Deal or no deal?

As some of you only want to write about Brexit, here is your chance. I’m sticking with my view of the problems with the Withdrawal Agreement and the need to propose a Free Trade Agreement.

So what deal or agreement if any would you like the UK to propose during these secret talks?

What Agreement do you think the EU would accept, other than the already drafted Withdrawal Agreement?


  1. Shirley
    October 16, 2019

    Personally, I doubt the EU will accept any deal that is not heavily in favour of the EU. For this reason, I would prefer a WTO exit, regardless of the short term disruption. We need full sovereignty and self government as soon as possible, and if the current Parliament is unable to make a success of Brexit them we can replace them and elect people who will put the UK, and its citizens, first … for a change.

    1. Hope
      October 16, 2019

      Lords King and Lawson made it clear the EU will not give a good deal otherwise other countries would leave. Martin Howe who you recently shared a platform with wants no Withdrawal Agreement.

      The only deal talked about was a trade deal Not a straight jacket servitude plan to leave.
      No single market
      No customs union including NI
      No ECJ
      No immunity for EU employees
      No money for nothing, not my taxes
      UK to be given its cash held in EU bank. No interest free loans to EU bank as Hammond agreed
      No more benefits for EU citizens who have never set foot here
      No EU state aid rules
      No agreement on fishing whatsoever. They immediately leave our waters. Future discussed with trade
      No military control whatsoever by the EU
      Cooperation on intelligence on a peace meal basis.
      No dual judicial system for EU citizens wishing to remain here. Our law and courts only.
      No political Declaration which forces U.K. To negotiate on a form of customs union
      No level playing field terms, to be discussed with trade talks.

      1. Leaver Jon
        October 17, 2019

        Very well said! Boris is selling us out even worse than May did! We will be watching to see which MPs back it

      2. dixie
        October 17, 2019

        looks to be a reasonable list

      3. Hope
        October 17, 2019

        So ther we have it, a sell out by Johnson.

        Access and quotas for fishing remain the same, disputes arbitrated by European court! Defence EU led control, ECHR remaining! Come on JR, tell us this is not lipstick on a pig?

        What did Johnson say at DUP conference last year that no PM would accept and act in stark contrast? Did he say EU could go whistle for money?

        Veneer changes at best.

        Brexit Party awaits us all.

    2. Peter
      October 16, 2019

      Agreed. I certainly do not know how it will all pan out though.

      We are currently waiting on more news and clarification.

    3. R Garnham
      October 17, 2019

      i would be happy to leave with no deal but support our PM’s efforts to try and achieve one. I think it has become increasingly obvious that it is the EU do not want to be reasonable about supporting a deal for the U.K. If given the choice, I would vote leave and trade via WTO. The EU is about to become a failed experiment.

    4. Richard Mortimer
      October 17, 2019

      Sir John

      GATT 24 all the way. I am surprised the PM has not offered this. Maybe he has, but we don’t know. I am worried about any kind of fudge. I do not trust the EU at all. They have not negotiated in good faith.

      I think we should offer GATT 24 and go onto WTO if they if they do not accept that. Being prepared to do that would put massive pressure on them. I think what would happen is: they would keep saying “non” right up to the dead-line. Then, at the last possible moment, maybe even on 1st November, say, “OK, GATT 24.”

  2. Prigger
    October 16, 2019

    None. We should have invited the EU to ask for a meeting in London if they wished to speak about any matter. If they wished a deal with the UK our door would be open subject to our date , time and schedule for other matters.For we are busy.

  3. Pominoz
    October 16, 2019

    Sir John,

    The very best option is to offer nothing whatsoever. Just let Article 50 reach its natural conclusion. After that, the UK is in the box seat.

    Shame that EU agents, masquerading as MPs, are determined to thwart this approach.

    1. Fred H
      October 16, 2019

      not bad for starters… now let ’em have both barrels!

  4. Ian Wragg
    October 16, 2019

    It makes no difference what we want
    It looks like Mays WA with lipstick so bye bye Tory Party.
    We really aren’t that dim.

  5. Sammy
    October 16, 2019

    As Mrs May said, no British PM could ever accept the separation of Northern Ireland from Great Britain. Anything that brings that about is inconsistent with our nationhood. Let’s talk trade, but don’t you, or any other MP, dare to surrender our Union. There can be no special customs status for Northern Ireland, there can be no checks in the Irish Sea

    1. MakingWaves
      October 16, 2019

      Sammy- it’s only a matter of a few years before NI peels off- and very probably Scotland too- nothing lasts forever including empires or the UK. But that’s not the end and it does not matter in the long term- English people will be where English people have always been, the same with Scottish people and Irish, Welsh etc- we’ll still carry on just as before, mingle, move from one place to the other- intermarry and rear families, carry on with commerce, trading and so on. So then tell me please what is the point of our present generation Tories ERG or DUP self righteous making such a big fuss about everything- in the end things will work out and probably much better than we can ever imagine- my advice is- leave it to the future, leave it to the young people.

  6. Mark B
    October 16, 2019

    Good morning.

    I just want us to settle our affairs, make good provisions regarding for peoples living here and the EU (eg healthcare and the right to remain) and simply Leave.

    No Single Market. No Customs Union. No being subject to European Union laws. A Third Country. Independent and FREE !!!

    1. Andy
      October 16, 2019

      Mrs May’s deal did all that but was apparently not Brexity enough for you.

      1. Edward2
        October 16, 2019

        The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected three times by Parliament.

      2. NickC
        October 16, 2019

        Andy, It wasn’t “Brexity enough” because it wasn’t Brexit. Read it. May’s WA retains EU control over us. Perhaps you should return to Primary school to understand what the word Leave means.

    2. Simeon
      October 16, 2019

      What we want must be persuasively argued for, whether in a GE, referendum, or both. It then must be competently delivered. How this happens in practice I do not know. New politicians, and indeed a new politics, needed. But the responsibility for this lies largely with the people. Political leadership is also necessary, but to expect this to arise spontaneously, and then to be embraced by the population, would require either a remarkable individual, or remarkable circumstances. Otherwise, the same failed direction of travel seems inevitable.

    3. Martin in Cardiff
      October 16, 2019

      Good morning John.

      Why would the European Union consider for one moment, any kind of agreement, so long as the UK does not pay what it has already agreed that it owed, and threatens the Good Friday Agreement that the former has said that it will uphold whatever?

      They have been as good as their word to the letter now for three years, so on what do you base your apparent expectation that they will abandon that principle soon?

      1. a-tracy
        October 16, 2019

        Martin, haven’t we been paying the EU for the last three years everything we owed? For a year longer than they originally anticipated so surely the leaving payment is reduced by the extra year’s bonus they got from us remaining anyway? I thought EU budgets were only forward agreed for five years, at this rate we only pay notice for the remaining period we would have been in which could if we extend again just end with no payment due.

      2. David Taylor
        October 16, 2019

        The EU only has a minor role to pay in Ireland , through various programmes such as SPPR , INTERREG , Leader 11 and its successors .
        Any questions relating to the financing of such schemes will be dealt with by replacement organisations as the UK Gov has already stated .

        When did the EU become the major partner in the Belfast agreement ?
        When did the EU become the major arbiter of what happens in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland ?
        Why did the Northern Ireland Border become the deal breaker , when the border was not an issue between the UK and the ROI since 1998 , only the interference of the supranational EU imperils it , not the UK or ROI or Northern Ireland.

      3. NickC
        October 16, 2019

        Martin, Actually the UK has not agreed to pay any Danegeld. A proposal was made by the EU backed up with blackmail and threats. Your view that a free trade deal “threatens the Good Friday Agreement” is purely imaginary. The open border between Eire and the UK pre-dates the EU. So it is the EU that must conform.

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          October 17, 2019

          Says you and whose army?

        2. Marvin
          October 18, 2019

          I agree! It is the EU who must agree to UK demands. They have not accommodated the UK in all the years we have been paying into it. The UK has become heavily disadvantaged by the EU regulations, many of which were spuriously applied. The UK has lost time. I have read part of the new agreement, (as that allowed by the media) and it would appear that the UK would still be bound by EU rules in important areas. That is not acceptable. You do not leave a club under the understanding that you still wear their uniform.

      4. libertarian
        October 16, 2019

        Martin in Cardiff

        “so on what do you base your apparent expectation that they will abandon that principle soon?”

        On the grounds that it was a load of made up political guff. As you’ve been told so many times the GFA is NOTHING to do with the EU , the EU admits we dont owe them any money. The German economy is about to tank France and Catalonia are in open rebellion, companies are leaving the EU in droves and they need an agreement with one of their biggest markets.

        But like Margaret Howard you will keep posting the same nonsense over and over again in the forlorn hope that it might suddenly become true . Truly laughable

      5. James1
        October 16, 2019

        I seem to remember the EU repeated insistence that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Everything wasn’t agreed,

    4. cynic
      October 16, 2019


  7. Kenneth
    October 16, 2019

    I agree that we simply propose a free trade agreement along with friendly co-operation in a range of common interests.

    As we have said before, we will not place any hard border between N.I. and the republic. What Ireland choose to do on their side is their business.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      October 16, 2019


      I too see your suggestion as the way forward.

