Signing the EU Withdrawal Agreement would be bad news. Leaving without signing it would be good news.

The Prime Minister was scarcely overwhelming in her support for Brexit, which remains her most distinctive core policy, when she said leaving without a deal would not be the end of the world. Let’s have another go at explaining the reality.

There is no agreed deal on the table for the UK’s “future partnership” in the way she wants. Indeed Mr Macron has just poured more cold water on the Chequers proposals, which are not going to emerge as an agreement.What is on offer is an almost completed EU Withdrawal Agreement which is heavily one sided, giving the EU much of what it wants. It delays Brexit for us and burdens the UK with a huge and needless bill which we are under no legal obligation to pay unless we sign to do so.

So here’s my advice. The UK government should be positive and release the new policies on fishing, farming, migration, and trade that could add to our growth rate and prosperity, using the freedoms leaving gives us. Above all the Treasury should cheer up and tell us how they are going to spend the £39bn they have in the budget to give away to the EU. Spend that on tax cuts and public services at home and that’s a great 2% boost to our output and incomes, which we could enjoy over the next two to three years.

Signing a Withdrawal Agreement to give continuing overseas aid to a group of rich countries on the continent will leave us poorer. Let’s hear the Treasury calculations of how much economic damage is done by the large payments abroad, and by the large balance of payments deficit we run with the EU under present rules. It’s high time they did a calculation of the additional costs and losses brought to the UK by EU membership. Let’s also have a new tariff schedule which works for the UK, allowing us to narrow the deficit and do more at home to supply our needs. The single market has not been good for our trade balance or for our big parts of our industry.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Indeed, as you say:- “The Prime Minister was scarcely overwhelming in her support for Brexit”. She once again totally refused several times in an interview to say that she now thought Brexit would be a good think. She clearly remains a remainer and is clearly a massive, robotic, socialist and remains a remainer. This is not leadership it is totally idiotic.

    No change no chance and the sooner the better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      May will clearly not be delivering Brexit if she is allowed to remain.

      • Hope
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        It should never have been written, yet presented by Robbins spokesperson Raab on the last day of parliament. It should have been trashed by you and your colleagues. It was not. Raab should have been torn to shreds including his lies that it kept faith with the referendum and vote. None of you called him out and none of you complained against him. Your colleagues all mildly listened and nodded!

        I was astonished Steve Baker never gave both barrels to destroy the subjugation document agreeing to be a vassal state to many EU policies, give vast sums of money all without a voice or veto!

        • Dennis
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Quite correct.

    • Andy
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      It is refreshing to see an honest politician. Mrs May – like Mr Hammond and Mr Corbyn – unenthusiastically backed Remain. They were hardly major europhiles. But as the Brexit debacle has gone it has become clear to them (and many others) that Brexit is even worse than many of us feared. There is no Brexit scenario which is better than the status quo.

      So when they are asked now if they back Brexit, if Brexit will be good – none of them will answer. They know the economic damage they are doing but they know many Leavers are sensitive souls who can’t handle facts. They are all just trying to humour you. If I were PM – there’s a thought – I’d tell you all to grow up and stop playing silly buggers with the country.

      • NickC
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The debacle we’ve got is Remain. Having a deep and special relationship with the EU where we: follow the EU rulebook, are in a customs union with the EU, are subject to the CJEU, give our fish away to the EU, sign up to treaties which cede control to the EU, give away lots of our taxes to the EU, is Remain. That’s what you want, and yet you still whine about it.

      • Robin Wilcox
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        It’s not surprising they were unenthusiastic. There isn’t very much to enable them to extoll the virtues of EU membership. Hence why the Remain campaign resorted to the discredited project fear. Yet still they persist with their undermining, exaggeration, threats and scaremongering. Still when that’s all they have I guess it’s understandable that they continue grovelling to the EU whilst undermining their own country.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Andy – I suppose you are aware of the economic damage done by the ERM.

        Andy – I suppose you are aware of the economic damage done by the Euro.

        Andy – I suppose you are aware they has been no obvious economic damage done to the UK by voting to leave.

        • Andy
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          I am, literally, choking with laughter. Keep telling yourself that old chap as you watch the flying pigs coming in to land.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

            Growth still decent
            Exports still good
            Unemployment down
            Record numbers in work
            Govt tax revenues up.
            Deficit well down
            FTSE at high historical levels.
            You need to open your eyes Andy.

    • Peter
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      What happens in the next couple of months will clarify where we are headed.

      At the moment I am not optimistic. There is an arithmetic impasse in parliament that is keeping her in place.

      I must admit I am now sick of the sight of her. Her South African dancing was an embarrassing reminder of how clueless she is. Then again, she might prefer people to be distracted by that while she plots her next move. Obviously, most people now do not believe a word she says on Brexit.

