligation to pay the EU anything (as confirmed by the House of Lords).

        • libertarian
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink


          “The sum is not for a purchase of anything. It is the calculated sum of obligations to which the UK had already committed.” But isn’t going to receive , thats like paying a 20% deposit on a house and never being allowed to move in.

          ps Why are you analogies always so silly?

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Of course all these moves undermine UK’s bargaining position because that’s what they are intended to do, the people responsible want to stay in the EU but daren’t vote for simple revocation of A50 which would achieve this. The only two parties with coherent policies are the Brexit Party and the LibDems, the Conservatives and Labour keep pursuing a “deal” of some sort.

  15. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The government needs to make more use of press conferences to put messages across. A 15-minute recap of all the side-deals done to date would be an effective counter to the doom & gloom narrative of the Remainiacs. The likes of Sky News would probably carry the press conference in full and get it to a bigger audience than BBC Parliament.

    • Helena
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Show me one of these side deals. There are, in truth, none.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        I would include those trade deals, between the UK and non-EU parties, continuing arrangements between the EU and those parties, and any decisions made by either the EU or the UK, unilaterally, to continue economic intercourse in the event of ‘No Deal’. If the EU had been a ‘partner’ and not an ‘abusive partner’. it would, of course, have been willing to sign a whole series of bilateral deals over the past three years or so, wouldn’t it?

      • Richard1
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        See JR’s response to you above

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



        Dept Int Trade
        In last few days alone two new deals with Israel & Lebanon have signed the Association Agreement at the forum today which guarantees the trading continuity after the UK’s exit from the EU

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    The Opposition has called for the PM’s resignation.
    Surely it should also call for the resignation of the High Court judges who found in favour of the PM?
    The Opposition is neither logical nor consistent.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Boris and G Cox were expected to be clairvoyants and are attacked for not being so. It was new law was just invented by these 11 Justices. They have foolishly entered the area of politics it is a huge mistake. One assumes all eleven are remainers.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Agreed I do seem to remember people demanding Theresa May MP resign when she lost to Ms. Miller first time out.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        A shame May did not indeed resign then or earlier – a shame that thanks to Michael Gove she ever became the appalling PM she proved to be. Had Cameron prepared for a leave outcome (as was his duty) & issued the section 50 notice the day after the referendum (as he promised to do) we would be in a far better position. Also we would not have heard so much from the now BBC favourite Ms Miller (which would have been a very good thing indeed).

        • Richard1
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          She enjoyed extensive support from Conservative MPs, eurosceptics included, right up to the moment of her departure – ie long after it became very clear where she was taking us and how hopeless she was.

          It will be a near miracle if Boris manages to dig us out of this hole now.

    • villaking
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      The High Court did not find in favour of the PM, it did not consider the case, it decided that the matter was not justiciable but was happy to refer it upwards to the SC for a final decision.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


        NO they DID NOT refer it upwards.

        The case was closed

        A private individual who owns a hedge fund used her own money to fight it in a Scottish Court and the government then appealed to the Supreme Court .

        Youre not to hot on facts are you?

    • Dennis
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      ‘…the High Court judges who found in favour of the PM?’

      This was not the case. Those judges said that they could not deal with that case which is why it went to the Supreme Court.

  17. Al
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    If the Prime Minister stood up in Parliament, announced we had a deal, and then listed WTO terms without calling them that, how many of the MPs would actually notice or realise these were the “no deal” terms?

    I recently discovered my own had very limited knowledge of them.

  18. Shirley
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I never had any confidence of the EU offering a deal that benefits both sides. The rhetoric coming from the EU has always been various forms of ‘punishment’ and ‘control’.

    The only way to get a fair deal is to Leave the EU, and then agree a trade deal (if possible). If the EU do not want a trade deal then the whole world (including EU citizens and businesses) will see that the EU is still in ‘punishment’ mode, and that EU politics is more important than the EU economies.

