The government has a plan. Why do Labour claim Parliament is not allowed to debate Brexit?

Most days in the Commons since the referendum the issue of Brexit has come up. There have been several government statements. There has been an Opposition day debate. There have been Questions to each of the 3 leading Brexit Ministers. There have been Questions to the PM. On Monday there will be another all day debate when MPs can range widely, expressing their views on how leaving should be handled and what should be in the negotiations. If the Opposition wanted a vote on sending an Article 50 letter they can have one on any Opposition day they like.

The fact that the Opposition have chosen not to hold a vote on Article 50 implies they accept it and realise the government has to send one. We don’t need lawyers to give MPs the right to talk about or vote on anything they like! It’s up to the Opposition to say what they are going to do.

Labour and other political parties hostile to Brexit also claim the government is refusing to set out its high level aims. They all claim to agree that in a negotiation it is not wise to set out in advance what you will give ground on, what your red lines are and the all the rest. Nor does it make any sense to offer any concessions before the proper negotiation begins. Within this constraint the government has been very forthcoming about what it intends to do to implement the wishes of the voters.

Ministers have said

There will be no re run of the referendum. It was fair vote with a good turnout.
There will be no second referendum on the terms. There is no point, because the other side will not suddenly improve them if we vote No
We will leave the EU in accordance with the decision of the UK voters.
We will repeal the 1972 Act
We will transfer into law all EU laws and rules for the time being to ensure legal continuity.
Amendments will be made thereafter where needed, as with fishing and borders.
This government will keep all employment protections currently in EU law by transferring them into UK law
We will re establish the supremacy of UK law and the UK courts
We will re establish the sole right of Parliament to pass laws for the UK, subject to the wishes of the electors in our democracy.
We will have a UK migration policy which meets our needs
We will spend our own tax revenues in ways we see fit
We will seek the best possible access to the EU’s internal market, offering free trade as we currently have
We will assure all legally settled EU citizens here in the UK that they can stay, assuming no evictions of UK people from the continent
The UK will not be a member of the single market as that comes with freedom of movement and budget contributions attached
The UK will not belong to a customs union which prevents us from negotiating our own free trade deals with countries around the world
The UK will explore free trade deals with a range of countries, in order to reach early agreement and signature once we are out of the EU.

I have heard all of this many times in Parliament and elsewhere from the government. Why doesn’t Labour listen? What part of this do they not understand?

We need to reduce uncertainty for business. These set of policy decisions does just that. We now need to move on and do it.

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  1. Sam Stoner
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why you are criticising the Labour Party. It is Mrs May who has refused to commit to all the key parts of this manifesto.

    • acorn
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      It’s a classic “straw man” gambit Sam. The phrase “vote for” has been replaced by the word “debate” in the title of this refuting post.

      It’s part of politics 101, how not to answer a question by refuting an argument, that never was the opposition’s argument in the first instance. 😉

      Anyway, it’s tough being a Brexiteer at the moment. Remainers know that Brits lack staying power, requiring frequent changes of the story line to keep their attention; like Eastenders and Corry.

      The longer they can spin this out, using all the ambiguities, of the three pillars, of our two centuries out of date democracy; the more likely it will die a natural death by the next general election.

      PS. Has anyone seen the Lord Chancellor (LC) / Secretary of State for Justice? Remember, Mr Blair wanted to separate the three pillars and do away with the Lord Chancellor’s traditional role of occupying all three pillars at the same time.

      It proved too difficult to separate the LC’s role from a thousand years of UK legislation. So, how long would you guess, it will take to separate EU legislation from UK legislation?

      • acorn
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        How the Dutch government will ignore its “mini brexit” referendum. I suspect Mrs May’s team are already studying the detail as a model for the UK.

        • acorn
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Did you see that Juncker has put the frighteners on EU corporations, that are thinking of doing an under-the-counter trade deals with the UK.

          He has also put the word out that Nissan UK, should keep in mind the current trade agreement negotiations between the EU and the Japan government. Nissan HQ would, naturally, not want Brexit, to be an irritant for a much larger agreement.

      • Hope
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        JR, your party elected a remainer as PM, against public opinion, who has deliberately delayed the notice being served as we expected from Cameron’s claims. Had a leaver become PM the notice would be served, no interference from pro EU judges, whomslow clapped Gove when he addressed them after the referendum. Pity Gove acted as a traitor to his running mate.

        This is not a Labour issue but very much traitorous Tory MPs. They have a proven track record for back stabbing. Thatcher being exhibit A. The old die hards who,were part of it still be allowed air time for their vile bile.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        “Anyway, it’s tough being a Brexiteer at the moment.”

        It is a bit tough, when it becomes increasingly obvious that nobody in the political establishment can really be trusted, in the end words are just words even when printed in black and white in an official government leaflet delivered to every household, and there are now the same doubts emerging about the integrity of the legal establishment as well.

        I suppose it was always naive to believe that if we voted to leave the EU then we would actually leave, and leave properly not just half-leave.

        Personally I don’t see this as a cause for gleeful celebration. On the other hand those who want to keep us in the EU by hook or by crook may think this is the way to run society, a society where a small elite can find ways to cheat the people at every turn, because that is what the EU is like.

        • acorn
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          I voted leave because I was prepared to believe we had enough brain power available, to scope the project and build a critical path diagram to execute it, to three decimal places. I was wrong. I am not big on sovereignty; but, I am big on the Sterling economy.

          BMG’s latest EU Referendum Voting Intention (Oct 2016)are now at: Remain – 45%, Leave – 43%, DK/PNTS – 12%. Excluding don’t knows this puts Remain on 51% and Leave on 49%. Its Westminster monthly Poll is at Conservatives – 42% (+3), Labour – 28% (nc), Liberal Democrats – 8% (nc), UKIP – 12% (-1), Greens – 4% (-1) and Others/SNP – 6% (-1).

          Now, armed with the above data, and you were a Prime Minister, with no general election mandate as the party leader; what would you do? Wait till 2020 or catch an increasingly disinterested electorate, with maxed out credit cards asap!

          • Longinus
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            If I were PM, I would commission a more reliable poll. People rarely vote on a single issue so an election would simply be Tory vs Labour with a clear majority for May being the likely outcome.
            If the British electorate feel that the establishment are screwing them over then anything could happen.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            If I were Prime Minister firstly I would say that on June 23rd 46.5 million people were asked whether we should remain in the EU or leave the EU and 33.6 million of them took the trouble to cast their votes, and the clear and undisputed majority was to leave, and I am not going to disregard that official referendum vote on the basis of unofficial opinion polls which sample the views of a minute fraction of the population; and secondly I would say that the first step in leaving the EU is to formally notify the EU that we intend to leave; and thirdly I would say that it may well be a good idea to draw up a critical path diagram for leaving the EU, but the outline is already there in Article 50 TEU and it must start with the service of the notice under that treaty provision, and what follows from that is necessarily subject to negotiation with external powers, and so while I can describe my hopes on the final outcome obviously I cannot guarantee that any part of my hopes will be realised.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Puny as it may sound a mass refusal to pay the BBC licence fee would be an effective first strike. Brexiters can do it without getting up from their armchairs and it would snowball as even non-Brexiters realised they could get away without paying.

        Sometimes rebellion is fully justified. After all. If a minority of poll tax demonstrators were allowed to overturn a democratic mandate with full-on insurrection then the majority of voters – who are now being wilfully ignored – could be excused some peaceful law breaking.

  2. Jerry
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    “What part of this do they not understand?”

    The people voted to rid themselves of an autocratic government, in the shape of the EU, not to have one autocracy replaced by another that has only 37% of the popular vote even if it does have a majority in the HoC.

    The Labour party understands this very well, it is the right-wing Brexiteers who do not understand because they do not want to allow parliament to have a vote because they know that their hard-line europhobic views are the minority view in both parliament and more importantly the country.

    “We need to reduce uncertainty for business.”

    Well yes and they will only have that if business know what our basic negotiating position and red lines are before triggering A50 and beginning (quite correctly) far more confidential negotiations. This starting position also needs to be a consensus, not just a knee jerk of a wish list drawn up by politicos who might loose political face if they have to concede some ground.

    “These set of policy decisions does just that. We now need to move on and do it.”

    That same sort of “Trust us, we are the government now, we know what is best” type of comment was made in Germany during the 1932 (they also only had around 37% of the popular vote too)…

    For a (Vote Leave) campaign that made a point of wanting sovereignty returned to the UK parliament Brexit is at risk of failing at the first hurdle, being seen to be democratic when it comes to the “When” and “How” questions for which there is no mandate.

    • Hope
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      The clear mandate was spelt out in the referendum and remainers took every opportunity, aided by a bias media, to scare people, label them as racists etc to promote their cause. JR made it clear on this site. Going by previous blogs you were aware of this. Once again, absolute drivel Jerry.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      That is such a collection of straw man arguments Jerry.
      All Parliaments have had governments with majorities without gaining over half of the total votes.
      It’s the way first past the post works together with us having multiple parties.

      You keep calling all Brexit supporters right wing
      How do you know this?
      Many were Labour voters in traditional Labour constituencies.

      So you demand to know the negotiation position before we start in detail.
      How does that work?
      And for what purpose other than to give remain more items to pick over and mount delaying tactics and court cases.
      Would you have daily weekly or monthly debates?

      You use the 37% figure beloved of remainer propaganda forgetting by the same maths only 25% therefore voted remain.

      When…you have been told
      How you have also been told

      All your nonsense is about the campaign for diversion delay and filibustering.

      I would have more respect for you avid remainers if you were honest enough to just say:- we are going to try every method open to us to stop the vote in the referendum ever being honoured and stop us ever leaving the EU

      • Jerry
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        @Hope; There is no mandate for the WHEN and HOW questions, otherwise do please cite the questions asked on our polling card about WHEN and HOW the UK should leave the EU, the ONLY question asked was IF we should leave.

        Nor was there a single Brexit Manifesto, people could have voted for any of the 28 Brexit manifestos that were published by registered groups, or voters might have had their own Brexit wishes, no one knows because no one was asked.

        @Edward2; Once again you prove that you did not actually read my comments, or at least did not understand them! 🙁

        Brexit is, or should be, a cross party issue as people on almost all sides and all shades of political opinion voted for Brexit not just Tory voters, Brexit was won in Conservative, Labour and UKIP constituency areas yet you think it right that 2/3rds of the voting population who voted for Brexit should now be disenfranchised from the process – I wonder how many would have voted for Brexit had they realised that the radical right were simply going to use Brexit as a political/economic (and perhaps even social) policy land-grab for themselves?….

        Thus the only strew man arguments are coming from right wing Brexiteers who know they do not have a mandate for the detail of Brexit, just the fact (now accepted on most side of the political debate) that the UK will be leaving the European Union. It was Vote Leave who demanded that sovereignty be returned to the UK parliament, those VL Brexiteers who are now in Cabinet should honer their pre-Brexit manifesto pledge and tell Mrs May that they expect her to allow parliament to have both a meaningful debate and vote upon the detail of Brexit.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          You keep saying that Jerry
          It’s becoming a red herring cliché
          I have read your post.

          Why should it be a cross party issue?
          We have an elected Government with a majority.
          We are all represented by that Government.

          Who are the radical right?
          Only the other day you claimed the Commons has a remain majority!

          The rest of your response is just the continued attempt to stall the democratic process

        • libertarian
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink


          As normal you are totally wrong

          The how and when are both set in stone by your beloved EU

          How, invoke article 50

          When within 2 years of invoking article 50

          At no time ever in the history of the UK has the population of the UK been involved in the details of an executive decision by the UK government. Why or indeed how you think that will happen now is just deluded. Do you really think that a government can or would take every nuance of a negotiation and ask you if its ok with you?

          I understand that you a fantasising that there is some kind of half way deal that could keep us technically both in and out of the EU. However the EU themselves have made it quite clear that the only thing on offer is so called “hard brexit”.

          The government has also made known that once the details of the negotiating position have been made clear then they will take the details to parliament .

          • Jerry
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “The how and when are both set in stone by your beloved EU”

            What utter nonsense, the EU does not trigger A50 on our behalf, it doesn’t decide on what terms the UK agrees to, if any!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Well, this is the latest load of waffle from Corbyn:

        “Mr Corbyn’s bottom lines are:

        UK access to 500 million customers in Europe’s single market.
        No watering down of EU workplace rights.
        Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment.
        Pledges on Britain picking up the tab for any EU capital investment lost by Brexit”

        Otherwise he will force a general election in the spring, a general election which he claims he would relish.

        So, come on, Mrs May, before you even tell the EU that the UK intends to leave so that negotiations can start you must tell Parliament whether you will accept those four preconditions laid down by Labour.

        Oh, so you have already said those things, repeatedly; but never mind, we will continue to demand them regardless, and we will use that as cover for doing our best to block the Article 50 notice ever going in.

        And if we cannot to do that in the elected House, the Commons, then our unelected legislators-for-life in the other place will join with the unelected legislators-for-life of other parties and do it there:

        “No ‘blank cheque’ over triggering Article 50, top Labour and Lib Dem peers tell Theresa May”

        “Theresa May’s most senior opponents in the House of Lords have declared they will not simply approve Brexit talks without more details and warn that her March 2017 deadline could be missed.

        The Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders in the Lords have told The Sunday Telegraph they will use their position to demand the Prime Minster reveals her Brexit priorities.

        Baroness Smith for Labour said peers would not hand Mrs May a “blank cheque” while Lord Newby for the Lib Dems said they would not just “wave through” the start of talks.”

        And that is a problem which could not be solved speedily by a fresh general election even if that returned pro-Brexit MPs in every constituency across the country; the unelected hypocritical Remoaner peers will still be there in the same numbers, a whacking majority; and nobody should expect them to respect the Salisbury Convention, it would have to be either the Commons invoking the Parliament Acts, with a delay of about thirteen months, or the Queen using that ridiculous archaic vestigial Royal Prerogative to create very large numbers of new life peers who will vote through the extra Bill needed to authorise the government to serve the Article 50 notice, the 2015 Act ordering the referendum to be held being deemed insufficient.

