Beware the draft Withdrawal Agreement

It is difficult to see why some in government are so keen for us to complete negotiating a Withdrawal Agreement. The one the EU has in mind is a one sided grab of powers and money. Some in government seem to think we need another 21 months in limbo, technically out of the EU but in practice bound into it by a new Withdrawal Treaty on more penal terms than our current membership. What is they can agree after March 2019 that they have been unable to agree in the 2 years nine months from the vote until next March? Why not just get on with it with March 2019 as the deadline?

Mr Raab has tried to inject some negotiating counter into the proceedings by saying there needs to be a Future Relationship Agreement to justify this very generous Withdrawal Agreement for the EU. The problem is the UK civil service seem to accept that the Future Relationship Agreement will be a flimsy Head of Terms, effectively little more than an invitation to another 21 months of probably unfriendly and fruitless negotiations. Meanwhile the EU is understandably keen to get the UK to sign the Withdrawal Agreement in solemn Treaty form, so we are bound in and have to make the payments.

I have seen nothing so far on offer from the EU by way of a future relationship that justifies paying them another £39bn after we have left. Canada did not pay them for their FTA, so why do we need to pay them for something similar, if that turns out to be their best offer in the end? Nor do I like the idea that any future partnership would take the form of a complex and binding Association Agreement. These are used to impose EU rules and practices on states that would like to become members in due course.

The more I look at the UK economy and public services, the more important it seems to me that we have that money back soon. Then we can pull off what is needed for greater prosperity – tax cuts, spending increases and a fall in deficit.

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  1. Nig l
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    It should be obvious. They are desperate to keep us locked to the EU. They think we will be fooled by the fact it is called a Withdrawel Agreement.

    Once again treating us as mugs.

    • Hope
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      JR it is worse than you suggest. Raab presented May and Robbins remain in EU agreement under the false heading Withdrawal Agreement. Raab said the European Community Act will need to be Reapplied! This means the ECJ applying, payments continue, freedom of movement continues, territorial waters and fishing stock remains under EU control and the Irish Border and regulatory alignment will be in law and treaty forever binding the U.K. To the EU unless a solution can be found when the EU, Robbins and May have no intention to find a solution. It is a trap to bind the U.K. To the EU until the public changes its mind to remain in the EU.

      There is not one aspect of this paper that makes the paper look like a transition, implementation or any other specious word. The position is worse than now and worse than WTO terms and being free. It is remain in the EU as a vassal state without a voice or veto.

      Even considering any interpretation by May’s strap line no deal is better than a bad one there is nothing the Withdrawal agreement offers for the U.K. Absolutely nothing. It is worse and resoundingly a thoroughly bad deal implemented by Treaty forever! This is a betrayal of the nation and I am surprised that the small amount of Tory MPs in parliament to hear Raab present Robbins paper on the last day of parliament never took him to task for how bad the proposal really is.

    • Peter
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      It is now also very clear that May is secretive, deceitful and duplicitous. So we are all well aware of her modus operandi and intentions. Previous speechs count for nothing.

      So I would expect her to try to tie us in closer to the EU.

      I don’t know how it will all play out or how successful she will be.

      Personally, I am not frightened of another general election. I would welcome one.

      • Hope
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        JR, there is no set figure. The sum was to appease the public it was not £100 billion. The fact is it is higher than £100 billion!

        The EU is allowed to draw what sums it wants at what intervals it wants. There is no stipulated amount in either of the bills. Davis made it clear to Priti Patel that the U.K. Assets were also relinquished in addition to he estimated £39 billion. There are also add ons like the European Development Fund £3.75 billion each year that the U.K. Gives to the EU so it can give away to whatever causes it likes! The U.K. already gives away £14 billion of its own in foreign aid!

        May promised a line by line examination and came up with £20 billion plus add ons. For reasons unknown she doubled it! Then she authorized her civil service to make a dishonest KitKat policy to hide sums of money and ties with the EU.

        So JR tell us the true accurate cost of money being sent to the EU, when and over how long? Also tell us where it is written in either of May’s White capitualtion paper or her joining and or remaining the EU under the name Withdrawal Agreement? The punishment extension does take the country from one state o another therefore it is not a transition, neither does it implement anything as it worsens our position as a vassal under the same conditions with the same four EU principles without a voice or veto. In anyone’s understanding this is a bad deal and it is being conducted in bad faith by May.mshe has decided not to follow collegiate cabinet or even have a minister responsible for the negotiation as she first promised. At t last moment she underhandedly deceived to make unilateral agreement without the consent of the public, without mandate and without the cabinet. We know this because she showed Merkel her plan for appraoval before cabinet and parliament. May has betrayed the nation, constitution, parliament, cabinet and party.

        Reply I oppose these payments and do not know how much larger they might turn out to be if accepted. That would depend on the words of any final Agreement incorporating them.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink


      • L Jones
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        No need to be, Rien. Just allow us Brits to look on the bright side. We’ll soon have a bigger bright side to look upon once we’re free of your EU masters’ shackles.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          Maybe it is woth your while to learn a bit more about what “democracy” means, other than some simplistic notion of government that does what you and like minded people want. I could recommend a few useful texts but maybe you are familiar with them since your school days. Yet dissatisfied with reality. Politicians in a contitutional democracy like the UK compete for votes. Enough votes for your tribe and you can control (the apparatus of) government. You then discover that reality is very different from tha simplistic slogans you used to “buy” votes. In government you can do two things: govern or campaign for the next election. Governing means navigating the (existing) apparatus of Sate carefully (it is easier to break than to build) and being reasonably honest about limitations that reality presents to all the fine intentions you so carelessly exhibited during the campaign.

          Campaigning while in government means that the apparatus does not get the right intention (may become bloated, dysfunctional, usurping,etc) and that you will constantly have to balance your story as an incumbent governor against the promises you have to make in order to remain competitive.

          In two party systems, that process now seems to be biased towards campaigning, in proportional vote systems (usually two or more parties required to form government) the apparatus gets more attention from whoever is in government and that often leads to better government.

          That is democracy. Refernda, by nature, need to be very carefully designed to fit into democracy as a form of government. The refendum you cherish for its result was, unfortunately very different from what countries with long time experience tolerate. No qualified majority, no choice between two or more well-defined options. shame Parliament of a civilized country adopted a law to make such a referendum possible .

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted August 6, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            Rien what in the above permits MPs to disregard the instructions of the electorate through one referendum where leave won and one general election where the vast majority of votes cast were for parties whose manifesto stated leaving the single market and customs union?

    • Richard
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I believe Dr Redwood is spot on with the dangers that lurk within the Withdrawal Agreement. Three main flaws:
      a) The Irish Backstop trap locks the UK into permament economic vassalage.

      b) Whitehall wants the UK to pay whatever Brussels calculates. This could well greatly exceed £39Bn.

      c) Risk of further damage to UK fishing industry: whereas: “we have an opportunity to nearly double the size of our fishing industry …estimates this could be worth £2.7bn [to GDP] and 30,000 jobs.”

      • Hope
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Well said Richard.

        That is why the EU and May are eager for the trap of the bill to be signed and placed under treaty forever. It must be stopped no matter what.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      No one is desperate to keep the UK in the EU. The remaining EU members are very happy to be rid of one of their less constructive members. Maybe more to go. No problem.

      • Richard
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        I hope that you are right. Perhaps President Macron is being very astute.

        The EU Empire should withdraw with good grace from, and on good terms with, its British province.

        Selmayr, Robbins et al may think they are being clever. However, as a history graduate, Mr Robbins should know that Unequal Treaties signed by China & Japan in the late 19th century became unenforceable in the early 20th century. Hungary currently ignores ECJ judgements that it doesn’t like.

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Other than the leased territory,China never received back any of the much larger territory ceded to the Russian empire-and has accepted this.Although it is complicated by the fact that China was then ruled by the Manchu and it was their homeland and imperial possessions that Russia took,not those of Han China.

  2. Ian wragg
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    May is still trying to sell the Chequers paper which effectively keeps us in the EU.
    The withdrawal agreement is just a cover to allow the Remainiacs to continue funding the beast.
    When this comes before parliament anyone voting for it should be personally responsible for the money.
    We still don’t know how it has been calculated.

    • Hope
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      It’s central theme is keeping the U.K. In the Eau because of the Irish border. Which many commentators have said May is willfully misleading, others say she does not understand English and others say she is lying. May decided to unilaterally make it her problem when international law makes it clear All parties need to resolve such an issue. There are so many ways it could be resolved and even the EU thought is was soluble back before May opened her remaking gob! Why would they accept any solution when May set up the U.K. to fail on the issue!

      Get rid of May she is a national disaster and disgrace. Her underhand behaviour and lack of integrity is enough to get shot of her alone.

      Davis has an alternative, but I think the U.K. Should take an even harder stance and put the Irish PM back in his box.

  3. Mel Canty
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    So you have lost the argument. The government is going to pay up £39 billion, we will be a vassal state until 2020 and quite probably longer, and we have no future trade deal unless the EU consents some time, who knows when. I have listened to your forecasts, Mr Redwood. Every single one has turned out false. You have betrayed a lot of people. If there is a second referendum, I won’t vote leave again. I have learned not to trust you.

    Reply No, none of my forecasts has been proved wrong. We are still arguing over a possible exit bill which I oppose.

    • sm
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Mel: had the Government handled Brexit the way Mr Redwood and colleagues proposed, I believe we would not be in this mess.

      I feel betrayed by the Prime Minister, Mr Robbins and Mr Grieve.

      • Hope
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        JR it is far more than an exit bill. Robbins and May’s bill proposes to keep the U.K. Regulatory aligned- single market, ECJ applying, restricting trade deals across the world not being allowed to be more competitive than the EU etc – to the EU under treaty until a solution can be found which it never will!

