The government has to understand there is no deal on offer from the EU

The government says it wants a deal. It means by this it wants an all embracing agreement on the future relationship including a free trade deal within it. The Opposition says the government must have an agreement, whilst making it clear it will seek to vote down the kinds of agreement the PM has in mind. All this is an irrelevance. The EU has been clear and consistent throughout. All it is offering is a one sided surrender Agreement or Withdrawal Treaty. Its main aim is to sign the UK up to this to take £39bn off us which they are not entitled to unless the UK is foolish enough to sign such an Agreement. Only if the UK signs up to such a damaging idea will they then discuss the details of a Future Partnership Agreement.

There are several good reasons why the UK must not sign any Withdrawal Agreement before we leave on March 29th 2019. We will leave in accordance with the two laws Parliament has passed to do so, unless Parliament repeals or amends those laws which this government assures us it will not do.

First, the UK will have no bargaining clout at all once we have signed the Withdrawal Agreement. The main thing they want is the money. If we also throw in accepting all their rules and regulations for another 21 months or longer, they have no incentive to move on or to make a decent offer.

Second, we need to spend that money at home on our priorities. That was one of the main reasons many of us voted for Brexit. A government which promised in its Manifesto to implement Brexit and take back control must not give the money away again.

Third, the UK needs to get on with implementing a fishing and farming policy that is good for home production and for our environment. We cannot stay another 21 months or longer in the CAP and CFP, as they are very damaging to us.

Fourth, the UK needs to put in place its own migration and benefits policies, as promised by the government following the Referendum

Fifth, we need to respond positively to the many offers of Free Trade Agreements from other countries, which we could not do if stay locked in the Customs Union.

Those who think there is an Agreement to be had need to come clean and accept that as far as the EU is concerned the only thing on offer before we leave is a penal Withdrawal Agreement. There is nothing in the drat of that Agreement that guarantees something better in a possible Future Partnership Agreement.

As the government has failed to table a free trade agreement during the 2 years 4 months they have so far been negotiating, accepting the EU false sequencing of the talks, there will not be one on offer before March 2019. We must therefore just leave, and then table one the day we leave and see what happens. The reality of us leaving without signing a Withdrawal Agreement is the best way to a Free Trade Agreement in reasonable time. Otherwise the EU will continue delaying and they will be laughing all the way to the bank to pay our large contributions in. There is no cliff edge, and trade will continue after March 29th. It’s more imports than exports, and the UK will not stop the food and medicines coming in to our ports which will by then be completely under our control.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Indeed. But do May and tax to death Hammond understand anything? They are wrong headed on almost everything.

    So our scientifically illiterate MPs call for the 2040 ban on petrol cars to be brought forward by eight years. They want to roll out duff technology, before it is ready, with more money taken off tax payers.

    When electric cars work and are cost effective people will buy them without subsidies or bribes. At the moment they are expensive, take a long time to refuel, have very poor ranges and are very limited. Let the technology drive it not technology illiterate MPs please.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:27 am | Permalink

      Also why do electric cars get tax free fuel? A level playing field is needed or you will get the wrong solution, which is expensive and wasteful and needs replacing later.

      • Hope
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        If so good why are ministers not being driven about in them?

        Presumably the govt will need to fix the energy problem to supply electric in the first instance! Idiots.

        • Peter D Gardner
          Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          Hope, you are right. Compelling ministers to use electric cars would guarantee that no more subsidies for them and no more restrictions on conventional cars are enacted.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            Indeed, but as with all these fake green Prince Charles types it is a case of do as I say and not as I do. You little people all save a little energy each by not flying economy to Benidorm or turning the stat on you tiny house down and then we important types can take a private jet and then a helicopter round Canada perhaps or to even Australia.

      • hefner
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Not true, most of the so-called rapid chargers (e.g., on motorways) cost £6.50 for one half an hour charge. LL, do you ever do some research before writing your posts, or do you think you are so intelligent [coming with a scientific degree from Cambridge] that you don’t need to check anything as you are the pure scientific genius spreading your wisdom to the lower classes (who should only be thankful for such gifts).

        • Edward2
          Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          He didnt actually say that.
          He talked about tax free fuel.

          • David Price
            Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Well LL is wrong. Generated electricity carries 5% VAT so it is taxed, just not as much as petrol and diesel.

            LL is just irritated that EVs pay less fuel tax than he does.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            Tax on petrol and diesel is a over 70% of the retail price.
            LL was right.
            A tiny bit of vat which anyone vat registered could claim back for business use versus a huge tax on the fuel the vast majority use.
            Let’s have a fair market for road fuels.

          • David Price
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            @Edward2 – LL said “tax free fuel” which is wrong. I have never been able to claim back VAT, I imagine the majority of private motorists are.

            If you want a fair market remove all subsidies for oil, gas and coal..

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, that is a really ignorant and very rude reply. Who do you define as the lower classes? You come across as a right snob. Life Logic’s posts are spot on and very informative. Go and snipe somewhere else.

          • David Price
            Posted October 20, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            At times LL floods this blog with his opinion, often fact free, and he is not always right and can be quite wrong-headed at times, like the rest of us.

            In the case of EVs LL comes across as a Luddite whose pension is dependent on dividends from fossil fuel companies. Why else would he complain about tax aspects of EVs while conveniently ignoring the reported subsidies for fossil fuels.

            BTW I read hefner’s comment as parody, not rudeness.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

            There are no subsidies for fossil fuels.They produce billions in tax revenues.

          • David Price
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

            @ Edward2, There was a parliamentary paper in 2013 on Energy Subsidies by the HoC ENvironmental Audit Commitee. Vol p27 – “Eliminating harmful and inefficient subsidies”, Nuclear and renewables were the most subsidised at the time though Gas, Oil and Coal all received subsidies.

            In para 67 on p28 it includes the statement “However, the reality is that energy subsidies in the UK are significant, cover all types of energy technology and run to about £12bn a year. Much of this is directed at fossil fuels.”

            Government’s own wwords – there are subsidies for fossil fuels.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:34 am | Permalink

          Petrol/Diesel is about 80% tax (duty plus vat on top). There is almost no tax on electricity (charged at home). What the charge points actually charge (for parking and a charge) is a different matter.

          Also when you do a rapid charge a surprisingly high percentage of electricity is wasted as heat so not very ‘green’. It can be as high as 25% wastage, it tends to be rather less when slow charging.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            Also fast charging can often diminish the life of the very expensive, limited, not so environmental and not very long live batteries.

          • David Price
            Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            Electricity is not tax free so what you are really complaining about is oil based fuels having a far higher tax.

            Most people do slow charging and vehicle management systems limit how fast a charge can be specifically to avoid damaging batteries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      And why do the government claim electric cars are zero emission. They often emit rather more At the power station and during manufacture.

      So Michael Caine ‘still believes’ in Brexit and would rather ‘be a poor master of my own fate’ Me too but that is not the choice done properly we will be richer as well.

      Allister Heath put it very well yesterday in the Telegraph. In 30 years’ time historians will wonder why the elites feared Brexit so much.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      More importantly, the massive increase in electrical generating capacity and transmission grid will cost a fortune, even to just support a modest increase in electric vehicles

      • David Price
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        The latest info I have seen (July 2018) has the National Grid forecasting a 4-14% increase (3 – 8 GW) by 2030 depending on how well smart charging (which is already available) and V2G are incorporated into the Grid supply. That is nowhere near the 30GW claims by the MSM. NG also suggest that provision for the increased demand should be met by something like gas based generators rather than nuclear so it looks like the increase is neither “massive” nor will cost a fortune. The issues NG will have to grapple with are not just capacity but also balancing for which V2G is a credible partial solution

    • David Price
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Tax isn’t “taken off” taxpayers for an EV, in effect the VAT is written off so it should really be viewed as tax avoidance, or do you claim that taxpayers are funding ISAs?

      EVs don’t get tax free fuel, there is 5% VAT on electricity.

      However, I charge my EV mainly off solar panels which put surplus on to the grid, so my car is not “emitting” as you put it nor stealing any of your precious electricity. And before you rant about FITS, the current rates are less than half what I get charged by the Grid provider so they would appear to make a nice profit from the energy I provide them.

      My EV is no more expensive than the German diesel it replaced, more reliable and many times cheaper to run. Like most vehicles it sits on the drive idle for much of the time, when it is being charged so it doesn’t matter how long it takes to charge.

      The range is perfectly adequate for my needs and according to government and RAC transport statistics likely adequate for the majority of people.

      Finally, if you truly want a level playing field then remove all the taxpayer funded subsidies from fossil and nuclear fuels which you conveniently ignore.

      As hefner says, do some research.

      • Stred
        Posted October 21, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Typical academic. Can’t understand the difference between no subsidies between government sponsored items or between an expensive Ice engine car hand a less expensive Leaf, which is suitable if you only want to pootle around a uni to wait for your pension benefits.

  2. Mick
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    All they want is OUR money nothing more nothing less, Chamberlain tried that waving his piece of paper of peace in our time and look what happen there, sorry only historic example I could find, no we shouldn’t sign anything till we leave it would be a betrayal of all the tax payers in this great country , the government as had plenty of time to get it sorted , mind you I do think that this would have been sorted in the 2year withdrawal time if people hadn’t weaponised the Irish boarder issue

  3. Len Grinds
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    You claimed we hold the cards. We don’t hold the cards. You lied.

    • David Price
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Our host has not lied, the UK holds good cards, the problem has been the remainers in power have refused to play them.

    • Kenny Rogers
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Oh, we did have the cards. Even if we didn’t have them it’s knowing when to hold ’em, knowin’ when to fold ’em…

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      We are the EU’s biggest single customer and we run a £70 billion trade deficit with them. I would have thought that put us in a very strong position but instead of going in standing firm Calamity May went in on bended knees from the word go. It’s not John who is the liar but May.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The person holding the cards on the UK side of the negotiation is Mrs May. The deception to be observed is hers when she revealed her Chequer’s plan to an unsuspecting Cabinet – which resulted in resignations.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      We DO hold the cards but the Remainers in charge don’t want to play them.

    • sm
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      We did hold the cards – then the Prime Minister and Oliver Robbins put them on the table face up for everyone else at the table to see.

      Even I know that ain’t the way you play it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Not by Mr Redwood but by Mrs May. Many trusted her in June 2017, and are now more than angry at being double crossed.