      • vera
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        How true. And once lost trust is so very difficult to acquire again. Having read a biography about her when she was elected I felt she had all the qualities we need in a PM, especially after the slick shallowness of Cameron, and I have reluctantly kept faith until Chequers when it was so obvious how duplicitous and treacherous she actually is. Now I can’t stand the sight or sound of her and just want her gone.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink



      • Mitchel
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        “Her South African dancing…”.I agree,postmodern Britain is not a serious country and is not being taken seriously as a result.

        Contrast Mrs May’s whatever-it-was with Mr Putin’s waltz at the Austrian Foreign Minister’s wedding(a breathtaking piece of political theatre,straight out of the Byzantine strategy book!).

  2. Iain Gill
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, French fishing boats attacked British ones I see in the news, I hope the government takes strong action.

    • Gary C
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      ‘Oh dear, French fishing boats attacked British ones I see in the news, I hope the government takes strong action.’

      Agreed however I wouldn’t hold your breath, expecting this government to show strength is not something you can rely on.

      Sadly we have a government who excel in Capitulation.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Under Brexit means nothing Mrs Appeaser May.

      • vera
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        It looked to me that British boats were crashing into French boats. Good for them.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          And as it was explained on LBC this morning, British boats had every right to be there. Just shows how unfriendly our neighbours can be.
          They’re great whilst we’re paying to subsidise their inefficient farming methods. Not so great when it comes to observing EU law.


        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Vera, it was impossible not to when the French boats surrounded them.

        • margaret howard
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          Be careful what you wish for vera.

          Last time we had a fishing dispute it was with Iceland leading to the so called ‘Cod Wars’.

          We lost – 3 times!

          Each of the disputes ended with an Icelandic victory.

          The Third Cod War concluded in 1976, with a highly favourable agreement for Iceland; the United Kingdom conceded to a 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometre) Icelandic exclusive fishery zone

      • NickC
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Gary C, Yes modern Tory politicians, like Mrs May, are Capitulists, not Capitalists.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Which government to take strong action? This was occurring off the coast of Normandy, so presumably it’s the French navy and coastguard that are responsible for policing their waters.
      I’m reminded of that song called “The Bold Gendarme” and expect them to do nothing.

    • Steve
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      “Oh dear, French fishing boats attacked British ones I see in the news, I hope the government takes strong action.”

      You’d be havin’ a laugh mate. This streak of yellow liquid government defend our nation? Not a chance.

      Still, it’s more justification for getting out of the EU.

      Sheep set on fire, lorry drivers attacked, pensioners attacked – all while the gendarme stand and watch with their arms folded.

      This latest example just shows everyone more of how the french behave like a bunch of cry babies when faced with an aspect of EU legislation THEY don’t like.

      Clearly now they are resorting to piracy.

      Nice to see respect from a country we gave our blood to liberate from tyranny. There’s gratitude for you.

      That’s the major flaw with the EU concept – the fact that the french are in it, and for them the EU has to work their way or there will be trouble.

      etc ed

    Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    May is PM. Hammond is Chancellor. Heywood is the administrative power base. Change all three and replace them with Eurosceptics and the UK will become a sovereign nation once more. If they remain in their place then sovereign and judicial subjugation will continue

    The British people can’t remove these three barriers to UK independence so their removal can only be achieved by elected politicians

    The Tories need to elect a new leader. A libertarian. Pro-UK. Small state. Low taxes. Slash public sector spending. Public sector reform. Legislate to protect the individual’s right to express their views without fear or favour. Purge the state of liberal left poison. All of this stems from our membership of the EU.

    No more moaning from Tory politicians. Either ditch May and elect Boris or retire from public life. We must be able to appeal to the northern voter and with the right person we can.

    • old salt
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      I quote “The British people can’t remove these three barriers to UK independence ….”
      Can I respectfully refer to an earlier diary entry of 12 Aug.
      I wrote to my MP, in a strong Leave constituency, along those lines a few days later. A reply came there none!
      I can’t stress enough how important it is that we all impress on our MP’s our point of view even whether they are Remainers or Leavers needing support.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I see that October is now no longer the target date for signing the Withdrawal Agreement.
      In true EU fashion, run everything to the wire and expect major concessions from May at the 11th hour.
      Then she can say she fought hard for a good agreement.
      Somehow I don’t think Joe public is so stupid.

      Reply I don’t want her signing the current draft Withdrawal Agreement, so that is good news.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        But can she sign it without legislation.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      “The Tories need to elect a new leader. A libertarian. Pro-UK. Small state. Low taxes. Slash public sector spending. Public sector reform. Legislate to protect the individual’s right to express their views without fear or favour. Purge the state of liberal left poison. All of this stems from our membership of the EU.”

