Sovereignty

The legal advisers to the ERG have stated that the EU/UK Agreement clearly sets out the sovereignty of the UK. There is no recourse to the ECJ, and the UK can pull out of the Agreement unilaterally if it wishes. I set out the relevant text on this site recently illustrating these matters which they confirm.

They also accept that there are unresolved questions in Northern Ireland under the Withdrawal Agreement. This new Agreement is silent on them. There is a five and a half year wait until the UK can take all or most of the fish catch in UK waters.

This form of Agreement around a free trade proposal will still require UK Ministers and Parliament to use or assert sovereign rights to change laws and administer trade and industry matters in our national interest. It is one thing to be legally sovereign, it is another to use the powers to diverge from EU laws and practises where that makes sense for the UK. We are not truly independent unless we feel free to vary matters as we wish.

I have spent the last few days pressing the government to clarify its approach to the legal acceptance of independence. In particular I have asked for three main things

  1. Early legislation in areas identified on this site to improve the UK tax and business regime in UK interests
  2. A strong fishing policy based around better standards of marine environmental protection immediately, and plans to recruit and provide a much bigger UK fleet of trawlers and associated harbours and food processing to take advantage of the modest extra quota available now and taking proper control of our fish in 2026
  3. Greater clarification and resolution of Irish border and tax issues
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392 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    There is a five and a half year wait until the UK can take all or most of the fish catch in UK waters.

    And

    We are not truly independent unless we feel free to vary matters as we wish.

    Well notwithstanding item (2) let us see a Bill making Pulse Fishing,Drag Nets and factory Ships illegal in UK waters ?

    Unless we can do that, then we are not sovereign.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Will that happen?

      No chance.

      • Hope
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        The ERG sold out to vote for WA and NIP which gives away/ annexes N.Ireland under foreign control and companies that trade there. EU inspectors on our soil to check compliance. Border down Irish Sea that May and Johnson stated no PM would ever do. But ERG and JR voted for it. EU acquis applies. Gove capitulated on 17/12/2020 to add clauses to give U.K. Sovereignty. No wonder ERG silent because they are not being open or transparent with the public about All aspects of what they voted for. Like this blog it is being very selective and specious. It would be a shot in the foot!

        ECJ applies to all EU citizens wherever in the U.K. Name a country where immigrants have right to redress to laws from country of their origin? So ECJ does apply as it applies to EU ransom demands in amounts and at times of its choosing.

        Level playing field and non regression clauses. Joined at the EU hip with a theoretical escape if there is a “robust” or “vigorous” govt! Johnson just capitulated after months of telling us it was not acceptable and threTened to walk fives times! We had over four years of May’s and their part’s treachery and ERG talk of robust and vigorous! UK must be in Paris agreement, UK must be in ECHR if not punishments!

        Gibralta not allowed to be discussed. Services not allowed to be discussed. N. Ireland given away! 8% of businesses trade with EU how about the majority who do not, level playing field applies to all businesses.

        How is it better than WTO? JR said that was the test. A sell out. And now a PR Con to deceive the public.

        • Hope
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Johnson first message to EC president he looks forward to working with EU on climate change! First word to Biden he looks forward to working on climate change.

          If the Fake Tories had any sense Johnson would be gone by the end of next week. Alas all congratulating this morning. They cannot even see their self destruction, even though the next act on to destroy our way of life and economy is Hancock!
          Unemployment among the under 25s is rocketing. SMS businesses like Pubs closing by the thousands. I see no future for Fake Tory party.

        • Dennis
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Again it appears that JR agrees with all that Hope has outlined but won’t admit it.

          Reply I publish a wide range of view, many of which I disagree with. My views are the ones I publish in my own name, not ones someone else sends in.

          • Hope
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            JR, I want your view whether this rotten subservient association agreement is better than WTO. That was the test you told us.

            Martin Howe QC makes it clear the Star chamber view was limited to sovereignty only not the merits of the rest of the association agreement.

            Theoretical clause to leave or change subservient association agreement, but severe punishments if the U.K. does.

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          If Gibraltar becomes a British overseas territory than Spain can bring a case of sovereignty to the UN without EU involvement

        • Philip Ranby
          Posted January 1, 2021 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          Spot on the whole exercise has been a charade no deal was never an option. The 2 parties agreed to running it to 11th hour to avoid scrutiny

      • Hope
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        When ERG and Johnson voted for WA and NIP no Canada deal was ever an option. Ben Habib, John Longworth make that clear in their articles.
        Johnson lied to claim otherwise. Did Canada give up its fishing territorial waters or majority of fish or give away Nova Scotia for a trade deal? Did have to agree to be in the ECHR or remain inParis agreement, allow all EU citizens to have redress to ECJ? Did it have non regression clauses?

    • Peter
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      The article is completely accurate on sovereignty issues,

      It shows how sovereignty can claim to be achieved via the deal. It also shows the big unresolved problems which remain.

      There is nothing here though on the merits of this deal compared to leaving on WTO terms.

      We know that the deal will go through today only the DUP, Liberal Democrats and a few rebels will oppose it.

      The deal has been a PR triumph. Johnson team has clearly done a lot of work with the media. Overnight, Johnson was hailed as a great leader who did a magnificent job against all odds. I suspect media attention will soon leave Brexit detail and there will be articles to bolster the image of the Conservative party.

      This time the EU have had the good sense – mostly – not to look or sound triumphant.

      I have no doubt the EU will keep up pressure to get the UK to remain in step with them. I am not sure the government has the resolve to push on and truly exert sovereignty. Neither do I know what will happen around Northern Ireland and also Gibraltar.

      It seems to me it would have been better to start from scratch on sound foundations with WTO terms. Then we could build from there. The government clearly did not have the intention/courage to do that.

      • Andy
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        As I told you all months ago, we would end up with a lousy deal which Johnson had to be able to sell as a win. The EU has always understood this.

        The deal is not a win. It is dreadful for our country, for your children and grandchildren. It creates masses of bureaucracy which will harm trade in goods, in some areas it creates insurmountable barriers to trade, it does nothing at all for services or professionals.

        This deal will make your country pointlessly poorer.

        In years to come future generations will look back at liar Johnson and his corrupt, incompetent government and wonder what on Earth the minority which voted for them were thinking.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          It creates masses of bureaucracy which will harm trade in goods,

          As someone who used to be involved in freight forwarding – this is simply not true. How do we ever import from, and export to, the USA? The fact that it is not true will not bother you. You think that your beliefs are true.

          If it does harm trade in goods – that will be GOOD! Globalisation is a scourge which, apart from destroying our jobs, also helps destroy the environment. A resurgence in UK manufacturing is what we need. For jobs, security and a cleaner environment.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Mike, Andy was quite revealing when he typed it will make ‘your Country pointlessly poorer’, not ‘our Country’.

            It is now Boris’ job to move quickly to start manufacturing our own drugs here in the U.K. again. We need to buy UK made essential drugs as a priority and insist on price parity with Germany and the Netherlands and other Countries that Newmania tells us are holding up supplies because of transport problems.

            Boris needs to secure our own Energy plants not reliant on the EU as they have threatened our energy supplies with five years notice.

            The Conservative party’s job is to note the threats to our needs and set up investment funds for people with savings to get things moving quickly with new private investment in our security needs. We must expect more from our key Universities than just talk, they all need to contribute, put the research to good use and practical requirements of our Country and if they are doing this then tell us all about it, let us have a BBC regular program of inventions coming out of our Universities, have a dragons den for our University departments to compete for funds with independent business minded dragons.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          You mean the future generation who will own nothing and be happy?
          Thanks to a global Marxist takeover.
          They will know nothing of voting and have no capacity to wonder.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I very much agree.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Simeon
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Your last paragraph particularly is important. The Conservative Party had the option of getting rid of the WA and starting again – i.e. leaving immediately, then negotiating an FTA if desired and beneficial. As soon as it was clear the WA was going to be adopted, Brexit was over. It didn’t have to be that way. Blowers’ hands were not tied. He willingly adopted the WA, and he has willingly delivered BRINO, like the good European he is.

    • Jazz
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      There is a petition running at the moment “Ban Supertrawlers from UK waters after leaving the EUs Common Fisheries Policy”

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Cheers.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 31, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          DONE !!!

      • dixie
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        +1 signed it

      • M Davis
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Jazz! Signed it!

  2. James Powell
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    So we’re sovereign … except the EU gets most of our fish, except Northern Ireland is divided from GB, except we have to do what unelected arbitrators tell us, except we can’t change our rules (“non regression”) …. YET ANOTHER TORY SELL OUT ON EUROPE

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      It is far from perfect that is clear. The blame for this lies mainly with May, Hammond, Gauke, Starmer and all the other dire remoaners who tried to subvert the referendum result.

      • James Powell
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Oh really? So who has been PM the last 12 months? May? Hammond? Don’t think so. Gauke isn’t even an MP and Starmer is the opposiiton, not the government. Nice try matey but this is Boris’s deal and the Conservatyive party’s deal, and it is not Brexit

        • Lynn
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          +1

          • Hope
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            LL,
            Johnson had an 80 seat majority and did not have to sign the vassalage WA and NIP that he resigned over!

            He was clear: tell the EU to go whistle. “Do or die” promise to leave by end of October 2019!
            Inveterate liar without a spine.

            I want to know what the difference would be if the U.K. Left WTO? No scrutinising for some texhnocal or legal on paper only sovereignty!
            The WA and NIP,according to Gove in parliament, does not give U.K. Sovereignty it gives EU acquis!

        • Simeon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Correct!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Boris was left with an almost impossible position with the May government in 5th place with under 9% support. To turn it round and win his large majority he felt he had to sign the rather poor agreement that he did. Which leads to the poor agreement now. The blame largely lies with with May, Starmer, the Libdims, the dire BBC and the many Benn act Traitors.

      • Andy
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        This deal was negotiated entirely by Brexiteers led by unelected bureaucrat Lord Frost. Remember, the trade talks didn’t even start until February 2020.

        It is a rubbish deal. But it is your rubbish deal. Do you people ever take responsibility for your own mess or do you just whinge and blame everyone else?

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          do you just whinge and blame everyone else?

          Just whinge and blame you – and your ilk for siding with the EU.

          • Andy
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            Get used to it granddad. You really are all going to own the blame for what comes next.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Andy.

          Yes, it was negotiated entirely by brexiters from a party of government with an indefeasible majority of eighty.

          And yet they still try to blame anyone but themselves.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          From a position of weakness caused by the appalling 9% May and the traitors. Plus the current composition of Parliament and the Lords who even recently rejected the Internal Market Bill to further undermine his hand.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Totally correct

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        So do you still just follow Farage blindly? Or are you here for the U.K. like the vast majority of the rest of us?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      But we don’t want our fish – most of it is exported because the British people don’t want what’s caught.
      Plus, who are you going to get to take up a career in fishing? Can you imagine snowflake generation spending all night in rough weather on a small boat, enduring cold and rain, with a not insignificant degree of danger? I’m not snowflake generation, but I baulk at the idea.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        It is not about fish in itself, but control. I would be happy for them to have 100% of a certain type (assuming no one here wanted to fish that type) so long as we can say when, where, how much, and sell them the fishing rights to do so.

        • rose
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Food may be scarce in the future and these blase naysayers grateful for their own fish yet.

          • M Davis
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            +1

          • Mark B
            Posted December 31, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            But having control gives us the right to take back that food.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        I trust that you and most Leave voters also baulk at picking fruit and vegetables for up to sixteen hours a day in all weathers?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Depends what the rate of pay is.

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            I happened to have picked grapes in autumn for six weeks (as LL might have done) when I was 18, for the price of the train tickets to the Bordeaux, then Macon then Reims areas, food and lodging included, plus a pay equivalent to one LP (record) per week plus a SLR camera bought at the end in Paris.
            A wonderful time, great memories but exhausting.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          Well I have done this in France and England in my youth. Not sure I would be spritely enough now.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          We’d rather use Advanced technologies as the Japanese do instead of giving people poor quality, back breaking work because they have no choice but to do this at rock bottom prices from the farms and then go on to claim all the top up benefits that in their Country make all the difference and can allow them to buy properties in less than ten years. The UK people won’t do this because A they are often ineligible for benefits because the working classes need two incomes to live in the UK now unlike many Eastern European labourers families.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

            And b) they can often get better benefits in the UK as single parents doing no work.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        You don’t want £650 million pa either? Over let’s call it 50 years …

      • DaveK
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        If you owned 10 acres of farmland next to your property and a neighbour asked to use it, would you perhaps charge rent? Or give it to them and when you want it back after 6 years pay them compensation? There doesn’t seem to be a single gain in this arrangement other than the spurious you can leave clause. Is it Article 51 perhaps?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Your idea, that a country is only sovereign if in a position to kick sand in the faces of every one of its neighbours, with impunity, is crude and primitive, to say the very least.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Who said that?
        You are making things up again Martin.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 31, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          I seem to recall tha making things up with no reference or source is your specilisation?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Do you reckon bill.
            I reckon you are just trolling as usual.
            PS
            You didn’t get a new keyboard for Christmas I see.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        The EU has been kicking sand in OUR faces for years Martin.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          Whose, precisely are “our” and how, exactly?