    • Jagman84
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The Booklet delivered by the Government was full of lies. That’s why we voted to leave. The game of cards hasn’t even started yet. The game will not begin before March 29th 2019. The EU member states have far more to lose,with regard to trade, than the UK.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Jagman 54

        what work-force were yo talking about. You have me mixed up with somebody completely different

    • nhsgp
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      We do hold the cards, because we have the cash and the EU has been incompetent in its pensions. Not following its own rules and now it needs a bail out.

      Have a press conference and tell everyone in the EU that the UK won’t sack nurses to pay for Junker’s incompetence and bail him out of his pension crisis.

      Suggest that people living in the EU contact their politicians and demand the same.

      That’s Junker’s nightmare.

      So what should happen.

      Well that press conference above. A deal however is easy. Each side lists what they want and don’t want.

      Then the items are lined up. EU on the left, UK on the right. If there is agreement, it goes in to the deal. If there isn’t it doesn’t.

      It’s rather simple.

      Now for the cases where there is disagreement. Here each side puts a price on accepting something they don’t want. The menu.

      The other side then picks, and either pays in hard cash, or gives up something they don’t want with the same value.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Maybe you should just remind yourself occasionally that WE voted to leave the EU, not the other way around.

        I have yet to hear of any club that allows a departing member to call the shots.

        • NickC
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, We don’t want to “call the shots” in the EU, we want to “call the shots” in the UK. Personally I don’t want a trade deal with the EU. And the Leave vote means we cannot have any treaties with the EU that give them future power over us.

        • Stred
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

          I have yet to hear of a club where a departing member is charged anything.

    • Bob
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      @Len Grinds
      Actually the UK has a very strong hand being played by someone who intends to throw the match. Sorry about the slightly disjointed metaphor.

      The Remainers played dirty from day one and they continue to do so. They are no respecters of the rules.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Len Grinds

      Thanks, remind me what business you run and which countries you trade with

      We do hold the cards, its just that we are letting people who want to remain play them

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      The problem is the person holding the cards is daft and being led by civil servants with misguided group think.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      There is far too much silly insulting talk about politicians ‘lying’. you can’t lie about a future event which depends on the actions of others, as by definition you don’t know what’s going to happen, you are expressing an opinion. I agree Leave was far too sanguine about the likely antagonistic response of the EU to a Brexit vote. But if anything, the hostile and dysfunctional attitude of the EU to what should be a fairly simple process – moving the UK to a trade based relationship with the EU rather than political integration – is an argument for getting out.

      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      @Len Grinds
      We have ALL the cards. We must not upset the EU nation-states. We hold negotiations with islands with populations of 257. Diplomacy.
      There is nothing the EU produces we cannot do here or buy cheaper elsewhere. And, we have millions of their citizens who will help do it for us. They don’t wish to go back. They are afraid of going to live in the EU again. They also wish to bring their extended families here and stay forever. Ask them!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk to foreigners!! I do. I love them. Don’t you?

    • Alison
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      We do hold trump cards, true, not all, but we hold good ones. You should see comment in the German papers about and from German car manufacturers (who are having a rocky time on a few fronts … eg Opel raided in an investigation into manipulated software in HGVs to show lower emissions .. I could go on).
      However, I completely agree with our host above. I think we should use our trump cards very carefully just now, indeed, not use them until after 29-3-2019.
      Of course, Remainers are busy working out how to stop, delay our exit.

    • Edwardm
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      We held the cards until Mrs May threw them away.
      A brexiteer PM would have acted very differently – a balanced free trade agreement (if the EU desires) or WTO, administrative arrangements in place before now, no transition period, no money, control of our waters, and we only take responsibility for our side of the Irish/NI border. Reduced tariffs on imported food clothing and footwear. Deals with non-EU countries.

    • Martin
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      How so? We leave, they lose.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      We do hold all the cards, you are lying, not JR

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Could you or someone else explain what cards the UK holds that make it worthwhile for all 27 (not only the French fishermen or the Polish plumbers) remaning EU counbyries to give in to UK demands that would harm the Union? Ithink that unless there is some hidden strength, the UK has nothing to offer. Otherwise there would have been a nice offer, I am sure.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


          This obsession you folks have with the so called “benefits” of EU membership is pathetic. There really aren’t very many at all.

          The ultimate thing that the majority of us that voted leave want is to leave totally and then negotiate a Free Trade Agreement of the type that the EU tries to negotiate with other so called “third Countries”

          We have no desire to stop your federalist project once we are out ( although I think the Italians, Hungarians and Greeks might want to argue about that, the Irish are getting a bit jittery too) .

          The UK is one of the leading countries in the World in new Technology and bio sciences fields. Along with a lot of the other products and services that we provide. Despite what you think the City of London is very very important also to the 27. So the cards we hold are there are a large number of things that customers in the EU 27 want to buy and they would like to buy them tariff free.

          Meanwhile in the UK we are rather fond of German cars, French Cheese , Italian pasta , Greek yoghurt and Spanish holidays amongst other things. We would like to continue to buy them without tariffs .

          Now here is the really important bit. The EU is a protectionist union and the rest of the world are getting fed up with you, especially the USA. Your share of world economic activity is plummeting and even the EU themselves acknowledge that by 2025 90% of world trade will be outside Europe.

          Therefore Rien the 27 cannot afford individually to lose one of their biggest customers and the worlds 5th largest economy , especially as you will be losing our tax contributions which are equivalent to the 19 smallest EU member states.

          You need to get past power politics and bureaucracy ( tough I know for someone who is essentially a retired bureaucrat ) and start to look at real, every day markets. People that buy products and services and the type of thing that consumers want . The EU tries to block all new innovation, it regulates out invention and is trying to keep you locked into the past. This is typical of protectionist unions and its why they ALWAYS fail.

          I hope thats explained it for you my friend.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            Sorry for a late reply to your lengthy comment. Unfortunately, I do not see an answer to my question. You are right is several respects about the challenges ahead for the EU and its members. I simply think that the challenges facing the UK are even greater and that the UK creates unnnecessary problems for itself by risking a very hard brexit. The EU is less vulnerable than the UK.

            As to those advanced technologies, you are out of your depth there. Of course I do not want to become personal (especially to someone who hides his anachronistic nationalism behind a misleading “libertarian” label) and let’s leave it at that. You are happy with what you may get and I do not rule out that you may personally be one of the winners of Brexit. In every disaster there are people who profit, why not you?

        • Richard1
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 12:18 am | Permalink

          What would harm the union about a comprehensive FTA? It would be mutually beneficial. Unfortunately the EU seems to have taken the view that it can’t have free trade with another European country unless that country also agrees either to be in political union with the EU or to be an economic colony.

    • formula57
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      @ Les Grinds – But we did hold the cards – they have been discarded, sacrificed in maladroit play.

    • Steve
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Len Grinds

      It seems unfair and inappropriate that you should call our host a liar. He is a person of high standards of personal and professional integrity. Whether or not one agrees with his beliefs, and I certainly don’t agree with him all of the time, I can’t actually recall any occasion where he has lied.

      Please be grateful to have at least one MP who gives of his personal time and resource to listen to people.

      For your info we do hold all the cards, they’re just not being played wisely. This country is capable of fragmenting the EU, if it chose to do so.

    • rose
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      We do hold the cards but the government and civil service are throwing them away.

      The lies are all on the government side, not the Brexiteers’, which was also the case during the referendum campaign.

    • Graham Roberts
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      If we don’t hold the cards, there is no game, so why are we bothering to play with the unelected Barnier?

      Fact is that poker is a game that can be won on lies and by the one with the biggest budget.

      Best not to be a mark and play with folk who do not speak for their electorate nor pay the price for losing; who can, have and will deceive and risk money they know will never be audited.

    • Hope
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Len, he did not. May has betrayed our nation. Utterly disasterous and treacherous.

      JR, Lords Lawson and King made the extr melt valid point years ago that the U.K. Could not get a good trade deal otherwise it would undermine the EU project and no country would stay. This is a political project not economic. The latter is used to scare and justify the former.

      Hunt reported today May has followed the letter and spirit of referendum. Lies. Further reported he said the backstop might go on forever. Both statements cannot be true.

      The central theme used by traitor May is trade deal. We did not vote leave dependent on trade. This was always usd to scare leavers. May continues her treacherous plan. Reported today that No.ten has not refuted the Irish claim that May offered a non time limited backstop!

      Johnny Merced Tory MP in the papers saying this is a shambles and he would not vote Tory. You are losing voters by the day. Do not rely on polls. Jackson was right May had a twenty one percent lead and blew it at the last election. She has got worse not better.

      The fallacy of a good deal is for the fairies as May has already agreed a bad deal in the first two stages i.e. Billions for nothing in return and continued single market and customs union as a backstop. Changing the labels does keep to the letter and spirit of the referendum. The EU will not let a competitor have an advantage and show the twenty seven remains it is better to be out than in! FFS wake up.

      Davis cannot be interim leader he failed as Brexit secretary to stop this happening showing he has not the intellect or courage to act on the public mandate.

    • Flubber
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      We do hold the cards. We have a PM who is determined not to play them

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Did you not read this article? We hold the cards Len. It’s just that our government does not want to play them.

    • Bill Smith
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Len Grinds – Go learn something about the EU, the corner its mismanaged itself into and the nineteen member states that will drop to their knees when Brussels slashes their funding as a consequence of losing the UK’s support.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May handed the cards to the EU. If we just leave we don’t need those cards anyway.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Len Grinds,

      The Remainers are the cards and the EU is playing them very well.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Len, thank God for great MP’s such as JR. He is no liar.

    • GilesB
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Some people just don’t like change.

      Not only is no deal on the table, nor is the status quo. The Remainers lied:
      – The rebate will go/b> for UK and other Member States in the next multi-year financing round from 2020, increasing the cost of membership for the UK by an extra £5 billion a year.
      – All Member States will be
      forced to accept Schengen
      – A tax and social welfare union will undermine any function for national parliaments
      – There will be an EU army and a complete loss of control over foreign policy

  4. Bob Dixon
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Your post needs to be published and read by a far larger audience. It is excellent. I am looking forward to reading the Remainers comments to your post as the day draws out.

    • Peter
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Rejecting the Withdrawal Agreement is the most important task on the horizon. Sensible MPs must hold their nerve and not give in to pressure.

      WTO terms are the only sensible choice we have. EU offers are punishment measures.

      Once we are out there can be further discussion – if the EU so wishes – but we will not be supplicants and there will be no billions gifted to them for goodwill either.

      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Yes but we have heard all the remainers have to say every day in Parliament in never-ending-dribbly-moaning.

