Taxation and the UK single market

My speech during the debate on the Taxation (Post-transition Period) Bill, 15 December 2020

I rise to support what may be an amendment that we are going to vote on or may be a probing amendment from my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Sir William Cash), because I think there has been a deliberate misunderstanding by the EU and its friends over what Brexit is about and what we need to do in order to achieve a proper Brexit. A proper Brexit is taking back control; it is recreating the sovereignty of the people of the United Kingdom through their Parliament.

 My hon. Friend has a distinguished career in this place trying to rebuild that sovereignty and watching, year after year, more and more of our powers taken away by successive treaties, by successive directives and regulations, many of them automatic ones over which the UK had little or no influence, and by court judgments which, again, we had precious little ability to shape. He is right that, as we come to legislate for our new arrangements as a sovereign country from 1 January next year, we need to make quite sure that we have back under the control of people and Parliament all those powers that we need to regulate, to govern and to take wise decisions on behalf of the United Kingdom.

I am very worried about some elements of the withdrawal agreement. I was told, as we were all told, that nothing was agreed until everything was agreed, and that that meant the future relationship as well as the withdrawal agreement. The EU decided for its own convenience to sequence things and say, “You have to sign the withdrawal agreement first and then the future relationship agreement will follow.” A bit of flesh was put on the bones of the future relationship in the so-called political declaration, which one would have thought there was a lot of moral pressure to go along with even if it was not as strictly legally binding as they hoped the withdrawal agreement would be. I now think there has been a lot of bad faith, because, according to both sides, the central feature of the future relationship was always going to be a free trade agreement, and where is the free trade agreement?

 We now discover that the EU wishes to take all sorts of other powers away from us as the price for the free trade agreement, which we have already overpaid for in the withdrawal agreement and which one would have thought, in good faith, the EU would now grant. It is very much in its interests—even more than it is in our interests—given the huge imbalance in trade, and above all in the trade that would attract tariffs if we had no free trade agreement: the trade in food. That is really what we are talking about: are there going to be tariffs on food or not?

We, the United Kingdom, run a colossal £20 billion trade deficit with the EU on food. We have to impose pretty high tariffs on food from the rest of the world—that makes absolutely no sense where we could not grow any of it ourselves; it may have some benefit for some of our farmers some of the time—but we are not allowed to put any similar tariffs on EU-sourced produce where we could produce it ourselves. The EU system is to try to use tariffs to buttress domestic production, but it has not worked for the United Kingdom; it has worked the other way. The tariffs have been taken off in order to benefit the Dutch, Spanish, French or Irish suppliers of our market with food at zero tariffs. The EU already has rather more interest in tariff withdrawal than we do, because we could have a range of tariffs that would probably achieve the aims both of cutting food prices by having a lower average tariff and of having a bit more protection on the things that we really could make and grow for ourselves here, which we are not allowed to protect against continental products at the moment.

 I therefore think that the Bill could be improved by reminding the EU that we will not be pushed around and we will not suffer too much bad faith from those original negotiations or from the withdrawal agreement itself. I think it was a very imperfect agreement. It is pretty ambiguous in places; it is imprecise in places. I have never felt that anything the Government have done, or thought of doing, was in any way illegal. Lawyers could make a perfectly good case under the withdrawal agreement treaty terms themselves, and anyway, we have the protection of my hon. Friend’s section 38, which made it very clear that this Parliament’s acceptance of the withdrawal agreement was conditional. Why else would anyone have put section 38 in the withdrawal agreement Act unless they were making a point?

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that it was the Prime Minister who, after an eight-hour meeting I had in No. 10 that day—17 October 2019—insisted that section 38 was necessary and appropriate? If we go back to the previous Administration, just imagine where we would be when we consider the Chequers arrangements, and then imagine what it would have been like if we had not decided to vote against that dreadful withdrawal agreement in its original shape. There were provisions that needed to be rectified, and section 38 provides the mechanism that enables us to do that.

John Redwood: Indeed. I think my hon. Friend has confirmed that under the previous Prime Minister, when those of us who could not vote for her agreement said that we needed a sovereignty escape clause, we were told that that would not be permissible because it would not be effective implementation of the agreement; which was then reassuring to us, not liking the withdrawal agreement very much and realising that it was a provisional agreement and would be completed only were there to be a satisfactory outcome to the total range of talks. It was a totally artificial constraint that the EU invented that it had to be sequenced, when up until that point everybody had always rightly said that nothing was agreed until everything was agreed.

 I would like to hear from the Minister a little more explanation on the detail of the Bill. As I understand it, the Northern Ireland protocol would apply only to goods that are passing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and then on to the Republic of Ireland, or the reverse—goods coming from the Republic to Northern Ireland and then passing on to Great Britain.

Am I right in thinking that that is a very small proportion of the total trade? In what ways will the Government ensure that it is properly defined, so that we do not catch up most goods in those more elaborate procedures?  The bulk of the trade will be GB to Northern Ireland and back, or Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland and back, and it should not in any way be caught up in any of these proposals.

I am not sure that we do have a de minimis way of dealing with the so-called things at risk. It is not clear how the system will work for items at risk where we agree that they are at risk—and I hope it is a UK decision about what is a risk, not some other kind of decision with EU inspectors. It would be helpful to me and the wider community interested in this debate to know how a business would proceed if it had such a good at risk, to whom it would answer, and what decisions would be made about such a good in Excise, because it sounds a rather complicated and difficult arrangement, both for the business concerned and for those who are trying to enforce. I am trying to tease out from the Minister, in pursuit of the interests of my hon. Friend the Member for Stone and myself on sovereignty, whether we are really in control if the trade has started off from GB and is going to Northern Ireland.

What kind of external intervention can the EU or the Republic of Ireland engineer—how is that fair, and how will it be determined? I think that is what we are most worried about in this piece of legislation, and we would be more reassured if there were the override that my hon. Friend proposes. I should be grateful for some explanation.

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210 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    First I would like to thank our kind host for the oppotunity to post and beg that he allows something that is off topic. It relates to a flyer I received through the post yesterday concerning proposed tax rises by the Mayor for London.

    I wish to quote some figures from said flyer.

    The Mayor proposes an increase of 21.3% on the Mayoral Preciept that every council tax payer has to pay.

    He has made some £828 million in OVERPAYMENTS to pension funds. I could go on.

    But my point is, whilst I could absorb the increase there are those that cannot, especially given the economic climate.

    Not only are we witnessing the destruction of the economy we are seeing people being put into poverty by a wasteful and rapacious local government.

    Many feel trapped by a State that is both unresponsive and downright hostile to people that it suppose to serve. We need a change. And I am not talking about which party gets to play at being in government.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      I suspect these outrageous tax rises are only the beginning. ‘Progressive’ is a word that in a political context signifies trouble, but the lack – if not total absence – of progressiveness in Council Tax is indefensible; it is nothing less than an assault on those with less money. You are absolute right to say that we need a change, and absolutely right to imply that it needs to be radical.

      • Hope
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Javid allowed 5% year on year increase before this without any, absolutely no improvement in local authority service!, despite electoral promise to freeze council tax by the Fake Tory Govt. You keep paying for those who cannot, including mass of immigrants who cannot afford to pay, in social housing you provide!

        When you finish paying your mortgage your social housing neighbour will have their care home provided and you will be forced to sell yours to pay for both! Worse than communism, but that is a fact of this Fake TORY GOVT. It is against strivers, savers, conservatives, people living in rural areas who are trying to do the right thing and just about managing.

        JRs speech is good to get to the heart of what the outcomes are. This was known last week from Gove. I cannot help but feel JR is trying to save face from his monumental failure in voting for the WA and NIP now he realizes Johnson has not kept his word to Cash from his meeting.

        Basically it is widely known Johnson says anything to get his way. Lying is second nature. Look at what he said about N.Ireland to DUP in parliament alone against what he has agreed and signed! JR and Cash should have known this.

      • Hope
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        JR, suggest you read Martin Howe QC in the Telegraph. It seems to me he is very worried of another cave in by Johnson. Merkel raised her clenched fist after she won her WA and NIP that Johnson did not vote for, buckled and did so and then as PM got it voted through trying to claim it was something different! Fake Tory MP party voted for it!

        Carrying on talks, beyond five deadlines to walk, shows utter weakness and a fear a trade deal must be done at all costs not patience or the extra mile.