          • Graham Wheatley
            Posted January 1, 2021 at 3:46 am | Permalink

            Not ‘you’, obviously…. since you are not a patriot. Unless you are a patriot of the EU?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Your idea, that a country is only sovereign if in a position to kick sand in the faces of every one of its neighbours

        Your idea – that people think that – is gibberish.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        what a wonderful imagination you have – do write kiddies wizard stories.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Succinctly put. The ‘star chamber’ have essentially said that the UK government have exercised their sovereignty to deliver BRINO. But because BRINO is an act of sovereign will, that’s alright. Or, in other words, ‘BRINO means BREXIT’.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Put another way, we are legally independent, but we are not politically and economically independent – and should a UK government aspire to political and economic independence, there are innmuerable legal ‘safeguards’ in place to make this economically painful.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Lynn
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          So nothing has changed. That has been our position throughout.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with James. It’s a sell out and yes, ban super trawlers or factory ships from our waters.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      +1

      We are not Sovereign, period….and no amount of MSM/Conservative disingenuous spin will change that fact.

      We must now wait and see if the rest of the population agree, with their votes, in the local and general elections?

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    We need to diverge from EU laws in so many ways, we should certainly abandon the Paris Accord and the net zero Carbon lunacy. The today programme yesterday had a discussion between guest editor Margaret Atwood and Greta Thunberg presumably both chosen as neither knows anything at all about climate, energy, CO2 cycles, the environment or engineering.

    Then we had Neil Ferguson (chosen one assumes as he has been very wrong indeed on lockdown and almost every pandemic prediction he has done). Needless to say the BBC did not state this nor even question him on these. The insane woke BBC is completely off the rails now, their reporting on lockdown and Covid is as one sided as their appalling (and wrong) bias on climate alarmism.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Well.
      Where does funding come from?
      Easy to find out.

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        And where from? Easy to write meaningless comment: could you try, if you can, to put a bit of flesh on the bone. Otherwise I would be tempted to think you’re just peddling rubbish. But obviously you are now going to provide all the details on how the BBC is financed (with percentage for each source please) and why such financing channel(s) obviously lead(s) to the type of news broadcast every day.
        Thanks in advance for what I assume will be an enlightening memorandum.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          But nearly all of ukip’s funding for their MEPs came from the European Union, and yet their thralls here believed every single word that they said without question.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            Why should funding from the EU impact on how much people support them?

            What proof have you got that supporters believed every single word that they said without question?

            You are making stuff up again Martin.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            UKIP?
            Bit passé.
            Honestly!!

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          JR does not publish any names or links that I post.
          To do with LL’s last paragraph.
          Find out which college that person is attached to and then who funds that to the tune of £squillions.
          Or maybe you know all that anyway?

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Ooooh.
          Yes..just remembered…BBC receives funding from same source and Telegraph too!!
          Clever old you! 🤗

        • Lynn
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          It’s all published Hef. I am regularly invited to the announcement of the accounts. It takes a day, includes lunch. Down to the last penny, complicated but easy to find out.

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            Depending on the year, the total budget of the BBC (television, radio, internet) is between £4bn and £5bn, with £3.5 to £3.7bn from the licence fee and roughly £1.1 to £1.7bn generated otherwise.
            Last figure I found for the EU money granted to the BBC was £260m in 2018, i.e., around 6.5% (260/4000).

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      But we aren’t going to be allowed to, for this ‘trade deal’ locks us into the Paris Climate accord. If any future Government decides that they no longer want this Climate Change religion reset, then the EU has the right to scrap the trade deal. It also locks us into the Refugee Convention and others . It seems though we might have liberated ourselves from the EU we are still trapped in the Left wing Globalist straight jacket and not a sovereign people.

      As usual the Tories are asleep on the job, they are besotted with these globalist structures of the UN and such like. Just the other day the WHO tried to link climate change to the Covid pandemic, saying if we don’t get control of climate change then expect more pandemics , the connection was never made, they just want to feed the fear mongering to keep people compliant to their agenda. The agenda they have made very clear in other statements where they want to use climate change to unpick capitalism and redistribute wealth, and our stupid Government is rushing to put our nation’s head on the chopping block. The Tory message is ‘Vote for us for we intend to impoverish the country’.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Indeed ‘Vote for us for we intend to impoverish the country’ seems to be the message.

        At elections they we say ‘we intend to impoverish the country but not quite as much as Labour/SNP and that is your only other option.

      • Christine
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        All very true. Tory MPs have convinced themselves this is a good deal but it’s just a NWO straightjacket to keep the British people in their place. It makes me feel sick.

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Amazing folks still listening to 3rd rate BBC Today as most would regard watching the Simpsons as time better spent.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      To be fair, Neil Ferguson was chosen by the BBC because he was chosen first by the government.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        that makes his pronouncements more valid?

        • Simeon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely not! In fact the complete opposite! He is an instrument of the state, and therefore anything he says is designed to advance the state’s agenda. I was making the point that the government is responsible for its ludicrous science-led policy, not the scientists themselves, who are either willing accomplices or useful idiots.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        True but why no questioning on his lamentable record?

        • Simeon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          Why doesn’t a dog miaow?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      +1

      Well said. How the Political Class weave their web – bring on the revolution

    • Nig l
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      You have lost the argument on the Paris Accord etc. Time to give your soapbox and us a rest.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Does Farage say it’s fine? Don’t you understand that you assess an issue, and if it’s a killer, (and the Paris accord is) you fight it whether Nigel understands it, is paid to fight it, or not!

    • Andy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      If you voted Conservative you voted for a manifesto commitment for net carbon zero by 2050. But I doubt you read the manifesto.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        If you voted Conservative you voted for a manifesto commitment for net carbon zero by 2050. But I doubt you read the manifesto.

        You KNOW we can’t read – and won’t be around in 2050. It’s your problem – when we finally stop taking our handouts and die.

  4. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    The key sentence: ‘It is one thing to be legally sovereign, it is another to use the powers to diverge from EU laws and practises where that makes sense for the UK.’ The ERG must live on and keep snapping at the heels of a lazy government and a lazy Civil Service.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed they much and they must ensure Northern Ireland is protected properly.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Dear Warrior–May I express the desire for “practises”, a noun here, to be spelt properly? We don’t want to speak American. Regularly wrong from the top on this site.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        May I express the desire for “practises”,

        You may not. Many people type on their phone and the bloody auto-complete feature often puts in words that you did not intend to put in. I am as big a pedant as the next person, but I regularly see words posted that I had not typed. I type at speed and hit the Post Comment button as soon as I have finished. I do not proof read. Who does? It is only a comments section.

        • Lynn
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          +1 – so long as the meaning is obvious we all have to live with the auto-mistaker. These things are not called ‘confusers’ for nothing! Mine has always been called Fred (flaming ridiculous electronic device).

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Dear Mike–If only it were just the predictive writing,but most people have no clue these days that in English (not American) it is ‘s’ in the verb and ‘c’ in the noun. Does it matter? Yes, to me it does.

    • Peter
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      I am not convinced the ERG is the solution. As pragmatic politicians, they decide when to hold and when to fold. The strength of the party also weighs heavily with them. So they may grit their teeth and put up with bad situations where the party is at threat.

      The problem is that there are too many parties chasing the same centrist, globalist, Blairite ground with slight variations. The electorate don’t have many different options. We have seen politicians can get elected on a party manifesto, keep their head down and then play up on an issue such as Brexit. So long as this situation persists things will not get any better.

      The lazy government, civil service might be best served by the demise of a party that is conservative in name only.

      • Garden
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I do not recall voting for a pragmatic Brexit. I voted for Brexit. Which this deal is NOT. Let us slaughter the Tories at next May’s elections and ever after

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

          Vote for the tooth fairy 😂😂

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Well, with a majority greater than the alleged membership of the ERG – composed significantly of tame first-timers – the Government will do pretty well what it likes.

      It’s comical, when you think about it.

      • dixie
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t Bliar have a majority of 129, that was even more comical leading to involvement in two Gulf wars plus Kosovoa, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. How you socialists all laughed.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          Which the Tories supported.

          No, I opposed the Iraq wars along with the late Dennis Healey and prominent others at the time.

          However, I would not blame anyone beyond the then government for that UK involvement.

          You would appear to blame everyone except the government for their 100% Tory deal, and for all the dismal consequences of their 100% Tory brexit on the other hand.

          • dixie
            Posted December 31, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            How do I appear to blame everyone for a deal, I have made no comment at all about it.

            You are trying to propagate a falsehood yet again – SOP for remainiacs and lefty’s.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      I would suggest the ERG and their ‘star chamber’ would be best advised to curl up in a corner and die for the use they’ve been. ERG approval of this deal is intended to give it a credibility it does not intrinsically possess.

      As for the government and civil service, I wish that they were lazy! Alas, they have been extremely energetic in their efforts to deliver BRINO, and perhaps even more so in their latest project of authoritarianism. The ERG and CRG are their allies in this.

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Exactly – continual vigilance will be required – perhaps setting up a UK Sovereignty Dept as it is crucially important especially on Northern Ireland.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The more departments, the better. Eh?

        • ukretired123
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          You fell for that one – scrap the woke departments and wasteful ineffective inefficient ones and streamline everything to produce results for a new dawn, unlike yawn.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        “Oh dear! I have spilt coffee on my sovereignty! It will never wash out! It’s ruined!”

        Shrieked the Inspector General Of National Legislative Purity.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Quite, we could have been sovereign within the EU but chose not to be, slavishly following EU diktats to our own disadvantage.

      In which month will we first hear the excuse, “we can’t do that as it breaches our agreement with the EU”? I guess January 2021.

      The ability to unilaterally withdraw is only useful if used as many large Catholic families prove.

  5. Stephen Priest
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    We need to take back control from SAGE

    Want to return to Normal? PCR vs Rapid Antigen Animation
    Ivor Cummins you tube
    Short and sweet, please share – and start asking questions, before they destroy your society!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      +1
      Glad someone is allowed to implore ppl to look into what is going on!
      Stephen is right.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is surely very clear (just from NHS and other official date) that the excellent Claire Craig, Ivor Cummings, Prof. David Livermore the Barrington declaration people, Lord Sumption etc. are quite right and the mainstream media, the government and SAGE have got it totally wrong. Driven by false positive PCR tests often on health people.

      Unlock now. The “cure” is doing far more harm than good and probably well over 10 times as much harm – just in lives lost – plus the economic damage and damage to quality of life on top.

    • Enigma
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      +1 Stephen Priest

  6. Polly
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    So how does it work ?

    The UK gets sovereignty but if there’s any divergence from many EU rules, tariffs are awarded against you. So you can’t be different on such subjects as competition, the environment, energy or social issues. Same with fishing. After 5.5 years, you have to give access to your waters or you get tariffs or a trade war. You still have the ECHR and there’s a new body to settle disputes which looks sure to be rigged their way. In practice, no parliament would ever pull out of the agreement and go for No Deal because it’s too difficult and the will isn’t there.

    Nobody knows what is really happening on services.

    In addition, there’s a whole range of questions nobody wants to ask !
    .
    On top of which Mr Johnson is going to railroad this through in one day using Zoom. In reality it’s a pointless exercise to participate because Mr Johnson has already got his agreement through parliament, so he’s won.

    It sounds like nothing to celebrate and mainly the opposite of what you wanted.

    Complying with the referendum result is now or never, and it’s obviously never.

    Polly

    • Nig l
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Yes. The so called Spartans have sold out

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Yes, they served their purpose and mopped up the bnp-ukip vote quite well.

        Job done.

      • Wonky Moral Compass
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        “Go, tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
        That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.”

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Become less reliant on them is the only answer.

    • Peter
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Correct.

      Though, on paper, it can be claimed it complies with the referendum – apart from a number of large caveats which are being played down.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        The referendum was fully complied with last JANUARY when the UK left.