    • Kenneth
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      But isn’t that the main problem? Comments such as those in this post and others by like minded players are being “no platformed” by the MSM, especially the BBC.

      These sensible contributions are being kept in the dark.

      Bias by omission

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Well we all know the sort of drivel they will come out with. Do they want to live in a democracy or just subservient region of EU with no real democracy, ever higher taxes and even more made regulations? Thank goodness we probably now escape the suffocating left wing, government knows best lunacy of the dire corrupt and incompetent EU. The UK government can often be almost as bad but at least we can change that.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Who knows we might even get May & Hammond replaced by some real Conservatives. Ones who want to roll back the state, lower taxes, have a bonfire and red tape and for the UK become a competitive power house again.

  5. Len Pratt
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    You complain the government has failed to table a free trade agreement. Well, so have you. Where is your free trade agreement? You extremists carp about the government’s alleged failings but you NEVER produce anything constructive as an alternative.

    • Duncan
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      How dare you refer to millions of tax paying, decent British voters as extremists. Pathetic lowlife

    • David Price
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      There have been many proposals from pro-UK groups including Plan A+ and the proposals that were being formulated by DexEU before being blocked by the May cabal.

      You just need to look around a bit.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      You stupid man. How can wanting to run our own country be extremist.

      When will you people understand Leaving the EU was never about getting a trade deal it’s about return of Sovereignty.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

        And we will be far better off out too.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Len Pratt

      Er do you live in a cave ? Have you not read the alternative plans?

    • Figel Narage
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      David Davis has produced an alternative based on Canada +++ but suppressed by May. We voted to leave the EU, not re-negotiate a deal so if they don’t want a FTA then we should go to WTO rules.

    • Steve
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Len Pratt

      “You extremists carp about the government’s alleged failings but you NEVER produce anything constructive as an alternative.”

      Mr Redwood’s diaries are full of workable alternatives, which you would know if you had read them instead of making such a sweeping statement.

    • rose
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Not true: the government has been inundated with advice, both written and spoken, by the Brexiteers, ever since the referendum. Because the Remainstream media suppress this fact, you now hurl accusations of extremism and carping etc now. Don’t be so easily fooled.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Did you not read this article Len?
      Perhaps you hadn’t realised but John Redwood is no longer in government, though I wish he was. If he had been in government I’m sure a free trade agreement would be ready to present as soon as the EU was willing to accept it. That would be after we leave the EU in March 2019 of course.

  6. Duncan
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    What we are seeing is a battle for the control of the United Kingdom and its productivity capacity to finance the political and economic expansion of the European Union. If we lose this battle the UK will fade into insignificance as we become sucked ever deeper into the EU mire

    I want the UK to return to its rightful sovereign state and stand alongside other independent nations like the USA, China, Australia and Ecuador.

    It is noted that we are entering a pivotal stage of the battle for the soul of Britain. 52% voted to leave the infected carcass that is the EU and we expect this to happen.

    But, there’s a problem. We have a PM who finds British sovereignty and independence deeply offensive and abhorrent. We have a PM who is embarrassed by British history. We have a PM who is obsessed with liberal left concerns. We have a PM who is simply offensive to the very idea of honest politics

    But, there’s another problem. The Tories. They refuse to ditch May. Why? May’s not a conservative. She’s New Labour even more so than Blair and Mandelson. And yet Eurosceptics dither, moan and prevaricate.

    We’ve done our bit. We voted to Leave. It is now up to Tory Eurosceptics to bring down May whatever the cost.

    Have faith that a new anti-EU Tory leader will get the backing of the British electorate to form a new government that will return the UK to its rightful sovereign state

    • Duncan
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:45 am | Permalink


  7. /IKH
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    I agree with all of this post but wish to make an additional point. Jean Paul Junkers has categorically stated that in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit the E.U. will not require Ireland install a “Hard Border” between the Republic and Northern Ireland. This same statement has also been made by Leo Varadakar. There is video of this on Guido Fawkes website ( with a link to You Tube ).

    Given these statements why is there any need for a “Backstop”.

    This does not sound like the E.U. is negotiating in good faith.


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      That article is here:

      “Juncker & Varadkar guaranteed to the Irish Parliament no hard border in the event of no deal”

      Who is acting in bad faith? The EU and the Irish government know that the UK government has already said there will be no customs houses or any other new infrastructure on the UK side of the border, but when he went to the EU meeting the Irish Prime Minister still waved around Wednesday’s issue of the Irish Times with its front page splash on a 1972 IRA bombing of a customs house. But then the UK government must be aware that the Irish government and the EU have also said they will not be putting up barriers on their side of the border, and yet Theresa May still obstinately pursues Olly Robbins’ crackpot customs scheme designed partly to avoid a hard border in Ireland and studiously ignores the obvious solution which has been staring her in the face for at least five months …

      • Kenneth Almquist
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        The article doesn’t say when the statements were made, which is a rather odd omission unless the clips are misleading.

        In any case, neither Juncker or Varadkar suggest a way to avoid a hard border. Barnier has: impose a customs border at the Irish sea. Therea May has unequivocally rejected this approach, and if she were to change her mind, the Democratic Unionist Party would try to bring down her government and I see no way she could survive. So to the extent that the Junker and Varadkar statements are based on the assumption that Theresa May or her successor will agree to an Irish Sea customs border, they strike me as unrealistic.

        In short, the Junker and Varadkar statements can be viewed either as the product of wishful thinking, or as statements of intent (meaning they are promising to do whatever they can to avoid a hard border). Under either interpretation they are going to support the EU position on the backstop.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:27 am | Permalink

          The way to avoid a hard border is not to create a hard border, and all the parties involved have said that they have no intention to create a hard border. So how then do you suppose a hard border would arise, would it appear of its own accord without any human agency?

          • Stred
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            The EU website showing its intention to install a hard border around the EU is still there. Junker did say that sometimes you have to lie. Possibly he is more honest at lunchtime.

      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      “He, will not require Ireland. Hashtag every character you have on Twitter and Facebook to every Irishment and you will hear thunder to our west.

  8. Mark B
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Some points that our kind host keeps on ignoring but should not.

    It is the UK that is leaning, not the EU. They so not have to do or offer anything. Upon our exit things pretty much will continue as before

    The EU cannot negotiate a FTA with another member country. We have to leave first.

    It is not clear what this £39bn is for.

    We gave allowed the EU to do what we use to do for ourselves to nearly half a century. We have list many skills, such as negotiating. A transition allows the UK to adjust. Personally I would rather just ask for an extension for two years rather than this fudge. But I think we did on the quiet and the said no. In or out.

    The EU is looking after both its own interests and that of its other members. To that end I strongly object to being in the CU in perpetuity. That would be deeply damaging.

    Of course it needs to be said that if we had a government that is truly committed to leaving the EU this would be far less painful.

    I have also noticed here and elsewhere a strong movement against voting for the conservative party. This and the number of people demanding that the PM be removed should be a real concern to our kind host and his fellows.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink


      I bloody hate auto correct on this machine.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Of course the EU and the continuing member states could negotiate a future trade deal with a departing member state before it leaves. Why not? They can negotiate a withdrawal agreement, so why is it impossible to negotiate other kinds of agreement including one or more for future trade arrangements? If we had a Prime Minister who was on our side not theirs he/she would never have supinely accepted such a claim, if nothing else he/she would have held it up to ridicule by the rest of the world.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Err ! Because they said they wouldn’t.

        This is because in effect, as far as the the EU sees it, it will negotiating with itself. As you well know, the EU is a rules based system whereby every member country cedes sovereignty / power to the EU Commission / High Authority.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 21, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          You said:

          “The EU cannot negotiate a FTA with another member country.”

          If you had said “will not” then that might have been correct, but not for the reason you cite. If a negotiation between a EU member state on the one hand, and the EU and the rest of the member states on the other hand, constitutes the EU negotiating with itself then that is what is happening under Article 50 anyway, and moreover that is not the only case where that happens.

  9. Andy
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    But wait. This was supposed to be the easiest deal in history (Liam Fox). We held all the cards (Michael Gove). We could have our cake and eat it (Boris Johnson). Seems they were wrong.

    Meanwhile the pre-referendum government leaflet you all deride said “Voting to leave the EU would create years of uncertainty and potential economic disruption. This would reduce investment.”

    “The Government judges it could result in 10 years or more of uncertainty as the UK unpicks our relationship with the EU and renegotiates new arrangements with the EU and over 50 other countries around the world.

    “Some argue that we could strike a good deal quickly with the EU because they want to keep access to our market. But the Government’s judgement is that it would be much harder than that.”

    Turns out Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were right and you were all wrong.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


      Yeh Osborne was right the extra 500,000 long dole queue proves that…… oh wait

      Camerons assurances that there would be no EU Defence Force ….. oh wait

      Oh Osbornes financial prediction was only WRONG by £100 billion

      Still waiting for Camerons world world to start

      I love economic disruption, its the source of creativity, new markets, innovation and new products and services

      The Anglo nations have a massive history at being good at this, invention of the new. We’ve been stifled by being in the Napoleonic block of management by government . Unleashing our potential is where we are heading. Sorry you couldn’t join us Andy, hope you enjoy your retirement in France

    • Richard1
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      It’s a fair criticism that Leave were far too sanguine about the ease of a deal with the EU, hugely underestimating the vehemence of the reaction and the (dysfunctional) desire to punish the errant state. But The point about investment has turned out to be wrong, nor has the anticipated recession materialised.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Well, I said at the start that as the UK had agreed to the Lisbon Treaty including Article 50 TEU laying down a procedure for a member state to withdraw we should start off by trying to use that agreed procedure, but we should make it clear that we reserved the right to abandon it and just leave if they messed us about. However when I look back at what has happened I have to say in all fairness that our own government under Theresa May has been messing us about as much as the EU.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      On this I fully agree. Question is, why ?

  11. R Dawson
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I must admit to being a little confused. You say that without further legislation we will just leave the EU anyway. However in the media we keep being told that Parliament will not allow us to leave with a no deal situation. Presumably they mean that Parliament will legislate to stop this happening.Who is right?

    • nhsgp
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      We are leaving unless parliament votes to change.

      The leave decision has been passed by the public, the house of commons, the lords and the courts.

    • Andy
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      John is right. The leave date of 29th March 2019 is written into the recently passed Act. To alter that would require the Government to table a Statutory Instrument and I can’t see that being passed. As to Parliament stopping us leaving that isn’t possible. There is no legislative mechanism I can think of which would enable the Commons to do that. The ‘meaningful vote’ will be a ‘take note motion’ which will be unamendable, but it carries no force because making Treaties is Prerogative and Parliament cannot instruct the Crown to do something.