        That latter phrase is mitigation for capitulation. I fear Johnson is going to try the Chequers bounce on parliament knowing none of you will be able to read or properly scrutinse. Like fools you voted for the horror of WA and NIP. Heed Howe’s words and make it known WTO or nothing.

        • Hope
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Labour will vote for any deal so the voting is stacked against you.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            Labour will happily prop up Johnson, just as they have with Covid. As for Howe, it’s a pity that he was so happy to go along with the WA as well. He too is guilty of enabling this betrayal, and he too should have known better.

            Good points as always.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Socialism always inverts the language it uses. George Orwell knew this. eg “War is peace.”

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          What, like Trump’s saying that he won the election wasn’t just that, you mean?

          You’re having a woolly scarf.

          “No deal is a good deal” is pretty well prime too.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear!
      100%

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s the same with all the green crap that we will be forced to buy into. Many won’t be able to afford it and I’m not talking about people on benefits. I’m talking about those on lower wages or on fixed modest pensions. It’s abhorrent.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Derek
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      So why cannot Khan, instead of raising taxes, cut the payments to the pension funds until their overpayments have been balanced and cleared?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        UNIONS !!!

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      You are aware that what you have received is actually election literature from Shaun Bailey that has been subject to a formal complaint, aren’t you?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        No ! But are the figures that he quotes wrong ?

        If you re-read my post you will realise that there is an underling theme. That these people, like Mayor Khan, or Johnson or the EU Commission, can just raise and create taxes without our express permission and that those taxes, any taxes, do not take into account a persons ability to pay. Surely you can see the injustice of this, especially at this time ??

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        If the information in the leaflet is true Peter then a light needs shining on it.

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Khan is an ongoing disaster and needs to be removed.

  2. Grey Friar
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Section 38 is not in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. Section 38 is in a UK Act of Parliament. A UK Act of Parliament binds only the UK – the clue is in the name. UK Laws do not bind the EU. They bind the UK. So section 38 is irrelevant to the EU, just as the UK speed limit does not apply on German motorways. Why do you find this so hard to understand? You voted for the Withdrawal Agreement, it does not allow the UK to change it at a whim, and you and Mr Cash need to face up to what you have agreed

    Reply The UK gave only qualified acceptance to the Withdrawal Agreement as the Act makes clear. If the governments agreement was sufficient to bind us there would be no need for the Act!

    • Andy
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      You voted to put a border down the Irish Sea. Mr Cash’s amendment is useless.

      But – hey – it’s just two weeks to discount tampon day! Exciting.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        that thing again. Are the females in your family uneasy about your preoccupation?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      You have to factor in that at the time we had a HoC that was hostile to serving the wishes of the people. Resulting in a fudge as Parliament of the time was not fit to serve, if they were it would never have happened.

    • Hope
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      JR,
      Not sure your reply is correct. It brings clarity internally from an external international agreement. Internal Act should reflect what you all voted for. It appears from your speech you know very well what the implications were and are and now seeking to to either save face or make the point Johnson failed to keep his word to Cash last year and has not negotiated or legislated as you expected when he sought to capture your votes for the WA and NIP.

      In short he had you over to get your votes and pulled the wool over your eyes not keeping his side of hen bargain. Either way it does not change the fact the WA and NIP is signed and legally binding and you voted for that horror show with nothing, a big fat nothing in return. Just like Johnson. Why include in the WA and NIP was only binding when a trade deal was agreed?

      Gove made clear deal or no deal it applies. With nothing in return for the UK to date. What did Gove get in return for dropping clauses to IMB or zfinance Bill? Big fat nothing springs to mind. Fake story govt keeps caving in.

      • Hope
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Why not include…

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      With the WA, which I read that whatever the outcome of the talks the Withdrawal Agreement signed last year will remain in place.
      Also the NIP with the effective annexation of NI would we not be better as we were?

    • NickC
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Grey said: “UK Laws do not bind the EU.” Why not? The EU (and you) want EU laws to bind the UK. Fairs fair.

      “A UK Act of Parliament binds only the UK” – indeed it does, and the UK is one of the parties to the WA, so the UK is bound by the Act, and not by the WA only. The UK has a dualist constitution – the clue is in the name. So section 38 is very relevant to the UK, and the EU must take note of that.

      And after all, section 38 merely confirms the independence and sovereignty of the UK which the EU was supposed to respect. So why the fuss? Surely it can’t be that the EU, and you, don’t respect UK sovereignty? Can it?

      • Lensy
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        But the EU does respect UK sovereignty, it signed the Agreement with it last year, equal partners to the Withdrawal Agreement. As of 1 January no EU laws apply to the UK (except in NI). And no Uk laws apply to the EU(so please stop this silly section 38 nonsense)

  3. Tabulazero
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Have you sent your letter to President Elect Joe Biden yet ?

    • formula57
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Can we assume Tabulazero that you do not have some neurotic, pointless obsession about this matter but rather that as in your world (one that we recall curiously includes demanding a global not national response to a global pandemic – but then undertaken only through the Evil Empire) it is, bizarrely, a “courageous” act to write a letter to an incoming U.S. president, you wish to confer some honour upon Sir John for having done so?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        I want John to be honest and stick to his word that he would send his open letter to Joe Biden.

        You must surely agree with me that politicians need to be accountable.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Yes, I wonder that too, Tab.

    • NickC
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, For Joe Biden to become PotUS, he has to overcome possible objections from members of Congress suitably endorsed by a Senator, on 6th January 2021. There is genuine disquiet about vote fraud (some confirmed, some alleged) in the USA. You would be wise not to ignore it, because it must be fully investigated. There has not been time to do that yet. Biden may yet become PotUS but he is already tainted by both vote irregularities and family scandals. It’s not over until fat lady sings.

      • acorn
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        NickC, you and Ed2 are a daily source of despair for those educated remainers that bother to try desperately to educate “leave” voters on this site.

        Your endless conspiracy theories that always lack any reference to corroborated factual evidence, put you in the premier league of social media false fact dispersers; Trumpists to use the current vernacular.

        Even “Leave voters” surely must have realised by now that they are getting screwed by this Tory government, just like they have always been screwed by Thatcherite governments.

        Education would have been a wonderful medicine. Alas, the 1% elite made sure you would never get it such that you question how the 1% got so rich while the 99% dis not.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Educated remainers…what an hilarious and pompous little phrase that is.

          It perfectly encapsulates just how artificially superior and superficial those who voted to remain really are.

          Thanks for your revealing statement acorn.

          • DavidJ
            Posted December 18, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            +1

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 19, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        NickC,

        Want to take a bet that Donald Trump is going to be the next US President comes 2021?

  4. Simeon
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    “A deliberate misunderstanding by the EU and its friends…”

    First, ‘its friends’ are the government of the day. Second, as such, there has been no misunderstanding, but rather an understanding between the EU and its friends as to how to achieve a proper BRINO.

    “Where is the free trade agreement?”

    Oh, it’s coming. No bad faith from the EU. The bad faith is on the part of the UK government, reneging on their agreement with you and your Brexiteer colleagues to deliver a proper Brexit.

    “The EU wishes to take away all sorts of power from us.”

    No. The UK government is happy to give away all sorts of powers as the price for a free trade agreement.

    “We have the protection of my honourable friend’s Clause 38.”

    Parliament will rubber-stamp the government’s BRINO agreement, even if you and your Brexiteer colleagues (however many your number) vote against. So, not the protection you envisaged.

    Sir Bill says Clause 38 enables the government to rectify provisions in need of amendment. But evidently the government sees no need to rectify anything. For example, the Internal Market Bill has been dropped. The only purpose the insertion of Clause 38 served was to enable the government to pull the wool over your eyes, and the eyes of your Brexiteer colleagues.

    Your final paragraph makes clear that you were happy to sell N. Ireland’s sovereignty down the river given that trade between the rest of the UK and the EU that passes through N. Ireland is very small. Glad to have that cleared up.

    Reply No I am not happy to undermine the UK by allowing EU control of NI And am seeking assurances or ways to prevent EU control of NI Policy.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      EU control of N. Ireland may not have been explicit, but it was very obviously implicit, in the WA you voted for. I can accept that your intention (which you believed you shared with the government) was to fix the problems with the WA later. But leaving to one side the question of whether you should have been trusting a man supposedly planning to break the trust of a third party, it is now clear what the intentions of the UK government are, and they are entirely at odds with your own. As such, I think you’d be better served turning your attention to what they are doing, rather than what the EU are doing, which, whatever it is, is not bullying or coercing the UK government.

