Lifting confidence

Confidence is a precious flower. It is easily damaged or lost. The last three years have seen the UK’s standing at home and abroad damaged by political indecision. It has been undermined by a new coarseness of language and an anger of debate by some, and by MPs in the last Parliament who promised one thing to their electors to get elected in the 2017 election, only to do the opposite once elected.

Instead of a newly independent UK  developing better trade contacts with the rest of the world whilst continuing with many links, contracts and partnerships with businesses, individuals and institutions in  the EU, the UK was dragged down by its very own Parliament. The Parliament first voted to send the letter of withdrawal  from the EU, then did everything in its power to undermine the UK government’s negotiating position in the long talks that followed. Now in this election all  the opposition parties from the last Parliament seek to prevent or delay Brexit. They wish to prolong the agony, expose the UK to a longer period of uncertainty, and strengthen the hand of the EU even more in yet more  negotiations .

A second referendum cannot unite the country behind a single course of action. The Lib Dems have already said they would ignore another  vote to Leave. Why should Leave voters accept a second referendum result in  the unlikely event that  it went the other way, when their decision to leave has so far not been implemented. For the sake of UK democracy we have to accept the result of votes.

Remain politicians have always complained about anything which undermines confidence and defers investment. They must  see it is their attempts to stop or delay Brexit further that is now the main cause of the  very uncertainty they dislike. The economy can do well from here, but ending the political  uncertainty would help.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Honesty is surely the most delicate of flowers.

    Mrs. May could have taken us out of the EU on 29th March 2019; she, and she alone, decided to request an extension when it was not needed nor legally required.

    We now have a new PM who touts HIS oven-ready WA, when in fact it is no more than a warmed over May Treaty. The Institute for government’s analysis says there are ‘no significant changes’. And yet the government wishes us to believe it is now a wonderful new deal.

    Honesty, Sir John, is what we, the voters, really want.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Well, if instead of to the extremists in its own party and the DUP, the Government had reached out to the other parties in Parliament, the UK would now be out of the European Union on terms with which a majority of the electorate could probably manage.

      Do not blame Parliament, therefore.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        What kind of deal would the SNP, Lib Dems and other numerous remain MPs have actually ever voted for?
        They wanted to remain in the EU and they would not agree to any deal that even went part way to leaving.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and the fifty million people who did not vote Leave, plus a fair few of those seventeen million who did could have lived with that.

          It would only have taken some fifty opposition MPs, not all of them.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            For all you know those fifty million might all be leave voters.
            I asked one, a 6 month old baby and he told me he supported leave.

            Despite all your desperate wriggling the votes in Parliament for a very soft form of leaving were rejected by the MPs I mentioned in my post.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            If they didn’t care enough to vote, then they’re hardly likely to take to the streets over some insufficiently-puritanical exit from the European Union, are they?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            Who said anything about “taking to the streets”?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Those would be the “extremists” who thought that when the ballot paper offered the option of leaving the EU that would mean really leaving, not just pretending to leave while still remaining under EU control. Oddly enough I see you and your ilk as the “extremists”, so devoted to the EU that you are prepared to sacrifice our democracy in its cause.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          The ballot paper was silent on the post-exit relationship with the European Union.

          So it’s just a normal, democratic matter for competing manifestoes.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Not remaining in the Customs Union and Single Market was repeatedly defined as what leaving meant by the then Prime Minister.
            On that basis we voted.

          • NickC
            Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Martin, No, the ballot paper was not silent on the post-exit relationship. The ballot paper offered “Leave”, or “Remain”. Only. No half-in/half-out option, you see.

            And we voted for Leave. Separation. Abrogating the EU treaties. Taking back control. Which you cannot be allowed to re-define after the vote.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            Parliament is supreme, and cannot bind its successor.

          • NickC
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            Martin, And who votes in a new Parliament? In our democracy the people are “supreme”.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            But there is an issue of trust between politicians and the people.
            Remember the Leaflet.
            “This is your decision. We will implement what you decide”
            The election will probably create a solution.

      • Polly
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but, imho, that would not be an ”honest” departure from the European Union because, it appears, there are many relevant facts about which the British are blissfully unaware.

        What you see insofar as the European Union is concerned is not what you get, and the reasons for that, inexplicably, have never been explained to British voters.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Honesty and getting elected are often not compatible forcing politician who want power to lie or at least not be very honest!

      An honest politician would say:- the state sector is far too large, state sector workers with pensions included are paid far more than the private sector can afford and are rather unproductive too, taxes need to be reduced significantly to become competitive, the banks lack real competition and are ripping customers off, we need to have a bonfire of red tape and fire red tape enforcers, the NHS is one of the worst systems for a wealth nation in the world and kills thousands every year, many schools are very poor and most £50K+ of debt university degrees are workless, climate alarmism is a grossly exaggerated con trick by group think scientists on the make, we should offer British Passports to people who need to escape from Hong Kong, renewables save virtually no C02 at all and CO2 is not really an issue anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      It would be honest to admit that someone who has been convicted of a serious terrorist offences (driven by mental health issues or some perverted religious beliefs) should never be allowed back into a position where he can kill or be persuaded to kill (perhaps even a large number) ever again. It is not possible to be sure that he will not do so however “expert” you are. To release them without even an assessment surely is a criminally stupid thing to do.

      Or to admits all the gross errors made by various arms of the state sector in relation to Grenfell or Hillsborough. Will the former go on for 40 years too?

      Just as it is not possible for so called “climate experts” or fake scientist come alarmist soothsayers to predict the climate for 100 years.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Climatologists do not claim to be able to predict it, and you build a Straw Man on distorting their work.

        They give assessments as to the probabilities of certain scenarios.

        Some of those are extremely serious, and so the Precautionary Principle means that sane people would do something to reduce those likelihoods.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          If only previous predictions of doom had come true.
          In the 1980s the UN predicted disaster from global warming and said 10 years to save the planet.
          Many other “x years to save the planet” predictions have come and gone without anything happening.
          Those islands in the Pacific still stubbornly above water
          Polar bear populations now at record levels for example.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:43 am | Permalink

            In March 2009 the Prince of Wales issues a stark warning that nations have “less than 100 months to act” to save the planet from irreversible damage due to climate change! In July this year he said 18 months. What will the soothsays come up with next ?

            Yet still he spend about £1 million on his personal transport each year.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            What has he got to with serious, qualified scientists?

          • NickC
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            Martin, Because the supposed “serious, qualified scientists” you think support you don’t condemn Prince Charles’ tosh. Silence indicates agreement.