      Unfortunately they are money and careers available to those who wish to complicate matters. On both sides.

    2. sm
      October 16, 2019

      I agree.

  8. Mick
    October 16, 2019

    I’m sure that what ever deal Mr Johnson as come up with will do so long as we are truly seen to be out of the federation block, I’ve waited over 40 years to be a self governing country again which the snowflakes of this great country don’t seem to comprehend , and thank god it wasn’t the labour/libs doing the negotiations or we wouldn’t be leaving and we would never ever get the chance to leave again

    1. Andy
      October 16, 2019

      Johnson’s deal is worse than May. Brexit is a mess which makes our country poorer, weaker and less relevant.

      The real snowflakes are you. You have so little faith in Britain and Britishness that you do not believe it can thrive by working with others. Pathetic really.

      1. Edward2
        October 16, 2019

        We want to work with others.
        But as an independent nation.

      2. NickC
        October 16, 2019

        Andy, You don’t know what Johnson’s “deal” is, do you? So you don’t know what you’re talking about. Again.

        Brexit will make us better off, stronger, and much more relevant. We will thrive by working with others. We just don’t want to be ruled by them.

      3. libertarian
        October 16, 2019


        So how come you know the details of Johnsons deal when no one else does? You are truly stupid….sorry there is no other way to describe how foolish you make yourself look day after day on here

        Still you are Leaves biggest recruiter

      4. beresford
        October 17, 2019

        Andy, the EU is not a trade bloc, it is a political project whose aim is to break up individual countries like Britain and individual peoples like the British and form one homogenous area ruled by unelected bureaucrats on behalf of big corporations. It is because we have faith in the British that we DON’T want to be part of it. But you never hear this discussed in the MSM.

    2. James1
      October 16, 2019

      We don’t need an agreement to leave the EU. Nor do we need a free trade agreement. We don’t have a free trade agreement with our biggest customer, the US. Just leave the sclerotic inward looking protectionist cabal.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        October 16, 2019

        The US is not the UK’s biggest customer. The European Union Single Market is by far, being several times bigger than the US, accounting for as much as UK trade with the rest of the world combined, about half of the total.

        Look up “single” in a dictionary, perhaps.

        1. Edward2
          October 17, 2019

          We dont trade with the EU.
          We export to various European nations.

        2. dixie
          October 17, 2019

          The single market is not a customer and considering the differences in local language and regulations it is not a “single” market.

          Ask Silver Cross if compliance with single market regulations met with France’s approval.

          Or perhaps the reality is that the single market is a con.

        3. libertarian
          October 17, 2019


          Look up facts

          The USA is the UK’s single biggest customer

          The EU is NOT a single market its a customs union we sell goods and services to customers in individual countries with individual rules and standards

    3. MickN
      October 16, 2019

      Would they have done a worse job than May? I doubt they could.

    4. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2019

      Are we going to leave? It still seems unlikely under Boris. JR is right, just offer a free trade deal or just leave. This is best for the country and the only way for the Conservative party to go. An accomodation with the Brexit Party will still be needed.

      The Benn surrender bill has done massive damage to the UK’s interests any of the very many traitor MP who voted for it should never ever be re-elected to Parliament.

  9. Dominic
    October 16, 2019

    A deal isn’t Brexit, the German’s will make sure of that. If a deal is agreed then this would constitute a victory for the political, administrative and media class over democracy. So be it

  10. Simeon
    October 16, 2019

    There is what could and should have happened had government done its job properly three years ago, and there is what can now happen to retrieve the present, dire situation as far as possible. It is better not to live in the past.

    A clean and proper Brexit will have to be fought for, and once (if) achieved, needs to be given some chance of success. The most radical government since Thatcher’s (and probably in truth a far more radical government even than hers) will be required to reorient the economy, enabling it to compete on the global stage. I am firmly against government intervention in principle. However, given how decade upon decade of state interference in our economy has so queered the pitch, a significant degree of state intervention will be necessary to reverse the damage.

    God knows where such a government can be found, or even whether the electorate would vote for it. I would suggest the best that can be hoped for is muddling along in generally the right direction, at least until a sufficient number of the people recognise the need for radical reform, and can broadly agree on the shape of it. Still, patience is a virtue.

  11. Lynn Atkinson
    October 16, 2019

    Stick with it Sir John. You are right. If there is a WA I will be handing in my membership card.

  12. John Lewis
    October 16, 2019

    For my money, I prefer a just leave, No Deal. Get back our fishing zones, our farming policies, our Border Control, our own Law Making, etc etc. And we will take whatever “Hits” they throw at us and get them sorted, No ifs, No buts.
    Thank you for this blog Sir John. Much respected.

  13. BOF
    October 16, 2019

    Propose a free trade deal. Never sign any treaty with the EU, their only purpose is control of the UK.

    Ask for an extension, as required, and wait for a GE.

    1. Mark B
      October 16, 2019


  14. George Brooks
    October 16, 2019

    Mark B is absolutely right. We can get on very well with our neighbours and there is no need to get into bed with them.

    1. Mark B
      October 16, 2019


  15. Matthew McKenzie
    October 16, 2019

    Attitudes are changing here in the EU-27. Damage-limitation means avoiding the rupture of a no-deal, if possible. Solidarity with the Irish Republic is widely felt. But the preservation of the integrity of the Single Market is the primary goal (ask any German car manufacturer).

    Any flexibility on the Irish border issue will be unacceptable if it leaves room for abuse. Many question how workable the UK’s latest proposal will be. Patience with UK is running thin whilst Brexit, so far, has bolstered internal support for the EU. Even here in the Netherlands, generally anglophile and a major UK trading partner, politicians are increasingly exasperated and wish to move on.

  16. RichardM
    October 16, 2019

    The deal we already have. Germany++. It cannot be bettered.
    We are already in control of our money our borders and our laws.

    1. Edward2
      October 17, 2019

      Read the treaties of Lisbon and Mastricht

  17. Matt R
    October 16, 2019

    GATT 24 and then FTA. The EU would never agree to this with parliament as it stands so my bet is on delay and, hopefully, an election.

  18. Turboterrier
    October 16, 2019

    No one will win and every one will lose depending on your beliefs.

    Out means out and we have been here before. After the first referendum the politicians woke up to what they had signed up for and it was Mr Heath that is quoted as saying “by the time the British public realise and wake up to the real consequences it will be too late and they will just accept it”
    I do not want to be part of a Federal State controlled by faceless unknowns who are neither responsible or accountable for their decisions. We are a fully paid up member we owe them nothing. We do not need to be tied into treaties or keep being duty bound to keep paying in fees, out, leave means just that. People still have the choice if they are so besotted with the EU go and live there. our industries were very competitive and durable but now they are predominately owned by foreign nationals and they are paying the piper. What really is at risk is our democracy and the right to fully govern ourselves and the wrong decision will tear apart our political structure and our way of life. If we are out, really out then we have nobody else to blame but ourselves so there will be no hiding place created by blaming other politicians or courts. For those who have tried a “friendly civilised divorce” still in a lot of cases feel well and truly shafted so being the nice guy and being everything to all just doesn’t work. JFDI Boris you know it makes sense.

  19. BW
    October 16, 2019

    I cannot see any agreement that is supported by the EU being good for the U.K. they simply do not want us to succeed. Therefore we should leave on the 31st without a deal. Please please no more delay. Leave without a deal. Accept the many agreements already in place. The EU will then be very keen indeed to negotiate trade. If Boris does not get us out on the 31st and goes to the country, I think it will be a disaster for the Conservatives.

  20. agricola
    October 16, 2019

    Sorry to boor you with repetition, but if it makes the remoaner trolls who contribute, choke on their cornflakes here goes.

    Leave on WTO terms while presenting the EU with a draft FTA for discussion and the mutual option of invoking Art 24 of GATT to avoid any disruption of trade. At the same time present them with a draft treaty encapsulating all those areas of mutual benefit to be agreed under the Vienna Convention. Then present them with a bill we are prepared to pay on settlement of all the above. Would they agree to this, you tell me.

    1. Lennue Garth
      October 16, 2019

      Well, they have spent the last Three years NOT agreeing to this, so you tell me. You dont get a deal unless you let Northern Ireland go. Blame no one but the Brexiters who ignored our precious Union in 2016

    2. RichardM
      October 16, 2019

      agricola not sure how this borish offensive contribution gets past moderation.
      Your ‘deal’ is unacceptable to 80% of those polled recently, and does not resemble anything close to what voters were promised in 2016.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        October 17, 2019

        As @agricola has outlined leaving with a “deal” which is also a framework for a future partnership I think you will find that recent polling suggests that a majority is in favour.

  21. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2019

    I would like a deal through which the UK and the EU agreed to co-operate to protect the integrity of their separate internal markets, notwithstanding differences in the customs duties and regulatory requirements of the two markets, thus rendering unnecessary any checks on goods as they crossed the Irish land border in either direction and so removing that contrived obstacle to a fair and amicable settlement.

  22. Pete S
    October 16, 2019

    I am not going to propose any agreement. Why, because 3 years ago, I reasoned that the EU had NO intention of having a sensible negotiation. Nothing I have seen or heard so far has changed my mind.