      • Hope
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        JR, your reply does not make sense. What part of Gove’s speech did you not understand?

        That boat has sailed. N.Ireland is in the single market and customs union. It is subject to EU acquis, ECJ and the rest as our companies trading there. Gove made that clear. Speak to Fox and Drax they understood what he was saying.

        Your May and Johnson govt.s promised our nation and DUP many many times we would leave as one nation. No borders or checks- Johnson stated that time and again. Here we are he blatantly lied.

        There is a border, there will be checks, worse EU inspectors on our soil checking goods across our nation! (even though Gove said ‘light touch’ to try to make it sound trivial- govt caved and betrayed us).

        You have allowed N.Ireland to be annexed and treated separately. You shared platforms with Martin Howe QC who made the dangers of the WA and NIP well known. You knew it and voted for it.

    • Grey Friar
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      It will be very interesting to see if Boris plans to pull the wool over the ERG’s eyes when he seeks approval of his imminent deal with the EU by including another clever but completely ineffective clause like sec 38 in it!

      • Simeon
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        That there will be a fudge is baked in. Exactly what kind of fudge remains to be seen. It may be that the fudge is rhetorical rather than substantial, though that does assume that the rubber will finally hit the road. A continuation of talks under the guise of ‘No Deal’ is however entirely feasible – even if this uncertainty does grievous harm to business – with SMEs bearing the brunt, naturally.

      • Andy
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Section 38 is not clever. It was inserted by the clueless.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          It works.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          Section 38 is clever, the EU agreed for it to be in the WA.

      • James Bertram
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        And will any one in the ERG resign, and help form a new party – or will it, once again, be party before country? Of course, if all ERG members threatened resignation (and were actually prepared to do it) we might actually get somewhere and, in form, something close to a proper Brexit. We shall now see just how effective ERG is.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          If there is no country we don’t need any parties or ‘municipal’ politicians.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          Time will tell, and, I do hope, sooner rather than later.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Not happy?

      It’s a bit of a pity that you promoted Leave so vehemently then, isn’t it?

      Anyone could have predicted these very problems, and better folk than I warned you aplenty.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        there are better folk than you? are you sure? you come across as the world authority on so many subjects.

    • Derek
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Simeon. Whose side are you really on? A FREE, Independent Britain or the budding totalitarian power that encroaches the whole of Europe. Again.
      All they need is their own army to progress. So what is the European Commission planning in 2021? What? After their venture into Ukraine? After Mr Putin’s response to that? Surely not. But who knows with those morphing megalomaniacs ruling that empire? It’s scary.
      Accepting any EU dictates now is much more than an acute case of caveat emptor. It’s positively dangerous – in a very negative way.
      In short, we must leave with OUR Parliamentary Sovereignty intact or we will eventually be dragged down to their ideal of a Federal Europe whereby the unelected and unaccountable cabal of foreigners rule us.
      European history has already taught us and proven, “What happens next”.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        My post was dealing with Sir John’s speech, not the EU project. I have often said that I view the EU as a deeply misguided project that does a disservice to the people of Europe. EU foreign policy is deeply troubling, especially where it interferes in Russia’s natural sphere of influence. I believe it will all end very badly, because national identities are too deeply ingrained.

        I have often asserted my belief in the principle of self-determination, and my belief that UK self-determination is incompatible with EU membership. But I have also consistently expressed my doubts that the UK as presently constituted is capable of making a success of self-determination. Radical political change is required. We cannot even achieve political independence with our current politics, as the Brexit farce so clearly demonstrates.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Exactly, but Boris alas signed the appallingly restrictive withdrawal treaty and is now about to sign another huge betrayal of Brexit Treaty and ram it down people’s throats.

    Yesterday my Cambridge Alumni magazine arrives with a picture of the Woke deputy Chancellor after his (thank goodness) hugely defeated attempt to kill free speech within the whole of the university. This with his “you must respect” other people’s views however moronic, irrational and damaging agenda. How on earth can one be forced to “respect” views that are clearly idiotic, wrong, hugely damaging and in many cases actually evil. Many causing wars, riots, deaths, accidents, job destruction, divisions and clefts in societies, murders, causing irrational belief systems, expensive energy and economic destruction and other huge harms.

    He seems to have moved on and is now demanding net zero by 2036 or something. At least I am confirmed in my decision not to gift them any more money until this woke dope has gone back to Canada or somewhere away from the university. It seems he read English Lit and has two law degrees. So I assume he has zero grasp of physics, engineering, energy systems, maths, entropy, reason or chaotic systems like climate climate. Rather like the Green Party, Carrie, Greta, Boris, Prince Charles, Lord Debden and the likes.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      The damage of the agenda is not accidental.
      It IS the agenda.
      That is what they want!
      To break down and destroy society.
      They want the riots and chaos.
      Isn’t communism always “sold” on the ( initial) pretext of “freedom”?
      Think of the damage done by the New Left ( of were they Marxists?)-sponsored Hippy Movement.
      Now Silicon Valley tyrants!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        Gift them money??
        I should think not!!!

    • Wil Pretty
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic
      Those that can, do.
      Those that cannot, teach.
      Or become politicians.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Or head up the Bank of England (thanks to Osborne). Carney is another one with loads of arts degrees (including PPE Oxon) but zero common sense or grasp of economics. I have always found him to be a deluded climate alarmist, EUphile dope but listening to his BBC Reith Lectures he as also confirmed how appallingly tedious and pedestrian he is too.

        Listen to last years lectures from Lord Sumption instead – massively superior.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Those scenario’s are ego, ego, ego, as those doing the spouting are insulated against the real world of contributing the taxpayer funding to keep them entrenched.

    • James1
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      We will find out shortly whether we have on our hands Boris Churchill or Boris Chamberlain. Hopefully it will be the former. If the latter, he is not going to be able to wave a piece of paper in the air. Unfortunately he will have saddled himself with a thousand pieces of paper.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Talking of killing free speach. It seems that broadcasters (Talk radio, LBC, twitter etc are coming in the government/OFCOM cosh to suppress free speach on the vacine. Any one calling in to LBC and saying perfectly true statements like – “this first vaccine uses a new technology”, “it has been rushed through trials”, “we do not yet know for sure if it will do more good than harm yet” gets cut off in rather short order.

      I am generaly in favour of vaccine but there is a positive and negatives balance assesment that need to be judged very carefully indeed. Much of the country is at or near herd immunity levels anyway (and most of the rest will be before this vaccine is readily available to all) so this is particularly important.

    • Nigl
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Once again a typical chip on the shoulder rant offering no solutions. Life is moving on Lifelogic. I am sure your humour would be better served if you shrugged and moved on.

      Tenacity has its merits but to be drowned on a ship of lost causes make no sense.

      • Derek
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        So this moving on is determining the future of this country? Even though its intention is to destroy true democracy and free speech? What next Marxist rule? Go ask the residents of Hong Kong how well that suits them in 2020.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        To have a chip on your shoulder – definition – to seem angry all the time because you think you have been treated unfairly or feel you are not as good as other people:

        Not something I have ever suffered from. Quite the reverse, I feel very lucky indeed, almost never angry, a bit arrogant on occasions I am told.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          You carry on LL
          Expose the hatred and anger of the left.
          Their plan is to close down freedom of speech.
          History tells us that is what they always do.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      When the Maastricht Treaty came to The House, Hurd, correctly informed The House that they could not amend it. They had simply to accept it. The WA was amended, and therefore the EU version of the WA has not been signed off by The House. If each party has a different version of an agreement, it is not an agreement.
      I propose that by amending the WA the House rejected the agreement as proposed by the PM and the EU.
      There is therefore no WA impediment to accommodate.
      If the PM presents another rubbish agreement, the house must refuse to accept it by whatever means are to hand.

  6. Len Peel
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I understand you think the UK is too important to have to comply with Treaties it has agreed to. But what if other countries think the same – and why wouldnt they? No treaty would mean anything. That would lead to chaos, which would be no help to the UK

    Reply So why no comment on all the ways the EU breaks its Treaties? Isn’t that good reason not to sign one again with them?