            Actually, contrary to your claims that there is a CAGW consensus, very many scientists disagree with the Prince. And hence disagree with your simplistic and erroneous global warming hoax.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            He speaks as a figurehead.
            His views carry weight and are the same as the views of scientists he believes in.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          “Precautionary Principle” – what utter tosh – we do not know if it will be warmer or colder in 100 years – we might well be taking action that would make matter worse.

          You can only sensibly use the “Precautionary Principle” if you know what you are taking precautions against with confidence. Plus you have to ask if there are not far better ways to spend the money. There are in fact millions of better ways to spend it.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            Yes, running blindfold across the M25 is perfectly safe, because no one can prove conclusively that you would be killed.

            There you have what passes for logic amongst the petrol-headed fantasists.

          • NickC
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Martin, And you clearly have no idea about probabilities. And you have not even demonstrated that there is any chance we’re all going to fry anyway.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            Very silly analogy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      People often do not vote for honesty. Many prefer promises of unicorns, greencrap and other religious lunacy and duff promises and lies from Father Christmas and his magic money forest. Hopefully not too many.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Peter agreed

      Perhaps all we can hope for is a Conservative victory with enough proper leaver Mp’s in it, who refuse the back the so called Boris WA TREATY, and thus we leave on 31st January 2020 with a managed WTO Deal.

      • villaking
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        What is meant by a WTO deal? The WTO is a supranational body that has a set of rules on trade and an Appellate Body that adjudicates on trade disputes. Isn’t that a bit like, say, a group of 28 countries creating a Single Market with common rules and an independent referee like, say, the ECJ? You would surely hate to follow the rules of such an organisation wouldn’t you?

        • NickC
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Villaking, No, the WTO is not a bit like the EU. Because the WTO does not keep on making new laws every month. Or even every year. For starters. And if you think the ECJ is “independent” I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Until she saw the chance to become Tory party leader and so Prime Minister Mrs May was overtly one of those “Remain politicians”, and even as she repeated that silly “Brexit means Brexit” slogan she was covertly working to stop Brexit.

      That is why she never set up any rapid rebuttal unit to counter the incessant flood of anti-Brexit propaganda and instead allowed ministers to add to it.

      I am not sure what was going on in the heads of Tory MPs when they chose her as their new leader after David Cameron ratted on his promises, rather than picking somebody who had actually campaigned to leave the EU.

      I can only suppose that for many of them she was a kindred spirit.

      • NickC
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper, Regrettably you are right. Most Tory MPs are only here for the beer, saw Mrs May as a kindred spirit, and are frightened silly by anything that disturbs their cosy little EU outlook.

    • Andy
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Honesty is clearly not what you want. Because when you are repeatedly told by a vast army of experts in a huge number of fields that Brexit is immensely damaging to you, your family and your country – you choose to disbelieve them.

      What you actually want is yes men – who tell you what you want to hear, no matter how untrue it is. You want the opposite of honesty.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        It’s obscurantism and superstition Andy.

        Doubting Thomas could not walk on water because he did not *believe* wholeheartedly enough.

        Voting Leave changes the Laws Of Physics for the Faithful.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          It is odd how the left have moved from being in total opposition to the EU to obsessive delight in just a few decades.

        • NickC
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          It’s obscurantism and superstition, Martin.

          Doubting Thomas could not walk on water because he did not *believe* wholeheartedly enough.

          Voting Remain changes the laws of physics for the faithful. They think the EU will be good to us if only we are sufficiently subservient.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

            It’s not belief, Nick. It’s evidence. And reason.

          • NickC
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            Martin, Indeed we have seen the evidence for ourselves that the EU empire is nasty, hostile and vindictive, over the last 4 years.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            There is no evidence.
            You are just making predictions of the future.
            Previous doom laden predictions made by experts in Project Fear 1.0 were completely wrong.

      • NickC
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Honesty is clearly not what you want. Because when you are repeatedly told by a vast army of experts in a huge number of fields that Brexit is perfectly viable for you, your family and your country – you choose to disbelieve them.

        What you actually want is yes men – who tell you what you want to hear, no matter how untrue it is. You want the opposite of honesty.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          You have ONE economist Nick.

          And even he says that it will wreck UK farming and manufacturing.

          • NickC
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

            Martin, Ahhh, is your Daddy bigger than my Daddy then? Actually there are a large number of economists and other experts whose opinions vary between ‘it won’t make much difference either way’ to ‘we’ll be better off out’. And the fact that there are 165 other countries in the world not in the EU, confirms that we can be too. Your swallowing project fear doesn’t make it true.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            He didn’t say that.
            Professor Minford said opened up to free trade both could suffer.
            But he went on to say how government could support manufacturing and farming post Brexit.
            Something we can’t currently do under EU rules.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 3, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          Your argument with Martin is unnecessary and pathetic

    • Beecee
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      If he gets his majority then he can leave with no deal.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        That is what he should do but paliament with still be stuffed with lots of dire traitors & people like Theresa May and Greg Clarke.

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      She was a remainer and never intended to respect the result of the referendum as were most of her front bench colleagues.
      Cameron was truly shocked by the referendum result and spent some time phoning the politicians like Obama who came over to tell us that we’d be at the back of the queue if we voted Leave
      However if Donald Trump so much as voices an opinion he’s accused of interfering in our politics
      Double standards!

  2. Helena
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Yet more attempts to blame anyone except the Brexiters for the fact that every single promise that they made in 2016 has turned out to be false

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      That leaving the EU was ever an option ?

      Vote Remain get Hard Remain

      Vote Leave get Harder Remain.

      This is the way of the EU.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Yes, the fact that the UK is a country, in which fifty-two percent of those who could be bothered to vote chose to leave the most advanced, enlightened, civilised project that this troubled world has ever seen is what damages confidence in this country on the part of other nations, Helena.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Enough of the satire, Martin.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 3, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink


        “damages confidence in this country on the part of other nations”

        Not just that but Brexit and the 3 year long saga since has turned us into a laughing stock.

        Still, nice President Trump likes us enough to grace us with yet another visit (nobody else in the world wants him)

    • David in Kent
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      So far nothing the Brexiteers wanted has come to pass. We’ve not left the EU, we are still paying them, they still control our laws and our media still propagandise on their behalf. Why should it be Brexiteers who are criticised for failure to deliver?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The Brexiters could not delver as they were not in charge and had no majority. Too many remoaners, elected on a we will deliver Brexit basis but then ratting on their voters to try to kill Brexit at every turn.

      Post the election they hopefully will finally be in charge.

