UK sovereignty

There seem to be some misunderstandings about what government and Parliament did sign up to as we set out the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

As far as I am concerned I strongly supported Clause 1 of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act 2018 which simply repealed the European Communities Act 1972, the source of all EU power in the UK. The Act then went on to recreate EU powers for a transitional period which I was less happy with.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement Act 2020 contained the all important Clause 38 to reassure people like me that the UK is going to be an independent sovereign state from the date of exit. That Clause as enacted says

“It is recognised that the Parliament of the UK is sovereign. In particular its sovereignty exists notwithstanding…” the provisions of the 2018 Withdrawal Act that had reimported EU powers. “Accordingly nothing in this Act derogates from the sovereignty of the UK”

This was a crucial reassurance, reflected in the Political declaration which committed both parties to negotiating a future relationship that reflected this UK sovereignty. No-one reading either document could be in any doubt that the UK was not signing up then or now to anything which meant the European Court of Justice would decide our fate, nor to anything that meant we had to follow EU laws. The UK did not offer up its fish as some further concession.

The Political Declaration said “It must also ensure the sovereignty of the UK and the protection of its internal market, whilst respecting the result of the 2016 referendum including with regard to the development of its independent trade policy and the ending of free movement of people between the Union and UK”. It went on to explain a Free Trade Agreement with no tariffs would be at the heart of the new relationship.

I find it very odd that some are now making silly allegations about the UK and international Treaties when the UK placed this central point at the heart of all our dealings with the EU over Withdrawal Agreement 2019/20. Either the EU assists in good faith to secure this with a deal, or it will have to accept that the UK can confirm all of this again in primary legislation by way of amendment to the detail of the Withdrawal Act . We can stress again we end Transition EU powers at the end of the so called Implementation period. So far it is the EU that has resiled from the Withdrawal Agreement by not accepting UK sovereignty and not offering the tariff free Free Trade Agreement they signed up to in the Declaration. .

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  1. Adam
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    It is we who control the UK.
    The EU should withdraw from attempting nuisance.

    • Peter
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I am not sure the withdrawal agreement is a big deal.

      If it is not fit for purpose we should just get rid of it.

      I don’t think many Leave voters would be upset.

      • Peter
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Ben Habib has it right. The Withdrawal Agreement was passed when Brexiteers had their backs to the wall. Remain dominated parliament. With an 80 seat majority things are different now.

        Unforeseen ambiguities is a useful ploy to unpick it. Nobody will worry about the UK ignoring the Withdrawal Agreement. The rest of the world has bigger issues to consider.

        Obviously the EU love it because it gives them so much.

        Hopefully it will lead to WTO exit but I would not be surprised if there was a last minute ‘breakthrough’ a Deus Ex Machina or a rabbit pulled out of a hat.

        For Boris, personally, if he fails to deliver a genuine Brexit then he is finished. If he does deliver it he will be riding high again. Popularity does seem to be important to him.

        On the other hand, he might have an escape plan after a year. Lucrative sinecure somewhere. His reputation would be shattered though and any ‘King of the World’ plans would be finished.

        • Andy
          Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          The withdrawal agreement act was passed this January – after the election. Virtually every Tory MP voted for it. Many were new MPs who told not to read it. They were assured, by ministers, they could change later. Senior MPs, like Iain Duncan Smith, voted against MPs having the chance to properly scrutinise the law. Why are you surprised it is rubbish?

          Incidentally, Ben Habib moans about the withdrawal agreement. He doesn’t mention that, as an MEP, he voted for it. All the Brexit Party MEPs did. They then waved Union Jacks in the EU Parliament chamber, jeered at everyone else and then mostly cleared off to the bar. When you send idiots to represent you that is what you get.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            But the EU are determined not to have a deal with the UK so many of the items in the Withdrawal Agreement are void.

          • Peter
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            You completely miss the point.

            If the Withdrawal Agreement does not suit then you change it or abandon it,

            Early compromises can be revisited.

          • NickC
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Andy, The Act was passed in Jan 2020, but the WA itself was a hastily, and only slightly, modified version of Theresa May’s WA based on her and Olly Robbins’ Chequers Remain coup of 2018. It was rubbish, and many of us said so here. But the Remain Parliament ensured it was rubbish. And there was no way the EU would agree a re-negotiation of the WA because they had us over a barrel. As you wanted. Take some responsibility.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink


      Where are all those Conservative MPs demanding and end to this Covid nonsense.


      UK – 3 reported deaths.
      Europe – Reported Covid 19 deaths: 263
      Total population of Europe over 741,000,000 people

      Why is the Government wheeling out all the experts saying cases are rising ‘exponentially’? If you keep testing you’ll get positive tests. Most of these people aren’t ill.

      This is madness. It looks like the Government gearing up for another lockdown. What happened so far has been a disaster.

      Is Boris Johnson aware that Peru went into lockdown before Britain and now has the highest Covid death rate in the world. Much higher than no lockdown Brazil.

      We can’t live our lives behind masks, walking around perspex. It’s crazy. The likes of Jonathan Van-Tam and Chris Whitty seem to like their unelected power far too much.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink


      • TooleyStu
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        +1 from me.

        I have no idea who is running what anymore.

        Spineless, weak, ineffective.
        If I ran my company like that, I would be out of work in a month.

  2. Gunter
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    O dear, if you read it, you didn’t read the Withdrawal Agreement carefully. Look at its Article 4. Look at the Irish Protocol. ECJ oversight plus supremacy of EU law over UK law. That is the oven ready deal. It is what you voted for in the Commons last January. Bit late now to admit you failed to understand it. Embarassing for you

    Reply I fully understood it so helped put Cl 38 into the Withdrawal Act which is the crucial override!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      To reply:- Well done for that crucial override. Can someone perhaps explain this to the BBC/Brussels Broadcasting Corporation?

      • Nigl
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink


      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        From the Telegraph:

        Government warn of fresh national clampdown on household gatherings
        A worrying rise in Covid cases has prompted the Government to review its policy on social gatherings with a limit of six people expected

        What’s this? A dictatorship?

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Bill Cash is a very clever man.
        Constitutional lawyer I believe.

      • rose
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        And LBC and Sky.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      The Right are getting utterly bogged down, obsessing over the symbolic yet immaterial yet again.

      Power is yet another relative entity. Yes, the European Union has it, in some areas of generally pedestrian, machinery-oiling law, but it could never, for instance, ever have imposed a lockdown in this country.

      Grow up.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        But Martin

        That’s all anything is – symbolism.

        Be it currency, values, identity, religion, law, contract and now sexual designation…. all of it is symbolism and the Left is more obsessed with it than anyone else.

        They are attacking our symbols as never before. The latest being their relentless assault on our identity as a decent people via BLM. Yet another murder this week showing that the reverse is the truth.

        And when you do this to an enfranchised population you have to expect things like Brexit to happen.

      • beresford
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Didn’t Macron insist that we impose a lockdown or he was closing the border?

        • rose
          Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          And didn’t he requisition one of our lorries full of PPE?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        When the biggest crisis hit Europe and the UK the EU ran away and hid.
        No leadership, no helpful co ordination.
        Probably because the people in charge are all failed national politicians previously rejected by voters in their own countries.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          several EU countries did their own thing, lockdowns, seizing supplies destined for other nations, closing airports and flights…Where was coordination of the super-being 27 then?

        • bill brown
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          you mean just like the UK government and their COvid and 12 other u-turns?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            When events change then policies need to change.
            Same in government as it is in commerce.

            You and the BBC call these changes U turns.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Adapted changes do not make me luagh. You must be joking

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            I wouldn’t want to make you laugh bill.

            I never said “adapted changes”
            I just said policies change as events require change.
            If that does’t happen people say the government isnt listening or the government is intransigent.
            When they do alter their policies people say it’s a U turn and the government is rudderless.
            It is just media game.
            Headline seeking.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        So what control is it wanting so insistently to keep Martin?
        Why should the EU have the decision on what UK taxpayer-provided State aid is spent on? What ‘entity’ makes that their decision?

        Most of the Brexiteers I know are left-wing.

      • Normal Person
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        To say the Right (i.e. normal people) are “obsessing over the symbolic” is a bit rich coming from a socialist. It’s all you guys ever do, waving your red banners and singing your rousing hymns to hero-myths of Marx, Lenin and Mao.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink


      Here’s a clarification from Professor Steve Peers, EU and Human Rights law

      ‘The main purpose of the new Act is to implement the revised withdrawal agreement in the UK. This was necessary given that the UK is a ‘dualist’ country, where international treaties are not enforceable in the domestic legal system unless there is domestic legislation to give effect to them.’

