Why I support the UK Single market Bill

I have stated why I think this Bill is necessary and legal. Let me remind those who write to me to complain about the draft legislation.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement left open a solution to the borders and customs issues in Northern Ireland. The Irish Protocol is at best ambiguous. There is no single interpretation or right understanding of it, as it sought to bridge differences and leave a further period of negotiation to settle the future relationship in a way which would deal with the outstanding issues. Many of the problems would fall away were the EU to accept the UK Free Trade proposal which is included in the Political declaration signed by both parties.

Thus the Protocol is introduced by a series of propositions which include

“Nothing in this Protocol prevents the UK from having unfettered market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK’s internal market.”

“”Underlining the Union’s and UK’s shared aim of avoiding controls at the ports and airports of Northern Ireland to the extent possible in accordance with applicable legislation and taking into account the respective regulatory regimes”

“Recalling that Northern Ireland is part of the customs territory of the UK and will benefit from participation in the UK’s independent trade policy”

“Having regard to the importance of maintaining the integral place of Northern Ireland in the UK’s internal market”

So the Agreement accepted the UK could diverge in regulations, and there would be no barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which is what this Bill seeks to implement. The Agreement also put in various Union requirements which they now wish to highlight at the expense of these UK protections.

In case there is doubt, as there are some conflicts with other aims and clauses in the Agreement, Section 38 of the UK’s EU Withdrawal Act provides for a UK Parliamentary override of the provisions if necessary.

Mrs May and her advisers would not accept such a UK provision, as they thought it meant we would not properly implement the Agreement. The EU sustained no objection when this crucial safeguard was inserted and passed. They must have known it meant conditional or qualified implementation. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed was a sensible mantra. I would not have voted for withdrawal without the crucial sovereignty override as I made clear at the time. I also made clear I expected we would need to use it if the EU did not proceed to an FTA respecting our sovereignty.

I also now have confirmed that the UK government also thinks it is acting legally.Speaking in the House of Lords, Lord Keen a Law Officer in the government said: ‘I continue in post and continue to advise, encourage and stipulate adherence to the rule of law – understanding that, from time to time, very real tensions can emerge between our position in domestic law and our position in international law.

‘It is not unprecedented for legislation passed by this parliament to cut across obligations taken at the level of international law. In those circumstances, domestic legislation prevails”

Both the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney General stay in post and have been party to the discussions on the draft legislation. The statement by the Northern Ireland Secretary is not a view shared by many, and is not as significant as the clear understanding of the Law Officers that the government is behaving legally.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Exactly right. But why did the minister say it did break international law a bit? Perhaps he should now correct himself. At least to point out there are different views on this matter.

    I see that Theresa 9% Support May, John ERM Fiasco Major, Pension Destroyer, Gold Seller and Massive Economic Bust Producer Gordon Brown plus War on a blatant lie Tony Blair are all against it. So surely it is the right thing to do.

    Though I never personally agreed with signing this treaty myself. But perhaps the appalling political mess left by Cameron & May meant Boris felt he had no choice.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Yes. Don’t forget he had an election to win. This was rushed through acknowledging the weaknesses but believing that other clauses requiring the EU to act in good faith etc would be met.

      They haven’t been.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


        the negotiations are on-going so drawing your conclusions seem a bit pre-mature.

        the Johnson government actions do not help either

        • David
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          bill – if EU haven’t negotiated in good faith for 4 years what makes you think they will start now, with around 4 weeks left?

    • Hope
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Out come the traitor remainers in Force to sell out their Country. When will Johnson and others realise the remainers need investigating and punishment not rewards to “heal” the toxic party? Introduce specific legislation to enhance and bolster treason laws making it unusually retrospective. For good measure open up the way for Blaire and chums to face justice over Iraq and prison. If it is good enough for soldiers over N. Ireland it is good enough for them.

      • DavidJ
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Excellent idea on treason law provided it also addresses the many acts of sedition we also see.

      • Jon Sharpe
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Do you genuinely believe Remainers are traitors, simply because they voted differently to you? Leave won. Brexit has happened. But you still want a witch hunt for those that have a different view. Incredible really. It’s a democracy. Not everyone shares your views.

        • Hope
          Posted September 15, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

          JS, yes. When I read Hammond colluded with EU lawyers to prevent no deal. When I read Germany wrote the terms before Chequers that May agreed after sneaking off at night to meet Junker. When we heard Tory MPs like Letwin, Clarke work with Cooper to introduce legislation with the connivance of speaker. When I saw ministers resign at key moments in voting, when I see MPs cross the floor of the house after telling their constituents one thing to get elected then do the exact opposite. Yes I do believe they were traitors to the public mandate, their party manifesto and promises, referendum and nation.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Had the EU agreed the FTA they promised this problem would not exist because trade would be tariff free.

      • Andy
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        This problem would exist because, even with an FTA, you need a customs border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. How can we have got this long into this process without any of you knowing this stuff?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          There is customs border force on each side right now.
          There is even a current TV programme about their work.
          How can you have got this long into this process without you knowing this stuff?

      • steve
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink


        Ah but then Macron is a treacherous influence, and has promised them the UK will surrender sovereign waters to the French fishermen or be broken up.

        This is why the EU won’t agree an FTA……..because of ungrateful France banging on about the bloody fish.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink


        We are still negotiating, pre-mature conclusion

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Left by Cameron, May plus of course all the appalling MPs who voted for the blatant treachery of the Benn Act.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      It is not whether John “thinks it is legal” that matters.

      It will be – if it comes to that – whether judges in a court do.

      Reply The coURT here is Parliament. We reject ECJ control over this Agreement

      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        The Supreme Court have already ruled in the Gina Miller case.
        The UK Parliament is supreme and if Parliament passes this Bill then it becomes law.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Martin, for months and months on end on this blog you kept telling us the UK was always sovereign within the EU, the EU didn’t force anything on us that removed our rights to write our own laws, we also had vetos and total control of how the UK was run.

        Are you now saying there was some ultimate control over the UK when within the EU that the EU also wants to control over our free Country when we are out? Tell us why?

      • steve
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink


        “The court here is Parliament. We reject ECJ control over this Agreement”

        Well said Sir. I am glad to see you passing the mettle test concerning the EU’s attempts to break up the UK.

        Stand Firm.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        All right, well maybe the UK Government will end up in The Hague then.

        Do you recognise that?

        • dixie
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          What international law, exactly, is being broken and what jurisdiction, exactly, does the ICJ have in the matter?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Blair gave himself exemption from The Hague! Presumably Boris ‘inherits‘ that?

        • NickC
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Martin, It was Remains, like yourself, who wanted (and want) to give the EU the upper hand in the negotiations. The WA is the product of a Remain civil service, directed by a Remain PM, backed by a Remain Parliament, endorsed by Remains like you. The alternative to giving ourselves a modicum of protection in case a foreign power attempts to break up our country is to walk away from the entire WA. Which is perfectly legal in international law.

          • Julian Flood
            Posted September 14, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            I like the word ‘Remainders’ to describe them. It conveys the sense of the whiff of things long-discarded and unwanted, the sort of stuff left when the jumble sale is over.


        • Steve
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          The eu is not recognised in The Hague or an other international court in the world.
          So why would we find ourselves in said court?
          Only individual countries could make a case.
          A case that would immediately fail as it will be UK law .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        To reply exactly right. But how is parliament going to deal with the problems of Blair’s highly political, usually wrong (often unanimously so) Supreme Court and spider woman from inventing new laws?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          So you want to scrap the Common Law.

          And I thought that you were proud of English conventions.


          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            There is no “Supreme Court” in the natural British Order. Blair ‘invented’ it.

          • NickC
            Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You are confusing Common Law with Statute law.

          • steve
            Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


            Most of us don’t recognise the Supreme Court, since it was created by somebody whom we regard as a dangerous traitor who would willingly destroy this country in the blink of an eye.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Sir JR,

        The proposed legislation could actually also be tested in a UK court and not necessarily in the ECJ and there would according to my informaiton be enough reason to do so

        • Edward2
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Unlikely as the Supreme Court recently ruled that Parliament is supreme.
          And can make and alter laws as it sees fit.

    • David Rennick
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Brandon Lewis stated that it did break international law because it does. No credible legal authority has disputed this position.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Martin Howe? Brandon Lewis is not a lawyer.

      • steve
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        “Brandon Lewis stated that it did break international law because it does”

        It does not. No treaty has been broken. the EU signed up to Cl 38 and Boris is wisely using it, so tuff.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Clearly passing the law does no such thing and even acting on might not be.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      I think that you are absolutely correct when you say that Boris had no choice but to sign this pernicious agreement – he was the leader of a government without a working majority, trying to implement a policy which had, at that time, won the support of the country in a referendum, a general election and an election to the EU parliament.

