My speech during the debate on an Early Parliamentary General Election, 28 October 2019

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): This Parliament is once again misjudging the mood of the public. We were elected here to do serious things on behalf of our public. Conservative and Labour MPs alike were elected to see Brexit through. Three years and four months later, there is no sign of that. Instead, we have this discordant, argumentative Parliament that will do nothing. It will not throw the Government out of office and it will not allow the Government to govern. We owe it to the British people either to allow our Government to govern or to let the British people decide on a better group of MPs who can form a Government and do positive things for our country.

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): Every constituency in my region voted at the 2016 referendum by a huge margin to leave the European Union. At that time, lots of my constituents, in some of the most deprived communities of this country, told me that they did not trust this Parliament to deliver it. They said, “We won’t get it. They’ll never let us leave.” The five Conservatives out of the 10 MPs in my region might have voted to deliver Brexit, but is not the truth of it that the Labour MPs across my region, bar one or two examples, are never going to vote to leave the European Union, sadly proving right my constituents who said, “They’ll never let us leave”?

John Redwood: My hon. Friend is right, but it is now about more than Brexit. It is about confidence in our parliamentary system to deliver orderly government that can do things for the people or to allow the public to decide who should be a better Government, because the House has no confidence in the Government.

This Parliament needs to put through a Budget quite soon. Our economy needs a boost, and we need to know whether we can have the tax cuts as well as the spending increases, but I suspect that the Government fear bringing a Budget to the House because they think there will be no co-operation as they do not have a majority and this Parliament will not allow a majority to be formed.

This Government have recently brought a Queen’s Speech to the House. It contains a number of good measures that I do not think were ideological or Conservative provocations to socialists and those of a more left-wing nature. They were chosen to build some consensus and address the issues that worry people. But again, I think the Government rightly fear that any one of those measures, if introduced, would probably meet with resistance and a lack of co-operation, in exactly the way that we have been experiencing with all these other measures.

But above all, this House needs to think what message it is sending to all our partners, friends and allies—countries around the world; the businesses that our businesses do business with; all those contacts we have around the globe. They see this country as a great beacon of democracy—a country of great experience in the art of democratic government; a country that has often led the world in putting forward and fighting for those freedoms and showing how they can improve the lives of those governed by them. But instead we are sending a message that we do not know what we are doing and can never agree about anything—that all we can do is have endless rows in this place, for the entertainment of people here perhaps, but to the denigration of our country and the undermining of its position.

How can a Government conduct international negotiations when everything they propose is undermined or voted against by the Opposition, because we do not have a majority? Above all, how can we get to the point where this House decides that it is good legislation to say that the Prime Minister has to break his promises—where it has turned the demand that he break his promises into something that this House calls an Act of Parliament? No wonder we look ridiculous. No wonder we cannot resolve Brexit. No wonder we cannot have a Budget to promote our economy. No wonder we cannot govern with aplomb in the interests of the British people.

The Prime Minister is right that if this House cannot do better, it must dissolve and ask the people to choose a better Parliament. Either we need to be a better Parliament or they need to choose a better Parliament as soon as possible.

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  1. Johnny Dubb
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I watched this live on tv. Great speech and succinctly supported by Andrew Percy. However, the lukewarm response said it all. Instead, we had that Welsh Labour woman snarling again about the word “humbug” and some barely veiled English hating from the SNP.
    The only word for Corbyn’s “No election ‘cos Boris is a liar” defense? Humbug!
    What a shower. Including Boris.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      John’s speech makes various assertions, some implied, with which many reasonable people would disagree.

      a) That “the people” are just “the Leave voters”.

      b) That a failure to pass a suitable deal for withdrawal is the fault of Parliament, and not that of the ERG etc. with their impossible Red Lines.

      c) That the country is a global laughing-stock and object of contempt because of its Parliament and not its Government.

      Nice try, John.

      • Gary C
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        “a) That the people” are just “the Leave voters”.

        b) That a failure to pass a suitable deal for withdrawal is the fault of Parliament, and not that of the ERG etc. with their impossible Red Lines.

        c) That the country is a global laughing-stock and object of contempt because of its Parliament and not its Government.

        Nice try, John.”

        Oh dear . . . . Yawn!

      • Matt
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Re: a) That “the people” are just “the Leave voters”
        John’s speech respectfully chastises Parliament for its wanton unwillingness to let the government govern, negotiate effectively, or dissolve and allow the instrument of suffrage to do its work. Leave and Remain voters alike will have an opportunity to cast their vote in a GE: the point is that, until recently, both had been denied that opportunity by this Parliament.