      Sir John contends that the UK Act is what gives the Withdrawal Agreement force, but limited by the Act.

      I see trouble ahead.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Article 16
      1. If the application of this Protocol leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade, the Union or the United Kingdom may unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures.

      I think we can argue that the application of the parts of the Protocol we are concerned about (state aid and aspects of the Irish protocol relating to prevention of free movement of goods within the UK) have the potential to lead to serious societal difficulties in perpetuity and can therefore be discarded as a pre-emptive safeguarding measure.

    • acorn
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      If Section 38 is ever used we will be able to twin the UK with Belarus. The HoL would have to come to the rescue. Section 29 of the new Act provides for possible parliamentary debate over a some new EU exit measures, but the government is now not bound by the result of any parliamentary debate. From now on Treaties are purely a Downing Street “executive” prerogative.

      Section 26 of the 2020 Act is the biggy. Parliament has given the Downing Street “executive”, extensive power to tell courts in the UK how they may or must depart from CJEU case law. This is the ‘sort out the judges’ clause and all that EU socialist employment protection nonsense.

      BTW. There is a severe lack of understanding on the status of the Withdrawal Agreement. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (WAA) is the UK legislation that gives effect in domestic law to the Withdrawal Agreement which sets out how the UK will leave the EU on exit day. The WAA received Royal Assent on 23 January 2020 and the government has now ratified the Withdrawal Agreement, WHICH IS AN INTERNATIONAL TREATY. The Withdrawal Agreement has also been ratified by the EU. (HT: Simmons & Simmons – Brexit: UK legislation: recent developments)

      • Edward2
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        It isn’t an international treaty.
        It is called an agreement.
        And negotiations are continuing.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          How long can a refusal to agree be called an Agreement?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

            I agree Fred.
            I said several years ago that EU have no intention of doing a deal with the UK.
            We have to be punished to deter the others from wanting to leave.

      • NickC
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Acorn, The UK is now – so Remains keep saying – out of the EU. By 1 Jan 2021 we really will be out (at least we must thank Boris for that). So we are independent, or about to be. Even the WA itself, as well as the WAA insists on that. As a result we will continue to depart from CJEU case law. And we won’t be obeying the EU. Why are you surprised by that? And why do you persist in the failed Remain strategy of sneering at our independence?

    • Jake
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      To reply- is it true John- what they’re saying about us on news programmes they’re saying we’ve become a rogue state? I’ve got calls from friends overseas but don’t know how to answer

      • mancunius
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        The best answer to your ‘friends overseas’ is to point out that any ‘news programme’ that bandies such childish and emotive insults is not really a news programme at all. You could also explain the concept of national sovereignty and the right every country has in international law to abrogate, alter, develop or commute any agreements that restrict its sovereign freedom. Clause 38 expressly gives us this right, as does the clear refusal of the EU to recognize our rights under international – to fishing grounds, borders, and freedom of law.

        If no treaties could be unilaterally altered, France would still be bound by the Vichy Treaty of 1940.

      • NickC
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Jake, “Rogue state” is Remain for “normal sovereign independent state”.

  3. Mark B
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We were also told that joining the then EEC would mean no loss in significant sovereignty. We were also told that membership of the EEC was nothing more than a trade agreement. We have been lied to time and time again, so why should anyone trust what the government says ?

    Our transition period was for just two years. Again, we were told, some 108 times, that we were defiantly
    Leaving, only to find out that, do the umpteenth time we asked for an extension. So more lies !

    The Tories are pulling the same old trick. Pretending that they are negotiating a trade agreement but in truth, as some pointed out yesterday, a political agreement. To me that can only mean one thing, an Association Membership / Agreement of the EU.

    I voted to Leave. I was born into a free and independent country and I want die in one.

    • Andy
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      The EU is essentially a trade club – but it comes with huge additional benefits over those of a standard trade club. For example, British pensioners benefited from the right to retire to Spain. And many did. In return we allowed young Spaniards to work here for a few years. Those pensioners in Spain benefited from reciprocal health rights – meaning they received the save level as care as locals, and the NHS paid. Young Spaniards, less likely to need health care, get the same benefit here as kicks and Spain’s health system pays.

      I also wonder sovereignty did you lose? Brexiteers like to complain about sovereignty but they can never point to examples of things the EU stopped us from doing. Health, education, transport, housing are all dealt with in Westminster – though often not very well. We control our own police service, our own courts, we have our own judges and English law. Scottish law in Scotland. We retained the power to declare war – the ultimate power. We controlled our own borders – deciding who could and could not come in. So what sovereignty did you lose? The answer is none.

      And having voted to leave you will be pleased to learn that you left. It is ironic that you claim to want to be free and yet leaving has taken away more freedoms from Britons than have ever been removed in one go. I have been an EU citizen all my adult life. I will die one too. When the UK has apologised, rejoined and jailed the perpetrators.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Pensioners retired to Spain back in the 1970s

        EU laws regulations and directives affect nearly every aspect of UK life.
        Taxes, government budgets, health and safety, internet security, importation of chemicals, how many hours we can work and law in general which sees us overruled by the EU courts.
        All major powers are controlled by the EU.

        You enjoy the EU.
        Just as many similar to you liked the USSR.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          USSR, this was a military occupation, so stop you utter nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            Military occupation?
            The USSR was a huge empire that ruled through socialism and was led by an unelected elite.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          it was a military dictaturship ruling by so-called socialist rules

          • NickC
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            No, Bill, the USSR was a soviet socialist dictatorship, not a military dictatorship. The military were subject to the Party – for example it was the Politburo and NKVD who were responsible for the Katyn massacre, not the Red Army, even in war time.

        • Newmania
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Putin was a keen supporter of Brexit and he was not the most embarrassing fellow traveller

          • NickC
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            And Obama was a keen supporter of Remain.

      • NickC
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Andy, The EU is essentially not a trade club. It’s an empire, as some of its own eurocrats admit. Not only does the EU steal fish from the UK, but it also takes away rights from all countries, such as the right of Spain to refuse entry to whoever rolls up on its doorstep.

        All legislation in Brussels takes away the right to make our own (or not make our own) legislation in our own Parliament as an independent nation. Didn’t you even know that? Leaves have frequently pointed out that CFP, CAP, CCP, CFSP, etc, etc, etc, all remove our sovereignty. The fact you’ve failed to take any notice is your problem.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Correction; ‘WE WERE TOLD JOINING THE COMMON MARKET/EU WOULD MEAN NO LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY’. In fact that is true. Westminster could have repealed the Act anytime, as it has done, and stop sub-contracting the Governance of this Country to an Alien, unfriendly power.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:03 am | Permalink

        No ! I heard it from the words of Edward Heath. No ‘significant’ loss of sovereignty.

  4. Len Peel
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Wow! The PD is not binding. The EU has offered a tariff freedeal – plus level playing field. How can you not know this? It’s basic stuff

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      They are not offering a level playing field, they are exploiting Eastern Europeans with low wages.

    • dixie
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      One issue is that the field is not level and is under EU control. Sorry that’s two, so here’s a third issue – France and Germany have given significantly more state aid than the UK, 2 to 4 times more, yet there has been no punishment, constraint, anything.

      Of the total state aid approved by the EU commission this year for Covid, 47% approved for Germany and 2.8 – 4% approved for the UK. This is during the transition period so we are still constrained and the EU has demonstrated it’s clear attitude, intent and true role.

      EU control will continue to be anti-UK, solely there to hobble the UK so how would it be rational for us to accept it?

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


        Correct…the levers and wheels within Brussels are fully controlled by Germany and less so France interests….seems the UK is just starting to come to grips with this tacit European understanding.

        Today’s comment section in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Times lookalike) is a surprising 60% positive towards the UK stance with regards to the UK’s need for full “unambiguous” sovereignty.

        There is a growing, grudgingly, respect for the British people’s decision to leave the EU (and its uber pompous Brussels elite)

        Beyond the EU controlled Media, via German and French governments, German people in particular are starting to look at Britain with some envy?

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      What is the PD?

      • rose
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        The Political Declaration attached to the Withdrawal Agreement.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        probably ‘political disaster’.

    • NickC
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Len Peel, The “level playing field” simply means EU control over the UK. The very thing we voted to remove. How can you not know this? It’s basic stuff.

  5. agricola
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Whatever the legality of the situation, and I do not doubt what you say, the EU wish to be seen to punish the UK. They do this to discourage the other 27 members from ever contemplating following our course and leaving.

    This is arrogant, but also displays a weakness in their concept of a future EU that some members might find unacceptable. It is a withdrawal to the keep.

