The balance of the Brexit Committee of the Cabinet

I hear and read briefings that say it is important for the government that the Brexit Committee of the Cabinet has a balance with equal numbers of Remain and Leave members. This surely is an out of date or wrong idea. There are pro Leave Cabinet members not currently on the Brexit Committee who could strengthen it. There is also now a vacancy for Home Secretary. I hope Iain Duncan Smith is appointed, as he has published a good plan for a better and fairer immigration system post Brexit and could speed the government’s work on it.

The government as a whole is meant to be dedicated to seeing through Brexit. It is meant to be united in public with a strong position to maximise our chances of a good deal rather than no deal, which we have been assured we will pursue rather than a bad deal. Such a course argues for a good majority on the Brexit Committee of strong supporters of Brexit.

It also means that Cabinet Ministers outside the Brexit Committee who were of the Leave faith should also be more willing to pursue a good Brexit rather than thinking their task in private is to dilute or delay departure. The issue of Brexit was settled almost two years ago by the people and their vote. That was reinforced by the 82% vote in the last election for the two main  parties who both promised to see Brexit through, and by the strong vote of Parliament to send the Article 50 letter notifying the EU of our intention to leave next spring.

Any Cabinet Minister who tries to delay his or her department getting on with the necessary preparatory work to allow us to leave with or without a deal next March is undermining the government’s policy and the UK’s position in the negotiations. Cabinet Ministers who accept the collective line that we are leaving the EU, the single market and the customs union are getting on with preparing suitable plans. More importantly they should also be preparing their policies to take advantage of our ability to make our own laws, spend our own money and control our own borders once we are out. There are lots of wins for us as long as we do take back full control as soon as possible.

Those who have sought to delay exit by seeking a 21 month so called Transition should not also then seek to delay the necessary work for No Deal in case that turns out to be the best option.

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  1. Lifelogic.
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Indeed. I agree fully. Though the problem is surely largely caused by having a visionless, pro remain, electoral liability and PC left dope as PM.

    In the Sunday Times yesterday:-
    In what amounts to the most perilous moment for May’s premiership this year, a close friend of Davis compared Robbins to Sir Alan Walters, the unelected adviser who alienated Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, setting in train the events that led to her downfall.

    Rather an odd comparison. Sir Alan Walters’ advice to Thatcher was exactly right she should have taken it and avoided the ERM disaster. Oliver Robbins is surely completely wrong. He is almost bound to be completely wrong as he is private school then on to Oxford PPE then straight in to the civil service. Such people nearly always are wrong as they have no experience of the private sector, competitive industry, trade or how most people live. They tend to think what people need is more and more government, taxation, regulations, EU and more and more over paid and pensioned civil servants. In short they are usually rather like T May and P Hammond.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Also rather like Cameron, who had a golden opportunity to be a very great PM but blew it totally by not being the low tax at heart Eurosceptic that he totally falsely claimed to be. Also failing to prepare for both referendum outcomes and then he just abandoned ship.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I find he was born in 1975, therefore he has known nothing apart from entanglement with the EEC/EC/EU/USE project. He could not have achieved his present grade in the civil service if he did not at least superficially support that project. As I have said before all holders of public office, including all civil servants, should be required to take a new, solemn, oath abjuring all allegiance to the EU; those who find they cannot swallow that should be offered early retirement or just given their notice.

  2. Lifelogic.
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    As you say:- “Any Cabinet Minister who tries to delay his or her department getting on with the necessary preparatory work to allow us to leave with or without a deal next March is undermining the government’s policy and the UK’s position in the negotiations.”

    Or indeed any bureaucrat as so many very clearly are. The BBC chearing all this on every day. Still about 5 to 1 are pro remain, on BBC political discussion programmes like Question Time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      JR I see that John McDonnell and Labour have pledged a cap on overdraft fees and interest payments. This is probably not the best way to go about it.

      But the Tories really need to grasp this issue. There is something very wrong with competition in bank lending currently. Major high street banks (ones recently rescued by the government) are paying nothing or virtually nothing on deposits yet charging 68% + even on approved overdraft to solid customers.

      Also this is sometimes done as daily OD fees so as to avoid quoting the real APR rate.

      This is more 136 times current base rates and sometimes 1000+ times what they pay customers on deposits. This is not banking it is a daylight robbery. Why are the competition authorities, the banking ombudsman, the bank of England and the government letting them get away with this ripping off of their customers?

      What is Hammond (or preferably his replacement) going to do about it?

    • Hope
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear was a terrible appointment. Another minister unable to keep to his word and insults Tory supporters! He was a leaver, voted remain, local authorities in a mess, blames middle aged people for the Tory Mass immigration policy. I presum because he is from a viable minority it was a politically correct appointment to try to get the heat off May’s previous failures as Home Secretary? Like May you cannot beleive a word he says. A mirror appointment.

      With so many KPI in the public sector, especially after the Tory promise to cut immigration to tens of thousands and lost hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, it is quite astonishing that Rudd never hedged her bets to say they were targets, it was obvious there would be.

      Truly dreadful appointment, another remainer. Did he commit to stay in the customs union to get et the job? He does change his mind a lot for his career.

      Gauke needs to go next, easy target for a Labour.

      Truly dreadful.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        The BBC very keen on the fact that he is the first Home Secretary from the “diverse” community and is the son of a bus driver – who cares – is he remotely competent? I rather have my doubts as he was clearly a remainer, a career politician and chosen by MAY – but hopefully he will actually perform.

    • Hope
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      The embarrassment of May continues. It is truly appalling to watch the incremental capitulating steps May is taking with Brexit. She has been underhand, broke every promise, broke all main points in her Key note speeches, broke all her red lines, lied about the line by line examination of the divorce bill the U.K. Is not liable to pay, allowed all remainers to visit and coordinate activity with Barnier, the negotiator against thenUK!

      I fail to see how this is not an act of treason upon the democratic electorate. The debate last week in parliament demonstrated graphically that MPs in the debate to email in the EU SERVE NO PURPOSE to the public. They went against their respective manifestos and promises o the public. Even though there were two previous votes! The Lords must now be abolished, it is not acting a revising chamber but dictating what the country should do against the public vote! Its proposal today totally undermines the govt and, again, it must be viewed as an act of treason to side with a foreign power against the nation.

      The DUP,should have led negotiations and Foster lead the country. May must be ousted. If she had any decency, which she does not, she would accept the blame for Windrush and resign, per her own code of conduct stated on TV in 2004. All failures at the Home Offie were known years ago and built upon by May’s term of office.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    As an outside observer my impression is that there is a sustained campaign underway to frustrate Brexit. It is also my impression that No 10 is doing little, if anything, to frustrate that campaign. If anything the reverse is happening; witness the prominence given to Mr Olly Robbins, a Remain official apparently in charge of the negotiations. It all bears the hallmarks of another bungled May enterprise.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Dear oldtimer–Very much agreed–Not only is and was she wrong in her judgements and attempts at action, she does not exude authority, nobody much cares what she does or does not say, especially not in her non-event speeches, or her statements on the likes of No Deal, and in general she scores negative on anything to do with inspiration–in short she is useless. Broom her and bring in Boris by acclamation. If he hadn’t been treachously knifed in the back he would have won the last Election going away and there would be none of the ridiculous attempts at delay we now face every single day. The House of Lords, once commanding of so much respect, has had its millennium in the sun but has been ruined and now has to go too–it is now simply preposterous that they should have any significant say let alone a veto over literally everybody else apparently just because they sit on red seats.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Well, I have long been lamenting the absence of any rapid rebuttal unit in the Department for Exiting the EU. The government has an official policy which has been constantly under attack, day after day, week after week, month and month, yet David Davis has never taken steps to fight back and defend that policy. On the contrary, when a junior minister did fight back by questioning the impartiality of Treasury officials who had produced, and then deliberately leaked, new editions of their dire economic forecasts from before the referendum he was the one who got slapped down, and we have heard nothing about any disciplinary action having been taken against disloyal civil servants who leaked confidential information to dishonest journalists. In fact we are now having another session of pleas that civil servants should be treated as god-like figures and neither their competence nor their loyalty should be questioned. I think I now know why David Davis took the decision to allow Remoaners free rein to develop their campaign to frustrate the result of the referendum without any challenge to their lies, and I reckon that the answer lies in the pro-EU civil servant who was originally appointed as his most senior adviser and who is now advising Theresa May directly.