        There has never been any vote on these, the post-exit relations between the UK and the European Union, and they have NOTHING to do with any vote cast by you.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          How ridiculous is that statement of yours Martin.
          You very recently told us, as did young Andy, that you would continue to fight against Brexit and work to get us to rejoin.
          Yet if leave voters engage in the same democratic process and try to improve the UK’s post Brexit situation you say stop it at once.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Polly

      Sounds like you just wanted us to walk away with no agreement on anything at all, and just let the EU impose whatever they liked on the UK in the form of tariffs, with endless arguments, court appearances for decades.
      That would have least given us proper sovereignty, but why do I get the feeling that you would have preferred that we still stay and pay with little or no say, within the EU

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        The EU27 would not be able to impose “whatever they liked” as that is not the way the WTO works. The EU MFN tariff schedule is published with the WTO and it is against the rules of the WTO to impose a tariff higher than than.

        Polly is right to question what has happened with services – the loss of recognition of qualifications and the loss of all passporting rights is significant to a services-dominated economy which has been running a surplus in services to a market which has now had access impacted.

        And, seeing as you care about payments, that £83 billion services surplus has been put under threat for much less than the UK subsidises Yorkshire every year.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          *than that.

        • dixie
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          So are you saying that recognition of qualifications and passporting rights would have been retained/guaranteed under a WTO basis?

          First I’ve heard of it.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            I’m not saying that at all. Tariffs apply to goods, not services.

          • dixie
            Posted January 1, 2021 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            “the loss of recognition of qualifications and the loss of all passporting rights is significant to a services-dominated economy which has been running a surplus in services to a market which has now had access impacted.”

            You are not talking about tariffs you are talking about services and loss of recognition and passporting.

            So what solution do you propose – that we stay in the EU (too late), rejoin (disrespectful of a democratic decision).

      • Polly
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        I always thought the UK should prepare meticulously for No Deal allowing for every possible eventuality including a blockade.

        No flying visits to Brussels to beg for a deal. If they wanted a no strings free trade deal, they would come to you.

        Anything other than no strings means giving up sovereignty exactly as has happened in Mr Johnson’s deal. The moment you gained sovereignty you gave it away again to comply with Brussels’ rules and ambitions. Including on fishing which you’ll never get back properly because in 5 years time Brussels will hand you tariffs if you don’t do what they want and give them access to your waters.

        So I think that by sleight of hand you have continued EU membership in many respects which isn’t what the referendum was about.

        Polly

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      +1

      You are Sovereign until you diverge from the Laws and Rules we pass you, then you will be punished. Isn’t that a Colony ruled by its masters?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      +++

    • Dennis
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      I saw on TV the proceedings in the HoC this morning for about an hour mostly what Starmer said and the criticism from many members including Ian Blackford but none of the good questions and criticism expressed here was ever mentioned – were they just being gentle with Boris?

      Perhaps later on there might be more penetrating questions …?

  7. DOM
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Sovereignty as a matter of will not as a matter of fact. Interesting sleight of hand and an act of appalling and deliberate deceit

    In effect, to assert sovereignty in all matters requires the UK government of the day must assert sovereignty as a matter of will and determination as opposed to a truly sovereign nation that enjoys sovereignty as a matter of simply being sovereign without any recourse to action, a given and natural state of affairs

    So this agreement does not secure sovereignty to act as we wish. It only allows for sovereignty should the government of the day chooses to assert it. In effect, sovereignty has not been secured

    The idea that we the people can rely on and trust any government to defend and protect the interests of this nation is preposterous. We now know what and who they are

    This sleight of hand is beyond underhand by the EU and this PM. The public will not care for this deceit for they have more important matters to mind.

    In effect, the UK cannot act as it wishes in those important areas of business legislation, tax and of course Northern Ireland which has been sold down the river by this PM and indeed other Labour and Tory leaders who have a place in hell reserved for them

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      +1

      We are dominated by a Political Class that thinks a sleight of hand is the same as the actual deed. Forever an EU Colony until a sleight of hand forces us to accept our masters.

      • Hope
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Dom, spot on.

        UK has a subservient association agreement that it can theoretically leave.

        ERG does not want to mention N. Ireland or the WA and NIP! That sums up their total spineless specious behaviour.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        perhaps you would explain the differences between ‘sleight of hand’ ‘lies’ ‘obfuscation’ and even ‘deceit’.?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        They think we believe every word they utter!
        I was watching HoC early this morning before they got themselves all neatly sorted.
        Very little antisocial distancing and no muzzles at all!

        Reply There is a social distancing rule and floor and seat markings in the chamber. Outside the chamber MPs wear masks. We are now heavily discouraged from going as there is a full virtual option.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply.
          Yes I know, but before everything got going they were very close. I mean to the point where I was surprised!
          Mrs M later wore a mask and everyone was neatly distanced.
          I don’t care cos I think it is all hocus pocus…but sauce for the goose etc.
          I see that long term they want to cram all into one chamber!
          Not good.

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

      And how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

  8. Mick
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I for one will be glad when it’s all over and done with and we are a free nation to do as we like and if politicians don’t do our bidding we can chuck them out of office because they won’t have the old chestnut of saying it’s the Eu fault, but there again if something doesn’t go right you can be sure that the remoaners will say it’s the fault of Brexit, but they can shout till there blue in the face because we will be a free independent country once again and if the remoaners don’t like it tough go live in your beloved Europe bye bye you’ll not be missed

  9. ColinD.
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The increase in quotas for our fishermen is derisory. These people risk their lives for us every day. The negotiating team should have fought harder to get a better result. Sorry to say, it detracts from Johnson’s achievement in getting us out of the EU. ColinD.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      There are no boats in storage. No fishermen sitting around quays waiting to put to sea. What would have been the practical point of immediately having our waters to ourselves? It will take years to expand our fishing fleet – assuming that people want such a hard way of life.

      Reply There is a market in second hand boats!

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Agree Mike – ratchet up the catch over a period while building capacity.

        Ban supertrawlers in the interim.

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Anybody interested should really have a look at the advertisements for second-hand fishing boats. Anything below £15k might possibly be a nice one for week-end angling.
        Anything for ‘professional use’ is at least five to ten times more expensive. Will Sir John fight to ensure that loans are available for people who might want to go back to sea, I wonder? Or is it just a case of a fishing bee in his bonnet?

      • Christine
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        We already import many of our trawlermen from Africa and the Philippians. We need to know why. Is it that they cost less or is it that the British don’t want the jobs?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Why don’t you research and actually teach yourself something then?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Reply: You do realise if someone buys a second-hand fishing boat, the net increase in fishing boats and fishing capacity is zero?

        Reply The aim would be to buy foreign fishing boats, or to adapt existing boats from other purposes.

  10. cynic
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    It is one thing to have a legal right to the fishing in our waters; it is another to enforce those rights. Surely it will be easier to do so if there is some mutual agreement and a slow process of taking back control. Physical confrontations with E U vessels would not be a good thing.

    On another matter, it should be of concern that the Government is going ahead with a nation wide vaccination program using vaccines that may have long term side effects. Given that the majority of the population are in little risk of serious illness from Covid 19, this mass vaccination seems needed mainly as a way for the Government to climb out of a hole they dug for themselves

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      I would say that the rushed vaccine is more of a way of fulfilling previous promises/deals!
      Let the side effects, which will be many, go hang.
      After all the taxpayer not Big Pharma foots the bill now.

      • Nig l
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Zero evidence unless you have a peer group reviewed Paper ready to be published. Just the usual anti vaxxer fake tosh.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Evidence for what?
          UK govt involvement in schemes and plans re vaccinations?
          Or that one has little comeback if vaccines go wrong?
          You need to do some reading!
          And possibly learn HOW to read. I am not anti vaccination.

        • SecretPeople
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          Surely the point is that the research and resulting papers ought to ensure there is minimal risk in taking the vaccine before a mass vaccination programme takes place, not for others to have to demonstrate harms once it’s too late!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Dear cynic–Yes, brilliant spot that there is some long term risk but short of having an infinitely long test period, there always will be SOME risk. I think it was Miss Marple who said that we are not put on this world never to take any risk.

      • DaveK
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 1:54 am | Permalink

        So what is the risk of an under 60 yo with no co-morbidities of dying with covid? It may even prove less than taking a new type of vaccine.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      cynic

      Agree with you on para one.

      Its your choice to have the vaccine or not, the government is just offering it, you do not have to accept it !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      You say – “Given that the majority of the population are in little risk of serious illness from Covid 19, this mass vaccination seems needed mainly as a way for the Government to climb out of a hole they dug for themselves”.

      Much truth in this for most people. Also it is clear that in many areas we are already at herd immunity anyway (even without any vaccination). Let us hope serious reactions to the vaccines are very, very rare. It they are doing 30,000,000 of them even if only 1 in 1,000 it would be 30,000 people affected. Some US figures suggest 2.8% reactions.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Herd immunity already. Is that why the hospitals now have more Covid patients than in the last lockdown? Is that why ambulances are queuing up for hours waiting to discharge patients, some of whom are being treated in car parks? Side effects? I always get a sore arm and feel unwell for a day or so after my regular flu vaccine. Even paracetamol can have side effects in some people. As a physicist I suggest you stick to that and let medical people who know what they are doing get on with it. Don’t have the vaccine if you don’t want it, but don’t decry those who do.

        • hefner
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          You do not want to take LL seriously, do you? Has he presented any reference, proof that ‘in many areas we already are at herd immunity anyway’. No I do not think so.

          So better to let him go along with daily divagations, as on most topics he appears completely out of his (rather shallow) depth.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Why do you thing the infection died down in April/May? Take a look at the excellent and delightful Clare Craig consultant pathologist, Michael Yeadon and the numbers. These people are telling the truth the government is lying. It is very clear to anyone numerate who looks at rationally.

            But these two explain it better than I do. Current deaths are not much higher than usual for this time of year. It is also very clear they are labelling very many deaths as covid. Rather than caused by NHS shutdowns.

        • Lynn
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          If the medics had not been given immunity from prosecution for devising, producing and injecting the stuff, we might give them more credit. And if they had refused to doctor death certificates, continue treating desperately sick people and behaved in the manner we expect from those with a calling, they would have our trust.
          But once you sell out yo the state, it does not matter whether you are a medic or a scientist, we have your number. And we don’t believe you.

  11. Garland
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    It’s sweet that you want clarification on the Irish border. But there’s nothing to clarify. You agreed to a border in the Irish sea, so N.I. is economically tied to the EU and not to the UK, last January. Have a chat with your friends in the DUP, see if they think this is “sovereignty compliant”

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      It is certainly my understanding that the WA stands apart from this deal, and that the Irish question has already been resolved (in an entirely unsatisfactory manner). I think Sir John recently suggested that this deal avoids some of the potential barriers to trade between NI and the rest of the UK, but of course this is because the whole of the UK is aligned with the Single Market, of which NI is a part. I believe the DUP welcome this narrow aspect of the deal, but as much as I have huge sympathy for unionists in NI, they have been ill-served by their politicians who were willing to put their faith in the Conservative Party.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Listen to Dodds. I see he was not included in this Star Chamber. The DUP do not ‘welcome’ this part of the deal, or indeed any part of the deal. I’m a member. Best unionist and conservative party in the country.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Sadly, you are right that the DUP are the best, but it’s a pitifully low bar, and nothing to brag about.

          The DUP position c. May as PM was that it was best for the whole of the UK to be out of the SM and CU, but if that wasn’t going to happen, that it was best that the whole of the UK remained in the SM and CU. This was consistent with them being, first and foremost, Unionists, and I certainly had no issue with them on that.

          What we have with this deal is stronger trade ties between NI and the rest of the UK than if there had been No Deal – given that the WA would still apply in that event, and the WA was where the border issue was resolved. In this, narrow respect, the DUP are happier than they would have been with No Deal, which entailed them being abandoned to the EU and a probably inevitable union with the South.

          The DUP’s problem is that they trusted Boris Johnson. The result is entirely predictable. I for one thought they knew better than that.

          • Lynn
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            I think you should read their speeches and statement again. You have the wrong end of the stick.
            In actual fact the 10 DUP votes save the whole of the U.K. from May. And they are top quality. Absolutely fit to sit with JR.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 31, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            No, I have it right.

            “A party spokesperson said, “Whilst we accept that this agreement does bring about zero tariff and quota arrangements between the UK and the EU, thus removing many goods from attracting tariffs between Great Britain and NI, the fact remains that this agreement does not assist NI in the context ofnot having to operate under the NI protocol.” ”

            So, it’s a pig of a deal, but better than the alternative – for NI at least. Which was my point.

