Transition to what?

I have told Ministers this week that I do not want a two year Transition period agreed anytime soon before we know what if anything we are going to  transit to. If there is no Agreement on a comprehensive Free Trade deal and wider partnership then we should just leave in March 2019 and get the full benefits immediately of paying them no more money and being able to change our laws and control our own borders as we see fit. That is what Leave voters voted for.

The Prime Minister has always said she would consider an Implementation period after March 2019, but that implies there is an Agreement to implement. She also said it should be as short as possible, and of variable duration depending on the clauses of the Agreement to be implemented and their complexities. None of this is needed if there is no acceptable deal. Her argument for considering an Implementation period was to avoid a double adjustment – first to being out, then to the terms of a new Agreement. That makes sense. By definition you cannot know what if anything you need for implementation before you have even started negotiating the trade agreement.

Neither Remain nor Leave voters will be happy if we replicate the obligations and costs of EU membership without any longer being a voting member of the Council. Leave must mean   leave. That means taking back control of our money, our borders and our laws, and leaving on 29 March 2019 as agreed.

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  1. garretG
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    The problem is that none of this was thought through beforehand by anyone. Time is getting short now and the blame game is creeping in. We have to assume that we are leaving 29/03/2019 without an agreement in place and so then no need for a transition period. Because transition implies transit to somewhere.. but where? As it looks now government hasn’t a clue what it wants.. the Tory leadership is divided, in fact splintered, and Corbyn is keeping his head down hoping to pick up the bits.. when the time “told you so” game. So we can take back control of our money, our borders and our laws for whatever that means to most people? but unless Liam Fox can pull a few rabbits out of the hat I fear we are in for hard times

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m not relying on Liam Fox to save us from hard times, I’m relying on the marginal overall economic importance of EU membership to minimise any relative hardship we may experience. And I say only “relative” hardship because it could be for example that a decade after we have left the EU our GDP will have increased, but only by 20% instead of by 22%. Equally it could be that countervailing positive consequences of Brexit, such as better regulation or new trade deals around the world or indeed just the savings on the contributions to the EU budget, might help to push GDP up by 24% rather than just 22%. The only caveat I have is that we and the other EU countries should be working very hard to seek as smooth an exit as possible, avoiding the dreaded “cliff edge”, as that would certainly be damaging to our economy, and also to the economy of the continuing EU, and indeed potentially to the whole world economy.

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      According t Hammond today he wants free movement and close as possible to what we are now! No slap down from May? Oust her now.

      Reply There was a correction

      • Hope
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Davis is now making soothing comments as well, if true or accurate he could have given it as his first account to the select committee. This is damage limitation as they know the cat is out of the bag. Modest changes is what he also said. This is corroborated by phase one capitulation where the U.K. Pays twice the amount it does now! Your comments are for party unity not national interest or democracy. Now explain regulatory alignment and Rudd’s letter to EU citizens, which is also against govt policies of Brexit and immigration.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Oust him not her.

        He is the equivalent of the incurable appeaser Lord Halifax who disrupted Churchill’s first cabinet, and just as with Halifax it has now got to the point where Hammond must go. It has become clear that there can be no hope of a united front against the EU with him still in the government.

        Not that I would extend the analogy to Theresa May being equivalent to Churchill …

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        JR, we’ve had too many instances of somebody in the government saying something which then needed correction. It has become obvious that Philip Hammond is an incurable euroappeaser and therefore a disruptive element in the government and he should be removed from office. Maybe we need a new representative in some distant country where he could do little harm?

    • NickC
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      GarretG, Yes it was thought through before the Referendum by many people. I certainly did, and I was a long way from being unique. The fact that Remains did not listen to us is their fault not ours.

      The result was two main strategies: use Art50 and go to EEA agreement; or, avoid Art50, give diplomatic notice and leave in a year, FTA if agreed later. The government instead listened to its Remain civil servants. The government’s Leave process will take longer than WW2. It is absurd.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,
    IF ONLY you could get Mrs May to repeat your first paragraph above, in the House and to the World. That is the clarity that would galvanise a meaningful result.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Indeed but T May rarely says or does anything sensible. She is far more concerned with pathetic virtue signalling about some fund raising dinner at the Dorchester.

      Am I the only one who thinks that if women want to earn £150 for an evening as waitresses they should be allowed to, but if they do not want to they should not, it is surely up to them to make their choice. They could always walk out after all.

      Also if any feel they were actually assaulted they should just go to the police.

      There does however seem to have been some discrimination against male waiters looking at the numbers.

      Reply What happened was unacceptable and those involved have accepted that and apologised.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        No one has complained to the police about anything it seems. What is all the fuss FT inspired fuss about, when there are so many real and important issues to be addressed? Let women make their own choices.

        It does not sound like the sort of event that I would want to attend however.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Mr R you’ve diverted to a separate point.
        Is it or is it not acceptable for women to earn £150 for an evening’s work if they want to? Perhaps more pertinent, were gender and age equality rights respected in the interview process?

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Davis made it clear everything stays the same when interviewed by Rees-Mogg yesterday. Although the U.K. Will pay at least twice the amount it does now! Davis came across as a bafoon. A vassal state with no voice, but comply and be under EU control hamstrung to reap any benefit of leaving for at Least two years. This brings uncertainty for business that trades with EU and hampers the vast majority that do not.

      That is why May rebukes Johnson for suggesting anything good about leaving and stays silent when Hammond speaks against govt policy to remain. May is trying to condition the public to remain in all but name giving a longer period to change our minds. Remainers see Johnson as a threat to hamper their efforts to keep the U.K. In the EU. The press will help as it did before the referendum, it had a daily assault on him. Keep beating the drum Johnson.