      • DaveK
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        LL, I think the evidence is against that. I do not see a huge cull of remainers from the Conservative party to be candidates for the forthcoming election. I have heard that Mr Johnson has got agreement from all his candidates to agree his treaty deal. However this just means that they have agreed to a non Brexit treaty (by all the articles I have read about the WA) and we will be having a Hard remain and be begging to rejoin. Mr Johnson may get a Conservative majority, but Parliament will still be a Remain majority. As to rebuttal, that seems almost non-existent, on today’s Politics Live the Con rep did not even mention GATT 24, as he could have done when posed if we hadn’t finished trade talks we would fall of said cliff edge again. He just harped on about getting the wonderful deal through. I sense there is a con trick happening and do not think Boris is going the way of hard bargaining and walking away.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:47 am | Permalink

          I fear you are right.

    • DaveM
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Don’t be disingenuous. Everyone knows that machinations installed an easily controlled and weak PM in order to stall things so that the lawyers had time to get their dirty tricks in line and lead us to where we are now.
      No-one believes the tripe being spouted by the likes of Swinson and Soubry. We’re “in this mess” because of pro-EU politicians, civil servants and lawyers using filthy underhand legal tricks – all facilitated (by his own admission) by an untouchable and biased Speaker.
      If only they’d used their apparently superior minds to make Brexit a success from day one – instead they’ve done unspeakable damage to our democracy.

    • John-McHugh
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Oh dear. What negotiations were Brexiteers involved in, bearing in mind that May and Robbins were working to a parallel WA to that of Davis.
      What promises have Brexiteers made that they could have enacted.
      You anti-democrats do make me laugh though.

    • Shirley
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Just like the Brexit blockers who promised to respect the result of the referendum? The majority of them lied to the electorate (in order to get elected so they could then have the opportunity to destroy democracy from within) and there is no disguising it.

      Unfortunately, the undemocratic liars in Parliament outnumber those who respect democracy, and this chaos is the result.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      They didn’t make any false promises. Name a single one. All the false promises came from Leave politicians saying they’d respect the referendum result and that it would be a once-in-a-lifetime vote.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        They weren’t leave politicians
        I have compilations on YouTube of the remainers saying over and over again that the result would be respected but that was before the Leave supporters triumphed in the referendum, so please get your facts right!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Let us negotiate leaving without interference and we will find out

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      If that’s true it’s because the Tory party put people like you in charge of Brexit.

  3. Garland
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the newly independent UK is desperately trying to develop better trade contacts with the rest of the world, only to be told – no, go away and come back once you have finally sorted out your future relationship with the EU and, by the way, we have no intention of offering you as good a deal as you have now as a member of the EU, because your precious independence simply means you are much much weaker than before

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Ironically, one of the reasons that the eurocynics put forward for leaving was the danger of the terms proposed by the US in TTIP.

      Our MEPs rightly threw that out, as pro-European Union people said that they likely would, however.

      On the other hand, the UK alone will now have to take those very terms in any deal with the US, and far, far more besides.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        The Guardian and Independent blamed President Trump for the failed TTIP talks.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Well, he pulled the plug, when he discovered that the so-called rubber-stamping European Union Parliament refused to rubber-stamp its exploitative and democracy-subverting demands.

          However, it looks like we will soon have a supine rubber-stamping Parliament here, ready to pass on the nod anything that the Elected Dictatorship might ask.

          Leave voters don’t do irony, nor much else requiring a degree of wit, it seems.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            Good attempt at deflection Martin but either the EU wrecked the TTIP talks or the USA did.
            The left can’t say both did.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            Negotiations broke down.

            The European Union wouldn’t agree to some US requests.

            Trump decided that the whole thing was worthless without them.

            They are the facts.

            I don’t apportion “blame” whether others do or not.

            But the fact remains, those onerous demands and far more will be there again against the puny little UK alone in the world.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            The UK is the world’s sixth largest economy and we have been trading with America for decades.

            Dont let your lefty hatred of America get to you.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink


        “UKIP MEP Dartmouth put forward amendments which he said: “require the commission to exclude specifically our British National Health Service from TTIP in its entirety.” One such amendment was roundly defeated 142-507.

        He lambasted the voting record of Labour MEPs over this matter who he claimed consistently voted to undermine “legal protections for the NHS. UKIP stands up for the NHS even as the Labour party does not.”

        An amendment was put forward by the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group, of which UKIP is part, to prevent the creation of ISDS, a private corporate-led arbitration court which would allow multinationals to sue states if their profits were challenged.

        Because of what Dartmouth described as “political chicanery and Machiavellian manoeuvring” all amendments to try to stop ISDS were not even allowed to be voted on.”

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        If we remain in the EU and consequently our trading terms with the US are decided by people we did not elect and cannot remove there is a far greater danger of being subject to adverse terms than those that would be negotiated by a UK government seeking re-election.

        As an example no UK government would today dare to trade away our NHS but it could happen that the EU does so in exchange for lower tariffs on German cars and French food and wine.

    • John-McHugh
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Pure supposition. Liz Truss appears to say differently.
      By the way, we voted to leave the Eu to become an Independent sovereign state again.
      Why do you avoid this issue?

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    A 3 year transition period when we concede to all the EU demands won’t help restore confidence.
    At the end of 2022 we will be in exactly the same position as we are now because unless we agree to free movement, common fisheries and EU budget contribution nothing will change.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink


      Come the 31st January 2020, we should just walk. We can always then talk later.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes please.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed we should just leave now.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      You are so well informed about the likely outcome that we should probably ask you to conduct the negotiations?

      • ian wragg
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        We can all be well infirmed Bill with a little research. Weyland, Barnier and the Irish punter who has been given the job as chief negotiator have said over the past couple of weeks……. trade talks cannot be concluded until the fate of EU nationals, the access to fishing and our ongoing contribution to the EU budget are agreed.
        As for the Transition Period, the definition of transition is a movement from one place/outcome to another. In Euro speak it means do nothing extension.
        Unless all EU demands are met or none, then we find ourselves at the same “cliff edge” again in July when a further extension has to be agreed.
        Just watch our side run up the white flag.

    • John-McHugh
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      We walk away like any competent businessmen.
      Do you like to be subservient?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Walk away?

        To what, exactly?

        The UK loses everything that it presently had re the European Union.

        You have a strange idea of “competence” in business dealings.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Having spent decades in business negotiating deals you show your lack of business experience Martin.
          Walking away from an unsuitable deal is a very sensible thing to do.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            Andy covered this well, with his reference to smashing up your car with a sledgehammer in front of the sales staff at a dealers, and insulting them, before threatening to walk away if they didn’t give you a top range model for free.

