Negotiating with the EU

The only past UK Prime Minister to have conducted a successful UK negotiation with the EU was Margaret Thatcher. I wish the current PM every success in pursuing a Free Trade Deal and a full assertion of UK powers over borders, trade, money and laws.

All the other PMs failed to stand up to Brussels bullying or failed to engage to get the UK a better deal in the first place. Mr Heath needlessly sacrificed our fish in a last minute panic to get into the EEC, setting up a running sore about our membership. His terms over money were also feeble.

Mr Wilson attempted a renegotiation which gained practically nothing back from the EEC, but did allow him to force his very divided party into accepting the EEC after a referendum. The pro remain referendum campaign told us we were just joining a Common Market with no loss of sovereignty.Over the years instead successive governments surrendered power after power to the EU institutions, making self government impossible.

Mr Callaghan accepted the Wilson settlement. He lost the election owing to poor economic management, partly triggered by the large balance of payments deficit with the EEC created by the adoption of EEC trading rules and tariffs.

Sir John Major signed the UK up to the Maastricht Treaty which split the party and country. He did not use the big EU push for more integration to secure a less intrusive model for the UK, though he did get the important opt out from the Euro. Sir John lost the General election heavily thanks to the enormous economic damage done by the European Exchange Rate Mechanism which he forced the UK into.

Tony Blair promised a renegotiation of the Common Agricultural Policy and stupidly surrendered part of of our cash rebate to get it. The Reform never materialised as wanted by the UK.

Gordon Brown did not try to get anything back for the UK.

David Cameron went in for a major renegotiation. He travelled the EU asking what they would give, and got the answer very little. He asked for very little and did not even get that. He failed for example to restore control over our benefits system. One of the many Remain lies over the years was this was a red line issue which meant we would stay in charge. His failure led directly to the referendum outcome, with many otherwise loyal Conservatives backing Leave. Mr Cameron had to resign owing to his EU policy.

Mrs May constantly gave in to pressures from the EU ,leaving her with an unacceptable set of terms for withdrawal which led directly to her exit from the job as PM.

Tomorrow I will look at how Mrs Thatcher carried out the very successful negotiation to get a substantial rebate on our onerous membership terms.

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  1. Adam
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Conservatives have been misled since the loss of Margaret Thatcher.

      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. The Tory party died when Tory MPs brought her down. Today, the Tory party is a stain that tarnishes our nation even more than that excrement in opposition.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Yes the Conservatives lost the fight for the party, mainly because thousands went to UKIP.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          and they went because UKIP sold an honest message and were being trusted to do what was promised. The others who stayed to fight are STILL waiting for what was being promised.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed the party is stuffed with Libdems pretending to be low tax Conservatives before elections and turning it to high tax, red tape spewing, climate alarmist, pro EU socialists once elected. Easier to get a seat that way than standing as a Libdim. Some of these people even voted for the treachery of the Benn Act yet remain as “Conservative” MPs.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        some after being ejected as a Tory, tried again next door, but by then the game was up and he hopefully will never be heard of again.

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, Indeed, those voting for the Benn Act should not be in the Tory party or any party. It is amusing to see the squeals from Remains about “breaking the law” when they were quite happy to break the law (and lie; and work with the EU) to overturn our democratic Leave decision.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes well that was Carswell’s experiment which allowed Labour and Lib Dems to vote for the selection of the TORY CANDIDATE! (The whole constituency could vote, most of course were anti-Tory)

    • jerry
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      @Adam; Make that since Macmillan, probably the only post war Tory leader who actually understood the working class.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Essex man worshipped Maggie because she offered them aspiration. Not all working class on union members.

        • jerry
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

          @NS; You make my point far better than I did…

          The last time I checked England, never mind the UK, was more than just “Essex Man”, yes the London overspill might have been happy, meanwhile Yorkshire man, Tyneside man et al all lost their aspiration.

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Jerry, I can assure you they didn’t. Most found Mrs Thatcher inspirational. Which is why she was returned with thumping majorities three times, and only deposed by her own party shrinking at the hard left’s personal attacks.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Stop talking nonsense, the Tory party would have lost two of the GEs she contested as leader had the constituency vote been counted byway of PR, even the 1983 would have likely resulted in a coalition, thus ousting either or both Thatcher and Foot as leaders.

            The FPTP seat count is no measure of popularity, why do you think both main UK parties so hate the system?!

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Stop re-writing history with “would haves”. Mrs Thatcher actually did win 3 general elections on the trot with thumping majorities under our electoral system. However, you may not have noticed that UKIP and the Brexit party won under PR. Be careful what you wish for.

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

            @NickC; Stop re-writing history with “would haves”.

            Pot calling the kettle black again, UKIPers are always trying to rewrite history, telling us what would have been if only…

            Labour lost three elections, the Tories whilst lead by Mrs T did not ‘win’ any, that doesn’t alter history though, Mrs T was still our first woman PM, and the only Tory PM to serve three terms.

            1979; the Winter of discontent,

            1983; the longest suicide note in history for a manifesto, only in

            1987; Whilst a more equal fight Labour was still in turmoil due to the actions of Militant and consequently still haemorrhaging support towards the SDP/Lib alliance.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Tyneside man et al did not lose their aspiration Jerry, they had it removed by the coal, steel and other manufacturing unions.

            That encouraged those businesses to move offshore.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Apart from a handful of MPs, your party is misleading the public.
      The majority are limp dumbs and would rather we stayed in the EU.
      Letting others legislate whilst prancing about worrying about gender reasigetc is not conservatism.
      We need a new right wing party which is in tune with the electorate.

      • jerry
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; Remind us how many MPs UKIP managed to get elected at a General Election, any GE, I’ll even make it easier, I’ll accept protest by-elections results?…

        Has it ever cross your mind that, just may-be, you and those who think as you do might be the minority element in UK politics and society more widely, sure the rabble can make a noise, but so does Extinction Rebellion.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          UKIP were a very successful and PEACEFUL lobby group. You can’t say their name in the same sentence as Only Black Lives Matter.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson; Please stop putting words into my mouth, I never mentioned BLM.

            I also reject the idea that UKIP was a peaceful lobby group, when choice of language was intended to inflame.

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          Jerry, Has it ever cross your mind that, just maybe, you and those who think as you do, might be the minority element in UK politics? Obviously not.

          UKIP has been a very successful political party, attracting wide ranging support from the public, with activists and politicians from all backgrounds. For example, UKIP’s previous (current?) leader, Freddy Vachha, was born in India of British/Iranian extraction.

          Moreover many current political issues are either dominated, or influenced, by UKIP policies or thinking.

          Where UKIP has made itself look foolish of course is its high turnover of leaders. That arises because of the constitution of the party – the NEC is more powerful than the leader, and the constitution cannot be changed without the NEC’s approval.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Except UKIP/TBP lost, and ‘we’ won!

            If that was good enough for the Tories lead by Thatcher, as you claimed in another comment (above) between 1979 and 1990, then it was good enough for UKIPers to – no?

            Get over it, no wants your hard right agenda any more than they wanted the hard lefts agenda in 1983, apparently…

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Of course UKIP and the Brexit party accept and accepted democratic results according to UK election rules – both losing in general elections and winning in the Euro elections. Where have I said any different? I simply pointed out that both have been very successful in their aims – primarily to give us the opportunity to Leave.

          • jerry
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

            @NickC; UKIP did not win the 2014 Euro elections, even taking EP grouping into consideration, the EP was full of europhiles and euro-federalists, stop trying to gilled a lilly…

            UKIPers logic is very much like that of the SNP, claiming victory out of continual defeat!

            Clue, the European Parliamentary Elections are pan-European elections, winning mean gaining a majority or at least having the largest numberer of MEPs in the EP.

            There was no majority in the EP for any party/group after the 2014 election, although parties/MEPs aligned to the EPP group held the most seats at c. 215, whilst the EFDD group, which UKIP co-lead, came last with just 48 seats, if that is “winning” I hate to think what loosing means, talk about toothless tigers….

    • Peter
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Many Britons are now thoroughly fed up with the whole, prolonged, Brexit saga and the duplicity on both sides.

      Leaving on WTO terms would be best now. We don’t want to hear about mollifying Tory rebels or concessions on fish. That’s why we gave the government an eighty seat majority.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


      • glen cullen
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink


        • Mike Fountain
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


      • Andy
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Why are you fed up? You’ve got decades more of this to come.

        There is also no evidence that the public want a WTO Brexit.

        The only thing there has ever been an overall majority for is to leave on the terms promised by Vote Leave in 2016. Terms this Vote Leave government has spectacularly failed to deliver.

        There is no mandate for anything else.

        Perhaps you need to speak to people who are different to you to realise what a minority view you hold.

        • JohnK
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink


          Always with the negative waves.

        • jerry
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          @Andy; “There is also no evidence that the public want a WTO Brexit.”

          Nonsense, Boris made it very clear he was prepared to walk away without a deal (meaning leaving WTO terms) last December, it gave him a 80 seat majority and smashed the ‘Red Wall’ in doing so.

          ” There is no mandate for anything [other than the terms promised by Vote Leave in 2016].”

          Again nonsense, there were something like 27 different ‘Leave’ campaign groups, some actively wanted the UK to leave on WTO terms (not even bothering with the Article 50 protocol).

          “Perhaps you need to speak to people who are different to you to realise what a minority view you hold.”

          Talk about the greasy pot trying to call the kettle a little dusty! Andy, it is you who needs to start talking with people beyond your europhile bubble.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          ”no evidence that the public want a WTO Brexi”

          Did you not see the result of the referendum

        • NickC
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Perhaps you need to speak to people who are different from you to realise what a minority view you hold. Most Remains accept that the democratic vote to Leave must be honoured, and not cheated on.

          VoteLeave was absolutely clear that Leave meant leaving the EU treaties so that our nation was no longer controlled by the EU – it was even called! So if the EU will not agree a trade deal (without pinching our sovereignty or fish again) then the default is WTO trade, and always was.

      • Original Chris
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


      • M Davis
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink


    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink


  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Tomorrow I will look at how Mrs Thatcher carried out the very successful negotiation to get a substantial rebate on our onerous membership terms.

    Sadly the current Conservative never do that. The never argue for free markets. The Government “levelling up” policy seems to include putting northern England on a semi permanent lockdown

    Mrs Thatcher would not have let the country be run by Chris Whitty.

    According the the Daily Mail : “Government could utilise emergency powers to give the general public an unlicensed vaccine – with midwives and SOLDIERS trained up to administer it”

    If true that is truly frightening.

    • Sharon
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink


      I’ve heard the idea of compulsory vaccines mentioned on more than one occasion now. The idea seems to be that you either have the vaccine or you can’t live your life or go about your daily business until you’ve had it. Despite the Covid-19 being so much less virulent…

      Even Boris himself said recently we could self test for Covid before we could then leave the house.

      I see government actions that are part of a global agenda. Irony really, the proEU characters just move higher up the food chain to be part of a controlling global elite.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Given that the NHS isn’t breaking a sweat, and has a million employees, there really shouldn’t be a need to have soldiers giving jabs. Having only narrowly avoided being crippled for life by Thalidomide, I won’t be first in line for any rushed-into-production vaccine. (I might consider having the jab next year, to support my long-haul travel plans.) The health risks from masking-up, distancing-up, gloving-up and washing-up are next to nil.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        long haul? flying, swimming or rowing?

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:36 am | Permalink

          Flying – if anything’s open and any airlines are still in operation.

      • Qubus
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Why can’t GPs give jab s? Maybe somebody should give them a few jabs.

      • rose
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Hunt Leadership Bid – Latest:

        Mr Hunt, having left us with a testing capacity of 2,000 a day, is now demanding we test the entire population once or twice a fortnight.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Well, the piece exploits an endemic misconception in the minds of europhobics, that is, that the European Union is some separate foreign entity, which imposes itself from above its members.

      No – it simply is its members, and the UK was instrumental in deciding what the relationships between them and the institutions should be, which were the result of widespread consultation and painstaking deliberations aimed at forming a consensus, and which were pretty successful.