      We read her relationship, unsurprisingly has turned sour with Trump.

      JR, Get rid of May or bring the govt down.

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      The EIB yesterday said, Therefore a reduction of capital by 16 percent paid in and callable capital, and this contingent liability still exists, and will remain to exist.

      Why will the U.K. Leave this amount in the EuropeN Investment Bank when we leave?

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Just remove the superfluous “, and leaving” in your last sentence.
    Be clear. Unlike Mme May.

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I think this will be the acid test for T May/D Davis.

    If they are sincerely planning to negotiate a transition arrangement without having a detailed agreement for the other side of the transition already in place, they are fooling both themselves and us, and should be shunted out of office forthwith.

    Is your amongst those (less than 45) names Mr R??

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      It is a full blown extension if in doubt watch Davis being interviewed by Rees-Mogg yesterday.

      • rose
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        And Walker being interviewed by Andrew Neil. That and the Davis conversation with Rees Mogg were appalling. They both collapsed into confusion and obfuscation.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          I saw that and was appalled.

        • Hope
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          They did not. It was clear Walker said the U.K. Will remain under ECJ jurisdiction. He was definite. Davis said the same. They are planning to stay, there is no transition it is an extension by anyone’s definition and cannot be anything other than a bad deal. Get rid of May she is selling out the country. We voted leave.

          As I wrote previously Rudd wrote an open letter nbefore Christmas encouraging more migration from the EU! This is before any alleged deal or any alleged i. If ration policy, no slap down from May for going against two govt policies: cut to tens of thousands and Brexit to stop free movement! It is an outrageous betrayal and contempt for e public vote..

  5. Duncan
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    We have been betrayed

    • Duncan
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      She’s your leader John. You voted for her knowing full well she was fervently pro-EU. The question is why did you elect a pro-EU politician to lead our party?

      It almost feels as if my party has been nobbled by an unseen force. Why does it behave in a manner that is in direct contravention to the values of those who vote for it?

      It is becoming increasingly obvious that we will be betrayed by a political class who view democracy as an inconvenience rather than as a fundamental aspect of a free society. This arrogance, at some point in the future, will incur disastrous consequences

      Democracy has become dispensable and superfluous. The ultimate authority of the will of the people is little more than rhetoric

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        Indeed I blame Gove, as without his knifing Boris would surely have won. At least he was pro Brexit, not a robot, is bright and is not a socialist.

        May is a “Brexit in name only Brexitino” person. She totally wrong on taxation, over regulation, the green crap, HS2, the non existent gender pay gap and her dreadful choice of an economically illiterate chancellor. She also presided over the great “net migration to the tens of thousands” lie – and is still doing do.

        • DancerJ
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic..Boris is what you want him to be..the same as the rest, Gove, IDS, Fox and DD, our host JR, he’ll morph into anything that will get him’s all about the greasy pole

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            I was no great fan of Trump but when I saw Hillary Clinton I came round to the lesser of two evils and similarly with Boris and May. At least Boris is bright and human.

          • rose
            Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            LL did you see Trump’s speech in Davos? And did you see Mrs May’s? I thought Boris would have made a speech more like Trump’s, i.e. one which would have talked up his country and its future outside the Protection Racket.

      • sm
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Duncan, while I agree with much of what you so vehemently say, I don’t know why you keep repeating that Mr Redwood ‘voted’ for Mrs May.

        It was quite clear that he supported another leadership candidate, and that in the end there simply wasn’t a vote – the other candidates stood down.

        In theory, it would be quite possible for the cohort of Tory MPs who are unhappy with the current Brexit negotiations to resign the Conservative whip in protest. Given the Government’s precarious majority, this would undoubtedly lead to a Vote of No Confidence, opening the door to a Labour administration, probably hand in hand with the LibDems.

        Sadly for the UK, Labour seems to be as disastrously split a Party as the Conservatives, and not just about Brexit.

        Under the circumstances, I think those of us outside Westminster must just grit our teeth, wait and trust that discussions about this administration are being held behind firmly closed doors.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        I do not think JR did vote for her. He supported Andrea Leadsom who dropped out due to a vicious attack on here by the remainiacs (who totally distorted what she had said about her having children into an attack on the poor childless May.

        In fact I suspect that being an only child and having no children does indeed make you rather lacking in understanding of many people’s situation. Not that that that is what Leadsom actually said.

        • graham1946
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Says the man with no empathy at all except for the travails of the rich.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            I have loads of empathy, but I also understand that you need logic and an understanding of human nature to really help people. Pathetic emotion, envy, political correctness and childish “empathy” help no one in the end.

            I was totally broke until I was about 25. It never bothered me very much. Rather thinner and fitter then too.

        • rose
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          It is indeed disturbing that so many of Western Europe’s leaders have no children: The French, the German, the EU President of the Commission, the Swedish, the Dutch, the British, the Irish, the Luxembourgeois, the Scottish, the Austrian, even the Italian, all these leaders are childless, and of course the Pope…None of them have a stake in the future of the Continent that they are changing. Besides these Old Europeans there are: Latvia’s childless president, Lithuania’s childless president, and Romania’s childless president.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            I agree. They can be very out of touch with the realities of most peoples lives and family life on a low income. Many are better off on benefits with a large family.

            Perhaps partly why we have IHT at 40% over just £325K (more than ten times this threshold in the USA) and no IHT at all in most sensible countries.

            Also anyone on £50K + now loses their child benefit (thanks Osborne) and over £100K their personal allowances too. We are hugely over taxed and get dire or worthless service for it. (often worse than worthless).

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink


        I do not think JR did actually vote for Mrs May.

        If you remember the other candidate pulled out, leaving Mrs May as the only candidate left still standing !