      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      You may be listening to what a few hundred British say in a big house on the Thames. Fifty years ago and more my home village, repeat village , had 12,000 British and more. No big clock though. More sense too.

    • Chris
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      It has been indicated that May would give Parliament a chance to vote against a “No Deal”. So, even if we had got to the point of leaving with a No Deal (actually WTO and not a No Deal) she would then let Parliament disapprove it, and return the negotiators to Brussels to make more fudge.

    • Dominic Johnson
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      @R Dawson
      Article 50 states 2 years after notification the member, us, leaves.
      That’s the legal deadline in play.

      That can only be changed by mutual agreement between the UK, requiring an act of parliament, and the EU, requiring a vote in the EP and a unanimous agreement of the 27 members of the council if Europe, possibly requiring votes in national legislatures, or even regional.

      Parliament cannot prevent us leaving without a deal, short of a majority in favour of accepting a deal that EUrope has yet to offer.
      In effect a vote to dissolve the UK

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Correct ! They are bluffing.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Both, we should just leave but most of our MPs are lying traitors who intend to ignore their party manifestos and the ref result.

    • Steve
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      R Dawson

      “However in the media we keep being told that Parliament will not allow us to leave with a no deal situation.”

      Dear Sir or Madam

      1) We did not vote for a ‘deal’.

      2) Parliament (if they know what’s good for them) would not dare legislate to stop brexit, deal or no deal.

      3) The media, notably the BBC are in overdrive with pro EU bias. They are the propagandists of Project Fear.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        1) We have to negotiate our ‘New Arrangement’ with the EU as this is part of the withdrawal process.

        2) Too late for that ! And in any case, if they were to, they’d be toast.

        3) No one will be surprised to read that. As news my dear friend, it will only comes as that to the BBC lovies.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      R Dawson. Wake up for Gods sake. The Main Stream Media is all part of the establishment, the left wing EU funded BBC especially. Ask your self, how many MSM outlets promote Brexit? The answer is NONE. How many discussion programmes have a majority of Brexiteers on their programmes. The answer is NONE. The MSM is TOTALLY biased against BREXIT.
      Traitor MAY is an establishment plant and will do all as instructed by her masters. Ask yourself the question, 17.4 million people voted for BREXIT and they have no voice. WHY.
      Unfortunately we do not have a Donald J Trump. He is fighting his own Establishment (deep state) and HE will win.

    • Dr Buckton
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Parliament can’t amend article 50 result as it’s an EU treaty. So we leave regardless of parliament.

  12. Gary C
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    How many times does it have to be said, ‘The EU do not Deal.’

    It’s far past the time to remove TM and replace her with a Brexitier, it will soon be too late to do the decent thing and save the country.

    How much more of this humiliation have we to suffer before you take action?

    • Andy
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      The EU has repeatedly said it does want a deal.

      What Brexiteers have not yet figured out is that there are two sides involved in this.

      No matter how much you all shout and stamp your feet any deal has to work for them too – and not just for the you.

      You could all back a Norway model tomorrow – the EU would agree it, Parliament would pass it, Remainers would accept it and we could move on. And, remember, Farage, Hannan, Paterson and others have all pointed to Norway in the past.

      But for a small extreme bunch of Brexit little Englanders this is not the splendid isolation they demand. So they continue to hold their country hostage instead.

      Johnny Mercer has it right.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        You forgot to mention the Irish government, which has rejected out of hand the kind of customs arrangements which operate between Norway and its EU neighbour Sweden. That was eleven months ago:

        and it has been mentioned repeatedly on here, but you are always so intent on your own trolling that you probably never noticed it …

        • Mark B
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          Why do you waste your time feeding this TROLL ?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        You keep saying we want spendid isolation.
        Nothing could be further from the truth.
        Connecting with the whole world is what the UK will be able to do once we are free.

    • Martin
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      To remove the Prime Idiot will take a degree of concerted action and the majority of Tory MPs are too frightened to attempt to do it. They know that if they fail May will take her revenge on them. Hence this pathetic pantomime will continue for as long as it takes to finally bring the country to it knees.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Gary C

      it will soon be too late to do the decent thing and save the country.

      Hasn’t that moment already passed?

    • Barry Leamington Spa
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I would take a bet that President Trump gets a deal quickly, the EU will cr*p themselves when he imposes further tariffs.

      • Andy
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        This is true. President Trump, if he hasn’t been impeached, will do a quick trade deal with Brexit Britain. But it will be on his terms – and we will have to like it or lump it.

        We know Liam Fox wants to flood our country with Frankenstein foods and sell off the NHS anyway – so he and the Donald will be able to do business quickly.

        Brexiteers will not bother to read the small print as the Tory right sells off our country and poisons our young. Instead they will cheer it on and brand it a ‘Brexit success.’ When their children get ill from all the poisoned American junk food (which has done wonders for the health of Americans) and can’t get treated on the NHS then we will see the true price of Tory pensioner Brexit.

        • Gary C
          Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          @ Andy.

          You obviously believe anything that is fed to you in the media scare stories.

          If were to think a little (and it you may find that difficult) you would realise what you are spouting is absolute rubbish.

          Anyone would be stupid to believe the millions visiting America every year are dropping down dead with food poisoning, obviously you do, and try thinking a little harder . . . . . . . OK thats beyond you! What about all the expats that have been living there for year’s, oh yeah according to you they must be dead.

          You really do take idiot to another level.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


          Bagged salad from the EU is chlorine washed. EU chicken contains salmonella

          Why would the USA want to buy the NHS? What a bizarre statement. Since Blair tried to privatise the NHS via PFI there has been virtually no further privatisation of public health services .

          Your beloved EU doesn’t have a single health service owned by the public sector similar to NHS

          You spout any old drivel you find on Facebook as long as its anti freedom


          Dont tell Andy that you can buy MacDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC in Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, Den Haag , Brussels etc etc He will have a fit if he finds out the EU sold out to American junk food

  13. Nig l
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    We learned from Cameron that they will give us nothing and that is what is happening again. In any negotiation it is the party that can walk away that has the power. Theresa May, through all her pleading, the Chequers so called agreement and now an offer to extend the withdrawal period, is making it abundantly clear that the U.K. cannot walk away despite the occasional utterance, thus giving the power to the EU and you can see that in the contempt coming from their leaders.

    Of course staying in, in all but name, has been her and the Establishments objective since day 1.

    For ****’s sake will someone stand up for our country.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Why should the EU give us anything. All I want is what I voted for – FREEDOM. I do not need the EU to give me that, I, and 17.4 million others, took it. It is just that our PM is trying to stay in, or as close, to the EU as possible.

  14. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Why is May and many MPs in the government and the opposition wasting time considering what’s on the table? The EU have offered us sweet FA in return for a shed load of money. How stupid can they be? May is still crawling to the EU making this country look ridiculous. It is beyond a joke. What must the other world leaders think? Of course it is not entirely her fault when she is being led by donkeys. The EU are right when they say there is no mandate. Everyone wants something different but if they just implemented what they offered us and what we voted for then life would be much simpler. There is nothing to negotiate and nothing to pay for. Just leave.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      May is still crawling to the EU . . .

      Because she is a shill for big business who want to Remain. The EU are having none of it or, are using it to get as much out of us as they can. Can’t blame them, can you ?

  15. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    What the EU wants it one unified European Union – a political and economic unit.

    What we all want on this side of the Channel is your list of things plus no more integration.

    What is so very maddening is that we can have every single one of your points if we stay in the EEA by joining Efta when we leave on 30/3/19.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Don’t you know that your mentor himself has now given up on that?

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Really ? What, after all that work ! Bloody hell !

    • Jagman84
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      It’s still effectively being in the EU, Mr Stallard. The one question that was on the ballot paper and was rejected. The EEA is dominated by the EU and so would we.

    • Chris
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I am beginning to think you might have EEA derangement syndrome, MS?

  16. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Canada-style FTA, to be hammered out by the UK requested implementation period, that was the EU offer, already early this year. Why can’t the governments party unite?

    • David Price
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      That was not the EU offer.

      The EU demanded Northern Ireland be split off from the UK which they knew could never be acceptable so why did they ever propose it.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        @David Price: Not true. And no question of splitting N. Ireland off from the UK, that is just a dramatic hype by the DUP, the party that never wanted the Good Friday Agreement.
        N. Ireland has always had a special status, with some things arranged differently.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        They are running the clock down so that they can finally humiliate us in front of other EU Countries and the rest of the world. It is just a shame we are making it so easy for them.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink


      Because the government under May DO NOT WANT A DEAL , they want to stay fully in the EU and are playing politics to try to overturn the referendum, just as has happened in your country and every other EU country that had the temerity to vote against the EU in a referendum.

      The opposition within the Conservative party do not have the numbers to oust May , its a simple as that

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: Sad, if a party cannot come to a joint position.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Ka-ching !

    • rose
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Because the PM does not want to admit she was wrong about the Backstab and Boris was right.

  17. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Even after honoring its commitments (39bn, including the commitments made towards the N. Ireland PEACE program and hundreds if not thousand other programmes until end 2020)
    it will still be true that:
    “They sell us far more than we sell to them”.
    That owuld give overwhelming negotiating power to the UK, at least, that is what I learned on this websire.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      The EU had nothing to do with N.Ireland Peace Agreement and at this time of year I would suggest any comments about PEACE by continentals is inappropriate and unfortunate. I can live without Spanish lettuce, Dutch peppers – wait and see who needs whom most – if we have the balls to implement our host’s no surrender.

    • Jagman84
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      If the individual member states were negotiating, a deal would be quite likely. Unfortunately, the EU commission is in control so we are at an impasse.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      We in the UK have a saying Peter, ‘The customer is always right’.

      As we import far more from the EU than we export to them, I would say that puts us in a strong bargaining position. And reading today how dissatisfied people are throughout Europe with the EU, I would say its leaders need to examine the way they do things very closely indeed – up from 42% to 50%.

      A bit of courtesy would be welcome, as one would get from staff at any High Street retail outlet, yet all we ask from the EU is flexibility and good will, not persistent high-handed diktat. That just rubs us up the wrong way.

      Sadly, remainers like our weakling Prime Minister, think it’s fine to keep bending over backwards for the EU bullies, and that gets our backs up even more!