    However, the level of deceit by politicians, far exceeds anything I thought possible.

  23. Frances Truscott
    October 16, 2019

    The EU only makes deals which are toxic to the other side . The WA had 40 horrors in it. The EU is bullying the Swiss because they did make deals. Seems to me that the current deal on offer doesn’t allow the UK to refuse by sector so if we don’t let them have anything they want they can pull the entire deal whenever they feel like it.
    The EU is a nasty expensive totalitarian Empire in the making. We need clear of all of it beyond a free trade deal. I don’t know what you do about services since when the Swiss said they wanted to row back on free movement the EU removed access to financial markets. The EU cannot be trusted. So it has to be a deal without the EUs usual strings.

  24. Mark Richmond
    October 16, 2019

    The original EU offer, of a NI only customs and regulatory zone, while GB leaves the single market and customs union, seems perfect to me. Northern Ireland has different laws on all sorts of things (different from GB) so I really do not see why we should die in a ditch over customs. I think Boris is essentially returning to this idea now the DUP are not essential to any deal passing the commons.

  25. Kevin
    October 16, 2019

    The PM has been a rock throughout this whole period. A rock that sits
    opposite the hard place supplied by Mr. Corbyn’s party. The pair of them are
    managing to steer the people away from the direction we voted for. It seems to
    me that the logical step is for Tory MPs to join the Brexit Party. The last three
    years have shown that “sit and wait” becomes “much too late”.

    1. Margaret Robinson
      October 16, 2019

      You demonstrate you know nothing about the EU. 5 treaties signed all between 160 and 750 pages. What did they consist of fairy stories. The EU has admitted its greatest fear is the competition from a thriving and prosperous UK, but not only as a compeditor but as evidence to existing members that to be successful the EU is immaterial. If you had any real knowledge about the EU you would realise that it has deliberately reduced the competitiveness of the UK and undermined it’s potential. The best financial services in the world, a strong economy and military gives the UK the ability to stand respected on the world stage, something the EU is desperate to do but with a shrinking economy, less than average financial svs., no military it depended on Britain to raise its prestige

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    October 16, 2019

    Even you now seem to have succumbed to the notion that UK does all the giving and has to pander to the EU. What concessions have we obtained from EU?

  27. Just Leave
    October 16, 2019

    Dear John

    The EU is firmly attached to the WA treaty. They don’t want to offer anything else that might be seen by the other 27EU countries as a good deal.Boris might come back with a few tweaks here or there but it will be dressed up as a major breakthrough. Only by the UK leaving with a clean break/WTO can we be truly free from EU shackles. Then we can offer a Free Trade agreement. If we leave with the dreaded WA we will be bound by their rules and the arguments about the EU will only drag on for years to come. I voted to LEAVE and I want the UK to be independent and sovereign again. I’m hoping and praying this will be the eventual outcome.

  28. Everhopeful
    October 16, 2019

    They won’t easily accept ANY deal. ( Except maybe one Parlt won’t accept).
    Boris,I am sure knows they are just playing with us.
    Has he got any remote, tiny chance of conjuring up a last minute NO DEAL?

  29. Steve Reay
    October 16, 2019

    There’s no guarantee that they would do a free trade deal without wanting a withdrawal agreement sorted first.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      October 17, 2019

      Which is why leaving is the first step to a deal.

      Once we have withdrawn we have no need for a withdrawal agreement and we can talk cooperation and trade.

      The dogmatic remainers can then start their campaign to rejoin.

  30. Thomas
    October 16, 2019

    We should leave on the 31st without any Treaty and tell the world today that is what we will be doing. Mr Johnson has told us so many times that we would be leaving on that date, with or without a deal, so he must know there are ways around the Benn Act.

    We can then become, at last, like any other country that isn’t in the EU and talk about Free Trade after we have left.

    Not that I have any faith in Johnson to do this. I see Owen Paterson has already condemned Johnson’s proposals (whatever they are) calling them *absurd” and “unacceptable”.

  31. Fred H
    October 16, 2019

    Any deal agreed by the EU ‘negotiators’ will not be sufficiently acceptable. The track record of their willingness to come to a sensible discussion and end with common sense is clear. We must leave and then seek trade agreements. The UK punishment and example set to the other members has to be severe, flying in the face of reason. A lasting discord for years to come, and damage at so many levels- this is the inevitability.

  32. Peter Moore
    October 16, 2019

    The best course is the so-called “No Deal” deal, an excellent deal, similar to the other WTO deals we have with so many good neighbours around the world. We can then wait for the Euristas to come a-knocking & deal (negotiate) on terms which no longer include their refusal to negotiate in good faith. So long, then, as we keep the senior civil ‘service’ & most pols. well away from the negotiations we can achieve a fair deal for both sides; we do not need a stitch-up, they need one for internal political purposes & to assuage their afflatus.

    Most of the European nations are reasonable & friendly, given a chance. No, we could not, in common sense, trust the German, French or Spanish govts. but it is only the politicians & senior officials/enarqs/functionaires. Hoi poloi, like most of us, are fine. Nothing much changes with geography or time; we cannot trust our own politicians (with noteworthy exceptions of whom our host is but one*) & our senior civil service [they deserve no caps.] are fit only to explain why they, each individually, should not be sentenced to hard labour for many a year.

    Has any sensible commenter a criticism of my ‘best course’? Usual Jeremiahs may give us a laugh but I ask in earnest.

    * I ramble on only to explain I do not gush over JR, simply, his thoughts & mine coincide. Could I thus be far wrong???

  33. L Jones
    October 16, 2019

    Surely we don’t actually NEED the EU to ”accept” anything in order to leave.

    Once we’re free of it the UK can make trade agreements – and wouldn’t those include the EU? Or is that too simplistic?

    1. Here and Now
      October 17, 2019

      The EU will not open talks with the Uk until it accepts the terms of the WA. The Uk will therefore have no trade deal with its biggest trading partner. The Uk will also lose all its other trade deals, since they were all brokered by the EU and do not apply to the Uk if it is not a member of the EU. Now, tell me again why you want Brexit?

      1. Edward2
        October 17, 2019

        First a deal can be done with the EU as you will see very soon.
        Secondly more than 40 deals are ready to sign once we have left and many other countries have said they will want to carry on trading with the UK on terms already in place with the EU.

      2. libertarian
        October 17, 2019

        here & Now

        great prediction…. oh …. lol

      3. NickC
        October 17, 2019

        Here and now, For democratic self government. Doh . . . !

  34. ian
    October 16, 2019

    Well if voters don’t agree with the outcome they can always vote for the Brexit party.

    1. L Jones
      October 16, 2019

      Yes, they CAN vote for it, when the opportunity is ALLOWED. But will the result be ”ALLOWED”?
      The EU may not ”allow” it.

  35. James Bertram
    October 16, 2019

    I suggest the offer we make is that We Leave – no strings attached on our side – but, in addition, that we annex Normandy, receive £39 billion from the EU, can continue to help make EU law, have extended rights to fish in EU waters, and have use of any EU Defence forces formed.

    1. L Jones
      October 16, 2019

      That sounds just about right, Mr Bertram.
      Though I very much doubt that remainers here will respond to, or laugh at, the irony. Or even understand it.

    2. Pominoz
      October 16, 2019


      Certainly sounds as fair as the EU proposals.

    3. Fred H
      October 17, 2019

      and should pay the future pensions of UK MPs.

  36. Mike Stallard
    October 16, 2019

    There is just one permanent solution which will please everyone:

    Leave the EU and the Single Market (aka EEA/EU) on 31st October as planned and promised. The Prime minister does not need to die in a ditch.

    Remain in the EEA for a set period (5 years?) on an EFTA arrangement.

    Sadly, nobody believes in this any more. So we face a series of fudges and, to be honest, I expect Boris to die in that ditch because he is going to have to stay in as planned…

    1. NickC
      October 16, 2019

      Mike Stallard, How can we “leave the … Single Market (EEA)” and at the same time “remain in the EEA …”??

      And as Farage has said in the past the Norway model (EEA via the EFTA) is better than being part of the EU, but a) it is not Leave, and b) it is not on offer.

    2. Mark B
      October 16, 2019


      I still believe it but the others do not.

  37. Richard1
    October 16, 2019

    The test is whether a deal in principle permits the UK to pursue an independent trade and regulatory policy. If not – as Mrs May’s clearly didn’t – we may as well just stay in the EU.

  38. Jazz
    October 16, 2019

    My concern is that the EU negaotiating team have completely outclassed us – from getting us to agree to the scheduling of talks, to encouraging/ exploiting divisions within our own Govt. and Parliament. Would we send Teignmouth FC to play Man. City every month for 3 years and expect to come out anywhere near even. I don’t think so.

    Therefore unless the deal is quite simple and transparent I think that we will be outsmarted and pay billions for the privilege.

    My preference is a clean break then negotiations as required.

    I suspect, Sir John, that you and those with your clarity of thinking will require great moral strength in the next few weeks.

  39. Alan Jutson
    October 16, 2019

    Just say goodbye, I am afraid its not for us, and walk away, no money paid, they have had enough.

    Immediately trade under WTO rules, but offer offer a free trade agreement, and co-operation with on going projects, if they are to be of sensible mutual benefit to both sides.