      • Hope
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        In stark contrast Rudd was allowed last week to Blame civl servants!

        Labour on back foot from Russia and anti semitism. Its ratings dropped in the polls. It is also clear that when Tory/govt gets ahead in the polls the civl service create a problem for the govt. because this would give Brexit MPs and ministers a good lever to May ie oust her or go for a general election. it is in the retainers interest to keep the two parties level pegging forcing leave MPs to accept whatever May does ie stay in the EU by a different name.

        Leavers, have the courage and force her hand the public is behind you.

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer, Exactly. A number of significant political level civil servants are in the process of frustrating Brexit. Some may simply lack the imagination to modify their set views but others, I believe, are deliberately sabotaging our leaving the EU.

      The same effect is apparent in the “Windrush” scandal: Home Office senior civil servants let in adult ex-fighters from the Middle East as “children”, but deport a Jamaican nurse who has been here for decades working and paying taxes.

      • Hope
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        May has allowed the Climate to exist and build under her premiership. Never has she rebutted all the false claims, fake reports by a Treasury, BoE etc. Dennis and others were absolutely bewildered why no response over such a lengthy period of time. It is because this is what she wanted, to build so many doubts to change our minds. There is no need of an extension, that is absolutely clear, May could not even keep to her own terms of the punishment! What PM would ever travel at night to give away part of our nation to a foreign power? May was caught out red handed by the DUP. She then had the Gaul to backtrack claiming no PM would do so!

        Millions of people fought and died for the independence of this country and May was going to sculk at night to give part of it away. What part did JR and his colleagues not understand? One of the ……….. Lords today equated leaving similar to the ahitler regime! At what point will they act to stop this corrupt dishonest behaviour to act against the democratic public vote? The remainers are brazen enough to speak against the public and defy the will of the ballot box, when will they rise?

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        A deliberate and wilful distortion of what the people wanted.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed it does. She simply has no vision, no working compass and is not a Conservative. Far more concerned by absurd gender pay reporting, green crap, plastics, increasing taxes hand over fist, increasing regulation of everything & attacking business, the self employed and private service companies. Almost nothing positive comes from this dithering, socialist, (ex?) remainer woman.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Javid has not at all been a good minister, so why promote him?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Javid was a supporter of remaining in the European Union, but he described himself as a Eurosceptic with “no time for ever-closer union”.

          The only choice was leave or to have ever closer union rammed down out throats, becoming mere regions of an anti-democratic EU. Time for Javid to wake up to reality!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            Yes, well, David Cameron said that we didn’t want “ever closer union” and he would negotiate us out of it …

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:38 am | Permalink

            Indeed but Cameron came back with nothing of any value at all and then proceeded to tell the nation it was a good deal using their tax payers money.

            Another huge mistake by him. If only he had had a working compass or a sensible adviser to guide him.

  4. Mick
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    But with so many remoaner mps no doubt a Remainer we’ll be elected to chair it , like the selection of the Chair of the Exiting the European Union Committee is Hilary Benn MP by Remainer mps,
    But maybe that is all less important now given the lastest news
    I can see a GE looming very soon then there’s going to be a hell of a shake up in Westminster which I feel sure will be filled with true believers in GB and it’s people and not there self interest to the dreaded Eu , because the current lot in Westminster really know the true feelings of the people but there going to

  5. duncan
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The two most important Cabinet Ministers are vehement Europhiles and Remain supporters. Step forward the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer who are both fighting hard to preserve our EU membership.

    Indeed, not only are these two politicians fighting hard to maintain our EU status but they have also given their officials carte blanche to do exactly the same.

    If this politician stays as our leader and this country’s PM she will ensure we never leave the EU and sign off on a deal that will forever keep us in servitude.

    The Grieve-Commons stitch-up some months ago told me all I need to know about this government and my party. That farce was stage managed and deliberate by all Tory MPs.

    It is my belief that my own party’s MPs by not bringing down this PM accept that we will not leave the EU.

    We and therefore democracy is being deliberately and wilfully betrayed by our own party but its being made to look like the opposite.

    Politics has entered a new dark age in which political parties arrogantly participate in open deception

    • Hope
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      It is certainly no coincidence that the Lords are acting in concert with the traitors in the commons and civil service. It is not possible the timings and acts are accidental, it is coordinated.

      May has allowed all this to take place and incrementally capitulated on every major issue hoping to change our minds as there is no alternative.

      Time for change, bring her down and force another general election if necessary.

  6. Henry Spark
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    My goodness, you sound terrified! And with good reason! Frictionless trade, the EU folding, easy deals with the rest of the world, no exit bill, £350 million for the NHS – every promise broken!

    • rose
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Who “promised”?

      • acorn
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May has finally admitted the £350 million a week the Leave campaign promised would be saved by leaving the EU will not go to NHS.

        She suggested the extra money going to the health service – a pledge plastered on the side of the Leave campaign’s big red battle bus – wasn’t really what people voted for. (Mirror 30/3/17)

        When is a pledge not a promise?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          When it’s just a suggestion, starting with “Let’s … “?

        • libertarian
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


          My local Labour candidate promised to abolish tuition fees. None of these things are worth a candle unless its a manifesto promise and you are elected to implement it.

          Even someone as hard of thinking as you should know that

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:40 am | Permalink

          When is a pledge not a promise?

          Oh when it is “cast iron” perhaps or when it is something like “Brexit means Brexit” or indeed almost anything said by a career politician before elections.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 1, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          Possibly when the pledger does not have the numbers in Parliament to deliver the pledge a la the Lib Dems in the coalition.

          Those MPs seeking to leave the EU do not have a Parliamentary majority are prevented from realising the fruits of leaving by those who will not leave.

        • rose
          Posted May 1, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          It was a suggestion, not a promise or a pledge, and it didn’t give a figure for how much of the £350 million could go to the NHS. It wasn’t a manifesto. It was to make people think about just how much of our money is going to Brussels and it did. Every remainiac quibble reminded people of that, as you are now.

          Twisting the language of the Leave campaign is what remainiacs resort to when they have no compelling arguments for staying in.

    • Woody
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      You sound so like a typical remoaner, like those who assured us that the moment we voted to leave the world would collapse around us … unemployment, housing, investment, manufacturing, plague .. all proven to be wrong. Yet still the likes of you have not recognised that. The EU is collapsing however, and the world is showing they are keen and enthusiastic to deal with us … and once we have left the eurocrat cabal we can then CHOSE for ourselves what to spend our 19 billion a year on.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      As it stands, no deal remains the best deal for the UK. If the EU keeps knocking back our proposals then a no deal scenario is very likely. It’s the EU 27 members who should be terrified.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Dear sparked out

      We haven’t left yet…. We haven’t negotiated a deal yet, we haven’t got our money back yet …. do try and keep up. I know its hard for you public sector types but try at least

      • acorn
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Libby, you give away your ignorance every time you post. What does “….” mean after a phrase? Do you actually know how to construct a sentence in English?

