An important month

The forces of Pessimism and defeat want the U.K. to seek an extension to the negotiating year with the EU. It is most important that the Prime Minister and Mr Frost refuse to countenance such a dreadful idea. There is nothing we could negotiate next year that we cannot negotiate this year. The U.K. made a mess of the negotiations under Mrs May who trusted the Official Civil service and liked advice that always meant the U.K. giving in on issue after issue.

The present government has so far been as clear as Mrs May was muddled over what the U.K wants. It has rightly refused to accept the EU’s wish to settle fish first before anything else and make our fish a further payment to them. It has proposed a free trade agreement as the base of the future relationship but said no agreement would also work fine.

There is no point in negotiating through June unless the EU changes its approach and understands we are not giving away powers over our fish, our laws or our money. The EU pretends we want to stay in the single market and customs Union, which we voted to leave.

The U.K. just has to stay calm, be pleasant but show great resolve. We are not going to give in again and do not want some kind of Association Agreement putting has back under the EU Court and laws.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Mr Frost was all that we could hope for in his report yesterday. We do not extend, we have control over our sea resources, and we don’t need EU regulations to tell us how to manage our population or economy. But just as important, since the EU now plans to spend another Euro 750bn, on top of Euro 1.1tn, budget, we must not even consider for the merest moment to be any part of the EU’s sphere of control.

    • Peter
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink


      The corona virus issue means we have enough to deal with, rather than further prolonging the farce of leaving arrangements. We do not want to get involved in EU difficulties around covid either.

      The mythical ‘cliff edge’ is not such a big deal compared with the ‘new normal’.

      • Spirit of Lakeland
        Posted May 30, 2020 at 2:31 am | Permalink

        The day we went into Covid 19 lock down, we went over that proverbial ‘cliff-edge.’ We must be free of EU regulatory shackles and further draining fiscal ‘contributions, if we are to survive the economic tsunami of paying for the shut down of Britain.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      It will be interesting to see how the EU spends that e750bn.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Thats easy as the funds have already allocated e50bn for member countries and e700bn on EU committees and management of funds

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Peter Wood

      “…we have control over our sea resources…”

      The only waters that the UK are totally free to enforce are our Territorial sea, and even then there are exceptions to what a State can do, extending 12 nmiles (including any Archipelagos) from low water mark.

      • NickC
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        As usual, Margaret, you are wrong. UNCLoS is the currently prevailing law of the sea and is binding completely. UNCLoS provides full rights to nations from their shoreline to a 200 n-mile boundary, or to a closer mutual boundary for sea neighbours. The sea, sea resources, and the oceanic bed extending to this area is regarded as the coastal state’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which it can exploit for the state’s own economic benefit.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink


        • rose
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          Quite right Nick. Why else are the EU making such a major issue of it?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      The Forces Of Pessimism And Defeat are exactly this government.

      At the start of the epidemic in this country, Johnson “levelled” with us that many families would lose a dear one, and that somehow we would have to “live with” the virus, while the scientists of the world looked on aghast.

      This is all in stark contrast with countries from New Zealand to Greece, to Norway, and back to South Korea and Taiwan, who have prevented anything like our outrageous hecatomb.

      Sadly, the fatalism, which he engendered amongst the scientifically uneducated, has taken root very stubbornly, and is now as great a menace to public health as the virus itself.

      It’s reflected in many comments here.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Comparing the UK to New Zealand , Greece and Norway is ridiculous.
        Look at countries of a similar population density and demographic and average age.
        New Zealand has more sheep than people.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink


          S Korea? Germany?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

            *all three

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

            Apologies Margaret – “all three” related to my comment below.

            Yes, exactly.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            Belgium ? Spain?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

          Edward, you are just yet another wet-lettuce, pessimistic, defeatist in the face of this problem, the solving of which is vastly more important than your silly, puritanical ideas about brexit.

          Italy, Spain, and France started with far worse infection rates, but in spite of weeks of advance warning, this country has overtaken them all and is now failing to turn around the situation as effectively as they have.

          They both have populations around sixty million.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            Getting to you is it Martin.
            Abusive comments are the last resort of
            a failed argument.

            You fail to account for timescales in your rant.
            Sweden and Belarus doing well.
            We shall see.

      • NickC
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Especially your comments, Martin. The “scientists of the world” were not “aghast”, because they were not united in their views. The government has got many things wrong, but you have been even more in error. Worse, you have gullibly swallowed whatever the Chinese communists dished out.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          So, Nick, where is your evidence that fatalities in China are more than, say, ten thousand?

          WHO accept, with qualification, their figures.

          I’m not so sure that they accept those of the UK and the US, however.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 30, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            Indeed Martin

            Like you the WHO accepts China’s figures without qualification.

            More fool you both.

    • Hope
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Peter, Agreed. Also the U.K. Needs to be an ally of the EU for security, defense and intelligence not be under its control for any operation or any of these headings. Tobias Elwood MP should not be listened to or entertained in any way. If the U.K. Not trusted with Galileo, then that sentiment applies across the board in these issues. UK ought to follow Prof Pryns and Lt Gen ? View on these key strategic issues as they cross economic and national interests. EU interests not necessarily are own. Another reason to get rid of Sedwill or reduce his 3 lead roles (cabinet, civil service and security) to one i.e. Cabinet office under Gove. Sedwill needs his wings clipped. Tory Govt should have learned from past that heads of civil service in the main go on to become Labour peers.

      PESCO and alike are not for the U.K. We have NATO. As a sovereign nation our govt decides where loss of life will occur not some EU bureaucrat and certainly not to fight some EU/Germany war as it gets stronger/bolder within the EU. We have just seen how Germany behaves when its interests are threatened- it fights for itself. No unity no compromise just Germany. UK should procure from U.K. Firms wherever possible not tender to EU! Jobs and critical skills for our citizens will be cucial in years ahead.

      The current situation demonstrates the U.K. Needs to be self sufficient in critical areas. Get rid of China from our steel manufacturing, energy and Huawei!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Agreed, and as we have seen over the past few days, the dangerous remainers including one former friend of mine who acts at the behest of Heseltine, haven’t gone away. Mr Johnson must always remeber his real enemies sit behind him. I cannot wait until we are finally out of the EU altogether and their influence has been neutered.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        You are already out of the EU. And they are significantly bigger than us and are on our doorstep. They will retain huge influence over us but, thanks to people like you, we no longer have a say.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Bigger than us? A big mess you mean.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Andy, You are wrong. Again. The EU still controls the UK via the WA treaty. We are not out of the EU, otherwise the 31-12 2020 date would not be so important both for us Leaves and for the Remains who want an extension.

          You also overestimate the importance of the EU to the UK. Europe has always been there (since the last ice age) but we have not always paid it much heed. Thankfully.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      The press are saying Mr Johnson is going to take direct participation in the negotiations, I do hope not. He has the excellent Mr Frost and Mr Gove, let them complete the mandate as instructed.

      We know Boris Johnson, when he opens his mouth bad things happen, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is but one example.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        This is the same Mr Gove who said we’d cut red tape – and then hired 50,000 bureaucrats to process the new red tape he’s introducing? And who said there would be no checks between GB and NI – and who now admits there will be? And who said there would be no tariffs but who low says there will be?

        I wouldn’t trust Mr Gove to successfully negotiate the purchase of a pizza from a pizzeria. He might tell you it’s a pizza but it would probably end up being a sausage.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          Andy, You are making that up.

          The Port of Dover — through which a sixth of the U.K.’s trade in goods flows — can cope with any disruption thrown up by a no-deal Brexit, Chief Executive Officer Doug Bannister said, suggesting some of the direr predictions of chaos are wide of the mark. … “Ferry operators: 100% ready. Calais, Dunkirk: 100% ready.” (Bloomberg)

      • rose
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        The history of the Iranian hostage taking has been rewritten by the PM’s enemies. Why do people like you never mention the other hostages? The pretext for the hostage taking goes back to before 1979 when the PM was but a boy.

  2. Mick
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    The only reason the Eu want to extend is pure and simple to get more money out of us and for the remoaners in this country to find some under hand way of getting us back into the dying corpse of the Eu at any means

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Dear Mick–Of course they want our money and badly but that is not the main reason–They are scared silly that other countries will decide to leave because they know that apart from the latter day Napoleons like Macron very few people indeed really want a federal Europe. The idea that they can again blackmail us in to negotiation in line with their ideas on sequencing is risible: maybe we should institute our own sequencing before negotiating further.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Leslie Singleton

        “They are scared silly that other countries will decide to leave…”

        Can you name any of them? Even Greece voted in a pro EU government at the last election.

        Seems they have more sense.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 30, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          Polls in Italy and Hungary show close to half saying they want to leave the EU.
          Spain and Greece have a growing anti EU vote in polls.

          If the row over the post Corona bail out isn’t resolved those figures will grow as poorer Eurozone members feel unsupported by the rich members who are now reluctant to subsidise them.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Mick, It’s not just the money. The WA makes the UK a colony of the EU, just as Verhofstadt’s staffers gloated. The EU and Remains, both slaves to the authoritarian EU ideology, want us to remain a colony of the EU empire for years to come.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink


        ” want us to remain a colony of the EU empire for years to come.”

        So what where the conditions like in this country 5 decades ago that made us beg the EU to allow us to join them? And which subsequently turned us from the ‘sick man of Europe’ into the world’s 5th largest economy?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 30, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          This a repeat of your regular argument.
          To which I regularly reply, all countries have moved forward over the last 50 years.
          All over the free capitalist world.

          Anytime anything good happens in the UK you say it was due to the EU.
          When anything bad happens you say it is our own fault.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Johnson must deliver on his slogan/aim Get Brexit Done or face political annihilation. In my opinion the key driver of the continued media/political narrative about Cummings is a determination to frustrate that aim. Destroy Cummings to undermine Johnson, then secure the extension.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      The whole narrative on Cummings is a smokescreen to get him out of the way so an extension can be forced on Boris.
      This is make or break for the Tory party. Any backsliding and they’re finished as a serious political party.
      The we have the channel fiasco…..


      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        and HS2, 5g, the Budget, the testing shambles, ….

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          and the english channel taxi service and continued foreign aid

    • Hope
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Quite correct. It is clear Johnson made a big mistake Leaving extreme Tory MP remain Trojan horses and leaving Mayhab as an MP. Just imagine if the election was a narrow victory the last three years would be repeated all over again!

      Look at some of them yesterday in the way they spoke to Johnson as heads of select committee. Hoare, Greg Clarke, Hunt etc. Hunt has the bare faced cheek to question when he led the NHS for years and failed as its leader to prepare the country for this Chineese Virus. Hunt should recuse himself as chair of Health committee and his appoint,entmshould never have been allowed. Do politicos have any ethics,values or standards like normal business or citizens? As for Cooper she should be barred from all public appointment and there should be legislation to investigate MPs collusion with a foreign power.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, Too true, and my Tory MP has blindly (or not so blindly) jumped on the sack Cummings bandwagon. If he succeeded in his stated aim then Brexit (the real Brexit, that is) would be put in ever graver danger.

  4. GilesB
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right.

    If the EU are so keen on an extension, why don’t they offer to pay us a billion pounds a month during an extension of the transition period?

    Although to be fair, I would counsel against accepting that offer, the risks of the slippery slope are too great. If the EU were to offer to pay us two billion a month for six months, then we might give it more than momentary consideration.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      because the EU thinks that Boris Johnson will do all he can to blame the consequence of a no-deal Brexit on the EU and is making sure that the decision to go for no-deal is entirely Boris Johnson’s.

      • mancunius
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        The electorate has shown it is a great deal smarter than the EU’s smoke-selling propagandists, and the Westminster/media Lord Haw Haws who root for them.
        In the meantime most sensible folk want a WTO deal – and to wait until the eukidz have grown up a little.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Exactly. But a “mess” under May is rather an understatement. It led to 5th place and 9% of the vote and nearly gave us Corbyn/SN) as I recall.