    • Len Peel
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Facts and evidence comes there none…

      • None of the Above
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Aux Contraire!

        The EU has lost a number of cases in the WTO Tribunal but the ECJ has declared that these rulings are incompatible with European Law. That is why the EU ignores the WTO rulings.
        This is the domestic court of the EU claiming sovereignty over International Law (well, well!).

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Here comes the facts and evidence on EU treaty breaking:

        https://reaction.life/the-new-brexit-storm/

        An apology from you is now in order Len ?

        It is a curious position the extreme Remaiiners take, that the EU is literally perfect and hasn’t ever done a single thing wrong and always acts from the purest motives. It is quite a childish belief – glad we finally have some adults in the room like Frost negotiating with them

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        The ECB is now creating money Len. That is a breach of the Lisbon treaty.

        The EU is borrowing money. That is a breach of the Lisbon treaty

        The EU is not negotiating in good faith, that is a breach of the Lisbon treaty

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Volumes of facts available, do some research.

      • Derek
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Refusing to accept the democratic National Referendums negative decision of the Dutch, French and Irish over their proposal to take more power from the people. And failing the terms of Article 50, namely that any member may leave the EU iaw their own Constitutional requirements. And breaking EU laws like EU governments, Germany and France funding their own auto-industries and aircraft manufacturers.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          And something promised to the Danish? and reform of CAP to Tony Blair..?

          Not honoured or delivered by the EU

          • Know-Dice
            Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            Where is Denis Cooper when you need facts?

    • Polly
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Of course. Reading through the history, the EU and predecessors have always been keen to exploit British weakness.

      Though it’s clear there have been many British individuals who were, in effect, double agents.

      Polly

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Indeed “double agents” almost everywhere you care to look in politics and government. Not just for the EU but for vested interest like the green crap “subsidy farming” industies. Or the CV over testing industy.

        • Derek
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Ironic or deceitful that the EU presses on with is zero carbon targets yet permits Germany to build coal-fired power stations. I guess they must be the standby when all of the renewals fail or cannot cope with demand.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Polly

        “Divide and rule ( Latin: divide et impera ), or divide and conquer, in politics and sociology is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.”

        Wiki

        Isn’t that what we prided ourselves to have done to acquire an empire? And isn’t that what Brexiteers are trying to do to the EU?

        • Fred H
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          Leave.. go away from. to depart from permanently; quit.
          alternative …allow or cause to remain (Leave for MPs seem to prefer this remain choice).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Read Robert Tombs today I think in the Telegraph

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      “All” the ways, John?

      List a couple of the serious ones for us, could you?

      Thank you.

    • Multi-ID
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      It’s all in your mind- delusional stuff- I am not aware of treaties that the EU broke- I am aware of many that the UK broke and before that that GB broke

      • dixie
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        One opinion I’ve seen is that the EU breached it’s own Lisbon Treaty – the TFEU – in respect of Article 341 and Protocol 6 which has rightly angered the French.

        That is far from being the only rule or regulation the EU has broken and you are being delusional to pretend otherwise.

  7. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Good work, Sir John – and Sir Bill.

    • Duyfken
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Yes, absolutely, and thanks to both.

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      +1

  8. Everhopeful
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Since ever, busy, working to pay taxes to finance the latest scam of government, the British people have been unwary.
    Thinking they possessed power in the “democracy” so graciously bestowed upon them by their leaders, they just knuckled down, nose to grindstone and paid up.
    Informed of their great “tolerance” they have accepted every disgusting slight heaped upon them.
    And they believed every word you politicians said.
    And none in Parliament knew what was really going on?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Like all so-called Democracies the UK is a pseudo democracy. We all expect our elected representatives, to serve and go into the HoC as a ‘calling’ for good, not self interest and not to kowtow towards their gang master.

      All the time we have candidates chosen by party(gang) leaders and they have their campaigning money coming from the same source – we will not have a democracy.

      Why on earth does the taxpayer have to fund ‘established’ political groups? Surely that is only to ensure the incumbents are not challenged!

      There are some in the HoC from either faction you can respect, because they ‘get it’ (thinking our host). For others it is ego and being part of a ‘me too’ cabal, they couldn’t serve cereals for breakfast let alone their electorate.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        +1

  9. Nivek
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Off-topic:

    I have expressed the hope that disputes raised by parties to the American election would be adjudicated on by the lawfully appointed triers of the facts.

    This means that, when the general public have heard specific averments of fact by purported witnesses, I would hope that the triers would do some trying.

  10. GilesB
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Inspections of flows between Northern Ireland and Great Britain do not need to be 100%.

    I believe that less than 4% of containers arriving at Rotterdam from the rest of the world are checked before entry into the EU.

    A similar, risk based approach, decided by U.K. customs authorities, should be applied for NI/GB flows

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      The inspections could be done on the ferry, couldn’t they? Does it matter if goods vehicles are checked, it might stop the people smuggling?

  11. DOM
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Betrayal on the cards. Johnson’s just another unprincipled, Tory shyster in bed with Marxist Labour and their EU agenda

    And Tory Eurosceptic backbenchers with their tedious Anti-EU speeches is becoming a joke. They’ve been doing this for decades and achieve the square root of sweet FA. Cash, Redwood and the usual crew spouting forth and what have they achieved? Nothing. It ended with May’s WA

    So why does Cash and people like him stick with a party that has betrayed this nation so many times? Why do they stick with a party that has sold this nation to the EU, to the Marxists and to the fascist progressives? They have nothing in common with their leaders or their party so why belong to it? It leaves a sour taste and no doubt lots and lots of soul searching when the head rests on the pillow before sleep.

    At the end of day only Farage’s brand of politics achieved anything remotely approaching Brexit

    It’s almost as if the Tory party’s become nothing more than a vehicle of personal enhancement rather than a vehicle of principle, liberty, freedom morality and lawful governance.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      I have to confess that although I have great respect for Sir John and am grateful for what he and other like minded MP’s are trying to do I also wonder why he remains in a party that is anything but Conservative.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        ”ditto”

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Yes, the stench of betrayal hangs sickly around this rotting Tory corpse.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      +1
      But…
      I suppose that we are assuming politics to be an inherently noble profession?
      Obviously it just isn’t.
      But then nor is any other.
      Especially in a country such as this, so utterly riddled with corruption ( just like any other).
      “For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories…”
      No ..we must have hope.
      THEY want a Reset..maybe we too can have one?

    • Hope
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Sad, but true.

      The speech by JR is good, but it also highlights they do not trust Johnson and also it highlights Johnson has not kept his word to Cash following their meeting in October 2019. Otherwise why are they seeking reassurance clauses when it would have been in the center of the bill!!

      Moreover, what part of a Gove’s statement did they not understand when he stated deal or no deal WA and NIP applies. Gove also made clear to Liam Fox and Richard Drax EU acquis applied! That applying across the U.K. Not just to N. Ireland.

      S.38 clause of no relevance or standing with the EU confirmed by Gove last week from his comments. Gove made the statement to reassure the EU not parliament or his party.

      Fake Tory Govt have pulled the wool over their Brexit MPs and outwitted them. And so JR, Cash and others will meekly accept what is going on rather than confront and stop it. Party before nation, again.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        All very true and very worrying

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Depressing but I suspect you are right.

      If so Boris have got almost everything wrong (other than keeping Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP out of power for which I am very greatful).

      The Green Lunacy, HS2, Hinkley C, this second lockdown. the false positive testing, the virtual state monopoly NHS and schools, The size of the state, eat out to help out, Heathrow, the electric cars agenda, the W/A and soon the cave in to the EU BRINO ………..

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        The recent history of the Tories in government is indeed rather worrying

        • Fred H
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          ‘worrying?’
          You need to do a Creative Writing course like Martin.
          Then you might come up with rather more misery-describing terms.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Plus the pointless £MILLIONS spent on Nightingale Hospitals – building but no staff so why build them?

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      The only sentence in this post I can even remotely agree with is the penultimate one.

      The most treacherous of the Europhiles have gone from the Parliamentary party and Conservative MPs such as Bill Cash, Bernard Jenkins and our host have been the most consistent guardians of the terms of any Brexit deal. They have been proved absolutely right so far but any backsliding at this point would be disastrous.