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Henry Spark, Neither JR, nor the Tories, nor VoteLeave, nor, nor UKIP, promised £350m for the NHS. We’re still in the EU, so where’s my £10 that Remain promised me for my £1?

      All the things that Remain have demanded: customs union; single market; delays to leaving; fishing rights handed to the EU; a common security, defence and diplomatic treaty; extra money to the EU; etc; you are getting. Don’t like it? Neither do we.

    • getahead
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      With Remainers running the negotiations it is unlikely that we will leave the EU.
      That is what terrifies me.

    • Hope
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      JR, we read in Guido how the civil service is being addressed during their work time, or taught, brainwashed by two extreme remainers. Why?

      Another day another disaster for May.

      JR, the only way any of your cogent remarks will take place is if you get rid of May. The punishment extension is not necessary nor required for the small amount of businesses that trade with the EU. If you wish to trade with a country you comply with its rules, that is the case with the other 169 countries in the world. Is May incompetent, dishonest or stupid with her quest to keep the U.K. In the EU in all but name?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May made none of those promises. She has broken nothing whilst honouring Remain’s desires.

  7. Mark B
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    What happened in the Glorious Referendum of 2016 should not have happened. The political class and the establishment did not expect it and are now slowly trying to Remain in the EU without looking like we will Remain in the EU. A sort of Soft Remain. They are, slowly, constructing EU-lite.


    • Ian wragg
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      We now have the end game coming into play. Verstofd telling us we have to sign an associate agreement with the EU which keeps us in the EU without representation.
      Free movement and a tribute payment annually.
      This will become a permanent arrangements.
      We now have arch remainer Rudd resigning for lying and the federalist Robbins as chief negotiator. What could possibly go wrong.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed appalling, but that is clearly what is happening under Brexit means Brexit in name only T May.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      The great diarist of the Russian Revolution(s),Nikolai Sukhanov, wrote of the February revolution:

      “The revolution was made in the streets,the government in the salons”

      which was why the October revolution was inevitable.

      To October!

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Mark B, It is beyond shameful, it is treason. The UK cannot bob in and out of the EU every few years. We cannot leave if we are partly remaining in the EU. It is Leave OR Remain, exactly as the Referendum paper had it. There is no compromise or “balance” possible, it is a binary, once in a lifetime decision. The current government are fools to imagine that they can placate both sides.

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I cannot disagree with any of this John. Those ministers who are avidly trying to put off leaving the EU should go. If we can get a clean Brexit then I firmly believe the UK will go on go do great things. The way its going at the moment we are sunk and we will have this government and Parliament to thank for the biggest disaster in modern politics. Let’s make Britain great again.

  9. Andy
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    This issue of Brexit was not settled.

    Leave campaigners made a series of promises – all of which have proven to be false.

    Consequently Brexit is up for grabs.

    It is a demographic inevitability that it will be undone.

    The question is not if, it is when.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      More lies and misinformation from the startek dreamworld crowd

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      True the hopeless remainers in charge are making rather fist of it. But the will of the voters will not now be defeated, we are leaving and will indeed leave properly in the end. This despite this appalling rudderless governments best efforts, the BBC, academic and state sector bias and the dire composition of the Lords and Commons.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Keep telling yourself that.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      This is why Andy those people making those ‘series of promises’, Johnson, Gove, Leadsom, Patel, should be leading the Conservative Party and making the running instead of just backing off, they should be held accountable for securing the deal they proposed. The Remain conservatives resigned with their loss, Cameron and Osborne so why put a bunch of Remainers in charge that are against Leave, the rest of the Conservative and DUP parties making up the government need to make this change now whilst there is an opening in the top tier.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Andy would like to take this opportunity to tell us why we should remain in thrall to his much admired EU masters. And perhaps he could tell us what benefits he can see accruing to the UK right NOW if we suddenly changed tack and decided to remain.
      Wouldn’t we have to prepare ourselves for some sort of punishment for having the temerity to wish to escape their clutches? Wouldn’t they come down hard on us to make sure we toed the Euro line, the joint military line, etc?
      Remainders are keen to let us know that they think Brexit is a bad idea, but not why remaining would be a good one (not including their own financial situations or vested interests).

    • Woody
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Look as hard as I can I cannot find any of the promises that the remain side made that have come true .. and the promise the leave side made was that we can thrive outside and decide for ourselves what to spend our money on and who we let into our country. No lies there.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The remainer camp said the EU would not change and that was a blatant lie. Announcements of a federal EU state were withheld until the referendum had passed. We voted wisely in the circumstances.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink


      You’re confused it was Remain that officially told us that we would immeadiatly lose 300,000 jobs that the city would move to Frankfurt etc etc … All wrong of course

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Andy, Your comments are epic fails, and I assume that’s why JR keeps allowing them.

      You have failed to explain:
      why the EU should have legal supremacy over the UK;
      what the EU does for us that we cannot do for ourselves;
      why c89% of our economy should dance to the EU tune when only about 11% of UK GDP derives from exports to the EU;
      how a sovereign Parliament can dispose of its own sovereignty to a foreign power;
      why we bother with democracy if the people are not sovereign;
      why the mess we’re in is due to Leave, when Remain policies are being implemented;
      what this supposed long list of broken promises by Leave is;
      why a second in/out referendum is valid, where the first was not;
      why democratic decisions should be honoured except in this particular Referendum; why the losing side in a binary vote should win;
      why the UK cannot be independent with the same rights and opportunities as the other 165 nations on the planet which are not in the EU;
      why the EU should have our fish;
      why the UK should pay the EU more than we would have done if we had remained;
      why the EU should control our defence, security and diplomatic policies;
      why we should turn a blind eye to EU corruption;
      why we won’t be caught by the enormous EU pension liabilities if we Remain;
      why we shouldn’t be bothered about the NPLs in the EZ if we Remain;
      etc; etc; etc.

      Just saying EU good, UK bad doesn’t hack it. Where is your evidence?

      • Andy
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        With respect I don’t have to explain anything.

        You ‘won’ remember. This mess is entirely the fault of people like you.

        My job is simply to make sure you know it.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          “With respect I don’t have to explain anything”

          Don’t give us the “with respect” eyewash, if you respected us you would not lie to us; and why do you think that you should be exempt from having to provide any rational explanations for what you say?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Those are relevant questions for those like you Andy, who are EU enthusiasts.
          Ignoring the negatives of remaining in the EU is not a sensible position.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          Oh. I don’t see it that way. I relish your posts… and the lies you tell such as ‘You don’t like foreign people.’ and ‘old people are stupid and wicked.’

        • libertarian
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Hi Andy

          Surely your job is to sack your 30 staff and close down your multimillion pound business ( that is assuming what you said is true…snigger)

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink


            this is totally innecessary

        • anon
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          As long as we obtain a “no deal” we will be right as rain.
          Its our dishonest, antidemocratic establishment which is attempting to agree to Brexit remain with ties that bind.

          We should bring back the treason laws.

      • Matthu
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Andy? You there?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink


        I think it is very interesting you ask for facts , proof and figures, when one finds your lack of evidence, facts and figures most of the time.

        But then I suppose this is how you debate, whilst the libertarian has his facts in order

        • NickC
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Hans, I can supply you with facts (with references), as can most on here including our host. And do so frequently. If you don’t like my list-of-18 then provide us with your facts (with refs) to refute them, instead of just factless moaning.