        Agree with the points you make today in your posting JR, why have an implementation period when you have not idea what you are going to implement more time wasted, more delay in talking about trade, which is the major point of having talks/negotiation in the first place

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          He did fall for Cast Rubber Cameron though. But then I suppose that did eventually get us a Brexit vote, albeit against all Cameron’s efforts.

      • Chris
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        This type of ” leadership by Theresa May cannot go on as it is on course, in my mind, for a vassal state Brexit, (and the complete demoralisation of both the Cons Party and its much reduced band of supporters (70,000 at last count).

        There is leadership material in the Party, without doubt, but the fear of upsetting the applecart has turned once spirited and enterprising individuals into sheep, who are on their way to slaughter, I fear.

      • Bob
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


        “It is becoming increasingly obvious that we will be betrayed by a political class who view democracy as an inconvenience rather than as a fundamental aspect of a free society.”

        I stopped supporting the Tories when David Cameron became leader, it was clear to me then that the party had lost the plot, and I wasn’t wrong.

        • getahead
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          He looked like a chinless wonder and so he turned out to be.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            Cameron had huge open goals at two elections. The country was crying out for a real EUsceptic Tory and he turned out to be tax borrow and waste, greencrap pushing EUphile.

            Essentially another, wrong on everything, dire Libdem.

  6. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Now, unbelievably, we have lecturing the world’s economic seafarers in Davos, the Captain who jumped off his own ship saying it would sink.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed, still Cameron did actually finally give us the referendum, (though he Osborne and the various arms of government clearly tried to fix the result with a sloped pitch). His total failure to negotiation anything resembling a real deal with the EU ensured the Brexit outcome than goodness.

      His (and the civil service’s) abject failure to plan for Brexit was an appalling failure of their duty. Someone who could have been an excellent PM destroyed by his broken compass. All he has to do was to be a Eurosceptic low tax at heart Conservative – he even claimed to be one but was clearly always lying to the voters.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Saw Cameron stating that Brexit was nowhere near the disaster they thought it would be. Well, well, we could have told him that at the time. How is it the public seem to know more than the politicians or is it that they have more faith in their country and themselves? It seems we are a country of two halves, one that has lost their bottle and the others that will climb out of any pit to make good again.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          I would like proper public recantations and sincere apologies from both David Cameron and his sidekick George Osborne, plus an offer to pay back all the public money that they wasted propagating their lies, and maybe also plus a thorough scourging as they passed barefoot through the streets of London on their way to etc ed

      • Andy
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Would have helped had he been a Conservative. He wasn’t.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    The transition period is Mays way of funding the EU. She said as much in her speech written by Juncker.
    It is a way of maintaining membership until leave can be overturned.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Crazy negotiating position.
      This has to change.

    • Andy
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. It is a way to pay them £20 billion until the end of the Financial Period in 2020. The other £20 billion is the bung.
      I’m seiously hacked off with Mrs May, and very, very disappointed with David Davis for whom I always had a high regard.

  8. Richard1
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Labour seem to be moving towards the curious position of the CBI, that we should have a (preferably long) transition period and remain in the single market and customs union during it. It would be better just to remain a member of the EU and continue to have some voice.

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      That is her aim by the extension. It must be rejected at every turn. She must be ousted or the govt brought down.

  9. eeyore
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “Neither Remain nor Leave voters will be happy if we replicate the obligations and costs of EU membership without any longer being a voting member of the Council.” This is the soundest political sense. Attempts to please all will please no one. I hope Mrs May, with her instinct to compromise and reluctance to lead, is listening.

    I’m glad JR has put down his marker with government and hope other Brexit MPs do the same. Having wondered just who his posts of yesterday and the day before were really addressed to, now I know.

  10. James Snell
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    People voted to leave for different reasons, it was not at all clear, so this is why we have so much confusion amongst the majority of people..all the fault of our political leaders really for not setting out the for and against arguements in a straight manner
    .we were not even allowed a good debate on the issue beforehand
    .so don’t’t know how JR can be so sure about the cliff edge or anythong he’s advocating..might be all right for him with his cosy self but for the rest of us?

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Grow up

    • Edward2
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      We’re you away during the months before the referendum vote day?
      Endless programmes on TV, radio and articles in newspapers.
      Millions spent on a leaflet sent to every home.

      People voted remain for different reasons too.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Were you out of the UK in the first half of 2016?

      You think Cameron was right for bringing fear and mischief into the debate? He no longer does.

      Many of us are sure that handled well, leaving the EU would be straightforward. At the moment we have angst ridden ditherer in chief in charge. She’s now spinning the story that Trump said she could be the next Churchill. Perhaps he meant the female answer to Churchill the dog on the insurance ad.

      It’s a judgement. 52% decided to Leave. If 17 million people are wrong, we have ourselves to blame. We’re fairly confident that won’t be the case though.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      People who claim to know why people voted Leave almost always voted Remain – am I right ?

      • Helen Smith
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        You are, arrogant, patronising lot aren’t they!

    • Blue and Gold
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Totally agree James. I pointed this out in a posting the other day, (it’s ok for wealthy, elite, Establishment Brexit politicians), but surprise , surprise my posting wasn’t put up.
      I would challenge anyone who voted in the Referendum, whether Remain or leave, if they knew the full consequences of coming out of the EU. Even the politicians did not know the damage that would be caused. The country is in a complete mess .

      • zorro
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        A complete mess!? What nonsense, we are doing well economically in case you hadn’t noticed. We just have a dopey, useless PM and I agree that this must change….


      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Blue and Gold

        Not Cameron’s view last night when we didn’t realise what he was saying was being recorded and overhead.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        I knew what I was voting for, but it’s clear that May is weak and woolly.