    No reason for us to be nasty or to wish to punish anyone, or any group, we have a reputation as being a fair Country, but we must now put the interests of our own Country and the people who live here first.

    Offer all those who presently reside here the opportunity to stay, but only under UK rules and law.

    Agree the northern Ireland border could be a problem, it has been in the past, unlike many people, I think the opportunities to smuggle people and goods from one side to the other will prove a magnet for crime and fraud (given varying rates of tax and tariffs) and eventually a both sides will agree the border will need to be policed/managed/supervised somehow, somewhere.

    We need to keep it as simple as possible, not as complicated as politicians can make it.

  40. Alison
    October 16, 2019

    In the current context (Benn Act) I am sure the EU will accept minimal changes to the existing withdrawal agreement, apart from the NI protocol. Ditto re the political declaration.

    A priority for the EU will be to make leaving the EU look as bad as possible (in the short and medium term) to other EU members.

    We need to walk, no withdrawal agreement.

  41. Mike Wilson
    October 16, 2019

    I’d like to see another referendum- or simply revoke Article 50. Our government is not competent. Our political system is undemocratic. Might as well let the EU run everything.

  42. glen cullen
    October 16, 2019

    Teresa May said over a 100 times that we would leave on the 29th March 2019…result: massive distrust of the Tory Party

    Boris Johnson has said well over a 100 times and continues to say that we will leave on the 31st October 2019…. potential result: nobody will ever believe the Tory Party ever again

  43. Ian Murray
    October 16, 2019

    WTO and be damned!

  44. ian
    October 16, 2019

    So you are voting against the deal then John, and leaving the con party, or is that a step too far for you and just won’t bother turning up for the vote on the deal if there is one.

    We will see how many Brexiteers are left next week in the con party with their no extension past Oct 31.

  45. A.Sedgwick
    October 16, 2019

    Three basics:




    The Ireland plan of Ulster being in two customs unions under their ultimate control, if that is what it means, seems a good compromise.

    If BJ agrees to a May2 then we will see how many snowflakes there are.

    1. L Jones
      October 16, 2019

      That it’s narrowed down to these three essentials only goes to show how far we have been driven by the dishonourable remainers. They must be very proud.

      There are many many other ”basics” worthy of note.

  46. Gareth Warren
    October 16, 2019

    My thoughts on this deal are bad, I might compromise on handing them billions but not control, I see no FTA in the “deal” and suspect we will submit ever more control to them with subsequent deals.

    I am also relaxed about brexit, the polls show the people are roundly behind a no deal result, so whatever this parliament gets up to will be temporary. I would we prefer we cancelled all negotiations and offered them a simple FTA, they then can choose to protect their trade or not.

  47. Caterpillar
    October 16, 2019

    0. No delay. Effective immediately.
    1. No to financial equivalence to avoid rule taking (
    2. Northern Ireland able to independently withdraw from CU alignment if it is forced to be in CU (to maintain consent). For balance Republic of Ireland/EU could independently eject NI from CU (review every several years).
    3. No regulatory alignment/harmonization/common rulebook
    4. Time limited role of ECJ.
    5. Temporary (5 to 10 years) free trade agreement (to permit UK political parties to thoroughly debate trade policy).
    6. No rights beyond settlement scheme for EU citizens in UK. (There is already a bad taste of racism in favouring mainly white Eastern Europeans over historically deserted mainly non-white of Kowloon peninsula and HK island).
    7. Commitment by EU countries to leave UK waters and vice versa (effective immediately). (Trade and FDI should be approaches taken).
    8. Phased (1 year) exit from emissions trading scheme (UK carbon tax sxheme should have associated dividend payment and border adjustment)
    9. Criminal /terror data sharing.
    10. Recognition of Gibraltar independence and no use of the word colony in this context.
    11. Military collaboration only through NATO or bilateral agreements.
    12. Mutual recognition of passports (visa free) for short holiday / business trips. [Though not critical online visa applications either way OK].
    13. Return of Galileo investment including intellectual property.
    14. UK and EU HE students to be treated equivalently for period of 4 years.
    15. Single European Skys – not sure.

    1. Caterpillar
      October 16, 2019

      Nearly forgot the bvious:-

      -1. No unrepresented rule taking during any transition.

  48. libertarian
    October 16, 2019

    ComRes poll of 20,000 people suggests that 54% of Brits favour honouring the 2016 referendum result

    1. L Jones
      October 16, 2019

      Only 54 per cent?
      I suggest this figure is arrived at so that, if there is a second referendum, ”they” can say: ”Well, it was always going to be close…..” after the result has been tweaked by the masters – whoever they may turn out to be.

    2. RichardM
      October 16, 2019

      libertarian it does not. As you well know it was a 3 way poll with remain the most popular option. All other 2 way polls show remain over 50%. The gap has widened to 53%/47% remain in second half of this year when averaging polls.
      Many who prefer a deal would prefer to remain if the only option was no deal.
      Comres actual result :
      42% remain 30% deal 20% no deal 8% dont knows.

      1. Edward2
        October 17, 2019

        So by your own figures 50 v 42 are not in favour of remaining.
        An 8 point majority in a general election would give a party a majority of over 50 seats.

      2. dixie
        October 17, 2019

        ComRes own site has;

        “26,000 adults surveyed by ComRes across the UK. Results shows more than half (54%) of British public support the UK abiding by the referendum result and leaving the EU, regardless of the way they voted in the 2016 Referendum.
        More people’s preferred outcome is now for the UK to leave the European Union (50% v 42% remain).
        However, when the “don’t knows” (of those expressing an opinion) are excluded, over half say their preferred outcome is for the UK to leave the EU (54%) compared to less than half who say their preferred outcome is for the UK to remain in the EU (46%)”

        So Libertarian is right.

      3. libertarian
        October 17, 2019


        Your inability to read a simple poll doesn’t surprise me based on the other total nonsense you’ve posted on this blog

  49. Chris
    October 16, 2019

    We should leave without the resurrected WA/PD being signed, and operate under WTO rules initially. That is the only way we will free ourselves from the EU and actually leave. As it is highly unlikely Boris will get his resurrected May WA/PD deal through Parliament, events will move fast and I believe we will then be in election territory. Boris should fight an election on the basis of a “No Deal” (misnomer) and coordinate with Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party. That would ensure a significant election victory, and, most importantly, honour the Referendum result, and uphold our democracy.

    1. L Jones
      October 16, 2019

      Chris – you have put it in a nutshell. Simple and plain.

      That the EU is doing everything it can to keep us shackled is obviously because it wants our money. Nothing else. That our representatives SHOULD be doing everything they can to give us a clean break is also blindingly obvious to all right-thinking people, as most of us are. Of course – they’re not, as many of them are self-interested puppets.

      A clean break (as we don’t need the EU’s permission to leave) without a surrender treaty or a trade deal, is what our PM should be aiming for. Not this creeping and crawling liked a whipped cur to those he continually calls ”our EU friends”. (It may be diplomatic, but they ain’t friends.)

      For crying out loud – SURELY it must be obvious by now that (despite these fake polls) this country would praise BJ to the skies if he cut the shackles on 31 October. And preferably with (so-called) ”no deal”.

  50. BJC
    October 16, 2019

    When I go to a restaurant I’m asked what I would like to eat and don’t expect to be forcefed a meal I didn’t order and find unpalatable. I also don’t expect to be presented with a bill for the meal and refused my right to leave before I’ve paid it. I have no idea why Remainer MPs see nothing wrong with serving up something I didn’t ask for or why they expect me to pay vast sums for no other reason than the “privilege” of leaving the establishment.

    In answer to your simple question, Sir John, we should be departing under readymade WTO terms (neutral and already acceptable to the EU), with negotiators concentrating their efforts on a FTA, which always was and always will be, the only true Brexit.

  51. Graham Wood
    October 16, 2019

    The whole EU Commission is acting in very bad faith, as has been apparent for some time. Thus they are colluding with British politicians to interfere in our domestic politics in order to delay or even halt Brexit if they possibly can, as we well know
    Not content with the fact that the UK has legally fulfilled all obligations of our own Constitution as laid down in Article 50 the Commission is ignoring its own treaty law in attempting to lay down conditions for the British government in collusion with our ‘remain’ MPs such as calling for a second referendum, or as regards the timing our own General election!
    We know too that Article 50 stipulates none of these things and BJ should be telling them that their interference is totally unacceptable.
    This acting in bad faith means in effect that the EU Commission automatically exclude themselves from further negotiations. The terms of the Vienna Convention on treaties is clear:

    “The expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty (i.e. the Withdrawal Agreement, or WA lite) which has been produced by the coercion of its representative through acts or threats directed at him shall be without legal effect”

    The Benn Act is an example of just such coercion in which the EU Commission is a willing and active participant in contravention of the VC.
    BJ can justifiably therefore break off all further negotiation and declare we leave on the 31st October without further discussion.

  52. Know-Dice
    October 16, 2019

    Whilst we don’t know what Boris has given way on in his negotiations. He should be congratulated for getting the Withdrawal Agreement reopened dispite the EU insisting that it was closed a done deal. And Benn and co effectively sabotaging any real negotiation.