    Providing Boris and Lord Frost stick with what they announced yesterday all will be settled by mid October. Odds are it will be no deal as I see that Mr Varadca has been resurected to bleat about the inadequacies of the Irish border. In reality a tool for illogical discent, but indicative that the EU still desire to dilute our sovereignty.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink


    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink


    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      If the ‘settlement’ is No Deal, why do we have to wait until mid-October? Businesses must be given preparation time and infrastructure must be put in place. I suspect that ‘mid-October’ will be moveable until we are told there is ‘no option’ but another extension.

    • Sarah Tun
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Quite simply, we must “hold our course”.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        No we shouldn’t be on this course or even this field of battle – we voted leave i.e WTO deal

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink


    I note that the BBC are, in the main, taking the EU line on this issue.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Don’t watch it and I am minded to no longer fund it! They can “keep off my land!!”

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–It beggars belief how true that is–and at a time when the BBC is under pressure such that one might have expected them to pipe down. Perhaps the new chappie in charge can change things. Here’s hoping.

  7. Nigl
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    And we see the pro EU Thunderer this morning stirring up trouble saying senior conservatives are against Boris’s tinkering with the agreement on the basis that it will put other countries off trade deals.

    Project fear continues. We don’t believe you.

    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      It’s more Remainer horse feathers of course. The WA is not a trade agreement and we are not separating from any other entity in the world. Most people recognise that the WA is a bad agreement forced on us by the Rotten Parliament who said that there must be a ‘deal’ at any price, and no other country in the world would consider that they had to follow it religiously. Does anyone think that the French would just adhere to such a one-sided document? Our reward was to be a fair and equitable FTA, but of course the EU reneged on that as soon as the ink was dry.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      +1 – we don’t believe you

  8. dixie
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Related to sovereignty, a bit – could you discuss state aid in an upcoming blog?

    I think it would be much easier for HMG to pull the wool over the electorate’s eyes with state aid arrangements than say fishing and there will be a lot of pressure to give way on something to have some sort of FTA.

    It also can never be acceptable for us to slavishly follow EU rules and be subject to their control, the (pseudo) level playingfield, particularly given how “creative” Germany and France have been with these rules.

    So what is the proposal? I can see why there might need to be some constraint/visibility over state aid with all countries we trade with, not just the EU. But how will this work while retaining sovereignty and an ability to support and develop our economy as we wish.

    Or will we simply tack close to WTO on this and avoid prohibited subsidies.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      State aid really amounts to having an overall identical business tax regime to the EU.
      Presumably the EU could stop us offering state aid to, let’s say a Google or Dyson who wished to set up or expand here to make hydrogen cars by placing a stop on aid to any hydrogen related products and declaring them hazardous. All in the interests of the prevailing EU car industry. We know not what the future will bring.

      It’s an attempted stitch up and will stop us moving forward.

      • dixie
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        I agree that under no circumstances can the EU have any unilateral control over our internal affairs, including state subsidies.

        I would like our government to be able to support and favour UK native enterprises.

        But CETA includes a section on state aid as does the WTO framework so I am interested in our host’s views on the matter.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Dear dixie–I remember one of my first Economics lessons (aged about 1o) when I learnt that State Aid not all bad even for the likes of the EU with some of its outfits facing unfair competition because at least the goods in question will be cheaper for the consumer. Jobs very important of course but not everything.

    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    It seems we are under attack from both without and from within.

    Those without like Merkel, Barnier and the Irish Taoiseach seem determined to place limitations on our ability to operate independently on all matters once we have departed Germany’s sphere of economic and political influence.

    Those within like Parliamentary politicians, certain Ministries, the authorities, the BBC, BLM, Labour Marxists, Tory socialists, the media and every other grubby progressive infection seem intent on placing limitations on our ability to express our views on all matters

    We are fully exposed to a tsunami of illiberal bigotry and leftist intimidation using threat, condemnation and propaganda

    Why is Freedom, liberty and open debate now so reviled by the political class in the UK? Do they find it inconvenient to their cause?

    Our freedoms have slowly been eroded away since 1997 by both the EU and all politicians who have deliberately undermined the British culture of free expression to protect their own position and to preserve their party’s leverage

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink


      • agricola
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        As I wrote this Kay Burley of Sky was trying to talk down a minister who admitted he didn’t know Tony Abbot. The woman is obsessed with supposed mysoginism and homophobia, where did her life go wrong. A classic example of one member of the establishment trying to tell us what to think. There are no doubt lots of other people out there who might agree with Tony Abbot even if I do not.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink


      Dominic has fast become my hero.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed. What or who is the answer?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Farage and a new party might be.

    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Your freedom and liberty are inconvenient to the global establishment as you use it to frustrate their wishes (e.g Brexit). By breaking up the democratic consensus which took 1000 years to form in this country and by sowing rancour and division they can make this country ungovernable except under their direct rule.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Since 1972…. but we have recovered ourselves. Celebrate that Dominic! And thank John and the few (who always voted against Mrs Mays WA surrender deal) to whom we owe everything.
      You know at Maastricht only 1 Tory MP abstained – and that was a victory. Rupert Allison. The brutish bullying and threats in the House of Commons under Major are literally incredible – you cannot credit it!
      So that puts the stand and the Victory delivered by the Minority Heroic MPs who delivered the EU Withdrawal Agreement 2018 into perspective. Their names rank with Nelson and Wellington.

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

        Oops, I meant to specify that no Tory MP voted against Maastricht and that Rupert locked himself in his flat, curtains drawn, no phone answered, until the vote was over in order to ‘achieve’ an abstention. If he wrote about it in one of his novels, you would not believe it.
        Chris Gill have a taster in ‘The Bastards’, in the usual understated English gentlemanly way.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


  10. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    But yesterday still seems to have been a ‘Comms’ mess. I’ll re-state my belief that there’s a need for a Constitutional ‘Line of Operation’ on the government’s Brexit campaign plan to get us through the next few months. Why don’t you pop into JRM’s office and ask for a peek? I bet he won’t have one.

  11. Nigl
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    The U.K. Agrees a hard border in the Irish Channel which will maintain full alignment etc with the laws of the EU and rules of the Customs Union to protect the integrity of the Peace treaty.

    So Northern Ireland will not be independent, thus not the whole of the UK?

    No comment from you Sir. A deliberate omission or is my understanding wrong?

    Reply I have repeatedly said we must either get rid of that feature with an FTA or legislate in the UK . Cl 38 is crucial.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      Thank you. We are now told the ramifications re NI were not understood at the time. Strewth. Something as important as that not understood? In fact it was the subject of my criticism as soon as it was signed and we got Government waffle about how everything was going to be ok. Indeed I recall Arlene Foster saying they had been sold out.

      I think it is obvious Boris winged it, signing up to it to get the whole thing out of the way, claim a great success and trounce labour.

      If it wasn’t flawed you wouldn’t now be relying on 38 and having to initiate UK unilateral amending legislation.

      • Gunter
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        John Redwood was one of the MPs who voted to shorten debate on the Withdrawal Agreement on the basis everyone fully understood it!

      • Richard1
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        It is clear what Boris did was take out the worst bit of May’s deal – the backstop – to get it through parliament and get Brexit done. Now it’s down to interpretations of contradictory clauses. 2 things I’d note – one is the gross immorality of the EU attempting to stir up tensions on the Irish border, given the violent history, in order to achieve a political objective. And the second is if Bill Cash’s ‘get out of gaol’ clause 38 stands up in court – or legal opinion suggests that it will – he should be made a duke.

        • Mark B
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

          The Backstop was s ruse. Everyone at the time knew it.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Tell us your answer, oh wise one, given the total hash that T May made of this over 3 years.

      • Andy
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        The ramifications were understood at the time. Experts told you the ramifications. Remainers told you the ramifications. The DUP told you the ramifications. So did Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid, businesses, unions.

        But when you were told about the ramifications you all said it was ‘project fear’.

        Enjoy your border.

        • beresford
          Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Remainers in the Rotten Parliament insisted that there must be a ‘deal’ in an attempt to stymie Brexit. In order to get round that roadblock it was necessary to temporarily ‘sell out’ the DUP. If we ever leave the ROI will follow in a few years and then they can have a trade agreement with us and all will be well on the Emerald island.

        • NickC
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Andy, Enjoy your EU border, because the UK is not having one. And it was Leaves, both lawyers and activists, who pointed out the Remain flaws in May’s Chequers White Paper that became the basis of her WA. Not the bunch of Remains which you list. Remains in fact lapped up the May WA, though like you, they did not think the capitulations to the EU went far enough.

      • Hope
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Nigel, therefore part of the U.K. is bound by EU rules, court etc. and has not left the EU. N.Ireland is in its custom union. Lawyers for Britain spelt out the disaster of the WA and PD. JR, Are you claiming they and your PM are wrong? Johnson tried to fudge by saying N. Ireland had the best of both worlds and would ultimately to continue to stay in or reject.