    Watching Boris being questioned by Caroline Nokes yesterday he must surely regret letting these 10 (who are clearly complete traitors in my view) back into the party. Needless to say like May she was obsessed with women’s representation. If only there were a few more capable women Conservative MPs (the men are bad enough) let alone most of the Women MPs. The last thing we need is more people like the dreadful, dishonest, compass-less LibDim dopes like Theresa May.

    Women on merit of course but if let it when they have little or no merit (just for gender reasons) they just push the female cause backwards.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      Speaking of LibDim dopes Mathew Parris has actually written something sensible in the Spectator:- Why has coronavirus fled London? He asks.

      Well it has clearly reached herd immunity. This as some people are probably not very susceptibility and many have had it and are now immune. Get everyone back to work as soon as possible please.

      Charles Moore is excellent as usual and Rod Liddle amusing too on the clearly racist and idiotic comments of the appalling identity politics pusher Joe Biden ‘you ain’t black’ if you support Donald Trump – he said.

      Trump for all his many faults is the far better option (if only for his sensible approach on Climate, Energy and cuts in red tape).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        Better for people of all skin shades that is.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        Well even the business about the police in Minneapolis is surely racist. Anyone standing on anyone else’s neck is clearly wrong and cruel, and a total abuse of power. The real issue is police (black, white or yellow) abusing their power of anybody else (black, white or yellow).
        To turn it into anything else dilutes that.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          can you believe that Minneapolis Police are ALLOWED to kneel on a suspects neck?
          Numerous times he said ‘I can’t breathe’ -bystanders urged the policeman to get off.
          He should be prosecuted for MURDER.
          AND his colleagues for not stopping it.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            a rather too late arrrest and charge of murder. Could they backdate a few hundred other ‘murders’ by policemen.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Maybe it’s because all the pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, many shops etc. are closed?

        And because it’s a young city?

        And the population are smarter than elsewhere because it attracts the talented?

        But without a proper testing program, as happens in proper countries, we won’t know, will we?

        • Fred H
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          London – the youngest city in England… a history lesson from Martin.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Oddly enough the coronavirus does not do a “smartness” check before deciding to infect the person.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Matthew Parris wrote in his column the other week “What is all this nonsense about the R value ?” so taking his view on scientific matters is unwise. Likewise his views on political matters. But on the fact that the epidemic is over in London he seems to be correct, backed up by much data and the Oxford modelling group. Countries like Switzerland lifted lockdown four weeks ago and didn’t see any increase in infections, so the outlook seems positive.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        + again to Lifelogic, and +++ to last paragraph.

      • NickC
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, Yes it does seem that herd immunity is likely to be a significant factor by now. There is also the warmer sunnier weather which produces more vitamin D in us and helps to fight off coronaviruses. Unfortunately, we may get mutations in SARS-Cv-2 in time for next winter though.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:07 am | Permalink

          Let us hope any mutation are towards a less deadly version of the virus. This is usually the way that viruses evolve.

      • Zorro
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        The disease would never have affected the majority of the population anyway which may have a natural (not acquired)immunity. These pandemics tend to affect 15 to 20% of the population historically.


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Well, LL, the facts are becoming clearer.

        The results of random testing of the UK population show that about seven percent of the people have had CV. That’s about one in fifteen, and we’ve had fifty thousand dead.

        So if ten times as many got it, seventy percent of the population, then that suggests that there would be around half s million dead.

        WHO’s scientists were pretty well spot-on, weren’t they?

        There is no “herd immunity”, just survivors, who may or may not have some degree of resistance, and for how long no one knows.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff,

          I think the result is that 7% show measurable antibodies. It is true that other international research indicates 95% of hospitalised patients show antibodies, the French research found a similar percentage in those showing mild symptoms. However Shanghai research showed younger patients had much lower titres and 30% did not have detectable antibodies. I have not seen the UK Govt release results from longitudinal tracking of asymptomatics identified by viral RNA (swab and PCR) to see their development or not of antibodies, nor have I noticed by age results in UK. Please flag if you have. Until this information is given I wouldn’t jump to a conclusion from the 7% result (apart from an upper limit for how low the mortality is for under 60s). [Indeed the conspiracy theorist would argue that it is just cover for a politically successful vaccination program – I gest]. As Lifelogic implies, I think, there are reports of epigenetic effects in the innate immune system and cross reactive effects in the adaptive system – so he could still be right w.r.t. sufficient community immunity. If I were Hancock or Johnson I’d have been asking this a while ago (we don’t know what they have asked).

          Even if LL is wrong, I have seen no evidence that half a million vulnerable lives saved represents more life years than the potential gains that will be lost due to the economic suicide followed – this is unlikely to be the case.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            So you immediately jump to the conclusion that LL is probably right, and that being “probably” right is good enough to lift the measures which, on the other hand could likely be preventing hundreds of thousands of deaths?

            There is plenty of other evidence, from cruise ships etc. which gives an insight as to possible infection and mortality rates.

            No, there is no evidence to prove that if you run blindfold across the M25 then you will definitely be killed either.

            Only the alt-Right nuts would consider that proof that it is safe, though.

        • zorro
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Who says that 70% would get the virus? What evidence?


          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            The WHO say that.

            Their mortality for the 7% was spot on too.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            7% of the population of the world have not died.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff,

          In reply to your comment below (I cannot put comment in that place due to nesting limit) – in no way does my response assume LL is correct, I give clear reasons why LL’s comments cannot be dismissed since all is not yet known and more is becoming known (I often do not agree with LL) – what I wrote is largely based on research papers and I ask if you have seen UK antibody by age results, as this would add to our conversation.

          That said, I acknowledge that LL may be wrong and you may be correct (it will be a while yet until we know), but given that you turn out to be correct that 500,000 vulnerable lives have been saved, it should still be compared to the cost – just ballparking from the lost life expectancy (I think about 1 year even for those already 65 years of age, about 2 years at birth) due to the GFC highlights the need for this comparison.

          • Caterpillar
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

            comment above not ” comment below”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink


    • oldtimer
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I saw some of this too. The MPs seemed to think that the answer to everything is more government spending. One, a Tory MP, asked Johnson “to guarantee apprenticeships”. Meaningful apprenticeships will only be provided by businesses with prospects, and these are currently destroyed by the lockdown. See Rolls Royce, McLaren et al.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I’m sick to the living death of sex being in the public arena. Nobody should get a job based on their sex, nor should they be denied one. The only time sex is a factor is in a marriage!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:07 am | Permalink

        Sex or gender?

        • Fred H
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          I pointed that out but Sir John didn’t like the innuendo.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

            Lynn might have led a very sheltered life!

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Well maybe if Caroline Nokes had a little more clarity of fairness and equal treatment she would earn more respect and represent women better. I hope I’d never jump on a ‘sack em, hang em mission’ EVER did she ask for Stephen Kinnock’s sacking or all those police that stood together on Westminster Bridge breaching the rules clapping a couple of weeks ago with observing social distancing?

      If female MPs couldn’t persuade the electorate to hire more of them how can they have 50% of the top positions when they represent less of the total number of seats, that would give them an unfair advantage over male colleagues surely and I speak as someone who believes women can hold top positions successfully and often do.

      Her anti-Cummings tweet ‘there can’t be one rule for most of us and wriggle room for others’ was utter politicking of the worst kind. Many MPs and staffers left London on the 26th of March back to constituency and family homes elsewhere in the Country from one of the most infected workplaces in the Country. DC had to stay on and close the office after the PM took ill on 26th or he’d have been NO DIFFERENT to the rest of them that have London homes but took themselves off to remote locations, and plenty of people I know that left London on the day their work ended and took themselves off to the Countryside, and he had a good reason! He wasn’t ill when he drove up, he didn’t stop on the route, they didn’t mix with anyone up there for two weeks as per the rules, roads are quiet, he travelled at night when his child was probably asleep if he stopped for fuel on the way back his quarantine period was over and see reg 1.7. I hope this is the end of this witch hunt now Maitlis was out of order, giving her a personal political platform of just her opinion was a breach of the BBC charter, I think the BBC should be investigated for breaching the rules and allowing this to be broadcast.


      • rose
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        She has form: despite being the Chairman of the Women and Equalities Committee, she was an enthusiastic partaker in the witch hunt against Mr C’s young protege, Andrew Sabisky. We could probably have done with him these last few months. You would think her committee would be looking at the under representation of Poles in public life. Just the one MP but I suppose some minorities are more equal than others.

  6. jerry
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    What is the point of not signing up to an extension or agreeing to keep EU rules etc. if once we exit the WA the UK laws and regs simply mirrors those of the EU.

    Many Brexit supporting MPs bang on about ‘our fish’, demanding that we leave the constraints of the CFP but then say nothing about our farmers having to remain compliant to much EU derived CAP and other nonsense. Our farmers are not uncompetitive, they just have at least one arm tied behind their backs all the time, same with UK manufacturing, same with UK energy provision.

    Now the world has a real danger to worry about, CV19, perhaps we can put the fake eco-worrying back in its box?

    WTO exit please, no later than 23:00hrs GMT on 31st Dec.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Can we please abandon the totally fake eco lunacy. Given all the new debts that businesses and the government have incurred this is surely essential. The UK needs to be able to compete in the World. We could usefully abandon all the worthless degrees and universities too (and most of the state subsidies for the arts and the unfair BBC tax).

      Let people buy tickets or make donations to fund the “Arts” if they want to. Football and tennis fans have to so why not the fans of theatre, opera and ballet?

    • Gary C
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      “WTO exit please, no later than 23:00hrs GMT on 31st Dec.”

      Let’s not wait that long.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Your first sentence is like asking what’s the difference between a prison cell and your own lounge.

      • jerry
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        @SJS; Oh dear! I assume you didn’t bother reading past the first line before hitting the reply button, in fact i doubt you even read that far…

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      You ask what the point is when our laws are the same? After the WA expires WE CAN CHANGE THEM!

      • jerry
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, but will we, I see nothing that suggests this govt under BoJo will, after all we do have two back seat drivers (neither of them elected) and the one that had the ear of BoJo every night appears rather partial to EU inspired eco-worrying.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, I agree that, given the unfriendly attitude of the EU, a WTO exit is the best. As far as the UK “patriating” all EU laws, I am hopeful that it will be a temporary expedient, and many useless EU laws will be repealed or simplified in the near future.

  7. Nigl
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Not only that but a huge financial contribution now potentially massively inflated by the umpteen billion bailout fund they are trying to cobble together which I presume we would be made to join not forgetting the cross EU taxes they are proposing.

    It is a bottomless money pit with the benefits Being totally outweighed by the cost.

  8. Stred
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    It is reported that some civil servants and ministers were lining up an agreement with the EU for an extension while Johnson and Cummings were away with the batclap. They need to find out who was involved and then terminate their careers.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      I hear the same and why was our negotiating team in Brussels given three year contracts?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Starting with the civil servant’s. The others can wait for a re-shuffle.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Well at least the plotters are out in the open, I think we’ve heard enough of ‘terminating their careers’ for one month. There are however procedures for disciplinary action if people have gone beyond their job specification and they can be demoted, moved into a more suitable post and bring people into the team that support the UK.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Stred, You are right. We must not allow Johnson’s government to be sidetracked by Remains for our lack of vigilance and our unwillingness to realise the battle is still on. Although May was naturally much worse than Johnson, we must not forget that it was lukewarm Tory MPs who allowed it to go on.

  9. Mark B
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Someone needs to remind Mr Barnier that the clock is ticking. 😉

    • Adam
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Mark B:

      Our nation decided to shake off the EU shackles 4 years ago. Our Referendum intent was known well before then. We and they have had all that time to prepare. We are poised to trade with the world on our own terms. If they want to dawdle, they can go to the back of the queue and remain there for as long as they want.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Putting the EU under time pressure is what any sensible UK negotiator would do. Thankfully, in the form of Frost, we seem to have one. I do have a concern about Johnson apparently planning on getting more involved in the final stages of negotiations. Yesterday’s appearance in front of the Liaison Committee was a reminder that such face-to-face sessions are not his forte. Perhaps he should delegate: Raab or Gove would do better for us.

