The reason for the Single market legislation

The government’s Single market Bill is a necessary piece of legislation to ensure the smooth running of the UK’s single market and customs union, and to provide the base for our independent trade policy after leaving the EU single market and trade policy on January 1. At the time of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration the EU signed up to two important propositions. They agreed that  the core of our new relationship with them would be a free trade agreement with  no tariffs, and they would respect UK sovereignty. If the EU keeps to its promises there will be no need for the arrangements envisaged for the Irish border in  the current legislation. If they do  not pursue these promises then the UK government has the right under Clause 38 of the EU Withdrawal Act to establish control over its borders and trade, notwithstanding  the Withdrawal Agreement. This is expressly recorded in UK law. It was also clear to the EU at the time when we legislated in this way that was the UK’s understanding of the Withdrawal Agreement, as we put it into primary legislation.

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252 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    A period of science from Theresa (9% Support) May would be most welcome. And her ilk.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – but she was spot on in the Commons today when talking about the need to get air-travel going again. I’ll give her some credit for that.

  2. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I strongly support what the government is doing here.

  3. Nigl
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    And all the people squawking about it, conveniently forgetting the EUs elasticity regarding their rule of law, are people desperate to find anyway to continue our subservience.

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Indeed, a lot of bluster about this.
    Would Joe Biden accept Mexico telling it to put up Customs posts where Texas borders with neighbouring states because it was worried about possible future problems on the Texas-Mexico border?

    • Soames
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      If he had won an election based on an international agreement in which he had committed to do exactly that, then yes he would. Did you actually read your oven ready deal?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        I can’t recall the WA being in its final form before the election. The decision to place customs borders within the UK would fail dismally in any referendum.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Did you read Section 38 of the Withdrawal Agreement?

  5. GilesB
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Why is Government defending ‘breaking international law’ if we are not?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Some of them, like Brandon, don’t really understand what the legislation passed in 2018 specified.
      Anyway, the Good Friday Agreement is an international treaty. The WA overturns that, surely ‘illegal’ in international law were the WA imposed?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      We aren’t. Brandon Lewis was sufficiently daft to keep sending begging e mails to Conservative Members when he worked for May.

      • JohnK
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Brandon Lewis looks like an idiot and talks like an idiot. I think the conclusion is obvious.

  6. ChrisS
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    We can usually rely on our host to be 100% correct in what he posts and, if this is indeed the case, I wonder why a Minister confirmed that the measure would be breaking International Law and Conservative colleagues were making such a fuss in the House only yesterday ?

    By enacting this measure, either we would be breaking International Law or we would not be.
    If not, this is no issue.

    But which is it ????

    • Fred H
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      International Law must be queried just like ours was! British Law was made to look foolish by a single annoying woman, well funded, and sticking to her ability to challenge to the point of being idiotic.
      Face the heat and say ‘nein, non’.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Look at the record of the person speaking.

  7. Colin B
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    There is an old saying “justice must not only be done but seen to be done”. Unfortunately this Govt has not been very clever in the way they have explained or informed everyone either at home or abroad. It has got itself into an unnecessary quagmire and needs to extricate itself pretty quickly. The Govts approach to PR over coronavirus has been less than good.
    It could start by using the http://www.facts4eu.co.uk article to finally disrespect the EU the way they have disrespected the UK as well as using the contents to explain why the UK has adopted the approach it has done in the Internal Markets Bill. The world is entitled to know.
    I have been aware of this report for some time and I really cannot understand why we have meekly accepted the megaphone anti-diplomacy from the EU. Barnier is absolutely crass and the EU has no shame. The British way of quiet diplomacy can only take us so far in this game and a more forthright and aggressive rebuttal ( so the rest of the world knows )is more in keeping for the EU in particular and give the way the world is changing in this respect a stronger approach is needed for the wider wolrld as well.
    A statement from the PM outside No 10 would be a good start.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Let’s make that a statement from Lord Frost instead.

  8. ukretired123
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you SJR for your insight.
    As you point out this was done in letter but more importantly in the spirit of the law based on goodwill on both sides.
    So the EU has no reason to complain.

  9. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    The EU Commission as we know are not respecters of any one out of their sphere of control. These negotiations come over as nothing to do with getting on with the neighbors, nothing to do with trade, nothing to do with mutual respect. Everything to do with do as I say and remember always we will always be in control, and we will say what is right or wrong. We are your Ruler don’t forget it. One way or another we will gain control over your lives.

    Some that have hit the MsM in the last few days have needlessly stoked up ‘project fear’ without ‘hearing’ what was being said. All the official announcements I have heard say it exactly as you have repeated this morning.

    That is why the UK voted for a ‘clean break’.

    It that respect the EU cannot say they respect our sovereignty, when it is conditional on the UK accepting their laws and control of what we do. To anyone other than the EU negotiating team that is a clear illustration of the EU negating the WA with no intention of following through on the PD – nasty, nasty people. I feel sorry for all the peoples of Europe having to endure such a corrupt system of rule.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • K Jig
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      Very good comment!

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I remember back a year ago and before on this site, when the argument at the time was about the Withdrawal Agreement, was it good enough or not.
    At that time I said the EU could not be trusted to negotiate the trade deal in good faith, so simply put in a clause before the WA is signed, that Nothing is agreed until Everything is Agreed, as that was what everyone was saying/suggesting was the case at the time, so it should have not been a problem to either side, had it been TRUE.

    Had that simple statement been put in, we would not be where we are now.

    If the EU had rejected that simple statement request, then it would have been proof that future negotiations were not going to go well and we would have known their position and where we stood, before signing up to anything.

    Sorry John but this mess/complication has been caused by your government not being honest and upfront with itself, its Mp’s, and the people.

    Instead of playing politics, the government should have been setting out is real backstop/backup plans/guarantees, and covering its/our backside at the same time.

    Arguments and different interpretations can happen all the time with any sort of contract/agreement, that is why the use of simple words, phrases and statements are best.

  11. Jess
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I am confident that our government will manage to mess Brexit up to our disadvantage.

  12. glen cullen
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Stop messing about and just go for a WTO deal

  13. agricola
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks for that, we proceed with a clear concious. I look forward to M Barnier’s take on it.

  14. Nigl
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    And the Lords will nod it through? Mmmmm?

  15. formula57
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Whilst doubtless just as you state, a broader view might allow that the Bill presents a challenge to the judiciary that so enjoyed itself earlier in Brexit and in respect of prorogation of parliament. I like to think it says to them “come on, have a go if you think you are hard enough!” It also could be seen to treat the Evil Empire with a contempt that is very worthy. My admiration for the people’s Blue Boris has grown boundlessly.

    A great aid to my thinking was reading yesterday’s Internal Market Bill post in the Public Law for Everyone blog written by Mark Elliott, Cambridge Law professor. He notes inter alia that Clause 45 is constitutional dynamite in two ways since it (1) provides that regulations made under earlier clauses will be deemed valid even if they breach law deriving from the Withdrawal Act and (2) provides the validity applies against relevant international or domestic law that Elliott considers can certainly be read as an attempt to exclude any judicial review on normal domestic law or human rights grounds. He ponders whether a court might be prepared to say that Parliament cannot entirely oust judicial review, thus challenging Parliamentary sovereignty.

  16. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Off topic.
    Doncaster race meeting fans blocked after one day. The Crucible fans for the snooker cancelled after one day. Both in S Yorkshire. Anyone would think that your party is still kicking the region in revenge for the miner’s battle from years ago.

    • Peter
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      The St. Leger is not what it was these days thanks to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

      You might just as well blame the French.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Oh how ridiculous! You can’t win the Triple Crown unless you pass the staying test of the St Ledger – the oldest of all the Classics.

        • Peter
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

          Nobody bothers with the Triple Crown anymore.

          Money talks.

          Hence the very best horses now target the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

  17. rose
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It is all to predictably noticeable that the broadcasters are censoring this piece of information. It could not be clearer, or more rational, but it doesn’t fit the smear they are peddling on behalf of the EU.

  18. a-tracy
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    So why did Brandon Lewis say what he said yesterday? It was reported he said, “a new bill to amend the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU will break international law”. Is Brandon Lewis a trained lawyer/barrister? He went on and conceded it would go against the treaty in a “specific and limited way”.

    How has a withdrawal agreement with no actual ‘end deal agreement’ specifically broken international law?

    • Stred
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      He’s not a lawyer but would make a good used car salesman.

  19. BOF
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Many of us looked on in bewilderment when Boris picked up the pile of ordure left by Mrs May, aka the W/A, and proclaimed as an ‘oven ready deal’ when it should have been ripped up and pronounced dead.

    I wonder what other horrors will be revealed in the course of time.