            Yes, that would work.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

            Another ridiculous analogy.
            Both sides want an amicable deal.
            One will emerge.
            Keep calm martin.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I would have no great concerns about “a 3 year transition period” per se, it is the contents of the rest of your post that really worry me. I am assuming here that the other continuing EU member states will still allow the Irish government to have a de facto veto over the future agreement, even if it has no de jure veto:

      “But in a sense it doesn’t matter whether or not Ireland technically has the claimed right of veto, because if the big EU states really want something the Irish government will generally drop any opposition and go along with it.”

      I certainly don’t want to repeat all the things I have said before about transitional provisions being a commonplace element of international treaties but I would like to link back to this in December 2017:

      “I’ve been saying for more than a year now that I have no problem with appropriate transitional provisions being built into our withdrawal agreement(s).”

      “However my condition is that the transitional deal must be in the form of transitional provisions written into a withdrawal treaty which takes us out of the EU when it comes into force, but with some of the present legal and practical arrangements wound down gradually afterwards according to a pre-determined schedule, not in the form of treaty arrangements which would take us out of the EU but at the same time effectively keep us halfway in through the EEA or similar, potentially in perpetuity.”

      “Well, what a fool I’ve been, I should have known that if you give the euromaniacs an inch then they will try to take a yard, it’s what they always do, and now we have all this oxymoronic nonsense about a “standstill” or “status quo” transition.”

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Free movement – – -flooding England with foreign born housing, NHS and benefit freeloaders and criminals.
      Common fisheries – They steal all the fish in our waters.
      EU budget contribution – – We carry on filling the bank accounts of those who want England destroyed.

      • Northernlass1
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


    • Andy
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Things will change. Brexit will make most of them worse.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear Andy, more of your usual tripe!

  5. Shirley
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Many politicians in the UK have exposed their lack of respect for democracy, and the electorate. We knew it was there, due to the continuous handing of power to the EU without allowing the electorate a choice, but it is now out in the open.

    Many UK Politicians have proven without doubt that they will lie and cheat and ignore the electorate when it suits and those same politicians also reject Trump, the elected US President, but have no problems with unelected Presidents and officials in the EU. They are killing off democracy and want to decide between themselves (and with no regard to the voters) who governs, as happens in the EU.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Shirley – well said. We must hope that their electors have watched with concern the voting, the refusal to accept the Ref decision, the intentional delay and objection in the Hof C of anything to bring matters to a conclusion. On Dec 12th the electors should pass judgement on the MPs who have worked against the country’s interest and not vote for those who cause the stalement.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Here are some unelected presidents in the UK:

      The President Of The Law Commission
      The President Of The Board Of Trade
      The Lord President Of The Council (JR Mogg)
      President Of The Supreme Court
      President Of The Queen’s Bench Division


      Those in the European Union must at least be approved by our elected MEPs.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        None make new laws rules regulations and directives like the EU Commission do.
        And their powers affect the whole 28 member nations.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 3, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          The President Of The Supreme Court and the Law Commission do exactly that.

          The latter’s have to get past Parliament, as the European Commissions do too, but the judge in a higher court makes common law alone or as a panel.

          They bind every one of us.

          Try to get just a few basics.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          I thought you might claim that as your reply.
          The point you miss is that Parliament can then change the law and or rewrite exiting law after a UK court ruling if it wishes.
          As you keep telling us Parliament is supreme.
          The crucial difference is that we can’t do that with EU law and ECJ rulings.
          Basics indeed.

  6. Mark B
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . UK was dragged down by its very own Parliament.

    And let us not forget, that the PM and Government is made up from that same Parliament. The sooner the legislature and the executive is separated the better.

    What BREXIT has shown is that our system, which has delivered relatively stable government, can not cope when those entrusted cannot abide by the will of the people. Many now realise that elections do not do anything other than allow one party or another to have a go at being in charge. They do not do anything as the power is rested with the EU.

    The EU is a Civil Servants dream come true. Power without responsibility, or even accountability, and the effective neutering of parliaments and the people. If the Civil Servants decide a course of action, then that action is taken best at EU level so as to bypass both governments and people.

    The problem with Civil Servants running the show is, when things go wrong they cannot be easily put right as there is no ‘feedback mechanism’ in place. So if a policy, as witnessed in the EURO Area, of austerity is imposed it can have very damaging effects and there is little that can be done about it. The people can vote as many parties that want to change the policy but, no matter who you vote for you cannot affect change. Voting therefore becomes meaningless.

    The WA (treaty) would deliver the UK into a position far worse than is now. It would be far better for the UK to Leave without one, but I cannot see it happening with the present PM.

    We have long suffered a Remain – Pro-EU parliament, and until we elect one that is for Leave we shall suffer the same.

  7. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    I wonder what would happen in other walk of life if we ‘All’ lied on our CV’s to get a job? Then all immediately broke our contract with our employer once we had taken up our post?

    It appears that Parliment is comfortable in having contempt for the electorate, but can’t comprehend why we the People(their employer) reciprocates.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      To be an MP you must have a Masters in lying and obfucation.
      It also helps if you have little or no knowledge of science or commerce.
      You can then extol the virtues of windmills which as we speak is generating about 4% of demand whllst boasting it is generating 53% of supply.
      On this glorious frosty high pressure morning, thousands wind farms lie dormant.
      Charlatans the lot of them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        You are exactly right. Our deluded transport secretary even thinks that electric cars are zero emission! Where does he think the energy to charge them comes from? Plus all the energy needed to manufacture the cars and the expensive, short life batteries?

        Oh the benefits of an HND in business and finance at Manchester Poly!

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Many are unemployable but don’t yet realise it..
      It seems you only need to practice speaking to yourself in a mirror with a straight face.
      When Labour say Jeremy Corbyn is an honest broker …..
      Says it all…..!

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Absolutely spot on Ian. Agreed with every word.

    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Maybe what is required is the election of a government so brutal that it will jolt the British electorate into life. Only then when their freedoms, income and assets have been stripped and taken will they wake up and stop voting for parties that are working hard to deceive them

    • L Jones
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      But if they’re that ”brutal” then they would find a way of making sure they couldn’t be got rid of. Why should they allow themselves to be voted out, come the revolution?

      It’ll be bad enough being tied firmly to ”our EU friends” (as BJ seems to wish) and having our future elections overseen by them. In either event, eurosceptic parties are going to have a tough time of it. The notion of ”free and fair” may become a thing of the past.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      It has been suggested that real change can only come out of a crisis. But do we, as a country, have the wits to fashion a change for the good?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      What make you think they will get another fair vote after the Marxists take over, they are already promising to gerrymander the system by changing the electorate.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Doubtless the SNP would assist in this, given some suitable funding or concessions to the the Scots – paid for by the English.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        “No taxation without representation” didn’t someone once demand?