      • Serves us right
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Leaving the EU is now handing over Parliament to the Opposition parties. There will be so many Tory MPs put on so much pressure by their constituents that anything neat-Tory will not get through and then nothing at all after the next General Election which will have to be called within the next two years, the economy will be so dire, and genuine street unrest will be every other day, plus an increase in crime beyond anyone’s nightmare. Boris will go soon and no Tory will be able to put Humpty-Dumpty together again. Bad times ahead. Much worse if Trump is not re-elected in November 2020.
        Lockdown was not a bad move , it was a bad not move, nothing moved.

        • Oggy
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

          Would you care to rewrite that in English please.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:05 am | Permalink

        What worries me about this development is that it follows the same path TM followed when DR was doing the negotiating.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      he merely tells his colleagues ‘another £1bn’ !!

    • Loop(s)ie people
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      If I were Barnier and given France wishes to stay in the EU I would do just the same.

      I would have been alarmed after the UK November election. Now I would be all roses and chuckle to myself the British are great in shooting themselves in ‘le pied’ with the words in French pronunciation sounding an accurate description in fact of the UK Parliament in this mind-anxiety Age

  10. Richard1
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Indeed. There is no point leaving the EU and accepting anything like ‘dynamic alignment’ with whatever laws and rules the EU may choose to make in the future – such laws may be good or bad, but if we have no hand in making them we should not accept being bound by them. It would be better just to remain a member. One of the most important things now, it has become clear, is to ensure that the U.K. will not in any way be on the hook for any possible future euro bailout scheme.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      We are no longer a member.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      ” better just to remain a member.” – -or in plain English – being ruled by Germany, carry on paying them an ever increasing amount of money every day, while they shove millions of 3rd worlders here.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Professor Neil Ferguson advised the government that Covid-19, if left unconfronted, could take 500,000 lives and Lockdown, he said, would limit this to about 20,000.

    Rather like moving the goal posts to the corner flags to make sure you score!

    Months back and looking at the figures from the cruise ship in Japan and the other figures then adjusting for the age profile I came up with the figure of about 100,000 for the UK (after about 10 mins on a spread sheet). That still looks about right to me for the UK. We have had about 70,000 excess death by now time to open up. Otherwise more damage will clearly ensue from the lockdown than from the virus.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      LL the ‘excess‘ deaths caused by the CV19 strategy will continue for years and top a million. The actual deaths caused by CV19 remain under 6,000.

      • hefner
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, how do you come to that conclusion?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:09 am | Permalink

        How on earth did you come up with those figures?

    • Stred
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Imperial wasn’t the only team coming up with very high figures. The estimate was done in a hurry when the higher rates in Italy came in and it all hit the fan.
      The cruise ships had lockdown in cabins but catering by infected crew and the ventilation didn’t help. This sounds more like a hospital than the general picture in the country. Our 60,000 could be due to the poor response in hospitals and care homes and would not have been put into the computer program. In this circumstance the 20,000 for with lockdown seems reasonable, if only with a poor computer code.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      LL, you mention Japan. Very significantly, Japan had only 851 COVID deaths and no lockdown:

      Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced the end of his state of emergency declaration for the novel coronavirus pandemic, with just 851 deaths reported and without ever implementing a lockdown.
      “I have decided to end the state of emergency across the nation,” Abe said during a televised press conference on Monday. “In just over a month and a half, we almost brought (the infection) situation under control.”

      Abe cautioned that lifting the order did not mean that the novel virus was gone from Japan. “Our battle against the virus will continue,” he said, while urging the Japanese people to continue following stringent social distancing guidance.

      While Japan never implemented stringent lockdowns like those in parts of China, many European countries and the U.S., it BARRED FOREIGN TRAVELLERS WHO HAD RECENTLY VISITIED MANY HARD-HIT COUNTRIES and urged residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Restaurants and shops were also required to close earlier than normal. Karaoke bars, live music venues and gyms were shuttered and will remain closed in the coming weeks….”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:21 am | Permalink

        They did well and with an old population too. Interestingly the number of ECMO machines in Japan Is 1400 Germany 750 England & Wales 15. So if you need one in the UK you have very little change of getting one.

        Who on Earth (other than deluded, lefty BBC types) think that the NHS is the envy of the World?

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed. The Cruise Ship was the ‘model’ to follow and from which to learn.
      Other zones, New York, Belgium, London, Spain, Northern Italy, etc. where particular alarm was raised pretty much paralleled the percentages and proportions of Diamond Princess. Most other places around the world showed less virulence and fewer confirmed cases.
      The disease has a natural limit. It doesn’t come close to a wipe out.
      I don’t expect to see any significant second or third wave to follow. Waves of hysteria will abate whenever the hysterics return to the old terrors of their lives or find a fashionable new one to prostrate themselves before.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, Interestingly the England death rate peaked around 10 – 12 April, only 3 weeks after the lockdown started (23 March). Yet the timeline for {infection/incubation/symptoms/hospitalisation/recovery or death} is usually much longer than 3 weeks, being typically 4 – 6 weeks or as long as 10 weeks.

      That means the death toll roll-off began even while many patients, infected before the lockdown started, were still in the system. If the lockdown had the effect its proponents claimed, we should have seen that roll-off only begin around the end of April. That means the lockdown has had little effect.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:18 am | Permalink

        Indeed but many people took sensible actions to reduce the chances of catching it before the lockdown.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, Just so. It is likely that sensible precautions (probably) reduced infections and deaths. That only reinforces the point I made that the lockdown itself may not have been necessary.

    • L Jones
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      You’re right, LL. Those figures from the Diamond Princess, showing what happened when people of all ages lived cheek by jowl before any danger from Covid was recognised, are quite definitive. Only 712 people contracting it out of 3700 or so. But we don’t hear much of that, do we? Doesn’t suit the narrative.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      The BBC still going on and on about Dom Cummings. Imagine if he had done something serious like taken the country into a losing war, on a lie and with a dodgy dossier – rather than just driving his family to Durham for family reasons.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink


    • Time Lord
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      “I came up with the figure of about 100,000 for the UK (after about 10 mins on a spread sheet).” Mass hysteria drips its mucus from pinned up graphs to spread sheet rounded figured dead people . I’ve heard of people burying themselves in a book but hanged by the neck on a Graphic Scaffold, taken down and drawn, spread out, never.
      What pray ye the time of quartering or do you call it ‘working out a percentage margin in of Excess and, Excel?
      Earth is a dump. I missed my flight yesterday on SpaceX, I’m trying again Saturday. You lot can land on an asteroid but don’t know what weather 30 minutes before going on a picnic. Oh go on then, make a graph and a picture of Donald Duck if it pleases ye while I wait to get off this planet of numpties

    • Zorro
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      We shall see Lifelogic the fruits of the Dear Leader’s panic. Glad to see that you have changed your mind on Ferguson’s figures…. In any case, here are the real excess death figures…..

      From the end of November to the second week in May, in 2019/2020 there were 312,339 deaths . For the same period in 2017/2018 there were 281,566 deaths (when my own father died of flu/influenza linked with a comorbidity). Many of this year’s excess death may also be directly linked to the physical imposition of the government’s curtailing of our liberties and self imposed shutdown of the economy.

      Whether the lockdown, with its huge costs to public health and the economy has been effective and proportionate is a huge question…..


    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I now genuinely couldn’t care less what Johnson does. If he chooses to sell the UK down the river and capitulate to Merkel then fine. The voter chose to put their cross next to candidates representing the progressive left Tory party and the hate filled Marxist Labour party and they can pick up the cost and consequence of their naive democratic choice.

    Both main parties have worked together (behind closed doors of course) to destroy the UK and its moral base and cultural integrity. And the voter continues to vote for the two parties responsible for that destruction.

    We are all aware that democracy, freedom and liberty’s been crushed by politicians to protect the two party status quo from harm. Leaving the EU will hardly change that. The …….. BBC still exists. Identity politics still infects our world. Mass immigration is still encouraged. And we’ve had the Tories in power since 2010. What will this useless PM do? He’ll do nothing. He doesn’t possess any sense of mission and unlike Trump he fears confrontation and that fear is disabling.

    I hope Johnson bottles it. I’ve given up caring for the UK. Why should we care when politicians don’t? We can’t express opposition to anything any longer for fear of criminal prosecution. These politicians have deliberately strangled debate to protect their parties

    Reply So does this mean you will not be contributing again here, as I do care about the future of our country.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      But you do not challenge his views ? And it is not only just Dominic that has noticed the Tory Party’s jump to the Left, Richard1 has bemoaned it recently. Is he too not to post here ?

      • rose
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        I disagree with Dominic about the PM lacking a sense of mission. Unfortunately it keeps getting interrupted by the machinations of others or by acts of God.

        • rose
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          PS if he lacked a sense of mission, why is so much invested by the forces of Remain in trying to topple him?

    • Peter
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      I can see your point though it is rather defeatist.

      ‘the voter continues to vote for the two parties responsible for that destruction.’

      There was a hope that May could manage to destroy the Conservative Party and Labour would die a death. Then we could have a couple of brand new parties better fit for purpose.

      That never happened. We did manage to drain a number of the louder members of ‘the swamp’ in the last election – but the Cummings affair shows we only partially tackled the problem.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      I think, Dominic, that Britain is worth fighting for. A lot of the complaints against our country, that you mention, are common in all the western societies.

      It’s a common theme that seems to stem back to this globalisation that’s in vogue.

      Leaving the EU and it’s wholly different way of governing is a step in that fight. Denying under 18’s the transition operation is another step, changing the Dublin agreement to prevent (as many) illegals is another step. Families strengenthing, and communities re-engaging during this lockdown is another step.

      I believe the country is slowly reclaiming itself- but it will take time as so many youngsters have been brainwashed by wokeness. Indeed some of the older have accepted political correctness as ‘thats how things are, we must accept itt’ will increasingly begin to question things.

      I repeat, this country is well worth fighting for, and yes it is wearisome at times, but our forbears did it, so can we!! And the government too has a tremendous sized enemy at work against it. But the likes of John Redwood have come to the fore, and are fighting too.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      Well you can see his point.
      There are chinks of light I agree, this Mr Frost seems like one. But why wasn’t he appointed in 2016 if May was as keen on Brexit as she originally promised? Why is it such a struggle in this country to move away from being a disorganised disaster towards honesty and sense? How have we got to the point where we now have kids like Hancock running the place when there are presumably health-knowing Mr Frosts there in the background?

      • Mark B
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

        To answer your last question.

        If you are, at best, a mediocre manager but with a great PA the last thing you want is better lower managers around you showing you up. Best keep the really good people down and away from power less others decide to give them your job 😉

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Dominic shouting defeatism because the solution ‘was not made here’ is dangerous childish nonsense. It feeds the Remainers with hope just when we have, after 47 years of depressing drudgery, convinced them that they have lost. Stop doing this please, on this site or anywhere else. You are like a 5th columnist. If you continue I will have to assume you are a 5th columnist.

    • everyone knows
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Reply So does this mean you will not be contributing again here, as I do care about the future of our country.

      we would all breathe a sigh of relief and feel a huge weight lifted if you were PM.
      At a guess, I would imagine Dominic did not mean you. Sometimes I say “all politicians” (but what I really mean is most), not all.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Well spoken John
      Dominic spouts eternal nonsense.
      I’m surprised you tolerate it.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      I sympathise very much with the four paragraphs.
      Dominic has ‘Bottled’ it beautifully, in the meaning of having concentrated and condensed what I, and I’m sure, many others see and feel.
      Our anger and outrage goes unrepresented and largely unargued. There is a supine capitulation on almost everything at issue, even when the vote has been won.
      We care for our country but are discounted because we have little effective voice.
      The Maitlis fiasco, now overlying the Cummings nothing-burger will be politely ignored by a conservative party that will be happy to naively assist those who conspire against it.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Oh come on John this is anger and heart break.

      I am trying to use e mails now to highlight a problem with outright denial of what my work entails and what is considered essential services. I can receive e mails telling me what they want me to have done in their eyes so it is is written form , but I cannot return ‘ e mails with the true situation .This of course can be overturned by written letters . Talk about corruption !

