Foreign leaders and elections

It is usually best if Presidents and Prime Ministers stay out of each other’s  elections . In free societies media interviewers can ask foreign leaders to make comments and they do so if they wish.

There are two big differences between President Obama’s intervention in our referendum and President Trump’s remarks yesterday. President Obama was clearly encouraged to intervene by the UK government who were committed to Remain. They  used the intervention to try to persuade voters, drawing attention to it as part of their case in the referendum. The UK government did not ask President Trump to make comments yesterday and is not planning to use his comments in their election campaign.

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103 Comments

  1. Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I listened to the entire interview on LBC. According to Iain Dale, the come-back from listeners was entirely positive and he had to dig around for criticism. The President came over relaxed,warm, friendly and full of common sense. He obviously liked Nigel Farage and he went out of his way to praise Boris Johnson too. He obviously dislikes what Mr Corbyn stands for and he openly admitted that. But it didn’t seem to be personal.
    I was heartened by the frank, friendly tone – and it is something which other interviewers have completely forgotten, interrupting, contradicting in a shrill voice and using shocked tones far too often.
    The result is that most sensible politicians avoid the English media as much as they can which is a great pity. And it is why I listen to LBC.
    Half an hour with the President! What a coup!

    • Hope
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      JR,
      Suggest you watch Ann Widdecombe explain why she left the Tory party and how it has become common place to lie in parliament.

      She makes the point Teresa May lied in public and parliament to say the U.K. Would not be bound by the EU customs union forever and produced selected legal advice to demonstrate the point. Parliament forced her to produce full legal advice which demonstrated the opposite. At what point should MPs and a PM be held to account when it was a clear blatant attempt to con parlaiment and the public? Bearing in mind her last speech in parliament about a con on the public not to accept referndum result?

      To get foreign leaders to follow their low standards to scare UK citizens might be even worse. Why is Mayhab still in parlaiment and allowed to stand as an MP? Why is she not investigated for her dishonest Kitkat policy and what she said in Parliament? As Widdecombe it was always a cardinal rule not to lie, economic with the truth, embellish etc but not lie. Is she right? If so what is your party doing about it?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Indeed allowing the appalling Theresa May to stand is hugely damaging to the Conservative image she is dishonest, a remoaner and liar, was never a Conservative and took the party to 5th place and 9%. She is almost as appalling as the 21 traitors 10 of whom have even been allowed back in!

  2. APL
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I like President Trump, he understands women and appreciates a beautiful woman.
    He is a wealthy self made business man.
    He doesn’t drink. OK, we all have some vices.

    And best of all, he is disrupting the comfortable, mutual back scratching self selecting apparatus that is our modern managerial government.

    I wish we had someone like Trump to set to work in the UK.

    God knows we need someone to flush out our Augean stables.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Please take note, normal people.

      I think that APL is entirely serious.

      • APL
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff: “I think that APL is entirely serious.”

        You are one smart cookie, Martin in Cardiff.

      • mac
        Posted November 9, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Martin,

        APL IS serious. In addition, his assessment is correct. Given as how yours are invariably wrong, you might consider paying a bit more attention to how he got it right.

  3. Dominic
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Trump needs to ramp up his support for the BP and his criticism of Marxist Labour if it plays well with working people in the north of England who are tired of being demonised by the London focused anti-Brexit bigots that populate the media, BBC and many of the political parties indulge in baiting Brexit voters

    Working people need to be told in brutal terms exactly what Labour’s morphed into. If the Tories are not going to do this job with a brutal efficiency then maybe we should leave it to Trump do their job for them

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Everyone who is not of independent means – as Johnson and Farage are, ironically – is a working person.

      However, if they do not share the values of equality and decency, which underpin the Labour Party, then there is no place in it for them, from wherever they might come, and nor should there be.

      Some people need to take a look at themselves.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Is your claim of Labour being for equality meant in the Marxist sense of the word, or does it actually mean equality of opportunity?

  4. Me
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    We should ask Mr Trump his opinion. He isn’t exactly foreign is he! A guy up the road was said by my next door neighbour “He talks to Trump”. What he meant was I suppose he communicated with him , perhaps just reading stuff but Mr Trump could very well write back, you never know. I asked the guy and he watches all of his rallies. He is not a politico just likes him. I watch and listen to him too and I’m not a member of a political party. I’ve watched all his rallies from start to finish. I’m sorry but I don’t regard him as a foreigner. He’s American!