      Most of us would agree with you but don’t we need a Conservative Government to deliver that and not the sorry shower we have now masquerading as Conservatives.

  4. Nig l
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    She is dissembling again talking about a no deal. Surely a withdrawal agreement is a deal or am I missing something?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I think you are only missing what many others, including unfortunately our host, are missing: that there is a big difference between:

      1. The UK leaving the EU without any deal at all on anything, not even deals to continue or replicate existing minor administrative arrangements; and

      2. The UK leaving the EU without any special or preferential trade deal, maybe to avoid tariffs, but still with a deal on many other legal and practical matters which will need to be sorted out for a smooth and orderly withdrawal.

      I note that Philip Hammond was also guilty of implicitly spreading that confusion in his recent letter to Nicky Morgan:

      by referring variously to “a WTO/no deal scenario”, “a no deal/WTO scenario”, and “long-run estimates for the impact of no deal and trading on WTO terms”, and it is rife in the media where a default to WTO terms of trade is constantly conflated with a chaotic, “cliff-edge”, disorderly withdrawal.

      I don’t know else I can say to JR to try to persuade him that it would be very much a false economy to refuse to agree any financial settlement with the EU and as a result fail to get agreement on all the measures necessary for a smooth departure, and that it is deeply counter-productive to keep arguing for the UK to walk away with no deal at all on anything to legally justify that refusal.

      Reply I fully understand there are and will be all sorts of agreements between the UK and EU member states – e.g. I have often mentioned the reciprocal agreements UK to each member state on aircraft landing rights. There is no need to pay for these and they will happen.

  5. Bob Dixon
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    We need to invest in a number of Fishery Protection Vessels sooner rather than later.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      I think we are in the process of tendering for 6 craft.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


        Knowing our government they will eventually be made in French shipyards. !

        Rather like our new passports which are to be made abroad.

        Difficult to make it up really.

    • Old person
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Hope the Government has these vessels in time, and that they are sea worthy.

      Remember Iceland, when they were concerned about fish stocks and extended the territorial limit.

      300,000 Icelanders held the British Government and Royal Navy to ransom.

      There must be about 300,000 French fishermen out there ready to challenge our soon to be free UK.

      Nothing much in the MSM some months ago about the Type 45 Destroyer disabled with engine problems having to be towed back to Plymouth (or the £1bn each to refit the engines in our 6 Type 45 Destroyers).

      Fishery Protection will be a shameful embarrassment.

  6. Gareth Price
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I can smell the fear! Brexit is not going your way, is it? Mrs May has to deal with reality, not your fantasy world where the UK gets what it wants by stamping its foot like a toddler. The days of Empire are over, Mr John Redwood. Kindly apologise for telling your readers that we hold the cards (

    Reply As the piece said it “can ” be easy if we play our strong cards. So far we have not done so. We need to refuse them the money for starters.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Instead of denigrating those of us who wish for independence from the execrable EU, Mr Price, perhaps you’d like to tell us what, in your opinion, are the good things about it. In a few words, what great and glorious future have we forfeited by voting ‘out’? What is particularly admirable about you EU masters that we should wish our country to be ruled by them, their laws and their courts?
      But perhaps you can come up with no answers, but only insults, Mr Price.

      • Andy
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        You’ve probably not forefeited anything yourself. But you have forefeited huge amounts for your children. 20 years from now I will be able to look my kids in the eye and will be able to tell them I did the right thing for them and their country. And you, no doubt, will be pretending that you thought Brexit was a lousy idea all along.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Andy, my kids will do just fine. They voted to leave. Thankfully they are capable of making their own decisions and standing on their own two feet. Just like the country they want to live in.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink


            ” They voted to leave” “standing on their own two feet”

            Mine too…and perhaps interestingly, both are products of fine UK Universities, where they both studied meaningful degrees and are now gainfully employed with promising careers ahead of them.

            So much for the so-called educated youth that voted Remain…perhaps because their degrees were less meaningful, they are now saddled with unpayable debt and are having difficulty in securing efficacious jobs, hence their disgruntlement?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      This is like watching history repeat itself. We give in to a bully over and over again, bending over backwards to appease an expansionist land-grabber in the hope they will be charitable to us. However, last time, our armed forces were weak and we couldn’t do much to stop them. This time, we have things the other side desperately needs (money and commerce) so, given that our position is so strong on this occasion, why the hell doesn’t our side call the shots?

      The answer must surely be clear to even the most naive and myopic remainer, that the Prime Minister is secretly one of their number and is selling this country short as did many of her predecessors.