      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Henry Newman Blog:

        There’s also some uncomfortable findings. The study finds 50% of respondents think the EU is “going in the wrong direction”. That’s up from 42% in April of this year. Just 28% of those surveyed believe that things in the EU are “going in the right direction”, down from 32% in April. Those are very troubling findings which should make for concerning reading in Brussels, Strasbourg, and European capitals.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Customers don’t get to tell the shop the terms on which they buy or the price they will pay though. If I walk in to a shop on the high street and tell them tge I would like that £1,000 TV but I’m only prepared to pay £500 for it, I know the answer I expect to get, and it’s not “yes”.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          Poor metaphor Peter.
          It is not about the price.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Edward. I was minded to do it myself, but I knew if I waited long enough, somebody would point that out.


        • libertarian
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Peter Parsons

          You sure about that? Have you ever tried negotiating on price with a shop? Of course the ultimate negotiation is not to buy the overpriced stuff and go next door where its cheaper .

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink



  18. oldtimer
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Very clear and concise. All that is on offer is a Surrender Agreement – to surrender £billions that will be better spent on the citizens of this country. What you want to achieve will not be achieved while Mrs May occupies No 10 and she is advised by Olly Robbins. The negotiating dynamic will only change with a new PM and the course you propose of a No Deal Brexit.

    • Peter
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement is easier to achieve than removal of the Prime Minister. There are thought to be enough MPs who would still support her on a Confidence vote after letters have gone in.

      Easier to disrupt her awful plans starting with the Withdrawal Agreement. Should she then decide to step down that would be a bonus.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        She will not step down.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink


      The negotiating dynamic will only change with a new PM and the course you propose of a No Deal Brexit.

      Absolutely spot on. A night of the long knives is long overdue.

  19. Richard1
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    You are correct, only by adopting such an approach is there any chance of a proper free trade deal. Far to much of the commentary conflates an FTA with all the normal arrangements countries need to make whether they have trade deals or not – aircraft landing rights, visa waivers etc. It does look as though only by leaving and negotiating from a neutral, external, position is there a chance of an FTA. But there is no chance Mrs May will adopt this approach, she’s been in office for over two years and has shown no sign at all of appreciating how this negotiation was always likely to go. No change no chance.

  20. Old Albion
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s capitulation yesterday was the final straw. She has to go and be replaced by someone with the ‘balls’ to do the job. I can think of only one person who fits the bill.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Exactly. As Boris said, the problem isn’t Brexit, it’s May.

    • Adam
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Pragmatic Conservative MPs should Take Back Control from Theresa May!

    • Martin
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Dr Redwood would fit the bill nicely to my mind.

    • Andy
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      To be fair, you have been using terms like ‘final straw’ for two
      Years – and Mrs May is still PM and you are still complaining about the Brexit that you voted for.

  21. Matthew MacKenzie
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    In summary, the Redwood plan would have the UK just leaving, ripping up all previous agreements – with all the friction that will bring – drafting a free-trade bill in order to see “what happens”.

    Good luck with that.

    • Henry Spark
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I wonder if Mr Redwood would resign from his local snooker club, and then next day turn up asking to play snooker, just to see “what happens”

      Reply What a silly point. We will trade with them after we leave as members of WTO under international rules with or without an FTA

    • nhsgp
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      What agreements are those?

      One result of the Uruguay Round was countries’ commitments to cut tariffs and to “bind” their customs duty rates to levels which are difficult to raise.

      So how are the EU countries going to impose tariffs and barriers against the UK in revenge without breaking their treaty obligations?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Matthew MacKenzie

      You dont have much experience of international trade then Matt?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      And even then, what about Ireland?

  22. MPC
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    In a way we can’t blame the EU. They are being truthful in saying they don’t know what the UK wants based on the PM asking them for ‘creative solutions’ (to non existent problems) and on what they read – on your website no doubt and in UK media reporting – which shows a strong desire to get on with leaving. Barnier was also accurate some time ago in saying the UK government is behaving more like an accession country than a country leaving the EU.

    In terms of preparing for ‘no deal’ all we seem to have had are papers showing pessimistic scenarios rather than a pragmatic implementation plan.

    It’s all down to dreadful leadership of course – by a PM and Chancellor who’ve been ‘promoted’ beyond their capabilities and who simply don’t believe in taking back control.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink


      PM and Chancellor who’ve been ‘promoted’ beyond their capabilities.

      How many more have we got of these types sitting on the benches in Westminster?

      Nearly all bar a handful. Majority being “Career Politicians” neither use or ornament.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      As I have said before, these people do not want to take responsibility. The want the position, the money, and the perks, but nothing else.

      The EU has been a useful cover for incompetence in our MP’s. Our voting Leave has exposed these naked Emperor.

  23. George Brooks
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    This ‘Extension Spanner’ thrown into the ‘Works’ by the Luxembourg minister was a typical EU ploy to extend the negotiating period in the hope that in time Brexit will fade away. You are absolutely right they have no intention whatsoever of offering us any sort of deal should we sign a Withdrawal Agreement.

    Our PM has to go before she cripples this country completely and kills the Conservative Party altogether.

  24. am
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    These posts identifying problems are becoming tiresome without any accompanying action to prevent the effects.

  25. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    May said that the further extension period she is considering offering as she put it is unlikely to be needed; then why offer it?

    It is said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. This is May’s behaviour.

    May must go, immediately.

    She is clearly not in the right state of mind to hold the position of PM.

  26. JoolsB
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    How many more times John, you are preaching to the converted here. It’s stubborn, arrogant deluded May you have to convince and we all now know that’s impossible. She has humiliated our country beyond belief and is taking us to the worst of all worlds.

    You and your fellow Brexiteers had your chance and you blew it. The Conservative party, but more importantly the country, will now pay the price for generations to come for your cowardice. Sorry John, I know it isn’t easy to depose a sitting Conservative PM but you should have got those signatures in and given it a go.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I agree with your first paragraph. As for your second there is very little to disagree but, if the numbers really are not there, then there is little they can do. I pointed out that the so called, Leavers in the Tory Party were not that many. The PM knows it and now so too does the rest of the country.

      And the woman had the gaul to stand before us and say she was; “Tired of being in the nasty party.” Not tired enough it seems.

  27. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The best post that I’ve read from you in ages. Clearly, the EU are not negotiating in good faith, as you say they just want the money. Of course they want to delay withdrawal for as long as possible! The manufactured Ireland border “issue” is a blatant interference in our internal, domestic affairs

    This Gang of Four – Barnier, Merkel, Macron, Drunker – have just forced a capitulation from the PM. The devil is in the detail. We should just leave in March 2019

  28. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Another good reason not to pay the EU any money is the purpose they will put it to.
    I have no doubt they will use the money for the specific purpose of targeting our industries, by offering incentives to companies to set up competition in the EU.

  29. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    “We will leave in accordance with the two laws Parliament has passed to do so, unless Parliament repeals or amends those laws which this government assures us it will not do.”

    There’s the problem. Parliament – aided by Bercow – WILL repeal and amend those laws and there’s nothing the Government can do to stop it, the Government can make no assurances at all about what Parliament will do.

  30. Steve
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink


    Nice to see at least one MP prepared to publicly tell it like it is.

    I’m starting to wonder if Theresa May’s strategy might be more down to naivety than intent to sabotage brexit.

    Negotiating with most countries in a statesmanship manner is the proper thing to do. However the EU is an exception, and Mrs May should have known this in advance. Consequently those who advise her are as responsible for the current situation.

    It’s hard to believe that for a country such as ours with first rate intelligence services, which it must be said employ the best psychoanalysts in the world, we should have a PM behaving all nicey-nicey to the European side. Surely with the right advice beforehand key EU council members could have been ‘persuaded’ to behave positively towards the UK.

    The EU council are not nice, they’re thugs. The only way to command their respect is respond disproportionately. Same as you would with any bully.

    To put it bluntly; we needed a PM to go over there with British teeth and play fair first, but give the ungrateful jackals the mauling of their lives, the very instance they demonstrated any sign of disrespect. This should have been the strategy at Salzburg.

    But, as you infer the time is now to give the EU two fingers and just walk away. If the EU puts a hard border to Northern Ireland that’s their’s and Ireland’s problem not ours.

    Theresa May needs to go now.

    Time to let the British lion out.

  31. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    It’s not us you need to convince, it’s your colleagues.
    Slowly but surely her stupidity and lack of negotiating skill is becoming more and more apparent to a wider audience.

  32. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Politicians making simple things complicated again.

    Just leave without signing anything, and implement our own tariffs under WTO rules like 164 other Countries do.
    We can set the tariffs at any level WE like to suit ourselves as long as they apply to all others as well as the EU.

    Would be helpful for all for us to publish those rates ASAP so all know what will happen in advance.

    No money to p[ay, no laws to follow other than our own, and companies who wish to trade can do so knowing the rules/regulations of any Country they intend to sell to.

  33. Paul Cohen
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Good post today JR – Convincing, clear and concise, should have legs to reach a much wider audience.

    The EU strategy all along has been to stonewall whilst gathering all the concessions and gifts it could, knowing its main aim was to deter any like minded present members.

    Your contributors to this column are fairly wide-spread so why don’t we all take the time to make sure our various MP’s see this posting with a view to gaining some more exposure? Who knows?, a few ripples could result in some of the major Daily papers taking up the cudgels.

  34. Bob
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    BBC R4 Toady Program today announced that the EU has agreed an FTA with Singapore before the UK could sign one. They neglected to mention that the UK is still a member of the EU and therefore already part of the FTA, added to which both the UK and Singapore govts have already confirmed they are content to carry the deal forward after Brexit.

    Another attempt by the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation to mislead its listener and portray a positive event as a negative one for Britain.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Auntie is an Establishment mouthpiece. Nuff said !

  35. Student
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    It is pretty clear Theresa May will not dare leave without a deal/withdrawal agreement/extended transition period. This has always been clear since the start of the negotiations with the type of rubbish Hammond would come out with about the “disasters” of no deal and the complete lack of any vision from TM. This must also have been clear to conservative MPs. Yet despite this, TM was never kicked out. It is now too late for her to go, and we are destined for an absolutely terrible deal.

    It pains me to say this, but I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that we should overrule democracy and call the whole thing off, since we aren’t really leaving anyway but are seriously damaging ourselves with the current stance. I think that calling Brexit off is the only way that the current government would be willing to change their policy. It is unquestionable in my opinion that staying in the EU will be significantly better than what the conservative government have got us over the last 2 years.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      You are assuming two things, that the EU want to agree a deal and that if we asked to rejoin they would say yes.
      In my opinion neither are correct.