    • Iago
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      I expect we will remain part of the Euro-Arab Dialogue – I cannot imagine a worse horror than this.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      The oven-ready meal should have been put into the deepest part of a large freezer and forgotten about. Certainly never put in an oven unless intended to burn beyond recognition.

  20. acorn
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    JR, perhaps you could explain to most of your commenters exactly what the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty is meant to produce, one product being a possibility of a trade agreement in some form but no guarantees.

    Also explain why the the UK as a ‘dualist’ country, international treaties are not enforceable in the UK legal system unless there is an Act of the UK parliament to make them so or otherwise. Hence,the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. There is no equivalent requirement for an EU Act. Treaties have “direct effect” in EU law and can be enforced by the Courts.

    You have to wonder why any country would want to sign a treaty or a trade deal with a dualist state that can unilaterally renege on it.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      “There is no equivalent requirement for an EU Act. Treaties have “direct effect” in EU law and can be enforced by the Courts.”

      That is because the EU is not a sovereign state backed up by the rule of law, and not recognized as such internationally, either.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you explain what mean acorn because this is as clear as mud and I’d like to understand your point? Surely the WA was time limited?

    • Andy
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      In the UK it is the Crown that negotiates and concludes International Agreements, not Parliament although some who sat in the last Parliament didn’t seen to understand that basic point.

      It is also a core of the UK Constitution that the Crown may not, by its own prerogative, make, amend or in other ways change Domestic UK Law. Thus any International Treaty has to be presented before Parliament within 21 days of its conclusion, and that treaty has no affect in UK save what Parliament agrees to. And what Parliament agrees to, she can also revoke.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        You need to read Article 38nof the Withdrawal Agreement.
        And the judgement of the Supreme Court v Gina Miller

        • Andy
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Article 38 is a clause in the Withdrawal Act. It is not in the agreement.

          As to Supreme Court and Miller I firmly believe that the Crown, could by prerogative, have invoked Article 50 because Parliament had in no way fettered the prerogative to act, unlike in another area. The problem is political judges I’m afraid.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

            The Act is prime legislation.
            Passed by Parliament.
            Parliament is supreme.
            Therefore section 38 is valid.

            The agreement is void if there is no deal.
            And it isnt a treaty.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement is meant to produce vassal state UK, acorn. The Dublin Agreement, the basis for the WA, represented a “complete capitulation” according to Charles Moore. He was not wrong then, and he is not wrong now. Boris, by taking up the “oven ready deal” as he called it, knew exactly what he was doing, selling us out, in my view.

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

      Acorn, We already know that the UK has a dualist constitution, thank you. And JR explained on 8th September (“UK Sovereignty”) that the WA Act 2020 governed our acceptance of the WA. And not only has the EU reneged on the WA, it also reneges on its own laws for example to “save” the Euro.

      As far back as 2013 I wrote that we should not leave under Art50 because the EU could not be trusted to be a good neighbour. Which is why I advocated just walking away (ie: patriating EU law, giving 12 months notice then abrogating the EU treaties).

  21. robert lewy
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    My thoughts too.
    Do you have any concerns on legality.
    If so, how do you think they should be dealt with.

  22. RichardP
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Frankly, after the coronavirus shambles, I have absolutely no confidence that the Johnson Regime can deliver a successful Brexit.
    I suppose the Norway option is out of the question!

  23. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    This is accurate information well recorded.

  24. Alan Elgey
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    That is a very helpful entry Sir John, together with your sovereignty article of a couple of days ago, and I welcome them both.
    I infer from them that the UK Government is working entirely within the terms of the treaty we signed last January and, therefore, are not breaking international law. If I am correct in this, was the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland incorrect in stating otherwise at the despatch box on Tuesday? How should he have answered the question put to him? On the other hand, if Mr Lewis was correct, could you set out the specific and limited ways in which the treaty is breached and how we should explain that this is acceptable to sceptical friends?

  25. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    It must be correct because of the squealing from Brussels and the remainiacs.
    It’s OK for Brussels to protect It’s single market but not other countries.
    As you say if there’s a deal it doesn’t matter so it will now flush out their real intentions. I don’t believe they were ever going to agree a deal.
    Well done government.
    Not so well done on latest coercive lockdown measures. Your sailing very close to the wind.

  26. Andy
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Part of the reason for this Bill and some of the clauses was because the EU, acting as ever in bad faith, threatened to withhold ‘third country consent’ for UK standards, thus making it impossible to send some goods in Northern Ireland from the mainland. Northern Ireland is a part of the UK and as such the writ of UK Law must run there, whether the EU likes it or not.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      100% correct.

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Well said. I assume that you are not the Remain Andy we have all learned to laugh at?

      • Andy
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Nope, I’m the true Andy. Not that imposter and ‘johnny come lately’. I’ve been here for years, as Sir John will confirm.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        He should change his name to Nice Andy

    • Soames
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Except the Withdrawal Agreement, on which basis Boris won the election last December, commits NI to EU law on goods standards, not UK law. That was the oven ready deal. You voted for it. Too late to cry now

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Wrong.
        The Supreme Court ruling which was unanimous ruled that the UK Parliament is supreme and can therefore change anything it wants.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Not in teh face of international agreements unlessit ahs no proble losing its reputation

          • Edward2
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Wrong.
            UK Parliament is Supreme.
            Not the vague concept of international law.
            If a democratic nation can be overruled then it isnt free.

  27. Simeon
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “[The EU] agreed that the core of our new relationship with them would be a free trade agreement with no tariffs, and they would respect UK sovereignty.”

    Point One: The EU AND the UK agreed to this. Do not pretend that this WA was not freely entered into by both sides, or that BJ’s hand was forced in some way.

    Point Two: Given this, the obvious implication is that the UK would use its new-found sovereignty to secure an FTA. Do not pretend that the kind of FTA sought by your government (frictionless trade, for example, with a particular emphasis on arrangements on the island of Ireland) does not require the sacrificing of control over areas of policy you were supposedly so keen to regain.

    Point Three: If such an FTA proved elusive, too bad, but at least the present arrangements on the island of Ireland would continue, courtesy of the legal provisions of the WA. Northern Ireland’s Unionists lose out, though the majority of Northern Ireland’s people are content, given they voted to remain. A disgraceful betrayal of NI’s Unionists, but such was already understood and a matter of record.

    Point Four: UK law and EU law are not the point. It is international law that is relevant, and your government has itself admitted it intends to break it.

    Point Five: At any rate, this move is intended to be seen as the UK government fighting tooth and nail for British interests, playing hardball in the negotiations, and being willing to walk away from a bad deal. In truth, it is theater (though perhaps – perhaps – improvised, rather than, as is traditional choreographed), with the intention to land on a happy compromise at the last moment, Leave-minded people being satisfied that the UK has achieved the best Brexit possible, though in reality we remain in essence an associate member of the EU, sat on the naughty step for daring to try and leave. (I have no doubt that UK politicians and officials will continue to help shape and influence the European project; on a personal level, they won’t really have been punished.)

    Point Six: It is possible that your government will accidentally achieve a ‘no deal’ outcome (though I think this unlikely). But were this to happen, if you, or anyone else, believes this will usher in a new golden age, you are SRB, to use a fashionable term. Brexit didn’t just have to be achieved. It needed to be made a success of to make it stick. An unsuccessful Brexit results in just one, very obvious, thing.

    Point Seven: If I can see and understand all this, surely you can. So either do, or at least say, something about it, or accept that you have been reduced to closing your eyes and hoping for the best, having previously failed to fight hard and smart enough for what you have always said you believed in.

    Reply I disagree on all counts. A No deal Brexit would be fine as I gav3 always claimed. The U.K. stated clearly it was seeking a Canada style FTA which does not require submission to the ECJ. The Legislation which gives force to the Agreement expressly reserved our sovereignty. Sone argued our doing this undermined the international treaty.

    • Simeon
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      It would be a pity if you were not to engage, publicly, with the points I have made, given that I have firmly engaged with what you have written. Perhaps my response allows you the opportunity to make your case more clearly and firmly. Perhaps my criticisms are unfair. If so, then you have much to gain from proving me wrong.

      But I am very confident in my position, and see yours as quite hopeless. I think the advantage I have is that I have no skin in the game and am devoid of patronage. I am not compromised in any way. But you, over the course of many years, have, sometimes by moving decisively, at other times through drift and buffet, and still others by the moving of the world around you, found yourself in a position your younger self would never have aimed at.

      As I have said previously, whether or not you publish what I have written makes no difference to me. In reality, we are both powerless to effect change. What we say matters very little (even more so in my case). But I know what I have said, and have heard you, and am still listening.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      “Point One: The EU AND the UK agreed to this. Do not pretend that this WA was not freely entered into by both sides, or that BJ’s hand was forced in some way.”