        That is unless the Supreme Court overturns the incorrect decision of the High Court, which frankly seems rather unlikely given the backgrounds of some of the judges on that court:

        “The bench connection: four appeal justices have links to Europe”

        • rose
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          “Otherwise he will force a general election in the spring, a general election which he claims he would relish.”

          He and his close colleagues must be relishing the thought of all those deselections being brought forward. In our city, all three Labour women MPs are down for removal. After all those years of positive discrimination.

          • rose
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            “Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment.”

            It is the EU which has damaged the environment by insisting on oversized lorries, diesel, overpackaging, excess noise through compulsory machinery, and overpopulation.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, I always wondered if we would manage to escape the EU even after a Brexit vote. Far too many people in government, the legal professions, the state sector, the EU, the luvvies, big business and the BBC making money out of it.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Peter Hitchens “We will move from being halfway into the EU to being halfway out of it. The referendum’s simple requirement, that we leave the EU, will be fulfilled, beyond question.”

          Read more:
          Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

          Looks like May may be about to make a Titanic Brexit instead of the titanic brexit with control over our benefits, housing, immigration, uk money sloshing out to the EU in tax credit and child tax credits, we’re about to be trapped in by devious means. If May doesn’t have a solid legal case what is the point of a Supreme Court Appeal, who was the governments Council at the High Court? Were they a trained Barrister or not? Did they have a case to present or not?

          Can you just imagine if Scotland had voted to leave and these shinnangins were started by a rich Scot. who didn’t want to leave, they’d be rioting yet we’re being asked to take the deception quitely like good English children that have been taking tuition fees, prescription fees, care home fees that others in the Union won’t take.

          A few English stages of anger from VeryBritishProblems; disgruntled, fuming, going ballistic, silence!

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Jerry – Which part of “you lost the referendum” don’t you get ?

      Leave means Leave and we won’t accept being half out of the EU instead of half in it.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 7, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; How can I put this, yes leave means leave, but does that mean leaving by the front door, back door, via the garage, oir do we throw ourselves off the roof 28 floors high?

        “and we won’t accept being half out of the EU instead of half in it.”

        Whilst democrats (be they europhiles or eurosceptics) will not accept europhobic Brexiteers creating an autocracy that they have no mandate for when it comes to the When or How of Brexit, just that one way or another we will leave the institution of the European Union as asked on that ballot paper and that will be done via usual parliamentary debate and votes.

        Was the referendum question wrong – perhaps, but that’s democracy, people are free to vote UKIP if they want to give europhobes a full and far reaching mandate to do what ever they please within a UKIP majority parliament…

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Indeed. We do indeed now need to move on and actually to do it.

    But is ex(?) remainer Theresa and her gang of mainly wet, Europhile Tory MPs (with a tiny majority due entirely to Cameron’s daft wet approach to the election) really up to the job?

    Her many decisions so far have nearly all been totally misguided. She has given a fairly lefty half baked sense of direction. It is as if she (and the civil service) are still using Cameron’s broken compass as a guide.

    Is she capable of turning the state tanker round to a sensible bearing? Is she actually a real Tory at all?

  4. DaveM
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    If the government had just invoked Article 50 as soon as possible after the Referendum there wouldn’t be any of this hassle. Talk about making a rod for your own back.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      @DaveM; Untrue, the government would have been found to have broken the law, which would quite possible have caused both the EU to reject our A50 application as invalid and there be a GE in the UK.

      All it needed was for right-wing Brexiteers not to try and circumnavigate parliamentary scrutiny over issues they have no mandate for.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        You seem to forget that the referendum Bill was drawn up and promoted by right-wing Remainers, not Leavers, and that during the passage of that Bill every MP and every peer of all descriptions had several opportunities to demand clarification on exactly what would ensue in the event of a vote to leave the EU. But none of them could be bothered to do so, preferring to yak on and on endlessly about other matters, in particular whether to allow children and foreigners to vote in the referendum, hours and hours of debate. Even when the Bill had been passed and the government said in terms that if the vote was to leave then it intended to invoke Article 50 straight away without any further process in Parliament, as it made very clear in its official leaflet, MPs and peers still had the opportunity to object and refuse to pass the resolution to set the date for the referendum unless that was retracted, but they did not do so. And now we have judges thinking that a proper role for the High Court of Justice is to rescue lazy and inattentive parliamentarians from an unwanted consequence of their own incompetence, to the detriment of the people as a whole.

        • acorn
          Posted November 7, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          As I understand it Denis, High Court Judges do exactly that, with poorly drafted legislation that is unclear in its intent. Many years back, I was told that Judges would read the debate for the Act in Hansard, to discover “what was Parliament’s intent when it voted this Act”

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            You can read my view on that polite fiction here:


            “Reading transcripts of the High Court proceedings I’m amused by the recurring polite fiction that parliamentarians “intended” this, or didn’t “intend” that, when legislating, that with sufficient care it should be possible for the court to divine the “intentions” of Parliament when passing this or that provision … “

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Why is there no talk of the part played by Cameron in this debacle? Had he kept to his word and submitted his letter June 24th this need never have happened. Now, May has shysters quitting their seats on dubious and quite weird pretexts.
      The whole thing is a mess of the Conservative Party’s own making!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Cast-iron Cameron made the rod for our backs by double-reneging.

      • miami.mode
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Denis. Great little programme on TV a couple of nights ago about bridging the Menai Strait with the Britannia railway bridge where they used a revolutionary box section of wrought iron. Apparently a rod of cast iron will break at the slightest of taps!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Cast iron is certainly very brittle, so really not such a good choice for the fabrication of political pledges if they are sincere pledges. I’ve noticed that Irish politicians tend to prefer “copper fastened”.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      It was clear to all what a Leave result meant. Even David Dimbleby announced the referendum result thus: “Britain has left the EU.”

      If a leading political commenter such as he saw it that way then there was no ambiguity when the 6:1 of MPs who voted for the 2015 Referendum Act.

      The Brexit voting British public can certainly be forgiven for thinking the HC judges enemies.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous; “It was clear to all what a Leave result meant.”

        Yes Leave the European Union, but it was anything but clear as to when nor how. Had the referendum been about those two further (follow-on) issues there would have been some sort of question mentioning a time-line for our exit giving at least two options, then there would have been options such as the desirability of seeking membership of the EFTA, EEA or not for example.

        Also even if we disregard the above we can not hide the fact that there was not one single voice and vision for Brexit but 28 different Brexit groups all campaigning for a leave result on different manifestos, so no one can actually claim that 17.4 million all voted for the same exit and thus a single mandate. Someone who supports the Socialist Party of England & Wales vision of Brexit is very unlikely to support a single word within the Vote Leave manifesto and vis-versa.

        “The Brexit voting British public can certainly be forgiven for thinking the HC judges enemies.”

        Only those without a first clue, and they are the real ‘enemies’ for they wish the law to be cast-aside just so they can obtain short term political gain at what ever cost to our constitution and the very roll for the British Parliament Brexit was meant to ‘repatriate’ to them.

        Reply The official Leave campaign was clear and united – leave the EU, do not do a Norway or Switzerland, negotiate best access to single market but cant remain a member of it.

        • Anonymous
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply: The official Remain campaign was clear and united on what it meant too. Out of the EU. Finished. Doomed. Out completely. Out for good. Disaster !

          • Hope
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            The when was the day after the notice to be sent and leave in its entirety by two years. Anonymous, some are slow on the pick up and others make specious/spurious claims of what leave means when both sides made their case.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            @Hope; “when both sides made their case.”

            Which of the 28 Brexit sides are you talking of, the case put forward by the Socialist party of E&W, Vote Leave, Leave.EU, GO!, or any one of the other I have not listed, all had a different take on what “Brexit” should be, what is more all can claim to hold those 1.3m votes that secured the majority…

            Those making the specious/spurious (and, let’s face it, ridiculously simplistic) claims are europhobes like you, yes ‘leave means leave’, but that mandate says nothing about When or How because the people were not asked. Even if the referendum result is found to be binding by the Supreme Court and not just advisory (as some europhiles claim), the Government will be able to trigger A50 unilaterally but they will not be able do anything else without involving Parliament – well not if they wish to stay within the democratic bounds of our parliamentary system.

            Reply The claims I have put forward were those of the official campaign, Vote Leave. In the case of it not being advisory this was also the view of the government and the official Remain campaign! All 3 agreed we would leave the single market if we voted to leave the EU.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; Oh do cut the spin, you’ll be getting dizzy on your own partisan spiel!

            There were 28 Brexit campaigns, not just Vote Leave, FACT. If those 27 other groups acted illegally in campaigning outside of the official Vote Leave campaign then the result must be made void…

        • Edward2
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

          Did you not listen to the information in newspapers on the internet and on radio and TV Jerry?
          Your constant claims that you had no idea what would happen if there vote was to leave the EU is frankly absurd.
          The “when” and the “how” was endlessly discussed for months.
          There are two parties to this lengthy process yet we don’t hear that you are asking the EU for details of their position.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Did you not listen to the information in newspapers on the internet and on radio and TV Jerry? [../plus a rant baron of any facts/..]”

            Unlike you Eddie, yes! That is why I understand that there is no mandate for the either the When or How we leave the EU questions. because the referendum never asked.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            What definition would satisfy you?
            Can we all agree on one?
            All of us?
            It’s up to our elected representatives to now move forward and negotiate the deal.
            Perhaps via the Internet you could be allowed live coverage of the hour by hour discussions.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “What definition would satisfy you? Can we all agree on one? All of us?”

            Yes, well all of those who subscribe to democracy, how about the mandate asked for on the referendum ballot paper, a simply choice (no details), just leave the EU or Stay in the EU. If the referendum had gone the other way would you accept europhiles trying to sign the UK up to say the Euro simply because a majority had voted to remain in the EU – like hell you would…

            “It’s up to our elected representatives to now move forward and negotiate the deal.”

            Yes and those elected representatives are the 650 (less the speakers) MPs, not just the government front benches, at least on the principle points that need to be decided first even if the detailed negotiation is the responsibility of Ministers, but even then MPs should vote to sign off on any eventual deal.

            You do not do democracy by the looks of it Eddie, or at least you do not understand what a parliamentary democracy is and is not, you seem to think that once elected the government front bench is a autocracy, all other MPs and Lords merely there to rubber stamp and nod their heads or make silly noises at the appropriate times. 🙁

        • Jerry
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          @JR reply; There was 28 Brexit manifestos, there were 28 different groups, for example UKIP supporters likely did not support the Vote Leave manifesto but they still voted to leave the EU non the same, they will have most likely voted for what Mr Farage was saying, not what Boris & Co. were saying – indeed this very website was inundated with UKIPers pushing non Vote Leave ideas. Not having official status did not prevent these other groups from campaigning and thus there was no single voice for Brexit.

          Reply What matters is what the official campaign said and what it sent free post to every household in the land. I spoke with and for Vote Leave.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            The point at issue now turns not upon any statements made or literature distributed by either of the official campaigns, or any other non-governmental participants in the campaign, but upon the official government leaflet bearing the Royal Crest and the words “HM Government” which was addressed to the electors and delivered to every household:


            It is one thing for judges to say we should place no reliance upon the election manifestos published by political parties, which cannot create any “legitimate expectation”:


            And arguably it is a very similar thing to say that we should place no reliance on what any of the campaigners on either side said before the referendum.

            But when it is an official government communication, and it makes a crystal clear promise such as:

            “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

            then that is a very different matter.

            Effectively the so-called High Court of Justice has just told the population that they should not expect any “justice” if the government makes an official promise to them in writing – arguably without sufficient legal authority, but with the tacit consent of Parliament – and then breaks that promise.

            On which basis, if we get anything from the government in the future giving any kind of promise we might as well rip it up and throw it in the bin as worthless trash.

            Is that the kind of society, and system of government, the Remainiacs want? You know, the ones who say that this is an excellent court judgment because it means that we are not living in a banana republic?

            I suppose the thing to do is raise funds and sue, but then the question is “Who do we sue?” The name at the top of my list would be David William Donald Cameron, late Prime Minister and de facto leader of the Remain campaign, but more importantly the head of the government which issued that leaflet including that promise.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; Unless it was illegal for those other 27 Brexit groups to campaign during the official period from 15 April your point is irrelevant, and if it was illegal for such people and groups to step outside of the Vote Leave campaign as they did the referendum result must be legally void!…

          • Anonymous
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply – I’m afraid that, with matters EU, while you’re explaining you’re losing.

            Let’s be clear what the EU says on it then:

            “Accept freedom of movement or you are out of the single market. ”

            That is the red line for both the EU and the British people.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            Well said Anonymous
            About time someone defined what is actually available.
            Are you listening Jerry when you are endlessly posting demanding a deal ?

          • Jerry
            Posted November 8, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; I am demanding that Parliament have a meaningful say, I have not mentioned what the EU want or think. Vote Leave (and others) wanted sovereignty returned to the UK parliament, now those involved with VL have decided that parliamentary sovereignty needs to be ceded to the Crown and her Ministers.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          There is a difference between upholding Parliament as the central institution of our national democracy and supporting the present occupants of Parliament, most of whom don’t actually care two hoots about its sovereignty but are now prepared to pretend that they do in order to keep us in the EU, the primary focus of their loyalty.

          • Hope
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            It is now clear to me MPs do not even pretend to represent the people and we do not need them. The Lords have now signed their death warrant as they serve absolute no purpose for the people.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; But the people voted for the current Parliament, to ignore those peoples representatives would be wholly undemocratic (just because an unknown number disagree with them), so unless you are proposing that a GE should be held to obtain a fresh parliamentary mandate the government and Brexiteers need to work with who (and perhaps why, in the case of up-front europhile MPs) the people sent them to Parliament and find a consensus.

            But you do raise an interesting point. If this is all a trap set by europhiles and Remain, as some seem to be suggesting, then those wanting Brexit so badly have walked straight into it due to their post referendum tunnel vision. Perhaps a GE is going to be the only way out of the current constitutional omni-shambles caused by right-wing Brexiteers (and now Mrs May) all thinking they could ride rough-shod over the sovereignty Brexit was meant to resort to the UK parliament, trying to hoodwink the public into thinking they have a mandate they do not.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            I know that the people voted for those representatives in the Commons, not of course the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords who have been appointed by the Queen using that archaic undemocratic Royal Prerogative. That doesn’t mean that I have to support what any of them are doing.