        It is a trap to keep the U.K. in the EU. It must be voted down.

      • Den
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Mr Robbins is not even an elected MP and is therefore unaccountable to the people of this country. Just like the EU Commission.
        Mrs May and her band of Brexit deniers have successfully turned our dream of Freedom into a nightmare. We need a leader to wake up and follow the path we set in the referendum and not be forever obeying the demands of Brussels.
        We do not need to be a member of the EU to export to the EU and there is NOTHING the EU can do for us that we cannot do better for ourselves. We voted to leave and we want OUT!

        • L Jones
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          It seems that we are being bamboozled by the smoke and mirrors of ”trade agreements”. Brexit was never simply about trade. We who voted for it knew that all too well – and a concerted attempt is now being made so that we can be distracted and coerced by those like Oily Robbins to believe this trade stuff is the be-all and end-all.

      • Butties
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        SM, you can add Gove and those other remainers who crumbled at Chequers.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed May has not even tried for a meaningful Brexit, time for a change. She has betrayed the voters and is a massive electoral liability. Held in contempt by nearly all Brexit supporters and also by most remainics. Half witted PC drivel and economic policies too.

      • Chris
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Mel, but the Tory Brexiter MPs are doing nothing effective about this betrayal. They could, but won’t so they are worthy of as much blame as Theresa May if they do not stop her.

    • acorn
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Nobody’s paying for an FTA. It is forbidden under WTO rules. Canada has not been a member of the EU and made no financial commitments as a member, the UK has.

      The 39 billion is to settle the UK account on voluntarily resigning from the EU under Art 50. It has nothing to do with any form of future relationship with the EU 27, beyond the completion of Art 50.

      • Jagman84
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        There is no account to settle. We pay our normal contributions until the date that we leave. This is a voluntary payment to the EU commission (with vague and flimsy t&c’s) and is a very foolish one to make, IMHO.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        There is no legal basis for any leaving payment.
        It is a payment to get a deal.

      • Adam
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Rules are bent. A retailer who was not allowed to sell footwear on Sundays instead sold apples @ £15 each, with a free pair of shoes. The EU creates rules to suit itself.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        The £39bn isn’t to settle any account, it is a politically derived figure.
        It can be argued that we owe the EU for the cost of commitments already agreed before the vote to leave.
        I believe the responsibility of government is to settle only for what we are legally obliged to pay. When it comes to what we owe morally, I’d say the people of the UK come first.
        Pay them nothing, and if they are miffed, they can pursue the matter through our courts if they feel they have a case.

      • Yvybybgh
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        There’s no legal obligation to pay the EU anything when we leave. Whether they owe us money for capital investments and funding for the ECB seems less clear.

      • Hope
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink


        Parallel discussions should have taken place at the outset not sequential. This was part of May’s plan to remain in. She made Davis give in to this. Trade was not and is not the central theme to leaving. Remainer May has taken ‘personal control’, as is her dictatorial manner, and is clearly using trade and the Irish border as a scare tactic using this in an underhand way for a very long time. Your failure and those other leave MPs and ministers is failing to act quicker against her. You should have ousted her before the last election and put a leaver in office.

        Read Martin Howe’s QC briefing paper No1 in Lawyers for Britain about ECJ application to the UK. May’s white paper will have huge economic, social and political disadvantages for our country. As he states it is alarming that May has broken her promises and then repeatedly claimed she has not. He claims sophistry at best. I think with all other factors and speeches from her she is lying. Look at the facts from the article and draw your own opinion.

        Considering this is her opening for negotiation it is a truly shocking capitulation to make our country a vassal state in so many policy areas with a non regression clause forcing our country to comply with policy issues even if it is not in or national interest. Once more, it is like a Boas grip on our nation ever tightening with no chance of escape.

        Note to May: We voted leave, you promised to deliver several times. Have the honour and decency to act on what you said or resign for selling out our country while lying to the public you let faith with the vote to leave. Your actions are a disgrace to the nation.

      • Andy
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        You don’t seem to understand the EU at all. The EU is financed in a specific way – go look it up – and the EU members decide how to spend that income. Those decisions are EU decisions not UK ones, and it is the EU as an entity that is responsible as it has a ‘legal personality’. All the UK is required to do BY EU LAW is to pay the required amounts DURING ITS MEMBERSHIP, but such obligations cease on exit day BECAUSE THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THEM IN LAW, EITHER EU OR UK LAW. Nowhere, and I challenge you to name the Clauses in the EU Treaty that state this, does it say in EU Law that a departing state has ‘financial obligations’ after its membership ceases. The EUs demands for money is simply blackmail and it should have been treated as such from the very beginning. It is significant that the EU has been totally unable to produce a legal basis for the demand for money.

      • Den
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Under the terms of Article 50, severance payment are not required. There is no facility for any such payment and we are not legally bound to pay anything.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        No: Art. 50 contains absolutely no reference at all to any payment due by the member state that is leaving the EU. We are simply withdrawing from the EU. We have paid and will continue to pay all our dues up to 29 March 2019.

        The EU still owes us for several items. And as the House of Lords Committee reported, and as we have already demonstrated at a negotiating meeting in Brussels last year, we owe the EU nothing at all – zilch.
        The figure of £39bn has been fabricated: it is in no way a ‘due payment’. In one of her many weak moments, and without consulting Parliament or the electorate, May offered this figure – pretty much plucked out of the air by Rob bins and other remainer Cabinet civil servants under the guise of an inducement to the EU to get moving with a trading agreement. They have shown that they will not offer anything except an agreement that would restrict us to behave as if we were still a member. This is unacceptable, and it will never get through Parliament.

        There is general legal agreement that the EU would struggle to pursue a financial claim against the UK in any international court.

        A law should be passed to prevent trigger-happy remainers within the Treasury from paying any such sum to the EU without prior parliamentary approval, and any politician or Treasury official making such an unauthorised payment should be surcharged and imprisoned for life.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Whether or not it is allowed under applicable rules, UK representatives have signed something and why on earth would you want to damage the UK’s -fragile- reputation in the financial markets?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          Nothing has bern signed.

        • mancunius
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

          We have as yet signed up to nothing, nor has the EU. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, as is the EU rule.
          Nor is such a sum due in terms of obligations of membership. Claims to the contrary are mere Brussels bluster.
          The UK has made no such binding undertaking, and so do not ‘owe’ that discretionary sum. The figure was and is is 100% offered on the *condition* that the EU agree to ‘the framework of [our] future relationship of the union’ – which according to Art. 50 the EU *must* take into account in deciding the Withdrawal arrangements.

          The EU has regrettably failed to honour this important provision of Art. 50, and has so far refused to countenance even discussing the future trading partnership until we have left – which is the opposite of the stipulated provision of section 2 of Art. 50.

          This is a gross breach of the Treaty of Lisbon by the EU Commission, and would be justiciable if we were not quite as patient as we have so far been. But we shall not be rewarding it with a cash bonus.

          Parliament will never allow that money to be paid without a clear and precise undertaking in return. As for the ‘financial markets’ – don’t make us laugh. They are as little interested in the EU’s amour propre and profligacy as any international court would be. I doubt one could be found that would regard such a discretionary payment as even amounting to a term of an international contract. The case would be thrown out at an early stage. Any reputational judicial damage would be to the EU, its poor leadership, and its too vaguely drafted treaties.

    • eeyore
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Mel Canty – Sir, you are deranged. You may as well blame the lifeboatmen for the shipwreck.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        In this case, there are several crews of state-appointed lifeboatmen who have a vested interest a in causing wrecks, in order to loot them and sell their contents to foreign pirates.
        ‘Brandy for the parson, baccy for the clerk. ..’

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Mr. Canty,

      It is not Mr. Redwood who has “betrayed” the people.

      Mr. Redwood is not in charge of the leaving process.

      It is clearly the remainers in the government, led by the PM Mrs. May, the foreign secretary Mr. Hunt and the Chancellor Mr. Hammond, who intend to sign us up to being a vassal state of the EU.

      These people are not only not implementing the referendum result but also defaulting on their last election manifesto.

      Hardly surprising as remainers do not believe in democracy, preferring instead to be ruled by people whom we do not elect and cannot remove.

      If this vassal state is forced upon us by Parliament, completely against the result of the referendum and the manifestos of the two main parties, then any leaver or, indeed anyone who believes in democracy, should not be voting for any remainer MP in any future election.

      To say that you would not vote leave again in a second referendum because the referendum result has been hijacked by the remainer establishment who are over-riding the referendum result is completely illogical.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Exactly – so illogical as to appear insincere.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Mel, second referendum is the usual EU ploy, keep on voting till they get the “right” answer.

      Have your reasons for voting leave changed, other than the apparent fact that Weak & Wobbly has/is orchestrating a total capitulation to the EU.

      Maybe you should read the 5 President’s report to see the direction that the EU is heading – The Five Presidents’ Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      @Mel. John has not let anyone down. He has always said he opposes the Chequers bill. He would also vote down a second referendum. John is like us. He wants OUT. It’s the leader of the party together with those that support remain you should aim your anger at.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      “I won’t vote leave again” may well be true, just as I won’t vote remain again.

    • John Finn
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I have listened to your forecasts, Mr Redwood. Every single one has turned out false. You have betrayed a lot of people.

      I might not agree with JR on everything he writes but I have followed any “forecasts” he has made quite closely and I would suggest he has a 90+% accuracy rate.

      If there is a second referendum, I won’t vote leave again.

      Why? The fact that it is proving difficult to disentangle ourselves from the EU convinces me even more that we need to see Brexit through to the bitter end.