          Legal supremacy of EU law? – Declaration 17;
          About 89% UK GDP not from exports to the EU? – Pink Book 2017;
          UK can’t be independent when 165 other nations are? – God give me strength;
          NPLs? – see EC Progress report: still nearly Eu 1 trillion;
          EU control of defence, security and diplomatic policies? – read Theresa May’s lips;
          EU corruption? – Martin Selmayr
          Our fish? – you expect me to prove your theft? – if so your arrogance and impudence knows no bounds.

          Any more, Hans??

    • Freeborn John
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Nothing that the Leave campaign foretold was a lie. Everything, including that the gross cost of the EU is £350m a week was correct.

      The Remain campaign in the other hand was a pack of lies from top to bottom. Take a look at what they promised and none it was true. There was no immediate recession of between 3.6 and 6% of GDP. House prices have not fallen between 10 and 18%. Unemployment did not immediately jump 520k to 800k. Indeed the opposite has happened on every single pr diction that Remain made. Remain has not got a leg to stand on being entirely discredited.

    • Malcolm White
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Which promises have been proven to be false?

      If you’re talking about the saving of £350 million a week, some of which could be used to fund the NHS, we haven’t left yet and that bonus isn’t available.

      In fact, the foot dragging by recalcitrant remainers has delayed that bonus by two years. If they’d got with the program and backed the outcome of the vote that money could have been available from 29th March 2019.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink


    • Richard1
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      You forget that many of the pensioners you so deride for voting for Brexit would have been young voters who put us in the EU in the first place. Perhaps they changed their mind as it became clear that the EU was not an economic and trading construction but a super state in the making. The failure of the Remain campaign to acknowledge this was their equivalent of ‘£350m pw for the NHS’. Today’s young voters, who are generally attracted by warm and fuzzy things like the Erasmus programme, might also figure out that they prefer an independent democracy in the future.

      • Andy
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps. Or maybe they don’t like foreigners.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          I love it when you post this one, Andy.

          Closing down debate with that old cannard will definitely lead us to a UK Trump.

          Brexit ?

          Look in the mirror. Look in the mirror.

    • Adam
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      There were thousands of Leave & Remain Campaigners. It is unlikely that anyone could know all the promises each made during the campaign; so the notion that all have been proven false is beyond belief, as are other baseless predictions.

    • Dennis
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Andy you stated that – ‘Leave campaigners made a series of promises – all of which have proven to be false.’

      You didn’t name a single one but I hope the £350m for the NHS is one of them which would show you know little.

    • 37/6
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      “It is a demographic inevitability that it will be undone.”


      Things can never be the same again.

      • 37/6
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        As NickC rightly says. Why is Leave to blame when it’s Remain policies being implemented.

      • Andy
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        That is true. Things will not be the same again.

        If we do leave the EU then when we go back in it’ll be on worse terms.

        You’ll all be getting your pensions paid in Euros!

        • NickC
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Andy, How can it possibly be on worse terms? You keep telling us that being in the EU is all that counts. Now you are making caveats? Wonders will never cease.

  10. Peter
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    It seems obvious that the Cabinet should be full of Brexiteers.

    Were that already the case, was The Spectator could not claim that the government is not ready for ‘No Deal’ and will for therefore be forced to come to an agreement with the EU.

    That is not what the British public voted for.

  11. Ron Olden
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Surely all the Cabinet should be pro Leave now, or they shouldn’t be in the Cabinet at all

    They voted to hold the EU Referendum, stood on a manifesto in the 2015 General Election promising to obey the result, and again in 2017, when the manifesto promised to Leave the EU.

    They also all voted to activate Article 50, and against the proposed amendments to the legislation suggesting we should stay in the Customs Union.

    The only Tory MP (let alone Cabinet Minister) who has any legitimate or moral justification for carrying on supporting Remain, is Ken Clarke.

    Incidentally a No Deal Brexit is achievable.

    First, there’s no reason why EU Sceptic parties in the EU Parliament shouldn’t vote with the EU fanatic ones, some of whom will themselves invevitably, vote againt any deal.

    Second, when the deal comes before the UK Parliament why don’t ‘Clean Break’ MPs do the same and vote it down?

    It’s not a vote on Leaving the EU. It’s a vote on whether we take the deal or leave it. If there’s no deal by March 29th, we leave automatically without one and keep our £37 Billion.

    The latter principled position would also have the benefit of putting Labour and Lib Dem Remainers on the spot and forcing them to vote for, the deal or suffer their dreaded ‘Hard Brexit’.

    There’s ample grounds for ‘Clean Break Brexiters’ especially the few Labour ones and the DUP, to justify such action, particularly if the Customs Union motion or amendment passes, and/or is present, or assumed to be operating upon, whatever form the ‘Deal’ motion takes.

  12. agricola
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    You do not name names, but what you suggest is a level of confusion and or lack of direction amounting to David Davis being sent in with a broken bat and some members of the team being all to ready to dilute the message to the EU. Mrs May needs to get a grip.

    If the target is departure with a free trade agreement in goods and services, then the Brexit team should only consider this, and the WTO position if it fails. We need a clearly worded treaty on the above, not a deliberately confusing version of a customs union.

    The Irish border is just a red herring. It works at present with an electronic exchange of information, just as it does in Dover. If any new arrangement involves the exchange of different information then this too can occur electronically. It is just being used by the unscrupulous and ignorant.

    Any cracks in our resolve will be exploited by the EU, our home civil service and the great political unwashed who have their own agenda. Time for some clarity.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    There seems to be an excess of ‘fairness’ associated with this – while remoaners and the EU use every underhand tactic to wreck Brexit, those supporting Brexit pull their punches and permit the other side to gain advantages.
    It is time Ms May, and all Brexiteers got their act together to not only quash the lies and misinformation, but to push the truth. Some people are working overtime on this… but it needs to be a collective push.
    I took a look at a remoaner site on FB – the misinformation is rife, and they have no clear idea of what a reversal of BREXIT would mean – they are all stuck in their Patrick Stewart Statrek world, which shows the level of reality they live in …

  14. Nig l
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Maybe instead of gender and Brexit balance we can get someone who can actually do the job. How naive is that?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Not very likely under the appallingly politically correct T May though.

    • Bob
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Do you you Mrs May will take Amber’s resignation as an opportunity to make the cabinet a less hostile environment for Brexiters?

    • DaveM
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Come on Nig – these are politicians we’re talking about! If you’ve ever worked near or in a govt dept you will know you leave common sense at the front door!

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Sounding frustrated as you do in this article provably brings you further in to line with the readership of this blog.

    The truth is that your party on the whole is in thrall to the EU with pockets of sceptics who have, in the past, been able to sway policy by their numbers.

    The demise of UKIP and Jeremy Corbyn’s political opportunism have given those wishing to remain within your party a free hand.

    Amber Rudd’s resignation puts another in the mould of Ms Morgan and Ms Soubry on the back benches to further stall our exit.

    We are not going to get a good deal from the EU when they know that the pressure grows for a second referendum. We can now only hope for no deal.

    We had the chance to build something very good but vested interests have ruined it through their continued failure to seek independence.


    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Narrow Shoulders said: “We had the chance to build something very good but vested interests have ruined it through their continued failure to seek independence.”

      Hear, hear! If you fiddle with an idea long enough, it will fall to pieces.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Gina Miller assured us that she wasn’t against Brexit and that her court case was merely to sort out legalities. She lost the case but is still advocating against Leave.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Of course she is. But she won the case did she not? The Judiciary and legal profession are hugely in favour of the massive increase in legal complexity, cost and confusion that EU laws and courts create.

