Shopping for an EU Agreement

When I go shopping I do not put cash on the counter and then ask what the shop might have that I would like in return for my money. I ask to see the goods, enquire about the price and then decide whether to buy.I only produce the money when we have agreed the whole transaction, and as the shop releases the goods.

The EU wants the UK to shop the wrong way round. They expect us to put up a lot of money without telling us what it buys, and then keeping us in the dark for too long about whether we might get anything for the cash. They have invented a rule that they cannot reach an Agreement with us on our Future Partnership until we have left, which is most unhelpful and does not seem to be based on the strict letter of Treaty law.

Looking at the draft Withdrawal Agreement it is difficult to see why we would want to sign that, and certainly not without knowing what if any Free Trade Agreement will be reached. It will need considerable amendment, especially over the borders and freedom of movement issues. As it commits us to making a large financial contribution it must not be signed before we have an Agreement on all matters which is fairer to the UK than this one sided interim production.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,
    There is only one reason we are in this mess, and it’s because we have an inexperienced appeaser at No. 10.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed, and someone who has totally the wrong economic policies too. Someone who thinks that holding an general election with a “vote for me and we will kick you in the teeth” manifesto was a great plan. Someone with tedious & dreary robotic delivery too.

      Someone who wants to stick to the failed EU economic model, stick with expensive religious green energy, build on EU worker rights, force companies to report on the gender pay gap and other total and utter lunacies like employing Hammond.

      She even thinks HS2 and Hinkley are “investments”. Friday is surely her last chance. I cannot see that she will deliver. I do not think she is capable of it. She is more of a second rate, junior bureaucrat than a visionary leader or politician.

      • Hope
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Pointed out by the EU in its text the EU has control of energy, agriculture, environment, fisheries and many more and some taxes, yes some taxes. Control FFS.

        The politicos like Blaire and Major let it slip from their minds to tell us they agreed to be managers of EU policy changing EU regs and directives into UK law without debate! What have they not told us? Like participating in joint armed initiatives in Africa? How far has May signed us up to such ventures and is this the real reason she now claims unconditional support for EU security? We voted leave this means everything included military and security.

        I think parliament is on a collision course with democracy and the public is not going to be happy. Phase one had deceit written all over it like the disguised £100 billion to talk about trade as the EU will not enter discussion about it until after the extension! May is incrementally selling the country out and the leave MPs are letting her. This week she has agreed to more immigration from the EU during the extension letting them stay here forever including their families!

    • Hope
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink


      Major has spoken against everything he did over Maastricht thinking in stark contrast the weasel thinks it is okay to advocate the opposite to what he did for leaving the EU. He is on TV in 2016 saying no second referendum would be required!………. He never gave a free vote to MPs, he never gave a referendum to the people or set out the implications to the public, he made us poorer by entering the ERM, I know I had to pay the mortgage, businesses went bust, this because he wanted foreign rule over our country because he was not up to the job. He led your party as a consequences to over 20 years in the worldliness- your party will never be forgiven. A (Euro domgmatist? ed) without a memory it would appear.

      Too much already conceded in phase one, as the EU know May is weak and wants to remain. £100 billion wasted to talk about trade that will not happen until 2020, ECJ, freedom of movement and under all rules without a voice! Is she mad?

      After stating it wants to take N.Ireland, there should be no more discussion-nothing. Russia understandably felt threatened over the Ukraine, and the UK should feel threatened over land grab claims over N. Ireland. The Irish PM go F.O. The threats and ridicule are enough to walk away. This charade cannot go on the world is looking on with horror. As the Foreign Minister for Australia commented this week his country would not allow 27 others to dictate their trade policy.

      • Hope
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        How could this be viewed as anything other than a vassal state. We voted leave. The EU retaining control! No.The draft proposal suggests that EU and UK customs authorities should jointly oversee movements between Northern Ireland and the British mainland, while the EU would retain control over aspects of taxation and state aid in the six counties. This is our U.K. We are meant to be leaving in March 2019 not becoming,a vassal state. May, again, an utter embarrassment.

        According to the document, that area would cover customs, VAT, energy, the environment, agriculture and a host of other areas, including full European Court of Justice jurisdiction.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Most members of the government, including the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Home Secretary, wanted us to stay in the EU and are now having to work against their personal grain. The same inevitably applies to most of the civil servants after six decades or more of constant selection pressure in that direction.

    • Adam
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Lack of experience, except in some specific ways, seems not to fit. The process appears needlessly clunky, yet steadily there is advancement.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


        Your ability to make sentences meaningless and unintelligible is quite amusing!

        • John C.
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          Not amusing, really. It’s strangely surrealistic and unnerving to read something that defies interpretation.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I think even some of the extreme Remain politicians are alarmed at the EU’s attempt to annex Northern Ireland. Maybe that will help Theresa May do the right thing, enabling us to leave on 30th March 2018 (5 weeks time) after the EU has had 12 months notice. Of course trade agreement talks should continue, but only after our independence is an established operational reality.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Has anybody heard T Blair being asked in an interview if he has been advising the EU people how to thwart Brexit? I’d like to see his response.

      Credit where due, Mrs May finally came across a departure term that she could make a stand on and refuse, lets hope it’s the first of many.

  2. Peter D Gardner
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Mrs May should just submit it to Parliament with a recommendation for rejection. It would be rejected outright, or have so many amendments attached it could be returned to the EU as a well deserved raspberry. It would mean she could not be blamed for No Deal – which is now obviously the best deal that can be achieved in the available time.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      With the EU clearly not wanting a FTA, and trying to annex Northern Ireland too, the existing WTO deal is by far the best option for us. We are used to using WTO rules for almost all our external trade already including our EU trade. We will lose a few minor RTAs registered at the WTO by the EU, but they cover only tariffs and quotas so for us are almost irrelevant because we will set our own. Of more importance are the loss of MRAs, but whatever exists already can be copied (or novated) quickly.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Peter D Gardner

      Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st in Bastogne, was told of the German Army’s demand to surrender, in frustration he responded, “Nuts!”