      Recent events have demonstrated that once we have signed any kind of agreement with the EU , the chances of negotiating any future changes will be zilch.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Dom

      Your last paragraph sums up politics, charities (sic), NGO’s QUANGO’s, the Civil Service, the media etc.

      ie The Chumocracy / Establishment. A small but powerful bunch of self-serving [feel free to insert something appropriate here] !

    • Multi-ID
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Because they get knighthoods dished out

  12. Will in Hampshire
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    For the record, the sequencing of the exit negotiations happened exactly as specified in Article 50 of TEU, to which the United Kingdom was a signatory. So not exactly a surprise to anyone nor something (to use our host’s own words) “the EU decided for its own convenience”. I’m sure our host knows this, he must just have suffered a brief moment of amnesia yesterday while speaking.

    Reply Both sides agreed Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed then Mrs May gave in over sequencing.

    • None of the Above
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      You have a selective memory, Will.
      Art 50 stated quite clearly that the withdrawal arrangements should be discussed, having in mind, the arrangements for the future partnership.
      The EU’s insistence on sequencing was a breach of Art 50, the first of many breaches in the Brexit negotiations by the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Right, so in which court should the UK sue for those alleged breaches?!!!

        Hilarious.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

          Our Supreme Court.
          What kind of fair hearing would thecUK get in a EU owned court?
          Hilarious indeed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      To reply:- exactly I blame Michael (VAT on school fees) Gove for knifing Boris in the back and making us suffer the appalling Appeaser May (and costing me my wager). Then (9% support) May and the dire remainers and the Ben act traitors in the commons and the Lords left such an appalling mess that Boris felt (wrongly) that he had no choice but to sign the appalling W/A. Hence the mess he has now. He is surely about to cave in and sell out the UK – any day now.

    • Andy
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      David Davis – a Brexiteer – gave in over sequencing. Theresa May put you lot in charge for a reason. It was to make sure you own it. And you will.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Andy
        Yes she put Davis in charge with limitations and instructions, then overruled him, then agreed a deal behind his back, so he did the only honourable thing and resigned.
        Oily Robbins was then out in charge, hardly a Leaver given his position and love of all things EU, I am lead to believe he now has EU citizenship, what a wonderful example, Mrs May then put him forward for a knighthood, what a fantastic example for others to follow, thank goodness she at least has gone.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Article 50 of TEU was time limited to two years

      EU rule of law didn’t allow for any extension – that treaty was broken

      So what of ‘rule of law’ if it can be altered so easily and for the benefit of a few

    • dixie
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Article 50 does not specify sequential negotiations and any agreements were made by T May – you may recall she is pro-EU.

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      The EU would appear to win at every turn of the dice.

    • GilesB
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      No.

      It did not.

      Art 50. explicitly states that the Withdrawal Agreement should be negotiated taking into account the future relationship. The EU insisted on the signing of the Withdrawal Agreement before the future relationship agreement. For some reason May accepted! It has been downhill ever since

    • Multi-ID
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Our host is a polititician that’s why he speaks that way- they are a slippery lot

  13. None of the Above
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this post Sir John, I watched the debate live on Parliament TV.
    Did you get any reassurance from Minister(s)? Their apparent silence is difficult to fathom.
    I know that they are always reluctant to show their hand too early but the question is; are they ignoring you and your Honourable Friend or do they have a cunning plan?

  14. turboterrier
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It is all rather sad that over the last 40 years this once great country has slowly degraded into a nation with no vision, subservient to others,no get up and go, waiting for things to happen , instead of making them happen and the end result we have lost our real identity and the drive that founded and built an empire..

    Thank you Sir john and your small band of brothers that still try to project what a lot of us believe this country is really all about.

  15. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Thankyou, your efforts continually demonstrate that you are a true parliamentarian and democrat.

    While some call these Brexit talks shenanigans politicking, most of us see them as subterfuge and sleight of hand dialled in to mislead.

    The EU’s own rule book is clear a withdrawal agreement and future trade went hand in hand and were to be decided at the same time. The EU changed their own ruling at the last minute without consultation with anyone so as to fudge Brexit.

    In that light the immediate concern would by any arrangement with the EU at this late stage would mean somewhere tucked away in the millions of words would be a clause that would give the EU and their political court the ECJ control over the UK from now until infinity.

    The EU has shown it is not to be trusted and we should not trust them. You would have to ask why in anyone’s name would any free people in the world what any relationship with the EU.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    A green crap propaganda podcast from the Spectator (repeated the fashionable idea (much loved by the renewable loons) of using car batteries as back up for intermittent “renewables”.

    Podcast special: can Britain really become ‘the Saudi Arabia of wind power’? Answer no!

    Great plan but:-
    A. most people will want their battery fully charged ready to go in the morning.
    B. it wastes perhaps 35% of the energy in charge and discharge and
    C. Worse of all – It will depreciate or shorten the life of the car battery by far more than the value of electricity charge and almost certainly invalidate (5 year 60,000 miles or something) warranty too. So only rather foolish car owners will agree to it. Then again most people who buy electric cars given current cost and technology are perhaps rather foolish.

    Great plan guys. It featured Kwasi Kwarteng (Energy Minister) who clearly know little about physics, energy, engineering or batteries. And he is one of the rather better MPs!

  17. blamegame
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Looks like you had your speech well rehearsed and choreographed with your Hon Friend Bill Cash- however as we know the WA was agreed and passed by both Parliaments and the only thing guaranteed was transition period to something else not yet agreed- but it will be agreed- this year- next year or the following year.

  18. Fred H
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    More clarity that we should have just walked away years ago!

  19. Andy
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Well sourced journalists are saying that an EU Commission source has been texting them the words: “ Fumée Blanche.” White smoke. There is a deal. Though because it is now too late we may briefly have no deal first.

    It will be a lousy deal, as we have said all along, and will be a million miles from what people voted for in 2016. I urge you all to compare the glossy Vote Leave brochure of 2016 – the prospectus you voted for – with the bog roll agreement you will be getting. Ask yourselves if lorry parks, and masses of extra bureaucracy, and huge hassles just to travel, and an end to sensible cooperation in numerous areas – like student exchanges, and a border down the Irish Sea had been in the glossy Leave brochure instead of their undeliverable fantasy, if it still would have won. I doubt it. This mess is not and will never be the will of the people.

    Worst of all is the continuing contempt the Brexiteers have shown the British people. Whether you like Brexit or hate it, it is important to recognise that it represents the biggest change to our country since WW2. Consequently it deserves full and proper scrutiny in Parliament. The Withdrawal Agreement did not get that. Iain Duncan Smith stood up and argued against extra time to scrutinise it because everybody knew what was in it. And yet many Brexiteers seem surprised to learn that they put a border down the Irish Sea.

    They are doing the same this time too. Recalling Parliament over Christmas to rubber stamp a deal which will get close to zero scrutiny. A deal which will impact your life, your children’s lives, your grandchildren’s lives for decades to come. What a totally contemptuous way to treat the British people. If it is a good deal you should not fear scrutiny. You fear scrutiny because you know it will be naff. I see the European Parliament is demanding proper time to scrutinise it. Sadly our Conservative Party lacks such decency.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      The great thing is that this deal however – whatever it is – is that it can be amended at any time by any future government, with the agreement of the European Union.

      Elections will be fought over this.

      Europe is at the top of the agenda from now on, and as far as one can foresee.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Whatever deal is initially agreed will be vetoed by one of the 27.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Please provide a link to “the glossy Vote Leave brochure of 2016”. I got a 14 page brochure from the government but I don’t recall having this vote leave brochure you speak of and I would like to read it.

  20. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    ah yes nothing is agreed until everything is agreed !

    Soothing words at the time, but it seems like so many other phrases, Brexit means Brexit, absolutely pointless when you have a give away Prime Minister that does not have a clue about negotiations and what the objective is of the other side, or even their own.

    Mrs May was an absolute disaster, the other disaster was to sign up to what in effect she agreed.

  21. ukretired123
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Excellent speech Sir John encapsulating key assumptions ” I think there has been a deliberate misunderstanding by the EU and its friends over what Brexit is about” and the artificial elaboration and devious devices, Obfuscation layers of over-complications and sequencing pre-conditions that will be a classic masterclass for the future EU degree in Brussels bureaucracy.
    We must not let it succceed. Surrounding countries in red tape has been its specialist subject for 50+ years. Basically Stitching Up!