    • agricola
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Quite correct, but I suspect that the industrialists of the EU may have a more pragmatic approach. After all it is their bottom line we are talking about.

    • Helena
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Shirley, the whole world is looking in puzzlement at the UK walking out of the best trade deal that has ever existed anywhere in the history of the planet. No one thinks the EU is punishing the UK. Everyone thinks the UK is punishing itself. And no one knows why.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Helena, is this ” the best deal that has ever existed anywhere in the history of the planet” where we pay £15 billion a year for a £90 billion trade deficit.

      • Shirley
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        The UK is freeing itself from a horrendous trade deal. For example, would you accept a trade deal with the USA that demands a large annual payment, free movement, control of our worldwide trade, supremacy of US law over UK law, and all the rest. Do you REALLY consider that to be a ‘good trade deal’?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Helena…..look up ‘everyone’ in a dictionary. The rest of this rather large world are keenly waiting to have trade deals with the UK, verboten as a member of EU.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink


        “The best trade deal anywhere on the planet”

        REALLY ? So what is it that you trade in that makes this such a good deal?

        The facts are that since we’ve been in this single market/customs union our economic growth has slowed, the EU themselves admit that it hasn’t helped our economy and we have a massive trade deficit with the EU

        This whole world is looking on puzzled is true but they are puzzled as to why we are still in the EU.

        I trade in Canada, Brazil and Japan . I have business interests in USA and Australia. Every single one says Why haven’t you left yet

        • Andy
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Japan definitely doesn’t.

          • Richard1
            Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            Maybe, following the logic, Japan should enter into a political union with China?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink


            You think because Japan has a trade deal with the EU that it makes then loose all sense of reality? The EU economic partnership with Japan benefited EU more than Japan. In the past European firms faced trade barriers when exporting to Japan, which made it hard for them to compete. It actually says that on the EU trade website

            Andy, not knowing anything about the organisation he voted for.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 10:40 pm | Permalink


          “I trade in Canada, Brazil and Japan . I have business interests in USA and Australia. Every single one says Why haven’t you left yet”

          Every single one?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink


            Yep EVERY. SINGLE . ONE not hard to understand really Margaret

            You see they are talking about democracy , they saw the vote and are mystified why anti democrats seek to not implement it

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Good post Shirley.

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    My thoughts exactly. Will the remainer judges and the other powerful forces of remain ever all us to leave? The people must win this battle.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Sorry “allow” us to leave

  20. Stephen J
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Yes Sir John, the type of Brexit that you are trying to describe has been perfectly named by the Brexit Party as a “clean break” brexit.

    One that seeks to tie up as many loose ends regarding our former relationship with the EU, but does not overly impinge on the future relationship.

  21. /ikh
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Whilst I agree with most of your post, the following are, I think some key points:

    1) Any deal that the PM gets will automatically be voted down by the opposition.
    2) The E.U. will not agree to a reasonable deal whilst the PM is in a weak position in Parliament.

    3) The PM needs a General Election before we can negotiate a reasonable deal.

    We must leave, hopefully by 31st October, on WTO terms before the PM can start to negotiate a deal.

    I hope that he has had drafted a deal on U.K. & E.U. citizens rights offering E.U. citizens the same rights as U.K. citizens ( excluding General Election rights ) in return for reciprocal rights for Brits in the E.U. It should be a very simple one page document that does not reference any other treaty. It should have disputes adjudicated under WTO arbitration or some such other International arbitration scheme.

    My twopence worth.


  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    As I have always said, there is no such thing as a “No Deal”.

    No one is suggesting no trade, no co-operation, no EU visitors, no agreements at all, etc etc.

  23. Tabulazero
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Typical Brexiter behaviour here : blame anybody but themselves.

    It’s not the Supreme Court ruling that has weakened the UK’s negotiating position. It is the fact that Boris Johnson as a PM has not passed a single vote in Parliament and managed to transform a majority of one into a twenty-something minority in less than 6 weeks.