  17. alan jutson
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely correct, but I am afraid the present Prime minister thinks otherwise.

    By having a Brexit committee that is split, she is just re-running the Brexit debate over the result, every time they meet.

    The result was agreed nearly two years ago, we should have started to look forward nearly two years ago.

    With every meeting the committee have, they seem to weaken our position, and prolong the uncertainty, thus making progress more and more difficult.

    Why are we wasting our time trying to find solutions to an EU problem that weakens our position. !

    Madness utter madness.

    • Andy
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      It is a myth to think Brexit is settled.

      We are in a war.

      Young progressive internationalists verses backward geriatric isolationists.

      You may win the odd battle but demographics alone mean you can not win the war.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


        The demographics show that the young are in decline. You keep telling us we need mass immigration to cover it.

        The demographics show that the new young prioritise their religion over the EU state.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          I would like kindly to see some statistical proof of what statement on the religion , please

          • Igabomb
            Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Why don’t you do your own legwork.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        A comment like that suggests complete and utter ignorance. You clearly live in a totally closeted world, fed by the propaganda you choose to read, with an occasional online adventure.

        In a way it’s good because it just goes to prove that fanatical pro-EU flag wavers can compose no coherent argument and can do nothing but shout meaningless unsubstantiated insults.

        However, sticks and stones, etc. Rant away pal, because you lost the argument 2 years ago and the majority have moved onwards into 2018 and beyond.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Don’t show your ignorance, Andy. There are plenty of us who are young and voted for Brexit for the good of our children. But (sigh) I’ve said this before and obviously your ideas are so entrenched that nothing of sense that anyone says can get through. A war, you say? No – it’s called democracy in action. What is belligerent about that?

        Perhaps you can concentrate on just one idea – we Brexiters are not all ”old”.

        Got it?

        • Andy
          Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          True – you are not all old. Most of you, but not all of you.

          However, you are all wrong – a fact which is proven beyond doubt each day.

          I will never have any problem justifying my Remain vote to my children or their children.

          Good luck explaining to your offspring why you were on the wrong side of history.

      • NickC
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If it’s a war, please get your sides right:

        Young, brainwashed, EU isolationists vs. young/middle-aged/elderly progressive internationalists.

        Past experience shows the young brainwashed tend to shed their school/university propaganda as they grow older and wiser.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    Why is your government directing so few funds at early years intervention?

    The funding formula for education directs a greater proportion of funds to secondary schools. Simply equalising this ratio will divert huge funding to primary schools to tackle early years funding while addressing the obscene amount of funding that boroughs like Tower Hamlets attract for their teenagers.

    The playing field could be further leveled if English as an additional language supplements were reduced and those funds were targetted at early years and primary.

    No need for new money just direct it where it’s need.

    • David L
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Too true. My wife works in a Wokingham school where staff shortages are making her working life very stressful. How the children benefit from this is hard to see.

  19. Alison
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    It is definitely a wrong idea for there to be a balanced Remain-Leave Cabinet Brexit committee. Really, the committee should not need to be seen in those terms, it should simply be working to achieve Brexit as mandated by the referendum and the vote. And that Brexit was crystal clear – out of the EU, full stop. But Mrs May has landed us in the position where the Tory majority is barely there. Of course, the Remain-Leave divide is not along party lines. Anyway, that position is Mrs May’s fault, running an election on a ludicrous and very badly prepared manifesto. A sign, surely, of incompetence.

    BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour last night had four interviewees, not one a Brexiteer. The Tory was Lucy Frazer, definitely Remain. Jack Dromey and Sir Vince. They were able to make statements which were misleading, as if they were true. Most of our exports go to the EU etc. Unchallenged. But Lucy Frazer said that the Brexit Cabinet committee needed a Remainer to replace Amber Rudd.

    This committee needs somebody competent and without any hidden agenda.

    More importantly, Mrs May must go, now. Her role in the treatment of the Windrush generation here in the UK is most culpable. She is at the root of the misery suffered by these people.

    Mrs. May is the PM who signed, in December, a ludicrous ‘back stop’ agreement with the EU, including clauses with implications (re NI) which she herself said no PM, no government could accept (ceding away part of the UK).

    She is the PM who gave away our fishing rights during the transition period (which may go on indefinitely).

    While Mrs May has been in charge of the UK, the UK has been emasculated, the government’s negotiations have been run by civil servants.

    I think it is an outrage that she is still there.

    BTW I am just back from the continent. Many of the Germans I spoke to told me that our UK economy is ‘tanking’ (going down the plughole) and they also told me that UK public opinion is now against Brexit. I track FAZ, the big newspapers, but I suspect these people are getting this ‘information’ in the much shorter articles in local and regional press. Probably on local radio too.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Your German friends need to be reminded what their economy was like after and between two world wars.

  20. crazyTimes
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    What is this good deal rather than no deal that you speak of John? we didn’t vote for a good deal we voted to leave.

    Then you go on about a good brexit- I suppose this is in contrast to what could be described as a bad brexit? ‘Brexit means Brexit’ as we will also hear again today from M.Barnier when he makes his speech near the border in Ireland..bottom line..there is too much bad blood there now and with absolutely no meeting of minds so there can be no other outcome except Brexit on 29 March 2019- full stop- so brexiteers have no need to fret for this generation anyway- the next generation might look at things differently- who know’s?

    So then for the moment we’ll be finally free to take back control of our borders, our own money and our laws and take up new deals with International partners overseas- I’ll believe it when I see it

  21. Epíkouros
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I believe unlike the electorate there is a majority of MPs opposed to leaving the EU. A perfect example of the flaw in the system of parliamentary democracy caused by the fact that MPs are allowed to be the final arbiters when it comes to political decision making. To correct that flaw MPs should only act on what the voters approve. So when at general elections the electorate are voting for manifestos and promises made by political parties and MPs then they should be written in stone and followed to the letter. Enacting and imposing those promises and manifestos that have received the largest share of the vote. They are not often changed out of all recognition or disregarded completely using lame excuses for doing so(it is no use saying they were only aspirations or the facts and conditions have changed now we are in office. It is incumbent on political parties and MPs to make promises and write manifestos that are viable and can be acted upon). A referendum result is so clear cut that it precludes any MP or lord for that matter from ignoring or diluting the result. As parliament stands the question has to be asked are MPs and the Lords our masters or our servants? At the moment I believe it is the former and that is far from following true democratic principles.

    • Igabomb
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      We should get rid of 90% of MPs + HoL, we still need an executive to represent UK internationally. The infrastructure now exists for the general public to vote electronically on all major issues and these decisions should binding. We need to move towards the Swiss model of democracy.

  22. Blake
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Am afraid it’s much too late to be talking about the make up of the brexit committee at cabinet..time is almost up and the EU have run out of patience…brexit waits now on 29 march per A50..and that’s it

  23. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink


    Nobody sought to delay the exit by 21 months with the transition, we in business asked for 21 months transition to prepare for new export markets as well, and we are well on the way to achieving this with the extra time we have been given.

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Hans, Necessity is the mother of invention. You don’t need nearly 3 years to “prepare”, let alone nearly 5 years.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        As you do not know what we do , I will reserve the right to disagree and there is obvious no point in trying to explain it to you, as you have already made up your mind.

        Rather sad really

  24. a-tracy
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    If we were talking balance why are the top 3 positions of government ‘remain’? To ‘balance’ the Home Sec. should be a leave supporter, Andrea Leadsom if a female is required for ‘balance’, Gove if you want someone that will actually sort out the department and take on the Media furore.