    • Chris
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I agree entirely. May’s dithering/indecisiveness allowed a dangerous political vacuum to develop, which the Europhiles have exploited to full effect. Her refusal to implement Cameron’s promise of invoking Article 50 straight away, apparently showed her contempt for promises made to the people. She seemed to enjoy giving the impression that she would just do things in her own time, keeping everyone on a string (will she, won’t she), and under informed. It was a though she felt she could just override undertaking from Cameron, with no repercussions. Hopefully she has been taught a lesson. Brexit must take top priority, and she should not have been waylaid by other policies which she was trying to flag up as her own. Leaving the EU is serious business, and it must have all on board, working flat out to achieve it. There is no room for individuals such as Soubry and Morgan, who should have been brought into line (word from the Whips?) long ago. They seem to have made May look weak/indecisive and half hearted, which I fear she is. My biggest fear, however, is that May has allowed herself to be persuaded that we stay in the Single Market, accept immigration with some control, and that we continue to pay into the EU. That is not what was on offer. I voted to Leave, as defined by Cameron et al, quite clearly – leaving the EU meant leaving the Single market and regaining our sovereignty completely so that we made our own laws and so that we could choose whom we wanted to come to our country to fulfil the skills gaps. It looks as though we will not get a proper Brexit, but a fudge. That would be political suicide.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      As was promised by (say one thing while doing the opposite) Cameron.

      • Hope
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Cameron knew what he was doing he had no intention to lead the U.K. Out as he said, therefore his statement that he would serve the notice the day after was another lie.

  5. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Great post John. As you say, all clear and concise so let’s do it!! When I hear Mrs May speak now I actually believe she is serious about getting out completely. I just wish she could get more support from certain members of her own party and the opposition. We all know the SNP won’t help matters (when do they ever?) but interesting to read yesterday that some SNP MP’s voted to leave!

  6. Prigger
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    That has all been made clear for the Opposition. I have heard it repeatedly stated in the House on BBC Parliament. Labour are into Project Delay

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Labour and the judiciary, about 90% of the legal profession, academia, the BBC, the Luvvies, about 75% of the Lords, about 60% of the Commons, about 75% of the civil servants, the EU and EU bureaucrats and most of the state sector too.

      Quite a powerful anti-democratic force who are enemies of the people.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Do we really even know where T May really stands. She was lying to voters that “we have control of our borders through Schengen” a few months back. This in order to trick people into a remain vote.

  7. alan jutson
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Why should the opposition give up one of their days.

    Surely it is the Governments responsibility to set the programme for our exit from the EU.

    Too many people with too many different ideas, causing delay, confusion and unrest.

    For goodness sake, Mrs May needs to get her plan and act together, and fast.

    We are now in our 5th month of indecision because of our failure to get a simple letter in the post

    • Hope
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Quite right. The noticed could have been served and negotiatipns started at a time to suite the U.K. This is deliberate on her part as a strong remainer. The Tory party knew this when they elected a pro,EU PM despite leavers winning the referendum.mif a leaver became PM would the notice have been served, I think so.

      The blame rests with the Tory party for this mess and, one again, Cameron lying.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      If Cameron had sent the Article 50 letter on the Friday straight after the vote he would have got it in before the first application for judicial review was lodged the following Monday. But he didn’t, and the legal challenges started, and from then on the hands of the government have been, and still are, tied.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    “We will seek the best possible access to the EU’s internal market, offering free trade as we currently have
    The UK will not be a member of the single market as that comes with freedom of movement and budget contributions attached
    The UK will not belong to a customs union which prevents us from negotiating our own free trade deals with countries around the world
    The UK will explore free trade deals with a range of countries, in order to reach early agreement and signature once we are out of the EU.”

    There is confusion here.
    “seek the best possible access to the EU’s internal market” is absolutely impossible. The Single Market is like being pregnant. Once pregnant, you cannot negotiate and if you arent pregnant you cannot negotiate either. Think of it like a big mediaeval castle. You are either inside the walls or outside them. We have to stay in the common market – as the referendum of the 1970s showed. There is no reason to leave it while Article 50 is being discussed. Then, of course, we can do what we like. We will be free!
    “The UK will not be a member of the single market as that comes with freedom of movement and budget contributions attached”. If we walk out of the EEA – the current name of the common market – we will immediately end our trading relations with Europe. Yup, we all know about customs. But what about all the intricate and involved trading relations which allow free transport across borders, the approved traders and the relations with all the international standards organisations which the common market allows? If we are not very careful, all trade with the continent will really stop and it could be a very sudden stop too.
    “The UK will not belong to a customs union which prevents us from negotiating our own free trade deals with countries around the world
    The UK will explore free trade deals with a range of countries, in order to reach early agreement and signature once we are out of the EU.” If we remain in the common market and join the free traders who are in the common market and not in the EU, we can indeed negotiate with other countries freely, we can indeed discuss immigration from a strong position, we can indeed get out of the common agricultural policy and the dreadful, wasteful fisheries arrangements where fish is thrown back into the sea and where huge trawlers hoover up everything from our waters. and we can get on with it immediately and get some results for our constituents too.

    Mr Redwood, you are a man whom I very much respect. Please do talk some sense into your colleagues before it is too late!

    Reply Every non member country i the world has access to the internal market. The issue is whether we will impose new tariffs and other barriers each way or not.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      As the words “common market” do not appear anywhere in the EU treaties:

      it is difficult to see how any country can be in it or stay in it.

      Nor in fact do the words “single market” appear anywhere in the EU treaties, so it is equally difficult to see how any country can be in it or stay in it.

      The word which do appear in the EU treaties are “internal market”, no fewer than fifty times. starting with the preamble to the Treaty on European Union:

      “DETERMINED to promote economic and social progress for their peoples, taking
      into account the principle of sustainable development and within the context of the
      accomplishment of the internal market … ”

      Then next Article 3 TEU:

      “3. The Union shall establish an internal market … ”

      I shall leave it to you to check the meaning of the word “internal”.

  9. Mick
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Mrs May should have invoked article 50 the day she became PM, then we wouldn’t be having all this trouble, and I’m sick of seeing that muppet clogg on the tv spewing his bile, it’s about time traitors to the public like him are kicked out of Westminster for good,
    If something isn’t done soon like invoking A50 there is going to be unrest and riots not seen since the poll tax riots but worse you don’t have to be a fortune teller to see it coming,

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      It was already too late when she became Prime Minister, applications for judicial review had already been lodged so tying her hands.

    • Chris
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Agreed. May’s lack of experience is showing, I fear.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Indeed are Clegg (and even his wife) now full time employees of the BBC living in a room there and called upon to talk pro EU drivel every day?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        The BBC had Dame Joan Bakewell on too yesterday. Supporting rent controls (essentially state sponsored theft of people’s private property).

        If the government wants lower rents than cut all the extra absurd taxes that Osborne put on Landlords (and thus onto private tenants), relax planning and the OTT building controls and build more houses (or have fewer people).

        Surely someone like Bakewell, who apparently studied Economics at Cambridge should be able to grasp this obvious point, but it seems not. Too long mixing with BBC/Guardian think loons perhaps. People who think state theft off landlords and the rich is a jolly good thing.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          How would she feel if the state popped round to her house and passed a laws to pinch some of her personal assets?

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Stella Creasy on Newsnight seemed to be getting very upset with the Daily Mail’s “Enemies of the People” headline. She even rather bizarrely thought it was an outrage that the paper gave background on all the judges all of which was already public knowledge available at the touch of a button. In particularly that one was in a gay marriage and had been a good fencer, so what?

    Does she perhaps think there is something wrong with being gay and that it should therefore be kept secret by the papers?

    What part of the concept of a free press does she not understand? The judiciary and the legal profession in general are, as a group, nearly all Europhile’s. The profession, after all, benefit hugely from the additional complexities, uncertainties, multi-levels and the many insanities of EU law. How is May going to overcome the power of these “Enemies of the People”? EU law is an enemy of the people too in general.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      EU law and the EU in general is all about taking all real power away from the people and their democratically elected bodies and into the hands of a unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. The headline was quite right.

      • Longinus
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        How many divisions have they got?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Dominic Grieve’s comparison with Zimbabwe was particularly absurd. He clearly does not seem to understand the value of a free press either. What he is suggesting would clearly move the UK in the direction of Zimbabwe by killing a free press, quite the reverse of his “argument”.

      We know that many MPs, Lords, EUphiles, in the legal profession, the luvvies and the elite would dearly like to muzzle the press. With their evil & dangerous proposals to make them pay legal costs for both parties – even when the paper wins the case.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        The liberal establishment are up in arms at criticism of 3 judges by people who disagreed with them but say nothing when some of their own number call millions of Brexit voters ignorant racists.

  11. UpNorth
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Many Labour MPs are understandably frightened. Particularly in the north of England.
    Here are a few quotes from one Labour MP , prior to the referendum. Some will sound warped, be warned

    ” The EU is not responsible for any laws, none at all. It does not make any “( Stated in a long interview many times on a local Television Station

    ” British people are not interested in whether we are in the EU or not. They only care about working conditions and wages” ( said on national Television in a short interview )

    ” I am opposing calls for a referendum on the EU ” (local television )

    “I am backing Owen Smith ” (national and local newspapers )

    This Labour MP, by the way, is extremely well-educated in a rock solid Labour seat. His constituency electorate gave one of the highest Leave votes in the country.
    His look is Fear grown legs and arms.

  12. turboterrier
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    If only it was so simple. Why cannot other members apply this logic?

    The high profile politicians that day after day try their utmost to deny the people of their rights following a democratic vote, should stop and think outside the box if they are at all capable, and see the damage they inflict on getting even more potential investors on board.

    What sad, insecure people we seem to elect for all the wrong reasons.

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      It really is that simple.

      The Remainers are making it seem as complicated as possible in order to obstruct and delay.

      So-called “Soft Brexit is a myth.

      We were never going be able to retain full membership of the single market as we very clearly voted for an end to FOM, Budget Contributions and the jurisdiction of the European Court, all of which the 27 regard as sacrosanct.

      Cameron and Osbourne told us that repeatedly during the campaign.

  13. Mark B
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The Labour Party and especially the Nationalist parties will say anything to embarrass the government irrespective of the harm it will do to the UK and its economy. You see, by talking down the UK and making life hard it increases their chances of being re-elected. Also, it undermines our national position, something the Nationalist parties care little for since they want independence from Westminster**

    I agree with all the points raised except one. We will need access to the Single Market. Not for just the trade aspect but for the regulatory side as well. We need to remember that from the very first day we leave the EU (God willing) we will not have all the necessary regulatory and trade agreements in place. Having access to the Single Market side-steps this issue until we can get our own, more suitable arrangements in place.

    The free movement of people is a false position. The UK Government has shown no signs of slowing down non-EU immigration, something it can control, so I do not believe that should we regain our borders it will not be just like before.

    We also need to visit the issue of the ECHR. Although not part of the EU it is mandatory for all EU member countries to adopt it. Will the UK renounce its obligations to the ECHR ? It is immigrants, and especially illegals that use this to remain in the UK.

    Anyway, as can be seen from the news, it is not only the Labour Party that is having issues with the government over BREXIT. It seems one or two Conservative backbenchers are having a teddy tantrum.

    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The perennial Labour taunts are of the tenor that “The Tories are all for Big Business….they all come from families of rich people… from cradle until grave they mix in rich business circles….they care only about business…
    Ok, so Labour has established beyond any shadow of doubt in their own minds that the Tory government is ideally, uniquely suited to negotiate the best possible trade and associated deals with the EU and foreign countries. So why does not Labour stick to what it knows much about? Moaning, whimpering standing and hanging on at the back of the Carriage of State

  15. JoolsB
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    As usual with Labour it’s all about soundbites and opportunism. My biggest fear is that although the majority of them will not dare to vote against their constituents and oppose invoking article 50, they along with the Lib Dums are hellbent on keeping us in the single market and the free movement that goes with it as are some Tory backbenchers. Together with the SNP, we could end up with Brexit Light, not what we voted for.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      There is no such thing as Brexit hard or light. We’re either in or out. Just as you can’t be half pregnant!
      The majority in Westminster are federalist remoaners that’s why we have no trust in them to deliver our instruction. We need a new voting system fit for this Century not for the benefit of the legacies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      As usual with Labour it’s all about soundbites and opportunism.

      Indeed, but Cameron and his lot was perhaps even worse. Read, Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of Brexit by Craig Oliver his spin doctor.

      I fail to understand why Cameron & all his PR experts were not able to see that his deal with the EU was pathetic and completely unsalable to the public. And the remain arguments were absurdly weak. How could they not see this. Did they try talking to any of the real public outside their bubble?

      Oliver even now seems to think the economy would be better if in the EU (because most economist “experts” say so). He and they are wrong it will be better outside, with freedom, democracy, lower taxes, free trade with the world, less red tape and cheap energy. At least it will be if we get a proper Tory in charge or if May can be turned into one.

  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    There is much talk about an early election
    Notwithstanding the fixed term act I think the threat of one in March if Parliament doesn’t approve article 50 would concentrate their minds.
    Roughly two thirds of constituencies voted leave so a replica of the vote would see an awful lot of MPS out of work.
    It appears the Supreme Court is stuffed with Europhile judges so losing the appeal is a possibility.
    When are you going to announce the by election and get a proper Brexit Mp on board.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; “I think the threat of one in March if Parliament doesn’t approve article 50 would concentrate their minds.”

      All other parties will likely just say “Bring it on”, sure no single party might get a majority but the chances of a europhile coalition must be increasing as the Tory vote splits at least three ways with votes going to Con, UKIP and LD. Careful of what you wish for!

      Of course all that is needed is for parliament to have a vote on the When and How questions, something Brexiteers no not have a mandate for even though they do (currently [1]) have one for leaving the institution that is the European Union.