        Re: b) That a failure to pass a suitable deal for withdrawal is the fault of Parliament, and not that of the ERG etc. with their impossible Red Lines.
        In any negotiation, one must fully reserve to the right to walk away and make it quite clear to the other side that one
        will walk away if a suitable arrangement cannot be agreed. Red Lines are never ‘impossible’, they are a cornerstone of every important negotiation. The ERG et al were defending the UK’s negotiating position and commercial interests; things that significant number of this Parliament’s MPs have been willfully undermining.

        Re: c) That the country is a global laughing-stock and object of contempt because of its Parliament and not its Government.
        John did not say this, but instead –quite succinctly– asserted that Britain’s reputation as a country that is generally admired and respected abroad is being placed in jeopardy due to the way in which Parliament has been hamstringing and undermining the government’s ability to govern, while in tandem refusing to cede to necessary suffrage.

  2. Johnny Dubb
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    PS: What would have been said if Hunt was PM and brought back this set of manacles dressed up as a deal? Exactly!

    • Simeon
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      My initial preference was for Hunt as leader. I thought leave-minded Tory voters would be more likely to abandon their party for the Brexit party. My view hardened as the leadership campaign progressed because it became increasingly clear just how incapable a man BJ is; then I preferred to see Hunt because at least he exhibited some common decency. Now, however, I am delighted that BJ was chosen. I had always known how unsound on Brexit he was, but I admit to being surprised at just how transparently unsound he has been in his words and deeds as PM.

      BJ is the Tories champion Leaver; see just how inadequate he is! The Tories are not, and indeed never were, a Leave party, despite our kind host being in their ranks. This becomes clearer and clearer by the day. A week is a long time in politics. Six weeks is an age. Polling for the Tories collapsed during the last GE campaign. My money is on a repeat. The difference is, they’re starting from a far lower base.

      Consider this Conservative party supporters; Theresa May was many, many degrees more popular than BJ has ever been at the outset of that last GE. I cannot see the future, but having a GE now is a colossal gamble…

  3. Mick
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    So it’s game on for a December General Election , and now we have the labour MPs coming out with the attitude that they cannot wait to get at the Tory’s bloody hypocrites, bring it on so we can drain the swamp of Westminster of all the anti Brexit MPs , what Mr Johnson should do also is have a pack with Mr Farages Brexit party to be sure of a huge majority of Brexit mps , he cannot take it for granted he can win , the future of our nation is more important than his feelings towards Nigel Farage because after all without Mr Farage and UKIP the Tory’s wouldn’t have called for a referendum in the first place .

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      So, are we going to see Brexit Party candidates in every constituency- taking 10%?, 20%?, 30%? of the Tory vote? I wonder how this will affect the result – given our rotten FPTP system.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Why do you claim that “we” will “get rid” of the pro-European Union MPs, when only thirty-seven percent of the electorate voted Leave?

      Yes, do your worst.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Less than 37% voted remain remember?

  4. Iain
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    All common sense which is sadly lacking by those MPs who look to serve their own narrow interest instead of respecting the decision of the people they represent. Hopefully many of those MPs will be gone before long.

  5. Mick
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    So the Labour Party will have a manifesto of hope published by the writers of jackanory and push for 16-17 years old and foreign nationals to have a vote, they really are scared to death of losing the General Election well I’ve got news for them you are going to lose big time , so start looking for a Christmas job working in a shop or picking winter fruit

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      “No taxation without representation”


      • Edward2
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        How many 16 or 17 year olds earn over £12,500 and therefore start to pay income tax?
        And don’t come back with VAT.
        A small child buying sweets with pocket money pays VAT but even you wouldn’t want 4 year olds voting.

    • steve
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


      I think the attempt to allow 16-17 years old and foreign nationals to have a vote has failed. Rightly so.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        The acting Speaker did not select the amendments, but they would probably have passed if he did.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          They would not have passed.
          The PM said he would stop the bill had they been selected.

        • steve
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink


          Well then it’s a good job he didn’t select the amendments.