      It was forced by the Traitors’ Parliament which passed an illegitimate directive, enabled by a bent Speaker, coercing the PM into breaking his word and preventing him from effecting our exit on WTO terms. An agreement entered into under duress is not valid.

      • Soames
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

        It was concluded in January 2020, by a Conservative government with an 80 seat majority. Every Conservative MP now throwing a tantrum about it voted for it

      • Simeon
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        “An agreement under duress is not valid.”

        This is entirely correct. As is, “Parliament… passed an illegitimate directive, enabled by a bent speaker.” But this does not then mean that BJ had to “renegotiate” the WA, claim a great deal, run for election promising to implement that great deal, and then, nine months later, renege on the deal. He could have reneged immediately after the GE last year if his judgement was that Brexit could only be delivered by the back door. Or he could have set out his stall from the start and sought a genuine democratic mandate for a WTO Brexit or similar. Reneging now is either indicative of awful planning and a failure to think things through, or it is all part of the political theater to allow a pseudo-Brexit that has been pulled out of the fire. I kniw what I believe, but neither scenario bodes well.

        • rose
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          If he had acted in January instead of now, people would be accusing him of not having given the FTA a chance, of declaring in advance that the EU was only capable of acting in bad faith.

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

            Who would be accusing him? Remainers.

            According to Leavers, the EU has acted in bad faith all along. (Actually, the issue is that the EU’s ‘red lines’ have never been compatible with a genuine Brexit, something UK politicians have either been dishonest, or at best, coy, about. Any kind of FTA that didn’t amount to the UK remaining an associate member of the EU in all but name has always been unrealistic whilst we remained in the EU – as we still in essence are – because the EU, quite correctly in my view, would calculate that the UK’s political class were never serious about achieving a proper Brexit.)

            He is now acting in bad faith, having merely threatened to renege on the WA (the proposed legislation has not yet been passed, obviously), and his remain-minded detractors still say he hasn’t given an FTA a chance because of his unwillingness to compromise, i.e. negotiate a ‘soft Brexit’. So what has all this delay and uncertainty achieved?

            In other words, if he was aiming for a proper Brexit (which I simply do not believe), he has done it in such a way as to sabotage the future success of a proper Brexit, whilst delaying the fulfilment of the referendum result and lining the pockets of the EU in the meantime.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, and it can either be argued that the lack of focus on success of Brexit outcome here is because there are no believers in power or because that focus is being reserved (in spades) for the post-Brexit era.
      It can only be imagined what could in theory be achieved with wholesale control over our immigration, universities and education, business regulation, taxes and so on. We have the academic and creative ability here. We are great traders, far better than other Europeans. A very tough 20 years but a total renaissance.
      But it will need massively better organisation and leadership than we have. Brandon Lewis probably sums up the present lot. Not bright, easy life, not a leader and will probably disappear when the going gets tough.

      • Simeon
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        I think it is clear that Cummings has big plans for the future. I think it is equally clear that these are bad plans. He believes in the power of data-driven government and of centralised planning because he thinks he knows best. He does not believe in liberty or free enterprise, but rather control and state spending. The limits of this approach are nicely illustrated by the coronavirus shambles/scandal.

    • Simeon
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Disagreeing with points one and three is possible, but not, I think, credible. Can you explain why the WA couldn’t possibly be ditched when you yourself always argued it was unnecessary? Why did your party decide that it was after all necessary, even after it had elected a supposedly Leave-minded leader? As for Northern Ireland, is your official position that the DUP were not in fact betrayed, and that their belief they were is in fact a mistaken one? How would you explain the DUP’s misunderstanding?

      Do you not agree with your own government’s view that breaching limited elements of an international treaty is regrettably necessary? (I describe this as charitably as I can.)

      You can certainly disagree with point five and elements of point six for now. I am of course speculating, though I believe I do so with every justification. Time will tell, except, probably, with regards to the success or otherwise a UK government would make of Brexit.

      I would suggest that your government’s stated aims vis a vis an FTA are not coherent. But then they don’t need to be, because the true aim is a far cosier relationship with the EU. For you to suggest your government has stated what it seeks clearly is, again, not credible.

      As for the WA legislation, particularly Clause 38, here you are inarguably correct. But the way in which the UK may exercise her new-found sovereignty is laid out in the rest of the WA, which is of course why you were so keen for such a clause to be inserted in the first place. I’m no lawyer, so I cannot judge how great a weight Clause 38 can support legally, but I understand politics, and so I can assert that the UK leaning on Clause 38 would engender great animosity on the EU side, when they remain, and will continue to be an important trading partner. It is almost as clear that trust in the UK would take a serious hit internationally. Both very obviously damage the country’s future prospects.

      Much better to have gone straight to a no deal last year. But only if no deal – the only way a Brexit worthy of the name could ever have been achieved – was the aim.

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Simeon, You have a very high opinion of yourself. Why should JR, or anyone, conform themselves to your “points” simply because you demand it? Your article is tedious, turgid, and without merit. You could have said the same thing in a quarter of the space. When you understand what being an independent country means, come back and make some briefer comments.

      • Simeon
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        I demanded nothing. I was thorough. I well understand the concept of national sovereignty. From your remarks, I see that you didn’t understand the points I was making. Funnily enough, at least some of what I said articulated positions you yourself have advanced. Perhaps you should reread my article. Properly understood, you might not find it so “tedious, turgid, and without merit”.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Completely agree Nick.
        Simeon’s point 4 is the most ridiculous.
        Claiming that international law trumps law made by democratically elected national governments.
        This is the globalist dream.

        • Simeon
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          You misunderstood my fourth point. I was not saying that UK and EU law were irrelvant in an absolute sense, but rather that the proposed legislation breaks international law. The proposed legislation is obviously not illegal in UK law. It is the breaking of international law that is problematic, and therefore relevant, because it damages trust, as I say above.

          If my position was the one you characterise it as, then I would suggest it was wrong because lacking in legitimacy, but not ridiculous – though I think I know what you mean, and I sympathise; I am certainly no globalist.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            Where is this international law you speak of?
            This undefined nebulous concept beloved by globalists.
            Where democratic national parliaments are overruled by unelected bureaucrats.

            Our Parliament is supreme.
            Voted in and out by the people.
            If you cannot change your own laws then you are not free.

    • bill brown
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      K Jig,

      Just to answer one of your many questons.
      If, you look at trade patterns around the World a significant maount of internaitonal trade is regional(EU for exmample) and this is also the case in Europe and taht wil continue. We will not start being a major power exporting to China as Germany does.
      (46 % of all EU exports to China)

    • bill brown
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Sir JR,

      I fundamentally disagree with you as well and have explained the resones below.

  28. Sharon
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Agreed!

    Thank you for clarifying the matter Mr Redwood.

    It’s the remoaners as usual who are stating otherwise.

  29. villaking
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you mislead the public when you imply that a FTA is simply a one line agreement to not impose tariffs one one another and the EU needs to just do it. The EU is fulfilling the obligation to pursue a FTA but this involves far more than just tariffs as is clearly mentioned in the PD. A FTA depends also on regulatory cooperation, mutual recognition of standards, dispute resolution mechanisms, level playing field arrangements particularly regarding state aid and agreement on the mundane such as labelling and so forth. By refusing to be clear on any of these things, it is the UK that is hindering a FTA, not the EU. Sovereignty is not in dispute, but to cooperate in the world today we all need to agree certain things at a supranational level and we participate in many global organisations that straddle countries such as the WTO and the ICJ

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      In other words a FTA means staying in the EU but without a say.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      We can do all these things for stuff sold to the EU.
      We just don t need it in law for everything we make and do.

  30. Johig
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    If the EU behaved honourably, there would be no need for this legislation. What does the EU expect us to do when they threaten to with hold 3rd country status in an attempt to bully us (yet again) into doing what they want. It’s about time they learned that we won’t roll over and give in.
    It is disappointing to see the usual British suspects, who tried to thwart Brexit in the first place, lining up to take the EU’s side in this. Have they no patriotism?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      you shouldn’t need to ask that question if you had been watching events these last several years.

  31. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Having tariff-free, quota-free access to the EU27 internal market comes, quite reasonably, with obligations and expecations. The current position is that the UK wants such access without being prepared to accept the commitments that come with it.

    Pure cakeism and cakeism is, and always has been, an undeliverable pipe dream. The EU27 are not going to allow a third country access to their internal market on preferential terms that they don’t have themselves.