  5. Peter
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    There were several notable comments yesterday. One was that Corbyn would be a disaster.
    This may help Conservatives but not necessarily if voters resent the statement.

    The statement that a trade deal would be difficult under Johnson’s proposed deal is clearly not helpful for Conservatives and will be difficult to refute.

    The statement that there should be a pact between the Conservative Party and the Brexit Party is not currently welcomed by Conservatives though it makes sense to many Brexiteers.

    So as regards Conservative Party using Trump’s remarks, only one out of three might suit.

  6. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Sensible

  7. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    President Trump is as polarising figure in the UK as Prime Minister Johnson. Liked by the same people, disliked in the same measure by another cohort.

    Yesterday’s intervention was not only uninvited but only likely to harden stances on each side. President Trump will not change anyone’s mind either way.

    I do not wish any leader to intervene in our election, not the American leader, not the Australian leader not any leader from an EU country.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The distinction you draw between the Obama and Trump interventions will be lost lost on voters. Both will be seen as interference. It is a gift to Corbyn at the start of the campaign.

  9. Peter Wood
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Your point is well made, however, the logic of his suggestion, that an accommodation with TBP by the Tories makes clear and compelling sense, does it not?

    Those that manage that PCP really need to get behind a winning plan, that will culminate in the Clean Brexit we so desire.

    BTW, the mismanagement of the Euro is such that an economic calamity is almost certain in the Eurozone, so lets get as far away from any entanglement in that as possible.

  10. Fred H
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    There are the publicly spoken words and the more subtle legal and illegal activities to influence the outcome.

  11. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The election itself was effectively called by foreign leaders, the EU 26, by their unilateral imposition of a Brexit delay to January – Labour haven’t complained about that.

  12. Bob
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Nonetheless, Mr Trump was correct in what he said. His deviation from the usual protocol is probably because he’s not a mealy mouthed politician.

    A Labour govt would lead to another economic disaster as they always do when given the keys to Number Ten.

    Under Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott, Britain would not be looking at a Canada plus situation but more like Venezuela plus. If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.

    A recent survey discovered that one out of three socialists were just as stupid as the other two.

  13. Here I go
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Anyone consulted a psychic about the Election? I thought I’d visit a site and just look to see what my star sign has under it for today ( I never did meet any of those women btw let alone have a romance at various times but I thought I would take a look-see ). It wouldn’t give me access unless I clicked on cookie-permission so companies could follow me all over the place. Why didn’t the site KNOW where I would go on the internet? I have lost faith.
    I predict the Tories will win.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      my pond goldfish are no help – -sometimes they swim left, other times right – clear undecided voters.

  14. Iain Gill
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Trump is correct that the conservatives and Brexit party should do a deal, really Dom needs to put away the bad feelings for Nigel and do it for the good of the country.

  15. dixie
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Not just leaders, I am reminded of that EU worthy Verhofstadt joining with the LibDems in the UK saying bollocks to 17.4m voters.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Oh, he’s the leader of the European Union’s Liberal MEPs. The ones whom the Italian Five Star movement now want to join after rejecting Farage’s group.

      At least sixteen million British people – not even counting most of the young – would probably join him with that sentiment too.

  16. Wil Pretty
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    We need another referendum.
    Leave vs pretend to leave.

  17. Johnny Dubb
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Yes indeed. St Obama started it, but when Trump does it? Predictable outcry.
    Actually, a very candid talk between 2 friends.
    Trump bashed both major party leaders without favour. Corbyn would be a disaster. Boris’ vassalage treaty was exposed as leaving us under EU control.
    Trump stated the obvious. Namely that Farage and Johnson working together would be unstoppable. So why not? Hmmm……
    Today No. 10 are waffling that their treaty DOES allow a trade deal. Show us this clause in it then. Simple!

    • Paul
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Actually Obama did weigh in on the recent Canadian election, praising Trudeau and saying he should be re-elected. Much more direct than Trump’s interview

  18. Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    It’s important to hear in the President’s own words the feelings of our most important ally. His ”interview” was unofficial, chatty and informative. If his opinion – which is the opinion of many of us here – is ignored, then that really doesn’t show much common sense. If all sensible calls for any sort of ‘alliance’ is ignored, risking a hung Parliament, then quite obviously people will assume that the Conservatives are willing to risk Brexit for the sake of a petulant personal stance, and therefore that their hearts are not with leaving the EU, no matter what their manifesto may say. And, after all is said and done, the Conservatives will then appear to be a Remain party at heart.