      The UK has consistently tried to backpedal since those days – what’s new? – and unsurprisingly, the European Union has generally resisted the endless attempts at wrecking by the UK Tories quite well.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        MiC, this comment by you goes some way to explaining why you get so much wrong. Those who are employed by the EU owe their allegiance to the EU, and not to the individual countries, as was amply demonstrated by the EU reaction to the ‘Credit crunch’ and since then to the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
        If you analyse Michel Barnier’s actions and behaviours, you will discover that the tope of his list is the continuing existence and ‘success’ of the EU itself (‘success’ being defined by growth in income and power). That is why the EU negotiators have acted in such an irrational way. Countries like Greece, Italy and the UK must be made to suffer, as long as the beloved ‘projekt’ survives. It explains everything

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        28 member nations 9 paying the rest taking out yet all get a vote.
        Qualified majority voting coming into more areas like fiscal policy and foreign policy soon.
        What chance has one nation got, to stop the unelected Commissioners and Presidents following their plan for further expansion and interference in national affairs.

        We started with a common market and now we have Presidents flags anthems ambassadors and embassies.
        Thank goodness we will soon be out of it.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        but its members cannot elect. All done amongst the inner circle.

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Have you read the TEU and TFEU? Article47, TEU, states the EU “shall have legal personality”. The EU is therefore independent of the EU’s sub-states. The EU has its own oligarchy (Commission), flag, anthem, parliament, central bank, foreign policy, court, commercial policy, customs union, defence policy, currency, etc. So the EU is a separate political entity; and is obviously foreign.

        The only sure way of resisting any EU imposition is to leave. But as you can see leaving is made difficult by the EU. It would be even worse for the hapless states caught in the Euro trap. It is you, Martin, who labours under the misconception that the EU is anything other than a ruthless, corrupt, bureaucratic empire.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          And a sign at the entrance to the Parliament ‘Europe – your country’.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Re your last but one paragraph, the UK could not do that if it were still a member country of the European Union.

      You voted for it, like the type that you so evidently are, however.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        What do you mean?
        Go on Martin spit it out.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        I’d rather be the questioning type than the authoritarian type Marty.

        Your hubris entertains many times daily. You are Gordon Brown and I claim my £5

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Definitely not Gordon Brown – he kept us out of the Euro – MiC is much lower down the pecking order.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Gordon Brown kept us out of the Euro because he was a control freak and would not let Blair bypass hos power base at the Treasury.

            He was a Europhile who signed the Lisbon Treaty in secret.

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        What, the EU would actually force the UK to do (or not do) something, Martin? I could have sworn that you had claimed the idea of the EU “impos[ing] itself from above [on] its members” was “an endemic misconception“.

    • zorro
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      The scarcely publicised government consultation on these proposals ends today and I have posted the reply I got to the petition about not disadvantaging those who did not take the vaccine and the equivocation in the reply is clear to all to say.

      Will JR raise this issue with Ministers? This is unacceptable.


    • Bill B.
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Yes, truly frightening. As ex-Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption said recently, the government could have used emergency powers under a 2004 Act, but that would have required close and frequent scrutiny by Parliament. So they deliberately used the 1984 Act instead, where emergency powers don’t require Parliamentary approval, in order to be maintained in force. If our MP fails to vote against the prolongation of the emergency powers when he does get the chance, on 28th September, he will be pretty much declaring himself redundant, in my view.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      As if midwives aren’t as busy as ever that is one thing even the NHS can’t remove the service for. Stupid idea.

      However, I would investigate just how many appointments are being done by GPs and local health clinics compared with last year with no loss of revenue for the practice, good money if you can get it! Their productivity as far as customers are concerned must be down through the floor because all I’m hearing is people unable to get appointments or only online chats.

      People go in for blood tests all the time, when they do go in to visit a GP administer any vaccine then (how long does it take 2 mins) should the patient require to be a test dummy.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Just had the flu jab. Queued outside. Called in and literally out in just over one minute.

  3. agricola
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    The evil Adolphe Hitler is said to have described negotiatios with Generalisimo Franco as akin to having teeth extracted without anaesthetic. Negotiating with the EU and Barnier is similar because their stated intent after the 2016 referendum was to punish the UK for having the effrontary to leave. To date there has been a complete lack of sincerity in their behaviour towards the negotiation. They should reap the benefit of such duplicity. Boris should stick with his time ultimatum of mid October completion with no loose ends or we leave on WTO terms. Only when the EU have had months if not yeas to enjoy the benefit of such insincerity should a re- opening of trade talks be considered.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      They want to discourage any others from having the effrontary to follow the UK. They will surely fail in this.

      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Both Socialists as well. El Duce was Editor of the Italian Socialist newspaper Avanti! AH and BM had much in common with modern Socialists of today

      It’s a travesty that the media and Anti-Socialist politicians refuse to expose the evil nature of Socialism

      A hatred of Capitalism. A hatred of individual freedom. Anti-Semitic. A hatred of democracy. An adherent of all powerful State. It all sounds so very familiar today

      There’s a political group at the moment running around with the consent of the authorities that holds similar views. Humanitarian they are not. Extremist political animals, they are

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        Yes, some people described themselves as “socialists” in the same way as those on the Right today use the word “democrats”, whilst seeking to disenfranchise anyone who might vote against them.

        Trendy words that sound good, that’s all they are.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          you might be correct how very strange. Those who use ‘democrats’ seem invariably not even close.
          Right seems to convey honesty, patriotism, while leftie/commie always seems to want to destroy.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          In what ways do those on the right seek to disenfranchise anyone who might vote against them?

        • NickC
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Martin, The only advocates of disenfranchisement on here were the Remains wanting to stop the elderly from voting.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        But are they anti socialist?
        Wasn’t Thatcher’s council house bonanza a huge socialist coup?
        A vast transfer of wealth. Taxpayer to “disadvantaged”.
        They always said it was a vote winning exercise…but was it just that?
        After all next Tory PM declared us to all be “middle class”.

        Plus ..why do all politicians hate/fear the right?
        Could it be that the politics of the right would have taken us out of the EU and severely interfered with the immigration agenda?
        ie ….scuppered the long deception?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          In many ways Mrs T was the best socialist PM in history.

    • James
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      It’s not going to run until mid October- everything finishes at the end of this month- the rest is the fizzle out and is for the legacy makers- so we should be kick starting those new WTO rules deals with countries far away- I understand a deal with Japan is in the pipeline- onward and upward!

    • Len Peel
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      You voted to Leave. You voted to “take back control”. Now to your amazement you find the EU is looking after the interests of its 27 members, not the UK. Stop whining, face up to how weak Brexit has made the UK

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Len Peel, Hardly. The EU doesn’t care tuppence for its sub-states, or at least the smaller ones from Italy downwards. And its employees gloated they had made the UK “a colony” of their EU empire. That’s a level of vindictiveness which amounts to a strategic error. Who in the UK is going to trust the EU now? Or buy EU stuff?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Yes I think German car manufacturers would be in trouble even with an FTA – we only buy goods from the EU when there is no alternative. I would remain in lockdown for the rest of my natural rather than go in a German car.

        • Halfway
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          NickC. The EU has 27 states big and small and each one has an equal voice at the Council. Likewise they are all represented in the EU Parliament and in the Commission. So don’t like to burst your bubble but the EU cares very much about all of its states and all of its people and despite brexit will hold together. That’s for sure

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Halfway, “equal voice”??!? Oh hahahaha . . .

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:39 am | Permalink

          You mean ‘sub-strates’, don’t you? What the EU routinely walks over.

    • Billy Elliot
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      agricola, if we start to postpone trade deal negotiations with EU by years we will be more or less poor than a church mouse. And yes EU will get a hit but in terms of economical disaster it won’t be even close to us.

      Contra what all seem to believe we do not have economical leveraged and certainly not do we keep all the cards – except for bad ones.

      • agricola
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Very confused thinking.

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Billy Elliot, The UK does not need “economic leverage” – this isn’t a playground fight. Any refusal by the EU to sell us stuff amounts to cutting their nose off to spite their face. We can simply buy from the rest of the world.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        So they sell £90 billion more to us than we sell to them, and ‘we have no leverage’? Let’s hope you are not a negotiator!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Indeed and she was perhaps the only PM to actually have cut overall tax rates too – though certainly they were not cut sufficiently nor was red tape plus she fell for the climate alarmist agenda too. Though after 98% income tax from the silly billy, economic illiterate Dennis Healey that is the only way you can go. We currently have over 100% tax rates in many areas thank to Osborne. Hammond and Sunak has as yet done nothing to correct these.

    I assume the CV test labs are already doing some mixing of samples and batch testing? So long as you have sufficiently large test samples then one can take say a small part of say 256 samples then split into 128X2 mix and do two tests. Then if one tests negatve all 128 are negative. Then split again any postives into 64X2 and repeat. You can then perhaps find circa 3 positive in 256 samples with perhaps 14 test processes rather than 256.

    This depending on the level of positives in the samples. Currently only about 1% are positives, though how many of these are actually just false positives?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Honestly. I am not surprised that testing is an insuperable mountain.
      After phone calls and several “reminder” e mails I turned up at chemist yesterday to get flu and pneumonia jabs.( Which I thought govt desperate for us to do!)
      Didn’t seem to understand why I was there.
      Didn’t seem to know they offered pneumonia jab.
      Didn’t remember that I KNEW I had to pay. And on and on…..” WHAT did you say your name was again?”

      And there was me thinking how internet-efficiently it had all been arranged!

      So TESTING…well

    • Christine
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Interesting evidence coming out about the benefits of vitamin D in treating COVID. Advising people to take vitamin D supplements could be a very cheap preventative solution. You have to ask the question why the WHO is not recommending this. It could also answer the question as to why darker skinned people in northern climates are more susceptible to the virus as they tend to suffer from low vitamin D levels. As we approach Winter this cheap solution could save many lives and should be investigated urgently.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Christine I’m getting as much sunshine as I can as it’s the best way to get vit D.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          You need 30 min in the sun, shirt off every day to get enough Vit D naturally.

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Christine, You are correct – vitamins D and C, and Zinc, are needed for the immune system. That is probably why hydroxychloroquine works as a prophylactic – it aids the uptake of zinc which is an antiviral – and isn’t much good when covid19 is established in a patient. Though you’d never hear that from those with TDS.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      When you add income tax, employee’s NI and employer’s NI – tax on income was not cut much.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and now they have stolen many personal allowances and child benefits too. Plus the many attacks on pensions rules.

    • NigelE
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Batch testing will also depend on the sensitivity of the test because if there were one positive in the batch of 256, you are effectively diluting the virus concentration. Yes, you can incubate and ‘grow’ the virus concentration, but this will take extra time comapred with direct testing.

    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    An excellent article though I contest your suggestion that Theresa May and indeed other PM’s before her ‘gave in’ or capitulated under pressure from the EU to secure EU agreement on those issues that affected the UK.

    I would argue that their pro-UK stance was in fact a deliberate and cynical deception of the British electorate. Their true stance was always pro-UK in public but pro-EU in private negotiations.

    Only PM Thatcher, this nation’s greatest ever PM, stood up for the UK and our nation’s fundamental rights though even she to her discredit refused to promote the idea of the UK leaving the EU.

    There is no doubt in my meagre mind that every PM since Heath have deliberately tried to conceal the fundamental nature about the UK-EU relationship. It is the gross act of deceit that I find unpalatable

    It is telling that it required the intervention of a politician unrelated to the Parliamentary cesspit to get this nation to this point

    We have nothing to thank Boris Johnson for or indeed any other Tory MP who now tries to take credit for the positive developments regarding the UK-EU

    It is Nigel Farage we should be thanking. Yes, the man who No.10 under PM Johnson described as ‘an unfit person for high office’.

    The collective British political class aren’t fit to tie the shoe laces of Farage

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Certainly May’s agenda was one of leave in name only – clearly a deliberate attempted deception and a betrayal of the voters.

      Thatcher was certainly far better than Wilson, Heath, Brown, Bliar, Major. May and Cameron but it is a very, very low bar indeed. Thatcher made many errors, failed to cut taxes and red tape sufficiently, closed many grammar schools, did little or nothing to get real freedom and choice in education and health care, fell for the climate alarmism scam and worse of all appointed the fool John Major and let him take us into the ERM and then replace her.