      • Student
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        We haven’t left so why would we need to rejoin? If we had actually left then obviously I would not suggest cancelling Brexit as it would be too late.

        Perhaps the EU commission do not want a deal, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t leave without a deal.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 20, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          You said we should call the whole thing off.
          That means, post submission of article 50, effectively re joining the EU.
          That process would have to be negotiated and the terms agreed by all member states.

          Interesting logic when you say, we shouldn’t leave without a deal yet you then say the EU don’t want to do a deal.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      So long as there is no second referendum. Defy the referendum and leave it to the Leave politicians to explain and placate the Leave voting public. We are reasonable. We will understand.

      We cannot go on like this. It is screamingly obvious that no-one on our side is going to step up to the plate. And just what did Fox, Johnson and Davies do for the last 2 years ? Where (as Denis kept asking) was the Brexit Rebuttal Unit, countering all the bad news ?

  36. Mick
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Watched QT last night with Starmer on it and how the Labour Party would keep us in the custom union in other words over turning the referendum result and keep us in the federal state of Europe, wouldn’t trust them to run a bath let alone negotiate a Brexit deal, surely there must be a law somewhere where politicians can be sued for the blatant lies they tell just to get elected, how many politicians wouldn’t have got elected if they had said they want leave the Eu as there manifesto states but then say we want to stay in it after a GE, for a start most up north would have been picking up there P45’s especially labour , labour would lie on there backs to have there tummies rub and at the same time as giving in to Brussels and siding with whatever Brussels dictates , god help this country if labour along with Corbyn got the keys to number 10

  37. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    May’s cringeworthy approach and visits to the EU hotspots are embarassing and degrading. They effectively ignore and sideline her. What a disgrace to this country’s parliamentary history as are many who sit in the Palace of Westminster. It is tragically poignant as 11th November centenary is near.

  38. ian
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    They both say they what a deal but there is no evidence of a deal on either side, Mrs May has chequers and the EU has Irish border.
    Mrs May keeps saying, a deal in accordance with the people ref only but there is no mention of a deal in the people ref or anything else only leave.

  39. Adam
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    JR’s views are fully rationalised & widely-agreed. Even the ‘Drat’ of that Agreement fits!

    What is missing is the PM’s sense to do what is so evidently needed. She is the main obstruction. Attempting to convince her to act after her such protracted failures to do so lacks purpose. It is similar to asking a goldfish to catch & eat a cat.

    She claimed that the proposed extension to the negotiation period ’emerged’ as if it came from out of the blue. It might have emerged solely from her, but she was typically vague about it.

  40. CharlesV
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “There is no cliff edge, and trade will continue after March 29th.” it may not be a cliff but it will be a hill, ultimately leading to the same place. Our negotiating position is no stronger if we leave with a deal than it is now.

    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Our Defence.

    We need more soldiers. Many of our young do not have army training. There are bound to be natural disasters. If the Global Warming lot are serious, they must know we do not have trained manpower to deal with possible eventualities. So basic training plus.
    The army could have more facilities for learning skilled trades too such as mechanics, radio communication, strategy and history of our country. Why not? Geography too when appropriate. Even languages, basic.
    It is a better environment in which to learn as it will be their duty to learn rather than something other.
    Whether that should be three years long, could be thought about. Perhaps six months with the possibility for extension to years if desired by the young troops.
    We must think what comes after Brexit and how we wish to build our country. Positively.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink


      We must think what comes after Brexit and how we wish to build our country. Positively.


  42. Anonymous
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    If we are to surrender (and it seems likely) your job is to advise the people who voted Leave to accept it and to remain orderly.

    It is abundantly clear that there is no leader to take us out of the EU.

    On Saturday a march is being organised in support of The People’s Vote. It will be taken notice of. It will be obeyed. The whole point of this is that Remaining in the EU (as is going to happen) cannot be done whilst a vote still stands against it. It must look like it was the people’s idea.

    This must be resisted. At the very worst the vote happens and all Leave voters must be told to stay at home – to take part in it would be to endorse it and make us obliged to uphold the result.

    Leave was endorsed by the biggest vote in our history – let the subsequent Remain vote be by the smallest.

    I’m sick of it, John

    I’m sick of being told every day how great Brexit could be and then having Andy take the piss out of me. For what ?

    There is clearly nothing you can do or that you will do to effect the Leave mandate. It’s not your fault. We should have paid more attention to each MP’s EU leanings and constructed Eurosceptic parties to have taken us out wholeheartedly rather than by a botched plebiscite.

    No second referendum. Prepare for Corbyn.

    It’s over.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Question : Why do you bother to read, let alone reply, to that TROLL ? I Don’t. And he does not bother me 🙂

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    There is much in this FT article which is worth reading:

    “Merkel warns EU and UK against rigid approach to Brexit talks”

    I would highlight this paragraph:

    “She added that it was “intellectually demanding” to reconcile the EU’s legal order with the requirements of the Good Friday Agreement that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.”

    Not really, or at least not since 1995, coincidentally the same year when it was confirmed that the truly intellectually demanding problem of Fermat’s Last Theorem had finally been solved after 358 years of efforts by mathematicians; perhaps Angela Merkel has forgotten, but the current relatively minor legal problem has already been solved in principle, as the same newspaper reported on May 10th 2018:

    “But the Alpine state’s place inside two separate regimes — the Swiss customs union and the EU-linked European Economic Area (EEA) — has made it a laboratory for Brussels-compliant, hybrid solutions to vexing trade problems.

    Britain is exploring its system of “parallel marketability”, a legal fix agreed by the EU in 1995 that allowed Liechtenstein to straddle two distinct economic spaces with conflicting standards on goods.”

    As for Theresa May, even though five months ago:

    “One senior Whitehall official described it as “a very interesting idea”, with relevance to the effort to avoid a hard Northern Ireland border. “It is a good answer in theory,” said the official. “We need to look at how it would work in practice.””

    she clearly doesn’t want to know about it; she prefers the crazy scheme devised by her favourite euromaniac civil servant Olly Robbins, even if that means that either we never leave the EU, or we do leave the EU but we remain largely under EU rule.

  44. Colin Garrett
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The EU position on Brexit is very simple. They want our money and they want tariff-free access to our markets. They sell a lot more to us than we do to them. If the politicians and bureaucrats cannot sort things out in 30 months, who really believes that another 12 or 24 months is going to make much difference. But it suits the EU because we are still IN. This is why M. Barnier is still saying Non to anything we suggest. Yes, we can be a bit of a pain but it is the money and the market that drives affairs.

    We should leave on 29 March 2019 without any “divorce payment” and trade thereafter on WTO terms. If the EU finds that this costs them more than it costs us they can come to London and ask about a Free Trade Agreement. Meanwhile we can enhance our trade with the rest of the world and make our Supreme Court supreme again.

  45. rick hamilton
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    It takes high intelligence to make complex things simple and JR does this regularly. The EU has a talent for doing the opposite and our own negotiators go along with it.

    But he is preaching mostly to the converted on this site. Surely the question is how many MPs will go along with JR’s advice and vote down the dreadful fudge that May is determined to inflict on her country, before being consigned to the political dustbin ?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      rick hamilton

      Surely the question is how many MPs will go along with JR’s advice.

      Sadly Rick not too many. They are all happy to stay on the rudderless ship whatever the cost.

  46. martinC
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    It’s just as the EU side, Macron and others, are saying, the problem is not in Brussels but in London. Even the fact that our host still maintains that we can just walk away from our responsibilities with the largest economic bloc on the planet without settling the account and foolishly think there would be no consequences says how far removed some of our political class is from reality. As I said before if England could be towed out somewhere into Mid Atlantic we might have a chance but to be anchored forevermore sixteen miles from the European continent and think we can thumb our noses at them without repercussions is pure madness.

  47. NigelE
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    £39 billion pound = approx £2500 per family.

    Now that would be a nice tax break.

    Why have I never seen this published in mega-sized font?

  48. Beecee
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Mrs May has played a blinder here.

    To have both the Remainers and Leavers disagree with her ‘plan’ is a remarkable effort; a plan which even the EU disagrees with, and humiliates her as it does!

    If it wasn’t so tragic one would have to admire her stupidity of purpose.

  49. Kenneth
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Treacherous about-turn by the PM.

    Mrs May’s new strap line “Leave means Remain”.

    Why is her dismissal taking so long??

  50. Iain Gill
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    may must go

  51. Bob
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Well Mr Juncker now says that the Extended Transition Period will very likely happen.

    Your move.

  52. Stuart Williams
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Why does the EU want the UK in the customs union ?
    Simply the EU wants to continue ad infinitim to collect 80%
    of the tariffs and anti dumping duties on imports
    to the UK from outside the customs union.
    Outside the customs union the UK would retain 100%
    Of these tariffs and duties.
    The figure I understand is circa £70billion p.a.
    but that may understate the true take as imports
    From outside the customs union which are destined
    for the UK but clear customs eg in Antwerp or Rotterdam
    would show up in the statistics for Netherlands and Belgium.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      The EU duties charged on imports into the UK amount to only £3 billion:

      80% of which is handed to Brussels, as you say.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        3,000 Million pounds per year, every year, and probably rising is no small sum. You can do a lot with that.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 21, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          It’s about 0.4% of government revenues, ultimately paid by consumers and collected at disproportionate cost and inconvenience.

  53. ian wragg
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I’m pleased you are starting to describe the Withdrawal Agreement in the same terms as we do, Surrender Document.
    I have been reading through it and all I see is Britain tied and bound to the EU in perpetuity.
    For example, we have to pay the unspecified divorce bill.
    We are liable for payments for years to come for programs which haven’t even been started yet.
    We will provide security and intelligence guarantees but be banned from the military arm of Galileo.
    We are responsible for approximately 25% of EU pensions when we have only 7% UK employees.
    Then there is Mays stupid transition where we are not allowed to deviate from EU law which she now wants extended at a cost of yet another £15 billion.
    There is absolutely no incentive to do anything whilst we are still coughing up £billions so in 3 years she will want to extend yet again.
    Any MP who signs up to this should be charged with treason.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I understand May already has staff in Brussels working in the 2020 – 2927 budget. This means the extension must have been agreed months ago.
      She is such a liar.

  54. Newmania
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    You have absolutely no idea about what will and will not be disrupted by this madness , I could ask you twenty questions to which your answer would be ” Don`t know” without thinking too hard
    One thing you do know, it won’t hurt you.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


      I could ask you 20 questions about the EU to which your answer would be I dont know

      So unless you claim complete foresight of the future this is a totally pointless post

      • Edward2
        Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        No change from the usual NM posts then libertarian.