      Does it not occur to you that the dishonest ones were those who were assuring us that the various EU treaties and diktats that were being nodded through parliament with little or no scrutiny were “simply tidying up exercises”? They clearly weren’t. In 1975, 95% of the country thought we were voting to remain in a trading bloc. We were quite definitely misled and misinformed back then. Interestingly, the cohort that voted 67% to 33% to remain in 1975 are the very people who voted in large numbers to leave in 2016.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    You seem to be blaming the approach to exiting the EU on, either or both, Mr. Raab and the Civil Service, when you know full well it is Mrs. May’s responsibility. She has undermined David Davis at each critical point, she is one running around Europe trying to play nice with European leaders and it is her nonsense Chequers plan. Mrs. May is incompetent to this job and hold the office of PM; SHE MUST GO.

    • Nig l
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      All well and good keep shouting she must go and easy from the comfort of ones home but you keep missing the next part, so what happens next?

      No obvious stand out successor who could guarantee sufficient votes to topple her, so action at this time, if she decided to stand and fight, could strengthen her. Unshipping your prime negotiator, who has built up relations with the rest of the EU, for good or bad, at this most crucial of times, and presumably you would want Ollie Robbins etc to go, at best politically and operationally, naive, at worst disastrous.

      Let her come back from these negotiations, assuming not much changes, she won’t get it through Parliament, let her and the rest of the Cabinet feel the anger from Tory members, let alone the rest of Vote Leave, plus a continued resurgence by UKIP, get the conference out of the way and then start manoeuvres.

      The last thing you want is to trigger a General Election before the boundary changes are enacted.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        “The last thing you want is to trigger a General Election before the boundary changes are enacted.”


        I’m not voting for a May government whatever the boundaries.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Next will be a PM who actually voted FOR Brexit. There are 2 or 3 to chose from already, together with a new cabinet with clear instructions to work right away to prepare the nation for trade on WTO terms, will succeed.
        You sound like you want to delay any action, perhaps you voted to remain?Mrs. May has proven beyond doubt that she is not up to the task, AND she cannot be trusted to do what she promises. She must go now.

      • eeyore
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Nig 1 – Hear hear. The only thing worth adding to your wise evaluation is that the Conservative conference in Birmingham starts on September 30. It will prove instructive to Mrs May and her advisers.

        If, following that, she still thinks threats, tricks and schemes are the way to deliver the historic business the nation has trusted her with, Parliament will put her right.

        The pity is that she could so easily have been a good and happy Prime Minister, secure in the affection of a grateful nation. Instead … .

      • rose
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Certainly we want Ollie Robbins to go. It doesn’t matter if Mrs May remains, if she acquires competent and patriotic advisers, but that looks unlikely. Therefore, and I was very unwilling to risk this before, she has to go too. So serious is the position, with her giving everything away on the advice of these treacherous civil servants, that we have to risk the wrath of that part of the country which would want a general election. At the moment, the wrath of the other part of the country, which wants Brexit, is brimming over, dangerously. It is not necessary to have an election if the Conservative MPs come round to the idea their seats really are in danger and defenestrate her. It is incumbent on people to convince their local member over the summer of the seriousness of the situation. Away from the Bubble, they just might listen.

        As to who should take over, I should have thought a Boris premiership with John Redwood as Chancellor and JRM to clean up the Civil Service. Brexiteers on the back bench should be brought back and other parties’ Brexiteers should be represented in the government as we are in a state of national emergency. The days of saying Brexit is a sideshow and the gender pay gap etc are the main items on the agenda must end.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        No obvious stand out successor who could guarantee sufficient votes to topple her,

        This is a shot in the dark and he has shown he supports remain but Jeremy Hunt has form for facing down intransigent negotiators. He forced the Doctors to accept his contract despite huge opposition.

        A long shot but switching a weak remain supporter for a firmer one may improve our prospects.

        I would prefer David Davis to be at the top tale but that is not going to happen

      • mancunius
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        On the other hand, the boundary commission’s report will not be laid before the Minister before September 2018, and then presumably protracted and bitter debates will follow, so I surmise the changes are unlikely to be enacted before we leave the EU.
        Under May the Tories will be wiped out, whichever date is chosen. Under a resolute and genuinely pro-Brexit leader they stand a good chance of winning an early GE, whatever the boundaries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      She will surely go soon. Mainly as she and Hammond are such appalling electoral liabilities.

      Tory MPs surely do not want another “lets bury the party for three plus terms again in the John Major style do they”? With May & tax to death Hammond it could well be even worse this time.

      Then again I was amazed the MP dopes actually chose to retain John (ERM fan and not even an apology) Major last time in the “no change no chance” and “back me of sack me” election. Choosing to follow the daft and totally discredited “leader” over the cliff like sheep.

      • ian wragg
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Ll. Such is their commitment to Brussels, they are likely to think burying the party is a price worth paying to retain membership.
        May, Hammond and Carney are the cheerleaders in Project Fear 2.0 and no doubt it will become deafening in the next few months.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        But by supporting John Major in 1993 Tory MPs secured the best part of four more years before they had to face the electorate and risk of losing their seats, their salaries and expenses etc etc. So the question is whether the present lot will be any more willing to relegate their personal interests and put either the country or even their party first. The way she is going Theresa May will keep her party out of office for longer than John Major and it’s quite possible that she will finish it off altogether. That wouldn’t necessarily bother her too much; I’m not expecting her to stand in the next general election anyway – she’ll find some cushy number like they do – and even if the Tories did then lose her seat – they came quite close to losing it in 2001, when her majority was cut to 3284 – that need not concern her too much either.

      • Dag Sweden
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Hammond could be a danger on the back-benches especially if Gove gives him knife training.

    • Steve
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood

      Fully agree she must go. Trouble is no one’s got the balls to fling her out.

      But what goes around comes around, the conservatives will be unelectable at the next general election and be finished for good, probably even have to disband as a political party – whether they kick May out or not, it’s too late now and once trust is gone it’s game over.

      It’s almost as if the conservatives want to kill themselves off.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Historically they’re the ones to have done more to shackle us to the EU than anyone else.

    • Arkan
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Nonsense, the fault lies with the likes of Gove, Johnson and Redwood, who spun you a totally unrealistic story of what could be achieved through Brexit. Frictionless trade, easy trade deals, money to spare – fantasy island

      Reply If we just leave we can have all those things

      • Samantha Fryer
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        How can we possibly have frictionless trade and easy trade deals if we just leave? We get those things only if other countries are willing to give them to us. The EU has said no, and so have lots of other countries all over the world. Has Liam Fox got even one trade deal, even just in priciple? No. Brexit is little englanders at their worst

        • Jagman84
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          An enormous EU trading surplus with the UK will bring them to the table. The damage to the German and French economies from an interruption in trade could be considerable. Such a trade imbalance will still be likely, post-Brexit but we will be a free Sovereign nation again. Which is the point of Brexit and the issue that Hard Remainers cannot rebut.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Nonsense, the fault lies with the likes of Gove, Johnson and Redwood, who spun you a totally unrealistic story of what could be achieved through Brexit.

        You can not use that argument as their approach to the negotiations has never been pursued. If we had played hardball and got nowhere and then WTO did not work (in the medium to long term) you could say that but their vision has not been enacted.

      • L Jones
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for your reply, Dr R. We are all becoming sick of shamelessly gleeful remainers, like Arkan, who appear to WANT our country to have difficulties, simply so that they can say ”we told you so”.

        Disloyal and unpatriotic, to say the very least.

        Even if they talked the EU UP, rather than the UK DOWN – that’d be something.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Tory remainers must be laughing up their sleeves.

      Both David Davis and Boris Johnson had the chance to torpedo Theresa May in their respective resignation speeches but neither did, maybe for some perverse reason like party unity. This Prime Minister is very calculating, and she banks on others being weak to get her way.

      I like men like Andrew Bridgen who aren’t afraid to nail their colours to the mast. If more Tories followed that precept, the dam would be breached and May would be gone in a trice. We might then get the leadership the country is crying out for.


    • British Spy
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Peter Wood
      Raab. I honestly don’t know what to make of him.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        He should have followed Davis and immediately resigned when the PM announced that not he but a Cabinet Office civil servant was now ‘in charge’ of the vital negotiation that is the main policy business of his Ministry.
        By not reacting at all, he forfeited all respect.
        It is as if she told him to go the vet and get himself neutered, as she didn’t have the time to take him herself.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:58 am | Permalink

        Hand-bag carrier..

        • Timaction
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink


      • Stred
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        He’s a lawyer. Work it out.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Indeed. But alas we have May, Hammond, Carney, the civil service, the BBC and all the rest who seem very determined to undermine the UK at every turn and subvert democracy.

    The BBC radio 4 chose Michael Morpurgo on its point of view slot last night on Any Questions (after Germaine Greer with her Cocker Spaniel analogy). He was BBC “think” to his very core.

    He argued it’s time to think again over Brexit.
    “It is surely time to accept that we have made a mistake”, he writes, “that whichever way we voted, things are not turning out the way we expected”. “Or are we too proud?”

    The people got the decisions right mate. It is the remainiacs under Appeaser May who are making a complete fist of it. And we are not leaving “Europe” nor trying to tow the islands out into the Atlantic. We are just leaving the appalling regulatory straight jacket of the anti-democratic, socialist EU and regaining our democracy, sovereignty and our ability to compete in the World.

    If you love Europe as I do, you should obviously hate what the EU has done and is doing to it.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Well said!