  25. a-tracy
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Arlene Foster should be made the Deputy Prime Minister to give May some backbone after all Clegg was made deputy when you had to share power with his fewer MPs.

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I agree. The referendum was held, the verdict was given, the government leaflet said that the decision would be implemented (despite MPs determined to overturn it now insisting it was only advisory). If, as Mrs May says, Brexit means Brexit and Article 50 has been triggered there is no reason to perpetuate the referendum debate in the cabinet. The policy has been set and the cabinet should back it without dissent.

  27. ChrisS
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Hearing the news at 22:00 last night I immediately thought that IDS would be the best choice for Home Secretary. He has the necessary experience and will bring a sound attitude to the job.

    We are surely past the stage where we should be thinking of Brexiteers or Remainers in the cabinet but sadly we are not. If Brexit is to be achieved in anything but name, it is essential that the Cabinet accepts the referendum decision and the prime arguments put before the people by both sides during the campaign. Choosing IDS would make a statement that Brexit will, after all, be delivered.

    All campaigners in the referendum campaign said that Brexit means leaving both the Customs Union and the Single Market. Even Cameron and Osborne were absolutely clear on these points. Remainers stating otherwise as a reason for holding a second vote are being entirely disingenuous.

    Such is the fine balance in voting intentions in the parliamentary party on Brexit, that the only argument for choosing another Remainer for the Home Office might be if Rudd has given an undertaking to support Government policy from the back benches.

    Getting the terms of Brexit through the Commons could be thwarted by the votes of just one or two Remainer rebels on the back benches.

  28. L Jones
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    There should be no member who calls him/herself ”remainer” – the PEOPLE have voted to LEAVE and therefore everyone of these Committee members should be working for this, not for their own agenda or personal beliefs.

    No-one should be seeking ”a balance” – they should ALL be committed to leaving the EU.

  29. BOF
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    It should not matter now whether cabinet ministers supported Leave or Remain. They should all be behind Referendum result, the solid votes in Parliament and their Party Manifesto.

    Unfortunately what we see are persistent efforts to frustrate, delay and even to keep the UK bound to the EU and this from inside the Cabinet and the brazenly EU supporting Civil Service. Undermining is the name of the game.

    So yes, it matters a great deal which side the Home Secretary supports or supported. Little wonder that people are thoroughly fed up with Teresa May and her ‘negotiations’.

  30. Sakara Gold
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I would support John Redwood as the next Home Secretary. Clearly we are going to leave the EU – eventually – and having John, a leading Brexiteer, in one of the great offices of state again could only benefit the country.

    Clearly, the Home Office needs reform. It does not need another “safe pair of hands”. John Redwood is the only principled politician I can think of who could sort the mess out

    • rose
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      No, I want him as Chancellor. IDS or Bernard Jenkin could have the HO.

  31. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Amber Rudd’s departure is largely irrelevant, she always looked stressed in the job and may be relieved to be free on the back benches with other Remainers. Having a Remainer as PM is akin to a vegetarian running a meat stall. IDS has grown in stature over the years and is another case of being promoted too early. He would make an excellent HS and increase the chance of this Government survival. He won’t get the job.

    FPTP is one of my political bete noires and the increasing fragmentation of the two main parties: Blairism and Communism in Labour and most Conservative MPs being Remainers against the majority of their voters makes the argument that the system is good for stable government a nonsense. Better to have dedicated and honest parties than all this faux unity. PR could also attract more people into politics. Farage is almost unique and perversely his prominence was not through his native parliament, logic please on the back of a postcard.

  32. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I suggest everyone should read Raedwald’s blog today.

  33. John Partington
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It is now time for May to leave and to elect another leader. She has made too many concessions to the EU and is being wrongly advised by remainers in the Cabinet. Make way for Boris or JRM.

  34. PaulW
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    If we take back full control as you say then that means all of the red lines and more will be in place, we will be out of the EU, completely out, with not even a Canada styly deal, and with no other deals in sight I don’t know how there can be lot’s of wins for us?

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      PaulW, We use the WTO deal. And the minor amendments negotiated by the EU can be copied, novated or re-negotiated (SK and Can deals are not yet implemented).

  35. Original Richard
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The problem for leave supporters is that large and high level parts of the Civil Service, aka the UK swamp, is actively working against the country’s democratic vote to leave the EU.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I don’t care about Amber Rudd losing her job, but I do care that she has been unjustifiably hounded out of office by a combination of deceitful politicians, dishonest journalists and renegade civil servants and on the flimsiest of grounds. And it is that same combination of malign pro-EU forces which is seeking to undermine, and preferably prevent, Brexit, their next target being the Prime Minister herself.

    Michel Barnier is visiting Ireland today. According to Sky News the Irish government must be satisfied with the UK’s proposals on the border or there will be no withdrawal deal, and many see it as a “panacea” for Northern Ireland to stay in the EU Customs Union. It is perfectly plain that this is factually incorrect, as some of the more honest Remoaning MPs admitted last week:

    but you are unlikely to hear it contradicted by anybody in the Department for Exiting the EU or any other part of the government.

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Denis, A thoughtful comment, well done.

  37. acorn
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Please can we have a General Election this is all getting too silly for words. Parliamentary candidates must declare if they are “leave” or “remain” EU wise, in their personal manifesto.

    Meanwhile, you could print the following and see how many civil servants you can get rid of.

  38. Shieldsman
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Is there a need for a 21 month transition? Is it a remainers idea to overturn Brexit?

    The Guardian for 5th March – UK airlines urgently need transition deal, warns Philip Hammond.
    Hammond’s Panacea – A Transition Period solves no problems, it only kicks them down the road.
    Article 50 was notification that on 1st April 2019 the Commission ceases to have the right to negotiate Air Service Agreements on our behalf. As we become a 3rd Country on that day the implementation could only possibly apply to our ASA’s with the EU. It cannot apply to our ASA’s with other 3rd Countries.
    In this respect negotiations with the USA are continuing to achieve a bilateral agreement, as they accept the EU multilateral will no longer cover the UK/US ASA’s.

    A major problem brought about by the Brussels Commission is their concluding some horizontal agreements, which are multilateral on behalf of all member states. ICAO, based on the Chicago Convention has always been bilateral between individual Countries. Nationality of ownership will be another problem.
    Without a renewal of the traffic rights for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic there is NO bilateral ICAO agreement. One newspapers headline should have read – Will American airlines lose their rights to fly to the United Kingdom after Brexit. Air Traffic rights are not one sided, every Country has to have an Air Service Agreement with the Country whose airspace they want to fly into and through.

    Article 1 of the Chicago Convention says: ‘The contracting States recognize that every State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory’, while Article 6 on scheduled air services states that, ‘No scheduled international air service may be
    operated over or into the territory of a contracting State, except with the special permission or other authorization of that State, and in accordance with the terms of such permission or authorization’.

  39. Man of Kent
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    This is all getting ludicrous .

    Sajid Javid , a remainer , who represents a leave constituency is promoted to the most difficult Cabinet post to keep the balance on a cabinet sub-committee to pursue Remain policies .

    We leavers feel totally stitched up by this petty managerialist PM who is continually trimming to a Brexit in name only . She cannot see nor explain the advantages of Brexit .

    Please MPs get those letters in now .

    The local elections will give a clue as to how voters view the TM performance .
    Our area will still vote largely for the sitting Tory Councillor except where there is a UKIP or non-party candidate .[anything but Labour or Lib Dem ]
    These votes will be indicative of the degree of alienation TM has established among the grass roots .

    Let’s have a new leader ASP !