  19. Kevin
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The difference, if I understand things correctly, is that Mr. Obama warned that
    our vote to leave the EU would put us “at the back of the queue” as a
    matter of administrative policy. In other words, America would choose to
    make us a low priority for trade talks. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, explained
    yesterday that Boris’ Deal gives the US no freedom in UK law to improve trade.

  20. David J
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The most interesting part of Mr Trump’s comment was that the proposed WA will hinder future trade negotiations with the US. The WA is not Brexit is it….

  21. Johnny Dubb
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Footnote. The fact that the BBC have to broadcast a Youtube version of an LBC radio show to show an interview with the leader of the USA shows how far they have sunk, when the POTUS won’t even return their calls. Then again, England’s World Cup Final is on ITV.
    Never mind, they still have Flog It, presumably a show about the May/Johnson dead horse WA.

  22. glen cullen
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The difference is

    President Obama’s intervention was a PREDICTION OF A THREAT of what might happen if we voted leave

    while

    President Trump’s intervention is a current STATEMENT OF FACT of what will happen under the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      The real difference is that Obama responded to the request of the remain government, trump did it for Farage.

  23. Roger Phillips
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t it Obama that said we would be at the back of the queue?

  24. Roger Phillips
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I am sorry John this is by no means meant as a personal slight as I admire your stance but to re-instal the whip to so many remainers and try to sell us the May deal is the final straw for millions of voters.

    Nothing would make me vote Conservative, I would rather “die in a ditch!” Brexit party now, all the way to Downing street, if the Conservatives can’t make a pact for the sake of our country and drop the “reheated May microwave deal” then they are simply not fit to govern.

  25. Leaver
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Quite true. Trump should keep his nose out of our business (just as he should have kept it out of Ukraine).

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Oh!
    Can we be sure about that?
    The two great men seem to be in regular contact?
    Direct intervention in a democratic vote is a bit different from stating the blindingly obvious. Surely?
    Some are brought in when electoral support is needed…. but not others!!
    Strange…unless the support is not really wanted??
    Rather risk communism?

  27. Iain Moore
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    They had no problem when Verhofstadt sided with the Libdems and sang their praises. Some of the recent headlines….’ ‘I’m a Lib Dem’ declares EU’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt’ …….’Guy Verhofstadt to knock on doors for Lib Dems in’ …As usual the Tories are too cowed to fight their corner, they can’t be bothered to criticise other political parties, and then apologise for their existence when the same criticism is directed at them.

  28. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Big mistake John. Trump is right that Boris needs Farage.

  29. Andy
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I suspect Mr Trump was trying to be helpful.

    And, to be fair, he was extremely helpful. To Jeremy Corbyn.

    He expressed support for Farage – who is toxic to most voters.

    He rubbished Johnson’s Brexit deal. Pretty easy to do but devastating.

    Trump has his supporters here. But to most of us he’s the worst president the US has ever had.

    Let’s have more interventions from him please.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      He expressed support for Farage – who is toxic to most voters.

      If it is a question of toxicity – who is the most toxic?

      Corbyn
      Farage
      Johnson

      Polls suggest that Corbyn is toxic to a lot more voters that Farage and Johnson.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      It would be good if mr verholfsadt and other EU functionaries would pop up (again) on behalf of the Lib Dems also.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 3, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Andy

      Top analysis , so if Trump has put people off voting for Farage, Boris wins

  30. formula57
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    “In free societies media interviewers can ask foreign leaders to make comments and they do so if they wish.” – but waiting to be asked has eluded N. Sturgeon!

    • Fred H
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      formula – – I wouldn’t call her a foreign leader – – – YET – – but there is still hope.

  31. Andy
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The UK government probably did not ask Mr Trump to get involved.

    Maybe the Russian government asked him.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    World leaders are entitled to voice their opinions.

    I did not object to President Obama saying things during our referendum, what I did object to, however, was Remain bitching about an alleged £70k overspend by Leave after they had enjoyed the benefit of a multi-million pounds taxpayer funded PotUS visit to their advantage – on top of the £10 m taxpayer funded leaflet campaign.