      Brexiteers are in real danger of winning the war but losing the peace on this through nothing more that then own hypocrisy, democracy only when it suits, EU styled autocracy otherwise.

      [1] until perhaps another GE manifesto replaces it

      • Patrick Geddes
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        The when is by article 50 early next year
        The how is by negotiation with the EU and this will carry on over a two year min period.
        Really you shold know this Jerry

        And the EU have repeatedly said that they will not allow an a la carte deal so your hope of a compromise deal will not be allowed to happen by the EU.
        You are wasting your own time posting your views on what deal you want
        The EU have said firmly that no such half in half out deal will be accepted

        • Jerry
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          @Patrick Geddes; I take it that you did not cast your vote Patrick as you do not appear to know what the question printed on the referendum ballot paper asked;

          Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

          I see no mention of either WHEN Article Fifty should be triggered, nor do I see any mention as to what form any exit should take – it simply asked IF we should leave, and that is the only mandate their is, to leave, but not When or How.

          • Patrick Geddes
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            Don’t be silly Jerry
            I voted and like you read the question on the ballot paper.
            You are being your usual pedantic self.
            It is for our elected Government to carry forward the project.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            @Patrick Geddes; Nice to know that you think both our law and constitution are mere “pedantic” irrelevances, to be played fast and loose by who ever has 34% of the popular vote. As I said in reply to our host at 6:53 am on November 5; Much the same constitutional nonsense was allowed in Germany during 1932…

            No government, for what ever reason, should be allowed to claim a mandate they clearly have not obtained, even less act on that non-existent mandate.

          • Patrick Geddes
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            Another strawman
            I never said our laws or constitution was pedantic
            I said you were.

            And by your maths only 24% voted remain .

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Turning a one-man-one-vote back into a standard MP vote suits Remainers no end. (Hat tip to ‘clever’ Kevin.)

        What a swindle.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Dear Ian–Cometh the hour hopefully cometh the Court–The Supreme Court will rise to the occasion, realise its awesome responsibility, and extend or change the Law if and as necessary to reflect the need for common sense in what a referendum result means. Constitutional changes have been made in the past! Personally (John hates it when I say this) I have trouble understanding why I should care what Parliament and many individuals in it do or say; and that is at the best of times let alone after a referendum. Conversations along these lines that I have had elicit little in support of our present system in this high tech age, and then only along the lines of, This is the way we do it, which doesn’t do it for me. Many more referenda, and binding, is one answer. The Swiss get by.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Assuming that the government loses in the Supreme Court, as it probably will, it will need an Act to authorise the service of the Article 50 notice. That means getting a Bill through both Houses of Parliament, and a general election will not change the composition of the Lords. The same unelected legislators-for-life will still be there, paradoxically by virtue of the Royal Prerogative which they say is an archaic and undemocratic vestige, and they will still be able to hold the Bill up for more than a year as some of them have already said they hope to do. Even if the Tory party says in its election manifesto that it intends to introduce such a Bill there will be no legal compulsion on the Lords to pass it; yes, there is the Salisbury Convention, but that is only a convention, and one which many of the eurofanatics in the Lords will be prepared to break in their attempts to keep us in the EU. In fact some of them are willing to risk the future of their own House in that cause.

      • eeyore
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Government will lose in the Supreme Court only if their lordships there agree with their High Court colleagues’ Diceyan view on the supremacy of Parliament, for that was the essential premise of their entire argument.

        AV Dicey, a barrister with a taste for constitutional speculations, was a strong fundamentalist on this issue. He seemed unable to imagine a situation in which Parliamentary supremacy produced a paradox, but others have come up with plenty since.

        For instance, if Parliament voted (as it could) to abolish general elections and sit in perpetuity, co-opting its members instead of having them elected, I think it would soon find where supremacy truly lies.

        Similarly, if it voted that Britain was to be a Muslim nation and we must all attend mosques five times a day (as it could), an indignant public would not have difficulty asserting itself, Dicey and his learned disciples notwithstanding.

        The problem with Diceyan supremacy is that it does not belong in the real world. Referendums do. They have no constitutional standing at present. If the Supreme Court does its job properly it will give them one.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, the judges quoted Dicey in 1915, when there was little or no thought about the possibility of settling a particular issue by asking the people in a referendum. They could be asked directly who they wished to be the MP for their constituency – at least those who could vote in parliamentary elections at that time, no women and only 58% of men – but they could not be asked to give their opinion on any specific policy issue, not to decide or even to advise.

          This is why it seems absurd for judges more than a hundred years later to uncritically quote him, in paragraph 22:

          “The judges know nothing about any will of the people except in so far as that will is expressed by an Act of Parliament … ”

          It can easily be argued that dictum must still hold if the available evidence for the will of the people is no more than the volume of letters in the press, or the results of opinion polls sampling the views of maybe a thousand people, or the number of signatures on an e-petition to Parliament, or the size of public demonstrations, but it defies all common sense and makes a complete ass of the law to maintain that it must still hold even for the clear and agreed result of a properly conducted referendum ordered and arranged by an Act of Parliament, in which every elector was invited to participate and a very high proportion did trouble to cast their votes.

          However I am not optimistic about the prospects for the Supreme Court deciding that our constitutional law must develop with the times in this regard, the 1915 view of Professor A V Dicey must continue to prevail even though he is long dead and if he came back now he would be surprised at how much society has changed.

          • eeyore
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            Denis Cooper’s third paragraph is as weighty a comment as I’ve read anywhere on this remarkable constitutional dog’s breakfast. I hope very much Mr Redwood finds the opportunity to draw it to the notice of his Parliamentary colleagues.

            Frankly, if Albert Dicey is the best champion the Remainers can come up with things can’t be too bad for Brexit. The learned professor was, among other things, a diehard opponent of votes for women. How will that go down with an angry and suspicious modern public?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            I think we should draw that to their attention!

    • matthu
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      What threat an early election if the main political parties put up pro-EU candidates? That is not beyond the realm of possibility … they’ve done it for years.

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        If pro EU candidates were put up in our constituency which voted by one of the highest majorities to leave then the labour candidate would be wiped out I believe.
        The LimpDums lost their deposit and a large 2010 labour majority was reduced too a few hundred.
        I think UKIP will have a field day. Don’t write them off just yet.
        Listening to Corbyns speech, he obviously doesn’t believe in the EU so I doubt he would vote against lodging Article 50.
        If we went for an early general election I’m sure the Tories and labour would have terminal splits with the Corbynistas/Labour and Pro/Anti EU Tories.
        With the fixed term parliament, May doesn’t have to go too the country until 2020 and I don’t believe she is under any particular pressure to call one.
        She should announce the by election asap and get another Brexiteer in government.

  17. Richard Butler
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    As I’ve said Remisn are a cross the media relentlessly re running the arguments and gaining ground as new polls show. A prominent London radio talk show in particular and one of its main presenters is literally scaring everyone to death and going unchallenged. He endlessly says Leave was based on ignorance and lies, making no mention that he entire Renain case was built around hideous frictions and terrror.

    On Radio Fours 5pm news thier EU Expert said in reply to a small business owner he will have to wait a very long time to know the trade position, but he could have said trade is likely to carry on as is as Europeans will in the end not want thier own trade hampered

    Leavers keep agreeing the NHS £350m per week was a mistake but not saying we will carry on paying £28 m per day for nothing, that Canada is about to get free trade with no loss of sovereignty and that our deal would take little negotiation as it’s based on existing far greater trade and we are fully aligned with EU rules.

    Leavers have left the floor to remain, shame

    • forthurst
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      “A prominent London radio talk show in particular and one of its main presenters is literally scaring everyone to death and going unchallenged.”

      Check out the ownership and you will find the same people who are trying to use legal means to block Brexit; when you are in a minority, it becomes essential to control the media and the law to get your way.

    • getahead
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Remainers have always held the floor thanks to the BBC and the left-wing media.
      Leavers were never allowed equal access.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Yet Mrs May’s poll ratings soar every time she talks Hard Brexit, Richard.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Dominique Grieve said on Newsnight that “Our constitution does not allow you to overrule statute law by decree”, but triggering section 50 does not “overrule” statute law, it just uses these laws and treaties as they were enacted.

    So what is he on about?

    • MikeP
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      The judgment, you may have read it, says that the triggering of Article 50 carries with it a presumption that the 1972 European Communities Act will in due course be repealed (that’s how we finally get our country back) and that definitely does mean changing Statute Law. The Executive can’t do that without Parliamentary approval, so the judges have said that even though the EC Act will have to go through due process, the triggering of Article 50 is a necessary and sufficient step along the way so must have Parliamentary approval too. I don’t like it or particularly agree with it but it’s sad that our Parliamentarians don’t know the laws they themselves enacted it seems.

      • Andy
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Activating Article 50 does not invalidate the 1972 Act, but it does make it pointless. The Crown has the right to make and denounce treaties, and the Courts should allow the Crown to exercise its rights.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Indeed at repeal but not the mere triggering of Article 50 that is just using the existing laws as the people have rightly demanded.

        • James Matthews
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Leaving aside the convention, previously accepted, that making treaties is in the power of the executive under the royal prerogative, not parliament, and that it therefore seems reasonable that they can also be ended in the same fashion, triggering article 50 is complying with existing treaty provisions, not breaking them and thus within the normal remit of the executive.

          Far from being the judiciary protecting the sovereignty of the legislature,. this is a naked power grab from the executive by the judiciary.

          Should we still trust our judges? Given the dismissal of the referendum as merely advisory, which is counter factual, obviously not. Another of our once respected institutions has been infiltrated and politicised.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      @LL; Surely the law states that parliament is sovereign, not government, so it must be parliament who makes changes. Anything else would be daft as it would mean all previous laws (perhaps even our constitution its self) would fall on a change of government unless adopted by the new government!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      He’s on about keeping us in the EU.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogique (Geddit!)–No doubt he is right but all that means is that the Constitution is in need of an upgrade

  19. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I agree.
    But what i can’t stomach is the way some Brexiteers including the Express and the Mail lambasted the High Court judges as if we were living in some kind of banana republic.
    The judges were just doing their job. Doesn’t matter if it it was about Brexit or not. The law must come first always and our judiciary must be always be protected.
    Shame on the Express and the Mail.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Perhaps that should have been made clear before June 23rd
      Why was the government allowed legally to get away with their statement in the pamphlet that the decision of the British people would be enacted by the government?
      Nobody seemed to question it, judge or not, at that time.

      • MikeP
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Why was the government allowed legally to get away with their statement in the pamphlet that the decision of the British people would be enacted by the government? Nobody seemed to question it, judge or not, at that time…

        And perhaps to show some appreciation of the public mood, the judges might have referred to the £9m leaflet this week and clarified that it was indeed a step too far for Cameron and the Remain side to have promised that.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          That leaflet was barely mentioned, but the judges should have got their own copies in the post and might have thought that it should be taken it into account. We already have the situation where the courts have held that election manifestos published by political parties create no legitimate expectation and have no legal weight, now we will have the same situation for official government leaflets distributed to the entire population. The judges might have thought that this would be a highly undesirable development and therefore given the government the benefit of the doubt over the interpretation of the referendum Act, especially as parliamentarians were told what was in that leaflet just before distribution started and did not raise objections to the crystal clear promise it contained.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      I agree in part ,but the form of many judges at this level is activist in a political sense.

      All three High Court judges have direct EU links and cannot be said to be impartial in a political sense.
      OK they can look at the case and address it in narrow legal terms while at the same time ensuring that the political aim is met .

      The Supreme Court has Lord Carnwath another activist on its bench.
      He arranged for the Supreme Court to be used as the venue for an international climate change symposium .[ Google ‘ WUWT Carnwath ‘ for details.]
      I do not believe in ”Climate Change ” whereas Carnwath clearly does and at no point suggested that the computer predictions and data be checked.
      He merely went along with the prevailing group think.

      The direction of travel is clear – to create a totalitarian government in which I could be convicted of a thought crime !

      Once we lose confidence in our judges our system is broken.
      I for one have lost confidence.
      I hope you can be given good reason to maintain yours.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      But in my view the judges have done such a poor job in this case, as in some others, that they themselves are bringing the judiciary into disrepute. I have several friends who have frequently cursed judges over the years even when it was obvious that the fault really lay with parliamentarians for passing defective laws. Which it does in this case as well, although rather less obviously and rather more debatably.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Ed – The same courts that are always finding in favour against the EU against Britain ?

      People are not seeing Brexit for what it actually is. A revolt against the British judicial dictatorship. The Eurocrats are quite innocent in fact. They are what they are and what they always have been and they didn’t invite us to join the EU.

      I have always blamed the British judges and politicians for our unsatisfactory EU membership and it is they who have driven us to Brexit.

      I am glad of the High Court finding. It has brought the judges into open conflict with the British public rather than the underhanded method.

      And yes. I’m afraid we ARE a banana republic.

      At the very least the referendum has been the most incompetent fiasco – but I do not believe that it was incompetent. What has happened is that a hitherto out-of-touch judicial, political and financial elite has become one contemptuous of the British people.

      Newmania is always on the money, money, money.

      There are things far more precious at stake here and it is tragic that The People are so belittled for putting principle before money and standing up to powerful bullying.

      The leftist ‘trustafarian’ can be excused the usual violence and Cenotaph abuses by the celebrigentsia when a conservative majority wins office – so what do you think is going to happen now that a winning majority is not only ignored, but treated contemptuously ?

      Sometimes public disorder and disobedience is justified.

      I certainly won’t be on the side of judges if this happens.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Ed – The same courts that are always finding in favour against the EU against Britain ?

        Should read

        Ed – The same courts that are always finding in favour *of* the EU against Britain ?

        Sorry. I’ve been making lots of typo mistakes lately. My peripheral vision and touch typing seems to be shot.

    • rose
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      But the judges reminded me of a banana republic themselves. Partial and (word left out ed). Representing a huge vested interest. Ignoring the verdictof the people. Not declaring their interests. How could it have come to this? I remember when judges were grown up and responsible, wise and impartial. Utterly disinterested.