            I wouldn’t disagree that they are fit to sit with Sir John, as neither he nor they stood up to the government in a meaningful way. We now have BRINO, and no forseeable prospect of recapturing real independence. Neither is there, as yet, an alternative to the Tory-Labour hegemony. In short, we’re stuffed. So forgive me if I express no gratitude to the DUP, Sir John, or any other politician.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Yes a UK Government overseeing the break up of the UK, and against the wishes of those involved in the split.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      N.I. is certainly not tied to the EU economically. I doubt the EU will be taking over the subsidies or markets the UK provides any time soon. This is purely to make the EU single market look intact and should never have been accepted. If they want to keep out products they feel are risky and not trust the UK after nearly 50 years, then they should have provided the Customs arrangements for that and risk the blame for breaking the Good Friday agreement. As usual, we take the easy way out. The N.I. people will not accept this for long, they have no desire to join the Republic and this will all fall over before too long and is one of the land mines in the agreement.

  12. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I never again wish to hear that we can’t do something because of the EU.
    I expect the HoL and civil Serpents will do everything possible to keep us in lock step with Brussels but that won’t do.
    I look forward to seeing useless rules being repealed start with the ports directive. L

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      I share you views, but I too am rather pessimistic given the huge bias in the Commons, Lords, Labour and Conservatives, the BBC, most charities and the likes – and the Civil Serpents as you put it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Dear Ian–Is it still illegal to sell in pounds and ounces? And let’s hear it for feet and inches.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I’ve just bought some timber from B&Q.
        75mm x 75mm x2400mm or 3inch Square and 8 foot long.
        Imperial measures never left us
        I work on USA gas turbines and every is in inches much as Alstom would like us to believe otherwise.
        Hydraulic cylinder 177.4mm dia is 7 inch.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          8′ is 2440mm. 3 inches is 76.2mm. Get a grip.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          Eight *metric* feet long, Ian, an Imperial foot is just over 300mm.

          • steve
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            MiC

            “Eight *metric* feet”

            No such thing.

        • steve
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Ian Wragg

          I’m surprised you managed to get what you want from that place….they’re normally quite useless.

          Agree with the measurements…..we should go back to imperial, especially in the education system. I did my craft apprenticeship on imperial, I never had any problem with understanding metric.

          Task today’s metric snowflakes with imperial and they run away in fear.

          Also go to a shop and ask for a slide rule……the bewilderment and notion of what a slide rule actually is are highly entertaining ! Does it take batteries ? is it a ruler with wheels ? What’s one of them ?

          I suppose it’s to be expected from a left wing brainwashed dumbed down generation who as a consequence don’t know one end of a spanner from the other or indeed what a spanner is.

          We have a lot of work to do.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Dear Ian–As best I understand, the likes of B & Q sell in Napoleonic but are allowed, if that’s the word, to supply an Imperial approximation alongside just for the buyer’s information; this latter is purely out of the kindness of Brussels’ heart, but the sale has to be in Napoleonic. Again best I understand, it is at present outright illegal to sell (even weigh?) a cabbage in pounds and ounces.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Leslie ever heard of The Metric Martyrs? Imperial measure are legal in the U.K. and always have been, we need to revert to them exclusively as our biggest trading partner, the USA uses them too.
        And we did not have metric imposed on us by bloody Napoleon because he never defeated us! Those who use metric carry that scar.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      @Ian

      “I never again wish to hear that we can’t do something because of the EU.”

      We can do our own thing, but we have agreed up front we will be punished by our Overlords in Brussels for not doing as they say. Sounds like double speak to me, not an agreement between equal partners.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        we continued to accept the punishment from EU since June 2016, and this latest ‘agreement’ will, in some cases, continue the pain for another 5.5 years.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        I believe its reciprocal so no problem for me there.

      • steve
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Ian @ Barkham

        They are no longer our overlords, they’re not as powerful as they seem to think. They survive by lies and bullying tactics.

        We on the other hand stood up to them and voted leave.

        We’re British and at our finest when against the wall. There is no other people like us. We are Churchill’s ‘Island Race’.

    • steve
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Then you’ll be in for disappointment Ian. This ‘deal’ was the result of lack of vision and lack of guts.

      That said, our full sovereignty and nation prowess IS still achievable. It will take a lot of hard work and belief that ‘we can’ – to coin Obama’s famous phrase.

      We’re British, we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.

      The EU led by france is going to play hard ball during the next five years. We need to stand up to them, and be seen doing so by other nations. Eyes will be upon us and we have to lead the way to encourage the EU’s demise.

      At home we have to put woke-ism & PC in the rubbish bin where it belongs. The usual snowflake & remainer minority will not be up for the challenge of rebuilding the country and will cry like babies with their rainbow wooly bobble hats and placards – we have to give ’em the elbow.

      It’s difficult to see a conservative government winning the next election – given that we don’t have our maritime resources back and Johnson allowed NI to be annexed by the brave republic hiding behind their rulers in Brussels.

      Not the outcome I expected, but in my opinion it could be regarded as the first step and we should rise to the challenge. We owe this not just to ourselves but also to our old allies that did support us during the negotiations.

      For now I shall put faith in my ex – MP Sir John Redwood to vote according to his conscience. One of the very few who can be relied upon to do so. Whether he says accept or reject the deal, is ok by me.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        1 of 2! They join Rupert Allison MP who heroically abstained on the Maastricht Treaty – the only Tory to do so.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      One can always sell using Imperial measurements but, they had to be accompanied by the Metric, with the Metric having to take precedence.

  13. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    So every time we want to diverge, the pro EU civil service or Ministers will have a quiet word with them, they will object and we will do nothing.

    And when they change again unless we follow they will object. And how is an arbitration group with 10 members of the EU who surely will be just the ECJ in another guise always doing the ‘projects’ bidding be truly independent. Why not the WTO?

    And how is NI continuing under the ECJ independent and what happened to Boris’s assertion of no border etc. The fish you have crumbled on. In five years you will merely agree the current arrangement so faux control.

    Looks like Brino to me, just dressed up in BS and spin as we knew it would be.

    As usual you keep asking questions but accept no answers and are happy to vote for that. So again faux protestation. What happened to the better No deal you kept on about.

    Admit it. Certainly not what a true sovereign country would have to sign up to. Would Canada?

    And finally sold the City out, or at least allowed them to chip off bits of our business something they have always been after,

    Smoke and mirrors as we said would always happen.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      My apologies. I don’t know how to post links.

      Nig 1, posted December 28, 2020 at 6:51am.

      ‘The most consequential politician of his generation’ this is Boris’s world now we all just live in it.”

      Well, this bit was right. But the unbridled nonsense that follows it – and indeed preceded and succeeded it – is really something. I was wrong to think you a troll. Trolls post with intention and a degree of consistency. You are all over the place. You are a berk.

      “Smoke and mirrors as we said would always happen.” Many posters to this site saw this coming. You did not.

      • Nig l
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        It was a quote from the Sunday Times. From the quality of your post probably beyond you.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Hilarious! The one thing you said that was coherent (“Well, this bit was right.”) and it wasn’t even your words. We do need some light relief in these dark times. Thank you for providing an invaluable service 😉

      • steve
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Simeon

        ‘The most consequential politician of his generation’ this is Boris’s world now we all just live in it.”

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

        Not for long. I reckon Johnson will either be booted out or will step down.

        He’s made the Tories unelectable with BRINO, selling out NI and not having the guts to kick the french and EU out of our seas – the acid test by all those who elected this government.

      • steve
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Simeon

        ” You [Nig 1] are a berk. ”

        ==========

        Steady on Simeon, we don’t call each other in that way. Bit below the belt, mate.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          I thought ‘berk’ was pretty mild. Our friend is very free and easy with his insults, and he evidently has no idea whether he’s coming or going. It would be nice to think we’d be rid of Blowers sooner rather than later, but he is a symptom rather than the cause.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I am only going on reports rather than direct knowledge but your post @Nig1 sums up what I have gleaned about this agreement.

      It certainly does not seem like a Canada+ agreement more like a Switzerland-.

      Those who tarred leave voters as racist may soon find out that immigration was not the main motivation for voting leave as freedom of movement does appear to be over yet leavers will still be asking to have even less control by the EU.

    • steve
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Nig 1

      “…..and we will do nothing.”

      Not so. Times are changing and people are waking up to the crap they’re being palmed off with.

      Civil servants and Minsters will in future have to get used to having their collars felt by us and reminded ‘how it works’.

      I think it would be good start for Johnson to fulfil at least one promise and decriminalise the TV licence fee – that would be a great help in routing anti-British elements in the media.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      But Farage says ‘the war is over’ – the deal is fine. And you ‘trust’ Farage…. only the ‘naysayers want to read the words to see what we are signing up to’…

      The only consolation from this latest Boris disaster is that now a majority of British people deserve it! The rest must save themselves – see Ayn Rand.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Maybe he is after a knighthood – so is going to stop causing trouble!

        • Lynn
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          A Peerage. He needs money as he openly says, now the EU has stopped paying him and he is not yet able to draw his (unbelievable) EU pension.
          JR – now we have left, will Kinnock etc still get their EU pension?

      • steve
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Lynn

        The trouble with Mr Farage is that he serves a purpose….then runs away.

        I would anticipate the conservative government continuing, if, and only if…they replace Boris with the likes of IDS, JRM, Bill Cash, David Davis…people of that ilk and they don’t tolerate any french – EU skunkery.

        At the moment I’m putting blind faith in the conservatives to get the future right, and I don’t like it one bit. For me the trust went on Oct 16th.

        One can only hope they have a cunning plan to our advantage, but they’re on thin ice with the voters and they know it.

  14. steve
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    No surprise fishing and NI are still contentious issues. The two have a common point…..macron et al wanting to punish the UK by breaking it up.

    The very brave republic fighting very hard hiding behind their rulers in the EU to have NI annexed.

    And wannabe napoleon – macron throwing his toys out of the pram because he expected all the fish and a big popularity boost, but the opposite happened.

    It’s a classic Johnson fudge, JR. The question is whether we can live with it until other countries leave and the EU fragments.

    Also a question of what party will be in power…..it won’t be the conservatives if they vote for this BRINO.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      “it won’t be the conservatives if they vote for this BRINO”. I would not bet on that Labour under Starmer is in a terrible mess look at his appalling shadow cabinet -hardly any of them can even speak in full coherent sentences let alone do logic, reason or sums. They just mutter things like “Tory Scum” and think they have made a point.

      Who in England wants a Labour/SNP/Libdim/Plaid government ruling them? – Rather few I would have thought.

      But Boris one the deal is through must ditch his green crap and go for cheap energy (at least in policy reality) even if he sticks to the green new deal lunacy in his PR for political (or Queen Carrie) reasons. Though I think there are far more votes in cheap energy than green lunacy anyway myself. Especially outside London and “up North”.

      • steve
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        LL

        Good points +1

        • Hope
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          LL, Johnson first message to EC president he looks forward to working with EU on climate change! First word to Biden he looks forward to working on climate change.

          If the Fake Tories had any sense Johnson would be gone by the end of next week. Alas all congratulating this morning. They cannot even see their self destruction, even though the next act on to destroy our way of life and economy is Hancock!
          Unemployment among the under 25s is rocketing. SMS businesses like Pubs closing by the thousands. I see no future for Fake Tory party.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            Fine if it is only talk for political expediency but if he is serious he has certainly gone mad and should go.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Nothing would cause anybody ‘up north’ to vote Tory again. Me included.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I gather Southern Ireland is interfering in NI , they are offering to pay for NI students to participate in Erasmus and other schemes. This is a gross interference by one state into another, but as we have seen with border control and other things, the British establishment can rarely be stirred to defend our country.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Just wait until you see what the European Union offers the people of the UK, over the heads of their government and on an individual, personal basis.

        Guy Verhofstadt’s plan is still live.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Why do you think other countries will leave?

      Other members either benefit from subsidies or a trade surplus. There is no reason for them to leave as the arrangement works for them (most ignore rules they do not like). The UK is the only member who pays in net and buys more than it sells.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Yes, it’s the only country with an electorate daft enough to elect governments like Thatcher’s, hell bent on destroying materially productive industry simply because most of those who worked in it voted Labour.

        So of course the country now has to import the stuff.

        But hey, the Tory talons are sunk deep into office, and that is all that matters.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Productive but loss making.
          It was customers who bought elsewhere not Governments that led to closures of some industry.

          PS
          Are we to think you would gave kept all the coal mines open?
          Bearing in mind customers were moving to be using other fuels and a desire for clean air was important.

          • hefner
            Posted December 31, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

            Edward2: Have you recently taken up Socratic Maieutic 101?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            You are being too cryptic hef.
            Not everyone is as clever as you.

  15. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    And in other news it is alleged that bureaucracy is preventing tens of thousands of ex medics signing up to vaccinate people apparently 21 pieces of evidence are required.

    And your famous letters this time on Nightingale hospitals go unanswered so ‘useless’?