    Such sore losers they were they really squealed that the price of an up-and-over garage in Penge and an advert on the side of a bus could offset all the priceless support they had on the sly.

    (They lost because the federalist’s version of democracy replaces the population rather than the politicians and a still-enfranchised people rumbled it.)

  33. villaking
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    President Trump was clearly encouraged to intervene by Nigel Farage for Brexit Party electoral purposes so it seems to me there was little difference between the two. Trump had clearly not read the WA or the Political Declaration and had nothing but vacuous, unsupported platitudes to say. Had he been interviewed by an independent media personality and questioned on the substance of Boris’s agreement he would have floundered.

  34. Ian terry
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Good or bad comments now have a highway for every man and his dog to have his/her say and the only damage it can cause if the really outrageous comments are not taken to task.
    The government it is perceived did precious little in combating the constant stream of news churned out by the media when trying to get Brexit through parliament or even put a more positive point of view. Our host was one of the very few who did at least to try and bring common sense and reason to the debate IMHO

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m sorry that people are still obsessing about special trade deals, whether that is the present special Single Market trade deal that we have with the other EU countries or putative new special trade deals we could have with other countries around the world such as the US, none of which special trade deals have or would have anything like the economic impact that is regularly implied.

    The important thing to understand and remember is that on average the UK economy grows naturally by about 2.5% a year, and small one-off gains or losses from changes to international trade arrangements are of little economic significance in the long term and should not be allowed to determine our long term political destiny.

  36. Mark B
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    I agree, outsiders should not interfere in our elections ‘or’ referendums. And neither should we favour prospective candidates like we did with, President Macron when he was campaigning and was invited into Number 10 whilst ignoring all the other candidates.

    And remember. Her Majesty’s Government governs for all the UK and should not use its position to invite others in what at the time of the referendum was between two opposing campaign groups. It was bad enough using £9m of our money for Remain.

  37. JimS
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Do we get the politicians that the media deserve?

    I for one have no interest in knowing what the PM’s opinion is of the latest goings-on in Coronation Street or who should win ‘Strictly’ but the media is always determined to ask.

    Now they have a President who gives his opinion of anything at anytime, serves them right!

  38. alastair harris
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Of course that is correct, but he made a good point, and even if there is no formal agreement you would hope that Boris and Nigel would come to an understanding!

  39. Anthony
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    That is true.

    But Trump should still steer clear of our election. Indeed, from the perspective of his own choices, the fact that he acted without the invitation of the government makes it worse.

    But it’s too late now. We’ll have to see if it makes a difference to the polls. My instinct says it’s pretty peripheral…but my instincts are poorly informed!

  40. rose
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    The political and media class tell us every day and across the world, including in the USA, how awful President Trump is. They told us before the US election and all through it, and ever since. They seem to think they have the power to change who is President in the USA and they devote a great deal of time, bigotry, and nastiness to trying to achieve this. All of them, from John Bercow to Sadiq Khan, from Emily Maitlis to James O’Brien.

    How can they, with a straight face, now tell us the President isn’t allowed a politely expressed preference for who leads here?

  41. Richard1
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Boris needs to get himself to Japan for tomorrow’s game. It’s a great photo op with the Emperor and PM of Japan & President of SA.

  42. MickN
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I just wish he had said “Drain the Swamp” too.
    He would have been right.

  43. John Probert
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Well said Sir

  44. Rule Britannia
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Although Trump probably shouldn’t get involved, it’s notable how the lefties squeal when someone does it to them but they have nothing to say when various supposedly neutral parties get involved on their side – including the BoE governor, the squeaker, the Electoral Commission and many others (including a bunch of entertainer types whose credentials in these matters are at best zero and probably a net negative).

    And – he’s right.

    As is JR to say that Obama was pushed whereas Trump jumped of his own volition.

  45. Simeon
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    A good point well made. I would add that Farage has left himself open to a charge of hypocrisy. Not a good look.

    Also, it is impossible to reconcile Trump’s view of Boris’s deal with Boris himself. Either Boris is great because the deal is great, or he isn’t because the deal isn’t.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Boris managed to get the eu to review the May capitulation deal, despite his hands and feet being tied by Benn, Bercow and parliament. Boris did good.

      • steve
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        Robert mcdonald

        “Boris did good.”

        By that I suppose you mean he’s figured out how to polish turd.