      A grown up judge would have thrown this case out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense “The Law” is like Cameron’s cast iron it is made from rubber and blows with in the wind and with the interests, views, fashion and arbitrary prejudices of the judges. We constantly see how three or more courts looking at the same fact come to three entirely different decisions.

      The press should indeed express opinions of legal rulings. Especially damaging ones like this and the bonkers/damaging Uber ones too.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Just a small reminder that the High Court is the High Court of Justice, as stated at the top of the judgment:


      Can you put your hand on your heart and say that justice has been done in this case? I don’t think so, I think the court judgment amounts to rescuing lazy and inattentive parliamentarians from the consequences of their own incompetence, to the detriment of the people who dutifully voted in the referendum.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Come off it .

      Nobody is beyond critism when they screw up . Not even judges .

      They had a chance to put referenda on a firmer constitutional footing and dodged the issue .

      They dismissed the expressed will of the people in the most arrogant way which rather goes to prove the point the The Express was making .

      Notwithstanding the above , two of the three judges had massive conflicts of interest which should have disqualified them on this issue .

      Most people knew the executive and parliament would not cover themselves in glory but for the civil service to abandon neutrality and now the judiciary just makes it depressingly clear that Britain is rotten to the core .

    • Oggy
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      ‘Doing their job ?’ – their job is to decide points of law without prejudice or self interest.
      If Royal Prerogative was good enough to get us in to the EU, then why is it not good enough to get us out. The fact they decided the way they did just confirms an establishment stitch up. The Express was correct in it’s assessment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      What on earth is wrong with people and papers expressing opinions on legal judgements? Anything else is a dreadful attack on free speech. We need a free press and we need people to comment to improve the quality of judgements.

      Many legal judgements are totally bonkers, hugely damaging and richly deserve heavy criticism. The recent Uber one as a good example.

      I am quite sure these so called “enemies of the people” are big enough to take it on the chin. Hopefully the court of appeal with realise what a dangerous game they are playing with the electorate.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      We are not living in a banana republic, but nor are we living in 1915 …

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      One of the judges had a clear conflict of interest and it was interesting to know about it. Judges and their decisions have been routinely attacked in the media – I recall the judge in one of the Jeffrey Archer cases being comprehensively lampooned by the left. The fact is the outrage at attacks on judges overwhelmingly comes from people who agree with them on the issue at hand.

  20. Kevin
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    A few commentators have expressed confidence that a snap general election would expedite Brexit.

    I am opposed to calling one in principle. The referendum was one person, one vote on a single issue. A general election would not be.

    To put it this way: how would Liberal Democrat or SNP MPs have felt if they had won the AV (“alternative vote”) referendum only to have it overturned by a snap first-past-the-post general election? They would surely have argued that the latter was illegitimate because the referendum had democratic priority.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      @Kevin; No one is trying to over turn the IF (we should leave the EU) question, but there is no referendum mandate for either the When or How we should now leave the EU questions – that is the real issue here, only the more radical europhobes are trying to conflate three different issues into the single mandate they have, because they have little support for the sort of Brexit they want.

      • Oggy
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink

        If a pub landlord asks you to leave his pub do you ask him – ‘What does leave look like ? – what do you mean by leave ? or how do you want me to leave ?
        You’re argument is nonsense – the people voted to leave the EU. Not leave by 50% or 70% but leave means leave – get it ?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Jerry does not want us to leave the EU at all.
          Once you realise that, all his arguments can be understood.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Wrong once again, actually I don’t give a dam either way! I accept the result.

            You (like many others and the right-wing Tabloids) do not seem able to separate party/factional politics from the deeper issue here that is to do with our constitution, if Remain had won but were now acting with the same utter arrogance as Brexiteers and the government are I would be saying much the same. For example if they were now taking a Remain result to sign us up to the Euro and Schengen without seeking parliamentary approval.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            Sad you resort to right wing labels as usual Jerry.
            Utter arrogance you say
            When the wishes of the majority are being thwarted by some London elite millionaires and some pro EU judges appointed by Blair I call that utter arrogance

          • Jerry
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Sorry to see that the truth hurts you Eddie, no one but the (want-to-be autocratic) Brexit right-wing are making noises on this, everyone else is happy for Parliament to have their constitutional say on these issues because they accept that there is no mandate for either the When or How the UK exits the EU, just that we do.

            As for your comment about High Court judges, I’m surprised that our host allowed such a serious allegation to be made, you need to think very hard just what you implied there – are you seriously suggesting that those three High Court judges did anything but follow the written law?!

        • Jerry
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          @Oggy; Except that in this instant the law states that the “landlord” is Parliament, not the “daily cleaning maid” in the form of the government of the day. Parliament makes the (applicable to Brexit) laws, not government, and thus Parliament has to make any changes to the law otherwise we would have a dictatorship and not a parliamentary democracy.

          Stop trying to circumnavigate our Parliamentary constitution, the political right are playing with fire in a petrol refinery… The daft thing is, the Government would clearly win any motion simply asking for Parliamentary approval to trigger A50, so there is another issue at stake, and that must be what form Brexit should take, for which no one has a mandate as non was asked, nor was there a single definition of what Brexit should be.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            As I said Oggy filibustering as demonstrated here in Jerry’s post is simply a devious and desperate attempt to stop us leaving.

            It is up to our elected Government to move forward with Leaving as per the referendum result.

          • Roy Grainger
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            Curious and contradictory announcements from Corbyn, Watson et al today. I can only conclude that the turkeys have decided not to vote for Xmas at this point by opposing A50. Even Corbyn’s demands seem minimal, mere “access” to the single market which every country in the world already has. Not quite sure what’s going on.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Basically what you are saying Edward is, unless you really do not have a first clue as to the constitutional dangers in circumnavigating constitutional law and thus setting a precedent for any future government, that Brexiteers are so desperate for a quick Brexit that any price is worth paying.

            Fine, just so long as you understand that Mr Corbyn could use that precedent to scrap our nuclear deterrent, renationalise, re-instate pro union laws, more to the point, say a grand coalition between Labour, LD, PC and SNP might use that precedent to re-join the EU…

          • Edward2
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            Carry on Jerry
            I would have respect for you if you were to admit you want to remain and you will try to stop any attempts to leave.

          • rose
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            On the contrary, it is the judges who have set a dangerous precedent, as the military people have pointed out publicly today.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Dear Kevin–Good point, well put, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply.

    • Chris
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      As Lord Ashcroft has said: if the SNP had won the independence referendum do you think they would accept being told, sorry, it was only advisory?

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Clever Kevin !


    • rose
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I agree. The PM has a mandate to deliver Brexit and that she must do before an election. These vexatious litigants and and their political and media friends are trying to hold things up so we get to 2020 without having come out, and then the election will they hope dissolve the referendum.

  21. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Mrs Thatcher, in her prime, would never have allowed this country to get into the mess it’s in at the moment. She might have supported Brexit in principle but i think, in her prime (the Mrs Thatcher of the early to mid 80’s when she was at her most astute – i think things went to her head a bit after that), she would have favoured remaining in the EU whilst trying to take the lead in reforming it (and relishing the fight – with the stomach for it). But she would never have supported Brexit with our high national debt, and not having prepared business for it, and not having a proper worked-out plan for Brexit in general.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Just like to add, Mrs Thatcher would, most likely, have listened to someone such as William Hague (a pragmatist, when needed, as opposed to an ideologist like many on the hard right of the party including many Brexiteers – just as Mrs Thatcher was a pragmatist when she needed to be) in politics, and someone such as Martin Sorrell in business. Sorrell, in my mind, has the sharpest grasp of Brexit from a business/economic POV in this country. He’s a really astute guy. Plus he has a proven track record of success in business – and success in business in services in the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

      Let’s hope Brexit works. But we must have a PLAN in place in case it doesn’t (be madness not to). And that plan would be to remain in the EU but trying to take a LEAD this time, in trying to REFORM it, as Mrs Thatcher would have thought about doing if she had been PM when Cameron was. Funnily enough, Mrs May has mentioned, in the past, the need to reform the EU. I believe she’s working her hardest to get Brexit to work, but if it doesn’t, at the back of her mind, she’s probably thinking about the need to reform the EU (in particular over immigration – and the main reason why most voted for Brexit).

      • Oggy
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        Ed you are forgetting –
        1)We have found out over the last 40 years that the EU is unreformable – look at Camerons dire and pathetic deal he came back with in January. If the EU had any ‘nounce’ at all they would have given the UK some form of immigration control, they are now paying for their intransigence.

        2) The EU’s sole purpose is more integration and more Federalism which is an anathema to the British people. Remaining in something we don’t want or ever voted for in the first place is NOT a good idea. I don’t recall ever voting to join the EU. (The original vote was the Common market not the lamentable EU)

        3) The ref. wasn’t just about immigration it was about being a free and independent country again. Various past governments have signed away our Sovereignty – Maastrict treaty and Lisbon treaty. I was never asked to vote if I agreed to them.
        Sorry the EU is autocratic, undemocratic and unreformable.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


          ‘1)We have found out over the last 40 years that the EU is unreformable – look at Camerons dire and pathetic deal he came back with in January’

          – You’re making a category error here: reform of the EU as a whole is different to the UK getting special ‘deals’ or concessions for itself. Again, and again, people make this same category error. If you don’t see or get this, then I don’t what to say.

          The EU can be changed (or reformed). Chancellor Kohl (with Mitterrand) changed it radically in Maastricht. But it does require consensus (and leadership) and there is strong consensus for reform, at the moment, throughout Europe.

          ‘The EU’s sole purpose is more integration and more Federalism which is an anathema to the British people’

          – These are tactics not goals. The goals are geopolitical: prosperity, peace and security in Europe as a whole.
          Can i remind you that Chancellor Kohl (behind Maastricht) was not a crackpot. He was a (moderate) right-wing Conservative who President Bush Sr described as the greatest European political leader of the last 50 years. Can i also you remind you that the EU parliament is packed with right-wing Conservatives from all over Europe (I don’t call these crackpots, or idealogists, or whatever).

          I think a major problem with Europe is that is has never done enough to get the UK on board, so that UK plays a key role with Germany and France in influencing it. I think this is the fault of the Germans and the French but also for us for not being proactive enough.
          And i think we’re stuck at loggerheads. The EU has some incredible economic and geopolitical benefits (with geopolitics affecting us economically in the long run). Brexiteers are in denial of this to make their case stronger that there are real problems with the EU. And the Brexiteers are right. There are real problems with the EU. Except they exaggerate them and ignore the benefits. Just as the europhiles in Germany and France (and the UK) ignore the just criticism Brexiteers make here in the UK about immigration and other things.
          And seems we seem to lurch from one extreme to another: either the UK in the EU without reform. Or the UK completely outside the EU. The EU needs the UK. And the UK needs the EU.
          Now the people have voted, we must press ahead with Brexit. But we must have a plan in place in case it doesn’t work. And that is to seek out those in Europe who want reform, and then seek to reform the EU (In 20 years time, we might be able to return to open borders because there will be greater prosperity in the poorer parts of the EU).
          Lord Powell said Mrs Thatcher would have sought to remain in the EU but reform it. No-one can say for sure (i think the Mrs Thatcher of the early to mid 80’s would have certainly have done – when she was at her most astute, when things hadn’t gone to her head a bit).

          ‘The ref. wasn’t just about immigration it was about being a free and independent country again’

          – Fair enough. But most people voted Brexit because of immigration not because they wanted ‘free and independent country again’ (we ALL want that but we don’t live in an ideal world) over the economic risks of leaving the EU.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, i meant if you asked why most people voted Brexit it was because of immigration not because of being a free and independent country.
            Some Brexiteers are trying to fuse the two (sure some Brexiteers voted for both). But certainly an important percentage of the poor and working class voted because of immigration. In other words, if immigration hadn’t been an issue, Brexit would have lost by miles. Both Brexiteers and Remainers have a moral duty to accept this (which is why i think it’s morally imperative to support Brexit now and get on with it – to focus on getting back control of our borders – and if this doesn’t work, and our economy crashes or declines over years, and there is a strong majority call for a second referendum, then we must have one). And until we do, there won’t be any real peace over this in this country for years.

    • Frank Salmon
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Rubbish. Thatcher would have led the charge to leave. We tried reform from within for forty years and got nowhere. We cannot possibly be worse off after Brexit. Even in the worst case scenario we will be better off than we are now. The EUs trade deal with Canada is peanuts compared to the one it currently has with us.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Rubbish. We’ve never tried to reform. We’ve tried to get concessions which is completely different. Mrs Thatcher was too busy rolling back the damage done to this country by years of socialism to take on Europe. But if she were PM now, she’d (the Mrs Thatcher of the early to mid 80’s when she was at her most astute – i think things went to her head a bit after that) be arguing for us to stay in Europe whilst taking a lead in reforming it. And she would have loved it because she had the stomach for it.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          And there’s no risk involved in trying to reform the EU. But the risk in Brexit is enormous (not saying risk is bad). And Mrs Thatcher was too astute to risk all this:
          – especially when national debt wasn’t paid off (i think she would have seen this as the most irresponsible part of Brexit)
          – without a proper plan
          – supporting our entrepreneurs, businesses and companies first to help make their services and goods as competitive as possible (this can take a few years) to make all the hassle of Brexit worth it
          And she would have been appalled to see the attack on the High Court (not forgetting she lived during WW2 when governments all over the place were undermining the judiciaries of their countries), of the vulgar, humourless, arrogant and xenophobic language we’ve seen recently – as if let out of a Pandora’s Box.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Agreed, we would never have got here in the first place.
      Her negotiating skills and level of judgement were on a different level than Cameron’s. The latter has now scuttled off to earn money on some other PR self-seeking mission, leaving a trail of disaster behind him. He and Osborne have much to answer for in this sorry matter. An apology for a PM and Chancellor.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      ED Mahony

      I think Thatcher would have had a plan before she gave us the referendum unlike Cameron. It is not Mrs May that should be taking the flak for the mess. It is Cameron who left us in the mire and walked out leaving everyone else to sort it out. With all the advice she is receiving from JR and others her only fault is not to act more positively and get on with the job she has chosen to do.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I agree about Mr Cameron.
        JR has loads of interesting insights to offer (but not the three Brexiteers) in my view (Boris is clever just comes across as really laid back about it all).
        And i agree – the Prime Minister needs to get on with it now and see how things go.