        The DUP were clear at the betrayal of your PM.

        Please clarify JR.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Lots of discussion on the BBC about the weather/climate in the USA. It this caused by “Climate Change” one fool asked? So is “climate change” caused by “climate change” she wanted to know? Where do they get these damn fools from? Ads in the Guardian one assumes?

    Will someone tell these one sided, deluded, alarmists at the BBC that the “climate” has always changed and always will. The questions that need to be asked are:- Is Anth. CO2 going to causes a climate catastrophe? Do the solutions proposed (renewables, electric cars etc) to reduce anth. CO2 make any significant difference? Is spending £ billions on these solutions better than spending it in other far more sensible and effective (for the good of humanity) ways.

    The answers are no, no and not even close.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Then the BBC give us one of their rather deluded favourites – Yanis Varoufakis taking complete & utter drivel on Newsnight while pushing his new book.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        I feel better every day now that I no longer have a TV licence and, therefore, do not watch BBC content or any live television.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Newsnight (last night) went into great detail explaining the end-of-the-world covid infection increase rates……but didn’t once mention that the UK death rate was 3

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:46 am | Permalink

          Indeed though it was a Monday about 10 a day average last time I looked, Out of about 1200 deaths a day in total.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Ya is is pretty good on the analysis then draws the diametrically opposite conclusion. Amazing really. Should have been a lawyer.

      • steve
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink


        Yeah well, the idea was that RoI would make a grab for NI, and the french would grab the fish.

      • steve
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink


        Well what can you expect from BBC these days ? other than utter shy*e

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Then yet a couple of weeks ago, buried deep on the BBC web site the BBC offered scientific proof that the World has had more CO2 than it has now and higher temperatures to boot.

      If that wasn’t enough the BBC at the same time produced a scientific report that in parts of the World with the drive to cut CO2 it could cause crops to fail and a 5 fold increase in food prices by 2050. Basic science reduce CO2 you reduce plant growth.

      Those stories unfortunately don’t feed into the BBC/Guardian agenda to support the actions of the terrorist in extension rebellion

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      In a sense, whether atmospheric carbon dioxide is caused by human activity or not is a simple red herring.
      The real questions are:
      1. Can we control climate change?
      2. Can we mitigate its effects?
      3. If so, at what costs?

      The answers are “no”, “maybe” and “we don’t know”.

      Until we know answers to the second and third questions, climate doom-mongering, and the government’s climate policy are pointless distractions, possibly leading to enormous economic self-harm.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink


  13. David_Kent
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    That sounds OK. Which are the bits of the Withdrawal Agreement that you don’t like? Are you happy that we are on the right track now?

    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Might be quicker to ask which bits JR DOES like. The only benefit to us was the EU commitment to work for a fair FTA, and that turned out to be worth less than the magic beans that Jack got in exchange for the family cow.

    • rose
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      We didn’t actually need a withdrawal agreement and it was folly to have one. I would guess Sir John is only in favour of the bits which limit the damage.

  14. Nigl
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    ‘Brexit deal never made sense’ says the person that signed it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Many of us agree. Pretty well anything stitched together by T May made no sense. But the alternative would have been to start over again which would have taken ages and the EU wouldn’t have accepted either.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Well such was the position he and the party were in. Thanks to the appalling Theresa (9% support) May. The Hillary Benn Act traitors and all the many Libdims in the Conservative Party.

      Why one earth did Boris let some of the Traitors back in and even put some of them into the Lords? It is not as if the Lords is lacking in appalling, pro EU lefty dopes. It is stuffed full of them.

      • rose
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Why on earth did he give NI to Brandon Lewis? Is he a sleeper?

  15. Richard1
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Feels like it will end up in court after no Deal. There are clearly different interpretations. The EU thinks the WA Irish protocol enables it to insist on political subjugation.

    • blake
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      The proposed amendment to the Irish Protocol is just a red herring it will never be agreed to by the Irish Caucus in Washington. Don’t forget If all else fails we’ll still need that sweet deal with the US?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      What Court? We will live under British law once again.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Richard, Britain is accused of not respecting the peace treaties in Ireland but Ireland surely wants to keep the peace and common travel area, voting rights, free passage and the rest from the United Kingdom too? Just what has the Ireland Protocol tied the UK up to? It confuses me all this, what did Ireland give to the UK for its Independence? What did any Country formerly within the British Empire – give up or give control over to the UK when leaving?

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Well Charles Moore wrote, quite correctly in my view, that the Dublin Agreement which acted as the basis for the WA and PD was a “complete capitulation”. If we are to leave the EU unfettered then the only way is by No Deal, and completely ditching the WA. Boris thought he could keep on board the Remainers and dupe the Leavers. He managed to dupe you, Sir John, I fear, and the other Brexiteers. You apparently trusted him. Many, including me, did not.

      • Iago
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink


    • bill brown
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      Allservants of the EU, if you feel like that , we should really feel sorry for you or is it just fake news?

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    William Hague wrong yet again in the Telegraph telegraph.

    A Brexit agreement beckons if No 10 stops being so stubborn about state aid. The UK spends less than other European economies on bail-outs, so why insist on the right to change this?

    Because we must be free of all EU controls Hague you dope – a free nation totally in control of its own affairs. We may choose to limit state aid but that is our choice not theirs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      At least we get sense from Charles Moore.

      The EU must climb down from its Irish high horse.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      It is true there is much less of a dirigiste tradition in the U.K. can we imagine a U.K. govt giving £9bn to BA and encouraging it to make acquisitions as Germany has done, and the EU has allowed, in the case of Lufthansa?

      But I think the point is if the U.K. agrees to the EUs state aid rules with EU courts to define their scope, we will find in the future that the justification of state aid and level playing fields is used by the EU to opine on and interfere with U.K. policies and laws in all manner of areas, including tax.

      It will come down to legal opinions I guess as to whether what was signed up to in the WA is actually binding come what may. If it turns out it is, then Brexit supporting MPs have screwed up by agreeing to it.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Spot on. He is transparently pro EU and his utterings under the guise of a ‘wise old head’ prove it. I am surprised that they haven’t dusted off Heseltine and Major to give us ‘one more laugh’ or more like ‘cry’

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Exactly, another EU toady. I didn’t read beyond the title because certainly we need scope to support our poorest regions with state aid, and the EU will clearly change their rules to further ruin us if we followed “Hague’s way”

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      So did the UK goverment give over how UK state aid as 0.7% of GDP was spent to the EU (when did that happen, what treaty) and the EU expect to retain that spending? Who then chooses how state aid is spent, what committee who elected them? How do they justify this?

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Its a mess alright

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh I see! not International state aid, state aid in respect of bailing out UK business, yet when it suits other EU Countries they bail out their partially governmental owned sectors at will without recourse. We need to get a lot smarter and copy these work arounds.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–For the second time recently I have scarcely been able to believe what Hague has written, and so prominently. Thank God (I don’t think) that he is on our side. The Telegraph should broom him forthwith.

    • JohnK
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Hague is a big disappointment.

      He used to say he wanted to be “in Europe but not ruled by Europe”, which in my opinion was to miss the entire point of EU membership.

      But now, he seems to want to be “out of Europe but still ruled by Europe”, which is borderline insane.

      We are out of the EU, and will run our own country as we see fit. We can have a free trade agreement with the EU so long as it does not affect our ability to govern ourselves. The EU cannot agree to this, because they seem unable to come to terms with the fact that we have left the EU. What Hague does not seem to understand is that being in the EU is all about being ruled by the EU. We are out, and whilst we are very happy to trade with them, they will never rule us again.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink


  17. Stred
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    If the level playing field is aligned with the one operated by Germany Italy and France, it will be sloping. Start with energy pricing and use of lignite or the skewing of CAP subsifies or support for steel and aircraft manufacturing.

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      They never understood Cricket either in both letter and spirit nor the concepts of reasonableness and fair play. Their modus operandi is take but no giving!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Dear Stred–Not to mention Germany’s skinny contribution to Nato–they somehow manage to play a blinder on that despite our always hearing how they are such a mighty economic force.

  18. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Thank you for the update and clarification.

    Did anyone tell Barnier what he agreed to, or is it really about, delay, hindrance and punish.

    Then again if we see the WA and the PD as you say, why is the right for the ECJ to rule on our internal affairs and fishing to needed to be under EU control before any other discussion takes place.

    As we find out daily the EU makes new rules each day to enforce what it sees as a dominate position on others.