    1. steve
      October 16, 2019

      Know – Dice

      “Whilst we don’t know what Boris has given way on in his negotiations.”

      Speaks for itself, i.e. you’re not supposed to know what he’s given away until it’s too late.

      Sneakiness, secretiveness, = May all over again.

  53. NickC
    October 16, 2019

    It is completely outrageous that there may be a “second” referendum with a choice of two different Remains, when Remain lost in 2016.

    If there is a second referendum the choice should be the Boris-May mk2 Remain, and Leave (you know, where the EU ceases to control the UK state in any way).

    If the choice turns out to be fake – Boris-May mk2 Remain versus Remain – then I shall go to the polling station and write Leave on the ballot paper.

    1. James Bertram
      October 16, 2019

      That would be too polite, Nick.

    2. A.Sedgwick
      October 16, 2019

      Your last sentence is exactly my intention, at least “spoiled” papers are recorded.

  54. David J
    October 16, 2019

    The EU have to be seen to ensure that the UK gets a bad deal to prevent other parts of the EU wanting to leave too. The WA is the bad deal they want.
    The FTA is the best deal- fair trading with the EU and not being part of the Federal Empire that is evolving right now.
    If Boris gets the WA through, then the majority of people ( both remainers and leavers) will have been cheated. BUT Boris will have disabled the Brexit Party….

    1. steve
      October 16, 2019

      David J

      “BUT Boris will have disabled the Brexit Party….”

      Don’t bank on it. Mr Farage has yet to have his day.

  55. formula57
    October 16, 2019

    The people have been let down badly by the political class as a whole and redemption can only come by comprehensively liberating the UK from the Evil Empire. We should recognize the Evil Empire is no friend and will not act reasonably and sensibly unless coerced.

  56. ian
    October 16, 2019

    I do not see any deal coming which would be a relief for the Brexiteers and i do not see why BJ needs votes in the HOC this weekend because the only outcome is likely to be a second ref.
    Just get on with leaving on the 31st and cancel the votes in parliament this weekend.
    Came in like a lion, went out like a lamb.

  57. NickC
    October 16, 2019

    JR, The answer to your question – at this stage – is the WTO “deal”. In 2016, with a robust government, it may have been possible to leave the EU treaties (without returning to EU control over us by stealth) and have a free trade agreement similar to the EU/Japan deal. But not now.

    This mess is entirely due to a combination of EU hostility to the UK and the abject failure of the UK establishment (Tory government, civil service, BBC, etc) to understand that the EU is our implacable and vindictive enemy.

    1. Here and Now
      October 16, 2019

      Utter delusion. Whether it is 2016 or 2019 there is not the slightest chance of the EU talking to the UK about trade in the future until the UK has agreed to pay its debts, guarantee citizen rights and sign up to the Irish backstop. You appear to have learned nothing

      1. NickC
        October 16, 2019

        Here and now, Ironically you have merely confirmed that the EU is our intransigent and vindictive enemy.

      2. Richard1
        October 16, 2019

        Of course the UK will pay it’s debts. No UK govt has ever defaulted on a debt (except the re-setting of war loan interest from 5% to 3.5%).

        But that isn’t the same as handing over any money demanded. A debt is an amount owed under a legal agreement. If there is no agreement on a WA then the EU’s claims will be tested in court. I hope in such an event the UK will make counter claims over those things Mrs May left on the table.

      3. Tony Sharp
        October 16, 2019

        So you agree that WTO Brexit with no agreement on these matter sis the only rational outcome?

      4. libertarian
        October 17, 2019

        Here and Now

        Bet youre feeling totally stupid now?

        ps the UK guaranteed EU citizens rights a long time ago , its the EU that has been stalling

        1. bill brown
          October 19, 2019


          Generalisations it depends on the individual countries and I am not sure all EU citizens in the UK wold agree with you either

  58. David Taylor
    October 16, 2019

    I lack the knowledge and the experience to formulate a deal that the E.U might accept .
    My limited view of how the E.U operates suggests to me that they will force , in a reasonably polite manner , their will onto any individual country .

    A country has to follow international rules & regulations , to trade & in general discourse , it does not require the additional tier of the E.U. and its Supranational politics to do so .
    I would have in 2016 , sent them a , without prejudice letter of intent and left the E.U . immediately , the last three years could have been spent dealing with all the possible areas of friction , possible not probable snags , that even now , no one in Government appears to be ready for

  59. ferdinand
    October 16, 2019

    Since we and the EU are not on equal footings due to the Surrender Act we shall only be offered crumbs from the table. If I was Boris I would rfeuse to send the extension letter, face the consequencies and let the public decide the issue.

  60. JRW
    October 16, 2019

    The PM must only agree a ‘deal‘ which restores full sovereignty to the whole UK (GB and NI) and its ability to be fully competitive economically and industrially with any other state or group of states.
    It is apparent that it is the latter point on which the EU wants to disable the UK for they know that if the Uk cannot compete its sovereignty would be so downgraded as to be meaningless. The ‘deal’ should be clear and unmistakeable in its clarity; if it is not it would suggest there were under-the-table and conflicting alternative arrangements.
    The EU is employing nothing less than bully-boy tactics to try to compel the PM to compromise on regaining our sovereignty and our ability to compete with the EU, taking full advantage of the weakness of the UK position due to the Benn Act.

  61. John Partington
    October 16, 2019

    No single market,no customs market and no ECJ. Take back control of our territorial waters and make no more payments to the corrupt conglomeration of EU countries. Keep our £39 billion as well. If the EU want a free trade agreement,come to London to discuss it.

  62. Dan
    October 16, 2019

    In terms of a WA then the original Canada deal that DT offered with possibly some kind of fudge to get around the NI/RoI border problem. I don’t really have a problem with a transition period as I understand the need for one. I doubt that this is on offer though as the EU have us over a barrel since elements in the HoC will keep forcing Boris to request extensions. I think I agree with most Brexiteers when I say that we should leave the CU, SM and jurisdiction of the ECJ.
    If the deal is May’s appalling WA just rehashed then there will be problems, even if it only applies for a short term. If it is the Canada deal and Boris has been keeping it quite then he should win a vote in the HoC.

  63. Ian Pennell
    October 16, 2019

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    As one who voted to Leave the European Union in 2016 I am alarmed at how the Remainer Parliament – aided and abetted by Remainer Judges in Scotland’s Inner House (Court of Session) and Supreme Court (nine of the 12 Lordships get stipends worth over £100,000 per annum from the EU)- have mobilised to stop a Conservative Government carrying out the result of the largest Democratic Vote this country has ever seen.

    I am equally- perhaps even more- dismayed that the merest threat of Jail and possible loss of careers has cowed the Prime Minister into submission to the Benn Act and the Government to stop promising categorically that “Britain will definitely leave the EU on 31st October.” The Remainer MPs, the Speaker and (dare I say it) the Remainer Judiciary dont give two hoots for respect for Democracy and the 2016 Democratic Vote being upheld. They are all collaborating to force the Government – on fear of careers being terminated and freedom being sacrificed- into delay and a second Referendum (with a choice of Remain or BRINO)- and Boris Johnson is too timid to confront this outright because to do so might risk his arrest and the loss of the job he has wanted for so long.

    How about some Strong Leadership with Courage, Resolve and Principle, rather than running over to Brussels begging them for a Deal? Begging for a Deal even if it means carving up Northern Ireland – “So that I can say that Brexit was delivered and I keep my job”!How pathetic. In Venezuela the Opposition leader Juan Guaidó has led protests and risked certain death (as have opposition MPs) to stand up to a despotic, violent Socialist Regime to bring the Venezuelans hope of a better future than under President Maduro.

    The resolve of opposition politicians in other countries – where dissent is treated much more severely – surely puts our leaders to shame! Threaten them with jail (or even the resignation of the Attorney General) – even if though are in Government they back off and allow the undemocratic forces of the Deep State to effectively nullify and void the outcome of a very clear (and large) Democratic Vote! Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement- with nice clothes put on it- is not the Brexit so many millions voted for.

    I have emailed the Conservative Leadership and Brexit- supporting Conservative MPs (including yourself) with these sentiments on behalf of the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit in the hope that some of this filters through to Boris Johnson – so that he grows a stronger backbone and does not back down in the teeth of strong opposition. I hope sincerely, Sir that you will forcefully convey that he needs to be Strong and Courageous to “Get Brexit Done” (even at risk of Jail).

    The Democracy Britain enjoyed in recent decades (now under threat from a Remainer/Left-wing Deep State) was a result of many who fought and died to ensure Britain got freedom and democracy. Yet even the threat of jail leaves our Prime Minister backing down on Brexit – Shame!

    I pray that the Government will find stronger resolve, and that some EU states veto any Brexit Delay: May Brexit happen!

    Best wishes

    Ian Pennell

  64. JohnK
    October 16, 2019

    Boris Johnson decided to make the Irish Backstop central to his withdrawal negotiation, even though it was just one part of a raft of unacceptable proposals in the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Mr Johnson started by saying the Backstop had to be ditched. He has finished by conceding more than Mrs May did. She at least refused to countenance a customs border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Mr Johnson has accepted this.