    The EU would be stupid to grant any concession to someone who is so obviously bad at being a PM. Boris Johnson would not be able to get any deal through Parliament anyway.

    Why should the EU bother, seriously?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      It isn’t fair to blame the PM for the actions of rebel MPs refusing to honour the result of the referendum nor honour the manifesto they recently stood on.
      In other posts you tell us Parliament is supreme here you now blame the Prime Minister because Parliament votes in a way that creates the PM problems.
      Very odd logic Tab

    • libertarian
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink


      The EU should more than bother if it actually cared about the economies of its member countries. They have huge trade surpluses with the UK. The German car industry are terrified of tariffs being levied on exports of their vehicles

      Thats WHY

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        It’s funny. It has been three years now and the German car industry has yet to ride to the rescue.

        When will you understand that a functioning Single-Market is more important for the German industry than its trade with the UK ?

        • Fred H
          Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Tab…have you not noticed car production keeps falling in Germany? What should they do to rescue us? Other manufacturers are available, and car sales in UK are also falling. A pattern likely over lots of areas of UK consumption. We can do without.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


          You might want to read a German newspaper or look at the German Chamber of Commerce posts .

          The INTERNAL MARKET ( no such thing as single market) is certainly NOT important to German car manufacturers over and above their exports . BMW for a start their BIGGEST manufacturing plant isn’t even IN Europe

          The three biggest markets for German cars are

          1) USA 25 billion Euros
          2) China 24 billion Euros
          3) UK 23.5 billion Euros

          ps We haven’t left yet

          #You dont know what you voted for

  24. oldtimer
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The behaviour of parliament suggests to me that parliamentary outcomes will end very badly indeed and, possibly, spill over into (un)civil life too. Untold damage is being done to the fabric of society by this parliament. It is a disgrace. It should be dissolved now.

  25. stred
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Of course they are undermining the negotiations. That was the plot from the start. They wrote the plot down and collaborated with the Commission and their friends there were very pleased to have their colonial treaty accepted by the UK prime minister and her EU federalist loving mandarins. The House is loyal to Brussels, not the UK

  26. Stephen Smith
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    One effect of the Supreme Court decision is that Labour and Lib Dem conferences took place when Parliament suspended but the Conservatives have been forced to hold their conference while the House sits.

  27. Nig l
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I recommend everyone to read the in house magazine of a well known pro Brexit pub chain. It sets out in frightening detail what Mays agreements truly means therefore highlighting the mendacity of those including current cabinet members who told us it was truly leaving, meeting the Tory mandate etc.

    If there is any deal, it has to be similar to the last one and it will be Boris who crumbles not the EU, it will be a sell out and must be resisted.

  28. Caterpillar
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    There was an article in the FT a few weeks ago praising the May Withdrawal Agreement for giving a future route to a trade deal (Future Partnership Agreement) with the EU that only required QMV, trade deals being one area in which a veto can still operate. If there is no agreement to this effect now (the so called ‘no deal’) then any future trade deal would be subject to requiring all 27 ‘states’ to agree.

    If the opposition parties truly wanted an agreement they would support the Govt now. The big EU exporters to the UK know that if they don’t have an agreement now any future agreement can be stymied by one member, reducing the UK Govt’s strength now is either stupid (or of course directed at another target).

    [At a personal level the above demonstrates to me how the EU does all it can to take sovereignty, in this case wanting to make something QMV that isn’t. I personally don’t want to sign up to a neoliberal trade policy, and would prefer our parties to have a democratic debate, nonetheless this is the strength the govt would have now if it weren’t for the opposition.]

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 28, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar “There was an article in the FT a few weeks ago praising the May Withdrawal Agreement for giving a future route to a trade deal (Future Partnership Agreement) with the EU that only required QMV, trade deals being one area in which a veto can still operate.”

      Vetoes no longer exist as Mr. Cameron found out – see the BBC programme “The Cameron Years” where the “rules based” EU ignored his veto.