    So more unnecessary deaths. How thick does ones skin have to be not to be embarrassed and in denial re blame?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Why don’t you just consult the ONS figures to quell your terror?
      Nightingales are no more…not needed. ( How many £££££s wasted?).
      The govt has apparently ( and I can’t work out which side it is actually on) bent over backwards to appease the unions …to no avail.
      We have a wrecked economy and hugely powerful Marxist ( sorry!) unions flexing their muscles, revealing that they have FAR too much power.
      They seem to be desperate to stop Brexit!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        Do you really want just anyone jabbing you?
        TV pics of no swab, naked hand squeezing arm after arm, through open car windows prior to injecting.
        They claim pre swab not necessary.
        Pre MRSA they claimed hand washing was a thing of the past!
        The sense of “emergency” has wiped all sense away.

        • graham1946
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Pre swab is not necessary. My flu jab has not been pre swabbed for donkeys years. For blood samples etc. yes, but for a micro needle delivering a drug deep into a muscle, no.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

            Flu and pneumonia jabs this year swabbed and re swabbed and dressed.
            But then…that was not at a save-on-the- supplies NHS outfit.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Well injecting someone in an arm or tummy is really quite simple. But I suppose a few people will have severe allergic reactions to this vaccine and may need access to prescription allergy drug and medical care close to hand if they do.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            Apparently vaccine venues have to have anaphylaxis management protocol in place. Not sure where that leaves the drive through setups…assuming they actually exist.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    So a Rory Bremner hoax call impersonating John ERM Major may have kept the fool in power. Leaving the country to suffer this dreadful leader for nearly 4 more years and under the appalling EU for 26 more years.

    Is there a crime of “perverting the course of parliament”? Similar to “perverting the course of justice” that could be used against this appalling “crime”? I assume not as rather too many MPs would also be guilty of it. Theresa May, Philip Hammond, Gauke and the rest of the Benn act traitors for example.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, it’s absolutely side-splitting.

      Well done Rory!

  17. Yossarion
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Why does your boss still drive around in an official car with a EU flag on the number plate?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Take note, normal folk.

      This poster believes seriously that he has seen something important.

  18. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    And in other news Trades Description Officers are demanding the Tories changes their name to the Conservative and non Unionist party.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Non Unionist. Would that really be such a bad thing? The way the Scots are creating at the moment it wouldn’t bother me one bit if they cleared off.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      or even ‘Conservative and Dead Men Walking’?

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    This “European Union ( Future Relationship) Bill” will almost certainly pass but doesn’t it then have to be ratified by the EU sometime in February?
    Does that leave a lot of time for shenanigans?
    How odd it would be if EU hesitancy plus newly converted “No Dealers/let’s screw the tories” actually brought about a No Deal in the end.
    Unlikely …but a thought maybe?

  20. Len Peel
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Brexit’s done! Our services sector shut out of its biggest market, tariffs if the UK doesnt follow EU rules, N.I. Stuffed, fish surrendered, well done Brexiters, this is what you wanted right?

    • Oggy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      NO !

    • Richard1
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      except that it doesn’t say any of those things. Bad luck.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Oh for Christ’s sake Len shut up!! NO, no, no, it’s not what Brexiteers wanted and you know it. We have this because remainers made life so difficult for everyone. We have had 4.5 years of this crap and all because of sly cretins who continually tried to overturn the democratic vote to LEAVE and not to have a stupid agreement where we have neither left or remained. Thanks a lot!!! It is you lot that we have to blame. Comprenez vous?

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        ‘Je comprends tres bien’, and I think that for far too long you have not been facing the real problem. Your usual recriminations about remainers were childish at best, idiotic most of the time. That is unfortunately a deeply ingrained characteristic of the English, they are the best in the world, whatever they do is world-beating, everything that does not fill their expectations (most of the time puffed up by what might be characterised as one of the worst media environment in ‘the West’) can never be anything they are responsible for. So any problem had to be because of or linked to Remoaners, Civil Serpents, EU bureaucrats, never to low-quality politicians or to an electorate that has over the years be taught to take ‘vessies pour des lanternes’ (Comprenez-vous cela, hein?).

        The Conservative Parliamentary Party got rid of most of their remainer MPs before the last GE. The last UK-EU discussions were carried out by practically a 100% Leaver Cabinet and Government with (against?) the EU negotiating team.

        My take on this is that the agreement signed on 24 December is bad in a non negligible number of aspects, but the series of Brexit secretaries, then later Lord Frost have been shown repeatedly to be of an inferior calibre to the EU negotiating people, so no surprise there with the final result.

        A possible conclusion to this sad saga is that the UK has got what it deserves given the overall quality of its people.
        If you want to prove you are sooooo good, stop moaning, and actually do something less vacuous than spending your time venting your spleen on this blog. I guess there are plenty of things worth doing in your community.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 1, 2021 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          Practically a 100% leaver cabinet – this is simply NOT TRUE Hefner, I took the time to fact check members of the cabinet:
          1. Matt Hancock was a remainer;
          2. Liz Truss was a remainer,
          3. Robert Buckland was an ardent remainer before the 2016 referendum;
          4. Ben Wallace supported the UK remaining within the European Union (EU) prior to the 2016;
          5. Oliver Dowden opposed Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum;
          6. Theresa Coffee voted remain;
          7. Robert Jenrick was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.
          8. Alok Sharma has already declared his support for the “In” campaign, so another remainer
          9. Shapps was opposed to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union prior to the 2016 referendum and voted Remain.
          10. Simon Hart voted Remain in the 2016 European Union referendum;
          11. Gavin Williamson voted Remain in the 2016 referendum;
          So more than half voted remain.
          And Before that in Theresa May’s Cabinet, only 7 of the 30 ministers around the Cabinet table had backed Brexit in 2016,

          • Hope
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            ATracey, you are correct. For someone like Hef to patronisingly look down his nose on a regular basis asking for facts and facts in advance he has made a real faux pas. The hint of French to portray intelligence was devastatingly lost. I think it was a shot in both feet.

            Should we anticipate an apology in advance?

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes, Hope, you should and can. Proof? I apologise in advance for what I will not be able to read [without going into patronising (French or otherwise) remarks] from a number of the contributors on this blog. Happy now?

    • graham1946
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      No, it’s what the EU wanted and as our ‘friends and partners’ imposed. We should have walked away when it was suggested, but politicians always take the line of least resistance.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      No it’s what you Remainers lead by Remainer Boris wanted.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Can I remind you Len that the referendum ballot paper said remain or leave? There was no mention of the things you mention. So don’t blame the voters.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely – so no one whatsoever can claim that any post-exit arrangements are a denial of the referendum result.

        So why must you keep doing this?

  21. Bob Dixon
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    What state ,will the seas around our coast be in ,in 66 months time?

    • graham1946
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Like the Med, unless we grow a pair and limit the activities there. Don’t hold your breath. On the other hand the Continentals eat tons more fish than we do, so if they kill the fishing grounds they will have to go without and that won’t please them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the EU countries fishing in UK waters have little incentive not to wreck them over these months.

  22. Mike Wroe
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Is this deal damaging for the city and our financial services? If falling bank share prices is anything to go by, the answer must be yes. This is worrying.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry about a single day’s trading. The banks have the ability to produce fabulous profits in a very short time. They are just being marked down to create buying opportunities. It’s what they do every day.

  23. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I notice you didn’t mention the elephant in the room – immigration. Having been blatantly lied to for many years about “reducing immigration” will we just get more of the same – or will the govt actually DO something about stopping the taxpayer funded REWARD system for people who come here illegally ( telling lies or committing crime to ensure they can’t be deported ) – and those who come here to live off our taxes and do/contribute NOTHING – and yes I do mean a REWARD system. Deport foreign criminals – no matter WHAT they claim they’ll face back home. Do NOT reward them with asylum for destroying innocent people’s lives here.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Reported this morning that no benefits are payable for 5 years.

    • MWB
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      They will first have to remove the pro immigration judges from their comfortabe benches, and put the immigration lawyers out of business.

    • SM
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Perhaps, if all the above forecasters of doom are correct (irrespective of their stance on the Deal), we will see people emigrating in their thousands back to Europe and beyond?

      So, watch out for the market in second-hand rubber dinghies to inflate….(sorry, couldn’t resist it).

  24. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I can just hear the conversation.

    Minister. ‘ Humphrey I don’t want to sign this, it is not in our national interest’

    Humphrey. ‘ I think you should Minister or else the EU won’t invite you to all those fine dinners and might throw a bag of flour at us’

    Oh very well then. Just this once.

  25. George Brooks.
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Points 1, 2, and 3 are vital and I would suggest your article is read in conjunction with the summary prepared by ERG’s Star chamber of legal advice. The deal is not perfect by a long chalk but it is an excellent effort and a good foundation upon which to base our future relationship with the EU.

    It will require a strong government with a clear understanding of business and commerce and an ambition to develop our trade around the world.

    Stand by for a flood of mis-information and distorted views from those who have little ambition and wish to talk this country down. A sad bunch

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      It will require a strong government with a clear understanding of business and commerce and an ambition to develop our trade around the world.

      Well, we can forget that then.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      “a strong government with a clear understanding of business and commerce and an ambition to develop our trade around the world”

      This sounds very unlikely – we have not had one of those in my lifetime!

  26. None of the Above
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I agree with your assertions Sir John.
    As mentioned in the advice given by the ERG legal team, the NI Protocol still applies which means that the consent of the people of NI are required for the terms of the protocol to continue in four years time. Following alleged decisions made at the Joint Committee, lets see how things go.
    Pulling up the drawbridge to our EEZ would have denied access by UK boats to EU waters and I doubt that they would have been able to take advantage of 100% of TAC at the moment. Now we have 5 years plus to build a better future for the industry.
    I believe that pragmatism provides more stable opportunities than ideology.
    If the pragmatism of waiting 4 or 5 years doesn’t pan out then the nuclear option of 12 months notice is available.
    As the ‘Star Chamber’ suggest, it’s up to the Government to be robust.

  27. None of the Above
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    I chose my rather negative username in the dark days between the referendum and the GE in December 2019. If things turn out as I hope in 2021 and the right changes are made to policy and the statute book I will change it to something much more positive.
    My fingers are crossed.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      don’t hold your breath.

    • Iago
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Try ‘Nothing Above’.

  28. Tabulazero
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Sovereignty in theory is not the same thing as sovereignty in practice and you are right to point out that the so-called star chamber analysis only focuses on the first and not the second.

    The true test of sovereignty is whether the UK has won after four years of strife the ability rather than simply the right to meaningfully diverge from the corpus of EU Law ?

    The answer to this question is obviously no thanks to the following things:

    *An absolute lack of any meaningful provision for the trade in services which represent 80% of what the UK exports to Europe. This treaty covers only what the EU wants which is the trade in goods.

    * No push back from the UK’s part on the EU only offering short-term equivalence for financial services. This equivalence can be withdrawn for whatever reason the EU sees fit and with only one month notice. The UK could have played the card of its deficit in trade goods to get something but it did not which is a huge missed opportunity.

    * The UK committing to not regressing on the EU acquis (no bonfire of EU red tape here)

    * The EU retaining the right to cross retaliate by imposing tariffs which as a threat will suffice to intimidate a weak-willed PM.

    * The treaty getting revised every four years thus making sure the UK is locked in permanent negotiations with the EU. That’s how the EU will get the UK to dynamically align itself.

    * The establishment a host of joint-bodies and talking-shops staffed with EU and British civil servants which in practice will decide outside of public view how the provisions of this treaty gets implemented. The devil is always in the details and with people of the same world an “understanding” is always possible.

    * The continued involvement of the ECJ in Northern Ireland by virtue of the Withdrawal Agreement. This means that the further the UK diverge from Europe, the harder the border in the Irish sea. Which Prime Minister wants to bring closer Irish reunification. In practice, the shadow of the ECJ rather than the ECJ itself will continue to loom large over the UK.

    You should be under no illusion that with this treaty, the following sentence will be pronounced time and time again in the halls of power of Westminster:

    “… but Prime Minister, have you thought about the implication of your decision on the City’s equivalence for financial services ?”

    Finally, the fact that Angela Merkel, Michel Barnier, Ursula Von der Leyen, Emmanuel Macron, the very quiet French fishermen or an arch-European Federalist such as myself all like this deal very much because it neatly parks the UK in the EU’s regulatory orbit for ever… that in itself should tell you something.

    You might not like me very much but I am a very honest person and if you support this deal, let me warn you that you better come up with some good arguments as to why you prefer it over a no-deal Brexit after all the arguments you have put forward over the years.

    Reply I was the one MP who consistently defended a No deal Brexit. I did not vote for this Agreement.

  29. Robert Bywater
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    ” … much bigger UK fleet of trawlers …” – yes, and as you have said before: built in British yards. Using modern technology in ship design and construction and “eco-friendly” (dare I say it).