      The government Boris led had lost control of parliament with the connivance of a partisan speaker of the house, the warfare waged in parliament by members usurping the role of government, an unelected chamber setting its face against the will of the people and fighting for its rights to obstruct the elected chamber, and a Supreme Court that chose to invade the sovereign territory of the Crown in Parliament, against all precedent.

      Since parliament had blocked a no-deal Brexit and had usurped government’s role by voting for extensions to international treaties against the will and the mandate of the government, and was blocking the general election that was the proper means of sorting out the various competing constitutional claims unless Boris negotiated a deal with the EU, what else could be possibly have done?

      More fool the EU if they believed that their “deal” would hold – the EU could behaved like oppressors, and like oppressors throughout history they are now finding out that the oppressed will not willingly remain oppressed when they have the ability to choose between oppression and freedom.

      • NickC
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Northern, Well said.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Well Lewis at a minimum should be made to explain himself.
      Any minister stating that the government of which he is part is about to break the law should resign unless he can come up with a very good reason why he shouldn’t.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        I agree with Joe, Lewis was a May supporting remainer, she lost confidence and had to stand down and the people voted against the remain position, he should be on the side of the UK not saying incendiary sentences that he knew would make all the headlines and undermine the government he is supposed to be a representative of.

        • jane4brexit
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 4:11 am | Permalink

          Yes and a Remainer answering a Remainers question like that, suggests it might have been a set up. How often does a Minister usually come out with a straight answer? Especially when the question is on a legal matter, perhaps he should lose his cabinet position.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      I believe that the Withdrawal Agreement is subject to ECJ jurisdiction, this means that EU bureaucrats felt confident that in the event of any dispute the ECJ would come to the rescue. The EU believes their law is superior to national law and ignored Sir John’s Article 38.

      Sir John’s penultimate paragraph will be tested if this cannot be resolved.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        While we remain in the EU, EU law is ‘superior’. But we are LEAVING! The EU can’t believe it!

        • bill brown
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          Lots of EU citizens think it is very sad but lots also think it is great.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            The whole premise of the EU is that national laws are inferior to EU and UN law.
            This is what globalists want.

            Sad though it might be for you and your fellow supporters, but the UK is now reasserting the supremacy of its own national Parliament.
            I realise this must come as a huge shock to you.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

            bill brown

            “Lots of EU citizens think it is very sad but lots also think it is great.”

            Bill, I am interested in your comment. Can you please point me to an article/document that supports your interesting assertion. Thank you

      • steve
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Peter Wood

        “The EU believes their law is superior to national law”

        Not after December it isn’t. However most of us true Brits have been sticking two fingers to Franco – German law since 2016 and before.

      • rose
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        If the EU and its stooges still don’t understand that clause then why are they hurling abuse rather than making legal points? I suspect they know only too well they have been outwitted.

      • NickC
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Peter Wood, What the EU say they believe, and what the EU actually believes, are two different things.

        The EU actually knows two critical points: that EU law only has effect in the UK via the ECA (1972) – which is UK law under UK Parliamentary control; and that the UK has a dualist constitution so that the UK only accepts the WA via our own Act – the WA Act 2020, complete with clause 38.

    • steve
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink


      “But why did the minister say it did break international law a bit?”

      I think his loyalties should be investigated and made public record.

      “War on a blatant lie Tony Blair”

      Indeed, he’s a fine to talk about international law. Hypocrite of the first order. I think he should shut up.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      The surrender act meant it was ‘illegal’ for Boris not to have signed a WA in some form. So I guess he took the view that the form it was signed in was as good as it could be given the terrible damage done to the UK’S negotiating position by the hapless Mrs May and her ‘negotiator’ Mr Robbins. Also that it would be possible to change parts of the WA unilaterally if it became clear, as apparently it now has, that the EU would use an extreme interpretation to seek to punish the UK. Barnier has reportedly threatened to ban food imports to NI from the UK, to insist that all UK-NI trade is subject to tariffs and that the ECJ’s jurisdiction on state aid will extend into GB. Mission creep with a political objective in other words.

      It probably would have been better to make clear at the time how unsatisfactory the WA was. But we are where we are and the EU issuing threats to try to tear apart the UK shouldn’t come as a big surprise, disappointing as it may be.

    • Grahame ASH
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic I totally agree with you in questioning Brandon Lewis’s announcement. Totally unprofessional. I think he should(will?) be sent to the backbenches in the next reshuffle .
      Surely the fact that the EU has the legal opportunity to stop the movement of goods between England, Wales and Scotland of the one part to the NI on the other is a good reason to amend the agreement. EU interference within the UK once we have left is legally and politically unjustified. Presented in this way I think anyone with any common sense would approve of the Govt’s action.
      By implication this excludes the 3 past PMs.
      I was wondering how BJ was allowed to sign the agreement. Did he not have legal advice from the top legal Civil Servant at the time? Did MR Jonathan Jones fail in his duty. Recent resignation avoids a sacking.
      Personally i could never understand why the govt allowed its self to be in this position. At the time of the referendum result I was saying let the UK walk away and let the EU decide on what kind of border they wanted.

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      The entity breaking international law is the EU who by insisting we lose our sovereinty by accepting their laws/regulations adjudicated by an EU court and that they have unfettered access to our assets (fishing grounds) or in the event of “no deal” decide upon our trade with N.I. are contravening UN Resolution 3281 Article 32 which states :

      “No State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights.”

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        The EU is not a state.

        It thinks it is.

        It’s in a state.

  2. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I support what the government is doing here. And I was pleased to see that an assault on HR legislation is planned too. The final agreement with the darned EU should, of course, make NO reference to the ECHR. Human rights in Britain should be a matter for Parliament alone. I trust my MPs to set a sensible balance between the rights and obligations of its citizens. (OK, that’s a stretch. It’s truer to say that I trust them more than European politicians.) Perhaps the Conservatives should now go the whole hog and put a commitment to withdraw from the ECHR in the next general election manifesto? It would please many and upset all the right people!

    • agricola
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      As a founding member of Human Rights in Europe after WW2 , I would agree that we have a right to leave its current manifestation the ECHR if we feel that it has taken a wrong path. It is almost an inevitable property of any organisation created for a specific purpose that it expands like a baloon to encompass aspects beyond its original purpose. Health and Safety and Political Correctness come to mind as further samples. It is a means by which they gain questionable credibility and fatter salaries for those involved.

    • Andy
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Which of our human rights do you object to?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        The human right that puts the criminal’s rights before the victim’s.

        That’s the one we have the biggest problem with and which caused your Brexit.

        • Andy
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          Gosh – if I had £1 for each of the ‘biggest problems’ you all have which caused your Brexit I would be rich. Well, I would be if I’d have been asked to be paid in Euros because, obviously, your Brexit crashed the pound.

          But, anyway, let’s look at your claim. That criminals have rights which are put before victims rights.

          First thing to point out is that everyone has precisely the same human rights. All of us. That is the whole point of human rights – that you get them because you are a human. These are things like the right not to be tortured, the right to privacy, the right to free expression. You can read them if you like and, if you do, you will find that not a single one of them is objectionable in anyway.

          What you are actually saying is that you think English criminal law is not tough on criminals. In which case you need to get MPs to change English criminal law. As with all of the reasons any of you give for voting for Brexit it turns out that Brexit will not actually help you.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

            The right to family life has been distorted to give serious criminals the right to avoid deportation.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Andy we apparently have very few human rights in our own country, Illegal immigrants Trump us every time, and we have to pay for them … so it’s the overturning of our own Ancient Bill of Rights that is our problem.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        They are broadly defined and thereby give unelected judges too much leeway to impose liberal interpretations. Some ECHR judgements have, consequently, been barking-mad stupid. Votes for prisoners comes to mind. (Well done to the Commons for fighting that.) We should be proud of our HR history – which includes giving Habeas Corpus to the world – and rely on a Commons, elected by the people, to keep an acceptable balance.

        • Andy
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          The ECHR didn’t give votes to prisoners. It merely said that England’s complete ban on all prisoners voting regardless of circumstance was incompatible with human rights law to which the UK had agreed. This is a perfectly reasonable position. Nobody would argue that child killers or rapists should get the vote. But if someone is locked up for a couple of weeks on remand for a petty offence for which they are later cleared then they have simply been denied a vote.

          In fact the ECHR has upheld bans on prisoners voting it has simply said that there should not be a blanket ban and that individual circumstances must be taken into account.

          You see how sensible the rulings are when you actually take time to find out what they were?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            It should be a matter for our Parliament to decide.
            Our Parliament is supreme.
            Not the EU not the UN nor this European court.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Andy, do you support France’s breaching of human rights? The UN has spoken out against France but not taken any action, in relation to leaving people to squat in offices with limited toilet and sinks and facilities. Leaving people in tents on underpasses and in disease ridden camps in Calais, why is it only the UK that has to follow human rights laws and you turned a blind eye to offences by other nations within the EU?