    • mancunius
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the reaction you describe is extremely typical of remainers: they are passively reactive, not proactive. Ask them about the EU and they parrot all the gooey guff about idealism/peace/cultural-brotherhood. They usually don’t think too hard about what’s behind it.
      Ask such remainers about the euro – they have no idea. They haven’t followed the Greek Tragedy, they know nothing about currency unions. Ask them about EU law –
      they’ve never read the Treaty of Lisbon, they can’t and don’t read the European press, know nothing about the ECJ, nothing about the history of the Commissions, all they know is they can buy little villas in France and Tuscany and Greece, and holiday and drink and retire there without much effort or financial input, without even a foreign language. And they fear their cosy EasyJet, EasyCome&Go lifestyle will be under threat.

      As US libertarian Isabel Paterson once wrote: “Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.”

    • Oh arrr
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink


      “Indeed. But alas we have May, Hammond, Carney, the civil service, the BBC and all the rest who seem very determined to undermine the UK at every turn and subvert democracy”
      “seem”? Seem???? Don’t be an are-denier!

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      “We are just leaving the appalling regulatory straight jacket of the anti-democratic, socialist EU and regaining our democracy, sovereignty and our ability to compete in the World”

      Can you explain exactly what loss of democracy EU membership has cost us? We have as little now as we had before. Unelected house of lords, head of state, permanent unelected civil service and a virtual two party state.

      An oligarchy, not democracy.

      As for our ‘ability to compete in the world’ – it hasn’t stopped the other EU members having created the biggest, wealthiest trading bloc on the globe.

      Is it because they make things the rest of the world wants to buy?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Our supreme court has to bow to the supremacy of EU courts.

    • Andy
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      The EU has made Europe far more prosperous and far more peaceful.

      If you hate that then you have failed miserably to learn the lessons of previous generations.

      I get that many of you pensioners struggle with globalisation. And, indeed, globalisation has its downsides.

      The trouble is that the opposite of globalisation is isolation – and isolation is even worse.

      You dream of a plucky little England battling against the world. The trouble is that the other plucky little countries going it alone include North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela. The definitely prove that your way of doing things is worse.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        The EU is the opposite of globalisation.
        They are building a protectionist bloc.

      • L Jones
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Andy – ”more peaceful”? What?
        How many more times, Andy – we Brexiteers are NOT all ”pensioners”. Some of us are fairly young folk with young families – and some of us have a good grasp of British and world history, and understand big words like ”globalisation”. (And some of us don’t have to go and look at Facebook to get a what we believe is a fix on current affairs. Do you?)

        Please don’t go on confusing ”Europe” with ”EU”. You show your ignorance. Nothing new there, then.

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    What do we look like crawling and begging for some kind of agreement which will just keep us as slaves to the EU? This is not what was voted for. We voted to leave, not to remain under the thumb of Merkel and Junker. To think of having to pay £39b for something that other countries get for free is an insult to all taxpayers. How come we can find this kind of money to give away so that others will be better off when we have no money for our forces, police, social care, NHS or schools? Mrs May is a disgrace as are all politicians who vote for this. The EU will continue to give us nothing in return. Just what have we really achieved from these talks which are costing us so much money and how much will actually be spent on the UK? I bet a big fat zilch. Talk about propping up the rest of the world. At this moment in time I feel ashamed to be British and its the Tory party and treasonable politicians who are responsible. So given that we have a choice at the election my X will not be going to any of the 3 main parties but to one that truly believes we should be a sovereign nation again.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      I sometimes liken our so-called ‘negotiations’ to a boxing match where we are up against a twenty-stone bully with a glass jaw. Rather than our side put a battler into the ring who knows how to hit hard in all the right places to get the right result, we seem to want to throw in seven-stone weaklings who haven’t got a clue.

      So the weakling quietly whispers in the billy’s ear, ‘I am on your side really so please don’t hit me too hard and I will make it your worthwhile by giving you money and all sorts of goodies. I will even be your slave if you want me to. Let’s keep it between ourselves though. Just as long as we make it look like we are fighting, the punters will be none the wiser.’

      I think politicians believe we plebs are just election fodder and treat is with contempt most of the time.


    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it is really sickening. At the start of this process, I could not have imagined it to have been conducted in such a supplicatory and lamentable. I am unable to contain my fury at the way T May has mishandled this process for her fellow citizens.


    • L Jones
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Ah, Fedup – you speak for so many of us. But let’s not be ”ashamed to be British”. Let’s be ashamed that we have such people ”serving” us. People who don’t deserve to be in such positions of authority when they’re not carrying out the people’s will, and offering OUR money as bribes and appeasement to these greedy beggars of the EU.

      You speak for the right-thinking people in this country – all of us – but let’s put the blame where it lies. With these self-serving, EU-loving, arrogant Remainer politicians, who are acting as though we Brexiteers don’t know what they are about.

      Thank you for your comments, always well-informed. Let’s hope that soon we can celebrate the rise of our country after ridding ourselves of the EU shackles.

  7. Steve
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    None of this surprises me. While on one hand government policy is never to negotiate with terrorists, on the other they seem hell bent on ‘negotiating’ with a pariah state which threatens us almost on a weekly basis.

    There can only be one explanation; May and her cohorts in the politically biased civil service intend to damage this country as much as possible before we leave.

    The sneaky woman went behind our backs with Merkel just before chequers, now she’s pulling the same stunt at Macron’s place.

    Normally such visits would not be alarming, but the concern here is that; a) she’s a remainer, b) she has a record of giving away our resources and sovereignty, c) her tactic is to commit treacherous acts perfectly timed to ensure she doesn’t get stopped in her tracks, d) she’s french and so is Macron.

    I do not trust this woman at all, she’s sly, sneaky, a serious security risk, and above all anti-english.

    I note a press photo showing her and hubby having a casual stroll through a french town, just as though they were locals.

    Perhaps she would care to do the same in Hull or Sunderland ? Some how I don’t see her making it back to the car unscathed.

    Begging the notion:

    “oh no Mr Macron, I couldn’t possibly walk the streets of a town in my own country, they’d lynch me ! ”

    Theresa May – the remainer’s choice, and the traitor no one has the balls to remove from publicly funded office.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Well actually, government does negotiate with terrorists. It pardons them and then agrees to chase its own troops into their graves.

      It invites unvetted terrorists into its own home, calls them something nice and calming, like The Pink Helmets.

      It caves in totally on stopping and searching terrorists, on the grounds that its racist, then makes it impossible to send them to prison – crime explodes, suprise suprise.

      And now government’s on its knees in a French Chateaux.

      Could Corbyn REALLY be any worse ? At least he was up front about it.

    • Hope
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      You are spot on. Her underhand sneaky behaviour is not a one off. She is now toxic with the public. She need to be ousted. If the Tory party let her run again, there would be an outcry and the Party would be toast. JR and colleagues need the moral fortitude to act.

      May is never going to leave the EU, just like Cameron before her. May stated in her Mansion House capitulation that she would not resort to WTO terms.

      May recently gave the EU another £330 million for the Turkey EU immigration problem, she gave Macron another £40 million for Calais. The EDF £3.75 billion on top of £14 billion overseas aid! She then wants to tax us for elderly care. She loves taxing us, penalizing us at every turn but gives away a fortune of our money for nothing in return.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      She is desperately wanting a seat in Brussels for her treachery. She hasn’t worked out that they will just demand more, which she will give and then they will say that she is not to be at their top table. England will have been destroyed, financially and culturally, GEUrmany will have their revenge for losing two wars. The EU should be applauded for actually not bursting out laughing at the way they are winning.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      I hope that Tory MPs when on their deathbeds shrink with shame at the fact that they did not act decisively for the good of their country. Beneath contempt. Why do they exist? What is it all for?


  8. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    There is of course a difference with Canada. Canada doesn’t try to break up the EU or sow division. Canada supposedly wouldn’t walk away from its contractual obligations to thousands of contractors (large part of the 39bn).
    We’re supposed to believe that the UK is united in its way of leaving the EU. Why did it take years to even come to some sort of government position. An utterly divided government held ransom by a DUP. The UK redibility is not very high these days.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Ridiculous Peter
      We the people of the UK have voted to leave.
      We are not trying to break up the EU or “sow division”
      There is no legal contractual obligation to pay any money to leave.
      The House of Lords have already confirmed that.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        @The unelected House of Lords has nothing close to the staus and authority of an international court. It is a (possibly quite biase) national construction.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          They did a report which is seen as a good legal opinion. Many of the Lords who developed the report are legally trained.
          But if you can show what legal basis a leaving payment can be enforced on the UK please do so.

          The Lords are biased.
          They want the UK to remain in the EU

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      What contractual obligations to contractors, we are a sovereign country that has given notice to quit. Nothing in the treaties alludes to a divorce bill. We have been net contributors for 39 out of the past 40 years and the HoL scrutiny committee says we have no outstanding debt and any payment is purely goodwill.
      If you know something different then post the links and evidence instead of spouting Brussels clap trap.
      A period of silence from you and your colleagues would be welcome.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg: These arguments wouldn’t stand in an international court of law.
        With all goodwill out of the window and an untrustworthy paria in the international community, good luck to you and your future trade deals.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          If there is a proper legal basis to make a payment to leave then you can relax Peter as the UK will obey the law.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      We don’t want to break up the EU. We want to leave it.

      The EU is breaking up anyway. The Far Right is now on the march and the underlying issues that caused it are not being dealt with. All the main parties are being replaced. The bad news on uncontrolled immigration (the importation of large groups of pushy young men) is just going to keep coming and coming.

      Merkel is in coalition with the Afd, Five Star shares power in Italy, the rise of the SNP in Scotland, Macron heads a new party in France but Le Penn has a very real shot at government… I could go on throughout Europe.

      This is before I mention all the referenda it has overturned or ignored and the really big one – our very own Brexit.

      Way to go EU ! What a *force* for unity it is. And I mean *force* quite literally now.