    • Syd
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      DOMINIC, please continue to post your opinions.
      As a lifelong Conservative supporter, now aged 76 yrs, I despair at the antics of our current politicians.
      Your first paragraph encapsulates the views and feelings I now hold with respect to the general political situation.
      Thank you.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

        Well said.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply
      John – – WE care about our country – but it is clear most of our MPs do not. Waving in a constant flood of people whose culture hates us, but is VERY happy to live and breed here on our taxes while their numbers increase, cannot be doing this country very much good. An ever growing culture that includes grooming gangs, County lines drugs gangs, Cash for crash scams and demands for more of their culture, shows their “gratitude” to living off us. As I have said before, they come claiming they want a better life – I disagree – they want the life they had back home, but in a much better country, all built and paid for by us . . . . And they are being handed it.

    • Iago
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      This government is a waste of time and spirit.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I totally agree with you Dominic, it’s a choice between Blue Labour or Red Labour. The Conservative party with the exception of a handful of true Tories like our host died years ago, 1990 in fact, when the wets in the party booted out the best PM we have ever had in our lifetimes. As a lifelong true Tory and someone who does care about this country, I vote for this pathetic bunch of Liberals purely because they are a slightly better option than Labour in the hope that this time we might see some true Tory policies from a Tory Government but sadly never fail to be disappointed. The two socialist parties have the FPTP voting system stitched up between them. Democracy, or lack of it is such, that it looks like we’re stuck with Socialist/Liberal Governments for ever more.

    • Mary Lowrey
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Simmer down, you clearly care and like me, you are part of the majority so don’t recoil. YBF I don’t think the Tories have been in power since 2010. More like 2015 and it’s been some of the most poisonous years ever. The 2010 Equalities Act encased a lot of this current thought police stuff in law, Clegg and Cameron completing Harriet Harmans determination to nurture the aggrieved. First Brexit, then constituency boundaries, English votes for English laws… and so on. We will get there.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      And the voter continues to vote for the two parties responsible for that destruction.

      I don’t.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: JR, Like you, I am more hopeful than Dominic, but I think you have been unfair to him. His cry of “Why should we care when politicians don’t?” may be a symptom of powerlessness, but it is also valid in the circumstances.

      We had a binary vote with the promise – in writing – that our choice would be implemented. Four years later, we’re still waiting. Now my Tory MP – elected only 6 months ago to get Brexit done – has joined in with Remain wailing to remove Cummings.

      Are such MPs really so short sighted that they fail to see they are aiding and abetting continued EU control over the UK? I am afraid I now think, like Dominic, that it cannot be anything other than deliberate.

    • Al
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      “These politicians have deliberately strangled debate to protect their parties”

      If you don’t like the current choice of candidates, Dominic, wouldn’t a more practical solution to this be to get together with like-minded people and select your own candidate to run? We’ve already seen the Brexit party collapse on the eve of an election, so obviously the existing alternatives aren’t working, and as we aren’t tied to PR independent candidates are allowed.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply Does your concern extent to the English without whom this country would not have existed and will not exist in future if your party continues to promote people on the exclusive basis of their lack of Englishness and continues to demonstrate an unwillingness to protect our borders from alien invasion?

  13. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Whatever June will bring, the EU27 has to serve it’s short- and long-term interests and will make access to it’s single market dependent on a level playing field. As the UK feels this infringes on its independence the outcome will go towards no-deal/ WTO terms only.
    I doubt that the EC could have proposed such a far reaching recovery fund an plan yesterday, had it been for an EU28. Therefore I think it is for the better that the UK leaves and follows its own dreams. Why not on 31-12-2020? If that were a mistake, the EU will still be there in 10 or 20 years.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Shouldn’t the eastern EU states then be obliged to raise their minimum wages to UK levels?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Sorry can’t see how you have access to our fish but we don’t have access to your vineyards, orchards and farms. Please elucidate.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap: More logical would be that you have access to our fish and we have access to your fish.
        Fishing in each others waters has a very long history, long before the EEC ever existed.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          More “logical”, but nothing like independence.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      It is of course an absurd position. Nowhere else in the world do FTAs require one party to accept whatever laws and regulations the other party decides from time too time to adopt. An FTA is manifestly in the interests both of the EU and the U.K. – and of all their consumers, including you.

      But I think you are right, the best thing would be to agree we go to WTO terms and stop wasting time and resources on futile negotiations which aren’t going anywhere. The U.K. should then focus on FTAs with countries which don’t require economic and legal subjugation, and perhaps in a year or two better sense will prevail in the EU, once tempers and emotions have cooled.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: The EU27 cannot allow cherry picking as has been made clear from the start. I expect that the stand off over fishing in each others waters will lead to a compromise.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          the EU fish request IS cherry picking.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          PvL, It is hardly “cherry picking” to insist on our UNCLoS rights.

        • Zorro
          Posted May 30, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          You make me laugh….. You will need permission to access out fishing ground. No cherry picking please!


    • IanT
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Personally I doubt the EU will survive that long Peter – certainly not in it’s current form. It was a deeply flawed concept right from the beginning, with structural flaws that were compounded by the creation of the Euro.

      But I do think it is best that we each go our own ways and amicably I hope. I have many European friends, with most supporting the ‘ideal’ of the EU although one or two do doubt its practicality. I certainly don’t wish any of them any ill-will or harm.

      But I am deeply satisfied that we ( the UK) have left the EU.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

        @IanT: There have been many claims about the euro and the EU breaking up by some British since 2012 and it never happened, it was time for a counter claim. Anyway, time will tell.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          PvL, You are cherry picking. The serious claims about the Euro is that it will either break up, or the EZ (EU) will become a single fiscal and economic state. The second option has now started.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Quite right. The EU must follow its dreams and the U.K. too. Pointless to wait until 31-12-2020, why not 30-06-2020? We all have much to do and we need to part in a civil manner.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        @Lynn Atkinson: If you wish, but your companies aren’t yet prepared for a hard Brexit. They may prefer a few months to adjust.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Yes they are prepared. My informer in the banks says they have been waiting for the government since 2017 with fully sorted alternative strategies for each scenario. The ports are ready too.

    • oldwulf
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Peter

      It is unfortunate that it has taken four years to get to where we are today. Would you please have a word with Mr Barnier. His desperation is unbecoming.

      I sincerely hope that yesterdays proposed far reaching recovery fund and plan proves to be sufficiently far reaching.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      P v L “its” = possessive. “it’s = it is.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        @Original Chris: You’re absolutely correct.

    • Stred
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      When will the EU Commission understand that the UK will have access to the EU market anyway because, like every other country, exports have to comply with the regulations of the receiving country anywhere in the world. If the EU can negotiate s deal with Korea and Canada which don’t have to be under the control of the EU and its courts, why can’t they offer the same to the UK? Answer. Because they think that by threatening loss of exports they can hang on to access and plundering fish stocks in British waters using mega trawlers and dubious methods such as electrocution. Stuff it and ask for new UK licencing using UK conservation regulations. We will have a spare aircraft carrier by, 31.12 so why not use it in the North Sea. Fish could be inspected and landed from a vessel at sea, like the Russians did when buying mackerel from Cornish boats. You are welcome to as much raw herring as your can swallow.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        @Stred: Canada not Korea have a problem with it that the ECJ protects the single market. Even the WTO has its court. It is a British misperception that they were ruled by European courts, which makes it so allergic.
        As Barnier writes: “There is no automatic entitlement to any benefits that the EU may have offered or granted in other contexts and circumstances to other, often very different partners” Every agreement is unique and the warning: “no dumping” or “cherry picking has been made clear”. Obviously the British side steers towards no-deal.
        Why not read his letter?

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

          Correction – must read: Neither Canada nor Korea have a problem . . .

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Declaration 17 (Lisbon) is not a misperception. The EU does not have to offer the same deal to us as it has to Canada etc, but we will draw our own conclusions if the EU doesn’t. Then why should we allow you to cherry pick our single market?

    • beresford
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Why is access by the rest of the world not dependent on a ‘level playing field’? The truth which has been apparent for a long time is that the EU’s interests are served by Britain not leaving successfully. The tragedy is that but for May, Robbins, and the ‘Rotten Parliament’ we could have left at the end of March 2019 on pretty much the same terms as now and without all the concessions made in the interim.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

        “There is no automatic entitlement to any benefits that the EU may have offered or granted in other contexts and circumstances to other, often very different partners”. In this unique case proximity and size matter.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Don’t be silly, proximity has no relevance, other than the method of delivering goods – by trucks on ferries rather than container ships. Same with size – Canada is smaller than the UK, Japan bigger. So what? It’s all just an excuse for the EU to try cherry picking.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Why doesn’t Canada, South Korea or Japan have to follow EU rules. We are asking no more or no less than them.
      Your being very disingenuous Peter. As usual.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        the EU is frightened – yes frightened, of UK becoming a serious trade contender just off the west coast of ‘their empire’..

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg: Also Canada, Korea and Japan follow EU rules. Rules to be followed may vary and have been agreed in each each FTA, making them all unique.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          PvL, False. None of them follow EU rules in their own countries or for exports elsewhere. And all countries must follow EU rules for their products sold into the EU.

    • Pominoz
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink


      “the EU will still be there in 10 or 20 years.”


      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        but possibly smaller and ruled by Russia or China.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

          @ Fred H: Unlike within your British Union, there are no governments in the EU aspiring to break away

          • Fred H
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            So when Putin decides to cross the military borders with the EU- just who do you think is going to stop him?
            China – no / USA – no / UK – I think we’ll stop doing rescues.

          • NickC
            Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            Italy? Catalonia?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 30, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            @Fred H: NATO – yes.

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed Peter. It is all but inevitable that we will rejoin.

      Younger people overwhelmingly did not want Brexit – and still don’t. Their view has not changed, in fact it has hardened as the repeated duplicity of the Brexiteers has been exposed. They are not delivering Brexit on anything like the terms they promised. Brexit is being done to the young not for them.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        They will never have us as members again Andy. We are obviously not of the same calibre.

        • Andy
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          They will not have the Conservative Party back. But I doubt that will be a problem for long.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        ‘younger people’ being you!

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Your record of prediction is rather dire.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      the UK, like the rest of the World’ will continue to have access to the EU SM and cannot refuse imports which have paid the Tariffs of the CU and comply with their standards .
      Can you name another country which the UK trades with that doe snot follow these same rules?
      The EU will not still be here by the end of next year. There is NO ‘recovery plan’.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        I bet you £250 – to a children’s charity of your choice – that the EU will still be here at the end of 2021.

        You can send your donation to Great Ormond Street when you’re wrong. We can make it more if you’d like.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Andy, That depends on what you mean by the EU. The EU of 2016 has gone. The EU of now will not still be here in 2021, so you’d lose your bet. The EU is mutating before our eyes – from being an empire to a single state. And if we have to give up our independence – as you insist – then you have no argument in principle in the young choosing to join the USA rather than the USE.

    • DavidJ
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      I doubt that the EU will be there in 5 years unless it reverts to a common market…

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      the EU will still be there in 10 or 20 years.

      That seems unlikely to me.

    • jerry
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      @PvL; Interesting news from Nissan today…

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      PvL said: “[The EU] will make access to it’s single market dependent on a level playing field”.

      Well, not if you remain in the WTO you won’t. “Access” cannot be denied – under WTO rules – whatever the EU’s supposed conditions purport to be, with or without an EU-UK agreement.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        …. wait… isn’t the EU supposed to be a protection racket ?

        • NickC
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, I’ve waited. Yes, the EU is a protection racket. I’m glad you have belatedly accepted that. So what’s your point?

      • bill brown
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:55 am | Permalink

        Nick C

        Why, don’t you read what PvT is actually saying instead of drawing quick conclusions.
        He is saying access wit the exactly the same rights as members of teh EU.

        Of course there will be access but under WTO rules.

        By the way there is no EU empire

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, I actually quoted what PvL said. So why don’t you read what he said? He did not say access with the same rights as a member. The EU is an empire – read the definition.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        @NickC: If, under WTO rules a playing field needs leveling, countries do so by import duties and so would the EU. Remember that in the past import duties on steel were levied by the US from most countries? There are many more examples.