        What’s your problem with that here as well as in the US?

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      “Maybe what is required is the election of a government so brutal that it will jolt the British electorate into life”

      Which could very well happen. If England finds itself being governed by a Labour/SNP Government on 13th December with unelected SNP MPs forcing through their disastrous policies on England only, hopefully the people of England will finally snap and say they have had enough. John talks of democracy yet he and his colleagues refuse to address the English Question, the West Lothian Question or the skewed Barnett Formula.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Dominic – -are you thinking of any party in particular?

  9. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Not forgetting the BBC’s part. They’ve behaved as though the referendum hadn’t yet taken place and as though the contest was still on going.

    Recently it has changed the election agenda to Climate Change. This is because Boris-Brexit was winning votes (whatever you think of it.)

    Most Remainers are greenists so by getting them voted in on a green ticket the BBC help Remain politicians get elected without voters realising. Clever, eh ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      I hear that the BBC’s The War of the Worlds (something which I didn’t bother with) was unwatchable because of political correctness.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Not another screening of Climate Emergency!

    • MickN
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      You naughty person Anonymous.
      Don’t you know that you can no longer use the words “Climate Change” without adding the word “Emergency” at the end!!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the BBC are absurdly one sided on this issue. All sound scientists and climate realists are banned on the BBC even Piers Corbyn.

  10. George Brooks
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    A very large number of ‘Remainer’ MPs are those who entered politics as an occupation and their desire for us to continue our membership of the EU has little to do with the best interests of the UK. They, I am sure, see our leaving the EU as the end of their ultimate career prospects.

    Their actions over the last 3 years have inflicted serious damage to our economy from which we will recover. However if it is allowed to continue as the Lib/Dems, SNP and others want it to, it could, as the CBI stated, put a fatal split right through our economy

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Indeed and the little confidence that is left will drain away if we get anything other than a clear Conservative majority. One that is large enough to over come the many Conservative traitor/remoaners that have still idiotically been allowed to stand again as fake Conservatives.

    You say “They must see it is their attempts to stop or delay Brexit further that is now the main cause of the very uncertainty they dislike.” Indeed but the dopes do not. On the Labour side some even seem to think their economic politics are sane.

    Still it seems Carney has lined up another job as a pushed of climate alarmist drivel, when on earth does the vastly over paid, wrong on almost everything, PPE graduate finally go?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Certainly the BBC does nothing at all for confidence. Once again today with their totally one sided drivel agenda of irreversible Climate Alarmism. Never a sensible scientist to point out that it is exaggerated drivel & nonsense. Never any climate realist to point out the drivel they are talking.

      To the BBC wind, wave, hydro, public transport, electric cars, “renewables”, bikes good but flights, trucks, cars, vans, fossil fuels, nuclear (usually too) is bad. Unless of course it is Emma Thompson and Prince Charles types flying first class or in private jets.

      This is wrong headed simplistic drivel which is only believed by a few dim art graduated of the type that work at the BBC. Five people in a car is far more efficient and far faster than five bikes fuelled by human food for example! But then as I pointed out yesterday the travel secretary hasn’t got a clue either. But how can the BBC get away with this one sided religion? Get Matt Ridley, Piers Corbyn or a sensible physicist on like Richard Lindzen one. But not one who is bent or seeking grant funding or is a quack climate scientist please. We have had more than enough of them for a lifetime.

    Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Maybe what is required is the election of a government so radical that the everyday lives of Tory MPs is changed out of all recognition. Maybe then, they also will wake up and change direction away from the leftward and liberal march they’ve been on since 1990

    If Labour do achieve power and impose open borders the Home Counties, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and other quaint regions of England will be changed forever.

    It would be welcome to our world, the world of real people, and then you will understand our anger and why we view the contemporary Tory party as one that has betrayed its own values, this nation and its people with your capitulation to the left and liberal piety that has done so much damage to the UK

  13. agricola
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    If you wish to lift confidence do not go down the Boris WA2 route which is guaranteed to prolong the agony for years to come. Realise that the EU are not logical or reasonable negotiators, they want all the eggs and the basket. Assuming you get a good working majority, something the EU probably fear, go for a clean break along the lines we have discussed. Knowing the future business environment will create the confidence we all require. It will also enable government to get on with the domestic programme which has been in the shade for too long.

  14. DaveM
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Simple really – put out a solid manifesto based on values and policies that the majority of people still believe in, then do what you’ve said you’ll do. That way you get elected and stay elected.

  15. Everhopeful
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    But they aren’t accepting the result of votes are they? Except those that suit.
    In fact they have spent over three years trying to find a way to ignore the 2016 and 2017 votes.
    That’s what all the theatre has been about.
    Our enemies are using “ democracy” against us.
    And succeeding.

  16. Kevin
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    In the ITV debate last night, the Conservative rhetoric of “getting Brexit done” by the end of January was, I thought, successfully undermined. If I remember correctly, both the SNP and Lib Dem leaders pointed out the distinction between Boris’ much-vaunted “deal” – i.e. the legally binding WA plus the non-legally binding PD – and the trade deal that is the intended outcome of the PD. This means, surely, that the “cliff-edge” rhetoric from the opposition will continue until the Conservatives either concede as much as the EU asks for in order to get a “deal” by the end of next year, or extend the negotiating period and concede the same things anyway. I cannot see the Conservatives intending to implement the clean-break, Leave the EU Brexit for which we voted, because if they were, they would not ratify the WA.

  17. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “Why should Leave voters accept a second referendum result in the unlikely event that it went the other way”

    But it wouldn’t go the other way, in the second referendum they will allow 3 million EU citizens to vote and reduce the voting age to 16, and the choice will be Remain or Remain (Corbyn’s deal to stay in the CU/SM and hence with free movement and annual contributions). How could Remain fail to win ?

    • John Brown
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      The deep state has been working since the very beginning on a second referendum between a “credible” (viz the worst possible deal they can think of) and remain.

      I have thought long and hard as to which option I would choose at this second referendum, where the voting mandate will be gerrymandered as you have noted, and have come to the conclusion that however bad is the “credible” deal it is still better than remaining in the EU as it will not be possible to continue the fight for our freedom whilst our government, MPs, civil service, judiciary, educational establishment, quangos, NGOs and MSM, the corporates etc. are corrupted by the EU using our tax money.

  18. a-tracy
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Safety needs are the second column in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and our government must have a priority to protect our Safety and Health.

    What risk assessment was done by Cambridge University when organising this event and what precautions did they take to reduce risk. Please don’t say they didn’t even consider a risk of re-offending.