      ….I suggest this would be a timely opportunity to deliver a similar response to the EU!

  3. Mark B
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Looking at the draft Withdrawal Agreement it is difficult to see why we would want to sign that . . .

    And looking at the Treaty of Rome it is a wonder why so many politicians of the day agreed to that ? But they did !

    We are slowly being drawn into accepting, Soft-Remain. If the political class do not wish to govern, then why bother going though the charade of being elected.

    President Vladimir Putin was right. Time will tell if our politicians can live up to the standards of democracy they preach.

    You are about to prove a patriotic, but not very pleasent man, right !

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      An early riser quoting Putin. From where?

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        That was his comment in the days immediately after the Brexit Referendum result was announced.I myself have quoted it a couple of times on here since.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      And Russia-and geopolitics-is the main reason why every sinew is being strained to prevent us leaving the EU.

      The problem is not the EU,it’s the US (as Enoch Powell would tell you if he were still with us);read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s long article for Foreign Affairs magazine’s Sept/Oct 1997 issue”A Geostrategy for Eurasia”(it’s now free to view ,you can google it).It’s all there-NATO expansion,Ukraine,transatlantic trade partnership,proposal to break Russia into three components (to make it “less susceptible to imperial mobilisation”),etc but he was wrong about the east with China’s unexpected growth and Russia’s resurgence-as,I believe, he admitted before his recent death.

      The UK is one of the anchors which if slipped will result in Europe moving into the Eurasian sphere and out of the Euro-Atlantic sphere.The age of Christopher Columbus,the western maritime empires and the Pax Americana is drawing to a close;the age of Marco Polo,the Eurasian land empires and the Pax Mongolica is returning,rebooted for the modern age.

      I note that in his annual address this morning,Mr Putin has announced a massive infrastructure spending programme in rail,roads,ports and airports to boost East-West trade across Russian territory.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Vladimir Putin is the greatest national leader since Winston Churchill .

      Even Mrs Thatcher and Atlee can’t stack up to him .

      How sad that Ms May can’t acknowledge that with Mr Putin , we are in the presence of greatness .

      Oh that the UK had someone with even a fraction of his principles , integrity and wisdom .

  4. duncan
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    It is becoming obvious to me that Labour, EU officers and various pro-EU collaborators are conspiring in the domestic politics of the UK to try and force the issue.

    Indeed I would go as far as to say what we are seeing is foreign political interference and a barely concealed intent to force a change of government or at worst force this hopeless PM into a corner. Using the Ireland-NI border issue to force her hand is little short of contemptible and a direct interference in our constitution.

    Labour, as ever, will sell their soul to the devil for political gain. It is the nature of their politics to behave in such a manner. A party without a moral compass will always find itself free to behave in a way that avoids any need to justify itself. Their open collusion with the EU, Barnier, Major, Blair and other pro-EU players is little short of treachery. They will pay a heavy price for such disgusting behaviour

    Indeed to see the CBI praising Corbyn and his stance on these issues is beyond parody. An avowed Marxist showered with unfettered approbation from an organisation that embraces capitalism. British politics has effectively been turned on its head

    We cannot compromise on our sovereignty and our independence. We want full, unfettered control of our money, laws and borders. Nothing else is acceptable. I want my country to be on an equal footing with other sovereign, independent nations in the ‘western world’. I doubt Australia, for example, would tolerate foreign ownership and interference of its democracy and parliament

    How perverse it is, how deeply sinister and indeed worrying that democrats are being portrayed as extreme, racist and irrational. This is the propaganda and poison of the EU, the liberal left and their supporters. etc. ed

    Again, we need a PM with the heart of a lion and the defiance and determination to do the right thing. The PM of the day must implement in full the result of the EU referendum.

    If I was May or indeed any other Tory leader I would call a snap GE on this issue. The message should be ‘Vote Tory and we will implement the result of the EU referendum in full’. I believe millions of Labor voters would see this as another referenda rather than a GE and would vote Tory simply to guarantee our exit from the EU

    Whichever party sells the UK down the EU river will be heavily punished at the next GE

  5. stred
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    It is actually conceivable that May would hand over her credit card to a dodgy shop while she searched for what she had a vague idea that she was looking for.

    Yesterday she said that no UK PM would accept a border between NI and the rest of this country. This has been reported as saying that she would not accept the EU proposals for borders. In fact, she has agreed that the whole of the UK will accept their draft, in which case there will be no need for a UK/NI border. The Remain Con PM continues to deceive.

    After Vardakar’s request to Sin Fein to disrupt Brexit, all Irish produce and a forthcoming holiday there are off. The Irish need to get rid of their………… PM too.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I wish to digress and look at real shopping. Why do people still buy German cars ? I mean really (words left out ed) Have they not heard of Kia, Honda, Mazda ? Go to any outback and they won’t be relying on German cars there. You can almost guarantee the 4×4 people put their lives on the line with will be a Toyota or an Isuzu.

    German manufacturing is being surpassed.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      I never used to understand the Bavarian motorists all in their rear-drive BMWs slithering around the mountain roads in the icy snow and finally forced to abandon them by the side of the road: they never seemed to put two and two together.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Smart Germans and Austrians have X-drive.. No slithering. And Audis have front WD or 4WD. Homework!

        • mancunius
          Posted March 3, 2018 at 1:00 am | Permalink

          The clue is in the tense I used. And in the words I wrote. ‘Audi’ was not one of them.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Mate, have you tried a VW Touareg? You could take it down the Simpson. What’s Brexit got to do with you?

    • John C.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Very much a yuppy thing, I suspect. They are expensive (part of their charm for many) and don’t do especially well in the reliability stakes.