    Let us be clear: a united nation does not have customs barriers between its constituent parts. If there are no customs barriers on the island of Ireland, but there are between NI and GB, then that is a major change in the constitutional arrangements of the entire country. It also, surely, violates the Good Friday Agreement, far more so than the prospect of a customs border between NI and a foreign state, the Republic of Ireland.

    I am not sure if Boris Johnson has been cynical or naïve here. The EU has rolled him over. He has accepted the bulk of Mrs May’s unacceptable WA, but has actually found a way to make it worse. We will both leave the EU in name only, AND facilitate the break up of the United Kingdom, For a Prime Minister from the Conservative and Unionist Party, that takes some doing.

    Sir John, you have been quite rightly saying that we need to leave the EU fully, We need to offer them a comprehensive free trade agreement, and pending that, trade with them under the terms of GATT xxiv. The “deal” we are being offered is as far from that as night from day. It is not a disappointment, it is a betrayal.

    Please do not be party to such a betrayal.

  65. Alan Wilkins
    October 16, 2019

    Everything is about the Backstop, important though it is- where are we with the 8 things wrong with the Withdrawal Agreement as published by yourself, along with myriad reasons as to why it isn’t going to be acceptable.
    So what is actually in the Johnson proposal for a deal, does it give credence to your 8 points or any other points for that matter- obviously he is keeping his cards close, but unless the backstop works for starters, and the original Agreement is altered to meet anybody the 8 points at least then it is totally flawed and cannot survive.
    Unless this happens and the substance declares that it takes us out of the EU with a clean break or otherwise- then it has to be a No Deal Brexit and that is that- WTO GATT or whatever has then to be the future- if the new deal is not up to specification then we are out and all grown up at last

  66. CambridgeRenegade
    October 16, 2019

    Dear Sir John – I am one of those soft Brexiteers (formerly pro-EFTA/EEA) whose views have hardened up over time. I thought the HoC would implement the 2016 mandate and that the EU would grudgingly go along with it. Instead we see the EU openly behaving as a hostile power (trying to annex NI, etc), and grievous extent of local contagion of the EU disease (which is to say a kind of corrupt political partisanship) to our own Parliament, Courts, watchdogs and media.

    It’s now clear that the EU has all but ruined this nation. And any link we have to it will be a conduit to pour its dirty money and corruption into our country. We should thus cut off every limb and tentacle, for every one is tipped with poison. If we do not, we will be dragged back in.

    So, no Treaty. Cold turkey, we need to get clean of this addiction. Further, we need to sweep away the Blairite structures that have facilitated our descent in vassalage, and take action to outlaw the EU’s malign influence in this country so that we can never be corrupted again.

    1. NickC
      October 17, 2019

      Cambridge Renegade, Well said. It is not safe to have any “deal” with the EU.

  67. Rule Britannia
    October 16, 2019

    I see the talks have stumbled on the rock of ‘level playing field’ provisions. It is quite clear that the EU wants to shackle us to their slow economy and their desire for developed countries to pay for the development of others.

    It has been clear all along that the EU wants a punishment WA which prevents a free UK doing well on their doorstep, so we will only get out via WTO and (possibly a trade agreement).

    A few voices in the wilderness have been pointing out that a WA is not a deal – it was intended (see text of Article 50) to plug any gaps in future arrangements, such as a trade deal – therefore it cannot be defined prior to the future arrangements.

    This is completely obvious to anyone who understands, so I have to wonder why we are not pointing this out loudly. The PM is now addressing people directly via social media, so why is this not a major theme of those broadcasts?

    Is he desperate for a deal. as the MSM claim? Or is he just looking to show the EU up for what they are then leave on WTO terms? I think any concessions on ,level playing field will destroy his chances of selling this as a good deal. We are watching and waiting, ballot box pencils in hand – fully aware that he could have refused Royal Assent for the Surrender Bill so he will get no sympathy in an election for any claim that his hands were tied when he stood still and allowed them to tie the knots.

    The BXP has claimed that it will ‘changed politics’ and I believe that it would. That is something that I want to see as much as Brexit – people who say what they mean and do what they say. I’m sick to death of slippery incompetents who cant’s be trusted to boil a kettle without screwing it up or stealing the water.

  68. Steve P
    October 16, 2019

    It is now 3 years. We have been betrayed, and lied to. Our constitution has been trashed, our courts corrupted, our politicians and media taking back-handers from the EU. Anything less than the default of leaving without a deal will be seen by many as treachery. Remainers can go running to the courts and threaten to put Brexit supporters in jail – but Brexiteers are blocked from any legal action. That is not democracy, that is the beginnings of far deeper trouble to come.

  69. Eh?
    October 16, 2019

    Did Ms Cherry MP SNP as “an observer” in her words, of an illegal referendum in Spain report her observations to the Spanish Authorities in Madrid?

    1. A.Sedgwick
      October 16, 2019

      It is time a majority of SNP MPs means an automatic vote for Scottish independence. My belief is most of their votes are protest votes for various reasons but it is time the gloves were taken off. Many of us south of the border have had enough of Sturgeon, Blackford, Cherry et al.

  70. bill brown
    October 16, 2019

    Sir JR,

    I prefer your input on domestic issues and challenges as you seem to be more in control and have more knowledge of those subjects and issues

    1. libertarian
      October 16, 2019


      Says the man who doesn’t know his own name and doesn’t know what he voted for , a Federal State of Europe

      1. bill brown
        October 17, 2019


        I have told you before I did not vote but you forget very quickly

        1. libertarian
          October 17, 2019

          billy hans brown iversen

          I dont follow youre every word , no thats true. If you didn’t vote that is because either you dont have a vote or you abstained and if you abstained why? If you dont have a vote then this argument has nothing to do with you so why are you on here ?

          1. bill brown
            October 18, 2019


            To make sure you behave and to make sure you get your facts right

      2. Edward2
        October 17, 2019

        All EU fans deny the stated policies for the future of the United States of Europe.
        It has been their policy for decades.

  71. NigelE
    October 16, 2019

    A withdrawal agreement without a ‘transition’ period of more than a few months and no role for the ECJ. (If there’s no ECJ involvement, there’ll clearly be no aspects of the CU or SM in the agreement.)

    The Irish border can be managed by alternative means or a fudge: I care not which. Rights of residency for EU nationals has already been proposed but we need the EU countries to offer reciprocal rights for UK nationals living in the EU.

    We should pay for current liabilities and must be credited with our share of the EU assets built up during our membership period, both to be based on audited accounts. Or if it’s all too difficult, we can just call it quits. Again, I care not which.

    I fail to se why the above needs a treaty. A legally binding contract should do. (Maybe that’s what a treaty is, I guess?)

    The future relationship should be based on an FTA, and on the best examples of existing EU FTAs. Canada, Japan, Korea etc. It should not include fishing rights unless there is a very good reason – not just access to the EU SM which we can access under WTO if needs be. There must be significant advantages for the UK in having the FTA. If not WTO will be fine.

  72. pragmatist
    October 16, 2019

    It would accept a better deal if Remainer MPs would stop humbugging our people except in the privacy of their own homes

  73. Roland O'Brien
    October 16, 2019

    I’d take anything that leaves us not a member of the EU, not contributing to their coffers, free of direct EU regulation, free of the ECJ, and able to negotiate our own trade deals. If it looked along those lines I’d jump at it, as my main fear is we will lose the opportunity to leave due the shenanigans of the remainers. Better to be 3/4 out, then work on it, than not out at all.

    I think the EU will give us the worst deal possible (from my perspective) until such time as we have left – what that is, I cannot say. However, once we’ve left then I believe we can wait until the dust has cleared and negotiate something better, as the remainers will have much less influence in society and on the outcome of those negotiations, and the new norm will be that we are not in the EU.

  74. percy openshaw
    October 16, 2019

    Full, sovereign independence; no subjection to the ECJ; no involvement in the Single Market or the Customs Union. Ability to set or reduce tariffs according to our own needs / wishes within the rules of the WTO. Ability to strike whatever trade deals we like. No regard whatsoever paid to the pretensions of the Irish Republic over the territory of Ulster. Exclusive access to British fishing grounds for British fleets. Complete control over our borders and immigration policies. Absolute and pristine judicial separation from other countries or supranational organisations, with no permission for appeals to any foreign court. As a corollary to all this, the permanent expulsion from public life of any whose loyalty has been compromised by personal dealings with Brussels in this time of crisis and the abolition of the Supreme Court.

    1. J Warrior
      October 16, 2019

      Spot on, sir!

  75. Clothcap
    October 16, 2019

    Hi Sir John,
    “What Agreement…” None. Agree to negotiate after we are free. Negotiating whilst we are still under the bolshevikesque jackboot is anything but sensible.

    1. bill brown
      October 16, 2019


      If, this is what you believe will give us a better outcome , you have lost the plot

      1. Tony Sharp
        October 16, 2019

        There is no ‘better outcome’ than WTO Exit.

        1. bill brown
          October 17, 2019

          Tony Sharp

          Yes you have I am afraid lost the plot

          1. Edward2
            October 17, 2019

            It works for over 90% of current world trade.

  76. Dioclese
    October 16, 2019

    Anything that doesn’t reek of BRINO.