    I very much doubt that the UK will agree to FTAs with third countries that grant better access to the UK market than UK-based companies have, although at times I have concerns that this government just might.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      How in the modern era of internet trading does a supranational organisation like the EU succeed in standing as a bureaucratic road bloc in the way between happy purchasers and suppliers?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Who wants preferential terms?
      Just give the UK the same terms as it gives everyone else who are not members

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Peter Parsons, Any business, for example from India, exporting to the UK must conform to UK standards and laws. Those are the only “obligations and expectations” and “commitments” required. Such conformance is not “access to [our] internal market on preferential terms”; it is on identical terms, as the WTO requires. Nothing else is needed.

      Similarly, any business, from the UK, exporting to the EU must conform to EU standards and laws. Those are the only “obligations and expectations” and “commitments” required. Such conformance is not “access to [the EU’s] internal market on preferential terms”; it is on identical terms, as the WTO requires. Nothing else is needed.

  32. JohnH
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Problem is all of this should have been clarified before we signed. The Tory manifesto at the time of the election made it out to be the best deal ever- it’s hard to know what’s real anymore?

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      JohnH, I think the majority of Leaves on here saw the revised WA as a very bad deal indeed, and only marginally better than the first (May) WA. But we had had over three years of Remain turmoil egged on by a devious Remain PM. There was little that Leave MPs could do except get the damn thing through, and sort out the bad bits later. All very far from ideal.

      • Soames
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        Nonsense. The Conservative government elected last December had 5 years to get it right. Not the EU’s fault they chose to rush it through Parliament in one month

        • rose
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          In other words you would have liked us to stay in until Starmer becomes PM. That is not what was voted for and you know it.

  33. Richard1
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    OK but why weren’t the problems with the WA made clearer at the time by Brexit supporting MPs?

    I hope Boris isn’t bluffing with this as that won’t work. He needs to be prepared to walk with no deal. If not it would be best to cave in now and forget this piece of legislation. I suggest you try to check that out privately if you can – it will look very silly if this legislation goes through and then he caves in!

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      We were in a perilous position at that time, at the mercy of the Traitors’ Parliament with its flow of illegitimate directives. We just had to get out as best we could on the back of Mrs May’s poisonous deal, amending what we could, and limit the damage later.

  34. David
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks for that, would it be possible to provide a link for this bit -”
    At the time of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration the EU signed up to two important propositions. They agreed that the core of our new relationship with them would be a free trade agreement with no tariffs, and they would respect UK sovereignty. “

    • Giles B
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      From the political declaration:

      In that spirit, this declaration establishes the parameters of an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership across trade and economic cooperation with a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement at its core , law enforcement and criminal justice, foreign policy, security and defence and wider areas of cooperation. Where the Parties consider it to be in their mutual interest during the negotiations, the future relationship may encompass areas of cooperation beyond those described in this political declaration. This relationship will be rooted in the values and interests that the Union and the United Kingdom share. These arise from their geography, history and ideals anchored in their common European heritage. The Union and the United Kingdom agree that prosperity and security are enhanced by embracing free and fair trade, defending individual rights and the rule of law, protecting workers, consumers and the environment, and standing together against threats to rights and values from without or within.
      4.
      The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations, taking into account the principles of each Party. This balance must ensure the autonomy of the Union’s decision making and be consistent with the Union’s principles, in particular with respect to the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union and the indivisibility of the four freedoms. It must also ensure the sovereignty of the United Kingdom and the protection of its internal market, while 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 the United Kingdom.

  35. Dee
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Good speeches John and thank you Bill Cash for Clause 38.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      And Martin Howe – Lord Howe but one who graces the Upper House, unlike his uncle.

  36. Lorna
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for your clear explanation
    What concerns me is that a minority of Tory MPs do not appear to understand the facts surrounding this issue
    There we have the truth of it – the UK government has acted to prevent the threat of Brussels blockading Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.
    Why should that be controversial to those voted in by Tory supporters ?

  37. matthu
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to whoever drafted Clause 38.

  38. Kristo
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The WA is an International treaty to allow UK depart from the EU in an orderly fashion while the PD is an aspirational document about future trade arrangements but is not binding. For clarity the two should not be conflated.

  39. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The BBC and certain MP’s who have always worked against the UK’S best interests need to get to grips with this John and stop making out laws are being broken. The EU are always breaking the rules to suit themselves and in paticular to be advantageous to Germany and France. They say jump and everyone asks how high. We don’t want that anymore.

  40. BW
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Sir John. You seem convinced that we are acting legally. I hope we are as I have had my fill of constant threats be they from the EU, the USA, or our own 5th column. What you have said makes sense to me so why so many threats with legal action.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      The threats are bullying and bluster, hoping to pick off timorous conservative MPs and Peers. It seems to be working. What a shower.

      • BW
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        I expect the Remainer Lords with frustrate the Bill if not Gina can always ask the Remainer Spider woman in the courts to declare it unlawful.
        The Remainers are trying everything they can to keep us under the control of the EU. Boris must not cave in. Why we continue to negotiate whilst being threatened.
        Just shows the contempt the EU have for any nation under the control of Germany and France.

  41. NickC
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    JR, Thank you for that clear and concise explanation. I fully support the government’s move to protect the integrity and sovereignty of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    It is just a pity that the EU cannot be trusted to comply with its Withdrawal Agreement undertakings. The EU’s determination to remain in control of both our laws and our fish signals its lack of respect for our “sovereign decision to leave the [EU]” (WA preamble).

    Moreover the EU clearly does not “fully respect the autonomy of the respective legal orders … of the [UK] as well as the [UK’s] status as a third country” (WA preamble). And consequently the EU’s failure to respect, or even understand, our dualist constitution, will hardly come as a surprise.

  42. K Jig
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Sir John there is no such thing as ‘No Deal’ or ‘Crashing out’.

    WTO rules are deals. That is what a trade deal is, an agreement on how to carry out trade between two parties.

    What the politicians have been asking for is a ‘tailor made deal’ and the EU will never agree any deal that is helpful and advantageous to the UK. The are not our friends and partners! They are ruthless competitors, who will not hold back from hobbling the UK. That is why we must be free. Remember their movie where they laughed at Britain becoming a vassal state!

    I always voted Conservative and joined the Conservative Party as soon as I could vote. But during the most recent European Elections I voted for The Brexit Party. The first time I did not vote Conservative!

    I did vote for The Conservatives in the last GE, after their canvassers came to my door and persuaded me. But I won’t give any money unless we are out of the EU and free of their tentacles and control.

    I like Boris and voted for him twice as Mayor of London. But I still don’t trust the Conservatives to free us from the EU and though TM never had any intentions of taking us out.

    We don’t want fudge. We want out, with sovereignty, free of the ECJ, free of politicians we have not voted for. IMO, the tottering EU banks will sooner or later drag the thing under and we need to be well clear.

    If we stand back and look at our membership of the EU, it is laughable. How ever did we agree to handing over tens of £billions and then tariffs paid to the EU, if we import from the rest of the world, very often countries we have long histories with?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      ‘I can see clearly now’ wipe the mist from your eyes.
      Move on.

      • K Jig
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        ‘Wipe the mist’ from your own eyes!

    • bill brown
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      K Jig,

      Just to answer one of your many questons.
      If, you look at trade patterns around the World a significant maount of internaitonal trade is regional(EU for exmample) and this is also the case in Europe and taht wil continue. We will not start being a major power exporting to China as Germany does.
      (46 % of all EU exports to China)

  43. Billy Elliot
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Dunno what EU has promised and what has been their understanding of FTA etc.
    But necessarily no laws have been broken, no breach of contract.
    So it is bit so and so do we have the right to break the law – if it really is that we are breaking it.
    Hopefully government knows what it is doing.

  44. Dee
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I would like to remind you that from day 1, four plus years ago, the eu has acted in bad faith. Article 50 stated that a FTA should be negotiated in Parallel with all other talks. Barnier refused. They have interfered in referendums, elections and entertained anyone opposed to Brexit.
    Verhofstadt has done his damnedest to reverse the Democratic vote of the British people. Fortunately the Brits have more common sense than him and he ended up helping us which was beautifully ironic.
    We have been confronted by threats and blackmail by Barnier if we didn’t do what he said.
    Tusk tried every which way to derail us and insult us. When Frost presented Barnier with a feasible FTA, Barnier wouldn’t even read it. All in all I would say they have show nothing but bad faith and contempt for us and they have no right to be indignant if we tear up the Toxic WA. We shouldn’t mess with them anymore, they are just a waste of money and time. We should walk and don’t look back. As they say, ‘with friends like them, who needs enemies?’

  45. Rhoddas
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Superbly explained Sir J; no surprise the MSM have gone into hystrionics and cast HMG as the baddie again, project fear III, yawn.