      The Tories have a duty to the nation to get rid of May, Hammond, and all the other gutless wonders, and replace them with people of measured integrity, strength, and virtue.

      This is a critical turning point in our history, as was the appointment of Winston Churchill in 1940. We need another leader of his calibre who will not capitulate, and leads by example.

      Tad Davison


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      “The days of Empire are over, Mr John Redwood. ”

      Childish rubbish.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Gareth Price

      “I can smell the fear! Brexit is not going your way, is it?”

      It is clearly your personal fear and your limp-wristed Remainers/Remoaners fear you smell. Remainers are scared stiff of dumping its beloved EU and reluctant to embrace Britain’s freedom from the stifling Brussels mechanical clutches; though you can never justify what it is that makes the EU so stupendous. However, I for one, will happily listen to your erudite argument on the benefits of EU membership and would possibly change my mind if your argument has real evidential merit?

      Interestingly, the more Remainers/Remoaners are reduced to rudeness and inflammatory remarks the more it cheers me up….yours is the smell of continuing anger drawn from the knowledge that Brexit is moving ever closer to a successful outcome!

      Incidentally, there are many Remainers (inc. personal friends and colleagues) that are accepting the Brexit way forward and just want the Government to get on with it, particularly after seeing the deplorable and somewhat nefarious manner in which T. May and others have pathetically performed!


    • NickC
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Gareth Price, The UK is not trying to tell the EU what to do. We are saying that as an independent country, like any other in the world, we will be able to order our own house.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Price,

      As a big net contributor to the EU budget, whilst most countries are net recipients, and with an £80bn/year trading deficit with the EU, we certainly do hold all the cards.

      The reason it may appear to you that we don’t is because Mrs. May, the Civil Service and a majority of MPs are trying to find a way of delaying our exit, subverting democracy, and overturning the referendum result.

    • Steve
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      @ Gareth Price

      “The days of Empire are over, Mr John Redwood. Kindly apologise…”

      You should be running that one past Mr Barnier, not us.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      No one seems to know what those strong cards are.

  7. Student
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I do not mean to insult you by stating the obvious that you, as one of the leading Brexiteers, clearly understand how important it is that the government adopts the policies that you list and have listed here time and time again.

    But it must be clear to you and your colleagues that this government will never adopt such policies, or anything like them. This is why I cannot understand why there is not a movement within the Conservative party amongst members such as yourself to get rid of May and Hammond. All it would take would be a leadership election amongst the party’s membership to elect a Brexiteer PM with some positive vision who will overhaul this cabinet. It feels like we are at a fork road where we must choose to either pursue a Brexit that will be disastrous and subjugate us to at least a decade of economic loss and submission to the EU, or to get rid of the current government and it’s negotiatiors and do our best to negotiate a new deal before March 2019 whilst planting to leave on WTO terms.

    The second option can only be done if conservatives such as yourself oust May and/or force a leadership election amongst the membership. Failure to do so could result in the first option, which would be disastrous in itself but, even more terrifyingly, it would result in a complete lack of faith amongst the country in the Conservative party. Split conservative voters might be unable to bring themselves to vote for a party that allowed someone as inadequate as May to be prime minister at such a crucial time. The door would be open to a Corbyn Marxist government.

    Of course, the third option is to completely cancel Brexit. In theory this would be better than the first option of complete subjugation, but in practice it would cause an uproar amongst the electorate. Democracy will have failed. The conservative could potentially become unelectable, and again open the door for Corbyn.

    Therefore we MUST get rid of May, and I cannot see another way to do it in time for March 2019 other than for MPs such as yourself to act.

    • Stred
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      They know that she is so certain that her God given mission is Brino that she is wearing a suicide vest marked General Election with a split party and a new manifesto which is completely unacceptable to most conservative voters.

    • Peter
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      It would seem that the numbers of Leavers in the government are insufficient to oust May and get a proper Brexiteers to replace her.

      A leadership election amongst the members is a simple choice between candidate A and candidate B. If neither of those are Leavers you are no better off.

      Another option would be a Samson option – Bring Down the Government. The electorate would have much more scope to further Leave if all jobs were up for grabs. It would cause delay and politicians might renege on promises once they were in power but it seems a more promising method of getting things back on course.

      • Reno Fardner
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        The leavers dont want to bring her down because for the first time in their lives they would have to actually take responsibility . They will wait til after March. Cowards!

      • Student
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        I think there would easily be at least one Brexiteer in the mix. I also think the Raab, Redwood, Johnson, JRM etc would fair well amongst the party membership. Many remained a just want to see Brexit carried out now since there was a democratic vote, but I am yet to meet one who believes in the chequers plan.