      • Simeon
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        With respect, Boris could have unshackled himself upon becoming PM by moving for a GE. Everyone would have voted in favour. Then he could have stood on a clean break ticket and, more than likely, secured a healthy majority. That he chose not do so and subsequently secured a ‘great deal’ that has, broadly, united his party, in the teeth of fierce opposition from other parties, whilst ramping up the ‘people vs Parliament’ rhetoric, points to a strategy of a united Tory party selling BRINO in a shiny, populist wrapper.

        Also, Boris achieved no meaningful concessions from the EU. The EU were more than happy for Boris to throw the DUP under the bus. The backstop has gone, but only because, with N. Ireland condemned to vassalage there is no need for one! Further, there might now be a theoretical route to freedom from the EU’s orbit with the WA, but the EU have shrewdly calculated that neither a Tory nor Labour government will take that path, instead preferring the continuation of an intimate economic relationship with the EU that severely undermines the possibilities of an ‘independent’ trade policy. And just for good measure, the text of the WA sets the context for the changes made to the political declaration, making what is aspired to in the PD far more difficult given the legal framework the WA seeks to establish.

  46. William Long
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I agree with you that elections in one country are no business of politicians in another and comments from them are unhelpful. I equally feel though, that it is misguided of them to comment even if asked to by one side or another in the country where the election is taking place. The fact that one of the parties to an election lacks the confidence to get its message across without external endorsement says a lot about the inadequacy of that party and its case, and an external politician does his own credibility no good if he obliges with a supporting comment. I was always surprised that Obama was happy to do this, but not so surprised that the Cameron/Osbourne Remain team felt the need to ask for it.
    If Farage and Johnson could find a way to sink their differences it wouod be excellent, but I very much doubt that Mr Trump’s intervention has made that any more likely to happen.

  47. Polly
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I thought Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party launch was really good……

    …..and I think Nigel’s ideas and approach is far better than Boris’.

    https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/1190222863032299520

    Will you be joining the Brexit Party ”to get Brexit done”… or remaing in the Conservative Party to Remain ?

    Polly

  48. agricola
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Well now Nigel Farage has spelt it out with great clarity. The route to a clean Brexit that you have always advocated is an alliance between your party and his to achieve the maximum number of Leave minded MPs in the next Parliament.

    Nigel slayed WA2 on the grounds that it was son of WA1. You have not applied your analytical brain to WA2 as you did with WA1, perhaps you should before the Brexit Party does as was promised today.

    Not taking on board what was said today and retreating into the shell of the usual party politics is not going to produce the clean Brexit you have constantly promoted. The future of the UK is at stake, party in such circumstances is irrelevant.

    Reply I did write and speak about the latest WA and advocated going straight for an FTA

    • MickN
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.
      It seems sir that your thinking is nearer to that of the Brexit party than the Tories.

      • agricola
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        On the question of how to achieve a clean Brexi it probably is at odds with the Tory hierachy. I want what our host wants and can accept any genuine help when offered.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      agricola – -better described as a bastard child of the original WA.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Sir John, indeed you did, and as you made very clear, you did not vote for it. As such, I was interested to hear you grievously misrepresented by not one but two so-called Brexiteers (I won’t name them; readers of this blog will know who they are), both of whom stated that you had in fact voted for it, in an attempt to discredit Nigel Farage and his party. One of the two is a known numpty, but the other I’d have expected more from, even if he has very foolishly thrown his lot in with BJ.

      I think that those wishing for an accomodation between the Conservatives and the Brexit party – including Farage himself – need to recognise that it simply isn’t going to happen. As Farage said, there is only one Brexit party, and of course the clue’s in the name.

      • Chris
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        At least Farage is offering cooperation, but on a sound basis of offering true Brexit not BRINO. It is Boris and Tory MPs including some from the ERG who are snubbing him, and in the process appearing both arrogant, entitled, and out of touch with the electorate. Foolish. Why does Boris not want a victory for the united right, a victory that would be decisive with a good majority, and which most importantly would provide the means to deliver true Brexit? It is looking suspiciously like he does not really want Brexit, but rather this fudge which would not result in a free and independent UK but would provide a very good launch pad for getting back into the EU in the not too distant future.

      • agricola
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

        Simeon, I don’t know who you consider closer to the Brexit Party than the Conservatives but I would point out that I have voted Tory throughout my life.