    A reheated May deal with the backstop adjusted simply doesn’t cut it and Farage will wipe the floor with the Conservatives if there is an election on that basis. We need a clean WTO break, followed by a FTA asap.

    Also will need to form a non-competition pact with TBP at the next election. Looks like the mass of the Labour Party is trying to find another excuse to delay an election by insisting on a new referendum first.

    If we have a second referendum, then I am forced to ask what was the point of the first referendum? Or maybe we should go best of three, or five, or seven, or however long it takes. Another referendum will solve nothing as the country will still be split and Parliament will still be dominated by Remoaners.

    Election NOW and Conservative/TBP pact followed by a clean break. Job done. Simples…

    1. Fred H
      October 18, 2019


  77. rose
    October 16, 2019

    We don’t have to have a withdrawal agreement.

    All we need to do is withdraw under our own constitutional arrangements. Once free, we can if we like, offer an FTA but we don’t have to.

    The far too long running nonsense over the border is just blackmail. How can we know what arrangements we need with the Southern Irish until we know what the trading arrangements are? Then we should make them with them, our neighbours, as we always have. It is nothing to do with the Commission.

    Where our continentals are concerned, we will treat them as we always said we would, with civility. There is no need for the Commission to interfere. For our people abroad we can make bilateral arrangements.

    As for the money, we don’t owe any after decades of extortion, and no-one else in the world is charged a country’s ransom for a FTA. They owe us, for the parts of the rebates we gave up in exchange for CAP reform which never came, and for a whole lot of other things I won’t list now.

  78. Alison Barnes
    October 16, 2019

    Just leave – no cash for future talks, no ECJ, and all our own fishing back with a year off for all the fish the EU would have taken. I fear we would get no useful deal without giving fishing up again.

    1. margaret howard
      October 16, 2019


      Most of our fishermen sold their fishing quotas for short time gains. Who is going to give them the money to buy them back?

      And what will you do if the buyers don’t want to sell them?

      Can you demand your house back decades after you sold it because you changed your mind?

      1. Edward2
        October 17, 2019

        Stop this nonsense Margaret.
        The quotas and their division amongst the UK fishing industry were so poor only a few larger fleets were able to survive.
        Faced with a future of bankruptcy their only solution was to sell up and get out of the industry.
        When the UK controls its own fishing industry once more the EU imposed quotas will be removed and the industry can revive.

  79. Norman
    October 16, 2019

    I think you know the answer, John. Boris is boxed in, and the EU smell blood. I hope the deal fails, and we simply leave on time. Our sovereign freedom is under siege from every quarter. May God have mercy on us as a nation, which over so many generations, has not been a total stranger to His Name, or to His ways.

    1. bill brown
      October 16, 2019


      The sovereign freedom was lost long before this conversation

    2. David Hares
      October 16, 2019

      Absolutely right!

    3. Robin Brooke-Smith
      October 16, 2019


  80. Trevor
    October 16, 2019

    I am fully signed up to a deal that just covers the current areas of agreement between the EU and the UK. Anything that can’t be agreed on now can easily be added later. Trade deals normally include items that both sides absolutely agree on, together with a balanced basket of concessions from both sides that make the whole advantageous to both.

    Basically it seems fairly obvious that the EU is never going to accept any arrangement that gives us the freedom that is enjoyed by most countries around the world.
    The EU needs to hamper the UK as much as possible going forward to give them the best competitive advantage, and to negate the real danger of our move striking a chord with other EU citizens who will be asking why they can’t follow our example.

    From the outset the strategy as outlined by JR back in the mists of time should have been to simply leave with the offer of a free trade deal, and talks to mitigate any negative impact on both UK and European businesses and peoples.

    The EU would have dismissed that out of hand and we could then have used the time since the referendum to keep reminding the actual Europeans that run businesses and live normal lives that we sympathised with them for the loss of jobs that is sure to follow Brexit without a free trade deal, but that their EU masters aren’t interested.

    We should have harnessed the voices of the workers and unions involved with making German cars, growing Dutch flowers and all the rest. Unfortunately the May government had neither the gumption nor the inclination to come up with a UK strategy at all.

    At this point all we can be sure of is that more or less any part of an agreement that the EU is happy with will be to our disadvantage.

    I still just about cling to the wafer thin straw that Boris’ deal is worth having and that the remoan Parliament wont be able to kibosh it even if it is. A second straw is that the EU tip the board up but I think they and our fifth columnists are too savvy for that.

  81. Alan Joyce
    October 16, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    If Boris Johnson signs up to level-playing field commitments that is it for me. What is the point of leaving the EU if we agree to still be hamstrung by their restrictive arrangements and practices? That would not be taking back control of our laws. Anybody can see all the EU is seeking to do is stop the UK gaining any competitive advantage.

    If these commitments appear in the political declaration or elsewhere it’s the Brexit party for me.

  82. Carson
    October 16, 2019

    Here is what Boris Johnson said last November: ” if we wanted to do free trade deals and vary our regulation then we would have to leave Northern Ireland behind as an economic semi-colony of the EU and we would be damaging the fabric of the union with regulatory checks and even customs controls between Great Britain and Northern Ireland … Now I have to tell you, no British Conservative government could or should sign up to any such arrangement”. And now he is signing up to exactly that. There is a surrender going on here – it is not the Benn Act, it is English MPs in Westminster surrendering Ulster. Shameful

  83. Lindsay McDougall
    October 16, 2019

    I don’t think that the EU would accept any deal significantly different from Mrs May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement, which is why there shouldn’t be one.

    We should confirm
    – that we are prepared to move to WTO rules trading if the EU can offer nothing better
    – that the authority of the European Commission and the ECJ will cease on 1st November
    – that there will be no formal transition period
    – that our exit bung will be much less than £39 billion
    – that if the EU treat us nastily, deductions will be made
    (e.g. (1) if our exports to the EU are delayed unnecessarily,
    (2) if we are thrown off the Galileo project and have to write off our investment
    (3) if our navy is forced to incur costs evicting EU ships from our fishing waters)

    And while I’m on the subject, Northern Ireland must not be betrayed
    (“The price for betrayal is public contempt” – J Enoch Powell)

  84. Trav
    October 16, 2019

    NO Deal and W.T.O. The EU never wanted to make it easy for us to Leave and have thwarted every move, what has made it worse for the UK is the appeasing Mrs. May who was all too ready and willing to compromise. It is she I blame for the crisis we have and why I feel sorry for Boris having to mop up her mess. Sad thing is the remain supporting MP’s in Parliament who have completely ignored the referendum result together with many ignoring their constituents wishes to leave have made his job intolerable. How they will suffer at the ballot box when we finally get the G.E. we desperately need. We lived without the EU before and we can live without them again quite readily, in fact, I feel it will put the Great back into Britain. NO Deal and W.T.O. is the way to go.

  85. Iain
    October 16, 2019

    If Boris does not get us out then after the next General Election Nigel will.

  86. The Prangwizard
    October 16, 2019

    Sir John, I seem to recall you said some while back that you would have left the Conservative party if it had approved joining the euro. If the deal which comes out of the present talks breaches any of your principles you continue to hold, will you resign from the party and the whip?

  87. David Hares
    October 16, 2019

    I think the entire negotiation was conducted ‘back-to-front’. Three years ago the UK should have insisted on sorting out the trade arrangements before discussing what we would pay towards the ongoing costs of the ‘EU’. If the EU would not do this, we would have had time to get ready for a ‘clean break’.

  88. James Matthews
    October 16, 2019

    We should just leave. It is clear that only a very bad deal will satisfy the EU.

  89. beresford dickens
    October 16, 2019

    It’s not what I would like in an ideal world that is important, it is how to defeat the traitors in our own country that counts, which means that you should vote for Boris’s deal if it is possible to progress from there to proper Brexit in the future. You have to deal with the enemy at your back first, and breaking our membership of the EU damages their position. Then we have the election in which hopefully the swamp will be drained (a number of them don’t even dare to stand). If the deal is voted down but all the Tories were for it then even better, as they will be the party that tried to deliver democracy; if a number voted against then it will be ‘the politicians can’t agree, a plague on all their houses’

  90. steve
    October 16, 2019


    Firstly thank you for addressing our wish to discuss brexit.

    My answer to your questions:

    1) ‘Secret talks’. Frankly there should be no secret talks. We have a right to know what our government is up to behind our backs. We had enough sneaky behaviour from Mrs May.

    2) The EU will never accept anything other than capitulation to their demands. They have to let it be seen that dissent is punishable. In our case, as Salmeyer confirmed, we must give up a large chunk of our territory.

    In any event it’s over for the conservatives. As I said the other day it would only take one more concession to EU or Irish demands. We do know that Boris has made some major concessions during the last fortnight, we just don’t know what they are because it’s a secret.

    So, too late. We warned till we were blue in the face what would happen if there was any more secretive sneaky stuff. Parliament and government alike ignored us and continued to take us for mugs.

    Ye have sown the seeds, now ye shall reap the whirlwind, or more accurately come face to face with our wrath at the ballot box. Bring on that general election.

    To reflect that in all the history of our island, we would one day have leaders who actually believe they could get away with it’s betrayal on a scale such as this…..incredible.