  6. Caterpillar
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to reading th manifestos.

    If the election is pushed through tonight with an amendment of a change to voting age there are several things to recall:
    1) prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until about the age of 25!!! The greater the age below that the more susceptible to the person to being emotionally abused. (There is a serious duty of care here to individual and country.)
    2) The rushed through fix terms parliament act has caused problems – such massive changes should not be pushed through.
    3) Remainers have argued that the electorate were not ‘smart’ enough to have an opinion on leaving the EU. Introducing people with even less experience is inconsistent.
    4) Any such massive change should be put to the people as a GE policy or, dare I say, referendum.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Why were they allowed to vote in the Tory membership ballot on Johnson’s leadership then?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff,

        I don’t know, I am not a Tory. All I would repeat is that prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until 25, and the consequences of this to voting age (and desigm) should be impartially considered. It is just biologically how it is.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          Yes, and various age-related problems with memory and cognition tend to kick in over fifty-five, don’t they?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            Dreadful comment Martin
            What is the matter with you left wing remainers?
            Disability of any sort is not a joking matter.

  7. Polly
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink


    Interesting speech you made yesterday.

    Is that the introduction before you move on to exposing the conspiracy ?

    I’ll have to wait and see !


  8. Garland
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    As ever you try to deflect blame for this fiasco on to Parliament. No. Brexit is a humiliating mess because the Leave campaign never produced one single realistic or deliverable plan for Brexit. It was all pie in the sky, as if the UK says “jump” and the rest of the world says “how high?”. Truth is out now, Brexit is a horribly bad idea, it weakens Britain. Will you ever be man enough to accept your share of the responsibility?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The numbers in Parliament were never there for any Agreement to pass.
      Parliament has a large remain majority.
      Surely you realise that Garland.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Parliament isn’t particularly to blame, but neither is the Leave campaign. Blame lies at the foot of the government that instigated the referendum vote but made no preparation whatsoever for a leave verdict.
      When he should have been telling us what the leave plan was to be, David Cameron decided it wasn’t for him and did a runner.
      Never let there be another referendum without a clear plan for either response.

    • Gary C
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      “Brexit is a humiliating mess because the Leave campaign never produced one single realistic or deliverable plan for Brexit.”

      Brexit is a humiliating mess because the perfidious remainers would not accept democracy despite not being able to explain what is so good about the EU and why we should stay in the corrupt institution.

      You obviously do not value democracy.

  9. ukretired123
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Excellent !
    Well said SJR showing leadership to the rest of the world is vital!

  10. Andrew S
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I do hope the tory manifesto message is to fully implement a true brexit, and not leave in order to pass the disasterous May/Hammond/Robbins reheated withdrawal/surrender treaty as still being pushed by Boris. If the latter, then only The Brexit Party stands to deliver brexit .

    • Shirley
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I was taken in by Boris. I thought he would push for a WTO exit in preference to a bad deal. I was wrong. The Brexit Party wants a true Brexit, so that would be my preference to avoid a bad ‘deal’.

      Boris hasn’t even tried to deliver his promises. He’s just submitted to every Remainer demand!

      • bill brown
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


        Please, kindly explain the advantages of a true Brexit?

    • bill brown
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Andrew S

      How can the Brexit Party deliver Brexit have they cannot win a majority on their own?

  11. julie williams
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Give me something decent to vote for; assure me that MPs that cross the House have to have a by-election and MPs that have been to jail are out, not let back in with a tag!
    That’s just for starters.
    Face it; Johnson has blown it, big time and the Tory party won’t always be bailed out by the fact that the opposition are even worse.

  12. BillM
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    So be it. Fingers Crossed for a GE and we Leave without a deal or with one that completely satisfies the decision of the people in 2016. Anything less will be a betrayal.

    • bill brown
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


      What does the betrayal really look like then?

      • Oggy
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Ask any of about 450 MP’s who lied to get elected by saying they would honour the referendum result.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink


          You really do talk a lot of nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            Another incisive post from you bill.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Take my MP who stood for election under the Conservative banner and their manifesto and then actually sent me an election address stating a promise to respect the result of the referendum.
        This MP is in a constituency that voted to leave the EU.
        Then once elected this MP spent a lot of time undermining the party and the government and working with others to thwart leaving the EU.
        Betrayal looks like that bill/hans

        • bill brown
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink


          I think there is more than one side to that argument , but you increasingly seem only to see your own side. Leaving the Eu without a deal was never what the referendum was about.
          But you have probably forgotten

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            The other side of that argument is an MP who has decided to ignore the party and the manifesto they stood on and go their own way.
            Whilst not saying that was what they were going to do before the election.
            It wasn’t about leaving without passing the Withdrawal Agreement treaty for my MP but a determination to stop the UK leaving at all.
            I haven’t forgotten anything.
            As this MP will find out in the election.