      • steve
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink


        “Which of our human rights do you object to?”

        ….yours, for starters.

      • IanT
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        What I object to Andy – is the misuse of ‘Human Rights’ legislation by over-zealous (and probably over paid) members of the legal profession to override the perfectly sensible management and control of areas such as economic migration.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Yes, there are fourteen of them.

        I wonder how many commenters here can list them, and then say which they want to lose?

        Because that can only be what the Government mean.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          I expect everyone can.
          They are available as an article on the internet.
          Presumably you know them off by heart.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      ECHR – good suggestion for the next stage, asserting the independence we have recovered.

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I really hope this works out.

    We’re leaving Brussels on one hand but copying Belgium regarding Covid. What part of Belgium having the highest death rate in Europe does Chris Whitty not understand?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Well, to be fair, when you have a bad problem – as both the UK and Belgium did – but can see how someone else has dealt effectively with it – while you struggle on the other hand – then isn’t it only normal to see how they did this?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        I think they selected Belgium because the liked policy not the outcome.

        Sweden’s outcome has been much better that Belgium.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        The Government has no legal right to impose the severe and miserable restrictions on our lives with which it has wrecked the economy, brought needless grief to the bereaved and the lonely and destroyed our personal liberty.

        This is the verdict of one of the most distinguished lawyers in the country, the retired Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption.

        PETER HITCHENS: How the Government is wading into the swamp of despotism – one muzzle at a time

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          Is it true that Tory MPs have set up a WhatsApp group called
          “ What the f*** is going on?”
          I wish ( if that is true ) they’d find out and let us in on the secret.
          Aren’t they supposed to hold govt. to account?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        They don’t follow the science they follow the opinion polls with leading questions like this.

        If hopping on one leg instead of walking on two legs stopped the dreaded and devastating Second Wave would you support heavy fines for people walking on two legs?

        Yes 69%
        Don’t know 30%
        No 1%

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          And YouGov PURPOSELY excludes those known for their right wing views.
          So govt. in its stupidity is getting the wrong info.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        No Martin, perhaps we should have been looking at what New Zealand did as you regularly remind us. We are also an Island, we could have closed it completely down for at least a fortnight (maybe longer zero infection rates I think you said), no traffic in and out at all. New Zealand arrivals that did have a right to fly in were all quarantined at their expense in hotels for a fortnight and tested (as they are in The Isle of Man that also got on top of the problem).

    • rose
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Belgium only have a high rate as compared with other countries because they adopted the same masochistic habit we did of counting deaths that were attributable to other causes. They also added deaths in the community which other countries bar us weren’t doing.

  4. Atlas
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    I fully support the UK Government’s actions on this.

    • formula57
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink


      – and have so written to my own M.P..

  5. agricola
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    It would seem on the part of some in the UK Parliament as a last bite at the remain cherry. The EU would, it would seem, always wish to follow any path that denighed us full sovereignty on leaving their control. If for no other reason than to demonstrate to all members of the EU how onerous a task it is, lest they should wish to follow us.

    The solution as you say is to sign an FTA, desirable to both sides, but the EU would not wish it to look that easy. Who in their right mind can negotiate from firm ground, the existing trade arrangements, to a bog ,unless they desire both sides to be seen to flounder in said bog for reasons other than continuing sensible trade arrangements between sovereign partners. A period of WTO rules trading begins to seem preferable to continuing life with the shrew. There are many more attractive members of the World harem as our trade deal with Japan demonstraits. Japan, I believe holds the key to sensible, sustainable personal and commercial transport, just for starters.

    • Andy
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      An FTA does not solve your problem.

      Your problem is that whenever there are different customs jurisdictions you need customs checks. And customs checks mean a hard border.

      And a hard border on the actual border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement.

      And a hard border down the Irish Sea is incompatible with having a United Kingdom.

      At some point Brexiteers just have to decide whether you are going to finish off the UK for good or whether you are going to destroy the Northern Ireland peace process. That is the choice you have essentially faced for 4 years which you have all tried to pretend you do not beee to make.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        There is a border now.
        Different VAT regulations different car tax regulations and different cigarette and alcohol allowances to name just three issues.
        Trusted trader schemes already exist along this “hard border” where companies from North and South regularly move goods to and from.
        Trade will just carry on.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Of course it will but udner different conditions if this legislation is implemented

          • Edward2
            Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            Tell us what differences and additional actions will be needed.

      • NickC
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Don’t be daft, of course a hard border is not necessary between the different EU (Eire) and UK customs jurisdictions. Use remote checks and the TIR system instead. You’ve been told enough times.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Andy has never moved goods to and from countries.
          I bet he doesn’t even know what TIR is.

      • English Outsider
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        “And a hard border on the actual border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement.”

        I’m afraid this is incorrect. That was an assertion made at the time but there is no warrant for it in the GFA and Annexes.

        And unfortunately the GFA is broken in any case, both in spirit and in letter. The WA breaks the principle of parallel rather than majority consent that is enshrined in the GFA.

        In short the GFA is not relevant to the Irish border issue; and if it were it has been broken, both by the EU and the UK. The EU use of the GFA was in order to make use of the sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland and when that use had been made the GFA was unceremoniously scrapped.

        That aside, the EU position is scarcely credible. It refuses to employ “soft” means of policing that border. Those are the means the UK would use – customs set back from the border etc.

        It insists on installations on the border itself. And then insists it cannot employ such installations because that would upset the local population.

        So it would. Therefore by refusing a “soft” border and insisting on a “hard” the EU can claim that no border is possible. And that therefore the border must be in the Irish Sea.

        Mrs May agreed to this nonsense because she herself wished to remain close to the EU. Mr Johnson inherited it. Above, by “Northern Monkey”, you will find an explanation of why he found himself in this position.

        Now that the EU is demonstrably acting in bad faith Mr Johnson should simply repudiate the WA and let the EU do what it had in fact already made plans to do – put customs in but set back from the border. For it is the EU’s responsibility to make its own customs arrangements and those are the arrangements it will have to make if the WA is repudiated.

        Too brief an explanation of how that border got “weaponised” but the problem of the Irish border, perhaps the worst of the legacies Mrs May left for her successor, is not an insoluble problem and would never have been difficult had Mrs May made it clear from the start that the GFA gave the EU no standing to interfere in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom.

      • agricola
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 4:50 am | Permalink

        “Whom the Gods would destroy they first drive mad” to quote Longfellow. Careful Andy, I fear we are watching the process daily. Remain is the lollipop mother democracy has denighed you, go back to sleep like a good boy.

        • agricola
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 4:55 am | Permalink

          Sorry “denied”.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      The FTA would need to be ratified by all 27 member countries and perhaps even through national referendums to amend constitutions. There would also have to be amendments to existing internal agreements and treaties within the EU. This takes time and the EU and the UK do not have it. It would, as I and Mike Stallard advocated more that 4 years ago, to just go for a simple EEA deal. That was the original oven ready deal. It was not perfect but, we would have been out in 2 years and already on our way to freedom. The EU is in a mess and once the likes of Albania and Macedonia etc join things are going to get even worse as there will be more mouths to feed and less money to go around. A recipe for a perfect storm, and one we would have been well clear of.

      But people here were more interested in just walking away rather than looking at the entangled web or politicians and CS’s wove to keep us in.

      • NickC
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Mark B, Unfortunately as was explained in the past, the EEA, or the “Harrogate” route, had the decided disadvantage of making it unlikely that we ever properly left the EU. Plus many other disadvantages.

        As an alternative, I, and others, proposed that we should not invoke Art50 but instead “walk away” – that is, give 12 months diplomatic notice, patriate EU laws (for initial continuity), and then finally repeal the ECA (1972). That left open the possibility of a free trade deal but would have put the EU on the same footing as us, rather than the UK being the supplicant.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    PM set to opt out of human rights laws, BRITAIN is preparing to opt out of major parts of European human rights laws, risking an explosive new row with the EU.

    I see in the Sunday Telegraph today. Rightly so, vague phrases like ‘the right to a family life’ give far too much scope for judges and lawyer to bent it to mean almost anything they want it too. It is largely another parasitic job creation scheme for the legal profession.

    What about the right to meet up with six of the mates or family if you want to?

  7. Javelin
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Here is a typical comment from the Daily Mail. I don’t believe this contradictory rule would have even been considered as law if it were to be debated in Parliament. It just shows what happens when feedback (ie calibration) is put to one side. Feedback as part of a calibration process, whether through democracy, the markets, evolution or peer reviewed science, is vital for civilisation to improve. Parliament must be recalled to debate these irrational laws.