      • Juliet
        Posted November 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Had Cameron done what he was supposed to do, Article 50 would have been invoked. Instead, he reminisced Douglas Hurd clouded vision of how the EU should operate and thought, nope I’m out of here someone else’s problem. Cameron did some damage when he resigned, leaving the entire country up in the air. But that’s the past, it time powers to be mobilise and get things moving

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Surely after seeing how Cameron got on you can’t still be on the hopeless “stay in the EU and reform it to be more to our liking” track? Any “reform” of the EU will be what Merkel and successors want, not what we want; or have you forgotten that it was her “Reform Treaty”, later renamed the Lisbon Treaty, which recast the legal contents of the rejected EU Constitution in a new form?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–Quite right–Personally I never did understand whether Cameron, with his “Stay in a reformed EU” line, was talking about the (scarcely existent) reforms he thought he had brought back or reforms (absolutely impossible of achievement) he dreamt of making if we stayed in (despite having been told unequivocally to get knotted on that). He didn’t know himself of course but presumably he thought it sounded good. I feel justified in having long loathed the fellow.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Infers that things ‘went a bit to her head’ when she turned anti EU.

      Leavers always have psychological issues according to the Remain side.

    • mike fowle
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I doubt whether Mrs T would have allowed national debt to rise to such stratospheric levels. She would also have come to realise that the EU cannot be reformed. On that basis she would have supported Brexit. (Remember “No No No”?)

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        ‘She would also have come to realise that the EU cannot be reformed’

        – that kind of defeatist language would have really annoyed her (and Churchill). Of course it can be reformed (not easy but it is possible).

    • getahead
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      No, no, no.

    • Richard Butler
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      So given our high debt you think sending the EU £28 million day is sensible? Remember other nations trade very successfully with Europe without any trade deal, let alone the one we will agree.

    • Deborah
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Knew her well, did you? Lol.
      You have to be kidding.

  22. DampSquibParty
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Labour’s stance from bottom to top failed in the EU referendum. Failed as recently as June 23rd. Wiped out. All the pompous arrogant statements and affirmations. Then resorted to threats.Failed to make contact with it own voters, its own!
    So what can Labour say in Parliament?. No-one is listening to them outside especially in their heartlands.So they’re going through the motions of a proper Party. Trying at least. But they have no uniting ideology or principle just an individualistic power-grab mentality against their own. They are as useful as Guy Fawkes.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The court decision is interpreted by Remainers as confirming that the referendum was only ‘advisory’ and that this was clear in the Referendum Act.

    So clear that it had to go to the High Court and ancient law books were dusted off to make this situation as complicated as possible with the aim of obfuscation rather than the very clear decision that was made by the people.

    Mr Cameron said that Art 50 would be invoked the day after a Leave result. None were more emphatic about what Leave meant than the Remain campaign themselves. As it is David Cameron resigned rather than being the process of leading us out of the EU.

    Even that most informed of political presenters David Dimbleby announced the referendum result thus “Britain has left the EU.”

    Parliament does not need three High Court judges to tell it what to do and the people know what they heard and what they read in the lead up to the referendum. They will not tolerate being told that they have mis-thought this issue any more than being told that they mis-thought that a child was a craggy, 35 year-old man when it comes to the Calais migrant issue. (The BBC is still showing us footage of strapping blokes and telling us they are children – no-one is fooled except the Left.)

    The judicial dictatorship in Britain must end and now it has finally brought itself in open conflict with the people.

    In fact it is the judicial dictatorship which has caused us to vote Out of the EU. The judges always finding in favour of foreigners and never against our own people.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      *for* our own people. (sorry)

      Imagine what a loss it would be for the BBC if, say, 17 million stopped paying their licence fees. (Figure randomly plucked from the air.)

      It would certainly hit the leftist – pro EU – elite in the mouth, almost literally.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      The court decision rested partly on the linked assumptions that:

      a) A House of Commons Library briefing paper for MPs, dated June 3rd 2015, accurately stated the constitutional position; and

      b) MPs had actually read that supposedly neutral Library briefing, and accepted its interpretation of the constitutional position, before they agreed to vote through the Bill on an understanding that the referendum would be only advisory.

      From paragraph 107 in the judgment:

      “… the referendum Act was passed against a background that included a clear briefing paper to parliamentarians explaining that the referendum would have advisory effect only …”

      Wording which closely parallels that of an assertion made by counsel for the claimants, page 181 here:

      repeated on page 121 and also page 143 here:

      Which assertion was at no time challenged by counsel for the government, and in fact counsel for the claimants could confidently remind the judges of:

      “… the government’s agreement with that part of the report”.

      Some time ago JR published a comment I made on this kind of thing:

      “Reading transcripts of the High Court proceedings I’m amused by the recurring polite fiction that parliamentarians “intended” this, or didn’t “intend” that, when legislating, that with sufficient care it should be possible for the court to divine the “intentions” of Parliament when passing this or that provision.

      There may be some cases where this will at least slightly reflect the reality of what goes on in our Parliament, but having watched most of the Commons debates on the Lisbon Treaty I can say for sure that for most MPs their only “intention” was to keep in with their party whips and advance their careers by trooping through the right lobby when required to do so … “

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        A) The People didn’t read the library briefing and weren’t made aware of it until after the court case

        B) It appears that none of the MPs had read it either. None of them have cited it in objection to Brexit.

        C) David Dimbleby definitely said “Britain has left the EU” on the morning of the count – ergo even the most erudite of observers was unaware.

        D)David Cameron promised we would send the letter immediately but resigned instead.

        This is a technical get-out clause and not in the spirit of the vote which happened on the 23rd June.

        It does not matter what the judges say.

        It is what the people think that now counts.

      • stred
        Posted November 7, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        I am catching up on this, having been staggered to read last week that the referendum was only advisory, and wondering how Lord Panic had come up with this feesworth. Now I know and thanks Denis. It was someone in the Commons library that decided. And now the 3 Pro- EU judges have decided that these persons will determine whether the winning side of the argument can expect the decision to be binding, or the mainly pro-EU MPs.

        Perhaps the clerks in the library should be enobled for their services to unelected democracy.

    • getahead
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Again well said Anymouse.

  24. MikeP
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    If as you suggest John, your long list of ‘knowns’ has been aired and debated fully in the Commons why hasn’t such a list been formally issued to the press since it’s public knowledge anyway? I doubt if most members of the public could reel off a similar list, they may have picked up a few of those points but it’s more powerful to see the list in full, covering as it does every aspect (at a high level) of our future legal and trading relationship with Europe.
    I often wonder why it is that our Government ministers seem to have such a poor understanding of the public’s need to know. If they did they wouldn’t allow such uncertainty to fester. All that happens is that the press and anti-Government and/or Remainer voices like Nick Clegg and Polly Toynbee fill the vacuum. You’re doing your bit John but the PM is mis-managing the information flow just as she has mis-managed the legalities around triggering Article 50. Our Parliamentarians, having created our laws, should know them at least as well as the judiciary so shouldn’t have fought the High court case and shouldn’t appeal surely?
    I have just watched a re-run of BBC Question Time and I was almost screaming at the TV wanting someone, anyone, to say, “OK, let’s put Article 50 to a vote, let’s defer all other Parliamentary business, have a week of discussion, with wide coverage in the media, let’s probe the Government’s Brexiteers, then end with a vote. If, as a Remain-minded MP, you don’t like all that you hear, are you going to vote against triggering Article 50, if so where does that get us, other than handing the EU’s negotiators a great fat leg up in the negotiations to come?”.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree.
      What on earth is the point of an appeal if the government didn’t bother to prepare a case properly for the High Court.

      Put a list like Johns points to the HofC and let’s have a vote so we can see what our individual MPs vote.

  25. oldtimer
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink


    It seems to me that what we are witnessing is a second attempt at a Blairite coup (the first being the attempt to unseat Mr Corbyn from leadership of the Labour party) – to overturn the referendum result by any means possible, be it by parliamentary procedure or public pronouncements to create a sense of FUD about future terrors outside the EU. In this respect the High Court ruling on the procedure for invoking Article was a gift from heaven for them. If upheld by the Supreme Court it would mean that the referendum result and the parliamentary process that preceded it counted for nothing. It has provided the entrenched opposition to Brexit in Parliament, in the legal profession, in business circles and elsewhere fresh wind in their sails to harry the government at every turn. Logic does not come into it. What you say is true but that does not prevent them parading the same narrative day after day that the government has no plan, is flouting the law, is not defending the judiciary and so on.

    As an aside I am curious why Mr Cameron decided to make such a rapid exit from the House of Commons and why Mr Phillips has promptly resigned as MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham. Is one or other part of the same or a parallel plot to destabilise the May government? Such undercover collaboration was used to ensure the 1972 Act was passed. There is no reason to suppose that such collaboration would not be revived now.

  26. LordBlagger
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    There will be no second referendum on the terms. There is no point, because the other side will not suddenly improve them if we vote No


    Bad choice.

    Consider what the EU has to do if it knows that the deal has to pass the UK electorate.

    Consider what the EU will negotiate if it doesn’t.

    There’s a significant change.

    With a referendum on the terms, the EU then has to make the decision. Does it shoot one or two feet off?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Good thinking, apart from what question could realistically be asked. What would, what could, be on the ballot paper apart from something like:

      “Do you agree with the new treaty arrangements that the government has finalised with the EU, or would you prefer to have no new treaty arrangements at all?”

      • ChrisS
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        I suspect people like Blair, Soubry, Clegg and Owen Smith who would like a second referendum would rather the question be :

        “Do you agree with the new treaty arrangements that the government has finalised with the EU, or would you prefer the UK to continue to be a member of the EU on the same terms as before ?”

        That’s their real agenda.

        Of course most of them would deny it by saying :

        “the outcome of the referendum must be respected, but……etc. etc.

  27. NoMoreEU
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    A new plaque for the wall of 10 Downing Street:-

    “When you stand still…events overtake you!”.

    Article 50 Shades of Disarray!

    Take back the initiative Mrs May.

    The Leave campaign must reform, and go on the attack again.

    The battle of Brexit has been won…but Mrs May is starting to lose the War!

  28. English Pensioner
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I still remain unsure about Mrs May.
    She could have sent the letter immediately she was appointed PM, before all her opponents got organised, but chose to delay, not by a few weeks, but by more than six months. It was known she supported ‘Remain’ and I fear she could be ‘pretend’ fighting a battle with the hope she will lose it and that we will stay in the EU whilst blaming the courts, the Labour party, the SNP and every one else for her failure. Blaming others for one’s failure is something that I’ve seen far too often during my lifetime.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      That was Cameron’s job.
      The court action was taken place before May came to office, obviously on purpose this was obviously the back up plan.

  29. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    ‘The judicial dictatorship in Britain’

    – I think you’re being a bit decadent here, considering we’ve got Putin prowling the English Channel with his aircraft carrier, Assad dropping chemical weapons in Syria, and Isis terrorising people in Iraq.
    Our grandparents / parents fought the Nazis for freedoms such as having an independent judiciary free to make decisions that we may agree or disagree to the point of finding them a pain in the ass, at times. But at least they’re free and independent.

    • ian wragg
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      How can you possibly say we have a free judiciary when they are subject to EU scrutiny. Did we ever get asked if we wanted EU law to be supreme.
      A lot of the people who voted OUT are the very people who fought for our freedom and their descendants like me ( yes Jerry I really was in nuclear subs for 6 years during the cold war.). We spent a lot of our youth ensuring the Soviet Union collapsed and it is the tossers like Brown, Osbourne and Cameron who destroyed our armed forces.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg; “We spent a lot of our youth ensuring the Soviet Union collapsed”

        No you did not!

        Your job was to defend the UK and its people, many, the very people who fought the Second World war so that people like you can freely hold what ever political views you like. enough of your hyperbolic high-and-almighty self praise, your opinion are no more valid than the 90 year old ex-council dustman who as a very young man fought his way up from the Normandy beaches to the outskirts of Berlin in 1944/5 and spent his last days alive campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU.

        • ian wragg
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          You do talk at load of sanctimonious crap.
          I had one vote, 17.4million agreed with me, democracy is the majority wins. Grow up.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            @Ian Wragg; Nice example of the filthy pot trying to call the kettle dusty! Take you own advice.

        • NA
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          Ian Wragg; “We spent a lot of our youth ensuring the Soviet Union collapsed”

          No you did not!

          I did, I got a transit visa through the DDR, hired a car in Hamburg and drove to Gdansk to help the Solidarnosc movement. All at the tender age of 18. It was fun.

    • rose
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Our parents and grandparents didn’t fight those wars for remainiac judges, civil servants, broadcasters, and politicians to keep us under German rule.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        @rose; & @Anonymous; See my reply to Iain Wragg above in reply to his very similar rant.

        • rose
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          I suggest you look up “rant” in the dictionary. It doesn’t mean words which disagree with yours.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            @rose; I’ve taken your helpful (sic) advice…


            rant ‎(plural rants)

            1/. A criticism done by ranting.
            2/. A wild, emotional, and sometimes incoherent articulation.
            3/. A type of dance step usually performed in clogs

            …guess what, I’m still correct, your (along with those of Mr Wragg’s, and @Anonymous) comment was “A wild, emotional, and sometimes incoherent articulation”…

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Our grandparents fought for the right not be be ruled by Germany. Not for a clique to hand everything over to them in the guise of ‘protecting our democracy’.


      They are dictators in both senses of the word.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        PS, As far as my grandparents were concerned they weren’t fighting Nazis. They were fighting Germans. The use of ‘Nazis’ is a politically correct historical rewrite of the mood at the time.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          @Anonymous; That comment probably tells us more about your own political opinion than it does historical fact! 🙁

          • rose
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            Go back to the period and you will find what Anonymous says is true. This is an historical observation, not a political one.