  7. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Well reading this John, I’m surprised the government is even contemplating negotiations any more. Why haven’t they walked away long before now ? Surely even someone as desperate as Corbyn wouldn’t be party to a stupid move like this – but then again?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      There may be no better alternative

  8. Henry Spark
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Yes, this is a very bad deal for the UK, and the UK is in a very bad position. It is exactly what you voted for, and it is exactly what you encouraged people to vote for. Your claim that the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU has been exposed as baseless, and the humiliating way that Mrs May is forced to agree to every demand the EU makes reveals that, since she has seen the economic forecasts and knows that leaving without a deal is a calamity. This is what you voted for. The man you should listen to is John Major.

    • DaveM
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      If the EU didn’t care why are they making life so difficult?

      Listen to Major? You’re either very young or have a very short memory.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        A dire failed and bitter PM. How can anyone take him remotely seriously until he, at the very least, apologies for the massive damage his idiotic ERM did (it was entirely predictable and was predicted by the sensible economists).

        He clearly then wanted the UK to be forced into the EURO disaster too. The real question is why on earth Tory MPs elected such a………….. misguided man as PM and then even retained him when they was clearly “no change no chance”. Will they do the same with T May?

        Reply Yes, I argued strongly against the ERM, as did Nicholas Ridley at Cabinet level, but Mr Major would not accept our wise warning.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      If Mrs May is forced to agree to every demand the EU makes then that is the force of habit at work. As for the Treasury’s economic forecasts, they are still being rigged to support the previous official government policy of remaining in the EU.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Our host gives us regular facts and reasoned argument, John Major and many others just give us project fear, he was also PM continuing the ERM disaster until Black Wednesday, which wrecked his tenure, cost the country billions and set the economy back for several years. A wiser man would have remembered this when agreeing the Maastricht Treaty, which should have had a referendum. Other countries did, some twice to get a different result.

    • sm
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Listen to John Major? The faux Eurosceptic who became a stunningly poor Prime Minister? Who led us into the ERM fiasco and signed off on Maastricht?

      If you are joking, Mr Spark, it’s in poor taste.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Henry Spark, The UK will not leave without a deal. The existing WTO deal is perfectly adequate and ensures our independence too.

      Although I have always disagreed with JR in his optimistic view that the EU would be sensible, to be fair to him, in cash contributions and trade terms the EU does need the UK more than we need the EU. We contribute about £10bn – £12bn free money to the EU every year, and take c£100bn extra goods and services from the EU. The EU is not being sensible with its (once?) biggest customer.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Henry Spark

      I suppose it is an attempt at a joke…..or poor satire perhaps? Amusing nevertheless.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Henry Spark

      If you had any credibility before , you certainly haven’t now. Listening to John Major is the worst advise every given out, his record is so easily checkable .

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh Henry, why don’t you belt up? This was not what we voted for. Do you not know what the referendum was about? It would seem not from some of your posts.

    • John C.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      We certainly didn’t vote to have a Remainer carry out the negotiations and stagger from one embarrassment to another. We assumed, perhaps foolishly, that leaving would be carried out determinedly with the object of regaining sovereignty, and not be an apologetic act of appeasement.

  9. Prigger
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    No, the EU shop wants non-returnable pounds up front for the shopping basket. Mrs May has foolishly said YES to that. But only yes if pretty-please we can then go fill it with stuff off the shelves and then pay for the goods too.
    Let us shop elsewhere! No other shop demands money for nothing.

    • acorn
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      The “divorce” payment is for goods and services the UK agreed to buy, with other club members, while we have been a 100% member of the EU Club. Some of those goods and services are yet to be delivered and invoiced.

      If you tell the world you are not going to pay unless you get some sort of agreement with the EU; the UK will be blackballed by the WTO and numerous other international agreements.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


        “The “divorce” payment is for goods and services the UK agreed to buy”

        Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to which specific “legal” payment for goods and services the UK agreed to buy?

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, Not true. The UK owes the EU for financial commitments made whilst the treaties are in force. That is international law. And the UK has agreed to pay its dues. But the real issue is how much. In practice it probably means everything in the MFF from agreement in 2014 to expiry end Dec 2020, less our assets.

        Our contribution is set, by the EU itself, at about £20bn/yr gross. Since the UK will be paying its full contribution up to end March 2019, the only loss the EU will undergo when we leave is the net cash from April 2019 to Dec 2020. That is likely less than £20bn. Then our assets must be deducted. So arguably we may owe nothing. Certainly it will be a whole lot less than the £39bn Mrs May has offered so far. The EU is far too greedy.

        • Timaction
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Remember that Mr Davis said the £39 billion was as well as our accumulated assets (£50-60 billion more??). Questions should be asked as to how much that is putting a true figure on what our Government is prepared to pay the EU for what exactly?
          The legacies have a view that the EU are their masters. Certainly not mine as they never gave me or the Country a vote on Maastrict/Lisbon but foolishly deceived and lied on their true intentions.
          The EU are trying their luck as they know how poor and pathetic our Government has been throughout the negotiations.
          Can’t wait to read the small print in the appeasers speech, not words tomorrow!

      • libertarian
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink


        Thats good, because if we were paying for goods and services, it means you actually have to deliver them and as we paid in more we will be getting a huge payout from the EU….. so that is very good

  10. oldtimer
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I read that Sam Coates of the Times and his colleague in Brussels have noted evidence of co-ordination between the EU Commission and certain British politicians about the Good Friday and Irish border issues. This, IIRC, suddenly sprang to prominence as an issue last November. If true it is likely that the path to a negotiated settlement will be made more difficult if not impossible.etc ed

    • Tasman
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      In fact the Irish border was flagged up as a huge problem by a great many experts during the referendum campaign.
      Leave pooh pooh-d the concerns, and said don’t listen to the experts.
      17 million people didn’t listen to the experts. Well, you’re having to listen now. The Brexit story – take back control! arrange everything they way we want! – is exposed as utter fantasy.
      Britain has never been weaker for almost a thousand years

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Are you referring to those same experts who predicted economic doom and disaster?