    “More than six people in my home and I can be arrested as it spreads the virus. Sit on a bus/ train and office with more than six people and I will be okay. No logic. If it is that dangerous whilst at home then it is dangerous everywhere. “ – DM Comments.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      We are more likely to protect our relatives and maintain social distance indoors with at risk people, whether four of us can visit parents on Saturday and another four from a different part of the family is allowed on Sunday is just ridiculous. Oh and we can all book two tables in a restaurant side by side! Or be in a supermarket together.

  8. Everhopeful
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Oh good!
    Thank goodness it wasn’t Boris’s “ Well there you are! I tried but it wasn’t legal“ card.
    (I mean after the Covid debacle he scarcely deserves any of the trust we put in his actually wanting Brexit and not doing a U turn).
    Yet again it seems this whole issue has been muddled up and muddied by the pro EU forces meaning that it is hard to get a balanced ( true) picture of the reality.
    How I hate this illogical, cartoon world we have been delivered into by the forces of ( the far left?).
    We need more JRs!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      One is enough. In Downing St.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        I’ll settle for that! 😊

    • bill brown
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink


      Thank you for an interesting contribution. On tis ohe we do not ned more JR’s as he is wrong on this one I am afraid as I have outlined below. He did vote for teh full WA as as well

      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        You need a new keyboard bill.

  9. Andy
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    A Cabinet minister has confirmed in Parliament that the internal markets bill breaks international law.

    What this is actually about is Brexiteers refusing to take responsibility for the consequences of Brexit.

    When they voted the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement into law Conservative MPs – and it was nearly exclusively Conservative MPs – voted for lorry parks, customs checks on goods going from GB to NI, masses of extra bureaucracy, ECJ jurisdiction over NI and much more. Now those same Conservative MPs are trying to pretend that they didn’t vote for any of these things.

    I am not particularly a unionist. I don’t care whether Northern Ireland is a part of the UK or whether it is a part of Ireland. It is a question for the people of Northern Ireland, not for me. But Conservatives claim to be unionists too. And they sold out the union and are now trying to pretend they didn’t.

    That is why so many of them will now vote to break the law. It is not an insurance policy. It is an attempted cover up. They know people will be angry when they learn what the Conservatives have actually done, so Conservative MPs are trying to blame everyone else.

    It may work temporarily but the public inquiry won’t be fooled.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      ‘a REMAINER cabinet minister…’ yes.. so what I’d you expect from the obdurate non legal idiot sector?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement isn’t legally binding.
      Its terms become void if there is no deal between the UK and EU.
      And Section 38 is written into the Act Parliament passed to allow the UK to alter it if Parliament feels ot needs altering.
      You are angry as are a few ultra remainers, but the vast majority are not angry.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      What this is actually about, Andy, is Remains refusing to take responsibility for the consequences of their attempts to overturn Leave, one of which was the appalling WA.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Andy is your drivel ever going to stop? I give up reading it after a couple of sentences. Somehow I know it will be anti UK. I wonder if others have the same ability and can see the gist of your post before they switch off?

      • agricola
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 4:31 am | Permalink

        Don’t worry, Andy is well sussed. It is like a constant re-trial of a flat earther, one hangs enthralled at what they might come up with next.

  10. Nigl
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I recall Lord Trimble saying Brexit would not impact on the Peace Treaty. Read an excellent article by Dan Hanson in the ST about how the Irish and the EU came up with the clause about the hard birder etc believing it could keep,us tied to, the EU to protect our Union and were amazed when Theresa May crumbled and agreed.

    This problem has shown how ‘traitorous’ she was.

    Once again the Blair, Majors etc are showing their contempt for the Leave Vote.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Was Blairs war on a lie not against International Law?

      • Dennis
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Am I wrong to think that Trump’s tearing up the EU/USA/Iran nuclear deal was breaking Intl. Law? Or if he hasn’t actually done it yet it would be a case of breaking Intl. law?

        Probably not as no one in all these days in all media has mentioned it.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      The WA is the outcome of a Remain Parliament, led by a Remain PM and a Remain Speaker, egged on by Remain activists such as Andy, Martin, Hefner, etc. When are the Remains going to take responsibility?

      • bill brown
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink


        it was voted and supported by the prsent government, or have you forgotten the dates?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          And like any act of Parliament it can be altered or scrapped or replaced if Parliament decides.

  11. David Rennick
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    John, Where is your democratic mandate to amend the Withdrawal Agreement. You were elected in 2019 on the basis that you committed to implementing the WA and not just the bits you like or the bits that Johnson tells you he likes. Parliament is only Sovereign to the extent that it has a mandate from the electorate. It will shame you if you betray the trust placed in by the electorate that you would fulfil your promise and that you would implement the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Reply Read my leaflets and website prior to the election. That is my mandate, and it is as described again here.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Where was your democratic mandate to invent a WA and bind the U.K. after being given specific instructions to leave unencumbered is the right question.

    • steve
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      David Rennick

      “Where is your democratic mandate to amend the Withdrawal Agreement.”

      Nobody is amending it. Merely operating it as the EU and RoI agreed, in order to protect the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. It’s called Clause 38.

    • Dennis
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – JR why don’t you just say Clause 38 does all that.

      I aked you in your last blog if Cl 38 was actually in the WA but you didn’t answer that clearly so as no one had mentioned it in all media for the past several days I assumed it was not in the WA. Now you say it is. How come Michael Howard et all don’t know this so keep shouting that there’s no way out so breaking Intl. law is there?

      Reply it’s in the Act implementing the WA

      • David Rennick
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Cl 38 regarding the precedence of Parliamentary Sovereignty was not in the Withdrawal Agreement. It was added to the Withdrawal Agreement Act in January 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement Act was a piece of U.K. legislation that brought the Withdrawal Agreement into force in U.K. law. As the Act is a piece of U.K. legislation it was naturally not subject to any agreement by the EU.

        I have seen suggestions that the EU somehow did not understand this clause in the Withdrawal Agreement. In fact it was never in the Agreement.

        Reply The WA is only legal in the U.K. because of the ACt of Parliament. Of course the EU read it and understood we were constraining the WA.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      David R, From Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph:; “If it is true that Michel Barnier “explicitly” threatened to obstruct exports and food supplies from Great Britain to Ulster by means of an extreme and malicious interpretation of the Protocol – as the Prime Minister asserts – it is the EU that is playing fast and loose with international law, and arguably crossing a line into geopolitical vandalism“.

  12. Nigl
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Topic drift. I see Boris allegedly is going to repeal Human Rights act to give More freedom to deal with illegal migrants.

    If true, excellent news and I am sure it will find favour in many parts of the country.

    Cue more handwringing and outpourings from the Remainers as another one of their edifices is torn down. Dan Hanson alleges that a few MPs actually worked with Brussels to thwart Brexit.

    They should be named and shamed.

    • beresford
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      ….and if you believe that, I have a bridge across the Thames to sell you. They will say anything to head off any reaction against the mass immigration that they have agreed with the globalists. The only one to tell the truth was George Osborne when he admitted that the administrations he served had no intention of curbing immigration.

      • Dennis
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        beresford – an you give the source for G. Osbourne’s comment please?

  13. Peter
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I wish Mrs.May would now disappear into obscurity, or at least keep her mouth shut about Brexit.

    I also agree with the government’s approach. I would go further, like others, and simply tear up the Withdrawal Agreement.

    It is great to see the government holding firm, standing up to threats and explaining that two can play at that game and that EU producers can be made to suffer if there is any suggestion of a trade war.

    However, it’s not over until it’s over. We don’t want to look back on empty words and broken promises – but so far, so good. Rather better than that in fact. The government seems to have grown a backbone.

    • steve
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink


      “I wish Mrs.May would now disappear into obscurity, or at least keep her mouth shut ……”

      Also Blair and Major. The former being a fine one to talk about breaking international law. The latter – well what can I say? Buffoonery at it’s finest.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Big +1

  14. steve
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink


    …” it [WA] provided a clear UK legal override if the EU did not keep to their promises of respecting UK sovereignty and working to a Free Trade Agreement.”

    Exactly, Mr Redwood, and the EU agreed to this. However my suspicion is they thought we wouldn’t dare use the override.

    Clearly the French (chief instigators as always) thought Boris’ government would surrender over fish. Indeed Barnier said there could be no deal unless we sacrifice maritime sovereignty, also Macron said the UK must let France plunder our fish resources or risk being broken up.

    Parliament absolutely must not betray our sovereignty again. We will be watching closely for names, be of no doubt.

    That aside, I see the left wing BBC is giving platform to two infamous whom I would call ‘parasitical’ individuals doing their bit to break up the UK. One is seen as a buffoon, the other a complete pissant and a hypocrite for suggesting we are breaking international law.