        Did those that voted remain believe that the “status quo” would remain? did they understand the further unification of Europe coming down the line? and the EU Army (which Clegg denied) controlled by Germany is already in existence?

        The current COMEC is German Lieutenant General Jürgen Weigt

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Please also tell us about the consequences of staying in the EU, don’t just focus on the possible consequences of leaving.

        Why not openly and honestly explain that we should stay in the EU and help it to evolve from a proto-federation to a full-bodied federal United States of Europe?

        After all that was what was said in the early drafts of the EU Constitution, before the Blair government objected that such excessive frankness might arouse too much opposition in the UK.

        “ARTICLE 1

        Decision to establish [an entity called the European Community, European Union, United States of Europe, United Europe].

        A Union of European States which, while retaining their national identities, closely coordinate their policies at the European level, and administer certain common competences on a federal basis … “

      • Helen Smith
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        I did, absolutely, it’s why I voted Leave. I knew we would get all our fishing waters back, use farm subsidies to help farmers, not rich land owners like Heseltine, save on annual subs, be able to set our own tariffs and keep the money rather than have to send it to Brussels, that we could happily trade with the EU under WTO rules, if they had a strop, whilst building up our trade with the rest of the world.

        I knew most countries are not in the EU, are sovereign, it’s people having the ability to hire and fire it’s lawmakers (don’t say we elect MEPs, if you know anything about the EU you know they do not propose laws and the UKs MEPs are a fraction of the total) and do very nicely.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        The wealthy elite establishment love the EU

        • getahead
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          So why did you vote to leave then James?

        • getahead
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          My comment to James seems to have got misplaced.

          My comment to you, following yours is that the wealthy elite love the EU whilst the taxpayer pays for it.

      • forthurst
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps, I can remind you what it was like before Heath lied us into the EEC?

        We controlled our fishing grounds and our farming industry; we had a substantial industrial sector. We traded with Europe; we traded with the world and, in particular, we traded with the Commonwealth. We enacted our own laws and we controlled our own borders. We did not pay the EEC anything to trade with them and trade was in surplus. Our membership of the EU has negated all that and for what? So that we can pay the EU to subsidise Spaniards to own new trawlers to steal our fish, to pay our farmers to leave their land fallow whilst we subsidise the French to produce the food we have to import now, so that our laws are drafted by an opaque organisation supervised by someone whose prior experience is running a city state the size of Manchester. What is more, by aligning ourselves with the low growth EU instead of the higher growth world outside, we have failed to make best use of our capabilities for higher growth and prosperity.

        They do not want us to go because they have been ripping us off.

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Rubbish, we voted leave fully aware and of all the threats made by remainers it could not have been clearer. The waters muddied over two years by politico remainers to break our spirit. Now May wants to extend on worse terms to change our minds. JR, phase one was enough to demonstrate a very bad deal. Time to stop talking and leave.

    • zorro
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      What on earth are you on about? I assume thaat you were awake in the build up and during the referendum campaign!?


      • Ian Wragg.
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        He/she is a Brussels troll.
        Don’t feed it.

    • graham1946
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t matter what people’s motives were and it is only relevant to those trying to undermine the referendum. The vote was ‘leave’ and that all there is to it. Would you have been wondering about people’s motives if the vote had been for ‘remain’?

  11. Mark B
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    One thing I would like to point out regarding this so called, trade deal. The EU has made it perfectly clear that the UK cannot have as good a deal as the one it currently has. As I, and I am sure many here would agree, the current deal stinks and is the reason why the majority voted to leave.

    So it begs the question, what is it in this so called trade deal that the UK Government actually want ? Remember, it is the UK Government that is seeking this, not the EU. We are the begger nation. To my mind all I want is to leave. Settle our affairs. Determine what programs the UK wishes to contribute to etc, and that is it. A trade deal can cone later. I do not believe it is that important as Anna Soubry (thanks Denis) pointed out in her recent interview.

    Time to get up off our knees.

    • Hope
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Lords Lawson and King made that clear. But leaving is not sully about trade as remainers claim. This is a narrative and line they are pursuing just as they used scary economy stories before the referendum.

      There is a small amount of business who trade with the EU as pointed out by Dennis numerous times.

      May has betrayed the public and must go.

    • stred
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      The only item on the deal list which is outstanding seems to be the need for access for financial services to the single market. Barnier has said that a deal for trade in items where they sell more to us than vice versa is likely. He has said several times that a deal for services is not on. At the moment we do not have a deal for services. They will not agree to a full deal, as it is not in their favour and will drag out the process until May has handed over £50bn and then say no. At this point, the Remainers will vote the deal down and we will be given a second ‘get it right this time’ second referendum, with the Yooflake and migrant vote increased and the older Leave vote deceased, many having died off because of crap NHS treatments.

      Remainers like Cameron, Blair, Clegg, the mandarin lords and all the others seem to accept that the plan is to leave in name only. Only David Davis and deluded MPs do not seem to realise they have been stitched up. We may finish up in the Euro, paying even more, no control of borders, joining the EU army, but at least we will have half a services deal like today and keep the CBI and bankers happy.

      Any resistance will be crushed brutally by the already politicised police and communication silenced as ‘fake news’.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Agree with the points you make.
      Seems to me we are simply wasting time in the hope that a very poor deal, Dressed up as a good one (remember Cameron) will get rejected by Parliament and we eventually remain in, on worse terms than before.

      We certainly seem to have lost the plot, or is it deliberate confusion.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I think you may mean Emily Thornberry?

      “Thirdly, we have been trading perfectly successfully with the United States for a very long time, they are our biggest trading partner outside the EU without a trading deal anyway.”