      • BillM
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        BB. Betrayal looks like this in the Oxford English Dictionary –
        Betrayal = Disloyalty, duplicity, double-cross, treachery, breach of faith.
        Those should cover the ‘look’ you are seeking.

  13. dixie
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Why only 360 MPs voting? Why did the object to being prorogued if they don’t debate, don’t turn up, don’t take part.

    • steve
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink


      Look on the bright side, at least if they’re not in attendance they can’t stink the place out.

  14. Jack Falstaff
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I was quite amused by Mr Corbyn’s comment that he will study and scrutinise the bill tabled by Mr Johnson today in depth.
    If it is only a “single-line” bill, why did he suggest needed so much time to read it?
    Is he intellectually challenged?
    I will probably opt for seppuku if he wins an election.

  15. ferdinand
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Now that Corbyn has agreed to an election we need to think about the Brexit Party. They may well hold the whip hand after the election and the Conservatives must not fall into the trap of a deal with the Brexit Party on proportuonal representation.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I agree the British people need to be deprived of a democratically elected parliament for all time; were FPTP to be replaced by PR, a parliament might start acting for the British people instead of the rats hiding behind the curtain.

  16. Know-Dice
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Off topic.

    I see that Dr Phillip Lee will be standing as the Lib Dem PPC for Wokingham.

    I will enjoy teasing any Lib Dem party activist that knocks at my door suggesting that I should support this “turn coat”…

    Local Lib Dems do try very hard, but at each turn they are let down by the “rug pulling” national party…

    • Fred H
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      I will merely shout ‘get off my land’ ….in old fashioned farmer communication. And laugh once retreated.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        I will ask him why is he frighted of standing in Bracknell, but then I already know the answer, they do not like turncoats who cross the House and do not seek the support with a bye election.!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      He is already claiming 40% of the vote against 34% for Conservatives. I want to ask him why he lied to the electorate in Bracknell just to get elected in the first place

  17. bill brown
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    So, now we finally got the election.

    Can we then please, improve the tone of the debate on this lot as well. I think we would all benefit from less emotions and more facts.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious coming from you bill who regularly pens one line rude posts.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:10 pm | Permalink



        • Edward2
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          No I dont think so.
          I try to keep my posts away from personal attacks.
          I reserve the right to attack the content of the post which in my opinion is legitimate debate

  18. BW
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Sir John
    We are getting a GE. I sincerely hope that we have the common sense to do a pact with The Brexit party. This GE is another referendum in all but name. You also need to be careful as Wokingham voted to remain. (I didn’t.) The LIb Dems, promising another referendum are going to get a lot ex Tories on that fact alone. So splitting the leave vote may lose you your seat. I really don’t want that to happen.

  19. sm
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    John, I agree with every word you said.

  20. agricola
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Having commented on this earlier we now have an almost agreed GE.

    Labour have agreed because No Deal is off the table they say. As a new government are not committed to anything that has happened in previous governments this would seem irrelevant. A new government with a majority can do as they wish. Tell me if I am wrong.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they can and should ignore the result of that silly advisory vote in 2016, which was subject to untold electoral interference, campaigns of lies, and did not say what relationship with the European Union the voters would want in the event of a Leave result.

      A Labour or non-Tory coalition would do just that.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Dream on.

      • Oggy
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Ah funny that – I don’t recall being nobbled by the Russians.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          The lawbreakers – British or whoever – wouldn’t have needed to bother in some cases, no.

  21. Dominic
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Parliament couldn’t give two hoots about the mood of the public. On that basis alone it’s a misnomer to describe their actions as a misjudgement. Their actions are deliberate, deceitful and utterly contemptuous of the people and of popular democracy

    The slow erosion of Parliamentary democracy started with Heath. Each and every PM since then, even Thatcher, has been directly responsible for the position we find ourselves in today

    Popular democracy will at some point have its say and when it does those reprobates that have infected Westminster will be swept back into the gutter

    • steve
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink


      I’d say Blair was the principal culprit.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Spot on JR.

    I hope the England rugby team does not have a player/trainer in the squad wanting to remove the studs from all of the teams boots just before the Game on Saturday.!