    Both of these parasites need to be told to shut their mouths, I’m my opinion.

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    This shouldn’t need so much justification — This bill clears up some of the mess created by May as well as redefining what it means to be a sovereign state.

    That the EU and remoaners are making so much fuss over the bill illustrates all too clearly that the EU had set several traps to ensure we remained under their control.

    How can anyone have anything but disdain for the way the EU has behaved — they give normal treachery a good name

  16. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    If what you say is true JR and I have no reason to doubt you, why have the government not outlined this to the media and more importantly the EU, instead of sending out the unclear mixed messages.

    Another PR disaster which has to be unpicked

    • Dennis
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      AJ – yes even JR has not alerted the media – it seems he wants to keep it a secret from them – which side is he on or is he playing a very subtle game?

  17. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Sooner we we go WTO the better. Boris’ WA was not good, not least because of this additional year of hell under EU law, but I agree that the provisions in it that we’re entrenched in law were well worth having.
    The fact that the failed Remain PMs are all against helps cement the nation together in support too, left, right and centre want their country back!

  18. Gramp
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I see that the BBC are reporting this in their usual unbiased way !
    I support you fully john. Have you any idea why Brandon Lewis said what he said ?

    • cornishstu
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      He was in the remain camp, what more do you need to know.

      • JohnK
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        He has never struck me as being particularly bright. He comes across as a used car salesman of the Swiss Toni sort.

  19. DOM
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Might is right as always and the law is mere confetti to be picked up and sprinkled when it suits as we have seen since 1997. And this bill? Johnson’s attempt to appear patriotic and defending the national interest of the UK. An act of politics not of principle.

    Johnson’s a liberal progressive more suited to New Labour than the rotting corpse that is the Conservative Party

    Our voice has been taken and all parties are party to that most appalling crime

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      To quote Helmut Kohl ‘Might is Right’ is an appalling crime!

  20. ukretired123
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for clarifying the reality of the situation SJR.
    As Charles Moore also made it clear that history shows it can be messy getting sovereignty.

    As De Gaulle insisted for years “Non” No to join the EEC..
    Now Barnier insisted for years “Non” No to leave the EU
    While Germany frets so it threats smaller countries like Greece, Ireland and UK again.

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Daniel Hannan also sums up the last few years nicely in DT
      “The EU is not acting in good faith. It’s time for Britain to walk away from this mess
      If Brussels won’t engage, then, instead of arguably welshing on one part of the treaty, Britain should give notice and nullify the lot”.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        For party management reasons, I would NOT suggest walking away now. We just need to stick to our very reasonable positions and watch the clock run down. A walk-out gives ammunition to the Remainers on the Conservative back-benchers. When the EU doesn’t relent, we leave on WTO terms and without paying the EU a penny – or a ‘cent’.

        • ukretired123
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          Sounds eminently sensible and reasonable too!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I tend to agree as it seems does the sensible Steve Baker MP.

  21. Mark B
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The Political Declaration and the Withdrawal Agreement were negotiated and signed in haste. Let us hope that we will be forced to repent at our leisure.

    It is not unprecedented for legislation passed by this parliament to cut across obligations taken at the level of international law. In those circumstances, domestic legislation prevails.

    So there is no reason we can not make legislation that those entering my country illegally are prohibited from claiming asylum and receiving legal aid, bed and board plus spending money ? Go to jain and do not collect £50 spending money 😉

    If you can tear up one international agreement you can tear up a few more.

  22. Mark B
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Oops !

    “Let us hope that we will NOT be forced to repent at our leisure.”

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    100% in agreement as possibly 99% of the electorate.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      At least! 😂😂 I’m counting down again! God I hope I live to see Britain free!

  24. Derek Henry
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Only the legalists and globalists – and with the usual ill informed propaganda. Those who believe the international globalist sphere should trump the domestic one. And it’s hypocritical of the EU which has been in breach of the Dublin Agreement all year

    .International law has no force in the UK domestic sphere other than by Act of Parliament. If Parliament decides to change how part of a treaty acts on the domestic sphere then it is entirely within its rights to do so. That’s what clause 38 of the Withdrawal Act guaranteed they would be able to do – which parliament passed and which in any case was nothing more than confirming what every student of the British constitution already knew.

    Just as any student of the International law knows there is no enforcement mechanism regarding Ireland. No court has standing – because it was previously part of the British Empire. Another little safeguard the UK put in place.

    Free trade, the single market, the fiscal rules, and the 4 prisons are the Trojan horses of neoliberal globalism. It’s how they get their neoliberal values embedded into the system.

    Standing in front of a neoliberal EFTA court serves the same purpose.

    Once you fully understand the only constraint a country has is its skills and real resources as you can run out of those. Not how many blips the treasury can create at will out of thin air. Or how many assets you swap at a central bank.

    Freedom means we can use our skills and real resources as we choose. Not sone neoliberal judge in an EFTA court or some idiot in the ECJ being allowed to instruct us On how they think we should use both.

    They are our skills and real resources not theirs. Now is the time to drive that point home and politely tell them to take a run and jump.

    • bill brown
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Derek Henry

      the WA is an act of Parliament, wake up and see the crises the government has created.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        And can be altered by an Act of Parliament.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          and losing our reputation at the same time

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            Many in the world will feel the UK reasserting itself as a proud independent nation once again is a good thing.
            Globalists and UN and EU fans will not I realise.
            But never mind.

  25. Freeborn John
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    If the EU stick with their ultimatum the whole of the WA should be repudiated. The country has lots of things to spend £40bn on than giving it away for nothing to hostile countries That want to disrupt food supplies to NI.

    • bill brown
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Freeborn John

      There are no hostle countreis except in your imagination, this is about friends and allies finding the best way to work together in the future

  26. Nigel
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The EU is refusing to negotiate on the details of a trade agreement until and unless there is an agreement on fishing rights (which they apparently will only agree on their own terms). Is that “acting in good faith”?

    • bill brown
      Posted September 14, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      The negotiations are ongoing so I will leave the so-called conclusions to you and reserve the right to make my oen conclusions once the negotiations are finished.

  27. Derek Henry
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    State Aid has always been legal in the EU. Only that it has to be approved by the technocrats in the EU commission – rather than happening because the voters voted for it.

    As the EU liberal propaganda goes

    So there is “good” state aid, approved by your unelected betters in Brussels, and “bad” state aid, put in place by the legislature elected by the people.

    Your unelected betters in Brussels, wants to decide how we use our skills and real resources a simple ” jog on” will suffice.

    • bill brown
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Derek Henry,

      THe majority of the principles of not allowing state aid in the EU, was actually proposed by former British governments. Read your history

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Then hijacked by the EU Commission which stopped several important UK initiatives whilst allowing Germany and France virtual free reign.

  28. glen cullen
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Concur with your argument and comments Sir John

    Make no mistake we’re still in a fight

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      +1 got a good Champion though!

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Yes, the government and you are absolutely correct on this one and need hold firm.

    The prospect of the EU having the final say over what England, Wales and Scotland can and can’t sell to Northern Irish customers is ridiculous.
    The thought that the EU can starve NI of State Aid whilst having allowed Germany to back East Germany with billions of DM over many years is absurd.

    It’s difficult to believe how out-of-touch Blair, Major and Co. are on this.

    • M Davis
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Blair and Major – I’m surprised they weren’t holding each others hand!

  30. Nivek (aka Kevin)
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    “Mrs May and her advisers would not accept such a UK provision”

    This reminds me of a comment I wrote here two years ago, when Mrs. May was negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement. I anticipated that, were the Agreement to be ratified, the cry, “Leave means leave”, would thenceforth be met with the riposte, “Pacta sunt servanda“. I concluded my comment as follows:

    “The Government, however, made a pact with the British people that it would ‘implement what you decide‘ in the EU referendum. From what appears in this blog post, the proposed Withdrawal Agreement with the EU would constitute a breach of the Government’s referendum pact.”

  31. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    If there really were a problem with the UK Single Market Bill in relation to the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the media would be clearly identifying the offending clause in relation to what has already been agreed. I have searched around and been left none the wiser as to what the problem really is.
    Instead, we just get a line up of the usual suspects saying how bad the government is and how it breaches international law. I’m just left with the conclusion that it’s all confected.
    And what is Nancy Pelosi’s problem with the UK? Or is even she being distorted by the media.

    • M Davis
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      It has nothing to do with Nancy Pelosi, she should keep her nose out of another Country’s’ business.

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Nancy Pelosi needs to acquaint herself as to why and how the US states achieved their independence from the UK.