      It only knows how to punish and how to cheat.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The UK government hasn’t acted to try and break up the EU or sow division. On the contrary, they have been careful to avoid suggesting other countries should follow the UK.
      The UK will not walk away from its contractual obligations. I think you are referring to the EU contractual obligations aren’t you? If the EU finds itself short, it will either need to renegotiate its contracts, borrow to meet its commitments or touch the EU27 for more cash.
      If I was negotiating for the UK, I’m sure I would be up to lending the EU some money, but I might suggest they get a better interest rate from the money markets.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        @Dave Andrews: With regard to your first line, my perception is quite different from yours.
        With regard to contractual obligations, these were made for the normal 7 year multi-annual budget period (ending at the end of 2020). Such money may already have been spent by a numerb of the contractors, renegotiating for already operational projects makes no sense.
        Of course the money itself could easily be found by the EU27, so much larger than the UK, we’re talking about principles and proper behaviour in business dealings. UK (mis)behaviour would not easily be forgotten for decades to come.

        • Timaction
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          Just to point out our economy is equivalent to 19 of the 27 of the smaller economies of the EU combined. I understand what you state about the seven year cycle, but no way do all these contracts stretch seven years into the future. It’s already been shown that this is a good will gesture by the foolish UK Government NOT a legal obligation!

        • Edward2
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          Then deduct the value of our share of existing assets we have helped pay for and our share of cash and assets held in EU investment banks.

    • Yvybybgh
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Democracy can be a real bugger. Not that you would understand.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        @Yvybybgh: The UK with its largely unelected parliament is in no position to lecture about democracy, and I’m restricting myself now to only one of multiple UK failings in democracy.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          “Largely unelected Parliament”
          A totally ridiculous comment peter.
          The UK parliament is elected by general election of MP candidates standing in local constituencies at least every 5 years.
          Everyone 18 or over can vote.

    • Hope
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      PVL do not be stupid there is no contract as you falsely claim. There is an outstanding bill to the U.K. for assets in the EU like the European bank etc. the U.K. Public voted leave, 73 percent of MPs voted remain and are trying to subvert the will of the people. May’s white paper was voted on by a cabinet that contained more remainers than leavers. Perverse of May, but in accord with her slimy behaviour.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        @Hope: You’re quite misinformed and should have studied the EU published documents a bit better. At least you representatives like David Davies had to agree to them.

        • Timaction
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          I read the garbage and comment as above. It was about foolish compromise with uncompromising EU parasites!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      PVL. The people knew what they wanted years ago but were never given the chance of a referendum. We do not want to break Europe up. You are welcome to stay in the ‘club’ as long as we are free to leave. We do not sow division. Italy, Greece and Spain are doing a good job of that on their own. There is a lot of discontentment in Europe already and it’s nothing to do with us. With the financial problems the EU has at the moment the chances are it will all collapse very soon. The sooner the better for many.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        @fedupsoutherner: even the current charme offensive illustrates my point but it goes deeper and much longer ago (Yes Minister could provide you some guidance). Of course there is always soem discontentment somewhere in societies, and huge amounts of it in British society about its government.
        The collapsing EU is again an exaemple of pathetic wishful thinking on your part. It didn’t happen and most likey won’t happen.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 1:09 am | Permalink

          The political turmoil inside many EU Member States suggests that the concept of a Europe wide Federal Super State, dominated by Germany and with a military capability, is not a universally popular concept.

          Sorry, Peter, but more and more people are voting ‘the wrong way’.

    • Andy
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      You are talking Dutch Drivel. Why is it the likes of you fail so miserably to understand the EU you promote at every verse end ?? When will you get it into your head that there is NO LEGAL BASIS TO PAY THE EU A PENNY AFTER LEAVING. If there was such a basis you would be able to refer us all to it in the EU Treaties. Have a go. Unless you can do so cut the drivel.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        @Andy: No use talking to the misinformed like you. At least your government negotiator knew better than you.

        • Timaction
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          No he didn’t. You cant point to act and section as its goodwill by foolish UK Oilly civil serpents!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Mrs Merkel went a long way towards breaking up the EU with her open invitation to all and sundry to arrive.

      I don’t see her getting the cold shoulder from the EU council, just from her own people and many other EU citizens

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        @Narrow Shoulders: It is a bit too easy and too British to put the blame on Mrs. Merkel. There are very many people on the continent who agreed with her.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          Agreeing with someone and making it happen against the majority wishes are not the same thing @Peter.

          Mrs Merkel drove it through because she is the de facto empress of the EU,who pays the piper calls the tune (unless you are the UK civil service which seems to have believed that we are beholden to the EU due to trade so just handed over our cash”)

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      I think the divisions in the EU were already there, just well suppressed. It will need no help nor encouragement from the UK if it does go belly-up. Flounering debt-laden economies or those countries forced to take unacceptable numbers of migrants are powerful instruments for the EU’s dissolution. Yet, I see no willingness on the part of the EU’s so-called leaders to want alter course. Russia and China might have something to say about the EU’s wish to expand ever eastwards.

      Ah well, it isn’t as if such things haven’t happened before. All empires eventually decay as subjugated nations rise up. We in the UK leaned that lesson. It seems the EU wishes to fly in the face of historical precept.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        @Tad Davison: So basicly you’re suggesting that China, Russia and the USA will all brak up. I don’t see that happening. The so-called leaders of the EU are the democratically eleceted heads of government. The post referendum experience is that they have pulled together better, in spite of challenges, many larger than this – much talked about in Britain – Brexit.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Put your glasses on and read what I actually wrote.

          And just as an aside, maybe you’d like to tell us how many Germans are in the EU’s top jobs?

    • mancunius
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Typical impudence from you, to suggest the UK has ‘tried to break up the EU’.
      The EU has shown since the hubris of ERM that it is perfectly capable of breaking up by itself, and needs no further help.
      The UK is simply withdrawing. The Netherlands can do the same – but your stitched-up cross-party PR ‘consensus’ will never allow it. That is your problem, not ours.
      We have no further contractual obligations to the EU beyond March 2019.
      So far, there has been little unity, as the EU’s senior political placemen in Parliament and the civil service have been attempting to subvert the vote they pretended to accept.
      Yet now we see a turning of the tide. The EU has stonewalled so disgracefully that any electoral or parliamentary support for paying £39bn or any sum at all has been completely eroded, and there is an increasing swell of opinion for leaving without a FTA. If we do, there will be no money at all. The Eu can of course sue for it, but I doubt any international court will find any justiciable basis for such a case.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        @mancunius: The UK has no contractual obligations beyond the current 7-year budget period, which terminates at the end of 2020 ( . . . well maybe just a few pension obligations beyond that).
        It was the UK’s incapability to cope with the ERM, most countries passed with flying colours.
        The Netherlands (and its citizens), with a very much more trusted media landscape than the UK’s, has known for decades that as an open and internationally operating economy it gains from its EU membership. Why follow the British folly?
        Consensus : Wouldn’t it be great if the UK with its pathetic adversarial culture could muster a bit of consensus? You might even get a Brexit negotiating position supported by a large portion of your society. Currently, you’re standing naked in your internal civil war over what next. The world is watching and shaking its head.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          There is legal obligation to pay EU pensions after we leave.

          One vote in 28 with reducing QMV
          Nine paying in the rest taking out.
          Recipe for diaster.

    • Maths Init
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Reply to peter VAN LEEUWEN
      “Canada doesn’t try to break up the EU…” Nor do we try, if that is what you allude.

      The Netherlands and most EU states do not have the strength to leave the EU. Weakness is not a criticism, just where they are, ….now…. They should not try leaving until the EU is a tad weaker by one-twenty-eighth.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        @Maths Init: Why would the Dutch want to leave the EU, while it is clearly in the Netherlands’ interest to stay? There is an overwhelming consensus about this, fed by unbiased information. That does NOT mean that there is no criticism about the EU, but that is channeled in more constructive ways.
        I.e. we got a much improved “posted workers directive”. My jaw dropped when I saw that a UK current affairs presenter on Europe didn’t even know the concept when first brought upat a PMQ ! That why I stated: ignorance, because of lack of Brirish interest (in European issues)

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted August 6, 2018 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      Try this for size. We will pay the £39 billion exit fee minus deductions for ANY damage done to the UK economy by spiteful non-tariff barriers imposed by the EU-27. WE will unilaterally assess the amount of that damage.

      So, M Barnier, treat us nicely ………………………… or else.

  9. Paul Cohen
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Kamikaze Government ?

    After months of undermining our position, Mrs May is deluded to think she can now somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat via Macron.

    For me the piece by Allister Heath in the Daily Telegraph last Thursday is spot on and should be required reading by all serious commentators (The kamikaze Brexit strategy of this Government beggars belief)

    Mr Carney is at it again! his forcast record is abysmal and he lost any credibility long ago yet still churns out his rubbish.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      @Paul Yes, is it so difficult to just sometimes talk the UK up? Seem it is. For goodness sake can’t they see what they are doing to the country by not having confidence in its people? When you think of what this country has come through in previous years do they really think we can’t manage without the EU? They really should think before they open their mouths.

    • Leaver
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Paul Cohen
      “Mr Carney is at it again”
      Like someone going through the motions on leaving for a better job. Just plodding along, usual repetitive work to the end of the month, taking home one by one daily personal possessions in ones desk. Leaving until last the fluffy gonk which reminds you of your boss.

  10. BOF
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    So shackled are our Government and civil service to the EU that they have become the political equivalent of incurable heroin addicts.

    No deal and WTO is the only good deal left, unless we are offered a FT deal.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      As JR suggested, offer an FTA as that is better for everyone, otherwise WTO is good but not quite as good, and certainly better than giving them money to trade.