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Fine words John but that’s all they are
    3 Tory Prime minister’s which could not or would not get us out of the EU.
    WA2 should be named WA0.98 as it is 98% of Mays surrender document.
    Going into a General Election on the WA Manifesto will not result in a Tory victory. The Brexit Party will have 6 weeks to comprehensively trash it and rightly so.
    You don’t deserve another term in Parliament.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      I agree entirely, Ian.
      I would rather see Labour in power than allow Johnson’s Surrender Treaty to pass.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        My guiding principle in the next GE will be to vote AGAINST the Tories. I see them as by far the greatest obstacle to good governance in this country. As long as they exist, they will be a siren on the rocks to voters with sound political instincts. I am fortunate to live in a marginal seat, so my vote actually counts for something. It has always been a Lab-Con marginal. It is my sincere hope that it has become a Lab-BP marginal by the time of the next poll. But if not, I will be casting my vote for the sitting Labour MP.

      • steve
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        James Bertram

        But if Labour get in then surrender to the EU is exactly what you’ll get.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      100% agree……nobody in parliament is even talking about WTO/FTA apart from Sir John and Sir Bill

  24. Mark B
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon.

    Great speech.

  25. MickN
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    There are a good many seats in what was the Labour heartlands, North East, Wales etc that will not vote Labour, but neither will they vote Tory. The Brexit Party stands ready to sweep these up. It would be utter stupidity for the Conservatives not to realise this and act on it to their advantage.

  26. Edward2
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I happened to be watching BBC Parliament just before you rose to speak.
    A brilliant speech which set out the current position so eloquently.
    Good to see the PM clearly in total agreement with what you had to say.
    Thank you yet again Sir John, for your efforts on behalf of those of us who value UK democracy.

  27. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    If the mood of the public really were desperate for an election, then why weren’t there a million of them in London demanding that last Saturday, instead of another referendum?

    Three General Elections in four years is not wanted as claimed.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      That has already been answered.
      Do you not read posts on this site?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        Not yours generally, no.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Pity, you might learn something to your advantage.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I guess that you have never heard the term “silent majority”…

      Don’t underestimate the silent majority.

    • steve
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


      Except that you do not speak for the majority, you speak for a left wing remain minority.

      And certainly you do not speak on my behalf, I welcome a General Election.

      You, however, are terrified by the prospect. why? …..because you know your party will go the way of the dodo when we drain the swamp, and brexit will then be impossible to stop.

      No doubt as the losers you will again whinge and moan incessantly to try and overturn the election result, but this time no one will be listening.

      This election is where the leave voting majority will have their revenge.

  28. rose
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    “Above all, how can we get to the point where this House decides that it is good legislation to say that the Prime Minister has to break his promises—where it has turned the demand that he break his promises into something that this House calls an Act of Parliament? No wonder we look ridiculous.2

    This, to me, is the unique folly and wickedness of this Parliament, yet you, Sir John, are the only person saying so.

  29. What Tiler
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Good speech; the “honourable” members, won’t have listened. Decorum, and your moderation, denies me the chance to describe them accurately.

  30. Hugh Rose
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I thought your comments in the House debate were appropriate and delivered in a most meaningful and heart-felt manner.

    One aspect in the campaign against petrol and diesel cars which I wish all MPs would remember is the plight of people who live in rural areas where there is NO bus service. Easy to forget us if you come from an urbanised constituency but our costs and difficulties need to be remembered by all legislators!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Well people make choices as to where they choose to live. Cities have some advantages and disadvantages and rural areas have others. Pay your money and make your choice.

      • Pominoz
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:40 pm | Permalink


        You normally write such common sense.

        However, the choices as to where to live were made in saner times. Ludicrous new ideology imposed without consideration leaves those who cannot afford to move at will so dreadfully exposed.

        Hope Boris goes for the GE with WTO, not WA2, as his manifesto.

        • Sharon Jagger
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink


          That’s just the point….Boris won’t go for a manifesto with a clean break, he’ll base it on his awful new treaty! I think that’s a mistake. That’s the time, during the transition, when we’ll really find out the nastiness of the EU. And we’ll be unable to do anything about it.

          If everything is in place for a no deal…why with a deal, is a transition even required?

          • Pominoz
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink


            Agree 100%

  31. Lifelogic
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Indeed. It is however depressing that Boris seems determined to go into the next election pushing the still rancid Boris deal (The Theresa WA with fig leaves on) and go into battle with the Brexit Party. Doing this might well give us another hung parliament. It is not Brexit at all.