      Whether as a full member of the EU, or a colony under the proposed never ending Withdrawal Treaty, all our institutions, including the NHS, are in danger of being traded away in return for reduced tariffs on German cars and French wine.

  29. Christine of the Nor
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Boris mustn’t fall into the trap of putting a rehashed Withdrawal Agreement before Parliament. Labour are waiting for a chance of putting forward a second referendum with the choice of Boris’s worst deal in history V remain. This is no choice at all for a true leaver. We know that many small agreements have already been done. Boris needs to package these agreements together and put them forward as his deal. This avoids leaving with No Deal and stops the need to ask for an extension.

    • Shirley
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      That is my fear too. The Remainers would vote for the surrender WA and accept vassal statehood in preference to exiting the EU. A new session of Parliament would allow Boris to represent the WA.

  30. agricola
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The emphasis on No Deal and all the parliamentary manipulating that surrounds it is a smoke screen behind which those who wish to stay in the EU operate. By eliminating No Deal , a deal of any description becomes the only game in town. That so many versions of deal, starting with the WA are designed to keep us in the EU suits those screaming for an end to No Deal very well. Any negotiation then becomes surreal.

    In any meaningful negotiation the option for either side to walk away is paramount. No Deal destroys any meaningful negotiation. Some MPs voting to eliminate No Deal, being generous could be naïve idiots, but I think the majority have a malevolent purpose.

    No deal is what we have on 31st October if common sense flies through the door. I suspect that industrialists across Europe are beginning to project their balance sheets in the event of No Deal and do not like what they see. During the next month I anticipate a lot of pressure flowing from them to the EU. Watch this space.

  31. James Bertram
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    ‘I confess I have always been sceptical about the ability of the UK to pull a decent Withdrawal Agreement out from the one sided and unfair Agreement Mrs May put her name to. The problems with it are much wider than the backstop, as we often discussed. ‘

    Sir John, you know, we all know, that the sensible approach is just to leave – a ‘clean break’ as Mr Farage would say. Then, and only then, can you negotiate a Free Trade Agreement unencumbered by all the political shenanigans, just as any other independent country can. It is so simple. Anyone who doesn’t get this basic point is intent on mischief. This includes your Government who are still prepared to sell the country out with a rehashed May Surrender Treaty – just to keep their precious Tory Party united. Disgraceful.

    • Andy
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      The EU has made it clear that if the UK leaves without a deal when it rushes back to try to do a trade deal citizens rights, the Irish border and the UK ‘s financial obligations are the first three items on the agenda. In other words, the withdrawal agreement.

      Most other countries will not sign trade deals with the UK until the EU relationship is sorted out. With the UK so weakened those trade deals we do sign will be unfavourable.

      May’s Surrender Treaty – as you call it – is reality Brexit. There will be a few tweaks but it is basically as good as it gets. Eventually you’ll realise that your only options are May’s deal or Remain.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        You better persuade Parliament then Andy because the Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected by Parliament three times and by large majorities from all parties.

      • James Bertram
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Andy – Humbug.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


        The Department of International Trade confirm they have now agreed roll over deals with 44 countries

        Youre welcome

    • jane4brexit
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      That ‘clean break’ is also what we were told would happen. It was confirmed in PMQs 15th June 21016, filmed before the referendum and still on youtube question 14 @ 36 mimutes in, MPs were even especially told to note that when they voted in the referendum ie: in the only other vote they were expected to have at that stage. They were told leaving would take about 2 years and “then” the trade deal might take as much as seven more, making it a “decade” in all.

      Sir John might this film and transcript be sent to all MPs by Boris to remind them of what they agreed and knew, with publicity in the msm and a public announcement by him about them needing to be being reminded, at the same time? Those MPs denying it would lose even more credibility and if a list of reasons why the WA is bad, could also be put into the press and online at the same time even better…

      • jane4brexit
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Should say 2016.