        It is clear that it is being used by the EU, no doubt egged on by the stream of Remain politicians who visit the EU Commission, to frustrate the UK government and, if they can, to cause its collapse. It is an extension of Project Fear.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        The border is not a problem.
        The UK has said it will not have a hard border.
        It has said it wants a tariff free trade.
        So if there is a problem it is a problem for the EU

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    It would help a great deal with the current empasse if the Irish authorities told us precisely what checks they would actually perform if they felt compelled to reintroduce checks on our good exports at the land border.

    Now while we are in the EU and its Customs Union and Single Market our legal system makes it unnecessary for the Irish authorities to perform any border checks.

    It is not the EU legal system which ensures that, it is the UK legal system implementing and enforcing the relevant EU law with respect to our goods exports; and the UK legal system could carry on doing that after we have left the EU

    It comes back to the question of why EU laws are applied to the whole of the UK economy when apparently at one time they were only applied to businesses involved in exports to the other countries – now about 6% of businesses, and about 12% of UK GDP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      “It would help a great deal with the current empasse if the Irish authorities told us precisely what checks they would actually perform if they felt compelled to reintroduce checks on our good exports at the land border.”

      Indeed what will these civil servants do at the border do to all the pallets and boxes of goods, animals and the likes at the “hard” border that is not far better done by the companies reporting as needed? It is an absurd idea like almost all EU plans. If Dublin had any sense they would leave the EU too.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


        It is intriguing as to what Éire’s Politicians, as a net contributor to the EU coffers and highly dependant on the UK’s goodwill, gain from this unscrupulous EU initiative? They are playing a dangerous game with the goodwill of the British people!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        If they told us precisely what they contemplate having to do at the border after we have left the EU then we could discuss together how to make sure that it was still unnecessary to do it. We could set up a register of approved exporters who could normally be trusted to comply with whatever rules the EU and the Irish authorities said needed to be observed, and if any one of them was found to be breaking those rules then they would be punished, and possibly deprived of their license. That is not so far from what is happening now, except that it is assumed that every business in Northern Ireland is a potential exporter to rest of the EU and so must comply with all EU laws even though maybe only 5% of them actually export to the EU.

        • gregory martin
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Could it be that the best resolution would be for all imports from Eire to N I and Great Britain to be routed into Liverpool for onward shipment. Similarly exports from Great Britain to be shipped from Holyhead ,Fishguard, Stranraer to Eire ports.
          This could impede the current ‘moon-light trading’ and such that locals wish to retain.
          Inconvenient no doubt, but then the border could be closed to all but foot traffic. Their loss or our gain?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            If anybody closes the border it will be the Irish acting on behalf
            of the EU. It’s the EU making a mountain out of a molehill about it becoming a backdoor into their Customs Union and Single Market, and the Irish who are going along with that.


            “The practical consequences of this would principally be a small loss of customs revenue and a minor increase in the risk of goods circulating which had been deemed legal in one jurisdiction but not in the other, for whatever reason. That is ultimately all that the “integrity of the single market and customs union” amounts to.”

        • Andy
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          You have it the wrong way around.

          YOU voted against the current arrangements – which have no checks.

          YOU voted against the standardised regulations which mean no checks are needed.

          So it is for you, Brexiteers, to explain which rules you are ditching so everyone else knows which checks are required to keep out the substandard, illegal and dangerous products you intend to flood our country with.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            I have offered a solution, you could try thinking about it instead of going off on another of your hysterical rants.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink


      I’m clearly not as well informed as you, so perhaps you could enlighten me. What I cannot understand is that, if the trade imbalance between Northern Ireland and the Republic is so great, why we don’t simply say that there will be no border checks on goods entering the north from the south and leave it up to the EU to decide whether to impose border checks on north to south trade or not. There could, perhaps, be discreet camera monitoring to ensure such an arrangement was not being taken advantage of by wholesale smugglers.

      From what I heard on the Today programme this morning, the RoI are hiding behind the skirts of the EU and, if left to themselves, would easily find an accommodation with the EU in both countries’ interests.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      There needs to be some specific consideration of trade in proximity to the Irish border by small traders in particular.

  12. Mick
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink
    This guy is really getting on my nerves now, do the remoaners take us for idiots the only reason they want to stay in the dreaded Eu is financial, there is going to be no second referendum and if Westminster try to thwart the will of the people and keep us in the Eu, well on your heads be it (great Brexit unhappiness ed) would be what you risk
    On your head line about shopping I’ve noticed the increase from over a year back , from cakes to cat litter the shops increasing the prices

  13. Helen Taylor
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Then let us hope that the Government are of the same opinion as yourself and Jacob Rees Mogg and the others who signed your letter. Please keep them from doing something stupid that stitches us up and ties us to the eu. We voted for out of everything, we would like what we were told we were voting for.

  14. Peter
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It is abundantly clear that ‘No Deal’ is going to be better than any deal that the EU will be prepared to offer.

    Time for May to accept that fact and leave without an agreement.

    If she cannot bring herself to do so, then true Brexiteers should make their move and unseat her.

    • Andy
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      It is also abundantly clear that the deal we have now is better than no deal. The maths is not hard.

  15. alan jutson
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Sorry John but we have done this the wrong way around.

    It would appear from all reports coming out of the EU that Mrs May has asked the EU what they can provide, and they have said, tell us what you want and we will let you know what we have in stock. for all they know she may have turned up at the wrong sort of shop.

    We should simply have put in Article 50 and said we are now going to be trading on WTO terms unless you want something different like a free trade arrangement, as they are also WTO members governed by WTO rules, then sat back and waited, no payment offers, no talks on trade, until they approached us !.