  55. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    The EU is happy to offer the UK a range of free trade agreements (Canada, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine etc) and possibly the ones tentatively concluded with Japan and Singapore.

    The EU would also be happy if the UK would like to have no FTA at all and default to strict WTO terms (assuming none of the 200-odd ancillary agreements would end as well).

    However there is one little problem to all of this: Ireland and the UK have a an agreement (given the constitutional status of the agreement, “treaty” is perhaps a better term). Ideally, the UK should terminate the GFA (how?) simultaneously with defaulting to WTO terms, should that happen.

    The Irsh problem is not an EU invention. It is a matter between two EU countries, one of which has a veto over the withdrawal agreement (and is supported in this by virtually all 27) . The GFA was never intended to restrict the UK’s freedom to seek other trade-political partners but it does and one of the unintended consequences of a hard brexit might be that the UK violates the GFA (to the delight of the otherwise mirthless DUP probably). I wonder what will happen to the provisions in favour of NI residents (access to the ECHR if UK membership of that body is also questioned). Anyway, this is a mess people should have avoided by decent preparation and informing the public. Cameron again, I supposes. Where will his statue be?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Rien Huizer

      Where will his statue be?

      at the bottom of the Irish Sea?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I should correct my comment here. Technically the Irish Republic does not have a verto over strictly the withdrawal agreement, however in practical terms, that agreement and surrounding agreements as well as the outline of a possible future relationship and a transition period all seem to be matters outside the realm of a qualified majority. Hence there can be no deal regarding the Uk’s withdrawal without Irish consent.

      As to Cameron’s statue, maybe wait a while… And of course, he is only one in a long line of post Thatcher Tories having a problem with the EU (not that Thatcher was a fan but she was not crazy) . Incidentally, many of the current institutional features added during the past 20 years look distinctly British. New Labour British. So that is what it is: the EU in Britain became an orphan once New Labour disappeared.

  56. Martin
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    As you say the UK will have no bargaining clout at all once we have signed the Withdrawal Agreement. But that is exactly what Mrs May wants if I am not mistaken. We have had great bargaining power all along because we have everything to gain from the UK leaving and the EU has everything to lose. We never had a need to negotiate at all because WTO as a starting point is greatly to our advantage, as you have pointed out. If the UK leaves the EU loses its main cash cow, it cannot do the UK down any longer, and the example of the UK thriving after leaving will greatly encourage separatist movements in other imprisoned nations and make the future break up of this rotten to the core empire even more likely. However there is a problem. If we continue to possess bargaining power that is to the UK’s advantage and consequently unacceptable to Mrs May and Mr Hammond. They will continue to fight to their last breath to ensure we bend to the EU’s every demand and stricture. They are on the EU’s side, always have been, and always will be.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


      They are on the EU’s side, always have been, and always will be.

      100% correct

  57. Edwardm
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    A clear summary of how things are and what we should sensibly do.
    That the majority of Tory MPs do not seem to want to do anything about it is the big problem (removing Mrs May being a precondition to taking the right decisions).

    It is now down to local associations to put pressure on their MPs – starting deselection proceedings might help clarify things for some MPs.

  58. Atlas
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink


    It is painfully obvious that our policy to the EU is being determined by the PM. If she will not change then she needs to be replaced immediately with, if necessary, an interim leader. I would suggest that a Brexiteer such as the former Brexit secretary has both the experience and the attitude to make progress; it is just a shame that in his previous Brexit role he was completely undermined by the present PM.

  59. Ron Olden
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Although I voted Leave, I regard myself as a ‘dove’ in my attitudes to these negotiations, and would be willing to make any bearable concessions for a quiet life.

    But the proposal to extend the Brexit Transition is the maddest yet. Even ‘Soft Brexiters’ and ‘Soft Remainers’ are against it.

    From what I can see, the EU would have been happy for us just to have extended our stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union.

    Now we’ve offered to stay in the EU for even longer, pay whatever budget contribution they decide on, and have no say whatsoever in how its’ spent.

    The EU would be delighted for things to stay like that forever. It would be better for them, than us staying in the EU for good. So why would they negotiate at all?

    The only motive I can see for this suggestion by May is that it’s a device to pay them more money without actually offering them a higher lump sum.

    The longer we’re in transition, the more money they get.

    I’ve always been RELUCTANTLY willing to accept the £39 Billion in exchange for a Deal because, although it’s not legally enforceable by the EU, it’s mostly honouring our net payments to the end of the existing budget period which we agreed to, when the budget was set.

    But unless we know now what we’re getting for the money, we know the exact amount, and we decide it’s worth it, any Withdrawal Agreement providing for payments beyond the end of 2020 can’t be justified in any shape or form.

  60. Chris
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    ConsHome apparently saying that Merkel is going to “rescue” Theresa May. That fits if, as many of us expect, May has been following orders from/agreeing policy with Merkel in the first place.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Yep ! Merkel saves the day ! Helps her at home with German business and workers / voters.

  61. gr winton
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    as i see it the country wisely made its mind up in june 2016. we decided to leave and what a feeling it was i never imagined such a decision would ever come about as soon as it did and how right we are to leave this rotten club. they control practically everything in our daily lives and have no intention of changing or reforming their ways; cameron found that out and they are headed in a direction that does not suit us. so from the start it was patently obvious that there would be no deal, a deal implies something good some sort of a bargain that you might want to buy into or purchase, so clearly a DEAL is not available, they simply cannot and will not offer a deal because it would surely bring about the swift end of the whole shooting match a deal for the uk would for us be the equivalent of reforming what we currently have from within and they have already shown that they will not and cannot reform. so lets forget any deal we should never have asked because in my view we neither want nor need a deal. we should simply leave, state that there will be no borders in ireland and and see what they want to do about future trade. trade is very simple if we produce products or offer services that others want or need then there will be trade. if you like a glass of whisky you won’t stop on march 29th and never have another (mind you i have in protest already stopped drinking french wine) if you want a jaguar car you won’t not want one come the 29th of march and if lloyds are prepared to offer the insurance you need you will still find a way to acquire that insurance come the 29th of march, lloyds will make sure of that. they and other businesses would be helped though if our government would make its mind up to do what is right by the country. the only thing that has been worse than the way that the eu have behaved is the way that tour own politicians, the establishment and the media have behaved.

  62. ian
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Everything is going along nicely, Ireland is in the sweet spot and ends up a free trade zone when the UK leaves the EU, talk cheap for the French, doing what they say is another thing after you leave.
    There will standoff when the UK leaves but I cannot see a lot of legal notices fly around on loads of thing it takes time and you do not know what you receive back from the other side in its reply, no sometimes sleeping dogs are best left alone especially when that dog has a lot of friends around the world who can bite you on backside when your not looking.

  63. Lorna
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    You are so right .John.Well put !
    There are other issues like the Defence agreements ,fishing which are being decided without any public scrutiny .We can not continue with this pointless exercise of negotiating with the EU. It is frankly humiliating for the country.
    I frankly do not trust Mrs May or her supine Cabinet to decide on the priority of a trade deal and to do the best for U.K. we need an interim leader who will close the deal or as you stated walk away
    Sadly the misinformation that some auto makers have perpetrated with the collusion of the Press has been behind the Government stance in Chequers
    Thank you John for your informative articles

  64. John Booth
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, this post is excellent as is many others critical of the Government’s approach and Mrs May handling of things. But is has fallen on deaf ears. You must know, as all of us interested observers and activists also know, that Mrs May is not going to change course and will not do any of the things you outline above. She is being manoeuvred by both the EU and our Civil Service into watering down Brexit into either BRINO or no Brexit at all.

    There is only one course of action to make Brexit happen and again you know, just as we all know what that it. Mrs May must be replaced.

    You have to drum up those 48 letters, or send the men in grey suits into No 10 with the revolver and a bottle of whisky. Your colleagues did it to Mrs T. You must now summon up the courage to do it to Mrs M.

    Please convince your fellow Tory MPs to put country before Party and before MPs self interests. 17.4m people are urging you all to do something.

    • Paul Grant
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      It would be nice if Redwood DID SOMETHING, beyond just whining

  65. Paul Cohen
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Article in Times today by Iain Martin about former prime minister (Blair) and two former deputy prime ministers (Clegg, Hesseltine) who wrote article to Die Welt and others in attempt to derail Brexit by urging Macron and Barnier to be as tough as possible with Britain in order to help those trying to stop the process. Enemies of the people or what?

  66. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink


    These are very interesting working hypothesis but as far as I can read from your text, it is all guess-work.

    A deal will eventually be made that we can all live with it is also as you keep pointing out very much in the interest of the 27.

  67. notachance
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The EU like the WTO is a rules based is not there to make deals..Barnier can only stay within his is up to the UK side to fit in or not to fit in

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Really? So there is simply no way that the EU can ever change its rules in response to changed circumstances? Such as a country leaving, for example, or for that matter a country joining? That sounds pretty bad, how will it survive if it so inflexible? But what about all those accession treaties and amending treaties, and all the new laws, did none of them ever change the EU’s rules in any way? When you say that it is not there to make deals, does that mean that when we hear about the trade treaties it has made they are not deals, and if they are not deals what are they?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      “The EU like the WTO is a rules based is not there to make deals”

      So it doesn’t have a trade deal with Canada ? Interesting.

  68. Helen Taylor
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    John, surely we are missing a point here. They want a backstop to prevent a return to the violence. In a grown up society why should their be violence, Ireland has its independence from the UK, so it should not be fighting for it anymore. We have no argument with Ireland, so I don’t believe that we would start any violence. Ireland is now part of the EU so presumably they will be restricted with regards to the violence. So who is going to start it? Or is this why the EU wants its own Army? As you say this is just being blown out of all proportion. As you say, the EU will only discuss trade deals with a 3rd Country. So they will not discuss a trading deal until after we have left. This is just a greedy manipulative way to keep us in. I absolutely voted to take back control of everything. I certainly do not want to be tied to an ever dictatorail superstate. I just wish that the Government would start to look forward and work on making a success of leaving. Rather than pandering to the EU. I am sick of my Country being made a laughing stock in the eyes of the the world. Get us out with a clean break in March go straight to WTO rules. It is up to Parliament to fight decisively for this. Time for the MPs to get behind the Country and if Mrs May is not delivering then get in front of her and do something constructive. I like many others are sick of talk, now is the time for positive action to get us away from the bloodsucking EU and to rebuild our Country’s fishing and agriculture.