  19. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Todays MsM is full of hysteria on the WA. With Barnier threatening to walk if we don’t accept his interpretation of it.

    It is Barnier that is making up new preconditions as part of his delaying tactic. It is Barnier that is unable to accept the WA. So who should walk?

    Barnier and his EU masters is about punish, punish again. Clearly they are not looking to forge a new mutually beneficial agreement.

  20. They Work for Us?
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The most worrying thing is the assertion that International Treaties (signed up to by governments usually without any reference to the electorate) cannot be overruled by domestic legislation. How can the people of a country be free to set their own course. Once again we see that some matters are too important to be decided by government on our behalf. Pass a simple law stating that UK domestic legislation does have supremacy over International Law.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      I like that approach – UK domestic law should be supreme

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I am sure we are going to have plenty of disagreements about interpretation with the Eu in the next few years, probably forever.

    Thus we cannot have the European Court as the Judge and Jury, and why we have to be a Sovereign Nation in our own right.

  22. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Never forget the WA at the time of signing had to get through a remain parliament that had a minority government.

    That’s the reason we have a new government and the agenda is getting back to what the people voted for a simple ‘Clean Break’

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink


    • bill brown
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink


      we signed a deal and we should stick to it no if’s or but’s

      • Edward2
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        No deal has ever been signed.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          no but an agreement was signed and we should stick to that agreement

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            The Withdrawal Agreement is dependent on the UK and the EU reaching a deal.

    • Gunter
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      This is 100 per cent wrong. The WA was passed by Parliament in Januuary 2020. It is Boris’s deal, it is exactly the oven ready deal that gave Boris his 80 seat majority

      • NickC
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Gunter, That is 100 per cent wrong. The revised WA was negotiated in autumn 2019 and passed by the European Council on 17 Oct 2019. Well before the Dec 2019 election and Boris’s 80 seat majority.

  23. Newmania
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Um…well I guess those people who belonged to UKIP will say ” Jolly good … that sounded clever”It is fact the usual ” cat ate my homework” irrelevant waffle we have all got used to. . The point of the agreement Boris agreed on the N Ireland/Mainland border was to solve the All Ireland hard border problem , he and his incompetent chums forgot about ,when they were calculating that they would personally benefit from Brexit and all it would cost was ordinary people `s jobs .
    Clearly the EU cannot have an open back door into its market so if the UK will not have a border in the Irish sea the must be one across Ireland
    This was a climb down , if you recall , that Thersa May would not make as it would effectively break up the UK ( and her own reliance on ” Come On Arlene ” )
    Now Boris has realised that his magic border works no better in the Irish Sea than it did on Ireland and in fact the only place it works is in the dim little mind of some little Kipper fantasists .
    So what is his solution …pretend he never agreed it , hope he can somehow cheat and lie his way through it.
    What you have got essentially is Blundering Boris and Reality … never seen in the same room

    • Edward2
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      What on Earth are you rambling on about?
      Unreadable nonsense.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      There is no more need for a border between Ireland and the UK than ever before unless the EU so wishes.

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Newmania, How is a soft N.I./Eire border an “open back door into [the EU’s] market”? It isn’t an open door at present when taxation, customs, money and laws are already completely different. So why will it suddenly be an open door from Jan 2021? Will the police and customs officials suddenly stop working?

  24. Andy
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement is a legally binding international treaty. It is now enshrined in UK law thanks to the Withdrawal Agreement Act, which nearly every Conservative MP voted for and nearly every other MP voted against.

    The Withdrawal Agreement was negotiated by Brexiteers. It was signed by Boris Johnson who led the leave campaign. It is Brexit. It is also rubbish.

    Incidentally, the legally binding withdrawal agreement treaty also enshrines in law the jurisdiction of the ECJ in certain cases – particularly, but not exclusively, related to Northern Ireland. So, the UK will still be subjected to EU rules.

    Not that it matters anyway because it was the European Court of Human Rights which you didn’t like and we’re not leaving that.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Why is it called an Agreement and not a Treaty?
      Why are we still in transition negotiating towards a final agreement?
      Do you know?

    • rose
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Do you even know what a Brexiteer is? Gavin Barwell, Ollie Robbins, and Teresa May negotiated the WA. The Traitors’ Parliament then made it impossible for Boris to do anything other than limited revision because they took away our power to opt for WTO on exit by passing an illegitimate directive through the offices of a bent Speaker.

    • anon
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Totalitarian states relying on bad law to supplant freedom.
      No parliament can bind the next.
      We have the rejected the EU law & ECJ supremacy. We will change our politicians and laws to suit.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Let’s magic up that Canada agreement which Tusk agreed to and accuse the EU of reneging on that offer to get us to sign a WA shall we?
      I’d call that mis selling and want compensation in court.
      Never mentioned of course that those goalposts have been moved.

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Andy, Part of the WA (2019), and part of the WAA (2020) stipulate that the UK is to be accepted by the EU as a sovereign, independent, third country. The EU clearly has not accepted that. The EU is therefore acting in bad faith – something else that the WA abjures, but the EU ignores. As well as ignoring UNCLoS, of course. Frankly, the EU appears besotted by its own power, and will rat on any undertaking to maintain it. As we can see.

  25. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Retention of the UK Single market is critical here and that single market should give unhindered access to move goods throughout the UK. There is no rider here which says “unless terrorist threats point to a need to restrict the scope of the UK single market”.

  26. Richard1
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    It is excellent news that the Government have convinced the distinguished former Australian PM, a great friend and ally of the U.K., to assist with trade policy. And excellent that the shrill and irrelevant complaints of assorted leftists and Luvvies (the second almost always a subset of the first) have been ignored.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Tony Abbott that is

  27. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Well done on getting that clause included…

    I still find it amazing that there are still people in this country that cannot recognize what the EU is — Its failures and corrupt ways are invisible to some… The EU is a dire mistake when it comes to considering what the future should be.

    It’s morals are flexible. It bullies rather than negotiate. It protects the elite against real inspection of their activities. It interferes in other states, and uses bribery widely. It spreads its own fake news through the likes of the BBC, and yet it pretends to be for people.

    This entity built on lies and false ideals does not deserve to exist.

    As someone once said, IF THE EU WAS THE ANSWER, then THE question was clearly incomprehensible

    • rose
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      I suspect a lot of these people are paid by the EU in one way or another.

  28. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Lawyers for Britain say we don’t have to pay the so called divorce bill as the EU has manifestly not negotiated in good faith.
    They have made no concessions only demands.
    Are you agreeing it should be paid.

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

      Sir John has never agree it should be paid.

  29. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The UK entrepreneurial company Gravitricity Ltd has announced plans to build a non-battery scheme to store renewable energy from the UK’s world-leading offshore wind and solar power plants. Ultimately, using the interconnectors, if this works we will be able to export vast amounts of electricity to the EU.

    The company have announced that construction has commenced on the world’s first prototype gravity storage plant. Their design involves using excess renewable wind energy produced at night and solar energy during the day to repeatedly raise and release two 25tonne masses – thus storing the energy for availability on demand, with a one second response time. The plant will be a demonstrator of the feasability of such schemes and will provide operational research data to be used in scaling-up to larger plants and ultimately, grid scale storage.

    Below is a link to a website where the details can be seen

    Pip Pip!!

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, Have you done the calculation to determine what mass is required to power the UK grid on a cold winter night (all 16 hours of it)? For a 5km deep bore (which is pretty deep, and will give rise to earth quakes and water contamination, at least in construction) and 90% efficiency, you need about 36 million tonnes for a continuous 28GW output. So that would be 100,000 bore holes each with a 360 tonne mass. And that is current winter demand, without battery cars and without electric home heating. And no export. Good luck with that.

      • Sakara Gold
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Nobody envisages the gravity system to provide the total electricity demand for the UK. Baseline power will be provided by new nuclear, wind and solar as present – when it’s available. These systems will store surplus power with an 80-90% efficiency to be used on demand to balance the grid and put power back into the system when the wind doesnt blow – which is rare in the UK in winter

        I believe the company plans to build these systems cheaply using decommissioned deep mine shafts, of which the UK has large numbers – the excavation work has already been done.

        • NickC
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          Sakara, You have not understood my calculations. The 28GW I used is not the total UK electricity demand at night as you seem to think. I had already allowed 20% for Nuclear (ie: 35GW total). But there are quite often cold still nights in the UK in winter. So no Wind, and obviously no Solar. And no Gas or Coal by your own hypothesis. So you are wrong, as a back up under the conditions you specify, 28GW is required. Much more if electricity is used for home heating and battery cars.