    With a proper Brexit majority we can get a far better deal or just leave, which is clearly far better than the Boris deal. A Brexit Party accommodation is needed. Do not let any of the 21 return and kick the many other dodgy ones out too.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Initially I assumed that it was just baseless rhetoric when Labour claimed that Boris Johnson’s deal is worse than Theresa May’s. But it really is much worse; her deal could easily have kept the whole of the UK under the economic thumb of the EU in perpetuity, whereas it has now become clear that his deal has the potential to actually break up the UK.

      That is why the DUP will always use their votes to try to stop his deal:

      So it will be interesting to see how they voted on the Labour amendment to the programme motion for the early election Bill; it was 312 to 295 in favour, transfer 10 and it would have been defeated 302 to 305.

      • Carson
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Denis, thank you, I had thought no one in England cared at all about the destruction of our United Kingdom, and surrender to the nationalists of Ireland. Be clear, that is exactly what Johnson’s “deal” will do. How can anyone support it (except Corbyn)?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Now it seems the Conservative party is restoring the whip to some of the 21 traitors who voted for the Benn act. An act of massive treachery which ensured that the Boris deal is so appalling for the UK.

      This presumably so these traitors can undermine the next Conservative government in the same way. It is a huge mistake what sane person should voter for any of them? It hugely soils the party’s image yet again.

      Let us hope they are all deselected anyway. Even the dire and hopeless Libdim Greg Clark allowed to return.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      At least we are not allowing Gauke and Philip Hammond back in but why let any back in? They are all Libdim remainers who might undermine the next government if they are allowed to stand and certainly they pollute the Conservative Party image. The Brexit Party should certainly stand in any seat that these people stand in. Hopefully they will be deselected locally.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Alistair Burt, Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Sir Nicholas Soames, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington – why let them back?

  32. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    All you said was true enough, but it did not address the fact that this government has failed to use the levers of power at its disposal (as I noted yesterday, refusing Assent for the benn act, refusing to move money orders for continued EU membership etc).

    If they now introduce voting at 16 via an amendment to this act then God help us all. Will he then refuse Assent for his own bill because he dislikes the amendments? If it gets sent back from the HoL, will he pull it at that stage?

    Sorry to say that I expect the Conservative poll lead will disappear once the BXP get their teeth into the degree of surrender exhibited by Johnson. His determination have a WA2 without putting up a real fight will be his undoing – we were all waiting for a rabbit to be pulled out of the hat just before 31/10, showing how he would get us out… and he just accepted it with a whimper.

    Pathetic. He could have won my vote, but has now lost it. I will not trust anyone for 5 years without (a proper) Brexit being delivered – except the Brexit Party.

    • Shirley
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


    • miami.mode
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      RB, many agree with you. Even Nigel Farage said it would be preferable to stay in rather than accept this deal and similarly many would for the Brexit party even though it may result in a Corbyn victory.

      Beth Rigby is currently on Sky saying that Boris Johnson does not poll well with women, and she is correct.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        miami…..? was that poll or pull ?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink


      The Conservative Party = The Party of the European Union.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        I would say it’s the Party of Anglo-American Globalism,of which the EU is a crucial component.If the EU fails or is drawn into the Moscow-Beijing axis it is all over.

  33. Everhopeful
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant speech.
    I watched all the way through.
    Thought…that’s a proper statesman delivering that.
    Boris sort of squizzed round to observe and looked very impressed I thought.
    We could do with more JRs!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. More like 650 of them please – rather than circa 50 at best sound and honest MPs we have now. Even fewer than that have even a basic understanding of science, sound economics, logic, negotiation and running a competitive business.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        LL -you forgot understanding of honesty, integrity, morals.

  34. glen cullen
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Why are MPs scared of ‘no-deal’ they’re even scared to mention it as an option

    No-deal was in fact the option on the ballot paper i.e Leave

    No mention of any deal was on the leaflet nor ballot paper

    It seems MPs are terrified of no-deal, but that’s what the voting public believed leave meant

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      No deal excuse is code for Remain

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      They are committed to the EU. For the same reason people still support Communism given the terrible history of what it has inflicted upon humanity – blind faith !

  35. Polly
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    ”All it takes for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing”.


    • Simeon
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Or even for good people to vote Conservative!