    Then we would have had our 2 year period to get used to it all.

    Not really difficult.

    • old salt
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Is this not what a particular eurosceptic political party was saying whose members convincingly lent their support to the Conservatives to get the job done. I rather suspect a resurgence if the support so lent is squandered.

    • Andy
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Engaging with Barnier is a mistake. It is utterly pointless. Allow Art 50 to run its 2 years and leave on WTO. BUT make sure that when we do we have a programme of substitution in place so we make the Continental Europeans suffer, particularly France and Germany.

      • stred
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        And Ireland if Varakar keeps interfering. Jamiesons is triple distilled but we can do with double distilled Scotch. Cut down on steak and eat more fish. Help Westcountry Cheddar dairies expand. Who needs garden leprechauns?

  16. alan jutson
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I have just spent 10 mins listening to Radio Berkshire listing all of the Schools which are closed today, which seems to be most of them. !

    We have about 40mm of snow !!

    In 1963 we had 400mm or more for 3-4 months, not a single school closed for a day in our area, then no digital boiler controls, no insulation, no double glazing, schools had coal/coke boilers.

    Yesterday train services were decimated on a weather forecast!

    Where has our can do spirit gone ?

    • agricola
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      It’s gone to a party called Health and Safety.

      • John C.
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        It’s because so many people are now (appropriately named) snowflakes.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      In 1963, health and safety hadn’t advanced to the high art it is today, and the compensation culture that goes with it.
      Now, if a child slips up and injures himself on the way to school, the school is petrified they might be sued for provoking the child to travel, if they haven’t announced a closure.

    • Prigger
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      I too am wondering whether the past was some kind of dream. Life is surreal. They’ve been to the moon but can’t get to the school round the corner.

    • Hope
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Said Javid needs to sort our Local Authorities ASAP they are not value for money and deserve no extra funding. The SNP should be ashamed of themselves for a motorway being closed for such a small amount of snow. They talk about economy and cliff edge over the EU, yet put up taxes and do not clear roads!

      CEO paid hundreds of thousands, too many two tier authorities, they are not necessary only providing fiefdoms to a handful of stupid councillors! This is unnecessary damage to our economy. All hyped up by the TV, it s far worse in Sweden, Poland, Russia, Canada etc etc. every year!

    • David Price
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      For some years it has struck me how tremulous and emotive the language of the media has become. Where the UK needs to deal with an incident or EU negotiation position the media reports the UK is “fearful” or “fears” the situation. Where we would have said the authorities are concerned they are now fearful with a hint of panic.

      I don’t know if this is the result of feminisation of the establishment or a purposeful attempt to set people’s mood and attitude.

      • John C.
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s like the use of “outrage” and “shock”. Journalese has now actually affected the way people react, which is quite an interesting phenomenon, if a bit sad.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      You’re right, Alan J. Once upon a time, teachers would get to school if they were able to (and some live close, after all) and were there for any children who turned up (again, some live close by). Why not leave it to teachers to decide for themselves what is sensible travel and what isn’t? Why not leave it to parents to decide if their children are able to get to school?
      This silly state nannying attitude is becoming ridiculous.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Quite, I had been at work a few years in 1963, the mini ice age lasted three months. I don’t remember any serious changes in daily routine, trains ran, milk was delivered, schools open, people went to work. What I do remember is no central heating and ice inside the windows some days.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed but we have the BBC, Met office and all the weather alarmists talking everyone into staying in bed. With their red and multi colour warning and names for all the storms.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        L/L Yes, it really is quite laughable. Granted some places in the country are bad but honestly, we expected a lot more snow than we have. Barely covering the ground here and yet the forecast made me think that the end of the world was nigh. But then what did we come to expect from the BBC who love to exaggerate everything they report on.

    • David L
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      In 1963 we didn’t have a litigation-based society where anyone in a responsible position has to cover themselves in case they end up in court because someone twisted their ankle on a bit of ice. Had we had this attitude in Victorian times the Industrial Revolution wouldn’t have happened!

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the litigation culture need to be culled. It does far, far more damage than good. Release these lawyers to get a real job and do something productive.

        The trouble is the courts want to keep the show on the road (out of personal interest) and do that by encouraging more and more plaintiffs with dafter and dafter rulings and awards.

    • formula57
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      @ alan jutson “Where has our can do spirit gone ?

      Perished under the weight of legal liability, an intrusive duty of care and a pervasive compensation culture.

      Would you wish to be responsible for care of a class of school children overnight, they having been uncollected / unable to travel themselves at the end of a school day? (Your alternative is a day off work.)

      • graham1946
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Yesterday on the news the kids were out on sledges etc. Seems it is unsafe to sit in school but quite alright to slide down hillsides without any skill or supervision. Schools always close at the slightest thing, yet you will see the teachers round the supermarkets doing their shopping and expecting the staff to all be in place.

        In days gone by there was ‘Crown Immunity’ – i.e. you couldn’t sue the government run organisation for a twisted ankle or an operation gone wrong. It would help the NHS greatly if Crown Immunity was restored – ie. if you want the operation it is at your risk (or get insured). If not, go without. Politicians and lawyers have taken away the nation’s spirit.

      • John C.
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Parents would I imagine collect them.

    • NigelE
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed. We need some true grit: for ourselves and for the snow.

    • stred
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      We have an inch in E.London and the school has been shut for 2 days. The bin collection was cancelled. Today the cart drove past slowly and didn’t stop, even though I held the bag out. But all the builders and taxis went to work and a bloke opposite is fitting new windows.

  17. alan jutson
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Mrs May is now finding out that trying to be friends with politicians in the EU is doomed to failure, after seeing the latest circular on the Irish border problem.

    She needs to recognise in business you only get/act as friends, after you have done a deal which suits both sides, before that its hard nosed business discussions.

    The sooner she learns the hard lesson, the better for all of us.