  32. Kevin
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    There is little to add to this except to say that even a GE could give hope to
    our opponents in the form of a split vote between the Tory and Brexit parties in
    many constituencies. I cannot gainsay those who would not trust even a
    majority Tory government to honour the referendum result, given that most of
    your colleagues have voted for the WA every time.

  33. Fred H
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    It seems to me anyone wishing any sort of exit from the EU face a ‘Custer’s last stand’. The range of opponents has been simply astonishing, and difficult to understand the advantages they claim of being a member. The voices wishing to describe the disadvantages, and the gloomy future for the UK under this yoke, are shouted down at every turn. Yet, the People do not sway from the view that exit is what they voted for, and insist on. The centuries in the making democratic processes and rules and institutions now are played, and drawn to the bank, like a fish with an illegal embedded hook. Our country faces dark forces and manipulation and damage like never before. The last stand has to be Brexit Party and a single issue working agreement in the next GE. ANYTHING ELSE WE ARE NOW LOST.

  34. BOF
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I am somewhat confused Sir John. On the one hand you say there is much wrong with the W/A even without the backstop, so much so that that I could never again vote Conservative should that be what we leave with.

    On the other hand you say, ‘There is such a thing as an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement given EU determination.’ However the only kind of deal that the EU will agree to is one that leaves them with much control over the UK

    There is only so called No Deal left and Parliament plays a very dangerous game by refusing to allow this.

    • Earley Riser
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      And what do we do the day after a No-Deal departure? Turn up in Brussels to negotiate a trade agreement? How do you see that going?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Early, I think it would focus the minds on both sides. They would not want problems with trade to one of their biggest customers disrupted any more than we do.

      • David Taylor
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        As I understand it and despite the comments by the media and members of the remain camp , in the event of no deal or agreement being reached before exit , then the E.U`s own rules state that it must trade with Non EU States , in this case the U.K , under W.T.O terms & conditions , in fact , the U.K will not fall of a cliff or crash out of the E.U , in the event of No Deal , other international rules will apply to both the U.K and E.U.
        Both Parties will know where they stand .

  35. Pat
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I posit that the EU and remainers have drunk their own ink, and actually believe that “no deal” would be disastrous. Given that they probably think that we will go crawling back after “crashing out”. From there point.of view then they promise no deal in order to frighten us into staying, with every intention of carrying out that promise.
    It’s no deal of no exit, simple as that.

  36. villaking
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John, how does the Supreme Court decision to rule the 5 week prorogation unlawful undermine the UK’s bargaining position with the EU? I genuinely don’t see the connection. Are you saying that the prorogation was a tactic to stymie parliament and that Boris lied? I think we all know that Boris did lie but I’m surprised that you are now so transparent about this. I view the SC judgement as clipping the wings of the executive should it try to prevent parliament from doing its job. If any prorogation were purely a matter for the PM to decide the logical extension of that is that the PM could prorogue parliament for, say, 5 years if it wished.

    Reply No I am not saying the PM lied. The Court wanted Parliament to meet more often because of the big issues before us, and various Opposition MPs are saying they want to use the time to stop[ Brexit.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink


      Can you explain why parliament was recalled in order to discuss great issues of state Yet MP’s took two days off and Parliament would only have lost 4/5 days

      Its almost as if they were playing games. I see rumour is Labour will introduce a bill to allow 16 year olds to vote while the Tories are at conference

      I guess you need th e votes of children if you cant get adults to vote for you.

    • APL
      Posted September 30, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      “Are you saying that the prorogation was a tactic to stymie parliament and that Boris lied?”

      Even if Johnsone did lie, it’s irrelevant, Prorogation has always been a political decision. The ‘Supreme’ court had no business interfering in the proceedings of Parliament. In fact it is restrained from doing so by the bill of rights.

      No court has jurisdiction over the proceedings of Parliament.