      Plus she buried us further into the EU trap. She also fail to sort out the hugely damaging lefty propaganda outfit (and unfair competition) that is the BBC.

      • Hope
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        No matter t was not it was much worse than that. Look at her behaviour at Chequers. Was it written by EU/Germany? Look at dishonest KitKat policy,caught on tape by the Sun by those working under Robbins on security, intelligence and defense. This should frighten everyone especially as Traitor May signed up to more EU control I this area knowing the U.K. was leaving! They wanted to hide true costs and ties from the public. That was dishonest, it breaks Nolan rules on public employment and the minister responsible, May, should face investigation. She even promised a leave minister to lead negotiations and then ratted on that quietly at the end of cession before summer recess and then claimed she would lead!

        It is beyond doubt that she is an intelligent person who has used every trick to leave in name only- really staying in and tie our country to the EU. 108 times she stated the U.K. Would leave the EU by 29/03/2019 she chose not too, she replied in every conceivable way in parliament. For that alone she should be investigated for lying. She sneaked off at night to agree the N.Ireland protocol.

        Who in their right mind would sign up to the WA or PD, particularly with all resources available and best brains legally and politically in the U.K. to give her advice? No one. They would need sanctioning not be of the right mind.

        Any has a terrible record as Home Secretary and PM. She was never fit for either office. Token gender wokeness who was pro EU remainer.

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Hope; now you are making implicit suggestions which point to far more than EU power and GB democracy . The hammer blow recurrence of events or failures which have rippled out to us all need a re think with a different perspective. facts may be facts but not necessarily the truth . We have been blinded by a Hitler-like sweep of events which if we follow on will not go away/

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            charisma was never good !

    • agricola
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Your last sentence is an absolute truth. Envy and jelousy are the motivations for the lack of recognition of Nigel Farage’s efforts to remove us from the clutches of the EU.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        you forget the word honesty.
        Politicians are frightened of honesty – – as in YES MINISTER – – ‘Prime Minister that simply will not do’.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      I await, with interest, May’s autobiography and an explanation as to why she sat on the fence during the referendum campaign. Until then, I can only think that she placed positioning herself for the premiership over all other considerations. Maybe she’ll persuade me otherwise.
      P.S. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, and taking a minority view, I thought that she was, and had always been, a secret Leaver – and would therefore be successful in her negotiations. How wrong I was!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid you will be dreadfully disappointed in Nigel were he to have any power. I have the same politics as you. Even Farage knows that he could not hack real power – he is a presenter, loves the limelight and has done well, but even he understands that he is simply not up to the job.
      Once you accept that, then we can get on with getting the person able to save us and Conservatism, into power.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Completely with you.

      Johnson is an opportunist who like Cameron wanted to be PM for no other reason than he wanted to be PM, Brexit was his only chance and he took it. Mrs Thatcher wanted the job to make the country prosperous and regain its standing after the appalling 1970s. She was not super human and maybe ran out of steam in her third term. NF is her true successor.

      FPTP has negated democracy in England, whilst devolution has given it to the others. Blind eyes in the wide and growing woke Establishment choose to ignore the people’s vote that saw Nigel Farage win EU elections?He must be regretting withdrawing half his candidates.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Dominic. OMG your post sums it up perfectly. Yes, Farage is the only man to stand up and tell the public what is REALLY going on within the EU. Even now he is reporting about the French navy escorting migrants into UK waters. How low can they get? They get money from us to stop this kind of thing and yet here we are paying them for the privilige of having to take in people from areas now that haven’t seen wars for 10 years. We are being taken for mugs by the EU and have been from day one and I sincerely hope Johnson will not give way on this but will stick to his guns and get us out – really out. I voted for Maggie but haven’t been inspired by anyone since. Farage would get my vote next time though if Johnson doesn’t deliver what he is promising. The Tory party had better wake up and start acting like Conservatives if they can remember how to.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed. A modern day hero, who has done more than any politico in modern history to save the Country from the EU dictatorship. We are all witnessing its true form and nature!
      History will write the real nature of who was our hero and who were the dishonest individuals who only cared for their self interest!
      Any news from from Preti Useless on the Channel invasion?

    • Christine
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Dominic, you should remember that Thatcher’s term in office preceded Maastricht and subsequent “treaties”. So the EU wasn’t as obviously political then as it is now.
      A mon avis.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes it was, the Treaty of Rome spells out in detail what the objective is. 1 country, 1 flag, no Parliament. You were warned before the Referendum by Enoch, Peter Shore, Toney Benn, Norris McWhirter, etc etc etc.

    • Syd
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, I agree with everything you say here.
      Farage is head and shoulders above any politician serving in Westminster.
      Currently George Galloway appears to be attempting to follow a similar path to Nigel’s. His Alliance4Unity Party offers the only possible way of removing the SNP from power in Scotland. Unfortunately the incumbent opposition parties in Holyrood are refusing to work with George.
      Do they have an alternative or better plan? No.
      Are they comfortably placed in terms of salary, expenses and taxpayer provided accommodation in Edinburgh? Yes.
      Is it too cynical to suggest they are happy with their lot in what Billy Connelly called “a wee pretendy parliament” and don’t want to rock the boat?

    • Wrinkle
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Dominic – hear, hear!

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Nigel Farage should got something from the honours list -whether you love or hate him, he’s done a lots in the interests of the nation

    • DavidJ
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Dominic. We need our host and like minded politicians to “hold Boris’ feet to the fire” to keep him on track. He does not inspire enough confidence that he will fully respect the referendum vote.

      That requires that our military remains independent rather than being subjected to EU control as part of some European defence outfit. We already have NATO.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink


  6. jerry
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    “The only past UK Prime Minister to have conducted a successful UK negotiation with the EU was Margaret Thatcher.”

    That might been because what Mrs T really wanted was what the eurocrats in Brussels dreamt of, Mrs T and her ideas turned out to be the biggest boost to the dream of a single Europe since the signing of the Treaty of Rome! Yes she got ‘our money back’ but she ended up giving much more away just a few years later, to use a retail analogy (and no pun intended), the EEC simply engaged the principle of a ‘loss leader’, give something away that then assures the customers current & future loyalty.

    • NickC
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, In what way did Mrs Thatcher “end up giving much more away just a few years later”? The Maastricht treaty was signed by Major in 1993 not Thatcher (PM 1979-1990); and Amsterdam (1997), Nice (2001) and Lisbon (2007) were well after she had gone.

      • jerry
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        @NickC; “In what way did Mrs Thatcher “end up giving much more away just a few years later”?”

        The Single European Act (1987). There would have been no Single Market, Maastricht treaty, no Euro, no ERM without the SEA, it is the bedrock that the EU is built upon – without it the EEC, a customs treaty (in effect for most) would have remained.

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Jerry, If you read Mrs Thatcher’s memoirs you will see that she tried hard to ameliorate aspects of the SEA, especially the proto-EMU proposals. She also wanted a single market of mutual recognition rather than the centralised dirigiste organisation that the EC wanted. She lost. But it was not for want of trying.

          The difference was that when Thatcher reduced the UK’s net payments it was the UK’s policy, specific to the UK, where the UK could continue to be stubborn, whereas the SEA was a pan-EC (EU) policy advanced by the EC and the UK was just one of 9 participants. It’s the difference between refusing to play yourself versus persuading 8 others not to play.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            @NichC; “If you read Mrs Thatcher’s memoirs “

            I prefer reading books of independent historical facts, certainly not (self) opinion, and before you ask, it’s not a Thatcher thing, I gave up reading the likes of the Crossland and Benn diaries etc too…

            Mrs Thatcher had nominated our Commissioner to the EU at the time, who had drawn up an initial White Paper that outlined how the single market could be completed. If she so disliked the end result why sign such an amending treaty, even more so when SEA extended QMV further and started to give the EP real powers too, surely that was the time for her famous No! No! No! retort, not a couple of years after the fact, once everyone else had travelled further down the road map as set out in the Treaty of Rome?

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You may well ask. Mrs Thatcher, like all human beings, was far from perfect. It was clear to me that the likes of Peter Shore, Bill Cash, etc were correct about the EU (then EEC/EC). I found it disappointing that Mrs Thatcher was so slow on the uptake. But she got there eventually. However you also have to bear in mind she was an honest person dealing with EU snakes – in other words she was initially fooled – hence the later Bruges speech (answering her own rhetorical questions with No! No! No!).

  7. Javelin
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Every single comment in the Daily Mail headline basically angry with a shambolic, clueless Government. That should worry you.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      The Daily Mail is now an anti government pro EU paper under its new editor.
      It’s little better than the Mirror.

      • jerry
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; Your comment probably tells us more about how far to the right your polices are than anything about the Daily Mail and its current editor, whenever I browse the publication their editorial line can be the polar opposites on facing pages!

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Your comment actually shows how rooted in 1950s style Toryism – and how uninformed – you are. Geordie Grieg is a well known Remain supporter.

          • jerry
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Your comment just proves you have not looked at, never mind read, the Daily Mail lately, if ever, probably simply going on the hard rights hearsay.

            The publication is trying to be all things to all (wo)men and thus maximise their sales.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            Come on Jerry, it is well known that the new editor of the Mail has a different style to his predecessor.
            He has said that he is a pro EU remain supporter.
            There has been a very abrupt change in the editorials and in many articles and headlines.
            He wants to gain extra readers especially in Europe and USA and he feels his style will do that.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Javelin, Covid?

      Actions to take:

      1 The P.M., accompanied by Professor Whitty should hold an absolutely urgent meeting to receive the thoughts of Professor C. Henegan (Oxford), Professor T. Spector (KCL), Dr G. Gomes (Strathclyde), M. Cleevely (10to8) and possibly Dr A. Tegenll (Swedish state epidemiologist) and M. Buggert (Karolinskia Institutet). This is to provide the P.M. with a counterbalancing view to that which he has demonstrated recently, hopefully enabling a more fully informed and sustainable (constant message) policy – even if this means a mea culpa moment for the P.M.

      2 Much testing to be directed to care homes and hospitals (which should have effective separation of Covid infected patients).

      3 All positive Covid tests to be given two follow-up Covid tests; a repeat PCR test and a non-PCR test.

      4 Publication of a complete and clear statement of current (contrasted with historical) implied infection fatality rate as a function of age with and without comorbidities.

      5 Publication of simple guidelines to indicate to parents how to better discriminate cold like symptoms from Covid 19 symptoms.

      6 To accept that infection outbreaks can occur and that given the previous lockdown the peak antibody prevalence varied between 6% and 12% across the country. It appears that 15%-25% might be more indicative of limiting new outbreaks (not 60% due to heterogeneity of stable behaviour, T-cell response without detectable antibodies and existing cross reactive immunity). Inevitably then, when changing behaviour after lockdown, those areas of the country far below these numbers will be more prone to outbreaks (if spare test capacity becomes available then pooled testing in areas without large outbreaks might be an option).

      7 Use the right test for the job!!!! Roll-out saliva based 30 minute antigen tests (as other countries are using). The 30% false negative doesn’t matter if used periodically. Moreover it is better at tackling infectiousness than the PCR gold standard. It is quick so no delay in information, the false negatives are more likely those with low viral low so likely less infective and less at risk, it doesn’t have such a false positive problem as PCR (recovering patients RNA fragments and lower risk of cross-contamination effects) so doesn’t lead to switching off schools based on one test, or wild goose chase contact tracing (the contact tracing is focussed on those most likely to be infected). The saliva antigen tests pick up the most infective period, PCR picks up viral RNA possibly up to 2 or 3 months.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        Good post – particularly (7). Johnson needs to apply a bit of a ‘value engineering’ approach to the testing problem. MOONSHOT is too expensive – not that this government seems to care one jot about expense.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Yep, good term/analogy.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      It could be worse. You could have the actual ukip or brexit party in office.

      There are better choices, however.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        please explain and educate?