  36. HJWhitehouse
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    As a young person watching this whole Brexit drama unfold from the beginning, this is the realest thing that I have heard since I first heard the word Brexit. I voted to leave as I believe that the UK is strong and passionate enough to build our own trade deals and customs on our own terms without having to pay billions of euros to unelected EU members. However, getting there has been beyond a joke. It is not about who’s ‘side’ you are on or who is the ‘leader’, who has more ‘power’. It is about Parliament coming together to deliver what the British people voted for. All parties may have good ideas, work together, like we have always been taught as British people. We are not called the UNITED for nothing eh!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      But parliament does not want to Leave the EU so, the government has negotiated a new treaty with the EU that keeps us aligned to it. It has sold us out and now it seeks a majority to do the job.

      • piglet
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is it in a nutshell … and why I will be unable to support the Conservative party in the coming election.

  37. glen cullen
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    A group of us where last night (in the pub) discussing why the referendum was so important to the ‘common’ people
    We all agreed that it was the very first time in an individuals life time that their vote could actually influence things
    In the past whether local, general or european elections, people voted along social or cultural conditions accepting parachuted MPs and manifestos that they don’t know nor read. Just going with the flow, being used by parties and accepting that there vote without really understanding or needing to understand the policies….working life for the average is hard enough; so leave it to the MPs.

    And to be honest they don’t really care what happens in parliament during the gap between elections as they feel so distance from the so-called elite politicians and their decisions (or lack of) especially the childish question time and broken manifestos

    But the referendum was different, they could make something happen, they where part of the system, it as real, their decision actually counted….it meant something for the first time in their life.
    ……..and its been taken away
    ……..their vote meant nothing again

  38. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I watched your Contribution to the Debate, and I was hugely impressed. You really laid it on the line. If only all Politicians would speak so plainly. The general public is always able to understand you, and so many times you speak for them.

    Thank you.

      Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      JR does speak clearly. I did notice. I noticed his writing too. There is something English about him.

  39. Fred H
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    What day will the H of C close for the GE? Hopefully lots of MPs will not return.

  40. BW
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I see the Labour Party want to table an amendment to allow the 16 year old vote. These 16 year olds that require an appropriate adult with them to talk to the police, So we cant even have an election without attempts to rigg it from the outset.
    A decision to allow 16 year olds the vote should not be rushed through as an amemndment.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      I can hear all these parents saying ‘ what’s this about a new iphone/bike/PS4’ for Christmas? Now, if we heard that you had voted xxxx, perhaps you might get it.

  41. dixie
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Good speech but I question whether we can choose a better or even representative Parliament – clearly we cannot trust anything many candidates say and there is no means to recall or punish those who deceive the electorate.

    Do you think your fellow MPs are even aware how angry people are? Their behaviour suggests not or that they simply do not care.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      I can believe most MPs live in a detached world from reality, unlike our host who hears it how it is, even from past and maybe no longer Conservative voters. It is often painful reading for him.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      So true, the democracy deficit

  42. Dominic
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    What’s this crap about Labour introducing amendments giving children and foreign citizens the right to vote in UK General Elections?

    Someone, anyone put this piece of filth party out of its misery. Do whatever you must do.

    This stain of a party is now a danger to stability.

    They have things to hide. It’s time to reveal what they really are

    • Javelin
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:17 am | Permalink

      Desperate times …

  43. steve
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, I intend to vote BXP. Sorry conservatives, but while I’ve been a lifelong tory voter I have to say Boris has blown it by giving in to the demands of left wing traitors, and their phoney supreme court created by Blair.

    Cozying up to Varadkar didn’t help either.

    For me the advantages of a Farage government would be;

    The eventual removal of English haters such as the SNP, from parliament.

    The abolition of the ‘racist’ barnett formula.

    The purging of the BBC and abolition of the licence fee.

    Two fingers to the ungrateful EU.

    No EU fishing vessels in British waters.

    …..what is there not to like ?

    • Oggy
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Sounds good to me Steve.
      I will be voting BXP too.

  44. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, is there now a chance for a Clean Break? Therefore sanity

  45. Ian Pennell
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    After the big votes for the 12th December General Election have finally cleared the House of Commons, they have still to get through the House of Lords: Though Peers have promised to approve the Election Bill amendments there are possible- for Votes for EU nationals living in Britain and Votes for 16-17 year-olds- will be tagged on despite Sir Lindsey Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker rejecting these Gerrymandering ruses before they were even debated. If such Wrecking Amendments are not to stand Boris Johnson will need to muster a Majority to throw them out- and that is not guaranteed!