  32. BW
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I thought we had an 80 seat majority and were home and dry. But now the back stabbing begins. Why is any reference to this bill called “The international law breaking Bill” by all the media. I fully support the government on this. I trust JR all the way on what he says and am delighted he supports the Bill. We must have absolutely no interference from any part of the EU on Jan 1st. We will have no seat at the table therefore the EU should have no say in the UK. It sickens me to see arch remainers Blair, Major, etc. Being rolled out in their treacherous roll yet again to whip up discontent and fear.
    Furthermore we should withdraw from the ER Acts as soon as possible and replace it with a U.K. Bill of Rights which is linked to personal responsibility. The HR act has been abused in every way by Britain’s enemies for years. Sir John, I wish you well in convincing your colleagues to support the Bill.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


  33. Michael
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It is not prudent for non lawyers to give legal opinions in parliament unless they are carefully briefed beforehand.

    The WA contains provisions which undermine the unity of the United Kingdom and gives the EU jurisdiction in the UK. This is unacceptable going forward.

    Parliament can put this right and to suggest its hands are tied is wrong.


    • JohnK
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I doubt this was the “legal” opinion of Brandon Lewis.

      Unless he was winging it, it must have been briefed to him by his civil servants. Who were they? Part of the remainer blob?

      As it is. Lewis seems to have walked into a trap. He cannot have agreed this with No. 10 can he? I can only conclude he is not up to the job and should resign forthwith.

  34. Lawyer
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Nothing in national law can affect the meaning of an international Treaty. Section 38 does not appear in the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement, and so is irrelevant to it. Lord Keen’s statement, which you cite, does NOT claim the UK is acting legally, instead it claims onlythat UK courts have to follow the Bill and ignore international law. Correct – but also a clear breach of the international Treaty , the very oven ready deal on the basis of which this government was elected. It is shameful that you want to defend a clear and admitted breach of international law

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Section 38 is in the Act.
      And the Supreme court recently re emphasised the Parliament is supreme and can make new law and change old laws.

      The Withdrawal Agreement isn’t a treaty.
      The clue is in the name.
      Being a lawyer I’m suprised you don’t know this.

      • Dennis
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Oh! now it is in the WA! Isn’t is just a matter of reading it to find out? I haven’t a copy – is it on the internet?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        And of course Constitutional Law trumps Treaty Law. BTW constraining the Sovereignty of a Country in a Treaty is illegal (in international law).
        One must recall at all times that lawyers are overturned every day of the week. Their opinion is the same as ‘the science’ – wobbly!

    • Dennis
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      JR – no reply to Lawyer!!! So no Cl 38 in the WA after all!!! Have you or Lawyer been bamboozled?

      Perhaps this is why no one in the media has mentioned Cl. 38 as it isn’t there!

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

        It’s in the Withdrawal Act.

  35. Hh
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    If the Rule of 6 is so important for public health then why was it not brought in before the weekend? Doesn’t make sense- looks to me like there is another agenda at play here.

  36. Richard1
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Seems clear. What a pity Conservative MPs persisted so long with the hopeless Mrs May in post! It would have been better – not that it’s much help to point it out now – just to have moved straight to an FTA in the first place with no ‘divorce agreement’ transition period etc. The EU should have been invited to choose between that and WTO terms. Neither should the UK have got particularly exercised which option they took.

  37. Newmania
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Aha we are off to Barnard Castle …shall I pack the picnic ?
    The magic border was always a rhetorical device ( hem hem) and when Johnson agreed to stick it in the Irish Sea , which he did , he hoped he fudge it later as part of the overall deal .
    As the freedoms required by the UK Brexit mob are not commensurate with retaining any of the Single Market freedoms we enjoy there is no deal. So now Johnson is stuck with the reality . Never a happy combo.
    Answer : Bluster lies throwing sand around and assuming everyone else is to busy or stupid to notice.
    What a complete disaster this is …sad,funny and appalling

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Barnard a Castle is a town, go to a tearoom dear.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I’m watching the last desperate push by the remain mob to thwart Brexit.
      But it isnt going to work.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        this is not about the remainers this is about a constitutional cirises created by the executive in power

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Gina Miller proved in the Supreme Court that Parliament is supreme.
          There is no constitutional crisis.
          Either Parliament approves the changes or it doesn’t.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, I see you are going in for bluster, lies, throwing sand around, and assuming everyone else is to busy or stupid to notice that the WA was negotiated by Remains.

      What a complete disaster this Remain WA is … sad, funny and appalling. And the worst part is that Remain won’t take responsibility. But no surprise.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink


        WA was supported by 340 parliamentarins back in May so a majority at Westminister.

      • Newmania
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Remains are we ? Denied even personhood, mere leftovers, a half eaten chip, a mangled corpse ? Tsk tsk
        On your “point ” you are gibbering
        This is the ‘fabulous, oven-ready Brexit deal’ obtained by bouncy Brexity Tiggerish Boris . Boris Johnson had got the deal by selling out the Unionists, as May had refused to do.,
        God knows what you are on about

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Thank Blair and Major for the home run. When they are anti it is no contest. Only Remainiacs and there still some on the Conservative virtual benches would align themselves with that pair’s disastrous political history.

    • SM
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Agreed. If it weren’t so serious, I’d be laughing at their lack of shame.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s shameful that people of this calibre represented Britain. Of course it was a castrated Britain. They have never been in a real Parliament or real Government. We now need cool Britain heads, thinking, loyal people who have been tested in the fire. We have the list! They are our modern ‘aethlings’ (Shortlist for King).

  39. davies
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Why did the Northern Ireland Secretary say what he did? Was it a blip, was it on purpose, or was he badly briefed?

    Taking a simple layman’s non lawyer stance, if the EU has decided to insert pre conditions into a FTA which compromise sovereignty statements then there cannot be an FTA hence the need for this action.

    Well done on inserting Clause 38 BTW, hardly anyone spotted that.

  40. ChrisS
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I am somewhat encouraged by your explanation today however, I simply cannot understand why so many senior politicians have come out openly and said we are acting illegally.

    If these were just Diehard Remainers like Blair and Major, I could understand them trying to score more political points, but are Lords Lamont and Howard misunderstanding the situation ?

    This is one of those occasions we need to hear again from Denis !

  41. BOF
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Clause 38. Indeed a great tribute to Sir Bill Cash.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


  42. William Long
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Funny that the views of Lord Keen that you quote have received so little attention in the media, whereas that of Mr Lewis has been reported ad nauseam. And the only interviews I have seen on the BBC are with critics of the Government. It is very telling indeed that none of the Law Officers has resigned or even threatened resignation.

    • Len Peel
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Both Lord Keen and Ms Braverman accept that this Bill breaches international law, specifically the binding agreement between EU and UK which Boris signed and Parluament accepted last January – but now wants to renege on. Do not let John Redwood pull the wool over your eyes. All the Law officers know this is a breach of international law, and one has already resigned, more may follow

      Reply That is arguable but what is not arguable is the Law Officers say U.K. law can trump the WA

      • Len Peel
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Uk law can trump the WA under UK law but not under international law. Keen, braverman do not deny this is a breach of international law – because it is. Margaret Thatcher would never have accepted this

      • acorn
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        All three Law Officers are political appointments, they are supposed to know at least a bit of the Law area they are in charge of. You should not be surprised that they will back their pay masters; they are not so dumb to do otherwise.

        The head of the UK government’s legal department, a proper career lawyer, has quit over Boris Johnson’s proposal to row back on parts of last year’s Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland.

        Jonathan Jones, the Treasury solicitor and permanent secretary at the Government Legal Department, is the sixth senior Whitehall official to resign this year. I am expecting the UK to be twinned with North Korea any day now.

        This IS what you leavers voted for.

      • NickC
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Len Peel, What is appalling is that Remains won’t accept responsibility for the Remain WA. Indeed Remains try to make out that the WA is Leave and the responsibility of Leaves when everyone has to admit that the 2017-2019 Parliament was controlled by Remain,

  43. Everhopeful
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    France and Germany are always breaking “international law“ and in this case it is only an agreement between us and the EU. Does that even really count as an international law?
    Mostly countries do it in the national interest ( like with state aid) and goodness …we need a bit of that after all these years of kowtowing.
    Maybe Mr Lewis just spoke a bit too frankly? As if he were addressing grown-ups. That can be very dangerous in these hyped-up times.

  44. Iago
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Spitfire flying overhead and we are ruled by ******* traitors.

  45. bill brown
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    I think the standing of this government and therefore our country is beig questioned with this new proposed legislation an I do not shre your legal conclusionson thproposed bill nor does two former Prime Ministers.

    The proposed legislation reneges on
    1) Ministerial coede and the conduct of ministers fo legal interpretaton
    2) Good and solid jures prudence
    3) International law cannot justbe interpreted by a minister
    4) It fundamental questions the independence of the judiciary in realtion ot teh executive power of the government.