        Politics is the art of the possible. If the Conservatives think they can succeed by carrying forward WA2 and by ignoring genuine support for a clean Brexit they are deluding themselves. They put themselves in the position of Wellington under serious pressure but telling the Prussians to march home because he wanted to defeat Napoleon all on his own. The Conservatives have little support in the North of England, it is not in the DNA of the people there to vote Tory. They are however lsrgely Leave, and too canny to take on board the Marxist claptrap coming from Corbyn. They supported the Brexit Party as a solution during the EU election and could again in the coming GE. It seems arrogant to me that the Conservative hierachy should disdain this offer of support. Equally, how many Conservative candidates in marginal seats can take on the Brexit Party, Corbyn, the Lib/Dems and the Greens. My own MP, a remainer government minister in a Leave constituency with a 2000 plus majority is highly vulnerable. To accept such voting dilution is politically suicidal I would suggest, particularly as the Brexit Party like the Prussians are on side.

        This is not a time for party loyalty do or die, the future of the UK is at stake. As in 1940 we need all the help we can get. An accommodation with the Brexit Party is just that, disdain it at your peril.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted November 2, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          They are scared of being called waaaaycist!
          Never mind us..never mind us stuck in the EU under a commie govt.

        • Simeon
          Posted November 2, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          Having read your views over a sustained period I can see that your political instincts are sound and your heart in the right place. Your assessment of the Conservative party’s predicament is correct – particularly when you suggest the Tories are going to be squeezed from all sides.

          I was a little confused by your last para. Just to be clear, I’m coming from the point of sympathy for the Brexit party and, I’m afraid, great hostility towards the Tories, not just on Brexit, but also on their continued failure to deliver good governance. My distrust of the Tories is such that I actually hope there is no accomodation with the Brexit party, because I believe that the risk of BJ selling them out, as he has the DUP and, to an extent, the ERG (though with the latter it’s more a case of him playing them for fools, and them now having to swing behind BJ to keep face), is far too great.

          To conclude, I think that there is a yawning chasm between the two party’s present policies on Brexit, and I think it is abundantly clear the Tories will not be changing theirs. Therefore, I don’t think it makes sense to talk about the Conservatives as being closer to the Brexit party than anyone else. Others have made this point also; I’d rather see Corbyn in no 10 and Brexit reversed than BJ there ramming through an appalling settlement with the EU, and governing for another five years, further damaging the country and, in the layman’s view, further damaging rightish politics.

          I’m a pessimist, and in the short term I believe that Brexit hasbeen lost by the Tories. My hope is that at some point the case for Brexit can be remade more powerfully and comprehensively. This means not only explaining why it should happen, but also how. I hope lessons will be learned.

    • Chris
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      Well said, Agricola. I can see the Tory Party having considerable problems as this campaign develops, and all of their own making.

  49. Christine
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I see no difference between Obama’s intervention and President Trump’s. Let’s be honest, the UK Parliament has decided to throw away the rule book so why shouldn’t others? The political world has changed, probably not for the better, but it’s no holds barred nowadays whether we are talking domestic or international politics. You only have to look at the current actions of the House of Representatives to see that.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      The difference is … simply, that obama intervened at the request of the remainer government, trumps intervening to support nigel and boris has rejected his statement.

  50. Wil Pretty
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    We should be looking forward towards USA, not backwards to the EU.

  51. Anonymous
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Farage means what he says and people will vote Brexit party.

    I believe in people’s rights to send their kids to private school but I’m done with being a good Tory boy, voting just to keep The Others out. And Andy has done nothing to earn my respect or support.

  52. Steve P
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    It is important the electorate know what Trump says as he is being misquoted in our election by the two main leaders. Corbyn says Trump will take over the NHS – Trump says no. Boris says we will get a deal with the US – Trump says not with that surrender treaty. That is not Trump interfering in our politics – he is being lied about in our election.

    • Chris
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 12:28 am | Permalink

      That is routine reporting, it seems, with our media and certain MPs. It is not only the H of C that needs a complete overhaul, but also our media and the BBC. The media is being used as a tool of the establishment rather than carrying out sound investigative reporting and scrutiny of issues. Very similar to the USA.

  53. Posted November 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Off topic John,

    This will interest you. I just want to leave and leave NOW.