      • NickC
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Martin, If only we’d had UKIP in power from 2016 we would have been out a long time ago.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      It would worry me if that were not so. It is encouraging that the British people have not gone nuts!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      The same Daily Mail that headlined that Thailand and Singapore were now open to British holiday-makers because of a decision by Grant Shapps – ignoring the fact that both countries are still closed to tourists? But I take your point. Government performance remains weak and I suspect that Boris & Dom are taking too many decisions – in their own disorganised way – while the key processes of efficient government gather rust.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Certainly they could do better but Boris has been ill and is on a very sticky wicket indeed. They foolishly signed the dire EU Brexit treaty and we have the pandemic (now largely over with). Plus he has a new baby with new climate alarmist wife.

      He needs to get real – cancel HS2, cancel green crap subsidies, lower and simplify taxes, cut red tape massively, fire about 60% of the state sector (most do little or nothing of value many do positive harm), halve the student loans by limiting them to people with 3 Bs or better (before this years 50% grade inflation that is) and doing sensible subjects only, get fracking and get everyone back to work. Get freedom and choice into healthcare, broadcasting and education and sort out the dire propaganda outfit of the BBC. Plus sort out the Scottish problem!

      It is quite simple to see what is needed. Only four years until the next election after all. Unfortunately half his MPs are still pro EU, climate alarmist, big government Libdims and socialists so not at all easy for the man. Some tory MPs were even guilty of clear treachery.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        He also needs to rewire Whitehall somehow, against strong and entrenched opposition. Plus he has the clearly political, pro EU and unanimous supreme court to deal with.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        He desperately needs men like Sir John in the cabinet to guide him and advise. You are wasted John

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          JR and not Sir John Major I hope! Over the years it would have saved £billions and indeed very many lives. Plus we would not be in this W/A EU mess now.

          It was not just JR most bright and sensible people were saying similar things. But irrational emmotion, stupidity. virtue signalling, group think. vested interests and often outright corruption drive things.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The Internal Market Bill was the Government’s bill, so they got to decide on the timing and presentation, and it was shambolic. Last night they sent Nadhim Zahawi onto Question Time, not the most eloquent when the Government needs to get its message across, and you might have thought well versed in the facts and figures on test and trace, but no, comes out with an extravagant figure which is immediately rubbished. Why? Did the Government think it would get away with it?

      Sir John , if it’s the Government’s ambition is to look shambolic then they are doing a brilliant job.

      • acorn
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Iain, you should have a read of “England’s test and trace is a fiasco because the public sector has been utterly sidelined Aditya Chakrabortty”.

        I have said many times on this site that the UK has the most centralised government system in the EU. Local government has been austeritised over the last decade and now frozen out of the current crisis. Westminster Conservative ideologically is forced to outsource/subcontract the pandemic to the private sector.

        Hence, you get Ferry Boat contracts given to companies that don’t know one end of a ferry boat to the other. PPE contracts given to companies that didn’t know what the acronym PPE actually meant.

        Alas, the one thing Conservative governments are really expert at is transferring money from the public purse to private sector pockets.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          She and you may call it a fiasco but going from a few hundreds tests a day to a few hundred thousand a day strikes me as good progress.

    • percy openshaw
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Not really. The Mail has been taken over by a Remain supporter called Greig. He is using Johnson’s undoubted cowardice and incompetence over Covid as a stick with which to bash Brexit. What should really worry Sir John and other Conservatives is the anger and disillusion to be found among natural Tory supporters. Brexit really is Johnson’s last chance. He has failed on so many other fronts – HS2, Huawei, IR35 and (notoriously) by imposing a ruinous “lockdown” – that he has nothing else left. As evidence for what I say, look at the responses on the Spectator’s website to two articles, one by Fraser Nelson, the other by Toby Young. You will see a mass of true blues lining up either to bash the PM or to back him despite everything – because of Brexit.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Why would it worry anyone? You’ll still vote Tory. Anyone but Labour.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Of course as FPTP prevents any other party getting a chance and God knows where we would be now with the free for all Labour party.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Oh you think the SDLP and SNP with the balance of power would be an improvement?

        • rose
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          Without FPTP we would not have had the referendum.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink


      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        sadly all too true… I often mention – a large proportion of electorate are sheep, we need tetchy goats!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          Funny how those sheep always come up with the best option.

  8. Sharon
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    In a nutshell! The EU are not honest brokers and their way of doing business is one way only – their way or no way! We’re now wasting our time, but they need to be blamed for once, not us. So we need to continue getting our ammunition and safeguards in place. And once that’s done, walk out the door with our head held high. Chess mate!

    They are no better than a high ranking criminal who speak their threats in a very pleasant way and then shoot on your way out of the door, once you’re no longer useful. I’m thinking of ROI.

    • jerry
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      @Sharon; In a nutshell the EU (and the EEC before them) are extremely good Poker players, especially when negotiating, the UK has allowed its-self to be taken for fools since Heath, if only Wilson had won his third term in 1970… Talking of the ROI, it’s said that it was Ireland who asked for English to become one of the official languages of the EEC, such was Heath’s urgency and desire to join at what ever cost.

      Stop blaming the EU for everything, the UK have been taken for fools because we’ve acted like fools, and still do to this day – we should never have joined, and BoJo should never have signed that blasted WA, just leave damn it!

      • NickC
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, I agree with all you say this time.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      “Chess mate!” – The only thing the EU is bothered about is getting our cheques mate.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      True but why did he sign the treaty?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        He’s a Remainer! Always has been.

    • James
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      ROI has paid a very big price indeed for being geographically located so close to mainland Britain- they, the ROI, were right to get away from UK when they could- here am thinking of war, the penal laws, famine, evictions and mass emigration-

      In UK’s EU negotiations over the decades it was always UK against 27 or 28 others and that is one of the main the reasons that Britain was never able to make its voice heard- it was never able to hone the skill of networking with other countries in order to build an alternative consensus- reason being could be something about state of mind and recovering from loss of Empire- but can’t hardly blame the EU27 for that. We just have to admit it was a mistake that we never suited to the EU in the first place and we should never have joined- no need to blame anyone.

  9. agricola
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Margaret Thatcher had clarity as to what was right and wrong, witness the Falklands, even though she had her failures, ultimately brought about by the duplicity of some of those who surrounded her in government. Nobody since Winston Churchill has come within touching distance of her. If ever a contender for greatness has been sorely tested it is Boris Johnson. Time will resolve this outstanding question and I wish him well.

    • jerry
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      @agricola; Oh dear, why do people always hark back to one of the UK’s most embarrassing failures, grasping the twig rather than a branch.

      Yes our victory put the Great back into Britain but let’s not forget the govt (spending) policy decisions that lead the Argentine dictatorship to think we had little or no interest in the region any more, resulting in their invasion of the Falklands – people seem to forget that two very honourable Minsters offered their resignation, only one (understandably, at the time) was accepted…

      • agricola
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        She may have failed you ,but not the country.

        Governments rarely provide to counter , in our case, the ambitions of continental upstarts such as the Kaiser, Hitler, Mussolini and Franco. It does not fail to surprise me that the Falklands were seen as a ripe plumb. Governments in the UK of whatever colour tend to be mediocre. Socialism has seen itself off in the UK which will tend to reduce the quality of unchallenged incumbents. The 1st Jan 2021 is the end of any excuses.

        • jerry
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          @agricola; “She [Margaret Thatcher] may have failed you ,but not the country.”

          You’re another person who seems to think the City of London is “the country”…

          You dismiss Socialism to easily I fear, remember Brexit was finally won in the north, traditional Labour (traditional “Red Wall” Socialist) areas.

          The 2019 GE was dubbed “The Brexit Election”, voters did not vote for Boris, Corbyn or Swinson, nor a Conservative, Labour or LD manifesto, they voted for or against Brexit again. Who knows what the 2019 result might have been had Corbyn been able to go to the country with a clear pro-Brexit message, as demeaned by the people in 2016, rather than the thinly veiled anti-Brexit fudge of a manifesto.

          The 24 June 2016 should have been the end of any excuses.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            I think there were a large number of traditional Labour voters who found they could not accept Corbyn as PM and switched their vote.
            But as you say it was a Brexit dominated election.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      I too wish Boris well, he is the best hope we have of avoiding an appalling Labour dog being wagged by a Nicola Sturgeon tail in four years time. Surely we do not want people like Angela Raynor and Ed (tomb stone & Climate Change Act) Miliband anywhere near power?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 20, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree LL
        I like Boris.
        Something very human and natural about him.

        And the awful thought of an SNP Labour coalition makes me shudder.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      In many ways Mrs T was more successful than Churchill. Alan Walters rather then the gold standard. Of course Lawson/Howe/Major bullied her into the ERM.

  10. Richard1
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    A bit unfair to John Major who did negotiate successfully at Maastricht to get opt outs from both the euro and the social chapter. (the social chapter opt out was also subsequently given up by Blair). Was it really Major who forced us into the ERM? Thatcher was PM at the time we joined, if she thought it was as terrible idea as it turned out to be she should either have vetoed it or resigned. The policy was of course supported at the time by the entire political and business establishment, and even by such subsequent enthusiastic Brexiteers as Nigel Lawson!

    But the general point is correct – almost all attempts to negotiate with the EU since Thatcher have been a failure. Most egregious of all I think was Brown signing the Lisbon treaty, putting on a silly charade of reluctance and denying the British people a vote on it as the Labour govt had promised.

    Reply I opposed joining the ERM at the time, as did Nicholas Ridley. When I tried to dissuade the PM she explained she was being forced into it by the Chancellor and Foreign Secretary . Sir JM wished to show he had the votes in Cabinet to force her hand, which he did.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      One can never be too unfair to the dreadful John Major. He took us into the ERM and even now has never even said sorry for the huge and predictable damage inflicted. He also buried us further into the EU trap without any referendums. In his defence he clearly is very dim indeed with his three O levels History and English Lit and Lang. He should never have have been made an MP let alone Chancellor or PM. Surely a Chancellor should at least have a grasp of logic, economics and be able to do simple sums! But then again we have not had one of those for very many years.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Major got an ‘opt-out’ from phase 1 of the Euro, he signed us up to phase 2 and 3. So the obvious introduction of the currency was avoided, but we have to ‘run our economy for the benefit of the EU and NOT for the benefit of the U.K.’. Always underhand stuff but it explains many extraordinary decisions – because we are COMPELLED by our commitment to the Euro which the politicians dare not explain.
      The greatest number of suicides in the U.K. ever recorded, occurred on the day ‘kind’ Major pushed interest rates up to 17%. He is, in layman’s terms, a murderer. I wish never to see his face or hear his name again. He should have stuck to casting garden gnomes!

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Too bloody right Lynn. He lost me my marriage, my husbands job and our house.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          not a fan I take it?

      • jerry
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        @Lynn Atkinson; Except the Euro (and ERM) were the end of a journey, not the beginning, nor even a middle, John Major might be a useful fall-guy for eurosceptics but you need to look at the actions of your idols to understand the journey. There would have been no Euro nor ERM had there been no single market, there would have been no need, no use for such a circulating general currency, the ECU would have carried on in use where needed.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          The Euro is in the Treaty of Rome! The whole end game is in the Treaty of Rome, but Mrs T did think she was negotiating with honourable, civilized people. She had apparently forgotten about Auschwitz. However when her amendment was inserted as an addendum and then declared not to be part of the treaty because it came after the signatures, she got the message and campaigned desperately against Maastricht.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson; “The Euro is in the Treaty of Rome!”

            As is the Single market, thank you for making my point!

            Building a superstate is akin to building a house, tell me Lynn, when you build a house would you construct the roof before the walls, before the foundations?

            “[Mrs T] campaigned desperately against Maastricht.”

            If you don’t like the shape of the roof why encourage the walls to be built that shape, surely you checked-out the plans, the shape of foundations (read as; the Treaty of Rome). To late to bleat about the roof if you’ve blindly built the walls…

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, There are Remains on here who still (apparently) think the EU isn’t a superstate. In the 1970s/80s that thinking was mainstream. And eurosceptics were considered outliers – fruitcakes and loonies. It is a pity Mrs Thatcher did not begin to see the reality of the EU (EC) empire before about 1988, but most people didn’t either.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink


      Sir John Major did not have a mandate to sign Maastricht. At the GE there was no route for voters to disagree. Despite his pro-EU position at the time, the great late Sir Paddy Ashdown thought there should be a referendum.