      I’m hoping for negotiations to fail and proceed to WTO rules, just so everyone can discover Project Fear is nothing to be afraid of. I worry though there are too many politicians, officials and industrialists ideologically wedded to the EU religion, and will use their position to damage the UK in order to blame Brexit.

    • Bob
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      “nothing so far on offer from the EU by way of a future relationship that justifies paying them another £39bn”

      The most effective approach would be to leave and negotiate at arms length as an independent country. The pressure would then be on Brussels as we would be free to #WalkAway and negotiate trade deals globally.

    • Psychic
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


      Au contraire, not heroin addicts. That could be a reasonable get-out for their behaviour. What shall, we do with them?

  11. Amanda
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I think you need to be convincing some of your colleagues Mr Redwood. I have had a letter from my MP, who voted to leave the EU, telling me that “the rulebook is simply a standard international law obligation on the UK” . The letter also gives me a long list of positive outcomes from Brexit, which I am well aware are not possible with the current White Paper. They also tell me that “Brexit is a process not and event, and we cannot possibly expect to leave overnight” !! I don’t call nearly 3 years overnight !!

    Is this a ‘standard letter’ doing the round I wonder?

    They do not seem to appreciate that we can all do our own research, and it is easy to find that the above is not the case. So, why does an MP who wants to leave the EU think this?? They are very foolishly putting their seat in great jeopardy, we are a strong leave voting constituency.

    • Yvybybgh
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      He thinks his constituents are gullible fools, incapable of independent thought.

    • Hope
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Send the MP the link to Lawyers for Britain an article written by Martin Howe QC and tell the MP not to be a dick and do a little bit of research.

    • Pedagogic's whisky
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      “Is this a ‘standard letter’ doing the round I wonder?”

      Years ago our English teacher set us an essay for homework instead of his usual and regular beating each one of us with his tool of preference…for the naughty behaviour of a few. “Keeping the Standard” ( no, we didn’t know what to write in the love letter to him either )
      Nothing has changed, nothing has changed.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Afraid I have given up all hope of a clean and sensible Brexit whilst Mrs May is in change of our so called negotiations.

    The incompetent, confused, and complicated way she has handled our dealings with the EU (her so called friends) beggar’s belief.

    Given she has seen recent EU trade deals with Canada and Japan agreed without payment, without free movement, and without so many of the EU and ECJ controls she seems to want to allow for the UK, you would have thought the penny would have dropped by now.

    She was, and still is, a Remainer at heart, hence the position we now find ourselves heading towards, but this time without any say in the make up of future rules whatsoever.

    Probably too late now for anyone to take her place before any agreement she reaches is finalised.

    I find it shocking that the majority of 650 Mp’s will simply allow her to get away with it.

    The vote in Parliament (or the second referendum if there ever is one) should be, the May agreement, or WTO terms, but she will not put that option on the table.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      It’s all been quite deliberate.

      – cock it up

      – force a second vote

      Make the people think it was their idea to Remain. They can’t subvert democracy openly, you see.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      But despite all the hype those trade deals are not worth very much to anybody apart from those who are actively engaged in the trade.

      That is why back in November 2017 I questioned whether we should even bother with anything like CETA:

      “Off-topic, reading that the EU may offer us a trade deal similar to that it has recently agreed with Canada, CETA, I wondered whether such a deal would even be worth the bother of the negotiations, or it would be better to say “No thanks, we’ll just stick with WTO trading terms for the moment, instead let’s get on and discuss the practicalities of continuing and facilitating our trade for a smooth transition”.”

      “As with the UK, that small one-off 0.4% enhancement of GDP would be equivalent to the natural growth of the Canadian economy over a matter of some months.

      Of course we are not Canada – for a start we are on the other side of the Atlantic – but it seems to me that we would need to think very hard about whether that kind of trivial GDP enhancement over trading just on WTO terms would be worth the hassle of negotiating a deal with the intransigent, vindictive, obstructive, untrustworthy EU.”

      Having been shocked earlier by what I said on these lines in January, mentioned in a comment below, I’m now even more shocked that I was saying this about CETA in the November before; it shows how much time and energy the UK government has wasted on chasing that “deep and special partnership” that Theresa May insists she wants, presumably because she doesn’t want to feel left out.

      As for the EU-Japan trade deal, I calculated the fractional benefits in a comment on this thread:

      The duties that are being abolished amount to less than 0.007% of EU GDP, and the increases in EU GDP and employment would be on the 0.1% level.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        There is a quite important well-referenced factual comment still languishing in moderation here, JR, while you provide our opponents with a free platform for their false propaganda. Where is the sense in that, I would ask.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It is clear that the Chequers Agreement can be accurately described as the underhand remainer’s deceit, which Boris Johnson declined to polish. This and the attitude to Brexit that it represents is as much a problem as the Withdrawal Agreement. I do not see how anything remotely satisfactory can be negotiated so long as May remains responsible for the negotiations. And, it seems to me, that insufficient time remains to negotiate any meaningful alternative to the default third country/WTO relationship. The Withdrawal Agreement envisaged by the EU and by May should be rejected by Parliament.

  14. agricola
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    You allow the civil service too much say and power. They should be the typists of this enterprise. They are not elected, have no one to answer to, and should have no say beyond where to put the commas.

    Forget the Withdrawal Agreement, it is peripheral. The question is, do the EU want a free trade agreement on goods and services. If yes then there may be a place for a Withdrawal Agreement as a gesture of goodwill. However if the answer is no and a consequent reversion to trade on WTO rules, the question of a Withdrawal Agreement or any form of payment should cease to be considered.

    It is in the hands of sixty or so conservative MPs and four labour MPs to ensure that there is no support in the H o C for any Withdrawal Agreement except on the above terms, and only if there is to be a treaty on free trade and services. The Chequers white paper was dead the moment the meeting there closed. I find it nationally humiliating to have Mrs may trawling about Europe trying to sell some form of it. She and her coterie of civil servants are not fit to be running this negotiation and I look forward to your conference confirming it.

    • Peter
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Yes it is a question whether such an action can be blocked in the House of Commons.

      We shall see.

      I am disappointed that sound Labour MPs such as Kate Hoey and Frank Field are being challenged within their constituencies when the likes of Soubry escape any challenges with ease.

      • agricola
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        The two you mention are being challenged because they are not Momentum and not the sort of MP, intellectually honest, that a movement like Momentum can cope with, so get rid of them by procedural means. The same factional divisions do not exist in the Conservative party at large. Conservatives can disagree on substance, should we be in the EU or out. Soubry’s fate will ultimately be at the hands of all those electors who may or may not in future vote Conservative.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Spot on. She is simply not fit to hold the office or negotiation. She must go to stop our National humiliation at her hand. WTO will work fine!

  15. DUNCAN
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    You voted for May now you can depose her. You knew May would behave in this appalling, duplicitous manner. She’s been behaving like this all her political life and yet you and your Eurosceptic colleagues elected her as our leader.

    What is with Tory politicians? Do you have a death wish or something?

    Or is it Tory politicians playing silly internal games to prevent Johnson from becoming leader?

    Most Tory voters want this woman gone by year end. She is a liberal left Europhile and a Blair in a skirt and she is despised

    • rose
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Why do you persist in this false accusation when you have been told more times than I can remember that it is not true? Mr Redwood did not vote for Mrs May and I very much doubt that other Brexiteers did either. What do you hope go gain from this repeated untruth? It just alienates the rest of us from anything serious you might have to say.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I agree with all of that – except the time scale. Immediately would do nicely, before she and her cohorts can do any more damage.


    • forthurst
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Your Party is a globalist Europhile Party; that is why you were stuck with Mrs May. It is interesting to note that in Italy where they have a fair electoral system (ie not FPTP), that the Tory equivalent party, Forza Italia, is now polling at 9%. That is what happens when the people have the opportunity of voting for what they believe in: trash parties that oppose the people get consigned to history; getting some very rich globalists to bankroll them is not enough.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    none of what you want will be deliverd by Mrs May. Just like David Cameron before the referendum she is scurrying around the EU pleading for support for her sellout. At every turn she has capitulated to the EU. When Dominic Raab had the temerity to tell M. Barnier that the £39bn from the UK was not guaranteed she humiliated him the following day by making clear that she, or should I say Mr Oliver Robbins, was leading the negotiations, not him. We are waiting to see what great strategy you and others have to displace this unreformed Remainer and get someone who believes in an independent, self-governing UK in Number 10.

    • Size Mologlist
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May is an extremist. The centre ground has moved beneath her feet. She’s had it.

  17. Oggy
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The reason why a vague Withdrawal agreement some hope will be signed is so that Mrs May can add in further concessions to the EU at a later date, after it has passed the HoC, which in vague form Labour and others would find hard to vote against.

    I see reports in the MSM today that the PM will keep freedom of movement in the event the UK leaves next March on WTO terms.

    I don’t understand why most Tory MP’s still trust her – she has to go.

    • Right Wing Extremist
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Yes, yes, yes, Keep Freedom of Movement intact

  18. Javelin
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    My extensive weekly review of comments across the mainstream media puts a ratio of 80% in favour of Brexit and 99.99% in favour of getting rid of May ASAP. Around 50% believe May is being manipulated by civil servants the other 50% believe she is plotting with them against the democratic vote.

    • Am
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      At what stage will the Tory party realise that Robbins et al want to remain in the eu even if it means the Tories will lose the next election.

    • rose
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Again, I haven’t your scientific abilities, but my own impression concurs. People are seething, as they are over Tommy Robinson, and the same woman is held responsible in both cases. I have never known a fury like it. Does she even know? Does anyone ever tell her what is on the internet?