  22. Newmania
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    A proper Brexit is taking back control; it is recreating the sovereignty of the people of the United Kingdom through their Parliament.

    A proper Brexit would be taking back control of our borders ( deafening dog whistle ) and all that ,whilst maintaining equivalent access to the single market and, ( wait for it ), actually increasing our prosperity so as to provide the NHS with a Brexit dividend.
    Stop laughing at the back!!!
    I am shocked ” shocked” that at this stage Sir John has discovered that such an outcome could only have been promised either by a gurning village idiot . I am doubly, if not triply ,shocked, that we are now headed towards a Brexit only a minority supported or wanted .
    By the way can you all stop telling us that rejecting Jeremy Corbyn was endorsing Brexit- it is an absurd lie as the many Remain Conservative voters will be happy to tell you

    • Edward2
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Ah I see a new lefty claim.
      That the election was a simple rejection of Corbyn and had nothing to do with Brexit.
      Fought by the Conservatives under a headline of get Brexit done.
      Hilarious rewrite of political history NM.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Jeremy Corbyn was throwing an open cheque book at the election, Mr Corbyn was “trying to keep Labour Leave supporters on board while not alienating Labour Remain supporters”. Mr Corbyn said the Labour party-backed “the option of a public vote” if a “sensible” Brexit deal cannot be agreed.

      He did not back remain as the Lib Dems. and Greens did.

  23. Mel Cornwell
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    There IS no scenario whereby the British public will just suck up ANY sort of fudge by Boris. We voted to be OUT, right out, and free from the EU. As for the public mood right now… all I would say is that when the music stops we sure as hell had better bloody well BE out. The ONLY deal the EU would accept is one that gives THEM control of US – hold that thought over the next week or so…

    • Lensy
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Last year Boris offered the British voters a deal that left NI tied to EU law and subject to the ECJ. They gave him an 80 seat majority, and every Conservative NP voted for it in the Commons. Worried about a fudge? You’ve been asleep mate

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        What was the alternative?

      • Simeon
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Exactly right.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      You haven’t a clue for what you voted, because you have minimal comprehension of the world in which you live.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        Another example of self evaluated superiority of lefty remainers.
        You and acorn are so alike.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        and there speaks one from Cardiff!

    • steve
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Mel

      “There IS no scenario whereby the British public will just suck up ANY sort of fudge by Boris.”

      ==========

      The scenario will be:

      Johnson caves in and betrays the nation.

      He dresses the betrayal as a great victory.

      We don’t buy it.

      We do buy plenty of rotten eggs.

      The conservatives finally realise that what they have done makes them unelectable.

      They replace Johnson to try and appease us.

      It is too late.

      Nobody takes any notice of anything this government says.

      They’re the subject of national outrage..

      They’re finished and forced to disband.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        thats how it shall be

      • Fred H
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        but there are thousands of little old ladies in twin-sets and pearls who will rally around their next PPC.

  24. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I have been assured by the Trader Support Service that

    “1. Yes this (ROI to NI) is correct the Northern Ireland allows free movement of goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland – no change
    2. Yes (NI to GB) – there is no change.
    Whats changing is new administrative processes shipments going from GB to Northern Ireland.”

    So we are leaving open a tariff-free movement from the EU to GB via Northern Ireland, which also means any country with an FTA with the EU also has access to our market tariff-free. How does this square with us trying to do trade deals with other countries with free EU access for reciprocal arrangements with us when they already have them?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed, precisely what is needed to get goods into NI from GB?
      Do I invoice my own company’s warehouse in NI with the goods at cost? How does that sit on my system? No transaction will have taken place, as I have no counterparty in NI, yet somehow this is vatable and dutiable. Do I need a subsidiary or Permanent Establishment in NI to sell there? If so who will pay for that? It’s all bolleaux.

      So many questions, so little time….

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        You should have thought of all this before voting Leave, really shouldn’t you?

        Serves you right.

        Tough.

  25. hefner
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I do not know why but today’s offering reminds me of the song ‘Parole, parole’ by Mina and Alberto Lupo.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Gosh that is so clever hef
      Bravo.

  26. turboterrier
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    None of us can really complain it is what we have allowed to happen over the last few decades.

    We got what we voted for and slowly we have allowed this country to slide into the abyss of mediocrity and compliance to whatever Brussels have thrown at us.

    The really sad thing is that with all that is and has been going on we still have converts to that way of living who are pleased to embrace it.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely right. The majority of those involved in this blog in whatever capacity would do well to remember that we are a tiny minority. The country as a whole is exactly where it deserves to be. That this seems so outrageously unfair to so many people is indicative of the gross inadequacies of democratic rule.

  27. glen cullen
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove MP this morning at cabinet office questions in the HoC relied to a question about fisheries… included the words ‘shared fishing stocks’ in his reply

    They’re not shared they belong to the UK

  28. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Well said….

    At this stage in BREXIT, as we reach the end of transition, many of us worry what Boris is giving away to get a deal, any deal it seems –

    The PM should be reminded that any fudges will not be forgiven at the ballot box, but of course by then it will be far too late.

  29. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I said years ago the EU was Germany wanting to destroy us. I have NOT changed my mind. Instead of soldiers fighting and dying, the EU want to use mass immigration, unblocked, into the UK to do it. Turn this island into a 3rd world hellhole ( It is clearly already happening with idiotic lawyers fighting to keep foreign criminals, murderers and rapists here ) and for Germany it is Job Done. Inevitably some minister will then say “Lessons have been learned”.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Immigration from outside the European Union is, and always had been, an entirely sovereign matter for the countries to which the hopeful apply.

      Germany has only granted citizenship to about one-in-forty of the recent influx of refugees, incidentally, and almost all of them wish to remain in Germany, not come here.

      Your post is, in my opinion, simply unhinged.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        So Merkel wanting to win a Nobel Peace prize by inviting millions, yes millions, to rush to the West causing chaos and real suffering in the countries, and seas along the way, hasn’t backed up the call for residence in Germany – it has become a siren call. Might have been better off from whence they came.

  30. Everhopeful
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    It makes me so angry.
    Fancy making our country so dependent on others for food and supplies.
    London was a great port ..we took delivery of goods from all over the world and no one could stop us!
    Greed, stupidity, arrogance and more greed saw the docks filled in and built on.
    Yet another asset destroyed.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      What actually happened was that the London docks trade went downriver to Felixstowe and Tilbury when containers were introduced. These new ports expanded & invested in cranes that could unload containers much faster than those at the London docks could unload bulk cargo. Unsurprisingly the shipping lines quickly adopted containers.

      In your view do the modern, efficient ports at Felixstowe and Tilbury, and others like them elsewhere, count as assets in today’s UK? It seems pretty clear that you ascribe little to no value to the impressive property assets that have subsequently been constructed where the London docks were. Perhaps this is because they’re mostly designed for the financial services industry.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        I meant Calhoun and all that. ( 18th century).
        The prohibition of once legitimate sweepings”.
        The elite obsession with the ordinary man not even getting wool scraps from the floor.
        Later on, in the same vein, generational jobs were taken from dockers. And the East End was finally destroyed and emptied!
        Property assets for whom pray?
        Obviously no one can predict what might have happened but IMO nothing much could be worse than what we have now.
        Huge containers from China full of consumer goods lifted off by computerised tractors.
        No human intervention.
        No jobs.
        Who is going to buy the goods then?

  31. Original Richard
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “We, the United Kingdom, run a colossal £20 billion trade deficit with the EU on food. We have to impose pretty high tariffs on food from the rest of the world…”

    Correct, we have been fleeced for years.

    We were net contributors to the EU budget which was spent on subsidising French and other EU farmers. So these EU farmers could compete with non-EU countries the EU in addition put high protective tariffs on imported food.

    So it was a double whammy for us – we paid to subsidise EU farmers and in return paid more for our food through expensive EU farming and high import tariffs.

  32. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The MsM is awash with news on a mini trade deal between the UK and the US before the end of the year.

    Its not so much the deal, that in its self is great, its the fact this is done within months not the protracted 4.5 years has the EU has taken just in thinking about it.

  33. Nigl
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Give away Gove at it again in the Commons preparing us for a climb down over fish?

    Much like the Irish Border.