      • jerry
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        @Caterpillar; There was/is no constitutional requirement for a PM to obtain a mandate to sign such a treaty, did Mrs T have the explicit mandate to sign all of the far reaching treaties she signed, and not just with regards the EEC…

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Major used the Royal Prerogative to destroy the Royal Prerogative. But Treaty law is lower than Constitutional law and our constitution was destroyed illegally. Parliament is bound by the Constitution unless they explicitly repeal it.

        • jerry
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          @Lynn Atkinson; The UK does not have a written Constitution, there was nothing to be “destroyed illegally”.

          • NickC
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The UK does have a written constitution; we just don’t have a codified constitution.

          • jerry
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Thus, legally speaking, it is a meaningless document – just ideas and concepts, unlike say the Constitution of the USA.

    • jerry
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; No PM is forced to do anything by cabinet (even less so back then), never mind individual Minister, Mrs T had made that very clear since she became PM, why didn’t she simply sack those who would not toe-the-line, ultimately threaten to call a snap GE (or a referendum) on the issue – afraid she might suffer the same fate as Heath?

      Reply Because they had the majority and would use it to oust her, as they did not long afterwards

    • Richard1
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Yes I certainly remember you and Ridley opposing it. Thatcher must at least have been in 2 minds about it otherwise surely she would have just stopped it?

    • BOF
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Thank you Sir John for this clarification. I always thought that Major was behind it.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Yes and we’re supposed to listen to Major on the EU? Never. The man is evil.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      He went along with the idiotic group think of the time – being pushed by the EU, the BBC, the duff wing of the Conservative Party, fools like Major, Ken Clarke, civil servants and much of the establishment. They wanted to ram the UK into EURO and destroy UK independence . Thank goodness they failed.

      Just as now they are pushing the CAGW climate alarmism lunacy another group think lunacy.

      • rose
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        He was a banker and not a statesman.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          He was in the personnel department at the bank!😂

  11. Nigl
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Stark lessons and I guess you and the ERG remind Boris regularly because as a student of history he will know what happened to Julius Caesar and a similar (not literally) fate awaits him if he crumbles as the Elites, BBC and Civil Service are desperately working towards.

  12. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Why are these people failing : what is in it for them or what or who is working against them to make them ineffectual? These are the important questions as when we know why, we then can stand up to thee forces.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      these forces

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      A crucial question that lots of people are asking and no-one is answering. In what possible way could it benefit the government by running short of testing capacity? The dead hand of Whitehall lies behind many of our current problems, both on Brexit and CV. They must be thrilled that so far the government has chosen not to criticise them publicly. Let’s hope there is a determination to sort this out before the next election

  13. Andy
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    It turns out the EU is a tough negotiator.

    So why were the British people told that negotiating with the EU would be easy?

    That it would be the easiest deal in the world?

    It could be concluded over a cup of tea?

    We were told the EU was useless at this stuff – was that not true?

    Incidentally, Mrs Thatcher did not get what she asked for either.

    But Mr Blair and Mr Brown were both successful with the EU. Probably because, unlike any of their Conservative counterparts, they did not look down their noses at it.

    Still, the EU has not agreed to put an internal border in its territory. It has not demonstrated its sovereignty by negotiating what it called a great deal and then moaning about that deal just 9 months later. And it hasn’t incurred the wrath of the Americans for threatening the Good Friday Agreement and threatening to break international law.

    After their 40 year epic anti-EU whinge the Brexiteers now have to deliver a country which is better, stronger and richer than we were as EU members. This is what they promised. I simply note that their project is not going well so far – and that it will invariably by undone when it fails.

    • Billy Elliot
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes and how about the queue?
      Is there a queue now – hundred of nations willing to strike a deal.
      All what I hear is a voice from NZ that UK is not fit to strike deals. It lacks the competence in it.
      So how is it? Enlighten me plz.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      It is about being independent.
      You dont understand.

    • beresford
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      We can agree on the British negotiators being naive. Right at the start we were offered experienced negotiators by Australia and New Zealand and we preferred the typical British option of the ‘gifted amateur’ instead.

      Since the objective of the EU was to dispense with our country altogether, dividing it up into new administrative districts including parts of other former countries, and even renaming the English Channel to expunge us from the record books, it will not be too difficult to deliver your last objective.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        We didn’t choose the ‘gifted amateur’ so much as the professional Remainer

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh the EU Commission is ruthless! Nobody knows that better than EU citizens, sold as slaves (they have no Parliament an therefore have no control over their present or future) by their politicians who want to dance on a bigger stage!

    • NickC
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Andy, You have been told repeatedly that Liam Fox said a deal should be the easiest in history (because we start off with identical rules), not ‘would be’ or ‘will be’. Frankly I think it’s more likely you are lying than you are dim or idle.

      By the way, how are your “55,000 pen-pushers” coming along? And don’t forget your bizarre hatred of the elderly won’t have any effect on Leave but may convince your own children to shunt you off to Soylent Green because you have taught them to hate old people.

  14. Newmania
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    The Eu disperses under 1% of GDP the UK Government 40/50 %*( I dread to think right now )- so when we talk about a good deal or a bad deal , lets try to have a sense of proportion.
    The UK has been a vast beneficiary of the EU opening markets, overtaking its neighbours after joining after the postwar years in which the UK went alone and slumped into the shame and failure of the 1970s. The country buys Spanish Tomatoes and German cars because they are good value .
    Now we are being dragged back to the days of unspeakably awful food and cars that would have been at home in the Eastern block and the rancid politics of Enoch Powell albeit dusted with circumlocutions .
    Negotiations with the EU are now heading for not just a No Deal but ongoing trade war just when we need everyone focused on saving lives-
    Please someone tell me how this could be worse …

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      fascinating dystopian vision…..but you lost the plot in the middle.

  15. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Creative idea for Channel 4’s ‘A Place in the Sun’: former PMs are invited on for specials and have to handle the price negotiations at the end of the show. Unknown to them, Angela Merkel is at the other end of the phone.

  16. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    What a sad list for a country which, with monotonous regularity, produces Great men. But I f you choose Heath over Enoch, and so on and so forth over the years, then you end up in a mess.
    We need to choose the most able, indeed if we don’t start now, we probably will not have another opportunity, such is the parlours state of our Parliament. Many MPs and cabinet ministers simply don’t know what to do – Jack is in charge of his Master in this upside down world. For overfaced Jack’s sake, as well as that of his Master, we must put that right.
    Only by returning power to Constituency Associations for Members to freely appoint their own choice of candidate, will we achieve that.
    Only a genuine, lifelong, Conservative will have the courage to give the people that power. Unless JR replaces Boris sooner rather than later, this will not end well, because like the well supported ‘Defund the BBC’ campaign, the people will enforce their will one way or another.

  17. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Totally off topic.

    Can you tell us what our recently appointed Clandestine Channel Threat Commander has done so far??? – -with hundreds a day now commonplace and NOTHING seemingly done I can only assume he is too busy deciding on the official letterhead – his expensive chair – his office decor – and god knows what else. Everything apart from actually stopping this BLATANT invasion. When there is nobody else left to come here will he claim that he has “solved the problem” – or as the country has been turned into a 4th world hell will any survivor hear the immortal words “Lessons have been learned”?????

    • beresford
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      The appointment of the ‘Commander’ was the thing that was done, the idea being to stifle any momentum behind opposition to the agreed transfer of migrants. It is noticeable how little discussion there is in the HoC, apart from the observation from one MP that illegal immigration is the thing that fills his postbag from constituents. Roy Hattersley said that as an MP he felt his job was to listen to the concerns from his constituents about immigration and then ignore them.

      • SM
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        I suggest you read the Public Accounts Committee’s views, aired today, on the incompetence of the Home Office’s handling of immigration business over the last 15 years – it is scathing, and appears to justify general serious criticism of the poor standard of too many in the Civil Service.

    • rose
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      I think he is gathering a lot of intelligence.

  18. Cynic
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    It is strange how the Conservative politicians have always supported the EU throughout the years despite the damage it has done to the country.
    It is always your leaders who sell you out it seems.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      our ‘leaders’ don’t feel the wrath of their weak and cowardly decisions!

  19. Paradiso
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, Mrs Thatcher successfully negotiated with the EU by accepting qualified majority in Council and the central role of the ECJ, and out of that she got the single market, the best thing since sliced bread for British business. And that’s what you small minded Brexiters are throwing away. Mrs Thatcher would never have taken us into isolation outside the single market, and she woud NEVER have broken an internatiobal Treaty. You shame her memory

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Utter rubbish : Mrs Thatcher would never have wanted us to be so subsumed into the EU as her successors allowed.

      Just listen to her Bruges Speech :

      and then her famous contribution to Parliament on 30th October 1990:

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        but the monied all rallied against her ..

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Mrs T would have been out the door at Maastricht! She said so!

    • rose
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Thatcher’s Single Market was subverted by the Commission to gain political control over the nations. It is no longer the free market she set up.

  20. Tabulazero
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    If you think that Boris Johnson is of the same intellectual calibre as Boris Johnson, you may be in for a slight disappointment.

    I am looking forward to reading your piece as to “how things were done 36 years ago” just in case the world has not moved on since. I have no doubt it will be highly enlightening.

  21. Tabulazero
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Correction: I meant the Iron Lady herself, of course… who as we all know “was not for turning” which is not something you can say about the current PM.

  22. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    It is clear we are not dealing with the peoples of mainland Europe, but a handful of megalomaniacs where power to dictate is more important than the end result.

    To allow us to get involved in this charade it does suggest something worrying has happened with what we hold up as Democracy. Those we lend our Sovereignty to, our MP’s, time and time again permit it to be bartered away as if it is their own. Then they trade it with individuals that see power as a controlling weapon. Our representatives are permitting the corruption of the ideal of a Democratic Government

    I understand our loose not to prescriptive Constitution, but successive governments have shown the people should by default have a mode of checks & balances to rein in some of the excessive powers of the Government and HoC. General Elections are supposed to help but there is always a side note hidden in manifestoes that leads to deception, when at the time what people in the main are voting for the economy directly. Which is why now all Sovereignty issues should be voted on by the People as a single issue.

    Government is still destroying democracy in their Socialist’s possibly Marxist desire for Control. We have 3-5 political groupings in parliament that are trying to out do one another with solely Socialist Agendas where is the choice in that.

    The House of Lords when it was primarily hereditary, was a misnomer in the modern world. But it worked and it wasn’t broken. What we have now is a system that actual corrupts democracy, seemingly more along the lines of a corrupting club, a club for the boys, focused on personal ego and not the interest of the Country. That just cant be right or acceptable to anyone calling themselves a Democrat,

  23. bill brown
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Don’t you think you are mixing up standing up for Britain ,and just collaborating and working with friends and allies. (Like the Danes we fought with in Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan)

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Are you seriously citing the European nations as ‘allies’ – Vichy France? nazi Germany? Fascist Italy? 😂😂

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink


        You forgot:


        • dixie
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          You keep bringing up that phrase …

          coined by the French revolutionaries after the UK leadership stopped supporting then when the “civilized” French moved away from establishing a constitutional monarchy and started butchering all and sundry in la Terreur.

          That you parrot a French epithet against the UK is no surprise at all.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink


            You are quite mistaken. According to an entry in Wiki:

            “The use of the adjective “perfidious” to describe England has a long history; instances have been found as far back as the 13th century”

            And rather than your version of events Wiki has it as:

            “In this context, Great Britain’s perfidy was political. In the early days of the French Revolution, Great Britain had looked upon the Revolution with mild favour. However, following the turn of the revolution to republicanism with overthrow and execution of Louis XVI, Britain had allied itself with the other monarchies of Europe against the Revolution in France.”

            The phrase is used many times down the centuries not just by the French, but the Irish, Portuguese, Rhodesia, Palestine, Italy and even by Spain when in 1950 the president of the Spanish Football Federation wrote to General Franco:

            “We have beaten Perfidious Albion.”

            But as we have just broken yet another treaty obligation so the phrase is still relevant.