    I commend the last para of WA Clause 38 with the thrilling foresight of our negotiating team, to our dear readers “(3) Accordingly, NOTHING in this Act derogates from the sovereignty of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.”

  46. andrew jones
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Always brilliant and factual content, unlike the anti-UK media outlets. We true British appreciate you endeavours thank you

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      andrew jones

      100% correct

  47. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    If is requires us to break the law in order to avoid having customs within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland then the law is an ass.

    I am happy for it to be challenged.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Narrow Shoulders

      +1

  48. Everhopeful
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Reading that clear, non-alarmist explanation would have made me so happy a year ago.
    I would have felt that we had some future despite all the terrible articles in the press.
    And that we really would be free of the EU.
    But it has all been ruined by the present terrifying shenanigans.
    For which there seems to be no rational explanation.

  49. James
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    One example of political Sophistry is using one argument in a loud or agressive way in the hope of disguising true intent? But what if sophistry fails? What if it can be seen through by your opponents and we find ourselves in the wilderness without friends? Today I read that the EU has given up on this UK government and is only playing the game for legacy purposes- they want a FTA but have decided to wait until there is a new government in place? I wonder

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      They don’t want an FTA and never did. They want a Vassal State. They think there are enough Quislings here to bring one about.

  50. Michael
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The provisions contained in the bill are needed so that the UK works as a whole and we avoid differences between the four nations which would not make for a sensible United Kingdom.

    The Government should press on and achieve a complete 100% escape from the clutches of the EU

  51. Freeborn John
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I hope there will be a 3-line Whip and that any Conservative MP who votes against will lose the whip and follow Dominic Grieve and Phillip Hammond out of the Commons at the next election. Let it be the Labour party that is split and whose MPs stand against the wishes of the electorate.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Neill, Walker, Gale so far…all three dedicated enemies of the PM who are being touted by the media as never having rebelled before!

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Freeborn John

      Any Tory member who votes against the whip resign with immediate effect. Why put up with the two faced back stabbing b******* until 2024. Have we learnt nothing over the last few years?

  52. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–I am hardly pro EU but how could anyone have agree to put in place an FTA without its terms having been agreed?

  53. Roger Teague
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    John. I am delighted the Government has taken this course of action; it removes a negotiating hold the EU believed it held over the UK. However, it’s the EU’s contention that by simply publishing the law we are in breach of the revised Withdrawal Act. Is this your position and does the Government agree with your analysis? many thanks. Roger Teague – Conservative Member in South Cambs.

  54. Donna
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m having trouble deciding if the destruction of our civil liberties announced yesterday is an attempt to distract from the Government admitting it would be breaking international law ….. or if the admission that the Government would be breaking international law was an attempt to distract us from the destruction of our civil liberties.

    Perhaps John could give us his opinion.

    Perhaps Matt Hancock should be encouraged to grow a small black moustache and adopt a comb-over, so that he looks the appropriate part to go with the Brown Shirts we can expect to see “marshalling” us in our towns and cities.

  55. Michael McGrath
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    From your post the situation seems to be quite clear and uncontroversial

    Why then did Brandon Lewis stand up in the HoC and say that we were proposing to act illegally? Is there something I am missing?

  56. 'None of the above'.
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    A welcome comment from you Sir John and a sensible insight into the issue.
    I am not a lawyer but I have taken a keen interest in the legislation that you mention and I was aware of the Government sensibly taking the advice of Sir William Cash with regard to Clause 38 of the EU Withdrawal Act.
    The EU can hardly claim to have negotiated in good faith nor can they demonstrate that they have made best endeavours to reach an agreement (both requirements of the Withdrawal Agreement), not least because they have consistently failed to demonstrate that they accept that we will be a Sovereign Nation.
    Could someone please have a quiet word with Lord Howard and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland?

  57. MPC
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Concise as ever and consistent with what Bernard Jenkin said on Newsnight last night after protesting at the inevitable interruptions by Emma Barnett. The silent majority of voters are right behind you on this and the Remainer protestations by the usual suspects are revealing. We have left the EU yet they would still like to prevent us flourishing as an independent nation. I fully expect some more of them such as Messrs Heseltine and Blair to be given much (uninterrupted) coverage on the airwaves starting today. I really think more people will be aware now of an FTA being the agreed basis of our future relationship with the EU and that the EU has indeed been negotiating in bad faith as an FTA could have been agreed by now.

  58. Soames
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The Minister told Parliament yesterday that the UK is deliberately violating international law. No Conservative Prime Minister – Macmillan, Thatcher, Major, you name it – would EVER have even considered such infamy. Dominic Cummings is laughing behind the Conservative party’s back as he turns the UK into a rogue state

    • Fred H
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      rogue state – or 2 feet firmly planted at long last?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      So the Minister was wrong. Hardly a first with htis lot.

  59. Len Peel
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    National law cannot alter an international Treaty. No Treaty would be worth making if it could. So you don’t understand the first thing about it. And next time China, Russia etc breaks a Treaty, if the UK criticises, it will be told to shut up. So you have thrown away any influence we used to have. Shame on you and your party

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      The WA isnt an international treaty.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Which international treaty has China or Russia broken which deals exclusively with its internal market with no effect outside its borders?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      It totally confuses you when the UK behaves as an independent nation.
      40 years of taking orders.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        NOt as an independent nation but as a braker of international law also accoridng to the Americans in Congress

        • Edward2
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          If we cannot alter our own laws then we are not a free nation.
          If we are beholden to this concept of international law which must not be challenged then we are ruled only by them.
          The globalist dream.

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      len peel, You need to have a word with your Remain mate, Acorn. We have a dualist constitution where an Act of Parliament is the method that the UK uses to ratify international agreements. Hence what the Act (in this case the WAA 2020) stipulates is critical. The EU knows this so should have read the WAA. It’s a pity you haven’t.

  60. DavidJ
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Better to bin the WA and walk away. WTO is fine so long as no control whatsoever is ceded to the EU.

  61. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    From what I picked up from listening to someone on the radio the other day, the Irish border issue revolves around the EU being concerned that we could provide state aid to industries and that, as a result, artificially cheap goods could cross into the EU across the border. (Quite why that would not be an issue going through the tunnel, or any other way of moving goods into the EU, was not explored.)

    Surely the answer to this is simple. If goods have received state aid, they will be subject to tariffs. If no state aid, no tariffs. Our government is not exactly famous for bailing out and aiding businesses.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      We would like a Free Port in Belfast to start with, which would greatly improve the prosperity of our brethren there, and that is just the sort of thing the EU would scupper if it could get control of our regulations, taxation, h and s, etc.

      • rose
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        There are also the Wrightsons buses of Ballymena to think about. we don’t want the EU putting them out of business.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Why? if we were Germany, an exception would be made. I think we are being compatible with EU conventions on this one.

      State aid to the former East Germany
      Article 107(2)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) considered ‘aid granted to the economy of certain areas of the Federal Republic of Germany affected by the division of Germany, in so far as such aid is required in order to compensate for the economic disadvantages caused by that division’ to be compatible with the internal market and thus regarded as an exemption.

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Mike W, It is an entirely fabricated issue used by the EU to extract concessions from Mrs May. Legal shipments across the NI border into Eire already require paperwork (electronic or otherwise) to cope with legal, customs, and currency, differences. After we leave, a column can be added for the EU tariff, and Eire can inspect the exports as it deems fit away from the border. Illegal shipments (or smuggling) is already illegal (oddly enough).

  62. Dennis
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    What’s all this about breaking International Law then and the trashing of the Good Friday Agreement? Nothing to it? That would be good news but no one else thinks so.

    Perhaps I’ve got this all wrong.

  63. Andy Lestocq
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    A simple and straightforward answer to hypocrisy and cant being hurled by various characters with axes to grind . I trust that the malcontents within the Tory party will be dealt with .Flogging round the fleet canes to mind

    .

  64. meagain
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Whatever way you dress it up there is no legitimate reason for this legislation. We are way out of line and I suppose that as a tactic it is a feint move- but it was never going to work.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Why should we need German approval to grant state aid to NI?

      • Kristo
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        we don’t need German approval- we need EU approval by way of of a level playing field thar’s if we want a deal that gives us tariff free access to their market and here we’re only talking about Goods-

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      Meagain, The very real and legitimate reason is to prevent the EU from breaking up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  65. agricola
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    On reflection, why did we sign an agreement with clauses in it that we now find unsustainable. On the other hand is this a piece of faux legislation designed to encourage/hasten the signing of a comprehensive trade agreement, and flush out the discenters at the same time, or are they orchestrated voices off. Please enlighten us as to what is really going on. We are not part of this “House of Cards” so it would be revealing to know what is really happening.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

      We signed it that so an ambitious politician can fullfill his dream of being PM. Now, if anyone has a better alternative I would like to know it ?