          Moreover the deepest UK mineshafts were around 1km, well short of the 5km needed for the mass calculated. Many of the mineshafts are unsuitable anyway due to collapses and flooding. If you’re insisting on existing 1km mineshafts you would need 500,000 of them. Even that gives only 16 hours back up. As a minor (!!) contributor they are feasible. As a full 16 hour back-up where we have few Nuclear, and no fossil fuel plants, they are just not practical. As is usual with green “technology”.

  30. Know-Dice
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    The “story” from the BBC seems to be that the rhetoric from the UK Government over that last few days is for domestic consumption rather than Brussels.

    I hope that they are wrong…

  31. George Brooks.
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    These ardent ”Remainers” would, if they had their way, destroy this country and together with the ‘lefties and Marxists etc’ kill off all democracy’ and drag us back under the EU dictatorship.

    We voted to leave in 2016 and they then spent three and half years trying every which-way to derail and destroy Brexit. They got and even clearer message on 12th December 2019 that we wish to regain our sovereignty but they have no intention to recognise this. So we will have a series of these twisted reports backed up with ‘fake news’ and ‘project fear’ from now and until well into next year.

    Until the new DG of the BBC can clear out the bigoted rubbish in it’s editorial departments it will continue to be the lead mouth piece of this undemocratic bunch. If it hadn’t been for the pandemic this might have happened by now and the EU might have understood the meaning of and our desire to be an independent state

  32. Anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    PHE is going to limit the size of a burger “for the good of your health.” I expect the price will remain the same.

    Fanks, PHE ! You really DO care about us, after all.

    If the aim is to make poor dietary choice more expensive I’d have thought a litter tax on fast food would have been more convincing and better supported by the public.

    The people that eat this baby food are as slovenly about litter as they are diet. Drive thru’s should be banned as well. It’s car food and the packaging gets chucked out of the window within a vast radius of any outlet.

    Not lovin’ it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      more social engineering

  33. Iain Moore
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I found the narrative that treaties are fixed for ever , never to be changed , an odd one , pretty impractical, and something not borne out by experience, after all there was the ratchet of the EU treaties which sucked us into ever-closer union , so they were more than happy to change treaties when it suited their purpose.

    The question is who is the they who object to changes in treaties? It would seem to be those who push for world government, loosely called Globalists, those who want to strip self determination from people and sovereignty from states.

    As our experience with the EU has shown getting locked into treaties has the terrible effect of freezing policy, where the evolution of policy is no longer possible, and it’s only revolution , like Brexit, that can undo the damage. Though I cheered Brexit, revolution is a damaging way to pursue policy. We also have the experience of the ERM, and other dead wood treaties and obligations left hanging around, causing problems, but not sufficient to shore up the backbone of politicians to get rid of them, or enough for voters to force revolution of the Governing class, like the 1951 convention on refugees, which we know is unworkable, a running sore, but something we are unable to get rid off, or the more recent one of Aid.

    As treaties bind the hands of future Governments and limit sovereignty of the people, they should be done a great deal more sparingly than they have , and may be it would be better if we walked away from the EU with no deal, for who is to say what this Government agrees to is right, and right for people 30 or 40 years in the future?

  34. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I see that the government is enabling the path towards digital id’s for everyone

    Responding, Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch – a civil liberties campaign group – said: “The idea of digital ID and vaccination checks could easily lead to a health apartheid that few would expect of a democratic country.”

    “Digital IDs would lead to sensitive records spanning medical, work, travel, and biometric data about each and every one of us being held at the fingertips of authorities and state bureaucrats.”

    “This dangerous plan would normalise identity checks, increase state control over law abiding citizens and create a honey pot for cyber criminals.”


    The government is hyping this up as an advantage for people, but it is an enabler for HEALTH PASSPORTS and a control mechanism like no other.

  35. Annette
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Well done for some of the ‘clarification’ clauses in an Act supporting something that should never have been signed & passed by a Govt ‘supporting’ our leaving with an 80 majority. The current screams of pain from the EUlings in our country clearly show that the WA/PD is not really leaving.

    However, isn’t this sovereignty clause just the same as the one that’s always been in existence, which the Law Lords have danced on a pin over the years to simultaneously hold the contrary positions that the UK remains ‘sovereign’ but we must obey the superior EU law even to the extent of amending our own law if it conflicts?
    After all, ‘parliamentary’ sovereignty, is only derived from the people (who are sovereign) vesting their sovereignty in temporarily elected representatives to a Parliament who are supposed to act in the people’s interests. ‘Parliamentary’ sovereignty is the only reason that Parliament exists.
    The Law Lords concluded that the UK ‘remained’ sovereign but had ‘chosen’ to give away elements of sovereignty. Whether Parliament had a right to give away sovereignty vested in them is another argument, but one thing is clear. The people’s referendum in 2016 demanded it back.
    What is in place, or intended to be in place, to prevent Parliament ‘choosing’ to give away our sovereignty in various areas again? Just as May appears to have done with our Defence, with narry of a question then nor in the current administration.

  36. bill brown
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    This is probably one of the weakest arguments you have produced for a long time as negotiations are still going on and therefore nobody UK nor EU have resiled on any free trade agreement nor on UK sovereignty after december 31st.
    The political game the Johnson government is playing with the withdrawal agreement is simply dangerous negotiation tactics.

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Bill B, Every argument with which you disagree is always the “weakest” or “not up to standard” or some such nonsense. Try addressing the points made rather than attacking the person making the points for a change.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


        this is your trade of argument not mine over the years no mine

        • NickC
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          Thus proving my point, Bill.

  37. glen cullen
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    There is confusion because the transition period has been over 4.5 years and the deadline appears to lengthen at will

    It also doesn’t help that half of MPs appear to believe we’ve already left and the other half think we’ll stay in the EU

    The people are only sovereign when the referendum is enacted in full, until then we’re all servants of the EU

    • bill brown
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      Allservants of the EU, if you feel like that , we should really feel sorry for you or is it just fake news?

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        We have to follow their Laws, Regulations and Directives

  38. villaking
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John, how unusual. Your Brexit blogs normally crow about sterling haven risen slightly “proving” that Brexit is good as it is the only factor influencing our currency. Why nothing about recent FX movements? Ah, the pound went the other way. Presumably nothing to do with Brexit this time.
    The problem which I think you know but pretend not to is that we haven’t just signed up to a FTA. There are many other details in the WA and PD. One key thing you overlook is our commitment to level playing field provisions in accordance with standards in existence at the end of the transition period. Since we have not stated what we plan to do regarding state aid and it is rumoured that our prime minister Dominic Cummings wants to intervene big time to help the UK lead the “fourth industrial revolution” the EU can’t simply sign up to an FTA. There are many other conflicting statements in the PD and frankly I don’t know why you supported it. We need to agree a dispute settlement mechanism but seem reluctant to have any independent arbitration because we are a sovereign state. It’s difficult to agree things on that basis.
    There was a mandate to leave the EU which has been fulfilled. There was then a mandate to implement this WA and PD explaining the terms of our withdrawal and, unfortunately, there is a mandate to leave the transition period without a deal if one can not be reached. But there is no mandate to overwrite the terms of the withdrawal treaty

    • rose
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      There was no mandate for the WA and PD and there was no need either.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Correct – no mandate, the Tory Party brought it upon themselves to invent and impose the WA and PD

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, The “mandate to leave” was to cease being controlled by the EU. To exit the EU – hence “Brexit”. To leave and not remain in the EU. To abrogate the EU treaties, and not sign back up. To control our own laws, borders, courts, fish and money – and not have the EU remain in control. To not remain in a “transition” where the EU continues to control us. To “takebackcontrol” as the official Leave campaign had it. To become an independent state. Sheesh, it’s not that difficult!

  39. martine
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    UK is in an impossible position now and the only likely outcome is a fudge that’s if you want to do a tariff free trade deal. The Eu is never going to agree a tariff free trade deal without there being a level playing field- not even if at the last moment the UK gives on fisheries.

    Barnier and Co see it for what it is- a trade deal without fair competition would be a UK trojan horse only to upset EU business and industry as per David Davis “pick them off one by one”

    So DD and IDS had better go back to Policy Exchange and have a rethink

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      WTO it is then

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Martine, Yes, you describe the EU’s behaviour to the UK exactly as I thought it would be as far back as 2013. Who needs enemies when you have a “friend” like the EU?

  40. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Well said indeed

  41. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    As we all thought. The EU makes the rules to suit mainly Germany and France as they go along . They see every other country as their ‘subjects’. If we are not important to them why are they still at the negotiating table. We have stated we want a decent frwe trade deal while remaining sovereign so what is wrong with that? Just tell them to get on with it. No more messing around or just walk.