  19. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The right approach to have taken in this wretched process would have been to deliver the Article 5o notification with a draft FTA – something like CETA so that the EU would find it hard to say it was unacceptable. And then say we will await Barnier’s call. But we didn’t. We are now in a situation where No Deal is a possibility. So what should we be doing now? We should say that we are withdrawing from talks and start spending that £39 bn on preparations for a WTO future. The nature of the EU beast has always been apparent to anyone with an ounce of common sense.

    • Andy
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      The mistake was to have use the Article 50 process in the first place. What A50 says is that a Country can Leave in accord with its own Constitutional Arrangements, and as ours are what we say they are we should have simply repealed the 1973 EEC Act and left on a date we decided. We should NEVER have engaged with Barnier and certainly never have done so in the way silly May has done. What a disgusting, dishonest and dishonourable woman she is.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      We do not need a FTA with the EU; on the contrary, leaving under WTO rules would be massively beneficial. The EU is a rigged market for consumables and comestibles so why would we want to compete directly with that?

    • Andy
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      A Canada style deal is perfectly possible – but you can not have it with a frictionless border.

      A Norway style single market deal is also perfectly possible – but you can not have it without free movement.

      And a customs union deal is also perfectly possible – but you can not have it and sign your own trade deals.

      It is not the EU stopping most of this. It is World Trade Organisation rules. But you all knew that, right? No? Oh dear.

      You gotta pick Brexiteers. Governing is choosing. Which option, and which unpleasant side effect, do you want?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        The other 160 off nations seem to carry on ok without the EU.
        Trade freely with the world.
        Do deals
        Offer our products.
        Offer free trade where it suits us.
        There is a fast growing world outside the protectionist bloc that is the EU

      • Richard
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Either Canada+++ (incl Services) or WTO global trading option work fine for the UK.

        We should have put this choice to the EU long ago. Let the EU27 Council choose.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        No, there is no WTO rule that restricts trade deals with the EU.
        Any restrictions are those of the contracting parties (usually those of the proectionist EU).

        Going to basic WTO arrangements holds no fears for the UK, while we can wait for the Junky n’ Barney show to sink back through the trapdoor of history, and for the 27 to notice that their lucrative export trade to our 65m strong market is fading.

        • Andy
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          I didn’t say there were. We are perfectly entitled to have a WTO arrangement with the EU. But then you are required to have a hard border. It is not my fault that you lot do not understand that.

          You have failed to consider that Brexit is not just what you want. International trade has international rules – and it has to work for everyone else too.

          Governing is choosing. Brexiteers have to pick an unpalatable choice. Good luck selling that to the people to promised the opposite to.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            Don’t berate us for not understanding it, Andy, prove it to us by citing chapter and verse of the WTO rule(s) which say we would have to have a hard border. I’ll come back and check for a few days to see if you have done that. And don’t try and blag your way out of it with sweeping unsubstantiated claims that it is basic or fundamental or whatever, cite the articles.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        “It is World Trade Organisation rules.”

        Come on, then, cite chapter and verse of those rules.

        You can’t, of course, because it is just another of your lies.

  20. Am
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    What really was the difficulty on the brexit side of the Tory party not tabling a leadership contest before the recess. Not doing so has left may all summer with a fre hand to negotiate away brexit. This is seen in the publishing of no deal that has taken place since then.

    • Am
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Rubbishing not publishing

    • rose
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      The difficulty was presumably numbers: if 48 triggered a no confidence vote which the PM then won, no-one would be allowed to challenge her for a year. There wouldn’t even have been a leadership contest. Over the summer the majority of the Conservative MPs may come to their senses in contact with normal people.

    • Steve
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      @ Am

      Indeed, May is doing exactly that – swanning around europe sneakily selling this country out behind our backs.

      She has to be sacked, and I hope she awaits a humiliating dismissal on her return after the recess.

  21. alexP
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    We don’t have to sign a withdrawal agreement. A50 has been sent and that is enough
    we can walk away March 2019.. we voted to leave.. we did not vote for another deal

    • rose
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Yes, we did not vote for a deal, we voted to leave. We didn’t even vote for article 50. All that was necessary was to repeal the 1972 Act, at once. Any practical negotiations which were necessary could have been done afterwards, with the individual countries.

    • Spendswift
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes it’s a shoppers bargain at one for two

  22. Adam
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    We should walk away & regain our independence. Accepting EU nonsense is like paying to tolerate 27 different flavours of sticky bubble gum on our shoes, restricting our every movement.

  23. Richard1
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Ageed. I can’t understand why the withdrawal agreement and 21 months of vassal statehood is any any way preferable from the U.K. perspective to simply extending EU membership by that period. I think what has happened is the EU has said – cleverly – that the U.K. needs to formally withdraw before they agree to trade talks. Obviously there is no actual rationale for this other than some cooked up EU rule and Mrs May (& David Davis actually) has been very foolish to agree this sequence.

    I’m not sure what’s to be done about it though. With 1/2 the Govt, all the opposition parties, the Bank of England, the CBI etc continuing to harp on about the terrors of the WTO option, we can hardly blame the EU for just sitting there waiting for us to cave in. ministers and even the PM seem to be going round Europe abasing themselves by warning the EU how bad WTO would be for the EU, and attempting to get them to agree a plan which is absurd in its complexity, is plainly unworkable for the EU, and doesn’t even have the support of those who want to leave in the U.K.!

    Tory MPs are going to have to replace Mrs May if they want a real crack at Brexit. Otherwise maybe we should just have another referendum with a clear choice of Remain and WTO.

  24. Iain Moore
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    If the Tories pay £39 billion, £600 for every man woman and child, and get nothing for it, then your party will be toast. It took a generation for the electorate to trust the Tories for the ERM debacle, and that was just a £3.4 billion cost. Blowing ten times the amount of money will be a disaster the Conservatives will never recover from.

    It has been disappointing to see Conservative MPs go along with May’s disastrous EU negotiations, clearly national interest is something they can’t be bothered about. Soon though this national interests will become something very personal to them, for its about to become a matter of self preservation. I wonder if that will stir them?

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The PM, Government, HoC, HoL and Civil Service have betrayed democracy by ignoring the referendum result and not simply leaving the EU.

    Although JohnRedwoodsDiary is able to write good advice to the above parties, the unfortunate situation is that it is ignored, consistent with ignoring the referendum result. It is the two thirds of constituencies and over half those who voted who need advice, someone and some party to follow. With the hope of the Government to have an agreement by October there is only a handful of weeks to save UK democracy, and yet there is nothing hoi polloi can do. Democracy is about to be lost, what can we do?

  26. Rien Huizer
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood the problem seems to be that there is an agreement in principle covering most issues (including thefinancial side) with a few gaps, notably the Ireland issue. You may not like that agreement, but is exists and work is in progress to turn this into something that will bind the 29 (EU and its 28 members) parties. Should that effort fail, the situation would be open: “no deal”, a portfolio of sector deals (Euratom etc) or a withdrawal agreement consiting of an amended version of the current one with or without a transition period and a specific promise to conclude a free trade agreement of a certain type, for instance “Canada”.

    The priorities of the EU are well known and -in practical terms, not principal ones- non negotiable, given the time and effort required to align all members and their parliaments. It is up to the UK to find a compromise solution within the current government to be imposed on coalition members, or better, replace the government with one that can count on parliamentary support and speak with one voice. You may like the compromise or not but if that is what the government wants to bring to the table with the backing of Parliament, that will have to do. I do not think (from afar) that your specific tribe has the numbers to achieve anything one could call a compromise. Your only chance of a creating a drastic “no deal” is to let it happen by default, ie by letting negotiations (in- and externally) fail so that there would be no British compromise compatible with EU priorities.

    • Yvybybgh
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      More unintelligible Eurowaffle from the EU (enthusiast ed). Ireland is not an issue.

  27. Jack
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    A fall in the budget deficit is NOT what we should want. Government debt is far too low as it is.

    If we want 15% annual GDP growth, we need to get the deficit up to 12% of GDP or so. Massive payroll tax cuts are desperately needed.

    • Jack
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Naturally this will bring the deficit back down, faster growth boosts revenues.

      But we need to be wary of this and stop the deficit getting too small (unless inflation is high and in that case, yes, a lower deficit would be necessary to cool down the economy).

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I always said that we had agreed to insert Article 50 TEU into the EU treaties to create a procedure for an orderly withdrawal if any member state decided to leave the EU, and so as a matter of good faith we should start by invoking that procedure.

    However I also urged that we should still make it clear that we were complying with that aspect of EU law without prejudice to our right under wider international law to simply abrogate the treaties and leave:

    But of course Theresa May did not do that.

    Then I said that it would be reasonable for our new agreements with the EU to include various transitional provisions, a commonplace feature in international treaties so that necessary legal and practical changes can be made in a calm and orderly way, with enough time allowed for each as required and with the possibility of an agreed extension for any item which proved unexpectedly difficult to finalise.

    But Theresa May went back on what she had said and preferred to go along with Labour’s barmy idea of a single, and now perhaps indefinitely extensible, oxymoronic “status quo” or “standstill” transitional period during which nothing would actually change:

    “In her original Lancaster House speech of January 17th 2017 Theresa May spoke about the need for an “implementation period” after we had left the EU, which she described in these terms, my CAPITALS for emphasis …

    “… we believe a PHASED process of implementation, in which both Britain and the EU institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us will be in our mutual self-interest. This will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements.””

    And then of course according to Article 50 TEU:

    the EU should negotiate and conclude an agreement with the withdrawing state setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal:

    “taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union”

    and Theresa May caved in and agreed to the two stage process which was demanded by the EU, and without even letting the world know that this was a major concession being made by the UK in the face of the EU’s unreasonable and intransigent attitude.

    However I have to say that it is no use crying over the large quantities of milk which has already been spilt by our unreformed and unrepentant, and deceitful and hypocritical, Remainer Prime Minister and her government and favoured civil servants.