    • anon
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like ill will and maybe sour grapes.

      As opposed to the UK’s far too generous FTA offer.

      In the short term given our own 5th column i would prefer WTO and minimalist ties to the EU.

      The EU is 7.7% of UK GDP and falling.
      We would much prefer to have trade arrangement similar to any other non-eu country. Particularly friendly countries without animus. Who do not weaponise level-playing fields, institutions and underhand methods to mean control of a sovereign country. As evidenced by the disgraceful extensions to our imprisonment for 4 years since a explicit democratic votes. All with EU connivance to ignore democratic will.

      The EU may have to prove it does not hold its nation states populations captive. Maybe you could enforce a referenda or 27 to endorse the current EU euro inflicted dystopia.

      Perfectly happy with WTO.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        “The EU is 7.7% of UK GDP and falling.” ???

        • anon
          Posted May 30, 2020 at 2:32 am | Permalink

          Sorry unclear.

          UK goods exports amount to 7.7% of UK GDP and falling. Source brexitfacts4eu.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 30, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            OK, interesting. Dutch exports to the UK were 6.2% of its GDP last year. Considering the Netherlands is a top trading partner, the % for the EU must be smaller, and indeed – just over 2% of EU GDP. You however forget to add your very profitable EU services exports (5.9%), which is in the same article, and some of which you are going to lose. In 2019 alone some 400 service companies set up business in the Netherlands.

  14. Nigl
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Calm and pleasant. Tell that to a couple of your ex cabinet ministers allowing their personal animus towards Cummings to help feed the braying press pack.

    I saw a good quote yesterday about them and other Snow flake Tory MPs being the lefts useful idiots. How true.

      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, many Tory MPs are terrified of their own shadows. I understand why. Being targeted by activists cannot be pleasant. Cummings for example has been exposed to criminal intimidation and the response from the authorities has been silence. That silence tells its own story about how political the public sector’s become including the judiciary

      Brown-shirt thuggery from the left has positive benefits for Labour. It crushes debate and encourages silence that helps to insulate Labour and prevents their exposure as a party of hate, bigotry and bile. The Tory party will not expose Labour and their history. They simply refuse to do so.

      Tory MPs capitulate to the left. I understand why they do. No one likes to be targeted. Fear can disable us all. The left know this and use it effectively

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Many of them, in my view, committed a form of treachery in voting for the Benn Act.

    • Gone with the Wind
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      You don’t get it.Boris and his entourage have lost the Tory Party to any Opponent.
      It does not matter whether politicos think him right or wrong. He has put himself before Party and before Country. He does not think so. But it is not in his gift to think for others and he tried it on

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    “The forces of Pessimism and defeat want the U.K. to seek an extension” You are far too kind to these traitors – they care nothing for democracy or the British people, and are continually pulling dirty tricks…. The latest is to try and destroy Cummings, to then work on Boris, by exerting ever more pressure through the media.
    We all expect Boris to support Cummings and carry on – Then walk away from the EU who still think they own us.
    The EU might change their tactics at the 11th hour, but I suggest we ignore that as one diversion too many, and too late……………. NOW is not the time for our government to stumble or lack certainty. Now we must push on with total certainty that leaving the EU is the right thing to do.

  16. Kenneth
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Well said.

    Mr Barnier seems to be hoping that the Remain forces in the UK will pull together to try yet again to push back the deadline.

    Surely the opposition now realise their support for Remain diminished their support last time. Surely the BBC will not take part this time as its support for Remain was a self-inflicted wound that has probably been fatal.

    Whether they try to mount a new Remain campaign or not, we should stick to our guns. As John says, be polite but firm.

  17. agricola
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Simply put and fully agreed. I have no time for the fifth column we carry in the Commons and the Union. In wartime they would be turned or shot, now they merely attract my contempt.

    Alignment with the EU for the purpose of trade is a myth. We have never found the need to become Zen Buddhists to trade with Japan. Analysis might suggest we are closer to Japan than ever we are with the EU and have sacrificed nothing to be so. Trade should be based on providing what the customer requires in terms of quality, price, and delivery. The EU is a good idea gone badly wrong as it’s component nations are beginning to realise. To the three criteria for trade, they wish to add political, financial and judicial alignment. They are mad to even think it of a sovereign nation. I do not wish them ill , but they are in for one hell of an hangover.

  18. Nigl
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I see Philip Stephens is still churning out the old Remainer tosh in the FT. It is all our fault, we make no effort to understand the EU and never haveMetic.

    Shame the elite liberal pro EU F.T has never made an attempt to understand the UK voter.

  19. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    The only reason the UK is in a mess is because those that think of themselves as the establishment are still fighting the people. We should have left the rule of the EU years ago.

    The EU from the outset was a trading block to protect its power brokers from competition.

    The latest silly example is that Lufthansa gets a 9 billion euro bailout and protection from takeover. While the UK is trapped into negotiating whether it should accept EU Laws rules and Governance as there must be a level playing field between competing nations.

    The actual people of Europe along with the real people in the UK, as in those that have to dig deep into their wallets, should be telling these talking heads were to go. There isn’t an incidence were having trust in the people could not achieve a better result.

    It is bizarre that there are still discussions, they are not needed for anything. The UK left the EU. The EU laws and regulations state any state leaving their control will/can continue to trade with them on WTO rules. That’s the agreement and has been since the referendum.

  20. BeebTax
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    We should be planning for a WTO exit and make no secret about it. Prepare our citizens to expect it, confront the critics in the MSM. Do not waver. The EU may not budge, but it certainly won’t budge if it thinks like we’re going to “bottle it”, so we have nothing to lose, if one believes in leaving.

  21. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I’ll buy that. Are fishing rights being bound into one great agreement or being negotiated separately? The letter course would make the most sense to Leave me – and I wouldn’t have opened negotiations on the matter until the FTA had been finalised and signed.

  22. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    MsM observation, commentators bashing others for seemingly breaking the rules( although no rules were broken) and calling for resignations. Yet when it comes to them breaking their own rules they get to stay employed.

    The MsM make up theories of double standards in others, and suggest/demand remedies. Then suggest they(the MsM) should be exempt from similar scrutiny, not apologies and that inexactitudes when spouted by them are permissible.

    It is about the headline, the attention grabbing ‘look at me an obey me, I am the Law’ attitude the MsM places on themselves.

    There was a time they took it on themselves to independently double check the validity of any story, not just repeat it because the read it on social media.

    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    The BBC still exists. Why?

  24. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The UK didn’t make a mess of negotiations. Don’t diss the country.
    Mrs May made a mess of them having promised not to.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      And party and it’s MP’s stood by and let her until it became clear we would have none of it.

  25. BJC
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I understand that Facts4EU have just completed some research concluding that our exports to the EU amount to less than 8% of our GDP. It, therefore, follows that an FTA is being negotiated for the benefit of the EU and will make very little difference to the UK. You’d think the EU might be grateful for our generosity, not act as though they’re doing us a favour by “permitting” us to leave their suffocating embrace.

    Meanwhile, it would appear that the EU Commissars are now openly displaying the symptoms of the compulsive gambler…….just one more wager on the 3-legged nag and they’ll get a win. I’d rather put my money on the UK thoroughbred with the long pedigree.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      4% of the ‘exports to the EU’ are in fact fraudulent because they go on to other destinations as ‘EU’ exports. Norris McWhirter recited the exact figure for years, (to the 4th decimal point).

  26. Edward2
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    We’ve had four years of delay.
    The 31st December must be the day we leave.
    No more extensions.

    The Cummings saga and the resulting media faux outrage was all about Brexit not Lockdown.
    The forces of resistance to leaving and the left in general will get more frantic, shrill and agressive as the end of June approaches.
    As we see reflected on here with posts from some people.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      We have left. Stop being so silly Edward.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Err…have you not noticed the continued campaign to have another extension?
        You remainers are still doing their best to subvert the result of our referendum.
        Don’t deny it.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Martin, We haven’t left – the EU still controls the UK via the WA treaty. That’s why Remains and the EU want an extension – more obey and more pay.

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      The delay was caused by Brexiteer – not the EU. All of the delay.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The reverse is the case. The EU’s intransigence, hostility, and vindictiveness has caused the delay . All of it.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      Edward 2

      You are seeing too many enemies in the none existing shadows

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Bill B, It’s 48 years experience of the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      I seem to have got 3 out of 4 to reply.

  27. Pud
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It’s the forces of Remain who seek an extension, and if the government is foolish enough to grant it then as the new deadline approaches the Remainers will call for another.

  28. jerry
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    @Nigl; I bet if this had involved a Labour govt appointed SpAd you would be siding wit the braying press pack – stop allowing your personal political approval for someone to mask the real issues involving a notifiable disease & its control.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, I have not called for Stephen Kinnock to resign. Or Ian Blackford. Or anyone else for that matter. And I have criticised the heavy handedness of the police in dealing with people – for example a woman reading a book on her own on a park bench. Etc, etc. So why would I call for Cummings’ resignation? Especially as he has broken no law?

      • jerry
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        @NickC; I think you might have forgotten that in the Cummings case at least one adult was symptomatic with (possible) CV19, and that is the important difference.

        I’m not wishing to speak for Stephen Kinnock but I very much doubt he would have visited his parents had he or his been symptomatic – and of course we only know about his visit because the right wing MSM did try and make an example out of him, thanks for refreshing my memory!

        • graham1946
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          I think you have forgotten that there was a police enquiry which concluded nothing to charge for.

          • jerry
            Posted May 30, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

            @graham1946; I think you need to read the actual Durham Police statement, not not just what the alt-right media report!

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, The MSM pretence is that it’s all about the rules. Cummings didn’t “visit” other people, he went to an empty house, so that – if necessary – his autistic 4 year old child could be transferred easily to people he was familiar with (something necessary for autism).

          The difference is that Stephen Kinnock, Ian Blackford, and Tahir Ali, actually broke the rules, without any mitigating circumstances at all.

          • jerry
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            NickC; Second attempt… Try dealing in the facts rather than the alt-right spin.

  29. margaret howard
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


    “The present government has so far been as clear as Mrs May was muddled over what the U.K wants”

    With Dominic Cummings in charge?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Mr Frost is in charge of EU negotiations. Have you not noticed?

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink


        Another Dominic Cummings appointee? After all he seems to be in charge. You MUST have noticed.

        • NickC
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, You making that up. Not for the first time.

      • jerry
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:30 am | Permalink

        Indeed Lynn, but who is in charge of Mr Frost? Interesting line of questioning during his appearance before the Select Committee the other day, and from an unexpected quarter…

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      In charge of what, MH? As usual, no detail and a total lack of understanding of how government works

  30. John Sheridan
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    “There is nothing we could negotiate next year that we cannot negotiate this year.”

    For me this is the key point; a further extension is unnecessary. Both sides have set out their positions. Our position seems an eminently reasonable for a sovereign nation to take.

    If the EU do not wish to accept our offer, let’s call it a day and prepare to trade on WTO terms during the period July to December.

  31. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more with your post today John. Let’s hope Boris is strong. We don’t want to be involved with the mess of euro finances or continue payments when we need that money to recover from this virus and our own economic downturn.

    • rose
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      The PM has stood up to the lying media mob and the weak-voiced Leader of the Opposition calls him weak for doing that. The man really is a weasel. He ought to be calling off the left wing intimidation which is ruining the lives of the victim and his family.

  32. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The government’s test and trace system will shortly be rolled out, it has already started in Ulster. If it works as intended, it will allow a phased and gradual end of lockdown and a return to work for those few who still have jobs to go back to.

    A number of UK scientists working in this field have expressed serious reservations concerning the 8 different Chinese plague virus test kits which the NHS will be using. The data now available suggests that one of them – the details of which one has not been released due to secrecy issues – has up to 60% false negatives. Another has reportedly 45% false positives. The difficulties with accurate testing are well known in the NHS; our hospitals are full of medics who have tested negative but the number of new virus cases remains at a stubborn 5000 each day (primarily but not exclusively in NHS hospitals & care homes); the number of fatalities has crept back up to over 400 daily – something is clearly not working.