      • agricola
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Not very enlightening.

      • Nicholas Hallam
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        He was already Prime Minister.

  66. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh, “the easiest trade deal in history” to negotiate, is it?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      It could have been. Every time EU said we want this, we should have said no!
      Then walk away – easier way to freedom.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      He said it SHOULD be the easiest deal in history, but it would depend on the politics. In other words, it wouldn’t be because we would be dealing with the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Martin, As you have been frequently told the correct quote is it “should be” the easiest deal in history. “Should”. Dependent on the EU being sensible. Because we start off perfectly aligned. Did you Remains miss out on GCSE English? – you sure seem to have difficulty understanding plain words like “should”, “access”, “leave” and “fund”.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        NIckC

        Like oyu having problmes with vasal state, en empire

    • agricola
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Martin, potentially it could have been because it was how we were operating and still are. Only an EU intent on punishment would seek to make it dificult. I would add that the EU nations who trade with us will find it equally difficult. The EU is putting their trade in question because we have options, they less so.
      One option has arisen today with the announcement that we now have a free trade agreement with Japan that is less restrictive than the one Japan has with the EU. If for instance th EU play difficult with the fish market, the Japanese will take all the surplus for export fish and shellfish we catch. You may find further trade agreements materialising as exit day approaches. Think positive.

    • Zorro
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      ‘Should be’ were the words…. but then we were dealing with a hopeless case, namely the EU.

      zorro

  67. Timaction
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    They are not negotiating in good faith by insisting vassell’s state in a number of area’s and keeping our fishing grounds for nothing. Outrageous. It’s time to walk away from the WA and everything else. They simply cannot be trusted.

  68. Jonathan Tee
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    ” If the EU keeps to its promises there will be no need for the arrangements envisaged for the Irish border in the current legislation.” The EU are upset – it would be reasonable to assume they did not intend to keep their promises.

  69. Andy
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    It is sad, but also a little bit funny, that people who voted for the Withdrawal Agreement are now moaning about the withdrawal agreement.

    It has always been a rubbish deal. But it was negotiated by Brexiteers, it was signed by Boris Johnson – who led the leave campaign – and it was ratified this January when MPs voted for the Withdrawal Agreement Act. Virtually every Conservative MP voted for it, the majority having previously voted against allowing sufficient time for the law to be scrutinised.

    All of these problems were entirely foreseeable by the people you all dismissed as Remoaners.

    Anyway, the interesting thing now is not the Tory attempt to break international law – which is predictable. Nor is the EU response to threaten legal action which is also predictable – (though it would be brilliantly funny if the ECJ ruled against the Brexiteers – that would be comedy to watch). No, the interesting thing is Nancy Pelosi reminding Brexit Britain that there is no trade deal with the US unless Ireland is satisfied with Brexit. And Ireland is not satisfied with Brexit. And Pelosi holds a veto whatever Trump agrees.

    So it looks like no trade deal with the EU, no trade deal with the US. No trade deal better than any we already have. Plus international pariah status and a government whose COVID response has made us a global laughing stock. I simply note with amusement that taking back control is working out well for you all.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Andy, what a warped sense of humour you have. You just love it when anything awkward or difficult comes our way. You really should go and live in the EU. We would be so much better off without people like you.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        best not to read the maniacal rants, while pretending to laugh.
        Actually seriously disturbed.
        Just move on by – nothing to see or learn there.

        • ukretired123
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          Spot on Fred H!

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      So really… it’s not a case of us wanting to leave the EU but the fact that we *can’t* leave the EU.

      Not in the proper sense. Our troops are being controlled by the EU as are our fishing territories and borders in effect.

      We shouldn’t have been given a referendum in that case – you never gave the argument that we couldn’t leave the EU.

      When is the USA going to open up its border with Mexico ? And Canada with the USA ?

      Nancy Pelosi told Donald Trump he was racist for wanting to close flights from China, didn’t she ?

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      You sound like Lord Haw-Haw daily giving us fun!

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      We haven’t got a trade deal with the US at the moment and we are struggling by.

    • beresford
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      It was negotiated by Theresa May and Ollie Robbins, who if not out-and-out Remainers wanted a Brexit In Name Only which kept us shackled to the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      It was always dependent on the EU and UK agreeeing a deal.

    • NickC
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      Andy, As you well know the bulk of the WA was negotiated by Remains – led by Olly Robbins and Theresa May. Instead of implementing our vote to Leave, the Remain Parliaments and a bunch of monied Remains sought to overturn our democratic vote. They so very nearly succeeded, and it is still touch and go whether we will become independent. And Nancy Pelosi has her own problems with Democrat party endorsed “mostly peaceful” thuggery and riots.

      • Soames
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        Yes, most of it is May’s deal. But the bit you don’t like – the bit where the UK is breaking the law – is NI, and it is 100% Boris’s. You voted for it last December. Oven ready, and, it turns out, too late, uneatable

        • Edward2
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          The actual law we are breaking is the original Act of Union.

          Section 38 was in the Withdrawal Act at the time of the election.

          Parliament is supreme and can pass new laws.
          As Gina Miller told us.

        • NickC
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Soames, There’s no “is” about it. First the IMA is not UK law yet. Second the specific part in question will not operate unless the EU chooses to belligerently attempt to break up the UK.

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

      Trade deal with Japan just signed worth c £15 billion a year, and there will be more.

    • Zorro
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Germany calling, Germany calling……

      zorro

  70. Ian Morrin
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    John are you conflating the withdrawal agreement (legal document) with the Political Declaration (a gentlemen’s agreement on how everyone will behave).

    Your argument still seems to be flawed as it requires the EU to break the WA for you to be able to justify the proposed govt legislation.

    The EU haven’t broken the WA therefore there is no need for the legislation.

    I thought Conservatives were against legislation for the sake of it?

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

      The EU has indeed broken the WA as their hierarchy have not negotiated in good faith, the moment they demand £39 billion up front, then our fishing waters , then our state aid options is not negotiating, it’s bullying. Bullies must get what they deserve … nothing.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      The EU has broken the WA. It recognised that the WA would be replaced by a FTA. Now it refuses that hoping we will just remain in WA limbo. The WA was ‘made up’ – it’s not part of the EU Prescribed leaving process.

  71. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    The one institution that wants a hard border to all of its territory is the European Union, in particular the unelected European Commission. They can’t get a hard border between southern and Northern Ireland because the people there don’t want one, so they do the next best thing: they support the Republic of Ireland’s attempt to take over Northern Ireland by manipulating the Good Friday Agreement.

    There are two phrases constantly uttered by spokespersons for the Republic that are self serving weasel words. One is “the peace process”. There is either peace or there isn’t. The implication of tacking the word “process” on the end implies that Unionists need to carry on making concessions to preserve the peace. The other phrase is “the island of Ireland”, a favourite among Republicans implying that a geographical concept is a State. It isn’t. The UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland should not utter either of these phrases.

    The UK signed up to the International Law on Treaties in 1970. That was a bad decision and has hamstrung us since. We should withdraw our signature from that treaty and repeal both the Good Friday Agreement and the EU Withdrawal Treaty IN THEIR ENTIRITY. We signed the Withdrawal Treaty on the premise that the EU would agree to a free trade deal. The EU has not done so and are therefore negotiating in bad faith. We owe them NOTHING.

    • rose
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      EU: Have a good look at the Croatian border and what passes over it, then worry about the Irish border.

  72. glen cullen
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    UK pop.68 million; today death 14

    Marshal Law, send in the army, alert the UN that the UK is closed for business

    • Peter
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Martin Howe, Chairman of Lawyers for Britain, also states that the Brexit bill is ‘perfectly justifiable’ and ‘will not breach international law’. (Daily Telegraph 10/09/20).

      So let the legal shenanigans begin.

      Loss of face for either side has been considerably ramped up by various statements.

      I have absolutely no idea how it will all play out, but – at the moment – it looks favourable for those who just want to leave on WTO terms.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        +1
        I see Barnier is threatening a ‘trade war’! The EU is like my puppy, knows no boundaries and needs a few lessons.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          Lynn

          Really? A few lessons? Here is a basic one:

          46% of the all UKs goods and services exports went to the EU in 2019. So if we stop that, half of the UK will be unemployed.

          If UK stop all EUs goods and services exports to UK, France will lose 5% of all French export, Germany 6% of all German export and etc

          And you don’t need a degree in maths.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          Lynn

          What lessons are those?