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      You can’t invest, build, man, train and tender a fleet on the off chance you might win a small quota of limited fish some time in the future. No business investment could be planned along those lines …..After 5.5 years the French will be asked to continue their fishing quota as no other fleet has come forward

  30. BJC
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    We’ve witnessed how keen Parliament/HOL were to exercise their sovereign powers when debating and voting on the IMB. We’ve also looked on aghast at an Opposition with a penchant for abstaining and a willingness to accept, unconditionally, unseen terms designed to lay the foundation for our future. It’s, therefore, worrying that much of this “Association Agreement” masquerading as a trade deal is dependent on UK governments being robust in defending our sovereignty; a fundamental status automatically accepted under WTO.

    We’ve given up a huge amount for just (circa) 9% of businesses and <8% GDP and guaranteed to drop further. It's particularly disappointing that nothing more than a sop has been offered over fishing, ensuring another 5.5 years of haggling over something that's already lawfully ours. Post 2026 arrangements for EU access are non-existent and a cap on our own expansion has been introduced in the interim, i.e. it's another extension and, of course, the EU will ensure it takes us through another GE, when "corporate memory" will be dimished by new parliamentary entrants, benefiting them.

    Anyway, it's good news that the AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved, which should simplify and speed up the process and I hope the government will soon be reporting the quiet success of protection rates, not the hysteria of infection rates.

    • Dennis
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I have read that vaccine approval is not the end of the matter – it needs ‘registration’ (whatever that involves) to be considered safe to use and that can take years.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      The plan was always to drag this out until we either lost interest and just wanted to get it done at any cost and / or, something else came along to occupy our minds.

  31. alastair harris
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    You actually pose an interesting question. Not is the UK sovereign, but rather will the UK
    EXERCISE that sovereignty. I would imagine I am not the only one to be cynical about this!

    The question of tariffs is surely now settled and under international law there is no room for the EU to wriggle.

    What will be interesting will be to see how the world reacts to an EU without UK influence. Particularly in the world of law and regulation. The continental approach to commerce and regulation for example is hardly cohesive.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      You will apparently only be satisfied by an overt display of aggressive hostility towards our neighbours.

      Give us an example, and what you would expect to happen in return?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Where do you get that strange conclusion from Martin?

        Alastair never said anything about wanting “overt displays of aggressive hostility towards our neighbours”

        Are making stuff up again?

    • bill brown
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Alastair Harris

      When we broke the treaty with the suggestions on the Internatl Market bill we ruined our own reputaiton very well

  32. wab
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    “A bad deal is worse than no deal.” How many times have we heard that?

    Any Brexiter who votes for this agreement is a BINO (Brexiter in Name Only).

    I hope that all the BINOs will finally accept responsibility for their actions. (But they never do, it’s always someone else’s fault.)

    Johnson sold out N.I.

    Johnson sold out the fishing industry.

    Johnson sold out the country.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      All the possible deals are bad ones compared with membership.

      Bad is a relative terms.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Interesting. It seems we have a landing area for a compromise. The act itself is BRINO, but the actors legislating it are BINOs. Mark B, Nick C and others for BINO (not in favour of BRINO itself, but rather the term for it), can we make a deal here? Can we manage to solve a seemingly intractable, though in fact blessedly simple, problem in four and a half days rather than four and a half years?

      (With apologies to anyone that reads the above as surrealist nonsense.)

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      IDS has just said that this bad (any) deal is better than a no deal

      • Mark B
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        glen

        Party before country, and commonsense as well it seems.

  33. Tad stone
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I, for one, gave up on the EU years ago. I buy local produce, including great cheeses and wines, don’t holiday in the EU. Covid has accentuated this. We don’t need the EU, and anyone who thinks we do is deluded.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Tell that to the CBI and it’s corporates, Tad stone.

  34. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    So the government (with the Oxford vaccine) have decided to advance single doses for more people ahead of doing the second dose (just as I suggested here several weeks back and later also suggested by Tony Blair).

    They are also surely wasting their time (and the vaccine) in giving it people who have certainly had it. Furthermore they should give it to men at a rather earlier age than women to reflect the different gender risks. This latter rather obvious point will clearly save lives and save the NHS. Or to put it more bluntly will kill if not done. (assuming that the vaccine is indeed safe enough and does work). Probably more lives than died at Grenville by this simple rational decision. But perhaps politicians prefer to keep this anti-male discrimination to be retained?

    Perhaps they will finally wake up on these issues too – eventually?

    • hefner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      You are really getting scared, aren’t you?

  35. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    We’ve had this course of negotiations, which appear set to be accepted by all, especially as the EU like it, which can never be a good thing. — but we haven’t explored the subject of this ‘level playing field’. There is far more we need to learn about that as well as the side deals that were detailed seperately.

    We also learn that there are other negotiations due to start up in June, hinted at by the ex-finance minister of Greece…. Just what else do we to talk to the EU about?

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Services, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar. Also outlawing the marine degrading predators from our fishing waters. Perhaps we don’t need to talk to the EU about that last – we may be able to just do it by legislating ourselves.

  36. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I am no lawyer, so must defer to those on the ERG and elsewhere but our membership of the EU did not work for us due to our adherence to the minutiae of the rules (even leaving was made more difficult as we gold plated the procedure).

    That your ERG lawyers tell us there are provisions in this agreement for fishing, divergence and leaving gives me small comfort. We will not use them, we didn’t as members so we are unlikely to as non-members.

    I assume we no longer pay the tribute, freedom of movement is toast and we can trade with whomever we choose. Very small return for the annexation of part of our United Kingdom, just ask Crimea.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Sir John,

      A diary entry from you listing the material gains of this deal would be worthwhile

      Reply That is for the government to do

      • Simeon
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Very droll!

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      The full rules of alignment of VAT remain in Northern Ireland due to NIP

      Do VAT rules change in the rest of the UK on the 1st Jan – whats happens to the 20% of VAT collected that we remit to the EU ??? Do we continue to send it, does the UK keep it or is the VAT going to be reduced by 20%

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Will many companies be able to afford to pay over the VAT after this pointless and damaging lockdown?

  37. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I would wish for a General Election. I would want to punish those that disrespected the referendum. Punish those that kept us a colony of the EU.

    Unfortunately, for me in Wokingham such a protest would be lashing out at an MP that appears to be onside.

    In reality we need we need a revolution, and start again on the premise of having ‘Government by the People for the People’. Something our political structure doesn’t recognise and will fight against while using what passes off as a legitimate process.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Ian. We need to get rid of our entire parliament and start again. There should be stiff legal penalties for any politician that does not respect the democratic will of the people, or is engaged in the subversion of the democratic process.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately Ian, living in Wokingham constituency as I do, we may feel the need to mark our horror at successive Conservative Governments. In order to deliver ‘ the glove slap in the face’ to the Party and its activities for far too many years, our undeserving host might have to share the pain.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        At some point the company you keep will catch up with you. That might sound harsh, but I don’t think it’s unfair, just reality.

        • full moon loon
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Too right. However one can change and redeem oneself.

    • Ed M
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Revolutions never work. Revolutions are just about passions. Passions need to be reigned in by thinking and ideas.

      We need a vision what it means to be British and patriotic. Important as fishing is, patriotism goes far, far beyond that.

      And we need a traditional Greco-Roman / Judaeo-Christian vision of what patriotism is as opposed to a view based on the secular, modern world that doesn’t know whether it is coming or going – and in chaos right across the Western World and beyond.

      • Ed M
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts’ – Marcus Aurelius

        ‘Strong minds discuss ideas’ – Socrates

        It’s ultimately about IDEAS not passions. And how to thoughtfully implement those ideas.

        Lastly, just been reading about Cyrus the Great – his whole philosophy was the same as well.

        We need more of our leaders engaging in the thinking of our great Greco-Roman / Judaeo-Christian leaders of the past (Cyrus was Persian but hugely respected and loved by the Jews at the time, and later, by the Greeks, Romans and Christians).

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I’m with you on the revolution, but government for the people by the people is problematic. I value my liberty too much to be dictated to by a majority of my countrymen, or even dictated to by the largest minority, or even by a tiny minority that somehow end up ‘representing’ a supposed majority.

    • SM
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      But supposing my People disagree viscerally with what your People want to do once in Government after your Great Reset, Ian?

    • Duyfken
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      “… appears to be onside”! I suggest you might be a good deal more magnanimous, and grateful, than that. SirJR has been a rock and with a handful of others has been instrumental in achieving our independence. He has my many thanks.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      The vote at the last election was only lent to this government to achieve one thing BREXIT….its only fair, just and responsible to call a GE now that that goal is achieved

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        So has the Brexit goal been achieved or not? Given Ian’s or James’ comments I doubt they agree with your statement.

        A GE in the coming months? Good luck with that. Even if Johnson were to be replaced by another Conservative as PM, the next GE is very likely not to be called before May 2024.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      ian

      But what of your Councillors ? 😉

  38. Nivek
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “taking proper control of our fish in 2026”

    So the Tory leadership can order our people to stay at home in 2020, but it cannot take proper control of our fish for a full decade after the People’s Vote.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I didn’t realise fish could get covid.

  39. ChrisS
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    It will be essential that Boris continues his policy of putting MPs who were Leavers or others who have embraced Brexit and are now committed to making a success of it, in the majority of Government jobs.

    The Civil Service is riddled with Europhiles from top to bottom and none of the Remainers in industry and business have gone away. They are not going to make a road-to-Damascus conversion towards making our new future as successful as we all know it could be.

    In short, the huge numbers of Remainers in positions of influence inside and outside the government machine will be acting like Communist fifth columnists, doing everything they can to keep us very closely aligned with Brussels in the hope that our progress will be limited and a future Labour Government coalition will have an excuse to take us back in.

    In its report, Bill Cash’s Star Chamber said that our new-found sovereignty is safe and there is nothing in the agreement that is worrying for a ROBUST British Government. That, of course, means only a Conservative one that is led by a Brexiteer.

    Boris has three years to make the levelling-up agenda a visible success, invest in Brexit-leaning areas of business, of which free ports and fishing are but two examples, to demonstrate real progress and rebuild the economy after Covid.

    Before the next General Election he also needs to introduce the boundary changes that are so long overdue.

  40. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The European Union’s chief negotiator has hailed the signing of the post-Brexit trade deal following four years of “extraordinary negotiation”.

    Each person played their part in building European unity. Thank you!
    — Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) December 30, 2020

    There you have it the EU stays intact and Boris and his followers capitulates to a full BRINO. The Political Class united against its People!

  41. Stred
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The document on p. 272/2 requires that, in order to ban industrial pulse fishing, the specialist committee has to be consulted. Presumably, this will consist of citizens of the EU countries which use pulse fishing. Is this correct?

    • Stred
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Looking at p271 on to 274, the legalise seems to imply that just about everything has to be arbitrated by a committee which arbitrates on the nature of the committee. There will be no such thing as a minister taking a decision. Sir Humphrey wins.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Good work.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 31, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          +1

    • Garden
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Of course it is correct. A committee here, an arbitration there. This is not Brexit, it does not ensure decisions about the UK are taken by and in the UK. We all are asking why our host voted for it.

      Reply I did not vote for the Bill today.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply – – -backed out by abstaining, or bravely against?

  42. Oggy
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    So we have to get the EU’s permission to be a sovereign nation ? isn’t that an oxymoron?

    The EU agrees we can be sovereign as long as we follow their rules. How is that being an independent nation ?

    The EU tells us how much of our own fish we can have. How is that being an independent nation ?

    The EU have hived off NI economically from the rest of the UK, how is that being an independent nation ?

    No deal is better than a bad deal and this is a bad deal. This deal is BRINO, it’s a surrender treaty to the EU – it’s no wonder they are so happy. If VDL says it’s fair you can be sure it’s NOT.

    When you pass this bill and you will the Tories will lose the red wall and will lose the next GE. In short the Tories are toast.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      To believe some even want to have a working relationship with the EU Commission, these are nasty, nasty people.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Nasty = “Foreign”

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and they have hairy fingers.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree with everything you say. The only thing which will save the Tories at the next election is the dire position Labour hold on the EU in that they would take us back in in a heartbeat if they could should they ever get into power again which would be an even bigger betrayal than Johnsons. We desperately need an alternative to the Labour Party and the party calling itself Conservative.

  43. Newmania
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Great deal
    They have unlimited tariff free entry to the UK where they have an advantage and a large interest as well as continued access to UK`s security and anti terrorism when they want it . We are locked out of services where we had a vast interest and we even gave up on fishing.
    Nothing prevents them from applying any tariff they like as none of this has any legal foundation outside itself.
    Never in the field of human stupidity has so much stupidity been inflicted on so many by so few
    Just please if you can get absolutely nothing lese right get the vaccine rolled out pronto.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      well you obviously haven’t read even the summaries let alone the treaty. Tariffs can only be imposed by either side (and then only proportionally), after independent arbitration confirming a breach allows it.

      we are not ‘locked out’ of services – where did you read that?!