    Even now that Boris Johnson has his General Election at last- we now have Brexit Delayed by three more months- despite Boris Johnson promising over 35 times that “We will Leave the EU on 31st October” (Theresa May promised “Leaving the EU on 29th March” 108 times) : Thus Conservatives are now vulnerable to the Charge that they do not deliver as promised with regards Brexit. Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party will have a field day telling Voters that “The Conservatives Promise Brexit…yet Never Deliver!”. Even Jeremy Corbyn will tell voters “Boris Johnson promised Brexit by 31st October…And we are Still in the EU! He’s a Charlatan!”. Voters might be persuaded never to trust Boris Johnson.

    How can you be sure, Sir that the Brexit Party will not get 20% in the Election – enough to get few Seats- but enough to cause the loss of many Conservative Seats -letting in Labour and Lib. Dem candidates?. A new Remain Coalition Government would then be able to cancel Brexit via a rigged 2nd Referendum.

    You and I know that the Delay is because a Remainer Parliament legislated to Delay Brexit but not quickly pass Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal: But many Brexit supporters will think “Why are we STILL in the EU? Didn’t Boris Johnson promise we would be OUT by now?”. It is therefore going to be very hard for Boris Johnson to regain their trust- even if he was forced into the Delay by the Benn Act and SNP-appointed Judges in Scotland!

    The only way out now is for the Conservatives is by Boris Johnson reaching accommodation with the Brexit Party: He should go for a Canada- style FTA (like the one that you Sir, recommend he adopt) and he should tell the EU that it is that- or WTO terms- after 31st January 2020. He should then give the Brexit Party free run in about 120 Seats which voted Leave by over 60% but which the Conservatives don’t have a chance of winning (i.e. Yvette Cooper’s Seat in Yorkshire); likewise he should get the Brexit Party to stand down in more Remainy Conservative- held Seats elsewhere.

    That’s the only way Boris Johnson can now be sure of getting a Conservative Majority- or (at least) a Brexit Coalition- to get Brexit done properly.

    Best wishes

    Ian Pennell

  46. RichardM
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Some quite pathetic comments here re other parties supporting 16 yr olds voting.
    The Tory party already permit this in their leadership election.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      It needs greater debate than an amendment tagged onto a bill.
      If 16 year olds can vote then should the other restrictions be lifted?
      Marriage without parental permission?
      Interview by Police without adult present?
      Alcohol allowed?
      Drive a car?
      Leave school?
      There are many more issues like this that would need review.
      Either they are adults at 16 or they are not, in my opinion.

  47. BW
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I reckon that postal voting should be suspended until the fraudulent activity that goes with it is sorted out.

  48. Trumpeteer
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Trump releases classified photo of the dog who got Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!
    Isn’t he beautiful!
    He should get the Nobel Prize for Literature
    Well the singer Bob Dylan got the Nobel Prize for Literature

  49. West Bill
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Parliament voted FOR a second reading of the WAB, but your government then pulled the Bill! How can you possibly blame Parliament for this mess? Johnson’s cowardly government is the problem here, and the voters will react accordingly

    • Edward2
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      It was plain what would happen had he not pulled the bill.
      Having got extra days to debate, the remain MPs with the Spesker’s connivance would pass various amendments to the bill which would mean we would effectively remain in the EU.

  50. Sharon Jagger
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    One true fact that you put forward….the rest of the world has faith in the U.K. and our history of entrepreneurship etc.

    It’s just a lot of these miserable politicians and other leftie minded people who have been brainwashed into thinking that we can’t do anything without big daddy’s say so (EU) or permission.

    Let’s drain the swamp and then sort out the rest, with no majority it would currently be a waste of time……

    However, dropping some of the idiot leftie items like global warming would be a start.

  51. SecretPeople
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I watched your speech yesterday and thought you spoke very well. You are one of the few members of parliament to emerge from the last couple of months with your integrity intact. Heartfelt thanks for all your do.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Very few alas.

  52. Martin
    Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Isn’t the problem with present parliament, elected by the people, has resulted in a minority government. Your party’s recent leaders (Mrs May & Mr Johnson) have failed to realise that they are not Mrs Thatcher or Mr Blair with large majorities. Mr Cameron, whatever some on here thought of him, realised this.

    Minority government needs alliances, the m(a)y way or know way approach soon struggles when turbulence approaches.

  • About John Redwood

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

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