  37. mark leigh
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    “ They confuse the Withdrawal Agreement with the Future Partnership Agreement. ”

    Yes ! .this point needs to be repeated often.

    I like the “many deals” argument as well….

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The only positive from the last 3+ years is that much of the population now realise how embedded in the EU we are and how subservient we have become. There will be problems but it is normal fare for the business community to overcome them. Most of the hardline Remainers are probably in government paid jobs, law, academia etc.

    The UK is in the last chance saloon to exit, if it fails the Palace of Westminster is redundant.

  39. Original Richard
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The EU’s policy and those of its UK supporters was from the very beginning to engineer a second referendum between remain and a truly rotten deal – such as the current one described by Mr. Verhofstadt’s staff as reducing the UK to colony status – and this explains why the EU has never been prepared to negotiate.

    However, since we have already had a referendum between leave and remain, which remain lost, and a GE where 80% of the votes and 90% of the seats went to two parties whose manifestos promised to respect the referendum result, plus Parliament overwhelmingly voting to trigger Article 50 (with no definition of leave) any subsequent referendum can only be to decide the type of leave.

  40. Ed M
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    (Dear Sir John, I support you as a leader in politics because you’ve got the brains, experience and energy. I’d like to see you as leader of the Tory Party and Brexit. But I don’t flatter my friends or people I like what they want to hear all the time! True friends / supporters agree, support and encourage, BUT also disagree and say what they really think, for the benefit of the other – and of course, I might be wrong in what I write in the comment above but written with the best intentions).

    • Ed M
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      (Also, you’re not a schmoozer – schmoozing is helping to diminish British politics)

  41. Gareth Warren
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Our company that manufactures and exports video equipment had its brexit meeting.

    Here it was clear they were confused how they will export to the EU. They have set up a paper organization in Ireland that may be used. But interestingly the plan is to fill the warehouse in America (setup mainly due to Trumps trade policies) as this offers clarity.

    It would be good if the government could confirm in the event of a WTO deal who to deal with in EU countries, this preparation may even wake the EU up to a no deal reality, although I do not expect nor want a deal now. A deal with the EU appears to cost far more than its benefits.

  42. Ed M
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    (I also think Brexiters now have Brexit in the bag – and I support them on that as 1. We have to get Brexit sorted now 2. Parliament has failed to come to agreement 3. Despite how the campaign was run, Brexiters won the Ref – but I do think it’s only Brexiters who can ultimately lose it, and Brexiters undermining the authority of The Supreme Court does not help, and in particular, inflammatory language such as ‘betrayal’ / ‘constitutional coup’ and saying things like we must get Brexit done for Jo Cox’s sake or whatever the PM said exactly, – with his scored-earth approach losing sympathy)

  43. mark leigh
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    It is odd that at least some of the SC judges did not recuse themselves, on the basis of their affiliation with European courts.

  44. glen cullen
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    We keep hearing from high level UK and EU governments that they follow a rules based system ie they have, maintain and enforce the rule of law. This system encourages consent from the people and provides a stable platform for business.

    We have 2 such rules : the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017
    and the EU withdrawal extension Article 50(3)TEU EUCO XT 20006/19 section (11))

    If those government(s) change or alter or ignore those ‘rules’ history reminds us that there are consequences. As the great man said ‘’you can’t chose which laws you want to follow’’

    I conclude that under these laws we cannot alter the withdrawal agreement and in fact should have left the EU 29th March 2019 therefore we either accept or decline the agreement

  45. nhsgp
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The EU demands the UK pays the EU during any extension.
    So demand that the EU pays the UK 320 bn a year [pro rata] for the extension. It’s the cost of the deal.

    Since both sides demand money, its clearly legal to do so.

    Will the EU pay?

    Or ask for a 1 hour extension. It’s all we can offer since we have revoked EU law, Barclay signed the consent order.

    After all the EU will insist we obey its laws, and that’s all we can do under UK law.