  40. ChrisS
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    While Sajid Javid would not be my first preference as Home Secretary, his appointment is an inspired choice. Although it’s true that he was Remainer, he has embraced the referendum decision and is much more wedded to delivering a proper Brexit whereas Rudd has continued to work relentlessly to undermine it.

    In this respect his appointment should mean that the balance within the Brexit inner cabinet has shifted in our favour. There has to be a much better chance that the full cabinet will now vote to deliver a meaningful Brexit solution.

    Whether Rudd will join the hard line Remainers on the Conservative back benches and thwart Brexit by voting with the opposition we will have to see. If she wants a swift return to the front bench, she won’t. Either way, her chances of following Mrs May into No 10 are dead in the water, thankfully.

  41. getahead
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    With this Prime Minister, John, there is no assurance that we will get what we have been assured of.
    No IDS then, a shame.

  42. JoolsB
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    The biggest inbalance of all is that there is no-one to represent Eurosceptic England, where the vast majority voted to leave, in the Brexit talks. May has had numerous meetings at no. 10 with the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, Sturgeon and Jones, stressing over and over again that their voices must be heard and their interests taken into account, both of whom who would love to see the UK stay in both the single market and the customs union but as usual there is no one in these talks to make sure the voices and the interests of the downtrodden and ignored English are taken into account. Certainly not May or Davis who can’t even say the word England let alone speak up for us.

    Just how much longer do you think England is going to put up with your party treating us with such contempt John?

    • Igabomb
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I plan to stop paying my council tax and BBC license fee if we get BRINO. I’ll donate money to a deserving charity instead. No tax without representation and all that. They can’t put us all in prison.

      Reply They could put you in prison. In a democracy we work to change the law, not to break it.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Off this topic, but in my view of more immediate importance than this topic, I read:

    “Hunt intensifies to solve Irish border dilemma”

    And therein:

    “With a crunch looming – potentially as soon as June when an EU summit will review the issue – the search is on for new ideas.”

    Well, once again, my own now not-so-new idea is this:

    If the EU really is afraid that its land border with Northern Ireland could become a back door for illicit products to enter its Single Market, which could be flooded with US-style “chlorinated chicken” and “hormone-injected beef” as warned here:

    and perhaps as well as otherwise permissible goods on which the EU’s Common External Tariff customs duties had simply been evaded, then let the UK provide the EU with a clear and binding guarantee that the UK authorities will take all necessary legal and practical measures to ever prevent that happening, including through close co-operation with the authorities in the Irish Republic and the rest of the EU.

    And perhaps there is now a hint of that kind of thinking in official circles, that the UK could introduce necessary export controls as well as the usual import controls:

    “Officials are also looking at “dual origin” models, where certain Northern Ireland exports can be branded EU or UK depending on their destination.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      “Irish customs confirms: no hard border needed”

      If in addition the EU needs our reassurance that we will not tolerate what they see as defective goods being sent across the border into their Single Market then Parliament can pass an Act to provide that reassurance, and that need not impinge on what can be legally produced and bought and sold within the UK under the UK’s rules.

  44. bigneil
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen my comment for yesterdays topic on illegal immigration wasn’t posted. I assume it was too truthful and my point wasn’t to be admitted to, that illegal immigrants ARE being effectively rewarded for committing their crimes here. Maybe I should choose a different blogname – -then I could get posted up to 20 times a day. That is the number I stopped counting at for one person the other day, there may have been more.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


  45. Iain Gill
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought it more important we get someone prepared to reduce immigration, reduce the abuse of work visas in occupations already in oversupply with skills, stop handing out indefinite leave to remain quite so easily, significantly improve how we deal with illegal immigration, stop bowing down to the big companies flooding the country with cheap labour to the detriment to the pre existing inhabitants…

    but also be a lot more decent with those people already here as legal long term residents. if you have, or are entitled to, indefinite leave to remain you should not be getting hit with large form filling exercises, or fees, to get another ID card to simply be able to exist (get a job, rent a house, get medical care) especially if you only find out you need to find that new large fee once you are down on your luck and have limited funds. they are already settled integrated members of our community, they should not have hassle and expense loaded on that the rest of us do not suffer.

    added to which anyone with a British passport who has been abroad for a while should be treated much better by the British state if they come back here to live. it is in this countries interests that a certain number of its citizens spread around the world, and trade with us, and so on, we should not be penalizing them on their return!

  46. Ron Olden
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone will be complaining about the appointment of Sajid Javid as Home Secretary.

    As far as I can remember he wasn’t too far gone a Remainer. Let’s hope he’s replaced by someone good in his old job.

    I read that Mr Javid has a picture of Margaret Thatcher in his Office.

    Good! So have I. There’s hope for us all.

  47. Stred
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Dr Karlson, the Swedish expert on border customs systems said a period of 2 years would be needed to install the hardware and software. Hammond and May have not authorised any progress, which will be necessary in Dover and Calais if we are to be in a position to implement WTO or any other arrangement that does not involve capitulation to the EU. This cannot be solely incompetence but is deliberate undermining of the democratically made promise. If MPs wish to be respected, they must oust May and put an honest Leaver in charge.

    • stred
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Facts4eu has some important evidence today, showing the words of the Irish customs officers in 2016. They confirm that an electronic customs system is being developed and will take 3 years. This will allow lorries to pass between countries, rarely being stopped and with cameras 10km back from borders. Also, this is EU policy and the Eu is preventing the Irish and British customs from talking to each other in order to coordinate the working of the system. In comments, this is also reported in the Irish Times. Barnier and Vardakar are visiting the border again, stirring up political trouble over something that could be settled quickly by officials and was EU policy. To think that May relies on civil servants who are going along with this nonsense while the Minister for the Department for Exiting is having to fight his corner. How much more incompetence or treachery can Leavers take?

  48. Helen Smith
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I’m very concerned about reports of the Chief Whip tweeting in support of Olly Robbins and against the Brexit Sectetary, one wonders if his heart is in Brexit and if that lies behind the Government increasingly struggling to win its Brexit strategy votes, and indeed losing votes. I think he needs sacking and someone competent put in his place.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Competent or dedicated to the Cause?

  49. Rien Huizer
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Let’s just see how the markets respond to a possible return of the “clean break” syndrome in real UK politics. The cabinet equilibrium feature was, imo, reassuring to foreign and domestic investors, especially those of the FDI type. The Japanese will not be happy if the Brexit promoted by the ERG becomes reality. As mentioned many times, the EU is getting pretty numb about British political gyrations and the complete absence of confidence building on the UK side. That Davis is unhappy -publicly now- about the PM office’s activities (apparently diminishing his room for rhetoric to support his own case) is a sign that pretty soon, it will be hard to justify a continuation of the Uk position of not commiting itself to anything except unsustainable promises for the home market.
    Interesting to watch indeed.

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Rien, This is really none of your business. However . . . We voted to leave the EU; that is, to become independent of the EU, just as the other 165 countries in the world already are. Unless you can show good and valid reasons why that condition uniquely cannot apply to the UK, you have nothing sensible to say.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Not quite sure what you mean but let’s assume you think that being “independent of the EU” is something 165 countries share. Would you agree that a good many of these countries have FTA’s, association treaties and common economic areas with the EU members. Also, the term “EU” is simply the official name of an association of independent/sovereign states, not something sinister that wants to rule over countries that would really like to be “independent” from it. Take the case of the Balkan states, Ukraine, Moldova etc. They are not members but would dearly like to join.