  18. agricola
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Putting matters in logical sequence, the type and quality of trade we take part in , is key to everything else. By this I mean , the way in which the Irish internal border is managed, the electronic interrogation of trade, whether we need an implementation period, what we might pay for it, jurisdiction during such a period, and the extent of cooperation in myriad peripheral fields.

    Barnier and the EU arrogantly believe that they are in the driving seat. The financial umbilical runs from mother UK to dependent child EU. If the EU ignore reality, the nation states are going to be very upset. They are not an harmonious family at the moment.

    To use your simile, take the male approach to shopping. Know what you want, where you can get it, and the price you are willing to pay. It avoids trailing round every shop in the mall. I hope that Mrs May’s handbag is suitably primed on Friday.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Maybe what she wants is not for sale.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I despair even to think about her speech on Friday. She is bound to flunk it as usual and sit on the fence. She just does not have guts, spirit, vision, leadership ability or even a working compass on non EU issues. She is not a Conservative at all.

      • John C.
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        With a small c.

  19. gordon winton
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It annoys me when barnier continually states that the clock is ticking, doubtless all part of their arse for elbow plan, these negotiations should have been completely the other way round; trade deal, impementation and money, then there would have been no ticking clocks we would either be a position to move forward with a deal or move to wto it should in theory have been very simple. I would worry less about trade and more about sovereignty and self determination going forward because whatever the outcome business will adapt and will cope because thats what business does. Still living in hope that TM is allowing the eu to set out their worst before putting them firmly in their place in tommorrows last chance saloon.

  20. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Surely Parliament and the Tory rebels aren’t going to force this country to capitulate to the EU’s absurd conditions? What is going on in their heads?

  21. Bob
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    So many Remainers say that anyone over age 60 shouldn’t be allowed to vote and then tell us that we should listen to John Major and Tony Blair 😂

  22. Richard1
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope there is a credible, worked-up plan for leaving in March 19 on WTO terms – ie having mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) in place etc, & we just haven’t heard about it yet for tactical reasons. Without a credible walk away option the EU will carry on playing hardball. I would if I were them.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    At every turn in these ”negotiations” the EU shows hostility to the UK. On the other hand we seem to concede to their demands. Perhaps their latest offensive will confirm what a despicable organisation we are dealing with despite the support from the likes of Major, Blair Adonis, Soubry, Grieve, Clarke and others whose loyalties to their beloved EU supersede the wishes of the British people. No deal is better than a bad deal and it’s time we stopped the charade and leave on WTO terms with no payments to EU.

  24. Bert Young
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    In the past – when shopping , I was always interested in the quality and reputation of a product before purchasing ; I preferred certain shops to others as well . Price , of course , was also a major consideration . Today the most costly item on my agenda would be a car .In the past I was always impressed with the quality and performance of German cars – VW in particular and , like many others , chose a diesel one . I will never favour a German product again .
    My attitude I know is shared by others and German manufactured products will suffer across the field ; this ought to be good news to the car manufacturers based in the UK . Germany should wake up to the way I have changed and use their influence in the coming negotiations with the EU . We are the biggest market in Europe for the Germans who would be foolish not to respond in a favourable manner .

  25. Wessexboy
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Apropos of the Irish border: has anyone seen the tv programme showing Irish Customs stopping cars entering the Republic to check for ‘green diesel’ and cars registered in the North but driven regularly in the Eire. We already have an Irish Border Force!

  26. LiamB
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Let’s try to deal with some this simplistic nonsense repeated here again today..remember..’if we were leaving a golf club’ etc etc..

    We are not leaving a golf club..nor are we shopping for anything..we are about to leave the richest economic trading bloc on the planet. A bloc with 500 million people with enormous spending power..and for what? a shot in the dark..for ‘maybes’..and something about taking back control..but who exactly will have this control? and then the Liam Fox idea of getting new trade deals with countries far far away? well I can see little evidence of any of these new deals so far..and now today we have the threat of non payment of our dues for budget and commitments already made, part of the exiting business, if we don’t get our own wonder we are being barred from the shop and about to be told to take our business elsewhere.

  27. JoolsB
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic but in PMQs yesterday May has re-confirmed that the vast majority of powers coming back from the EU will go straight to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. John when are you and all those supine MPs squatting in English seats going to ask the question – ‘what about England?’ I know to do so would be putting England before themselves and their party’s self interest but May is on a suicide mission if she thinks England is going to carry on watching more and more autonomy being given to the devolved nations whilst their MPs are still allowed to meddle and interfere 100% in what are becoming increasingly English only matters.

    Are we not supposed to be a union of four nations? Stop trying to fob us off with localism and EVEL. It’s an insult and will come back to bite you all eventually if you do not grow a backbone and demand England is recognised as a nation too and given equal powers (and money) to Scotland.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. Cinderella and the three dwarfs

  28. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    This is supposed to be a lawyers’ version of the agreements of December. Maybe the UK government was less than candid about what was agreed verbally, in addition to the useless communique issued at the time. It looks like the EU negotiators have made up their mind: take it or leave it.

    Incidentally, I missed one imporant thing: it should be a condition that the whole of the isl;and of Ireland concerts to normal road use, ie left hand drive (= driving on the right, ie, proper side of the road). Ireland will receive subsidies (mostly funded out of the UK’s continuing contributions which will also allow for further integration and the volunatry resettlement of DUP members, to their belowd England.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Having read the previous and present versions of the proposals, they are NOT the same and are probably a sign that the EU considers itself teacher speaking to the supplicant UK pupil. It’s arrogance and rudeness shine through the written words. I could use language to describe how the majority of English people feel about this, but won’t out of respect for our host. I have a feeling this is going to end badly for the EU, traders and producers on the continent. People have taken note and won’t forget one simple fact after we leave. Freedom and choice. Why would we buy those goods with an £80 billion trade deficit? They can be bought from producers to an equal if not superior quality, who are not rude and bullying towards us and treat us with mutual respect!