        Mrs May has managed to come up with something that no side wants.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink


      “It feels like we are at a fork road where we must choose to either pursue a Brexit that will be disastrous and subjugate us to at least a decade of economic loss and submission to the EU……”

      Why don’t you just say this is your real concern rather than wrapping it in overplayed pleonasm!

      Personally, I would like to hear your reason for wanting to remain in the EU…now that would be interesting to hear from a student?

    • Dennis
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      JR act? Not on his nelly – seen no sign of it yet.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink


        …..I am reliably informed “it is keeping one’s powder dry”….or some other non-action inane political phrase?

  8. Peter Wood
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Good Morning
    Dr. Redwood, I think 90% of your readers agree with your stance on the proposed Withdrawal Agreement. The question is why does Mrs. May NOT agree. Will you try to see it from her perspective, and argue her case to us, so that we may perhaps have an understanding as to why common sense is not the Governments guide on this issue?

    Reply I cannot do that as I see no good case for signing the Withdrawal Agreement

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Getting into the mind of this particular lady is like trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle.

    • getahead
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Peter Wood, it seems clear that the PM and her Chancellor are in the pockets of Big Business. The same big businesses, the CBI and all, who benefit by connections to Brussels.
      May and Hammond, not necessarily in that order, follow their instructions which are clearly to simulate leaving the EU while actually remaining in.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        I think you’ve got a reasonable argument here. My counter to it is that our host, who has experience in such businesses and must have numerous acquaintances still in ‘Big Business’, has worked out that we should be better of out of the EU. It would certainly be valuable to know which companies or sectors wish to remain and which want to be out.

  9. Mark B
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I wonder if our kind host has ever looked around at the benches in the HoC and asked; ” Am I in the right political party ?”

    The catch in Art.50 was the clause setting out a future relationship with the EU. There is no clause on a so called ‘deal’. This is just a Tory government ruse to get Soft-Remain through parliament and blind side the electorate. The future relationship as I have always said is one of Third Country, not joined at the hip.

    I, along with Mike Stallard, support continued EEA Membership. This to get around a lot of issues associated with trying to get a bespoke deal. A deal that has to be agreed with ALL 27 members of the EU. For those who say the EU would not accept the UK into the EEA have ask themselves why ? I see no reason why it cannot be considered. As for those who claim that we voted to Leave, I agree. But no planning was ever do by the government and we are not doing a great job of it now, are we ?

    The EU does not have to compromise on anything. It is not the one that is leaving, we are ! Because those in charge want to Remain in the EU, the EU is quite happy to demand, and will get anything it wants. They know we are being played for fools.

    One should always be prepared. I have seen no sign of any level of preparedness from any government in decades. Always react. And always too little and too late.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      “I, along with Mike Stallard, support continued EEA Membership.”

      And therefore you must support continued uncontrolled and effectively unlimited mass immigration from the other EEA member states.

      “This to get around a lot of issues associated with trying to get a bespoke deal.”

      But it would still have to be a bespoke deal, because the EEA Agreement is between the EU and its member states on the one hand and three out of four EFTA states on the other hand:

      There is no place in the scheme of the EEA Agreement for other countries which do not fall into either category. At least there is no permanent place, I expect that if all parties agreed we could remain in the EEA provisionally on a legal fiction that we were still in the EU, just as Croatia is being treated as an EEA member state even though the necessary protocol has not been fully ratified.

      But why on earth should we want to do that, and why should the EU even allow it without extracting concessions, such as continued acceptance of all four freedoms and continued supremacy of the ECJ and a “salty” annual contribution?

      • Mark B
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink


        Thank you for your reply and sorry I came back so late – work.

        The fiction of MASS IMMIGRATION which I do not support is and will continue even after we have left the EU. Irrespective of the outcome. Our government is happy to accept people from all around the world and at least with EEA members they are legally bound not to be a burden on the host nation. Not that any of our over paid Civrl Sepents or MP’s ever bother to enforce the rules.

        Sweden and other countries should be in the Euro. They are not. The EU will for the sake of political expediency bend and break its own rules. So an EEA option is not as far fetched, certainly not as the one your MP who you voted for is touting around. And on any case there is no harm in asking.

        I don’t have time to read the links you post. Sorry.

        The EEA is an agreed arrangement that applies equally to all. By its very nature it is not bespoke and the UK meets all its criteria. We will not necessarily be rejoining just continuing as before. And yes I am sure some will say we cannot do that but may I draw your attention to the article later today. It seems things can be rolled over.

        I have long argued that we must leave the political project that is the EU. The economic side is sadly one aspect but in essence and throughout all history I think you will find that the same.

        I would continue but it is late and I feel for our kind host.

        So good night mate a chat more tomorrow.