    Think about the implications of these data for a moment. If people are tested and told they are negative – when in fact they are actually positive – they effectively become superspreaders loose in the community. Possibly even worse are people who have come into contact with someone who has a false positive test result – they will be unnecessarily told to self-isolate.

    It seems that the test and trace regime will probably make the situation worse – another disastrous move by our incompetent Health Secretary. Hancock has now presided over roughly 60,000 fatalities, how many more will be necessary before Johnson forces him to consider his position? Or will he, like Cummings, continue to brazen it out?

  33. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The Government should write to Barnier and tell him that they are terminating negotiations as he has acted in bad faith by sending that letter to leaders of opposition parties.

    • steve
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink


      “he [Barnier] has acted in bad faith by sending that letter to leaders of opposition parties.”

      Bad faith ? I’d call it treason.

      He should keep his ungrateful griz nez out of our business.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink


  34. graham1946
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    No extension under any circumstances. ‘Work expands to fill the time allotted to it’ is never more true than with these ‘negotiations’. In 2 years time nothing will still have been agreed that we can’t do now and the Remoaners will seek another one. With one billion a month being required to be paid it is no wonder Barnier wants to string it out. For goodness sake, surely four and a half years is plenty long enough for this and our businesses to plan. If they cannot do it in that time they never will.

  35. Roger Phillips
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    I agree with everything you have said regarding the EU talks, on a different subject when are the Government going to take action against the media? The scenes of harassment involving Dominique Cummings and his family are simply shocking. The British media are now disgusting to most right thinking people.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      A disgusting behavior by disgusting people, that have got it into their heads it is they that are arbiters of the truth while making up stories to get recognition.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      It never seemed to bother you, when those being harassed were not those over whom you fawn so sycophantically.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Why do you want your children and grandchildren to bail out the Euro? It will impoverish them, merely to pay for your fawning over your EU ideologues.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      +1 sure show how Hopeless all the ‘hate’ legislation is. All should be repealed. Cummings should sue for harassment.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Well, they haven’t libelled him as an “enemy of the people” and precipitated an avalanche of death threats against him, have they?

      It’s ironic really, because there, I think, we have a prime example of exactly that.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Well, certainly Donald Trump has received an avalanche of death threats against him. Is that what you mean?

  36. ferdinand
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    In fifty years of business dealings I have found they should be based on firm resolve but without malice. Everything you say is on the right track,

  37. ukretired123
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Well said SJR!

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I saw some of the EU debate in Brussels and the von der Leyen introduction last evening. She and others briefly acknowledged they were uncommonly now in a situation where their very survival was at stake where they all had to be more “adventurous” to overcome the CV19 disaster cliff edge under their very feet…..

      At last they have realised the enormity of the problem. However they see Treasure Island Britain as a golden opportunity to save them by being in denial of what a sovereign country means and the resources it needs itself too.

      Why on earth would we want to continue bailing out such a historic corrupt monster is beyond common sense. Barnier pretends not to know this but deep down being a senior French Gaullist politician since the 1970s will know exactly how Britain has been given second class interior treatment whilst being an outstanding 1st Class contributor!

      • ukretired123
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink


  38. Edwardm
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    WTO or FTA on same basis as other countries, either outcome is fine to us. What our government must not do is compromise one iota with any unreasonable demand from the EU.

    We’ve seen in the extreme hounding of D Cummings by the frenzied media, the dark forces of Remain will not stop at any attempt to dislodge a key Brexit figure. All very unbalanced.
    D. Cummings must stay.
    I just wish the PM would make better use too of your services, JR.

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Just a thought.
    Regarding the 40 MPs who are apparently being inundated with anti Mr Cummings e mails….
    There are 365 Conservative MPs
    So roughly only 10% calling for DC’s dismissal.
    Surely that means that 80% of MP’s constituents are perfectly ok with the situation.
    Sounds like left wing mobilisation to me ( like with all those “petitions”). OR personal animosity being put before party and country!
    Clearly MOST Tory constituents just aren’t bothered!!

    • steve
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink


      “Clearly MOST Tory constituents just aren’t bothered!!”

      No one gives a toss mate.

      However everyone knows it’s really a shameful attempt to scupper Brexit.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


    • margaret howard
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink


      Although police say Cummings committed only a ‘minor breach’ aren’t you bothered by the fact that he believed that his explanation was rational?

      That he drove 30 miles with his wife and young son in the car because he was worried about his eye sight not being up to scratch?

      Couldn’t they charge him with reckless behaviour for endangering the life of others in this way?

      • graham1946
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Perhaps they could get around to it after they have charged the journalists and photographers outside Cummings house who clearly broke the major social distancing rule for all the world to see. He didn’t do that. Presumably they looked into the charge you say and decided it wasn’t going to fly.

  40. glen cullen
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    This government has left the door to a further extension ever so slightly open

    I fear they will use the extension

    This government needs to firmly shut the door and if current talks don’t achieve results cut short the negotiations and go WTO

    ”we just don’t believe you”

  41. formula57
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Any backsliding on the key commitment to “Get Brexit done” would be very bad for the Government. People voted to put a stop to the then seemingly endless and often futile talks: let that be so, particularly in the face of doubt about the Evil Empire’s good faith.

  42. Javelin
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    We have one month to hold our nerve.

    If we don’t we will be paying for Club Med for the next decade.

  43. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I see Tusk was tweeting about Cummings the other day – shows that he still thinks the EU have a chance to influence parliament. Similarly Barnier’s letter to the opposition parties. One odd thing about that letter was Barnier said that the EU would grant an extension (for a fee) if asked, but if the EU wants an extension they are able to request one themselves under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, so why don’t they do that ? They keep moaning there isn’t enough time to negotiate an FTA so why don’t they request an extension ? Any EU enthusiasts got an explanation ?

  44. glen cullen
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Why is a private member’s bill by Sir Ed Davey already passed first reading in parliament for two year extension to European Union Withdrawal (Implementation Period) Bill 2019-20 Second reading is on 12th June looks like it’s going to go through

    A Bill to require Her Majesty’s Government to seek a two-year extension of the implementation period under Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement; to repeal the prohibition on agreeing to such an extension under section 33 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020; and for connected purposes

    Door fully open

    Reply There is no first reading debate or vote. This will not go through

    • Fred H
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Why did Sir Ed Davey get a knighthood?
      – for ‘political and public service’.

      yeah right.

  45. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Agreed we must remain firm in our resolve to be totally independent and in control of our own affairs.

    I see all of the opposition Parties have written to Mr Barnier to ask him, to ask us, for an extension beyond 31st December 2020, his reply to them indicates he would ask for an extension of 2-3 years if the UK government indicated that position.

    Sorry but what could be delivered in 2-3 years time that cannot be resolved now, other than more and more concessions by the UK as per Mrs Dreadful May and Mr Robbins.
    Stick to the plan out on December 31st 2020.
    I hope Boris does not cave in and give concessions at the last minute just to try to be accommodating.

    WTO rules are absolutely fine, even the EU is a member, so what’s the problem.

    We have seen how the French have co-operated over the rubber dingy scandal (which they call co-operation and which we pay them for), why do we expect any change from them on other matters.
    Remember Blaire gave up a huge amount of rebate for CAP changes, anyone seen any ?

  46. beresford
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Another thing we can expect in the coming months is the expansion of the people-smuggling activities conducted in the Channel by the British and French governments. Nigel Farage is now alleging that these primarily young males are being distributed through the country into temporary accommodation before release into the community in direct defiance of the wishes of the majority of the electorate.

    Do you ascribe the actions of our ruling classes to straightforward cowardice and incompetence, or are they complying with a globalist plan to alter the demography of Europe?

  47. ChrisS
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I watched David Frost and Michael Gove appear before the select committee on exiting the EU. It was a rather low key affair and the questioning was refreshingly not in anyway aggressive from any member, even the SNP ones were fairly benign.

    The most notable comment came from David Frost when he confirmed something that I had suspected for a very long time : that many officials in Brussels and politicians in the member states have yet to come to terms with the fact that the UK is a large and fiercely proud country on the edge of Europe that is going back to being an independent state.

    It is this fact that is clearly causing the impass : The Europhiles think that they can still impose their laws and conditionality on our country and cannot bring themselves to think of us in the same way as they regard the USA, Canada or any other country that is a fully independent nation state.

    There are also two other crucial changes they have got to come to terms with :

    1. Their Remainer friends in the UK are a busted flush and are not in any position to undermine what our government is trying to negotiate.

    2. The UK is no longer led by the disastrous May administration and that they are now having to negotiate with a strong, determined and secure government led by Boris Johnson that has a clear, unassailable majority for a full five year term.

    That is a position that no other leader of any major European state enjoys.

    Until they come round to accepting this is the situation, no deal will be possible.

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      What actually has to happen is that Brexiteers have to come to terms with the fact that the EU is bigger than you, that they are more powerful than you – and that you have far more to lose than they do.

      Until you come around to accepting this no deal will be possible.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        They made a deal with much smaller (population and economy) Canada. All we want is to be treated likewise and we are the 6th largest economy in the world. They will deal in the end.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Andy, I have noticed that Remains like you admire the EU’s bullying and authoritarianism. Those EU characteristics are among the reasons why I voted Leave. So whilst, like you, I recognise them, I will never pander to them.

  48. Fred H
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Do we have any idea who the 40 Tories are who protested about Cummings not being sacked? – -just asking.

    • steve
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Fred H

      One of them used to go by the name of Tarzan, though he modelled himself on Mack the Knife during Lady Thatcher’s years.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        why am I not surprised – another fool passed over.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      There is a list in The Guardian.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        THAT would be a step to far for me. It have to remain unread.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          plus we still have toilet rolls.

  49. villaking
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    As a remain supporter, I nonetheless consider the Brexit debate to be over. I have expressed my concerns on here about an abrupt end to the transition period and you replied to one of my posts saying everything would be fine. I hope you are right. For the record, the known and indisputable downsides for the manufacturing business I run with 120 jobs at stake are:-
    1) It is a regulated industry subject to EU rules to sell within the EU. We can not sell directly to the EU once we become a third country and have to go via an authorized representative who is responsible for maintaining documentation and being a point of contact for regulatory concerns etc. A number of agencies have sprung up offering these services. The annual cost will be around 7k (we have large EU sales)
    2) One of our export markets is to a country with a trade agreement with the EU. Under the WTO schedule, tariffs would apply to what they import from us. There is pressure to compensate with reduced selling prices which we will likely have to concede to retain the business
    3) We have large volumes of imports from the EU as well as exports. I am uncertain of how these flows might be affected, I have heard you say there will be no impact but I believe there will be extra form filling as a minimum
    It is helpful for leave supporters to know this. I am open minded and hope that elsewhere there are considerable upsides of trading on WTO terms. I hope the government will offer some specific advice to British industry on what happens next, I was disappointed to hear last year a government line that we had had plenty of time to prepare for a no-deal exit so should stop complaining. We need to know exactly what we have to prepare, particularly since you have said everything will be fine

    • Mark B
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      As a strong Leaver I have confess my sympathies to your situation. But Leaving the EU was not a economic decision but a political one. The EU uses trade as a Trojan horse to extend its political influence I do not see that as a good thing. I nonetheless wish you well and hope things work out.

    • NickC
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, Not so. The WTO do not themselves levy tariffs. There is no such thing as “the WTO schedule”. The country you export to will levy its own tariffs. That country may, or may not, do a trade deal with the UK to reduce or limit tariffs.

      The UK ports say they are ready for even a no deal scenario. Dover for example says it deals with most trade paperwork, both EU and non-EU, in seconds. But obviously without an EU trade deal tariffs will be imposed by the EU on your exports, and by the UK on your imports. However we are likely to have trade deals with other countries ready to run, even if the EU wants to be silly.

  50. ChrisS
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The virus pandemic is likely to make things easier for the UK in 2021, when the so-called transition period has ended.