    The problem now is how to stop her completing her betrayal by the imposition of her appalling Chequers plan, which is not far off an Instrument of Surrender.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I am a bit shocked to find that I was saying this as long ago as January:

      “I think we are getting very close to the point where we could reasonably declare to the world that for our part we would still prefer to have some kind of special trade deal with the continuing EU, but it has become obvious to us that the EU does not want that, and is not prepared to negotiate in good faith, and so we are abandoning that proposal and accepting that in future trade between the UK and the continuing EU will be on basic WTO terms. That would not mean that all negotiations would stop, just any negotiations directed towards agreeing a special trade deal.”

      Among the negotiations which should continue would be those directed to making sure that neither side will reinstate unnecessary legal or practical impediments to our two-way trade, continuing or replacing that web of small ancillary agreements about which Remoaners and some others like to make a lot of fuss .

      Of course there are some other people again who have rather carelessly given the impression that “no deal” means no deal about anything at all, rather than just no special or preferential trade deal. They should have realised that they are dealing with fundamentally dishonest adversaries who will have no compunction about putting an entirely false construction on any words they may utter.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        And the same again here.

        About a dozen attempts with Captcha, I wonder if it is worth bothering.

  29. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Was I dreaming or did I hear Mrs May say that she would deliver Brexit? Leave means Leave, Brexit means Brexit. What a bleeding joke. The woman is a liar.

  30. GregH
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Why would President Macron and Mrs May need to have a five-course dinner? am wondering if there is some significance in this? does it mean that they eat more than they would in a three or four course or maybe because they enjoy each others company so much they want to draw the meeting out..maybe lots to talk about..maybe the Last Supper

    • Cough
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes but it’s French food. They have to give you lots of options so you might just find something or other edible.

  31. Edwardm
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I am sure your view is widely shared by most Conservatives and Leavers. It amazes me that it is not the common view of Conservative MPs, and that those at the top of government have not been dismissed via a leadership election.

    We need action now, before Mrs May entangles us in the worst possible sell-out.

  32. Andy
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The first rule of government is that the safety and security of citizens comes first.

    And that does not just mean military security. Economic security matters too.

    And virtually all of the analysis shows Brexit will be bad for the economy.

    Including the analysis commissioned by the Brexit department led by Brexiteers.

    The headlines of that sector by sector research were released to the public.

    The details, however, were not. But they were made available for MPs to read.

    Did you read all those details Mr Redwood? All the sector by sector analysis?

    This issue affects your constituents more than any other issue since WW2.

    It would appear negligent if you were not fully aware of it all.

    Remember, your constituents will hold you and your party fully to account if you’re wrong.

    Most experts think you are. What happens if they are right and you are not?

    If you’re correct on Brexit all that happens is that we get richer and you feel smug.

    If you are wrong then you are breaking the first rule of government.

    I am not sure you realise what will happen under those circumstances.
    Reply These negative forecasts are as wrong as the Treasury forecasts for the first year after the vote

    • Andy
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      That means you didn’t read them. Economists said a Leave vote would cause the pound to plummet – it did. They said house prices would fall – they have. They said growth would stall – it did. They said investment would dry up – it was.

      Brexiteers said we’d do trade deals 10 times the size of the EU within two years – we won’t. That we could have our cake and eat it – we can’t. That we hold all the cards – we don’t.

      Did Remain get everything right with their predictions ? No. Did Brexiteers get anything right with their predictions? Also no.

      By failing to read the government’s own impact assessments Brexiteer MPs are showing extreme negligence and recklessness. Criminally so I would argue. And, one day, we will get some of them locked up as a result.

      Reply House prices carried on rising, economy carried on growing, companies carried on investing.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        More nonsense
        The pound has not plumetted it is similar in value to an average of many years of value.
        Whilst in the EU the pound rose and fell greatly.
        From parity to 1.85 to near 2 to the dollar and from parity to 1.65 versus the Euro.
        House prices are still rising.
        We still have decent growth.
        Investment had not dried up.
        Stop your lies Andy
        It is getting ridiculous.

  33. Mark B
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Good morning – just

    The EU cannot negotiate a free trade deal until we have left. So this narrative of a ‘deal’ is simply false. Any monies we owe are monies promised in advance, and if so, I for ne would like to know what that is for ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      If the EU and its other member states can negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the UK before the UK has left the EU then logically the EU and its other member states can also negotiate another kind of agreement, a trade agreement, with the UK before the UK has left the EU. Theresa May should never have so supinely agreed with the EU’s unsubstantiated assertion that this would not be legally possible, but that is what she had done every time, she supinely agrees with whatever they want.

  34. Den
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Do Mrs May’s previous declarations in Lancaster House and in Florence now mean NOTHING?
    Did she not assure the British people that “Brexit means Brexit”?
    If that does not happen on March 29th, can the State sue her for breach of promise? Or charge her with plain old “Deception”?

    • Yvybybgh
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The charge should be treason

  35. Den
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Mr Robbins is not even an elected MP and is therefore unaccountable to the people of this country. Just like the EU Commission.
    Mrs May and her band of Brexit deniers have successfully turned our dream of Freedom into a nightmare. We need a leader to wake up and follow the path we set in the referendum and not be forever obeying the demands of Brussels.
    We do not need to be a member of the EU to export to the EU and there is NOTHING the EU can do for us that we cannot do better for ourselves. We voted to Leave and we want OUT!

  36. Butties
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Knock Knock, hello, anybody in there. This has been obvious from Day one. WTO requirements should have been in place and being tested yonks ago. The Chequers Ploy is the open door to the treaty that you now seem to admonish. Where are those 48 letters?

  37. miami.mode
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Along with Forts Schoenenburg Hackenberg and Fermont, Fort Bregancon, where Mrs May met Emmanuel Macron, sounds like an extension of the Maginot Line.

    As has previously been proved, it is far better to circumvent such fortifications and make your own way through what many consider impossible conditions.

    • Cough
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Someone must tell Mrs May she cannot claim political asylum in the EU state of France if you escape from a fellow EU state, that is the UK.
      She will have to wait until 29th March 2019 . 30th March 2019 in France…as their clocks are funny. Hopefully she will have good grounds

  38. Original Richard
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    So Mrs.May has decided to ditch the referendum result and her party’s election manifesto and sign away our sovereignty and democracy to become an EU vassal state because of the EU’s threats of a return to terrorism at the Irish border and because of the automotive industry’s threats to move abroad because it will be inconvenient for them to send a part 6 times across the channel before it is complete.

  39. Peter D Gardner
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, all your arguments and all arguments of Brexiteers are now falling on deaf ears in Government. Nobody in Government is the slightest bit interested except in terms of calculating how to defeat you in Parliament. Brexit is now on certain unalterable course under Mrs May to seal UK’s vassalage on terms of which only the harshness and duration remain to be decided.
    There is no hope for the Tories now, so long as Mrs May remains your leader. There is one way, and only one way, the Tories could try to recover some chance of winning the next election, be that in September, October, 2019 or 2022. that is to replace Mrs May with a true Brexiteer. If that process triggers an election the Tories have a chance. If they retain Mrs May they have no chance.
    My own MP happens to be in the cabinet. I have pointed out to him the reasons the Chequers and White Papers are betrayals not only of Brexit but of the country. He disagrees. At least he bothered to reply.
    I was talking to an Australian friend tonight who believes Brexit is the wrong choice but nevertheless it could work. What he could not understand at all was the Government. People – individuals and business – need to know its intentions, yet we haven’t a clue. And what it does do only makes matters worse. Whose side is it on? he asked.
    I explained that I used to think Mrs May weak and incompetent, obsessed with trivia and secondary issues. then I though, OK she’s just not a good negotiator. Now I believe that, like Lord Mandelson, she really does believe that technocratic supra-national government is best for UK. She believes the sovereign nation state is an obsolete anachronism. She wants UK to be tied to Brussels. She does not want UK to be independence.
    This is the only explanation I have been able to find that fully explains her track record as Prime minister. It explains why she has not taken steps to agree mutual recognition on air safety and pharmaceuticals, to agree or to implement unilaterally practical border controls, to take control of UK’s EEZ or to make any sensible preparations for UK’s independence. The Irish border, likewise is a non-problem. She needs to create ‘cliff edges’ where none would otherwise exist because that is the only way she can persuade Parliament to accept her BRINO/vassalage deal.
    The EU can see clearly that a successful independent UK would be an existential threat to the EU so its entirely logical aim is to strangle UK’s independence at birth. Fortunately for it, it has a willing ally in No 10 who actually believes supra-national government by the EU is best for UK..

  40. Christmas Future
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    The negotiations will fail.

    Theresa May or her successor will have to go to the country in a General Election asap.

    We can’t have musical chairs in Prime Ministers.

    The Tory Party will fail

    Many MPs so elected will be First Past the Post leaving a democratic deficit unable to carry the country forward.

    Another General Election after the implementation period

    An Italian style Parliament

    No-go street areas of London.

    A surfeit of largely empty new youth clubs with unused table tennis rackets wrapped in organic, non-plastic materials.

    Everyone to sign a pledge never again to take their plastic bags each weekend, dropping them for whales to eat in the Indian ocean.

    • Christmas Future
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Post Script
      JR retires abroad, anywhere but the EU. Sulks. Wonders why he ever bothered. Writes for a publisher in the USA, the last place on the planet left where people can read.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    After a single meeting, Jean-Claude Juncker offered President trump tariff free trade in industrial goods with no sharing of political and judicial processes.

    Isn’t that exactly what the UK wants? So why hasn’t Mrs May asked for precisely that, and why hasn’t she pointed out that the European Commission is acting in bad faith when it doesn’t make us such an offer.

  • 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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