          • miami.mode
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            Jerry. Anon has got a point there. You don’t define a nation by their government of the day and the radio broadcast in 1939 by the Prime Minister quite clearly stated “….we are at war with Germany”, colloquially known at the time as “Jerries”.

          • ian wragg
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            To Jerry, history started in 1997 when Bliar and his cronies took over.
            To him we are a weak and defeated nation waiting for the terms of the armistice to be declared against us.
            He would have been a quisling.

          • Anonymous
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Miami and Rose – Jerry has reverted to the stock insinuation that those of differing opinion are racists. I am merely stating fact. I don’t recall my grandparents or any other war veteran ever mentioning Nazis.

            Anti democratic and unpleasant of Jerry but, as always, I’m glad of the proof that he is.

            If there is anything that underlies the anger that caused Brexit it is this sort of dishonesty.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            @miami.mode; “You don’t define a nation by their government of the day”

            Oh right so what should we call the period after November 1965 and before April 1980 in the Republic of Zimbabwe? Almost everyone defines the period as that of Mr Smith’s UDI (and the civil war).

            @ian wragg; “To Jerry, history started in 1997 [../personal abuse cut/..]”

            Says the person whose own period of history only appears to start on 4th May 1979 and ends 28th Nov 1990… On the other hand I have often talked about the pre WW2 period, I don’t think you have mentioned many facts much before the late 1970s.

            @Anonymous; You do realise were the term Nazi comes from, derived from the German word “Nationalsozialistische” (National Socialist), to call it merely modern day political correctness is daft, the word was in use well before political correctness was even thought of, the term was used in Germany by Germans back in the early 1930s to describe the NSDAP!

            Indeed I seem to recall that even Winston Churchill use the term before or during the war in at least some of his speeches.

            Why would anyone attack those who use a perfectly correct word with a long and accepted Etymology – You tell me….

          • stred
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            Mine were fighting Jerry Jerry. I always thought this was unfair on people called Jerry who were not Nazis. My dad told me the British army used to call American GIs general idiots, on account of their ‘shoot everything if it moves’ technique. I also thought this was unfair, as they had helped a lot and on the whole shot more Jerrys than allies.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr Mahony–The Russian ships went straight through the Channel, which is an International Waterway, as one does if one wants to get to the other end and beyond. I fail to see how that counts as prowling or even close. As I said the other day would you have been happier had they gone round the North of Scotland? I see a camp is developing that says leaving the EU lock stock and barrel and striking a deal with Russia would be a good idea. Sounds eminently sensible to me.

  30. bigneil
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    ” legally settled EU citizens here in the UK that they can stay, assuming no evictions of UK people from the continent” – – doubt this would happen – -everyone who gets here knows their free taxpayer funded lawyer will be fighting for them to stay for a life on our taxes- -then fighting to bring in EVERY member of their extended family for their “entitlement” to the same. – no matter how much they’ll cost us in benefits, NHS, Housing and schooling. If the others send the English back – -at least we won’t have to pay for translators for THEM. A friend’s NHS appointment the other day was 90 minutes late – -because the person who had gone in earlier needed a translator, presumably hadn’t paid a penny – but wouldn’t care about all the people sat outside who were actually paying taxes to fund the 90 minute appointment and further treatment. It is disgusting that we are treated as second class in a system that WE pay for. Is there any wonder the NHS is under strain – -when none of the “elite” will do anything about situations like this? Multiply the 90 minutes by however many non English speaking people who attended Hospitals every day. It will soon be THEY can all take appointments at 90 minutes each – how many NORMAL appointment times did that one person take. Those people waiting would have had families to organise etc – yet couldn’t do it because all that time was handed over to someone who hasn’t contributed – -and probably never will. The end result is clearly obvious.

  31. Oggy
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    ‘ What part of this do they not understand?’ – they do understand – it’s all part of the plan to thwart the will of the people. They will fillibuster, create delay upon delay, appeal to the courts, amend any legislation going through Parliament until it becomes unrecognisable. In the end we will not leave the EU as the people voted for. The end result being no different to that pathetic ‘deal’ Cameron came back from the EU with.
    Mrs May is to blame for the present shambolic situation by not triggering A50 straight away as we all said/pleaded here months ago.
    I am angry, the people are angry and getting impatient. If the process of leaving the EU is not started soon I fear there will be a violent backlash. Then the lefties will blame it all on us – job done.

  32. Newmania
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    John Redwood has described the hardest possible Brexit with cataclysmic consequences for all bussiness especially SMEs services jobs families homes and our children. I feel a sinking despair as I read this recipe for disaster line by line .According to Redwood there is mandate to leave the EU , leave the single market , leave the customs union ,ditch Freedom of movement , evict our neighbours if needs be, pay nothing and find another way to make a living with the same trade access as Malawi . John Redwood claimed trade would continue much as before , numerous others promised all manner of bounty and the polls show not only that people, believed them but that their support was dependent on no bad consequences . What a sad joke and all this is to be done with half the country loathing it as well as most MPs.
    Why does he talk about Labour as if Labour and Remain were the same thing ? 4500,000 Conservatives voted remain , the Leader of the Labour Party convinced 45% of his voters he was against Remain and , I suspect was in touch with parts of leave throughout Labour are not the opposition. The Real Conservative Party Liberals and what is left of modernising Labour are the opposition. It is both ends against the middle, both ends being the same deadly brew of Nationalism and socialism that has wrecked the world before
    It is up to MPs and the Lords to delay . Brexit support is leeching away even now , with inflation , interest rate hikes and a bitter fraudulent election on the horizon two years of misery cannot be afforded and no-one will want it .It is not over yet and , here is some bad new for those who claim they express the “Will of the People” . It is never going to be over. At some point an opposition will coalesce and it will promise to rejoin the EU. Remain are a hugely powerful constituency which is only starting to come together

    Best Regards

    Enemy of The People

    Reply I have made clear my support for anyone legally settled here from the rest of the EU staying here as they wish.

  33. Bert Young
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    John , your last sentence says it all – move on and do it !. Whatever we negotiate to achieve subsequent to the letter arriving in Brussels , is going to be a drawn our affair anyway . The letter does not have to spell it out beforehand . The Supreme Court will back the Prime Minister because it must put the will and decision of the people first ; legal intricacy will exist but the thrust of the argument is the result of the public vote .

    What happens in the House subsequent to the letter being sent will inevitably include all sorts of comments , however , the end result will be the same – we will be OUT and we will be left with all manner of hurdles to face and overcome .

  34. ChrisS
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    A very clear statement of the situation which clearly shows that Labour are doing nothing more than mischief. Their own situation makes it difficult for them to do anything else :

    Labour’s referendum campaign was deeply flawed because of deep divisions within the party which are irreconcilable.

    Corbyn is against the EU for ideological reasons but strongly in favour of FOM and inward immigration from all parts of the world. That’s why he made no more than a token effort in the campaign which angered just about everyone including almost all of his MPs who are mostly Europhiles and also in favour of maintaining FOM.

    That places them both at odds with the large proportion of Labour voters in the North who are against FOM and voted to Leave.

    The party therefore has no strategy other than to criticise the Government because they can’t agree on one. Just contrast the pronouncements of Owen Smith who is still calling for a second referendum despite Corbyn ruling one out !

    Then we have last ditch Remainers like Clegg and the 100 or so LibDems in the Lords who are unashamedly trying to derail the whole process at almost any cost. Having lost the referendum, Remainers have reverted to a more subtle argument based around the concept of “Soft Brexit.”

    Arch-Europhile Clegg is now the leading proponent of “Soft Brexit” yet he of all people with wide experience in both the UK Government and Brussels knows only too well that this is a wholly disingenuous argument. There is no such thing as “soft Brexit”

    The Leave side fought and won the Referendum campaign on four clear policy lines :

    1. Take back control of Immigration Policy
    2. Take back control of our legal system, ending the primacy of the European Court
    3. Take back the power to negotiate our own trade deals with other Countries
    4. An end to EU Budget Contributions

    Given the very recent experience of Cameron’s failed renegotiation, it was entirely obvious throughout the campaign that the Brussels establishment and the political leaders of the other EU major States would regard the continuation of tariff-free trade in goods and services between the UK and the 27 as incompatible with any one of these four demands, let alone all four.

    As the four issues detailed above were the entire basis on which the Leave campaign won, they will inevitably be Red Lines in the Leave negotiations. With the attitude of the rest of the EU clearly stated beforehand, it stands to reason that Leaving always had to mean being outside the so-called single market and also the Customs Union.

    Leading Remain spokesmen including Cameron and Osbourne made all this very clear throughout the campaign.

    Nevertheless, Mrs May’s negotiating position will undoubtedly be to offer the continuation of tariff-free trade in goods and services between the UK and the 27 while insisting on the four red lines detailed above. In view of their trade surplus with the UK, it is a generous offer and they would accept if they had any sense whatsoever.

    However, this is the EU and there seems little doubt that the 27 will reject the offer and further negotiations on the major issues will be utterly pointless.

    At that point we might as well just leave straight away, save ourselves £850m per month in net contributions and revert to WTO trade rules. The minor details can then be discussed ad infinitum.

    Clegg and the Remainers are being totally dishonest because they know that “Soft Brexit” is unachievable. Their real aim is to derail the whole process.

  35. They Work for Us?
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you for a clear exposition of the position.

    Unfortunately the BBC, vested business interests and other politicians can’t and won’t accept for reasons of their own, one of which is ” we run the country, the public don’t and they can mind their own business as to our affairs”.
    I think this method of governance will soon assume a prominence comparable to the MP expenses scandal.

  36. CourtingAnger
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Remainder/Labour/Court notions have already backfired in Labour areas. Traditional Labour voters grow impatient and more unforgiving with every passing day.Yes the media are painting all as some kind of balanced debate on “a very important judicial decision”. Our legal system is heralded to the skies by Parliamentarians as one would expect. On the streets however stand the CCTV, the speed trap, the parking ticket; the £50-100 fines for a small toffee paper… a practice ridiculed by our media in Soviet times as was practiced in a Moscow street of the USSR as “evidence, as if we needed it, of dictatorial state tyranny.”
    Get them out of their wigs and gowns! The year is not the year of our Lord 1716. Give them a proper and most honourable decent job to do! Picking up toffee papers on pavements would be a fresh start for them and would perhaps regain public respect for their work.This is not Zimbabwe with lookalike wigged judges undermining its people each and every day with suppurating sweaty arrogance and salary.
    The majority of the population sometime in their lives, miraculously , unbelievably, and hurtfully in most cases, has fallen foul of criminal or civil law. There is more anger at our “honoured” Court and legal system than is appropriate in a free country. This Article 50 decision is a fine too far.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Dear Anger–Cannot imagine a better example of not seeing the wood for the trees–legal trivia clouding the intensely serious and overarching judgement as should have been. The answer they came up with might have looked good in a Magistrates’ Court but not in the High Court and certainly not, or at least so I hope, in the Supreme Court. Maybe we would do better with the ECJ–all seems fairly basic to me and they want to get rid of us now.

  37. roger parkin
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    John. Excellent article as usual. What worries me however is that you say ministers have stated that ‘we will not be a member of the single market or the customs union”. I haven’t heard any of them say that unequivocally and certainly not the Prime Minister. Why not? Can some minister please put on record in the house your excellent submission so that everyone is reminded of what the majority of us voted for. If not myself and many others will continue to suspect that compromise is coming down the line.

    Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    ‘Twould appear that not patriotism but Law Courts are the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  39. Antisthenes
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    The court case was about control of the Brexit process nothing else (scuppering Brexit would be a bonus not the object). Remainers believe that as parliament has a considerable remainers majority if it decides on the conditions of triggering article 50 remainers will obtain the deal they want which indubitably they will. A deal that at best will be Efta/EEA but could be worse than that. There are only two ways to deal with the current situation. Theresa May concedes or appeals and if it fails calls a general election.

    The former is hardly appetising for many Brexiteers. The latter is very much an unknown. Speculation tells us in the event of an election that the Conservatives and leavers(especially UKIP in Northern England) would do well out of an election. That Labour (Momentum)will suffer badly and it may revive the Lib-Dims fortunes. Leaving the problem of still having to sort out the Lords as they may still be an encumbrance to triggering article 50. Also will Brexit negotiations achieve much more than what remainers wanted to be achieved anyway. Worst of all my speculation could be wildly incorrect as we know how error prone forecasting is. Ask remainers, the Treasury, George Osborne, Carney and the like. Not just them of course all pundits during the course of history. Those who were deemed correct were so because they had the foresight to make their predictions after the event not before but registering them the other way round.

    All and sundry are either castigating or upholding their right of independence of the judges involved. Both sides are right. Independence of course is sacrosanct for the obvious reasons. However the law when being ruled upon by a judge(s) is very much open to question as after all it is only an opinion. Are there not many a judge’s ruling that we believe to fly in the face of common sense and all that is reasonable. Judges are human beings and are therefore not perfect and suffer from the problem of perception. We all perceive things in different ways and judge them on that perception. Judges are no different. Laws are not rigid and have only one interpretation if they were we would not need judges. Those who judged the case on triggering article 50 could have given the opposite judgement and they could no more be said to be wrong than now. The people want Brexit and their will is also sacrosanct that is why we have the jury system. The jury had given their verdict but the judges ignored it.

  40. Jack Snell
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Some of us can see where this is all going.. we’re going to end up with a second rate deal with the EU- we’ll have access for goods and services only- otherwise we’ll have restricted travel for all, in and out, of the UK but subject to visa control. The flow of capital to and from the EU and Financial services will be much more difficult though and unworkable from London and in the end we will have to abide by all of the EU rules including making annual payments of billions and with no say at all about future EU policy direction- and for instance if the EU in the future decides to introduce four pronged plugs for electrical appliances and we want to export them there then we’ll have to adopt to this new rule without any say – but we’ll have succeeded in taking back our law making powers from Brussels for ourselves so that will be some consolation.