  19. Richard1
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Interesting that Goldman Sachs – an organisation which was in the vanguard of remain – is now strongly bullish on U.K. prospects should Boris win with a good working majority. It is clear that sterling is now tracking the election closely. It looks like a good Tory majority, pound up, it looks like a govt made up of Marxists and Scottish separatists, pound down.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Hmm. I wonder why an investment bank would be so keen on a government that thwarts Corbyn AND Brexit at the same time? That is truly fascinating…

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, because Johnson would not need either the ERG or the DUP to get a deal through then, would he?

      You’re not going to like it, I suspect.

      But so long, and thanks for all those ex-brexit party votes.

  20. Andy
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Our international standing has been massively damaged – but not by Parliament. It has been damaged by Brexit.

    Literally everything you say applies in reverse. I agree just cancelling Brexit would be terrible. But I’m afraid just ploughing ahead when a clear majority now opposes what you are doing will be equally terrible. Yes, the Tories might win the election but remain / second referendum parties will probably get significantly more votes. So where is your mandate for Johnson’s deal – which is the only Brexit on offer?

    I hate Brexit. There are very many millions of people like me – and we are predominately significantly younger than most of you. How do you intend to bring us together? And, here’s a tip, calling me a traitor or a remoaner or telling me to shut up because you won will not cut it.

    • MickN
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Over the years we have had destructive Labour governments that I have not voted for and certainly not wanted. All have left the country in a worse state than when they came to power.
      I hated these governments, but I accepted that was the majority view and didn’t feel the need to become a whinging cry baby.
      How about that one ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      You seem to forget that we only had the referendum because Parliament passed an Act ordering that it be held. It was not something imposed on us by an external agency without the involvement and authorisation of Parliament, was it. Having passed that Act, multiple stages in both Houses, and having then approved an official leaflet to be delivered to every household expressly promising that the government would implement the decision, whichever way it went, a majority of parliamentarians in both Houses went back on their word. It was a matter of days, if not only hours, after the votes were counted that some of them started to look for ways to vitiate the result because it was not their personal preference. The blame rests squarely with Parliament, not with Brexit as you like to think.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Do you know why voting was chosen as a method of settling arguments ?

      Do you know what happens when voting is ignored ?

      This is the reason why a Corbyn government is a very real possibility with the prospect of him turfing your kids out of private school and confiscating your wealth – all because you’ve treated fellow Tory voters like dirt and they refuse to be your lackeys any longer.

      Be glad it’s not civil war.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Andy – I think Boris’ WA mk2 is actually staying in the EU. You should be more than content with that. I’M NOT!

  21. Chris
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    How can confidence be lifted if meaningless drivel and untruths are regularly delivered by Tory MPs about the Boris deal? I refer to the debate on Sunday evening where Rishi Sunak Tory MP was attempting to defend the Boris deal. Nigel Farage was challenging him about what the Boris deal was going to deliver. Sunak did not seem willing to answer to begin with and then eventually came up with what I consider to be a totally dishonest representation of what the Boris deal gives us:

    “We want a deep and comprehensive economic and security partnership with Europe. “It is outlined already in the political declaration that has been negotiated. “It means we can leave the EU intact as one union in control of our laws, our borders and our trade policy”.

    What nonsense, I say. The WA and PD do NOT give us control.

    • Chris
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Just to add to my comment above about the Sunak and Farage exchange in the Sunday night debate and the importance o honesty in building up trust and confidence in political leaders:

      ‘What are you going to deliver?’ Farage condemns Tories over Brexit plans

      The Brexit Party leader grilled the Conservative representative on the exact details of the Tories Brexit plan. Mr Sunak originally avoided answering the question but following several attempts by Mr Farage to gain a further explanation one was provided.

      Mr Farage said: “If you carry on with the deal as it was, it is not Brexit it’ll take years to deliver and millions of people will be very upset and disappointed.
      “So the question is, is it oven-ready or are you going to go for a free trade deal?”

      The Conservative representative replied: “Nigel has been a tireless campaigner for leaving the EU.”
      The Brexit Party leader agreed: “I have absolutely.”

      Mr Sunak continued: “But the difference between Nigel and me is that only my party the Conservative Party can actually deliver Brexit.”

      The former UKIP leader asked: “Yes but what are you going to deliver?”

      Mr Sunak said: “A vote for anybody else including your party Nigel is just going to mean Jeremy Corbyn in number 10 and that’s going to mean no Brexit and years more of delay, division and deadlock and that move us forward.”

      Mr Farage continued to demand an answer: “What are you going to deliver?
      “Are you going for a free trade deal yes or no?

      “No answer.”

      The host of the debate then intervened: “I am just going to ask Rishi Sunak to address that direct question.”

      The Conservative said: “We want a deep and comprehensive economic and security partnership with Europe. “It is outlined already in the political declaration that has been negotiated. “It means we can leave the EU intact as one union in control of our laws, our borders and our trade policy.

  22. Dumb-waiter
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    We are doomed

    • L Jones
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I fear we certainly ARE doomed either way.
      We’re doomed to something quite horrible if Corbyn and his lot get their hands on the levers of power.
      We’re doomed if BJ gains his majority and pushes through his surrender document, as the EU, once they have been offered this stranglehold (thanks, BJ) won’t allow us to do anything that will loosen it. Such as giving a brexit party a chance in the future.
      I suppose that the only tiny ray of hope is that the EU won’t want quite to kill off its milch cow, so our country might survive to some extent and for a while.
      Yes, Sir John, confidence is indeed precious. My own confidence in BJ soared when he gave his first rousing speech (at last cometh the man!) but it soon wilted and was lost when he showed himself to be just another paper tiger, or worse.

  23. Ali Choudhury
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    All quite true. I am a bit bemused by Conservative party activity in Wokingham borough though. I have been getting Lib Dem leaflets through the post virtually every day since the election was announced. Last week one piece of campaign literature from Labour trickled in. Has Shinfield been deemed ultra-safe Tory territory? You would not think there were recent polls showing the Lib Dems being much more competitive than they were in the past.

    Reply As stated on this site, all Postal voters received two letters, and all other voters are receiving hand delivered and postal leaflets this week. There have also been dozens of tweets, a daily blog or two on this site,the Ask John series on Facebook etc

  24. mancunius
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    “a second referendum result in the unlikely event that it went the other way”

    As Dominic Cummings has rightly said in his recent blog, remainers in power would ensure any ‘second referendum’ will be deliberately primed, enfranchised and fraudulently organised to give only one result.