  42. herebefore
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    There will be no tariff free trade deal with them without a level playing field on state aid- not even if the UK side gives on fisheries at the last moment- so Uk can forget about it. Barnier & Co see it for what it is a trojan horse to enable UK upset EU industry and business at will by undercutting on prices and anything else. As David Davis was once said ‘pick them off one by one’- but it’s not going to work.

  43. Jake
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    We can’t just change an international treaty unilaterally without there being repercussions to our reputation and good standing in the world

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Jake, Any treaty can be abrogated at any time, by any party to the treaty, provided suitable diplomatic notice is given.

  44. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Blindingly obvious on 24/6/16 that we should have given the required two years notice, prepared for a no deal and left it to the EU to accept our full and unfettered sovereignty. The EU proletariat are concerned about five million Irish people, do me a favour it is purely about maintaining domination and control of the UK and of course preventing another exit.

    For the record I have C19 Irish ancestry, potato famine etc.

    • Iago
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Agreed and, me too, Liverpool Irish grandmother, who worked in a Sheffield munitions factory in the Great War.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Thank you for that, my link is maternal grandmother 1874 – 1965, so I knew her well, born near Glasgow and also ended up in Liverpool. My line is I could have played football for England, Scotland and Ireland!
        Best wishes

    • rose
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      If the EU were concerned about Northern and Southern Irish people they would not collude with the IRA to stir up trouble and strife. We are being blackmailed by the EU/IRA axis again – with the threat of violence.

      There is a clause in the Lisbon Treaty, article 8, which prescribes the exact opposite of this sort of blackguardly behaviour. It says the EU must foster peace and prosperity on its borders.

  45. Edwardm
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The best way forward with the EU is to keep it simple:
    Stop negotiations now.
    Withdraw from the WA on 31 Dec.
    Furthermore, tell the EU if it doesn’t stop its super large fishing vessels plundering fish stocks immediately we will never permit it to fish in our waters again.

    Dealing with the EU is not worth the effort.

    • rose
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Very good and clear, Edward.

  46. Andy
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    The Government should never have agreed to the toxic Withdrawal Agreement. And the EU are quite clearly in breach of its terms having failed to negotiate in good faith or to respect the Sovereign rights of a State. What Boris must do is repudiate the WA before the end of the year – no FTA, no WA.

    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Blimey, who’s kidnapped our Andy? Let us know the ransom terms and we’ll have a vote on whether to crowdfund them.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        a modern day epiphany!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink


      And that should be the Labour Party position

  47. a-tracy
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “the UK and international Treaties” if the treaties are ‘International’ just what business is it of the EU anyway? What control did we pass to the EU that they don’t want to lose on International treaties?

    the European President has been reported to say “Britain must respect International Law” when has Britain ever not respected ‘International Law’ what International Law is she accusing Britain of not respecting?

  48. Pat
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Thank you for your vital efforts in saving the UK from the clutches of the EU and their acolytes in Parliament.

    All but the most fanatical EU zealots must be beginning to suspect that the best outcome for the UK is No Deal.

    Why do we see so little discussion of the obvious benefit to the EU of an independent, thriving UK providing competition to that protectionist bloc and stimulating innovation, to the benefit of EU citizens, if not the cabal currently in power?

  49. Everhopeful
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    We have lost all our freedom to globalists? Marxists? Mega corporations? Are they one and the same?
    Anyway we are no longer as free as we were even under the ghastly EU.
    So it is all very, very depressing.

  50. Know-Dice
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    And off topic…

    There seems to be a large increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK, in fact the increase looks very exponential. Deaths will no doubt will also increase after a bit of latency.

    But comparing to Sweden they very much seem to have the situation under control. So, what is the difference?

    Sweden – No Lock down, 87% live in urban areas death rate of around 570 per million
    UK – Locked Down, 82% live in urban areas death rate of around 620 per million

    As Jerry pointed out a couple of weeks back the actual population density of say central Stockholm may be vastly different from central London or Manchester, or maybe the Swedes are naturally more hygienic and sensible than those living in the UK 🙁

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Very very true

    • John
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:54 am | Permalink

      Or maybe Sweden didn’t believe the BS made up politically motivated computer models, which have been proven wrong.
      A bit like the CO2 scam.
      People need to be prosecuted.

  51. glen cullen
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    For UK sovereignty to prevail I believe the Conservative Party needs to split

    There are just too many Conservative MPs that are willing to accept a EU deal at any cost

    It was sold to the voter at the last election that Boris was culling MPs and they had to sign up to his belief – well that just got us more clones that will accept a deal

    The remaining Conservatives that believe in the referendum result, the will of the people and desire for a clean break from the EU, need to group, assess and split

    You either have 4 weeks to save the sovereignty of the country or 4 years to save your party

    • Iago
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      They do not have the guts.

  52. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The EU are blameless in this latest argument – it seems to have arisen due to a hostile leak to the FT from (I’m guessing) inside the Civil Service. As usual no one will be punished despite the damage it has done by antagonising the EU.

  53. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John, it looks to me as if what’s happened here is that the wording of the WA has been deliberately fudged in order for our PM to declare a great success to the world last year. This fudge has been added to the previous best example of this tactic being used – the Good Friday agreement. Those near to this at the time confirm that the two sides were so far apart that the words had to be made meaningless, so that both sides could sign and claim victory. This is fine until reality catches up.
    What is needed is far more honesty in our politics and an acknowledgment that the EU is not and never has been interested in giving the UK a Free Trade Agreement. I know no other walk of life where self-delusion has ruled for four years, seemingly without anyone learning any lessons or taking any responsibility.
    The really crucial thing now for the government and your party is to realise that a clean Brexit on 31 December is critical. Without it, I’m afraid that your party will be past history. With it, some of the mistakes of the last few months will be forgiven. I think you know that, but do your colleagues who still want to stop it at all costs?

    • bill brown
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink


      First of all the negotiations are still going on and secondly telling us the Eu wee never interesed n a free trade agreement is pure speculation and guess work as usal from your side

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Good words, however we should walk on the 15th October the new deadline

  54. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    May I suggest that any agreement with the EU, entered into by the UK government, should have clear and simple withdrawal provisions.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Might I suggest we leave the EU fully and in all respects than hold a new general election – all parties can then present their manifesto to the public and plan a way ahead

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        How about a GE in May 2021 – announce it now.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink


  55. NickC
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    JR, Excellent, well said. We are negotiating a trade deal; we are not negotiating away our sovereignty.

  56. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    You cant always tell with the MsM, but being realistic what do they know about anything.

    In todays shambles of being on top of the story, it would appear the UK is in the wrong if it goes against, alters or refines the WA, but it is OK for the EU to break ever part and change on the fly any part that suits them.

    Or is the remainers still fighting with project fear in hope we stay.

    Lets not forget the UK voted a ‘Clean Break’. Everything since is made up and imagined.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink


  57. Alison Barnes
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Have we paid over any of the ‘divorce’ money yet. If so, do we get it back if there is no deal?

  58. Ian
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Keep up the good work Lynn, brilliant , tell it like it is

  59. Blazes
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    So looks like the UK plan is to take it to the wire then Uk will offer concessions on Fisheries and in exchange UK will expect to have unimpeded State Aid for any British industry it likes? and all this will be with tariff free access to the EU27- but I don’t think it’s going to fly. Barnier is way ahead- Brussels would see it as the thin edge of the wedge- and as DD famously said to pick them off one by one- no I don’t think it will happen

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      I fear your words are true

    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      The USA sells more stuff to the EU than we do. The EU doesn’t own the territorial waters of the USA and doesn’t have control of the USA’s State Aid policies. Why can’t we just do the same?

      • Jake
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Because the USA is not looking for a FTA with the EU

        • NickC
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Jake, You think the USA will trade away its fish to get a trade deal with the EU? Not even Joe Biden would do that.

  60. beresford
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Just watched Keir Starmer on Sky insisting that there must be a ‘deal’ and it was entirely up to the Government to get it. This is the same nonsense that led to the awful WA of Theresa May. Will he not understand that in the real world a deal requires two parties and the EU cannot be compelled to offer a fair one if they don’t want to. A number of people don’t understand that this has never been a normal trade negotiation conducted on rational business grounds. Barnier said he will have done his job if at the end of the process we regret leaving the EU, and they are prepared to cut their noses off to spite their faces.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:50 am | Permalink


  61. forthurst
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m reading that the negotiation with Brussels concerning fishing is about our being able to double our take of fish in our own waters leaving Brussels to assign quotas to 50% of our fish. Why are we negotiating about our rights over some of our fish which swim in our Exclusive Economic Zone? The Common Fishing Policy and any agreements previously made under it should be null and void. The French have got the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world: they can go and fish them.