      • Mark B
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Sorry. Thanks ☺

    • getahead
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      The trade deal is to appease the 10% or so big businesses and wealthy Tory sponsors who benefit from the taxpayers EU contributions.

      • getahead
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        That is the 10% of UK businesses that qualify as big.

        • Mark B
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          Cheers. As I thought.

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Good luck with that John – the government has already briefed press a Norway-style transition has been agreed. As to what we would be transitioning to, the answer is a vote after two years by the HoC and Lords to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union as no acceptable agreement has been reached by the end of the transition. That’s the plan. You get the impression Boris knows this, and knows the political consequences for the Tories.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Yes and a pathetic attempt by the nonentities in the government to nobble him. Peter Oborne in the Mail has it spot on.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I think you correctly outline the Remainers plan Roy.
      From Project Fear Remain will.transition to Why Risk It.
      The aim is to delay via transition and to eventually win a vote to remain.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Certain people better hone their letter-writing skills then.
      We’ve been calling for a proper Conservative PM since ’92. Perhaps the time has come!

    • Harry
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      JR also knows it..the whole political set knows it except for Bill Cash, IDS and some other die hard types and then of course you have the UKIP deluded set, they will never know until the brexit finger is rubbed in their eye which i think will happen sooner than later

    • Ian Wragg.
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I think Boris sees this as an opportunity to unseat May.
      He sees the destruction of the Tory Party as the price Hammond May and fellow travellers are willing to pay.
      We need a new leader asap.
      Cometh the hour etc etc

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      “… Norway-style … remain in the Single Market and Customs Union … ”

      As Norway is not actually in the EU Single Market or in the EU Customs Union it could not be “remain”, it would have to be “rejoin”.

      The latter point has already been noted by the Irish government and it not tolerate even the “light touch” customs procedures at the Norway-Sweden border.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Indeed, leave must mean leave and taking back control of our money, our borders and our laws.

    But listen to people like Antoinette Eddisbury MP (yet another lawyer). The Tory partly is alas stuffed with such misguided people (many would say misguided traitors).

    So Cameron admits “Brexit is not as bad as we (he one assumes) thought”. Indeed and it would have been even better if the man (and his civil servants) had not abjectly failed to prepare for a Brexit outcome as was their clear duty. Also if it had a sensible, low tax Tory as PM instead of this wet, dithering, punishment budget socialist and electoral liability.

    • getahead
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic he means ‘we’, he and his controller Cambell.

  14. Annette
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Fine words John, but the ever clearer messages that the leave vote is being circumvented means that you & the others may have to make a stand soon. Your party is finished unless their is a clear exit in March 2019, with just a few items being implemented soon after.
    We have remainers negotiating our exit. DD has been sidelined, & from his performance yesterday it is clear that he is now just the ‘leaver front man’ giving legitimacy & comfort to the ‘negotiations’.
    May still won’t support leaving. ‘Implementing the will of the people’ by someone who doesn’t support it means that there will be the most minimal changes to claim ‘success’ whilst keeping us as shackled as possible.
    May’s cabinet is 72% remain, with the top two places by ardent europhiles.
    She has done nothing about the pro-EU civil service run by the EU placement Heywood.
    She has done nothing about those with vested EU interests & EU supremacy oaths, particularly in the Lords, & therefore batting for the opposition in the negotiations.
    Her capitulation in Florence, where implementation was first raised. An implementation that was to be negotiated before any agreement.
    The mysterious ‘implementation’ morphing to a transition where everything appears to be the same, & giving the EU an opportunity to claim ‘prior historic rights’ to our fishing grounds.
    The complete lack of countenance against opposition to leaving shows how weak she is. She’s now dragging it out to FIVE YEARS after we voted to leave. That is 5 years of uncertainty, & we will be in the same position as now & hearing the same arguments that more time is needed.

    I want to know exactly what powers we regain on 30th March 2019, & those items that ‘need’ a short overlap along with the date of implementation & why.
    I see no valid reason for borders, law, governance nor business to be delayed beyond 29th March 2019. The new customs system was still on track to be ready in January 2019. There are NO EXCUSES…

  15. Original Richard
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    “That means taking back control of our money, our borders and our laws, and leaving on 29 March 2019 as agreed.”

    And taking back control of our assets (fishing grounds).

  16. oldtimer
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The stench of betrayal is in the air. The question now is when, not if, Mrs May is challenged for the leadership of the Conservative party.

    • Peter
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Brexit in name only.

      However, May will not be challenged. That would have already happened by now. She grows more confident of her own position by the day.

      The Conservative party will suffer the consequences of course. Most MPs seem happier with that prospect than making the necessary changes to prevent it.

  17. am
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    transition to remaining.

  18. agricola
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Were you to have moderated it I drew your attention to the problems currently associated with this negotiation yesterday. Perhaps you could transpose it to todays entry. You sum it up well. At the moment it is a dogs breakfast and in need of front bench clarification.

  19. Helen Taylor
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I sat and listened for the full 2 hours of the questioning of Mr Davis yesterday. I am getting more and more concerned that they are stitching up the British public. As the Swedish politician said we voted to be poorer, which was wrong. I think the poorest in this Country voted to stop being made poorer by the eu. The more I read on Brexit facts4you the more I am concerned by how much the eu make us pay while not paying themselves. Why arent these figures considered by the remain politicians. I hope that the Brexiteer backbenchers have a plan b to stop the stitch up of the the 17.4 million who voted for a clean break an in out not a half in half out.

  20. Michael
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    David Davis floundered when questioned by Jacob Rees-Mogg. Clear thinking by the government is in short supply.

    • Chris
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      The performance by Davis was hugely worrying. Jacob R-M had the measure of him. Brexiter MPs have to act, and swiftly.