            Much more so than ‘Vichy France, nazi Germany, or Facist Italy” which are fortunately all in the past.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson,

        I mentioned Denmark and both France and Germany are allies as well. But your distortion of European history and German fixation speaks for itself.
        I am sure even sure can do better, but or th moment itseems to get worse.

  24. Fred H
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I note you have kept your powder dry with Boris Johnson. Not a mention of his action, appointments, sackings, public statements, possibly some you know of said in private.
    Holding back for 1st January, or even his demise as it is looking like it will be a single term in office? Ireland, ERG, Immigration and Covid all might have a bearing on ‘negotiations’ with EU.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Agree – but I’m not holding out to 1st January, I am hoping talks fail with the EU and we walk on the 15th October (the very last deadline)

  25. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    It’s foolish to assume the EU will agree to anything that is not in it’s interests and as the PM said to a select committee recently, the EU may not act in good faith.

    So I hold out little hope for anything other than a WTO exit – and that’s all I want for Christmas

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

    Good morning.

    I look forward to tomorrow’s post.

    One thing is clear, if you give into the EU they will always ask for more. We need to let them know that we do not, have never, needed them. Only lazy vainglorious politicians and conniving CS’s who crave power without responsibility and accountability have supported membership. Only one PM, who wanted to govern in the nations best interests and fought for it ever came away with something. She earned her moniker, “The Iron Lady”. Will Johnson, who thinks he is some latter day Churchill, earn a name as worthy or, just another Paper Tiger ? History, and the electorate, will judge.

  27. JoolsB
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Why on earth did one of the worst Tory PMs we’ve ever had, John Major, get a Knighthood for his failures? Sorry John, I mean no disrespect to you, but it’s time we stopped handing out Knighthoods and other honours like sweets to politicians, failed and otherwise.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      25 years in the Commons = a Knighthood.

  28. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink


    …and just to add an extra line to your piece JR: When it comes to the EU, UK PM’s noted failed miserably in pursuing British interests, so we can learn nothing from them. The best thing they can do is to SHUT UP and stop whinging.

    To say that we have been miserably let down by our leaders pursuing their own agenda against the interests of the UK, this fact becomes clearer by the day — We certainly were robbed…!

  29. SecretPeople
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I was hoping you could have told us what was going on, Sir John. Today’s papers are very quiet on the subject on the Internal Market Bill and of the supposed 15th October deadline. yesterday GF reported that the PM has admitted defeat. What is the position really?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Smoke & mirrors

      This government has been pumping out false news about covid-19 ….so no one will notice the real stories

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        If this government doesn’t clarify the misleading reports in the news media – thats false news in itself – they’ve condoned that false news

        Why isn’t our government shouting about the low number of deaths and the low numbers with covid-19 being admitted to hospital ?

  30. Jeff12
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Apart from Mrs Thatcher our prime ministers have been an object lesson in how not to bargain. They apparently lack the skills of even the most inept market trader. I could find you hundreds of car salesman, boot sale traders or children in a playground with far greater negotiating ability than any of them. I accept that they are undermined by the civil service but a PM should have any that do removed from their job and should they face resistance come out on tv and tell the people what’s going on. Either they can stand up for Britain or they are useless. Personally I regard them as worse than useless and the facts back me up on that.

  31. George Brooks.
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    We are dealing with a determined dictatorship that has the sole aim to punish us for voting to leave and also set an example to the other states not to try.

    When negotiating with a set-up like that the boss should NEVER go on to the front line at any stage and I hope Boris will continue to stay away. All the previous PMs with the exception of Mrs T made that mistake and we paid the price. They thought they had friends in the EU and wanted to be liked. Mrs T did not care and was utterly determined to get her way regardless.

    If you are on the front line you don’t have time to think or analyse the opposition’s tactics and dealing with an outfit like the EU they don’t care how they try to beat us into submission. Make sure the PM stays in the command centre until the battle is over. We only have a little over 3 months to go until we regain our sovereignty and full control of our borders and money

    • Harkback
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      George we already have our sovereignty since january – the talks are only an interim stage in case we can agree a deal for the future- but if we can’t? and it looks like we can’t- then we just take ourselves to WTO rules. In the meantime we should prepare for WTO and a new border control regime from Jan 1st. No need to bother ourselves anymore about the EU

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink


  32. Timaction
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    So in a nutshell………………failure by our mainstream politicos forever, except for Mrs Thatcher who was the last true “Conservative” leader, amongst a list of abject liberal failures ever since. I despair.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      There are real Conservatives, we must support them into power!

  33. Ian Kaye
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Prior to joining the erm UK wages were rising at 5 or 6% per annum I e completely out of line with the European average and making the UK uncompetitive our membership of the erm put paid to that because the employers could say in all honesty that they were not able to rely on currency devaluation to pay for a pay rise

  34. Derek Henry
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Bank of England is engaging with regulators on how to implement negative rates

    Have a word John. Stop this nonsense right now.

    If you have studied the accounting that takes place then you know it is complete folly.

  35. Annette
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    What they all demonstrate is what happens when a ‘deal’ is pursued ‘at all costs’. Just like Johnson is doing. The result does not show them as a ‘great leader’. It shows them for the spineless, callow people that they are who were happy to subsume our country to a foreign power. The only exception was Mrs T, who woke up a bit late to find that her party had been infiltrated by EUlings who then deposed her to continue our destruction at their hands.
    If Johnson had meant his words, he would have announced ‘no deal’ on 1st July. At the worst, 31st July following his ever moving ‘deadlines’, giving them a short period to finally accept that we were leaving that they (aided by their placemen here) have never believed. That would have provided ample time for a ‘real’ deal to be agreed soon after 31st December. Instead, he’s continued kicking the can down the road. His ‘new’ latest deadline is not his own. That was set by the EU for Council agreement.
    He has done nothing about the EU’s continuing bad faith. He has stayed silent on the back door access of our Defence & Security, & its impact on Foreign policy. We can see that the EU now wants to subsume the bi-lateral Canterbury Treaty under their control to exert their law (see Briefings for Brexit for their latest ‘power grab’ re the Channel Tunnel). He doesn’t have the bottle to walk away. An 80 seat majority yet he still appears to be doing the EU Parliaminions’ bidding. He remains silent.
    I’m sorry to say but the Conservative Brexiteers are being played for fools. Just like signing the turd (his word) of the WA, he will come back with a ‘piece of paper’ announcing a stunning agreement at the last minute which has given back the hooks to hobble our future independence & use it to ‘force’ it through just like the WA.

    We voted to leave. Whilst a fair deal would’ve been nice, we did not vote for a deal. A ‘deal’ now will just be a means of ceding sovereignty before we’ve got it back, along with the means to ratchet us back under their control, preventing proper scrutiny & the people’s say as should happen with any cedance of sovereignty.
    I dread the time when we no longer have the likes of Sir Bill Cash to protect us.

  36. Ian Turner
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Yes, but a change of Editors, starting with the Mail on Sunday and now the Daily Mail has definitely caused a change in ‘tone’ at both papers.

    They need to be careful, my wife isn’t at all happy with them and she’s the only reason we get it delivered. I wouldn’t bother frankly.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I’m told it is brutally honest and has decent sport coverage, when it is being played.

  37. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I would very much like to view briefings provided by the civil service to Ministers. It seems that once in power politicians capitulate to complete Europhiles. I am particularly thinking of Hague and Cameron but to be so eager to embrace the EU ideal is odd unless the civil service briefings are saying something that is not in the public domain.

    We should be told

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      You don’t need to look any further than your TV : Just re-watch Yes Prime Minister.
      It tells you everything you need to know about who actually runs our Country!

      Sooner or later another Margaret Thatcher will come along and make the changes we really need to see.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink


  38. BOF
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    ‘Mrs May constantly gave in to pressures from the EU’

    I would feel confident in saying that it was a deliberate strategy, with the intention of misleading the people of the UK and to leave the EU in name only to destroy all hope of Brexit. Shameful.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Yes, BOF, her actions suggested not that she was weak but that she was devious and unprincipled.

  39. Jack Falstaff
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    BARNIER, DUC À L’ORANGE: ……a level playing field

    BARON FROST: ‘Pon Mr Bennet, here we go again…..!

    Exeunt severally

  40. acorn
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Time to replay the original Lancaster House speech. (1988 Apr 18 Margaret Thatcher Speech opening Single Market Campaign)

    “First, welcome to Lancaster House for the launching of this “Europe Open for Business” campaign. It is the first step along the path of preparing Britain’s companies to take the opportunities presented by completion of the Single Market in the European Community in 1992. We must get this right. Too often in the past Britain has missed opportunities.
    How we meet the challenge of the Single Market will be a major factor, possibly the major factor, in our competitive position in European and world markets into the twenty-first century.”

    PS. If only the “EC” had not become the “EEC”. Thatcher’s 1988 Bruges Speech was the start of Brexit. If only Europe had stopped at the Single European Act 1986 and just establish Single market Act 1992 and left it at that. Just imagine if Thatcher could have become President of the European Commission where the EC/EEC/EU would be now!

  41. ukretired123
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I wish SJR was the Chief Negotiator as the EU would be unable to turn him.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Possibly why he wasn’t chosen.
      They never pick capable people.
      The EU wouldn’t know what had hit them!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink


  42. ChrisS
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I agree with almost all of this piece and many of the comments so far have exactly reflected my views as well.

    The whole relationship with the EU has revolved around us being conned into believing that “Europe” is the best thing that could happen to us when most of the consequences have been negative. Whether it has been Heath’s lies about “Europe” being no more than a Common Market, Major signing us up to the ERM and Maastrict, or Blair’s surrender of much of our rebate and his failed efforts to get us into the Euro, very little has been positive. Brussels was even successfully able to usurpe Mrs Thatcher’s Single Market and use it to move as far as possible towards a United States Of Europe.

    I can hardly bring myself to say it, but we have Brown to thank for keeping us out of the single currency with his unpassable five tests. Had Blair had his way and put us into the Euro, I doubt whether it would ever have been possible to leave.

    Margaret Thatcher was head and shoulders ahead of every other Prime Minister and, had she been in Churchill’s position between 1940 and 1945, she might even have surpassed that great man’s achievements as a wartime leader. How delicious it would have been to see her make mincemeat of Milliband, Corbyn and Starmer !

    But times have moved on since the 1980s. The British Public have moved perceptively to the left and would not be prepared to vote for full-on Conservative policies today. Sound economic policy now has to be linked with a degree of progressive fairness.

    Boris was never the right wing zealot he was made out to be – why many of us, including, I suspect, our host, yearn for a return to true Conservativism but Boris’ policies are what is needed today. He won his outstanding victory last year because he appealed to those Northern voters who were prepared to back him against their natural inclination towards Labour.

    Can Boris become a great Prime Minister ? Everything will depend on him making a success of Brexit and dealing with the Pandemic. If he can do this and win the next election, I believe history will be kind to him.

  43. RichardP
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I don’t really care now if we remain, leave or stay semi-detached. The idea of being freed from undemocratic control in Brussels is irrelevant while we are under the heal of this authoritarian government.
    This bizarre game of whack-a-mole, for a virus that is no worse than a bad flu season, is destroying the economy, our morale and our health.
    The Government have managed to delay the legal challenge to the lockdown once again but they can’t put it off forever. The sooner they realise this and restore our democracy, the sooner we can get the country back to normal and get this virus dealt with.

    • RichardP
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Sorry just spotted a typo. The word should have been ‘heel’ as in ‘boot’ rather than ‘heal’ as in ‘heal the rift’ which is obviously beyond this Government.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      100% agree!

  44. Andy
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Honestly. You left the EU so you can stop moaning about it.

    Instead you can explain to us the benefits of your Brexit.

    Today we learn simply travelling to Europe will be more bureaucratic and costly from January.

    We are getting lots of new lorry parks. Tens of thousands of new pen pushers. Millions of extra forms. Higher prices. Fewer rights.

    Other than VAT on tampons do you have any other benefits we can look forward to yet?

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      What “fewer rights,” Andy ?

      I would put the benefits of regained sovereignty well ahead of anything else but the additional costs of managing our new status will be much less than the £15bn pa net we have been sending to Brussels.