    And btw, the signs are that the forthcoming election is also being ‘community organised’ online in a well-funded to ensure the Conservatives do not gain a majority, with massive electoral fraud on a scale yet unseen in the UK. The innately pro-remain Electoral Commission will continue to turn a blind eye. Any appeals will get nowhere with the innately pro-Remain judiciary at the top.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      For “pro-Remain” read “not deluded, nor stupid, nor vicious”.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Continuing the remain tradition of never a comment without a personal insult.

        • mancunius
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, Edward: and they’re invariably smug, sententious and self-righteous with it.
          I bet ‘Martin’ works for the DVLA. 🙂

  25. Fred H
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    As Victor Meldrew would say ‘ I don’t believe it’.

    Today Royal Mail delivered our 9th different Libnodems full colour large pamphlet.

    This time printed by Pindar ( Scarborough) Ltd, part of YM group, Whitehall Park, Whitehall Road, Leeds LS12 5XX.

    Just WHO is financing this DELUGE – -can it be legal?

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Me too, I notice that Jo Swinson doesn’t feature anywhere on it, perhaps they’ve cottoned on to fact that she’s a liability?

      The illiberal undemocrats, the irony of their position seems to be lost on them!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        The whole party is a liablity as are the circa 50% or so of Conservative MPs – who are essentially Libdims – so illiberal, greencrap pushing, pro EU, anti-democrats.

        At least we are rid of Gauke, Hammond, Rudd, Ken Clarke (but alas not Greg Clarke and some other misguided dopes and traitors) ….

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I also have to ask that question. Officially for each party it is capped at £30,000 for each constituency.

      Then the picture gets muddy – At a local level, each candidate’s spending limit is different. It is calculated by adding together a fixed amount of £8,700, plus either 9p or 6p per registered voter in their constituency.

      Then it is further muddied by groups that are not officially Political parties, there is sort of a limit, but changing the group name often while having the same management.

      Then there are those that have their own rules, EU Commission as a for instance, as rulers of the UK they can do what they like.

      Reply The expense limit is around £16,000 per candidate, as you say depending on numbers of electors

      • Fred H
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        The Wokinghampaper carried an advert, and I have 9 different colour pamphlets plus a letter from Dr Lee.
        If the pamphlets and letter were copied to all approx 80,000 registered can they really do that for £16,000?

        Has Sir John decided not to spend (any of )his £16,000 maximum due to no budget, or perceive it is a lost cause?

        Reply I am keeping to budget and have produced five different leaflets to be delivered by hand or freepost so I keep beneath the ceiling.The main leaflet goes to all hand delivered and the main freepost leaflet goes to all. All postal voters should have received two letters in the first half of the campaign.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Well we have had nothing from you. The only other pamphlet arriving for us is from Annette Medhurst (no chance Annette!).

          • Ian @Barkham
            Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            Annette may not stand a chance, but missed by many is a Vote for Dr Lee helps her party take control. As the Undemocratics have no chance

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      LibDem head of press suspended in forgery scandal – over this.

  26. Pauline Baxter
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi there John Redwood. I am re-reading your ‘We Don’t Believe You’. It certainly seems the UK electorate are shouting that now.
    As it happens it was the Brexit Referendum result that turned the spotlight onto voter disillusion with the 2 main parties but surely that disillusion was there before and showed in poor turnout for elections.
    Also, with Ukip there was already signs of a growth of populist Parties.
    Way back I remember you opposing PR. Probably because you feared that same growth of populist parties and the resulting inability of governments to govern.
    I would like you to revive that post on PR please and/or reexamine the question now that we have already suffered a hung parliament and we are possibly facing even worse (Corbyn et al) with the FPTP voting system.

    Fingers crossed, we do get Boris’ Government/WA. A few Brexit party +/or Ukip MP’s would be good too.

    Reply I favoured first past the post because it means each constituency knows who their rep is, and it is more likely to give us a majority government to make some decisions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Indeed “it is more likely to give us a majority government” – it does however force people to make a choice between only two or perhaps three candidates who have any chance of winning. You vote to stop X rather than for Y. Essentially elections are decided by rather a few swing voters in perhaps just 100 seats. They other get no say at all.

    • John Brown
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I do not agree with proportional representation (PR) as it does not tie a specific MP to a constituency and consequently inept and corrupt MPs cannot be removed by the electorate.

      FPTP is far better than PR for these reasons but I believe that AV is better still because :

      1) It still enables a constituency to be represented by a specific MP who can be removed at the next election (or before through re-call) if the voters wish.

      2) The winning candidate will have received 50% or more of the votes, which is far more democratic than the wrong outcome occurring for a constituency through vote splitting, as well as being bad for democracy in the long term.

      There would be no need for the current farce of tactical voting.

      It is already used for the election of police commissioners and in modified forms for the election of the CP leader and the HoC Speaker.

  27. Derek Henry
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


    Get somebody to nail the SNP it is not independence when you sign up to the EU fiscal rules.

    They want to be ” at the heart of Europe ”

    They are getting away with this lie and not being challenged.

  28. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    I see a sort of irony in your ‘post’ I have just received my weekly newspaper from the un-democratic’s saying I have 2 choices on who Governs the UK next week either a vote for a Trump Brexit or vote to stop Brexit. All fairly emotive, if not spurious in its outpourings.

    The irony bit that relates to your post here, is that the infamous doctor I am being asked to vote for, he promised his electorate at the last election that a vote for him was a vote to leave the EU deal or no deal.

    The Newspaper also states that the Labour Party is out of the running. Inferring it will never get to run the Country

    Where has the honesty and integrity gone? If I took the advice of this newspaper and voted for their candidate and other people did the same, it would be Labour that gets in and not them. Labour would rule the country, and these un-democratics would be facilitating what gives the impression of being a fully fledged Marxist Party.

    What to me seems to me at stake is one party is half inferring we might become a free people to make our own mistakes. Then a coalition of some 5-6 odd-balls that want to ensure that can never happen, moving us to the left in a big way and abdicate the rule of this Country to an un-accountable, un-representative cabal.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


      Also received the same notification today, that now makes it 9 circulars from this organisation, I wonder how much they are spending, leafleting like this is not cheap to print and deliver.
      All falling of deaf ears in this house.
      They really do want your old seat John. !

      • Ian@Barkham
        Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        According to the doctor spent a fortune on targeted social media – however, clicked the wrong option, the targeted audience was Woking. To the amusement of the residents of Woking he is not on their ballot paper

        • Fred H
          Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          If he spent a fortune on social media he has been ripped off!
          I’ve never voted Liberal or the latest incarnation Libnodemocrats. I have never joined Facebook, Instagram, or any other nonsense. Phone calls, video calls, emails are always better. I don’t want people messsaging me their next meal, what Lineker has just said or who has got thousands of likes. How on earth would a system suggest I might vote for the johnny-come-lately Libwhatever they waffle about wanting to do. When Sir John gets a 10,000 majority I will have a bloody good laugh (at Dr Lee’s expense (geddit?)