  21. zorro
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Slight trouble there John….. You see that would be fine apart from the fact that T May is not a very good PM. In fact, she is weak and pretty useless and ineffectual and wouldn’t have a clue how to deal with a ‘no deal’ scenario (hint – you really need to get rid)….. That much must be palpably clear to every single cell or more organism on this planet. No change Theresa = NO HOPE…..


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I think the end for her is closer than many think.

      • getahead
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Lord, I hope you are right.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      May is the personification of the Peter (or should that be Peta?) Principle.

      • Gene
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        In a Labour Local Authority promotion is all relative.

  22. Robert P Bywater
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, we have the statement from Macron, now being parroted by the Polish PM, about continued demands on UK even after Brexit.

    I thought Macron was supposed to be intelligent (Grandes Ecoles and all that). But he is ( not ed) he says that for UK to be in the single market after Brexit we must cough up all the dues and accept the 4 “freedoms” and be subject to ECJ rulings.

    There are two things wrong with that:

    1. That would be the same as being IN the EU but without any influence any more. So better not to leave at all (is what he is evidently trying to say). Only a sucker would accept that.

    2. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander – EU would by that logic have to pay for access to the UK market, also operate the 4 freedoms bit and be subject to rulings by the UK Supreme Court.

    Ergo: the guy is an idiot. He obviously has not understood: Brexit means Brexit.

  23. Prigger
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    “Shops, cafes etc will offer free water refill points in every major city and town in England by 2021.” Yeah great.
    They could try getting a long curvy hollow stemmed weed and with a bit of suck at the end get water from a higher point say in a stream pool to slowly come down the stem and have the water continually spouting out for anyone to drink. They could call it a water mountain or something like that.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    We have an unreformed Remainer as Prime Minister and an unreformed Marxist as leader of the opposition. What a mess.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Theresa is a compromiser ; the composition of her cabinet members reveals this . She does not have a straightforward approach – if she did she would not have to waste so much time coming to a result that she could present to the public . The post today highlights the difficulty we all have in understanding where we are in our negotiations with the EU and what the point is in obtaining a “transitional” agreement . Getting completely and immediately out is the best way forward .

    Yesterday I met with some financial advisers whose original position was to “remain” ; now they have come to the conclusion that it would be clearer and better if we were “out”. During the past year – a very good one for their clients , they were obliged to adopt new regulations that do nothing to foster their communications ; the extra disciplines they were obliged to adopt – edicts from Brussels , have simply added to their administrative burdens . My advice to them was to ignore this imposition – it was a bit like my local vacuum cleaner shop who were instructed to no longer sell machines that were more powerful in sucking up the dirt , they chose to continue as they were before .

    • Mark B
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      . . . edicts from Brussels , have simply added to their administrative burdens

      And this is why big business likes the EU. It can lobby the EU to regulte a market so as to destroy competition.

  26. Iain Moore
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It’s a question I asked a while ago, how can we negotiate a transition/implementation period when we don’t know what we are supposed to be implementing. A50 was supposed to mean we had the divorce and following relationship negotiated together. Having agreed to the separation of these A50 requirements and endured the excruciating divorce negotiations, and conceded far too much to get onto trade talks , it is beyond belief that the Government then offered the EU the chance to place another hurdle, in the form of implementation negotiations, in the way of trade talks and Brexit. What is truly staggering is that the Government agreed to it rather than saying ‘forget it lets talk trade’.

    We are being served up prevarication, delay, and concessions, which I can only presume is with the objective to find some opportunity to over turn Brexit.

  27. Epikouros
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    To be honest being a voting member of the council does not give the UK much influence. However as you say there is no point of a transition period an implementation period yes if there is something to implement. That of course depends on everything being agreed and if the prime minister was someone like Andrea Leadsom then there is little doubt that will not be the case and we would leave without a deal. Which would make the EU concentrate on actually conducting proper negotiations and agree a deal after exit. As it is Theresa May and as she is indecisive, a ditherer and has the likes of Philip Hammond whispering in her ear and is as we know more of a remainer than a leaver then I hate to think what will be agreed.

  28. Eric Sorensen
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Mr Macron is of the opinion that the UK must pay for access to the combined market of the 27. Didn’t mention what the EU will pay for access to the UK market. This, however, shows the twisted and utopian view of the EU. In light of the so far strong position of the EU in negotiations, and the equally weak position of the UK’s negotiation skills, best to quit now and simply tell the EU that they will get back what they give themselves.

    However, a Remainer is in charge and it will all end in tears. When will the tory remainer camp realise that the EU’s fear of trouble with Poland, Hungary, Czech etc. is a heavier consideration than a happy Brexit?

  29. formula57
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    “I have told Ministers this week…”! Why is it that Ministers needed to be told? That is surely very worrying.

    Were you treated to some waffling reply about strong and stable, Brexit might not mean Brexit, wrapped up in an insincere apology?

  30. Nig l
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Read the Thunderer today. The government is spineless, depressed and depressing with a PM incapable of any initiative whatsoever. How these words ring true with this voter. No wonder they ‘hate’ Boris.

  31. Original Richard
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    It is now obvious that Mrs. May is working towards reversing Brexit or, if necessary, “to respect the result of the referendum”, working towards us leaving but following all EU rules, regulations and fees and hence without representation where the decisions are made, not that this will make much difference anyway with QMV in place.

    Hardly surprising given she said that not belonging to Schengen meant that we were in complete control of our borders and as Home Secretary made absolutely no attempt to fulfil the Conservative Party’s election promise to “reduce immigration to the tens of thousands”.