    Businesses in the important member states who trade with and sell most to us will be desperate to get back so the same level of activity as before. They will be unable to get much replacement trade from other EU member states, particularly from the Club Med countries that have suffered most and have had the poorest economic activity in recent years because of their membership of the Eurozone.

    I suspect that whether it is official policy or not, ways will be found to keep trade between businesses in the EU and the UK operating much as before, whether or not there is a deal.

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      That won’t be possible if there is no deal. No deal means significant barriers to trade. Erected by the Tories.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Conservatives policy is for free trade with a limited number of tariffs.
        No barriers are being erected by them.

        Why do you post such nonsense Andy ?

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The barriers will be erected by “fortress Europe”.

  51. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The EEA – aka Single Market – is as important to the EU as the English system of law is to us. It depends on EU inspectors at source, on EU agreement to free trade, on EU agreement on standards. They simply cannot alter this one iota. Why? think of altering our own, say, tax system.
    We, on the other hand, have to leave so the only sensible alternative is to be like say Australia. Me, I want closer ties with USA even though I seem to be alone in this. Mr Trump is a firm and loyal ally of this country. We should welcome USA involvement, and trust in our own ability to compete.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      I’m not surprised that you feel rather isolated believing in Trump. Personally, I think what Trump wants of Great Britain is forelock-tugging obsequiousness. He thinks of Scotland as though it’s a very large Scottish-themed Trump resort, and hence got quite a surprise when things got complicated concerning that golf course.
      I’m not a Leaver by any means, but if we have to find a working model for GB outside the EU then Trump’s isn’t the one I’d choose.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Trump was mislead over the building of an off shore wind farm in close proximity to his golf course. He wanted to put in luxury homes and restaurants which would have provided good long term jobs and prospects for the town. Instead Alex Salmond promoted the wind farm which in turn created very few jobs and is an eyesore. What a stupid move on behalf of Scotland who already have too much wind!

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Will, I’d trust Trump before Merkel, Macron, von der Leyen, and Barnier, any day.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      The only problem is that Trump will be in the White House for only another 4.5 years. We have to hope he has a succession sorted out (unlike Mrs T).

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Mike, you seem to be labouring under the illusion that EU inspectors check all goods being sold in the EU. In fact, they inspect only a very tiny fraction of the goods imported into the EU, even those from China.

      In most cases a business can self-certificate the CE mark they apply to manufactured goods they import into or manufacture within the EU. This will only be challenged if there are consumer complaints that the items are sub-standard for any reason, after which it might then be inspected.

      I agree with you over moving closer to the USA. We have far more in common with the USA than we do with France, for example. However, I would extend this close cooperation to include the Five-Eyes network and the Commonwealth.

      This does not mean moving further away from Europe, we can maintain the same cooperation with the EU, as long as it does not continue to try to impose its own rules and regulations on us.

  52. bill brown
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    the forces of Pessimism and defeat.

    I am actually not whom they are but Sir JR seems to know exactly who they are?

    In my view of curse we will et a deal with the EU as it is in everybody’s intrest as good neighbours, talking about forces of Pessimism and defeat as oppose to the other side is counter-productive and does not serve anybody well, nor really is it particularly constructive.

    This will be an EU -UK solution most likely at the last minute ,but starting to build up factions at this stage makes no sense

    • NickC
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Bill B, The EU “good neighbours”?? Oh hahahaha . . .

  53. Fred H
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    from BBC WEBSITE. (so it must be true).

    Hundreds of fake or hijacked social media accounts have been pushing pro-Chinese government messages about the coronavirus pandemic on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, a BBC investigation has found. The network of more than 1,200 accounts has been amplifying negative messages about those critical of China’s handling of the outbreak, while praising Beijing’s response. Although there is no definitive evidence that this network is linked to the Chinese government, it does display features similar to a state-backed information operation originating in China that Facebook and Twitter removed last year. The accounts uncovered by the BBC also share similarities with a resurgent pro-Chinese network spotted by the social media analytics firm Graphika earlier this year. Dubbed “Spamouflage Dragon”, that network both pumped out political messages and targeted Chinese authorities’ critics with spam.

  54. NickC
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    JR, You are quite right to advocate firmness and resolve in the face of the EU’s intransigent and vindictive policy of keeping the UK a colony. We must expect even more Remain hysteria and tricks in the next month. But we must see them off as the fellow-travellers they are.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:58 am | Permalink


      Do you feel you are being followed everywhere?

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Bill B, No, it’s just 48 years experience of the corrupt antidemocratic EU empire.

  55. Caterpillar
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    My choice to support Brexit was a close one, but I did so based on: the democratic argument, fairness and rationality in immigration policy, the longer run potential for the economy and a wish for the UK to treat other countries better than the EU does.

    Sadly what I have seen this Tory Govt produce is authoritarianism, an unjustified low income model of immigration (which will still reduce GDP per capita and reduce mobility for lower income individuals already in UK), an arbitrarily shutdown economy and legitimisation of catastrophic lockdown policies in less developed countries. It has of course been disappointing that existing UK divisions on leave-remain transferred to arguments about the epidemic, but the Tory Govt has acted against the reasons I supported Brexit.

    For me, the PM has no credibility without clearing out the Cabinet members responsible, in particular Hancock, Sunak, Patel, there are probably others but without a full inquiry I don’t know. Cummings’s long drive and self-eye test are largely irrelevant to me, but I think he should still go as he is the closest adviser to the PM and thus implicated in the socioeconomic suicide followed by the Tory Govt.

    The PM does not seem the healthiest when he presents, but I hope he can find the verve for a clear out (getting more rationality, maturity and independence into the cabinet) and nerve for both a broad ranging independent inquiry into the (mis)handling of the epidemic and a reevaluation of the health system in the UK.

  56. MickN
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    O/T Nissan have just announced that they are to close their production in Spain and concentrate it in Sunderland instead.
    Will that be because of Brexit or despite it?
    Another of the remoaner foxes shot.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s because of the “arrangements” that they were offered by the Tories at team PAYE’s expense, MickN.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        No. The Sunderland plant is under utilised by 500,000 units pa and is Nissan’s most efficient European asset. That’s why they are consolidating manufacturing there.

  57. ed2
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink
  58. Andy
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I don’t usually feel sorry for politicians. A life of criticism is one they choose.

    But I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for Boris Johnson at the virtual liaison committee yesterday.

    A man who has wanted to be prime minister all his life now aware – as we all are – that he is thoroughly unfit for the job.

    Even if you didn’t like Blair, Brown, Cameron or May you could at least admire their mastery of the detail. Johnson doesn’t even pretend to do detail. Admitting he doesn’t even read the scientific documents. Shocking. A PM so lax that in a time of crisis he doesn’t bother doing his job.

    Meanwhile his defence of Dominic Cummings does not make him look strong. It makes him look weak. Can’t even sack an adviser who has clearly broken the rules. The world is looking at the UK and wondering how we even let such a pathetic bunch of charlatans take over.

    As a non Labour voter I have been impressed with Keir Starmer. He hasn’t said much. He hasn’t needed to. But he is forensically building his case against the Tory toffs. It will be hard to turn around the party’s fortunes after the disaster of the Corbyn years in one election cycle. But it is possible. Because the Tories have a Corbyn of their own in charge – an ineffectual buffoon – and that is becoming more apparent every day.

    • steve
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Why do you write such guff ?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      mastery of detail – -like Blair, Brown, Cameron or May – —sometimes you are so funny.
      Andy – you really should try standup comedy.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      You say ‘I have been impressed with Keir Starmer. He hasn’t said much.’

      Very wise of him – speak and you get found out?
      Perhaps friends of yours could take note?

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Andy talks with forked tongue and many porky pies ….He never feels sorry for politicians who are democratically elected and most do a good job despite the brick bats etc…

  59. JoolsB
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    John, as we are still officially in the EU until the end of the year, will we mugs the British taxpayer be expected to contribute to the multi billion pound bailout that will be required in the EU? And if so, what do you think the UK Government’s response will be?

  60. Hardyboy
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    There’s no point in an extension- at this point the EU side accepts the talks are going nowhere- that UK politics is in general disarray- so they will not want to waste any more time. Therefore by 26th June it will be all over- 😄 besides with the summer break coming up am quite sure they will want to escape to their South of France retreats.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      They will enjoy the quarantine.

  61. Nigel
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I hear that M.Barnier has written to opposition MPs and known remainers, stressing tha the EU is ready to agree an extension. They are clearly desperate. We need to stay strong!

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      They wrote to him. He wrote back.

      It’s what grown ups do.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        But not very grown up for minor opposition politicians to try to conduct foreign policy.

  62. Tony Sharp
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    The Commission (not the ‘EU27’) will never have to suffer the incompetence of its ‘all or nothing’ approach to the UK as it shall not suffer consequences in the way a national government would do so. The Commission is not negotiating in ‘good faith’ but essentially trying to get the UK to adopt all of the systems of membership of the EU without being a member. The Commission says it has not had enough time to discuss the matters, yet it refused to start until March and then requested a halt during the CV19 lock down. ‘Delay’ has been their hallmark.
    The Commission can have an ‘extension to negotiations’ indefinitely – as there is a simple way to standstill on Tariffs under GATT XXIV of the WTO and we can spend years discussing quotas and tariif rates within that – all the time of extensions even the Commission would need.
    Of course this is not what the omission is asking for – it wants the UK to remain in the EUas a non-member.

  63. Martyn G
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    If what I read is in fact true, it seems that Nissan is going to close its Barcelona factory and move its European manufacturing to Sunderland. Which would be very good news indeed,

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      It’s actually not good news at all. Nissan have made it clear that none of Europe is a priority for its business anymore. It has also demanded further efficiencies – which will either mean there will be job cuts in Sunderland or workers will face other challenges, like more anti-social hours or more work.

      Some Renault models may also be made in Sunderland. But Renault is 15% owned by the French government. You can not see those jobs being left there in the long term if there is not an acceptable Brexit deal.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        You, Andy have posted on here regularly telling us that Nissan would close due to Brexit and that they would relocate to a place in Europe.
        Now Brexit is happening soon, the opposite has happened yet you blather on about vague irrelevancies like “further efficiencies” and “more work” and maybe in the “long term”

        Yet another Project Fear prediction of your is seen to have been wrong.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Andy, It actually directly contradicts what you have claimed on here for months. That’s very good news.

  64. Dystopian nightmare
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Are you and David Davies and other intelligent MPs doing your best to stop the tyranny?

    • steve
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Alternatively give the tyrants to us, we can demonstrate what can be achieved with lamp posts.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Now what did Cummings call Davies?

      Do remind us?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        why don’t you tell us, your memory failing again, isn’t it?

  65. Fred H
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    from BBC website:

    Nissan supports the Sunderland manufacturing site. There has been speculation that Renault could switch some production to the (Nissan) Sunderland factory.
    Nissan’s UK factory in Sunderland will stay open as the Japanese carmaker carries out a global restructuring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    It will close its factory in Barcelona with the loss of about 2,800 jobs after the firm plunged to a $6.2bn (£5bn) net loss in the last financial year.

  66. L Jones
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Why ”be pleasant”? Much better to be robust and courteous.
    They’d see ”pleasantness” as weakness.

  67. mancunius
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, you should warn the government that if the EU continues to refuse a genuine Free Trade Agreement, the Withdrawal Agreement’s Northern Ireland protocol must be replaced or repudiated. It should never have been signed. It applies the EU State aid rules to the whole of the UK, which lets the European Commission dictate important matters of UK economic policy such as tax relief or UK business incentives where the ECJ decides that these ‘might’ distort trade across the Irish border (a clearly political judgement). It creates a border across the Irish Sea between two areas of the UK. And it entails massive risk because of the risky and brutally mercantilist nature and intention of the euro, and the large unguaranteed debts of the EU’s banks – which will taint our own economy.

    Surely Mr Frost must understand the risk, even if government ministers are apparently oblivious or indifferent to it? Or has he been ordered to keep quiet on the subject?

    Reply Of course the U.K. must legislate to make clear NI is part of the UK customs union and single market

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      You already signed the withdrawal agreement which puts the border down the Irish Sea. And that can’t be changed.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Andy, There is no border down the Irish sea. That’s what your bullying EU empire was complaining about only a couple of weeks ago.