    Euro area sectoral balances send a warning signal

    http://www.ateconomics.com/2019/10/30/euro-area-financial-balances-send-a-warning-signal/

  54. Lifelogic
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    But Farage and Trump are right the Boris Treaty is not Brexit it should be ditched.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Let us hope the Conservative Party do some maths and think again. A leave alliance is essentially to win clearly and to go a for a real Brexit. Anything else risks another mess in Parliament or even Corbyn. The Boris deal was perhaps the best he could get, given the Benn surrender act, the appalling Speaker and the lack of any majority but it is not Brexit and not ‘oven ready’. It is in fact an appalling deal and not Brexit at all.

      A far better clean leave can be arranged post the election if it is won well, but a leave alliance is essential. There are 200+ seats that the Conservatives can never win but Brexit could well do. So nothing to lose from it at all from a Brexit Alliance.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      ‘If you genuinely want to work with another political party, you don’t go on live national television and call them liars… If that was meant to be to be an olive branch, Nigel completely cocked it up.’ said Mark Francois on Nigel Farage’s proposal for a ‘Leave alliance’.

      Nigel is right Mark Francois is wrong. You need to do the voting sums mate and do not assume there will be no remainer deals! With a decent leave majority a far better deal than the Boris can be attained (after all no deal is clearly better anyway).

    • Chris
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      They certainly are right, LL. P Trump and Nigel Farage have always spoken frankly, but the truth upsets some MPs, particularly when they know that they themselves are in the wrong.

  55. Ian Pennell
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    First of all Sir, I am so sad to see that Brexit has been Delayed another three months: Boris Johnson said that he would rather “Die in a Ditch” than ask for a Brexit Delay. All of this feeds a narrative that political leaders made bold promises backed up by big “Statements for Effect” – but when push comes to shove and delivering what is promised risks their career they fold and break their promises!

    People fought and gave their lives for the Democracy we have enjoyed hitherto, yet our principled Brexit Prime Minister chooses Career (and staying out of Jail) over Principle!

    However, because Boris Johnson has broken the “Brexit on 31st October” Promise a good half of Brexit supporters will not trust him nor now believe a word that he says: They will vote for the Brexit Party. It does not matter that Remainer MPs passed a law to delay Brexit- the Prime Minister will be seen to have failed!

    President Donald Trump is right: Ditch the Deal, offer a Canada style FTA but leave the EU on WTO terms if the EU reject this. And yes, do a deal with the Brexit Party.

    Right now, what matters is making the next Parliament “More Brexity”, as it were: Delivery of the result of the 2016 EU Referendum comes down to that central issue of Trust- and it must be a True Brexit. Subsequent to that the Conservatives will then be rewarded by the electorate and the pro-EU Left vanquished.

    So Boris Johnson should pull 150 Conservative candidates from unwinnable Seats in urban northern England, the West Midlands and South Wales – whilst encouraging all Leave voters to vote for the Brexit Party in such Seats. Meanwhile, the Brexit Party could be encouraged to pull their Candidates from those Seats in London, Scotland and the South that voted “Remain”.

    This would guarantee that 60 Seats that Conservatives could never win went to the Brexit Party (since the Brexit Party would be the only real Brexit choice in those Brexity Seats); The Conservatives could hold onto over 250 Seats elsewhere. Add the DUPs ten Seats (plus a few Brexity Labour MPs) and there’s enough MPs for a Brexit Coalition Government to see Brexit through and resist Remainer shenanigans.

    The Conservatives’ Online Campaign infrastructure and number of boots on the ground are much exceeded by Labour’s – who may well catch up and draw level in the polls during the course of the Election Campaign (with the help of Memes and Lefty pop songs like Captain Ska’s “Liar Liar” (remix)): This is what happened in 2017, but it is good to learn that lesson now and be prepare for the worst – that’s how to guarantee Brexit winning!

    You do not have long to act, and to persuade Boris Johnson of the merits of a pact with the Brexit Party.

    Best wishes

    Ian Pennell

  56. glen cullen
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    After reading Mark Francois message on facebook today saying that the ERG fully support the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty (TMs revised deal) I can no longer endorse nor support the Tory Party.