    As Mr. Juncker said, “When it becomes serious you have to lie”

  32. Peter Ryder
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why the negotiations over ending our EU membership are continually framed in the manner of a divorce settlement. It was not a union of two equal partners it was a club of members which we joined and which has since added further members.
    Now that we have decided to leave we have given the required period of notice. By the end of that notice period we should have returned any club property that we hold and had returned to us any property of ours that the club holds. (By property I am also including any future financial commitments).
    Once we are free of the club we are no longer bound by its rules and are free to make any arrangements we wish with any nation on Earth subject to other existing arrangements.

  33. E Justice
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Voting to leave was England’s revolution no pitchforks no barricades but it is a revolution and lets face the Elephant in the room it was an English vote so just crack on and get rid I have a pitchfork doing nothing at the moment

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      And I have been stockpiling bricks.

  34. Andy
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The ridiculousness of the Brexit vote outlined in one post.

    You don’t know what we are transitioning to. That is just another way of confirming that you did not know what you were voting for.

    Reply We voted to leave, to take back control and that is what we should do

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      I don’t suppose you knew what you were voting for …

      • Andy
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        I’d wager a large sum that the majority of Brexiteers – including most of Brexit backing Tory MPs – had no idea what that Customs Union was until after the referendum. Most can not explain the difference now.

        Few can outline the specific role of the ECJ – and the majority still confuse it with the EHCR. Next to no Leaver voters, even now, would be able to tell us what the EMA or EBA are. Euratom? Nope, that neither. Open Skies? Chris Grayling is the transport secretary – and he hasn’t figured out that one yet.

        The reality is that none of you – not one – understood the full complexity of what Brexit meant when you voted for it. No Remainer understood either. 18 months on by pretending you knew it all you are simply proving that you are completely deluded. What I find particularly pathetic is that faced with genuine issues that they just can not answer the top Brexiteers just return to angry mode. I am sorry that the consequences of your vote pose some really very difficult and uncomfortable decisions for you – but that’s life. Getting angry with people who told you it was a dumb idea from the start will not help.

        You are about to learn some incredibly hard lessons about politics, economics, diplomacy and trade.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          There is only one angry person on here Andy.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Well, Andy, you should have explained these mysteries to us before we voted, why did you let the country down so badly? Perhaps you should be ashamed of yourself that you were too lazy to make sure that we all understood these complex matters.

          Actually I recall what the French Foreign Minister said about the Irish so foolishly voting against the Lisbon Treaty:

          “Mr Kouchner told reporters that two factors were damaging European citizens’ faith in the EU: the first, economic uncertainty and fears related to globalisation; and the second, an inability to understand the EU’s complex institutions and legal arrangements.

          “No one understands the institutions and no one’s interested. No one understands anything, not even me,” he said. “My feeling is that we need to return to fundamentals, improve transparency and give more confidence to people. A Europe of sincerity and openness will be an effective Europe.””

  35. a-tracy
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    During this Transition period are we free to sign trading agreements with other nations or not? If not then it is impossible to agree to a transition period, it’s like handing your notice in at work and then being told you can’t attend interviews and line up your next job, the ECJ wouldn’t go for that scenario at all and surely globally the World wants us to sort this out in order not to spook markets at the end of the transition.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      No, we will not be free to sign trading agreements with other nations. David Davis hopes that we will be allowed to negotiate them but not to sign them.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Well, I suppose I was foolish to think that Theresa May might prove sufficiently – not completely, but sufficiently – trustworthy for this task that she never wanted to have to undertake, an unwelcome task necessitated by an unwelcome referendum result.

    So when she first spoke about an implementation period my only objection was that maybe there should different time periods for different aspects, so that maybe many adjustments could be made on the day we left the EU, while others could be made within three months, but some would take longer, perhaps three years or even more.

    But somehow she has presided over the mutation of that eminently sensible plan into one of an oxymoronic “status quo” or “standstill” “transition period” during which there would in fact be no transition, as nothing would change, and which “non-transition period” could in fact be endless or could end with us rejoining the EU.

    Do I feel betrayed? Yes, I do.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    JR, do you think the government may finally be coming round to the idea of a second referendum, possibly framed like this?

    “The government is negotiating the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in accordance with the result of the referendum held on June 23rd 2016.

    To assist the government in those withdrawal negotiations, please indicate with a cross in the appropriate box which of these two outcomes you would prefer:

    I would prefer to leave the European Union only in name.

    I would prefer to stay in the European Union in all but name.”

    Only joking …

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen on the BBC that the “non-transition” period will last three years, but the good news is that David Davis is confident that we will be able to negotiate new trade deals around the world during that period, it will just be a matter of not being allowed to sign them until after those three years have elapsed.

    So that will three years on top of the two years after the Article 50 notice went in, which was nine months after we had actually voted to leave the EU, so that’s getting on for six years altogether, and then we will finally be free to sign our own trade deals.

    That’s unless we decide to stay in the EU Customs Union, in which case we will never be completely free to sign our own trade deals.

    Now I’ve repeatedly said in comments here and elsewhere that the importance of new trade deals we could make should not be over-stated, in the way for example that David Cameron grossly exaggerated the importance of the proposed TTIP deal between the EU and the USA; but nonetheless it is bloody ridiculous that it should take the best part of six years after we voted to leave the EU to finally free ourselves from EU control over such deals, and moreover it is bloody ridiculous that Theresa May and David Davis should even be prepared to contemplate it and try to sell it to us.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Churchill won WWII in six years, it doesn’t look like May can negotiate us out of the EU in that time. Pathetic , they are burning up time , money and opportunity.