    However you needn’t think that Liam Fox is going to do some special deal in the short term to ship butter and lamb all the way back from from New Zealand – that day is gone- nor is David Davis going to do any pre article 50 agreements with EU countries by the back channel because the EU doors are now all firmly closed- none of the trio, Fox, Davis or dear old Boris will be involved by then anyway- there will be a new team in place from next spring- theres no doubt about that- the whole thing is much too serious to be left to these Muppets – so in the end its going to result very much as a last minute deal and after two years of hard talks probably around March 2019- down to the wire- it’ll be – ‘take it or leave it’ – and if we don’t?

  41. Antisthenes
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Going way off topic. Mises Daily has an article on Clinton and Trump in which it concludes that the lesser of two evils is Clinton. Simply because corruption is less harmful to the economy than protectionism. Of course free trade is the optimal condition to ensure the health of an economy. This must inevitably lead to the conclusion that the UK which is a free trade nation by nature is better out of the EU as the EU is protectionist and corrupt politically and democratically at least and it’s inability to balance it’s book probably means in a much wider sense.

  42. ian
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see independent candidate standing in all constituency areas, organize by the election commission and the gov, so that no one is left out at the time of a general election because there is only parties to vote for, with all the manifesto reading the same and no independent people, so that the people have full ranger of options and a fair vote for the first time, also lobbying to be look into by special interest groups like that stay in the EU.

    You have free parliament which can do this but it should already of been done by the parliament to make sure you the people have a full choice at election time, not just people working for parties and saying what they are told to win a election and then doing what they like when they win for special interest groups.

  43. hefner
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Why has it not been done yet? I very doubt it is because of the deliquescent Labour Party. Maybe some in the Conservative Party should have a proper look in the mirror and reflect on how they could have written such an open-ended referendum question, without the Leave side having made sure of a proper list of discussion points with the EU, a proper timetable and road-map (accepted by all Leavers, UKIP included) to proceed.
    It is a shame that people opposed to the EU have not been able to put their ducks in a row, some of them in 43 years. Despite the mantra-like repetitions of “I have been writing this for several months”, nothing much seems to happen, no clear and properly timed path is available, and uncertainty still remains as the whole thing looks so amateurish.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that Labour is just attention-seeking. They have nothing substantive to say, but nonetheless feel they have to say something, so they come up with a formulation which will pass muster with the media and sections of the public but are just twaddle.

    There’s an interesting interview with Keir Starmer here:

    rather strangely headlined “Keir Starmer: Britain’s last Remaining hope”, which sets off with an amazing revelation:

    “In the most comprehensive explanation of his position on Brexit to date, Starmer told POLITICO that Britain’s membership of the single market will have to “lapse,” that Labour will push for “the fullest possible” tariff-free access to European markets, and that any new deal with Brussels will require Westminster to have some control over who comes to work in the U.K.”

    Right, so the complete antithesis of the government’s position, then …

  45. Maureen Turner
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The list you set out is what us Brexisters are looking for (at least out in the constituencies) but unfortunately the majority of Con. MPs are proEU Remainers as are most other Parties’ MPs. What this tells us is there is an unhealthy divide between the voter and his/her elected reps. In other words is it not the case the PM, on the issue of Brexit, is running a minority government or something similar.

    There is talk in the print media of a snap GE. At first I thought it unwise but the alternative appears to be lengthy periods of inaction which gives more time to the BBC to continue concocting visions of never ending financial/economic disaster. If a GE is decided upon then perhaps (wayward) Con. MPs will realise it doesn’t pay to ignore the voter. The EU referendum was our vote – not theirs.

    • Richard
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Certainly an unhealthy divide in this constituency. The majority here voted to Remain, yet our MP wants the Leave. What is Redwood to do?

      Reply Your figures are untrue and there is no problem. I will vote to carry out the wishes of elevtors as expressed in the referendum.

      • Richard
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        The people of Wokingham voted to remain by 55,272 votes to 42,229. A total of 97,551 votes were cast, with turnout being 80 per cent.

        Could Mr Redwood, MP for Wokingham, confirm he will represent the views of his constituency and vote against the UK leaving the EU.

        Reply Those are the votes for the Borough which has very different boundaries to my constituency!

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted November 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Dear John–TVM for sparing us the good stuff about being a rep not a delegate (or the other way round)

  46. NickW
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    We cannot ignore what is happening across the Atlantic in the American election.
    Supporting Clinton are the Banks, Media, Mega Corporations and the leaders of the Democrat Movement; these are the people and organisations who opposed Brexit.

    It would be an understatement to describe what has been made public about the Clintons and their Foundation as unsavoury.

    Britain should have nothing to do with a…. Clinton administration (fighting off allegations re past conduct)that is determined on war with Russia, a war which will be fought on European soil, spilling the blood of Europeans and destroying European culture. We need to make sure that our nuclear deterrent remains under our control and remains as a purely defensive weapon. There are those in the US who would support a first strike against Russia; and given the size and population density of the UK we need to make quite sure that our nuclear deterrent will not and cannot play any part in that scenario, otherwise, we will rightly be considered a legitimate target by the Russians.

    Britain has a choice as to whether we support good or evil; for too long we have been on the wrong side. Those who favour Brexit need to fully understand just how much their position will be changed by a Clinton win.

    A Clinton USA will have no room for Brexit and a Britain that wants to make its own way in the World. Our politicians will end up serving the Clinton interests, not British interests.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Here she is, somebody who has benefited from that archaic Royal Prerogative to become one of our unelected legislators-for-life:

    “Majority of House of Lords ‘would back stalling Article 50 until they get more detail'”

    “Tory Baroness Wheatcroft, a former newspaper editor who joined the Lords in 2010, claims a majority of peers would be in favour of stalling on Brexit until they get more detail from Theresa May.

    She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was right to delay triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty until “we have a clearer idea of what it actually entails”.

    “I think there will be others in the Lords who feel the same way,” she said. “How many … it is hard to say, but I think there could be a majority who would be in favour of delaying Article 50 until we know a little more about what lies ahead.””

    I wonder if there was some kind of forward planning here:

    Thursday June 23rd – referendum vote.

    Friday June 24th – confirmed that the vote is to leave the EU, but Cameron does not keep his promise that he would trigger Article 50 and instead announces that he is resigning as Prime Minister and it would be better for his successor to send in the notice:

    “The will of the British people is an instruction which must be delivered”

    Saturday and Sunday – weekend, courts closed.

    Monday June 28th – first application for judicial review lodged.

    And now:

    Thursday November 3rd – judges say they know nothing of the will of the British people, quoting Dicey from 1919, and the referendum result was not an instruction at all but just some helpful advice which parliamentarians can accept or reject as they choose.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


      Although there are fair comments that the independence of the judiciary must be maintained, I think the UK is in the unfortunate position of Douglas Carswell’s phrase “politicians without acccountability” becoming too widely applicable. Personally I look at the Governor of the BoE’s, the High Court’s and the House of Lords’ apparent behaviour toward Brexit and worry. All look like unaccountable politicians that are part of the powerful elite not serving the people in this context. One of the reasons for voting for Brexit was the motivation and accountability distance between the EU institutions and the UK electorate. It seems that “politicians without accountability” are also close to home. When institutional elite act against the people it can become disconcerting rather quickly.

    • rose
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Patience Wheaatcroft has made it abundantly clear ever since the result that she and her friends are going to stop Brexit from ever happening. No “The will of the British people must be respected but…” from her.

  48. Censor
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump and Melania Trump Rally in Wilmington, North Carolina Speech (11/5/2016). (Sky News and the silent trill and the invisible woman )
    (5/11/2016 )
    I was listening to Sky News today . They were awaiting the above. Mrs Trump turned up as a surprise and just when she was about to speak to the crowd, Sky News cut to something in their studio of no interest to anyone. So I watched it LIVE on my computer. She began heaping praises on her husband. He then walked over to her, kissed her lightly and she emitted quietly a little away from the microphone what men have told me is a pleasing chuckle which some women make instinctively by a mysterious automatic reaction in certain situations. I take their word for it. It is 3-4 seconds long and can be described as a trill or warble or coquettish soft chuckle of sorts. It struck me instinctively as very endearing indeed.
    Thirty minutes later Sky News returned to the topic of Trump and showed a very short clip of what I saw and heard online but not mentioning the warble. Indeed, at the moment it occurred in the speech Sky News lowered the sound level for a brief few seconds which completely eliminated the warbling sound. Then they went back to speaking and showing an area where Hillary Clinton was supposed to give a rally but had not turned up..without explanation..possibly because of a rain storm. Few others turned up .
    You really have to chuckle about Sky News. They’ll go to the ends of the earth or even Nevada to see and talk about Mrs Clinton, even when she is completely and absolutely silent and totally invisible.

    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    The invisible Mr Gove

    Michael Gove was said be present in Broward County Florida today by a lady journalist on-the-spot reporting for Sky News.

    Unfortunately, she said, standing in the rain with a backdrop of lush green well watered turf, there was a downpour and Hillary Clinton had mysteriously “not turned up” nor the persons for the rally but in the case of Mrs Clinton “no explanation” was forthcoming. The journalist said Mr Gove explained his presence by saying he was interested in listening and seeing Mrs Clinton and, Mr Trump.

    Oddly, reports online state Mrs Clinton was indeed present from 1.35pm their time but managed only six and a half minutes speaking before ending the rally early due to the onset of the rain. Odder still, judging by the LIVE broadcast by Sky News earlier when it was obvious the rain was already pouring down with no sign of Mrs Clinton. Fortunately, if Mr Gove was indeed there, though we did not see him on TV, he may shed some light on the invisible /visible/present/not present Mrs Clinton and what he was able to learn in six and half minutes if in fact there were six and half minutes of anything except rain.

  50. NA
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Why is the government spending 13 million on surrounding the Embassy Julian Assange is in?

    Its pathetic John.
    This is because Sweden want to question him about rape? Really?

  51. Richard
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Very worrying that the govt has fallen at the first Brexit hurdle.

    Makes May and her govt look stupid. Why wasn’t this anticipated?

    Did May have bad legal advice, or did she ignore her legal experts?

    • Yudansha
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I fear it’s a planned fudge, Richard.

      • NA
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        I fear it’s a planned fudge, Richard.

        As Lenin once said, expect little and then you will not be disappointed when you receive little. That’s my philosophy on Brexit.

  52. David Lister
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    “There have been Questions to each of the 3 leading Brexit Ministers.”

    But there have been very few answers of any substance. This is the issue.

    • Longinus
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Here’s a question for you.
      What will the EU be like in 5 years time?

  53. hefner
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Reading the comments here, I realize how difficult it has become to be a politician. In the 80s, or more precisely before the time of the Internet and blogs, politicians could practically say anything, relying on a printed and broadcast media to relay their messages or at least to convey some well channeled versions, pro- or anti-, of what they were saying. Nowadays, with a much wider and participating audience, what clearly appears is that, more often than not “the King is undressed” and even the one talking is not even a king but a jester and a poor one at it. Tough to be a Redwood!

    • graham1946
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I don’t think it is particularly difficult being a politician in 2016. They too have the technology to get their views across rather than standing on a soapbox in the rain and hoping the MSM may pick something up. They just need some principles and to try to tell the truth and serve their constituents rather than themselves. There’s the difficulty.

      What you are really saying is that politicians of yesteryear found it easier to lie and nowadays can be found out in an instant by the technology and rolling 24 hours news we have. That’s their real problem, but it wouldn’t be one if they were straight.
      Don’t notice JR having much trouble with it all and he actually encourages debate on his views here. My local MP has a ‘blog’, but its only one way – no discussion allowed. Presumably not interested in what the voters think, just what head office says their principles are.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Thanks to Mr Redwood for allowing alternative views here. Although i disagree him over Europe, I respect and like him (in particular for not being a schmoozer – there’s just so much schmoozing in politics and the media i think).

      • Longinus
        Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Rubber stamping EU legislation and filling in forms for expenses isn’t particularly strenuous for the modern MP.

  54. Yudansha
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I’d like to pick up on the point made by Kevin.

    The referendum was taken on a one-man-one-vote basis and yet Brexit – it’s extent and what it means – is to be shaped on opinion weighted on the normal constituency basis.

    If we knew this would have happened we could have saved the money and excitement of the referendum by making this happen by the petition process.

    Of course this is a stitch up by the pro EU judiciary !

  55. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Disingenuous John, you know which part they don’t like, they want to stay inside the single market and as a knock-on effect of that keep freedom of movement.

  56. Colin Hart
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Stand by for further judicial review the moment an Article 50 Bill is introduced.

    And it won’t be long before the courts, rather than parliament, make all our laws.

  57. Anoneumouse
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Come on John I wrote to you befor about this

    Pepper v Hart [1992] The court established the principle that when primary legislation is ambiguous then, in certain circumstances, the court may refer to statements made in the House of Commons or House of Lords in an attempt to interpret the meaning of the legislation.

    Reply Yes, and Ministers made clear they were giving the decision to the people!

  58. Jumeirah
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    The Single Market: I’m bored with British Business Leaders and others bleating about the fact that there are 500 million Customers out there in the EU infering that if we leave the Single Market we risk our market share in this huge market. How long have we been in this EU Club and what have British Business Leaders done in the market so far? Why do we need 500 million Customers who sell more to us than they buy from us?Business Leaders irrespective of whether we land up in the Single Market or out of it your job and responsibilty to the Nation, your workforce and the people of this Country is to get off your backsides and sell our products to the EU and the world and fight for market share redressing the imbalance which YOU have allowed to happen.
    Quote by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Mahktoum – Ruler of Dubai in his speech to the Nation:
    ” We don’t wait for the future – we BUILD IT”
    British Business Leaders – OFF YOUR BUTTS and get out there!

    • Longinus
      Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Won’t there be only 430m in the EU when we leave?

  59. Tues/Wed upallnight
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    So many words in these comments.
    Like angry bees in a jam jar.
    It’s so simple,
    Start reading the alternative media.(uk, us, russkie and all the rest )
    Also historically relevant literature.

  60. Juliet
    Posted November 7, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    This is how it looks to the outside world & Constituents … Remainer MPs stalling for time, and when they’re given the space to do what’s needed they throw obstacles in the way, making it as painful and difficult as possible. Can they not be more responsible for their action, get their act together and do what’s required of them, and do their job.

  • 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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