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      They have got the vaccine program rolled out what are you talking about, we have been much faster than your beloved EU? I don’t see vaccinating people such a big massive challenge, get pharmacists to do it, they’re local, experienced, they are very easy to get appointments with for the flu jab or holiday jab requirements.

      This new varient, this new varient, how was it allowed to come in? How many people came here from South Africa why wasn’t it identified earlier, have we now banned flights? France’s tests showed 17% more people infected than we died, this is all slightly weird. Is this the people arriving in rubber dingies, don’t we have the right to know who is infected, we’re all being fully locked down again now for this, who is spreading it.

  44. Freeborn John
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The reality is that any British government is likely to conclude that the benefit of diverging from a specific EU law is not worth the widespread impact of lunatics tariffs that the EU will threaten. Therefore while we are theoretically sovereign in practice we won’t be and will dynamically align with EU. This will be confirmed if this government does not bring any legislation forward to diverge from EU law and made crystal clear the first time the EU changes it’s law.

    While it is encouraging that the EU has reportedly withdrawn its threat that all goods passing from Gb->NI are “at risk” or entering the Republic we still need to see what has actually been agreed by Michael Gove. We also need to see if the U.K. will agree to a formal link between British and EU parliaments as this be a strong signal that the U.K. intends to dynamically align with EU law.

    While this is not the worst deal we could have had, it is still worse than trading with the EU on WTO terms and should be rejected.

  45. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It seems we are under this deal sovereign only in theory.

    To achieve self government and true independence we must pass laws to achieve it in practise. This will be used by opponents to our leaving to keep us tied and get us back in under full EU control. They will stall, object and make all manner of trouble, and we all know who they will be.

    If law changes don’t come forward immediately thick and fast and are pushed through with courage and determination it will all have been a total waste of time and a massive betrayal which will deserve punishment.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Boris has an 80 seat majority. These Conservatives stood on Brexit platforms, if they go against the wishes of the people that elected them then they’ll go the same way as Soubry, Sandbach, and others.

  46. agricola
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Question, in the next five years what control do we have over EU fishing fleets. Can we for in stance:-
    Define and control the number of EU fishing boats .
    Can we control what they catch by species, size and quantity.
    Can we control the methods they use to fish.
    Is the EU fishing remit fixed for five years to 2026 or is it on an annual diminishing scale.
    Is there a defined distance they must be from our coast before they can cast their nets.
    After 2026 does their fishing in UK waters cease or is it subject to further negotiation.

    When the above is nailed down and published I and all our fishing industry will know exactly the circumstances in which their industry can move forward.

  47. Stephen Reay
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Boris’s new fishing deal is poor , and it won’t be forgotten by the fishing regions and the Red wall regions he managed to win over . As a result of a poor deal for the fishermen the conservatives will lose the next general election . We should have had the lion’s share of our fish in our waters , the least we should have had was to stop the EU from fishing in or 6 to 12 miles waters, and to stop factory ships and fishing by means of electrocution.

    The people can see right through this and so can conservative MP’s , but they’ll go along with it. After 5 years if we want more of our own fish we have to compensate EU fishermen, really! Some deal, some fish.

  48. formula57
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    So the struggle against the quislings and the remoaners they manipulate is set to last for years and years then?

  49. ChrisS
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Watching the first hour of the debate in Parliament, I was struck at the characteristically-ludicrous behaviour of Ian Blackford.

    Why this man should break the Covid rules by travelling from the Isle of Skye to Westminster is a serious question when most contributions to the debate are going to be satisfactorily accomplished via Zoom. It cannot be classed as “an essential journey”.

    Blackford’s interruptions today were even more clearly than normal, aimed at pushing the SNP’s Independence agenda rather than any sensible contribution to the debate. It is the most breathtaking act of hypocrisy for the SNP to criticise the deal over fishing, when their vowed intention is to rejoin the EU and its Common Fishing Policy, and hand back Scottish fishing waters straight back to the EU !

    • Fred H
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Why? Simple answer: Ego! -desperate to get in front of cameras, on newspapers etc.
      Sees himself as next SNP leader… In his thrill to be summoned to speak, oftentimes it just becomes verbal effluent.

  50. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    When every politician (IDS latest) starts ‘it’s not perfect but’ you know it’s rubbish. Gove used exactly those words to justify the Chequers Agreement.

  51. glen cullen
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Today is a farce

    Sir Keir Starme MP leader of the labour party said that its better to vote for this deal (any deal) rather than no deal

    In a nutshell it make a mockery of democracy and a travesty of our political system….the HoC Speaker should have stopped the proceedings due to lack of debate time

    What of sovereignty indeed

  52. glen cullen
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    If we went WTO there would be no question of our sovereignty….just think about that

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      You clearly haven’t thought about it at all.

      The UK would be bound by rules over which it had far, far less influence than it did over those defining its erstwhile membership of the European Union.

      You don’t have any sense of irony at all, do you?

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        Having analysed the WTOs schedules I haven’t read anywhere in any of their publications that you have to give a quota of your water territory to another country nor land territory to another jurisdiction to satisfy conditions of membership

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 31, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          Well the UK has given over plenty of its land to the US, to use as they wish for their military escapades launched from these islands.

          You don’t seem bothered about that though, do you?

  53. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    May has just claimed in the Commons her deal was a better one. Strewth.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      at first I thought she was trying to go incognito…

  54. Andy
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    We have been a sovereign country for my entire life – and for hundreds of years before that. But sovereignty is only any good if you use it to do the right things.

    And for most of my life I’ve lived under Conservative governments – always elected by a minority – who have always used sovereignty poorly. They have sold off our country’s assets to foreigners. They have allowed veterans to end up homeless on the streets. They have failed do build sufficient homes for our young. Failed to pay adequate pensions to our old. They have not invested enough in our NHS so patients cannot be treated quickly enough. And they haven’t controlled our borders.

    I am in my mid 40s. I vote in every election – local, mayoral, general. I have never in my life voted for a candidate who has won. That is not a democracy. In a democracy your candidate can win sometimes. Not never. We are effectively a Tory failed one party state. The people in Westminster are the ones to blame for your problems.

    All the things that have worked well during my lifetime have come from the EU. I always voted in European elections – and, unlike in Westminster, I always had someone to represent me in the European Parliament. The EU has given me free and frictionless trade, powerful workers and consumer rights, peace and prosperity, a commitment to ever improving standards and a proper commitment to the environment and much more. Is the EU perfect? No. But it is a million times better than the Westminster cesspit.

    Our final full day in the transition period is obviously sad. But the Brexiteers have cocked this up so badly that I have zero doubt that we will rejoin before too long. I wish to apologise to our European friends on behalf of this country because we are better than these nasty, sneering, old men have made us. Keep our seat around the table warm – we will be back. But first we must slowly dismantle the corrupt Conservative party and the failed Westminster establishment.

  55. Christine
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    In reply to your three points here is the text taken from the agreement you are signing that stops you doing what you want for the benefit of the UK:

    1) Improve the UK tax and business regime in UK interests

    “Both parties have committed to ensuring a robust level playing field by maintaining high levels of protection in areas such as environmental protection, the fight against climate change and carbon pricing, social and labour rights, tax transparency and State aid, with effective, domestic enforcement, a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for both parties to take remedial measures.”

    We are signing up to a level playing field that Boris promised we wouldn’t.

    We are stuck with all Boris’s climate change nonsense and now we know why he came out with these policies before we saw this agreement that binds us to them in law.

    2) Fishing

    “The EU and the UK agreed on a new framework for the joint management of fish stocks in EU and UK waters. The UK will be able to further develop British fishing activities, while the activities and livelihoods of European fishing communities will be safeguarded, and natural resources preserved.”

    Tell me how we can give British fishermen extra quotas and set up more processing here but still maintain the livelihoods of European fishing communities and protect the fish stocks?

    3) Northern Ireland

    “The Withdrawal Agreement remains in place. The UK has agreed to withdraw the contentious clauses of the UK Internal Market Bill, and will not introduce any similar provisions in the Taxation Bill.”

    NI might not be mentioned in the so-called trade deal but the WA remains in place and you are agreeing to not reintroduce the clauses that protect it. We still haven’t seen Gove’s solution.

    I spent ages reading the agreement two days ago and pulled out some of the bear pits as I saw them but my post is still stuck in moderation.

    At least it has a 12 month get out of jail clause so when the EU constantly stops our parliament implementing new laws you can pull the plug on it. Of course, they will already know their limitations and will avoid confrontation. I don’t expect this Government to improve anything.

    Sovereignty! I don’t think so.

    Reply I did not vote for this Agreement

    • Christine
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for not voting for it. If only more MPs had actually read it and not listened to Boris’s spin.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Christine

      When your post comes out of moderation please let me and others know.

      • Christine
        Posted January 1, 2021 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        I expect I’ve been censored because I highlighted the role of Eurojust and the use of the European Arrest Warrant and how British citizens can be extradited for what THEY class as a serious crime. One of which is very subjective and impacts on free speech in my opinion.

  56. BW
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    So will we be able to get rid of the Yuman rights act. and the many lawyers milking millions to keep Britain’s enemies in comfort.

  57. glen cullen
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Not one MP has started their speech by saying ‘’I’ve read and fully understood the bill before us’’

    I’ve heard every single MP saying its either this or no deal therefore it’s the best of a bad situation – just imagine Churchill saying that during WW2

  58. Andy
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The worst part of today is the utter contempt the Brexiteers have shown for the people.

    If your deal was any good you would have no qualms in letting MPs properly scrutinise it.

    That is their job.

    Instead the most important issue in a generation is being rushed through in 5 hours. MPs have only been able to even see it for 3 days. Complete and utter contempt for the people.

    When we undo Brexit, which one day we will, we will remind you that not one single member of the public voted for this deal. We were never asked about it. No mandate. No scrutiny. Just complete and utter contempt for people and process.

    Reply It is being rushed through because the new trading system is needed on 1 Jan. I agree we needed more time, b ut the late changes of EU position did not allow that.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. all concocted by the government and the EU to make sure that the deal would go ahead. As Keir Starmer said this morning, to vote no would be to leave without a deal which as we know, nobody in parliament really wanted, and to vote yes means there are things we don’t like about it but we have no choice. Perfectly timed and a travesty. Not very honest either but then we have come to expect nothing less from parliament.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      John, you’ve had four-and-a-half YEARS.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        and another 5.5 years to get a mere 25% of the EU stolen fish back.
        You in a hurry, or what?

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Andy, I fully agree, both Tory and Labour MPs have today shown their contempt for the people by allowing this vote today just to satisfy the time-line of Boris

    • Dennis
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      ‘….ut the late changes of EU position did not allow that.’ Was that just a ploy by the EU? They changed their position after 4.5 years? – to whose advantage? Please advise.

    • beresford
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Boris was complicit in running the clock down to the last minute. He was urged again and again to walk away earlier in the year. Some believe that this agreement was reached some time ago and everything since has been pantomime to keep stringing outsiders along until they could be bounced into accepting it.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      John, this time I agree with Andy.

      Leaving everything until the last minute so you feel you have no choice. You are going to charge up the Reform, Time, and other parties to get their acts together by May if you screw this Transfer up and don’t do what Boris’ independence speeches told the public we could do when we Leave and how we would control our own outgoings. If this is just EU associate membership with all the same ties and binds dressed up with money flowing out that this Country needs to feed starving children and put into education in failing areas like Liverpool, Stoke and Manchester and the red wall areas that lent you their votes because they want big change now and the money just still flows out to the EU with restrictions on what we can do your party will really suffer for it (but perhaps the age of most MPs in the current Conservative Party you don’t much mind like Labour when Blair and Brown sold the party down the river with its Scottish devolution and the resulting SNP).

  59. Dennis Zoff
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Nice words John, however…dress it up as you wish, the reality is crushing.

    ERG also “approved” the appalling WD/PD and will now be “approving” the appalling Trade Deal, without rigorous scrutiny. Shameful!

    The Conservatives have failed to deliver a real Brexit, period. I trust and hope the citizens of this great nation will show their outrage demonstrably in local elections and at the next general election.

    This bunch of UK politicians have shown a lack of backbone again, but then should we be surprised, given the mediocrity of those running this country!

    John, you have represented and supported the Conservative party with integrity and commendably tried to do your best for your constituents and the UK population at large…but there is no hiding place for the rest?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I have never pulled any punches when it comes to our MP’s, even our kind host gets an earful from me form time to time. But our MP’s are not the only problem here. We have a Civil Service and and Establishment that is disgustingly Europhile. So Europhile that they openly despise their own people and nation. The odds were always against us and any MP that opposed them.