  46. Oggy
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that the opposition parties wanted to recall Parliament to debate Brexit but all they have done is whinge and whine and complain they are receiving abuse because they lied to the public and continue to lie, and then try to blame Boris.

    As we can now see from the degeneration in the HoC into a slanging match that the time for any sensible debate is now over. No one is going to change their minds on Brexit so any further debate is pointless.

    Parliament is at an impasse of it’s own doing and then refuses to have a GE to break that impasse. They are holding the people hostage and I fear if the people cannot get what they voted for via the ballot box then they will use ‘other’ means and it won’t be pretty. This is what comes from the denial of democracy, and those deniers of democracy in Parliament really need to step back and look at what they doing before it’s too late. The people are very angry.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Here is the website of the Privy Council:


    in case anybody wants to try to fathom whether John Major is correct and Boris Johnson could use that as a mechanism to suspend the Benn Act.

    I suspect the judges would straight away knock down any such clever legal wheeze.

  48. David Maples
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    If I am permitted one wish, it is that the PM would put you in charge of all Brexit negotiations, subject only to him having the final say, not unlike Pharaoh’s promotion of Joseph from an Egyptian dungeon, to royal palace:-

    ‘And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
    Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou’.
    (Genesis 41:39-40 kjv)

  49. Edwardm
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    A No WA exit is far better then a fudged WA exit. I see little need for any WA. An FTA would be useful though not essential.
    I question in whose interests Remainer MPs and the Speaker act, because as JR’s article suggests, they are not helping the British side of the negotiations.
    Remainer MPs need to be asked in parliament what talks they have held with the EU about Brexit and whether they have discussed strategies and to what end, and would they disclose all communications they have had in regard to Brexit – only fair as they have recently requested government communications. This is so the British people can be better informed come the next GE.
    Also they need to be questioned on why they wish to have an extension that takes us past Dec 31st into a period when the full force of Lisbon treaty comes in, which is going further against the decision of the British people.

  50. Alan Joyce
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    And there was I thinking that MP’s couldn’t wait to get back to the House, post non-prorogation, so they could ‘hold the government to account’ in this time of great national crisis. Instead, I see them in the chamber trying to outdo each other as to who’s feelings have been hurt the most.

    Now I learn that Parliament isn’t even sitting today (Friday) and that MP’s won’t be back until 2:30pm on Monday so that they have plenty of time to get back to Westminster from their constituencies. How nice it must be for them! I guess most ordinary people who have business to transact in London and elsewhere have to get up at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning to make sure they can get there on time to do a day’s work.

    Many MP’s are hopelessly out of touch with the people of this nation.

  51. Andy
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    How about, rather than posting about what you don’t want, Brexiteers actually work out what they do want?

    Brexit was not a vote for anything. It was a vote against something. Sure, we get it. You do not want to be in the EU. Fine.

    So tell us what you do want. Specifics please. How does travel to the EU work after Brexit. What about trade? Tell us about citizens rights and the border.

    The EU is asking for proposals from the British government and El Presidente and Herr Cummings have not come up with any. Perhaps you can all help them.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


      I want UK’s political parties to debate and be elected on exactly the kinds of policies to which you refer.

      I want our parties to debate trade policy policies (autarky, free trade agreements, neoliberal, progressive, disadvantages of trade) and be able to implement them (if we vote for them).
      I want our parties to debate economics (the physically constrained vs. the financially constrained, money circuit ideas vs sound finance, tax structure, scarcity vs abundance thinking) and be able to implement them.
      I want our parties to debate climate policies (e.g. should the UK not follow an emissions trading policy but instead follow a carbon tax and dividend policy – a policy more likely to work and more likely to be adopted by some other countries).
      I want our parties to debate immigration (is the reduction of social mobility of existing residents due to low income immigration a price worth paying to give opportunities to others, should immigration policy be regional and hence devolved?).
      I want our parties to debate benefits vs. citizen dividend vs. UBI vs. guaranteed job schemes and to be able to make compatible immigration choices.