    This combined with our loss of internaitonal reputation for negating on a signed international agreement, makes my conclusion very differentto yours.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I am not surprised.

      I see it as the first stirings of a government suddenly realising it is now able to take the decisions it wants.
      Realising also it has been elected to get Brexit done and to ensure Northern Ireland isn’t treated badly by the EU
      Gina Miller has proved Parliament in this nation is supreme.
      Not the EU nor the UN

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        i.e ‘the Queen in Parliament’ (which means The People!) we have ‘Government by Consent’ and live under the Rule Of Law created by our authorised representatives. There is no other ‘law’ apart from that of the jungle, which we stand against.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          I completely agree.
          It is a shock to globalists and ultra remainers that the UK can now act as an independent nation.
          In full control of its law making powers.
          47 years waiting for this day.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Bill B, Shamefully, Remains are trying to pass the buck about the WA. The Boris revision of the May WA, based on the Chequers White Paper was a Remain capitulation to the vindictive EU empire obsessed with its own power..

      • bill brown
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink


        We are breaking international law and losingour reputation at the same time.

        Leave the empire nonsense, please

  46. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Those who object to this new piece of legislation are ignoring the fact that it was the EU who first decided to break the WA, by threatening to deprive Northern Ireland of access to its principle food supplier. The government is simply reacting to the multiple threats from our supposed friends in the EU, whose idea of negotiation is simply to impose its will on others. Two things are clear: firstly, the EU has never had to negotiate with an equal before. Where they have tried to, it has failed, witness their inability to do trade deals around the world with anyone other than small countries. Secondly, amazingly, they have never learnt what any business person learns when they are very young: that binding agreements are not
    desirable or sensible unless they are good for BOTH parties.
    We MUST this time hold our nerve and fight to the death for our right to independent sovereignty. I suspect the government does not know how much support they have for doing so. If they did, they would surely be doing a much better job of defending their corner.

    • bill brown
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


      This is like our nonsense yeasterday about Sweden and warfare with neighbouring countries closing the border which is not the case.

      THe EU is not going to close any food supplies but you belivee anything you hear but never substantiate it or test is.

      Youare just full of fake news

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Well said Jim

  47. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    I agree with your position

    The ever evolving way the EU re-accesses laws and agreements to suit their own purpose should be a worry to any one that has dealing with them. We would be in a right pickle if the UK Parliament hadn’t signed off on the WA without Section 38 written into Law

    Everyone should be concerned that the new slant taken by Barnier and Co with their version of the WA sort to nullify the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and split the UK, devious people that no one should ever trust

    It would be nice if the MsM heard and absorbed what was being said before stoking up trouble. That just demonstrates that those wishing total control from Brussels are still fighting. The Blair, Major, May faction just hate the UK and its people

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      The amusing bit.

      Blair on bring the UK into disrepute, his War seemingly based on trust me I am your leader (still no proof to support his assertions) allied deaths 3,777 including UK 179. Countless more civilians were killed. That is without taking into account those maimed and injured.

      Blair has killed any reputation the UK had with the rest of the World already. Blair made sure even within our allies, the UK’s word should not be trusted. Now the same man is saying protecting the Union is not a good thing as it hurts the UK’s reputation. Hypocrisy and double standards come to mind, from someone whose word became the ‘b’ word of trust.

  48. villaking
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you have been selective in quoting the propositions of the NI Protocol. You seem to have missed the statements acknowledging the unique challenges on the NI/ROI border, the commitment to avoiding a hard border there and the promise of no customs checks at the NI/ROI border. The Internal Market Bill clashes with these. The NI/ROI border is a border of the EU single market which would require customs checks without the NI Protocol. The Protocol was made deliberately to address this problem. What is your proposal now for avoiding customs checks on goods going from NI to ROI? It is not good enough to say that is the EU’s problem as it’s an EU order. The long, hard negotiation and eventual Protocol was to settle that very question

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      What about the GB/NI border?
      Can we be denied the ability to feed and clothe part of our country by a foreign so-called power?

    • gregory martin
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      While the UK has always been broadly supportive of its neighbours in Eire, it does not have to be. It could be time for us to require all trade with Eire to route via its seaports, limiting cross border traffic to citizens in cars. This would eliminate our need to control the possible sneaking of non approved goods into the E27. NI imports from GB are £14billion,NI exports to GB £4.8b exports from NI-Eire £ 4b , NI exports RoW £4.8b (source NISRA.gov.uk 2017-18)
      We need to take control of our borders. Doubtless there would be some ‘free-trading’ by citizens but not more than now.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, There are no “unique challenges on the NI/[Eire] border”. It is a land border which will be between two separate customs jurisdiction and is therefore ideal for the TIR system, and remote customs checks.

  49. RichardP
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I think our confidence in the Government’s interpretation of the law may well be influenced by the judicial review of their covid19 policy later this month.

    • rose
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Are you one of those people who conflate the NHS, PHE, and NHE with the Government?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        well I can see the easy conclusion – all seem to be run by idiots.

  50. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink


    Sticking to facts is also essential. A case in point: 🇪🇺 is not refusing to list 🇬🇧 as a third country for food imports (SPS). To be listed, we need to know in full what a country’s rules are, incl. for imports. The same objective process applies to all listed countries [2/2]
    — Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) September 13, 2020

    In EU speak, it is the EU that decides what can and cannot enter NI and not the UK. It is then the EU court that decides what is legal or not. So in a nut shell the UK is sovereign in as much as it has to obey the EU and its courts. Or in essence NI is part of the EU not the UK.

  51. rose
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The worst thing she did was to take personal responsibility for the EU/Irish border. From that cowardly folly has flowed all this. There is nothing in the Belfast Agreement which compels us to do that.

  52. Chris Fitzgerald
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Typical of his complete ignoring of his constituents wishes, our MP Tobias Ellwood has from the beginning done everything in his power to frustrate Brexit. Have a word with him please John, his actions in siding with a foreign power over his duty to the UK and its people is nothing short of base treachery and will not be forgotten come the next election.

    • rose
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Boris’s worst fault is his generosity. He never should have allowed so many Quislings to stand as Conservative MPs after the way they had behaved.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 14, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Any Brexiteer who voted for a Remain MP was not thinking clearly.

  53. Everhopeful
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Apparently Jason Leitch, Scotland’s clinical director has said that tests used to detect Covid are “a bit rubbish”.
    And we may be imprisoned again on the strength of them??

    Keep on asking all you MPs
    What the f*** IS going on??

    And why did Sir Charles Walker suggest that there is some question over whether he will be able/allowed to vote on curtailing the govt’s Covid powers?? Don’t all MPs get to vote any more?

  54. Christine Marland
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I would like Rule of Six to be changed to rule of eight and children under 12 allowed. I would like Rule of Six debated in Parliament. The idea of Covid Marshalls is anathema to ordinary British people . What can Johnson, Gove and Cummings be thinking of?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I would like every single mad,stupid,totalitarian rule totally junked!
      MPs should be kept awake at night by all this!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Covid Marshalls is silly and not thought through just are Community Police.

      The rule should be ‘Common Scenes’ i.e. the government advises what is best and works in most situation. People then apply that to their own situation.

      That might sound reckless to some, but think about. The Corvidiots will say up yours what ever government wishes. How can you sell drugs if you don’t have big gatherings.

      The greater majority of the population will adhere to government advice and make things work for the better. It is actually the governments mode of presentation and their desire to be seen in control that is adding to the Countries woes and anxiety.

      No one voted for a ‘Ruler’, just a government to guide and advise.

    • Doug
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      We are being conditioned for lockdown or curfew when large scale civil disorder breaks out- probably next year when the food shortages set in

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 12:02 am | Permalink


        “probably next year when the food shortages set in”

        ….and don’t forget the Remoaner Comet!

  55. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Clear from Frost’s Tweet now what has been going on. EU refusing to list us as a third country to prevent GB exporting food to NI. They would have the power to prevent NI being fed. They are playing nasty games and we need to walk now.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink


    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink


      See it as a positive sign…the EU are on the run!

  56. XYXY
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    One has to wonder how Brandon Lewis, an experienced politician, could make such a statement.

    Answering a question from his own backbenches, so presumably he would have known of it in advance.

    Both Lewis and Neill, who asked the question, are Remainers.

    What conclusion should one draw?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      The usual one and the same conclusion as when discussing the BBC.

    • Jason
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      One conclusion that can be drawn is UK is bound by treaty with several countries territories around the world and if they all set out now to pass domestic law to change the treaties but in a specific and limited way loke Lewis then we are in big trouble

      • K R
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted September 14, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      They thought that they had it sewn up. UK with ‘colonial status’. No wonder they are squealing.

    • K R
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      This issue transcends the dividing line of whether you are pro remain or pro leave.