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        There’s 30 to 50 billion of Chinese/Asian etc non EU imports in that trade deficit. I passes through the EU but does not originate there.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Driving on the left is the correct way from hundreds of years past – all to do with having a sword at your left side ready to be drawn with the right. Driving on the right is a perversion as is the metric system of weights and measures, which in any case is s system based on an error.

  29. Sam Duncan
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    If there were ever any doubt that the EU is an imperial project (as if Verhofstadt coming out and openly saying so weren’t enough), it was surely put to rest by its draft “Withdrawal” Agreement, which, if accepted, would be nothing of the kind.

    What baffles me is how people who otherwise rail against the tiniest hint of “imperialism”, from, for example, the United States or Britain, are the ones most enthusiastically embracing this arrogant, anti-democratic, edifice.

  30. NHSGP
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Walk away.

    Put in place a minimum tax on mingrats. 12K per person per year.

    You are saying that £18.6000 a year is needed to migrate to the UK.

    That is £2,670.52 in tax.

    The average state spend per person per year is £12,000.

    Why are you selling state goods way below cost when you don’t have to?

    Why are you forcing us to pay well over ten thousand pounds to each of the low paid migrants when we just say no? Remember, there is redistribution, the low paid cost more.

    Then there are their dependent who cost but don’t generate any taxes.

    You and May have sold us down the river.

    There’s no difference in competence between the EU and yourself. You are incompetent and you have damaged other people.

    Selling goods below cost when you don’t have to forcing others to pay the price is wrong.

  31. StanleyW
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    John..we already have an agreement with them but we intend to leave and now I read today you want another agreement’s all very confusing to me..and i’m sure confusing for them as well..but what happened to brexit means brexit?

    It is clear now we are not going to get another agreement with them, as we saw yesterday, and John Major is reading the signs correctly, it’s because of arrogant blogs like this piece again today that is helping to keep us in this place and am afraid we won’t know what happened until it is all over march 2019 without any afreement..for as far as the EU is concerned there will be no moving to talk about the future until the past is settled.and I can’t see any fudge on their part..only straight’s all much too late now..the best we can hopd for is a Canada deal on a few years time.

  32. L Jones
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    But, in this case, we’re not ”shopping for goods” with the money – we are proposing to hand over an immense sum in order to be allowed to enter the shop initially, in order to shop.
    Why is this proposed payment not termed ”bribery”? Is it not illegal to hand over money to a ”foreign official” in the interests of trade?
    We should not be offering money simply to TALK about trade. This stance is ludicrous if not immoral, so why on earth have our negotiators even contemplated this?

  33. Epikouros
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Even con men or dodgy dealers who ask to be paid for something before delivery which may turn up but not in as good a condition as that advertised or even not at all at least have the intelligence to make that which is on offer appear attractive. Well we know that Brussels is stuffed with con men and dodgy dealers ask any nation that has dealings with them but obviously lack intelligence. What they are offering the UK for a large sum of money is not in the least bit attractive in fact it is an insult to our intelligence and anyone who believes it is attractive are either deluded or being deceitful or have mental health problems.

    Now we will find out what Theresa May is made of and what her true beliefs are. She should of course tell the EU where to shove their offer and prepare to leave without a deal. On her past performances and the fact that we are still at the negotiating table considering the appalling EU anti-UK actions, offers and arrogance to date then I fear she will continue to appease or worse present herself to the EU as a supplicant. The latter because as Cameron did stating that was all that was on offer so we should take it. It is certain they are not going to offer better as they believe in their arrogance they have the upper hand and we in the end will be forced to take what we can get. It helps their position that we have so many quislings(remainiacs) in the UK who worship the ground they walk on.

  34. Man of Kent
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Watched your Speakers lecture yesterday .
    Well done – a clear logical exposition !

    One point you made that was spot on is the way in which the EU disregards its own treaty obligations to be friendly to its neighbours .

    For me this started in the Ukraine with Tony Blair looking forward to the EU stretching to the Urals. He was well supported by the EU commissioner for foreign affairs [ her name ??
    have forgotten but the ex NHS manager- oh yes Ashton ] and all the other suspects .
    How can a country ,the EU , have good relations when it cannot secure or defend its own borders and Merkel tears up the Dublin agreement and invites a million ‘refugees’ to Germany ?

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Here’s an idea for an attractive offer Theresa May could make to Michel Barnier when she meets him today.

    We are not going to allow the 2% of the UK economy in Northern Ireland:

    to remain under EU law while the rest of the UK does not, and even less are we prepared to allow 100% of the UK economy to remain under EU law, but we are prepared to pass UK legislation to ensure that the 12% of the UK economy which is involved in exports to the continuing EU will always stay in conformity with necessary EU rules.

    Not the part of the UK economy located in a certain geographical area, and not the parts of the UK economy engaged in a certain specified types of activity – manufacturing, or financial services, or whatever – but those parts of the UK economy which are involved in exports to the EU and in which the EU could therefore be considered to have a legitimate economic interest, rather than just an illegitimate political interest.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I meant Donald Tusk, after all the inappropriate kissy-kissy stuff.

    • stred
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Presumably, we already make cars to be sold in non-EU countries and which comply with their regulations. Possibly the EU is worried that we may sneak US spec cars and full powered Henrys over the border. We could offer to buy them back, after deducting expenses from the receivers of smuggled goods, if the Guarda detect this dangerous racket.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Yes, we do make cars which meet US requirements and which can be exported to the US, and we can do that without the whole of the UK and its economy being made subject to all US law. And similarly with other countries around the world, we export goods which comply with their laws but without every person and business in the UK having to obey all their laws – which could be difficult when the laws of different countries conflicted. The exceptions are the other EU countries, where part of the price of exporting to them is EU law imposed not just on the exporters but on everybody.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      The fact that the EU is willing to risk a wosrt outcome result (look at the game theoretical article by the Brueghel coup) for something that you regard as trivial, the Irish border, should tell you that there is very little to stop the EU side going towards a hard brexit.