      Then, of course, is the freedom to be able to make trade deals around the world whose terms will exactly suit the UK, rather than being the lowest common denominator to satisfy 27 other very different Countries.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        15 billion so that Andy can get to his French Chateau without having to spend a fiver at the post office. What a bargain.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          He can get a French Chateau for a Fiver now!

      • acorn
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        It was actually £8.59 billion net we were sending to Brussels in 2018 for instance.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


    • beresford
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      How about the end to the continual whining and scheming from Remainers who think the democratic verdict delivered over and over again can yet be overturned?

      • Andy
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t tried to overturn anything. I have merely exercised my democratic right to point out – as regularly as I can – that you have throughly failed to deliver Brexit on the terms you promised. That you have made an absolute mess of leaving and that you have caused massive harm to our country.

        I understand why people voted leave in 2016. They were told there would be no downsides. They were told we would have all the economic benefits of EU membership, all the personal freedoms, that we would save money and have less bureaucracy and fewer foreigners. What’s not to like?

        But sadly this vision was never true. The cost free Brexit option simply didn’t exist. If it had have done someone would have figured it out by now. I have never thought the costs of Brexit were worth it. The more I have seen you all fail the more evident has come that I am right.

        But you enjoy your lorry parks, and your customs forms, and your extra bureaucracy and the additional hassle and expense you face just to travel and your internal border. I think all of that is rubbish but it is what you voted for. So let’s experience it for a few years – let our children and grandchildren conclude that, in fact, Brexit was worse than EU membership and let them undo it.

        Who knows? Maybe your pension will one day be paid in Euros after all.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          So no pension you mean?

        • Fred H
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          your pension might be in single figures of any currency if we stayed in the EU.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink


        What democratic verdict? 17m people being able to decide the future of nearly 70m?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          Few disagreed, the rest were content.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          better than 16m deciding.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      We dont actually leave until 31st December.
      We are still paying them billions.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Why will my holidays in the EU be ‘more bureaucratic and costly’ next year? I won’t need a visa. Oh, and I’ve just renewed my travel insurance. Despite my losing EHIC cover next year, and my getting another year older, the renewal premium was unchanged. What a pleasant surprise that was.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Well the lorry parks, if they are used, will be full of EU trucks waiting to be allowed back into the EU as most of our imports are carried on non British transport, so we can make a new business of selling refreshments to the drivers, especially as you reckon they will be held up for days.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        We should have large signs ‘HASTE YE BACK’. – or similar.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Andy travelling to Europe will be no different. We already had to take out travel insurance if we wanted security while on holiday. Many hospitals wanted to see our insurance before they would treat us even with the EC travel card. You do talk a lot of exaggerated hyperbole.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        A couple of years ago my son went on a field trip to Europe with his University, he was told he HAD to have private travel insurance, he told them he had his EHIC but they insisted he had private cover!

  45. Jack Falstaff
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The Conservative party needs to sort itself out and rid itself of rogue Remainers who fail to realise that their ship has sailed.
    I get the feeling we’re almost there but not quite yet.
    At the moment the party is relying on the luxury of a weak opposition in its toleration of rebelliousness but it must expect this to be only a transitory cushion and it still needs to evolve into a meaningful entity.

  46. Christine
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    A very good summary of the incompetence of our leaders over the last 30 years. On the other hand, is it some grand new world order plan?

  47. Westie
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    We have already left the EU we don’t need to negotiate with them any more and we can just leave to trade with WTO rules so I don’t see why we go over and over raking up this old stuff?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Because the UK stands to lose hundreds of billions every year in commerce revenues and to self-impose a near-blockade if it messes up.

      That is why.

      Now do you see?

      • James
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes but according to JR we voted to take back control- that is what we voted for

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        ‘Self-imposed .. blockade’ 😂😂 have you been at the Meths?

        • bill brown
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink


          Your historical distortions leaves a lot of unanswered questions due to lack of depth in your own knowledge

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        No I don’t see.
        Explain why the UK would “self impose a near blockade”.

  48. John Hatfield
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    “Mr Cameron had to resign owing to his EU policy.”

    Why? Cameron had promised that if the result of the referendum was Leave, he would initiate Article 50? the next day.
    Instead the coward ran.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      and why did he ‘resign’ as an MP?
      Couldn’t cope with being rejected – poor boy.

  49. forthurst
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    The Tory Party has suffered from two very damaging delusions in international affairs which have perverted their capacity to pursue the national interest, firstly that we would ever be accepted as equal partners by Europeans who themselves are attached to each other through geography and history and second that we have a ‘special relationship’ with the USA.

    The first has led to a long period of exploitation by the EU in which we have lost much and gained little; the second has led us into a belief that the US would dig us out of any hole in which our arrogant politicians had deposited us: the consequence of this has been a century of involvement in damaging wars which have reduced us to being second rate power, often with the US walking off with the spoils.

    From the Europeans point of view, we were always the US’ poodle whereas one of their ambitions was to create a block which would rival the US in power. Of course, if they looked around they would see that they were occupied by the US, militarily, and also subject to extraordinary pressure to prevent their rapprochement with the Russian Federation following the collapse of the Bolshevik empire.

    There is another delusion of the Tories, that they can understand the modern world without understanding anything about science and the further belief that people without scientific understanding can be put in charge of policy and execution which relates to science.

    The Tory Party will never be any use to this country until it dispenses with its delusions. The EU also needs to dispense with its own delusion that they can create a harmonious unitary state out of a dispirate collection of nations with their own cultures and interests.

  50. JohnE
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I thought we already had an oven ready deal?

    Mrs Thatcher negotiated hard but she did it in good faith. She said that the UK does not break treaties.

    • Robert Mcdonald
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      There was and is an “oven ready deal”, but the eurocracy needs to accept certain fundamentals now we are leaving, they cannot have control over our money, our laws and our seas and they are the obstacle to baking the deal. They dont try that on other nations that they negotiate trade deals with.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Yes the oven ready deal cast the UK as the turkey.

  51. Kristo
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Back in the 50’s 60’s Britain was known as the sick man of Europe who’s people never stopped complaining- industrial strikes were the order of the day- but we got over that after we joined the EEC- with cheap annual getaways to sunny Spain- but alas the whinge with the help of the rag press was then redirected at the EU and nobody in politics was able to stand up and shout stop- to tell us to count our blessings- and now we’ve almost reached this point again- almost back to the 1950’s

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I would bin that bizarre book (pamphlet written by a remoaner?) – only fit for starting a bonfire.
      Shame about no libraries – you could get to read accurate history.

      • James
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Accurate history is when you get to read it from another’s point of view. Not part of the British tradition am afraid

        • Fred H
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          ever set foot in a British library? You can indeed access history written by foreign authors about subjects involving UK. Cheap inaccurate sniping.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I shouldn’t worry about the 1950s.
      The powers that be ( globalists/technocrats /whoever) fully intend to take us back to pre -industrial times.
      1750 suit you?
      Except that we will have computers, for a time at least, but since those in charge have ripped up our culture, society, democracy, you name it, they’ve ripped it up…we will have little else!

    • Edward2
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I never knew the EEC paid for our annual holidays to Spain.
      How nice of them.

      But why back to the 1950s when we joined the EEC in the 1970s?

      • Harkback
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Kristo was talking about how things were before cheap travel when the customs officers at the aurports harassed everyone about where they bought their watches and bracelets rings etc and how much did they cost and did we have a receipt. With some if you put a nice new ten shilling note in your passport you got straight through- i suppose you’re too young to remember those times..but just as well to be forewarned

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Oh you mean when we had Duty-free travel as the MEP still do? They kept duty free for themselves when they took it away from us!

        • Edward2
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Having travelled a lot during these times I can tell you what you say is complete nonsense.
          And your slur on the integrity and honesty of Cutoms Officers is a disgrace.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 21, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Are you playing teacher again?

        • Fred H
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          That brought back memories of an arrival back in England late 60s after a flight from one of the Balearics. The Passport control man asked to see my wrist (bearing a gold watch on a sun-tanned arm). It was a quite new Seiko kinetic bought by my mother. He wanted me to take it off so he could question me. I answered his questions. He agreed I didn’t import it, and named the years of manufacture, approx purchase price – the works. What other skills did they have I wonder? Merely glanced at our passports.

  52. a-tracy
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Is it true that neither Matt Hancock nor Boris Johnson is discussing Covid lockdowns at all with Scotland and Wales Ministers? That neither Sturgeon nor Drakeford have a clue about a coordinated response? When UK MPs come out discussing lockdowns late at night are they telling the tv viewers before the devolved parliaments?

    All of this devolution businesses, Mayors here, Assemblies there, just what the bleeping hell is going on? Why does Scotland get more of a say in what’s going on than the NorthWest and can they just call “call a cobra meeting”? Does Burnham get this right too? or Mayor Anderson from Liverpool, just how many bits of the UK are getting a say and who is getting left out. Does England nominate regional champions to represent their region so that we are all equally represented or was this Blair and the EUs intention to divide us and set us region against region?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      It was definitely the EU’s intention to divide us into small areas.
      “ All the better to RULE you with my dear!”
      We appear to have a “second wave”….the dearly-longed-for reinforcement of State Terror.
      Well..let Hancock and Johnson PROVE that they have not caused it with mandatory masking!!

      It seems to me that Sturgeon has always set the COVID agenda. Boris trails miserably along behind

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        It always puzzles me that Scotland has its own BBC they lobbied for it, yet we have to see Sturgeon more than any English politician on the English BBC? Why?

        Liverpool has two Mayors speaking on tv, then they accuse the government of confusing people, who put these Mayors in charge of covid decisions? Is the Manchester Mayor and his devolved NHS responsibility’s for testing or not, they were responsible for ppe and NHS facilities in that region weren’t they?

        I’ve had enough now, Boris needs to talk directly to the people, give us a website to check for ourselves instead of relying on local Labour politicians out to cause mischief.

  53. Ian
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Sadly Farage is not in number 10,
    Him and his team would have had this lot for breakfast months ago.
    The trouble is that each Parliament we have is stuffed with committed Remainers, the EU has seen to that over the decades, one just wonders how they have done it?

    Your guess is the same as mine I am sure.
    If Boris gets us out with what we voted for ,? I can not see it.
    All to friendly with the EU.
    We voted for total freedom, and the ability to run our Country As a Free Nation .

    Stop wasting any more time, have the decency to do right by this Country for once.

    WTO now , no ifs or buts OUT. Now

  54. Ian
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Is there a way to have an Election, probably take months.
    We must have committed honest people with Buisiness background.
    No more incompetent Fith Colomn Treachery

  55. Donna
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    To get anything from the EU you have to really want to get it. And be prepared to fight dirty.

    Apart from Mrs Thatcher, none of them did. It wasn’t a case of surrendering ….. they didn’t even bother to try fighting. And I’m not convinced yet that Boris is.

    The only politician I completely trust to stand up to the EU is Nigel Farage.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      it doesn’t become dirty – simply that something is a red-line and we will not cross it.

  56. 'None of the above'.
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I remember Margaret Thatchers successful negotiation of “The Rebate” but she also campaigned for the removal of the “Veto” as she considered it too often used to block progress on the creation of the “Single Market”. The unintended consequences of her efforts were to contribute to the acceleration of Federalisation.
    But on the whole, I agree with your assertion that Margaret Thatcher was a positive in our relationship with the Bloc. Unfortunately she made the same tactical error as all the other PMs, she hid from the people that which she new would result in a serious lack of support for continuing our membership.
    I look forward to tomorrows diary entry.

  57. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The government, Sir John, needs to be ready for the idiocy that is about to unfurl in the Lords. It’s time this very silly and ridiculously large chamber was sorted out. It’s full of failed Remainer Civil Servants and politicians. It should be restricted to 100 at the maximum

  58. glen cullen
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Wise and succinct narrative of recent history – which is easily forgotten

  59. Original Chris
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, President Trump is apparently brokering further normalisation agreements between 5 other countries and Israel: Oman, Sudan, Comoros, Djibouti and Mauritania

    • Robert Mcdonald
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      And I recall the predictions when Trump was elected that he would take the world to war. Wrong.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes that was Farage wasn’t it? When Trump became the Republican candidate he said ‘Trump is dangerous’. It’s on record.