  57. Ian Ross
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Well stated

  58. Jason
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I give up- there is nothing further to say- the only thing now is to let the next couple of months roll along and see where we’re at in January? It’s likely the ports of Dover and Calais will have seized up, the new lorry parks will be full and exporters will be rushing to containers in the hope of getting their produce through. And that’s not all financial and other services will be paused- all travel will be seriously disrupted- but we will have taken back control- Boris Dom style

  59. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The next thought coming through is rip up the Human Rights Law.

    By returning to what was called English Law, the concept of the Human Rights law is un-necessary and the catch 22 that isn’t appropriate for all purposes disapears.

    English Law are the laws that are created by the people, amended by the people and repealed by the people. If the people haven’t chosen to create a law governing something then it is permissible. The alternative view, the EU way, along with the Worlds Dictators and Human Rights Law way, we have the situation that nothing is legal unless the unelected overlords have said it is.

    Under what was termed English Laws ( Laws that a great chunk of the World still adhere to) if something is outer of kilter, a missing law, a law ill used and a law no longer needed the People get to change the situation. Therefore there is no point to Human Rights Laws

    Its a very subtle fine line between laws a free people enjoy and those living in a dictatorship, but the difference to the people is enormous.

  60. Mary M.
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Google Brexit Facts4EU.Org
    Download letter and e-mail it to your MP.

  61. concerned
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Will we ever have elections again?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 14, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      what would be the point if we merely elect more hopeless misfits?

  62. glen cullen
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Its so low its not worth a mention but today with a pop.68 million, there where 5 UK deaths

    UK deaths 5

    Rule of 6 kicking in tonight – quick to the anderson shelters

  63. Jacqui
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement breaks the Act of Union 1800 surely that is above the Withdrawal Agreement. The only people who want to keep this dreadful withdrawal bill are REMAINERS. We voted to leave all EU rules, agencies etc. To take back control of our laws, money and borders. No ECJ involvement. Surely there must be rules about forcing a sovereign country to follow a foreign powers rules especially in Sovereign matters. Is what the EU are demanding not goI get against the Civic/human rights of UK citizen’s? We voted in a democratic referendum to leave the EU fully. Elections since then have backed this up. Why are they allowed to trample over our rights to be governed by UK Elected Parliament and our Courts? If we are not a completely Sovereign nation on 1 January 2020. We will have to find a party that will get us out. Remainder MPs especially in the Conservative Party swore to uphold Brexit not Brino! As for the EU they should stop using emotive terms like ‘machinery of war’ ( even if only about trade) against us. It could be interpreted as declaring war on tthe British people! Cool it! They are acting like temperamental children who can’t get their own way. Stop bullying us. Every PM at least since Ted Heath have lied to us, I hope this time the PM will keep his word and deliver Brexit. Labour will never succeed if they don’t back the referendum result in full.

    • K R
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      You do realise that Boris Johnson’s government negotiated and signed up to the WA? not only that but he campaigned on and in part won a GE on the back of this deal being fantastic and “over ready”? Legally you are incorrect as international treaties trump domestic law. Yes like many laws, they CAN be breached often with excuses offered as mitigation, but there are some serious and unpalatable consequences e.g. damage to international reputation and to a potential US trade deal. I also do not agree that it is only remainers that want to stick to the WA. That is not so at all. Look at Geoffery Cox for example. He is hardly a remainer.

  64. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it about time someone sat down and explained to Blair and Major that they are has beens and nobody is interested in any of their pro EU, anti UK views anymore?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      It would appear every got the message apart from Sky and the BBC

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is.

    • K R
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Ad hominem attacks do not serve your argument well. Tell us why you think they are wrong by all means, but do not dismiss them just because they are former prime ministers. One is also a trained lawyer need I remind you so has more authority on this subject than Boris Johnson.

  65. Helen Smith
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Lewis really should engage brain before opening mouth.

    • K R
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      here here

  66. Anonymous
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    O/T but I’ve just read a report that says HS2 could cost £4m per job created and could cost a lot of jobs because of the extra taxes needed to pay for it.

  67. Simeon
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Having read and re-read your article, my position is unchanged. The UK Parliament is obviously entitled to pass whatever legislation it likes. This does not therefore mean that other sovereign nations and/or entities will look kindly on it. Your quoting of Lord Keen’s words are telling. He essentially makes the same point. From that point of view, you have your legal cover.

    But just because something is legal doesn’t therefore make it right and wise. If I believed this proposal was just the latest screeching U-turn, and there was suddenly a genuine will to puruse and achieve a genuine Brexit, I might say, Better late than never. But I don’t believe there has been a change of heart. Furthermore, I suspect you know this also. I suspect that you are hoping that this negotiating tactic inadvertently results in the so-called No Deal (though if it does, it will surely be a genuine No Deal, with all the accompanying disruption that would bring). Though I would not rule this possibility out entirely (you are not entirely hopeless), I think it unlikely.

    Ultimately, with the electorate having surrendered their sovereignty for five more years, what will be will be. The matter was closed at the last GE (or, more precisely, when Farage retreated). There is nothing left to fight for. This is a phony war, and Leavers have allowed themselves to be trapped in a foxhole, hoping that friendly fire will take out an unitended target.



    • Simeon
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Two additional points. To be clear, I am not conceding that unilaterally amending an international agreement is consistent with international law, but rather that it is legal in domestic law.

      Secondly, I would hope that Leavers understand that, in the highly unlikely event that Brexit actually happens, there is absolutely no realistic prospect that this government would make a success of it. If there was any doubt about this (though there really shouldn’t have been), then their response to Covid 19 should have made this clear.

      So, for Leavers, the possible outcomes are defeat, or a Phyrric victory. A sorry state of affairs that might have been avoided had there been honesty, integrity, intellectual rigour and unifying leadership amongst Leavers. Instead, Leavers fell in behind Cummings and Johnson, Japeto and Pinocchio, but with no fairytale ending to show for it – unless your bag’s the original Grimms’ Tales.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Being an independent free nation once again after over 40 years is what success really is.
        If you look at history people have laid down their lives to achieve that goal.
        A noble cause for many nations.
        But not for the UK you say.

      • K R
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Brexit is the triumph of idealism over realism. Even leavers are now abandoning the notion that there will be any tangible short to medium term economic benefits of leaving the EU. It is about the notion of “regaining” sovereignty, despite the fact that there is little evidence we had ever lost it. Loss aversion works very well as a psychological tool, hence why “while stocks last” helps boost sales of goods.

    • K R
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure if you are a remainer or a leaver, but I do agree with your point of view.

  68. Stevie Gee
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this Sir John.
    So why is a ‘Tory’ Minister of the Crown misleading the House from the dispatch box?

    Was he instructed to do so by his Civil Service masters?
    Was he programmed to do so by his Remainer allies?
    Or was he serving his country by ensuring that the EU’s judge activists in our so-called Supreme Court couldn’t pretend that the government didn’t realise it was breaking the law in their eyes?

    There are serious questions to be answered by Brandon Lewis, as it seems clear that we are not breaking International Law.

  69. Everhopeful
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Plans to concrete over rural England.
    Where will the land come from? Impossible numbers of houses planned.
    Beginning to feel all Brexit was pointless!
    Freedom from EU and no country left?
    What was the point?
    Johnson is worse than the EU..and apparently unstoppable.
    The deception and betrayal are without equal.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:55 pm | Permalink


      It’s estimated that between 88% – 92%+ UK isn’t ‘developed’ or built on.
      Source: Research by the University of Sheffield

      • Al
        Posted September 14, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        @Dennis Zoff – The study you are quoting appears to be from 2012, or at least that was the BBC link to it that turned up when I looked.

        The 2017 figures from the Land cover inventory show that only 34.9% is natural landscape, which includes mountains and other undevelopable areas. The vast majority of that is in Scotland, which skews the average with over 70% natural.

        If you take England alone, only 14.5% of landspace is natural and undeveloped, and the loss of biodiversity is a major concern.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted September 17, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink


          No, BBC was not my source, as outlined above.

          I would be interested in how much “Brownfield” land is available throughout the country?

  70. Everhopeful
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    The govt. is planning for a hastily rolled out unlicensed vaccine which will be exempt from liability.
    There is a consultation which they probably hope no one will notice.
    Anyone can respond.

    • hefner
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Please start looking for dhsc.gov.uk and search for ‘consultations’, the above web address is a dead-end.
      Closing date is 18 September.

  71. Dennis Zoff
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Well said John.

    Please keep up the good work…we can see the end of the tunnel!

    • Mike awilson
      Posted September 14, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      The end of the tunnel or the headlights of the EU train coming to crush us?

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        A half empty, pessimistic Remainer?

        • K R
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Unsubstantiated optimism is worse than realistic pessimism.

  • 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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