  34. chris hook
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    If there’s one thing you can rely on, despite your best efforts Sir John, there will be a sell-out.

  35. glen cullen
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who is concerned about Jacob Rees-Mogg MP reply today saying that it is theoretically possible to ratify the UK/EU deal after its agreement?

    Playing fast & loose with our constitutional arrangements

  36. Kenneth
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I have full confidence that you and like-minded colleagues will vote against any “deal” with the eu that either:

    (i) does not fully recognize our sovereignty in all matters;

    (ii) makes un-paid-for fishing concessions;

    (iii) comes too late to the House for proper scrutiny.

  37. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic:
    ♪♫ Happy 250th Birthday today to the composer of ‘Ode to Joy’ (or “all men shall be brothers”)! 🙂

    In spite of its misgivings about the EU, the UK will remain a member of the Council of Europe (800 million people, not to be confused with the EU or the European Council) and so no doubt also respects the anthem of this CoE. 🙂
    There are nice examples of ‘Ode to Joy’ to be found on youtube.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Some kind of reverse logic here. There is no evidence that Beethoven would have approved of the EU or the expropriation of his 9th Symphony to promote it. Furthermore, the EU has only expropriated the music not the text of Schiller’s poem (Perhaps if Schiller had been French?)

      Although Beethoven had originally dedicated the Eroica to Napoleon, he removed this dedication when Napoleon declared himself Emperor. Beethoven believed in liberté, égalité, fraternité not in a French empire.

  38. glen cullen
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    BBC reporting on Politics Live at 1215 that governance and state aid has been settled with only fisheries remaining for a deal

    What’s been settled – we’ll never know because the HoC is closing today early for an extended Christmas holiday

    BRINO here we come – let the celebrations begin, victorious, best deal ever….

    • Fred H
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      we should offer the fish a vote. Swim into our waters, or take your chance with the EU Supertrawlers.

  39. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Quite frankly this pathetic saga of “negotiations” seems to be more about saving the backside of the Conservative Party rather than attending to those who voted for Brexit.

    The party now represents such a diversity of opinion that the Prime Minister’s immediate concern seems to be forever making on-going fire-fighting efforts to quell in-party ructions and subordinating any resolute action to an absurd exercise of juggling plates in the air to stop the whole charade falling apart; an eternal fudge to placate everyone.

    Where do all these leaks at the highest level emerge from? Are they planned as part of a PR strategy on the part of number 10? Why are there always rebellions from Tory malcontents during voting in the House?

    From the point of view of the voter the Conservatives are nothing more than an abstraction heavily wedded to deceit over election pledges and time-wasting to the detriment of our economy. Pull-the-wool plc.

    On that basis what is actually the difference between the government and the EU establishment in terms of democracy? Zilch and diddly-squat!

    We have before us a familiar privileged mafia that is wilfully ignoring what the people have instructed to such a degree that we are still faffing about over implementing Brexit 4.5 years later when the option was always there to walk away!

    We require definition and action. We do not vote to support the interests of a swamp of idle pan-handlers and underhand networkers. Represent something at least and serve us!

  40. Fred H
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Returning to Covid for Wokingham, which may well be typical for the country.
    Stats up to 4th Dec from Berkshire Public Health website.
    Deaths in Hospital – 91
    Deaths in Care Homes -87
    Deaths at Home – 7
    Deaths in Hospice -3
    Deaths other -1

    Total 189.
    It could not be clearer that the problem areas are those admitted to Hospital and those resident in Care Homes. There has been interchange in both directions between the former and the latter, with possibly interchange with hospices.
    Analysis of age groups and comorbidities would throw further light on how the initial infection may have been transmitted.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      And they’re only going to hospital because they’re not allowed to visit the GP if you know you have covid-19

      Covid-19 is still no different from past flu pandemics – this government is crazy

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Fred, they have just asked to go in for an op at the Royal Berks next week

      • Fred H
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        ‘do you feel lucky?’
        Or desperate to get it done, after a very long wait?

        • Ian@Barkham
          Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          Took me 4 months not being able to see our GP — on holiday or something. The hospitals have smoothly just moved forward…

          • Fred H
            Posted December 18, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            my better half has serious heart issues – had paramedics (brilliant) a couple of times in 2020 – sometimes taken to Cardiac unit (also brilliant) – along the way Dr (yes another new one) said the surgery ECG showed something of interest so ordered a 24 hour monitor URGENT. This was mid November, just got a letter to go to RBH late January for fitting.
            We talk about world beating NHS.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t you follow your argument where it leads: because the EU – represented by the Commission – has been demonstrably negotiating in bad faith, we are entitled to repeal the Withdrawal Agreement lock, stock and barrel.

    We haven’y yet fully realised just how much freedom of action we will have from 1st January – restrained only by realpolitik. We could withdraw recognition of the EU and negotiate only with individual Member States. We could follow this action through by asserting, in all of the international forums in which we participate, that the EU is not a nation and cannot be granted the rights of a nation.

    Continuing on this theme of genuine sovereignty, we don’t have to send troops anywhere to support Biden’s war mongering (oh, yes, he will!) and have the right to assert that NATO is an alliance with a narrow remit for mutual defence, not the military arm of American foreign policy.

  42. Know-Dice
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    So Wokingham and surrounding areas go into Tier 3 and schools which MUST be a major spreader of Covid remain open.

    This surely is completely foolish…

    • Fred H
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      most of the country goes into Tier 3 serious restrictions on 19th, 20th , 21st and 22nd – no indoor mixing.

      Then on 23rd,24th, 25th, 26th and 27th 3 family groups which may comprise 6 adults and many children from many schools, possibly miles apart, and which are open until 18th or even 22nd then mix in close proximity indoors in their homes.

      On 28th (onwards?) we switch back to Tier 3 restrictions.
      You couldn’t make it up!
      Anybody care to suggest the infection and death rates might go up?

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        But the new arrangements only effect 60% of the working population as 20% of the upper class/ rich/ elite/politicians don’t care about their movement and 20% of the lower class/benefits don’t care as they don’t relate to the news or government instructions

        And that 60% is starting to get royally pixxed off by the conflicting reports, false statistics and the patronizing nature of government ministers

  43. ChrisS
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    In today’s Express the complete failure of our civil service to look after the interests of the UK and its businesses became even more apparent, following on from the passport debacle where the contract to produce United Kingdom passports was transferred from a UK company to a French one.

    Evidently, in October 2019, a DEFRA tender handed the contract to track UK and foreign-licensed boats in British waters to French firm Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS). The contract was previously held by a UK firm, Globavista.

    CLS is part-owned by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, the French government space agency, and the Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer, the oceanographic institution.

    Given the ongoing disputes over fishing rights in British waters, this was a ludicrous move. Whoever was responsible should be sacked, forthwith.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I wonder how much lower cost the CLS contract was over the UK firm’s quote from Globavista and other British competitors?

  44. Annette
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    How can the statement, that it is ‘just’ to do with trade between N.Ireland and GB whe DEFRA have made clear that you cannot take your pet to N.Ireland in the same way that you can take your pet anywhere else in the UK? See https://twitter.com/DefraGovUK/status/1339209089058963460?s=20

  45. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Poor old Barnier.

    He’s tried to pressure us by saying that the EU won’t ratify any deal after Sunday.

    Well that should save Wallonia going to all the trouble then, shouldn’t it our European friend?

    I’m afraid you’ve failed miserably in your sloppy attempt to give our conscience something more fitting of a description of your good self there Michel old boy.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      perhaps he is planning on the tradition in most parts of Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic of handing out presents on Christmas Eve?
      A Deal tying the UK up with a colourful bow springs to mind.

  46. Derek Henry
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    We can do it the way we want to John,

    International Law is politics in a horse hair wig.

    The Belfast agreement is non justiciable. Nobody can break it because nobody can interpret what it actually means. It means precisely what you want it to mean. That’s how it works.

    The only actual law is the Northern Ireland Act. End of story.

    The simple rule of International Law is that there is no law without enforcement and the worst the EU can do is refuse to sell us their stuff.

    Which with deflation on the their horizon, millions unemployed and a currency heading to the stratosphere would not be a smart move.

    But I suspect they’ll have to learn the hard way. They always do.

    Domestic legislation is the interpretation of the treaty in the UK. That is the only basis on which it is available to UK courts. Parliament decides what the interpretation is to be, and that is that.