          Real facts like:

          46% of the all UKs goods and services exports went to the EU in 2019. So if we stop that, half of the UK will be unemployed.

          If UK stop all EUs goods and services exports to UK, France will lose 5% of all French export, Germany 6% of all German export and etc.

          No doubt this won’t make it into JR’s “fact file” either.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          What lessons are those?

          46% of the all UKs goods and services exports went to the EU in 2019. So if we stop that, half of the UK will be unemployed.

          If UK stop all EUs goods and services exports to UK, well, France will lose 5% of all French export, Germany 6% of all German export and etc.

          • Robert Mcdonald
            Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            46% of our exports did indeed go to the eu, but falling, and even with sanctions a significant amount still would, but any shortfall will comfortably be redirected to the world out there. Of course your calculation that 46% of eu exports makes up half our work force is just ludicrous.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

            Are you saying no trade will carry on between the EU and UK after December 31st?
            Project Mark 3

          • NickC
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H, Again you’re having problems with maths. For a start it’s nearer 42% of UK exports (to the EU) – after the Rotterdam effect. But much more importantly all our exports are less than a third of UK GDP in total. So no, your claim that “half of the UK will be unemployed” is utterly false.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          Lynn

          This is like your remark on Sweden just fake news with nore content

      • Edward2
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Sounds great.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          YOu know better so stop playing nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            My opinion is that leaving the EU will be great for the UK.
            I’m entitled to have that opinion.
            I live in free democracy.
            Even if you and the EU want to put a stop to it.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        The end game will be that the democratic will of the people of the UK will apply to our territories. Trade barriers within the UK single market are, always were, and always will be laughable. You really think a referendum on putting up barriers inside the UK would succeed, either in NI or the UK?

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          PS How about suggesting Ireland regain status within the British Isles, all goods there marked EU(ROI), and a tariff barrier established by the EU between Ireland and the remainder of the EU? As compensation, Ireland can retain access freely to the UK market.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:12 am | Permalink

      Todays deaths more like 1,300 of which 14 just due were directly caused by Covid19. Perhaps over 100 were due to the NHS shutdown and lack of care provision.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        so why are we in lockdown

      • Zorro
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Long time since ventilator gate, isn’t it? My spidey sense instinct has been on the button with this global ‘crisis’…..

        zorro

      • Zorro
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Don’t worry they are going to p*** £100bn down the drain to the usual suspects for no real benefit whatsoever…..

        zorro

    • Zorro
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Martial law if you please!

      zorro

  73. Peter
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Even the shadow attorney general Lord Falconer said yesterday on Sky ‘there I absolutely nothing the European Union can do about it.’

    Lord Falconer is ardent Remainer who wanted a so-called People’s Vote to thwart Brexit.

  74. Harper
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    It’s an awful mess for which we are most definitely on the losing end and after this I don’t suppose we can have many friends left around the world- probably none- except maybe Morrison’s Australia might stand by us but that’s all. Think about it

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Trade agreement just signed with Japan, estimated to be worth c 15 billion … then there is the rest of the world outside of the eurocracy keen to come to our table. At least we wont have any of this remain project fear about chlorinated chicken etc if the democrats get power in the USA …. IF.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Yet just today Liz Truss secured an excellent trade deal with Japan.

  75. JohnH
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    We did not vote for a FTA with them so don’t know what the problem is, instead we can trade with the rest of the world on WTO rules.

  76. L Jones
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    We seem to be in the smoke and mirrors situation again.

    When is any MP going to find the courage to demand a review of the ’emergency powers’ that are ruining our country, its economy and society? We seem to be living in a dictatorship. And we seem to be following Victoria’s sorry pattern.

    Is there not one with honour in the whole sorry bunch?

    • Zorro
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Tumbleweed moment……

      zorro

  77. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    O/T sorry.

    Daily we are getting reported CV19 death and infection rates.

    Where are the rates for suicide, anti-depressant use, the cancer time bomb and car crash injuries (because people can’t use trains and planes)… ?

    Surely to God with a disease that isn’t anything like Spanish Flu there ought to be a comparison between ‘death by Covid’ and ‘death by reaction to Covid’ ?

  78. Gantley
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Michael Gove? Seriously? Would you care to buy a used car from him?

  79. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    This ‘international law’ people refer to – where are the laws made and can we vote out whoever makes them?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Benn’s question. Very good too, we don’t obey diktat, just democratically authorised law.

  80. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Where is ‘the world stage’ we are losing our position on? Who decides who the actors are? Is there a director?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Mike. Exactly right on both posts!

  81. Tim S
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    It is the first time I have ever commented on this website.

    As one of your constituents, I am very upset by your support for the unilateral breaking of the WA by the UK. I am shocked that our country would renege on an international agreement so quickly after signing it. How can we expect present or future international partners to trust us?

    I disagree that this is in any way necessary. If we fail to agree a Trade Agreement, and if the EU were then to behave in a vindictive and abusive way in interfering in GB-NI trade beyond what was agreed in the WA, one might argue for emergency legislation to deal with the situation. But there is no argument of necessity to do anything now.

    The rule of law is foundational for a civilized society. That so many senior legal figures are vehement in their condemnation must give pause for thought: can the government not be persuaded to take a more measured approach? And if you think the EU will break the WA, why not wait and let them be the first to do so?

    Reply As I have explained the U.K. is conforming with the law we passed to implement the Withdrawal Agreement. There is nothing illegal about the U.K. exercising its sovereignty to ensure orderly future trade arrangements for Northern Ireland.

    • Soames
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Your reply shames you, JR. It is illegal under international law. Mrs Thatcher would never have broken an internatiobal Treaty. She knew the worth of a reputation for honesty

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        It’s not illegal.
        It’s not a Treaty.
        Other than that you are right.

    • Andy
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Your comments are surprising and show a lack of understanding as to why the UK Government has been forced by the EU to publish such a Bill. By treatening to not give third country approval to UK standards the EU was seeking to engineer a scenario where food stuffs could not go from the mainland to Northern Ireland, part of the UK. The flow of goods between parts of the UK is enshrined in the Acts of Union of 1707 and 1800 and the Withdrawal Agreement cannot, in Law, impinge upon those Acts. By passing the Internal Markets Bill the Government will ensure that the Withdrawal Agreement does not impinge upon those Acts and ensure that in Law the EU cannot seek to ‘starve’ Northern Ireland. You will note that the EU was quick to deny any such threat had been made which is a clear confirmation that it had.

    • John Barleycorn
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Reply to Mr Redwoods reply.
      Brandon Lewis clearly stated in the Commons that the Bil would break international law, albeit in a minor way.
      Do you disagree with what the minister said

      reply Yes

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      the EU has already behaved in a vindicative and abusive way!
      Do keep up.

    • Tim S
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Thnak you for responding. I understand that it does not break UK law, but it seems that even the government accepts that it breaks international law. NI backstop arrangements were heavily argued over and well understood before the WA was agreed and signed. To renege on our agreement in this way puts the UK in a terribly odious position internationally.

  82. Last Chance Escapes
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    I am setting up a website with emergency escape packages to Sweden. It should be clear to you all by now that we are in the middle of a communist revolution disguised as a virus and an iron curtain is falling on most of the western world. Like in all communist states, soon you will not be able to leave the country. I want to help as many as possible escape while you still can.

    Sweden has only 13 Covid patients and only one death a day despite no lockdown, proving viral contagion is a myth.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Sweden is suffering medium level warfare, the Scandanavian countries are thinking about closing borders to protect themselves from ‘Swedish conditions’.

  83. Freeborn John
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    The U.K. can no longer provide a defence guarantee to EU states via NATO. Why should we fight to defend countries that will disrupt food supplies to a part of the U.K. as a political weapon?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      and deny access to supplies of potentially life saving masks in the face of a pandemic?

  84. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    It would appear from the comments elsewhere, from QC’s and legal professionals, the EU from the outset has broken the WA by creating red lines. Those red lines being the EU that must dictate and rule UK Fishing and it must be the EU that creates rules and laws on how the internal UK trade must take place. The overseer of these rules and laws must at all times be the EU through their ECJ. Fundamentally the EU red lines seek to maintain the UK as a vassal state.

    Further more the situation with NI and the ROI was resolved years ago with the Good Friday Agreement. The EU was not party to this agreement in that it was brokered between the UK and the US with NI and ROI. The EU is seeking to break this agreement by removing NI from the UK. Bringing NI under EU laws and jurisdiction by splitting it from the UK. This is breaking the Good Friday Agreement and as such the EU is in turn breaking the terms of the WA.

    While the waters may be muddied with miss information everything the EU is pontificating on is to cause problems between peoples and assert its control on domains that in any civilized world would be outside their control.