      I want our parties to be free (depending upon whatever the UK future on judicial review will be) to develop and argue for policies that they are actually able to implement supported by a democracy functioning at the UK/nations level. This cannot happen within the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Swop you Andy.
      Tell us how the EU will look in a few years time.
      Read the Five Presidents Report and read Verhofstadt’s speeches.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps instead Andy could tell us why he likes the EU so much.

  52. Headsup
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    There will be no renegotiated withdrawal agreement with the EU now as there is no time left. The ones who have undermined Britains bargaining position are the very ones who were at the heart of government for the past three years. The EU is not going to change anything now and are quite prepared for Boris’s and Cummings bluff and bluster 17th 18th Octwon’t change a thing- you see they have to rid themselves of Farage and Widdecombe and for them that is the most important thing. Everything else can be picked up again sometime next year probably

  53. Alan Joyce
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    As Remain MP’s become increasingly desperate in their efforts to stop a No-Deal Brexit, I wonder how the Gaukeward Squad (the 21-odd who lost the conservative whip) would vote if Labour, the SNP, and the rest of the rag, tag and bobtail parties hold a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, with the intention of installing Jeremy Corbyn as caretaker PM, for the sole purpose of asking the EU for an extension and stopping No-Deal?

    I wonder how the rest of the Conservative Party would react to their ex-party colleagues actions? Indeed, I wonder how the public would react?

    Day by day, one can see Remain MP’s resorting to ever more unprincipled measures, having been driven quite mad by Boris Johnson’s oft repeated line that he will obey the law and take the UK out of the EU on the 31st October.

    • rose
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      A goodly number of hem have given us an indication in voting against allowing 3 days off for the Conservative conference.

    • Paul
      Posted September 27, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Find it hard to believe that Corbyn want’s to be the one to request the extension, not matter how much he wants to be interim PM.
      Wouldn’t be surprised that SNP just want him to be a fall guy so that leave voters in Scotland won’t go back to Labour.
      Would be interesting seeing him try to wriggle out of it if it was offered though.

  54. James
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    The country is not going to unite behind the government in the way you describe that’s for sure- there is far too much division in the land for that. So then there is a good chance that we’ll leave without agreement on the WA ie. The Crash and we’ll save 39 billion as Boris has repeatedly told us again today. However if we leave under these circumstances I hope nobody seriously thinks that life will go on as before because it won’t- and no need for me to spell out here- the undermining of the UK’s bargaining position started a long time ago when DD was appointed our chief negotiator and from there it went steadily downhill- not the fault of the EU

  55. Kees
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Listening to Farage speech tonight I fear you guy’s are into meltdown and don’t think the UK itself is going to survive this. I have no doubt now that the EU will grant you you your wish to leave 31st Oct. After that it is anybody’s guess but with so much anti EU feeling in England I can’t things being allowed to carry on.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 28, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Yeah ! There is a lot of people who just want this to end. The political class and the Establishment have caused enormous harm.

  56. James Bertram
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  57. Jasper
    Posted September 27, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    What I really do not understand is why the Government always appears to be on the back foot. Remainers are playing a very clever game. Even though I felt Boris was marvellous the other night – calm, composed- , he now is the one being vilified by MSM parliament etc for using abusive language. Why is it not being publicised about the mini deals, the fact we will not crash out, it cannot be catastrophic because if it is catastrophic for us then it will be catastrophic for the EU, and who wants that! Boris and his team need to start spreading positivity about leaving the EU.

  58. Jasper
    Posted September 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Why did MSM BBC etc jump all over Boris’s ‘unacceptable language’ when I actually saw that he was calm and composed on Wednesday, and yet nothing is reported about the leader of the lib undemocrats writing to the EU to tell them not to give us a deal. JSwinsons face revealed the truth when Boris announced this on Wednesday and she practically fell back into her seat and yet nothing in the newspapers about this or in the news!! How absolutely disgusting!!

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page