  62. Everhopeful
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Has Brandon Lewis put a spanner in the works?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Or he has reminded us that the UK really shouldn’t sign anything that it cannot live with. This should make clear the danger of compromise positions in any future deal.

  63. Brett
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow I know when you censor and delay publication you are in big trouble Wow!

  64. Nick @ Barkahm
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Sigh. More cognitive dissonance 101 in this echo chamber…..

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Sigh. More non-factual drivel from Remains . . . .

  65. Sharon Jagger
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to ask again. No-one seems willing to answer this question.

    What is happening about our armed forces?

    Are we going to take back control of them? Or are we leaving them to the EU?

    • Nick@Barkham
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      What are you on about? What kind of mendacious fiction are you spending your time thinking about to ask this question?

      • NickC
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Nick@Barkham, What are you on about? Have you not heard of the CFSP and the CSDP, and PESCO? And whilst British troops cannot be “forced” by the EU into the EU armed forces or expeditions, the UK government could certainly authorise it voluntarily.

  66. steve
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


    “So far it is the EU that has resiled from the Withdrawal Agreement by not accepting UK sovereignty and not offering the tariff free Free Trade Agreement”


  67. Will in Hampshire
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I was astounded to hear from Mr Lewis, a government Minister in the HoC today, that the government only intends to break the law “in a very specific and limited way”.

    To be honest words fail me. Whatever next in this sorry Brexit saga.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      in the UK millions of people have been breaking the law in a very specific and limited way. A response to constantly changing advice/law on Covid.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Not the sharpest tool in the box.

    • beresford
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      So can anyone name another country which slavishly adheres to ‘international law’ when it is against their national interest? Israel? Russia? China? The USA perhaps.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      All EU member states have been ‘breaking international law’ throughout this Chinese plague crisis – breaking the Schengen agreement, not supplying key equipment in breach of EU treaties etc. Are the EU and their UK supporters on high horses about that?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        After extended talks, Brussels and Berlin have reached an agreement over a €9 billion rescue package for German airline Lufthansa.

    • John
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      > Whatever next in this sorry Brexit saga.

      Hopefully parliament will start removing these laws next year, as most people will expect this.

      You never know, perhaps they might be able to deport some people, get rid of the BBC tax, dump the BS green crap etc.

      Otherwise some other party will get voted in to do this.

    • NickC
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Will, Remains were prepared to break the law to halt the implementation of Leave. It’s a bit late for you to become all precious about the law, isn’t it?

  68. rose
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    The Any-Country-But-Mine-Own Brigade are out in full strength today. We seem to have far more of them than we had in the past.

  69. Original Chris
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Has Boris, your Tory leader and our PM, gone stark raving mad? Social gatherings of over 6 to be banned as per BBC report below. Tory MPs, if they do not take action, will be seen to be condoning this insanity.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      I would add to my comment above about Boris and the new social gathering rule that there is something very sinister about the agenda that is being forced through. It is certainly not connected with sound science. I believe it is political and those driving this are acting swiftly to remove our freedoms and rights before we realise what has really hit us.

      • rose
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Do you think it will apply to Ex R and BLM?

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          No that is a special case.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        simply choosing 7 instead of 6 would have eased hundreds of thousands of family issues (grandparents child care/minding) – allowed parents to return to work, and reduced stress and mental health crash for enormous numbers of the population.
        Whoever persuaded Hancock, Boris, SAGE – to take this latest daft decision wants sacking.
        I despair for my country — even N.Korea and China doesn’t have this idiotic law guessing / changing going on.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Isn’t the problem that individuals are not taking responsibility for their own actions. This virus only exists because people are deliberately enabling it to spread.

      If everyone helped in the original lock down the virus could not have survived. If is doesn’t find a host it simply dies out – that takes just a week to ten days to bring about

  70. APL
    Posted September 8, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Apparently your party is going to forbid ( just where do you think you get the authority ) social gatherings of more than six people.

    On the basis of finding 3000 cases, through testing of COVID-19 – tests being notoriously unreliable.

    I really, really hope your party is destroyed next election.

    • John Partington
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Spoken like a true Remoaner and you probably live in Islington and watch Sky and Channel 4

      • APL
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        “Spoken like a true Remoaner and you probably live in Islington and watch Sky and Channel 4”

        Cor!! You really told me. The Tories have rolled out their intellectual heavyweight for that comment.

  71. XYXY
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    What is your view on cancelling the WA if there is no FTA?

    My view is that, since Article 50 says that any WA must be based on the future arrangements and the EU insisted on re-sequencing this to have the WA first, we would have agreed to that on the expectation that the future arrangements would be agreed.

    If they are not agreed then the EU have resiled on properly implementing A50 of their own treaty, therefore we should not be bound by the WA that resulted from that.

    Also, withdrawing from a treaty that has not really come onto force yet under such circumstances is unlikely to produce much international opprobrium.

    That’s my view, I’d be interested in yours, perhaps in a future piece?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink


      The EU Commission is changing, making the rules up as they go along in that respect the WA is dead

    • rose
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      “Nothing is agree until everything is agreed.” The EU’s own rule.

  72. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    If the EU carries on like this and no trade agreement is obtained, we should withdraw recognition of the European Commission – the key institution of an undemocratic Federal European SuperState – and thenceforth negotiate only with individual Member States.

    This sort of approach should work well when we negotiate a 5 year transitional concession on fishing in UK waters to the three Member States most affected – Holland, France and Spain.

    It must have occurred to many people that once the UK decided that a Federal European SuperState was not for us, it became very much in our interest to ensure – as best we could – that such a state did not develop. We want a Gaullist Europe – a Europe of Nations – as our neighbour.

    • rose
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      The European Superstate has abolished itself for the course of the pandemic, not wishing to take responsibility and not wanting to head the world in deaths.

  73. Tabulazero
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    You took a pledge to support the current WA to become a Conservative MP, you campaigned in the last general election on the concept of an “overn ready deal” to bring Brexit to a close and above all you voted the said deal into law.

    I am sorry but you personally own this deal. To come back and say to the public that is not that good after all beggars belief. The level of incompetence on display is outstanding here.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      It’s not only not good, it’s not legal as it imposes customs tariffs within the UK.
      People won’t pay them. Period.
      Misinformed MPs might have voted this through but it doesn’t stand up any more than the Poll Tax did when that was voted through. The public will decide.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      The Schengen Agreement is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe’s Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the ten member states of the then European Economic Community.

      Also “tidied up” by closing borders which are supposed to be open. International law broken if you prefer.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Don’t make me laugh Tabulazero there were plenty of Conservative MPs who took a pledge to the electorate at the previous May election that betrayed us.

      The Withdrawal Agreement is due to end in December.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Complete nonsense.
      If there is no agreement with the EU before the end of this year the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement are void.
      The deal is ready it is the EU that refuses to budge.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        the WA is only void if there is no deal so stop oyur own nonsense

        • NickC
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          But, Bill, you are agreeing with Edward2 – you’re both saying the WA is void if there is no deal by the end of the year. So hardly “nonsense”, eh?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Nick.
            You have saved me a reply.

  74. ukretired123
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    As for Theresa May complaining about the UK breaking international promises I find that rich compared with the EU blackmailing and railroading us for years and she broke her promise of no deal etc etc.
    You cannot be nice with Brussels EU as they think you are stupid and treat you as such.
    Talk talk talk ……
    What a waste ! They are on a different planet, aloof , head in clouds….

  75. Rhoddas
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Civil service been on holidays for last 40 years, just rubber stamping whatever came from brussels, quite happy to take a golden job over there in exchange for selling their soul to the EU project. Not much different from collaborators with the EU powers in the 1930’s-1940’s.

    The bloke on IrishExit summed it up very well, the way the suck up to get that job that will make them insanely rich and powerful at the expense of their national interests.

  76. rose
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John, do you by any chance know, and can you tell us, why Brandon Lewis spoke of breaking international law? All those years that the EU directives were overriding our law no-one accused the EU of breaking British Law. So why now, when the WA permits us to override EU ambiguities with British certainty, does he use the word “break” and not “override”?

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Brandon Lewis was close to May and a remainer perhaps he chose his words very carefully to support his ex boss.

  77. Zan
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John, very helpful article clarifying something the MSM are hysterically about.

  78. Matthew Dodd
    Posted September 15, 2020 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Sorry it’s two parties here. The UK signed an international agreement and ratified it in parliament. Just because it happens to have not read what it signed at the time and thinks that by reneging on what it signed it will somehow obtain better trading arrangements is just not idiotic it’s actualy self defeating and counterproductive. Goodbye any smidgen of respectability that the UK still had on the world a stage. This is heading for basket case territory….

  • 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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