    • NickC
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, In rough terms the EEA Agreement, if it was available to the UK via the EFTA – and no amount of your hand waving makes it available, is still only a half way house. Your theory has the additional decided disadvantages that: if we change to full independence later, it means we have to go through two changes; we may not be able to extricate ourselves from the EEA in the future anyway; by giving way on the EEA we will end up in practice giving way on other areas too such as fish, money, courts, and customs (as Mrs May already intends) – and that in effect is Remain. Quite simply, EEA is not Leave.

      • Mark B
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

        Nick C.

        Nothing tried nothing gained. And any rate we would be better off in the EEA than this sell out of a Cheqiers Plan.

        The advantage of the EEA is that it is not bespoke. Therefore the EU cannot ‘negotiate’

        If the EU was to reject s perfectly reasonable EEA offer then they would be seen as totally unreasonable and not in acvoradsmce with their own treaty obligations. We could then just leave.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    You will hear none of the things you ask for from the Treasury or from May. She will push for her version of Chequers, made worse by further concessions to the EU, until the bitter end.

    Andrew Gimson has an interesting article on May at Conservative Home today. It suggests to me that she will press on with her declared course until she is stopped, either by the Conservative party or by defeat in the House of Commons. Although Gimson made some complimentary remarks he failed to mention her deceit. A serious omission.

  11. agricola
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    The future of the UK is not safe in her hands, and you are one of around 650 MPs who can do something about it. Please do so.

    • agricola
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      PS. Responsibility for the future of the UK and to the 17.4 million who voted leave, goes way beyond any loyalty you may have to the party or it’s leader.

    • NickC
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Agricola, You are exactly right. But it is not at all clear precisely what someone like JR can do. Probably more than half of the PCP would vote for Mrs May or someone like her in any leadership contest. And in any future HoC vote on her Robbins WP, it is, I think, likely that the Labour party would support the government (ie Mrs May) just to foster a Tory civil war.

  12. Ian wragg
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Let’s be clear. The Withdrawal Agreement is is in fact a surrender document.
    Having read what is available on line it apears
    1. We will pay £39billion unconditionally for a 21month implementing period.
    2. We agree to equal access to UK fishing waters.
    3. We agree to a Non Regression clause promising to shadow all EU social, environmental, energy and fiscal legislation.
    Our courts will pay due regard to ECJ rullings.
    This makes signing trade deals impossible and leaves us 95% tied to the rotting core of the EU.
    They will have complete control over large areas of our economy.
    That is besides unrestricted security guarantees on security and policing. Getting out of the EU it is not.

    • Stred
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      And we pay into the EU armed forces but accept command from EU generals

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        Good point if it is true.

  13. Andy
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    There is no point you hearing Treasury calculations. If they same something you don’t like you’ll reject them anyway.

    I notice, also, ghastly French fishing boats attacking British boats in ‘scallop rich’ French waters.

    One of your contributors is already demanding the British government take action. Fortunately it can, through the EU, as the British boats have every right to be there.

    For now.

    Has anyone told the fishermen that when we take back control of our waters all the other countries take back control of their too? No? Shame. Bye bye fishing industry, bye bye.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Oh dear, Andy. Another gleeful remainer comment. Perhaps you should stop rejoicing at the idea of your country suffering after Brexit. It’s not going to happen.

      But why ARE you so exuberant when you imagine things are not going our way?

      • Jagman84
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Misery likes company? Believe me, he will be miserable when all of this Brexit malarkey works out in favour of the UK. Wisdom comes with age but a few deluded individuals tend to drop off the radar.

      • Andy
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I am not rejoicing at my country suffering.

        And it’s great when things don’t go YOUR way. Your way is not my way, it is not my children’s way – it is not the way for millions of others. If you trip up it is funny. We will laugh at you. And you will trip up – lots. Everything that goes wrong as a result of your Brexit is YOUR fault. You will own the blame.

        This is exactly what Eurosceptics did for 30+ years. Blame the EU for everything. We’ll just repay the favour – with interest.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          So you will blame everything that goes wrong in the future on brexit Andy.
          Over the last few decades hundreds of things went wrong.
          Over the next few decades hundreds of things will go wrong.
          You are going to wear yourself out.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      What do you care, you have given your allegiance to the EU.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink


        You can do better than this sort of hollow answer

        • Ian wragg
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Denis is probably like the rest of us who are sick of the EU loving trolls. We had a referendum and leave won. It should be 40years until the next one.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Yet you never object to andy and his regular ranting posts hans
          How odd.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink


            Happy t do so if they are unreasonable

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          He has given his allegiance to the EU:

          so my question was perfectly fair.