    As from the get go the answer and it should have happened 4 years ago is a ‘Clean Break’

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      From todays (Friday) Telegraph

      The WA acts against the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland and would clearly alter the constitutional status of Northern Ireland within the UK. As such, it would amount to a major breach of the core principle of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement that NI’s constitutional status cannot be changed without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.

  85. ukretired123
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Barnier posing as the nice EU guy in a suit (like a Taylor’s Dummy) for now reverts to type :-
    – Brow-beating
    – Threatening (a trade war!)
    – Bullying if he doesn’t get what he wants….
    Doesn’t realise he is seen as a bandit covering it up.

    Unlike Britain when we left countries we did not leave a scorched earth policy as a legacy unlike France in Guinea-Bissau / Conakry when they / Sékou Touré asked for independence from Gen Dr Gualle.
    “In reaction, and as a warning to other French-speaking territories, the French pulled out of Guinea over a two-month period, taking everything they could with them…. ”
    My wife saw it first hand in 1974 and witnessed the destruction.

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Tailor’s Dummy – changed by word-pad !

  86. Ed M
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Important as Sovereignty is, Honour is even more important. More and more people abroad see the UK’s approach to Brexit as being awash with duplicity – people who would previously seen the UK as the Gold Standard for Truth and The Rule of Law.

    As so often in politics, power goes to people’s head. Some people in this government think they’re more clever than they really are – this is exactly what happened to Labour under Blair – and that government then became a pariah after The Gulf War.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Certainly the UK’s approach to brexit before Boris was indeed duplicitous, the main parties including Mays government saying they support the democratic decision of the people and then doing everything in their power to leave without actually leaving.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Two wrongs don’t make a right.

        And as night follows day, no good has ever come from going against this.

        One of the important reasons why so many people here and outside the UK love The UK is because it sets the Gold Standard for Truth / The Rule – and which greatly helps our economy too – and has been doing so for a 1,000 years. And it takes real effort to maintain that. Boris is undermining – unravelling it, that big time.

        If he carries on, he (and his cabinet) will become a pariah like Tony Blair (whenever Tony Blair comes on TV, I am sure 9 out of 10 people quickly turn over the channel).

        • Ed M
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          ‘The Rule’ – The Ruel of Law (i meant)

          (Again I am NOT against Sovereignty – I support it and for moral reasons not just political ones – but not at any cost – and Sovereignty can always remain a goal, that doesn’t have to shift, but the way we achieve that even if it takes longer – not maybe not, the opposite!).

  87. Ed M
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I am a strong believer in Sovereignty. Brexiters are right: the EU is an aberration (although close contacts with Europe in trade / culture / security – but outside EU/Single Market – is definitely a good thing).

    BUT this whole Brexit thing for me is still in the realm, to a degree, of Shakespearean tragedy as it has been led by some people in government (in cabinet – not outside it) who lack the vision and skills overall to implement it – and in an honourable way. With honour being even more important than Sovereignty (important as that is).

    Conservative Party has to find ways of attracting much more qualified people to lead its government – precisely so that we can achieve the good things we all want: things like being taken cleanly out of the EU, a strong economy based on high productivity, and so on.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Politics is ultimately about personalities not ideas. You can have great ideas. But unless you have the people with the skills to implement them properly, then those ideas can be more harmful than helpful.

      Therefore the ultimate challenge now is for the Conservative Party to find a way of getting people of higher calibre into its government (instead of people, for example, with lots of experience of journalism / PR – running our country).

  88. James Wallace-Dunlop
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Lewis has not been a competent advocate for HMG.

    The bill does not break international law. Even if it did, an effective minister would not give a sound bite so ripe for exploitation by HMG’s enemies. The minister’s message should be that the EU’s failure to follow the WA commitment to implement a FTA was forcing the government to arm itself with the authority needed to defend the Good Friday Agreement.

    While the bill does not break any law or commitment, it gives HMG powers that could be used in ways that at least some reasonable people would argue broke international law. But, if doing so, it would be because HMG believed that varying the WA was the lesser of two evils, because, unvaried, HMG would be breaking the Good Friday Agreement by implementing something (a change in the status of NI relative to the rest of the UK) which the parties to the GFA guarantee will not occur without the express consent of the people of NI. ie HMG would only risk breaking international law, in a situation where ‘international law’ was going to be broken one way or the other.

    Was the UK incompetent to pass the WA given its potential to conflict with the GFA once the UK left the Single Market & Customs Union? The UK can point to the WA’s commitment by both parties to negotiate a FTA in good faith, and to implement it by the end of 2020, and can argue that the EU’s approach (trying to say that the EU accepting the UK sovereignty over its territorial waters does not mean recognising the UK’s control of fishing rights, withdrawing its 2017 suggestions of a Canada-style deal, and insisting on terms that no G7 member has ever accepted in a trade deal, and which don’t respect the WA’s stipulation of a FTA respecting UK sovereignty) is not negotiating in good faith. This would amount to claiming the EU had abrogated the WA and that the UK’s variation was a response to the EU’s abrogation. If the bill is designed to cater for this eventuality, then not just Brandon Lewis, but HMG as a whole, needs a new comms strategy. It would be easy to say

    – HMG is committed to the WA and the GFA

    – If the EU conclude an FTA with the UK, then the bill’s powers in this area will not be needed or used

    – If the EU fails to conclude an FTA, then the UK’s initial approach will be to resolve NI issues through the joint committee.

    – If the EU fails to conclude an FTA, and then uses the joint committee to propose NI measures that would force the UK to break the GFA, then the UK would use the powers in the bill to vary the WA rather than accept breaking the GFA.

    The UK could go even further, and say that, if forced to vary the WA, within 18(?) months it would allow the people of NI a vote to choose between what the UK had implemented and the solution put forward by the EU in the joint committee. Such a mechanism would also encourage the EU to advance solutions that work for NI and its people.

    Just my 2d worth

    PS It is interesting to see that the row over NI has eliminated all coverage of the SNP’s objections to being in a single market & customs union with England.

    • rose
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Right approach except I wouldn’t allow the EU/IRA axis to force us to hold what could end up as the IRA’s border poll when we wouldn’t otherwise do so.

  89. BW
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    How many more of these threats do we have to listen to. Planning to destroy our industries, financial sector. Words like punishment, revenge being thrown at us every day unless the U.K. do what the EU wants. Isn’t that what they threatened Greece with when they dared to vote for an anti EU government. If there is any Remainers that still believe the EU is a good place to be they must surely have their heads in the sand.
    Stop negotiating with those that are continually threatening the U.K. Walk away now and prepare for WTO.
    There will be bigger queues of lorries on the motorways on the other side of the channel. It’s not all one way traffic.

  90. Edward2
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    How delicious that the Supreme Court ruling thanks to Gina Miller gives the required legal backing that the UK Parliament is supreme.

  91. David Rennick
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The Government admits that the Internal Markets Bill if enacted will breach international law. The reason that the Government admit this is that their legal advisors have told them that the Act will be in clear breach of their treaty obligations under the Withdrawal Act. The government’s proposed changes to the Withdrawal Agreement also lack a democratic mandate given that all Conservative MPs were elected on the basis that they committed to implementing the Withdrawal Agreement and not just the bits that they like or the bits that Johnson tells them he likes.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Similar to certain labour and tory MP’s in the 2017 elections, which resulted in certain remoaniac tories and the desperate power seeking labour gang disregarding their manifestos that promised to support our democratic decision to leave the eurocracy.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Section 38 was in the Act at the time of the election.

  92. bill brown
    Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    This is one of your weakest arguments ever?
    1) You voted for WA
    2) THe legislation is against the priciples of Jures prudence in some of theparagraphs in the ropsoed legislation
    3) There are provisions in the proposaed legislation which are against teh ministerial code.
    4) The minister admits there are issues against international law as well
    5) Some of the pareaagraphs issue fundamental issues between the executive power and the judiciary.
    These are my clear argumens for why your presentation on this issue are very weak, as I assume you have read all the paragraphs in the proposed legislation as well.

    • NickC
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Bill B, Another of your “weakest ever” comments? Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • bill brown
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        NIck C

        I am sorry it was too deep for you

      • Edward2
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        What is really weak is bill’s typing skills.

  93. bill brown
    Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    NIck C

    I am sorry it was too deep for you

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  • […] “[…] the UK government has the right under Clause 38 of the EU Withdrawal Act to establish control over its borders and trade, notwithstanding  the Withdrawal Agreement. This is expressly recorded in UK law. It was also clear to the EU at the time when we legislated in this way that was the UK’s understanding of the Withdrawal Agreement, as we put it into primary legislation.” (link)  […]

  • 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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