  60. anon
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This deal is worse than an immediate default to WTO. No doubr default WTO being swiftly improved.

    – The establishment will not exercise sovereignty it is trying to stifle it, as prior +45years of action demonstrate.

    -No immediate exit clause, for any party, minimum 1 year, no doubt delayed.. delayed to enable a referendum to rejoin before even leaving.

    £7bn in net surplus tariffs on imported goods from the EU could be used to grant aid to exporters in the UK. E.G cars and car parts, energy etc
    If you assume we are paying market price prior to WTO, then post WTO price pressure would fall as imports from non-eu would move closer to world prices excluding EU tariff wall.

    An intentionally missed opportunity to cut the Gordian Knot.

    Just wait for the practical consequences of the agreement to manifest or not manifest depending on your viewpoint. NO doubt money will still flow as tribute to EU just called something else.

    All EU state enterprises must divest from UK business. Come on lets see it our independence!

    • hefner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Do you include EU-based pension funds among those that should divest from UK business?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      . . . money will still flow as tribute to EU just called something else.

      This has, I believe, already been arranged by the very pro-EU FCO absorbing the Overseas Aid Budget. This being done better to hide our Governments (sic) embarrassment.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Anon,

      So we can loose more investments from teh EU and Europe which has investged billionsin teh UK over may years, what a a load of nonsense in an interdependent world

      • Edward2
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        They will still invest if the UK provides a good safe return for their investment.

  61. Will in Hampshire
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that on fishing our host goes further than he does on any other industries. Why more boats? Why not more banks? There’s a difference between the legal framework for industries in GB – which are matters for Parliament, government and regulators – and the number and form of participating companies in those industries – which are generally matters for investors and individuals (but not always). What’s the public interest in there being more boats? Should there be state-owned boats if insufficient private investors can be found to fund more boats? Would it be a problem if such private investors were foreigners? There are some wrinkles in the thinking on this subject that could helpfully be smoothed out.

    Reply Because EU regs demolished much of our fishing industry, and a different regulatory framework would allow profitable industry back

  62. anon
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Why not vaccinate now. Before NY celebrations. Get it out now. Why wait till the Jan 4th.

    • hefner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      It would look that ‘thanks to a quirk in the programme’ the initial doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine have been manufactured … in Germany and the Netherlands (inews.co.uk 08/12/2020, 12:01am). So maybe there is a bit of delay given the state of the CrossChannel traffic?

  63. Graham Wheatley
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    A five and a half year wait is not BREXIT. It is BRINO.

    What other timebombs and landmines are within the 1200 pages of that document?
    I am reminded of an RAF selection board paper in which candidates were told “Do not write anything until you have read through the whole paper”. On page 6 was a simple and
    very clear instruction – “Write your name and service number only. DO NOT ANSWER ANY OF THE QUESTIONS. Make no other marks upon the paper”. Those that did not comply were failed.

    MPs (and the ERG) need more time to PROPERLY scrutinise that document before voting upon it.

    As I said to Martin in Cardiff, through your pages a few days ago; I am reminded of the words of Neville Chamberlain – “I have in my hand, a piece of paper…..”. I sincerely hope that that does not turn out to be an omen.

    Regards,
    GW.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Whats the point of MPs or HoC debate if they don’t scrutinise

  64. Roger Phillips
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Sir John
    Are we still going to allow electric pulse fishing and will we be banning the super trawlers from our coastal waters? Surely that would be a huge more to marine conservation.

    • Roger Phillips
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Move*

  65. Colin
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Sovereignty? But let me see- it seems to me that the Agreement we are about to sign and pass in parliament is going to lock us into a forever state of negotiations with the EU- so then where is the freedom- also am afraid taking back control as we were promised doesn’t come near- so why then is the ERG backing it- it doesn’t make any sense

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      You are as the Agreement States free to deviate from EU Laws and Rules, which you will never have a say in creating, but the EU will punish you for the privalaged.

      From the Get-Go leaving the EU’s clutches, was never about trade, it was about Rule. The UK is under a sort of house arrest, try to do what is right for the UK and the UK gets punished. That is a funny sort of agreement between so-called friends and equals.

      Its a bit like getting married and signing a pre-nup contract that states if you don’t jump when I say so, you can walk – but you have agreed I will punish you. The start of a long lasting sharing relationship.

    • Garden
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      We have truly been let down Colin

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      why are our MPs so scared of WTO and real sovereignty

  66. Mark
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    How does this “12 months notice” clause differ from the EU Treaty clause 20?

    We all know how that turned out…

    Reply It is a clean unilateral exit

  67. ChrisS
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Listening to the debate, Caroline Lucas mentioned that she was right to have campaigned, (alongside Starmer and others) for a confirmatory referendum.

    There cannot be much doubt that, had Boris’ deal v No Deal have been put to a vote, it would have been approved. It would also have beaten Remain, had that also been on the ballot paper.

    But, for voters to now be facing another referendum campaign after all this time would be unthinkable.

  68. rose
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Very good pithy speech today. You said everything I wanted you to say.

    Reply Thanks. I had more to say but 3 mins is tough for such a big set of topics.

  69. ChrisS
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, I was very pleased to see that you used part of your 3 minutes in the debate to call for an immediate end to the hugely damaging Pulse fishing and bottom trawling by large European fishing boats, just as I had suggested only yesterday on these pages. Thank You.

    Your points on NI were also a very important contribution.

    I await the response to the questions from the government with great interest. Perhaps you will follow it up with a letter to the Fishing Minister ?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      +1 Agreed

  70. mancunius
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    One of the problems with NI is that too many of your colleagues seem to have zealously internalised the EU’s wishes in the matter. It is so often the case that where concerned citizens can foresee endless fraught international disputes, MPs look forward to agreeable committee lunches in Brussels. I note that the pages of the Agreement seem to promise many of those. One can vividly imagine which MPs will already be pushing themselves forward for these complaisant posts.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      What happens if there is a border in the UK with Scotland? Do England just buckle as we do with Ireland and the common travel area, freedom to vote here, freedom to take our jobs, pay less tax as they don’t pay a graduate tax in England, WEVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS RUBBISH if the Conservatives keep bending and breaking then we’ll have to find someone else to stand up for our rights.

      Ireland got their Independence with more rights than English people to trample through our Country for free no road taxes or road tolls, they can bring their caravans and take land as they need it with Councils bending over to create sites for them wherever they choose, when do English people get that right? Can we just rock in Ireland with our caravans and do we get a right to vote in Southern Ireland now?

      • hefner
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        ‘Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve’.

        And some other ones: ‘Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few’
        ‘Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it’

        All from George Bernard Shaw. Enjoy.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 1, 2021 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          Hefner can you answer my question or are you just going to waffle because you can’t answer me?

  71. Davidindorset
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I have been in favour of Brexit. Unhappy that financial services have no protection, and it would appear we have minimal catch on fish, eg. cod 2%. Seems there are Agreement clauses allowing EU to cut off UK power supplies if we take back fish quotas in 5.5 years, and there will be annual negotiations.e
    Are we sure the Agreement has been read thoroughly before a Parliament agrees, or is this being rushed%?Looks like we are taking back some control only, and leaving some key policy decisions in the hands of the EU

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Well don’t we have five years notice that we must be energy self sufficient by 2025 in the UK?

  72. Christine
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    And so it starts:

    “EU rules mean you will not be able to export the following goods to the EU: chilled minced meat (red meat), chilled meat preparations (for example, raw sausages), minced meat (poultry), poultry and ratite or game bird mechanically separated meat, raw milk from TB herds, ungraded eggs, composite products containing dairy products made from unpasteurised milk (for example, a ready meal topped with unpasteurised cheese).”

    Will we be banning German sausages? Thought not.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Christine do we import any of these products from the EU? Is German sausage sold to us in raw form? Do we have an export market to the EU in these products currently? If so, John what reciprocal action is the government taking? There should be no game playing here. Inform the public immediately and let’s market our home made products in cooking programs in the UK to support our home industries.

      I have always been happy to buy EU products from cars, vans, white goods, pastas, wines, cheese – if there is a silly trade war starting then let it be known.

      • Christine
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I currently buy fresh British sausages, pies and cheeses from Iceland in Spain.

    • hefner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      When I was young (a long time ago), the butcher was not allowed to have pre-minced meat on display. Any customer wanting mince meat expected the butcher to show them the piece of meat and then mince it before them.

      All the types of meat products you detail above would contravene what were good hygiene practices in the ‘60s.
      As for raw milk from TB herds, be my guest, I let you have as much of it as you want …

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        That’s how it was the last time that I bought mince in France.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 31, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          and when was that exactly?

  73. Christine
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    And so it starts:

    The EU has approved the German Pfizer drug but refuses to approve the much cheaper British Oxford vaccine.

    I want to see better source labelling on all goods so that I can buy British where possible.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      More fool them

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Why is this a bad thino Christine more home created vaccine keeping profits in the UK for our use without being accused of holding it up from other Countries? There will be other markets.

      • Christine
        Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Our vaccine is currently being made in Holland. Our Government bought a vaccine production site here in the UK but the new equipment required was stuck in the Government procurement process for over 4 months putting them at the back of the queue. It won’t be delivered for another 5 months. Another example of Government incompetence.

    • hefner
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Precautionary principle: the total number of tests with AZ vaccine is now over 40,000, but made of (at least) three different series performed under slightly/somewhat different conditions. Any scientist worth their salt would ask for 40,000 tests performed under exactly the same conditions.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      All good, but the UK with EU encouragement moved all its production capabilities to the EU. This is the level playing field in action. The UK taxpayer can’t fund advancements in the UK but the EU taxpayer can fund the removal of facilities from the UK. Of course we have a government that supports this

  74. beresford
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Apparently the Government are to substantially increase the interval between first and second doses of the vaccine in order to give more people the first dose quicker, despite the manufacturers warning that there is no evidence of any covid resistance if the vaccine is misused. It’s almost as if it is a box-ticking exercise in which as many boxes as possible must be ticked irrespective of outcome. And Matt ‘Sadly’ Hancock has just applied more ineffective restrictions on swathes of the country, including the counter-productive re-closure of exercise facilities when physical fitness is a factor in covid resistance and reducing the load on the NHS. Hopefully after 1st Jan the forensic analysis skills of the Tory grandees can be applied item by item to force the Government to justify its measures.

    • hefner
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      ‘The forensic analysis skills of the Tory grandees’: like those of Sir William (Cash) recently comparing Alexander BdP Johnson to Pericles and Alexander.

      You must have started your New Year’s libations a bit too early.

  75. Multi-ID
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    With the referendum of 2016 and the unexpected result we dug a hole for ourselves so deep that only a little time four years and drastic action could save us- and so today we see the culmination of the action that had to be taken to rescue the situation. Let us be clear about our circumstance we are in the orbit of the great EU and no amount of clap trap about taking back control or let them go whistle is going to change that. As time goes by we will become quieter calmer and forget about our laws our money our borders all of the old mantras slogans and wonder what it was all about. We are outside now with no say and yet we cannot escape- there is nowhere to escape to

  76. jon livesey
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Most of the negative comments here today could be characterized as the endless search for simple answers to very complicated questions.

    This FTA is very like an FTA. It is very long, very detailed, and involves a large number of compromises.

    But no-one ever wrote an FTA on one sheet of paper. No-one ever wrote an FTA devoid of detail. No-one ever wrote an FTA with no compromise on either side.

    The essence of an FTA is to gain what is more important to you and to concede what is less so. The claim that we could have extracted concessions from the EU with none of our own is just self-important grandiosity.

    And the claim that no-deal would have been better is just people who do not understand their own self interest refusing to accept the advice and guidance of those who do.

  77. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Now that EU-UK trade is going to be tariff free, there is no need for a ‘border in the Irish sea’. There won’t be many freight consignments routed through Northern Ireland on their way to the Republic. Such consignments will normally be routed directly to a Republican port such as Dublin.

  78. Ian
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    WTO is best for us.
    We will not be voting for this half way house.
    We will vote for Farage next year

    Best wishes to you all for 2021

  79. bill brown
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Sovereignty is a loose political phenomena, which has very little value in an interdependent world.

    Waht identifies a nation and its pople is history, culture, values, language and common traditions and not some far flung workd that is much less relavent today called sovereignty.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 31, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      You may think so bill.
      But over the years wars have been fought and many have died to fight for independence and freedom.
      If you want to be part of the United States of Europe well that is your right.
      And I’m sure many in Ealso like that future.
      But the UK has decided to go back to being a sovereign nation.
      For better or for worse.

  • 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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