      • Andy
        Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        I don’t care. The British fishing industry deserves what is coming its way.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          There is very little of our once huge fishing industry left due to the EU.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            Due to poor management, underinvestment in modern facilities and so on.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted September 1, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            Edward ”

            If the fishing industry does not remain competitive it will automatically disappear or sell its fishing rights as it has done

        • margaret howard
          Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          The fishing rights were handed out to the fishermen of every nation.

          But our fishermen chose to sell them on to make a quick profit and damn the future prosperity of the industry.

          Countries like Spain saw the advantages and snapped them up. It was caused by greedy short sightedness not EU chicanery.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            The unfair rules, subsidies and quota systems gave a huge advantage to European fishing fleets.
            It killed our industry.

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

      Andy, But the Treasury, using the same model of the economy, has previously been embarrassingly wrong. It does not have a good track record. So why do you continue to believe their forecasts (guesses) in the face of the evidence? It is you who is being selective.

      And we don’t need to be in the EU to take action. Quite the reverse. In the EU, if the EU won’t do anything, we are powerless. Hence it is better to be independent.

  14. Cortona
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I keep thinking of the quote & great truisms of life that whether you believe you can or you can’t you are absolutely right. With a PM and Chancellor who believe Brexit can’t deliver anything but downside that is all they will deliver and it’s a national humiliation for them to lead us like this. I also can’t believe our civil service can’t understand this basic sport psychology.
    Imagine if Andy Murray had taken the same attitude that a Brit hadn’t scaled the heights since Fred Perry so it can’t be done so he must settle for a top 100 ranking at best… no great achievement can or has ever resulted from such a negative mindset.

  15. Adam
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    We should reject EU nonsense.
    Signing a commitment to keep it would be anti-democratic.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      No, if Parliament would agree that would make it democratic. Your idea of democracy is not what UK contituional arrangements are.

      • NickC
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Rien, You continually show that you do not understand the UK. It does seem to be a habit of Remains, apparently copied from the EU, to instruct rather than ask.

        Our constitution is based on precedent and evolution. Referendums are now part of our constitutional democracy. The 2016 Referendum was given to us by Parliament itself. Parliament cannot give with one hand and take back with another. Therefore failing to implement the 2016 result not democratic.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          OK, let’s say that is what you believe. But Parliament is sovereign in UK constitutional law and if Parliament decides to change the referendum result IN ACCORDANCE with the constitution, then that is a democratic result. Parliamentary history is full of changes to laws and in general, decisions. Sometimes as a result of a different incluential group having been elected, sometimes through a change in circumstances. But a parliamentary decision is trumps a referendum result. And I can see why some people would consider that not “democratic” but that dos not mean it cannot be done. Democracy is what you make of it. Constitutional arrangements are susceptible to interpretation but usually highly defined and unambiguous.

          • Adam
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Rien Huizer:

            Your “but that dos (sic) not mean it cannot be done” interpretation is unambiguously Remainer discontent.

  16. saynomore
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Am sure that the loss of the 39Billion to them has already been factored in by the EU side- we are leaving and the truth is there will be no deal..none..nobody want’s a deal not the EU not the that’s it.

    The EU elections are on next year also some of their big white chiefs will be changed out and all of that with the EU budgetary adjustments comes first with them. As far as UK is concerned we’ll have to get to grips with our new reality which none of us knows yet how it will pan out. So there’s no need for Leavers to fret, very soon they will get their wish.

    • getahead
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      The Express is currently saying,
      “EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said a Brexit deal is “within our sights”.”
      So there you have it, May’s capitulation has born fruit.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Well, she may have a result that is better than everyone (except a small group of anti-EU fanatics) expected. I hope that will not cost too much. The EU countries have more important things to do than being generous to a bunch of quitters. I still do not expect there will be a deal, but the markets are becoming a little more confident.

        • NickC
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          Rien, I don’t call 17.4m “a small group”. We voted Leave knowing that we would quit the single market and the customs union. Theresa May’s revolving-door Remain just doesn’t hack it. Holland voted against Lisbon (Constitution as was – don’t tell me they’re different I have copies of both) by about 62%, but that of course was ignored by people like you. That’s not going to happen here whatever you and Andy imagine.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            I was referring to the relatively small group of parliamentarians that would prefer a no deal in almost all circumstances. And do not think that 17 million UK citizens voted for a “no deal”. They voted for a departure, not necessarily a damaging one.

            Reply We all voted to leave, to take back control, and expect the government to do just that. Chequers does not take back control.

  17. Michael
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The PM is a remainer and so is Hammond. For so long as they stay in office leavers are blowing in the wind. The conference in October should deliver a message to them both that it is time to say goodbye.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Mrs May must be replaced next month.