    The interpretation is of “If the application of this Protocol leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade, the Union or the United Kingdom may unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures.”

    We have a dualist constitution. Enforcement action cannot be taken other than through the UK courts. . EU law works on a civil code based upon proportionality. The UK law works upon precise interpretation based upon precedent.

    The Internal Market Bill is a perfectly proportionate response to the unwarranted threats from the EU.

    The UK government is answerable to our courts and our parliament alone. Nothing can force the UK to do anything other than through those mechanisms.

    Except in the mind of Europhiles who believe the EU is superior to everything. They will be disappointed but we’ve voted in a democracy many times and they lost every time on the issue. That are pathetic.

    If the EU don’t want to sell us tomatoes we’ll just get them from somewhere else. More fool them.

    International Law is just international politics. Because there is no superior court to Parliament. End of story.

    As Boris said:

    “I have to say that we never seriously believed that the EU would be willing to use a treaty, negotiated in good faith, to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off, or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK. This was for the very good reason that any such barrier, any such tariffs or division, would be completely contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.

    By actively undermining the Union of our country, such an interpretation would seriously endanger peace and stability in Northern Ireland. This interpretation cannot have been the real intention of those who framed the protocol (it certainly wasn’t ours) – and it is therefore vital that we close that option down.”

    “Sovereign states have the ability to enforce the rules in international agreements by appropriate means. Breaches of the rules give them the legal justification for actions that would otherwise be illegal or inappropriate. That’s how it works in practice”

    Very glad you finally agree it is appropriate of our government to close down this attempt at a foolish game by the EU. Which it can by changing UK law so our courts are prevented from stopping trade from GB to NI. That is what will happen. It is the very definition of “appropriate means”.

    The” appropriate means ” part is the killer for the Europhiles. “No* International agreement has any effect domestically without parliament’s say so. And since no parliament can bind a successor, or even itself, if you deal with the UK that is how it has always been.

    The UK can clarify how this agreement applies in UK law via Parliament, and that is the end of the matter. It’s then up to the EU whether they want to spike Spanish orange growers in pursuit of their political ideals as they enslave everyone around them.

    That is the fundamental difference between those who believe in some sort of supranational order and those who see International Agreements as mutually beneficial decisions between nation states that persist only until they are no longer of use as the people have decided on a different course of action.

    The latter is how it has to be if there is actual sovereignty. The slide towards globalist legalism ended with Brexit.

    We all hope so anyway if Boris sticks to his promises.

    I swear every time I cross a border in Europe I hear the Star Wars theme tune and see Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, singing Ode to Joy from a Brussels window telling everyone how good it is while I look for my light sabre.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      “We all hope so anyway if Boris sticks to his promises.”

      In essence, what you are saying is that Brexit is a political issue, not a legal one. And you are entirely correct. But the underlying premise of your post – that Boris will deliver a proper Brexit – is, as perhaps you understand deep down given your ‘hope’ rather than expectation, completely unsound. The UK government are sovereign. They can break treaties as they please – even if there are political, though not legal, consequences. The point is that the UK government have no intention of repudiating the WA and PD. They have an agreement with the EU that will soon be formalised. It is an agreement between two consenting parties, willingly and happily entered into. The issue is that the UK government’s intentions are a perversion of the 2016 referendum, even if they are a fulfilment of their 2019 mandate to ‘Get Brexit done’. The question is, How will the British people respond to this?

  47. None of the Above
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Watching the Leader of the House today detailing the forthcoming business, I was heartened to hear of the Parliamentary recess this evening. I am taking this as a good omen.

    I wish you and yours a Merry, peaceful and healthy Christmas.

    My Christmas wish; I look forward to being a citizen of a Free, Sovereign and Independent UK after 23o0 hrs (GMT) on 31st December.

    • Andy
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Just as you were before 2300 on 31st December – but with far fewer rights, far more bureaucracy, far more lorry parks and – if you are lucky – discount tampons.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Ridiculous Andy.
        Check which court has supremacy.
        Read the Treaties.

      • steve
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “if you are lucky – discount tampons.”

        Which will benefit you immensely.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          I really don’t want to ask how!

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      So you wish that politicians in a democratic country implement the decision made freely by the majority of voters in a referendum

      Under Article 50, this government could have complied with those wishes and walked away from the negotiations at any time – they chose to wait 4.5 years and fudge the voters with a BRINO

      I hope your wish comes true

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      “We English will not be dictated to”, says ZHC worker on unpaid 24/365 standby, waiting for the ‘phone to ring, only to drop everything and to run scurrying for his swaggering boss…

      • Edward2
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        The EU allows zero hours contracts.
        They suit many people.

        Swaggering bosses….hilarious.
        Do you live in an 1890s time warp with Margaret?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Yes, employment law is a sovereign matter for the member countries.

          Many employees probably lament that fact.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 18, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            No, our standards are as high or even higher than EU member nations.

            It is one reason millions have come here from the EU nations to better themselves and improve the standard of living they have to endure at home..

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Do not count on this I think it rather unlikely – but I wish you a merry Christmas too.

      • None of the Above
        Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Lifelogic.

        Let’s hope that 2021 will be a better year, I’m certainly keen to see the back of 2020.

    • steve
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      None of the above.

      “I look forward to being a citizen of a Free, Sovereign and Independent UK after 23o0 hrs (GMT) on 31st December.”

      =============

      Sorry mate, aint gonna happen.

      • Julian Flood
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        Subject.

        JF

  48. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    OT.

    Have just read Liz Truss’s speech on what Conservative values and leadership should be. Speaking like a leader and Prime Minister.

    She should be.

    The waffler we have, the ‘man’ who holds bluster, appeasement and compromise high has yet to prove he is will not betray us all.

    • dixie
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      Agree, very impressed by Liz Truss, especially her latest moves to address the lefty racist “unconscious bias” bullshit in the civil service and focus instead on real issues such as poverty which disadvantage everyone.

  49. Wrinkle
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Well JR after all those posts, the future’s bright, the future’s orange, agent orange.

  50. Freeborn John
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    It is very disconcerting that the EU Commission keep hailing great progress from the U.K. while the British government says nothing. If Boris is giving the farm away he will go the way of Theresa May.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 1:45 am | Permalink

      He is it seems.

  51. Fred H
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    8pm.
    “Big differences remain to be bridged” in talks to reach a post-Brexit trade deal, the EU Commission head has said following a call with Boris Johnson.
    Ursula von der Leyen warned it would be “very challenging” to overcome differences, particularly on fisheries.
    According to a No 10 spokesman, the PM said “time was short” and the talks are in a “serious situation”. He also said a no deal scenario was “very likely” unless the EU position changed “substantially”.
    No 10 said: “He [Mr Johnson] said that we were making every effort to accommodate reasonable EU requests on the level playing field, but even though the gap had narrowed some fundamental areas remained difficult.
    “On fisheries he stressed that the UK could not accept a situation where it was the only sovereign country in the world not to be able to control access to its own waters for an extended period and to be faced with fisheries quotas which hugely disadvantaged its own industry.

    deja vu. and very very repetitive and boring.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Boring is right. Sadly, I think we’ll have to put up with these amateur dramatics into the new year, giving some Tory MPs an excuse – no matter how flimsy – to put off the day of reckoning. Where there’s life there’s hope. But is a zombie truly alive?

  52. aargh
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I read on the Going Postal Blog today that in 2018 you will be forbidden to sell your property if its not up to a very high level of energy efficiency.
    Well thats going to keep me occupied for a while. I havent heard of this anywhere else.

    • aargh
      Posted December 17, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      2028 ( I’m living in the past )

      • Mark B
        Posted December 18, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Don’t worry. Soon we will be living in 1984 and the future, or past, will not matter.

        • DavidJ
          Posted December 18, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          Indeed; “1984” and “Brave New World” seem to have become a basis for government. Time too to de-fund the UN and its evil Agendas.

  53. steve
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Well I’m done with Boris Johnson. The man’s a ditherer, waffler, Liar. He thinks he can do as the hell he likes.

    I’m also done with the conservatives, why the hell they don’t oust this idiot Johnson just proves one thing to me…….they’ve all been orchestrating a sabotage of brexit since day one.

    Fine, betray us, but go down as the shyster party and don’t expect to ever be re elected.

  • 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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