  69. Den
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone have any idea why Mrs May has made such a pigs ear of this job? In fact, make that her whole job. Whatever happened to her after the Lancaster House Speech? Tim Barrow? Oily Robbins? Did they “Turn” her or was it self inflicted?
    She voted to REMAIN in the EU and she still refuses to answer, when questioned, if she would vote to LEAVE now. What are we to think?
    If there was a method to test her sanity I would like that carried out today for she is acting like a woman obsessed with her own ideas (If indeed they are her own).
    So obsessed, she is deaf and blind to the very viable alternatives already put forward both by the Leave Campaign AND Brussels itself.
    Would it help if she was encouraged to step down for “Health Reasons”? Like madness? For I and others are sick of this perpetual procrastination, all to the benefit of the European Commission and NOT a single thought for us stupid Brits who thought we were in a proper democracy.

  70. formula57
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I for one am not shocked that the Evil Empire does not want a sensible, mutually rewarding deal – it is what evil empires be like.

    Why has the UK establishment been so slow to recognize this reality?

    When such recognition is forced by events, can we hope at long last to see the Evil Empire treated as the hostile power it is and hence see cancellation of May’s foolish defence pact?

  71. iain
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Many of us have thought for a long time that “No Deal” was inevitable.

    David Cameron was sent home with virtually no concessions and Mrs May has also found that the EU remains intransigent. She must, hopefully sooner rather than later, realise that she is flogging a dead horse.

    Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    A very good lawyer could,if I wished to make a Citizen’s Arrest…..

  73. Michael
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The way forward is to have the right person as PM.

    Mrs May is only good at kicking cans and making concessions

  74. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    It just goes to show how weak and pathetic the Tory party MP’s have become. They thought nothing of getting rid of Thatcher but sit back and watch this worthless PM cocking everything up for the whole country. It stinks. I have always been a Tory voter but couldn’t vote Tory now if you paid me. It’s a disgrace.

    • PaulPerro
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I truly agree. Thatcher created the single market. Pygmies like Redwood are destroying our role in it

  75. NigelR
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    We did not vote for a deal..we voted to understanding anyway

  76. Shirley Mallett
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    May has led the EU into believing they can have everything, so why should they compromise?

    We should leave with no deal, and then agree a FTA. It’s the only way the EU will take May and our politicians seriously. We can take the short term disruption but I am not sure the EU can. If the EU start playing dirty (illegally) by blocking trade and other cooperation, then the whole world will see that the EU are not a legitimate organisation.

  77. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Look at this headline, and look at the government’s response which is clearly designed not to reassure but to exacerbate concerns:

    “No-deal Brexit could hit food supplies, says Stena Line”


    “A government spokesman said it was engaging with ports, and senior officials had visited those owned by Stena Line.

    “It is crucial to keep trade flowing when we leave the EU,” the spokesman said.

    “That is why we are proposing a pragmatic and ambitious future economic relationship with the EU, and we remain committed to reaching agreement on the Withdrawal Agreement and future framework this autumn.”

    And what if the government does not get an agreement, the premise of this article?

    Well, then the government will deliberately block vital imports of food which are now just being waved through into the country and cause mass starvation, of course it will.

    I thought Tony Blair was utterly despicable as Prime Minister, but Theresa May is now giving him some pretty stiff competition, she is rotten to the core.

    • WeToldYou_No_EU
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Despicable indeed.

      I see that Barnier said, in a radio interview today, that air flights will continue after a no deal, since a quick agreement would be found.

      So sick of this CRASH out the EU nonsense, and lies perpetuated and instigated by our own people.

  78. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Well said, that man:

    “Sammy Wilson hits out at Varadkar over ‘despicable, low and rotten’ border violence claim”

    • Oggy
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      I like the plain speaking Sammy Wilson and the DUP – Spades are spades and not shovels.

  79. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I am assuming my earlier contribution is to be refused, too critical again.

    I see however Mr Mercer MP has balls, one of very few. I dare say he will get the same treatment as Mr Carwell; Tory MPs and the leadership will turn on him no doubt in the same way, even though he hasn’t left the party.

  80. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    It appears that your supporters are getting emotionaL Perhaos because there is no scope for “victory” ,just depressing “no deal” exit or a few more years of embarrassing struggle with oneself and the EU.

    • Duncan
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      52% v 48% – This is the result of the divine will of the British people. 52% voted to LEAVE THE EU. Democracy is sacrosanct. It is not NEGOTIABLE.

      We’re not like the rest of Europe dropping to our knees like rats in the face of German economic might. We can stand on our own two feet and in the process save democracy from the vile European political autocratic system that’s slowly being constructed

      The British people will not be bullied. We will not submit to threats from like Merkel and fools like Juncker.

      This is the UK. We take pride in our nation, its history and its culture

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Rien, no deal is fine with me. No drama and no emotion. Just what we voted for.

    • Steve
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      Rien Huizer

      Oh my, how wrong you are.

      We don’t want a deal with the EU. We didn’t vote for that. The prospect of a deal is what depresses us.

      That’s because everyone knows a deal with the EU would involve capitulation.

  81. WeToldYou_No_EU
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Barnier has the cheek to say in his patronising way, that the Leave vote ” was driven by nostalgia”.

    Barnier and his EU Cabal are the ones who know all about nostalgia…they preserve and push their thoroughly outdated, 1950s style, Eastern European Empire. From which there appears to be no escape

  82. acorn
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    ” … a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in reasonable time.” What are you calling a reasonable time JR? Whose trade rules will the UK be working to from Brexit Day, till a possible FTA gets agreed with the EU; “in reasonable time”, possibly months or years later?

    In reality, the UK must impose its recently submitted WTO Schedules, that are a cut and paste of the current EU WTO schedules; which assume the UK-EU share split of the current EU Tariff Rate Quotas, agreed last December. Then, wait for a deluge of WTO members demanding a bigger share of the UK import pie, than they could ever get from the big bad EU.

    Exactly what happens to all the MRA (Mutual Recognition Agreements) and the Equivalence Agreements under the (single/internal market) Regulatory Union, as apposed to the Customs Union; is not clear to me.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      That is to be sorted out once the UK side (with all those internal conflicts and loyalties) have sorted out what to choose from the UK menu (and maybe a futile attempt to get a few favors). Those negotiators are professional people and probably not obsessed with all those irrelevant, nostalgic things some people here consider issues. Take for instance the integrity of the UK. But after the GFA, NI is on track to leave the UK anyway, according to the Irish member of my team.

  83. miami.mode
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    …….All this is an irrelevance…….

    It certainly is, because the Chancellor has indicated we will have to pay at least £30bn irrespective of any outcome.

    The EU have the UK government over a barrel and both sides know it.

    Reply We owe them nothing

    • WeToldYou_No_EU
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Sadly “Spreadsheet Phil” is still struggling to master the wonders of Excel and how to delete or amend data…the cells with £30billion plus, are proving especially difficult to change.

    • miami.mode
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      What you say is fully appreciated, although there seems to be some doubt about the precise legal position, but reports in the press all too often subsequently prove to be accurate and it is the Chancellor who signs the cheques.

  84. WeToldYou_No_EU
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I understand that tomorrow, we are to be treated to a gathering of those Opposed to Democracy, demanding a third Referendum (1975, 2016, plus 2018)

    Not heard if Theresa is making a keynote speech…that may be one step too far…even for her.

    Quite ironic, that Remoaners are supposed to be cool, hip and modern people…and yet they want to perpetuate the anachronistic, 1950s style, Eastern European Empire…run by a bunch of unelected dinosaurs…their beloved EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      A bunch of unelected OLD WHITE dinosaurs.

    • Chris
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      The remoaners are indeed clinging to an outdated entity/concept. A customs union belongs to the last century. It is the Brexiteers who are outward looking and forward looking. Oh, the irony.

  85. ukretired123
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Britain expects Brexit Exit / Out as voted 28 months ago and JR has hit the kernel of the issue head on in this regard and is the cool head Theresa May should look to for his advice.
    Wonderfully explained in a nutshell.
    Everything else revolves around these points.
    The core assumptions are self determination for Britain taking advantage of our freedom and historic economic trading experience, innovative and creative talents much sought after by the rest of the world as experienced since the 2016 referendum.
    It seems that blinkers are on many who disagree such as civil servants and Westminster bubble and the media who hype up lots of froth about Brexit.

  86. Ed Mahony
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    In Support of Jacob Rees-Mogg.

    I don’t agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg about everything but that fact that he stands up for the teachings of the Catholic Church when some/many priests/bishops fail to, at least to the level Jacob does (and he’s not even cleric) goes to show that this is a man of honour (even if you disagree with his religious views).

    He is also clever, humorous and patriotic in the best sense.

  87. Chris
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    There is a deal on offer if May gives way even further. I believe this has all been choreographed, so that we go on to the very last minute with great drama, and then the UK is expected to believe that May has fought hard for us and we have no other option.

    The fly in the ointment is that no one believes a word May is saying and we all know, or at least suspect, exactly what is going on. She and her team have cried wolf one time too many, trying to force us into a corner. We will not be fooled ever again by her.

    The path for her now is most clearly to leave Downing Street. We have had enough of an apparently scheming and dishonest PM representing our “best interests”. The time has come to make way for someone who understands what democracy is, and what the role of a PM is – to stand up and fight for his/her country.

  88. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, you ate impeccably logical. The next step is to recognise that Chequers cannot be chucked without chucking Mrs May. The two are inseparable. Therefore Mrs May as pm is as dead as Chequers. It is only a matter of time. Therefore Britain can Be saved only be getting rid of Mrs May before she concludes her deal. There is talk of David Davis as Caretaker PM. Does that mean there is a mechanism by which Mrs May can be removed as PM without a Tory leadership change? Please grasp it if correct. My understanding is that the only thing preventing a leadership challenge is fear of a consequential ge which Corbin might win. Caretaker could mitigate that risk. Plse grasp it.

    Reply There can only be a leadership challenge/campaign if 160 Conservative MPs vote no confidence in the PM. So far there have not been 160 MPs prepared to do that. Many MPs who want a change of Brexit policy have wished to give the PM every chance to get a deal which is better than No Deal, so Remain supporters can see that one who voted with them in the referendum has tried her best. It looks as if the EU is not going to give her a better deal than No Deal, so MPs are making clear to the PM they will not vote for a bad deal.

  89. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 20, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Is a Government that fails to understand all this a Government of fools or a Government of knaves?

  • 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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