      • stred
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Hope so.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        I regard it as a trivial problem being blown up out of all proportion.

  36. formula57
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    “Looking at the draft Withdrawal Agreement it is difficult to see why we would want to sign that….

    Indeed so, although quislings doubtless will inform us we would be mad to do otherwise.

    (Is it not past time for an UnBrexit Acitivities Committee to put a check on quisling antics?)

  37. Adam
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    We UK voters reject the notion of the EU as our Govt. Its useful function, if any, is as a market place.

    We, as sensible customers, decide what we want. Dodgy operators don’t attract our interest.

    If a document needs considerable amendment, it is unlikely to be fit for purpose.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink


      Hurrah, a good point…………………………………………………………… last!

      • stred
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        It may be a counterfeit Adam which does not comply with the Verhofstadt standard of insult, which has been smuggled onto this blog.

  38. Doug Powell
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    JR, the Remoaners believe that if Parliament votes against HMG’s Brexit deal, then we will remain in the EU, forced to continue negotiating for even less, forever!

    My understanding, maybe an erroneous assumption, is that if the ‘deal’ is rejected, then the default position is that we still leave the EU on 29th March 2019, but trade under WTO rules.

    HMG is strangely silent on this scenario. Could you please clarify the UK’s position should Parliament say “NO”? I think the whole debate would benefit this information.

    Reply That would depend on what the motion said. As far as the government is concerned the choice will be between leaving with a deal and leaving without the deal.

  39. iain
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    It almost makes me weep to see our great country being run by a Government which gives the impression of NOT standing up for the majority who voted to leave and being dictated to by these unelected EU officials. What happened to the British spirit . I do hope that May , Hammond and the others like them realise that failure to enforce the Referendum result in full will doom us to rule by Corbyn, Macdonald and Watson for years to come.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Iain, The EU’s attempt to annex Northern Ireland will separate out the patriots from the Quislings.

  40. Mockbeggar
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink


    I’m clearly not as well informed as you, so perhaps you could enlighten me. What I cannot understand is that, if the trade imbalance between Northern Ireland and the Republic is so great, why we don’t simply say that there will be no border checks on goods entering the north from the south and leave it up to the EU to decide whether to impose border checks on north to south trade or not. There could, perhaps, be discreet camera monitoring to ensure such an arrangement was not being taken advantage of by wholesale smugglers.

    From what I heard on the Today programme this morning, the RoI are hiding behind the skirts of the EU and, if left to themselves, would easily find an accommodation with the EU in both countries’ interests.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Well, the Irish government will not allow cameras or anything else at the border, as one minister put it they will reject “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”. If you listen to what the Irish politicians say they are constantly trying to pretend that there is no border at present.

      There’s a useful article here:

      with statistics about the trade in both directions.

  41. kevin webb
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    No Deal would be best. Stop all this ‘talking’ and act. Go with WTO.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Why not go with the flow?

    • Andy
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      No deal would be great. It would lead to a Tory annihilation in 2022. Corbyn would implement a hard-left Brexit and all those people from the right who’ve been whining about the EU for 30+ years will be whining like hell to go back in.

      Which we will do before long anyway as the next generation loathes the Brexit which pensioners are imposing on them – and the pensioners will, on the whole, be dead first anyway. They ain’t gonna be stopping us then.

  42. Jim Walker
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The terms of the draft agreement submitted by the EU is not entirely unexpected, but it would be a mistake for the UK government to try to amend it. In my experience it is always a mistake to fight on the oppositions terms. What is required is for the UK government to draw up its own draft legal agreement on the terms that it would like to see and then there could be a balanced discussion. This would also silence the critics who argue that they don’t know what the UK government wants.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Everyone is curious about what the UK would want. If the bubble here (with Russians and Australians and very few EU people) is of any significance, I guess that there will be no proposal at all. Maybe some indignation.

  43. KeithL
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    All very well Jim but the government should have drawn up such a legal document straight after the December agreement and put it to them, a legal text putting our slant of things so instead and like always we are playing catchup.

    Likewise Mrs May could have made her speech a week ago and struck while the iron was hot but she didn’t and this has allowed Tusk, Barnier, Verhofstadt, John Major, Tony Blair and all of the rest to get in and muddy the waters- and that’s the problem- we’re always behind the curve

  44. mancunius
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    “They have invented a rule that they cannot reach an Agreement with us on our Future Partnership until we have left, which is most unhelpful and does not seem to be based on the strict letter of Treaty law.”
    Here the EU is not just not following the “strict letter” but is acting completely contrary to the terms of Art. 50 – whose wording expressly demands that the Withdrawal Agreement must take account of the future relationship.
    I still find it baffling that Davis and May agreed to waiting until after we’ve left – and paid the demanded Danegeld – before any FTA is made legally watertight. Inconceivable.
    They should both be sectioned and replaced by somebody with more than half a brain cell.

  45. Andy
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    It is not like going to a shop. It’s more like buying double glazing.

    The Brexit ‘double glazing’ salesmen made us promises in June 2016.

    It turns out their claims were wildly misleading.

    We are not going to get what they promised – and they refuse to give us our money back.

    This is exactly what is happening.

  46. Richard
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    March 2018: We must stay in parts of the EU military union. Lots more details here:
    It is therefore very difficult to disagree with anything in this petition:
    Petition to Ensure the UK leaves all EU defence rules, policies and structures on 29/03/19.
    Since November 2016, the UK has joined all parts of the EU’s “defence union” except one, without any vote by MPs. These include finance, command centre and a central budget.
    If the UK stays in them or if any of them go into an exit agreement, as Govt has proposed, the UK will not have left the EU.

  • 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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