  39. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You are absolutely right that there is no feasible middle way between a radical and sudden exit in March 2019 and maintaining EU membership (of course modified to do without rebates, an obligation to join the Euro and Schengen before March 2021 and most importantly, traffic normalization. There is no reason why the British should be driving on the wrong side of the road). Nevertheless, some middsle road is what the negotiators on both sides seem to be looking for. I reckon that the ruling Party is not able to agree on any form of compromise and likewise, the EU will not be able to agree to anything that differs materially from existing templates (especially Canada). So we should just sit back and seif this will become a trainwreck for both sides, mainly unilateral damage for the party that initiated this change, or for the party suffering a member’s defection, or a no-event, even an improvement on the status quo. By improvement I mean strictly in an economic sense. Sovereignty, “vassal state” nonsense and other forms of delusion are too subjective, even controversial among Britons.

  40. Dee
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Jacob Reese Mogg interviewed David Davis and showed us what a weak man Davis is. On every question or statement that needed an answer Davis was stuck for an answer. He stumbled his way through the interview and showed he was no match for JRM. If May is all FOR Brexit, why is Hammond, Rudd and the four Business envoyes who have consistently fought against Brexit and Voted against everything to do with Brexit in the HoCs, still in there positions even though people like, IDS, Gove etc have called for them to be sacked because of their anti Brexit moves?
    Why do the media and MPs keep calling Brexit Phase 1 a success? It was an utter betrayal of her remit. She caved in and gave them everything they asked for, since when was that a success? She wanted the ECJ to have involvement for just 5 Years, Junkers said 10, she said 5, Junkers said 8 she said OK and then had the temerity to call it a success. She has scrubbed out every red line she had. We need rid of her. Jacob Reese Mogg is the man for the job. Everyone that has a popshot at him gets shot down in flames. He is the man for the job.
    I wonder if the Parliament realise just how close this Country is to a civil war?
    17.4 Million people have tried to do it the Democratic way, through the ballot box, but all it has shown is that a majority of MPs thinks a vote counts ONLY when they are being elected and that the Common People have no right to have a say in the fortunes of the Country. The MPs are wrong and the logicality is that if Democracy can’t work then the next logical step is Anarchy.

  41. Chris
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Robin Walker has admitted apparently in interview with Andrew Neill that nothing changes i.e. we are still under the ECJ, we are still in the customs union and the single market, and we still have to accept freedom of movement i.e. it is a non-transition transition period. What a farce, what a fiasco.

  42. PaulDirac
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Fully agree BUT the key to this attitude is action NOW.
    In order to be able to walk away into a WTO (in case there is no agreement), we have to use the 400 days left to prepare for it.
    There must be an orderly investment in the infrastructure, software and manpower needed in case of a no-deal

  43. NigelE
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Who (if anybody) was responsible for the Govt’s negotiating “strategy”? We are NOT a supplicant/beggar nation! From t start, the strategy should have been to state that we are leaving and will trade under WTO rules UNLESS there is a better deal. This, I think, is what “No deal is better than a bad deal” meant. We should have refused to discuss any Brexit payments to the EU, the Irish border and any transition period UNTIL a trade agreement was made, because all three issues are dependent on what is agreed. (The UK & EU citizen’s rights issues could have been agreed in parallel talks within a joint civil servants committee.)

    It is still not too late to tear up the Stage 1 Agreement (nothing’s agreed until it’s all agreed …) and start again. In the short term, this will raise howls of protest, hit the £ and probably the markets but these will be short term only.

    Will our politicians – any of them, and I include you, Dr Redwood – have the guts to do this? The polite answer to that question is No. The full answer is unprintable.

    I despair.

    • Chris
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I think we all despair, NigelE. It is a complete disaster and I blame not only May, but those Tory MPs who voted for her, and who have continued to support her in this venture. Inexcusably poor judgement on their part is the least of their sins, in my view.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      My sentiments exactly.

  44. Chris
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Philip Hammond’s comments at Davos about what he is advocating i.e. a soft Brexit, should be stamped on immediately, according to Guido. I very much agree, and Theresa May had no business permitting him to state this publicly as government policy apparently (unless of course it is, and she has broken her Brexit means Brexit promise).

    • Chris
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Tom Newton-Dunn commented not long ago that Theresa May has not contradicted Hammond, and that presumably means we are heading for a very soft Brexit. Please, Mr Redwood, can you and the other Brexiter MPs who have the integrity to keep promises and uphold the referendum result DO something effective?

      • Andy
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Following the referendum Mrs May went to the country and asked for a further mandate for the hard Brexit you crave.

        58% of voters rejected her. You lost. Get over it.

  45. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    There has to be a day of reckoning for the genuine Leaver Conservative MPs and the Party for that matter when the final Brexit capitulation by Mrs. May and her wet cabinet becomes clear. It is all reminiscent of Cameron coming back with his new deal pre Referendum. He took the electorate for idiots, likewise Mrs. May. Jeremy Paxman thinks Cameron the worst PM in generations, possibly back to Lord North, who lost the American colonies. Mrs. May could be a contender.

    Iain Martin’s article in “The Times” today is worth reading.

  46. getahead
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    “The Prime Minister has always said she would consider an Implementation period after March 2019.”
    Of course she has. Hammond wants an extension and what Hammond wants Hammond gets. It is he who is controlling the cabinet. May is just a spokesman and a confusing one at that.

  47. Juiliet
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Transition is nonsense time wasting in the hope that businesses will fail to be ready or ever be ready. May and Davis have played there last hand, both doing their best to frustrate Brexit, Looking like heavy protesting heading to Parliament if they roll over and give in to Hammond and the Remain WATON activist. Its as if Blair opens his mouth and the words roll out of May’s mouth?

    2 years is ridiculous pandering and accepting every change from the EU – 8 Balkans countries fast-track to join, increased migrant quota, ECJ, EU defence army, more EU integration and our own rights evaporated.

    • rose
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      And FTT coming down the tracks.

  • 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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