  68. Edward2
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I see Nissan have made an announcement today.
    Another Project Fear lie bites the dust.

    Looking forward to apologies from Andy and a few other doom predictors on here.
    Not holding my breath.

    • Andy
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Nisssn have said that none of Europe is a priority anymore and have demanded further efficiency savings. They are not creating any new jobs in Sunderland. In fact, quite the opposite. They are demanding more from workers.

      But I guess not firing people yet is about as successful as you can get with Brexit.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Hilarious wriggling andy.
        I could just imagine your long rant if Nissan had said they were closing in the UK.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        But they are firing people in the EU.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        But they are firing in Spain. That’s pretty successful for the EU then?
        Sunderland is under used due to low demand and is the most efficient plant Nissan has so naturally they want to utilise that. You said car production would cease in the UK, yet here we are 4 years on and it is actually increasing for Nissan at least and still you think you are right. EU rose tinted specs or just blinded by prejudice?

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 30, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink


          ” You said car production would cease in the UK, yet here we are 4 years on and it is actually increasing for Nissan at least…”

          ” The British car industry produced just 197 cars last month, down from 70,971 in April 2019, as the coronavirus lockdown caused every major UK factory to close.”

          Guardian 28/05/20

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            So how is that relevant?

            You cannot make cars if the Government has closed every factory in the UK.

            Similar figures can be seen in the automotive industries worldwide

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Well it’s rather better than what you predicted.

  69. Ian
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Well I see a very weak PM again.
    He is afraid of telling the EU just where they can go.
    He was afraid to tell the the Chinese were they can go.

    He is not afraid to ignore his back Benchers ,

    He is not afraid To go against the people who have stood by us for generations.

    I like Trump. Yes I do, I wish we had people in this Government with buisiness experience like him , he is probably the the best ever President of the U S.

    He likes this Country, he has buckets of common sence, an instinct for what is right.

    He knows like a lot of us, that Boris is a Remainer, just like the last PM..

    We are being run by Remainers, weak Lib Dims, I and no one else sees any change in the immigration. Still free movement, still in the EU . Yes we are.

    This talking, sorry total waste of space, anyone involved with this nonsense, normal people know no one talks for twelve months.

    A Man , yes like Trump. Would have seen this away years ago WTO.

    This Government is May in trousers has been for 10 years, they are a disgrace, they are not looking out for the Nation and its people .

    Only them selves
    A total farce, we are as good as slaves

  70. Tabulazero
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    ” There is nothing we could negotiate next year that we cannot negotiate this year.”

    You will simply negotiate it next year but this time in the middle of the aftermath of COVID and a hard Brexit.

    The EU is not intransigent. It is simply following what it said it would do in the political declaration of the Withdrawal Agreement which you happen to have personally voted into law.

    As said since 2016, the EU will not let the UK have its cake and eat it at its expense because the Conservative party has sold a Brexit to the British public it knew from the start was impossible to deliver.

    No deal is therefore the most likely outcome and the EU is expecting it, with the public opinion on the continent having moved from “sorry we will miss you” to “good riddance” when it comes to the UK’s exit from the European Union.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 1:52 am | Permalink

      This is GREAT news! It means that both sides now want a clean Brexit. How about 30/06/2020 … or sooner?

  71. acorn
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I take it none of you have read Michel Barnier’s report on Round 3 of the negotiations. It doesn’t read much like a guy who is going to fold his hand of cards on July 1st.

    Reply He clearly wants us to sign a comprehensive Association Agreement which is Exactly what we voted against. He still doesn’t understand the meaning of Leave.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      and you still do not understand the meaning of the European Union.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 1:51 am | Permalink

        We do! That’s why we are LEAVING!

        • Tabulazero
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          If you did you would understand that what the UK is asking out of the EU can only lead to no deal because the EU is not stupid enough to accept it.

          You should therefore not be surprised when it happens and be honnest enough to recognise that this was always the plan.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      I wonder who exactly “we” is supposed to mean?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        use some imagination. Failing that use your memory. We – ie – the majority.
        Forgotten the result of the vote already? OH DEAR.

  72. Sick joke
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “He says that from 1 June up to six people can meet outside, provided those from different households stay two metres apart” BBC.
    Lesson on how to say something deadly serious yet causing extreme laughter and complete disobedience. Something about detail, hard to put you finger on a dead-pan joke when the speaker is off his rocker.

  73. mancunius
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I am beginning to think that it is very much to our advantage as a global trading nation that the EU insists on imposing the same structures on all its 27 members. The EC is institutionally timid, slow and backward-looking – completely incapable of engaging in any genuine competition with the UK. In some small, enterprising EU country a bright government minister might be found who can outline a cunning national plan, but these days he or she will be silenced by he joint political elite’s overriding instinct to shut up and obey, so as not to prejudice the intake of precious subsidies and unrepayable ‘loans’ that has replaced real economic activity in the EU.
    Like Br’er Rabbit, being thrown into ‘briar patch’ is actually just what the UK should be aiming at. I believe Mr Frost may well have understood this, though (like Br’er Rabbit himself) he is too savvy to let on.

  74. mancunius
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    recte ‘being thrown into *the* briar patch’

  75. Elli Ron
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The forces are of Remoaners, Jeremy Hunt, Labour, SNP but mainly the EU itself.
    They are trying to destabilize the government via the Cummings non-issue, to split the hidden pro EU Tory MP’s from the party and create an atmosphere of a crisis, when in truth – there is none.
    Sir Redwood, it is your MP colleagues who must be called on to understand the issues and the fact that rebellion now will mean withholding the whip.

  76. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    With me, you are preaching to the converted. Let us hope that the PM and the parliamentary Conservative Party see it as clearly. You might do well to inform your colleagues that if they don’t show resolve they will pay a heavy price at the polls. Tory is as Tory does. The Brexit Party is not dead but sleeping.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      hopefully with one eye open on the proceedings?

  77. mancunius
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Why is Boris planning to ‘lead’ next week’s EU negotiations? He hasn’t yet fully recovered his mojo, was my view on watching the whole of yesterday’s liason committee: there was far too much bumbling from him. If he’s really planning to ‘lead’ the discussions, he will need vigilant handlers and other cabinet ministers present. And can he really negotiate more robustly and authoritatively than Mr Frost? I doubt it. So why is he there?

    The slightest sign of the PM giving any ground or fudging issues will be pounced on.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      because he wants to come back from the failed negotiation and pretend that he did give his jolly best and that it is all Barnier’s fault that it did not work out in the end.

      In truth, Boris knows already that the talks will fail because the EU would have to be completly stupid to accept the British proposal.

      What happens on the Brexit front is for internal consumption only.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Tabulazero, Making your excuses early?

        • Tabulazero
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

          No. Pining the blame where it rightly belongs.

          You did promise the “easiest trade deal in human history”. It is not looking to be shaping up like this.

    • William Long
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Let’s hope he deals with the EU negotiators as effectively as he dealt with “Laura of the BBC” this afternoon!

  78. David Brown
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    The whole leave supporting comments do make me smile.
    Yes the UK will leave the EU
    Scotland will leave the UK
    A future Government will take England into the EU Customs Union
    The debate about Britain’s independence from the EU will never go away and always keep resurfacing
    Will the UK be able to achieve a trade deal with the Trump US administration before the US elections probably not.
    Will Trump get re-elected possibly??
    Will a US Democrat administration do a free trade deal with UK er probably not
    Will a US Democrat administration do a free trade deal with the EU – yes it will
    Will a future EU be more powerful and dominant than Britain with world trade and profile most definitely yes
    Should the WTO based in Switzerland (an EU Customs Union country) be subject to EU rules most definitely yes.
    OK my thoughts are contrary to the unfair EU criticism that dominates here, however I’m confident that future young voters will eventually over turn this 19th Century middle and old age thinking. Surprisingly Im not left wing Im Tony Blair and David Cameron minded

    • Edward2
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Polls in Scotland show no majority for leaving the UK.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Polls ? Who cares ?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          Well agreed Roy, but it is useful indicator when people like Davud Brown post their ridiculous claims.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Well, you need not fear another vote then, need you?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          Once in a generation….remember that promise?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      how do feel about the Scottish lassie – Nicola Sturgeon?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Phew – ‘I’m Tony Blair or David Cameron minded ‘ That‘s very left wing mate!

  79. steve
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    A resonant article JR.

    Might I suggest we do ourselves a favour by giving the remain biased media a good hiding, starting with the BBC – abolish the licence fee and charge key remain journalists with sedition.

    While we’re at it a number of remain agitators within the Conservative Party should be dismissed.

    Everyone knows who is behind this Cummings business and what their aim is. They need to be dealt with and made an example of.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 3:55 am | Permalink

      Charge key remain journalists with sedition? This is not a good plan at all but certainly the BBC should compete on a fair basis and should stop being the Guardian/Observer/Labour Party/Greta Thunberg’s and the EU’s Propaganda outfit.

  80. Will in Hampshire
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone in the Commission really thinks it’s important. I’m sure they’re sincere when they say they would be pleased to enter into a trade agreement, but I doubt that means they will do so at any price. Given the negotiating position that Mr Frost has adopted, I think the Commission will happily let time pass.

  81. Everhopeful
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I do hope that tonight was the final clap for the NHS.
    As any sensible person might have predicted, it has become increasingly out of control.
    Tonight fireworks in the street and continual car horn hooting.
    It was and is an extremely stupid idea with most unpleasant undertones of coercion and bullying.

  82. Gary
    Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    My reading of it is that the Barnier team is winding things down for the present so by 20th June it’ll be all over- ie. following the Council meeting.

    There’ll be no FTA with them- no point in pretending

  83. MeSET
    Posted May 29, 2020 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    not NNC. BBC. My text gets altered in “Post Comment”. I generally spell ok too

  84. Freeborn John
    Posted May 29, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I understand the U.K. is planning to create its own version of EU “Geographical Inducators” scheme next year. Can the U.K. government please completely abandon protectionist nonsense like that. Companies should allowed to make whiskeys etc and compete on quality without having exclusive use of a name inside a small area to restrict outside competition.

  85. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    A suggestion I am passing on here to help small businesses and get some people of benefits:

    “Small businesses, particularly sole traders, need more help getting their businesses to a stage where they can afford to employ people. I have too much work to handle on my own. I get no benefits and no help whatsoever. If the government could give me a couple of people on benefits to work with me, together we could build the business to a stage where I could afford to get them off benefits, pay them a wage, and even take on more workers.”

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm, once you’ve got them working for you on benefits it’s very hard to see why you’d ever want to progress to the next stage where you take them off benefits. I’m not convinced that you’ve thought this one through. I can believe that you see more work than you can take on in the market, but it doesn’t sound like profitable work if it won’t bear the additional cost of workers to do it.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 30, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        As mentioned, I am passing on a consideration of merit from someone…

        …There may well be people who would take advantage of the situation, but there are also plenty of decent hard working small business people that really need a helping hand at this time

  86. David Webb
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    If we leave on the no deal at the end of the year, the withdrawal agreement still binds our hands in many ways – and it was illegitimate for them to force Britain into all sorts of commitments in the WA without a full trade deal. Is there anything you can do to encourage Mr Johnson not to apply WA provisions of harmonisation of VAT and single-market regulations in Northern Ireland if we leave on the no deal? Those provisions were agreed to solely on the basis that there would be a free-trade deal Canada-style by end-2020. We can agree to inspect food and agricultural trade at British ports before leaving for Ulster, but trade between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland should be monitored away from the border by supervising all companies in Ulster that export to Ireland (and the number is relatively low). Claims that we will still owe billions at the end of the year need to go, and the EU share of British fish should be permanently zero. An Act of parliament can specify that these measures, rowing back on the WA, will apply if we don’t get a trade deal.

    Reply I complained about these measures at the time and proposed their removal by national legislation as they are vexatious. That is what they must do.

  87. na
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    This country will never be the same after this, far from conserve, a nightmare communist revolution has occurred.

  • 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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