  19. Edwardm
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    As always you are to the point.

    It seems that Mrs May’s Chequers sellout doesn’t yet meet EU demands.
    For those who accept the referendum result and want the best for our country, WTO terms are fine and are currently the best deal on offer. Those who support Chequers or try to create obstacles have questionable motivations.

    I was surprised that there was not a rush of Conservative MPs to remove Mrs May, and so I conclude a majority of Conservative MPs are of similar ilk, and support this muddle and nonsense driving their party to meaninglessness. Because they certainly appear not to get the message from their core supporters. Such a sorry story for a once great party, and a great pity for all true conservatives in the country. Let’s hope I’m premature and something happens to change this at conference.

    • Peter
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Perhaps those conservatives that surprise you are just ‘centrist’ politicians who might be at home with the Liberal Democrats or the Blairite wing of the Labour Party?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Never mind. There is a rush of Conservative Mo-members ready to remove any unwilling MPs & leader 🙂

  20. Plentytodo
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Why are we still going on about this withdrawal business..there will be no agreement on anything..we can clearly see that the positions are hardening. After we leave we will have plenty of time to consolidate and take stock..start new trade deals with new trading partners overseasand take back or laws. We just need to be pragmatic sensible and optimistic. We voted to leave we did not vote for another deal

  21. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


    As far as I know we are still negotiating with the EU, so I will not draw any conclusions at this early stage.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Hans, You are not negotiating with the EU, you are the EU.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink


        Sorry to disappoint you but I am not involved

  22. Richard Hobbs
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I am a simpleton! I thought that as we had undertaken a referendum and as the majority was in favour of leaving the EU, then that is what we would do. Otherwise, what was the point of having a referendum at all? All the machinations in the world do not change the fact that the majority was for Brexit. If we have another referendum, on another subject, does this mean that the minority can reasonably turn around and overturn the result as many people seem to want to do in this case?
    If we do manage to regain our independence (there, I have given my own feelings away) then I don’t want us giving up our hard earned tax money away (the £39 Billion). For one thing, I should like us to do something about the disgrace of being the only civilised country in the world which does not uprate the pensions of its own old people but rather subjects many of those who live abroad to the frozen pension debacle.
    I do hope that Mrs. May et al get to see this

  23. Steve
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Interesting times indeed.

    History repeating itself, rise of nationalism right across Europe – caused by? yep, the EU.

    However in this country Theresa May must be held responsible, she’s lily livered when it comes to defending the UK. Treacherous in fact. Creating the perfect conditions for the far right.

    I’m resigned to a sell out, or a postponement and believe that May will refuse to go.

    So when it kicks off in this country I shall simply reflect with sentiment that ‘we told you so’

    You were warned, Ms May and cohorts, that we did not vote to negotiate with the EU, we voted to walk away from it, end of.

    It will start with the conservatives being annihilated at the ballot box, and quickly develop into something that will guarantee the removal of Europhiles, once and for all.

    I am convinced May has the potential to cause anarchy in this country, and that she most likely will.

    May’s intent is to behave as weakly as possible to the EU, and sell us down the river. Everyone knows it.

  24. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s no different to being in the EU. They get all the perks and we get nothing. We have given and they have taken. Same as usual then.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Us and them. Has a familiar ring. What about Conservative Party values or is this perhaps an expression of a very different sort of political preferences? The EU is “them” = bad and the “us” is probably your perception of the British population (sorry but the term “people” is unneccesarily semantic here). But a fair part of the UK population does not share this distorted view of the EU. What about them? Why be rude to commenters who are presenting good arguments (and in good faith, supported by the sort of knowledge without which one would not graduate at a university). Just because they represent something else? Maybe they are part of “them” too, despite being British? Being fed up does not mean one is right or should be intolerant of other people’s opinions.

      • NickC
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Rien, Your puzzlement must be feigned. You cannot seriously expect to steal our fish, steal our money, micro-manage us with a myriad of EU rules, fine us whilst ignoring your own corruption, lie to us, and not expect a reaction, surely? I have yet to see a single good and sufficient reason to give up our independence and become just an offshore cash cow for the corrupt and undemocratic EU; from you, or any other Remain or EU shill.

  25. Ken Moore
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Chairman Redwood,
    Perhaps if May took some time off from embarrassing the nation with her lack of dignity, she might find the time to read Dr Redwood. I suspect she only listens to a narrow clique of ‘advisors’ . Please put us and you party out of it’s misery and dump the Maybot.

  26. Ken Moore
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    May’s latest gaffe…siding with a (GOVERNMENT ? ED) that sanctions the confiscation without compensation of the farms of white farmers. She really is the epitome of the politically correct career politician. How many more Conservative voters will she turn off before members locate their backbones ?

  • 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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