    Please if you happen to bump into Boris just remind him he’s blown it.

  91. Malcolm Edward
    October 16, 2019

    We need to be totally free of the EU in all aspects – including defence.
    From our side the only desirable agreement is a clean and balanced FTA, else “no deal”. And no WA and no money.
    I would make no proposal other than an FTA, except to offer to remain compliant with all EU standards for say three months, to help border operatives and traders adjust.

    It looks like the EU wants control over us and to extract vast sums of money, and so I guess the EU will not willingly countenance anything better for us than a variant of May’s WA.

    Whether the EU would agree to an FTA if “no deal” was on the table, and had not been removed by Remainer MPs, is unknown, given the EU mentality – but either would be OK for us.

    The EU can only successfully push for such a one sided WA because of the connivance of a number of Remainer MPs who it seems are actively scheming with the EU.

    After we have left the EU – whenever it gets delayed to – we must have an investigation into Remainer collaboration with the other side, because certainly it seems like treason is being committed.

  92. Paul
    October 16, 2019

    I do think he can get away with an ‘almost out’ as people are generally fed up enough of the whole process to accept something rather than nothing if it’s seen to be a move forwards.

    Unfortunately I feel the trouble is that any deal that works for Boris and the Conservatives electorally won’t pass this current Parliament.

  93. rose
    October 16, 2019

    I particularly object to the way in which these talks are pursued. It is 3 and a half years since we voted out, yet here we are, as is the usual EU custom, being held up against the wall at the eleventh hour with a “sign here or else”. This is uncivilized, mafia like behaviour, and I had hoped this new government would have seen off these nasty, bullying, sleep depriving tactics. The mafia has had plenty of time to talk to us in a civilized way and at civilized hours.

  94. MikeP
    October 16, 2019

    Since you yourself have outlined the benefits of just leaving, and since we don’t need their permission to, we should ask for a Free Trade Deal, in Goods & Services and play hardball on everything we want. It will be unacceptable to EU of course but it’s time to stop the concessions, stand firm and seize the opportunity of Brexit. We won’t erect a hard border in Ireland, if Ireland and the EU want to that’s for them. Let’s show some steely resolve rather than supine subservience.

  95. Roger Phillips
    October 16, 2019

    No deal. We voted to Leave the EU, simple as that, if they want a free trade agreement then let them ask us for one.

  96. SteveF
    October 16, 2019

    So this is the wire- remember we voted out- we did not vote for a deal- so just get on with it- why do we need all of this legalistic text? Pull the plug. Be done

  97. BillM
    October 16, 2019

    What can be more simple than leaving but under the auspices of Article 24 of the WTO?
    If anyone needs more time to elaborate a new FTA this is the only way,.

  98. Pauline Baxter
    October 16, 2019

    Why does everyone keep talking about May’s WA? Does no-one know ‘deal’ is not the same word as ‘Withdrawal Agreement’.
    Of course we should just LEAVE. That’s what we voted for.
    Maybe Boris has outwitted the re-maniac HoC either with something he has wrung out of the EU.
    Or a way to run down the clock.
    Sir John. Why did you not send your diary to my email today?

  99. G Hetherington
    October 16, 2019


    I don’t think the EU will ever give us a deal that is even half-decent.

    I prefer to leave without being tied down. I would like us to negotiate a free trade [in goods AND services] deal; using GATT24 and the 10-year period for negotiation.


    1. Here and Now
      October 17, 2019

      GATT 24 and the ten year period applies only if the EU agrees to it, which they have consistently made clear they will not unless and until the Uk signs off on the Withdrawal Agreement. So your preferred solution is a fantasy and a fairy story. Classic Brexit!

      1. NickC
        October 17, 2019

        Here and now, Don’t be silly. G Hetherington expressed a preference only. Though I do agree with your belief in the hostility and intransigence of the EU. So “no deal” it is, then.

  100. Tony Sharp
    October 16, 2019

    No Withdrawal Agreement includes any ‘deal’ ie trade deal.If the EU wanted that they could have offered a standstill back in 2016 on a GATT XXIV arrangemnt of mutual free tariffs – they will not.
    There is NO deal available from the EU in principle.

  101. mancunius
    October 16, 2019

    And when you ask ‘What agreement would the EU accept?’ – there is no ‘would’: Brussels, Berlin and Paris are determined: and their chauvinistic and malicious intentions are unchanged. They will accept nothing else than their original Withdrawal Agreement with the Northern Ireland backstop, and that is what will be enshrined in the new agreement, despite all smoke and mirrors. The wording will be marginally different, but legally equivalent.
    It doesn’t matter who collects the VAT: Northern Ireland will fall under EU jurisdiction the moment the extension expires, and the EU will then drag its feet and as the price of allowing NI to rejoin the UK, will demand its own terms on a ‘FTA’ – which will be anything but free, in any sense. NI will never, ever be released from the backstop.
    The government is simply hoping this will be unnoticed until a year or two after the extension period has expired, and Westminster realizes that NI has been lost despite the wish of the majority of its people to remain UK citizens. And we shall remain paying them and the EU for the dismemberment of the United Kingdom.
    There is a reason, Sir John, why Boris will not allow MPs an adequate opportunity to read through the morass of franglais treaty-text between now and the Saturday debate. The brilliant Martin Howe will undoubtedly (as speedily as usual) penetrate and highlight its meaning and its treacherous ambiguities – but few of you on the Conservative benches will heed him, as you are all so obsessed with the survival of the Tory party, though ironically any vote for this WA now will sink the Tories completely.

  102. mancunius
    October 16, 2019

    As to: ‘What agreement would the EU accept?’ – there is no ‘would’: Brussels, Berlin and Paris are determined: and their chauvinistic and malicious intentions are unchanged. They will accept nothing else than their original Withdrawal Agreement with the Northern Ireland backstop, and that is what will be enshrined in the new agreement, despite all smoke and mirrors. The wording will be marginally different, but legally equivalent.
    It doesn’t matter who collects the VAT: Northern Ireland will fall under EU jurisdiction the moment the extension expires, and the EU will then drag its feet and as the price of allowing NI to rejoin the UK, will demand its own terms on a ‘FTA’ – which will be anything but free, in any sense. NI will never, ever be released from the backstop.
    The government is simply hoping this will be unnoticed until a year or two after the extension period has expired, and Westminster realizes that NI has been lost despite the wish of the majority of its people to remain UK citizens. And we shall remain paying them and the EU for the dismemberment of the United Kingdom.
    There is a reason, Sir John, why Boris will not allow MPs an adequate opportunity to read through the morass of franglais treaty-text between now and the Saturday debate. The brilliant Martin Howe will undoubtedly (as speedily as usual) penetrate and highlight its meaning and its treacherous ambiguities – but few of you on the Conservative benches will heed him, as you are all so obsessed with the survival of the Tory party, though ironically any vote for this WA now will sink the Tories completely.

  103. Matt
    October 16, 2019

    It has emerged, through leaked reports of Barnier’s briefing to EU Ambassadors, that the UK government has acquiesced to the EU’s demand that the UK remain aligned with the EU on matters related to the environment, labour and industrial regulation, climate, taxation, etc. – termed as the ‘Level Playing Field (LPF)’. If this leak turns out to be true, the UK will not be able to create an open and highly competitive marketplace. Perhaps the greatest opportunity Brexit offers is to kick-start a new era of free-market prosperity. This will not happen with ‘Level Playing Field (LPF)’ clauses written into the Treaty. (And there will not be much point in leaving the EU.) It will effectively be a Remain Agreement.

  104. Doreen Kelly
    October 17, 2019

    My husband and I both voted out, that means out of the EU entirely, we did not vote for a deal, so do not sell our country down the river by keeping us in any part. We are a very hard working country and will be a GREAT country again out of the rules and regulations of the corrupt EU. They only want us for our large contribution of money and do not really care about us at all. OUT, OUT, NOW

  105. Freeborn John
    October 17, 2019

    It’s been a great mistake of two successive prime ministers to get sucked into negotiations with the EU. We should just have left, Reading with them on WTO terms while negotiating FTAs with other countries. And then in the goodness of time with a new generation in charge in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Dublin we would eventually get an FTA with those countries when their exporters got tired of paying tariffs to export to the UK while competing with non-EU exporters who had tariff-free access to the UK market. Boris has just secured another bad deal which is terrible for NI and the integrity of the UK. It would still be better to vote it down and win a GE to leave without any bad deal.

  106. Mike Monty
    October 18, 2019

    No deal or rather no negotiations. Article 50 can be shut down by the PM. He just notifies the EU that negotiations are terminated and consequently the UK will leave automatically on the 31st. Article 50 only exists for negotiation by providing 2 years of negotiations which can be extended. Once shut down it will not be possible for anyone else to ask for an extension or even revocation as both needs Article 50 to be running. The EU will notify the EU27 in a matter of hours of the UK decision and the exit is done while also bypassing the ‘Benn’ Act provision. The PM could write a further letter as a backup stating that zero days are sought for an extension and that further requests will not be made. Article 50 will then revert to the EW Act and the EU treaties which will cease on the 31st. No deal or no negotiations ? if Boris’s plan does not work out

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