    With good conscience I have to support the Brexit Party, the only party that satisfies the conditions and result of the referendum as set out on the government information leaflet and ballot paper….that’s democracy

    • Chris
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      I agree, gc. Also Mark Francois attacked Farage today wrongfully in my view, and in a most unpleasant way. I think these MPs are either acting very defensively or they are very nervous/unhappy about their current full blooded support for Boris’s deal, which they know all too well does not represent Brexit. Hence they are lashing out and trying to smear Farage.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 2, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Indeed it is a mistaken approach. The Boris deal is May’s with fig leaves it is not Brexit it is worse than no deal and very expensive hand cuffs. Why stick with it when you have a majority for the asking?

        • Hope
          Posted November 2, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          As Melanie Phillips says, spineless not Spartans. They All caved in.

  57. agricola
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Though no US president would say it, the UK with all our security, intelligence, and NATO ties to the USA is possibly more important than many of the individual states of the USA. We are also a prominent member of the anglosphere and a potentially good customer of and supplier to the USA. The president can therefore be forgiven for taking an interest in our political future. If he saw or heard the Corbyn entry into the election he could be excused from being alarmed.

  58. tim
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Obama’s intervention in our referendum was threatening, when asked about a trade deal with the USA he said “Get to the back of the que!”.
    After the result Donald Trump said “it won’t make jack shit difference”. As president, A trade deal can be done as soon as we remove the EU hand cuffs.

  59. Priglet
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Mr Bercow, anxious as he said to spend more time with his family is from day one keeping out of the limelight. Good man!

    • Fred H
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      who?

  60. Jeremy
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Why, if Boris can hold his nose & do a terrible deal with the EU, can he not do a deal with Farage and win a clear majority at the election?

    As he appears unwilling to deal with Farage, can I conclude that Boris is really a remainer & wants the UK tied to the EU for many more tortuous years until we all get fed up and beg to rejoin?

    The problem Boris has is that a lot of Tory seats are marginal and the BXP could split the vote away from the Tories.

    I hate to say this but I prefer Corbyn getting into power rather than Boris’ treaty. At least with Corbyn he can be voted out at the next election. Overturning an international treaty is much more difficult if not impossible – see Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht.

  61. Me
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    If Boris really does mean no alliance or understanding with the Brexit Party then he may as well call off the Election and save money and time for all concerned. “Nothing has changed .Nothing has changed” to quote Mrs May. But in the new context post-Election he could very well have less Tory MPs. His deal will not be worth the paper it’s written on and he probably will not have any mandate to be PM except if he has luck, in technical terms.
    Tories will not beat Labour candidates in the main. The LibDems will not get as many MPs as they wish.Tories will not exist in Scotland and probably not in Wales. The DUP will hold their own.
    It is up to him now. There is still time. Brexit or no Brexit?

  62. Iain Gill
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    West coast main line, only diesel trains running on time, little bit of overhead electric wire down and all the electric trains cancelled or delayed.

    Cost that into the cost benefit of electrified train lines.

  63. Chris Stubbs
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives have failed with their 95% Mrs May’s deal. It is not leaving the EU. Only Farage is offering what 17.4m voted for in the last referendum. I will be voting Brexit Party

    • Chris
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      Quite right, CS. Me too. The more time the public has to scrutinise the deal the worse it will be for the Cons. I expect there to be some very significant challenges to Boris’s claims about his deal representing true Brexit, both from the Brexit Party but also from further legal sources.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 2, 2019 at 3:41 am | Permalink

      Yes perhaps a fruitful post would be, top ten reasons you will vote the way you are planning, at least then the reality would be a lot clearer.

  64. Dominic
    Posted November 2, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Johnson’s WA with the EU is a gross deception on the British people. The UK will be expected to adhere to all EU rules and regulations but more offensively the UK still falls under the jurisdiction of the ECJ. That is unacceptable.

    Can someone please tell this faux Tory PM that the BP and its supporters are not the enemy. The enemy is Marxist Labour and their gangster thuggery movement

    Johnson mustn’t fall into the trap of thinking that the fear of a Marxist government led by Corbyn will deter them from voting BP. Maybe he doesn’t understand how traditional working folk in the North operate. We don’t do fear Johnson.

  65. a-tracy
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Today I read a Guardian hatchet job on Boris quoting an interview with Juncker. The man was allowed to say that Boris lied “Boris Johnson told “so many lies” during the EU referendum campaign, the outgoing president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said.” Rankin in Guardian

    It was simply left there – no “which particular lies’ give me the two biggest. Then these should be put to Boris to answer to deliver a fair article. I’m just sick of news in this Country. I don’t watch tv news any longer C4 news just sickens me.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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