  29. Dennisa
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I am very surprised Sir John, that you are not celebrating today the EU Ceremony to mark the start of the new European Commission and the 10th anniversary of the Treaty of Lisbon. We should be treated to this on the BBC surely.

    This is what the Remainers wish to keep us joined to:

  30. James Snell
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the new EU Commission lining up yesterday wouldn’t you just wish that this bunch of bright happy confident people were running the country instead of the dullards, misfits and self serving liars that we have to choose from

    • mancunius
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      The European voters evidently do not wish it, as most of these deadbeats have been rightly booted out of office in their own countries, and have received the traditional consolation prize of a highly-paid sinecure in Brussels, where they are unaccountably appointed after the usual horse-trading, and completely unaccountable to the European tax-payers who fund them. ‘Bright’ is the very last attribute I’d associate with them – ‘happy and [self-]confident’ perhaps, and little wonder. The EU’s political set-up is rather like the public school network as described by Evelyn Waugh’s Captain Grimes in Decline and Fall: ‘They may kick you out, but they never let you down.’

    • Al
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      No. At least with our own goverrnment, we get to choose, vote, and they can be kicked out directly and individually by voters at elections. With commissioners, even after proven incompetence that damages millions, e.g. Junkers and VATMOSS, if they know the right people they are untouchable.

  31. a-tracy
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    John, What do you think of the IFS saying Council Tax will go up more under the Tories?

    Reply I do not agree.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Well, as we all know, the Conservatives are a party that increases taxation at every turn (while delivering dire public services too). As we have see under chancellors Major, Clarke, the IHT ratter Osborne and the appalling Philip Hammond. Though they usually lie that they are “low tax at heart” or going to cut taxes or similar near to elections. Hammond even liked to say he was “cutting taxes” and “repaying the debt” while he was actually delivering the highest and most complex and idiotic tax system for 40 years.

      A favourite trick is to promise to keep certain tax rates down Income tax & VAT for example the same – but then muck about with the thresholds and put all the other taxes up. As we saw with insurance tax, pension pot mugging taxes, loss of child benefit, NI increases, up to 18% stamp duty proposed, the taxation of profits not even actully made by landlords, punative CGT rates, loss of child benefit and personal allowances for many…….

      The best one can say is they are not as dire as Mc Donnall and a trip to Venezuella.
      On council tax they have already given councils to increase the rate to 3 times normal for unoccupied units. This for not having to empty the bins or educatate anyone living their I assume!

    • Fred H
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      a-Tracy…..Well it does go up every year anyway…..

  32. margaret
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I envisioned all of this 3 years ago. Procrastination makes money for the few.I have seen how our biggest employer the NHS was open to corruption and control by those wanting to take money out of it even though the majority did not want it this way. Money which has gone to make a few rich and a sucking up by those loudmouths who saw something in it for them.
    I have no confidence at all in politics .

  33. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    As we are running in the amber zone of peak electricity generation open circuit gas turbines are being used generating 190 mw. This is the price we have to pay when wind which supposedly makes up 53% of our generating capacity only gives us 10% on a winters evening. Solar zero.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      The 53% is electricity (only about 20% of total energy used) generated from so called “low carbon sources” – hydro, nuclear, wind, solar and the absurd burning of imported bio fuels so not just wind! It ignores the cost of all the back up needed (both financial and carbon). In short it is another greencrap con trick.

  34. Derek Henry
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink


    Have you seen this ?

    Thank God we are leaving

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      But are we really leaving – even if Boris does win a working majority?

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I would feel more confident than I currently do if WA2 did not feature so strongly with the Tories. I like many of the policies but WA2 will keep us tied to the EU and despite Sir John writing about us leaving the EU we will not. If the EU is allowed any influence at all they will increase it and I have no doubt Tories will cave under pressure.

    What dismays me is that Sir John seems to go along with this.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Dismaying, indeed, Prangwizard. I find it utterly incomprehensible that so many MPs have PLEDGED (that’s an oath, word of honour, commitment, guarantee) that they will abandon May’s WA as ‘dead’. That’s d e a d. How on earth can they be prepared to resurrect it, to support and extol it, even to tell us how wonderful and desirable it is and that it will make all our wishes come true?
      Their EU masters must be rubbing their paws in glee as the glittering prize that’s the UK is dangled before them.

    • steve
      Posted December 2, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink


      “…despite Sir John writing about us leaving the EU we will not.”


      “If the EU is allowed any influence at all they will increase it”

      and some day the truth will out as to the extent of EU interference in our internal affairs, and of the traitors involved.

      “What dismays me is that Sir John seems to go along with this.”

      Yeah well it doesn’t surprise me one bit, after all he seems to go along with anything Nichola Sturgeon wants to do to this country.

  36. BillM
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    More reason to hold Political Parties accountable for deviations to their Party Manifestos.These are the promises they make to the public in order to be elected. Labour, at present, is promising huge rewards to the public that they can never keep. Unfortunately there are too many citizens who will believe what they are told and vote accordingly.
    Manifestos must be treated as a firm legal contract and when breached, action can be taken against the perpetrators. In a democracy no one is above the law.

  37. Helen Smith
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Like Leave will even be on the ballot paper next time, the elites will not make that mistake. It will be the loser from the first round against BRINO. I for one will boycott it and I hope every leave voter does.

  38. Ed M
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    I hope The Conservative Party / Government make a big fuss of the great bravery of the chef who took on the terrorist in recent, London knife attack.

    Having sustained 5 knife wounds in the kitchen, trying to contain the terrorist, the chef then chased the terrorist up onto the street, spraying him from a can, whilst warning people on the street to stay away from the terrorist. People came to the chef’s assistance and the terrorist was then stopped.

    What a brave man! (So often we hear the bad stuff, but we need to acknowledge the good stuff as well).

  39. NickC
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    JR, Come on, it isn’t “political indecision” that has caused a loss of confidence; it’s political lying. Or as you put it: MPs promising one thing and doing another. Everyone knew what Leave meant before 23 June 2016, so no Remain has an excuse.

    • Shirley
      Posted December 4, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink


  40. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 2, 2019 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    This week I will again have to pay tariffs, this time to buy a couple of torches from asia that would cost double that in the EU.

    I have no idea how much I could have saved if we had a free trade deal with the US too.

    If we properly leave the EU we can buy cheaper and better quality products around the world, doing that would instil more than confidence in the British people.

  • 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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