    • Gantley
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes..a la Kushner and help Trump’s election chances but am afraid it’s not going to work

  60. DavidJ
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    A free trade deal without some level of control by the EU was never going to be possible whilst they think that they can exercise control over us.

    The only way is to leave with “no deal”, let them get used to the fact that we have left, and only then offer them a free trade deal on our terms.

    • James
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      But we never voted to have another trade deal with them- we just voted to leave

  61. davews
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    It has just been announced the the Brants Bridge urgent care centre in Bracknell will be used for one of Boris’s lighthouse CV test laboratories. Can we have an assurance that when this happens the urgent care facility, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and all other services offered at Brants Bridge will continue to be available to us. Or will it follow the way of the nearby GP surgery which has had its front gate locked since March?
    (OK, may have to ask your neighbouring MP…).

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I should be going there for a regular blood test early October (cancer related) – do I try to find out if I can do it early ie immediately – or have to find out where may still do it!

      • Fred H
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        CURRENT reduced facilities are listed on their website.

  62. ian
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    England will end up being a republic on its own its only matter of time when the Queen goes it will all fall apart, the commonwealth is already going with countries rushing to be republics and without this Queen, the rest will turn republic overnight without even a vote, the EU with S Ireland will win the vote in N Ireland when it comes the EU will throw everything it has got to win that vote and then they will line Scotland up for their vote which is only a few years away the EU will keep chipping away with the new world order till only England and Wales are left there is nothing much can stop it apart from taking S Ireland away from the EU, but that will not happen, the new world order has already taken over your parliament as you can see and when John and last few hold outs in parliament are gone there is no one coming along to replace them, they will all be new world order politicians in 15 years the USA is going the same way, England only has financial innovation left and the USA has financial innovation and AI.

    • James
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry Ian England was one a part of the Roman Empire. The people of these islands will reinvent themselves- I have no doubt

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


        No, England was never part of the Roman Empire which had annexed much of the island of ‘Britannia’ 500 years before.

        England only came into being after the collapse of that empire in the 5th century AD when the German Angles, Friesians/Saxons invaded and took over. It then became known by the German ‘Englaland’ – land of the Angles.

        I only hope that if we DO reinvent ourselves it wont be as the 51st US state.

    • rose
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      The new intake of Conservative MPs are quite different.

  63. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Yet more offensive legislation:
    The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020
    Wasn’t this all supposed to be voluntary AND non-punitive?

    “A shocking new data law has just appeared that will lead to a mass recording of our movements – and it’s in force *today*. Businesses are now legally required to collect our personal data on entry. If they don’t, they’ll be committing an offence and could be fined up to £4,000.”

    “We’ve already seen businesses misuse personal data collected for contact tracing, whether for marketing or even to harass customers. Businesses won’t be able to comply with this draconian new diktat as well as data protection law overnight. This is an excessive law that poses a serious risk to privacy and data rights – we must challenge it.”

    Seems the government are already well down the slippery slope of authoritarianism.

  64. Iain Gill
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Dido Harding been sacked yet? if not why not?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      She’ll be made head of a bigger and better quango.
      Just watch!

      • Fred H
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Natural replacement for Hancock.
        Like for like – detached from reality.

  65. glen cullen
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    UK daily summary Friday 18th September

    Tested – 228,877
    Negative – 232,824
    Positive – 4,322 (1.8%)

    Patients admitted to hospital – 134 (daily ave.)
    Deaths – 27 (0.000039%)

    With all the new local lockdown this government must have secret files as the its own published data hasn’t changed much

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      glen – – the numbers you have collected (copied?) do not add up.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Its been a busy day

        • Fred H
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          not if you are a GP.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Glen, thanks for those figures. The important one is the 1.8% whereas the main stream media consentrates on the headline figure of 4,322

    • beresford
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Sky News desperately shilling for a second national lockdown. Apparently there is a ‘groundswell of opinion’ in favour. Should be the death knell for a number of hospitality and leisure businesses and the high street, and a driver of rising unemployment and destitution. A few months ago on ‘DC Legends of Tomorrow’ there was a portrayal of a dystopian future in which streets were dominated by large government billboards saying ‘Stay At Home’ and ‘Watch More Television’.

      • rose
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        A Labour MP today cited a description of Sky News as being owned by a woke American company.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I think you have your figures for ‘Tested’ and ‘Negative’ the wrong way round but I understood the point you are making.
      It is a mistake to make decisions about regulation on the back of figures which show a dramatic decline in the number people tested as ‘positive’ as a percentage of the total number tested. If you conduct more tests, you are bound discover more infected people. But where is the problem when this allegedly dramatic increase in positive test results does not translate into dramatic increases in hospital admissions?
      A friend who works in the health service told me this afternoon that they have had a dramatic increase in the number of school children being tested on the advice of their schools because they have a mild temperature and a cough. But nearly all of them apparently also have a sore throat (a sore throat is NOT a symptom of Covid 19).
      I remember the decades of being a parent who had to suffer a cold every September because children brought the bug home from school at the beginning of Term.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Should read

      Tested – 233,119
      Negative – 228,797
      Positive – 4,322 (1.8%)

  66. margaret howard
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


    “David Cameron … went to the EU asking what they would give, and got the answer very little”

    And that of course is the whole story of the UK in the EU. Constantly asking for opt outs and special treatment to the point when the other members had had enough and welcomed the Brexit vote.

    We begged to be allowed to join because our own efforts of creating a trading bloc like EFTA was overtaken by the vastly more successful EU and we abandoned our main Commonwealth trading partners like Australia and New Zealand virtually overnight.

    We tried from the start to run and dominate it to our own advantage. When that failed we retired hurt and blamed THEM for it.

    And what now? The break up of our own union? 51st US state?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I’m praying, MH, that you aren’t a history teacher, but your distortions of history are scarily like left wing versions. Vastly more successful? Only to Germany, even France has suffered from German hegemony

      • bill brown
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink


        Your historical distortions leaves a lot of unanswered questions due to lack of depth in your own knowledge

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:41 am | Permalink

      @margaret howard:
      Well put Margaret!
      And I’m sorry to say that now the term “perfidious albion” has returned over here.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Yes how dare the UK stand up for itself against the EU empire.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          this is probably one of your more pathetic answers and you are now talking about empire like your little brother Nick C
          wake up

          • Edward2
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            Oh just go and find someone else to troll with your posts bill.
            Coming on here like some stroppy teacher marking everyone else’s posts.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Look up Empire bill
            The EU is an Empire
            Why are you so defensive about it.
            What’s wrong with an empire?
            Presidents Embassies Flag Anthem
            An expanding group of nations under a powrrful unelected centralized bureaucracy with a supreme court and law making powers.
            All they need is armed forces and that is coming soon.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Having given EVERYTHING – our Monarch, our Parliament, our law, our people, all we could do was beg for a bit back Margaret. But you are right, beggars never prosper. You have to get off your knees and Govern yourself.

  67. XYXY
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    When you list all the PMs who have sacrificed their career over the EU, it really brings it home how the Conservative Party has destroyed itself and the country for 50 years.

    Even now there is a rump of remoaners (which I define as remainers who will not accept a democratic decision) who are hell-bent on getting their own way.

    Except…. that it won’t be. Even if we remained, we would never keep the same terms, with a veto, staying outside the Euro, no EU army etc etc. Now it would be even worse, since what they are doing is hobbling this country in withdrawal agreements and FTAs which can never, ever be a good idea.

    I know that there are some doing this out of self-interest, but I honestly believe that many, even most, of them have simply lost their marbles. The term Brexit Derangement Syndrome seems a real mental disease not a joke term.

    How do we get them to pinch themselves and take stock of what they are doing now and what it will actually lead to?

  68. Gantley
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Trump is not going to win- and despite what DD promised the EU will not change its mind at last moment- so we are free to be ourselves- taking back control- it’s what we voted for- now we are only waiting for Liz Truss to announce new trade deals with partners overseas-

  69. Gantley
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Yes..a la Kushner and help Trump’s election chances but am afraid it’s not going to work

  70. Blazes
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    No no! This is all hyperbole put out by that great negotiator DD- he said the EU always settles at the last moment. Then Liam Fox said it would be the easiest deal ever? IDS said the German car workers would be knocking down the door to Mrs Merkels.. none of this happened’ we were horribly lied to. Either way, Trump or Biden? and despite Raab’s best efforts in supporting the Republicans support for Israel we are not going to bypass the Irish causus on the Capitol Hill Washington that’s if we do anything at all to mess with the Irish border.
    The polls say Trump will not win- the American people have had enough of chaos- it’s time for some decency

  71. Frances Truscott
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Well done Sir John
    Good for you! There seem to be very few in political life who actually are on the side of this country.

  72. James
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    We’ve dug the hole so deep- not alone have we angered the EU but at the same time have managed to turn most of the US establishment against us. Then Boris/ Dom sent Secretary Raab over to Washington who has backed the wrong horse- my analysis- we are in deep dodo!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Relax. The EU is in its death throws, the US Democratic Party, which set alight to the poorest, are too. Trump will win a second term. I’m just wondering who will succeed him – that’s my worry.

  73. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Trump will win easily, even with the postal ballot rigging.

    • UKQanon
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


  74. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The Sun leader today, “BORIS Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill promised Britain nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat” as World War Two began.

    He did not say: “The Luftwaffe? Pah! We’ll zap them with lasers we haven’t yet invented.”

    We need gravitas from this PM. Not elbow bumping buffoonery, useless Greek quotations and certainly not absenteeism.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      We need a lot more absenteeism from this PM.

  75. Ian
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    NO W , no need to wait for next year just do it fo Gods sake, make a decision, stop wasting time and money and get this Country back to work.

    This Covid 19
    Sooner or later we are going to just get on , or is this going to be our reaction to winter flue
    Oh and Summer flue.
    Go back and just see how many die each and every year just from the flue .
    What is also happening now is that other poor people are dying because hospitals are not looking after these people ?
    There will be no jobs for anyone if we do not pull the plug on this , why are the Nightingale hospitals not in use ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      I’m praying for the 15th October – but they’ll make an excuse and move that date

    • XYXY
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      To be fair, although I’m hoping for WTO (at least initially, because it gives away none of our sovereignty in terms of “concessions”), we have to appear to be negotiating in good faith.

      I suspect much of the games going on now are positioning for any legal questions that may be pursued later. Once we get to, say, Oct 15th we would be within our rights to say that enough is enough.

      I can only hope that Johnson realises that voters won’t listen to any spin on this – we had too much of that in the May years – people are now very clued-up about Brexit, so it won’t wash.

  76. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    We have to stop fooling ourselves and recognise that the European Commission is a hostile force if not a downright enemy. We have long standing territorial disputes with the Republic of Ireland over Northern Ireland, with Spain over Gibraltar and in a sense with Scotland. In all three cases, the EC is backing our opponents, partly to look after their own, partly to punish Britain and partly to harden its external borders.

    The UK needs to review and modify its diplomatic and foreign policy. The following actions are called for:
    – Stop citizens of the Irish Republic voting in our elections.
    – Cede some Republican voting territory is the western part of Northern Ireland (including the Bogside and the Cregan) in order to preserve a Unionist majority.
    – Declare that as a maritime power we do have a selfish and strategic interest in retaining Northern Ireland.
    – Declare that the only threat to the Good Friday Agreement is resumed Republican violence, which will terminate it.
    – Withdraw recognition of the EC on 1st January and negotiate solely with individual Member States, for example over fishing in British waters.
    – Lend moral and diplomatic support to EU Member States objecting to dominance by the embryonic Federal SuperState, e.g support Hungary over immigration and Greece and Italy on restoring the Lira and the Drachma.
    – Ensure that we are adequately self sufficient in food in case of war.
    – Boost defence expenditure, especially on our Navy and Airforce, in order to defend the UK and not to fight foreign wars.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      And if Joe Biden is elected, tell him to get his tanks off our lawn.

  77. a-tracy
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    “The arrangement, known as “passporting”, expires at the end of the year and, while the UK has legislated so that EU banks can continue to provide services for customers in Britain, the EU has not done the same.”

    Why have we legislated to continue to provide services for EU customers in Britain if it is not reciprocal?

  • 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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