        My remarks here are from the point of view of someone who is (a) related to UK citizens (some pro some contra brexit) (b) a citizen of a country potentially affected by brexit (c) an investor. There is no reason why my views, always informed by mainsteam economics and based on facts, could not be considered “sensible”.

        • NickC
          Posted May 1, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Rien, Lisbon Declaration 17 states that EU law has “primacy” over the law of member states. Therefore the EU is not “an association of independent/sovereign states”. You can no longer get away with hiding that fact. Either catch up, or stop spreading falsehoods.

          The EU has a number of minor FTAs and MRAs with other countries. But so have other non-EU countries with each other. In time the UK as an independent nation would also develop such agreements. So what is so special about the EU doing so?

          Unless you can show good and valid reasons why the UK cannot be a nation as independent of the EU as any of the other 165 nations on the planet, and why uniquely that condition of independence cannot apply to the UK, you have nothing sensible to say.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted May 2, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            We will probably never agree, Nick C but now I see what you mean. I hope you will find that happy state of independence someday. What about the independence of Venezuela?

            Like many states of your 165 (if did not check your count by the way and am sure they are a very mixed bag) are dependent on the US in many ways, especially Canada and Mexico, EU neighbours will always be dependent on the nearest large market. Law making is not the only (and one of the least important) aspects of sovereignty. It so happens that the vast bulk of laws/regulations in OECD countries (be they purely national, based on bilateral treaties or multilateral ones) offer similar solutions to similar problems.

  50. Nig l
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    We now know her replacement who looks an excellent choice from a number of different perspectives, albeit I do not think he has set his previous ministries on fire.

    How does someone in such a senior position ‘forget’ something as important as key targets, what sort of business plan is there and the performance reporting on it, do the senior management team not sit down and discuss these things and from what we seem to be reading, how the dickens can anyone know what is going on and how can any of the civil servants involved be properly performance managed? My guess is they aren’t.

    These things would not just have ‘failed’ under this Secretary of State, they seem endemic and embedded so the conclusion is that they were the same under the now, Prime Minister, and now she is expected to run the country.

    For someone with your background and experience JR how can you and similar minded MPs let it happen? I believe the phrase ‘not fit for purpose’ has been used on more than one occasion.

  51. forthurst
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    ‘Balance’ might make sense to treacherous Tories but it makes absolutely no sense from out here: who ever heard of a project team consisting of 50% trying to sabotage the project they are purportedly engaged in? No – nor me, neither.

  52. Adam
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    A Cabinet full of Brexit members would balance the will of the nation to Leave the EU in full.

    • Andy
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Most of the Cabinet are Brexiteers – and, Michael Gove excepted, they are all largely incompetent.

      Indeed very few former Cabinet ministers backed Leave either and, of those who did, most of them were incompetent too.

      It is a deep irony of our system of government that you need no discernible skills or experience to run a department. And it shows.

      • Zorro
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:12 am | Permalink

        That’s complete and utter tosh and if you don’t know that I suggest that you visit a health facility near you soon! Find out how many are in the cabinet, and then work out how many voted leave and you should come to a decision which shows clearly that a minority of cabinet appointees are brexiteers!!


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        “Most of the Cabinet are Brexiteers”


        • Andy
          Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Fact. They all stood for a party advocating an extreme Brexit in 2017. That party asked for a majority. The electorate said no.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink


      • rose
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        The Cabinet is 74% remainer to 26% brexiteer. Even a remainiac can’t twist that.

    • Blue and Gold
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      It was not the ‘will of the nation’ to leave the EU. It was the will of 17.4 million out of a population of around 65 million.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        The biggest vote in UK history.
        Equivalent to a 200 seat leave majority if based on constituencies.
        65 million are not eligible to vote, you are being silly.

      • rose
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Those who didn’t vote were happy to go with the final result.

      • NickC
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        B&G, The Referendum was a full national vote open to every elector and held in a fair manner, with both sides able to put their views to the voters in a media and leaflet onslaught.

        It was authorised and implemented by the government, which sent its own Remain booklet to every household, and promised to honour the result. Both the turnout and the majority for Leave was beyond that for normally electing a national government.

        You had your chance. You lost. Ignore the vote, and no democratic vote in the future is valid.

        • rose
          Posted May 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          “Ignore the vote, and no democratic vote in the future is valid.”

          This is the point the PM downwards should be making every day that the saboteurs continue on their treacherous way.

          Why didn’t Major and Heseltine refuse to resign in 1997? If they think a vote is invalid if they disagree with it, why aren’t they still in office, with the Civil Service and House of Lords upholding that?

          What makes them think Corbyn isn’t looking on and learning how to ignore a democratic vote? He and Milne might avoid holding a general election altogether when the time comes.

      • Adam
        Posted May 1, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Those of our nation willing to vote express their will.
        Those who won’t don’t count.
        The fewer Remainers didn’t.

  53. mancunius
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Quite a lot of voters voted for Labour in the last election. Does Mrs May also feel moved to ask an equal number of Labour MPs to join her cabinet, to make sure the balance is ‘fair’ and ‘equi-balanced’ to represent those who voted Labour and not Tory?
    The logic – i.e. the lack of rational logic – is little different.

  54. Stability
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic
    The two firms are …merging…which they say will result in no changes whatsoever.Hardly worth doing it really.

  55. nigel seymour
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    It is indeed lamentable – Brexit is dead, long live Brexit…

  56. Blue and Gold
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Momentous decision by the House of Lords and for all those that believe in Parliamentary Democracy, which sadly Brexiteers don’t.

    There still have no answer as regards the Border of the North of Ireland with the Republic, apart from a Customs Union.

    The whole thing is a ‘Dogs Dinner’ , but the upside is it keeps the Leavers angry.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      It is not at all momentous. It’s the empy flatus of unelected egotists: it will simply ensure that there is no deal.
      Just read the relevant treaty article 50. We shall leave the EU on 29 March 2019. That is clear, fixed and irrevocable in international law, and it is enforced by the ECJ. There is nothing the HoC, the HoL, the EU, the Commission or you can do about it, except to frustrate a negotiated deal with the EU.
      If the Lords do manage to persuade enough MPs to vote down an agreed deal and prevent the Withdrawal Bill from passing, then our membership of the EU will simply cease at midnight on 29 March 2019, and with no transition period either. We shall be entirely independent and self-reliant as a nation once again.
      No UK legislative chamber, nor any court, can ‘cancel’ Brexit. Following the delivery of the Art. 50 letter, it is no longer within anyone’s power to alter. All May has to do is to refuse a negotiation extension if requested by any other party.
      And the transition period is then knocked on the head for ever.
      So many thanks to you – and the Lords – for providing us with the healthy No Deal exit we have been seeking.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      We have already had numerous debates and votes in Parliament.

      Any vote on the deal would need to be, accept the deal and leave or reject the deal and leave without a deal.
      Staying in is not an option as the referendum result said and previous votes in Parliament confirmed.

    • rose
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Our Parliamentary Democracy rests on the convention that the unelected upper house gives way to the lower house, especially where policies in the governing manifesto are concerned. Otherwise there would be legislative deadlock. The Government must get its business through is what they used to say. The upper house is a revising chamber, not a rival to the lower house. The hereditary peers understood this and performed their function conscientiously and well, together with specialists who were given life peerages. Unfortunately Blair, in his bout of constitutional vandalism, removed most of the people who understood the function and packed the place with ignorant puffed up cronies. These are now abusing their privilege and putting the second chamber at risk of being abolished altogether.

  57. Monty
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m very relieved that the PM is not in direct charge of putting fires out. She would insist on recruiting 50% of her staff from the arsonist community.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Post of the Day!

  • 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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